Quotes

…to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Isaac Newton, Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton (1855) by Sir David Brewster (Volume II. Ch. 27)

But it is not possible, Theodorus, that evil should be destroyed—for there must always be something opposed to the good; nor is it possible that it should have its seat in heaven. But it must inevitably haunt human life, and prowl about this earth. That is why a man should make all haste to escape from earth to heaven; and escape means becoming as like God as possible; and a man becomes like God when he becomes just and pious, with understanding.

Socrates, Theaetetus 176a-b

We must agree that the beauty of a work of art will always remain a mystery […] we can never be absolutely sure ‘how it’s made.’ We must at all costs preserve this magic which is peculiar to music and to which music, by its nature, is of all the arts the most receptive.

Claude Debussy

Every time I read a great book I felt I was reading a kind of map, a treasure map, and the treasure I was being directed to was in actual fact myself. But each map was incomplete, and I would only locate the treasure if I read all the books, and so the process of finding my best self was an endless quest. And books themselves seemed to reflect this idea. Which is why the plot of every book ever can be boiled down to ‘someone is looking for something.’

Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive

You’ll meet tomorrow with the same tools you have now

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.

José Ortega y Gasset, Man and Crisis

I like to have the man who as a citizen feels, when a wrong is done to the community by any one, when there is an exhibition of corruption or betrayal of trust, or demagogy or violence, or brutality, not that he is shocked and horrified and would like to go home; but I want to have him feel the determination to put the wrong-doer down, to make the man who does wrong aware that the decent man is not only his superior in decency, but his superior in strength.

Theodore Roosevelt

It is generally true that what we want , we also believe, and what we think, we hope other people think, too.

Julius Caesar – Civil War 2, 10.27

Religious dogmatist’s problem is exactly the same as the unbeliever’s — blind certainty — a closed-mindedness that amounts to an imprisonment so total that the prisoner doesn’t even know he’s locked up.

David Foster Wallace, This Is Water

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