So-Called Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 219 quotes )
A book no more contains reality than a clock contains time. A book may measure so-called reality as a clock measures so-called time; a book may create an illusion of reality as a clock creates an illusion of time; a book may be real, just as a clock is real (both more real, perhaps, than those ideas to which they allude); but let's not kid ourselves - all a clock contains is wheels and springs and all a book contains is sentences.
To simplify your life, just think of yourself as a four-year-old child. Try to imagine the way he thinks of reality. If you have to talk to someone about a so-called complicated matter, see how you can simplify it. No matter with whom you are talking, feel that you are a child and that person is also a child. When a childlike quality comes into your life, everything automatically becomes simple.
Instruction in world history in the so-called high schools is even today in a very sorry condition. Few teachers understand that the study of history can never be to learn historical dates and events by heart and recite them by rote; that what matters is not whether the child knows exactly when this battle or that was fought, when a general was born, or even when a monarch (usually a very insignificant one) came into the crown of his forefathers. No, by the living God, this is very unimportant. To 'learn' history means to seek and find the forces which are the causes leading to those effects which we subsequently perceive as historical events.
Whenever a state or an individual cited 'insufficient funds' as an excuse for neglecting this important thing or that, it was indicative of the extent to which reality had been distorted by the abstract lens of wealth. During periods of so-called economic depression, for example, societies suffered for want of all manner of essential goods, yet investigation almost invariably disclosed that there were plenty of goods available. Plenty of coal in the ground, corn in the fields, wool on the sheep. What was missing was not materials but an abstract unit of measurement called 'money.' It was akin to a starving woman with a sweet tooth lamenting that she couldn't bake a cake because she didn't have any ounces. She had butter, flour, eggs, milk, and sugar, she just didn't have any ounces, any pinches, any pints. The loony legacy of money was that the arithmetic by which things were measured had become more valuable than the things themselves.
When you've lived as long as I have, you tend to think you've heardeverything, that there's nothing left that can shock you anymore. You grow a little complacent about your so-called knowledge of the world, and then, every once in a while, something comes along thatjolts you out of your smug cocoon of superiority, that reminds you allover again that you don't understand the first thing about life.