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





Given that external reality is a fiction, the writer's role is almost superfluous. He does not need to invent the fiction because it is already there.


J. G. Ballard (1930-, British author)


There are intangible realities which float near us, formless and without words; realities which no one has thought out, and which are excluded for lack of interpreters.


Natalie Clifford Barney (1876-1972, American-born French author)


The very definition of the real becomes: that of which it is possible to give an equivalent reproduction. The real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced. The hyper real.


Jean Baudrillard (French postmodern philosopher, writer)


One might speak to great length of the three corners of reality what was seen, what was thought to be seen, and what was thought ought to be seen.


Marvel Bell


Fear not what is not real, never was and never will be. What is real, always was and cannot be destroyed.


Bhagavad Gita (c. BC 400-, Sanskrit poem incorporated into the Mahabharata)


The reality of life is that your perceptions -- right or wrong -- influence everything else you do. When you get a proper perspective of your perceptions, you may be surprised how many other things fall into place.


Roger Birkman (American publisher)


The world is so constructed, that if you wish to enjoy its pleasures, you must also endure its pains. Whether you like it or not, you cannot have one without the other.


Swami Brahmananda (1854-1922, Indian religious figure)


He who thinks he is raising a mound may only in reality be digging a pit.


Ernest Bramah (American writer)


Literary works cannot be taken over like factories, or literary forms of expression like industrial methods. Realist writing, of which history offers many widely varying examples, is likewise conditioned by the question of how, when and for what class it is made use of.


Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956, German dramatist, poet)


This sort of adoration of the real is but a heightening of the beau ideal.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


How hard it is, sometimes, to trust the evidence of one's senses! How reluctantly the mind consents to reality.


Norman Douglas (1868-1952, British author)


Realism should only be the means of expression of religious genius... or, at the other extreme, the artistic expressions of monkeys which are quite satisfied with mere imitation. In fact, art is never realistic though sometimes it is tempted to be. To be really realistic a description would have to be endless.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


Reality, if rightly interpreted, is grander than fiction.


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


To hell with reality! I want to die in music, not in reason or in prose. People don't deserve the restraint we show by not going into delirium in front of them. To hell with them!


Louis-Ferdinand Celine (1894-1961, French author)


Facts as facts do not always create a spirit of reality, because reality is a spirit.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.


Deepak Chopra (1946-, East-Indian-American doctor, author, lecturer)

Author's website:


True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing.


Jean Cocteau (1889-1963, French author, filmmaker)


Your worst humiliation is only someone else's momentary entertainment.


Karen Crockett


Reality is neither good nor bad; it just is.


Arbie M. Dale


In an age of synthetic images and synthetic emotions, the chances of an accidental encounter with reality are remote indeed.


Serge Daney (1944-1992, French film critic)


We must learn to tailor our concepts to fit reality, instead of trying to stuff reality into our concepts.


Victor Daniels


Everything is self-evident.


Rene Descartes (1596-1650, French philosopher, scientist)


Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.


Philip K. Dick (1928-1982, American science fiction writer)


Reality is whatever refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.


Philip K. Dick (1928-1982, American science fiction writer)


Realists do not fear the results of their study.


Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881, Russian novelist)


Our intention creates our reality.


Wayne Dyer (1940-, American  psychotherapist, author, lecturer)

Author's website:


Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


We must find our duties in what comes to us, not in what might have been.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


Humankind cannot bear very much reality.


T. S. Eliot (1888-1965, American-born British poet, critic)


You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


A cause a day keeps reality away.


Jim Fraser


It is astonishing what force, purity, and wisdom it requires for a human being to keep clear of falsehoods.


Margaret Witter Fuller (1810-1850, American writer, lecturer)


Reality in our century is not something to be faced.


Graham Greene (1904-1991, British novelist)


The stupendous fact that we stand in the midst of reality will always be something far more wonderful than anything we do.


Erich Gutkind


Meaning and reality were not hidden somewhere behind things, they were in them, in all of them.


Hermann Hesse (1877-1962, German-born Swiss novelist, poet)


The supreme reality of our time is the vulnerability of this planet.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


To be realistic today is to be visionary. To be realistic is to be starry-eyed.


Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978, American Vice President)


Realism, whether it be socialist or not, falls short of reality. It shrinks it, attenuates it, falsifies it; it does not take into account our basic truths and our fundamental obsessions: love, death, astonishment. It presents man in a reduced and estranged perspective. Truth is in our dreams, in the imagination.


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


You can concede to an opponent something he hasn't earned. It's one thing to underestimate an opponent. But maybe the worst thing is to overestimate. You always play your strengths. But that doesn't mean you become predictable.


Chuck Knox (1932-, American football coach)


It has sometimes been said that we find nowhere, in nature, an analogue of the difference between "happens" and "is," on the one hand, and "ought," on the other hand.


Wolfgang Kohler


A theory must be tempered with reality.


Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964, Indian nationalist, statesman)


People see the world not as it is, but as they are.


Al Lee


Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.


Bruce Lee (1940-1973, Chinese-American martial artist, actor, director, author)

Author's website:


Reality can destroy the dream; why shouldn't the dream destroy reality?


George Moore (1852-1933, Irish writer)


Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.


John Lennon (1940-1980, British rock musician)


Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.


Ralph Marston (American author)


All the things you think you should have done that you didn't do, and all of the things that you shouldn't have done, accept them. You did (or did not) do them. That's reality. That's happened. No changing the past.


Peter McWilliams (American author, "Life 101")


Reality is not protected or defended by laws, proclamations, ukases, cannons and armadas. Reality is that which is sprouting all the time out of death and disintegration.


Henry Miller (1891-1980, American author)


Reality is something you rise above.


Liza Minnelli (1946-, American actress, singer)


It takes only one other person to say it's so -- one other point of reality to make something real.


Mal Pancoast


Reality is a prison, where one vegetates and always will. All the rest -- thought, action -- is just a pastime, mental or physical. What counts then, is to come to grips with reality. The rest can go.


Cesare Pavese (1908-1950, Italian poet, novelist, translator)


Reality is for people who can't face drugs.


Laurence J. Peter


Whatever is a reality today, whatever you touch and believe in and that seems real for you today, is going to be -- like the reality of yesterday -- an illusion tomorrow.


Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936, Italian author, playwright)


Whatever is a reality today, whatever you touch and believe in and that seems real for you today, is going to be -- like the reality of yesterday -- an illusion tomorrow.


Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936, Italian author, playwright)


You too must not count too much on your reality as you feel it today, since like yesterday, it may prove an illusion for you tomorrow.


Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936, Italian author, playwright)


A light is still a light, even though the blind man cannot see it.


Austrian Proverb


Everything in the past died yesterday, and everything in the future is born today.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


Something that looks good does not necessarily taste good.


Taiwanese Proverb


Reality isn't the way you wish things to be, nor the way they appear to be, but the way they actually are.


Robert J. Ringer (American writer)


I prefer the honest jargon of reality to the outright lies of books.


Jean Rostand (1894-1977, French biologist, writer)


Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems -- but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems incredible.


Salman Rushdie (1948-, Indian-born British author)


The realist is the man, who having weighed all the visible factors in a given situation and having found that the odds are against him, decides that fighting is useless.


Raoul De Sales


In nature, the emphasis is in what is rather than what ought to be.


Huston Smith


The successful people of this world take life as it comes. They just go out and deal with the world as it is.


Ben Stein (1944-, American professor, writer)


The unreal is natural, so natural that it makes of unreality the most natural of anything natural. That is what America does, and that is what America is.


Gertrude Stein (1874-1946, American author)


Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.


Lily Tomlin (1939-, American comedienne)


The genuine artist is never ''true to life.'' He sees what is real, but not as we are normally aware of it. We do not go storming through life like actors in a play. Art is never real life.


Wallace Stevens (1879-1955, American poet)


What our eyes behold may well be the text of life but one's meditations on the text and the disclosures of these meditations are no less a part of the structure of reality.


Wallace Stevens (1879-1955, American poet)


In the American metaphysic, reality is always material reality, hard, resistant, unformed, impenetrable, and unpleasant.


Lionel Trilling (1905-1975, American critic)


I've dealt with many crises in my life, but few will ever happen.


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


If someone offers to furnish a sure test, ask what the test was which made the sure test sure.


Author Unknown


The truly educated man is that rare individual who can separate reality from illusion.


Author Unknown


A test of what is real is that it is hard and rough. Joys are found in it, not pleasure. What is pleasant belongs to dreams.


Simone Weil (1910-1943, French philosopher, mystic)


Why is it that reality, when set down untransposed in a book, sounds false?


Simone Weil (1910-1943, French philosopher, mystic)


I accept reality and dare not question it.


Walt Whitman (1819-1892, American poet)


I hate vulgar realism in literature. The man who could call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. It is the only thing he is fit for.


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


What is meant by "reality"? It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable -- now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying


Virginia Woolf (1882-1941, British novelist, essayist)


No authority is higher than reality.


Peter Nivio Zarlenga (American businessman, founder of Blockbuster Videos)


What is a lie? It is to say what is real is not real. It is to deny the existence of what exists.


Peter Nivio Zarlenga (American businessman, founder of Blockbuster Videos)


Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends upon what we look for. What we look for depends upon what we think. What we think depends upon what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. what we take to be true is our reality.


Gary Zukav


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