Distorted Thoughts Quotes

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Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.
Hermann Hesse
Words do not express thoughts very well. they always become a little different immediately they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
Words do not express thoughts very well; every thing immediately becomes a little different, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom of one man seems nonsense to another.
Gautama Buddha
Thought is so cunning, so clever, that it distorts everything for its own convenience.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)
As soon as we start putting our thoughts into words and sentences everything gets distorted, language is just no damn good—I use it because I have to, but I don’t put any trust in it. We never understand each other.
Marcel Duchamp
The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but you thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Can you see the power emotion has to distort our outlook? Makes you wonder, did you have a bad day, or did you make it a bad day.
Brandon Mull (Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven, #2))
Manic-depression distorts moods and thoughts, incites dreadful behaviors, destroys the basis of rational thought, and too often erodes the desire and will to live. It is an illness that is biological in its origins, yet one that feels psychological in the experience of it, an illness that is unique in conferring advantage and pleasure, yet one that brings in its wake almost unendurable suffering and, not infrequently, suicide.
Kay Redfield Jamison (An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness)
Symptoms of Amor Deliria Nervosa PHASE ONE: -preoccupation; difficulty focusing -dry mouth -perspiration, sweaty palms -fits of dizziness and disorientation -reduced mental awareness; racing thoughts; impaired reasoning skills PHASE TWO: -periods of euphoria; hysterical laughter and heightened energy -periods of despair; lethargy -changes in appetite; rapid weight loss or weight gain -fixation; loss of other interests -compromised reasoning skills; distortion of reality -disruption of sleep patterns; insomnia or constant fatigue -obsessive thoughts and actions -paranoia; insecurity PHASE THREE (CRITICAL): -difficulty breathing -pain in the chest, throat or stomach -complete breakdown of rational faculties; erratic behavior; violent thoughts and fantasies; hallucinations and delusions PHASE FOUR (FATAL): -emotional or physical paralysis (partial or total) -death If you fear that you or someone you know may have contracted deliria, please call the emergency line toll-free at 1-800-PREVENT to discuss immediate intake and treatment.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
People need routines. It's like a theme in music. But it also restricts your thoughts and actions and limits your freedom. It structures your priorities and in some cases distorts your logic.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3))
I never thought I could love someone so much, but sometimes never is a distorted perception, because I continuously find myself falling deeper in love with her every day.
Cheryl McIntyre (Sometimes Never (Sometimes Never, #1))
Did you ever read my words, or did you merely finger through them for quotations which you thought might valuably support an already conceived idea concerning some old and distorted connection between us?
Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)
As we go through the flightiness of time, dazed by the inebriety of our mental time voyage, we must hit the brakes, sometimes, and not shy away from questioning ourselves, when we wade through the tanning mist of our memory that embroiders our thoughts or distorts them. ("Uber alle Gipfeln ist Ruh" )
Erik Pevernagie
The ego says, ‘I shouldn’t have to suffer,’ and that thought makes you suffer so much more. It is a distortion of the truth, which is always paradoxical. The truth is that you need to say yes to suffering before you can transcend it.
Eckhart Tolle
Most people think things are not real unless they are spoken, that it's the uttering of something, not the thinking of it, that legitimizes it. I suppose this is why people always want other people to say "I love you." I think just the opposite—that thoughts are realest when thought, that expressing them distorts or dilutes them.
Peter Cameron
Fear is the destructive energy in man. It withers the mind, it distorts thought, it leads to all kinds of extraordinarily clever and subtle theories, absurd superstitions, dogmas, and beliefs.
Jiddu Krishnamurti
Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where i end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom. Taking responsibility for my life opens up many different options. Boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out. Setting boundaries inevitably involves taking responsibility for your choices. You are the one who makes them. You are the one who must live with their consequences. And you are the one who may be keeping yourself from making the choices you could be happy with. We must own our own thoughts and clarify distorted thinking.
Henry Cloud (Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life)
Most people think things are not real unless they are spoken, that it's the uttering of something, not the thinking of it, that legitimizes it. I suppose this is why people always want other people to say "I love you." I think just the opposite - that thoughts are realest when thought, that expressing them distorts or dilutes them, that it is best for them to stay in the dark climate-controlled airport chapel of your mind, that if they're released into the air and light they will be affected in a way that alters them, like film accidentally exposed.
Peter Cameron (Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You)
She heard Stefan’s voice. “Elena! Let go! Fall and I’ll catch you!” How strange, Elena thought, as if in a dream. His love and panic had distorted his voice somehow - making him sound different. Making him sound almost like- “Elena! I’m with you!” -like Damon. Shaken out of her dream, Elena looked below her. And there was Damon, standing protectively in front of Meredith, looking up at her, with his arms held out. He was with her.
L.J. Smith
Sometimes, when you look close enough at a person hoping to find clarity, the image of the person becomes so hazy, so distorted, that all you're left with is unclear thoughts and more questions.
Belle Aurora (Raw (RAW Family, #1))
One day Dostoevsky threw out the enigmatic remark: "Beauty will save the world". What sort of a statement is that? For a long time I considered it mere words. How could that be possible? When in bloodthirsty history did beauty ever save anyone from anything? Ennobled, uplifted, yes - but whom has it saved? There is, however, a certain peculiarity in the essence of beauty, a peculiarity in the status of art: namely, the convincingness of a true work of art is completely irrefutable and it forces even an opposing heart to surrender. It is possible to compose an outwardly smooth and elegant political speech, a headstrong article, a social program, or a philosophical system on the basis of both a mistake and a lie. What is hidden, what distorted, will not immediately become obvious. Then a contradictory speech, article, program, a differently constructed philosophy rallies in opposition - and all just as elegant and smooth, and once again it works. Which is why such things are both trusted and mistrusted. In vain to reiterate what does not reach the heart. But a work of art bears within itself its own verification: conceptions which are devised or stretched do not stand being portrayed in images, they all come crashing down, appear sickly and pale, convince no one. But those works of art which have scooped up the truth and presented it to us as a living force - they take hold of us, compel us, and nobody ever, not even in ages to come, will appear to refute them. So perhaps that ancient trinity of Truth, Goodness and Beauty is not simply an empty, faded formula as we thought in the days of our self-confident, materialistic youth? If the tops of these three trees converge, as the scholars maintained, but the too blatant, too direct stems of Truth and Goodness are crushed, cut down, not allowed through - then perhaps the fantastic, unpredictable, unexpected stems of Beauty will push through and soar to that very same place, and in so doing will fulfil the work of all three? In that case Dostoevsky's remark, "Beauty will save the world", was not a careless phrase but a prophecy? After all he was granted to see much, a man of fantastic illumination. And in that case art, literature might really be able to help the world today?
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Nobel Lecture)
One of the main reasons we’re so affected by our negative thoughts is that we think our mind has an accurate grasp on reality, and that its conclusions are generally valid. This, however, is a fallacy. Our mind’s view of reality can be, and often is, completely distorted.
Olivia Fox Cabane (The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism)
Until then I had always thought of loneliness as something negative—an absence of company, and, of course, something temporary... That day I had learned that it was much more. It was something which could press and oppress, could distort the ordinary and play tricks with the mind. Something which lurked inimically all around, stretching the nerves and twanging them with alarms, never letting one forget that there was no one to help, no one to care. It showed one as an atom adrift in vastness, and it waited all the time its chance to frighten and frighten horribly—that was what loneliness was really trying to do; and that was what one must never let it do...
John Wyndham (The Day of the Triffids)
Knowledge equals power... The string was important. After a while the Librarian stopped. He concentrated all his powers of librarianship. Power equals energy... People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library. Energy equals matter... He swung into an avenue of shelving that was apparently a few feet long and walked along it briskly for half an hour. Matter equals mass. And mass distorts space. It distorts it into polyfractal L-space. So, while the Dewey system has its fine points, when you're setting out to look something up in the multidimensional folds of L-space what you really need is a ball of string.
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1))
I mention a paradox of psychiatry: mental illness is recognized by the patient's distorted thoughts, but treatment is largely indifferent to their content. (104)
Michael Greenberg (Hurry Down Sunshine)
I leaned against my door, struggling to catch my breath, and thought that maybe hell wasn't a place at all, but a thing. A contagious thing. A thing that could creep up the steps, seep through the crack under my door, grow horns and sprout fire - smelling faintly like sulfur. A thing that could sink its tendrils inside and take root, coloring everything gray and distorting a smile into a sneer. And while i got dressed for the play, swatted at my back and kept running my hands over my stomach because I could feel it, I swear, I could feel it reaching for me, trying to grab hold.
Megan Miranda (Fracture (Fracture, #1))
When i spend too much time in my head, focused on things in the past or things in the future... when i lose sight of the present, i fold in on myself, mentally, my thoughts become toxic and distorted, my emotions, darken.
Jaeda DeWalt
Every intentional thought, word, or deed-right now and in your past-it all makes you what you are today. Your choices, not your neighbor's or your wife's or you boyfriend's-your decisions determine your karma.
Lucie Smoker (Distortion)
Unless you have a free press in your country, there is no need to buy newspapers and there is no need to watch the news because there is no need to listen to the lies! And you already have one real information: You are being deceived by the people you are governed! This is an enough information for you!
Mehmet Murat ildan
I guess that sometimes it just takes a long walk through the darkness, a long walk through the darkest shadows and corners of your soul to realize that those are a part of you as well, that you've created through your experiences and thoughts those parts within yourself and as much as you can choose to fear them and repress them, they will require your attention one day, they will need your care and acceptance before you can clean them away and turn the lights on. For you refuse to shine the light on something that is imperfect, because you fear judgement and rejection, but you can always choose to look towards the light as the only source of true beauty and love that can help you in the cleaning process. Healing, after a long time of struggle and mess is a complex process, but a necessary one nevertheless. We are so overwhelmed by the amount of work it requires that we so often choose to run away from the light, hide in our dark corner and hope that we will never be found, hope that we will never be seen, or desperately look outwards for that love and compassion that we can no longer find within ourselves, for our soul's light no longer shines as it used to. And sometimes we just find those people that can see the light beneath all that dust and darkness that's been pilled up, those kind of light workers that understand our broken souls and manage to pick us up and see the beauty within us, when we find it so hard to see it ourselves. Sometimes I get so tired of separation, of division, of groups and different religions and belief systems. Even if you do find the truth, once you've put it into words, books and rules it already becomes distorted by the mind into something that is no longer truth. So I no longer hope for understanding, no longer hope for the opinion of a judgemental mind, but I hope to find the words that touch the soul before the mind, I hope to find the touch that warms the heart from deep inside, and hope to find that far away abandoned part of me which I've left behind.
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
It's not the thoughts you have; it's the thoughts you recycle into belief. We all have negative and distorted thoughts arise. However, the difference between joy and suffering, success and failure, depends on which thoughts we repeat, believe, and then act on with emotion.
Emily Maroutian
People need routines. It's like a theme in music. But it also restricts your thoughts and actions and limits your freedom. It structures your priorities and some cases distorts your logic.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3))
Ninety percent of what we believe has nothing to do with the process of thought, but comes instead from the four sources of family inheritance, individual temperament, national culture, and economic self-interest; and while we cannot wholly cast off these shackles, we should at least recognize their cramping and distorting influence upon the free process of thought.
Sydney J. Harris
I found a Bill Evans record in the bookcase and was listening to it while drying my hair when I realized that it was the record I had played in Naoko's room on the night of her birthday, the night she cried and I took her in my arms. That had happened only six months earlier, but it felt like something from a much remoter past. Maybe it felt that way because I had thought about it so often-too often, to the point where it had distorted my sense of time.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
The visual and auditory information that enters the mind is distorted by experiences, thoughts, circumstances, wild fancies, prejudices, preferences, knowledge, awareness, and countless other workings of the mind.
Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café (Before the Coffee Gets Cold, #2))
Patriotism, whether it is of the Western kind, or of the Eastern kind, is the same, a poison in human beings that is really distorting thought. So patriotism is a disease, and when you begin to realize, become aware that it is a disease, then you will see how your mind is reacting to that disease. When, in time of war, the whole world talks of patriotism, you will know the falseness of it, and therefore you will act as a true human being
Jiddu Krishnamurti
I had always liked my anorexic reflection. It meant seeing the parts instead of the whole. Each connection, each articulation of muscle, skin, and bone made explicit. Gert said that we all had distorted images of ourselves. Either fatter or skinnier than we really were. She said we hated our bodies, hated ourselves. I had never thought so.
Stephanie Grant
When national ideals are confined to insignificant issues reflective primarily of a personal choice, there lies a problem of distorted priorities.
Moutasem Algharati
There is no talking rationally, using logic or facts, with someone under the spell of the psychic epidemic, as their ability to reason and to use discernment has been disabled and distorted in service to the psychic pathogen which they carry.
Paul Levy (Dispelling Wetiko)
I guess we all can't help peeking at our own imperfections, just like we can't help scratching a scab that keeps itching. When those imperfections are pasted across your face like that, exaggerated and magnified, it's hard to find all those good thoughts you have about yourself. If you believe those distorted reflections too deeply, you'll never get out of the maze.
Neal Shusterman (Full Tilt)
Words do not express thoughts very well. they always become a little different immediately they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
But the thing about depression is that it doesn’t create bad thoughts, it amplifies and distorts them. Depression doesn’t make me look in the mirror and see a girl who’s overweight and has too-wide hips and pudgy cheeks. Those thoughts are already there. Depression just cranks up the volume on them so loud that I can’t hear anything else.
Shaun David Hutchinson (The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza)
Categories are absolutely necessary for us to function. They give structure to our thoughts. Imagine if we saw every item and every scenario as truly unique—we would not even have a language to describe the world around us. The necessary and useful instinct to generalize, like all the other instincts in this book, can also distort our worldview.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
We breathe too fast to be able to grasp things in themselves or to expose their fragility. Our panting postulates and distorts them, creates and disfigures them, and binds us to them. I bestir myself, therefore I emit a world as suspect as my speculation which justifies it; I espouse movement, which changes me into a generator of being, into an artisan of fictions, while my cosmogonic verve makes me forget that, led on by the whirlwind of acts, I am nothing but an acolyte of time, an agent of decrepit universes. (...) If we would regain our freedom, we must shake off the burden of sensation, no longer react to the world by our senses, break our bonds. For all sensation is a bond, pleasure as much as pain, joy as much as misery. The only free mind is the one that, pure of all intimacy with beings or objects, plies its own vacuity.
Emil M. Cioran (The Temptation to Exist)
He loved Jaime. He loved him so much sometimes he thought he must certainly be losing his mind. It was hard to believe his heart could go on beating minute after minute, day after day, when it felt so distorted and huge and fragile.
Marie Sexton (Between Sinners and Saints)
Idealized media images of women are far from being the only important target when it comes to our beauty-sick culture, but their sheer ubiquity means we can't underestimate their impact. We also cannot pretend that what we see in the media doesn't shape our thoughts and behaviors. It might be tempting to think that your mind is locked behind some protective wall, safe from the influence of the media onslaught, but that's not how brains work. We are all affected by these images. Their influence is insidious, and there is no magic force field to keep it out.
Renee Engeln (Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women)
Most people think things are not real unless they are spoken, that it’s the uttering of something, not the thinking of it, that legitimizes it. I suppose this is why people always want other people to say “I love you.” I think just the opposite—that thoughts are realest when thought, that expressing them distorts or dilutes them.
Peter Cameron
Fear clouds our convictions and distorts our discernment. When we fill our minds with negative predictions or allow our thoughts to manipulate us into thinking about all the possible destructive outcomes of our mission, we invite fear to paralyze our progress.
Kris Vallotton (Spirit Wars: Winning the Invisible Battle Against Sin and the Enemy)
Take a little thought experiment. Imagine all the rampage school shooters in Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; Paducah, Kentucky; Springfield, Oregon; and Jonesboro, Arkansas; now imagine they were black girls from poor families who lived instead in Chicago, New Haven, Newark, Philadelphia, or Providence. Can you picture the national debate, the headlines, the hand-wringing? There is no doubt we’d be having a national debate about inner-city poor black girls. The entire focus would be on race, class, and gender. The media would doubtless invent a new term for their behavior, as with wilding two decades ago. We’d hear about the culture of poverty, about how living in the city breeds crime and violence. We’d hear some pundits proclaim some putative natural tendency among blacks toward violence. Someone would likely even blame feminism for causing girls to become violent in a vain imitation of boys. Yet the obvious fact that virtually all the rampage school shooters were middle-class white boys barely broke a ripple in the torrent of public discussion. This uniformity cut across all other differences among the shooters: some came from intact families, others from single-parent homes; some boys had acted violently in the past, and others were quiet and unassuming; some boys also expressed rage at their parents (two killed their parents the same morning), and others seemed to live in happy families.
Michael S. Kimmel (Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era)
Can you see the power emotion has to distort our outlook? Makes you wonder, did you have a bad day, or did you make it a bad day?” “I thought if I stayed
Brandon Mull (Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven, #2))
Even the best institutions at the university are apt to deteriorate and to become distorted. Thus the very translation of thought into teachable form tends to impoverish its intellectual vitality. Once intellectual achievement is admitted into the body of accepted learning those achievements tend to assume an air of finality. Thus, it is merely a matter of convention at what point one subject ends and the other begins. It is possible, moreover, that an excellent scholar may not be able to find a place for himself within the established departmental divisions. A mediocre scholar may be preferred to him simply because his work fits into the traditional scheme. Any institution tends to consider itself an end in itself.
Karl Jaspers (The Idea of the University)
No", she wanted to say. " I don't want you to care for me, I want to be with my husband." But nothing came out. She turned beseeching her eyes to Darcy and she saw him as if from a great distance, through a distorting glass, but his words were firm and clear. “She has no taste for your company,” he said. “No?” said the gentleman. “But I have a taste for her.” Hers, thought Elizabeth. He should have said hers. “Let her go,” said Darcy warningly. “Why should I?” asked the gentleman. “Because she is mine,” said Darcy. The gentleman turned his full attention toward Darcy and Elizabeth followed his eyes. And then she saw something that made her heart thump against her rib cage and her mind collapse as she witnessed something so shocking and so terrifying that the ground came up to meet her as everything went black.
Amanda Grange (Mr. Darcy, Vampyre)
The soul integrates the will and mind and body. Sin disintegrates them. In sin, my appetite for lust or anger or superiority dominates my will. My will, which was made to rule my body, becomes enslaved to what my body wants. When I flatter other people, I learn to use my mouth and my face to conceal my true thoughts and intentions. This always requires energy: I am disintegrating my body from my mind. I hate, but I can’t admit it even to myself, so I must distort my perception of reality to rationalize my hatred: I disintegrate my thoughts from the reality. Sin ultimately makes long-term gratitude or friendship or meaning impossible. Sin eventually destroys my capacity even for enjoyment, let alone meaning. It distorts my perceptions, alienates my relationships, inflames my desires, and enslaves my will. This is what it means to lose your soul.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
What are you thinking?” he asked in a disarmingly gentle tone. “That the city looks different depending on whom I’m seeing it with.” He nodded easily, as if this same thought had occurred to him. “I notice different things,” I continued. “Like with you, I pay more attention to the details of the buildings – the textures, the colors, the people standing in front of them. The reflections are different.” “Reflections?” he asked quietly. “They are.” I watched our bodies morph and distort in the window of an empty bank. “You’re there,” I said. “That’s how they’re different.
Jessica Hawkins (Come Alive (The Cityscape, #2))
People don’t see things and hear things as objectively as they might think. The visual and auditory information that enters the mind is distorted by experiences, thoughts, circumstances, wild fancies, prejudices, preferences, knowledge, awareness, and countless other workings of the mind.
Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Before the Coffee Gets Cold)
What was she dreaming about, Mrs. Ramsay wondered, seeing her engrossed, as she stood there, with some thought of her own, so that she had to repeat the message twice––ask Mildred if Andrew, Miss Doyle, and Mr. Rayley have come back?––The words seemed to be dropped into a well, where, if the waters were clear, they were also so extraordinarily distorting that, even as they descended, one saw them twisting about to make Heaven knows what pattern on the floor of the child's mind.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Gathering a huge number of words together with as much accuracy as possible was like finding a mirror without distortion. The less distortion in the word-mirror, the greater chance that when you opened up to someone and revealed your inner self, your feelings and thoughts would be reflected there with clarity and depth. You could look together in the mirror and laugh, weep, get angry.
Shion Miura (The Great Passage)
We are assured that the world is becoming more and more united, is being formed into brotherly communion, by the shortening of distances, by the transmitting of thoughts through the air. Alas, do not believe in such a union of people. Taking freedom to mean the increase and prompt satisfaction of needs, they distort their own nature, for they generate many meaningless and foolish desires, habits, and the most absurd fancies in themselves. They live only for mutual envy, for pleasure-seeking and self-display.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
If anorexia was really incurable, I'd still weigh ninety-two pounds--isolated in a world controlled by food and distorted versions of myself. I'm not that person anymore. I don't live in that world anymore. I hate the thought that someone, somewhere might read about their "incurable eating disorder" and believe it to be the truth. That's why I'm telling you, it's not.So hang in there, it's worth it. You're worth it.
Lindsey Stirling (The Only Pirate at the Party)
We live in a moment in which old conflicts, much altered during their subterraneous years, have boiled up again. The struggle to own the past so that it can be made to serve contemporary interests has led to gross distortions. But it is true also that the experience of any generation is inevitably a warped lens through which to view the thought and the actions of any previous generation, especially when there is a lack of rigorous historical perspective to correct for these distortions. This second consideration may go some way toward explaining the fact that there are not two sides to what would otherwise be a great national controversy.
Marilynne Robinson (When I Was a Child I Read Books)
Rationalizing him and the glass pipe, Dad smoked crack, but he was not a crackhead; it was just something he did. To do something didn't define you, I thought. I saw Dad through a dusty lens that distorted our relationship, as tarnished as his pipe. He was no longer just our father; he was his own person, with an identity and label and body separate from his relationship with us. He was someone who was judged outside of the lens of fatherhood, outside of our connection. When he was in the streets, he was not Dad. He was Charlie the crackhead.
Janet Mock (Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love So Much More)
This is a woman who didn’t want her viewpoints challenged, nor to see the views of the half of the world that comprises men. Her assumption is that all male authors are sexist and that their books distort the views of women....that’s bigoted and despicable: the form of feminism that sees men as the enemy from the outset, and seeks to reinforce that prejudice by reading only books that keep her in her safe space.....The future, in both life and books, is men and women together, with a mutual understanding that can come only from learning about each other’s thoughts. [About Caitlin Moran's sexist statement that girls shouldn't read any books written by men.]
Jerry A. Coyne
It is a commonplace that happiness is not best achieved by those who seek it directly; and it would seem that the same is true of the good. In thought, at any rate, those who forget good and evil and seek only to know the facts are more likely to achieve good than those who view the world through the distorting medium of their own desires.
Bertrand Russell (Mysticism and Logic)
Her eyes bled from venomous anger... Her flower had been gruesomely deflowered... Her life had slowly turned into a blunder... There was no more thinking further.... She would rather become a Foetus murderer Than end up a "hopeless" mother.... Of course, she found peace in the former Until later years of emotional trauma Oh, the foetus hunt was forever! The only thing you should abort is the thought of aborting your baby. Stop the hate and violence against innocent children.
Chinonye J. Chidolue
Manic-depression distorts moods and thoughts, incites dreadful behaviors, destroys the basis of rational thought, and too often erodes the desire and will to live. It is an illness that is biological in its origins, yet one that feels psychological in the experience of it; an illness that is unique in conferring advantage and pleasure, yet one that brings in its wake almost unendurable
Kay Redfield Jamison (An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness)
So if the ending of apartheid is now universally agreed to be a good thing, and Cuba played such a central role, how is it still possible to have such differing views of Castro and Mandela and of Cuba and South Africa? The short answer is that the mainstream media has been so successful in distorting basic historical facts that many are so blinded by Cold War hangovers that they are entirely incapable of critical thought, but the other answer is rather more Machiavellian. The reality is that apartheid did not die, and thus the reason so many white conservatives now love Mandela is essentially that he let their cronies "get away with it". The hypocritical worship of black freedom fighters once they are no longer seen to pose a danger or are safely dead - Martin Luther King might be the best example of this - is one of the key ways of maintaining a liberal veneer over what in reality is brutal intent.
Akala (Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire)
In the LGBT community, the opposite of pride is self- hatred. But in the Bible, the opposite of pride is faith. Was pride keeping me from faith, or was pride keeping me from self-hatred? That was when the question inserted itself like a foot in the door: Did pride distort self-esteem the way lust distorts love? This was the first of my many betrayals against the LGBT community: whose dictionary did I trust? The one used by the community that I helped create or the one that reflected the God who created me? As soon as the question formed itself into words, I felt convicted of the sin of pride. Pride was my downfall. I asked God for the mercy to repent of my pride at its root.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ)
This prayer is for my sister Catherine. She is relaxed and at peace, poised, balanced, serene, and calm. The healing intelligence of her subconscious mind, which created her body, is now transforming every cell, nerve, tissue, muscle, and bone of her being according to the perfect pattern of all organs lodged in her subconscious mind. Silently, quietly, all distorted thought patterns in her subconscious mind are removed and dissolved, and the vitality, wholeness, and beauty of the life principle are made manifest in every atom of her being. She is now open and receptive to the healing currents, which are flowing through her like a river, restoring her to perfect health, harmony, and peace. All distortions and ugly images are now washed away by the infinite ocean of love and peace flowing through her, and it is so.
Joseph Murphy (The Power of Your Subconscious Mind)
I used to give X-ray vision a lot of thought because I couldn’t see how it could work. I mean, if you could see through people’s clothing, then surely you would also see through their skin and right into their bodies. You would see blood vessels, pulsing organs, food being digested and pushed through coils of bowel, and much else of a gross and undesirable nature. Even if you could somehow confine your X-rays to rosy epidermis, any body you gazed at wouldn’t be in an appealing natural state, but would be compressed and distorted by unseen foundation garments. The breasts, for one thing, would be oddly constrained and hefted, basketed within an unseen bra, rather than relaxed and nicely jiggly. It wouldn’t be satisfactory at all—or at least not nearly satisfactory enough. Which is why it was necessary to perfect ThunderVision™, a laserlike gaze that allowed me to strip away undergarments without damaging skin or outer clothing. That ThunderVision, stepped up a grade and focused more intensely, could also be used as a powerful weapon to vaporize irritating people was a pleasing but entirely incidental benefit.
Bill Bryson (The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid)
And this is the dwarfing, warping, distorting influence which operates upon each and every colored man in the United States. He is forced to take his outlook on all things, not from the viewpoint of a citizen, or a man, or even a human being, but from the viewpoint of a colored man. It is wonderful to me that the race has progressed so broadly as it has, since most of its thought and all of its activity must run through the narrow neck of this one funnel.
James Weldon Johnson (The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man)
Look everywhere. There are miracles and curiosities to fascinate and intrigue for many lifetimes: the intricacies of nature and everything in the world and universe around us from the miniscule to the infinite; physical, chemical and biological functionality; consciousness, intelligence and the ability to learn; evolution, and the imperative for life; beauty and other abstract interpretations; language and other forms of communication; how we make our way here and develop social patterns of culture and meaningfulness; how we organise ourselves and others; moral imperatives; the practicalities of survival and all the embellishments we pile on top; thought, beliefs, logic, intuition, ideas; inventing, creating, information, knowledge; emotions, sensations, experience, behaviour. We are each unique individuals arising from a combination of genetic, inherited, and learned information, all of which can be extremely fallible. Things taught to us when we are young are quite deeply ingrained. Obviously some of it (like don’t stick your finger in a wall socket) is very useful, but some of it is only opinion – an amalgamation of views from people you just happen to have had contact with. A bit later on we have access to lots of other information via books, media, internet etc, but it is important to remember that most of this is still just opinion, and often biased. Even subjects such as history are presented according to the presenter’s or author’s viewpoint, and science is continually changing. Newspapers and TV tend to cover news in the way that is most useful to them (and their funders/advisors), Research is also subject to the decisions of funders and can be distorted by business interests. Pretty much anyone can say what they want on the internet, so our powers of discernment need to be used to a great degree there too. Not one of us can have a completely objective view as we cannot possibly have access to, and filter, all knowledge available, so we must accept that our views are bound to be subjective. Our understanding and responses are all very personal, and our views extremely varied. We tend to make each new thing fit in with the picture we have already started in our heads, but we often have to go back and adjust the picture if we want to be honest about our view of reality as we continually expand it. We are taking in vast amounts of information from others all the time, so need to ensure we are processing that to develop our own true reflection of who we are.
Jay Woodman
Each time Nate saw her, Elisa’s beauty struck him anew, as if in the interval the memory of what she actually looked like had been distorted by the tortured emotions she elicited since they’d broken up: in his mind, she took on the dimensions of an abject creature. What a shock when she opened the door, bursting with vibrant, almost aggressive good health. The power of her beauty, Nate had once decided, came from its ability to constantly reconfigure itself. When he thought he’d accounted for it, filed it away as a dead fact—pretty girl—she turned her head or bit her lip, and like a children’s toy you shake to reset, her prettiness changed shape, its coordinates altered: now it flashed from the elegant contours of her sloping brow and flaring cheekbone, now from her shyly smiling lips.
Adelle Waldman (The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.)
I speak here of poetry as a revelatory distillation of experience, not the sterile word play that, too often, the white fathers distorted the word poetry to mean--in order to cover a desperate wish for imagination without insight. For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.
Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)
Orwell's 1984 [...] is political thought disguised as a novel; the thinking is certainly lucid and correct, but it is distorted by its guise as a novel, which renders it imprecise and vague. [...] the situations and the characters are as flat as a poster. The pernicious influence of Orwell's novel resides in its implacable reduction of a reality to its political dimension alone, and in its reduction of that dimension to what is exemplarily negative about it. I refuse to forgive this reduction on the grounds that it was useful as propaganda in the struggle against totalitarian evil. For that evil is, precisely, the reduction of life to politics and of politics to propaganda. So despite its intentions, Orwell's novel itself joins in the totalitarian spirit, the spirit of propaganda. It reduces (and teaches others to reduce) the life of a hated society to the simple listing of its crimes.
Milan Kundera (Testaments Betrayed: An Essay in Nine Parts)
Culture is a virus. It distorts your view of the world and destroys your capacity to think independently.
Merlyn Gabriel Miller (Sex, Death, Drugs & Madness (Culture is not your friend, Part one))
Theology is an assault on the sin-distorted intellect; it is the obedience penetrating the realm of thought.
Emil Brunner
Poor self-esteem not only inhibits thought, it tends to distort it.
Nathaniel Branden (The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem)
I had thought about it so often - too often, to the point where it had distorted my sense of time.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
People need routines. It’s like a theme in music. But it also restricts your thoughts and actions and limits your freedom. It structures your priorities and in some cases distorts your logic.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84)
The mind sees reality through the lens of māyā (that is, it sees things as fundamentally separate and differentiated) because its primary function is to produce discursive thought-forms, or vikalpas. Vikalpas are mental constructs or interpretive filters that divide up (vi-kḷp) the world into discrete chunks for analysis (e.g., “Dangerous to me or not?” “Source of food or not?” “Potential mate or not?”). This function of the mind was very useful and important in our evolution, but has led to a problematic situation in which our interpretive lenses are constantly interposed between awareness and the rest of reality, such that it’s very easy to mistake the lens for reality. (To be more precise, we take the modified image that appears in the lens or filter as being accurate, when in fact it’s distorted to an unknown degree, until you learn how to remove the lens, at least temporarily). This is one definition of the ‘unawake’ state or dreamstate.
Christopher D. Wallis (The Recognition Sutras: Illuminating a 1,000-Year-Old Spiritual Masterpiece)
The ghost eagle couldn't plant thoughts in their minds; it could only distort what was already there. But like Jowyn said, they were all more than their worst thoughts. Maybe there were pieces of truth in everything they'd just yelled at one another, but only the most jagged pieces. No one was only the sum of the broken things inside themselves. Anyway, what were breaks if not openings?
Alex London (Black Wings Beating (Skybound, #1))
This is what happens to the brain of those living with mental illnesses (more accurately, "brain illnesses"). The brain does not function as it should; life is out of control. The brain alters our bodies; thoughts are distorted, emotions are unregulated, and behaviors we once thought could never occur happen. One of the most challenging, exhausting, and painful phenomena we do as humans is to live and survive with these changes in our minds. The toll it takes on an individual's body and the people in their lives is, tragically, often too much to bear. -Dr. Daniel J. Reidenberg
Kevin Hines (Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt)
I have great respect for the corrosive influence of bias, systematic distortions of thought, the power of rationalization, the guises of self-interest, and the inevitability of unintended consequences.
Michael Crichton (State of Fear)
A distorted sense of danger isn’t just psychologically taxing; it also encourages us to perceive risk where there isn’t any. Steeping in ominous stories can make people into threats themselves. The news is full of examples of how ambient anxiety gets turned against people of color going about their daily lives—taking a nap in the student lounge; walking down the street; selling lemonade. I thought of the woman who called the cops on two Native American brothers who were on a college tour at Colorado State. The teenagers made the woman “nervous,” she told the 911 operator. “If it’s nothing, I’m sorry. But it actually made me like feel sick and I’ve never felt like that.” Many people are feeling sick these days, for many reasons. But we should all be careful about the stories we tell ourselves to explain why.
Rachel Monroe (Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession)
Beyond aspects of pain that are physical, thought Oppenheimer, sickness or injury or privation, beyond the so-called obvious, suffering can be a work of art. It can be made of buried and rising things, helpless and undiscovered, song of frustrated want, silence after desire. It can be the test of the self falling short, constrained, distorted, disturbed or rebuffed, the vacuum left by longing, call without an answer.
Lydia Millet (Oh Pure and Radiant Heart)
we necessarily have negative, distorted thinking about ourselves and others. We do not ignore or deny it, but we write it out as specifically as we can, just as we do with our sins, and say to God, “Look at this. I don’t want this. You take it!” We name it as the distorted thinking that it is. Then we replace it with right thinking—those light-filled thoughts and attitudes in line with truth and the way things really are.
Leanne Payne (Restoring the Christian Soul: Overcoming Barriers to Completion in Christ Through Healing Prayer)
As information and voice amplification become the new symbols of power, those who would assume control of society have moved to hoard voice amplification and control the message received by the public in new ways.
Heather Marsh
XXIV. And more than that - a furlong on - why, there! What bad use was that engine for, that wheel, Or brake, not wheel - that harrow fit to reel Men's bodies out like silk? With all the air Of Tophet's tool, on earth left unaware Or brought to sharpen its rusty teeth of steel. XXV. Then came a bit of stubbed ground, once a wood, Next a marsh it would seem, and now mere earth Desperate and done with; (so a fool finds mirth, Makes a thing and then mars it, till his mood Changes and off he goes!) within a rood - Bog, clay and rubble, sand, and stark black dearth. XXVI. Now blotches rankling, coloured gay and grim, Now patches where some leanness of the soil's Broke into moss, or substances like boils; Then came some palsied oak, a cleft in him Like a distorted mouth that splits its rim Gaping at death, and dies while it recoils. XXVII. And just as far as ever from the end! Naught in the distance but the evening, naught To point my footstep further! At the thought, A great black bird, Apollyon's bosom friend, Sailed past, not best his wide wing dragon-penned That brushed my cap - perchance the guide I sought. XXVIII. For, looking up, aware I somehow grew, Spite of the dusk, the plain had given place All round to mountains - with such name to grace Mere ugly heights and heaps now stolen in view. How thus they had surprised me - solve it, you! How to get from them was no clearer case. XXIX. Yet half I seemed to recognise some trick Of mischief happened to me, God knows when - In a bad dream perhaps. Here ended, then Progress this way. When, in the very nick Of giving up, one time more, came a click As when a trap shuts - you're inside the den. XXX. Burningly it came on me all at once, This was the place! those two hills on the right, Crouched like two bulls locked horn in horn in fight; While to the left a tall scalped mountain ... Dunce, Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce, After a life spent training for the sight! XXXI. What in the midst lay but the Tower itself? The round squat turret, blind as the fool's heart, Built of brown stone, without a counterpart In the whole world. The tempest's mocking elf Points to the shipman thus the unseen shelf He strikes on, only when the timbers start. XXXII. Not see? because of night perhaps? - why day Came back again for that! before it left The dying sunset kindled through a cleft: The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay, Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay, - Now stab and end the creature - to the heft!' XXXIII. Not hear? When noise was everywhere! it tolled Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears Of all the lost adventurers, my peers - How such a one was strong, and such was bold, And such was fortunate, yet each of old Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years. XXXIV. There they stood, ranged along the hillsides, met To view the last of me, a living frame For one more picture! In a sheet of flame I saw them and I knew them all. And yet Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set, And blew. 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.
Robert Browning
Cognitive therapists, like Aaron Beck of the University of Pennsylvania, even consider depression to be primarily a disorder of thought, rather than emotion, in that sufferers tend to see the world in a distorted, negative way.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
So remember three crucial steps when you are upset: Zero in on those automatic negative thoughts and write them down. Don't let them buzz around in your head; snare them on paper! Read over the list of ten cognitive distortions. Learn precisely how you are twisting things and blowing them out of proportion. Substitute a more objective thought that puts the lie to the one which made you look down on yourself. As you do this, you'll begin to feel better. You'll be boosting your self-esteem, and your
David D. Burns (Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy)
The transformation of the world is brought about by the transformation of oneself, because the self is the product and a part of the total process of human existence. To transform oneself, self-knowledge is essential; without knowing what you are, there is no basis for right thought, and without knowing yourself there cannot be transformation. One must know oneself as on is, not as on wishes to be, which is merely an ideal and there for fictitious, unreal; it is only that which is that can be transformed, not that which you wish to be. To know oneself as one is requires and extraordinary alertness of mind, because what is, is constantly undergoing transformation, change; and to follow it swiftly the mind must not be tethered to any particular dogma or belief, to any particular pattern of action. If you would follow anything, it is no good being tethered. To know yourself, there must be the awareness, the alertness of mind in which there is freedom from all beliefs, from all idealization, because beliefs and ideals only give you a color, perverting true perception. If you want to know what you are, you cannot imagine or have belief in something which you are not. If I am greedy, envious, violent, merely having an ideal of non-violence, of non-greed, is of little value. The understanding of what you are, whatever it be – ugly or beautiful, wicked or mischievous – the understanding of what you are, without distortion, is the beginning of virtue. Virtue is essential, for it gives freedom.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (The Book of Life)
To distort the letters of the alphabet in “the style of” Chinese calligraphy (sometimes referred to as chop suey lettering), because the subject happens to deal with the Orient is to create the typographic equivalent of a corny illustration. To mimic a woodcut style of type to “go with” a woodcut; to use bold type to “harmonize with” heavy machinery, etc., is cliché-thinking. The designer is unaware of the exciting possibilities inherent in the contrast of picture and type matter. Thus, instead of combining a woodcut with a “woodcut style” of type (Neuland), a happier choice would be a more classical design (Caslon, Bodoni, or Helvetica) to achieve the element of surprise and to accentuate by contrast the form and character of both text and picture.
Paul Rand (Thoughts on Design)
The fantastic postulates that there are forces in the outside world, and in our own natures, which we can neither know nor control, and these forces may even constitute the essence of our existence, beneath the comforting rational surface. The fantastic is, moreover, a product of human imagination, perhaps even an excess of imagination. It arises when laws thought to be absolute are transcended, in the borderland between life and death, the animate and the inanimate, the self and the world; it arises when the real turns into the unreal, and the solid presence into vision, dream or hallucination. The fantastic is the unexpected occurrence, the startling novelty which goes contrary to all our expectations of what is possible. The ego multiplies and splits, time and space are distorted.
Franz Rottensteiner (The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien)
Cognitive Therapy Instead of behavior, cognitive therapy emphasizes changing thoughts and beliefs. Cognitive therapists believe that irrational beliefs or distorted thinking patterns lead to social anxiety so they teach patients to think in more rational, constructive ways.
Heather Moehn (Social Anxiety)
Famously, Einstein said that his ‘happiest thought’ occurred here: ‘I was sitting in a chair in the Patent Office at Bern when all of a sudden a thought occurred to me. If a person falls freely he will not feel his own weight. I was startled.’ By thinking of someone falling, for example in a plummeting lift, Einstein had realised that it was impossible to distinguish acceleration and the pull of gravity. And working through the mathematical implications of this made it clear that gravity was an effect that could be produced by a distortion of space and time.
Brian Clegg (Gravitational Waves: How Einstein’s spacetime ripples reveal the secrets of the universe (Hot Science))
There is no time or space in the mind principle. Infinite mind or intelligence is present in its entirety at every point simultaneously. Several times a day I withdrew all thought from the contemplation of my sister’s symptoms and from the corporeal personality altogether. Calmly, confidently, I affirmed as follows: This prayer is for my sister Catherine. She is relaxed and at peace, poised, balanced, serene, and calm. The healing intelligence of her subconscious mind that created her body is now transforming every cell, nerve, tissue, muscle, and bone of her being according to the perfect pattern of all organs lodged in her subconscious mind. Silently, quietly, all distorted thought patterns in her subconscious mind are removed and dissolved, and the vitality, wholeness, and beauty of the life principle are made manifest in every atom of her being. She is now open and receptive to the healing currents that are flowing through her like a river, restoring her to perfect health, harmony, and peace. All distortions and ugly images are now washed away by the infinite ocean of love and peace flowing through her, and it is so.
Joseph Murphy (The Power of Your Subconscious Mind)
See, how cruel the whites are: their lips are thin, their noses sharp, their faces furrowed and distorted by holes. Their eyes have a staring expression. They are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something, they are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want, we do not understand them, we think that they are mad.” I asked him why he thought the whites were all mad. “They say they think with their heads,” he replied. “Why, of course. What do you think with?” I asked him in surprise. “We think here,” he said, indicating his heart.
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
From the perspective of the consciousness disciplines, our ordinary state of waking consciousness is severely suboptimal. Rather than contradicting the Western paradigm, this perspective simply extends it beyond psychology’s dominant concern, at least until very recently, with pathology and with therapies aimed at restoring people to “normal” functioning in the usual waking state of consciousness. At the heart of this “orthogonal,” paradigm-breaking perspective lies the conviction that it is essential for a person to engage in a personal, intensive, and systematic training of the mind through the discipline of meditation practice to free himself or herself from the incessant and highly conditioned distortions characteristic of our everyday emotional and thought processes, distortions that, as we have seen, can continually undermine the experiencing of our intrinsic wholeness.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living (Revised Edition): Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness)
Evil should not be, Detective Vera. Truly never can be. But in defining it as such, an inherent human bond with negativity confirms its very existence. Its mere acknowledgement cancels its credibility. Evil is nothing—the lack of anything of substance— made concrete as a balance to everything else. Evil is not, yet it is a part of each human, because humans welcome its participation in their lives. They speak of it in anger or disgust, fear or even wonder— the most appropriate response— giving it a stronger foundation with every passing thought it distorts. Though within their pliable minds, they welcome it with the glee of the ignorant, nurturing the unthinkable, thinking the unimaginable, imagining the most horrid, abysmal designs, embellishing them with an insidious veracity until evil is as substantial a reality as their next breath. I strive for something else, beyond evil’s claustrophobic clutches. I strive to transcend evil by becoming pure nothing. I strive as my followers strived.” He paused, his ideology a cancer, spreading… “I am, yet I strive to not be. Do you understand, comrade?” His tone suggested fellowship, disciples of the same obscene religion. ...
John Claude Smith (Autumn in the Abyss)
Some of us come from families where we were not taught healthy emotional language and habits. We did not get a balanced perspective of the world and relationships, and some of us got a distorted view of where we stood in relation to the rest of the world. We felt (and many of us still do) less than. In order to make up for that, we learned to exaggerate and lie and blow our accomplishments way out of proportion in order to feel of some value. To succeed, we have to stop thinking we are less than other people. We tell ourselves we are not unworthy, inadequate, or unable to cope fully with life’s problems. We begin to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. We have to get rid of feelings of inability before we can make progress. As we learn more about how false pride has held us back from our full potential, we remember, “If we change our thoughts, we can change ourselves.
Bill Pittman (Drop the Rock: Removing Character Devects - Steps 6 and Seven)
I saw that to see only the ridiculousness of humanity was just as misleading as to see only its dignity, that what one said or thought about a thing must always be a distortion, that the mistake was to believe that any one expression could be the last word, for experience was always bigger that the formula.
Marion Milner (A Life of One's Own)
The odds that Holmes could pull off this latest Houdini act while under criminal investigation were very long, but watching her confidently walk the audience through her sleek slide show helped crystallize for me how she’d gotten this far: she was an amazing saleswoman. She never once stumbled or lost her train of thought. She wielded both engineering and laboratory lingo effortlessly and she showed seemingly heartfelt emotion when she spoke of sparing babies in the NICU from blood transfusions. Like her idol Steve Jobs, she emitted a reality distortion field that forced people to momentarily suspend disbelief.
John Carreyrou (Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup)
His thought turned to the Ring, but there was no comfort there, only dread and danger. No sooner had he come in sight of Mount Doom, burning far away, than he was aware of a change in his burden. As it drew near the great furnaces where, in the deeps of time, it had been shaped and forged, the Ring's power grew, and it became more fell, untameable except by some mighty will. As Sam stood there, even though the Ring was not on him but hanging by its chain about his neck, he felt himself enlarged, as if he were robed in a huge distorted shadow of himself, a vast and ominous threat halted upon the walls of Mordor. He felt that he had from now on only two choices: to forbear the Ring, though it would torment him; or to claim it, and challenge the Power that sat in its dark hold beyond the valley of shadows. Already the Ring tempted him, gnawing at his will and reason. Wild fantasies arose in his mind; and he saw Samwise the Strong, Hero of the Age, striding with a flaming sword across the darkened land, and armies flocking to his call as he marched to the overthrow of Barad-dur. And then all the clouds rolled away, and the white sun shone, and at his command the vale of Gorgoroth became a garden of flowers and trees and brought forth fruit. He had only to put on the Ring and claim it for his own, and all this could be. In that hour of trial it was his love of his master that helped most to hold him firm; but also deep down in him lived still unconquered his plain hobbit-sense: he knew in the core of his heart that he was not large enough to bear such a burden, even if such visions were not a mere cheat to betray him. The one small garden of a free gardener was all his need and due, not a garden swollen to a realm; his own hands to use, not the hands of others to command. 'And anyway all these notions are only a trick, he said to himself.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
When you have unhelpful thinking that makes you feel crappy or act in ways that are not in line with your typical self, we refer to these thoughts as maladaptive cognitions or cognitive distortions. It’s a fancy way of describing thoughts that sabotage you. Like I said at the start, sometimes your brain is an asshole.
Robert Duff (Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety)
Her hair was hidden under a white headdress, like some kind of wimple; she wore a long white tunic and trousers, and her skin had the pale golden hue associated in our world with Orientals. The lines of her cheekbone and jaw reminded him of pictures he had seen of the head of Nefertiti, thought her neck was longer, slightly too long for an ordinary human, and as she turned toward him he realized the planes of her face were subtly different, though it would have been hard to explain in what way. A fraction of an inch here, a fraction of an inch there, and the whole visage was somehow distorted, though its beauty remained undiminished.
Amanda Hemingway (The Greenstone Grail (The Sangreal Trilogy, #1))
The person’s cognitive distortions get triggered, and all kinds of extreme thoughts may get generated, including allegations of abuse by you. People with BP tendencies seem to desire the elimination of the other parent as much as possible, stating that you’re a “threat” to the child for some reason, and you need supervised visitation or no contact. Since these types of orders are used only when there are serious abuse allegations, people with BP or NP traits often make very serious abuse allegations. This entire process may be totally unconscious, although some blamers are willing to make knowingly false statements to accomplish their desperate goals.
Randi Kreger (Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder)
A person who has had the misfortune to fall victim to the spell of a philosophical system (and the spells of sorcerers are mere trifles in comparison to the disastrous effect of the spell of a philosophical system!) can no longer see the world, or people, or historic events, as they are; he sees everything only through the distorting prism of the system by which he is possessed. Thus, a Marxist of today is incapable of seeing anything else in the history of mankind other than the “class struggle”. What I am saying concerning mysticism, gnosis, magic and philosophy would be considered by him only as a ruse on the part of the bourgeois class, with the aim of “screening with a mystical and idealistic haze” the reality of the exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie…although I have not inherited anything from my parents and I have not experienced a single day without having to earn my living by means of work recognised as “legitimate” by Marxists! Another contemporary example of possession by a system is Freudianism. A man possessed by this system will see in everything that I have written only the expression of “suppressed libido”, which seeks and finds release in this manner. It would therefore be the lack of sexual fulfillment which has driven me to occupy myself with the Tarot and to write about it! Is there any need for further examples? Is it still necessary to cite the Hegelians with their distortion of the history of humanity, the Scholastic “realists” of the Middle Ages with the Inquisition, the rationalists of the eighteenth century who were blinded by the light of their own autonomous reasoning? Yes, autonomous philosophical systems separated from the living body of tradition are parasitic structures, which seize the thought, feeling and finally the will of human beings. In fact, they play a role comparable to the psycho-pathological complexes of neurosis or other psychic maladies of obsession. Their physical analogy is cancer.
Valentin Tomberg (Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism)
Over the years I have had much occasion to ponder this word, the intelligentsia. We are all very fond of including ourselves in it—but you see not all of us belong. In the Soviet Union this word has acquired a completely distorted meaning. They began to classify among the intelligentsia all those who don't work (and are afraid to) with their hands. All the Party, government, military, and trade union bureaucrats have been included. All bookkeepers and accountants—the mechanical slaves of Debit. All office employees. And with even greater ease we include here all teachers (even those who are no more than talking textbooks and have neither independent knowledge nor an independent view of education). All physicians, including those capable only of making doodles on the patients' case histories. And without the slightest hesitation all those who are only in the vicinity of editorial offices, publishing houses, cinema studios, and philharmonic orchestras are included here, not even to mention those who actually get published, make films, or pull a fiddle bow. And yet the truth is that not one of these criteria permits a person to be classified in the intelligentsia. If we do not want to lose this concept, we must not devalue it. The intellectual is not defined by professional pursuit and type of occupation. Nor are good upbringing and good family enough in themselves to produce and intellectual. An intellectual is a person whose interests in and preoccupation with the spiritual side of life are insistent and constant and not forced by external circumstances, even flying in the face of them. An intellectual is a person whose thought is nonimitative.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books III-IV)
When the underlying dream changes, when we successfully remove the blinders of the old cosmological conditioning, we will be able to apply our collective intelligence to its most enlightened purpose. Our lives will speak to us again with clarity and without the manipulation of fear attempting to protect itself from the distorted dream.
Amy McTear
Most people reflect on their own thoughts: Is this true? Am I overreacting? I should check this out. But people with PDs don’t seem to have the ability to reflect on their own thoughts or behavior. Like someone who is drunk, their thinking is continually “under the influence” of their cognitive distortions. They can send, but not receive, new information. Because they are unaware of their cognitive distortions, these distortions can underlie serious misbehavior, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, and even legal abuse (using the legal system to attack a target and to promote false or unnecessary litigation). Information that does not fit the distortion is rigidly unconsciously blocked as too threatening and confusing. Instead, people with PDs defend their distortions in an effort to protect themselves. Blamers repeatedly react to “false alarms” caused by all-or-nothing thinking, jumping to conclusions, and so forth. They truly believe that they are in danger, and they feel powerless and out of control inside.
Randi Kreger (Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder)
I think of sense, and of thoughts built on sense, as windows, not as prison bars. I think that we can, however imperfectly, mirror the world, like Leibnitz’s monads; and I think it is the duty of the philosopher to make himself as undistorting a mirror as he can. But it is also his duty to recognize such distortions as are inevitable from our very nature. Of these, the most fundamental is that we view the world from the point of view of the here and now, not with that large impartiality which theists attribute to the Deity. To achieve such impartiality is impossible for us, but we can travel a certain distance towards it. To show the road to this end is the supreme duty of the philosopher.
Bertrand Russell
The past is never what it seems. Not even our own memories accurately process everything we’ve been through. Time and other experiences warp the facts. Secrets and lies distort whatever truth we thought we knew to begin with, but each experience leaves us with a feeling. Some complex—feelings at odds with each other—but they’re the way we truly remember things.
Emerald O'Brien (The Girls Across The Bay (Knox and Sheppard, #1))
...Lionel turned his thoughts eagerly inward, to discover that inward was perilous, too; his soul was a sort of curved reflective surface that distorts, as in a funhouse mirror, the face of one peering into it. You might be anyone, any face. The face is mere skin. Accident. He seemed at such times to be approaching a profound yet unspeakable truth: that our identities are accidents.
Joyce Carol Oates (Middle Age: A Romance)
An unforgiving thought does many things. In frantic action it pursues its goal, twisting and overturning what it sees as interfering with its chosen path. Distortion is its purpose, and the means by which it would accomplish it as well. It sets about its furious attempts to smash reality, without concern for anything that would appear to pose a contradiction to its point of view.” This
Gabrielle Bernstein (Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Discovering Self-Love and Miracles)
Beck’s three principles of cognitive therapy were: All our emotions are generated by our “cognitions,” or thoughts. How we feel at any given moment is due to what we are thinking about. Depression is the constant thinking of negative thoughts. The majority of negative thoughts that cause us emotional turmoil are plain wrong or at least distortions of the truth, but we accept them without question.
Tom Butler-Bowdon (50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do: Insight and Inspiration from 50 Key Books (50 Classics))
Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.
Richard Paul (Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools)
That is my view of the monk, and is it false? Is it too proud? Look at the worldly and all who set themselves up above the people of God; has not God’s image and His truth been distorted in them? They have science; but in science there is nothing but what is the object of sense. The spiritual world, the higher part of man’s being is rejected altogether, dismissed with a sort of triumph, even with hatred. The world has proclaimed the reign of freedom, especially of late, but what do we see in this freedom of theirs? Nothing but slavery and self-destruction! For the world says: “You have desires and so satisfy them, for you have the same rights as the most rich and powerful. Don’t be afraid of satisfying them and even multiply your desires.” That is the modern doctrine of the world. In that they see freedom. And what follows from this right of multiplication of desires? In the rich, isolation and spiritual suicide; in the poor, envy and murder; for they have been given rights, but have not been shown the means of satisfying their wants. They maintain that the world is getting more and more united, more and more bound together in brotherly community, as it overcomes distance and sets thoughts flying through the air.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
If you’ve been working on your thinking errors for only a few months so far, then you’re probably still at the stage where you mostly notice the errors after the fact. Going forward, you’ll find some situations in which you’re able to spot a thinking error at or close to the time it occurs. For example, you might notice yourself feeling upset about something that has happened during the day and later that evening realize you’ve been mind reading: guessing what someone else thinks without knowing if it’s actually the case. Expect to have a mixture of these situations and those when you notice your thinking error only after you’ve been walking around buying into that sucker for months or even years. You might get some new information or evidence and only then realize you’ve been holding on to a distorted thought.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Living in this world with all its travail, so caught up in misery, sorrow and violence, is it possible to bring the mind to a state that is highly sensitive and intelligent? That is the first and an essential point in meditation. Second: a mind that is capable of logical, sequential perception; in no way distorted or neurotic. Third: a mind that is highly disciplined. The word 'discipline' means 'to learn', not to be drilled. Discipline is an act of learning - the very root of the word means that. A disciplined mind sees everything very clearly, objectively, not emotionally, not sentimentally. Those are the basic necessities to discover that which is beyond the measure of thought, something not put together by thought, capable of the highest form of love, a dimension that is not the projection of one's own little mind.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (You Are the World)
My basic hypothesis is this: the people who run the media are humanities graduates with little understanding of science, who wear their ignorance as a badge of honour. Secretly, deep down, perhaps they resent the fact that they have denied themselves access to the most significant developments in the history of Western thought from the past two hundred years; but there is an attack implicit in all media coverage of science: in their choice of stories, and the way they cover them, the media create a parody of science. On this template, science is portrayed as groundless, incomprehensible, didactic truth statements from scientists, who themselves are socially powerful, arbitrary, unelected authority figures. They are detached from reality; they do work that is either wacky or dangerous, but either way, everything in science is tenuous, contradictory, probably going to change soon and, most ridiculously, ‘hard to understand’. Having created this parody, the commentariat then attack it, as if they were genuinely critiquing what science is all about. Science stories generally fall into one of three categories: the wacky stories, the ‘breakthrough’ stories, and the ‘scare’ stories. Each undermines and distorts science in its own idiosyncratic way.
Ben Goldacre (Bad Science)
An estimated two thirds of the women who got criminal abortions were married. This means that up to two thirds of the botched abortions were done on married women; up to two thirds of the dead were married women; perhaps two thirds of the survivors are married women. This means that most of the women who risked death or maiming so as not to bear a child were married—perhaps one million married women each year. They were not shameless sluts, unless all women by definition are. They were not immoral in traditional terms—though, even then, they were thought of as promiscuous and single. Nevertheless, they were not women from the streets, but women from homes; they were not daughters in the homes of fathers, but wives in the homes of husbands. They were, quite simply, the good and respectable women of Amerika. The absolute equation of abortion with sexual promiscuity is a bizarre distortion of the real history of women and abortion—too distorted to be acceptable even in the United States, where historical memory reaches back one decade. Abortion has been legalized just under one decade. The facts should not be obliterated yet. Millions of respectable, God-fearing, married women have had illegal abortions. They thank their God that they survived; and they keep quiet.
Andrea Dworkin (Right-Wing Women)
I'm not frightened, she told herself, and as she thought it she knew it was true. There was nothing here that frightened her. These things - even the thing in the cellar - were illusions, things made by the other mother in a ghastly parody of the real people and real things on the other end of the corridor. She could not truly make anything, decided Coraline. She could only twist and copy and distort things that already existed.
Neil Gaiman (Coraline)
We live, therefore, between Easter and the consummation, following Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit and commissioned to be for the world what he was for Israel, bringing God's redemptive reshaping to our world. Christians have always found it difficult to understand and articulate this, and have regularly distorted the picture in one direction or the other. [ ... ] When God does what God intends to do, this will be an act of fresh grace, of radical newness. At one level it will be quite unexpected, like a surprise party with guests we never thought we would meet and delicious food we never thought we would taste. But at the same time there will be a rightness about it, a rich continuity with what has gone before so that in the midst of our surprise and delight we will say, 'Of course! This is how it had to be, even though we'd never imagined it.
N.T. Wright (The Challenge of Easter)
Dealing with Fear One is afraid of public opinion, afraid of not achieving, not fulfilling, afraid of not having the opportunity; and through it all there is this extraordinary sense of guilt—one has done a thing that one should not have done; the sense of guilt in the very act of doing; one is healthy and others are poor and unhealthy; one has food and others have no food. The more the mind is inquiring, penetrating, asking, the greater the sense of guilt, anxiety…. Fear is the urge that seeks a Master, a guru; fear is this coating of respectability, which everyone loves so dearly—to be respectable. Do you determine to be courageous to face events in life, or merely rationalize fear away, or find explanations that will give satisfaction to the mind that is caught in fear? How do you deal with it? Turn on the radio, read a book, go to a temple, cling to some form of dogma, belief? Fear is the destructive energy in man. It withers the mind, it distorts thought, it leads to all kinds of extraordinarily clever and subtle theories, absurd superstitions, dogmas, and beliefs. If you see that fear is destructive, then how do you proceed to wipe the mind clean? You say that by probing into the cause of fear you would be free of fear. Is that so? Trying to uncover the cause and knowing the cause of fear does not eliminate fear.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti)
Like here it was that I entered that stage when a child overcomes naivite enough to realize an adult's emotional reaction as somethimes freakish for its inconsistencies, so can, on his own reasoning canvas, paint those early pale colors of judgement, resulting from initial moments of ability to critically examine life's perplexities, in tentative little brain-engine stirrings, before they faded to quickly join that train of remembered experience carrying signals indicating existence which itself far outweighs traction effort by thinking's soon slipping drivers to effectively resist any slack-action advantage, for starting so necessitates continual cuts on the hauler - performed as if governed lifelong by the tagwork of a student-green foreman who, crushed under on rushing time always building against his excessive load of emotional contents, is forever a lost ball in the high weeds of personal developments - until, with ever changing emphasis through a whole series of grades of consciousness (leading up from root-beginnings of obscure childish inconscious soul within a world), early lack - for what child sustains logic? - reaches a point of late fossilization, resultant of repeated wrong moves in endless switching of dark significances crammed inside the cranium, where, through such hindering habits, there no longer is the flexibility for thought transfer and unloading of dead freight that a standard gauge would afford and thus, as Faustian Destiny dictates, is an inept mink, limited, being in existence firmly tracked just above the constant "T" biased ballast supporting wherever space yearnings lead the worn rails of civilized comprehension, so henceforth is restricted to mere pickups and setouts of drab distortion, while traveling wearily along its familiar Western Thinking right-of-way. But choo-choo nonsense aside, ...
Neal Cassady (First Third & Other Writings - Revised & Expanded Edition Together With A New Prologue)
So too the race-conscious remedies that the Court has sanctioned or imposed have increased social tensions and distorted key civic institutions. Those liberties that the framers thought so absolute that they enshrined them in the Bill of Rights—freedom of speech, especially political speech, and the protection of private property—became negotiable, with the connivance of a Court established above all to protect those constitutional liberties that it would be tyranny to abridge.
Myron Magnet (Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution)
One of the things I find strangest and hardest is that we were having such conversations. We should have been talking about discos and electronic mail and exams and bands. How could this have been happening to us? How could we have been huddled in the dark bush, cold and hungry and terrified, talking about who we should kill? We had no preparation for this, no background, no knowledge. We didn’t know if we were doing the right thing, ever. We didn’t know anything. We were just ordinary teenagers, so ordinary we were boring. Overnight they’d pulled the roof off our lives. And after they’d pulled off the roof they’d come in and torn down the curtains, ripped up the furniture, burnt the house and thrown us into the night, where we’d been forced to run and hide and live like wild animals. We had no foundations, and we had no secure walls around our lives any more. We were living in a strange long nightmare, where we had to make our own rules, invent new values, stumble around blindly, hoping we weren’t making too many mistakes. We clung to what we knew and what we thought was right, but all the time those things too were being stripped from us. I didn’t know if we’d be left with nothing, or if we’d left with a new set of rules and attitudes and behaviours, so that we weren’t able to recognise ourselves any more. We could end up as new, distorted, deformed creatures, with only a few physical resemblances to the people we once were.
John Marsden (The Dead of Night (Tomorrow, #2))
Empowering process. But if you are in a compulsive cycle of reactivity, memory distorts your perception of the present, and your thoughts, emotions, and actions become disproportionate to the stimulus. The choice is always before you: to respond consciously to the present; or to react compulsively to it. There is a vast difference between the two. And it can make the world of a difference. If terrible things have happened to you, you ought to have grown wise. If the worst possible events have befallen.
Sadhguru (Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy)
It's true,' replied Doris with a sniff in Bessy's direction to make her sensible of a victory, even if a minor one. 'It is amazing how so many people go insane. One day a man is a normal, friendly husband and the next he suddenly becomes a raging schizoid and slays his wife and himself as well. The result of what cause? Why, perhaps he chanced to find some schoolgirl treasure of another beau who had been his greatest rival and is stunned to discover that she secretly retains this. But usually the matter is not so simple, you know. Next to nothing may happen, jarring awake some sleeping monstrosity in a man's complex mental machinery and turning him from a sane person to a mentally sick individual. It is wholly impossible to say when a man is sane, for' -she tittered- 'scarce one of us is normal.' 'You mean - it might happen to any of us?' 'Of course,' said Doris, charmed by all this interest. 'One moment we are seated here, behaving normally and the next some tiny thing, a certain voice, a certain combination of thoughts may throw out the balance wheel of our intellects and we become potential inmates for asylums the rest of our lives. No, not one of us knows when the world will cease to be a normal, ordinary place. You know, no one ever knows when he goes insane: He supposes it is the world altering, not himself. Rooms become peopled with strange shapes and beings, sounds distort themselves into awful cries and, poof! we are judged insane.' 'Poof -' said Jacob, feeling weak and ill. ("He Didn't Like Cats")
L. Ron Hubbard
Guilfoyle “knew how to use sex to get ahead,” in the words of one friend, and some of her colleagues suspected that she was hitching herself to Junior for more than purely romantic reasons. According to them, Guilfoyle had been told months ahead of time that her last day at Fox was July 1. Undeterred, she fought to stay on the air. “She had Trump calling Rupert, lobbying on her behalf,” one well-placed source said. “She thought Rupert would do nothing to her once she was with Trump Jr.,” another source said.
Brian Stelter (Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth)
While the Archons cannot physically touchdown on Planet Earth, they can project their thoughts telepathically and their images holographically. They are experts in creating simulations of all kinds, inverting and distorting your perception and in this way, they create an Archontic Inversion. Archons are deceivers par excellence. They live in hive-like structures. They are more like robots than living beings, as they lack intentionality and imagination. In other words, they follow orders like an army of automatons.
Laurence Galian (Alien Parasites: 40 Gnostic Truths to Defeat the Archon Invasion!)
in the collapse becomes the bringing-forth-hither which at once brings the “hither” as clearing (“there”) and the “forth” as presence. In this bringing is gathered the staying which belongs to presence, i.e., the tarrying—as the sojourning of presence in unconcealedness. Tarrying [Verbringen], thought according to the bringing-forth-hither, names the protracted presencing—out of which essentially occurs the constant presence that is determinative of “being” in metaphysics. This determination includes the positedness of the being of beings (Ποίησις). This positedness is, to be sure, unexperienceable since it is distorted for metaphysics and through metaphysics. Although it is as such unrecognizable, it comes to light inasmuch as being is effected and, in the broadest sense, conditioned: effected by the first cause (ipsum esse as actus purus), conditioned by the conditions of necessity and universality (esse as objective reality), and, finally, conditioned as having become dialectical—in the coupling of both modes of grounding.
Martin Heidegger (The Event (Studies in Continental Thought))
The Byzantines looked on these stylites as intermediaries, go-betweens who could transmit their deepest fears and aspirations to the distant court of Heaven, ordinary men from ordinary backgrounds who had, by dint of their heroic asceticism, gained the ear of Christ. For this reason Byzantine holy men and stylites became the focus for the most profound yearnings of half of Christendom. They were men who were thought to have crossed the boundary of reality and gained direct access to the divine. It is easy to dismiss the eccentricities of Byzantine hermits as little more than bizarre circus acts, but to do so is to miss the point that man’s deepest hopes and convictions are often quite inexplicable in narrow terms of logic or reason. At the base of a stylite’s pillar one is confronted with the awkward truth that what has most moved past generations can today sometimes be only tentatively glimpsed with the eye of faith, while remaining quite inexplicable and absurd when seen under the harsh distorting microscope of sceptical Western rationality.
William Dalrymple (From the Holy Mountain: A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium)
When Neil Armstrong took his small step from Apollo 11 and looked around, he probably thought, Wow, sort of like Iceland—even though the moon was nothing like Iceland. But then, he was a tourist, and a tourist can’t help but have a distorted opinion of a place: he meets unrepresentative people, has unrepresentative experiences, and runs around imposing upon the place the fantastic mental pictures he had in his head when he got there. When Iceland became a tourist in global high finance it had the same problem as Neil Armstrong.
Michael Lewis (Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World)
The apostle Paul often appears in Christian thought as the one chiefly responsible for the de-Judaization of the gospel and even for the transmutation of the person of Jesus from a rabbi in the Jewish sense to a divine being in the Greek sense. Such an interpretation of Paul became almost canonical in certain schools of biblical criticism during the nineteenth century, especially that of Ferdinand Christian Baur, who saw the controversy between Paul and Peter as a conflict between the party of Peter, with its 'Judaizing' distortion of the gospel into a new law, and the party of Paul, with its universal vision of the gospel as a message about Jesus for all humanity. Very often, of course, this description of the opposition between Peter and Paul and between law and gospel was cast in the language of the opposition between Roman Catholicism (which traced its succession to Peter as the first pope) and Protestantism (which arose from Luther's interpretation of the epistles of Paul). Luther's favorite among those epistles, the letter to the Romans, became the charter for this supposed declaration of independence from Judaism.
Jaroslav Pelikan (Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture)
The process by which bourgeois society developed out of the ruins of its revolutionary traditions and memories added the black ghost of boredom to economic saturation and general indifference to political questions. Jews became people with whom one hoped to while away some time. The less one thought of them as equals, the more attractive and entertaining they became. Bourgeois society, in its search for entertainment and its passionate interest in the individual, insofar as he differed from the norm that is man, discovered the attraction of everything that could be supposed to be mysteriously wicked or secretly vicious. And precisely this feverish preference opened the doors of society to Jews; for within the framework of this society, Jewishness, after having been distorted into a psychological quality, could easily be perverted into a vice. The Enlightenment’s genuine tolerance and curiosity for everything human was being replaced by a morbid lust for the exotic, abnormal, and different as such. Several types in society, one after the other, represented the exotic, the anomalous, the different, but none of them was in the least connected with political questions. Thus
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Lurking behind this connecting silence is a brooding suspicion over the extent to which the perceptual user-preferences of the human animal limit and distort its experience of reality, and the consequently unreliable nature of much of its thought. Poetry is the means by which we correct the main tool of that thought, language, for its anthropic distortions: it is language's self-corrective function, and everywhere challenges our Adamite inheritance - the catastrophic, fragmenting design of our conceptualizing machinery - through the insistence on a counterbalancing project, that of lyric unity.
Don Paterson
The more these artificial renaissances strive to keep intact the letter of the original doctrines, the more they distort the original meaning, for truth is forged in an evolution of changing and conflicting ideas. Thought is faithful to itself largely through being ready to contradict itself, while preserving, as inherent elements of truth, the memory of the processes by which it was reached. The task of critical reflection is not merely to understand the various facts in their historical development but also to see through the notion of fact itself, in its development and therefore in its relativity.
Max Horkheimer (Eclipse of Reason)
He fingered the mound of faggots on which the wooden martyr stood. That's where all of us are standing now, he thought. On the fat kindling of past sins. And some of them are mine. Mine, Adam's, Herod's, Judas's, Hannegan's, mine. Everybody's. Always culminates in the colossus of the State, somehow, drawing about itself the mantle of godhood, being struck down by the wrath of Heaven. Why? We shouted it loudly enough--God's to be obeyed by nations as well as men. Caesar's to be God's policeman, not His plenipotentiary successor, nor His heir. To all ages, all peoples. --"Whoever exalts a race or a State or a particular form of the State or the depositories of power...whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God....." Where had that come from? Eleventh Pius, he thought, without certainty--eighteen centuries ago. But when Caesar got the means to destroy the world, wasn't he already divinized? Only by the consent of the peopel--same rabble that shouted: "Non habemus regem nisi caesarem," when confronted by Him--God Incarnate, mocked and spat upon. Same rabble that martyred Leibowitz.
Walter M. Miller Jr. (A Canticle for Leibowitz (St. Leibowitz, #1))
Knowing that every woman and man is a star is one thing, walking the path while giving the individuals empowerment to act, within this matrix of choices, is something totally different. If we are not ready for the Cosmos manifesting in all its forms within our little ones, including rebellion, we will subdue his or her life-force. A conscious parent has a complete trust in the goodness of the kids,yet they will protect the young ones from alcohol, or drugs, or disturbed sleeping pattern or cigarettes, or dirt, fully aware that the addictive substances will distort our efforts to reach the highest potential or kill us.
Nataša Pantović (Ama Dios (4 AoL Consciousness Books Combined, #111))
I thought about the core tools we EHMs used in my day: false economics that included distorted financial analyses, inflated projections, and rigged accounting books; secrecy, deception, threats, bribes, and extortion; false promises that we never intended to honor; and enslavement through debt and fear. These same tools are used today. Now, as then, many elements are present in each “hit,” although that likely is evident only to someone willing to delve deeply into the story behind the story. Now, as then, the glue that holds all of this together is the belief that any means are justified to achieve the desired ends. A
John Perkins (The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man)
The person who experiences disruption of bonding recoils and withdraws emotionally. He does not experience his need, the hunger for love. Instead, he buries his needs deep inside, so he can no longer be hurt. This withdrawal is called defensive devaluation. Defensive devaluation is a protective device that makes love bad, trust unimportant, and people “no darn good” anyway. People who have been deeply hurt in their relationships will often devalue love so it doesn’t hurt so much. And they often become resigned to never loving again. People who are unbonded do funny things in relationships: They don’t look for safe people: there’s no hunger. They don’t recognize safe people: no one is safe. They don’t reach out to safe people: why get hurt again? Although unbonded people often have friends and families, their isolation is deep and can cause many serious problems. A person who cannot bond may suffer from addictions, depression, emptiness, excessive caretaking, fear of being treated like an object, fears of closeness, feelings of guilt, feelings of unreality, idealism, lack of joy, loss of meaning, negative bonds, outbursts of anger, panic, shallow relationships, or thought problems such as confusion, distorted thinking, and irrational fears.
Henry Cloud (Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't)
Bereavement is useful; full-blown depression is not. William Styron renders an eloquent description of “the many dreadful manifestations of the disease,” among them self-hatred, a sense of worthlessness, a “dank joylessness” with “gloom crowding in on me, a sense of dread and alienation and, above all, a stifling anxiety.”14 Then there are the intellectual marks: “confusion, failure of mental focus and lapse of memories,” and, at a later stage, his mind “dominated by anarchic distortions,” and “a sense that my thought processes were engulfed by a toxic and unnameable tide that obliterated any enjoyable response to the living world.” There are the physical effects: sleeplessness, feeling as listless as a zombie, “a kind of numbness, an enervation, but more particularly an odd fragility,” along with a “fidgety restlessness.” Then there is the loss of pleasure: “Food, like everything else within the scope of sensation, was utterly without savor.” Finally, there was the vanishing of hope as the “gray drizzle of horror” took on a despair so palpable it was like physical pain, a pain so unendurable that suicide seemed a solution. In such major depression, life is paralyzed; no new beginnings emerge. The very symptoms of depression bespeak a life on hold. For
Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence)
What most people forget is that the past exists within each one of us only as memory. Memory has no objective existence. It is not existential; it is purely psychological. If you retain your ability to respond, your memory of the past will become an empowering process. But if you are in a compulsive cycle of reactivity, memory distorts your perception of the present, and your thoughts, emotions, and actions become disproportionate to the stimulus. The choice is always before you: to respond consciously to the present; or to react compulsively to it. There is a vast difference between the two. And it can make the world of a difference.
Sadhguru (Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy)
Some people imagine that rhyme interferes with the rational processes of thought by obliging us to distort what we originally had in mind. But are rational processes so important? In many of us, even in poets, they can be dull and predictable. An interruption, a few detours and unexpected turns, might make a trip with them less routine. The necessity of finding a rhyme may jolt the mind out of its ruts, force it to turn wildly across the fields in some more exhilarating direction. Force it out of the world of reason into the world of mystery, magic, and imagination, in which relationships between sounds may be as exciting as a Great Idea.
John Frederick Nims
She looked at him oddly. “Don’t you want to satisfy your curiosity? Now – and forever, for the one who’ll stay behind?” He thought about it, then shook his head. “One clone will see the finished city. One won’t. Both will share a past when they’d never even heard of the place. The clone outside, who never sees the city, will try to guess what it’s like. The clone inside will run other environments, and sometimes he won’t think about the city at all. When he does, sometimes he’ll misremember it. And sometimes he’ll dream about wildly distorted versions of what he’s seen. “I define all those moments as part of me. So … what is there to be curious about?
Greg Egan (Permutation City)
Perhaps that had been one of the ineradicable faults of mankind - for even a convinced atheist had to admit there were faults - that it was never content with a thing as a thing; it had to turn things into symbols of other things. A rainbow was never only a rainbow; a storm was a sign of celestial anger; and even from the puddingy earth came forth dark chthonian gods. What did it all mean? What an agnostic believed and what the willowy parson believed were not only irreconcilable systems of thought: they were equally valid systems of thought because, somewhere along the evolutionary line, man, developing this habit of thinking of symbols, had provided himself with more alternatives than he could manage. Animals moved in no such channel of imagination - they copulated and they ate; but the the saint, bread was a symbol of life, as the phallus was to the pagan. The animals themselves were pressed into symbolic service - and not only in the medieval bestiaries, by any means. Such a usage was a distortion, although man seemed unable to ratiocinate without it. That had been the trouble right from the beginning. Perhaps it had even been the beginning, back among the first men that man could never get clearly defined (for the early men, being also symbols, had to be either lumbering brutes, or timid noble savages, or to undergo some other interpretation). Perhaps the first fire, the first tool, the first wheel, the first carving in a limestone cave, had each possessed a symbolic rather than a practical value, had each been pressed to serve distortion rather than reality. It was a sort of madness that had driven man from his humble sites on the edges of woods into towns and cities, into arts and wars, into religious crusades, into martyrdom and prostitution, into dyspepsia and fasting, into love and hatred, into this present cul-de-sac; it had all come about in pursuit of symbols. In the beginning was the symbol, and darness was over the face of the Earth.
Brian W. Aldiss (Greybeard)
The disabling force of debt was recognized more clearly in the 18th and 19th centuries (not to mention four thousand years ago in the Bronze Age). This has led pro-creditor economists to exclude the history of economic thought from the curriculum. Mainstream economics has become censorially pro-creditor, pro-austerity (that is, anti-labor) and anti-government (except for insisting on the need for taxpayer bailouts of the largest banks and savers). Yet it has captured Congressional policy, universities and the mass media to broadcast a false map of how economies work. So most people see reality as it is written – and distorted – by the One Percent. It is a travesty of reality.
Michael Hudson (Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy)
Psychotic conditions were considered to involve thought disturbances, including delusions and/or hallucinations, a break with reality, and, in general, an inability to function in normal social situations. Neuroses involved several conditions in which one suffered from distress (sometimes debilitating distress) but without significant distortions of thought, or loss of touch with reality. The neurotic conditions most related to fear and anxiety included anxiety neurosis (excessive worry, dread), phobic neurosis (irrational fears), obsessive neurosis (repetitive thoughts), and war neurosis (mental problems in soldiers that stemmed from stress, exhaustion, and specific battlefield experiences).
Joseph E. LeDoux (Anxious)
People who are unbonded do funny things in relationships: They don’t look for safe people: there’s no hunger. They don’t recognize safe people: no one is safe. They don’t reach out to safe people: why get hurt again? Although unbonded people often have friends and families, their isolation is deep and can cause many serious problems. A person who cannot bond may suffer from addictions, depression, emptiness, excessive caretaking, fear of being treated like an object, fears of closeness, feelings of guilt, feelings of unreality, idealism, lack of joy, loss of meaning, negative bonds, outbursts of anger, panic, shallow relationships, or thought problems such as confusion, distorted thinking, and irrational fears.
Henry Cloud (Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't)
Whatever stamped itself on Niels's mind, what he saw, what he understood and what he misunderstood, what he admired and what he knew he ought to admire--all was woven into the story. As running water is colored by every passing picture, sometimes holding the image with perfect clearness, sometimes distorting it or throwing it back in wavering, uncertain lines, then again drowning it completely in the color and play of its own ripples, so the lad's story reflected feeling and thoughts, his own and those of other people, mirrored human beings and events, life and books, as well as it could. It was a play life, running side by side with real life. It was a snug retreat, where you could abandon yourself to dreams of the wildest adventures. It was a fairy garden that opened at your slightest nod, and received you in all its glory, shutting out everybody else.
Jens Peter Jacobsen (Niels Lyhne)
I would have liked to have warned Tony not to come around here," Bravo said. He uses the pluperfect of the subjunctive, Renzi thought. He was so tired these were the kind of thoughts that popped into his head, thoughts once typical for him, when he was in college and he used to spend his time analyzing grammatical forms and verbal conjugations. Sometimes he wouldn't understand what people were telling him because he'd get distracted analyzing syntactical structures as if he were a philologist enraged by the distorted uses of contemporary language. Recently it has been happening less frequently to him. But sometimes, when he was with a women and he liked her way of speaking, he'd suddenly want to sleep with her because he was so excited by her use of the perfect preterit indicative. As if the presence of the past in the present justified just about any passion.
Ricardo Piglia (Blanco nocturno)
His argument is that the system’s much lauded economic, political, and social freedoms, formerly a source of social progress, lose their progressive function and become subtle instruments of domination which serve to keep individuals in bondage to the system that they strengthen and perpetuate. For example, economic freedom to sell one’s labor power in order to compete on the labor market submits the individual to the slavery of an irrational economic system; political freedom to vote for generally indistinguishable representatives of the same system is but a delusive ratification of a nondemocratic political system; intellectual freedom of expression is ineffectual when the media either co-opt and defuse, or distort and suppress, oppositional ideas, and when the image-makers shape public opinion so that it is hostile or immune to oppositional thought and action. Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse (One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society)
The cannabinoid receptor system matures most rapidly, not during childhood, not during adulthood, but during adolescence. So it wouldn’t be surprising if cannabinoid activity is meant to be functional during adolescence, more functional than at any other period of the lifespan. As far as evolution is concerned, adolescents might well benefit from following their own grandiose thoughts, goals, and plans. By doing so, and by ignoring the weight of evidence—or sheer inertia—piled up against them, they would greatly amplify their tendency to explore, to try things, to imbue their plans with more confidence than they deserve. The evolutionary goals of adolescents are to become independent, to make new connections, and to find new territory, new social systems, and most of all new mates. The distortions of adolescent thinking might be precisely poised to facilitate those goals.
Marc Lewis (Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on Drugs)
desire are united to his purpose by the use of Sigils, or sacred letters. By projecting consciousness into one object, sensation becomes intensified because not dissipated by the usual distractions.This intensification is attained by abstaining from desire in anything but the object [i.e. the Sigil]. By non-resistance (involuntary thought and action), any worry or apprehension of it not working, being transient, find no permanent abode, and the practitioner desires everything. Anxiety defeats the purpose, because it retains and exposes the desire; desire is non-attraction. When the mind is quiet and focused, and undisturbed by external images, there is no distortion of the sense impression (there should be no hallucination: that could end in fulfilment of whatever it is that is imagined). Instead, the mind magnifies the existing desire, and joins it to the object in secret.
Austin Osman Spare (Book of Pleasure in Plain English)
Five actors playing allotted parts on a set stage; and now he, for whom no part had been written, had walked onto the stage unexpectedly, because one of the players had turned rebel, as she had once before. He threw everything out of focus, and them into a fever. The heat and intensity of these flying questions was enough to make a man with even partially trained clairvoyant faculties feel as if he sat in a room filled with flashing fireflies. He took warning and withdrew himself to a cold inner isolation, as he knew how to do, even while laughing and talking with surface ease. It would not do to let his mind become clouded with emotion; or open any door of his imagination. But the impressions that came across that safer inner distance did not make his companions seem less dramatic, more normal: they were still out of focus. Something about the picture was distorted, even to a clear vision. The sense of evil was as strong as ever although the lurking Presence seemed to have retreated into a far background. He saw presently what the distortion was. Their modern figures were somehow incongruous in the old house, not at home. Like actors who had somehow got onto the wrong stage, onto sets with which their voices and costumes clashed. Interlopers. Or else-actors of an old school dressed up in an unbecoming masquerade. Witch House was an old house. Not old as other houses are old, that remain beds of the continuous stream of life, of marriages and births and deaths, of children crying and children laughing, where the past is only part of the pattern, root of the present and the future. Joseph de Quincy, dead nearly a quarter of a thousand years, was still its master: he had been strong, so strong that no later personality could dim or efface him here where he had set his seal. "He left his evil here when he could no longer stay himself," Carew thought. "As a man with diphtheria leaves germs on the things he has handled, the bed he has lain in. Thoughts are tangible things; on their own plane they breed like germs and, unlike germs, they do not die. He may have forgotten; he may even walk the earth in other flesh, but what he has left here lives." As probably it had been meant to do. For the man whose malignance, swollen with the contributions of the centuries, still ensouled these walls would not have cared to build a house or found a family except as a means to an end. Witch House was set like a mold, steeped in ritual atmosphere as a temple. Dangerous business, for who could say that such a temple would not find a god? There are low, non-human beings that coalesce with and feed on such leftover forces: lair in them.
Evangeline Walton (Witch House)
Someone living a life-lie is attempting to manipulate reality with perception, thought and action, so that only some narrowly desired and pre-defined outcome is allowed to exist. A life lived in this manner is based, consciously or unconsciously, on two premises. The first is that current knowledge is sufficient to define what is good, unquestioningly, far into the future. The second is that reality would be unbearable if left to its own devices. The first presumption is philosophically unjustifiable. What you are currently aiming at might not be worth attaining, just as what you are currently doing might be an error. The second is even worse. It is valid only if reality is intrinsically intolerable and, simultaneously, something that can be successfully manipulated and distorted. Such speaking and thinking requires the arrogance and certainty that the English poet John Milton’s genius identified with Satan, God’s highest angel gone most spectacularly wrong.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
When I was a kid, my mother thought spinach was the healthiest food in the world because it contained so much iron. Getting enough iron was a big deal then because we didn't have 'iron-fortified' bread. Turns out that spinach is an okay source of iron, but no better than pizza, pistachio nuts, cooked lentils, or dried peaches. The spinach-iron myth grew out of a simple mathematical miscalculation: A researcher accidentally moved a decimal point one space, so he thought spinach had 10 times more iron than it did. The press reported it, and I had to eat spinach. Moving the decimal point was an honest mistake--but it's seldom that simple. If it happened today I'd suspect a spinach lobby was behind it. Businesses often twist science to make money. Lawyers do it to win cases. Political activists distort science to fit their agenda, bureaucrats to protect their turf. Reporters keep falling for it. Scientists sometimes go along with it because they like being famous.
John Stossel (Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...)
Our overview of lagging skills is now complete. Of course, that was just a sampling. Here’s a more complete, though hardly exhaustive, list, including those we just reviewed: > Difficulty handling transitions, shifting from one mind-set or task to another > Difficulty doing things in a logical sequence or prescribed order > Difficulty persisting on challenging or tedious tasks > Poor sense of time > Difficulty maintaining focus > Difficulty considering the likely outcomes or consequences of actions (impulsive) > Difficulty considering a range of solutions to a problem > Difficulty expressing concerns, needs, or thoughts in words > Difficulty understanding what is being said > Difficulty managing emotional response to frustration so as to think rationally > Chronic irritability and/or anxiety significantly impede capacity for problem-solving or heighten frustration > Difficulty seeing the “grays”/concrete, literal, black-and-white thinking > Difficulty deviating from rules, routine > Difficulty handling unpredictability, ambiguity, uncertainty, novelty > Difficulty shifting from original idea, plan, or solution > Difficulty taking into account situational factors that would suggest the need to adjust a plan of action > Inflexible, inaccurate interpretations/cognitive distortions or biases (e.g., “Everyone’s out to get me,” “Nobody likes me,” “You always blame me,” “It’s not fair,” “I’m stupid”) > Difficulty attending to or accurately interpreting social cues/poor perception of social nuances > Difficulty starting conversations, entering groups, connecting with people/lacking basic social skills > Difficulty seeking attention in appropriate ways > Difficulty appreciating how his/her behavior is affecting other people > Difficulty empathizing with others, appreciating another person’s perspective or point of view > Difficulty appreciating how s/he is coming across or being perceived by others > Sensory/motor difficulties
Ross W. Greene (The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children)
Other animals are exceptionally good at identifying and reacting to predators, rivals and friends. They never act as if they believe that rivers or trees are inhabited by spirits who are watching. In all these ways, other animals continually demonstrate their working knowledge that they live in a world brimming with other minds as well as their knowledge of those minds' boundaries. their understanding seems more acute, pragmatic, and frankly, better than ours at distinguishing real from fake. So, I wonder, do humans really have a better developed Theory of Mind than other animals? ...Children talk to dolls for years, half believing or firmly believing that the doll hears and feels and is a worthy confidante. Many adults pray to statues, fervently believing that they're listening. ...All of this indicates a common human inability to distinguish conscious minds from inanimate objects, and evidence from nonsense. Children often talk to a fully imaginary friends whom they believe listens and has thoughts. Monotheism might be the adult version. ...In the world's most technologically advanced, most informed societies, a majority people take it for granted that disembodied spirits are watching, judging, and acting on them. Most leaders of modern nations trust that a Sky-God can be asked to protect their nation during disasters and conflicts with other nations. All of this is theory of mind gone wild, like an unguided fire hose spraying the whole universe with presumed consciousness. Humans' "superior" Theory of Mind is in part pathology. The oft repeated line "humans are rational beings" is probably our most half-true assertion about ourselves. There is in nature an overriding sanity and often in humankind an undermining insanity. We, among all animals, are most frequently irrational, distortional, delusional, and worried. Yet, I also wonder, is our pathological ability to generate false beliefs...also the very root of human creativity?
Carl Safina (Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel)
The development of the telescope marks, indeed, a new phase in human thought, a new vision of life. It is an extraordinary thing that the Greeks, with their lively and penetrating minds, never realized the possibilities of either microscope or telescope. They made no use of the lens. Yet they lived in a world in which glass had been known and had been made beautiful for hundreds of years; they had about them glass flasks and bottles, through which they must have caught glimpses of things distorted and enlarged. But science in Greece was pursued by philosophers in an aristocratic spirit, men who, with a few such exceptions as the ingenious Archimedes and Hiero, were too proud to learn from such mere artisans as jewellers and metal- and glass-workers. Ignorance is the first penalty of pride. The philosopher had no mechanical skill and the artisan had no philosophical education, and it was left for another age, more than a thousand years later, to bring together glass and the astronomer.
H.G. Wells (The Outline of History, Vol. 1 (of 2))
One could understand feminism generally as an attack on woman as she was under “patriarchy” (that concept is a social construction of feminism). The feminine mystique was her ideal; in regard to sex, it consisted of women’s modesty and in the double standard of sexual conduct that comes with it, which treated women’s misbehavior as more serious than men’s. Instead of trying to establish a single standard by bringing men up to the higher standard of women, as with earlier feminism, today’s feminism decided to demand that women be entitled to sink to the level of men. It bought into the sexual revolution of the late sixties and required that women be rewarded with the privileges of male conquest rather than, say, continue serving as camp followers of rock bands. The result has been the turn for the worse. ... What was there in feminine modesty that the feminists left behind? In return for women’s holding to a higher standard of sexual behavior, feminine modesty gave them protection while they considered whether they wanted to consent. It gave them time: Not so fast! Not the first date! I’m not ready for that! It gave them the pleasure of being courted along with the advantage of looking before you leap. To win over a woman, men had to strive to express their finer feelings, if they had any. Women could judge their character and choose accordingly. In sum, women had the right of choice, if I may borrow that slogan. All this and more was social construction, to be sure, but on the basis of the bent toward modesty that was held to be in the nature of women. That inclination, it was thought, cooperated with the aggressive drive in the nature of men that could be beneficially constructed into the male duty to take the initiative. There was no guarantee of perfection in this arrangement, but at least each sex would have a legitimate expectation of possible success in seeking marital happiness. They could live together, have children, and take care of them. Without feminine modesty, however, women must imitate men, and in matters of sex, the most predatory men, as we have seen. The consequence is the hook-up culture now prevalent on college campuses, and off-campus too (even more, it is said). The purpose of hooking up is to replace the human complexity of courtship with “good sex,” a kind of animal simplicity, eliminating all the preliminaries to sex as well as the aftermath. “Good sex,” by the way, is in good part a social construction of the alliance between feminists and male predators that we see today. It narrows and distorts the human potentiality for something nobler and more satisfying than the bare minimum. The hook-up culture denounced by conservatives is the very same rape culture denounced by feminists. Who wants it? Most college women do not; they ignore hookups and lament the loss of dating. Many men will not turn down the offer of an available woman, but what they really want is a girlfriend. The predatory males are a small minority among men who are the main beneficiaries of the feminist norm. It’s not the fault of men that women want to join them in excess rather than calm them down, for men too are victims of the rape culture. Nor is it the fault of women. Women are so far from wanting hook-ups that they must drink themselves into drunken consent — in order to overcome their natural modesty, one might suggest. Not having a sociable drink but getting blind drunk is today’s preliminary to sex. Beautifully romantic, isn’t it?
Harvey Mansfield Jr.
In any event, should you doubt that your knowledge of Western history is distorted by the work of these distinguished bigots, consider whether you believe any of the following statements: The Catholic Church motivated and actively participated in nearly two millennia of anti-Semitic violence, justifying it on grounds that the Jews were responsible for the Crucifixion, until the Vatican II Council was shamed into retracting that doctrine in 1965. But, the Church still has not made amends for the fact that Pope Pius XII is rightfully known as “Hitler’s Pope.” Only recently have we become aware of remarkably enlightened Christian gospels, long ago suppressed by narrow-minded Catholic prelates. Once in power as the official church of Rome, Christians quickly and brutally persecuted paganism out of existence. The fall of Rome and the ascendancy of the Church precipitated Europe’s decline into a millennium of ignorance and backwardness. These Dark Ages lasted until the Renaissance/Enlightenment, when secular scholars burst through the centuries of Catholic barriers against reason. Initiated by the pope, the Crusades were but the first bloody chapter in the history of unprovoked and brutal European colonialism. The Spanish Inquisition tortured and murdered huge numbers of innocent people for “imaginary” crimes, such as witchcraft and blasphemy. The Catholic Church feared and persecuted scientists, as the case of Galileo makes clear. Therefore, the Scientific “Revolution” occurred mainly in Protestant societies because only there could the Catholic Church not suppress independent thought. ► Being entirely comfortable with slavery, the Catholic Church did nothing to oppose its introduction in the New World nor to make it more humane. Until very recently, the Catholic view of the ideal state was summed up in the phrase, “The divine right of kings.” Consequently, the Church has bitterly resisted all efforts to establish more liberal governments, eagerly supporting dictators. It was the Protestant Reformation that broke the repressive Catholic grip on progress and ushered in capitalism, religious freedom, and the modern world. Each of these statements is part of the common culture, widely accepted and frequently repeated. But, each is false and many are the exact opposite of the truth! A chapter will be devoted to summarizing recent repetitions of each of these statements and to demonstrating that each is most certainly false.
Rodney Stark (Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History)
Tonight, however, Dickens struck him in a different light. Beneath the author’s sentimental pity for the weak and helpless, he could discern a revolting pleasure in cruelty and suffering, while the grotesque figures of the people in Cruikshank’s illustrations revealed too clearly the hideous distortions of their souls. What had seemed humorous now appeared diabolic, and in disgust at these two favourites he turned to Walter Pater for the repose and dignity of a classic spirit. But presently he wondered if this spirit were not in itself of a marble quality, frigid and lifeless, contrary to the purpose of nature. ‘I have often thought’, he said to himself, ‘that there is something evil in the austere worship of beauty for its own sake.’ He had never thought so before, but he liked to think that this impulse of fancy was the result of mature consideration, and with this satisfaction he composed himself for sleep. He woke two or three times in the night, an unusual occurrence, but he was glad of it, for each time he had been dreaming horribly of these blameless Victorian works… It turned out to be the Boy’s Gulliver’s Travels that Granny had given him, and Dicky had at last to explain his rage with the devil who wrote it to show that men were worse than beasts and the human race a washout. A boy who never had good school reports had no right to be so morbidly sensitive as to penetrate to the underlying cynicism of Swift’s delightful fable, and that moreover in the bright and carefully expurgated edition they bring out nowadays. Mr Corbett could not say he had ever noticed the cynicism himself, though he knew from the critical books it must be there, and with some annoyance he advised his son to take out a nice bright modern boy’s adventure story that could not depress anybody. Mr Corbett soon found that he too was ‘off reading’. Every new book seemed to him weak, tasteless and insipid; while his old and familiar books were depressing or even, in some obscure way, disgusting. Authors must all be filthy-minded; they probably wrote what they dared not express in their lives. Stevenson had said that literature was a morbid secretion; he read Stevenson again to discover his peculiar morbidity, and detected in his essays a self-pity masquerading as courage, and in Treasure Island an invalid’s sickly attraction to brutality. This gave him a zest to find out what he disliked so much, and his taste for reading revived as he explored with relish the hidden infirmities of minds that had been valued by fools as great and noble. He saw Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë as two unpleasant examples of spinsterhood; the one as a prying, sub-acid busybody in everyone else’s flirtations, the other as a raving, craving maenad seeking self-immolation on the altar of her frustrated passions. He compared Wordsworth’s love of nature to the monstrous egoism of an ancient bellwether, isolated from the flock.
Margaret Irwin (Bloodstock and Other Stories)
Niels Lyhne was tired. These repeated runnings to a leap that was never leaped had wearied him. Everything seemed to him hollow and worthless, distorted and confused, and, oh, so petty! He preferred to stop his ears and stop his mouth and to immerse himself in studies that had nothing to do with the busy everyday world, but were like an ocean apart, where he could wander peacefully in silent forests of seaweed among curious animals. He was tired, and the root of his weariness sprang from his baffled hope of love; thence it had spread, quickly and surely, through his whole being, to all his faculties and all his thoughts. Now he was cold and passionless enough, but in the beginning, after the blow had fallen, his love had grown, day by day, with the irresistible power of a malignant fever. There had been moments when his soul was almost bursting with insane passion; it swelled like a wave in its infinite longing and frothing desire; it rose and went on rising and rising, till every fiber in his brain and every cord in his heart were strung tense to the breaking point. Then weariness had come, soothing and healing, making his nerves dull against pain, his blood too cold for enthusiasm, and his pulse too weak for action. And more than that, it had protected him against a relapse by giving him all the prudence and egoism of the convalescent. When his thoughts went back to those days in Fjordby, he had a sense of immunity akin to the feeling of a man who has just passed through a severe illness and knows that now, when he has endured his allotted agony, and the fever has burned itself to ashes within him, he will be free for a long, long time.
Jens Peter Jacobsen (Niels Lyhne)
Managerial abilities, bureaucratic skills, technical expertise, and political talent are all necessary, but they can be applied only to goals that have already been defined by military policies, broad and narrow. And those policies can be only as good as strategy, operational art of war, tactical thought, and plain military craft that have gone into their making. At present, the defects of structure submerge or distort strategy and operational art, they out rightly suppress tactical ingenuity, and they displace the traditional insights and rules of military craft in favor of bureaucratic preferences, administrative convenience, and abstract notions of efficiency derived from the world of business management. First there is the defective structure for making of military decisions under the futile supervision of the civilian Defense Department; then come the deeply flawed defense policies and military choices, replete with unnecessary costs and hidden risks; finally there come the undoubted managerial abilities, bureaucratic skills, technical expertise, and political talents, all applied to achieve those flawed policies and to implement those flawed choices. By this same sequence was the fatally incomplete Maginot Line built, as were all the Maginot Lines of history, each made no better by good government, technical talent, careful accounting, or sheer hard work. Hence the futility of all the managerial innovations tried in the Pentagon over the years. In the purchasing of weapons, for example, “total package” procurement, cost plus incentive contracting, “firm fixed price” purchasing have all been introduced with much fanfare, only to be abandoned, retried, and repudiated once again. And each time a new Secretary of Defense arrives, with him come the latest batch of managerial innovations, many of them aimed at reducing fraud, waste, and mismanagement-the classic trio endlessly denounced in Congress, even though they account for mere percentage points in the total budget, and have no relevance at all to the failures of combat. The persistence of the Administrator’s Delusion has long kept the Pentagon on a treadmill of futile procedural “reforms” that have no impact at all on the military substance of our defense. It is through strategy, operational art, tactical ingenuity, and military craft that the large savings can be made, and the nation’s military strength greatly increased, but achieving long-overdue structural innovations, from the central headquarters to the combat forces, from the overhead of bases and installations to the current purchase of new weapons. Then, and only then, will it be useful to pursue fraud, waste, and mismanagement, if only to save a few dollars more after the billions have already been saved. At present, by contrast, the Defense Department administers ineffectively, while the public, Congress, and the media apply their energies to such petty matters as overpriced spare parts for a given device in a given weapon of a given ship, overlooking at the same time the multibillion dollar question of money spent for the Navy as a whole instead of the Army – whose weakness diminishes our diplomatic weight in peacetime, and which could one day cause us to resort to nuclear weapons in the face of imminent debacle. If we had a central military authority and a Defense Department capable of strategy, we should cheerfully tolerate much fraud, waste, and mismanagement; but so long as there are competing military bureaucracies organically incapable of strategic combat, neither safety nor economy will be ensured, even if we could totally eliminate every last cent of fraud, waste, and mismanagement.
Edward N. Luttwak
I am going to end up alone," he moaned. "Not in any conceivable universe!" One of Sadie's best qualities is the ability to say "Are you effing insane?" with such sweet conviction and nicer words. "I am going to end up alone in a one-room apartment over a dry cleaner." "A dry cleaner?" "He could have said a bar," I offered. "True," he conceded. Frankie was on a roll. "I am going to end up alone in a one-room apartment over a dry cleaner with a cat. Who bites me." "Oh,Frankie-" "I am going to end up alone in a one-room apartment over a dry cleaner with a cat who bites me and pees in my closet full of moth-eaten sweaters." "Well,maybe," Sadie said, reaching around to hug both of us. "But the sweaters will be Dolce & Gabbana." One of her other fabulous qualities is that underneath the sweet conviction, she does have a sense of humor. Frankie did laugh. Then he gave a sigh that I could feel all the way through me. I knew Sadie did,too. "I liked him," he said, very quietly. "I really did. And I thought he felt the same way. I bent and twisted and distorted everything that happened between us to fit my pretty little picture. God, I believed my own hype. How stupid, how incredibly stupid was that?" "Not stupid." Sadie squeezed. "Hopeful. And if we're not that, what's the point? El? Help me out here." I wanted to.I really did. But all I could think of was the fact that at home, exactly where I'd put it in my bag, which was still exactly where I'd dumped it on the floor, was the evidence that Edward had let me down. I was keeping that to myself, at least for the moment. Twisted it to fit my pretty little picture. I didn't think I could take Frankie's complete lack of surprise that a guy (even a dead one) had let me down-or Sadie's sympathy. Not on top of my own anger. Because,plain and simple,it wasn't okay to look at another woman like that, not when you met the love of your life and gave a big flipped finger to the people around you so you could be with her. Not okay even if she was dead, because I, Ella, really really want to believe that sometimes love does conquer all, and sometimes some things do last foever. Truth: Yes,I really am that naive. "You're perfect," I said to Frankie. And I meant it.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
There’s no use in talking about the plan, because of course nothing went the way it was supposed to. Even the passage of time was horribly distorted. At first the ride to the hill seemed endless, with me sneaking looks at my brother, who was increasingly unsteady in his saddle. The Marquis insisted on riding in front of us the last little distance, where we saw a row of four horse riders waiting--the outer two bearing banners, dripping from the rain, but the flags’ green and gold still brilliant, and the inner two riders brawny and cruel faced and very much at ease, wearing the plumed helms of command. “I just wanted to see if you traitors would dare to face me,” Galdran said, his caustic voice making me feel sick inside. Sick--and angry. The Marquis bowed low over his horse’s withers, every line of his body indicative of irony. Galdran’s face flushed dark purple. “I confess,” Shevraeth drawled, “we had a small wager on whether you would have the courage to face us.” “Kill them!” Galdran roared. And that’s the moment when time changed and everything happened at once. At the edge of my vision I saw arrows fly, but none reached us. A weird humming vibrated through my skull; at first I thought it was just me, then I realized all the war horses, despite their training, were in a panic. For a few short, desperate breaths, all my attention was spent calming my own mount. Galdran’s reared, and he shouted orders at his equerries as he fought to keep his seat. The two banner-bearing warriors flipped up the ends of their poles, flicked away some kind of binding, and aimed sharp steel points at the Marquis as they charged. All around me was chaos--the hiss and clang of steel weapons being drawn, the nickering of horses, grunts and shouts and yells. “To me! To me!” That was Bran’s cry. Four Renselaeus warriors came to his aid. I kneed my mount forward and brandished my weapon, trying to edge up on Bran’s weak side. Horseback fighting was something we’d drilled in rarely, for this was not mountain-type warfare. I met the blade of one of Bran’s attackers, and shock rang up my arm. Thoughts chased through my brain; except for those few days with Nessaren’s riding, I hadn’t practiced for weeks, and now I was going to feel it.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
In my generation we did a lot of pleasure chasing—we, the generation responsible for today’s twenty-year-olds and thirty-year-olds and forty-year-olds. Before they came into our lives, we were on a pleasure binge, and the need for immediate gratification passed through us to our children. When I got out of the Army in 1944, the guys who were being discharged with me were mostly between the ages of eighteen and thirty. We came home to a country that was in great shape in terms of industrial capacity. As the victors, we decided to spread the good fortune around, and we did all kinds of wonderful things—but it wasn’t out of selfless idealism, let me assure you. Take the Marshall Plan, which we implemented at that time. It rebuilt Europe, yes, but it also enabled those war ruined countries to buy from us. The incredible, explosive economic prosperity that resulted just went wild. It was during that period that the pleasure principle started feeding on itself. One generation later it was the sixties, and those twenty-eight-year-old guys from World War II were forty-eight. They had kids twenty years old, kids who had been so indulged for two decades that it caused a huge, first-time-in-history distortion in the curve of values. And, boy, did that curve bend and bend and bend. These postwar parents thought they were in nirvana if they had a color TV and two cars and could buy a Winnebago and a house on the lake. But the children they had raised on that pleasure principle of material goods were by then bored to death. They had overdosed on all that stuff. So that was the generation who decided, “Hey, guess where the real action is? Forget the Winnebago. Give me sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.” Incredible mind-blowing experiences, head-banging, screw-your-brains-out experiences in service to immediate and transitory pleasures. But the one kind of gratification is simply an outgrowth of the other, a more extreme form of the same hedonism, the same need to indulge and consume. Some of those same sixties kids are now themselves forty-eight. Whatever genuine idealism they carried through those love-in days got swept up in the great yuppie gold rush of the eighties and the stock market nirvana of the nineties—and I’m afraid we are still miles away from the higher ground we seek.
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
It is raining.  The clock ticks.  I am leaning on my elbow.  The wind blows through the cracks.  The door rattles in its frame.  My arm is tired of staying in one position.  There is a pressure on the wrist.  My temple burns on one side.  I wonder what will happen next.  Someone laughs.  If he had heard the rain, the clock, and the door, he would have kept silent.  Had I been laughing, I would not have heard these things. Gaze into a cat's eye or a gorilla's.  You will notice a peculiar thing that will make you shudder.  sometimes cats claw at human eyes.  Some- times gorillas enrage. Telepathy and death are wound inextricably together.  To see why this is so, you must understand consciousness.  When, late at night in your bed, you hear a distant automobile, you and the driver are parts of yourself.  When you speak, you are alone and the listener is both you and himself.  Two men, one on the mountain and the other in the village, cannot communicate.  Each is looking into a mirror.  Wave, and *he* waves - shout, and *he* replies.  All of us see the same moon and feel the same heartbeat, but we can never admit it.  One says the moon is a pale disc, another that it is a satellite of the Earth, a third that it is a silver world.  My heart thumps, yours clatters, and his booms.  Consciousness is distortion. But much telepathy passes unnoticed.  Dogs in the night, a dream of Mabel, Dr. Rhines' dice games - these are self-conscious tricks that mean nothing.  What of the more obvious examples?  You know when another is lying.  You know who is going down the stair.  You know emotion without seeing it.  You know the intelligence of others.  Some sign gives them away.  It is coincidence?  Guessing games again?   Then think of what you could not possibly know, what no one could tell you.  Is there any doubt you do not know that fellow on the gibbet or the thought of that girl on the stake?  Watch someone die and you may read his mind at ease. You need not got so far.  We human beings understand one another better than we think.  Argue, deny, shout, denounce, destroy.  Nothing alters truth.  You, reader, see my flaws and concentrate on them.  You wonder why I choose this word and not that. My arguments are weak and you can drum up stronger ones against them.  But we are eye to eye for all of that.
E.E. Rehmus
When someone goes to the doctor and says, “I hear a voice in my head,” he or she will most likely be sent to a psychiatrist. The fact is that, in a very similar way, virtually everyone hears a voice, or several voices, in their head all the time: the involuntary thought processes that you don’t realize you have the power to stop. Continuous monologues or dialogues. You have probably come across “mad” people in the street incessantly talking or muttering to themselves. Well, that’s not much different from what you and all other “normal” people do, except that you don’t do it out loud. The voice comments, speculates, judges, compares, complains, likes, dislikes, and so on. The voice isn’t necessarily relevant to the situation you find yourself in at the time; it may be reviving the recent or distant past or rehearsing or imagining possible future situations. Here it often imagines things going wrong and negative outcomes; this is called worry. Sometimes this soundtrack is accompanied by visual images or “mental movies.” Even if the voice is relevant to the situation at hand, it will interpret it in terms of the past. This is because the voice belongs to your conditioned mind, which is the result of all your past history as well as of the collective cultural mind-set you inherited. So you see and judge the present through the eyes of the past and get a totally distorted view of it. It is not uncommon for the voice to be a person’s own worst enemy. Many people live with a tormentor in their head that continuously attacks and punishes them and drains them of vital energy. It is the cause of untold misery and unhappiness, as well as of disease. The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind. This is the only true liberation. You can take the first step right now. Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can. Pay particular attention to any repetitive thought patterns, those old gramophone records that have been playing in your head perhaps for many years. This is what I mean by “watching the thinker,” which is another way of saying: listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence. When you listen to that voice, listen to it impartially. That is to say, do not judge. Do not judge or condemn what you hear, for doing so would mean that the same voice has come in again through the back door. You’ll soon realize: there is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching it. This I am realization, this sense of your own presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond the mind.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
FREEING YOURSELF FROM YOUR MIND What exactly do you mean by “watching the thinker”? When someone goes to the doctor and says, “I hear a voice in my head,” he or she will most likely be sent to a psychiatrist. The fact is that, in a very similar way, virtually everyone hears a voice, or several voices, in their head all the time: the involuntary thought processes that you don’t realize you have the power to stop. Continuous monologues or dialogues. You have probably come across “mad” people in the street incessantly talking or muttering to themselves. Well, that’s not much different from what you and all other “normal” people do, except that you don’t do it out loud. The voice comments, speculates, judges, compares, complains, likes, dislikes, and so on. The voice isn’t necessarily relevant to the situation you find yourself in at the time; it may be reviving the recent or distant past or rehearsing or imagining possible future situations. Here it often imagines things going wrong and negative outcomes; this is called worry. Sometimes this soundtrack is accompanied by visual images or “mental movies.” Even if the voice is relevant to the situation at hand, it will interpret it in terms of the past. This is because the voice belongs to your conditioned mind, which is the result of all your past history as well as of the collective cultural mind-set you inherited. So you see and judge the present through the eyes of the past and get a totally distorted view of it. It is not uncommon for the voice to be a person’s own worst enemy. Many people live with a tormentor in their head that continuously attacks and punishes them and drains them of vital energy. It is the cause of untold misery and unhappiness, as well as of disease. The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind. This is the only true liberation. You can take the first step right now. Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can. Pay particular attention to any repetitive thought patterns, those old gramophone records that have been playing in your head perhaps for many years. This is what I mean by “watching the thinker,” which is another way of saying: listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence. When you listen to that voice, listen to it impartially. That is to say, do not judge. Do not judge or condemn what you hear, for doing so would mean that the same voice has come in again through the back door. You’ll soon realize: there is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching it. This I am realization, this sense of your own presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond the mind.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
American Indians share a magnificent history — rich in its astounding diversity, its integrity, its spirituality, its ongoing unique culture and dynamic tradition. It's also rich, I'm saddened to say, in tragedy, deceit, and genocide. Our sovereignty, our nationhood, our very identity — along with our sacred lands — have been stolen from us in one of the great thefts of human history. And I am referring not just to the thefts of previous centuries but to the great thefts that are still being perpetrated upon us today, at this very moment. Our human rights as indigenous peoples are being violated every day of our lives — and by the very same people who loudly and sanctimoniously proclaim to other nations the moral necessity of such rights. Over the centuries our sacred lands have been repeatedly and routinely stolen from us by the governments and peoples of the United States and Canada. They callously pushed us onto remote reservations on what they thought was worthless wasteland, trying to sweep us under the rug of history. But today, that so-called wasteland has surprisingly become enormously valuable as the relentless technology of white society continues its determined assault on Mother Earth. White society would now like to terminate us as peoples and push us off our reservations so they can steal our remaining mineral and oil resources. It's nothing new for them to steal from nonwhite peoples. When the oppressors succeed with their illegal thefts and depredations, it's called colonialism. When their efforts to colonize indigenous peoples are met with resistance or anything but abject surrender, it's called war. When the colonized peoples attempt to resist their oppression and defend themselves, we're called criminals. I write this book to bring about a greater understanding of what being an Indian means, of who we are as human beings. We're not quaint curiosities or stereotypical figures in a movie, but ordinary — and, yes, at times, extraordinary — human beings. Just like you. We feel. We bleed. We are born. We die. We aren't stuffed dummies in front of a souvenir shop; we aren't sports mascots for teams like the Redskins or the Indians or the Braves or a thousand others who steal and distort and ridicule our likeness. Imagine if they called their teams the Washington Whiteskins or the Washington Blackskins! Then you'd see a protest! With all else that's been taken from us, we ask that you leave us our name, our self-respect, our sense of belonging to the great human family of which we are all part. Our voice, our collective voice, our eagle's cry, is just beginning to be heard. We call out to all of humanity. Hear us!
Leonard Peltier (Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance)
See? I long to be your spiritual guide. I really do, and I will. Love is my motive, rather than any elevated belief in my own knowledge, contemplative work, experience, or maturity. And may God correct what I get wrong. For he knows everything, and I only know in part.1 Now to satisfy your proud intellect, I will praise the work of contemplation. You should know that if those engaged in this work had the linguistic talent to express exactly what they’re experiencing, then every scholar of Christianity would be amazed by their wisdom. It’s true! In comparison, all theological erudition would look like total nonsense. No wonder, then, that my clumsy human speech can’t describe the immense value of this work to you, and God forbid that the limitations of our finite language should desecrate and distort it. No, this must not and will not happen. God forbid that I would ever want that! For our analysis of contemplation and the exercise itself are two entirely different things. What we say of it is not it, but merely a description. So, since we can’t define it, let’s describe it. This will baffle all intellectual conceit, especially yours, which is the sole reason I’m writing this letter. I want to start off by asking you a question. What is the essence of human spiritual perfection, and what are its qualities? I’ll answer this for you. On earth, spiritual perfection is only possible through the union between God and the human soul in consummate love. This perfection is pure and so sublime that it surpasses our human understanding, and that’s why it can’t be directly grasped or observed. But wherever we see its consequences, we know that the essence of contemplation abounds there. So, if I tell you that this spiritual discipline is better than all others, then I must first prove it by describing what mature love looks like. This spiritual exercise grows virtues. Look within yourself as you contemplate and also examine the nature of every virtue. You’ll find that all virtues are found in and nurtured by contemplation with no distortion or degeneration of their purposes. I’m not going to single out any particular virtue here for discussion. I don’t need to because you can find them described in other things I’ve written.2 I’ll only comment here that contemplative prayer, when done right, is the respectful love and ripe fruit that I discuss in your little Letter on Prayer. It’s the cloud of unknowing, the hidden love-longing offered by a pure spirit. It’s the Ark of the Covenant.3 It’s the mystical theology of Dionysius, the wisdom and treasure of his “bright darkness” and “unknown knowing.” It takes you into silence, far from thoughts and words. It makes your prayer very short. In it, you learn how to reject and forget the world.
Anonymous (The Cloud of Unknowing: With the Book of Privy Counsel)
In silence, they filed past me, and I was left alone with the person who, the day before, I’d wanted to kill even more than Galdran Merindar. “Take a swig.” Shevraeth held out a flagon. “You’re going to need it, I’m afraid.” I crossed the room, sank cross-legged onto the nearest mat. With one numb hand I took the flagon, squeezed a share of its contents into my mouth; and gasped as the fire of distilled bristic burned its way inside me. I took a second sip and with stinging eyes handed the flagon back. “Blue lips,” he said, with that faint smile. “You’re going to have a whopping cold.” I looked up at the color burning along his cheekbones, and the faint lines of strain in his forehead, and made a discovery. “So are you,” I said. “Hah!” I added, obscurely pleased. His mouth quirked. “Do you have any questions?” “Yes.” My voice came out hoarse, and I cleared my throat. “Bran said Galdran is coming after us. Why? I thought it had been made abundantly clear that--thanks to you--we were defeated, and that was after he’d already decided we were of no account.” “Here. Eat something.” He pulled the tray over and pointed to the bread-and-cheese on it, and at the half of some kind of fruit tart. I picked up the bread and bit into it as he said, “But his cousin did not encompass your defeat, despite the fact that you were outnumbered and outmaneuvered. This is the more galling for Galdran, you must understand, when you consider the enormous loss of prestige he has suffered of late.” “Loss of prestige? In what way?” I asked. He sat back, his eyes glinting with amusement. “First there was the matter of a--very--public announcement of a pending execution, following which the intended victim escapes. Then…didn’t you stop to consider that the countryside folk who endured many long days of constant martial interference in the form of searches, curfews, and threats might have a few questions about the justice of said threats--or the efficacy of all these armed and mounted soldiery tramping through their fields and farms unsuccessfully trying to flush a single unarmed, rather unprepossessing individual? Especially when said individual took great care not to endanger anyone beyond the first--anonymous--family to give her succor, to whom she promised there would be no civil war?” I gasped. “I never promised that. How could I? I promised that Bran and I wouldn’t carry our fight into their territory.” Shevraeth’s smile was wry. “But you must know how gossip gets distorted when it burns across the countryside, faster than a summer hayfire. And you had given the word of a countess. You have to remember that a good part of our…influence…is vouchsafed in our status, after the manner of centuries of habit. It is a strength and a weakness, a good and an evil.” I winced, thinking of Ara, who knew more about history than I did.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Kshemaraja says: Let people of great intelligence closely understand the Goddess Consciousness who is simultaneously of the nature of both revelation (unmesha) and concealment (nimesha). The best attitude is to regard everything that happens in the group as the play of Chiti. Revelation is Shiva and confusion is also Shiva. However, there is always recourse to A-Statements, statements of present feeling. An A-Statement (I feel mad, sad, bad, scared or glad), is already at a higher level than a statement in which the A-Statement is not acknowledged or expressed. A person might be angry and not know it. That anger will colour all his opinions and attitudes and distort them. The simple statement, ‘I am angry’, is much closer to the truth and also much less destructive. Making A-Statements keeps thought closely tied to feeling. If thought wanders away from feeling, that is, if it is unconscious of the feeling underlying it, it can and does create universes of delusion. When thought is tied to feeling, it becomes much more trustworthy. If I were to look for a scriptural justification of the concept of the A-Statement, I would point to the remarkable verse (I.4) from Spanda Karikas: I am happy, I am miserable, I am attached—these and other cognitions have their being evidently in another in which the states of happiness, misery, etc., are strung together. Notice the A-Statements (I am happy, etc.). Of course, the point that Vasugupta is making has to do with the old debate with the Buddhists. He is saying that these cognitions or A-Statements must exist within an underlying context, the Self. The Buddhist logicians denied the existence of a continuous Self, saying that each mind moment was essentially unrelated to every other one. Leaving that debate aside, the verse suggests the close connection of the A-Statement with the Self. The participant in Shiva Process work makes an A-Statement, understanding that with it he comes to the doorway of the Self, which underlies it. I think of the A-Statement as a kind of Shaivite devotional ritual. The Shaiva yogi sacramentalises every movement and gesture of life and by making a perfect articulation of present feeling, he performs his sacrament to the presence of divinity in that moment. Once the A-Statements are found, expansion takes place via B-Statements, any statements that uplift, and G-Statements, those B-Statements that are scriptural or come from higher Consciousness. Without G-Statements the inquiry might be merely psychological, or rooted in the mundane. Without A-Statements we are building an edifice on shaky foundations. Balance is needed. Mandala of the Hierarchy of Statements. Self-inquiry leads to more subtle and profound understanding. A-Statements set the foundation of present feeling, B-Statements draw on inner wisdom and G-Statements lift the inquiry to higher Consciousness.
Shankarananda (Consciousness Is Everything: The Yoga of Kashmir Shaivism)
We chose not to discuss a world warmed beyond two degrees out of decency, perhaps; or simple fear; or fear of fearmongering; or technocratic faith, which is really market faith; or deference to partisan debates or even partisan priorities; or skepticism about the environmental Left of the kind I'd always had; or disinterest in the fates of distant ecosystems like I'd also always had. We felt confusion about the science and its many technical terms and hard-to-parse numbers, or at least an intuition that others would e easily confused about the science and its many technical terms and hard-to-parse numbers. we suffered from slowness apprehending the speed of change, or semi-conspiratorial confidence in the responsibility of global elites and their institutions, or obeisance toward those elites and their institutions, whatever we thought of them. Perhaps we felt unable to really trust scarier projections because we'd only just heard about warming, we thought, and things couldn't possibly have gotten that much worse just since the first Inconvenient Truth; or because we liked driving our cars and eating our beef and living as we did in every other way and didn't want to think too hard about that; or because we felt so "postindustrial" we couldn't believe we were still drawing material breaths from fossil fuel furnaces. Perhaps it was because we were so sociopathically good at collating bad news into a sickening evolving sense of what constituted "normal," or because we looked outside and things seemed still okay. Because we were bored with writing, or reading, the same story again and again, because climate was so global and therefore nontribal it suggested only the corniest politics, because we didn't yet appreciate how fully it would ravage our lives, and because, selfishly, we didn't mind destroying the planet for others living elsewhere on it or those not yet born who would inherit it from us, outraged. Because we had too much faith in the teleological shape of history and the arrow of human progress to countenance the idea that the arc of history would bend toward anything but environmental justice, too. Because when we were being really honest with ourselves we already thought of the world as a zero-sum resource competition and believed that whatever happened we were probably going to continue to be the victors, relatively speaking anyway, advantages of class being what they are and our own luck in the natalist lottery being what it was. Perhaps we were too panicked about our own jobs and industries to fret about the future of jobs and industry; or perhaps we were also really afraid of robots or were too busy looking at our new phones; or perhaps, however easy we found the apocalypse reflex in our culture and the path of panic in our politics, we truly had a good-news bias when it came to the big picture; or, really, who knows why-there are so many aspects to the climate kaleidoscope that transforms our intuitions about environmental devastation into n uncanny complacency that it can be hard to pull the whole picture of climate distortion into focus. But we simply wouldn't, or couldn't, or anyway didn't look squarely in the face of science.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
The power behind words and voices is substantial to life! I dedicated this book to all of you readers before you even read it, to understand- the book of misunderstandings for the misunderstood. To have a voice, when you were made not have one or told not to have one. Maybe if you are like me, trying to get your voice back this is the story you need. Nonetheless, let us not fail to remember all the voices, which will never speak again, for being rejected and misunderstood.' 'Yes, be that voice with this book, this book is for you, to speak up, and be heard.' 'Why?' 'So, there are no more lost and forgotten voices of life. This book is a stepping stone to abolish bullying altogether, along with your help; we can take that step forward, and forget about the past!' 'At this time, I would like you all to take a moment of silence, to remember someone, that is no longer with us. So, they are not forgotten.' Preface: 'To understand, you must read between the lines of a story just like mine. My wronging if you do not read this book, is you'll find out fast that life is going to suck, and then you make the discovery, that you are going to die alone, and the hex- I have will now be on you.' 'At least that is what I thought; I thought I read, my story before it was written, and this note was the last thing that I was going to write. However, I never realized that there was so much more to life, which I did not appreciate. I came near a stone's throw away from the end. Yet I got additional unplanned lifespans. Yet, was the second chance what I needed?' 'Nevertheless, there were things that I concerned my mind with, which was not substantial to my existence.' 'If anything- learn from me. Try to do the virtuous things I did and not the mistakes I made. Though it is up to you to decide what was good or bad, it is what you feel and believe is morally right in your mind.' 'Yeah- I never really put any thought into what was going to happen to me someday, and the others that are part of my surroundings.' 'However, life goes on, and the existence of what was stands for nothing but- a memory of what you can and cannot have. If you are someone like me, but all I ever wanted was someone that appreciates me. They say life is free or is it. Do I want it- No- not really!' 'The existence of life…!' 'Is what I do not want to have anymore. There must be a way out of all this misery that I live in today? 'They say dying is easy, as well as lasting, and living is difficult and uncertain.' While- I am going to find out!' 'I guess life is all about what you want, need, and love.' 'Likewise, existing in life comes down to what you cannot have in it.' 'All I have to say is don't let anyone or anything pin you down, and make you less than whom you are. Always be whom you were meant to be, regardless of what they say… because who in the hell are they!' 'My story- is somewhat graphic at times, just like looking into a black and white photo of the past in a scrapbook. All the color in it washes away over time, one way or another. Besides all that is left is still frames that keep on fading, and distorting.' 'On the morning I was scheduled to die, I saw my life as if I had lived it to its whole. Oh, the captivating angel beamed lovingly as she roamed forward help me hang myself, a part of me felt death, and other parts of my mind, body, and soul felt as if it would never dye.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Walking the Halls (Nevaeh))
The men who had inhabited prehistoric Egypt, who had carved the Sphinx and founded the world‘s oldest civilization, were men who had made their exodus from Atlantis to settle on this strip of land that bordered the Nile. And they had left before their ill-fated continent sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, a catastrophe which had drained the Sahara and turned it into a desert. The shells which to-day litter the surface of the Sahara in places, as well as the fossil fish which are found among its sands, prove that it was once covered by the waters of a vast ocean. It was a tremendous and astonishing thought that the Sphinx provided a solid, visible and enduring link between the people of to-day and the people of a lost world, the unknown Atlanteans. This great symbol has lost its meaning for the modern world, for whom it is now but an object of local curiosity. What did it mean to the Atlanteans? We must look for some hint of an answer in the few remnants of culture still surviving from peoples whose own histories claimed Atlantean origin. We must probe behind the degenerate rituals of races like the Incas and the Mayas, mounting to the purer worship of their distant ancestors, and we shall find that the loftiest object of their worship was Light, represented by the Sun. Hence they build pyramidal Temples of the Sun throughout ancient America. Such temples were either variants or slightly distorted copies of similar temples which had existed in Atlantis. After Plato went to Egypt and settled for a while in the ancient School of Heliopolis, where he lived and studied during thirteen years, the priest-teachers, usually very guarded with foreigners, favoured the earnest young Greek enquirer with information drawn from their well-preserved secret records. Among other things they told him that a great flat-topped pyramid had stood in the centre of the island of Atlantis, and that on this top there had been build the chief temple of the continent – a sun temple. […] The Sphinx was the revered emblem in stone of a race which looked upon Light as the nearest thing to God in this dense material world. Light is the subtlest, most intangible of things which man can register by means of one of his five senses. It is the most ethereal kind of matter which he knows. It is the most ethereal element science can handle, and even the various kind of invisible rays are but variants of light which vibrate beyond the power of our retinas to grasp. So in the Book of Genesis the first created element was Light, without which nothing else could be created. „The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Deep,“ wrote Egyptian-trained Moses. „And God said, Let there be Light: and there was Light.“ Not only that, it is also a perfect symbol of that heavenly Light which dawns within the deep places of man‘s soul when he yields heart and mind to God; it is a magnificent memorial to that divine illumination which awaits him secretly even amid the blackest despairs. Man, in turning instinctively to the face and presence of the Sun, turns to the body of his Creator. And from the sun, light is born: from the sun it comes streaming into our world. Without the sun we should remain perpetually in horrible darkness; crops would not grow: mankind would starve, die, and disappear from the face of this planet. If this reverence for Light and for its agent, the sun, was the central tenet of Atlantean religion, so also was it the central tenet of early Egyptian religion. Ra, the sun-god, was first, the father and creator of all the other gods, the Maker of all things, the One, the self-born [...] If the Sphinx were connected with this religion of Light, it would surely have some relationship with the sun.
Paul Brunton (A Search in Secret Egypt)
To meditate, stew, and brew on too many negative thoughts, distorts and super-sizes offenses and causes anger.
Stephen L. Bowen
Life is a feeling, not a thought. Thoughts come after life and feeling. Thoughts are outside life, but necessary for balance within our being. We exist in two worlds at the same time, but we are one presence in eternity. The mind distorts our true identity and our view of reality. Think of it like a dog relentlessly chasing its tail. By running in circles, we will never catch it – it’s right where it should be and always has been. We have only to accept that we have one. Someone told us to chase it, but we did not have to.
Robert S. Cosmar
The danger of toxic thinking is it produces an alternate reality, one in which distorted reasoning actually seems to make sense.
Jennie Allen (Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts)
For the world says: 'You have needs, therefore satisfy them, for you have the same rights as the noblest and richest men. Do not be afraid to satisfy them, but even increase them'--this is the current teaching of the world. And in this they see freedom. But what comes of this right to increase one's needs? For the rich, isolation and spiritual suicide; for the poor, envy and murder, for they have been given rights, but have not yet been shown any way of satisfying their needs. We are assured that the world is becoming more and more united, is being formed into brotherly communion, by the shortening of distances, by the transmitting of thoughts through the air. Alas, do not believe in such a union of people. Taking freedom to mean the increase and prompt satisfaction of needs, they distort their own nature, for they generate many meaningless and foolish desires, habits, and the most absurd fancies in themselves. They live only for mutual envy, for pleasure-seeking and self-display.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
A person looking into a carnival mirror couldn’t accurately describe the true person who is being reflected in the mirror. Neither can you accurately say what truth is when you look through the distorted mirror of your soul. The soul within you—how you see a matter—needs to be restored. You do this by exchanging your thoughts for God’s truth.
Tony Evans (A Kid's Guide to the Armor of God)
Once people have developed the thought pattern to constantly construe what happens around them as self-aggrandizing, it’s extremely hard to break them out of it. Any attempt to reason with them is seen as simply another “threat” to their superiority by another person who “can’t handle” how smart/talented/good-looking/successful they are. Entitlement closes in upon itself in a kind of narcissistic bubble, distorting anything and everything in such a way as to reinforce itself.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
You can control your thoughts. Your emotions. Or you can let them control you.
Christy Barritt (Distorted (Cape Thomas #3))
In any arena where you are concerned about failure, the single most destructive thing you can do is nothing. Psychologist David Burns writes about what he calls the cycle of lethargy: When I’m faced with a challenge and I do nothing, it leads to distorted thoughts—that I am helpless, hopeless, and beyond change. These in turn lead to destructive emotions—loss of energy and motivation, damaged self-esteem, feeling overwhelmed. The end result is self-defeating behavior—procrastination, avoidance, and escapism. These behaviors then reinforce negative thoughts, and the whole cycle spirals downward.
John Ortberg Jr. (If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat)
Really, everyday antiracism requires both addressing people’s experiences in the world as racial group members and refusing to distort people’s experiences, thoughts, or abilities by seeing them only or falsely through a racial lens.
Mica Pollock (Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race in School)
Mannheim believed that ideologizing influences, while they could not be eradicated completely, could be mitigated by the systematic analysis of as many as possible of the varying socially grounded positions. In other words, the object of thought becomes progressively clearer with this accumulation of different perspectives on it. This is to be the task of the sociology of knowledge, which thus is to become an important aid in the quest for any correct understanding of human events. Mannheim believed that different social groups vary greatly in their capacity thus to transcend their own narrow position. He placed his major hope in the “socially unattached intelligentsia” (freischwebende Intelligenz, a term derived from Alfred Weber), a sort of interstitial stratum that he believed to be relatively free of class interests. Mannheim also stressed the power of “utopian” thought, which (like ideology) produces a distorted image of social reality, but which (unlike ideology) has the dynamism to transform that reality into its image of it. Needless
Peter L. Berger (The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge)
As we have seen, the modern mind has a distorted image of itself that leads it to neglect some of its own most valuable learning capacities. We now know that the brain is built to linger as well as to rush, and that slow knowing sometimes leads to better answers. We know that knowledge makes itself known through sensations, images, feelings and inklings, as well as through clear, conscious thoughts. Experiments tell us that just interacting with complex situations without trying to figure them out can deliver a quality of understanding that defies reason and articulation. Other studies have shown that confusion may be a vital precursor to the discovery of a good idea. To be able to meet the uncertain challenges of the contemporary world, we need to heed the message of this research, and to expand our repertoire of ways of learning and knowing to reclaim the full gamut of cognitive possibilities.
Guy Claxton (Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: How Intelligence Increases When You Think Less)
By continual watching and expression I must learn to observe my thought and maintain a vigilance, not against “wrong” thoughts, but against refusal to recognize any thought. Further, this introspection meant continual expression, not continual analysis; it meant that I must bring my thoughts and feelings up in their wholeness, not argue about them and try to pretend they were something different from what they were. I had also learnt how to know what I wanted; to know that this is not a simple matter of momentary decision, but that it needs a rigorous watching and fierce discipline, if the clamouring conflict of likes is to be welded into a single desire. It had taught me that my day-to-day personal “wants” were really the expression of deep underlying needs, though often the distorted expression because of the confusions of blind thinking. I had learnt that if I kept my thoughts still enough and looked beneath them, then I might sometimes know what was the real need, feel it like a child leaping in the womb, though so remotely that I might easily miss it when over-busy with purposes. Really, then, I had found that there was an intuitive sense of how to live. For I had been forced to the conclusion that there was more in the mind than just reason and blind thinking, if only you knew how to look for it; the unconscious part of my mind seemed to be definitely something more than a storehouse for the confusions and shames I dared not face. […] It was only when I was actively passive, and content to wait and watch, that I really knew what I wanted.
Marion Milner (A Life of One's Own)
You may think you see the world clearly—that the people in your life and even those you have never met are easily understood—that the things that fill your home, your community, and the world are benign and neutral. But every thing your eyes rest upon, every sound your ears hear, every thought and memory that passes through your awareness is filtered through the distorted lens of your perception. In reality, the people and things that fill your life have only the meaning that you have projected onto them. When we meditate, we pause the perception projector- -however briefly—and we see the world a bit more clearly. It is in this clarity that we find wisdom, compassion, and true healing.
Darren Main (The River of Wisdom: Reflections on Yoga, Meditation, and Mindful Living)
With each new rumor, each new accusation, the way Christians thought about Jews became more and more distorted. Jews were increasingly seen as a powerful threat to Christianity, mainly because until the tenth century, Judaism was a faith that encouraged outsiders to convert.
Phyllis Goldstein (A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism)
Words do not express thoughts very well; everything immediately becomes a little different, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another.
Hermann Hesse
Mimir took a few seconds. “Yes! There’s a...distortion here. An SEP field, maybe?” “What’s that?” asked Lara. “It’s sort of like an invisibility spell.” “I thought invisibility was impossible to achieve.” “It is. This is more of a don’t-notice-what’s-none-of-your-business spell.” “But this is our business.” “Ah, yes, good point.
Gabriele Russo (Inclement Gods (Gods Inc. #2))
Beginning in the seventeenth century, the universe was increasingly thought of as a natural system separate from God. God was thus removed from nature, creating a thorough “disenchantment of nature.”8Separated from the universe, God came increasingly to be thought of as only “out there.” The dominance of supernatural theism in modern Western Christianity has had serious consequences. When “out there” is emphasized and separated from “right here,” God’s relation to the world is distorted, and the notion of God becomes harder and harder to accept. “Out there” means something different for us than it meant when our premodern ancestors used this language. For them, “up there” or “out there” was not very far away. They thought of the universe as small with the earth at its center; the sun, moon, planets, and stars were mounted on a dome not very far above the earth. It is difficult to know how literally they took this language, but the basic notion of a small universe was shared by all. In that context, thinking of God as “our Father who art in heaven” did not make God very far away. But for us, “up there” or “out there” is very far away. If God is only “out there,” as supernatural theism suggests, then God is very distant, not intimately close. God becomes remote, absent. And the difference between a remote and absent God and “no God” is slender. So common is supernatural theism in our time that many people think its concept of God is the only meaning the word “God” can have. For them, believing in God means believing in a personlike being “out there.” Not believing this means not believing in God.
Marcus J. Borg (The Heart of Christianity)
The ghost eagle couldn't plant thoughts in their minds; it could only distort what was already there. But like Jowyn said, they were all more than their worst thoughts. Maybe there were pieces of truth in everything they'd just yelled at one another, but only the most jagged pieces. No one was only the sum of broken things inside themselves.
Alex London (Black Wings Beating (Skybound, #1))
Revaluing is a deep form of Relabeling. Anyone whose grasp of reality is reasonably intact can learn to blame OCD symptoms on a medical condition. But such Relabeling is superficial, leading to no diminution of symptoms or improved ability to cope. This is why classical cognitive therapy (which aims primarily to correct cognitive distortions) seldom helps OCD patients. Revaluing went deeper. Like Relabeling, Reattributing, and Refocusing, Revaluing was intended to enhance patients’ use of mindful awareness, the foundation of Theravada Buddhist philosophy. I therefore began teaching Revaluing by reference to what Buddhist philosophy calls wise (as opposed to unwise) attention. Wise attention means seeing matters as they really are or, literally, “in accordance with the truth.” In the case of OCD, wise attention means quickly recognizing the disturbing thoughts as senseless, as false, as errant brain signals not even worth the gray matter they rode in on, let alone worth acting on. By refusing to take the symptoms at face value, patients come to view them “as toxic waste from my brain,” as the man with chapped hands put it.
Jeffrey M. Schwartz (The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force)
Firestone came to the conclusion that “appraisals and evaluations from others, when they validate a person’s distorted view of himself, tend to arouse an obsessive thought process.” Since we are already tortured by our own critical thoughts and self-attacks, we feel very threatened whenever others attack us the same way.
John Bradshaw (Healing the Shame that Binds You)
Often, automatic thoughts overestimate threats and underestimate our ability to deal with problems. Sometimes they become distorted, but we continue to accept them as true. These thoughts are the result of dysfunctional beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world, and they can be exaggerated by depression or anxiety. These thoughts can be identified, challenged, and replaced with more reasonable thoughts.
Lawrence Wallace (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: 7 Ways to Freedom from Anxiety, Depression, and Intrusive Thoughts (Training, Techniques, Course, Self-Help))