Concepts Physics Quotes

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It’s not that we have to quit this life one day, but it’s how many things we have to quit all at once: music, laughter, the physics of falling leaves, automobiles, holding hands, the scent of rain, the concept of subway trains... if only one could leave this life slowly!
Roman Payne (Rooftop Soliloquy)
May you walk a lighted path. May you fight for truth - your truth, not someone else's - and may you understand, above all things, that you are the most important concept, theory, and philosophy I have ever known.
Marisha Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
To shift your life in a desired direction, you must powerfully shift your subconscious.
Kevin Michel (Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams)
We now know the basic rules governing the universe, together with the gravitational interrelationships of its gross components, as shown in the theory of relativity worked out between 1905 and 1916. We also know the basic rules governing the subatomic particles and their interrelationships, since these are very neatly described by the quantum theory worked out between 1900 and 1930. What's more, we have found that the galaxies and clusters of galaxies are the basic units of the physical universe, as discovered between 1920 and 1930. ...The young specialist in English Lit, having quoted me, went on to lecture me severely on the fact that in every century people have thought they understood the universe at last, and in every century they were proved to be wrong. It follows that the one thing we can say about our modern 'knowledge' is that it is wrong... My answer to him was, when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together. The basic trouble, you see, is that people think that 'right' and 'wrong' are absolute; that everything that isn't perfectly and completely right is totally and equally wrong. However, I don't think that's so. It seems to me that right and wrong are fuzzy concepts, and I will devote this essay to an explanation of why I think so. When my friend the English literature expert tells me that in every century scientists think they have worked out the universe and are always wrong, what I want to know is how wrong are they? Are they always wrong to the same degree?
Isaac Asimov
…I have never understood the concept of infatuation. It has always been my understanding that being ‘infatuated’ with someone means you think you are in love, but you’re actually not; infatuation is (supposedly) just a foolish, fleeting feeling. But if being ‘in love’ is an abstract notion, and it’s not tangible, and there is no way to physically prove it to anyone else… well, how is being in love any different than having an infatuation? They’re both human constructions. If you think you’re in love with someone and you feel like you’re in love with someone, then you obviously are; thinking and feeling is the sum total of what love is. Why do we feel an obligation to certify emotions with some kind of retrospective, self-imposed authenticity?
Chuck Klosterman (Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story)
Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value, elly judgments of all kinds remain necessary.
Albert Einstein (The Evolution of Physics: From Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta)
When we speak of man, we have a conception of humanity as a whole, and before applying scientific methods to the investigation of his movement we must accept this as a physical fact. But can anyone doubt to-day that all the millions of individuals and all the innumerable types and characters constitute an entity, a unit? Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me: this finger is a part of me. I see a friend hurt, and it hurts me, too: my friend and I are one. And now I see stricken down an enemy, a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for, and it still grieves me. Does this not prove that each of us is only part of a whole? For ages this idea has been proclaimed in the consummately wise teachings of religion, probably not alone as a means of insuring peace and harmony among men, but as a deeply founded truth. The Buddhist expresses it in one way, the Christian in another, but both say the same: We are all one. Metaphysical proofs are, however, not the only ones which we are able to bring forth in support of this idea. Science, too, recognizes this connectedness of separate individuals, though not quite in the same sense as it admits that the suns, planets, and moons of a constellation are one body, and there can be no doubt that it will be experimentally confirmed in times to come, when our means and methods for investigating psychical and other states and phenomena shall have been brought to great perfection. Still more: this one human being lives on and on. The individual is ephemeral, races and nations come and pass away, but man remains. Therein lies the profound difference between the individual and the whole.
Nikola Tesla
A culture that allows the concept of “safety” to creep so far that it equates emotional discomfort with physical danger is a culture that encourages people to systematically protect one another from the very experiences embedded in daily life that they need in order to become strong and healthy.
Greg Lukianoff (The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure)
The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics.
Bertrand Russell
That's a spiritual lifestyle, being willing to admit that you don't know everything and that you were wrong about some things. It's about making a list of all the people you've harmed, either emotionally or physically or financially, and going back and making amends. That's a spiritual lifestyle. It's not a fluffy ethereal concept.
Anthony Kiedis (Scar Tissue)
Turning something from an idea into a reality can make it seem smaller. It changes from unearthly to earthly. The imagination has no limits. The physical world does. The work exists in both.
Rick Rubin (The Creative Act: A Way of Being)
The Copenhagen Interpretation is sometimes called "model agnosticism" and holds that any grid we use to organize our experience of the world is a model of the world and should not be confused with the world itself. Alfred Korzybski, the semanticist, tried to popularize this outside physics with the slogan, "The map is not the territory." Alan Watts, a talented exegete of Oriental philosophy, restated it more vividly as "The menu is not the meal.
Robert Anton Wilson (Cosmic Trigger: Die letzten Geheimnisse der Illuminaten oder An den Grenzen des erweiterten Bewusstseins)
A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame… as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. But being rational, he knows that not all individuals hold his evaluations, so he tries to live perfectly in an imperfect world…aware that his effort will be less than perfect yet undismayed by self-knowledge of self-failure. [...] “My point is that one person is responsible. Always. [...] In terms of morals there is no such thing as ‘state.’ Just men. Individuals. Each responsible for his own acts.
Robert A. Heinlein (The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress)
If you have survived an abuser, and you tried to make things right… If you forgave, and you struggled, and even if the expression of your grief and your anger tumbled out at times in too much rage and too many words… If you spent years hanging on to the concepts of faith, hope, and love, even after you knew in your heart that those intangibles, upon which life is formed and sustained, would fail in the end… And especially, if you stood between your children - or anyone - and him, and took the physical, emotional, and spiritual pummeling in their stead, then you are a hero.
Jenna Brooks
To access your subconscious, is to access your 'higher-self.
Kevin Michel (Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams)
Everything costs money," Ham said. "But, what is money? A physical representation of the abstract concept of effort. I'd say that this vest and I are even now." Dockson just rolled his eyes. In the main room, the shop's front door opened and closed, and Vin heard Breeze bid hello to the apprentice on watch. "By the way, Dox," Kelsier said, leaning with his back against a cupboard. "I'm going to need a few 'physical representations of the concept of effort' myself. I'd like to rent a small warehouse to conduct some of my informant meetings.
Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
To strengthen the connection between your conscious and subconscious, is to gain access to a map and compass, as you travel through parallel worlds.
Kevin Michel (Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams)
Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer . . . For my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer's gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise. But in point of epistemological footing, the physical objects and the gods differ only in degree and not in kind. Both sorts of entities enter our conceptions only as cultural posits.
Willard Van Orman Quine
The subconscious mind is the guiding force for your entire life.
Kevin Michel (Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams)
The man who attempts to live for others is a dependent. He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of those he serves. The relationship produces nothing but mutual corruption. It is impossible in concept. The nearest approach to it in reality -- the man who lives to serve others -- is the slave. If physical slavery is repulsive, how much more repulsive is the concept of servility of the spirit. The conquered slave has a vestige of honor. He has the merit of having resisted and of considering his condition evil. But the man who enslaves himself voluntarily in the name of love is the basest of creatures. He degrades the dignity of man, and he degrades the conception of love. But that is the essence of altruism
Ayn Rand
The subject of quantum physics is identifying the smallest parts of an entity and understanding its nature and its part in the whole of existence. In every case we come to the understanding that there is no objective world that we perceive, except for the conceptions inside of our minds. We are all collectively dreaming together the empirical realm. We collectively hold the fundamental energies in the frequencies of the electromagnetic wave patterns that we perceive. The quality of our experience is created in our consciousness.
Kenneth Schmitt (Quantum Energetics and Spirituality Volume 1: Aligning with Universal Consciousness)
It’s not that we have to quit this life one day, but it’s how many things we have to quit all at once: music, laughter, the physics of falling leaves, automobiles, holding hands, the scent of rain, the concept of subway trains... if only one could leave this life slowly!
Roman Payne (Rooftop Soliloquy)
Science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without. Owing to the similarity of our construction and the sameness of our environment, we respond in like manner to similar stimuli, and from the concordance of our reactions, understanding is born. In the course of ages, mechanisms of infinite complexity are developed, but what we call 'soul' or 'spirit,' is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the 'soul' or the 'spirit' ceases likewise. I expressed these ideas long before the behaviorists, led by Pavlov in Russia and by Watson in the United States, proclaimed their new psychology. This apparently mechanistic conception is not antagonistic to an ethical conception of life.
Nikola Tesla (Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla)
Aristotle said a bunch of stuff that was wrong. Galileo and Newton fixed things up. Then Einstein broke everything again. Now, we’ve basically got it all worked out, except for small stuff, big stuff, hot stuff, cold stuff, fast stuff, heavy stuff, dark stuff, turbulence, and the concept of time
Zach Weinersmith (Science: Abridged Beyond the Point of Usefulness)
Most people's reality is an illusion, a great big illusion. You automatically have to succumb to the illusion that 'I am this body'. I am not George. I am not really George. I am this living thing that goes on, always has been, always will be, but at this time I happen to be in 'this' body. The body has changed; was a baby, was a young man, will soon be an old man, and I'll be dead. The physical body will pass but this bit in the middle, that's the only reality. All the rest is the illusion, so to say that somebody thinks we are, the ex- Beatles are removed from reality in their personal concept. It does not have any truth to it just because somebody thinks it. They are the concepts which become layer upon layer of illusion. Why live in the darkness all your life? Why, if you are unhappy, if you are having a miserable time, why not just look at it. Why are you in the darkness? Look for the light. The light is within. That is the big message
George Harrison (I, Me, Mine)
The subconscious mind is aware of the many worlds unfolding in each moment.
Kevin Michel (Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams)
I don't know what falling in love for me is. The concept of romantic love arose in the Middle Ages. Now remember, the Arabs don't even have a word for love—that is, a word for love apart from physical attraction or sex. And this separation of love and sex is a western concept, a Christian concept. As to what falling in love means, I'm uncertain. Love, well, it means simply physical attraction and liking a person at the same time.
William S. Burroughs (With William Burroughs: A Report From The Bunker)
[R]eligion was the race's first (and worst) attempt to make sense of reality. It was the best the species could do at a time when we had no concept of physics, chemistry, biology or medicine. We did not know that we lived on a round planet, let alone that the said planet was in orbit in a minor and obscure solar system, which was also on the edge of an unimaginably vast cosmos that was exploding away from its original source of energy. We did not know that micro-organisms were so powerful and lived in our digestive systems in order to enable us to live, as well as mounting lethal attacks on us as parasites. We did not know of our close kinship with other animals. We believed that sprites, imps, demons, and djinns were hovering in the air about us. We imagined that thunder and lightning were portentous. It has taken us a long time to shrug off this heavy coat of ignorance and fear, and every time we do there are self-interested forces who want to compel us to put it back on again.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
A nation lives forever through its concepts, honour, and culture. It is for these reasons that the rulers of nations must judge and act not only on the basis of physical and material interests of the nation but on the basis of the nation's historical honour, of the nation's eternal interests. Thus: not bread at all costs, but honour at all costs.
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu (For My Legionaries (the Iron Guard))
The God concept, of course, originated from mankind’s innate knowledge that consciousness precedes physical construction.
Jane Roberts (The Early Sessions: Book 2 of The Seth Material)
More than ninety-five percent of your brain activity, as you consciously read this sentence, is being used by your subconscious mind.
Kevin Michel (Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams)
Already he [humanity] is physically antique in this robot world he has created. All that sustains him is that small globe of grey matter through which spin his ever-changing conceptions of the universe.
Loren Eiseley (The Immense Journey)
The necessary consequence of man's right to life is his right to self-defense. In a civilized society, force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. All the reasons which make the initiation of physical force an evil, make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative. If some "pacifist" society renounced the retaliatory use of force, it would be left helplessly at the mercy of the first thug who decided to be immoral. Such a society would achieve the opposite of its intention: instead of abolishing evil, it would encourage and reward it.
Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism)
It is probably better to realize that the probability concept is in a sense subjective, that it is always based on uncertain knowledge, and that its quantitative evaluation is subject to change as we obtain more information.
Richard P. Feynman (The Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol 1)
This change in the conception of reality is the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton. {Referring to James Clerk Maxwell's contributions to physics}
Albert Einstein
You see, Islam is the only religion that gives both husband and wife a true understanding of what love is. The Western “love” concept, you take it apart, it really is lust. But love transcends just the physical. Love is disposition, behaviour, attitude, thoughts, likes, dislikes - these things make a beautiful woman, a beautiful wife. This is the beauty that never fades. You find in your Western civilisation that when a man’s wife’s physical beauty fails, she loses her attraction. But Islam teaches us to look into the woman, and teaches her to look into us.
Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
Self-esteem is not a value that, once achieved, is maintained automatically thereafter; like every other human value, including life itself, it can be maintained only by action. Self-esteem, the basic conviction that one is competent to live, can be maintained only so long as one is engaged in a process of growth, only so long as one is committed to the task of increasing one's efficacy. In living entities, nature does not permit stillness: when one ceases to grow, one proceeds to disintegrate--in the mental no less than in the physical.
Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism)
Sir Arthur Eddington summed up the situation brilliantly in his book The Nature of the Physical World, published in 1929. "No familiar conceptions can be woven around the electron," he said, and our best description of the atom boils down to "something unknown is doing we don't know what".
John Gribbin (In Search of Schrödinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality)
The nature of the 'collapse of the wave function' is determined by our self-concept stored in the subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind is aware of the 'many-worlds' occurring simultaneously and chooses the reality we continue to exist in based on our self-concept.
Kevin Michel (Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams)
A mathematician is an individual who calls himself a 'physicist' and does 'physics' and physical experiments with abstract concepts.
Bill Gaede (Why God Doesn't Exist)
[W]e conceive the Devil as a necessary part of a respectable view of cosmology. Ours is a divided empire in which certain ideas and emotions and actions are of God, and their opposites are of Lucifer. It is as impossible for most men to conceive of a morality without sin as of an earth without 'sky'. Since 1692 a great but superficial change has wiped out God's beard and the Devil's horns, but the world is still gripped between two diametrically opposed absolutes. The concept of unity, in which positive and negative are attributes of the same force, in which good and evil are relative, ever-changing, and always joined to the same phenomenon - such a concept is still reserved to the physical sciences and to the few who have grasped the history of ideas.
Arthur Miller (The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts)
The concept of unity, in which positive and negative are attributes of the same force, in which good and evil are relative, ever-changing, and always joined to the same phenomenon—such a concept is still reserved to the physical sciences and to the few who have grasped the history of ideas.
Arthur Miller (The Crucible)
That's why I wanted to use Supper at Six to teach chemistry. Because when women understand chemistry, they begin to understand how things work." Roth looked confused. "I'm referring to atoms and molecules, Roth," she explained. "The real rules that govern the physical world. When women understand these basic concepts, they can begin to see the false limits that have been created for them." "You mean by men." "I mean by artificial cultural and religious policies that put men in the highly unnatural role of single-sex leadership. Even a basic understanding of chemistry reveals the danger of such a lopsided approach." "Well," he said, realizing he'd never seen it that way before, "I agree that society leaves much to be desired, but when it comes to religion, I tend to think it humbles us--teaches us our place in the world." "Really?" she said, surprised. "I think it lets us off the hook. I think it teachers us that nothing is really our fault; that something or someone else is pulling the strings; that ultimately, we're not to blame for the way things are; that to improve things, we should pray. But the truth is, we are very much responsible for the badness of the world. And we have the power to fix it.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
The world of the everyday suddenly seemed nothing but an inverted magic act, lulling its audience into believing in the usual, familiar conceptions of space and time, while the astonishing truth of quantum reality lay carefully guarded by nature's sleights of hand.
Brian Greene (The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality)
Before you accomplish your dreams physically, your inner make up, mindset, emotions and perception have fought the battle mentally and that already determined how the battle will be fought physically.
Israelmore Ayivor (Shaping the dream)
Quantum phenomena do not occur in a Hilbert space. They occur in a laboratory.
Asher Peres (Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods)
But, what is money? A physical representation of the abstract concept of effort.
Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
I’m referring to atoms and molecules, Roth,” she explained. “The real rules that govern the physical world. When women understand these basic concepts, they can begin to see the false limits that have been created for them.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
When asked whether or not we are Marxists, our position is the same as that of a physicist, when asked if he is a “Newtonian” or of a biologist when asked if he is a “Pasteurian.” There are truths so evident, so much a part of the peoples’ knowledge, that it is now useless to debate them. One should be a “Marxist” with the same naturalness with which one is a “Newtonian” in physics or a “Pasteurian.” If new facts bring about new concepts, the latter will never take away that portion of truth possessed by those that have come before. Such is the case, for example, of “Einsteinian” relativity or of Planck’s quantum theory in relation to Newton’s discoveries. They take absolutely nothing away from the greatness of the learned Englishman. Thanks to Newton, physics was able to advance until it achieved new concepts of space. The learned Englishman was the necessary stepping-stone for that. Obviously, one can point to certain mistakes of Marx, as a thinker and as an investigator of the social doctrines and of the capitalist system in which he lived. We Latin Americans, for example, cannot agree with his interpretation of Bolivar, or with his and Engels’ analysis of the Mexicans, which accepted as fact certain theories of race or nationality that are unacceptable today. But the great men who discover brilliant truths live on despite their small faults and these faults serve only to show us they were human. That is to say, they were human beings who could make mistakes, even given the high level of consciousness achieved by these giants of human thought. This is why we recognize the essential truths of Marxism as part of humanity’s body of cultural and scientific knowledge. We accept it with the naturalness of something that requires no further argument.
Ernesto Che Guevara
Someone should write an erudite essay on the moral, physical, and esthetic effect of the Model T Ford on the American nation. Two generations of Americans knew more about the Ford coil than the clitoris, about the planetary system of gears than the solar system of stars. With the Model T, part of the concept of private property disappeared. Pliers ceased to be privately owned and a tire pump belonged to the last man who had picked it up. Most of the babies of the period were conceived in Model T Fords and not a few were born in them. The theory of the Anglo Saxon home became so warped that it never quite recovered.
John Steinbeck
We all know that feeling of wanting something so bad and then finally getting it. You feel this rush of dopamine, and then very soon after you crash and you need something else to give you that hit of dopamine. This is the vicious cycle that emerges from the empty promise of capitalism – that happiness comes from acquiring material possessions. The Native Americans have one of the most beautiful concepts in the world. They have 10,000 different languages and all these tribes and none of them have a word for ownership or possession. They know that they are just temporary stewards of the earth; no one can truly own anything.
Todd Perelmuter (Spiritual Words to Live by : 81 Daily Wisdoms and Meditations to Transform Your Life)
It is well understood in psychology that the subconscious mind has the dominant influence on human decision making, and therefore the pivotal role of the subconscious, for you to achieve success, is inescapable.
Kevin Michel (Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams)
A culture that allows the concept of “safety” to creep so far that it equates emotional discomfort with physical danger is a culture that encourages people to systematically protect one another from the very experiences embedded in daily life that they need in order to become strong and healthy.
Jonathan Haidt (The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure)
I have tried to read philosophers of all ages and have found many illuminating ideas but no steady progress toward deeper knowledge and understanding. Science, however, gives me the feeling of steady progress: I am convinced that theoretical physics is actual philosophy. It has revolutionized fundamental concepts, e.g., about space and time (relativity), about causality (quantum theory), and about substance and matter (atomistics), and it has taught us new methods of thinking (complementarity) which are applicable far beyond physics.
Max Born
For the Greeks, physical exercise was an ethic for developing freely and harmoniously the form and strength of the human body. For the Romans, it was a technique for increasing the legionnaire's efficiency. The Roman conception prevails today.
Jacques Ellul (The Technological Society)
The importance of C.F. Gauss for the development of modern physical theory and especially for the mathematical fundament of the theory of relativity is overwhelming indeed; also his achievement of the system of absolute measurement in the field of electromagnetism. In my opinion it is impossible to achieve a coherent objective picture of the world on the basis of concepts which are taken more or less from inner psychological experience.
Albert Einstein
I figure... ...that the people are now more deeply conscious than ever before in history of the existence and functioning principles of universal, inexorable physical laws; of the pervading, quietly counseling truth within each and every one of us; of the power of love; and--each man by himself--of his own developing, dynamic relationship with his own conception of the Almightiness of the All-Knowing. ...that our contemporaries just don't wear their faith on their sleeves anymore. ...that people have removed faith from their sleeves because they found out for themselves that faith is much too important for careless display. Now they are willing to wait out the days and years for the truthful events, encouraged individually from within; and the more frequently the dramatic phrases advertising love, patriotism, fervent belief, morals, and good fellowship are plagiarized, appropriated and exhibited in the show windows of the world by the propaganda whips for indirect and ulterior motives, no matter how meager the compromise--the more do people withdraw within themselves and shun taking issue with the nauseating perversions, though eternally exhibiting quiet indifference, nonchalance or even cultivating seemingly ignorant acceptance.
R. Buckminster Fuller
Attaching epistemic significance to metaphysical intuitions is anti-naturalist for two reasons. First, it requires ignoring the fact that science, especially physics, has shown us that the universe is very strange to our inherited conception of what it is like. Second, it requires ignoring central implications of evolutionary theory, and of the cognitive and behavioural sciences, concerning the nature of our minds.
James Ladyman (Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized)
Death. I wish the word could be removed from the vocabulary and from the dictionary. It simply does not exist, except in the human mind that was taught that it does exist. People think they are a body and they come to believe that when the body dies, everything they are will die too. It’s not true. The soul lives on. The soul of consciousness exists not only in the body but outside of the body too. We are all souls that cannot be contained or limited by time or space or the physical body. For souls there is no death.
Kate McGahan (Jack McAfghan: Return from Rainbow Bridge: A Dog's Afterlife Story of Loss, Love and Renewal (Jack McAfghan Pet Loss Trilogy Book 3))
Interdependence is a far more mature, more advanced concept. If I am physically interdependent, I am self-reliant and capable, but I also realize that you and I working together can accomplish far more than, even at my best, I could accomplish alone. If I am emotionally interdependent, I derive a great sense of worth within myself, but I also recognize the need for love, for giving, and for receiving love from others. If I am intellectually interdependent, I realize that I need the best thinking of other people to join with my own.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
The stories that science tells about the world filter out into the wider culture, changing the way that we look at the world around us and our place in it. The discovery that the Earth was not at the center of the universe, Darwin’s theory of evolution, the Big Bang and an expanding universe nearly 14 billion years old, containing hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars—these ideas have radically altered humanity’s conception of itself.
Adam Becker (What Is Real?: The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics)
It is imposible to understand sex as we see it nowadays - a mere response to a few physical stimuli. In reality, it is far more than that, and carries with it man's and humanity's entire cultural burden. Each time we face a new experience, we bring with us all past experiences - both good and bad - as well as those concepts which civilization has made into rules.
Paulo Coelho (Warrior of the Light)
To trace the development of mind from earliest times...requires...not a categorical concept, but a functional one.... The most promising operational principle for this purpose is the principle of individuation.[p. 310]" "[yet she also says:]...we have no physical model of this endless rhythm of individuation and involvement, we do have its image in the world of art, most purely in dance;...this dialectic of vital continuity...[p. 355]
Susanne K. Langer (Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling [Abridged Edition])
The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS [coordinate system] could be used with equal justification. The two sentences, “the Sun is at rest and the Earth moves,” or “the Sun moves and the Earth is at rest,” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS.
Albert Einstein (The Evolution of Physics: From Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta)
But the fact is, death is not a confrontation. It is simply an event in the sequence of nature's ongoing rhythms. Not death but disease is the real enemy, disease the malign force that requires confrontation. Death is the surcease that comes when the exhausting battle has been lost. Even the confrontation with disease should be approached with the realization that many of the sicknesses of our species are simply conveyances for the inexorable journey by which each of us is returned to the same state of physical, and perhaps spiritual, nonexistence from which we emerged at conception. Every triumph over some major pathology, no matter how ringing the victory, is only a reprieve from the inevitable end.
Sherwin B. Nuland (How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter)
As an empiricist I continue to think of the conceptual scheme of science as a tool, ultimately, for predicting future experience in the light of past experience. Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries-not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer. For my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer's gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise. But in point of epistemological footing the physical objects and the gods differ only in degree and not in kind. Both sorts of entities enter our conception only as cultural posits. The myth of physical objects is epistemologically superior to most in that it has proved more efficacious than other myths as a device for working a manageable structure into the flux of experience.
Willard Van Orman Quine (From a Logical Point of View: Nine Logico-Philosophical Essays)
Minds are not bits of clockwork, they are just bits of not-clockwork. As thus represented, minds are not merely ghosts harnessed to machines, they are themselves just spectral machines. . . . Now the dogma of the Ghost in the Machine does just this. It maintains that there exist both bodies and minds; that there occur physical processes and mental processes; that there are mechanical causes of corporeal movements and mental causes of corporeal movements. I shall argue that these and other analogous conjunctions are absurd.
Gilbert Ryle (The Concept of Mind)
The systems we will be exploring in order are: ● Breeding Targets: Arousal patterns tied to systems meant to get our ancestors to have sex with things that might bear offspring (e.g., arousal from things like penises, the female form, etc.). ● Inverse Systems: Arousal patterns that arise from a neural mix-up, causing something that disgusts the majority of the population to arouse a small portion of it (e.g., arousal from things like being farted on, dead bodies, having insects poured on one’s face, etc.). ● Emotional States and Concepts / Dominance and Submission: Arousal patterns that stem from either emotional concepts (such as betrayal, transformation, being eaten, etc.) or dominance and submission pathways. ● Emotional Connections to People: While emotional connections do not cause arousal in and of themselves, they do lower the threshold for arousal (i.e., you may become more aroused by a moderately attractive person you love than a very attractive stranger). ● Trope Attraction: Arousal patterns that are enhanced through a target’s adherence to a specific trope (a nurse, a goth person, a cheerleader, etc.). ● Novelty: Arousal patterns tied to the novelty of a particular stimulus. ● Pain and Asphyxiation: Arousal patterns associated with or enhanced by pain and oxygen deprivation. ● Basic Instincts: Remnants of our pre-cognitive mating instincts running off of a “deeper” autopilot-like neurological system (dry humping, etc.) that compel mating behavior without necessarily generating a traditional feeling of arousal. ● Physical Stimuli: Arousal patterns derived from physical interaction (kissing, touching an erogenous zone, etc.). ● Conditioned Responses: Arousal patterns resulting from conditioning (arousal from shoes, doorknobs, etc.).
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))
Most people find the word Apocalypse, to be a terrifying concept. Checked in the dictionary, it means only revelation, although it obviously has also come to mean end of the world. As to what the end of the world means, I would say that probably depends on what we mean by world. I don’t think this means the planet, or even the life forms upon the planet. I think the world is purely a construction of ideas, and not just the physical structures, but the mental structures, the ideologies that we’ve erected, that is what I would call the world. Our political structures, philosophical structures, ideological frameworks, economies. These are actually imaginary things, and yet that is the framework that we have built our entire world upon. It strikes me that a strong enough wave of information could completely overturn and destroy all of that. A sudden realization that would change our entire perspective upon who we are and how we exist.
Alan Moore
To be sure, depression, anxiety, and prolonged stress can cause specific physical symptoms, but these symptoms are not limitless, nor are they actually unexplained. When doctors invoke these labels for symptoms as diverse as vomiting, paralysis, and sever, unending pain, it is the concept of the somatoform disorders--hysteria dressed up in modern garb-- that allows them to do so.
Maya Dusenbery (Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick)
The concept of unity, in which positive and negative are attributes of the same force, in which good and evil are relative, ever-changing, and always joined to the same phenomenon—such a concept is still reserved to the physical sciences and to the few who have grasped the history of ideas. When it is recalled that until the Christian era the underworld was never regarded as a hostile area, that all gods were useful and essentially friendly to man despite occasional lapses; when we see the steady and methodical inculcation into humanity of the idea of man’s worthlessness—until redeemed—the necessity of the Devil may become evident as a weapon, a weapon designed and used time and time again in every age to whip men into a surrender to a particular church or church-state.
Arthur Miller (The Crucible)
The truly transformative power of language occurs when these descriptive root terms are used to form words that convey abstract concepts. A three-letter root compound used to name the spine (Q-W-M) is adapted to describe “flexibility.” The root term for a heated pot boiling over (Gh-Dh-B) constructs a word meaning “hot-headed.” A root term describing the process of carefully separating grains (D-R-S) evolves to express “analyzing” or “interpreting.” From physical sources emerge words for the intangible, like the Qur’an’s parable of the healthy tree with roots anchored in the ground while branches stretch toward the heavens.
Mohamad Jebara (The Life of the Qur'an: From Eternal Roots to Enduring Legacy)
There is a terrible similarity between the principles of Fascism and those of contemporary physics. Fascism has rejected the concept of a separate individuality, the concept of ‘a man’, and operates only with vast aggregates. Contemporary physics speaks of the greater or lesser probability of occurrences within this or that aggregate of individual particles. And are not the terrible mechanics of Fascism founded on the principle of quantum politics, of political probability?
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate (Stalingrad, #2))
A new concept of god: “something not very different from the sum total of the physical laws of the universe; that is, gravitation plus quantum mechanics plus grand unified field theories plus a few other things equaled god. And by that all they meant was that here were a set of exquisitely powerful physical principles that seemed to explain a great deal that was otherwise inexplicable about the universe. Laws of nature…that apply not just locally, not just in Glasgow, but far beyond: Edinburgh, Moscow…Mars…the center of the Milky Way, and out by the most distant quarters known. That the same laws of physics apply everywhere is quite remarkable. Certainly that represents a power greater than any of us.
Carl Sagan (The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God)
When describing me, Tracy often refers to a well-known concept of physics: 'inertia.' As Newton avers in his first law: 'An object that is not moving will not move until a force acts upon it. An object that is moving will not change its velocity until a net force acts upon it.' In other words, depending on what's happening in my life at any given moment, I can either be the laziest human being on the planet, or the busiest. I'm perfectly content to do absolutely nothing until I'm catalyzed by some person or project, and then I go nonstop until some countervailing force acts upon me, and I revert back to static mode.
Michael J. Fox
The resurrection does not consist merely of the appearances of Jesus to his disciples after his death. Many think that these appearances in Galilee and Jerusalem are the resurrection. But they are simply to confirm the faith of the disciples. The real resurrection is the passing beyond the world altogether. It is Jesus' passage from this world to the Father. It was not an event in space and time, but the passage beyond space and time to the eternal, to reality. Jesus passed into reality. That is our starting point. It is into that world that we are invited to enter by meditation. We do not have to wait for physical death, but we can enter now into that eternal world. We have to go beyond the outer appearances of the senses and beyond the concepts of the mind, and open ourselves to the reality of Christ within, the Christ of the resurrection.
Bede Griffiths (The New Creation in Christ: Christian Meditation and Community)
What is consciousness?” I asked. “I don’t know,” he replied, after a little hesitation. “Never mind,” I said. “Let’s think of something easier. What is energy?” “Well,” he said, “we can measure it and write down the equations governing its conservation.” “Yes, I know, but that was not my question. My question was: what is it?” “We don’t know,” he said with a grin, “and I think you were aware of that.” “Yes, like you I have read Feynman and he says that no one knows what energy is. That brings me to my main point. Would I be right in thinking that you were about to dismiss me (and my belief in God) if I failed to explain the divine and human nature of Christ?” He grinned again, and said nothing. I went on: “Well, by the same token, would you be happy if I now dismiss you and all your knowledge of physics because you cannot explain to me the nature of energy? After all, energy is surely by definition much less complex than the God who created it?” “Please don’t!” he said. “No, I am not going to do that, but I am going to put another question to you: why do you believe in the concepts of consciousness and energy, even though you do not understand them fully? Is it not because of the explanatory power of those concepts?” “I see what you are driving at,” he replied. “You believe that Jesus Christ is both God and man because that is the only explanation that has the power to make sense of what we know of him?” “Exactly.
John C. Lennox (Against the Flow: The inspiration of Daniel in an age of relativism)
As an artist, i live in fantasy and flirt with reality. I'm an emotional magician of sorts. I paint my feelings onto the abstract canvas of a waking dream. I suspend my concepts in the ether's of otherworldly realms. This is the way my existence has always been. I am untethered, a traveler between worlds. I sinuously slip in and out of the real and surreal, until, they are one and the same. I do not like being shackled or chained, to the physical plane.
Jaeda DeWalt
The basic recurring theme in Hindu mythology is the creation of the world by the self-sacrifice of God—"sacrifice" in the original sense of "making sacred"—whereby God becomes the world which, in the end, becomes again God. This creative activity of the Divine is called lila, the play of God, and the world is seen as the stage of the divine play. Like most of Hindu mythology, the myth of lila has a strong magical flavour. Brahman is the great magician who transforms himself into the world and then performs this feat with his "magic creative power", which is the original meaning of maya in the Rig Veda. The word maya—one of the most important terms in Indian philosophy—has changed its meaning over the centuries. From the might, or power, of the divine actor and magician, it came to signify the psychological state of anybody under the spell of the magic play. As long as we confuse the myriad forms of the divine lila with reality, without perceiving the unity of Brahman underlying all these forms, we are under the spell of maya. (...) In the Hindu view of nature, then, all forms are relative, fluid and ever-changing maya, conjured up by the great magician of the divine play. The world of maya changes continuously, because the divine lila is a rhythmic, dynamic play. The dynamic force of the play is karma, important concept of Indian thought. Karma means "action". It is the active principle of the play, the total universe in action, where everything is dynamically connected with everything else. In the words of the Gita Karma is the force of creation, wherefrom all things have their life.
Fritjof Capra (The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism)
How do people know for certain when they find their lifemate?" Julian's smile was like a physical touch, a soft caress. "I have lived centuries without seeing color or feeling emotion.And then I found you. The world is now beautiful again and filled with life, with color, with so much intense emotion I can barely process it. When I look at you my body is alive. My heart is overwhelmed. You are the one." "What happens if the woman does not feel it also?" Desari asked, curious. This was an entirely new concept to her, one she had never considered. "There is only one true lifemate for each of us. If the male feels it, so does his mate." His white teeth flashed at her. "Perhaps she might wish to be stubborn and not admit it right away, not wanting her freedom curtailed for all time. Because there are so few of our women, they are guarded carefully from birth and given into the care of their lifemate as soon as they are of age.
Christine Feehan (Dark Challenge (Dark, #5))
And this brings us to a third erroneous concept: that nature is sometimes strickly segregated from the cultral constructs that have emerged within it. The order within the chaos and order of Being is all the more "natural" the longer it has lasted. This is because "nature" is "what selects", and the longer a feature has existed the more time it has had to be selected—and to shape life. It does not matter whether that feature is physical and biological, or social and cultural. All that matters, from a Darwinian perspective, is permanence—and the dominance hierarchy, however social and cultural it might appear, has been around for some half a billion years.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
What is hope? Is it the ambition of discovering for the first time what the carnal definition of physical love is without understanding the concept of true passion? Or is it imagination running wild and free fueled by the dram that tonight will last forever and tomorrows will always come as you are blinded by the brilliance of another's smile? Is it a theory of inevitability that relies on fate or destiny bringing two souls together for their one shot at true and unbridled happiness? Or is it a plea to erase a past that used to hold the potential for limitless smiles and endless laughs? I define hope as a narcotic. It courses through our veins, igniting ideas and feelings and emotions that all work in collaboration to produce a better tomorrow, while leaving today, but a distant memory. The essence of its unknown and unseen promise is beautiful and addicting to those who are in need of its satiating grace. The dependence on the idea of possibility can become a crutch however; an excuse for ignoring the here and now. It can swiftly morph from a therapeutic escape to an addictive obsession that somewhere over the rainbow lies the answer that will make everything right again. I am thankful to call myself a true addict to hope's mind altering panacea. It's blissful nirvana can seem both inconceivably irrational yet entirely fathomable to anyone lost in a sea of uncertainty. Just as age brings wisdom, experience brings the understanding that no matter what pot of gold lies at the end of your hopeful rainbow, the relief it casts over tragedy and heartache is the power behind it's true magic. To the hope that resides in the depths of my being, thank you.......
Ivan Rusilko (Entrée (The Winemaker's Dinner, #2))
Watching my clients, I have come to a much better understanding of creative people. El Greco, for example, must have realized as he looked at some of his early work, that 'good painters do not paint like that.' But somehow he trusted his own experiencing of life, the process of himself, sufficiently that he could go on expressing his own unique perceptions. It was as though he could say, 'Good artists do not paint like this, but I paint like this.' Or to move to another field, Ernest Hemingway was surely aware that 'good writers do not write like this.' But fortunately he moved toward being Hemingway, being himself, rather than toward some one else's conception of a good writer. Einstein seems to have been unusually oblivious to the fact that good physicists did not think his kind of thoughts. Rather than drawing back because of his inadequate academic preparation in physics, he simply moved toward being Einstein, toward thinking his own thoughts, toward being as truly and deeply himself as he could. This is not a phenomenon which occurs only in the artist or the genius. Time and again in my clients, I have seen simple people become significant and creative in their own spheres, as they have developed more trust of the processes going on within themselves, and have dared to feel their own feelings, live by values which they discover within, and express themselves in their own unique ways.
Carl R. Rogers (On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy)
There are probably no pure races but only races that have become pure, even these being extremely rare. What is normal is crossed races, in which, together with a disharmony of physical features (when eye and mouth do not correspond with one another, for example), there must always go a disharmony of habits and value-concepts. (Livingstone¹¹³ heard someone say: 'God created white and black men but the Devil Created the half-breeds.') Crossed races always mean at the same time crossed cultures, crossed moralities: they are usually more evil, crueller, more restless. Purity is the final result of countless adaptations, absorptions and secretions, and progress towards purity is evidenced in the fact that the energy available to a race is increasingly restricted to individual selected functions, while previously it was applied to too many and often contradictory things: such a restriction will always seem to be an impoverishment and should be assessed with consideration and caution. In the end, however, if the process of purification is successful, all that energy formerly expended in the struggle of the dissonant qualities with one another will stand at the command of the total organism: which is why races that have become pure have always also become stronger and more beautiful. The Greeks offer us the model of a race and culture that has become pure: and hopefully we shall one day also achieve a pure European race and culture.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Since the days of Descartes it has been a conception familiar to philosophers that every visible event in nature might be explained by previous visible events, and that all the motions, for instance, of the tongue in speech, or of the hand in painting, might have merely physical causes. If consciousness is thus accessory to life and not essential to it, the race of man might have existed upon the earth and acquired all the arts necessary for its subsistence without possessing a single sensation, idea, or emotion. Natural selection might have secured the survival of those automata which made useful reactions upon their environment. An instinct would have been developed, dangers would have been shunned without being feared, and injuries avenged without being felt.
George Santayana (Little Essays Drawn from the Writings of George Santayana)
That's all the motorcycle is, a system of concepts worked out in steel. There's no part in it, no shape in it, that is not out of someone's mind [...] I've noticed that people who have never worked with steel have trouble seeing this—that the motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon. They associate metal with given shapes—pipes, rods, girders, tools, parts—all of them fixed and inviolable., and think of it as primarily physical. But a person who does machining or foundry work or forger work or welding sees "steel" as having no shape at all. Steel can be any shape you want if you are skilled enough, and any shape but the one you want if you are not. Shapes, like this tappet, are what you arrive at, what you give to the steel. Steel has no more shape than this old pile of dirt on the engine here. These shapes are all of someone's mind. That's important to see. The steel? Hell, even the steel is out of someone's mind. There's no steel in nature. Anyone from the Bronze Age could have told you that. All nature has is a potential for steel. There's nothing else there.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
The Constitution is a limitation of the government, not on private individuals--that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government--that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizens' protection against the government. Instead of being a protector of man's rights, the government is becoming their most dangerous violator; instead of guarding freedom, the government is establishing slavery; instead of protecting men from the initiators of physical force, the government is initiating physical force and coercion in any manner and issue it pleases; instead of serving as the instrument of objectivity in human relationships, the government is creating a deadly, subterranean reign of uncertainty and fear, by means of nonobjective laws whose interpretation is left to the arbitrary decisions of random bureaucrats; instead of protecting men from injury by whim, the government is arrogating to itself the power of unlimited whim--so that we are fast approaching the stage of ultimate inversion; the stage where the government is "free" to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may only act by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of humanity, the stage of rule by brute force.
Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism)
[T]here is both an intrinsic and instrumental value to privacy. Intrinsically, privacy is precious to the extent that it is a component of a liberty. Part of citizenship in a free society is the expectation that one's personal affairs and physical person are inviolable so long as one remains within the law. A robust concept of freedom includes the freedom from constant and intrusive government surveillance of one's life. From this perspective, Fourth Amendment violations are objectionable for the simple fact that the government is doing something it has no licence to do–that is, invading the privacy of a law-abiding citizen by monitoring her daily activities and laying hands on her person without any evidence of wrongdoing. Privacy is also instrumental in nature. This aspect of the right highlights the pernicious effects, rather than the inherent illegitimacy, of intrusive, suspicionless surveillance. For example, encroachments on individual privacy undermine democratic institutions by chilling free speech. When citizens–especially those espousing unpopular viewpoints–are aware that the intimate details of their personal lives are pervasively monitored by government, or even that they could be singled out for discriminatory treatment by government officials as a result of their First Amendment expressive activities, they are less likely to freely express their dissident views.
John W. Whitehead (A Government Of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State)
he had to stand by while there proliferated in his own house such concepts as “the art of living thought” “the graph of spiritual growth” and “action on the wing”. he discovered that a biweekly ”hour of purification” was held regularly under his roof. he demanded an explanation. it turned out that what they meant by this was reading the poems of Stefan George together. Leo Fischel searched his old encyclopedia in vain for the poet’s name. but what irritated him most of all, old-style liberal that he was, was that these green pups referred to all the high government officials, bank presidents, and leading university figures in the Parallel Campaign as “puffed-up little men”. then there were the world-weary airs they gave themselves, complaining that the times had become devoid of great ideas, if there was anyone left who was ready for great ideas. that even “humanity” had become a mere buzzword, as far as they were concerned, and that only “the nation” or, as they called it, “folk and folkways” still really had any meaning. wiser than their years, they disdained “lust” and “the inflated lie about the crude enjoyment of animal existence” as they called it, but talked so much about supersensuality and mystical desire that the startled listener reacted willy-nilly by feeling a certain tenderness for sensuality and physical desires, and even Leo Fischel had to admit that the unbridled ardor of their language sometimes made the listener feel the roots of their ideas shooting down his legs, though he disapproved, because in his opinion great ideas were meant to be uplifting.
Robert Musil (The Man Without Qualities)
Defective is an adjective that has long been deemed too freighted for liberal discourse, but the medical terms that have supplanted it—illness, syndrome, condition—can be almost equally pejorative in their discreet way. We often use illness to disparage a way of being, and identity to validate that same way of being. This is a false dichotomy. In physics, the Copenhagen interpretation defines energy/matter as behaving sometimes like a wave and sometimes like a particle, which suggests that it is both, and posits that it is our human limitation to be unable to see both at the same time. The Nobel Prize–winning physicist Paul Dirac identified how light appears to be a particle if we ask a particle-like question, and a wave if we ask a wavelike question. A similar duality obtains in this matter of self. Many conditions are both illness and identity, but we can see one only when we obscure the other. Identity politics refutes the idea of illness, while medicine shortchanges identity. Both are diminished by this narrowness. Physicists gain certain insights from understanding energy as a wave, and other insights from understanding it as a particle, and use quantum mechanics to reconcile the information they have gleaned. Similarly, we have to examine illness and identity, understand that observation will usually happen in one domain or the other, and come up with a syncretic mechanics. We need a vocabulary in which the two concepts are not opposites, but compatible aspects of a condition. The problem is to change how we assess the value of individuals and of lives, to reach for a more ecumenical take on healthy. Ludwig Wittgenstein said, ―All I know is what I have words for.‖ The absence of words is the absence of intimacy; these experiences are starved for language.
Andrew Solomon (Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity)
Reality, at first glance, is a simple thing: the television speaking to you now is real. Your body sunk into that chair in the approach to midnight, a clock ticking at the threshold of awareness. All the endless detail of a solid and material world surrounding you. These things exist. They can be measured with a yardstick, a voltammeter, a weighing scale. These things are real. Then there’s the mind, half-focused on the TV, the settee, the clock. This ghostly knot of memory, idea and feeling that we call ourself also exists, though not within the measurable world our science may describe. Consciousness is unquantifiable, a ghost in the machine, barely considered real at all, though in a sense this flickering mosaic of awareness is the only true reality that we can ever know. The Here-and-Now demands attention, is more present to us. We dismiss the inner world of our ideas as less important, although most of our immediate physical reality originated only in the mind. The TV, sofa, clock and room, the whole civilisation that contains them once were nothing save ideas. Material existence is entirely founded on a phantom realm of mind, whose nature and geography are unexplored. Before the Age of Reason was announced, humanity had polished strategies for interacting with the world of the imaginary and invisible: complicated magic-systems; sprawling pantheons of gods and spirits, images and names with which we labelled powerful inner forces so that we might better understand them. Intellect, Emotion and Unconscious Thought were made divinities or demons so that we, like Faust, might better know them; deal with them; become them. Ancient cultures did not worship idols. Their god-statues represented ideal states which, when meditated constantly upon, one might aspire to. Science proves there never was a mermaid, blue-skinned Krishna or a virgin birth in physical reality. Yet thought is real, and the domain of thought is the one place where gods inarguably ezdst, wielding tremendous power. If Aphrodite were a myth and Love only a concept, then would that negate the crimes and kindnesses and songs done in Love’s name? If Christ were only ever fiction, a divine Idea, would this invalidate the social change inspired by that idea, make holy wars less terrible, or human betterment less real, less sacred? The world of ideas is in certain senses deeper, truer than reality; this solid television less significant than the Idea of television. Ideas, unlike solid structures, do not perish. They remain immortal, immaterial and everywhere, like all Divine things. Ideas are a golden, savage landscape that we wander unaware, without a map. Be careful: in the last analysis, reality may be exactly what we think it is.
Alan Moore
Over time, and sentence uttered long and loud enough becomes fixed. Becomes a truth. Provided, of course, you can outlast the dissent and silence your opponents. But should you succeed - and remove all challengers - then what remains is, by default, now true. Is it truth in some objective sense? No. But how does one ever achieve an objective point of view? The answer is you don't. It is literally, physically impossible. There are too many variables. Too many fields and formulae to consider. We can try, of course. We can inch closer and closer to a revelation. But we'll never reach it. Not ever . . . And so I have realized, that so long as The Templar exist, they will attempt to bend reality to their will. They recognize there is no such thing as an absolutely truth - or if there is - we are hopelessly underequipped to recognize it. And so in its place, they seek to create their own explanation. It is the guiding principle of their so-named "New World Order"; To reshape existence in their own image. It is not about artifacts. Not about men. These are merely tools. It's about concepts. Clever of them. For how does one wage war against a concept? It is the perfect weapon. It lacks a physical form yet can alter the world around us in numerous, often violent ways. You cannot kill a creed. Even if you kill all of its adherents, destroy all of its writings - these are a reprieve at best. Some one, some day, will rediscover it. Reinvent it. I believe that even we, the Assassins, have simple re-discovered an Order that predates the Old Man himself . . .
Oliver Bowden (Renaissance (Assassin's Creed, #1))
...Although the term Existentialism was invented in the 20th century by the French philosopher Gabriel Marcel, the roots of this thought go back much further in time, so much so, that this subject was mentioned even in the Old Testament. If we take, for example, the Book of Ecclesiastes, especially chapter 5, verses 15-16, we will find a strong existential sentiment there which declares, 'This too is a grievous evil: As everyone comes, so they depart, and what do they gain, since they toil for the wind?' The aforementioned book was so controversial that in the distant past there were whole disputes over whether it should be included in the Bible. But if nothing else, this book proves that Existential Thought has always had its place in the centre of human life. However, if we consider recent Existentialism, we can see it was the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre who launched this movement, particularly with his book Being and Nothingness, in 1943. Nevertheless, Sartre's thought was not a new one in philosophy. In fact, it goes back three hundred years and was first uttered by the French philosopher René Descartes in his 1637 Discours de la Méthode, where he asserts, 'I think, therefore I am' . It was on this Cartesian model of the isolated ego-self that Sartre built his existential consciousness, because for him, Man was brought into this world for no apparent reason and so it cannot be expected that he understand such a piece of absurdity rationally.'' '' Sir, what can you tell us about what Sartre thought regarding the unconscious mind in this respect, please?'' a charming female student sitting in the front row asked, listening keenly to every word he had to say. ''Yes, good question. Going back to Sartre's Being and Nothingness it can be seen that this philosopher shares many ideological concepts with the Neo-Freudian psychoanalysts but at the same time, Sartre was diametrically opposed to one of the fundamental foundations of psychology, which is the human unconscious. This is precisely because if Sartre were to accept the unconscious, the same subject would end up dissolving his entire thesis which revolved around what he understood as being the liberty of Man. This stems from the fact that according to Sartre, if a person accepts the unconscious mind he is also admitting that he can never be free in his choices since these choices are already pre-established inside of him. Therefore, what can clearly be seen in this argument is the fact that apparently, Sartre had no idea about how physics, especially Quantum Mechanics works, even though it was widely known in his time as seen in such works as Heisenberg's The Uncertainty Principle, where science confirmed that first of all, everything is interconnected - the direct opposite of Sartrean existential isolation - and second, that at the subatomic level, everything is undetermined and so there is nothing that is pre-established; all scientific facts that in themselves disprove the Existential Ontology of Sartre and Existentialism itself...
Anton Sammut (Paceville and Metanoia)
I didn’t know what it meant to have a nervous breakdown. I’d heard people jokingly exaggerate that they’d had one. Until that moment on my bathroom floor, I had no concept. Then the frayed strands of my sanity that I’d fought so hard to keep together snapped in two, and I started to free fall into chaos. First, I screamed. I screamed and I screamed until I was hoarse. Then my screams turned over to cries of agony. Pain, both physical and emotional, consumed me. Will tried to console me, but it was useless. He panicked and called my parents. When they heard my sobs in the background, they told him to call the paramedics. So he did. By the time they arrived, I was spent of emotions. Instead, I lay motionless on the floor. They were a hazy blur of blue uniforms and soft voices. I could hear them calling my name from far off—like I was under the surface of water. But I couldn’t muster the strength to reply. I heard crying behind me. It must’ve been Will because one of the paramedics said, “Don’t worry, son, we’re gonna take good care of her.” Then I felt myself floating upwards as they put me on a gurney. I rattled and shook as they pulled me out of the house. The flashing lights hurt my eyes. But then a needle pierced my vein, bringing liquid peace to my soul."--Melanie
Katie Ashley (Nets and Lies)
We are focus-points of consciousness, [...] enormously creative. When we enter the self-constructed hologrammetric arena we call spacetime, we begin at once to generate creativity particles, imajons, in violent continuous pyrotechnic deluge. Imajons have no charge of their own but are strongly polarized through our attitudes and by the force of our choice and desire into clouds of conceptons, a family of very-high-energy particles which may be positive, negative or neutral. [...] Some common positive conceptions are exhilarons, excytons, rhapsodons, jovions. Common negative conceptions include gloomons, tormentons, tribulons, agonons, miserons. "Indefinite numbers of conceptions are created in nonstop eruption, a thundering cascade of creativity pouring from every center of personal consciousness. They mushroom into conception clouds, which can be neutral or strongly charged - buoyant, weightless or leaden, depending on the nature of their dominant particles. "Every nanosecond an indefinite number of conception clouds build to critical mass, then transform in quantum bursts to high-energy probability waves radiating at tachyon speeds through an eternal reservoir of supersaturated alternate events. Depending on their charge and nature, the probability waves crystallize certain of these potential events to match the mental polarity of their creating consciousness into holographic appearance. [...] "The materialized events become that mind's experience, freighted with all the aspects of physical structure necessary to make them real and learningful to the creating consciousness. This autonomic process is the fountain from which springs every object and event in the theater of spacetime. "The persuasion of the imajon hypothesis lies in its capacity for personal verification. The hypothesis predicts that as we focus our conscious intention on the positive and life-affirming, as we fasten our thought on these values, we polarize masses of positive conceptions, realize beneficial probability-waves, bring useful alternate events to us that otherwise would not have appeared to exist. "The reverse is true in the production of negative events, as is the mediocre in-between. Through default or intention, unaware or by design, we not only choose but create the visible outer conditions that are most resonant to our inner state of being [...]
Richard Bach (Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit)
What is personal death? Asking this question and pausing to look inward - isn't personal death a concept? Isn't there a thought-and-picture series going on in the brain? These scenes of personal ending take place solely in the imagination, and yet they trigger great mental ad physical distress - thinking of one's cherished attachments an their sudden, irreversible termination. Similarly, if there is 'pain when I let some of the beauty of life in' - isn't this pain the result of thinking, 'I won't be here any longer to enjoy this beauty?' Or, 'No one will be around and no beauty left to be enjoyed if there is total nuclear devastation.' Apart from the horrendous tragedy of human warfare - why is there this fear of 'me' not continuing? Is it because I don't realize that all my fear and trembling is for an image? Because I really believe that this image is myself? In the midst of this vast, unfathomable, ever-changing, dying, and renewing flow of life, the human brain is ceaselessly engaged in trying to fix for itself a state of permanency and certainty. Having the capacity to think and form pictures of ourselves, to remember them and become deeply attached to them, we take this world of pictures and ideas for real. We thoroughly believe in the reality of the picture story of our personal life. We are totally identified with it and want it to go on forever. The idea of "forever" is itself an invention of the human brain. Forever is a dream. Questioning beyond all thoughts, images, memories, and beliefs, questioning profoundly into the utter darkness of not-knowing, the realization may suddenly dawn that one is nothing at all - nothing - that all one has been holding on to are pictures and dreams. Being nothing is being everything. It is wholeness. Compassion. It is the ending of separation, fear, and sorrow. Is there pain when no one is there to hold on? There is beauty where there is no "me".
Toni Packer (The Work of This Moment)
It is my conviction that, with the spread of true scientific culture, whatever may be the medium, historical, philological, philosophical, or physical, through which that culture is conveyed, and with its necessary concomitant, a constant elevation of the standard of veracity, the end of the evolution of theology will be like its beginning—it will cease to have any relation to ethics. I suppose that, so long as the human mind exists, it will not escape its deep-seated instinct to personify its intellectual conceptions. The science of the present day is as full of this particular form of intellectual shadow-worship as is the nescience of ignorant ages. The difference is that the philosopher who is worthy of the name knows that his personified hypotheses, such as law, and force, and ether, and the like, are merely useful symbols, while the ignorant and the careless take them for adequate expressions of reality. So, it may be, that the majority of mankind may find the practice of morality made easier by the use of theological symbols. And unless these are converted from symbols into idols, I do not see that science has anything to say to the practice, except to give an occasional warning of its dangers. But, when such symbols are dealt with as real existences, I think the highest duty which is laid upon men of science is to show that these dogmatic idols have no greater value than the fabrications of men's hands, the stocks and the stones, which they have replaced.
Thomas Henry Huxley (The Evolution Of Theology: An Anthropological Study)
Music is a form that tends to give shape to rules, social mores, social attitudes, feelings—it does this in a very beautiful, fluid way. To me the issue of form and formlessness is most strong in the theme of mortality versus a human wish for immortality of a sort. Take, for example, the definition of beauty in fashion. Remember what Alison says at the beginning? She says when she was young she didn’t know what beautiful was. She looked at this woman who everyone was saying was beautiful and she didn’t even know what they were talking about. I experienced that when I was a child. If I loved someone I thought they were really beautiful. And then eventually, I began to get it, the social concept of beauty. Not that I think beautiful is completely imaginary, but beauty is so wide ranging and fluid. Yet there’s a need to say: “This is what it is, and it’s not changing; we’re taking a picture of it to hold it still.” It’s like an impulse to put up a building meant to last forever. An urge to grab and hold something in place when nothing human can be grabbed and held in place. We come into these physical bodies . . . whatever we are takes this shape that is so particular and distinct—eyes, nose, mouth—and then it gradually begins to disintegrate. Eventually it’s going to dissolve completely. It’s a huge problem for people; we can understand it, but it breaks our hearts. And so we’re constantly trying to pin something down or leave a trace that will last forever. “And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita . . .” What other immortality will anyone share?
Mary Gaitskill
Though one of the greatest love stories in world literature, Anna Karenin is of course not just a novel of adventure. Being deeply concerned with moral matters, Tolstoy was eternally preoccupied with issues of importance to all mankind at all times. Now, there is a moral issue in Anna Karenin, though not the one that a casual reader might read into it. This moral is certainly not that having committed adultery, Anna had to pay for it (which in a certain vague sense can be said to be the moral at the bottom of the barrel in Madame Bovary). Certainly not this, and for obvious reasons: had Anna remained with Karenin and skillfully concealed from the world her affair, she would not have paid for it first with her happiness and then with her life. Anna was not punished for her sin (she might have got away with that) nor for violating the conventions of a society, very temporal as all conventions are and having nothing to do with the eternal demands of morality. What was then the moral "message" Tolstoy has conveyed in his novel? We can understand it better if we look at the rest of the book and draw a comparison between the Lyovin-Kitty story and the Vronski-Anna story. Lyovin's marriage is based on a metaphysical, not only physical, concept of love, on willingness for self-sacrifice, on mutual respect. The Anna-Vronski alliance was founded only in carnal love and therein lay its doom. It might seem, at first blush, that Anna was punished by society for falling in love with a man who was not her husband. Now such a "moral" would be of course completely "immoral," and completely inartistic, incidentally, since other ladies of fashion, in that same society, were having as many love-affairs as they liked but having them in secrecy, under a dark veil. (Remember Emma's blue veil on her ride with Rodolphe and her dark veil in her rendezvous at Rouen with Léon.) But frank unfortunate Anna does not wear this veil of deceit. The decrees of society are temporary ones ; what Tolstoy is interested in are the eternal demands of morality. And now comes the real moral point that he makes: Love cannot be exclusively carnal because then it is egotistic, and being egotistic it destroys instead of creating. It is thus sinful. And in order to make his point as artistically clear as possible, Tolstoy in a flow of extraordinary imagery depicts and places side by side, in vivid contrast, two loves: the carnal love of the Vronski-Anna couple (struggling amid their richly sensual but fateful and spiritually sterile emotions) and on the other hand the authentic, Christian love, as Tolstoy termed it, of the Lyovin-Kitty couple with the riches of sensual nature still there but balanced and harmonious in the pure atmosphere of responsibility, tenderness, truth, and family joys.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lectures on Russian Literature)
Finally, we arrive at the question of the so-called nonpolitical man. Hitler not only established his power from the very beginning with masses of people who were until then essentially nonpolitical; he also accomplished his last step to victory in March of 1933 in a "legal" manner, by mobilizing no less than five million nonvoters, that is to say, nonpolitical people. The Left parties had made every effort to win over the indifferent masses, without posing the question as to what it means "to be indifferent or nonpolitical." If an industrialist and large estate owner champions a rightist party, this is easily understood in terms of his immediate economic interests. In his case a leftist orientation would be at variance with his social situation and would, for that reason, point to irrational motives. If an industrial worker has a leftist orientation, this too is by all mean rationally consistent—it derives from his economic and social position in industry. If, however, a worker, an employee, or an official has a rightist orientation, this must be ascribed to a lack of political clarity, i.e., he is ignorant of his social position. The more a man who belongs to the broad working masses is nonpolitical, the more susceptible he is to the ideology of political reaction. To be nonpolitical is not, as one might suppose, evidence of a passive psychic condition, but of a highly active attitude, a defense against the awareness of social responsibility. The analysis of this defense against consciousness of one's social responsibility yields clear insights into a number of dark questions concerning the behavior of the broad nonpolitical strata. In the case of the average intellectual "who wants nothing to do with politics," it can easily be shown that immediate economic interests and fears related to his social position, which is dependent upon public opinion, lie at the basis of his noninvolvement. These fears cause him to make the most grotesque sacrifices with respect to his knowledge and convictions. Those people who are engaged in the production process in one way or another and are nonetheless socially irresponsible can be divided into two major groups. In the case of the one group the concept of politics is unconsciously associated with the idea of violence and physical danger, i.e., with an intense fear, which prevents them from facing life realistically. In the case of the other group, which undoubtedly constitutes the majority, social irresponsibility is based on personal conflicts and anxieties, of which the sexual anxiety is the predominant one. […] Until now the revolutionary movement has misunderstood this situation. It attempted to awaken the "nonpolitical" man by making him conscious solely of his unfulfilled economic interests. Experience teaches that the majority of these "nonpolitical" people can hardly be made to listen to anything about their socio-economic situation, whereas they are very accessible to the mystical claptrap of a National Socialist, despite the fact that the latter makes very little mention of economic interests. [This] is explained by the fact that severe sexual conflicts (in the broadest sense of the word), whether conscious or unconscious, inhibit rational thinking and the development of social responsibility. They make a person afraid and force him into a shell. If, now, such a self-encapsulated person meets a propagandist who works with faith and mysticism, meets, in other words, a fascist who works with sexual, libidinous methods, he turns his complete attention to him. This is not because the fascist program makes a greater impression on him than the liberal program, but because in his devotion to the führer and the führer's ideology, he experiences a momentary release from his unrelenting inner tension. Unconsciously, he is able to give his conflicts a different form and in this way to "solve" them.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)