Introspection Quotes

We have collected and put the best Introspection Quotes. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

May these Introspection Quotes on many subjects inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.

Introspection is the examination of one’s own conscious thoughts and feelings. In psychology, the process of introspection relies on the observation of one’s mental state, while in a spiritual context it may refer to the examination of one’s soul. Introspection is closely related to human self-reflection and self-discovery and is contrasted with external observation.

See also: Awareness Quotes and Conscience Quotes

Woman Brain Decision Pondering Brainstorming

Woman Brainstorming – Introspection Quotes

Introspection and preserved writings give us far more insight into the ways of past humans than we have into the ways of past dinosaurs. For that reason, I’m optimistic that we can eventually arrive at convincing explanations for these broadest patterns of human history. – Jared Diamond

Introspection can easily become the tool of Satan, who is called the accuser. One of his chief weapons is discouragement. He knows that if he can make us discouraged and dispirited we will not fight the battle for holiness. – Jerry Bridges

Introspection is a devouring monster. – Anais Nin

Introspection is a devouring monster. You have to feed it with much material, much experience, many people, many places, many loves, many creations, and then it ceases feeding on you. – Anais Nin

Introspection is always retrospection. – Jean-Paul Sartre

Introspection! I hate it! – Ethel Kennedy

Introspection, or ‘sitting in the silence,’ is an unscientific way of trying to force apart the mind and senses, tied together by the life force. The contemplative mind, attempting its return to divinity, is constantly dragged back toward the senses by the life currents. – Paramahansa Yogananda

(On belief in miracles) – The gazing populace receive greedily, without examination, whatever soothes superstition and promotes wonder. – David Hume

A creature that hides and withdraws into its shell, is preparing a way out. This is true of the entire scale of metaphors, from the resurrection of a man in his grave, to the sudden outburst of one who has long been silent. If we remain at the heart of the image under consideration, we have the impression that, by staying in the motionlessness of its shell, the creature is preparing temporal explosions, not to say whirlwinds, of being. – Gaston Bachelard

A curious superstition. This is the belief that, if there be introspection at all, it must give exhaustive and infallible information. – C. D. Broad

A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection. – Patrick Rothfuss

A man must find time for himself. Time is what we spend our lives with. If we are not careful we find others spending it for us. . . . It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, ‘Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?’ . . . If one is not careful, one allows diversions to take up one’s time—the stuff of life. – Carl Sandburg

A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small parcel. – John Ruskin

A man, who realizes the potential of his mind by means of introspection and contemplation, he does not lack self-confidence. He has control over his mind and he is able to realize it’s full potential. – Sam Veda

A positive attitude is most easily arrived at through a deliberate and rational analysis of what’s required to manifest unwavering positive thought patterns. First, reflect on the actual, present condition of your mind. In other words, is the mind positive or not? We’ve all met individuals who perceive themselves as positive people but don’t appear as such. Since the mind is both invisible and intangible, it’s therefore easier to see the accurate characteristics of the mind through a person’s words, deeds, and posture.

A resolute and wise refusal to take part in festivities will be an incentive for introspection and self-purification. – Mahatma Gandhi

A tough but nervous, tenacious but restless race [the Yankees]; materially ambitious, yet prone to introspection, and subject to waves of religious emotion. . . . A race whose typical member is eternally torn between a passion for righteousness and a desire to get on in the world. – Samuel Eliot Morison

A writer needs a life of introspection. – Tom Robbins

A writer needs solitude : moments that he can spend in introspection and in reflection. These moments make him pensive and thoughtful and help him write his thoughts with clarity. A life of devotion to one’s passion gives us meaning to our life. – Avijeet Das

Actually, Bruce [Springsteen] taught me about introspection. I think that’s an incredible gift. I can really look inside myself. And you know what? I like what’s inside. And it’s taken me a long time to say that. – Julianne Phillips

Adversity always presents opportunities for introspection. – Abdul Kalam

After all, in supporting phenomenal concepts I am in a sense siding with introspection against the more behaviourist Wittgensteinians. But even so I don’t think that introspection is powerful enough to resolve the specific issue about how many colours you can see. – David Papineau

All attention is introspection. – Thomas Metzinger

All Disruption starts with introspection. – Jay Samit

Among the many international consequences of Barack Obama’s stunning victory in the United States is worldwide introspection about whether such a breakthrough could happen elsewhere. Could a person of color win power in other white-majority countries? – Shashi Tharoor

An accusing heart couldn’t see her own sins. – Toba Beta

Anybody desirous of success should spend some time in introspection and contemplation. – Sam Veda

Anything outside yourself, this you can see and apply your logic to it. But it’s a human trait that when we encounter personal problems, these things most deeply personal are the most difficult to bring out for our logic to scan. We tend to flounder around, blaming everything but the actual, deep-seated thing that’s really chewing on us. – Frank Herbert

As long as any adult thinks that he, like the parents and teachers of old, can become introspective, invoking his own youth to understand the youth before him, he is lost. – Margaret Mead

Athletes don’t have much use for poking around in their childhoods, because, introspection doesn’t get you anywhere in a race. – Lance Armstrong

Break from self rejection, try some introspection. – Henry Rollins

But darling yesterday I was a different person, today I see you for what you are. – LeAnne Mechelle

But if these years have taught be anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in. – Junot Diaz

But one must remember that they were all men with systems. Freud, monumentally hipped on sex (for which he personally had little use) and almost ignorant of Nature: Adler, reducing almost everything to the will to power: and Jung, certainly the most humane and gentlest of them, and possibly the greatest, but nevertheless the descendant of parsons and professors, and himself a super-parson and a super-professor. all men of extraordinary character, and they devised systems that are forever stamped with that character.… Davey, did you ever think that these three men who were so splendid at understanding others had first to understand themselves? It was from their self-knowledge they spoke. They did not go trustingly to some doctor and follow his lead because they were too lazy or too scared to make the inward journey alone. They dared heroically. And it should never be forgotten that they made the inward journey while they were working like galley-slaves at their daily tasks, considering other people’s troubles, raising families, living full lives. They were heroes, in a sense that no space-explorer can be a hero, because they went into the unknown absolutely alone. Was their heroism simply meant to raise a whole new crop of invalids? Why don’t you go home and shoulder your yoke, and be a hero too? – Robertson Davies

By 20, you should be smart. By 30, you should be strong. By 40, you should be rich. By 50, you should be wise. But if you are smart, strong, rich and wise, you don’t need any age limits. – Santosh Kalwar

By definition, memoir demands a certain degree of introspection and self-disclosure: In order to fully engage a reader, the narrator has to make herself known, has to allow her own self-awareness to inform the events she describes.- Caroline Knapp

By not letting me turn you into something you’re not, you’ve helped me be more of myself. – Aleksandra Ninkovic

Creativity requires introspection, self-examination, and a willingness to take risks. Because of this, artists are perhaps more susceptible to self-doubt and despair than those who do not court the creative muses. – Eric Maisel

During self-reflection, the realization came that revolution begins within. – Amanda Mosher

Education, introspection, self-love and excellence are the only ways to overcome the wrath of ignorance. – Romany Malco

Even if you think you’re doing well and have it all figured out, there is a voice you will always inevitably hear at some point which nags at you and says “but wait…” Don’t ever dismiss it, listen to what it has to say. Life will never be close enough to perfect, and listening to that voice means stepping outside of yourself and considering your own wrongdoings and flaws. – Ashly Lorenzana

Every organization needs to be introspective, transparent, and honest with itself. This only works if everyone is unified on the goals and purposes of the organization and there is trust within the team. High-performing, successful organizations build cultures of introspection and trust and never lose sight of their purpose. – Colin Powell

Everyone in this world is Abhimanyu, the difference being that most of us are trapped in a labyrinth of our own creation. It takes a lifetime for people to realise that the way out lies in their own hands. All it requires is a little introspection. – Anurag Shourie

For example, if we say, It’s absolutely freezing today! I’ll probably catch a cold before the end of the day! then our words expose a negative attitude. But if we say, The temperature is very cold (a simple statement of fact), then our expressions, and therefore attitude, are not negative. Sustaining an alert state in which self-awareness becomes possible gives us a chance to discover the origins of negativity. In doing so, we also have an opportunity to arrive at a state of positiveness, so that our words and deeds are also positive, making others feel comfortable, cheerful, and inspired. – H. E. Davey

Fulfilling your vision for the best year of your life requires thought and introspection. It is not much different than planning an awesome vacation. It takes time, discussion, planning, decision making, and an array of other skills. – Debbie Ford

Great men suffer hours of depression through introspection and self-doubt. That is why they are great. That is why you will find modesty and humility the characteristics of such men. – Bruce Barton

Grover didn’t say anything for awhile. Then, when I thought he was going to give me some deep philosophical comment to make me feel better, he said, “Can I have your apple?” – Rick Riordan

Happiness can never hope to command so much interest as distress. – Stella Gibbons

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
…live in the question. – Rainer Maria Rilke

Having children made me go down a road of serious introspection and self-examination. I think it’s informed and hopefully enhanced my creativity. – Madonna Ciccone

He who thinks all mankind is vile is a pessimist who mistakes his introspection for observation; he looks into his own heart and thinks he sees the world. – William George Jordan

How can one learn to know oneself? Never by introspection, rather by action. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

How shall I ever learn who I am when there is so much of me that belongs to someone else? – Madeline Claire Franklin

Human nature is pretty shabby stuff, as you may know from introspection. – Peter De Vries

Hunger is a powerful incentive to introspection. – Willa Cather

I always take a close look at those who lose themselves in self portraits. They are solitary souls, prone to introspection, who have really grappled with their existence. – Young-Ha Kim

I am a baby, I am a child, I am the innocent wonder in my eyes
I am a glimpse, I am a sign, of someone I can be, someone I might
I am not one, I am not two, but I am a million things entwined
I am a piece, I am a slice, strung together by the yarns of time. – Sanober Khan

I am a victim of introspection. – Sylvia Plath

I am a writer of books in retrospect. I talk in order to understand; I teach in order to learn. – Robert Frost

I am ruined” is a story. It limits you and prevents you from taking effective action. “I have fifty cents left in my bank account” is a fact. Facing facts is always empowering. Be – Eckhart Tolle

I can be changed by what happened to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it. – Maya Angelou

I did those things because of my lack of control. When you touch me Jack, I completely succumb to you. I give into your every whim. – K.A. Linde

I do feel that I’ve managed to make something I could maybe call my world…over time…little by little. And when I’m inside it, to some extent, I feel kind of relieved. But the very fact I felt I had to make such a world probably means that I’m a weak person, that I bruise easily, don’t you think? And in the eyes of society at large, that world of mine is a puny little thing. It’s like a cardboard house: a puff of wind might carry it off somewhere. – Haruki Murakami

I don’t think that we can figure out what is going on in conscious colour perception just by phenomenological introspection. We need to know about brain mechanisms as well. We need to figure out what information is present in the mechanisms that constitute conscious colour perception. – David Papineau

I don’t think we spend enough time in reflection and introspection. We don’t know who we are as individuals in this culture anymore. – Naomi Judd

I have met guys who work the overnight shift at 7-11, selling Slurpees and Camels to insomniacs who have more introspection than a lot of people in the mainstream media. – Bernard Goldberg

I have my moments. Ever since I was a boy, I never was someone who was at ease with happiness. Too often I embrace introspection and self-doubt. I wish I could embrace the good things. – Hugh Laurie

I have no desire for any type of introspection at all. I don’t ever ask myself any questions. I don’t want answers. – Harmony Korine

I stand in the mist and cry, thinking of myself standing in the mist and crying, and wondering if I will ever be able to use this experience in a book. – Erica Jong

I was interned in Auschwitz for one year. I didn’t bring back anything, except for a few jokes, and that filled me with shame. Then again, I didn’t know what to do with this fresh experience. For this experience was no literary awakening, no occasion for professional or artistic introspection. – Imre Kertesz

I’m not used to introspection. I’ve never lingered on my feelings. The show must go on. – Brenda Lee

If I have learned anything in long years of introspection, it is that life requires a price if you want to be as fully alive as you can be. You need courage to pursue the truth of your life and yourself. – Eda LeShan

If it is a virtue to love my neighbor as a human being, it must be a virtue – and not a vice – to love myself, since I am a human being too. – Erich Fromm

If people respect your age and not your personality, then it’s time for you to do some urgent introspection. – Amit Kalantri

In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion. – Albert Camus

In the martial arts, introspection begets wisdom. Always see contemplation on your actions as an opportunity to improve. – Mas Oyama

In the modern world, the anxious temperament does offer certain benefits: caution, introspection, the capacity to work alone. These can be adaptive qualities. – Robin Marantz Henig

In Zen you practice zazen, mindfulness and other forms of introspection to find out who you are and what you want, to balance your spirit, develop willpower, increase your sense of humor and gain wisdom. – Frederick Lindemann, 1st Viscount Cherwell

Information is key to raising awareness of what our brain withholds from our conscious mind. Unfortunately we are hardwired emotion-driven thinkers. It takes effort and training to exercise introspection and mindfulness. – David Bloor

It is good for society to have this introspection. – Jacques Verges

It is necessary … for a man to go away by himself … to sit on a rock … and ask, ‘Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going? – Carl Sandburg

It [his brothers assassination] made Robert Kennedy, a man unprepared for introspection, think for the first time in his life, what he wanted to do, and what he stood for. – Jack Newfield

Jewish introspection and Jewish humor is a way of surviving . . . if you’re not handsome and you’re not athletic and you’re not rich, there’s still one last hope with girls, which is being funny. – Mike Nichols

Julian Jaynes’s theories for the nature of self-awareness, introspection, and consciousness have replaced the assumption of their almost ethereal uniqueness with explanations that could initiate the next change in paradigm for human thought. – Michael Persinger

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. – Aristotle

Life is the constant process of self-creation. We constantly make and remake our personal version of the self. Personal introspection is critical to ascertain who we want to become by ascertaining what traits we wish to eradicate and what qualities we wish to embody. – Kilroy J. Oldster

Made for spirituality, we wallow in introspection. Made for joy, we settle for pleasure. Made for justice, we clamor for vengeance. – N. T. Wright

Many people dream of success. To me, success can only be achieved through repeated failure and introspection. – Soichiro Honda

Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all. – Rollo May

My friend…care for your psyche…know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves. – Socrates

My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery – always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What’s this passion for? – Virginia Woolf

Some days I don’t know what is greater.
My wisdom, or my stupidity. – Sanober Khan

No man learns to know his inmost nature by introspection, for he rates himself sometimes too low, and often too high, by his own measurement. Man knows himself only by comparing himself with other men; it is life that touches his genuine worth. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Novels are food for the leftover hours of life, the in-between times, the moments of waiting. – Young-Ha Kim

Of all studies, the one he would rather have avoided was that of his own mind. He knew no tragedy so heartrending as introspection. – Henry Adams

On Laurence Olivier as Hamlet in a 1948 film: Olivier’s idea of introspection was to hood his eyes, dentalize his consonants and let the camera circle his blondined head like a sparrow looking for a place to deposit its droppings. – Robert Brustein

On the methodological issue, I think that would be hopeless to try to adjudicate between my view and orthodoxy by appeal to phenomenological introspection. We need to know about brain mechanisms. – David Papineau

Once I found professional happiness, it gave me time to think about other areas in my life in which I wasn’t happy. The next obvious candidate for introspection was my marriage. – Megyn Kelly

One could argue that most of the trouble in the world is caused by introspection. – Nick Hornby

One good teacher in a lifetime may sometimes change a delinquent into a solid citizen. – Philip Wylie

One receives as reward for much ennui, despondency, boredom — such as a solitude without friends, books, duties, passions must bring with it — those quarter-hours of profoundest contemplation within oneself and nature. He who completely entrenches himself against boredom also entrenches himself against himself: he will never get to drink the strongest refreshing draught from his own innermost fountain. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love. – George Eliot

Our self discoveries make us each a microcosm of the larger pattern of history. The inertia of introspection leads toward recollection, for only through memory is the past recaptured and understood. In the fact of experiencing and making the present, we are all actors. – Terence McKenna

Out of love you can speak with straight fury. – Eudora Welty

Periods of silent solitude spent in introspective reflecting are sacred and a source of great strength and comfort. We can learn from listening to the rhythms of nature and from appreciating the eternal hush of the cosmos. – Kilroy J. Oldster

Q: Why do I love thee, O Night?
A: Because you know I will never answer. – Vera Nazarian

Self-development requires direct action. Knowledge must precede action. The self’s relation to the world must be grounded in reality through ideas and thoughts. Self-reflection and introspection expands our appreciation of life. – Kilroy J. Oldster

Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing. – William S. Burroughs

Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead. – Yvonne Woon

Spending time looking for what is missing in your life is futile; if you fail to look within yourself. When we challenge everything we believe we are, we reveal that which we never knew about our own selves. – Nicolas G. Janovsky

Study yourself. Find your strong points and make them stronger as well as your weak ones and strengthen them. Study yourself carefully and you will see yourself as you really are. – William Walker Atkinson

The Chautauqua Institution is truly a national treasure. It is a place for contemplation and a place for reflection, a place where platitudes and slogans can be set aside and be replaced by thoughtfulness and introspection. – Eliot Spitzer

The deeper I go into myself the more I realize that I am my own enemy. – Floriano Martins

The first task is to discover the dharma by introspection, by constantly questioning yourself and asking yourself, “What is right?” – Frederick Lindemann, 1st Viscount Cherwell

The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize. – Robert Hughes

The inertia of the mind urges it to slide down the easy slope of imagination, rather than to climb the steep slope of introspection. – Marcel Proust

The mind becomes much more beautiful,
when man could see his own weaknesses. – Toba Beta

The mind can weave itself warmly in the cocoon of its own thoughts, and dwell a hermit anywhere. – James Russell Lowell

The mind is a miraculous mirror through which we see the world, but it can also see from within. – Debasish Mridha

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude. – Aldous Huxley

The most introspective of souls are often those that have been hurt the most. – Shannon L. Alder

The most mature human insight comes from one’s introspection rather than from exterior research. – Hugh Downs

The only journey is the one within. – Rainer Maria Rilke

The philosophy of the wisest man that ever existed, is mainly derived from the act of introspection. – William Godwin

The problem with introspection is that it has no end. – Philip K. Dick

The very young have, properly speaking, no moments. It is the privilege of early youth to live in advance of its days in all the beautiful continuity of hope which knows no pauses and no introspection. – Joseph Conrad

The world is a palace without bedsheets – Suchet Chaturvedi

The worry that unreflective belief acquisition may be unreliable, after all, applies equally to reflective belief acquisition: it too may be unreliable. To my mind, the plausibility of internalist views about justification is dramatically decreased when one becomes vividly aware of what introspection and reflection actually achieve. – Hilary Kornblith

The zipper displaces the button and a man lacks just that much time to think while dressing at dawn, a philosophical hour, and thus a melancholy hour. – Ray Bradbury

There are always differences when you adapt a novel to a film. A novel is longer so you’re automatically cutting out elements and introspection but this is actually a film that stays very close to the novel. – Nicholas Sparks

There are essentially two questions in life – a spiritual question and a material question. The spiritual question is ‘Who am I?’ The material question is ‘What am I to do with my life?’ One leads to the other. – Rasheed Ogunlaru

There is music in words, and it can be heard you know, by thinking. – E.L. Doctorow

There is no feeling so simple that it is not immediately complicated and distorted by introspection. – Andre Gide

There was something wrong with her. She did not know what it was but there was something wrong with her. A hunger, a restlessness. An incomplete knowledge of herself. The sense of something farther away, beyond her reach. – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

There’s just something unsettling about studying your reflection. It’s not a matter of being dissatisfied with your face or of being embarrassed by your vanity. Maybe it’s that when you gaze into your own eyes, you don’t see what you wish to see—or glimpse something that you wish weren’t there. – Dean Koontz

Think of your head as an unsafe neighborhood; don’t go there alone. – Augusten Burroughs

Through love and sincerity continuously beautify your inner life in every way, by daily looking into the mirror of introspection. – Paramahansa Yogananda

To be truly free, it takes more determination, courage, introspection, and restraint than to be in shackles. – Pietro Belluschi

To find out what is truly individual in ourselves, profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality is. – C.G. Jung

To foster inner awareness, introspection, and reasoning is more efficient than meditation and prayer. – Dalai Lama

Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection. – Lawrence Durrell

Truth be told, the inward gaze is something she’s not too fond of. But there are secrets that lurk in the mind, and she doesn’t want any of them sneaking up on her. Sometimes it pays to take a deep look inside even if you get queasy gazing into those dark corners. – Alden Bell

Vintage books, old china, antiques; maybe I love old things so much because I feel impermanent myself. – Josh Lanyon

We are different personality types with different needs and motivations. In our culture, different is scary. Extroverts have laid claim on the definition of normal, leaving introverts to feel guilty for not fitting in. While – Michaela Chung

We forge gradually our greatest instrument for understanding the world – introspection. We discover that humanity may resemble us very considerably – that the best way of knowing the inwardness of our neighbors is to know ourselves. – Walter Lippmann

We gain knowledge about the interworking of our personal mind through observation of the external world and personal introspection. Contemplation requires a degree of stillness, the willingness to consider deep thoughts. – Kilroy J. Oldster

We inhabit an internal world that is subject to diversification. Every day we undergo personal transformation based upon experiences, thoughts, and feelings. – Kilroy J. Oldster

We learn about life by exploring the texture and depth of space that composes our private inner world. In solitude we revisit our wounded feelings, sins, doubts, and deepest despair, replay poignant memories of loved ones, project what we are becoming, and ascertain the purpose of our being. – Kilroy J. Oldster

We must act out passion before we can feel it. – Jean-Paul Sartre

We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart. – Elizabeth Gilbert

What is reading but silent conversation. – Walter Savage Landor

What will really release the kundalini is creating a stillness in your life. This stillness will come about through deep caring and introspection. It will come about slowly and then quickly – it builds momentum. – Frederick Lindemann, 1st Viscount Cherwell

When a person finds life hard, he needs motivation and inspiration; but if he finds life’s journey easy, then he needs meditation and introspection to know the true quality of his life. – Anuj

When I do comedy, I lose all inhibition and introspection. I no longer care. – Jessica Alba

When I found myself regarded as respectable, I began to wonder what sins I had committed. I must be very wicked, I thought. I began to engage in the most uncomfortable introspection. – Bertrand Russell

When I look in the mirror, I am slightly reminded of self-portraits by Durer and by Rembrandt, because they both show a degree of introspection. I see some element of disappointment; I see a sense of humour, but also something that is faintly ridiculous; and I see somebody who is frightened of being found out and thought lightweight. – Robert Winston

When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points. – Confucius

Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle. – Lewis Carroll , Alice in Wonderland

Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. – Carl Gustav Jung

Will is guided by wisdom. Wisdom comes from introspection, looking inside yourself, probing, studying the wisdom of the teachers, the masters and bringing that into your mind. – Frederick Lenz

Wisdom can only come through honest introspection. – Nirmala Srivastava

Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself. – Franz Kafka

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holy of holies of Jewish time. It is that rarest of phenomena, a Jewish festival without food. Instead it is a day of fasting and prayer, introspection and self-judgment when, collectively and repeatedly, we confess our sins and pray to be written into God’s Book of Life. – Jonathan Sacks

You can’t lie to your soul. – Irvine Welsh

You live out the character of he whom love is immersed in you – Sunday Adelaja

You want to read a book? That requires introspection. It requires time away from people and time away from the constant need to communicate and to connect. – Gary Shteyngart

Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – C.G. Jung

[in the true mad north] of introspection, where ‘falcons of the inner eye’dive and die, glimpsing in their dying fall, all life’s memory of existence. – Lawrence Ferlinghetti

It’s a fact—everyone is ignorant in some way or another.

Ignorance is our deepest secret.

And it is one of the scariest things out there, because those of us who are most ignorant are also the ones who often don’t know it or don’t want to admit it.

Here is a quick test:

If you have never changed your mind about some fundamental tenet of your belief, if you have never questioned the basics, and if you have no wish to do so, then you are likely ignorant.

Before it is too late, go out there and find someone who, in your opinion, believes, assumes, or considers certain things very strongly and very differently from you, and just have a basic honest conversation.

It will do both of you good. – Vera Nazarian

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Quotes From Wikiquote

Antiquity through seventeenth century

  • Those who do not observe the movements of their own minds must of necessity be unhappy.
    • Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 2.8.
  • Be vigilant in attending to yourself, … that you may set God before you at all times.
    • Barsanuphius of Palestine, as cited in The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity (2012), p. 106
  • Learn to know thyself, it shall profit thee more than any craft.
    • Meister Eckhart, “The Nobility of the Soul”
  • I can’t as yet “know myself,” as the inscription at Delphi enjoins, and so long as that ignorance remains it seems to me ridiculous to inquire about extraneous matters.
    • Plato, Phaedrus, 229d
  • When one intends to move or when one intends to speak, one should first examine one’s own mind and then act appropriately with composure. When one sees one’s mind to be attached or repulsed, then one should neither act nor speak, but remain still like a piece of wood. When my mind is haughty, sarcastic, full of conceit and arrogance, ridiculing, evasive and deceitful, when it is inclined to boast, or when it is contemptuous of others, abusive, and irritable, then I should remain still like a piece of wood. When my mind is averse to the interests of others and seeks my own self-interest, or when it wishes to speak out of a desire for an audience, then I will remain still like a piece of wood. When it is impatient, indolent, timid, impudent, garrulous, or biased in my own favor, then I will remain still like a piece of wood.
    • Santideva, A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, V. Wallace and B. Wallace, trans. (1997), § 5.47.

Eighteenth century

  • The great duty ‘know thyself,’ which sounds so important, has always seemed to me suspect, like a trick of priests in secret conspiracy who would like to confuse man through unfulfillable demands and lead him away from his proper activity in the external world to a false interior contemplation. A man knows himself insofar as he knows the world, which he perceives only within himself, and himself only within it.
    • Goethe, Bedeutende Fördernis durch ein einziges geistreiches Wort, cited in Karl Löwith, From Hegel to Nietzsche, D. Green, trans. (1964), p. 10.
  • Wouldst thou other men know, look thou within thine own heart.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Tabulae Votivae (Votive Tablets) (1796), “The Key”; tr. Edgar Alfred Bowring, The Poems of Schiller, Complete (1851).
  • It is in our own mind and not in exterior objects that we perceive most things; fools know scarcely anything because they are empty, and their heart is narrow; but great souls find in themselves a number of exterior things; they have no need to read or travel or to listen or to work to discover the highest truths; they have only to delve into themselves and search, if we may say so, their own thoughts.
    • Vauvenargues, Reflections and Maxims, E. Lee, trans. (1903), p. 186.

Nineteenth century

  • We are able to discern not only what we already are, but what we may become, to see in ourselves germs and promises of a growth to which no bounds can be set, to dart beyond what we have actually gained to the idea of perfection as the end of our being. It is by this self-comprehending power that we are distinguished from the brutes, which give no signs of looking into themselves. Without this there would be no self-culture, for we should not know the work to be done; and one reason why self-culture is so little proposed is, that so few penetrate into their own nature. To most men, their own spirits are shadowy, unreal, compared with what is outward. When they happen to cast a glance inward, they see there only a dark, vague chaos. They distinguish, perhaps, some violent passion, which has driven them to injurious excess; but their highest powers hardly attract a thought; and thus multitudes live and die as truly strangers to themselves as to countries of which they have heard the name, but which human foot has never trodden.
    • William Ellery Channing, “Self-Culture” (1838)
  • I can find Greece and Palestine and Italy and England and the Islands, the genius and creative principle of each and of all eras, in my own mind.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, April 1, 1839, Volume 5, p. 184.
  • Other men are lenses through which we read our own minds.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Uses of Great Men,” Representative Men (1892), p. 8.


  • There is no feeling so simple that it is not immediately complicated and distorted by introspection.
    • André Gide, “An Unprejudiced Mind,” Pretexts, J. O’Brien, ed. (1964) p. 317.


  • In philosophical anthropology, … where the subject is man in his wholeness, the investigator cannot content himself … with considering man as another part of nature and with ignoring the fact that he, the investigator, is himself a man and experiences this humanity in his inner experience in a way that he simply cannot experience any part of nature.
    • Martin Buber, “What is man?” Between Man and Man (1965), p. 147
  • Introspection and preserved writings give us far more insight into the ways of past humans than we have into the ways of past dinosaurs. For that reason, I’m optimistic that we can eventually arrive at convincing explanations for these broadest patterns of human history.
    • Jared Diamond in: John Brockman The New Humanists: Science at the Edge, Barnes & Noble Publishing, 2003, p. 31.
  • The mind sent outside is the origination of suffering.
    The result of the mind sent outside is suffering.
    The mind seeing the mind is the path.
    The result of the mind seeing the mind is the cessation of suffering.

    • Ajaan Dune, Gifts He Left Behind, The Dhamma Legacy of Phra Ajaan Dune Atulo (Phra Rājavuḍḍhācariya), as compiled by Phra Rājavaraguṇa, as translated from the Thai by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu
  • The best of [journeys] not only lead us outwards in space, but inwards as well. Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.
    • Lawrence Durrell in: Sebastian Filep, Philip Pearce Tourist Experience and Fulfilment: Insights from Positive Psychology, Routledge, 31 July 2013, p. 190.
  • It is through introspection that we obtain the self-knowledge allowing us to bring positive change to our lives. By engaging in it, you will be able to see when it is not the world that needs to reform but yourself.
    • P. M. Forni in: The Thinking Life: How to Thrive in the Age of Distraction, Macmillan, 13 September 2011, p. 48.
  • Your introspection may lead you to realize that you cannot take care of your problems on your own. This is not a defeat. This is introspection serving you well.
    • P. M. Forni in: “The Thinking Life: How to Thrive in the Age of Distraction”, p. 48.
  • The philosophy of the wisest man that ever existed, is mainly derived from the act of introspection.
    • William Godwin in: Thoughts on Man, His Nature, Productions and Discoveries,, 28 November 2007, p. 385.
  • Today the child is much more directly thrown upon society, childhood is shortened, and the result is a human being cast in a different mold. As interiority has withered away, the joy of making personal decisions, of cultural development, and of the free exercise of imagination has gone with it. Other inclinations and goals mark the man of today: technological expertise, presence of mind, pleasure in the mastery of machinery, the need to be part of and to agree with the majority or some group which is chosen as a model and whose regulations replace individual judgment.
    • Max Horkheimer, “The concept of man” (1967), in Critique of Instrumental Reason (2013), p. 12.
  • Introspection is the process of self-examination. It occurs naturally over the life span, although some people are naturally more introspective than others. Some theorists in the field of psychology have historically seen introspection as a trait, an element of the personality itself’
    • George Murray (1938) quoted in: James Thorson Aging in a Changing Society, Routledge, 21 August 2013, p. 152.
  • We tend to treat our own introspections as something of a gold standard in assessing…whether judgments have been tainted by bias. By contrast we treat the introspections of other actors as merely another source of plausible hypothesis – to be accepted or rejected as a function of their plausibility in light of what we know…. We refer to this asymmetry as the introspection illusion because the faith people have in the validity of their own introspections is misplaced. Although people cannot report accurately on the contents of their thoughts…the psychological processes and the true determinants of their behavior are often inaccessible to introspection.
    • E. Pronin, Thomas Gilovich and L.Rossin: Society Explained: An Introduction to Sociology , Rowman & Littlefield, 27 March 2014, p. 69.
  • Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holy of holies of Jewish time. It is that rarest of phenomena, a Jewish festival without food. Instead it is a day of fasting and prayer, introspection and self-judgment when, collectively and repeatedly, we confess our sins and pray to be written into God’s Book of Life.
    • Jonathan Sacks in: Democratised Holiness: What Yom Kippur Teaches Us About, ABC Religion and Ethics 3 Oct 2014.
  • You want to read a book? That requires introspection. It requires time away from people and time away from the constant need to communicate and to connect.
    • Gary Shteyngart in: Emarketing Excellence: Planning and Optimizing your Digital Marketing , Routledge, 5 March 2013 , p. 206.
  • When I look in the mirror, I am slightly reminded of self-portraits by Durer and by Rembrandt, because they both show a degree of introspection. I see some element of disappointment; I see a sense of humour, but also something that is faintly ridiculous; and I see somebody who is frightened of being found out and thought lightweight.
    • Robert Winston in: What I see in the mirror: Robert Winston, The Guardian, 13 April 2012.
  • Introspection is silent observation, overthinking is loud conclusion.
    • Srinath Madapathi

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