Deception Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Deception. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.
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Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
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Politeness is deception in pretty packaging.
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Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
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I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.
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S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
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It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.
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Leo Tolstoy (The Kreutzer Sonata)
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There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.
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Arthur Conan Doyle (The Boscombe Valley Mystery - a Sherlock Holmes Short Story)
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Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.
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Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
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Just because something isn't a lie does not mean that it isn't deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.
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Criss Jami
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If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.
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Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
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There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.
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SΓΈren Kierkegaard
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All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
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Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
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Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.
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NiccolΓ² Machiavelli (The Prince)
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You're like a song that I heard when I was a little kid but forgot I knew until I heard it again.
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Maggie Stiefvater (Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1))
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The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.
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John Burroughs
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Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.
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AndrΓ© Malraux
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Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.
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Jane Austen (Emma)
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La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas." ("The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.")
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Charles Baudelaire (Paris Spleen)
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History is a set of lies agreed upon.
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NapolΓ©on Bonaparte
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Oh, what a tangled web we weave...when first we practice to deceive.
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Walter Scott (Marmion)
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The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
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Leonardo da Vinci
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Sooner or later we've all got to let go of our past.
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Dan Brown (Deception Point)
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The best lies about me are the ones I told.
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Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
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To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible deception; it is an eternal loss for which there is no reparation, either in time or in eternity.
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SΓΈren Kierkegaard
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Over time, any deception destroys intimacy, and without intimacy couples cannot have true and lasting love.
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Bonnie Eaker Weil (Financial Infidelity: Seven Steps to Conquering the #1 Relationship Wrecker)
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A lie that is half-truth is the darkest of all lies.
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Alfred Tennyson
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I’ll give you the world,” he said against my mouth. β€œThe moon. The fucking stars. Anything you ask, it’s yours. I’m yours.
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception (Spanish Love Deception, #1))
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The visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others.
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Friedrich Nietzsche
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The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.
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AndrΓ© Gide
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When one with honeyed words but evil mind Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.
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Euripides (Orestes)
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Reality denied comes back to haunt.
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Philip K. Dick (Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said)
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The gift of words is the gift of deception and illusion.
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Frank Herbert (Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3))
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Love is a verb, not a noun. It is active. Love is not just feelings of passion and romance. It is behavior. If a man lies to you, he is behaving badly and unlovingly toward you. He is disrespecting you and your relationship. The words β€œI love you” are not enough to make up for that. Don’t kid yourself that they are.
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Susan Forward (When Your Lover Is a Liar: Healing the Wounds of Deception and Betrayal)
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Because it was all you were willing to give me. And I’d rather have you hating me than not have you at all.
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
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It can take years to mold a dream. It takes only a fraction of a second for it to be shattered.
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Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
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A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
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Saul Bellow (To Jerusalem and Back)
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Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
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Oscar Wilde
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In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People.
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Eugene V. Debs
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People go on marrying because they can't resist natural forces, although many of them may know perfectly well that they are possibly buying a month's pleasure with a life's discomfort.
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Thomas Hardy (Jude the Obscure)
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I am convinced that human life is filled with many pure, happy, serene examples of insincerity, truly splendid of their kind-of people deceiving one another without (strangely enough) any wounds being inflicted, of people who seem unaware even that they are deceiving one another.
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Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
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Beauty was deceptive. I would rather wear my pain, my ugliness. I was torn and stitched. I was a strip mine, and they would just have to look. I hoped I made them sick. I hoped they saw me in their dreams.
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Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
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A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths.
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Alexander Pushkin
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We’re a different sort of thief here, Lamora. Deception and misdirection are our tools. We don’t believe in hard work when a false face and a good line of bullshit can do so much more.
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Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1))
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When I finally kiss you, there won’t be any doubt in your mind that it is real.
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
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Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.
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Rudyard Kipling (The Collected Works)
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Someone who smiles too much with you can sometime frown too much with you at your back.
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Michael Bassey Johnson
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If someone can prove me wrong and show me my mistake in any thought or action, I shall gladly change. I seek the truth, which never harmed anyone: the harm is to persist in one's own self-deception and ignorance.
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Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
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People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception.
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James Baldwin (Giovanni's Room)
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You feel complete in my arms. You feel like my home.
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception (Spanish Love Deception, #1))
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I will find you. In the farthest corner, I will find you.
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Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
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Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.
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Khaled Hosseini
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When your lover is a liar, you and he have a lot in common, you're both lying to you!
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Susan Forward (When Your Lover Is a Liar: Healing the Wounds of Deception and Betrayal)
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Love brings to light a lover's noble and hidden qualities-his rare and exceptional traits: it is thus liable to be deceptive of his normal qualities.
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Friedrich Nietzsche
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Solid character will reflect itself in consistent behavior, while poor character will seek to hide behind deceptive words and actions.
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Myles Munroe (Waiting and Dating: A Sensible Guide to a Fulfilling Love Relationship)
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The pleasure of despair. But then, it is in despair that we find the most acute pleasure, especially when we are aware of the hopelessness of the situation... ...everything is a mess in which it is impossible to tell what's what, but that despite this impossibility and deception it still hurts you, and the less you can understand, the more it hurts.
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Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
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Few things are more deceptive than memories.
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Carlos Ruiz ZafΓ³n (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
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I wonder if anyone but me realizes what goes on in that head back of your deceptively sweet face.
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Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
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Never try to do anything that is outside of who you are. A forced smile is a sign of what feels wrong in your heart, so recognize it when it happens. Living a lie will reduce you to one.
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Ashly Lorenzana
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He was still too young to know that the heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past. But when he stood at the railing of the ship... only then did he understand to what extent he had been an easy vicitim to the charitible deceptions of nostalgia.
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Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez
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The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency -- the belief that the here and now is all there is.
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Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind)
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You are enough to drive a saint to madness or a king to his knees.
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Grace Willows (To Kiss a King)
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And thus I clothe my naked villainy With odd old ends stol'n out of holy writ; And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.
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William Shakespeare (Richard III)
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What disturbs and depresses young people is the hunt for happiness on the firm assumption that it must be met with in life. From this arises constantly deluded hope and so also dissatisfaction. Deceptive images of a vague happiness hover before us in our dreams, and we search in vain for their original. Much would have been gained if, through timely advice and instruction, young people could have had eradicated from their minds the erroneous notion that the world has a great deal to offer them.
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Arthur Schopenhauer
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Sorry, am I being rude?" she asks. "I'm used to saying whatever is on my mind. Mom used to say that politeness is deception in pretty packaging
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Veronica Roth
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If you get any more perfect, I’m going to believe you were made just for me.
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
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Madame Michel has the elegance of the hedgehog: on the outside she is covered in quills, a real fortress, but my gut feeling is that on the inside, she has the same simple refinement as the hedgehog: a deceptively indolent little creature, fiercely solitary--and terrible elegant.
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Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
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A 'no' does not hide anything, but a 'yes' very easily becomes a deception.
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SΓΈren Kierkegaard
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And we all know love is a glass which makes even a monster appear fascinating.
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Alberto Moravia (The Woman of Rome)
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You seem to forget that I am married, and the one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
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I'd sacrificed true love and a popped cherry to the god of deception and hormones." - Zoey Redbird (Ch 24)
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P.C. Cast (Chosen (House of Night, #3))
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Do actions agree with words? There's your measure of reliability. Never confine yourself to the words.
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Frank Herbert (Chapterhouse: Dune (Dune #6))
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There is something inherently deceptive about reality.
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Alexandar Tomov
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Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.
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Fyodor Dostoevsky
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The monster likes to talk; he jumps into your head and opens your mouth, making it spout your deepest darkest deceptions. Making you say all the things you'd rather not say, at least not in mixed company." (Ellen Hopkins)
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Ellen Hopkins (Crank (Crank, #1))
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What destroys us most effectively is not a malign fate but our own capacity for self-deception and for degrading our own best self.
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George Eliot
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How is it possible that it feels like you are breaking my heart, and I haven’t even had you yet?
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
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To find out if she really loved me, I hooked her up to a lie detector. And just as I suspected, my machine was broken.

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Dark Jar Tin Zoo (Love Quotes for the Ages. Specifically Ages 19-91.)
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Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
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Noel Langley (The Wizard of Oz)
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Maybe there was no one way to define it. Maybe there were as many shades of love as the blues of the sky.
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Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
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People trust their eyes above all else - but most people see what they wish to see, or what they believe they should see; not what is really there
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ZoΓ« Marriott (Shadows on the Moon (The Moonlit Lands, #1))
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...I don't think it's any more deceptive than wearing four-inch come-fuck-me pumps when one has no intention of ever fucking anybody.
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Augusten Burroughs (Possible Side Effects)
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You can fool yourself, you know. You'd think it's impossible, but it turns out it's the easiest thing of all.
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Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
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A man when he is making up to anybody can be cordial and gallant and full of little attentions and altogether charming. But when a man is really in love he can't help looking like a sheep.
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Agatha Christie (The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6))
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The fact is that we have no way of knowing if the person who we think we are is at the core of our being. Are you a decent girl with the potential to someday become an evil monster, or are you an evil monster that thinks it's a decent girl?" "Wouldn't I know which one I was?" "Good God, no. The lies we tell other people are nothing to the lies we tell ourselves.
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Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
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Here is another secret: I have no business being fascinated by you.
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Maggie Stiefvater (Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1))
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I don’t think I’d be able to deny you a single thing if you asked, Catalina.
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception (Spanish Love Deception, #1))
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I see only reminders that nothing lasts forever, not even greatness.” β€œSome things last.” I faced him. β€œReally? And just what would that be?” β€œThe things that matter.
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Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
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If it is necessary sometimes to lie to others, it is always despicable to lie to oneself.
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W. Somerset Maugham (The Painted Veil)
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Some things just couldn't be protectd from storms. Some things simply needed to be broken off...Once old thing were broken off, amazingly beautiful thing could grow in their place.
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Denise Hildreth Jones
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People are secretive when they have secrets.
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Deb Caletti (The Secret Life of Prince Charming)
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I do know that the slickest way to lie is to tell the right amount of truth--then shut up.
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Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
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He grinned. β€œBusted. I’m a monster. Jev is my deceptively harmless β€” and shockingly handsome β€” alter ego.” β€œAnd I’m on top of it,” she announced with witty triumph. β€œIs that a Freudian slip?” His bluntness caught her off guard. A self-conscious blush rose in her face.
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Becca Fitzpatrick (Silence (Hush, Hush, #3))
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the constant shower of the sun's mane erases the footprints on thin ice do not fear deception for the world lies atop deception ~Toushiro Hitsugaya
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Tite Kubo
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It is a self-deception of philosophers and moralists to imagine that they escape decadence by opposing it. That is beyond their will; and, however little they acknowledge it, one later discovers that they were among the most powerful promoters of decadence.
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Friedrich Nietzsche (The Will to Power)
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Thinking is a sacred disease and sight is deceptive.
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Heraclitus (Fragments)
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And I despise your books, I despise wisdom and the blessings of this world. It is all worthless, fleeting, illusory, and deceptive, like a mirage. You may be proud, wise, and fine, but death will wipe you off the face of the earth as though you were no more than mice burrowing under the floor, and your posterity, your history, your immortal geniuses will burn or freeze together with the earthly globe.
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Anton Chekhov
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People often ask me why my style is so simple. It is, in fact, deceptively simple, for no two sentences are alike. It is clarity that I am striving to attain, not simplicity. Of course, some people want literature to be difficult and there are writers who like to make their readers toil and sweat. They hope to be taken more seriously that way. I have always tried to achieve a prose that is easy and conversational. And those who think this is simple should try it for themselves.
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Ruskin Bond (Best Of Ruskin Bond)
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My message to you is this: pretend that you have free will. It's essential that you behave as if your decisions matter, even though you know they don't. The reality isn't important: what's important is your belief, and believing the lie is the only way to avoid a waking coma. Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has.
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Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
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Many things are not as they seem: The worst things in life never are.
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Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
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But you are. You are worth all that trouble. You are worth walking through a fucking fire. Don’t you see that?
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
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Bran was always a deceptive bastard, gentle and mild right up until he ripped your throat out. He had many other fine qualities as well.
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Patricia Briggs (Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1))
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His lies were so exquisite I almost wept.
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Dave Eggers (What Is the What)
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The preachers and lecturers deal with men of straw, as they are men of straw themselves. Why, a free-spoken man, of sound lungs, cannot draw a long breath without causing your rotten institutions to come toppling down by the vacuum he makes. Your church is a baby-house made of blocks, and so of the state. ...The church, the state, the school, the magazine, think they are liberal and free! It is the freedom of a prison-yard.
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Henry David Thoreau (I to Myself: An Annotated Selection from the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau)
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Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.
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Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
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The lies we tell other people are nothing to the lies we tell ourselves.
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Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
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Rise above the deceptions and temptations of the mind. This is your duty. You are born for this only; all other duties are self-created and self-imposed owing to ignorance.
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Sivananda Saraswati
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Being your friend has always been the last thing on my mind.
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
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We all practice self-deception to a degree; no man can handle complete honesty without being cut at each turn. There's not enough room in a man's head for sanity alongside each grief, each worry, each terror that he owns. I’m well used to burying such things in a dark cellar and moving on.
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Mark Lawrence (Prince of Fools (The Red Queen's War, #1))
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When did you get so smart?" He tapped his forehead. "Brain transplant. They put in a whale's. I'm passing all my classes with my eyes closed now, but I just can't get over this craving for krill." He shrugged. "And I feel sorry for the whale that got my brain. Probably swimming around Florida now trying to catch glimpses of girls in bikinis.
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Maggie Stiefvater (Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1))
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The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. β€” In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.
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Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies)
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I used to loathe ambivalence; now I adore it. Ambivalence is my new best friend.
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Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
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It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived.
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RenΓ© Descartes (Meditations on First Philosophy)
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...and with a burning pain in my heart I realized how unnecessary, how petty, and how deceptive all that had hindered us from loving was. I understood that when you love you must either, in your reasonings about that love, start from what is highest, from what is more important than happiness or unhappiness, sin or virtue in their accepted meaning, or you must not reason at all.
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Anton Chekhov (Short Stories by Anton Chekhov: About Truth, Freedom, Happiness, and Love)
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If one can't be trusted in love, one can't be trusted in anything. Some things can't be forgiven.
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Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
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For some, life may be a playground to undermine the brainwaves of others or simply a vainglorious game with an armory of theatrics, illustrating only bleak self-deception, haughty narcissism and dim deficiency in empathy. ("Another empty room")
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Erik Pevernagie
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When you look at the past without God’s eyes, you subject yourself to deception. The past no longer exists and God doesn’t linger there. However, Satan will show you whatever you want to see and believe, so you will be trapped in an emotion that cannot communicate truth, beyond what you want to remember.
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Shannon L. Alder
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The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.
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Chuck Close
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I remember one desolate Sunday night, wondering: Is this how IΒ΄m going to spend the rest of my life? Marrid to someone who is perpetually distracted and somewhat wistful, as though a marvelous party is going on in the next room, which but for me he could be attending?
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Suzanne Finnamore
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He is not that good-looking. He’s just tall,
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
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I believe in my mask-- The man I made up is me I believe in my dance-- And my destiny
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Sam Shepard
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She was a ray of sunshine, a warm summer rain, a bright fire on a cold winter’s day, and now she could be dead because she had tried to save the man she loved.
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Grace Willows
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Do I have your attention?” β€œYou don’t need to do any of that.” He lowered the large black-and-white-colored pages with a brisk motion. β€œYou always have my undivided attention, Catalina.
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
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Until you realize how easy it is for your mind to be manipulated, you remain the puppet of someone else's game.
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Evita Ochel
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I wasn’t pretending, Catalina. Not for a minute. It was all real for me. That’s why it meant so much.
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
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You have to quit confusing a madness with a mission.
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Flannery O'Connor (The Violent Bear It Away)
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I always have time for you.
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
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The truest way to be deceived is to think oneself more knowing than others.
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François de La Rochefoucauld (Maxims)
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You are not on your own anymore. It’s you and me now. We are in this together, and we’ve got this.
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
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Because our hearts are unprepared for truth, we cling to the deception as a shipwreck victim on a storm-tossed sea will grab at anything that floats. But the splintered rubble of our broken trust - those temporary buoys of our shattered dreams - betray us, gouging rough gashes into our souls, drawing our blood and leaving us to sink.
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Penelope J. Stokes
β€œ
Because when I finally take those lips in mine, it will be the furthest thing from pretending. I will not be showing you what it would be like if you were mine. I’ll show you what it is. And I sure as hell won’t be showing how good I could make you feel if you called me yours. You’ll already know that I am.
”
”
Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
β€œ
You just sit there and tolerate it, the same way everything in this country is tolerated. Every deception, every lie, every bullet in the brains. Just as you are already tolerating bullets in the brains that will be implemented only after the bullet is put in your brains.
”
”
Imre KertΓ©sz (Liquidation)
β€œ
Luke', I said, and immediately added, 'My boyfriend.' My supernatural, doomed, gorgeous, killer boyfriend.
”
”
Maggie Stiefvater (Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1))
β€œ
I have never seen battles quite as terrifyingly beautiful as the ones I fight when my mind splinters and races, to swallow me into my own madness, again.
”
”
Nicole Lyons (Hush)
β€œ
That's the last order I'll ever give you Captain. Don't you dare ignore it.
”
”
Eoin Colfer (The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl, #4))
β€œ
Friendship isn't a science mudboy. Just do what you think is right.
”
”
Eoin Colfer (The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl, #4))
β€œ
Once upon a time, there was a man as great as the gods… But even the great can tremble with fear. Even the great can fall
”
”
Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
β€œ
If we take height instead of digging ourselves into a whirlpool of deception or self-sufficiency, we can track down the things we have neglected for so long that can give our lives a rainbow of color and vibrance. ( "The power and the glory" )
”
”
Erik Pevernagie
β€œ
To understand yourself: Is that a discovery or a creation?
”
”
Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon)
β€œ
We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road β€” the one less traveled by β€” offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.
”
”
Rachel Carson (Silent Spring)
β€œ
People appear like angels until you hear them speak. You must not rush to judge people by the colour of their cloaks, but by the content of their words!
”
”
Israelmore Ayivor
β€œ
There's that horrible-beautiful moment, that bitter-sweet impasse where you know that somebody is bullshitting you but they're doing it with such panache and conviction...no, it's because they say exactly what you want to hear, at that point in time.
”
”
Irvine Welsh (Porno (Mark Renton, #3))
β€œ
[T]his readiness to assume the guilt for the threats to our environment is deceptively reassuring: We like to be guilty since, if we are guilty, it all depends on us. We pull the strings of the catastrophe, so we can also save ourselves simply by changing our lives. What is really hard for us (at least in the West) to accept is that we are reduced to the role of a passive observer who sits and watches what our fate will be. To avoid this impotence, we engage in frantic, obsessive activities. We recycle old paper, we buy organic food, we install long-lasting light bulbsβ€”whateverβ€”just so we can be sure that we are doing something. We make our individual contribution like the soccer fan who supports his team in front of a TV screen at home, shouting and jumping from his seat, in the belief that this will somehow influence the game's outcome.
”
”
Slavoj Ε½iΕΎek
β€œ
Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what every man wishes, that he also believes to be true.
”
”
Demosthenes
β€œ
I often find that people confuse inner peace with some sense of insensibility whenever something goes wrong. In such cases inner peace is a permit for destruction: The unyielding optimist will pretend that the forest is not burning either because he is too lazy or too afraid to go and put the fire out.
”
”
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
β€œ
Is magic not enough to live for?" Widget asks. "Magic," the man in the grey suit repeats, turning the word into a laugh. "This is not magic. This is the way the world is, only very few people take the time to stop and note it. Look around you," he says, waving a hand at the surrounding tables. "Not a one of them even has an inkling of the things that are possible in this world, and what's worse is that none of them would listen if you attempted to enlighten them. They want to believe that magic is nothing but clever deception, because to think it real would keep them up at night, afraid of their own existence." "But some people can be enlightened," Widget says.
”
”
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
β€œ
For I amβ€”or I wasβ€”one of those people who pride themselves in on their willpower, on their ability to make a decision and carry it through. This virtue, like most virtues, is ambiguity itself. People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. Their decisions are not really decisions at allβ€”a real decision makes one humble, one knows that it is at the mercy of more things than can be namedβ€”but elaborate systems of evasion, of illusion, designed to make themselves and the world appear to be what they and the world are not. This is certainly what my decision, made so long ago in Joey’s bed, came to. I had decided to allow no room in the universe for something which shamed and frightened me. I succeeded very wellβ€”by not looking at the universe, by not looking at myself, by remaining, in effect, in constant motion.
”
”
James Baldwin (Giovanni's Room)
β€œ
There is no deception on the part of the woman, where a man bewilders himself: if he deludes his own wits, I can certainly acquit the women. Whatever man allows his mind to dwell upon the imprint his imagination has foolishly taken of women, is fanning the flames within himself -- and, since the woman knows nothing about it, she is not to blame. For if a man incites himself to drown, and will not restrain himself, it is not the water's fault.
”
”
John Gower (Confessio Amantis, Volume 1)
β€œ
They feel life is for the taking, and that everyone deserves happiness no matter what the cost. I must remember these tricks if I ever decide to have my soul surgically removed.
”
”
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
β€œ
I once again fought against the desire to bitch-slap a faerie
”
”
Maggie Stiefvater (Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1))
β€œ
Neither of you is at fault, Aaron. We are not programmed to lose those we love; there’s no right or wrong way to grieve.
”
”
Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
β€œ
There's just no substitute for the truth.
”
”
Dan Brown (Deception Point)
β€œ
You are all that, Catalina. You are light. And passion. Your laughter alone can lift my mood and effortlessly turn my day around in a matter of seconds. Even when it's not aimed at me. You... can light up entire rooms, Catalina. You hold that kind of power. And it's because of all the different things that make you who you are. Each and every one of them, even the ones that drive me crazy in ways you can't imagine. You should never forget that.
”
”
Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception (Spanish Love Deception, #1))
β€œ
Courage consists, however, in agreeing to flee rather than live tranquilly and hypocritically in false refuges. Values, morals, homelands, religions, and these private certitudes that our vanity and our complacency bestow generously on us, have many deceptive sojourns as the world arranges for those who think they are standing straight and at ease, among stable things
”
”
Gilles Deleuze (Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia)
β€œ
What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.
”
”
Frederick Douglass
β€œ
At first I did not love you, Jude; that I own. When I first knew you I merely wanted you to love me. I did not exactly flirt with you; but that inborn craving which undermines some women's morals almost more than unbridled passion--the craving to attract and captivate, regardless of the injury it may do the man--was in me; and when I found I had caught you, I was frightened. And then--I don't know how it was-- I couldn't bear to let you go--possibly to Arabella again--and so I got to love you, Jude. But you see, however fondly it ended, it began in the selfish and cruel wish to make your heart ache for me without letting mine ache for you.
”
”
Thomas Hardy (Jude the Obscure)
β€œ
Nobody tells you what you can and can't do.
”
”
Dan Brown (Deception Point)
β€œ
We feel lonely now and then and long for friends and think we should be quite different and happier if we found a friend of whom we might say: β€œHe is the one.” But you, too, will begin to learn that there is much self-deception behind this longing; if we yielded too much to it, it would lead us from the road.
”
”
Vincent van Gogh (Complete Letters of Vincent Van Gogh (vol. iii of iii))
β€œ
I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. To-day, wrapped in the complacent armour of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one but lightly and are soon forgotten, but then--how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal. A denial heralded the thrice crowing of a cock, and an insincerity was like the kiss of Judas. The adult mind can lie with untroubled conscience and a gay composure, but in those days even a small deception scoured the tongue, lashing one against the stake itself.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
Betrayal and dishonor is usually an inside job. Keep it 'sucka-free', loved one!
”
”
T.F. Hodge (From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with "The Divine Presence")
β€œ
It takes a fearless, unflinching love and deep humility to accept the universe as it is. The most effective way he knew to accomplish that, the most powerful tool at his disposal, was the scientific method, which over time winnows out deception. It can't give you absolute truth because science is a permanent revolution, always subject to revision, but it can give you successive approximations of reality.
”
”
Ann Druyan
β€œ
Don't be afraid, child, The stories are always there.
”
”
Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
β€œ
We all have our different skills. You’re patient to a fault, which sometimes doesn’t work to your advantage. I, on the other hand, have the patience of a wet cat. Only on rare occasions does that come in handy.
”
”
Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
β€œ
When multiple explanations exist, the simplest is usually correct.
”
”
Dan Brown (Deception Point)
β€œ
I didn't want normal until I didn't have it anymore
”
”
Maggie Stiefvater (Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1))
β€œ
Five tacosβ€”Aaron had gotten me five and not four, like I had told him.
”
”
Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
β€œ
The snag about marriage is, it isnΒ΄t worth the divorce.
”
”
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
β€œ
The snow was endless, a heavy blanket on the outdoors; it had a way about it. A beauty. But I knew that, like many things, beauty could be deceiving.
”
”
Cambria Hebert (Whiteout)
β€œ
Maybe there were a hundred different ways to fall in love.
”
”
Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
β€œ
There is more beauty than our eyes can bear, precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm.
”
”
Marilynne Robinson (Gilead (Gilead, #1))
β€œ
MAKING THE LIE MAKE SENSE: When denial (his or ours) can no longer hold and we finally have to admit to ourselves that we’ve been lied to, we search frantically for ways to keep it from disrupting our lives. So we rationalize. We find β€œgood reasons” to justify his lying, just as he almost always accompanies his confessions with β€œgood reasons” for his lies. He tells us he only lied because…. We tell ourselves he only lied because…. We make excuses for him: The lying wasn’t significant/Everybody lies/He’s only human/I have no right to judge him. Allowing the lies to register in our consciousness means having to make room for any number of frightening possibilities: β€’ He’s not the man I thought he was. β€’ The relationship has spun out of control and I don’t know what to do β€’ The relationship may be over. Most women will do almost anything to avoid having to face these truths. Even if we yell and scream at him when we discover that he’s lied to us, once the dust settles, most of us will opt for the comforting territory of rationalization. In fact, many of us are willing to rewire our senses, short-circuit our instincts and intelligence, and accept the seductive comfort of self-delusion.
”
”
Susan Forward (When Your Lover Is a Liar: Healing the Wounds of Deception and Betrayal)
β€œ
Some have given up the expectation of meeting genuine, β€˜heartfelt’ people and prefer to retire to a mute world, where fish, at least, give a feeling of recognition. In the wake of the unbearable sterile daily noise, their life has turned into a fluid universe of silence, dream, and stillness and their compass has come to be a space beyond fear, deception, and betrayal. Fish never disappoint. (Fish for silence)
”
”
Erik Pevernagie
β€œ
The desert and the ocean are realms of desolation on the surface. The desert is a place of bones, where the innards are turned out, to desiccate into dust. The ocean is a place of skin, rich outer membranes hiding thick juicy insides, laden with the soup of being. Inside out and outside in. These are worlds of things that implode or explode, and the only catalyst that determines the direction of eco-movement is the balance of water. Both worlds are deceptive, dangerous. Both, seething with hidden life. The only veil that stands between perception of what is underneath the desolate surface is your courage. Dare to breach the surface and sink.
”
”
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
β€œ
But remember, child, we may all have our own story and destiny, and sometimes our seemingly bad fortune, but we're all part of a greater story too. One that transcends the soil, the wind, time... even our own tears. Greater stories will have their way.
”
”
Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
β€œ
And when I speak, I don't speak as a Democrat. Or a Republican. Nor an American. I speak as a victim of America's so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy - all we've seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don't see any American dream. We've experienced only the American nightmare.
”
”
Malcolm X
β€œ
Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect: like a man, who hath thought of a good repartee when the discourse is changed, or the company parted; or like a physician, who hath found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead.
”
”
Jonathan Swift
β€œ
How shall Integrity face Oppression? What shall Honesty do in the face of Deception, Decency in the face of Insult, Self-Defense before Blows? How shall Desert and Accomplishment meet Despising, Detraction, and Lies? What shall Virtue do to meet Brute Force? There are so many answers and so contradictory; and such differences for those on the one hand who meet questions similar to this once a year or once a decade, and those who face them hourly and daily.
”
”
W.E.B. Du Bois
β€œ
Every one of the world's "great" religions utterly trivializes the immensity and beauty of the cosmos. Books like the Bible and the Koran get almost every significant fact about us and our world wrong. Every scientific domain -- from cosmology to psychology to economics -- has superseded and surpassed the wisdom of Scripture. Everything of value that people get from religion can be had more honestly, without presuming anything on insufficient evidence. The rest is self-deception, set to music.
”
”
Sam Harris
β€œ
She loved him. But he didn’t know how to love. He could talk about love. He could see love and feel love. But he couldn’t give love. He could make love. But he couldn’t make promises. She had desperately wanted his promises. She wanted his heart, knew she couldn’t have it so she took what she could get. Temporary bliss. Passionate highs and lows. Withdrawal and manipulation. He only stayed long enough to take what he needed and keep moving. If he stopped moving, he would self-destruct. If he stopped wandering, he would have to face himself. He chose to stay in the dark where he couldn’t see. If he exposed himself and the sun came out, he’d see his shadow. He was deathly afraid of his shadow. She saw his shadow, loved it, understood it. Saw potential in it. She thought her love would change him. He pushed and he pulled, tested boundaries, thinking she would never leave. He knew he was hurting her, but didn’t know how to share anything but pain. He was only comfortable in chaos. Claiming souls before they could claim him. Her love, her body, she had given to him and he’d taken with such feigned sincerity, absorbing every drop of her. His dark heart concealed. She’d let him enter her spirit and stroke her soul where everything is love and sensation and surrender. Wide open, exposed to deception. It had never occurred to her that this desire was not love. It was blinding the way she wanted him. She couldn’t see what was really happening, only what she wanted to happen. She suspected that he would always seek to minimize the risk of being split open, his secrets revealed. He valued his soul’s privacy far more than he valued the intimacy of sincere connection so he kept his distance at any and all costs. Intimacy would lead to his undoingβ€”in his mind, an irrational and indulgent mistake. When she discovered his indiscretions, she threw love in his face and beat him with it. Somewhere deep down, in her labyrinth, her intricacy, the darkest part of her soul, she relished the mayhem. She felt a sense of privilege for having such passion in her life. He stirred her core. The place she dared not enter. The place she could not stir for herself. But something wasn’t right. His eyes were cold and dark. His energy, unaffected. He laughed at her and her antics, told her she was a mess. Frantic, she looked for love hiding in his eyes, in his face, in his stance, and she found nothing but disdain. And her heart stopped.
”
”
G.G. Renee Hill (The Beautiful Disruption)
β€œ
You are so terribly nimble, so clever. I distrust your cleverness. You make a wonderful pattern, everything is in its place, it looks convincingly clear, too clear. And meanwhile, where are you? Not on the clear surface of your ideas, but you have already sunk deeper, into darker regions, so that one only thinks one has been given all your thoughts, one only imagines you have emptied yourself in that clarity. But there are layers and layers -- you're bottomless, unfathomable. Your clearness is deceptive. You are the thinker who arouses most confusion in me, most doubt, most disturbance.
”
”
AnaΓ―s Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of AnaΓ―s Nin, 1931-1932)
β€œ
So many events and moments that seemed insignificant add up. I remember how for the last ValentineΒ΄s Day, N gave flowers but no card. In restaurants, he looked off into the middle distance while my hand would creep across the table to hold his. He would always let go first. I realize I canΒ΄t remember his last spontaneous gesture of affection.
”
”
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
β€œ
The curse which lies upon marriage is that too often the individuals are joined in their weakness rather than in their strength, each asking from the other instead of finding pleasure in giving. It is even more deceptive to dream of gaining through the child a plenitude, a warmth, a value, which one is unable to create for oneself; the child brings joy only to the woman who is capable of disinterestedly desiring the happiness of another, to one who without being wrapped up in self seeks to transcend her own existence.
”
”
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
β€œ
Among a large class, there seemed to be a dependence upon the government for every conceivable thing. The members of this class had little ambition to create a position for themselves, but wanted the federal officials to create one for them. How many times I wished then and have often wished since, that by some power of magic, I might remove the great bulk of these people into the country districts and plant them upon the soil – upon the solid and never deceptive foundation of Mother Nature, where all nations and races that have ever succeeded have gotten their start – a start that at first may be slow and toilsome, but one that nevertheless is real.
”
”
Booker T. Washington (Up from Slavery)
β€œ
Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience. Often such stories treat a fleeting state of mind as if it were our entire and permanent self.
”
”
Sharon Salzberg (Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation)
β€œ
It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name....That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still.
”
”
Frederick Buechner (Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale)
β€œ
...He kissed me again, farther up my neck, and I pushed him back against the wall. My mind searched for the logical thought, a rational life raft before I drowned in wanting to hiss him. I managed, "We've only met a few days ago. We don't know each other." Luke released me. "How long does it take to know someone?" I didn't know. "A month? A few months?" It sounded stupid to quantify it, especially when I didn't want to believe my own reasoning. But I couldn't just go kissing someone I knew nothing about-- it went against everything I'd ever been told. So why was it so hard to say no? He took my fingers, playing with them in between his own. "I'll wait." He looked so good in the half-light under the trees, his light eyes nearly glowing against his shadowed skin. It was useless. "I don't want you to." I whispered the words, and before I'd even finished saying them, his mouth was on mine and I was melting under his lips.
”
”
Maggie Stiefvater (Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1))
β€œ
We are such inward secret creatures, that inwardness the most amazing thing about us, even more amazing than our reason. But we cannot just walk into the cavern and look around. Most of what we think we know about our minds is pseudo-knowledge. We are all such shocking poseurs, so good at inflating the importance of what we think we value.
”
”
Iris Murdoch (The Sea, the Sea)
β€œ
Oh! that look of love!" continued he, between his teeth, as he bolted himself into his own private room. "And that cursed lie; which showed some terrible shame in the background, to be kept from the light in which I thought she lived perpetually! Oh, Margaret, Margaret! Mother, how you have tortured me! Oh! Margaret, could you not have loved me? I am but uncouth and hard, but I would never have led you into any falsehood for me.
”
”
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
β€œ
Someday I will have revenge. I know in advance to keep this to myself, and everyone will be happier. I do understand that I am expected to forgive N and his girlfriend in a timely fashion, and move on to a life of vegetarian cooking and difficult yoga positions and self-realization, and make this so much easier and more pleasant for all concerned.
”
”
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
β€œ
Don't tell me that. I've lived in hell for the past thousand years. I spent a thousand years wishing I'd never been born. She's the only thing that's made my life worth living and if that's all I get, a few months with her- a few days, it's more than I've ever hoped for. Do you really think God would forgive me for the blood on my hands, even if my soul was free? I'm going to hell no matter what happens. Let me have my pathetic hopeless love while I can. Just- let me pretend it will turn out alright.
”
”
Maggie Stiefvater (Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1))
β€œ
-We need more love, to supersede hatred, -We need more strength, to resist our weaknesses, -We need more inspiration, to lighten up our innermind. -We need more learning, to erase our ignorance, -We need more wisdom, to live longer and happier, -We need more truths, to suppress deceptions, -We need more health, to enjoy our wealth, -We need more peace, to stay in harmony with our brethren -We need more smiles, to brighten up our day, -We need more hero's, and not zero's, -We need more change of ourselves, to change the lives of others, -We need more understanding, to tackle our misunderstanding, -We need more sympathy, not apathy, -We need more forgiveness, not vengeance, -We need more humility to be lifted up, -We need more patience and not undue eagerness, -We need more focus, to avoid distraction, -We need more optimism, not pessimism -We need more justice, not injustice, -We need more facts, not fiction, -We need more education, to curb illiteracy, -We need more skills, not incompetence, -We need more challenges, to make attempts, -We need more talents, to create the extraordinary, -We need more helping hands, not stingy folks, -We need more efforts, not laziness, -We need more jokes, to forget our worries, -We need more spirituality, not mean religion, -We need more freedom, not enslavement, -We need more peacemakers, not revolutionaries...with these, we create an heaven on earth.
”
”
Michael Bassey Johnson
β€œ
He does not want a girl who trifles with Christianity. He wants a woman who is radically given to Christ. He does not want a girl who prays tepid, lukewarm prayers. He wants a woman who lives in defiance of the powers of Hell. He does not want a girl who is self-adorning with the latest fashions and trends. He wants a woman who is adorned with the inner jewelry of Christ-given holiness. He does not want a girl who dishonors and belittles her parents. He wants a woman who honors the authorities God has placed in her life and serves them with charity and gladness. He does not want a girl whose Bible is an accessory to her wardrobe. He wants a woman whose hunger and thirst is to know the Lord, and who diligently feasts upon His Word. He does not want a girl whose tongue is a deceptive weapon of selfishness. He wants a woman whose words drip with the honey of the name of Jesus.
”
”
Leslie Ludy
β€œ
What I feel for you is contempt. But it's nothing, compared to the contempt I feel for myself. I don't love you. I've never loved anyone. I wanted you from the first moment I saw you. I wanted you as one wants a whore - for the same reason and purpose. I spent two years damning myself, because I thought you were above a desire of this kind. You're not. You're as vile an animal as I am. I should loathe my discovering it. I don't. Yesterday, I would have killed anyone who'd tell me that you were capable of doing what I've had you do. Today, I would give my life not to let it be otherwise. Not to have you be anything but the bitch you are. All the greatness that I saw in you - I would not take it in exchange for the obscenity of your talent at an animal's sensation of pleasure. We were two great beings, you and I, proud of our strength, weren't we? Well this is all that's left of us - and I want no self-deception about it.
”
”
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
β€œ
There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one--on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful--as usual--will shout for the war. The pulpit will--warily and cautiously--object--at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, 'It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.' Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers--as earlier--but do not dare say so. And now the whole nation--pulpit and all--will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
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Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories)
β€œ
Where utopianism is advanced through gradualism rather than revolution, albeit steady and persistent as in democratic societies, it can deceive and disarm an unsuspecting population, which is largely content and passive. It is sold as reforming and improving the existing society's imperfections and weaknesses without imperiling its basic nature. Under these conditions, it is mostly ignored, dismissed, or tolerated by much of the citizenry and celebrated by some. Transformation is deemed innocuous, well-intentioned, and perhaps constructive but not a dangerous trespass on fundamental liberties.
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Mark R. Levin (Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America)
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Sometimes you dream strange dreams, impossible and unnatural; you wake up and remember them clearly, and are surprised at a strange fact: you remember first of all that reason did not abandon you during the whole course of your dream; you even remember that you acted extremely cleverly and logically for that whole long, long time when you were surrounded by murderers, when they were being clever with you, concealed their intentions, treated you in a friendly way, though they already had their weapons ready and were only waiting for some sort of sign; you remember how cleverly you finally deceived them, hid from them; then you realize that they know your whole deception by heart and merely do not show you that they know where you are hiding; but you are clever and deceive them againβ€”all that you remember clearly. But why at the same time could your reason be reconciled with such obvious absurdities and impossibilities, with which, among other things, your dream was filled? Before your eyes, one of your murderers turned into a woman, and from a woman into a clever, nasty little dwarfβ€”and all that you allowed at once, as an accomplished fact, almost without the least perplexity, and precisely at the moment when, on the other hand, your reason was strained to the utmost, displaying extraordinary force, cleverness, keenness, logic? Why, also, on awakening from your dream and entering fully into reality, do you feel almost every time, and occasionally with an extraordinary force of impressions, that along with the dream you are leaving behind something you have failed to fathom? You smile at the absurdity of your dream and feel at the same time that the tissue of those absurdities contains some thought, but a thought that is real, something that belongs to your true life, something that exists and has always existed in your heart; it is as if your dream has told you something new, prophetic, awaited; your impression is strong, it is joyful or tormenting, but what it is and what has been told youβ€”all that you can neither comprehend nor recall.
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Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
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Your god, sir, is the World. In my eyes, you, too, if not an infidel, are an idolater. I conceive that you ignorantly worship: in all things you appear to me too superstitious. Sir, your god, your great Bel, your fish-tailed Dagon, rises before me as a demon. You, and such as you, have raised him to a throne, put on him a crown, given him a sceptre. Behold how hideously he governs! See him busied at the work he likes best -- making marriages. He binds the young to the old, the strong to the imbecile. He stretches out the arm of Mezentius and fetters the dead to the living. In his realm there is hatred -- secret hatred: there is disgust -- unspoken disgust: there is treachery -- family treachery: there is vice -- deep, deadly, domestic vice. In his dominions, children grow unloving between parents who have never loved: infants are nursed on deception from their very birth: they are reared in an atmosphere corrupt with lies ... All that surrounds him hastens to decay: all declines and degenerates under his sceptre. Your god is a masked Death.
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Charlotte BrontΓ« (Shirley)
β€œ
Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac. In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting. Political language...is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind. War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. (On the manipulation of language for political ends.) We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.
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George Orwell (Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays)
β€œ
i mean talk about decadence," he declared, "how decadent can a society get? Look at it this way. This country's probably the psychiatric, psychoanalytical capital of the world. Old Freud himself could never've dreamed up a more devoted bunch of disciples than the population of the United States - isn't that right? Our whole damn culture is geared to it; it's the new religion; it's everybody's intellectual and spiritual sugar-tit. And for all that, look what happens when a man really does blow his top. Call the Troopers, get him out of sight quick, hustle him off and lock him up before he wakes the neighbors. Christ's sake, when it comes to any kind of showdown we're still in the Middle Ages. It's as if everybody'd made this tacit agreement to live in a state of total self-deception. The hell with reality! Let's have a whole bunch of cute little winding roads and cute little houses painted white and pink and baby blue; let's all be good consumers and have a lot of Togetherness and bring our children up in a bath of sentimentality -- and if old reality ever does pop out and say Boo we'll all get busy and pretend it never happened.
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Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
β€œ
It's not unfortunate that people aren't genuine; what's unfortunate is that insincere people try to act sincere and in doing so, mislead and deceive the other. I would rather meet a person who is not amiable and who does not feel any burden to act amiable towards me, than to have the misfortune of knowing people who feel like they need to be gracious and compassionate so they will appear to be good people, whilst possessing none of those qualities within themselves! It's the latter that causes the pain in life. And that's another reason why I don't believe in religion; I have observed that religion tells people that it is highly prized a quality to act kind and compassionate and so on and so forth, but some people just do not have these innate qualities within them! We get deceived, and I'd rather not be deceived! I'd rather be able to see a person for who he/she is and not judge a brute for being a brute, but avoid the brute who carries the burden of acting like a wonderful one!
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C. JoyBell C.
β€œ
I was born free, and that I might live in freedom I chose the solitude of the fields; in the trees of the mountains I find society, the clear waters of the brooks are my mirrors, and to the trees and waters I make known my thoughts and charms. I am a fire afar off, a sword laid aside. Those whom I have inspired with love by letting them see me, I have by words undeceived, and if their longings live on hopeβ€”and I have given none to Chrysostom or to any otherβ€”it cannot justly be said that the death of any is my doing, for it was rather his own obstinacy than my cruelty that killed him; and if it be made a charge against me that his wishes were honourable, and that therefore I was bound to yield to them, I answer that when on this very spot where now his grave is made he declared to me his purity of purpose, I told him that mine was to live in perpetual solitude, and that the earth alone should enjoy the fruits of my retirement and the spoils of my beauty; and if, after this open avowal, he chose to persist against hope and steer against the wind, what wonder is it that he should sink in the depths of his infatuation? If I had encouraged him, I should be false; if I had gratified him, I should have acted against my own better resolution and purpose. He was persistent in spite of warning, he despaired without being hated. Bethink you now if it be reasonable that his suffering should be laid to my charge. Let him who has been deceived complain, let him give way to despair whose encouraged hopes have proved vain, let him flatter himself whom I shall entice, let him boast whom I shall receive; but let not him call me cruel or homicide to whom I make no promise, upon whom I practise no deception, whom I neither entice nor receive. It has not been so far the will of Heaven that I should love by fate, and to expect me to love by choice is idle. Let this general declaration serve for each of my suitors on his own account, and let it be understood from this time forth that if anyone dies for me it is not of jealousy or misery he dies, for she who loves no one can give no cause for jealousy to any, and candour is not to be confounded with scorn. Let him who calls me wild beast and basilisk, leave me alone as something noxious and evil; let him who calls me ungrateful, withhold his service; who calls me wayward, seek not my acquaintance; who calls me cruel, pursue me not; for this wild beast, this basilisk, this ungrateful, cruel, wayward being has no kind of desire to seek, serve, know, or follow them. If Chrysostom's impatience and violent passion killed him, why should my modest behaviour and circumspection be blamed? If I preserve my purity in the society of the trees, why should he who would have me preserve it among men, seek to rob me of it? I have, as you know, wealth of my own, and I covet not that of others; my taste is for freedom, and I have no relish for constraint; I neither love nor hate anyone; I do not deceive this one or court that, or trifle with one or play with another. The modest converse of the shepherd girls of these hamlets and the care of my goats are my recreations; my desires are bounded by these mountains, and if they ever wander hence it is to contemplate the beauty of the heavens, steps by which the soul travels to its primeval abode.
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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
β€œ
It was a mug. And it had a joke printed on it. It said, Engineers don’t cry. They build bridges and get over it.” Someone laughed then. Isabel or perhaps Gonzaloβ€”I wasn’t sure. With all that crazy banging, my heart had somehow moved up my throat and to my temples, so it was hard to focus on anything besides its beating and Aaron’s voice. β€œAnd you know what I did?” he continued, bitterness filling his tone. β€œInstead of laughing like I wanted to, instead of looking up at her and saying something funny that would hopefully make her give me one of those bright smiles I had somehow already seen her give so freely in the short day I had been around her, I pushed it all down and set the mug on my desk. Then, I thanked her and asked her if there was anything else she needed.” I knew I shouldn’t feel embarrassed, but I was. Just as much as I had been back then, if not more. It had been such a silly thing to do, and I had felt so tiny and dumb after he brushed it away so easily. Closing my eyes, I heard him continue, β€œI pretty much kicked her out of my office after she went out of her way and got me a gift.” Aaron’s voice got low and harsh. β€œA fucking welcome gift.” I opened my eyes just in time to watch him turn his head in my direction. Our gazes met. β€œJust like the big jerk I had advertised myself to be, I ran her out. And to this day, I regret it every time it crosses my mind. Every time I look at her.
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Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
β€œ
Maria, lonely prostitute on a street of pain, You, at least, hail me and speak to me While a thousand others ignore my face. You offer me an hour of love, And your fees are not as costly as most. You are the madonna of the lonely, The first-born daughter in a world of pain. You do not turn fat men aside, Or trample on the stuttering, shy ones, You are the meadow where desperate men Can find a moment's comfort. Men have paid more to their wives To know a bit of peace And could not walk away without the guilt That masquerades as love. You do not bind them, lovely Maria, you comfort them And bid them return. Your body is more Christian than the Bishop's Whose gloved hand cannot feel the dropping of my blood. Your passion is as genuine as most, Your caring as real! But you, Maria, sacred whore on the endless pavement of pain, You, whose virginity each man may make his own Without paying ought but your fee, You who know nothing of virgin births and immaculate conceptions, You who touch man's flesh and caress a stranger, Who warm his bed to bring his aching skin alive, You make more sense than stock markets and football games Where sad men beg for virility. You offer yourself for a fee--and who offers himself for less? At times you are cruel and demanding--harsh and insensitive, At times you are shrewd and deceptive--grasping and hollow. The wonder is that at times you are gentle and concerned, Warm and loving. You deserve more respect than nuns who hide their sex for eternal love; Your fees are not so high, nor your prejudice so virtuous. You deserve more laurels than the self-pitying mother of many children, And your fee is not as costly as most. Man comes to you when his bed is filled with brass and emptiness, When liquor has dulled his sense enough To know his need of you. He will come in fantasy and despair, Maria, And leave without apologies. He will come in loneliness--and perhaps Leave in loneliness as well. But you give him more than soldiers who win medals and pensions, More than priests who offer absolution And sweet-smelling ritual, More than friends who anticipate his death Or challenge his life, And your fee is not as costly as most. You admit that your love is for a fee, Few women can be as honest. There are monuments to statesmen who gave nothing to anyone Except their hungry ego, Monuments to mothers who turned their children Into starving, anxious bodies, Monuments to Lady Liberty who makes poor men prisoners. I would erect a monument for you-- who give more than most-- And for a meager fee. Among the lonely, you are perhaps the loneliest of all, You come so close to love But it eludes you While proper women march to church and fantasize In the silence of their rooms, While lonely women take their husbands' arms To hold them on life's surface, While chattering women fill their closets with clothes and Their lips with lies, You offer love for a fee--which is not as costly as most-- And remain a lonely prostitute on a street of pain. You are not immoral, little Maria, only tired and afraid, But you are not as hollow as the police who pursue you, The politicians who jail you, the pharisees who scorn you. You give what you promise--take your paltry fee--and Wander on the endless, aching pavements of pain. You know more of universal love than the nations who thrive on war, More than the churches whose dogmas are private vendettas made sacred, More than the tall buildings and sprawling factories Where men wear chains. You are a lonely prostitute who speaks to me as I pass, And I smile at you because I am a lonely man.
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James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)