Wisdom

“So long as men can read and eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”
– Shakespeare
“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts. Such is the duty of the artist.”
– Robert Schuman
“I am not forgetting beauty. It is because the worth of beauty is transcendent that the subtle ways of the power that achieves it are transcendently worth searching out.”
– John Livingston Lowes
“Work is more fun than fun”
– Nöel Coward
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
– Aristotle
“The tragedy of life is not that the beautiful things die young; it is that they grow old and mean.”
– Raymond Chandler
“Thus does the mind cloak every passion with its opposite, our faces showing now joy, now sadness.”
– Montaigne
“What you can compose depends on what you are composed of.”
– Stanley Fish
“How can I go forward when
I don’t know which way
I’m facing?”
– John Lennon
“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth–that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.”
– Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning
“Men are good in but one way, but bad in many.”
– Aristotle
“Human beings are works in progress who mistakenly think they’re finished.”
– Dan Gilbert
“Relations between things are more important than the things themselves.”
– Ezra Pound
“Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can; all of them make me laugh.”
– W.H. Auden
“Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.”
–  William Wordsworth
“The starry sky is the truest friend in life, when you first become acquainted; it is ever there, it gives ever peace, ever reminds you that your restlessness, your doubt, your pains are passing trivialities. The universe is and will remain unshaken. Our opinions, our struggles, our sufferings are not so important and unique, when all is said and done.”
– Fridtjof Nansen
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
-Aristotle
“Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.”
– Christopher Hitchens
“Every precious ideal must be reiterated, every obvious argument made, because an ugly idea left unchallenged begins to turn the colour of normal. It does not have to be like this.”
– Chimamanda Amanda Ngozi Adichie
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead
“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
– Henry David Thoreau
“The only friend to walk with is one who so exactly shares your taste for each mood of the countryside at a glance, a halt, or at most a nudge, is enough to assure us that the pleasure is shared.”
– C.S. Lewis
“Don’t get rid of my devils, because my angels will go too.”
– W.H. Auden
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
– Samuel Beckett
“We make ourselves immortal by living the life of that element in us which is most truly ourself.”
– Aristotle
Slow Dance
Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?
 
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?
 
You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.
 
Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply?
 
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?
 
You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.
 
Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?
 
Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say hi?
 
You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.
 
When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.
 
When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.
 
Life isn’t a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.
  – David L. Weatherford
“The artist is not expressing himself, he is discovering himself. Everything we produce as artists comes from a source beyond our conscious awareness. Jackson Browne once said that he writes to find out what he thinks.”
– Steve Pressfield
“Some people would never have fallen in love if they hadn’t heard there was such a thing.”
– La Rochefoucauld
“We explore or we expire. That’s about it.”
– Buzz Aldrin
“Rather than beauty, than money, than love, give me truth.”
– Henry David Thoreau
“Nobility shines through when a man bears with resignation many great misfortunes, not through an insensibility to pain but through nobility and greatness of soul.”
– Aristotle
“Now I shall be silent, and let the silence divide that which is true from that which lies.”
– Rumi
“There is always an element of doubt in a successful relationship. This doubt endows each moment with desire, this is what gives life the successful love. Where fear is present you will never tire of pleasure in the relationship. I am living dangerously when I take a relationship for granted.”
– Erling Kagge
“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
“True strength is the courage to admit weakness.”
– Simon Sinek
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent”
– Victor Hugo
“Novice writers believe they will improve a piece of writing by adding things to it; mature writers know they will improve it by taking things out.”
– John McPhee
“In roadside diners and late-night cafeterias, hotel lobbies and station cafes, we may dilute a feeling of isolation in a lonely public place and hence rediscover a distinctive sense of community.”
– Alain de Botton
“Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.”
– William Wordsworth
“No changing of place at a hundred miles an hour will make us one whit stronger, or happier, or wiser. There was always more in the world than man could see, walked they ever so slowly; they will see it no better for going fast. The really precious things are thought and sight, not pace. It does a bullet no good to go fast; and a man, if he be truly a man, no harm to go slow; for his glory is not at all in going, but in being.”
– John Ruskin
“Rules are excellent organizational tools and efficient reducers of cognitive load, but they are no substitute for contextual sensitivity and personal judgement.”
– Maria Popova
“If a man does not keep step with his companions it may be because he hears a different drummer.”
– Henry David Thoreau
“The fool, with all his other faults, has this also, he is always getting ready to live.”
– Seneca
“I must endure the presence of the caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“Feeling vulnerable, imperfect and afraid is human. It’s when we lose our capacity to hold space for these struggles that we become dangerous.”
– Brené Brown
“No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.”
– Danny Thomas
“War does not determine who is right, only who is left.”
– Bertrand Russell
“Movie stars are a reflection in which the public studies and adjusts its own image of itself…The social history of a nation can be written in terms of its film stars.”
– Raymond Durgnat
“Nowadays people know the price of everything but the value of nothing.”
– Oscar Wilde
“Between grief and nothing, I will take grief.”
– William Faulkner
“To improve is to change. To perfect is to change often.”
– Winston Churchill
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
– Gandhi
“To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are the three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.”
– Gustave Flaubert
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”
– Lord Byron
“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein
“Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds.”
– Albert Einstein
“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity”
– George Orwell
“The nature of a thing is its end. For what each thing is when fully developed, we call its nature, whether we are speaking of a man, a horse, or a family.”
– Aristotle
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
– Mark Twain
“To the appeal that an attractive person might possess in our own country is added, in an exotic land, an attraction deriving from their location. If it is true that love is a pursuit in others of qualities we lack in ourselves, then in our love of someone from another country, one ambition may be to weld ourselves more closely to values missing from our own culture.”
– Alain de Botton
“In the minds of geniuses we find, once more, our own neglected thoughts.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Originals have several core qualities: they are are driven and imaginative, curious, non-conforming and rebellious. They act in the face of risk, because their fear of not succeeding exceeded their fear of failing.”
– Adam Grant
“Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call ‘life’ was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
– Steve Jobs
“When people seem like they are mean, they are almost never mean, they are anxious.”
– Alain de Botton
“If you listen to people you won’t become a revolutionary.”
– Dr Peter Diamandis
“If I had but an hour of love, if that be all that is given me, an hour of love upon this earth, I would give my love to thee.”
– The Lovely Bones
“The truly virtuous man bears with resignation many great misfortunes, not through an insensibility to pain, but through nobility and greatness of soul.”
– Aristotle
“Listen with the exact same passion with which you want to be heard.”
– Brené Brown
“Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
– Leonard Cohen
“I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book.”
– Groucho Marx
“Wisdom consists more in doing and not doing than in knowing”
– Kant
“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact.”
– Shakespeare
“Think like a man of action; act like a man of thought.”
– Henri Bergson
“You can’t solve a problem with the same mind-set that created it.”
– Einstein
“In a world that’s changing so quickly, the biggest risk you can take is to not take a risk.”
– Peter Thiel
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
– Winston Churchill
“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”
– Oscar Wilde
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
– Jim Carrey
“Whatever may be the plays on words and the acrobatics of logic, to understand is above all to unify.”
– Camus
“To be everywhere is to be nowhere.”
– Senna
“Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train.”
– Alain de Botton
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something … almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
– Steve Jobs
“Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.”
– John Ruskin
“The beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority.”
– Cristopher Hitchens
“My real objection is that i don’t think that political correctness works. I believe one of the greatest human failings is to prefer to be right than to be effective. And political correctness is always obsessed with how right it is without thinking of how effective it might be.”
– Stephen Fry
“The sea is almost always a therapeutic presence. Its indifference to our fate calms the ego and places the self in a wider, consolingly indifferent context.”
– Alan de Button
“Paint as you like, and die happy”
– Henry Miller
“A man is whatever room he is in.”
– Japanese proverb
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
– George Bernard Shaw
“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
– Oscar Wilde
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
– Victor Frankl
“In the very excess of suffering lies man’s claim to dignity”
– George Steiner
“For when the one great scorer comes to write against your name he writes, not that you won or lost, but how you played the game.”
– Grantland Rice
“Love, and do what you will”
– St. Augustine
“A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humour, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called ‘meaningless’ except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one’s everyday life as if this were so.”
– Christopher Hitchens
“The sentence, like a work of art, can be an experience of brilliant intensity that promises nothing but the highest quality to the moment as it passes, and simply for that moment’s sake.”
– Walter Pater
“The nature of a thing is its end”
– Aristotle
“No man can faithfully criticise art only by the rules of that art.”
– G. MacDonald
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.”
– Swift
“Ours is a sceptical age, where old certainties have collapsed and no new ones have taken their place.”
– Julian Baggini
“Only the hand that erases can write the true thing.”
– Meister Eckhart
“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.”
– Andrew Murphy
“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”
– Beethoven
“If you can’t express it clearly, you don’t understand it yourself.”
– John Searle
“Everything seen and felt in the context of love appears to take on its full reality for the first time. You’re still as much of a fool, but you’re a real fool.”
– P.J. Kavanagh
“The sublime equanimity of the hired boatman under the ordeal affords us a beautiful lesson against ambition and uppishness”
– Jerome K. Jerome
“All modern architecture is designed to demarginalise the human in us.”
– Scruton
“The only way beyond, to something that truly rewards the extent of our minds, is not up and away, but in and onto.”
– Mark Greif
“Death is a thing which makes men weep,
And yet a third of life is passed in sleep.”
– Lord Byron
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.”
– Hector, The History Boys
Listening to music on shitty speakers is an insult to the artist who created it
Once the wheel of love is set on motion, there are no rules and no order
About 1% see it as a manifestation of making love
“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.”
– Blaise Pascal
It begins with form. From form content emerges
Form is generative not of specific meanings, but of the very possibility of meaning
Form is the engine of creativity
“Remember that there is meaning beyond absurdity. Be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power, and that we can, everyone, do our share to redeem the world. Build a life as if it was a work of art, and remember that life is a celebration.”
– Abraham Joshua Heschel
You shall tie yourself to forms and forms shall set you free
Nature is preoccupied with balance
Great politicians focus only on one or two goals, and will find them by whatever means. The rest is just detail.
“His world had vanished long before he entered it. But he sustained the illusion with a marvelous grace.”
– Wes Anderson
“My ability to manufacture interest in your story is woefully inadequate”
“Falsehood and delusion are allowed in no case whatsoever. But, as in the exercise of all the virtues, there is an economy of truth” – Edmund Burke
Withholding sensitive facts is different from telling lies
We must cultivate the human resources of ‘art, love and knowledge’ to lead a fulfilling and worthwhile life
There is much power to be found in treating people with respect
“A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life”
– Milton
“Let respect, ordinary respect, be your greatest weapon” Nelson Mandela
Show your opponents respect, and they will bend.
Good journalism is about responding quickly and imaginatively to stories
The minimalist mentality-
Many possessions tend to tie one down mentally and physically- seeing too much permanence in inanimate objects rather than being aware of the vitality of the outside world of nature.
“Once you joined a university to service the global advancement of ideas. Now you employ it to make you more employable. The notion that thinking about abstract ideas like art and life might be an end in itself is being priced out of existence and legislated into oblivion.”
– Stuart Lee
There is more inconsistency in being a philosopher who believes in God than being a scientist who believes in God
“Would you be in any way offended if I said that you seemed to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection” –
The Importance of Being Earnest
“I am not bound to please thee with my answers.” – Shakespeare
‘In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write’ – Rilke
“What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”
– Hamlet
“Every creation is imbued with the being that created it, as if the medium is breathing in the spirit of the craftsman.
Isn’t that the most beautiful way of leaving a trace of our existence, of our time on this earth?
To create is the only way to traverse time, to wander through the ages.
It is the only way to become immortal, to be infinite.
If this light goes out, we die.”
“Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm.”
– Gone With the Wind
Hygge – Danish word meaning to focus on the moment, on making the ordinary extraordinary. Makes us closer. Builds community. Thinking about experience of a moment. Comfortable conviviality. This is the concept behind all good  design, and all good living.
‘Whether by nature or by art you never make a gesture without imparting beauty to it’
“He who considers things in their first growth and origin, whether a state or anything else, will obtain the clearest view of them.”
– Aristotle
 
“Obsession with a single problem, however important, is always dangerous in politics; except in time of war, no society has so simple a life that one element in it can, without loss, be made the centre and circumference of all political activity.”
  • Michael Oakeshott
Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom. It removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never travelled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar aspect.
 
“Brilliant philosophers and theorists have disagreed with each other throughout the ages about which principles could best rule society, and disagreement today among minds far more thoughtful than mine is as common as it has been since the beginning of time.”
  • Jerry Taylor
“Ideology corrupts caring, idealistic, educated, and intelligent people … and turns some of them into monsters. Ideologies breed dogmatic thinking and lazy, decoder-ring policy analysis. They encourage motivated cognition. They give birth to excessive certainty, crowding out healthy intellectual skepticism. They moralize political conflict in an unhealthy fashion, yielding incivility, extremism, and social discord. They ignore the complexities of the modern world. They threaten the pluralism that a (small-l) liberal society is obligated to respect and defend.”
  • Jerry Taylor
There were only a few of us who preserved a small bag in which, before throwing ourselves into the sea, we deposited for safekeeping the most salutary fruits of the European intellectual tradition, the value of enquiry, the ferment of doubt, a willingness to dialogue, a spirit of criticism, moderation of judgment, philological scruple, a sense of the complexity of things. Many, too many, deprived themselves of this baggage: they either abandoned it, considering it a useless weight; or they never possessed it, throwing themselves into the waters before having the time to acquire it. I do not reproach them; but I prefer the company of the others. Indeed, I suspect that this company is destined to grow, as the years bring wisdom and events shed new light on things.
  • Norberto Bobbio
The Function of Literature-
‘By converse with the thoughts and utterances of those who are intellectual leaders of the race, our heart comes to beat in accord with the feeling of universal humanity. We discover that no differences of class, or party, or creed can destroy the power of genius to charm and instruct, and that above the smoke and stir, the din and turmoil of man’s lower life of care and business and debate, there is a serene and luminous region of truth where all may meet and expatriate in common’
An educator, in 1860
The rock upon which he judges is always benign
The truth is invisible to darkened eyes. For ignorance is bliss.
“How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
– The Schoolboy, William Blake
Tigers exist, lifeboats exist, oceans exist. Because the three have never come together in your narrow, limited experience, you refuse to believe that they might.
Why is there colour in the world? Because we make it so
“As a lamp, a cataract, a star in space / an illusion, a dewdrop, a bubble / a dream, a cloud, a flash of lightning / view all created things like this.”
– Buddha
“There is a sadness to the ecstasy. Beautiful things sometimes can make us a little sad and its because what they hint at is the exception a vision of something more, a vision of a hidden door, a rabbit-hole to fall through but a temporary one. That thing ultimately that is kind of the tragedy. That is why love simultaneously fills us with melancholy. That’s why sometimes I feel nostalgic over something I haven’t lost yet because I see its transience…
…And so how does one respond to this? Do we love harder? Do we squeeze tighter? Or do we embrace the Buddhist creative of no attachment, do we pretend not to care that everything and everyone will know is going be taken away from us? I don’t know if I can accept that. I think I’m more side with the Dylan Thomas quote that says, ‘I will not go quietly into that good night but instead rage against the dying of the light.’ I think that we defy entropy and impermanence with our films and our poems. I think we hold onto each other a little harder and say I will not let go. I do not accept the ephemeral nature of this moment. I’m going to extend it forever. Or at least I’m going to try.”
– Jason Silva
“The weight of too much liberty”
Wordsworth
“It is only for the sake of these things [that is, the two ideal states of aesthetic and interpersonal enjoyment]—in order that as much of them as possible may at some time exist—that any one can be justified in performing any public or private duty; that they are the raison d’être of virtue; that it is they—these complex wholes themselves, and not any constituent or characteristic of them—that form the rational ultimate end of human action and the sole criterion of social progress.” (Moore 1903a, Ch. 6, § 110)
To the charge that philosophy simply is practical for a modern, industrial world, we say:
“Can anything in the world be more practical than to learn how to live to best advantage?”
Like with moral statements, there is no such thing as a positive human human right. Reasonably there are only negative rights eg a right not to be harmed. Positive (natural) human rights are suggestive of theological connotation- humanism, naturalism
The gentle dignity of nature, and of trees in particular
“Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”
– Albert Einstein
A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people – Thomas Mann
“Be it so or be son’t, you must be a common scholar afore you can be a oncommon one.”
– Mr. Joe to Pip
“Didn’t Woody Allen say that all literature was a footnote to Faust? Perhaps all adolescence is a dialogue between Faust and Christ. We tremble on the brink of selling that part of ourselves that is real, unique, angry, defiant and whole for the rewards of attainment, achievement, success and the golden prizes of integration and acceptance; but we also in our great creating imagination, rehearse the sacrifice we will make: the pain and terror we will take from others’ shoulders; our penetration into the lives and souls of our fellows; our submission to willingness to be rejected and despised for the sake of truth and love and, in the wilderness, our angry rebuttals of the hypocrisy, deception and compromise of a world which we see to be so false.
There is nothing so self-righteous nor so right as an adolescent imagination.”
– Moab is my Washpot, Stephen Fry
“What if the ‘essence’ of a human being were whatever it is one loves about them?”
– T. Eagleton
Genius involves harnessing the power of words to produce beauty and truth
Just as it is the love of money that it is the root of all evil, so it is the belief in shamefulness that is the root of all misery
Ayer argued that factual propositions were only meaningful if they could be verified by experience. This enabled him to reject metaphysical claims about god, the absolute and objective values as, literally, nonsense. The statement ‘Theft is wrong’, he argued, is merely the equivalent of saying ‘Down with theft!’
Many hats, not just one
With freedom comes intolerance
Work like a slave, command like a king, create like a god- Brancusi
Fear is bred through a lack of understanding
“That we ought not to believe anything which has been shown to be false does not mean that we ought to believe only what has been demonstrated to be true” – Hayek
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts”-Bertrand Russell
“We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought”-Bertrand Russell
There is no religion higher than truth
“There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge”-Bertrand Russell
Man consciously makes himself a subordinate to the rational life of the whole universe, the life of Reason
-in Stoicism
Youth, and perhaps life in general, is about be reborn again and again until you find the identity inside yourself that defines you best for who you are; until you feel most comfortable with your own self
Art tells lies to help us realise the truth – Picasso
“I’ve seen horrors… horrors that you’ve seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that… but you have no right to judge me. It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror… Horror has a face… and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies! I remember when I was with Special Forces… seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate some children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn’t see. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember… I… I… I cried, I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out; I didn’t know what I wanted to do! And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it… I never want to forget. And then I realized… like I was shot… like I was shot with a diamond… a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, my God… the genius of that! The genius! The will to do that! Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we, because they could stand that these were not monsters, these were men… trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love… but they had the strength… the strength… to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral… and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling… without passion… without judgment… without judgment! Because it’s judgment that defeats us” – Kurtz
Logical Positivism- (logical empiricism)
The value of literature is distilled humanity, helping to explain the mysteries of our own times
Pursue the authentic-
decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
– Louise Erdrich
Depression stems from bad relationships
‘In truth, a scientist never picked his vocation. It was a fate that was bestowed, forcing one to forsake certain pleasures in the world in order to become someone who knew a little too much about reality.’
El Morro, David Means
“I knew that the past was a foreign country, and knew too that it followed logically that the future must be abroad; in other words I knew that it was my destiny to become a foreigner, a stranger to myself.”
– Moab is my Washpot, Stephen Fry
“As a writer you should not judge. You should understand.” – Ernest Hemingway
Reason, that fool’s gold for the bright
Meditations- 2.7 and 2.17
And now here is my secret. a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
The slow beauty of the still tree
Low status often breeds low expectations. A vicious circle.
‘Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe’ – Voltaire
Nature’s imagination goes Freudian beneath the waves: this is nature’s unconscious, a seething, tangled world of beauties. – Harry Eyres
‘ While the hemlock was being prepared, Socrates was learning a melody on the flute. “What use will that be to you?” he was asked. “At least I will learn this melody before I die.” ‘
If atheism is a religion then not playing tennis is a sport
The question is not how to reject religion, but how to transcend it.
Fear of possibility is much greater than the reality of possibility itself
If Muslims hate us it is because we collude with rulers who deny them the freedoms we claim for ourselves
‘Ultimate satisfaction can only be found in the life of the spirit’
– Maugham
If the west gets on the side of freedom in the Arab world, there is every chance of preventing jihadism from entering the Muslim mainstream.
“Every historical moment of theoretical awakening is, as it were, to some degree metacritical or metatheoretical. In key moments of discursive ramification or reformulation, an idea of theory suddenly becomes conscious of itself and its apparent history. [These are] moments of rupture, reconsideration, and retrojection where theory takes itself as its own object, examines and reconfigures its genealogy, conceptual structure, and terminology, and posits for itself a new identity and cultural standing.”
– Rodowick, Theory: An Elegy
El silencio es catártico
ABC RW: People think less of themselves as human beings, and so are less likely to think beyond their humanly powers. Society, because of its consumerism, has shrunk its horizons
“An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law”
-MLK Jr.
“Tired of the eternal efforts to fight our way through raw matter , we chose another way and sought to embrace the infinate. We went inside ourselves and created a new world..” – Henrik Steffans
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – confidence is all
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Beauty is the essence that’s not seen
Beauty is something that is perceived to be beautiful by everyone except the thing that is beautiful
To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation. Conviction is your friend.
Música. La comida del alma.
Often what makes something beautiful is the ignorance of its own beauty
Time will give you a love of virtue
I believe in politics for the two questions it of asks us. One is, ‘What do you stand for and why?’ And the second is, ‘Do you know what you are talking about?’
The globalisation of superficiality- we have more information than ever, but less ability to think
Many Muslim women do not wear the veil because they see it as an emblem of Islamism rather than Islam.
One’s aim should be to face life’s vicissitudes with equanimity – Goenka
‘Great things are done when men and mountains meet;
These are not done by jostling in the street.’
– William Blake
‘A man can do all things if he will’ – Leon Battista Alberti
Embrace knowledge in all fields and stretch your capacities as fully as possible
Intuition is the ability to create an idea out of an empty concept through introducing another concept- a form of lateral thinking
A God that can be understood is no God. Who can explain the Infinite in words?
Beauty is there to be exploited
Empathy is the world’s most valuable resource
Any problem immersed in empathy becomes soluble
If people are uninspired by this country’s past, we cannot properly value the liberties of the present
“Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery. The adventure is a metaphysical one: it is a way of approaching life indirectly, of acquiring a total rather than a partial view of the universe. The writer lives between the upper and lower worlds: he takes the path in order eventually to become the path himself.
I began in absolute chaos and darkness, in a bog or swamp of ideas and emotions and experiences. Even now I do not consider myself a writer in the ordinary sense of the word. I am a man telling the story of his life, a process which appears more and more inexhaustible as I go on. Like the world-evolution, it is endless. It is a turning inside out, a voyaging through X dimensions, with the result that somewhere along the way one discovers that what one has to tell is not nearly so important as the telling itself. It is this quality about all art which gives it a metaphysical hue, which lifts it out of time and space and centers or integrates it to the whole cosmic process. It is this about art which is ‘therapeutic’: significance, purposelessness, infinitude.
From the very beginning almost I was deeply aware there is no goal. … With the endless burrowing a certitude develops which is greater than faith or belief. I become more and more indifferent to my fate, as writer, and more and more certain of my destiny as man.” 
  • Henry Miller
I don’t want to be an “expert”. Let me be an “amateur”, for “amateurs” do not seek to cultivate any self-important expertise; they love their subject, and just in that they can unfold a wisdom greater than that of their “superior” forebears.
“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is
extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalise, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”
– Franz Fanon
“We are only as strong as our faith” – Chief Rabbi Sacks
Emotion can only motivate. It is logic that convinces.
I thought it was all a dream, the forest. It was the only truth.
Robin Cook, Point Of Departure- society has reached a sit. whereby society is a slave to the economy, not the other way around.- link to Marx
‘The major thing that changes any one of us is a conviction, a principle, an idea; not a chip’- Lord Hastings
The idea of democracy was most profoundly dented when the West’s attempt to export the democratic ideal to Iraq and Afghanistan proved too much, and America’s reputation of possessing ‘infinate’ power diminished along side.
We no longer live in the Age of Optimism.
Education is the prerequisite of prosperity
I am the outstretched fingers
that seize and hold the wind.
Wisdom flows from me in other hands.
Upon me are sweet dreams dreamt.
My merest touch brings laughter.
What am I?
“I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart: but the saying is true ‘The empty vessel makes the greatest sound’” – Shakespeare
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts”-Bertrand Russell
“We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought”-Bertrand Russell
“There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge”-Bertrand Russell
Firstly, and above all, you should consider seriously deficient an ethics which contains no answer to the question of the relation between morality and the happiness of the moral agent.
“The ONE problem with not having other people about is the inability to measure your own sanity against the blatant insanity of others and subsequently conclude that you, in contrast to them, are fine. The world is mad. So in keeping with the world we must live silly.”
– C Woolley
‘Idleness is the ideal of genius, and indolence the virtue of the Romantic’
‘… No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence,- that which makes its truth, its meaning- its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream- alone…’
– Marlow, Heart of Darkness
The philosopher, in the classical view, is the man who loves wisdom, in the widest sense, including especially learning, knowledge and truth
Illegitimi non carborundum
Worse things happen to better people
Human ingenuity and enterprise are the most important sources of prosperity
Lord Wrenbury-
— Philosophy is arcane, and serves only to complicate things
I find myself nostalgic for the Islam of my childhood and youth, an Islam without veils and far removed from politics. An Islam which people seemed to follow not in the prescribed, regimented ways of today but rather according to their own inner sense, and their own particular temperaments, inclinations and the shifting vicissitudes of their lives.
You should always keep something beautiful in your mind – Blaise Pascal
Shanti: The peace which passeth understanding
There is a need for minimalism: a clarity that can be understood by all humans
Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people – W B Yeats
Where there is freedom, there is intolerance
The key to diplomacy: understand how they think
If I only scrape a living, at least it’s a living worth scraping.
If there’s no future in it, at least the present is worth remembering.
– Mickey Smith- Surf photographer
Discretion is the greatest part of valour
The sine qua non of an intellectual is the ability to admit error.
In the same way that science brings everything down to fact, religion brings everything down to love; a sentiment all humans can relate to
Rational optimism: A healthy disregard for the impossible
Don’t be a footnote, be the book.
Better still, be the subject of the book–
The point at which we begin to let political agenda dictate what science is all about is the point when science ceases to be a viable enterprise
Nature is the embodiment of paradox and uncertainty, being the origin of both health and disease, good and evil. We are, and always will be, at the whim of it’s great arbitrary powers
No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself
My freedom ends where yours begins
Faith and science are not opposites
Music is the pleasure the human soul experiences from counting without being aware it’s counting
How is it that we are such complex beings? How could there not have been a divine creator? Ask around.
Although you cannot see them, the stars shine all day long
A certain element of kindness:justice that ripples throughout the universe
Life is all about relationships. By all means sit cross-legged on top of a mountain occasionally. But don’t do it for very long.
– AC Grayling
“You shall judge yourself. That is the most difficult thing of all. It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself rightly, then you are a man of true wisdom” – The Little King
Faithful souls need no external signs of their worth to validate themselves
Humans strive to create order in a desultory world. This is a great virtue.
Ying & Yang
Hoy en día no existe la política, solo hay economía. La economía es la política.
El occidente tiene un gran problema- fomenta un sistema con una política izquierda y una economía derecha. Nunca habrá la igualdad universal mientras que existe esta polarización
Logical positivism
Perspectivism
Reason is the very best toolkit, to be applied in practical situations. Nothing beats reason as a checkboard against the excesses of the human heart. But be excessively reasonable and you risk throwing out the universe, you risk missing the better story. I know what you want. You want a story that won’t surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won’t make you see higher or further or differently. You want a flat story. An immobile story. You want dry, yeastless factuality.
So tell me this. Since it makes no factual difference to you and you can’t prove the question either way, which story do you prefer? Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without animals?
– Pi Patel
Give me a place to stand and I will move the Earth
Fate makes us invisible
When a man becomes pure and perfect the influence of his character spreads so that they who seek truth are naturally drawn to him
What is the purpose of reason? Is it no more than to shine at practicalities- the getting of food, clothing and shelter? Why can’t reason give greater answers? Why can we throw a question further than we can pull in an answer? Why such a vast net if there’s so little fish to catch? The answer is Religion.
See John Keats’: Egotistical sublime, negative capability
Past transport innovation- ships, trains and then cars- helped create many of our greatest cities, but in a world made fly by globalisation, their successors will be the ones that embrace the jet and the aerotropolis
Business ethics falls victim to a vice that perhaps it cannot avoid. In capitalism, ethical behaviour depends on its paying. Yet suggesting that doing right needs to be justified by its economic reward is amoral, and a self-inflicting wound hugely damaging to corporations and the world they treat. Doing right because it is right needs to be the foundation of business. Though it is an ambitious proposal.
Argument premise clarification technique: Could you kindly define the problem to which you are proposing a solution?
The true superhero seeks strength bound by wisdom and compassion
Don’t let politeness get in the way of truth
Clarity: to be able to communicate complex ideas, verbally or in writing, in a manner that is palatable without being patronising
Information is the lifeblood of democracy
I learnt four things today:
1. The human good can be defined simply as what we need in order to live.
2. The distinction between classical art and romantic art is, I think, a simple one. Classical art and architecture as a whole looks outwards- projects emotions onto the world ie pride and glory; and the canon of romantic art can be roughly defined by its chief characteristic of inward looking emotions- internalising and didactic emotions that tell us more about our personal self than than about the outside world ie empathy, ‘humanness’, grace. This is your classical/romantic destination. Keats unconsciously forms a paradigmatic bridge when he says, whilst looking at a Greek urn, that truth is beauty.
3. All literature is essentially non-pragmatic discourse.
3. The essence of a human being is what others love in them. Thus the beauty of the human essence is its relativity.
You must know the box before you can think outside of it
Dignity is optional
– Bill
Vi veri veniversum vivus vici /
By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe
Callum