Best 209 of Nihilism quotes - MyQuotes
Expect nothing. Everything else is a sweet surprise.
No! No! I refuse to believe it. I'm sure you've often wished there was an after-life.' Of course I had, I told him. Everybody has that wish at times. But that had no more importance than wishing to be rich, or to swim very fast, or have a better-shaped mouth.
I am against nationalism, and I am against patriotism. They are both the dark side. It is time not simply to redefine a kinder-and-gentler patriotism, but to sweep away the notion and acknowledge it as morally, politically, and intellectually bankrupt. It is time to scrap patriotism.
Why did you come in to-night with your heads in the air? 'Make way, we are coming! Give us every right and don't you dare breathe a word before us. Pay us every sort of respect, such as no one's ever heard of, and we shall treat you worse than the lowest lackey!' They strive for justice, they stand on their rights, and yet they've slandered him like infidels in their article. We demand, we don't ask, and you will get no gratitude from us, because you are acting for the satisfaction of your own conscience! Queer sort of reasoning!... He has not borrowed money from you, he doesn't owe you anything, so what are you reckoning on, if not his gratitude? So how can you repudiate it? Lunatics! They regard society as savage and inhuman, because it cries shame on the seduced girl; but if you think society inhuman, you must think that the girl suffers from the censure of society, and if she does, how is it you expose her to society in the newspapers and expect her not to suffer? Lunatics! Vain creatures! They don't believe in God, they don't believe in Christ! Why, you are so eaten up with pride and vanity that you'll end by eating up one another, that's what I prophesy. Isn't that topsy-turvydom, isn't it infamy?
I’m an eunuch’s dick.
What is causing this mysterious perpetual air of inconvenience to slowly engulf the evening. It is not merely emptiness but an awakening in itself about nothingness. Leave behind what was never yours and accept the fact that momentary pleasures and hideous treasures will perish too soon; so will your pride be snatched away by nothing. Mathematicians often say an instance tends to infinity. But, in actual sense, is anything even close to infinity? Nullify yourself and disappear into zero, for that is what we call the beginning; the beginning of the end.
You see—I hope you never get there yourself—but some of us get to the point in life where we realise that nothing matters. Nothing fucking matters.
Nihilism is but the other side of conventionalism; its creed consists of negations of the current so-called positive values, to which it remains bound.
In a society without anguish, it is easy to ignore death,” says one of them. However, and this is the real condemnation of our society, the anguish of death is a luxury that is felt far more by the idler than by the worker, who is stifled by his own occupation. But every kind of socialism is Utopian, most of all scientific socialism. Utopia replaces God by the future. Then it proceeds to identify the future with ethics; the only values are those which serve this particular future. For that reason Utopias have almost always been coercive and authoritarian. Marx, in so far as he is a Utopian, does not differ from his frightening predecessors, and one part of his teaching more than justifies his successors.
Nothing exists, all is shadow and illusion
Só é saudável em nós aquilo pelo que não somos especificamente nós mesmos: são nossas aversões que nos individualizam; nossas tristezas que nos concedem um nome; nossas perdas que nos fazem possuidores de nosso eu. Só somos nós mesmos pela soma de nossos fracassos.
The horror is this: In the end, it is simply a picture of empty meaningless blackness. We are alone. There is nothing else.
(...) pick up your axe, start at the roots don't miss the trunk, never forget: to end life truly and finally start at the roots or end there.
You should get more sleep," he remarked. "You won't need so many chemicals." She raised an eyebrow. "This from the man with half his bloodstream registered in the patent office." Jovellanos hadn't had her shots yet. She didn't need them in her current position, but she was too good at her job to stay where she was much longer. Desjardins looked forward to the day when her righteous stance on the Sanctity of Free Will went head-to-head against the legal prerequisites for promotion. She'd probably take one look at the list of perks and the new salary, and cave. He had, anyway.
Our galaxy is some small part of universe, and it’s just a fluke that bunch of chemical reactions can somehow support a life system. You see, we aren’t special. There’s no watchman looking over us, there’s no sin or deed. It’s just that you balance universe every second, and you cannot change a thing about it.
People spent their lives searching for something beyond the simple friction of skin on skin, but there was nothing. The void between two people could never be closed, and in trying to close it, they would only learn everything that was to be despised in the other.
Essentially that which is only matter, and the sciences that can, through verifiable methods, explore that which we know exists, through the means of...you know, touching, tasting, seeing, and so on...as well as using other instrumentation and so on...is very useful. The question winds up being: ultimately one of: 'Is that all there is?' And going and saying there wasn't even an understanding of matter as we understand it today prior to [...] about the time of Descartes...um, I don't know if the historical argument's the best one to make in that case. But one thing I can say is that thinking that all that exists is that which we can perceive with the five senses is in no way provable –and then if we talk about, 'Well, what is the essence of something?', then we run into a whole other mess. But if we're talking in the context of modernism, where people have gone and become wholly materialistic, the answers become incredibly simple. Incredibly simplistic. And ultimately, I'm not convinced of their accuracy; not only am I not convinced of their accuracy, but I'm not convinced that it's good for humankind in general: because ultimately we're going to wind up killing ourselves off, if all we believe in is that which is material.
As a nihilist, I recognize that meaning does not exist. If we exterminate ourselves as a species, and vaporize our beautiful world, the universe will not cry with us (a condition called the pathetic fallacy). No gods will intervene. It will just happen and then — and then the universe will go on. We will not be remembered. We will simply not be.
Man is incapable of seeing past the end of his nose. He huddles upon the ground staring down at his own feet. It is only when he considers his own mortality that he clings to whatever God or Buddha offers him hope.
Pour être connu, il suffit en somme de tuer sa concierge.
I’ve always been suspicious of the assumption that great intelligence would be an unqualified benefit— that the madness that so often accompanies it can be cavalierly dismissed. So I asked the question: Suppose there were an entire subpopulation of extreme geniuses, well beyond anything that would occur naturally. What would that really look like?
Ubi nihil vales, ibi nihil velis
Then, what is sacrelige [sic]? If it is nothing more than a rebellion against dogma, it is eventually as meaningless as the dogma it defies, and they are both become hounds ranting in the high grass, never see the boar in the thicket. Only a religious person can perpetrate sacrelige: and if its blasphemy reaches the heart of the question; if it investigates deeply enough to unfold, not the pattern, but the materials of the pattern, and the necessity of a pattern; if it questions so deeply that the doubt it arouses is frightening and cannot be dismissed; then it has done its true sacreligious [sic] work, in the service of its adversary: the only service that nihilism can ever perform. (unused 1949 prefatory note to The Recognitions)
Those who ignore or belittle karmic cause and result are followers of the nihilist heretics. Those who base their confidence only upon the view of emptiness will plunge lower and lower toward the extreme view of nihilism. Those who catapult into this negative direction will never find freedom from the lower states of existence and will be far removed from the higher realms. They say that doctrines emphasizing conventional meanings such as cause and result, compassion, and meritorious accumulations will not bring buddhahood, whereas the uncontrived definitive meaning that resembles the sky is what the great yogis must meditate upon. Among nihilistic views, that is the epitome; and among lower paths, that is the lowest of all. How amazing to claim that, by blocking the cause, a result can be accomplished.
Have you ever heard of the madman who on a bright morning lighted a lantern and ran to the market-place calling out unceasingly: "I seek God! I seek God!"—As there were many people standing about who did not believe in God, he caused a great deal of amusement. Why! is he lost? said one. Has he strayed away like a child? said another. Or does he keep himself hidden? Is he afraid of us? Has he taken a sea-voyage? Has he emigrated?—the people cried out laughingly, all in a hubbub. The insane man jumped into their midst and transfixed them with his glances. "Where is God gone?" he called out. "I mean to tell you! We have killed him,—you and I! We are all his murderers! But how have we done it? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the whole horizon? What did we do when we loosened this earth from its sun? Whither does it now move? Whither do we move? Away from all suns? Do we not dash on unceasingly? Back-wards, sideways, forewards, in all directions? Is there still an above and below? Do we not stray, as through infinite nothingness? Does not empty space breathe upon us? Has it not become colder? Does not night come on continually, darker and darker? Shall we not have to light lanterns in the morning? Do we not hear the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God? Do we not smell the divine putrefaction?—for even Gods putrefy! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! How shall we console ourselves, the most murderous of all murderers? The holiest and the mightiest that the world has hitherto possessed, has bled to death under our knife,—who will wipe the blood from us? With what water could we cleanse ourselves? What lustrums, what sacred games shall we have to devise? Is not the magnitude of this deed too great for us? Shall we not ourselves have to become Gods, merely to seem worthy of it? There never was a greater event,—and on account of it, all who are born after us belong to a higher history than any history hitherto!"—Here the madman was silent and looked again at his hearers; they also were silent and looked at him in surprise. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, so that it broke in pieces and was extinguished. "I come too early," he then said, "I am not yet at the right time. This prodigious event is still on its way, and is travelling,—it has not yet reached men's ears. Lightning and thunder need time, the light of the stars needs time, deeds need time, even after they are done, to be seen and heard. This deed is as yet further from them than the furthest star,—and yet they have done it!"—It is further stated that the madman made his way into different churches on the same day, and there intoned his Requiem æternam deo. When led out and called to account, he always gave the reply: "What are these churches now, if they are not the tombs and monuments of God?
the problem is not suffering itself or oblivion itself but the depraved meaninglessness of these things, the absolutely inhuman nihilism of suffering.
If all we seek is an escape, what does that say about the world we live in. We are desperate with our dreams. What - oh, what - does that say?
you make me laugh, with your metaphysical anguish, its just that you're scared silly, frightened of life, of men of action, of action itself, of lack of order. But everything is disorder, dear boy. Vegetable, mineral and animal, all disorder, and so is the multitude of human races, the life of man, thought, history, wars, inventions, business and the arts, and all theories, passions and systems. Its always been that way. Why are you trying to make something out of it? And what will you make? what are you looking for? There is no Truth. There's only action, action obeying a million different impulses, ephemeral action, action subjected to every possible and imaginable contingency and contradiction, Life. Life is crime, theft, jealousy, hunger, lies, disgust, stupidity, sickness, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, piles of corpses. what can you do about it, my poor friend?
In matters of conscience and basic convictions it is unlawful and pernicious for anyone to forcibly intrude upon another's beliefs; therefore, because I am a man of rational convictions, I will not go out and demolish churches, drown monks, or rip down icons from my friends' walls because in so doing I will not spread my convictions; human beings must be educated, not coerced, I am not the enemy, I am not the tyrant of the conscience of true believers.
The only thing I’m sure of is that one can’t be a complete unbeliever. That would be to admit to nothingness. Absolute zero doesn’t exist.
Everything in the world displeases me: but, above all, my displeasure in everything displeases me.
One cannot be a part-time nihilist.
Meaning is malleable: take it out, you get nihilism and despair. Put it in, you get sacredness and something most special.
This omnipresent cult of the body is extraordinary. It is the only object on which everyone is made to concentrate, not as a source of pleasure, but as an object of frantic concern, in the obsessive fear of failure or substandard performance, a sign and an anticipation of death, that death to which no one can any longer give a meaning, but which everyone knows has at all times to be prevented. The body is cherished in the perverse certainty of its uselessness, in the total certainty of its non-resurrection. Now, pleasure is an effect of the resurrection of the body, by which it exceeds that hormonal, vascular and dietetic equilibrium in which we seek to imprison it, that exorcism by fitness and hygiene. So the body has to be made to forget pleasure as present grace, to forget its possible metamorphosis into other forms of appearance and become dedicated to the utopian preservation of a youth that is, in any case, already lost. For the body which doubts its own existence is already half-dead, and the current semi-yogic, semi-ecstatic cult of the body is a morbid preoccupation. The care taken of the body while it is alive prefigures the way it will be made up in the funeral home.
...freedom only gives you something to be sorry for.
It is intoxicating joy for the sufferer to look away from his suffering and to forget himself.
The very fact of being human panics us into the most grotesque play-acting imaginable; and we deal in absurdities to keep life from being a total waste, like one constant jacking-off party.
But death is the ultimate blissfulness To be a candy or a corpse The world holds you on its tongue And no one can save you
Say what you want about the deaf.
I often wonder and imagine What lies just beyond the fringe Of the human experience; What is it that we do not see?
I was no longer capable of either enthusiasm or fear. Once an ecstatic idealist […], I had now passed - like the rest of my contemporaries who had survived thus far - into a permanent state of numb disillusion. Whatever part of my brief adulthood I chose to look back upon — the restless pre-War months at home, the naïve activities of a college student, the tutelage to horror and death as a V.A.D. nurse, the ever-deepening night of fear and suspense and agony in a provincial town, in a university city, in London, in the Mediterranean, in France — it all seemed to have meant one thing, and one thing only, ‘a striving, and a striving, and an ending in nothing.’ Now there were no more disasters to dread and no friends left to wait for; with the ending of apprehension had come a deep, nullifying blankness, a sense of walking in a thick mist which hid all sights and muffled all sounds. I had no further experience to gain from the War; nothing remained except to endure it.
I think all true stories are hopeful stories. I don't think there's any room for nihilism.
Robert C. Solomon
Nietzsche says very clearly all the way through his career that if you want to define human nature the first thing you must say is that human beings insist on value--we see the world through value colored eyes. We do not know how to look at things neutrally, value-free. So, it's not a question of giving up all values, it's simply a question of which values.
I am superhero! I am the Nihilist! My superpowers include logical detachment, emotional invincibility, and the ability to blend in anywhere. I work alone and am never compromised by romantic entanglements, and I don't have a costume because who the fuck cares?
I whispered to my heart “Is everything meaningless?” “It doesn’t really matter,” It smiled. “Nothing matters.
They retained only the faintest recollection of what they had lost and had no desire to believe that they had once been innocent and happy. They derided the mere possibility of this former felicity of theirs and termed it a day-dream. They could not even picture it to themselves in images and forms, but strange and wondrous to relate, having lost any credence in their former happiness, calling it a fairy tale, they so longed to be innocent and happy once more, all over again that, childlike, they fell down before this, their heart's desire, deified it, built temples, and began to worship their own idea, their own 'desire', and tearfully bowed before it in adoration, while at the same time utterly discounting its feasibility or the possibility of its realization. However, had it ever become possible for them to return to the state of happy innocence they had lost, and if someone could have shown it to them again and asked if they wanted to return to it, they would certainly have refused.
Implicit … in the very idea of ordered liberty, was a rejection of absolute truth, the infallibility of any idea or ideology or theology or “ism,” any tyrannical consistency that might lock future generations into a single, unalterable course, or drive both majorities and minorities into the cruelties of the Inquisition, the pogrom, the gulag, or the jihad. ... A rejection of absolutism, in all its forms, may sometimes slip into moral relativism or even nihilism, an erosion of values that hold society together…
If you want to scare people, you talk about evil.
The enemy of liberal capitalism today is not so much socialism as nihilism.
Destroy or be destroyed-there is no middle way! Let us then be the destroyers!