What does it mean to be human?
What are the basic needs and desires of the human being?
What is unique and special about the human existence?
These are some philosophical question on the human condition that artists, scientists, philosophers, spiritual teachers and other important figures have asked themselves.
Below you will read for yourself some of the most powerful and inspiring philosophical quotes on the human condition that will help you better understand yourself.
1. “Being human means asking the questions of one’s own being and living under the impact of the answers given to this question. And, conversely, being human means receiving answers to the questions of one’s own being and asking questions under the impact of the answers.” ~Paul Tillich
2. “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” ~John Lennon
3. “Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn’t you. That isn’t you at all.” ~Leila Sales
4. “We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.” ~Thomas Moore
5. “To be human is, primarily, to embrace that we are human with strengths and weaknesses, and that our humanity is preordained to seek the Truth, Good and Beauty as part of our humanity. To be human is to be an agent of peace, justice, and reconciliation in our community or society. To be human is to be heroic and generous in an unobtrusive way, free from any selfish motive, with no media to show the litany of our good deeds. To be human is to have time to listen to the story of a grieving soul, to give hope to the hopeless, to give love to the unloved.” ~Danny Castillones Sillada
6. “People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.” ~Jim Morrison
7. “You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.” ~Mandy Hale
8. “But the struggles make you stronger and the changes make you wise. And happiness has its own way of taking its sweet time.” ~Gary Allen
9. “Once you truly believe you’re worthy of love, you will never settle for anyone’s second best treatment.” ~Charles J. Orlando
10. “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the Weather.” ~Bill Hicks
11. “The best parts of being human are the parts you share.” ~Kyle Schmalenberg
12. “There is some kind of a sweet innocence in being human- in not having to be just happy or just sad- in the nature of being able to be both broken and whole, at the same time.” ~C. JoyBell C.
13. “We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.”~Eleanor Roosevelt
14. “We hold on so tightly, because we’re terrified of loss. We hold on till our hands bleed. And in that self-shattering persistence, we fail to see the answer: Just let go.” ~Yasmin Mogahed
15. “I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’m gone which would not have happened if I had not come.” ~Salman Rushdie
16. “Sometimes, I sit alone under the stars and think of the galaxies inside my heart, and truly wonder if anyone will ever want to make sense of all that I am.” ~Christopher Poindexter