The obscure only exists that it may cease to exist. In it lies the opportunity of all victory and all progress. Whether it call it self fatality, death, night, or matter, it is the pedestal of life, of light, of liberty and the spirit. For it represents resistance--that is to say, the fulcrum of all activity, the occasion for its development and its triumph.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel obscurity

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Thought is a kind of opium; it can intoxicate us, while still broad awake; it can make transparent the mountains and everything th at exists.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel thinking thoughtful

Mozart has the classic purity of light and the blue ocean; Beethoven the romantic grandeur which belongs to the storms of air and sea, and while the soul of Mozart seems to dwell on the ethereal peaks of Olympus, that of Beethoven climbs shuddering the storm-beaten sides of a Sinai. Blessed be they both! Each represents a moment of the ideal life, each does us good. Our love is due to both.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel music musicians

Blessed be childhood, which brings down something of heaven into the midst of our rough earthliness.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel children and childhood defined

Cleverness is serviceable for everything, sufficient for nothing.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel intelligence

Our true history is scarcely ever deciphered by others. The chief part of the drama is a monologue, or rather an intimate debate b etween God, our conscience, and ourselves. Tears, griefs, depressions, disappointments, irritations, good and evil thoughts, decisions, uncertainties, deliberations--all these belong to our secret, and are almost all incommunicable and intransmissible, even when we try to speak of them, and even when we write them down.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel secrets