Wednesday, August 29, 2007

never stop learning.

Man's basic vice, the source of all his evils, is the act of unfocusing his mind, the suspension of his consciousness, which is not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance, but the refusal to know.''
— Ayn Rand

31 comments:

the rainiest sunday said...

interesting.
i've always been of the opinion that man's basic vice was self-interest. from his self-interest stems his deliberate ignorance.

Rach said...

that is an awesome quote

Dani-O said...

i think thats a great quote. thanks for sharing.


P.S. - It's good to hear from you again!

tehillim said...

ironic because the thing that screwed us to begin with was a perverted desire for ultimate knowledge. the ability to think and know and create and learn, i think, is a gift of gifts and neglecting it is just as bad as making it a source of blasphemy.

chris said...

man, where do you find these incredible quotes!?

guard my dreams said...

i agree, where do you find these awesome quotes??

Lizzy said...

i would say that although that quote has a lot of truth to it, it seems to me that pride is the basic vice [although that is a cliche chrsitian idea]. ignorance stems from pride however, since pride in one's own knowledge and wisdom can lead to a refusal to acknowledge ignorance, which ultimately leads not only to further ignorance, but also to misunderstanding, which can be worse than ignorance.

liz said...

That's a really good quote.

desiree said...

this is very true...and very prevalent in the modern world. rand is probably proverbially spinning in her grave right now...

Chris said...

We are stubborn creatures! We will dig our heels into the ground, refusing to acknowledge others opinions, thoughts and feelings. We complain about our circumstances instead of appreciating the lesson those circumstances could be teaching us. I am guilty of this.

Let me leave you with three quotes:

"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from"
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
- Gandhi

"Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God."
- Romans 12:2

P.S. I would be interested to know your favorite book by Ayn Rand.

Ashley N. said...

Where do you find these quotes?? I need to know...

Andrea said...

That reminded me of the end of the last Narnia book, where the dwarfs were in Aslan's Land refused to see and thought they were still in the barn.
My dad has been pointing out the difference too, because one has a choice. so I will be thinking about that. thanks.

Shannon said...

Oh wow. This is like an aha lightbulb moment for me. I've recently been thinking how I've come to settle into a 'safe rut' and even commented to a friend how I need to find ways to 'shake things up'...Why not just learn something? It's true, an idle, bored mind needs stimulation, and the easiest remedy would be an instantaneous thrill (or as it was put, "evil"), but the wise solution is to stimulate your mind through learning. It's so weird how the simplest answers are inspired. Thanks.

Andrew said...

I basically agree with that quote. Once we close our minds to other ideas/different schools of thought, we become dogmatic in our beliefs. Religious debates become wars and peaceful protests become riots. People don't understand that having an open mind doesn't mean you need to accept the opposing view; you just need to accept and respect the presentation of the opposing view.

Many people close their minds to knowledge/other people's views because they are afraid that if they listen, their personal beliefs/views will be debunked. And people never like to be wrong.

Anonymous said...

the world and its societies and cultures are forever changing therefore to stop learning is to die, because it is to chose to cut yourself off from life.
thanks to everyone who reads/writes on modesty...it is such a breath of fresh air.

themockingbyrd said...

One could construct a palindromic statement, I suppose--that the refusal to understand the order of our universe is the result of pride, but one could similarly argue that pride is the result of not having a focused, conscious and accurate view of ourselves and our situation, and, if one wanted to tack things on, one could conjecture that self-interest is the result of either of the above.

Lizzy said...

true, true. that is the other side of it. i re-read my post and realized it was very badley organized and not clearly stated, since the quote was basically saying that the refusal to know and understand is worse than blind ignorance... i guess i just reiterated it with my own [not so logical] spin on things.

miss lynn said...

Very poignant quote. It seems that the refusal to see and know is because of self interest, but in some circumstances, fear can also cause a refusal to see and know.

miss lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
- said...

It always kills me when I hear folks who say things like "book? I havent read a book since high school!" -- (Refusal to know) is what comes to mind here... why would you NOT want to read... its enlightening and so interesting. I'd rather read a book than watch T.V ANYDAY. To me they are denying themselfs endless amounts of knowledge and imagination.

Have you ever read "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski... a very very interesting book... I recommend it if you have not already :) It makes you think!!!

dana said...

this would make sense, coming from her.
you could read "atlas shrugged" and see this, although not clearly. it's a bit of a difficult read, and there are lessons and ideals in there that are not necessarily to be embraced, but to at least be thought about, and possibly countered. it's a deep read.

it is true, if you take it in the right way. blindness and ignorance aren't anyone's fault, unless they choose to be that way. it's the choice that makes the vice, not the trait. the difference between innocence and vice.

Kaila said...

I love Ayn Rand. I read her book Anthem and I want to read more of her stuff, I ust have so much on my list of things I want to read. I hope I can eventually get around to it.

chris said...

"It always kills me when I hear folks who say things like "book? I havent read a book since high school!" -- (Refusal to know) is what comes to mind here... why would you NOT want to read... its enlightening and so interesting. I'd rather read a book than watch T.V ANYDAY. To me they are denying themselfs endless amounts of knowledge and imagination.

Have you ever read "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski... a very very interesting book... I recommend it if you have not already :) It makes you think!!!"

thats true but lets be reasonable, reading doesnt appeal to everybody, just like me and football..doesnt mix. having said that theres so many ways to gain knowledge in so many ways, i suppose my most proffered method would be experience.

Anna said...

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge."

"I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth."

Dani-o said...

My history teacher always apoligizes when we have to read a little amount of pages in the history book because he says that more knowledge=power, and he hold at high respect people with lots of knowledge. wow, sorry, that was a long sentence! Luv ya always,
Danielle

Anonymous said...

What's worse? Stupid or ignorant?

Sarah said...

"It always kills me when I hear folks who say things like "book? I havent read a book since high school!" -- (Refusal to know) is what comes to mind here... why would you NOT want to read... its enlightening and so interesting. I'd rather read a book than watch T.V ANYDAY. To me they are denying themselfs endless amounts of knowledge and imagination.

Have you ever read "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski... a very very interesting book... I recommend it if you have not already :) It makes you think!!!"

thats true but lets be reasonable, reading doesnt appeal to everybody, just like me and football..doesnt mix. having said that theres so many ways to gain knowledge in so many ways, i suppose my most proffered method would be experience.

__________

I can see your point. reading ISN'T for all... I guess what I'm saying is that I hate it when people say that because they don't want people to think they are 'uncool' because apparently reading is Uncool to some folks! I would have to agree my preferred method would be experience but some things you read in books can never be experienced in real life and to delve into that realm... you must imagine it through words :)

Angel said...

I find it VERY interesting, given the ethical code by which I can assume you live, that you would quote Ayn Rand. (Not that it's a bad thing.)

Gardenia said...

...and that refusal to know leads to a world of ignorance.
Thanks for sharing this - it's beautiful.

Richard said...

Actually, mankind's basic vice is pride/self-righteousness ... which is often a reason that someone avoids knowledge/correction.

It doesn't surprise me that ayn rand would think it's not knowing ... as when I read about her it seems she acted like she thought she knew everything.

Nor does it surprise me that she does not mention pride as she was full of it in more ways than one.

Richard - pub., ChristianConcertzine.com

D'artagnan said...

I wish more atheists would be like Rand, in that she once said that she could interpret "God Bless You" as "I care about you".