How We Perceive The World Quotes

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It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works — that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red? It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
There's more to clothing than just adornment. It does more than merely change how the world perceives us. It changes how we perceive ourselves.
Jacqueline Carey (Naamah's Kiss (Naamah Trilogy, #1))
... In this world, darkness is always looming on the horizon. At Gottfried, instead of avoiding the dark, we meet it head on ... do the same with your studies and with every obstacle you face in the future. Do not accept the confines of the world as you perceive it. Instead, look for what you cannot see. There are universes among us, within us. Our only way out of darkness is to learn how to see WITHOUT light.
Yvonne Woon (Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1))
We live in a world where hard work is rewarded and having needs and limitations is seen as a source of shame. It's no wonder so many of us are constantly overexerting ourselves, saying yes out of fear of how we'll be perceived for saying no.
Devon Price (Laziness Does Not Exist)
That it doesn’t strike us at all when we look around us, move about in space, feel our own bodies, etc. etc., shows how natural these things are to us. We do not notice that we see space perspectivally or that our visual field is in some sense blurred towards the edges. It doesn’t strike us and never can strike us because it is the way we perceive. We never give it a thought and it’s impossible we should, since there is nothing that contrasts with the form of our world.What I wanted to say is it’s strange that those who ascribe reality only to things and not to our ideas move about so unquestioningly in the world as idea and never long to escape from it.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (Philosophical Remarks)
It's that thing when you're with someone, and you love them and they know it, and they love you and you know it... but it's a party... and you're both talking to other people, and you're laughing and shining... and you look across the room and catch each other's eyes... but - but not because you're possessive, or it's precisely sexual... but because... that is your person in this life. And it's funny and sad, but only because this life will end, and it's this secret world that exists right there in public, unnoticed, that no one else knows about. It's sort of like how they say that other dimensions exist all around us, but we don't have the ability to perceive them. That's - That's what I want out of a relationship. Or just life, I guess.
Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha: A Noah Baumbach Picture)
How we perceive the world and how we act in it are products of how and what we remember...No lasting joke, invention, insight, or work of art was ever produced by an external memory...Our ability to find humor in the world, to make connections between previously unconnected notions, to create new ideas, to share in a common culture: All these essentially human acts depend on memory. Now more than ever, as the role of memory in our culture erodes at a faster pace than ever before, we need to cultivate our ability to remember. Our memories make us who we are. They are the seat of our values and source of our character. Competing to see who can memorize more pages of poetry might seem beside the point, but it's about taking a stand against forgetfulness, and embracing primal capacities from which too many of us have became estranged...memory training is not just for the sake of performing party tricks; it's about nurturing something profoundly and essentially human.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
Suppose a human being has thus put his ear, as it were, to the heart chamber of the world will and felt the roaring desire for existence pouring from there into all the veins of the world, as a thundering current or as the gentlest brook, dissolving into a mist—how could he fail to break suddenly? How could he endure to perceive the echo of innumerable shouts of pleasure and woe in the "wide space of the world night," enclosed in the wretched glass capsule of the human individual, without inexorably fleeing toward his primordial home, as he hears this shepherd's dance of metaphysics? But if such a work could nevertheless be perceived as a whole, without denial of individual existence; if such a creation could be created without smashing its creator—whence do we take the solution of such a contradiction?
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Birth of Tragedy)
Our view of reality is like a map with which to negotiate the terrain of life. If the map is true and accurate, we will generally know where we are, and if we have decided where we want to go, we will generally know how to get there. If the map is false and inaccurate, we generally will be lost. While this is obvious, it is something that most people to a greater or lesser degree choose to ignore. They ignore it because our route to reality is not easy. First of all, we are not born with maps; we have to make them, and the making requires effort. The more effort we make to appreciate and perceive reality, the larger and more accurate our maps will be. But many do not want to make this effort. Some stop making it by the end of adolescence. Their maps are small and sketchy, their views of the world narrow and misleading. By the end of middle age most people have given up the effort. They feel certain that their maps are complete and their Weltanschauung is correct (indeed, even sacrosanct), and they are no longer interested in new information. It is as if they are tired. Only a relative and fortunate few continue until the moment of death exploring the mystery of reality, ever enlarging and refining and redefining their understanding of the world and what is true.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
If you’re not certain of the value of mentorship, think of how many elite athletes or professional sports teams train without a coach. Zero. How many of your favorite films are made without a producer or director? Zero. How many of the best schools in the world function without teachers? Zero. It’s safe to say that every great leader, in any field, first had a great mentor. Finding a mentor who inspires and guides your growth is a life-changing experience. Mentors help us to transcend the limits, or perceived limits, of our abilities. A mentor can be anyone who teaches us and helps us to grow in ways we couldn’t have on our own.
Tina Turner (Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good)
The secret is to make peace with walking around in a world where we recognize that we are not sure and that’s okay. As we learn more about how our brains operate, we recognize that we don’t perceive the world objectively. But our goal should be to try.
Annie Duke (Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts)
You perceive the world with your five senses. When your mind perceives the world, then the world exists before you. But if we are born without any senses, then how could we perceive the world except as a dream in our minds? But then...dreams often seem as real as the world we see now. Look...If I touch you with this hand, I can remember touching you, but I can't ever prove I did. If reality is nothing more than what is in our mind, then what is the difference between this world and a dream?
Kaori Ozaki
We live in one global environment with a huge number of ecological, economic, social, and political pressures tearing at its only dimly perceived, basically uninterpreted and uncomprehended fabric. Anyone with even a vague consciousness of this whole is alarmed at how such remorselessly selfish and narrow interests - patriotism, chauvinism, ethnic, religious, and racial hatreds - can in fact lead to mass destructiveness. The world simply cannot afford this many more times.
Edward W. Said
We always wonder, when we see two people together, particularly when they're actually married, how these two people could have arrived at such a decision, such an act, so we tell ourselves that it's a matter of human nature, that it's very often a case of two people going together, getting together, only in order to kill themselves in time, sooner or later to kill themselves, after mutually tormenting each other for years for for decades, only to end up killing themselves anyway, people who get together even though they probably clearly perceive their future of shared torment, who join together, get married, in the teeth of all reason, who against all reason commit the natural crime of bringing children into the world who then proceed to be the unhappiest imaginable people, we have evidence of this situation wherever we look... People who get together and marry even though they can foresee their future together only as a lifelong shared martyrdom, suddenly all these people qua human beings, human beings qua ordinary people... enter into a union, into a marriage, into their annihilation, step by step down they go into the most horrible situation imaginable, annihilation by marriage, meaning annihilation mental, emotional, and physical, as we can see all around us, the whole world is full of instances confirming this... why, I may well ask myself, this senseless sealing of the bargain, we wonder about it because we have an instance of it before us, how did this instance come to be?
Thomas Bernhard (Correction)
No doubt, few people understand either the purely subjective nature of the phenomenon of love, or how it creates a supplementary person who is quite different from the one who bears our beloved’s name in the outside world, and is mostly formed from elements within ourselves. So there are few who see anything natural in the disproportionate dimensions which we come to perceive in a person who is not the same as the one they see.
Marcel Proust
Just as life is made up of day and night, and song is made up of music and silence, friendships, because they are of this world, are also made up of times of being in touch and spaces in-between. Being human, we sometimes fill these spaces with worry, or we imagine the silence is some form of punishment, or we internalize the time we are not in touch with a loved one as some unexpressed change of heart. Our minds work very hard to make something out of nothing. We can perceive silence as rejection in an instant, and then build a cold castle on that tiny imagined brick. The only release from the tensions we weave around nothing is to remain a creature of the heart. By giving voice to the river of feelings as they flow through and through, we can stay clear and open. In daily terms, we call this checking in with each other, though most of us reduce this to a grocery list: How are you today? Do you need any milk? Eggs? Juice? Toilet paper? Though we can help each other survive with such outer kindnesses, we help each other thrive when the checking in with each other comes from a list of inner kindnesses: How are you today? Do you need any affirmation? Clarity? Support? Understanding? When we ask these deeper questions directly, we wipe the mind clean of its misperceptions. Just as we must dust our belongings from time to time, we must wipe away what covers us when we are apart.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
So why bother investing in one’s memory in an age of externalized memories? The best answer I can give is the one I received unwittingly from EP, whose memory had been so completely lost that he could not place himself in time or space, or relative to other people. That is: How we perceive the world and how we act in it are products of how and what we remember. We’re all just a bundle of habits shaped by our memories. And to the extent that we control our lives, we do so by gradually altering those habits, which is to say the networks of our memories. No lasting joke, invention, insight, or work of art was ever produced by an external memory. Not yet, at least. Our ability to find humor in the world, to make connections between previously unconnected notions, to create new ideas, to share in a common culture: All these essentially human acts depend on memory. Now more than ever, as the role of memory in our culture erodes at a faster pace than ever before, we need to cultivate our ability to remember. Our memories make us who we are. They are the seat of our values and source of our character.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
happiness, more than anything, is a state of mind, a way of perceiving and approaching ourselves and the world in which we reside.
Sonja Lyubomirsky (The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want)
Each human being deals with hurt or resentment in a unique way. When you feel insulted or bullied, you may reach for a chocolate bar. In the same circumstance, I might burst into tears. Another person may put his or her feelings quickly into words, confronting the mistreatment directly. Although our feelings can influence how we wish to act, our choices of how to behave are ultimately determined more by our attitudes and our habits. We respond to our emotional wounds based on what we believe about ourselves, how we think about the person who has hurt us, and how we perceive the world. Only in people who are severely traumatized or who have major mental illnesses is behavior governed by feelings. And only a tiny percentage of abusive men have these kinds of severe psychological problems.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
It is indeed an opinion strangely prevailing amongst men, that houses, mountains, rivers, and in a word all sensible objects have an existence natural or real, distinct from their being perceived by the understanding. But with how great an assurance and acquiescence soever this principle may be entertained in the world; yet whoever shall find in his heart to call it in question, may, if I mistake not, perceive it to involve a manifest contradiction. For what are the forementioned objects but the things we perceive by sense, and what do we perceive besides our own ideas or sensations; and is it not plainly repugnant that any one of these or any combination of them should exist unperceived?' (Berkeley, 1710: 25)
George Berkeley (A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge)
Both science and mysticism describe a force that connects everything together and gives us the power to influence how matter behaves—and reality itself—simply through the way we perceive the world around us.
Gregg Braden (The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief)
You need to challenge your fear of life becoming unreasonable - because it is already unreasonable. In truth, your life has never been reasonable, it’s just that you keep hoping tomorrow will be different and that you will find a way to bring more control into your world. Recognize that life will always be full of challenges and crisis. The wise way is not to attempt to find one path that promises you will never have to endure the pain of loss and illness, but instead to learn how to endure and transcend when unreasonable events come your way. Learning to defy gravity in your world - to think, perceive, and act at the mystical level of consciousness - is the greatest gift you can give yourself, because it is the gift of truth. And as we are bound to learn again and again in this life, the truth does indeed set us free.
Caroline Myss
Man as we realize if we reflect for a moment, never perceives anything fully or comprehends anything completely. He can see, hear, touch, and taste; but how far he sees, how well he hears, what his touch tells him, and what he tastes depend upon the number and quality of his senses. These limit his perception of the world around him. By using scientific instruments he can partly compensate for the deficiencies of his senses. For example, he can extend the range of his vision by binoculars or of his hearing by electrical amplification. But the most elaborate apparatus cannot do more than bring distant or small objects within range of his eyes, or make faint sounds more audible. No matter what instruments he uses, at some point he reaches the edge of certainty beyond which conscious knowledge cannot pass.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
This is hard to say to people without offending them, but it’s a universal truth even for the most high-performing people on the planet, so here it is: your self-image could be a lot better, and you ought to be a lot more congruent in how you engage the world. How we think of ourselves (our self-image) and how we behave in accordance with that image in the real world is the stuff of congruence. It’s one of the most profoundly powerful drives we have as humans—to live in consistent alignment with who we think we are, how we want others to perceive us, and who we want to become. When we don’t behave as the person we believe ourselves to be, we feel “off,” “out of sorts,” and, often, frustrated or angry. If we think we’re lions, for example, but we act as mice, we secretly loath our- selves. From THE CHARGE
Brendon Burchard
Although our feelings can influence how we wish to act, our choices of how to behave are ultimately determined more by our attitudes and our habits. We respond to our emotional wounds based on what we believe about ourselves, how we think about the person who has hurt us, and how we perceive the world. Only in people who are severely traumatized or who have major mental illnesses is behavior governed by feelings. And only a tiny percentage of abusive men have these kinds of severe psychological problems. There
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
The numbers of universes perceived by human beings does not equal the population of the planet, but several times the population of the planet. It thus appears some sort of miracle that we sometimes find it possible to communicate with each other at all, at all.
Robert Anton Wilson (Quantum Psychology: How Brain Software Programs You & Your World)
let's say you and a small child go to a magic show, where things are made to float in the air. Which of you would have the most fun?" "I probably would." "And why would that be?" "Because I would know how impossible it all is." "So... for the child it's no fun to see the laws of nature being defied before it has learned what they are." "I guess that's right." "And we are still at the crux of Hume's philosophy of experience. He would have added that the child has not yet become a slave of the expectations of habit; he is thus the more open-minded of you two. I wonder if the child is not also the greater philosopher? He comes utterly without preconceived opinions. And that, my dear Sophie, is the philosopher's most distinguishing virtue. The child perceives the world as it is, without putting more into things than he experiences
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie’s World)
The majesty of nature is not restricted to canyons and mountains. It can be found in the wilds of perception--the sensory spaces that lie outside our Umwelt and within those of other animals. To perceive the world through other senses is to find splendor in familiarity and the sacred in the mundane. Wonders exist in a backyard garden, where bees take the measure of a flower’s electric fields, leafhoppers send vibrational melodies through the stems of plants, and birds behold the hidden palates of rurples and grurples...Wilderness is not distant. We are continually immersed in it. It is there for us to imagine, to savor and to protect.
Ed Yong (An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us)
It doesn't matter what the manifest problem was in our childhood family. In a home where a child is emotionally deprived for one reason or another that child will take some personal emotional confusion into his or her adult life. We may spin our spiritual wheels in trying to make up for childhood's personal losses, looking for compensation in the wrong places and despairing that we can find it. But the significance of spiritual rebirth through Jesus Christ is that we can mature spiritually under His parenting and receive healing compensation for these childhood deprivations. Three emotions that often grow all out of proportion in the emotionally deprived child are fear, guilt, and anger. The fear grows out of the child's awareness of the uncontrollable nature of her fearful environment, of overwhelming negative forces around her. Her guilt, her profound feelings of inadequacy, intensify when she is unable to put right what is wrong, either in the environment or in another person, no matter how hard she tries to be good. If only she could try harder or be better, she could correct what is wrong, she thinks. She may carry this guilt all her life, not knowing where it comes from, but just always feeling guilty. She often feels too sorry for something she has done that was really not all that serious. Her anger comes from her frustration, perceived deprivation, and the resultant self-pity. She has picked up an anger habit and doesn't know how much trouble it is causing her. A fourth problem often follows in the wake of the big three: the need to control others and manipulate events in order to feel secure in her own world, to hold her world together- to make happen what she wants to happen. She thinks she has to run everything. She may enter adulthood with an illusion of power and a sense of authority to put other people right, though she has had little success with it. She thinks that all she has to do is try harder, be worthier, and then she can change, perfect, and save other people. But she is in the dark about what really needs changing."I thought I would drown in guilt and wanted to fix all the people that I had affected so negatively. But I learned that I had to focus on getting well and leave off trying to cure anyone around me." Many of those around - might indeed get better too, since we seldom see how much we are a key part of a negative relationship pattern. I have learned it is a true principle that I need to fix myself before I can begin to be truly helpful to anyone else. I used to think that if I were worthy enough and worked hard enough, and exercised enough anxiety (which is not the same thing as faith), I could change anything. My power and my control are illusions. To survive emotionally, I have to turn my life over to the care of that tender Heavenly Father who was really in charge. It is my own spiritual superficiality that makes me sick, and that only profound repentance, that real change of heart, would ultimately heal me. My Savior is much closer than I imagine and is willing to take over the direction of my life: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me, ye can do nothing." (John 15:5). As old foundations crumble, we feel terribly vulnerable. Humility, prayer and flexibility are the keys to passing through this corridor of healthy change while we experiment with truer ways of dealing with life. Godly knowledge, lovingly imparted, begins deep healing, gives tools to live by and new ways to understand the gospel.
M. Catherine Thomas
No one has a transparent view of the world. In fact, we all carry around a personal worldview—the biases and experiences and expectations that color the way we perceive the world.
Seth Godin (Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to drive your career and create a remarkable future)
How we perceive of the world around us determines the outcome of what it is we choose to see or not see
Christine Upton
I was finally beginning to perceive that no matter how many dead people I might see, or people at the instant of their death, I would never manage to grasp death, that very moment, precisely in itself. It was one thing or the other: either you are dead, and then in any case there's nothing else to understand, or else you are not yet dead, and in that case, even with the rifle at the back of your head or the rope around your neck, death remains incomprehensible, a pure abstraction, this absurd idea that I, the only living person in the world, could disappear. Dying, we may already be dead, but we never die, that moment never comes, or rather it never stops coming, there it is, it's coming, and then it's still coming, and then it's already over, without ever having come.
Jonathan Littell (The Kindly Ones)
Today we are not only testing and grading our children into the ground, but we are not teaching them how to see and understand the deep meaning of what they learn, or to perceive the connectedness of information about the world. It is indeed time to try something different.
Betty Edwards (Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain)
How we perceive the world and how we act in it are products of how and what we remember. We’re all just a bundle of habits shaped by our memories. And to the extent that we control our lives, we do so by gradually altering those habits, which is to say the networks of our memory.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
For half a century now, a new consciousness has been entering the human world, a new awareness that can only be called transcendent, spiritual. If you find yourself reading this book, then perhaps you already sense what is happening, already feel it inside. It begins with a heightened perception of the way our lives move forward. We notice those chance events that occur at just the right moment, and bring forth just the right individuals, to suddenly send our lives in a new and important direction. Perhaps more than any other people in any other time, we intuit higher meaning in these mysterious happenings. We know that life is really about a spiritual unfolding that is personal and enchanting an unfolding that no science or philosophy or religion has yet fully clarified. And we know something else as well: know that once we do understand what is happening, how to engage this allusive process and maximize its occurrence in our lives, human society will take a quantum leap into a whole new way of life one that realizes the best of our tradition and creates a culture that has been the goal of history all along. The following story is offered toward this new understanding. If it touches you, if it crystalizes something that you perceive in life, then pass on what you see to another for I think our new awareness of the spiritual is expanding in exactly this way, no longer through hype nor fad, but personally, through a kind of positive psychological contagion among people. All that any of us have to do is uspend our doubts and distractions just long enough... and miraculously,this reality can be our own.
James Redfield
All of the problems in the world today arise from an inability to grasp the underlying oneness of life. The division of nations, religions, and cultures comes from this fundamental ignorance, as does our exploitation of the Earth and her resources. Only if we perceive another person as fundamentally different from ourselves can we harm or exploit them. Only if we see the natural world as mere raw material for our convenience can we damage it for our own gratification. If we see our Self-reflected in all beings, which is the real truth, we cannot wish any harm to anyone and we treat all things with respect, finding all life to be sacred. Without addressing this core problem of the failure to understand the unity of life, we cannot expect to solve our other problems. Today it is of utmost necessity that all those who are consciousness of this underlying unity act in such a way as to make others aware of it. This does not necessarily require any overt outer actions but it does require that we make a statement by how we live, if not by what we say.
David Frawley (Arise Arjuna: Hinduism and the Modern World)
When you look in the mirror you see not just your face but a museum. Although your face, in one sense, is your own, it is composed of a collage of features you have inherited from your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on. The lips and eyes that either bother or please you are not yours alone but are also features of your ancestors, long dead pergaps as individuals but still very much alive as fragments in you. Even complex qualities such as your sense of balance, musical abilities, shyness in crowds, or susceptbility to sickness have been lived before. We carry the past around with us all the time, and not just in our bodies. It lives also in our customs, including the way we speak. The past is a set of invisible lenses we wear constantly, and through these we perceive de world and the world perceives us. We stand always on the shoulders of our ancestors, wheter or not we look down to acknowledge them.
David W. Anthony (The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World)
Shabbat comes with its own holiness; we enter not simply a day, but an atmosphere. My father cites the Zohar: the Sabbath is the name of God. We are within the Sabbath rather than the Sabbath being within us. For my father, the question is how to perceive that holiness: not how much to observe, but how to observe. Strict adherence to the laws regulating Sabbath observance doesn’t suffice; the goal is creating the Sabbath as a foretaste of paradise. The Sabbath is a metaphor for paradise and a testimony to God’s presence; in our prayers, we anticipate a messianic era that will be a Sabbath, and each Shabbat prepares us for that experience: “Unless one learns how to relish the taste of Sabbath … one will be unable to enjoy the taste of eternity in the world to come.” It was on the seventh day that God gave the world a soul, and “[the world’s] survival depends upon the holiness of the seventh day.” The task, he writes, becomes how to convert time into eternity, how to fill our time with spirit: “Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul. The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone Else.
Abraham Joshua Heschel (The Sabbath)
As I discussed in the previous chapter, attachment researchers have shown that our earliest caregivers don't only feed us, dress us, and comfort us when we are upset; they shape the way our rapidly growing brain perceives reality. Our interactions with our caregivers convey what is safe and what is dangerous: whom we can count on and who will let us down; what we need to do to get our needs met. This information is embodied in the warp and woof of our brain circuitry and forms the template of how we think of ourselves and the world around us. These inner maps are remarkably stable across time. This doesn‘t mean, however, that our maps can‘t be modified by experience. A deep love relationship, particularly during adolescence, when the brain once again goes through a period of exponential change, truly can transform us. So can the birth of a child, as our babies often teach us how to love. Adults who were abused or neglected as children can still learn the beauty of intimacy and mutual trust or have a deep spiritual experience that opens them to a larger universe. In contrast, previously uncontaminated childhood maps can become so distorted by an adult rape or assault that all roads are rerouted into terror or despair. These responses are not reasonable and therefore cannot be changed simply by reframing irrational beliefs.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Our “realities” are determined by how we habitually perceive ourselves and our worlds.
Jen Sincero (Badass Habits: Cultivate the Awareness, Boundaries, and Daily Upgrades You Need to Make Them Stick)
We don’t perceive each year as a fixed period of time; we experience each new year as a smaller and smaller fraction of the life we’ve lived.
Hannah Fry (Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine)
Worry is a weighty monster with poisoned tentacles. It clutches at us, grabs at our minds, steals our breath, our will. It lurks. It pounces. It colors how we perceive the world.
Mary E. DeMuth (Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus)
Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press created a surge in demand for spectacles, as the new practice of reading made Europeans across the continent suddenly realize that they were farsighted; the market demand for spectacles encouraged a growing number of people to produce and experiment with lenses, which led to the invention of the microscope, which shortly thereafter enabled us to perceive that our bodies were made up of microscopic cells. You wouldn’t think that printing technology would have anything to do with the expansion of our vision down to the cellular scale, just as you wouldn’t have thought that the evolution of pollen would alter the design of a hummingbird’s wing. But that is the way change happens.
Steven Johnson (How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World)
Burdened with a low self-image, we mistakenly believe our time is worth less than others’ time. We wrongly assume our goals and interests are inferior to other people’s goals and interests. We perceive our value to the world as somehow less than the value offered by those around us.
Damon Zahariades (The Art Of Saying NO: How To Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time And Energy, And Refuse To Be Taken For Granted (Without Feeling Guilty!) (The Art Of Living Well Book 1))
Above all, it is imperative to extirpate the idea that any fantastic, mysterious practices are required for the attainment of higher knowledge. It must be clearly realized that a start has to be made with the thoughts and feelings with which we continually live, and that these feelings and thoughts must merely be given a new direction. Everyone must say to himself: “In my own world of thought and feeling the deepest mysteries lie hidden, only hitherto I have been unable to perceive them.
Rudolf Steiner (How to Know Higher Worlds)
Any single person's viewpoint will have blind spots caused by their habitual ways of perceiving the world, their perceptual filters...How can we shift our perceptions to get outside our own limited world view?
John Seymour (Introducing Neuro-linguistic Programming: The New Psychology of Personal Excellence)
Of all the dangerous ideas that health officials could have embraced while trying to understand why we get fat, they would have been hard-pressed to find one ultimately more damaging than calories-in/calories-out. That it reinforces what appears to be so obvious - obesity as the penalty for gluttony and sloth - is what makes it so alluring. But it's misleading and misconceived on so many levels that it's hard to imagine how it survived unscathed and virtually unchallenged for the last fifty years. It has done incalculable harm. Not only is this thinking at least partly responsible for the ever-growing numbers of obese and overweight in the world - while directing attention away from the real reasons we get fat - but it has served to reinforce the perception that those who get fat have no one to blame but themselves. That eating less invariably fails as a cure for obesity is rarely perceived as the single most important reason to make us question our assumptions, as Hilde Bruch suggested half a century ago. Rather, it is taken as still more evidence that the overweight and obese are incapable of following a diet and eating in moderation. And it put the blame for their physical condition squarely on their behavior, which couldn't be further from the truth.
Gary Taubes (Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It)
Dark matter and dark energy make up 96 percent of the universe. And: The sun doesn’t rise, the Earth just spins. And: When we breathe, we are breathing in the very same molecules our dead ancestors did. And: One day the sun will obliterate the Earth and all life here will be gone forever. And: Everything you know and will ever know is housed in three pounds of tissue, isolated from the world. And: Color doesn’t even really exist, it’s just how you perceive wavelengths of light; color is all in your head. Or: There are more atoms in my eye than there are stars in the known universe.
A.D. Aliwat (In Limbo)
We human beings are magnets; we attract the quality life we think we deserve. We are as happy as we think we are. Our life is as good as we think it is. The quality of our life depends on the quality of our thoughts. A man is nothing but the recollection of thoughts he has about himself. Our world perception is what we think about the world. Thinking is all that is controlling our lives. Thinking is how we perceive ourselves, others, the whole world, and basically—life.
Ani Rich (A Missing Drop: Free Your Mind From Conditioning And Reconnect To Your Truest Self)
What use is the truth in a world where we die either way? Isn't it better to live happy until that last moment, believing the story you are living, shoulder to shoulder with others who believe and live that same story? Why flounder in the void when there is no need to do so? The story ends the same way, no matter how you chose to perceive it. Why not choose to perceive it as meaningful?
Joseph Fink (It Devours! (Welcome to Night Vale, #2))
What if our worldline is just one of an infinite number of worldlines, some only slightly altered from the life we know, others drastically different? The Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics posits that all possible realities exist. That everything which has a probability of happening is happening. Everything that might have occurred in our past did occur, only in another universe. What if that’s true? What if we live in a fifth-dimensional probability space? What if we actually inhabit the multiverse, but our brains have evolved in such a way as to equip us with a firewall that limits what we perceive to a single universe? One worldline. The one we choose, moment to moment. It makes sense if you think about it. We couldn’t possibly contend with simultaneously observing all possible realities at once. So how do we access this 5-D probability space? And if we could, where would it take us?
Blake Crouch (Dark Matter)
Most serious confrontations in life are not political, they are existential. One can agree with someone's political stance but disagree in a fundamental way with how they came to that position. It is a question of attitude, of moral configuration. My husband and I had plenty of grievances, but it all boiled down to a fundamental difference in the way we perceived life, the context within which we defined ourselves and our world. For that, there was no reconciliation or resolution, there was only separation or surrender.
Azar Nafisi (Things I've Been Silent About)
Decision making lies at the heart of everything: who we are, what we do, how we perceive the world around us. Without the ability to weigh alternatives, we would be hostages to our most basic drives. We wouldn’t be able to wisely navigate the now, or plan our future lives. Although you have a single identity, you’re not of a single mind: instead, you are a collection of many competing drives. By understanding how choices battle it out in the brain, we can learn to make better decisions for ourselves, and for our society.
David Eagleman (The Brain: The Story of You)
Reality is neither good nor bad; it is a matter of how we choose to perceive it. For someone who has mastered the art of seeing, the world is always perfect. External reality does not have to change in order to make us happy. The secret lies in changing our perception of it.
Kenneth S. Leong (The Zen Teachings of Jesus)
To My Children, I'm dedicating my little story to you; doubtless you will be among the very few who will ever read it. It seems war stories aren't very well received at this point. I'm told they're out-dated, untimely and as might be expected - make some unpleasant reading. And, as you have no doubt already perceived, human beings don't like to remember unpleasant things. They gird themselves with the armor of wishful thinking, protect themselves with a shield of impenetrable optimism, and, with a few exceptions, seem to accomplish their "forgetting" quite admirably. But you, my children, I don't want you to be among those who choose to forget. I want you to read my stories and a lot of others like them. I want you to fill your heads with Remarque and Tolstoy and Ernie Pyle. I want you to know what shrapnel, and "88's" and mortar shells and mustard gas mean. I want you to feel, no matter how vicariously, a semblance of the feeling of a torn limb, a burnt patch of flesh, the crippling, numbing sensation of fear, the hopeless emptiness of fatigue. All these things are complimentary to the province of War and they should be taught and demonstrated in classrooms along with the more heroic aspects of uniforms, and flags, and honor and patriotism. I have no idea what your generation will be like. In mine we were to enjoy "Peace in our time". A very well meaning gentleman waved his umbrella and shouted those very words...less than a year before the whole world went to war. But this gentleman was suffering the worldly disease of insufferable optimism. He and his fellow humans kept polishing the rose colored glasses when actually they should have taken them off. They were sacrificing reason and reality for a brief and temporal peace of mind, the same peace of mind that many of my contemporaries derive by steadfastly refraining from remembering the War that came before. [excerpt from a dedication to an unpublished short story, "First Squad, First Platoon"; from Serling to his as yet unborn children]
Rod Serling
We live in a world of illusions. We think we’re aware of everything going on around us. We look out and see an uninterrupted, complete picture of the visual world, composed of thousands of little detailed images. We may know that each of us has a blind spot, but we go on day to day blissfully unaware of where it actually is because our occipital cortex does such a good job of filling in the missing information and hence hiding it from us. Laboratory demonstrations of inattentional blindness (like the gorilla video of the last chapter) underscore how little of the world we actually perceive, in spite of the overwhelming feeling that we’re getting it all.
Daniel J. Levitin (The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload)
Truly to realize the ambitions of a science of mind does not solely involve learning about such issues as how we know, perceive and solve problems; it involves finding out tow hat extent the world outside us is knowable by us, and indeed prescribing the limits of inquiry for disciplines like Physics which claim to afford knowledge of the external physical world.
Seán Ó Nualláin (The Search for Mind: Second Edition)
According to Freudian psychology, the ego is that part of us that allows us to correctly perceive external reality and function well in everyday life. People who have this concept of the ego frequently look upon the ego death as a frightening and tremendously negative event--as the loss of ability to operate in the world. However, what really dies in this process is that part of us that holds a basically paranoid view of ourselves and of the world around. Alan Watts called this aspect, which involves a sense of absolute separateness from everything else, "skin-encapsulated ego." It is made up of the internal perceptions of our lives that we learned during the struggle in the birth canal and during various painful encounters after birth.
Stanislav Grof (The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives)
No matter how beautiful or not one is perceived to be, the true beauty we all possess is found on the inside. That should be our focus and the measure by which we are judged. How do we move through life? What other lives have we touched? Who have we confronted with love? How have we changed the world for the better? Those are all qualities that can’t be countered or weighed. Really, beauty beyond size.
Ashley Graham
The word "kenning" comes from the Old Norse verb kenna, which is also a "seeing=knowing" metaphor, meaning "to know, recognize, or perceive." The etymology survives in words meaning "to know" in various Scandinavian languages as well as in German and Dutch. Kenna is also the source of the English "can" as well as the somewhat arcane "ken," as found in the expression "beyond my ken," meaning "beyond my knowledge.
James Geary (I is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World)
You think I hate men. I guess I do, although some of my best friends...I don't like this position. I mistrust generalized hatred. I feel like one of those twelfth century monks raving on about how evil women are and how they must cover themselves up completely when they go out lest they lead men into evil thoughts. The assumption that the men are the ones who matter, and that the women exist only in relation to them, is so silent and underrunning that ever we never picked it up until recently. But after all, look at what we read. I read Schopenhauer and Nietzsche and Wittgenstein and Freud and Erikson; I read de Montherlant and Joyce and Lawrence and sillier people like Miller and Mailer and Roth and Philip Wylie. I read the Bible and Greek myths and didn't question why all later redactions relegated Gaea-Tellus and Lilith to a footnote and made Saturn the creator of the world. I read or read about, without much question, the Hindus and the Jews, Pythagoras and Aristotle, Seneca, Cato, St.Paul, Luther, Sam Johnson, Rousseau, Swift...well, you understand. For years I didn't take it personally. So now it is difficult for me to call others bigots when I am one myself. I tell people at once, to warn them, that I suffer from deformation of character. But the truth is I am sick unto death of four thousand years of males telling me how rotten my sex is. Especially it makes me sick when I look around and see such rotten men and such magnificent women, all of whom have a sneaking suspicion that the four thousand years of remarks are correct. These days I feel like an outlaw, a criminal. Maybe that's what the people perceive who look at me so strangely as I walk the beach. I feel like an outlaw not only because I think that men are rotten and women are great, but because I have come to believe that oppressed people have the right to use criminal means to survive. Criminal means being, of course, defying the laws passed by the oppressors to keep the oppressed in line. Such a position takes you scarily close to advocating oppression itself, though. We are bound in by the terms of the sentence. Subject-verb-object. The best we can do is turn it around. and that's no answer, is it?
Marilyn French (The Women's Room)
We perceive our environment in three dimensions, but we don’t actually live in a 3-D world. 3-D is static. A snapshot. We have to add a fourth dimension to begin to describe the nature of our existence. The 4-D tesseract doesn’t add a spatial dimension. It adds a temporal one. It adds time, a stream of 3-D cubes, representing space as it moves along time’s arrow. This is best illustrated by looking up into the night sky at stars whose brilliance took fifty light-years to reach our eyes. Or five hundred. Or five billion. We’re not just looking into space, we’re looking back through time. Our path through this 4-D spacetime is our worldline (reality), beginning with our birth and ending with our death. Four coordinates (x, y, z, and t [time]) locate a point within the tesseract. And we think it stops there, but that’s only true if every outcome is inevitable, if free will is an illusion, and our worldline is solitary. What if our worldline is just one of an infinite number of worldlines, some only slightly altered from the life we know, others drastically different? The Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics posits that all possible realities exist. That everything which has a probability of happening is happening. Everything that might have occurred in our past did occur, only in another universe. What if that’s true? What if we live in a fifth-dimensional probability space? What if we actually inhabit the multiverse, but our brains have evolved in such a way as to equip us with a firewall that limits what we perceive to a single universe? One worldline. The one we choose, moment to moment. It makes sense if you think about it. We couldn’t possibly contend with simultaneously observing all possible realities at once. So how do we access this 5-D probability space? And if we could, where would it take us? —
Blake Crouch (Dark Matter)
We grow up being told to do this and told to do that because it's the 'right' thing to do. If we did something obscure, it'd be 'wrong'. We have been taught to choose the respectable, socially acceptable path that everyone else walks down. What if we were told to do what feels right and were not afraid to perceive the world in an authentic light. We are told how to think and what to think, but not how to feel. We don't always need logic, we need to feel.
Joshua Lynott (Why Don't You? Thoughts Worth Thinking)
..I began speaking.. First, I took issue with the media's characterization of the post-Katrina New Orleans as resembling the third world as its poor citizens clamored for a way out. I suggested that my experience in New Orleans working with the city's poorest people in the years before the storm had reflected the reality of third-world conditions in New Orleans, and that Katrina had not turned New Orleans into a third-world city but had only revealed it to the world as such. I explained that my work, running Reprieve, a charity that brought lawyers and volunteers to the Deep South from abroad to work on death penalty issues, had made it clear to me that much of the world had perceived this third-world reality, even if it was unnoticed by our own citizens. To try answer Ryan's question, I attempted to use my own experience to explain that for many people in New Orleans, and in poor communities across the country, the government was merely an antagonist, a terrible landlord, a jailer, and a prosecutor. As a lawyer assigned to indigent people under sentence of death and paid with tax dollars, I explained the difficulty of working with clients who stand to be executed and who are provided my services by the state, not because they deserve them, but because the Constitution requires that certain appeals to be filed before these people can be killed. The state is providing my clients with my assistance, maybe the first real assistance they have ever received from the state, so that the state can kill them. I explained my view that the country had grown complacent before Hurricane Katrina, believing that the civil rights struggle had been fought and won, as though having a national holiday for Martin Luther King, or an annual march by politicians over the bridge in Selma, Alabama, or a prosecution - forty years too late - of Edgar Ray Killen for the murder of civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, were any more than gestures. Even though President Bush celebrates his birthday, wouldn't Dr. King cry if he could see how little things have changed since his death? If politicians or journalists went to Selma any other day of the year, they would see that it is a crumbling city suffering from all of the woes of the era before civil rights were won as well as new woes that have come about since. And does anyone really think that the Mississippi criminal justice system could possibly be a vessel of social change when it incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than almost any place in the world, other than Louisiana and Texas, and then compels these prisoners, most of whom are black, to work prison farms that their ancestors worked as chattel of other men? ... I hoped, out loud, that the post-Katrina experience could be a similar moment [to the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fiasco], in which the American people could act like the children in the story and declare that the emperor has no clothes, and hasn't for a long time. That, in light of Katrina, we could be visionary and bold about what people deserve. We could say straight out that there are people in this country who are racist, that minorities are still not getting a fair shake, and that Republican policies heartlessly disregard the needs of individual citizens and betray the common good. As I stood there, exhausted, in front of the thinning audience of New Yorkers, it seemed possible that New Orleans's destruction and the suffering of its citizens hadn't been in vain.
Billy Sothern (Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City)
We imagine we’ll hear history when it calls. When it doesn’t, we return to our daily lives, our moral mettle still intact. But maybe history doesn’t call, or maybe you have to be listening closely to hear it. To prioritize diversity over perceived merit—the colorblind assessment of ability that has never really been colorblind at all—is to recognize that strategic imperatives can’t be the sole benchmark by which we distribute society’s prizes. There’s an increasing sense—among the millennials who fill our lecture halls, but out in the rougher world of cubicles and delivery vans and hospital waiting rooms as well—that it’s not enough to be right, or profitable, or talented. You must also be just. It’s
Joichi Ito (Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future)
Leaders instill courage in the hearts of those who follow. This rarely happens through words alone. It generally requires action. It goes back to what we said earlier: Somebody has to go first. By going first, the leader furnishes confidence to those who follow. As a next generation leader, you will be called upon to go first. That will require courage. But in stepping out you will give the gift of courage to those who are watching. What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business? What has been done is safe. But to attempt a solution to a problem that plagues an entire industry - in my case, the local church - requires courage. Unsolved problems are gateways to the future. To those who have the courage to ask the question and the tenacity to hang on until they discover or create an answer belongs the future. Don’t allow the many good opportunities to divert your attention from the one opportunity that has the greatest potential. Learn to say no. There will always be more opportunities than there is time to pursue them. Leaders worth following are willing to face and embrace current reality regardless of how discouraging or embarrassing it might be. It is impossible to generate sustained growth or progress if your plan for the future is not rooted in reality. Be willing to face the truth regardless of how painful it might be. If fear causes you to retreat from your dreams, you will never give the world anything new. it is impossible to lead without a dream. When leaders are no longer willing to dream, it is only a short time before followers are unwilling to follow. Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity? Uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape. It never goes away. Where there is no uncertainty, there is no longer the need for leadership. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the need for leadership. Your capacity as a leader will be determined by how well you learn to deal with uncertainty. My enemy is not uncertainty. It is not even my responsibility to remove the uncertainty. It is my responsibility to bring clarity into the midst of the uncertainty. As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear. People will follow you in spite of a few bad decisions. People will not follow you if you are unclear in your instruction. As a leader you must develop the elusive skill of leading confidently and purposefully onto uncertain terrain. Next generation leaders must fear a lack of clarity more than a lack of accuracy. The individual in your organization who communicates the clearest vision will often be perceived as the leader. Clarity is perceived as leadership. Uncertainty exposes a lack of knowledge. Pretending exposes a lack of character. Express your uncertainty with confidence. You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential. You need a leadership coach. Great leaders are great learners. God, in His wisdom, has placed men and women around us with the experience and discernment we often lack. Experience alone doesn’t make you better at anything. Evaluated experience is what enables you to improve your performance. As a leader, what you don’t know can hurt you. What you don’t know about yourself can put a lid on your leadership. You owe it to yourself and to those who have chosen to follow you to open the doors to evaluation. Engage a coach. Success doesn’t make anything of consequence easier. Success just raises the stakes. Success brings with it the unanticipated pressure of maintaining success. The more successful you are as a leader, the more difficult this becomes. There is far more pressure at the top of an organization than you might imagine.
Andy Stanley
How did we get here? My own suspicion is that we are looking at the final effects of the militarization of American capitalism itself. In fact, it could well be said that the last thirty years have seen the construction of a vast bureaucratic apparatus for the creation and maintenance of hopelessness, a giant machine designed, first and foremost, to destroy any sense of possible alternative futures. At its root is a veritable obsession on the part of the rulers of the world - in response to the upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s - with ensuring that social movements cannot be seen to grow, flourish, or propose alternatives; that those who challenge existing power arrangements can never, under any circumstances, be perceived to win.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
I feel grateful for the slight sprain which has introduced this mysterious and fascinating division between one of my feet and the other. The way to love anything is to realise that it might be lost. In one of my feet I can feel how strong and splendid a foot is; in the other I can realise how very much otherwise it might have been. The moral of the thing is wholly exhilarating. This world and all our powers in it are far more awful and beautiful than even we know until some accident reminds us. If you wish to perceive that limitless felicity, limit yourself if only for a moment. If you wish to realise how fearfully and wonderfully God's image is made, stand on one leg. If you want to realise the splendid vision of all visible things-- wink the other eye.
G.K. Chesterton (Tremendous Trifles)
Have you ever dreamt? At night, with your eyes closed?... Then you know that even with eyes closed, even in complete darkness, your mind can fill a frame for you, your soul, to observe and experience – a stage with color and atmosphere are as realistic as the visions you perceive while awake. This is how we Elders and the undead see, for we look at the world through an astral plane congruent with physical reality, where emotions are tangible shapes, and hopes, fears, and regrets collect themselves into transparent auras.
S.E. Lindberg (Lords of Dyscrasia (Dyscrasia Fiction))
The novel’s merit, then—or its offence, depending where you stood—was not that it was authentic, but that it was credible. The bad dream turned out to be one that a lot of people in the world were sharing, since it asked the same old question that we are asking ourselves fifty years later: How far can we go in the rightful defence of our Western values without abandoning them along the way? My fictional chief of the British Service—I called him Control—had no doubt of the answer: “I mean, you can’t be less ruthless than the opposition simply because your government’s policy is benevolent, can you now?” Today, the same man, with better teeth and hair and a much smarter suit, can be heard explaining away the catastrophic illegal war in Iraq, or justifying medieval torture techniques as the preferred means of interrogation in the twenty-first century, or defending the inalienable right of closet psychopaths to bear semi-automatic weapons, and the use of unmanned drones as a risk-free method of assassinating one’s perceived enemies and anybody who has the bad luck to be standing near them. Or, as a loyal servant of his corporation, assuring us that smoking is harmless to the health of the Third World, and great banks are there to serve the public. What have I learned over the last fifty years? Come to think of it, not much. Just that the morals of the secret world are very like our own.
John le Carré (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (George Smiley Book 3))
But it was probably long before anyone thought of pottery that the river was first perceived as a metaphor of destiny, the "clan river" of eternity connecting the three worlds. The bear signaled--perhaps seemed even to oversee--the arrival of the salmon. The salmon were human food too, which made the first link in the man-bear-river-salmon system a tangible reality. We can only guess how the river's eternal flow, the upstream movement of the miraculous fish from the depths of a watery matrix toward the almost ethereal spring at the headwaters, or their fate in the stomach of the bear might have stimulated the concept of reincarnation. In time, the spiritual forces represented by the physical realities could be grappled with by a shaman, who would travel the river to the ancestral downstream and the immortal upstream in a trance instead of a boat.
Paul Shepard (The Sacred Paw: The Bear in Nature, Myth, and Literature)
Consider how odd it would be if all we knew about elephants had been written by elephants. Would we recognize one? What elephant author would describe--or perhaps even perceive--the features which are common to all elephants? We would find ourselves detecting these from indirect clues; for instance, elephant-naturalists would surely tell us that all other animals suffer from noselessness, which obliges them to use their paws in an unnatural way. [...]So when the human male describes his world he maps its distances from his unspoken natural center of reference, himself.
Alice B. Sheldon
When we are stuck in fight/flight/freeze mode, we devote our resources to managing stress, and, to put it simply, our child brain suffers. Childhood is a time of great vulnerability. Unable to survive on our own, a parent-figure’s withholding of anything perceived to hinder our survival sends stress signals flooding through our bodies. The resulting ‘survival brain’, as I call it, is hyperfocused on perceived threats, sees the world in black and white, and is often obsessive, panic driven, and prone to circular reasoning. We can break down or shut down when faced with stress.
Nicole LePera (How To Do The Work)
Where one person sees a crisis, another can see opportunity. Where one is blinded by success, another sees reality with ruthless objectivity. Where one loses control of emotions, another can remain calm. Desperation, despair, fear, powerlessness—these reactions are functions of our perceptions. You must realize: Nothing makes us feel this way; we choose to give in to such feelings. Or, like Rockefeller, choose not to. And it is precisely at this divergence—between how Rockefeller perceived his environment and how the rest of the world typically does—that his nearly incomprehensible success was born.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
When we bring personality types together, communication breakdowns are inevitable…Thinking types may feel they’re being considerate by getting straight to a point in a conversation, unaware that their feeling friends perceive them as uncomfortably blunt. Intuitive types may think they are contributing by sharing their grand plans in a team meeting, unaware that the thought of so many changes at once completely stresses out their sensing colleagues. Extroverted types may feel disappointed when their spouses don’t immediately respond with enthusiasm to their ideas, ignorant that they just need time to think the ideas over.
Anne Bogel (Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything)
In contrast to the inorganic thereness of lifeless matter, living beings are not mere appearances. To be alive means to be possessed by an urge toward self-display which answers the fact of one’s own appearingness. Living things make their appearance like actors on a stage set for them. The stage is common to all who are alive, but it seems different to each species, different also to each individual specimen. Seeming—the it-seems-to-me, dokei moi—is the mode, perhaps the only possible one, in which an appearing world is acknowledged and perceived. To appear always means to seem to others, and this seeming varies according to the standpoint and the perspective of the spectators. In other words, every appearing thing acquires, by virtue of its appearingness, a kind of disguise that may indeed—but does not have to—hide or disfigure it. Seeming corresponds to the fact that every appearance, its identity notwithstanding, is perceived by a plurality of spectators. The
Hannah Arendt (The Life of the Mind: The Groundbreaking Investigation on How We Think)
By habit we perceive ourselves and the world around us as solid, real, and enduring. Yet without much effort, we can easily determine that not one aspect within the whole world’s system exists independent of change. I had just been in one physical location, and now I was in another; I had experienced different states of mind. We have all grown from babies to adults, lost loved ones, watched children grow, known changes in weather, in political regimes, in styles of music and fashion, in everything. Despite appearances, no aspect of life ever stays the same. The deconstruction of any one object—no matter how dense it appears, such as an ocean liner, our bodies, a skyscraper, or an oak tree—will reveal the appearance of solidity to be as illusory as permanence. Everything that looks substantial will break down into molecules, and into atoms, and into electrons, protons, and neutrons. And every phenomenon exists in interdependence with myriad other forms. Every identification of any one form has meaning only in relationship to another. Big only has meaning in relation to small. To mistake our habitual misperceptions for the whole of reality is what we mean by ignorance, and these delusions define the world of confusion, or samsara.
Yongey Mingyur (In Love with the World: What a Buddhist Monk Can Teach You About Living from Nearly Dying)
Paul is basically saying that God has not kept who He is a secret. Knowing God is not hard. It’s actually the most obvious thing in the world. All you have to do is glorify Him as God and be thankful. This response, because it agrees with the truth, gives you open access to the vast treasures of the knowledge of God. But without that response, your thoughts become futile and your heart is darkened. Futile means “purposeless.” When we fail to sustain the response of thanksgiving for everything in our lives, our thinking is cut off from our purpose in God. When we lose sight of our purpose, we will inevitably make choices that are outside of God’s intentions for our lives, and this can only be destructive because it works against His design for us. A dark heart is a heart that is unable to perceive spiritual reality. It is unmoved by the desires and affections of the Lord, and therefore cannot respond to His invitation to relationship, which is the source of life. As Paul goes on to explain in Romans chapter 1, a dark heart perverts our desires and leads us into all kinds of sin that degrades our identity and relationships. The most perverted sins known to mankind came about through a door left open because of the absence of thankfulness.
Bill Johnson (Strengthen Yourself in the Lord: How to Release the Hidden Power of God in Your Life)
is easy to recall from everyday experience that neither electricity nor magnetism have visual properties. So, on its own, it’s not hard to grasp that there is nothing inherently visual, nothing bright or colored about that candle flame. Now let these same invisible electromagnetic waves strike a human retina, and if (and only if) the waves each happen to measure between 400 and 700 nanometers in length from crest to crest, then their energy is just right to deliver a stimulus to the 8 million cone-shaped cells in the retina. Each in turn sends an electrical pulse to a neighbor neuron, and on up the line this goes, at 250 mph, until it reaches the warm, wet occipital lobe of the brain, in the back of the head. There, a cascading complex of neurons fire from the incoming stimuli, and we subjectively perceive this experience as a yellow brightness occurring in a place we have been conditioned to call “the external world.” Other creatures receiving the identical stimulus will experience something altogether different, such as a perception of gray, or even have an entirely dissimilar sensation. The point is, there isn’t a “bright yellow” light “out there” at all. At most, there is an invisible stream of electrical and magnetic pulses. We are totally necessary for the experience of what we’d call a yellow flame. Again, it’s correlative.
Robert Lanza (Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe)
America had shifted from what the influential cultural historian Warren Susman called a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality—and opened up a Pandora’s Box of personal anxieties from which we would never quite recover. In the Culture of Character, the ideal self was serious, disciplined, and honorable. What counted was not so much the impression one made in public as how one behaved in private. The word personality didn’t exist in English until the eighteenth century, and the idea of “having a good personality” was not widespread until the twentieth. But when they embraced the Culture of Personality, Americans started to focus on how others perceived them. They became captivated by people who were bold and entertaining. “The social role demanded of all in the new Culture of Personality was that of a performer,” Susman famously wrote. “Every American was to become a performing self.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Many other physicists get a little blasé about the vastness of the cosmos and forces too powerful to comprehend. You can reduce it all to mathematics, tweak some equations, and get on with your day. But the shock and vertigo of the recognition of the fragility of everything, and my own powerlessness in it, has left its mark on me. There’s something about taking the opportunity to wade into that cosmic perspective that is both terrifying and hopeful, like holding a newborn infant and feeling the delicate balance of the tenuousness of life and the potential for not-yet-imagined greatness. It is said that astronauts returning from space carry with them a changed perspective on the world, the “overview effect,” in which, having seen the Earth from above, they can fully perceive how fragile our little oasis is and how unified we ought to be as a species, as perhaps the only thinking beings in the cosmos.
Katie Mack (The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking))
Pattern recognition is so basic that the brain's pattern detection modules and its reward circuitry became inextricably linked. Whenever we successfully detect a pattern-or think we detect a pattern-the neurotransmitters responsible for sensations of pleasure squirt through our brains. If a pattern has repeated often enough and successfully enough in the past, the neurotransmitter release occurs in response to the mere presence of suggestive cues, long before the expected outcome of that pattern actually occurs. Like the study participants who reported seeing regular sequences in random stimuli, we will use alomst any pretext to get our pattern recognition kicks. Pattern recognition is the most primitive form of analogical reasoning, part of the neural circuitry for metaphor. Monkeys, rodents, and birds recognize patterns, too. What distinguishes humans from other species, though, is that we have elevated pattern recognition to an art. "To understand," the philosopher Isaiah Berlin observed, "is to perceive patterns." Metaphor, however, is not the mere detection of patterns; it is the creation of patterns, too. When Robert Frost wrote, "A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain" his brain created a pattern connecting umbrellas to banks, a pattern retraced every time someone else reads this sentence. Frost believed passionately that an understanding of metaphor was essential not just to survival in university literature courses but also to survival in daily life.
James Geary (I is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World)
I don't worry about how other people perceive me. I figure out what I want, and I work very hard to make it happen. Simple recipe. I didn't achieve any goals by having it given to me on a silver platter, through fibbing or exaggeration, nor through favours. When you work hard, the universe almost always brings people to you - synergy. The universe will reflect the energy you give it. Stop worrying about what other people think of you, or worrying about the limit(s) they have, in their heads, about your potential. The universe will bring you into your purpose organically. Nothing out of force tastes as good as what you have worked your ass off to achieve, and for which the universe synergistically opens up for you, and brings into your world. As well it is not about proving other people wrong; first and foremost prove your own negative inner voice wrong. The inner voice that internalized the negative energies of others. Sometimes we are our own biggest hurdle. And as a subsequent outcome of rewiring your inner voice, you'll leave others speechless at contesting their limitations of you...seeing the supernova you are.
Cheyanne Ratnam
When circumstances are right, unlikely people do extraordinary things. When the weight of the world is behind them, the push of events and time itself will align to make incredible things happen. Look around you, Brashen. You skirt the center of the vortex, so close you do not see how wondrous are the circumstances surrounding us. We are being swept toward a climax in time, a critcal choice-point where all the future must go one way, or another. "Liveships are wakening to their true pasts. Serpents, reputed to be myths when you where a boy, are now accepted as natural. The serpents speak, Brashen, to Paragon, and Paragon speaks to us. When last did humanity concede intelligence to another race of creatures? What will it mean to your children and your grandchildren? You are caught up in a grand sweep of events, culminating in the changing of the course of the world." She lowered her voice and a smile touched her mouth. "Yet all you can perceive is that you are separated from Althea. A man's loss of his mate may be the essential trigger that determines all events from henceforth. Do you not see how strange and wonderful that is? That all history balances on an affair of the human heart?
Robin Hobb (Ship of Destiny (Liveship Traders, #3))
(Inevitably, someone raises the question about World War II: What if Christians had refused to fight against Hitler? My answer is a counterquestion: What if the Christians in Germany had emphatically refused to fight for Hitler, refused to carry out the murders in concentration camps?) The long history of Christian “just wars” has wrought suffering past all telling, and there is no end in sight. As Yoder has suggested, Niebuhr’s own insight about the “irony of history” ought to lead us to recognize the inadequacy of our reason to shape a world that tends toward justice through violence. Might it be that reason and sad experience could disabuse us of the hope that we can approximate God’s justice through killing? According to the guideline I have proposed, reason must be healed and taught by Scripture, and our experience must be transformed by the renewing of our minds in conformity with the mind of Christ. Only thus can our warring madness be overcome. This would mean, practically speaking, that Christians would have to relinquish positions of power and influence insofar as the exercise of such positions becomes incompatible with the teaching and example of Jesus. This might well mean, as Hauerwas has perceived, that the church would assume a peripheral status in our culture, which is deeply committed to the necessity and glory of violence. The task of the church then would be to tell an alternative story, to train disciples in the disciplines necessary to resist the seductions of violence, to offer an alternative home for those who will not worship the Beast. If the church is to be a Scripture-shaped community, it will find itself reshaped continually into a closer resemblance to the socially marginal status of Matthew’s nonviolent countercultural community. To articulate such a theological vision for the church at the end of the twentieth century may be indeed to take most seriously what experience is telling us: the secular polis has no tolerance for explicitly Christian witness and norms. It is increasingly the case in Western culture that Christians can participate in public governance only insofar as they suppress their explicitly Christian motivations. Paradoxically, the Christian community might have more impact upon the world if it were less concerned about appearing reasonable in the eyes of the world and more concerned about faithfully embodying the New Testament’s teaching against violence. Let it be said clearly, however, that the reasons for choosing Jesus’ way of peacemaking are not prudential. In calculable terms, this way is sheer folly. Why do we choose the way of nonviolent love of enemies? If our reasons for that choice are shaped by the New Testament, we are motivated not by the sheer horror of war, not by the desire for saving our own skins and the skins of our children (if we are trying to save our skins, pacifism is a very poor strategy), not by some general feeling of reverence for human life, not by the naive hope that all people are really nice and will be friendly if we are friendly first. No, if our reasons for choosing nonviolence are shaped by the New Testament witness, we act in simple obedience to the God who willed that his own Son should give himself up to death on a cross. We make this choice in the hope and anticipation that God’s love will finally prevail through the way of the cross, despite our inability to see how this is possible. That is the life of discipleship to which the New Testament repeatedly calls us. When the church as a community is faithful to that calling, it prefigures the peaceable kingdom of God in a world wracked by violence.
Richard B. Hays (The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New CreationA Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethic)
Each of our actions, our words, our attitudes is cut off from the ‘world,’ from the people who have not directly perceived it, by a medium the permeability of which is of infinite variation and remains unknown to ourselves; having learned by experience that some important utterance which we eagerly hoped would be disseminated … has found itself, often simply on account of our anxiety, immediately hidden under a bushel, how immeasurably less do we suppose that some tiny word, which we ourselves have forgotten, or else a word never uttered by us but formed on its course by the imperfect refraction of a different word, can be transported without ever halting for any obstacle to infinite distances … and succeed in diverting at our expense the banquet of the gods. What we actually recall of our conduct remains unknown to our nearest neighbor; what we have forgotten that we ever said, or indeed what we never did say, flies to provoke hilarity even in another planet, and the image that other people form of our actions and behavior is no more like that which we form of them ourselves, than is like an original drawing a spoiled copy in which, at one point, for a black line, we find an empty gap, and for a blank space an unaccountable contour. It may be, all the same, that what has not been transcribed is some non-existent feature, which we behold, merely in our purblind self-esteem, and that what seems to us added is indeed a part of ourselves, but so essential a part as to have escaped our notice. So that this strange print which seems to us to have so little resemblance to ourselves bears sometimes the same stamp of truth, scarcely flattering, indeed, but profound and useful, as a photograph taken by X-rays. Not that that is any reason why we should recognize ourselves in it. A man who is in the habit of smiling in the glass at his handsome face and stalwart figure, if you show him their radiograph, will have, face to face with that rosary of bones, labeled as being the image of himself, the same suspicion of error as the visitor to an art gallery who, on coming to the portrait of a girl, reads in his catalogue: “Dromedary resting.” Later on, this discrepancy between our portraits, according as it was our own hand that drew them or another, I was to register in the case of others than myself, living placidly in the midst of a collection of photographs which they themselves had taken while round about them grinned frightful faces, invisible to them as a rule, but plunging them in stupor if an accident were to reveal them with the warning: “This is you.
Marcel Proust (The Guermantes Way)
One feels, in this possessive relationship, enriched, creative, and active; one feels one’s own little flame of being is increased by another and so in order not to lose this source of completeness one fears the loss of the other, and so possessive fears come into being with all their resulting problems. Thus in this relationship of psychological dependence, there must always be conscious or unconscious fear, suspicion, which often lies hidden in pleasant-sounding words.. Though one is dependent on another, there is yet the desire to be inviolate, to be whole. The complex problem in relationship is how to love without dependence, without friction and conflict; how to conquer the desire to isolate oneself, to withdraw from the cause of conflict. If we depend for our happiness on another, on society, or on environment, they become essential to us; we cling to them and any alteration of these we violently oppose because we depend upon them for our psychological security and comfort. Though, intellectually, we may perceive that life is a continual process of flux, mutation, necessitating constant change, yet emotionally or sentimentally we cling to the established and comforting values; hence there is a constant battle between change and the desire for permanency. Is it possible to put an end to this conflict?
J. Krishnamurti (Relationships to Oneself, to Others, to the World)
Wars and chaoses and paradoxes ago, two mathematicians between them ended an age d began another for our hosts, our ghosts called Man. One was Einstein, who with his Theory of Relativity defined the limits of man's perception by expressing mathematically just how far the condition of the observer influences the thing he perceives. ... The other was Goedel, a contemporary of Eintstein, who was the first to bring back a mathematically precise statement about the vaster realm beyond the limits Einstein had defined: In any closed mathematical system--you may read 'the real world with its immutable laws of logic'--there are an infinite number of true theorems--you may read 'perceivable, measurable phenomena'--which, though contained in the original system, can not be deduced from it--read 'proven with ordinary or extraordinary logic.' Which is to say, there are more things in heaven and Earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy, Horatio. There are an infinite number of true things in the world with no way of ascertaining their truth. Einstein defined the extent of the rational. Goedel stuck a pin into the irrational and fixed it to the wall of the universe so that it held still long enough for people to know it was there. ... The visible effects of Einstein's theory leaped up on a convex curve, its production huge in the first century after its discovery, then leveling off. The production of Goedel's law crept up on a concave curve, microscopic at first, then leaping to equal the Einsteinian curve, cross it, outstrip it. At the point of intersection, humanity was able to reach the limits of the known universe... ... And when the line of Goedel's law eagled over Einstein's, its shadow fell on a dewerted Earth. The humans had gone somewhere else, to no world in this continuum. We came, took their bodies, their souls--both husks abandoned here for any wanderer's taking. The Cities, once bustling centers of interstellar commerce, were crumbled to the sands you see today.
Samuel R. Delany (The Einstein Intersection)
I wonder if all these bad things will change when I’m a high schooler…” “At the very least, they most certainly won’t change if you intend to remain the way you are.” Way to go, Yukinoshita-san! Not going easy on the young'un just after you finished apologizing to her! “But it’s enough if the people around you change,” I remarked. “There’s no need to force yourself to hang out with others.” “But things are hard on Rumi­-chan right now and if we don’t do something about it…” Yuigahama looked at Rumi with eyes full of concern. In response, Rumi winced slightly. “Hard, you say… I don’t like that. It makes me sound pathetic. It makes me feel inferior for being left out.” “Oh,” said Yuigahama. “I don’t like it, you know. But there’s nothing you can do about it.” “Why?” Yukinoshita questioned her. Rumi seemed to have some trouble speaking, but she still managed to form the right words. “I… got abandoned. I can’t get along with them anymore. Even if I did, I don’t know when it’ll start again. If the same thing were to happen, I guess I’m better off this way. I just­” She swallowed. “­don’t wanna be pathetic…” Oh. I get it. This girl was fed up. Of herself and of her surroundings. If you change yourself, your world will change, they say, but that’s a load of crap. When people already have an impression of you, it’s not easy to change your pre­existing relationships by adding something to the mix. When people evaluate each other, it’s not an addition or subtraction formula. They only perceive you through their preconceived notions. The truth is that people don’t see you as who you truly are. They only see what they want to see, the reality that they yearn for. If some disgusting guy on the low end of the caste works his arse off on something, the higher ones just snicker and say, “What’s he trying so hard for?” and that would be the end of it. If you stand out for the wrong reasons, you would just be fodder for criticism. That wouldn’t be the case in a perfect world, but for better or worse, that’s how things work with middle schoolers. Riajuu are sought for their actions as riajuu, loners are obligated to be loners, and otaku are forced to act like otaku. When the elites show their understanding of those beneath them, they are acknowledged for their open-mindedness and the depth of their benevolence, but the reverse is not tolerated. Those are the fetid rules of the Kingdom of Children. It truly is a sad state of affairs. "You can’t change the world, but you can change yourself". The hell was up with that? Adapting and conforming to a cruel and indifferent world you know you’ve already lost to – ultimately, that’s what a slave does. Wrapping it up in pretty words and deceiving even yourself is the highest form of falsehood.
Wataru Watari (やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている。4)
Remember the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matt. 13:24–30) they must grow together, Jesus said, until the harvest. We cannot remove the tares without destroying the wheat. Evil, like the tares, is part of the Ground of Being, the nature of reality, the meaning of God. My being is always light and darkness, love and hate, God and Satan, life and death, being and nonbeing—all in dynamic tension. I cannot split off part of who I am, confess it, be absolved of it, and seek to try again. I cannot pretend that I am made in God’s image until I own as part of my being the shadow side of my life, which reflects the shadow side of God. That is why evil is always present in the holy; that is why evil is perceived as relentless and inescapable; that is why Jesus and Judas have been symbolically bound together since the dawn of time. The Johannine myth was not wrong in suggesting that Jesus was the preexisting word of God who was enfleshed into human history. That is a very accurate conception of an ultimate truth. But it is not complete. Judas Iscariot was also mythically present in God at the dawn of creation, and he too was enfleshed in the drama played out in Judea in the first century. The mythical themes are woven together time after time. God and Satan, life and death, good and evil, sacrifice and freedom, light and darkness, Jesus and Judas—are all inextricably bound up with one another. I cannot finally step into the new being without bringing my own dark shadow with me.
John Shelby Spong (A New Christianity for a New World: Why Traditional Faith is Dying & How a New Faith is Being Born)
THREE COMMUNICATION LESSONS FROM THE MOST FASCINATING BRANDS       1.   Don’t focus on how you are similar to others, but how you are different. Leading brands stand out by sharpening their points of difference. The more clearly and distinctly a brand can pinpoint its differences, the more valuable it becomes. If a brand can carve out a very clear spot in people’s minds, the product or service ceases to be a commodity. As we’ll see in Part II, different personality Advantages can be more valuable than similar ones. 2.   Your differences can be very small and simple. The reality is, most products are virtually indistinguishable from their competitors. Yet a leading brand can build a strong competitive edge around very minor differences. Similarly, you don’t need to be dramatically different than everyone else—your difference can be minute, as long as it is clearly defined. The more competitive the market, the more crucial this becomes. 3.   Once you “own” a difference, you can charge more money. People pay more for products and people who add distinct value in some way. And just as customers pay more for fascinating brands, employers pay higher salaries for employees who stand out with a specific benefit. If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, your clients and customers will have a higher perceived value of your time and services if they can clearly understand why you are different than your competitors. The more crowded the environment, the more crucial these lessons become.
Sally Hogshead (How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination)
Bumblebees detect the polarization of sunlight, invisible to uninstrumented humans; put vipers sense infrared radiation and detect temperature differences of 0.01C at a distance of half a meter; many insects can see ultraviolet light; some African freshwater fish generate a static electric field around themselves and sense intruders by slight perturbations induced in the field; dogs, sharks, and cicadas detect sounds wholly inaudible to humans; ordinary scorpions have micro--seismometers on their legs so they can detect in darkness the footsteps of a small insect a meter away; water scorpions sense their depth by measuring the hydrostatic pressure; a nubile female silkworm moth releases ten billionths of a gram of sex attractant per second, and draws to her every male for miles around; dolphins, whales, and bats use a kind of sonar for precision echo-location. The direction, range, and amplitude of sounds reflected by to echo-locating bats are systematically mapped onto adjacent areas of the bat brain. How does the bat perceive its echo-world? Carp and catfish have taste buds distributed over most of their bodies, as well as in their mouths; the nerves from all these sensors converge on massive sensory processing lobes in the brain, lobes unknown in other animals. how does a catfish view the world? What does it feel like to be inside its brain? There are reported cases in which a dog wags its tail and greets with joy a man it has never met before; he turns out to be the long-lost identical twin of the dog's "master", recognizable by his odor. What is the smell-world of a dog like? Magnetotactic bacteria contain within them tiny crystals of magnetite - an iron mineral known to early sailing ship navigators as lodenstone. The bacteria literally have internal compasses that align them along the Earth's magnetic field. The great churning dynamo of molten iron in the Earth's core - as far as we know, entirely unknown to uninstrumented humans - is a guiding reality for these microscopic beings. How does the Earth's magnetism feel to them? All these creatures may be automatons, or nearly so, but what astounding special powers they have, never granted to humans, or even to comic book superheroes. How different their view of the world must be, perceiving so much that we miss.
Carl Sagan (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors)
The Names, in fact, is a study in American ignorance; then as now, few Americans knew the difference between Sunni and Shiite, or how to pronounce Iran (“E-ron”). DeLillo’s protagonist, Axton, is a risk analyst for an insurance company that counsels multinational corporations on pressing questions about the world. Which country is risky? Where will the next bomb go off? Who creates the risk? Axton is also, as my Turkish friends liked to imagine I was, an unwitting agent for the CIA, the spy who doesn’t know he’s a spy. “Are they killing Americans?” is his main question. Axton and the Americans abroad can’t make sense of the world, can’t grab onto anything. They are not so much arrogant as confused. They perceive their vulnerability, their noses wrinkling at smells in the air: “Wasn’t there a sense, we Americans felt, in which we had it coming?” A Greek man named Eliades, with the aspect of a grumpy sage, says to the Americans: I think it’s only in a crisis that Americans see other people. It has to be an American crisis, of course. If two countries fight that do not supply the Americans with some precious commodity, then the education of the public does not take place. But when the dictator falls, when the oil is threatened, then you turn on the television and they tell you where the country is, what the language is, how to pronounce the names of the leaders, what the religion is all about, and maybe you can cut out recipes in the newspaper of Persian dishes. I will tell you. The whole world takes an interest in this curious way Americans educate themselves.
Suzy Hansen (Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World)
And God himself will have his servants, and his graces, tried and exercised by difficulties. He never intended us the reward for sitting still; nor the crown of victory, without a fight; nor a fight, without an enemy and opposition. Innocent Adam was unfit for his state of confirmation and reward, till he had been tried by temptation. therefore the martyrs have the most glorious crown, as having undergone the greatest trial. and shall we presume to murmur at the method of God? And Satan, having liberty to tempt and try us, will quickly raise up storms and waves before us, as soon as we are set to sea: which make young beginners often fear, that they shall never live to reach the haven. He will show thee the greatness of thy former sins, to persuade thee that they shall not be pardoned. he will show thee the strength of thy passions and corruption, to make thee think they will never be overcome. he will show thee the greatness of the opposition and suffering which thou art like to undergo, to make thee think thou shall never persevere. He will do his worst to poverty, losses , crosses, injuries, vexations, and cruelties, yea , and unkind dearest friends, as he did by Job, to ill of God, or of His service. If he can , he will make them thy enemies that are of thine own household. He will stir up thy own father, or mother, or husband, or wife, or brother, or sister, or children, against thee, to persuade or persecute thee from Christ: therefore Christ tells us, that if we hate not all these that is cannot forsake them, and use them as men do hated things; when they would turn us from him, we cannot be his disciples". Look for the worst that the devil can do against thee, if thou hast once lifted thyself against him, in the army of Christ, and resolvest, whatever it cost thee, to be saved. Read heb.xi. But How little cause you have to be discouraged, though earth and hell should do their worst , you may perceive by these few considerations. God is on your side, who hath all your enemies in his hand, and can rebuke them, or destroy them in a moment. O what is the breath or fury of dust or devils, against the Lord Almighty? "If God be for us, who can be against us?" read often that chapter, Rom. viii. In the day when thou didst enter into covenant with God, and he with thee, thou didst enter into the most impregnable rock and fortress, and house thyself in that castle of defense, where thought mayst (modestly)defy all adverse powers of earth or hell. If God cannot save thee, he is not God. And if he will not save thee, he must break his covenant. Indeed, he may resolve to save thee, not from affliction and persecution, but in it, and by it. But in all these sufferings you will "be more than conquerors, through Christ that loveth you;" that is, it is far more desirable and excellent, to conquer by patience, in suffering for Christ, than to conquer our persecutors in the field, by force arms. O think on the saints triumphant boastings in their God:" God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble: therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea". when his " enemies were many" and "wrested his words daily," and "fought against him, and all their thoughts were against him, " yet he saith, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. in God I will praise his word; in God I have put my trust: I will not fear what flesh can do unto me". Remember Christ's charge, " Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you , Fear him" if all the world were on they side, thou might yet have cause to fear; but to have God on thy side, is infinitely more. Practical works of Richard Baxter,Ch 2 Directions to Weak Christians for Their Establishment and Growth, page 43.
Richard Baxter
The world outside of me has no meaning independent of my thinking it. (pauses to look) I look out of the window. A garden. Trees. Grass. A young woman in a chair reading a book. I think: chair. So she is sitting. I think: book. So she is reading. Now the young woman touches her hair where it's come undone. But how can we be sure there is a world of phenomena, a woman reading in a garden? Perhaps the only thing that's real is my sensory experience, which has the form of a woman reading- in a universe which is in fact empty! But Immanuel Kant says- no! Because what I perceive as reality includes concepts which I cannot experience through the senses. Time and space. Cause and effect. Relations between things. Without me there is something wrong with this picture. The trees, the grass, the woman are merely- oh, she's coming! (nervously)- she's coming in here-! I say, don't leave!-where are you going?
Tom Stoppard (Voyage (The Coast of Utopia #1))
Let us beware of thinking that the world is a living being. Where should it expand? On what should it feed? How could it grow and multiply? We have some notion of the nature of the organic; and we should not reinterpret the exceedingly derivative, late, rare, accidental, that we perceive only on the crust of the earth and make of it something essential, universal, and eternal, which is what those people do who call the universe an organism. This nauseates me. Let us even beware of believing that the universe is a machine: it is certainly not constructed for one purpose, and calling it a 'machine' does it far too much honor. Let us beware of positing generally and everywhere anything as elegant as the cyclical movements of our neighboring stars; even a glance into the Milky Way raises doubts whether there are not far coarser and more contradictory movements there, as well as stars with eternally linear paths, etc. The astral order in which we live is an exception; this order and the relative duration that depends on it have again made possible an exception of exceptions: the formation of the organic. The total character of the world, however, is in all eternity chaos—in the sense not of a lack of necessity but of a lack of order, arrangement, form, beauty, wisdom, and whatever other names there are for our aesthetic anthropomorphisms. Judged from the point of view of our reason, unsuccessful attempts are by all odds the rule, the exceptions are not the secret aim, and the whole musical box repeats eternally its tune which may never be called a melody—and ultimately even the phrase 'unsuccessful attempt' is too anthropomorphic and reproachful. But how could we reproach or praise the universe? Let us beware of attributing to it heartlessness and unreason or their opposites: it is neither perfect nor beautiful, nor noble, nor does it wish to become any of these things; it does not by any means strive to imitate man. None of our aesthetic and moral judgments apply to it. Nor does it have any instinct for self-preservation or any other instinct; and it does not observe any laws either. Let us beware of saying that there are laws in nature. There are only necessities: there is nobody who commands, nobody who obeys, nobody who trespasses. Once you know that there are no purposes, you also know that there is no accident; for it is only beside a world of purposes that the word 'accident' has meaning. Let us beware of saying that death is opposed to life. The living is merely a type of what is dead, and a very rare type. Let us beware of thinking that the world eternally creates new things. There are no eternally enduring substances; matter is as much of an error as the God of the Eleatics. But when shall we ever be done with our caution and care? When will all these shadows of God cease to darken our minds? When will we complete our de-deification of nature? When may we begin to 'naturalize' humanity in terms of a pure, newly discovered, newly redeemed nature?
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science: With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs)
what one grasps of reality—through senses and thought—has as much to do with one’s subjective posture toward reality as it does with what is objectively there to be perceived and thought about. If we do not, by our own volition and humility, “hunger and thirst” after reality, or if we live without a love of the truth—no matter how much it challenges our prior commitments—then the truth will simply pass us by (see Mt 5:6 and 2 Thess 2:10). We will be left with our own dwindling resources, attempting to forge out an increasingly futile existence, living in denial of what we suspect might be true. You see it every day. One can avoid acknowledging reality, but one cannot avoid the consequences of refusing to acknowledge reality. Everything in Dallas Willard’s academic and personal life pointed toward (he would be the first to insist, far from perfectly) the active presence of God in the world. He thought that every single point of reality was shot through with unfathomable order and wonder, patiently waiting to be discovered.
Dallas Willard (Eternal Living: Reflections on Dallas Willard's Teaching on Faith and Formation)
The God to whom I was introduced as a child was basically a Jewish one: male, fatherly, Anglo-European, bearded, angrily loving, judgmental, righteously indignant,mand frighteningly powerful, not to mention present everywhere and all-knowing. In trying to make sense of this God, man has continued to manufacture and manipulate images of this perceived deity. The images have changed over the centuries, based on the mood of the times. During kind times when harvests were abundant and peace reigned (admittedly rare in the ancient world), God was benevolent. When plpague and famine killed millions, God was portrayed as enraged and vengeful. To this day, this emotionally infantile God remains in power, a fear-based aberration produced by fevered imaginations, promoted by those who understand how such a deity can be used to gain and consolidate power over believers, and protected by flocks of billions who refuse to question their damning God for fear of their own damnation -- or out of an even greater immediate terror of social and cultural isolation. But I argue that it is PRECISELY this image of God -- an infantile, simplistic, ridiculous notion of the sublime power that underlies the world -- that is destroying civil religion, fueling the rage of the "angry atheist" movement, and pitting science against the spiritual at a time when we should be using every tool within reach to discover what it means to be human -- and divinely human at that.
Carlton D. Pearson (God Is Not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu...: God Dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us)
True love is in despair and is enchanted over a glove lost or a handkerchief found, and eternity is required for its devotion and its hopes. It is composed both of the infinitely great and the infinitely little. If you are a stone, be adamant; if you are a plant, be the sensitive plant; if you are a man, be love. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1579 Nothing suffices for love. We have happiness, we desire paradise; we possess paradise, we desire heaven. Oh ye who love each other, all this is contained in love. Understand how to find it there. Love has contemplation as well as heaven, and more than heaven, it has voluptuousness. ‘Does she still come to the Luxembourg?’ ‘No, sir.’ ‘This is the church where she attends mass, is it not?’ ‘She no longer comes here.’ ‘Does she still live in this house?’ ‘She has moved away.’ ‘Where has she gone to dwell?’ ‘She did not say.’ What a melancholy thing not to know the address of one’s soul! Love has its childishness, other passions have their pettinesses. Shame on the passions which belittle man! Honor to the one which makes a child of him! There is one strange thing, do you know it? I dwell in the night. There is a being who carried off my sky when she went away. Oh! would that we were lying side by side in the same grave, hand in hand, and from time to time, in the darkness, gently caressing a finger,—that would suffice for my eternity! Ye who suffer because ye love, love yet more. To die of love, is to live in it. Love. A sombre and starry transfiguration is mingled with this torture. There is ecstasy in agony. Oh joy of the birds! It is because they have nests that they sing. 1580 Les Miserables Love is a celestial respiration of the air of paradise. Deep hearts, sage minds, take life as God has made it; it is a long trial, an incomprehensible preparation for an unknown destiny. This destiny, the true one, begins for a man with the first step inside the tomb. Then something appears to him, and he begins to distinguish the definitive. The definitive, meditate upon that word. The living perceive the infinite; the definitive permits itself to be seen only by the dead. In the meanwhile, love and suffer, hope and contemplate. Woe, alas! to him who shall have loved only bodies, forms, appearances! Death will deprive him of all. Try to love souls, you will find them again. I encountered in the street, a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat was worn, his elbows were in holes; water trickled through his shoes, and the stars through his soul. What a grand thing it is to be loved! What a far grander thing it is to love! The heart becomes heroic, by dint of passion. It is no longer composed of anything but what is pure; it no longer rests on anything that is not elevated and great. An unworthy thought can no more germinate in it, than a nettle on a glacier. The serene and lofty soul, inaccessible to vulgar passions and emotions, dominating the clouds and the shades of this world, its follies, its lies, its hatreds, its vanities, its miseries, inhabits the blue of heaven, and no longer feels anything but profound and subterranean shocks of destiny, as the crests of mountains feel the shocks of earthquake. If there did not exist some one who loved, the sun would become extinct.
Victor Hugo
What did you say was chasing you?” Liz sighed in frustration. Apparently the Kindred weren’t big into stuffed animals. “It was this little fuzzy blue thing that came at me when I was in the kitchen—what you called the food-prep area,” she clarified, seeing his confusion. “At first I thought it was cute and tried to pet it. But then it opened its mouth and it had these long, sharp—Omigod! There it is!” She pointed behind Baird where the bright blue teddy bear had suddenly appeared. “Where?” He turned at once, putting himself between her and the perceived threat. Liv couldn’t help noticing he moved with incredible speed for such a large man. She waited breathlessly for the murderous teddy bear to attack but nothing happened. Then, to her dismay, Baird began to laugh. It was a deep, rumbling noise that came from the bottom of his chest and it might have been nice to hear if it wasn’t so obviously directed at her. “What?” Liv glared at him. “Would you mind telling me what’s so damn funny?” “I’m sorry, Olivia. It’s just…I can’t believe you were scared of Bebo.” Baird laughed again. “Bebo? What the hell is a Bebo?” Liv demanded, still keeping her distance from the bright blue teddy bear which was eyeing her mistrustfully. “Bebo’s his name. He’s a zicther—an animal native to my home world, Rageron.” “Rageron?” Liv frowned, wondering why the name of his home planet evoked strange images in her head. Baird nodded. “It’s a jungle planet with a helluva lot more scary animals than Bebo here.” He crouched down to scratch the little animal under its chin. Its large eyes closed and it made a sort of grunting purr as it submitted to his caress. “A jungle planet,” Liv murmured. “Only instead of green, most of the vegetation is blue.” “That’s right.” Baird looked up from where he was crouched on the floor, a startled expression on his chiseled features. “How did you know that?” “I saw it in a dream.” Liv blushed and looked down. “One of the dreams we shared I think. I saw you…never mind.” She shook her head. “Anyway, that accounts for his bright blue fur. I still don’t understand why he tried to attack me though.” “He tried to attack you?” Though he was clearly trying to keep the skepticism from his voice, Baird wasn’t succeeding too well. “Well, he bared his teeth at me!” Liv said, irritated. Of course now that its master was home the little animal was acting like butter wouldn’t melt in its alien mouth. Its alien mouth filled with shark teeth, she reminded herself. “That’s just a greeting stance. He probably did it because he was meeting you for the first time.” Baird rose and dusted blue feathery fur off his large hands. “I’m sorry if he scared you. He’s not dangerous though, just curious.” “Curious
Evangeline Anderson (Claimed (Brides of the Kindred, #1))