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quotations about the mind

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.

JOHN MILTON, Paradise Lost

Here in your mind you have complete privacy. Here there's no difference between what is and what could be.


The mind ain't nothing without the old body tagging along to follow things through.


Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, The Evolution of Physics

The march of the human mind is slow.

EDMUND BURKE, speech, Mar. 22, 1775

The mind
Is so hospitable, taking in everything
Like boarders, and you don’t see until
It’s all over how little there was to learn
Once the stench of knowledge has dissipated.

JOHN ASHBERY, "Houseboat Days"

The human mind is a channel through which things-to-be are coming into the realm of things-that-are.

HENRY FORD, Theosophist Magazine, Feb. 1930

There is an elasticity in the human mind, capable of bearing much, but which will not show itself, until a certain weight of affliction be put upon it; its powers may be compared to those vehicles whose springs are so contrived that they get on smoothly enough when loaded, but jolt confoundedly when they have nothing to bear.


Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.

YODA, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

A good mind is a lord of a kingdom.

SENECA, Thyestes

The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

ROBERTSON DAVIES, quoted in The Wordsworth Dictionary of Quotes

As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free. Psychological freedom, a firm sense of self-esteem, is the most powerful weapon against the long night of physical slavery.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, speech, Aug. 16, 1967

A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.

SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

What we call a mind is nothing but a heap or collection of different perceptions, united together by certain relations and supposed, though falsely, to be endowed with a perfect simplicity and identity.

DAVID HUME, A Treatise of Human Nature

To know psychology ... is no guarantee that we shall manage our minds rightly.

WILLIAM GLOVER, Know Your Own Mind

The will ... is the driving force of the mind. If it's injured, the mind falls to pieces.


My mind to me a kingdom is,
Such perfect joy therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss
That world affords or grows by kind.

EDWARD DYER, My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is

It is the mind that maketh good or ill,
That maketh wretch or happy, rich or poor.

EDMUND SPENSER, The Faerie Queene

Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.

HANS MARGOLIUS, quoted in A Toolbox for Humanity

The mind is free, whate'er afflict the man,
A King's a King, do Fortune what she can.

MICHAEL DRAYTON, The Barrons' Wars

How wonderful, how very wonderful the operations of time, and the changes of the human mind!

JANE AUSTEN, Mansfield Park

All civilization in a sense exists only in the mind. Gunpowder, textile arts, machinery, laws, telephones are not themselves transmitted from man to man or from generation to generation, at least not permanently. It is the perception, the knowledge and understanding of them, their ideas in the Platonic sense, that are passed along. Everything social can have existence only through mentality.

ALFRED L. KROEBER, The Superorganic

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech at Harvard University, Sept. 6, 1943

Babylon in all its desolation is a sight not so awful as that of the human mind in ruins.

SCROPE BERDMORE DAVIES, letter to Thomas Raikes, May, 1835

The mind is international and supra-national ... it ought to serve not war and annihilation, but peace and reconciliation.

HERMANN HESSE, letter read at Nobel banquet, Dec. 10, 1946

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.


To see a thing clearly in the mind makes it begin to take form.

HENRY FORD, Theosophist Magazine, Feb. 1930

In activities other than purely logical thought, our minds function much faster than any computer yet devised.

DANIEL CREVIER, AI: The Tumultuous History of the Search for Artificial Intelligence

Yoga is the cessation of mind.

PATANJALI, The Yoga Sutras

Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Robert Skipwith, Aug. 3, 1771

When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind.


Of all the things I've lost, it's my mind I miss the most.

OZZY OSBOURNE, quoted in Foolish Words: The Most Stupid Words Ever Spoken

When I think of myself my mind cannot soar to higher things but is like a bird with broken wings.

TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle

Just as dogs love to chew bones, the mind loves to get its teeth into problems. That's why it does crossword puzzles and builds atom bombs.

ECKHART TOLLE, The Power of Now

The country would be far better if the population were half as interested in keeping their minds in as good condition as they tried to keep their bodies.

JOHN SAUL, Black Lightning

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: —
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.

JAMES ALLEN, As a Man Thinketh

The monsters of the mind are far worse than those that actually exist. Fear, doubt, and hate have hamstrung more people than beasts ever have.


As an orchard when manured produces pleasant trees and luscious fruit, so does a cultivated mind produce pure thoughts and noble actions.


Our mind is but a lump of clay
That Fate, grim potter, holds
On sorrow's wheel that rolls away,
And, as he pleases, moulds.

BHARTRHARI, "On Time the Destroyer"

The mind grows by what it feeds on.


What shall I compare it to, this fantastic thing I call my Mind? To a waste-paper basket, to a sieve choked with sediment, or to a barrel full of floating froth and refuse? No, what it is really most like is a spider's web, insecurely hung on leaves and twigs, quivering in every wind, and sprinkled with dewdrops and dead flies. And at its centre, pondering forever the Problem of Existence, sits motionless the spider-like and uncanny Soul.


There is an equator that runs just under the nose: all that live below the equator are animals; all that live above it are men.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The mind commands the body and immediately it obeys. The mind orders itself, and meets resistance.


Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind.


There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save.

ISAAC ASIMOV, Pebble in the Sky

My mind changes often ... People who have no mind can easily be steadfast and firm, but when a man is loaded down to the guards with it, as I am, every heavy sea of foreboding or inclination, maybe of indolence, shifts the cargo.

MARK TWAIN, letter to James Redpath, Aug. 8, 1871

There is nothing mind can do that cannot be better done in the mind's immobility and thought-free stillness.

SRI AUROBINDO, Essays Divine and Human

The best way to prove the clearness of our mind, is by showing its faults; as when a stream discovers the dirt at the bottom, it convinces us of the transparency and purity of the water.

ALEXANDER POPE, "Thoughts on Various Subjects"

Those who exert the first influence upon the mind, have the greatest power.


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