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Our Human Nature Page 15 of  161

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  • The nostalgic individual is like an accountant that can only see assets.

  • The ultimate power that one can have is the power over oneself, for what has one gained to have power over others if one remains under the dominion of one's own fears and desires?

  • We can have great convictions about that which is doubtful. We can have great doubts about that which is convincing.

  • If somehow the world were suddenly freed of all neuroses, we would probably all be bored to death.

  • A mental process becomes a thought only after being controlled, the same way that electricity becomes a utility only after it is directed to some useful purpose.

  • Each of us have "mood tides" of varying content and intensities, as if we each had an invisible moon causing our spirits to rise and ebb.

  • If one is expressing emotion, reasoning with that person will be a waste. If one is using reason, using emotions with that person will be a waste.

  • When some are greeted with a "Good morning", they seem disposed to ask "For what?"

  • A broken promise never heals.

  • One of the vices of wealth is that it provides the leisure and means needed to self-destruct.

  • "Hate" is one poison that is always self-administered before being used on others.

  • The difference between "infinite" and "limitlessness" is of no practical use. But one thing that isn't infinite, but is none-the-less limitless is "love".

  • Our fears imprison our freedom with guards named ignorance.

  • It is easy to let what we are, dissolve into the ocean of what others say we are.

  • We find comfort in sleeping with our delusions, but when we awaken, it is best to leave these mistresses far behind.

  • Some seem to believe that their worth is like being on a teeter-totter. If they go down, it's because others are going up.

  • In the laboratory, when things don’t go as planned, something more important is often discovered; perhaps life is just a larger laboratory where we need to look at of our failures as our new opportunities.

  • Wondering who is smart among us and who is stupid is insignificant when we consider how little all of us know or understand; this is like an effort to try and discover which are the smart and which are the stupid ants,

  • Knowledge without wisdom is a wild beast; wisdom without knowledge is a sonnet.

  • Atomic weapons haven’t created a new danger for us; rather they have only increased the potential efficiency of an old danger- that of mankind’s fear of other’s differences and how to reduce those fears by reducing the others.

  • Philanthropy is but stealth egoism even when anonymous.

  • One of the problems encountered in pursuing happiness comes from believing that happiness is being happy every waking moment; in thinking this, one resorts to artificial means to take care of those unhappy moments, and does this until one’s life is wrecked.

  • No matter how different we are from one another, eventually we’re all the same.

  • If we would only examine our own inventory of initiatives, we would discover that we never have to take initiatives, but only use those that we already have.

  • It is said that practice makes perfect; well perhaps less imperfect is more accurate, but when it comes to making decisions, the millionth decision will probably be unimproved over the first decision unless one has first practiced rationality in between. Decisions, based on impulses alone, probably deteriorate in quality in proportion to their frequency.

  • What better evidence is there of success going to one’s head, than when a successful person suddenly becomes an oracle on anything that is chosen.

  • It is difficult to be driven mad if one first refuses to get on board.

  • Most beliefs, that many claim willing to die for, are only hypotheses that in a few generations may not even be footnotes to history.

  • Undoubtedly time and tides wait for no one, but at least with the tides one can usually escape their destruction.

  • Perhaps we aren’t alone in the Universe; perhaps we’re just in quarantine instead.

  • When anyone says “I think that I want a-‘it can be anything’”, the word “think” is misused, for even the lowest of animals “think” the same way in moving towards what they want. The person should say “I want a ‘it can be anything.’” Feelings are not thoughts not even when we have feelings about our thoughts.

  • It always seems that other parent’s children would be easier to rear.

  • Is it possible to imagine a mob of intellectuals?

  • Although we may have evolved from the great apes, we also have much in common with birds; they also have only two legs, and like we, they are also capable of soaring.


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