Every human being has, like Socrates, an attendant spirit; and wise are they who obey its signals. If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do.
—Lydia Maria Child (1802–80) American Abolitionist, Writer
If you have always done it that way, it’s probably wrong.
—Charles F. Kettering (1876–1958) American Inventor, Entrepreneur, Businessperson
Some of the finest moral intuitions come to quite humble people. The visiting of lofty ideas doesn’t depend on formal schooling. Think of those Galilean peasants.
—Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) English Mathematician, Philosopher
Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul. If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction. Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing; And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.
—Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931) Lebanese-born American Philosopher, Poet, Painter, Theologian, Sculptor
Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900–44) French Novelist, Aviator
The intellect is always fooled by the heart.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
It is the heart always that sees, before the head can see.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist
Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.
—Florence Scovel Shinn (1871–1940) American Illustrator, Spiritual Writer
One of the reasons why so few of us ever act, instead of react, is because we are continually stifling our deepest impulses.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
I do not believe that the deeper problems of living can ever be answered by the process of thought. I believe that life itself teaches us either patience with regard to them, or reveals to us possible solutions when our hearts are pressed close against duties and sorrows and experiences of all kinds.
—Hamilton Wright Mabie (1846–1916) American Essayist, Editor
I follow my heart, for I can trust it.
—Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805) German Poet, Dramatist
Once you get rid of the idea that you must please other people before you please yourself, and you begin to follow your own instincts—only then can you be successful. You become more satisfied, and when you are other people tend to be satisfied by what you do.
—Raquel Welch (b.1940) American Actress, Singer
Our real duty is always found running in the direction of our worthiest desires.
—Randolph Bourne (1886–1918) American Writer, Scholar
Nothing is impossible when we follow our inner guidance, even when its direction may threaten us by reversing our usual logic.
—Gerald Jampolsky (b.1925) American Psychiatrist
Instinct is untaught ability.
—Alexander Bain (1818–1903) Scottish Empirical Philosopher, Psychologist
A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them, for they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world.
—Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) Austrian Psychiatrist, Psychoanalytic
People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.
—William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) Irish Poet, Dramatist
Cherish your emotions and never undervalue them.
—Robert Henri (1865–1929) American Painter, Teacher
When a man begins to reason, he ceases to feel.
How, then, find the courage for action? By slipping a little into unconsciousness, spontaneity, instinct which holds one to the earth and dictates the relatively good and useful … By accepting the human condition more simply, and candidly, by dreading troubles less, calculating less, hoping more.
—Henri Frederic Amiel (1821–81) Swiss Moral Philosopher, Poet, Critic
Nothing reaches the intellect before making its appearance in the senses.
Life is one long struggle between conclusions based on abstract ways of conceiving cases, and opposite conclusions prompted by our instinctive perception of them.
—William James (1842–1910) American Philosopher, Psychologist, Physician
A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.
—Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) Bengali Poet, Polymath
We do not wish ardently for what we desire only through reason.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
I learned…that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.
—Brenda Ueland (1891–1985) American Journalist Memoirist
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
It is wisdom to believe the heart.
—George Santayana (1863–1952) Spanish-American Poet, Philosopher
It is the heart which experiences God, not the reason.
—Blaise Pascal (1623–62) French Mathematician, Physicist, Theologian
Just be what you are and speak from your guts and heart—it’s all a man has.
—Hubert Humphrey (1911–78) American Head of State, Politician
We should chiefly depend not upon that department of the soul which is most superficial and fallible (our reason), but upon that department that is deep and sure, which is instinct.
—Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914) American Philosopher, Logician, Mathematician