How far does a man possess his external condition? He can do much in this regard but he cannot do everything, for obviously there are certain limits beyond which it is humanly impossible to go. The balanced fact is that Man's thoughts make his surroundings and his surroundings make his thoughts. When the materialist tells you that man is what his environment makes him and when the idealist tells you that man is what he creates out of himself, both are telling you the truth. But each is not telling you the whole truth. The philosopher must accept both apparently contradictory standpoints because he insists on seeing life whole, not in bits and pieces.
-- Notebooks Category 13: Human Experience > Chapter 1: Situation > # 348