If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord. . . . So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.
The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.
Play is the highest form of research.
It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom. Without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail.
Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as hard duty. Never regard study as duty but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs.
Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.
It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. To the contrary, I believe it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
The principal art of the teacher is to awaken the joy in creation and knowledge.
Everything has changed. . . except the way we think. The aim [of education] must be the training of independently acting and thinking individuals, who, however, see in the service of community their highest life problems
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself.
The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead.
The road to perdition has ever been accompanied by lip service to an ideal.
All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
It stands to the everlasting credit of science that by acting on the human mind it has overcome man's insecurity before himself and before nature.
All these primary impulses, not easily described in words, are the springs of man's actions.
People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.