„Know you what it is to be a child? It is to be something very different from the man of today. It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in its soul; it is to live in a nutshell and to count yourself the king of infinite space; it is
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour;
it is to know not as yet that you are under sentence of life, nor petition that it be commuted into death.“
„Certainly there are things worth believing. I believe in the brotherhood of man and in personal originality. But if you asked me to prove what I believe, I couldn't. You can spend your whole life trying to prove what you believe; you may hunt for reasons, but it will all be in vain. Yet our beliefs are like our existence; they are facts. If you don't yet know what to believe in, then try to learn what you feel and desire.“
— Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
p. 136 Variant transcription from "Death of a Genius" in Life Magazine: "Certainly there are things worth believing. I believe in the brotherhood of man and the uniqueness of the individual. But if you ask me to prove what I believe, I can't. You know them to be true but you could spend a whole lifetime without being able to prove them. The mind can proceed only so far upon what it knows and can prove. There comes a point where the mind takes a leap—call it intuition or what you will—and comes out upon a higher plane of knowledge, but can never prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap." Unsourced variant: "The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you do not know how or why. All great discoveries are made in this way." The earliest published version of this variant appears to be The Human Side of Scientists by Ralph Edward Oesper (1975), p. 58 http://books.google.com/books?id=-J0cAQAAIAAJ&q=%22solution+comes+to+you+and+you+do+not+know%22&dq=%22solution+comes+to+you+and+you+do+not+know%22&hl=en, but no source is provided, and the similarity to the "Life Magazine" quote above suggests it's likely a misquote.
„The waters speak of love and the breeze and the branches and the little birds and the fish and the flowers and the grass, all together begging me always to love. But you, born in a happy hour, who call me from Heaven: by the memory of your untimely death you beg me to scorn the world and its sweet hooks.“
— Francesco Petrarca Italian scholar and poet 1304 - 1374
Canzone 280, st. 3–4
„Even if you don't believe in God, you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.“
— Michael Crichton American author, screenwriter, film producer 1942 - 2008
Context: I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely emerges in another form. Even if you don't believe in God, you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.
„The human mind invents its Puss-in-Boots and its coaches that change into pumpkins at midnight because neither the believer nor the atheist is completely satisfied with appearances.“
— André Malraux French novelist, art theorist and politician 1901 - 1976
Antimémoires, preface (1967)
„Here is this mass of jelly - three pound mass of jelly - that you can hold in the palm of your hand, and it can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space, it can contemplate the meaning of infinity, and it can contemplate itself contemplating the meaning of infinity.“
— V.S. Ramachandran Neuroscientist 1951
A journey to the center of your mind, TED talks.
„I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood, tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense...“
— Beatrix Potter, The Complete Tales
Journal entry (1896-11-17), from the National Trust collection.
„To turn your face from clear proofs of deceit,
To drink poison as if it were a soothing liquor,
To disregard gain and delight in being injured.
To believe that heaven can lie contained in hell;
To devote your life and soul to being disillusioned;
This is love; whoever has tasted it, knows.“
— Lope De Vega Spanish playwright and poet 1562 - 1635
Sonnet, "Desmayarse, atreverse, estar furioso", line 9, from Rimas (1602); cited from José Manuel Blecua (ed.) Lírica (Madrid: Clásicos Castalia,  1999) p. 136. Translation from Eugenio Florit (ed.) Introduction to Spanish Poetry (New York: Dover,  1991) p. 65.
„Once, once for all, if you would save your heart from breaking, learn this lesson — once for all you must cease, in this world, to believe in the eternity of any creed or form at all. Whatever grows in time is a child of time, and is born and lives, and dies at its appointed day like ourselves.“
— James Anthony Froude English historian, novelist, biographer, and editor of Fraser's Magazine 1818 - 1894
„I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.“
— Michael Crichton American author, screenwriter, film producer 1942 - 2008
Context: I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can't be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people — the best people, the most enlightened people — do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.
„You do believe it,' he said. 'You do believe everything. We all believe everything, even when we deny everything. The denyers believe. The unbelievers believe. Don't you feel in your heart that these contradictions do not really contradict: that there is a cosmos that contains them all? The soul goes round upon a wheel of stars and all things return; perhaps Strake and I have striven in many shapes, beast against beast and bird against bird, and perhaps we shall strive for ever. But since we seek and need each other, even that eternal hatred is an eternal love. Good and evil go round in a wheel that is one thing and not many. Do you not realize in your heart, do you not believe behind all your beliefs, that there is but one reality and we are its shadows; and that all things are but aspects of one thing: a centre where men melt into Man and Man into God?'
'No,' said Father Brown.“
— G. K. Chesterton English mystery novelist and Christian apologist 1874 - 1936
„If you believe something, you're automatically precluded from believing in the opposite, which means that a degree of your human freedom has been forfeited in the act of this belief.“
— Terence McKenna American ethnobotanist 1946 - 2000
Context: What blinds us, or what makes historical progress very difficult, is our lack of awareness of our ignorance. And [I think] that beliefs should be put aside, and that a psychedelic society would abandon belief systems [in favor of] direct experience and this is, I think much, of the problem of the modern dilemma, is that direct experience has been discounted and in its place all kind of belief systems have been erected... If you believe something, you're automatically precluded from believing in the opposite, which means that a degree of your human freedom has been forfeited in the act of this belief.