"When you consider how great and immediate is the problem of existence, this ambiguous, tormented, fleeting, dream-like existence - so great and so immediate that as soon as you are aware of it, it overshadows and obscures all other problems and aims; and when you then see how men, with a few rare exceptions, have no clear awareness of this problem, indeed seem not to be conscious of it at all, but concern themselves with anything rather than this problem, and live on taking thought only for the day and for the hardly longer span of their own individual future, either expressly refusing to consider this problem or contenting themselves with some system of popular metaphysics; when, I say, you consider this, you may come to the opinion that man can be called a thinking being only in a very broad sense of that term and no longer feel very much surprise at any thoughtlessness or silliness whatever, but will realize, rather, that while the intellectual horizon of the normal man is wider than that of the animal - whose whole existence is, as it were, one continual present, with no consciousness of past or future - it is not so immeasurably wider as is generally supposed." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
From my collection of mostly pessimistic quotes.
Some people have been telling me they enjoyed the selection of aphorisms on this blog, so I've decided to make them more prominent and paging-friendly.
If you'd like to share this quote on the image above, please save it to your computer first or link to the page itself, it will often display the illustration as well (when linked from Facebook or Google+), use the sharing buttons below.