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John Locke

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The imagination is always restless and suggests a variety of thoughts, and the will, reason being laid aside, is ready for every extravagant project; and in this State, he that goes farthest out of the way, is thought fittest to lead, and is sure of most followers: And when Fashion hath once Established, what Folly or craft began, Custom makes it Sacred, and 'twill be thought impudence or madness, to contradict or question it. He that will impartially survey the Nations of the World, will find so much of the Governments, Religion, and Manners brought in and continued amongst them by these means, that they will have but little Reverence for the Practices which are in use and credit amongst Men.
--
First Treatise of Government

 
John Locke

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What I mean by 'thought' is the whole thing — thought, 'felt', the body, the whole society sharing thoughts — it's all one process. It is essential for me not to break that up, because it's all one process; somebody else's thought becomes my thought, and vice versa. Therefore it would be wrong and misleading to break it up into my thought, your thought, my feelings, these feelings, those feelings. I would say that thought makes what is often called in modern language a system. A system means a set of connected things or parts. But the way people commonly use the word nowadays it means something all of whose parts are mutually interdependent — not only for their mutual action, but for their meaning and for their existence. A corporation is organized as a system — it has this department, that department, that department... they don't have any meaning separately; they only can function together. And also the body is a system. Society is a system in some sense. And so on.
Similarly, thought is a system. That system not only includes thought and feelings, but it includes the state of the body; it includes the whole of society — as thought is passing back and forth between people in a process by which thought evolved from ancient times. Thought has been constantly evolving and we can't say when that system began. But with the growth of civilization it has developed a great deal. It was probably very simple thought before civilization, and now it has become very complex and ramified and has much more incoherence than before.
Now, I say that this system has a fault in it — a 'systematic fault'. It is not a fault here, there or here, but it is a fault that is all throughout the system. Can you picture that? It is everywhere and nowhere. You may say "I see a problem here, so I will bring my thoughts to bear on this problem". But "my" thought is part of the system. It has the same fault as the fault I'm trying to look at, or a similar fault.
Thought is constantly creating problems that way and then trying to solve them. But as it tries to solve them it makes it worse because it doesn’t notice that it's creating them, and the more it thinks, the more problems it creates.

 
David Bohm
 

Both thought and feeling are determinants of conduct, and the same conduct may be determined either by feeling or by thought. When we survey the whole field of religion, we find a great variety in the thoughts that have prevailed there; but the feelings on the one hand and the conduct on the other are almost always the same, for Stoic, Christian, and Buddhist saints are practically indistinguishable in their lives. The theories which Religion generates, being thus variable, are secondary; and if you wish to grasp her essence, you must look to the feelings and the conduct as being the more constant elements. It is between these two elements that the short circuit exists on which she carries on her principal business, while the ideas and symbols and other institutions form loop-lines which may be perfections and improvements, and may even some day all be united into one harmonious system, but which are not to be regarded as organs with an indispensable function, necessary at all times for religious life to go on. This seems to me the first conclusion which we are entitled to draw from the phenomena we have passed in review.

 
William James
 

Only this incident inseparable every custom must have, viz., that it be consonant to reason; for how long soever it hath continued, if it be against reason, it is of no force in law.

 
Edward Coke
 

I simply state that I'm a product of a versatile mind in a restless generation — with every reason to throw my mind and pen in with the radicals. Even if, deep in my heart, I thought we were all blind atoms in a world as limited as a stroke of a pendulum, I and my sort would struggle against tradition; try, at least, to displace old cants with new ones. I've thought I was right about life at various times, but faith is difficult. One thing I know. If living isn't seeking for the grail it may be a damned amusing game.

 
F. Scott Fitzgerald
 

It is astonishingly beautiful and interesting, how thought is absent when you have an insight. Thought cannot have an insight. It is only when the mind is not operating mechanically in the structure of thought that you have an insight. Having had an insight, thought draws a conclusion from that insight. And then thought acts and thought is mechanical. So I have to find out whether having an insight into myself, which means into the world, and not drawing a conclusion from it is possible. If I draw a conclusion, I act on an idea, on an image, on a symbol, which is the structure of thought, and so I am constantly preventing myself from having insight, from understanding things as they are.

 
Jiddu Krishnamurti
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