Our entire society’s based on discontent: people wanting more and more and more, being constantly dissatisfied with their homes, their bodies, their decor, their clothes, everything. Taking it for granted that that’s the whole point of life, never to be satisfied. If you’re perfectly happy with what you’ve got—specially if what you’ve got isn’t even all that spectacular—then you’re dangerous. You’re breaking all the rules, you’re undermining the sacred economy, you’re challenging every assumption that society’s built on.
Neither necessity nor desire, but the love of power, is the demon of mankind. You may give men everything possible health, food, shelter, enjoyment but they are and remain unhappy and capricious, for the demon waits and waits; and must be satisfied.
Men live tranquilly also in dungeons; is that enough to make them contented there?[On vit tranquille aussi dans les cachots: en est-ce assez pour s’y trouver bien?]
If you look for perfection, you will never be satisfied.[Если искать совершенства, то никогда не будешь доволен.]
If it seems to us that we are not satisfied with life, we should see this as a reason to be unsatisfied with ourselves.[Если нам кажется, что мы недовольны ею, то это значит только то, что мы имеем основание быть недовольными собою.]
I would have nobody to control me; I would be absolute: and who but I? Now, he that is absolute can do what he likes; he that can do what he likes can take his pleasure; he that can take his pleasure can be content; and he that can be content has no more to desire. So the matter ‘s over; and come what will come, I am satisfied.
Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.