The art of drawing conclusions from experiments and observations consists in evaluating probabilities and in estimating whether they are sufficiently great or numerous enough to constitute proofs. This kind of calculation is more complicated and more difficult than it is commonly thought to be. . .
The art of life is to show your hand. There is no diplomacy like candor. You may lose by it now and then, but it will be a loss well gained if you do. Nothing is so boring as having to keep up a deception.
The finest works of art are precious, among other reasons, because they make it possible for us to know, if only imperfectly and for a little while, what it actually feels like to think subltly and feel nobly.
...One of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought.
My friends and my road-fellows, pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion. Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own winepress. Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful. Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except among its ruins, and will rebel not save when its neck is laid between the sword and the block. Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking. Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpetings, and farewells him with hootings, only to welcome another with trumpetings again. Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.
From one Soul of the Universe are all Souls derived. . .Of these Souls there are many changes, some into a more fortunate estate, and some quite contrary. . .Not all human souls but only the pious ones are divine. Once separated from the body, and after the struggle to acquire piety, which consists in knowing God and injuring none, such a soul becomes all intelligence. The impious soul, however, punishes itself by seeking a human body to enter into, for no other body can receive a human soul it cannot enter the body of an animal devoid of reason. Divine law preserves the human soul from such infamy. . .The soul passeth from form to form and the mansions of her pilgrimage are manifold. Thou puttest off thy bodies as raiment and as vesture dost thou fold them up. Thou art from old, O Soul of Man yea, thou art from everlasting.
Abused as we abuse it at present, dramatic art is in no sense cathartic it is merely a form of emotional masturbation. It is the rarest thing to find a player who has not had his character affected for the worse by the practice of his profession. Nobody can make a habit of self-exhibition, nobody can exploit his personality for the sake of exercising a kind of hypnotic power over others, and remain untouched by the process.
Any great work of art revives and readapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world -- the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breathe its strange, special air.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead his eyes are closed.
Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness: on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming at something else, they find happiness by the way.
Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand Come, let me clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling as to sight or art thou but A dagger of the mind, a false creation, Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain