Quotes about the Power of Method

Praise to the Method

It is not enough to have a good mind, the main thing is to use it well.
René Descartes (March 31, 1596 –February 11, 1650), French philosopher and mathematician

The method is not an extraneous form, but the soul and notion of the content.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831), German philosopher

Method is more important than strength, when you wish to control your enemies. By dropping golden beads near a snake, a crow once managed To have a passer-by kill the snake for the beads.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882), American poet and educator

No one is an artist unless he carries his picture in his head before painting it, and is sure of his method and composition.
Claude Monet (November 14, 1840 –December 5,1926), French painter

It is not the victory of science that distinguishes our nineteenth century, but the victory of scientific method over science.
Friedrich Neitzsche (October 15, 1844 –August 25, 1900), German philosopher

Let me stop there, but my God, how beautiful Shakespeare is, who else is as mysterious as he is; his language and method are like a brush trembling with excitement and ecstasy. But one must learn to read, just as one must learn to see and learn to live.
Vincent van Gogh (March 30, 1853 –July 29, 1890), Dutch post-Impressionist painter

I must confess that most modern mysticism seems to me to be simply a method of imparting useless knowledge in a form that no one can understand
Oscar Wilde (October 16, 1854 –November 30, 1900), Irish writer and poet

They see poetry in what I have done. No. I apply my methods, and that is all there is to it.
Georges Seurat (2 December 1859 – 29 March 1891), French post-Impressionist painter

The greatest invention of the nineteenth century was the invention of the method of invention.
Alfred North Whitehead (February 15,1861 –December 30, 1947), English philosopher and mathematician

Nothing is more important than to see the sources of invention which are, in my opinion, more interesting than the inventions themselves.
George Pólya (December 13, 1887 – September 7, 1985), Hungarian mathematician.

The insidiousness of science lies in its claim to be not a subject, but a method.
Katharine Elizabeth Fullerton Gerould (February 6, 1879 – July 27, 1944), American writer and essayist

A method involving apparent obscurity is surely justified when it is the clearest, the simplest, the only method possible of saying in full what the writer has to say.
Richard Hughes (April 19, 1900 –April 28, 1976), British writer of poems, short stories, novels and plays

Good psychology should include all the methodological techniques, without having loyalty to one method, one idea, or one person.
Abraham Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970), American psychologist

However, as it is not Achilles but the method of measurement which fails to catch up with the tortoise, so it is not man but his method of thought which fails to find fulfillment in experience.
Alan Watts (January 6, 1915 –November 16, 1973), British philosopher, writer, best known as an interpreter of Eastern philosophy

If you want to accomplish something in the world, idealism is not enough – you need to choose a method that works to achieve the goal.
Richard Stallman (born March 16, 1953), American software freedom activist and programmer

If you achieve good results using a poor method, isn’t that a much greater achievement than starting from better methods
Gen Urobuchi (born December 20, 1972), Japanese writer for visual and light novels

For the substance of our existence is not in the achievement, but in the method.
Brandon Sanderson (born December 19, 1975), American fantasy and science fiction writer

In the end, I must proclaim that no good can be achieved of false means. For the substance of our existence is not in the achievement, but in the method.
Brandon Sanderson

Converting your own passions into a job is the fastest method for eliminating any passion you once had.
Timothy Ferriss (born July 20, 1977), American author, entrepreneur and public speaker

Against the method

The (method of) correction shall by a turn become distortion, and the good in it shall by a turn become evil.
Laozi (6c. BC), Chinese spiritual teacher and philosopher

Music resembles poetry, in each
Are nameless graces which no methods teach,
And which a master hand alone can reach.
Alexander Pope (May 21, 1688 – May 30, 1744), English poet

A passion for his art, and an eager desire to excel, will more than supply an artist with the place of method.
Sir Joshua Reynolds (16 July 1723 – 23 February 1792), English painter

We never do anything well till we cease to think about the manner of doing it.
William Hazlitt (10 April 1778 – 18 September 1830), English writer, literary critic, painter

As for techniques and processes, as seen in the works themselves, neither public nor artists will find anything about them here. Those things are learned in the studio and the public is interested only in the results.
Charles Baudelaire (April 9, 1821 – August 31, 1867), French poet

In painting, as in the other arts, there’s not a single process, no matter how insignificant, which can be reasonably made into a formula.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919), French artist

A tree growing out of the ground is as wonderful today as it ever was. It does not need to adopt new and startling methods.
Robert Henri (June 24, 1865 – July 12, 1929), American painter and teacher

Method is much, technique is much, but inspiration is even more.
Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (May 24, 1870 – July 9, 1938), American jurist

I don’t like to think that I am a slave to technique, or so inept that I have to restrict myself to one method.
Walter J. Phillips (October 25, 1884 – July 5, 1963), English-born Canadian painter

There is no method but to be very intelligent.
Thomas Stearns Eliot (September 26,1888 –January 4, 1965), British poet, essayist, publisher, playwright

There isn’t any formula or method. You learn to love by loving-by paying attention and doing what one thereby discovers has to be done.
Aldous Huxley (July 26, 1894 –November 22, 1963), English writer, novelist, philosopher

If I follow a particular method of knowing myself, then I shall have the result which that system necessitates; but the result will obviously not be the understanding of myself.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (May 11, 1895 –February 17, 1986), Indian philosopher, speaker and writer

If your only tool is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail.
Abraham Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970), American psychologist

Every day you constantly use methods; this lesson will help you better use the power of a method to improve your problem solving and research ability.
Justus Buchler (March 27, 1914 – March 19, 1991) was an American philosopher, author and professor

The only principle that does not inhibit progress is: anything goes.
Paul Karl Feyerabend (January 13, 1924 – February 11, 1994), Austrian-born philosopher

Science is essentially an anarchic enterprise: theoretical anarchism is more humanitarian and more likely to encourage progress than its law-and-order alternatives.
Paul Karl Feyerabend

My intention is not to replace one set of general rules by another such set: my intention is, rather, to convince the reader that all methodologies, even the most obvious ones, have their limits.
Paul Karl Feyerabend

I don’t have a method. All I do is read a lot, think a lot, and rewrite constantly. It’s not a scientific thing.
Gabriel Garcí¬a Márquez (March 6,1927 –April 17, 2014), Colombian novelist, short-story writer

The order that our mind imagines is like a net, or like a ladder, built to attain something. But afterward you must throw the ladder away, because you discover that, even if it was useful, it was meaningless.
Umberto Eco (January 5,1932 –February 19, 2016), Italian novelist, literary critic, philosopher

The trouble begins when we start to be so impressed by the strategies of our systematized thought that we forget that it does relate to an obverse, that it is hewn from negation, that it is but very small security against the void of negation which surrounds it.
Glenn Gould (September 25, 1932 – October 4, 1982), Canadian pianist

Avoid methodology. If what you’re doing is about technique, that’s not art. Kay WalkingStick (born March 2, 1935), American landscape artist

Method involves a slavish addiction to laws, and we can only aspire to anarchy.
Robert Pinsky (born October 20, 1940) is an American poet, essayist, literary critic

The more restricted a method, the lesser the opportunity for one’s individual freedom of expression.
Bruce Lee (November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973), Hong Kong and American actor, philosopher, filmmaker

I don’t like this idea of Method. I come from that school, but what I was taught was that it’s your imagination. You do your homework, and you use your imagination.
Mark Alan Ruffalo (born November 22, 1967), American actor, humanitarian and film producer

You must learn first to observe the rules faithfully; afterwards, modify them according to your intelligence and capacity. The end of all method is to seem to have no method.
Lu Ch’Ai

To be without method is deplorable, but to depend entirely on method is worse.
Lu Ch’Ai

Methaphisics of Method

His cook was cutting up an ox for the ruler Wen Hui. Whenever he applied his hand, leaned forward with his shoulder, planted his foot, and employed the pressure of his knee, in the audible ripping off of the skin, and slicing operation of the knife, the sounds were all in regular cadence. Movements and sounds proceeded as in the dance of ‘the Mulberry Forest’ and the blended notes of the King Shou.’
The ruler said, ‘Ah! Admirable! That your art should have become so perfect!’ (Having finished his operation), the cook laid down his knife, and replied to the remark, ‘What your servant loves is the method of the Dao, something in advance of any art. When I first began to cut up an ox, I saw nothing but the (entire) carcase. After three years I ceased to see it as a whole. Now I deal with it in a spirit-like manner, and do not look at it with my eyes. The use of my senses is discarded, and my spirit acts as it wills.
Zhuang Zhou (c. 369 BC -c. 286 BC), Chinese philosopher

I trained my spirit in method.
Milarepa (c. 1052 – c. 1135 CE), Tibetan Buddhist teacher, yogis and poets

God is going to reveal to us things He never revealed before if we put our hands in His. No books ever go into my laboratory. The thing I am to do and the way of doing it are revealed to me. I never have to grope for methods. The method is revealed to me the moment I am inspired to create something new. Without God to draw aside the curtain I would be helpless.
George Washington (February 22, 1732– December 14, 1799), the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797

Philosophy, if it would be a science, cannot borrow its method from a subordinate science like mathematics.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831), German philosopher

In other words, the human mind, by its nature, employs in its progress three methods of philosophizing, the character of which is essentially different, and even radically opposed: namely, the theological method, the metaphysical, and the positive. Hence arise three philosophies, or general systems of conceptions on the aggregate of phenomena, each of which excludes the others. The first is the necessary point of departure of the human understanding, and the third is its fixed and definitive state. The second is merely a state of transition.”
Auguste Comte (19 January 1798 – 5 September 1857), French philosopher

As for methods of prayer, all are good, as long as they are sincere.
Victor Hugo (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885), French poet, novelist, and dramatist

The method of nature: who could ever analyze it?
Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882), American essayist, lecturer, and poet

We do not pray to God to instruct Him as to what He should do; neither for a moment must we presume to dictate the method of the divine working.
Charles Spurgeon (19 June 1834 – 31 January 1892), English Particular Baptist preacher

Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.
E.M. Bounds (August 15, 1835 – August 24, 1913), American author, attorney

God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.
E.M. Bounds

Acquire the art of detachment, the virtue of method, and the quality of thoroughness, but above all the grace of humility.
William Osler (July 12, 1849 – December 29, 1919), Canadian physician

Each religion, by the help of more or less myth, which it takes more or less seriously, proposes some method of fortifying the human soul and enabling it to make its peace with its destiny. George Santayana (December 16, 1863 – September 26, 1952), philosopher, essayist, poet

All methods are sacred if they are internally necessary. All methods are sins if they are not justified by internal necessity.
Wassily Kandinsky (16 December 1866 – 13 December 1944), Russian painter and art theorist

The business and method of mysticism is love
Evelyn Underhill (6 December 1875 – 15 June 1941), English Anglo-Catholic writer and pacifist

Your duty is to be and not to be this or that. ‘I am that I am’ sums up the whole truth. The method is summed up in the words ‘Be still’. What does stillness mean? It means destroy yourself. Because any form or shape is the cause for trouble. Give up the notion that ‘I am so and so’. All that is required to realize the Self is to be still. What can be easier than that?
Ramana Maharshi (30 December 1879 – 14 April 1950), Hindu sage and philosopher

The farther and more deeply we penetrate into matter, by means of increasingly powerful methods, the more we are confounded by the interdependence of its parts.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1 May 1881 – 10 April 1955), French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest

It’s not possible to search for God using the methods of a detective… There is no way. You can only wait till God’s axe severs your roots: then you will understand that you are here only through a miracle, and you will remain fixed forever in wonderment and equilibrium.
Karel Čapek (9 January 1890 – 25 December 1938), Czech writer

God doesn’t want new methods; He wants new men.
Alan Redpath (9 January 1907 – 16 March 1989), British evangelist, pastor and author

Only those will apprehend religion who can probe its depth, who can combine intuition and love with the rigor of method.
Abraham Joshua Heschel (11 January 1907 – 23 December 1972), Polish-born American rabbi

Truth is the same always. Whoever ponders it will get the same answer. Buddha got it. Patanjali got it. Jesus got it. Mohammed got it. The answer is the same, but the method of working it out may vary this way or that. (115)”
Swami Satchidananda (22 December 1914 – 19 August 2002), Indian religious teacher, spiritual master

I just kind of conjured them up out of my subconscious and put them in order of ascending peculiarity.
Edward Gorey (February 22, 1925 – April 15, 2000), an American writer and artist

The Islamic intellectual tradition has usually not seen a dichotomy between intellect and intuition but has created a hierarchy of knowledge and methods of attaining knowledge according to which degrees of both intellection and intuition become harmonized in an order encompassing all the means available to man to know, from sensual knowledge an reason to intellection and inner version or the “knowledge of the heart.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr (born April 7, 1933), Iranian professor

That faith be analyzable does not necessarily imply a method for getting by without it. . . .
Julia Kristeva ( born 24 June 1941), Bulgarian-French philosopher, literary critic, psychoanalyst

It takes a fearless, unflinching love and deep humility to accept the universe as it is. The most effective way he knew to accomplish that, the most powerful tool at his disposal, was the scientific method, which over time winnows out deception. It can’t give you absolute truth because science is a permanent revolution, always subject to revision, but it can give you successive approximations of reality.
Ann Druyan (born June 13, 1949), American writer

There is an inner working of intelligence behind the movement of energy in the world. This natural or organic intelligence is conscious and sure in its plan and method, not by choice or intention but intuitively and spontaneously, as a movement of pure beauty and harmony.
David Frawley (born 1950), American Hindu teacher and author

We must use whatever methods we can to understand the movement of the universe around us and time our actions so that we are not fighting the currents, but moving with them.
Arthur Golden (born December 6, 1956), American writer

Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some of us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.
Dan Brown (born June 22, 1964), American author

Hardly. Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.
Dan Brown

The Tao of Chaos will provide methods and approaches to embrace chaos and its sister, the void, as means to discovering a deeper sense of who we are without resistance.
Stephen H. Wolinsky, American author, founder of Quantum Psychology

Strategy is methodical, but the one who steers chaos and randomness can steer God.
Lionel Suggs, American author

To advance spiritually requires a method of practice & determination to carry it out.
Allan Lokos, American author