Timeless Questions, Legendary Minds #1: Life

A table with the big questions in life and visionaries providing light

Introducing the “Timeless Questions, Legendary Minds” table, a curated collection of profound inquiries and the insightful wisdom of historical luminaries. This compilation was carefully crafted, drawing upon various fields of human knowledge including philosophy, science, art, and literature. The goal was to consider diverse aspects of human experience, such as happiness, suffering, purpose, and consciousness, to inspire deep reflection and stimulate engaging intellectual conversations.

To create this unique table, we first formulated a list of the most intriguing and thought-provoking questions about life. These questions were designed to encourage profound contemplation and foster stimulating discussions among diverse groups of people. Next, we sought out and selected three quotes per question, each of which provided a unique perspective, offered insight, or attempted to answer the question in a meaningful way. We were particularly interested in quotes that harmonized with the question or were in tune with its essence.

The resulting “Timeless Questions, Legendary Minds” table presents a neat arrangement of nine compelling questions, alongside the wise words of renowned philosophers, scientists, artists, and authors. By juxtaposing these legendary minds with the questions, the table invites readers to delve deeper into the nature of human existence, ponder the nature of truth and reality, and explore the roles of art, science, and spirituality in shaping our understanding of life. It is our hope that this table will serve as a springboard for meaningful conversations, self-discovery, and personal growth.


Wise men say
1What is the meaning of life?To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment (Emerson). The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away (Picasso). The unexamined life is not worth living (Socrates).
2What is the nature of consciousness?The mind is everything, what you think you become (Buddha). I think, therefore I am (Descartes). The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water (Freud).
3How can we achieve happiness?Happiness is not something ready-made, it comes from your own actions (Dalai Lama). The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness (De Botton). The only way to do great work is to love what you do (Jobs).
4What is the role of suffering in human experience?That which does not kill us makes us stronger (Nietzsche). Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars (Gibran). The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials (Confucius).
5Is there a universal purpose for human existence?The purpose of life is not to be happy, it is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well (Emerson). Life is without meaning, you bring the meaning to it (Campbell). The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for (Dostoevsky).
6How do we know what is true or real?The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing (Socrates). All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream (Poe). There are no facts, only interpretations (Nietzsche).
7How can we navigate the complexities of moral and ethical dilemmas?The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion (Camus). In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock (Jefferson). The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own (Disraeli).
8What role does art play in shaping human experience?Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life (Picasso). Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up (Pablo Picasso). The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions that have been hidden by the answers (Baldwin).
9Can science and spirituality coexist in our pursuit of understanding?Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind (Einstein). The scientist is motivated primarily by curiosity and a desire for truth (Sagan). Spirituality does not come from religion, it comes from our soul (Tolle).
“Timeless Questions, Legendary Minds” table

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