Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,Such shaping fantasies, that apprehendMore than cool reason ever comprehends.The lunatic, the lover and the poetAre of imagination all compact:One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling,Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;And as imagination bodies forthThe forms of things unknown, the poet's penTurns them to shapes and gives to airy nothingA local habitation and a name.
Because there are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, the third is useless.
To better understand God we must first shatter our own idea of God - maybe even day after day. Maybe he's too great to stay compressed in the human mind. Maybe he splits it wide open; this is why pretentious intellectualism so often fails to comprehend the concept of God: it is only accepting of what it can explain while in the process finding higher sources offensive. What we may confidently assert is that faith is the opening that allows God, this unpredictable, unseen power, to travel in and out of the mind without all the pains of confusion.
The only thing that interests the physicist is finding out on what assumptions a framework of things can be constructed which will enable us to know how to use them mechanically. Physics, as I have said on another occasion, is the technique of techniques and the ars combinatoria for fabricating machines. It is a knowledge which has scarcely anything to do with comprehension.
Olivier took a deep breath, then turned and bowed in farewell. Gersonides nodded in return, then thought of something.The manuscript you brought me, by that bishop. It argues that understanding is more important than movement. That action is virtuous only if it reflects pure comprehension, and that virtue comes from the comprehension, not the action.Olivier frowned. So?Dear boy, I must tell you a secret.What?I do believe it is wrong.
I don’t always feel what I know I should feel.My thought crosses the river I swim very slowlyBecause the suit men made it wear weighs it down.
We're very familiar with the idea that some things are so complex they're beyond our comprehension. This not only keeps us solving and experimenting but also distracted. Many things are really so simple we can't see them under our big noses.
Vivid simplicity is the articulation, the nature of genius. Wisdom is greater than intelligence; intelligence is greater than philosobabble.
When you read a manuscript that has been damaged by water, fire, light or just the passing of the years, your eye needs to study not just the shape of the letters but other marks of production. The speed of the pen. The pressure of the hand on the page. Breaks and releases in the flow. You must relax. Think of nothing. Until you wake into a dream where you are at once a pen flying of vellum and the vellum itself with the touch of ink tickling your surface. Then you can read it. The intention of the writer, his thoughts, his hesitations, his longings and his meaning. You can read as clearly as if you were the very candlelight illuminating the page as the pen speeds over it.
The knowledge that he had left me with no intent ever to return had come over me in tiny droplets of realization spread over the years. And each droplet of comprehension brought its own small measure of hurt...He had wished me well in finding my own fate to follow, and I never doubted his sincerity. But it had taken me years to accept that his absence in my life was a deliberate finality, an act he had chosen, a thing completed even as some part of my soul still dangled, waiting for his return.
Until every soul is freely permitted to investigate every book, and creed, and dogma for itself, the world cannot be free. Mankind will be enslaved until there is mental grandeur enough to allow each man to have his thought and say. This earth will be a paradise when men can, upon all these questions differ, and yet grasp each other's hands as friends. It is amazing to me that a difference of opinion upon subjects that we know nothing with certainty about, should make us hate, persecute, and despise each other. Why a difference of opinion upon predestination, or the trinity, should make people imprison and burn each other seems beyond the comprehension of man; and yet in all countries where Christians have existed, they have destroyed each other to the exact extent of their power. Why should a believer in God hate an atheist? Surely the atheist has not injured God, and surely he is human, capable of joy and pain, and entitled to all the rights of man. Would it not be far better to treat this atheist, at least, as well as he treats us?Christians tell me that they love their enemies, and yet all I ask is—not that they love their enemies, not that they love their friends even, but that they treat those who differ from them, with simple fairness.We do not wish to be forgiven, but we wish Christians to so act that we will not have to forgive them. If all will admit that all have an equal right to think, then the question is forever solved; but as long as organized and powerful churches, pretending to hold the keys of heaven and hell, denounce every person as an outcast and criminal who thinks for himself and denies their authority, the world will be filled with hatred and suffering. To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds.
Form is what transforms the content of a work into its essence. Do you understand? The character of music arises out of its form like steam from water,’ Yury Andreevich said. ‘With solid understanding of the general laws of form, which encompass all that is amenable to formulation, one can, by groping further, perceive the individual, the particular. Then, subtracting the general, one can sense a residue where wonder lurks in its purest, most undiluted form. Herein lies the goal of theory: the more fully one grasps what is available for comprehension, the more intensely the ineffable shines.
To think that we grasp the fullness of life is to say that by holding a mere drop of water in our hands we are able to understand the immensity of the ocean.
It is usually unbearably painful to read a book by an author who knows way less than you do, unless the book is a novel.
The knowledge that he had left me with no intent ever to return had come over me in tiny droplets of realization spread over the years. And each droplet of comprehension brought its own small measure of hurt.
We ought to regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its antecedent state and as the cause of the state that is to follow. An intelligence knowing all the forces acting in nature at a given instant, as well as the momentary positions of all things in the universe, would be able to comprehend in one single formula the motions of the largest bodies as well as the lightest atoms in the world, provided that its intellect were sufficiently powerful to subject all data to analysis; to it nothing would be uncertain, the future as well as the past would be present to its eyes. The perfection that the human mind has been able to give to astronomy affords but a feeble outline of such an intelligence.
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age.
[Religious belief is] outmoded and ridiculous. [Belief in gods was a] worn out but once useful crutch in mankind's journey towards truth. We consider the time has come for that crutch to be abandoned.It is a vacuous answer... To say that 'God made the world' is simply a more or less sophisticated way of saying that we don't understand how the universe originated. A god, in so far as it is anything, is an admission of ignorance. thundered over the horizon and in a few decades of observation and thought . . . arrived at an answer.I regard teaching religion as purveying lies. I came here today to de-corrupt you all.
For God to prove himself on demand, physically, would be a grave disappointment, and the strongest Christians should be considerably grateful that he chooses not to do so. The skeptic endlessly demands proof, yet God refuses to insult the true intelligence of man, the '6th sense', the chief quality, the acumen which distinguishes man from the rest of creation, faith.
You need to understand, comprehend and believe, “There is a goal in my birth. I have a mission, and there is something that no one but I can do.
Some of the simplest of truths are also some of the most difficult of truths, but such is Christianity: 'If it's not about Christ, it's not about life.
Comprehension is the ability to follow an explanation.Understanding is the ability to be able to lead if needed.
Only in some very special cases is comprehension the point of reading--in things like recipes and reading material. The point of reading is understanding, and comprehension is to understanding as getting wet is to swimming. You must do the one before you can hope to do the other, but you don't do the other simply because you do the one.
Never take advice about never taking advice. That is an old vice of men - to dish it out without being able to take it - the blind leading the blind into more blindness.
Thus the aristocracy took their revenge by singing lampoons on their new master, and whispering in his ears sinister prophecies of coming catastrophe.In this way arose feudal Socialism; half lamentation, half lampoon; half echo of the past, half menace of the future, at times by its bitter, witty and incisive criticism, striking the bourgeoisie to the very heart's core, but always ludicrous in its effects, through total incapacity to comprehend the march of modern history.
Nature is such as to give rise to conscious beings with minds, and it is such as to be comprehensible to such beings. Ultimately therefore such beings should be comprehensible to themselves.
I do not see how it is possible for a man to die worth fifty million of dollars, or ten million of dollars, in a city full of want, when he meets almost every day the withered hand of beggary and the white lips of famine. How a man can withstand all that, and hold in the clutch of his greed twenty or thirty million of dollars, is past my comprehension. I do not see how he can do it. I should not think he could do it any more than he could keep a pile of lumber on the beach, where hundreds and thousands of men were drowning in the sea.
You think you're losing your mind, but do keep in mind, as long as you may, that the ability to go on thinking such a thing means it's not all gone.
The last thing Scripture should do is make you blind in the world. Instead, you hear everything, see everything, and feel everything because everything just so happens to point right back to it.
I am afflicted with the power of thought, which is a heavy curse. The less a person thinks and inquires regarding the why and the wherefore and the justice of things, when dragging along through life, the happier it is for him, and doubly, trebly so, for her.
The foundation of morality on the human sentiments of what is acceptable behavior versus repulsive behavior has always made morals susceptible to change. Much of what was repulsive 100 years ago is normal today, and - although it may be a slippery slope - what is repulsive today is possible to be normal 100 years into tomorrow; the human standard has always been but to push the envelope. In this way, all generations are linked, and one can only hope that every extremist, self-proclaimed progressive is considering this ultimate 'Utopia' to which his kindness will lead at the end of the chain.