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Looking For Quotes About Self-Awareness.


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Hi, I'm looking for quotes from literature that deal with self-awareness, consciousness, existential crisis. Things that are similar to this from Alice in Wonderland:

 

"I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, THAT'S the great puzzle!"

 

Or even something more non-fiction based like this quote from Jung:

 

"People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

 

I've tried Google but wondered if any of you have come across more obscure or interesting quotes that deal with the issue of self-awareness.

 

Thanks.

Edited by hux
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How about this;

Hark ye yet again—the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event—in the living act, the undoubted deed—there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there’s naught beyond. But ’tis enough. He tasks me; he heaps me; I see in him outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it. That inscrutable thing is chiefly what I hate; and be the white whale agent, or be the white whale principal, I will wreak that hate upon him. Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I’d strike the sun if it insulted me. For could the sun do that, then could I do the other; since there is ever a sort of fair play herein, jealousy presiding over all creations. But not my master, man, is even that fair play. Who’s over me? Truth hath no confines.

 

From Chapter 36 of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. The speaker, of course, is Ahab.

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CG Jung

The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ -- all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself -- that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness -- that I myself am the enemy who must be loved -- what then? As a rule, the Christian's attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering; we say to the brother within us "Raca," and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.

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Thanks Dan.

 

I like the Melville one but.. it totally made me think of Wrath of Khan more than anything else.  :)

 

Any more? I especially like the Alice in Wonderland line about being changed in the night but I know it was already used in Lost and Westworld.

 

I'm also wondering what the etiquette is for using (living writers') quotes in one's own writing. If you had a character quoting the line (as his own), would it be considered plagiarism? Would you need to "quote it" to get around that?

 

Maybe a question for Writer's Corner.

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I'm also wondering what the etiquette is for using (living writers') quotes in one's own writing. If you had a character quoting the line (as his own), would it be considered plagiarism? Would you need to "quote it" to get around that?

 

Maybe a question for Writer's Corner.

I think you have to seek permission from the author and then an acknowledgement in your own book.

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This is from John Simpson's (war correspondent) book Not Quite World's End. I appreciate it's not actually about self awareness but how we react to the world around us alters the inner dialogue we have with our own soul. 

 

“But what if the point of living isn’t to be placid and happy and untouched by the world, but to be deeply, painfully sensitive to it, to see its cruelty and savagery for what they are, and accept all this as readily as we accept its beauty? To feel the force of everything we see around us? To be troubled by it, moved by it, hurt by it even, but not be indifferent to it?”

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  • 3 years later...

Hi Hux,

 

probably richly late, but the below quote from Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho might be usefull:

 

"…there is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there."

 

In essence, that entire novel deals with self-awareness and the existential crisis of the main character.

 

Kr,

 

Tom

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