Malcolm Muggeridge quotes

  • The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Reality #Men #Facts

  • In the beginning was the Lie and the Lie was made news and dwelt among us, graceless and false.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Lying #News #Made

  • Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Inspirational #Life #Positive

  • The ***** has replaced the Cross as the focus of longing and the image of fulfillment.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Focus #Longing #Crosses

  • Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Leadership #Swim #Progress

  • God, stay with me, let no word cross my lips that is not your word, no thoughts enter my mind that are not your thoughts, no deed ever be done or entertained by me that is not your deed.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Mind #Done #Deeds

  • In the end, coming to faith remains for all a sense of homecoming, of picking up the threads of a lost life, of responding to a bell that had long been ringing, of taking a place at a table that had long been vacant.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Long #Bells #Tables

  • Few men of action have been able to make a graceful exit at the appropriate time.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Retirement #Age #Able

  • If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Fists #Pleasure #Megalomania

  • Christianity . . . sees the necessity for man to have spiritual values and it shows him how to get at those through physical sacraments.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Spiritual #Men #Christianity

  • What will finally destroy us is not communism or fascism, but man acting like God.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Christian #Men #Acting

  • The pursuit of happiness, which American citizens are obliged to undertake, tends to involve them in trying to perpetuate the moods, tastes and aptitudes of youth.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Happiness #Joy #Trying

  • There is no such things as darkness, only a failure to see.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Darkness

  • The most terrible thing about materialism, even more terrible than its proneness to violence, is its boredom, from which sex alcohol, drugs, all devices for putting out the accusing light of reason and suppressing the unrealizable aspirations of love, offer a prospect of deliverance.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Sex #Light #Boredom

  • One of the many pleasures of old age is giving things up.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Giving #Age #Pleasure

  • People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Wisdom #Lying #Believe

  • I can say that I never knew what joy was like until I gave up pursuing happiness, or cared to live until I chose to die. For these two discoveries I am beholden to Jesus.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Happiness #Jesus #Discovery

  • St. Teresa of Avila described our life in this world as like a night at a second-class hotel.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Night #Swag #Class

  • All happenings, great and small, are parables whereby God speaks. The art of life is to get the message. To see all that is offered us at the windows of the soul, and to reach out and receive what is offered, this is the art of living.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Art #Grace #Soul

  • The whole social structure is now tumbling down, dethroning its God, undermining all its certainties. All this, wonderfully enough, is being done in the name of the health, wealth, and happiness of all mankind.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Christian #Religious #Done

  • Secrecy is as essential to intelligence as vestments and incense to a Mass or darkness to a spiritualist séance and must at all times be maintained, quite irrespective of whether or not it serves any purpose.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Darkness #Essentials #Purpose

  • Old politicians, like old actors, revive in the limelight. The vacancy which afflicts them in private momentarily lifts when, oncemore, they feel the eyes of an audience upon them. Their old passion for holding the centre of the stage guides their uncertain footsteps to where the footlights shine, and summons up a wintry smile when the curtain rises.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Passion #Eye #Shining

  • The genius of Man in our time has gone into jet-propulsion, atom-splitting, penicillin-curing, etc. There is none over for works of imagination; of spiritual insight or mystical enlightenment. I asked for bread and was given a tranquilliser.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Spiritual #Men #Imagination

  • Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my seventy-five years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence, has been through affliction and not through happiness, whether pursued or attained
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Years #Looks #World

  • How do I know ***** depraves and corrupts? It depraves and corrupts me
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Pornography

  • I never met a rich man who was happy, but I have only very occasionally met a poor man who did not want to become a rich man.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Happiness #Men #Want

  • He was not only a bore; he bored for England.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Bored #England #Bores

  • For us humans, everything is permanent - until it changes, as we are immortal until we die
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Immortal #Humans

  • I hate government. I hate power. I think that man's existence, insofar as he achieves anything, is to resist power, to minimize power, to devise systems of society in which power is the least exerted.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Hate #Men #Thinking

  • Behind the debris of these self-styled, sullen supermen and imperial diplomatists, there stands the gigantic figure of one person, because of whom, by whom, in whom, and through whom alone mankind might still have hope. The person of Jesus Christ.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Jesus #Self #Might

  • Humor is practically the only thing about which the English are utterly serious.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Serious

  • Like a prisoner awaiting his release, like a schoolboy when the end of term is near, like a migrant bird ready to fly south ... I long to be gone.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Long #Bird #Migrants

  • In the cycle of a great civilization, the artist begins as priest, and ends as a clown or buffoon.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Artist #Civilization #Clown

  • The media have, indeed, provided the Devil with perhaps the greatest opportunity accorded him since Adam and Eve were turned out of the Garden of Eden.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Opportunity #Garden #Media

  • Future historians will surely see us as having created in the media a Frankenstein monster whom no one knows how to control ordirect, and marvelthat weshould have so meekly subjected ourselves to its destructive and often malign influence.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Media #Monsters #Influence

  • late news was suicide of w:Jan Masaryk - In my view, Jan Masaryk was thoroughly corrupt, who bumped himself off because he saw at last where his moral cowardice and ideological 'Playboyery' had led him. I vividly remember visiting him in Washington, fat, slightly tight, coming into the room looking like a broken-down butler with his master, the little Communist, Clementis, [-] and saying in a loud voice -'Has anyone seen an Iron Curtain? I haven't.' Well, he has now.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Suicide #Views #Voice

  • I doubt whether the Revolution has, in essentials, changed Russia at all. Reading Gogol, or Dostoevsky for that matter, one realizes how completely the Soviet regime has fallen back on to, and perhaps invigorated, the old Russia. Certainly there is much more of Gogol and Dostoievsky in the regime than there is of Marx.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Reading #Russia #Doubt

  • Animistic savages prostrating themselves before a painted stone have always seemed to me to be nearer the truth than any Einstein or Bertrand Russell.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Savages #Stones

  • One of the great weaknesses of the progressive, as distinct from the religious, mind, is that it has no awareness of truth as such; only of truth in terms of enlightened expediency. The contrast is well exemplified in two exact contemporaries Simone Weil and Simone de Beauvoir; both highly intelligent and earnestly disposed. In all the fearful moral dilemmas of our time, Simone Weil never once went astray, whereas Simone de Beauvoir, with I am sure the best of intentions, has found herself aligned with apologists for some of the most monstrous barbarities and falsehoods of history.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Religious #Intelligent #Two

  • The first thing I remember about the world and I pray that it may be the last is that I was a stranger in it. This feeling, which everyone has in some degree, and which is, at once, the glory and desolation of ***** sapiens , provides the only thread of consistency that I can detect in my life.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Consistency #Feelings #Degrees

  • It's very nearly impossible to tell the truth in television.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Television #Impossible #Telling The Truth

  • When I look back on my life nowadays, which I sometimes do, what strikes me most forcibly about it is that what seemed at the time most significant and seductive, seems now most futile and absurd. For instance, success in all of its various guises; being known and being praised; ostensible pleasures, like acquiring money or seducing women, or traveling, going to and fro in the world and up and down in it like Satan, exploring and experiencing whatever Vanity Fair has to offer. In retrospect all these exercises in self-gratification seem pure fantasy, what Pascal called “licking the earth.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Exercise #Vanity #Self

  • The English have this extraordianry respect for longevity. The best example of this was Queen Victoria, a most unpleasant woman who achieved a sort of public affection simply by living to be an enormous age.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Travel #Queens #Home

  • Everything Tolstoy wrote is precious, but I found this final statement of the truth about life as he had come to understand it particularly beautiful and moving. 'That is what I have wanted to say to you, my brothers. Before I died.' So he concludes, giving one a vivid sense of the old man, pen in hand and bent over the paper, his forehead wrinkled into a look of puzzlement very characteristic of him, as though he were perpetually wondering how others could fail to see what was to him so clear - that the law of love explained all mysteries and invalidated all other laws.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Love #Beautiful #Brother

  • History will see advertising as one of the real evil things of our time. It is stimulating people constantly to want things, want this, want that.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Real #People #Evil

  • Travel, of course, narrows the mind.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Mind #Funny Travel

  • One of the peculiar sins of the twentieth century which we've developed to a very high level is the sin of credulity. It has been said that when human beings stop believing in God they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse: they believe in anything.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Truth #Believe #Levels

  • In retrospect, all these exercises in self-gratification seem pure fantasy, what Pascal called, licking the earth.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Selfish #Exercise #Retrospect

  • I will lift mine eyes unto the pills. Almost everyone takes them, from the humble aspirin to the multi-colored, king-sized three deckers, which put you to sleep, wake you up, stimulate and soothe you all in one. It is an age of pills.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Kings #Sleep #Eye

  • One of the stupidest theories of Western life.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Evolution #Theory #Stupidest

  • I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially to the extent to which it has been applied, will be one of the greatest jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity it has.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Book #Dubious #Evolution

  • All new news is old news happening to new people
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #People #News

  • I beg you to believe that life is not a process, it's a drama
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Drama #Believe #Life Is

  • There's a large strain of irony in our human affairs... Interwoven with our affairs is this wonderful spirit of irony which prevents us from ever being utterly and irretrievably serious, from being unaware of the mysterious nature of our existence.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Serious #Spirit #Irony

  • [Pascal] was the first and perhaps is still the most effective voice to be raised in warning of the consequences of the enthronement of the human ego in contradistinction to the cross, symbolizing the ego's immolation. How beautiful it all seemed at the time of the Enlightenment, that man triumphant would bring to pass that earthly paradise whose groves of academe would ensure the realization forever of peace, plenty, and beatitude in practice. But what a nightmare of wars, famines, and folly was to result therefrom.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Beautiful #War #Men

  • People think of faith as being something that you don't really believe, a device in helping you believe simply it. Of course that is quite wrong. As Pascal says, faith is a gift of God. It is different from the proof of it. It is the kind of faith God himself places in the heart, of which the proof is often the instrument... He says of it, too, that it is the heart which is aware of God, and not reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not be reason.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Believe #Heart #Thinking

  • It was a somber place, haunted by old jokes and lost laughter. Life, as I discovered, holds no more wretched occupation than trying to make the English laugh.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Laughter #Laughing #Trying

  • My opinion, my conviction, gains immensely in strength and sureness the minute a second mind as adopted it.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Mind #Gains #Opinion

  • This horror of pain is a rather low instinct and... if I think of human beings I've known and of my own life, such as it is, I can't recall any case of pain which didn't, on the whole, enrich life.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Pain #Thinking #Horror

  • The trouble with kingdoms of heaven on earth is that they're liable to come to pass, and then their fraudulence is apparent for all to see. We need a kingdom of heaven in Heaven, if only because it can't be realized.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Heaven #Needs #Earth

  • Bad humor is an evasion of reality; good humor is an acceptance of it.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Humor #Acceptance #Reality

  • Television was not intended to make human beings vacuous, but it is an emanation of their vacuity.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Gossip #Television #Vacuous

  • This life in us; however low it flickers or fiercely burns, is still a divine flame which no man dare presume to put out, be his motives never so humane and enlightened; To suppose otherwise is to countenance a death-wish; Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Men #Flames #Wish

  • Sex is the mysticism of materialism and the only possible religion in a materialistic society.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Sex #Religion #Materialistic

  • It is only possible to succeed at second-rate pursuits - like becoming a millionaire or a prime minister, winning a war, seducing beautiful women, flying through the stratosphere, or landing on the moon. First-rate pursuits - involving, as they must, trying to understand what life is about and trying to convey that understanding - inevitably result in a sense of failure. A Napoleon, a Churchill, or a Roosevelt can feel himself to be successful, but never a Socrates, a Pascal, or a Blake. Understanding is forever unattainable.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Success #Beautiful #War

  • Tranquilizers to overcome angst, pep pills to wake us up, life pills to ensure blissful sterility. I will lift up my ears unto the pills whence cometh my help.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Drug #Ears #Overcoming

  • Education, the great mumbo jumbo and fraud of the age purports to equip us to live and is prescribed as a universal remedy for everything from juvenile delinquency to premature senility.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #School #Age #Delinquency

  • On television I feel like a man playing piano in a brothel; every now and again he solaces himself by playing 'Abide with Me' in the hope of edifying both the clients and the inmates
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Men #Piano #Clients

  • Its avowed purpose is to excite sexual desire, which, I should have thought, is unnecessary in the case of the young, inconvenient in the case of the middle aged, and unseemly in the old.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Sex #Desire #Purpose

  • A ready means of being cherished by the English is to adopt the simple expedient of living a long time. I have little doubt that if, say, Oscar Wilde had lived into his nineties, instead of dying in his forties, he would have been considered a benign, distinguished figure suitable to preside at a school prize-giving or to instruct and exhort scout masters at their jamborees. He might even have been knighted.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #School #Mean #Simple

  • Sex is the ersatz or substitute religion of the 20th Century.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Sex #Century #Substitutes

  • There is something ridiculous and even quite indecent in an individual claiming to be happy. Still more a people or a nation making such a claim. The pursuit of happiness... is without any question the most fatuous which could possibly be undertaken. This lamentable phrase the pursuit of happiness is responsible for a good part of the ills and miseries of the modern world.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Happiness #People #World

  • Posterity will surely be amazed, and I hope vastly amused, that such slipshod and unconvincing theorizing should have so easily captivated twentieth-century minds and been so widely and recklessly applied.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Mind #Century #Should

  • When you reach your sixties, you have to decide whether you're going to be a sot or an ascetic. In other words if you want to go on working after you're sixty, some degree of asceticism is inevitable.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Degrees #Goes On #Asceticism

  • Surely the glory of journalism is its transience.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Media #Journalism #Glory

  • Civilization - a heap of rubble scavenged by scrawny English Lit. vultures.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Civilization #Rubble #Lit

  • An orgy looks particularly alluring seen through the mists of righteous indignation.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Looks #Mist #Righteous

  • In politics, as in womanizing, failure is decisive. It sheds its retrospective gloom on earlier endeavor which at the time seemed full of promise.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Promise #Politician #Endeavor

  • Whatever is fine and permanent in human achievement has been realised through individuals courageously facing the circumstances of their being; and a society is civilised to the extent to which it makes this possible. Terrorism, which aims at putting out thespiritual light, is the antithesis of civilisation.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Light #Achievement #Society

  • Higher education is booming in the United States; the Gross National Mind is mounting along with the Gross National Product.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Education #Mind #United States

  • The greatest artists, saints, philosophers, and, until quite recent times, scientists... have all assumed that the New Testament promise of eternal life is valid.... I'd rather be wrong with Dante and Shakespeare and Milton, with Augustine of Hippo and Francis of Assisi, with Dr. Johnson, Blake, and Dostoevsky than right with Voltaire, Rousseau, the Huxleys, Herbert Spencer, H. G. Wells, and Bernard Shaw.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Artist #Promise #Drs

  • The great advantage of the sort of education I had was precisely that it made practically no mark upon those subjected to it.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Education #Advantage #Made

  • American Women: How they mortify the flesh in order to make it appetizing! Their beauty is a vast industry, their enduring allure a discipline which nuns or athletes might find excessive.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Women #Athlete #Order

  • A decrepit society shuns humor as a decrepit individual shuns drafts.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Society #Individual #Decrepit

  • What is called Western Civilization is in an advanced state of decomposition, and another Dark Ages will soon be upon us, if, indeed, it has not already begun. With the Media, especially television, governing all our lives, as they indubitably do, it is easily imaginable that this might happen without our noticing...by accustoming us to the gradual deterioration of our values.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Dark #Media #Civilization

  • The only ultimate disaster that can befall us is to feel ourselves at home on this earth.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Home #Earth #Disaster

  • Supposing you eliminated suffering, what a dreadful place the world would be! I would almost rather eliminate happiness. The world would be the most ghastly place because everything that corrects the tendency of this unspeakable little creature, man, to feel over-important and over-pleased with himself would disappear. He's bad enough now, but he would be absolutely intolerable if he never suffered.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Men #Evil #Suffering

  • I have had my television aerials removed. It is the moral equivalent of a prostate operation.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Television #Moral #Operations

  • There's nothing is this world more instinctively abhorrent to me than finding myself in agreement with my fellow-humans.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Agreement #Abhorrent #World

  • The skyscrapers began to rise again, frailly massive, elegantly utilitarian, images in their grace, audacity and inconclusiveness, of the whole character of the people who produces them.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #New York #Character #People

  • The genius of Man in our time has gone into jet-propulsion, atom-splitting, penicillin-curing, etc. There is left none over for works of imagination; of spiritual insight or mystical enlightenment. I asked for bread and was given a tranquilizer. It is important to recognize that in our time man has not written one word, thought one thought, put two notes or two bricks together, splashed color on to canvas or concrete into space, in a manner which will be of any conceivable imaginative interest to posterity.
    -- Malcolm Muggeridge

    #Spiritual #Science #Men