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Of necessity, the autobiographical self is not just about one individual but about all the others that an individual interacts with. Of necessity, it incorporates the culture in which the interactions took place.
He who gives money he has not earned is generous with other people’s labor.
We will never have a perfect world, but it's not romantic or naive to work toward a better one.
I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable to you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is of no use, then you can discard it.
Synaptic summation is the technical term used in neurophysiology for those instances in which some neuron C is fired only by a combination of neurons A and B.
Identity is invariably false to facts.
Well, the telling of jokes is an art of its own, and it always rises from some emotional threat. The best jokes are dangerous, and dangerous because they are in some way truthful.
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.
When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly, that is what each of us is here for.
Writing is closer to thinking than to speaking.
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
When you are finished changing, you are finished.
You can't hear a word and just hear it as raw sound; it always evokes an associated meaning and emotion in the brain.
The first step to finding a solution is to admit that there is a problem.
METAPHOR: A way of holding the most truth in the least space.
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. 
The secret to humor is surprise.
Two thousand years of monotheistic brainwashing have caused most Westerners to see polytheism as ignorant and childish idolatry. This is an unjust stereotype.
Our fundamental tactic of self-protection, self-control, and self-definition is not spinning webs or building dams, but telling stories, and more particularly connecting and controlling the story we tell others - and ourselves - about who we are.
You say you love your wife. You depend on her; she has given you her body, her emotions, her encouragement, a certain feeling of security and well-being. Then she turns away from you; she gets bored or goes off with someone else, and your whole emotional balance is destroyed, and this disturbance, which you don’t like, is called jealousy. There is pain in it, anxiety, hate and violence. So what you are really saying is, ‘As long as you belong to me I love you but the moment you don’t I begin to hate you.
Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.
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.
We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.
Concepts like those of organization, wholeness, directiveness, teleology, control, self-regulation, differentiation, and the like are alien to conventional science. However, they pop up everywhere in the biological, behavioral, and social sciences and are, in fact, indispensable for dealing with living organisms or social groups. Thus, a basic problem posed to modem science is a general theory of organization. General Systems Theory is, in principle, capable of giving exact definitions for such concepts.
A person does what he does because he sees the world as he sees it.
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.
Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal.
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.
Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.
CRIMINAL: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.
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.
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.
A leader is a dealer in hope.
I am one of the few people I know of who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror.
In our considerations we started with a general definition of "systems" defined as a "set of elements standing in interrelations... No special hypothesis or statement were made about the nature of the system, of its elements or the relations between them. Nevertheless from this purely formal definition of "system" many properties follow which in part are expressed in laws well-known in various fields of science, and in part concern concepts previously regarded as anthropomorphic, vitalistic. or metaphysical. The parallelism of general conceptions or even special laws in different fields therefore is a consequence of the fact that those are concerned with "systems" and that certain general principles apply to systems irrespective of their nature.
I write because it’s a sort of meditation, and my only superficial peace. Writing takes me to the point where I can harmonize with what is disturbing.
In Buddhism, ignorance as the root cause of suffering refers to a fundamental misperception of the true nature of the self and all phenomena.
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
CHEMICALS: Noxious substances from which modern foods are made.
False encouragement is a kind of theft: it steals time, energy, and motivation a person could put toward some other purpose.
I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
People who harbor strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power.
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
Thinking is difficult, so most of us judge.
When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.
Real misanthropes are not found in solitude, but in the world; since it is experience of life, and not philosophy, which produces real hatred of mankind.
In the 1970s, many intellectuals had become political radicals. Marxism was correct, liberalism was for wimps, and Marx had pronounced that 'the ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.'
Fear and trust cannot go together.
What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.
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.
In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.
The best way to resolve any problem in the human world is for all sides to sit down and talk.
The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.
I tended to place my wife under a pedestal.
Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.
Cigarette: A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool on the other.
One should always be in love; that is the reason one should never marry.
Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right.
Also the principle of stress, so often invoked in psychology, psychiatry, and psychosomatics, needs some reevaluation. As everything in the world, stress too is an ambivalent thing. Stress is not only a danger to life to be controlled and neutralized by adaptive mechanisms; it also creates higher life.
People have long assumed that violence is necessary for political change. Rulers never cede power voluntarily, the argument goes, so progressives have no choice but to contemplate the use of force to bring about a better world, mindful of the trade-off between a small amount of violence now and acceptance of an unjust status quo indefinitely.
The god whom science recognizes must be a God of universal laws exclusively, a God who does a wholesale, not a retail business. He cannot accommodate his processes to the convenience of individuals.
No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude.
Specialization may be a great temptation for the scientist. For the philosopher it is the mortal sin.
The recognition of the difference between appearance and reality is a human discovery.
Words are more treacherous and powerful than we think.
The truth is that we simply do not know what happens after death.
Man created God in his own image
Whether you call it Buddhism or another religion, self-discipline, that's important. Self-discipline with awareness of consequences.
The important and the unimportant are the same only at the start.
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.
The map is not the territory … The only usefulness of a map depends on similarity of structure between the empirical world and the map...
People are ridiculous only when they try or seem to be that which what they are not.
Curiosity illuminates the correct path to anything in life. If you're not curious, that's when your brain is starting to die.
Each individual has a universal responsibility to shape institutions to serve human needs.
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.
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?
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.
Grant me patience, O Lord, but hurry!
Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.
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.
We are permitted to suppose that the relatively small size of the female brain depends in part upon her physical inferiority and in part upon her intellectual inferiority.
Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands.
Life itself is just a thin coat of paint on the planet, and we hold the paintbrush.
To teach is to learn. -- Japanese Proverb
His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy.
I do not want anything over again. Not even a mother.
An employee within an organization will advance to his or her level of incompetence and remain there.
Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves... for they will never cease to be amused.
Art works because it appeals to certain faculties of the mind. Music depends on details of the auditory system, painting and sculpture on the visual system. Poetry and literature depend on language.
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.
Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. 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.
Hope is independent of the apparatus of logic.
The mind is the effect, not the cause.
The world is not something separate from you and me; the world, society, is the relationship that we establish or seek to establish between each other. So you and I are the problem, and not the world, because the world is the projection of ourselves, and to understand the world we must understand ourselves. That world is not separate from us; we are the world, and our problems are the world's problems.
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.
Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
Do not do unto others as you would they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.
2371 quotes