The limits of my language are the limits of my world.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, German philosopher
You are the universe experiencing itself.
If quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you haven't understood it yet. Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.
The human mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with a similar energy.
Information has taken the place of wisdom and ruined education, and data collection has superseded reflection.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Pastor Martin Niemöller, regarding Nazis coming to power.
Mediocre minds focus on personalities;
Average minds focus on events;
Critical minds focus on values and principles.
Too often in the history of religion, people have killed in the name of the God of life, waged war in the name of the God of Peace, hated in the name of the God of love, and practiced cruelty in the name of the God of compassion. When this happens, God speaks, sometimes in a still small voice, almost inaudible beneath the clamor of those claiming to speak on God's behalf. What God says at such time is: 'Not in My Name.'
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Not in My Name
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
“Plain and naked exposition of herself is repugnant to Nature. She wishes her secrets to be treated by myth. Thus the Mysteries themselves are hidden in the tunnels of figurative expression, so that not even to initiates the nature of such realities may present herself naked, but only an elite may know about the real secret, through the interpretation furnished by wisdom, while the rest may be content to venerate the Mystery, defended by those figurative expressions against banality.
Pagan Roman Philosopher, Macrobius, Early 5th Century
”All truth passes through three stages: first, it is ridiculed; second, it is violently opposed; third, it is accepted as self-evident.
A country without a memory is a country of madmen.
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which is least known.
I have more respect for people who change their views after acquiring new information than for those who cling to views they held thirty years ago.
The world changes. Ideologues and zealots don't.
People would not worry so much about what others think of them if they realized how little they did.
You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge.
You think because you understand one you must also understand two, because one and one make two. But you must also understand and.
Jelaluddin Rumi, 13th century Sufi poet
If you could blow the brain up to the size of a mill and walk about inside, you would not find consciousness.
Gottfried Leibniz, seventeenth-century thinker
We are all ignorant, just on different subjects.
Confucius was one of the few wise men who actually asked questions in order to find out what he did not know. As a rule, the world's sages prefer to bait the listener with carefully constructed questions in order to elicit answers that will reflect the wise man's immutable views.
Gore Vidal in Creation
We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
History would be an excellent thing, if only it were true.
Who looks outside, dreams.
Who looks inside, awakens.
Sleep and sex above all make me conscious of my mortality.
Alexander the Great
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.
If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.
Attributed to Albert Einstein
“I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come.”
(Engraved on a fireplace mantle of the Indiana University Student Union Building where I often studied as an undergraduate.)