If conquerors be regarded as the engine-drivers of History, then the conquerors of thought are perhaps the pointsmen who, less conspicuous to the traveler’s eye, determine the direction of the journey.
Laughter and weeping, the Greek masks of comedy and tragedy, mark the extremes of a continuous spectrum; both provide channels for the overflow of emotion; both are
We cannot unthink unless we are insane.
Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
The evolution of the brain not only overshot the needs of prehistoric man, it is the only example of evolution providing a species with an organ which it does not know how to use
Prometheus is reaching out for the stars with an empty grin on his face.
If the creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely meant us to stick it out.
Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.
The definition of the individual was: a multitude of one million divided by one million.
Politics can be relatively fair in the breathing spaces of history; at its critical turning points there is no other rule possible than the old one, that the end justifies the means.
Topics: Politicians, Politics
Space-ships and time machines are no escape from the human condition. Let Othello subject Desdemona to a lie-detector test; his jealousy will still blind him to the evidence. Let Oedipus triumph over gravity; he won’t triumph over his fate.
Nobody before the Pythagorean had thought that mathematical relations held the secret of the universe. Twenty-five centuries later, Europe is still blessed and cursed with their heritage. To non-European civilizations, the idea that numbers are the key to both wisdom and power, seems never to have occurred.
Coincidence may be described as the chance encounter of two unrelated causal chains which miraculously, it seems merge into a significant event.
The most persistent sound which reverberates through man’s history is the beating of war drums.
The moment of truth, the sudden emergence of a new insight, is an act of intuition. Such intuitions give the appearance of miraculous flushes, or short-circuits of reasoning. In fact they may be likened to an immersed chain, of which only the beginning and the end are visible above the surface of consciousness. The diver vanishes at one end of the chain and comes up at the other end, guided by invisible links.
If one looks with a cold eye at the mess man has made of history, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he has been afflicted by some built-in mental disorder which drives him towards self-destruction.
Topics: History, Disorder
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Robert Anton Wilson American Polymath
- Abbie Hoffman American Political Activist
- Karl Popper Austrian-born British Philosopher
- David Bohm American Physicist
- Isaiah Berlin British Philosopher, Historian
- Sam Harris American Neuroscientist, Atheist, Author
- Friedrich Hayek British Economist, Social Philosopher
- Joseph Rotblat British Physicist, Activist
- Harold Pinter British Playwright
- Arthur Ransome English Novelist, Journalist