Social intercourse, with its … hypocrisy … is highly productive of thought-hindering insincerity.
p. 60 as cited in: Irene Taviss Thomson (2000) In Conflict No Longer. p. 34
The more a man thinks the better adapted he becomes to thinking, and education is nothing if it is not the methodical creation of the habit of thinking. Precisely. Theoretically, education is a mental training aiming at greater intellectual elasticity, but the question is whether education does not often strain, instead of train, a mind.
Very busy people always find time for everything. Conversely, people with immense leisure find time for nothing.
A book, like a landscape, is a state of consciousness varying with readers. There exists some book, pamphlet, article in an encyclopaedia, or possibly an old clipping from a newspaper that once set you thinking; there may be many; indeed you may be one of those rare beings with whom a few lines of print are food enough or thought because, as Lamartine says, their thoughts think themselves. The sometimes evocative for you may be poetry, history, philosophy, the sciences, or moral sciences, i.e. the progress of mankind. Some people who go to sleep over a volume will be interested by a review which they think more condensed or better within their reach. Read reviews if they help you to think, that is. to say if they leave in your mind images that will go on living when you have forgotten where they came from. Read a Shakespeare calendar at the rate of four lines a day, if Shakespeare quotations have on you the magic influence they have on some people; read algebra, read the lives of great inventors or of great businessmen, read that kind of books which you and nobody else know to be thought-productive for you.
Most people suspend their judgment till somebody else has expressed his own and then they repeat it. Common parlance alludes to this weakness in the frequently heard phrase: PEOPLE DO NOT THINK.
Too often we forget that genius, too, depends upon the data within its reach, that even Archimedes could not have devised Edison's inventions. We also forget that genius is not genius all the time, although it is superior all the time.
Every day you waste a chance, many chances in fact, of getting at your innermost consciousness by expressing yourself as you see yourself, and I say it is a pity because it makes you, year after year and day after day more like anybody else and more anonymous.
Self-expression is individuality, and our individuality is our self, which ought to be our chief concern