Dominant Personality Quotes

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A genuine relationship is one that is not dominated by the ego with its image-making and self-seeking. In a genuine relationship, there is an outward flow of open, alert attention toward the other person in which there is no wanting whatsoever.
Eckhart Tolle
You're going to meet many people with domineering personalities: the loud, the obnoxious, those that noisily stake their claims in your territory and everywhere else they set foot on. This is the blueprint of a predator. Predators prey on gentleness, peace, calmness, sweetness and any positivity that they sniff out as weakness. Anything that is happy and at peace they mistake for weakness. It's not your job to change these people, but it's your job to show them that your peace and gentleness do not equate to weakness. I have always appeared to be fragile and delicate but the thing is, I am not fragile and I am not delicate. I am very gentle but I can show you that the gentle also possess a poison. I compare myself to silk. People mistake silk to be weak but a silk handkerchief can protect the wearer from a gunshot. There are many people who will want to befriend you if you fit the description of what they think is weak; predators want to have friends that they can dominate over because that makes them feel strong and important. The truth is that predators have no strength and no courage. It is you who are strong, and it is you who has courage. I have lost many a friend over the fact that when they attempt to rip me, they can't. They accuse me of being deceiving; I am not deceiving, I am just made of silk. It is they who are stupid and wrongly take gentleness and fairness for weakness. There are many more predators in this world, so I want you to be made of silk. You are silk.
C. JoyBell C.
Your average witch is not, by nature, a social animal as far as other witches are concerned. There's a conflict of dominant personalities. There's a group of ringleaders without a ring. There's the basic unwritten rule of witchcraft, which is 'Don't do what you will, do what I say.' The natural size of a coven is one. Witches only get together when they can't avoid it.
Terry Pratchett (Witches Abroad (Discworld, #12; Witches, #3))
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
Nelson Mandela
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.
Edward L. Bernays (Propaganda)
The price of privilege is the moral duty to act when one sees another person treated unfairly. And the least that a person in the dominant caste can do is not make the pain any worse.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
The power of a bold idea uttered publicly in defiance of dominant opinion cannot be easily measured. Those special people who speak out in such a way as to shake up not only the self-assurance of their enemies, but the complacency of their friends, are precious catalysts for change.
Howard Zinn (You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times)
From the moment I met you, your personality had the most extraordinary influence over me. I was dominated, soul brain and power.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
What's the matter with her? [Jasper] asked Griffin. Griffin shook his head. 'Nothing. She's just two personas struggling for dominance in one body.' [Jasper] ... Poor little thing.
Kady Cross (The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1))
How can anyone love someone who is less than a full person, unless love itself is domination per se?
Andrea Dworkin (Intercourse)
If there was obsession here—a dominant persistent desire—then it was the desire to lose ourselves in one another. The only problem is that one person is now lost, and the other is trapped.
Ella Frank (Blind Obsession)
Let people realize clearly that every time they threaten someone or humiliate or unnecessarily hurt or dominate or reject another human being, they become forces for the creation of psychopathology, even if these be small forces. Let them recognize that every person who is kind, helpful, decent, psychologically democratic, affectionate, and warm, is a psychotheraputic force, even though a small one.
Abraham H. Maslow
In a society in which nearly everybody is dominated by somebody else's mind or by a disembodied mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn the truth about the activities of governments and corporations, about the quality or value of products, or about the health of one's own place and economy. In such a society, also, our private economies will depend less and less upon the private ownership of real, usable property, and more and more upon property that is institutional and abstract, beyond individual control, such as money, insurance policies, certificates of deposit, stocks, and shares. And as our private economies become more abstract, the mutual, free helps and pleasures of family and community life will be supplanted by a kind of displaced or placeless citizenship and by commerce with impersonal and self-interested suppliers... Thus, although we are not slaves in name, and cannot be carried to market and sold as somebody else's legal chattels, we are free only within narrow limits. For all our talk about liberation and personal autonomy, there are few choices that we are free to make. What would be the point, for example, if a majority of our people decided to be self-employed? The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth - that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community - and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness. A mature person does not fall in love, he or she rises in love. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. Now they cannot manage and they cannot stand. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have the integrity to stand alone. A mature person has the integrity to stand alone. And when a mature person gives love, he or she gives without any strings attached to it. When two mature persons are in love, one of the great paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone. They are together so much that they are almost one. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. Only freedom and love.
Every man who is any kind of artist has a great deal of female in him. I act and give of myself as a man, but I register and receive with the soul of a woman. The only really good artists are feminine. I can't admit the existence of an artist whose dominant personality is masculine.
Orson Welles (My Lunches with Orson)
She was still under the spell of her infatuation. She had tried to forget him, realizing the inutility of remembering. But the thought of him was like an obsession, ever pressing itself upon her. It was not that she dwelt upon details of their acquaintance, or recalled in any special or peculiar way his personality; it was his being, his existence, which dominated her thought, fading sometimes as if it would melt into the mist of the forgotten, reviving again with an intensity which filled her with an incomprehensible longing.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
Woman’s role in creation should be parallel to her role in life. I don’t mean the good earth. I mean the bad earth too, the demon, the instincts, the storms of nature. Tragedies, conflicts, mysteries are personal. Man fabricated a detachment which became fatal. Woman must not fabricate. She must descend into the real womb and expose its secrets and its labyrinths. She must describe it as the city of Fez, with its Arabian Nights gentleness, tranquility and mystery. She must describe the voracious moods, the desires, the worlds contained in each cell of it. For the womb has dreams. It is not as simple as the good earth. I believe at times that man created art out of fear of exploring woman. I believe woman stuttered about herself out of fear of what she had to say. She covered herself with taboos and veils. Man invented a woman to suit his needs. He disposed of her by identifying her with nature and then paraded his contemptuous domination of nature. But woman is not nature only. She is the mermaid with her fish-tail dipped in the unconscious.
Anaïs Nin
In our postmodern culture which is TV dominated, image sensitive, and morally vacuous, personality is everything and character is increasingly irrelevant.
David F. Wells (No Place for Truth: or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?)
To understand a child we have to watch him at play, study him in his different moods; we cannot project upon him our own prejudices, hopes and fears, or mould him to fit the pattern of our desires. If we are constantly judging the child according to our personal likes and dislikes, we are bound to create barriers and hindrances in our relationship with him and in his relationships with the world. Unfortunately, most of us desire to shape the child in a way that is gratifying to our own vanities and idiosyncrasies; we find varying degrees of comfort and satisfaction in exclusive ownership and domination.
J. Krishnamurti (Education and the Significance of Life)
You will be loved the day when you will be able to show your weakness without the other person using it to assert his strength.
Cesare Pavese (Il mestiere di vivere: Diario 1935-1950)
Care and responsibility are constituent elements of love, but without respect for and knowledge of the beloved person, love deteriorates into domination and possessiveness.
Erich Fromm
Each voice carries a portion of value, no matter how unpalatable or distasteful that voice may be: no one person, government, ideology, transnational, or religious institution can own and dominate the whole.
B.W. Powe (Towards a Canada of Light)
Radical empathy, on the other hand, means putting in the work to educate oneself and to listen with a humble heart to understand another's experience from their perspective, not as we imagine we would feel. Radical empathy is not about you and what you think you would do in a situation you have never been in and perhaps never will. It is the kindred connection from a place of deep knowing that opens your spirit to the pain of another as they perceive it. Empathy is no substitute for the experience itself. We don't get to tell a person with a broken leg or a bullet wound that they are not in pain. And people who have hit the caste lottery are not in a position to tell a person who has suffered under the tyranny of caste what is offensive or hurtful or demeaning to those at the bottom. The price of privilege is the moral duty to act when one sees another person treated unfairly. And the least that a person in the dominant caste can do is not make the pain any worse.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will come out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping, we are becoming.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I wish I could get Keiran to tell me about his past. I feel like it has everything to do with why he is this way. You ever think he might just have a really dominant personality?
B.B. Reid (Fear Me (Broken Love, #1))
Since Dominic's been sleeping with me, the mice have been trying various labels on him, looking for one that fits. My personal favorite was the week they spent calling him "the God of Absolutely Never Smiling, No, Not Ever.
Seanan McGuire (Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid, #2))
The increasing tendency towards seeing people in terms of one dominant ‘identity’ (‘this is your duty as an American’, ‘you must commit these acts as a Muslim’, or ‘as a Chinese you should give priority to this national engagement’) is not only an imposition of an external and arbitrary priority, but also the denial of an important liberty of a person who can decide on their respective loyalties to different groups (to all of which he or she belongs).
Amartya Sen (The Idea of Justice)
The veil deliberately marks women as private and restricted property, nonpersons. The veil sets women apart from men and apart from the world; it restrains them, confines them, grooms them for docility. A mind can be cramped just as a body may be, and a Muslim veil blinkers both your vision and your destiny. It is the mark of a kind of apartheid, not the domination of a race but of a sex.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations)
How are you coming with your home library? Do you need some good ammunition on why it's so important to read? The last time I checked the statistics...I think they indicated that only four percent of the adults in this country have bought a book within the past year. That's dangerous. It's extremely important that we keep ourselves in the top five or six percent. In one of the Monthly Letters from the Royal Bank of Canada it was pointed out that reading good books is not something to be indulged in as a luxury. It is a necessity for anyone who intends to give his life and work a touch of quality. The most real wealth is not what we put into our piggy banks but what we develop in our heads. Books instruct us without anger, threats and harsh discipline. They do not sneer at our ignorance or grumble at our mistakes. They ask only that we spend some time in the company of greatness so that we may absorb some of its attributes. You do not read a book for the book's sake, but for your own. You may read because in your high-pressure life, studded with problems and emergencies, you need periods of relief and yet recognize that peace of mind does not mean numbness of mind. You may read because you never had an opportunity to go to college, and books give you a chance to get something you missed. You may read because your job is routine, and books give you a feeling of depth in life. You may read because you did go to college. You may read because you see social, economic and philosophical problems which need solution, and you believe that the best thinking of all past ages may be useful in your age, too. You may read because you are tired of the shallowness of contemporary life, bored by the current conversational commonplaces, and wearied of shop talk and gossip about people. Whatever your dominant personal reason, you will find that reading gives knowledge, creative power, satisfaction and relaxation. It cultivates your mind by calling its faculties into exercise. Books are a source of pleasure - the purest and the most lasting. They enhance your sensation of the interestingness of life. Reading them is not a violent pleasure like the gross enjoyment of an uncultivated mind, but a subtle delight. Reading dispels prejudices which hem our minds within narrow spaces. One of the things that will surprise you as you read good books from all over the world and from all times of man is that human nature is much the same today as it has been ever since writing began to tell us about it. Some people act as if it were demeaning to their manhood to wish to be well-read but you can no more be a healthy person mentally without reading substantial books than you can be a vigorous person physically without eating solid food. Books should be chosen, not for their freedom from evil, but for their possession of good. Dr. Johnson said: "Whilst you stand deliberating which book your son shall read first, another boy has read both.
Earl Nightingale
The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.
Zbigniew Brzeziński (Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era)
Relinquishing control to another person is like death: it’s only scary until it finally happens.
Agnostic Zetetic
The pleasure in complete domination over another person (or other animate creature) is the very essence of the sadistic drive. Another way of formulating the same thought is to say that the aim of sadism is to transform man into a thing, something animate into something inanimate, since by complete and absolute control the living loses one essential quality of life - freedom.
Erich Fromm (El corazón del hombre: Su potencia para el bien y para el mal)
Until one nation ceases its attempts to dominate another, there will never be true freedom. Until one religion relinquishes its quest to prove its god superior to that of another, there shall never be world peace. We will never truly prosper or experience lasting harmony, until we refrain from preaching the gospel of our own moral values and our personal preferences by forcing it upon others.
Anthon St. Maarten (Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny)
Often, being a person of color in white-dominated society is like being in an abusive relationship with the world.
Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race)
Many people confuse a Dom personality with a Dom's position of authority. The two are not exactly the same or interchangeable. A true Dom dominates. Plain and simple. And by dominate, we mean does what it takes to get a job done. Even if that means submit.
Lucian Bane (Dom Wars: Round One (Dom Wars, #1))
Each person’s life is dominated by a central event, which shapes and distorts everything that comes after it and, in retrospect, everything that came before.
Suketu Mehta (Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found)
The psyche cannot tolerate a vacuum of love. In the severely abused or deprived child, pain, dis-ease, and violance rush in to fill the void. In the average person in our culture, who has been only "normally" deprived of touch, anxiety and an insatiable hunger for posessions replace the missing eros. The child lacking a sense of welcome, joyous belonging, gratuitous security, will learn to hoard the limited supply of affection. According to the law of psychic compensation, not being held leads to holding on, grasping, addiction, posessiveness. Gradually, things replace people as a source of pleasure and security. When the gift of belonging with is denied, the child learns that love means belongin to. To the degree we are arrested at this stage of development, the needy child will dominate our motivations. Other people and things (and there is fundamentally no difference) will be seen as existing solely for the purpose of "my" survival and satisfaction. "Mine" will become the most important word.
Sam Keen (The Passionate Life: Stages of Loving)
The cowardly belief that a person must stay in one place is too reminiscent of the unquestioning resignation of animals, beasts of burden stupefied by servitude and yet always willing to accept the slipping on of the harness. There are limits to every domain, and laws to govern every organized power. But the vagrant owns the whole vast earth that ends only at the non-existent horizon, and her empire is an intangible one, for her domination and enjoyment of it are things of the spirit.
Isabelle Eberhardt
We all have demons inside us, Nick. The Tsalagi have an old saying—every heart holds two wolves. One is the white wolf, who is made up of love, kindness, respect, decency, compassion, and all the things that are good in life. The black wolf is born of jealousy, hatred, pettiness, prejudice, vindictiveness, and all the poisons of the human personality. The two constantly war with each other for dominance. And one day, one wolf will overtake and devour the other.” - Acheron
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Inferno (Chronicles of Nick, #4))
ABUSIVE MEN COME in every personality type, arise from good childhoods and bad ones, are macho men or gentle, “liberated” men. No psychological test can distinguish an abusive man from a respectful one. Abusiveness is not a product of a man’s emotional injuries or of deficits in his skills. In reality, abuse springs from a man’s early cultural training, his key male role models, and his peer influences. In other words, abuse is a problem of values, not of psychology. When someone challenges an abuser’s attitudes and beliefs, he tends to reveal the contemptuous and insulting personality that normally stays hidden, reserved for private attacks on his partner. An abuser tries to keep everybody—his partner, his therapist, his friends and relatives—focused on how he feels, so that they won’t focus on how he thinks, perhaps because on some level he is aware that if you grasp the true nature of his problem, you will begin to escape his domination.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
The more critical reason dominates, the more impoverished life becomes. When reason is overvalued, the individual suffers a loss. Relying more on facts and rationality than on imagination and theory detracts from the quality of a person's intellectual life.
C.G. Jung
[The] insistence on the absolutely indiscriminate nature of compassion within the Kingdom is the dominant perspective of almost all of Jesus' teaching. What is indiscriminate compassion? 'Take a look at a rose. Is is possible for the rose to say, "I'll offer my fragrance to good people and withhold it from bad people"? Or can you imagine a lamp that withholds its rays from a wicked person who seeks to walk in its light? It could do that only be ceasing to be a lamp. And observe how helplessly and indiscriminately a tree gives its shade to everyone, good and bad, young and old, high and low; to animals and humans and every living creature -- even to the one who seeks to cut it down. This is the first quality of compassion -- its indiscriminate character.' (Anthony DeMello, The Way to Love)... What makes the Kingdom come is heartfelt compassion: a way of tenderness that knows no frontiers, no labels, no compartmentalizing, and no sectarian divisions.
Brennan Manning (Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging)
If all you had ever felt toward another person were the cold wish to “win,” how would you understand the meaning of love, of friendship, of caring? You would not understand. You would simply go on dominating, and denying, and feeling superior. Perhaps you would experience a little emptiness sometimes, a remote sense of dissatisfaction, but that is all.
Martha Stout (The Sociopath Next Door)
When fear is the dominant emotion in a flashback the person feels extremely anxious, panicky or even suicidal.
Pete Walker (Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving)
The courtroom is one instance of the fact that while our society may be liberal and democratic in some large and vague sense, its moving parts, its smaller chambers--its classrooms, its workplaces, its corporate boardrooms, its jails, its military barracks--are flagrantly undemocratic, dominated by one commanding person or a tiny elite of power.
Howard Zinn (You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times)
A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives. And when a mature person gives love, he feels grateful that you have accepted his love, not vice versa. He does not expect you to be thankful for it – no, not at all, he does not even need your thanks. He thanks you for accepting his love. And when two mature persons are in love, one of the greatest paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone, they are together so much so that they are almost one. But their oneness does not destroy their individuality; in fact, it enhances it: they become more individual. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. How can you dominate the person you love? Just think over it. Domination is a sort of hatred, anger, enmity. How can you even think of dominating a person you love? You would love to see the person totally free, independent; you will give him more individuality. That’s why I call it the greatest paradox: they are together so much so that they are almost one, but still in that oneness they are individuals. Their individualities are not effaced; they have become more enhanced. The other has enriched them as far as their freedom is concerned. Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness. Remember, freedom is a higher value than love. That’s why, in India, the ultimate we call moksha. Moksha means freedom. Freedom is a higher value than love. So if love is destroying freedom, it is not of worth. Love can be dropped, freedom has to be saved; freedom is a higher value. And without freedom you can never be happy, that is not possible. Freedom is the intrinsic desire of each man, each woman – utter freedom, absolute freedom. So anything that becomes destructive to freedom, one starts hating it. Don’t you hate the man you love? Don’t you hate the woman you love? You hate; it is a necessary evil, you have to tolerate it. Because you cannot be alone you have to manage to be with somebody, and you have to adjust to the other’s demands. You have to tolerate, you have to bear them. Love, to be really love, has to be being-love, gift-love. Being-love means a state of love. When you have arrived home, when you have known who you are, then a love arises in your being. Then the fragrance spreads and you can give it to others. How can you give something which you don’t have? To give it, the first basic requirement is to have it.
Osho (Tantric Transformation: When Love Meets Meditation)
You can’t just be. You have to become.
Dominic Riccitello
I’ve never loved the wrong person, but I have loved the right people at the wrong time. The wrong life. The wrong moment.
Dominic Riccitello
The dominance of former communists and the insufficient discussion of the past in the post-communist world is not coincidental. To put it bluntly, former communists have a clear interest in concealing the past: it tarnishes them, undermines them, hurts their claims to be carrying out 'reforms,' even when they personally had nothing to do with the past crimes.
Anne Applebaum (Gulag: A History)
There’s always been something inside her that men have wanted to dominate, and their desire for domination can look so much like attraction, even love. In school the boys had tried to break her with cruelty and disregard, and in college men had tried to do it with sex and popularity, all with the same aim of subjugating some force in her personality. It depressed her to think people were so predictable. Whether she was respected or despised, it didn’t make much difference in the end. Would every stage of her life continue to reveal itself as the same thing, again and again, the same remorseless contest for dominance?
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
The test of character posed by the gentleness of God's approach to us is especially dangerous for those formed by the ideas that dominate our modern world. We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. The fashion of the age has identified mental sharpness with a pose, not with genuine intellectual method and character. Only a very hardy individualist or social rebel -- or one desperate for another life -- therefore stands any chance of discovering the substantiality of the spiritual life today. Today it is the skeptics who are the social conformists, though because of powerful intellectual propaganda they continue to enjoy thinking of themselves as wildly individualistic and unbearably bright.
Dallas Willard
Arobynn continued to pin her with that lover’s gaze. “Nothing is without a price.” He brushed a kiss against her cheekbone, his lips soft and warm. She fought the shudder that trembled through her, and made herself lean into him as he brought his mouth against her ear and whispered, “Tell me what I must do to atone; tell me to crawl over hot coals, to sleep on a bed of nails, to carve up my flesh. Say the word, and it is done. But let me care for you as I once did, before … before that madness poisoned my heart. Punish me, torture me, wreck me, but let me help you. Do this small thing for me—and let me lay the world at your feet.” Her throat went dry, and she pulled back far enough to look into that handsome, aristocratic face, the eyes shining with a grief and a predatory intent she could almost taste. If Arobynn knew about her history with Chaol, and had summoned the captain here … Had it been for information, to test her, or some grotesque way to assure himself of his dominance? “There is nothing—” “No—not yet,” he said, stepping away. “Don’t say it yet. Sleep on it. Though, before you do—perhaps pay a visit to the southeastern section of the tunnels tonight. You might find the person you’re looking for.” She kept her face still—bored even—as she tucked away the information. Arobynn moved toward the crowded room, where his three assassins were alert and ready, and then looked back at her. “If you are allowed to change so greatly in two years, may I not be permitted to have changed as well?
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
In preparing for this ceremony," Kai said, setting the bouquet on the mantel behind him, "I did some research and learned that the word Alpha has held many meanings across history. Alpha can refer to the first of something," said Kai, "or the beginning of everything. It can be attributed to a particularly powerful or charismatic person, or it can signify the dominant leader in a pack of animals, most notably, of course, wolves." His serious expression tweaked briefly into a teasing smile. "It has meanings in chemistry, physics, and even astronomy, where it describes the brightest star in a constellation. But it seems clear that Ze’ev and Scarlet have created their own definition for the word, and their relationship has given this word a new meaning for all of us. Being an Alpha means that you’ll stand against all adversity to be with your mate. It means accepting each other, both for your strengths and your flaws. It means forging your own path to happiness and to love.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
God did not make this person as I would have made him. He did not give him to me as a brother for me to dominate and control, but in order that I might find above him the Creator. Now the other person, in the freedom with which he was created, becomes the occasion of joy, whereas before he was only a nuisance and an affliction. God does not will that I should fashion the other person according to the image that seems good to me, that is, in my own image; rather in his very freedom from me God made this person in His image. I can never know beforehand how God's image should appear in others. That image always manifests a completely new and unique form that comes solely from God's free and sovereign creation. To me the sight may seem strange, even ungodly. But God creates every man in the likeness of His Son, the Crucified. After all, even that image certainly looked strange and ungodly to me before I grasped it.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian in Community)
Above and beyond all else it must be borne in mind that hatred tends to dry up the springs of creative thought in the life of the hater, so that his resourcefulness becomes completely focused on the negative aspects of his environment. The urgent needs of the personality for creative expression are starved to death. A man's horizon may become so completely dominated by the intense character of his hatred that there remains no creative residue in his mind and spirit to give to great ideas, to great concepts.
Howard Thurman (Jesus and the Disinherited)
For many women today, on a personal level, the problem is not male dominance so much as male desertion.
Nancy R. Pearcey (Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity)
I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination,” he told the court. “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realized. But my lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
Nelson Mandela
This isn't about love and hate," Helen says. It's about control. People don't sit down and read a poem to kill their child. They just want the child to sleep. They just want to dominate. No matter how much you love someone, you still want to have your own way. The masochist bullies the sadist into action. The most passive person is actually an aggressor.
Chuck Palahniuk (Lullaby)
Spending a night out drinking is akin to dismantling every piece of protection we have—our cognition, our decision making, our reaction time, our memory, our standards, our voice. If we thought about alcohol in this way—as something that undermines our collective momentum and personal agency and vitality and self-worth—what would that mean for us? What if we all rejected the poison—then what? I’ll tell you what: world domination, bitches.
Holly Whitaker (Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol)
She had tried to forget him, realizing the inutility of remembering. But the thought of him was like an obsession, ever pressing itself upon her. It was not that she dwelt upon details of their acquaintance, or recalled in any special or peculiar way his personality; it was his being, his existence, which dominated her thought, fading sometimes as if it would melt into the mist of the forgotten, reviving again with an intensity which filled her with an incomprehensible longing.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
Some people, from what I've seen, boo, when they lie, they become very still and centered and their gaze very concentrated and intense. They try to dominate the person they lie to. The person to whom they're lying. Another type becomes fluttery and insubstantial and punctuates his lie with little self-deprecating motions and sounds, as if credulity were the same as pity. Some bury the lie in so many digressions and asides that they like try to slip the lie in there through all the extraneous data like a tiny bug through a windowscreen ... Then there are what I might call your Kamikaze-style liars. These'll tell you a surreal and fundamentally incredible lie, and then pretend a crisis of conscience and retract the original lie, and then offer you the like they really want you to buy instead, so the real lie'll appear a some kind of concession, a settlement with through. That type's mercifully easy to see through ... Or then the type who sort of overelaborates on the lie, buttresses it with rococo formations of detail and amendment, and that's how you can always tell ... So Now I've established a subtype of the over-elaborator type. This is the liar who used to be an over-elaborator and but has somehow snapped to the fact that rococo elaborations give him away every time, so he changes and now lies tersely, sparely, seeming somehow bored, like what he's saying is too obviously true to waste time on.
David Foster Wallace
In the theater of the past that is constituted by memory, the stage setting maintains the characters in their dominant roles . . . . And if we want to go beyond history, or even, while remaining in history, detach from our own history the always too contingent history of the persons who have encumbered it, we realize that the calendars of our lives can only be established in its imagery.
Gaston Bachelard (The Poetics of Space)
Let people become the persons they want to be, not the person you want them to be.
Tirumalai S. Srivatsan
The cause of all our personal problems and nearly all the problems of the world can be summed up in a single sentence: Human life is very deep, and our modern dominant lifestyle is not.
Bo Lozoff
Our personal identities are socially situated. We are where we live, eat, work, and make love. [...] Our sense of identity is in large measure conferred on us by others in the ways they treat or mistreat us, recognize or ignore us, praise us or punish us. Some people make us timid and shy; others elicit our sex appeal and dominance. In some groups we are made leaders, while in others we are reduced to being followers. We come to live up to or down to the expectations others have of us. The expectations of others often become self-fulfilling prophecies. Without realizing it, we often behave in ways that confirm the beliefs others have about us. Those subjective beliefs create new realities for us. We often become who other people think we are, in their eyes and in our behavior.
Philip G. Zimbardo (The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil)
In societies reduced to blur and glut, terror is the only meaningful act. There's too much everything, more things and messages and meanings that we can use in ten thousand lifetimes. Inertia-hysteria. Is history possible? Is anyone serious? Who do we take serious? Only the lethal believer, the person who kills and dies for faith. Everything else is absorbed. The artist is absorbed, the madman in the street is absorbed an processed and incorporated. Give him a dollar, put him in a TV commercial. Only the terrorists stand outside. The culture hasn't figured out how to assimilate him. It's confusing when they kill the innocent. But this is precisely the language of being noticed, the only language the West understands. The way they determine how we see them. The way they dominate the rush of endless streaming images.
Don DeLillo (Mao II)
Historical consciousness therefore leaves you, as does maturity itself, with a simultaneous sense of your own significance and insignificance. Like Friedrich's wanderer, you dominate a landscape even as you're diminished by it. You're suspended between sensibilities that are at odds with one another, but it's precisely within that suspension that your own identity--whether as a person or a historian--tends to reside. Self-doubt must always precede self-confidence. It should never, however, cease to accompany, challenge, and by these means discipline self-confidence.
John Lewis Gaddis (The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past)
It is a common belief that we breathe with our lungs alone, but in point of fact, the work of breathing is done by the whole body. The lungs play a passive role in the respiratory process. Their expansion is produced by an enlargement, mostly downward, of the thoracic cavity and they collapse when that cavity is reduced. Proper breathing involves the muscles of the head, neck, thorax, and abdomen. It can be shown that chronic tension in any part of the body's musculature interferes with the natural respiratory movements. Breathing is a rhythmic activity. Normally a person at rest makes approximately 16 to 17 respiratory incursions a minute. The rate is higher in infants and in states of excitation. It is lower in sleep and in depressed persons. The depth of the respiratory wave is another factor which varies with emotional states. Breathing becomes shallow when we are frightened or anxious. It deepens with relaxation, pleasure and sleep. But above all, it is the quality of the respiratory movements that determines whether breathing is pleasurable or not. With each breath a wave can be seen to ascend and descend through the body. The inspiratory wave begins deep in the abdomen with a backward movement of the pelvis. This allows the belly to expand outward. The wave then moves upward as the rest of the body expands. The head moves very slightly forward to suck in the air while the nostrils dilate or the mouth opens. The expiratory wave begins in the upper part of the body and moves downward: the head drops back, the chest and abdomen collapse, and the pelvis rocks forward. Breathing easily and fully is one of the basic pleasures of being alive. The pleasure is clearly experienced at the end of expiration when the descending wave fills the pelvis with a delicious sensation. In adults this sensation has a sexual quality, though it does not induce any genital feeling. The slight backward and forward movements of the pelvis, similar to the sexual movements, add to the pleasure. Though the rhythm of breathing is pronounced in the pelvic area, it is at the same time experienced by the total body as a feeling of fluidity, softness, lightness and excitement. The importance of breathing need hardly be stressed. It provides the oxygen for the metabolic processes; literally it supports the fires of life. But breath as "pneuma" is also the spirit or soul. We live in an ocean of air like fish in a body of water. By our breathing we are attuned to our atmosphere. If we inhibit our breathing we isolate ourselves from the medium in which we exist. In all Oriental and mystic philosophies, the breath holds the secret to the highest bliss. That is why breathing is the dominant factor in the practice of Yoga.
Alexander Lowen (The Voice of the Body)
Masculinity is simply a conglomeration of the personality traits necessary for the patriarchal soldier-rapist: physically strong, emotionally cauterized, rational, domineering, cruel. All of this is supposed to add up to "handsome" as well. Likewise femininity is ultimately a description of the personality that results from trauma and powerlessness: weak, passive, yielding, emotional, hyper-vigilant to the needs of the dominators and desperate for the dominator's attention.
Lierre Keith
Feminist effort to end patriarchal domination should be of primary concern precisely because it insists on the eradication of exploitation and oppression in the family context and in all other intimate relationships. It is that political movement which most radically addresses the person – the personal – citing the need for the transformation of self, of relationships, so that we might be better able to act in a revolutionary manner, challenging and resisting domination, transforming the world outside the self.
bell hooks (Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black)
No matter how bad you feel, God never sees you as a reckless person. He may see you as a sinner who needs to be re-washed to get back to his old vision for His purpose, but He will never see you as a hopeless being who was created for nothing. Now if God will not see you as hopeless, why then should you see yourself that way? Be bold to say am qualified to dominate the world!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
Dad always warned that it was misleading when one imagined people, when one sas them in the Mind's Eye, because one never remembered them as they really were, with as many inconsistencies as there were hairs on a human head (100,000 to 200,000). Instead, the mind used a lazy shorthand, smoothed the person over into their most dominating characteristic--their pessimism or insecurity (something really being lazy, turning them into either Nice or Mean)--and one made the mistake of judging them from this basis alone and risked, on a subsequent encounter, being dangerously surprised.
Marisha Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
We must realize that we are all, like Dr. Faust, ready to accept the devil's inducements. The devil is in each one of us in the form of an ego that promises the fulfillment of desire on condition that we become subservient to its striving to dominate. The domination of the personality by the ego is a diabolical perversion of the nature of man. The ego was never intended to be the master of the body, but its loyal and obedient servant. The body, as opposed to the ego, desires pleasure, not power. Bodily pleasure is the source from which all our good feelings and good thinking stems. If the bodily pleasure of an individual is destroyed, he becomes an angry, frustrated, and hateful person. His thinking becomes distorted, and his creative potential is lost. He develops self-destructive attitudes.
Alexander Lowen (Pleasure)
The truth is, I hate not being the first person narrator all the way through! To paraphrase David Copperfield, I don't know whether I'm the hero or the victim of this tale. But either way, shouldn't I dominate it?
Anne Rice (The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3))
All the towering materialism which dominates the modern mind rests ultimately upon one assumption; a false assumption. It is supposed that if a thing goes on repeating itself it is probably dead; a piece of clockwork. People feel that if the universe was personal it would vary; if the sun were alive it would dance. This is a fallacy even in relation to known fact. For the variation in human affairs is generally brought into them, not by life, but by death; by the dying down or breaking off of their strength or desire. A man varies his movements because of some slight element of failure or fatigue. He gets into an omnibus because he is tired of walking; or he walks because he is tired of sitting still. But if his life and joy were so gigantic that he never tired of going to Islington, he might go to Islington as regularly as the Thames goes to Sheerness. The very speed and ecstacy of his life would have the stillness of death. The sun rises every morning. I do not rise every morning; but the variation is due not to my activity, but to my inaction. Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE. Heaven may ENCORE the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant it may stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be his positively last appearance.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
A loving Personality dominates the Bible, walking among the trees of the garden and breathing fragrance over every scene.
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine)
He wasn’t a good person, but I painted him to be and since I painted it, I believed it.
Dominic Riccitello
How then can the US society come to terms with its past? How can it acknowledge responsibility? The late Native historian Jack Forbes always stressed that while living persons are not responsible for what their ancestors did, they are responsible for the society they live in, which is a product of that past. Assuming this responsibility provides a means of survival and liberation. Everyone and everything in the world is affected, for the most part negatively, by US dominance and intervention, often violently through direct military means or through proxies.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Science is far from the objective and impartial search for incontrovertible truths that nonscientists might imagine. It is, in fact, a social endeavor where dominating personalities and disciples of often defunct yet influential scholars determine what is “common knowledge.
Svante Pääbo (Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes)
I'm talking about an intense, private bonding between a dominant personality and a submissive one. Between two people who have chosen to make a loving gift to one another of themselves...not just of their bodies, but of the parts of themselves that they hold back from the rest of the world. The control dynamic in a relationship like that may look uneven, but the power is really quite...balanced
Indigo Wren (The Trap)
In a situation of manipulation, the Left is almost always tempted by a “quick return to power,” forgets the necessity of joining with the oppressed to forge an organization, and strays into an impossible “dialogue” with the dominant elites. It ends by being manipulated by these elites, and not infrequently itself falls in an elitist game, which it calls “realism.” Manipulation, like the conquest whose objectives it serves, attempts to anesthetize the people so they will not think. For if the people join to their presence in the historical process critical thinking about that process, the threat of their emergence materializes in revolution…One of the methods of manipulation is to inoculate individuals with the bourgeois appetite for personal success. This manipulation is sometimes carried out directly by the elites and sometimes indirectly, through populist leaders.
Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
Rwanda will never ever leave me. It's in the pores of my body. My soul is in those hills, my spirit is with the spirits of all those people who were slaughtered and killed that I know of, and many that I didn't know. … Fifty to sixty thousand people walking in the rain and the mud to escape being killed, and seeing a person there beside the road dying. We saw lots of them dying. And lots of those eyes still haunt me, angry eyes or innocent eyes, no laughing eyes. But the worst eyes that haunt me are the eyes of those people who were totally bewildered. They're looking at me with my blue beret and they're saying, "What in the hell happened? We were moving towards peace. You were there as the guarantor" -- their interpretation -- "of the mandate. How come I'm dying here?" Those eyes dominated and they're absolutely right. How come I failed? How come my mission failed? How come as the commander who has the total responsibility-- We learn that, it's ingrained in us, because when we take responsibility it means the responsibility of life and death, of humans that we love.
Roméo Dallaire
This medicinal potion was additionally consumed as part of a sacred ritual known as Sōmayajña where the Yogis that Jesus himself had taught were helped to reach an enlightened trance. In effect, Jesus had developed the Nirvanalaksanayoga Tantra specifically for women, to heal them from the psychological damage and abuse they had to endure at the hands of men. He wanted to enable them to rise above patriarchal dominance, realise their highest potential, and then he would guide them towards an enlightened state. The first person to benefit from this privilege was Mari (Mary Magdalene) herself. Jesus began teaching this discipline in every place that he visited: from Kashmir in the northernmost region of the Indian subcontinent, to Uttar Pradesh, and Mari would accompany him on every journey he embarked on, from east of the Indus to Nepal.
Anton Sammut (The Secret Gospel Of Jesus AD 0-78)
Those who claim that any woman can reprogram her consciousness if only she is sufficiently determined hold a shallow view of the nature of patriarchal oppression. Anything done can be undone, it is implied; nothing has been permanently damaged, nothing irretrievably lost. But this is tragically false. One of the evils of a system of oppression is that it may damage people in ways that cannot always be undone. Patriarchy invades the intimate recesses of personality where it may maim and cripple the spirit forever.
Sandra Lee Bartky (Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression (Thinking Gender))
If you've gone along with Morgan's plan enough to get this note, then I presume you're planning to go through with it. Let me give you some friendly advice about the toys in this case. First, if you don't know what it is, don't even think about using it. Second, if you don't know how to use it properly, don't even think about using it. (Hint: You don't know how to use the crop, the flogger, or the paddle, even if you think you do.) Third make sure Morgan always has a way to signal she wants to stop, and respect the signal if she gives it. And last but not least, if you ignore my advice, I'm going to come over there personally and kick your ass! Don't think because I'm gay I can't do it. Respect and treasure the power she's putting in your hands, and don't abuse it. (Dominic)
Jenna Black (Speak of the Devil (Morgan Kingsley, #4))
As long as Christianity is the dominant belief system in America, we cannot afford to be biblically or theologically illiterate, regardless of our personal beliefs. (p. 8)
Robin R. Meyers (Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus)
The natural ups and downs of life can either generate personal growth or create personal fears. Which of these dominates is completely dependent upon how we view change.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
If, as a white person, I conceptualize racism as a binary and I see myself on the "not racist" side, what further action is required of me? No action is required at all, because I am not a racist. Therefore racism is not my problem; it doesn't concern me and there is nothing further I need to do. This guarantees that, as a member of the dominant group, I will not build my skills in thinking critically about racism or use my position to challenge racial inequality.
Robin DiAngelo (What Does It Mean to Be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy (Counterpoints))
Land was wealth 300 years ago. So the person who owned the land owned the wealth. Then, it was factories and production, and America rose to dominance. The industrialist owned the wealth. Today, it is information. And the person who has the most timely information owns the wealth.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money-That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not)
From this day forward, I vowed to myself, I was in control of my life. Not fate, not God, not even Chris was ever again going to tell me what to do, or dominate me in any way. From this day forward, I was my own person, to take what I would, when I would, and I would answer only to myself.
V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1))
And then again, there was something painfully familiar in the menace and male jocularity of that tape. I can hurt you and get away with it. ... Every woman I know recognized it. Every person who's ever been made to feel 'other' recognized it. ... Dominance, even the threat of it, is a form of dehumanization. It's the ugliest kind of power.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
But one does not liberate someone by alienating them. Authentic liberation--the process of humanization--is not another deposit to be made in a person. Liberation is a praxis: action and reflection upon the world in order to transform it. Those truly committed to the cause of liberation can accept neither the mechanistic concept of consciousness as an empty vessel to be filled, nor the use of banking [pedagogical] methods of domination (propaganda, slogans--deposits) in the name of liberation.
Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
The cult of self dominates our cultural landscape. This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity, and self-importance; a need for constant stimulation, a penchant for lying, deception, and manipulation, and the inability to feel remorse or guilt. This is, of course, the ethic promoted by corporations. It is the ethic of unfettered capitalism. It is the misguided belief that personal style and personal advancement, mistaken for individualism, are the same as democratic equality. In fact, personal style, defined by the commodities we buy or consume, has become a compensation for our loss of democratic equality. We have a right, in the cult of the self, to get whatever we desire. We can do anything, even belittle and destroy those around us, including our friends, to make money, to be happy, and to become famous. Once fame and wealth are achieved, they become their own justification, their own morality. How one gets there is irrelevant. Once you get there, those questions are no longer asked.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
A child who is being abused on an ongoing basis needs to be able to function despite the trauma that dominates his or her daily life. That becomes the job of at least one ANP [apparently normal part of the personality], whom the child creates to be unaware of the abuse and also of the multiplicity, and to “pass as normal” in the real world. The ANP is just an alter specialized for handling the adult world—in other words, the “front person” for the system.
Alison Miller (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
Often black people, especially non-gay folk, become enraged when they hear a white person who is gay suggest homosexuality is synonymous with the suffering people experience as a consequence of racial exploitation and oppression. The need to make gay experience and black experience of oppression synonymous seems to be one that surfaces much more in the minds of white people. Too often it is a way of minimizing or diminishing the particular problems people of color face in a white supremacist society, especially the problems ones encounter because they do not have white skin. Many of us have been in discussions where a non-white person – a black person – struggles to explain to white folks that while we can acknowledge that gay people of all colors are harassed and suffer exploitation and domination, we also recognize that there is a significant difference that arises because of the visibility of dark skin. Often homophobic attacks on gay people of all occur in situations where knowledge of sexual preference is established – outside of gay bars, for example. While it in no way lessens the severity of such suffering for gay people, or the fear that it causes, it does mean that in a given situation the apparatus of protection and survival may be simply not identifying as gay. In contrast, most people of color have no choice. No one can hide, change or mask dark skin color. White people, gay and straight, could show greater understanding of the impact of racial oppression on people of color by not attempting to make these oppressions synonymous, but rather by showing the ways they are linked and yet differ. Concurrently, the attempt by white people to make synonymous experience of homophobic aggression with racial oppression deflects attention away from the particular dual dilemma that non-white gay people face, as individuals who confront both racism and homophobia.
bell hooks (Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black)
The common element in both submission and domination is the symbiotic nature of relatedness. Both persons involved have lost their integrity and freedom; they live on each other and from each other, satisfying their craving for closeness, yet suffering from the lack of inner strength and self-reliance which would require freedom and independence, and furthermore constantly threatened by the conscious or unconscious hostility which is bound to arise from the symbiotic relationship.10 The realization of the submissive (masochistic) or the domineering (sadistic) passion never leads to satisfaction.
Erich Fromm (The Sane Society)
I’m such a negative person, and always have been. Was I born that way? I don’t know. I am constantly disgusted by reality, horrified and afraid. I cling desperately to the few things that give me some solace, that make me feel good. I hate most of humanity. Though I might be very fond of particular individuals, humanity in general fills me with contempt and despair. I hate most of what passes for civilization. I hate the modern world. For one thing there are just too Goddamn many people. I hate the hordes, the crowds in their vast cities, with all their hateful vehicles, their noise and their constant meaningless comings and goings. I hate cars. I hate modern architecture. Every building built after 1955 should be torn down! I despise modern music. Words cannot express how much it gets on my nerves – the false, pretentious, smug assertiveness of it. I hate business, having to deal with money. Money is one of the most hateful inventions of the human race. I hate the commodity culture, in which everything is bought and sold. No stone is left unturned. I hate the mass media, and how passively people suck up to it. I hate having to get up in the morning and face another day of this insanity. I hate having to eat, shit, maintain the body – I hate my body. The thought of my internal functions, the organs, digestion, the brain, the nervous system, horrify me. Nature is horrible. It’s not cute and loveable. It’s kill or be killed. It’s very dangerous out there. The natural world is filled with scary, murderous creatures and forces. I hate the whole way that nature functions. Sex is especially hateful and horrifying, the male penetrating the female, his dick goes into her hole, she’s impregnated, another being grows inside her, and then she must go through a painful ordeal as the new being pushes out of her, only to repeat the whole process in time. Reproduction – what could be more existentially repulsive? How I hate the courting ritual. I was always repelled by my own sex drive, which in my youth never left me alone. I was constantly driven by frustrated desires to do bizarre and unacceptable things with and to women. My soul was in constant conflict about it. I never was able to resolve it. Old age is the only relief. I hate the way the human psyche works, the way we are traumatized and stupidly imprinted in early childhood and have to spend the rest of our lives trying to overcome these infantile mental fixations. And we never ever fully succeed in this endeavor. I hate organized religions. I hate governments. It’s all a lot of power games played out by ambition-driven people, and foisted on the weak, the poor, and on children. Most humans are bullies. Adults pick on children. Older children pick on younger children. Men bully women. The rich bully the poor. People love to dominate. I hate the way humans worship power – one of the most disgusting of all human traits. I hate the human tendency towards revenge and vindictiveness. I hate the way humans are constantly trying to trick and deceive one another, to swindle, to cheat, and take unfair advantage of the innocent, the naïve and the ignorant. I hate the vacuous, false, banal conversation that goes on among people. Sometimes I feel suffocated; I want to flee from it. For me, to be human is, for the most part, to hate what I am. When I suddenly realize that I am one of them, I want to scream in horror.
Robert Crumb
Success depends on psychological safety. At Google, members of teams with high levels of psychological safety were less likely to leave their jobs, brought in more revenue, and were rated effective twice as often by executives. MIT researchers who studied team performance came to the same conclusion: simply grouping smart people together doesn’t guarantee a smart team. Online and off, the best teams discuss ideas frequently, do not let one person dominate the conversation, and are sensitive to one another’s feelings.
Liz Fosslien (No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work)
A person functioning exclusively in the Cartesian mode may be free from manifest symptoms but cannot be considered mentally healthy. Such individuals typically lead ego-centred, competitive, goal-oriented lives. Overpreoccupied with their past and their future, they tend to have a limited awarenessof the present and thus a limited ability to derive satisfaction from ordinary activities in everyday life. They concentrate on manipulating the external world and measure their living standard by the quantity of material possessions, while they become ever more alienated from their inner world and unable to appreciate the process of life. For people whose existence is dominated by this mode of experience no level of wealth, power, or fame will bring genuine satisfaction
Fritjof Capra
Anyone can be made to feel like an outsider. It’s up to the people who have the power to exclude. Often it’s on the basis of race. Depending on a culture’s fears and biases, Jews can be treated as outsiders. Muslims can be treated as outsiders. Christians can be treated as outsiders. The poor are always outsiders. The sick are often outsiders. People with disabilities can be treated as outsiders. Members of the LGBTQ community can be treated as outsiders. Immigrants are almost always outsiders. And in most every society, women can be made to feel like outsiders—even in their own homes. Overcoming the need to create outsiders is our greatest challenge as human beings. It is the key to ending deep inequality. We stigmatize and send to the margins people who trigger in us the feelings we want to avoid. This is why there are so many old and weak and sick and poor people on the margins of society. We tend to push out the people who have qualities we’re most afraid we will find in ourselves—and sometimes we falsely ascribe qualities we disown to certain groups, then push those groups out as a way of denying those traits in ourselves. This is what drives dominant groups to push different racial and religious groups to the margins. And we’re often not honest about what’s happening. If we’re on the inside and see someone on the outside, we often say to ourselves, “I’m not in that situation because I’m different. But that’s just pride talking. We could easily be that person. We have all things inside us. We just don’t like to confess what we have in common with outsiders because it’s too humbling. It suggests that maybe success and failure aren’t entirely fair. And if you know you got the better deal, then you have to be humble, and it hurts to give up your sense of superiority and say, “I’m no better than others.” So instead we invent excuses for our need to exclude. We say it’s about merit or tradition when it’s really just protecting our privilege and our pride.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
A face that has the marks of having lived intensely, that expresses some phase of life, some dominant quality or intellectual power, constitutes for me an interesting face. For this reason the face of an older person, perhaps not beautiful in the strictest sense, is usually more appealing than the face of a younger person who has scarcely been touched by life.
Doris Ulmann
The most common theory points to the fact that men are stronger than women and that they have used their greater physical power to force women into submission. A more subtle version of this claim argues that their strength allows men to monopolize tasks that demand hard manual labor, such as plowing and harvesting. This gives them control of food production, which in turn translates into political clout. There are two problems with this emphasis on muscle power. First, the statement that men are stronger is true only on average and only with regard to certain types of strength. Women are generally more resistant to hunger, disease, and fatigue than men. There are also many women who can run faster and lift heavier weights than many men. Furthermore, and most problematically for this theory, women have, throughout history, mainly been excluded from jobs that required little physical effort, such as the priesthood, law, and politics, while engaging in hard manual labor in the fields....and in the household. If social power were divided in direct relation to physical strength or stamina, women should have got far more of it. Even more importantly, there simply is no direct relation between physical strength and social power among humans. People in their sixties usually exercise power over people in their twenties, even though twenty-somethings are much stronger than their elders. ...Boxing matches were not used to select Egyptian pharaohs or Catholic popes. In forager societies, political dominance generally resides with the person possessing the best social skills rather than the most developed musculature. In fact, human history shows that there is often an inverse relation between physical prowess and social power. In most societies, it’s the lower classes who do the manual labor. Another theory explains that masculine dominance results not from strength but from aggression. Millions of years of evolution have made men far more violent than women. Women can match men as far as hatred, greed, and abuse are concern, but when push comes to shove…men are more willing to engage in raw physical violence. This is why, throughout history, warfare has been a masculine prerogative. In times of war, men’s control of the armed forces has made them the masters of civilian society too. They then use their control of civilian society to fight more and more wars. …Recent studies of the hormonal and cognitive systems of men and women strengthen the assumption that men indeed have more aggressive and violent tendencies and are…on average, better suited to serve as common soldiers. Yet, granted that the common soldiers are all men, does it follow that the ones managing the war and enjoying its fruits must also be men? That makes no sense. It’s like assuming that because all the slaves cultivating cotton fields are all Black, plantation owners will be Black as well. Just as an all-Black workforce might be controlled by an all-White management, why couldn’t an all-male soldiery be controlled by an all-female government?
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has marketed Diet Coke around the world under the slogan ‘Diet Coke. Do what feels good.’ Even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order. Let’s consider, for example, the popular desire to take a holiday abroad. There is nothing natural or obvious about this. A chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday into the territory of a neighbouring chimpanzee band. The elite of ancient Egypt spent their fortunes building pyramids and having their corpses mummified, but none of them thought of going shopping in Babylon or taking a skiing holiday in Phoenicia. People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. 18. The Great Pyramid of Giza. The kind of thing rich people in ancient Egypt did with their money. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country – they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfil our human potential, and make us happier. Consequently, when the relationship between a millionaire and his wife is going through a rocky patch, he takes her on an expensive trip to Paris. The trip is not a reflection of some independent desire, but rather of an ardent belief in the myths of romantic consumerism. A wealthy man in ancient Egypt would never have dreamed of solving a relationship crisis by taking his wife on holiday to Babylon. Instead, he might have built for her the sumptuous tomb she had always wanted. Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids. Only the names, shapes and sizes of these pyramids change from one culture to the other. They may take the form, for example, of a suburban cottage with a swimming pool and an evergreen lawn, or a gleaming penthouse with an enviable view. Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.
Every exercise of power incorporates a faint, almost imperceptible, element of contempt for those over whom the power is exercised. One can only dominate another human soul if one knows, understands, and with the utmost tact despises the person one is subjugating.
Sándor Márai (Embers)
To hold sovereign and exclusive ownership of one's own conscious mind, to explore freely and without boundary, is surely the most fundamental of human rights. Third party intrusion into this wholly personal territory is a grievous breach of this inalienable freedom.
Dominic Milton Trott (The Drug Users Bible)
See, phrenology is this old Victorian science, which claimed you could determine the dominant traits of a man's personality by studying the bumps on his head. The size and position of these bumps indicated different personality traits. See? Now, /retro-phrenology/ says, why not change a man's personality by hitting him on the head with a hammer, till you raise just the right bumps in the right places!" "One of us needs a lot more drinks," said Alex. "That's starting to make sense.
Simon R. Green (Something from the Nightside (Nightside, #1))
Cathy, don't look so defeated. She was only trying to put us down again. Maybe nothing did work out right for her, but that doesn't mean we are doomed. Let's go forth tomorrow with no great expectations of finding perfection. Then, expecting only a small share of happiness, we won't be disappointed." If a little hill of happiness would satisfy Chris, good for him. But after all these years of striving, hoping, dreaming, longing-I wanted a mountain high! A hill wasn't enough. From this day forward, I vowed to myself, I was in control of my life. Not fate, not God, not even Chris was ever again going to tell me what to do, or dominate me in any way. From this day forward, I was my own person, to take what I would, when I would, and I would answer only to myself. I'd been kept prisoner, held captive by greed. I'd been betrayed, deceived, tied to, used, poisoned ... but all that was over now.
V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1))
I've an insatiable craving inside me that consumes everything and makes me regard the sufferings and joys of others only in their relationship to me, as food to sustain my spiritual powers. I am no longer capable of loosing my head in love, Ambition has been crushed in me by circumstances, but it has come out in another way, for ambition is nothing but a lust for power and my chief delight is to dominate those around me. To inspire in others love, devotion, fear - isn't that the first symptom and the supreme triumph of power? To cause another person suffering or joy, having no right to do so - isn't that the sweetest food of pride?
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
Disgusted by the abuses to which it led, humanity repressed Christianity by which it had so long been dominated. Repressed, but not eliminated. Herein lies, I believe, the essence of the tragedy of modern times. The modern man lives as if Christianity were a negligible hypothesis with no relation to the concrete realities of the world and society. And yet at the bottom of his heart this man remains impregnated with Christianity, so that he lives in a state of perpetual ambivalence with regard to it.
Paul Tournier (The Whole Person in a Broken World)
I’m a very intense person. The way I look in your eyes, my stance, how I walk and choose my words. The way I say your name and the look in my eye that says I need you here. I have an extremely distinct aptitude for the way I present myself and the energy I give off. It sounds egocentric, but they always remember my name, my mind and the force behind my voice.
Dominic Riccitello
Magnus threw the monkey a fig. The monkey took the fig. "There," said Magnus. "Let us consider the matter settled." The monkey advanced, chewing in a menacing fashion. "I rather wonder what I am doing here. I enjoy city life, you know," Magnus observed. "The glittering lights, the constant companionship, the liquid entertainment. The lack of sudden monkeys." He ignored Giuliana's advice and took a smart step back, and also threw another piece of fruit. The monkey did not take the bait this time. He coiled and rattled out a growl, and Magnus took several more steps back and into a tree. Magnus flailed on impact, was briefly grateful that nobody was watching him and expecting him to be a sophisticated warlock, and had a monkey assault launched directly to his face. He shouted, spun, and sprinted through the rain forest. He did not even think to drop the fruit. It fell one by one in a bright cascade as he ran for his life from the simian menace. He heard it in hot pursuit and fled faster, until all his fruit was gone and he ran right into Ragnor. "Have a care!" Ragnor snapped. He detailed his terrible monkey adventure twice. "But of course you should have retreated at once from the dominant male," Giuliana said. "Are you an idiot? You are extremely lucky he was distracted from ripping out your throat by the fruit. He thought you were trying to steal his females." "Pardon me, but we did not have the time to exchange that kind of personal information," Magnus said. "I could not have known! Moreover, I wish to assure both of you that I did not make any amorous advances on female monkeys." He paused and winked. "I didn't actually see any, so I never got the chance." Ragnor looked very regretful about all the choices that had led to his being in this place and especially in this company. Later he stooped and hissed, low enough so Giuliana could not hear and in a way that reminded Magnus horribly of his monkey nemesis: "Did you forget that you can do magic?" Magnus spared a moment to toss a disdainful look over his shoulder. "I am not going to ensorcel a monkey! Honestly, Ragnor. What do you take me for?
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
If you accept the existence of advertising, you accept a system designed to persuade and to dominate minds by interfering in people's thinking patterns. You also accept that the system will be used by the sorts of people who like to influence people and are good at it. No person who did not wish to dominate others would choose to use advertising, or choosing it, succeed in it. So the basic nature of advertising and all technologies created to serve it will be consistent with this purpose, will encourage this behaviour in society, and will tend to push social evolution in this direction.
Jerry Mander (Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television)
The books were old and well worn, the cover of one of them had nearly broken through in its middle, and it was held together with a few threads. "Everything is so dirty here," said K., shaking his head, and before he could pick the books up the woman wiped some of the dust off with her apron. K. took hold of the book that lay on top and threw it open, an indecent picture appeared. A man and a woman sat naked on a sofa, the base intent of whoever drew it was easy to see but he had been so grossly lacking in skill that all that anyone could really make out were the man and the woman who dominated the picture with their bodies, sitting in overly upright postures that created a false perspective and made it difficult for them to approach each other. K. didn't thumb through that book any more, but just threw open the next one at its title page, it was a novel with the title, What Grete Suffered from her Husband, Hans. "So this is the sort of law book they study here," said K., "this is the sort of person sitting in judgement over me.
Franz Kafka (The Trial)
The basic principle I would like to see communicated to people is the idea that every form of authority and domination and hierarchy has to prove that its justified - it has no prior justification. For instance, when you stop your five year old kid from trying to cross the street, that's an authoritarian situation: it's got to be justified. Well, in that case you can give a justification. But the burden of proof for any exercise of authority is always on the person exercising it - invariably. And when you look, most of the time those authority structures have no justification: they have no moral justification, they have no justification in the interests of the person lower in the hierarchy, or in the interests of other people, or the environment, or the future, or the society, or anything else - they are just there in order to preserve certain structures of power and domination, and the people at the top.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
Capitalism, far from affording "privileges" to the middle classes, tends to degrade them more abjectly than any other stratum in society. The system deploys its capacity for abundance to bring the petty bourgeois into complicity with his own oppression—first by turning him into a commodity, into an object for sale in the marketplace; next by assimilating his very wants to the commodity nexus. Tyrannized as he is by every vicissitude of bourgeois society, the whole personality of the petty bourgeois vibrates with insecurity. His soporifics—commodities and more commodities—are his very poison. In this sense there is nothing more oppressive than "privilege" today, for the deepest recesses of the "privileged" man's psyche are fair game for exploitation and domination.
Murray Bookchin (Post-Scarcity Anarchism)
Another threat, less overt but no less basic, confronts liberal democracy. More directly linked to the impact of technology, it involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific knowhow. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control. Under such circumstances, the scientific and technological momentum of the country would not be reversed but would actually feed on the situation it exploits. … Persisting social crisis, the emergence of a charismatic personality, and the exploitation of mass media to obtain public confidence would be the steppingstones in the piecemeal transformation of the United States into a highly controlled society.
Zbigniew Brzeziński
It is now established by verifiable evidence that religion stultifies the brain and is the great obstacle in the path of intellectual progress. The more religious a person is, the more he is steeped in ignorance and superstition, the less is his sense of moral responsibility. The more intelligent a person, the less religious he is. There is an old saying that 'where there are three scientists, there are two atheists.' The countries whose governments are dominated by religion and religious institutions are the most backward. By the same token, the countries whose people are the most enlightened, and whose governments are based upon the principle of secularism—the separation of church and state—are the most progressive. And let me tell you: When man is intellectually free, the progress he will make is beyond calculation.
Joseph Lewis (An Atheist Manifesto)
As Edna walked along the street she was thinking of Robert. She was still under the spell of her infatuation. She had tried to forget him, realizing the inutility of remembering. But the thought of him was like an obsession, ever pressing itself upon her. It was not that she dwelt upon details of their acquaintance, or recalled in any special or peculiar way his personality; it was his being, his existence, which dominated her thought, fading sometimes as if it would melt into the mist of the forgotten, reviving again with an intensity which filled her with an incomprehensible longing.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
In short, a strong royal advisor class insists on stopping and thinking. And it tries, I think with growing success in modern times, to direct the wonderful, expansive energy of their society away from aggression and domination. Better to use that energy for creative inventions, exploration, and protection of the planet and the powerless.
Elaine N. Aron (The Highly Sensitive Person)
Our world is filled with competition, frenzied ambition in every domain. Each of us is acquainted with the spirit of competition. This spirit is not a bad thing in and of itself. Its influence has long been felt in personal relations within the dominant classes. Subsequently it spread throughout the whole of society, to the point that today it has more or less openly triumphed in every part of the world. In Western nations, and above all in the United States, it animates not only economic and financial life, but scientific research and intellectual life as well. Despite the tension and the unrest it brings, these nations are inclined on the whole to congratulate themselves for having embraced the spirit of competition, for its positive effects are considerable. Not the least of these is the impressive wealth it has brought a large part of the population. No one, or almost no one, any longer thinks of forgoing rivalry, since it allows us to go on dreaming of a still more glittering and prosperous future than the recent past. Our world seems to us the most desirable one there ever was, especially when we compare it to life in nations that have not enjoyed the same prosperity.
René Girard (The One by Whom Scandal Comes)
As I gazed at Mao’s face wearing what was intended as a benign expression but was in fact a smirk of self-satisfaction, I wondered how one single person could have caused the extent of misery that was prevailing in China. There must be something lacking in our own character, I thought, that had made it possible for his evil genius to dominate.
Nien Cheng (Life and Death in Shanghai)
I kept remembering something Michael Fertik had said to me at the Village Pub in Woodside. 'The biggest lie,' he said, 'is "The Internet is about you." We like to think of ourselves as people who have choice and taste and personalized content. But the Internet isn't about us. It's about the companies that dominate the data flows of the Internet.
Jon Ronson (So You've Been Publicly Shamed)
The highest and most fruitful form of human freedom is found in accepting, even more than in dominating. We show the greatness of our freedom when we transform reality, but still more when we accept it trustingly as it is given to us day after day. It is natural and easy to go along with pleasant situations that arise without our choosing them. It becomes a problem, obviously, when things are unpleasant, go against us, or make us suffer. But it is precisely then that, in order to become truly free, we are often called to choose to accept what we did not want, and even what we would not have wanted at any price. There is a paradoxical law of human life here: one cannot become truly free unless one accepts not always being free! To achieve true interior freedom we must train ourselves to accept, peacefully and willingly, plenty of things that seem to contradict our freedom. This means consenting to our personal limitations, our weaknesses, our powerlessness, this or that situation that life imposes on us, and so on. We find it difficult to do this, because we feel a natural revulsion for situations we cannot control. But the fact is that the situations that really make us grow are precisely those we do not control.
Jacques Philippe (Interior Freedom)
The dominant myth of the day seemed to be that anybody could do anything, even go to the moon. You could do whatever you wanted -in the ads and in the articles, ignore your limitations, defy them. If you were an indecisive person, you could become a leader and wear lederhosen. If you were a housewife, you could become a glamour girl with rhinestone sunglasses. Are you slow witted? No worries -you can be an intellectual genius. If you're old, you can be young. Anything was possible. It was almost like a war against the self.
Bob Dylan
...the end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom: for in all the states of created beings capable of laws, where there is no law, there is no freedom: for liberty is, to be free from restraint and violence from others; which cannot be, where there is no law: but freedom is not, as we are told, a liberty for every man to do what he lists: (for who could be free, when every other man's humour might domineer over him?) but a liberty to dispose, and order as he lists, his person, actions, possessions, and his whole property, within the allowance of those laws under which he is, and therein not to be subject to the arbitrary will of another, but freely follow his own.
John Locke
I am sick of speaking English like this... I am scared that I have become a person who is always very aware of talking, speaking, and I have become a person without confidence, because I can't be me. I have become so small, so tiny, while the English culture surrounding me becomes enormous. It swallows me... I am dominated by it... Why do we have to force ourselves to communicate with people? Why is the process of communication so troubled and so painful?
Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
If someone is badly hurt at some point in life—traumatized—the dominance counter can transform in a manner that makes additional hurt more rather than less likely. This often happens in the case of people, now adults, who were viciously bullied during childhood or adolescence. They become anxious and easily upset. They shield themselves with a defensive crouch, and avoid the direct eye contact interpretable as a dominance challenge. This means that the damage caused by the bullying (the lowering of status and confidence) can continue, even after the bullying has ended.25 In the simplest of cases, the formerly lowly persons have matured and moved to new and more successful places in their lives. But they don’t fully notice. Their now-counterproductive physiological adaptations to earlier reality remain, and they are more stressed and uncertain than is necessary. In more complex cases, a habitual assumption of subordination renders the person more stressed and uncertain than necessary, and their habitually submissive posturing continues to attract genuine negative attention from one or more of the fewer and generally less successful bullies still extant in the adult world. In such situations, the psychological consequence of the previous bullying increases the likelihood of continued bullying in the present (even though, strictly speaking, it wouldn’t have to, because of maturation, or geographical relocation, or continued education, or improvement in objective status).
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
(...) shibumi has to do with great refinement underlying commonplace appearances. It is a statement so correct that it does not have to be bold, so poignant it does not have to be pretty, so true it does not have to be real. Shibumi is understanding, rather than knowledge. Eloquent silence. In demeanor, it is modesty without pudency. In art, where the spirit of shibumi takes the form of sabi, it is elegant simplicity, articulate brevity. In philosophy, where shibumi emerges as wabi, it is spiritual tranquility that is not passive; it is being without the angst of becoming. And in the personality of a man, it is . . . how does one say it? Authority without domination? Something like that.” Nicholai’s imagination was galvanized by the concept of shibumi. No other ideal had ever touched him so. “How does one achieve this shibumi, sir?” “One does not achieve it, one . . . discovers it. And only a few men of infinite refinement ever do that. Men like my friend Otake-san.” “Meaning that one must learn a great deal to arrive at shibumi?” “Meaning, rather, that one must pass through knowledge and arrive at simplicity.
Trevanian (Shibumi)
The chief causes of the environmental destruction that faces us today are not biological, or the product of individual human choice. They are social and historical, rooted in the productive relations, technological imperatives, and historically conditioned demographic trends that characterize the dominant social system. Hence, what is ignored or downplayed in most proposals to remedy the environmental crisis is the most critical challenge of all: the need to transform the major social bases of environmental degradation, and not simply to tinker with its minor technical bases. As long as prevailing social relations remain unquestioned, those who are concerned about what is happening are left with few visible avenues for environmental action other than purely personal commitments to recycling and green shopping, socially untenable choices between jobs and the environment, or broad appeals to corporations, political policy-makers, and the scientific establishment--the very interests most responsible for the current ecological mess.
John Bellamy Foster (The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment (Cornerstone Books))
Hitler's dictatorship was the first of an industrial estate in this age of modern technology, a dictatorship which employed to perfection the instruments of technology to dominate its own people. By means of such instruments of technology, eighty million persons could be made subject to the will of one individual. Telephone, teletype, radio, made it possible to transmit the commands of the highest levels directly to the lowest organs where they were executed uncritically
Albert Speer (Inside the Third Reich)
...patriarchy, hierarchy, and capitalism create, encourage, maintain, and perpetuate addiction and dependency. Patriarchy and hierarchy are based on domination and subordination, which result in fear. This fear is expressed by the dominators through control and violence, and in subordinated people through passivity and repression of anger. The external conflict of hierarchy between dominants and subordinates becomes internalized in individuals, creating personal inner chaos, anxiety and duality. To quell the inner conflict people resort to addictive substances and behavior.
Charlotte Davis Kasl
We have gone sick by following a path of untrammelled rationalism, male dominance, attention to the visible surface of things, practicality, bottom-line-ism. We have gone very, very sick. And the body politic, like any body, when it feels itself to be sick, it begins to produce antibodies, or strategies for overcoming the condition of dis-ease. And the 20th century is an enormous effort at self-healing. Phenomena as diverse as surrealism, body piercing, psychedelic drug use, sexual permissiveness, jazz, experimental dance, rave culture, tattooing, the list is endless. What do all these things have in common? They represent various styles of rejection of linear values. The society is trying to cure itself by an archaic revival, by a reversion to archaic values. So when I see people manifesting sexual ambiguity, or scarifying themselves, or showing a lot of flesh, or dancing to syncopated music, or getting loaded, or violating ordinary canons of sexual behaviour, I applaud all of this; because it's an impulse to return to what is felt by the body -- what is authentic, what is archaic -- and when you tease apart these archaic impulses, at the very centre of all these impulses is the desire to return to a world of magical empowerment of feeling. And at the centre of that impulse is the shaman: stoned, intoxicated on plants, speaking with the spirit helpers, dancing in the moonlight, and vivifying and invoking a world of conscious, living mystery. That's what the world is. The world is not an unsolved problem for scientists or sociologists. The world is a living mystery: our birth, our death, our being in the moment -- these are mysteries. They are doorways opening on to unimaginable vistas of self-exploration, empowerment and hope for the human enterprise. And our culture has killed that, taken it away from us, made us consumers of shoddy products and shoddier ideals. We have to get away from that; and the way to get away from it is by a return to the authentic experience of the body -- and that means sexually empowering ourselves, and it means getting loaded, exploring the mind as a tool for personal and social transformation. The hour is late; the clock is ticking; we will be judged very harshly if we fumble the ball. We are the inheritors of millions and millions of years of successfully lived lives and successful adaptations to changing conditions in the natural world. Now the challenge passes to us, the living, that the yet-to-be-born may have a place to put their feet and a sky to walk under; and that's what the psychedelic experience is about, is caring for, empowering, and building a future that honours the past, honours the planet and honours the power of the human imagination. There is nothing as powerful, as capable of transforming itself and the planet, as the human imagination. Let's not sell it straight. Let's not whore ourselves to nitwit ideologies. Let's not give our control over to the least among us. Rather, you know, claim your place in the sun and go forward into the light. The tools are there; the path is known; you simply have to turn your back on a culture that has gone sterile and dead, and get with the programme of a living world and a re-empowerment of the imagination. Thank you very, very much.
Terence McKenna (The Archaic Revival)
Your motivations--get that promotion, throw the best parties, run for public office--aren't impersonal abstractions but powerfully reflect who you are and what you focus on. An individual's goals figure prominently in the theories of personality first developed by the Harvard psychologist Henry Murray. According to his successor David McClelland, what Friedrich Nietzsche called "the will to power," which he considered the major driving force behind human behavior, is one of the three basic motivations, along with achievement and affiliation, that differentiate us as individuals. A simple experiment show show these broad emotional motivations can affect what you pay attention to or ignore on very basic levels. When they examine images of faces that express different kinds of emotion, power-oriented subjects are drawn to nonconfrontational visages, such as "surprise faces," rather than to those that suggest dominance, as "anger faces" do. In contrast, people spurred by affiliation gravitate toward friendly or joyful faces.
Winifred Gallagher (Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life)
Many young people are morally at sea. They resent the ethical demands of "society" as infringements of their personal freedom. They believe that their rights as individuals include the right to "create their own values," but they cannot explain what that means, aside from the right to do as they please. They cannot seem to grasp the idea that "values" imply some principle of moral obligation. They insist that they owe nothing to "society"--an abstraction that dominates their attempts to think about social and moral issues. If they con-form to social expectations, it is only because conformity offers the line of least resistance.
Christopher Lasch (The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy)
It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of my youth, which was thus lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the "merely personal," from an existence which is dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings. Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned like a liberation [...] The mental grasp of this extra-personal world within the frame of our given capacities presented itself, half consciously and half unconsciously, as the highest goal. The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has shown itself reliable, and I have never regretted having chosen it.
Albert Einstein (Autobiographical Notes)
the basic principle I would like to see communicated to people is the idea that every form of authority and domination and hierarchy, every authoritarian structure, has to prove that it’s justified—it has no prior justification. For instance, when you stop your five-year-old kid from trying to cross the street, that’s an authoritarian situation: it’s got to be justified. Well, in that case, I think you can give a justification. But the burden of proof for any exercise of authority is always on the person exercising it—invariably.
Noam Chomsky (On Anarchism)
Verbal abuse is a violation, not a conflict. There is a definite difference between conflict and abuse. In a conflict each participant wants something different. In order to resolve the conflict, the two people in the relationship discuss their wants, needs, and reasons while mutually seeking a creative solution. There may or may not be a solution, but no one forces, dominates, or controls the other. Verbal abuse, on the other hand, is very different from a conflict. If we describe verbal abuse from the standpoint of boundary violation, we would describe it as an intrusion upon, or disregard of, one’s self by a person who disregards boundaries in a sometimes relentless pursuit of Power Over, superiority, and dominance by covert or overt means.
Patricia Evans (The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond)
Once the government can demand of a publisher the names of the purchasers of his publications, the free press as we know it disappears. Then the spectre of a government agent will look over the shoulder of everyone who reads. The purchase of a book or pamphlet today may result in a subpoena tomorrow. Fear of criticism goes with every person into the bookstall. The subtle, imponderable pressures of the orthodox lay hold. Some will fear to read what is unpopular, what the powers-that-be dislike. When the light of publicity may reach any student, any teacher, inquiry will be discouraged. The books and pamphlets that are critical of the administration, that preach an unpopular policy in domestic or foreign affairs, that are in disrepute in the orthodox school of thought will be suspect and subject to investigation. The press and its readers will pay a heavy price in harassment. But that will be minor in comparison with the menace of the shadow which government will cast over literature that does not follow the dominant party line. If the lady from Toledo can be required to disclose what she read yesterday and what she will read tomorrow, fear will take the place of freedom in the libraries, book stores, and homes of the land. Through the harassment of hearings, investigations, reports, and subpoenas government will hold a club over speech and over the press." [United States v. Rumely, 345 U.S. 41 (1953)]
William O. Douglas
I believe that there is something in all of us that is seeking expression, that wants to be heard, that wants to be accepted and respected and loved. We each express ourselves in different ways - through manipulation or domination, through receiving and giving pain, through crying, through loving, through giving hope and inspiration to others. We are all seeking the same thing - expression of who we are and what we want from this life.
Robin D. Hart (Warning! Proceed With Caution Into the Practice of Law)
To illustrate what a personality preference is, I like to compare it to hand dominance. As we all know, a right-handed person will prefer to use her right hand for the majority of tasks, especially those requiring fine motor skills, such as writing. This of course doesn't mean that she never uses her left hand, but only that it tends to play more of a supportive, rather than a dominant or leading role. The same is true for our personality preferences. While we may at times use our non-dominant preferences, in most situations we prefer to lead with our dominant ones. Not only does this feel more comfortable and natural, but typically produces better results.
A.J. Drenth
Women, even the most oppressed among us, do exercise power. These powers can be used to advance feminist struggle. Forms of power held by exploited and oppressed groups are described in Elizabeth Janeway's important work Powers of the Weak. One of the most significant forms of power held by the weak is "the refusal to accept the definition of oneself that is put forward by the powerful". Janeway call this the "ordered use of the power to disbelieve". She explains: It is true that one may not have a coherent self-definition to set against the status assigned by the established social mythology, and that is not necessary for dissent. By disbelieving, one will be led toward doubting prescribed codes of behaviour, and as one begins to act in ways that can deviate from the norm in any degree, it becomes clear that in fact there is not just one right way to handle or understand events. Women need to know that they can reject the powerful's definition of their reality --- that they can do so even if they are poor, exploited, or trapped in oppressive circumstances. They need to know that the exercise of this basic personal power is an act of resistance and strength. Many poor and exploited women, especially non-white women, would have been unable to develop positive self-concepts if they had not exercised their power to reject the powerful's definition of their reality. Much feminist thought reflects women's acceptance of the definition of femaleness put forth by the powerful. Even though women organizing and participating in feminist movement were in no way passive, unassertive, or unable to make decisions, they perpetuated the idea that these characteristics were typical female traits, a perspective that mirrored male supremacist interpretation of women's reality. They did not distinguish between the passive role many women assume in relation to male peers and/or male authority figures, and the assertive, even domineering, roles they assume in relation to one another, to children, or to those individuals, female or male, who have lower social status, who they see as inferiors, This is only one example of the way in which feminist activists did not break with the simplistic view of women's reality s it was defined by powerful me. If they had exercised the power to disbelieve, they would have insisted upon pointing out the complex nature of women's experience, deconstructing the notion that women are necessarily passive or unassertive.
bell hooks (Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center)
In this martial world dominated by men, women had little place. The Church's teachings might underpin feudal morality, yet when it came to the practicalities of life, a ruthless pragmatism often came into play. Kings and noblemen married for political advantage, and women rarely had any say in how they or their wealth were to be disposed in marriage. Kings would sell off heiresses and rich widows to the highest bidder, for political or territorial advantage, and those who resisted were heavily fined. Young girls of good birth were strictly reared, often in convents, and married off at fourteen or even earlier to suit their parents' or overlord's purposes. The betrothal of infants was not uncommon, despite the church's disapproval. It was a father's duty to bestow his daughters in marriage; if he was dead, his overlord or the King himself would act for him. Personal choice was rarely and issue. Upon marriage, a girl's property and rights became invested in her husband, to whom she owed absolute obedience. Every husband had the right to enforce this duty in whichever way he thought fit--as Eleanor was to find out to her cost. Wife-beating was common, although the Church did at this time attempt to restrict the length of the rod that a husband might use.
Alison Weir (Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life (World Leaders Past & Present))
Existentialist literature provides a more satisfactory account of the persistence of feminine narcissism. Simone de Beauvoir makes use of the existentialist conception of 'situation' in order to account for the persistence of narcissism in the feminine personality. A woman's situation, i.e., those meanings derived from the total context in which she comes to maturity, disposes her to apprehend her body not as the instrument of her transcendence, but as 'an object destined for another.' Knowing that she is to be subjected to the cold appraisal of the male connoisseur and that her life prospects may depend on how she is seen, a woman learns to appraise herself first. The sexual objectification of women produces a duality in feminine consciousness. The gaze of the Other is internalized so that I myself become at once seer and seen, appraiser and the thing appraised.
Sandra Lee Bartky (Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression (Thinking Gender))
I think of how, even as a feminist lesbian, I have so wanted to ignore my own homophobia, my own hatred of myself for being queer. I have not wanted to admit that my deepest personal sense of myself has not quite "caught up" with my "woman-identified" politics. I have been afraid to criticize lesbian writers who choose to "skip over" these issues in the name of feminism. In 1979, we talk of "old gay" and "butch and femme" roles as if they were ancient history. We toss them aside as merely patriarchal notions. And yet, the truth of the matter is that I have sometimes taken society's fear and hatred of lesbians to bed with me. I have sometimes hated my lover for loving me. I have sometimes felt "not woman enough" for her. I have sometimes felt "not man enough." For a lesbian trying to survive in a heterosexist society, there is no easy way around these emotions. Similarly, in a white-dominated world, there is little getting around racism and our own internalization of it. It's always there, embodied in someone we least expect to rub up against.
Cherríe L. Moraga (This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color)
Some individuals have what can be considered to be an ‘abusive personality.’ Although they can be somewhat charming at times and sometimes manage to put on a false front in public when it is absolutely necessary, their basic personality is characterized by: 1. A need to dominate and control others 2. A tendency to blame others for all their problems and to take all their frustrations out on other people. 3. Verbal abuse 4. Frequent emotional and sometimes physical outbursts, and 5. An overwhelming need to retaliate and hurt other for real and imagined slights or affronts They insist on being ‘respected’ while giving no respect to others. Their needs are paramount, and they show a blatant disregard for the needs and feelings of others. These people wreak havoc with the lives of nearly every person they come in contact with. They verbally abuse their coworkers or employees, they are insulting and obnoxious to service people, they constantly blame others when something goes wrong. When this type of person becomes intimately involved with a partner, there is absolutely nothing that partner can do to prevent abuse from occurring. Their only hope is to get as far away from the person as possible.
Beverly Engel The Emotionally Abusive Relationship How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing
Was she acting entirely consciously? No: women are always sincere, even in the midst of their most shocking duplicities, because it is always some natural emotion which dominates them. Perhaps, having given this young man such a hold on her, by having openly demonstrated her affection for him, Delphine was merely responding to a sense of personal dignity, which led her either to revoke any concessions she might have made or, at least, to enjoy suspending them. Even at the very moment when passion seizes her, it is perfectly natural for a Parisian woman to delay her final fall, as a way of testing the heart of the man into whose hands she is about to deliver herself and her future!
Honoré de Balzac (Père Goriot)
{President] Kayibanda's government [in Rwanda] continued the persecution against the Tutsis and began to make use of the media it controlled to launch a propaganda campaign against us. In a country where more than half the people cannot read or write and very few have televisions, radio is the dominant media. The fact that some newspapers were still printing the truth didn't matter much to the part of the population that couldn't read. Most of the literate people were already politically aware. While an educated person might question what they read or hear from the media, the uneducated tend to accept it. The uneducated are more easily affected by threats and the emotional trauma that propaganda like this can create.
John Rucyahana (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)
She didn't think in terms of "dom" being capitalized and "sub" being lowercase. To Erin, D/s wasn't about one person being worthy of a capital letter and the other not. It wasn't about unequal worth; it was about two equals sharing power, sharing sex and emotion. She didn't submit to him because she wanted to be debased or harmed, because she needed to be lesser than anyone. She was aware some people got off on that, and hey, whatever floats your boat. But when he dominated her, she felt cherished and adored, cosseted in those cherished moments between them-in a way she never achieved with anyone else.
Lauren Dane (Laid Bare (Brown Family, #1))
We therapists often make inaccurate assumptions about people living with DID and DDNOS. They often appear to be “just like us,” so we often assume their experience of life reflects our own. But this is profoundly untrue. It results in a communication gap, and, as a consequence, treatment errors. Because the dominant culture is one of persons with a single sense of self, most with multiple “selves” have learned to hide their multiplicity and imitate those who are singletons (that is, have a single, non-fragmented personality). Therapists who do not understand this sometimes describe their clients' alters without acknowledging their dissociation, saying only that they have different “moods.” In overlooking dissociation, this description fails to recognize the essential truth of such disorders, and of the alters. It was difficult for me to comprehend what life was like for my first few dissociative clients.
Alison Miller (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
The Man of Power is one who presides— By persuasion. He uses no demeaning words or behavior, does not manipulate others, appeals to the best in everyone, and respects the dignity and agency of all humankind—men, women, boys, and girls. By long-suffering. He waits when necessary and listens to the humblest or youngest person. He is tolerant of the ideas of others and avoids quick judgments and anger. By gentleness. He uses a smile more often than a frown. He is not gruff or loud or frightening; he does not discipline in anger. By meekness. He is not puffed up, does not dominate conversations, and is willing to conform his will to the will of God. By love unfeigned. He does not pretend. He is sincere, giving honest love without reservation even when others are unlovable. By kindness. He practices courtesy and thoughtfulness in little things as well as in the more obvious things. By pure knowledge. He avoids half-truths and seeks to be empathetic. Without hypocrisy. He practices the principles he teaches. He knows he is not always right and is willing to admit his mistakes and say ‘I’m sorry.' Without guile. He is not sly or crafty in his dealings with others, but is honest and authentic when describing his feelings.
H. Burke Peterson
In my story Sauron represents as near an approach to the wholly evil will as is possible. He had gone the way of all tyrants: beginning well, at least on the level that while desiring to order all things according to his own wisdom he still at first considered the (economic) well-being of other inhabitants of the Earth. But he went further than human tyrants in pride and the lust for domination, being in origin an immortal (angelic) spirit.* In The Lord of the Rings the conflict is not basically about 'freedom', though that is naturally involved. It is about God, and His sole right to divine honour. The Eldar and the Númenóreans believed in The One, the true God, and held worship of any other person an abomination. Sauron desired to be a God-King, and was held to be this by his servants; if he had been victorious he would have demanded divine honour from all rational creatures and absolute temporal power over the whole world.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters Of J.R.R. Tolkien)
The survivor movements were also challenging the notion of a dysfunctional family as the cause and culture of abuse, rather than being one of the many places where abuse nested. This notion, which in the 1990s and early 1980s was the dominant understanding of professionals characterised the sex abuser as a pathetic person who had been denied sex and warmth by his wife, who in turn denied warmth to her daughters. Out of this dysfunctional triad grew the far-too-cosy incest dyad. Simply diagnosed, relying on the signs: alcoholic father, cold distant mother, provocative daughter. Simply resolved, because everyone would want to stop, to return to the functioning family where mum and dad had sex and daughter concentrated on her exams. Professionals really believed for a while that sex offenders would want to stop what they were doing. They thought if abuse were decriminalised, abusers would seek help. The survivors knew different. P5
Beatrix Campbell (Stolen Voices: The People And Politics Behind The Campaign To Discredit Childhood Testimony)
Where I come from, nobody reads novels unless they're like my mother-- fetishizing the artistic media of a bygone era, probably because it was the last time she was happy. But regular people don't read books there. That quasi- telepathic pact between author and reader held little interest for a general audience. Because the dominant storytelling medium of my world involved the seamless integration of an individual's subconscious wiring into the narrative, evoking deep personal wonder and terror, familiarity and delight, yearning and fury, and a triggering catharsis so spellbinding and essential that the idea of sitting down to page through a novel that's not even intended to be about the secret box inside your mind-- why would anyone want to do that for, like, fun? Unless, of course, you were constitutionally inclined to sublimate yourself to a stronger personality, in which case reading a book where every word is fixed in place by the deliberate choices of a controlling vision, surrendering agency over your own imagination to a stranger you'll likely never meet, is some sort of masochistic pleasure.
Elan Mastai (All Our Wrong Todays)
Alpha can refer to the first of something," said Kai, "or the beginning of everything. It can be attributed to a particularly powerful or charismatic person, or it can signify the dominant leader in a pack of animals, most notably, of course, wolves." His serious expression tweaked briefly into a teasing smile. "It has meanings in chemistry, physics, and even astronomy, where it describes the brightest star in a constellation. But it seems clear that Ze'ev and Scarlet have created their own definition for the word, and their relationship has given this word a new meaning for all of us. Being an Alpha means that you'll stand against all adversity to be with your mate. It means accepting each other, both of your strengths and your flaws. It means forging your own path to happiness and to love.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
In the mass of people, vegetative and animal functions dominate. Their energy of intelligence is so feeble and inconstant that it is constantly overpowered by bodily appetite and passion.Such persons are not truly ends in themselves, for only reason constitutes a final end. Like plants, animals and physical tools, they are means, appliances, for the attaining of ends beyond themselves, although unlike them they have enough intelligence to exercise a certain discretion in the execution of the tasks committed to them. Thus by nature, and not merely by social convention, there are those who are slaves—that is, means for the ends of others.
John Dewey (Democracy and Education)
The situation is established not only to provoke defensiveness but to sidetrack the reformer into answering the wrong questions.... In this, the pattern of discourse resembles that of dinnertime conversations about feminism in the early 1970s. Questions of definition often predominate. Whereas feminists were parlaying questions which trivialized feminism such as "Are you one of those bra burners?" vegetarians must define themselves against the trivializations of "Are you one of those health nuts?" or "Are you one of those animal lovers?" While feminists encountered the response that "men need liberation too," vegetarians are greeted by the postulate that "plants have life too." Or to make the issue appear more ridiculous, the position is forwarded this way: "But what of the lettuce and tomato you are eating; they have feelings too!" The attempt to create defensiveness through trivialization is the first conversational gambit which greets threatening reforms. This pre-establishes the perimeters of discourse. One must explain that no bras were burned at the Miss America pageant, or the symbolic nature of the action of that time, or that this question fails to regard with seriousness questions such as equal pay for equal work. Similarly, a vegetarian, thinking that answering these questions will provide enlightenment, may patiently explain that if plants have life, then why not be responsible solely for the plants one eats at the table rather than for the larger quantities of plants consumed by the herbivorous animals before they become meat? In each case a more radical answer could be forwarded: "Men need first to acknowledge how they benefit from male dominance," "Can anyone really argue that the suffering of this lettuce equals that of a sentient cow who must be bled out before being butchered?" But if the feminist or vegetarian responds this way they will be put back on the defensive by the accusation that they are being aggressive. What to a vegetarian or a feminist is of political, personal, existential, and ethical importance, becomes for others only an entertainment during dinnertime.
Carol J. Adams (The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory)
Much of what we do arises from automatic programming that bypasses conscious awareness and may even run contrary to our intentions, as Dr. Schwartz points out: The passive side of mental life, which is generated solely and completely by brain mechanisms, dominates the tone and tenor of our day-to-day, even our second-to-second experience. During the quotidian business of daily life, the brain does indeed operate very much as a machine does. Decisions that we may believe to be freely made can arise from unconscious emotional drives or subliminal beliefs. They can be dictated by events of which we have no recollection. The stronger a person’s automatic brain mechanisms and the weaker the parts of the brain that can impose conscious control, the less true freedom that person will be able to exercise in her life. In OCD, and in many other conditions, no matter how intelligent and well-meaning the individual, the malfunctioning brain circuitry may override rational judgment and intention. Almost any human being when overwhelmed by stress or powerful emotions, will act or react not from intention but from mechanisms that are set off deep in the brain, rather than being generated in the conscious and volitional segments of the cortex. When acting from a driven or triggered state, we are not free.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
Denial returned, like a nagging cough you can never quite shake. Actually, it was always close at hand, and even though "satanic ritual abuse" did describe what had happened to me when I was a child. the concept was so foreign and so horrific that some part of me still wanted to stay in denial. Devil worship dominated my childhood. That was undeniable, even if it was still nearly impossible to contemplate. Both of my parents and any number of their friends, as well as "respected" members of our community, had worshipped Satan. I pushed the notion aside with all the power I could muster. I kept thinking to myself that it was ridiculous and impossible. p157
Suzie Burke (Wholeness: My Healing Journey from Ritual Abuse)
power dynamic operates in emotional contagion, determining which person’s brain will more forcefully draw the other into its emotional orbit. Mirror neurons are leadership tools: Emotions flow with special strength from the more socially dominant person to the less. One reason is that people in any group naturally pay more attention to and place more significance on what the most powerful person in that group says and does. That amplifies the force of whatever emotional message the leader may be sending, making her emotions particularly contagious. As I heard the head of a small organization say rather ruefully, “When my mind is full of anger, other people catch it like the flu.
Daniel Goleman (Social Intelligence)
One cannot laugh when in an anxiety panic, for then one is swallowed up, one has lost the distinction between himself as subject and the objective world around him. So long as one can laugh, furthermore, he is not completely under the domination of anxiety or fear—hence the accepted belief in folklore that to be able to laugh in times of danger is a sign of courage. In cases of borderline psychotics, so long as the person has genuine humor—so long, that is, as he can laugh, or look at himself with the thought, as one person put it, “What a crazy person I’ve been!”—he is preserving his identity as a self. When any of us, neurotic or not, get insights into our psychological problems, our spontaneous reaction is normally a little laugh—the “aha” of insight, as it is called. The humor occurs because of a new appreciation of one’s self as a subject acting in an objective world.
Rollo May (Man's Search for Himself)
Science and reason have, from the beginning of time, played a secondary and subordinate part in the life of nations; so it will be till the end of time. Nations are built up and moved by another force which sways and dominates them, the origin of which is unknown and inexplicable: that force is the force of an insatiable desire to go on to the end, though at the same time it denies that end. It is the force of the persistent assertion of one's own existence, and a denial of death. It's the spirit of life, as the Scriptures call it, 'the river of living water,' the drying up of which is threatened in the Apocalypse. It's the æsthetic principle, as the philosophers call it, the ethical principle with which they identify it, 'the seeking for God,' as I call it more simply. The object of every national movement, in every people and at every period of its existence is only the seeking for its god, who must be its own god, and the faith in Him as the only true one. God is the synthetic personality of the whole people, taken from its beginning to its end. It has never happened that all, or even many, peoples have had one common god, but each has always had its own. It's a sign of the decay of nations when they begin to have gods in common. When gods begin to be common to several nations the gods are dying and the faith in them, together with the nations themselves. The stronger a people the more individual their God. There never has been a nation without a religion, that is, without an idea of good and evil. Every people has its own conception of good and evil, and its own good and evil. When the same conceptions of good and evil become prevalent in several nations, then these nations are dying, and then the very distinction between good and evil is beginning to disappear. Reason has never had the power to define good and evil, or even to distinguish between good and evil, even approximately; on the contrary, it has always mixed them up in a disgraceful and pitiful way; science has even given the solution by the fist. This is particularly characteristic of the half-truths of science, the most terrible scourge of humanity, unknown till this century, and worse than plague, famine, or war. A half-truth is a despot... such as has never been in the world before. A despot that has its priests and its slaves, a despot to whom all do homage with love and superstition hitherto inconceivable, before which science itself trembles and cringes in a shameful way.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
The pain of regret is far worse than the pain of discipline. We will never have the anointing, the ministry or the revivals of our heroes if we don’t become as disciplined as they were. They went to bed early to get up early to pray, and they fasted for days on end. We shouldn’t just pray to mark it off of our lists or read a few chapters of our Bible each day to keep up with the church Bible reading chart. We must have a deeper purpose for doing these tasks. Discipline without direction is drudgery. In other words, discipline has to have a purpose to drive it each and every day. The price for spiritual change is expensive, but the rewards are far greater. The world’s ways, ideologies, and influence cannot be present in a life dedicated to Jesus because consecration’s purpose is for us to be different from the world. And, for that matter, if we are separate from the world, then sin must not be a part of our lives either. Sin ruins a life of consecration. It would be a shame to believe that holiness is nothing more than rules or guidelines we are to live by. Holiness and consecration flow from a life given to the spiritual disciplines, a life we can only maintain by continuing to seek for Him daily. Your pursuit will never be greater than your disciplines. No man is greater than his prayer life. Even though Jesus requires us to pray, praying is not to be done out of duty, but it is to be done out of delight. A person’s appetite reveals much about their physical health. Our physical appetite can reveal just as much about our spiritual health. Prayer is the dominant discipline in a godly life and it takes a backseat to no other task. Prayer is the guiding force to a life of consecration and spiritual discipline. Self-denial is tough, but self-indulgence is dangerous.
Nathan Whitley (The Lost Art Of Spiritual Disciplines)
We are all caught up, entangled, in the lumbering day-to-day operations of a [social] machinery, working in many respects in the service of ends which we as Christians reject. This situation, the present [schizophrenic] situation of thousands of thinking Christians is the end product of a process that began the day Christians first decided to stop thinking Christianly in the interests of national harmony; the day when Christians first felt that the only way out of endless public discussion was to limit the operation of acute Christian awareness to the spheres of personal morality and spirituality. From that point, the spheres of political, cultural, social, and commercial life became dominated by pragmatic and utilitarian thinking.
Harry Blamires (The Christian Mind: How Should a Christian Think?)
I had started on the marriage and motherhood beat by accident with a post on my personal, read only by friends, blog called ‘Fifty Shades of Men’. I had written it after buying Fifty Shades of Grey to spice up what Dave and I half-jokingly called our grown up time, and had written a meditation on how the sex wasn’t the sexiest part of the book. “Dear publishers, I will tell you why every woman with a ring on her finger and a car seat in her SUV is devouring this book like the candy she won’t let herself eat.” I had written. “It’s not the fantasy of an impossibly handsome guy who can give you an orgasm just by stroking your nipples. It is instead the fantasy of a guy who can give you everything. Hapless, clueless, barely able to remain upright without assistance, Ana Steele is that unlikeliest of creatures, a college student who doesn’t have an email address, a computer, or a clue. Turns out she doesn’t need any of those things. Here is the dominant Christian Grey and he’ll give her that computer plus an iPad, a beamer, a job, and an identity, sexual and otherwise. No more worrying about what to wear. Christian buys her clothes. No more stress about how to be in the bedroom. Christian makes those decisions. For women who do too much—which includes, dear publishers, pretty much all the women who have enough disposable income to buy your books—this is the ultimate fantasy: not a man who will make you come, but a man who will make agency unnecessary, a man who will choose your adventure for you.
Jennifer Weiner (All Fall Down)
All people, regardless of race, can hold some level of prejudice toward people who are not the same race as them. A person of any race can prejudge a person of any other race based on negative racial stereotypes and other factors. Prejudice is wrong, but it is not the same as racism. Racism is the coupling of prejudice with power, where the dominant racial group (which in a white supremacist society is people with white privilege) is able to dominate over all other racial groups and negatively affect those racial groups at all levels—personally, systematically, and institutionally. Therefore, though a BIPOC can hold prejudice against a white person, they cannot be racist toward a white person. They do not have the power (which comes with white privilege) and the backing of a system of oppression (called white supremacy) to be able to turn that prejudice into domination and punishment in a way that a white person would be able to if the tables were reversed.
Layla F. Saad (Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor)
Anomalies manifest themselves on the border between chaos and order, so to speak, and have a threatening and promising aspect. The promising aspect dominates, when the contact is voluntary, when the exploring agent is up-to-date – when the individual has explored all previous anomalies, released the “information” they contained, and built a strong personality and steady “world” from that information. The threatening aspect dominates, when the contact is involuntary, when the exploring agent is not up-to-date – when the individual has run away from evidence of his previous errors, failed to extract the information “lurking behind” his mistakes, weakened his personality, and destabilised his “world.” The phenomenon of interest – that precursor to exploratory behaviour – signals the presence of a potentially “beneficial” anomaly. Interest manifests itself where an assimilable but novel phenomenon exists: where something new “hides,” in a partially comprehensible form. Devout adherence to the dictates of interest – assuming a suitably disciplined character – therefore insures stabilisation and renewal of personality and world. Interest is a spirit beckoning from the unknown – a spirit calling from outside the “walls” of society. Pursuit of individual interest means hearkening to this spirit’s call – means journeying outside the protective walls of childhood dependence and adolescent group identification; means also return to and rejuvenation of society. This means that pursuit of individual interest – development of true individuality – is equivalent to identification with the hero. Such identification renders the world bearable, despite its tragedies – and reduces unnecessary suffering, which most effectively destroys, to an absolute minimum. This is the message that everyone wants to hear. Risk your security. Face the unknown. Quit lying to yourself, and do what your heart truly tells you to do. You will be better for it, and so will the world.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
Domination and critique have always formed an apparatus covertly against a common hostis: the conspirator, who works under cover, who used everything THEY give him and everything THEY attribute to him as a mask. The conspirator is everywhere hated, although THEY will never hate him as much as he enjoys playing his game. No doubt a certain amount of what one usually calls “perversion” accounts for the pleasure, since what he enjoys, among other things, is his opacity. But that isn’t the reason THEY continue to push the conspirator to make himself a critic, to subjectivate himself as critic, nor the reason for the hate THEY so commonly express. The reason is quite simply the danger he represents. The danger, for Empire, is war machines: that one person, that people transform themselves into war machines, ORGANICALLY JOIN THEIR TASTE FOR LIFE AND THEIR TASTE FOR DESTRUCTION.
And so all the time the European brain has held onto two contradictory things. The first is the dominant established narrative of a generation: that anyone in the world can come to Europe and become a European, and that in order to become a European you merely need to be a person in Europe. The other part of the European brain has spent these years watching and waiting. This part could always recognise that the new arrivals were not only coming in unprecedented numbers but were bringing with them customs that, if not all unprecedented, had certainly not existed in Europe for a long time. The first part of the brain insists that the newcomers will assimilate and that, given time, even the most hard-to-swallow aspects of the culture of the new arrivals will become more recognisably European. Optimism favours the first part of the brain. Events favour the second, which increasingly begins to wonder whether anyone has the time for the changes that are meant to happen.
Douglas Murray (The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam)
I resolved to come right to the point. "Hello," I said as coldly as possible, "we've got to talk." "Yes, Bob," he said quietly, "what's on your mind?" I shut my eyes for a moment, letting the raging frustration well up inside, then stared angrily at the psychiatrist. "Look, I've been religious about this recovery business. I go to AA meetings daily and to your sessions twice a week. I know it's good that I've stopped drinking. But every other aspect of my life feels the same as it did before. No, it's worse. I hate my life. I hate myself." Suddenly I felt a slight warmth in my face, blinked my eyes a bit, and then stared at him. "Bob, I'm afraid our time's up," Smith said in a matter-of-fact style. "Time's up?" I exclaimed. "I just got here." "No." He shook his head, glancing at his clock. "It's been fifty minutes. You don't remember anything?" "I remember everything. I was just telling you that these sessions don't seem to be working for me." Smith paused to choose his words very carefully. "Do you know a very angry boy named 'Tommy'?" "No," I said in bewilderment, "except for my cousin Tommy whom I haven't seen in twenty years..." "No." He stopped me short. "This Tommy's not your cousin. I spent this last fifty minutes talking with another Tommy. He's full of anger. And he's inside of you." "You're kidding?" "No, I'm not. Look. I want to take a little time to think over what happened today. And don't worry about this. I'll set up an emergency session with you tomorrow. We'll deal with it then." Robert This is Robert speaking. Today I'm the only personality who is strongly visible inside and outside. My own term for such an MPD role is dominant personality. Fifteen years ago, I rarely appeared on the outside, though I had considerable influence on the inside; back then, I was what one might call a "recessive personality." My passage from "recessive" to "dominant" is a key part of our story; be patient, you'll learn lots more about me later on. Indeed, since you will meet all eleven personalities who once roamed about, it gets a bit complex in the first half of this book; but don't worry, you don't have to remember them all, and it gets sorted out in the last half of the book. You may be wondering -- if not "Robert," who, then, was the dominant MPD personality back in the 1980s and earlier? His name was "Bob," and his dominance amounted to a long reign, from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. Since "Robert B. Oxnam" was born in 1942, you can see that "Bob" was in command from early to middle adulthood. Although he was the dominant MPD personality for thirty years, Bob did not have a clue that he was afflicted by multiple personality disorder until 1990, the very last year of his dominance. That was the fateful moment when Bob first heard that he had an "angry boy named Tommy" inside of him. How, you might ask, can someone have MPD for half a lifetime without knowing it? And even if he didn't know it, didn't others around him spot it? To outsiders, this is one of the most perplexing aspects of MPD. Multiple personality is an extreme disorder, and yet it can go undetected for decades, by the patient, by family and close friends, even by trained therapists. Part of the explanation is the very nature of the disorder itself: MPD thrives on secrecy because the dissociative individual is repressing a terrible inner secret. The MPD individual becomes so skilled in hiding from himself that he becomes a specialist, often unknowingly, in hiding from others. Part of the explanation is rooted in outside observers: MPD often manifests itself in other behaviors, frequently addiction and emotional outbursts, which are wrongly seen as the "real problem." The fact of the matter is that Bob did not see himself as the dominant personality inside Robert B. Oxnam. Instead, he saw himself as a whole person. In his mind, Bob was merely a nickname for Bob Oxnam, Robert Oxnam, Dr. Robert B. Oxnam, PhD.
Robert B. Oxnam (A Fractured Mind: My Life with Multiple Personality Disorder)
It is necessary for the oppressors to approach the people in order, via subjugation, to keep them passive. This approximation, however, does not involve being with the people, or require true communication. It is accomplished by the oppressors' depositing myths indispensable to the preservation of the status quo: for example, the myth that the oppressive order is a "free society"; the myth that all persons are free to work where they wish, that if they don't like their boss they can leave him and look for another job; the myth that this order respects human rights and is therefore worthy of esteem; the myth that anyone who is industrious can become an entrepreneur--worse yet, the myth that the street vendor is as much an entrepreneur as the owner of a large factory; the myth of the universal right of education, when of all the Brazilian children who enter primary schools only a tiny fraction ever reach the university; the myth of the equality of all individuals, when the question: "Do you know who you're talking to?" is still current among us; the myth of the heroism of the oppressor classes as defenders of "Western Christian civilization" against "materialist barbarism"; the myth of the charity and generosity of the elites, when what they really do as a class is to foster selective "good deeds" (subsequently elaborated into the myth of "disinterested aid," which on the international level was severely criticized by Pope John XXIII); the myth that the dominant elites, "recognizing their duties," promote the advancement of the people, so that the people, in a gesture of gratitude, should accept the words of the elites and be conformed to them; the myth of private property as fundamental to personal human development (so long as oppressors are the only true human beings); the myth of the industriousness of the oppressors and the laziness and dishonesty of the oppressed as well as the myth of the natural inferiority of the latter and the superiority of the former.
Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
The average person wastes his life. He has a great deal of energy but he wastes it. The life of an average person seems at the end utterly meaningless…without significance. When he looks back…what has he done? MIND The mind creates routine for its own safety and convenience. Tradition becomes our security. But when the mind is secure it is in decay. We all want to be famous people…and the moment we want to be something…we are no longer free. Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential…the what is. It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything new…and in that there’s joy. To awaken this capacity in oneself and in others is real education. SOCIETY It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Nature is busy creating absolutely unique individuals…whereas culture has invented a single mold to which we must conform. A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person because he conforms to a pattern. He repeats phrases and thinks in a groove. What happens to your heart and your mind when you are merely imitative, naturally they wither, do they not? The great enemy of mankind is superstition and belief which is the same thing. When you separate yourself by belief tradition by nationally it breeds violence. Despots are only the spokesmen for the attitude of domination and craving for power which is in the heart of almost everyone. Until the source is cleared there will be confusion and classes…hate and wars. A man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country to any religion to any political party. He is concerned with the understanding of mankind. FEAR You have religion. Yet the constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear. You can only be afraid of what you think you know. One is never afraid of the unknown…one is afraid of the known coming to an end. A man who is not afraid is not aggressive. A man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free and peaceful mind. You want to be loved because you do not love…but the moment you really love, it is finished. You are no longer inquiring whether someone loves you or not. MEDITATION The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence. In meditation you will discover the whisperings of your own prejudices…your own noises…the monkey mind. You have to be your own teacher…truth is a pathless land. The beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are…where you are going…what the end is. Down deep we all understand that it is truth that liberates…not your effort to be free. The idea of ourselves…our real selves…is your escape from the fact of what you really are. Here we are talking of something entirely different….not of self improvement…but the cessation of self. ADVICE Take a break with the past and see what happens. Release attachment to outcomes…inside you will feel good no matter what. Eventually you will find that you don’t mind what happens. That is the essence of inner freedom…it is timeless spiritual truth. If you can really understand the problem the answer will come out of it. The answer is not separate from the problem. Suffer and understand…for all of that is part of life. Understanding and detachment…this is the secret. DEATH There is hope in people…not in societies not in systems but only in you and me. The man who lives without conflict…who lives with beauty and love…is not frightened by death…because to love is to die.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
We are focus-points of consciousness, [...] enormously creative. When we enter the self-constructed hologrammetric arena we call spacetime, we begin at once to generate creativity particles, imajons, in violent continuous pyrotechnic deluge. Imajons have no charge of their own but are strongly polarized through our attitudes and by the force of our choice and desire into clouds of conceptons, a family of very-high-energy particles which may be positive, negative or neutral. [...] Some common positive conceptions are exhilarons, excytons, rhapsodons, jovions. Common negative conceptions include gloomons, tormentons, tribulons, agonons, miserons. "Indefinite numbers of conceptions are created in nonstop eruption, a thundering cascade of creativity pouring from every center of personal consciousness. They mushroom into conception clouds, which can be neutral or strongly charged - buoyant, weightless or leaden, depending on the nature of their dominant particles. "Every nanosecond an indefinite number of conception clouds build to critical mass, then transform in quantum bursts to high-energy probability waves radiating at tachyon speeds through an eternal reservoir of supersaturated alternate events. Depending on their charge and nature, the probability waves crystallize certain of these potential events to match the mental polarity of their creating consciousness into holographic appearance. [...] "The materialized events become that mind's experience, freighted with all the aspects of physical structure necessary to make them real and learningful to the creating consciousness. This autonomic process is the fountain from which springs every object and event in the theater of spacetime. "The persuasion of the imajon hypothesis lies in its capacity for personal verification. The hypothesis predicts that as we focus our conscious intention on the positive and life-affirming, as we fasten our thought on these values, we polarize masses of positive conceptions, realize beneficial probability-waves, bring useful alternate events to us that otherwise would not have appeared to exist. "The reverse is true in the production of negative events, as is the mediocre in-between. Through default or intention, unaware or by design, we not only choose but create the visible outer conditions that are most resonant to our inner state of being [...]
Richard Bach (Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit)
In the early months of World War II, San Francisco's Fill-more district, or the Western Addition, experienced a visible revolution. On the surface it appeared to be totally peaceful and almost a refutation of the term “revolution.” The Yakamoto Sea Food Market quietly became Sammy's Shoe Shine Parlor and Smoke Shop. Yashigira's Hardware metamorphosed into La Salon de Beauté owned by Miss Clorinda Jackson. The Japanese shops which sold products to Nisei customers were taken over by enterprising Negro businessmen, and in less than a year became permanent homes away from home for the newly arrived Southern Blacks. Where the odors of tempura, raw fish and cha had dominated, the aroma of chitlings, greens and ham hocks now prevailed. The Asian population dwindled before my eyes. I was unable to tell the Japanese from the Chinese and as yet found no real difference in the national origin of such sounds as Ching and Chan or Moto and Kano. As the Japanese disappeared, soundlessly and without protest, the Negroes entered with their loud jukeboxes, their just-released animosities and the relief of escape from Southern bonds. The Japanese area became San Francisco's Harlem in a matter of months. A person unaware of all the factors that make up oppression might have expected sympathy or even support from the Negro newcomers for the dislodged Japanese. Especially in view of the fact that they (the Blacks) had themselves undergone concentration-camp living for centuries in slavery's plantations and later in sharecroppers' cabins. But the sensations of common relationship were missing. The Black newcomer had been recruited on the desiccated farm lands of Georgia and Mississippi by war-plant labor scouts. The chance to live in two-or three-story apartment buildings (which became instant slums), and to earn two-and even three-figured weekly checks, was blinding. For the first time he could think of himself as a Boss, a Spender. He was able to pay other people to work for him, i.e. the dry cleaners, taxi drivers, waitresses, etc. The shipyards and ammunition plants brought to booming life by the war let him know that he was needed and even appreciated. A completely alien yet very pleasant position for him to experience. Who could expect this man to share his new and dizzying importance with concern for a race that he had never known to exist? Another reason for his indifference to the Japanese removal was more subtle but was more profoundly felt. The Japanese were not whitefolks. Their eyes, language and customs belied the white skin and proved to their dark successors that since they didn't have to be feared, neither did they have to be considered. All this was decided unconsciously.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
Look, people need to conform the external reality they face daily with this subjective feeling they likewise experience constantly. To do this they have two options. First, they can achieve what passes for great things. Now the external reality matches their feeling; they really are better than the rest and maybe they'll even be remembered as such. These are the ambitious people, the overachievers. These are also, however, the people who go on these abominable talk shows where they can trade their psychoses for exposure on that box, modernity's ultimate achievement. Not that this tact, being ambitious, is not the preferred course of action. The reason is it's the equivalent of sticking your neck out which we all know is dangerous. Instead many act like they have no ambition whatsoever. Their necks come back in and they're safe. Only problem is now they're at everyone else's level, which we've seen is untenable. The remedy of course is that everyone else needs to be sunk. This helps explain racism's enduring popularity. If I myself don't appear to be markedly superior to everyone else at least I'm part of the better race, country, religion et cetera. This in turn reflects well on my individual worth. There are other options, of course. For example, you can constantly bemoan others' lack of moral worth by extension elevating yourself. Think of the average person's reaction to our clients. Do these people strike you as so truly righteous that they are viscerally pained by our clients' misdeeds or are they similarly flawed people looking for anything to hang their hat on? The latter obviously, they're vermin.
Sergio de la Pava (A Naked Singularity)
The word is dissociate. There is no 'a' before the 'ss'. People invariably say dis-a-ssociate, which, if you're suffering Disso-ciative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder, can be irritating. People then want to know how many personalities I have and the answer is: I don't know. The first book about Multiple Personality Disorder to make an impact was Flora Rheta Schreiber's Sybil, published in 1973, which carries the subtitle: The True and Extraordinary Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Separate Personalities. Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley published the controversial The Three Faces of Eve much earlier in 1957, and Pete Townshend from The Who wrote the song 'Four Faces'. People seem to feel safe with numbers. The truth is more complicated. The kids emerged over time. Billy, the boisterous five-year-old, was at first the most dominant. But he slowly stood aside for JJ, the self-confident ten-year-old who appears when Alice is under stress and handles complicated situations like travelling on the Underground and meeting new people. The first entity to visit was the external voice of the Professor. But he had a choir of accomplices without names. So, how many actual alter personalities are there? I would say more than fifteen and less than thirty, a combination of protectors, persecutors and friends - my own family tree.
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
Information about toxicity in food is widely available, but people don’t want to hear it. Once in a while a story is spectacular enough to break through and attract media attention, but the swell quickly subsides into the general glut of bad news over which we, as citizens, have so little control. Coming at us like this — in waves, massed and unbreachable—knowledge becomes symbolic of our disempowerment—becomes bad knowledge—so we deny it, riding its crest until it subsides from consciousness. . . . In this root sense, ignorance is an act of will, a choice that one makes over and over again, especially when information overwhelms and knowledge has become synonymous with impotence. I would like to think of my “ignorance” less as a personal failing and more as a massive cultural trend, an example of doubling, of psychic numbing, that characterises the end of the millennium. If we can’t act on knowledge, then we can’t survive without ignorance. So we cultivate the ignorance, go to great lengths to celebrate it, even. The faux-dumb aesthetic that dominates TV and Hollywood must be about this. Fed on a media diet of really bad news, we live in a perpetual state of repressed panic. We are paralyzed by bad knowledge, from which the only escape is playing dumb. Ignorance becomes empowering because it enables people to live. Stupidity becomes proactive, a political statement. Our collective norm.
Ruth Ozeki (My Year of Meats)
Anyone can be made to feel like an outsider. It’s up to the people who have the power to exclude. Often it’s on the basis of race. Depending on a culture’s fears and biases, Jews can be treated as outsiders. Muslims can be treated as outsiders. Christians can be treated as outsiders. The poor are always outsiders. The sick are often outsiders. People with disabilities can be treated as outsiders. Members of the LGBTQ community can be treated as outsiders. Immigrants are almost always outsiders. And in most every society, women can be made to feel like outsiders—even in their own homes. Overcoming the need to create outsiders is our greatest challenge as human beings. It is the key to ending deep inequality. We stigmatize and send to the margins people who trigger in us the feelings we want to avoid. This is why there are so many old and weak and sick and poor people on the margins of society. We tend to push out the people who have qualities we’re most afraid we will find in ourselves—and sometimes we falsely ascribe qualities we disown to certain groups, then push those groups out as a way of denying those traits in ourselves. This is what drives dominant groups to push different racial and religious groups to the margins. And we’re often not honest about what’s happening. If we’re on the inside and see someone on the outside, we often say to ourselves, “I’m not in that situation because I’m different. But that’s just pride talking. We could easily be that person. We have all things inside us. We just don’t like to confess what we have in common with outsiders because it’s too humbling. It suggests that maybe success and failure aren’t entirely fair. And if you know you got the better deal, then you have to be humble, and it hurts to give up your sense of superiority and say, “I’m no better than others.” So instead we invent excuses for our need to exclude. We say it’s about merit or tradition when it’s really just protecting our privilege and our pride.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
Gregori brought Savannah's hand to the warmth of his mouth,his breath heating the pulse beating in her wrist. The night is especially beautiful, mon petit amour.Your hero saved the girl, walks among humans, and converses with a fool.That alone should bring a smile to your face.Do not weep for what we cannot change.We will make certain that this human with us comes to no harm. Are you my hero,then? There were tears in her voice, in her mind, like an iridescent prism. She needed him, his comfort,his support under her terrible weight of guilt and love and loss. Always,for all eternity, he answered instantly,without hesitation, his eyes hot mercury. He tipped her chin up so that she met the brilliance of his silver gaze.Always, mon amour.His molten gaze trapped her blue one and held her enthralled. Your heart grows lighter.The burden of your sorrow becomes my own. He held her gaze captive for a few moments to ensure that she was free of the heaviness crushing her. Savannah blinked and moved a little away from him, wondering what she had been thinking of.What had they been talking about? "Gary." Gregori drawled the name slowly and sat back in his chair,totally relaxed. He looked like a sprawling tiger,dangerous and untamed. "Tell us about yourself." "I work a lot.I'm not married. I'm really not much of a people person. I'm basically a nerd." Gregori shifted, a subtle movement of muscles suggesting great power. "I am not familiar with this term." "Yeah,well,you wouldn't be," Gary said. "It means I have lots of brains and no brawn.I don't do the athlete thing. I'm into computers and chess and things requiring intellect. Women find me skinny,wimpy,and boring. Not something they would you." There was no bitterness in his voice,just a quiet acceptance of himself,his life. Gregori's white teeth flashed. "There is only one woman who matters to me, Gary, and she finds me difficult to live with.I cannot imagine why,can you?" "Maybe because you're jealous, possessive, concerned with every single detail of her life?" Gary plainly took the question literally, offering up his observations without judgement. "You're probably domineering,too. I can see that. Yeah.It might be tough." Savannah burst out laughing, the sound musical, rivaling the street musicians. People within hearing turned their heads and held their breath, hoping for more. "Very astute, Gary.Very, very astute. I bet you have an anormous IQ." Gregori stirred again, the movement a ripple of power,of danger. He was suddenly leaning into Gary. "You think you are intelligent? Baiting the wild animal is not too smart.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
When the attachment figure is also a threat to the child, two systems with conflicting goals are activated simultaneously or sequentially: the attachment system, whose goal is to seek proximity, and the defense systems, whose goal is to protect. In these contexts, the social engagement system is profoundly compromised and its development interrupted by threatening conditions. This intolerable conflict between the need for attachment and the need for defense with the same caregiver results in the disorganized–disoriented attachment pattern (Main & Solomon, 1986). A contradictory set of behaviors ensues to support the different goals of the animal defense systems and of the attachment system (Lyons-Ruth & Jacobvitz, 1999; Main & Morgan, 1996; Steele, van der Hart, & Nijenhuis, 2001; van der Hart, Nijenhuis, & Steele, 2006). When the attachment system is stimulated by hunger, discomfort, or threat, the child instinctively seeks proximity to attachment figures. But during proximity with a person who is threatening, the defensive subsystems of flight, fight, freeze, or feigned death/shut down behaviors are mobilized. The cry for help is truncated because the person whom the child would turn to is the threat. Children who suffer attachment trauma fall into the dissociative–disorganized category and are generally unable to effectively auto- or interactively regulate, having experienced extremes of low arousal (as in neglect) and high arousal (as in abuse) that tend to endure over time (Schore, 2009b). In the context of chronic danger, patterns of high sympathetic dominance are apt to become established, along with elevated heart rate, higher cortisol levels, and easily activated alarm responses. Children must be hypervigilantly prepared and on guard to avoid danger yet primed to quickly activate a dorsal vagal feigned death state in the face of inescapable threat. In the context of neglect, instead of increased sympathetic nervous system tone, increased dorsal vagal tone, decreased heart rate, and shutdown (Schore, 2001a) may become chronic, reflecting both the lack of stimulation in the environment and the need to be unobtrusive.
Pat Ogden (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
Consider yourself and the cello. As you play the music moves out to the listener, and also enters the core of your own being, for somehow you are tuned to the cello. Well, I am persuaded that this is because you are a chord. I am a chord. Our DNA dictates our physicality-made up of billions of little notes-on a basic level. Add to that our geography, background et cetera, and you have your original score. Life is the layering of chords, but the underlying one that we are will never change. This brings us to string theory and love. Our personal chord resonates with the personal ones of others, and sometimes we encounter another person who is completely harmonious with us. It is a dominant, overwhelming attraction on the DNA level. However, such a person can appear to be our opposite-and that's where this 'opposites attract' notion comes from-because they have tuned their chord in a different way. In reality, we are attracted to the person we have chosen not to become, an alternative adjustment to a chord that is nearly the same as our own. The clashing portions of the chords sounding together advance the richness of it. So when you make love you aren't expressing emotions or showing affection, you are merging melodies. You are players in the same symphony.
Sarah Emily Miano (Encyclopaedia of Snow)
That concentration camps were ultimately provided for the same groups in all countries, even though there were considerable differences in the treatment of their inmates, was all the more characteristic as the selection of the groups was left exclusively to the initiative of the totalitarian regimes: if the Nazis put a person in a concentration camp and if he made a successful escape, say, to Holland, the Dutch would put him in an internment camp. Thus, long before the outbreak of the war the police in a number of Western countries, under the pretext of "national security," had on their own initiative established close connections with the Gestapo and the GPU [Russian State security agency], so that one might say there existed an independent foreign policy of the police. This police-directed foreign policy functioned quite independently of the official governments; the relations between the Gestapo and the French police were never more cordial than at the time of Leon Blum's popular-front government, which was guided by a decidedly anti-German policy. Contrary to the governments, the various police organizations were never overburdened with "prejudices" against any totalitarian regime; the information and denunciations received from GPU agents were just as welcome to them as those from Fascist or Gestapo agents. They knew about the eminent role of the police apparatus in all totalitarian regimes, they knew about its elevated social status and political importance, and they never bothered to conceal their sympathies. That the Nazis eventually met with so disgracefully little resistance from the police in the countries they occupied, and that they were able to organize terror as much as they did with the assistance of these local police forces, was due at least in part to the powerful position which the police had achieved over the years in their unrestricted and arbitrary domination of stateless and refugees.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
the effects the denial of our true and strong emotions have on our bodies. Such denial is demanded of us not least by morality and religion. On the basis of what I know about psychotherapy, both from personal experience and from accounts I have been given by very many people, I have come to the conclusion that individuals abused in childhood can attempt to obey the Fourth Commandment* only by recourse to a massive repression and detachment of their true emotions. They cannot love and honor their parents because unconsciously they still fear them. However much they may want to, they cannot build up a relaxed and trusting relationship. Instead, what usually materializes is a pathological attachment, a mixture of fear and dutiful obedience that hardly deserves the name of love in the genuine sense of the word. I call this a sham, a façade. In addition, people abused in childhood frequently hope all their lives that someday they will experience the love they have been denied. These expectations reinforce their attachment to their parents, an attachment that religious creeds refer to as love and praise as a virtue. Unfortunately, the same thing happens in most therapies, as most people are still dominated by traditional morality. There is a price to be paid for this morality, a price paid by the body. Individuals who believe that they feel what they ought to feel and constantly do their best not to feel what they forbid themselves to feel will ultimately fall ill—unless, that is, they leave it to their children to pick up the check by projecting onto them the emotions they cannot admit to themselves. This
Alice Miller (The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting)
To understand a child we have to watch him at play, study him in his different moods; we cannot project upon him our own prejudices, hopes and fears, or mould him to fit the pattern of our desires. If we are constantly judging the child according to our personal likes and dislikes, we are bound to create barriers and hindrances in our relationship with him and in his relationships with the world. Unfortunately, most of us desire to shape the child in a way that is gratifying to our own vanities and idiosyncrasies; we find varying degrees of comfort and satisfaction in exclusive ownership and domination. Surely, this process is not relationship, but mere imposition, and it is therefore essential to understand the difficult and complex desire to dominate. It takes many subtle forms; and in its self-righteous aspect, it is very obstinate. The desire to "serve" with the unconscious longing to dominate is difficult to understand. Can there be love where there is possessiveness? Can we be in communion with those whom we seek to control? To dominate is to use another for self-gratification, and where there is the use of another there is no love. When there is love there is consideration, not only for the children but for every human being. Unless we are deeply touched by the problem, we will never find the right way of education. Mere technical training inevitably makes for ruthlessness, and to educate our children we must be sensitive to the whole movement of life. What we think, what we do, what we say matters infinitely, because it creates the environment, and the environment either helps or hinders the child. Obviously, then, those of us who are deeply interested in this problem will have to begin to understand ourselves and thereby help to transform society; we will make it our direct responsability to bring about a new approach to education. If we love our children, will we not find a way of putting an end to war? But if we are merely using the word "love" without substance, then the whole complex problem of human misery will remain. The way out of this problem lies through ourselves. We must begin to understand our relationship with our fellow men, with nature, with ideas and with things, for without that understanding there is no hope, there is no way out of conflict and suffering. The bringing up of a child requires intelligent observation and care. Experts and their knowledge can never replace the parents' love, but most parents corrupt that love by their own fears and ambitions, which condition and distort the outlook of the child. So few of us are concerned with love, but we are vastly taken up with the appearance of love. The present educational and social structure does not help the individual towards freedom and integration; and if the parents are at all in earnest and desire that the child shall grow to his fullest integral capacity, they must begin to alter the influence of the home and set about creating schools with the right kind of educators. The influence of the home and that of the school must not be in any way contradictory, so both parents and teachers must re-educate themselves. The contradiction which so often exists between the private life of the individual and his life as a member of the group creates an endless battle within himself and in his relationships. This conflict is encouraged and sustained through the wrong kind of education, and both governments and organized religions add to the confusion by their contradictory doctrines. The child is divided within himself from the very start, which results in personal and social disasters.
J. Krishnamurti (Education and the Significance of Life)
Socrates tried to soothe us, true enough. He said there were only two possibilities. Either the soul is immortal or, after death, things would be again as blank as they were before we were born. This is not absolutely comforting either. Anyway it was natural that theology and philosophy should take the deepest interest in this. They owe it to us not to be boring themselves. On this obligation they don’t always make good. However, Kierkegaard was not a bore. I planned to examine his contribution in my master essay. In his view the primacy of the ethical over the esthetic mode was necessary to restore the balance. But enough of that. In myself I could observe the following sources of tedium: 1) The lack of a personal connection with the external world. Earlier I noted that when I was riding through France in a train last spring I looked out of the window and thought that the veil of Maya was wearing thin. And why was this? I wasn’t seeing what was there but only what everyone sees under a common directive. By this is implied that our worldview has used up nature. The rule of this view is that I, a subject, see the phenomena, the world of objects. They, however, are not necessarily in themselves objects as modern rationality defines objects. For in spirit, says Steiner, a man can step out of himself and let things speak to him about themselves, to speak about what has meaning not for him alone but also for them. Thus the sun the moon the stars will speak to nonastronomers in spite of their ignorance of science. In fact it’s high time that this happened. Ignorance of science should not keep one imprisoned in the lowest and weariest sector of being, prohibited from entering into independent relations with the creation as a whole. The educated speak of the disenchanted (a boring) world. But it is not the world, it is my own head that is disenchanted. The world cannot be disenchanted. 2) For me the self-conscious ego is the seat of boredom. This increasing, swelling, domineering, painful self-consciousness is the only rival of the political and social powers that run my life (business, technological-bureaucratic powers, the state). You have a great organized movement of life, and you have the single self, independently conscious, proud of its detachment and its absolute immunity, its stability and its power to remain unaffected by anything whatsoever — by the sufferings of others or by society or by politics or by external chaos. In a way it doesn’t give a damn. It is asked to give a damn, and we often urge it to give a damn but the curse of noncaring lies upon this painfully free consciousness. It is free from attachment to beliefs and to other souls. Cosmologies, ethical systems? It can run through them by the dozens. For to be fully conscious of oneself as an individual is also to be separated from all else. This is Hamlet’s kingdom of infinite space in a nutshell, of “words, words, words,” of “Denmark’s a prison.
Saul Bellow (Humboldt's Gift)
We know of ESB's potential for mind control largely through the work of Jose Delgado. One signal provoked a cat to lick its fur, then continue compulsively licking the floor and bars of its cage. A signal designed to stimulate a portion of a monkey's thalamus, a major midbrain center for integrating muscle movements, triggered a complex action: The monkey walked to one side of the cage, then the other, then climbed to the rear ceiling, then back down. The animal performed this same activity as many times as it was stimulated with the signal, up to sixty times an hour, but not blindly— the creature still was able to avoid obstacles and threats from the dominant male while carrying out the electrical imperative. Another type of signal has made monkeys turn their heads, or smile, no matter what else they were doing, up to twenty thousand times in two weeks. As Delgado concluded, "The animals looked like electronic toys." 
Even instincts and emotions can be changed: In one test a mother giving continuous care to her baby suddenly pushed the infant away whenever the signal was given. Approach-avoidance conditioning can be achieved for any action simply by stimulating the pleasure and pain centers in an animal's or person's limbic system. 
Eventual monitoring of evoked potentials from the EEG, combined with radio-frequency and microwave broadcasts designed to produce specific thoughts or moods, such as compliance and complacency, promises a method of mind control that poses immense danger to all societies —tyranny without terror.
Robert O. Becker (The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life)
Self-Confidence Formula First. I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my Definite Purpose in life, therefore, I demand of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action. Second. I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality, therefore, I will concentrate my thoughts for thirty minutes daily, upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture of that person. Third. I know through the principle of auto-suggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it, therefore, I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self-confidence. Fourth. I have clearly written down a description of my definite chief aim in life, and I will never stop trying, until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment. Fifth. I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice, therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism, by developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them, and in myself. I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud once a day, with full faith that it will gradually influence my thoughts and actions so that I will become a self-reliant, and successful person.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
It had personally pained Trump not to be able to give it to him. But if the Republican establishment had not wanted Trump, they had not wanted Christie almost as much. So Christie got the job of leading the transition and the implicit promise of a central job—attorney general or chief of staff. But when he was the federal prosecutor in New Jersey, Christie had sent Jared’s father, Charles Kushner, to jail in 2005. Charlie Kushner, pursued by the feds for an income tax cheat, set up a scheme with a prostitute to blackmail his brother-in-law, who was planning to testify against him. Various accounts, mostly offered by Christie himself, make Jared the vengeful hatchet man in Christie’s aborted Trump administration career. It was a kind of perfect sweet-revenge story: the son of the wronged man (or, in this case—there’s little dispute—the guilty-as-charged man) uses his power over the man who wronged his family. But other accounts offer a subtler and in a way darker picture. Jared Kushner, like sons-in-law everywhere, tiptoes around his father-in-law, carefully displacing as little air as possible: the massive and domineering older man, the reedy and pliant younger one. In the revised death-of-Chris-Christie story, it is not the deferential Jared who strikes back, but—in some sense even more satisfying for the revenge fantasy—Charlie Kushner himself who harshly demands his due. It was his daughter-in-law who held the real influence in the Trump circle, who delivered the blow. Ivanka told her father that Christie’s appointment as chief of staff or to any other high position would be extremely difficult for her and her family, and it would be best that Christie be removed from the Trump orbit altogether.
Michael Wolff (Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House)
Another view of the Constitution was put forward early in the twentieth century by the historian Charles Beard (arousing anger and indignation, including a denunciatory editorial in the New York Times). He wrote in his book An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution: Inasmuch as the primary object of a government, beyond the mere repression of physical violence, is the making of the rules which determine the property relations of members of society, the dominant classes whose rights are thus to be determined must perforce obtain from the government such rules as are consonant with the larger interests necessary to the continuance of their economic processes, or they must themselves control the organs of government. In short, Beard said, the rich must, in their own interest, either control the government directly or control the laws by which government operates. Beard applied this general idea to the Constitution, by studying the economic backgrounds and political ideas of the fifty-five men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 to draw up the Constitution. He found that a majority of them were lawyers by profession, that most of them were men of wealth, in land, slaves, manufacturing, or shipping, that half of them had money loaned out at interest, and that forty of the fifty-five held government bonds, according to the records of the Treasury Department. Thus, Beard found that most of the makers of the Constitution had some direct economic interest in establishing a strong federal government: the manufacturers needed protective tariffs; the moneylenders wanted to stop the use of paper money to pay off debts; the land speculators wanted protection as they invaded Indian lands; slaveowners needed federal security against slave revolts and runaways; bondholders wanted a government able to raise money by nationwide taxation, to pay off those bonds. Four groups, Beard noted, were not represented in the Constitutional Convention: slaves, indentured servants, women, men without property. And so the Constitution did not reflect the interests of those groups. He wanted to make it clear that he did not think the Constitution was written merely to benefit the Founding Fathers personally, although one could not ignore the $150,000 fortune of Benjamin Franklin, the connections of Alexander Hamilton to wealthy interests through his father-in-law and brother-in-law, the great slave plantations of James Madison, the enormous landholdings of George Washington. Rather, it was to benefit the groups the Founders represented, the “economic interests they understood and felt in concrete, definite form through their own personal experience.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
The Party's all-around intrusion into people's lives was the very point of the process known as 'thought reform." Mao wanted not only external discipline, but the total subjection of all thoughts, large or small. Every week a meeting for 'thought examination' was held for those 'in the revolution." Everyone had both to criticize themselves for incorrect thoughts and be subjected to the criticism of others.The meetings tended to be dominated by self-righteous and petty-minded people, who used them to vent their envy and frustration; people of peasant origin used them to attack those from 'bourgeois' backgrounds. The idea was that people should be reformed to be more like peasants, because the Communist revolution was in essence a peasant revolution. This process appealed to the guilt feelings of the educated; they had been living better than the peasants, and self-criticism tapped into this.Meetings were an important means of Communist control. They left people no free time, and eliminated the private sphere. The pettiness which dominated them was justified on the grounds that prying into personal details was a way of ensuring thorough soul-cleansing. In fact, pettiness was a fundamental characteristic of a revolution in which intrusiveness and ignorance were celebrated, and envy was incorporated into the system of control. My mother's cell grilled her week after week, month after month, forcing her to produce endless self-criticisms.She had to consent to this agonizing process. Life for a revolutionary was meaningless if they were rejected by the Party. It was like excommunication for a Catholic. Besides, it was standard procedure. My father had gone through it and had accepted it as part of 'joining the revolution." In fact, he was still going through it. The Party had never hidden the fact that it was a painful process. He told my mother her anguish was normal.At the end of all this, my mother's two comrades voted against full Party membership for her. She fell into a deep depression. She had been devoted to the revolution, and could not accept the idea that it did not want her; it was particularly galling to think she might not get in for completely petty and irrelevant reasons, decided by two people whose way of thinking seemed light years away from what she had conceived the Party's ideology to be. She was being kept out of a progressive organization by backward people, and yet the revolution seemed to be telling her that it was she who was in the wrong. At the back of her mind was another, more practical point which she did not even spell out to herself: it was vital to get into the Party, because if she failed she would be stigmatized and ostracized.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Politics is the science of domination, and persons in the process of enlargement and illumination are notoriously difficult to control. Therefore, to protect its vested interests, politics usurped religion a very long time ago. Kings bought off priests with land and adornments. Together, they drained the shady ponds and replaced them with fish tanks. The walls of the tanks were constructed of ignorance and superstition, held together with fear. They called the tanks “synagogues” or “churches” or “mosques.” After the tanks were in place, nobody talked much about soul anymore. Instead, they talked about spirit. Soul is hot and heavy. Spirit is cool, abstract, detached. Soul is connected to the earth and its waters. Spirit is connected to the sky and its gases. Out of the gases springs fire. Firepower. It has been observed that the logical extension of all politics is war. Once religion became political, the exercise of it, too, could be said to lead sooner or later to war. “War is hell.” Thus, religious belief propels us straight to hell. History unwaveringly supports this view. (Each modern religion has boasted that it and it alone is on speaking terms with the Deity, and its adherents have been quite willing to die—or kill—to support its presumptuous claims.) Not every silty bayou could be drained, of course. The soulfish that bubbled and snapped in the few remaining ponds were tagged “mystics.” They were regarded as mavericks, exotic and inferior. If they splashed too high, they were thought to be threatening and in need of extermination. The fearful flounders in the tanks, now psychologically dependent upon addictive spirit flakes, had forgotten that once upon a time they, too, had been mystical. Religion is nothing but institutionalized mysticism. The catch is, mysticism does not lend itself to institutionalization. The moment we attempt to organize mysticism, we destroy its essence. Religion, then, is mysticism in which the mystical has been killed. Or, at least diminished. Those who witness the dropping of the fourth veil might see clearly what Spike Cohen and Roland Abu Hadee dimly suspected: that not only is religion divisive and oppressive, it is also a denial of all that is divine in people; it is a suffocation of the soul.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
I have often been asked why I maintained such a non-compromising antagonism to government and in what way I have found myself oppressed by it. In my opinion every individual is hampered by it. It exacts taxes from production. It creates tariffs, which prevent free exchange. It stands ever for the status quo and traditional conduct and belief. It comes into private lives and into most intimate personal relations, enabling the superstitious, puritanical, and distorted ones to impose their ignorant prejudice and moral servitudes upon the sensitive, the imaginative, and the free spirits. Government does this by its divorce laws, its moral censorships, and by a thousand petty persecutions of those who are too honest to wear the moral mask of respectability. In addition, government protects the strong at the expense of the weak, provides courts and laws which the rich may scorn and the poor must obey. It enables the predatory rich to make wars to provide foreign markets for the favored ones, with prosperity for the rulers and wholesale death for the ruled. However, it is not only government in the sense of the state which is destructive of every individual value and quality. It is the whole complex of authority and institutional domination which strangles life. It is the superstition, myth, pretense, evasions, and subservience which support authority and institutional domination. It is the reverence for these institutions instilled in the school, the church and the home in order that man may believe and obey without protest. Such a process of devitalizing and distorting personalities of the individual and of whole communities may have been a part of historical evolution; but it should be strenuously combated by every honest and independent mind in an age which has any pretense to enlightenment.
Emma Goldman (Red Emma Speaks: An Emma Goldman Reader (Contemporary Studies in Philosophy and the Human Sciences))
One of them is a very familiar personage. Her name is “Mother Church.” She is, in many ways, an admirable and dedicated person, deeply concerned about her children, endlessly and tirelessly careful for every detail of their welfare. Her long experience has taught her to understand her family very well. She knows their capabilities and she knows their weakness even better. She is patient and imperturbable, quite unshockable (she has witnessed all of the considerable range of human wickedness in her time) and there are no lengths to which she ill not go to educate her family. She has a huge fund of stories, maxims and advice, all of them time-tested, and usually interesting as well. She is very talented, skilled din creating a beautiful home for her children; she can show them how to enrich their lives with the glory of music and art. And there is no doubt that she loves God, and wishes to guide her children according to his will. On the other hand, she is extremely inclined to feel that her will and God's are identical. In her eyes there can be no better, no other, way than hers. If she is unshockable, she is frequently cynical. She is shrewd, with a thoroughly earthy and often humorous shrewdness. She knows her children's limitations so well that she will not allow them to outgrow them. She will lie and cheat if she feels it is necessary to keep her charges safe; she uses her authority 'for their own good' but if it seems to be questioned she is ruthless in suppressing revolt. She is hugely self-satisfied, and her judgement, while experienced, is often insensitive and therefore cruel. She is suspicious of eccentricity and new ideas, since her own are so clearly effective, and non-conformists get a rough time, though after they are dead she often feels differently about them. This is Mother Church, a crude, domineering, violent, loving, deceitful, compassionate old lady, a person to whom one cannot be indifferent, whom may one may love much and yet fight against, whom one may hate and yet respect.
Rosemary Haughton (The Catholic Thing)
You’re a werewolf,” said Nemane. “Samuel Cornick.” There was a pause. “The Marrok is Bran Cornick.” I kept my gaze on Samuel. “I was just explaining to Dr. Altman why it would be inadvisable for them to eliminate me even though I’m sticking my nose in their business.” Comprehension lit his eyes, which he narrowed at the fae. “Killing Mercy would be a mistake,” he growled. “My da had Mercy raised in our pack and he couldn’t love Mercy more if she were his daughter. For her he would declare open war with the fae and damned be the consequences. You can call him and ask, if you doubt my word.” I’d expected Samuel to defend me—and the fae could not afford to hurt the son of the Marrok, not unless the stakes were a lot higher. I’d counted on that to keep Samuel safe or I’d have found some way to keep him out of it. But the Marrok… I’d always thought I was an annoyance, the only one Bran couldn’t count on for instant obedience. He’d been protective, still was—but his protective instinct was one of the things that made him dominant. I’d thought I was just one more person he had to take care of. But it was as impossible to doubt the truth in Samuel’s voice as it was to believe that he’d be mistaken about Bran. I was glad that Samuel was focused on Nemane, who had risen to her feet when Samuel began speaking. While I blinked back stupid tears, she leaned on the walking stick and said, “Is that so?” “Adam Hauptman, the Columbia Basin Pack’s Alpha, has named Mercy his mate,” continued Samuel grimly. Nemane smiled suddenly, the expression flowing across her face, giving it a delicate beauty I hadn’t noticed before. “I like you,” she said to me. “You play an underhanded and subtle game—and like Coyote, you shake up the order of the world.” She laughed. “Coyote indeed. Good for you. Good for you. I don’t know what else you’ll run into—but I’ll let the Others know what they are dealing with.” She tapped the walking stick on the floor twice. Then, almost to herself, she murmured, “Perhaps…perhaps this won’t be a disaster after all.
Patricia Briggs (Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3))
While women suffer from our relative lack of power in the world and often resent it, certain dimensions of this powerlessness may seem abstract and remote. We know, for example, that we rarely get to make the laws or direct the major financial institutions. But Wall Street and the U.S. Congress seem very far away. The power a woman feels in herself to heal and sustain, on the other hand--"the power of love"--is, once again, concrete and very near: It is like a field of force emanating from within herself, a great river flowing outward from her very person. Thus, a complex and contradictory female subjectivity is constructed within the relations of caregiving. Here, as elsewhere, women are affirmed in some way and diminished in others, this within the unity of a single act. The woman who provides a man with largely unreciprocated emotional sustenance accords him status and pays him homage; she agrees to the unspoken proposition that his doings are important enough to deserve substantially more attention than her own. But even as the man's supremacy in the relationship is tacitly assumed by both parties to the transaction, the man reveals himself to his caregiver as vulnerable and insecure. And while she may well be ethically and epistemically disempowered by the care she gives, this caregiving affords her a feeling that a mighty power resides within her being. The situation of those men in the hierarchy of gender who avail themselves of female tenderness is not thereby altered: Their superordinate position is neither abandoned, nor their male privilege relinquished. The vulnerability these men exhibit is not a prelude in any way to their loss of male privilege or to an elevation in the status of women. Similarly, the feeling that one's love is a mighty force for the good in the life of the beloved doesn't make it so, as Milena Jesenka found, to her sorrow. The feeling of out-flowing personal power so characteristic of the caregiving woman is quite different from the having of any actual power in the world. There is no doubt that this sense of personal efficacy provides some compensation for the extra-domestic power women are typically denied: If one cannot be a king oneself, being a confidante of kings may be the next best thing. But just as we make a bad bargain in accepting an occasional Valentine in lieu of the sustained attention we deserve, we are ill advised to settle for a mere feeling of power, however heady and intoxicating it may be, in place of the effective power we have every right to exercise in the world.
Sandra Lee Bartky (Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression (Thinking Gender))
The problem with racial discrimination, though, is not the inference of a person's race from their genetic characteristics. It is quite the opposite: it is the inference of a person's characteristics from their race. The question is not, can you, given an individual's skin color, hair texture, or language, infer something about their ancestry or origin. That is a question of biological systematics -- of lineage, taxonomy, of racial geography, of biological discrimination. Of course you can -- and genomics as vastly refined that inference. You can scan any individual genome and infer rather deep insights about a person's ancestry, or place of origin. But the vastly more controversial question is the converse: Given a racial identity -- African or Asian, say -- can you infer anything about an individual's characteristics: not just skin or hair color, but more complex features, such as intelligence, habits, personality, and aptitude? /I/ Genes can certainly tell us about race, but can race tell us anything about genes? /i/ To answer this question, we need to measure how genetic variation is distributed across various racial categories. Is there more diversity _within_ races or _between_ races? Does knowing that someone is of African versus European descent, say, allow us to refine our understanding of their genetic traits, or their personal, physical, or intellectual attributes in a meaningful manner? Or is there so much variation within Africans and Europeans that _intraracial_ diversity dominates the comparison, thereby making the category "African" or "European" moot? We now know precise and quantitative answers to these questions. A number of studies have tried to quantify the level of genetic diversity of the human genome. The most recent estimates suggest that the vast proportion of genetic diversity (85 to 90 percent) occurs _within_ so-called races (i.e., within Asians or Africans) and only a minor proportion (7 percent) within racial groups (the geneticist Richard Lewontin had estimated a similar distribution as early as 1972). Some genes certainly vary sharply between racial or ethnic groups -- sickle-cell anemia is an Afro-Caribbean and Indian disease, and Tay-Sachs disease has a much higher frequency in Ashkenazi Jews -- but for the most part, the genetic diversity within any racial group dominates the diversity between racial groups -- not marginally, but by an enormous amount. The degree of interracial variability makes "race" a poor surrogate for nearly any feature: in a genetic sense, an African man from Nigria is so "different" from another man from Namibia that it makes little sense to lump them into the same category.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
We have seen that imagining an act engages the same motor and sensory programs that are involved in doing it. We have long viewed our imaginative life with a kind of sacred awe: as noble, pure, immaterial, and ethereal, cut off from our material brain. Now we cannot be so sure about where to draw the line between them. Everything your “immaterial” mind imagines leaves material traces. Each thought alters the physical state of your brain synapses at a microscopic level. Each time you imagine moving your fingers across the keys to play the piano, you alter the tendrils in your living brain. These experiments are not only delightful and intriguing, they also overturn the centuries of confusion that have grown out of the work of the French philosopher René Descartes, who argued that mind and brain are made of different substances and are governed by different laws. The brain, he claimed, was a physical, material thing, existing in space and obeying the laws of physics. The mind (or the soul, as Descartes called it) was immaterial, a thinking thing that did not take up space or obey physical laws. Thoughts, he argued, were governed by the rules of reasoning, judgment, and desires, not by the physical laws of cause and effect. Human beings consisted of this duality, this marriage of immaterial mind and material brain. But Descartes—whose mind/body division has dominated science for four hundred years—could never credibly explain how the immaterial mind could influence the material brain. As a result, people began to doubt that an immaterial thought, or mere imagining, might change the structure of the material brain. Descartes’s view seemed to open an unbridgeable gap between mind and brain. His noble attempt to rescue the brain from the mysticism that surrounded it in his time, by making it mechanical, failed. Instead the brain came to be seen as an inert, inanimate machine that could be moved to action only by the immaterial, ghostlike soul Descartes placed within it, which came to be called “the ghost in the machine.” By depicting a mechanistic brain, Descartes drained the life out of it and slowed the acceptance of brain plasticity more than any other thinker. Any plasticity—any ability to change that we had—existed in the mind, with its changing thoughts, not in the brain. But now we can see that our “immaterial” thoughts too have a physical signature, and we cannot be so sure that thought won’t someday be explained in physical terms. While we have yet to understand exactly how thoughts actually change brain structure, it is now clear that they do, and the firm line that Descartes drew between mind and brain is increasingly a dotted line.
Norman Doidge (The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science)
There is a change underway, however. Our society used to be a ladder on which people generally climbed upward. More and more now we are going to a planetary structure, in which the great dominant lower middle class, the class that determines our prevailing values and organizational structures in education, government, and most of society, are providing recruits for the other groups — sideways, up, and even down, although the movement downward is relatively small. As the workers become increasingly petty bourgeois and as middle-class bureaucratic and organizational structures increasingly govern all aspects of our society, our society is increasingly taking on the characteristics of the lower middle class, although the poverty culture is also growing. The working class is not growing. Increasingly we are doing things with engineers sitting at consoles, rather than with workers screwing nuts on wheels. The workers are a diminishing, segment of society, contrary to Marx’s prediction that the proletariat would grow and grow. I have argued elsewhere that many people today are frustrated because we are surrounded by organizational structures and artifacts. Only the petty bourgeoisie can find security and emotional satisfaction in an organizational structure, and only a middle-class person can find them in artifacts, things that men have made, such as houses, yachts, and swimming pools. But human beings who are growing up crave sensation and experience. They want contact with other people, moment-to-moment, intimate contact. I’ve discovered, however, that the intimacy really isn’t there. Young people touch each other, often in an almost ritual way; they sleep together, eat together, have sex together. But I don’t see the intimacy. There is a lot of action, of course, but not so much more than in the old days, I believe, because now there is a great deal more talk than action. This group, the lower middle class, it seems to me, holds the key to the future. I think probably they will win out. If they do, they will resolutely defend our organizational structures and artifacts. They will cling to the automobile, for instance; they will not permit us to adopt more efficient methods of moving people around. They will defend the system very much as it is and, if necessary, they will use all the force they can command. Eventually they will stop dissent altogether, whether from the intellectuals, the religious, the poor, the people who run the foundations, the Ivy League colleges, all the rest. The colleges are already becoming bureaucratized, anyway. I can’t see the big universities or the foundations as a strong progressive force. The people who run Harvard and the Ford Foundation look more and more like lower-middle-class bureaucrats who pose no threat to the established order because they are prepared to do anything to defend the system.
Carroll Quigley (Carroll Quigley: Life, Lectures and Collected Writings)
Authority does not have to be a person or institution which says: you have to do this, or you are not allowed to do that. While this kind of authority may be called external authority, authority can appear as internal authority, under the name of duty, conscience, or super-ego. As a matter of fact, the development of modern thinking from Protestantism to Kant's philosophy, can be characterized as the substitution of internalized authority for an external one. With the political victories of the rising middle class, external authority lost prestige and man's own conscience assumed the place which external authority once had held. This change appeared to many as the victory of freedom. To submit to orders from the outside (at least in spiritual matters) appeared to be unworthy of a free man; but the conquest of his natural inclinations, and the establishment of the domination of one part of the individual, his nature, by another, his reason, will or conscience, seemed to be the very essence of freedom. Analysis shows that conscience rules with a harshness as great as external authorities, and furthermore that frequently the contents of the orders issued by man's conscience are ultimately not governed by demands of the individual self but by social demands which have assumed the dignity of ethical norms. The rulership of conscience can be even harsher than that of external authorities, since the individual feels its orders to be his own; how can he rebel against himself? In recent decades "conscience" has lost much of its significance. It seems as though neither external nor internal authorities play any prominent role in the individual's life. Everybody is completely "free", if only he does not interfere with other people's legitimate claims. But what we find is rather that instead of disappearing, authority has made itself invisible. Instead of overt authority, "anonymous" authority reigns.It is disguised as common sense, science, psychic health, normality, public opinion. It does not demand anything except the self-evident. It seems to use no pressure but only mild persuasion. Whether a mother says to her daughter, "I know you will not like to go out with that boy", or an advertisement suggests, "Smoke this brand of cigarettes--you will like their coolness", it is the same atmosphere of subtle suggestion which actually pervades our whole social life. Anonymous authority is more effective than overt authority, since one never suspects that there is any order which one is expected to follow. In external authority it is clear that there is an order and who gives it; one can fight against the authority, and in this fight personal independence and moral courage can develop.But whereas in internalized authority the command, though an internal one, remains visible, in anonymous authority both command and commander have become invisible.It is like being fired at by an invisible enemy. There is nobody and nothing to fight back against.
Erich Fromm (Escape from Freedom)
It caused my opposition to any ideologies—Marxist, Fascist, National Socialist, what you will—because they were incompatible with science in the rational sense of critical analysis. I again refer back to Max Weber as the great thinker who brought that problem to my attention; and I still maintain today that nobody who is an ideologist can be a competent social scientist." It is extremely difficult to engage in a critical discussion of National Socialist ideas, as I found out when I gave my semester course on “Hitler and the Germans” in 1964 in Munich, because in National Socialist and related documents we are still further below the level on which rational argument is possible than in the case of Hegel and Marx. In order to deal with rhetoric of this type, one must first develop a philosophy of language, going into the problems of symbolization on the basis of the philosophers’ experience of humanity and of the perversion of such symbols on the vulgarian level by people who are utterly unable to read a philosopher’s work. A person on this level—which I characterize as the vulgarian and, so far as it becomes socially relevant, as the ochlocratic level—again, is not admissible to the position of a partner in discussion but can only be an object of scientific research. Because of this attitude I have been called every conceivable name by partisans of this or that ideology. I have in my files documents labeling me a Communist, a Fascist, a National Socialist, an old liberal, a new liberal, a Jew, a Catholic, a Protestant, a Platonist, a neo-Augustinian, a Thomist, and of course a Hegelian—not to forget that I was supposedly strongly influenced by Huey Long. This list I consider of some importance, because the various characterizations of course always name the pet bête noire of the respective critic and give, therefore, a very good picture of the intellectual destruction and corruption that characterize the contemporary academic world. Understandably, I have never answered such criticisms; critics of this type can become objects of inquiry, but they cannot be partners in a discussion. Anybody with an informed and reflective mind who lives in the twentieth century since the end of the First World War, as I did, finds himself hemmed in, if not oppressed, from all sides by a flood of ideological language—meaning thereby language symbols that pretend to be concepts but in fact are unanalyzed topoi or topics. Moreover, anybody who is exposed to this dominant climate of opinion has to cope with the problem that language is a social phenomenon. He cannot deal with the users of ideological language as partners in a discussion, but he has to make them the object of investigation. There is no community of language with the representatives of the dominant ideologies.
Eric Voegelin (Autobiographical Reflections (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 34))
In the Middle Ages, marriage was considered a sacrament ordained by God, and God also authorised the father to marry his children according to his wishes and interests. An extramarital affair was accordingly a brazen rebellion against both divine and parental authority. It was a mortal sin, no matter what the lovers felt and thought about it. Today people marry for love, and it is their inner feelings that give value to this bond. Hence, if the very same feelings that once drove you into the arms of one man now drive you into the arms of another, what’s wrong with that? If an extramarital affair provides an outlet for emotional and sexual desires that are not satisfied by your spouse of twenty years, and if your new lover is kind, passionate and sensitive to your needs – why not enjoy it? But wait a minute, you might say. We cannot ignore the feelings of the other concerned parties. The woman and her lover might feel wonderful in each other’s arms, but if their respective spouses find out, everybody will probably feel awful for quite some time. And if it leads to divorce, their children might carry the emotional scars for decades. Even if the affair is never discovered, hiding it involves a lot of tension, and may lead to growing feelings of alienation and resentment. The most interesting discussions in humanist ethics concern situations like extramarital affairs, when human feelings collide. What happens when the same action causes one person to feel good, and another to feel bad? How do we weigh the feelings against each other? Do the good feelings of the two lovers outweigh the bad feelings of their spouses and children? It doesn’t matter what you think about this particular question. It is far more important to understand the kind of arguments both sides deploy. Modern people have differing ideas about extramarital affairs, but no matter what their position is, they tend to justify it in the name of human feelings rather than in the name of holy scriptures and divine commandments. Humanism has taught us that something can be bad only if it causes somebody to feel bad. Murder is wrong not because some god once said, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Rather, murder is wrong because it causes terrible suffering to the victim, to his family members, and to his friends and acquaintances. Theft is wrong not because some ancient text says, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Rather, theft is wrong because when you lose your property, you feel bad about it. And if an action does not cause anyone to feel bad, there can be nothing wrong about it. If the same ancient text says that God commanded us not to make any images of either humans or animals (Exodus 20:4), but I enjoy sculpting such figures, and I don’t harm anyone in the process – then what could possibly be wrong with it? The same logic dominates current debates on homosexuality. If two adult men enjoy having sex with one another, and they don’t harm anyone while doing so, why should it be wrong, and why should we outlaw it? It is a private matter between these two men, and they are free to decide about it according to their inner feelings. In the Middle Ages, if two men confessed to a priest that they were in love with one another, and that they never felt so happy, their good feelings would not have changed the priest’s damning judgement – indeed, their happiness would only have worsened the situation. Today, in contrast, if two men love one another, they are told: ‘If it feels good – do it! Don’t let any priest mess with your mind. Just follow your heart. You know best what’s good for you.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)