Category Archives: Wittgenstein

I think one of the things you and I have to learn is that we have to live without the consolation of belonging to a Church… Of one thing I am certain. The religion of the future will have to be extremely ascetic, and by that I don’t mean just going without food and drink.

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Any man who is half-way decent will think himself extremely imperfect, but a religious man thinks himself wretched.

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If you and I are to live religious lives, it mustn’t be that we talk a lot about religion, but that our manner of life is different. It is my belief that only if you try to be helpful to other people will you in the end find your way to God.

— Wittgenstein

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Not a theory

Christianity is not a doctrine, not, I mean, a theory about what has happened and will happen to the human soul, but a description of something that actually takes place in human life. For ‘consciousness of sin’ is a real event and so are despair and salvation through faith. Those who speak of such things are simply describing what has happened to them, whatever gloss anyone may want to put on it.

Wittgenstein

The miracle of the existence of the world

Now I am tempted to say that the right expression in language for the miracle of the existence of the world, though it is not any proposition *in* language, is the existence of language itself. But what then does it means to be aware of this miracle at some times and not at other times? For all I have said by shifting the expression of the miraculous from an expression *by means of language* to the expression *by the existence* of language, all I have said is again that we cannot express what we want to express and that all we *say* about the absolute miraculous remains nonsense.

— Wittgenstein, ‘A Lecture on Ethics’

Deep inside me there’s a perpetual seething, like the bottom of a geyser, and I keep hoping that things will come to an eruption once and for all, so that I can turn into a different person.
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Perhaps you regard this thinking about myself as a waste of time – but how can I be a logician before I’m a human being? Far the most important thing is to settle accounts with myself!
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My thoughts are tired. I am not seeing things freshly, but rather in a pedestrian, lifeless way. It is as if a flame had gone out and I must wait until it starts to burn again by itself.

— Wittgenstein (via here)

The world will offer to unmask itself for you

6.52 We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life remain completely untouched. Of course there are then no questions left, and this itself is the answer.

6.521 The solution of the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of the problem. (Is not this the reason why those who have found after a long period of doubt that the sense of life became clear to them have then been unable to say what constituted that sense?)

6.522 There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.

6.53 The correct method in philosophy would really be the following: to say nothing except what can be said, i.e. propositions of natural science — i.e. something that has nothing to do with philosophy — and then, whenever someone else wanted to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had failed to give a meaning to certain signs in his propositions. Although it would not be satisfying to the other person — he would not have the feeling that we were teaching him philosophy — this method would be the only strictly correct one.

6.54 My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.)

7 What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

— Wittgenstein

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You have no need to go out of the house. Stay at your table and listen. Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t even wait, just be completely still and alone. The world will offer to unmask itself for you, it cannot do otherwise, it will disport itself before you ecstatically.

— Kafka