71 Insightful Quotes By George Santayana On Music, History, Life, Books And More
Philosopher, Essayist, Poet, & Novelist
George Santayana was an illustrious essayist, philosopher, novelist and poet. Though he belonged to Spain, and was raised and educated in America since the age of eight. He held a valid Spanish passport, but identified himself as American. He wrote his essays, books, novels and poems in English and is distinguished as American ‘Man of Letters’. Popularly known for his thoughts, views and aphorisms, his writings, essays, quotes, thoughts and sayings are till date quoted extensively. Though he was an atheist, he valued Spanish Catholic beliefs, practices and values. He untimely left his job and moved to Europe, never to return. Here is a corpus of some notable quotes and thoughts by George Santayana on men, women, masterpieces, love, life, history, future, respect, war, dead, educated, act, dreams, school, child, patriotism, soul, knowledge, recognition, tyranny etc which have been excerpted from his poems, novels, writings, books, essays, work and life.
The earth has music for those who listen. Sanity is a madness put to good uses. Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it. A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests. To be interested in the changing seasons is . . . a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring. Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds. To be happy you must have taken the measure of your powers, tasted the fruits of your passion, and learned your place in the world. Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness. There are books in which the footnotes, or the comments scrawled by some reader's hand in the margin, are more interesting than the text. The world is one of those books. Memory... is an internal rumor. Everything in nature is lyrical in its ideal essence, tragic in its fate, and comic in its existence. Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable; what it is or what it means can never be said. We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible. Love make us poets, and the approach of death should make us philosophers. Fanaticism consists of redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim. There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. Never build your emotional life on the weaknesses of others. Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better. The muffled syllables that Nature speaks
Fill us with deeper longing for her word;
She hides a meaning that the spirit seeks,
She makes a sweeter music than is heard. The wisest mind has something yet to learn. The bible is literature, not dogma. There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor. It takes patience to appreciate domestic bliss; volatile spirits prefer unhappiness. Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily. Nothing is really so poor and melancholy as art that is interested in itself and not in its subject. Why shouldnt things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? they are so, and we are so, and they and we go together. A man's feet must be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world. The best men in all ages keep classic traditions alive. To know your future you must know your past The worship of power is an old religion. An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world. History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there. . . . History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it. The Platonic idealist is the man by nature so wedded to perfection that he sees in everything not the reality but the faultless ideal which the reality misses and suggests. Men become superstitious, not because they have too much imagination, but because they are not aware that they have any. All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible The Difficult is that which can be done immediately; the Impossible that which takes a little longer. Criticism surprises the soul in the arms of convention. All conditions are bearable, all dignities trumpery, and wisdom simply the gift of making the best of whatever is thrust upon us. The wisest mind hath something yet to learn. History is nothing but assisted and recorded memory Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit. One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human. The man who is not permitted to own is owned. Men have feverishly conceived a heaven only to find it insipid, and a hell to find it ridiculous. That life is worth living is the most necessary of assumptions, and were it not assumed, the most impossible of conclusions. The fact of having been born is a bad augury for immortality. We laughed at the same things, and we liked the same things. What more is needed for agreeable society? Nothing can so pierce the soul as the uttermost sigh of the body. The need of exercise is a modern superstition, invented by people who ate too much and had nothing to think about. Athletics don’t make anybody long-lived or useful. The contemporary world has turned its back on the attempt and even on the desire to live reasonably. To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood. I like to walk about amidst the beautiful things that adorn the world. Depression is rage spread thin. The mass of mankind is divided into two classes, the Sancho Panzas who have a sense for reality, but no ideals, and the Don Quixotes with a sense for ideals, but mad. The body must be loosely clad if the mind is to forget it and impetuously lead its own life. To knock a thing down when it is cocked at an arrogant angle is a deep delight of the blood. A man is morally free when...he judges the world, and judges other men, with uncompromising sincerity History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten. I like to walk about among the beautiful things that adorn the world; but private wealth I should decline, or any sort of personal possessions, because they would take away my liberty. Time and Space are not prior to creation, they are forms under which creation becomes thinkable. The wisest man has something yet to learn. Life is judged with all the blindness of life itself.
There is nothing to which men, while they have food and drink, cannot reconcile themselves.
Friends are generally of the same sex, for when men and women agree, it is only in their conclusions, their reasons are always different.
Faith in the intellect...is the only faith yet sanctioned by its fruits
Only the dead have seen the end of the war.
I stand in philosophy exactly where I stand in daily life; I should not be honest otherwise.
Fanaticism is redoubling your effort after you've forgotten your aim. By obedience and self-control come to your full stature; be in fact what you are in possibility; satisfy