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The Brothers Karamazov book cover

The Brothers Karamazov Quotes

Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.
What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.
The world says: "You have needs -- satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don't hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more." This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.
I can see the sun, but even if I cannot see the sun, I know that it exists. And to know that the sun is there - that is living.
The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.
I think the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.
This is my last message to you: in sorrow, seek happiness.
Besides, nowadays, almost all capable people are terribly afraid of being ridiculous, and are miserable because of it.
The more stupid one is, the closer one is to reality. The more stupid one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence squirms and hides itself. Intelligence is unprincipled, but stupidity is honest and straightforward.
Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.
You will burn and you will burn out; you will be healed and come back again.
A beast can never be as cruel as a human being, so artistically, so picturesquely cruel.
And what's strange, what would be marvelous, is not that God should really exist; the marvel is that such an idea, the idea of the necessity of God, could enter the head of such a savage, vicious beast as man.
Love all God’s creation, both the whole and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of light. Love the animals, love the plants, love each separate thing. If thou love each thing thou wilt perceive the mystery of God in all; and when once thou perceive this, thou wilt thenceforward grow every day to a fuller understanding of it: until thou come at last to love the whole world with a love that will then be all-embracing and universal.
Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.
They were like two enemies in love with one another.
One can fall in love and still hate.
Love children especially, for they too are sinless like the angels; they live to soften and purify our hearts and, as it were, to guide us.
Man, do not pride yourself on your superiority to the animals, for they are without sin, while you, with all your greatness, you defile the earth wherever you appear and leave an ignoble trail behind you -- and that is true, alas, for almost every one of us!.
Nothing has ever been more insupportable for a man and a human society than freedom. –The Grand Inquisitor.
I think I could stand anything, any suffering, only to be able to say and to repeat to myself every moment, 'I exist.' In thousands of agonies -- I exist. I'm tormented on the rack -- but I exist! Though I sit alone in a pillar -- I exist! I see the sun, and if I don't see the sun, I know it's there. And there's a whole life in that, in knowing that the sun is there.
Above all, avoid lies, all lies, especially the lie to yourself. Keep watch on your own lie and examine it every hour, every minute. And avoid contempt, both of others and of yourself: what seems bad to you in yourself is purified by the very fact that you have noticed it in yourself. And avoid fear, though fear is simply the consequence of every lie. Never be frightened at your own faintheartedness in attaining love, and meanwhile do not even be very frightened by your own bad acts.
You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home. People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in one's heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us.
But to fall in love does not mean to love. One can fall in love and still hate.
But I always liked side-paths, little dark back-alleys behind the main road- there one finds adventures and surprises, and precious metal in the dirt.
Life is paradise, and we are all in paradise, but we refuse to see it.
The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone else. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn't it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill--he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it.
If he's honest, he'll steal; if he's human, he'll murder; if he's faithful, he'll deceive.
Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last. Imagine that you are doing this but that it is essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature...in order to found that edifice on its unavenged tears. Would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me. Tell the truth.
Love is such a priceless treasure that you can buy the whole world with it, and redeem not only your own but other people's sins. Go, and do not be afraid.
Everything passes, only truth remains.
In most cases, people, even wicked people, are far more naive and simple-hearted than one generally assumes. And so are we.
Since man cannot live without miracles, he will provide himself with miracles of his own making. He will believe in witchcraft and sorcery, even though he may otherwise be a heretic, an atheist, and a rebel.
The world stands on absurdities, and without them perhaps nothing at all would happen.
I exist.’ In thousands of agonies — I exist. I’m tormented on the rack — but I exist! Though I sit alone in a pillar — I exist! I see the sun, and if I don’t see the sun, I know it’s there. And there’s a whole life in that, in knowing that the sun is there.
There is nothing more alluring to man than freedom of conscience, but neither is there anything more agonizing.
Believe to the end, even if all men went astray and you were left the only one faithful; bring your offering even then and praise God in your loneliness.
For all is like an ocean, all flows and connects; touch it in one place and it echoes at the other end of the world.
There is only one way to salvation, and that is to make yourself responsible for all men's sins. As soon as you make yourself responsible in all sincerity for everything and for everyone, you will see at once that this is really so, and that you are in fact to blame for everyone and for all things.
I have so much to say to you that I am afraid I shall tell you nothing.
I am too young and I've loved you too much.
It’s not God that I do not accept, you understand, it is this world of God’s, created by God, that I do not accept and cannot agree to accept.
They have succeeded in accumulating a greater mass of objects, but the joy in the world has grown less.
We don't understand that life is heaven, for we have only to understand that and it will at once be fulfilled in all its beauty, we shall embrace each other and weep.
Being at a loss to resolve these questions, I am resolved to leave them without any resolution.
By the experience of active love. Strive to love your neighbour actively and indefatigably. In as far as you advance in love you will grow surer of the reality of God and of the immortality of your soul. If you attain to perfect self-forgetfulness in the love of your neighbour, then you will believe without doubt, and no doubt can possibly enter your soul. This has been tried. This is certain.
I do not rebel against my God, I simply do not accept his world.
Brother, I’m not depressed and haven’t lost spirit. Life everywhere is life, life is in ourselves and not in the external. There will be people near me, and to be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter – this is what life is, herein lies its task.
People talk sometimes of a bestial cruelty, but that's a great injustice and insult to the beasts; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel. The tiger only tears and gnaws, that's all he can do. He would never think of nailing people by the ears, even if he were able to do it.
Love is a teacher, but one must know how to acquire it, for it is difficult to acquire, it is dearly bought, by long work over a long time, for one ought to love not for a chance moment but for all time. Anyone, even a wicked man, can love by chance.
Men are made for happiness, and he who is completely happy has the right to say to himself, 'I am doing God's will on earth.
Love the animals. God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Don't trouble it, don't harass them, don't deprive them of their happiness, don't work against God's intent.
How good life is when one does something good and just!.
So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship.
Because I'm a Karamazov. Because when I fall into the abyss, I go straight into it, head down and heels up, and I'm even pleased that I'm falling in just such a humiliating position, and for me I find it beautiful.
Loving someone is different from being in love with someone. You can hate someone you're in love with.
As a general rule, people, even the wicked, are much more naive and simple-hearted than we supposed. And we ourselves are, too.
... active love is a harsh and fearful thing compared with the love in dreams. Love in dreams thirsts for immediate action, quickly performed, and with everyone watching. Indeed, it will go as far as the giving even of one's life, provided it does not take long but is soon over, as on stage, and eveyone is looking on and praising. Whereas active love is labor and persistence, and for some people, perhaps, a whole science.
With such a hell in your heart and your head, how can you live? How can you love?.
I think everyone must love life more than anything else in the world.' 'Love life more than the meaning of it?' 'Yes, certainly. Love it regardless of logic, as you say. Yes, most certainly regardless of logic, for only then will I grasp its meaning. That's what I've been vaguely aware of for a long time. Half your work is done, Ivan: you love life. Now you must try to do the second half and you are saved.
Schoolboys are a merciless race, individually they are angels, but together, especially in schools, they are often merciless.
Here is a commandment for you: seek happiness in sorrow. Work, work tirelessly.
My brother asked the birds to forgive him: that sounds senseless, but it is right; for all is like an ocean, all is flowing and blending; a touch in one place sets up movement at the other end of the earth. It may be senseless to beg forgiveness of the birds, but birds would be happier at your side –a little happier, anyway– and children and all animals, if you yourself were nobler than you are now. It’s all like an ocean, I tell you. Then you would pray to the birds too, consumed by an all-embracing love in a sort of transport, and pray that they too will forgive you your sin.
You mustn't ask too much of human endurance, one must be merciful.
The genuine realist, if he is an unbeliever, will always find strength and ability to disbelieve in the miraculous, and if he is confronted with a miracle as an irrefutable fact he would rather disbelieve his own senses than admit the miraculous also.