The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.
—Robertson Davies (1913–95) Canadian Novelist, Playwright, Essayist
Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment—the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is.
—Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) Argentine Writer, Essayist, Poet
The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.
—Arthur Koestler (1905–83) British Writer, Journalist, Political Refugee
Just as all thought, and primarily that of non-signification, signifies something, so there is no art that has no signification.
—Albert Camus (1913–60) Algerian-born French Philosopher, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist, Author
The world is not to be put in order, the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
After reading all that has been written, and after thinking all that can be thought, on the topics of God and the soul, the man who has a right to say that he thinks at all, will find himself face to face with the conclusion that, on these topics, the most profound thought is that which can be the least easily distinguished from the most superficial sentiment.
—Edgar Allan Poe (1809–49) American Poet
If you are prepared to accept the consequences of your dreams then you must still regard America today with the same naive enthusiasm as the generations that discovered the New World.
—Jean Baudrillard (1929–2007) French Sociologist, Philosopher
When it’s time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
Everything changes, nothing remains without change.
Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by posterity because he was the last to discover America.
—James Joyce (1882–1941) Irish Novelist, Poet
Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different
—Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1893–1986) Hungarian-American Biochemist
The next Augustan age will dawn on the other side of the Atlantic. There will, perhaps, be a Thucydides at Boston, a Xenophon at New York, and, in time, a Virgil at Mexico, and a Newton at Peru. At last, some curious traveler from Lima will visit England and give a description of the ruins of St Paul s, like the editions of Balbec and Palmyra.
—Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (1717–97) English Art Historian, Man of Letters, Politician
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look at fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along”. You must do the think you think you cannot do.”
—Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) American First Lady, Diplomat, Humanitarian
Every great discovery I ever made, I gambled that the truth was there, and then I acted in faith until I could prove its existence.
—Arthur Compton (1892–1962) American Physicist
For the rest, whatever we have got has been by infinite labor, and search, and ranging through every corner of nature; the difference is that instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax, thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light.
—Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) Irish Satirist
All men should strive to learn, before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.
Man’s “progress” is but a gradual discovery that his questions have no meaning
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900–44) French Novelist, Aviator
I have made an important discovery… that alcohol, taken in sufficient quantities, produces all the effect of intoxication.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
—Aristotle (384BCE–322BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Scholar
A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
—James Joyce (1882–1941) Irish Novelist, Poet
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory mentioned, which states that this has already happened.
—Douglas Adams (1952–2001) English Novelist, Scriptwriter
We must build a new world, a far better world—one in which the eternal dignity of man is respected.
—Harry S. Truman (1884–1972) American Head of State
Little by little, through patience and repeated effort, the mind will become stilled in the Self.
—The Bhagavad Gita Hindu Scripture
One must know oneself. If this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life and there is nothing better.
—Blaise Pascal (1623–62) French Mathematician, Physicist, Theologian
I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
—Isaac Newton (1643–1727) English Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer, Theologian
Through every rift of discovery some seeming anomaly drops out of the darkness, and falls, as a golden link, into the great chain of order.
—Edwin Hubbell Chapin (1814–80) American Preacher, Poet
When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.
—William Arthur Ward (1921–94) American Author
We have what we seek. It is there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us.
—Thomas Merton (1915–68) American Trappist Monk
Those who talk on the razor-edge of double-meanings pluck the rarest blooms from the precipice on either side.
—Logan Pearsall Smith (1865–1946) American-British Essayist, Bibliophile
It’s not only the most difficult thing to know one’s self, but the most inconvenient.
—Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818–85) American Humorist, Author, Lecturer