Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (b. 1749 - d. 1832)


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None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. They feed them on falsehoods till wrong looks like right in their eyes.
-Johann von Goethe

"Wisdom is found only in truth."---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Ignorant men raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Self-knowledge comes from knowing other men."---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Only the soul that loves is happy.---Goethe

"A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude."---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance. Goethe

"A man's manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait. "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"A person hears only what they understand.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Common sense is the genius of humanity."---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Be generous with kindly words, especially about those who are absent.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude.  In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side."----Goethe

Character develops itself in the stream of life.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Character is formed in the stormy billows of the world.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Character, in great and little things, means carrying through what you feel able to do.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Correction does much, but encouragement does more.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Everything in the world may be endured except continual prosperity.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

First and last, what is demanded of genius is love of truth.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

For a man to achieve all that is demanded of him he must regard himself as greater than he is.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Hatred is active, and envy passive dislike; there is but one step from envy to hate.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Hatred is something peculiar. You will always find it strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

He is dead in this world who has no belief in another.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

He who does not think much of himself is much more esteemed than he imagines.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

He who enjoys doing and enjoys what he has done is happy.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I can tell you, honest friend, what to believe: believe life; it teaches better that book or orator.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I will listen to anyone's convictions, but pray keep your doubts to yourself.  "---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In art the best is good enough.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm... in the real world all rests on perseverance.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is better to be deceived by one's friends than to deceive them.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is in self-limitation that a master first shows himself.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do, that makes life blessed.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is the strange fate of man, that even in the greatest of evils the fear of the worst continues to haunt him.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It seems to never occur to fools that merit and good fortune are closely united.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Know thyself? If I knew myself I would run away.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Life is the childhood of our immortality.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Live dangerously and you live right.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Love and desire are the spirit's wings to great deeds.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Love can do much, but duty more.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Love does not dominate; it cultivates.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Mastery passes often for egotism.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

My poor head is in such a whirl, my mind is all in bits.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Mysteries are not necessarily miracles.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

No one has ever learned fully to know themselves.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

No one would talk much in society if they knew how often they misunderstood others.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nothing is more fearful than imagination without taste.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nothing is more terrible than to see ignorance in action.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nothing is to be rated higher than the value of the day.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nothing is worth more than this day.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Men show their character in nothing more clearly than what they think laughable.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Objects in pictures should so be arranged as by their very position to tell their own story.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

On all the peaks lies peace.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One always has time enough, if one will apply it well.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Passions are vices or virtues to their highest powers.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Personality is everything in art and poetry.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Precaution is better than cure.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sowing is not as difficult as reaping.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Talents are best nurtured in solitude. Character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Talk well of the absent whenever you have the opportunity.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The artist alone sees spirits. But after he has told of their appearing to him, everybody sees them.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The coward only threatens when he is safe.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
 


The credit of advancing science has always been due to individuals and never to the age.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The deed is everything, the glory naught.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The formation of one's character ought to be everyone's chief aim.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The human mind will not be confined to any limits.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The mediator of the inexpressible is the work of art.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The most happy man is he who knows how to bring into relation the end and beginning of his life.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The right man is the one who seizes the moment.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


There is nothing in the world more shameful than establishing one's self on lies and fables.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are earned by those alone who conquer them each day anew.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Unlike grown ups, children have little need to deceive themselves.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We are never further from what we wish than when we believe that we have what we wished for.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We can always redeem the man who aspires and strives.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We can't form our children on our own concepts; we must take them and love them as God gives them to us.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We cannot fashion our children after our desires, we must have them and love them as God has given them to us.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


We know accurately only when we know little, with knowledge doubt increases.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We will burn that bridge when we come to it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What by a straight path cannot be reached by crooked ways is never won.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What I possess I would gladly retain. Change amuses the mind, yet scarcely profits.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What is important in life is life, and not the result of life.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What is my life if I am no longer useful to others.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What life half gives a man, posterity gives entirely.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Whatever you cannot understand, you cannot possess.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Who is the most sensible person? The one who finds what is to their own advantage in all that happens to them.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Whoever wishes to keep a secret must hide the fact that he possesses one.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Wood burns because it has the proper stuff in it; and a man becomes famous because he has the proper stuff in him.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe