Brief thoughts

Altruism of belief is belief that’s given with entire freedom, without reference to the self. Can an unaltruistic spirit really engage in pure belief? Or has capitalism educated us so that we’re always looking for the bottom line – in everything.

Knowledge is not gained until one knows the consequences of that knowledge.

A proof of learning is that we see old things in new ways. If our way of seeing something does not change, it shows that we have not really learned.

Plato’s belief is that you assimilate perfection; that is, you achieve it by becoming similar to it.

Efficiency eliminates creativity, because with too great an efficiency, there’s no free time remaining to create things that had not been planned.

Understanding the purpose of things alters the context in which they are understood, perhaps even altering the face of knowledge. So philosophy certainly has things to offer the practical sciences!

One only feels pain at criticism if he agrees with it. If it meant nothing, he would feel nothing. It almost seems that justification and rationalization are a manner by which the self digests such criticisms, so that the revelation does not utterly destroy the structures one has built.

We create disciplines for ourselves, when we longer trust ourselves. A law or an obligation reflects a lack of trust in the nature of those to whom the law applies. We impose disciplines when we fear ourselves because of this lack of trust.

Behind everything I buy, there is the person who made it, and the time they spent, and the life they must also live.

The newbie doesn’t want simplicity: He wants obviousness of function. Yet the two are rarely the same, since to the uneducated what is obvious is usually not germane.

Form and essence each have value insofar as they balance one another.

Self-confidence is not simply that we believe in ourselves (or maybe, it is exactly that), but that we trust that if we were to abandon our efforts at perfection per se, we would still develop into good and worthwhile people.

Without chess men, a board, and a struggle, there is no game. It may seem that we’re always headed toward a future horizon, but the real purpose is to provide a playing field within which to develop and prove our skill.

There are two ways that action comes about: by relating to the present, to what delights or disgusts; or by attempting to control the future, dictated by one’s desires and fears.

wuwei is being carried by the river, amazed at the fish, taken to places undreamt of. If we stand, to govern this flow, we severely limit our exposure to the possible.

I realize I loathe conflict, and will try to preempt it in my mind first as if to attack it head on, before it catches me, and so tame the fear it holds over my soul.

Setting out to do anything without a clear purpose in my mind, just from a desire to be “doing”, will always lack the full potential of the imagination, and the fecundity of the creative mind.