An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.


Woody Allen (1935-, American director, screenwriter, actor, comedian)


Half the work that is done in this world is to make things appear what they are not.


E. R. Beadle


Half the work that is done in this world is to make things appear what they are not.


E. R. Beadle


What seems to be, is, to those to whom it seems to be, and is productive of the most dreadful consequences to those to whom it seems to be, even of torments,  despair, eternal death.


William Blake (1757-1827, British poet, painter)


It is respectable to have no illusions, and safe, and profitable and dull.


Joseph Conrad (1857-1924, Polish-born British novelist)


Pray look better, Sir... those things yonder are no giants, but windmills.


Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)


Pleasure can be supported by an illusion; but happiness rests upon truth.


Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794, French writer, journalist, playwright)


We must select the Illusion which appeals to our temperament and embrace it with passion, if we want to be happy.


Cyril Connolly (1903-1974, British critic)


The wise man, knowing how to enjoy achieved results without having constantly to replace them with others, finds in them an attachment to life in the hour of difficulty. But the man who has always pinned all his hopes on the future and lived with his eyes fixed upon it, has nothing in the past as a comfort against the present's afflictions, for the past was nothing to him but a series of hastily experienced stages. What blinded him to himself was his expectation always to find further on the happiness he had so far missed. Now he is stopped in his tracks; from now on nothing remains behind or ahead of him to fix his gaze upon.


Emile Durkheim (1858-1917, French sociologist)


For what we call illusions are often, in truth, a wider vision of past and present realities -- a willing movement of a man's soul with the larger sweep of the world's forces -- a movement towards a more assured end than the chances of a single life.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


What difference is there, do you think, between those in Plato's cave who can only marvel at the shadows and images of various objects, provided they are content and don't know what they miss, and the philosopher who has emerged from the cave and sees the real things?


Desiderius Erasmus (c.1466-1536, Dutch humanist)


The impression forces itself upon one that men measure by false standards, that everyone seeks power, success, riches for himself, and admires others who attain them, while undervaluing the truly precious thing in life.


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939, Austrian physician, founder of Psychoanalysis)


People who have realized that this is a dream imagine that it is easy to wake up, and are angry with those who continue sleeping, not considering that the whole world that environs them does not permit them to wake. Life proceeds as a series of optical illusions, artificial needs and imaginary sensations.


Alexander Herzen (1812-1870, Russian journalist, political thinker)


We could hardly believe that after so many ordeals, after all the trials of modern skepticism, there was still so much left in our souls to destroy.


Alexander Herzen (1812-1870, Russian journalist, political thinker)


For me, it is as though at every moment the actual world had completely lost its actuality. As though there was nothing there; as though there were no foundations for anything or as though it escaped us. Only one thing, however, is vividly present: the constant tearing of the veil of appearances; the constant destruction of everything in construction. Nothing holds together, everything falls apart.


Eugene Ionesco (1912-1994, Romanian-born French playwright)


It appears to me that almost any man may, like the spider, spin from his own inwards his own airy citadel.


John Keats (1795-1821, British poet)


Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.


Arthur Koestler (1905-1983, Hungarian born British writer)


What usually makes men brave and women chaste are vanity, shame, and most of all, disposition.


Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)


Therefore trust to thy heart, and to what the world calls illusions.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


Better a dish of illusion and a hearty appetite for life, than a feast of reality and indigestion therewith.


Harry A. Overstreet (1875-1970, American psychologist)


We always think every other man's job is easier than our own. The better he does it, the easier it looks.


Eden Phillpotts (1862-1960, Indian-born British novelist)


I saw that all beings are fated to happiness: action is not life, but a way of wasting some force, an enervation. Morality is the weakness of the brain.


Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891, French poet)


The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.


Yasutani Roshi


A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.


Bertrand Russell (1872-1970, British philosopher, mathematician, essayist)


Disillusion is a natural stage that follows the holding of an illusion.


Susan Shaughnessy


It isn't safe to sit in judgment upon another person's illusion when you are not on the inside. While you are thinking it is a dream, he may be knowing it is a planet.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


Oh, how powerfully the magnet of illusion attracts.


Author Unknown


Artists use frauds to make human beings seem more wonderful than they really are. Dancers show us human beings who move much more gracefully than human beings really move. Films and books and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than people.


Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-, American novelist)


The one person who has more illusions than the dreamer is the man of action.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


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