There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is

Writing to Ottoline from prison, in 1918, (his punishment for his anti-war activity) Russell explained that one of his most important motivations in his work and life was “the quest for something elusive, and yet omnipresent, and at once subtle and infinite: one seeks it in music, and the sea, and sunsets…But if one lets oneself imagine one has found it, some cruel irony is sure to come and show one that it is not really found. The outcome is that one is a ghost, floating through the world without any real contact…There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is.

Bertrand Russell, in Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude, vol.1, Ray Monk, p.530

Or rather, he didn’t want a God who might tell him to leave a married woman alone (Ottoline) and be sexually faithful.

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