Esse est percipi

It is indeed an opinion strangely prevailing amongst men, that houses, mountains, rivers, and in a word all sensible objects have an existence natural or real, distinct from their being perceived by the understanding. But with how great an assurance and acquiescence soever this principle may be entertained in the world; yet whoever shall find in his heart to call […]

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Die Welt ist meine Vorstellung

The world is my idea. This is a truth which holds good for everything that lives and knows, though man alone can bring it into reflective and abstract consciousness. If he really does this, he has attained to philosophical wisdom. It then becomes clear and certain to him that what he knows is not a sun and an earth, but […]

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De omnibus dubitandum

Some years ago I was struck by how many false things I had believed, and by how doubtful was the structure of beliefs that I had based on them. I realized that if I wanted to establish anything in the sciences that was stable and likely to last, I needed – just once in my life – to demolish everything […]

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Know yourself

In both East and West, we may trace a journey which has led humanity down the centuries to meet and engage truth more and more deeply. It is a journey which has unfolded—as it must—within the horizon of personal self-consciousness. The more human beings know reality and the world, the more they know themselves in their uniqueness, with the question […]

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No ideals

We have been told that all paths lead to truth – you have your path as a Hindu and someone else has his path as a Christian and another as a Muslim, and they all meet at the same door – which is, when you look at it, so obviously absurd. Truth has no path, and that is the beauty […]

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Tat Tvam Asi

In studying the Perennial Philosophy we can begin either at the bottom, with practice and morality; or at the top, with a consideration of metaphysical truths; or, finally, in the middle, at the focal point where mind and matter, action and thought have their meeting place in human psychology. The lower gate is that preferred by strictly practical teachers men […]

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The Ego and His Own

I must find myself behind thoughts – namely, as their creator and owner. In the time of spirits thoughts grew till they overtopped my head, whose offspring they yet were; they hovered about me and convulsed me like fever-phantasies – an awful power. The thoughts had become corporeal on their own account, were ghosts, e. g. God, Emperor, Pope, Fatherland, […]

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Escape from Freedom

The spiritual relatedness to the world can assume many forms; the monk in his cell who believes in God and the political prisoner kept in isolation who feels one with his fellow-fighters are not alone morally. The kind of relatedness to the world may be noble or trivial, but even being related to the basest kind of pattern is immensely […]

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Ignorance

The true nature of reality is to be known by a first-hand personal experience through the eye of clear understanding, and not through the report of learned men. The beauty of the moon is enjoyed through one‘s own eyes. Can one appreciate it through the description by others? Neither by yoga, nor by rational philosophy, nor by action, nor by […]

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Indolent Savage

The savage and the civilised man differ so much in the bottom of their hearts and in their inclinations, that what constitutes the supreme happiness of one would reduce the other to despair. The former breathes only peace and liberty; he desires only to live and be free from labour. Civilised man, on the other hand, is always moving, sweating, […]

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The Butterfly Dream

Once upon a time, Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting about happily enjoying himself. He did not know that he was Zhou. Suddenly he awoke, and veritably was Zhou again. He did not know whether he was Zhou, who had dreamed of being a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming that he was Zhou.

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The Power of Words

The power of words is bound up with the images they evoke, and is quite independent of their real significance. Words whose sense is the most ill-defined are sometimes those that possess the most influence. Such, for example, are the terms democracy, equality, liberty, &c., whose meaning is so vague that bulky volumes do not suffice to precisely fix it. […]

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The Way to the Transcendental Ego

Anyone who seriously intends to become a philosopher must once in his life withdraw into himself and attempt, within himself, to overthrow and build anew all the sciences that, up to then, he has been accepting. Philosophy – wisdom – is the philosophizer’s quite personal affair. It must arise as his wisdom, as his self-acquired knowledge tending toward universality, a […]

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Let’s discuss solipsism, shall we?

Solipsism seems like the most crazy idea ever invented, claiming that nobody else exists but a solipsist. Surprisingly, many prominent thinkers and writers professed this extreme subjective idealism. Among the most famous were Berkeley, Descartes, Boehme, Schopenhauer, Stirner, Dostoevsky, Kafka and Wittgenstein. Solipsism has strong ties with the Eastern philosophy (Zen, Advaita Vedanta). Were all these people mentally ill? Is […]

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The internet makes us all solipsistic

Welcome to the Network of Solipsists! With so many self-convinced solipsists and all the controversy around, it is definitely worth discussing the subject of solipsism. This fascinating idea is gaining more and more popularity every day, with avowed supporters and opponents of solipsism evenly distributed. But is it at all possible to discuss solipsism? Surely, if one does not believe […]

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Corrupted

The streets were mine, the temple was mine, the people were mine, their clothes and gold and silver were mine, as much as their sparkling eyes, fair skins and ruddy faces. The skies were mine, and so were the sun and moon and stars, and all the World was mine; and I the only spectator and enjoyer of it. I […]

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Encheiridion

Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions. The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those […]

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The Powerlessness of Words

For how could any one communicate by word of mounth that he has seen? And how could that which has been seen be identical to a listener if he has not seen it? He who speaks, speaks, but does not speak a color or a thing. When, therefore, one has not a thing in the mind, how will he get […]

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Before the Law

“What do you still want to know now?” asks the gatekeeper. “You are insatiable.” “Everyone strives after the law,” says the man, “so how is it that in these many years no one except me has requested entry?” The gatekeeper sees that the man is already dying and, in order to reach his diminishing sense of hearing, he shouts at […]

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