Henri Amiel (1821 – 1881) was a Swiss philosopher and poet. Born in Geneva, in 1849 he was appointed professor of aesthetics at the academy of Geneva, and in 1854 became professor of moral philosophy. The one book by which Amiel is still known, the Journal Intime (“Private Journal”), was published after his death and obtained a European reputation. Although modest in volume of output, Amiel’s Journal gained a sympathy that the author did not obtain in his life.
Quotes by Henri Amiel…
A man can understand what is similar to something already existing in himself.
We can only give what we have.
Man is nothing but contradiction; the less he knows it the more dupe he is.
It is dangerous to abandon one’s self to the luxury of grief, for it deprives one of courage and even the wish for recovery.
Great men are the true men, the men in whom Nature has succeeded.
I prefer those men of genius who awaken in me the sense of truth, and who increase the sum of one’s inner liberty.
It is not at all necessary to be great, as long as we are in harmony with the order of the universe.
He who asks of life nothing but the improvement of his own nature, and a continuous good progress towards inner contentment and spiritual submission, is less likely than anyone else to miss and waste life.
We are free only so far as we are not dupes of ourselves, our pretexts, our instincts, our temperament. We are freed by energy and the critical spirit — that is to say, by detachment of soul, by self-government. So that we are enslaved, but susceptible of freedom; we are bound, but capable of shaking off our bonds.
He who floats with the current, who does not guide himself according to higher principles, who has no ideal, no convictions — such a man is… a thing moved, instead of a living and moving being — an echo, not a voice. The man who has no inner life is a slave of his surroundings, as the barometer is the obedient servant of the air.