Quotes from this Website

Let others do the thinking….

  1. “From this story it may be seen what the nature of true storytelling is. The value of information does not survive the moment in which it was new. It lives only at that moment; it has to surrender to it completely and explain itself to it without losing any time. A story is different. It does not expend itself. It preserves and concentrates its strength and is capable of releasing it even after a long time.”   ― Walter Benjamin, Illuminations: Essays And Reflections
  2. “To religion would belong the task of consolation, not of demonstration.” Levinas
  3. “. . . lo, as you would quaffoff his fraudstuff and sink teeth through pyth of flowerwhite bodey behold of him as behemoth for he is noewhemoe. Finiche! Only a fadograph of a yestern scene.”  Joyce: Finnegans Wake, p. 7
  4. “I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being” Hafiz.
  5. “The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.”  GILBERT K. CHESTERTON
  6. The solution to pollution is dilution. – Really? (Quoted from Prof. Tobin, in the Teaching Company lecture series about Oceanography. Very good.)
  7. You are my Creator, but I am your Master. – Frankenstein.
  8. How can one learn the truth by thinking? As one learns to see a face better if one draws it. Wittgenstein: in Zettel 255
  9. There is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror. W. Somerset Maugham
  10. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Calvin Coolidge
  11. Whatever has come into existence, must also pass away with necessity. Is it true to say, then, that there is nothing infinite in this world? Anaximander
  12. Sneezing: Why do we say bless you when someone sneezes, but we say nothing when someone coughs?
  13. Our image of happiness is indissolubly bound up with the image of redemption. Walter Benjamin
  14. Myth is already enlightenment, and enlightenment reverts to mythology Adorno/Horkheimer
  15. Seeing our understanding of nature as a mathematical construction has fundamentally different implications from seeing it as an empirical synthesis. in: A Different Universe. Robert B. Laughlin
  16. Not only is the Universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. Arthur Eddington
  17. Mathematics is the attempt to say more and more with less and less.
  18. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, ‘But how can it be like that?’ because you will get ‘down the drain,’ into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that. Richard Feynman
  19. Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there. Richard Feynman: The Character of Physical Law (1965)
  20. To be radical is to go to the root of the matter. For man, however, the root is man himself. Marx: Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right.
  21. You are made in the image of what you desire. To unify your life unify your desires. To spiritualize your life, spiritualize your desires. To spiritualize your desires, desire to be without desire. Thomas Merton, Firewatch, p. 55
  22. “Why is it that nobody understands me, yet everybody likes me?” —Albert Einstein — Quoted in an interview with New York Times, March 12,1944.
  23. “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” —Albert Einstein — To Carl Seelig – March 11,1952
  24. The most beautiful experience we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. . . ” Einstein, From “The World As I See It” (1930), reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 11.
  25. ‘…To prevent someone who KNOWS from filling the empty space.’ Wilfred Bion
  26. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Revelation 3, 15-17
  27. ‘Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.’ -Calvin Coolidge
  28. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Upton Sinclair.
  29. An English professor wrote the words, “Woman without her man is nothing” on the blackboard and directed his students to punctuate it correctly. The men wrote: “Woman, without her man, is nothing.” The women wrote: “Woman: Without her, man is nothing.” (Anonymous.)
  30. ‘People who are not in love fail to understand how an intelligent man can suffer because of a very ordinary woman. This is like being surprised that anyone should be stricken with cholera because of a creature so insignificant as the comma bacillus.’ Marcel Proust
  31. ‘Meaning is not something you stumble across, like an answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of your experience of humankind as it is passed to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something.’ Buzz McCoy: Living into Leadership. A Journey in Ethics.
  32. Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible. Paul Klee
  33. “I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be.” …….Douglas Adams
  34. “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust
  35. ‘There is no news flying around here, but one which is traveling from mouth to mouth. It seems somebody has mentioned your name. Your perfume has lingered in the air. Your perfume ……. your perfume…. From a Persian Poem
  36. The aesthetics of truth form alliances, profoundly elective affinities, that the intellect stripped of feeling inclines to reject…. Intellection must address the matter of its feeling. Phillip Rieff
  37. ‘The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread.’ — Blaise Pascal, Pensees
  38. ‘The city allows you to become yourself by making a stranger of you.’ Diken, Bulent, and Laustsen, Carsten: The culture of exception, sociology facing the camp. Page 1
  39. In his thoughts, Herman spoke a eulogy for the mouse who had shared a portion of her life with him and who, because of him, had left this earth. ‘What do they know all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world—about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka.’ Isaac Bashevis Singer, ‘The Letter Writer’
  40. Our ordinary approach to reality and truth is so poverty-stricken that we don’t realize that the truth is not one truth, but all truth….There are all sorts of philosophical, psychological, religious, and emotional tactics that we use to motivate ourselves, which say that we can do something but nobody else can. Chögyam Trungpa
  41. ‘It is perfectly true, as philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition, that it must be lived forwards. And if one thinks about that proposition, it becomes more and more evident that life can never really be understood in time simply because at no particular moment can I find the necessary resting place from which to understand it—backwards.’ ~ Søren Kierkegaard
  42. In face of the metaphysical, even if you should have no other word for it than simply death, all political concerns dwindle into nothingness. Huizinga: ‘Conditions for a recovery of civilization.’
  43. Where would I go, if I could go, who would I be, if I could be, what would I say, if I had a voice, who says this, saying it’s me? — Samuel Beckett
  44. The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. – Neils H. D. Bohr (1885 – 1962)
  45. It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it, and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it. Aung San Suu Kyi
  46. It must have required many ages to discover that a pair of birds and a couple of days were both instances of the number 2: the degree of abstraction involved is far from easy. Bertrand Russell
  47. If I knew myself, I would know you. Augustine
  48. Everything is Number. Pythagoras.
  49. I speak with my body, and I don’t know it. Therefore, I always say more than I know about it. Jacques Lacan
  50. I am a miracle. Walt Whitman.
  51. 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97 (Prime numbers, below 100.)
  52. …man is defined as a human being and woman is defined as a female. Whenever she tries to behave as a human being she is accused of trying to emulate the male… Simone de Beauvoir.
  53. Things keep their secrets. Heraclitus
  54. In so far as the word “knowledge” has any meaning, the world is knowable; but it is interpretable otherwise, it has no meaning behind it, but countless meanings.—’Perspectivism.’ It is our needs that interpret the world; our drives and their For and Against. Every drive is a kind of lust to rule; each one has its perspective that it would like to compel all the other drives to accept as a norm. Friedrich Nietzsche; The Will to Power, §481
  55. ‘The problem is that scientists are supposed to know, but they do not. Science is helpless and covers up this helplessness with a deceptive screen of expert assurance.’ Žižek, Slavoj. ‘Joe Public v the volcano.’ in: New Statesman. April 29, 2010. (English).
  56. ‘In its very invisibility, ideology is here, more than ever: We are there, with our boys, identifying with their fears and anguishes instead of questioning what they are doing at war in the first place.’ Žižek, Slavoj. ‘A soft focus on war: How Hollywood hides the horrors of war.’ in: In These Times. Vol. 34, No. 5, p. 30-32, May 2010. (English).
  57. ‘The point is thus to acknowledge ‘the presence, within the I itself, of a realm of irreducible otherness, of absolute contingency and incomprehensibility.’ Žižek, Slavoj. ‘Deleuze and the Lacanian Real.’ in: Lacan.com. 2007. (English).
  58. Zen is not some fancy, special art of living. Our teaching is just to live, always in reality, in its exact sense. –Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
  59. Moonlight in front of my bed. I took it for frost on the ground. I lift my head, gaze at the mountain moon. Lower it, and think of home.  —– Li Bai
  60. You are alpsulummply wroght. James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake.
  61. In the Nichtian glossery which purveys aprioric roots for aposteriorious tongues this is nat language in any sinse of the world. James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake. 
  62. I told you every telling has a taling and that’s the he and the she of it. James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake, 213, 11-12
  63. History, said Stephen, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake. James Joyce, Ulysses.
  64. Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race. James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
  65. Come forth Lazarus! And he came fifth and lost the job. James Joyce, Ulysses.
  66. Vulcanic lake, the dead sea: no fish, weedless, sunk deep in the earth. A dead sea in a dead land, grey and old. Old now. It bore the oldest, the first race. The oldest people. Wandered far away over all the earth, captivity to captivity, multiplying, dying, being born everywhere. It lay there now. Now it could bear no more. Dead: an old woman’s: the grey sunken cunt of the world. James Joyce, Ulysses.
  67. A father, said Stephen, battling against hopelessness, is a necessary evil. James Joyce, Ulysses.
  68. I am not only convinced that what I say is false, but also that what one might say against it is false. Despite this, one must begin to talk about it. In such a case the truth lies not in the middle, but rather all around, like a sack, which, with each new opinion one stuffs into it, changes its form, and becomes more and more firm. Robert Musil: Das hilflose Europa—oder Reise vom Hundertsten ins Tausendste (1922)
  69. O mortals, how long will you be heavy-hearted? Life has come down to you, and are you reluctant to ascend and live? But what room is there for you to ascend, you with your high-flown ways and lofty talk? Come down, that you may ascend, ascend even to God…” Augustine, Confessions.
  70. Our sole responsibility is to produce something smarter than we are; any problems beyond that are not ours to solve….[T]here are no hard problems, only problems that are hard to a certain level of intelligence. Move the smallest bit upwards [in level of intelligence], and some problems will suddenly move from ‘impossible’ to ‘obvious.’ Move a substantial degree upwards, and all of them will become obvious. —ELIEZER S. YUDNOWSKY, STARING INTO THE SINGULARITY, 1996
  71. If my eye is to discern color, it must itself be free from all color. The eye with which I see God is the same with which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye is one eye, and one sight, and one knowledge, and one love. Meister Eckhart, Sermon on True Hearing.
  72. If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you,’ it will be enough. Meister Eckhart
  73. When I say I trust you, I mean I’ve considered that you could betray me, which means I know you will, that we’ll have between us at last that understanding which is a safer thing  than trust, not a worse,  not a better thing …  Carl Phillips: Blizzard.
  74. An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don’t. Anatole France
  75. You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; in just the same way, you learn to love by loving. Anatole France
  76. ‘My actions are my only true belongings’ Thich Nhat Hann
  77. The principle of mythologization lies in our needs to find someone or something responsible for everything that happens. (Bouveresse, 1995, p. 34)
  78. ‘The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.’ — Marcus Aurelius
  79. ‘The concept of culture I espouse. . . is essentially a semiotic one. Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretative one in search of meaning. It is explication I am after. . . . Clifford Geertz, 1917
  80. But man, proud man,
    Drest in a little brief authority,
    Most ignorant of what he’s most assured,
    His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
    Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
    As make the angels weep.

    — William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

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