Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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In Search of Lost Time

By Marcel Proust
Trans: Jonathan D. Spence

Themes

Themes: Ordinary Mind

Quotes from In Search of Lost Time

“A book is the product of another self to the one we display in our habits, in society, in our vices.”

Chapters:

Themes: Books

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“A fashionable milieu is one in which everybody's opinion is made up of the opinion of all the others. Has everybody a different opinion? Then it is a literary milieu.”

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“a makeshift lie is quickly forgotten... They pain us coming from a person whom we love, and thereby enable us to penetrate a little deeper in our knowledge of human nature instead of being content to play around on its surface”

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“Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.”

Chapters: 73. Heaven’s Net

Themes: Openness

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“Amorous curiosity is like the curiosity aroused in us by the names of places; perpetually disappointed, it revives and remains for ever insatiable.”

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“An hour is not just an hour, it is a vase full of perfume, sounds, projects, and moods.”

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Themes: Time Carpe diem

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“Friendship is in the end no more than a lie which seeks to make us believe that we are not irremediably alone”

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“Friendship is in the end no more than a lie which seeks to make us believe that we are not irremediably alone”

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Themes: Friendship

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“Habit is a second nature which prevents us from knowing the first, of which it has neither the cruelties nor the enchantments.”

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“Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.”

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

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“I adore certain symbols as much as you do. But it would be absurd to sacrifice to the symbol the reality which it symbolizes.”

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“Infirmity alone makes us take notice and learn, and enables us to analyze processes which we would otherwise know nothing about.”

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Themes: Problems

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“It is always during a passing state of mind that we make lasting resolutions.”

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“Let us leave pretty women to men with no imagination.”

Chapters: 12. This Over That

Themes: Imagination

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“Love is a striking example of how little reality means to us.”

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Themes: Love Illusion

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“Medicine—being a compendium of the successive and contradictory mistakes of medical practitioners—when we summon the wisest of them to our aid, the chances are that we may be relying on a scientific truth the error of which will be recognized n a few years' time.”

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Themes: Medicine

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“My destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing.”

Chapters: 40. Returning

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“Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees... Thanks to art, instead of seeing a single world—our own—we see it multiply until we have before us as many worlds as there are original artists.”

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Themes: Art

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“Reading is on the threshold of the spiritual life—only an incitement—it can introduce us to it: it does not constitute it”

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“Sometimes in the afternoon sky a white moon would creep up like a little cloud, furtive, without display, suggesting an actress who does not have to 'come on' for awhile, and so goes 'in front' in her ordinary clothes to watch the rest of the company but keeps in the background, not wishing to attract attention to herself.”

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Themes: Moon Anonymity

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“The mind can be influenced like a plant, like a cell, like a chemical element; one has only to introduce it into a series of new circumstances or a new setting.

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“The only paradise is paradise lost”

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Themes: Shambhala

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“The only way to attack language is to attack it... there are no certainties, even grammatical ones... Every writer is obliged to create his own language, as every violinist is obliged to create his own 'tone'... they begin to write well only on condition that they're original, that they create their own language... only that which bears the imprint of our choice, our taste, our uncertainty, our desire and our weakness can be beautiful.”

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“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

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Themes: Travel

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“The time at our disposal each day is elastic; the passions we feel dilate it, those that inspire us shrink it, and habit fills it.”

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“There is no such thing as a beautiful prison.”

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“Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them.”

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Themes: Time Confusion

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“Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them.”

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Themes: Change Delusion

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“To believe in medicine would be the height of folly, if not to believe in it were not a greater folly still.”

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Themes: Paradox Health

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“True beauty is indeed the one thing incapable of answering the expectations of an over-romantic imagination... What disappointments has it not caused since it first appeared to the mass of mankind!”

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Themes: Beauty

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“Voluntary memory—the memory of the intellect and the eyes—[gives] us only imprecise facsimiles of the past which no more resemble it than pictures of bad painters resemble the spring... So we don't believe that life is beautiful because we don't recall it”

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Themes: Memory Forget

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“We cannot be taught wisdom, we have to discover it for ourselves by a journey which no one can undertake fir us, an effort which no one can spare us.”

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Themes: Wisdom

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“We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.”

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Themes: Travel Wisdom

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“What we call reality is a certain rapport between our sensations and the memories that encircle us at the same moment.”

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Themes: Reality

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“When we discover the true lives of other people, the real world beneath the world of appearance, we get as many surprises as on visiting a house of plain exterior which inside is full of hidden treasures, torture-chambers, or skeletons”

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Quotes about In Search of Lost Time (2 quotes)

“”

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“... a central theme of the novel: a search for the causes behind the dissipation and loss of time. Far from a memoir tracing the passage of a more lyrical age, it was a practical, universally applicable story about how to stop wasting, and begin appreciating one's life... a hope that we might learn to adjust our priorities before it's time to have a last game of golf and keel over.”

Alain de Botton 1969 CE –
Philosophic link between ancient wisdom and modern challenge
from How Proust Can Change Your Life, 1997

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