"When, at rare intervals, some thought visits one, as perchance he is walking on a railroad, then, indeed, the cars go by without his hearing them. But soon, by some inexorable law, our life goes by and the cars return."
"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it--and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sitsdown on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again--and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore."
"It was only just words, words,--they meant nothing in the world to him, I might just as well have whistled. Words realize nothing,vivify nothing to you, unless you have suffered in your own person the thing which the words try to describe."
"As by the fires of experience, so by commission of crime, you learn real morals. Commit all the crimes, familiarize yourself withall sins, take them in rotation (there are only two or three thousand of them), stick to it, commit two or three every day, and by-and-by you will be proof against them. When you are through you will be proof against all sins and morally perfect. You will be vaccinated against every possible commission of them. This is the only way."
"A way of certifying experience, taking photographs is also a way of refusing it--by limiting experience to a search for the photogenic, by converting experience into an image, a souvenir. Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs."
"We learn through experience and experiencing, and no one teaches anyone anything. This is as true for the infant moving from kicking to crawling to walking as it is for the scientist with his equations. If the environment permits it, anyone can learn whatever he chooses to learn; and if the individual permits it, the environment will teach him everything it has to teach."
"When a Man is in a serious Mood, and ponders upon his own Make, with a Retrospect to the Actions of his Life, and the many fatal Miscarriages in it, which he owes to ungoverned Passions, he is then apt to say to himself, That Experience has guarded him against such Errors for the future: But Nature often recurs in Spite of his best Resolutions, and it is to the very End of our Days a Struggle between our Reason and our Temper, which shall have the Empire over us."