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Mind

  • The worst of pushing horrible things down into one's subconscious is that when they pop up again they are as fresh as if they had been in a refrigerator. You haven't allowed time to get at them to—to mould them over a little.

  • Operating in an unlit world, the unconscious mind is a brilliant detective.

  • The unconscious is like a black dog. And psychoanalysis simply teaches the human being that his happiness and success depend upon his attitude toward the black dog — his beast, his property — his dog. It teaches that the best way is to make friends with the dog and to understand his nature, to conciliate him, not to be ashamed of him, not brutal to him, nor overindulgent to him. But most of all, to know him.

  • ... the intellect ... often, alas, acts the cannibal among the other faculties so that often, where the Mind is biggest, the Heart, the Senses, Magnanimity, Charity, Tolerance, Kindliness, and the rest of them scarcely have room to breathe.

  • The mind is the most capricious of insects — flitting, fluttering.

  • Wit is the lightning of the mind, reason the sunshine, and reflection the moonlight ...

  • ... his mind is furnished as hotels are, with everything for occasional and transient use.

  • She rode her mind like a bitted horse.

  • Mrs. Benson and I certainly did not belong in the same cage, but so fascinating was her mind that I could have groped about in it for ever.

  • Civilization has imposed countless restrictions and conventions on each of us, with the result that the subconscious in the majority of us has become a storage room without a key. We are forced to suppress or forget so many events and ideas and thoughts that those to which we should have access are lost in the welter. However, there are people who seem capable of unlocking this part of their minds and extracting relevant information.

  • When one wants to become cognizant of the color and the texture of the soil, one does not get a ladder; one gets a shovel. When one wants to get into touch with the texture of the universal mind, one does not go to Boston; one goes to the Bowery.

    • Djuna Barnes,
    • "A Visit to the Favored Haunt of the I.W.W.'s," in New York Press ()
  • That priceless galaxy of misinformation called the mind ...

  • Recently while browsing in a secondhand bookstore I bought a paperback copy of The Intellectual and the City, but I was unable to read it. When I got home I discovered that the original owner had highlighted the entire book — literally. Every line on every page had been drawn through with a bright green Magic Marker. It was a terrifying example of a mind that had lost all power of discrimination.

  • I have never had much trouble simultaneously entertaining diametrically opposed propositions, and welcome the possibility that this is not because I have one mind and am out of it, but because I have lots of them, all beavering away on their own.

  • The mind is not, I know, a highway, but a temple, and its doors should not be carelessly left open.

  • ... his mind had been receptive up to a certain age, and then had snapped shut on what it possessed, like a replete crustacean never reached by another high tide. People, I had by this time found, all stopped living at one time or another, however many years longer they continued to be alive ...

  • The greatest minds, the most original, have the least stamp of the age, the most of that dominant natural reality which belongs to all great minds. ... The clearest eyes must see by the light of their own hour.

  • This alone is to be feared — the closed mind, the sleeping imagination, the death of the spirit. The death of the body is to that, I think, a little thing.

  • She resented the way in which he walked in and out of her mind as if it was his own flat.

  • Sublime is the dominion of the mind over the body, that, for a time, can make flesh and nerve impregnable, and string the sinews like steel, so that the weak become so mighty!

  • Next to happiness, perhaps enmity is the most healthful stimulant of the human mind.

  • His mind divided! Verily, that is making two bites of a cherry.

  • Of all false assertions that ever went into the world under the banner of a great name and the mail armor of a well-turned phrase, Locke's comparison of the mind to a blank sheet of paper appears to me among the most untrue.

  • There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. As well speak of a female liver.

  • ... having considerable mind, changing it became almost as ponderous an operation as moving a barn, although not nearly so stable.

  • I have a great deal of mind. It takes a long time to change it.

  • The mind is its own enemy, that fights itself with the innumerable pliant and ineluctable arms of the octopus.

  • So open was his mind, so wide / To welcome winds from every side / That public weather took dominion, / Sweeping him bare of all opinion.

  • Such a cultivated mind doesn't really attract me. ... No, no, the mind I love must still have wild places, a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two (real snakes), a pool that nobody's fathomed the depth of — and paths threaded with those little flowers planted by the mind.

  • The mind is an enchanting thing.

    • Marianne Moore,
    • poem title (1943), The Complete Poems of Marianne Moore ()
  • All that's known is this: there is no central processor, no single computer. Nothing that simple. Millions of neurons process information simultaneously and in parallel, not linearly, but the actual chemistry and electrical properties of that integrative process are still being mapped. Even so, it seems odd that during the evolution of brain circuitry and thinking, the ability to understand itself did not get wired in. Such built-in innocence seems like a terrible oversight.

  • He would like someday to pick Timsey's mind, he thought, if he could find anything small enough to pick it with.

  • ... a woman's intellect is as worthy of cultivation as a man's.

  • My mind is as dry as a biscuit today.

    • Clover Adams,
    • 1882, in Natalie Dykstra, Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life ()
  • I have to lose my mind to be able to concentrate.

  • ... ultimately, no one can ever be greater than the quality of his or her thinking.

  • What is a total mind / Fixed in a total state / But that which denies surprise / And thinks itself its fate.

  • You cannot divide minds into sexes. Each human being presents an individual problem.

  • ... mind is such an odd predicament for matter to get into. I often marvel how something like hydrogen, the simplest atom, forged in some early chaos of the universe, could lead to us and the gorgeous fever we call consciousness. If a mind is just a few pounds of blood, dream, and electric, how does it manage to contemplate itself, worry about its soul, do time-and-motion studies, admire the shy hooves of a goat, know that it will die, enjoy all the grand and lesser mayhems of the heart? What is mind, that one can be out of one's?

  • What a surprise to find you could shift the contents of your head like rearranging furniture in a room.

  • It was no use to argue the point; for she had a very small head, and when one idea got into it there was no room for another.

  • ... my mind is a world in itself, which I have peopled with my own creatures.

  • You live in your mind, just as I live in my mind. We are like tortoises carrying our homes on our backs, for there is no way to get out. But we do have a choice of furnishings. We have a choice as to whether these minds we live in will be prisons or palaces. It is strictly up to us.

  • Women never have young minds. They are born three thousand years old.

  • The mind has great advantages over the body; however the body often furnishes little treats ... which offer the mind relief from sad thoughts.

  • The mind's pleasures are made to calm the tempests of the heart.

  • Her mind was like a stretch of wet sand, on which all impressions are equally easy to make and equally fugitive.

  • ... she was not sure whether she had had a dream just now or whether there was something she had meant to remember or to think about that was troubling her aged mind like a rat in a wall.

    • Jean Stafford,
    • "The Hope Chest," The Collected Storie of Jean Stafford ()
  • Untilled soil, however fertile it may be, will bear thistles and thorns: and so it is with man's mind.

    • Teresa of Avila,
    • "Maxims" (1581), in E. Allison Peers, tr., The Complete Works of St. Teresa of Jesus ()
  • ... a man would need to be a mental kangaroo in order to keep up with her.

  • The errors of the intellect are fatal, still more dangerous than those of the heart.

    • Eugénie de Guérin,
    • letter (1835), in Guillaume S. Trébutien, ed., Letters of Eugénie de Guérin ()
  • All I can say about my mind is that, like a fire carefully laid by a good housemaid, it is one that any match will light ...

  • A rational mind will be employed, it will never be satisfied in doing nothing, and if you neglect to furnish it with good materials, 'tis like to take up with such as come to hand.

  • Mind on a journey / Stretches thought, / Like strings on a viol, / Thin and taut.

  • It is the private deaths of the mind / That matter — the endless burial / And the long atonement of survival ...

    • Minna Gellert,
    • "Morning Is a Broken Clock," Flesh of the Furies ()
  • The mind, of course, is just what the brain does for a living.

    • Sharon Begley,
    • in Sharon Begley et al., "Memory," in Newsweek ()
  • But the mind's cross-indexing puts the best librarian to shame.

    • Sharon Begley,
    • in Sharon Begley et al., "Memory," in Newsweek ()
  • ... the mind can store an estimated 100 trillion bits of information — compared with which a computer's mere billions are virtually amnesiac ...

    • Sharon Begley,
    • in Sharon Begley et al., "Memory," in Newsweek ()
  • She had a mean and petty mind. She disliked everything she didn't understand, and she understood practically nothing.

  • Minds, like diapers, need occasional changing.

  • The mind is like a richly woven tapestry in which the colors are distilled from the experiences of the senses, and the design drawn from the convolutions of the intellect.

  • The wind walks on the sea, / printing the water's face with charity.

  • ... it is in our minds that we live much of our life.

  • An intriguing mind is a powerful aphrodisiac.

    • Becky Freeman,
    • in Becky Freeman and Ruthie Arnold, Marriage 911 ()
  • The mind is more vulnerable than the stomach, because it can be poisoned without feeling immediate pain.

  • Minds are like parachutes: they function only when open.

  • What curious little corners of folly are to be found in even the sanest brain!

  • How many people realised that body and mind were two separate entities that had to be reconciled, enemies that had to learn how to come to terms, lovers that could not exist without each other?

  • His mind was an intricate, multigeared machine, or perhaps some little animal with skittery paws.

  • It is the mind that makes the body.

    • Sojourner Truth,
    • in Geoffrey M. Horn, Sojourner Truth: Speaking Up for Freedom ()
  • Somebody needs to invent a shower for the mind, not just the body.

  • Mind does dominate body. We are superior to the house in which we dwell.

  • Oh, what a curse a mind was! If one could only turn it on or off like a wireless set or a gas tap! What heaven to be able to say, 'That's enough thought for tonight.'

  • The different faculties [of the mind] divide themselves in the main into two classifications, which I call hot (the creative) and cold (the critical).

  • For nearly a century the psychoanalysts have been writing op-ed pieces about the workings of a country they've never traveled to, a place that, like China, has been off-limits. Suddenly, the country has opened its borders and is crawling with foreign correspondents, neurobiologists are filing ten stories a week, filled with new data. These two groups of writers, however, don't seem to read each other's work. That's because the analysts are writing about a country they call Mind and the neuroscientists are reporting from a country they call Brain.

  • ... Gertrude loved with all the delusion of romance, and, like many a young enthusiast, had mistaken her imagination for her mind ...

  • Minds are like oysters. They spoil if you pry them open.

  • Her mind traveled crooked streets and aimless goat paths, arriving sometimes at profundity, other times at the revelations of a three-year-old.

  • The mind of the most logical thinker goes so easily from one point to another that it is not hard to mistake motion for progress.

  • More than a burial ground for unacceptable ideas and wishes, the unconscious is the spawning ground of intuition and insight, the source of humor, of poetic imagery, and of scientific analogy.

  • Volumes are now written and spoken about the effect of the mind upon the body. Much of it is true. But I wish a little more was thought of the effect of the body on the mind.

  • When the mind is most empty / It is most full.

  • ... never till Time is done / Will the fire of the heart and the fire of the mind be one.

    • Edith Sitwell,
    • in Elizabeth Salter and Allanah Harper, eds., Edith Sitwell: Fire of the Mind ()
  • ... a great mind can attend to little things, but a little mind cannot attend to great things.

  • You know the mind is an astonishing, long-living, erotic thing.

  • Mind and body are not to be taken lightly. Their connection is intimate and mysterious, and better mapped by poets than pornographers.

  • ... the most powerful mind is the quiet mind. It is the mind that is present, reflective, mindful of its thoughts and its state. It doesn't often multitask, and when it does, it does so with a purpose.

  • ... sooner or later, if the activity of the mind is restricted anywhere it will cease to function even where it is allowed to be free.

  • Is there no way out of the mind?

  • You could get to the bottom of her mind in one dive. And rarely, if ever, come up with a pearl.

  • I make money using my brains and lose money listening to my heart. But in the long run my books balance pretty well.

  • ... the brain, the mind, and all the things that happen inside it, it's a very erogenous zone.

  • Some things get better with age, but after a certain point, the mind isn't among them.

  • The power of magic has no known limits. A person knows, in a fair way, his own physical capacities, the weight of the blows he can deal, the furthest range of his arrows, the strength of his voice, the speed and endurance of his running; but the reaches of his mind are indefinite and, to his feeling, infinite.

  • I believe that the subconscious always knows what is best. It is our conditional, vastly overrated rational mind which screws everything up.

  • His mind has the clearness of the deep sea, the patience of its rocks, the force of its billows.

  • You can, in short, lead the life of the mind, which is, despite some appalling frustrations, the happiest life on earth.