Miguel de Unamuno citations

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Miguel de Unamuno

Date de naissance: 29. septembre 1864
Date de décès: 31. décembre 1936

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Miguel de Unamuno, né le 29 septembre 1864 à Bilbao et mort le 31 décembre 1936 à Salamanque, est un poète, romancier, dramaturge, critique littéraire et philosophe espagnol appartenant à la génération de 98.

Miguel de Unamuno figure parmi les plus grands écrivains de l'Espagne de son époque, dont il est particulièrement représentatif : il est décrit comme un homme de passions animé par de multiples contradictions, ce qui en fait un personnage assez typique de l'Espagne de la fin du XIXe siècle et du début du XXe siècle.

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Citations Miguel de Unamuno

„Not by way of reason, but only by way of love and suffering, do we come to the living God, the human God.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: Not by way of reason, but only by way of love and suffering, do we come to the living God, the human God. Reason rather separates us from Him. We cannot first know Him in order that afterward we may love Him; we must begin by loving Him, longing for Him, hungering after Him, before knowing Him. The knowledge of God proceeds from the love of God, and this love has little or nothing of the rational in it. For God is indefinable. To seek to define Him is to seek to confine Him within the limits of our mind — that is to say, to kill Him. In so far as we attempt to define Him, there rises up before us — Nothingness.

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„God is in each of us in the measure in which one feels Him and loves Him.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: And He is the God of the humble, for in the words of the Apostle, God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty (I Cor. i. 27) And God is in each of us in the measure in which one feels Him and loves Him. "If of two men," says Kierkegaard, "one prays to the true God without sincerity of heart, and the other prays to the an idol with all the passion of an infinite yearning, it is the first who really prays to the idol, while the second really prays to God." It would be better to say that the true God is He to whom man truly prays and whom man truly desires. And there may even be a truer revelation in superstition itself than in theology.

„It would be better to say that the true God is He to whom man truly prays and whom man truly desires. And there may even be a truer revelation in superstition itself than in theology.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: And He is the God of the humble, for in the words of the Apostle, God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty (I Cor. i. 27) And God is in each of us in the measure in which one feels Him and loves Him. "If of two men," says Kierkegaard, "one prays to the true God without sincerity of heart, and the other prays to the an idol with all the passion of an infinite yearning, it is the first who really prays to the idol, while the second really prays to God." It would be better to say that the true God is He to whom man truly prays and whom man truly desires. And there may even be a truer revelation in superstition itself than in theology.

„What difference does it make whether it be a book that is infallible — the Bible, or a society of men — the Church, or a single man? Does it make any essential change in the rational difficulty?“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: And why be scandalized by the infallibility of a man, of the Pope? What difference does it make whether it be a book that is infallible — the Bible, or a society of men — the Church, or a single man? Does it make any essential change in the rational difficulty? And since the infallibility of a book or of a society of men is not more rational than that of a single man, this supreme offense to the eyes of reason has to be postulated.

„In a word, be it with reason or without reason or against reason, I am resolved not to die. And if, when at last I die out, I die altogether, then I shall not have died out of myself — that is, I shall not have yielded myself to death, but my human destiny shall have killed me. Unless I come to lose my head, or rather my heart, I will not abdicate from life — life will be wrested from me.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: I will not say that the more or less poetical and unphilosophical doctrines that I am about to set forth are those which make me live; but I will venture to say that it is my longing to live and to live for ever that inspires these doctrines within me. And if by means of them I succeed in strengthening and sustaining this same longing in another, perhaps when it is all but dead, then I shall have performed a man's work, and above all, I shall have lived. In a word, be it with reason or without reason or against reason, I am resolved not to die. And if, when at last I die out, I die altogether, then I shall not have died out of myself — that is, I shall not have yielded myself to death, but my human destiny shall have killed me. Unless I come to lose my head, or rather my heart, I will not abdicate from life — life will be wrested from me.

„Act so that in your own judgment and in the judgment of others you may merit eternity, act so that you may become irreplaceable, act so that you may not merit death.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: And what is its moral proof? We may formulate it thus: Act so that in your own judgment and in the judgment of others you may merit eternity, act so that you may become irreplaceable, act so that you may not merit death. Or perhaps thus: Act as if you were to die tomorrow, but to die in order to survive and be eternalized. The end of morality is to give personal, human finality to the Universe; to discover the finality that belongs to it — if indeed it has any finality — and to discover it by acting.

„To all this, someone is sure to object that life ought to subject itself to reason, to which we will reply that nobody ought to do what he is unable to do, and life cannot subject itself to reason.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: To all this, someone is sure to object that life ought to subject itself to reason, to which we will reply that nobody ought to do what he is unable to do, and life cannot subject itself to reason. "Ought, therefore can," some Kantian will retort. To which we shall demur: "Cannot, therefore ought not." And life cannot submit itself to reason, because the end of life is living and not understanding.

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„We must needs believe in the other life, in the eternal life beyond the grave.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: We must needs believe in the other life, in the eternal life beyond the grave.... And we must needs believe in that other life, perhaps, in order that we may deserve it, in order that we may obtain it, for it may be that he neither deserves it nor will obtain it who does not passionately desire it above reason and, if need be, against reason.

„Our life is a hope which is continually converting itself into memory and memory in its turn begets hope.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: Our life is a hope which is continually converting itself into memory and memory in its turn begets hope. Give us leave to live! The eternity that is like an eternal present, without memory and without hope, is death. Thus do ideas exist in the God-Idea, but not thus do men live in the living God, in the God-Man.

„Knowledge is employed in the service of the necessity of life and primarily in the service of the instinct of personal preservation.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: Knowledge is employed in the service of the necessity of life and primarily in the service of the instinct of personal preservation. The necessity and this instinct have created in man the organs of knowledge and given them such capacity as they possess. Man sees, hears, touches, tastes and smells that which it is necessary for him to see, hear, touch, taste and smell in order to preserve his life. The decay or loss of any of these senses increases the risks with which his life is environed, and if it increases them less in the state of society in which we are actually living, the reason is that some see, hear, touch, taste and smell for others. A blind man, by himself and without a guide, could not live long. Society is an additional sense; it is the true common sense.

„Love personalizes all that it loves. Only by personalizing it can we fall in love with an idea.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: Consciousness (conscientia) is participated knowledge, is co-feeling, and co-feeling is com-passion. Love personalizes all that it loves. Only by personalizing it can we fall in love with an idea. And when love is so great and so vital, so strong and so overflowing, that it loves everything, then it personalizes everything and discovers that the total All, that the Universe, is also a person possessing a Consciousness, a Consciousness which in its turn suffers, pities, and loves, and therefore is consciousness. And this Consciousness of the Universe, which a love, personalizing all that it loves, discovers, is what we call God.

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„The ascetic morality is a negative morality.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: The ascetic morality is a negative morality. And strictly, what is important for a man is not to die, whether he sins or not.

„Yes, I know well that others before me have felt what I feel and express; that many others feel it today, although they keep silence about it.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: Yes, I know well that others before me have felt what I feel and express; that many others feel it today, although they keep silence about it.... And I do not keep silence about it because it is for many the thing which must not be spoken, the abomination of abominations — infandum — and I believe that it is necessary now and again to speak the thing which must not be spoken.... Even if it should lead only to irritating the devotees of progress, those who believe that truth is consolation, it would lead to not a little. To irritating them and making them say: "Poor fellow! if he would only use his intelligence to better purpose!... Someone perhaps will add that I do not know what I say, to which I shall reply that perhaps he may be right — and being right is such a little thing! — but that I feel what I say and I know what I feel and that suffices me. And that it is better to be lacking in reason than to have too much of it.

„I neither want to die nor do I want to want to die; I want to live for ever and ever and ever.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: Glorious is the risk! — καλος γαρ ο κινδυνος, glorious is the risk that we are able to run of our souls never dying … Faced with this risk, I am presented with arguments designed to eliminate it, arguments demonstrating the absurdity of the belief in the immortality of the soul; but these arguments fail to make any impression on me, for they are reasons and nothing more than reasons, and it is not with reasons that the heart is appeased. I do not want to die — no; I neither want to die nor do I want to want to die; I want to live for ever and ever and ever. I want this "I" to live — this poor "I" that I am and that I feel myself to be here and now, and therefore the problem of the duration of my soul, of my own soul, tortures me.

„Whenever a man talks he lies, and so far as he talks to himself — that is to say, so far as he thinks, knowing that he thinks — he lies to himself.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno
Context: Whenever a man talks he lies, and so far as he talks to himself — that is to say, so far as he thinks, knowing that he thinks — he lies to himself. The only truth in human life is that which is physiological. Speech — this thing that they call a social product — was made for lying. Niebla [Mist] (1914)

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