Read not to contradict nor to believe, but to weigh and consider.
— Francis Bacon
For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.
It’s a dangerous book (the Bible), and to worship it is, of course, a far more dangerous idolatry than bowing down to images of wood and stone, because nobody in his senses can confuse a wooden image with God, but you can very easily confuse a set of ideas with God, because concepts are more rarified and abstract
— Alan Watts
I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishments after I’m dead.
— Kurt Vonnegut (via poorghosts
Richard Dawkins: The lucky ones (via ZEN PENCILS)
I’d rather we explore each other’s ideas in real time, rather than assign a label to it and assert you know what’s going to happen in advance.
petition to make this gifset the new tumblr header
I seriously love this guy.
To make the individual uncomfortable, that is my task
— Friedrich Nietzsche
The human understanding is no dry light, but receives an infusion from the will and affections… For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should seem to be occupied with things mean and transitory; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless, in short, are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections color and infect the understanding.
— Francis Bacon
Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don’t think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn’t stop you from doing anything at all.
— Richard Feynman
If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “She’s going to hurt me.” Or, “I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore …” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.
If you worship money and things - if they are where you tap real meaning in life - then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you… The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in a myriad of petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the “rat race” - the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.
— David Foster Wallace
In the spectacle of death, in the endurance of intolerable pain, and in the irrevocableness of a vanished past, there is a sacredness, an overpowering awe, a feeling of the vastness, the depth, the inexhaustible mystery of existence, in which, as by some strange marriage of pain, the sufferer is bound to the world by bonds of sorrow. In these moments of insight, we lose all eagerness of temporary desire, all struggling and striving for petty ends, all care for the little trivial things that, to a superficial view, make up the common life of day by day; we see, surrounding the narrow raft illumined by the flickering light of human comradeship, the dark ocean on whose rolling waves we toss for a brief hour; from the great night without, a chill blast breaks in upon our refuge; all the loneliness of humanity amid hostile forces is concentrated upon the individual soul, which must struggle alone, with what of courage it can command, against the whole weight of a universe that cares nothing for its hopes and fears.
— Bertrand Russell (A Free Man’s Worship)
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