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Quotations about Reality

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. ~Philip K. Dick

You can accept reality without believing every yarn it spins. ~Robert Brault,

Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling? ~M.C. Escher

No man will be found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes tyrannize, and force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of sober probability. ~Samuel Johnson

Reality is always the dowdy sister to Fancy. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,

If I do not accept reality, it is because I have looked behind the curtain and seen how they do it. ~Robert Brault,

Most passport pictures are good likenesses, and it is time we faced it. ~Katharine Brush

There is an objective reality out there, but we view it through the spectacles of our beliefs, attitudes, and values. ~David G. Myers, Social Psychology

Objectivity has about as much substance as the emperor's new clothes. ~Connie Miller

Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces. ~Sigmund Freud

How do we know that the sky is not green and we are all colour-blind? ~Author Unknown

There are no facts, only interpretations. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Theories are great, they sound great, but the minute you are asked to prove one in actual life, why the thing blows up. ~Will Rogers (1879–1935)

What is reality anyway! It's nothing but a collective hunch. ~Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, 1985, performed by Lily Tomlin

What is a face, really? Its own photo? Its make-up? Or is it a face as painted by such or such painter? That which is in front? Inside? Behind? And the rest? Doesn't everyone look at himself in his own particular way? Deformations simply do not exist. ~Pablo Picasso

I am a thread too slender
To suspend all this reality...
~Phillip Pulfrey, "Madness," Love, Abstraction and other Speculations,

What was once called the objective world is a sort of Rorschach ink blot, into which each culture, each system of science and religion, each type of personality, reads a meaning only remotely derived from the shape and color of the blot itself. ~Lewis Mumford, "Orientation to Life," The Conduct of Life, 1951

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination. ~John Lennon

Humankind cannot bear very much reality. ~T.S. Eliot

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion. ~Democritus

'Tis Cheap to build a Castle in the Air,
But Costly keeping up a Dwelling there.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Extravagance," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

Gertrude Jekyll, like Monet, was a painter with poor eyesight, and their gardens — his at Giverny in the Seine valley, hers in Surrey — had resemblances that may have sprung from this condition. Both loved plants that foamed and frothed over walls and pergolas, spread in tides beneath trees; both saw flowers in islands of colored light — an image the normal eye captures only by squinting. ~Eleanor Perenyi

What we call reality is an agreement that people have arrived at to make life more livable. ~Louise Nevelson

Stop moping! Look at the harlequins!... Trees are harlequins, words are harlequins. So are situations and sums. Put two things together — jokes, images — and you get a triple harlequin. Come on! Play! Invent the world! Invent reality! ~Vladimir Nabokov, Look at the Harlequins!, 1974

It must be hard to be a model, because you'd want to be like the photograph of you, and you can't ever look that way. ~Andy Warhol

Few people have the imagination for reality. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To treat your facts with imagination is one thing, but to imagine your facts is another. ~John Burroughs

It would not be sufficient to say that in his love-making with Ada he discovered the pang, the ogon', the agony of supreme "reality." Reality, better say, lost the quotes it wore like claws — in a world where independent and original minds must cling to things or pull things apart in order to ward off madness or death (which is the master madness). ~Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977), Ada, 1969

There is no way you can use the word "reality" without quotation marks around it. ~Joseph Campbell (1904–1987)

I have a very firm grasp on reality! I can reach out and strangle it any time! ~Author Unknown

Reality is not always probable, or likely. ~Jorge Luis Borges

Question reality, especially if it contradicts the evidence of your hopes and dreams. ~Robert Brault,

What happens to the wide-eyed observer when the window between reality and unreality breaks and the glass begins to fly? ~Author Unknown

Okay, who put a "stop payment" on my reality check? ~Author Unknown

Listening to both sides of a story will convince you that there is more to a story than both sides. ~Frank Tyger

Let me put it this way — nothing ever brings me back to reality that doesn't remind me why I left. ~Robert Brault,

Truth, as any dictionary will tell you, is a property of certain of our ideas. It means their "agreement," as falsity means their disagreement, with "reality." ~William James

Reality is irritatingly obstinate
and so very gosh darn'd sticky!
~Terri Guillemets, "Reality is so dang sticky," 1996

It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought. ~John Kenneth Galbraith

I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything. ~John Steinbeck

Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you're just a reflection of him? ~Calvin and Hobbes

Belief in God? An afterlife? I believe in rock: this apodictic rock beneath my feet. ~Edward Abbey

All the mind's activity is easy if it is not subjected to reality. ~Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past: Cities of the Plain

Certainly! It might have been so; only it isn't. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

All is illusion, although as long as there's an illusion that the kids need to be fed, all might as well be reality. ~Robert Brault,

Reality bites... and doesn't let go. ~Author Unknown

The human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it. ~Francis Bacon

The formula "two and two make five" is not without its attractions. ~Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground, 1864

How reluctantly the mind consents to reality! ~Norman Douglas

If I choose abstraction over reality, it is because I find it the lesser chaos. ~Robert Brault,

There is a fine line between dreams and reality, it's up to you to draw it. ~B. Quilliam

Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible. I think it's in my basement... let me go upstairs and check. ~M.C. Escher

There's something beautifully soothing about a fact — even (or perhaps especially) if we're not sure what it means. ~Daniel J. Boorstin

Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace. ~Eugene O'Neill

Reality is a palette that humans paint on to let themselves sleep better at night. ~Author Unknown

Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business. ~Tom Robbins

I believe in a real, physical world. I figure if the world existed only in my mind, it would pay more attention to me. ~Robert Brault,

Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there. ~E.H. Gombrich, Art and Illusion, 1960

Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality. ~Jules de Gaultier

Everything you can imagine is real. ~Pablo Picasso

As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be, you can't see how it is. ~Ram Dass

What is reality but the dreamworld of a limited imagination. ~Robert Brault,

Man can lend himself to all the sallies of imagination; he consents to follow its adventurous bark through the narrowest and most perilous straights; but when once it has broken the tie that bound it to reality, he either ceases to follow it at all, or follows it without sympathy, with impatience, or anxiety. ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

Cloquet hated reality but realized it was still the only place to get a good steak. ~Woody Allen

After you've heard two eyewitness accounts of an auto accident, you begin to worry about history. ~Author Unknown

Seems like nothing ever brings you back to reality that makes you want to stay there. ~Robert Brault,

One bright day in the middle of night two dead boys rose to fight. Back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot one another. A deaf policeman heard the noise, and saved the lives of the two dead boys. If you don't believe this lie is true, ask the blind man, he saw it too. ~Author Unknown

Illusion is the first of all pleasures. ~Voltaire

You must be blind if you can't see
The gaping hole called reality.
~Stereo MC's, "Connected"

To accept reality is only to encourage it. ~Robert Brault,

This is a work of fiction. All the characters in it, human and otherwise, are imaginary, excepting only certain of the fairy folk, whom it might be unwise to offend by casting doubts on their existence. Or lack thereof. ~Neil Gaiman, Books of Magic III

Be careful not to drown in a mirage. ~Terri Guillemets

Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures. ~Jessamyn West

Every time I close the door on reality it comes in through the windows. ~Jennifer Yane

As I was sitting in my chair,
I knew the bottom wasn't there,
Nor legs nor back, but I just sat,
Ignoring little things like that.
~Hughes Mearns

Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it. ~Jane Wagner

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. ~Mahatma Gandhi

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Last saved 2021 Jul 08 Thu 13:52 PDT

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