Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
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- Politics can be relatively fair in the breathing spaces of history; at its critical turning points there is no other rule possible than the old one, that the end justifies the means.
- Space-ships and time machines are no escape from the human condition. Let Othello subject Desdemona to a lie-detector test; his jealousy will still blind him to the evidence. Let Oedipus triumph over gravity; he won’t triumph over his fate.
- The moment of truth, the sudden emergence of a new insight, is an act of intuition. Such intuitions give the appearance of miraculous flushes, or short-circuits of reasoning. In fact they may be likened to an immersed chain, of which only the beginning and the end are visible above the surface of consciousness. The diver vanishes at one end of the chain and comes up at the other end, guided by invisible links.
- Scientists are peeping toms at the keyhole of eternity.
- The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
- Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.