Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.
The blessing of an active mind, when it is in a good condition, is, that it not only employs itself, but is almost sure to be the means of giving wholesome employment to others.
He who cannot contract the sight of his mind, as well as dilate it, wants a great talent in life.
The finite mind does not require to grasp the infinitude of truth, but only to go forward from light to light.
What stubbing, plowing, digging, and harrowing is to land, that thinking, reflecting, examining is to the mind. Each has its proper culture; and as the land that is suffered to lie waste and wild for a long time will be overspread with brushwood, brambles, and thorns, which have neither use nor beauty, so there will not fail to sprout up in a neglected, uncultivated mind, a great number of prejudices and absurd opinions, which owe their origin partly to the soil itself, the passions, and imperfections of the mind of man, and partly to those seeds which chance to be scattered in it by every wind of doctrine which the cunning of statesmen, the singularity of pedants, and the superstition of fools shall raise.
Mind unemployed is mind unenjoyed.
Few minds wear out; more rust out.
The failure of the mind in old age is often less the result of natural decay, than of disuse.—Ambition has ceased to operate; contentment brings indolence, and indolence decay of mental power, ennui, and sometimes death.—Men have been known to die, literally speaking, of disease induced by intellectual vacancy.
The human mind cannot create anything. It produces nothing until after having been fertilized by experience and meditation; its acquisitions are the germs of its production.
A mind once cultivated will not lie fallow for half an hour.
The more accurately we search into the human mind, the stronger traces we everywhere find of the wisdom of Him who made it.
An exquisite watch went irregularly, though no defect could be discovered in it. At last it was found that the balance wheel had been near a magnet; and here was all the mischief. If the soundest mind be magnetized by any predilection, it must act irregularly.
My mind to me a kingdom is; such present joys therein I find, that it excels all other bliss that earth affords.
I find, by experience, that the mind and the body are more than married, for they are most intimately united; and when the one suffers, the other sympathizes.
Prepare yourselves for the great world, as the athletes used to do for their exercises; oil your mind and your manners, to give them the necessary suppleness and flexibility; strength alone will not do, as young people are too apt to think.
Frivolous curiosity about trifles, and laborious attention to little objects, which neither require nor deserve a moment's thought, lower a man, who from thence is thought, and not unjustly, incapable of greater matters.
A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things, but cannot receive great ones.
It is a great mistake to think anything too profound or rich for a popular audience.—No train of thought is too deep or subtle or grand; but the manner of presenting it to their untutored minds should be peculiar.—It should be presented in anecdote, or sparkling truism, or telling illustration, or stinging epithet, etc.; always in some concrete form, never in a logical, abstract, syllogistic shape.
The idea that there is a want of sympathy in the mass of the people with an educated man's mind, is much exaggerated in general belief.—Any fine thought, or rich expression is apprehended by the common mind somehow; vaguely at first; but so almost any thought is, at first, vaguely and uncertainly apprehended by any but a thoroughly trained mind.
Whatever that be which thinks, understands, wills, and acts, it is something celestial and divine.
We may doubt the existence of matter, if we please, and like Berkeley deny it, without subjecting ourselves to the shame of a very conclusive confutation; but there is this remarkable difference between matter and mind, that he that doubts the existence of mind, by doubting proves it.
He that has no resources of mind, is more to be pitied than he who is in want of necessaries for the body; to be obliged to beg our daily happiness from others, bespeaks a more lamentable poverty than that of him who begs his daily bread.
It is with diseases of the mind as with diseases of the body, we are half dead before we understand our disorder, and half cured when we do.
Anguish of mind has driven thousands to suicide; anguish of body, none. This proves that the health of the mind is of far more consequence to our happiness than the health of the body, although both are deserving of much more attention than either of them receives.
Mental pleasures never clog;—unlike those of the body, they are increased by repetition, approved of by reflection, and strengthened by enjoyment.
A narrow mind begets obstinacy; we do not easily believe what we cannot see.
There is nothing so elastic as the human mind. Like imprisoned steam, the more it is pressed the more it rises to resist the pressure. The more we are obliged to do the more we are able to accomplish.
Don't despair of a student if he has one clear idea.
A well cultivated mind is made up of all the minds of preceding ages; it is only the one single mind educated by all previous time.
If thou desirest ease, in the first place take care of the ease of thy mind; for that will make all other sufferings easy. But nothing can support a man whose mind is wounded.
Hard, rugged, and dull natures of youth acquit themselves afterward the jewels of the country, and therefore their dulness at first is to be borne with, if they be diligent. That schoolmaster deserves to be beaten himself who beats nature in a boy for a fault. And I question whether all the whipping in the world can make their parts, which are naturally sluggish, rise one minute before the hour nature hath appointed.
We in vain summon the mind to intense application, when the body is in a languid state.
A mind too vigorous and active, serves only to consume the body to which it is joined, as the richest jewels are soonest found to wear their settings.
Knowledge, wisdom, erudition, arts, and elegance, what are they, but the mere trappings of the mind, if they do not serve to increase the happiness of the possessor? A mind rightly instituted in the school of philosophy, acquires at once the stability of the oak, and the flexibility of the osier.
A weak mind sinks under prosperity, as well as under adversity.—A strong mind has two highest tides, when the moon is at the full, and when there is no moon.
There are few who need complain of the narrowness of their minds if they will only do their best with them.
Just as a particular soil wants some one element to fertilize it, just as the body in some conditions has a kind of famine for one special food, so the mind has its wants, which do not always call for what is best, but which know themselves and are as peremptory as the salt-sick sailor's call for a lemon or raw potato.
A truly strong and sound mind is the mind that can equally embrace great things and small.—I would have a man great in great things, and elegant in little things.
The end which at present calls forth our efforts will be found, when it is once gained, to be only one of the means to some remoter end. The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.
As the mind must govern the hands, so in every society the man of intelligence must direct the man of labor.
Mind is the brightness of the body,—lights it, when strength, its proper but less subtle fire, begins to fail.
As the firefly only shines when on the wing, so it is with the human mind—when at rest, it darkens.
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, and a hell of heaven.
A certain degree of solitude seems necessary to the full growth and spread of the highest mind; and therefore must a very extensive intercourse with men stifle many a holy germ, and scare away the gods, who shun the restless tumult of noisy companies and the discussion of petty interests.
The mind ought sometimes to be diverted that it may return to better thinking.
The great business of man is to improve his mind, and govern his manners; all other projects and pursuits, whether in our power to compass or not, are only amusements.
Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.
The best way to prove the clearness of our mind, is by showing its faults; as when a stream discovers the dirt at the bottom, it convinces us of the transparency and purity of the water.
Our minds are like our stomachs; they are whetted by the change of their food, and variety supplies both with fresh appetite.
The mind is but a barren soil; a soil which is soon exhausted, and will produce no crop, or only one, unless it be continually fertilized and enriched with foreign matter.
We find means to cure folly, but none to reclaim a distorted mind.
Intrepidity is an extraordinary strength of mind, which raises it above the troubles, disorders, and emotions, which the sight of great perils is calculated to excite; it is by this strength that heroes maintain themselves in a tranquil state of mind, and preserve the free use of their reason under the most surprising and terrible circumstances.
Narrow minds think nothing right that is above their own capacity.
The defects of the mind, like those of the face, grow worse as we grow old.
The mind grows narrow in proportion as the soul grows corrupt.
The mind is chameleon-like in one respect, it receives hues from without; but it is unlike it in another respect, for it retains them.
As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without culture, so the mind without cultivation can never produce good fruit.
To see a man fearless in dangers, untainted with lusts, happy in adversity, composed in a tumult, and laughing at all those things which are generally either coveted or feared, all men must acknowledge that this can be from nothing else but a beam of divinity that influences a mortal body.
A great, a good, and a right mind is a kind of divinity lodged in flesh, and may be the blessing of a slave, as well as of a prince.—It came from heaven, and to heaven it must return; and it is a kind of heavenly felicity which a pure and virtuous mind enjoys, in some degree, even on earth.
The mind itself must, like other things, sometimes be unbent; or else it will be either weakened or broken.
It is the mind that maketh good or ill, that maketh wretch or happy, rich or poor.
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.
A wise man is never less alone than when he is alone.
Mind is not as merchandise which decreaseth in the using, but like to the passions of men, which rejoice and expand in exertion.
If we work marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds and instill into them just principles, we are then engraving that upon tablets which no time will efface, but will brighten and brighten to all eternity.