Nothing can so pierce the soul as the uttermost sigh of the body.
The family is an early expedient and in many ways irrational. If the race had developed a special sexless class to be nurses, pedagogues, and slaves, like the workers among ants and bees, then the family would have been unnecessary. Such a division of labor would doubtless have involved evils of its own, but it would have obviated some drags and vexations proper to the family.
An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.
To be brief is almost a condition of being inspired.
The irrational in the human has something about it altogether repulsive and terrible, as we see in the maniac, the miser, the drunkard or the ape.
A Californian who I had recently the pleasure of meeting observed that if the philosophers had lived among your mountains, their systems would have been different from what they are. Certainly very different from what those systems are which the European genteel tradition has handed down since Socrates; for these systems are egotistical; directly or indirectly they are anthropocentric, and inspired by the conceited notion the man, or human reason, or the human distinction between good and evil, is the center and pivot of the universe. That is what the mountains and the woods should make you at last ashamed to assert.
It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.
I believe in general in a dualism between facts and the ideas of those facts in human heads.
Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not by quality.
My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image to be servants of their human interests.
There is nothing to which men, while they have food and drink, cannot reconcile themselves.
Every actual animal is somewhat dull and somewhat mad. He will at times miss his signals and stare vacantly when he might well act, while at other times he will run off into convulsions and raise a dust in his own brain to no purpose. These imperfections are so human that we should hardly recognise ourselves if we could shake them off altogether. Not to retain any dulness would mean to possess untiring attention and universal interests, thus realising the boast about deeming nothing human alien to us; while to be absolutely without folly would involve perfect self-knowledge and self-control. The intelligent man known to history flourishes within a dullard and holds a lunatic in leash. He is encased in a protective shell of ignorance and insensibility which keeps him from being exhausted and confused by this too complicated world; but that integument blinds him at the same time to many of his nearest and highest interests. He is amused by the antics of the brute dreaming within his breast; he gloats on his passionate reveries, an amusement which sometimes costs him very dear. Thus the best human intelligence is still decidely barbarous; it fights in heavy armour and keeps a fool at court.
The effort of art is to keep what is interesting in existence, to recreate it in the eternal.
Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common sense rounded out and minutely articulated.
The superiority of the distant over the present is only due to the mass and variety of the pleasures that can be suggested, compared with the poverty of those that can at any time be felt.
Topics: Blessings, Gratitude, Appreciation
Music is essentially useless, as life is.
Man is as full of potential as he is of importance.
To condemn spontaneous and delightful occupations because they are useless for self-preservation shows an uncritical prizing of life irrespective of the content.
Nothing so much enhances a good as to make sacrifices for it.
It is veneer, rouge, aestheticism, art museums, new theaters, etc. that make America impotent. The good things are football, kindness, and jazz bands.
Wealth, religion, military victory have more rhetorical than efficacious worth.
Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds.
To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography.
Let a man once overcome his selfish terror at his own finitude, and his finitude is, in one sense, overcome.
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