Quotes About The Human Condition

Most popular the human condition quotes

The world of Homo sapiens is, indeed, a fantasyland, for we seek to control organizations, peoples, economies, and nature with minds that can't control their own thoughts and emotions for thirty seconds.
We live in a domain of triviality that we have created.
A little alarm now and then keeps life from stagnation.
How can you expect a man who's warm to understand one who's cold?

understanding others

The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately defeat him.
He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool.


We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are— that is the fact.
No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence.


We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.


A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.

life self-determination

The ordinary man looking at a mountain is like an illiterate person confronted with a Greek manuscript.
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
We imagine that we want to escape our selfish and commonplace existence, but we cling desperately to our chains.
The world is made of people who never quite get into the first team and who just miss the prizes at the flower show.


If the whole human race lay in one grave, the epitaph on its headstone might well be: "It seemed a good idea at the time."


The human soul is hospitable, and will entertain conflicting sentiments and contradictory opinions with much impartiality.
Men resemble great deserted palaces: the owner occupies only a few rooms and has closed off wings where he never ventures.

know yourself mankind

To paraphrase J. B. S. Haldane: Our situation may not only be stranger than we suppose; it may be stranger than we can suppose.
There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.


There's no guru here who can explain the human mystery to us, nobody who can say that this will be this way and that we'll be okay.
The great problem facing modern man is that the means by which we live (Help him God) have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live.


The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line.


People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.
Human relations just are not fixed in their orbits like the planets—they're more like galaxies, changing all the time, exploding into light for years, then dying away.


The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.

civil rights movement

We human beings have a complex relationship with the world in which we live, precisely because of our dual condition of being children of the earth and children of God.


We seem bound forever between things too huge and too small to grasp, between things too obvious and too obscure to be noticed, between things too good and too evil to understand.
Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and trouble is to school an intelligence and make it a soul, a place where the heart must feel and suffer in a thousand diverse ways?
From time to time there appear on the face of the earth men of rare and consummate excellence, who dazzle us by their virtue, and whose outstanding qualities shed a stupendous light.

example excellence

We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.

brotherhood of man

We play out our days as we play out cards, taking them as they come, not knowing what they will be, hoping for a lucky card and sometimes getting one, often getting just the wrong one.


Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in the human condition.

art writing

There is a determined though unseen bravery that defends itself foot by foot in the darkness against the fatal invasions of necessity and dishonesty. Noble and mysterious triumphs that no eye sees, and no fame rewards, and no flourish of triumph salutes. Life, misfortunes, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are battlefields that have their heroes; obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes.
One realizes that even in harmonious families there is this double life: the group life, which is the one we can observe in our neighbour's household, and, underneath, another – secret and passionate and intense – which is the real life that stamps the faces and gives character to the voices of our friends. Always in his mind each member of these social units is escaping, running away, trying to break the net which circumstances and his own affections have woven about him. One realizes that human relationships are the tragic necessity of human life; that they can never be wholly satisfactory, that every ego is half the time greedily seeking them, and half the time pulling away from them. In those simple relationships of loving husband and wife, affectionate sisters, children and grandmother, there are innumerable shades of sweetness and anguish which make up the pattern of our lives day by day.

family relationships the self