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Illusions

  • Reason dissipates the illusions of life, but does not console us for their departure.

  • ... illusions: they fit like an iron lung, and / can keep you going indefinitely. The persons / suspected of stealing them are to be considered / armed, and dangerous.

    • Kathleen Norris,
    • "Memorandum / The Accountant's Notebook," Falling Off ()
  • ... to weep for someone who is gone is desolation, but to weep for someone who has never really existed is to lose a part of oneself.

  • Some of my best friends are illusions. Been sustaining me for years.

  • ... illusions are crucial to the maintenance of life functions ...

  • ... the most all-around, practical, long-wearing illusions are the ones that you weave yourself.

  • ... people with romantic illusions find it hard to make a living.

  • Surrogate experience and surrogate environments have become the American way of life. Distinctions are no longer made, or deemed necessary, between the real and the false; the edge usually goes to the latter, as an improved version with defects corrected — accessible and user-friendly ...

  • Disillusion comes only to the illusioned. One cannot be disillusioned of what one never put faith in.

  • ... belief in the absence of illusions is itself an illusion ...

  • Borrowed illusions are better than none ...

  • ... there is no existence so content as that whose present is engrossed by employment, and whose future is filled by some strong hope, the truth of which is never proved. Toil and illusion are the only secrets to make life tolerable ...

  • Illusions are art, for the feeling person, and it is by art that we live, if we do.

  • One illusion is as good as another.

    • Zelda Fitzgerald,
    • letter to Scott Fitzgerald (1930), in Nancy Milford, Zelda ()
  • It takes a lot to wound a man without illusions.

  • One has no right to form ideals of people, and then, because they don't justify them, become bitter.

    • Olive Schreiner,
    • 1920, in S.C. Cronwright-Schreiner, ed., The Letters of Olive Schreiner 1876-1920 ()
  • It is my experience that marriage does not make one happier. It destroys the illusion that has been the essence of one's previous existence, that there existed something like a soul-mate. The feeling of not being understood is heightened in marriage by the fact that one's entire life beforehand had the aim of finding a being who would understand one. But isn't it better to exist without such an illusion and look this great lonely truth straight in the eye?

  • Misunderstanding is my cornerstone. It's everyone's, come to think of it. Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. They are what we call civilization.

  • You can't live without illusions, even if you must fight for them.

  • It is unfair to hold people responsible for our illusions about them.

  • Delusion detests focus and romance provides the veil.

  • And if you ever do a survey, you'll find that people prefer illusion to reality, ten to one. Twenty, even.

  • It is only that my illusion is more real to me than reality. And so do we often build our world on an error, and cry out that the universe is falling to pieces, if any one but lift a finger to replace the error by truth.

  • Oh for the veils, for the veils of my youth, / Shielding my heart from the blaze of the truth!

  • In youth we feel richer for every new illusion; in maturer years, for every one we lose.

  • I think of Western culture as a virtual reality that we've constructed and then forgotten is not real.

    • Anne Wilson Schaef,
    • "Soulful Living," in Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, eds., Handbook for the Soul ()