Top Ineffable Quotes

Browse top 66 famous quotes and sayings about Ineffable by most favorite authors.

Favorite Ineffable Quotes

1. "The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding. Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh. We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore. Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another. Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap. They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath."
Author: Abraham Joshua Heschel
2. "There was no moon at all, and a faint silver peppering of starts fardly showed through the scrim of high clouds. The sea itself seemed to give off light, a spectral, colorless light that was more like the sea's breath. The night was soft and thick and black and warm as velvet, silky on my skin, smelling of iodine and salt and crepe myrtle and that ineffable, skin-prickling saline emanation that says 'ocean' to me whenever I smell it, hundreds of miles inland. It always moves me close to tears, so visceral, so old and tidal is its pull. I have often thought that it is the first smell we know, the amniotic smell of our first, secret sea."
Author: Anne Rivers Siddons
3. "The very old can tell you about peace. They have fought through the black, sinking, visceral knowledge of death–their own death–that heralds middle age and come to the place where childhood meets them once more, and with it that ineffable treasure that only the very young and old know: the tranquility of the moment. The contentment of living each day as it comes to them, wholly and with all senses. The young do it because they know nothing, yet, of pain and fear and the transience of their lives; the old because they know everything of those things and can bear them only by staying in the moment. Carpe diem> may be the sum of all the world's wisdom. I have always thought Horace must have been old when he wrote it."
Author: Anne Rivers Siddons
4. "The first study for the man who wants to be a poet is knowledge of himself, complete: he searches for his soul, he inspects it, he puts it to the test, he learns it. As soon as he has learned it, he must cultivate it! I say that one must be a seer, make oneself a seer. The poet becomes a seer through a long, immense, and reasoned derangement of all the senses. All shapes of love suffering, madness. He searches himself, he exhausts all poisons in himself, to keep only the quintessences. Ineffable torture where he needs all his faith, all his superhuman strength, where he becomes among all men the great patient, the great criminal, the great accursed one--and the supreme Scholar! For he reaches the unknown! ....So the poet is actually a thief of Fire!"
Author: Arthur Rimbaud
5. "What does the Spirit do? His works are ineffable in majesty, and innumerable in quantity. How can we even ponder what extends beyond the ages? What did He do before creation began? How great are the graces He showered on creation? What power will He wield in the age to come? He existed; He pre-existed; He co-existed with the Father and the Son before the ages. Even if you can imagine anything beyond the ages, you will discover that the Spirit is even further before."
Author: Basil The Great
6. "In certain strains of Judaism, there's a profound passion for the ineffable. Contemplation of God is meant to be forever elusive, because, you know, our tiny minds can't possibly comprehend Him. If we find ourselves comprehending Him, then we can be sure we're off track."
Author: Ben Marcus
7. "The man who is unable to people his solitude is equally unable to be alone in a bustling crowd. The poet enjoys the incomparable privilege of being able to be himself or some one else, as he chooses. [...] The solitary and thoughtful stroller finds a singular intoxication in this universal communion. [...] What men call love is a very small, restricted, feeble thing compared with this ineffable orgy, this divine prostitution of the soul giving itself entire...to the unexpected as it comes along, the stranger as he passes."
Author: Charles Baudelaire
8. "(Prayer is) a fictitious consolation invented by those who have everything in order to keep those who have nothing contented. I belong to the bourgeoisie and I know the only reason my class bothers to show the lower classes that distant paradise full of ineffable pleasures that will one day be theirs is to divert attention from their own bulging coffers and from the abundance of their harvests."
Author: Eça De Queirós
9. "Every mile was redolent of associations, which she would not have missed for the world, but each of which made her cry upon 'the days that are no more' with ineffable longing."
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell
10. "I like to be perfectly open and sincere, and yet it is impossible to be sincere to all of one's self at once, so for the deepest understanding one must seek those with whom one can be most truly one's self and never be blind to the ineffable drollery of it all."
Author: Everett Ruess
11. "But his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his best at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the washstand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor. Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace. For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on fairy's wings."
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
12. "As I walk, I construct perfect sentences that I cannot remember later at home. I don't know if the ineffable poetry of those sentences derived from what they were or from their never having been (written)."
Author: Fernando Pessoa
13. "Creativity leads others to where I lead you, to an unseen beauty, so ineffable its very beauty destroys itself..."
Author: Fola
14. "Of course, I also gave him the ineffable pleasures of pipe smoking. And no children, because when this character was created I did not yet have the four children I later had. I must add I also gave him a certain taste for food."
Author: Georges Simenon
15. "For this is what we do. Put one foot forward and then the other. Lift our eyes to the snarl and smile of the world once more. Think. Act. feel. Add our little consequence to the tides of good and evil that flood and drain the world. Drag our shadowed crosses into the hope of another night. Push our brave hearts into the promise of a new day. With love; the passionate search for truth other than our own. With longing; the pure, ineffable yearning to be saved. For so long as fate keeps waiting, we live on."
Author: Gregory David Roberts
16. "It is rarely possible, when a human being is in deep need, to look upon somebody who offers help as merely another flawed human being with whom one is going to engage in a protracted conversation. A kind of wild idealization sets in, and we imagine the person in whom we confide to possess ineffable and valuable traits beyond those attainable by ordinary mortals. We ascribe value, and project qualities onto this person that almost never correspond with reality. It is a little bit like falling in love - powerful emotions are called forth. It takes a strong person not to exploit the ensuing power imbalance."
Author: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
17. "If you added it up, without her there was nothing--but with her even the simplest of gestures of walking a bird dog in the desert, or selecting the ingredients for a meal for two rather than one took on an ineffable charm.(from the novella, Revenge)"
Author: Jim Harrison
18. "If I were omnipotent and omnibenevolent I wouldn't be so damn ineffable."
Author: Jo Walton
19. "It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what."
Author: John Galsworthy
20. "The violence of language consists in its effort to capture the ineffable and, hence, to destroy it, to seize hold of that which must remain elusive for language to operate as a living thing."
Author: Judith Butler
21. "O, what a world of unseen visions and heard silences, this insubstantial country of the mind! What ineffable essences, these touchless rememberings and unshowable reveries! And the privacy of it all! A secret theater of speechless monologue and prevenient counsel, an invisible mansion of all moods, musings, and mysteries, an infinite resort of disappointments and discoveries. A whole kingdom where each of us reigns reclusively alone, questioning what we will, commanding what we can. A hidden hermitage where we may study out the troubled book of what we have done and yet may do. An introcosm that is more myself than anything I can find in a mirror. This consciousness that is myself of selves, that is everything, and yet is nothing at all - what is it?And where did it come from?And why?"
Author: Julian Jaynes
22. "When that ineffable compound of depression, sadness (these two are not the same), anxiety, self-hatred, sense of failure and fear for the future begins to steal over you, start telling yourself that what you have is a hangover. You are not sickening for anything, you have not suffered a minor brain lesion, you are not all that bad at your job, your family and friends are not leagued in a conspiracy of barely maintained silence about what a s**t you are, you have not come at last to see life as it really is and there is no use crying over spilt milk."
Author: Kingsley Amis
23. "A house isn't a home without the ineffable contentment of a cat with its tail folded about its feet. A cat gives mystery, charm, suggestion."
Author: L.M. Montgomery
24. "She liked the word ineffable because it meant a feeling so big or vast that it could not be expressed in words.And yet, because it could not be expressed in words, people had invented a word to express it, and that made Liesl feel hopeful, somehow."
Author: Lauren Oliver
25. "Early love is exciting and exhilarating. It's light and bubbly. Anyone can love like that. But after three children, after a separation and a near-divorce, after you've hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other and surprised each other, after you've seen the worst and the best-- well, that sort of love is ineffable. It deserves its own word."
Author: Liane Moriarty
26. "From the first opening of our eyes, it is the light that attracts us. We clutch aimlessly with our baby fingers at the gossamer-motes in the sunbeam, and we die reaching out after an ineffable blending of earthly and heavenly beauty which we shall never fully comprehend."
Author: Lucy Larcom
27. "The ineffable utterance of one solitary man, absent, perhaps dead (Swann did not know whether Vinteuil were still alive), breathed out above the rites of those two hierophants, sufficed to arrest the attention of three hundred minds, and made of that stage on which a soul was thus called into being one of the noblest altars on which a supernatural ceremony could be performed."
Author: Marcel Proust
28. "Good writing is the hardest form of thinking. It involves the agony of turning profoundly difficult thoughts into lucid form, then forcing them into the tight-fitting uniform of language, making them visible and clear. If the writing is good, then the result seems effortless and inevitable. But when you want to say something life-changing or ineffable in a single sentence, you face both the limitations of the sentence itself and the extent of your own talent."
Author: Pat Conroy
29. "Ce qui n'est pas ineffable n'a aucune importance."
Author: Paul Valéry
30. "I would simply ask why so many critics, so many writers, so many philosophers take such satisfaction in professing that the experience of a work of art is ineffable, that it escapes by definition all rational understanding; why are they so eager to concede without a struggle the defeat of knowledge; and where does their irrepressible need to belittle rational understanding come from, this rage to affirm the irreducibility of the work of art, or, to use a more suitable word, its transcendence."
Author: Pierre Bourdieu
31. "Mother inexhaustible and incorruptible, creatures, born the first, engendered by thyself and by thyself conceived, issue of thyself alone and seeking joy within thyself, Astarte! Oh! Perpetually fertilized, virgin and nurse of all that is, chaste and lascivious, pure and revelling, ineffable, nocturnal, sweet, breather of fire, foam of the sea! Thou who accordest grace in secret, thou who unites, thou who lovest, thou who seizes with furious desire the multiplied races of savage beasts and the couplets the sexes in the wood. Oh, irresistible Astarte! hear me, take me, possess me, oh, Moon! and thirteen times each year draw from my womb the sweet libation of my blood!"
Author: Pierre Louÿs
32. "The touch of an infinite mystery passes over the trivial and the familiar, making it break out into ineffable music... The trees, the stars, and the blue hills ache with a meaning which can never be uttered in words."
Author: Rabindranath Tagore
33. "Ne parlons pas de toi. Tu es ineffableselon ta nature.D'autres fleurs ornent la tableque tu transfigures.On te met dans un simple vase -,voici que tout change:c'est peut-être la même phrase,mais chantée par un ange."
Author: Rainer Maria Rilke
34. "Existentialism "every appearance in nature corresponds to some state of the mind," we have entered the familiar Wordsworthian Romantic territory in which nature is phenomena and spirit is noumena and the task of the human person is to draw his being from whatever inscrutable force produces, organizes, and infuses the phenomenal universe —an "ineffable essence which we call Spirit. Being as not being stable but forever in flux and transition. Even history, Which seems obviously about the past, has its true use as the servant of the present.' Emerson and Buddhism stand for spirituality purged of creed detritus.' the essence of Existentialism is that you find meaning in nature, wisdom, mind and body."
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson
35. "Every walker is a guard on patrol to protect the ineffable."
Author: Rebecca Solnit
36. "...'Well, I think of you as a straight shooter, Sheriff, but one who can't stop lustin' after the goddamn ineffable.'"She said that, hunh?""Yup.""Shitfire, Sheriff, what'd you do?""Well, I shot her."
Author: Robert Coover
37. "The scene is a writer's study, shabby, drafty but tax-deductible. The writer is reading the last hundred pages of his work in progress. For the past fifty or so, a kind of slow terror has been rising in his breast. All these pages had seemed necessary. They contain many good things. Ironies. Insights. And yet they seem to have a certain ineffable unsatisfactoriness. There is a word to describe this quality, the writer thinks, a horrible word. The B word. He begins to strike his forehead with a sweaty palm."
Author: Robert Stone
38. "Both light and shadow are the dance of Love.Love has no cause, it is the astrolabe of God's secrets.Lover and loving are inseparable and timeless.Although I may try to describe love,when I experience it, I am speechless.Although I may try to write about love, I am rendered helpless. My pen breaks, and the paper slips awayat the ineffable place where lover loving and loved are one.Every moment is made glorious by the light of Love."
Author: Rumi
39. "She saw the myriad gods, and beyond God his own ineffable eternity; she saw that there were ranges of life beyond our present life, ranges of mind beyond our present mind and above these she saw the splendors of the spirit."
Author: Sri Aurobindo
40. "To me, reason is as spiritual as anything else, the beauty of reason seems to me indelible and ineffable and numinous... the spirit is after all the same word we use to describe... essence"
Author: Stephen Fry
41. "Painful truth is ineffable. It swings you around a couple of times until your dizzy, and then punches you hard in the stomach. You don't want to believe it, but it wouldn't hurt so badly if on some level you didn't know it was true."
Author: Tarryn Fisher
42. "God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time."
Author: Terry Pratchett
43. "He knew from experience that true and obvious ideas, such as the ineffable wisdom and judgment of the Great God Om, seemed so obscure to many people that you actually had to kill them before they saw the error of their ways..."
Author: Terry Pratchett
44. "If you take the long view, the universe is just something small and round, like those water filled balls which produce a miniature snowstorm when you shake them. * Although, unless the ineffable plan is a lot more ineffable than it's given credit for, it does not have a giant plastic snowman at the bottom."
Author: Terry Pratchett
45. "Never f*!k with the ineffable."
Author: Terry Pratchett
46. "(Decadent style) is ingenious, complicated, learned, full of shades of meaning and research, always pushing further the limits of language... forcing itself to express in thought that which is most ineffable, and in form the vaguest and most fleeting contours; listening that it may translate them to the subtle confidences of the neuropath, to the avowals of aging and depraved passion, and to the singular hallucinations of the fixed idea verging on madness... In opposition to the classic style, it admits of shading, and these shadows teem and swarm with the larvae of superstitions, the haggard phantoms of insomnia, nocturnal terrors, remorse which starts and turns back at the slightest noise, monstrous dreams stayed only by impotence, obscure phantasies at which daylight would stand amazed, and all that the soul conceals of the dark, the unformed, and the vaguely horrible, in its deepest and furthest recesses."
Author: Théophile Gautier
47. "Beautiful city! so venerable, so lovely, so unravaged by the fierce intellectual life of our century, so serene!… Her ineffable charm keeps ever calling us to the true goal of all of us, to the ideal, to perfection"
Author: Thomas Hardy
48. "Language can never 'pin down' slavery, genocide, war. Nor should it yearn for the arrogance to be able to do so. Its force, its felicity, is in its reach toward the ineffable."
Author: Toni Morrison
49. "TO SOME I HAVE TALKED WITH BY THE FIREWHILE I wrought out these fitful Danaan rhymes,My heart would brim with dreams about the timesWhen we bent down above the fading coalsAnd talked of the dark folk who live in soulsOf passionate men, like bats in the dead trees;And of the wayward twilight companiesWho sigh with mingled sorrow and content,Because their blossoming dreams have never bentUnder the fruit of evil and of good:And of the embattled flaming multitudeWho rise, wing above wing, flame above flame,And, like a storm, cry the Ineffable Name,And with the clashing of their sword-blades makeA rapturous music, till the morning breakAnd the white hush end all but the loud beatOf their long wings, the flash of their white feet."
Author: W.B. Yeats
50. "The 'peace' the gospel brings is never the absence of conflict, but an ineffable divine reassurance within the heart of conflict; a peace that surpasses understanding."
Author: Walter Wink

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Love potions? For Will Herondale? T'aint my way to turn down payment, but any man who looks like you has got no need of love potions, and that's a fact."
Author: Cassandra Clare

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