Earnestness means willingness to live with energy, though energy bring pain.
To change one's life: start immediately, Do it flamboyantly, no exceptions, no excuses.
Experience, as we know, has a way of boiling over, and making us correct our present formulas.
When a thing is new, people say: "It is not true." Later, when its truth becomes obvious, they say: "It is not important." Finally, when its importance cannot be denied, they say: "Anyway, it is not new."
If the topic be highly abstract, show its nature by concrete examples. If it be unfamiliar, trace some point of analogy in it with the known. If it be inhuman, make it figure as part of a story. If it be difficult, couple its acquisition with some prospect of personal gain. Above all things, make sure that it shall run through certain inner changes, since no unvarying object can possibly hold the mental field for long.
When you have broken the reality into concepts you never can reconstruct it in its wholeness.
The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.
A sense of humor is just common sense dancing.
With mere good intentions hell is proverbially paved.
The old question of whether there is design is idle. The real question is what is the world, whether or not it have a designer -- and that can be revealed only by the study of all nature's particulars.
If I should throw down a thousand beans at random upon a table, I could doubtless, by eliminating a sufficient number of them, leave the rest in almost any geometrical pattern you might propose to me, and you might then say that that pattern was the thing prefigured beforehand, and that the other beans were mere irrelevance and packing material. Our dealings with Nature are just like this.
First... a new theory is attacked as absurd; then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insignificant; finally it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim that they themselves discovered it.
All the higher, more penetrating ideals are revolutionary. They present themselves far less in the guise of effects of past experience than in that of probable causes of future experience, factors to which the environment and the lessons it has so far taught us must learn to bend.
So with the man who has daily inured himself to habits of concentrated attention, energetic volition, and self-denial in unnecessary things. He will stand like a tower when everything rocks around him, and when his softer fellow-mortals are winnowed like chaff in the blast.
The unrest which keeps the never stopping clock of metaphysics going is the thought that the nonexistence of this world is just as possible as its existence.
It is well for the world that in most of us, by the age of thirty, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again.
When two minds of a high order, interested in kindred subjects, come together, their conversation is chiefly remarkable for the summariness of its allusions and the rapidity of its transitions. Before one of them is half through a sentence the other knows his meaning and replies. ... His mental lungs breathe more deeply, in an atmosphere more broad and vast.
In teaching, you must simply work your pupil into such a state of interest in what you are going to teach him that every other object of attention is banished from his mind; then reveal it to him so impressively that he will remember the occasion to his dying day; and finally fill him with devouring curiosity to know what the next steps in connection with the subject are.
To give the theory plenty of 'rope' and see if it hangs itself eventually is better tactics than to choke it off at the outset b abstract accusations of self-contradiction.
We don't laugh because we're happy -- we're happy because we laugh.
I don't see how an epigram, being a bolt from the blue, with no introduction or cue, ever gets itself writ.
The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
No reception without reaction, no impression without correlative expression, -this is the great maxim which the teacher ought never to forget.
I know that you, ladies and gentlemen, have a philosophy, each and all of you, and that the most interesting and important thing about you is the way in which it determines the perspective in your several worlds.
Theories thus become instruments, not answers to enigmas, in which we can rest.
We don't lie back upon them, we move forward, and, on occasion, make nature again over by their aid. Pragmatism unstiffens all our theories, limbers them up and sets each one at work.
Emotional occasions, especially violent ones, are extremely potent in precipitating mental rearrangements. The sudden and explosive ways in which love, jealousy, guilt, fear, remorse, or anger can seize upon one are known to everybody... And emotions that come in this explosive way seldom leave things as they found them.
Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit.
An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of revelation.
All the daily routine of life, our dressing and undressing, the coming and going from our work or carrying through of its various operations, is utterly without mental reference to pleasure and pain, except under rarely realized conditions.
Let everything you do be done as if it makes a difference.
The study a posteriori of the distribution of consciousness shows it to be exactly such as we might expect in an organ added for the sake of steering a nervous system grown too complex to regulate itself.
The simplest rudiment of mystical experience would seem to be that deepened sense of the significance of a maxim or formula which occasionally sweeps over one.
It seems the natural thing for us to listen whilst the Europeans talk.
The god whom science recognizes must be a God of universal laws exclusively, a God who does a wholesale, not a retail business. He cannot accommodate his processes to the convenience of individuals.
My thinking is first and last and always for the sake of my doing, and I can only do one thing at a time.
The bottom of being is left logically opaque to us, a datum in the strict sense of the word, something we simply come upon and find, and about which (if we wish to act) we should pause and wonder as little as possible. In this confession lies the lasting truth of empiricism.
'Facts' are the bounds of human knowledge, set for it, not by it.
Science, like life, feeds on its own decay. New facts burst old rules; then newly divined conceptions bind old and new together into a reconciling law.
There must be something solemn, serious, and tender about any attitude which we denominate religious. If glad, it must not grin or snicker; if sad, it must not scream or curse.
What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise-although the philosophers generally call it recognition'!
The thinker philosophizes as the lover loves. Even were the consequences not only useless but harmful, he must obey his impulse.
Or if the hypothesis were offered us of a world in which Messrs. Fourier's and Bellamy's and Morris's Utopias should all be outdone, and millions kept permanently happy on the one simple condition that a certain lost soul on the far-off edge of things should lead a life of lonely torment, what except a specifical and independent sort of emotion can it be which would make us immediately feel, even though an impulse arose within us to clutch at the happiness so offered, how hideous a thing would be its enjoyment when deliberately accepted as the fruit of such a bargain?
The first thing to learn in intercourse with others is non-interference with their own particular ways of being happy, provided those ways do not assume to interfere by violence with ours.
Voices of the glorified urge us onward. They who have passed from the semblances of time to the realities of eternity call upon us to advance. The rest that awaits us invites us forward. We do not pine for our rest before God wills it. We long for no inglorious rest. We are thankful rather for the invaluable training of difficulty, the loving discipline of danger and strife. Yet in the midst of it all the prospect of rest invites us heavenward. Through all, and above all, God cries, "Go forward!" "Come up higher!
I originally studied medicine in order to be a physiologist, but I drifted into psychology and philosophy from a sort of fatality. I never had any philosophic instruction, the first lecture on psychology I ever heard being the first I ever gave.
Most men have a good memory for facts connected with their own pursuits.
We are doomed to cling to a life even while we find it unendurable.
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
Procrastination is attitude's natural assassin. There's nothing so fatiguing as an uncompleted task.
The first lecture in psychology that I ever heard was the first I ever gave.
The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.
Marvelous as may be the power of my dog to understand my moods, deathless as his affection and fidelity, his mental state is as unsolved a mystery to me as it was to my remotest ancestor.
A rule of thinking which would absolutely prevent me from acknowledging certain kinds of truth if those truths were really there, would be an irrational rule.
The whole drift of my education goes to persuade me that the world of our present consciousness is only one out of many worlds of consciousness that exist.
The whole drift of my education goes to persuade me that the world of our present consciousness is only one out of many worlds of consciousness that exist, and that those other worlds must contain experiences which have a meaning for our life also; and that although in the main their experiences and those of this world keep discrete, yet the two become continuous at certain points, and higher energies filter in.
In this real world of sweat and dirt, it seems to me that when a view of things is 'noble,' that ought to count as presumption against its truth, and as a philosophic disqualification. The prince of darkness may be a gentleman, as we are told he is, but whatever the God of earth and heaven is, he can surely be no gentleman.
I myself believe that the evidence for God lies primarily in inner personal experiences.
We must not just patch and tinker with life. We must keep renewing it. Embrace novelty and uniqueness.
Most of us can learn to live in perfect comfort on higher levels of power. Everyone knows that on any given day there are energies slumbering in him which the incitements of that day do not call forth. Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. It is evident that our organism has stored-up reserves of energy that are ordinarily not called upon -- deeper and deeper strata of explosible material, ready for use by anyone who probes so deep. The human individual usually lives far within his limits.
To be conscious means not simply to be, but to be reported, known, to have awareness of one's being added to that being.
If any one phrase could gather its (religion's) universal message, that phrase would be, -- All is not vanity in this Universe, whatever the appearances may suggest.
The exercise of voluntary attention in the schoolroom must therefore be counted one of the most important points of training that take place there; and the first-rate teacher, by the keenness of the remoter interests which he is able to awaken, will provide abundant opportunities for its occurrence.
A little cooling down of animal excitability and instinct, a little loss of animal toughness, a little irritable weakness and descent of the pain-threshold, will bring the worm at the core of all our usual springs of delight into full view, and turn us into melancholy metaphysicians.
He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.
We have nothing to do but to receive, resting absolutely upon the merit, power, and love of our Redeemer.
Our ideas must agree with realities, be such realities concrete or abstract.
Humanism ... is not a single hypothesis or theorem, and it dwells on no new facts. It is rather a slow shifting in the philosophic perspective, making things appear as from a new centre of interest or point of sight.
Mankind's common instinct for reality has always held the world to be essentially a theatre for heroism. In heroism, we feel, life's supreme mystery is hidden. We tolerate no one who has no capacity whatever for it in any direction. On the other hand, no matter what a man's frailties otherwise may be, if he be willing to risk death, and still more if he suffer it heroically, in the service he has chosen, the fact consecrates him forever.
You make a great, very great mistake, if you think that psychology, being the science of the mind's laws, is something from which you can deduce definite programmes and schemes and methods of instruction for immediate schoolroom use.
Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.
To be radical, an empiricism must neither admit into its constructions any element that is not directly experienced, nor exclude from them any element that is directly experienced.
Give up the feeling of responsibility, let go your hold, resign the care of your destiny to higher powers, be genuinely indifferent as to what becomes of it all and you will find not only that you gain a perfect inward relief, but often also, in addition, the particular goods you sincerely thought you were renouncing.
Footnotes -- little dogs yapping at the heels of the text.
Evil is a disease; and worry over disease is itself an additional form of disease, which only adds to the original complaint.
Essential truth, the truth of the intellectualists, the truth with no one thinking it, is like the coat that fits tho no one has ever tried it on, like the music that no ear has listened to. It is less real, not more real, than the verified article; and to attribute a superior degree of glory to it seems little more than a piece of perverse abstraction-worship.
Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
The desire to gain wealth and the fear to lose it are our chief breeders of cowardice and propagators of corruption.
Don't preach too much to your pupils or abound in good talk in the abstract. Lie in wait rather for the practical opportunities, be prompt to seize those as they pass, and thus at one operation get your pupils both to think, to feel, and to do.
The first effect of the mind growing cultivated is that processes once multiple get to be performed in a single act. Lazarus has called this the progressive "condensation" of thought. ... Steps really sink from sight. An advanced thinker sees the relations of his topics is such masses and so instantaneously that when he comes to explain to younger minds it is often hard ... Bowditch, who translated and annotated Laplace's Méchanique Céleste, said that whenever his author prefaced a proposition by the words "it is evident," he knew that many hours of hard study lay before him.
These healers...my intellect has been unable to assimilate their theories....But their facts are patent and startling; and anything that interferes with the multiplication of such facts, and with our freest opportunity of observing and studying them, will, I believe, be a public calamity.
The attitude of unhappiness is not only painful, it is mean and ugly.
The attitude of unhappiness is not only painful, it is mean and ugly. What can be more base and unworthy than the pining, puling, mumping mood, no matter by what outward ills it may have been engendered? What is more injurious to others? What less helpful as a way out of the difficulty? It but fastens and perpetuates the trouble which occasioned it, and increases the total evil of the situation. At all costs, then, we ought to reduce the sway of that mood; we ought to scout it in ourselves and others, and never show it tolerance.
No bell in us tolls to let us know for certain when truth is in our grasp.
We ought, all of us, to realize each other in this intense, pathetic, and important way. If you say that this is absurd, and that we cannot be in love with everyone at once, I merely point out to you that, as a matter of fact, certain persons do exist with an enormous capacity for friendship and for taking delight in other people's lives; and that such persons know more of truth than if their hearts were not so big.
When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice.
If any organism fails to fulfill its potentialities, it becomes sick.
Each of us is in fact what he is almost exclusively by virtue of his imitative-ness.
An act has no ethical quality whatever unless it be chosen out of several all equally possible.
Equality is attainable as long as you are part of the majority.
Neither moral relations nor the moral law can swing in vacuo. Their only habitat can be a mind which feels them; and no world composed of merely physical facts can possibly be a world to which ethical propositions apply.
The instinct of ownership is fundamental in man's nature.
Much of what we call evil is due entirely to the way men take the phenomenon. It can so often be converted into a bracing and tonic good by a simple change of the sufferer's inner attitude from one of fear to one of fight; its string can so often depart and turn into a relish when, after vainly seeking to shun it, we agree to face about and bear it.
The suspicion is in the air nowadays that the superiority of one of our formulas to another may not consist so much in its literal 'objectivity,' as in subjective qualities like its usefulness, its 'elegance,' or its congruity with our residual beliefs.
Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction.
We forget that every good that is worth possessing must be paid for in strokes of daily effort. We postpone and postpone until those smiling possibilities are dead... By neglecting the necessary concrete labor, by sparing ourselves the little daily tax, we are positively digging the graves of our higher possibilities.
In the practical use of our intellect, forgetting is as important a function as recollecting.
Objective evidence and certitude are doubtless very fine ideals to play with, but where on this moonlit and dream-visited planet are they found?
Man, biologically considered ... is simply the most formidable of all beasts of prey, and, indeed, the only one that preys systematically on its own kind.
Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is still theoretically possible ... faith is the readiness to act in a cause the prosperous issue of which is not certified to us in advance.
Every man who possibly can should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not.
But it is the bane of psychology to suppose that where results are similar, processes must be the same. Psychologists are too apt to reason as geometers would, if the latter were to say that the diameter of a circle is the same thing as its semi-circumference, because, forsooth, they terminate in the same two points.
The mind of your own enemy, the pupil, is working away from you, as keenly and eagerly as is the mind of the commander on the other side from the scientific general. Just what the respective enemies want and think, and what they know or do not know, are as hard things for the teachers as for the general to find out.
It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.
As we take, in fact, a general view of the wonderful stream of our consciousness, what strikes us first is this different pace of its parts. Like a bird 's life, it seems to be made of an alternation of flights and perchings.
As a rule reading fiction is as hard to me as trying to hit a target by hurling feathers at it. I need resistance to celebrate!
All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.
Science must constantly be reminded that her purposes are not the only purposes and that the order of uniform causation which she has use for, and is therefore right in postulating, may be enveloped in a wider order, on which she has no claim at all.
Every sort of energy and endurance, of courage and capacity for handling life's evils, is set free in those who have religious faith.
If things are ever to move upward, some one must take the first step, and assume the risk of it. No one who is not willing to try charity, to try non-resistance as the saint is always willing, can tell whether these methods will or will not succeed.
Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
Individuality is founded in feeling.
It makes a tremendous emotional and practical difference to one whether one accepts the universe in the drab discolored way of stoic resignation to necessity, or with the passionate happiness of Christian saints.
True is the name for whatever idea starts the verification process, useful is the name for its completed function in experience.
If we remembered everything, we should on most occasions be as ill off as if we remembered nothing. It would take us as long to recall a space of time as it took the original time to elapse, and we should never get ahead with our thinking. All recollected times undergo, accordingly, what M. Ribot calls foreshortening; and this foreshortening is due to the omission of an enormous number of facts which filled them.
The one who thinks over his experiences most, and weaves them into systematic relations with each other, will be the one with the best memory.
It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than
anything else, will affect It's successful outcome.
All religions and spiritual traditions begin with the cry "Help!"
General scepticism is the live mental attitude of refusing to conclude. It is a permanent torpor of the will, renewing itself in detail towards each successive thesis that offers, and you can no more kill it off by logic than you can kill off obstinacy or practical joking.
The intellectual life of man consists almost wholly in his substitution of conceptual order for the perceptual order in which his experience originally comes.
Genius... means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
The perfect stillness of the night was thrilled by a more solemn silence. The darkness held a presence that was all the more felt because it was not seen. I could not any more have doubted that HE was there than that I was. Indeed, I felt myself to be, if possible, the less real of the two.
Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that assures the successful outcome of any venture.
Good-humor is a philosophic state of mind; it seems to say to Nature that we take her no more seriously than she takes us. I maintain that one should always talk of philosophy with a smile.
Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.
Great indeed is Fear; but it is not, as our military enthusiasts believe and try to make us believe, the only stimulus known for awakening the higher ranges of men's spiritual energy.
The path to cheerfulness is to sit cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there.
O my Bergson, you are a magician, and your book is a marvel, a real wonder in the history of philosophy ... In finishing it I found ... such a flavor of persistent euphony, as of a rich river that never foamed or ran thin, but steadily and firmly proceeded with its banks full to the brim.
Invention, using the term most broadly, and imitation, are the two legs, so to call them, on which the human race historically has walked.
Smitten as we are with the vision of social righteousness, a God indifferent to everything but adulation, and full of partiality for his individual favorites, lacks an essential element of largeness.
For I had often said that the best argument I knew for an immortal life was the existence of a man who deserved one as well as Child did.
Modern man ... has not ceased to be credulous ... the need to believe haunts him.
The belief in free-will is not in the least incompatible with the belief in Providence, provided you do not restrict the Providence to fulminating nothing but fatal decrees.
Feed the growing human being, feed him with the sort of experience for which from year to year he shows a natural craving, and he will develop in adult life a sounder sort of mental tissue, even though he may seem to be 'wasting' a great deal of his growing time, in the eyes of those for whom the only channels of learning are books and verbally communicated information.
The truth remains that, after adolescence has begun, "words, words, words," must constitute a large part, and an always larger part as life advances, of what the human being has to learn.
Modern war is so expensive that we feel trade to be a better avenue to plunder; but modern man inherits all the innate pugnacity and all the love of glory of his ancestors.
Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.
Pessimism leads to weakness. Optimism leads to power.
Millions of items in the outward order are present to my senses which never properly enter into my experience. Why? Because they have no interest for me. My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind -- without selective interest, experience is an utter chaos.
In modern eyes, precious though wars may be they must not be waged solely for the sake of the ideal harvest. Only when forced upon one, is a war now thought permissible.
Once you accept an idea, it's an idea whose time has come.
The most violent revolutions in an individuals beliefs leave most of his old order standing. Time and space, cause and effect, nature and history, and ones own biography remain untouched. New truth is always a go-between, a smoother-over of transitions. It marries old opinion to new fact so as ever to show a minimum of jolt, a maximum of continuity.
The ultimate test of what a truth means is the conduct it dictates or inspires.
Truth is one species of good, and not, as is usually supposed, a category distinct from good, and co-ordinate with it.
The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal.
We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.
The nation blest above all nations is she in whom the civic genius of the people does the saving day by day, by acts without external picturesqueness; by speaking, writing, voting reasonably; by smiting corruption swiftly; by good temper between parties; by the people knowing true men when they see them, and preferring them as leaders to rabid partisans and empty quacks.
The total mental efficiency of a man is the resultant of the working together of all his faculties. He is too complex a being for any one of them to have the casting vote. If any one of them do have the casting vote, it is more likely to be the strength of his desire and passion, the strength of the interest he takes in what is proposed. Concentration, memory, reasoning power, inventiveness, excellence of the senses, all are subsidiary to this.
The war against war is going to be no holiday excursion or camping party.
Once a decision is reached, stop worrying and start working.
If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn't seek to show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white.
All our scientific and philosophic ideals are altars to unknown gods.
A genius is the man in whom you are least likely to find the power of attending to anything insipid or distasteful in itself. He breaks his engagements, leaves his letters unanswered, neglects his family duties incorrigibly, because he is powerless to turn his attention down and back from those more interesting trains of imagery with which his genius constantly occupies his mind.
What we really need the poet's and orator's I help to keep alive in us is not, then, the common and gregarious courage which Robert Shaw showed when he marched with you, men of the Seventh Regiment. It is that more lonely courage which he showed when he dropped his warm commission in the glorious Second to head your dubious fortunes, negroes of the Fifty-fourth. That lonely kind of courage (civic courage as we call it in times of peace) is the kind of valor to which the monuments of nations should most of all be reared.
The teacher's prime concern should be to ingrain into the pupil that assortment of habits that shall be most useful to him throughout life. Education is for behavior, and habits are the stuff of which behavior consists.
I am the same personal being who in old times upon the Earth had those experiences.
When once a decision is reached and execution is the order of the day, dismiss absolutely all responsibility and care about the outcome.
As Charles Lamb says, there is nothing so nice as doing good by stealth and being found out by accident, so I now say it is even nicer to make heroic decisions and to be prevented by 'circumstances beyond your control' from ever trying to execute them.
Common sense is better for one sphere of life, science for another, philosophic criticism for a third; but whether either be truer absolutely, heaven only knows.
Strength is a facade for the proud, weakness is a mask for the lazy.
The hell to be endured hereafter, of which theology tells, is no worse than the hell we make for ourselves in this world by habitually fashioned our characters in the wrong way.
Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits.
Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits. It works in the minutest crannies and it opens outthe widest vistas. It 'bakes no bread', as has been said, but it can inspire our souls with courage.
Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being.
Old-fashioned determinism was what we may call hard determinism. It did not shrink from such words as fatality, bondage of the will, necessitation, and the like. Nowadays, we have a soft determinism which abhors harsh words, and, repudiating fatality, necessity, and even predetermination, says that its real name is freedom; for freedom is only necessity understood, and bondage to the highest is identical with true freedom.
The worst thing that can happen to a good teacher is to get a bad conscience about her profession because she feels herself hopeless as a psychologist.
In my individual heart I fully believe my faith is as robust as yours. The trouble with your robust and full bodied faiths, however, is, that they begin to cut each others throats too soon, and for getting on in the world and establishing a modus vivendi these pestilential refinements and reasonablenesses and moderations have to creep in.
There is an organic affinity between joyousness and tenderness, and their companionship in the saintly life need in no way occasion surprise.
Truth for us is simply a collective name for verification processes.
To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.
We want all our friends to tell us our bad qualities; it is only the particular ass that does so whom we can't tolerate.
I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing.
The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.
The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments.
As long as there are postmen, life will have zest.
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity.
Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.
I will act as if what I do makes a difference.
Your hopes, dreams and aspirations are legitimate. They are trying to take you airborne, above the clouds, above the storms, if you only let them.
In its broadest term, religion says that there is an unseen order, and that our supreme good lies in rightful relations to it.
Since belief is measured by action, he who forbids us to believe religion to be true, necessarily also forbids us to act as we should if we did believe it to be true.
Materialism means simply the denial that the moral order is eternal, and the cutting off of ultimate hopes; spiritualism means theaffirmation of an eternal moral order and the letting loose of hope.
What excites and interests the looker-on at life, what the romances and the statues celebrate, and the grim civic monuments remind us of, is the everlasting battle of the powers of light with those of darkness; with heroism reduced to its bare chance, yet ever and anon snatching victory from the jaws of death.
Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.
In business for yourself, not by yourself.
Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day. That is, be systematically ascetic or heroic in little unnecessary points, do every day or two something for no other reason than that you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test. So with the man who has daily inured himself to habits of concentrated attention, energetic volition, and self-denial in unnecessary things. He will stand like a tower when everything rocks around him, and when his softer fellow-mortals are winnowed like chaff in the blast.
Our theories are wedged and controlled as nothing else is. Yet sometimes alternative theoretic formulas are equally compatible with all the truths we know, and then we choose between them for subjective reasons. We choose the kind of theory to which we are already partial: we follow 'elegenace' or 'economy'
Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive.
Spiritual energy flows in and produces effects, psychological or material, within the phenomenal world.
Habit is thus the enormous fly-wheel of society, its most precious conservative agent. It alone is what keeps us all within the bounds of ordinance.
Habit is thus the enormous flywheel of society, its most precious conservative agent. It alone is what keeps us all within the bounds of ordinance, and saves the children of fortune from the envious uprisings of the poor.
There can be no doubt that as a matter of fact a religious life, exclusively pursued, does tend to make the person exceptional and eccentric. I speak not now of your ordinary religious believer, who follows the conventional observances of his country, whether it be Buddhist, Christian, or Mohammedan. His religion has been made for him by others, communicated to him by tradition, determined to fixed forms by immitation, and retained by habit. It would profit us little to study this second-hand religious life. We must make search rather for the original experiences which were the pattern-setters to all this mass of suggested feeling and imitated conduct.
Religion must be considered vindicated in a certain way from the attacks of her critics.
The general law is that no mental modification ever occurs which is not accompanied or followed by a bodily change.
It is your friends who make your world.
There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.
You perceive now, my friends, what your general or abstract duty is as teachers. Although you have to generate in your pupils a large stock of ideas, any one of which may be inhibitory, yet you must also see to it that no habitual hesitancy or paralysis of the will ensues, and that the pupil still retains his power of vigorous action.
Truth, as any dictionary will tell you, is a property of certain of our ideas. It means their agreement, as falsity means their disagreement, with reality.
Religion ... shall mean for us the feelings, acts and experiences of individual men in their solitude.
The impulse to take life strivingly is indestructible in the race.
We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.
Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.
Pretend what we may, the whole man within us is at work when we form our philosophical opinions. Intellect, will, taste, and passion co-operate just as they do in practical affairs; and lucky it is if the passion be not something as petty as a love of personal conquest over the philosopher across the way.
It is as important to cultivate your silence power as your word power.
In order to disprove the assertion that all crows are black, one white crow is sufficient.
Belief creates the actual fact.
Fear of life in one form or another is the great thing to exorcise.
Psychology ought certainly to give the teacher radical help.
In the practical use of our intellect, forgetting is as important as remembering.
From the Vedas we learn a practical art of surgery, medicine, music, house building under which mechanized art is included. They are encyclopedia of every aspect of life, culture, religion, science, ethics, law, cosmology and meteorology.
Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.
Intellectualism' is the belief that our mind comes upon a world complete in itself, and has the duty of ascertaining its contents; but has no power of re-determining its character, for that is already given.
We need only in cold blood to act as if the thing in question were real and it will infallibly end by growing into such a connection with our life that it will become real.
Touch is the alpha and omega of affection.
I am done with great things and big things, great institutions and big success, and I am for those tiny invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which if you give them time, will rend the hardest monuments of man's pride.
If, then, you wish to insure the interest of your pupils, there is only one way to do it; and that is to make certain that they have something in their minds to attend with, when you begin to talk. That something can consist in nothing but a previous lot of ideas already interesting in themselves, and of such a nature that the incoming novel objects which you present can dovetail into them and form with them some kind of a logically associated or systematic whole.
All natural goods perish. Riches take wings; fame is a breath; love is a cheat; youth and health and pleasure vanish.
There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man's lack of faith in his true self.
Why may we not be in the universe, as our dogs and cats are in our drawingrooms and libraries?
Genius means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.
We hear the words we have spoken, feel our own blow as we give it, or read in the bystander's eyes the success or failure of our conduct.
In the acquisition of a new habit, or the leaving off of an old one, we must take care to launch ourselves with as strong and decided an initiative as possible.
The mind, in short, works on the data it receives very much as the sculptor works on his block of stone.
Ingenuity in meeting and pursuing the pupil, that tact for the concrete situation, though they are the alpha and omega of the teacher's art, are things to which psychology cannot help us in the least.
The true is the name of whatever proves itself to be good in the way of belief, and good, too, for definite, assignable reasons.
I wished by treating Psychology like a natural science, to help her become one.
Effort is a measure of a Man.
Modern transcendental idealism, Emersonianism, for instance, also seems to let God evaporate into abstract Ideality. Not a deity in concreto, not a superhuman person, but the immanent divinity in things, the essentially spiritual structure of the universe, is the object of the transcendentalist cult. In that address of the graduating class at Divinity College in 1838 which made Emerson famous, the frank expression of this worship of mere abstract laws was what made the scandal of the performance.
Nature in her unfathomable designs had mixed us of clay and flame, of brain and mind, that the two things hang indubitably together and determine each other's being but how or why, no mortal may ever know.
The ideas gained by men before they are twenty-five are practically the only ideas they shall have in their lives.
Our colleges ought to have lit up in us a lasting relish for a better kind of man, a loss of appetite for mediocrities.
One hearty laugh together will bring enemies into a closer communion of heart than hours spent on both sides in inward wrestling with the mental demon of uncharitable feeling.
Focus on increasing service. Becoming great where you are. Pile in the wood. The heat will follow.
Of course, this has its good side as well as its bad one. As we become permanent drunkards by so may separate drinks, so we become saints in the moral, and authorities and experts in the practical and scientific spheres, by so many separate acts and hours of work. Let no youth have any anxiety about the upshot of his education, whatever the line of it may be. If he keep faithfully busy each hour of the working day, he may safely leave the final result to itself.
If I should now utter piercing shrieks and act like a maniac on this platform, it would make many of you revise your ideas as to the probable worth of my philosophy.
A good hypothesis in science must have other properties than those of the phenomenon it is immediately invoked to explain, otherwise it is not prolific enough.
What the whole community comes to believe in grasps the individual as in a vise.
A winner's attitude: it may be difficult, but it's possible. A loser's attitude: It may be possible, but it's too difficult.
If an unusual necessity forces us onward, a surprising thing occurs. The fatigue gets worse up to a certain point, when, gradually or suddenly, it passes away and we are fresher than before!
Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
Seize the very first possible opportunity to act on every resolution you make, and on every emotional prompting you may experience in the direction of the habits you aspire to gain.
Most people never run far enough on the first wind to find out they've got a second. Give your dreams all you've got, and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.
A man with no philosophy in him is the most inauspicious and unprofitable of all possible social mates.
The function of ignoring, of inattention, is as vital a factor in mental progress as the function of attention itself.
Our minds thus grow in spots; and like grease-spots, the spots spread. But we let them spread as little as possible: we keep unaltered as much of our old knowledge, as many of our old prejudices and beliefs, as we can. We patch and tinker more than we renew. The novelty soaks in; it stains the ancient mass; but it is also tinged by what absorbs it.
Real servants don't try to use God for their purposes. They let God use them for His purposes.
The lunatic's visions of horror are all drawn from the material of daily fact.
To begin with, our knowledge grows in spots. The spots may be large or small, but the knowledge ever grows all over... What you first gain from them is probably a small amount of new information, a few new definitions, or distinctions, or points of view. But while these special ideas are being added, the rest of your knowledge stands still, and only gradually will you 'line up' your previous opinions with the novelties I am trying to instil, and modify to some slight degree their mass.
We must make automatic and habitual, as early as possible, as many useful actions as we can, and as carefully guard against the growing into ways that are likely to be disadvantageous.
A great idea goes through three stages on its way to acceptance: 1) it is dismissed as nonsense, 2) it is acknowledged as true, but insignificant, 3) finally, it is seen to be important, but not really anything new.
Hardly ever can a youth transferred to the society of his betters unlearn the nasality and other vices of speech bred in him by the associations of his growing years. Hardly ever, indeed, no matter how much money there be in his pocket, can he ever learn to dress like a gentleman-born. The merchants offer their wares as eagerly to him as to the veriest swell, but he simply cannot buy the right things.
History is a bath of blood.
Language is the most imperfect and expensive means yet discovered for communicating thought.
The attempt at introspective analysis... is in fact like seizing a spinning top to catch its motion, or trying to turn up the gas quickly enough to see the darkness.
Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state.
The pragmatist turns away from abstraction and insufficiency, from verbal solutions, from bad a priori reasons, from fixed principles, closed systems, and pretended absolutes and origins. He turns toward concreteness and adequacy, towards facts, towards action, and towards power.
Tell him to live by yes and no -- yes to everything good, no to everything bad.
Plasticity, then, in the wide sense of the word, means the possession of a structure weak enough to yield to an influence, but strong enough not to yield all at once. Each relatively stable phase of equilibrium in such a structure is marked by what we may call a new set of habits.
If there is aught of good in the style, it is the result of ceaseless toil in rewriting. Everything comes out wrong with me at first; but when once objectified in a crude shape, I can torture and poke and scrape and pat it till it offends me no more.
The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature.
The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature, usually crushed to earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour.
Wisdom is learning what to overlook.
Resign your destiny to higher powers.
Our intelligence cannot wall itself up alive, like a pupa in a chrysalis. It must at any cost keep on speaking terms with the universe that engendered it.
An enormous mass of experience, both of homeopathic doctors and their patients, is invoked in favor of the efficacy of these remedies and doses.
Human beings are born into this little span of life of which the best thing is its friendships and intimacies … and yet they leave their friendships and intimacies with no cultivation, to grow as they will by the roadside, expecting them to "keep" by force of mere inertia.
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it." "This life is worth living, we can say, since it is what we make it." "Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
Every individual existence goes out in a lonely spasm of helpless agony.
Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.
Where quality is the thing sought after, the thing of supreme quality is cheap, whatever the price one has to pay for it.
No more fiendish punishment could be devised, were such a thing physically possible, than that one should be turned loose in society and remain absolutely unnoticed.
Men's activities are occupied into ways -- in grappling with external circumstances and in striving to set things at one in their own topsy-turvy mind.
There is but one indefectibly certain truth , and that is the truth that pyrrhonistic scepticism itself leaves standing, the truth that the present phenomenon of consciousness exists.
One of the greatest discoveries of our time is that a man can alter the state of their life by altering the state of their mind.
The university most worthy of rational admiration is that one in which your lonely thinker can feel himself lonely, most positively furthered, and most richly fed.
Out of time we cut 'days' and 'nights', 'summers' and 'winters.' We say what, each part of the sensible continuum is, and all these abstract whats are concepts. The intelletual life of man consists almost wholly in his substitution of a conceptual order for the persceptual order in which his experience originally comes.
I have often thought the best way to define a man's character would be to seek out the particular mental or moral attitude in which, when it comes upon him, he felt himself most deeply and intensely active and alive. At such moments there is a voice inside which speaks and says: This is the real me!.
The essence of genius is to know what to overlook.
If my inborn faculties are good, I am a prophet; if poor, I am a failure: nature spews me out of her mouth, and there is an end of me.
Life is one long struggle between conclusions based on abstract ways of conceiving cases, and opposite conclusions prompted by our instinctive perception of them.
Our esteem for facts has not neutralized in us all religiousness. It is itself almost religious. Our scientific temper is devout.
We are stereotyped creatures, imitators and copiers of our past selves.
My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will.
Even if matter could do every outward thing that God does, the idea of it would not work as satisfactorily, because the chief callfor a God on modern men's part is for a being who will inwardly recognize them and judge them sympathetically. Matter disappoints this craving of our ego, so God remains for most men the truer hypothesis, and indeed remains so for definite pragmatic reasons.
Despair lames most people, but it wakes others fully up.
Every time a resolve or a fine glow of feeling evaporates without bearing practical fruit is worse than a chance lost; it works to hinder future resolutions and emotions from taking the normal path of discharge. There is no more contemptible type of human character than that of the nerveless sentimentalist and dreamer, who spends his life in a weltering sea of sensibility and emotion, but who never does a manly concrete deed.
Do something everyday for no other reason than you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test.
The difference between the first and second-best things in art absolutely seems to escape verbal definition -- it is a matter of a hair, a shade, an inward quiver of some kind -- yet what miles away in the point of preciousness!
Let sanguine healthy-mindedness do its best with its strange power of living in the moment and ignoring and forgetting, still the evil background is really there to be thought of, and the skull will grin in at the banquet.
Knowledge about life is one thing; effective occupation of a place in life, with its dynamic currents passing through your being, is another.
There is a stream, a succession of states, or waves, or fields (or whatever you please to call them), of knowledge, of feeling, of desire, of deliberation, etc., that constantly pass and repass, and that constitute our inner life.
Consciousness... does not appear to itself chopped up in bits. Such words as 'chain' or 'train' do not describe it fitly as it presents itself in the first instance. It is nothing jointed; it flows. A 'river' or a 'stream' are the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let us call it the stream of thought, of consciousness, or of subjective life. Source of the expression 'stream of consciousness'.
What interest, zest, or excitement can there be in achieving the right way, unless we are enabled to feel that the wrong way is also a possible and a natural way, nay, more, a menacing and an imminent way? And what sense can there be in condemning ourselves for taking the wrong way, unless we need have done nothing of the sort, unless the right way was open to us as well? I cannot understand the willingness to act, no matter how we feel, without the belief that acts are really good and bad.
If you can change your mind, you can change your life.
A man of sense is never discouraged by difficulties; he redoubles his industry and his diligence, he perseveres and infallibly prevails at last.
Both thought and feeling are determinants of conduct, and the same conduct may be determined either by feeling or by thought.
Theory must mediate between all previous truths and certain new experiences.
Psychology is a science, and teaching is an art; and sciences never generate arts directly out of themselves.
How pleasant is the day when we give up striving to be young-or slender.
Habit simplifies our movements, makes them accurate, and diminishes fatigue.
We are not only gregarious animals, liking to be in sight of our fellows, but we have an innate propensity to get ourselves noticed, and noticed favorably, by our kind.
The amount of psychology which is necessary to all teachers need not be very great.
Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly. The fundamental conceptions of psychology are practically very clear to us, but theoretically they are very confused, and one easily makes the obscurest assumptions in this science without realizing, until challenged, what internal difficulties they involve.
There is no doubt that healthy-mindedness is inadequate as a philosophical doctrine, because the evil facts which it positively refuses to account for are a genuine portion of reality; and they may after all be the best key to life's significance, and possibly the only openers of our eyes to the deepest levels of truth.
Every way of classifying a thing is but a way of handling it for some particular purpose.
Pluralism lets things really exist in the each-form or distributively. Monism thinks that the all-form or collective-unit form is the only form that is rational.
To suggest personal will and effort to one all sicklied o'er with the sense of irremediable impotence is to suggest the most impossible of things. What he craves is to be consoled in his very powerlessness, to feel that the spirit of the universe recognizes and secures him, all decaying and failing as he is.
Sobriety diminishes, discriminates, and says no; drunkenness expands, unites, and says yes. Not through mere perversity do men run after it.
Tension is a habit. Relaxing is a habit. Bad habits can be broken, good habits formed.
True ideas are those that we can assimilate, validate, corroborate, and verify. False ideas are those that we cannot.
The "through-and-through" universe seems to suffocate me with its infallible impeccable all-pervasiveness. Its necessity , with no possibilities; its relations, with no subjects, make me feel as if I had entered into a contract with no reserved rights ... It seems too buttoned-up and white-chokered and clean-shaven a thing to speak for the vast slow-breathing unconscious Kosmos with its dread abysses and its unknown tides.
Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
Failure, then, failure! so the world stamps us at every turn. We strew it with our blunders, our misdeeds, our lost opportunities, with all the memorials of our inadequacy to our vocation. And with what a damning emphasis does it then blot us out! No easy fine, no mere apology or formal expiation, will satisfy the world's demands, but every pound of flesh exacted is soaked with all its blood. The subtlest forms of suffering known to man are connected with the poisonous humiliations incidental to these results.
Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at
different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.
The real ground for supposing free-will is indeed pragmatic, but it has nothing to do with this contemptible right to punish.
What was bright and exciting becomes weary, flat, and unprofitable.
Man lives in only one small room of the enormous house of his consciousness.
My experience is what I agree to attend to.
We must be careful not to confuse data with the abstractions we use to analyse them.
To be a real philosopher all that is necessary is to hate some one else's type of thinking.
Truth lives, in fact, for the most part on a credit system.
Organization and method mean much, but contagious human characters mean more in a university.
As the brain-changes are continuous, so do all these consciousnesses melt into each other like dissolving views. Properly they are but one protracted consciousness, one unbroken stream.
Fatalism, whose solving word in all crises of behavior is All striving is vain, will never reign supreme, for the impulse to take life strivingly is indestructible in the race. Moral creeds which speak to that impulse will be widely successful in spite of inconsistency, vagueness, and shadowy determination of expectancy. Man needs a rule for his will, and will invent one if one be not given him.
If theological ideas prove to have a value for concrete life, they will be true, for pragmatism, in the sense of being good for so much. How much more they are true, will depend entirely on their relations to the other truths that also have to be acknowledged.
Our acts of voluntary attending, as brief and fitful as they are, are nevertheless momentous and critical, determining us, as they do, to higher or lower destinies.
Regarding mutual tolerance: It is negative in one sense, but positive in another. It absolutely forbids us to be forward in pronouncing on the meaninglessness of forms of existence other than our own; and it commands us to tolerate, respect, and indulge those whom we see harmlessly interested and happy in their own ways, however unintelligible these may be to us. Hands off.
Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.
Our volitional habits depend, then, first, on what the stock of ideas is which we have; and, second, on the habitual coupling of the several ideas with action or inaction respectively.
We, the lineal representatives of the successful enactors of one scene of slaughter after another, must, whatever more pacific virtues we may also possess, still carry about with us, ready at any moment to burst into flame, the smoldering and sinister traits of character by means of which they lived through so many massacres, harming others, but themselves unharmed.
The more rational statement is that we feel sorry because we strike, afraid because we tremble, and not that we cry, strike, or tremble because we are sorry, angry, or fearful as the case may be.
The intellect, everywhere invasive, shows everywhere its shallowing effect.
Men are now proud of belonging to a conquering nation, and without a murmur they lay down their persons and their wealth, if by so doing they may fend off subjection.
If WE claim only reasonable probability, it will be as much as men who love the truth can ever at any given moment hope to have within their grasp.
If it works, it's true.
In any project the important factor is your belief. Without belief, there can be no successful outcome.
To leap across an abyss, one is better served by faith than doubt.
The transition from tenseness, self-responsibility, and worry, to equanimity, receptivity, and peace, is the most wonderful of all those shiftings of inner equilibrium, those changes of personal centre of energy, which I have analyzed so often; and the chief wonder of it is that it so often comes about, not by doing, but by simply relaxing and throwing the burden down.
The art of remembering is the art of thinking. When we wish to fix a new thing in either our own mind or a pupil's, our conscious effort should not be so much to impress and retain it as to connect it with something else already there. The connecting is the thinking; and, if we attend clearly to the connection, the connected thing will certainly be likely to remain within recall.
The sovereign cure for worry is prayer.
Need and struggle are what excite and inspire us; our hour of triumph is what brings the void.
Need and struggle are what excite and inspire us; our hour of triumph is what brings the void. Not the Jews of the captivity, but those of the days of Solomon 's glory are those from whom the pessimistic utterances in our Bible come.
Religious experience, as we have studied it, cannot be cited as unequivocally supporting the infinitist belief. The only thingthat it unequivocally testifies to is that we can experience union with something larger than ourselves and in that union find our greatest peace.
Instinct leads, logic does but follow.
The further limits of our being plunge, it seems to me, into an altogether other dimension of existence from the sensible and merely understandable world. Name it the mystical region, or the supernatural region, whichever you choose. So far as our ideal impulses originate in this region (and most of them do originate in it, for we find them possessing us in a way for which we cannot articulately account), we belong to it in a more intimate sense than that in which we belong to the visible world, for we belong in the most intimate sense wherever our ideals belong.
Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed. which give happiness. Thomas Jefferson We never enjoy perfect happiness; our most fortunate successes are mingled with sadness; some anxieties always perplex the reality of our satisfaction.
The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.
The self-same atoms which, chaotically dispersed, made the nebula, now, jammed and temporarily caught in peculiar positions, form our brains; and the 'evolution' of brains, if understood, would be simply the account of how the atoms came to be so caught and jammed.
Asceticism may be a mere expression of organic hardihood, disgusted with too much ease.
The discovery of the power of our thoughts will prove to be the most important discovery of our time.