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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.

Citations Miguel de Unamuno

„I — the I that thinks, wills and feels — am immediately my living body with the states of consciousness which it sustains. It is my living body that thinks, wills and feels.“

— Miguel de Unamuno
Context: In books of psychology written from the spiritualist point of view, it is customary to begin the discussion of the existence of the soul as a simple substance, separable from the body, after this style: There is in me a principle which thinks, wills and feels... Now this implies a begging of the question. For it is far from being an immediate truth that there is in me such a principle; the immediate truth is that I think, will and feel. And I — the I that thinks, wills and feels — am immediately my living body with the states of consciousness which it sustains. It is my living body that thinks, wills and feels.

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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.

„There is no tyranny in the world more hateful than that of ideas.“

— Miguel de Unamuno
Context: There is no tyranny in the world more hateful than that of ideas. Ideas bring ideophobia, and the consequence is that people begin to persecute their neighbors in the name of ideas. I loathe and detest all labels, and the only label that I could now tolerate would be that of ideoclast or idea breaker. Recalled by Walter Starkie from a conversation he had with Unamuno, as related in the Epilogue of [http://books.google.com/books?id=u8DG-eCTtM4C&lpg=PR1&dq=Unamuno&pg=PA240#v=onepage&q=%22There%20is%20no%20tyranny%20in%20the%20world%20more%20hateful%20than%20that%20of%20ideas%22&f=false Unamuno].

„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.

„Faith makes us live by showing us that life, although it is dependent upon reason, has its well spring and source of power elsewhere, in something supernatural and miraculous.“

— Miguel de Unamuno
Context: Faith makes us live by showing us that life, although it is dependent upon reason, has its well spring and source of power elsewhere, in something supernatural and miraculous. Cournot the mathematician, a man of singularly well-balanced and scientifically equipped mind has said that it is this tendency towards the supernatural and miraculous that gives life, and that when it is lacking, all the speculations of reason lead to nothing but affliction of the spirit.... And in truth we wish to live.

„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.

„Act as if you were to die tomorrow, but to die in order to survive and be eternalized.“

— 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.

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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.

„Over all civilizations there hovers the shadow of Ecclesiastes, with his admonition, "How dieth the wise man? — as the fool"“

— Miguel de Unamuno
Context: Over all civilizations there hovers the shadow of Ecclesiastes, with his admonition, "How dieth the wise man? — as the fool" (ii 16)

„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.

„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.

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„And through this despair he reaches the heroic fury of which Giordano Bruno spoke — that intellectual Don Quixote who escaped from the cloister — and became an awakener of sleeping souls (dormitantium animorum excubitor), as the ex-Dominican said of himself — he who wrote: "Heroic love is the property of those superior natures who are called insane (insano) not because they do not know, but because they over-know (soprasanno)."“

— Miguel de Unamuno
Context: Science does not give Don Quixote what he demands of it. "Then let him not make the demand," it will be said, "let him resign himself, let him accept life and truth as they are." But he does not accept them as they are, and he asks for signs, urged thereto by Sancho, who stands by his side. And it is not that Don Quixote does not understand what those understand who talk thus to him, those who succeed in resigning themselves and accepting rational life and rational truth. No, it is that the needs of his heart are greater. Pedantry? Who knows!... And he wishes, unhappy man, to rationalize the irrational and irrationalize the rational. And he sinks into despair of the critical century whose two greatest victims were Nietzsche and Tolstoi. And through this despair he reaches the heroic fury of which Giordano Bruno spoke — that intellectual Don Quixote who escaped from the cloister — and became an awakener of sleeping souls (dormitantium animorum excubitor), as the ex-Dominican said of himself — he who wrote: "Heroic love is the property of those superior natures who are called insane (insano) not because they do not know, but because they over-know (soprasanno)."

„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.

„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)

„May not the absolute and perfect eternal happiness be an eternal hope, which would die if it were realized? Is it possible to be happy without hope? And there is no place for hope once possession has been realized, for hope, desire, is killed by possession.“

— Miguel de Unamuno
Context: May not the absolute and perfect eternal happiness be an eternal hope, which would die if it were realized? Is it possible to be happy without hope? And there is no place for hope once possession has been realized, for hope, desire, is killed by possession. May it not be, I say, that all souls grow without ceasing, some in a greater measure than others, but all having to pass some time through the same degree of growth, whatever that degree may be, and yet without ever arriving at the infinite, at God, to whom they continually approach? Is not eternal happiness an eternal hope, with its eternal nucleus of sorrow in order that happiness shall not be swallowed up in nothingness?

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