Mission

If character be irrecoverably lost, then indeed there will be nothing left worth saving.

It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet your skull.

The Steady State theory was what Karl Popper would call a good scientific theory: it made definite predictions, which could be tested by observation, and possibly falsified. Unfortunately for the theory, they were falsified.

Our first object is... the obtaining of sovereignty, assured by international law, over a portion of the globe sufficiently large to satisfy our just requirements.

To a large extent our difficulties are a difficulty of language. People fail to realize that language is multivalent and also, particularly, that when a person uses a word like ‘rights’, for the non-human world, they think ‘rights’ is a single continuum… ‘Rights’ is an analogous term. It is an analogous term. It is alike and different. Like a person says – “A tree has rights” – the tree doesn’t have human rights because human rights would be no good for a tree. A tree needs tree rights. Birds need bird rights. Plants need plant rights. This whole question of law and rights needs to recognize what we call the diversity within the continuity. It is a difference of quality, not of quantity. So, it is not that the humans have more or less. Humans don’t have more rights than birds do. They have different rights. So that it’s this capacity to recognize difference that pervades just an enormous amount of human affairs.

Paradoxically, I have found peace because I have always been dissatisfied. My moments of depression and despair turn out to be renewals, new beginnings. If I were once to settle down and be satisfied with the surface of life, with its divisions and its cliches, it would be time to call in the undertaker... So, then, this dissatisfaction which sometimes used to worry me and has certainly, I know, worried others, has helped me in fact to move freely and even gaily with the stream of life.

The mature person realizes that life affirms itself most, not in acquiring things, but in giving time, efforts, strength, intelligence, and love to others. Here a different kind of dialectic of life and death begins to appear. The living drive, the vital satisfaction, by “ending” its trend to self-satisfaction and redirecting itself to and for others, transcends itself. It “dies” insofar as the ego is concerned, for the self is deprived of the immediate satisfactions which it could claim without being contested. Now it renounces these things, in order to give to others. Hence, life “dies” to itself in order to give itself away and thus affirms itself more maturely, more fruitfully, and more completely. We live in order to die to ourselves and give everything to others. …This “dying” to self in order to give to others is nothing more or less than a higher and more special affirmation of life. Such dying is the fruit of life, the evidence of mature and productive living. It is, in fact, the end or the goal of life.

What do I mean by loving ourselves properly? I mean first of all, desiring to live, accepting life as a very great gift and a great good, not because of what it gives us, but because of what it enables us to give to others.

Every phrase and circumstance are marked with the barbarous hand of superstitious torture, and forced into meanings it was impossible they could have. The head of every chapter, and the top of every page, are blazoned with the names of Christ and the Church, that the unwary reader might suck in the error before he began to read.

The Christian religion begins with a dream and ends with a murder.

Great teachers give us a sense not only of who they are, but more important, of who we are, and who we might become. They unlock our energies, our imaginations, and our minds. Effective teachers pose compelling questions, explain options, teach us to reason, suggest possible directions, and urge us on. The best teachers, like the best leaders, have an uncanny ability to step outside themselves and become liberating forces in our lives.

People who read stories are said to have excitable brains.

America can carry herself and get along in pretty fair shape, but when she stops and picks up the whole world and puts it on her shoulders she just can’t “get it done.”

So who is out there? Who comes with this loss, wistfulness, and hope? We come to this meeting, I submit, as emaciated persons. We have been reduced to silence, to docile speech, to non-committal chatter. We have been intimidated to speak only what is approved, what is expected, what is safe. Because of seduction and intimidation, we say much less than we know, much less than we hurt or hope, much less than we crave to say.

When the Gauls laid waste Rome, they found the senators clothed in their robes, and seated in stern tranquility in their curule chairs; in this manner they suffered death without resistance or supplication. Such conduct was in them applauded as noble and magnanimous; in the hapless Indians it was reviled as both obstinate and sullen. How truly are we the dupes of show and circumstances! How different is virtue, clothed in purple and enthroned in state, from virtue, naked and destitute, and perishing obscurely in a wilderness.

Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedom -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

The disease that racks and wastes thy limbs, and the sickness in thy heart, has flown as an eagle to a far distance, overcome by my charm.

Man is not an omipotent master of the universe, allowed to do with impunity whatever he thinks, or whatever suits him at the moment. The world we live in is made of an immensely complex and mysterious tissue about which we know very little and which we must treat with utmost humility.

As long as scientists are free to pursue the truth wherever it may lead, there will be a flow of new scientific knowledge to those who can apply it to practical problems.

If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as well attempt to grasp the game of poker entirely by the use of the mathematics of probability. The abacus, with its beads strung on parallel wires, led the Arabs to positional numeration and the concept of zero many centuries before the rest of the world; and it was a useful tool— so useful that it still exists.