47 Remarkable Albert Schweitzer Quotes

47 Remarkable Albert Schweitzer Quotes

by / Comments Off / 104 View / Jan 2, 2015

Albert Schweitzer was a philosopher, doctor, and missionary from Germany. Even though he was German he considered himself to be French, and wrote mainly in the language. He is most famous for his interpretation of Jesus Christ’s life. He was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his philosophical work “Reverence for Life”. He died on September 4, 1965 at the age of 90.

“Affirmation of the world, which means affirmation of the will-to-live that manifests itself around me, is only possible if I devote myself to other life.”

“An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight. . . The truly wise person is colorblind.”

“Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy.”

“Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it.”

“Awakening of Western thought will not be complete until that thought steps outside itself and comes to an understanding with the search for a world-view as this manifests itself in the
thought of mankind as a whole. ”

“Faith which refuses to face indisputable facts is but little faith. Truth is always gain, however hard it is to accommodate ourselves to it. To linger in any kind of untruth proves to be a
departure from the straight way of faith.”

“Happiness? That’s nothing more than a good health and a poor memory.”

“Humanitarianism consists in never sacrificing a human being to a purpose.”

“I am life which wants to live admidst of lives that want to live.”

“I used to suffer particularly because the poor animals must endure so much pain and want. The sight of an old, limping horse being dragged along by one man while another man struck him with
a stick he was being driven to the Colmar slaughterhouse — haunted me for weeks.”

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the
inner spirit.”

“In no other fire than that of the mysticism of reverence for life can the broken sword of idealism be forged anew.”

“It is good to maintain and further life — it is bad to damage and destroy life. And this ethic, profound and universal, has the significance of a religion. It is religion.”

“It is the fate of every truth to be an object of ridicule when it is first acclaimed.”

“Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on
around me. It is an uncomfortable doctrine which the true ethics whisper into my ear. You are happy, they say; therefore you are called upon to give much.”

“Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.”

“Most men are scantily nourished on a modicum of happiness and a number of empty thoughts which life lays on their plates. They are kept in the road of life through stern necessity by
elemental duties which they cannot avoid.”

“Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf.”

“Not less strong than the will to truth must be the will to sincerity. Only an age, which can show the courage of sincerity, can possess truth, which works as a spiritual force within it.”

“Not one of us knows what effect his life produces, and what he gives to others; that is hidden from us and must remain so, though we are often allowed to see some little fraction of it, so
that we may not lose courage.”

“Only when an ideal of peace is born in the minds of the peoples will the institutions set up to maintain this peace effectively fulfill the function expected of them.”

“Profound love demands a deep conception and out of this develops reverence for the mystery of life. It brings us close to all beings, to the poorest and smallest as well as all others.”

“Reverence for life, veneratio vitæ, is the most direct and at the same time the profoundest achievement of my will-to-live.”

“The African is my brother — but he is my younger brother by several centuries.”

“The awareness that we are all human beings together has become lost in war and through politics.”

“The deeper we look into nature, the more we recognize that it is full of life, and the more profoundly we know that all life is a secret and that we are united with all life that is in
nature. Man can no longer live for himself alone. We realize that all life is valuable, and that we are united to all this life.”

“The disastrous feature of our civilization is that it is far more developed materially than spiritually. Its balance is disturbed.”

“The ethic of reverence of life constrains all, in whatever walk of life they may find themselves, to busy themselves intimately with all the human and vital processes which are being played
out around them, and to give themselves as men to the man who needs human help and sympathy. It does not allow the scholar to live for his science alone, even if he is very useful to the
community in so doing. It does not permit the artist to exist only for his art, even if he gives inspiration to many by its means. It refuses to let the business man imagine that he fulfills
all legitimate demands in the course of his business activities.”

“The good conscience is an invention of the devil.”

“The great fault of all ethics hitherto has been that they believed themselves to have to deal only with the relations of man to man. In reality, however, the question is what is his
attitude to the world and all life that comes within his reach.”

“The last fact which knowledge can discover is that the world is a manifestation, and in every way a puzzling manifestation, of the universal will to live.”

“The only way out of today’s misery is for people to become worthy of each other’s trust.”

“The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others.”

“The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the
life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies.”

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”

“Those who thank God much are the truly wealthy. So our inner happiness depends not on what we experience but on the degree of our gratitude to God, whatever the experience.”

“To the question whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I answer that my knowledge is pessimistic, but my willing and hoping are optimistic.”

“True philosophy must start from the most immediate and comprehensive fact of consciousness: “I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live.”

“Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now—always.”

“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.”

“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”

“We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.”

“We cannot abdicate our conscience to an organization, nor to a government. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ Most certainly I am! I cannot escape my responsibility by saying the State will do all
that is necessary. It is a tragedy that nowadays so many think and feel otherwise.”

“We cannot understand what happens in the universe. What is glorious in it is united with what is full of horror. What is full of meaning is united to what is senseless. The spirit of the
universe is at once creative and destructive — it creates while it destroys and destroys while it creates, and therefore it remains to us a riddle. And we must inevitably resign ourselves to
this.”

“What has been presented as Christianity during these nineteen centuries is only a beginning, full of mistakes, not full blown Christianity springing from the spirit of Jesus.”

“What the activity of this disposition of ours means in the evolution of the world, we do not know. Nor can we regulate this activity from outside; we must leave entirely to each individual
its shaping and its extension. From every point of view, then, world- and life-affirmation and ethics are non-rational, and we must have the courage to admit it.”

“World-view is a product of life-view, not vice versa.”