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Alexandra David-Neel

  • It is not in my nature to admit defeat.

  • The unsuspected is the daily fare of the traveler in Thibet ...

  • Nature has a language of its own, or maybe those who have lived long in solitude read in it their own unconscious inner feelings and mysterious foreknowledge.

  • Landscapes have a language of their own, expressing the soul of the things, lofty or humble, which constitute them, from the mighty peaks to the smallest of the tiny flowers hidden in the meadow's grass.

  • Work cannot convey the almost voluptuous sweetness of the feelings experienced ... in solitude.

  • As a stoic I must despise injury or, rather, I must not feel it, must not be affected by it so that it cannot violate the freedom of my soul ...

    • Alexandra David-Neel,
    • 1889, La Lampe de Sagesse ()
  • The wise expect nothing, hope for nothing, thus avoiding all disappointment and anxiety.

    • Alexandra David-Neel,
    • 1889, La Lampe de Sagesse ()
  • Suffering raises up those souls that are truly great; it is only small souls that are made mean-spirited by it.

    • Alexandra David-Neel,
    • 1889, La Lampe de Sagesse ()
  • Neglecting small things because one wishes to do great things is the excuse of the faint-hearted.

    • Alexandra David-Neel,
    • 1889, La Lampe de Sagesse ()
  • Why do you pray if you doubt you are heard?

    • Alexandra David-Neel,
    • 1892, La Lampe de Sagesse ()
  • Guard against idols — yes, guard against all idols, of which surely the greatest is oneself.

    • Alexandra David-Neel,
    • 1892, La Lampe de Sagesse ()
  • There is nothing truly serious in life. All words sound hollow when one listens to them carefully.

    • Alexandra David-Neel,
    • 1912, La Lampe de Sagesse ()
  • One must be very strong, or very stupid, or completely exhausted to face life with indifference.

    • Alexandra David-Neel,
    • 1914, La Lampe de Sagesse ()
  • Very few of us are capable of being Free Thinkers, needing neither to adore nor to insult God, the insult often being an act of faith more profound than adoration.

    • Alexandra David-Neel,
    • 1914, La Lampe de Sagesse ()
  • 'Intellectual' is not always a synonym for 'intelligent.'

    • Alexandra David-Neel,
    • 1952, La Lampe de Sagesse ()

Alexandra David-Neel, French traveler, writer

(1868 - 1969)