The German philosopher Immanuel Kant is still considered one of the greatest thinkers in the history of mankind. He passed away more than 200 years ago, but his sayings are still relevant today.
Let’s see what the great Kant reasoned about and how easily he could explain the complex processes of life.
About responsibility for our lives
Kant argued that people create their own problems and the conditions under which they are forced to suffer.
Whoever becomes a creeping worm can then complain of being crushed?
And it’s hard to argue with that. If you keep your hands up, don’t let others take advantage of you or humiliate you, you’ll always be on top. And if you do, don’t complain, but fix the situation.
About the feeling of dissatisfaction
Think of one person who was 100 percent happy with his life! I’m sure there isn’t one!
How often do we complain about destiny, having even more than we need to be happy! How often are we dissatisfied with our good children and spouses who made a mistake?
Feeling dissatisfied with life and ourselves is the most common human problem. Using this peculiarity of ours, the largest manufacturers of goods encourage us to make new purchases, designers create new collections of clothes to force us to follow fashion…
The more we need, the more isn’t enough for us. Give a person everything he wants, and the minute he does, he’ll feel he’s been deprived. That it really isn’t everything.
Dissatisfaction is a great driver of people’s dreams and actions. On the one hand it is an eternal torment and endless “carrot chase”, on the other hand the feeling of dissatisfaction is a great motivation for the development of mankind.
A person rarely thinks in light of darkness, in happiness of trouble, in contentment of misery. Conversely, a person always thinks in darkness of light, in trouble of happiness, and in poverty of prosperity.
About the focus of attention
Psychologists have repeatedly told us about the benefits of positive thinking, about the habit of noticing first and foremost the good in the world around us. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the classics said. And if you focus your attention mainly on the good, then life automatically becomes easier and more interesting.
This was also the opinion of Kant. He argued:
One looks into a puddle and sees mud, the other sees stars reflected in it.
Our mindset and our thinking are the main drivers of our happiness. It’s as if we have a kaleidoscope installed in our eyes that makes a pattern out of our experiences, our feelings, and our moods. That’s why, when looking at the same person, different people have different ideas about him. Some people think he is beautiful, others think he is ugly.
About the impossibility of understanding human nature
For thousands of years, thinkers and scientists have been trying to unravel how the human brain and the world in general work. However, the more we learn about ourselves and the universe, the further we seem to get from the truth.
There are many theories and hypotheses about how everything is arranged, but life periodically throws us unexpected surprises that completely disprove them. So where is the truth and is it necessary to look for it?
This is what Kant said about it:
If one day a being of a higher order were to take over our upbringing, then we would really see what could come out of a human being.
About our fears
Fears of illness and infirmity, a maniacal desire to take care of one’s health that crosses the boundaries of normality – all this, according to Kant, does not prolong, but rather shortens one’s days. If we overestimate the importance of any event or fact, we create an energy surplus potential, and the forces of the outer world try to extinguish this imbalance.
It is said not in vain that many people’s most frightening fears come true for some reason, because they constantly keep them in their mind!
Kant spoke about this phenomenon simply and clearly:
If a person is constantly thinking about how to prolong his life, he will never enjoy the life he has now.
About proof of the existence of God
Immanuel Kant was not a believer, but he did not deny the existence of God. He said that, in any case, one should live as if he existed. After all, it is faith that awakens in man the desire to act with conscience and empathy for the world around him.
The starry sky overhead and distant planets make us tremble. We marvel at that which is beyond our control. Mankind is programmed to seek a better way for itself, to seek for a higher power. It is natural.
Yet Kant himself did not admit to being an agnostic and was fiercely critical of skepticism. And his critics accused him of excessive idealism. The great philosopher stated:
Two things testify to me of the existence of God: the stars above me and the conscience in me.
Kant said that the knowledge of the divine nature of things is embedded in every human being as a basic program: we are born with this knowledge. And if the Almighty does exist, we feel the signs of his existence deep inside, on an intuitive level.