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 Arthur Koestler Quotes
39 Famous Quotes by Arthur Koestler
9/5/1905 - 3/1/1983
Also Known As:  
A. Costler     Dr. A. Costler
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About Arthur Koestler

Every creative act involves...a new innocence of perception, liberated from the cataract of accepted belief.

Inspirational Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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I think most historians will agree that the part played by impulses of selfish, individual aggression in the holocausts of history was small; first and foremost, the slaughter was meant as an offering to the gods, to king and country, or the future happiness of mankind. The crimes of Caligula shrink to insignificance compared to the havoc wrought by Torquemada. The number of victims of robbers, highwaymen, rapists, gangsters and other criminals at any period of history is negligible compared to the massive numbers of those cheerfully slain in the name of the true religion, just policy, or correct ideology.

Politics / government Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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

Originality Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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The new frontiers to be conquered are mainly in the convolutions of the cortex.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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The continuous disasters of man's history are mainly due to his excessive capacity and urge to become identified with a tribe, nation, church or cause, and to espouse its credo uncritically and enthusiastically, even if its tenets are contrary to reason, devoid of self-interest and detrimental to the claims of self-preservation.We are thus driven to the unfashionable conclusion that the trouble with our species is not an excess of aggression, but an excess capacity for fanatical devotion.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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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.

Politics / government Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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The revolutions of thought which shape the basic outlook of an age are not disseminated through text-books- they spread like epidemics, through contamination by invisible agents and innocent germ carriers, by the most varied forms of contact, or simply by breathing the common air.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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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

Evolution Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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

Boldness Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Inspirational Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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...the crimes of violence committed for selfish, personal motives are historically insignificant compared to those committed ad majorem gloriam Dei, out of a self-sacrificing devotion to the flag, a leader, a religious faith or political conviction.

Politics / government Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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Habit is the denial of creativity and the negation of freedom; a self-imposed straitjacket of which the wearer is unaware.

Politics / government Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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...we are apt to forget that the vast majority of men and women who fell under the totalitarian spell was activated by unselfish motives, ready to accept the role of martyr or executioner, as the cause demanded.

Politics / government Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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War is a ritual, a deadly ritual, not the result of aggressive self-assertion, but of self-transcending identification. Without loyalty to tribe, church, flag or ideal, there would be no wars.

Politics / government Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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Even a cursory glance at history should convince one that individual crimes committed for selfish motives play a quite insignificant part in the human tragedy, compared to the numbers massacred in unselfish loyalty to one's tribe, nation, dynasty, church, or political ideology, ad majorem gloriam dei. The emphasis is on unselfish. Excepting a small minority of mercenary or sadistic disposition, wars are not fought for personal gain, but out of loyalty and devotion to king, country or cause. Homicide committed for personal reasons is a statistical rarity in all cultures, including our own. Homicide for unselfish reasons, at the risk of one's own life, is the dominant phenomenon of history.

Politics / government Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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...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.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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Brain-washing starts in the cradle.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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From the psychological point of view, the self-asserting emotions, derived from emergency reactions, involve a narrowing of consciousness; the participatory emotions an expansion of consciousness by identificatory processes of various kinds.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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The inertia of the human mind and its resistance to innovation are most clearly demonstrated not, as one might expect, by the ignorant mass- which is easily swayed once its imagination is caught- but by professionals with a vested interest in tradition and in the monopoly of learning. 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. The academic backwoodsmen have been the curse of genius from Aristarchus to Darwin and Freud; they stretch, a solid and hostile phalanx of pedantic mediocrities, across the centuries.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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No man is an island- he is a holon. A Janus-faced entity who, looking inward, sees himself as a self-contained unique whole, looking outward as a dependent part. His self-assertive tendency is the dynamic manifestation of his unique wholeness, his autonomy and independence as a holon. Its equally universal antagonist, the integrative tendency, expresses his dependence on the larger whole to which he belongs: his 'part-ness.'.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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The more backwoodish a social group, juvenile or adult, the stricter its conception of the normal, and the readier it will ridicule any departure from it.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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