Thomas Ligotti Quotes

Top 100 famous quotes & sayings about Thomas Ligotti.

Famous Quotes About Thomas Ligotti

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Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#1. We are only chance visitants to this jungle of blind mutations. The natural world existed when we did not, and it will continue to exist long after we are gone. The supernatural crept into life only when the door of consciousness was opened in our heads. The moment we stepped through that door, we walked out on nature. Say what we will about it and deny it till we die
we are blighted by our knowing what is too much to know and too secret to tell one another if we are to stride along our streets, work at our jobs, and sleep in our beds. It is the knowledge of a race of beings that is only passing through this shoddy cosmos. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#2. Indeed, Dr Haxhausen fought to preserve his freedom with very good reason, for he required a great deal of it - freedom, not reason - to pursue his plans for the future. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#3. It's strange how you're sometimes forced to assume an unsympathetic view of yourself through borrowed eyes. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#4. To salve the pains of consciousness, some people anesthetize themselves with sunny thoughts. But not everyone can follow their lead, above all not those who sneer at the sun and everything upon which it beats down. Their only respite is in the balm of bleakness. Disdainful of the solicitations of hope, they look for sanctuary in desolate places - a scattering of ruins in a barren locale or a rubble of words in a book where someone whispers in a dry voice, I too am here. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#5. Every story needs to be told in just the right way. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#6. What can she do but shrink with terror? Soon she is only doll-size in dark doll's costume. Quivering bones and feverish blood are the stuffings of this doll, its entrails tickled by fear's funereal plume. It flies to a corner of the room and cringes within enormous shadows, sometimes dreaming there throughout the night - of carriage wheels rioting in a lavender mist or a pearly fog, of nacreous fires twitching beyond the margins of country roads, of cliffs and stars. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#7. Trying for this understanding is the most trying thing of all. Yet trying not to try for it is just as trying. There is nothing more futile than to consciously look for something to save you. But consciousness makes this fact seem otherwise. Consciousness makes it seem as if (1) there is something to do; (2) there is somewhere to go; (3) there is something to be; (4) there is someone to know. This is what makes consciousness the parent of all horrors, the thing that makes us try to do something, go somewhere, be something, and know someone, such as ourselves, so that we can escape our MALIGNANTLY USELESS being and think that being alive is all right rather than that which should not be. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#8. If you can't say something positive about humanity, then say something equivocal. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#9. At times I have been rendered breathless by the impeccable chaoticism, the absolutely perfect nonsense of some spectacle taking place outside myself, or, on the other hand, some spectacle of equally senseless outrageousness taking place within me. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#10. Perhaps our judgement of the purple woman was unfair. No doubt her theories concerning the "approach of the Teatro" made us all uneasy. But was this reason enough to cast her out from that artistic underworld which was the only society available to her? Like many societies, of course, ours was founded on fearful superstition, and this is always reason enough for any kind of behavior. She had been permanently stigmatized by too closely associating herself with something unclean in its essence. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#11. This whole city is most certainly a pitiful corpse, while the neighborhood outside the walls of this bar has the distinction of being the withering heart of the deceased. And I am a devoted student of its anatomy - a pathologist, after a fashion, with an eye for necroses that others overlook. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#12. This, then, is the ultimate, that is only, consolation: simply that someone shares some of your own feelings and has made of these a work of art which you have the insight, sensitivity, and - like it or not - peculiar set of experiences to appreciate. Amazing thing to say, the consolation of horror in art is that it actually intensifies our panic, loudens it on the sounding-board of our horror-hollowed hearts, turns terror up full blast, all the while reaching for that perfect and deafening amplitude at which we may dance to the bizarre music of our own misery. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#13. Rigorously considered, our only natural birthright is to die. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#14. There are enough fatalities of a mundane sort. Find a quiet place and wait for one of them to carry you off. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#15. We must make believe that we are not what we are - contradictory beings whose continuance only worsens our plight as mutants who embody the contorted logic of a paradox. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#16. An individual's demarcations as a being, not his trespass of them, create his identity and preserve his illusion of being something special and not a freak of chance, a product of blind mutations. Transcending all illusions and their emergent activities - having absolute control of what we are and not what we need to be so that we may survive the most unsavory facts of life and death - would untether us from the moorings of our self-limited selves. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#17. I had always been afraid. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#18. We did not make ourselves, nor did we fashion a world that could not work without pain, and great pain at that, with a little pleasure, very little, to string us along--a world where all organisms are inexorably pushed by pain throughout their lives to do that which will improve their chances to survive and create more of themselves. Left unchecked, this process will last as long as a single cell remains palpitating in this cesspool of the solar system, this toilet of the galaxy. So why not lend a hand in nature's suicide? For want of a deity that could be held to account for a world in which there is terrible pain, let nature take the blame for our troubles. We did not create an environment uncongenial to our species, nature did. One would think that nature was trying to kill us off, or get us to suicide ourselves once the blunder of consciousness came upon us. What was nature thinking? We tried to anthropomorphize it, to romanticize it, to let it into our hearts. But nature kept its distance, leaving us to our own devices. So be it. Survival is a two-way street. Once we settle ourselves off-world, we can blow up this planet from outer space. It's the only way to be sure its stench will not follow us. Let it save itself if it can--the condemned are known for the acrobatics they will execute to wriggle out of their sentences. But if it cannot destroy what it has made, and what could possibly unmake it, then may it perish along with every other living thing it has introduced t #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#19. The only value of this world lay in its power - at certain times - to suggest another world. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#20. Some uncomfortable moments later Day told me she had a prior engagement and was running late. It seemed she had made girl plans with a girlfriend of hers to do some girly things girls do when they get together with others of their kind. I said I understood, and I did. There is no doubt in my mind of the gender of Day's companion this night, and perhaps other nights I did not know about. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#21. Transhumanism encapsulates a long-lived error among the headliners of science: in a world without a destination, we cannot even break ground on our Tower of Babel, and no amount of rush and hurry on our part will change that. That we are going nowhere is not a curable condition; that we must go nowhere at the fastest possible velocity just might be curable, though probably not. And what difference would it make to retard our progress to nowhere? #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#22. We think, therefore we should make everyone think what we think. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#23. All that was left to us was to wonder: who knows all that is innate to this world, or to any other? Why should there not be something buried deep within appearances, something that wears a mask to hide itself behind the visibility of nature? #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#24. To wail adamantly that a god exists is to kill that god or turn it into a plastic idol. To say that a god might exist is to vivify it with the meaning of mystery. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#25. The trees were set close and from the perimeter of that parcel of land I could not see the school hidden within them. Look up here, I thought I heard someone say to me. When I did look up, I saw that the branches overhead were without leaves, and through their intertwining mesh the sky was fully visible. How bright and dark it was at the same time. Bright with a high, full moon shining among the spreading clouds, and dark with the shadows mingling within those clouds - a slowly flowing mass of mottled shapes, a kind of unclean outpouring from the black sewers of space. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#26. The earth is not our home. We came from nothing, and to that condition our nostalgia
should turn. Why would anyone care about this dim bulb in the blackness of space? The earth produced us, or at least subsidized our evolution. Is it really entitled to receive a pardon, let alone the sacrifice of human lives, for this original sin - a capital crime in reverse (very much in the same way that reproduction makes one an accessory before the fact to an individual's death)? Someone once said that nature abhors a vacuum. This is precisely why nature should be abhorred. Instead, the nonhuman environment is simultaneously extolled and ravaged by a company of poor players who can no longer act naturally. It is one thing for the flora and fauna to feed and fight and breed in an unthinking continuance of their existence. It is quite another for us to do so in defiance of our own minds, which over and again pose the same question: "What are we still doing in this horrible place? #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#27. Everything is ultimately peculiar and ultimately ridiculous. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#28. Personally, I'm afraid of suffering and afraid of dying. I'm also afraid of witnessing the suffering and death of those who are close to me. And no doubt I project these fears on those around me and those to come, which makes it impossible for me to understand why everyone isn't an antinatalist, just as I have to assume pronatalists can't understand why everyone isn't like them. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#29. And yet, somehow concealed in the shadows of what you can see is something that is not yet visible, something that is beating like a thunderous pulse and promises still greater visions. All else is merely its membrane enclosing the ultimate thing waiting to be born, preparing for the cataclysm which will be both the beginning and the end. To behold the prelude to this event is an experience of unbearable anticipation, so that ecstasy and dread merge into a new emotion, one corresponding perfectly to the exposure of the ultimate source of all manifestation. The #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#30. There is no nature to things,' you wrote in the book. 'There are no faces except masks held tight against the pitching chaos behind them. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#31. The normal process of life contains moments as bad as any of those which insane melancholy is filled with, moments in which radical evil gets its innings and takes its solid turn. The lunatic's visions of horror are all drawn from the material of daily fact. Our civilization is founded on the shambles, and every individual existence goes out in a lonely spasm of helpless agony. If you protest, my friend, wait until you arrive there yourself. (The Varieties of Religious Experience, 1902) #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#32. Nature proceeds by blunders; that is its way. It is also ours. So if we have blundered by regarding consciousness as a blunder, why make a fuss over it? Our self-removal from this planet would still be a magnificent move, a feat so luminous it would bedim the sun. What do we have to lose? No evil would attend our departure from this world, and the many evils we have known would go extinct along with us. So why put off what would be the most laudable masterstroke of our existence, and the only one? #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#33. The multicolored leaves were softly glowing against the black sky, creating an untimely nocturnal rainbow which scattered its spectral tints everywhere and dyed the night with a harvest of hues: peach gold and pumpkin orange, honey yellow and winy amber, apple red and plum violet. Luminous within their leafy shapes, the colors cast themselves across the darkness and were splattered upon our streets and our fields and our faces. Everything was resplendent with the pyrotechnics of a new autumn. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#34. Even if this is only nonsense and dreams, I feel the need to perpetuate it all. Especially at this moment, when this pain is taking over my mind and my self. Pretty soon none of this will make any difference. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#35. By means of supernatural horror we may evade, if momentarily, the horrific reprisals of affirmation. Every one of us, having been stolen from nonexistence, opens his eyes on the world and looks down the road at a few convulsions and a final obliteration. What a weird scenario. So why affirm anything, why make a pathetic virtue of a terrible necessity? We are destined to a fool's fate that deserves to be mocked. And since there is no one else around to do the mocking, we will take on the job. So let us delight in the Cosmic Macabre. At least we may send up a few bitter laughs into the cobwebbed corners of this crusty old universe. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#36. To be sane, he held, was either to be sedated by melancholy or activated by hysteria, two responses which were 'always and equally warranted for those of sound insight'. All others were irrational, merely symptoms of imaginations left idle, of memories out of work. And above these mundane responses, the only elevation allowable, the only valid transcendence, was a sardonic one: a bliss that annihilated the universe with jeers of dark joy, a mindful ecstasy. Anything else in the way of 'mysticism' was a sign of deviation or distraction, and a heresy to the obvious. ("The Medusa") #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#37. This is the great lesson the depressive learns: Nothing in the world is inherently compelling. Whatever may be really "out there" cannot project itself as an affective experience. It is all a vacuous affair with only a chemical prestige. Nothing is either good or bad, desirable or undesirable, or anything else except that it is made so by laboratories inside us producing the emotions on which we live. And to live on our emotions is to live arbitrarily, inaccurately - imparting meaning to what has none of its own. Yet what other way is there to live? Without the ever-clanking machinery of emotion, everything would come to a standstill. There would be nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to be, and no one to know. The alternatives are clear: to live falsely as pawns of affect, or to live factually as depressives, or as individuals who know what is known to the depressive. How advantageous that we are not coerced into choosing one or the other, neither choice being excellent. One look at human existence is proof enough that our species will not be released from the stranglehold of emotionalism that anchors it to hallucinations. That may be no way to live, but to opt for depression would be to opt out of existence as we consciously know it. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#38. For ages they had been without lives of their own. The whole of their being was open to the world and nothing divided them from the rest of creation. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#39. People get the biggest kick out of seeing the features of their faces plastered onto one head. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#40. Perhaps one of the walls to such a room would have built into it a sliding panel that could be opened only from the other side. And next to that room would be another room that was unfurnished and seemed never to have been occupied. But leaning against one wall of this other room, directly below the sliding panel, would be some long wooden sticks; and mounted at the ends of these sticks would be horrible little puppets. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#41. Two tiny corpses, one male and the other female, rattle around that enormous closet in my bedroom. Though deceased, still they are quick enough to hide themselves whenever I need to enter the closet to retrieve something. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#42. And so I had to turn corners inside-out with my eyes and to read the third side of a book's page, seeking in futility to gaze at what I could then touch with none of my senses. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#43. I think the worst way a writer can self-betray is by not being true to his or her experience of being alive. It's my belief, for what it's worth, that a lot of writers consign to the page what they think will meet with the approval, especially in the moral realm, of what their society has preached to them since they were children, almost all of which is utter bull####. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#44. The worst fear of the race yes, the world suddenly transformed into a senseless nightmare, horrible dissolution of things. Nothing compares, even oblivion is a sweet dream. You understand why, of course. Why this peculiar threat. These brooding psyches, all the busy minds everywhere. I hear them buzzing like flies in the blackness. I see them as glow worms flitting in the blackness. They are struggling, straining every second to keep the sky above them, to keep the sun in the sky, to keep the dead in the earth-to keep all things, so to speak, where they belong. What an undertaking! What a crushing task! Is it any wonder that they are all tempted by a universal vice, that in some dark street of the mind a single voice whispers to one and all, softly hissing, and says: 'Lay down your burden.' Then thoughts begin to drift, a mystical magnetism pulls them this way and that, faces start to change, shadows speak... sooner or later the sky comes down, melting like wax. But as you know, everything has not yet been lost: absolute terror has proved its security against this fate. Is it any wonder that these beings carry on the struggle at whatever cost? #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#45. METAPHYSICAL LECTURE 1
It has been said that after undergoing certain ordeals - whether ecstatic or abysmal - we should be obliged to change our names, as we are no longer who we once were. Instead the opposite rule is applied: our names linger long after anything resembling what we were, or thought we were, has disappeared entirely. Not that there was ever much to begin with - only a few questionable memories and impulses drifting about like snowflakes in a gray and endless winter. But each soon floats down and settles into a cold and nameless void. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#46. The Master's Eyes Shining with Secrets

Those bells ringing on the mist-covered mountain signify that the Master of the Temple is dead. The fact of the matter is that the monks there finally killed him.

It seems that a few years ago the Master of the Temple began to exhibit some odd and very unpleasant forms of behavior. He apparently lost all sense of earthly decorum, even losing control over his own body. At one point an extra head sprouted from the side of the Master's neck, and this ugly little thing started to issue all sorts of commands and instructions to the monks which only their lofty sense of decency and order prevented them from carrying out. Eventually the Master of the Temple was confined to a small room in an isolated part of the monastery. There, this once wise and beloved teacher was looked after like an animal. For several years the monks put up with the noises he made, the diverse shapes he took. Finally, they killed him.

It is whispered among students of enlightenment that one may achieve a state of being in which enlightenment itself loses all meaning, with the consequence that one thereby becomes subject to all manner of strange destinies.

And the monks? After the assassination they scattered in all directions. Some hid out in other monasteries, while others went back to live among the everyday inhabitants of this earth. But it was not as if they could escape their past by fleeing it, no more than they could rid #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#47. Now I am a vagabond of the universe, a drifter among spaces where the madness of things has no limits. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#48. God was long gone before Nietzsche made his death certificate into a slogan, but no one
has yet written the obituary of the Devil. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#49. We leave this behind in your capable hands, for in the black-foaming gutters and back alleys of paradise, in the dank windowless gloom of some galactic cellar, in the hollow pearly whorls found in sewer like seas, in starless cities of insanity, and in their slums ... my awe-struck little deer and I have gone frolicking. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#50. Like a faint haze it floats around us. We keep company with ghosts. Their graves are marked in our minds, and they will never be disinterred from the cemeteries of our remembrance. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#51. Those who suffer intolerably learn to hide their afflictions, both necessary and unnecessary, because the world does not run on pain time but on happy time, whether or not that happiness is honestly felt or a mask for the blackest despondency. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#52. The darkness of the grotesque is an immortal enigma: in all legends of the dead, in all the tales of creatures of the night, in all the mythologies of mad gods and lucid demons, there remains a kind of mocking nonsense to the end, a thick and resonant voice which calls out from the heart of these stories and declares: 'Still I am here. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#53. The clown figure has had so many meanings in different times and cultures. The jolly, well-loved joker familiar to most people is actually but one aspect of this protean creature. Madmen, hunchbacks, amputees, and other abnormals were once considered natural clowns; they were elected to fulfill a comic role which could allow others to see them as ludicrous rather than as terrible reminders of the forces of disorder in the world. But sometimes a cheerless jester was required to draw attention to this same disorder, as in the case of King Lear's morbid and honest fool, who of course was eventually hanged, and so much for his clownish wisdom. Clowns have often had ambiguous and sometimes contradictory roles to play. ("The Last Feast Of The Harlequin") #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#54. Their only respite is in the balm of bleakness. Disdainful of the solicitations of hope, they look for sanctuary in desolate places - a scattering of ruins in a barren locale or a rubble of words in a book where someone whispers in a dry voice, "I, too, am here." However, #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#55. In plain language, we cannot live except as self-deceivers who must lie to ourselves about ourselves, as well as about our unwinnable situation in this world. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#56. I showed her my cubicle of commercial artistry, and drew her attention to my latest project. "Oh, that's lovely," she said when I pointed out the drawing of a nymph with flowers in her freshly shampooed hair. "That's really nice." That "nice" remark almost spoiled my day. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#57. Yet how much slack do you give to what you believe is a lie, even a lie that holds steady the social order and braces up everything you have become accustomed to your most cherished image of yourself, your country, your loved ones, and the value you place on your work, your hobbies, your possessions, your "way of life"?

How much slack do you give to what you believe to be a lie before you say you have had it with lies, before you forsake everything to live with what you really think and feel about the way things are? How much slack? Answer: all the slack in the world. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#58. Ultimately, all diseases are magical diseases ...
("Gas Station Carnival") #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#59. His name is...
Will it ever come to me? There is a grand lapse of memory that may be the only thing to save us from ultimate horror. Perhaps they know the truth who preach the passing of one life into another, vowing that between a certain death and certain birth there is an interval in which an old name is forgotten before a new one is learned. And to remember the name of a former life is to begin the backward slide into that great blackness in which all names have their source, becoming incarnate in a succession of bodies like numberless verses of an infinite scripture.
To find that you have had so many names is to lose claim to any one of them. To gain the memory of so many lives is to lose them all. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#60. We are gene-copying bio-robots, living out here on a lonely planet in a cold and empty physical universe. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#61. How can the disease be cured of itself?' you asked them. 'My body - a tumor that was once delivered from the body of another tumor, a lump of disease that is always boiling with its own disease. And my mind - another disease, the disease of a disease. Everywhere my mind sees the disease of other minds and other bodies, these other organisms that are only other diseases, an absolute nightmare of the organism. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#62. Perhaps the greatest strike against philosophical pessimism is that its only theme is human suffering. This is the last item on the list of our species' obsessions and detracts from everything that matters to us, such as the Good, the Beautiful, and a Sparking Clean Toilet Bowl. For the pessimist, everything considered in isolation from human suffering or any cognition that does not have as its motive the origins, nature, and elimination of human suffering is at base recreational, whether it takes the form of conceptual probing or physical action in the world - for example, delving into game theory or traveling in outer space, respectively. And by "human suffering," the pessimist is not thinking of particular sufferings and their relief, but of suffering itself. Remedies may be discovered for certain diseases and sociopolitical barbarities may be amended. But those are only stopgaps. Human suffering will remain insoluble as long as human beings exist. The one truly effective solution for suffering is that spoken of in Zapffe's "Last Messiah." It may not be a welcome solution for a stopgap world, but it would forever put an end to suffering, should we ever care to do so. The pessimist's credo, or one of them, is that nonexistence never hurt anyone and existence hurts everyone. Although our selves may be illusory creations of consciousness, our pain is nonetheless real. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#63. All of the myths of mankind are nothing but show business,' the other man said to me during our initial meeting. 'Everything that we supposedly live by and supposedly die by - whether it's religious scriptures or makeshift slogans - all of it is show business. The rise and fall of empires - show business. Science, philosophy, all of the disciplines under the sun, and even the sun itself, as well as all those other clumps of matter wobbling about in the blackness up there - ' he said to me, pointing out the window beside the coffee-shop booth in which we sat, 'show business, show business, show business.' 'And what about dreams?' I asked, thinking I might have hit upon an exception to his dogmatic view, or at least one that he would accept as such. 'You mean the dreams of the sort we are having at this moment or the ones we have when we're fortunate enough to sleep? #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#64. And any room that I enter may become a sideshow tent where I must take my place upon a rickety old bench on the verge of collapse. Even now the Showman stands before my eyes. His stiff red hair moves a little toward one shoulder, as if he is going to turn his gaze upon me, and moves back again; then his head moves a little toward the other shoulder in this never-ending game of horrible peek-a-boo. I can only sit and wait, knowing that one day he will turn full around, step down from his stage, and claim me for the abyss I have always feared. Perhaps then I will discover what it was I did - what any of us did - to deserve this fate. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#65. As I drifted along with my bodiless invisibility, I felt myself more and more becoming an empty, floating shape, seeing without being seen and walking without the interference of those grosser creatures who shared my world. It was not an experience completely without interest or even pleasure. The clown's shibboleth of "here we are again" took on a new meaning for me as I felt myself a novitiate of a more rarified order of harlequinry. ("The Last Feast Of The Harlequin") #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#66. From the earliest days of man there has endured the conviction that there is an order of existence which is entirely strange to him. It does indeed seem that the strict order of the visible world is only a semblance, one providing certain gross materials which become the basis for subtle improvisations of invisible powers. Hence, it may appear to some that a leafless tree is not a tree but a signpost to another realm; that an old house is not a house but a thing possessing a will of its own; that the dead may throw off that heavy blanket of earth to walk in their sleep, and in ours. And these are merely a few of the infinite variations on the themes of the natural order as it is usually conceived.

But is there really a strange world? Of course. Are there, then, two worlds? Not at all. There is only our own world and it alone is alien to us, intrinsically so by virtue of its lack of mysteries. If only it actually were deranged by invisible powers, if only it were susceptible to real strangeness, perhaps it would seem more like a home to us, and less like an empty room filled with the echoes of this dreadful improvising. To think that we might have found comfort in a world suited to our nature, only to end up in one so resoundingly strange! #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#67. For the time being, it need only be said that the philosopher in question made much of human existence as a tragedy that need not have been were it not for the intervention in our lives of a single, calamitous event: the evolution of consciousness - parent of all horrors. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#68. If truth is what you seek, then the examined life will only take you on a long ride to the limits of solitude and leave you by the side of the road with your truth and nothing else. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#69. What we do, as a conscious species, is set markers for ourselves. Once we reach one marker, we advance to the next. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#70. You see how I live: shadows and silence, leaving things as I find them because I have no reason to disturb them. But there are things that I have known, even though I never wished to know them and cannot give them a name. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#71. Hypocrisy - in other words, the practice of lying about lying - shields us from seeing ourselves as we are: a collocation of fragments that fit together as a biological unit but not as anything else, not as that ghost which has been called a self, a phantasm whose ecotoplasmic unreality we can never see through. By staying true to the lie of the self, the ego, we can hold onto the illusion that we will be who we are all our lives and not see our selves die a thousand times before our death. While some have dedicated themselves to getting to the bottom of how these parts create the illusion of a whole, this is not how pyramids are built. To get a pyramid off the ground takes a lot of ego - the base material of those stacks of stones that tourists visit while on vacation. Of course, a pyramid is actually a polyhedron, that is, a mathematical conception which pyramids in the physical world resemble . . . at least from a distance. The nearer one gets to a pyramid, the more it reveals itself to be what it is: a roughly pyramidal conglomeration of bricks, a composition of fragments that is not what it seems to be. This is also how it works with humans. The world around us encourages the build up of our egos - those pyramids of self-esteem - as if we needed such encouragement. Although everyone is affected by this pyramid scheme, some participate in it more than others: they are observably more full of themselves and tend to their egos as they would exotic plants in a hothouse. It h #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#72. When I first took this job at the factory it was not my intention to work there very long, for I once possessed higher hopes for my life, although the exact nature of these hopes remained rather vague in my youthful mind. While the work was not arduous, and my fellow workers congenial enough, I did not imagine myself standing forever at my designated assembly block, fitting together pieces of metal into other pieces of metal, with a few interruptions throughout that day for breaks that were supposed to refresh our minds from the tedium of our work or for meal breaks to allow us to nourish our bodies. Somehow it never occurred to me that the nearby town where I and the others at the factory lived, travelling to and from our jobs along the same fog-strewn road, held no higher opportunities for me or anyone else, which no doubt accounts for the vagueness, the wispy insubstantiality, of my youthful hopes. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#73. No other life forms know they are alive, and neither do they know they will die. This is our curse alone. Without this hex upon our heads, we would never have withdrawn as far as we have from the natural - so far and for such a time that it is a relief to say what we have been trying with our all not to say: We have long since been denizens of the natural world. Everywhere around us are natural habitats, but within us is the shiver of startling and dreadful things. Simply put: We are not from here. If we vanished tomorrow, no organism on this planet would miss us. Nothing in nature needs us. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#74. Best-selling horror fiction is indeed necessarily conservative because it must entertain a large number of readers. It's like network television. I'm your local cable access station. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#75. And we will persist in chasing the impossible until we are no more. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#76. Why should there be something rather than nothing? #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#77. The world dotes on its lunatics, whether saintly or sadistic, and commemorates their careers. Psychopaths make terrific material for news agencies and movie studios; their exploits always draw a crowd. But the moment a discouraging word is spoken, some depressing knowledge, that crowd either disperses or goes on the attack. It is depression not madness that cows us, demoralization not insanity that we dread, disillusionment of the mind not its derangement that imperils our culture of hope. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#78. There was simply no peace to be had no matter where you hid yourself away. Even in a northern border town of such intensely chaotic oddity and corruption there was still some greater chaos, some deeper insanity, than one had counted on, or could ever be taken into account - wherever there was anything, there would be chaos and insanity to such a degree that one could never come to terms with it, and it was only a matter of time before your world, whatever you thought it to be, was undermined, if not completely overrun, by another world. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#79. As a fact, we cannot give suffering precedence in either our individual or collective lives. We have to get on with things, and those who give precedence to suffering will be left behind. They fetter us with their sniveling. We have someplace to go and must believe we can get there, wherever that may be. And to conceive that there is a 'brotherhood of suffering between everything alive' would disable us from getting anywhere. We are preoccupied with the good life, and step by step are working toward a better life. What we do, as a conscious species, is set markers for ourselves. Once we reach one marker, we advance to the next - as if we were playing a board game we think will never end, despite the fact that it will, like it or not. And if you are too conscious of not liking it, then you may conceive of yourself as a biological paradox that cannot live with its consciousness and cannot live without it. And in so living and not living, you take your place with the undead and the human puppet. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#80. It has always seemed to me that my existence consisted purely and exclusively of nothing but the most outrageous nonsense. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#81. As long as we deny a person or group the claim to be as right and as real as we are, so long may we hold this dreamlike claim for ourselves alone. And it is the duty of everyone to inculcate a sense of nothingness, an ache of being empty of substance and value, in those who are not emulations of them. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#82. The only way I can describe the visions I witnessed with even faint approximation is in terms of other scenes which might arouse similar impressions of tortuous chaos: perhaps a festival of colors twisting in blackness, a tentacled abyss that alternately seems to glisten moistly as with some horrendous dew, then suddenly dulls into an arid glow, like bone-colored stars shining over an extra-terrestrial desert. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#83. Immune to the blandishments of religions, countries, families, and whatever else that - with a smattering of emotive images and strains of maudlin music - can move the average citizen to tears or violence, the pessimist is invisible in both history books and the media. Without belief in gods or ghosts, unmotivated by a comprehensive delusion, he could never plant a bomb, plan a revolution, or shed blood for a cause. Pessimists are indeed lackadaisical as partisans in the human drama. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#84. reason is merely the mouthpiece of emotion. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#85. In those moments, which were eternal I assure you, I had no location in the universe, nothing to grasp for that minimum of security which every creature needs merely to exist without suffering from the sensation that everything is spinning ever faster on a cosmic carousel with only endless blackness at the edge of that wheeling ride. I know that your condition differs from mine, and therefore you have no means by which to fully comprehend my ordeals just as I cannot fully comprehend yours. But I do acknowledge that both our conditions are unendurable, despite the doctor's second-hand platitude that nothing in this world is unendurable. I've even come to believe that the world itself, by its very nature, is unendurable. It's only our responses to this fact that deviate: mine being predominately a response of passive terror approaching absolute panic; yours being predominantly a response of gruesome obsessions that you fear you might act upon. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#86. To repeat: we can tolerate existence only if we believe - in accord with a complex of
illusions, a legerdemain of impenetrable deception - that we are not what we are. We are creatures with consciousness, but we must suppress that consciousness lest it break us with a sense of being in a universe without direction or foundation. In plain language, we cannot live with ourselves except as impostors. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#87. When the world uncovers some dark disguise,
Embrace the darkness with averted eyes. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#88. As history confirms, people will change their minds about almost anything, from which god they worship to how they style their hair. But when it comes to existential judgments, human beings in general have an unfalteringly good opinion of themselves and their condition in this world and are steadfastly confident they are not a collection of self-conscious nothings. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#89. As Zapffe concluded, we need to hamper our consciousness for all we are worth or it will impose upon us a too clear vision of what we do not want to see, #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#90. God is dead," wrote Mainländer, "and His death was the life of the world." Once the
great individuation had been accomplished, the momentum of its creator's selfannihilation would continue in a piecemeal fashion until nothing remained standing. And those who committed suicide, as did Mainländer, would only be following God's example. Furthermore, the Will-to-live that Schopenhauer argued activates the world - a concept logically developed but only within a mythological framework - was revised by his disciple Mainländer as evidence not of a movement of a tortured life within beings, but as a deceptive cover for an underlying death wish in all things to burn themselves out as hastily as possible in the fires of becoming . . . or begoing, as it were. In this light, the raging of human progress is thus shown to be a mightily apparent symptom of a downfall into extinction that has just gotten underway. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#91. There is nothing to do and there is nowhere to go
There is nothing to be and there is no-one to know #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#92. When you are alone in the wilderness, opinions or beliefs of any kind are dropped as the absurd accoutrements they are. But after being in the wilderness for a while, you may come around to feeling sociable. Maybe you could try living in a community of "like-minded" social deviants. However, they had better be so alike that they are clones of one another or the day will come when someone steps over the line and factions begin to teem. Our brains will always discriminate - that is their nature. They fix on superficial differences we spy in one another, redundantly speaking, since all differences among us are superficial. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#93. If we must think, it should be done only in circles, outside of which lies the unthinkable. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#94. For optimists, human life never needs justification, no matter how much hurt piles up, because they can always tell themselves that things will get better. For pessimists, there is no amount of happiness - should such a thing as happiness even obtain for human beings except as a misconception - that can compensate us for life's hurt. As a worst-case example, a pessimist might refer to the hurt caused by some natural or human-made cataclysm. To adduce a hedonic counterpart to the horrors that attach to such cataclysms would require a degree of ingenuity from an optimist, but it could be done. And the reason it could be done, the reason for the eternal stalemate between optimists and pessimists, is that no possible formula can be established to measure proportions and types of hurt and happiness in the world. If such a formula could be established, then either pessimists or optimists would have to give in to their adversaries. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#95. From them I had nothing to learn - one cannot cease to know what one does know. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#96. Lucifer endears himself to us only as the Lord of Lies, for in this role he is most convincing as a character, which is to say, as a fiction that has been so fully realized that he misguides us with a false feeling of our own reality because we are the ones who made him: he is subordinate to us, especially in the art of lying. For the acephalics among us who have said that the Devil's greatest trick was convincing the world that he did not exist, it must be said back: if he did not exist, then neither would we. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#97. We live in a permanent state of bad faith, a mutual representation of ourselves to one another for the sake of remaining sane and following our biological imperative to continue as a species. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#98. As a survival-happy species, our successes are calculated in the number of years we have extended our lives, with the reduction of suffering being only incidental to this aim. To stay alive under almost any circumstances is a sickness with us. Nothing could be more unhealthy than to "watch one's health" as a means of stalling death. The lengths we will go as procrastinators of that last gasp only demonstrate a morbid dread of that event. By contrast, our fear of suffering is deficient. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#99. But the secrets of such a book are not perpetual. Once they are known, they become relegated to a lesser sphere, which is that of the knower. Having lost the prestige they once enjoyed, these former secrets now function as tools in the excavation of still deeper ones which, in turn, will suffer the same corrosive fate. And this is the fate of all the secrets of the universe. Eventually the seeker of a recondite knowledge may conclude - either through insight or sheer exhaustion - that this ruthless process is never-ending, that the mortification of one mystery after another has no terminus beyond that of the seeker's own extinction. And how many still remain susceptible to the search? How many pursue it to the end of their days with undying hope of some ultimate revelation? Better not to think in precise terms just how few the faithful are. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#100. The logic of supernatural horror [is] a logic founded on fear, a logic whose sole principle states: "Existence equals nightmare." Unless life is a dream, nothing makes sense. For as a reality, it is a rank failure.. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#101. Nothing belongs to us. Everything is something that is rented out. Our very heads are filled with rented ideas passed on from one generation to the next. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#102. Even if this little account of mine, this little chronicle seems to disclose secrets that might undermine the nightmarish order of things, it does nothing but support and promulgate that order. Nothing can resist or betray this nightmare because nothing exists that might do anything, that might be anything that could realize a success in that way. The very idea of such a thing is only nonsense and dreams. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#103. All social orders command their members to imbibe in pipe dreams of posterity, the mirage of immortality, to keep them ahead of the extinction that would ensue in a few generations if the species did not replenish itself. This is the implicit, and most pestiferous, rationale for propagation: to become fully integrated into a society, one must offer it fresh blood. Naturally, the average set of parents does not conceive of their conception as a sacrificial act. These are civilized human beings we are talking about, and thus they are quite able to fill their heads with a panoply of less barbaric rationales for reproduction, among them being the consolidation of a spousal relationship; the expectation of new and enjoyable experiences in the parental role; the hope that one will pass the test as a mother or father; the pleasing of one's own parents, not to forget their parents and possibly a great-grandparent still loitering about; the serenity of taking one's place in the seemingly deathless lineage of a familial enterprise; the creation of individuals who will care for their paternal and maternal selves in their dotage; the quelling of a sense of guilt or selfishness for not having done their duty as human beings; and the squelching of that faint pathos that is associated with the childless. Such are some of the overpowering pressures upon those who would fertilize the future. These pressures build up in people throughout their lifetimes and must be released, just as everyone m #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#104. Violence without violation is only a noise heard by no one, the most horrendous sound in the universe. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#105. While horror may make us squirm or quake, it will not make us cry at the pity of things. The vampire may symbolize our horror of both life and death, but none of us has ever been uprooted by a symbol. The zombie may conceptualize our sickness of the flesh and its appetites, but no one has ever been sickened to death by a concept. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#106. Optimism has always been an undeclared policy of human culture - one that grew out of our animal instincts to survive and reproduce - rather than an articulated body of thought. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#107. Since Buddhism's only objective is attaining enlightenment, that high road to nirvana (see below), it is at one with other religions in pitching a brighter future for believers in deliverance from the woes of this world. One problem: Human beings are rarely so sensitive to the woes of this world that they feel a pressing need to reject all cravings for the pleasures of this world, as Buddhism would have them do. And it seems that any amount of pleasure is pleasure enough to get us to keep the faith that being alive is all right for everyone, or almost everyone, and will certainly be all right for any children we cause to be delivered into this world. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#108. Best to immunize your consciousness from any thoughts that are startling and dreadful so that we can all go on conspiring to survive and reproduce as paradoxical beings - puppets that can walk and talk all by themselves. At worst keep your startling and dreadful thoughts to yourself. Hearken well: None of us wants to hear spoken the exact anxieties we keep locked up inside ourselves. Smother that urge to go spreading news of your pain and nightmares around town. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#109. Gaunt immortality in black and gold,
Wreathed consoler hideous to behold.
The beautiful lie of a mother's womb,
The pious trick - for it is the tomb! #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#110. But even if ego-death is regarded as the optimum model for human existence, one of liberation from ourselves, it still remains a compromise with being, a concession to the blunder of creation itself. We should be able to do better, and we can. To have our egos killed off is second-best to killing off death and all the squalid byplay that flitters around it. So let all lands be small, and grower smaller and smaller until no lands are left where any human footstep need press itself upon the earth. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#111. Paradoxically, it is the uncommon event that may best demonstrate the common predicament of our race. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#112. From where we stand, immortality and death are synonymous: a two-headed monster of
semantics. Having no value for us except as "endness," they generate value backwards
into life. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#113. The embodiment of his mystic precepts, he appeared at any given moment to be on the verge of an amazing disintegration, his particular complex of atoms ready to go shooting off into the great void like a burst of fireworks. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#114. We are each either among the demoralized showing the way to a future of eternal nightmare, or we are losers celebrating our moment in hell. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#115. We are aberrations - beings born undead, neither one thing nor another, or two things at once ... uncanny things that have nothing to do with the rest of creation, horrors that poison the world by sowing our madness everywhere we go, glutting daylight and darkness with incorporeal obscenities. From across an immeasurable divide, we brought the supernatural into all that is manifest. Like a faint haze it floats around us. We keep company with ghosts. Their graves are marked in our minds, and they will never be disinterred from the cemeteries of our remembrance. Our heartbeats are numbered, our steps counted. Even as we survive and reproduce, we know ourselves to be dying in a dark corner of infinity. Wherever we go, we know not what expects our arrival but only that it is there. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#116. Every milestone in the history of the company, even when forecast with heaps of hoopla, was ultimately played out according to some secret timeline of geologic tedium, so that it was drained of all interest and drama well before it took place and afterward went all but unnoticed. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#117. What meaning our lives seem to have is the work of a relatively well-constituted emotional system. As consciousness gives us the sense of being persons, our psychophysiology is responsible for making us into personalities who believe the existential game to be worth playing. We may have memories that are unlike those of anyone else, but without the proper emotions to liven those memories they might as well reside in a computer file as disconnected bits of data that never unite into a tailor-made individual for whom things seem to mean something. You can conceptualize that your life has meaning, but if you do not feel that meaning then your conceptualization is meaningless and you are nobody. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#118. Life is a nightmare that leaves its mark upon you in order to prove that it is, in fact, real. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#119. When I first read Lovecraft around 1971, and even more so when I began to read about his life, I immediately knew that I wanted to write horror stories. I had read Arthur Machen before I read Lovecraft, and I didn't have that reaction at all. It was what I sensed in Lovecraft's works and what I learned about his myth as the "recluse of Providence" that made me think, "That's for me!" I already had a grim view of existence, so there was no problem there. I was and am agoraphobic, so being reclusive was a snap. The only challenge was whether or not I could actually write horror stories. So I studied fiction writing and wrote every day for years and years until I started to get my stories accepted by small press magazines. I'm not comparing myself to Lovecraft as a person or as a writer, but the rough outline of his life gave me something to aspire to. I don't know what would have become of me if I hadn't discovered Lovecraft. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#120. The value of a philosopher's thought is not in its answers - no philosopher has any that are more helpful than saying nothing at all - but in how well they speak to the prejudgments of their consumers. Such is the importance - and the nullity - of rhetoric. Ask any hard-line pessimist, but do not expect him to expect you to take his words seriously. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#121. As for procreation, no one in his right mind would say that it is the only activity devoid of a praiseworthy incentive. Those who reproduce, then, should not feel unfairly culled as the worst conspirators against the human race. Every one of us is culpable in keeping the conspiracy alive, which is all right with most people. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#122. The knowledge that life is worthless is the flower of all human wisdom. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#123. The last of us could be the very best of us who ever roamed the earth, the great exemplars of a humanity we used to dream of becoming before we got wise to the reality that we are just a mob always in the market for new recruits. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#124. The lessons in measurement of cloacal forces. Time as a flow of sewage. The excrement of space, scatology of creation. The voiding of the self. The whole filthy integration of things and the nocturnal product . . . drowning in the pools of night. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#125. As the ego-dead, so we might imagine, we would continue to know pain in its various forms - that is the essence of existence - but we would not be cozened by our egos to take it personally, an attitude that converts an individual's pain into conscious suffering. Naturally, we would still have to feed, but we would not be omnivorous gourmands who eat for amusement, gorging down everything in nature and turning to the laboratory for more. As for reproduction, who can say? Animals are driven to copulate, and even as the ego-dead we would not be severed from biology, although we would not be unintelligently ruled by it, as we are now. As a corollary of not being unintelligently ruled by biology, neither would we sulk over our extinction, as we do now. Why raise another generation destined to climb aboard the evolution treadmill? But then, why not raise another generation of the ego-dead? For those who do not perceive either their pleasures or their pains as belonging to them, neither life nor death would be objectionable or not objectionable, desirable or not desirable, all right or not all right. We would be the ego-dead, the self-less, and, dare we are, the enlightened. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#126. fatal vehicular misadventure. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#127. The human phenomenon is but the sum
Of densely coiled layers of illusion
Each of which winds itself on the supreme insanity
That there are persons of any kind
When all there can be is mindless mirrors
Laughing and screaming as they parade about
in an endless dream
#Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#128. No one in a productive society wants you to know there ways of looking at the world other than their ways, and among the effects drugs may have is that of switching a mind from the normal track. Reading the works of certain writers has a corresponding effect. When receptive individuals explore the writings of someone such as Lovecraft, they are majestically solaced to find articulations of existence countering those to which the heads around them have become habituated. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#129. We aspire to omniscience, but should we ever actually become omniscient what would be the point in continuing to exist? The game would be over and done. No mystery would be left to lend our lives a mystique, and without this mystique everything we do would be reduced to numbers we could look up in a computer file and have no need to puzzle over. We would be victorious . . . and bored to death. Everything having to do with humanity and nonhumanity would hit a wall and come to a stop. We seem to have set out on an expedition whose success would be our ruin. The only way out, perhaps, would be to fashion creatures less knowing than ourselves and exist through them. What humiliation, what pathos that we should ever end up as gods. Is there nothing that can bring us into reconciliation with the cancer of existence? #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#130. I continued to stare at the empty seat because my sensation of a vibrant presence there was unrelieved. And in my staring I perceived that the fabric of the seat, the inner webbing of swirling fibers, had composed a pattern in the image of a face - an old woman's face with an expression of avid malignance - floating amidst wild shocks of twisting hair. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#131. A misbegotten hatchling of consciousness, a birth defect of our species, imagination is often revered as a sign of vigor in our make-up. But it is really just a psychic overcompensation for our impotence as beings. Denied nature's exemption from creativity, we are indentured servants of the imaginary until the hour of our death, when the final harassments of imagination will beset us. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#132. One by one all the regular staff stopped appearing for work, and their desks came to be occupied by new persons who always looked like fugitives from the great tribe of derelicts living in the Golden City, a shadow population that moved day and night through that yellowish haze.[...] Of course this manner of fiscal growth could not continue much longer and other measures would need to be taken if the company was truly to become a dominant force in the marketplace of this world or any other. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#133. I cannot wait to be dead. I cannot wait. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#134. Officially there are no fates worse than death. Unofficially, there is a profusion of such fates. For some people, just living with the thought that they will die is a fate worse than death itself. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#135. The experimental version of this story could actually be told as two stories happening "simultaneously," each narrated in alternating sections which take place in parallel chronologies. One section begins with the death of Nathan and moves backward in time, while its counterpart story begins with the death of the original owner of the magical pants and moves forward. Needless to say, the facts in the case of Nathan must be juggled around so as to be comprehensible from the beginning, that is to say from the end. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#136. The result was that Preston successfully negotiated quite a few decades without ever coming within hailing distance of puberty. In this state of arrested development, he defiantly lived through many a perverse adventure. And he still lives in the pages of those books I wrote about him, though I stopped writing them some years ago. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#137. The company that employed me strived only to serve up the cheapest fare that the customer would tolerate, churn it out as fast as possible, and charge as much as they could get away with. If it were possible to do so, the company would sell what all businesses of its kind dream about selling, creating that which all of our efforts were tacitly supposed to achieve: the ultimate product
Nothing. And for this product they would command the ultimate price
Everything. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#138. I declared earlier in this document that, 'with one exception,' there was no cuteness among The Seven. Sherry was the exception, although a serious qualification must be appended to this statement. Physically she was attractive, not to the point of being a harrowing beauty, but enough to put her over the line between women of average or even 'good' looks into the company of those who possessed across-the-room attraction. (If anyone believes that I'm perpetuating some arbitrary or twisted image of the world, that's fine with me - I wish them well in their transactions with social reality.) The qualification to which I made reference above is this: if you happened to cross that room on the other side of which stood Sherry, what you confronted was...I can't even name it - some kind of thing inhabiting the body of an attractive woman, an alien from some diseased planet or a creature of low evolutionary stature that by some curious means had insinuated itself into a human being at some stage in her development, the result being this Sherry-thing. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#139. To be conscious is inevitably to be a hypocrite. We can stomach our own kind, or just enough of them who either prove useful to us or are not handily destructible, only by the terms of the following contract: we will eat some of the other fellow's excrement if he will eat some of ours. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#140. Life is hell, and the sweet still night of absolute death is the annihilation of hell. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#141. The 'experimental' writer, then, is simply following the story's commands to the best of his human ability. The writer is not the story, the story is the story. See? Sometimes this is very hard to accept and sometimes too easy. On the one hand, there's the writer who can't face his fate: that the telling of a story has nothing at all to do with him; on the other hand, there's the one who faces it too well: that the telling of the story has nothing at all to do with him #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#142. We, as licensed protectors of the species and members in good standing of the master-class of the race, by the power invested in us by those who wish to survive and reproduce, vow to enforce the fiction that life is worth having and worth living come hell or irreparable brain damage. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
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#143. For much of that day I had been secluded in my room, intently pursuing a typical activity of my early life and in the process badly ravaging what previously had been a well-made bed. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#144. But it is really just a psychic overcompensation for our impotence as beings. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#145. Fear, when blended with failure, distills into a deadly brew. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#146. It was an unusual sunset. Having sat behind opaque drapery all day, I had not realized that a storm was pushing in and that much of the sky was the precise shade of old suits of armor one finds in museums. At the same time, patches of brilliance engaged in a territorial dispute with the oncoming onyx of the storm. Light and darkness mingled in strange ways both above and below. Shadows and sunshine washed together, streaking the landscape with an unearthly study of glare and gloom. Bright clouds and black folded into each other in a no-man's land of the sky. The autumn trees took on the appearance of sculptures formed in a dream, their leaden-colored trunks and branches and iron-red leaves all locked in an infinite and unliving moment, unnaturally timeless. The gray lake slowly tossed and tumbled in a dead sleep, nudging unconsciously against its breakwall of numb stone. A scene of contradiction and ambivalence, a tragicomedic haze over all. A land of perfect twilight. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#147. A: There is no grand scheme of things.
B: If there were a grand scheme of things, the fact – the fact – that we are not equipped to perceive it, either by natural or supernatural means, is a nightmarish obscenity.
C: The very notion of a grand scheme of things is a nightmarish obscenity. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#148. As we should know by now, it is as easy to make fun of religious or scientific visionaries as it is to idolize them. Which attitude is adopted depends on whether or not they tell you what you want to hear. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#149. Generally speaking: Expect nothing but nightmarish obscenities to be born when human heads come together in intercourse. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#150. Something statuesque is approaching her. It radiates a field of dynamic tension that grows more intense the closer it comes, its shadow lengthening upon the floor. Still, she cannot turn around to see the horror behind her, for at this point she cannot move her body, which is stiff-jointed and rigid. Perhaps she can scream, she thinks, and makes an attempt to do so. But this fails, because by then there is already a firm and tepid hand that has covered her mouth from behind. The fingers on her lips feel like thick, naked crayons. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#151. And the worst possible thing we could know - worse than knowing of our descent from a mass of microorganisms - is that we are nobodies not somebodies, puppets not people. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#152. It was no amalgam of colors comparable to anything in mortal existence. It was as if all natural colors had been mutated into a painfully lush iridescence by some prism fantastically corrupted in its form; it was a rainbow staining the sky after a poison deluge; it was an aurora painting the darkness with a blaze of insanity, a blaze that did not burn vigorously but shimmered with an insect-jeweled frailness. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#153. So it was that the Red Tower put into production its terrible and perplexing line of unique novelty items. Among the objects and constructions now manufactured were several of an almost innocent nature. These included tiny, delicate cameos that were heavier than their size would suggest, far heavier, and lockets whose shiny outer surface flipped open to reveal a black reverberant abyss inside, a deep blackness roaring with echoes. Along the same lines was a series of lifelike replicas of internal organs and physiological structures, many of them evidencing an advanced stage of disease and all of them displeasingly warm and soft to the touch. There was a fake disembodied hand on which fingernails would grow several inches overnight, every night like clockwork. Numerous natural objects, mostly bulbous gourds, were designed to produce a long deafening scream whenever they were picked up or otherwise disturbed in their vegetable stillness. Less scrutable were such things as hardened globs of lava into whose rough igneous forms were set a pair of rheumy eyes that perpetually shifted their gaze from side to side like a relentless pendulum. And there was also a humble piece of cement, a fragment broken away from any street or sidewalk, that left a most intractable stain, greasy and green, on whatever surface it was placed. But such fairly simple items were eventually followed, and ultimately replaced, by more articulated objects and constructions. One example of this complex type of #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#154. To Eden with me you will not leave
To live in a cottage of crazy, crooked eaves.
In your own happy home you take care these nights;
When you let your little cat in, please turn on the lights!
Something scurries behind and finds a cozy place to stare,
Something sent to you from paradise, with serpents to spare:
Tongues flowering; they leap out laughing, lapping. Dissapear #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#155. Solitary writers come out of nowhere and do not belong anywhere. They are not domesticated or socialized, not as writers. Their subject is not the world about them but the one within them. From story to story or poem to poem, they repeat themselves because all they have to work with are themselves and their dreams, which are strange dreams and often bad dreams. As anyone knows, nothing is more troublesome to communicate than yourself and your dreams, the feelings and visions that have molded you into what you are. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#156. Schopenhauer's Will-to-live, commendable as it may seem as a hypothesis, is too overwrought in the proving to be anything more than another intellectual labyrinth for specialists in perplexity. Comparatively, Zapffe's principles are non-technical and could never arouse the passion of professors #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#157. Most people learn to save themselves by artificially limiting the content of consciousness. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#158. Also worthy of mention is a clique among the suicidal for whom the meaning of their act is a darker thing. Frustrated as perpetrators of an all-inclusive extermination, they would kill themselves only because killing it all is closed off to them. They hate having been delivered into a world only to be told, by and by, "This way to the abattoir, Ladies and Gentlemen." They despise the conspiracy of Lies for Life almost as much as they despise themselves for being a party to it. If they could unmake the world by pushing a button, they would do so without a second thought. There is no satisfaction in a lonesome suicide. The phenomenon of "suicide euphoria" aside, there is only fear, bitterness, or depression beforehand, then the troublesomeness of the method, and nothingness afterward. But to push that button, to depopulate this earth and arrest its rotation as well - what satisfaction, as of a job prettily done. This would be for the good of all, for even those who know nothing about the conspiracy against the human race are among its injured parties. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#159. Everyone prefers to continue their existence as a mind and a self, no matter what pain it causes them, no matter how false and unreal they might be, than to face the quite obvious reality and being only a body set in motion by this mindless, soulless, and selfless force which he designated the shadow, the darkness. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#160. The divine right of kings may now be acknowledged as a fabrication, a falsified permit for prideful dementia and impulsive mayhem. The inalienable rights of certain people, on the other hand, seemingly remain current: somehow we believe they are not fabrications because hallowed documents declare they are real. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#161. Tapping a little bell, I leaned on the desk and turned to look at a small, traditionally decorated Christmas tree on a table near the entranceway. It was complete with shiny, egg-fragile bulbs; miniature candy canes; flat, laughing Santas with arms wide; a star on top nodding awkwardly against the delicate shoulder of an upper branch; and colored lights that bloomed out of flower-shaped sockets. For some reason this seemed to me a sorry little piece. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#162. I'm trying to feel as good as I can. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#163. none can shake off a sense of having free will. The best we can do is to reason that we are determined based on observing the common law of causality among things in the world and applying this law to ourselves. But we cannot feel ourselves as determined. (One philosopher has said, and possibly more have thought to themselves: "Can one really believe in determinism without going insane?") Being determined in thought and deed is not experientially noticeable, only abstractly deducible. It would be impossible for someone to say "I am nothing but a human puppet. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#164. Personal well-being serves solely to excavate within your soul a chasm which waits to be filled by a landslide of dread, an empty mold whose peculiar dimensions will one day manufacture the shape of your unique terror #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#165. No one gives up on something until it turns on them, whether or not that thing is real or unreal. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#166. ... whatever family name has been given to a case of depression, it has an objective in common with all its kind: to sabotage the network of emotions you had come to identify as the composition of yourself. It is then you discover that your "old self" is not the substantial and inviolable thing you thought it was, nor was the rest of your "old" reality. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Ligotti
#167. For many feverish years he was burdened with the sensation, an ancient one to be sure, that the incredible sprawl of human history was no more than a pathetically partial record of an infinitely vast and shadowed chronicle of universal metamorphoses. How much greater, then, was the feeling that his own pathetic history formed a practically invisible fragment of what itself was merely an obscure splinter of the infinite. Somehow he needed to excarcerate himself from the claustral dungeon cell of his life. In the end, however, he broke beneath the weight of his aspiration. And as the years passed, the only mystery which seemed worthy of his interest, and his amazement, was that unknown day which would inaugurate his personal eternity, that incredible day on which the sun simply would not rise, and forever would begin. #Quote by Thomas Ligotti
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Harris
#168. Before Me you are a slug in the sun. You are privy to a great Becoming and you recognize nothing. You are an ant in the after-birth.
It is in your nature to do one thing correctly: before Me you rightly tremble. Fear is not what you owe Me, Lounds, you and the other pismires. You owe Me awe. #Quote by Thomas Harris
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Bernard Cornwell
#169. They're the sort of dozy bastards who don't think beyond their next pot of ale, but Thomas does, Thomas is a two-pot thinker, he is. #Quote by Bernard Cornwell
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Robert Malthus
#170. nothing is so easy as to find fault with human institutions; nothing so difficult as to suggest adequate practical improvements. #Quote by Thomas Robert Malthus
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Ashlan Thomas
#171. There was so much time lost and the Hell was over. Just when I was beginning to lose faith, Abby pulled me out of the dark.
She was my light. Pure and beautiful. #Quote by Ashlan Thomas
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Middleditch
#172. Speaking as someone who's played a lot of video games, and at the end of the video game all you have is a memory, after woodworking you get this piece of furniture. #Quote by Thomas Middleditch
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Jefferson
#173. Government can do something for the people only in proportion as it can do something to the people. #Quote by Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Harris
#174. What does he do, Clarice? What is the first and principal thing he does, what need does he serve by killing? He covets. How do we begin to covet? We begin by coveting what we see every day. #Quote by Thomas Harris
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Jefferson
#175. I am entirely persuaded that the agitations of the public mind advance its powers, and that at every vibration between the points of liberty and despotism, something will be gained for the former. As men become better informed, their rulers must respect them the more. #Quote by Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Michael Tilson Thomas
#176. But still as compared to many, many orchestras in the world, I think you find a lot more new music and living composers on our programs than many other places. #Quote by Michael Tilson Thomas
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Kinkade
#177. Romance makes a radiant sunrise out of every moment. #Quote by Thomas Kinkade
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas McGuane
#178. Literature is the ditch I'm going to die in. It's still the thing I care most about. #Quote by Thomas McGuane
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Mark Thomas
#179. Were British protesters, armed with little more than a frisbee and a bag of plastic toy soldiers, really in danger of being shot by the US military in Gloucestershire? #Quote by Mark Thomas
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Doug Harvey
#180. When asked what he was fighting for, General Washington, in writing to General Thomas, said the object was 'neither glory nor extent of territory, but a defense of all that is dear and valuable in life.' He must have been an umpire. That's what umpiring is about. #Quote by Doug Harvey
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Hughes
#181. Gambling makes boys selfish and cruel as well as men. #Quote by Thomas Hughes
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Dylan Thomas
#182. This poem has been called obscure. I refuse to believe that it is obscurer than pity, violence, or suffering. But being a poem, not a lifetime, it is more compressed. #Quote by Dylan Thomas
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Humphry Davy
#183. But if the two countries or governments are at war, the men of science are not. That would, indeed be a civil war of the worst description: we should rather, through the instrumentality of the men of science soften the asperities of national hostility.

{Davy's remarks to Thomas Poole on accepting Napoleon's prize for the best experiment on Galvanism.} #Quote by Humphry Davy
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Ashlan Thomas
#184. He could have told her there was a stampede of elephants headed toward her to escape a meteor hurtling at Earth, and she wouldn't have heard anything after his smile. She was Xanderized. #Quote by Ashlan Thomas
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Paine
#185. I am sensible that he who means to do mankind a real service must set down with the determination of putting up, and bearing with all their faults, follies, prejudices and mistakes until he can convince them that he is right. #Quote by Thomas Paine
Thomas Ligotti quotes by David Graeber
#186. Thomas Jefferson, that owner of many slaves, chose to begin the Declaration of Independence by directly contradicting the moral basis of slavery, writing "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights ... " thus undercutting simultaneously any argument that Africans were racially inferior, and also that they or their ancestors could ever have been justly and legally deprived of their freedom. In doing so, however, he did not propose some radically new conception of rights and liberties. Neither have subsequent political philosophers. For the most part, we've just kept the old ones, but with the word "not" inserted here and there. Most of our most precious rights and freedoms are a series of exceptions to an overall moral and legal framework that suggests we shouldn't really have them in the first place. #Quote by David Graeber
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Merton
#187. We must be true inside, true to ourselves, before we can know a truth that is outside us. But we make ourselves true inside by manifesting the truth as we see it. #Quote by Thomas Merton
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Sherry Thomas
#188. She was proud one moment, covetous the next, and then fearful the moment after that. It would always be like this, wouldn't it, being the wife of a man she loved but couldn't trust, whose true motives were as murky as the bottom of the sea? #Quote by Sherry Thomas
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Angie Thomas
#189. .I mean, it's one thing to wanna do something. It's another to think it's possible. Rapping has been my dream forever, but dreams aren't real. You wake up from them or reality makes them seem stupid. Trust, every time my fridge is almost empty, all of my dreams seem stupid. #Quote by Angie Thomas
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Jefferson
#190. Though [the people] may acquiesce, they cannot approve what they do not understand. #Quote by Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Alice Thomas Ellis
#191. Those who live on vanity must, not unreasonably, expect to die of mortification. #Quote by Alice Thomas Ellis
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
#192. A girl does not treat a possible lover with unvarying simplicity and directness. In all its phases, love is complex; friendship is not. #Quote by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Jefferson
#193. A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks. #Quote by Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Hardy
#194. The first man he came to was running about in a great hurry, as if his thoughts were several yards in advance of his body, which they could never drag on fastt enough. #Quote by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Paine
#195. Let it then be heard, and let man learn to feel that the true greatness of a nation is founded on principles of humanity, and not on conquest. #Quote by Thomas Paine
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas S. Monson
#196. Wonderful, glorious things are in store for you, if only you will believe, obey, and endure. #Quote by Thomas S. Monson
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Patrick Thomas
#197. A bartender named Murphy once told me to be careful when I hit the road because sometimes the road hits back. He was right. #Quote by Patrick Thomas
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Jon Krakauer
#198. But at times I wondered if I had not come a long way only to find that what I really sought was something I had left behind. Thomas F. Hornbein #Quote by Jon Krakauer
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Daniel Nehrer
#199. Understand that religion, at least western versions of it, rests on a type of thinking called Revelation. This mode holds that truths concerning the workings of reality are hidden, masked by, through or behind a deity such that only a few privileged souls are able to see through the veil and "reveal" those truths. . . But (around 1600) revelation as a means of understanding began to be challenged by two other methods of differentiating truth from fallacy: Reason and Empiricism. #Quote by Thomas Daniel Nehrer
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Moore
#200. Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth; Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth ... #Quote by Thomas Moore
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Paine
#201. A hereditary monarch is as absurd a position as a hereditary doctor or mathematician. #Quote by Thomas Paine
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Dan Brown
#202. The mathematics of Malthus? A quick Internet search led him to information about a prominent nineteenth-century English mathematician and demographist named Thomas Robert Malthus, who had famously predicted an eventual global collapse due to overpopulation. #Quote by Dan Brown
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Kendare Blake
#203. She raises her brows at Thomas and Carmel.
"How do you want to room? The two of you and the two of us? Or boys in one, girls in the other?"
"Boys in one," I say quickly.
"Right. Back in a minute." Jestine gets up to make the arrangements, leaving me with my gaping friends.
"Where'd that come from?" Carmel asks.
"Where'd what come from?"
As usual, playing dumb gets me nowhere. #Quote by Kendare Blake
Thomas Ligotti quotes by Thomas Kyd
#204. My son - and what's a song? A thing begot within a pair of minutes, thereabout, a lump bred up in darkness. #Quote by Thomas Kyd

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