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    The most gifted members of the human species are at their creative best when they cannot have their way, and must compensate for what they miss by realizing and cultivating their capacities and talents.

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  21  /  27  

Any young person who has studied Heidegger; or seen Ionesco's 'plays'; or listened to the 'music' of John Cage; or read more

Any young person who has studied Heidegger; or seen Ionesco's 'plays'; or listened to the 'music' of John Cage; or looked at Andy Warhol's 'paintings'- has experienced that feeling of incredulous puzzlement: But this is nonsense! Can I really be expected to take this seriously?In fact, of course, it is necessary for it to be nonsense; if it made sense, it could be evaluated. The essence of modern intellectual snobbery is the 'emperor's new cloths' approach. Teachers, critics, our self-appointed intellectual elite, make it quite clear to us that if we cannot see the superlative nature of this 'art'- why, it merely shows our ignorance, our lack of sophistication and insight. Of course, they go beyond the storybook emperor's tailors, who dressed their victim in nothing and called it fine garments. The modern tailors dress the emperor in garbage.

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There are many who know many things, yet are lacking in wisdom.

There are many who know many things, yet are lacking in wisdom.

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The unphilosophical majority among men are the ones most helplessly dependent on their era's dominant ideas. In times of crises read more

The unphilosophical majority among men are the ones most helplessly dependent on their era's dominant ideas. In times of crises these men need the guidance of some kind of theory; but, being unfamiliar with the field of ideas, they do not know that alternatives to the popular theories are possible. They know only what they have always been taught.

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He who can take no interest in what is small will take false interest in what is great.

He who can take no interest in what is small will take false interest in what is great.

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Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest will either be supplied or its loss will read more

Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest will either be supplied or its loss will not be felt.

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The inertia of the human mind and its resistance to innovation are most clearly demonstrated not, as one might expect, read more

The inertia of the human mind and its resistance to innovation are most clearly demonstrated not, as one might expect, by the ignorant mass- which is easily swayed once its imagination is caught- but by professionals with a vested interest in tradition and in the monopoly of learning. Innovation is a twofold threat to academic mediocrities: it endangers their oracular authority, and it evokes the deeper fear that their whole, laboriously constructed intellectual edifice might collapse. The academic backwoodsmen have been the curse of genius from Aristarchus to Darwin and Freud; they stretch, a solid and hostile phalanx of pedantic mediocrities, across the centuries.

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Happiness is good health and a bad memory.

Happiness is good health and a bad memory.

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Reading furnishes the mind only with materials for knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

Reading furnishes the mind only with materials for knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

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Animals can learn, but it is not by learning that they become dogs, cats, or horses. Only man has to read more

Animals can learn, but it is not by learning that they become dogs, cats, or horses. Only man has to learn to become what he is supposed to be.

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