For poetry the idea is everything; the rest is a world of illusion, of divine illusion. Poetry attaches its emotion to the idea; the idea is the fact. The strongest part of our religion today is its unconscious poetry.
Departure (also the title of one of his many triptych Beckmann made), yes departure from the illusion of life toward the essential things that wait behind appearance... ...We must insist that Departure is not bound to a political trend, but is symbolic for all times.
A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life. It tells us that for every human being there is a diversity of existences, that the single existence is itself an illusion in part, that these many existences signify something, tend to something, fulfill something; it promises us meaning, harmony, and even justice.
The mental never influences the physical. It is always the physical that modifies the mental, and when we think that the mind is diseased, it is always an illusion.
There is no mask that temptation cannot wear, and the idea that Satan is purely a logician is an illusion held by not a few naive people. Many a shifty old man sees him as an opponent in an academic argument, but if he does the observer is still at the stage of games and trifles. Sometimes, though not often, the black desire to harm wins out over quicker and less bitter delights. When that happens, evil shows itself for what it truly is, not a way of life, but an attack on life itself.
Memetics appears to have a lot of implications that we humans are machines, which people have never liked. Of course we're machines, we're biological machines. But people don't like that. Free will and consciousness is an illusion, and the self is a complex of memes. People don't like that. My view is that if these things are true it doesn't matter if we like them or not.
Consciousness is an illusion constructed by the memes.
Thales was the first man to have seen the cause of, and to predict, an eclipse of the sun. This means he figured out that the heavens move in regular ways that accord with mathematical reasoning. He was able to reason from visible effects to invisible causes and speculate about the intelligible order of nature as a whole. ... This moment contains many elements: satisfaction at having solved a problem; pleasure in using his faculties; fullness of pride, more complete than that of any conqueror, for he surveys and possesses all; certitude drawn from within himself, requiring no authorities; self-sufficiency, not depending, for the fulfillment of what is highest in himself, on other men or opinions or on accidents such as birth or election to power, on anything that can be taken from him; a happiness that has no admixture of illusion.
For one of those gnostics, the visible universe was an illusion or, more precisely, a sophism. Mirrors and fatherhood are abominable because they multiply it and extend it.
The history of Western science confirms the aphorism that the great menace to progress is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.