To Be Human…
On Being Human –
“Man is God in ruins.”
“If there were no eternal consciousness in a man, if at the bottom of everything, there were only a wild ferment, a power that, twisting in dark passions, produced everything great or inconsequential, if an unfathomable, insatiable, emptiness lay hidden beneath everything, what would life be but despair?” – Søren Kierkegaard.
“I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man’s being unable to sit still in a room.” – Blaise Pascal.
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – Mohandas Gandhi.
“I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.” – Mohandas Gandhi.
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” – Lawrence Peter.
“We live, as we dream … alone.” – Joseph Conrad.
“Mark this well, you proud men of action! you are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.” – Buddha.
“Need is considered the cause why something came to be; but in truth it is often merely an effect of what has come to be.” – Friederich Nietzsche.
“The first duty of love is to listen.” – Paul Tillich.
“The more you accept life as it is, the more determined you become to make the most of life!” – Vajra Krishna.
“Perhaps I know why it is man alone who laughs: He alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.” – Friederich Nietzsche.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Jung.
“The shadow, which is in conflict with the acknowledged values, cannot be accepted as a negative part of one’s own psyche and is therefore projected–that is, it is transferred to the outside world and experienced as an outside object. It is combated, punished, and exterminated as ‘the alien out there’ instead of being dealt with as one’s own inner problem.” – Erich Neumann (psychologist), Depth Psychology and a New Ethic.
“Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” – Paul Tillich.
“Seeing a therapist was like renting a friend… a form of prostitution that left me a little cold.” – Jonathan Pratt.
“Foolishly, he reaches for the stars, while the flowers are right at his feet.” – Anon.
“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” – Anon.
“Boredom is rage spread thin.” – Paul Tillich.
“Neurosis is the way of avoiding non-being by avoiding being.” – Paul Tillich.
“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
“Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.” – William Hazlitt.
“We’re all afloat in a boundless sea, and the way we cope is by massing together in groups and pretending in unison that the situation is other than it is. We reinforce the illusion for each other. That’s what a society really is, a little band of humanity huddled together against the specter of a pitch black sea. Everyone is treading water to keep their heads above the surface even though they have no reason to believe that the life they’re preserving is better than the alternative they’re avoiding. It’s just that one is known and one is not. Fear of the unknown is what keeps everyone busily treading water. All fear is fear of the unknown. If someone in such a group of water-treaders betrays the group lie by speaking the truth of their situation, that person is called a heretic and society reserves its most awful punishments for heretics. If someone decides to stop struggling and just sink or float away, every possible effort is made to stop him, not for the benefit of the individual, but for the benefit of the group. To deny at all costs the truth of the situation.” – Jed McKenna.
“Never mistake motion for action.” – Ernest Hemingway.
“No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity. But I know none, and therefore am no beast.” – Richard III, William Shakespeare.
“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” – Immanuel Kant.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair.
“It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.” – Arthur C. Clarke.
“Where the moralist would be filled with indignation and the tragic poet with pity and terror, mythology breaks the whole of life into a vast, horrendous Divine Comedy. Its Olympian laugh is not escapist in the least, but hard, with the hardness of life itself – which, may take it, is the hardness of God, the Creator. Mythology, in this respect, makes the tragic attitude seem somewhat hysterical, and the merely moral judgement, short-sighted.” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
“I want to make movies that turns a whore into a virgin… but to do that I have to stay true to the whore. If I make her seem like nothing less or more… then I won’t be turning her at all… merely writing sugary words. Yes, I think all my films will be about innocence. I think innocence is the key… to humanity’s salvation.” – Vajra Krishna.
On Happiness –
“Happiness lies in swiftness of thought and feeling.” – Beethoven.
On Death –
“To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils.” – Socrates.
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” – Mark Twain.
On the Mystery of Existence –
“The time has come to realise that an interpretation of the universe–even a positivist one–remains unsatisfying unless it covers the interior as well as the exterior of things; mind as well as matter. The true physics is that which will, one day, achieve the inclusion of man in his wholeness in a coherent picture of the world.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
“My goal is simple. It is complete understanding of the universe, why it as it is and why it exists at all.” – Stephen Hawking.
“Something unknown is doing we don’t know what.” – Arthur Eddington.
“We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown. We have devised profound theories, one after another, to account for its origins. At last, we have succeeded in reconstructing the creature that made the footprint. And lo! It is our own.” – Arthur Eddington.
“Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.” – Blaise Pascal.
“A fool marvels at rare things, but a wise man at common ones.” – Kung Fu Tze.
“It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein.
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” – Aldous Huxley.
“There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein.
On Society, Government, Freedom & History –
“As is demonstrated by a wealth of historical examples, every form of fanaticism, every dogma and every type of compulsive one-sidedness is finally overthrown by precisely those elements which it has itself repressed, suppressed, or ignored.” – Erich Neumann (psychologist), Depth Psychology and a New Ethic.
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” – Charles Mackay.
“The history of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of freedom.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
“As history shows, the fastest way to reduce otherwise decent people to a state of savagery is by tampering with their belief system.” – Jed McKenna.
“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins.” – Thomas Paine.
“When liberty is mentioned, we must always be careful to observe whether it is not really the assertion of private interests which is thereby designated.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
“Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics.” – Charles Peguy.
“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” – Søren Kierkegaard.
On Doubt & Knowing –
“What we think, we become. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” – Buddha.
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.” – Buddha.
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R Tolkien.
“If you have built castles in the air your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau.
“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” – Rene Descartes.
“Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.” – Paul Tillich.
“Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” – George Bernard Shaw.
“Philosophy begins when one learns to doubt – particularly to doubt one’s cherished beliefs, one’s dogmas and one’s axioms.” – Will Durant.
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein.
“Nothing is more honorable than enlightenment, nothing is more beautiful than virtue.” – Lao Tzu.
“What we are observing is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our type of question.” – Arthur Eddington.
“Sixty years ago I knew everything. Today I know nothing. Education is the progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” – Will Durant.
“To him who looks upon the world rationally, the world in its turn presents a rational aspect. The relation is mutual.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
“Was I before a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being a man?” – Chuang Tzu.
“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” – Henri Bergson.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates.
“Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.” – Bertrand Russell.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain.
“Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.” – Plutarch.
“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Daniel J. Boorstin.
“Wise men are instructed by reason; men of less understanding, by experience; the most ignorant, by necessity; the beasts, by nature.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero.
“The understanding, like the eye, whilst it makes us see and perceive all other things, takes no notice of itself; and it requires art and pains to set it at a distance and make it its own object.” – John Locke.
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” – Confucius.
“The universe as we know it is a joint product of the observer and the observed.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
“True philosophy consists in relearning to look at the world.” – Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
“We have to live today by what truth we can get today, and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.” – William James.
“We do not need to be shoemakers to know if our shoes fit, and just as little have we any need to be professionals to acquire knowledge of matters of universal interest.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
“In order to discover who you are, first learn who everybody else is; you’re what’s left.” – Anon.
“For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed. / The riddle does not exist. / If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein.
“The existence and non-existence of states of affairs is reality.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein.
“Logic takes care of itself; all we have to do is to look and see how it does it.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein.
“You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it in himself.” – Galileo.
“The seductive appeal of objective reality depends on a mistake. It is not the given. Sometimes … the truth is not found by traveling as far away from one’s personal perspective as possible.” – Thomas Nagel.
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” – Philip K. Dick.
On God & Religion –
“God is even in these stones.” – Mohandas Gandhi.
“Don’t we hear anything of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Don’t we smell anything of the divine decomposition? Even Gods decay. God is dead; God remains dead, and we have killed him. How shall we console ourselves, we, the murderers among all murderers? The most holy and the most powerful things, which the world had up to now, have been bloodied with our knives. Who will wash this blood from us? With what water can we clean ourselves? What atonement, what holy ceremony will we have to invent? Is not the magnitude of this deed too great for us? Must we not become Gods ourselves in order to appear worthy of it?” – Friederich Nietzsche.
“It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion.” – Albert Einstein.
“The truth wears longer than all the gods; for it is only in the truth’s service, and for love of it, that people have overthrown the gods and at last God himself. “The truth” outlasts the downfall of the world of gods, for it is the immortal soul of this transitory world of gods; it is Deity itself.” – Johann Kaspar Schmidt.
“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” – Stephen Roberts.
“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” – Steven Weinberg.
“Even in the gravest folly one can see the face of the divine. Therefore, the wise man looks upon folly with reverence.” – Umberto Eco (Foucault’s Pendulum).
“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” – Mohandas Gandhi.
On Courage –
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill.
“The principal act of courage is to endure and withstand dangers doggedly rather than to attack them.” – Thomas Aquinas.
“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.” – Socrates.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mohandas Gandhi.
On Time –
“How can the past and future be when the past is no longer and the future is not yet? As for the present, if it were always present and never moved on to become the past, it would not be time, but eternity.” – Saint Augustine.
“The distinction between past, present and future is only an illusion, even if a stubborn one.” – Albert Einstein.
“A non-stationary ‘time’ cannot be ‘grasped’ and a stationary ‘time’ which can be grasped does not exist. How, then can one perceive time if it is not ‘grasped’?” – Nagarjuna.
“The question of whether from a complete knowledge of the past we can predict the future, does not arise because a complete knowledge of the past involves a self-contradiction.” – Werner Heisenberg.
On Science and Reality –
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny…'” – Isaac Asimov.
“A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” – Maxwell Planck.
“Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience.” – Albert Einstein.
“Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.” – Albert Einstein.
“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” – Albert Einstein.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke.
“The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?” – Stephen Hawking.
“An idea is always a generalization, and generalization is a property of thinking. To generalize means to think.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
“The rolling mystery of the world can be analyzed with concepts (this is science), or it can be experienced free of concepts (this is mysticism).” – Sam Harris (End of Faith).
“It is impossible to trap modern physics into predicting anything with perfect determinism because it deals with probabilities from the outset.” – Arthur Eddington.
“The natural laws formulated mathematically in quantum theory no longer deal with the elementary particles themselves but with our knowledge of them.” – Werner Heisenberg.
“The atoms or the elementary particles are not real; they form a world of potentialities and possibilities rather than one of things or facts.” – Werner Heisenberg.
“I take the positivist viewpoint that a physical theory is just a mathematical model and that it is meaningless to ask whether it corresponds to reality. All that one can ask is that its predictions should be in agreement with observation.” – Steven Hawking.
“All authorities seem to be agreed that at, or nearly at, the root of everything in the physical world lies the mystic formula qp-pq=ih/2pi. We do not yet understand that; probably if we could understand it we should not think it so fundamental.” – Arthur Eddington.
“A physicist is an atom’s way of knowing about atoms.” – George Wald.
“Science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion…The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” – Albert Einstein. SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY, AND RELIGION: A SYMPOSIUM, 1941.
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.” – Albert Einstein, in a letter to Morris Raphael Cohen, professor emeritus of philosophy at the College of the City of New York, defending the controversial appointment of Bertrand Russell to a teaching position, March 19, 1940.
“What can the schools do to defend democracy? Should they preach a specific political doctrine? I believe they should not. If they are able to teach young people to have a critical mind and a socially oriented attitude, they will have done all that is necessary.” – Albert Einstein, a message to the New Jersey Education Association, Atlantic City, 1939.
“Taken on the whole, I would believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit…not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in what we believe is evil.”
– Albert Einstein, United Nations radio interview recorded in Einstein’s study, Princeton, New Jersey, 1950.
“When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute – and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”
– Albert Einstein, quote from Journal of Exothermic Science and Technology (JEST, Vol. 1, No. 9; 1938).
“A scientist is a mimosa when he himself has made a mistake, and a roaring lion when he discovers a mistake of others.”
– Albert Einstein, quote from Ehlers, Liebes Hertz!, 45.
“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by how he has attained liberation from the self.”
– Albert Einstein, quote from Einstein Archive 60-492, 1932; published in Mein Weltbild.
“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
– Albert Einstein, quoted in H. Eves Mathematical Circles Adieu (Boston 1977).
“I have little patience with scientists who take a board of wood, look for its thinnest part, and drill a great number of holes where drilling is easy.”
– Albert Einstein (quoted by Philipp Frank in “Einstein’s Philosophy of Science,” Reviews of Modern Physics, Vol 21, No. 3 July 1949.
“The scientific theorist is not to be envied. For Nature, or more precisely experiment, is an exorable and not very friendly judge of his work. It never says “yes” to a theory. In the most favorable cases it says “Maybe,” and in the great majority of cases simply “No.” If an experiment agrees with a theory it means for the latter “Maybe,” and if it does not agree it means “No.” Probably every theory will some day experience its “No” – most theories, soon after conception.”
– Albert Einstein, Entry into memory book for Professor Kammerling-Onnes, November 11, 1922; quoted in Dukas and Hoffmann, Albert Einstein, the Human Side, p.18.
“There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap.” – Albert Einstein.
“It is important to foster individuality for only the individual can produce the new ideas.”
– Albert Einstein, message for Ben Scheman dinner, March 1952, AEA 28-931.
“The simplest picture one can form about the creation of an empirical science is along the lines of an inductive method. Individual facts are selected and grouped together so that the laws that connect them become apparent…However, the big advances in scientific knowledge originated in this way only to a small degree…The truly great advances in our understanding of nature originated in a way almost diametrically opposed to induction. The intuitive grasp of the essentials of a large complex of facts leads the scientist to the postulation of a hypothetical basic law or laws. From these laws, he derives his conclusions.”
– Albert Einstein, Induction and Deduction in Physics, Berliner Togeblatt, Dec. 25, 1919, CPAE 7:28.
“But nature did not deem it her business to make the discovery of her laws easy for us.”
– Albert Einstein to Erwin Freundlich, September 1, 1911.
“One of the strongest motives that leads men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness. Such men make this cosmos and its construction the pivot of their emotional life, in order to find the peace and security which they cannot find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience.”
– Albert Einstein, “Principles of Research,” 1918, in Einstein Albert, Ideas and Opinions, New York: Random House, 224.
“Belief in an external world independent of the perceiving subject is the basis of all natural science.”
– Albert Einstein, “Maxwell’s Influence on the Evolution of the Idea of Physical Reality,” 1931, in Einstein, Albert, Ideas and Opinions, New York: Random House, 266.
“The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility…The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle.”
– Albert Einstein, “Physics and Reality,” Journal of the Franklin Institute (Mar. 1936), in Einstein, 1954, Ideas and Opinions. New York: Random House, 292.
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.”
– Albert Einstein, “The World As I See It,” originally published in FORUM AND CENTURY, 1931.
“Small is the number that see with their own eyes
and feel with their own hearts.”
– Albert Einstein.
“I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited; imagination encircles the world.”
– Albert Einstein.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein.
I have deep faith that the principle of the universe will be beautiful and simple. – Albert Einstein.
The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once. – Albert Einstein.
Quantum mechanics is very impressive. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory yields a lot, but it hardly brings us any closer to the secret of the Old One. In any case I am convinced that He doesn’t play dice. – Albert Einstein.
On Spirituality –
“The spiritual journey does not consist of arriving at a new destination where a person gains what he did not have, or becomes what he is not. It consists in the dissipation of one’s own ignorance concerning oneself and life, and the gradual growth of that understanding which begins the spiritual awakening.” – Aldous Huxley.
“If one discounts their own answers, the gurus become meaningless.” – Takuin Minamoto.
“Ask yourself, are you a question, searching for an answer? Or are you already the answer, seeking the right question?” – Takuin Minamoto.
“You are asking me to be diplomatic? That means being a hypocrite; knowing something but saying something else, doing something else. I am going to remain the same. I can drop being religious if it is needed, but I cannot drop being rebellious because to me that is the very soul of religion. I can drop every other thing which is thought to be religious, but I cannot drop rebellion; that is the very soul.” – Osho.
“Humility exalteth man to the heaven of glory and power, whilst pride abaseth him to the depths of wretchedness and degradation. ”
“Dost thou reckon thyself only a puny form
When within thee the universe is folded?”