Every thought derives from a thwarted sensation.

What's the meaning of this quote?

Quote Meaning: This quote dives deep into the intricate relationship between our sensory experiences and the thoughts they catalyze. It suggests that every idea, reflection, or ponderance is an offshoot of a sensation that has been, in some way, obstructed or denied its full realization.

At the most basic level, the "thwarted sensation" can refer to our primary senses: sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing. Consider an artist looking at a picturesque landscape but unable to capture its beauty immediately. The artist’s inability to portray that scene in the moment results in a "thwarted sensation." This incomplete experience or unfulfilled desire then gives rise to various thoughts: How to paint the scene, what colors to use, and how to evoke the right emotions. The sensation – in this case, the visual experience of the landscape – leads to a surge of thoughts as a response to the unmet need to express that sensation.

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On a deeper emotional and existential level, the quote could be alluding to our deeper yearnings, feelings, and experiences that aren't completely processed or expressed. Take for instance someone who feels love but is unable to express it, either due to societal norms, personal inhibitions, or the non-reciprocation of that emotion. This thwarted sensation of love can give birth to a plethora of thoughts: reflections on the nature of love, its pains, its joys, and its conundrums. It becomes a foundation for poetry, music, and philosophical musings.

Further, the quote might also speak to the larger human experience of existential longings and unmet desires. We, as conscious beings, often have sensations or feelings of longing for purpose, meaning, or connection. When these sensations aren't fulfilled - when we can't find a purpose or when we feel isolated and disconnected - our mind tries to bridge that gap with thoughts, reflections, and sometimes, even justifications or rationalizations.

In summary, this quote speaks to the innate human experience of always striving, always reaching. It suggests that our thoughts are borne not out of our fulfilled sensations, but out of the ones that we couldn’t fully grasp or realize. This "thwarting" or "hindrance" serves as a catalyst, driving our minds to think, reflect, and quest for meaning. It's a beautiful commentary on the inherent restlessness of the human spirit, always in pursuit of what eludes it.

Who said the quote?

The quote “Every thought derives from a thwarted sensation.” is often attributed to Emil Cioran (Quotes). Emil Cioran was a profound philosopher whose existentialist writings delved into the complexities of human existence.

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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