Quotation by Robert Musil

Ideals possess the strange quality that if they were completely realized they would turn into nonsense. One could easily follow a commandment such as "Thou shalt not kill" to the point of dying of starvation; and I might establish the formula that for the proper functioning of the mesh of our ideals, as in the case of a strainer, the holes are just as important as the mesh.
Robert Musil (1880–1942), Austrian author. The German as Symptom, unpublished draft (1923), Robert Musil, Precision and Soul. Essays and Addresses, p. 178, ed. and trans. by Burton Pike and David S. Luft, Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1990).
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