Thinking About Thinking

Sunday, September 20, 2009 – Thinking About Thinking

Her virtue was that she said what she thought, her vice that what she thought didn’t amount to much. ~ Peter Ustinov

It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid. ~ George Bernard Shaw

The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. ~ Harlan Ellison

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth – only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. ~ C. S. Lewis

People mistakenly assume that their thinking is done by their head; it is actually done by the heart which first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the reasoning that will defend it. ~ Anthony de Mello

Most people are unable to write because they are unable to think, and they are unable to think because they congenitally lack the equipment to do so, just as they congenitally lack the equipment to fly over the moon. ~ H. L. Mencken

People who say they don’t care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don’t care what people think. ~ George Carlin

Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain. ~ Carl G. Jung

Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again? ~ Winnie the Pooh

The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking. ~ A. A. Milne

The forceps of our minds are clumsy things and crush the truth a little in the course of taking hold of it. ~ H. G. Wells

It is well for people who think, to change their minds occasionally in order to keep them clean. ~ Luther Burbank

Physiological response to thinking and to pain is the same; and man is not given to hurting himself. ~ Martin H. Fischer

Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once a week. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Thoughts, like fleas, jump from man to man. But they don’t bite everybody. ~ Stanislaw Lec, Unkempt Thoughts, 1962

At a certain age some people’s minds close up; they live on their intellectual fat. ~ William Lyon Phelps

Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinion at all. ~ G. C. Lichtenberg

Sometimes I think and other times I am. ~ Paul Valéry, Variété: Cantiques spirituels, 1924

Some people do not become thinkers simply because their memories are too good. ~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man. ~ Bertrand Russell

There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous. ~ Hannah Arendt

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine

Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes. ~ Alan Watts

If I look confused it is because I am thinking. ~ Samuel Goldwyn

Guys are simple… women are not simple and they always assume that men must be just as complicated as they are, only way more mysterious. The whole point is guys are not thinking much. They are just what they appear to be. Tragically. ~ Dave Barry

A girl in a bikini is like having a loaded pistol on your coffee table – there’s nothing wrong with them, but it’s hard to stop thinking about it. ~ Garrison Keillor

Most of one’s life is one prolonged effort to prevent oneself thinking. ~ Aldous Huxley

No, no, you’re not thinking; you’re just being logical. ~ Niels Bohr

Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding. ~ Ambrose Bierce

I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else. ~ Lily Tomlin

I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can’t trust ‘em. ~ Jim Valvano

I have often wished I had time to cultivate modesty… but I am too busy thinking about myself. ~ Edith Sitwell

I once tried thinking for an entire day, but I found it less valuable than one moment of study. ~ Xun Zi

I cannot walk through the suburbs in the solitude of the night without thinking that the night pleases us because it suppresses idle details, just as our memory does. ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me? ~ Walt Whitman

Asparagus inspires gentle thoughts. ~ Charles Lamb

The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds. ~ R. D. Laing

Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts. ~ Charles Maurice de Talleyrand

How full of trifles everything is! It is only one’s thoughts that fill a room with something more than furniture. ~ Wallace Stevens