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 :: 1821-1881, Swiss Philosopher, Poet, Critic

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He who asks of life nothing but the improvement of his own natureÓ is less liable than anyone else to miss and waste life.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Self-improvement]

 

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Self-interest is but the survival of the animal in us. Humanity only begins for man with self-surrender.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Self-interest]

 

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Society lives by faith, and develops by science.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Society]

 

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The only substance properly so called is the soul.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Soul]

 

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If nationality is consent, the state is compulsion.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [State]

 

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Sympathy is the first condition of criticism.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Sympathy]

 

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To know how to suggest is the great art of teaching. To attain it we must be able to guess what will interest; we must learn to read the childish soul as we might a piece of music. Then, by simply changing the key, we keep up the attraction and vary the song.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Teachers and Teaching]

 

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Tears are the symbol of the inability of the soul to restrain its emotion and retain its self command.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Tears]

 

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What we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, the embryo, and it is the point of departure which, generally speaking, decides the whole future of an existence. One single black speck may be the beginning of a gangrene, of a storm, of a revolution.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Things and Little Things]

 

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Thought is a kind of opium; it can intoxicate us, while still broad awake; it can make transparent the mountains and everything that exists.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Thoughts and Thinking]

 

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Uncertainty is the refuge of hope.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Uncertainty]

 

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The fire which enlightens is the same fire which consumes.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Passion]

 

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Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Passion]

 

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The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Perfection]

 

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The philosopher is like a man fasting in the midst of universal intoxication. He alone perceives the illusion of which all creatures are the willing playthings; he is less duped than his neighbor by his own nature. He judges more sanely, he sees things as they are. It is in this that his liberty consists -- in the ability to see clearly and soberly, in the power of mental record.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Philosophers and Philosophy]

 

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Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires, but according to our powers.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Power]

 

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We are never more discontented with others than when we are discontented with ourselves.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Relationships]

 

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There is no respect for others without humility in one's self.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Respectability]

 

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To depersonalize man is the dominant drift of our times.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Respectability]

 

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To shun one's cross is to make it heavier.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Responsibility]

 

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