Knowledge is the true organ of sight, not the eyes.Panchatantra
Original statement: The phrase originally appeared in French as je pense, donc je suis in Discourse on the Method by René Descartes.
Latin translation: Cogito, ergo sum. It appeared in Latin in his later Principles of Philosophy
From Wikipedia: Later translated into English as “I think, therefore I am” , so as to reach a wider audience than Latin would have allowed.
As Descartes explained it, “we cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt.”
A fuller version, articulated by Antoine Léonard Thomas, aptly captures Descartes’s intent: dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (“I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”)
Descartes’s statement became a fundamental element of Western philosophy, as it purported to provide a certain foundation for knowledge in the face of radical doubt. While other knowledge could be a figment of imagination, deception, or mistake, Descartes asserted that the very act of doubting one’s own existence served—at minimum—as proof of the reality of one’s own mind; there must be a thinking entity—in this case the self—for there to be a thought.
One common critique of the dictum is that it presupposes that there is an “I” which must be doing the thinking. According to this line of criticism, the most that Descartes was entitled to say was that “thinking is occurring”, not that “I am thinking”.
Essentially, thought cannot end up being the sole provable thing in existence since it has requirements for its own existence.
St. Augustine was one of the early proponents of similar thinking. Parmenides 5th Century BC also said something similar.
Saiva Siddhantha identifies mind and thoughts as perishing with the body and hence these cannot be associated with the identity of I. The soul is believed to be more subtle than the mind. While energies associated with mental activity can be measured, the soul itself cannot be traced by outside methods.
In the Buddhist lineage, knowledge is not handed down like an antique. One teacher experiences the truth of the teachings and hands it down as an inspiration to his students. That inspiration wakens the student who passes it on further. The teachings are seen as always up to date, they are not thought of as “ancient wisdom”.
It is like a recipe for bread. Each baker must apply his general knowledge of how to bake bread, but each time it is cooked completely fresh.Jane Hope and Borin Van Loon
Introducing Buddha: A graphic guide
Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose, larger-than-the-self kind of understanding.
Lots of people will give you advice… and depending on how well they know you, the advice might be valid or not so valid.
Struggle toward the capital-T Truth, but recognize that the task is impossible—or that if a correct answer is possible, verification certainly is impossible.
In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can only see part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the economist a fourth, the pearl diver a fifth, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheep farmer an eighth, the Indian beggar a ninth, the pastor a tenth. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And truth comes somewhere above all of them, where, as at the end of that Sunday’s reading: the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For here the saying is verified that “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of that work.
―Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
Don’t live by your own rules, but in harmony with Nature.
To simply love God in thought with singleness of heart, and to follow the Goodness of his will – this is philosophy, unsullied by intrusive cravings for pointless opinions.
Every thing contains a portions of all things, but Consciousness is infinite, free, alone, and mixed with nothing else. Consciousness is pure and sublime. It has knowledge of everything. It controls all life, great and small. It governs the spinning wheel of separateness that divides things off one from the other. It knows all that is, and things that are not, and things that have been, and things that shall be. Consciousness arranges all things as they are, including the rotating stars, the sun, the moon, the air, and the ether.
The true knowledge of the self is not a knowledge. It is not something that you find by searching, by looking everywhere. It is not to be found in space and time. Knowledge is but a memory, a pattern of thought, a mental habit. All these are motivated by pleasure and pain. It is because you are goaded by pleasure and pain that you are in search of knowledge. Being oneself is completely beyond all motivation. You cannot be yourself for some reason. You are yourself and no reason is needed.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection:
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is lead forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action–
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,
The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.
O perpetual revolution of configured stars,
O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of heaven in twenty centuries
Brings us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.
The lot of man is ceaseless labor,
Or ceaseless idleness, which is still harder,
Or irregular labour, which is not pleasant.
I have trodden the winepress alone, and I know
That it is hard to be really useful, resigning
The things that men count for happiness, seeking
The good deeds that lead to obscurity, accepting
With equal face those that bring ignominy,
The applause of all or the love of none.
All men are ready to invest their money
But most expect dividends.
I say to you: Make perfect your will.
I say: take no thought of the harvest,
But only of proper sowing.
The world turns and the world changes,
But one thing does not change.
In all of my years, one thing does not change,
However you disguise it, this thing does not change:
The perpetual struggle of Good and Evil.
I keep six honest men serving me,
They have taught me all I know
There names are : Who, Why, Where,
What, When and How
Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not.
There is no such thing as a person. There are only restrictions and limitations. The sum total of these defines the person. The person merely appears to be, like the space within the pot appears to have the shape and volume and smell of the pot.
One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.
-James Russell Lowell
A donkey with a load of holy books is still a donkey.
The first sign we don’t know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.
Knowledge is an antidote to fear.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is nothing for one to know something unless another knows you know it.
Courage is a special kind of knowledge; the knowledge of how to fear what ought to be feared and how not to fear what ought not to be feared.
David Ben Gurion
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
There are two different types of people in the world, those who want to know, and those who want to believe.
It was the deep knowledge — and pray God we have not lost it — that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.
Ronald Reagan, 40th anniversary of D-day