Arthur Koestler Quotes

I have repeatedly stressed that the selfish impulses of man constitute a much less historic danger than his integrative tendencies. To put it in the simplest way: the individual who indulges in an excess of aggressive self-assertiveness incurs the penalties of society-he outlaws himself, he contracts out of the hierarchy. The true believer, on the […]

When reality becomes unbearable, the mind must withdraw from it and create a world of artificial perfection. Plato’s world of pure Ideas and Forms, which alone is to be considered as real, whereas the world of nature which we perceive is merely its cheap Woolworth copy, is a flight into delusion.

The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.

To non-European civilizations the ideas that numbers are the key to both wisdom and power seems never to have occurred.

The moment of truth, the sudden emergence of a new insight, is an act of intuition. Such intuitions give the appearance of miraculous flashes, or short-circuits of reasoning. In fact they may be likened to an immersed chain, of which only the beginning and end are visible along the surface of consciousness. The diver vanishes […]

We cannot unthink unless we are insane.

Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.

I think most historians will agree that the part played by impulses of selfish, individual aggression in the holocausts of history was small; first and foremost, the slaughter was meant as an offering to the gods, to king and country, or the future happiness of mankind. The crimes of Caligula shrink to insignificance compared to […]

The most persistent sound which reverberates through men’s history is the beating of war drums.

If one looks with a cold eye at the mess man has made of history, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he has been afflicted by some built-in mental disorder which drives him towards self-destruction.