“I dig old books.”
Quotations about the Mind
'Tis the great art of life to manage well
Men are not prisoners of fate, but prisoners of their own minds. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
[W]ith an unquiet mind, neither exercise, nor diet, nor physick can be of much use. ~Samuel Johnson
Perhaps God gives us a physical body so that every time we change our mind, we won’t be someone else. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
The Brain – is wider than the Sky –
For – put them side by side –
The one the other will contain
With ease – and You – beside....
The Brain is just the weight of God –
For – Heft them – Pound for Pound –
And they will differ – if they do –
As Syllable from Sound.
I have too much brain for my head; it cannot play at ease in its case. ~Joseph Joubert (1754–1824), translated from French by George H. Calvert, 1866
The western mind is linear, the eastern mind is circular. ~Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
Few minds are sunlike, sources of light in themselves and to others: many more are moons that shine with a borrowed radiance. One may easily distinguish the two: the former are always full; the latter only now and then, when their suns are shining full upon them. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
Webs of strange patterns we weave (each owns)
From colour and soul; and like unto these,
Soul has its tones and semitones,
Mind has its major and minor keys.
~Amy Levy, "In a Minor Key (An Echo from a Larger Lyre)," c.1884
The moon is one, but on agitated water it produces many reflections. Similarly ultimate reality is one, yet it appears to be many in a mind agitated by thoughts. ~Maharamayana
Pain of mind is worse than pain of body. ~Latin Proverb
Body and mind, like man and wife, do not always agree to die together. ~Charles Caleb Colton
Creative minds are rarely tidy. ~John William Gardner, "Self-Renewal: The Individual and the Innovative Society," 1964
But it seems an irony of creation that man's mind knows how to handle things the better the farther removed they are from the center of his existence. Thus we are cleverest where knowledge matters least.... ~Hermann Weyl
When I feel well and in a good humor, or when I am taking a drive or walking after a good meal, or in the night when I cannot sleep, thoughts crowd into my mind as easily as you could wish. ~Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Aspatria's mind was sensitive and observing; it lived very well on its own ideas. ~Amelia E. Huddleston Barr, A Rose of a Hundred Leaves: A Love Story, 1891 #infj
According to Madam Pomfrey, thoughts could leave deeper scarring than almost anything else... ~J.K. Rowling, "The Second War Begins," Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2003
Don’t let it be all in your head, nor all in your body. ~Terri Guillemets
Bodies devoid of mind are as statues in the market place. ~Euripides
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our mind growled like our stomach does when it is hungry? ~Zig Ziglar
Indeed, to me the charm of an encyclopaedia is that it knows, and I needn't. My mental lee-scuppers are often awash in facts: I want to reef not only from the blasts of boredom which are inevitable sometimes, but from the gales of new and interesting knowledge: only thus can I keep close-hauled on my mark. One often sees craft with too much canvas: sluggish in helm and liable to upset: modern life is strewn with their wreckage. In short, the place for facts is books, and I shall expect this new Britannica to enable me to forget rather than to remember. I shall expect it to air and elevate my mind, while keeping for me in a convenient place all that mass of exact information which we must carry, either in brain or bookcase. ~Francis Yeats-Brown, "The New Encyclopaedia Britannica," in The Spectator, 1929 September 21st [What beautiful old-time phrasing for "You don't have to know everything; you just need to know where to find it," even if it was a thinly veiled advertisement. And as well, how interesting that some people actually suffered from information overload that long ago.
Sometimes it’s harder to attain inner silence than outer silence. The dog stopped barking and the kids have gone to bed, but your mind has a lot to talk about and it knows you can’t pretend you’re not at home. ~Terri Guillemets
The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
Imagine the brain, that shiny mound of being, that mouse-gray parliament of cells, that dream factory, that petit tyrant inside a ball of of bone, that huddle of neurons calling all the plays, that little everywhere, that fickle pleasuredrome, that wrinkled wardrobe of selves stuffed into the skull like too many clothes into a gym bag.... We take for granted the ridiculous-sounding yet undeniable fact that each person carries around atop the body a complete universe in which trillions of sensations, thoughts, and desires stream.... It's where catchy tunes snag, and cravings keep tugging. ~Diane Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain
Mind is a broken mirror. ~Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
Perhaps already I am dead,
And these perhaps are phantoms vain;—
These motley phantasies that pass
At night through my disordered brain.
Perhaps with ancient heathen shapes,
Old faded gods, this brain is full;
Who, for their most unholy rites,
Have chosen a dead poet's skull...
~Heinrich Heine, translated from German
Pour some water into a tub and stir it up. Now try as hard as you can to calm the water with your hands; you will succeed in agitating it further. Let it stand undisturbed a while, and it will calm down by itself. The human brain works much the same way. ~Koichi Tohei, Ki in Daily Life
Dementia, that stealthy thief of identity, had bleached her vibrant self almost to indistinctness, like a photograph long exposed to sunlight.
It is said that God gave us memory so we could have roses in winter: Dementia is an ever-deepening advance of wintery whiteness, a protracted paring away of personality. It inflicts on victims the terror of attenuated personhood, challenging philosophical and theological attempts to make death a clean, intelligible and bearable demarcation.
Is death the soul taking flight after the body has failed? That sequence — the physical extinguished, the spiritual not — serves our notion of human dignity. However, mental disintegration mocks that comforting schema by taking the spirit first. In the very elderly the mind can come and go, a wanderer in time, and a disintegrating personality can acquire angers and jagged edges that are, perhaps, protests against a growing lightness of being. No one has come back from deep in that foreign country to report on life there. However, it must be frightening to feel one's self become light as a feather, with inner gales rising. ~George Will, "A Mother's Love, Clarified," The Washington Post, 2006 July 13th
Sweet are the thoughts that favour of content;
The quiet mind is richer than a crown...
Such sweet content, such minds, such sleep, such bliss,
Beggars enjoy, when princes oft do miss...
Obscurèd life sets down a type of bliss,
A mind content both crown and kingdom is.
~Robert Greene, c.1587
What if there are not only two nostrils, two eyes, two lobes, and so forth, but two psyches as well, and they are separately equipped? They go through life like Siamese twins inside one person. ~Norman Mailer, Harlot's Ghost, 1991
Ever wonder what crime you committed that you are confined to a small enclosure above your sinuses, under permanent skull arrest? ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Oh, dear Father God, I come—
As I always come to Thee—
And, with all my love, I bring
My wholehearted, earnest plea.
Not for wealth nor jewels, rare,
Do I ask of Thee each day,
But for that which I so need
I do ask of Thee; and, pray,
Give Thy richest gift to me:
Give, oh, give me peace of mind!
Nothing else can take its place…
Peace, sweet peace, Lord, let me find!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Peace of Mind" (1940s)
I suppose my childish days are over, aren't yours? I've got it all together now, don't you? I must admit though, there are some days I practice positive thinking, and other days I'm not positive I am thinking. ~John M. Eades, The 7th Floor Ain't Too High for Angels to Fly: A Collection of Stories on Relationships & Self-Understanding, "The Boy in the Mirror," 1995
Here in your mind you have complete privacy. Here there’s no difference between what is and what could be. ~Chuck Palahniuk, Choke
The power of the mind is your power. Use it. Don’t let it use you. ~Terri Guillemets
There are so many things I do not know,
As over the pathway of life I go!
And the sun rides high and the waters flow,
And I'm still in doubt, for I do not know!
There are so many things to confuse my mind,
As I struggle on through the daily grind!
But I feel that, sometime, I'll surely find
The perfect answer that will ease my mind!
~Gertrude T. Buckingham, "So Many Things"
To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. ~Zhuangzi
Mind is blocking the fountain of intelligence like a rock. ~Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
The vacation we often need is freedom from our own mind. ~Jack Adam Weber
Some minds are made of blotting-paper: you can write nothing on them distinctly. They swallow the ink, and you find a large spot. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
Every thought we have is a form of energy that continues to exist forever. ~Pim van Lommel
Some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvantage and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles. ~Washington Irving, The Sketch Book, 1820
Sometimes I suffer from indigestion of the mind. ~Carrie Latet
You must weed your mind as you would weed your garden. ~Terri Guillemets [And later stumbled onto this — apologies, dearest Horatio: "When people will not weed their own minds, they are apt to be overrun by nettles." ~Horace Walpole, letter to the Countess of Ailesbury, 1779 July 10th
Weeds are pulled up by the roots to clear the fields for the growing grain. Why should not mental weeds be pulled up by the roots also, and the mind cleared for growth? ~Horace Fletcher, Menticulture, 1895
Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort. ~Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge
I’ve concluded, after many years, that my mind works by process of elimination. Problem is, it hasn’t eliminated anything yet. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
It is discouraging to try to penetrate a mind like yours. You ought to get it out and dance on it. That would take some of the rigidity out of it. ~Mark Twain
Channels are blocked in the mind, from the day. Lie down in blackness of night, forgotten remnants rush to the mind, or creeping slowly appear in the dreams. ~Terri Guillemets
It is sweet to let the mind unbend on occasion. ~Horace