When you are philosophizing you have to descend into primeval chaos and feel at home there.[Beim Philosophieren muß man in’s alte Chaos hinabsteigen, und sich dort wohlfühlen.]
When people begin to philosophize they seem to think it necessary to make themselves artificially stupid.
The fact that astrology nevertheless yields valid results proves that it is not the apparent positions of the stars which work, but rather the times which are measured or determined by arbitrarily named stellar positions. Time thus proves to be a stream of energy filled with qualities and not, as our philosophy would have it, an abstract concept or precondition of knowledge.
Religions do a useful thing: they narrow God to the limits of man. Philosophy replies by doing a necessary thing: it elevates man to the plane of God.[Les religions font une chose utile: rapetisser Dieu jusqu’à l’iiomme. La philosophie réplique par une chose nécessaire: grandir l’homme jusqu’à Dieu.]
Philosophy unravels the knots in our thinking; hence its results must be simple, but its activity is as complicated as the knots that it unravels.[Die Philosophie löst die Knoten in unserem Denken auf; daher muß ihr Resultat einfach sein, ihre Tätigkeit aber so kompliziert wie die Knoten, die sie auflöst.]
Philosophy must indeed recognize the possibility that the people rise to it, but must not lower itself to the people.
Philosophy is by its nature something esoteric, neither made for the mob nor capable of being prepared for the mob.[Die Philosophie ist ihrer Natur nach etwas Esoterisches, für sich weder für den Pöbel gemacht, nod einer Zubereitung für den Pöbel fähig.]
My desire and wish is that the things I start with should be so obvious that you wonder why I spend my time stating them. This is what I aim at, because the point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.