Despair

emotion
(Redirected from Hopelessly)

Despair, or depression, is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being.

There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and have recovered hope. ~ George Eliot

QuotesEdit

Alphabetized by author
 
Let despair be known
as my ebb-tide; but let prayer
have its springs, too, brimming,
disarming him; discovering somewhere
among his fissures deposits of mercy
where trust may take root and grow. ~ R. S. Thomas
 
Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair. ~ Elie Wiesel
  • Because thou must not dream, thou needst not then despair!
  • The very knowledge that he lived in vain,
    That all was over on this side the tomb,
    Had made Despair a smilingness assume.
  • Despair is like forward children, who, when you take away one of their playthings, throw the rest into the fire for madness. It grows angry with itself, turns its own executioner, and revenges its misfortunes on its own head.
  • There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and have recovered hope.
  • Despair is the price one pays for setting oneself an impossible aim.
    • Graham Greene, The Heart of the Matter (1948), Book I, Part 1, Chapter 2.
  • Bid me despair, and I’ll despair,
    Under that cypress tree:
    Or bid me die, and I will dare
    E’en Death, to die for thee.

    Thou art my life, my love, my heart,
    The very eyes of me:
    And hast command of every part,
    To live and die for thee.

  • The First Truth is an assertion that all manifested life is sorrow, unless man knows how to live it... the Cause of Sorrow is always desire. If a man has no desires, if he is not striving for place or power or wealth, then he is equally tranquil whether the wealth or position comes or whether it goes. He remains unruffled and serene.... Being human, he will of course wish for this or that, but always mildly and gently, so that he does not allow himself to be disturbed... the Noble Eightfold Path... can be taken at all levels. The man in the world, even the uneducated man, can take it in its lowest aspects and find a way to peace and comfort through it. And yet the highest philosopher may also take it and interpret it at his level and learn very much from it.
  • How often, for example, a young man desires affection from someone who cannot give it to him, who has it not to give! From such a desire as that comes often a great deal of sadness, jealousy and much other ill-feeling. You will say that such a desire is natural; undoubtedly it is, and affection which is returned is a great source of happiness. Yet if it cannot be returned, a man should have the strength to accept the situation, and not allow sorrow to be caused by the unsatisfied desire.
  • My love is of a birth as rare
    As ’tis for object strange and high:
    It was begotten by Despair
    Upon Impossibility.

    Magnanimous Despair alone
    Could show me so divine a thing,
    Where feeble Hope could ne’er have flown
    But vainly flapped its tinsel wing.

  • Me miserable! which way shall I fly
    Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
    Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell;
    And in the lowest deep a lower deep
    Still threatening to devour me opens wide,
    To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
  • IT'S BETTER TO DIE IN THE FLESH OF HOPE
    THAN TO LIVE IN THE SLIMNESS OF DESPAIR.
    • Grace Nichols, The Fat Black Woman’s Poems (1984), "The Fat Black Woman's Motto on Her Bedroom Door".
  • What is the light that can dispel this ignorance of ours and remove all sorrows? A. The knowledge of the Four Noble Truths, as the Buddha called them... How can we escape the sufferings which result from unsatisfied desires and ignorant cravings? A. By complete conquest over, and destruction of, this eager thirst for life and its pleasures, which causes sorrow.... By following the Noble Eight-fold Path which the Buddha discovered and pointed out...The man who keeps these... in mind and follows them will be free from sorrow
  • Come, come, whoever you are.
    Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving — it doesn't matter,
    Ours is not a caravan of despair.

    Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times,
    Come, come again, come.
    • Rumi. as quoted in Sunbeams : A Book of Quotations (1990) by Sy Safransky, p. 67
    • Variant translations:
      Come, come, whoever you are.
      Wanderer, idolator, worshipper of fire, come even though you have broken your vows a thousand times,
      Come, and come yet again. Ours is not a caravan of despair.
      • As quoted in Muslim Narratives and the Discourse of English (2004) by Amin Malak, p. 151
    • Come, come, whoever you are.
      Wanderer, worshipper, lover of living, it doesn't matter
      Ours is not a caravan of despair.

      Come even if you have broken your vow a thousand times,
      Come, yet again, come, come.
      • As quoted in Rumi and His Sufi Path of Love (2007) by M Fatih Citlak and Huseyin Bingul, p. 81.
  • Only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built.
  • If either the absence or the presence of novelty is equally annoying, it would hardly seem that either could be the true cause of despair.
  • Human life begins on the far side of despair.
  • I shall despair. There is no creature loves me;
    And if I die, no soul will pity me:
    Nay, wherefore should they, since that I myself
    Find in myself no pity to myself?
  • Reviewers, with some rare exceptions, are a most stupid and malignant race. As a bankrupt thief turns thief-taker in despair, so an unsuccessful author turns critic.
    • Percy Bysshe Shelley, in "Fragments of Adonais" in Relics of Shelley (1862) edited by Richard Garnett.
  • I believe in evil. It is the property of all those who are certain of truth. Despair and fanaticism are only differing manifestations of evil.
    • Edward Teller, as quoted in The Martians of Science : Five Physicists Who Changed the Twentieth Century (2006) by Istvan Hargittai, p. 251.
  • Let despair be known
    as my ebb-tide; but let prayer
    have its springs, too, brimming,
    disarming him; discovering somewhere
    among his fissures deposits of mercy
    where trust may take root and grow.
    • R. S. Thomas, in "Tidal" in Mass for Hard Times (1992), p. 43.


  • What is the light that can dispel this ignorance of ours and remove all sorrows? A. The knowledge of the Four Noble Truths, as the Buddha called them... How can we escape the sufferings which result from unsatisfied desires and ignorant cravings? A. By complete conquest over, and destruction of, this eager thirst for life and its pleasures, which causes sorrow.... By following the Noble Eight-fold Path which the Buddha discovered and pointed out...The man who keeps these... in mind and follows them will be free from sorrow and ultimately reach salvation.
  • The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life. The pain that you create now is always some form of non acceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is. On the level of thought, the resistance is some form of judgment. On the emotional level, it is some form of negativity. The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment, and this in turn depends on how strongly you are identified with your mind. The mind always seeks to deny the Now and to escape from it. In other words, the more you are identified with your mind, the more you suffer. Or you may put it like this: the more you are able to honor and accept the Now, the more you are free of pain, of suffering - and free of the egoic mind. p. 26
  • Your unhappiness is polluting not only your own inner being and those around you but also the collective human psyche of which you are an inseparable part. The pollution of the planet is only an outward reflection of an inner psychic pollution: millions of unconscious individuals not taking responsibility for their inner space. Either stop doing what you are doing, speak to the person concerned and express fully what you feel, or drop the negativity that your mind has created around the situation and that serves no purpose whatsoever except to strengthen a false sense of self. Recognizing its futility is important. Negativity is never the optimum way of dealing with any situation. In fact, in most cases it keeps you stuck in it, blocking real change. Anything that is done with negative energy will become contaminated by it and in time give rise to more pain, more unhappiness. Furthermore, any negative inner state is contagious: Unhappiness spreads more easily than a physical disease. Through the law of resonance, it triggers and feeds latent negativity in others, unless they are immune - that is, highly conscious. Are you polluting the world or cleaning up the mess? You are responsible for your inner space; nobody else is... p. 53
  • How can we drop negativity, as you suggest? By dropping it. How do you drop a piece of hot coal that you are holding in your hand? How do you drop some heavy and useless baggage that you are carrying? By recognizing that you don't want to suffer the pain or carry the burden anymore and then letting go of it.
  • I can endure my own despair,
    But not another’s hope.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 189-90.
  • I will indulge my sorrows, and give way
    To all the pangs and fury of despair.
  • Despair of ever being saved, "except thou be born again," or of seeing God "without holiness," or of having part in Christ except thou "love him above father, mother, or thy own life." This kind of despair is one of the first steps to heaven.
  • The world goes whispering to its own,
    "This anguish pierces to the bone;"
    And tender friends go sighing round,
    "What love can ever cure this wound?"
    My days go on, my days go on.
  • The name of the Slough was Despond.
    • John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress (1678), Part I, Chapter II.
  • Darkness our guide, Despair our leader was.
  • Night was our friend, our leader was Despair.
    • John Dryden, translation of Virgil's Æneid (29-19 BC), Book II. 487.
  • Nil desperandum Teucro duce et auspice Teucro.
    • Never despair while under the guidance and auspices of Teucer.
    • Horace, Carmina, I, 7, 27.
  • Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit
    That fought in heaven, now fiercer by despair.
  • Desperatio magnum ad honeste moriendum incitamentum.
  • O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
    Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
  • They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly.
    But, bear-like, I must fight the course.
  • Oh, break, my heart! poor bankrupt, break at once!
    To prison, eyes, ne'er look on liberty!
    Vile earth, to earth resign; end motion here;
    And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier!
  • No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
  • * * * then black despair,
    The shadow of a starless night, was thrown
    Over the world in which I moved alone.
  • Alas for him who never sees
    The stars shine through his cypress-trees
    Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,
    Nor looks to see the breaking day
    Across the mournful marbles play!

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)Edit

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • Mr. Fearing had, I think, a slough of despond in his mind, a slough that he carried everywhere with him, or else he could never have been as he was.
  • Despair is the damp of hell; rejoicing is the serenity of heaven.
  • Disordered nerves are the origin of much religious despair, when the individual does not suspect it; and then the body and mind have a reciprocal influence upon each other, and it is difficult to tell which influences the other most. The physician is often blamed, when the fault lies with the minister. Depression never benefits body or soul. We are saved by hope.
  • It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his Helper is omnipotent.

Fictional QuotesEdit

  • Every man who has rotted here over the centuries has looked up to the light and imagined climbing to freedom. So easy... So simple... And like shipwrecked men turning to sea water from uncontrollable thirst, many have died trying. I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit