Fortunate Accident Quotes

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Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Shawn Slovo (Captain Corelli's Mandolin filmscript)
Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.
Louis de Bernières (Corelli’s Mandolin)
It's a sad day when you find out that it's not accident or time or fortune, but just yourself that kept things from you.
Lillian Hellman
We throw our parties; we abandon our families to live alone in Canada; we struggle to write books that do not change the world, despite our gifts and our unstinting efforts, our most extravagant hopes. We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep. It's as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out windows, or drown themselves, or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us are slowly devoured by some disease, or, if we're very fortunate, by time itself. There's just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we've ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) know these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more. Heaven only knows why we love it so...
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
Love is not breathlessness; It is not excitement; It is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love”, which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Louis de Bernières (Corelli’s Mandolin)
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and, when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
Louis de Bernières (Corelli’s Mandolin)
To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages today that determine success--the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history--with a society that provides opportunities for all.
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
Love itself is what is left over when being "in love" has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Louis de Bernières (Corelli’s Mandolin)
It seemed to him that in Annawadi, fortunes derived not just from what people did, or how well they did it, but from the accidents and catastrophes they dodged. A decent life was the train that hadn’t hit you, the slumlord you hadn’t offended, the malaria you hadn’t caught.
Katherine Boo (Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity)
Chance or accident is not responsible for the things that happen to you, nor is predestined fate the author of your fortune or misfortune. Your subconscious impressions determine the conditions of your world. The subconscious is not selective; it is impersonal and no respecter of persons. The subconscious is not concerned with the truth or falsity of your feeling. It always accepts as true that which you feel to be true. Feeling is the assent of the subconscious to the truth of that which is declared to be true. Because of this quality of the subconscious there is nothing impossible to man. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and feel as true, the subconscious can and must objectify. Your feelings create the pattern from which your world is fashioned, and a change of feeling is a change of pattern.
Neville Goddard (RESURRECTION: Revised & Updated Edition)
You see the first thing we love is a scene. For love at first sight requires the very sign of its suddenness; and of all things, it is the scene which seems to be seen best for the first time: a curtain parts and what had not yet ever been seen is devoured by the eyes: the scene consecrates the object I am going to love. The context is the constellation of elements, harmoniously arranged that encompass the experience of the amorous subject... Love at first sight is always spoken in the past tense. The scene is perfectly adapted to this temporal phenomenon: distinct, abrupt, framed, it is already a memory (the nature of a photograph is not to represent but to memorialize)... this scene has all the magnificence of an accident: I cannot get over having had this good fortune: to meet what matches my desire. The gesture of the amorous embrace seems to fulfill, for a time, the subject's dream of total union with the loved being: The longing for consummation with the other... In this moment, everything is suspended: time, law, prohibition: nothing is exhausted, nothing is wanted: all desires are abolished, for they seem definitively fulfilled... A moment of affirmation; for a certain time, though a finite one, a deranged interval, something has been successful: I have been fulfilled (all my desires abolished by the plenitude of their satisfaction).
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
I wake sometimes in the dark terrified by my life's precariousness, its thready breath. Beside me, my husband's pulse beats at his throat; in their beds, my children's skin shows every faintest scratch. A breeze would blow them over, and the world is filled with more than breezes: diseases and disasters, monsters and pain in a thousand variations. I do not forget either my father and his kind hanging over us, bright and sharp as swords, aimed at our tearing flesh. If they do not fall on us in spite and malice, then they will fall by accident or whim. My breath fights in my throat. How can I live on beneath such a burden of doom? I rise then and go to my herbs. I create something, I transform something. My witchcraft is as strong as ever, stronger. This too is good fortune. How many have such power and leisure and defense as I do? Telemachus comes from our bed to find me. He sits with me in the greensmelling darkness, holding my hand. Our faces are both lined now, marked with our years. Circe, he says, it will be all right. It is not the saying of an oracle or a prophet. They are words you might speak to a child. I have heard him say them to our daughters, when he rocked them back to sleep from a nightmare, when he dressed their small cuts, soothed whatever stung. His skin is familiar as my own beneath my fingers. I listen to his breath, warm upon the night air, and somehow I am comforted. He does not mean it does not hurt. He does not mean we are not frightened. Only that: we are here. This is what it means to swim in the tide, to walk the earth and feel it touch your feet. This is what it means to be alive.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep - it's as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out of windows or drown themselves or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us, the vast majority, are slowly devoured by some disease or, if we're very fortunate, by time itself. There's just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we've ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) knows these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep. It's as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out windows, or drown themselves, or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us are slowly devoured by some disease, or, if we're very fortunate, by time itself. There's just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds & expectations, to burst open & give us everything we've ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) know these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning, we hope, more than anything for more. Heaven only knows why we love it so.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
Transformation isn't a butterfly. It's the thing before you get to be a pretty bug flying away. It's huddling in the dark cocoon and then pushing your way out. It's the messy work of making sense of your fortunes and misfortunes, desires and doubts, hang-ups and sorrows, actions and accidents, mistakes and successes, so you can go on and become the person you must next become.
Cheryl Strayed (Brave Enough)
From a certain height, everyone looks the same - men, women, villains, kings - as if rank and fortune were simply an accident of perspective.
Joanne Harris (Holy Fools)
I refer to them as miracles-although some may call them fortunate circumstances-because I believe there are no accidents or surprises with God.
Don Piper (90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life)
These brats know a lot of words,' Shirley said, in her ridiculously fake high voice. 'They're book addicts. But we can still create an accident and win the fortune!
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
We throw our parties; we abandon our families to live alone in Canada; we struggle to write books that do not change the world, despite our gifts and our unstinting efforts, our most extravagant hopes. We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep--it's as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out of windows or drown themselves or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us, the vast majority, are slowly devoured by some disease or, if we're very fortunate, by time itself.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
Professor Dr Moritz-Maria Von Igelfeld often reflected on how fortunate he was to be exactly who he was, and nobody else. When one paused to think who one might have been had the accident of birth not happened precisely as it did, then, well, one could be quite frankly appalled.
Alexander McCall Smith (Portuguese Irregular Verbs (Portuguese Irregular Verbs, #1))
A book, like a person, has its fortunes with one; is lucky or unlucky in the precise moment of its falling in our way, and often by some happy accident counts with us for something more than its independent value.
Walter Pater (Marius the Epicurean)
What was astonishing to him was how people seemed to run out of their own being, run out of whatever the stuff was that made them who they were and, drained of themselves, turn into the sort of people they would have once have felt sorry for. It was as though while their lives were rich and full they were secretly sick of themselves and couldn't wait to dispose of their sanity and their health and all sense of proportion so as to get down to that other self, the true self, who was a wholly deluded fuckup. It was as though being in tune with life was an accident that might sometimes befall the fortunate young but was otherwise something for which human beings lacked any real affinity. How odd. And how odd it made him seem to be numbered among the countless unembattled normal ones might, in fact, be the abnormality, a stranger from real life because of his being so sturdily rooted.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral)
This was the road over which Ántonia and I came on that night when we got off the train at Black Hawk and were bedded down in the straw, wondering children, being taken we knew not whither. I had only to close my eyes to hear the rumbling of the wagons in the dark, and to be again overcome by that obliterating strangeness. The feelings of that night were so near that I could reach out and touch them with my hand. I had the sense of coming home to myself, and of having found out what a little circle man’s experience is. For Ántonia and for me, this had been the road of Destiny; had taken us to those early accidents of fortune which predetermined for us all that we can ever be. Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.
Willa Cather (My Ántonia)
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Louis de Bernières
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two. But sometimes the petals fall away and the roots have not entwined.
Louis de Bernières (Captain Corelli's Mandolin filmscript)
I do believe you think what now you speak, but what we do determine oft we break. Purpose is but the slave to memory, of violent birth, but poor validity, which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree, but fall, unshaken, when they mellow be. Most unnecessary 'tis that we forget to pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt. What to ourselves in passion we propose, the passion ending, doth the purpose lose. The violence of either grief or joy their own enactures with themselves destroy. Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament. Grief joys, joy grieves on slender accident. This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange that even our loves should with our fortunes change. For 'tis a question left us yet to prove, whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love. The great man down, you mark his favorite flies. The poor advanced makes friends of enemies. And hitherto doth love on fortune tend, for who not needs shall never lack a friend, and who in want a hollow friend doth try, directly seasons him his enemy. But, orderly to end where I begun, our wills and fates do so contrary run that our devices still are overthrown. Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own. So think thou wilt no second husband wed, but die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
WE CAME TO THIS STORY by separate paths, one of us by accident and one by birth.
Bill Dedman (Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune)
It’s not by accident that people talk of a state of confusion as not being able to see the wood for the trees, or of being out of the woods when some crisis is surmopunted. It is a place of loss, confusion, terror and anger, a place where you can, like Dante, find yourself going down into Hell. But if it’s any comfort, the dark wood isn’t just that. It’s also a place of opportunity and adventure. It is the place in which fortunes can be reversed, hearts mended, hopes reborn.
Amanda Craig
Many lives are disrupted by tragic accidents, and even the most fortunate are subjected to stresses of various kinds. Yet such blows do not necessarily diminish happiness. It is how people respond to stress that determines whether they will profit from misfortune or be miserable.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
And another thing. Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanos and then it subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love” which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
E.K. Blair (Author Anonymous)
We do not suffer by accident. It does not often happen that the interference of friends will persuade a young man of independent fortune to think no more of a girl whom he was violently in love with only a few days before
Jane Austen
Some lives were saved by accident; some, by an accident.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Mom and Dad were killed in a car accident on their way home from the tournament.” Mr. Terupt’s eyes were moist, but he kept going. “Fortunately, I was headed to college, which was the best place for me. Wrestling saved my life. The challenge it provided kept me going when I could have easily given up. I have no brothers or sisters, or any other extended family, so I was alone after my parents died. You saw that last year at the hospital. But now I have all of you. Sometimes answers come at unexpected times, in unexpected ways and unexpected places. I never
Rob Buyea (Mr. Terupt Falls Again)
When elderly Cypriot women wish ill on someone, they don't ask for anything blatantly bad to befall them. They don't pray for lightning bolts, unforseen accidents or sudden reversals of fortune. They simply say, May you never be able to forget. May you go to your grave still remembering.
Elif Shafak (The Island of Missing Trees)
That people were manifold creatures didn't come as a surprise to the Swede, even if it was a bit of a shock to realize it anew when someone let you down. What was astonishing to him was how people seemed to run out of their own being, run out of whatever the stuff was that made them who they were and, drained of themselves, turn into the sort of people they would once have felt sorry for. It was as though while their lives were rich and full they were secretly sick of themselves and couldn't wait to dispose of their sanity and their health and all sense of proportion so as to get down to that other self, the true self, who was a wholly deluded fuckup. It was as though being in tune with life was an accident that might sometimes befall the fortunate young but was otherwise something for which human beings lacked any real affinity.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral)
For why do the successful owe anything to the less-advantaged members of society? The answer to this question depends on recognizing that, for all our striving, we are not self-made and self-sufficient; finding ourselves in a society that prizes our talents is our good fortune, not our due. A lively sense of the contingency of our lot can inspire a certain humility: "There, but for the grace of God, or the accident of birth, or the mystery of fate, go I." Such humility is the beginning of the way back from the harsh ethic of success that drives us apart. It points beyond the tyranny of merit toward a less rancorous, more generous public life.
Michael J. Sandel (The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?)
America stands before the world as an impetuous void, a fatality without substance. Nothing prepared her for hegemony; yet she tends toward it, not without a certain hesitation. Unlike the other nations which have had to pass through a whole series of humiliations and defeats, she has known till now only the sterility of an uninterrupted good fortune. If, in the future, everything should continue to go as well, her appearance on the scene will have been an accident without influence. Those who preside over her destiny, those who take her interests to heart, should prepare her for bad times; in order to cease being a superficial monster, she requires an ordeal of major scope. Perhaps she is not far from one now. Having lived, hitherto, outside hell, she is preparing to descend into it. If she seeks a destiny for herself, she will find it only on the ruins of all that was her raison d'être.
Emil M. Cioran
This was the road over which Ántonia and I came on that night when we got off the train at Black Hawk and were bedded down in the straw, wondering children, being taken we knew not whither. I had only to close my eyes to hear the rumbling of the wagons in the dark, and to be again overcome by that obliterating strangeness. The feelings of that night were so near that I could reach out and touch them with my hand. I had the sense of coming home to myself, and of having found out what a little circle man's experience is. For Ántonia and for me, this had been the road of Destiny; had taken us to those early accidents of fortune which predetermined for us all that we can ever be. Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.
Willa Cather (My Ántonia)
It was the ultimate cautionary tale, the moral being Don't fall, as if they were made of glass. In a sense they were--their fragility was irrefutable, medically proven--and yet Emily detested the inevitable rundown of accidents and tragedies, the more fortunate clucking their tongues and counting their blessings, all the while knowing it was just a matter of time. She didn't need to be reminded that she was a single misstep from disaster, especially here, without Henry, surrounded by the survivors of an earlier life.
Stewart O'Nan (Emily, Alone (Emily Maxwell, #2))
They were saddened that [Rawlins] was not coming back but they said that a man leaves much when he leaves his own country. They said that it was no accident of circumstance that a man be born in a certain country and not some other and they said that the weathers and seasons that form a land form also the inner fortunes of men in their generations and are passed on to their children and are not so easily come by otherwise.
Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1))
The problem I thus pose is not what shall succeed mankind in the sequence of living beings (man is an end), but what type of man shall be bred, shall be willed, for being higher in value, worthier of life, more certain of a future. Even in the past this higher type has appeared often — but as a fortunate accident, as an exception, never as something willed. In fact, this has been the type most dreaded — almost the dreadful — and from dread the opposite type was willed, bred, and attained: the domestic animal, the herd animal, the sick human animal — the Christian.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Anti-Christ)
We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep. It’s as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out windows, or drown themselves, or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us are slowly devoured by some disease, or, if we’re very fortunate, by time itself. There’s just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we’ve ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) know these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
They said that it was no accident of circumstance that a man be born in a certain country and not some other and they said that the weathers and seasons that form a land form also the inner fortunes of men in their generations and are passed on to their children and are not so easily come by otherwise.
Cormac McCarthy (All The Pretty Horses)
I wish he would come!  I wish he would come!” I exclaimed, seized with hypochondriac foreboding.  I had expected his arrival before tea; now it was dark: what could keep him?  Had an accident happened?  The event of last night again recurred to me.  I interpreted it as a warning of disaster.  I feared my hopes were too bright to be realised; and I had enjoyed so much bliss lately that I imagined my fortune had passed its meridian, and must now decline.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Harry, like me, had gotten into it for the ego. And we were both fortunate that we’d found our humanity in it, even though it appeared to be somewhat by accident.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
Sometimes a landscape seems to be less a setting for the life of its inhabitants than a curtain behind which their struggles, achievements and accidents take place.
John Berger (A Fortunate Man: The Story of a Country Doctor)
This is the air; that is the glorious sun; This pearl she gave me, I do feel't and see't; And though 'tis wonder that enwraps me thus, Yet 'tis not madness. For though my soul disputes well with my sense, That this may be some error, but no madness, Yet doth this accident and flood of fortune So far exceed all instance, all discourse, That I am ready to distrust mine eyes And wrangle with my reason that persuades me To any other trust but that I am mad Or else the lady's mad; yet, if 'twere so, She could not sway her house, command her followers, Take and give back affairs and their dispatch With such a smooth, discreet and stable bearing As I perceive she does
William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
I let the pebbles tumble to the ground from my fingers, where they lie, haphazard or purposeful, an augury or an accident. If Chiron were here, he could read them, tell us our fortunes. But he is not here. “What if he will not beg?” I ask. “Then he will die. They will all die. I will not fight until he does.” His chin juts, bracing for reproach. I am worn out. My arm hurts where I cut it, and my skin feels coated with unwholesome sweat. I do not answer.
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
Nuclear weapons may well have made deliberate war less likely,” Sagan now thought, “but the complex and tightly coupled nuclear arsenal we have constructed has simultaneously made accidental war more likely.” Researching The Limits of Safety left him feeling pessimistic about our ability to control high-risk technologies. The fact that a catastrophic accident with a nuclear weapon has never occurred, Sagan wrote, can be explained less by “good design than good fortune.
Eric Schlosser (Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety)
Secondary structural dissociation involves one ANP and more than one EP. Examples of secondary structural dissociation are complex PTSD, complex forms of acute stress disorder, complex dissociative amnesia, complex somatoform disorders, some forms of trauma-relayed personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, and dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (DDNOS).. Secondary structural dissociation is characterized by divideness of two or more defensive subsystems. For example, there may be different EPs that are devoted to flight, fight or freeze, total submission, and so on. (Van der Hart et al., 2004). Gail, a patient of mine, does not have a personality disorder, but describes herself as a "changed person." She survived a horrific car accident that killed several others, and in which she was the driver. Someone not knowing her history might see her as a relatively normal, somewhat anxious and stiff person (ANP). It would not occur to this observer that only a year before, Gail had been a different person: fun-loving, spontaneous, flexible, and untroubled by frightening nightmares and constant anxiety. Fortunately, Gail has been willing to pay attention to her EPs; she has been able to put the process of integration in motion; and she has been able to heal. p134
Elizabeth F. Howell (The Dissociative Mind)
Drat!" Dr. Orwell said. "He's unhypnotized! How in the world would a child know a complicated word like 'inordinate'?" "These brats know lots of words," Shirley said, in her ridiculously fake high voice. "They're book addicts. But we can still create an accident and win the fortune!
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
Lucky" is a strange word to use to describe my situation, but a part of me does feel fortunate that I didn't get hit by the proverbial bus. Cancer has given me the time to have these vital conversations with Jai that wouldn't be possible if my fate were a heart attack or a car accident.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
it was no accident of circumstance that a man be born in a certain country and not some other and they said that the weathers and seasons that form a land form also the inner fortunes of men in their generations and are passed on to their children and are not so easily come by otherwise.
Cormac McCarthy (All The Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1))
What was astonishing to him was how people seemed to run out of their own being, run out of whatever the stuff was that made them who they were and, drained of themselves, turn into the sort of people they would once have felt sorry for. It was as though whole their lives were rich and full they were secretly sick of themselves and couldn't wait to dispose of their sanity and their health and all sense of proportion so as to get down to that other self, the true self, who was a wholly deluded fuckup. It was as though being in tune with life was an accident that might sometimes befall the fortunate young but was otherwise something for which human beings lacked any real affinity. How odd. And how odd it made him seem to himself to think that he who had always felt blessed to be numbered among the countless unembattled normal ones might, in fact, be the abnormality, a stranger from real life because of his being so sturdily rooted.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral)
Profit is so very fluctuating that the person who carries on a particular trade cannot always tell you himself what is the average of his annual profit. It is affected not only by every variation of price in the commodities which he deals in, but by the good or bad fortune both of his rivals and of his customers, and by a thousand other accidents to which goods when carried either by sea or by land, or even when stored in a warehouse, are liable. It varies, therefore, not only from year to year, but from day to day, and almost from hour to hour. To ascertain what is the average profit of all the different trades carried on in a great kingdom must be much more difficult; and to judge of what it may have been formerly, or in remote periods of time, with any degree of precision, must be altogether impossible. But though it may be impossible to determine, with any degree of precision, what are or were the average profits of stock, either in the present or in ancient times, some notion may be formed of them from the interest of money. It may be laid down as a maxim, that wherever a great deal can be made by the use of money, a great deal will commonly be given for the use of it; and that wherever little can be made by it, less will commonly be given for it. According, therefore, as the usual market rate of interest varies in any country, we may be assured that the ordinary profits of stock must vary with it, must sink as it sinks, and rise as it rises. The progress of interest, therefore, may lead us to form some notion of the progress of profit.
Adam Smith (An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations)
This was the road over which Antonia and I came on that night when we got off the train at Black Hawk and were bedded down in the straw, wondering children, being taken we knew not whither. I had only to close my eyes to hear the rumbling of the wagons in the dark, and to be again overcome by that obliterating strangeness. The feelings of that night were so near that I could reach out and touch them with my hand. I had the sense of coming home to myself, and of having found out what a little circle man's experience is. For Antonia and for me, this had been the road of Destiny; had taken us to those early accidents of fortune which predetermined for us all that we can ever be. Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.
Willa Cather (My Antonia)
Therefore, since I could count on no continuity of sapient will to carry me through, indeed since all that was certain was that I must suffer repeated loss of same in order to maintain my body's vitality, my only course was to accomplish with what I hoped was the greater puissance of conscious craft what I had already once barely managed to achieve by accident of fate. Which was to use these periods of conscious lucidity to engrave a mantric tropism upon the presentient levels of my mind with perpetual chanting repetition and diligent meditation, so that even when reason and conscious will had once more fled, my Bloomenkind self would, during periods of enforced floral nirvana, be programmed to follow the yellow, to follow the sun that sooner or later must rise during a cycle of such meditations into its percept sphere. "Follow the sun, follow the yellow, follow the Yellow Brick Road ...
Norman Spinrad (Child of Fortune)
What was astonishing to him was how people seemed to run out of their own being, run out of whatever the stuff was that made them who they were and, drained of themselves, turn into the sort of people they would once have felt sorry for. It was as though while their lives were rich and full they were secretly sick of themselves and couldn’t wait to dispose of their sanity and their health and all sense of proportion so as to get down to that other self, the true self, who was a wholly deluded fuckup. It was as though being in tune with life was an accident that might sometimes befall the fortunate young but was otherwise something for which human beings lacked any real affinity. How odd. And how odd it made him seem to himself to think that he who had always felt blessed to be numbered among the countless unembattled normal ones might, in fact, be the abnormality, a stranger from real life because of his being so sturdily rooted.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral (The American Trilogy, #1))
I have long been of the Opinion, says he, that the Fire was a vast Blessing and the Plague likewise; it gave us Occasion to understand the Secrets of Nature which otherwise might have overwhelm'd us. (I busied my self with the right Order of the Draughts, and said nothing.) With what Firmness of Mind, Sir Chris. went on, did the People see their City devoured, and I can still remember how after the Plague and the Fire the Chearfulnesse soon returned to them: Forgetfulnesse is the great Mystery of Time. I remember, I said as I took a Chair opposite to him, how the Mobb applauded the Flames. I remember how they sang and danced by the Corses during the Contagion: that was not Chearfulnesse but Phrenzy. And I remember, also, the Rage and the Dying - These were the Accidents of Fortune, Nick, from which we have learned so much in this Generation. It was said, sir, that the Plague and the Fire were no Accidents but Substance, that they were the Signes of the Beast withinne. And Sir Chris. laughed at this. At which point Nat put his Face in: Do you call, sirs? Would you care for a Dish of Tea or some Wine? Some Tea, some Tea, cried Sir Chris. for the Fire gives me a terrible Thirst. But no, no, he continued when Nat had left the Room, you cannot assign the Causes of Plague or Fire to Sin. It was the negligence of Men that provoked those Disasters and for Negligence there is a Cure; only Terrour is the Hindrance. Terrour, I said softly, is the Lodestone of our Art.
Peter Ackroyd (Hawksmoor)
The capaciously strong in soul among women will ultimately detect an infinite grossness in the demand for purity infinite, spotless bloom. Earlier or later they see they have been victims of the singular Egoist, have worn a mask of ignorance to be named innocent, have turned themselves into market produce for his delight, and have really abandoned the commodity in ministering to the lust for it, suffered themselves to be dragged ages back in playing upon the fleshly innocence of happy accident to gratify his jealous greed of possession, when it should have been their task to set the soul above the fairest fortune and the gift of strength in women beyond ornamental whiteness. Are they not of nature warriors, like men?—men's mates to bear them heroes instead of puppets? But the devouring male Egoist prefers them as inanimate overwrought polished pure metal precious vessels, fresh from the hands of the artificer, for him to walk away with hugging, call all his own, drink of, and fill and drink of, and forget that he stole them.
George Meredith (The Egoist)
That may be true,’ Sidney replied. ‘If God is aware of the human condition then how can he be content? But perhaps we have to think about the divine presence in a different way; not as what he is, but what he is not. In other words, not human, and not liable to emotion. The concept of happiness perhaps has no subject. It exists outside ourselves, unrelated to any specific human being.’ ‘Then why do we all want to have it?’ ‘Because we are human.’ ‘And therefore we suffer.’ ‘Yes, Geordie.’ ‘So what you are saying is that God does not know happiness; even though he is supposed to be omniscient? I don’t understand how that works.’ ‘John Stuart Mill argued that happiness is not something that can be achieved by striving for it. You have to pursue some other goal and “if otherwise fortunately circumstanced you will inhale happiness with the air you breathe.”’ ‘So happiness is an accident?’ ‘Possibly. Schopenhauer defined it as the temporary absence of pain.’ ‘And that is the best we can hope for?’ ‘Perhaps, but not necessarily.’ ‘Oh, Sidney, this is all too deep for me.’ ‘And
James Runcie (Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil (The Grantchester Mysteries, #3))
As we stated, after their initial conquest, the Milesians began assimilating the gnosis of their predecessors. Of course they were no lovers of the Druids. After all, the British Druids were collaborators with their dire enemies, the Amenists. Nevertheless, returning to the ancient homeland was a most important step for the displaced and despised Atonists. Owning and controlling the wellspring of knowledge proved to be exceptionally politically fortunate for them. It was a key move on the grand geopolitical chessboard, so to speak. From their new seats in the garden paradise of Britain they could set about conquering the rest of the world. Their designs for a “New World Order,” to replace one lost, commenced from the Western Isles that had unfortunately fallen into their undeserving hands. But why all this exertion, one might rightly ask? Well, a close study of the Culdees and the Cistercians provides the answer. Indeed, a close study of history reveals that, despite appearances to the contrary, religion is less of a concern to despotic men or regimes than politics and economics. Religion is often instrumental to those secretly attempting to attain material power. This is especially true in the case of the Milesian-Atonists. The chieftains of the Sun Cult did not conceive of Christianity for its own sake or because they were intent on saving the world. They wanted to conquer the world not save it. In short, Atonist Christianity was devised so the Milesian nobility could have unrestricted access to the many rich mines of minerals and ore existing throughout the British Isles. It is no accident the great seats of early British Christianity - the many famous churches, chapels, cathedrals and monasteries, as well as forts, castles and private estates - happen to be situated in close proximity to rich underground mines. Of course the Milesian nobility were not going to have access to these precious territories as a matter of course. After all, these sites were often located beside groves and earthworks considered sacred by natives not as irreverent or apathetic as their unfortunate descendants. The Atonists realized that their materialist objectives could be achieved if they manufactured a religion that appeared to be a satisfactory carry on of Druidism. If they could devise a theology which assimilated enough Druidic elements, then perhaps the people would permit the erection of new religious sites over those which stood in ruins. And so the Order of the Culdees was born. So, Christianity was born. In the early days the religion was actually known as Culdeanism or Jessaeanism. Early Christians were known as Culdeans, Therapeuts or suggestively as Galileans. Although they would later spread throughout Europe and the Middle East, their birthplace was Britain.
Michael Tsarion (The Irish Origins of Civilization, Volume One: The Servants of Truth: Druidic Traditions & Influence Explored)
It may be remarked in passing that success is an ugly thing. Men are deceived by its false resemblances to merit. To the crowd, success ears almost the features of true mastery, and the greatest dupe of this counterfeit talent is History. Juvenal and Tacitus alone mistrust it. In these days an almost official philosophy has come to dwell in the house of Success, wear its livery, receive callers in its ante-chamber. Success in principle and for its own sake. Prosperity presupposes ability. Win a lottery-prize and you are a clever man. Winners are adulated. To be born with a caul is everything; luck is what matters. Be fortunate and you will be thought great. With a handful of tremendous exceptions which constitute the glory of a century, the popular esteem is singularly short-sighted. Gilt is as good as gold. No harm in being a chance arrival provided you arrive. The populace is an aged Narcissus which worships itself and applauds the commonplace. The tremendous qualities of Moses, an Aeschylus, a Dante, a Michelangelo or a Napoleon are readily ascribed by the multitude to any man, in any sphere, who has got what he set out to get - the notary who becomes a deputy, the hack playwright who produces a mock-Corneille, the eunuch who acquires a harem, the journeyman-general who by accident wins the decisive battle of an epoch. The profiteer who supplies the army of the Sambre-et-Meuse with boot-soles of cardboard and earns himself an income of four hundred thousand a year; the huckster who espouses usury and brings her to bed of seven or eight millions; the preacher who becomes bishop by loudly braying; the bailiff of a great estate who so enriches himself that on retirement he is made Minister of Finance - all this is what men call genius, just as they call a painted face beauty and a richly attired figure majesty. The confound the brilliance of the firmament with the star-shaped footprints of a duck in the mud.
Victor Hugo
History belongs, above all, to the active and powerful man, the one who fights a great battle, who needs the exemplary men, teachers, and comforters and cannot find them among his contemporary companions. That is the way history belonged to Schiller: for our age is so bad, said Goethe, that the poet no longer encounters any useful nature in the human life surrounding him. In considering the active men, Polybius, for example, calls political history the right preparation for ruling a state and the most outstanding teacher, something which, through the memory of other people’s accidents, advises us to bear changes in fortune with resolution.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Untimely Meditations)
The last week of shooting, we did a scene in which I drag Amanda Wyss, the sexy, blond actress who played Tina, across the ceiling of her bedroom, a sequence that ultimately became one of the most visceral from the entire Nightmare franchise. Tina’s bedroom was constructed as a revolving set, and before Tina and Freddy did their dance of death, Wes did a few POV shots of Nick Corri (aka Rod) staring at the ceiling in disbelief, then we flipped the room, and the floor became the ceiling and the ceiling became the floor and Amanda and I went to work. As was almost always the case when Freddy was chasing after a nubile young girl possessed by her nightmare, Amanda was clad only in her baby-doll nightie. Wes had a creative camera angle planned that he wanted to try, a POV shot from between Amanda’s legs. Amanda, however, wasn’t in the cameramen’s union and wouldn’t legally be allowed to operate the cemera for the shot. Fortunately, Amy Haitkin, our director of photography’s wife, was our film’s focus puller and a gifted camera operator in her own right. Being a good sport, she peeled off her jeans and volunteered to stand in for Amanda. The makeup crew dapped some fake blood onto her thighs, she lay down on the ground, Jacques handed her the camera, I grabbed her ankles, and Wes called, “Action.” After I dragged Amy across the floor/ceiling, I spontaneously blew her a kiss with my blood-covered claw; the fake blood on my blades was viscous, so that when I blew her my kiss of death, the blood webbed between my blades formed a bubble, a happy cinematic accident. The image of her pale, slender, blood-covered legs, Freddy looming over her, straddling the supine adolescent girl, knife fingers dripping, was surreal, erotic, and made for one of the most sexually charged shots of the movie. Unfortunately it got left on the cutting-room floor. If Wes had left it in, the MPAA - who always seemed to have it out for Mr. Craven - would definitely have tagged us with an X rating. You win some, you lose some.
Robert Englund (Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street with the Man of Your Dreams)
In my own periods of darkness, in the underworld of the soul, I find myself frequently overcome and amazed by the ability of people to befriend each other, to love their intimate partners and parents and children, and to do what they must do to keep the machinery of the world running. I knew a man, injured and disabled by a car accident, who was employed by a local utility. For years after the crash he worked side by side with another man, who for his part suffered with a degenerative neurological disease. They cooperated while repairing the lines, each making up for the other’s inadequacy. This sort of everyday heroism is the rule, I believe, rather than the exception. Most individuals are dealing with one or more serious health problems while going productively and uncomplainingly about their business. If anyone is fortunate enough to be in a rare period of grace and health, personally, then he or she typically has at least one close family member in crisis. Yet people prevail and continue to do difficult and effortful tasks to hold themselves and their families and society together. To me this is miraculous—so much so that a dumbfounded gratitude is the only appropriate response. There are so many ways that things can fall apart, or fail to work altogether, and it is always wounded people who are holding it together. They deserve some genuine and heartfelt admiration for that. It’s an ongoing miracle of fortitude and perseverance
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
SOME People are subject to a certain delicacy of passion,1 which makes them extremely sensible to all the accidents of life, and gives them a lively joy upon every prosperous event, as well as a piercing grief, when they meet with misfortunes and adversity. Favours and good offices° easily engage their friendship; while the smallest injury provokes their resentment. Any honour or mark of distinction elevates them above measure; but they are as sensibly touched with contempt.° People of this character have, no doubt, more lively enjoyments, as well as more pungent° sorrows, than men of cool and sedate tempers: But, I believe, when every thing is balanced, there is no one, who would not rather be of the latter character, were he entirely master of his own disposition. Good or ill fortune is very little at our disposal: And when a person, that has this sensibility° of temper, meets with any misfortune, his sorrow or resentment takes entire possession of him, and deprives him of all relish in the common occurrences of life; the right enjoyment of which forms the chief part of our happiness. Great pleasures are much less frequent than great pains; so that a sensible temper must meet with fewer trials in the former way than in the latter. Not to mention, that men of such lively passions are apt to be transported beyond all bounds of prudence and discretion, and to take false steps in the conduct of life, which are often irretrievable. There
David Hume (Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary (NONE))
What happened to your arm?" she asked me one night in the Gentleman Loser, the three of us drinking at a small table in a corner. Hang-gliding," I said, "accident." Hang-gliding over a wheatfield," said Bobby, "place called Kiev. Our Jack's just hanging there in the dark, under a Nightwing parafoil, with fifty kilos of radar jammed between his legs, and some Russian asshole accidentally burns his arm off with a laser." I don't remember how I changed the subject, but I did. I was still telling myself that it wasn't Rikki who getting to me, but what Bobby was doing with her. I'd known him for a long time, since the end of the war, and I knew he used women as counters in a game, Bobby Quine versus fortune, versus time and the night of cities. And Rikki had turned up just when he needed something to get him going, something to aim for. So he'd set her up as a symbol for everything he wanted and couldn't have, everything he'd had and couldn't keep. I didn't like having to listen to him tell me how much he loved her, and knowing he believed it only made it worse. He was a past master at the hard fall and the rapid recovery, and I'd seen it happen a dozen times before. He might as well have had next printed across his sunglasses in green Day-Glo capitals, ready to flash out at the first interesting face that flowed past the tables in the Gentleman Loser. I knew what he did to them. He turned them into emblems, sigils on the map of his hustler' s life, navigation beacons he could follow through a sea of bars and neon. What else did he have to steer by? He didn't love money, in and of itself , not enough to follow its lights. He wouldn't work for power over other people; he hated the responsibility it brings. He had some basic pride in his skill, but that was never enough to keep him pushing. So he made do with women. When Rikki showed up, he needed one in the worst way. He was fading fast, and smart money was already whispering that the edge was off his game. He needed that one big score, and soon, because he didn't know any other kind of life, and all his clocks were set for hustler's time, calibrated in risk and adrenaline and that supernal dawn calm that comes when every move's proved right and a sweet lump of someone else's credit clicks into your own account.
William Gibson (Burning Chrome (Sprawl, #0))
(Peloponnesian Generals:) In that battle (cf. B2C83-84) we were, as you know, ill-prepared, and our whole expedition had a military and not a naval object. Fortune was in many ways unpropitious to us, and this being our first sea-fight we may possibly have suffered a little from inexperience. The defeat which ensued was not the result of cowardice; nor should the unconquerable quality which is inherent in our minds, and refuses to acknowledge the victory of mere force, be depressed by the accident of the event. For though fortune may sometimes bring disaster, yet the spirit of a brave man is always the same, and while he retains his courage he will never allow inexperience to be an excuse for misbehaviour. And whatever be your own inexperience, it is more than compensated by your superiority in valour. (Book 2 Chapter 87.2-3)
Thucydides (History of the Peloponnesian War: Bk. 1-2)
Woman thus emerged as the inessential who never returned to the essential, as the absolute Other, without reciprocity. All the creation myths express this conviction that is precious to the male, for example, the Genesis legend, which, through Christianity, has spanned Western civilization. Eve was not formed at the same time as man; she was not made either from a different substance or from the same clay that Adam was modeled from: she was drawn from the first male’s flank. Even her birth was not autonomous; God did not spontaneously choose to create her for herself and to be directly worshiped in turn: he destined her for man; he gave her to Adam to save him from loneliness, her spouse is her origin and her finality; she is his complement in the inessential mode. Thus, she appears a privileged prey. She is nature raised to the transparency of consciousness; she is a naturally submissive consciousness. And therein lies the marvelous hope that man has often placed in woman: he hopes to accomplish himself as being through carnally possessing a being while making confirmed in his freedom by a docile freedom. No man would consent to being a woman, but all want there to be women. “Thank God for creating woman.” “Nature is good because it gave men woman.” In these and other similar phrases, man once more asserts arrogantly and naively that his presence in this world is an inevitable fact and a right, that of woman is a simple accident—but a fortunate one. Appearing as the Other, woman appears at the same time as a plenitude of being by opposition to the nothingness of existence that man experiences in itself; the Other, posited as object in the subject’s eyes, is posited as in-itself, thus as being. Woman embodies positively the lack the existent carries in his heart, and man hopes to realize himself by finding himself through her.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
Yes, Clarissa thinks, it’s time for the day to be over. We throw our parties; we abandon our families to live alone in Canada; we struggle to write books that do not change the world, despite our gifts and our unstinting efforts, our most extravagant hopes. We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep—it’s as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out of windows or drown themselves or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us, the vast majority, are slowly devoured by some disease or, if we’re very fortunate, by time itself. There’s just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we’ve ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) knows these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
You know she'll probably be at the party tonight? Which is why I'm absolutely not going if we don't get some coke.' 'Egon, why is it that every single time you're obliged to be in the same room with one of your ex-girlfriends you have to make it into a huge emergency? It's incredibly boring.' 'Come on. You know how it is. You catch sight of an old flame and get this breathless animal prickle like a fox in a room with a hound. And then all night you have to seem carefree and successful and elated, which is a pretence that for some reason you feel no choice but to maintain even though you know they're better qualified than anyone else in the world to detect immediately that you're really the same hapless cunt as ever.' 'That's adolescent. The fact that you are so neurotic about your past lovers makes it both fortunate and predictable that you have so few of them. It's one of those elegant self-regulating systems that one so often finds in nature.
Ned Beauman (The Teleportation Accident)
The soul stands on unassailable ground, if it has abandoned external things; it is independent in its own fortress; and every weapon that is hurled falls short of the mark. Fortune has not the long reach with which we credit her; she can seize none except him that clings to her. Let us then recoil from her as far as we are able. This will be possible for us only through knowledge of self and of the world of Nature. The soul should know whither it is going and whence it came, what is good for it and what is evil, what it seeks and what it avoids, and what is that Reason which distinguishes between the desirable and the undesirable, and thereby tames the madness of our desires and calms the violence of our fears. Some men flatter themselves that they have checked these evils by themselves even without the aid of philosophy; but when some accident catches them off their guard, a tardy confession of error is wrung from them. Their boastful words perish from their lips when the torturer commands them to stretch forth their hands, and when death draws nearer!
Epictetus (Stoic Six Pack (Illustrated): Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, Golden Sayings, Fragments and Discourses of Epictetus, Letters from a Stoic and The Enchiridion: ... Letters from a Stoic and The Enchiridion)
I do believe you think what now you speak; But what we do determine oft we break.   135 Purpose is but the slave to memory, Of violent birth, but poor validity; Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree, But fall unshaken when they mellow be. Most necessary ’tis that we forget   140 To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt; What to ourselves in passion we propose, The passion ending, doth the purpose lose. The violence of either grief or joy Their own enactures with themselves destroy;   145 Where joy most revels grief doth most lament, Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident. This world is not for aye, nor ’tis not strange, That even our love should with our fortunes change; For ’tis a question left us yet to prove   150 Whe’r love lead fortune or else fortune love. The great man down, you mark his favourite flies; The poor advanc’d makes friends of enemies. And hitherto doth love on fortune tend, For who not needs shall never lack a friend;   155 And who in want a hollow friend doth try Directly seasons him his enemy. But, orderly to end where I begun, Our wills and fates do so contrary run That our devices still are overthrown,   160
William Shakespeare
How did I discover saccharin? Well, it was partly by accident and partly by study. I had worked a long time on the compound radicals and substitution products of coal tar... One evening I was so interested in my laboratory that I forgot about my supper till quite late, and then rushed off for a meal without stopping to wash my hands. I sat down, broke a piece of bread, and put it to my lips. It tasted unspeakably sweet. I did not ask why it was so, probably because I thought it was some cake or sweetmeat. I rinsed my mouth with water, and dried my moustache with my napkin, when, to my surprise the napkin tasted sweeter than the bread. Then I was puzzled. I again raised my goblet, and, as fortune would have it, applied my mouth where my fingers had touched it before. The water seemed syrup. It flashed on me that I was the cause of the singular universal sweetness, and I accordingly tasted the end of my thumb, and found it surpassed any confectionery I had ever eaten. I saw the whole thing at once. I had discovered some coal tar substance which out-sugared sugar. I dropped my dinner, and ran back to the laboratory. There, in my excitement, I tasted the contents of every beaker and evaporating dish on the table.
Constantin Fahlberg
I had an opportunity to have two careers and the family of my dreams—because we were in the fortunate position of not needing my income. There was also another reason whose full significance wouldn’t become clear to me for years: I had the benefit of a small pill that allowed me to time and space my pregnancies. It’s a bit ironic, I think, that when Bill and I later began searching for ways to make a difference, I never drew a clear connection between our efforts to support the poorest people in the world and the contraceptives I was using to make the most of our family life. Family planning became part of our early giving, but we had a narrow understanding of its value, and I had no idea it was the cause that would bring me into public life. Obviously, though, I understood the value of contraceptives for my own family. It’s no accident that I didn’t get pregnant until I had worked nearly a decade at Microsoft and Bill and I were ready to have children. It’s no accident that Rory was born three years after Jenn, and our daughter Phoebe was born three years after Rory. It was my decision and Bill’s to do it this way. Of course, there was luck involved, too. I was fortunate to be able to get pregnant when I wanted to. But I also had the ability to not get pregnant when I didn’t want to.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
And that unfortunate loss? Was that really an accident,or did you lose deliberately so I wouldn't have to pay the bill?" He shrugged. "My lips are sealed." "I should have known." Once on the open highway he turned on the radio,and they both sang along with Garth as he lamented his papa being a rolling stone. When the song ended,Marilee looked over. "I'll consider that a sermon. According to Garth, a woman would be a fool to lose her heart to a man who'd rather drive a truck than be home with her." Wyatt winked,and in his best imitation of Daffy's smoky voice he said, "Honey, a man may love the open road,but any female with half a brain can figure out how to compete with a truck.Just bat those pretty little red-tipped lashes at any male over the age of twelve, and his brain turns to mush.Next thing you know, instead of revving up his engine, he's on his hands and knees, carrying a toddler on his back around a living room full of toys and baby gear." Though the image was a surprisingly pretty one,Marilee had to wipe tears from her eyes,she was laughing so hard. When she caught her breath she managed to say, "You've got Daffy down so perfectly,you could probably answer the phone at the Fortune Saloon and no one would believe it wasn't her." "She's easy." He chuckled. "I think she's the only female with a voice that's deeper than mine." She looked out the window at the full moon above Treasure Chest Mountain in the distance. "It's a shame to waste such a pretty night.Maybe you ought to pull over and park.We can make out like teenagers." "Not a bad idea." At his arched brow she added, "It would give me a chance to see if I could turn your brain to mush." "Believe it.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
Mirrors I have been horrified before all mirrors not just before the impenetrable glass, the end and the beginning of that space, inhabited by nothing but reflections, but faced with specular water, mirroring the other blue within its bottomless sky, incised at times by the illusory flight of inverted birds, or troubled by a ripple, or face to face with the unspeaking surface of ghostly ebony whose very hardness reflects, as if within a dream, the whiteness of spectral marble or a spectral rose. Now, after so many troubling years of wandering beneath the wavering moon, I ask myself what accident of fortune handed to me this terror of all mirrors– mirrors of metal and the shrouded mirror of sheer mahogany which in the twilight of its uncertain red softens the face that watches and in turn is watched by it. I look on them as infinite, elemental fulfillers of a very ancient pact to multiply the world, as in the act of generation, sleepless and dangerous. They extenuate this vain and dubious world within the web of their own vertigo. Sometimes at evening they are clouded over by someone's breath, someone who is not dead. The glass is watching us. And if a mirror hangs somewhere on the four walls of my room, I am not alone. There's an other, a reflection which in the dawn enacts its own dumb show. Everything happens, nothing is remembered in those dimensioned cabinets of glass in which, like rabbits in fantastic stories, we read the lines of text from right to left. Claudius, king for an evening, king in a dream, did not know he was a dream until the day on which an actor mimed his felony with silent artifice, in a tableau. Strange, that there are dreams, that there are mirrors. Strange that the ordinary, worn-out ways of every day encompass the imagined and endless universe woven by reflections. God (I've begun to think) implants a promise in all that insubstantial architecture that makes light out of the impervious surface of glass, and makes the shadow out of dreams. God has created nights well-populated with dreams, crowded with mirror images, so that man may feel that he is nothing more than vain reflection. That's what frightens us.
Jorge Luis Borges
We don't die willingly. The more invested we are in the worlds projected by patterns, the stronger the denial, anger, and bargaining, and the despair of depression. Insight practice is inherently frustrating because you are looking to see where, at first, you are unable to see--beyond the world of the patterns. Another way to look at insight practice is to see that the process has three stages: shock, disorganization, and reorganization. The first stage starts when you see beyond illusion. You experience a shock. You react by denying that you saw what you saw, saying, in effect, "That makes no sense. I'll just forget about that." Unfortunately, or fortunately, your experience of seeing is not so easily denied. It is too vivid, too real, to ignore. Now you become angry because the illusion in which you have lived has been shattered. You know you can't go back, but you don't want to go forward. You are still attached to the world of patterns. You feel anxious, and the anxiety gradually matures into grief. You now know that you have to go forward. You experience the pain of separating from what you understood, just as the lama in the example experienced pain at the loss of his worldview. You then enter a period of disorganization. You withdraw, become apathetic, lose your energy for life, become restless, and routinely reject new possibilities or directions. You surrender to the changes taking place but do nothing to move forward. A major risk at this stage is that you remain in a state of disorganization. You hold on to an aspect of the old world. parents who have lost a child in an accident or to violence, for example, have great difficulty in letting go. They may keep the child's bedroom just as it was. Their views and expectations of life have been shattered, and, understandably, they cling to a few of the shards. They may stay in the stage of disorganization for a long time. The third stage of insight is reorganization. You experience a shift, and you let the old world go, even the shards. You accept the world that you see with your new eyes. What was previously seen as being absolute and real is now seen differently. The old structures, beliefs, and behaviors no longer hold, and you enter a new life.
Ken McLeod (Wake Up To Your Life: Discovering the Buddhist Path of Attention)
A note of caution: epigenetics is also on the verge of transforming into a dangerous idea. Epigenetic modifications of genes can potentially superpose historical and environmental information on cells and genomes—but this capacity is speculative, limited, idiosyncratic, and unpredictable: a parent with an experience of starvation produces children with obesity and overnourishment, while a father with the experience of tuberculosis, say, does not produce a child with an altered response to tuberculosis. Most epigenetic “memories” are the consequence of ancient evolutionary pathways, and cannot be confused with our longing to affix desirable legacies on our children. As with genetics in the early twentieth century, epigenetics is now being used to justify junk science and enforce stifling definitions of normalcy. Diets, exposures, memories, and therapies that purport to alter heredity are eerily reminiscent of Lysenko’s attempt to “reeducate” wheat using shock therapy. Mothers are being asked to minimize anxiety during their pregnancy—lest they taint all their children, and their children, with traumatized mitochondria. Lamarck is being rehabilitated into the new Mendel. These glib notions about epigenetics should invite skepticism. Environmental information can certainly be etched on the genome. But most of these imprints are recorded as “genetic memories” in the cells and genomes of individual organisms—not carried forward across generations. A man who loses a leg in an accident bears the imprint of that accident in his cells, wounds, and scars—but does not bear children with shortened legs. Nor has the uprooted life of my family seem to have burdened me, or my children, with any wrenching sense of estrangement. Despite Menelaus’s admonitions, the blood of our fathers is lost in us—and so, fortunately, are their foibles and sins. It is an arrangement that we should celebrate more than rue. Genomes and epigenomes exist to record and transmit likeness, legacy, memory, and history across cells and generations. Mutations, the reassortment of genes, and the erasure of memories counterbalance these forces, enabling unlikeness, variation, monstrosity, genius, and reinvention—and the refulgent possibility of new beginnings, generation upon generation.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
According to folk belief that is reflected in the stories and poems, a being who is petrified man and he can revive. In fairy tales, the blind destructiveness of demonic beings can, through humanization psychological demons, transformed into affection and love of the water and freeing petrified beings. In the fairy tale " The Three Sisters " Mezei de-stone petrified people when the hero , which she liked it , obtain them free . In the second story , the hero finding fairy , be petrified to the knee , but since Fairy wish to marry him , she kissed him and freed . When entering a demonic time and space hero can be saved if it behaves in a manner that protects it from the effects of demonic forces . And the tales of fortune Council hero to not turn around and near the terrifying challenges that will find him in the demon area . These recommendations can be tracked ancient prohibited acts in magical behavior . In one short story Penina ( evil mother in law ) , an old man , with demonic qualities , sheds , first of two brothers and their sister who then asks them , iron Balot the place where it should be zero as chorus, which sings wood and green water . When the ball hits the ground resulting clamor and tumult of a thousand voices, but no one sees - the brothers turned , despite warnings that it should not , and was petrified . The old man has contradictory properties assistants and demons . Warning of an old man in a related one variant is more developed - the old man tells the hero to be the place where the ball falls to the reputation of stones and hear thousands of voices around him to cry Get him, go kill him, swang with his sword , stick go ! . The young man did not listen to warnings that reveals the danger : the body does not stones , during the site heroes - like you, and was petrified . The initiation rite in which the suffering of a binding part of the ritual of testing allows the understanding of the magical essence of the prohibition looking back . MAGICAL logic respectful direction of movement is particularly strong in relation to the conduct of the world of demons and the dead . From hero - boys are required to be deaf to the daunting threats of death and temporarily overcome evil by not allowing him to touch his terrible content . The temptation in the case of the two brothers shows failed , while the third attempt brothers usually releases the youngest brother or sister . In fairy tales elements of a rite of passage blended with elements of Remembrance lapot . Silence is one way of preventing the evil demon in a series of ritual acts , thoughts Penina Mezei . Violation of the prohibition of speech allows the communication of man with a demon , and abolishes protection from him . In fairy tales , this ritual obligations lost connection with specific rituals and turned into a motive of testing . The duration of the ban is extended in the spirit of poetic genre in years . Dvanadestorica brothers , to twelve for saving haunted girls , silent for almost seven years, but eleven does not take an oath and petrified ; twelfth brother died three times , defeat the dragon , throw an egg at a crystal mountain , and save the brothers ( Penina Mezei : 115 ) . Petrify in fairy tales is not necessarily caused by fear , or impatience uneducated hero . Self-sacrificing hero resolves accident of his friend's seemingly irrational moves, but he knows that he will be petrified if it is to warn them in advance , he avoids talking . As his friend persuaded him to explain his actions , he is petrified ( Penina Mezei : 129 ) . Petrified friends can save only the blood of a child , and his " borrower " Strikes sacrifice their own child and revives his rescuers . A child is a sacrificial object that provides its innocence and purity of the sacrificial gift of power that allows the return of the forces of life.
Penina Mezei (Penina Mezei West Bank Fairy Tales)
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Louis de Bernières
it is the historian's job to find coherence in the past, nothing in history can be regarded as accidental. For accident-mere chance or "fortune"-explains nothing, and a past composed of accidents is as unhistorical as a past of necessary consequences.
Terry Nardin (The Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott)
Much of history turns out to be the consequence of small acts of fortune, accident or luck, good or bad.
Phil Mason (Napoleon's Hemorrhoids: And Other Small Events That Changed History)
Accident, blessing in disguise, fate, fortune, or happenstance-they were definitions of the same: life with no guaranteed happy ending.
Sarah McCoy (The Mapmaker's Children)
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Bernieres Louis De
Here’s another crazy game. Suppose the state of California made its citizens the following offer: Of all those who pay the dollar or two to enter, most will receive nothing, one person will receive a fortune, and one person will be put to death in a violent manner. Would anyone enroll in that game? People do, and with enthusiasm. It is called the state lottery. And although the state does not advertise it in the manner in which I have described it, that is the way it works in practice. For while one lucky person wins the grand prize in each game, many millions of other contestants drive to and from their local ticket vendors to purchase their tickets, and some die in accidents along the way. Applying statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and depending on such assumptions as how far each individual drives, how many tickets he or she buys, and how many people are involved in a typical accident, you find that a reasonable estimate of those fatalities is about one death per game.
Leonard Mlodinow (The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives)
Death is uncommon, fortunately, because we are durable, and fatal mishaps are rare, but it makes difficult the study of anatomy, especially since many of the accidents serious enough to cause death leave the deceased’s remains too damaged for study.
Ted Chiang (Exhalation)
(...) Is not true optimism to consider the world a fundamentally negative event, with many happy exceptions? By contrast, does not true pessimism consist in viewing the world as fundamentally good, leaving the slightest accident to make us despair of that vision? An ideal universe at the mercy of the slightest reverse and doomed, in any case, to death? And does not true superstition consist in regarding evil as an exception which ought to disappear? We judge everything today in terms of a real and rational sequence of events. But we could equally fully and reasonably view those events as part of an irrational sequence – we simply have to reverse the perspective and take a maleficent transcendence rather than a providential force as our reference. We would be less despairing if we regarded every misfortune as justified by a transcendent order of evil. Such is the rule of a radical optimism. We must make evil the basic rule. Then, the fortunate occurrence becomes the exception. Then, it is joy we would be fated to meet with. At any rate, in relation to an impossible truth, the two hypotheses are equally (im)plausible. But the hypothesis of evil has the advantage of restoring to the world its illegal character. Moreover, it lends a new prestige to good and happiness, the prestige of a miraculous exception.
Jean Baudrillard (Fragments)
When sacrifice is the only way to save a person from death, or, as I have come to notice in this culture, from fatal psychic or physical disruption — auto accidents, psychological illness, stress or depression — how does one find ritual space or sacred space when everywhere around no one seems to be aware that some kind of sacrificial ritual is needed? There are many cases in which people live separated from their souls in this culture. There are many cases of people actually ending their lives because there was no home to go to nor any kind of ritual to receive, such as the one from which I was fortunate enough to benefit. A Dagara elder would include such situations as accidents, heart attacks, or any sudden death within the category of separated souls. So the question as to whether an accident could have been avoided has its answer linked to whether it is possible for society to see the soul of the dying before its actual death. So
Malidoma Patrice Somé (Ritual: Power, Healing and Community (Compass))
Doesn’t she realize that the life she is living is an accident of fortune? Doesn’t she know that she is an exception in this world, where it is normal to be unhappy, to be hungry, to work non-stop and earn next to nothing, and to suffer the whims of everything from tyrants to hurricanes and earthquakes?
Edwidge Danticat
Know thus far forth. By accident most strange, bountiful Fortune, Now my dear lady, hath mine enemies Brought to this shore; and by my prescience I find my zenith doth depend upon A most auspicious star, whose influence If now I court not, but omit, my fortunes Will ever after droop. Here cease more questions. Thou art inclined to sleep; ‘tis a good dullness, And give it way. I know thou canst not choose.
William Shakespeare
Though such an explicit contradiction is no doubt bewildering, Calvin’s final conclusion—namely, that the author of 1 John “does not speak of the essence [or the nature] of God” remains just what his overall theological perspective requires. So let us now consider the exegetical merits of this interpretation. Is there anything to be said on its behalf? Very little; indeed, there is much to be said against it. For as Packer himself pointed out, there are two other Johannine statements “of exactly similar grammatical form”: “God is light” and “God is spirit,” and the “assertion that God is love has to be interpreted in the light of what these other two statements teach.” 139 But these other two Johannine statements unquestionably are statements about the essence (or the nature) of God. In 1 John 1:5, we read that “God is light and in him is no darkness at all.” That is not a declaration to the effect that, by a happy accident, God happens to be free from all darkness, all impurity, all unrighteousness; nor is it a declaration that God has chosen to remain free from all darkness in his relationship to some fortunate people only. It is instead a declaration about the very essence (or nature) of God. And similarly for the assertion in John 4:24 that God is spirit. As Calvin acknowledged in a comment upon this very passage, “Christ himself calls God in his entirety ‘Spirit’”; and this implies “that the whole essence of God is spiritual, in which are comprehended Father, Son, and Spirit.” 140 But then, if God is spirit implies that “the whole essence of God is spiritual,” why should not God is love likewise imply that it is God’s very essence (or nature) to love?
Thomas Talbott (The Inescapable Love of God)
If Anybody Has Married, Left town, Had a fire, Sold a farm, Been arrested, Been your guest, Left you a fortune, Elected new officers, Met with an accident, Organized a new club, Swiped your chickens, That’s News Phone us
Thomas Neil Knowles (Category 5: The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane)
The lesson here is very simple. But it is striking how often it is overlooked. We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from the earth. We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that thirteen-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But that’s the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a time-sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today? To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success—the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history—with a society that provides opportunities for all. If Canada had a second hockey league for those children born in the last half of the year, it would today have twice as many adult hockey stars. Now multiply that sudden flowering of talent by every field and profession. The world could be so much richer than the world we have settled for.
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
The lesson here is very simple. But it is striking how often it is overlooked. We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from the earth. We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that thirteen-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But that's the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a time-sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today? To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success–the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history–with a society that provides opportunities for all. If Canada had a second hockey league for those children born in the last half of the year, it would today have twice as many adult hockey stars. The world could be so much richer than the world we have settled for.
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
If I had refused to contemplate skydiving, hot-air ballooning or crossing the Atlantic in a boat, I think that my life would have been the duller for it. I never think that I am going to die by accident, but if I were to die then all I can say is that I was wrong, and the hardened realists who kept their feet on the ground were right. But at least I tried.
Richard Branson (Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way)
Breeding has made the creation of new species illegal. DISILLUSIONMENT CHARMS The wizard on the street also plays a part in the concealment of magical beasts. Those who own a Hippogriff, for example, are bound by law to enchant the beast with a Disillusionment Charm to distort the vision of any Muggle who may see it. Disillusionment Charms should be performed daily, as their effects are apt to wear off. MEMORY CHARMS When the worst happens and a Muggle sees what he or she is not supposed to see, the Memory Charm is perhaps the most useful repair tool. The Memory Charm may be performed by the owner of the beast in question, but in severe cases of Muggle notice, a team of trained Obliviators may be sent in by the Ministry of Magic. THE OFFICE OF MISINFORMATION The Office of Misinformation will become involved in only the very worst magical–Muggle collisions. Some magical catastrophes or accidents are simply too glaringly obvious to be explained away by Muggles without the help of an outside authority. The Office of Misinformation will in such a case liaise directly with the Muggle prime minister to seek a plausible non-magical explanation for the event. The unstinting efforts of this office in persuading Muggles that all photographic evidence of the Loch Ness kelpie is fake have gone some way to salvaging a situation that at one time looked exceedingly dangerous. 7. In his 1972 book Muggles Who Notice, Blenheim Stalk asserts that some residents of Ilfracombe escaped the Mass Memory Charm. ‘To this day, a Muggle bearing the nickname “Dodgy Dirk” holds forth in bars along the south coast on the subject of a “dirty great flying lizard” that punctured his lilo.’ 8. For a fascinating examination of this fortunate tendency of Muggles, the reader might like to consult The Philosophy of the Mundane: Why the Muggles Prefer Not to Know, Professor Mordicus Egg (Dust & Mildewe, 1963). 9. The largest department at the Ministry of Magic is the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, to which the remaining six departments are all, in some respect, answerable – with the possible exception of the Department of Mysteries.
Newt Scamander (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
History also shows that the oppressiveness of racism is exacerbated by its arbitrariness. No one has shown that differences between people living on opposite sides of national boundaries, which were usually the result of dynastic accident or the fortunes of war, are related to ‘deep psychology’ or genetics. Neither has anyone shown that tiny genetic differences of people with different skin colour have any effect on cultures. Moreover, the differences within nations are as great or greater than those between nations. Yet the very vagueness of their principles permits racists to adapt their ideas to whatever purpose they espouse.
Kevin Passmore (Fascism: A Very Short Introduction)
Nationalism, of course, is intrinsically absurd. Why should the accident—fortune or misfortune—of birth as an American, Albanian, Scot, or Fiji Islander impose loyalties that dominate an individual life and structure a society so as to place it in formal conflict with others? In the past there were local loyalties to place and clan and tribe, obligations, to lord or landlord, dynastic or territorial wars, but primary loyalties were to religion, God or god-king, possibly to emperor, to a civilization as such. There was no nation. There was attachment to patria, land of one’s fathers, or patriotism, but to speak of nationalism before modern times is anachronistic.”1
James Dale Davidson (The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age)