Character of the week: Kant

Always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as means to your end.
He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.

In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so. Act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.
Ingratitude is the essence of vileness.

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

Metaphysics is a dark ocean without shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a philosophic wreck. It is not God’s will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy.
Morality is not really the doctrine of how to make ourselves happy but of how we are to be worthy of happiness
I had therefore to remove knowledge, in order to make room for belief.

To be is to do. Perpetual Peace is only found in the graveyard.

Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher


  1. barbara says:

    I met Kant in philosophy class and ’til this day he is one of my favorites:)

  2. C'est La Mode says:

    A great reminders! A man of fine, honorable character. Just like the quote from him also, “Morality is not really the doctrine of how to make ourselves happy but of how we are to be worthy of happiness”

  3. Yet to find mine says:

    Dear Mr. Paulo
    I have read many of your books and they have influenced me a lot. Today I finished reading the book “The Witch of Portobello” You mention a particular music from Russia that Athena dances to in that book could you please give me more information on that music? is it available online? can you tell me how i can get that music? Also i would like to improve my spiritual learning. right now it is restricted to books and thoughts. i would like to take the next step can you help me out with this? A reply to my email would be really helpful.

    thanks in advance.

  4. Karin Örth says:

    Dear mr Coelho.

    Is this a text written by you, that I can use in my work?


    1. Paulo Coelho says:

      no, it is Kant’s texts

  5. la mantia enza says:

    “andare alla ricerca di noi stessi” guardiamo”dentro noi stessi” è lí  che ci troveremo

  6. katie says:

    “Perpetual Peace is only found in the graveyard.”

    we all thrive for inner peace & happiness. but our internal life is like an ocean, sometimes the water is quiet and sometimes we have huge waves and a storm.

    sure, I think with time I have learned to let the waves become smaller, and now I get tropical storms instead of hurricans. but a total calmness of my ocean?
    wouldn’t it mean to stop having feelings & emotions?
    even just the idea to sort them out in good & negative feels dead to me.

  7. Adriana says:

    It is not God’s will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy.
    All of the statements are so good, but this is my favorite. I used to think happines was a kind of gift given to people by destiny, but no , it is necessary we all realize that happiness is something we conquer step by step when we follow our own heart. And it has no limit, we never achieve it, but are always in search of it. As to happiness we can surely say it comes with the sowing not with the harvest.
    May God bless you all.

  8. Annie says:

    To be is to do.
    I watched yesterday ‘Inception’, i found it fantastic and an ingenious idea!

    As i was following the movie, i was thinking that this is exactly what i needed to see..What i needed.. an INCEPTION , an idea growing inside me (maybe put by an angel in a dream(in another dream) )telling me what i need to hear sometimes ‘Don’t look back not even once, you are on your way home’ or for someone when he is stuck, for example , the inception could be ‘You can make it.relax, don’t panic, listen to your heart and trust her EVERY TIME’ THAT I/he would never forget and then anyone can DO things in harmony with himself, of things that are himself..

    Love and Gratitude

  9. THELMA says:

    It is not God’s will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy. !!!

    Our duty is to make ourselves happy! This is a big responsibility, because we cannot blame anyone for our miseries. We have to .. adjust ourselves with the circumstances and try to see good and light in everything! As the Ancient Greeks used to say: There is nothing bad without something good = Ουδέν κακόν αμιγές καλού! And of course, vice versa. I remember the book ‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach that had made a big impression on me when I read it, because he also claims that we have to be happy and joyful. A smile makes our day easier and a face sweeter and brighter! And as you have said, dearest Paulo Coelho, smiles are …contagious!

    As for ‘Peace is found only in the graveyard’, it may be .. silent there because there are only .. dead bodies, our .. envelopes! Our Psyche [ ΨΥΧΗ] is .. FREE, flying to the .. seventh Heaven!;-]

    ‘He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals’.
    These words were said very often from my .. Mother in Law, although she had never read or heard anything about Kant!! She had always more than .. 20 cats in her house, but, I think that she was kinder to animals than to … people!So I believe that ‘Nothing in excess’ is ..wiser!
    Thelma xxx

    1. Marielle says:

      Smiling at Thelma :)
      I was already feeling quite happy but reading your comment made me even more happy!


    2. THELMA says:

      I am so happy, dear Marielle, that even with a .. comment I could make you smile and happy! This is me! I always try to make things lighter. There are tears in my .. smiling face and smiling eyes on my … angry face! My children could ‘read’ my eyes and knew, especially my younger daughter; she could even read my thoughts! ;-]
      After all ‘life is a … stage’.
      Thelma xxx

  10. Adriana says:

    Really enlightning. Thank you for sharing.

  11. kealan says:

    I really enjoy reading small extracts of writing that follow a correct line of thought. It seems to pull together some of the most questioned things in life and to put names onto them.

  12. pmr says:

    Wonderful insights! We are soooo much more than our physical bodies. Thanks for helping the collective consciousness come together through your reflective prose. I can truly relate.

  13. é impressionante como há pessoas de í­ndole pervesas pairando sobre este mundo.Porque para mim qualquer instinto malévolo que se possa diagnósticar , mesmo em face de alguma patologia,para mim vem má í­ndole mesmo. Como explicar que existam também seres taíµ bons?verdadeiras almas sublimes,generosas!Mas se entrar-mos pela área da espiritualidade reencarnacionista,aí­ sim, teremos lógicas. Mas, para os céticos que ní£o adentram nessa questí£o achando-se os donos de todas as respostas…só podemos acreditar, que pessoas nascem boas ou más.Infelizmente já presenciei maltratos a animais de formas cruéis. Seres dotados de mentes doentias. ní£o devemos julgá-los,ní£o seria correto , mesmo em face de tantos questionamentos, temos que tentar amenizar essas agressíµes, mostrando a estes indiví­duos que existem leis,já que ní£o entendem nada de amor, e ní£o entendem nada de Deus.

  14. Deminco says:

    “The supreme mission of the man is to know what He needs to be a man.” Immanuel Kant

    Diferente da maiíªutica Socrática que pretendia suscitar o conhecimento através das perguntas, Kant priorizava a crí­tica. Afora a sua imensa contribuií§í£o na filosofia moral, elaborou ainda o IdealismoTranscendental, no qual o mundo que verdadeiramente sabemos, depende de como ele nos aparece. E por meio do Imperativo Categórico propí´s um conceito de ética centrada na noí§í£o do dever:

    “Always act according to that maxim whose universality as a law you can at the same time will” and is the “only condition under which a will can never come into conflict with itself ….”

    Creio que a Lei de Thelema, que influenciou a filosofia da Sociedade Alternativa, juntamente com um trecho do seu texto, A Fundaí§í£o Krig-Ha, tenha qualquer similaridade com alguns preceitos Kantianos.

    í“tima escolha!

  15. Irina Black says:

    Он к месту одному привязан был,откуда обозрел-МИРЫ,

  16. AllaSobirova says:

    he was an interesting person especially about his Jewish conflict.

  17. Manbir says:

    sheer beauty and truth Sir. i have read Kant and he is really amazing.thanks for the words.

  18. juan carlos rehnberg says:

    act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world
    Hi everyone, I wanted to share a letter I just wrote to my son’s hot nanny:
    Hi, it is such a long and sordid story, I sit to write you grudgingly, as you’ll see. It all started with my being jilted by my wife in Mexico. God works in peculiar ways, and placed in me the unfulfilled desire to start a family. We started dating in the spring of ‘2, married in the spring of ‘3, and split in the spring of ‘4. That is when the fun really started. My friends needed my services, and soon my car was packed with a whole bunch of emotional women. We dropped one off in San Juanico, and picked up everybody’s grandma, my own grandma Chita, the cousin of my other grandma Flora. Flor is also the name of one of her grand-daughters, the one whose husband I’d been observing behaving very badly. So we drove the six or so hours to La Paz. In La Paz I fell in love with Flor. It wasn’t meant to be, and a couple weeks later I took her home to the mother of her crappy husband. I moved back to Datil into the house of my friends Anna and Pingua and their many kids. Around people who genuinely care about me, I regained some of my confidence. Word spread quick that I’d seduced Flor, and my now ex-wife was quickly married to her mom’s (ex?) lover, so I was glad not to be entangled with any females. Come November, I’d decided to return to the states to vote against Bush in the election, and waited for a signal from God to start my trip. Now the vote is always on a tuesday, and it is the tuesday the week before, and no signal. Wednesday dawns bright and sunny, and my friend/cousin/little brother Pavian comes to ask for help digging a new latrine. His grandma and mine, the Dona Mica from El Sauzal is coming soon for a visit. Of course, I consider it an honor, and in no time we have cleaned up the old outhouse and dug a new one in the soft sand of the dunes upon which we live. Hungry, dirty, thirsty, and hot, we retreat into his parent’s house where his mom is preparing for us a simple but satisfying breakfast. The kitchen is dark, and it is cool. Pavi’s mom Lourdes is a great woman, with the strength of her mother’s convictions. A few months before (like yesterday) we’d gotten a little drunk and I’d gotten a little physical with his friend Abram. Abram was orphaned as a boy when the sea took his dad, and I was in need of a little release after putting up with my ex and her family (they’re everywhere). Pavian had just returned from the city with a new-used Explorer he had rolled in San Juanico screwing around the week before , denting the roof, busting out the windshield, and generally making a mess of his new car (his girlfriend was very proud/ashamed). So we eat our meal, and we’re relaxing when we hear a car pull up and some kind of commotion outside. Somebody enters and beckons me follow him out. It must be 9 or 10, and the sun is definitely up in its glory, and as I adjust to the light I see a group of 8 or 9 Mexicans leading a very pale and visibly shaken white guy up onto the porch. “Oh my God! An American!”, he shouts. Visibly relieved, he is a mess. A mile a minute, he’s babbling too fast, and we mercifully usher him into the cool of the kitchen.

  19. Joseph Andrejchak Galata says:

    Good God Almight that writing of Kant is just pure beauty!

  20. Anastasia says:

    Dear mr. Paulo Coelho! I’m sorry that I come to you like that call, but I just wanted to thank you. The book “The Alchemist” and a half years ago saved my life, turned my mind and so far I’m under its impression. Reading your lines the first time I looked up and read to comprehend. So amazing and profound works I have never read. Thank you, you really helped me. May God give you health!

  21. meire says:

    Passando para desejar um feliz aniversário!! Tudo de bom!!!

  22. Kant!, my favorite “thinker” in University, since then I have read a lot of him.

  23. Heart says:

    His first paragraph proves true in modern time. Studies on Domestic Violence and abuse shows that individuals abusing children or battering spouses/partners, also treat their pets violently and vise versa.

  24. marie-christine says:

    “Ca vaut la peine de dire maintes et maintes fois que la discipline ethique entraine beaucoup plus que de la retenue, elle occasionne egalement la culture de la vertu.” Dalai Lama

    “It is worth saying over and over that ethical discipline entails more than just restraint. It also entails the cultivation of virtue.” Dalai Lama

  25. Soeurette says:

    Il a un joli nom Immanuel.
    Ca donne envie de chanter.Je kant.

  26. marie-christine says:

    “Le personnage de la semaine : Kant

    Sachez toujours que les individus humains sont des fins, ne les utilisez pas comme des moyens pour votre benefice.
    Celui qui est cruel envers les animaux devient dur egalement dans les relations avec les hommes.

    On peut juger le coeur d’un homme par la maniere dont il traite les animaux.
    Dans la justice, un homme est coupable lorsqu’il enfreint les droits des autres.Dans les ethiques, il est coupable si il pense seulement a le faire. Agissez de telle sorte que votre facon d’agir peut ,en toute confiance, devenir une loi pour tout le monde.
    L’ingratitude est l’essence de la vilenie.

    La science est une connaissance organisee. La sagesse est organisee la vie.

    La metaphysique est un ocean obscur sans rivages ou phare dissiminee avec beaucoup de debris philosophiques.
    Ce n’est pas simplement la volonte de Dieu que nous devrions etre heureux mais que nous devrions nous rendre heureux.
    La moralite n’est pas vraiment la doctrine de nous rendre heureux mais celle de meriter le bonheur.
    J’ai du, pour cette raison, supprimer la connaissance afin de faire place a la foi.

    Etre, c’est faire. La paix perpetuelle se trouve dans le cimetiere.

    Immanuel Kant (22 avril 1724-12 fevrier 1804) etait un philosophe allemand.

  27. Yeray says:

    Eso es lo que hace la Sociedad, nos utiliza cómo un fin y no cómo un medio . . .A la sociedad muchas veces le interesa que estemos estancados en la vida y no podamos caminar para ellos tener el poder . . .Somos marionetas que hacemos lo que nos inculca la sociedad . . .Caminamos sin saber hacia donde y trabajamos sin saber por que!! Vamos al ritmo de ellos. . .Yo pienso que deberí­amos ser más reividicativos y que la sociedad no haga de nosotros espejos . . .Sólo quieren el control.

    1. felicitad says:

      si pero que estan controlando?y porque ?-la miente nadie pueden controlarla- es su libertad -.

    2. Lou says:

      “Solo el amor nos permite escapar y transformar la esclavitud en libertad.” Paulo Coelho

  28. “In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so” — This is what the Bible also says in the New Testament!

    “Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life” — This is the best!

    “Perpetual Peace is only found in the graveyard” — Now this is debatable! I would love to hear your response, Paulo and the others.

    Joy always,

  29. Isaaki says:

    A man of note with a blessingly character of words.

  30. Ciao Paulo,questa riflessione di Kant sul rapporto con gli animali sinceramente non la conoscevo ed è la riflessione che mi ha colpito di pií¹! Infatti ho pensato mille volte anche io che il grado di civiltí  si possa misurare in base al giusto rapporto e rispetto con gli animali. E’ vero poi che la saggezza è vita organizzata che puí² divenire illuminata se la si ricollega al Cielo. Ciao Rosetta

  31. aksh says:

    fantabulous !!

    unless knowldge is relagated to utilatarian value, belief does not bloom.

    to be is to do ?? so right or is it. when the goal and even evntuality is ‘not to be’ then why bother with ‘do’. i have a small question for kant, as he is not around, i hope someone else who unedrstands him may unswer on his behalf.

    U say “to be is to do”, now other than writing these ‘gems’ what do u do, inspiring others to do is fine, but can that be said to be a doing, inspiring others to do !


    1. Audrey says:

      hallo aksh, i like that part also…
      i agree with kant, that everything that we do(small or big things) defines who we really are….

    2. aksh says:

      Hi audrey,

      has kant said that ? ( first of all glad to see u’r response, feels nice to know that u’r contribution is not a total waste, someone reads it, some beautiful human being, with heart and soul ) what we do, what we contemplate to do, our intentions behind the ‘do’, what we can do, all combine to make our ‘present’ reality, who we really are now, it can be changed any moment we wish to.

      kant says “to be is to do” now Buddha says doing is the hindrance to perception, remember he became enlightned when he dropped all idea of doing and finally resigned himself to just being.

      i guess we should read and listen to all these great chaps and then just be, iof something happnes fine, if nothing happnes better still, we are alreday home.