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It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.
People are ridiculous only when they try or seem to be that which they are not.
The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization. 
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
Happy the people whose annals are blank in history books!
Etc.: A sign to make others believe that you know more than you actually do.
What you can imagine depends on what you know.
If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable. 
Hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing whatever to do.
In the 300 years of the crucifixion of Christ to the conversion of Emperor Constantine, polytheistic Roman emperors initiated no more than four general persecutions of Christians. Local administrators and governors incited some anti-Christian violence of their own. Still, if we combine all the victims of all these persecutions, it turns out that in these three centuries the polytheistic Romans killed no more than a few thousand Christians. In contrast, over the course, of the next 1,500 years, Christians slaughtered Christians by the millions, to defend slightly different interpretations of the religion of love and compassion.
BORE: A person who deprives you with solitude without providing company.
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.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being. Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept.
Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.
There is a savage beast in every man, and when you hand that man a sword or spear and send him forth to war, the beast stirs.
When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.
You are a dynamic whole greater than the sum of your parts. By integrating your body, mind, and emotions through training, you reshape your life.
If everyone could learn that what is right for me does not make it right for anyone else, the world would be a much happier place.
Nothing that is complete breathes.
This is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own.
Talent develops in tranquillity, character in the full current of human life.
Before you can see the Light, you have to deal with the darkness.
The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly, that is what each of us is here for.
And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
With stupidity and sound digestion man may front much.
Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves... for they will never cease to be amused.
It is necessary to study not only parts and processes in isolation, but also to solve the decisive problems found in organization and order unifying them, resulting from dynamic interaction of parts, and making the the behavoir of the parts different when studied in isolation or within the whole.
It is difficult to imagine a set of beliefs more suggestive of mental illness than those that lie at the heart of many of our religious traditions.
METAPHOR: A way of holding the most truth in the least space.
Evil is the product of the ability of humans to make abstract that which is concrete.
A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.
Reason should be destroyed in all Christians.
What we see depends mainly on what we look for
Far from being restricted to a limited number of pathological cases, as American theoreticians suggest, the double bind—a contradictory double imperative, or rather a whole network of contradictory imperatives—is an extremely common phenomenon. In fact, it is so common that it might be said to form the basis of all human relationships.

Bateson is undoubtedly correct in believing that the effects of the double bind on the child are particularly devastating. All the grown-up voices around him, beginning with those of the father and mother (voices which, in our society at least, speak for the culture with the force of established authority) exclaim in a variety of accents, "Imitate us!" "Imitate me!" "I bear the secret of life, of true being!" The more attentive the child is to these seductive words, and the more earnestly he responds to the suggestions emanating from all sides, the more devastating will be the eventual conflicts. The child possesses no perspective that will allow him to see things as they are. He has no basis for reasoned judgements, no means of foreseeing the metamorphosis of his model into a rival. This model's opposition reverberates in his mind like a terrible condemnation; he can only regard it as an act of excommunication. The future orientation of his desires—that is, the choice of his future models—will be significantly affected by the dichotomies of his childhood. In fact, these models will determine the shape of his personality.

If desire is allowed its own bent, its mimetic nature will almost always lead it into a double bind. The unchanneled mimetic impulse hurls itself blindly against the obstacle of a conflicting desire. It invites its own rebuffs and these rebuffs will in turn strengthen the mimetic inclination. We have, then, a self-perpetuating process, constantly increasing in simplicity and fervor. Whenever the disciple borrows from his model what he believes to be the "true" object, he tries to possess that truth by desiring precisely what this model desires. Whenever he sees himself closest to the supreme goal, he comes into violent conflict with a rival. By a mental shortcut that is both eminently logical and self-defeating, he convinces himself that the violence itself is the most distinctive attribute of this supreme goal! Ever afterward, violence will invariably awaken desire...
It's beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart.
To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition.
The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.
Ethical ideas and sentiments have to be considered as parts of the phenomena of life at large. We have to deal with man as a product of evolution, with society as a product of evolution, and with moral phenomena as products of evolution.
The successful person places more attention on doing the right thing rather than doing things right.
No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities.
Fear? If I have gained anything by damning myself, it is that I no longer have anything to fear.
Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.
If you can keep your head when all around you have lost theirs, then you probably haven't understood the seriousness of the situation.
The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
We philosophers are mistake specialists.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Many of those who tried to enlighten were hanged from the lampposts.
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.
Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.
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.
Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.
The only gift is giving to the poor; all else is exchange.
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
I have no need for good souls: an accomplice is what I wanted.
I will admit that virtue -- like everything else beautiful and great -- is nothing but an illusion. But if it were a shared illusion, if all men believed and wanted to be good, if they were compassionate, generous, high-minded, full of enthusiasm, in a word, if everyone were sensible (for I make no distinction between sensibility and what we call virtue), wouldn't people be happier?
I learned how to dig a hole in the ground and bury myself so the fire would burn over me. Never had to use it since, but I'm ready.
We cannot learn real patience and tolerance from a guru or a friend. They can be practiced only when we come in contact with someone who creates unpleasant experiences. According to Shantideva, enemies are really good for us as we can learn a lot from them and build our inner strength.
Cigarette: A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool on the other.
There are 100 billion neurons in the adult human brain, and each neuron makes something like 1,000 to 10,000 contacts with other neurons in the brain. Based on this, people have calculated that the number of permutations and combinations of brain activity exceeds the number of elementary particles in the universe.
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity
I have never been a fan of science fiction. For me, fiction has to explore the combinatorial possibilities of people interacting under the constraints imposed by our biology and history. When an author is free to suspend the constraints, it's tennis without a net.
As people age, they confuse changes in themselves with changes in the world, and changes in the world with moral decline—the illusion of the good old days.
There are living systems; there is no living "matter." No substance, no single molecule, extracted and isolated from a living being possess, of its own, the aforementioned paradoxical properties. They are present in living systems only; that is to say, nowhere below the level of the cell.
A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals the secret of some hidden treasure.
I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority.
To ask the 'right' question is far more important than to receive the answer. The solution of a problem lies in the understanding of the problem; the answer is not outside the problem, it is in the problem.
Through a narrow window we can see only part of the sky, and not the whole vastness, the magnificence of it.
Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.
To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.
Only the village idiot thinks they "belong",
Social psychology is especially interested in the effect which the social group has in the determination of the experience and conduct of the individual member.
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
CONSERVATIVE: A statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself. I will be rich by myself, and not by borrowing.
Being someone is being one alone. Being someone is loneliness.
Humility is no substitute for a good personality.
A truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change even if they behave negatively or hurt you.
To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born, and yet not become desperate if there is no birth in our lifetime.
We are faced with the task of convincing a myth infatuated world that love and curiosity are sufficient and you don't have to delude yourself and frighten yourself with Iron Age fairy tales. This is a monumental task. I don't think there is an intellectual struggle more worthy of our efforts.
If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him
Nothing exists for itself alone, but only in relation to other forms of life
Faith, if it is ever right about anything, is right by accident.
The only way to deal with an unfree world si to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray.
There has to be innate circuitry that does the learning, that creates the culture, that acquires the culture, and that responds to socialization.
What we do in every other area of our lives (other than religion), is, rather than respect somebody's beliefs, we evaluate their reasons.
Love is blind, as they say, and because love is blind, it often leads to tragedy.
The only link between the verbal and objective world is exclusively structural, necessitating the conclusion that the only content of all "knowledge" is structural. Now structure can be considered as a complex of relations, and ultimately as multi-dimensional order. From this point of view, all language can be considered as names for unspeakable entities on the objective level, be it things or feelings, or as names of relations. In fact... we find that an object represents an abstraction of a low order produced by our nervous system as the result of a sub-microscopic events acting as stimuli upon the nervous system.
One should always be in love; that is the reason one should never marry.
A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.
Many societies have educated their male children on the simple device of teaching them not to be women.
False encouragement is a kind of theft: it steals time, energy, and motivation a person could put toward some other purpose.
The distinction between responsible moral agents and beings with diminished or no responsibility is coherent, real, and important.
Neither Darwin nor Nietzsche was politically correct, fortunately for us.
Logic cannot model causal systems, and paradox is generated when time is ignored [as in logic].
Silence is sometimes the best answer.
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.
When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you’d like them to be.
2402 quotes