Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see ...each other in life. Vanity, fear, desire, competition-- all such distortions within our own egos-- condition our vision of those in relation to us. Add to those distortions to our own egos the corresponding distortions in the egos of others, and you see how cloudy the glass must become through which we look at each other. That's how it is in all living relationships except when there is that rare case of two people who love intensely enough to burn through all those layers of opacity and see each other's naked hearts.
The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus. The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus. But this was not how the author of the book ended the story. He said that when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears. 'Why do you weep?' the goddesses asked. 'I weep for Narcissus," the lake replied. 'Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,' they said, 'for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.' 'But... was Narcissus beautiful?' the lake asked. 'Who better than you to know that?' the goddesses asked in wonder. 'After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!' The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said: 'I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.' 'What a lovely story,' the alchemist thought.
She was heartily ashamed of her ignorance - a misplaced shame. Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well−informed mind is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.
I was sorry for her; I was amazed, disgusted at her heartless vanity; I wondered why so much beauty should be given to those who made so bad a use of it, and denied to some who would make it a benefit to both themselves and others. But, God knows best, I concluded. There are, I suppose, some men as vain, as selfish, and as heartless as she is, and, perhaps, such women may be useful to punish them.
One sticks to an opinion because he prides himself on having come to it on his own, and another because he has taken great pains to learn it and is proud to have grasped it: and so both do so out of vanity.
She also considered very seriously what she would look like in a little cottage in the middle of the forest, dressed in a melancholy gray and holding communion only with the birds and trees; a life of retirement away from the vain world; a life into which no man came. It had its attractions, but she decided that gray did not suit her.
I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. I am jealous of the portrait you have painted of me. Why should it keep what I must lose? Every moment that passes takes something from me and gives something to it. Oh, if it were only the other way! If the picture could change, and I could be always what I am now! Why did you paint it? It will mock me some day—mock me horribly!
Whenever an occasion arose in which she needed an opinion on something in the wider world, she borrowed her husband's. If this had been all there was to her, she wouldn't have bothered anyone, but as is so often the case with such women, she suffered from an incurable case of of pretentiousness. Lacking any internalized values of her own, such people can arrive at a standpoint only by adopting other people's standards or views. The only principle that governs their minds is the question "How do I look?
In some situations, if you say nothing, you are called dull; if you talk, you are thought impertinent and arrogant. It is hard to know what to do in this case. The question seems to be, whether your vanity or your prudence predominates.
guileless and without vanity,we were still in love with ourselves then. We felt comfortable in our own skins, enjoyed the news that our senses released to us, admired our dirt, cultivated our scars, and could not comprehend this unworthiness.
Most insensible, corrupt, cheap, disrespectful young girls run after bad, rude, cocky, nonsensical boys, but a mature, educated, thoughtful, virtuos lady opts for a wise, well breed, experienced, humble, modest gentleman.
Vanity, right?" Nash reappeared in the living room with an open bag of potato chips. "I nominate my venerable brother. He likes to play hero, and one look at him should establish the vanity angle." "Nash!" I really shouldn't have been surprised by the dig. But I was. "What?" He raised one brow at me in challenge. "It's okay to call me jealous, but not to call him vain?" "Awareness of one's obvious advantages doesn't imply vanity," Tod insisted calmly. Nash turned on him. "Does it imply narcissism?" Tod huffed. "This coming from the guy who owns more hair products than his girlfriend.
There’s just something unsettling about studying your reflection. It’s not a matter of being dissatisfied with your face or of being embarrassed by your vanity. Maybe it’s that when you gaze into your own eyes, you don’t see what you wish to see—or glimpse something that you wish weren’t there.