Quotes by Goethe

1)

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth.

2)

Once you have missed the first buttonhole you'll never manage to button up.

3)

The thinker makes a great mistake when he asks after cause and effect. They both
together make up the indivisible phenomena.

4)

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth.

5)

We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.

6)

We are never deceived: we deceive ourselves.

7)

Our senses don't decieve us: our judgement does.

8)

Mastery is often taken for egotism.

9)

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a
winning game.

10)

Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.

11)

Everything great and intelligent is in the minority.

12)

Altogether national hatred is something peculiar. You will always find it strongest and most
violent where there is the lowest degree of culture.

13)

What we don't understand we don't possess.

14)

When you praise someone you call yourself his equal.

15)

The solution of every problem is another problem.

16)

Ignorant men raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago.

17)

After fifteen minutes nobody looks at a rainbow.

18)

To have a positive religion is not necessary. To be in harmony with yourself and the universe
is what counts, and this is possible without positive and specific formulation in words.

19)

The phrases men are accustomed to repeat incessantly, end by becoming convictions and
ossify the organs of intelligence.

20)

Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.

21)

If you start to think about your physical or moral condition, you usually find that you are sick.

22)

Everything is simpler than you think and at the same time more complex than you imagine.

23)

Nothing hurts a new truth more than an old error.

24)

Everyone hears only what he understands.

25)

You don't have to travel around the world to understand that the sky is blue everywhere.

26)

We are accustomed to see men deride what they do not understand, and snarl at the good
and beautiful because it lies beyond their sympathies.

27)

He who moves not forward, goes backward.

28)

He alone is great and happy who requires neither to command nor to obey in order to secure
his being of some importance in the world.

29)

Man cannot persist long in a conscious state, he must throw himself back into the
unconscious, for his root lives there...

30)

Confronted by outstanding merit, there is no way of saving one's ego except by love.

31)

I can promise to be sincere, but not to be impartial.

32)

The web of this world is woven of Necessity and Chance. Woe to him who has accustomed
himself from his youth up to find something necessary in what is capricious, and who would
ascribe something like reason to Chance and make a religion of surrendering to it.

33)

Mysteries are not necessarily miracles.

34)

Nature has neither kernel nor shell; she is everything at once.

35)

A vain man can never be utterly ruthless: he wants to win applause and therefore he
accommodates himself to others.

36)

If you would create something, you must be something.

37)

Nothing is more revolting than the majority; for it consists of few vigorous predecessors, of
knaves who accommodate themselves, of weak people who assimilate themselves, and the
mass that toddles after them without knowing in the least what it wants.


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Created by Arjun Rao
Copyright: Dept. of Physics, Vanderbilt University
Last Modified: 6/12/2001