Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know.

It is remarkable by how much a pinch of malice enhances the penetrating power of an idea or an opinion. Our ears, it seems, are wonderfully attuned to sneers and evil reports about our fellow men.

The world leans on us. When we sag, the whole world seems to droop.

To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are.

There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet.

It is futile to judge a kind deed by its motives. Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.

Craving, not having, is the mother of a reckless giving of oneself.

We do not really feel grateful toward those who make our dreams come true; they ruin our dreams.

What greater reassurance can the weak have than that they are like anyone else?

Facts are counterrevolutionary.

To the old, the new is usually bad news.

The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle.

Nationalist pride, like other variants of pride, can be a substitute for self-respect.

Sometimes we feel the loss of a prejudice as a loss of vigor.

Where everything is possible miracles become commonplaces, but the familiar ceases to be self-evident.

I hang onto my prejudices, they are the testicles of my mind.

The weakness of a soul is proportionate to the number of truths that must be kept from it.

Nothing so bolsters our self-confidence and reconciles us with ourselves as the continuous ability to create; to see things grow and develop under our hand, day in, day out.

It almost seems that nobody can hate America as much as native Americans. America needs new immigrants to love and cherish it.

The savior who wants to turn men into angels is as much a hater of human nature as the totalitarian despot who wants to turn them into puppets.

We are least open to precise knowledge concerning the things we are most vehement about.

It is the awareness of unfulfilled desires which gives a nation the feeling that it has a mission and a destiny.

The pleasure we derive from doing favors is partly in the feeling it gives us that we are not altogether worthless. It is a pleasant surprise to ourselves.

Men weary as much of not doing the things they want to do as of doing the things they do not want to do.

A dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority.

We are more prone to generalize the bad than the good. We assume that the bad is more potent and contagious.

A man by himself is in bad company.

We all have private ails. The troublemakers are they who need public cures for their private ails.

A heresy can spring only from a system that is in full vigor.

Every new adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem.

Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true.

The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.

It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable.

It sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents.

Children are the keys of paradise.

It is not so much the example of others we imitate as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words.

The suspicious mind believes more than it doubts. It believes in a formidable and ineradicable evil lurking in every person.

We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand.

We have rudiments of reverence for the human body, but we consider as nothing the rape of the human mind.

It would be difficult to exaggerate the degree to which we are influenced by those we influence.

It is not actual suffering but the taste of better things which excites people to revolt.

An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head.

To spell out the obvious is often to call it in question.

There is probably an element of malice in our readiness to overestimate people - we are, as it were, laying up for ourselves the pleasure of later cutting them down to size.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.

We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents.

Our passionate preoccupation with the sky, the stars, and a God somewhere in outer space is a homing impulse. We are drawn back to where we came from.

The real Antichrist is he who turns the wine of an original idea into the water of mediocrity.

A grievance is most poignant when almost redressed.