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





Materialism coarsens and petrifies everything, making everything vulgar, and every truth false.


Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881, Swiss philosopher, poet, critic)


Poverty does not mean the possession of little but the non-possession of much.




The son will run away from the family not at eighteen but at twelve, emancipated by his gluttonous precocity; he will fly not to seek heroic adventures, not to deliver a beautiful prisoner from a tower, not to immortalize a garret with sublime thoughts, but to found a business, to enrich himself and to compete with his infamous papa.


Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867, French poet)


The best things in life aren't things.


Art Buchwald


Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


There is one advantage to having nothing; it never needs repair.


Frank A. Clark


Young people everywhere have been allowed to choose between love and a garbage disposal unit. Everywhere they have chosen the garbage disposal unit.


Guy Debord (1931-, French philosopher)


Our chief comforts often produce our greatest anxieties, and the increase in our possessions is but an inlet to new disquietudes.


Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774, Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright)


Once one is caught up into the material world, not one person in ten thousand finds the time to form literary taste, to examine the validity of philosophic concepts for himself, or to form what, for lack of a better phrase, I might call the wise and tragic sense of life.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

Author's website:


Our life on earth is, and ought to be, material and carnal. But we have not yet learned to manage our materialism and carnality properly; they are still entangled with the desire for ownership.


Edward M. Forster (1879-1970, British novelist, essayist)


We live in a world of things, and our only connection with them is that we know how to manipulate or to consume them.


Erich Fromm (1900-1980, American psychologist)


Increase of material comforts, it may be generally laid down, does not in any way whatsoever conduce to moral growth.


Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948, Indian political, spiritual leader)


We are the slaves of objects around us, and appear little or important according as these contract or give us room to expand.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Acquisition means life to miserable mortals.


Hesiod (8th century BC Greek poet)


Materialism is the only form of distraction from true bliss.


Doug Horton


The essence of worldliness is exclusion of God.


Henry Jacobsen


When we of the so-called better classes are scared as men were never scared in history at material ugliness and hardship; when we put off marriage until our house can be artistic, and quake at the thought of having a child without a bank account and doomed to manual labor, it is time for thinking men to protest against so unmanly and irreligious a state of opinion.


William James (1842-1910, American psychologist, professor, author)


Most men love money and security more, and creation and construction less, as they get older.


John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946, British economist)


The people recognize themselves in their commodities; they find their soul in their automobile, hi-fi set, split-level home, kitchen equipment.


Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979, German political philosopher)


The strongest argument for the un-materialistic character of American life is the fact that we tolerate conditions that are, from a negative point of view, intolerable. What the foreigner finds most objectionable in American life is its lack of basic comfort. No nation with any sense of material well-being would endure the food we eat, the cramped apartments we live in, the noise, the traffic, the crowded subways and buses. American life, in large cities, is a perpetual assault on the senses and the nerves; it is out of asceticism, out of unworldliness, precisely, that we bear it.


Mary McCarthy (1912-1989, American author, critic)


Somebody said to me, "But the Beatles were anti-materialistic." That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, "Now, let's write a swimming pool."


Paul McCartney (1942-, British popstar, composer, songwriter, member of the "Beatles")


Oh, what a void there is in things.


Persius (34-62, Satirical poet)


Even the most expensive clock still shows sixty minutes in every hour.


Jewish Proverb (Sayings of Jewish origin)


Freedom comes only to those who no longer ask of life that it shall yield them any of those personal goods that are subject to the mutations of time.


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


It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.


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


There must be more to life than having everything.


Maurice Sendak (1928-, American writer)


Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment.


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


Junk is something you keep for years and then throw out two weeks before you need it.


Author Unknown


When we try in good faith to believe in materialism, in the exclusive reality of the physical, we are asking our selves to step aside; we are disavowing the very realm where we exist and where all things precious are kept -- the realm of emotion and conscience, of memory and intention and sensation.


John Updike (1932-, American novelist, critic)


Production and consumption are the nipples of modern society. Thus suckled, humanity grows in strength and beauty; rising standard of living, all modern conveniences, distractions of all kinds, culture for all, the comfort of your dreams.


Raoul Vaneigem (1934-, Belgian situationist philosopher)


The organization controlling the material equipment of our everyday life is such that what in itself would enable us to construct it richly plunges us instead into a poverty of abundance, making alienation all the more intolerable as each convenience promises liberation and turns out to be only one more burden. We are condemned to slavery to the means of liberation.


Raoul Vaneigem (1934-, Belgian situationist philosopher)


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