122+ Best Anais Nin Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Angela Anais Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, known professionally as Anaïs Nin was a French-Cuban American diarist, essayist, novelist, and writer of short stories. Profoundly inspirational Anais Nin quotes will make you look at life differently and help you live a meaningful life.

Famous Anais Nin Quotes

The self is merely the lens through which we see others and the world. – Anais Nin

The body is an instrument which only gives off music when it is used as a body. Always an orchestra, and just as music traverses walls, so sensuality traverses the body and reaches up to ecstasy. – Anais Nin

The fiery moments of passionate experience are the moments of wholeness and totality of the personality. – Anais Nin

To change skins, evolve into new cycles, I feel one has to learn to discard. If one changes internally one should not continue to live with the same objects. They reflect one’s mind and psyche of yesterday. I throw away what has no dynamic, living use. – Anais Nin

Societies in decline have no use for visionaries. – Anais Nin

The Frenchman, by nature, is sensuous and sensitive. He has intelligence, which makes him tired of life sooner than other kinds of men. He is not athletic: he sees the futility of the pursuit of fame; the climate at times depresses him. – Anais Nin

What is love but acceptance of the other, whatever he is. – Anais Nin

All of my creation is an effort to weave a web of connection with the world: I am always weaving it because it was once broken. – Anais Nin

The suppression of inner patterns in favor of patterns created by society is dangerous to us. – Anais Nin

What can I do with my happiness? How can I keep it, conceal it, bury it where I may never lose it? I want to kneel as it falls over me like rain, gather it up with lace and silk, and press it over myself again. – Anais Nin

Experience teaches acceptance of the imperfect as life. – Anais Nin

Only when the poet and the scientist work in unison will we have living experiences and knowledge of the marvels of the universe as they are being discovered. – Anais Nin

We are never trapped unless we choose to be. – Anais Nin

I will always be the virgin-prostitute, the perverse angel, the two-faced sinister and saintly woman. – Anais Nin

If I fall asleep, it is because I am overloaded. I sleep because one hour with Henry contains five years of my life, and one phrase, one caress answers the expectations of a hundred nights. When I hear him laugh, I say, I have heard Rabelais… And I swallow his laughter like bread and wine. – Anais Nin

Your eyes make me shy. – Anais Nin

I want to hear raucous music, to see faces, to brush against bodies, to drink fiery Benedictine. Beautiful women and handsome men arouse fierce desires in me. I want to dance. I want drugs. I want to know perverse people, to be intimate with them. I never look at naive faces. I want to bite into life, and to be torn by it. – Anais Nin

Dreams are essential to life. – Anais Nin

The enemy of a love is never outside, it’s not a man or woman, it’s what we lack in ourselves. – Anais Nin

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. – Anais Nin

You cannot save people. You can only love them. – Anais Nin

Art is the method of levitation, in order to separate one’s self from enslavement by the earth. – Anais Nin

What everyone forgets is that passion is not merely a heightened sensual fusion but a way of life which produces, as in the mystics, an ecstatic awareness of the whole of life. – Anais Nin

I reserve the right to love many different people at once, and to change my prince often. – Anais Nin

For you and for me the highest moment, the keenest joy, is not when our minds dominate but when we lose our minds, and you and I both lose it in the same way, through love. – Anais Nin

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another, unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made of layers, cells, constellations. – Anais Nin

We have been poisoned by fairy tales. – Anais Nin

Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live. – Anais Nin

One handles truths like dynamite. – Anais Nin

The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life. Albert Einstein It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it. – Anais Nin

We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones. – Anais Nin

You live out the confusions until they become clear. – Anais Nin

Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living. – Anais Nin

There are only two kinds of freedom in the world; the freedom of the rich and powerful, and the freedom of the artist and the monk who renounces possessions. – Anais Nin

I want to love you wildly. I don’t want words, but inarticulate cries, meaningless, from the bottom of my most primitive being, that flow from my belly like honey. A piercing joy, that leaves me empty, conquered, silenced. – Anais Nin

Love men and women not for their strength but their softness, not for their fullness but their hunger, not for their plenty but their need. – Anais Nin

I walk ahead of myself in perpetual expectancy of miracles. – Anais Nin

I would like to have your sureness. I am waiting for love, the core of a woman’s life. Don’t wait for it, I said. Create a world, your world. Alone. Stand alone. And then love will come to you, then it comes to you. It was only when I wrote my first book that the world I wanted to live in opened to me. – Anais Nin

I am like a snake who has already bitten. I retreat from a direct battle while knowing the slow effect of the poison. – Anais Nin

It is possible I never learned the names of birds in order to discover the bird of peace, the bird of paradise, the bird of the soul, the bird of desire. It is possible I avoided learning the names of composers and their music the better to close my eyes and listen to the mystery of all music as an ocean. It may be I have not learned dates in history in order to reach the essence of timelessness. It may be I never learned geography the better to map my own routes and discover my own lands. The unknown was my compass. The unknown was my encyclopedia. The unnamed was my science and progress. – Anais Nin

In my childhood diary I wrote: I have decided that it is better not to love anyone, because when you love people, then you have to be separated from them, and that hurts too much. – Anais Nin

The earth is heavy and opaque without dreams. – Anais Nin

Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat. – Anais Nin

He does not need opium. He has the gift of reverie. – Anais Nin

the best way to remember a beautiful city or a beautiful painting is to eat something while you are looking at it. The flavor really helps the image to penetrate the body. It fixes it as lacquer does a drawing. – Anais Nin

I was stirred only like a leaf in the wind, that is all. . . – Anais Nin

My life is not possible to tell. I change every day, change my patterns, my concepts, my interpretations. I am a series of moods and sensations. I play a thousand roles. I weep when I find others play them for me. My real self is unknown. My work is merely an essence of this vast and deep adventure. – Anais Nin

A war regarded as inevitable or even probable, and therefore much prepared for, has a very good chance of eventually being fought. – Anais Nin

Compassion for our parents is the true sign of maturity. – Anais Nin

The man who was once starved may revenge himself upon the world not by stealing just once, or by stealing only what he needs, but by taking from the world an endless toll in payment of something irreplaceable, which is the lost faith. – Anais Nin

You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. – Anais Nin

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. – Anais Nin

You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. – Anais Nin

No one was ever born without that light or flame of life. Some event, some person stifles or drowns it altogether. I was always tempted to resuscitate such men by my own joyousness or luminosity.When I break glasses in a night club, as the Russians do, when my unconscious breaks out in wild rebellions, it is against life which has crippled these idealistic, romantic men. I respect these men, cold, pure, faithful, devoted, moral, delicate, sensitive, and unequal to life, more than I respect the tough-minded ones who return three blows to one received, who kill those who hurt them. – Anais Nin

Poetry, which is our relation to the senses, enables us to retain a living relationship to all things. It is the quickest means of transportation to reach dimensions above or beyond the traps set by the so-called realists. It is a way to learn levitation and travel in liberated continents, to travel by moonlight as well as sunlight. – Anais Nin

We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection. – Anais Nin

You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. – Anais Nin

The final lesson a writer learns is that everything can nourish the writer. The dictionary, a new word, a voyage, an encounter, a talk on the street, a book, a phrase learned. – Anais Nin

It is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar. – Anais Nin

Life is a full circle, widening until it joins the circle motions of the infinite. – Anais Nin

Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous. I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist; I want to prove that there is infinite space, infinite meaning, infinite dimension. But I am not always in what I call a state of grace. I have days of illuminations and fevers. I have days when the music in my head stops. Then I mend socks, prune trees, can fruits, polish furniture. But while I am doing this, I feel I am not living. – Anais Nin

We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them. – Anais Nin

The real wonders of life lie in the depths. Exploring the depths for truths is the real wonder which the child and the artist know: magic and power lie in truth. – Anais Nin

When you possess light within, you see it externally. – Anais Nin

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. – Anais Nin

It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it. – Anais Nin

The creative personality never remains fixed on the first world it discovers. It never resigns itself to anything. – Anais Nin

I walked into my own book, seeking peace. It was night, and I made a careless movement inside the dream; I turned too brusquely the corner and I bruised myself against my madness. – Anais Nin

We are all engaged in the task of peeling off the false selves, the programmed selves, the selves created by our families, our culture, our religions. It is an enormous task because the history of women has been as incompletely told as the history of blacks. – Anais Nin

Human beings can reach such desperate solitude that they may cross a boundary beyond which words cannot serve, and at such moments there is nothing left for them but to bark. – Anais Nin

Because history is only an aggregate of personal hostilities, personal prejudices, personal blindness and irrationality, there are times when we have to live against it. – Anais Nin

I don’t tell the truth any more to those who can’t make use of it. I tell it mostly to myself, because it always changes me. – Anais Nin

When your beauty struck me, it dissolved me. Deep down, I am not different from you. I dreamed you, I wished for your existence. I see in you that part of me which is you. I surrender my sincerity because if I love you it means we share the same fantasies; we share the same madness. – Anais Nin

We love best those who are, or act for us, a self we do not wish to be or act out. – Anais Nin

I have this weird obsession about buying books and looking at them with a smile, even if I won’t read them soon. At least they are mine now. – Anais Nin

I know why families were created with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed. – Anais Nin

The imagination is far better at inventing tortures than life because the imagination is a demon within us and it knows where to strike, where it hurts. It knows the vulnerable spot, and life does not, our friends and lovers do not, because seldom do they have the imagination equal to the task. – Anais Nin

I don’t really want to become normal, average, standard. I want merely to gain in strength, in the courage to live out my life more fully, enjoy more, experience more. I want to develop even more original and more unconventional traits – Anais Nin

It takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before, to test your limits, to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to stay tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin

Create a world, your world. Alone. Stand alone. And then love will come to you, then it comes to you. – Anais Nin

Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age. – Anais Nin

Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again. – Anais Nin

Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. – Anais Nin

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing. – Anais Nin

Nature forms us for ourselves, not for others; to be, not to seem. – Anais Nin

When others asked the truth of me, I was convinced it was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with. – Anais Nin

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin

Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. – Anais Nin

Willingness to explore everything is a sign of strength. The weak ones have prejudices. Prejudices are a protection. – Anais Nin

The only transformer and alchemist that turns everything into gold is love. The only magic against death, aging, ordinary life, is love. – Anais Nin

Eroticism is one of the basic means of self-knowledge, as indispensable as poetry. – Anais Nin

Don’t let one cloud obliterate the whole sky. – Anais Nin

My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am. To take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my talents, my flaws and to stop this incessant worrying that I can’t be loved as I am. – Anais Nin

My life is slowed up by thought and the need to understand what I am living. – Anais Nin

Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life. – Anais Nin

I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. – Anais Nin

Passion gives me moments of wholeness. – Anais Nin

I want to do things so wild with you that I don’t know how to say them. – Anais Nin

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls. – Anais Nin

Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. – Anais Nin

The inner chambers of the soul are like the photographer’s darkroom. Like a laboratory. One cannot stay there all the time, or it becomes the solitary cell of the neurotic. – Anais Nin

From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life. – Anais Nin

When I stand at the top of the Champs-Elysées, with its chestnut trees in flower, its undulations of shining cars, its white spaciousness, I feel as if I were biting into a utopian fruit, something velvety and lustrous and rich and vivid. – Anais Nin

Nowhere is inhumanity more revealed than in hospitals. – Anais Nin

If I love you it means we share the same fantasies, the same madnesses – Anais Nin

Many couples, many people, are not living with real human beings, but with their ghosts. Who has not followed for years the spell of a particular tone of voice, from voice to voice, as the fetishist follows a beautiful foot, scarcely seeing the woman herself? A voice, a mouth, an eye, all stemming from the original fountain of our first desire, directing it, enslaving us, until we choose to unravel the fatal web and free ourselves. – Anais Nin

What a mystery this is, desire. The love sickness, the sensitivity, the obsession, the flutter of the heart, the ebb and flow of the blood. There is no drug and no alcohol to equal it. – Anais Nin

The richest source of creation is feeling, followed by a vision of its meaning. – Anais Nin

It is in the movements of emotional crisis that human beings reveal themselves most accurately. – Anais Nin

A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked. – Anais Nin

Whenever you do something that is not aligned with the yearning or your soul you create suffering. – Anais Nin

I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living. – Anais Nin

I find that life, day by day, is composed of at least one joy, one problem and one sorrow. Then there are the smaller ingredients: you always learn something, whether useful or harmful – that is difficult to analyze until later; you always give something; you alwayou always grow a little in one direction or another. – Anais Nin

I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls. – Anais Nin

I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy. – Anais Nin

People living deeply have no fear of death. – Anais Nin

What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements. – Anais Nin

The obstacle became his alibi for weakness. – Anais Nin

When I am most deeply rooted, I feel the wildest desire to uproot myself. – Anais Nin

I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me. – Anais Nin

We also write to heighten our own awareness of life. We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth. We write to expand our world when we feel strangled, or constricted, or lonely. When I don’t write, I feel my world shrinking. I feel I lose my fire and my color. – Anais Nin

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