Constructive Thoughts Quotes

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Learning how to think" really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot or will not exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
My world falls apart, crumbles, “The centre cannot hold.” There is no integrating force, only the naked fear, the urge of self-preservation. I am afraid. I am not solid, but hollow. I feel behind my eyes a numb, paralysed cavern, a pit of hell, a mimicking nothingness. I never thought. I never wrote, I never suffered. I want to kill myself, to escape from responsibility, to crawl back abjectly into the womb. I do not know who I am, where I am going—and I am the one who has to decide the answers to these hideous questions. I long for a noble escape from freedom—I am weak, tired, in revolt from the strong constructive humanitarian faith which presupposes a healthy, active intellect and will. There is nowhere to go.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
If we wish to know about a man, we ask 'what is his story--his real, inmost story?'--for each of us is a biography, a story. Each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us--through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and, not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations. Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives--we are each of us unique.
Oliver Sacks (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales)
All of them, all except Phineas, constructed at infinite cost to themselves these Maginot Lines against this enemy they thought they saw across the frontier, this enemy who never attacked that way—if he ever attacked at all; if he was indeed the enemy.
John Knowles
He could not construct for the child's pleasure the world he'd lost without constructing the loss as well and he thought perhaps the child had known this better than he.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
Language disguises the thought; so that from the external form of the clothes one cannot infer the form of the thought they clothe, because the external form of the clothes is constructed with quite another object than to let the form of the body be recognized.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus)
If we hesitate between 'veiling' and 'revealing' our emotions or vacillate between 'shrouding' and 'disclosing' our thoughts, we must understand the nuts and bolts of our individual construct and underpin the elasticity of our mental frame. ("Unfulfilled meeting")
Erik Pevernagie
So this was how secrets got started, I thought to myself. People constructed them little by little.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values)
Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them.
Steve Jobs
I is another. If the brass wakes the trumpet, it’s not its fault. That’s obvious to me: I witness the unfolding of my own thought: I watch it, I hear it: I make a stroke with the bow: the symphony begins in the depths, or springs with a bound onto the stage. If the old imbeciles hadn’t discovered only the false significance of Self, we wouldn’t have to now sweep away those millions of skeletons which have been piling up the products of their one-eyed intellect since time immemorial, and claiming themselves to be their authors!
Arthur Rimbaud
He was lovable the way a child is lovable, and he was capable of returning love with a childlike purity. If love is nevertheless excluded from his work, it's because he never quite felt that he deserved to receive it. He was a lifelong prisoner on the island of himself. What looked like gentle contours from a distance were in fact sheer cliffs. Sometimes only a little of him was crazy, sometimes nearly all of him, but, as an adult, he was never entirely not crazy. What he'd seen of his id while trying to escape his island prison by way of drugs and alcohol, only to find himself even more imprisoned by addiction, seems never to have ceased to be corrosive of his belief in his lovability. Even after he got clean, even decades after his late-adolescent suicide attempt, even after his slow and heroic construction of a life for himself, he felt undeserving. And this feeling was intertwined, ultimately to the point of indistinguishability, with the thought of suicide, which was the one sure way out of his imprisonment; surer than addiction, surer than fiction, and surer, finally, than love.
Jonathan Franzen
Some can be more intelligent than others in a structured environment—in fact school has a selection bias as it favors those quicker in such an environment, and like anything competitive, at the expense of performance outside it. Although I was not yet familiar with gyms, my idea of knowledge was as follows. People who build their strength using these modern expensive gym machines can lift extremely large weights, show great numbers and develop impressive-looking muscles, but fail to lift a stone; they get completely hammered in a street fight by someone trained in more disorderly settings. Their strength is extremely domain-specific and their domain doesn't exist outside of ludic—extremely organized—constructs. In fact their strength, as with over-specialized athletes, is the result of a deformity. I thought it was the same with people who were selected for trying to get high grades in a small number of subjects rather than follow their curiosity: try taking them slightly away from what they studied and watch their decomposition, loss of confidence, and denial. (Just like corporate executives are selected for their ability to put up with the boredom of meetings, many of these people were selected for their ability to concentrate on boring material.) I've debated many economists who claim to specialize in risk and probability: when one takes them slightly outside their narrow focus, but within the discipline of probability, they fall apart, with the disconsolate face of a gym rat in front of a gangster hit man.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder)
We are absurdly accustomed to the miracle of a few written signs being able to contain immortal imagery, involutions of thought, new worlds with live people, speaking, weeping, laughing. We take it for granted so simply that in a sense, by the very act of brutish routine acceptance, we undo the work of the ages, the history of the gradual elaboration of poetical description and construction, from the treeman to Browning, from the caveman to Keats. What if we awake one day, all of us, and find ourselves utterly unable to read? I wish you to gasp not only at what you read but at the miracle of its being readable.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
healthy, adj. There are times when I'm alone that I think, This is it. This is actually the natural state. All I need are my thoughts and my small acts of creation and my ability to go or do whatever I want to go or do. I am myself, and that is the point. Pairing is a social construction. It is by no means necessary for everyone to do it. Maybe I'm better like this. Maybe I could live my life in my own world, and then simply leave it when it's time to go.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
The most destructive or constructive actions begin with a single thought.
Gena Showalter (Firstlife (Everlife, #1))
The human mind delights in finding pattern—so much so that we often mistake coincidence or forced analogy for profound meaning. No other habit of thought lies so deeply within the soul of a small creature trying to make sense of a complex world not constructed for it.
Stephen Jay Gould (The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural History)
Learning how to think' really means learning how to exercise some control over how & what you think. It means being conscious & aware enough to choose what you pay attention to & to choose how you construct meaning from experience.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
Yet, the work was not complete. Next, citing Bond’s veranda and our subsequent construction of it as an example, Sanjit elaborated on the thought which he had previously teased, but not fully explained: that when a reader reads, the reader constructs a setting and world and is able to view themselves through this world. However, he also added that when we read, we are not only able to see our constructed world, but to evaluate our constructed world. This is how, Sanjit would argue, we influence and better ourselves, even if unintentionally; for by pausing and analyzing our constructions we may be able to identify our assumptions about people, places, or things. And it is in this way that books may be an expressed form of art, not just for the writer, but also for the reader.
Colin Phelan (The Local School)
I know women. And when they clam up like this? They’re not just working one thought over in their brains. Nope, they’re constructing a complicated web of scenarios and what ifs, each thread layering over another, thickening and twisting until suddenly they’re mad about something that never even occurred to you.
Elle Kennedy (The Score (Off-Campus, #3))
The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction the weight, the weight we carry is love. Who can deny? In dreams it touches the body, in thought constructs a miracle, in imagination anguishes till born in human— looks out of the heart burning with purity— for the burden of life is love, but we carry the weight wearily, and so must rest in the arms of love at last, must rest in the arms of love. No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love— be mad or chill obsessed with angels or machines, the final wish is love —cannot be bitter, cannot deny, cannot withhold if denied: the weight is too heavy —must give for no return as thought is given in solitude in all the excellence of its excess. The warm bodies shine together in the darkness, the hand moves to the center of the flesh, the skin trembles in happiness and the soul comes joyful to the eye— yes, yes, that's what I wanted, I always wanted, I always wanted, to return to the body where I was born.
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
I don’t know why life isn’t constructed to be seamless and safe, why we make such glaring mistakes, things fall so short of our expectations, and our hearts get broken and out kids do scary things and our parents get old and don’t always remember to put pants on before they go out for a stroll. I don’t know why it’s not more like it is in the movies, why things don’t come out neatly and lessons can’t be learned when you’re in the mood for learning them, why love and grace often come in such motley packaging.
Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith)
In a sense, he thought, all we consist of is memories. Our personalities are constructed from memories, our lives are organized around memories, our cultures are built upon the foundation of shared memories that we call history and science.
Michael Crichton (Sphere)
One day Dostoevsky threw out the enigmatic remark: "Beauty will save the world". What sort of a statement is that? For a long time I considered it mere words. How could that be possible? When in bloodthirsty history did beauty ever save anyone from anything? Ennobled, uplifted, yes - but whom has it saved? There is, however, a certain peculiarity in the essence of beauty, a peculiarity in the status of art: namely, the convincingness of a true work of art is completely irrefutable and it forces even an opposing heart to surrender. It is possible to compose an outwardly smooth and elegant political speech, a headstrong article, a social program, or a philosophical system on the basis of both a mistake and a lie. What is hidden, what distorted, will not immediately become obvious. Then a contradictory speech, article, program, a differently constructed philosophy rallies in opposition - and all just as elegant and smooth, and once again it works. Which is why such things are both trusted and mistrusted. In vain to reiterate what does not reach the heart. But a work of art bears within itself its own verification: conceptions which are devised or stretched do not stand being portrayed in images, they all come crashing down, appear sickly and pale, convince no one. But those works of art which have scooped up the truth and presented it to us as a living force - they take hold of us, compel us, and nobody ever, not even in ages to come, will appear to refute them. So perhaps that ancient trinity of Truth, Goodness and Beauty is not simply an empty, faded formula as we thought in the days of our self-confident, materialistic youth? If the tops of these three trees converge, as the scholars maintained, but the too blatant, too direct stems of Truth and Goodness are crushed, cut down, not allowed through - then perhaps the fantastic, unpredictable, unexpected stems of Beauty will push through and soar to that very same place, and in so doing will fulfil the work of all three? In that case Dostoevsky's remark, "Beauty will save the world", was not a careless phrase but a prophecy? After all he was granted to see much, a man of fantastic illumination. And in that case art, literature might really be able to help the world today?
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Nobel Lecture (Bilingual Edition) (English and Russian Edition))
History is a construct...Any point of entry is possible and all choices are arbitrary. Still there are definitive moments...We can look at these events and say that after them things were never the same again.
Margaret Atwood (The Robber Bride)
Though recognition's been delayed by its circuitous construction, now the pattern, long concealed, emerges into view. Is it not fine? Is it not simple, and elegant, and severe? How strange, after the long exacting toil of preparation, it takes only the slightest effort and less thought to send this brief, elaborate amusement on its breathless, hurtling race. The merest touch, no more, and everything falls into place. The pieces can't perceive as we the mischief their arrangement tempts. Those stolid law-abiding queues, so pregnant with catastrophe. Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late.
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
Our life stories are largely constructed and without mindfulness can prove destructive.
Rasheed Ogunlaru
The person that is able to concentrate utilizes all constructive thoughts and shuts out all destructive ones.
William Walker Atkinson (The Power of Concentration)
He turned and looked at the boy. Maybe he understood for the first time that to the boy he was himself an alien. A being from a planet that no longer existed. The tales of which were suspect. He could not construct for the child's pleasure the world he'd lost without constructing the loss as well and he thought perhaps the child had known this better than he. He tried to remember the dream but he could not. All that was left was the feeling of it. He thought perhaps they'd come to warn him. Of what? That he could not enkindle in the heart of the child what was ashes in his own. Even now some part of him wished they'd never found this refuge. Some part of him always wished it to be over.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
Since position and contact play so big a part in determining what can be seen, heard, read, and experienced, as well as what it is permissible to see, hear, read, and know, it is no wonder that moral judgment is so much more common than constructive thought.
Walter Lippmann (Public Opinion)
Fulfillment, Shevek thought, is a function of time. The search for pleasure is circular, repetitive, atemporal, The variety seeking of the spectator, the thrill hunter, the sexually promiscuous, always ends in the same place. It has an end. It comes to the end and has to start over. It is not a journey and return, but a closed cycle, a locked room, a cell. Outside the locked room is the landscape of time, in which the spirit may, with luck and courage, construct the fragile, makeshift, improbable roads and cities of fidelity: a landscape inhabitable by human beings. It is not until an act occurs within the landscape of the past and the future that it is a human act. Loyalty, which asserts the continuity of past and future, binding time into a whole, is the root of human strength; there is no good to be done without it.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia)
While America will always, I think, feel foreign to me, New York City is my home. This is where I can construct my own identity freely and reject labels imposed on me.
Raquel Cepeda (Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina)
When Hades decided he loved this girl he built for her a duplicate of earth, everything the same, down to the meadow, but with a bed added. Everything the same, including sunlight, because it would be hard on a young girl to go so quickly from bright light to utter darkness Gradually, he thought, he’d introduce the night, first as the shadows of fluttering leaves. Then moon, then stars. Then no moon, no stars. Let Persephone get used to it slowly. In the end, he thought, she’d find it comforting. A replica of earth except there was love here. Doesn’t everyone want love? He waited many years, building a world, watching Persephone in the meadow. Persephone, a smeller, a taster. If you have one appetite, he thought, you have them all. Doesn’t everyone want to feel in the night the beloved body, compass, polestar, to hear the quiet breathing that says I am alive, that means also you are alive, because you hear me, you are here with me. And when one turns, the other turns— That’s what he felt, the lord of darkness, looking at the world he had constructed for Persephone. It never crossed his mind that there’d be no more smelling here, certainly no more eating. Guilt? Terror? The fear of love? These things he couldn’t imagine; no lover ever imagines them. He dreams, he wonders what to call this place. First he thinks: The New Hell. Then: The Garden. In the end, he decides to name it Persephone’s Girlhood. A soft light rising above the level meadow, behind the bed. He takes her in his arms. He wants to say I love you, nothing can hurt you but he thinks this is a lie, so he says in the end you’re dead, nothing can hurt you which seems to him a more promising beginning, more true.
Louise Glück
A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: 1. Could I put it more shortly? 2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent -- and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself.
George Orwell (Politics and the English Language)
Have you ever thought about why GOD did it? Why tempt such fragile beings in the first place? Did GOD give the race of man free will, knowing that they would use that will to defy him, or to take it a step further since GOD knows all, did he know that Adam and Eve would eat the forbidden fruit, allowing him to cast them out of paradise to toil and suffer for a living.
J.B. Lion (The Seventh Spark: Volume One – Knights of the Trinity)
When I say something, I mean what I say, despite what a dictionary says I mean. Meanings of words are slaves that I put to work constructing my pyramids of thought.
Jarod Kintz (The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They're Over.)
You are deluded if you think that the world around you is a physical construct separate from your own mind.
Kevin Michel (Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams)
Sometimes the dreams you construct for yourself at ten, twelve-years-old aren’t the same ones you thought they would be at twenty-four. And it just takes a while to finally make peace with that.
Krista Ritchie (Kiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters, #1))
We're not really taught how to recreate constructively. We need to do more than find diversions; we need to restore and expand ourselves. Our idea of relaxing is all too often to plop down in front of the television set and let its pandering idiocy liquefy our brains. Shutting off the thought process is not rejuvenating; the mind is like a car battery -- it recharges by running. You may be surprised to find how quickly daily routine and the demands of "just getting by" absorb your waking hours. You may be surprised to find how quickly you start to see your politics and religion become matters of habit rather than thought and inquiry. You may be surprised to find how quickly you start to see your life in terms of other people's expectations rather than issues. You may be surprised to find out how quickly reading a good book sounds like a luxury.
Bill Watterson
I say, I don’t think the human frame is very thoughtfully constructed for this sleuthhound business. If one could go on all fours, or had eyes in ones knees, it would be a lot more practical’… ‘What luck! Here’s a deep, damp ditch on the other side, which I shall now proceed to fall into.’ A slithering crash proclaimed that he had carried out his intention.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey, #2))
maybe people are no longer beautiful to us because we construct them with our thoughts, walking around the earth building humans like we are gods.
Christopher Poindexter (Naked Human)
The systems of constructs are inherently inferior to advanced bots, but you aren’t stupid. Yeah, well, fuck you, too, I thought, and initiated a shutdown sequence.
Martha Wells (Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2))
I have always thought that people are, by nature, nomadic, but they’ve built up anti-human constructs to keep them in place and then they pop pills to mask their misery and look for ways to distract from their emptiness.
Jackie Haze (Borderless)
Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.     Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
Keep the body - or keep the mind, and it will keep the body! - in a constructive manner. That is, think the pleasant things, even when the outlook may be the darkest. Do not allow the little things that are hindrances make for irritating, or to hurt the feelings. For naturally the body is sensitive to feelings of others, through the overflow of those activities in the sympathetic system. But know that God is! Know that He protects those who put their trust in Him; that what is necessary will be supplied thee if ye will keep joyous, keep happy, keep in that way of constructive forces throughout!
Edgar Evans Cayce
A woman in her thirties came to see me. As she greeted me, I could sense the pain behind her polite and superficial smile. She started telling me her story, and within one second her smile changed into a grimace of pain. Then, she began to sob uncontrollably. She said she felt lonely and unfulfilled. There was much anger and sadness. As a child she had been abused by a physically violent father. I saw quickly that her pain was not caused by her present life circumstances but by an extraordinarily heavy pain-body. Her pain-body had become the filter through which she viewed her life situation. She was not yet able to see the link between the emotional pain and her thoughts, being completely identified with both. She could not yet see that she was feeding the pain-body with her thoughts. In other words, she lived with the burden of a deeply unhappy self. At some level, however, she must have realized that her pain originated within herself, that she was a burden to herself. She was ready to awaken, and this is why she had come. I directed the focus of her attention to what she was feeling inside her body and asked her to sense the emotion directly, instead of through the filter of her unhappy thoughts, her unhappy story. She said she had come expecting me to show her the way out of her unhappiness, not into it. Reluctantly, however, she did what I asked her to do. Tears were rolling down her face, her whole body was shaking. “At this moment, this is what you feel.” I said. “There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept that this is what you feel right now?” She was quiet for a moment. Suddenly she looked impatient, as if she was about to get up, and said angrily, “No, I don't want to accept this.” “Who is speaking?” I asked her. “You or the unhappiness in you? Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness?” She became quiet again. “I am not asking you to do anything. All I'm asking is that you find out whether it is possible for you to allow those feelings to be there. In other words, and this may sound strange, if you don't mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness? Don't you want to find out?” She looked puzzled briefly, and after a minute or so of sitting silently, I suddenly noticed a significant shift in her energy field. She said, “This is weird. I 'm still unhappy, but now there is space around it. It seems to matter less.” This was the first time I heard somebody put it like that: There is space around my unhappiness. That space, of course, comes when there is inner acceptance of whatever you are experiencing in the present moment. I didn't say much else, allowing her to be with the experience. Later she came to understand that the moment she stopped identifying with the feeling, the old painful emotion that lived in her, the moment she put her attention on it directly without trying to resist it, it could no longer control her thinking and so become mixed up with a mentally constructed story called “The Unhappy Me.” Another dimension had come into her life that transcended her personal past – the dimension of Presence. Since you cannot be unhappy without an unhappy story, this was the end of her unhappiness. It was also the beginning of the end of her pain-body. Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness. When our session came to an end, it was fulfilling to know that I had just witnessed the arising of Presence in another human being. The very reason for our existence in human form is to bring that dimension of consciousness into this world. I had also witnessed a diminishment of the pain-body, not through fighting it but through bringing the light of consciousness to it.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
The office Halloween party was at the Royalton last week and I went as a mass murderer, complete with a sign painted on my back that read MASS MURDERER (which was decidedly lighter than the sandwich board I had constructed earlier that day that read DRILLER KILLER), and beneath those two words I had written in blood Yep, that's me and the suit was also covered with blood, some of it fake, most of it real. In one fist I clenched a hank of Victoria Bell's hair, and pinned next to my boutonniere (a small white rose) was a finger bone I'd boiled the flesh off of. As elaborate as my costume was, Craig McDermott still managed to win first place in the competition. He came as Ivan Boesky, which I thought was unfair since a lot of people thought I'd gone as Michael Milken last year. The Patty Winters Show this morning was about Home Abortion Kits.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
I can’t control the things that happen to me each day, but I can control how I think about them. I can say to myself, “I have a choice to have destructive thoughts or constructive thoughts right now. I can wallow in what’s wrong and make things worse, or I can ask God for a better perspective to help me see good even when I don’t feel good.” Indeed, when we gain new perspectives, we can see new ways of thinking.
Lysa TerKeurst (Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions)
Jace had disappeared under the table. He appeared a moment later, holding Church, the Institute's part-time cat. Church had his paws stuck straight out and a look of satisfaction on his face. "We thought the same thing," said Jace, settling the cat on his lap. "But apparently, according to Magnus, there are spells that can be constructed to be activated by a warlock's death." Emma glared at Church. She knew the cat had once lived in the New York Institute, but it seemed rude to show preference so blatantly. The cat was lying on his back on Jace's lap, purring and ignoring her.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
The leaves of the world comprise countless billion elaborations of a single, simple machine designed for one job only – a job upon which hinges humankind. Leaves make sugar. Plants are the only things in the universe that can make sugar out of nonliving inorganic matter. All the sugar that you have ever eaten was first made within a leaf. Without a constant supply of glucose to your brain, you will die. Period. Under duress, your liver can make glucose out of protein or fat – but that protein or fat was originally constructed from a plant sugar within some other animal. It’s inescapable: at this very moment, within the synapses of your brain, leaves are fueling thoughts of leaves.
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
All persons, places, and events in this book are real. Certain speeches and thoughts are necessarily constructions by the author. No names have been changed to protect the innocent, since God Almighty protects the innocent as a matter of Heavenly routine.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (The Sirens of Titan)
One of the tests for positive thinking, for constructive thinking, is to test one’s idle moments. At those times, is one’s mind turning over negative critical thoughts; fighting battles that have been won or lost; rehashing senseless arguments? If so, then one is out of tune. But if one is thinking how to improve a situation or a procedure, how to gain a worthwhile objective, then one is on the constructive side of life.
Paul Davis
You could feel weight, yes—when you were carrying too much, it made you ploddy—but wasn’t it, like time, basically just a human construct? Hands on a clock, numbers on a bathroom scale, weren’t they only ways of trying to measure invisible forces that had visible effects? A feeble effort to corral some greater reality beyond what mere humans thought of as reality?
Stephen King (Elevation)
I remember joking with my friend in high school, “Can you think about not thinking?” We noticed that the mind never stops and we noticed that you really can't think about not thinking. In fact, we couldn’t “not think” at all. And that was a question that plagued me for a long time. There's a greater wisdom that comes when we're not clouded in thought, when we're not lost in thought, when we're addressing exactly what's happening and not some mentally constructed simulation of what's actually happening.
Todd Perelmuter (Spiritual Words to Live by : 81 Daily Wisdoms and Meditations to Transform Your Life)
Or maybe, she thought, with stars this bright, if you believed that above you lay the cosmos, then you had to construct a yurt to provide some temporary feeling of materiality. Otherwise, under the weight of swirling divinity, you might feel you had no significance at all.
R.F. Kuang (The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2))
Some feelings are true feelings—that is, feelings born in the soul—and some feelings are counterfeit feelings. These are constructed in your mind. In other words, they are not “feelings” at all—they are thoughts. Thoughts masquerading as feelings. These thoughts are based on your previous experience and on the observed experience of others.
Neale Donald Walsch (The Complete Conversations with God)
......cut us off from our families, our history. So we made it our own place - Chinatown. A place for preservation and self-preservation; give them what they feel what's right, is safe; make it fit the idea of what is out there..Chinatown and indeed being chinese is and always has been, from the very beginning a construction,a performance of features, gestures, culture and exoticism, invention/reinvention of stylization.
Charles Yu (Interior Chinatown)
Shamu and I have arrived safely in Costa Rica. He was stopped by airport security because he carries enough artillery in his pants pockets to construct a sawed-off shotgun. Evidently, he thought we were headed to Iraq.
Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea)
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken. On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it. We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work. You can easily see why.
Bill Wilson
A skillful literary artist has constructed a tale. If wise, he has not fashioned his thoughts to accommodate his incidents; but having conceived, with deliberate care, a certain unique or single effect to be wrought out, he then invents as may best aid him in establishing this preconceived effect. If his very initial sentence tend not to the outbringing of this effect, then he has failed in his first step. In the whole composition there should be no words written, of which the tendency, direct or indirect, is not to the one pre-established design. And by such means, with such care and skill, a picture is at length painted which leaves in the mind of him who contemplates it with a kindred art, a sense of the fullest satisfaction. The idea of the tale has been presented unblemished because undisturbed: and this is an end unattainable by the novel. Undue brevity is just as exceptionable here as in the poem; but undue length is yet more to be avoided.
Edgar Allan Poe
But spontaneity is not by any means a blind, disorderly urge, a mere power of caprice. A philosophy restricted to the alternatives of conventional language has no way of conceiving an intelligence which does not work according to plan, according to a one-at-a-time order of thought. Yet the concrete evidence of such an intelligence is right to hand in our own thoughtlessly ordered bodies. For the Tao does not 'know' how it produces the universe just as we do not 'know' how we construct our brains.
Alan W. Watts (The Way of Zen)
So this was how secrets got started, I thought to myself. People constructed them little by little. I had not intended to keep May Kasahara a secret from Kumiko. My relationship with her was not that big a deal, finally: whether I mentioned it or not was of no consequence. Once it had flown down a certain delicate channel, however, it had become cloaked in the opacity of secretiveness, whatever my original "intention" had have been.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
Maybe you're meant to be. Love at first sight. It happened to me" "I don't accept that as a hypothesis." "That's because you're a Virgo." "I thought you said virginity was a construct." "A Virgo, you fucking Virgo nightmare. All this and you still don't believe in things. Typical Virgo bullshit.
Casey McQuiston (One Last Stop)
I never thought before, that there was a woman in the world who could affect me so much by saying so little. But don't be hard in your construction of me. You don't know what my state of mind towards you is. You don't know how you haunt and bewilder me. You don't know how the cursed carelessness that is over-officious in helping me at every other turning of my life WON'T help me here. You have struck it dead, I think, and I sometimes wish you had struck me dead along with it.
Charles Dickens (Our Mutual Friend)
It is ironic that constructive thinkers are often misunderstood as negative, as they differ from those longing for positivity: constructive thinkers have been conditioned to find positive in negative rather than suffering from the negative in negative. Or as Paul the Apostle wrote, 'I have learned the secret to contentment in any and every circumstance.' He was right. Indeed the Lord is our strength, especially under the commandment to love one another. Otherwise we are nothing and easily thrown about by both our own and other people's mind control in a painful, mental, physical desperation to run from every thought, every thing, and every one not seeming so positive or immediately beneficial to us.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
There are times when I'm alone and I think, This is it. This is actually the natural state. All I need are my thoughts and my small acts of creation and my ability to go or do whatever I want to go or do. I am myself, and that is the point. Pairing is a social construction. It is by no means necessary for everyone to do it. Maybe I'm better like this. Maybe I could live my life in my own world, and then simply leave it when it's time to go.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I realize that a certain school of thought says that who we are is something we construct for ourselves. We build ourselves out of what we think we remember, what we believe to be true about our life; and the possessions we gather around us are supposedly a part of this, that we are, to some extent what we own.
Deirdre Madden (Molly Fox's Birthday)
Your mind can only hold one thought at a time. Make it a positive and constructive one.
H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Distancing” refers to the ability to view one’s own thoughts (or beliefs) as constructions of “reality” rather than as reality itself.35
Donald J. Robertson (How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius)
In an open marketplace for attention, darker emotions attract more eyeballs than positive and constructive thoughts.
Cal Newport (Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World)
In the age of Facebook and Instagram you can observe this myth-making process more clearly than ever before, because some of it has been outsourced from the mind to the computer. It is fascinating and terrifying to behold people who spend countless hours constructing and embellishing a perfect self online, becoming attached to their own creation, and mistaking it for the truth about themselves.20 That’s how a family holiday fraught with traffic jams, petty squabbles and tense silences becomes a collection of beautiful panoramas, perfect dinners and smiling faces; 99 per cent of what we experience never becomes part of the story of the self. It is particularly noteworthy that our fantasy self tends to be very visual, whereas our actual experiences are corporeal. In the fantasy, you observe a scene in your mind’s eye or on the computer screen. You see yourself standing on a tropical beach, the blue sea behind you, a big smile on your face, one hand holding a cocktail, the other arm around your lover’s waist. Paradise. What the picture does not show is the annoying fly that bites your leg, the cramped feeling in your stomach from eating that rotten fish soup, the tension in your jaw as you fake a big smile, and the ugly fight the happy couple had five minutes ago. If we could only feel what the people in the photos felt while taking them! Hence if you really want to understand yourself, you should not identify with your Facebook account or with the inner story of the self. Instead, you should observe the actual flow of body and mind. You will see thoughts, emotions and desires appear and disappear without much reason and without any command from you, just as different winds blow from this or that direction and mess up your hair. And just as you are not the winds, so also you are not the jumble of thoughts, emotions and desires you experience, and you are certainly not the sanitised story you tell about them with hindsight. You experience all of them, but you don’t control them, you don’t own them, and you are not them. People ask ‘Who am I?’ and expect to be told a story. The first thing you need to know about yourself, is that you are not a story.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Astray from a deep sleep chronic as I write by phonics, like insomnia I will always live the onyx night for revealing, and, upon it, still I'll steal the bright light of day right away just to keep building at speeds hypersonic.
Criss Jami (Healology)
Moreover, probably owing to excessive self-consciousness, perhaps as the result of the generally unfortunate cast of my personality, there existed between my thoughts and feelings, and the expression of those feelings and thoughts, a sort of inexplicable, irrational, and utterly insuperable barrier; and whenever I made up my mind to overcome this obstacle by force, to break down this barrier, my gestures, the expression of my face, my whole being, took on an appearance of painful constraint. I not only seemed, I positively became unnatural and affected. I was conscious of this myself, and hastened to shrink back into myself. Then a terrible commotion was set up within me. I analysed myself to the last thread, compared myself with others, recalled the slightest glances, smiles, words of the people to whom I had tried to open myself out, put the worst construction on everything, laughed vindictively at my own pretensions to 'be like every one else,'—and suddenly, in the midst of my laughter, collapsed utterly into gloom, sank into absurd dejection, and then began again as before—went round and round, in fact, like a squirrel on its wheel. Whole days were spent in this harassing, fruitless exercise.
Ivan Turgenev (Diary of a Superfluous Man)
You have considerable power to construct self-helping thoughts, feelings and actions as well as to construct self-defeating behaviors. You have the ability, if you use it, to choose healthy instead of unhealthy thinking, feeling and acting.
Albert Ellis
Often, people build stories in their mind which have no basis in the contours of reality. Those which build these images, are building such images which are based on their relatively limited sense of understanding about the particular subject or person. This is a "fill in the blank" reality, which often manifests itself into the hearts and the minds of those who have a "fill in the blank" mindset, not the person with the here said reality. The universe is designed in a way that reflects itself, just like a mirror, showing you exactly who you are to yourself, not who others are. Your largest and most concealed insecurities have their way of presenting themselves to you in a fashion that is relative to your self designed way of communication. This short writing is a reminder that your preconceived notions on a particular subject or person, are a construct of your inner mind and emotional-relational well being and not of others. This is one of the largest fundamental truths in which you must have large insight to carefully watch who and what you massacre with your personal thoughts. Having a keen sense of control on this subject will lead you to enlightenment in many platforms of life.
Will Barnes (The Expansion of The Soul)
Books are portals for the imagination, whether one is reading or writing, and unless one is keeping a private journal, writing something that no one is likely to read is like trying to have a conversation when you’re all alone. Readers extend and enhance the writer’s created work, and they deepen the colors of it with their own imagination and life experiences. In a sense, there’s a revision every time one's words are read by someone else, just as surely as there is whenever the writer edits. Nothing is finished or completely dead until both sides quit and it’s no longer a part of anyone’s thoughts. So it seems almost natural that a lifelong avid reader occasionally wants to construct a mindscape from scratch after wandering happily in those constructed by others. If writing is a collaborative communication between author and reader, then surely there’s a time and a place other than writing reviews for readers to 'speak' in the human literary conversation.
P.J. O'Brien
The necessary incompleteness of even our formal systems of thought demonstrates that there is no nonshifting foundation on which any system rests. All truths — even those that had seemed so certain as to be immune to the very possibility of revision — are essentially manufactured. Indeed the very notion of the objectively true is a socially constructed myth. Our knowing minds are not embedded in truth. Rather the entire notion of truth is embedded in our minds, which are themselves the unwitting lackeys of organizational forms of influence.
Rebecca Goldstein (Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel (Great Discoveries))
I circled the site before I came in. If there's anyone within five kilometers, I'll eat my quiver." Halt regarded him, eyebrow arched once more. "Anyone?" "Anyone other than Crowley," Will amended, making a dismissive gesture. "I saw him watching me from that hide he always uses about two kilometers out. I assumed he'd be back in here by now." Halt cleared his throat loudly. "Oh, you saw him, did you?" he said. "I imagine he'll be overjoyed to hear that." Secretly, he was pleased with his former pupil. In spite of his curiosity and obvious excitement, he hadn't forgotten to take the precautions that had been drilled into him. THat augured well for what lay ahead, Halt thought, a sudden grimness settling onto his manner. Will didn't notice the momentary change of mood. He was loosening Tug saddle girth. As he spoke, his voice was muffled against the horses's flank. "he's becoming too much a creature of habit," he said. "he's used that hide for the last three Gatherings. It's time he tried something new. Everyone must be onto it by now." Rangers constantly competed with each other to see before being seen and each year's Gathering was a time of heightened competition. Halt nodded thoughtfully. Crowley had constructed teh virtually invisible observation post some four years previously. Alone among the younger Rangers, Will had tumbled to it after one year. Halt had never mentioned to him that he was the only one who knew of Crowley's hide. The concealed post was the Ranger Commandant's pride and joy. "Well, perhaps not everyone," he said. Will emerged from behind his horse, grinning at the thought of the head of the Ranger Corps thinking he had remained hidden from sight as he watched Will's approach. "All the same, perhaps he's getting a bit long in the tooth to be skulking around hiding in the bushes, don't you think?" he said cheerfully. Halt considered the question for a moment. "Long in the tooth? Well, that's one opinion. Mind you, his silent movement skills are still as good as ever," he said meaningfully. The grin on Will's face slowly faded. He resisted the temptation to look over his shoulder. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" he asked Halt. THe older Ranger nodded. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" Will continued and Halt nodded once more. "Is he...close enough to have heard what I said?" Will finally managed to ask, fearin teh worst. This time, Halt didn't have to answer. "Oh, good grief no," came a familiar voice from behind him. "he's so old and decrepit these days he's as deaf as a post." Will's shoulders sagged and he turned to see the sandy-haired Commandant standing a few meters away. The younger man's eyes dropped. "Hullo, Crowley," he said, then mumbled, "Ahhh...I'm sorry about that." Crowley glared at teh young Ranger for a few more seconds, then he couldn't help teh grin breaking out on his face. "No harm done," he said, adding with a small note of triumph, "It's not often these days I amange to get the better of one of you young ones." Secretly, he was impressed at teh news that Will had spotted his hiding place. Only the sarpest eyes could have picked it. Crowley had been in the business of seeing without being seen for thirty years or more, and despite what Will believed, he was still an absolute master of camouflage and unseen movement.
John Flanagan (The Sorcerer of the North (Ranger's Apprentice, #5))
Those who suppose they are producing a materialist theory of knowledge when they make knowledge a passive recording and abandon the “active aspect” of knowledge to idealism, as Marx complains in the theses on Feuerbach, forget that all knowledge, and in particular all knowledge of the social world, is an act of construction implementing schemes of thought and expression, and that between conditions of existence and practices or representations there intervenes the structuring activity of the agents, who, far from reacting mechanically to mechanical stimulations, respond to the invitations or threats of a world whose meaning they have helped to produce.
Pierre Bourdieu (Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste)
If you believe in nothing, if life can have no real objective meaning and all is socially constructed; then pleasure is absolutely necessary as an analgesic, and distraction is the primary philosophical argument. The politically correct are nihilists, that is reality-deniers, and when there is no reality then the only positive is pleasure.
Bruce G. Charlton (Thought Prison)
How strange it was to be inside a machine again! All his life he’d been inside machines, whether he realised it or not. Modern houses were machines. Shopping centres were machines. Schools. Cars. Trains. Cities. They were all sophisticated technological constructs, wired up with lights and motors. You switched them on, and didn’t spare them a thought while they pampered you with unnatural services.
Michel Faber (The Book of Strange New Things)
This Voyager spacecraft was constructed by the United States of America. We are a community of 240 million human beings among the more than 4 billion who inhabit the planet Earth. We human beings are still divided into nation states, but these states are rapidly becoming a single global civilization. We cast this message into the cosmos. It is likely to survive a billion years into our future, when our civilization is profoundly altered and the surface of the Earth may be vastly changed. Of the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, some--perhaps many--may have inhabited planets and spacefaring civilizations. If one such civilization intercepts Voyager and can understand these recorded contents, here is our message: This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination, and our good will in a vast and awesome universe
Jimmy Carter
What to them is known as practical thought or thinking consists in following the example of some authority whose ideas are accepted as a standard in the construction of some object. Anyone who thinks differently is considered impractical because this thought does not coincide with traditional ideas.
Rudolf Steiner (Anthroposophy in Everyday Life)
When I’m in the ocean, I swim alone, because I’m a shark-eating man. I’m also a man-eating man, though to be fair I thought that one surfer was a seal when I bit into him.
Jarod Kintz (How to construct a coffin with six karate chops)
Positive thoughts help us construct a positive life, one thought at a time.
Janet Gallagher Nestor (Nurturing Wellness Through Radical Self-Care: A Living in Balance Guide and Workbook)
I am often amused and sometimes amazed by the free-reign constructs of my mind. That is why I converse regularly with myself - I am one of my better friends...
Gavin Mills
During the Qin Dynasty, all books not relating to practical concerns such as agriculture or construction were ordered burned by the emperor to guard against "dangerous thought." Whether accounts of zombie attacks perished in the flames will never be known. This obscure section of a medical manuscript, preserved in the wall of an executed Chinese scholar, might be proof of such attacks.
Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide)
If you wish to learn from the theoretical physicist anything about the methods which he uses, I would give you the following piece of advice: Don't listen to his words, examine his achievements. For to the discoverer in that field, the constructions of his imagination appear so necessary and so natural that he is apt to treat them not as the creations of his thoughts but as given realities.
Albert Einstein
Real, constructive mental power lies in the creative thought that shapes your destiny, and your hour-by-hour mental conduct produces power for change in your life. Develop a train of thought on which to ride. The nobility of your life as well as your happiness depends upon the direction in which that train of thought is going.
Laurence J. Peter
Super achievers don’t waste time in unproductive thoughts, esoteric thoughts or catastrophic thoughts. They think constructively and they know that their level of thinking determines their success.
Shiv Khera (You Can Win: A Step-by-Step Tool for Top Achievers)
The top 10% of the people who are most creative, constructive and thoughtful, do not have much to do with churches. To them the canons of reason come first, making faith secondary and questionable.
Joseph Fletcher
If people say the world we perceive is a 'construct' of our brains, they are saying in effect, that it results from an inveterate habit of thought. Why does it never occur to them that a habit is something you can overcome, if you set about it with enough energy?
Owen Barfield
Five seconds, ten seconds, more change than ten thousand years of a human civilization. A billion trillion constructions, mold curling out from every wall, rebuilding what had been merely superhuman.
Vernor Vinge (A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought, #1))
If she could've found the will power to speak, the brain cells to construct thought, she would've told Clay he was a god. It was a good thing she was too wiped out or he would never let her forget it
Nalini Singh
The bulk of the world's knowledge is an imaginary construction. History is but a mode of imagining, of making us see civilizations that no longer appear upon the earth. Some of the most significant discoveries in modern science owe their origin to the imagination of men who had neither accurate knowledge nor exact instruments to demonstrate their beliefs. If astronomy had not kept always in advance of the telescope, no one would ever have thought a telescope worth making. What great invention has not existed in the inventor's mind long before he gave it tangible shape?
Helen Keller (The World I Live In)
Every television program must be a complete package in itself. No previous knowledge is to be required. There must not be even a hint that learning is hierarchical, that it is an edifice constructed on a foundation. The learner must be allowed to enter at any point without prejudice. This is why you shall never hear or see a television program begin with the caution that if the viewer has not seen the previous programs, this one will be meaningless. Television is a nongraded curriculum and excludes no viewer for any reason, at any time. In other words, in doing away with the idea of sequence and continuity in education, television undermines the idea that sequence and continuity have anything to do with thought itself.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
What's a colony without its dusky natives? Where's the fun if they're all going to die off? Just a big chunk of desert, no more maids, no field-hands, no laborers for the construction or the mining--wait, wait a minute there, yes it's Karl Marx, that sly old racist skipping away with his teeth together and his eyebrows up trying to make believe it's nothing but Cheap Labor and Overseas Markets... Oh, no. Colonies are much, much more. Colonies are the outhouses of the European soul, where a fellow can let his pants down and relax, enjoy the smell of his own shit. Where he can fall on his slender prey roaring as loud as he feels like, and guzzle her blood with open joy. Eh? Where he can just wallow and rut and let himself go in a softness, a receptive darkness of limbs, of hair as woolly as the hair on his own forbidden genitals. Where the poppy, and the cannabis and coca grow full and green, and not to the colors and style of death, as do ergot and agaric, the blight and fungus native to Europe. Christian Europe was always death, Karl, death and repression. Out and down in the colonies, life can be indulged, life and sensuality in all its forms, with no harm done to the Metropolis, nothing to soil those cathedrals, white marble statues, noble thoughts... No word ever gets back. The silences down here are vast enough to absorb all behavior, no matter how dirty, how animal it gets....
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
Creating unconditional positive regard opens the door to changing thoughts and behaviors. Humans have an innate urge toward socially constructive behavior. The more a person feels understood, and positively affirmed in that understanding, the more likely that urge for constructive behavior will take hold. ■​“That’s right” is better than “yes.” Strive for it. Reaching “that’s right” in a negotiation creates breakthroughs. ■​Use a summary to trigger a “that’s right.” The building blocks of a good summary are a label combined with paraphrasing. Identify, rearticulate, and emotionally affirm “the world according to . . .
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
There is no such thing as constructive criticism. There is constructive advice, constructive guidance, constructive counsel, encouragement, suggestion, and instruction. Criticism, however, is not constructive but a destructive means of faultfinding that cripples all parties involved. Don't be fooled into thinking otherwise.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
The notion of literature as only one of several avenues to a single type of propositional knowledge is, of course, hardly the winning ticket in lit-crit today. More typical are sentiments that see such a notion as not even admissible, if at all desirable. The world of these academic refuseniks is, however, a bleak and sterile place. Disarmed by their own epistemic fiat, scholars cannot assert anything since they deny the idea of objective rationality. If they arrive at an insight whose truth they wish to defend – for example that truth and rationality are passé – they can’t do so because truth and rationality are constructed to be constructed.
Peter Swirski (Of Literature and Knowledge: Explorations in Narrative Thought Experiments, Evolution, and Game Theory)
...Is there a more monstrous thought, a more convincing spectacle, a more patent affirmation of the impotence and madness of the brain? War. All our philosophies, religions, arts, techniques and trades lead to nothing but this. The finest flowers of civilization. The purest constructions of thought. The most generous and altruistic passions of the heart. The most heroic gestures of man. War. Now and thousand years ago. Tomorrow and a hundred thousand years ago. No, it's not a ...more "...Is there a more monstrous thought, a more convincing spectacle, a more patent affirmation of the impotence and madness of the brain? War. All our philosophies, religions, arts, techniques and trades lead to nothing but this. The finest flowers of civilization. The purest constructions of thought. The most generous and altruistic passions of the heart. The most heroic gestures of man. War. Now and thousand years ago. Tomorrow and a hundred thousand years ago. No, it's not a question of your country, my German or French friend, or yours, whether you're black or white or Papuan or a Borneo monkey. It's a question of your life. If you want to live, kill. Kill so that you can be free, or eat, or shit. The shameful thing is to kill in masses, at a predetermined hour on a predetermined day, in honour of certain principles, under cover of a flag, with old men nodding approval, to kill in a disinterested or passive way. Stand alone against them all, young man, kill, kill, you are unique, you're the only man alive, kill until the others cut you short with the guillotine or the cord or the rope, with or without ceremony, in the name of the Community or King. What a laugh.
Blaise Cendrars (Moravagine)
Thought and science are therefore raising problems which their terms of study can never answer, many of which are doubtless problems only for thought. The trisection of an angle is similarly an insoluble problem only for compass and straight-edge construction, and Achilles cannot overtake the tortoise so long as their progress is considered piecemeal, endlessly having the distance between them. However, as it is not Achilles but the method of measurement which fails to catch up with the tortoise, so it is not man but his method of thought which fails to find fulfillment in experience.
Alan W. Watts (Nature, Man and Woman)
...while some communities are chasing visions out, others are chasing one another away. ....while some leaders love breaking records, others love breaking constructed buildings. Good leaders deserve golden trophies while gas cylinder is o.k for the bad ones!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
Like memory, history was synthetic. Humans thought of both as factual records, but study after study confirmed that they were more like dreams, narratives constructed and reconstructed by the mind to fit the demands of the present, not the reality of the past.
Eliot Peper (Bandwidth (Analog #1))
Time is invisible. Unlike weight. Ah, but maybe that wasn't true. You could feel weight, yes--when you were carrying too much, it made you ploddy--but wasn't it, like time, basically just a human construct? Hands on a clock, numbers on a bathroom scale, weren't they only ways of trying to measure invisible forces that had visible effects? A feeble effort to corral some greater reality beyond what mere humans thought of as reality?
Stephen King (Elevation)
All my girlhood I always planned to do something big…something constructive. It’s queer what ambitious dreams a girl has when she is young. I thought I would sing before big audiences or paint lovely pictures or write a splendid book. I always had that feeling in me of wanting to do something worth while. And just think, Laura…now I am eighty and I have not painted nor written nor sung.” “But you’ve done lots of things, Grandma. You’ve baked bread…and pieced quilts…and taken care of your children.” Old Abbie Deal patted the young girl’s hand. “Well…well…out of the mouths of babes. That’s just it, Laura, I’ve only baked bread and pieced quilts and taken care of children. But some women have to, don’t they?...But I’ve dreamed dreams, Laura. All the time I was cooking and patching and washing, I dreamed dreams. And I think I dreamed them into the children…and the children are carrying them out...doing all the things I wanted to and couldn’t.
Bess Streeter Aldrich (A Lantern in Her Hand)
His vulnerability allowed me to let my guard down, and gently and methodically, he tore apart my well-constructed dam. Waves of tender feelings were lapping over the top and slipping through the cracks. The feelings flooded through and spilled into me. It was frightening opening myself up to feel love for someone again. My heart pounded hard and thudded audibly in my chest. I was sure he could hear it. Ren’s expression changed as he watched my face. His look of sadness was replaced by one of concern for me. What was the next step? What should I do? What do I say? How do I share what I’m feeling? I remembered watching romance movies with my mom, and our favorite saying was “shut up and kiss her already!” We’d both get frustrated when the hero or heroine wouldn’t do what was so obvious to the two of us, and as soon as a tense, romantic moment occurred, we’d both repeat our mantra. I could hear my mom’s humor-filled voice in my mind giving me the same advice: “Kells, shut up and kiss him already!” So, I got a grip on myself, and before I changed my mind, I leaned over and kissed him. He froze. He didn’t kiss me back. He didn’t push me away. He just stopped…moving. I pulled back, saw the shock on his face, and instantly regretted my boldness. I stood up and walked away, embarrassed. I wanted to put some distance between us as I frantically tried to rebuild the walls around my heart. I heard him move. He slid his hand under my elbow and turned me around. I couldn’t look at him. I just stared at his bare feet. He put a finger under my chin and tried to nudge my head up, but I still refused to meet his gaze. “Kelsey. Look at me.” Lifting my eyes, they traveled from his feet to a white button in the middle of his shirt. “Look at me.” My eyes continued their journey. They drifted past the golden-bronze skin of his chest, his throat, and then settled on his beautiful face. His cobalt blue eyes searched mine, questioning. He took a step closer. My breath hitched in my throat. Reaching out a hand, he slid it around my waist slowly. His other hand cupped my chin. Still watching my face, he placed his palm lightly on my cheek and traced the arch of my cheekbone with his thumb. The touch was sweet, hesitant, and careful, the way you might try to touch a frightened doe. His face was full of wonder and awareness. I quivered. He paused just a moment more, then smiled tenderly, dipped is head, and brushed his lips lightly against mine. He kissed me softly, tentatively, just a mere whisper of a kiss. His other hand slid down to my waist too. I timidly touched his arms with my fingertips. He was warm, and his skin was smooth. He gently pulled me closer and pressed me lightly against his chest. I gripped his arms. He sighed with pleasure, and deepened the kiss. I melted into him. How was I breathing? His summery sandalwood scent surrounded me. Everywhere he touched me, I felt tingly and alive. I clutched his arms fervently. His lips never leaving mine, Ren took both of my arms and wrapped them, one by one, around his neck. Then he trailed one of his hands down my bare arm to my waist while the other slid into my hair. Before I realized what he was planning to do, he picked me up with one arm and crushed me to his chest. I have no idea how long we kissed. It felt like a mere second, and it also felt like forever. My bare feet were dangling several inches from the floor. He was holding all my body weight easily with one arm. I buried my fingers into his hair and felt a rumble in his chest. It was similar to the purring sound he made as a tiger. After that, all coherent thought fled and time stopped.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
i wonder what it's like. it's impossible to imagine. when u have only known the absence of a thing, how do u construct its feeling in ur mind?
Nick Lake (Satellite)
You live in a limitless reality. Whatever boundary you construct is a lingering self-created thought. There is a paradise beyond.
Vladimir Hlocky (Journeys Beyond Earth (#1))
The thought constructed itself a piece at a time, like an incomplete jigsaw. Think, don't panic.
Terry Pratchett (The Long Earth (The Long Earth, #1))
Taking part in your own creation is as simple as changing your mind. The way you think literally creates your everyday reality. Obsessive and negative thinking fosters a negative or even hostile lifestyle. Positive and constructive thoughts create happiness and contentment in the same manor. The fortunate thing for us is that the frequency wave of a positive thought far exceeds that of a negative one, so even if we suffer through a bout of depression or anger, a few positive thoughts can easily reverse the damage we have created in ourselves
Gary Hopkins
Unrelenting criticism, especially when it is ground in with parental rage and scorn, is so injurious that it changes the structure of the child’s brain. Repeated messages of disdain are internalized and adopted by the child, who eventually repeats them over and over to himself. Incessant repetitions result in the construction of thick neural pathways of self-hate and self-disgust. Over time a self-hate response attaches to more and more of the child’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Eventually, any inclination toward authentic or vulnerable self-expression activates internal neural networks of self-loathing. The child is forced to exist in a crippling state of self-attack, which eventually becomes the equivalent of full-fledged self-abandonment. The ability to support himself or take his own side in any way is decimated. With ongoing parental reinforcement, these neural pathways expand into a large complex network that becomes an Inner Critic that dominates mental activity. The inner critic’s negative perspective creates many programs of self-rejecting perfectionism. At the same time, it obsesses about danger and catastrophizes incessantly.
Pete Walker (Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving)
She thought of the boy thrown into the cauldron of war, the girl beset by various bigotries, her life in danger, and saw how unjust it all was, her fury limitless for a few moments. And she felt a sense of shame, something akin to accusation from them towards her and her generation, for not having constructed a better world to welcome and contain their beauty, to house their spirit. —
Nadeem Aslam (The Golden Legend)
Your life success is well designed by the mental transformation you experience. That mental transformation guides you to construct powerful decisions. You can't live life so well without mental make-ups.
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
The cerebral processing of that visceral input as a signal of death was accurate. Without the kinds of therapy that had been developed over the decades, this cancer would have been fatal. Hope, then, is constructed not just from rational deliberation, from the conscious weighing of information; it arises as an amalgam of thought and feeling, the feelings created in part by neural input from the organs and tissues.
Jerome Groopman (The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness)
Still, what can thoughtful people and humanists do but struggle toward suitable words? Take me, for instance. I've been writing letters helter-skelter in all directions. More words. I go after reality with language. Perhaps I’d like to change it all into language, to force Madeline and Gersbach to have a Conscience. There’s a word for you. I must be trying to keep tight the tensions without which human beings can no longer be called human. If they don’t suffer, they’ve gotten away from me. And I’ve filled the world with letters to prevent their escape. I want them in human form, and so I conjure up a whole environment and catch them in the middle. I put my whole heart into these constructions. But they are constructions.
Saul Bellow (Herzog)
If there are no self-evident first principles, as a foundation for reasoning to conclusions that are not immediately apparent, how can you construct any kind of a philosophy? If you have to prove even the basic axioms of your metaphysics, you will never have a metaphysics, because you will never have any strict proof of anything, for your first proof will involve you in an infinite regress, proving that you are proving what you are proving and so on, into the exterior darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. If Descartes thought it was necessary to prove his own existence by the fact that he was thinking, and that his though therefore existed in some subject, how did he prove that he was thinking in the first place? But as to the second step, that God must exist because Descartes had a clear idea of him – that never convinced me, then or at any other time, or now either. There are much better proofs for the existence of God than that one.
Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
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. —ISAAC ASIMOV, THE RELATIVITY OF WRONG, 1989
Michael Shermer (The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths)
The unconventional is dangerous at times, but we must...splash our personal canvasses with bold strokes and daring colors and give no thought to what the finished work may look like. It will somehow self-organize into a more worthy piece than can be constructed by the deliberate planning so common with the way life is lived today by most of our fellow humans.
Asim Khan (Dispatches from Saint-Tropez: Reminiscences of La Vie En Rose)
The dream-thoughts and the dream-content lie before us like two versions of the same content in two different languages, or rather, the dream-content looks to us like a translation of the dream-thoughts into another mode of expression, and we are supposed to get to know its signs and laws of grammatical construction by comparing the original and the translation.
Sigmund Freud (The Interpretation of Dreams (World's Classics))
I never killed anybody and I never developed an intense level of hatred for the enemy. Because my war ended before I ever put on a uniform; I was on active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy there. Only Phineas never was afraid, only Phineas never hated anyone. Other people experienced this fearful shock somewhere, this sighting of the enemy...All of them, all except Phineas, constructed at infinite cost to themselves these Maginot Lines against this enemy they thought they saw across the frontier, this enemy who never attacked that way—if he ever attacked at all; if he was indeed the enemy.
John Knowles (A Separate Peace)
Uncouth, clannish, lumbering about the confines of Space and Time with a puzzled expression on his face and a handful of things scavenged on the way from gutters, interglacial littorals, sacked settlements and broken relationships, the Earth-human has no use for thinking except in the service of acquisition. He stands at every gate with one hand held out and the other behind his back, inventing reasons why he should be let in. From the first bunch of bananas, his every sluggish fit or dull fleabite of mental activity has prompted more, more; and his time has been spent for thousands of years in the construction and sophistication of systems of ideas that will enable him to excuse, rationalize, and moralize the grasping hand. His dreams, those priceless comic visions he has of himself as a being with concerns beyond the material, are no more than furtive cannibals stumbling round in an uncomfortable murk of emotion, trying to eat each other. Politics, religion, ideology — desperate, edgy attempts to shift the onus of responsibility for his own actions: abdications. His hands have the largest neural representation in the somesthetic cortex, his head the smallest; but he's always trying to hide the one behind the other.
M. John Harrison (The Centauri Device)
But in the depths of his heart, the older he became, and the more intimately he knew his brother, the more and more frequently the thought struck him that this faculty of working for the public good, of which he felt himself utterly devoid, was possibly not so much a quality as a lack of something --not a lack of good, honest, noble desires and tastes, but a lack of vital force, of what is called heart, of that impulse which drives a man to choose someone out of the innumerable paths of life, and to care only for that one. The better he knew his brother, the more he noticed that Sergey Ivanovitch, and many other people who worked for the public welfare, were not led by an impulse of the heart to care for the public good, but reasoned from intellectual considerations that it was a right thing to take interest in public affairs, and consequently took interest in them. Levin was confirmed in this generalization by observing that his brother did not take questions affecting the public welfare or the question of the immortality of the soul a bit more to heart than he did chess problems, or the ingenious construction of a new machine.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
They were looking for a builder to construct the home they thought they wanted, but he was the architect, coming with a new plan that would give them everything they needed, but within quite a new framework. They were looking for a singer to sing the song they had been humming for a long time, but he was the composer, bringing them a new song to which the old songs they knew would form, at best, the background music. He was the king, all right, but he had come to redefine kingship itself around his own work, his own mission, his own fate.
N.T. Wright (Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters)
I knew what it was to have a misconception corrected—a misconception of such magnitude that shifting it shifted the world. Now I needed to understand how the great gatekeepers of history had come to terms with their own ignorance and partiality. I thought if I could accept that what they had written was not absolute but was the result of a biased process of conversation and revision, maybe I could reconcile myself with the fact that the history most people agreed upon was not the history I had been taught. Dad could be wrong, and the great historians Carlyle and Macaulay and Trevelyan could be wrong, but from the ashes of their dispute I could construct a world to live in.
Tara Westover (Educated)
Garret went across the street to the library. There was a hole in the sidewalk the size of a bathtub. Construction was being done, was always being done. It was the journey that mattered, Garret thought woozily, the getting-there part. The mayor, and then the president, had begun saying that. "And where are we going?" the mayor had asked. "When will we get there? What will happen to us once we get there?" He really wanted to know.
Tao Lin (Bed: Stories)
There was a time when I thought that film, unlike other art forms (being the most democratic of them all) had a total effect, identical of every audience. That it was first and foremost a series of recorded images; that the images are photographic and unequivocal. That being so, because it appears unambiguous, it is going to be perceived in one and the same way by everyone who sees it. (Up to a certain point, obviously) But I was wrong. One has to work out a principle which allows for film to affect people individually. The 'total' image must become something private. (comparable with the images of literature, painting, poetry, music.) The basic principle- as it were, the mainspring- is, I think, that as little as possible has actually to be shown, and form that little the audience has to build up an idea of the rest, of the whole. In my view that has to be the basis for constructing the cinematographic image. And if one looks at it from the point of view of symbols, then the symbol in cinema is a symbol of nature, of reality. Off course, it isn't a question of details, but of what is hidden.
Andrei Tarkovsky (Journal 1970-1986)
The previous governess had used various monsters and bogeymen as a form of discipline. There was always something waiting to eat or carry off bad boys and girls for crimes like stuttering or defiantly and aggravatingly persisting in writing with their left hand. There was always a Scissor Man waiting for a little girl who sucked her thumb, always a bogeyman in the cellar. Of such bricks is the innocence of childhood constructed. Susan’s attempts at getting them to disbelieve in the things only caused the problems to get worse. Twyla had started to wet the bed. This may have been a crude form of defense against the terrible clawed creature that she was certain lived under it. Susan had found out about this one the first night, when the child had woken up crying because of a bogeyman in the closet. She’d sighed and gone to have a look. She’d been so angry that she’d pulled it out, hit it over the head with the nursery poker, dislocated its shoulder as a means of emphasis and kicked it out of the back door. The children refused to disbelieve in the monsters because, frankly, they knew damn well the things were there. But she’d found that they could, very firmly, also believe in the poker. Now she sat down on a bench and read a book. She made a point of taking the children, every day, somewhere where they could meet others of the same age. If they got the hang of the playground, she thought, adult life would hold no fears. Besides, it was nice to hear the voices of little children at play, provided you took care to be far enough away not to hear what they were actually saying. There were lessons later on. These were going a lot better now she’d got rid of the reading books about bouncy balls and dogs called Spot. She’d got Gawain on to the military campaigns of General Tacticus, which were suitably bloodthirsty but, more importantly, considered too difficult for a child. As a result his vocabulary was doubling every week and he could already use words like “disemboweled” in everyday conversation. After all, what was the point of teaching children to be children? They were naturally good at it.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20))
Konstantin Levin regarded his brother as a man of immense intellect and culture, as generous in the highest sense of the word, and possessed of a special faculty for working for the public good. But in the depths of his heart, the older he became, and the more intimately he knew his brother, the more and more frequently the thought struck him that this faculty of working for the public good, of which he felt himself utterly devoid, was possibly not so much a quality as a lack of something — not a lack of good, honest, noble desires and tastes, but a lack of vital force, of what is called heart, of that impulse which drives a man to choose someone out of the innumerable paths of life, and to care only for that one. The better he knew his brother, the more he noticed that Sergey Ivanovitch, and many other people who worked for the public welfare, were not led by an impulse of the heart to care for the public good, but reasoned from intellectual considerations that it was a right thing to take interest in public affairs, and consequently took interest in them. Levin was confirmed in this generalization by observing that his brother did not take questions affecting the public welfare or the question of the immortality of the soul a bit more to heart than he did chess problems, or the ingenious construction of a new machine.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
In accordance with the prevailing conceptions in the U.S., there is no infringement on democracy if a few corporations control the information system: in fact, that is the essence of democracy. In the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the leading figure of the public relations industry, Edward Bernays, explains that “the very essence of the democratic process” is “the freedom to persuade and suggest,” what he calls “the engineering of consent.” “A leader,” he continues, “frequently cannot wait for the people to arrive at even general understanding … Democratic leaders must play their part in … engineering … consent to socially constructive goals and values,” applying “scientific principles and tried practices to the task of getting people to support ideas and programs”; and although it remains unsaid, it is evident enough that those who control resources will be in a position to judge what is “socially constructive,” to engineer consent through the media, and to implement policy through the mechanisms of the state. If the freedom to persuade happens to be concentrated in a few hands, we must recognize that such is the nature of a free society.
Noam Chomsky (Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies)
Pema Chödrön did not become one of my teachers until I had almost finished writing, but she diagnosed the problem so well that I can no longer say it without her help. We are all so busy constructing zones of safety that keep breaking down, she says, that we hardly notice where all the suffering is coming from. We keep thinking that the problem is out there, in the things that scare us: dark nights, dark thoughts, dark guests, dark emotions. If we could just defend ourselves better against those things, we think, then surely we would feel more solid and secure. But of course we are wrong about that, as experience proves again and again. The real problem has far less to do with what is really out there than it does with our resistance to finding out what is really out there. The suffering comes from our reluctance to learn to walk in the dark.1
Barbara Brown Taylor (Learning to Walk in the Dark: Because Sometimes God Shows Up at Night)
I simply try to act as an honest broker for greater persons and writers than I am ... I present no theory, nor do I have one ... I have constructed no Schema ... in terms of the struggle between Eros and agape and the futility of the former in the face of the latter. I have no aspirations, hoping only to show you what some great writers thought these things are.
Allan Bloom
In Egypt, construction is male geometry, a glorification of the visible. The first clarity of intelligible form appears in Egypt, the basis of Greek Apollonianism in art and thought. Egypt discovers four-square architecture, a rigid grid laid against mother nature's melting ovals. Social order becomes a visible aesthetic, countering nature's chthonian invisibilities. Pharaonic construction is the perfection of matter in art. Fascist political power, grandiose and self-divinising, creates the hierarchical, categorical superstructure of western mind.
Camille Paglia
The Corporation Rim has always been a slave state, though it calls its institutionalized slavery “contract labor.” The production of human/bot constructs is just a more horrific twist, a mental slavery as well as a physical one. At least victims of contract labor are free to think their own thoughts. But we tell ourselves that constructs aren’t aware of their predicament. What SecUnit makes us realize is that this is not true; they are all aware of what they are and what’s been done to them. But the only choice they are ever offered is obedience or pain and death.
Martha Wells (Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory (The Murderbot Diaries, #4.5))
The mind sees reality through the lens of māyā (that is, it sees things as fundamentally separate and differentiated) because its primary function is to produce discursive thought-forms, or vikalpas. Vikalpas are mental constructs or interpretive filters that divide up (vi-kḷp) the world into discrete chunks for analysis (e.g., “Dangerous to me or not?” “Source of food or not?” “Potential mate or not?”). This function of the mind was very useful and important in our evolution, but has led to a problematic situation in which our interpretive lenses are constantly interposed between awareness and the rest of reality, such that it’s very easy to mistake the lens for reality. (To be more precise, we take the modified image that appears in the lens or filter as being accurate, when in fact it’s distorted to an unknown degree, until you learn how to remove the lens, at least temporarily). This is one definition of the ‘unawake’ state or dreamstate.
Christopher D. Wallis (The Recognition Sutras: Illuminating a 1,000-Year-Old Spiritual Masterpiece)
MEANING-MAKING The Human Adventure “Nothing means anything on its own. Meaning comes not from seeing or even observation alone, for there is no ‘alone’ in this sort. Neither is meaning lying around in nature waiting to be scooped up by the senses; rather it is constructed. ‘Constructed’ in this context means produced in acts of interpretation.” Humberto R. Maturana “What an organism does is organize, and what a human organism organizes is meaning. It is not that a person makes meaning as much as that the activity of being a person is the activity of meaning-making. There is thus no feeling, no experience, no thought, no perception, independent of a meaning-making context in which it becomes a feeling, an experience, a thought, a perception, because we are the meaning-making context.
L. Michael Hall (Neuro-Semantics)
George Orwell, on how to avoid thinking when you speak: You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. they will construct your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent -- and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connexion between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear... It does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this, is that it is easy.
George Orwell
There’s nothing about me on the jacket because I have no credentials. I majored in English at school, but I only took one creative writing class. I think I got a B. And I never really thought about getting an MFA. I’m too spiteful to take criticism constructively and I’m only comfortable being honest about people behind their backs, so workshops or group critiques were never what I was looking for. For years I just wrote in journals and didn’t really worry about turning any of it into stories or stuff for other people to read, so I guess I developed my writing style by talking to myself, like some homeless people do. Only I used a pen and paper instead of just freaking out on the street. If they switched to a different medium they might be better off. It would probably help if they had someplace to live too.
Paul Neilan
Have you heard the saying by the actor Lily Tomlin, ‘The road to success is always under construction’? I like this concept. My spiritual journey has certainly been messy and uncomfortable at times. I had several emotional breakdowns before experiencing an emotional breakthrough. In essence, layers of deep denial and negative thought-patterns had to be unravelled and replaced with new and greater self-awareness.
Christopher Dines (Super Self Care: How to Find Lasting Freedom from Addiction, Toxic Relationships and Dysfunctional Lifestyles)
The tech companies are destroying something precious, which is the possibility of contemplation. They have created a world in which we’re constantly watched and always distracted. Through their accumulation of data, they have constructed a portrait of our minds, which they use to invisibly guide mass behavior (and increasingly individual behavior) to further their financial interests. They have eroded the integrity of institutions—media, publishing—that supply the intellectual material that provokes thought and guides democracy. Their most precious asset is our most precious asset, our attention, and they have abused it.
Franklin Foer (World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech)
She would not accept it as a law of nature that the individual is always defeated. In a way she realized that she herself was doomed, that sooner or later the Thought Police would catch her and kill her, but with another part of her mind she believed that it was somehow possible to construct a secret world in which you could live as you chose. All you needed was luck and cunning and boldness. She did not understand that there was no such thing as happiness that the only victory lay in the far future, long after you were dead, that from the moment of declaring war on the Party it was better to think of yourself as a corpse.
George Orwell (1984)
Piertotum – oh, for heaven’s sake, Filch, not now –’ The aged caretaker had just come hobbling into view, shouting, ‘Students out of bed! Students in the corridors!’ ‘They’re supposed to be, you blithering idiot!’ shouted McGonagall. ‘Now go and do something constructive! Find Peeves!’ ‘P – Peeves?’ stammered Filch, as though he had never heard the name before. ‘Yes, Peeves, you fool, Peeves! Haven’t you been complaining about him for a quarter of a century? Go and fetch him, at once!’ Filch evidently thought Professor McGonagall had taken leave of her senses, but hobbled away, hunch-shouldered, muttering under his breath.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Then it dawned on Kramer. The cops weren’t all that much different from the assistant D.A.s. It was the muck factor. The cops got tired of packing blacks and Latins off to jail all day, too. It was even worse for them, because they had to dive deeper into the muck to do it. The only thing that made it constructive was the idea that they were doing it for somebody—for the decent people. So they opened their eyes, and now they were attuned to all the good people with colored skin…who rose to the top…during all this relentless stirring of the muck… You couldn’t exactly call it enlightenment, thought Kramer, but it was a fucking start.
Tom Wolfe (The Bonfire of the Vanities)
I thought more about anger, about the art piece I would create. A more fitting tribute: a piece called Construction; each victim is given a nail for every day she has lived with what happened to her. There’s a haphazard pile of wood in the center of campus. Victims can come as they please, hammering nails into the wood. All day people hear the banging, all the drilling and incessant interruption. This is a lot of what surviving is like, trying to carry on and get work done, while your past pounds into you, distracts you, makes it impossible. At the end there’d be an immense wooden structure, randomly nailed together, large, useless, pointy, and dangerous in the middle of everything, people forced to walk around it, interrupting the pretty view of the trees. This is also what assault feels like, what to do with this, where to put it, what is it.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
Regarding the existence of hidden varIables, quantum theory makes no claim to impart any form of knowing or consciousness on the behavior of particles. Although it is trendy to borrow selected concepts from quantum theory to prop up many New Age interpretations of nature, quantum theory does not provide for and mystical mechanisms. The fact that quantum theory make accurate depictions and predictions of particle behavior does not mean that the mathematical constructs of quantum theory depict the actual physical reality of the quantum wave. Simply put, there is no demand that the universe present us with easy-to-understand mechanisms of action.
K. Lee Lerner (Scientific Thought: In Context, 3 Volume set)
I pity those reviewers above, and people like them, who ridicule authors like R.A. Boulay and other proponents of similar Ancient Astronaut theories, simply for putting forth so many interesting questions (because that's really what he often throughout openly admits is all he does does) in light of fascinating and thought-provoking references which are all from copious sources. Some people will perhaps only read the cover and introduction and dismiss it as soon as any little bit of information flies in the face of their beliefs or normalcy biases. Some of those people, I'm sure, are some of the ones who reviewed this book so negatively without any constructive criticism or plausible rebuttal. It's sad to see how programmed and indoctrinated the vast majority of humanity has become to the ills of dogma, indoctrination, unverified status quos and basic ignorance; not to mention the laziness and conformity that results in such acquiescence and lack of critical thinking or lack of information gathering to confirm or debunk something. Too many people just take what's spoon fed to them all their lives and settle for it unquestioningly. For those people I like to offer a great Einstein quote and one of my personal favorites and that is: "Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance" I found this book to be a very interesting gathering of information and collection of obscure and/or remote antiquated information, i.e. biblical, sacred, mythological and otherwise, that we were not exactly taught to us in bible school, or any other public school for that matter. And I am of the school of thought that has been so for intended purposes. The author clearly cites all his fascinating sources and cross-references them rather plausibly. He organizes the information in a sequential manner that piques ones interest even as he jumps from one set of information to the next. The information, although eclectic as it spans from different cultures and time periods, interestingly ties together in several respects and it is this synchronicity that makes the information all the more remarkable. For those of you who continue to seek truth and enlightenment because you understand that an open mind makes for and lifelong pursuit of such things I leave you with these Socrates quotes: "True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
The human mind has limits. We can only remember so many things; we can really only concentrate on one thing at a time. This tendency—for the process of fixing things to get harder as more time elapses—represents a similar limitation. When you’re working on a project, there’s a whole mind space that you create around it. You know all the different reasons why something is being done. You’re holding a pretty complicated construct in your head. Re-creating that construct a week later is hard. You have to remember all the factors that you were considering when you made that choice. You have to re-create the thought process that led you to that decision. You have to become your past self again, put yourself back inside a mind that no longer exists. Doing that takes time. A long time. Twenty-four times as long as it would take if you had fixed the problem when you first discovered it.
Jeff Sutherland (Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time)
Everything becomes a blur when you travel beyond a certain speed. Distant objects may still be clear in outline, but the blurred foreground makes it impossible to attend to them. This landscape is unreal and the passengers in the express train turn to their books, their thoughts or their private fantasies. The subjectivism of our age has a good deal to do with this imprisonment in a speeding vehicle, and the fact that we made this vehicle ourselves, with all the tireless care that children give to a contrivance of wood and wire, does not save us from the sense of being trapped without hope of escape. A further effect of such vertiginous speed is a kind of anaesthesia, entirely natural when the operation of the senses by which we normally make contact with our environment is suspended. With no opportunity to assimilate what is going on, our powers of assimilation are inevitably weakened and certain numbness sets in; nothing is fully savoured and nothing is properly understood. Even fear (which exists to forewarn us of danger) is suspended. This would be so even if speed of change were the only factor involved, but the kind of environment in which a large part of humanity lives today --- the environment created by technology at the service of immediate, short-term needs – does much to intensify this effect. Outside of works of art which embody something beyond our physical needs, our own constructions bore us. Those who, when they have built something and admired the finished product for a decent moment, are ready to pull it down and start on something new have good sense on their side.
Charles Le Gai Eaton (King of the Castle: Choice and Responsibility in the Modern World)
We have, each of us, a life-story, an inner narrative — whose continuity, whose sense, is our lives. It might be said that each of us constructs and lives, a “narrative,” and that this narrative is us, our identities. If we wish to know about a man, we ask “what is his story — his real, inmost story?” — for each of us is a biography, a story. Each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us — through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and, not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations. Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives — we are each of us unique.
Oliver Sacks
I shall expect you and the Slytherins in the Great Hall in twenty minutes, also,” said Professor McGonagall. “If you wish to leave with your students, we shall not stop you. But if any of you attempt to sabotage our resistance or take up arms against us within this castle, then, Horace, we duel to kill.” “Minerva!” he said, aghast. “The time has come for Slytherin House to decide upon its loyalties,” interrupted Professor McGonagall. “Go and wake your students, Horace.” Harry did not stay to watch Slughorn splutter: He and Luna ran after Professor McGonagall, who had taken up a position in the middle of the corridor and raised her wand. “Piertotum--oh, for heaven’s sake, Filch, not now--” The aged caretaker had just come hobbling into view, shouting, “Students out of bed! Students in the corridors!” “They’re supposed to be, you blithering idiot!” shouted McGonagall. “Now go and do something constructive! Find Peeves!” “P-Peeves?” stammered Filch as though he had never heard the name before. “Yes, Peeves, you fool, Peeves! Haven’t you been complaining about him for a quarter of a century? Go and fetch him, at once!” Filch evidently thought Professor McGonagall had taken leave of her senses, but hobbled away, hunch-shouldered, muttering under his breath. “And now--Piertotum Locomotor!” cried Professor McGonagall. And all along the corridor the statues and suits of armor jumped down from their plinths, and from the echoing crashes from the floors above and below, Harry knew that their fellows throughout the castle had done the same. “Hogwarts is threatened!” shouted Professor McGonagall. “Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
One very important difference between white people and black people is that white people think you are your work...Now, a black person has more sense than that because he knows that what I am doing doesn't have anything to do with what I want to do to what I do when I am doing for myself. Now, black people think that my work is just what I have to do to get what I want." Ms. Madison's perspective criticizes definitions of work that grant White men more status and human worth because they are employed in better-paid occupations. She recognizes that work is a contested construct and that evaluating individual worth by the type of work performed is a questionable practice in systems based on race and gender inequality.
Patricia Hill Collins (Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment)
Of course, I’ve only brought up two examples. Other universal laws of physics have been used as weapons as well, though we don’t know all of them. It’s very possible that every law of physics has been weaponized. It’s possible that in some parts of the universe, even … Forget it, I don’t even believe that.” “What were you going to say?” “The foundation of mathematics.” Cheng Xin tried to imagine it, but it was simply impossible. “That’s … madness.” Then she asked, “Will the universe turn into a war ruin? Or, maybe it’s more accurate to ask: Will the laws of physics turn into war ruins?” “Maybe they already are.… The physicists and cosmologists of the new world are focused on trying to recover the original appearance of the universe before the wars more than ten billion years ago. They’ve already constructed a fairly clear theoretical model describing the pre-war universe. That was a really lovely time, when the universe itself was a Garden of Eden. Of course, the beauty could only be described mathematically. We can’t picture it: Our brains don’t have enough dimensions.” Cheng Xin thought back to the conversation with the Ring again. Did you build this four-dimensional fragment? You told me that you came from the sea. Did you build the sea? “You are saying that the universe of the Edenic Age was four-dimensional, and that the speed of light was much higher?” “No, not at all. The universe of the Edenic Age was ten-dimensional. The speed of light back then wasn’t only much higher—rather, it was close to infinity. Light back then was capable of action at a distance, and could go from one end of the cosmos to the other within a Planck time.… If you had been to four-dimensional space, you would have some vague hint of how beautiful that ten-dimensional Garden must have been.” “You’re saying—” “I’m not saying anything.” Yifan seemed to have awakened from a dream. “We’ve only seen small hints; everything else is just guessing. You should treat it as a guess, just a dark myth we’ve made up.” But Cheng Xin continued to follow the course of the discussion taken so far. “—that during the wars after the Edenic Age, one dimension after another was imprisoned from the macroscopic into the microscopic, and the speed of light was reduced again and again.…” “As I said, I’m not saying anything, just guessing.” Yifan’s voice grew softer. “But no one knows if the truth is even darker than our guesses.… We are certain of only one thing: The universe is dying.” The
Liu Cixin (Death's End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #3))
I know it was personally right, it was divinely right, for those apostles to hear what Jesus said and to tarry for the Holy Spirit; however, it is not right now to tarry for the Holy Spirit. Then why do we not all receive the Holy Spirit, you ask? Because our bodies are not ready for it; our temples are not cleansed. When our temples are purified and our minds are put in order so that carnalities and fleshly desires and everything contrary to the Spirit have gone, then the Holy Spirit can take full charge. The Holy Spirit is not a manifestation of carnality. There are any number of people who never read the Word of God who could not be led away by the powers of Satan. But the power of the Holy Spirit is most lovely, divine in all its construction. It is a great refiner. It is full of life, but it is always divine—never natural. If you deal in the flesh after you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, you cease to go on. Beloved, I want to speak about something greater; something to lift your minds, elevate your thoughts, and bring you into divine ways; something that elevates you out of yourself and into God, out of the world and into a place where you know you have rest for your feet, where you cease from your own works (Heb. 4:10), and where God works in you mightily “to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). When I think about a river—a pure, holy, divine river—I say, “What can stand against its inrush?” Wherever it is—in a railway coach, in the street, or in a meeting—its power and flow will always be felt; it will always do its work. Jesus spoke about the Holy Spirit that was to be given. I want you to think about how God gave it, how its coming was manifested, and its reception and its outflow after it had come.
Smith Wigglesworth (Wigglesworth on the Anointing)
The basic principle of structural analysis, I was explaining, is that the terms of a symbolic system do not stand in isolation—they are not to be thought of in terms of what they 'stand for,' but are defined by their relations to each other. One has to first define the field, and then look for elements in that field that are systematic inversions of each other. Take vampires. First you place them: vampires are stock figures in American horror movies. American horror movies constitute a kind of cosmology, a universe unto themselves. Then you ask: what, within this cosmos, is the opposite of a vampire? The answer is obvious. The opposite of a vampire is a werewolf. On one level they are the same: they are both monsters that can bite you and, biting you, turn you, too, into one of their own kind. In most other ways each is an exact inversion of the other. Vampires are rich. They are typically aristocrats. Werewolves are always poor. Vampires are fixed in space: they have castles or crypts that they have to retreat to during the daytime; werewolves are usually homeless derelicts, travelers, or otherwise on the run. Vampires control other creatures (bats, wolves, humans that they hypnotize or render thralls). Werewolves can't control themselves. Yet—and this is really the clincher in this case—each can be destroyed only by its own negation: vampires, by a stake, a simple sharpened stick that peasants use to construct fences; werewolves, by a silver bullet, something literally made from money.
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
I found that we must build our consciousness or faith step by step. When we make certain impressions on our subconscious mind and live for years by those impressions we cannot expect to destroy them in a few days. We must patiently substitute constructive, loving, harmonious thoughts for destructive, critical ones. The more you realize your freedom, the happier you become. Faith, joy, health, contentment, you just bubble over with these wonderful attributes and they attract the best people and environment.
Venice J. Bloodworth (Key to Yourself: Opening the Door to a Joyful Life From Within)
Derrida… labels as ‘metaphysical’ any such thought system which depends on an unassailable foundation, a first principle or unimpeachable ground upon which a whole hierarchy of meanings may be constructed. It is not that he believes that we can merely rid ourselves of the urge to forge such first principles, for such an impulse is deeply embedded in our history, and cannot — at least as yet — be eradicated or ignored. Derrida would see his own work as inescapably ‘contaminated’ by such metaphysical thought, much as he strives to give it the slip. But if you examine such first principles closely, you can see that they may always be ‘deconstructed’: they can be shown to be products of a particular system of meaning, rather than what props it up from the outside.
Terry Eagleton (Literary Theory: An Introduction)
When one speaks of religion influencing public policy, the immediate question is, Whose religion? If one subscribes to the notion that this is in some sense a Christian society, then the question becomes, Whose Christianity? Without some basic agreement religiously, the entrance of religion into the public arena would seem to be a formula for open-ended conflict and possible anarchy. Yet, in the absence of a public ethic, we arrive at that point where, in Alisdair MacIntyre's arresting phrase, "politics becomes civil war carried on by other means." MacIntyre believes that we have already reached that point, and he may be right. A major problem, however, is that a public ethic cannot be reestablished unless it is informed by religiously grounded values. . . . It is important to note that, unlike Rousseau, for example, the founders thought the conventional religions could manage this role of ancillary reinforcement. They did not think it necessary to construct a new "civil religion" for the maintenance of republican virtue.
Richard John Neuhaus (The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America)
Yes, a poem, a painting, can draw the sting of troubles from a troubled world and lay in its place a blessed realm before our grateful eyes. Music and sculpture will do likewise. Yet strictly speaking, in fact, there is no need to present this world in art. You have only to conjure the world up before you, and there you will find a living poem, a fount of song. No need to commit your thoughts to paper—the heart will already sing with a sweet inner euphony. No need to stand before your easel and limn with brush and paint—the world’s vast array of forms and colors already sparkles within the inner eye. It is enough simply to be able thus to view the place we live, and to garner with the camera of the sentient heart these pure, limpid images from the midst of our sullied world. And so even if no verse ever emerges from the mute poet, even if the painter never sets brush to canvas, he is happier than the wealthiest of men, happier than any strong-armed emperor or pampered child of this vulgar world of ours—for he can view human life with an artist’s eye; he is released from the world’s illusory sufferings; he is able to come and go at ease in a realm of transcendent purity, to construct a unique universe of art, and thereby to destroy the binding fetters of self-interest and desire.
Natsume Sōseki (The Three-Cornered World)
Religion, then, is far from "useless." It humanizes violence; it protects man from his own violence by taking it out of his hands, transforming it into a transcendent and ever-present danger to be kept in check by the appropriate rites appropriately observed and by a modest and prudent demeanor. Religious misinterpretation is a truly constructive force, for it purges man of the suspicions that would poison his existence if he were to remain conscious of the crisis as it actually took place. To think religiously is to envision the city's destiny in terms of that violence whose mastery over man increases as man believes he has gained mastery over it. To think religiously (in the primitive sense) is to see violence as something superhuman, to be kept always at a distance and ultimately renounced. When the fearful adoration of this power begins to diminish and all distinctions begin to disappear, the ritual sacrifices lose their force; their potency is not longer recognized by the entire community. Each member tries to correct the situation individually, and none succeeds. The withering away of the transcendental influence means that there is no longer the slightest difference between a desire to save the city and unbridled ambition, between genuine piety and the desire to claim divine status for oneself. Everyone looks on a rival enterprise as evidence of blasphemous designs. Men set to quarreling about the gods, and their skepticism leads to a new sacrificial crisis that will appear - retrospectively, in the light of a new manifestation of unanimous violence - as a new act of divine intervention and divine revenge. Men would not be able to shake loose the violence between them, to make of it a separate entity both sovereign and redemptory, without the surrogate victim. Also, violence itself offers a sort of respite, the fresh beginning of a cycle of ritual after a cycle of violence. Violence will come to an end only after it has had the last word and that word has been accepted as divine. The meaning of this word must remain hidden, the mechanism of unanimity remain concealed. For religion protects man as long as its ultimate foundations are not revealed. To drive the monster from its secret lair is to risk loosing it on mankind. To remove men's ignorance is only to risk exposing them to an even greater peril. The only barrier against human violence is raised on misconception. In fact, the sacrificial crisis is simply another form of that knowledge which grows grater as the reciprocal violence grows more intense but which never leads to the whole truth. It is the knowledge of violence, along with the violence itself, that the act of expulsion succeeds in shunting outside the realm of consciousness. From the very fact that it belies the overt mythological messages, tragic drama opens a vast abyss before the poet; but he always draws back at the last moment. He is exposed to a form of hubris more dangerous than any contracted by his characters; it has to do with a truth that is felt to be infinitely destructive, even if it is not fully understood - and its destructiveness is as obvious to ancient religious thought as it is to modern philosophers. Thus we are dealing with an interdiction that still applies to ourselves and that modern thought has not yet invalidated. The fact that this secret has been subjected to exceptional pressure in the play [Bacchae] must prompt the following lines: May our thoughts never aspire to anything higher than laws! What does it cost man to acknowledge the full sovereignty of the gods? That which has always been held as true owes its strength to Nature.
René Girard (Violence and the Sacred)
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)
Cyclical time already dominates the experience of nomadic populations because they find the same conditions repeated at every moment of their journey: Hegel notes that “the wandering of nomads is only formal because it is limited to uniform spaces.” The society which, by fixing itself in place locally, gives space a content by arranging individualized places, thus finds itself enclosed inside this localization. The temporal return to similar places now becomes the pure return of time in the same place, the repetition of a series of gestures. The transition from pastoral nomadism to sedentary agriculture is the end of the lazy liberty without content, the beg inning of labor. The agrarian mode of production in general, dominated by the rhythm of the seasons, is the basis for fully constituted cyclical time. Eternity is internal to it; it is the return of the same here on earth. Myth is the unitary construction of the thought which guarantees the entire cosmic order surrounding the order which this society has in fact already realized within its frontiers.
Guy Debord
The fundamental thesis of generative anthropology is that the principal concern of human culture is and has been from the outset to defer the potential violence of mimetic desire. To this mode of thought, constructing a model of the good society in any but the general terms of “exchange” and “reciprocity” is unfaithful to the human community, whose operations have been from the beginning beyond the grasp of any individual mind whitin the society, and in which since the rise of the market system we participate largely unmediated by ritual.
Eric Gans
Thus my lifelong meditation on the concept of groove, what is to make deep rhythm. This becomes a huge part of my life, as a musician of course, but also the question of how it relates to all of existence. When I'm rocking a groove, there is only nature working, ain't no one gonna rock it harder than me. Free from all prison of the mind's construct, I am a fucking mama grizzly bear protecting her cubs, and I don't care if I die. I trust my animal instinct completely. I let go of every thought, let go of all the world, and KILL the groove. The hurt and pain in my heart is my ticket to fly, I surrender all earthly desires in the moment, when it's time to rock and tap the source. I gotta be the groove and nothing else, fuck the world so I can uplift the world. To all you kids out there hurting like I hurt, I'm gonna be with you there in the magic place.
Flea (Acid for the Children)
We are always and simultaneously at point “a” (which is less desirable than it could be), moving towards point “b” (which we deem better, in accordance with our explicit and implicit values). We always encounter the world in a state of insufficiency and seek its correction. We can imagine new ways that things could be set right, and improved, even if we have everything we thought we needed. Even when satisfied, temporarily, we remain curious. We live within a framework that defines the present as eternally lacking and the future as eternally better. If we did not see things this way, we would not act at all. We wouldn’t even be able to see, because to see we must focus, and to focus we must pick one thing above all else on which to focus. But we can see. We can even see things that aren’t there. We can envision new ways that things could be better. We can construct new, hypothetical worlds, where problems we weren’t even aware of can now show themselves and be addressed. The advantages of this are obvious: we can change the world so that the intolerable state of the present can be rectified in the future. The disadvantage to all this foresight and creativity is chronic unease and discomfort. Because we always contrast what is with what could be, we have to aim at what could be. But we can aim too high. Or too low. Or too chaotically. So we fail and live in disappointment, even when we appear to others to be living well.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change. “Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?” The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—” I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder. Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat. “What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out. I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.” Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing. Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position. “Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?” “What is happening?” We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation. “Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says. I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs. My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.” He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag. As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures. I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.” “You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.” Fuck, it totally does. Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.” I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.” “You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.” “Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.” “Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
If performativity requires a power to effect or enact what one names, then who will be the “one” with such a power, and how will such a power be thought? How might we account for the injurious word within such a framework, the word that not only names a social subject, but constructs that subject in the naming, and constructs that subject through a violating interpellation? Is it the power of a “one” to effect such an injury through the wielding of the injurious name, or is that a power accrued through time which is concealed at the moment that a single subject utters its injurious terms? Does the “one” who speaks the term cite the term, thereby establishing him or herself as the author while at the same time establishing the derivative status of that authorship? Is a community and history of such speakers not magically invoked at the moment in which that utterance is spoken? And if and when that utterance brings injury, is it the utterance or the utterer who is the cause of the injury, or does that utterance perform its injury through a transitivity that cannot be reduced to a causal or intentional process originating in a singular subject?
Judith Butler (Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative)
Money was the blood of civilized society, its currents running through everything and everyone. Where money was insufficient, things withered. People starved, sickened and died, constructions eroded, even ideas perished. Where funds were plentiful, the same things blossomed with new life. And money was, in the end, little more than the product of collective imagination. A slip of paper or a coin had no value beyond that of the material it was fashioned of. It only took on a life of its own when people as a whole collectively agreed that certain papers and coins were worth something. Only then did people bleed and die for it. For a fantasy, a faith given form in hard, concrete numbers. Then again, much of society was built on a series of shared delusions. Clothing was little more than scraps of particular materials with particular geometries, but people clung to the idea of fashion. Style. Good and bad fashion was another belief system, one which all members of a culture were indoctrinated into. Breaking certain conventions didn’t only challenge the aesthetic sensibilities of others, but it challenged their sense of self. It reminded them, subconsciously, of the very pretendings they clung to. Only those with power could stand against society’s tides, flaunt the collective’s ‘safe’ aesthetic. When one had enough power, others couldn’t rise against them and safely say something calculated to reduce their own dissonance and remind the offending party of the unspoken rules. When one had enough power to take a life with a twitch of a finger, a thought, they earned the right to wear skin-tight clothing and call themselves Hero, or Legend. To wear a mask and name themselves something inane like ‘the Cockatoo’ and still take themselves seriously.
Wildbow (Worm (Parahumans, #1))
To speak of certain government and establishment institutions as “the system” is to speak correctly, since these organizations are founded upon the same structural conceptual relationships as a motorcycle. They are sustained by structural relationships even when they have lost all other meaning and purpose. People arrive at a factory and perform a totally meaningless task from eight to five without question because the structure demands that it be that way. There’s no villain, no “mean guy” who wants them to live meaningless lives, it’s just that the structure, the system demands it and no one is willing to take on the formidable task of changing the structure just because it is meaningless. But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
No institution of learning of Ingersoll's day had courage enough to confer upon him an honorary degree; not only for his own intellectual accomplishments, but also for his influence upon the minds of the learned men and women of his time and generation. Robert G. Ingersoll never received a prize for literature. The same prejudice and bigotry which prevented his getting an honorary college degree, militated against his being recognized as 'the greatest writer of the English language on the face of the earth,' as Henry Ward Beecher characterized him. Aye, in all the history of literature, Robert G. Ingersoll has never been excelled -- except by only one man, and that man was -- William Shakespeare. And yet there are times when Ingersoll even surpassed the immortal Bard. Yes, there are times when Ingersoll excelled even Shakespeare, in expressing human emotions, and in the use of language to express a thought, or to paint a picture. I say this fully conscious of my own admiration for that 'intellectual ocean, whose waves touched all the shores of thought.' Ingersoll was perfection himself. Every word was properly used. Every sentence was perfectly formed. Every noun, every verb and every object was in its proper place. Every punctuation mark, every comma, every semicolon, and every period was expertly placed to separate and balance each sentence. To read Ingersoll, it seems that every idea came properly clothed from his brain. Something rare indeed in the history of man's use of language in the expression of his thoughts. Every thought came from his brain with all the beauty and perfection of the full blown rose, with the velvety petals delicately touching each other. Thoughts of diamonds and pearls, rubies and sapphires rolled off his tongue as if from an inexhaustible mine of precious stones. Just as the cut of the diamond reveals the splendor of its brilliance, so the words and construction of the sentences gave a charm and beauty and eloquence to Ingersoll's thoughts. Ingersoll had everything: The song of the skylark; the tenderness of the dove; the hiss of the snake; the bite of the tiger; the strength of the lion; and perhaps more significant was the fact that he used each of these qualities and attributes, in their proper place, and at their proper time. He knew when to embrace with the tenderness of affection, and to resist and denounce wickedness and tyranny with that power of denunciation which he, and he alone, knew how to express.
Joseph Lewis (Ingersoll the Magnificent)
I don't think Dave ever thought of himself as an efficiency expert, but every job he ever held, he simplified. His successor always had less work to do than his predecessor. That his successor usually reorganized the job again to take three times as much work, and as many subordinates, says little about Dave's oddity, other than by contrast. Some people are ants by nature, they have to work. Even when it's useless. Few people have a talent for "constructive laziness." And so ends the tale about the man who was too lazy to fail. Let's leave him there, in his hammock under the shade trees. So far as I know, he is still there.
Robert A. Heinlein (Time Enough for Love)
The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction the weight,
the weight we carry 
is love. Who can deny? 
In dreams
it touches
the body,
in thought
a miracle,
in imagination
till born
in human - 
looks out of the heart
burning with purity - 
for the burden of life
is love, but we carry the weight
and so must rest
in the arms of love
at last,
 must rest in the arms
of love. No rest
without love,
 no sleep
without dreams
of love - 
be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
or machines,
the final wish
is love
 - cannot be bitter,
 cannot deny,
 cannot withhold 
if denied: the weight is too heavy - must give
for no return
as thought
is given
in solitude
in all the excellence
of its excess. The warm bodies
shine together
in the darkness,
the hand moves
to the center
of the flesh,
the skin trembles
in happiness
and the soul comes
joyful to the eye-- yes, yes,
that's what
I wanted,
I always wanted,
I always wanted,
to return
to the body
where I was born.
Allen Ginsberg
The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction the weight, the weight we carry is love. Who can deny? In dreams it touches the body, in thought constructs a miracle, in imagination anguishes till born in human-- looks out of the heart burning with purity-- for the burden of life is love, but we carry the weight wearily, and so must rest in the arms of love at last, must rest in the arms of love. No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love-- be mad or chill obsessed with angels or machines, the final wish is love --cannot be bitter, cannot deny, cannot withhold if denied: the weight is too heavy --must give for no return as thought is given in solitude in all the excellence of its excess. The warm bodies shine together in the darkness, the hand moves to the center of the flesh, the skin trembles in happiness and the soul comes joyful to the eye-- yes, yes, that's what I wanted, I always wanted, I always wanted, to return to the body where I was born.
Allen Ginsberg
Most of us think of evolution only in terms of genetics, but that is a mistake. Culture, thought, behavior, and the expression of genes (the genes you have can be turned on or off) also evolve. In addition, we humans can influence our evolution by the environments we construct and the choices we make; our evolution is not just a matter of chance. We have been given the great gift of being able to adapt our thinking and behavior intentionally, and to change our circumstances deliberately, to better suit healthy, purposeful living. The six flexibility skills form such a powerful set because each allows us to meet one of the six essential criteria for evolution to occur. They provide us with the tools to intentionally evolve our lives.
Steven C. Hayes (A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters)
Believing in my great hurt, my literal cutting off from society's mainland, it seems to me that I took life in a sense too seriously, and the lives of others, for the same reason, too lightly. The murders were my own conception; my sex. The Factory was my attempt to construct life, to replace the involvement which otherwise I did not want. Well, it is always easier to succeed at death. Inside this greater machine, things are not quite so cut and dried (or cut and pickled) as they have appeared in my experience. Each of us, in our own personal Factory, may believe we have stumbled down one corridor, and that our fate is sealed and certain (dream or nightmare, humdrum or bizarre, good or bad), but a word, a glance, a slip - anything can change that, alter it entirely, and our marble hall becomes a gutter, or our rat-maze a golden path. Our destination is the same in the end, but our journey - part chosen, part determined- is different for us all, and changes even as we live and grow. I thought one door had snicked shut behind me years ago; in fact I was still crawling about the face. Now the door closes, and my journey begins.
Iain Banks
This is not an easy thing to admit, but until that moment I had held out some craven speck of hope that this had all been a hideous misunderstanding. A boy who would say anything he thought you wanted to hear, a girl made vicious by trauma and grief and my rejection on top of it all; we could have misinterpreted in any one of a hundred ways. It was only in that moment, in the ease of that gratuitous lie, that I understood that Rosalind—the Rosalind I had known, the bruised, captivating, unpredictable girl with whom I had laughed in the Central and held hands on a bench—had never existed. Everything she had ever shown me had been constructed for effect, with the absorbed, calculating care that goes into an actor's costume. Underneath the myriad shimmering veils, this was something as simple and deadly as razor wire.
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
They stole my bank account,” Gloria said. After a time he realized, from her measured, lucidly stated narration, that no “they” existed. Gloria unfolded a panorama of total and relentless madness, lapidary in construction. She had filled in all the details with tools as precise as dental tools. No vacuum existed anywhere in her account. He could find no error, except of course for the premise, which was that everyone hated her, was out to get her, and she was worthless in every respect. As she talked she began to disappear. He watched her go; it was amazing. Gloria, in her measured way, talked herself out of existence word by word. It was rationality at the service of—well, he thought, at the service of nonbeing. Her mind had become one great, expert eraser. All that really remained now was her husk; which is to say, her uninhabited corpse. She is dead now, he realized that day on the beach.
Philip K. Dick (VALIS)
Politics is the science of domination, and persons in the process of enlargement and illumination are notoriously difficult to control. Therefore, to protect its vested interests, politics usurped religion a very long time ago. Kings bought off priests with land and adornments. Together, they drained the shady ponds and replaced them with fish tanks. The walls of the tanks were constructed of ignorance and superstition, held together with fear. They called the tanks “synagogues” or “churches” or “mosques.” After the tanks were in place, nobody talked much about soul anymore. Instead, they talked about spirit. Soul is hot and heavy. Spirit is cool, abstract, detached. Soul is connected to the earth and its waters. Spirit is connected to the sky and its gases. Out of the gases springs fire. Firepower. It has been observed that the logical extension of all politics is war. Once religion became political, the exercise of it, too, could be said to lead sooner or later to war. “War is hell.” Thus, religious belief propels us straight to hell. History unwaveringly supports this view. (Each modern religion has boasted that it and it alone is on speaking terms with the Deity, and its adherents have been quite willing to die—or kill—to support its presumptuous claims.) Not every silty bayou could be drained, of course. The soulfish that bubbled and snapped in the few remaining ponds were tagged “mystics.” They were regarded as mavericks, exotic and inferior. If they splashed too high, they were thought to be threatening and in need of extermination. The fearful flounders in the tanks, now psychologically dependent upon addictive spirit flakes, had forgotten that once upon a time they, too, had been mystical. Religion is nothing but institutionalized mysticism. The catch is, mysticism does not lend itself to institutionalization. The moment we attempt to organize mysticism, we destroy its essence. Religion, then, is mysticism in which the mystical has been killed. Or, at least diminished. Those who witness the dropping of the fourth veil might see clearly what Spike Cohen and Roland Abu Hadee dimly suspected: that not only is religion divisive and oppressive, it is also a denial of all that is divine in people; it is a suffocation of the soul.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
Think about what you want to be, do, and have. Think about it often until you are very clear about this. Then, when you are very clear, think about nothing else. Imagine no other possibilities. Throw all negative thoughts out of your mental constructions. Lose all pessimism. Release all doubts. Reject all fears. Discipline your mind to hold fast to the original creative thought. When your thoughts are clear and steadfast, begin to speak them as truths. Say them out loud. Use the great command that calls forth creative power: I am. Make I-am statements to others. “I am” is the strongest creative statement in the universe. Whatever you think, whatever you say, after the words “I am” sets into motion those experiences, calls them forth, brings them to you. There is no other way the universe knows how to work. There is no other route it knows to take. The universe responds to “I am” as would a genie in a bottle.
Neale Donald Walsch (The Complete Conversations with God)
However, questions arise. Are there people who aren't naive realists, or special situations in which naive realism disappears? My theory—the self-model theory of subjectivity—predicts that as soon as a conscious representation becomes opaque (that is, as soon as we experience it as a representation), we lose naive realism. Consciousness without naive realism does exist. This happens whenever, with the help of other, second-order representations, we become aware of the construction process—of all the ambiguities and dynamical stages preceding the stable state that emerges at the end. When the window is dirty or cracked, we immediately realize that conscious perception is only an interface, and we become aware of the medium itself. We doubt that our sensory organs are working properly. We doubt the existence of whatever it is we are seeing or feeling, and we realize that the medium itself is fallible. In short, if the book in your hands lost its transparency, you would experience it as a state of your mind rather than as an element of the outside world. You would immediately doubt its independent existence. It would be more like a book-thought than a book-perception. Precisely this happens in various situations—for example, In visual hallucinations during which the patient is aware of hallucinating, or in ordinary optical illusions when we suddenly become aware that we are not in immediate contact with reality. Normally, such experiences make us think something is wrong with our eyes. If you could consciously experience earlier processing stages of the representation of the book In your hands, the image would probably become unstable and ambiguous; it would start to breathe and move slightly. Its surface would become iridescent, shining in different colors at the same time. Immediately you would ask yourself whether this could be a dream, whether there was something wrong with your eyes, whether someone had mixed a potent hallucinogen into your drink. A segment of the wall of the Ego Tunnel would have lost its transparency, and the self-constructed nature of the overall flow of experience would dawn on you. In a nonconceptual and entirely nontheoretical way, you would suddenly gain a deeper understanding of the fact that this world, at this very moment, only appears to you.
Thomas Metzinger (The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self)
I was starting to remember the whole problem now: I hate these fucking people [people at Tea Party rallies, ed]. It's never been just political, it's personal. I'm not convinced anyone in this country except the kinds of weenies who thought student council was important really cares about large versus small government or strict constructionalism versus judicial activism. The ostensible issues are just code words in an ugly snarl of class resentment, anti-intellectualism, old-school snobbery, racism, and who knows what else - grudges left over from the Civil War, the sixties, gym class. The Tea Party likes to cite a poll showing that their members are wealthier and better educated than te general populace, but to me they mostly looked like the same people I'd had to listen to in countless dive bars railing against "edjumicated idiots" and explaining exactly how Nostradamus predicted 9/11, the very people I and everyone I know fled our hometowns to get away from. So far all my interactions at the rally were only reinforcing my private theory - I suppose you might call it a prejudice - that liberals are the ones who went to college, moved to the nearest city where no one would call them a fag, and now only go back for holidays; conservatives are the ones who married their high school girlfriends, bought houses in their hometowns, and kept going to church and giving a shit who won the homecoming game. It's the divide between the Got Out and the Stayed Put. This theory also account for the different reactions of these two camps when the opposition party takes power, raising the specter of either fascist or socialist tyranny: the Got Outs always fantasize about fleeing the country for someplace more civilized - Canada, France, New Zealand; the Stayed Put just di further in, hunkering down in compounds, buying up canned goods and ammo.
Tim Kreider (We Learn Nothing)
Consider the following: “Will Mindik be a good leader? She is intelligent and strong…” An answer quickly came to your mind, and it was yes. You picked the best answer based on the very limited information available, but you jumped the gun. What if the next two adjectives were corrupt and cruel? Take note of what you did not do as you briefly thought of Mindik as a leader. You did not start by asking, “What would I need to know before I formed an opinion about the quality of someone’s leadership?” System 1 got to work on its own from the first adjective: intelligent is good, intelligent and strong is very good. This is the best story that can be constructed from two adjectives, and System 1 delivered it with great cognitive ease. The story will be revised if new information comes in (such as Mindik is corrupt), but there is no waiting and no subjective discomfort. And there also remains a bias favoring the first impression.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
By calling into question the very ideal of a universal, autonomous reason (which was, in the Enlightenment, the basis for rejecting religious thought) and further demonstrating that all knowledge is grounded in narrative or myth, Lyotard relativizes (secular) philosophy's claim to autonomy and so grants the legitimacy of a philosophy that grounds itself in Christian faith. Previously such a distinctly Christian philosophy would have been exiled from the 'pure' arena of philosophy because of its 'infection' with bias and prejudice. Lyotard's critique, however, demonstrates that no philosophy - indeed, no knowledge - is untainted by prejudice or faith commitments. In this way the playing field is leveled, and new opportunities to voice a Christian philosophy are created. Thus Lyotard's postmodern critique of metanarratives, rather than being a formidable foe of Christian faith and thought, can in fact be enlisted as an ally in the construction of a Christian philosophy.
James K.A. Smith (Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church (The Church and Postmodern Culture))
So sentences are copied, constructed, or created; they are uttered, mentioned, or used; each says, means, implies, reveals, connects; each titillates, invites, conceals, suggests; and each is eventually either consumed or conserved; nevertheless, the lines in Stevens or the sentences of Joyce and James, pressed by one another into being as though the words before and the words after were those reverent hands both Rilke and Rodin have celebrated, clay calling to clay like mating birds, concept responding to concept the way passionate flesh congests, every note a nipple on the breast, at once a triumphant pinnacle and perfect conclusion, like pelted water, I think I said, yet at the same time only another anonymous cell, and selfless in its service to the shaping skin as lost forgotten matter is in all walls; these lines, these sentences, are not quite uttered, not quite mentioned, peculiarly employed, strangely listed, oddly used, as though a shadow were the leaves, limbs, trunk of a new tree, and the shade itself were thrust like a dark torch into the grassy air in the same slow and forceful way as its own roots, entering the earth, roughen the darkness there till all its freshly shattered facets shine against themselves as teeth do in the clenched jaw; for Rabelais was wrong, blue is the color of the mind in borrow of the body; it is the color consciousness becomes when caressed; it is the dark inside of sentences, sentences which follow their own turnings inward out of sight like the whorls of a shell, and which we follow warily, as Alice after that rabbit, nervous and white, till suddenly—there! climbing down clauses and passing through ‘and’ as it opens—there—there—we’re here! . . . in time for tea and tantrums; such are the sentences we should like to love—the ones which love us and themselves as well—incestuous sentences—sentences which make an imaginary speaker speak the imagination loudly to the reading eye; that have a kind of orality transmogrified: not the tongue touching the genital tip, but the idea of the tongue, the thought of the tongue, word-wet to part-wet, public mouth to private, seed to speech, and speech . . . ah! after exclamations, groans, with order gone, disorder on the way, we subside through sentences like these, the risk of senselessness like this, to float like leaves on the restful surface of that world of words to come, and there, in peace, patiently to dream of the sensuous, imagined, and mindful Sublime.
William H. Gass (On Being Blue)
It would be pleasant to believe that the age of pessimism is now coming to a close, and that its end is marked by the same author who marked its beginning: Aldous Huxley. After thirty years of trying to find salvation in mysticism, and assimilating the Wisdom of the East, Huxley published in 1962 a new constructive utopia, The Island. In this beautiful book he created a grand synthesis between the science of the West and the Wisdom of the East, with the same exceptional intellectual power which he displayed in his Brave New World. (His gaminerie is also unimpaired; his close union of eschatology and scatology will not be to everybody's tastes.) But though his Utopia is constructive, it is not optimistic; in the end his island Utopia is destroyed by the sort of adolescent gangster nationalism which he knows so well, and describes only too convincingly. This, in a nutshell, is the history of thought about the future since Victorian days. To sum up the situation, the sceptics and the pessimists have taken man into account as a whole; the optimists only as a producer and consumer of goods. The means of destruction have developed pari passu with the technology of production, while creative imagination has not kept pace with either. The creative imagination I am talking of works on two levels. The first is the level of social engineering, the second is the level of vision. In my view both have lagged behind technology, especially in the highly advanced Western countries, and both constitute dangers.
Dennis Gabor (Inventing the Future)
Of course, the champions of totalitarianism protest that what they want to abolish is "only economic freedom" and that all "other freedoms" will remain untouched. But freedom is indivisible. The distinction between an economic sphere of human life and activity and a noneconomic sphere is the worst of their fallacies. If an omnipotent authority has the power to assign to every individual the tasks he has to perform, nothing that can be called freedom and autonomy is left to him. He has only the choice between strict obedience and death by starvation.1 Committees of experts may be called to advise the planning authority whether or not a young man should be given the opportunity to prepare himself for and to work in an intellectual or artistic field. But such an arrangement can merely rear disciples committed to the parrotIike repetition of the ideas of the preceding generation. It would bar innovators who disagree with the accepted ways of thought. No innovation would ever have been accomplished if its originator had been in need of an authorization by those from whose doctrines and methods he wanted to deviate. Hegel would not have ordained Schopenhauer or Feuerbach, nor would Professor Rau have ordained Marx or Carl Menger. If the supreme planning board is ultimately to determine which books are to be printed, who is to experiment in the laboratories and who is to paint or to sculpture, and which alterations in technological methods should be undertaken, there will be neither improvement nor progress. Individual man will become a pawn in the hands of the rulers, who in their "social engineering" will handle him as engineers handle the stuff of which they construct buildings, bridges, and machines. In every sphere of human activity an innovation is a challenge not only to ali routinists and to the experts and practitioners of traditional methods but even more to those who have in the past themselves been innovators. It meets at the beginning chiefly stubborn opposition. Such obstacles can be overcome in a society where there is economic freedom. They are insurmountable in a socialist system.
Ludwig von Mises (Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution)
The reciprocal relationship of epistemology and science is of noteworthy kind. They are dependent upon each other. Epistemology without contact with science becomes an empty scheme. Science without epistemology is—insofar as it is thinkable at all—primitive and muddled. However, no sooner has the epistemologist, who is seeking a clear system, fought his way through to such a system, than he is inclined to interpret the thought-content of science in the sense of his system and to reject whatever does not fit into his system. The scientist, however, cannot afford to carry his striving for epistemological systematic that far. He accepts gratefully the epistemological conceptual analysis; but the external conditions, which are set for him by the facts of experience, do not permit him to let himself be too much restricted in the construction of his conceptual world by the adherence to an epistemological system. He therefore must appear to the systematic epistemologist as a type of unscrupulous opportunist: he appears as realist insofar as he seeks to describe a world independent of the acts of perception; as idealist insofar as he looks upon the concepts and theories as free inventions of the human spirit (not logically derivable from what is empirically given); as positivist insofar as he considers his concepts and theories justified only to the extent to which they furnish a logical representation of relations among sensory experiences. He may even appear as Platonist or Pythagorean insofar as he considers the viewpoint of logical simplicity as an indispensable and effective tool of his research. (Einstein 1949, 683–684)
Albert Einstein (Autobiographical Notes)
Frederick Cuvier and several of the older metaphysicians have compared instinct with habit. This comparison gives, I think, an accurate notion of the frame of mind under which an instinctive action is performed, but not necessarily of its origin. How unconsciously many habitual actions are performed, indeed not rarely in direct opposition to our conscious will! yet they may be modified by the will or reason. Habits easily become associated with other habits, with certain periods of time and states of the body. When once acquired, they often remain constant throughout life. Several other points of resemblance between instincts and habits could be pointed out. As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought: so P. Huber found it was with a caterpillar, which makes a very complicated hammock; for if he took a caterpillar which had completed its hammock up to, say, the sixth stage of construction, and put it into a hammock completed up only to the third stage, the caterpillar simply re-performed the fourth, fifth, and sixth stages of construction. If, however, a caterpillar were taken out of a hammock made up, for instance, to the third stage, and were put into one finished up to the sixth stage, so that much of its work was already done for it, far from deriving any benefit from this, it was much embarrassed, and, in order to complete its hammock, seemed forced to start from the third stage, where it had left off, and thus tried to complete the already finished work.
Charles Darwin (On the Origin of Species)
...Is there a more monstrous thought, a more convincing spectacle, a more patent affirmation of the impotence and madness of the brain? War. All our philosophies, religions, arts, techniques and trades lead to nothing but this. The finest flowers of civilization. The purest constructions of thought. The most generous and altruistic passions of the heart. The most heroic gestures of man. War. Now and thousand years ago. Tomorrow and a hundred thousand years ago. No, it's not a question of your country, my German or French friend, or yours, whether you're black or white or Papuan or a Borneo monkey. It's a question of your life. If you want to live, kill. Kill so that you can be free, or eat, or shit. The shameful thing is to kill in masses, at a predetermined hour on a predetermined day, in honour of certain principles, under cover of a flag, with old men nodding approval, to kill in a disinterested or passive way. Stand alone against them all, young man, kill, kill, you are unique, you're the only man alive, kill until the others cut you short with the guillotine or the cord or the rope, with or without ceremony, in the name of the Community or King. What a laugh.
Blaise Cendrars
To make way for more resorts with spectacular views, developers destroy native habitats and ignore local concerns. Preservationists decry the growing propensity to bulldoze old hotels and buildings in favor of constructing new resorts, water holes and entertainment spots that look identical whether in Singapore, Dubai or Johannesburg; a world where diversity is replaced with homogeneity. Another catastrophe for countries betting on tourism has come from wealthy vacationers who fall in love with a country and buy so many second houses that locals can no longer afford to live in their own towns and villages. Among the more thoughtful questions is how mass tourism has changed cultures. African children told anthropologists that they want to grow up to be tourists so they could spend the day doing nothing but eating. The tourists who do not speak the local language and rely on guides to tell them what they are seeing and what to think marvel at countries like China with its new wealth and appearance of democracy. Environmentalists wonder how long the globe can continue to support 1 billion people racing around the world for a long weekend on a beach or a ten-day tour of an African game park.
Elizabeth Becker (Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism)
Ask any number of people to describe a moment of “perfect” happiness. Some will talk about moments of deep peace experienced in a harmonious natural setting, of a forest dappled in sunshine, of a mountain summit looking out across a vast horizon, of the shores of a tranquil lake, of a night walk through snow under a starry sky, and so on. Others will refer to a long-awaited event: an exam they’ve aced, a sporting victory, meeting someone they’ve longed to meet, the birth of a child. Still others will speak of a moment of peaceful intimacy with their family or a loved one, or of having made someone else happy. The common factor to all of these experiences would seem to be the momentary disappearance of inner conflicts. The person feels in harmony with the world and with herself. Someone enjoying such an experience, such as walking through a serene wilderness, has no particular expectations beyond the simple act of walking. She simply is, here and now, free and open. For just a few moments, thoughts of the past are suppressed, the mind is not burdened with plans for the future, and the present moment is liberated from all mental constructs. This moment of respite, from which all sense of emotional urgency has vanished, is experienced as one of profound peace.
Matthieu Ricard (Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill)
Forgetting herself entirely, Pandora let her head loll back against Gabriel's shoulder. "What kind of glue does Ivo use?" she asked languidly. "Glue?" he echoed after a moment, his mouth close to her temple, grazing softly. "For his kites." "Ah." He paused while a wave retreated. "Joiner's glue, I believe." "That's not strong enough," Pandora said, relaxed and pensive. "He should use chrome glue." "Where would he find that?" One of his hands caressed her side gently. "A druggist can make it. One part acid chromate of lime to five parts gelatin." Amusement filtered through his voice. "Does your mind ever slow down, sweetheart?" "Not even for sleeping," she said. Gabriel steadied her against another wave. "How do you know so much about glue?" The agreeable trance began to fade as Pandora considered how to answer him. After her long hesitation, Gabriel tilted his head and gave her a questioning sideways glance. "The subject of glue is complicated, I gather." I'm going to have to tell him at some point, Pandora thought. It might as well be now. After taking a deep breath, she blurted out, "I design and construct board games. I've researched every possible kind of glue required for manufacturing them. Not just for the construction of the boxes, but the best kind to adhere lithographs to the boards and lids. I've registered a patent for the first game, and soon I intend to apply for two more." Gabriel absorbed the information in remarkably short order. "Have you considered selling the patents to a publisher?" "No, I want to make the games at my own factory. I have a production schedule. The first one will be out by Christmas. My brother-in-law, Mr. Winterborne, helped me to write a business plan. The market in board games is quite new, and he thinks my company will be successful." "I'm sure it will be. But a young woman in your position has no need of a livelihood." "I do if I want to be self-supporting." "Surely the safety of marriage is preferable to the burdens of being a business proprietor." Pandora turned to face him fully. "Not if 'safety' means being owned. As things stand now, I have the freedom to work and keep my earnings. But if I marry you, everything I have, including my company, would immediately become yours. You would have complete authority over me. Every shilling I made would go directly to you- it wouldn't even pass through my hands. I'd never be able to sign a contract, or hire employees, or buy property. In the eyes of the law, a husband and wife are one person, and that person is the husband. I can't bear the thought of it. It's why I never want to marry.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
As he breathed the black and grey air into his body he no longer thought of anything as lovely, the way the retiring trees of his boyhood had been; for everything was made up of dirt-clods; and you do construct a mountain from molehills or other over-codified facts. If only the cities had been dynamited before it was too late for him! -- That Pol Pot sure had the right idea, blowing down those ticky-tacky rice paper offices and illuminating the middlemen with bullets of vanguardist light so everyone could get back to the country, don’t you think? -- As things stood, even had Bug been able to cover the earth again with forests, after having lived so long in the excremental piles of cement and rusted steel he never could have seen trees as more than tedious identical dirty giant toothpicks unfit to be taken into the mouth’ his summer camp, as a dishwasher jail where you breathed in the steam of bad food; and the islands to which he had rowed, as sad unwholesome protuberances, polyps and land-cancers still in the stink of the outhouse -- and all the girls had long since grown up completely to make travesties of their lives, even though some inherited great riches as we used to reckon riches in those days. -- But surely this change in him was necessary, for without wretchedness and degradation of self one will never accomplish anything.
William T. Vollmann (You Bright and Risen Angels (Contemporary American Fiction))
It is the question of "common world". The meaning of this world is not solipsism world, the world of "ego", but the world which can be actualize by my consciousness -according to relation of “ego” and caring for another in everyday life. To care for another means one lets go of self-consciousness and self-awareness and relates. We should consider human is constructed directly in term of their own consciousness and not by contrasting that consciousness with a reality independent of them, on the other hand it is constructed separate of his consciousness. So, we should surely consider the relation of human and the world. It seems that what can link these levels is “life-world” which means the idea of releasing human from worldlessness. Life-world as general sphere of individual experience in the world around (including other persons, objects and events) is a real and concrete phenomenon which has root in everyday life for obtaining its living practical purposes and objectively, considered as the basis of knowledge, interests, benefits and common links between humans. In the realm of life-world, transcendence and consciousness link to individual and group relationship and everyday life. For Heidegger consciousness proceeds from understanding, and this understanding is predicated upon our dealings in the world. Consciousness does not belong to the world, but has a practical relationship with it. What is within consciousness is the exact meaning of the word nothing. Consciousness is nothing but an opening to what they are and can only be talked about in this sense. Consciousness is the relationship we experience in praxis. As for a footballer, bodybuilding and fitness is nothing but the relationship he experiences in act, the day of the race and the subsequent races. Therefore, in this meaning, world without consciousness, intersubjectivity relationships -Alfred Schutz calls this quality as we- pure relation- and everyday life is not imaginable. Because of this matter we can't talk about the world without considering the roles of above items. "As Husserl articulated the life-world can be said to include the world of science and action can’t be without world." We should consider that thought itself arises out of incidents of living experience and must remain bound to them as the only guideposts by which to take its bearings. The artist who continually experiment the possibility of thinking and experience The new, respond to what addressed itself to him, because the new cannot be preconceived. On the other hand The new emerges through process as a shudder that presents itself to us. Even Architecture is not separate from these issues as the communicative. A part of Professor Pezhman Mosleh speech, “Music, Anti-war, a way to Discourse
Professor Pezhman Mosleh
Thought Control * Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth * Adopt the group’s “map of reality” as reality * Instill black and white thinking * Decide between good versus evil * Organize people into us versus them (insiders versus outsiders) * Change a person’s name and identity * Use loaded language and clichés to constrict knowledge, stop critical thoughts, and reduce complexities into platitudinous buzzwords * Encourage only “good and proper” thoughts * Use hypnotic techniques to alter mental states, undermine critical thinking, and even to age-regress the member to childhood states * Manipulate memories to create false ones * Teach thought stopping techniques that shut down reality testing by stopping negative thoughts and allowing only positive thoughts. These techniques include: * Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking * Chanting * Meditating * Praying * Speaking in tongues * Singing or humming * Reject rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism * Forbid critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy * Label alternative belief systems as illegitimate, evil, or not useful * Instill new “map of reality” Emotional Control * Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings—some emotions and/or needs are deemed as evil, wrong, or selfish * Teach emotion stopping techniques to block feelings of hopelessness, anger, or doubt * Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault * Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness, such as: * Identity guilt * You are not living up to your potential * Your family is deficient * Your past is suspect * Your affiliations are unwise * Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish * Social guilt * Historical guilt * Instill fear, such as fear of: * Thinking independently * The outside world * Enemies * Losing one’s salvation * Leaving * Orchestrate emotional highs and lows through love bombing and by offering praise one moment, and then declaring a person is a horrible sinner * Ritualistic and sometimes public confession of sins * Phobia indoctrination: inculcate irrational fears about leaving the group or questioning the leader’s authority * No happiness or fulfillment possible outside the group * Terrible consequences if you leave: hell, demon possession, incurable diseases, accidents, suicide, insanity, 10,000 reincarnations, etc. * Shun those who leave and inspire fear of being rejected by friends and family * Never a legitimate reason to leave; those who leave are weak, undisciplined, unspiritual, worldly, brainwashed by family or counselor, or seduced by money, sex, or rock and roll * Threaten harm to ex-member and family (threats of cutting off friends/family)
Steven Hassan
Kids didn’t just disappear unless someone made them disappear.‘Relax, mate,’ the head of security said. ‘We’ve never lost one yet.’ Lots of kids wandered off at the Easter Show, he told them. They were always found, usually somewhere near the food.Doug had tried to relax, to stay calm, but he could feel the panic building inside him.The place was too big.There were too many people.Lockie could be anywhere. The police were called. It took hours for everyone to leave the showgrounds because every family was stopped. Every parent was questioned and every child identified. It was way past midnight when everyone had finally gone home, and still they had not found Lockie.The head of security changed his tone. The police held whispered conversations in groups. They began to look at him with sympathy in their eyes.Doug felt his heart slow down. There was a ringing in his ears. He was underwater and he couldn’t swim.Lockie was gone.They had lost one.Sammy had gone from impatience to hunger to exhaustion. She didn’t understand what was happening.Sarah sat next to the pram twisting her hands. She did not cry. She didn’t cry for days, but every time Doug went near her he could hear her muttering the word ‘please’. ‘Please, please, please, please.’ It drove Doug mad and he had to move away because he wanted to hit her, to snap her out of her trance. He had never lifted a hand to his wife or his children, but now he had to close his fist and dig his nails into his palm to keep himself from lashing out Sarah didn’t believe in hitting children; she believed in time out and consequences. It was different to the way Doug had been raised but he had come around to the idea. The thought of anyone—especially himself—hurting Sarah and the kids was almost too much to bear.Doug sometimes wondered, after, if whoever had taken his son had hit him. When he did think about someone hurting his boy he could feel his hands curl into fists. He would embrace the rush of heat that came with the anger because at least it was a different feeling to the sorrow and despair. Anger felt constructive. He wanted to kill everyone, even himself. But as fast as the anger came it would recede and he would be back at the place he hated to be. Mired in his own helplessness. There was fuck-all he could do.
Nicole Trope (The Boy Under the Table)
{From Luther Burbank's funeral. He was loved until he revealed he was an atheist, then he began to receive death threats. He tried to amiably answer them all, leading to his death} It is impossible to estimate the wealth he has created. It has been generously given to the world. Unlike inventors, in other fields, no patent rights were given him, nor did he seek a monopoly in what he created. Had that been the case, Luther Burbank would have been perhaps the world's richest man. But the world is richer because of him. In this he found joy that no amount of money could give. And so we meet him here today, not in death, but in the only immortal life we positively know--his good deeds, his kindly, simple, life of constructive work and loving service to the whole wide world. These things cannot die. They are cumulative, and the work he has done shall be as nothing to its continuation in the only immortality this brave, unselfish man ever sought, or asked to know. As great as were his contributions to the material wealth of this planet, the ages yet to come, that shall better understand him, will give first place in judging the importance of his work to what he has done for the betterment of human plants and the strength they shall gain, through his courage, to conquer the tares, the thistles and the weeds. Then no more shall we have a mythical God that smells of brimstone and fire; that confuses hate with love; a God that binds up the minds of little children, as other heathen bind up their feet--little children equally helpless to defend their precious right to think and choose and not be chained from the dawn of childhood to the dogmas of the dead. Luther Burbank will rank with the great leaders who have driven heathenish gods back into darkness, forever from this earth. In the orthodox threat of eternal punishment for sin--which he knew was often synonymous with yielding up all liberty and freedom--and in its promise of an immortality, often held out for the sacrifice of all that was dear to life, the right to think, the right to one's mind, the right to choose, he saw nothing but cowardice. He shrank from such ways of thought as a flower from the icy blasts of death. As shown by his work in life, contributing billions of wealth to humanity, with no more return than the maintenance of his own breadline, he was too humble, too unselfish, to be cajoled with dogmatic promises of rewards as a sort of heavenly bribe for righteous conduct here. He knew that the man who fearlessly stands for the right, regardless of the threat of punishment or the promise of reward, was the real man. Rather was he willing to accept eternal sleep, in returning to the elements from whence he came, for in his lexicon change was life. Here he was content to mingle as a part of the whole, as the raindrop from the sea performs its sacred service in watering the land to which it is assigned, that two blades may grow instead of one, and then, its mission ended, goes back to the ocean from whence it came. With such service, with such a life as gardener to the lilies of the field, in his return to the bosoms of infinity, he has not lost himself. There he has found himself, is a part of the cosmic sea of eternal force, eternal energy. And thus he lived and always will live. Thomas Edison, who believes very much as Burbank, once discussed with me immortality. He pointed to the electric light, his invention, saying: 'There lives Tom Edison.' So Luther Burbank lives. He lives forever in the myriad fields of strengthened grain, in the new forms of fruits and flowers, plants, vines, and trees, and above all, the newly watered gardens of the human mind, from whence shall spring human freedom that shall drive out false and brutal gods. The gods are toppling from their thrones. They go before the laughter and the joy of the new childhood of the race, unshackled and unafraid.
Benjamin Barr Lindsey
But that wasn't the chief thing that bothered me: I couldn't reconcile myself with that preoccupation with sin that, so far as I could tell, was never entirely absent from the monks' thoughts. I'd known a lot of fellows in the air corps. Of course they got drunk when they got a chance, and had a girl whenever they could and used foul language; we had one or two had hats: one fellow was arrested for passing rubber cheques and was sent to prison for six months; it wasn't altogether his fault; he'd never had any money before, and when he got more than he'd ever dreamt of having, it went to his head. I'd known had men in Paris and when I got back to Chicago I knew more, but for the most part their badness was due to heredity, which they couldn't help, or to their environment, which they didn't choose: I'm not sure that society wasn't more responsible for their crimes than they were. If I'd been God I couldn't have brought myself to condemn one of them, not even the worst, to eternal damnation. Father Esheim was broad-minded; he thought that hell was the deprivation of God's presence, but if that is such an intolerable punishment that it can justly be called hell, can one conceive that a good God can inflict it? After all, he created men, if he so created them that ti was possible for them to sin, it was because he willed it. If I trained a dog to fly at the throat of any stranger who came into by back yard, it wouldn't be fair to beat him when he did so. If an all-good and all-powerful God created the world, why did he create evil? The monks said, so that man by conquering the wickedness in him, by resisting temptation, by accepting pain and sorrow and misfortune as the trials sent by God to purify him, might at long last be made worthy to receive his grace. It seem to me like sending a fellow with a message to some place and just to make it harder for him you constructed a maze that he had to get through, then dug a moat that he had to swim and finally built a wall that he had to scale. I wasn't prepared to believe in an all-wise God who hadn't common sense. I didn't see why you shouldn't believe in a God who hadn't created the world, buyt had to make the best of the bad job he'd found, a being enormously better, wiser and greater than man, who strove with the evil he hadn't made and who might be hoped in the end to overcome it. But on the other hand I didn't see why you should.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
[OBSERVATIONS RELATED TO EXAMINING THE NATURE OF MIND] Be certain that the nature of mind is empty and without foundation. One’s own mind is insubstantial, like an empty sky. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not. Divorced from views which constructedly determine [the nature of] emptiness, Be certain that pristine cognition, naturally originating, is primordially radiant – Just like the nucleus of the sun, which is itself naturally originating. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! Be certain that this awareness, which is pristine cognition, is uninterrupted, Like the coursing central torrent of a river which flows unceasingly. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! Be certain that conceptual thoughts and fleeting memories are not strictly identifiable, But insubstantial in their motion, like the breezes of the atmosphere. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! Be certain that all that appears is naturally manifest [in the mind], Like the images in a mirror which [also] appear naturally. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! Be certain that all characteristics are liberated right where they are, Like the clouds of the atmosphere, naturally originating and naturally dissolving. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], now could there be anything on which to meditate apart from the mind? There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], there are no modes of conduct to be undertaken extraneous [to those that originate from the mind]. There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], there are no commitments to be kept extraneous [to those that originate from the mind]. There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], there are no results to be attained extraneous [to those that originate from the mind]. There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], one should observe one’s own mind, looking into its nature again and again. If, upon looking outwards towards the external expanse of the sky, There are no projections emanated by the mind, And if, on looking inwards at one’s own mind, There is no projectionist who projects [thoughts] by thinking them, Then, one’s own mind, completely free from conceptual projections, will become luminously clear. [This] intrinsic awareness, [union of] inner radiance and emptiness, is the Buddha-body of Reality, [Appearing] like [the illumining effect of] a sunrise on a clear and cloudless sky,. It is clearly knowable, despite its lack of specific shape or form. There is a great distinction between those who understand and those who misunderstand this point. This naturally originating inner radiance, uncreated from the very beginning, Is the parentless child of awareness – how amazing! It is the naturally originating pristine cognition, uncreated by anyone – how amazing! [This radiant awareness] has never been born and will never die – how amazing! Though manifestly radiant, it lacks an [extraneous] perceiver – how amazing! Though it has roamed throughout cyclic existence, it does not degenerate – how amazing! Though it has seen buddhahood itself, it does not improve – how amazing! Though it is present in everyone, it remains unrecognised – how amazing! Still, one hopes for some attainment other than this – how amazing! Though it is present within oneself, one continues to seek it elsewhere – how amazing!
Graham Coleman (The Tibetan Book of the Dead. First Complete English Translation)
One could understand feminism generally as an attack on woman as she was under “patriarchy” (that concept is a social construction of feminism). The feminine mystique was her ideal; in regard to sex, it consisted of women’s modesty and in the double standard of sexual conduct that comes with it, which treated women’s misbehavior as more serious than men’s. Instead of trying to establish a single standard by bringing men up to the higher standard of women, as with earlier feminism, today’s feminism decided to demand that women be entitled to sink to the level of men. It bought into the sexual revolution of the late sixties and required that women be rewarded with the privileges of male conquest rather than, say, continue serving as camp followers of rock bands. The result has been the turn for the worse. ... What was there in feminine modesty that the feminists left behind? In return for women’s holding to a higher standard of sexual behavior, feminine modesty gave them protection while they considered whether they wanted to consent. It gave them time: Not so fast! Not the first date! I’m not ready for that! It gave them the pleasure of being courted along with the advantage of looking before you leap. To win over a woman, men had to strive to express their finer feelings, if they had any. Women could judge their character and choose accordingly. In sum, women had the right of choice, if I may borrow that slogan. All this and more was social construction, to be sure, but on the basis of the bent toward modesty that was held to be in the nature of women. That inclination, it was thought, cooperated with the aggressive drive in the nature of men that could be beneficially constructed into the male duty to take the initiative. There was no guarantee of perfection in this arrangement, but at least each sex would have a legitimate expectation of possible success in seeking marital happiness. They could live together, have children, and take care of them. Without feminine modesty, however, women must imitate men, and in matters of sex, the most predatory men, as we have seen. The consequence is the hook-up culture now prevalent on college campuses, and off-campus too (even more, it is said). The purpose of hooking up is to replace the human complexity of courtship with “good sex,” a kind of animal simplicity, eliminating all the preliminaries to sex as well as the aftermath. “Good sex,” by the way, is in good part a social construction of the alliance between feminists and male predators that we see today. It narrows and distorts the human potentiality for something nobler and more satisfying than the bare minimum. The hook-up culture denounced by conservatives is the very same rape culture denounced by feminists. Who wants it? Most college women do not; they ignore hookups and lament the loss of dating. Many men will not turn down the offer of an available woman, but what they really want is a girlfriend. The predatory males are a small minority among men who are the main beneficiaries of the feminist norm. It’s not the fault of men that women want to join them in excess rather than calm them down, for men too are victims of the rape culture. Nor is it the fault of women. Women are so far from wanting hook-ups that they must drink themselves into drunken consent — in order to overcome their natural modesty, one might suggest. Not having a sociable drink but getting blind drunk is today’s preliminary to sex. Beautifully romantic, isn’t it?
Harvey Mansfield Jr.
sighed. “I can’t say that you weren’t expected.” “I’m just going to be walking around here and taking some measurements. It says here… you own eighty acres? That is one of the most gorgeous mansions I have ever seen,” he rambled on. “It must have cost you millions. I could never afford such a beauty. Well, heck, for that matter I couldn’t afford the millions of dollars in taxes a house like this would assess, let alone such a pricey property. Do you have an accountant?” Zo opened her mouth to respond, but he continued, “For an estate this size, I would definitely have one.” “I do have an accountant,” she cut in, with frustration. “Furthermore, I have invested a lot of money bringing this mansion up to speed. You can see my investment is great.” “Of course, it would be. The fact of the matter is, Mrs. Kane, a lot of people are in over their heads in property. You still have to pay up, or we take the place. Well, I’ll get busy now. Pay no mind to me.” He walked on, taking notes. “Clairrrrre!” Zo called as soon as she entered the house. “Bring your cell phone!” Two worry-filled months went by and many calls were made to lawyers, before Zoey finally picked one that made her feel confident. And then the letter came with the totals and the due date. “There is no way we can pay this, Mom, even if we sold off some of our treasures, because a lot of them are contracted to museums anyway. I am feeling awfully poor all of a sudden, and insecure.” “Yes, and I did some research, thinking I’d be forced to sell. It’s unlikely that anyone else around here can afford this place. It looks like they are going to get it all; they aren’t just charging for this year. What we have here is a value about equal to a little country. And all the new construction sites for housing developments suddenly popping up on this side of the river, does not help. Value is going up.” Zo put her head in her hands. “Ohhh, oh, oh, oh!” “Yeah, bring out the ice-cream and cake. I need comforting,” sighed Claire. The cell phone rang. “Yes, tonight? You guys have become pretty good to us, haven’t you?! You know, Bob, Mom and I thought we were just going to pig out on ice cream and cake. We found out we are losing this estate and are going to be poor again and we are bummed out.” There was a long pause. “No, that’s okay, I understand. Yeah, okay, bye.” “Well?” Zo ask dryly. “He was appropriately sorry, and he got off the phone fast, saying he remembered he had other business to take care of. Do you want to cry? I do…” “I’ll get the cake and dish the ice cream. You make our tea and we’ll cry together.” A pitter patter began to drum on the window. “Rain again. It seems softer though, dear.” “I thought you said this was going to be a softer rain!” It started to pour. “At least this is not a thunder storm… What was that?” “Thunder,” replied Claire, unmoved and resigned. An hour had gone by when there was a rapping at the door. “People rarely use the doorbell, ever notice that?” Zo asked on the way to the door. She opened it to reveal two wet guys holding a pizza, salad, soft drink, and giant chocolate chip cookies in a plastic container. In a plastic
Zoey Kane (The Riddles of Hillgate (Z & C Mysteries #1))