“Mankind writes its own history long before the historians visit its battlefields; days, festivals, holidays, the order of meals, rest and vacations, together with religiously observed ritual and symbols, are sources of political history, though rarely used by the average political or economic historian…
“It is not necessary to record the everyday life of a nation for a thousand years in order to know its aim and inspiration. The great creations of history do not reveal their deepest sense nor their soul every day. But each has its wedding day; and the words and songs, the promises and laws of this period of a nation’s life express its character viva voce and settle its destiny once and forever.”
~from Out of Revolution, page 8 & 9
“We are shareholders in the truth whenever we think. But thought is and must be, by its very essence, dialectical. Being a shareholder, the individual mind never owns the whole capital of truth. We are thrown on others; our thought provokes other and contrary thought! On the bare physical plane one individual or group can easily cope with the life of many other groups and individuals: indifference and peaceful equilibrium are possible at that level. But thought changes the peace of the world. Thought is always provoking its own contradiction. This eternal dialogue of thoughts and principles organizes humanity into schools of thought. The parties of policy, the armies of war, and the classes of interest, are embodiments of this power of the mind to act like a sword, to distinguish and to polarize, to live by paradox and conflict, by dialectical revolutions.”
from Out of Revolution, page 152
“To a certain extent, the disillusion with our first home and its reconstruction after a time of homelessness has to be experienced by every man during the years between fourteen and thirty. If he escapes this crisis it is true he would never become a man.”
~from Out of Revolution, page 92
On the birth of the University….
“[I]n Paris two great schools existed in the same place; this made room for a real university. The difference between a school of mere learning and the Higher School of fundamental thinking has been an element in European life since Abailard. Acknowledged competition between two schools of thought in the same place is what gives the Higher School its value. Wherever the disaccord of various and contradictory principles is born, the higher life of the mind begins to reveal its power. The forms of human life are indivisible and individual (you are a physician or a boy or a grandmother), whilst the forms of the life of thought are exactly the reverse. Thought is created and promoted in a dialectical process, by polarities and paradoxes, in a dialogue between pro and con. The existence of at least two complete sets of doctors at Paris gave the proper form of existence to thought and thinking for the first time in history.”
~from Out of Revolution, page 151.