Quotes by Norman Cousins

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The eternal quest of the human being is to shatter his loneliness.

The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started.
Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors.
The tragedy of life is in what dies inside a man while he lives -- the death of genuine feeling, the death of inspired response, the awareness that makes it possible to feel the pain or the glory of other men in yourself.
Free will and determinism are like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you is determinism. The way you play your hand is free will.
Man is not imprisoned by habit. Great changes in him can be wrought by crisis -- once that crisis can be recognized and understood.
The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter.
We in America have everything we need except the most important thing of all-time to think and the habit of thought.
A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life.
Just as there is no loss of basic energy in the universe, so no thought or action is without its effects, present or ultimate, seen or unseen, felt or unfelt.
The sense of paralysis proceeds not so much out of the mammoth size of the problem but out of the puniness of the purpose.
Drugs are not always necessary, but belief in recovery always is.
War is an invention of the human mind. The human mind can invent peace with justice.
We have learned to live in a world of mistakes and defective products as if they were necessary to life. It is time to adopt a new philosophy in America.
Like a celestial chaperon, the placebo leads us through the uncharted passageways of mind and gives us a greater sense of infinity than if we were to spend all our days with our eyes hypnotically glued to the giant telescope at Mt. Palomar. What we see ultimately is that the placebo isn't really necessary and that the mind can carry out its difficult and wondrous missions unprompted by little pills. The placebo is only a tangible object made essential in an age that feels uncomfortable with intangibles, an age that prefers to think that every inner effect must have an outer cause. Since it has size and shape and can be hand-held, the placebo satisfies the contemporary craving for visible mechanisms and visible answers . The placebo, then, is an emissary between the will to live and the body.
All this sensory input, which begins in the brain, has its effect throughout the body.
It makes little difference how many university courses or degrees a person may own. If he cannot use words to move an idea from one point to another, his education is incomplete.
A human being fashions his consequences as surely as he fashions his goods or his dwelling his goods or his dwelling. Nothing that he says, thinks or does is without consequences.