Ingenuity

Real human progress depends not so much on inventive ingenuity as on conscience.

Do people love truth? On the contrary, mankind has employed its subtlest ingenuity and intelligence in efforts to evade or conceal it... Do human beings love justice? The sordid travesties in our courts year after year suggest that they love justice only for themselves. Do they love peace? Can anyone seriously ask the question? Do they love freedom? Only for those who share their views. Love of peace, freedom, justice, truth - this is a myth that has been created by the folk mind, and if the artist does not look behind the myth to the reality, he will indeed wander amid the phantoms which he creates.

There do remain dispersed in the soil of human nature divers seeds of goodness, of benignity, of ingenuity, which being cherished, excited, and quickened by good culture, do by common experience thrust out flowers very lovely, and yield fruits very pleasant of virtue and goodness.

We know that we are not limited by the accident of our birth or the timing of it, and we recognize the truth that we have always been around. We can reinhabit time and own our story as a species. We were present back there in the fireball and the rains that streamed down on this still molten planet, and in the primordial seas. We remember that in our mother’s womb, where we wear vestigial gills and tail and fins for hands. We remember that. That information is in us and there is a deep, deep kinship in us, beneath the outer layers of our neocortex or what we learned in school. There is a deep wisdom, a bondedness with our creation, and an ingenuity far beyond what we think we have. And when we expand our notions of what we are to include this story, we will have a wonderful time and we will survive.

Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.

The decisive part of our seeking is not our human ascent to God, but his descent to us. Without God’s descent there is no human ascent. The secret of the quest lies not in our brilliance but in His grace. What puts us on the way is not the daring and ingenuity of our discovery of paths, but the disclosure of the one who has preceded us on all our paths.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

The arms race is based on an optimistic view of technology and a pessimistic view of man. It assumes there is no limit to the ingenuity of science and no limit to the deviltry of human beings.

Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

Mankind are more indebted to industry than ingenuity; the gods set up their favors at a price, and industry is the purchaser.

Are we so devoid of spiritual and moral force and intellectual ingenuity that we cannot possibly prevent war by any means other than military preparedness?

The peril of every fine faculty is the delight of playing with it for pride. Talent is commonly developed at the expense of character, and the greater it grows, the more is the mischief. Talent is mistaken for genius, a dogma or system for truth, ambition for greatest, ingenuity for poetry, sensuality for art.

When forced to study, children use their ingenuity to get through school without learning.

The supposed great misery of our century is the lack of time; our sense of that, not a disinterested love of science, and certainly not wisdom, is why we devote such a huge proportion of the ingenuity and income of our societies to finding faster ways of doing things - as if the final aim of mankind was to grow closer not to a perfect humanity, but to a perfect lightning-flash.

It is true that many scientists are not philosophically minded and have hitherto shown much skill and ingenuity but little wisdom.

Life by life, each man progresses (at his own pace, be it ever so erratic) toward the goal of his own apotheosis. Death, no interruption in this onward sweep, simply offers man the more congenial environment of an astral world in which to purify his dross. 'Let not your heart be troubled... In my Father's house are many mansions.' It is indeed unlikely that God has exhausted His ingenuity in organising this world, or that, in the next world, He will offer nothing more challenging to our interest than the strumming of harps.

Art has no cosmology, it gives us no view of the universe; every distinct work of art gives us a little cosmology of its own, and no ingenuity will combine all these into a single whole. But religion is essentially cosmological, though its cosmology is always an imaginative cosmology. Any given religious experience can be fitted by this cosmology into the scheme of the whole, and labeled as an ascent into the third heaven, a temptation of the devil, and so forth. Hence religion is social, as art can never be. The sociability of artists is a paradoxical and precarious thing, and ceases the instant they begin their actual artistic work. But the sociability of religion is part of its fundamental nature. The life of religion is always the life of a church.

Is there not a God, or some being, by whatever name I may designate him, who causes these thoughts to arise in my mind? But why suppose such a being, for it may be I myself am capable of producing them? Am I, then, at least not something? But I before denied that I possessed senses or a body; I hesitate, however, for what follows from that? Am I so dependent on the body and the senses that without these I cannot exist? But I had the persuasion that there was absolutely nothing in the world, that there was no sky and no earth, neither minds nor bodies; was I not, therefore, at the same time, persuaded that I did not exist? Far from it; I assuredly existed, since I was persuaded. But there is I know not what being, who is possessed at once of the highest power and the deepest cunning, who is constantly employing all his ingenuity in deceiving me. Doubtless, then, I exist, since I am deceived; and, let him deceive me as he may, he can never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I shall be conscious that I am something.

Revolution is a wasteful, destructive, and inhuman engine of political change. It must be allowed to happen if there is nothing better, but the great challenge to human ingenuity is to find alternative paths to economic and political reconstruction, which can bring basic changes without the massive use of violence. The societies of the- Third World can ill afford the economic and human costs of prolonged civil war. But virtually all of the thinking to date about revolutionizing underdeveloped societies through technology rather than through violence has been designed to serve the political interests of the donor country. The avoidance of revolution has been an end in itself, and very little commitment has been made to the achievement of radical political change through nonviolent means in societies needing revolution. A great nation has an inherent problem, and possibly an insoluble one, in devising a strategy for helping another society to remake its political life without injecting its own interests and values and without coming to dominate the weak.