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The reason I'm not a neurobiologist but a cognitive psychologist is that I think looking at brain tissue is often the wrong level of analysis. You have to look at a higher level of organization.
The sad truth is the truth is sad.
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
No one can be perfectly free till all are free; no one can be perfectly moral till all are moral; no one can be perfectly happy till all are happy.
If you had love in your heart, you would show respect to those who have nothing and also to those who have everything; you would neither be afraid of those who have, nor disregard those who have not. Respect in the hope of reward is the outcome of fear. In love there is no fear.
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
I say that the world is a league of scoundrels against the men of good will, and of the petty against the generous.
Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.
What the neurology tells us is that the self consists of many components, and the notion of one unitary self may well be an illusion.
Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.
Masturbation is having sex with someone you love.
Some people claim that marriage interferes with romance. There's no doubt about it. Anytime you have a romance, your wife is bound to interfere.
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. 
Things don’t have to change the world to be important.
Hell! There ain't no rules around here! We're trying to accomplish something.
Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.
An employee within an organization will advance to his or her level of incompetence and remain there.
Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.
The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.
The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.
We are seeking for another basic outlook - the world as organization. This would profoundly change the categories of our thinking and influence our practical attitudes. We must envision the biosphere as a whole with mutually reinforcing or mutually destructive interdependencies.
Well, it's either kiss me or kill me, that's how I see it.
Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.
You can choose whatever name you like for the two types of government. I personally call the type of government which can be removed without violence "democracy", and the other "tyranny".
The more you have invested in your religion, the more you will be motivated to protect that investment.
The difference between science and religion is the difference between a willingness to dispassionately consider new evidence and new arguments , and a passionate unwillingness to do so.
The meaning of your communication is the response you get.
Lofty questions about the mind are fascinating to ask, philosophers have been asking them for three millennia both in India where I am from and here in the West - but it is only in the brain that we can eventually hope to find the answers.
At the end of all our wanderings, we will arrive at the place we started, and know it for the first time
Earlier fundamental work of Whitehead, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Whorf, etc., as well as my own attempt to use this earlier thinking as an epistemological base for psychiatric theory, led to a series of generalizations: That human verbal communication can operate and always does operate at many contrasting levels of abstraction. These range in two directions from the seemingly simple denotative level (“The cat is on the mat”). One range or set of these more abstract levels includes those explicit or implicit messages where the subject of discourse is the language. We will call these metalinguistic (for example, “The verbal sound ‘cat’ stands for any member of such and such class of objects”, or “The word, ‘cat’ has no fur and cannot scratch”). The other set of levels of abstraction we will call metacommunicative (e. g., “My telling you where to ?nd the cat was friendly”, or “This is play”). In these, the subject of discourse is the relationship between the speakers. It will be noted that the vast majority of both metalinguistic and metacommunicative messages remain implicit; and also that, especially in the psychiatric interview, there occurs a further class of implicit messages about how metacommunicative messages of friendship and hostility are to be interpreted.
It’s a good thing we have gravity or else when birds died they’d just stay right up there. Hunters would be all confused.
No Body is perfect.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Language commonly stresses only one side of any interaction.
To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition.
We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build.
To make changes you have to make some enemies, but you also have to be careful not too make too many enemies. He made far too many enemies.
Opinion is ultimately determined by the feelings, and not by the intellect.
In Buddhism, ignorance as the root cause of suffering refers to a fundamental misperception of the true nature of the self and all phenomena.
.. [there are] people who, according to the best data available, have been starved for love in the earliest months of their lives and have simply lost forever the desire and the ability to give and to receive affection.
Writing is the process of removing the outer wrapping to dive into the inner pool. The words on the pages -- the tangible aspect of them -- become the bridges between inner and outer, seen and unseen. How else can I reveal the worlds and worlds (and depths within depths) that I perceive?
The object of education ought not to be to make all men think alike, but to make each think in the way which is the fullest expression of his own.
Neither Darwin nor Nietzsche was politically correct, fortunately for us.
Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's changing agent, it clears out the old to make way for the new.
The most violent element in society is ignorance.
I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.
If God had wanted to put everything into the universe from the beginning, He would have created a universe without change, without organisms and evolution, and without man and man's experience of change. But he seems to have thought that a live universe with events unexpected even by Himself would be more interesting than a dead one.
There are no forces on this planet more dangerous to all of us than the fanaticisms of fundamentalism.
A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.
The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
More compassionate mind, more sense of concern for other's well-being, is source of happiness.
A simplistic mind is a mind full of answers. It is also a mind that seldom realizes the simple fact that answers must be preceded by pertinent questions. The person with a simplistic mind looks for inspiration and knowledge in simplistic theories, mainly in those that confirm his or her preconceptions. Furthermore, he or she tends to be very active. Hence, we are talking about someone who can be very dangerous indeed.
In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty.
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.
Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.
SUBURBIA: A place where the developers bulldoze all of the trees -- then name the streets after them.
CAT: A lapwarmer with a built-in buzzer.
How can we be “free” as conscious agents if everything that we consciously intend is caused by events in our brain that we do not intend and of which we are entirely unaware? We can’t.
It is better to be hated for what one is, than loved for what one is not.
There is a quasi-scientific fable that if you can get a frog to sit quietly in a saucepan of cold water, and if you then raise the temperature of the water very slowly and smoothly so that there is no moment marked to be the moment at which the frog should jump, he will never jump. He will get boiled. Is the human species changing its own environment with slowly increasing pollution and rotting its mind with slowly deteriorating religion and education in such a saucepan?
It is not what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.
Logic is a poor model of cause and effect.
All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.
Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.
It's beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart.
The organized community or social group which gives to the individual his unity of self may be called “the generalized other.” The attitude of the generalized other is the attitude of the whole community. Thus, for example, in the case of such a social group as a ball team, the team is the generalized other in so far as it enters—as an organized process or social activity—into the experience of any one of the individual members of it.
Convince me, but without convictions. Convictions no longer convince me.
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
ARCHITECTURE: The art of how to waste space.
If you can approach the world's complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that important in the greater scheme of things.
The aim of management science is to display the best course of action in a given set of circumstances, and this must include all the circumstances.
PAIN: An uncomfortable frame of mind that may have a physical basis in something that is being done to the body, or may be purely mental, caused by the good fortune of another.
Such as contribute most to human progress and human enlightenment — men like Gutenberg, Copernicus, Newton, Leibnitz, Watts, Franklin, Mendeleieff, Pasteur, Sklodowska-Curie, Edison, Steinmetz, Loeb, Dewey, Keyser, Whitehead, Russell, Poincaré, William Benjamin Smith, Gibbs, Einstein, and many others — consume no more bread than the simplest of their fellow mortals. Indeed such men are often in want. How many a genius has perished inarticulate because unable to stand the strain of social conditions where animal standards prevail and "survival of the fittest" means, not survival of the "fittest in time-binding capacity," but survival of the strongest in ruthlessness and guile — in space-binding competition!
Neither mystics nor saints need eyes; they don't look at the world. Their heart is their eye.
Following of authority in any form, whether self-imposed or established from outside, as well as any form of imitation, copying, is destructive of incentive, of creativeness, and that it blocks the discovery of what is true.
We have a responsibility to look after our planet. It is our only home.
The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.
Why do I think that we, the intellectuals, are able to help? Simply because we, the intellectuals, have done the most terrible harm for thousands of years. Mass murder in the name of an idea, a doctrine, a theory, a religion — that is all our doing, our invention: the invention of the intellectuals. If only we would stop setting man against man — often with the best intentions — much would be gained. Nobody can say that it is impossible for us to stop doing this.
We will never deny that subsistence is a fundamental human need which must be satisfied through adequate income, nutrition, housing and work for all. But we will also insist that protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity and freedom are extremely fundamental human needs as well.
Yes, metaphor. That's how the whole fabric of mental interconnections holds together. Metaphor is right at the bottom of being alive.
It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to insist on being right - especially when one is right.
To be authentic literally means to be your own author.
In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!
Large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths. Any large-scale human cooperation – whether a modern state, a medieval church, an ancient city or an archaic tribe – is rooted in common myths that exist only in people’s collective imagination.
The talkative man speaks from his mouth, the eloquent man speaks from his heart.
When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
It is amusing to discover, in the twentieth century, that the quarrels between two lovers, two mathematicians, two nations, two economic systems, usually assumed insoluble in a finite period should exhibit one mechanism, the semantic mechanism of identification - the discovery of which makes universal agreement possible, in mathematics and in life.
Wisdom is the intelligence of the system as a whole.
There is no God, but don’t tell that to my servant, lest he murder me at night.
People today sometimes get uncomfortable with empirical claims that seem to clash with their political assumptions, often because they haven't given much thought to the connections.
Do not take life too seriously. You will not get out of it alive.
The easiest kind of relationship for me is with ten thousand people. The hardest is with one.
True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it.
The lion and the calf shall lie down together, but the calf won't get much sleep.
Compassion is the wish for another being to be free from suffering; love is wanting them to have happiness.
Non-violence means dialogue, using our language, the human language. Dialogue means compromise; respecting each other’s rights; in the spirit of reconciliation there is a real solution to conflict and disagreement. There is no hundred percent winner, no hundred percent loser—not that way but half-and-half. That is the practical way, the only way.
Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family. 
2465 quotes