Those who have taken upon them to lay down the law of nature as a thing already searched out and understood, whether they have spoken in simple assurance or professional affectation, have therein done philosophy and the sciences great injury. For as they have been successful in inducing belief, so they have been effective in quenching and stopping inquiry; and have done more harm by spoiling and putting an end to other men's efforts than good by their own. Those on the other hand who have taken a contrary course, and asserted that absolutely nothing can be known whether it were from hatred of the ancient sophists, or from uncertainty and fluctuation of mind, or even from a kind of fullness of learning, that they fell upon this opinion have certainly advanced reasons for it that are not to be despised; but yet they have neither started from true principles nor rested in the just conclusion, zeal and affectation having carried them much too far....
Now my method, though hard to practice, is easy to explain; and it is this. I propose to establish progressive stages of certainty. The evidence of the sense, helped and guarded by a certain process of correction, I retain. But the mental operation which follows the act of sense I for the most part reject; and instead of it I open and lay out a new and certain path for the mind to proceed in, starting directly from the simple sensuous perception.
The use of this feigned history hath been to give some shadow of satisfaction to the mind of man in those points wherein the nature of things doth deny it, the world being in proportion inferior to the soul; by reason whereof there is, agreeable to the spirit of man, a more ample greatness, a more exact goodness, and a more absolute variety, than can be found in the nature of things. Therefore, because the acts or events of true history have not that magnitude which satisfieth the mind of man, poesy feigneth acts and events greater and more heroical: because true history propoundeth the successes and issues of actions not so agreeable to the merits of virtue and vice, therefore poesy feigns them more just in retribution, and more according to revealed providence: because true history representeth actions and events more ordinary, and less interchanged, therefore poesy endueth them with more rareness, and more unexpected and alternative variations: so as it appeareth that poesy serveth and conferreth to magnanimity, morality, and to delectation. And therefore it was ever thought to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise and erect the mind, by submitting the shows of things to the desires of the mind; whereas reason doth buckle and bow the mind into the nature of things.
I confess that I have as vast contemplative ends, as I have moderate civil ends: for I have taken all knowledge to be my province; and if I could purge it of two sorts of rovers, whereof the one with frivolous disputations, confutations, and verbosities, the other with blind experiments and auricular traditions and impostures, hath committed so many spoils, I hope I should bring in industrious observations, grounded conclusions, and profitable inventions and discoveries; the best state of that province. This, whether it be curiosity, or vain glory, or nature, or (if one take it favourably) philanthropia, is so fixed in my mind as it cannot be removed. And I do easily see, that place of any reasonable countenance doth bring commandment of more wits than of a man's own; which is the thing I greatly affect.
Carbon dioxide, Mister Speaker, is a natural byproduct of nature. Carbon dioxide is natural. It occurs in Earth. It is a part of the regular lifecycle of Earth. In fact, life on planet Earth can't even exist without carbon dioxide. So necessary is it to human life, to animal life, to plant life, to the oceans, to the vegetation that's on the Earth, to the, to the fowl that that flies in the air, we need to have carbon dioxide as part of the fundamental lifecycle of Earth...There isn't one such study because carbon dioxide is not a harmful gas, it is a harmless gas. Carbon dioxide is natural. It is not harmful. It is part of Earth's life cycle...And yet we're being told that we have to reduce this natural substance and reduce the American standard of living to create an arbitrary reduction in something that is naturally occuring in the earth.
The modern State is by its very nature a military State; and every military State must of necessity become a conquering, invasive State; to survive it must conquer or be conquered, for the simple reason that accumulated military power will suffocate if it does not find an outlet. Therefore the modern State must strive to be a huge and powerful State: this is the indispensable precondition for its survival.
The brave man is not he who feels no fear,
For that were stupid and irrational;
But he, whose noble soul its fear subdues,
And bravely dares the danger nature shrinks from.
Art is man's nature; nature is God's art.
Every time we get slapped down, we can say, Thank you Mother Nature, because it means we're about to learn something important.
A highly developed moral nature joined to an undeveloped intellectual nature, an undeveloped artistic nature, and a very limited religious nature, is of necessity repulsive. It represents a bit of human nature a good bit, of course, but a bit only in disproportionate, unnatural and revolting prominence.
To a great experience one thing is essential an experiencing nature.
There is in human nature generally more of the fool than of the wise.
We know as well as history can teach us that all religions are one and the same- all the outgrowth of man's moral nature, differing only according to the intelligence and advancement of the people among whom they originated.
Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of.
It is a lovely night, and they are much to be pitied who have not been taught to feel, in some degree, as you do; who have not, at least, been given a taste for Nature in early life. They lose a great deal.
That this House is appalled, but barely surprised, at the revelations in M15 files regarding the bizarre and inhumane proposals to use pigeons as flying bombs; recognises the important and live-saving role of carrier pigeons in two world wars and wonders at the lack of gratitude towards these gentle creatures; and believes that humans represent the most obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal species ever to inhabit the planet and looks forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the earth and wipes them out thus giving nature the opportunity to start again.
Love may be the fairest gem which Society has filched from Nature; but what is motherhood save Nature in her most gladsome mood? A smile has dried my tears.
Kindness is not without its rocks ahead. People are apt to put it down to an easy temper and seldom recognize it as the secret striving of a generous nature; whilst, on the other hand, the ill-natured get credit for all the evil they refrain from.
Nature knows nothing but solid bodies; your science deals only with combinations of surfaces. And so nature constantly gives the lie to all your laws; can you name one to which no fact makes an exception?
We have long struggles with ourself, of which the outcome is one of our actions; they are, as it were, the inner side of human nature. This inner side is God's; the outer side belongs to men.
If we study Nature attentively in its great evolutions as in its minutest works, we cannot fail to recognize the possibility of enchantment giving to that word its exact significance. Man does not create forces; he employs the only force that exists and which includes all others, namely Motion, the breath incomprehensible of the sovereign Maker of the universe.
Love is like some fresh spring, that leaves its cresses, its gravel bed and flowers to become first a stream and then a river, changing its aspect and its nature as it flows to plunge itself in some boundless ocean, where restricted natures only find monotony, but where great souls are engulfed in endless contemplation.
What is Art, monsieur, but Nature concentrated?
Some people didn't like the novel, it is in some ways extremely bleak. But if you are dealing with the kind of subjects I am trying to demystify the delusions we have about ourselves, to get a more accurate fix on human nature then people are unsettled. And the easiest way to deal with that is to say it's weird or it's cold.
The cine-camera and television set allow us to perceive slow motion. The concept of anything other than real time had never occurred to anybody until the first slow-motion movies were shown, and this radically altered people's perceptions of nature.
I can't let myself fly with my fantasy because it is against my nature.