Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Arthur Koestler

Hungarian-born British Novelist

"Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual."

"If the Creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely meant for us to stick it out."

"Hatred increases in proportion to the amount of shared convictions and interests."

"Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion."

"We can add to our knowledge, but we cannot at will subtract from it."

"Wars are not fought for territory, but for words. Man's deadliest weapon is language. He is susceptible to being hypnotized by slogans as he is to infectious diseases. And where there is an epidemic, the group-mind takes over."

"The pursuit of science in itself is never materialistic. It is a search for the principles of law and order in the universe, and as such an essentially religious endeavor."

"I am not sure whether what the philosophers call ethical absolutes exist, but I am sure that we have to act as if they existed. Ethics must be freed from its utilitarian chains."

"Growing familiarity has the deadly effect of enabling one to predict the other person's responses; and when that happens, the stimulating quality and creative tension of a relationship are finished."

"Detachment, the foundation of all mystic techniques, may be compressed into the formula: I will not to will."

"Is it really too much to ask and hope for a religion whose content is perennial but not archaic, which provides ethical guidance, teaches the lost art of contemplation, and restores contact with the supernatural without requiring reason to abdicate?"

"The contemporary divorce between faith and reason is not the result of a contest for power or for intellectual monopoly, but of a progressive estrangement without hostility or drama, and therefore all the more deadly."

"The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards."

"If causality has broken down and events are not rigidly governed by the pushes and pressures of the past, may they not be influenced in some manner by the pull of the future - which is a manner of saying that “purpose” may be a concrete physical factor in the evolution of the universe."

"The most persistent sound which reverberates through man's history is the beating of war drums."

"The necessity of getting reconciled with the idea of his possible extinction may breed a new humility and may rid man of that biological jingoism which made him regard himself as the crown of creation."

"Creative activity described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual."

"Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual."

"Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears."

"True creativity often starts where language ends."