Ideas

A liberal-arts education is supposed to provide you with a value system, a standard, a set of ideas, not a job.

Sentiment and principle are often mistaken for each other, though, in fact, they widely differ. Sentiment is the virtue of ideas; principle the virtue of action. Sentiment has its seat in the had; principle, in the heart. Sentiment suggest fine harangues and subtle distinctions; principle conceives just notions, and performs good actions in consequence of them. Sentiment refines away the simplicity of truth, and the plainness of piety; and "gives us virtue in words, and vice in deeds."

Art is the effort of man to express the ideas which nature suggests to him of a power above nature, whether that power be within the recesses of his own being, or in the Great First Cause of which nature, like himself, is but the effect.

There is no permanent absolute unchangeable truth; what we should pursue is the most convenient arrangement of our ideas.

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.

You who are so wise must know that different nations have different conceptions of things. You will not therefore take it amiss if our ideas of the white man’s kind of education happens not to be the same as yours. We have had some experience with it. Several of our young people were brought up in your colleges. They were instructed in all your sciences; but, when they came back to us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, unable to bear either cold or hunger. They didn’t know how to build a cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy. They spoke our language imperfectly. They were therefore unfit to be hunters, warriors, or counselors; they were good for nothing. We are, however, not less obliged for your kind offer, though we decline accepting it. To show our gratefulness, if the gentlemen of Virginia shall send us a dozen of their sons, we will take great care with their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them.

I do not mean to expose my ideas to ingenious ridicule by maintaining that everything happens to every man for the best; but I will contend, that he who makes the best use of it, fulfills the part of a wise and good man.

In short, the actions of man are never free; they are always the necessary consequences of his temperament, of the received ideas, and of the notions, either true or false, which he has formed to himself of happiness.

The astonishing thing about him [man] is his range of vision; his gaze into the infinite distance; his lonely passion for ideas and ideals, far removed from his material surroundings and animal activities, and in no way suggested by them, yet for which, such is his affection, he is willing to endure toils and privations, to sacrifice pleasures, to disdain griefs and frustrations. The inner truth is that every man is himself a creator, by birth and nature, an artist, an architect and fashioner of worlds.

The search for static security - in the law and elsewhere - is misguided. The fact is security can only be achieved through constant change, through discarding old ideas that have outlived their usefulness and adapting others to current facts.

I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker in this cause. The example of great and pure personages is the only thing that can lead us to fine ideas and noble deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and always irresistibly tempts its owners to abuse it.

All worthwhile men have good thoughts, good ideas and good intentions - but precious few of them ever translate those into action.

Heroes, notwithstanding the high ideas which, by the means of flatterers, they may entertain of themselves, or the world may conceive of them, have certainly ore of mortal than divine about them.

It is by acts and not by ideas that people live.

The direct relation of music is not to ideas, but to emotions - in the works of its greatest masters, it is more marvelous, more mysterious than poetry.

You have a shilling. I have a shilling. We swap. You have my shilling and I have yours. We are no better off. But suppose you have an idea and I have an idea. We swap. Now you have two ideas and I have two ideas. We have increased our stock of ideas 100 per cent.

Ideas are born, they struggle, triumph, change and they are transformed; but is there a dead idea which in the end does not live on, transformed into a broader and clearer goal?

I found death to be a simple shift in consciousness. It was painless, instantaneous and nothing to be feared. In fact, it felt more natural not to breath than to breathe. It was wonderful not to 'wear' a body. I had complete mobility, perfect memory and knowledge. I was free! I found no fear in dying. The fear came for me when I realized that I was still alive, and I didn't 'stay dead'.You don't lose your cravings or addictions in dying, but I found that you do lose your ability to satisfy them. The opportunities that existed before are no more. Whatever are your attitudes, beliefs, thoughts, ideas, feelings, expectations or apprehensions...that's what you'll wear and that's what you'll be. They become your body and your world. No more games. No more secrets. No more cover-up. You become what you really are! We are in a condition of our own creation. When we die we reap our own harvest.

Reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood. Truth or falsehood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the real relations of ideas, or to real existence and matter of fact. Whatever, therefore, is not susceptible of this agreement or disagreement, is incapable of being true or false, and can never be an object of our reason. Now ‘tis evident our passions, volitions, and actions, are not susceptible of any such agreement or disagreement; being original facts and realities, complete in themselves, and implying no reference to other passions, volitions, and actions. ‘Tis impossible, therefore, they can be pronounced either true or false, and be either contrary or conformable to reason.

He who thinks much says but little in proportion to his thoughts. He selects that language which will convey his ideas in the most explicit and direct manner. He tries to compress as much thought as possible into a few words. On the contrary, the man who talks everlastingly and promiscuously, who seems to have an exhaustless magazine of sound crowds so many words into his thoughts that he always obscures, and very frequently conceals them.