Henry Miller Quotes

Most popular Henry Miller Quotes

The world itself is pregnant with failure.


Chaos is the score upon which reality is written.


The gulf between knowledge and truth is infinite.
— Henry Miller
Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes.
— Henry Miller
Art teaches nothing except the significance of life.
— Henry Miller


Nobody sees with his eyes alone; we see with our souls.


There are no perfect human beings, and there never will be.
— Henry Miller


The history of the world is the history of a privileged few.
— Henry Miller


If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having.

inner peace possessions

The real leader has no need to lead—he is content to point the way.


One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.
— Henry Miller


Every man with a bellyful of the classics is an enemy to the human race.


Whatever I do is done out of sheer joy: I drop my fruits like a ripe tree.

why I write

Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.


In expanding the field of knowledge we but increase the horizon of ignorance.
— Henry Miller


In expanding the field of knowledge, we but increase the horizon of ignorance.

knowledge knowledge and ignorance

There's nothing wrong with the world. What's wrong is our way of looking at it.
— Henry Miller
Political leaders are never leaders. For leaders we have to look to the Awakeners!


Every moment is a golden one for those who have the vision to recognize it as such.
— Henry Miller
Sin, guilt, neurosis—they are one and the same, the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

knowledge neurotics sin guilt

It is true I swim in a perpetual sea of sex but the actual excursions are fairly limited.


I don't think we should read for instruction but to give our souls a chance to luxuriate.


The history of the world is the history of a privileged few.  Even in its grandeur it stinks.


The capital of the new planet—the one, I mean, which will kill itself off—is of course Detroit.
All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.


The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough of is love.
— Henry Miller
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
— Henry Miller

how to live life

The purpose of discipline is to promote freedom. But freedom leads to infinity and infinity is terrifying.
— Henry Miller
The legal system is often a mystery, and we, its priests, preside over rituals baffling to everyday citizens.
— Henry Miller


The neurotic is the flounder that lies on the bed of the river, securely settled in the mud, waiting to be speared.


Whatever there be of progress in life comes not through adaptation but through daring, through obeying the blind urge.


Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything Godlike about God it is that. He dared to imagine everything.
— Henry Miller


The world is not to be put in order, the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.
— Henry Miller
Imagination is the voice of the daring.  If there is anything Godlike about God it is that.  He dared to imagine everything.


The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnified world in itself.


The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
— Henry Miller
The struggle is to synchronize the potential being with the actual being, to make a fruitful liaison between the man of yesterday and the man of tomorrow.

potential struggle

A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation. Lend and borrow to the maximum—of both books and money.


In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest.
— Henry Miller
Example moves the world more than doctrine.  The great exemplars are the poets of action, and it makes little difference whether they be forces for good or forces for evil.


No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which any one can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance.
— Henry Miller
Charleston is a beautiful memory, a corpse whose lower limbs have been resuscitated.  Savannah is a living tomb about which there still clings a sensuous aura as in old Corinth.
Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
— Henry Miller

egotism the self spiritual

One has to be a lowbrow, a bit of a murderer, to be a politician, ready and willing to see people sacrificed, slaughtered, for the sake of an idea, whether a good one or a bad one.  I mean, those are the ones who flourish.
— Henry Miller


The great joy of the artist is to become aware of a higher order of things, to recognize by the compulsive and spontaneous manipulation of his own impulses the resemblance between human creation and what is called "divine" creation.


The artist is the opposite of the politically minded individual, the opposite of the reformer, the opposite of the idealist. The artist does not tinker with the universe, he recreates it out of his own experience and understanding of life.
— Henry Miller


When our very lives are threatened we begin to live.  Even the psychic invalid throws away his crutches in such moments.  For him the greatest joy is to realize that there is something more important than himself.  All his life he has turned on the spit of his own roasted ego.  He made the fire with his own hands.  He drips in his own juices.