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To be fond of learning is to be near to knowledge. To practice with vigor is to be near to magnanimity. To possess the feeling of shame is to be near to energy.


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We need not war to awaken human energy. There is at least equal scope for courage and magnanimity in blessing, as in destroying mankind. The condition of the human race offers inexhaustible objects for enterprise, and fortitude, and magnanimity. In relieving the countless wants and sorrows of the world, in exploring unknown regions, in carrying the arts and virtues of civilization to unimproved communities, in extending the bounds of knowledge, in diffusing the spirit of freedom, and especially in spreading the light and influence of Christianity, how much may be dared, how much endured!

William Ellery (preacher) Channing

The architect should be equipped with knowledge of many branches of study and varied kinds of learning, for it is by his judgement that all work done by the other arts is put to test. This knowledge is the child of practice and theory.


There is, so I believe, in the essence of everything, something that we cannot call learning. There is, my friend, only a knowledge ó that is everywhere, that is Atman, that is in me and you and in every creature, and I am beginning to believe that this knowledge has no worse enemy than the man of knowledge, than learning.

Hermann Hesse

There is not a negro from the coast of Africa who does not, in this respect, possess a degree of magnanimity which the soul of his sordid master is too often scarce capable of conceiving. Fortune never exerted more cruelly her empire over mankind, than when she subjected those nations of heroes to the refuse of the jails of Europe, to wretches who possess the virtues neither of the countries which they come from, nor of those which they go to, and whose levity, brutality, and baseness, so justly expose them to the contempt of the vanquished.

Adam Smith

I am indeed the one who continually says that between the simple personís and the wise personís knowledge of the simple there is only the ludicrous little difference-that the simple person knows it, and the wise person knows that he knows it or knows that he does not know it. But nevertheless something else does follow: Would it not be best to hold back a little on world history if this is how it stands with oneís knowledge of the simple? Ö This is the way I have tried to understand myself, and even if the understanding is slight and its yield poor, I have in compensation resolved to act with all my passion on the basis of what I have understood. Perhaps, when all is said and done, it is a more healthful diet to understand little but possess this with passionís unlimited soundness in the setting of the infinite that to know much and to possess nothing because I myself have fantastically become a fantastical-subjective-objective something. I have considered it demeaning if I were to be more ashamed before human beings and their judgment than before the god and his judgment, cowardly in ignobly to inquire more about what shame before human beings might tempt me to do than what shame before the god would bid. And who are those people, anyway, the ones I am supposed to fear-a few geniuses, perhaps, some literary critics, and whoever is seen on the highways and by-ways? Or were there no human beings alive before 1845? Or what are those people compared with the god; what is the refreshment of their busy clangor compared with the deliciousness of that solitary wellspring that is in every human being, that wellspring in which the god resides, that wellspring in the profound silence when all is quiet! And compared with eternity, what else than a brief moment is the hour and a half of time I have to live with human beings? Will they perhaps pursue me in all eternity? Ö Godís judgment is the final one, is the only one; his co-knowledge is inescapable since it is woven into the weaves through the faintest movement of my consciousness, its most secret association with itself. His presence is an eternal contemporaneity-and I should have dared to be ashamed of him!

Soren Aabye Kierkegaard
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