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Mark Twain

What Is Man? and Other Essays

    Bhagyalaxmi Sahuhas quotedlast year
    No man ever originates anything. All his thoughts, all his impulses, come FROM THE OUTSIDE
    Shahzen Chauhanhas quotedlast year
    I wish to further impress upon you that neither you, nor I, nor any man ever originates a thought in his own head. THE UTTERER OF A THOUGHT ALWAYS UTTERS A SECOND-HAND ONE.
    Shahzen Chauhanhas quotedlast year
    Y.M. I am not convinced.

    O.M. You will be when you think
    Shahzen Chauhanhas quotedlast year
    It is a quite natural opinion—indeed an inevitable opinion—but YOU did not create the materials out of which it is formed. They are odds and ends of thoughts, impressions, feelings, gathered unconsciously from a thousand books, a thousand conversations, and from streams of thought and feeling which have flowed down into your heart and brain out of the hearts and brains of centuries of ancestors. PERSONALLY you did not create even the smallest microscopic fragment of the materials out of which your opinion is made; and personally you cannot claim even the slender merit of PUTTING THE BORROWED MATERIALS TOGETHER. That was done AUTOMATICALLY—by your mental machinery, in strict accordance with the law of that machinery's construction. And you not only did not make that machinery yourself, but you have NOT EVEN ANY COMMAND OVER IT.
    Shahzen Chauhanhas quotedlast year
    That is a good enough name for it: Conscience—that independent Sovereign, that insolent absolute Monarch inside of a man who is the man's Master.
    Shahzen Chauhanhas quotedlast year
    FROM HIS CRADLE TO HIS GRAVE A MAN NEVER DOES A SINGLE THING WHICH HAS ANY FIRST AND FOREMOST OBJECT BUT ONE—TO SECURE PEACE OF MIND, SPIRITUAL COMFORT, FOR HIMSELF.
    Shahzen Chauhanhas quotedlast year
    "Everything has its limit—iron ore cannot be educated into gold."
    Erin McClintockhas quoted2 years ago
    ne which of two things is nearest right and just.
    Y.M. Make the difference clear, please.
    O.M. The mind can freely SELECT, CHOOSE, POINT OUT the right and just one—its function stops there. It can go no further in the matter. It has no authority to say that the right one shall be acted upon and the wrong one discarded. That authority is in other hands.
    Y.M. The man's?
    O.M. In the machine which stands for him. In his born disposition and the character which has been built around it by training and environment
    Erin McClintockhas quoted2 years ago
    hat is the difference?
    O.M. The one implies untrammeled power to ACT as you please, the other implies nothing beyond a mere MENTAL PROCESS: the critical ability to determine which of two things is nearest right and just.
    Erin McClintockhas quoted2 years ago
    It is as I have said: the mind is independent of the man. He has no control over it; it does as it pleases. It will take up a subject in spite of him; it will stick to it in spite of him; it will throw it aside in spite of him.
    Erin McClintockhas quoted2 years ago
    Not if it find another that suits it better. As a rule it will listen to neither a dull speaker nor a bright one. It refuses all persuasion. The dull speaker wearies it and sends it far away in idle dreams; the bright speaker throws out stimulating ideas which it goes chasing after and is at once unconscious of him and his talk. You cannot keep your mind from wandering, if it wants to; it is master, not you.
    Erin McClintockhas quoted2 years ago
    If you fell short of what he was expecting and wanting, you would get a look which would SHAME YOU BEFORE FOLK. That would give you PAIN. YOU—for you are only working for yourself, not HIM. If you gave him too much you would be ASHAMED OF YOURSELF for it, and that would give YOU pain—another case of thinking of YOURSELF, protecting yourself, SAVING YOURSELF FROM DISCOMFORT. You never think of the servant once—except to guess out how to get HIS APPROVAL. If you get that, you get your OWN approval, and that is the sole and only thing you are after. The Master inside of you is then satisfied, contented, comfortable; there was NO OTHER thing at stake, as a matter of FIRST interest, anywhere in the transaction.
    Erin McClintockhas quoted2 years ago
    man will do ANYTHING, no matter what it is, TO SECURE HIS SPIRITUAL COMFORT; and he can neither be forced nor persuaded to any act which has not that goal for its object.
    Erin McClintockhas quoted2 years ago
    that it shall FIRST secure HIS OWN spiritual comfort. Otherwise he will not do it.
    Erin McClintockhas quoted2 years ago
    FROM HIS CRADLE TO HIS GRAVE A MAN NEVER DOES A SINGLE THING WHICH HAS ANY FIRST AND FOREMOST OBJECT BUT ONE—TO SECURE PEACE OF MIND, SPIRITUAL COMFORT, FOR HIMSELF.
    josuedr11has quoted3 years ago
    He is a chameleon; by the law of his nature he takes the color of his place of resort. The influences about him create his preferences, his aversions, his politics, his tastes, his morals, his religion. He creates none of these things for himself. He THINKS he does, but that is because he has not examined into the matter.
    josuedr11has quoted3 years ago
    Our consciences take NO notice of pain inflicted upon others until it reaches a point where it gives pain to US. In ALL cases without exception we are absolutely indifferent to another person's pain until his sufferings make us uncomfortable.
    josuedr11has quoted3 years ago
    The Infidel often watched by the bedside and entertained the boy with talk, and he used these opportunities to satisfy a strong longing in his nature—that desire which is in us all to better other people's condition by having them think as we think.
    josuedr11has quoted3 years ago
    You must remember and always distinguish the people who CAN'T BEAR things from people who CAN.
    josuedr11has quoted3 years ago
    No man ever originates anything. All his thoughts, all his impulses, come FROM THE OUTSIDE.
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