Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears.

β€” Arthur Koestler

The most lavish Arthur Koestler quotes that are free to learn and impress others

The jester is brother to the sage.

53

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.

49

The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.

27

The evils of mankind are caused, not by the primary aggressiveness of individuals, but by their self-transcending identification with groups whose common denominator is low intelligence and high emotionality.

25

Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.

22

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.

20

Somebody once asked Niels Bohr why he had a horseshoe hanging above the front door of his house. Surely you, a world famous physicist, can't really believe that hanging a horseshoe above your door brings you luck? Of course not, Bohr replied, but I have been reliably informed that it will bring me luck whether I believe in it or not.

18

The real achievement in discoveries... is seeing an analogy where no one saw one before... The essence of discovery is that unlikely marriage of cabbages and kings β€” of previously unrelated frames of reference or universes of discourse β€” whose union will solve the previously insoluble problem.

18

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

16

In any language it is a struggle to make a sentence say exactly what you mean.

15

The creativity and pathology of the human mind are, after all, two sides of the same medal coined in the evolutionary mint. The first is responsible for the splendour of our cathedrals, the second for the gargoyles that decorate them to remind us that the world is full of monsters, devils, and succubi.

14

I believe that the evidence for telepathy is overwhelming and that it is a part of reality that is above science. Science allows us to glimpse [only] fragments of reality.

13

About Arthur Koestler

Quotes 136 sayings
Nationality Hungarian
Profession Novelist
Birthday October 16

In the meantime, the educated public continues to believe that Darwin has provided all the relevant answers by the magic formula of random mutations plus natural selection -quite unaware of the fact that random mutations turned out to be irrelevant and natural selection tautology.

12

If power corrupts, the reverse is also true;

persecution corrupts the victims though perhaps in subtler and more tragic ways.

12

The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.

11

Two half-truths do not make a truth, and two half- cultures do not make a culture

10

The principle that the end justifies the means is and remains the only rule of political ethics; anything else is just a vague chatter and melts away between one’s fingers.

10

Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality.

10

Scientists are peeping toms at the keyhole of eternity.

9

The integrative tendencies of the individual are incomparably more dangerous than his self-assertive tendencies.

8

The evolution of the brain not only overshot the needs of prehistoric man, it is the only example of evolution providing a species with an organ which it does not know how to use.

8

When a chess player looks at the board, he does not see a static mosaic, a 'still life', but a magnetic field of forces, charged with energy - as Faraday saw the stresses surrounding magnets and currents as curves in space; or as Van Gogh saw vortices in the skies of Provence.

7

The most persistent sound which reverberates through man's history is the beating of war drums.

6

We find in the history of ideas mutations which do not seem to correspond to any obvious need, and at first sight appear as mere playful whimsies such as Apollonius' work on conic sections, or the non-Euclidean geometries, whose practical value became apparent only later.

6

I went to Communism as one goes to a spring of fresh water, and I left Communism as one clambers out of a poisoned river strewn with the wreckage of flooded cities and the corpses of the drowned.

6

When all is said, its atmosphere [England's] still contains fewer germs of aggression and brutality per cubic foot in a crowded bus, pub or queue than in any other country in which I have lived

6

Without the hard little bits of marble which are called 'facts' or 'data' one cannot compose a mosaic; what matters, however, are not so much the individual bits, but the successive patterns into which you arrange them, then break them up and rearrange them.

6

What is an editor but a cross between a fall guy and a father figure? arthur koestler

5

A publisher who writes is like a cow in a milk bar.

5

Conscious and unconscious experiences do not belong to different compartments of the mind; they form a continuous scale of gradations, of degrees of awareness.

5

One may not regard the world as a sort of metaphysical brothel for emotions.

5

If the creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely meant us to stick it out.

5

The definition of the individual was: a multitude of one million divided by one million.

4

The inner censor of the mind of the true believer completes the work of the public censor; his self-discipline is as tyrannical as the obedience imposed by the regime; he terrorizes his own conscience into submission;he carries his private Iron Curtain inside his skull, to protect his illusions against the intrusion of reality.

4

A writer's ambition should be to trade a hundred contemporary readers for ten readers in ten years' time and for one reader in a hundred years' time.

4

In the pun, two strings of thought are tangled into one acoustic knot.

4

Chemically induced hallucinations, delusions and raptures may be frightening or wonderfully gratifying; in either case they are in the nature of confidence tricks played on one's own nervous system.

4

Innovation is a twofold threat to academic mediocrities: it endangers their oracular authority, and it evokes the deeper fear that their whole, laboriously constructed intellectual edifice might collapse.

3

The prerequisite of originality is the art of forgetting, at the proper moment, what we know.

3

We cannot unthink unless we are insane.

3

The moment of truth, the sudden emergence of a new insight, is an act of intuition.

3

Coincidence may be described as the chance encounter of two unrelated causal chains which - miraculously, it seems - merge into a significant event.

3

In my youth I regarded the universe as an open book, printed in the language of equations, whereas now it appears to me as a text written in invisible ink, of which in our rare moments of grace we are able to decipher a small segment.

3

[My father] loved me tenderly and shyly from a distance, and later on took a naive pride in seeing my name in print.

3

Prometheus is reaching out for the stars with an empty grin on his face.

3

man has an irrepressible tendency to read meaning into the buzzing confusion of sights and sounds impinging on his senses; and where no agreed meaning can be found, he will provide it out of his own imagination.

3

God seems to have left the receiver off the hook and time is running out.

3

The ultimate truth is penultimately a falsehood.

3

In creating the human brain, evolution has wildly overshot the mark.

3
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