✘ MIND ✘ EPISTEMOLOGY ✘ LIBERALITY ✘ MUSIC ✘ LITERATURE ✘ HUMOUR ✘
“Today we are trying to spread knowledge everywhere. Who knows if in centuries to come there will not be universities for re-establishing our former ignorance?”
“The investigations and calculations of astronomers have taught us much that is wonderful; but the most important lesson we have received from them is the discovery of the abyss of our ignorance in relation to the universe – an ignorance, the magnitude of which reason, without the information thus derived, could never have conceived. This discovery of our deficiencies must produce a great change in the determination of the aims of human reason”.
“The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenetrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties – this knowledge, this feeling … that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself among profoundly religious men”.
“We do not know whether Hitler is going to found a new Islam. (He is already on the way; he is like Mohammed. The emotion in Germany is Islamic; warlike and Islamic. They are all drunk with a wild god.)”
“I am not a religious man but I cannot help seeing every problem from a religious point of view”
“It’s impossible for me to say one word about all that music has meant to me in my life. How, then, can I hope to be understood?”
“. . .no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavors to establish”.
“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that”.
“The rational mind likes to fall in love with its own creations”.
“Islamophobic: a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons.”
“All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance”.
“Half the harm that is done in the world Is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm—but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it Because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves”.
“I feel that reality has become an abstraction for so many people over the last 20 years. Things that they regarded as truths seem to have just melted away, and it’s almost as if we’re thinking post-philosophically now. There’s nothing to rely on any more. No knowledge, only interpretation of those facts that we seem to be inundated with on a daily basis. Knowledge seems to have been left behind and there’s a sense that we are adrift at sea. There’s nothing more to hold on to, and of course political circumstances just push that boat further out”.
“Yet how strange a thing is the beauty of music! The brief beauty that the player brings into being transforms a given period of time into pure continuance; it is certain never to be repeated; like the existence of dayflies and other such short-lived creatures, beauty is a perfect abstraction and creation of life itself. Nothing is so similar to life as music”.
”I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned”.
“Truth has a liberal bias, but only if you pursue it”.
“The truth is dead, and the Internet killed it”.
“A sect or a party is an elegant incognito, devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking”.
“How quickly the visions of genius become the canned goods of intellectuals”.
“In . . . , fascists divide themselves into two categories: fascists and antifascists”.
an expanding intelligentsia, needs an expanding number of deeply-rooted social problems to justify its existence and preeminence. It therefore feels called upon to emphasize not the achievements, but the follies and crimes of history.