Mind

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Mind refers to the collective aspects of intellect and consciousness which are manifest in some combination of thought, perception, emotion, will and imagination.

Quotes[edit]

  • Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
    And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
    The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
    Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: —
    He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
    Environment is but his looking-glass.
  • Variant: Mind is the Master Power that molds and makes, And we are mind. And ever more we take the tool of thought, and shaping what we will, bring forth a thousand joys, or a thousand ills. We think in secret, and it comes to pass, environment, is but our looking glass
  • A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.
  • It is the nature of the mind that makes individuals kin, and the differences in the shape, form or manner of the material atoms out of whose intricate relationships that mind is built are altogether trivial.
  • There is good evidence for a sensorimotor self, an emotional and motivational self probably represented in the right hemisphere, a social self-system, and perhaps an appetitive self. All these self-systems ordinarily work in reasonable coordination with each other, though they can be in conflict at times.
    • Bernard J. Baars, "Understanding Subjectivity: Global Workspace Theory and the Resurrection of the Observing Self" Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3, No. 3, 1996, pp. 211-16
  • Whatever an enemy might do to an enemy, or a foe to a foe, the ill-directed mind can do to you even worse.
    Whatever a mother, father or other kinsman might do for you, the well-directed mind can do for you even better.
  • Such as take lodgings in a head
    That's to be let unfurnished.
  • When Bishop Berkeley said "there was no matter,"
    And proved it,—'Twas no matter what he said.
    • Lord Byron, Don Juan (1818-24), Canto IX, Stanza 1. Allusion to a dissertation by Berkeley on Mind and Matter, found in a note by Dr. Hawkesworth to Swift's Letters, pub. 1769.
  • 'Tis strange the mind, that very fiery particle,
    Should let itself be snuff'd out by an article.
  • The best speeches are those that hurt your mind, not your ear.
    • Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Fausto Cercignani, 2014, p. 25.
  • Sometimes one would almost like to say: what really matters is only the mind. But where can you find a mind without a body?
    • Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Writings by Fausto Cercignani, 2014, quote 42.
  • The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain anymore so it eats it! (It's rather like getting tenure.)
  • Each of us knows exactly one mind from the inside, and no two of us know the same mind from the inside.
    • Daniel C. Dennett, Kinds Of Minds: Toward An Understanding Of Consciousness (2008)
  • The scientific course is to put the burden of proof on the attribution. As a scientist, you can't just declare, for instance, that the presence of glutamate molecules amounts to the presence of mind; you have to prove it, against a background in which the "null hypothesis" is that mind is not present. There is substantial disagreement among scientists as to which species have what sorts of mind, but even those scientists who are the most ardent champions of consciousness in animals accept this burden of proof—and think they can meet it, by devising and confirming theories that show which animals are conscious. But no such theories are yet confirmed, and in the meantime we can appreciate the discomfort of those who see this agnostic, wait-and-see policy as jeopardizing the moral status of creatures that they are sure are conscious.
    • Daniel C. Dennett, Kinds Of Minds: Toward An Understanding Of Consciousness (2008)
  • Minds are the ultimate terra incognita, beyond the reach of all science and—in the case of languageless minds—beyond all empathetic conversation as well. So what? A little humility ought to temper our curiosity. Don't confuse ontological questions (about what exists) with epistemological questions (about how we know about it). We must grow comfortable with this wonderful fact about what is off-limits to inquiry.
    • Daniel C. Dennett, ibid., Kinds Of Minds...
  • Another prospect to consider is that among the creatures who lack language, there are some who do not have minds at all, but do everything "automatically" or "unconsciously." ...We may never be able to tell where to draw the line between those creatures that have minds and those that do not, but this is just another aspect of the unavoidable limitations on our knowledge. Such facts may be systematically unknowable, not just hard to uncover.
    • Daniel C. Dennett, ibid., Kinds Of Minds...
  • The differences between minds might be... like the differences between languages, or styles of music or art—inexhaustible in the limit, but approachable to any degree of approximation you like. But the difference between having a mind and not having a mind at all—being something with its own subjective point of view and being something that is all outside and no inside, like a rock or a discarded sliver of fingernail—is apparently an all-or-nothing difference.
Your life doesn't get any better than your mind is. ~ Sam Harris
  • Mind is mysterious and has myriad appearances. It cannot be identified in the way external objects can. It has no shape, form or colour. This mere clear awareness is of the nature of experience and feeling. It is something like colored water—although the water is not of the same nature as the color, so long as they are mixed, the true color of the water is not obvious. Similarly, the mind does not have the nature of external objects such as physical form, and so forth. However the mind is so habituated to following the five sensory consciousnesses that it becomes almost indistinguishable from the physical form, shape, color and so forth, that it experiences.
  • Your life doesn't get any better than your mind is: You might have wonderful friends, perfect health, a great career, and everything else you want, and you can still be miserable. The converse is also true: There are people who basically have nothing—who live in circumstances that you and I would do more or less anything to avoid—who are happier than we tend to be because of the character of their minds. Unfortunately, one glimpse of this truth is never enough. We have to be continually reminded of it.
  • "Some," answered Imlac, "have indeed said that the soul is material, but I can scarcely believe that any man has thought it, who knew how to think; for all the conclusions of reason enforce the immateriality of mind, and all the notices of sense and investigations of science, concur to prove the unconsciousness of matter.
  • [Imlac continues] "It was never supposed that cogitation is inherent in matter, or that every particle is a thinking being. Yet, if any part of matter be devoid of thought, what part can we suppose to think? Matter can differ from matter only in form, density, bulk, motion, and direction of motion: to which of these, however varied or combined, can consciousness be annexed? To be round or square, to be solid or fluid, to be great or little, to be moved slowly or swiftly one way or another, are modes of material existence, all equally alien from the nature of cogitation. If matter be once without thought, it can only be made to think by some new modification, but all the modifications which it can admit are equally unconnected with cogitative powers."
  • The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation, or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
  • Nothing exists outside Mind. Everything that appears in your thoughts is Mind itself. This Mind is all pervading. All dharmas, all things, all phenomenon—all are nothing but Mind.
  • The mind is its own place, and in itself
    Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
  • Some form of self-awareness is surely essential to highly intelligent thought... On the other hand, I doubt that any part of a mind can see very deeply into other parts; it can only use models it constructs of them.
  • The mind holds tightly to its secrets not from stinginess or shame, but simply because it does not know them.
  • Each agent needs to know which of its servants can do what, but as to how, that information has no place or use inside those tiny minds inside our minds.
    • Marvin Minsky, "Music, Mind, and Meaning" (1981)
  • The nature of mind: much of its power seems to stem from just the messy ways its agents cross-connect. ...it's only what we must expect from evolution's countless tricks.
    • Marvin Minsky, The Society of Mind (1988) Prologue
  • Good theories of the mind must span at least three different scales of time: slow, for the billions of years in which our brains have survivied; fast, for the fleeting weeks and months of childhood; and in between, the centuries of growth of our ideas through history.
  • The mind is the clear (transparent or translucent) faculty of knowing to which things can appear and be ascertained. The primordial mind is pure. It is empty of itself, of inherent existence. This is our Buddha nature. This is our Bodhi mind. It is one thing to have clarity, it is another to use it.
    • Ross Moore teaching at Tara Institute, Melbourne. Nov.2004.
  • But I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent seduced Eve by its cunning, Your minds might be corrupted away from the sincerity and the chastity that are due the Christ.
  • That which possesses discriminating awareness, that which possesses a sense of duality—which grasps or rejects something external—that is mind. Fundamentally it is that which can associate with an 'other'—with a 'something', that is perceived as different from the perceiver.
  • O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and beyond tracing out his ways are! For “who has come to know Jehovah’s mind, or who has become his adviser?” Or, “who has first given to him, so that it must be repaid to him?” 36 Because from him and by him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.
  • The mind within the senses does not dwell, It has no place in outer things, like form, And in between, the mind does not abide;
    Not out, not in, not elsewhere can the mind be found.
    Something not within the body, and yet nowhere else, That does not merge with it nor stand apart—
    Something such as this does not exist, not even slightly. Beings have nirvana in their nature.
  • If the mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few.
  • It's a great question about what is our mind. Undoubtedly a creation of our brain.
    • Jerzy Vetulani, Stań się dobrym. To się opłaca (interview), „Gazeta Wyborcza”, 24–26 December 2011.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 513-16.
  • I had rather believe all the fables in the Legends and the Talmud and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind.
  • That last infirmity of noble mind.
    • The Tragedy of Sir John Van Olden Barnevelt (1622).
  • All the choir of heaven and furniture of earth—in a word, all those bodies which compose the mighty frame of the world—have not any subsistence without a mind.
  • Measure your mind's height by the shade it casts.
  • The march of the human mind is slow.
  • I love my neighbor as myself,
    Myself like him too, by his leave,
    Nor to his pleasure, power or pelf
    Came I to crouch, as I conceive.
    Dame Nature doubtless has designed
    A man the monarch of his mind.
  • Constant attention wears the active mind,
    Blots out our pow'rs, and leaves a blank behind.
  • Animi cultus quasi quidam humanitatis cibus.
    • The cultivation of the mind is a kind of food supplied for the soul of man.
    • Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, V. 19.
  • Frons est animi janua.
    • The forehead is the gate of the mind.
    • Cicero, Oratio De Provinciis Consularibus, XI.
  • Morbi perniciores pluresque animi quam corporis.
    • The diseases of the mind are more and more destructive than those of the body.
    • Cicero, Tusculanarum Disputationum, III. 3.
  • In anime perturbato, sicut in corpore, sanitas esse non potest.
    • In a disturbed mind, as in a body in the same state, health can not exist.
    • Cicero, Tusculanarum Disputationum, III. 4.
  • Absence of occupation is not rest,
    A mind quite vacant is a mind distress'd.
  • His mind his kingdom, and his will his law.
  • How fleet is a glance of the mind!
    Compared with the speed of its flight,
    The tempest itself lags behind,
    And the swift-winged arrows of light.
  • Nature's first great title—mind.
  • As that the walls worn thin, permit the mind
    To look out through, and his Frailty find.
  • Babylon in all its desolation is a sight not so awful as that of the human mind in ruins.
  • My mynde to me a kingdome is
    Such preasent joyes therein I fynde
    That it excells all other blisse
    That earth afforde or growes by kynde
    Though muche I wante which moste would have
    Yet still my mynde forbiddes to crave.
    • Edward Dyer, Rawlinson MSS, 85, p. 17. (In the Bodleian Library at Oxford). Words changed by Byrd when he set it to music. Quoted by Ben Jonson, Every Man out of his Humour, I. 1. Found in Percy's Reliques. Series I, Book III. No. V. And in J. Sylvester's Works, p. 651.
  • My minde to me a kingdome is,
    Such perfect joy therein I finde
    As farre exceeds all earthly blisse
    That God or Nature hath assignde
    Though much I want that most would have
    Yet still my minde forbids to crave.
    • William Byrd's rendering of Dyer's verse, when he set it to music. See his Psalmen, Sonets and Songs made into Musicke. Printed by Thomas East. (No date. Later edition, 1588).
  • God is Mind, and God is all; hence all is Mind.
  • A great mind is a good sailor, as a great heart is.
  • Wer fertig ist, dem ist nichts recht zu machen,
    Ein Werdender wird immer dankbar sein.
    • A mind, once formed, is never suited after,
      One yet in growth will ever grateful be.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Vorspiel auf dem Theater, line 150.
  • Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
    That bliss which only centers in the mind.
  • A noble mind disdains to hide his head,
    And let his foes triumph in his overthrow.
  • The mind is like a sheet of white paper in this, that the impressions it receives the oftenest, and retains the longest, are black ones.
    • J. C. and A. W. Hare, Guesses at Truth.
  • Lumen siccum optima anima.
    • The most perfect mind is a dry light.
    • The "obscure saying" of Heraclitus, quoted by Bacon, who explains it as a mind not "steeped and infused in the humors of the affections".
  • Whose little body lodged a mighty mind.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book V, line 999. Pope's translation.
  • A faultless body and a blameless mind.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book III, line 138. Pope's translation.
  • The glory of a firm capacious mind.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book IV, line 262. Pope's translation.
  • And bear unmov'd the wrongs of base mankind,
    The last, and hardest, conquest of the mind.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book XIII, line 353. Pope's translation.
  • Sperat infestis, metuit secundis
    Alteram sortem, bene preparatum
    Pectus.
    • A well-prepared mind hopes in adversity and fears in prosperity.
    • Horace, Carmina, II. 10. 13.
  • Quæ lædunt oculum festinas demere; si quid
    Est animum, differs curandi tempus in annum.
    • If anything affects your eye, you hasten to have it removed; if anything affects your mind, you postpone the cure for a year.
    • Horace, Epistles, I. 238.
  • Acclinis falsis animus meliora recusat.
    • A mind that is charmed by false appearances refuses better things.
    • Horace, Satire, II. 2. 6.
  • Quin corpus onustum
    Hesternis vitiis, animum quoque prægravat una
    Atque affigit humo divinæ particulam auræ.
    • The body loaded by the excess of yesterday, depresses the mind also, and fixes to the ground this particle of divine breath.
    • Horace, Satires, II. 2. 77.
  • The true, strong, and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small.
  • What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind.
    • T. H. Key, once Head Master of University School, On the authority of F. J. Furnivall.
  • Seven Watchmen sitting in a tower,
    Watching what had come upon Mankind,
    Showed the Man the Glory and the Power
    And bade him shape the Kingdom to his mind.
    . . . . . .
    That a man's mind is wont to tell him more
    Than Seven Watchmen sitting in a tower.
  • La gravité est un mystère du corps inventé pour cacher les défauts de l'esprit.
  • Nobody, I believe, will deny, that we are to form our judgment of the true nature of the human mind, not from sloth and stupidity of the most degenerate and vilest of men, but from the sentiments and fervent desires of the best and wisest of the species.
    • Robert Leighton, Theological Lectures, No. 5, "Of the Immortality of the Soul".
  • Stern men with empires in their brains.
  • O miseras hominum menteis! oh, pectora cæca!
    • How wretched are the minds of men, and how blind their understandings.
    • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, II. 14.
  • Cum corpore ut una
    Crescere sentimus pariterque senescere mentem.
    • We plainly perceive that the mind strengthens and decays with the body.
    • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, III. 446.
  • Rationi nulla resistunt.
    Claustra nec immensæ moles, ceduntque recessus:
    Omnia succumbunt, ipsum est penetrabile cœlum.
    • No barriers, no masses of matter, however enormous, can withstand the powers of the mind the remotest corners yield to them; all things succumb, the very heaven itself is laid open.
    • Marcus Manilius, Astronomica. I. 541.
  • Clothed, and in his right mind.
    • Mark. V. 15; Luke, VIII. 35.
  • The social states of human kinds
    Are made by multitudes of minds,
    And after multitudes of years
    A little human growth appears
    Worth having, even to the soul
    Who sees most plain it's not the whole.
  • Mensque pati durum sustinet ægra nihil.
    • The sick mind can not bear anything harsh.
    • Ovid, Epistolæ Ex Ponto, I. 5. 18.
  • Mens sola loco non exulat.
    • The mind alone can not be exiled.
    • Ovid, Epistolæ Ex Ponto,,, IV. 9. 41.
  • Conscia mens recti famæ mendacia risit.
    • A mind conscious of right laughs at the falsehoods of rumour.
    • Ovid, Fasti, Book IV. 311.
  • Pro superi! quantum mortalia pectora cæcæ,
    Noctis habent.
    • Heavens! what thick darkness pervades the minds of men.
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, VI. 472.
  • It is the mind that makes the man, and our vigour is in our immortal soul.
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, XIII.
  • Corpore sed mens est ægro magis ægra; malique
    In circumspectu stat sine fine sui.
    • The mind is sicker than the sick body; in contemplation of its sufferings it becomes hopeless.
    • Ovid, Tristium, IV. 6. 43.
  • Be ye all of one mind.
    • I Peter, III. 8.
  • Animus quod perdidit optat,
    Atque in præterita se totus imagine versat.
    • The mind wishes for what it has missed, and occupies itself with retrospective contemplation.
    • Petronius Arbiter, Satyricon.
  • Habet cerebrum sensus arcem; hic mentis est regimen.
    • The brain is the citadel of the senses: this guides the principle of thought.
    • Pliny the Elder, Historia Naturalis, XI. 49. 2.
  • Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.
  • Love, Hope, and Joy, fair pleasure's smiling train,
    Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of pain,
    These mix'd with art, and to due bounds confin'd
    Make and maintain the balance of the mind.
  • My mind's my kingdom.
  • Mens mutatione recreabitur; sicut in cibis, quorum diversitate reficitur stomachus, et pluribus minore fastidio alitur.
    • Our minds are like our stomachs; they are whetted by the change of their food, and variety supplies both with fresh appetite.
    • Quintilian, De Institutione Oratoria, I. 11. 1.
  • Whose cockloft is unfurnished.
  • Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
    • Romans, XIV. 5.
  • Tanto è miser l'uom quant' ei si riputa.
    • Man is only miserable so far as he thinks himself so.
    • Jacopo Sannazaro, Ecloga Octava.
  • Magnam fortunam magnus animus decet.
    • A great mind becomes a great fortune.
    • Seneca, De Clementia, I. 5.
  • Valentior omni fortuna animus est: in utramque partem ipse res suas ducit, beatæque miseræ vitæ sibi causa est.
    • The mind is the master over every kind of fortune: itself acts in both ways, being the cause of its own happiness and misery.
    • Seneca, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XCVIII.
  • For I do not distinguish them by the eye, but by the mind, which is the proper judge of the man.
    • Seneca, Of a Happy Life, Chapter I. (L'Estrange's Abstract).
  • Mens bona regnum possidet.
    • A good mind possesses a kingdom.
    • Seneca, Thyestes, Act II. 380.
  • O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
    The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword!
  • The incessant care and labour of his mind
    Hath wrought the mure that should confine it in
    So thin that life looks through and will break out.
  • And when the mind is quicken'd, out of doubt,
    The organs, though defunct and dead before,
    Break up their drowsy grave and newly move
    With casted slough and fresh legerity.
  • 'Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind,
    That man mignt ae'er be wretched for his mind.
  • Now, the melancholy god protect thee; and the tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for thy mind is a very opal.
  • Not body enough to cover his mind decently with; his intellect is improperly exposed.
  • I feel no care of coin;
    Well-doing is my wealth;
    My mind to me an empire is,
    While grace affordeth health.
  • Man's mind a mirror is of heavenly sights,
    A brief wherein all marvels summèd lie,
    Of fairest forms and sweetest shapes the store,
    Most graceful all, yet thought may grace them more.
  • A flower more sacred than far-seen success
    Perfumes my solitary path; I find
    Sweet compensation in my humbleness,
    And reap the harvest of a quiet mind.
  • Mens sibi conscia recti.
    • A mind conscious of its own rectitude.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), I. 604.
  • Mens agitat molem.
  • Nescia mens hominum fati sortisque futuræ,
    Et servare modum, rebus sublata secundis.
    • The mind of man is ignorant of fate and future destiny, and can not keep within due bounds when elated by prosperity.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), X. 501.
  • The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
    Lets in new light through chinks that Time has made.
    • Waller, Verses upon his Divine Poesy; compare Longinus, De Sab, Section XXII.
  • Mind is the great lever of all things; human thought is the process by which human ends are alternately answered.
    • Daniel Webster, address at the Laying of the Corner Stone of the Bunker Hill Monument.
  • You will turn it over once more in what you are pleased to call your mind.
    • Lord Westbury, to a solicitor. See Nash, Life of Lord Westbury, Volume II, p. 292.
  • A man of hope and forward-looking mind.
  • In years that bring the philosophic mind.
  • Minds that have nothing to confer
    Find little to perceive.

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)[edit]

  • A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance", Essays: First Series (vol. 2 of The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson), p. 57 (1903).
  • The mind is never satisfied with the objects immediately before it, but is always breaking away from the present moment, and losing itself in schemes of future felicity…. The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.
    • Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, no. 2, March 24, 1750. The Rambler; A Periodical Paper, Published in 1750, 1751, 1752, p. 3 (1825).
  • Cultivated mind is the guardian genius of Democracy, and while guided and controlled by virtue, the noblest attribute of man. It is the only dictator that freemen acknowledge, and the only security which freemen desire.
    • Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, president of the Republic of Texas, first message to both houses of Congress of the Republic of Texas, Houston, Texas, December 21, 1838.—The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, ed. Charles A. Gulick, Jr., vol. 2, p. 348 (1922). "When a public school was a novelty and the Republic's treasury and credit were at their lowest, only a daring mind and a champion of enlightened liberty could have conceived the idea for insuring the education of the future Texas generations". Philip Graham, The Life and Poems of Mirabeau B. Lamar, p. 53 (1938).
  • If there is anything in the world that can really be called a man's property, it is surely that which is the result of his mental activity.
    • Attributed to Arthur Schopenhauer. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
  • If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work on brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work on men's immortal minds, if we impress on them high principles, the just fear of God, and love for their fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which no time can efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.
    • Daniel Webster, speech to the City Council, Boston, Massachusetts, May 22, 1852. The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster, vol. 13, p. 518–19 (1903).

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