Favorite Quotations ~ George Santayana Autobiography

"Nature has framed me for a recluse." ~ George Santayana

George Santayana (1863-1952)

Spirit itself is not human; it may spring up in any life it may exist in all animals, and who know in how many undreamt-of beings, or in the midst of what worlds?

Our dignity is not in what we do, but in what we understand.

Sometimes we have to change the truth in order to remember it.

Even the constant flame may burn brightly, if the soul is naturally combustible.

Each religion, by the help of more or less myth, which it takes more or less seriously, proposes some method of fortifying the human soul and enabling it to make its peace with its destiny.

The fact of having been born is a bad augury for immortality.

Nothing could be madder, more irresponsible, more dangerous than this guidance of men by dreams.

Happiness is the only sanction of life; where happiness fails, existence remains a mad and lamentable experiment.

I believe in the possibility of happiness, if one cultivates intuition and outlives the grosser passions, including optimism.

Shakespeare is remarkable among the greater poets for being without a philosophy and without a religion. In his drama there is no fixed conception of any forces, natural or moral, dominating and transcending our mortal energies.

Nothing can so pierce the soul as the uttermost sigh of the body.

The body is an instrument, the mind its function, the witness and reward of its operation.

An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.

A man's feet should be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.

A child educated only at school is an undereducated child.

Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with a part of another; people are friends in spots.

Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.