The only issue open to an individual’s choice in this matter is how much knowledge he will seek to acquire and, consequently, what conceptual complexity he will be able to reach.
The process of observing the facts of reality and of integrating them into concepts is, in essence, a process of induction. The process of subsuming new instances under a known concept is, in essence, a process of deduction.
He needs a method of cognition, which he himself has to discover: he must discover how to use his rational faculty, how to validate his conclusions, how to distinguish truth from falsehood, how to set the criteria of what he may accept as knowledge.
man has to acquire knowledge by his own effort, which he may exercise or not, and by a process of reason, which he may apply correctly or not.
The creator lives for his work. He needs no other men. His primary goal is within himself. The parasite lives second-hand. He needs others. Others become his prime motive.
Men learn from one another. But all learning is only the exchange of material. No man can give another the capacity to think. Yet that capacity is our only means of survival.
“The basic need of the creator is independence. It demands total independence in function and in motive. To a creator, all relations with men are secondary.”
Cognition precedes communication; the necessary precondition of communication is that one have something to communicate.
It is axiomatic concepts that identify the precondition of knowledge: the distinction between existence and consciousness, between reality and the awareness of reality, between the object and the subject of cognition.
In the process of writing, it is crucial not to stop for too long (and preferably not at all). One of the deadliest obstacles to good writing is critical overconscientiousness exercised during the process of writing.
Existence exists—Consciousness is conscious—A is A.
But while you are writing, you must adopt the premise: my subconscious, right or wrong. You must let your automatic connections function, because you have no others.
In practice, therefore, you must be more reality-oriented than a scientist, who has the help of the physical problem and the physical objects he is working with. Aim at being at least as reality-oriented as a scientist—which in this context means being exclusively focused on your subject.
the universe exists independent of anyone’s awareness of it, that the function of consciousness is to grasp, not to create, reality, and that the absolutism of existence is what ought to shape one’s thoughts (and actions).
It is clear that weapons and equipment are not essential to the concept of fighting, since even wrestling is fighting of a kind.
This difficulty of accurate recognition constitutes one of the most serious sources of friction in war, by making things appear entirely different from what one had expected. The senses make a more vivid impression on the mind than systematic thought.
In a sense, the duration of an engagement can be interpreted as a separate, secondary success.
Given the same amount of intelligence, timidity will do a thousand times more damage in war than audacity.
Truth in itself is rarely sufficient to make men act. Hence the step is always long from cognition to volition, from knowledge to ability. The most powerful springs of action in men lie in his emotions.