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Nikola Tesla Quotes for Understanding Humanity

These Nikola Tesla quotes show his outlook on life, existence, and the universe, through the wise words of a famous inventor.

Nikola Tesla is one of the most iconic early inventors, and people often refer to his wisdom when grappling with the future of science and the realm of human existence.

Best known for inventing the Tesla Coil, which is still used in modern radio technology today, Nikola Tesla spoke throughout his life on human existence, invention, and science as a whole.

What can an inventor of the past teach us about our future?

Nikola Tesla actually made plenty of predictions for the future that is today throughout his life, pulling patterns from the development of science throughout his time.

But the most important takeaway from these Nikola Tesla quotes are the statements he made about being human—we can’t develop as a society without an understanding of our tendencies, and Tesla made this clear throughout his life.

For more inspiration, don’t forget to also check out our collection of Thomas Edison quotes on greatness and innovation.

Nikola Tesla Quotes About Invention

1. “I don’t care that they stole my idea. I care that they don’t have any of their own.”- Nikola Tesla

2. “The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but on can think deeply and be quite insane.” – Nikola Tesla

3. “I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.” – Nikola Tesla

4. “Invention is the most important product of man’s creative brain. The ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of human nature to human needs.” – Nikola Tesla

5. “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” – Nikola Tesla

6. “No desire for material advantages has animated me in all this work, though I hope, for the sake of the continuance of my labors, that these will soon follow, naturally, as a compensation for valuable services rendered to science and industry.” – Nikola Tesla

7. “We build to tear down. Most of our work and resource is squandered. Our onward march is marked by devastation. Everywhere there is an appalling loss of time, effort and life. A cheerless view, but true.” – Nikola Tesla

8. “Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.” – Nikola Tesla

9. “With ideas it is like with dizzy heights you climb: at first they cause you discomfort and you are anxious to get down, distrustful of your own powers; but soon the remoteness of the turmoil of life and the inspiring influence of the altitude calm your blood; your step gets firm and sure and you begin to look—for dizzier heights.” – Nikola Tesla

10. “The harness of waterfalls is the most economical method known for drawing energy from the sun.” – Nikola Tesla

11. “The history of science shows that theories are perishable. With every new truth that is revealed we get a better understanding of nature and our conceptions and views are modified.” – Nikola Tesla

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12. “Archimedes was my ideal. I admired the works of artists, but to my mind, they were only shadows and semblances. The inventor, I thought, gives to the world creations which are palpable, which live and work.” – Nikola Tesla

13. “I cannot exaggerate the effect of this marvelous sight on my childish imagination. Day after day I asked myself what is electricity and found no answer. Eighty years have gone by since and I still ask the same question, unable to answer it.” – Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla Quotes About Our Universe and Life as We Know It

14. “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” – Nikola Tesla

15. “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” – Nikola Tesla

16. “Most certainly, so planets are no inhabited, but others are, and among these, there must exist life under all conditions and phases of development.” – Nikola Tesla

17. “The feeling is constantly growing on me that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another.” – Nikola Tesla

18. “My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe, there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration.” – Nikola Tesla

19. “All that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed—only emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.” – Nikola Tesla

20. “So astounding are the facts in this connection, that it would seem as though the Creator, himself had electrically designed this planet.” – Nikola Tesla

21. “Life is and will ever remain an equation incapable of solution, but it contains certain known factors.” – Nikola Tesla

22. “If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6, and 9, then you would have the key to the universe.” – Nikola Tesla

23. “But instinct is something which transcends knowledge. We have, undoubtedly, certain fivers that enable us to perceive truths when logical deduction, or any other willful effort of the brain, is futile.” – Nikola Tesla

24. “Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance.” – Nikola Tesla

25. “Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them.” – Nikola Tesla

See more quotes about the universe.

Nikola Tesla Quotes for Predicting the Future

26. “Modern science says: ‘the sun is the past, the earth is the present, the moon is the future.’ From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom.” – Nikola Tesla

27. “We have soon to have everywhere smoke annihilators, dust absorbers, ozonizers, sterilizers of water, air, food, and clothing, and accident preventers on the streets, elevated roads and in subways. It will become next to impossible to contract disease germs or get hurt in the city, and country folk will go to town to rest and get well.” – Nikola Tesla
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of get well soon quotes to tell those you love when they feel under the weather.

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28. “It is probable that we shall perfect instruments for indicating the altitude of a place by means of a circuit, properly constructed and arranged, and I have thought of a number of other uses to which this principle may be put.” – Nikola Tesla

29. “In the twenty-first century, the robot will take the place which slave labor occupied in ancient civilization.” – Nikola Tesla

30. “The future will show whether more foresight now as it has proved heretofore.” – Nikola Tesla

31. “The newspapers of the twenty-first century will give a mere ‘stick’ in the back pages to accounts of crime or political controversies, but will headline on the front pages the proclamation of a new scientific hypothesis.” – Nikola Tesla

32. “The Secretary of Hygiene or Physical Culture will be far more important in the cabinet of the President of the United States who holds the office in the year 2035 than the Secretary of War.” – Nikola Tesla

33. “I have already demonstrated, by crucial tests, the practicability of signaling by my system from one to any other point of the globe, no matter how remote, and I shall soon convert the disbelievers.” – Nikola Tesla

34. “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” – Nikola Tesla

35. “In a time not distance, it will be possible to flash any image formed in thought on a screen and render it visible at any place desired. The perfection of this means of reading thought will create a revolution for the better in all our social relations.” – Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla Quotes About Human Existence

36. “Of all things, I liked books best.” – Nikola Tesla

37. “Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more.” – Nikola Tesla

38. “If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.” – Nikola Tesla

39. “Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment and merging of races, and we are still far from this blissful realization.” – Nikola Tesla

40. “The opinion of the world does not affect me. I have placed as the real values in my life what follows when I am dead.” – Nikola Tesla

41. “Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves.” – Nikola Tesla

42. “Everyone should consider his body as a priceless gift from one whom he loves above all, a marvelous work of art, of indescribable beauty, and mystery beyond human conception, and so delicate that a word, a breath, a look, nay, a thought may injure it.” – Nikola Tesla

43. “We crave for new sensations but soon become indifferent to them. The wonders of yesterday are today common occurrences.” – Nikola Tesla

44. “What one man calls God, another calls the laws of physics.” – Nikola Tesla

45. “The individual is ephemeral, races and nations come and pass away, but man remains.” – Nikola Tesla

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46. “It’s not the love you make. It’s the love you give.” – Nikola Tesla

47. “As I review the events of my past life I realize how subtle are the influences that shape our destinies.” – Nikola Tesla

48. “The human being is a self-propelled automaton entirely under the control of external influences. Willful and predetermined though they appear, his actions are governed not from within, but from without. He is like a float tossed about by the waves of a turbulent sea.” – Nikola Tesla

49. “The spread of civilization may be likened to a fire; first a feeble spark, next a flickering flame, then a mighty blaze, ever increasing in speed and power.” – Nikola Tesla

50. “Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the outside world.” – Nikola Tesla

More Nikola Tesla quotes and sayings

51. “Anti-social behavior is a trait of intelligence in a world full of conformists.” – Nikola Tesla

52. “Of all the frictional resistances, the one that most retards human movement is ignorance.” – Nikola Tesla

53. “To know each other we must reach beyond the sphere of our sense perceptions.” – Nikola Tesla

54. “We all make mistakes, and it is better to make them before we begin.” – Nikola Tesla

55. “I could only achieve success in my life through self-discipline, and I applied it until my wish and my will became one.” – Nikola Tesla

56. “Science is but a perversion of itself unless it has as its ultimate goal the betterment of humanity.” – Nikola Tesla

57. “Throughout the infinite, the forces are in a perfect balance, and hence the energy of a single thought may determine the motion of a universe.” – Nikola Tesla

58. “Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone–that is the secret of invention.” – Nikola Tesla

59. “All of these years of my service towards mankind did not bring me anything but assaults and humiliations.” – Nikola Tesla

60. “War can not be avoided until the physical cause for its recurrence is removed and this, in the last analysis, is the vast extent of the planet on which we live.” – Nikola Tesla

What have you learned from these Nikola Tesla quotes?

The inventor Nikola Tesla is known for his famous Tesla coil, but he influenced much more than that throughout his life. These Nikola Tesla quotes show his outlook on life, existence, and the universe, through the wise words of a famous inventor.

Tesla often had a lot to say about the future, and he wasn’t incorrect, but he also had a lot to say about being human in this crazy place we call the universe.

What can we learn about ourselves through Tesla’s words? He points out the humanity in the humans that surrounded him, allowing us to understand our very human tendencies through the completely inhuman. There is a great connection between us and the universe, and Tesla pointed this out plenty of times throughout his life, leading us to question and understand, our own existence.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these thoughtful Nikola Tesla quotes? Do you have any other inspirational quotes to add? Feel free to share with us in the comment section below.

Halle Homel
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  1. Gary Kniss

    April 10, 2022 at 8:08 AM

    Is Elon Musk the current carnation of Nikola? I wonder.

  2. Alex

    February 18, 2021 at 10:27 AM

    “The meaning of life…is to further life”

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