The masses suffer through 12 years of formal education. The nobler among us seek knowledge throughout their life for its own sake.

Education, self-education, and lifelong learning are about more than simply memorizing a list of facts. It is about learning how to think much more than it is about knowing what to think.

Practical skills are important, but so is “useless” knowledge. We learn not to become better salesmen or more accomplished golfers, but because we seek knowledge for its own sake. Knowledge needs no excuse — it is simply better to know than to not know.

But knowledge does have benefits: We become more well-rounded people. We gain nuance in our view of the world. And the brain is like a muscle — it atrophies when not put to use.

Whether learning a new skill or simply burying your face in great works of philosophy or literature, knowledge always gives more than it takes.

The Dangers of State-Sanctioned Education and Indoctrination


Baruch Spinoza quote on education


“Academies that are founded at public expense are instituted not so much to cultivate men’s natural abilities as to restrain them.”

Baruch Spinoza


Bernhard Rush quote on education


“The whole function of education is to create Nazis.”

Bernhard Rust, Minster of Education in Nazi Germany


Adolf Hitler quote on education


“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”

Adolf Hitler


Ivan Illich quote on education


“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe you need the society as it is.”

Ivan Illich


Joseph Stalin quote on education


“Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”

Joseph Stalin


Karl Marx quote on education


“The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions.”

Karl Marx

Charles Darwin quote on education

“…it is worthy of remark that a belief constantly inculcated during the early years of life, whilst the brain is impressionable, appears to acquire almost the nature of an instinct; and the very essence of an instinct is that it is followed independently of reason.”

Charles Darwin, “The Descent of man,” 1871


Bertrand Russell quote on education

“Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable, all will believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so.”

Bertrand Russell, “The Impact of Science on Society,” 1953

The Value of Self-Education Quotes

Albert Einstein quote on education

“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. School failed me, and I failed the school. It bored me. The teachers behaved like sergeants. I wanted to learn what I wanted to know, but they wanted me to learn for the exam… I felt that my thirst for knowledge was being strangled by my teachers; grades were their only measurement. I learned mostly at home, first from my uncle and then from a student who came to eat with us once a week. He would give me books on physics and astronomy. Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

Albert Einstein


Beethoven quote on education


“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”

Ludwig van Beethoven


Aldous Huxley quote on education


“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”

Aldous Huxley


Bruce Lee quote on education


“Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.”

Bruce Lee


Isaac Asimov quote on education


“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”

Isaac Asimov


Immanuel Kant quote on education


“Genius is the ability to independently arrive at and understand concepts that would normally have to be taught by another person.”

Immanuel Kant


Noam Chomsky quote on education

“In mathematics, in physics, people are concerned with what you say, not with your certification. But in order to speak about social reality, you must have the proper credentials, particularly if you depart from the accepted framework of thinking. Generally speaking, it seems fair to say that the richer the intellectual substance of a field, the less there is a concern for credentials, and the greater is concern for content.”

Noam Chomsky


Education-Samuel Johnson


“Exert your talents, and distinguish yourself, and don’t think of retiring from the world, until the world will be sorry that you retire.”

Samuel Johnson


Rumi quote on education


“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”



Oscar Wilde quote on education


“The nuisance of the intellectual sphere is the man who is so occupied in trying to educate others, that he has never had any time to educate himself.”

Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist


Francis Bacon quote on education


“It is a sad fate for a man to die too well known to everybody else, and still unknown to himself.”

Francis Bacon


Steve Jobs quote on education


“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs


Aristotle quote on education


“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”



Unknown quote on education


“Be the change you want to see.”

Unknown, often misattributed to Mahatma Gandhi


Edith Wharton quote on education


“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

Edith Wharton


Lao Tzu quote on education


“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”

Lao Tzu


The Arkturians quote on education

“Your work is not to drag the world kicking and screaming into a new awareness. Your job is to simply do your work… Sacredly, secretly, and silently…and those with ‘eyes to see and ears to ear’ will respond.”

The Arkturians


Nelson Mandela quote on education


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Nelson Mandela

The Principles of Lifelong Learning Quotes


Henry Ford quote on education


“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

Henry Ford




“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”

Albert Einstein


Voltaire quote on education


“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”





“To conquer oneself is the best and noblest victory; to be vanquished by one’s own nature is the worst and most ignoble defeat.”


Michael Faraday quote on education

“I will simply express my strong belief, that that point of self-education which consists in teaching the mind to resist its desires and inclinations, until they are proved to be right, is the most important of all, not only in things of natural philosophy, but in every department of daily life.”

Michael Faraday


Goethe quote on education


“Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Oscar Wilde quote on education


“The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.”

Oscar Wilde


Sartre quote on education


“We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.”

Jean-Paul Sartre


B.B. King quote on education


“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”

B. B. King


Abigail Adams quote on education


“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.”

Abigail Adams


M. de Cervantes quote on education


“Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world.”

Miguel de Cervantes


The Lorax quote on education


“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

The Lorax