Ellis in 1913
2 February 1859|
Croydon, Surrey, England
|Died||8 July 1939
Hintlesham, Suffolk, England
|Alma mater||King’s College London|
Birth-control is effecting, and promising to effect, many functions in our social life.
Education, whatever else it should or should not be, must be an inoculation against the poisons of life and an adequate equipment in knowledge and skill for meeting the chances of life.
The sanitary and mechanical age we are now entering makes up for the mercy it grants to our sense of smell by the ferocity with which it assails our sense of hearing.
One can know nothing of giving aught that is worthy to give unless one also knows how to take.
The omnipresent process of sex, as it is woven into the whole texture of our man's or woman's body, is the pattern of all the process of our life.
I always seem to have a vague feeling that he is a Satan among musicians, a fallen angel in the darkness who is perpetually seeking to fight his way back to happiness.
If men and women are to understand each other, to enter into each other's nature with mutual sympathy, and to become capable of genuine comradeship, the foundation must be laid in youth.
The mathematician has reached the highest rung on the ladder of human thought.
The parents have not only to train their children: it is of at least equal importance that they should train themselves.
All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution.
In philosophy, it is not the attainment of the goal that matters, it is the things that are met with by the way.
The relation of the individual person to the species he belongs to is the most intimate of all relations.
There has never been any country at every moment so virtuous and so wise that it has not sometimes needed to be saved from itself.
However well organized the foundations of life may be, life must always be full of risks.
Thinking in its lower grades, is comparable to paper money, and in its higher forms it is a kind of poetry.
What we call 'morals' is simply blind obedience to words of command.
Sex lies at the root of life, and we can never learn to reverence life until we know how to understand sex.
For every fresh stage in our lives we need a fresh education, and there is no stage for which so little educational preparation is made as that which follows the reproductive period.
In the early days of Christianity the exercise of chastity was frequently combined with a close and romantic intimacy of affection between the sexes which shocked austere moralists.
The family only represents one aspect, however important an aspect, of a human being's functions and activities. A life is beautiful and ideal or the reverse, only when we have taken into our consideration the social as well as the family relationship.
Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself.
The art of dancing stands at the source of all the arts that express themselves first in the human person. The art of building, or architecture, is the beginning of all the arts that lie outside the person; and in the end they unite.
The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago… had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.
Still, whether we like it or not, the task of speeding up the decrease of the human population becomes increasingly urgent.
Of woman as a real human being, with sexual needs and sexual responsibilities, morality has often known nothing.
The husband – by primitive instinct partly, certainly by ancient tradition – regards himself as the active partner in matters of love and his own pleasure as legitimately the prime motive for activity.
A sublime faith in human imbecility has seldom led those who cherish it astray.
It has always been difficult for Man to realize that his life is all an art. It has been more difficult to conceive it so than to act it so. For that is always how he has more or less acted it.
Failing to find in women exactly the same kind of sexual emotions, as they find in themselves, men have concluded that there are none there at all.
There is a very intimate connection between hypnotic phenomena and religion.
What we call progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance.
There is nothing that war has ever achieved that we could not better achieve without it.
'Charm' – which means the power to effect work without employing brute force – is indispensable to women. Charm is a woman's strength just as strength is a man's charm.
The greatest task before civilization at present is to make machines what they ought to be, the slaves, instead of the masters of men.
At the present day the crude theory of the sexual impulse held on one side, and the ignorant rejection of theory altogether on the other side, are beginning to be seen as both alike unjustified.
Every man of genius sees the world at a different angle from his fellows, and there is his tragedy.
All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
Men who know themselves are no longer fools. They stand on the threshold of the door of Wisdom.
The prevalence of suicide, without doubt, is a test of height in civilization; it means that the population is winding up its nervous and intellectual system to the utmost point of tension and that sometimes it snaps.
Jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretence of keeping it alive.
It is becoming clear that the old platitudes can no longer be maintained, and that if we wish to improve our morals we must first improve our knowledge.
Socialism also brings us up against the hard rock of eugenic fact which, if we neglect it, will dash our most beautiful social construction to fragments.
The average husband enjoys the total effect of his home but is usually unable to contribute any of the details of work and organisation that make it enjoyable.
The more rapidly a civilization progresses, the sooner it dies for another to rise in its place.
It is only the great men who are truly obscene. If they had not dared to be obscene, they could never have dared to be great.