History

In the kind of world that I see in history there is one sin that locks people up in all their other sins… the sin of self-righteousness.

Progress in history is achieved through the interdependence and interaction of facts and values. The objective historian is the historian who penetrates most deeply into this reciprocal process.

The history of life on earth has been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings. To a large extent, the physical form and the habits of the earth’s vegetation and its animal life have been molded by the environment. Considering the whole span of earthly time, the opposite effect, in which life actually modifies its surroundings, has been relatively slight. Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species – acquired significant power to alter nature of his world.

We are fully responsible for who it is that we become. In the final analysis, there is no one else to blame. It is totally our own doing. We are always already free to remake our present and future by disencumbering ourselves of unwanted and unhelpful aspects of our past history. Freedom, choice, and responsibility are the ethical watchwords of existentialism.

Almost the whole of history is nothing but a series of horrors.

The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong.

If people could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives is a lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us!

The history of all the world tells us that immoral means will ever intercept good ends.

Is there a spiritual reality, inconceivable to us today, which corresponds in history to the physical reality which Einstein discovered and which led to the atomic bomb? Einstein discovered a law of physical change: the way to convert a single particle of matter into enormous physical energy. Might there not also be, as Gandhi suggested, an equally incredible and [as yet] undiscovered law of spiritual change, whereby a single person or small community of persons could be converted into an enormous spiritual energy capable of transforming a society and a world?

A grand meta-narrative is a story of the development and purpose of human history in which we as individual can find a place and play a role. Four basic meta-narratives: (1) Platonic Christian is the idea of life as a journey to another unchanging realm. (2) Hegel’s view that history is the unfolding of the consciousness of God. (3) Marx’s notion of another revolution ushering in a new era. (4) Nietzsche’s idea that there is no “beyond” and that the only meaning comes through creative activities through which we shape a life for ourselves.

Men wiser and more learned than I have discerned in history a plot, a rhythm, a predetermined pattern. These harmonies are concealed from me. I can see only one emergency following upon another as wave follows upon wave, only one great fact with respect to which, since it is unique, there can be no generalizations, only one safe rule for the historian: that they should recognize in the development of human destinies the play of the contingent and the unforeseen.

Three claims: (1) Consciousness exists. There exist conscious mental states, events, and processes that have the property of being conscious. (2) Consciousness has depth, hidden structure, hidden and possibly multiple functions, and hidden natural and cultural history. Conscious mental states supervene on brain states. (3) Conscious mental states, processes, events – possibly conscious supervisory faculties, if there are any – are heterogeneous in phenomenal world. A theory of consciousness will in the end be part of a unified theory of the mind.

History is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the history we make today.

If you try to see the Presence of God everywhere. If you realize that fundamentally you have nothing to deal with but your own thoughts. If, in short, you understand that you are in a mental universe, that things are thoughts, and that one’s life history is fundamentally the expression of his belief about God.

Does not the history of the world show that there would have been no romance in life if there had been no risks?

The history of mankind is crowded with evidences proving that physical coercion is not adapted to moral regeneration; that the sinful dispositions of men can be subdued only by love; that evil can be exterminated from the earth only by goodness… that there is great security in being gentle, harmless, long-suffering, and abundant in mercy; that it is only the meek who shall inherit the earth, for the violent, who resort to the sword, are destined to perish with the sword.

The deepest, the only theme of human history, compared to which all others are of subordinate importance, is the conflict of skepticism with faith.

The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that's also a hypocrite!
There are only two great currents in the history of mankind: the baseness which makes conservatives and the envy which makes revolutionaries.

The spiritual history of man, as seen by God, is not one of progress but of recover, or redemption.

Too much to live with, too little to live for… In our own day this question of life purpose is more urgent than ever. Three factors have converged to fuel a search for significance without precedent in human history. First, the search for the purpose of life is one of the deepest issues of our experiences as human beings. Second, the expectation that we can all live purposeful lives has been given a gigantic boost by modern society’s offer of the maximum opportunity for choice and change in all we do. Third, our fulfillment is thwarted by this stunning fact: Out of more than a score of great civilizations in human history, modern Western civilization is the very first to have a no agreed-on answer to the question of the purpose of life… Most of us in the midst of material plenty, have spiritual poverty.