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Belief

  • ... orthodoxy is a fixed habit of mind. The average man and woman hug their orthodoxies and spit their venom on those that outrage them.

  • One can only believe entirely, perhaps, in what one cannot see.

  • ... convictions do not imply reasons.

  • ... I've almost come to feel that it doesn't make much difference what you believe in — the thing that's important is a state of belief. It's much better to believe in nonsense than in nothing ...

  • One positive statement of good is more powerful than 1,000 negative thoughts; and two positive statements of good are more powerful than 10,000 negative thoughts.

  • My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.

    • Oprah Winfrey,
    • in Tuchy Palmieri, Oprah, In Her Words: Our American Princess ()
  • ... it does not pay to cherish symbols / when the substance / lies so close at hand.

    • Audre Lorde,
    • Walking Our Boundaries ()
    • The Black Unicorn
  • Ideologies — isms which to the satisfaction of their adherents can explain everything and every occurence by deducing it from a single premise — are a very recent phenomenon ... Not before Hitler and Stalin were the great political potentialities of the ideologies discovered.

  • The Passion that one Soul hath for God cannot be judged by another.

  • [On Werner Erhard, founder of est:] If I wanted a new belief system, I'd choose to believe in God — He's been in business longer than Werner, and He has better music.

  • Belief sometimes precedes understanding; faith sometimes precedes scientific evidence.

  • One man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best.

  • The believer who has never doubted will hardly convert a doubter.

  • I am always easy of belief when the creed pleases me.

  • ... not seeing is half-believing.

  • I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings. Like Confucius of old, I am so absorbed in the wonder of Earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and the angels. I have enough for this life.

  • I have no faith in the sense of comforting beliefs which persuade me that all my troubles are blessings in disguise.

  • Nowadays, you form your beliefs to fit your behavior, not the other way around.

  • ... you're not free / until you've been made captive by / supreme belief ...

  • 'What I believe' is a process rather than a finality. Finalities are for gods and governments, not for the human intellect.

    • Emma Goldman,
    • "What I Believe," in The New York World ()
  • Very few of us are capable of being Free Thinkers, needing neither to adore nor to insult God, the insult often being an act of faith more profound than adoration.

  • The Creed of the past becomes the Deed of today.

  • What one heart finds hard to believe, a hundred find easy.

  • The worth of every conviction consists precisely in the steadfastness with which it is held.

  • Faith often means survival. / Belief in circumstances which are not yet present. / It helps us over loss.

  • Refusal to believe unless proof is given is a rational position, denial of all outside our own limited experience is absurd.

  • Who has seen the wind? / Neither you nor I: / But when the trees bow down their heads / The wind is passing by.

  • Belief initiates and guides action — Or it does nothing.

  • Religion means a binding. If a man does not feel himself a part of the Universe, and does not hear its pulse, he is not religious. But once he has heard that pulse, he will be hearing it always. Every day his life will replenish itself from this inexhaustible source, eternal and powerful as the sun.

  • The best doctrine may become the worst, if imperfectly understood, erroneously interpreted, or superstitiously followed.

  • There is so much one would rather not believe until one has seen for oneself whether it is true.

  • There is a certain strong sense of inner conviction that strikes, with a pang as that of birth, through the very soul, and which is experienced but once or twice in a lifetime.

  • New doctrines ever displease the old. They like to fancy that the world has been losing wisdom, instead of gaining it, since they were young.

  • Conviction is the Conscience of the Mind.

  • To believe in something not yet proved and to underwrite it with our lives: it is the only way we can leave the future open.

  • ... culture both clarifies and mystifies. A set of beliefs is at once a way of seeing the world more clearly while, at the same time, foreclosing an alternative vision.

  • ... dogma and shrinking from the external world are at one limit of the range of belief. At the other are science and poetry and, indeed, reality.

  • Conviction without experience makes for harshness.

  • From this haunting feeling of being not wanted, which remained a recurrent haunt through life, I found two ways of escape, both of which in changing form also persisted. One was the invention of gods, the other was personal efficiency in work.

  • Every believer is an anarchist at heart. True believers would rather see governments topple and history rewritten than scuff the cover of their faith.

  • In all the years when I did not know what to believe in and therefore preferred to leave all beliefs alone, whenever I came to a place where living water welled up, blessedly cold and sweet and pure, from the earth's dark bosom, I felt that after all it must be wrong not to believe in anything.

  • ... we always attract into our lives whatever we think about most, believe in most strongly, expect on the deepest level, and imagine most vividly.

  • He was paralyzed with the impossibility of either belief or disbelief.

  • ... wrongness always seems to come at us from left field — that is, from outside ourselves. But the reality could hardly be more different. Error is the ultimate inside job. Yes, the world can be profoundly confusing; and yes, other people can mislead or deceive you. In the end, though, nobody but you can choose to believe your own beliefs.

  • I realized a long time ago that a belief which does not spring from a conviction in the emotions is no belief at all.

  • Any positive thinker is compelled to see everything in the light of his own convictions.

  • It might be suggested, and not easily disproven that anything, no matter how exotic, can be believed by someone. On the other hand, abstract belief is largely impossible; it is the concrete, the actuality of the cup, the candle, the sacrificial stone, which hardens belief; the statue is nothing until it cries, the philosophy is nothing until the philosopher is martyred.

  • ... in all the world there is not someone who does not believe something.

  • Creeds and causal systems have argued with each other for millennia, and even so we and our ancestors have managed to live in a world of differing opinions. Philosophical disputes don't often affect the price of fish or wine.

  • Most of us suffer from a kind of myopia. We see only the things that fit in with our beliefs about the world.

  • Our experiences tend to support our belief systems.

  • The best defense against a powerful and positive dynamic ideology is neither verbal attack nor criticism, which are useful, but to set up an equally powerful and dynamic ideology against it.

  • Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.

  • There comes a time in our lives when we are called to believe the unbelievable. If we allow ourselves to believe, we open the door to the infinite possibility of who we might become.

  • Properly considered, believing is really the sum and substance of all prayer.

  • ... got to see it, hear it, touch it, smell it, know it by our own senses to believe it — if it's good. But if it's bad — it's true.

  • To have a reason to get up in the morning, it is necessary to possess a guiding principle. A belief of some kind. A bumper sticker if you will.

  • They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness.

  • Belief is as necessary to the soul as pleasures are necessary to the body.

  • ... you cannot make a person believe anything unless that person has already had a conscious or unconscious vision of the same thing; you have no conviction of truth unless you have already apprehended it intuitively.

  • How can the people trust the harvest, unless they see it sown?

  • She had no great religious convictions, and little interest in the supernatural. She had never really given any thought to what she believed in, except that she believed you could buy anything that anybody could possibly want at Bergdorf's or at Bloomingdale's.

  • Opinion is the rate of things, / From hence our peace doth flow; / I have a better fate than kings, / Because I think it so.