Quotations about:
    reflection


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Behavior is a mirror in which everyone displays his own image.

[Das Betragen ist ein Spiegel in welchem jeder sein Bild zeigt.]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, statesman, scientist
Elective Affinities [Die Wahlverwandtschaften], Part 2, ch. 5, “From Ottilie’s Journal [Aus Ottiliens Tagebuche]” (1809) [tr. Hollingdale (1971)]
    (Source)

(Source (German)). Alternate translation:

Behavior is a mirror in which every one shows his image.
[Niles ed. (1872)]

 
Added on 5-Dec-22 | Last updated 5-Dec-22
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The difference between narcissism and self-love is a matter of depth. Narcissus falls in love not with the self, but with an image or reflection of the self — with the persona, the mask. The narcissist sees himself through the eyes of another, changes his lifestyle to conform with what is admired by others, tailors his behavior and expression of feelings to what will please others. Narcissism is eye trouble, voluntary blindness, an agreement to keep up appearances (hence the importance of “style”) and not to look beneath the surface.

Sam Keen
Sam Keen (b. 1931) American author, professor, philosopher
The Passionate Life, ch. 8 (1983)
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Added on 11-Nov-22 | Last updated 11-Nov-22
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The Intellect engages us in the pursuit of Truth. The Passions impel us to Action.

[Cogitatio in vero exquirendo maxime versatur, appetitus impellit ad agendum.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 35 (1.35) / sec. 132 (44 BC) [Barnes (1814)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translation:

Reflection is chiefly employed in the investigation of truth, appetite impels to action.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

Reflection chiefly applies itself in the search of truth. Appetite prompts us to action.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

Thought is occupied chiefly in seeking the truth; impulse urges to action.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

Thought is employed in the discovery of truth, appetite impels to action.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

Thought is occupied chiefly with the discovery of truth; impulse prompts to action.
[tr. Miller (1913)]

Thought is mostly expended in seeking out the truth, passion urges men to action.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

 
Added on 17-Feb-22 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.

(Other Authors and Sources)
Japanese proverb
 
Added on 5-Oct-21 | Last updated 5-Oct-21
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In the middle of the night, things well up from the past that are not always cause for rejoicing — the unsolved, the painful encounters, the mistakes, the reasons for shame or woe. But all, good or bad, give me food for thought, food to grow on.

May Sarton
May Sarton (1912-1995) Belgian-American poet, novelist, memoirist [pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton]
At Seventy (1984)
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Added on 14-Sep-21 | Last updated 14-Sep-21
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Yet a personal God can become a grave liability. He can be a mere idol carved in our own image, a projection of our limited needs. fears and desires. We can assume that he loves what we love and hates what we hate, endorsing our prejudices instead of compelling us to transcend them. … Instead of pulling us beyond our limitations, “he” can encourage us to remain complacently within them; “he” can make us a cruel, callous, self-satisfied and partial as “he” seems to be. Instead of inspiring the compassion that should characterize all advanced religion, “he” can encourage us to judge, condemn and marginalize.

Karen Armstrong (b. 1944) British author, comparative religion scholar
A History of God, ch. 7 “The God of the Mystics” (1993)
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Added on 14-Sep-20 | Last updated 14-Sep-20
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Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering — because you can’t take it in all at once.

Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) Belgian-English actress
Quoted in David Hofstede, Audrey Hepburn: A Bio-bibliography (1994)
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Added on 16-Jan-20 | Last updated 16-Jan-20
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Gods always behave like the people who make them.

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) American writer, folklorist, anthropologist
Tell My Horse, ch. 15 (1938)
 
Added on 5-Jul-17 | Last updated 5-Jul-17
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Perhaps a man’s character is like a tree, and his reputation like its shadow; the shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
(Attributed)

In Noah Brooks "Lincoln's Imagination," _Scribner's Monthly (Aug 1879).
 
Added on 16-May-17 | Last updated 12-Feb-20
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When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.

(Other Authors and Sources)
Japanese proverb
 
Added on 21-Mar-17 | Last updated 21-Mar-17
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Take a book, the poorest one written, but read it with the passion that it is the only book you will read — ultimately you will read everything out of it, that is, as much as there was in yourself, and you could never get more out of reading, even if you read the best of books.

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Danish philosopher, theologian
Stages on Life’s Way (1845)
 
Added on 25-Jan-17 | Last updated 25-Jan-17
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The best of all ways to make one’s reading valuable is to write about it, and so I hope my Cousin Elizabeth has a blank book where she keeps some record of her thoughts.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Letter to Elizabeth Tucker (1 Feb 1832)
 
Added on 30-Mar-16 | Last updated 19-Feb-22
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The convictions that leaders have formed before reaching high office are the intellectual capital they will consume as long as they continue in office. There is little time for leaders to reflect. They are locked in an endless battle in which the urgent constantly gains on the important. The public life of every political figure is a continual struggle to rescue an element of choice from the pressure of circumstance.

Henry Kissinger (b. 1923) German-American diplomat
The White House Years, ch. 3 (1979)
 
Added on 3-Aug-15 | Last updated 3-Aug-15
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Would you have a friend who talks to you the way you talk to yourself?

Carolyn Ann "Callie" Khouri (b. 1957) American screenwriter, producer, director, feminist
Commencement Address, Sweet Briar College (22 May 1994)
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Added on 17-Jun-15 | Last updated 17-Jun-15
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Neither praise, nor dispraise thyself; thy Actions will do it enough.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Introductio ad Prudentiam, # 338 (1725)
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Added on 27-May-15 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
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If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasures of illusion.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English novelist, essayist and critic
The Perennial Philosophy, ch. 9 (1946)
 
Added on 11-Dec-13 | Last updated 11-Dec-13
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Self-correction begins with self-knowledge.

[Principio es de corregirse el conocerse]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 69 (1647) [tr. Maurer (1992)]
    (Source)

(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translations:

The knowledge of one's self is the beginning of amendment.
[Flesher ed. (1685)]

Self-knowledge is the beginning of self-improvement.
[tr. Jacobs (1892)]

It is a first principle that in order to improve yourself, you must first know yourself.
[tr. Fischer (1937)]

 
Added on 4-Dec-13 | Last updated 5-Dec-22
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If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size?

Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986) Anglo-American columnist, journalist, author
(Attributed)
 
Added on 13-Sep-13 | Last updated 3-May-19
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‘Yes,’ I answered you last night;
‘No,’ this morning, sir, I say.
Colors seen by candle-light,
Will not look the same by day.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) English poet
“The Lady’s ‘Yes'”, st. 1 (1844)
 
Added on 2-May-13 | Last updated 13-Jul-17
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Life does not consist mainly — or even largely — of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Autobiography, Part 1, sec. 28 “New York, January 10, 1906” (2003)

Full text.
 
Added on 30-Jun-11 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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Experience of the world may be looked upon as a kind of text, to which reflection and knowledge form the commentary. Where there is great deal of reflection and intellectual knowledge, and very little experience, the result is like those books which have on each page two lines of text to forty lines of commentary. A great deal of experience with little reflection and scant knowledge, gives us books like those of the editio Bipontina where there are no notes and much that is unintelligible.

[Auch läßt die eigene Erfahrung sich ansehn als der Text; Nachdenken und Kenntnisse als der Kommentar dazu. Viel Nachdenken und Kenntnisse, bei wenig Erfahrung, gleicht den Ausgaben, deren Seiten zwei Zeilen Text und vierzig Zeilen Kommentar darbieten. Viel Erfahrung, bei wenig Nachdenken und geringen Kenntnissen, gleicht den bipontinischen Ausgaben, ohne Noten, welche Vieles unverstanden lassen.]

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher
Parerga and Paralipomena, Vol. 1, “Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life [Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit],” ch. 5 “Counsels and Maxims [Paränesen und Maximen],” § 2.8 (1851) [tr. Saunders (1890)]
    (Source)

Saunders notes that the editiones Bipontinae were "a series of Greek, Latin and French classics published at Zweibraecken in the Palatinate, from and after the year 1779."

Source (German). Alternate translation:

Our own experience may be regarded as the text, and reflection and knowledge as the commentary thereto. Much reflection and knowledge with little experience resemble those editions whose pages present us with two lines of text and forty lines of commentary. Much experience with little reflection and scanty knowledge is like the editiones Bipontinae which are without notes and contain much that is unintelligible.
[tr. Payne (1974)]
 
Added on 28-Jan-10 | Last updated 18-Jan-23
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The face of the enemy frightens me only when I see how much it resembles mine.

Stanislaw Lec (1909-1966) Polish aphorist, poet, satirist
Unkempt Thoughts [Myśli nieuczesane] (1957) [tr. Gałązka (1962)]
 
Added on 2-Dec-09 | Last updated 29-Mar-22
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LONDO: There comes a time when you look into the mirror, and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. Then you accept it, or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking into mirrors.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, 1×22 “Chrysalis” (3 Oct 1994)
 
Added on 6-Feb-08 | Last updated 17-Jul-20
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You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

Anne Lamott (b. 1954) American novelist and non-fiction writer
Bird by Bird (1995)

She attributes the quote to "my priest friend Tom"
 
Added on 12-Mar-06 | Last updated 28-Aug-14
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The majority is always in the wrong. Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it’s time to reform — (or pause and reflect).

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Mark Twain’s Notebook (13 Oct 1904) [ed. Paine (1935)]
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Sep-20
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