What do we know?

Fifteen quotes examining the nature of reality and how knowledge is acquired:

"Because of conceptualization, our sense-experiences inform us with an incorrect picture of the world.   When we see a mountain, we do not see it in its suchness, but we attach to it all kinds of ideas, sometimes purely intellectual, but frequently charged with emotionality.  When these envelop the mountain, it is transformed into something monstrous...Instead of living in a world presented to the Primary Nature in its nakedness, we live in an artificial, "cultured" one.  The pity is that we are not conscious of the fact." ~from Zen and Japanese Culture by D.T. Suzuki

"We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are."  ~The Talmud 

"The map is not the territory."  ~Alfred Korzybski

"There are no facts, only interpretations."  ~Friedrich Nietzsche 

"We can all see how other people's BS (belief system or bullshit :p) makes them blind and "stupid" at times, but we find it very hard to notice how our own BS is doing the same to us. This is what anthropologists call 'acculturalization.'  Following Gurdjieff, I prefer to call it hypnosis... Every politician knows how to induce hypnosis, and very damned few people on the whole planet know how to de-hypnotize themselves. The world is not governed by facts or logic. It is governed by BS (belief systems)."  ~Robert Anton Wilson

"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." ~Voltaire

"Your beliefs can be like fences that surround you. You must first see them or you will not even realize that you are not free, simply because you will not see beyond the fences. They will represent the boundaries of your experience."  ~from The Nature of Personal Reality by Jane Roberts

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination."  ~John Lennon

"In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination."  ~Mark Twain

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."  ~Albert Einstein 

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."  ~William James

"When you question your stressful thoughts, you come to see that everything that has been troubling you is just a misunderstanding.  You realize that what you believe isn't necessarily so.  This is the beginning of freedom.  The Work always leaves you a kinder, clearer, happier human being." ~from Question Your Thinking, Change The World by Byron Katie

"Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world." ~Arthur Schopenhauer

"The empiricist... thinks he believes only what he sees, but he is much better at believing than at seeing."  -George Santayana

"We accept the reality of the world with which we're presented, it's as simple as that."  ~The Truman Show


Magpie said...

There is much food for thought here today. Twain, Einstein, and James all concise and spot on. :)

Thendral said...

//"We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are." ~The Talmud// It is really true even I have experienced this!

Tracy said...

These are all very good! I especially like BS = Belief System. :-)

tom sullivan said...

Great quotes - Hadn't read the Nietzsche before. May post it, myself, on Untruths.

Brenda's Arizona said...

So much good thinking comes from these quotes. Excellent!

Martha Z said...

A thoughtful collection and a collection worthy of thought.