107 Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes for life

Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism. Here are some Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes.

“Everything has been figured out, except how to live.”

“I had spent my time counterfeiting eternity…”

“The aim of language…is to communicate…to impart to others the results one has obtained…As I talk, I reveal the situation…I reveal it to myself and to others in order to change it.”

“Man is nothing else but what he purposes, he exists only in so far as he realizes himself, he is therefore nothing else but the sum of his actions, nothing else but what his life is.”

“She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist.”

“We are our choices.”

“We must act out passion before we can feel it.”

Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes

“I am alone in the midst of these happy, reasonable voices. All these creatures spend their time explaining, realizing happily that they agree with each other. In Heaven’s name, why is it so important to think the same things all together.”

“Politics is a science. You can demonstrate that you are right and that others are wrong.”

“If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company.”

“I think of death only with tranquility, as an end. I refuse to let death hamper life. Death must enter life only to define it.”

“I felt myself in a solitude so frightful that I contemplated suicide. What held me back was the idea that no one, absolutely no one, would be moved by my death, that I would be even more alone in death than in life.”

“We do not judge the people we love.”

Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes

“My thought is me: that’s why I can’t stop. I exist because I think and I can’t stop myself from thinking. At this very moment – it’s frightful – if I exist, it is because I am horrified at existing. I am the one who pulls myself from the nothingness to which I aspire.”

“I had found my religion: nothing seemed more important to me than a book. I saw the library as a temple.”

“I suppose it is out of laziness that the world is the same day after day. Today it seemed to want to change. And then anything, anything could happen.”

“I’m going to smile, and my smile will sink down into your pupils, and heaven knows what it will become.”

“Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal.”

“I want to leave, to go somewhere where I should be really in my place, where I would fit in . . . but my place is nowhere; I am unwanted.”

“Life has no meaning , It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose.”

“There may be more beautiful times, but this one is ours.”

jean paul sartre quotes

Good quotes from Jean-Paul Sartre

“What do we mean by saying that existence precedes essence? We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world-and defines himself afterward.”

“Absurd, irreducible; nothing–not even a profound and secret delirium of nature–could explain [a tree root].”

“It answers the question that was tormenting you: my love, you are not ‘one thing in my life’ – not even the most important – because my life no longer belongs to me because…you are always me.”

“Handing over a bank note is enough to make a bicycle belong to me, but my entire life is needed to realize this possession.”

“There is a universe behind and before him. And the day is approaching when closing the last book on the last shelf on the far left; he will say to himself, “now what?”

“I exist. It is soft, so soft, so slow. And light: it seems as though it suspends in the air. It moves.”

“I am. I am, I exist, I think, therefore I am; I am because I think, why do I think? I don’t want to think any more, I am because I think that I don’t want to be, I think that I . . . because . . . ugh!”

“Commitment is an act, not a word.”

jean paul sartre quotes

“All that I know about my life, it seems, I have learned in books.”

“I do not think therefore I am a moustache”

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”

“That’s what existence means: draining one’s own self dry without the sense of thirst.”

“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.”

“We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.”

“Don’t you feel the same way? When I cannot see myself, even though I touch myself, I wonder if I really exist.”

“I have no religion, but if I were to choose one, it would be that of Shariati’s.”

“It is therefore senseless to think of complaining since nothing foreign has decided what we feel, what we live, or what we are.”

“Acting is happy agony.”

existentialism quotes

“I have such a desire to sleep and am so much behind my sleep. A good night, one good night and all this nonsense will be swept away.”

“Life begins on the other side of despair.”

“The more one is absorbed in fighting evil, the less one is tempted to place the good in question.”

“Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.”

“Words are loaded pistols.”

“Only the guy who isn’t rowing has time to rock the boat.”

“If literature isn’t everything, it’s not worth a single hour of someone’s trouble.”

“People who live in society have learnt how to see themselves, in mirrors, as they appear to their friends. I have no friends: is that why my flesh is so naked?”

“That God does not exist, I cannot deny, That my whole being cries out for God I cannot forget.”

“I am going to outlive myself. Eat, sleep, sleep, eat. Exist slowly, softly, like these trees, like a puddle of water, like the red bench in the streetcar.”

“Man is what he wills himself to be.”

jean paul sartre quotes

Motivational quotes from Jean Paul Sartre

“I can receive nothing more from these tragic solitudes than a little empty purity.”

“Every word has consequences. Every silence, too.”

“God is absence. God is the solitude of man.”

“There were days when you peered into yourself, into the secret places of your heart, and what you saw there made you faint with horror. And then, next day, you didn’t know what to make of it,you couldn’t interpret the horror you had glimpsed the day before. Yes, you know what evil costs.”

“It’s quite an undertaking to start loving somebody. You have to have energy, generosity, blindness. There is even a moment right at the start where you have to jump across an abyss: if you think about it you don’t do it.”

“Man is fully responsible for his nature and his choices.”

jean paul sartre quotes

“Evil is the product of the ability of humans to make abstract that which is concrete.”

“I have no need for good souls: an accomplice is what I wanted.”

“As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become.”

“I’d come to realize that all our troubles spring from our failure to use plain, clear-cut language.”

“Our responsibility is much greater than we might have supposed, because it involves all mankind.”

“Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.”

“Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.”

Sartre Quotes

“Once freedom lights its beacon in man’s heart, the gods are powerless against him.”

“I will not be modest. Humble, as much as you like, but not modest. Modesty is the virtue of the lukewarm.”

“To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June”

“For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it.”

“I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating.”

“Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough.”

“One is still what one is going to cease to be and already what one is going to become. One lives one’s death, one dies one’s life.”

“Hell is other people at breakfast.”

“Neither sex, without some fertilization of the complimentary characters of the other, is capable of the highest reaches of human endeavor.”

“If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I’m still waiting, it’s all been to seduce women basically.”

“The poor don’t know that their function in life is to exercise our generosity.”

“I hate victims who respect their executioners.”

“You take souls for vegetables…. The gardener can decide what will become of his carrots but no one can choose the good of others for them.”

“There are two types of poor people, those who are poor together and those who are poor alone. The first are the true poor, the others are rich people out of luck.”

“When rich people fight wars with one another, poor people are the ones to die.”

“The best work is not what is most difficult for you; it is what you do best.”

“We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact.”

“I think that is the big danger in keeping a diary: you exaggerate everything.”

“Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them.”

“A kiss without a moustache, they said then, is like an egg without salt; I will add to it: and it is like Good without Evil.”

“your judgement judges you and defines you”

“A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost.”

Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes

Inspirational Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes

“Fear? If I have gained anything by damning myself, it is that I no longer have anything to fear.”

“In love, one and one are one.”

“Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.”

“You must be like me; you must suffer in rhythm.”

“Every age has its own poetry; in every age the circumstances of history choose a nation, a race, a class to take up the torch by creating situations that can be expressed or transcended only through poetry.”

“It is not the same thing if I sign Jean-Paul Sartre or if I sign Jean-Paul Sartre, Nobel Prize winner. A writer must refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution, even if it takes place in the most honorable form.”

“Words are more treacherous and powerful than we think.”

“Poetry creates the myth, the prose writer draws its portrait.”

“If you die, I will lie down beside you and I will stay there until the end, without eating or drinking, you will rot in my arms and I will love you as carcass: for you love nothing if you do not love everything.”

“You are — your life, and nothing else.”

famous existential quotes

“Better a good journalist than a poor assassin.”

“I tell you in truth: all men are Prophets or else God does not exist.”

“Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives.”

“What is meant here by saying that existence precedes essence? It means first of all, man exists, turns up, appears on the scene, and, only afterwards, defines himself. If man, as the existentialist conceives him, is indefinable, it is because at first he is nothing. Only afterward will he be something, and he himself will have made what he will be.”

“No finite point has meaning without an infinite reference point.”

“Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.”

“Being is. Being is in-itself. Being is what it is.”

“I never could bear the idea of anyone’s expecting something from me. It always made me want to do just the opposite.”

“The existentialist says at once that man is anguish.”

“It is only in our decisions that we are important.”

“I do not understand! I understand nothing! I cannot understand nor do I want to understand! I want to believe! To Believe!”

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