I was not content to believe in a personal devil and serve him, in the ordinary sense of the word. I wanted to get hold of him personally and become his chief of staff.
The supreme satisfaction is to be able to despise one’s neighbor and this fact goes far to account for religious intolerance. It is evidently consoling to reflect that the people next door are headed for hell.
I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
To me a book is a message from the gods to mankind; or, if not, should never be published at all.
If one were to take the bible seriously one would go mad. But to take the bible seriously, one must be already mad.
The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.
Paganism is wholesome because it faces the facts of life.
Intolerance is evidence of impotence.
The people who have really made history are the martyrs.
Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people.
Science is always discovering odd scraps of magical wisdom and making a tremendous fuss about its cleverness.
Indubitably, magic is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgment and practice than in any other branch of physics.
The pious pretense that evil does not exist only makes it vague, enormous and menacing.
Part of the public horror of sexual irregularity so-called is due to the fact that everyone knows himself essentially guilty.
To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worth while. The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter.
I was asked to memorise what I did not understand; and, my memory being so good, it refused to be insulted in that manner.
I can imagine myself on my death-bed, spent utterly with lust to touch the next world, like a boy asking for his first kiss from a woman.
Modern morality and manners suppress all natural instincts, keep people ignorant of the facts of nature and make them fighting drunk on bogey tales.
The conscience of the world is so guilty that it always assumes that people who investigate heresies must be heretics; just as if a doctor who studies leprosy must be a leper. Indeed, it is only recently that science has been allowed to study anything without reproach.
Falsehood is invariably the child of fear in one form or another.
I have never grown out of the infantile belief that the universe was made for me to suck.
In the absence of willpower the most complete collection of virtues and talents is wholly worthless.
The ordinary man looking at a mountain is like an illiterate person confronted with a Greek manuscript.
Chinese civilisation is so systematic that wild animals have been abolished on principle.