Capturing Nature Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Capturing Nature. Here they are! All 100 of them:

The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can't.
Christopher Paolini (Eragon (Inheritance, #1))
It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. Yet regardless of where they come from, I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them -- with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself. Still illiterate, I was ready for them, committed to all the reading I could give them ...
Eudora Welty (One Writer's Beginnings)
He stood staring into the wood for a minute, then said: "What is it about the English countryside — why is the beauty so much more than visual? Why does it touch one so?" He sounded faintly sad. Perhaps he finds beauty saddening — I do myself sometimes. Once when I was quite little I asked father why this was and he explained that it was due to our knowledge of beauty's evanescence, which reminds us that we ourselves shall die. Then he said I was probably too young to understand him; but I understood perfectly.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
We must understand that God does not "love" us without liking us - through gritted teeth - as "Christian" love is sometimes thought to do. Rather, out of the eternal freshness of his perpetually self-renewed being, the heavenly Father cherishes the earth and each human being upon it. The fondness, the endearment, the unstintingly affectionate regard of God toward all his creatures is the natural outflow of what he is to the core - which we vainly try to capture with our tired but indispensable old word "love".
Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God)
When describing nature, a writer should seize upon small details, arranging them so that the reader will see an image in his mind after he closes his eyes. For instance: you will capture the truth of a moonlit night if you'll write that a gleam like starlight shone from the pieces of a broken bottle, and then the dark, plump shadow of a dog or wolf appeared. You will bring life to nature only if you don't shrink from similes that liken its activities to those of humankind." (Letter to Alexander Chekhov, May 10, 1886)
Anton Chekhov
Humans like stories. Humans need stories. Stories are good. Stories work. Story clarifies and captures the essence of the human spirit. Story, in all its forms—of life, of love, of knowledge—has traced the upward surge of mankind. And story, you mark my words, will be with the last human to draw breath.
Jasper Fforde (First Among Sequels (Thursday Next, #5))
The quotation falsely attributed to Stalin, 'One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic,' gets the numbers wrong but captures a real fact about human psychology. (p. 220)
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
Eddie had come to understand that what a man saw and what actually existed in the natural world often were contradictory. The human eye was not capable of true sight, for it was constrained by its own humanness, clouded by regret, and opinion, and faith. Whatever was witnessed in the real world was unknowable in real time. It was the eye of the camera that captured the world as it truly was.
Alice Hoffman (The Museum of Extraordinary Things)
There is ecstasy in paying attention... Anyone who wants to can be surprised by the beauty or pain of the natural world, of the human mind and heart, and can try to capture just that - the details, the nuance, what is. If you start to look around, you will start to see.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird)
Here all of nature was captured, labeled, arranged according to a logic that seemed as timeless as if ordered by God, perhaps a God who had mislaid the original paperwork on the Creation and had requested the Field Museum staff to help him out and keep track of it all.
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
I wanted to capture what language ability tests could never reveal: her intent, her passion, her imagery, the rhythms of her speech and the nature of her thoughts.
Amy Tan (The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life)
To know God as He really is-in His essential nature and character-is to arrive at a citadel of peace that circumstances may storm, but can never capture.
Catherine Marshall
If you don’t capture the moments, it will be gone forever.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
There are times...when we are in the midst of life-moments of confrontation with birth or death, or moments of beauty when nature or love is fully revealed, or moments of terrible loneliness-times when a holy and awesome awareness comes upon us. It may come as deep inner stillness or as a rush of overflowing emotion. It may seem to come from beyond us, without any provocation, or from within us, evoked by music or by a sleeping child. If we open our hearts at such moments, creation reveals itself to us in all it's unity and fullness. And when we return from such a moment of awareness, our hearts long to find some way to capture it in words forever, so that we can remain faithful to it's higher truth. ...When my people search for a name to give to the truth we feel at those moments, we call it God, and when we capture that understanding in timeless poetry, we call it praying.
Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1))
Fortunately, no matter how many times she is pushed down, she bounds up again. No matter how many times she is forbidden, quelled, cut back, diluted, tortured, touted as unsafe, dangerous, mad, and other derogations, she emanates upward in women, so that even the most quiet, even the most restrained woman keeps a secret place for Wild Woman, Even the more repressed woman has a secret life, with secret thoughts and secret feelings which are lush and wild, that is, natural. Even the most captured woman guards the place of the wildish self, for she knows intuitively that someday there will be a loophole, an aperture, a chance, and she will hightail it to escape.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves)
The horror of profound depression, and the hopelessness that usually accompanies it, are hard to imagine for those who have not experienced them. Because the despair is private, it is resistant to clear and compelling description. Novelist William Styron, however, in recounting his struggle with suicidal depression, captures vividly the heavy, inescapable pain that can lead to suicide: What I had begun to discover is that, mysteriously and in ways that are totally remote from normal experience, the gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain. But it is not an immediately identifiable pain, like that of a broken limb. It may be more accurate to say that despair, owing to some evil trick played upon the sick brain by the inhabiting psyche, comes to resemble the diabolical discomfort of being imprisoned in a fiercely overheated room. And because no breeze stirs this cauldron, because there is no escape from this smothering confinement, it is entirely natural that the victim begins to think ceaselessly of oblivion.
Kay Redfield Jamison (Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide)
...he talked quite naturally while we ate — about the difficulty of finding words to describe the luminous mist, and why one has the desire to describe beauty. "Perhaps it's an attempt to possess it," I said. "Or be possessed by it; perhaps that's the same thing, really. I suppose it's the complete identification with beauty one's seeking." The mist grew brighter and brighter.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
You are trying to capture the fog, and no one can do that.
Patrick D. Smith (A Land Remembered)
If I should capture the most beautiful sunrise, only then, will I stop capturing them.
Danikelii
...but you are too much for them: the weak in courage are strong in cunning; and one by one, you have absorbed and have captured and dishonored, and have distilled of your deliverers the most ruinous of all poisons; people hear Beethoven in concert halls, or over a bridge game, or to relax; Cézannes are hung on walls, reproduced, in natural wood frames; van Gogh is the man who cut off his ear and whose yellows became recently popular in window decoration.
James Agee
Then, in the 1980's, came the paroxysm of downsizing, and the very nature of the corporation was thrown into doubt. In what began almost as a fad and quickly matured into an unshakable habit, companies were 'restructuring,' 'reengineering,' and generally cutting as many jobs as possible, white collar as well as blue . . . The New York Times captured the new corporate order succintly in 1987, reporting that it 'eschews loyalty to workers, products, corporate structures, businesses, factories, communities, even the nation. All such allegiances are viewed as expendable under the new rules. With survival at stake, only market leadership, strong profits and a high stock price can be allowed to matter'.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America)
For centuries poets, some poets, have tried to give a voice to the animals, and readers, some readers, have felt empathy and sorrow. If animals did have voices, and they could speak with the tongues of angels--at the very least with the tongues of angels--they would be unable to save themselves from us. What good would language do? Their mysterious otherness has not saved them, nor have their beautiful songs and coats and skins and shells and eyes. We discover the remarkable intelligence of the whale, the wolf, the elephant--it does not save them, nor does our awareness of the complexity of their lives. Their strength, their skills, their swiftness, the beauty of their flights. It matters not, it seems, whether they are large or small, proud or shy, docile or fierce, wild or domesticated, whether they nurse their young or brood patiently on eggs. If they eat meat, we decry their viciousness; if they eat grasses and seeds, we dismiss them as weak. There is not one of them, not even the songbird who cannot, who does not, conflict with man and his perceived needs and desires. St. Francis converted the wolf of Gubbio to reason, but he performed this miracle only once and as miracles go, it didn’t seem to capture the public’s fancy. Humans don’t want animals to reason with them. It would be a disturbing, unnerving, diminishing experience; it would bring about all manner of awkwardness and guilt.
Joy Williams (Ill Nature)
Anytime I talk about my work informally, I inevitably encounter someone who wants to know why addicts become addicts. They use words like “will” and “choice,” and they end by saying, “Don’t you think there’s more to it than the brain?” They are skeptical of the rhetoric of addiction as disease, something akin to high blood pressure or diabetes, and I get that. What they’re really saying is that they may have partied in high school and college but look at them now. Look how strong-willed they are, how many good choices they’ve made. They want reassurances. They want to believe that they have been loved enough and have raised their children well enough that the things that I research will never, ever touch their own lives. I understand this impulse. I, too, have spent years creating my little moat of good deeds in an attempt to protect the castle of myself. I don’t want to be dismissed the way that Nana was once dismissed. I know that it’s easier to say Their kind does seem to have a taste for drugs, easier to write all addicts off as bad and weak-willed people, than it is to look closely at the nature of their suffering. I do it too, sometimes. I judge. I walk around with my chest puffed out, making sure hat everyone knows about my Harvard and Stanford degrees, as if those things encapsulate me, and when I do so, I give in to the same facile, lazy thinking that characterizes those who think of addicts as horrible people. It’s just that I’m standing on the other side of the moat. What I can say for certain is that there is no case study in the world that could capture the whole animal of my brother, that could show how smart and kind and generous he was, how much he wanted to get better, how much he wanted to live. Forget for a moment what he looked like on paper, and instead see him as he was in all of his glory, in all of his beauty. It’s true that for years before he died, I would look at his face and think, What a pity, what a waste. But the waste was my own, the waste was what I missed out on whenever I looked at him and saw just his addiction.
Yaa Gyasi (Transcendent Kingdom)
If you stand in a wheat field at this time of year, a few weeks from harvest, it's not hard to imagine you're looking at something out of mythology: all this golden sunlight brought down to earth, captured in kernels of gold, and rendered fit for mortals to eat. But of course this is no myth at all, just the plain miraculous fact.
Michael Pollan (Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation)
In hospital they ask you to rate your discomfort on a scale of ten. I guess it’s the best they can come up with, but it fails to capture the nature of the beast. Pain can stay the same while you change around it. And, like a thumb of constant size, what it blocks out depends on how close it gets to you. At arm’s length a thumb obscures a small fragment of the day. Held close enough to your eye it can blind you to everything that matters, relegating the world to a periphery.
Mark Lawrence (One Word Kill (Impossible Times, #1))
The rapid nightfall of mid-December had quite beset the little village as they approached it on soft feet over a first thin fall of powdery snow. Little was visible but squares of a dusky orange-red on either side of the street, where the firelight or lamplight of each cottage overflowed through the casements into the dark world without. Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter and gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture--the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation. Moving at will from one theatre to another, the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes as they watched a cat being stroked, a sleepy child picked up and huddled off to bed, or a tired man stretch and knock out his pipe on the end of a smouldering log.
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
Miracles are like stones: they are everywhere, offering up their beauty, but hardly anyone concedes value to them. We live in a reality where prodigies abound but are seen only by those who have developed their perception of them. Without this perception everything is banal, marvelous events are seen as chance, and one progresses through life without possessing the key that is gratitude. When something extraordinary happens it is seen as a natural phenomenon that we can exploit like parasites, without giving anything in return. But miracles require an exchange; I must make that which is given to me bear fruit for others. If one is not united with oneself, the wonder cannot be captured. Miracles are never performed or provoked: they are discovered. If someone who believes himself to be blind takes off his dark glasses, he will see the light. That darkness is the prison of the rational.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography)
If you want to live the fullness of your life—if you want to be free—you must understand, first, why you are not free, what keeps you from being free. The word prison comes from the Latin praehendere, meaning to seize, grasp, capture. A prison doesn’t have to be a physical place; it can be anything your mind creates. What has taken ahold of you? The natural process of socialization requires that the individual be influenced by Shoulds in order to function as a part of society. However, as you grow up, it is healthy to be self-aware about the Shoulds you inherited. You might value and keep some Shoulds, while others you might choose to discard. If you want to know Must, get to know Should. This is hard work. Really hard work. We unconsciously imprison ourselves to avoid our most primal fears. We choose Should because choosing Must is terrifying, incomprehensible. Our prison is constructed from a lifetime of Shoulds, the world of choices we’ve unwittingly agreed to, the walls that alienate us from our truest, most authentic selves. Should is the doorkeeper to Must. And just as you create your prison, you can set yourself free.
Elle Luna (The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion)
A natural leader by any measure, Paul became a great spiritual leader when his heart and mind were captured by Jesus Christ.
J. Oswald Sanders (Spiritual Leadership (Commitment To Spiritual Growth))
Georgia Author Brenda Sutton Rose captures some of the conflicted and captivating characters of a rapidly changing South.
Janisse Ray
I do call it a sign of a beautiful nature if a girl who is in love and surrounded by all the splendour is lonely for her sister.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
I’d later learn that in Japanese culture these long periods of silence, chinmoku (沈黙), were commonplace. It has its roots in Zen Buddhism, where silence is said to hold the secrets of existence. The Japanese proverb ‘It is better to leave many things unsaid’ captures the essence of chinmoku. Far from being awkward, in Japan silence is a natural part of daily interactions.
Chris Broad (Abroad in Japan: Ten Years In The Land Of The Rising Sun)
In short, wonder is captured in one word—worship. When we have learned what worship is,we have experienced what wonder is. Worship is a personal thing before it goes public. It is an individual thing before it is part of a community. It is a disciplined thing before it is natural.
Ravi Zacharias (Recapture the Wonder)
I receive remarkable letters. They are opened for me, unfolded, and spread out before my eyes in a daily ritual that gives the arrival of the mail the character of a hushed and holy ceremony. I carefully read each letter myself. Some of them are serious in tone, discussing the meaning of life, invoking the supremacy of the soul, the mystery of every existence. And by a curious reversal, the people who focus most closely on these fundamental questions tend to be people I had known only superficially. Their small talk has masked hidden depths. Had I been blind and deaf, or does it take the harsh light of disaster to show a person's true nature? Other letters simply relate the small events that punctuate the passage of time: roses picked at dusk, the laziness of a rainy Sunday, a child crying himself to sleep. Capturing the moment, these small slices of life, these small gusts of happiness, move me more deeply than all the rest. A couple of lines or eight pages, a Middle Eastern stamp or a suburban postmark... I hoard all these letters like treasure. One day I hope to fasten them end to end in a half-mile streamer, to float in the wind like a banner raised to the glory of friendship. It will keep the vultures at bay.
Jean-Dominique Bauby (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
I began to study trigonometry. There was solace in its strange formulas and equations. I was drawn to the Pythagorean theorem and its promise of a universal—the ability to predict the nature of any three points containing a right angle, anywhere, always. What I knew of physics I had learned in the junkyard, where the physical world often seemed unstable, capricious. But here was a principle through which the dimensions of life could be defined, captured. Perhaps reality was not wholly volatile. Perhaps it could be explained, predicted. Perhaps it could be made to make sense.
Tara Westover (Educated)
Growing corn, which from a biological perspective had always been a process of capturing sunlight to turn into food, has in no small measure become a process of converting fossil fuels into food.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
Shockingly, the Deep Web is a massive five hundred times larger than the surface Web you use and search every day. While the Deep Web contains seventy-five hundred terabytes of information, the Googleable universe contains a paltry nineteen terabytes. According to a study published in Nature, Google captures no more than 16 percent of the surface Web and misses all of the Deep Web. As a result, when you search Google, you are only seeing 0.03 percent (one in three thousand pages) of the information that actually exists and would be available online
Marc Goodman (Future Crimes)
There is a king of natural selection that takes place among myths. Those that capture something essential to the human condition can be preserved for thousands of years. Those that are relevant only to a few are lost forever.
Philip Freeman (Oh My Gods: A Modern Retelling of Greek and Roman Myths)
The idea that thought is essentially finite, and for this reason unable to capture the Infinite, is based on a mistaken notion of the movement of thought in knowledge. It is the inadequacy of the logical understanding which finds a multiplicity of mutually repellent individualities with no prospect of their ultimate reduction to a unity that makes us sceptical about the conclusiveness of thought. In fact, the logical understanding is incapable of seeing this multiplicity as a coherent universe. Its only method is generalization based on resemblances, but its generalizations are only fictitious unities which do not affect the reality of concrete things. In its deeper movement, however, thought is capable of reaching an immanent Infinite in whose self-unfolding movement the various finite concepts are merely moments. In its essential nature, then, thought is not static; it is dynamic and unfolds its internal infinitude in time like the seed which, from the very beginning, carries within itself the organic unity of the tree as a present fact.
Muhammad Iqbal
Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter or gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture – the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation. Moving at will from one theater to another, the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes...
Kenneth Grahame
A modern way to capture what Smith is talking about when he talks about being loved and being lovely is authenticity. We want to be real, and we want the people around us to be real in how they think about us. Respect or love or attention that is inaccurate because I don’t deserve it isn’t real. Someone who is thought to be lovely, but who knows he isn’t, is living a lie.
Russel "Russ" Roberts (How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness)
In 1817 the twenty-two-year-old poet John Keats wrote a letter to his brothers in which he explained his most recent thoughts on the creative process. The world around us, he wrote, is far more complex than we can possibly imagine. With our limited senses and consciousness, we only glimpse a small portion of reality. Furthermore, everything in the universe is in a state of constant flux. Simple words and thoughts cannot capture this flux or complexity. The only solution for an enlightened person is to let the mind absorb itself in what it experiences, without having to form a judgment on what it all means. The mind must be able to feel doubt and uncertainty for as long as possible. As it remains in this state and probes deeply into the mysteries of the universe, ideas will come that are more dimensional and real than if we had jumped to conclusions and formed judgments early on. To accomplish this, he wrote, we must be capable of negating our ego. We are by nature fearful and insecure creatures. We do not like what is unfamiliar or unknown. To compensate for this, we assert ourselves with opinions and ideas that make us seem strong and certain. Many of these opinions do not come from our own deep reflection, but are instead based on what other people think. Furthermore, once we hold these ideas, to admit they are wrong is to wound our ego and vanity. Truly creative people in all fields can temporarily suspend their ego and simply experience what they are seeing, without the need to assert a judgment, for as long as possible. They are more than ready to find their most cherished opinions contradicted by reality.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
A Wild Woman Is Not A Girlfriend. She Is A Relationship With Nature. But can you love me in the deep? In the dark? In the thick of it? Can you love me when I drink from the wrong bottle and slip through the crack in the floorboard? Can you love me when I’m bigger than you, when my presence blazes like the sun does, when it hurts to look directly at me? Can you love me then too? Can you love me under the starry sky, shaved and smooth, my skin like liquid moonlight? Can you love me when I am howling and furry, standing on my haunches, my lower lip stained with the blood of my last kill? When I call down the lightning, when the sidewalks are singed by the soles of my feet, can you still love me then? What happens when I freeze the land, and cause the dirt to harden over all the pomegranate seeds we’ve planted? Will you trust that Spring will return? Will you still believe me when I tell you I will become a raging river, and spill myself upon your dreams and call them to the surface of your life? Can you trust me, even though you cannot tame me? Can you love me, even though I am all that you fear and admire? Will you fear my shifting shape? Does it frighten you, when my eyes flash like your camera does? Do you fear they will capture your soul? Are you afraid to step into me? The meat-eating plants and flowers armed with poisonous darts are not in my jungle to stop you from coming. Not you. So do not worry. They belong to me, and I have invited you here. Stay to the path revealed in the moonlight and arrive safely to the hut of Baba Yaga: the wild old wise one… she will not lead you astray if you are pure of heart. You cannot be with the wild one if you fear the rumbling of the ground, the roar of a cascading river, the startling clap of thunder in the sky. If you want to be safe, go back to your tiny room — the night sky is not for you. If you want to be torn apart, come in. Be broken open and devoured. Be set ablaze in my fire. I will not leave you as you have come: well dressed, in finely-threaded sweaters that keep out the cold. I will leave you naked and biting. Leave you clawing at the sheets. Leave you surrounded by owls and hawks and flowers that only bloom when no one is watching. So, come to me, and be healed in the unbearable lightness and darkness of all that you are. There is nothing in you that can scare me. Nothing in you I will not use to make you great. A wild woman is not a girlfriend. She is a relationship with nature. She is the source of all your primal desires, and she is the wild whipping wind that uproots the poisonous corn stalks on your neatly tilled farm. She will plant pear trees in the wake of your disaster. She will see to it that you shall rise again. She is the lover who restores you to your own wild nature.
Alison Nappi
We've already seen the attention merchant's basic modus operandi: draw attention with apparently free stuff and then resell it. but a consequence of that model is a total dependence on gaining and holding attention. This means that under competition, the race will naturally run to the bottom; attention will almost invariably gravitate to the more garish, lurid, outrageous alternative, whatever stimulus may more likely engage what cognitive scientists call our ''automatic'' attention as opposed to our ''controlled'' attention, the kind we direct with intent. The race to a bottomless bottom, appealing to what one might call the audience's baser instincts, poses a fundamental, continual dilemma for the attention merchant-just how far will he go to get his harvest? If the history of attention capture teaches us anything, it is that the limits are often theoretical, and when real, rarely self-imposed.
Tim Wu (The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads)
The complexities of validating qualitative research need not be due to a weakness of qualitative methods, but on the contrary, may rest upon their extraordinary power to reflect and conceptualize the nature of the phenomenon investigated, to capture the complexity of the social reality. The validation of qualitative research becomes intrinsically linked to the development of a theory of social reality.
S Kvale
My mom’s smile is genuine, A lilac beaming In the presence of her Sun. Indentions in the sand prove Time’s linear progression, Her hair yet unblighted, Carrying midnight’s consistency. Clear tracks fading as the Movement slips further In the past. Cheekbones High, soft, In summer’s hue, Hopeful. Each step’s unknown impact, A future looking back. My father’s strength: One whose Life is in his arms. Squinting past the camera, He rests upon a rock Like caramel corn half eaten, Just to the left Of man-made concrete convention Daylight’s eraser Removing color to his right. Dustin sits In my father’s lap, Open mouth of a drooling Big mouth bass; Muscle tone Of a well exercised Jelly fish, He looks at me Half aware; His wheelchair Perched at the edge Of parking lot gravel grafted Like a scar on nature’s beach, Opening to the ironic splendor Of a bitter tasting lake. I took the picture. Age 11. Capturing the pinnacle arc Of a son To my lilac Who Outlived him and weeps, Still. Their sky has staple holes – Maybe that’s how the Light Leaked out.
Darcy Leech (From My Mother)
This distorted lens may lead someone studying human sexuality to ask: “Where are you on a spectrum from straight to gay?” This question would miss a pattern we found in our data suggesting that people's arousal systems are not bundled by the gender of whatever it is that turns them on: 4.5% of men find the naked male form aversive but penises arousing, while 6.7% of women find the female form arousing, but vaginas aversive. Using simplified community identifications like the gay-straight spectrum to investigate how and why arousal patterns develop is akin to studying historic human migration patterns by distributing a research survey asking respondents to report their position on a spectrum from “white” to “person of color.” Yes, “person of color,” like the concept of “gay,” is a useful moniker to understand the life experiences of a person, but a person’s place on a “white” to “person of color” spectrum tells us little about their ethnicity, just as a person’s place on a scale of gay to straight tells us little about their underlying arousal patterns. The old way of looking at arousal limits our ability to describe sexuality to a grey scale. We miss that there is no such thing as attraction to just “females,” but rather a vast array of arousal systems that react to stimuli our society typically associates with “females” including things like vaginas, breasts, the female form, a gait associated with a wider hip bone, soft skin, a higher tone of voice, the gender identity of female, a person dressed in “female” clothing, and female gender roles. Arousal from any one of these things correlates with the others, but this correlation is lighter than a gay-straight spectrum would imply. Our data shows it is the norm for a person to derive arousal from only a few of these stimuli sets and not others. Given this reality, human sexuality is not well captured by a single sexual spectrum. Moreover, contextualizing sexuality as a contrast between these communities and a societal “default” can obscure otherwise-glaring data points. Because we contrast “default” female sexuality against “other” groups, such as the gay community and the BDSM community, it is natural to assume that a “typical” woman is most likely to be very turned on by the sight of male genitalia or the naked male form and that she will be generally disinterested in dominance displays (because being gay and/or into BDSM would be considered atypical, a typical woman must be defined as the opposite of these “other,” atypical groups). Our data shows this is simply not the case. The average female is more likely to be very turned on by seeing a person act dominant in a sexual context than she is to be aroused by either male genitalia or the naked male form. The average woman is not defined by male-focused sexual attraction, but rather dominance-focused sexual attraction. This is one of those things that would have been blindingly obvious to anyone who ran a simple survey of arousal pathways in the general American population, but has been overlooked because society has come to define “default” sexuality not by what actually turns people on, but rather in contrast to that which groups historically thought of as “other.
Simone Collins (The Pragmatist’s Guide to Sexuality: What Turns People On, Why, and What That Tells Us About Our Species (The Pragmatist's Guide))
I do not write every day. I write to the questions and issues before me. I write to deadlines. I write out of my passions. And I write to make peace with my own contradictory nature. For me, writing is a spiritual practice. A small bowl of water sits on my desk, a reminder that even if nothing is happening on the page, something is happening in the room--evaporation. And I always light a candle when I begin to write, a reminder that I have now entered another realm, call it the realm of the Spirit. I am mindful that when one writes, one leaves this world and enters another. My books are collages made from journals, research, and personal experience. I love the images rendered in journal entries, the immediacy that is captured on the page, the handwritten notes. I love the depth of ideas and perspective that research brings to a story, be it biological or anthropological studies or the insights brought to the page by the scholarly work of art historians. When I go into a library, I feel like I am a sleuth looking to solve a mystery. I am completely inspired by the pursuit of knowledge through various references. I read newpapers voraciously. I love what newspapers say about contemporary culture. And then you go back to your own perceptions, your own words, and weigh them against all you have brought together. I am interested in the kaleidoscope of ideas, how you bring many strands of thought into a book and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric, while at the same time trying to create beautiful language in the service of the story. This is the blood work of the writer. Writing is also about a life engaged. And so, for me, community work, working in the schools or with grassroots conservation organizations is another critical component of my life as a writer. I cannot separate the writing life from a spiritual life, from a life as a teacher or activist or my life intertwined with family and the responsibilities we carry within our own homes. Writing is daring to feel what nurtures and breaks our hearts. Bearing witness is its own form of advocacy. It is a dance with pain and beauty.
Terry Tempest Williams
With young girls, nature seems to have in view what in the language of drama is called a "striking effect" as for a few years of her life, she is given a wealth of beauty and charm so that during those years she may capture the fancy of some man to such a degree that he takes care of her for the rest of her life.
Arthur Schopenhauer
You need a system for capturing hunches, but not necessarily categorizing them, because categories can build barriers between disparate ideas, restrict them to their own conceptual islands. This is one way in which the human history of innovation deviates from the natural history. New ideas do not thrive on archipelagos.
Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come From)
Consider the following sentence: “Minkowski’s talk on the nature of time ended on time, but it seemed to drag on for a long time.” This contrived sentence attempts to capture three meanings of the word time that will be important for our goals. In order, I will refer to them as natural time, clock time, and subjective time. Intuitively
Dean Buonomano (Your Brain is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time)
The profound ability to use aural and written language has enabled our species to collectively explore the concepts of science and mathematics, to capture the beauty of intricate thought, experience and philosophy, and indeed to venture beyond our tiny planet with the desire to expand our understanding of the very nature of existence itself.
Katherine Vucicevic
You'd think someone who could see the beauty in nature and capture it on canvas could see mold on the shower tile.
Beverley Andi (A Kachina Dance)
A tree inhales and stills air’s fibrillating breath, holding it in wood, like a kami. Each year’s growth rings jackets the previous, capturing in layered derma precise molecular signatures of the atmosphere timbered memories. Wood emerges from relationship with air, catalyzed by the flash of electrons through membranes. Atmosphere and plant make each other; plant as temporary crystallization of carbon, air as product of 400 million years of forest breath. Neither tree nor air has a narrative, a telos of its own, for neither is its own.
David George Haskell (The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors)
I’m not sure, though, what “for later” means anymore. Something changed in the world. Not too long ago, it changed, and we know it. We don’t know how to explain it yet, but I think we all can feel it, somewhere deep in our gut or in our brain circuits. We feel time differently. No one has quite been able to capture what is happening or say why. Perhaps it’s just that we sense an absence of future, because the present has become too overwhelming, so the future has become unimaginable. And without future, time feels like only an accumulation. An accumulation of months, days, natural disasters, television series, terrorist attacks, divorces, mass migrations, birthdays, photographs, sunrises. We haven’t understood the exact way we are now experiencing time. And maybe the boy’s frustration at not knowing what to take a picture of, or how to frame and focus the things he sees as we all sit inside the car, driving across this strange, beautiful, dark country, is simply a sign of how our ways of documenting the world have fallen short. Perhaps if we found a new way to document it, we might begin to understand this new way we experience space and time. Novels and movies don’t quite capture it; journalism doesn’t; photography, dance, painting, and theater don’t; molecular biology and quantum physics certainly don’t either. We haven’t understood how space and time exist now, how we really experience them. And until we find a way to document them, we will not understand them.
Valeria Luiselli (Lost Children Archive)
To say that ‘life’s a joke’ is not so much to belittle life as to correctly identify the elusive nature of the joke. Jokes have the measure of us. They change in the telling, defy capture, slip through our fingers like water. And they outlast us all. They are trifles, fragments, nothings that turn out to be all that’s left: the aptest metaphor for our pathetic species’ struggle to survive.
Jimmy Carr
His sculpture would have joy in it, try to capture the sense of fertility of Dionysus, the nature god, the power of the intoxicating drink that enabled a man to laugh and sing and forget for a while the sorrow of his earthly miseries. And then, perhaps, at the same time he could portray the decay that came with too much forgetfulness, that he saw all around him, when man surrendered his moral and spiritual values for the pleasures of the flesh. The Bacchus would be the central figure of his theme, a human being rather than a demigod; then there would be a child of about seven, sweet- faced, lovable, nibbling from a bunch of grapes. His composition would have death in it too; the tiger, who liked wine and was loved by Bacchus, with the deadest, dead skin and head conceivable
Irving Stone (The Agony and the Ecstasy)
Along with the greening of May came the rain. Then the clouds disappeared and a soft pale lightness fell over the city, as if Kyoto had broken free of its tethers and lifted up toward the sun. The mornings were as dewy and verdant as a glass of iced green tea. The nights folded into pencil-gray darkness fragrant with white flowers. And everyone's mood seemed buoyant, happy, and carefree. When I wasn't teaching or studying tea kaiseki, I would ride my secondhand pistachio-green bicycle to favorite places to capture the fleeting lushness of Kyoto in a sketchbook. With a small box of Niji oil pastels, I would draw things that Zen pots had long ago described in words and I did not want to forget: a pond of yellow iris near a small Buddhist temple; a granite urn in a forest of bamboo; and a blue creek reflecting the beauty of heaven, carrying away a summer snowfall of pink blossoms. Sometimes, I would sit under the shade of a willow tree at the bottom of my street, doing nothing but listening to the call of cuckoos, while reading and munching on carrots and boiled egg halves smeared with mayonnaise and wrapped in crisp sheets of nori. Never before had such simple indulgences brought such immense pleasure.
Victoria Abbott Riccardi (Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto)
Intellectuals ponder, philosophize, interpret, and all this is essential to our shared experience, however, to feel the warmth of what lays at our feet within all that can be felt by the heart, is in an instant more powerful than mere words, we need to feel the words, capture the essence of what we see, and revel in the tastes of nature, and let ourselves allow our hearts to sing out loud, wild, and free.
Mark Donnelly
Making Waves I would do anything for you. Would you be yourself? In the Hans Christian Anderson classic, The Little Mermaid, Ariel gives up her beautiful voice in exchange for legs. This is a seemingly innocent fable that captures our deal with the modern devil. For aren't we taught that mobility is freedom, whether it be moving from state to state, or from marriage to marriage, or from adventure to adventure? Aren't we convinced that upward mobility, moving from job to job, is the definition of success? Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with change or variety or newness or with improving our condition. The catch is when we are asked to give up our voice in order to move freely, when we are asked to silence what makes us unique in order to be successful. When not making waves means giving up our chance to dive into the deep, then we are bartering our access to God for a better driveway. As a story about relationship, the lesson of Ariel is crucial. On the surface, her desire for legs seems touching and sweetly motivated by love and the want to belong. Yet here too is another false bargain that plagues everyone who ever tries it. For no matter how badly we want to love or be loved, we cannot alter our basic nature and survive inside, where it counts.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
The water from a 2-inch downpour, for example—more than 54,000 gallons per acre—is captured almost entirely by an oak forest’s leaf litter and the organic humus it creates. Litter and humus don’t hold this water indefinitely, but they do corral it on-site just long enough for it to seep into the ground, replenishing the water table on which so many of us depend. In areas with no leaf litter, the same 2-inch rainstorm causes a flood.
Douglas W. Tallamy (The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees)
What we call “the laws of nature” merely reflect the normal way in which God sustains or governs the natural world. Perhaps the most wicked concept that has captured the minds of modern people is the belief that the universe operates by chance. That is the nadir of foolishness. Elsewhere, I have written more extensively on the scientific impossibility of assigning power to chance, because chance is simply a word that describes mathematical possibilities.* Chance is not a thing. It has no power. It cannot do anything, and therefore it cannot influence anything, yet some have taken the word chance, which has no power, and diabolically used it as a replacement for the concept of God. But the truth, as the Bible makes clear, is that nothing happens by chance and that all things are under the sovereign government of God, which is exceedingly comforting to the Christian who understands it.
R.C. Sproul (Everyone's a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology)
So the first biological lesson of history is that life is competition. Competition is not only the life of trade, it is the trade of life—peaceful when food abounds, violent when the mouths outrun the food. Animals eat one another without qualm; civilized men consume one another by due process of law. Co-operation is real, and increases with social development, but mostly because it is a tool and form of competition; we co-operate in our group—our family, community, club, church, party, “race,” or nation—in order to strengthen our group in its competition with other groups. Competing groups have the qualities of competing individuals: acquisitiveness, pugnacity, partisanship, pride. Our states, being ourselves multiplied, are what we are; they write our natures in bolder type, and do our good and evil on an elephantine scale. We are acquisitive, greedy, and pugnacious because our blood remembers millenniums through which our forebears had to chase and fight and kill in order to survive, and had to eat to their gastric capacity for fear they should not soon capture another feast. War is a nation’s way of eating. It promotes co-operation because it is the ultimate form of competition. Until our states become members of a large and effectively protective group they will continue to act like individuals and families in the hunting stage.
Will Durant (The Lessons of History)
Protests and looting naturally capture attention. But the real rage smolders in meetings where officials redraw precincts to dilute African American voting strength or seek to slash the government payrolls that have long served as sources of black employment. It goes virtually unnoticed, however, because white rage doesn’t have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures, and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations. White rage recurs in American history. It exploded after the Civil War, erupted again to undermine the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, and took on its latest incarnation with Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House. For every action of African American advancement, there’s a reaction, a backlash. The
Jesmyn Ward (The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race)
We each make our solo voyages to deep, expansive waters. Alone in our contest with the wider world, we test our mettle and seek our trophies, promotions, compliments, and accolades. We strive to be needed and to thereby know that there is a reason for us. We seek to be told we are good because we're too unsure of ourselves to know. Yet often we remain so focused on our neediness that we forget the creatures—human and otherwise—we're drawing into the vortex of our own passion play. All of us have compulsive loves we must forbear. We forget to see that we can engage the world without harming it. And although we fish for approval, the challenge is: to capture our prizes while bringing more to the world than we take.
Carl Safina (The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World)
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining-board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea-cosy. I can't say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring - I wrote my very best poem while sitting on the hen-house. Though even that isn't a very good poem. I have decided my best poetry is so bad that I mustn't write any more of it. Drips from the roof are plopping into the water-butt by the back door. The view through the windows above the sink is excessively drear. Beyond the dank garden in the courtyard are the ruined walls on the edge of the moat. Beyond the moat, the boggy ploughed fields stretch to the leaden sky. I tell myself that all the rain we have had lately is good for nature, and that at any moment spring will surge on us. I try to see leaves on the trees and the courtyard filled with sunlight. Unfortunately, the more my mind's eye sees green and gold, the more drained of all colour does the twilight seem. It is comforting to look away from the windows and towards the kitchen fire, near which my sister Rose is ironing - though she obviously can't see properly, and it will be a pity if she scorches her only nightgown. (I have two, but one is minus its behind.) Rose looks particularly fetching by firelight because she is a pinkish person; her skin has a pink glow and her hair is pinkish gold, very light and feathery. Although I am rather used to her I know she is a beauty. She is nearly twenty-one and very bitter with life. I am seventeen, look younger, feel older. I am no beauty but I have a neatish face. I have just remarked to Rose that our situation is really rather romantic - two girls in this strange and lonely house. She replied that she saw nothing romantic about being shut up in a crumbling ruin surrounded by a sea of mud. I must admit that our home is an unreasonable place to live in. Yet I love it. The house itself was built in the time of Charles II, but it was grafted on to a fourteenth-century castle that had been damaged by Cromwell. The whole of our east wall was part of the castle; there are two round towers in it. The gatehouse is intact and a stretch of the old walls at their full height joins it to the house. And Belmotte Tower, all that remains of an even older castle, still stands on its mound close by. But I won't attempt to describe our peculiar home fully until I can see more time ahead of me than I do now. I am writing this journal partly to practise my newly acquired speed-writing and partly to teach myself how to write a novel - I intend to capture all our characters and put in conversations. It ought to be good for my style to dash along without much thought, as up to now my stories have been very stiff and self-conscious. The only time father obliged me by reading one of them, he said I combined stateliness with a desperate effort to be funny. He told me to relax and let the words flow out of me.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
Quite naturally, holders of power wish to suppress wild research. Unrestricted questing after knowledge has a long history of producing unwanted competition. The powerful want a “safe line of investigations,” which will develop only those products and ideas that can be controlled and, most important, that will allow the larger part of the benefits to be captured by inside investors. Unfortunately, a random universe full of relative variables does not insure such a “safe line of investigations.
Frank Herbert (Heretics of Dune (Dune, #5))
How can we tell whether the rules which we "guess" at are really right if we cannot analyze the game very well? There are, roughly speaking, three ways. First, there may be situations where nature has arranged, or we arrange nature, to be simple and to have so few parts that we can predict exactly what will happen, and thus we can check how our rules work. (In one corner of the board there may be only a few chess pieces at work, and that we can figure out exactly.) A second good way to check rules is in terms of less specific rules derived from them. For example, the rule on the move of a bishop on a chessboard is that it moves only on the diagonal. One can deduce, no matter how many moves may be made, that a certain bishop will always be on a red square. So, without being able to follow the details, we can always check our idea about the bishop's motion by finding out whether it is always on a red square. Of course it will be, for a long time, until all of a sudden we find that it is on a black square (what happened of course, is that in the meantime it was captured, another pawn crossed for queening, and it turned into a bishop on a black square). That is the way it is in physics. For a long time we will have a rule that works excellently in an over-all way, even when we cannot follow the details, and then some time we may discover a new rule. From the point of view of basic physics, the most interesting phenomena are of course in the new places, the places where the rules do not work—not the places where they do work! That is the way in which we discover new rules. The third way to tell whether our ideas are right is relatively crude but prob-ably the most powerful of them all. That is, by rough approximation. While we may not be able to tell why Alekhine moves this particular piece, perhaps we can roughly understand that he is gathering his pieces around the king to protect it, more or less, since that is the sensible thing to do in the circumstances. In the same way, we can often understand nature, more or less, without being able to see what every little piece is doing, in terms of our understanding of the game.
Richard P. Feynman (The Feynman Lectures on Physics)
By the untamed shores, by the unstill sea, By the mountains of memory, and the dreaming tree, At the edge of the places the moon still embraces, There deep in the damp of night's magic mind, May you unbury the dream, may the forsaken you find May you unearth the key setting memories free, May you capture the wind sailing your love to me, May you remember your light, may you remember your spark, May you remember to dance there alone in the dark, For there is only one of you this sweet life will ever know, And I crossed oceans of time to tell you so
Unknown
But in writing fiction, the truth I seek is not a factual or scientific truth. It has to do with human nature, which is tied to my nature. It is about those things that are not apparent on the surface. When I set out to write a story, I am feeling my way through a question, often a moral one, and attempting to find a way to capture all its facets and conundrums. I don’t want an absolute answer. When writing fiction, I am trying to put down what feels true. Even though the story may not ostensibly be mine, it contains knowledge based on my personal history
Amy Tan (Where the Past Begins: Memory and Imagination)
This time of year, the purple blooms were busy with life- not just the bees, but butterflies and ladybugs, skippers and emerald-toned beetles, flitting hummingbirds and sapphire dragonflies. The sun-warmed sweet haze of the blossoms filled the air. "When I was a kid," said Isabel, "I used to capture butterflies, but I was afraid of the bees. I'm getting over that, though." The bees softly rose and hovered over the flowers, their steady hum oddly soothing. The quiet buzzing was the soundtrack of her girlhood summers. Even now, she could close her eyes and remember her walks with Bubbie, and how they would net a monarch or swallowtail butterfly, studying the creature in a big clear jar before setting it free again. They always set them free. As she watched the activity in the hedge, a memory floated up from the past- Bubbie, gently explaining to Isabel why they needed to open the jar. "No creature should ever be trapped against its will," she used to say. "It will ruin itself, just trying to escape." As a survivor of a concentration camp, Bubbie only ever spoke of the experience in the most oblique of terms.
Susan Wiggs (The Beekeeper's Ball (Bella Vista Chronicles, #2))
Human being" is more a verb than a noun. Each of us is unfinished, a work in progress. Perhaps it would be most accurate to add the word "yet" to all our assessments of ourselves and each other . . . If life is process, all judgments are provisional, we can't judge something until it is finished. No one has won or lost until the race is over . . . In our instinctive attachments, our fear of change, and our wish for certainty and permanence, we may undercut the impermanence which is our greatest strength, our most fundamental identity. Without impermanence, there is no process. The nature of life is change. All hope is based on process . . . It is taken me somewhat longer to recognize that a diagnosis is simply another form of judgment. Naming a disease has limited usefulness. It does not capture life or even reflect it accurately. Illness, on the other hand, is a process, like life is. Much in the concept of diagnosis and cure is about fixing, and the narrow-bore focus on fixing people's problems can lead to denial of the power of their process. Years ago, I took full credit when people became well; their recovery was testimony to my skill and knowledge as a physician. I never recognized that without their biological, emotional, and spiritual process which could respond to my interventions, nothing could have changed at all. All the time I thought I was repairing, I was collaborating.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal)
Now, the typical way to measure your potential is to compare the size of the problem to your natural gifts and your track record so far. No, it’s not irrational to measure your potential this way, but for the believer in Christ Jesus, it simply isn’t enough. By grace, God doesn’t leave you on your own. He doesn’t leave you with the tool box of your own strength, righteousness, and wisdom. No, he invades you with his presence, power, wisdom, and grace. Paul captures this reality with these life-altering words: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
None of the ginkgo's aesthetic qualities are all that different from those of other trees. I could just as easily wax poetic about the beauty of beech trees, or the majesty of ancient sugar pines. But I think that ginkgos are just unusual enough for the occasional human to take notice of them. It's not that any particular tree or breed of dog or varietal or rose is objectively superior to its peers, they just happen to be the creatures that momentarily capture our flickering attention. As soon as humans take open-hearted notice of anything in the natural world, we find reason to love it.
Nathanael Johnson (Unseen City: The Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of Snails & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness)
I have found her, a woman of such striking beauty that my hand aches to putt pen to paper. I long to capture all that I see and feel when I look upon her face, and yet at once I cannot bear to start. For how can I hope to do her justice? There is a nobility to her bearing, not of birth perhaps but of nature. She does not primp and appeal; indeed, it is her very openness, the way she has of meeting one's attention rather than averting her eyes. There is a sureness- a pride even- to the set of her lips, that is breathtaking. She is breathtaking. Now that I have seen her, anyone else would be an imposter. She is truth; truth is beauty; beauty is divine.
Kate Morton (The Clockmaker's Daughter)
The small mound I have mentioned a while ago was once occupied by the Phenician city of Laish. A party of filibusters from Zorah and Eschol captured the place, and lived there in a free and easy way, worshiping gods of their own manufacture and stealing idols from their neighbors whenever they wore their own out. Jeroboam set up a golden calf here to fascinate his people and keep them from making dangerous trips to Jerusalem to worship, which might result in a return to their rightful allegiance. With all respect for those ancient Israelites, I can not overlook the fact that they were not always virtuous enough to withstand the seductions of a golden calf. Human nature has not changed much since then.
Mark Twain (The Innocents Abroad)
Don't you know that the less you tell someone, the more they want to know? You're better off to make something up than to say nothing at all." "I'm the youngest of twelve children of two South African missionaries," he said with such ease,she very nearly believed him. "When I was six,I wandered into the jungle and was taken in by a pride of lions.I still have a pechant for zebra meat.Then when I was eightteen,I was captured by hunters and sold to a circus.For five years I was the star of the sideshow." "The Lion Boy," Gennie put in. "Naturally.One night during a storm the tent caught fire.In the confusion I escaped.Living off the land, I wandered the country-stealing a few chickens now and again.Eventually an old hermit took me in after I'd saved him from a grizzly." "With your bare hands," Gennie added. "I'm telling the story," he reminded her. "He taught me to read and write. On his deathbead he told me where he'd buried his life savings-a quarter million in gold bullion. After giving him the Viking funeral he'd requested, I had to decide whether to be a stockbroker or go back to the wilderness." "So you decided against Wall Street, came here, and began to collect stamps." "That's about it." "Well," Gennie said after a moment. "With a boring story like that, I can see why you keep it to yourself." "You asked," Grant pointed out. "You might have made something up." "No imagination." She laughed then and leaned her head on his shoulder. "No,I can see you have a very literal mind.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
We become “possessed” by the principality and power when we internalize the spirituality of the system and the practices, beliefs, attitudes, habits, values, expectations, norms, and traditions of the system become the sources we use to form our own identity. And while the tag “possession” might seem extreme, it does help us name something more clearly, something left out of our descriptions at the start of the chapter regarding the ill effects associated with our service to the powers. Specifically, we previously noted how the powers can make us harried, stressed, and rivalrous. But it’s a bit worse than all that. It’s not just that the powers push us around from the outside with demands, deadlines, and expectations. The powers also affect (and infect) us from the inside. A focus on service— how we work and make sacrifices for the institution— tends to miss how we often internalize the spirituality of the institution, how our identity becomes formed by and fused with the institution. A focus on service and work (though important) tends to be too behavioral in nature to capture how the institution gets inside us, inhabiting our hearts and minds and affecting how we see ourselves, others, and the world around us.
Richard Beck (The Slavery of Death)
It is not enough to say the crow flies purposefully, or heavily, or rowingly, or whatever. There are no words to capture the infinite depth of crowiness in the crow's flight. All we can do is use a word as an indicator, or a whole bunch of words as a general directive. But the ominous thing in the crow's flight, the bare-faced, bandit thing, the tattered beggarly gipsy thing, the caressing and shaping yet slightly clumsy gesture of the down-stroke, as if the wings were both too heavy and too powerful, and the headlong sort of merriment, the macabre pantomime ghoulishness and the undertaker sleekness - you could go on for a very long time with phrases of that sort and still have completely missed your instant, glimpse knowledge of the world of the crow's wingbeat. And a bookload of such descriptions is immediately rubbish when you look up and see the crow flying.
Ted Hughes (Poetry in the Making: An Anthology)
The dissolving, uniting forces combine what to us have been incompatible: attraction with repulsion, darkness with light, the erotic with the destructive.  If we can allow these opposites to meet they move our inner resonance to a higher vibratory plane, expanding consciousness into new realms.  It was exciting, through my explorations some of which I share in later chapters, to learn firsthand that the sacred marriage or coniunctio, the impulse to unite seeming opposites, does indeed seem to lie at the heart of the subtle body’s imaginal world. One important characteristic of the coniunctio is its paradoxical dual action.  The creative process of each sacred marriage, or conjoining of opposites, involves not only the unitive moment of joining together in a new creation or ‘third,’ but also, as I have mentioned, a separating or darkening moment.5 The idea that “darkness comes before dawn” captures this essential aspect of creativity.  To state an obvious truth we as a culture are just beginning to appreciate.  In alchemical language, when darkness falls, it is said to be the beginning of the inner work or the opus of transformation. The old king (ego) must die before the new reign dawns. The early alchemists called the dark, destructive side of these psychic unions the blackness or the nigredo.  Chaos, uncertainty, disillusionment, depression, despair, or madness prevails during these liminal times of  “making death.” The experiences surrounding these inner experiences of darkness and dying (the most difficult aspects were called mortificatio) may constitute our culture’s ruling taboo. This taboo interferes with our moving naturally to Stage Two in the individuating process, a process that requires that we pass through a descent into the underworld of the Dark Feminine realities of birthing an erotic intensity that leads to dying. Entranced by our happily-ever-after prejudiced culture, we often do not see that in any relationship, project or creative endeavor or idea some form of death follows naturally after periods of intense involvement.  When dark experiences befall, we tend to turn away, to move as quickly as possible to something positive or at least distracting, away from the negative affects of grieving, rage, terror, rotting and loss we associate with darkness and dying. As
Sandra Dennis (Embrace of the Daimon: Healing through the Subtle Energy Body: Jungian Psychology & the Dark Feminine)
For the person who wants to capture everything that passes before his eyes, [...] the only coherent way to act is to snap at least one picture a minute, from the instant he opens his yes in the morning to when he goes to sleep. This is the only way that he rolls of exposed film will represent a faithful diary of our days, with nothing left out. If I were to start taking pictures, I'd see this thing through, even if it meant losing my mind. But the rest of you still insist on making a choice. What sort of choice? A choice in the idyllic sense, apologetic, consolatory, at peace with nature, the fatherland, the family. Your choice isn't only photographic; it is a choice of life, which leads you to exclude dramatic conflicts, the knots of contradiction, the great tensions of will, passion, aversion. So you think you are saving yourselves from madness, but you are falling into mediocrity, into hebetude." - from "The Adventure of a Photographer
Italo Calvino (Difficult Loves)
Philosophy means and includes five fields of study and discourse: logic, aesthetics, ethics, politics, and metaphysics. Logic is the study of ideal method in thought and research: observation and introspection, deduction and induction, hypothesis and experiment, analysis and synthesis - such are the forms of human activity which logic tries to underhand the guide; it is a dull study for most of us, and yet the great events in the history of understand are the improvements men have made in their methods of thinking and research. Aesthetics is the study of ideal form, or beauty; it is the philosophy of art. Ethics is the study of ideal conduct; the highest knowledge, said Socrates, is the knowledge of good and evil, the knowledge of good and evil, the knowledge of the wisdom of life. Politics is the study of ideal social organization (it is not, as one might suppose, the art and science of capturing and keeping office); monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, socialism, anarchism, feminisim - these are the dramatis personae of political philosophy. And lastly, metaphysics (which gets into so much trouble because it is not, like the other forms of philosophy, an attempt to coordinate the real in the light of the ideal) is the study of the "ultimate reality" of all things: of the real and final nature of "matter" (ontology), of "mind" (philosophical psychology), and of the interrelation of "mind" and "matter" in the processes of perception and knowledge (epistemology).
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers)
The goal of this book is to explain the facts of the past and present, not to augur the hypotheticals of the future. Still, you might ask, isn’t it the essence of science to make falsifiable predictions? Shouldn’t any claim to understanding the past be evaluated by its ability to extrapolate into the future? Oh, all right. I predict that the chance that a major episode of violence will break out in the next decade—a conflict with 100,000 deaths in a year, or a million deaths overall—is 9.7 percent. How did I come up with that number? Well, it’s small enough to capture the intuition “probably not,” but not so small that if such an event did occur I would be shown to be flat-out wrong. My point, of course, is that the concept of scientific prediction is meaningless when it comes to a single event—in this case, the eruption of mass violence in the next decade. It would be another thing if we could watch many worlds unfold and tot up the number in which an event happened or did not, but this is the only world we’ve got.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
The contemporary progressive mantra considers it laudable to argue that different races, cultures, or religions possess distinct ways of knowing. However, not too long ago, the idea that people of different races or classes possessed distinct ways of thinking and reasoning, was reserved for racists and other miscreants. Ludwig von Mises, a leading figure of the Austrian School of Economics and a staunch defender of classical liberalism, coined the term polylogism to capture this exact folly. Mises differentiated between Marxian polylogism and racial polylogism. In the former case, an individual’s method of thinking was determined by his social class while in the latter case, race was the guiding factor. Mises was well aware of the illogical nature of this premise when he remarked: “A consistent supporter of polylogism would have to maintain that ideas are correct because their author is a member of the right class, nation, or race. But consistency is not one of their virtues. Thus the Marxians are prepared to assign the epithet ‘proletarian thinker’ to everybody whose doctrines they approve.
Gad Saad (The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense)
There are five qualities which are dangerous in the character of a general: If reckless, he can be killed. A general who is stupid and courageous is a calamity. As far as a general is concerned, courage is but one quality. If cowardly, captured. One who esteems life above all will be overcome with hesitance. Hesitance in a general is a great calamity. If quick-tempered you can make a fool of him. An impulsive man can be provoked to rage and brought to his death. One easily angered is irascible, obstinate and hasty. He does not consider difficulties. If he has too delicate a sense of honor you can calumniate him. One anxious to defend his reputation pays no regard to anything else. If he is of a compassionate nature you can harass him. He who is humanitarian and compassionate and fears only casualties cannot give up temporary advantage for a long-term gain and is unable to let go this in order to seize that. Now these five traits of character are serious faults in a general and in military operations are calamitous. The ruin of the army and the death of the general are inevitable results of these shortcomings. They must be deeply pondered.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
Vanity is by far my favorite of all sins, and the camera lens is the ultimate vanity mirror. The camera captures all moods and nuances; immortalizes the soft and silky continuum that is humanity. Those still life moments seem so fluid, so representative of continuity. They are a single moment captured, yet an eternity expressed. All your youth; all your ages, captured and expressed in a single click. Of all the indulgences, vanity is certainly my favorite which we should otherwise resist, but are inexplicably captivated by and addicted. What other animal would spend so much time pouting and preening for its reflection? Only humanity would participate in such self-adoration. You would think we have the most colorful feathers or softest of manes. Rather, we are a naked biped that feels incomplete without some decorative element, accessory, or embellishment of the self. We are intoxicated by the image of the body, no different than we are seduced by fine wines, foods, or mind altering elements. We devour the skin, and peel away clothes as if they were the skin of some tropical fruit, covering a colorful and juicy interior. We hunt for bodily pleasures, and collect them as prizes; show them off in social situations as if our companions were some sort of extended adornment to ourselves. We are revealed in our sensuality. To touch beneath the surface; to connect beyond facades, that unattainable discourse between individuals is put tentatively within reach in intimacy. To capture those moments is to capture the essence of what makes us human, and what ultimately sets us above and aside from the rest of nature. Capturing humanity in its most extravagant expressions is intoxicating. Vanity is by far my favorite sin, and it is an endless tale as infinite as humanity. Every person is but a stitch in a giant tapestry.
A.E. Samaan
Christopher . . . are these from you?” she asked at lunch, careful to make her tone light as she placed the two picture-poems on the table. Christopher’s eyes fell to them, and he smiled. “Yes.” He didn’t ask if she liked them, and he didn’t seem embarrassed. Sarah was flustered, and somewhat surprised by Christopher’s easy confidence. Even so, her natural suspicion surfaced. “Why?” “Because,” he answered seriously, “you make a good subject. Your hair, for one, is like a shimmering waterfall. It’s so fair that it catches the light. It makes you seem like you have a halo about you. And your eyes—they’re such a pure color, not washed out at all, deep as the ocean. And your expression . . . intense and yet somehow detached, as if you see more of the world than the rest of us.” Flustered, she could think of no way to respond. Did he just say this stuff from the top of his head? Only her strict Vida control kept her from blushing. Meanwhile Nissa entered the cafeteria. She started to sit, then glanced from the pictures, to Christopher, to Sarah. “Should I go somewhere else?” Christopher nodded to a chair, answering easily, “Sit down. We aren’t exchanging dark secrets—yet.” Nissa flashed a teasing look to her brother as she took a seat. “As his sister, I feel the need to inform you, Sarah, that Christopher has been talking about you incessantly.” Christopher smiled, unembarrassed. “I suppose I might have been.’ “Especially your eyes—he never shuts up about your eyes,” Nissa confided, and this time Christopher shrugged. “They’re beautiful,” he said casually. “Beauty should be looked at, not ignored. I try to capture it on paper, but that’s really impossible with eyes, because they have a life no still portrait can capture.” Sarah’s voice was tied up so tightly she thought she might be able to speak again sometime next year. No one had ever talked about her—or to her—with such admiration.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Shattered Mirror (Den of Shadows, #3))
He lifted one bottle into the light. " 'GREEN DUSK FOR DREAMING BRAND PUREE NORTHERN AIR,' " he read. " 'Derived from the atmosphere of the white Arctic in the spring of 1900, and mixed with the wind from the upper Hudson Valley in the month of April, 1910, and containing particles of dust seen shining in the sunset of one day in the meadows around Grinnell, Iowa, when a cool air rose to be captured from a lake and a little creek and a natural spring.' "Now the small print," he said. He squinted. " 'Also containing molecules of vapor from menthol, lime, papaya, and watermelon and all other water-smelling, cool-savored fruits and trees like camphor and herbs like wintergreen and the breath of a rising wind from the Des Plaines River itself. Guaranteed most refreshing and cool. To be taken on summer nights when the heat passes ninety.' " He picked up the other bottle. "This one the same, save I've collected a wind from the Aran Isles and one from off Dublin Bay with salt on it and a strip of flannel fog from the coast of Iceland." He put the two bottles on the bed. "One last direction." He stood by the cot and leaned over and spoke quietly. "When you're drinking these, remember: It was bottled by a friend. The S.J. Jonas Bottling Company, Green Town, Illinois- August, 1928. A vintage year, boy... a vintage year.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
Indeed," Arthur said. "But ... no one has said I'll be a good king. It would be a relief to know I don't go mad or bad before the end." Alex sighed, but with a smile. She knew Arthur was prying information out of her just to tease her, but two could play this game. "You're a good king, don't worry," she said, and then looked sadly to the ground. "At least you are once you heal from ... the incident." "What incident?" Arthur asked. Alex shook her head somberly. "Well, if Merlin hasn't told you, then I probably shouldn't." "Oh, right - the incident," he said, pretending to know. "Old Merlin's told me about that plenty of times." "Good," Alex said. "So you know all about the leeches." Arthur gulped. "Yes ... I do," he said nervously. "Luckily by then you've already been captured by the Saxons and your legs have been ripped off," Alex said. "So there aren't too many leech wounds." Arthur gulped. "It's the definition of luck," he said. "It's a shame you lose both your arms in the battle before you get captured," Alex said. "But you aren't known as Arthur the Limbless for nothing." "Arthur the Limbless? " "Oh, yes," Alex said. "A lesser king would have let the title belittle him, but you still manage to instill fear in all your enemies. Then again, that could be because of your future wife, Queen Girtha. Of course, Merlin has told you about her ..." "Naturally," Arthur said. "She's that nasty woman, right? So hideous, people are afraid to look at her. Now remind me, how many terrible children do we have?" "Just the one," Alex said. "And who would have expected you to die during childbirth?" "I die in childbirth?" Arthur asked with a quiver in his voice. "How is that possible?" "Isn't that obvious?" Alex asked. "That's why they call your wife Girtha the Strong Handed. Did you never make that connection?" "Oh, that's right," Arthur said. "I made that connection once before, but I forgot about it." "I don't blame you," Alex said. "I would have blocked it out of my mind, too.
Chris Colfer (Beyond the Kingdoms (The Land of Stories, #4))
When we look back on what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, during the summer of 2014, it will be easy to think of it as yet one more episode of black rage ignited by yet another police killing of an unarmed African American male. But that has it precisely backward. What we've actually seen is the latest outbreak of white rage. Sure, it is cloaked in the niceties of law and order, but it is rage nonetheless. Protests and looting naturally capture attention. But the real rage smolders in meetings where officials redraw precincts to dilute African American voting strength or seek to slash the government payrolls that have long served as sources of black employment. It goes virtually unnoticed, however, because white rage doesn't have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures, and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations. White rage recurs in American history. It exploded after the Civil War, erupted again to undermine the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision, and took on its latest incarnation with Barack Obama's ascent to the White House. For every action of African American advancements, there's a reaction, a backlash.
Carol Anderson (The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race)
He did not know how much time passed. He got up, ripped the canvas off the frame, threw it into a corner, and put on a new one. He mixed some paints, sat down, and began work. One starts with a hopeless struggle to follow nature, and everything goes wrong; one ends by calmly creating from one’s palette, and nature agrees with it and follows. On croit que j’imagine—ce n’est pas vrai—je me souviens. It was just as Pietersen had told him in Brussels; he had been too close to his models. He had not been able to get a perspective. He had been pouring himself into the mould of nature; now he poured nature into the mould of himself. He painted the whole thing in the colour of a good, dusty, unpeeled potato. There was the dirty, linen table cloth, the smoky wall, the lamp hanging down from the rough rafters, Stien serving her father with steamed potatoes, the mother pouring the black coffee, the brother lifting a cup to his lips, and on all their faces the calm, patient acceptance of the eternal order of things. The sun rose and a bit of light peered into the storeroom window. Vincent got up from his stool. He felt perfectly calm and peaceful. The twelve days’ excitement was gone. He looked at his work. It reeked of bacon, smoke, and potato steam. He smiled. He had painted his Angelus. He had captured that which does not pass in that which passes. The Brabant peasant would never die.
Irving Stone (Lust For Life)
If one more person tells me that “all gender is performance,” I think I am going to strangle them. Perhaps most annoying about that sound-bite is the somewhat snooty “I-took-a-gender-studies-class-and-youdidn’t” sort of way in which it is most often recited, a magnificent irony given the way that phrase dumbs down gender. It is a crass oversimplification, as ridiculous as saying all gender is genitals, all gender is chromosomes, or all gender is socialization. In reality, gender is all of these things and more. In fact, if there’s one thing that all of us should be able to agree on, it’s that gender is a confusing and complicated mess. It’s like a junior high school mixer, where our bodies and our internal desires awkwardly dance with one another, and with all the external expectations that other people place on us. Sure, I can perform gender: I can curtsy, or throw like a girl, or bat my eyelashes. But performance doesn’t explain why certain behaviors and ways of being come to me more naturally than others. It offers no insight into the countless restless nights I spent as a pre-teen wrestling with the inexplicable feeling that I should be female. It doesn’t capture the very real physical and emotional changes that I experienced when I hormonally transitioned from testosterone to estrogen. Performance doesn’t even begin to address the fact that, during my transition, I acted the same, wore the same T-shirts, jeans, and sneakers that I always had, yet once other people started reading me as female, they began treating me very differently. When we talk about my gender as though it were a performance, we let the audience—with all their expectations, prejudices, and presumptions—completely off the hook.
Julia Serano (Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation)
And you approve of your future sister-in-law?” Cade asked. “Sure. Isabelle seems great.” Her sister, on the other hand . . . Huxley studied him as he slid on his boxer briefs. “What’s the ‘but’?” “No ‘but,’” Vaughn said. “I like Simon’s fiancée.” And, fortunately for him, she inherited all the good-natured genes in the family. Cade furrowed his brow. “There it is again—that look. Like you want to say more.” Vaughn scoffed at that as he pulled on his clothes. “There’s no look.” Cade pointed. “Huxley just put on his underwear. Not once, in the two years that you two have been partners, have you ever missed an opportunity to smirk at the fact that the man irons his boxer briefs.” “Hey. They fold neater that way. It saves space in the drawer,” Huxley said. Cade gave Vaughn a look. I rest my case. “So? What gives?” Vaughn took in the tenacious expression on his friend’s face and knew that any further denials would only bring on more questions. He sighed. “Fine.” He thought about where to begin. “Isabelle has a sister.” Huxley rolled his eyes. “Here we go.” “No, no. Not here we go. She and I are not going anywhere,” Vaughn said emphatically. “The woman’s a . . .” He paused, trying to think of the right word. He caught sight of another agent, Sam Wilkins, passing by their row of lockers. The man was a walking dictionary. “Hey, Wilkins—what’s that word you used the other day, to describe the female witness who kept arguing with you?” “Termagant,” Wilkins called over. “Means ‘quarrelsome woman.’” Vaughn nodded at Cade and Huxley in satisfaction, thinking that definition perfectly captured Sidney Sinclair. “There. She’s a termagant.” “It can also mean ‘vixen,’” Wilkins shouted from the next aisle over. “Thank you, Merriam-Webster,” Vaughn called back, with a half growl. “I think we’ve got it.” Cade raised an eyebrow teasingly. “So. Does the vixen have a name?” Yep, Vaughn had walked right into that one. “Sidney
Julie James (It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney, #5))
But the relationship between the between the two cultural paradigms has always been a dialectical, not cyclical. The romantics were not repeating their ancestors. On the contrary, they brought about a cultural revolution comparable in its radicalism and effects with the roughly contemporary American, French, and Industrial Revolutions. By destroying natural law and by reorienting concern from the work to the artist they tore up the old regime's aesthetic rule book just as thoroughly as any Jacobin [a 18th century political French club] tore down social institutions. In the words of Ernst Troeltsch: "Romanticism too is a revolution, a thorough and genuine revolution: a revolution against the respectability of the bourgeois temper and against a universal equalitarian ethic: a revolution, above all, against the whole of the mathematico-mechanical spirit of science in western Europe, against a conception of Natural Law which sought to blend utility with morality, against the bare abstraction of a universal and equal Humanity." [Unquote Troeltsch] As will be argued in the subsequent chapters, it was Hegel who captured the essence of this revolution in his pithy definition of romanticism as "absolute inwardness" [absloute Innerlichkeit - in German - אינערליכקייט]. It will also be argued that its prophet was Jean-Jacques Rousseau: if not the most consistent, then certainly the most influential of all the eighteenth-century thinkers. Writing in 1907, Lytton Strachey caught Rousseau's special quality very well: "Among those quick, strong, fiery people of the eighteenth century, he belonged to another world -- to the new world of self-consciousness, and doubt, and hesitation, of mysterious melancholy and quiet intimate delights, of long reflexions amid the solitudes of Nature, of infinite introspections amid the solitudes of the heart." Percy Bysshe Shelley, who derided the philosophes as "mere reasoners," regarded Rousseau as "a great poet.
Timothy C.W. Blanning (The Romantic Revolution)
In any case, we should expect that in due time we will be moved into our eternal destiny of creative activity with Jesus and his friends and associates in the “many mansions” of “his Father’s house.” Thus, we should not think of ourselves as destined to be celestial bureaucrats, involved eternally in celestial “administrivia.” That would be only slightly better than being caught in an everlasting church service. No, we should think of our destiny as being absorbed in a tremendously creative team effort, with unimaginably splendid leadership, on an inconceivably vast plane of activity, with ever more comprehensive cycles of productivity and enjoyment. This is the “eye hath not seen, neither ear heard” that lies before us in the prophetic vision (Isa. 64:4). This Is Shalom When Saint Augustine comes to the very end of his book The City of God, he attempts to address the question of “how the saints shall be employed when they are clothed in immortal and spiritual bodies.”15 At first he confesses that he is “at a loss to understand the nature of that employment.” But then he settles upon the word peace to describe it, and develops the idea of peace by reference to the vision of God—utilizing, as we too have done, the rich passage from 1 Corinthians 13. Thus he speaks of our “employment” then as being “the beatific vision.” The eternal blessedness of the city of God is presented as a “perpetual Sabbath.” In words so beautiful that everyone should know them by heart, he says, “There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. This is what shall be in the end without end. For what other end do we propose to ourselves than to attain to the kingdom of which there is no end?” And yet, for all their beauty and goodness, these words do not seem to me to capture the blessed condition of the restoration of all things—of the kingdom come in its utter fullness. Repose, yes. But not as quiescence, passivity, eternal fixity. It is, instead, peace as wholeness, as fullness of function, as the restful but unending creativity involved in a cosmoswide, cooperative pursuit of a created order that continuously approaches but never reaches the limitless goodness and greatness of the triune personality of God, its source. This, surely, is the word of Jesus when he says, “Those who overcome will be welcomed to sit with me on my throne, as I too overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. Those capable of hearing should listen to what the Spirit is saying to my people” (Rev. 3:21
Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God)
Yet the homogeneity of contemporary humanity is most apparent when it comes to our view of the natural world and of the human body. If you fell sick a thousand years ago, it mattered a great deal where you lived. In Europe, the resident priest would probably tell you that you had made God angry and that in order to regain your health you should donate something to the church, make a pilgrimage to a sacred site, and pray fervently for God’s forgiveness. Alternatively, the village witch might explain that a demon had possessed you and that she could cast it out using song, dance, and the blood of a black cockerel. In the Middle East, doctors brought up on classical traditions might explain that your four bodily humors were out of balance and that you should harmonize them with a proper diet and foul-smelling potions. In India, Ayurvedic experts would offer their own theories concerning the balance between the three bodily elements known as doshas and recommend a treatment of herbs, massages, and yoga postures. Chinese physicians, Siberian shamans, African witch doctors, Amerindian medicine men—every empire, kingdom, and tribe had its own traditions and experts, each espousing different views about the human body and the nature of sickness, and each offering their own cornucopia of rituals, concoctions, and cures. Some of them worked surprisingly well, whereas others were little short of a death sentence. The only thing that united European, Chinese, African, and American medical practices was that everywhere at least a third of all children died before reaching adulthood, and average life expectancy was far below fifty.14 Today, if you happen to be sick, it makes much less difference where you live. In Toronto, Tokyo, Tehran, or Tel Aviv, you will be taken to similar-looking hospitals, where you will meet doctors in white coats who learned the same scientific theories in the same medical colleges. They will follow identical protocols and use identical tests to reach very similar diagnoses. They will then dispense the same medicines produced by the same international drug companies. There are still some minor cultural differences, but Canadian, Japanese, Iranian, and Israeli physicians hold much the same views about the human body and human diseases. After the Islamic State captured Raqqa and Mosul, it did not tear down the local hospitals. Rather, it launched an appeal to Muslim doctors and nurses throughout the world to volunteer their services there.15 Presumably even Islamist doctors and nurses believe that the body is made of cells, that diseases are caused by pathogens, and that antibiotics kill bacteria.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
We are all poor; but there is a difference between what Mrs. Spark intends by speaking of 'slender means', and what Stevens called our poverty or Sartre our need, besoin. The poet finds his brief, fortuitous concords, it is true: not merely 'what will suffice,' but 'the freshness of transformation,' the 'reality of decreation,' the 'gaiety of language.' The novelist accepts need, the difficulty of relating one's fictions to what one knows about the nature of reality, as his donnée. It is because no one has said more about this situation, or given such an idea of its complexity, that I want to devote most of this talk to Sartre and the most relevant of his novels, La Nausée. As things go now it isn't of course very modern; Robbe-Grillet treats it with amused reverence as a valuable antique. But it will still serve for my purposes. This book is doubtless very well known to you; I can't undertake to tell you much about it, especially as it has often been regarded as standing in an unusually close relation to a body of philosophy which I am incompetent to expound. Perhaps you will be charitable if I explain that I shall be using it and other works of Sartre merely as examples. What I have to do is simply to show that La Nausée represents, in the work of one extremely important and representative figure, a kind of crisis in the relation between fiction and reality, the tension or dissonance between paradigmatic form and contingent reality. That the mood of Sartre has sometimes been appropriate to the modern demythologized apocalypse is something I shall take for granted; his is a philosophy of crisis, but his world has no beginning and no end. The absurd dishonesty of all prefabricated patterns is cardinal to his beliefs; to cover reality over with eidetic images--illusions persisting from past acts of perception, as some abnormal children 'see' the page or object that is no longer before them --to do this is to sink into mauvaise foi. This expression covers all comfortable denials of the undeniable--freedom --by myths of necessity, nature, or things as they are. Are all the paradigms of fiction eidetic? Is the unavoidable, insidious, comfortable enemy of all novelists mauvaise foi? Sartre has recently, in his first instalment of autobiography, talked with extraordinary vivacity about the roleplaying of his youth, of the falsities imposed upon him by the fictive power of words. At the beginning of the Great War he began a novel about a French private who captured the Kaiser, defeated him in single combat, and so ended the war and recovered Alsace. But everything went wrong. The Kaiser, hissed by the poilus, no match for the superbly fit Private Perrin, spat upon and insulted, became 'somehow heroic.' Worse still, the peace, which should instantly have followed in the real world if this fiction had a genuine correspondence with reality, failed to occur. 'I very nearly renounced literature,' says Sartre. Roquentin, in a subtler but basically similar situation, has the same reaction. Later Sartre would find again that the hero, however assiduously you use the pitchfork, will recur, and that gaps, less gross perhaps, between fiction and reality will open in the most close-knit pattern of words. Again, the young Sartre would sometimes, when most identified with his friends at the lycée, feel himself to be 'freed at last from the sin of existing'--this is also an expression of Roquentin's, but Roquentin says it feels like being a character in a novel. How can novels, by telling lies, convert existence into being? We see Roquentin waver between the horror of contingency and the fiction of aventures. In Les Mots Sartre very engagingly tells us that he was Roquentin, certainly, but that he was Sartre also, 'the elect, the chronicler of hells' to whom the whole novel of which he now speaks so derisively was a sort of aventure, though what was represented within it was 'the unjustified, brackish existence of my fellow-creatures.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
She finds herself, by some miraculous feat, no longer standing in the old nursery but returned to the clearing in the woods. It is the 'green cathedral', the place she first kissed Jack all those weeks ago. The place where they laid out the stunned sparrowhawk, then watched it spring miraculously back to life. All around, the smooth, grey trunks of ancient beech trees rise up from the walls of the room to tower over her, spreading their branches across the ceiling in a fan of tangled branches and leaves, paint and gold leaf cleverly combined to create the shimmering effect of a leafy canopy at its most dense and opulent. And yet it is not the clearing, not in any real or grounded sense, because instead of leaves, the trees taper up to a canopy of extraordinary feathers shimmering and spreading out like a peacock's tail across the ceiling, a hundred green, gold and sapphire eyes gazing down upon her. Jack's startling embellishments twist an otherwise literal interpretation of their woodland glade into a fantastical, dreamlike version of itself. Their green cathedral, more spectacular and beautiful than she could have ever imagined. She moves closer to one of the trees and stretches out a hand, feeling instead of rough bark the smooth, cool surface of a wall. She can't help but smile. The trompe-l'oeil effect is dazzling and disorienting in equal measure. Even the window shutters and cornicing have been painted to maintain the illusion of the trees, while high above her head the glass dome set into the roof spills light as if it were the sun itself, pouring through the canopy of eyes. The only other light falls from the glass windowpanes above the window seat, still flanked by the old green velvet curtains, which somehow appear to blend seamlessly with the painted scene. The whole effect is eerie and unsettling. Lillian feels unbalanced, no longer sure what is real and what is not. It is like that book she read to Albie once- the one where the boy walks through the wardrobe into another world. That's what it feels like, she realizes: as if she has stepped into another realm, a place both fantastical and otherworldly. It's not just the peacock-feather eyes that are staring at her. Her gaze finds other details: a shy muntjac deer peering out from the undergrowth, a squirrel, sitting high up in a tree holding a green nut between its paws, small birds flitting here and there. The tiniest details have been captured by Jack's brush: a silver spider's web, a creeping ladybird, a puffy white toadstool. The only thing missing is the sound of the leaf canopy rustling and the soft scuttle of insects moving across the forest floor.
Hannah Richell (The Peacock Summer)
He ambled towards the abyss again, Acquiescing to the adroit turns of his Abtenauer, his Altai horse, his Appaloosa, His Ardennais, and his Australian Brumby….. Agilely each equine adumbrates the aesthetics Of aestivating, much like aficionados of nature And much like ailurophiles, too…… Ambrosial aromas attract his attention to the Assemblage of amaranth foliage growing At the abyss’s edge. “Anglophile!” “Antediluvian!” “Aplomb!” “Apocryphal!” “Apophenia!” “Apothecary!” Each petal calls out to him as he captures their vision in his Aqueous humor. Now an arabesque they display, Then some archipelago formation, as they (those purple perennials) Give in to the Wind’s whimsy. “What’s in my arsenal?” He asks himself. “Do I have Authenticity, like Astrophysics and Astronomy?” “Am I at last in my Autumn, torn asunder by Avarice? Shall I now step toward Winter to wither and waste away, without rebirth?” The Summer’s azure skies call him back, reminding him of his herd. Homeward he must turn. The pony pushes him back to the plain. And, as he trudges away from the abyss, the warriors of darkness— His old battle buddies who left him behind as they raced toward Providence— Rattle in his mind with their Paleolithic war toys, on the war path, chanting: “The greatest battles we face are in the silent chambers of our own souls…..” -----from the poem 'Summer Battle' in the book HOT STUFF: CELEBRATING SUMMER'S SIMMER AND SIZZLE, by Mariecor Ruediger
Mariecor Ruediger
But there is one privilege the Gy-ei carefully retain, and the desire for which perhaps forms the secret motive of most lady asserters of woman rights above ground. They claim the privilege, here usurped by men, of proclaiming their love and urging their suit; in other words, of being the wooing party rather than the wooed. Such a phenomenon as an old maid does not exist among the Gy-ei. Indeed it is very seldom that a Gy does not secure any An upon whom she sets her heart, if his affections be not strongly engaged elsewhere. However coy, reluctant, and prudish, the male she courts may prove at first, yet her perseverance, her ardour, her persuasive powers, her command over the mystic agencies of vril, are pretty sure to run down his neck into what we call “the fatal noose.” Their argument for the reversal of that relationship of the sexes which the blind tyranny of man has established on the surface of the earth, appears cogent, and is advanced with a frankness which might well be commended to impartial consideration. They say, that of the two the female is by nature of a more loving disposition than the male—that love occupies a larger space in her thoughts, and is more essential to her happiness, and that therefore she ought to be the wooing party; that otherwise the male is a shy and dubitant creature—that he has often a selfish predilection for the single state—that he often pretends to misunderstand tender glances and delicate hints—that, in short, he must be resolutely pursued and captured.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (The Coming Race)