Containment Series Quotes

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The burning of a book is a sad, sad sight, for even though a book is nothing but ink and paper, it feels as if the ideas contained in the book are disappearing as the pages turn to ashes and the cover and binding--which is the term for the stitching and glue that holds the pages together--blacken and curl as the flames do their wicked work. When someone is burning a book, they are showing utter contempt for all of the thinking that produced its ideas, all of the labor that went into its words and sentences, and all of the trouble that befell the author . . .
Lemony Snicket (The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #12))
the table of elements does not contain one of the most powerful elements that make up our world, and that is the element of surprise.
Lemony Snicket (The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6))
Sometime during your life—in fact, very soon—you may find yourself reading a book, and you may notice that a book’s first sentence can often tell you what sort of story your book contains.
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
A human being weighing 70 kilograms contains among other things: -45 litres of water -Enough chalk to whiten a chicken pen -Enough phosphorus for 2,200 matches -Enough fat to make approximately 70 bars of soap -Enough iron to make a two inch nail -Enough carbon for 9,000 pencil points -A spoonful of magnesium I weigh more than 70 kilograms. And I remember a TV series called Cosmos. Carl Sagan would walk around on a set that was meant to look like space, speaking in large numbers. On one of the shows he sat in front of a tank full of all the substances human beings are made of. He stirred the tank with a stick wondering if he would be able to create life. He didn’t succeed.
Erlend Loe (Naïve. Super)
Be warned, then: the collected volumes of this series will contain frozen mountains, foetid swamps, hostile foreigners, hostile fellow countrymen, the occasional hostile family member, bad decisions, misadventures in orienteering, diseases of an unromantic sort, and a plenitude of mud.
Marie Brennan (A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #1))
My paintings are well-painted, not nimbly but patiently. My painting contains in it the message of pain. I think that at least a few people are interested in it. It's not revolutionary. Why keep wishing for it to be belligerent? I can't. Painting completed my life. I lost three children and a series of other things that would have fulfilled my horrible life. My painting took the place of all of this. I think work is the best.
Frida Kahlo
Maybe the trick is not to define yourself as a container for your experiences, your thoughts. Maybe it's to assume you are larger than the things you have felt over a series of years, that your history is not a list of things your body has done or been present for, that your family is not people who you spent a lot of time around as a child or carry your genetic code. Maybe the trick is to push violently at your own boundaries, to find your own contradictions, and use your teeth and nails to destroy what separates you from something else. I am trying.
Jessa Crispin (The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries)
Bless us, divine number, who generated gods and men. Number contains the root and source of eternally flowing creation.”  --Pythagoras
Adam Weishaupt (The Illuminati (The Illuminati Series Book 1))
There is no better than adversity,” Malcolm X would say. “Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.
Ryan Holiday (Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave (The Stoic Virtues Series))
In vaccine trials the placebo for the control group is often an aluminum-containing vaccine. That fact alone could account for why so many mainstream-approved research studies have inconclusive and perhaps even contradictory outcomes.
James Morcan (Vaccine Science Revisited: Are Childhood Immunizations As Safe As Claimed? (The Underground Knowledge Series, #8))
What is in mind is a sort of Chautauqua...that's the only name I can think of for it...like the traveling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America, this America, the one that we are now in, an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer. The Chautauquas were pushed aside by faster-paced radio, movies and TV, and it seems to me the change was not entirely an improvement. Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep. The old channels cannot contain it and in its search for new ones there seems to be growing havoc and destruction along its banks. In this Chautauqua I would like not to cut any new channels of consciousness but simply dig deeper into old ones that have become silted in with the debris of thoughts grown stale and platitudes too often repeated. "What's new?" is an interesting and broadening eternal question, but one which, if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion, the silt of tomorrow. I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question "What is best?," a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream. There are eras of human history in which the channels of thought have been too deeply cut and no change was possible, and nothing new ever happened, and "best" was a matter of dogma, but that is not the situation now. Now the stream of our common consciousness seems to be obliterating its own banks, losing its central direction and purpose, flooding the lowlands, disconnecting and isolating the highlands and to no particular purpose other than the wasteful fulfillment of its own internal momentum. Some channel deepening seems called for.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
It was Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the television series, 1997-2003, not the lackluster movie that preceded it) that blazed the trail for Twilight and the slew of other paranormal romance novels that followed, while also shaping the broader urban fantasy field from the late 1990s onward. Many of you reading this book will be too young to remember when Buffy debuted, so you'll have to trust us when we say that nothing quite like it had existed before. It was thrillingly new to see a young, gutsy, kick-ass female hero, for starters, and one who was no Amazonian Wonder Woman but recognizably ordinary, fussing about her nails, her shoes, and whether she'd make it to her high school prom. Buffy's story contained a heady mix of many genres (fantasy, horror, science-fiction, romance, detective fiction, high school drama), all of it leavened with tongue-in-cheek humor yet underpinned by the serious care with which the Buffy universe had been crafted. Back then, Whedon's dizzying genre hopping was a radical departure from the norm-whereas today, post-Buffy, no one blinks an eye as writers of urban fantasy leap across genre boundaries with abandon, penning tender romances featuring werewolves and demons, hard-boiled detective novels with fairies, and vampires-in-modern-life sagas that can crop up darn near anywhere: on the horror shelves, the SF shelves, the mystery shelves, the romance shelves.
Ellen Datlow (Teeth: Vampire Tales)
Changes in the Perception of Self: People who have been traumatized in childhood are often troubled by guilt, shame, and negative feelings about themselves, such as the belief they are unlikable, unlovable, stupid, inept, dirty, worthless, lazy, and so forth. In Complex Dissociative disorders there are typically particular parts that contain these negative feelings about the self while other parts may evaluate themselves quite differently. Alterations among parts thus may result in rather rapid and distinct changes in self perception.
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
If you are ever forced to take a chemistry class, you will probably see, at the front of the classroom, a large chart divided into squares, with different numbers and letters in each of them. This chart is called the table of elements, and scientists like to say that it contains all the substances that make up our world. Like everyone else, scientists are wrong from time to time, and it is easy to see that they are wrong about the table of elements. Because although this table contains a great many elements, from the element oxygen, which is found in the air, to the element of aluminum, which is found in cans of soda, the table of elements does not contain one of the most powerful elements that make up our world, and that is the element of surprise. The element of surprise is not a gas like oxygen, or a solid, like aluminum. The element of surprise is an unfair advantage, and it can be found in situations in which one person has sneaked up on another. The surprised person - or, in this sad case, the surprised person - are too stunned to defend themselves and the sneaky person has the advantage of the element of surprise.
Lemony Snicket (The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6))
Like everyone else, scientists are wrong from time to time, and it is easy to see that they are wrong about the table of the elements. Because although this table contains a great many elements, from the element oxygen, which is found in the air, to the element aluminum, which is found in cans of soda, the table of the elements does not contain one of the most powerful elements that make up our world, and that is the element of surprise.
Lemony Snicket (The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6))
In the beginning, nearly fourteen billion years ago, all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the period that ends this sentence. Conditions
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Series))
...Even the most ridiculous of stories can contain a grain of truth.
Lemony Snicket (The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #11))
These largely empty volumes of space—the far-rural regions of each galaxy—contain too little visible matter to explain the anomalously high orbital speeds of the tracers.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Series))
It is not certain whether the effects of totalitarianism upon verse need be so deadly as its effects on prose. There is a whole series of converging reasons why it is somewhat easier for a poet than a prose writer to feel at home in an authoritarian society.[...]what the poet is saying- that is, what his poem "means" if translated into prose- is relatively unimportant, even to himself. The thought contained in a poem is always simple, and is no more the primary purpose of the poem than the anecdote is the primary purpose of the picture. A poem is an arrangement of sounds and associations, as a painting is an arrangement of brushmarks. For short snatches, indeed, as in the refrain of a song, poetry can even dispense with meaning altogether.
George Orwell (50 Essays)
But that would mean it was originally a sideways number eight. That makes no sense at all. Unless..." She paused as understanding dawned. "You think it was the symbol for infinity?" "Yes, but not the usual one. A special variant. Do you see how one line doesn't fully connect in the middle? That's Euler's infinity symbol. Absolutus infinitus." "How is it different from the usual one?" "Back in the eighteenth century, there were certain mathematical calculations no one could perform because they involved series of infinite numbers. The problem with infinity, of course, is that you can't come up with a final answer when the numbers keep increasing forever. But a mathematician named Leonhard Euler found a way to treat infinity as if it were a finite number- and that allowed him to do things in mathematical analysis that had never been done before." Tom inclined his head toward the date stone. "My guess is whoever chiseled that symbol was a mathematician or scientist." "If it were my date stone," Cassandra said dryly, "I'd prefer the entwined hearts. At least I would understand what it means." "No, this is much better than hearts," Tom exclaimed, his expression more earnest than any she'd seen from him before. "Linking their names with Euler's infinity symbol means..." He paused, considering how best to explain it. "The two of them formed a complete unit... a togetherness... that contained infinity. Their marriage had a beginning and end, but every day of it was filled with forever. It's a beautiful concept." He paused before adding awkwardly, "Mathematically speaking.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
Tea was the order of the day, neat for the hardened drinker or containing a tot of whiskey for those who liked it watered down! Throughout the afternoon, the wonderful aroma of rosemary wafted throughout the cottage and I later discovered that Mrs Darley sprinkled the dried herb on her grill pan and, with the grill on a low heat, it scented the whole cottage, bringing a feeling of warmth and security to us all.
Carole Carlton (Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers: A Celebration of Pagan Festivals, Sacred Days, Spirituality and Traditions of the Year)
The second set assert that the contrarieties are contained in the one and emerge from it by segregation, (20) for example Anaximander and also all those who assert that ‘what is’ is one and many, like Empedocles and Anaxagoras; for they too produce other things from their mixture by segregation. These differ, however, from each other in that the former imagines a cycle of such changes, the latter a single series.
Aristotle (The Basic Works of Aristotle)
The burning of a book is a sad, sad sight, for even though a book is nothing but ink and paper, it feels as if the ideas contained in the book are disappearing as the pages turn to ashes and the cover and binding blacken and curl as the flames do their wicked work.
Lemony Snicket (The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #12))
The cosmos is the ordering of number. Perception is the imaging of form contained in the potential of number. Robert Lawlor
Penney Peirce (Frequency: The Power of Personal Vibration)
Substances contained in vaccines are able to alter or destroy membranes, which influences the mechanisms and duties they perform within the cell.
James Morcan (Vaccine Science Revisited: Are Childhood Immunizations As Safe As Claimed? (The Underground Knowledge Series, #8))
The mere fact that this thought has sprung up among different nations and at different times indicates that it is inherent in human nature and contains the truth.
Mahatma Gandhi (Letters from One: Correspondence (and more) of Leo Tolstoy and Mohandas Gandhi; including ‘Letter to a Hindu’ [a selected edit] (River Drafting Spirit Series Book 3))
If you have read this far in the chronicle of the Baudelaire orphans - and I certainly hope you have not - then you know we have reached the thirteenth chapter of the thirteenth volume in this sad history, and so you know the end is near, even though this chapter is so lengthy that you might never reach the end of it. But perhaps you do not yet know what the end really means. "The end" is a phrase which refers to the completion of a story, or the final moment of some accomplishment, such as a secret errand, or a great deal of research, and indeed this thirteenth volume marks the completion of my investigation into the Baudelaire case, which required much research, a great many secret errands, and the accomplishments of a number of my comrades, from a trolley driver to a botanical hybridization expert, with many, many typewriter repairpeople in between. But it cannot be said that The End contains the end of the Baudelaires' story, any more than The Bad Beginning contained its beginning. The children's story began long before that terrible day on Briny Beach, but there would have to be another volume to chronicle when the Baudelaires were born, and when their parents married, and who was playing the violin in the candlelit restaurant when the Baudelaire parents first laid eyes on one another, and what was hidden inside that violin, and the childhood of the man who orphaned the girl who put it there, and even then it could not be said that the Baudelaires' story had not begun, because you would still need to know about a certain tea party held in a penthouse suite, and the baker who made the scones served at the tea party, and the baker's assistant who smuggled the secret ingredient into the scone batter through a very narrow drainpipe, and how a crafty volunteer created the illusion of a fire in the kitchen simply by wearing a certain dress and jumping around, and even then the beginning of the story would be as far away as the shipwreck that leftthe Baudelaire parents as castaways on the coastal shelf is far away from the outrigger on which the islanders would depart. One could say, in fact, that no story really has a beginning, and that no story really has an end, as all of the world's stories are as jumbled as the items in the arboretum, with their details and secrets all heaped together so that the whole story, from beginning to end, depends on how you look at it. We might even say that the world is always in medias res - a Latin phrase which means "in the midst of things" or "in the middle of a narrative" - and that it is impossible to solve any mystery, or find the root of any trouble, and so The End is really the middle of the story, as many people in this history will live long past the close of Chapter Thirteen, or even the beginning of the story, as a new child arrives in the world at the chapter's close. But one cannot sit in the midst of things forever. Eventually one must face that the end is near, and the end of The End is quite near indeed, so if I were you I would not read the end of The End, as it contains the end of a notorious villain but also the end of a brave and noble sibling, and the end of the colonists' stay on the island, as they sail off the end of the coastal shelf. The end of The End contains all these ends, and that does not depend on how you look at it, so it might be best for you to stop looking at The End before the end of The End arrives, and to stop reading The End before you read the end, as the stories that end in The End that began in The Bad Beginning are beginning to end now.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
Beauty is indeed a choice. Day by day, moment by moment, we choose love or hate, life or death, light or darkness. The seeds for both are contained within all things, both living and nonliving. It all depends on what we focus on. We create our own world. Focus on beauty and beauty you find. Focus on darkness and darkness will prevail. Beauty guides through the heart. Darkness through the mind.
Scott Stillman (Wilderness, The Gateway To The Soul: Spiritual Enlightenment Through Wilderness (Nature Book Series 1))
nearly fourteen billion years ago, all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the period that ends this sentence. Conditions
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Series))
In the beginning, nearly fourteen billion years ago, all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the period that ends this sentence.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Series))
Lieutenant Dunbar had fallen in love. He had fallen in love with this wild, beautiful country and everything it contained. It was the kind of love people dream of having with other people: selfless and free of doubt, reverent and everlasting. His
Michael Blake (Dances With Wolves (Dances With Wolves Series Book 1))
To create silicon chips, UV light is passed through a template that contains the blueprint for all the circuits on a chip. The UV light and a series of chemical reactions creates a pattern that is etched onto a silicon wafer, creating transistors on the chip.
Michio Kaku (The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality and Our Destiny Beyond Earth)
Following Homo sapiens, domesticated cattle, pigs and sheep are the second, third and fourth most widespread large mammals in the world. From a narrow evolutionary perspective, which measures success by the number of DNA copies, the Agricultural Revolution was a wonderful boon for chickens, cattle, pigs and sheep. Unfortunately, the evolutionary perspective is an incomplete measure of success. It judges everything by the criteria of survival and reproduction, with no regard for individual suffering and happiness. Domesticated chickens and cattle may well be an evolutionary success story, but they are also among the most miserable creatures that ever lived. The domestication of animals was founded on a series of brutal practices that only became crueller with the passing of the centuries. The natural lifespan of wild chickens is about seven to twelve years, and of cattle about twenty to twenty-five years. In the wild, most chickens and cattle died long before that, but they still had a fair chance of living for a respectable number of years. In contrast, the vast majority of domesticated chickens and cattle are slaughtered at the age of between a few weeks and a few months, because this has always been the optimal slaughtering age from an economic perspective. (Why keep feeding a cock for three years if it has already reached its maximum weight after three months?) Egg-laying hens, dairy cows and draught animals are sometimes allowed to live for many years. But the price is subjugation to a way of life completely alien to their urges and desires. It’s reasonable to assume, for example, that bulls prefer to spend their days wandering over open prairies in the company of other bulls and cows rather than pulling carts and ploughshares under the yoke of a whip-wielding ape. In order for humans to turn bulls, horses, donkeys and camels into obedient draught animals, their natural instincts and social ties had to be broken, their aggression and sexuality contained, and their freedom of movement curtailed. Farmers developed techniques such as locking animals inside pens and cages, bridling them in harnesses and leashes, training them with whips and cattle prods, and mutilating them. The process of taming almost always involves the castration of males. This restrains male aggression and enables humans selectively to control the herd’s procreation.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Their story begins on ground level, with footsteps. They are myriad, but do not compose a series. They cannot be counted because each unit has a qualitative character: a style of tactile apprehension and kinesthetic appropriation. Their swarming mass is an innumerable collection of singularities. Their intertwined paths give their shape to spaces. They weave places together. In that respect, pedestrian movements form one of these 'real systems whose existence in fact makes up the city.' They are not localized; it is rather they that spatialize. They are no more inserted within a container than those Chinese character speakers sketch out on their hands with their fingertips.
Michel de Certeau (The Practice of Everyday Life)
As neoliberalism wages war on public goods and the very idea of a public, including citizenship beyond membership, it dramatically thins public life without killing politics. Struggles remain over power, hegemonic values, resources, and future trajectories. This persistence of politics amid the destruction of public life and especially educated public life, combined with the marketization of the political sphere, is part of what makes contemporary politics peculiarly unappealing and toxic— full of ranting and posturing, emptied of intellectual seriousness, pandering to an uneducated and manipulable electorate and a celebrity-and-scandal-hungry corporate media. Neoliberalism generates a condition of politics absent democratic institutions that would support a democratic public and all that such a public represents at its best: informed passion, respectful deliberation, aspirational sovereignty, sharp containment of powers that would overrule or undermine it.
Wendy Brown (Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution (Near Future Series))
Although this table contains a great many elements, from the element oxygen, which is found in the air, to the element aluminum, which is found in cans of soda, the table if elements does not contain one of the most powerful elements that make up our world, and that is the element if surprise.
Lemony Snicket (The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6))
For if phenomena are things by themselves, freedom cannot be saved. Nature in that case is the complete and sufficient cause determining every event, and its condition is always contained in that series of phenomena only which, together with their effect, are necessary under the law of nature.
Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
It’s all too easy to assume that the darkness in this world lies outside of ourselves. That others are to blame. Yet only when we learn to see the darkness inside of ourselves, can we hope to develop compassion for the darkness in others. For even the darkest of places contain the seed of light.
Scott Stillman (Wilderness, The Gateway To The Soul: Spiritual Enlightenment Through Wilderness (Nature Book Series 1))
True Films On TrueFilms.com, Kevin has reviewed the best documentaries he’s seen over decades. The counterpart book series, True Films 3.0, contains the 200 documentaries he feels you should see before you die, and it is available as a PDF on kk.org. Three docs we both love are The King of Kong, Man on Wire, and A State of Mind.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
I unlocked the deadbolt and flung the door open, stepping back for Gabby to see exactly who it was. “Hello, Sara,” I greeted. A bubble of laughter escaped Gabby before she could contain it. “Yes, hello ex-girlfriend Sara. And might I add: law-breaker? Who let you out of your cage? Don’t you know Joseph has a restraining order against you?
Laura Kreitzer (Keepers (Timeless, #3.5))
All myths contain a grain of truth, Ms. Lane. I’ve handled books and artifacts that will never find their way into a museum or library, things no archaeologist or historian could ever make sense of. There are many realities pocketed away in the one we call our own. Most go blindly about their lives and never see beyond the ends of their noses. Some of us do.
Karen Marie Moning (Darkfever (Fever, #1))
An outstanding historical feature of the pie is that it is a self-contained meal which can be eaten in the hand, without the need of cutlery, crockery or napery.
Janet Clarkson (Pie: A Global History (The Edible Series))
Bible contains passages in which Christ encourages his listeners not to worry about material provisions, and celebrates the value of being rather than always doing.
Tessa Watt (A Practical Guide to Mindfulness: Be Present in this Moment (Practical Guide Series))
I have started to think of the sickness not as a single, contained catastrophe, but as part of a series of waves. We are still burning. What will be the wave that puts us out?
Laura van den Berg (Find Me)
Mix vodka and gummy candies in a container and wait a day. Then get drunk while snacking!
Keith Bradford (Life Hacks: Any Procedure or Action That Solves a Problem, Simplifies a Task, Reduces Frustration, Etc. in One's Everyday Life (Life Hacks Series))
If female sexuality is muted compared to that of men, then why must men the world over go to extreme lengths to control and contain it?
Barbara Smuts (Sex and Friendship in Baboons (Evolutionary Foundations of Human Behavior Series))
Sad, indeed, would the whole matter be, if the Bible had told us everything God meant us to believe. But herein is the Bible itself greatly wronged. It nowhere lays claim to be regarded as the Word, the Way, the Truth. The Bible leads us to Jesus, the inexhaustible, the ever unfolding Revelation of God. It is Christ "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," not the Bible, save as leading to him. And why are we told that these treasures are hid in him who is the Revelation of God? Is it that we should despair of finding them and cease to seek them? Are they not hid in him that they may be revealed to us in due time—that is, when we are in need of them? Is not their hiding in him the mediatorial step towards their unfolding in us? Is he not the Truth?—the Truth to men? Is he not the High Priest of his brethren, to answer all the troubled questionings that arise in their dim humanity? For it is his heart which Contains of good, wise, just, the perfect shape.
George MacDonald (Unspoken Sermons, Series I., II., and III.)
Each time we offer a reflection, we are also quietly repairing/disconfirming attachment wounds that always contain elements of our parents or others not being able to see us because of their own injuries.
Bonnie Badenoch (The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
For a moment she believed he had left, but as she shifted away from the wall she sensed him there beside the bed. He was very close. Wretched curiosity! But she would fight it and not look. “Katherine,” he whispered, his breath rolling in a warm wave across her cheek. A traitor tear spilled out, the humiliation was too much to contain. Gently, a finger dabbed the wetness from her skin. He said it again, softly, as though it pleased him just to say it, “Katherine.” “Viktor!” the accented voice bellowed from below. And then the shadow was gone. Darkness overwhelmed her then and carried her away to a land of crows and mocking strangers.
Gwenn Wright
The most necessary tool for thinking is also the simplest: the notebook. We need a notebook because we can’t contain what is important within the bandwidth of active memory. We can’t keep in view what is significant within our amnesiac, misty, temperamental consciousness. The paper has to function as a secondary memory to pool us together; it will end up knowing more of who we are than we can ourselves actively bring to mind in the moment.
The School of Life (How to Think More Effectively: A guide to greater productivity, insight and creativity (Work series))
One caliph in the eighth century went so far as to conduct a series of experiments to freeze a range of different furs to see which offered the best protection in extreme conditions. He filled a series of containers with water and left them overnight in ice-cold weather, according to one Arabic writer. ‘In the morning, he had the [flasks] brought to him. All were frozen except the one with black fox fur. He thus learned which fur was the warmest and the driest.’22
Peter Frankopan (The Silk Roads: A New History of the World)
THE MYSTERY OF PAIN. Pain has an element of blank; It cannot recollect When it began, or if there were A day when it was not. It has no future but itself, Its infinite realms contain Its past, enlightened to perceive New periods of pain.
Emily Dickinson (Poems by Emily Dickinson, Series One)
A study we came across revealed that p80 is very efficient at removing mercury from contaminated water[245]. This sounds good right? Read on… If p80 is attracting mercury, we can only assume it is likely some of the mercury is being escorted to the brain. So, if we receive traces of mercury in the vaccines or are exposed to mercury from other sources, and receive a p80 containing vaccine, then a mercury-free vaccine could still potentially cause mercury accumulation in the brain.
James Morcan (Vaccine Science Revisited: Are Childhood Immunizations As Safe As Claimed? (The Underground Knowledge Series, #8))
Where there is self-contained individuality, there can be no love, for love means the total gift of oneself to another. True being is love, and where there is no love, there is only the absurdity of death and non-being. That is why Lossky said, “between the Trinity and hell there lies no other choice.” Those who, in their spiritual blindness, deny the doctrine of the Trinity, deny love itself, and thus deny the truth of their own being created in the image of this God of Triune Love.
Clark Carlton (The Faith (The Faith Series))
Snow was falling, and winter had come; the season of fire. Candles and hearth fire, that lovely, leaping paradox, that destruction contained but never tamed, held at a safe distance to warm and enchant, but always, still, with that small sense of danger.
Diana Gabaldon (The Outlander Series 7-Book Bundle: Outlander / Dragonfly in Amber / Voyager / Drums of Autumn / The Fiery Cross / A Breath of Snow and Ashes / An Echo in the Bone)
Attachment begins early but grows slowly. There are no shortcuts. Verbal guarantees of safety or nurturance carry no more weight than those for hair-replacement systems and miracle slicers. A therapist must prove trustworthy over time. Only consistent experiential demonstrations, in times of both quietude and turbulence, convince the child. Though all children love to be wined and dined, the safety, understanding, warmth, and containment of therapy are what foster trust and ultimately seduce the child patient.
Richard Bromfield (Playing for Real: Exploring the World of Child Therapy and the Inner Worlds of Children (The Master Work Series))
I am the daughter of a mother who would never change...The refusal to modify her aspect, her habits, her attitudes was strategy for resisting American culture, for fighting it, for maintaining her identity...When my mother returns to Calcutta, she is proud of the fact that, in spite of almost fifty years away from India, she seems like a woman who never left. I am the opposite. While the refusal to change was my mother's rebellion, the insistence on transforming myself is mine...All my life I've tried to get away from the void of my origin. It was the void that distressed me, that I was fleeing...Writing, I discovered a way of hiding in my characters, of escaping myself. Of undergoing one mutation after another. One could say that the mechanisms of metamorphosis is the only element of life that never changes. The journey of every individual, every country, every historical epoch, of the entire universe and all it contains, is nothing but a series of changes, at times subtle, at times deep, without which we would stand still. The moments of transitions in which something changes, constitute the backbone of all of us. Whether they are a salvation or a loss, they are moments we tend to remember. They give a structure to our existence. Almost all the rest is oblivion.
Jhumpa Lahiri (In Other Words)
For the first billion years, the universe continued to expand and cool as matter gravitated into the massive concentrations we call galaxies. Nearly a hundred billion of them formed, each containing hundreds of billions of stars that undergo thermonuclear fusion in their cores. Those stars with more than about ten times the mass of the Sun achieve sufficient pressure and temperature in their cores to manufacture dozens of elements heavier than hydrogen, including those that compose planets and whatever life may thrive upon them. These elements would be stunningly useless were they to remain where they formed. But high-mass stars fortuitously explode, scattering their chemically enriched guts throughout the galaxy. After nine billion years of such enrichment, in an undistinguished part of the universe (the outskirts of the Virgo Supercluster) in an undistinguished galaxy (the Milky Way) in an undistinguished region (the Orion Arm), an undistinguished star (the Sun) was born. The
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Series))
Without screaming or weeping these people undressed, stood around in family groups, kissed each other, said farewells and waited for a sign from another S.S. man, who stood near the pit, also with a whip in his hand. During the fifteen minutes that I stood near the pit I heard no complaint or plea for mercy… An old woman with snow-white hair was holding a one-year-old child in her arms and singing to it and tickling it. The child was cooing with delight. The parents were looking on with tears in their eyes. The father was holding the hand of a boy about 10 years old and speaking to him softly; the boy was fighting his tears. The father pointed to the sky, stroked his head and seemed to explain something to him. At that moment the S.S. man at the pit shouted something to his comrade. The latter counted off about twenty persons and instructed them to go behind the earth mound… I well remember a girl, slim and with black hair, who, as she passed close to me, pointed to herself and said: “twenty-three years old.” I walked around the mound and found myself confronted by a tremendous grave. People were closely wedged together and lying on top of each other so that only their heads were visible. Nearly all had blood running over their shoulders from their heads. Some of the people were still moving. Some were lifting their arms and turning their heads to show that they were still alive. The pit was already two-thirds full. I estimated that it contained about a thousand people. I looked for the man who did the shooting. He was an S.S. man, who sat at the edge of the narrow end of the pit, his feet dangling into the pit. He had a tommy gun on his knees and was smoking a cigarette. The people, completely naked, went down some steps and clambered over the heads of the people lying there to the place to which the S.S. man directed them. They lay down in front of the dead or wounded people; some caressed those who were still alive and spoke to them in a low voice. Then I heard a series of shots. I looked into the pit and saw that the bodies were twitching or the heads lying already motionless on top of the bodies that lay beneath them. Blood was running from their necks. The next batch was approaching already. They went down into the pit, lined themselves up against the previous victims and were shot. And so it went, batch after batch. The next morning the German engineer returned to the site. I saw about thirty naked people lying near the pit. Some of them were still alive… Later the Jews still alive were ordered to throw the corpses into the pit. Then they themselves had to lie down in this to be shot in the neck… I swear before God that this is the absolute truth.47
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Napping is sleep, too. In a series of experiments over the past decade, Sara Mednick of the University of California, San Diego, has found that naps of an hour to an hour and half often contain slow-wave deep sleep and REM. People who study in the morning—whether it’s words or pattern recognition games, straight retention or comprehension of deeper structure—do about 30 percent better on an evening test if they’ve had an hour-long nap than if they haven’t. “It’s changed the way I work, doing these studies,” Mednick told me. “It’s changed the way I live. With naps of an hour to an hour and half, we’ve found in some experiments that you get close to the same benefits in learning consolidation that you would from a full eighthour night’s sleep.
Benedict Carey (How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens)
If you are ever forced to take a chemistry class, you will probably see, at the front of the classroom, a large chart divided into squares, with different numbers and letters in each of them. This chart is called the table of the elements, and scientists like to say that it contains all the substances that make up our world. Like everyone else, scientists are wrong from time to time, and it is easy to see that they are wrong about the table of the elements. Because although this table contains a great many elements, from the element oxygen, which is found in the air, to the element aluminum, which is found in cans of soda, the table of the elements does not contain one of the most powerful elements that make up our world, and that is the element of surprise
Lemony Snicket (The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6))
You see, whites want black writers to mostly deliver something as if it were an official version of the black experience. But the vocabulary won’t hold it, simply. No true account, really, of black life can be held, can be contained in the American vocabulary. As it is, the only way that you can deal with it is by doing great violence to the assumptions on which the vocabulary is based.
James Baldwin (James Baldwin: The Last Interview: and other Conversations (The Last Interview Series))
Gramps returned from the war never having seen real combat, and the family headed to California, where he enrolled at Berkeley under the GI bill. But the classroom couldn’t contain his ambitions, his restlessness, and so the family moved again, first back to Kansas, then through a series of small Texas towns, then finally to Seattle, where they stayed long enough for my mother to finish high school.
Barack Obama (Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance)
Voyager went further and also included a gold record album containing diverse sounds from mother Earth, including the human heartbeat, whale “songs,” and musical selections from around the world, including the works of Beethoven and Chuck Berry. While this humanized the message, it’s not clear whether alien ears would have a clue what they were listening to—assuming they have ears in the first place.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Series))
At 5:10 A.M., the el train from the Morse stop in Chicago to the Davis St. stop in Evanston is surprisingly safe for young white women. The only people on the train at that hour are Polish women on their way home from cleaning office buildings all night. They share plastic containers of pale Slavic food that you know is buttery and delicious. It’s just potatoes, rice, meat, and cabbage in an endless series of combinations.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Love, that most banal of things, that most clichéd of religious motivations, had more power—Sol now knew—than did strong nuclear force or weak nuclear force or electromagnetism or gravity. Love was these other forces, Sol realized. The Void Which Binds, the subquantum impossibility that carried information from photon to photon, was nothing more or less than love. But could love—simple, banal love—explain the so-called anthropic principle which scientists had shaken their collective heads over for seven centuries and more—that almost infinite string of coincidences which had led to a universe that had just the proper number of dimensions, just the correct values on electron, just the precise rules for gravity, just the proper age to stars, just the right prebiologies to create just the perfect viruses to become just the proper DNAs—in short, a series of coincidences so absurd in their precision and correctness that they defied logic, defied understanding, and even defied religious interpretation. Love? For seven centuries the existence of Grand Unification Theories and hyperstring post-quantum physics and Core-given understanding of the universe as self-contained and boundless, without Big Bang singularities or corresponding endpoints, had pretty much eliminated any role of God—primitively anthropomorphic or sophisticatedly post-Einsteinian—even as a caretaker or pre-Creation former of rules. The modern universe, as machine and man had come to understand it, needed no Creator; in fact, allowed no Creator. Its rules allowed very little tinkering and no major revisions. It had not begun and would not end, beyond cycles of expansion and contraction as regular and self-regulated as the seasons on Old Earth. No room for love there.
Dan Simmons (The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2))
In the first case it emerges that the evidence that might refute a theory can often be unearthed only with the help of an incompatible alternative: the advice (which goes back to Newton and which is still popular today) to use alternatives only when refutations have already discredited the orthodox theory puts the cart before the horse. Also, some of the most important formal properties of a theory are found by contrast, and not by analysis. A scientist who wishes to maximize the empirical content of the views he holds and who wants to understand them as clearly as he possibly can must therefore introduce other views; that is, he must adopt a pluralistic methodology. He must compare ideas with other ideas rather than with 'experience' and he must try to improve rather than discard the views that have failed in the competition. Proceeding in this way he will retain the theories of man and cosmos that are found in Genesis, or in the Pimander, he will elaborate them and use them to measure the success of evolution and other 'modern' views. He may then discover that the theory of evolution is not as good as is generally assumed and that it must be supplemented, or entirely replaced, by an improved version of Genesis. Knowledge so conceived is not a series of self-consistent theories that converges towards an ideal view; it is not a gradual approach to truth. It is rather an ever increasing ocean of mutually incompatible alternatives, each single theory, each fairy-tale, each myth that is part of the collection forcing the others in greater articulation and all of them contributing, via this process of competition, to the development of our consciousness. Nothing is ever settled, no view can ever be omitted from a comprehensive account. Plutarch or Diogenes Laertius, and not Dirac or von Neumann, are the models for presenting a knowledge of this kind in which the history of a science becomes an inseparable part of the science itself - it is essential for its further development as well as for giving content to the theories it contains at any particular moment. Experts and laymen, professionals and dilettani, truth-freaks and liars - they all are invited to participate in the contest and to make their contribution to the enrichment of our culture. The task of the scientist, however, is no longer 'to search for the truth', or 'to praise god', or 'to synthesize observations', or 'to improve predictions'. These are but side effects of an activity to which his attention is now mainly directed and which is 'to make the weaker case the stronger' as the sophists said, and thereby to sustain the motion of the whole.
Paul Karl Feyerabend (Against Method)
Martin Heidegger’s challenge to Husserl came in the opening lines of a book, Sein und Zeit (Being and Time), which he published in Husserl’s own phenomenological Yearbook series in 1927. The first page contained an innocuous-seeming quotation from Plato’s dialogue The Sophist: For manifestly you have long been aware of what you mean when you use the expression ‘being’. We, however, who used to think we understood it, have now become perplexed.
Sarah Bakewell (At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others)
the toxicity in much Western food lies in the processing, rather than in the food itself. The carbohydrates in Western diets are heavily skewed toward refined grains, and are thus highly obesogenic. Eggplant, kale, spinach, carrots, broccoli, peas, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, avocados, lettuce, beets, cucumbers, watercress, cabbage, among others, are all extremely healthy carbohydrate-containing foods.
Jason Fung (The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss (Why Intermittent Fasting Is the Key to Controlling Your Weight) (The Code Series Book 1))
A personality alters itself through a series of self-referential experiences. We are not the same as the day before. Much as a person can never set foot in exactly the same river on any given day, we are different each day. Yesterday made us, but the past cannot contain nor restrain us. We can never mentally scroll backward and be who we used to be. We must move forward in the stream of life until the day that our life force dries up and we return to dust.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
He terrifies me, Aunt Peg.” I don’t have the backbone to say it to her face. “Oliver is such a self-contained person. He’s always so calm, so at ease, so refined. I’m the one who’s always losing my mind over nothing. He is unbelievably amazing in a way I don’t know if I can reciprocate. His voice is calm and patient. It makes me feel like he will sit me down and tell me everything’s going to be okay. And his eyes. Have you seen his eyes? They’re so kind and gentle.
Elisa Marie Hopkins (A Diamond in the Rough (Diamond in the Rough series book 1))
What is in mind is a sort of Chautauqua...that’s the only name I can think of for it...like the traveling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America, this America, the one that we are now in, an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer. The Chautauquas were pushed aside by faster-paced radio, movies and TV, and it seems to me the change was not entirely an improvement. Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep. The old channels cannot contain it and in its search for new ones there seems to be growing havoc and destruction along its banks. In this Chautauqua I would like not to cut any new channels of consciousness but simply dig deeper into old ones that have become silted in with the debris of thoughts grown stale and platitudes too often repeated.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
Each moment fully perceived contains eternity. With intuition, trust increases, both in yourself and others. You can see the good reasons for why things happen. You experience less anxiety-producing hopelessness and hopefulness about the past and the future and a more acute awareness of your surroundings. There’s more synchronicity. Inspiration increases. Enthusiasm expands, because when things flow, you feel happy. When you’re happy, creativity and productivity soar and satisfaction becomes profound. For instance, you rush frantically to the grocery store to do the weekly shopping, squeezing in the errand between work, time with your children, and repairs on the house. You could make the experience entertaining and magical if you pay attention to the smells, shapes, and colors of the foods and packages and the emotional tones of the people you meet in the aisles. You might enjoy the smooth motion of your grocery cart or notice exactly which piece of fruit your body wants to select.
Penney Peirce (The Intuitive Way: The Definitive Guide to Increasing Your Awareness (Transformation Series))
We are the slaves of our technical improvement and we can no more return a New Hampshire farm to the self-contained state in which it was maintained in 1800 than we can, by taking thought, add a cubit to our stature or, what is more to the point, diminish it. We have modified our environment so radically that we must now modify ourselves in order to exist in this new environment. We can no longer live in the old one. Progress imposes not only new possibilities for the future but new restrictions.
Norbert Wiener (The Human Use Of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society (The Da Capo series in science))
slavery is rarely taught in schools, and our understanding of its scope is barely rudimentary. The mainstream of American thought still does not contain a shared body of information on slavery even though the facts about American enslavement are widely available. Several years after that first spring, when I began to speak publicly about the book that had come forward from a newspaper project on slavery in the North (Complicity), I was asked the same question over and over, by audiences around the country: “Why don’t we know about this?
Anne Farrow (The Logbooks: Connecticut’s Slave Ships and Human Memory (The Driftless Connecticut Series & Garnet Books))
The flat area immediately below was broken up into a formal pattern of beds containing oleander and more clipped clouds of box, a southern imitation of the grand parterres of aristocratic chateaux. A rose garden beyond was the first in a series of gardens created on descending levels, apparently linked by a magnificently overgrown wisteria. Dense lines of cypress hid any farther areas from view, including the memorial garden that was her special brief. As a whole, the garden was charming, luxuriant, but- from a professional point of view- dilapidated.
Deborah Lawrenson (The Sea Garden)
Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you'll be sick. The simplest single-celled organism oscillates to a number of different frequencies, at the atomic, molecular, sub-cellular, and cellular levels. Microscopic movies of these organisms are striking for the ceaseless, rhythmic pulsation that is revealed. In an organism as complex as a human being, the frequencies of oscillation and the interactions between those frequencies are multitudinous. -George Leonard Learning any new skill involves relatively brief spurts of progress, each of which is followed by a slight decline to a plateau somewhat higher in most cases than that which preceded it…the upward spurts vary; the plateaus have their own dips and rises along the way…To take the master’s journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence. But while doing so–and this is the inexorable–fact of the journey–you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere. (Mastery, p. 14-15). Backsliding is a universal experience. Every one of us resists significant change, no matter whether it’s for the worse or for the better. Our body, brain and behavior have a built-in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits, and to snap back when changed…Be aware of the way homeostasis works…Expect resistance and backlash. Realize that when the alarm bells start ringing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sick or crazy or lazy or that you’ve made a bad decision in embarking on the journey of mastery. In fact, you might take these signals as an indication that your life is definitely changing–just what you’ve wanted….Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change. Our preoccupation with goals, results, and the quick fix has separated us from our own experiences…there are all of those chores that most of us can’t avoid: cleaning, straightening, raking leaves, shopping for groceries, driving the children to various activities, preparing food, washing dishes, washing the car, commuting, performing the routine, repetitive aspects of our jobs….Take driving, for instance. Say you need to drive ten miles to visit a friend. You might consider the trip itself as in-between-time, something to get over with. Or you could take it as an opportunity for the practice of mastery. In that case, you would approach your car in a state of full awareness…Take a moment to walk around the car and check its external condition, especially that of the tires…Open the door and get in the driver’s seat, performing the next series of actions as a ritual: fastening the seatbelt, adjusting the seat and the rearview mirror…As you begin moving, make a silent affirmation that you’ll take responsibility for the space all around your vehicle at all times…We tend to downgrade driving as a skill simply because it’s so common. Actually maneuvering a car through varying conditions of weather, traffic, and road surface calls for an extremely high level of perception, concentration, coordination, and judgement…Driving can be high art…Ultimately, nothing in this life is “commonplace,” nothing is “in between.” The threads that join your every act, your every thought, are infinite. All paths of mastery eventually merge. [Each person has a] vantage point that offers a truth of its own. We are the architects of creation and all things are connected through us. The Universe is continually at its work of restructuring itself at a higher, more complex, more elegant level . . . The intention of the universe is evolution. We exist as a locus of waves that spreads its influence to the ends of space and time. The whole of a thing is contained in each of its parts. We are completely, firmly, absolutely connected with all of existence. We are indeed in relationship to all that is.
George Leonard
Eighthly, none of our sense-perceptions is opposed to the acceptance of infinity, since we cannot deny infinity merely because we do not sensibly perceive it; but since sense in itself is included in infinity, and since reason doth confirm infinity, therefore needs must that we posit infinity. Moreover, if we consider well, sense doth present to us an infinite universe. For we perceive an endless series of objects, each one contained by another, nor do we ever perceive either with our external or our internal sense, an object which is not contained by another or similar object. Lastly before our eyes one thing is seen to bound another; air is as a well between the hills, and mountains between tracts of air, land bounds the sea and again sea bounds all lands; yet in truth there is nothing outside to limit the universe ... so far on every side spreads out huge room for things, free from limit in all directions everywhere. [6] From the testimony of our sight then we should rather infer the infinite, since there is no object which doth not terminate in another, nor can we experience aught which terminateth in itself.
Giordano Bruno (On the Infinite, the Universe and the Worlds: Five Cosmological Dialogues (Collected Works of Giordano Bruno Book 2))
Ambition in any form for the group, for individual salvation, or for spiritual achievement is action postponed. Desire is ever of the future; the desire to become is inaction in the present. The now has greater significance than the tomorrow. In the now is all time, and to understand the now is to be free of time. Becoming is the continuation of time, of sorrow. Becoming does not contain being. Being is always in the present, and being is the highest form of transformation. Becoming is merely modified continuity, and there is radical transformation only in the present, in being.
J. Krishnamurti (Commentaries on Living: First Series)
Psychologist J.P. Guilford, who carried out a long series of systematic psychological studies into the nature of creativity, found that several factors were involved in creative thinking; many of these, as we shall see, relate directly to the cognitive changes that take place during mild manias as well. Fluency of thinking, as defined by Guilford, is made up of several related and empirically derived concepts, measured by specific tasks: word fluency, the ability to produce words each, for example, containing a specific letter or combination of letters; associational fluency, the production of as many synonyms as possible for a given word in a limited amount of time; expressional fluency, the production and rapid juxtaposition of phrases or sentences; and ideational fluency, the ability to produce ideas to fulfill certain requirements in a limited amount of time. In addition to fluency of thinking, Guilford developed two other important concepts for the study of creative thought: spontaneous flexibility, the ability and disposition to produce a great variety of ideas, with freedom to switch from category to category; and adaptive flexibility, the ability to come up with unusual types of solutions to set problems.
Kay Redfield Jamison (Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament)
At the time, about to graduate from college, I was operating mainly on impulse, like a salmon swimming blindly upstream toward the site of his own conception. In class and seminars I would dress up these impulses in the slogans and theories that I'd discovered in books., thinking - falsely - that the slogans meant something, that they somehow made what I felt more amenable to proof. But at night, lying in bed, I would let the slogans drift away, to be replaced with a series of images, romantic images, of a past I'd never known. ... Such images became a form of prayer for me, bolstering my spirits, channeling my emotions in a way that words never could. They told me (although even this much understanding may have come later, is also a construct, containing its own falsehoods) that I wasn't alone in my particular struggles, and that communities had never been a given in this country, at least not for blacks. Communities had to be created, fought for, tended like gardens. They expanded or contracted with the dreams of men... Through organising, through shared sacrifice, membership had been earned. And because membership was earned... I believed that it might, over time, admit the uniqueness of my life. That was my idea of organising. It was a promise of redemption.
Barack Obama (Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance)
What would Buddha do? “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment”, Buddha. Well, while Buddhism contains many valuable life lessons one of the most important is the difference between pain and suffering. Pain is woven into nature and is inevitable part of life: to desire results in disappointment, to love means you will experience loss and to be born naturally leads to aging and death. By contrast suffering is what our minds make up these experiences when they are not at hand. Suffering is the anguish we experience from worry of not getting the things we need or from loosing the things that we have. It is an anticipatory anxiety.
Louis Cozolino (Why Therapy Works: Using Our Minds to Change Our Brains (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
There are so many valuable techniques for regulation, for exploring and integrating traumatic experience, and so on. Once we get to know these protocols, they may pull on us in ways that invite us to seize control of the therapy. The other pathway suggests that her system holds the answers and that if I can offer enough safe support, it will likely begin to speak with us. At least cognitively, I can recognize that this person's inner world contains much more information about the root causes of her upset than I do. From this perspective, I am less interested in dealing with symptoms than moving towards making room for the implicit origin to emerge so that the protective systems can take care of themselves.
Bonnie Badenoch (The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
One experience that led Jung to this conclusion took place in 1906 and involved the hallucination of a young man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. One day while making his rounds Jung found the young man standing at a window and staring up at the sun. The man was also moving his head from side to side in a curious manner. When Jung asked him what he was doing he explained that he was looking at the sun's penis, and when he moved his head from side to side, the sun's penis moved and caused the wind to blow. At the time Jung viewed the man's assertion as the product of a hallucination. But several years later he came across a translation of a two-thousand-year-old Persian religious text that changed his mind. The text consisted of a series of rituals and invocations designed to bring on visions. It described one of the visions and said that if the participant looked at the sun he would see a tube hanging down from it, and when the tube moved from side to side it would cause the wind to blow. Since circumstances made it extremely unlikely that the man had had contact with the text containing the ritual, Jung concluded that the man's vision was not simply a product of his unconscious mind, but had bubbled up from a deeper level, from the collective unconscious of the human race itself. Jung called such images archetypes and believed they were so ancient it's as if each of us has the memory of a two-million-year-old man lurking somewhere in the depths of our unconscious minds.
Michael Talbot (The Holographic Universe)
Computational models of the mind would make sense if what a computer actually does could be characterized as an elementary version of what the mind does, or at least as something remotely like thinking. In fact, though, there is not even a useful analogy to be drawn here. A computer does not even really compute. We compute, using it as a tool. We can set a program in motion to calculate the square root of pi, but the stream of digits that will appear on the screen will have mathematical content only because of our intentions, and because we—not the computer—are running algorithms. The computer, in itself, as an object or a series of physical events, does not contain or produce any symbols at all; its operations are not determined by any semantic content but only by binary sequences that mean nothing in themselves. The visible figures that appear on the computer’s screen are only the electronic traces of sets of binary correlates, and they serve as symbols only when we represent them as such, and assign them intelligible significances. The computer could just as well be programmed so that it would respond to the request for the square root of pi with the result “Rupert Bear”; nor would it be wrong to do so, because an ensemble of merely material components and purely physical events can be neither wrong nor right about anything—in fact, it cannot be about anything at all. Software no more “thinks” than a minute hand knows the time or the printed word “pelican” knows what a pelican is. We might just as well liken the mind to an abacus, a typewriter, or a library. No computer has ever used language, or responded to a question, or assigned a meaning to anything. No computer has ever so much as added two numbers together, let alone entertained a thought, and none ever will. The only intelligence or consciousness or even illusion of consciousness in the whole computational process is situated, quite incommutably, in us; everything seemingly analogous to our minds in our machines is reducible, when analyzed correctly, only back to our own minds once again, and we end where we began, immersed in the same mystery as ever. We believe otherwise only when, like Narcissus bent above the waters, we look down at our creations and, captivated by what we see reflected in them, imagine that another gaze has met our own.
David Bentley Hart (The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss)
Will “trigger warnings” simply be a way of establishing a new secular index, a cautionary list of books and other works dangerous not for religious reasons but because they may offend or upset certain groups or individuals or that contain material which can be viewed as insensitive or inappropriate? Would Grapes of Wrath be upsetting to someone with bad memories of rural poverty? Will the near future necessitate warning labels in front of all published material? Will future editions of The Best American Essays, for example, include a trigger warning in front of each selection so readers can avoid material that might upset them? And will trigger warnings in themselves eventually cause upsetting reactions, just the words and images sufficing to evoke unpleasant memories or anxious responses?
John Jeremiah Sullivan (The Best American Essays 2014 (The Best American Series))
He finishes up the call, and takes a few steps closer to me. “Cari.” He looks at me appreciatively from head to toe making me tingle all over. “You look absolutely stunning.” “Thank you. You don’t look too bad yourself Mr. Blake.” I smooth out the lapels of his suit jacket. He catches my wrists and kisses each one. “I have something for you.” He takes my hand and tugs me with him down the corridor to his home office. “Close your eyes.” I do as he requests and I hear him open and close a drawer. “Open them.” I open my eyes. Oh my gosh! He holds open a box containing a glittering diamond scroll bracelet. “It’s beautiful, but I can’t –” “Don’t tell me you cannot accept it. You can and you will because it’s my gift to you.” I shake my head. “It’s too much.” “Nothing will ever be too much for you angel.
R.C. Stern (Fate + Chance = Love (The Blake Family Series, #1))
You have to have approached a place from all four cardinal points if you want to take it in, and what’s more, you also have to have left it from all these points. Otherwise it will quite unexpectedly cross your path three or four times before you are prepared to discover it. One stage further, and you seek it out, you orient your-self by it. The same thing with houses. It is only after having crept along a series of them in search of a very specific one that you come to learn what they contain. From the arches of gates, on the frames of house doors, in letters of varying size, black, blue, yellow, red, in the shape of arrows or in the image of boots or freshly-ironed laundry or a word stoop or a stairway’s solid landing, the life leaps out at you, combative, determined, mute. You have to have traveled the streets by streetcar to realize how this running battle con-tinues up along the various stories and finally reaches its decisive pitch on the roofs.
Walter Benjamin (Moscow Diary)
descriptive grammars, that is, they set out to account for the language we use without necessarily making judgements about its correctness. However, the word ‘grammar’, as we have seen, can be used to indicate what rules exist for combining units together and whether these have been followed correctly. For example, the variety of English I speak has a rule that if you use a number greater than one with a noun, the noun has to be plural (I say ‘three cats’, not ‘three cat’). Books which set out this view of language are prescriptive grammars which aim to tell people how they should speak rather than to describe how they do speak. Prescriptive grammars contain the notion of the ‘correct’ use of language. For example, many people were taught that an English verb in the infinitive form (underlined in the example below) should not be separated from its preceding to. So the introduction to the TV series Star Trek …to boldly go where no man has gone before is criticised on the grounds that to and go should not be
Open University (English grammar in context)
Where are you taking me?” Andrew demanded, whirling on the Ferryman. His muscles tensed, hands curling in and out of fists. “To my master.” The voice was ghostly, whispers of black ash and death, words cold and detached. He had an idea who that was but asked anyway: “And who is your master?” No answer came. Andrew’s insatiable rage rose up and swallowed his grief like a yawning ocean mouth, the darkest depths surging to the surface to form a mighty tidal wave. He closed the distance and seized the Ferryman’s gaunt wrist. There was no substance, no life beneath the cloak. The Ferryman slowly turned his hooded head, and Andrew found himself looking into the black hole of a self-contained night. The olfactory of decay was a punch in the face. Andrew released the Ferryman’s wrist and hastily stepped back, rocking the boat as he put distance between him and the unnatural wind spilling from the gaping orifice. Andrew shivered, the tiny hairs on his neck saluting. The cloaked head faced forward again, and the wind died away.
Laura Kreitzer (Key of Pearl (Timeless, #4.5))
We may find ourselves in a role similar to that of a gardener as we cultivate a space in which healing can naturally unfold. In terms of neurobiology, this stance encourages us to lean into the reassuring awareness that our systems already contain seeds awaiting our attention. For some examples, we humans are always seeking the warmest possible attachments we can imagine (Cozolino, Siegel), our brains are continuously yearning for the arrival of a co-organizing other (Badenoch, Cozolino, Schore), emotional regulation flows naturally from being in the presence of someone we trust (Beckes & Coan) and even our nervous systems have a preference for the social engagement circuitry that sustains connection (Porges). With this kind of support from the biology inherent in both practitioner and patient, our bodies may begin to open into a welcoming state as others come towards us, with a sense of partnership being established rather than someone doing something to us. However this also means letting go of the potential certainty that comes from feeling we are in charge.
Bonnie Badenoch (The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
By then we lived in a small town an hour outside of Minneapolis in a series of apartment complexes with deceptively upscale names: Mill Pond and Barbary Knoll, Tree Loft and Lake Grace Manor. She had one job, then another. She waited tables at a place called the Norseman and then a place called Infinity, where her uniform was a black T-shirt that said GO FOR IT in rainbow glitter across her chest. She worked the day shift at a factory that manufactured plastic containers capable of holding highly corrosive chemicals and brought the rejects home. Trays and boxes that had been cracked or clipped or misaligned in the machine. We made them into toys—beds for our dolls, ramps for our cars. She worked and worked and worked, and still we were poor. We received government cheese and powdered milk, food stamps and medical assistance cards, and free presents from do-gooders at Christmastime. We played tag and red light green light and charades by the apartment mailboxes that you could open only with a key, waiting for checks to arrive. “We aren’t poor,” my mother said, again and again. “Because we’re rich in love.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
The moderate person contains opposing capacities to the nth degree. A moderate person can start out hot on both ends, both fervent in a capacity for rage and fervent in a desire for order, both Apollonian at work and Dionysian at play, both strong in faith and deeply doubtful, both Adam I and Adam II. A moderate person can start out with these divisions and rival tendencies, but to live a coherent life, the moderate must find a series of balances and proportions. The moderate is forever seeking a series of temporary arrangements, embedded in the specific situation of the moment, that will help him or her balance the desire for security with the desire for risk, the call of liberty with the need for restraint. The moderate knows there is no ultimate resolution to these tensions. Great matters cannot be settled by taking into account just one principle or one viewpoint. Governing is more like sailing in a storm: shift your weight one way when the boat tilts to starboard, shift your weight the other way when it tilts to port—adjust and adjust and adjust to circumstances to keep the semblance and equanimity of an even keel.
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
Polyvagal Theory proposes a neurophysiological model of safety and trust. The model emphasizes that safety is defined by feeling safe and not by the removal of threat. Feeling safe is dependent on three conditions: 1) the autonomic nervous system cannot be in a state that supports defense; 2) the social engagement system needs to be activated to down regulate sympathetic activation and functionally contain the sympathetic nervous system and the dorsal vagal circuit within an optimal range (homeostasis) that would support health, growth, and restoration; and 3) to detect cues of safety (e.g., prosodic vocalizations, positive facial expressions and gestures) via neuroception. In everyday situations, the cues of safety may initiate the sequence by triggering the social engagement system via the process of neuroception, which will contain autonomic state within a homeostatic range and restrict the autonomic nervous system from reacting in defense. This constrained range of autonomic state has been referred to as the window of tolerance (see Ogden et. al. 2006; Siegel, 1999) and can be expanded through neural exercises embedded in therapy. See: throughout
Stephen W. Porges (The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
Honest to God, I hadn’t meant to start a bar fight. “So. You’re the famous Jordan Amador.” The demon sitting in front of me looked like someone filled a pig bladder with rotten cottage cheese. He overflowed the bar stool with his gelatinous stomach, just barely contained by a white dress shirt and an oversized leather jacket. Acid-washed jeans clung to his stumpy legs and his boots were at least twice the size of mine. His beady black eyes started at my ankles and dragged upward, past my dark jeans, across my black turtleneck sweater, and over the grey duster around me that was two sizes too big. He finally met my gaze and snorted before continuing. “I was expecting something different. Certainly not a black girl. What’s with the name, girlie?” I shrugged. “My mother was a religious woman.” “Clearly,” the demon said, tucking a fat cigar in one corner of his mouth. He stood up and walked over to the pool table beside him where he and five of his lackeys had gathered. Each of them was over six feet tall and were all muscle where he was all fat. “I could start to examine the literary significance of your name, or I could ask what the hell you’re doing in my bar,” he said after knocking one of the balls into the left corner pocket. “Just here to ask a question, that’s all. I don’t want trouble.” Again, he snorted, but this time smoke shot from his nostrils, which made him look like an albino dragon. “My ass you don’t. This place is for fallen angels only, sweetheart. And we know your reputation.” I held up my hands in supplication. “Honest Abe. Just one question and I’m out of your hair forever.” My gaze lifted to the bald spot at the top of his head surrounded by peroxide blonde locks. “What’s left of it, anyway.” He glared at me. I smiled, batting my eyelashes. He tapped his fingers against the pool cue and then shrugged one shoulder. “Fine. What’s your question?” “Know anybody by the name of Matthias Gruber?” He didn’t even blink. “No.” “Ah. I see. Sorry to have wasted your time.” I turned around, walking back through the bar. I kept a quick, confident stride as I went, ignoring the whispers of the fallen angels in my wake. A couple called out to me, asking if I’d let them have a taste, but I didn’t spare them a glance. Instead, I headed to the ladies’ room. Thankfully, it was empty, so I whipped out my phone and dialed the first number in my Recent Call list. “Hey. He’s here. Yeah, I’m sure it’s him. They’re lousy liars when they’re drunk. Uh-huh. Okay, see you in five.” I hung up and let out a slow breath. Only a couple things left to do. I gathered my shoulder-length black hair into a high ponytail. I looped the loose curls around into a messy bun and made sure they wouldn’t tumble free if I shook my head too hard. I took the leather gloves in the pocket of my duster out and pulled them on. Then, I walked out of the bathroom and back to the front entrance. The coat-check girl gave me a second unfriendly look as I returned with my ticket stub to retrieve my things—three vials of holy water, a black rosary with the beads made of onyx and the cross made of wood, a Smith & Wesson .9mm Glock complete with a full magazine of blessed bullets and a silencer, and a worn out page of the Bible. I held out my hands for the items and she dropped them on the counter with an unapologetic, “Oops.” “Thanks,” I said with a roll of my eyes. I put the Glock back in the hip holster at my side and tucked the rest of the items in the pockets of my duster. The brunette demon crossed her arms under her hilariously oversized fake breasts and sent me a vicious sneer. “The door is that way, Seer. Don’t let it hit you on the way out.” I smiled back. “God bless you.” She let out an ugly hiss between her pearly white teeth. I blew her a kiss and walked out the door. The parking lot was packed outside now that it was half-past midnight. Demons thrived in darkness, so I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I’d been counting on it.
Kyoko M. (The Holy Dark (The Black Parade, #3))
Red: Maintaining health, bodily strength, physical energy, sex, passion, courage, protection, and defensive magic. This is the color of the element of fire. Throughout the world, red is associated with life and death, for this is the color of blood spilled in both childbirth and injury. Pink: Love, friendship, compassion, relaxation. Pink candles can be burned during rituals designed to improve self-love. They’re ideal for weddings and for all forms of emotional union. Orange: Attraction, energy. Burn to attract specific influences or objects. Yellow: Intellect, confidence, divination, communication, eloquence, travel, movement. Yellow is the color of the element of air. Burn yellow candles during rituals designed to heighten your visualization abilities. Before studying for any purpose, program a yellow candle to stimulate your conscious mind. Light the candle and let it burn while you study. Green: Money, prosperity, employment, fertility, healing, growth. Green is the color of the element of earth. It’s also the color of the fertility of the earth, for it echoes the tint of chlorophyll. Burn when looking for a job or seeking a needed raise. Blue: Healing, peace, psychism, patience, happiness. Blue is the color of the element of water. This is also the realm of the ocean and of all water, of sleep, and of twilight. If you have trouble sleeping, charge a small blue candle with a visualization of yourself sleeping through the night. Burn for a few moments before you get into bed, then extinguish its flame. Blue candles can also be charged and burned to awaken the psychic mind. Purple: Power, healing severe diseases, spirituality, meditation, religion. Purple candles can be burned to enhance all spiritual activities, to increase your magical power, and as a part of intense healing rituals in combination with blue candles. White: Protection, purification, all purposes. White contains all colors. It’s linked with the moon. White candles are specifically burned during purification and protection rituals. If you’re to keep but one candle on hand for magical purposes, choose a white one. Before use, charge it with personal power and it’ll work for all positive purposes. Black: Banishing negativity, absorbing negativity. Black is the absence of color. In magic, it’s also representative of outer space. Despite what you may have heard, black candles are burned for positive purposes, such as casting out baneful energies or to absorb illnesses and nasty habits. Brown: Burned for spells involving animals, usually in combination with other colors. A brown candle and a red candle for animal protection, brown and blue for healing, and so on.
Scott Cunningham (Earth, Air, Fire & Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic (Llewellyn's Practical Magick Series))
Beyond a fence, they came to the swimming pool, which spilled over into a series of waterfalls and smaller rocky pools. The area was planted with huge ferns. “Isn’t this extraordinary?” Ed Regis said. “Especially on a misty day, these plants really contribute to the prehistoric atmosphere. These are authentic Jurassic ferns, of course.” Ellie paused to look more closely at the ferns. Yes, it was just as he said: Serenna veriformans, a plant found abundantly in fossils more than two hundred million years old, now common only in the wetlands of Brazil and Colombia. But whoever had decided to place this particular fern at poolside obviously didn’t know that the spores of veriformans contained a deadly beta-carboline alkaloid. Even touching the attractive green fronds could make you sick, and if a child were to take a mouthful, he would almost certainly die—the toxin was fifty times more poisonous than oleander. People were so naïve about plants, Ellie thought. They just chose plants for appearance, as they would choose a picture for the wall. It never occurred to them that plants were actually living things, busily performing all the living functions of respiration, ingestion, excretion, reproduction—and defense. But Ellie knew that, in the earth’s history, plants had evolved as competitively as animals, and in some ways more fiercely. The poison in Serenna veriformans was a minor example of the elaborate chemical arsenal of weapons that plants had evolved. There were terpenes, which plants spread to poison the soil around them and inhibit competitors; alkaloids, which made them unpalatable to insects and predators (and children); and pheromones, used for communication. When a Douglas fir tree was attacked by beetles, it produced an anti-feedant chemical—and so did other Douglas firs in distant parts of the forest. It happened in response to a warning alleochemical secreted by the trees that were under attack. People who imagined that life on earth consisted of animals moving against a green background seriously misunderstood what they were seeing. That green background was busily alive. Plants grew, moved, twisted, and turned, fighting for the sun; and they interacted continuously with animals—discouraging some with bark and thorns; poisoning others; and feeding still others to advance their own reproduction, to spread their pollen and seeds. It was a complex, dynamic process which she never ceased to find fascinating. And which she knew most people simply didn’t understand. But if planting deadly ferns at poolside was any indication, then it was clear that the designers of Jurassic Park had not been as careful as they should have been.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
As the conference continued it occurred to me finally that it wasn't really about Indian history as it was written, but really about rewriting it by taking a fresh look at race, ethnicity, gender, and a mix of sociocultural questions... I just couldn't believe how far along the desi scene was, not just socially but intellectually, how many people were out there thinking about it. This whole event so far rocked my world, muddled me still more, and delivered a series of tiny epiphanies, all at the same time. To be honest, I was quite intimidated by the dialogue going on, as well as by the passion and conviction of these people on so many subjects which I, frankly, had never really even thought about. ...A history of a people in transit -- what could that be card catalogued under? And the history of the ABCD. Everyone seemed to know about this ABCD thing -- that didn't seem very confused to me! And it was a relatively new phenomenon; it had never occurred to me that things going on now could have a history already. The moments that made up my life in the present tense seemed so fleetingly urgent and self-contained to me: I'd always felt my life had very little to do with my parents' and especially their parents' histories...and that it would have very little effect on anything to come. But the way these people were talking -- about desis in Hollywood; South Asian Studies departments; the relatively new Asian Indian slot on the census -- was hummingly sculpting the air, as if they were making history as they spoke. Making it, messily but surely, even simply by speaking. I was feeling it, too -- a sense of history in the making. But where did I fit in to any of it? And how come no one had told me?
Tanuja Desai Hidier (Born Confused (Born Confused #1))
This reaction to the work was obviously a misunderstanding. It ignores the fact that the future Buddha was also of noble origins, that he was the son of a king and heir to the throne and had been raised with the expectation that one day he would inherit the crown. He had been taught martial arts and the art of government, and having reached the right age, he had married and had a son. All of these things would be more typical of the physical and mental formation of a future samurai than of a seminarian ready to take holy orders. A man like Julius Evola was particularly suitable to dispel such a misconception. He did so on two fronts in his Doctrine: on the one hand, he did not cease to recall the origins of the Buddha, Prince Siddhartha, who was destined to the throne of Kapilavastu: on the other hand, he attempted to demonstrate that Buddhist asceticism is not a cowardly resignation before life's vicissitudes, but rather a struggle of a spiritual kind, which is not any less heroic than the struggle of a knight on the battlefield. As Buddha himself said (Mahavagga, 2.15): 'It is better to die fighting than to live as one vanquished.' This resolution is in accord with Evola's ideal of overcoming natural resistances in order to achieve the Awakening through meditation; it should he noted, however, that the warrior terminology is contained in the oldest writings of Buddhism, which are those that best reflect the living teaching of the master. Evola works tirelessly in his hook to erase the Western view of a languid and dull doctrine that in fact was originally regarded as aristocratic and reserved for real 'champions.' After Schopenhauer, the unfounded idea arose in Western culture that Buddhism involved a renunciation of the world and the adoption of a passive attitude: 'Let things go their way; who cares anyway.' Since in this inferior world 'everything is evil,' the wise person is the one who, like Simeon the Stylite, withdraws, if not to the top of a pillar; at least to an isolated place of meditation. Moreover, the most widespread view of Buddhists is that of monks dressed in orange robes, begging for their food; people suppose that the only activity these monks are devoted to is reciting memorized texts, since they shun prayers; thus, their religion appears to an outsider as a form of atheism. Evola successfully demonstrates that this view is profoundly distorted by a series of prejudices. Passivity? Inaction? On the contrary, Buddha never tired of exhorting his disciples to 'work toward victory'; he himself, at the end of his life, said with pride: katam karaniyam, 'done is what needed to he done!' Pessimism? It is true that Buddha, picking up a formula of Brahmanism, the religion in which he had been raised prior to his departure from Kapilavastu, affirmed that everything on earth is 'suffering.' But he also clarified for us that this is the case because we are always yearning to reap concrete benefits from our actions. For example, warriors risk their lives because they long for the pleasure of victory and for the spoils, and yet in the end they are always disappointed: the pillaging is never enough and what has been gained is quickly squandered. Also, the taste of victory soon fades away. But if one becomes aware of this state of affairs (this is one aspect of the Awakening), the pessimism is dispelled since reality is what it is, neither good nor bad in itself; reality is inscribed in Becoming, which cannot be interrupted. Thus, one must live and act with the awareness that the only thing that matters is each and every moment. Thus, duty (dhamma) is claimed to be the only valid reference point: 'Do your duty,' that is. 'let your every action he totally disinterested.
Jean Varenne (The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts)
Auto-Zoomar. Talbert knelt in the a tergo posture, his palms touching the wing-like shoulder blades of the young woman. A conceptual flight. At ten-second intervals the Polaroid projected a photograph on to the screen beside the bed. He watched the auto-zoom close in on the union of their thighs and hips. Details of the face and body of the film actress appeared on the screen, mimetized elements of the planetarium they had visited that morning. Soon the parallax would close, establishing the equivalent geometry of the sexual act with the junctions of this wall and ceiling. ‘Not in the Literal Sense.’Conscious of Catherine Austin’s nervous hips as she stood beside him, Dr Nathan studied the photograph of the young woman. ‘Karen Novotny,’ he read off the caption. ‘Dr Austin, may I assure you that the prognosis is hardly favourable for Miss Novotny. As far as Talbert is concerned the young woman is a mere modulus in his union with the film actress.’ With kindly eyes he looked up at Catherine Austin. ‘Surely it’s self-evident - Talbert’s intention is to have intercourse with Miss Taylor, though needless to say not in the literal sense of that term.’ Action Sequence. Hiding among the traffic in the near-side lane, Koester followed the white Pontiac along the highway. When they turned into the studio entrance he left his car among the pines and climbed through the perimeter fence. In the shooting stage Talbert was staring through a series of colour transparencies. Karen Novotny waited passively beside him, her hands held like limp birds. As they grappled he could feel the exploding musculature of Talbert’s shoulders. A flurry of heavy blows beat him to the floor. Vomiting through his bloodied lips, he saw Talbert run after the young woman as she darted towards the car. The Sex Kit.‘In a sense,’ Dr Nathan explained to Koester, ‘one may regard this as a kit, which Talbert has devised, entitled “Karen Novotny” - it might even be feasible to market it commercially. It contains the following items: (1) Pad of pubic hair, (2) a latex face mask, (3) six detachable mouths, (4) a set of smiles, (5) a pair of breasts, left nipple marked by a small ulcer, (6) a set of non-chafe orifices, (7) photo cut-outs of a number of narrative situations - the girl doing this and that, (8) a list of dialogue samples, of inane chatter, (9) a set of noise levels, (10) descriptive techniques for a variety of sex acts, (11) a torn anal detrusor muscle, (12) a glossary of idioms and catch phrases, (13) an analysis of odour traces (from various vents), mostly purines, etc., (14) a chart of body temperatures (axillary, buccal, rectal), (15) slides of vaginal smears, chiefly Ortho-Gynol jelly, (16) a set of blood pressures, systolic 120, diastolic 70 rising to 200/150 at onset of orgasm . . . ’ Deferring to Koester, Dr Nathan put down the typescript. ‘There are one or two other bits and pieces, but together the inventory is an adequate picture of a woman, who could easily be reconstituted from it. In fact, such a list may well be more stimulating than the real thing. Now that sex is becoming more and more a conceptual act, an intellectualization divorced from affect and physiology alike, one has to bear in mind the positive merits of the sexual perversions. Talbert’s library of cheap photo-pornography is in fact a vital literature, a kindling of the few taste buds left in the jaded palates of our so-called sexuality.
J.G. Ballard (The Atrocity Exhibition)