The most important part of teaching is to teach what it is to know.
The proper method of philosophy consists in clearly conceiving the insoluble problems in all their insolubility and then in simply contemplating them, fixedly and tirelessly, year after year, without any hope, patiently waiting.
A self-respecting nation is ready for anything, including war, except for a renunciation of its option to make war.
Human beings are so made that the ones who do the crushing feel nothing; it is the person crushed who feels what is happening. Unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed, to feel with them, one cannot understand.
Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall. The wall is the thing which separates them but is also their means of communication. It is the same with us and God. Every separation is a link.
The capacity to give one's attention to a sufferer is a very rare and difficult thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle.
Difficult as it is really to listen to someone in affliction, it is just as difficult for him to know that compassion is listening to him.
Those who are unhappy have no need for anything in this world but people capable of giving them their attention.
In the intellectual order, the virtue of humility is nothing more nor less than the power of attention.
The highest ecstasy is the attention at its fullest.
To set up as a standard of public morality a notion which can neither be defined nor conceived is to open the door to every kind of tyranny.
Imagination and fiction make up more than three-quarters of our real life.
Whenever a human being, through the commission of a crime, has become exiled from good, he needs to be reintegrated with it through suffering. The suffering should be inflicted with the aim of bringing the soul to recognize freely some day that its infliction was just.
Do not allow yourself to be imprisoned by any affection. Keep your solitude. The day, if it ever comes, when you are given true affection there will be no opposition between interior solitude and friendship, quite the reverse. It is even by this infallible sign that you will recognize it.
Oppression that is clearly inexorable and invincible does not give rise to revolt but to submission.