Literary Quotations
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To know nothing is nothing, not to want to know anything likewise, but to be beyond knowing anything, to know you are beyond knowing anything, that is when peace enters in, to the soul of the incurious seeker.


I would be ignorant as the dawn
That merely stood, rocking the glittering coach
Above the cloudy shoulders of the horses;
I would be— for no knowledge is worth a straw—
Ignorant and wanton as the dawn.
W. B. YEATS, The Dawn
Ay! what 'mong men as knowledge doth obtain!
Who on the child its true name dares bestow?
The few who somewhat of these things have known,
Who their full hearts unguardedly reveal'd,
Nor thoughts, nor feelings, from the mob conceal'd,
Have died on crosses, or in flames been thrown!

Let us be persuaded that the less we let our feeble human minds roam, the better we shall please God, who rejects all knowledge that does not come from Him; and the less we seek to fathom what He has been pleased to conceal from us, the sooner will he vouchsafe its revelation to us through His divine Spirit.

LEO TOLSTOY, War and Peace

There is, so I believe, in the essence of everything, something that we cannot call learning. There is, my friend, only a knowledge — that is everywhere, that is Atman, that is in me and you and in every creature, and I am beginning to believe that this knowledge has no worse enemy than the man of knowledge, than learning.


Folks don’t like to have somebody around knowin’ more than they do. It aggravates ‘em. You’re not gonna change any of them by talkin’ right, they’ve got to want to learn themselves, and when they don’t want to learn there’s nothing you can do but keep your mouth shut or talk their language.

HARPER LEE, To Kill a Mockingbird

How little we know of what there is to know.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY, For Whom the Bell Tolls

What a man knows not, he to use requires,
And what he knows, he cannot use for good.

All knowledge is spendable currency, depending on the market.

Knowledge was like a mouthful of dust.


I am sufficiently proud of my knowing something to be modest about my not knowing all.


I know somewhat too much; and from this knowledge, once one has been infected, there seems to be no recovering.

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