400+ Sourced quotes
There is no telling what a human character is. Until the test comes. To most of us the test comes early in life. A man is confronted quite soon with the necessity to stand on his own feet, to face dangers and difficulties and to take his own line of dealing with them. It may be the straight way, it may be the crooked way — whichever it is, a man usually learns early just what he is made of.
It is quite useless to declare that all men are born free if you deny that they are born good. Guarantee a man's goodness and his liberty will take care of itself. To guarantee his freedom on condition that you approve of his moral character is formally to abolish all freedom whatsoever, as every man's liberty is at the mercy of a moral indictment which any fool can trump up against everyone who violates custom, whether as a prophet or as a rascal.
How significant is the enormous heightening, under mescalin, of the perception of color! … Man's highly developed color sense is a biological luxury—inestimably precious to him as an intellectual and spiritual being, but unnecessary to his survival as an animal. … Mescalin raises all colors to a higher power and makes the percipient aware of innumerable fine shades of difference, to which, at ordinary times, he is completely blind. It would seem that, for Mind at Large, the so-called secondary characters of things are primary.
There is a connected set of events (light-waves) travelling outward from a centre... there are some respects in which all events are alike, and others in which they differ... We must not think of a light-wave as a 'thing', but as a connected group of rhythmical events. The mathematical characteristics of such a group can be inferred by physics, but the intrinsic character of the component events cannot be inferred.
White Pond and Walden are great crystals on the surface of the earth, Lakes of Light.... They are too pure to have a market value;they contain no muck. How much more beautiful than our lives, how much more transparent than our characters are they! We never learned meanness of them.
As I have said before, I never had any large respect for good spelling. That is my feeling yet. Before the spelling-book came with its arbitrary forms, men unconsciously revealed shades of their characters, and also added enlightening shades of expression to what they wrote by their spelling, and so it is possible that the spelling-book has been a doubtful benevolence to us.