P.D. Ouspensky Quotes | Quotes by P.D. Ouspensky

1The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.

2A symbol may serve to transfer our intuitions and to suggest new ones only so long as its meaning is not defined.

3If a man gives way to all his desires, or panders to them, there will be no inner struggle in him, no 'friction,' no fire. But if, for the sake of attaining a definite aim, he struggles with desires that hinder him, he will then create a fire which will gradually transform his inner world into a single whole.

4Understanding is always the understanding of a smaller problem in relation to a bigger problem.

5In all living nature (and perhaps also in that which we consider as dead) love is the motive force which drives the creative activity in the most diverse directions.

6Many things are mechanical and should remain mechanical. But mechanical thoughts, mechanical feelings鈥攖hat is what has to be studied and can and should be changed. Mechanical thinking is not worth a penny. You can think about many things mechanically, but you will get nothing from it.

7Besides, all evil is relative. Something that is evil at one level of evolution can be good at an earlier stage because it provides the essential stimulus for development. But you want to judge everything by your own standards. You have reached a comparatively high level and so you see what you fight against as evil. Just think of the others, those who are at an earlier stage of development. Do not bar them from the path toward progress and evolution.

8Ideas by themselves cannot produce change of being; your effort must go in the right direction, and one must correspond to the other.

9I've found that the chief difficulty for most people was to realize that they had really heard new things: that is things that they had never heard before. They kept translating what they heard into their habitual language. They had ceased to hope and believe there might be anything new.

10Begin with the possible: begin with one step. There is always a limit you cannot do more than you can do. If you try to do too much you will do nothing

P.D. Ouspensky Quotes

11Two things can get people to make efforts: if people want to get something, or if they want to get rid of something. Only, in ordinary conditions, without knowledge, people do not know what they can get rid of or what they can gain.

12Everything we do consciously remains for us.

13In existing criminology there are concepts: a criminal man, a criminal profession, a criminal society, a criminal sect, and a criminal tribe, but there is no concept of a criminal state, or a criminal government, or criminal legislation. Consequently what is often regarded as "political" activity is in fact a criminal activity.

14I had come to the conclusion a long time ago that there was no escape from the labyrinth of contradictions in which we live except by an entirely new road, unlike anything hitherto known or used by us. But where this new or forgotten road began I was unable to say. I already knew then as an undoubted fact that beyond the thin film of false reality there existed another reality from which, for some reason, something separated us. The 'miraculous' was a penetration into this unknown reality.

15Man has no permanent and unchangeable I. Every thought, every mood, every desire, every sensation says "I." And in each case it seems to be taken for granted that this I belongs to the Whole, to the whole man, and that a thought, a desire, or an aversion is expressed by this Whole.

16There is something in us that keeps us where we find ourselves. I think this is the most awful thing of all.

17I felt that on a basis of a "search for the miraculous" it would be possible to unite together a very large number of people who were no longer able to swallow the customary forms of lying and living in lying.

18Love is the eternally burning fire in which humanity & all the world are being purified.

19Desire is when you do what you want, will is when you can do what you do not want.

20Art is the communication of ecstasy.

P.D. Ouspensky Quotes

21Most people can accept the truth only in the form of a lie.

22Man is a machine, but a very peculiar machine. He is a machine which, in right circumstances, and with right treatment, can know that he is a machine, and having fully realized this, he may find the ways to cease to be a machine. First of all, what man must know is that he is not one; he is many. He has not one permanent and unchangeable 鈥淚鈥?or Ego. He is always different. One moment he is one, another moment he is another, the third moment he is a third, and so on, almost without end.

23Truths that become old become decrepit and unreliable; sometimes they may be kept going artificially for a certain time, but there is no life in them.

24The strangest and most fantastic fact about negative emotions is that people actually worship them.

25Man is a machine which reacts blindly to external forces and, this being so, he has no will, and very little control of himself, if any at all. What we have to study, therefore, is not psychology-for that applies only to a developed man-but mechanics. Man is not only a machine but a machine which works very much below the standard it would be capable of maintaining if it were working properly.

26The most difficult thing is to know what we do know, and what we do not know.

27To remember oneself means the same thing as to be aware of oneself - I am. It is not a function, not thinking, not feeling; it is a different state of consciousness.

28When one realises one is asleep, at that moment one is already half-awake.

29What is the best way to look for one麓s chief feature?" someone asked. Simply see yourself. I do not know how to explain it better. It is possible one may find something -- chief feature of the moment. It is imaginary personality; this is the chief feature for everybody."Can one alter one麓s chief feature?" asked someone else. First it is necessary to know it. If you know it, much will depend on the quality of your knowing. If you know it well, then it is possible to change it.

30The problem of Eternity, of which the face of the Sphinx speaks, takes us into the realm of the impossible. Even the problem of Time is simple in comparison with the problem of Eternity.

P.D. Ouspensky Quotes

31The greatest barrier to consciousness is the belief that one is already conscious.

32a man can be given only what he can use; and he can use only that for which he has sacrificed something

33A religion contradicting science and a science contradicting religion are equally false.

34We often think we express negative emotions, not because we cannot help it, but because we should express them.

35Learn to see it in thyself and thou wilt understand the infinite essence, hidden in all illusory forms. Understand that the world which thou knowest is only one of the aspects of the infinite world, and things and phenomena are merely hierolgyphics of deeper ideas.

36One cannot keep all old views and opinions and acquire new ones.

37When a man begins to know himself a little he will see in himself many things that are bound to horrify him. So long as a man is not horrified at himself he knows nothing about himself.

38If you want to remember yourself, the best thing is not to think about yourself. As long as you think about yourself, you will not remember yourself.

39It is by overcoming obstacles that man develops those qualities he needs.

40Effort plus motive equals result.

P.D. Ouspensky Quotes

41Seek the Path, do not seek attainment, Seek for the Path within yourself. Do not expect to hear the truth from others, nor to see it, or read it in books. Look for the truth in yourself, not without yourself.

42Attaining consciousness is connected with the gradual liberation from mechanicalness, for man is fully and completely under mechanical laws.

43Divide in yourself the mechanical from the conscious, see how little there is of the conscious, how seldom it works, and how strong is the mechanical - mechanical attitudes, mechanical intentions, mechanical thoughts, mechanical desires.

44Psychology is sometimes called a new science. This is quite wrong. Psychology is, perhaps, the oldest science, and, unfortunately, in its most essential features a forgotten science.

45You can understand other people only as much as you understand yourself and only on the level of your own being. This means you can judge other people's knowledge but you cannot judge their being. You can see in them only as much as you have in yourself. But people always make the mistake of thinking they can judge other people's being. In reality, if they wish to meet and understand people of a higher development than themselves they must work with the aim of changing their being.

46There is no possibility of remembering what has been found and understood, and later repeating it to oneself. It disappears as a dream disappears. Perhaps it is all nothing but a dream.

47Our ancestors were very rich and eminent people, and they left us an enormous inheritance, which we have completely forgotten, especially since the time when we began to consider ourselves the descendants of a monkey.

48Man is confronted with two obvious facts: The existence of the world in which he lives; and the existence of psychic life in himself.

49Possibly the most interesting first impression of my life came from the world of dreams.

50People live in sleep, do everything in sleep, and do not know they are asleep.

P.D. Ouspensky Quotes

51There is no tyranny more ferocious than the tyranny of morality. Everything is sacrificed to it.

52Can one alter one麓s chief feature?" asked someone else. First it is necessary to know it. If you know it, much will depend on the quality of your knowing. If you know it well, then it is possible to change it.

53Philosophy is based on speculation, on logic, on thought, on the synthesis of what we know and on the analysis of what we do not know. Philosophy must include within its confines the whole content of science, religion and art.

54I mean that you always know what results will come from one or another of your actions; but in a strange way you want to do one thing and get the result that could only come from another

55It is only when we realize that life is taking us nowhere that it begins to have meaning.

56Think about death. You do not know how much time remains to you. And remember that if you do not become different, everything will be repeated again, all foolish blunders, all silly mistakes, all loss of time and opportunity - everything will be repeated with the exception of the chance you had this time, because chance never comes in the same form.You will have to look for your chance next time. And in order to do this, you will have to remember many things, and how will you remember then if you do not remember anything now?

57I have become so accustomed to think "scientifically" that I am afraid even to imagine that there may be something else beyond the outer covering of life. I feel like a man condemned to death, whose companions have been hanged and who has already become reconciled to the thought that the same fate awaits him.