„In each of us there dwells a mystery, and that mystery is the human personality.“

—  Jacques Maritain, The Rights of Man and Natural Law (1943), p. 2.
Jacques Maritain photo
Jacques Maritain4
1882 - 1973

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„Every human life involves an unfathomable mystery, for man is the riddle of the universe, and the riddle of man is his endowment with personal capacities.“

—  Harry Emerson Fosdick American pastor 1878 - 1969
On Being a Real Person (1943), Context: Every human life involves an unfathomable mystery, for man is the riddle of the universe, and the riddle of man is his endowment with personal capacities. The stars are not so strange as the mind that studies them, analyzes their light, and measures their distances.

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„The core in the mystery of what we call personality resides in the individual mix between character and temperament.“

—  Sydney J. Harris American journalist 1917 - 1986
Clearing the Ground (1986), Context: The core in the mystery of what we call personality resides in the individual mix between character and temperament. The most successful personalities are those who achieve the best balance between the strict demands of character and the lenient tolerance of temperament. This balance is the supreme test of genuine leadership, separating the savior from the fanatic. The human Jesus is, to my mind, the ultimate paradigm of such psychic equilibrium. He was absolutely hard on himself and absolutely tender toward others. He maintained the highest criteria of conduct for himself but was not priggish or censorious or self-righteous about those who were weaker and frailer. Most persons of strength cannot accept or tolerate weakness in others. They are blind to the virtues they do not possess themselves and are fiercely judgmental on one scale of values alone. Jesus was unique, even among religious leaders, in combining the utmost of principle with the utmost of compassion for those unable to meet his standards. We need to understand temperament better than we do and to recognize its symbiotic relationship to character. There are some things people can do to change and some things they cannot do — character can be formed, but temperament is given. And the strong who cannot bend are just as much to be pitied as the weak who cannot stiffen. “Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”

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„For in world- and life-affirmation and in ethics I carry out the will of the universal will-to-live which reveals itself in me. I live my life in God, in the mysterious divine personality which I do not know as such in the world, but only experience as mysterious Will within myself.
Rational thinking which is free from assumptions ends therefore in mysticism.“

—  Albert Schweitzer French-German physician, theologian, musician and philosopher 1875 - 1965
Kulturphilosophie (1923), Vol. 2 : Civilization and Ethics, Context: Affirmation of the world, which means affirmation of the will-to-live that manifests itself around me, is only possible if I devote myself to other life. From an inner necessity, I exert myself in producing values and practising ethics in the world and on the world even though I do not understand the meaning of the world. For in world- and life-affirmation and in ethics I carry out the will of the universal will-to-live which reveals itself in me. I live my life in God, in the mysterious divine personality which I do not know as such in the world, but only experience as mysterious Will within myself. Rational thinking which is free from assumptions ends therefore in mysticism. To relate oneself in the spirit of reverence for life to the multiform manifestations of the will-to-live which together constitute the world is ethical mysticism. All profound world-view is mysticism, the essence of which is just this: that out of my unsophisticated and naïve existence in the world there comes, as a result of thought about self and the world, spiritual self-devotion to the mysterious infinite Will which is continuously manifested in the universe.

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„But ignorance exists in the map, not in the territory. If I am ignorant about a phenomenon, that is a fact about my own state of mind, not a fact about the phenomenon itself. A phenomenon can seem mysterious to some particular person. There are no phenomena which are mysterious of themselves. To worship a phenomenon because it seems so wonderfully mysterious, is to worship your own ignorance.“

—  Eliezer Yudkowsky American blogger, writer, and artificial intelligence researcher 1979
Mysterious Answers To Mysterious Questions http://lesswrong.com/lw/iu/mysterious_answers_to_mysterious_questions/ (August 2007); Yudkowsky credits the map/territory analogy to physicist/statistician Edwin Thompson Jaynes.

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