Anais Nin

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We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.
I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.
I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.
We write to taste life twice: in the moment and in retrospection.
When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.
Dreams are necessary to life.
Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.
Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.
Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.
The human father has to be confronted and recognized as human, as man who created a child and then, by his absence, left the child fatherless and then Godless.
It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.
If all of us acted in unison as I act individually there would be no wars and no poverty. I have made myself personally responsible for the fate of every human being who has come my way.
Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live.


Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.
How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.
What I cannot love, I overlook. Is that real friendship?
There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.
Truth is something which can't be told in a few words. Those who simplify the universe only reduce the expansion of its meaning.
There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.
The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.
I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.
When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.
The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.
Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.
Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.
Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.
People living deeply have no fear of death.
The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.
There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.
Do not seek the because - in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.
Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.
A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked.
It's all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all.
I stopped loving my father a long time ago. What remained was the slavery to a pattern.
My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.
If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.

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