Experience does not err; only your judgments err by expecting from her what is not in her power. Men wrongly complain of Experience; with great abuse they accuse her of leading them astray but they set Experience aside, turning from it with complaints as to our ignorance causing us to be carried away by vain and foolish desires to promise ourselves, in her name, things that are not in her power; saying that she is fallacious. Men are unjust in complaining of innocent Experience, constantly accusing her of error and of false evidence.
Instrumental or mechanical science is of all the noblest and the most useful, seeing that by means of this all animated bodies that have movement perform all their actions; and these movements are based on the centre of gravity which is placed in the middle dividing unequal weights, and it has dearth and wealth of muscles and also lever and counterlever.
Mechanics are the Paradise of mathematical science, because here we come to the fruits of mathematics. [Footnote: Compare No. 660, 11. 19—22 (Vol. I., p. 332). 1156.
Every instrument requires to be made by experience.
The man who blames the supreme certainty of mathematics feeds on confusion, and can never silence the contradictions of sophistical sciences which lead to an eternal quackery.
There is no certainty in sciences where one of the mathematical sciences cannot be applied, or which are not in relation with these mathematics.
Any one who in discussion relies upon authority uses, not his understanding, but rather his memory. Good culture is born of a good disposition; and since the cause is more to be praised than the effect, I will rather praise a good disposition without culture, than good culture without the disposition.
Science is the captain, and practice the soldiers.
OF THE ERRORS OF THOSE WHO DEPEND ON PRACTICE WITHOUT SCIENCE.
Those who fall in love with practice without science are like a sailor who enters a ship without a helm or a compass, and who never can be certain whither he is going.
What is life? (1162. 1163).
Now you see that the hope and the desire of returning home and to one’s former state is like the moth to the light, and that the man who with constant longing awaits with joy each new spring time, each new summer, each new month and new year—deeming that the things he longs for are ever too late in coming—does not perceive that he is longing for his own destruction. But this desire is the very quintessence, the spirit of the elements, which finding itself imprisoned with the soul is ever longing to return from the human body to its giver. And you must know that this same longing is that quintessence, inseparable from nature, and that man is the image of the world.