- 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.
- Good taste and humor are a contradiction in terms, like a chaste whore.
- Civilization -- a heap of rubble scavenged by scrawny English Lit. vultures.
- Sex is the mysticism of materialism and the only possible religion in a materialistic society.
- 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.
- In retrospect, all these exercises in self-gratification seem pure fantasy, what Pascal called, licking the earth.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- There's nothing is this world more instinctively abhorrent to me than finding myself in agreement with my fellow-humans.
- St. Teresa of Avila described our life in this world as like a night at a second-class hotel.
- One of the stupidest theories of Western life.
- 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.
- Television was not invented to make human beings vacuous, but is an emanation of their vacuity.
- The orgasm has replaced the Cross as the focus of longing and the image of fulfillment.
- Few men of action have been able to make a graceful exit at the appropriate time.
- 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.
Thomas Malcolm Muggeridge was an English journalist, author, media personality, and satirist. During World War II, he was a soldier and a spy. As a young man, Muggeridge was a left-wing sympathiser but he later became a forceful anti-communist. He is credited with popularising Mother Teresa and Catholic theology, and in his later years became a religious and moral campaigner.