Imitation

Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

We learn by imitation; we teach by example.

It is by imitation, far more than by precept, that we learn everything; and what we learn thus, we acquire not only more efficiently, but more pleasantly. This forms our manners, our opinions, our lives.

The sense of inferiority inherent in the act of imitation breeds resentment. The impulse of the imitators is to overcome the model they imitate.

Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.

But it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation... He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great.

The past is our cradle, not our prison, and there is danger as well as appeal in its glamour. The past is for inspiration, not imitation, for continuation, not repetition.

We are, in truth, more than half what we are by imitation. The great point is, to choose good models and to study them with care.

It is not virtue, but a deceptive copy and imitation of virtue, when we are led to the performance of duty by pleasure as its recompense.

There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance, that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better or for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.

By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we quote. We quote not only books and proverbs, but arts, sciences, religions, customs, and laws; nay, we quote temples and houses, tables and chair by imitation.

The less government we have the better - the fewer laws, and the less confided power. The antidote to this abuse of formal government is the influence of private character, the growth of the Individual; the appearance of the principal to supersede the proxy; the appearance of the wise man; of whom the existing government is, it must be owned, but a shabby imitation.

Habit and imitation - there is nothing more perennial in us than these two. They are the source of all working, and all apprenticeship, of all practice, and all learning, in this world.

To be as good as our fathers, we must be better. Imitation is not discipleship. When someone sent a cracked plate to China to have a set made, every piece in the new set had a crack in it.

Leaving aside genetic surgery applied humans, I foresee that the coming century will place in our hands two other forms of biological technology which are less dangerous but still revolutionary enough to transform the conditions of our existence. I count these new technologies as powerful allies in the attack on Bernal's three enemies [the world, the flesh and the devil]. I give them the names 'biological engineering' and 'self-reproducing machinery'. Biological engineering means the artificial synthesis of living organisms designed to fulfil human purposes. Self-reproducing machinery means the imitation of the function and reproduction of a living organism with non-living materials, a computer-program imitating the function of DNA and a miniature factory imitating the functions of protein molecules. After we have attained a complete understanding of the principles of organization and development of a simple multicellular organism, both of these avenues of technological exploitation should be open to us.

For the total development of the human being, solitude as a means of cultivating sensitivity becomes a necessity. One has to know what it means to be alone, what it is to meditate, what it is to die; and the implications of solitude, of meditation, of death, can be known only by seeking them out. These implications cannot be taught, they must be learnt. One can indicate, but learning by what is indicated is not the experiencing of solitude or meditation. To experience what is solitude and what is meditation, one must be in in a state of inquiry; only a mind that is in a state of inquiry is capable of learning. But when inquiry is suppressed by previous knowledge, or by the authority and experience of another, then learning becomes mere imitation, and imitation causes a human being to repeat what is learnt without experiencing it.

Art is not an imitation nor an ethnological curiosity staged for tourists. Only when an artist realizes perfectly which is his right and proper function in the social body, and sees with his own eyes, feels with his own heart and thinks with his own mind, will appear a new art on the American continent, the creation of a new race.

I hardly know so true a mark of a little mind as the servile imitation of others.

Trust yourself. Think for yourself. Act for yourself. Speak for yourself. Be yourself. Imitation is suicide.