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Given the scale of life in the cosmos, one human life is no more than a tiny blip. Each one of us is a just visitor to this planet, a guest, who will only stay for a limited time. What greater folly could there be than to spend this short time alone, unhappy or in conflict with our companions? Far better, surely, to use our short time here in living a meaningful life, enriched by our sense of connection with others and being of service to them.
It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do. 
That faint light in each of us which dates back to before our birth, to before all births, is what must be protected if we want to rejoin that remote glory from which we shall never know why we were separated.
Liberals tend to understand that a person can be lucky or unlucky in all matters relevant to his success. Conservatives, however, often make a religious fetish of individualism. Many seem to have absolutely no awareness of how fortunate one must be to succeed at anything in life, no matter how hard one works. One must be lucky to be able to work. One must be lucky to be intelligent, physically healthy, and not bankrupted in middle age by the illness of a spouse.
We commonly speak as though a single 'thing' could 'have' some characteristic. A stone, we say, is 'hard,' 'small,' 'heavy,' 'yellow,' 'dense,' etc. That is how our language is made: 'The stone is hard.' And so on. And that way of talking is good enough for the marketplace: 'That is a new brand.' 'The potatoes are rotten.' 'The container is damaged.'... And so on. But this way of talking is not good enough in science or epistemology. To think straight, it is advisable to expect all qualities and attributes, adjectives, and so on to refer to at least -two- sets of interactions in time....Language continually asserts by the syntax of subject and predicate that 'things' somehow 'have' qualities and attributes. A more precise way of talking would insist that the 'things' are produced, are seen as separate from other 'things,' and are made 'real' by their internal relations and by their behaviour in relationship with other things and with the speaker. It is necessary to be quite clear about the universal truth that whatever 'things' may be in their pleromatic and thingish world, they can only enter the world of communication and meaning by their names, their qualities and their attributes (i. e., by reports of their internal and external relations and interactions).
The history of man is a graveyard of great cultures that came to catastrophic ends because of their incapacity for planned, rational, voluntary reaction to challenge.
If you ask, then, where directly in your own experience the “I” comes in, the answer is that it comes in as a historical figure. It is what you were a second ago that is the “I” of the “me.” It is another “me” that has to take that rôle. You cannot get the immediate response of the “I” in the process.
Yes, metaphor. That's how the whole fabric of mental interconnections holds together. Metaphor is right at the bottom of being alive.
If we value our children, we must cherish their parents.
You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity. 
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. 
Theology is ignorance with wings.
I do not judge the universe.
Thought forms in the soul in the same way clouds form in the air.
To be sensitively aware of thought, of feeling, of the world about you, of your office and of nature, is to explode from moment to moment in affection. Without affection, every action becomes burdensome and mechanical and leads to decay.
All of that is constantly operating when you not only learn, but when you recall. But as you recall in a different light, the weights with which something is more probably going to be or not recalled on the next instance, are going to be changed. So you're constantly changing the way, for instance, synapses are going to fire very easily or not so easily.
There is no such thing as a 'self-made' man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our
character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.
Whatever you do will be insignificant. But it is very important that you do it.
They have stopped deceiving you, not loving you. And it seems to you that they have stopped loving you.
Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.
Society exists for the benefit of its members - not the members for the benefit of society.
We build too many walls and not enough bridges.
The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
Too much self-centered attitude, you see, brings, you see, isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering.
It is difficult to think of anything more important than providing the best education possible for our children. They will develop the next technologies, medical cures, and global industries, while mitigating their unintended effects, or they will fail to do these things and consign us all to oblivion.
An eye for beauty locks onto faces that show signs of health and fertility - just as one would predict if it had evolved to help the beholder find the fittest mate.
Hope is the normal form of delirium.
You can change your life with a simple shift of attention. But to make that simple shift, you have to find your heart. It's the only way. Accept yourself, then transcend yourself.
Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.
Everything has been figured out, except how to live.
Well you say that it's gospel, | But I know that it's only church.
When I'm right no one remembers, when I'm wrong no one forgets.
Love is often nothing but a favorable exchange between two people who get the most of what they can expect, considering their value on the personality market.
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another.
Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, skeptically of skepticism.
A statesman who keeps his ear permanently glued to the ground will have neither elegance of posture nor flexibility of movement.
We need to learn how to want what we have NOT to have what we want in order to get steady and stable Happiness.
Men give away nothing so liberally as their advice.
Friendship is a pact, a convention. Two beings tacitly promise never to broadcast what each really thinks of the other. A kind of alliance based on compromises. When one of them publicly calls attention to the other's defects, the pact is declared null and void, the alliance broken. No friendship lasts if one of the partners ceases to play the game. In other words, no friendship tolerates an exaggerated proportion of honesty.
With stupidity and sound digestion man may front much.
Like this gas tank, you are overflowing with preconceptions, full of useless knowledge. You hold many facts and opinions, yet know little of yourself. Before you can learn, you'll have to first empty your tank.
The characteristic of life does not lie in a distinctiveness of single life processes. [Lebensvorgänge], but rather in a certain order among all the processes.
Don't cut what you can untie.
We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.
It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.
Those who control their passions do so because their passions are weak enough to be controlled.
Passion is a rather frightening thing because if you have passion you don't know where it will take you.
We have convictions only if we have studied nothing thoroughly.
Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
There is a growing movement called Humanism, which promotes a non-supernatural basis for meaning and ethics: good without God.
He who has imagination without learning has wings and no feet. 
All things living are in search of a better world.
If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.
I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.
Surely education has no meaning unless it helps you understand the vast experience of life with all its subtleties, with its extraordinary beauty, its sorrows and joys. You may earn degrees, you may have a series of letters after your name and land a good job, but then what? What is the point of it all if in the process your mind becomes dull, weary, stupid?
Among the perquisites of freedom is the freedom of people to screw up their own lives.
We discover our character through decisions under pressure.
The concepts of individuation and belonging have been portrayed as inherently adversarial. Typpically, the belief is that one is attainable only at the expense of the other. [...] Individuating is not an escape from belonging. Belonging need not be an engulfing, confining, or restricting experience. We believe that it's possible to intergrate these processes. In other words, we think of individuation and belonging as complementary in nature. You cannot truly belong unless you can detach. Individuation and belonging represent a natural dialectic. The more connected you are, the freer you are to venture out and find yourself. The more secure you feel as an individual, the freer you are to be involved in relationships with others, to belong without fear of engulfment or enslavement.
Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured, and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a thelogically defensible reading of the Bible.
There is nothing so pathetic as a bore who claims attention - and gets it
Narratives are not fixed. We change our narratives for ourselves and we change them not necessarily deliberately. In other words, some people do, some people will constantly reconstruct their biography for external purposes, it's a very interesting political ploy.
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
A beautiful woman is a paradise to the eyes and a curse to the purse.
When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice.
There is no history of mankind, there is only an indefinite number of histories of all kinds of aspects of human life. And one of these is the history of political power. This is elevated into the history of the world. But this, I hold, is an offence against every decent conception of mankind.
Observation without evaluation is the highest form of intelligence.
We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.
While some of us act without thinking, too many of us think without acting.
Courage is worthy of respect when displayed in the maintenance of legitimate claims and in the repelling of aggressions, bodily or other. Courage is worthy of yet higher respect when danger is faced in defence of claims common to self and others, as in resistance to invasion. Courage is worthy of the highest respect when risk to life or limb is dared in defence of others.
Every man is fully satisfied that there is such a thing as truth, or he would not ask any question.
All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.
There are risks and costs to action, but they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.
Life may have no meaning. Or even worse, it may have a meaning of which I disapprove.
Biology is Engineering.
People who want to study religion usually have an ax to grind. They either want to defend their favorite religion from its critics or want to demonstrate the irrationality and futility of religion, and this tends to infect their methods with bias.
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.
Up till now [the development of proto-consciousness], we can suppose, nervous systems solved the "Now what do I do?" problem by a relatively simple balancing act between a strictly limited repertoire of actions — if not the famous four F's (fight, flee, feed, or mate), then a modest elaboration of them.
Evolutionary psychologists seem to want to unmask our noblest motives as ultimately self-interested - to show that our love for children, compassion for the unfortunate and sense of justice are just tactics in a Darwinian struggle to perpetuate our genes.
Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
The first thing the intellect does with an object is to class it along with something else. But any object that is infinitely important to us and awakens our devotion feels to us also as if it must be sui generis and unique. Probably a crab would be filled with a sense of personal outrage if it could hear us class it without ado or apology as a crustacean, and thus dispose of it. "I am no such thing," it would say; "I am MYSELF, MYSELF alone.
Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
If words are not things, or maps are not the actual territory, then, obviously, the only possible link between the objective world and the linguistic world is found in structure, and structure alone.
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.
Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man.
It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims.
Carry your groceries, garden, and do other activities that keep you moving. You will add more years to your life and more life to your years.
As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome.
We begin from the recognition that all beings cherish happiness and do not want suffering. It then becomes both morally wrong and pragmatically unwise to pursue only one’s own happiness oblivious to the feelings and aspirations of all others who surround us as members of the same human family. The wiser course is to think of others when pursuing our own happiness.
Whether you believe in God or not does not matter much, whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much; as a Buddhist, whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter so much. You must lead a good life.
A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.
We are told that when Jehovah created the world he saw that it was good. What would he say now?
All outward forms of change brought about by wars, revolutions, reformations, laws and ideologies have failed completely to change the basic nature of man and therefore of society.
To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?
The gratest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.
Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.
The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.
2465 quotes