Example Of Philosophy In Life Quotes

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Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation– the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. This philosophy fitted on to my early adult life, when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the "impossible," come true.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Crack-Up)
It was both odd and unjust, a real example of pitiful arbitrariness of existance, that you were born into a particular time & held prisoner there whether you wanted it or not. It gave you an indecent advantage over the past and made you a clown vis-a-vis the future.
Daniel Kehlmann
You don't have to be a billionaire to believe you can make a difference. Give your resources to a charity and volunteer in your community.
Germany Kent
Paine suffered then, as now he suffers not so much because of what he wrote as from the misinterpretations of others... He disbelieved the ancient myths and miracles taught by established creeds. But the attacks on those creeds - or on persons devoted to them - have served to darken his memory, casting a shadow across the closing years of his life. When Theodore Roosevelt termed Tom Paine a 'dirty little atheist' he surely spoke from lack of understanding. It was a stricture, an inaccurate charge of the sort that has dimmed the greatness of this eminent American. But the true measure of his stature will yet be appreciated. The torch which he handed on will not be extinguished. If Paine had ceased his writings with 'The Rights of Man' he would have been hailed today as one of the two or three outstanding figures of the Revolution. But 'The Age of Reason' cost him glory at the hands of his countrymen - a greater loss to them than to Tom Paine. I was always interested in Paine the inventor. He conceived and designed the iron bridge and the hollow candle; the principle of the modern central draught burner. The man had a sort of universal genius. He was interested in a diversity of things; but his special creed, his first thought, was liberty. Traducers have said that he spent his last days drinking in pothouses. They have pictured him as a wicked old man coming to a sorry end. But I am persuaded that Paine must have looked with magnanimity and sorrow on the attacks of his countrymen. That those attacks have continued down to our day, with scarcely any abatement, is an indication of how strong prejudice, when once aroused, may become. It has been a custom in some quarters to hold up Paine as an example of everything bad. The memory of Tom Paine will outlive all this. No man who helped to lay the foundations of our liberty - who stepped forth as the champion of so difficult a cause - can be permanently obscured by such attacks. Tom Paine should be read by his countrymen. I commend his fame to their hands. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
We don't really want to get what we think that we want. I am married to a wife and relationship with her are cold and I have a mistress. And all the time I dream oh my god if my wife were to disappear - I'm not a murderer but let us say- that it will open up a new life with the mistress.Then, for some reason, the wife goes away, you lose the mistress. You thought this is all I want, when you have it there, you turn out it was a much more complex situation. It was not to live with the mistress, but to keep her as a distance as on object of desire about which you dream. This is not an excessive example, I claim this is how things function. We don't really want what we think we desire
Slavoj Žižek
The kind of people I absolutely cannot tolerate are those who never let you forget they are religious. It seems to me that a truly religious person would let his life be example enough, would not let his religion interfere with being a human being, and would not be so insecure as to have to fawn publicly before his gods.
W.P. Kinsella
Zen Buddhism is a way and a view of life which does not belong to any of the formal categories of modern Western thought. It is not religion or philosophy; it is not a psychology or a type of science. It is an example of what is known in India and China as a “way of liberation,” and is similar in this respect to Taoism, Vedanta, and Yoga. As will soon be obvious, a way of liberation can have no positive definition. It has to be suggested by saying what it is not, somewhat as a sculptor reveals an image by the act of removing pieces of stone from a block.
Alan W. Watts (The Way of Zen)
If you are not an exception, try to be the example.
. . . most martial artists want to know how A technique is done, A seasoned Sensei will demonstrate why
Soke Behzad Ahmadi (Dirty Fighting : Lethal Okinawan Karate)
A non-religious man today ignores what he considers sacred but, in the structure of his consciousness, could not be without the ideas of being and the meaningful. He may consider these purely human aspects of the structure of consciousness. What we see today is that man considers himself to have nothing sacred, no god; but still his life has a meaning, because without it he could not live; he would be in chaos. He looks for being and does not immediately call it being, but meaning or goals; he behaves in his existence as if he had a kind of center. He is going somewhere, he is doing something. We do not see anything religious here; we just see man behaving as a human being. But as a historian of religion, I am not certain that there is nothing religious here… I cannot consider exclusively what that man tells me when he consciously says, ‘I don’t believe in God; I believe in history,’ and so on. For example, I do not think that Jean-Paul Sartre gives all of himself in his philosophy, because I know that Sartre sleeps and dreams and likes music and goes to the theater. And in the theater he gets into a temporal dimension in which he no longer lives his ‘moment historique.’ There he lives in quite another dimension. We live in another dimension when we listen to Bach. Another experience of time is given in drama. We spend two hours at a play, and yet the time represented in the play occupies years and years. We also dream. This is the complete man. I cannot cut this complete man off and believe someone immediately when he consciously says that he is not a religious man. I think that unconsciously, this man still behaves as the ‘homo religiosus,’ has some source of value and meaning, some images, is nourished by his unconscious, by the imaginary universe of the poems he reads, of the plays he sees; he still lives in different universes. I cannot limit his universe to that purely self-conscious, rationalistic universe which he pretends to inhabit, since that universe is not human.
Mircea Eliade
Extend your hand to help others and be an example.
Debasish Mridha
Be an example, be kind and be simple.
Debasish Mridha
A beast of prey tamed and in captivity — every zoological garden can furnish examples — is mutilated, world-sick, inwardly dead. Some of them voluntarily hunger-strike when they are captured. Herbivores give up nothing in being domesticated.
Oswald Spengler (Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life)
The Master, by residing in the Tao, sets an example for all beings. Because he doesn't display himself, people can see his light. Because he has nothing to prove, people can trust his words. Because he doesn't know who he is, people recognize themselves in him. Because he has no goal in mind, everything he does succeeds.
Lao Tzu
to express our dream about life in words is not easy but to show it with an example will surprise a lot of people and give them a shock.
Jan Jansen
Be an example, not an adviser.
Debasish Mridha
My life and deed is my example.
Debasish Mridha
Be an example; don’t be a critic with sample.
Debasish Mridha
Be an example of life that you think that everybody should follow.
Debasish Mridha
I see things in windows and I say to myself that I want them. I want them because I want to belong. I want to be liked by more people, I want to be held in higher regard than others. I want to feel valued, so I say to myself to watch certain shows. I watch certain shows on the television so I can participate in dialogues and conversations and debates with people who want the same things I want. I want to dress a certain way so certain groups of people are forced to be attracted to me. I want to do my hair a certain way with certain styling products and particular combs and methods so that I can fit in with the In-Crowd. I want to spend hours upon hours at the gym, stuffing my body with what scientists are calling 'superfoods', so that I can be loved and envied by everyone around me. I want to become an icon on someone's mantle. I want to work meaningless jobs so that I can fill my wallet and parentally-advised bank accounts with monetary potential. I want to believe what's on the news so that I can feel normal along with the rest of forever. I want to listen to the Top Ten on Q102, and roll my windows down so others can hear it and see that I am listening to it, and enjoying it. I want to go to church every Sunday, and pray every other day. I want to believe that what I do is for the promise of a peaceful afterlife. I want rewards for my 'good' deeds. I want acknowledgment and praise. And I want people to know that I put out that fire. I want people to know that I support the war effort. I want people to know that I volunteer to save lives. I want to be seen and heard and pointed at with love. I want to read my name in the history books during a future full of clones exactly like me. The mirror, I've noticed, is almost always positioned above the sink. Though the sink offers more depth than a mirror, and mirror is only able to reflect, the sink is held in lower regard. Lower still is the toilet, and thought it offers even more depth than the sink, we piss and shit in it. I want these kind of architectural details to be paralleled in my every day life. I want to care more about my reflection, and less about my cleanliness. I want to be seen as someone who lives externally, and never internally, unless I am able to lock the door behind me. I want these things, because if I didn't, I would be dead in the mirrors of those around me. I would be nothing. I would be an example. Sunken, and easily washed away.
Dave Matthes
I am loving. I am caring. I am inspiring. I am daring. I am always kind. I have peace of mind. I am worthy of trust. I am true and just. I am compassionate. I am passionate. I am a seeker. I am a giver. I am very simple. I am an example.
Debasish Mridha
A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.
Niccolò Machiavelli
Eternal life, according to some theologians, for example, Dean Inge, does not mean existence throughout every moment of future time, but a mode of being wholly independent of time, in which there is no before and after, and therefore no logical possibility of change.
Bertrand Russell (A History of Western Philosophy: And Its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day)
The limits of science have always been the source of bitter disappointment when people expected something from science that it was not able to provide. Take the following examples: a man without faith seeking to find in science a substitute for his faith on which to build his life; a man unsatisfied by philosophy seeking an all-embracing universal truth in science; a spiritually shallow person growing aware of his own futility in the course of engaging in the endless reflections imposed by science. In every one of these cases, science begins as an object of blind idolatry and ends up as an object of hatred and contempt. Disenchantment inevitably follows upon these and similar misconceptions. One question remains: What value can science possibly have when its limitations have become so painfully clear?
Karl Jaspers (The Idea of the University)
One does not ask about one's true identity simply as a matter of course, but only in rather special circumstances. What this means, I believe, is that "who I really am" becomes an issue for me only when my system of values "breaks down," that is, only when I realize that the values according to which I have lived until now are insufficient to inform a life that I can recognize as satisfying. This realization can occur in variety of circumstances: when my beliefs about myself or the world undergo significant change; when I find that two of my values conflict in a fundamental way; or when, as in the present example, the relations among my previous commitments are insufficiently determinate to tell me what to do in the particular situation I face.
Frederick Neuhouser (Fichte's Theory of Subjectivity (Modern European Philosophy))
Martians have a win/lose philosophy—I want to win, and I don’t care if you lose. As long as each Martian took care of himself this formula worked fine. It worked for centuries, but now it needed to be changed. Giving primarily to themselves was no longer as satisfying. Being in love, they wanted the Venusians to win as much as themselves. In most sports today we can see an extension of this Martian competitive code. For example, in tennis I not only want to win but also try to make my friend lose by making it difficult for him to return my shots. I enjoy winning even though my friend loses. Most of these Martian attitudes have a place in life, but this win/lose attitude becomes harmful in our adult relationships. If I seek to fulfill my own needs at the expense of my partner, we are sure to experience unhappiness, resentment, and conflict. The secret of forming a successful relationship is for both partners to win.
John Gray (Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex)
If we are inclined to forget how much there is in the world besides that which we anticipate, then works of art are perhaps a little to blame, for in them we find at work the same process of simplification or selection as in the imagination. Artistic accounts include severe abbreviations of what reality will force upon us. A travel book may tell us, for example, that the narrator journeyed through the afternoon to reach the hill town of X and after a night in its medieval monastery awoke to a misty dawn. But we never simply 'journey through an afternoon'. We sit in a train. Lunch digests awkwardly within us. The seat cloth is grey. We look out the window at a field. We look back inside. A drum of anxieties resolves in our consciousness. We notice a luggage label affixed to a suitcase in a rack above the seats opposite. We tap a finger on the window ledge. A broken nail on an index finger catches a thread. It starts to rain. A drop wends a muddy path down the dust-coated window. We wonder where our ticket might be. We look back at the field. It continues to rain. At last, the train starts to move. It passes an iron bridge, after which it inexplicably stops. A fly lands on the window And still we may have reached the end only of the first minute of a comprehensive account of the events lurking within the deceptive sentence 'He journeyed through the afternoon'. A storyteller who provides us with such a profusion of details would rapidly grow maddening. Unfortunately, life itself often subscribes to this mode of storytelling, wearking us out with repetitions, misleading emphases[,] and inconsequential plot lines. It insists on showing us Burdak Electronics, the safety handle in the car, a stray dog, a Christmas card[,] and a fly that lands first on the rim and then the centre of a laden ashtray. Which explains the curious phenomenon whereby valuable elements may be easier to experience in art and in anticipation than in reality. The anticipatory and artistic imaginations omit and compress; they cut away the periods of boredom and direct our attention to critical moments, and thus, without either lying or embellishing, they lend to life a vividness and a coherence that it may lack in the distracting woolliness of the present.
Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel)
Another kind of transcendence myth has been dramatization of human life in terms of conflict and vindication. This focuses upon the situation of oppression and the struggle for liberation. It is a short-circuited transcendence when the struggle against oppression becomes an end in itself, the focal point of all meaning. There is an inherent contradiction in the idea that those devoted to a cause have found their whole meaning in the struggle, so that the desired victory becomes implicitly an undesirable meaninglessness. Such a truncated vision is one of the pitfalls of theologies of the oppressed. Sometimes black theology, for example that of James Cone, resounds with a cry for vengeance and is fiercely biblical and patriarchal. It transcends religion as a crutch (the separation and return of much old-fashioned Negro spirituality) but tends to settle for being religion as a gun. Tailored to fit only the situation of racial oppression, it inspires a will to vindication but leaves unexplored other dimensions of liberation. It does not get beyond the sexist models internalized by the self and controlling society — models that are at the root of racism and that perpetuate it. The Black God and the Black Messiah apparently are merely the same patriarchs after a pigmentation operation — their behavior unaltered.
Mary Daly (Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation)
I bring peace in the world, When I am an example of peace. When I love without condition. When I am the symbol of justice. When I can see people without prejudice. When I plant trees with great love. When I love the nature and take care. When I see no difference between you and me. When I am the symbol of compassion, care, and love.
Debasish Mridha
What is true pleasure? It depends primarily on the given situation. For example, drinking fresh water is true pleasure for someone in the desert.
Eraldo Banovac
To the horror of those who can genuinely claim to have suffered from its effects, alienation has proved a highly profitable commodity in the cultural marketplace. Modernist art with its dissonances and torments, to take one example, has become the staple diet of an increasingly voracious army of culture consumers who know good investments when they see them. The avant-garde, if indeed the term can still be used, has become an honored ornament of our cultural life, less to be feared than feted. The philosophy of existentialism, to cite another case, which scarcely a generation ago seemed like a breath of fresh air, has now degenerated into a set of easily manipulated clichés and sadly hollow gestures. This decline occurred, it should be noted, not because analytic philosophers exposed the meaninglessness of its categories, but rather as a result of our culture’s uncanny ability to absorb and defuse even its most uncompromising opponents.
Martin Jay (The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School & the Institute of Social Research, 1923-50)
Wonder, the mental state of openness, questioning, curiosity, and embracing mystery, arises out of experiences of awe. In our studies, people who find more everyday awe show evidence of living with wonder. They are more open to new ideas. To what is unknown. To what language can’t describe. To the absurd. To seeking new knowledge. To experience itself, for example of sound, or color, or bodily sensation, or the directions thought might take during dreams or meditation. To the strengths and virtues of other people. It should not surprise that people who feel even five minutes a day of everyday awe are more curious about art, music, poetry, new scientific discoveries, philosophy, and questions about life and death. They feel more comfortable with mysteries, with that which cannot be explained.
Dacher Keltner (Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life)
We therefore conclude that no philosophy and no system of life produced by human thought can have the characteristic of "comprehensiveness." At most, it can cover a segment of human life and can be valid for a temporary period. Because of its limited scope, it is always deficient in many respects, and because of its temporariness it is bound to cause problems that require modifications and changes in the original philosophy or system of life. Peoples and nations basing their social, political, and economic systems on human philosophies are forever confronted with contradictions and "dialectics." The history of European peoples is an example of such a process.
Sayed Qutb
A man opposite me shifted his feet, accidentally brushing his foot against mine. It was a gentle touch, barely noticeable, but the man immediately reached out to touch my knee and then his own chest with the fingertips of his right hand, in the Indian gesture of apology for an unintended offence. In the carriage and the corridor beyond, the other passengers were similarly respectful, sharing, and solicitous with one another. At first, on that first journey out of the city into India, I found such sudden politeness infuriating after the violent scramble to board the train. It seemed hypocritical for them to show such deferential concern over a nudge with a foot when, minutes before, they'd all but pushed one another out of the windows. Now, long years and many journeys after that first ride on a crowded rural train, I know that the scrambled fighting and courteous deference were both expressions of the one philosophy: the doctrine of necessity. The amount of force and violence necessary to board the train, for example, was no less and no more than the amount of politeness and consideration necessary to ensure that the cramped journey was as pleasant as possible afterwards. What is necessary! That was the unspoken but implied and unavoidable question everywhere in India. When I understood that, a great many of the characteristically perplexing aspects of public life became comprehensible: from the acceptance of sprawling slums by city authorities, to the freedom that cows had to roam at random in the midst of traffic; from the toleration of beggars on the streets, to the concatenate complexity of the bureaucracies; and from the gorgeous, unashamed escapism of Bollywood movies, to the accommodation of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Tibet, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa, and Bangladesh, in a country that was already too crowded with sorrows and needs of its own. The real hypocrisy, I came to realise, was in the eyes and minds and criticisms of those who came from lands of plenty, where none had to fight for a seat on a train. Even on that first train ride, I knew in my heart that Didier had been right when he'd compared India and its billion souls to France. I had an intuition, echoing his thought, that if there were a billion Frenchmen or Australians or Americans living in such a small space, the fighting to board the train would be much more, and the courtesy afterwards much less. And in truth, the politeness and consideration shown by the peasant farmers, travelling salesmen, itinerant workers, and returning sons and fathers and husbands did make for an agreeable journey, despite the cramped conditions and relentlessly increasing heat. Every available centimetre of seating space was occupied, even to the sturdy metal luggage racks over our heads. The men in the corridor took turns to sit or squat on a section of floor that had been set aside and cleaned for the purpose. Every man felt the press of at least two other bodies against his own. Yet there wasn't a single display of grouchiness or bad temper
Gregory David Roberts
If someone is trying to sell you with only past credentials and older accolades without including present examples and up to date proof, you might be dealing with someone that is sharing expired information and does not have the up to date knowledge to help you.
Loren Weisman
If Samkhya-Yoga philosophy does not explain the reason and origin of the strange partnership between the spirit and experience, at least tries to explain the nature of their association, to define the character of their mutual relations. These are not real relationships, in the true sense of the word, such as exist for example between external objects and perceptions. The true relations imply, in effect, change and plurality, however, here we have some rules essentially opposed to the nature of spirit. “States of consciousness” are only products of prakriti and can have no kind of relation with Spirit the latter, by its very essence, being above all experience. However and for SamPhya and Yoga this is the key to the paradoxical situation the most subtle, most transparent part of mental life, that is, intelligence (buddhi) in its mode of pure luminosity (sattva), has a specific quality that of reflecting Spirit. Comprehension of the external world is possible only by virtue of this reflection of purusha in intelligence. But the Self is not corrupted by this reflection and does not lose its ontological modalities (impassibility, eternity, etc.). The Yoga-sutras (II, 20) say in substance: seeing (drashtri; i.e., purusha) is absolute consciousness (“sight par excellence”) and, while remaining pure, it knows cognitions (it “looks at the ideas that are presented to it”). Vyasa interprets: Spirit is reflected in intelligence (buddhi), but is neither like it nor different from it. It is not like intelligence because intelligence is modified by knowledge of objects, which knowledge is ever-changing whereas purusha commands uninterrupted knowledge, in some sort it is knowledge. On the other hand, purusha is not completely different from buddhi, for, although it is pure, it knows knowledge. Patanjali employs a different image to define the relationship between Spirit and intelligence: just as a flower is reflected in a crystal, intelligence reflects purusha. But only ignorance can attribute to the crystal the qualities of the flower (form, dimensions, colors). When the object (the flower) moves, its image moves in the crystal, though the latter remains motionless. It is an illusion to believe that Spirit is dynamic because mental experience is so. In reality, there is here only an illusory relation (upadhi) owing to a “sympathetic correspondence” (yogyata) between the Self and intelligence.
Mircea Eliade (Yoga: Immortality and Freedom)
For believers to "follow Jesus" implies, among other things, adopting the same attitude towards God's Word as Jesus had. Becoming like Christ involves accepting his example as one who reads the Bible. It means defining ourselves and our purpose in life in light of the Bible. Following Christ also means practicing what the Bible says. Simply put, we cannot truthfully say that we are followers of Jesus if we neglect or refuse to obey what the Bible tells us, or if we use it in self-serving ways that are not what God originally intended.
Ray Lubeck (Read the Bible for a Change: Understanding and Responding to God's Word)
Mma Ramotswe had listened to a World Service broadcast on her radio one day which had simply taken her breath away. It was about philosophers who called themselves existentialists and who, as far as Mma Ramotswe could ascertain, lived in France. These French people said that you should just live in a way which made you feel real, and that the real thing to do was the right thing too. Mma Ramotswe had listened in astonishment. You did not have to go to France to meet existentialists, she reflected; there were many existentialists right here in Botswana. Note Mokoti, for example. She had been married to an existentialist herself, without even knowing it. Note, that selfish man who never once put himself out for another--not even for his wife--would have approved of existentialists, and they of him. It was very existentialist, perhaps, to go out to bars every night while your pregnant wife stayed at home, and even more existentialist to go off with girls--young existentialist girls--you met in bars. It was a good life being an existentialist, although not too good for all the other, nonexistentialist people around one.
Alexander McCall Smith (Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #3))
It is indeed curious: Although they would have been satisfied with next to nothing, they nevertheless strove for something. Here is how Stoics would explain this seeming paradox. Stoic philosophy, while teaching us to be satisfied with whatever we’ve got, also counsels us to seek certain things in life. We should, for example, strive to become better people—to become virtuous in the ancient sense of the word.
William B. Irvine (A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy)
The Sumerians considered themselves destined to “clothe and feed” such gods, because they viewed themselves as the servants, in a sense, of what we would call instinctive forces, “elicited” by the “environment.” Such forces can be reasonably regarded as the Sumerians regarded them—as deities inhabiting a “supracelestial place,” extant prior to the dawn of humanity. Erotic attraction, for example—a powerful god—has a developmental history that predates the emergence of humanity, is associated with relatively “innate” releasing “stimuli” (those that characterize erotic beauty), is of terrible power, and has an existence “transcending” that of any individual who is currently “possessed.” Pan, the Greek god of nature, produced/represented fear (produced “panic”); Ares or the Roman Mars, warlike fury and aggression. We no longer personify such “instincts,” except for the purposes of literary embellishment, so we don't think of them “existing” in a “place” (like heaven, for example). But the idea that such instincts inhabit a space—and that wars occur in that space—is a metaphor of exceeding power and explanatory utility. Transpersonal motive forces do wage war with one another over vast spans of time; are each forced to come to terms with their powerful “opponents” in the intrapsychic hierarchy. The battles between the different “ways of life” (or different philosophies) that eternally characterize human societies can usefully be visualized as combat undertaken by different standards of value (and, therefore, by different hierarchies of motivation). The “forces” involved in such wars do not die, as they are “immortal”: the human beings acting as “pawns of the gods” during such times are not so fortunate.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
What shapes the best in us dies when the best education dies! The best in us shall always be undermined when they that are responsible for shaping the best in us are always undermined! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will not just learn books but life! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will not just learn moral principles, but they shall be living examples of moral principles. I stand for a different education: a different education where students don’t just understand what they learn, but practice what they learn with understanding! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will not just learn about people of different beliefs, culture and backgrounds, but how to live with people who don’t share common perspective with them and know how to show their emotions of bitterness and misunderstanding rightly! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will be perfect ambassadors’ of God on earth and live their daily lives with all due diligence! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will understand why we all breathe the same air, sleep and wake up each day in the same manner to continue the journey of life! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will learn with inspiration even in their desperations! I stand for a different education: a different education where teachers are seen as true epitome of education! I stand for a different education: a different education in which the value of the teacher is well understood and the teacher is well valued as a treasure! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will not just learn, but they will reproduce great and noble things with what they learn! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will understand the real meaning of integrity and responsibility and with true courage and humility be that as such! I stand for a different education: a different education where education means creativity! Education is the spine of every nation! The better the education, the better the nation! The mediocre the education, the mediocre the nation! A good nation is good because of how education has shaped the perspective and understanding of the populace! A nation that does not know where it is heading towards must ask the machine that produces the populace who drive the nation: education! Until we fix our education, we shall always have a wrong education and we shall always see a wrong nation!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Permissiveness constantly deprives children of the examples of adult-centred life where they can find the place they seek in a natural hierarchy of greater and lesser experience, and where their desirable actions are accepted and their undesirable actions rejected, while they themselves are always accepted. Children need to see that they are assumed to be wed intentioned, naturally social people who are trying to do the right thing and want a reliable reaction from their elders to guide them.
Jean Liedloff
If there is to be toleration in the world, one of the things taught in schools must be the habit of weighing evidence, and the practice of not giving full assent to propositions which there is no reason to believe true. For example, the art of reading the newspapers should be taught. The schoolmaster should select some incident which happened a good many years ago, and roused political passions in its day. 41 He should then read to the school children what was said by the newspapers on one side, what was said by those on the other, and some impartial account of what really happened. He should show how, from the biased account of either side, a practised reader could infer what really happened, and he should make them understand that everything in newspapers is more or less untrue. The cynical scepticism which would result from this teaching would make the children in later life immune from those appeals to idealism by which decent people are induced to further the schemes of scoundrels.
Bertrand Russell (Free Thought and Official Propaganda)
We choose our friends on the basis of, among other things, our conception of ourselves. That's not to say that friendship is narcissistic, it doesn't follow that we choose people 'like ourselves'; in fact we might choose people very different than ourselves. For example, if I'm not very intelligent, and I'm concerned about my lack of intelligence, I might take up with an extremely intelligent woman, precisely in order to have her intelligence, in some sense, radiate onto me. The idea is that in friendship what we do is we pick people who are going to reinforce, in some sense, our own conception of ourselves. So if I think of myself as intelligent, or I want to think of myself as intelligent, whether or not I pick a partner who is also intelligent, what is going to be essential is that it's going to be a partner who somehow expands my notion of my own intelligence, either by telling me all the time, perhaps, how intelligent I am, or maybe by always contradicting me in such a way that I can prove my intelligence with her or him.
Robert C. Solomon (No Excuses: Existentialism And The Meaning Of Life)
A brick could be used to show you how to live a richer, fuller, more satisfying life. Don’t you want to have fulfillment and meaning saturating your existence? I can show you how you can achieve this and so much more with just a simple brick. For just $99.99—not even an even hundred bucks, I’ll send you my exclusive life philosophy that’s built around a brick. Man’s used bricks to build houses for centuries. Now let one man, me, show you how a brick can be used to build your life up bigger and stronger than you ever imagined. But act now, because supplies are limited. This amazing offer won’t last forever. You don’t want to wake up in ten years to find yourself divorced, homeless, and missing your testicles because you waited even two hours too long to obtain this information. Become a hero today—save your life. Procrastination is only for the painful things in life. We prolong the boring, but why put off for tomorrow the exciting life you could be living today? If you’re not satisfied with the information I’m providing, I’m willing to offer you a no money back guarantee. That’s right, you read that wrong. If you are not 100% dissatisfied with my product, I’ll give you your money back. For $99.99 I’m offering 99.99%, but you’ve got to be willing to penny up that percentage to 100. Why delay? The life you really want is mine, and I’m willing to give it to you—for a price. That price is a one-time fee of $99.99, which of course everyone can afford—even if they can’t afford it. Homeless people can’t afford it, but they’re the people who need my product the most. Buy my product, or face the fact that in all probability you are going to end up homeless and sexless and unloved and filthy and stinky and probably even disabled, if not physically than certainly mentally. I don’t care if your testicles taste like peanut butter—if you don’t buy my product, even a dog won’t lick your balls you miserable cur. I curse you! God damn it, what are you, slow? Pay me my money so I can show you the path to true wealth. Don’t you want to be rich? Everything takes money—your marriage, your mortgage, and even prostitutes. I can show you the path to prostitution—and it starts by ignoring my pleas to help you. I’m not the bad guy here. I just want to help. You have some serious trust issues, my friend. I have the chance to earn your trust, and all it’s going to cost you is a measly $99.99. Would it help you to trust me if I told you that I trust you? Well, I do. Sure, I trust you. I trust you to make the smart decision for your life and order my product today. Don’t sleep on this decision, because you’ll only wake up in eight hours to find yourself living in a miserable future. And the future indeed looks bleak, my friend. War, famine, children forced to pimp out their parents just to feed the dog. Is this the kind of tomorrow you’d like to live in today? I can show you how to provide enough dog food to feed your grandpa for decades. In the future I’m offering you, your wife isn’t a whore that you sell for a knife swipe of peanut butter because you’re so hungry you actually considered eating your children. Become a hero—and save your kids’ lives. Your wife doesn’t want to spread her legs for strangers. Or maybe she does, and that was a bad example. Still, the principle stands. But you won’t be standing—in the future. Remember, you’ll be confined to a wheelchair. Mushrooms are for pizzas, not clouds, but without me, your life will atom bomb into oblivion. Nobody’s dropping a bomb while I’m around. The only thing I’m dropping is the price. Boom! I just lowered the price for you, just to show you that you are a valued customer. As a VIP, your new price on my product is just $99.96. That’s a savings of over two pennies (three, to be precise). And I’ll even throw in a jar of peanut butter for free. That’s a value of over $.99. But wait, there’s more! If you call within the next ten minutes, I’ll even throw in a blanket free of charge. . .
Jarod Kintz (Brick)
The part of the Masculine principle seems to be that of directing a certain inherent energy toward the Feminine principle, and thus starting into activity the creative processes. But the Feminine principle is the one always doing the active creative work — and this is so on all planes. And yet, each principle is incapable of operative energy without the assistance of the other. In some of the forms of life, the two principles are combined in one organism. For that matter, everything in the organic world manifests both genders — there is always the Masculine present in the Feminine form, and the Feminine form. The Hermetic Teachings include much regarding the operation of the two principles of Gender in the production and manifestation of various forms of energy, etc., but we do not deem it expedient to go into detail regarding the same at this point, because we are unable to back up the same with scientific proof, for the reason that science has not as yet progressed thus far. But the example we have given you of the phenomena of the electrons or corpuscles will show you that science is on the right path, and will also give you a general idea of the underlying principles.
Three Initiates (Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece)
I have given a brief explanation of the various meanings of dharma according to the Abhidharma, but what I want to say next is much more important. In Mahayana Buddhism, and especially in Dōgen Zenji's teachings, the meaning of dharma has more depth. According to the concepts we accept, we think that everything exists as objects outside the self. For example, we usually think that all phenomenal things that appear before our eyes, or this twentieth-century human society, have existence outside our individual self. We believe that when we are born we appear on this world's stage, and when we die we leave that stage. All of us think this way. But the truth is that this common-sense concept is questionable. Mahayana Buddhism began from a reexamination of this common-sense attitude. I'll give you one of my favorite examples. I am looking at this cup now. You are also looking at the same cup. We think that we are looking at the very same cup, but this is not true. I am looking at it from my angle, with my eyesight, in the lighting that occurs where I am sitting, and with my own feelings or emotions. Furthermore, the angle, my feeling, and everything else is changing from moment to moment. This cup I am looking at now is not the same one that I will be looking at in the next moment. Each of you is also looking at it from your own angle, with your eyesight, with your own feelings, and these also are constantly changing. This is the way actual life experience is. However, if we use our common-sense way of thinking, we think we are looking at the very same cup. This is an abstraction and not the reality of life. Abstract concepts and living reality are entirely different. The Buddhist view is completely different from our ordinary thinking. Western philosophy's way of thinking is also based on abstractions. It assumes that all of us are seeing the same cup. Greek philosophers went further and further in their abstractions until they came up with the concept of the idea that cannot be seen or felt. One example is Venus, the goddess of beauty. In the real world, no woman is as well-proportioned as Venus, or embodies perfect beauty as she does. Yet the Greeks idealized beauty and created a statue of Venus, just as they had thought of the "idea" of a circle that is abstracted from something round. In other words, the Greek way of thinking is abstraction to the highest degree. Buddhism is different. Buddhism puts emphasis on life, the actual life experience of the reality of the self.
Dōgen (The Wholehearted Way: A Translation of Eihei Dogen's Bendowa, With Commentary by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi)
To the extent that anyone gives up the mentality of antithesis, he has moved over to the other side, even if he still tries to defend orthodoxy or evangelicalism. If Christians are to take advantage of the death of romanticism, we must consciously build back the mentality and practice of antithesis among Christians in doctrine and life. We must do it in our teaching and example toward compromise, both ecclesiastically and in evangelism. To fail to exhibit that we take truth seriously at these points where there is a cost in doing so, is to push the next generation into the relative, dialectical millstream that surrounds us.
Francis A. Schaeffer (The God Who Is There)
Europe's/Western World's greatness came from a Man (but not a single "philosophy" or "religion" was systematically venerable), and vice-versa for China. We, who live in a world of post-post-post tendencies (which denotes a total lack of beauty in action and attitude, a total inadequacy for anything but self-promotion according to humanistic tendencies/fashions), have the great yet melancholic virtue of combining pre-existing forms (I like to think the most venerable) in a world devoid of any spirit (mainly by regarding death as a catastrophe instead of Death as a uniting principle of life, of beauty and of transcendental meaning). Hitler was the swansong of Mankind. Hardcore modernity called for a last and timeless titan. As Nietzsche once said, all great music is always a swansong (do not agree with his examples, but one has to be able to go beyond the evident). Mankind will always live as if it were an ETERNAL, IMMORTAL race, and individual death will be the only one available, cowardly recognized as a CATASTROPHE (disconnection of one's essence, primordial fate). Oblivious to oblivion itself, nothing of value will ever be accomplished (TAO). Let them be. Mankind has moved from truth each step of it's journey, because each step away from conscious death.
The Count of Monte Cristo, Edgar Allan Poe, Robinson Crusoe, Ivanhoe, Gogol, The Last of the Mohicans, Dickens, Twain, Austen, Billy Budd…By the time I was twelve, I was picking them out myself, and my brother Suman was sending me the books he had read in college: The Prince, Don Quixote, Candide, Le Morte D’Arthur, Beowulf, Thoreau, Sartre, Camus. Some left more of a mark than others. Brave New World founded my nascent moral philosophy and became the subject of my college admissions essay, in which I argued that happiness was not the point of life. Hamlet bore me a thousand times through the usual adolescent crises. “To His Coy Mistress” and other romantic poems led me and my friends on various joyful misadventures throughout high school—we often sneaked out at night to, for example, sing “American Pie” beneath the window of the captain of the cheerleading team. (Her father was a local minister and so, we reasoned, less likely to shoot.) After I was caught returning at dawn from one such late-night escapade, my worried mother thoroughly interrogated me regarding every drug teenagers take, never suspecting that the most intoxicating thing I’d experienced, by far, was the volume of romantic poetry she’d handed me the previous week. Books became my closest confidants, finely ground lenses providing new views of the world.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
I think that happiness is the experience which encompasses our ability to live, inclusive of all the mini pangs of being-alive-passions that we have. For example, just because you're sad, I don't think that means your state as a person is "unhappy." You can be a happy person and feel fully sad, fully joyous, fully worried, fully lighthearted, fully calm, fully expectant or nervous... happiness is being a full person. It's not living life in this one corner where you've curated everything to suit your ideal of what a happy person should be made up of. It's not this single, linear mode of thought or of being. I think it's the full experience of life and the art of living with the zest that you choose to live with.
C. JoyBell C.
We have considered the problem of mental fragmentation and arbitrariness that results when our contact with the world is mediated by representations: representations collapse the basic axis of proximity and distance by which an embodied being orients in the world and draws a horizon of relevance around itself. We noted the prominence of a design philosophy that severs the bonds between action and perception, as in contemporary automobiles that insulate us from the sensorimotor contingencies by which an embodied being normally grasps reality. The case of machine gambling gave us a heightened example of this kind of abstraction, and made clear how such a design philosophy can be turned to especially disturbing purposes in the darker precincts of “affective capitalism,” where our experiences are manufactured for us. We saw that the point of these experiences is often to provide a quasi-autistic escape from the frustrations of life, and that they are especially attractive in a world that lacks a basic intelligibility because it seems to be ordered by “vast impersonal forces” that are difficult to bring within view on a first-person, human scale. I argued that all of this tends to sculpt a certain kind of contemporary self, a fragile one whose freedom and dignity depend on its being insulated from contingency, and who tends to view technology as magic for accomplishing this. For such a self, choosing from a menu of options replaces the kind of adult agency that grapples with things in an unfiltered way.
Matthew B. Crawford (The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction)
What’s wrong with men and women indulging in self-delusion in the course of trying to impress each other? Nothing, I guess. Some illusions are harmless, and some are even beneficial. Far be it from me to try to talk you out of all your illusions. By and large, my philosophy is Live and let live: if you’re enjoying the Matrix, go crazy. Except, maybe, when your illusions harm other people in your life or contribute to larger problems in the world. And that can happen. Being in self-protection mode, for example, does more than just give us an attraction to crowds. In one study, men who watched part of a scary film (The Silence of the Lambs) and were then shown photos of men from a different ethnic group rated their facial expressions as much angrier than did men who hadn’t seen a scary film.
Robert Wright (Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment)
This example, it seems to us, suffices to show in what way the nonreligious man of modern societies is still nourished and aided by the activity of his unconscious, yet without thereby attaining to a properly religious experience and vision of the world. The unconscious offers him solutions for the difficulties of his own life, and in this way plays the role of religion, for, before making an existence a creator of values, religion ensures its integrity, From one point of view it could almost be said that in the case of those moderns who proclaim that they are nonreligious, religion and mythology are "eclipsed" in the darkness of their unconscious—which means too that in such men the possibility of reintegrating a religious vision of life lies at a great depth. Or, from the Christian point of view, it could also be said that nonreligion is equivalent to a new "fall" of man— in other words, that nonreligious man has lost the capacity to live religion consciously, and hence to understand and assume it; but that, in his deepest being, he still retains a memory of it, as, after the first "fall," his ancestor, the primordial man, retained intelligence enough to enable him to rediscover the traces of God that are visible in the world. After the first "fall," the religious sense descended to the level of the ' 'divided" consciousness"; now, after the second, it has fallen even further, into the depths of the unconscious; it has been "forgotten," Here the considerations of the historian of religions end. Here begins the realm of problems proper to the philosopher, the psychologist, and even the theologian.
Mircea Eliade (The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion)
A modern example of this stunning knowledge of nature that Einstein has gifted us, comes from 2016, when gravitational waves were discovered by a specially designed observatory tuned for just this purpose.† These waves, predicted by Einstein, are ripples moving at the speed of light across the fabric of space-time, and are generated by severe gravitational disturbances, such as the collision of two black holes. And that’s exactly what was observed. The gravitational waves of the first detection were generated by a collision of black holes in a galaxy 1.3 billion light-years away, and at a time when Earth was teeming with simple, single-celled organisms. While the ripple moved through space in all directions, Earth would, after another 800 million years, evolve complex life, including flowers and dinosaurs and flying creatures, as well as a branch of vertebrates called mammals. Among the mammals, a sub-branch would evolve frontal lobes and complex thought to accompany them. We call them primates. A single branch of these primates would develop a genetic mutation that allowed speech, and that branch—Homo sapiens—would invent agriculture and civilization and philosophy and art and science. All in the last ten thousand years. Ultimately, one of its twentieth-century scientists would invent relativity out of his head, and predict the existence of gravitational waves. A century later, technology capable of seeing these waves would finally catch up with the prediction, just days before that gravity wave, which had been traveling for 1.3 billion years, washed over Earth and was detected. Yes, Einstein was a badass.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
[Huxley's Perennial Philosophy is concerned with] the need to love the earth and respect nature instead of following the example of those who 'chopped down vast forests to provide the newsprint demanded by that universal literacy which was to make the world safe for intelligence and democracy, and got wholesale erosion, pulp magazines, and organs of Fascist, Communist, capitalist, and nationalist propaganda.' He attacked 'technological imperialism' and the mechanisation which was 'increasing the power of a minority to exercise a co-ersive control over the lives of their fellows' and 'the popular philosophy of life... now moulded by advertising copy whose one idea is to persuade everybody to be as extroverted and uninhibitedly greedy as possible, since of course it is only the possessive, the restless, the distracted, who spend money on the things that advertisers want to sell.
Nicholas Murray (Aldous Huxley: A Biography (Thomas Dunne Books))
But mostly what we think of as the 'meaning' of life concerns the style of the private autobiography we each write and which records how we 'see' ourselves. Whether this autobiography reads as a narrative of progress in which difficulties are transcended, or is chaotic, is the test of whether one's life seems to be meaningful or not. Meaning is something we find, or fail to find, as we follow through this project. We can see how love figures here: love is a major theme, but how we see our experience of love depends upon our general thinking. If, for example, we work with extremely high expectations of love we impose a tragic style upon our self-perceptions: for our experience of love will always be seen under an aspect of failure—failure focused upon ourselves or others. Hence the more subtle our thinking about love, the more intelligently we discriminate ideals from reality, the more interesting our autobiography becomes.
John Armstrong (Conditions of Love: The Philosophy of Intimacy)
Breaking free of other people’s limiting values, philosophies, and life scenarios obviously includes a good deal more than breaking free of the influence of mother and father. We may need to challenge important aspects of the implicit philosophy of the culture in which we live. We may need to check and confront many of the basic premises that almost everyone takes for granted. This is a subtle and difficult task, because we rarely even know where to begin; the premises that need to be questioned are too much a part of our own thinking. The premises involved may pertain to the ultimate meaning of life, the values by which we are to live, the nature of virtue, the meaning of maleness and femaleness, the nature of knowledge, the ultimate nature of existence itself. To think independently and radically about such issues is not an easy undertaking. We shall deal with at least one example of this challenge when we take up the subject of ethics.
Nathaniel Branden (Honoring the Self: The Pyschology of Confidence and Respect)
Professor A. H. Maslow, for example, has conducted a series of researches into extremely healthy people that have led him to conclude that health and optimism are far more positive principles in human psychology than Freud would ever have admitted. Man is a slave to the delusion that he is a passive creature, a creature of circumstance; this is because he makes the mistake of identifying himself with his limited everyday consciousness, and is unaware of the immense forces that lie just beyond the threshold of consciousness. But these forces, although he is unaware of them on a conscious level, are still a far more active influence in his life than any external circumstances. Freudian psychology, for all its achievements, has made a twofold error: it has tried to anatomize the human mind as a pathologist would dissect a corpse, and it has limited its researches to sick human beings. Sick men talk about their illness far more than healthy people talk about their health; in fact, healthy people are usually too absorbed in living to bother with self-revelation. Psychology has consequently been inclined to divide the world into sick people and “normal” people, regarding occasional super-normality as the exception; Maslow has shown that super-normality is a great deal commoner than would be supposed; in fact as common as sub-normality. Ordinarily healthy people often experience a sense of intense life-affirmation (which Maslow calls “peak experiences”); and examination of peak experiences has led Maslow to conclude that the evolutionary drive (which is so clear in art and philosophy) is as basic a part of human psychology as the Freudian libido or the Adlerian will to self-assertion. — Colin Wilson, “‘Six Thousand Feet Above Men and Time‘: Remarks on Nietzsche and Kierkegaard” (1965) (Wilson C. “Six Thousand Feet Above Men and Time”: Remarks on Nietzsche and Kierkegaard // Stanley C. (Ed.). Colin Wilson: Collected Essays on Philosophers. — Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016. Pp. 110–111.)
Colin Wilson
What if we fail to stop the erosion of cities by automobiles? What if we are prevented from catalyzing workable and vital cities because the practical steps needed to do so are in conflict with the practical steps demanded by erosion? There is a silver lining to everything. In that case we Americans will hardly need to ponder a mystery that has troubled men for millennia: What is the purpose of life? For us, the answer will be clear, established and for all practical purposes indisputable: The purpose of life is to produce and consume automobiles. It is not hard to understand that the producing and consuming of automobiles might properly seem the purpose of life to the General Motors management, or that it may seem so to other men and women deeply commtted economically or emotionally to this pursuit. If they so regard it, they should be commended rather than cricicized for this remarkable identification of philosophy with daily duty. It is harder to understand, however, why the production and consumption of automobiles should be the purpose of life for this country. Similarly, it is understandable that men who were young in the 1920's were captivated by the vision of the freeway Radiant City, with the specious promise that it would be appropriate to an automobile age. At least it was then a new idea; to men of the generation of New York's Robert Moses, for example, it was radical and exciting in the days when their minds were growing and their ideas forming. Some men tend to cling to old intellectual excitements, just as some belles, when they are old ladies, still cling to the fashions and coiffures of their exciting youth. But it is harder to understand why this form of arrested mental development should be passed on intact to succeeding generations of planners and designers. It is disturbing to think that men who are young today, men who are being trained now for their carreers, should accept *on the grounds that they must be "modern" in their thinking,* conceptions about cities and traffic which are not only unworkably, but also to which nothing new of any significance has been added since their fathers were children.
Jane Jacobs (The Death and Life of Great American Cities)
We are paying for and even submitting to the dictates of an ever-increasing, unceasingly-spawning class of human beings who should never have been born at all.1 —Margaret Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization In 2009, Hillary Clinton came to Houston, Texas, to receive the Margaret Sanger award from Planned Parenthood. Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood and the award is its highest prize. In receiving the award, Hillary said of Sanger, “I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision. I am really in awe of her. There are a lot of lessons we can learn from her life and the cause she launched and fought for and sacrificed so greatly.”2 What was Margaret Sanger’s vision? What was the cause to which she devoted her life? Sanger is known as a champion of birth control, of providing women with the means to avoid unwanted pregnancies. But the real Margaret Sanger was very different from how she’s portrayed in Planned Parenthood brochures. The real Margaret Sanger did not want women in general to limit their pregnancies. She wanted white, wealthy, educated women to have more children, and poor, uneducated, black women to have none. “Unwanted” for Sanger didn’t mean unwanted by the mother—it meant unwanted by Sanger. Sanger’s influence contributed to the infamous Tuskegee experiments in which poor blacks were deliberately injected with syphilis without their knowledge. Today the Tuskegee Project is falsely portrayed as an example of southern backwardness and American bigotry; in fact, it was a progressive scheme carried out with the very eugenic goals that Margaret Sanger herself championed. In 1926, Sanger spoke to a Women’s Chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in New Jersey about her solution for reducing the black birthrate. She also sponsored a Negro Project specifically designed, in her vocabulary, to get rid of “human beings who should never have been born.” In one of her letters Sanger said, “We do not want word to get out that we are trying to exterminate the Negro population.”3 The racists loved it; other KKK speaking invitations followed. Now it may seem odd that a woman with such views would be embraced by Planned Parenthood—even odder that she would be a role model for Hillary Clinton. Why would they celebrate Sanger given her racist philosophy? In
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
All kinds of things are happening to me." I begin. ,,Some I choose, some I didn't. I don't know how to tell one from the other any more. What I mean is, it feels like everything's been decided in advance - that I'm following a path somebody else has already mapped out for me. It doesn't matter how much I think things over, how much effort I put into it. In fact, the harder I try, the more I lose my sense od who I am. It's as if my identity's an orbit that I've strayed far away from, and that really hurts. But more than that, it scares me. Just thinking about it makes me flinch. Oshima gazes deep into m eyes. "Listen, Kafka. What you are experiencing now is the motif od many Greek tragedies. Man does not chose fate. Fate chooses man. That is the basic world view of Greek drama. And the sense od tragedy - according to Aristotle - somes, ironically enough, not drom the protagonist's weak points but from his good qualities. Do you know what I am getting at? People are drawn deeper into tragedy not by their defects but by their virtues. Sophocles' Oedipus Rex being a Great example. Oedipus is drawn into tragedy not because of lazines or stupidity, but because of his courage and honesty. So an inevitable irony results.
Haruki Murakami
Wittgenstein came to believe that a great many philosophical puzzles arise out of people misusing language in this way. Take, for example, the statement ‘I have a pain’, which is grammatically akin to ‘I have a hat’. This similarity might mislead us into thinking that pains, or ‘experiences’ in general, are things we have in the same way that we have hats. But it would be strange to say ‘Here, take my pain’. And though it would make sense to say ‘Is this your hat or mine?’, it would sound odd to ask ‘Is this your pain or mine?’ Perhaps there are several people in a room and a pain floating around in it; and as each person in turn doubles up in agony, we exclaim: ‘Ah, now he’s having it!’ This sounds merely silly; but in fact it has some fairly momentous implications. Wittgenstein is able to disentangle the grammar of ‘I have a hat’ from ‘I have a pain’ not only in a way that throws light on the use of personal pronouns like ‘I’ and ‘he’, but in ways which undermine the long-standing assumption that my experiences are a kind of private property. In fact, they seem even more like private property than my hat, since I can give away my hat, but not my pain. Wittgenstein shows us how grammar deceives us into thinking this way, and his case has radical, even politically radical, consequences. The task of the philosopher, Wittgenstein thought, was not so much to resolve these inquiries as to dissolve them – to show that they spring from confusing one kind of ‘language game’, as he called it, with another.
Terry Eagleton (The Meaning of Life)
I know nothing of the Other World, and I have the honesty to admit it. Other people know more about it than I do, and I'm incapable of proving that they're mistaken. I don't dream of imposing my philosophy on a village girl. Although religion does not aim at seeking for the truth, it is a kind of philosophy which can satisfy simple minds, and that does no harm to anyone. Everything is finally a matter of the feeling man has of his own impotence. In itself, this philosophy has nothing pernicious about it. The essential thing, really, is that man should know that salvation consists in the effort that each person makes to understand Providence and accept the laws of nature. Since all violent upheavals are a calamity, I would prefer the adaptation to be made without shocks. What could be longest left undisturbed are women's convents. The sense of the inner life brings people great enrichment. What we must do, then, is to extract from religions the poison they contain. In this respect, great progress has been made during recent centuries. The Church must be made to understand that her kingdom is not of this world. What an example Frederick the Great set when he reacted against the Church's claim to be allowed to interfere in matters of State ! The marginal notes, in his handwriting, which one finds on the pleas addressed to him by the pastors, have the value of judgments of Solomon. They're definitive. Our generals should make a practice of reading them daily. One is humiliated to see how slowly humanity progresses.
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)
It is a curious paradox that several of the greatest and most creative spirits in science, after achieving important discoveries by following their unfettered imaginations, were in their later years obsessed with reductionist philosophy and as a result became sterile. Hilbert was a prime example of this paradox. Einstein was another. Like Hilbert, Einstein did his great work up to the age of forty without any reductionist bias. His crowning achievement, the general relativistic theory of gravitation, grew out of a deep physical understanding of natural processes. Only at the very end of his ten-year struggle to understand gravitation did he reduce the outcome of his understanding to a finite set of field equations. But like Hilbert, as he grew older he concentrated his attention more and more on the formal properties of his equations, and he lost interest in the wider universe of ideas out of which the equations arose. His last twenty years were spent in a fruitless search for a set of equations that would unify the whole of physics, without paying attention to the rapidly proliferating experimental discoveries that any unified theory would finally have to explain. I do not need to say more about this tragic and well-known story of Einstein's lonely attempt to reduce physics to a finite set of marks on paper. His attempt failed as dismally as Hilbert's attempt to do the same thing with mathematics. I shall instead discuss another aspect of Einstein's later life, an aspect that has received less attention than his quest for the unified field equations: his extraordinary hostility to the idea of black holes.
Freeman Dyson (The Scientist as Rebel)
Perhaps also there are some necessary truths about mind, language, and perception after all, a compendium of superscientific truths awaiting discovery and dissemination by philosophers. If so, however, one would expect the same to be true of other subjects. For example, one would expect there to be a set of necessary truths about all possible living things; and another set about all possible stars and galaxies; and another set about all possible forms of matter; and so on. One would expect, that is, a significant compendium of a priori knowledge on almost every significant subject: space, time, motion, light, matter, planets, fire, cosmology, life, weather, medicine, and so forth. Given the thousands of years philosophers have had to penetrate these subjects, we might well ask in which books the apodictic fruits of so much a priori labour have been written down. Put thus bluntly, the question is embarrassing. There is no such accumulated compendium of important a priori truths on any of these topics. And this despite the fact that philosophers have been talking and theorizing with enthusiasm about all of them for over twenty-five centuries. Claims of necessary truth have regularly been made, but empirical refutation has been their most common fate. What has accumulated instead is a rich compendium of a posteriori knowledge, a compendium born of the continuing labours of various subdivisions of earlier philosophy, subdivisions now quite properly identified as sciences. It now seems silly to expect philosophical techniques to reveal important necessary truths about all possible planets, or all possible forms of matter, or all possible living things. But if it is just plain silly to expect this for planets, matter, and life, why should it be sound philosophy to expect it for language, mind, and perception?
Paul M. Churchland
Origin of the Logical. Where has logic originated in men’s heads? Undoubtedly out of the illogical, the domain of which must originally have been immense. But numberless beings who reasoned otherwise than we do at present, perished; albeit that they may have come nearer to truth than we! Whoever, for example, could not discern the "like" often enough with regard to food, and with regard to animals dangerous to him, whoever, therefore, deduced too slowly, or was too circumspect in his deductions, had smaller probability of survival than he who in all similar cases immediately divined the equality. The preponderating inclination, however, to deal with the similar as the equal - an illogical inclination, for there is no thing equal in itself - first created the whole basis of logic. It was just so (in order that the conception of substance should originate, this being indispensable to logic, although in the strictest sense nothing actual corresponds to it) that for a long period the changing process in things had to be overlooked, and remain unperceived; the beings not seeing correctly had an advantage over those who saw everything "in flux." In itself every high degree of circumspection in conclusions, every sceptical inclination, is a great danger to life. No living being might have been preserved unless the contrary inclination - to affirm rather than suspend judgment, to mistake and fabricate rather than wait, to assent rather than deny, to decide rather than be in the right - had been cultivated with extraordinary assiduity. - The course of logical thought and reasoning in our modern brain corresponds to a process and struggle of impulses, which singly and in themselves are all very illogical and unjust; we experience usually only the result of the struggle, so rapidly and secretly does this primitive mechanism now operate in us.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
The teachings of impermanence and lack of independent existence are not difficult to understand intellectually; when you hear these teachings you may think that they are quite true. On a deeper level, however, you probably still identify yourself as “me” and identify others as “them” or “you.” On some level you likely say to yourself, “I will always be me; I have an identity that is important.” I, for example, say to myself, “I am a Buddhist priest; not a Christian or Islamic one. I am a Japanese person, not an American or a Chinese one.” If we did not assume that we have this something within us that does not change, it would be very difficult for us to live responsibly in society. This is why people who are unfamiliar with Buddhism often ask, “If there were no unchanging essential existence, doesn’t that mean I would not be responsible for my past actions, since I would be a different person than in the past?” But of course that is not what the Buddha meant when he said we have no unchanging atman or essential existence. To help us understand this point, we can consider how our life resembles a river. Each moment the water of a river is flowing and different, so it is constantly changing, but there is still a certain continuity of the river as a whole. The Mississippi River, for example, was the river we know a million years ago. And yet, the water flowing in the Mississippi is always different, always new, so there is actually no fixed thing that we can say is the one and only Mississippi River. We can see this clearly when we compare the source of the Mississippi in northern Minnesota, a small stream one can jump over, to the river’s New Orleans estuary, which seems as wide as an ocean. We cannot say which of these is the true Mississippi: it is just a matter of conditions that lets us call one or the other of these the Mississippi. In reality, a river is just a collection of masses of flowing water contained within certain shapes in the land. “Mississippi River” is simply a name given to various conditions and changing elements. Since our lives are also just a collection of conditions, we cannot say that we each have one true identity that does not change, just as we cannot say there is one true Mississippi River. What we call the “self ” is just a set of conditions existing within a collection of different elements. So I cannot say that there is an unchanging self that exists throughout my life as a baby, as a teenager, and as it is today. Things that I thought were important and interesting when I was an elementary or high school student, for example, are not at all interesting to me now; my feelings, emotions, and values are always changing. This is the meaning of the teaching that everything is impermanent and without independent existence. But we still must recognize that there is a certain continuity in our lives, that there is causality, and that we need to be responsible for what we did yesterday. In this way, self-identity is important. Even though in actuality there is no unchanging identity, I still must use expressions like “when I was a baby ..., when I was a boy ..., when I was a teenager. ...” To speak about changes in our lives and communicate in a meaningful way, we must speak as if we assumed that there is an unchanging “I” that has been experiencing the changes; otherwise, the word “change” has no meaning. But according to Buddhist philosophy, self-identity, the “I,” is a creation of the mind; we create self-identity because it’s convenient and useful in certain ways. We must use self-identity to live responsibly in society, but we should realize that it is merely a tool, a symbol, a sign, or a concept. Because it enables us to think and discriminate, self-identity allows us to live and function. Although it is not the only reality of our lives, self-identity is a reality for us, a tool we must use to live with others in society.
Shohaku Okumura (Realizing Genjokoan: The Key to Dogen's Shobogenzo)
I read Dickens and Shakespear without shame or stint; but their pregnant observations and demonstrations of life are not co-ordinated into any philosophy or religion: on the contrary, Dickens's sentimental assumptions are violently contradicted by his observations; and Shakespear's pessimism is only his wounded humanity. Both have the specific genius of the fictionist and the common sympathies of human feeling and thought in pre-eminent degree. They are often saner and shrewder than the philosophers just as Sancho-Panza was often saner and shrewder than Don Quixote. They clear away vast masses of oppressive gravity by their sense of the ridiculous, which is at bottom a combination of sound moral judgment with lighthearted good humor. But they are concerned with the diversities of the world instead of with its unities: they are so irreligious that they exploit popular religion for professional purposes without delicacy or scruple (for example, Sydney Carton and the ghost in Hamlet!): they are anarchical, and cannot balance their exposures of Angelo and Dogberry, Sir Leicester Dedlock and Mr Tite Barnacle, with any portrait of a prophet or a worthy leader: they have no constructive ideas: they regard those who have them as dangerous fanatics: in all their fictions there is no leading thought or inspiration for which any man could conceivably risk the spoiling of his hat in a shower, much less his life. Both are alike forced to borrow motives for the more strenuous actions of their personages from the common stockpot of melodramatic plots; so that Hamlet has to be stimulated by the prejudices of a policeman and Macbeth by the cupidities of a bushranger. Dickens, without the excuse of having to manufacture motives for Hamlets and Macbeths, superfluously punt his crew down the stream of his monthly parts by mechanical devices which I leave you to describe, my own memory being quite baffled by the simplest question as to Monks in Oliver Twist, or the long lost parentage of Smike, or the relations between the Dorrit and Clennam families so inopportunely discovered by Monsieur Rigaud Blandois. The truth is, the world was to Shakespear a great "stage of fools" on which he was utterly bewildered. He could see no sort of sense in living at all; and Dickens saved himself from the despair of the dream in The Chimes by taking the world for granted and busying himself with its details. Neither of them could do anything with a serious positive character: they could place a human figure before you with perfect verisimilitude; but when the moment came for making it live and move, they found, unless it made them laugh, that they had a puppet on their hands, and had to invent some artificial external stimulus to make it work.
George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman)
There would seem to be only one question for philosophy to resolve: what must I do? Despite being combined with an enormous amount of unnecessary confusion, answers to the question have at any rate been given within the philosophical tradition of the Christian nations. For example, in Kant's Critique of Practical Reason, or in Spinoza, Schopenhauer and especially Rousseau. But in more recent times, since Hegel's assertion that all that exists is reasonable, the question of what one must do has been pushed to the background and philosophy has directed its whole attention to the investigation of things as they are, and to fitting them into a prearranged theory. This was the first step backwards. The second step, degrading human thought yet further, was the acceptance of the struggle for existence as a basic law, simply because that struggle can be observed among animals and plants. According to this theory the destruction of the weakest is a law which should not be opposed. And finally, the third step was taken when the childish originality of Nietzche's half-crazed thought, presenting nothing complete or coherent, but only various drafts of immoral and completely unsubstantiated ideas, was accepted by the leading figures as the final word in philosophical science. In reply to the question: what must we do? the answer is now put straightforwardly as: live as you like, without paying attention to the lives of others. Turgenev made the witty remark that there are inverse platitudes, which are frequently employed by people lacking in talent who wish to attract attention to themselves. Everyone knows, for instance, that water is wet, and someone suddenly says, very seriously, that water is dry, not that ice is, but that water is dry, and the conviction with which this is stated attracts attention. Similarly, the whole world knows that virtue consists in the subjugation of one's passions, or in self-renunciation. It is not just the Christian world, against whom Nietzsche howls, that knows this, but it is an eternal supreme law towards which all humanity has developed, including Brahmanism, Buddhism, Confucianism and the ancient Persian religion. And suddenly a man appears who declares that he is convinced that self-renunciation, meekness, submissiveness and love are all vices that destroy humanity (he has in mind Christianity, ignoring all the other religions). One can understand why such a declaration baffled people at first. But after giving it a little thought and failing to find any proof of the strange propositions, any rational person ought to throw the books aside and wonder if there is any kind of rubbish that would not find a publisher today. But this has not happened with Nietzsche's books. The majority of pseudo-enlightened people seriously look into the theory of the superman, and acknowledge its author to be a great philosopher, a descendant of Descartes, Leibniz and Kant. And all this has come about because the majority of the pseudo-enlightened men of today object to any reminder of virtue, or to its chief premise: self-renunciation and love - virtues that restrain and condemn the animal side of their life. They gladly welcome a doctrine, however incoherently and disjointedly expressed, of egotism and cruelty, sanctioning the ideas of personal happiness and superiority over the lives of others, by which they live.
Leo Tolstoy
In Being and Event and elsewhere throughout his philosophy, Alain Badiou grants love an evental status, locating it among what he calls the four truth procedures. This inclusion of love seems anomalous. In comparison with the other three truth procedures, love doesn’t fit in. When one reads Being and Event for the first time, one can’t help but feel that the conception of the love event represents a philosophical misstep on Badiou’s part, a case where he allowed his own private emotions to have an undue impact on his philosophy. Though Badiou may like the feeling of being in love, this hardly justifies its status as a truth procedure. Unlike politics, art, and science, love seems to be an isolated phenomenon. A love event—the relationship of Jill and Dave, for instance—doesn’t have the same world-historical impact as the French Revolution or the invention of twelve-tone music (examples of the political and artistic event from Badiou). Even a love event that garners great attention, like the affair between Héloïse d’Argenteuil and Peter Abélard, fails to produces the type of substantive changes accomplished by the storming of the Bastille. But Badiou classifies love alongside the other truth procedures for its disruptiveness of everyday life and—which is in some sense to say the same thing—for its ability to arouse the subject’s passion. Love may be an anomalous truth procedure, but perhaps this is because it is the paradigmatic truth procedure. Love’s disruption of our everyday life is much more palpable than that of politics, art, or science. The subject in love feels as if it can’t exist without the beloved, while even Galileo himself didn’t feel this strongly about the scientific event in which he participated. It is much easier to imagine subjects dying for the sake of love than for the sake of the twelve-tone system of modern music. This is because love has a disruptiveness that transcends the other truth procedures. The cynical approach to love fails to register this disruptiveness. According to Badiou, the cynic contends that “love is only a variant of generalized hedonism,” and this cynicism enables one to avoid “every profound and authentic experience of otherness from which love is woven.” Dismissing the reality of love—seeing it as just a capitalist plot—is a way of avoiding the transformation that it demands, but it also leaves one’s existence bereft of significance. The passion that love arouses impels subjects to continue to go on.
Todd McGowan (Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets)
This is the reason that Montaigne argues for a separation between public and private spheres - the subjective nature of happiness demands it. We each need space to try to achieve happiness privately, without interference from the public. Montaigne would be horrified, for example, at the proliferation of social media, where we take what we should, in his view, be private and make it public. Not only is it obscene, it doesn't serve us. We obscure our own happiness from ourselves by trying to project it and articulate it and prove it to others. These sites, he would say, flatten and falsify happiness when they ask us to affirm each other's life choices through likes.
Claire Standford
Another example of educational hype is in some ways the second coming of the growth mindset concept: ‘grit’. This is the idea, promoted by the psychologist Angela Duckworth, that the ability to stick to a task you’re passionate about, and not give up even when life puts obstacles in your path, is key to life success, and far more important than innate talent. The appetite for her message was immense: at the time of this writing, her TED talk on the subject has received 25.5 million views (19.5m on the TED website and a further 6m on YouTube; Angela Lee Duckworth, ‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’, presented at TED Talks Education, April 2013), and her subsequent book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, became a New York Times bestseller and continues to sell steadily. Like mindset, grit has become part of the philosophy of many schools, including KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) schools, the biggest charter school group in the US, which teaches almost 90,000 students. To her credit, Duckworth has been concerned about how overhyped her results have become. She told an NPR interviewer in 2015 that ‘the enthusiasm is getting ahead of the science’ (Anya Kamenetz, ‘A Key Researcher Says “Grit” Isn’t Ready For High-Stakes Measures’, NPR, 13 May 2015). A wise statement, given that the meta-analytic evidence for the impact of grit (or interventions trying to teach it) is extremely weak. See Credé et al., ‘Much Ado about Grit: A Meta-Analytic Synthesis of the Grit Literature’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 113, no. 3 (Sept. 2017): pp. 492–511. And Marcus Credé, ‘What Shall We Do About Grit? A Critical Review of What We Know and What We Don’t Know’, Educational Researcher 47, no. 9 (Dec. 2018): pp. 606–11.
Stuart Ritchie (Science Fictions: The Epidemic of Fraud, Bias, Negligence and Hype in Science)
Aging makes you think about philosophy and religion, and whether they have value. It's a framework for morality. [...] The only way we live on at all is through the works we leave behind, but more through example. Example is the see that can be propagated through generations. - Elizabeth Jane Howard
Ellen Warner (The Second Half: Forty Women Reveal Life After Fifty)
None,” Einstein said. “Relativity is a purely scientific matter and has nothing to do with religion.”51 That was no doubt true. However, there was a more complex relationship between Einstein’s theories and the whole witch’s brew of ideas and emotions in the early twentieth century that bubbled up from the highly charged cauldron of modernism. In his novel Balthazar, Lawrence Durrell had his character declare, “The Relativity proposition was directly responsible for abstract painting, atonal music, and formless literature.” The relativity proposition, of course, was not directly responsible for any of this. Instead, its relationship with modernism was more mysteriously interactive. There are historical moments when an alignment of forces causes a shift in human outlook. It happened to art and philosophy and science at the beginning of the Renaissance, and again at the beginning of the Enlightenment. Now, in the early twentieth century, modernism was born by the breaking of the old strictures and verities. A spontaneous combustion occurred that included the works of Einstein, Picasso, Matisse, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Joyce, Eliot, Proust, Diaghilev, Freud, Wittgenstein, and dozens of other path-breakers who seemed to break the bonds of classical thinking.52 In his book Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time, and the Beauty That Causes Havoc, the historian of science and philosophy Arthur I. Miller explored the common wellsprings that produced, for example, the 1905 special theory of relativity and Picasso’s 1907 modernist masterpiece Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
But whereas Cyrus wanted his praises to be sung by all human beings, Xenophon was concerned primarily with honor from his friends.[125] Unlike Cyrus, he was not as eager for praise from incompetent judges as from competent ones. This difference helps us to understand his equanimity in the face of the most varied political fortunes: for example, the dignity and wit with which he defended himself when confronted with ingratitude and baseless hostility on the part of the very men whose lives he had saved.[126] It helps us also to understand his ability to leave political life to return to a private life. [...] Country retirement, while lacking the immediate challenges to heart and mind presented by politics at their peak, would have appealed to him as allowing more leisure for contemplation and writing—especially since that contemplation might embrace, as we know from the Anabasis that it did, his own political experiences among other things. For a man like Xenophon, the contemplative reliving of experiences was sure to be a deepening of them. It could thus have been looked forward to as promising a more profound enjoyment than the original experiences themselves, and one less mixed with pain. [125]Cyropaedia III 2.31; Anabasis VI 1.20. 126. [126]Anabasis VII 6.11 ff.; compare V 7.5 ff. and 8.2 ff.
Leo Strauss (History of Political Philosophy)
In ‘Being and Time’, Heidegger observed that many of our tools are invisible to us. We do not notice the racket as we hit the ball, for example. He called this ‘ready-to-hand’. When ready-to-hand, the tool is no longer a things on its own. Instead it is intertwined with us - with our purposes and practices, motives and expectations. Heidegger argued that when a tool fails, it becomes visible again
Damon Young (How to Think More About Exercise (The School of Life))
Perhaps the most famous and dramatic example of intellectual development in prison is that of Malcolm X.21 Malcolm Little (as he was born) entered prison immersed in drugs, sex, and petty crime. In prison he met a polymath named John Elton Bembry who was steeped in culture and history, able to hold forth on a wide variety of fascinating topics. On his advice Malcolm began to read—first the dictionary, then books on etymology and linguistics. He studied elementary Latin and German. He converted to Islam, a faith introduced to him by his brothers. In the following years he read the Bible and the Qur’an, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Spinoza, and Kant, as well as works of Asian philosophy. He pored over an especially loved book of the archaeological wonders of the East and the West. He learned the history of colonialism, of slavery, and of African peoples. He felt his old ways of thinking disappear “like snow off of a roof.”22 He filled his letters with verse, writing to his brother: “I’m a real bug for poetry. When you think back over all of our past lives, only poetry could best fit into the vast emptiness created by men.
Zena Hitz (Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life)
Sorry. That was a very long answer to your question. So to answer, I would say that no, I'm not depressed." "But sad?" "Sure." "Why is that—how is that different?" "Depression is a serious illness. It's physically painful, debilitating. And you can't just decide to get over it in the same way you can't just decide to get over cancer. Sadness is a normal human condition, no different from happiness. You wouldn't think of happiness as an illness. Sadness and happiness need each other. To exist, each relies on the other, is what I mean." "It seems like more people, if not depressed, are unhappy these days. Would you agree?" "I'm not sure I'd say that. It does seem like there's more opportunity to reflect on sadness and feelings of inadequacy, and also a pressure to be happy all the time. Which is impossible." "That's what I mean. We live in a sad time, which doesn't make sense to me. Why is that? Are there more sad people around now than there used to be?" "There are many around the university, students and profs whose biggest concern each day—and I'm not exaggerating—is how to burn the proper number of calories for their specific body type based on diet and amount of strenuous exercise. Think about that in the context of human history. Talk about sad. "There's something about modernity and what we value now. Our shift in morality. Is there a general lack of compassion? Of interest in others? In connections? It's all related. How are we supposed to achieve a feeling of significance and purpose without feeling a link to something bigger than our own lives? The more I think about it, the more it seems happiness and fulfillment rely on the presence of others, even just one other. The same way sadness requires happiness, and vice versa. Alone is..." "I know what you mean," I say. "There's an old example that gets used in first-year philosophy. It's about context. It goes like this: Todd has a small plant in his room with red leaves. He decides he doesn't like the look of it and wants his plant to look like the other plants in his house. So he very carefully paints each leaf green. After the paint dries, you can't tell that the plant has been painted. It just looks green. Are you with me?" "Yeah." "The next day he gets a call from his friend. She's a plant biologist and asks if he has a green plant she can borrow to do some tests on. He says no. The next day, another friend, this time an artist, calls to ask if he has a green plant she can use as a model for a new painting. He says yes. He's asked the same question twice and gives opposite answers, and each time he's being honest." "I see what you mean." Another turn, this time at a four-way stop. "It seems to me that in the context of life and existing and people and relationships and work, being sad is one correct answer. It's truthful. Both are right answers. The more we tell ourselves that we should always be happy, that happiness is an end in itself, the worse it gets. And by the way, this isn't a very original thought or anything. You know I'm not trying to be brilliant right now, right? We're just talking." "We're communicating," I say. "We're thinking.
Iain Reid (I'm Thinking of Ending Things)
Carefully controlled. Domesticated. Happy in captivity. The key, she thought, was to avoid conflagration. This philosophy had carried her through life and, she had always felt, had served her quite well. Of course she’d had to give up a few things here and there. But she had a beautiful house, a steady job, a loving husband, a brood of healthy and happy children; surely that was worth the trade. Rules existed for a reason: if you followed them, you would succeed; if you didn’t, you might burn the world to the ground. And yet here was Mia, causing poor Linda such trauma, as if she hadn’t been through enough, as if Mia were any kind of example of how to mother. Dragging her fatherless child from place to place, scraping by on menial jobs, justifying it by insisting to herself—by insisting to everyone—she was making Art. Probing other people’s business with her grimy hands. Stirring up trouble. Heedlessly throwing sparks.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
CONTAT: What led you to write a graduate thesis on the subject of the imagination? SARTRE: I suppose that at that period of my life I had some ideas about the image I refer to the time when I was at L'Ecole normale—and later I had the feeling that that was the first thing I ought to do. The idea that sensation was not identical to the image, that the image was not sensation renewed. That was something I felt in myself. It is bound up with the freedom of consciousness since, when the conscious mind imagines, it disengages itself from what is real in order to look for something that isn't there or that doesn't exist. And it was this passage into the imaginary that helped me understand what freedom is. For instance, if one person asks another: "Where is your friend Pierre?" and it turns out that he's in Berlin, for example, that person will picture where his friend Pierre is. There is a disconnection of thought that cannot be explained by determinism. Determinism cannot move to the plane of the imaginary. If it's a fact, it will create a fact.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Sartre by Himself: A Film Directed by Alexandre Astruc and Michel Contat with the Participation of Simone de Beauvoir, Jacques-Larent Bost, Andre Gorz, Jean Pouillon)
sinners . . . I was angry with God . . . I drove myself mad with a desperate disturbed conscience.”4 It is not insignificant that Luther’s own father and mother were both harsh disciplinarians, but regardless of the cause, Luther had clearly internalized a crippling image of God as judge that tormented him until he discovered grace. This message of grace and forgiveness has been a life-changing one to many people over the ages since Luther rediscovered it, but it has often been tragically accompanied by a message of fear and condemnation itself. Luther, for example, preached that one must face the horrors of wrath before one could come to grace. In other words, he believed that everyone needed to be forced to go through the horrible struggle he did before they could hear about grace. Ever since then, there has been a long history of revival preachers who have proclaimed this “pre-gospel” of fear, threat, and condemnation—telling people the bad news so they could then receive the good news, wounding people first, so they could then heal those wounds. The philosophy behind this strategy is that people need to be shaken out of their complacency and made ready to respond to the gospel. This may indeed be true for some, but for others it amounts to little more than abuse, and has resulted in a hurtful image of God being hammered into their heads that has estranged them from God, and driven them away from faith. For a person struggling with moral failure, facing up to their brokenness and realizing that God loves them and died for them despite it is a crucial step towards life. But to tell a person whose sin is self-hatred that they need to face how bad and worthless they are is like making them swallow the wrong prescription medicine—what was healing to the first person,
Derek Flood (Healing the Gospel: A Radical Vision for Grace, Justice, and the Cross)
Much of the particularity of a language is extra-lexical, built into the syntax and grammar of the language and virtually invisible to native speakers. English, for example, restricts the use of the present perfect tense (‘has been’, ‘has read’) to subjects who are still alive, marking a sharp grammatical divide between the living and the dead, and, by extension, between life and death. But of course, as an English speaker, you already knew that, at least subconsciously. Language is full of built-in assumptions and prejudices.
Neel Burton (Hypersanity: Thinking Beyond Thinking)
His efforts can be seen by now to have rested on a profound understanding or, at least, a remarkable intuitive grasp of the limitations of “Persia,” that is, of classical aristocracy. He knew, for example, that the loyalty it demanded, like that for any particular, nonuniversal society, rested on an arbitrary division of mankind into fellow citizens (friends) and strangers (enemies actual or potential). (Compare Plato’s analysis in the Republic of the defects of justice understood as helping friends and harming enemies.) He knew likewise that the class hierarchy without which, in the premodern condition of material scarcity, the unique Persian system of public education could not have been supported, rested not on merit or natural capacity but on the indefensible criterion of inherited wealth. (In the Republic, Plato was able to remove this stain from classical aristocracy only by the extreme expedient of abolishing the family.) These defects of the old order were to be removed in the new by the creation of a universal (and therefore all-inclusive) empire and by making positions of wealth, honor, and responsibility within it depend upon merit alone. Above all, Cyrus knew or sensed the weakness of that attachment to virtue and virtuous deeds as ends in themselves which the old Persian education prided itself on producing, an attachment on which the preference for old Persia and its way of life depended. To speak now only of the attachment itself and not of the virtue that was its object, it was not truly the result of education in the strict sense of the word. Rather, it had been beaten into the Persian peers both literally and figuratively (through praise and blame). And an attachment so produced is vulnerable to temptation. (Compare what Plato suggests, in the myth of Er which concludes the Republic, by his tale of the choice of lives.) Still, in providing that temptation, in suggesting to the peers that they no longer pursue what they take to be virtue for its own sake but rather for its rewards, Cyrus would appear to be more of a corrupter than a reformer.
Leo Strauss (History of Political Philosophy)
[M]inisterial poetry presents the nonphilosophic life as ministerial to the philosophic life and therefore, above all, it presents the philosophic life itself. The greatest example of ministerial poetry is the Platonic dialogue.
Leo Strauss (History of Political Philosophy)
Every day is a new day of life, every day is new challenges of life for survival, this is an example of our life nothing is permanent in our life.
Sujit Kumar Mishra
To accomplish the vast work of bringing all living beings happiness, especially the peerless happiness of full enlightenment, we need to become enlightened. To guide others perfectly, we need to develop the inner qualities of our mind, especially omniscient wisdom, compassion for all beings, and the perfect power to reveal the methods to help others. These qualities are vital in healing ourselves and all other living beings. Enlightenment means cessation of ignorance, anger, attachment, and all other unhealthy thoughts, as well as cessation of even their subtle imprints, and completion of all realizations. And enlightenment is achieved through mental development. We need to develop both compassion and wisdom. We need to develop not only the wisdom that understands conventional reality, especially the causes of happiness and suffering, but also the wisdom that understands ultimate reality, because it is only then that we can eliminate the ignorance that is the root of all suffering and its causes and achieve liberation. Normally, before we can teach others about literature, philosophy, science, or handicrafts we ourselves need to be qualified to teach. For example, before doctors can train other people to become doctors, they must have the knowledge and clinical skills needed to diagnose even obscure diseases. In a similar way, we cannot lead all living beings to the state of full enlightenment unless we are perfectly qualified through development of the positive qualities of mind, especially compassion and wisdom. Only then can we really help others. The purpose of our life is to heal every single living being's body and mind of all suffering and its causes and to bring every one of them to the ultimate, everlasting happiness of full enlightenment. Developing our inner qualities of wisdom and compassion is the way to heal our own mind and body, and through this we will then also be able to heal others. (p. 31)
Thubten Zopa (Ultimate Healing: The Power of Compassion)
Union Square Hospitality Group is another example of a small giant that got both bigger and better. Aside from O.C.Tanner, no company from the original edition of this book grew as much as USHG in the following decade, and no owner had as great a change in philosophy as Danny Meyer. “Here is the headline of my life right now: trying to use growth as the engine to build our culture, which is completely the opposite of what I always feared—that growth would hurt our culture,” he said in 2015. “I have made a 180-degree turn. I now see that sensible, well-paced growth is essential to advance your culture. Because culture needs to grow. The worst thing you can do is to try and maintain culture.
Bo Burlingham (Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big)
In a medical context, such an etiology can mean that some Hindus would welcome suffering rather than try to alleviate it. Palliative care, for example, may not be desirable if the Hindu believes that her suffering is the expression and manifestation of pāpa (demeritorious) karma. A Hindu may believe that relieving suffering may merely delay the manifestation of pāpa karma. The relief, then, would only be temporary and may even incur more pāpa and prolong or intensify the inescapable.
Massimo Pigliucci (How to Live a Good Life: A Guide to Choosing Your Personal Philosophy)
Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the most widely recognized and cited thinkers of existential philosophy. A movement of thinking that took form during the 19th century, fashioned by individuals like Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzche, and Fyodor Dostoevsky, and then further popularized by individuals including Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, and of course, Sartre. In Sartre’s lecture, Existentialism is a Humanism, he famously summarized the primary existential principle with the line, “Existence precedes essence.” The essence here meaning the qualities of a thing that creates its purpose. For example, Sartre references how a paper-knife is designed with a specific purpose in mind before it is made. And only once it is given a predetermined purpose and designed accordingly, is it manufactured into being. In which case, its essence precedes its existence. With exception to itself, humanity does this with nearly everything it makes. As rational beings, we create out of reason. Even if the reason is to make the point that we can create things for no reason, we have merely found ourselves in the paradox of creating for the reason of having none, which remains a reason. We exist with the innate desire for a reason. What we do. Who we are. Why we are. And so on. And here lies the beginning of our existential problem. According to Sartre and many others, there is no predetermined meaning or reason to human life. There is no authority figure designing us or our lives. And there is no essence to our existence prior to our existence. But rather, life exists for itself, and beyond itself, it is intrinsically meaningless. Whenever our sense of reason and logic confront this potential realization, that the nature of life, including the most essential part of our life, our self, appears to not agree with the same order of reason, we can often find ourselves in a sort of existential crisis. However, Sartre and the existentialists don’t see this as despairing, but rather, justification for living.
Robert Pantano
For many people, the pursuit of money and status can supply them with plenty of motivation and focus. Such types would consider figuring out their calling in life a monumental waste of time and an antiquated notion. But in the long run this philosophy often yields the most impractical of results. We all know the effects of “hyperintention”: If we want and need desperately to sleep, we are less likely to fall asleep. If we absolutely must give the best talk possible at some conference, we become hyperanxious about the result, and the performance suffers. If we desperately need to find an intimate partner or make friends, we are more likely to push them away. If instead we relax and focus on other things, we are more likely to fall asleep or give a great talk or charm people. The most pleasurable things in life occur as a result of something not directly intended and expected. When we try to manufacture happy moments, they tend to disappoint us. The same goes for the dogged pursuit of money and success. Many of the most successful, famous, and wealthy individuals do not begin with an obsession with money and status. One prime example would be Steve Jobs, who amassed quite a fortune in his relatively short life. He actually cared very little for material possessions. His singular focus was on creating the best and most original designs, and when he did so, good fortune followed him.
Robert Greene (The Daily Laws: 366 Meditations on Power, Seduction, Mastery, Strategy, and Human Nature)
Allison Coudert has argued that Leibniz was almost certainly influenced by Jewish Kabbalah, with its own esoteric use of combinatorial procedures for exploring the mysteries of the Godhead through gematria and other arithmosophical theurgies.7 Despite the arcane sources of his inspiration, however, Leibniz was not alone among mainstream early modern philosophers in the quest for a “science of sciences,” nor was he alone among moderns in his quest for secret knowledge, as evidenced, for example, by Newton's vast writings on alchemy. Even Descartes, who argued for a rigid distinction between mind and matter, had insisted on their practical unity at the level of “the living.” As Deleuze puts it in his preface to Malfatti's work, “Beyond a psychology disincarnated in thought, and a physiology mineralized in matter,” even Descartes believed in the possibility of a unified field “where life is defined as knowledge of life, and knowledge as life of knowledge” (MSP, 143). This is the unity, Deleuze asserts, to which Malfatti's account of mathesis as a “true medicine” aspires. Deleuze explicitly refers to mathesis universalis at several key points in Difference and Repetition, particularly in connection with what he calls the “esoteric” history of the calculus (DR, 170). As Christian Kerslake has argued, Deleuze's reference here is not merely to obscure or unusual interpretations of mathematics, but to the decisive significance of Josef Hoëné-Wronski, a Polish French émigré who had elaborated a “messianism” of esoteric knowledge based on the idea that the calculus represented access to the total range of cosmic periodicities and rhythmic imbrications.8 The full implications
Joshua Ramey (The Hermetic Deleuze: Philosophy and Spiritual Ordeal)
At a feast, do not give a speech about how everyone should eat. Only eat as you should. Socrates never made a spectacle of himself or put on an air of authority. In philosophical conversations, follow his example—stay mostly silent; ask questions and listen intently. If anyone calls you ignorant and says you know nothing, be sure that you are now a true student of philosophy.
Epictetus (The Manual: A Philosopher's Guide to Life (Stoic Philosophy Book 1))
Not a single nation,” he went on, as though reading it line by line, still gazing menacingly at Stavrogin, “not a single nation has ever been founded on principles of science or reason. There has never been an example of it, except for a brief moment, through folly. Socialism is from its very nature bound to be atheism, seeing that it has from the very first proclaimed that it is an atheistic organisation of society, and that it intends to establish itself exclusively on the elements of science and reason. Science and reason have, from the beginning of time, played a secondary and subordinate part in the life of nations; so it will be till the end of time. Nations are built up and moved by another force which sways and dominates them, the origin of which is unknown and inexplicable: that force is the force of an insatiable desire to go on to the end, though at the same time it denies that end. It is the force of the persistent assertion of one’s own existence, and a denial of death. It’s the spirit of life, as the Scriptures call it, ‘the river of living water,’ the drying up of which is threatened in the Apocalypse. It’s the æsthetic principle, as the philosophers call it, the ethical principle with which they identify it, ‘the seeking for God,’ as I call it more simply. The object of every national movement, in every people and at every period of its existence is only the seeking for its god, who must be its own god, and the faith in Him as the only true one. God is the synthetic personality of the whole people, taken from its beginning to its end. It has never happened that all, or even many, peoples have had one common god, but each has always had its own. It’s a sign of the decay of nations when they begin to have gods in common. When gods begin to be common to several nations the gods are dying and the faith in them, together with the nations themselves. The stronger a people the more individual their God. There never has been a nation without a religion, that is, without an idea of good and evil. Every people has its own conception of good and evil, and its own good and evil. When the same conceptions of good and evil become prevalent in several nations, then these nations are dying, and then the very distinction between good and evil is beginning to disappear. Reason has never had the power to define good and evil, or even to distinguish between good and evil, even approximately; on the contrary, it has always mixed them up in a disgraceful and pitiful way; science has even given the solution by the fist. This is particularly characteristic of the half-truths of science, the most terrible scourge of humanity, unknown till this century, and worse than plague, famine, or war. A half-truth is a despot … such as has never been in the world before. A despot that has its priests and its slaves, a despot to whom all do homage with love and superstition hitherto inconceivable, before which science itself trembles and cringes in a shameful way..." Stavrogin observed cautiously... "The very fact that you reduce God to a simple attribute of nationality …” “I reduce God to the attribute of nationality?” cried Shatov. “On the contrary, I raise the people to God. And has it ever been otherwise? The people is the body of God. Every people is only a people so long as it has its own god and excludes all other gods on earth irreconcilably; so long as it believes that by its god it will conquer and drive out of the world all other gods. Such, from the beginning of time, has been the belief of all great nations, all, anyway, who have been specially remarkable, all who have been leaders of humanity. There is no going against facts. The Jews lived only to await the coming of the true God and left the world the true God. The Greeks deified nature and bequeathed the world their religion, that is, philosophy and art. Rome deified the people in the State, and bequeathed the idea of the State to the nations.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
It is better for all the world,’ wrote famed liberal Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, ‘if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind’... Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger approved wholeheartedly of this philosophy… her utopia would have no place for the ‘mentally defective,’ which, in her writings, included the poor, the disabled, essentially all African Americans, and most other people of color. She argued that preventing ‘defectives’ from being born was the height of compassion… “Sadly, many people today still hold eugenic ideals without even realizing it. For example, children with disabilities are routinely killed before birth because they are deemed unfit.
Lila Grace Rose (Fighting for Life: Becoming a Force for Change in a Wounded World)
Try to fancy poor Jesus, for example, coming to life again (actually, not doctrinally), and learning that he was the founder, the teacher, the exemplar, the very God of Christendom; fancy him searching for some trait of his own life and ruling principles in the lives and ruling principles of the millions who call themselves Christians; fancy him in spiritual communion with the Pope, the cardinals, the bishops (though their lackeys would never admit him to the presence of any of these), the most prominent ministers of the various Christian sects. He would find himself an outcast in his nominal kingdom, denounced and reviled as a madman, an idiot, an impostor; the moral and intellectual life of Christendom would be as alien and bewildering to him as its steamboats and railways and telegraphs. Paul and the other early apostles, the ancient heathenisms of Greece and Rome, of the East and the West, old philosophies and older superstitions, national characteristics, physical and other circumstances, the growth of science, the ever-varying conditions of life and modes of thought; everything, in brief, affecting the character of the converts, has affected the religion. By the time a doctrine gets embodied in a Church or other institution, its original spirit has nearly vanished. Its progress may be well compared to the course of a great river, rivers being remarkably convenient things for all such analogies. Some remotest mountain–rill or rocky well–spring has the honour of being termed its source; and the name of this tiny trickling is borne triumphant down a thousand broadening leagues to the sea. The rill is soon joined by others, each very like itself. As it flows onward, ever descending (for this is the universal law), it is joined by streamlets and rivers more and more unlike itself, they having flowed through unlike soils and regions; and more than one may be greater than itself, as the Missouri is greater than the Mississippi; and its own original waters are more and more modified by the new and various districts they traverse. As it proceeds, growing deeper and wider, villages and towns arise on its banks, and it receives copious tribute not merely of natural streams, but likewise of sewage and the pestilent refuse abominations of manifold factories and wharves. When it is become a mighty river, crowded with ships and bordered by some wealthy and populous capital, it may be a mere open cloaca maxima; and at any rate it must be as dissimilar in the quality of its waters as in their quantity and surroundings from the pure rill of the mountain solitudes, from the pure brook of the woodland shadows and pastoral peace. The waters actually from the fountain-head are but an insignificant drop in the vast and composite volumes of the thick bronze or yellow flood which finally disembogues through fat flat lowlands, in several devious channels with broad stretches of marsh and lagoon, into the immense purifying laboratory of the untainted salt sea. The remote rill-source is Christ or Mohammed, the mighty river is the Christian or Mohammedan Church; the sea in all cases is the encompassing ocean of death and oblivion, which makes life possible by preserving the earth from putrefaction.
James Thomson
In his writing about communism’s insidiousness, Miłosz referenced a 1932 novel, Insatiability. In it, Polish writer Stanisław Witkiewicz wrote of a near-future dystopia in which the people were culturally exhausted and had fallen into decadence. A Mongol army from the East threatened to overrun them. As part of the plan to take over the nation, people began turning up in the streets selling “the pill of Murti-Bing,” named after a Mongolian philosopher who found a way to embody his “don’t worry, be happy” philosophy in a tablet. Those who took the Pill of Murti-Bing quit worrying about life, even though things were falling apart around them. When the Eastern army arrived, it surrendered happily, its soldiers relieved to have found deliverance from their internal tension and struggles. Only the peace didn’t last. “But since they could not rid themselves completely of their former personalities,” writes Miłosz, “they became schizophrenics.”7 What do you do when the Pill of Murti-Bing stops working and you find yourself living under a dictatorship of official lies in which anyone who contradicts the party line goes to jail? You become an actor, says Miłosz. You learn the practice of ketman. This is the Persian word for the practice of maintaining an outward appearance of Islamic orthodoxy while inwardly dissenting. Ketman was the strategy everyone who wasn’t a true believer in communism had to adopt to stay out of trouble. It is a form of mental self-defense. What is the difference between ketman and plain old hypocrisy? As Miłosz explains, having to be “on” all the time inevitably changes a person. An actor who inhabits his role around the clock eventually becomes the character he plays. Ketman is worse than hypocrisy, because living by it all the time corrupts your character and ultimately everything in society. Miłosz identified eight different types of ketman under communism. For example, “professional ketman” is when you convince yourself that it’s okay to live a lie in the workplace, because that’s what you have to do to have the freedom to do good work. “Metaphysical ketman” is the deepest form of the strategy, a defense against “total degradation.” It consists of convincing yourself that it really is possible for you to be a loyal opponent of the new regime while working with it. Christians who collaborated with communist regimes were guilty of metaphysical ketman. In fact, says Miłosz, it represents the ultimate victory of the Big Lie over the individual’s soul.
Rod Dreher (Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents)
In particular, he does not automatically value or pursue self-preservation. The evidence of this fact is overwhelming; it includes not only deliberate suicides, but also people’s frequent hostility to the most elementary life-sustaining practices. As examples, one may consider the Middle Ages, or the more mystical countries of the Near and Far East, or even the leaders of the modern West. For a human being, the desire to live and the knowledge of what life requires are an achievement, not a biological gift.
Leonard Peikoff (Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand)
A modernist is convinced not only that modern art is the most adequate response to modern conditions but also that modernity itself offers the best possible solutions, so far, to the enigmas of human nature and human possibility, even of societies and polities do not always avail themselves of those solutions. The project of modern life, modern life conceived a a project, believes in its own correct orientation. Sigmund Freud proposed not just a new account of human personality but what he was sure was the true account. Even Theodor W. Adorno. who repudiated the Enlightenment as a betrayal of philosophy, nevertheless believed that modern art was moving in the right direction. The 'emancipation' from the classical ideal in the twentieth-century, for example, is an aspect for Adorno of the 'unfolding of the truth-content of art.
Christopher S. Wood (A History of Art History)
[Huxley's Perennial Philosophy is concerned with] the need to love the earth and respect nature instead of following the example of those who 'chopped down vast forests to provide the newsprint demanded by that universal literacy which was to make the world safe for intelligence and democracy, and got wholesale erosion, pulp magazines, and organs of Fascist, Communist, capitalist, and nationalist propaganda.' He attacked 'technological imperialism' and the mechanisation [sic] which was 'increasing the power of a minority to exercise a co-ersive control over the lives of their fellows' and 'the popular philosophy of life... now moulded by advertising copy whose one idea is to persuade everybody to be as extroverted and uninhibitedly greedy as possible, since of course it is only the possessive, the restless, the distracted, who spend money on the things that advertisers want to sell.
Nicholas Murray (Aldous Huxley: A Biography (Thomas Dunne Books))
The Truth Is That I Was Recognized For Stubbornness And Not Goodness. Even, Though I Was Very Intelligent And Sent To School By A Little Few Supports From Sponsors And My Mother. My Brain Was Never Ever Cool. Due To All The Mistakes I Saw From A Very Tender Age From All Those Whom I Looked Upon As Elders And Shinning Examples. Although They Where Some Good Examples Which Still Live On. Still The Early Damaged As Already Been Done. So It Led Me Dropping Out Of School In To Working And Using The Great Ancient Vedic Philosophies I Have Been Hearing From The Very Beginning Of My Conception In My Mother Womb Till The Day I Was Born And Forever. I Used Them All To Materialize Many Of My Dreams And Practice Mysticism Coupled With Spiritualism To Keep My Self Secured And Keep Cool Depending On God.
Baba Tunde Ojo-Olubiyo
There are many examples of men in history who could give us a better mirror after which to pattern ourselves
Darius Bolton
Some subjects are in themselves, perhaps, perfectly harmless, and any amount of discussion over them would not be injurious to the faith of our young people. We are told, for example, that the theory of gravitation is at best a hypothesis, and that such is the atomic theory. These theories help to explain certain things about nature. Whether they are ultimately true cannot make much difference to the religious convictions of our young people. On the other hand, there are speculations which touch the origin of life and the relationship of God to his children. In a very limited degree that relationship has been defined by revelation, and until we receive more light upon the subject we deem it best to refrain from the discussions of certain philosophical theories which rather destroy than build up the faith of our young people. . . . There are so many demonstrated, practical, material truths, so many spiritual certainties, with which the youth of Zion should become familiar, that it appears a waste of time and means, and detrimental to faith and religion to enter too extensively into the undemonstrated theories of men on philosophies relating to the origin of life, or the methods adopted by an All-wise Creator in peopling the earth with the bodies of men, birds and beasts. Let us rather turn our abilities to the practical analysis of the soil, the study of the elements, the productions of the earth, the invention of useful machinery, the social welfare of the race, and its material amelioration; and for the rest cultivate an abiding faith in the revealed word of God and the saving principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which give joy in this world and in the world to come eternal life and salvation. Philosophic theories of life have their place and use, but it is not in the classes of the Church schools, and particularly are they out of place here or anywhere else, when they seek to supplant the revelations of God. The ordinary student cannot delve into these subjects deep enough to make them of any practical use to him, and a smattering of knowledge in this line only tends to upset his simple faith in the gospel, which is of more value to him in life than all the learning of the world without it. The religion of the Latter-day Saints is not hostile to any truth, nor to scientific search for truth. "That which is demonstrated, we accept with joy," said the First Presidency in their Christmas greeting to the Saints, "but vain philosophy, human theory and mere speculations of men we do not accept, nor do we adopt anything contrary to divine revelation or to good common sense, but everything that tends to right conduct, that harmonizes with sound morality and increases faith in Deity, finds favor with us, no matter where it may be found.
Joseph F. Smith (Gospel Doctrine: Sermons and Writings of President Joseph F. Smith (Classics in Mormon Literature))
Over the course of seventy years, Isobel had learned how indiscriminately unkind Life could be. She also knew that cataloguing and reviewing examples of such cruelty was, in itself, a masochistic exercise. One that she'd habitually and rigorously trained herself to refrain from engaging in. Better to focus on those events that demonstrated the grace and beauty with which Life could perform, without rival, when bestowing on her captive audience a distinctively intermittent yet consistently welcomed generosity of spirit.
Ella J. Fraser (A Tricky Lie (Sutherland Mystery Series, #1))
Question 1 asks us, “What makes you so sure that God exists at all—especially when you can’t see, hear, or touch him?” • We believe in many things that we don’t see or directly experience with our senses—the virtue of love being a great example. Yet we see evidence of love through its effects. Similarly, we can’t see God, but we can believe in him based on his work in us and in the universe around us. • One of the ways we can know that God is real and active in our world is that he’s real and active in our lives—he’s our friend! If that’s true in your own experience, then talking about him will be a natural part of your answer to people who ask you this question about God’s existence. • Evidence #1: Whatever has a beginning has a cause. Science shows us that the universe had a beginning. It therefore had a cause—one that’s outside of itself and is therefore beyond time, space, matter, and physical energy. In other words, that cause has the characteristics of the God of the Bible. • Evidence #2: Our universe is fine-tuned, with astounding “just-so” precision, in ways that make it a place that can support life. The odds of this happening on its own, by sheer chance, are vanishingly small and thus point powerfully to an intelligent designer—One whom the Bible calls God. • Evidence #3: Apart from God there can be no objective moral standards. But we clearly live in a world that has objective moral standards. Therefore there has to be a divine moral lawgiver. We refer to that lawgiver as “God.” • Our experience, science, and philosophy all point to the existence of an invisible God, One that fits the descriptions given in Scripture for Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—and of us, as Christians.
Mark Mittelberg (The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask: (With Answers))
My hope and intent is to provide a wide range of resources and ideas that provoke real questions and considerations under the surface of common dialogue. With a definite thrust toward clues for moving beyond limiting patterns that restrict our personal and communal evolution and experience of, as well as effectiveness in, life. Part of that is about giving different angles of insight into the why and how of developing skills, whatever they may be. I think the larger discussion, or maybe the more relevant one surrounding skills development, involves what quality of fuel is being used to run the skill. Inevitably, and very quickly, this enters into considerations of how much of oneself one brings to the show. For example, anyone can learn a sophisticated skill in an extremely short period of time, once they’re completely convinced of the need, benefit and value of doing so and find enough full-bodied conviction to engage it accordingly (“You never hear anyone practicing a language; they simply listen and then begin to speak.” — Wade Davis).
Darrell Calkins
Intensive work engagement is an effective medicine that we should use in case of many problems that occur in life. For example, when you are being treated unfairly at work or going through promotion discrimination, do not despair or complain that life isn't fair, but rather respond by intensive work, start a new challenging project, enroll in a master's degree program or in a doctoral program. Such activities will occupy you completely, so that you will quickly overcome the problem and repair your injured self esteem.
Eraldo Banovac
This chain method (as some now call it) soon became a hit among writers and fitness enthusiasts—communities that thrive on the ability to do hard things consistently. For our purposes, it provides a specific example of a general approach to integrating depth into your life: the rhythmic philosophy. This philosophy argues that the easiest way to consistently start deep work sessions is to transform them into a simple regular habit. The goal, in other words, is to generate a rhythm for this work that removes the need for you to invest energy in deciding if and when you’re going to go deep. The chain method is a good example of the rhythmic philosophy of deep work scheduling because it combines a simple scheduling heuristic (do the work every day), with an easy way to remind yourself to do the work: the big red Xs on the calendar. Another common way to implement the rhythmic philosophy is to replace the visual aid of the chain method with a set starting time that you use every day for deep work. In much the same way that maintaining visual indicators of your work progress can reduce the barrier to entry for going deep, eliminating even the simplest scheduling decisions, such as when during the day to do the work, also reduces this barrier.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
Hume saw clearly that certain concepts, for example that of causality, cannot be deduced from our perceptions of experience by logical methods,” Einstein noted. A version of this philosophy, sometimes called positivism, denied the validity of any concepts that went beyond descriptions of phenomena that we directly experience.
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
in practical life, of doubtful nature. An act of charity, for example, might do others some sort of damage, as is often the case with the giving of alms to the poor, which may produce the undesirable consequence of encouraging beggary. An act of love might produce an injurious effect, as the mother's love often spoils her children.
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
Grace deeply identified with Mead’s view that ideas evolve historically. “Unlike the average American teacher of philosophy of his day,” she wrote, Mead “urged his students to relate the ideas of the great philosophers to the periods in which they lived and the social problems which they faced.” 99 For example, in his book Movements of Thought in the Nineteenth Century (1936), a collection of lectures Mead delivered in his history of philosophy classes, Mead explained how the French Revolution conditioned or served as the context for the ideas of Kant, whose Critique of Pure Reason appeared on the eve of the revolution, and Hegel, whose Phenomenology of Mind was published shortly after its conclusion. More generally, Grace described what appealed to her most about Mead’s intellectual project: “A fundamental problem of all men and therefore of all philosophy is the relation of the individual to the whole of things,” she wrote. “It is to the solution of this problem that Mead devotes his earnest attention.” 100 Grace’s analysis of Mead’s ideas—building on her study of Kant and Hegel—helped to solidify two valuable components of her philosophical vision. The first was to conceptualize a view of ideas in their connection with great advances or leaps forward in history. The second was to develop an analysis of how the individual self and the society develop in relation to each other. Grace’s dissertation thus marked a signal moment in her philosophical journey. Studying Mead propelled her to new stages of philosophic exploration and, more importantly, a newfound political activism. “In retrospect,” she wrote, “it seems clear that what attracted me to Mead was that he gave me what I needed in that period—a body of ideas that challenged and empowered me to move from a life of contemplation to a life of action.” 101 She would begin to construct this life of action in Chicago.
Stephen Ward (In Love and Struggle: The Revolutionary Lives of James and Grace Lee Boggs (Justice, Power, and Politics))
Arts of energy management and of combat are, of course, not confined to the Chinese only. Peoples of different cultures have practised and spread these arts since ancient times. Those who follow the Chinese tradition call these arts chi kung and kungfu (or qigong and gongfu in Romanized Chinese), and those following other traditions call them by other names. Muslims in various parts of the world have developed arts of energy management and of combat to very high levels. Many practices in Sufism, which is spiritual cultivation in Islamic tradition, are similar to chi kung practices. As in chi kung, Sufi practitioners pay much importance to the training of energy and spirit, called “qi” and “shen” in Chinese, but “nafas” and “roh” in Muslim terms. When one can free himself from cultural and religious connotations, he will find that the philosophy of Sufism and of chi kung are similar. A Sufi practitioner believes that his own breath, or nafas, is a gift of God, and his ultimate goal in life is to be united with God. Hence, he practises appropriate breathing exercises so that the breath of God flows harmoniously through him, cleansing him of his weakness and sin, which are manifested as illness and pain. And he practises meditation so that ultimately his personal spirit will return to the universal Spirit of God. In chi kung terms, this returning to God is expressed as “cultivating spirit to return to the Great Void”, which is “lian shen huan shi” in Chinese. Interestingly the breathing and meditation methods in Sufism and in chi kung are quite similar. Some people, including some Muslims, may think that meditation is unIslamic, and therefore taboo. This is a serious mis-conception. Indeed, Prophet Mohammed himself clearly states that a day of meditation is better than sixty years of worship. As in any religion, there is often a huge conceptual gap between the highest teaching and the common followers. In Buddhism, for example, although the Buddha clearly states that meditation is the essential path to the highest spiritual attainment, most common Buddhists do not have any idea of meditation. The martial arts of the Muslims were effective and sophisticated. At many points in world history, the Muslims, such as the Arabs, the Persians and the Turks, were formidable warriors. Modern Muslim martial arts are very advanced and are complete by themselves, i.e. they do not need to borrow from outside arts for their force training or combat application — for example, they do not need to borrow from chi kung for internal force training, Western aerobics for stretching, judo and kickboxing for throws and kicks. [...] It is reasonable if sceptics ask, “If they are really so advanced, why don't they take part in international full contact fighting competitions and win titles?” The answer is that they hold different values. They are not interested in fighting or titles. At their level, their main concern is spiritual cultivation. Not only they will not be bothered whether you believe in such abilities, generally they are reluctant to let others know of their abilities. Muslims form a substantial portion of the population in China, and they have contributed an important part in the development of chi kung and kungfu. But because the Chinese generally do not relate one's achievements to one's religion, the contributions of these Chinese Muslim masters did not carry the label “Muslim” with them. In fact, in China the Muslim places of worship are not called mosques, as in many other countries, but are called temples. Most people cannot tell the difference be
Wong Kiew Kit
Socrates is a shining example of a man who bravely lived up to his ideals, and, in the end, bravely died for them. Throughout his life, he never lost faith in the mind’s ability to discern and decide, and so to apprehend and master reality. Nor did he ever betray truth and integrity for a pitiable life of self-deception and semi-consciousness. In seeking relentlessly to align mind with matter and thought with fact, he remained faithful both to himself and to the world, with the result that he is still alive in this sentence and millions of others that have been written about him. More than a great philosopher, Socrates was the living embodiment of the dream that philosophy might one day set us free.
Neel Burton (Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions)
I don’t believe in miracles, but my life is an amazing example of a miracle.
Debasish Mridha
For what does it mean to look at something, a real object in the real world, an animal, for example, and say that it is something other than what it is? It is to say that each thing leads a double life, at once in the world and in our minds, and that to deny either one of these lives is to kill the thing in both its lives at once.
Paul Auster (The Invention of Solitude)
Consequently, the more we know and understand an emotion better, the more it is under our control and the less does the mind suffer from it. This leads to the famous doctrine: ‘in so far as the mind understands all things to be necessary, it has a greater power over the affects, or is less acted on by them’ (V, Prop. VI). Thus, for example, to lay aside fear ‘we must recount and frequently imagine the common dangers of life, and how they can be best avoided and overcome by presence of mind and strength of character.’46
Jonathan I. Israel (Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750)
Hindu religious traditions hold nature to be sacred and offer a philosophy of ahimsa, karma, reincarnation, and oneness that [points to] a vegan diet. . . . Gods, humans, and anymals are sometimes indistinguishable: A Hindu god might manifest as human, tortoise, man-lion, or elephant-headed human; a small, playful monkey might turn out to be the powerful god Hanuman. As gods, and through their own special powers, anymals are spiritually powerful in the Hindu tradition, and provide innumerable lessons and worthy examples for human beings. Humans are obligated to live a life of ahimsa, which requires Hindus to speak up in defense of those who are exploited.
Lisa Kemmerer (Animals and World Religions)
It made sense, Amanda decided. People thrived on the misfortunes of others: her mother was the perfect example of that. Can't see a car accident, she thought, for wanting to climb inside and join in.
Danika Stone (Edge of Wild)
God exists and he is an atom. So he exists in every thing and everywhere. An atom is a unit and example of life. It is constantly moving. It knows all the information that ever happened in this universe. So it is the source of life.
Debasish Mridha
Be an example and open a new way for life.
Debasish Mridha
Christianity is not only the revelation of truth, but also the fountain of holiness under the unceasing inspiration of the spotless example of its Founder, which is more powerful than all the systems of moral philosophy. It attests its divine origin as much by its moral workings as by its pure doctrines. By its own inherent energy, without noise and commotion, without the favor of circumstance—nay, in spite of all possible obstacles, it has gradually wrought the greatest moral reformation, we should rather say, regeneration of society which history has ever seen while its purifying, ennobling, and cheering effects upon the private life of countless individuals are beyond the reach of the historian, though recorded in God’s book of life to be opened on the day of judgment. To appreciate this work, we must first review the moral condition of heathenism in its mightiest embodiment in history.
Philip Schaff (History Of The Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes In One))
It is best to simplify life. I have seen saints in India who eat hardly anything and live under the most rigorous conditions; yet they have wonderfully strong bodies, far better than those of the average well-fed, well-cared-for American. They have trained their minds not to be dependent on externals for health and contentment. ...Make your life more simple...Self-Realization [Yogoda Satsanga] is a philosophy of living: right meditation, right thinking, and right living. Bring up your children in this philosophy. Don't pamper them, or teach them by wrong example to cater to their bodies and harmful desires...Give them true freedom by keeping their lives simple and cultivating in them inner peace and happiness. Do the same with your own life. Don't be bound by anything. That philosophy will save you.
Paramahansa Yogananda
Please do not throw Plato at me. I am a complete skeptic about Plato, and I have never been able to join in the customary scholarly admiration for Plato the artist. The subtlest judges of taste among the ancients themselves are here on my side. Plato, it seems to me, throws all stylistic forms together and is thus a first-rate decadent in style: his responsibility is thus comparable to that of the Cynics, who invented the satura Menippea. To be attracted to the Platonic dialogue, this horribly self-satisfied and childish kind of dialectic, one must never have read good French writers — Fontenelle, for example. Plato is boring. In the end, my mistrust of Plato goes deep: he represents such an aberration from all the basic Greek instincts, is so moralistic, so pseudo-Christian (he already takes the concept of "the good" as the highest concept) that I would prefer the harsh phrase "higher swindle" or, if it sounds better, "idealism" for the whole phenomenon of Plato. We have paid dearly for the fact that this Athenian got his schooling from the Egyptians (or from the Jews in Egypt?). In that great calamity called Christianity, Plato represents that ambiguity and fascination, called an "ideal," which made it possible for the nobler spirits of antiquity to misunderstand themselves and to set foot on the bridge leading to the Cross. And how much Plato there still is in the concept "church," in the construction, system, and practice of the church! My recreation, my preference, my cure from all Platonism has always been Thucydides. Thucydides and, perhaps, Machiavelli's Il Principe are most closely related to me by the unconditional will not to delude oneself, but to see reason in reality — not in "reason," still less in "morality." For that wretched distortion of the Greeks into a cultural ideal, which the "classically educated" youth carries into life as a reward for all his classroom lessons, there is no more complete cure than Thucydides. One must follow him line by line and read no less clearly between the lines: there are few thinkers who say so much between the lines. With him the culture of the Sophists, by which I mean the culture of the realists, reaches its perfect expression — this inestimable movement amid the moralistic and idealistic swindle set loose on all sides by the Socratic schools. Greek philosophy: the decadence of the Greek instinct. Thucydides: the great sum, the last revelation of that strong, severe, hard factuality which was instinctive with the older Greeks. In the end, it is courage in the face of reality that distinguishes a man like Thucydides from a man like Plato: Plato is a coward before reality, consequently he flees into the ideal; Thucydides has control of himself, consequently he also maintains control of things.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Teachers of philosophy tie their dewy-eyed students in knots attempting to answer the elusive riddle, ‘What is the meaning of life?’ It is a classic example of the trick question since there is no pat answer to this timeless paradox that we colloquially refer to as 'life.' No man, woman, or child is identical. Similar to other animals, we each are the product of our entire womb of bodily cravings and comprised of the communal filament of the human mind’s eccentric gyrations. In order to take stock of who we are we must take into account the sensory ingredients of innumerable occurrences that create the tapestry of interwoven sensations making up a rooted way of living. Life is a chummed collection of eclectic personal incidents.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
It has been said, 'To know one thing, you must know its opposite': To know supreme self-confidence one must know a complete lack of confidence. This is but one example - pick any subject and there you have it.
Garry Fitchett
Going through all these quotations, it may be thought that the critics are justified in charging Zen with advocating a philosophy of pure negation, but nothing is so far from Zen as this criticism would imply. For Zen always aims at grasping the central fact of life, which can never be brought to the dissecting table of the intellect. To grasp this central fact of life, Zen is forced to propose a series of negations. Mere negation, however, is not the spirit of Zen, but as we are so accustomed to the dualistic way of thinking, this intellectual error must be cut at its root. Naturally Zen would proclaim, "Not this, not that, not anything." But we may insist upon asking Zen what it is that is left after all these denials, and the master will perhaps on such an occasion give us a slap in the face, exclaiming, "You fool, what is this?" Some may take this as only an excuse to get away from the dilemma, or as having no more meaning than a practical example of ill-breeding. But when the spirit of Zen is grasped in its purity, it will be seen what a real thing that slap is. For here is no negation, no affirmation, but a plain fact, a pure experience, the very foundation of our being and thought. All the quietness and emptiness one might desire in the midst of most active mentation lies therein. Do not be carried away by anything outward or conventional. Zen must be seized with bare hands, with no gloves on.
D.T. Suzuki (An Introduction to Zen Buddhism)
This book will show you how to harness the power of kaizen: using small steps to accomplish large goals. Kaizen is an ancient philosophy captured in this powerful statement from the Tao Te Ching: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Though it is rooted in ancient philosophy, it is just as practical and effective when applied to our hectic modern lives. Kaizen has two definitions: using very small steps to improve a habit, a process, or product using very small moments to inspire new products and inventions I’ll show you how easy change can be when the brain’s preference for change is honored. You’ll discover many examples of how small steps can achieve your biggest dreams. Using kaizen, you can change bad habits, like smoking or overeating, and form good ones, like exercising or unlocking creativity. In business, you’ll learn how to motivate and empower employees in ways that will inspire them. But first, let’s examine some common beliefs about change, and how kaizen dismantles all the obstacles we may have spent years putting in our way.
Robert Maurer (One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way)
According to my little experience, there are two criteria which work in the background i.e. while reading a book either you yearn for the climax or you remain engrossed with the text which entertains you continuously irrespective of the end of the story. This subconscious activity could be different for individuals according to their choices, for example a lover of biographies and philosophies would enjoy every paragraph of a book by Plato or Aristotle, on the other hand a lover of detective novels would love every chapter of a novel by Aghatha Chistie. But if you give a philosophy lover a detective novel, he or she would like to finish it as fast as they could to know the climax and might be possible the detective story lover would never finish a biography. But there must always be a possibility of 'swapping' of 'e t cetera's. Variety is very much natural... if a person reads 'economics' throughout the life he'd become as dry as a fallen tree trunk, no rain could make it green, he should have a pinch of fiction to his book choices...
My own
Indeed, quite sweeping disparagements of the claims of ‘‘conceptual authority’’ have invaded the academic humanities in recent years, to generally deleterious effect (we shall examine a case in point in 2,v). Within this strain of self-styled post-modernist critique, most appeals to ‘‘conceptual content’’ are dismissed as rigorist shams, representing scarcely more than polite variants upon schoolyard bullying. Run-of-the-mill appeals to ‘‘conceptual authority’’ tacitly masquerade prejudiced predilection in the form of falsely constructed universals which, in turn, covertly shelter the most oppressive codes of Western society. But such sweeping doubts, if rigorously implemented, would render daily life patently unworkable, for we steer our way through the humblest affairs by making conceptual evaluations as we go. In what alternative vocabulary, for example, might we appraise our teenager’s failings with respect to his calculus homeworks? Forced to chose between exaggerated mistrust and blind acceptance of every passing claim of conceptual authority (even those issuing from transparent charlatans), we should plainly select gullibility as the wiser course, for the naïve explorer who trusts her somewhat inadequate map generally fares better than the doubter who accepts nothing. We will have told the story of concepts wrongly if it doesn’t turn out to be one where our usual forms of conceptual evaluation emerge as appropriate and well founded most of the time. Of a milder, but allied, nature are the presumptions of the school of Thomas Kuhn, which contends that scientists under the unavoidable spell of different paradigms often ‘‘talk past one another’’ through their failure to share common conceptual resources, in a manner that renders scientific argumentation more a matter of brute conversion than discourse. We shall discuss these views later as well. Although their various generating origins can prove quite complex, most popular academic movements that promote radical conceptual debunking of these types draw deeply upon inadequate philosophies of ‘‘concepts and attributes.’’ Such doctrines often sin against the cardinal rule of philosophy: first, do no harm, for such self-appointed critics of ‘‘ideological tyranny’’ rarely prove paragons of intellectual toleration themselves.
Mark Wilson (Wandering Significance: An Essay on Conceptual Behaviour)
1. To learn and use three simple, easily understood concepts that must be used by any person for continuous success in any human activity. Herein lies the essence of this work. For the person who uses these three ingredients in combination in any specific activity cannot fail. • Inspiration to action: that which motivates you to act because you want to. • Know-how: the particular techniques and skills that consistently get results for you when applied. It is the proper application of knowledge. Know-how becomes habit through actual repetitive experience. • Activity knowledge: knowledge of the activity, service, product, methods, techniques, and skills with which you are particularly concerned. 2. To strive day by day to continue his education and thus expand his horizon. 3. To help himself become a better person and constantly strive to make his world better for himself and others. 4. To learn to develop the habit of recognizing, understanding, relating, assimilating, and using principles from his reading, the people he meets, and his everyday experiences. 5. To acquire financial wealth and business success, even though the spotlight is on the true riches of life. 6. To preserve and protect his inheritance as an American. 7. To feel, live, and act with a dynamic philosophy resulting from the action of striving to live up to the precepts of the religious teachings of his own church. 8. To seek and find the true riches of life. Again: A drop of ink makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. And a self-help book has changed the lives of countless thousands for the better. Take Fuller Duke, for example.
W. Clement Stone (The Success System That Never Fails)
I'm not a jack of all trades. Nor do I want to be. 
Germany Kent
When we take a taxi or boat or an airplane on a certain route, we do not question the existence of the car, for example. Rather, we might ask: Does it run by itself or is there a skillful driver behind the wheel?! If we look at a building, we will immediately believe that an architect has built it. How will it sound that some wood, steel, stones, and paint have gathered by themselves and on their own and in a certain fashion built that building for human beings to dwell therein? Those who do not believe in God apply this logic to a tiny object like a car, but not to a grand object like the universe and all the complex life and support systems and processes within it which run to perfection day after day and centuries after centuries.
Salman Ahmed Shaikh (Reflections on the Origins in the Post COVID-19 World)
You’ve probably heard the stories about lottery winners losing it all. They’re not urban legends; they really happen. The depths people fall to after big lottery winnings are heartbreaking and mindboggling. And it isn’t only lottery winners. You’ve also heard the stories about famous movie stars, recording stars, or star athletes who make incredible fortunes, literally hundreds of millions of dollars, and somehow manage to wind up broke and in debt. And when you heard those stories, you probably thought the same thing I did: “Man, I don’t know how they pulled that off, but if I made that kind of money I sure wouldn’t squander it all like that!” But let me ask you a tough question: are you sure about that? Speaking as one who’s made it to the top and then seen it all evaporate, all I can say is, you might be surprised. There’s a reason those lottery winners lose it all again, a reason those shining stars plummet to those dark places: they may have had the big breaks, but they didn’t grasp the slight edge. Their winnings changed their bank account balance—but it didn’t change their philosophy. The purpose of this book is to show you the slight edge philosophy, show you how it works, give you plenty of examples, and show you exactly how to make it a core part of how you see the world and how you live your life every day. Throughout this book, if you look carefully you’ll find dozens of statements that embody this philosophy, statements like “Do the thing, and you shall have the power.” Here are a few more examples that you’ll come across in the following pages: Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.
Jeff Olson (The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness)
At first, on that first journey out of the city into India, I found such sudden politeness infuriating after the violent scramble to board the train. It seemed hypocritical for them to show such deferential concern over a nudge with a foot when, minutes before, they’d all but pushed one another out of the windows. Now, long years and many journeys after that first ride on a crowded rural train, I know that the scrambled fighting and courteous deference were both expressions of the one philosophy: the doctrine of necessity. The amount of force and violence necessary to board the train, for example, was no less and no more than the amount of politeness and consideration necessary to ensure that the cramped journey was as pleasant as possible afterwards. What is necessary? That was the unspoken but implied and unavoidable question everywhere in India. When I understood that, a great many of the characteristically perplexing aspects of public life became comprehensible: from the acceptance of sprawling slums by city authorities, to the freedom that cows had to roam at random in the midst of traffic; from the toleration of beggars on the streets, to the concatenate complexity of the bureaucracies; and from the gorgeous, unashamed escapism of Bollywood movies, to the accommodation of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Tibet, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa, and Bangladesh, in a country that was already too crowded with sorrows and needs of its own. The real hypocrisy, I came to realise, was in the eyes and minds and criticisms of those who came from lands of plenty, where no-one had to fight for a seat on a train. Even on that first train ride, I knew in my heart that Didier had been right when he’d compared India and its billion souls to France. I had an intuition, echoing his thought, that if there were a billion Frenchmen or Australians or Americans living in such a small space, the fighting to board the train would be much more, and the courtesy afterwards much less.
Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
Live as if your life has become an example of goodness for others to follow.
Debasish Mridha
The percentage of leading scientists who profess not to believe in a personal God tells us little unless we also know on what they base their profession. How much do they know about metaphysics, Christian theology, and intellectual history in relationship to their particular areas of scientific expertise? The intellectual relationship between religion and science is a two-way street. Just as one ought not to place much stock in geological views of a religious believer who has never studied geology, so one ought not to give much credence to the religious views of a scientist who has never studied intellectual history, the philosophy of religion, and theology. The highly specialized character of contemporary academic life makes it perfectly possible to win a Nobel Prize in chemistry or physics, for example, while knowing nothing about the theology of creation, metaphysical univocity, and why they matter for questions pertaining to the reality of God and the character of God's relationship to the natural world.
Brad S. Gregory (The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society)
Individual self should be a poor miserable thing if it were not essentially connected with the Universal Life. We can always enjoy pure happiness when we are united with nature, quite forgetful of our poor self. When you look, for example, into the smiling face of a pretty baby, and smile with it, or listen to the sweet melody of a songster and sing with it, you completely forget your poor self at that enraptured moment. But your feelings of beauty and happiness are for ever gone when you resume your self, and begin to consider them after your own selfish ideas.
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
Over against these generalizations we raise no objection, but there are many cases, in practical life, of doubtful nature. An act of charity, for example, might do others some sort of damage, as is often the case with the giving of alms to the poor, which may produce the undesirable consequence of encouraging beggary. An act of love might produce an injurious effect, as the mother's love often spoils her children. Some[FN#218] may think these are cases of good cause and bad effect. We have, however, to analyze these causes and effects in order to find in what relation they stand.
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
People can be whatever you want them to be. I am perfect example of that. On the inside, everything is wrong, all of it is misplaced, and nothing holds secure. I was never pretty enough, I was never good enough, I was never smart enough, I was just never enough. They needed flawlessness and excellence, and on the outside, I portrayed it to a T. But on the inside, I was dying. Damaged goods. At least when you buy something broken you can return it, but what do you do when that´s not an option, When you have no choice but to wake up every morning with a smile on your face because that´s what people expect.
M. Robinson (Shhh... Gianna's Side)
what is this word “logos”? It’s a term that is always difficult to translate in Greek philosophical texts; in this case, it’s even harder. Basically logos means “word,” but it expands to mean many other things too, like “account” and “reason,” or even “proportion” or “measure.” It’s where we get all those English words that end in “-ology.” For example, “theology” is giving an “account,” a logos, of “god,” theos; “anthropology” is giving an “account,” a logos, of “man,” anthropos; and we just saw that bios means “life,” hence our word “biology.” So, quite an important word, and it’s here in Heraclitus that it first becomes really crucial in philosophical Greek.
Peter Adamson (Classical Philosophy (A History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps #1))
There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest— whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories—comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer. And if it is true, as Nietzsche claims, that a philosopher, to deserve our respect, must preach by example, you can appreciate the importance of that reply, for it will precede the definitive act. These are facts the heart can feel; yet they call for careful study before they become clear to the intellect.
We encounter this sometimes in our own circles today, as believers often feel obliged to smile in public even if they collapse at home in private despair. Calvin counters, “Such a cheerfulness is not required of us as to remove all feeling of bitterness and pain.” It is not as the Stoics of old foolishly described “the great-souled man”: one who, having cast off all human qualities, was affected equally by adversity and prosperity, by sad times and happy ones—nay, who like a stone was not affected at all. . . . Now, among the Christians there are also new Stoics, who count it depraved not only to groan and weep but also to be sad and care-ridden. These paradoxes proceed, for the most part, from idle men who, exercising themselves more in speculation than in action, can do nothing but invent such paradoxes for us. Yet we have nothing to do with this iron philosophy which our Lord and Master has condemned not only by his word, but also by his example. For he groaned and wept both over his own and others’ misfortunes. . . . And that no one might turn it into a vice, he openly proclaimed, “Blessed are those who mourn.”35 Especially given how some of Calvin’s heirs have confused a Northern European “stiff upper lip” stoicism with biblical piety, it is striking how frequently he rebuts this “cold” philosophy that would “turn us to stone.”36 Suffering is not to be denied or downplayed, but arouses us to flee to the asylum of the Father, in the Son, by the Spirit. It is quite unimaginable that this theology of the cross will top the best-seller lists in our “be good–feel good” culture, but those who labor under perpetual sorrows, as Calvin did, will find solidarity in his stark realism: Then only do we rightly advance by the discipline of the cross when we learn that this life, judged in itself, is troubled, turbulent, unhappy in countless ways, and in no respect clearly happy; that all those things which are judged to be its goods are uncertain, fleeting, vain, and vitiated by many intermingled evils. From this, at the same time, we conclude that in this life we are to seek and hope for nothing but struggle; when we think of our crown, we are to raise our eyes to heaven. For this we must believe: that the mind is never seriously aroused to desire and ponder the life to come unless it is previously imbued with contempt for the present life.37
Michael S. Horton (Calvin on the Christian Life: Glorifying and Enjoying God Forever)
areas, and brilliantly, too. Leonardo is known as one of the greatest painters who ever lived, and many argue he was the greatest artist ever. However, his genius went far beyond the easel and his paintbrushes. His mind could conceive of almost anything, from a beautiful representation of Heaven to graphical illustrations of the human body in a time when there were no such things as CAT scans or x-rays. Leonardo’s lifetime was spent observing and doing so in many different venues. His notebooks were filled with examples of what it means to be human. He looked at life from numerous perspectives and recorded all he saw. From light and shade to perspective and visual perception, from botany and landscape to physical sciences and astronomy, from architecture and planning to sculpture and experiments, from inventing to philosophy, there was nothing that didn’t touch Leonardo da Vinci.
Hourly History (Leonardo da Vinci: A Life From Beginning to End (Biographies of Painters))
Intelligent Design is an answer to fine-tuning that does not appeal to most scientists. The multiverse offers another explanation. If there are zillions of different universes with different properties—for example, some with nuclear forces much stronger than in our universe and some with nuclear forces much weaker—then some of those universes will allow the emergence of life and some will not. Some of those universes will be dead, lifeless hulks of matter and energy, and some will permit the emergence of cells, plants and animals, minds. From the huge range of possible universes predicted by the theories, the fraction of universes with life is undoubtedly small. But that doesn’t matter. We live in one of the universes that permits life because otherwise we wouldn’t be here to ponder the question.
Alan Lightman (The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew)
Does he know the Minotaur of this cave from experience? . . . I doubt it, indeed, I know otherwise: – nothing is stranger to these people who are absolute in one thing, these so-called atheist ‘free spirits’, than freedom and release in that sense, in no respect are they more firmly bound; precisely in their faith in truth they are more rigid and more absolute than anyone else. Perhaps I am too familiar with all this: that venerable philosopher’s abstinence prescribed by such a faith like that commits one, that stoicism of the intellect which, in the last resort, denies itself the ‘no’ just as strictly as the ‘yes’, that will to stand still before the factual, the factum brutum, that fatalism of ‘petits faits’116 (ce petit faitalisme,117 as I call it) in which French scholarship now seeks a kind of moral superiority over the German, that renunciation of any interpretation (of forcing, adjusting, shortening, omitting, filling-out, inventing, falsifying and everything else essential to interpretation) – on the whole, this expresses the asceticism of virtue just as well as any denial of sensuality (it is basically just a modus of this denial). However, the compulsion towards it, that unconditional will to truth, is faith in the ascetic ideal itself, even if, as an unconscious imperative, make no mistake about it, – it is the faith in a metaphysical value, a value as such of truth as vouched for and confirmed by that ideal alone (it stands and falls by that ideal). Strictly speaking, there is no ‘presuppositionless’ knowledge, the thought of such a thing is unthinkable, paralogical: a philosophy, a ‘faith’ always has to be there first, for knowledge to win from it a direction, a meaning, a limit, a method, a right to exist. (Whoever under- stands it the other way round and, for example, tries to place philosophy ‘on a strictly scientific foundation’, must first stand on its head not just philosophy, but also truth itself: the worst offence against decency which can occur in relation to two such respectable ladies!) Yes, there is no doubt – and here I let my Gay Science have a word, see the fifth book (section 344) – ‘the truthful man, in that daring and final sense which faith in science presupposes, thus affirms another world from the one of life, nature and history; and inasmuch as he affirms this “other world”, must he not therefore deny its opposite, this world, our world, in doing so? . . . Our faith in science is still based on a metaphysical faith, – even we knowers of today, we godless anti-metaphysicians, still take our fire from the blaze set alight by a faith thousands of years old, that faith of the Christians, which was also Plato’s faith, that God is truth, that God is Logos, that truth is divine . . . But what if precisely this becomes more and more unbelievable, when nothing any longer turns out to be divine except for error, blindness and lies – and what if God himself turned out to be our oldest lie?’ – – At this point we need to stop and take time to reflect. Science itself now needs a justification (which is not at all to say that there is one for it). On this question, turn to the most ancient and most modern philosophies: all of them lack a consciousness of the extent to which the will to truth itself needs a justification, here is a gap in every philosophy – how does it come about? Because the ascetic Christian ideal has so far been master over all philosophy, because truth was set as being, as God, as the highest authority itself, because truth was not allowed to be a problem. Do you understand this ‘allowed to be’? – From the very moment that faith in the God of the ascetic ideal is denied, there is a new problem as well: that of the value of truth. – The will to truth needs a critique – let us define our own task with this –, the value of truth is tentatively to be called into question . . . (Anyone who finds this put too briefly is advised to read the Gay Science, s 344)
No matter what philosophical standpoint people may adopt nowadays, from every point of view the falsity of the world in which we think we live is the most certain and firmest thing which our eyes are still capable of apprehending: - for that we find reason after reason, which would like to entice us into conjectures about a fraudulent principle in the "essence of things." But anyone who makes our very thinking, that is, "the spirit," responsible for the falsity of the world - an honourable solution which every conscious or unconscious advocatus dei [pleader for god] uses -: whoever takes this world, together with space, time, form, and movement as a false inference, such a person would at least have good ground finally to learn to be distrustful of all thinking itself. Wouldn’t it be the case that thinking has played the greatest of all tricks on us up to this point? And what guarantee would there be that thinking would not continue to do what it has always done? In all seriousness: the innocence of thinkers has something touching, something inspiring reverence, which permits them even today still to present themselves before consciousness with the request that it give them honest answers: for example, to the question whether it is "real," and why it really keeps itself so absolutely separate from the outer world, and similar sorts of questions. The belief in "immediate certainties" is a moral naivete which brings honour to us philosophers - but we should not be "merely moral" men! Setting aside morality, this belief is a stupidity, which brings us little honour! It may be the case that in bourgeois life the constant willingness to suspect is considered a sign of a "bad character" and thus belongs among those things thought unwise. Here among us, beyond the bourgeois world and its affirmations and denials - what is there to stop us from being unwise and saying the philosopher has an absolute right to a "bad character," as the being who up to this point on earth has always been fooled the best - today he has the duty to be suspicious, to glance around maliciously from every depth of suspicion. Forgive me the joke of this gloomy grimace and way of expressing myself. For a long time ago I myself learned to think very differently about and make different evaluations of deceiving and being deceived, and I keep ready at least a couple of digs in the ribs for the blind anger with which philosophers themselves resist being deceived. Why not? It is nothing more than a moral prejudice that truth is worth more than appearance. That claim is even the most poorly demonstrated assumption there is in the world. People should at least concede this much: there would be no life at all if not on the basis of appearances and assessments from perspectives. And if people, with the virtuous enthusiasm and foolishness of some philosophers, wanted to do away entirely with the "apparent world," assuming, of course, you could do that, well then at least nothing would remain any more of your "truth" either! In fact, what compels us generally to the assumption that there is an essential opposition between "true" and "false"? Is it not enough to assume degrees of appearance and, as it were, lighter and darker shadows and tones for the way things appear - different valeurs [values], to use the language of painters? Why could the world about which we have some concern - not be a fiction? And if someone then asks "But doesn’t an author belong to a fiction?" could he not be fully answered with Why? Doesn’t this "belong to" perhaps belong to the fiction? Is it then forbidden to be a little ironic about the subject as well as about the predicate and the object? Is the philosopher not permitted to rise above a faith in grammar? All due respect to governesses, but might it not be time for philosophy to renounce faith in governesses?-
Friedrich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil)
Dear Leader, Lead by example; do not be a better leader outside of your home and a terrible one at home.
Gift Gugu Mona (The Effective Leadership Prototype for a Modern Day Leader)
A noble leader leads by example. He says what he does and does what he says.
Gift Gugu Mona (The Effective Leadership Prototype for a Modern Day Leader)
The foundation of Machiavellian philosophy and its deepest insight is a sense of proportion. It corresponds to the Grotian apprehension of the moral complexity of politics… This is the special picture of political life one gets from reading Machiavelli himself and ‘irony’ is a category of philosophical Machiavellians. The word is not, I think, found in Machiavelli, but political irony is in fact what he very lovingly studied. Irony is a Machiavellian category while tragedy is a Grotian category. ‘Tragedy’ implies a standpoint outside the political drama, in which we experience, for example, admiration for Othello's nobility, pity for his weakness, and terror at Iago's wickedness… Now, it is difficult to adopt a tragic standpoint about politics, because ‘politics’ implies a situation in which we are still involved, where we can still act and affect the outcome, and anyway where we do not know the outcome because the drama is unfinished. To become fully tragic, politics have to be dead politics, that is, history: the tragedy of Athens, and of the League of Nations… Irony is, so to speak, the factual skeleton of tragedy, stripped of its moral and transcendental clothing. In literature it is the warping of a statement by its context; a character means one thing by a statement but we know the context and outcome that he does not, and see it has a different meaning. As Banquo rides away to be murdered, as Macbeth has arranged, Macbeth says to him genially: ‘Fail not our feast’—‘My lord, I will not.’ This is Sophoclean irony and there are other kinds, more complex. Irony can be seen in politics when statesmen pursue ends that recoil upon them, and turn into their opposites. Hugh R. Wilson, in Diplomat between Wars, says that the policy of the USA was of ‘overwhelming importance’ to the League of Nations in the Manchurian crisis, which makes ironic America's fear of, commitment and involvement: however little she wanted to be committed she was certainly involved, and by refusing to commit herself at that time she made her involvement in the struggle with Japan all the more certain. It is equally ironical that Britain and France went to war in 1939 to restore the balance of power in Europe by destroying Nazi Germany, embraced the Soviet alliance for that purpose, and ended with Europe as badly unbalanced by Stalin's power as it had been by Hitler's.
Martin Wight (Four Seminal Thinkers in International Theory: Machiavelli, Grotius, Kant, and Mazzini)
Surely . . . Judaism is more than the history of anti-semitism. Surely Jews deserve to be defined—and are in fact defined, by others as well as by themselves—by those qualities of faith, lineage, sacred texts and moral teachings that have enabled them to endure through centuries of persecution. —GERTRUDE HIMMELFARB1 In many spheres of life, Jews have made contributions that are far larger than might be expected from their numbers. Jews constitute 0.2% of the world’s population, but won 14% of Nobel Prizes in the first half of the 20th century, despite social discrimination and the Holocaust, and 29% in the second. As of 2007, Jews had won an amazing 32% of Nobel Prizes awarded in the 21st century.2 Jews have excelled not only in science but also in music (Mendelssohn, Mahler, Schoenberg), in painting (Pissarro, Modigliani, Rothko), and in philosophy (Maimonides, Bergson, Wittgenstein). Jewish authors have won the Nobel Prize in Literature for writing in English, French, German, Russian, Polish, Hungarian, Yiddish and Hebrew.3 Such achievement requires an explanation, and an interesting possibility is that Jews have adapted genetically to a way of life that requires higher than usual cognitive capacity. People are highly imitative, and if the Jewish advantage were purely cultural, such as hectoring mothers or a special devotion to education, there would be little to prevent others from copying it. Instead, given the new recognition of human evolution in the historical past, it is possible that Jewish intellectual achievement has emerged from some pressure in their special history. Just as races have evolved in the recent past, ethnicities within races will also evolve if they are reproductively isolated to some extent from their host population, whether by geography or religion. The adaptation of Jews to a special cognitive niche, if indeed this has been an evolutionary process, as is argued below, represents a striking example of natural selection’s ability to change a human population in just a few centuries.
Nicholas Wade (A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History)