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Quotations about Thinking

No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.
Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.
~Edmund Burke
Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.
~Carl G. Jung
Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.
~Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun
No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head.
~Terry Josephson
You and I are not what we eat; we are what we think.
~Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course, 1997
Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
~Winnie the Pooh
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
~Soren Kierkegaard
Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
~John F. Kennedy
The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds.
~Will Durant
Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in.
~Alan Alda
I like to think of thoughts as living blossoms borne by the human tree.
~James Douglas
The forceps of our minds are clumsy things and crush the truth a little in the course of taking hold of it.
~H.G. Wells
Our minds are lazier than our bodies.
~François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, 1678
Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest.
~Author Unknown
Some people get lost in thought because it's such unfamiliar territory.
~G. Behn
Thinking is like loving and dying. Each of us must do it for himself.
~Josiah Royce
It is well for people who think, to change their minds occasionally in order to keep them clean.
~Luther Burbank
Physiological response to thinking and to pain is the same; and man is not given to hurting himself.
~Martin H. Fischer
We spend our days in deliberating, and we end them without coming to any resolve.
Our job is not to make up anybody's mind, but to open minds and to make the agony of the decision-making so intense you can escape only by thinking.
~Author Unknown
Thinking in its lower grades is comparable to paper money, and in its higher forms it is a kind of poetry.
~Havelock Ellis, The Dance of Life, 1923
The average man never really thinks from end to end of his life. The mental activity of such people is only a mouthing of clichés.
~H.L. Mencken, Prejudices, 1925
Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once a week.
~George Bernard Shaw
...the thoughtful excitement of lonely rambles, of gardening, and of other like occupations, where the mind has leisure to must during the healthful activity of the body, with the fresh and wakeful breezes blowing round it...
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
Belief is when someone else does the thinking.
~Buckminster Fuller, 1972
Irons rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.
~Leonardo da Vinci, Notebooks, 1508
A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thoughts, like fleas, jump from man to man. But they don't bite everybody.
~Stanislaw Lec, Unkempt Thoughts, 1962
Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinion at all.
~G.C. Lichtenberg
The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
~Albert Einstein
Brain, n. An apparatus with which we think that we think.
~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
At a certain age some people's minds close up; they live on their intellectual fat.
~William Lyon Phelps
Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
No amount of energy will take the place of thought. A strenuous life with its eyes shut is a kind of wild insanity.
~Henry Van Dyke
Tell your friends not to think aloudUntil they swallow.
~Nickelback, "Leader of Men," The State
Believing is easier than thinking. Hence so many more believers than thinkers.
~Bruce Calvert
A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor
~Victor Hugo
Sometimes I think and other times I am.
~Paul Valéry, Variété: Cantiques spirituels, 1924
Few minds wear out; more rust out.
~Christian N. Bovee
Opinion is that exercise of the human will which helps us to make a decision without information.
~John Erskine
Some people do not become thinkers simply because their memories are too good.
~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Men can live without air a few minutes, without water for about two weeks, without food for about two months - and without a new thought for years on end.
~Kent Ruth
The thoughts that come often unsought, and, as it were, drop into the mind, are commonly the most valuable of any we have.
~John Locke, 16 May 1699
Men who borrow their opinions can never repay their debts.
~George Savile, Marquess de Halifax, Miscellaneous Thoughts and Reflections
A lawyer's brief will be brief, before a freethinker thinks freely.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
Chi Wen Tzu always thought three times before taking action. Twice would have been quite enough.
~Confucius, Analects
Impartial observers from other planets would consider ours an utterly bizarre enclave if it were populated by birds, defined as flying animals, that nevertheless rarely or never actually flew. They would also be perplexed if they encountered in our seas, lakes, rivers, and ponds, creatures defined as swimmers that never did any swimming. But they would be even more surprised to encounter a species defined as a thinking animal if, in fact, the creature very rarely indulged in actual thinking.
~Steve Allen
What luck for rulers, that men do not think.
~Adolph Hitler
Doubt is not a pleasant state of mind, but certainty is absurd.
~Voltaire, 1767
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
~Bertrand Russell
[Thinking is] what a great many people think they are doing when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
~William James
For those who do not think, it is best at least to rearrange their prejudices once in a while.
~Luther Burbank
How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.
~Niels Bohr
You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind.
~Author Unknown
He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.
~William Drummond, Academical Questions
Ours is the age which is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.
~Howard Mumford Jones