And as far as hypotheses go, let no one expect anything in the way of certainty from astronomy, since astronomy can offer us nothing certain, lest, if anyone take as true that which has been constructed for another use, he go away from this discipline a bigger fool than when he came to it.
Sneezing absorbs all the functions of the soul just as much as the [sexual] act, but we do not draw from it the same conclusions against the greatness of man, because it is involuntary; although we bring it about, we do so involuntarily. It is not for the sake of the thing in itself but for another end, and is therefore not a sign of man's weakness, or his subjection to this act.
I must warn you that Gurdjieff is far more of an enigma than you can imagine. I am certain that he is deeply good, and that he is working for the good of mankind. But his methods are often incomprehensible. For example, he uses disgusting language, especially to ladies who are likely to be squeamish about such things. He has the reputation of behaving shamelessly over money matters, and with women also. At his table we have to drink spirits, often to the point of drunkenness. People have said that he is a magician, and that he uses his powers for his own ends... I do not believe that the scandalous tales told of Gurdjieff are true: but you must take into account that they may be true and act accordingly.
The heaven is spherical in shape, and moves as a sphere; the earth too is sensibly spherical in shape, when taken as a whole; in position it lies in the middle of the heavens very much like its center; in size and distance it has the ratio of a point to the sphere of the fixed stars; and it has no motion from place to place.
Very belatedly in 1947, Darwin [Sir Charles Darwin, great-grandson of the famous Charles Darwin] agreed to set up a very small electronics group [...] It was not easy to have the imagination to foresee that computers were to become one of the most important developments of the century.
It hath been my Lot to live in a time, wherein have been many and great Changes and Alterations. It hath been my endeavour all along, to act by moderate Principles, between the Extremities on either hand, in a moderate compliance with the Powers in being, in those places, where it hath been my Lot to live, without the fierce and violent animosities usual in such Cases, against all, that did not act just as I did, knowing that there were many worthy Persons engaged on either side. And willing whatever side was upmost, to promote (as I was able) any good design for the true Interest of Religion, of Learning, and the publick good; and ready so to do good Offices, as there was Opportunity; And, if things could not be just, as I could wish, to make the best of what is: And hereby, (thro' God's gracious Providence) have been able to live easy, and useful, though not Great.
It is not scholarship alone, but scholarship impregnated with religion, that tells on the great mass of society. We have no faith in the efficacy of mechanic's institutes, or even of primary and elementary schools, for building up a virtuous and well conditioned peasantry, so long as they stand dissevered from the lessons of Christian piety.
Mathematics belongs to man, not to God. We are not interested in properties of the positive integers that have no descriptive meaning for finite man. When a man proves a positive integer to exist, he should show how to find it. If God has mathematics of his own that need to be done, let him do it himself.
[Science] advances by leaps; and the impulse for each leap is either some new observational resource, or some novel way of reasoning about the observations. Such novel way of reasoning might, perhaps, be considered as a new observation means, since it draws attention to reactions between facts which would previously have been passed by unperceived.
A great department of thought must have its own inner life, however transcendent may be the importance of its relations to the outside. No department of science, least of all one requiring so high a degree of mental concentration as Mathematics, can be developed entirely, or even mainly, with a view to applications outside its own range.