Human identity is the most fragile thing that we have, and it's often only found in moments of truth.
Almsgiving tends to perpetuate poverty; aid does away with it once and for all. Almsgiving leaves a man just where he was before. Aid restores him to society as an individual worthy of all respect and not as a man with a grievance. Almsgiving is the generosity of the rich; social aid levels up social inequalities. Charity separates the rich from the poor; aid raises the needy and sets him on the same level with the rich.
A father's interest in having a child--perhaps his only child--may be unmatched by any other interest in his life. It is truly surprising that the state must assign a greater value to a mother's decision to cut off a potential human life by abortion than to a father's decision to let it mature into a live child.
For us there is only one season, the season of sorrow. The very sun and moon seem taken from us. Outside, the day may be blue and gold, but the light that creeps down through the thickly-muffled glass of the small iron-barred window beneath which one sits is grey and niggard. It is always twilight in one's cell, as it is always twilight in one's heart. And in the sphere of thought, no less than in the sphere of time, motion is no more.
For a hundred years I breathe and live, the flower of beauty and the bread of kindness. I am your friendly shade in the noonday heat of summer, and I stand pencilled against the winter twilight, a silhouette for dreams. At dawning in the spring I am filled with song, the host to a thousand birds, and I decorate the autumn with pageantry and colour.Then comes the woodsman with his axe.And still I serve.I am the timber that builds your boat; the rafters of your cathedrals; the choirstalls of your church enriched by the magic of the carver's fingers. I am the beam that holds your house; the door of your homestead, and the lintel too. I am the handle of your hoe; the wood of your cradle; the bed on which you lie; the board of your table and the board for your bread.When I am living, harm me not.When I am dead, respect me and use me kindly.
That wealth and greatness are often regarded with the respect and admiration which are due only to wisdom and virtue; and that the contempt, of which vice and folly are the only proper objects, is often unjustly bestowed upon poverty and weakness, has been the complaint of moralists in all ages.
The word change, so dear to our Europe, has been given a new meaning: it no longer means a new stage of coherent development (as it was understood by Vico, Hegel or Marx), but a shift from one side to another, from front to back, from the back to the left, from the left to the front (as understood by designers dreaming up the fashion for the next season).
A route differs from a road not only because it is solely intended for vehicles, but also because it is merely a line that connects one point with another. A route has no meaning in itself; its meaning derives entirely from the two points that it connects. A road is a tribute to space. Every stretch of road has meaning in itself and invites us to stop. A route is the triumphant devaluation of space, which thanks to it has been reduced to a mere obstacle to human movement and a waste of time.
Woman is the future of man. That means that the world which was once formed in man's image will now be transformed to the image of woman. The more technical and mechanical, cold and metallic it becomes, the more it will need the kind of warmth that only the woman can give it. If we want to save the world, we must adapt to the woman, let ourselves be led by the woman, let ourselves be penetrated by the Ewigweiblich, the eternally feminine!
High culture is nothing but a child of that European perversion called history, the obsession we have with going forward, with considering the sequence of generations a relay race in which everyone surpasses his predecessor, only to be surpassed by his successor. Without this relay race called history there would be no European art and what characterizes it: a longing for originality, a longing for change. Robespierre, Napoleon, Beethoven, Stalin, Picasso, they're all runners in the relay race, they all belong to the same stadium.
What I like about experience is that it is such an honest thing. You may take any number of wrong turnings; but keep your eyes open and you will not be allowed to go very far before the warning signs appear. You may have deceived yourself, but experience is not trying to deceive you. The universe rings true wherever you fairly test it.