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Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Among the perquisites of freedom is the freedom of people to screw up their own lives.
BORE: A person who deprives you with solitude without providing company.
The perpetrators of the Inquisition - the torturers, informers, and those who commanded their actions - were ecclesiastics of one rank or another. They were men of God - popes, bishops, friars, and priests.
Only that in you which is me can hear what I'm saying.
Rigor alone is paralytic death, but imagination alone is insanity.
It makes no sense to say that death is the goal of life. But what else is there to say?
... we may say of the receptors, the effectors, of the intellect and the other capacities that they are primarily safety-seeking tools.
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
To suppose universal laws of nature capable of being apprehended by the mind and yet having no reason for their special forms, but standing inexplicable and irrational, is hardly a justifiable position. Uniformities are precisely the sort of facts that need to be accounted for. Law is par excellence the thing that wants a reason. Now the only possible way of accounting for the laws of nature, and for uniformity in general, is to suppose them results of evolution.
... the fallacy of attributing to one cause what is due to many causes.
I think it is always important to ask fundamental questions, but when we do ask a fundamental question, most of us are seeking an answer, and then the answer is invariably superficial because there is no yes or no answer to life. Life is a movement, an endless movement, and to inquire into this extraordinary thing called life, with all its innumerable aspects, one must ask fundamental questions and never be satisfied with answers, however satisfactory they may be, because the moment you have an answer, the mind has concluded, and conclusion is not life - it is merely a static state. So what is important is to ask the right question and never be satisfied with the answer, however clever, however logical, because the truth of the question lies beyond the conclusion, beyond the answer, beyond the verbal expression. The mind that asks a question and is merely satisfied with an explanation, a verbal statement, remains superficial. It is only the mind that asks a fundamental question and is capable of pursuing that question to the end - it is only such a mind that can find out what is truth.
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.
A meaningful life can be extremely satisfying even in the midst of hardship, whereas a meaningless life is a terrible ordeal no matter how comfortable it is.
We are beginning to play with ideas of ecology, and although we immediately trivialize these into commerce or politics, there is at least an impulse still in the human breast to unify and thereby sanctify the total natural world, of which we are.... There have been, and still are, in the world many different and even contrasting epistemologies which have been alike in stressing an ultimate unity, and, although this is less sure, which have also stressed the notion that ultimate unity is aesthetic. The uniformity of these views gives hope that perhaps the great authority of quantitative science may be insufficient to deny an ultimate unifying beauty. I hold to the presupposition that our loss of the sense of aesthetic unity was, quite simply, an epistemological mistake.
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
WEDDING: A necessary formality before securing a divorce.
The telephone is a good way to talk to people without having to offer them a drink.
Mediocrity is forgiven more easily than talent.
The truth is something that burns. It burns off dead wood. And people don't like having the dead wood burnt off, often because they're 95 percent dead wood.
Sports and sex and movies are not inherently bad - But for you they're addictions, not enjoyments. You use them to distract you from what you know you should do. Break free!
The human psyche, like human bones, is strongly inclined towards self-healing.
An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her.
Play is the establishment and exploration of relationship.
BUREAUCRAT: A person who cuts red tape sideways.
It is rather more noble to help people purely out of concern for their suffering than it is to help them because you think the Creator of the Universe wants you to do it, or will reward you for doing it, or will punish you for not doing it. The problem with this linkage between religion and morality is that it gives people bad reasons to help other human beings when good reasons are available.
I tell you in truth: all men are Prophets or else God does not exist.
The habit of spending nearly every waking moment lost in thought leaves us at the mercy of whatever our thoughts happen to be. Meditation is a way of breaking this spell.
I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.
In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty.
Sleep is the best meditation.
Our rulers, who rule our symbols, and so rule a symbolic class of life, impose their own infantilism on our instituitions, educational methods, and doctrines. This leads to maladjustment of the incoming generations which, being born into, are forced to develop under the un-natural (for man) semantic conditions imposed on them. In turn, they produce leaders afflicted with the old animalistic limitations. The vicious circle is completed; it results in a general state of human un-sanity, reflected again in our instituitions. And so it goes, on and on.
In a mad world, only the mad are sane.
It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than "try to be a little kinder."
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.
The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure." 
Cigarette: A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool on the other.
When you love, you are not lonely. The sense of loneliness arises only when you are frightened of being alone and of not knowing what to do. When you are controlled by ideas, isolated by beliefs, then fear is inevitable; and when you are afraid, you are completely blind.
The visual system of the brain has the organization, computational profile, and architecture it has in order to facilitate the organism's thriving at the four Fs: feeding fleeing, fighting, and reproduction.
Biology occupies a position among the sciences at once marginal and central. Marginal because -- the living world constituting but a tiny and very "special" part of the universe -- it does not seem likely that the study of living beings will ever uncover general laws applicable outside the biosphere. But if the ultimate aim of the whole of science is indeed, as I believe, to clarify man's relationship to the universe, then biology must be accorded a central position.
For one thing, before the 20th century, there were plenty of genocides. We tend to forget about them, partly because they weren't as well documented and partly because, until recently, people didn't care. We used euphemisms like 'sackings' and 'sieges' instead of calling them 'genocides.'
Rather, for all objects and experiences, there is a quantity that has optimum value. Above that quantity, the variable becomes toxic. To fall below that value is to be deprived.
I like fragmentary writing, I seem to only be able to read fragments, feel fragments. And write fragments. (And live fragments.) The pieces naturally form a whole to me, the way minutes make up hours and hours make up days. Fragments flow, to me, in ways that unfragmented writings do not. They flow because they feel natural; yes, fragments feel natural, organic, uncomposed. A story well-composed might be beautiful, but it feels like a beautiful mask to me. Fragments are like the naturalness of children. Maybe that’s why I like fragments: because I can remain in childhood.
Money is always transitively valued. More money is supposedly always better than less money.
To seek wisdom rather than truth. It is more within our grasp.
Whenever you speak to someone, you are presuming the two of you have a certain degree of familiarity - which your words might alter. So every sentence has to do two things at once: convey a message and continue to negotiate that relationship.
There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.
It is important to understand what I mean by semiosis. All dynamic action, or action of brute force, physical or psychical, either takes place between two subjects, whether they react equally upon each other, or one is agent and the other patient, entirely or partially, or at any rate is a resultant of such actions between pairs. But by "semiosis" I mean, on the contrary, an action, or influence, which is, or involves, a cooperation of three subjects, such as a sign, its object, and its interpretant, this tri-relative influence not being in any way resolvable into actions between pairs.
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.
The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.
Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.
There is no real independent self, aloof from other human beings, inspecting the world, inspecting other people. You are, in fact, connected not just via Facebook and Internet, you're actually quite literally connected by your neurons.
It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.
The way to change others’ minds is with affection, and not anger.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Advertising - the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
Humor is just another defense against the universe.
Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the self-reliance of every one of its members.
The process of testing claims is called science. Now, If you have a claim that can't be tested thats what we call pseudo-science. The difference between pseudo-science and science is whether or not you can test it.
It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.
The louder he talks of honour, the faster we count our spoons.
The mind is the effect, not the cause.
The man who will not act until he knows all will never act at all.
Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased — thus do we refute entropy.
Hell is other people.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.
You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.
You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.
Accept the terrible responsibility of life with eyes wide open.
Pragmatism asks its usual question. "Grant an idea or belief to be true," it says, "what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone's actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth's cash-value in experiential terms?
Nessuno vi può dare la libertà. Nessuno vi può dare l'uguaglianza o la giustizia. Se siete uomini, prendetevela.
No organism can afford to be conscious of matters with which it could deal at unconscious levels. Broadly, we can afford to sink those sorts of knowledge which continue to be true regardless of changes in the environment, but we must maintain in an accessible place all those controls of behavior which must be modified for every instance. The economics of the system, in fact, pushes organisms toward sinking into the unconscious those generalities of relationship which remain permanently true and toward keeping within the conscious the pragmatic of particular instances.
We have been trained to think of patterns, with the exception of those of music, as fixed affairs. It is easier and lazier that way but, of course, all nonsense. In truth, the right way to begin to think about the pattern which connects is to think of it as primarily (whatever that means) a dance of interacting parts and only secondarily pegged down by various sorts of physical limits and by those limits which organisms characteristically impose.
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.
I'd never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.
Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.
Script analysis is then the answer to the problem of human destiny, and tells us (alas!) that our fates are predetermined for the most part, and that free will in this respect is for most people an illusion.
My God, I have almost never believed in you, and yet I have always loved you.
What surprises me most is “Man”, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present; The result being he doesn’t live in the present or the future; He lives as if he’s never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.
When you seem to be listening to my words, they seem to be your words, with me listening.
What one does, one becomes.
Any proposition containing the word "is" creates a linguistic structural confusion which will eventually give birth to serious fallacies.
Energy follows thought; we move toward, but not beyond, what we can imagine. What we assume, expect, or believe creates and colors our experience. By expanding our deepest beliefs about what is possible, we change our experience of life.
Do not ever tell a child 'you belong to this religion'. This is child abuse.
A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.
When you have told anyone you have left him a legacy, the only decent thing to do is to die at once.
It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and say the opposite.
Women want mediocre men, and men are working to be as mediocre as possible.
There is a fundamental confusion between the notion of the older 'semantics' as connected with a theory of verbal 'meaning' and words defined by words, and the present theory of 'general semantics' where we deal only with neuro-semantic and neuro-linguistic living reactions of Smith, Smith, etc., as their reactions to neuro-semantic and neuro-linguistic environments as environments.
Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?
If you have no problem, you've got a problem.
Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.
If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.
CHRISTIAN: One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbors.
Only an idiot could think there is a point to any of this.
The more you have invested in your religion, the more you will be motivated to protect that investment.
2465 quotes