Once we know our weaknesses they cease to do us any harm.— G. C. (Georg Christoph) Lichtenberg
The most practical G. C. (Georg Christoph) Lichtenberg quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening
One might call habit a moral friction: something that prevents the mind from gliding over things but connects it with them and makes it hard for it to free itself from them.
Erudition can produce foliage without bearing fruit.
There exists a species of transcendental ventriloquism by means of which men can be made to believe that something said on earth comes from Heaven.
Just as the performance of the vilest and most wicked deeds requires spirit and talent, so even the greatest demand a certain insensitivity which under other circumstances we would call stupidity.
We often have need of a profound philosophy to restore to our feelings their original state of innocence, to find our way out of the rubble of things alien to us, to begin to feel for ourselves and to speak ourselves, and I might almost say to exist ourselves.
Many things about our bodies would not seem to us so filthy and obscene if we did not have the idea of nobility in our heads.
Man is a masterpiece of creation if for no other reason than that, all the weight of evidence for determinism notwithstanding, he believes he has free will.
Every man has his moral backside which he refrains from showing unless he has to and keeps covered as long as possible with the trousers of decorum.
In each of us there is a little of all of us.
The most dangerous untruths are truths slightly distorted.
It is in the gift for employing all the vicissitudes of life to one's own advantage and to that of one's craft that a large part of genius consists.
Here take back the stuff that I am, nature, knead it back into the dough of being, make of me a bush, a cloud, whatever you will, even a man, only no longer make me.
One is rarely an impulsive innovator after the age of sixty, but one can still be a very fine orderly and inventive thinker. One rarely procreates children at that age, but one is all the more skilled at educating those who have already been procreated, and education is procreation of another kind.
I cannot say whether things will get better if we change;
what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.
Even truth needs to be clad in new garments if it is to appeal to a new age.
The worst thing you can possibly do is worrying and thinking about what you could have done.
It is no great art to say something briefly when, like Tacitus, one has something to say; when one has nothing to say, however, and none the less writes a whole book and makes truth into a liar -- that I call an achievement.
I am convinced we do not only love ourselves in others but hate ourselves in others too.
It is a question whether, when we break a murderer on the wheel, we do not fall into the error a child makes when it hits the chair it has bumped into.
If another Messiah was born he could hardly do so much good as the printing-press.
Much can be inferred about a man from his mistress: in her one beholds his weaknesses and his dreams.
We accumulate our opinions at an age when our understanding is at its weakest.
There are very many people who read simply to prevent themselves from thinking.
A handful of soldiers is always better than a mouthful of arguments.
He who is in love with himself has at least this advantage -- he won't encounter many rivals.
To do the opposite of something is also a form of imitation, namely an imitation of its opposite.
If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime.
The sure conviction that we could if we wanted to is the reason so many good minds are idle.
If you are going to build something in the air it is always better to build castles than houses of cards.
The American who first discovered Columbus made a bad discovery.
Rational free spirits are the light brigade who go on ahead and reconnoiter the ground which the heavy brigade of the orthodox will eventually occupy.
He who is enamored of himself will at least have the advantage of being inconvenienced by few rivals.
First there is a time when we believe everything, then for a little while we believe with discrimination, then we believe nothing whatever, and then we believe everything again - and, moreover, give reasons why we believe.
Some theories are good for nothing except to be argued about.
He was always smoothing and polishing himself, and in the end he became blunt before he was sharp.
To be content with life -- or to live merrily, rather --all that is required is that we bestow on all things only a fleeting, superficial glance; the more thoughtful we become the more earnest we grow.
The human tendency to regard little things as important has produced very many great things.
A book is a mirror; if an ass peers into it, you can not expect an apostle to peer out.
A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.
Man can acquire accomplishments or he can become an animal, whichever he wants.
God makes the animals, man makes himself.
We are obliged to regard many of our original minds as crazy at least until we have become as clever as they are.
If all mankind were suddenly to practice honesty, many thousands of people would be sure to starve.
The most perfect ape cannot draw an ape;
only man can do that; but, likewise, only man regards the ability to do this as a sign of superiority.
With most people disbelief in a thing is founded on a blind belief in some other thing.
It is said that truth comes from the mouths of fools and children: I wish every good mind which feels an inclination for satire would reflect that the finest satirist always has something of both in him.
Theologians always try to turn the Bible into a book without common sense.
He who says he hates every kind of flattery, and says it in earnest, certainly does not yet know every kind of flattery.
To receive applause for works which do not demand all our powers hinders our advance towards a perfecting of our spirit. It usually means that thereafter we stand still.
Astronomy is perhaps the science whose discoveries owe least to chance, in which human understanding appears in its whole magnitude, and through which man can best learn how small he is.