„It is natural that one cannot understand deep and hidden things. Those things that are easily understood are rather shallow.“

—  Yamamoto Tsunetomo, livro Hagakure, Hagakure (c. 1716)
Yamamoto Tsunetomo photo
Yamamoto Tsunetomo72
1659 - 1719

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Sören Kierkegaard photo

„It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand, and what those things are.“

—  Sören Kierkegaard Danish philosopher and theologian, founder of Existentialism 1813 - 1855
1840s, Context: It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand, and what those things are. Human understanding has vulgarly occupied itself with nothing but understanding, but if it would only take the trouble to understand itself at the same time it would simply have to posit the paradox. 1847

Marilyn Ferguson photo
Fernando Pessoa photo

„The only hidden meaning of things
Is that they have no hidden meaning.
It's the strangest thing of all,
Stranger than all poets' dreams
And all philosophers' thoughts,
That things are really what they seem to be
And there's nothing to understand.
Yes, this is what my senses learned on their own:
Things have no meaning: they have existence.
Things are the only hidden meaning of things.“

—  Fernando Pessoa Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher 1888 - 1935
O único sentido oculto das coisas É elas não terem sentido oculto nenhum, É mais estranho do que todas as estranhezas E do que os sonhos de todos os poetas E os pensamentos de todos os filósofos, Que as coisas sejam realmente o que parecem ser E não haja nada que compreender. Sim, eis o que os meus sentidos aprenderam sozinhos:— As coisas não têm significação: têm existência. As coisas são o único sentido oculto das coisas. Alberto Caeiro (heteronym), O Guardador de Rebanhos ("The Keeper of Sheep"), XXXIX, trans. Richard Zenith.

Zhuangzi photo

„To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment. Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven.“

—  Zhuangzi classic Chinese philosopher -369 - -286 a.C.
知止乎其所不能知,至矣。若有不即是者,天鈞敗之。 Book XXIII, ¶ 7,as rendered in the epigraph to Ch. 3 of The Lathe of Heaven (1971) by Ursula K. Le Guin, based upon the 1891 translation by James Legge, Le Guin was subsequently informed that this was a very poor translation, as there were no lathes in China in the time of Zhuangzi. The full passage as translated by Legge reads: He whose mind is thus grandly fixed emits a Heavenly light. In him who emits this heavenly light men see the (True) man. When a man has cultivated himself (up to this point), thenceforth he remains constant in himself. When he is thus constant in himself, (what is merely) the human element will leave him, but Heaven will help him. Those whom their human element has left we call the people of Heaven. Those whom Heaven helps we call the Sons of Heaven. Those who would by learning attain to this seek for what they cannot learn. Those who would by effort attain to this, attempt what effort can never effect. Those who aim by reasoning to reach it reason where reasoning has no place. To know to stop where they cannot arrive by means of knowledge is the highest attainment. Those who cannot do this will be destroyed on the lathe of Heaven.

Fritz Leiber photo

„To understand why George fell for this story, one must remember his stifled romanticism, his sense of personal failure, his deep need to believe. The thing came to him like, or rather instead of, a religious conversion.“

—  Fritz Leiber American writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction 1910 - 1992
Short Fiction, A Pail of Air (1964), “Time Fighter” (p. 67); originally published in Fantastic Universe, March 1957

Salvador Dalí photo
Zisi photo
P. D. Ouspensky photo

„Learn to see it in thyself and thou wilt understand the infinite essence, hidden in all illusory forms. Understand that the world which thou knowest is only one of the aspects of the infinite world, and things and phenomena are merely hierolgyphics of deeper ideas.“

—  P. D. Ouspensky Russian esotericist 1878 - 1947
The Symbolism of the Tarot (1913), Context: The vision disappeared as suddenly as it appeared. A weird silence fell on me. "What does it mean?" I asked in wonder. "It is the image of the world," the voice said, "but it can be understood only after the Temple has been entered. This is a vision of the world in the circle of Time, amidst the four principles. But thou seest differently because thou seest the world outside thyself. Learn to see it in thyself and thou wilt understand the infinite essence, hidden in all illusory forms. Understand that the world which thou knowest is only one of the aspects of the infinite world, and things and phenomena are merely hierolgyphics of deeper ideas." Card XXI : The World

Albert Einstein photo

„Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.“

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

Arthur Stanley Eddington photo

„Shuffling is the only thing which Nature cannot undo.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington British astrophysicist 1882 - 1944
The Nature of the Physical World (1928), Ch. 4 The Running-Down of the Universe

Murray Bookchin photo
Lama Ole Nydahl photo
Alan Moore photo

„I understand that the word ‘occult’ means hidden, but surely that is not meant to be the final state of all this information, hidden forever. I don’t see why there is any need to further obscure things that are actually lucid and bright.“

—  Alan Moore English writer primarily known for his work in comic books 1953
De Abaitua interview (1998), Context: I understand that the word ‘occult’ means hidden, but surely that is not meant to be the final state of all this information, hidden forever. I don’t see why there is any need to further obscure things that are actually lucid and bright. Language and strange terminology – to keep them as some private mystery. I think there is too much darkness in magic. I can understand that it is part of the theatre. I can understand Aleister Crowley – who I think was a great intellect that was sometimes let down by his own flair for showmanship — but he did a lot to generate the scary aura of the magician that you find these sad, Crowleyite fucks making a fetish of. The ones who say ‘oh we’re into Aleister Crowley because he was the wickedest man in the world, and we’re also into Charles Manson because we’re bad. And we are middle-class as well, but we’re bad’. There are some people who seek evil – I don’t think there is such a thing as evil – but there are people who seek it as a kind of Goth thing. That just adds to the murk to what to me is a very lucid and flourescent subject. What occultism needs is someone to open the window, it’s too stuffy and it smells. Let’s get some fresh air, throw open the curtains – I can’t go for that posturing, spooky guy stuff. When they wanted me to do Fortean TV it became apparent that they wanted me to be Spooky Bloke. But I’m not actually trying to look spooky. I dress in black because it makes me look less fat, it’s as simple as that. It’s not a gothic flourish. I don’t want to be thought of as a figure of mystery or a master of the occult, surely this is about illumination, casting light on things. I’m an illuminist, that’d do for me.

Francis Bacon photo
Adi Da Samraj photo
Elton John photo
Marsden Hartley photo

„.. [Picasso had] a depth of understanding and insight into the inwardness of things.... doing very exceptional things of a most abstract psychic nature..“

—  Marsden Hartley American artist 1877 - 1943
1908 - 1920, letter from Paris to Rockwell Kent, August 22, 1912, Archives of American Art; as quoted in Marsden Hartley, by Gail R. Scott, Abbeville Publishers, Cross River Press, 1988, New York p. 42

Richard Feynman photo
Bertrand Russell photo

„One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.“

—  Bertrand Russell logician, one of the first analytic philosophers and political activist 1872 - 1970
1950s, New Hopes for a Changing World (1951), Context: Consider MacArthur and his Republican supporters. So limited is his intelligence and his imagination that he is never puzzled for one moment. All we have to do is to go back to the days of the Opium War. After we have killed a sufficient number of millions of Chinese, the survivors among them will perceive our moral superiority and hail MacArthur as a saviour. But let us not be one-sided. Stalin, I should say, is equally simple- minded and equally out of date. He, too, believes that if his armies could occupy Britain and reduce us all to the economic level of Soviet peasants and the political level of convicts, we should hail him as a great deliverer and bless the day when we were freed from the shackles of democracy. One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision. Part I: Man and Nature, Ch. 1: Current Perplexities, pp. 4–5

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