An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.


Douglas Adams (1952-, British science fiction writer)


The proper study of mankind is woman.


Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918, American historian)


We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon.


Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967, German statesman)


Man is an ape with possibilities.


Roy Chapman Andrews (1884-1960, American adventurer, administrator, museum promoter)


Mark how fleeting and paltry is the estate of man -- yesterday in embryo, tomorrow a mummy or ashes. So for the hairsbreadth of time assigned to thee, live rationally, and part with life cheerfully, as drops the ripe olive, extolling the season that bore it and the tree that matured it.


Marcus Antonius (c.83-30 BC, Roman triumvir, related to Julius Caesar)


I love men, not for what unites them, but for what divides them, and I want to know most of all what gnaws at their hearts.


Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918, Italian-born French poet, critic)


Either a beast or a god.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Man is by nature a political animal.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Our humanity is a poor thing, except for the divinity that stirs within us.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


There are two distinctive classes of people today; those who have personal computers, and those who have several thousand extra dollars apiece.


Dave Barry (1947-, American humorist, author)


If we consider the superiority of the human species, the size of its brain, its powers of thinking, language and organization, we can say this: were there the slightest possibility that another rival or superior species might appear, on earth or elsewhere, man would use every means at his disposal to destroy it.


Jean Baudrillard (French postmodern philosopher, writer)


Man must realize his own unimportance before he can appreciate his importance.


R. M. Baumgardy


All men are tempted. There is no man that lives that can't be broken down, provided it is the right temptation, put in the right spot.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


The real man is one who always finds excuses for others, but never excuses himself.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


Cruelty has a Human Heart, And jealousy a Human Face; Terror the Human Form Divine, And secrecy the Human Dress. The Human Dress is forged Iron, The Human Form a Fiery Forge, The Human Face a Furnace sealed, The Human Heart its hungry gorge.


William Blake (1757-1827, British poet, painter)


As far as many statistical series that are related to activities of mankind are concerned, the date that divides human history into two equal parts is well within living memory. The world of today is as different from the world I was born in as that world was from Julius Caesar s. I was born in the middle of human history, to date, roughly. Almost as much has happened since I was born as happened before.


Kenneth Boulding


Man is God's highest present development. He is the latest thing in God.


Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


Man is born passionate of body, but with an innate though secret tendency to the love of God in his main-spring of Mind. But God help us all! It is at present a sad jar of atoms.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


A human being is a single being. Unique and unrepeatable.


Eileen Caddy (American spiritual writer)


The human race is a zone of living things that should be defined by tracing its confines.


Italo Calvino (1923-1985, Cuban writer, essayist, journalist)


It is when we try to grapple with another man's intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering, and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun.


Joseph Conrad (1857-1924, Polish-born British novelist)


There is no doubt: the study of man is just beginning, at the same time that his end is in sight.


Elias Canetti (1905-1994, Austrian novelist, philosopher)


There is no doubt: the study of man is just beginning, at the same time that his end is in sight.


Elias Canetti (1905-1994, Austrian novelist, philosopher)


Man is emphatically a proselytizing creature.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


Everyone is as God made him, and often a great deal worse.


Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)


Man is an exception, whatever else he is. If he is not the image of God, then he is a disease of the dust. If it is not true that a divine being fell, then we can only say that one of the animals went entirely off its head.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


We were born to unite with our fellowmen, and to join in community with the human race.


Marcus T. Cicero (c. 106-43 BC, Roman orator, politician)


What an ugly beast the ape, and how like us.


Marcus T. Cicero (c. 106-43 BC, Roman orator, politician)


Mankind differs from the animals only by a little and most people throw that away.


Confucius (BC 551-479, Chinese ethical teacher, philosopher)


We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.


Stephen R. Covey (1932-, American speaker, trainer, author of "The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People")


We are each of us angels with only one wing. And we can only fly embracing each other.


Luciano de Crescenzo


To the eyes of a god, mankind must appear as a species of bacteria which multiply and become progressively virulent whenever they find themselves in a congenial culture, and whose activity diminishes until they disappear completely as soon as proper measures are taken to sterilize them.


Aleister Crowley (1875-1947, British occultist)


Humanity I love you because when you're hard up you pawn your intelligence to buy a drink


EE Cummings (1894-1962, American poet)


There are two kinds of men who never amount to much -- those who cannot do what they are told and those who can do nothing else.


Cyrus H. K Curtis


Three classes of people: Those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.


Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519, Italian inventor, architect, painter, scientist, sculptor)


Though man is the only beast that can write, he has small reason to be proud of it. When he utters something that is wise it is nothing that the river horse does not know, and most of his creations are the result of accident.


Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977, American author, critic)


Consider your breed; you were not made to live like beasts, but to follow virtue and knowledge.


Alighieri, Dante (1265-1321, Italian philosopher, poet)


Man is head, chest and stomach. Each of these animals operates, more often than not, individually. I eat, I feel, I even, although rarely, think. This jungle crawls and teems, is hungry, roars, gets angry, devours itself, and its cacophonic concert does not even stop when you are asleep.


Rene Daumal (1908-1944, French poet, critic)


Man is not the creature of circumstances; circumstances are the creatures of man.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


The best security for civilization is the dwelling, and upon properly appointed and becoming dwellings depends, more than anything else, the improvement of mankind.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.


John Donne (1572-1632, British metaphysical poet)


Man is not only a contributory creature, but a total creature; he does not only make one, but he is all; he is not a piece of the world, but the world itself; and next to the glory of God, the reason why there is a world.


John Donne (1572-1632, British metaphysical poet)


The race of man, while sheep in credulity, are wolves for conformity.


Carl Van Doren (1885-1950, American critic, biographer)


Man only likes to count his troubles, but he does not count his joys.


Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881, Russian novelist)


A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


Considered logically this concept is not identical with the totality of sense impressions referred to; but it is an arbitrary creation of the human (or animal) mind.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


Man tries to make for himself in the fashion that suits him best a simplified and intelligible picture of the world; he then tries to some extent to substitute this cosmos of his for the world of experience, and thus to overcome it.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Man, became man through work, who stepped out of the animal kingdom as transformer of the natural into the artificial, who became therefore the magician, man the creator of social reality, will always stay the great magician, will always be Prometheus bringing fire from heaven to earth, will always be Orpheus enthralling nature with his music. Not until humanity itself dies will art die.


Ernst Fischer (1899-1972, Austrian editor, poet, critic)


Purity of race does not exist. Europe is a continent of energetic mongrels.


Herbert Albert Laurens Fisher (1865-1940, British writer)


As the archeology of our thought easily shows, man is an invention of recent date. And one perhaps nearing its end.


Michel Foucault (1926-1984, French essayist, philosopher)


Of all the ways of defining man, the worst is the one which makes him out to be a rational animal.


Anatole France (1844-1924, French writer)


All humanity is divided into three classes: those who are immovable, those who are movable, and those who move!


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


I have found little that is "good" about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think.


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939, Austrian physician, founder of Psychoanalysis)


Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs, he is truly magnificent; but those organs have not grown on him and they still give him much trouble at times.


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939, Austrian physician, founder of Psychoanalysis)


Man's biological weakness is the condition of human culture.


Erich Fromm (1900-1980, American psychologist)


Reason is man's faculty for grasping the world by thought, in contradiction to intelligence, which is man's ability to manipulate the world with the help of thought. Reason is man's instrument for arriving at the truth, intelligence is man's instrument for manipulating the world more successfully; the former is essentially human, the latter belongs to the animal part of man.


Erich Fromm (1900-1980, American psychologist)


The secret of a person's nature lies in their religion and what they really believe about the world and their place in it.


James A. Froude (1818-1894, British historian)


Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.


James A. Froude (1818-1894, British historian)


I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know. Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly.


R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983, American inventor, designer, poet, philosopher)


We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.


R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983, American inventor, designer, poet, philosopher)


As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world -- that is the myth of the atomic age -- as in being able to remake ourselves.


Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948, Indian political, spiritual leader)


As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world -- that is the myth of the atomic age -- as in being able to remake ourselves.


Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948, Indian political, spiritual leader)


You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.


Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948, Indian political, spiritual leader)


Man... knows only when he is satisfied and when he suffers, and only his sufferings and his satisfactions instruct him concerning himself, teach him what to seek and what to avoid. For the rest, man is a confused creature; he knows not whence he comes or whither he goes, he knows little of the world, and above all, he knows little of himself.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Mankind are an incorrigible race. Give them but bugbears and idols -- it is all that they ask; the distinctions of right and wrong, of truth and falsehood, of good and evil, are worse than indifferent to them.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


Mind and spirit together make up that which separates us from the rest of the animal world, that which enables a man to know the truth and that which enables him to die for the truth.


Edith Hamilton (1867-1963, American classical scholar, translator)


On earth there is nothing great but man; in man there is nothing great but mind.


Sir William Hamilton (1730-1803, Scottish diplomat, antiquary)


Mankind are earthen jugs with spirits in them.


Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864, American novelist, short story writer)


Public opinion contains all kinds of falsity and truth, but it takes a great man to find the truth in it. The great man of the age is the one who can put into words the will of his age, tell his age what its will is, and accomplish it. What he does is the heart and the essence of his age, he actualizes his age. The man who lacks sense enough to despise public opinion expressed in gossip will never do anything great.


Georg Hegel (1770-1831, German philosopher)


A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, cone a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.


Robert Heinlein (1907-1988, American science fiction writer)


Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.


Heraclitus (BC 535-475, Greek philosopher)


What constitutes a real, live human being is more of a mystery than ever these days, and men -- each one of whom is a valuable, unique experiment on the part of nature -- are shot down wholesale.


Hermann Hesse (1877-1962, German-born Swiss novelist, poet)


Man was nature's mistake -- she neglected to finish him -- and she has never ceased paying for her mistake.


Eric Hoffer (1902-1983, American author, philosopher)


It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others.


John Andrew Holmes


People can be divided into two classes: Those who go ahead and do something and those who sit still and inquire why wasn't it done the other way?


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


Help a man against his will and you do the same as murder him.


Horace (BC 65-8, Italian poet)


We are enslaved by anything we do not consciously see. We are freed by conscious perception.


Vernon Howard (1935-1992, American author, speaker)


One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.


Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915, American author, publisher)


Mankind is not a circle with a single center but an ellipse with two focal points of which facts are one and ideas the other.


Victor Hugo (1802-1885, French poet, dramatist, novelist)


Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breath the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


I now perceive one immense omission in my psychology -- the deepest principle of Human Nature is the craving to be appreciated.


William James (1842-1910, American psychologist, professor, author)


The Goddamn human race deserves itself, and as far as I'm concerned it can have it.


Elizabeth Janeway (1913-2001, American author, critic)


As man draws nearer to the stars, why should he not also draw nearer to his neighbor?


Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973, American President (36th))


I hate mankind, for I think of myself as one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.


Carl Jung (1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist)


Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made nothing entirely straight can be carved.


Immanuel Kant (1724-1804, German philosopher)


Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.


Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968, American Civil Rights leader, Nobel Prize winner, 1964)


But remember please, the Law by which we live, we are not built to comprehend a lie, we can neither love nor pity nor forgive. If you make a slip in handling us you die.


Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936, British author of Prose, Verse)


Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.


Milan Kundera (1929-, Czech author, critic)


It is much easier to know men than it is to know a man.


Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)


There is nothing on earth divine except humanity.


Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864, British poet, essayist)


Rare is the person who can weigh the faults of others without putting his thumb on the scales.


Byron J. Langenfield


The world of men is dreaming, it has gone mad in its sleep, and a snake is strangling it, but it can't wake up.


D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930, British author)


Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.


Bruce Lee (1940-1973, Chinese-American martial artist, actor, director, author)

Author's website:


The man who is forever disturbed about the condition of humanity either has no problems of his own or has refused to face them.


Henry Miller (1891-1980, American author)


After all there is but one race -- humanity.


George Moore (1852-1933, Irish writer)


The simplest single-celled organism oscillates to a number of different frequencies, at the atomic, molecular, sub-cellular, and cellular levels. Microscopic movies of these organisms are striking for the ceaseless, rhythmic pulsation that is revealed. In an organism as complex as a human being, the frequencies of oscillation and the interactions between those frequencies are multitudinous.


George Leonard


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