I didn’t buy into the value of quotes until recently. At some point (probably while reading Julian Jaynes’s discussions on metaphor), quotes started making sense to me. We learn new things by relating new material to old material. With that, sharing a Kurt Vonnegut quote on art says more than my just stating the point, as the reader can relate that quote to everything they already know about Vonnegut. In this way, people can derive deeper meaning from authors they know well, as they can relate ideas to a hidden schema developed from hours of study.
O, what a world of unseen visions and heard silences, this insubstantial country of the mind! What ineffable essences, these touchless rememberings and unshowable reveries! And the privacy of it all! A secret theater of speechless monologue and prevenient counsel, an invisible mansion of all moods, musings, and mysteries, an infinite resort of disappointments and discoveries. A whole kingdom where each of us reigns reclusively alone, questioning what we will, commanding what we can. A hidden hermitage where we may study out the troubled book of what we have done and yet may do. An introcosm that is more myself than anything I can find in a mirror. This consciousness that is myself of selves, that is everything, and yet is nothing at all - what is it? And where did it come from? And why?
Julian Janyes in The Origin Of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
Fortune gives us nothing we can truly own.
Just because you find the work too hard to do, don’t leap to the conclusion that it is humanly impossible; but if the work can and should be done by a man, then consider yourself capable of doing it.
Marcus Aurelius in The Emperor’s Handbook
Before I studied the art, a punch was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I’ve understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity the ability to express to the utmost with the minimum.
By wading into the unknown first and puzzling through it, you are far more likely to learn and remember the solution than if somebody first sat you down to teach it to you.
From Make It Stick
The map is not the territory
Alfred Korzybski in Science and Sanity
Every kind of ignorance in the world all results from not realizing that our perceptions are gambles. We believe what we see and then we believe our interpretation of it, we don’t even know we are making an interpretation most of the time. We think this is reality.
Robert Anton Wilson