We begin life with the world presenting

We begin life with the world presenting itself to us as it is.  Someone – our parents, teachers, analysts – hypnotizes us to "see" the world and construe it in the "right" way.  These others label the world, attach names and give voices to the beings and events in it, so that thereafter, we cannot read the world in any other language or hear it saying other things to us.  The task is to break the hypnotic spell, so that we become undeaf, unblind and multilingual, thereby letting the world speak to us in new voices and write all its possible meanings in the new book of our existence.  Be careful in your choice of hypnotists.  ~Sidney JourardSD

He who joyfully marches to music in

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.  He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.  ~Albert Einstein

We submit to the majority because we

We submit to the majority because we have to.  But we are not compelled to call our attitude of subjection a posture of respect.  ~Ambrose Bierce, EpigramsMHC

And who can doubt that it will

And who can doubt that it will lead to the worst disorders when minds created free by God are compelled to submit slavishly to an outside will?  When we are told to deny our senses and subject them to the will of others?  ~Galileo Galilei

False opinions are like false money struck

False opinions are like false money, struck first of all by guilty men and thereafter circulated by honest people who perpetuate the crime without knowing what they are doing.  ~Joseph De Maistre

If you want to look like the

If you want to look like the people next door, you’re probably smothering yourself and your dreams.  ~Clive Barker

The minority the ruling class at present

The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb.  This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them.  ~Albert Einstein, letter to Sigmund Freud, 30 July 1932

A lawyers brief will be brief before

A lawyer’s brief will be brief, before a freethinker thinks freely.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

The number of those who undergo the

The number of those who undergo the fatigue of judging for themselves is very small indeed.  ~Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Critic, 1799LCD

At the bottom of a good deal

At the bottom of a good deal of bravery… lurks a miserable cowardice.  Men will face powder and steel because they cannot face public opinion.  ~E.H. Chapin

We must not overlook the role that

We must not overlook the role that extremists play.  They are the gadflies that keep society from being too complacent.  ~Abraham Flexner, Universities, 1930LCD

History does not teach fatalism there are

History does not teach fatalism.  There are moments when the will of a handful of free men breaks through determinism and opens up new roads.  People get the history they deserve.  ~Charles de GaulleGCLE

I am not eccentric its just that

I am not eccentric.  It’s just that I am more alive than most people.  I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of goldfish.  ~Dame Edith Sitwell

Lots of times you have to pretend

Lots of times you have to pretend to join a parade in which you’re not really interested in order to get where you’re going.  ~Christopher Morley

With the pride of artist you must

With the pride of the artist, you must blow against the walls of every power that exists the small trumpet of your defiance.  ~Norman Mailer

My manner of thinking so you say

My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved.  Do you suppose I care?  A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!  My manner of thinking stems straight from my considered reflections; it holds with my existence, with the way I am made.  It is not in my power to alter it; and were it, I’d not do so.  ~Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade

History is particularly important in throwing light

History is particularly important in throwing light on the source of our attitudes about sex because many of the assumptions we make are not necessarily scientific or rational but holdovers of past belief systems that are no longer held by modern society.  ~Vern Bullough

The surest way to corrupt a youth

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn, 1881

Our wretched species is so made that

Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.  ~Voltaire

The good say the mystics of spirit

The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man’s power to conceive – a definition that invalidates man’s consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence.  The good, say the mystics of muscle, is Society – a thing which they define as an organism that possesses no physical form, a super-being embodied in no one in particular and everyone in general except yourself…. The purpose of man’s life, say both, is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question.  ~Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957 (Thanks, Mary)

I am not in this world to

I am not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine.  ~Fritz Perls

In all affairs its a healthy thing

In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.  ~Bertrand Russell

The individual has always had to struggle

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.  If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.  But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Every man who is truly a must

Every man who is truly a man must learn to be alone in the midst of all the others, and if need be against all the others.  ~Romain RollandCUL

A 34normal34 person is the sort of

A "Normal" person is the sort of person that might be designed by a committee.  You know, "Each person puts in a pretty color and it comes out gray."  ~Alan Sherman

The only man i know who behaves

The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me.  The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.  ~George Bernard Shaw

What makes you think that human beings

What makes you think that human beings are sentient and aware?  There’s no evidence for it.  Human beings never think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable.  For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told – and become upset if they are exposed to any different view.  The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare.  Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their "beliefs."  The reason is that beliefs guide behavior, which has evolutionary importance among human beings.  But at a time when our behavior may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all.  We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists.  Any other view of our species is a self-congratulatory delusion.  ~Michael Crichton, The Lost World

Public opinion requires us to think other

Public opinion… requires us to think other men’s thoughts, to speak other men’s words, to follow other men’s habits.  ~Walter Bagehot, Biographical Studies, 1907LCD

It is easy in the world to

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance," 1841LCD

A new idea is delicate it can

A new idea is delicate.  It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip, and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.  ~Charlie Brower