My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.
Having been unpopular in high school is not a just cause for book publication.
Life is a continuous flux. Our nonhuman ancestors bred, generation after generation, and incrementally begat what we now deem to be the species homo sapiens - ourselves. There is nothing about our ancestral line or about our current biology that dictates how we will evolve in the future. Nothing in the natural order demands that our descendants resemble us in any particular way. Very likely, they will not resemble us. We will almost certainly transform ourselves, likely beyond recognition, in the generations to come.
If I were to give a prize for the single best idea anybody ever had, I'd give it to Darwin for the idea of natural selection - ahead of Newton, ahead of Einstein - because his idea unites the two most disparate features of our universe: the world of purposeless, meaningless matter and motion, particles jostling on the one side, and the world of meaning and purpose, design on the other.
There was no doubt that this poor man [William Blake] was mad, but there is something in the madness of this man which interests me more than the sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott.
My worst boss was a departmental chair who never learned to appreciate new developments in the field. He had contempt for students and younger researchers, and he saw the job of running the department as a nuisance.
it is very important, while you are young, to be real revolutionaries—which means not accepting anything, but inquiring into all these things to find out what is true. Only then can you create a new world.
After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.
God gave men both a penis and a brain, but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time.
You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.
In societies no less than individuals, acknowledging our limitations may ultimately be more humane than denying them.
Human natureHuman nature
In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man's torments.
When everything is done, the mornings are sad.
A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it.
Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day.
While some of us act without thinking, too many of us think without acting.
Theology is ignorance with wings.
Words are more treacherous and powerful than we think.
Visits always give pleasure--if not the arrival, the departure.
Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite.
Half of the people in the world are below average.
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
The creature that wins against its environment destroys itself.
The men who committed the atrocities of September 11 were certainly not "cowards," as they were repeatedly described in the Western media, nor were they lunatics in any ordinary sense. They were men of faith—perfect faith, as it turns out—and this, it must finally be acknowledged, is a terrible thing to be.
There is a time for politeness and there is a time when you are obliged to be rude.
Human relationsHuman relations
The important fact of the present time is not the struggle between capitalism and socialism but the struggle between industrial civilization and humanity.
Our ability to perceive the world around us seems so effortless that we tend to take it for granted.
Man created God in his own image
Here is a neuron that fires when I reach and grab something, but it also fires when I watch Joe reaching and grabbing something. ... It's as though this neuron is adopting the other person's point of view.
Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.
To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.
A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are
Whatever you do will be insignificant. But it is very important that you do it.
We do not know enough about how the present will lead into the future.
Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
George Bush says he speaks to god every day, & Christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd.
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.
CORPORATION: An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
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".
Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity.
The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Problems and solutionsProblems and solutions
America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.
The word ‘consciousness’ is a clever trick that we use to keep from thinking about how thinking works. We take a lot of different phenomena and we give them all the same name, and then you think you’ve got it.
It is in vain to hope to please all alike. Let a man stand with his face in what direction he will, he must necessarily turn his back on one half of the world.
The talkative man speaks from his mouth, the eloquent man speaks from his heart.
Love is not a sentiment, not romanticism, not dependent on something, and that state is extremely arduous and difficult to understand, or to be in—because our minds are always interfering, limiting, encroaching upon its functioning. Therefore it is important to understand first the mind and its ways; otherwise we shall be caught in illusions, caught in words and sensations that have very little significance.
The truth that we must finally confront is that Islam contains specific notions of martyrdom and jihad that fully explain the character of Muslim violence.
Man, when he realizes that he is an object of comedy, does not laugh.
Almost all our suffering is the product of our thoughts. We spend nearly every moment of our lives lost in thought, and hostage to the character of those thoughts. You can break this spell, but it takes training just like it takes training to defend yourself against a physical assault.
Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.
Evolution has made Homo sapiens, like other social mammals, a xenophobic creature. Sapiens instinctively divide humanity into two parts, ‘we’ and ‘they’.
Whenever two people meet there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.
But the newest research is showing that many properties of the brain are genetically organized, and don't depend on information coming in from the senses.
Let’s not pretend that things will change if we keep doing the same things. A crisis can be a real blessing to any person, to any nation. For all crises bring progress. Creativity is born from anguish, just like the day is born form the dark night. It’s in crisis that inventiveness is born, as well as discoveries made and big strategies.
He who overcomes crisis, overcomes himself, without getting overcome. He who blames his failure to a crisis neglects his own talent and is more interested in problems than in solutions. Incompetence is the true crisis.
The greatest inconvenience of people and nations is the laziness with which they attempt to find the solutions to their problems. There’s no challenge without a crisis. Without challenges, life becomes a routine, a slow agony. There’s no merit without crisis. It’s in the crisis where we can show the very best in us. Without a crisis, any wind becomes a tender touch.
To speak about a crisis is to promote it. Not to speak about it is to exalt conformism. Let us work hard instead. Let us stop, once and for all, the menacing crisis that represents the tragedy of not being willing to overcome it.
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Social identitySocial identity
To understand the whole operation of one’s own mind requires a great deal of insight, a great deal of inquiry without condemnation.
It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.
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.
It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.
We aim above the mark to hit the mark.
You're a prisoner of your own illusions - about yourself and about the world.
We will never have a perfect world, but it's not romantic or naive to work toward a better one.
What we do in every other area of our lives (other than religion), is, rather than respect somebody's beliefs, we evaluate their reasons.
If the rich could hire someone else to die for them, the poor would make a wonderful living.
Peace is the break between two wars.
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
The definition of definition is at bottom just what the maxim of pragmatism expresses.
If premarital sex is a sin, who is the victim?
Two important characteristics of maps should be noticed. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.
If we agree on everything, only one of us is necessary.
Inner peace is the key: if you have inner peace, the external problems do not affect your deep sense of peace and tranquility…without this inner peace, no matter how comfortable your life is materially, you may still be worried, disturbed, or unhappy because of circumstances.
The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.
Thus, we see that one of the obvious origins of human disagreement lies in the use of noises for words.
Wisdom is the intelligence of the system as a whole.
All the worlds a stage, | And all the men and women merely players: | They have their exits, and their entrances; |And one man in his time plays many parts.
IDIOT: A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.
Believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you see.
The status quo sucks.
My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher. And that is a good thing for any man
Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom.
To be loved by whom you love is a great luck; to be loved by whom you don't love is an annoyance; not to be loved by whom you love is a misfortune; not to love and not to be loved, a risky situation.
Neither mystics nor saints need eyes; they don't look at the world. Their heart is their eye.
There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started out with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet which fails so regularly, as love.
The chains that bind us most closely are the ones we have broken.
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.
Money does not bring happiness, it buys it.
You are not made to live as beasts but to follow virtue and knowledge
A sane society is that which corresponds to the needs of man — not necessarily to what he feels to be his needs, because even the most pathological aims can be felt subjectively as that which the person wants most; but to what his needs are objectively, as they can be ascertained by the study of man. It is our first task then, to ascertain what is the nature of man, and what are the needs which stem from this nature.
I never put off till tomorrow what I can do the day after.
Academics lack perspective. In a debate on whether the world is round, they would argue, 'No,' because it's an oblate spheroid. They suffer from 'the curse of knowledge': the inability to imagine what it's like not to know something that they know.
Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important.
COMMITTEE: A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary.
All that we have invented, the symbols in the church, the rituals, they are all put there by thought. Thought has invented these things. Invented the savior. Invented the temples of India and the contents of the temples. Thought has invented all these things called sacred. You cannot deny that. So thought in itself is not sacred. And when thought invents God, God is not sacred. So what is sacred? That can only be understood or happen when there is complete freedom, from fear, from sorrow, and when there is this sense of love and compassion with it's own intelligence. Then when the mind is utterly still, that which is sacred can take place.