I put the question directly to myself

[I] put the question directly to myself:  "Suppose that all your objects in life were realized; that all the changes in institutions and opinions which you are looking forward to, could be completely effected at this very instant:  would this be a great joy and happiness to you?"  And an irrepressible self-consciousness distinctly answered, "No!"  ~John Stuart Mill, Autobiography, 1909LCD

Youre obliged to pretend respect for people

You’re obliged to pretend respect for people and institutions you think absurd.  You live attached in a cowardly fashion to moral and social conventions you despise, condemn, and know lack all foundation.  It is that permanent contradiction between your ideas and desires and all the dead formalities and vain pretenses of your civilization which makes you sad, troubled and unbalanced.  In that intolerable conflict you lose all joy of life and all feeling of personality, because at every moment they suppress and restrain and check the free play of your powers.  That’s the poisoned and mortal wound of the civilized world.  ~Octave Mirbeau, Torture Garden

Perhaps if we saw what was ahead

Perhaps if we saw what was ahead of us, and glimpsed the crimes, follies, and misfortunes that would befall us later on, we would all stay in our mother’s wombs, and then there would be nobody in the world but a great number of very fat, very irritated women.  ~Lemony Snicket

I hate to be near the sea

I hate to be near the sea, and to hear it raging and roaring like a wild beast in its den.  It puts me in mind of the everlasting efforts of the human mind, struggling to be free and ending just where it began.  ~William Hazlitt