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(#71, Version 5.0)
The following are a selection of quotes that touch upon Gorean themes and ideas, concepts and principles. Many, but not all of them, are from the works of philosophers. Over time, additional quotes may be added.
"Books cannot answer back and respond to the
objections they provoke; there is no real dialogue of minds between writer and reader,
only between two people actually engaged in philosophical discussion. Plato is deeply
influenced by the idea that true knowledge is something that can only be gained by each
individual in his or her own case, by thinking things through and questioning everything
accepted. There is no short-cut to understanding by passively reading a book."
An Introduction to Plato's Republic" by Julia Annas, p.2
"Don't ever forget these things:
The nature of the world.
How I relate to the world.
What proportion of it I make up.
That you are part of nature, and no one can prevent
you from speaking and acting in harmony with it, always."
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Book 2, #9
"A metaphysician is a `blind man in a dark room
- looking for a black hat - which isn't there."
"All honor's wounds are self-inflicted."
"Philosophy begins when one learns to
doubt--particularly to doubt one's cherished beliefs, one's dogmas and one's axioms. Who
knows how these cherished beliefs become certainties with us, and whether some secret wish
did not furtively beget them, clothing desire in the dress of thought? There is no real
philosophy until the mind turns round and examines itself."
"The Story of Philosophy" by Will Durant
"The right to search for the truth implies also
a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true."
" but far more important is the law of life, that we must do what follows from nature. For, if we desire in every matter, and in every circumstance, to keep to what is natural, it is clear that in everything we should make it our aim neither to pass over what is in accordance with nature, nor to accept what is in conflict with it."
"Do not act and speak as if asleep."
"Dogs bark at strangers."
"It makes more sense to throw out a corpse than
"The way up and the way down are one and the
"A hidden connection is stronger than an
"Nature prefers to hide."
"Metaphysics is a dark ocean without
shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a philosophic wreck."
"One is tempted to say that, disguise matters
howsoever we will, philosophy remains an art, the product of a creative, disciplined
imagination. Or to put it in less exalted terms, we sort of make it up as we go
"The Cognitivity Paradox" by John Lange (p.62)
"A man has honor if he holds himself to an
ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so."
"Mastery-of others and/or of oneself-is the
definitive masculine trait in most of the Greek and Latin literary and philosophical texts
that survive from antiquity. In certain of these texts, as we shall see, a (free) man's
right to dominate others-women, children, slaves, and other social inferiors-is justified
by his capacity to dominate himself. Moreover
this hegemonic conception of
masculinity was less a dichotomy between male and female than a hierarchical continuum
where slippage from most fully masculine to least masculine could occur. The individual
male's position on this precarious continuum was never entirely secure.
"Taking It Like A Man: Masculinity in 4 Maccabees" by Stephen Moore and Janice Anderson, p.250 in the Journal of Biblical Literature 117 (1998)
"According to nature you want to live? O
you noble Stoics, what deceptive words these are! Imagine a being like nature, wasteful
beyond measure, indifferent beyond measure, without purposes and consideration, without
mercy and justice, fertile and desolate and uncertain at the same time; imagine
indifference itself as a power--how could you live according to this indifference!"
"Beyond Good and Evil" by Nietzsche
"I have wondered sometimes why men tell
stories. I suspect they have always done so. In the beginning perhaps they danced them, or
drew them. A man is, after all, a story-telling animal. One needs no reason to tell a
story, or to sing. Those are nice things about stories, and about singing. Perhaps the
story, the song, like seeing, and thinking and breathing, if you like, is its own
justification, is own reason."
"The Chieftain" by John Norman, p.2
"But the magnitude of man is not measured in
the quantity of his being, that he lingers for such and such a time in such and such a
place, a small time, in a small place, or that his frame contains so many cubits or less,
but in his heart and soul, as tiny, as foul and dark as they may be. He, in his tiny place
and time, may do deeds, and in these deeds he stands among the loftiest, farthest of
stars. A smile, a gesture, an upraised fist, a laugh, a song, with these things, seemingly
so small in themselves, he exceeds dimensions, he challenges all time and space."
"The Chieftain" by John Norman, p.3
"Some things will not be seen for what they
are. One refuses to understand them. The defense mechanism is a familiar one, common to
the rational species."
"The Chieftain" by John Norman, p.10
"Learn what you are and be such."
"But isn't the phrase 'master of himself' an
absurdity? The master of himself must surely also be slave to himself, and the slave to
himself must be master of himself. It's the same person being talked about all the
"The Republic" by Plato
"What this way of speaking seems to me to
indicate is that in the soul of a single person there is a better part and a worse part.
When the naturally better part is in control of the worse, this is what is meant by
'master of himself.' It is a term of approval. But when as a result of bad upbringing or
bad company the better element, which is smaller, is overwhelmed by the mass of the worse
element, it is a matter for reproach. They call a person in this condition a slave to
"The Republic" by Plato
"Because for a free man learning should never
be associated with slavery...for the soul no forced learning can be lasting.
"The Republic" by Plato
"To teach how to live with uncertainty, yet
without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy can
"Mine honor is my life; both grow in one; take
honor from me and my life is done."
"I do not insist that my argument is right in
all other respects, but I would contend at all costs both in word and deed as far as I
could that we will be better men, braver and less idle, if we believe that one must search
for the things one does not know, rather than if we believe that it is not possible to
find out what we do not know and that we must not look for it."
"The shortest and surest way to live with honor
in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be; all human virtues increase
and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them."
"By all means marry; if you get a good wife,
you'll be happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher."
"Rather fail with honor than succeed by