„Action limits us; whereas in the state of contemplation we are endlessly expansive. Will localizes us; thought universalizes us.“

8 March 1868
The will localizes us, thought universalizes us. My soul wavers between two, four, six general and contradictory conceptions, for it obeys all the great instincts of human nature, and aspires to the absolute, which can only be realized by a succession of contraries.
As translated in The Private Journal of Henri Frédéric Amiel (1935), p. 238
Journal Intime (1882), Journal entries
Kontext: Action limits us; whereas in the state of contemplation we are endlessly expansive. Will localizes us; thought universalizes us. My soul wavers between half a dozen antagonistic general conceptions, because it is responsive to all the great instincts of human nature, and its aspiration is to the absolute, which is only to be reached through a succession of contraries. It has taken me a great deal of time to understand myself, and I frequently find myself beginning over again the study of the oft-solved problem, so difficult is it for us to maintain any fixed point within us. I love everything, and detest one thing only — the hopeless imprisonment of my being within a single arbitrary form, even were it chosen by myself. Liberty for the inner man is then the strongest of my passions — perhaps my only passion. Is such a passion lawful? It has been my habit to think so, but intermittently, by fits and starts. I am not perfectly sure of it.

Henri Fréderic Amiel Foto
Henri Fréderic Amiel3
Schweizer Schriftsteller und Philosoph 1821 - 1881

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„There are forces working in the world as never before in the history of mankind for standardization, for the regimentation of us all, or what I like to call making muffins of us, muffins all like every other muffin in the muffin tin. This is the limited universe, the drying, dissipating universe, that we can help our children avoid by providing them with “explosive material capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly.”“

—  Madeleine L'Engle American writer 1918 - 2007

The Expanding Universe (1963)
Kontext: Because of the very nature of the world as it is today our children receive in school a heavy load of scientific and analytic subjects, so it is in their reading for fun, for pleasure, that they must be guided into creativity. There are forces working in the world as never before in the history of mankind for standardization, for the regimentation of us all, or what I like to call making muffins of us, muffins all like every other muffin in the muffin tin. This is the limited universe, the drying, dissipating universe, that we can help our children avoid by providing them with “explosive material capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly.”
So how do we do it? We can’t just sit down at our typewriters an turn out explosive material. I took a course in college on Chaucer, one of the most explosive, imaginative, and far-reaching in influence of all writers. And I’ll never forget going to the final exam and being asked why Chaucer used certain verbal devices, certain adjectives, why he had certain characters behave in certain ways. And I wrote in a white heat of fury, “I don’t think Chaucer had any idea why he did any of these thing. That isn’t the way people write.”
I believe this as strongly now as I did then. Most of what is best in writing isn’t done deliberately.

Paul Cézanne Foto
John Allen Paulos Foto

„The universe acts on us, we adapt to it, and the notions that we develop as a result, including the mathematical ones, are in a sense taught us by the universe. Evolution has selected those of our ancestors (both human and not) whose behavior and thought were consistent with the workings of the universe.“

—  John Allen Paulos American mathematician 1945

Part 3 “Four Psycho-Mathematical Arguments”, Chapter 4 “The Universality Argument (and the Relevance of Morality and Mathematics)” (p. 131)
Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up (2008)

Albert Einstein Foto

„A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

Letter of 1950, as quoted in The New York Times (29 March 1972) and The New York Post (28 November 1972). However, The New Quotable Einstein by Alice Calaprice (Princeton University Press, 2005: , p. 206, has a different and presumably more accurate version of this letter, which she dates to February 12, 1950 and describes as "a letter to a distraught father who had lost his young son and had asked Einstein for some comforting words":<blockquote>A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish it but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.</blockquote> Letter transcript and photograph http://www.lettersofnote.com/2011/11/delusion.html
Google Translate, with its improved neural machine translation system, gives a slightly different translation of the original German quote, as discussed by Bryce Haymond on his blog https://thymindoman.com/2018/03/29/einsteins-misquote-on-the-illusion-of-feeling-separate-from-the-whole/.<blockquote>A human being is a spatially and temporally limited piece of the whole, what we call the “Universe.” He experiences himself and his feelings as separate from the rest, an optical illusion of his consciousness. The quest for liberation from this bondage is the only object of true religion. Not nurturing the illusion but only overcoming it gives us the attainable measure of inner peace.</blockquote>
1950s
Kontext: A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

Victor J. Stenger Foto

„The universe is not fine-tuned to us; we are fine-tuned to our particular universe.“

—  Victor J. Stenger American philosopher 1935 - 2014

In The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us

John D. Barrow Foto
Carl Sagan Foto
Subhash Kak Foto
Novalis Foto

„We dream of travels throughout the universe: is not the universe within us? We do not know the depths of our spirit. The mysterious path leads within. In us, or nowhere, lies eternity with its worlds, the past and the future.“

—  Novalis, buch Blüthenstaub

Fragment No. 16
Variant translations:
We dream of a journey through the universe. But is the universe then not in us? We do not know the depths of our spirit. Inward goes the secret path. Eternity with its worlds, the past and the future, is in us or nowhere.
As translated in "Bildung in Early German Romanticism" by Frederick C. Beiser, in Philosophers on Education : Historical Perspectives (1998) by Amélie Rorty, p. 294
We dream of journeys through the cosmos — Is the cosmos not then in us? We do not know the depths of our own spirit. — The mysterious path leads within. In us, or nowhere, is eternity with its worlds — the past and the future.
Blüthenstaub (1798)
Kontext: Imagination places the future world for us either above or below or in reincarnation. We dream of travels throughout the universe: is not the universe within us? We do not know the depths of our spirit. The mysterious path leads within. In us, or nowhere, lies eternity with its worlds, the past and the future.

Carl Sagan Foto

„If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits?“

—  Carl Sagan, buch The Demon-Haunted World

Ch. 1 : The Most Precious Thing, p. 12
The Demon-Haunted World : Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995)
Quelle: The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Neil deGrasse Tyson Foto
Max Scheler Foto
Neil deGrasse Tyson Foto
Ray Bradbury Foto

„I believe the universe created us — we are an audience for miracles.“

—  Ray Bradbury American writer 1920 - 2012

AARP Magazine (July-August 2008)
Kontext: I believe the universe created us — we are an audience for miracles. In that sense, I guess, I'm religious.

Robert Grosseteste Foto

„The experimental universal is acquired by us,“

—  Robert Grosseteste English bishop and philosopher 1175 - 1253

i. 14, ff. 13<sup>vb</sup>-14<sup>rb</sup>.
Commentarius in Posteriorum Analyticorum Libros (c. 1217-1220)
Kontext: The experimental universal is acquired by us, whose mind's eye is not purely spiritual, only through the help of the senses. For when the senses several times observe two singular occurrences, of which one is the cause of the other or is related to it in some other way, and they do not see the connection between them... And from this perception repeated again and again and stored in memory, and from the sensory knowledge from which the perception is built up, the functioning of the reasoning begins. The functioning reason therefore begins to wonder and to consider whether things really are as the sensible recollection says, and these two lead the reason to experiment... But when he has administered many times with the sure exclusion of all other things [that could be mistaken for the cause]... then there is formed in the reason this universal... and this is the way in which it comes from sensation to a universal experimental principle.

B.K.S. Iyengar Foto

„The compass is ourselves. So we are able to infer that there is a universal reality in ourselves that aligns us with a universal reality that is everywhere.“

—  B.K.S. Iyengar Indian yoga teacher and scholar 1918 - 2014

Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom
Quelle: p. 8

Giordano Bruno Foto
David Levithan Foto
Frank Borman Foto

„Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray with understanding hearts.
And show us what each one of us can do to set forward the coming of the day of universal peace.“

—  Frank Borman NASA astronaut 1928

Prayer from Apollo 8, on Christmas Day (25 December 1968)
Kontext: Give us, O God, the vision which can see Your love in the world in spite of human failure.
Give us the faith to trust Your goodness in spite of our ignorance and weakness.
Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray with understanding hearts.
And show us what each one of us can do to set forward the coming of the day of universal peace.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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