Ignorance Exposed Quotes

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Constantly exposing yourself to popular culture and the mass media will ultimately shape your reality tunnel in ways that are not necessarily conducive to achieving your Soul Purpose and Life Calling. Modern society has generally ‘lost the plot’. Slavishly following its false gods and idols makes no sense in a spiritually aware life.
Anthon St. Maarten
Keep your innocence and ignorance aside, and expose yourself to dangerous situations, and understand the deeper secrets of life.
Michael Bassey Johnson
In my experience, the most staunchly held views are based on ignorance or accepted dogma, not carefully considered accumulations of facts. The more you expose the intricacies and realtities of the situation, the less clear-cut things become.
Mary Roach (Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife)
The truth itself is never vulnerable. What is vulnerable is the state of knowledge or ignorance of human beings, especially our youth, who are being exposed to so many falsehoods.
Rajiv Malhotra (The Battle for Sanskrit: Is Sanskrit Political or Sacred, Oppressive or Liberating, Dead or Alive?)
Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life: You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored. You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it. You’re afraid somebody else already did it better. You’re afraid everybody else already did it better. You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing. You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree. You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.) You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal. You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud. You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons. You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again. You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying? You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder. You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
Fats was starting to think that if you flipped every bit of received wisdom on its head you would have the truth. He wanted to journey through dark labyrinths and wrestle with the strangeness that lurked within; he wanted to crack open piety and expose hypocrisy; he wanted to break taboos and squeeze wisdom from their bloody hearts; he wanted to achieve a state of amoral grace, and be baptised backwards into ignorance and simplicity.
J.K. Rowling (The Casual Vacancy)
Over the years, I have noticed that the child who learns quickly is adventurous. She's ready to run risks. She approaches life with arms outspread. She wants to take it all in. She still has the desire of the very young child to make sense out of things. She's not concerned with concealing her ignorance or protecting herself. She's ready to expose herself to disappointment and defeat. She has a certain confidence. She expects to make sense out of things sooner or later. She has a kind of trust.
John C. Holt
I should have liked to be asked to say what I knew. They always tried to ask what I did not know. When I would have willingly displayed my knowledge, they sought to expose my ignorance. This sort of treatment had only one result: I did not do well in examinations
Winston S. Churchill
You gave Briar over to them?” We fell into step back toward our own camp. “Az explained the state you found her in. I didn’t think being exposed to battle-ready Illyrians would do much to soothe her.” “And the Winter Court army is much better?” “They’ve got fuzzy animals.” I snorted, shaking my head. Those enormous bears were indeed fuzzy—if you ignored the claws and teeth.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
Writing is for stories to be read, books to be published, poems to be recited, plays to be acted, songs to be sung, newspapers to be shared, letters to be mailed, jokes to be told, notes to be passed, recipes to be cooked, messages to be exchanged, memos to be circulated, announcements to be posted, bills to be collected, posters to be displayed and diaries to be concealed. Writing is for ideas, action, reflection, and experience. It is not for having your ignorance exposed, your sensitivity destroyed, or your ability assessed.
Frank Smith
It is the natural tendency of the ignorant to believe what is not true. In order to overcome that tendency it is not sufficient to exhibit the true; it is also necessary to expose and denounce the false. To admit that the false has any standing in court, that it ought to be handled gently because millions of morons cherish it and thousands of quacks make their livings propagating it—to admit this, as the more fatuous of the reconcilers of science and religion inevitably do, is to abandon a just cause to its enemies, cravenly and without excuse.
H.L. Mencken (American Mercury)
He wanted to journey through dark labyrinths and wrestle with the strangeness that lurked within; he wanted to crack open piety and expose hypocrisy; he wanted to break taboos and squeeze wisdom from their bloody hearts; he wanted to achieve a state of amoral grace, and be baptized backwards into ignorance and simplicity.
J.K. Rowling (The Casual Vacancy)
Well, but you affirm that virtue is only elicited by temptation; - and you think that a woman cannot be too little exposed to temptation, or too little acquainted with vice, or anything connected therewith – It must be, either, that you think she is essentially so vicious, or so feeble-minded that she cannot withstand temptation, - and though she may be pure and innocent as long as she is kept in ignorance and restraint, yet, being destitute of real virtue, to teach her how to sin is at once to make her a sinner...
Anne Brontë (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
We all need to humble ourselves from time to time and expose ourselves to new perspectives and ideas, even those of the non-experts, or else our growth potential gets weighed down with the ignorance of ego and habit.
A.J. Darkholme (Rise of the Morningstar (The Morningstar Chronicles, #1))
Neither black/red/yellow nor woman but poet or writer. For many of us, the question of priorities remains a crucial issue. Being merely "a writer" without a doubt ensures one a status of far greater weight than being "a woman of color who writes" ever does. Imputing race or sex to the creative act has long been a means by which the literary establishment cheapens and discredits the achievements of non-mainstream women writers. She who "happens to be" a (non-white) Third World member, a woman, and a writer is bound to go through the ordeal of exposing her work to the abuse and praises and criticisms that either ignore, dispense with, or overemphasize her racial and sexual attributes. Yet the time has passed when she can confidently identify herself with a profession or artistic vocation without questioning and relating it to her color-woman condition.
Trinh T. Minh-ha (Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism)
Writers live with fear. Some writers cannot deal with the fear, and so they quit or refuse to publish. In order to write, you must either ignore the fear or trick it into leaving you alone. The fear is very sly, though and hard to trick. The fear in writing comes from exposing your thoughts, your emotions, your experiences, your ideas, your talent, your intelligence and ultimately your self to public scrutiny and possible scorn. The fear is by no means groundless. You have opened yourself up to the possibility of public humiliations...I sometimes wonder if perhaps the greatest novel ever written isn't gathering dust in some filing cabinet somewhere, simply because its author could not overcome the fear of having it published.
Patrick F. McManus
... I succeeded at math, at least by the usual evaluation criteria: grades. Yet while I might have earned top marks in geometry and algebra, I was merely following memorized rules, plugging in numbers and dutifully crunching out answers by rote, with no real grasp of the significance of what I was doing or its usefulness in solving real-world problems. Worse, I knew the depth of my own ignorance, and I lived in fear that my lack of comprehension would be discovered and I would be exposed as an academic fraud -- psychologists call this "imposter syndrome".
Jennifer Ouellette (The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse)
Nero, you are an example to all the children on this shuttle. Because most of them are so foolish, they think it is better to keep their stupidest thoughts to themselves. You, however, understand the profound truth that you must reveal your stupidity openly. To hold your stupidity inside you is to embrace it, to cling to it, to protect it. But when you expose your stupidity, you give yourself the chance to have it caught, corrected, and replaced with wisdom. Be brave, all of you, like Nero Boulanger, and when you have a thought of such surpassing ignorance that you think it's actually smart, make sure to make some noise, to let your mental limitations squeak out some whimpering fart of a thought, so that you have a chance to learn.
Orson Scott Card (Ender's Shadow (The Shadow Series, #1))
He decided not to ask for details. Better to avoid exposing his ignorance even further.
Haruki Murakami (سامسای عاشق)
The reason that history so often repeats is not only human nature, but also human ignorance.
Glenn Beck (Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns)
Ignorance is vulnerable to the atmosphere it is exposed to
Suzy Hansen (Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World)
She leans over the desk to write and even though I feel bad for doing it, I watch her body as she does. Her shirt lifts just a little as she’s bending over and whether she’s aware of it or not, her lower back is exposed. I’ve spent the last eight years ignoring this girl, but one small view of her back and it’s putting my body into overdrive. I’ve never wanted to kiss someone there so much in my life.
Melyssa Winchester (Count on Me (Count on Me, #1))
If we wish to identify the truly great things in life, we can identify them by the fact that no matter how much we are exposed to them or how often we’re privileged to engage them, they remain great despite what our perception of them might do to them.
Craig D. Lounsbrough (The Eighth Page: A Christmas Journey)
What do you seek--God? you ask with a smile. I hesitate to answer, since all other Americans have settled the matter for themselves and to give such an answer would amount to setting myself a goal which everyone else has reached--and therefore raising a question in which no one has the slightest interest. Who wants to be dead last among one hundred and eighty million Americans? For, as everyone knows, the polls report that 98% of Americans believe in God and the remaining 2% are atheists and agnostics--which leaves not a single percentage point for a seeker. For myself, I enjoy answering polls as much as anyone and take pleasure in giving intelligent replies to all questions. Truthfully, it is the fear of exposing my own ignorance which constrains me from mentioning the object of my search. For, to begin with, I cannot even answer this, the simplest and most basic of all questions: Am I, in my search, a hundred miles ahead of my fellow Americans or a hundred miles behind them? That is to say: Have 98% of Americans already found what I seek or are they so sunk in everydayness that not even the possibility of a search has occurred to them? On my honor, I do not know the answer.
Walker Percy (The Moviegoer)
What Fats wanted to recover was a kind of innocence, and the route he had chosen back to it was through all the things that were suppose to be bad for you, but which, paradoxically, seemed to Fats to be the one true way to authenticity; to a kind of purity. It was curious how often everything was back to front, the inverse of what they told you; Fats was starting to think that if you flipped every bit of received wisdom on its head you would have the truth. He wanted to journey through dark labyrinths and wrestle with the strangeness that lurked within; he wanted to crack open piety and expose hypocrisy; he wanted to break taboos and squeeze wisdom from their bloody hearts; he wanted to achieve a state of amoral grace, and be baptized backwards into ignorance and simplicity.
J.K. Rowling (The Casual Vacancy)
If you think that you gonna survive with this emotions... better stay home... there you are safe... if you expose too much of this emotions... soona people will use this as weakness... .... If you can do something... Start as "I ignore myself on basic emotions..."...
Deyth Banger (Problem 1#2 (Deeper Level #14))
No wonder people hate the word “patriarchy.” It’s a word that exposes and names a source of pain so old and deep we’ve learned to ignore it or treat it as if it’s how life should be.
Emily Nagoski (Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle)
Another time, he was playing [chess] with his equal, the Duchess of Bourbon, who made a move that inadvertently exposed her king. Ignoring the rules of the game, he promptly captured it. "Ah," said the duchess, "we do not take Kings so." Replied Franklin in a famous quip: "We do in America.
Walter Isaacson (Benjamin Franklin: An American Life)
...But that is a method for cowards; the brave man goes out into the hall, comes back with a stick, and says firmly, "You have just deliberately and cruelly exposed my ignorance before this company; I shall, therefore, beat you soundly with this stick in the presence of them all." This you then do to him or he to you, mutatis mutandis, ceteris paribus; and that is all I have to say on Ignorance.
Hilaire Belloc
Having been exposed to a variety of religious experiences in the foster homes I lived in, being Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, or anything else means absolutely nothing to me. I have already formed an opinion that the so-called religious teachings that I’ve been exposed to simply make no sense. So, I’ve just ignored the Sunday-school message of fear and judgment and paid no attention to any of it. I see no need for all of this craziness in my life, and long ago decided not to participate in it because every time I was required to go to church I ended up feeling worse for the experience—and I want, more than anything, to feel good.
Wayne W. Dyer (I Can See Clearly Now)
The person who judges you without getting to know you has revealed nothing about you but exposes everything about himself to the world. The prudent one knows that true knowledge is not born out of ignorance but a desire to know before casting judgement.
Crystal Evans (Mama Brown's Family)
The evidence that women are being let down by the medical establishment is overwhelming. The bodies, symptoms and diseases that affect half the world’s population are being dismissed, disbelieved and ignored. And it’s all a result of the data gap combined with the still prevalent belief, in the face of all the evidence that we do have, that men are the default humans. They are not. They are, to state the obvious, just men. And data collected on them does not, cannot, and should not, apply to women. We need a revolution in the research and the practice of medicine, and we need it yesterday. We need to train doctors to listen to women, and to recognise that their inability to diagnose a woman may not be because she is lying or being hysterical: the problem may be the gender data gaps in their knowledge. It’s time to stop dismissing women, and start saving them.
Caroline Criado Pérez (Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men)
He could no more resist pricking the conceits, the hypocrisies and the flamboyant patriotism of those about him than a small boy can resist putting a pin into a balloon. He neatly deflated the pompous and exposed the ignorant and the bigoted, and he did it in such subtle ways, drawing his victims out by his seemingly courteous interest, that they never were quite certain what had happened until they stood exposed as windy, high flown and slightly ridiculous.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone With the Wind)
Yet like many other human traits that made sense in past ages but cause trouble in the modern age, the knowledge illusion has its downside. The world is becoming ever more complex, and people fail to realise just how ignorant they are of what’s going on. Consequently some who know next to nothing about meteorology or biology nevertheless propose policies regarding climate change and genetically modified crops, while others hold extremely strong views about what should be done in Iraq or Ukraine without being able to locate these countries on a map. People rarely appreciate their ignorance, because they lock themselves inside an echo chamber of like-minded friends and self-confirming newsfeeds, where their beliefs are constantly reinforced and seldom challenged. Providing people with more and better information is unlikely to improve matters. Scientists hope to dispel wrong views by better science education, and pundits hope to sway public opinion on issues such as Obamacare or global warming by presenting the public with accurate facts and expert reports. Such hopes are grounded in a misunderstanding of how humans actually think. Most of our views are shaped by communal groupthink rather than individual rationality, and we hold on to these views out of group loyalty. Bombarding people with facts and exposing their individual ignorance is likely to backfire. Most people don’t like too many facts, and they certainly don’t like to feel stupid. Don’t be so sure that you can convince Tea Party supporters of the truth of global warming by presenting them with sheets of statistical data.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
These people did not seem to learn from their mistakes. Everyone looked like a genius when the market was going up, but when it dropped, the depth of their ignorance was exposed
Danielle Town (Invested: How I Learned to Master My Mind, My Fears, and My Money to Achieve Financial Freedom and Live a More Authentic Life (with a Little Help from Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and My Dad))
The best way to expose our ignorance is to hold on to biased ideas and opinions, because we fear giving the upper hand to the other side.
Charles F. Glassman (Brain Drain - The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life)
Many Yogis are blindly attentive to their particular system of meditation, ignoring their own background of Consciousness or Beingness... that they forget about the goal, the Self.
SantataGamana (Kriya Yoga Exposed: The Truth About Current Kriya Yoga Gurus, Organizations & Going Beyond Kriya, Contains the Explanation of a Special Technique Never Revealed Before (Real Yoga Book 1))
Working with traumatized and maltreated children has also made me think carefully about the nature of humankind and the difference between humankind and humanity. Not all humans are humane. A human being has to learn how to become humane. That process—and how it can sometimes go terribly wrong—is another aspect of what this book is about. The stories here explore the conditions necessary for the development of empathy—and those that are likely, instead, to produce cruelty and indifference. They reveal how children’s brains grow and are molded by the people around them. They also expose how ignorance, poverty, violence, sexual abuse, chaos and neglect can wreak havoc upon growing brains and nascent personalities.
Bruce D. Perry (The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook)
The gospel confronts man and exposes him for what he really is. It ignores the disappointment that he feels. It offers him no relief from the struggles of being human. Rather it goes to the profound and eternal issue of the fact that he is damned and desperately needs to be rescued. Only death can accomplish rescue, but God, in His mercy, has provided a Substitute.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus)
Again; thousands are deceived into supposing that they have “accepted Christ” as their “personal Saviour,” who have not first received Him as their LORD. The Son of God did not come here to save His people in their sin, but “from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). To be saved from sins, is to be saved from ignoring and despising the authority of God, it is to abandon the course of self-will and self-pleasing, it is to “forsake our way” (Isa. 55:7). It is to surrender to God’s authority, to yield to His dominion, to give ourselves over to be ruled by Him. The one who has never taken Christ’s “yoke” upon him, who is not truly and diligently seeking to please Him in all the details of life, and yet supposes that he is “resting on the Finished Work of Christ” is deluded by the Devil.1
Michael L. Brown (Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message)
So much work remains. So much evil to fight. So much healing to reach for. So many wounded to love. Consider this your invitation to join in that work. To do what is right, no matter the cost. To hold to the straight line in the midst of the battle. To define your success by faithfulness in the choices you make. The darkness is there, and we cannot ignore it. But we can let it point us to the light.
Rachael Denhollander (What Is a Girl Worth?: My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics)
Travel takes control away from us, exposing our weakest points. We are acutely aware of our vulnerability. We are naive, unaccustomed, unacquainted, unversed. We are ignorant, roaming in the darkness of the unfamiliar. We are lonely, lost, disoriented. Travel pushes us across the chasm. We are moved to explore the mysterious, to confront our fear, to venture beyond the challenging, cryptic crevasses of our path.
Steve Zikman
Religion, then, is far from "useless." It humanizes violence; it protects man from his own violence by taking it out of his hands, transforming it into a transcendent and ever-present danger to be kept in check by the appropriate rites appropriately observed and by a modest and prudent demeanor. Religious misinterpretation is a truly constructive force, for it purges man of the suspicions that would poison his existence if he were to remain conscious of the crisis as it actually took place. To think religiously is to envision the city's destiny in terms of that violence whose mastery over man increases as man believes he has gained mastery over it. To think religiously (in the primitive sense) is to see violence as something superhuman, to be kept always at a distance and ultimately renounced. When the fearful adoration of this power begins to diminish and all distinctions begin to disappear, the ritual sacrifices lose their force; their potency is not longer recognized by the entire community. Each member tries to correct the situation individually, and none succeeds. The withering away of the transcendental influence means that there is no longer the slightest difference between a desire to save the city and unbridled ambition, between genuine piety and the desire to claim divine status for oneself. Everyone looks on a rival enterprise as evidence of blasphemous designs. Men set to quarreling about the gods, and their skepticism leads to a new sacrificial crisis that will appear - retrospectively, in the light of a new manifestation of unanimous violence - as a new act of divine intervention and divine revenge. Men would not be able to shake loose the violence between them, to make of it a separate entity both sovereign and redemptory, without the surrogate victim. Also, violence itself offers a sort of respite, the fresh beginning of a cycle of ritual after a cycle of violence. Violence will come to an end only after it has had the last word and that word has been accepted as divine. The meaning of this word must remain hidden, the mechanism of unanimity remain concealed. For religion protects man as long as its ultimate foundations are not revealed. To drive the monster from its secret lair is to risk loosing it on mankind. To remove men's ignorance is only to risk exposing them to an even greater peril. The only barrier against human violence is raised on misconception. In fact, the sacrificial crisis is simply another form of that knowledge which grows grater as the reciprocal violence grows more intense but which never leads to the whole truth. It is the knowledge of violence, along with the violence itself, that the act of expulsion succeeds in shunting outside the realm of consciousness. From the very fact that it belies the overt mythological messages, tragic drama opens a vast abyss before the poet; but he always draws back at the last moment. He is exposed to a form of hubris more dangerous than any contracted by his characters; it has to do with a truth that is felt to be infinitely destructive, even if it is not fully understood - and its destructiveness is as obvious to ancient religious thought as it is to modern philosophers. Thus we are dealing with an interdiction that still applies to ourselves and that modern thought has not yet invalidated. The fact that this secret has been subjected to exceptional pressure in the play [Bacchae] must prompt the following lines: May our thoughts never aspire to anything higher than laws! What does it cost man to acknowledge the full sovereignty of the gods? That which has always been held as true owes its strength to Nature.
René Girard (Violence and the Sacred)
I had taken up my quill to begin writing many times before now, but I always abandoned it quickly: each time I was overcome with fear. Yes, may God forgive me, but the letters of the alphabet frighten me terribly. They are sly, shameless demons—and dangerous! You open the inkwell, release them: they run off—and how will you ever get control of them again! They come to life, join, separate, ignore your commands, arrange themselves as they like on the paper—black, with tails and horns. You scream at them and implore them in vain: they do as they please. Prancing, pairing up shamelessly before you, they deceitfully expose what you did not wish to reveal, and they refuse to give voice to what is struggling, deep within your bowels, to come forth and speak to mankind.
Nikos Kazantzakis (Saint Francis)
We are all of us exposed to grief: the people we love die, as we shall ourselves in due course; expectations are disappointed and ambitions are thwarted by circumstance. Finally, there are some who insist upon feeling guilty over the ill they have done or simply on account of the ugliness which they perceive in their own souls. A solution of a kind has been found to this problem in the form of sedatives and anti-depressant drugs, so that many human experiences which used to be accepted as an integral part of human life are now defined and dealt with as medical problems. The widow who grieves for a beloved husband becomes a 'case', as does the man saddened by the recollection of the napalm or high explosives he has dropped on civilian populations. One had thought that guilt was a way, however indirect, in which we might perceive the nature of reality and the laws which govern our human experience; but it is now an illness that can be cured. Death however, remains incurable. Though we might be embarrassed by Victorian death-bed scenes or the practices of mourning among people less sophisticated than ourselves, the fact of death tells us so much about the realities of our condition that to ignore it or try to forget it is to be unaware of the most important thing we need to know about our situation as living creatures. Equally, to witness and participate in the dying of our fellow men and women is to learn what we are and, if we have any wisdom at all, to draw conclusions which must in their way affect our every thought and our every act.
Charles Le Gai Eaton (King of the Castle: Choice and Responsibility in the Modern World (Islamic Texts Society))
Zinn contrasts the very real and very effective American Revolution with an imaginary egalitarian paradise in order to lure the young and ignorant to support the Marxist nightmare from which millions have fled—and by which millions who were unable to escape have been killed.
Mary Grabar (Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation against America)
K, boys, it’s shirts against skins. Lose ‘em,” Lucy said, pointing to the guys and ignoring Thad. “I beg your pardon?” Thad said, aghast. “Why do we have to be skins?” Josh complained. Lucy looked at Erin and they both shrugged and grabbed the hems of their shirts, preparing to haul them over their heads. “Whoa!” Sable said, covering his eyes immediately. “Wait,” Josh, Angelo, and Thad said at the same time. “Hell, yeah,” Blaze chimed in. The girls stopped right before they fully exposed their chest. “What? You guys act like none of you have ever seen a pair of boobs in a bra before. Josh saw mine a few hours ago and I know, for a fact, that three of you have seen hers outside the bra.” Lucy looked pointedly at Thad, Blaze, and Angelo. Erin’s head snapped in Josh’s direction. “JOSH!” she screeched, accidentally letting loose a snap of electricity.
Christine James (Final Redemption (The Chosen, #3))
There are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them. Sometimes they gust with the fury of a hurricane, sometimes they barely fan one’s cheek. But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore.” Nicholas Sparks, Message in a Bottle
Erika Ashby (Exposed: An Anthology)
Nonviolent coercion always brings tension to the surface. This tension, however, must not be seen as destructive. There is a kind of tension that is both healthy and necessary for growth. Society needs nonviolent gadflies to bring its tensions into the open and force its citizens to confront the ugliness of their prejudices and the tragedy of their racism. It is important for the liberal to see that the oppressed person who agitates for his rights is not the creator of tension....How strange it would be to condemn a physician who, through persistent work and the ingenuity of his medical skills, discovered cancer in a patient. Would anyone be so ignorant as to say he caused the cancer? Through the skills and discipline of direct action we reveal that there is a dangerous cancer of hatred and racism in our society. We did not cause the cancer; we merely exposed it. Only through this kind of exposure will the cancer be cured.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (The King Legacy))
What makes it noteworthy is that a striking coincidence has made it a cleverer trick than they could have known. For the book is a rather silly story about a governess and two haunted children. I am afraid that in it Mr. James exposes the extent of his ignorance. He knows little about children and nothing at all about governesses
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
Beyond the river and ten miles east of the city the Sangre Mountains began to reveal themselves in more detail as the sun rose higher, the rampart of blue shadow dissolving in the light, exposing the fissured red cliffs, the canyons and gorges a thousand feet deep, the towers leaning out from the main wall, the foothills dry and barren as old bones, and above and behind these tumbled ruins the final barrier of granite, the great horizontal crest tilted up a mile high into the frosty blue sky, sparkling with a new fall of snow. The mountains loomed over the valley like a psychical presence, a source and mirror of nervous influences, emotions, subtle and unlabeled aspirations; no man could ignore that presence; in an underground poker game, in the vaults of the First National Bank, in the realtor's office during the composition of and intricate swindle, in the heart of a sexual embrace, the emanations of mountain and sky imprinted some analogue of their nature on the evolution and shape of every soul.
Edward Abbey
We filter what we observe and tend to explain away or ignore anything that doesn’t conform with what’s already in our worldviews. We interpret what we observe based on the assumptions and presuppositions that come out of our worldviews. If an observation or experience conflicts with our worldviews, we think it’s insane, unreal, or evil.
Petros Scientia (Exposing the REAL Creation-Evolution Debate: The Absolute Proof of the Biblical Account (Real Faith & Reason Library Book 4))
Throughout eternity our poor ghosts are exposed to nameless vicissitudes. There is no appeal, no advice, no support, no protection, nothing. Poor Kinbote's ghost, poor Shade's shade, may have blundered, may have taken the wrong turn somewhere—oh, from sheer absent-mindedness, or simply through ignorance of a trivial rule in the preposterous game of nature—if there be any rules.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
It's a cruel trick we play on girls, exposing them to these realities at the same time that we exert the most social pressure on them to ignore and hide the anger they provoke. We look away from girls' anger and collude in the systems that erode their sense of self worth; then we turn around and wonder what it is about their "nature" that makes them so lacking in confidence as women.
Sorya Chemaly
As a chief justice of the United States once said, blacks were three-fifths of a human, and only a full human being should have rights, the implication being that three-fifths of a human being was something fit to function only as a beast of burden. Well, that is a distortion exposing the enemies of logic and reason, and among them are mass hysteria, hate, prejudice, and ignorance. With
Sidney Poitier (Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter)
logged on to the various social media pages dedicated to Charon County. Those pages were the new water coolers and fences around which the community gathered. They were also where people had the tendency to expose themselves as racists, misogynists, and amazingly ignorant. Titus thought some people convinced themselves a community page held a sanctity it did not in any way, shape, or form.
S.A. Cosby (All the Sinners Bleed)
The supply of information to which we are exposed thanks to modernity is transforming humans from the equable second fellow into the neurotic first one. […] the second fellow reacts to real information, the first largely to noise. The difference between the two fellows will show us the difference between noise and signal. Noise is what you are supposed to ignore, signal what you need to heed.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder)
John exposes Pax Romana and Pax Augusta to be bald-faced lies. He does not allow his hearers to ignore the fact that a great deal of violence has gone into creating and sustaining empire, for example, in the brutal suppression of the Jewish Revolt. How is it truly a matter of “peace” if you use overwhelming force to subdue a country that never wished to be a part of your empire in the first place?
David A. deSilva (Unholy Allegiances: Heeding Revelation's Warning)
Every action is a losing, a letting go, a passing away from oneself of some bit of one’s own reality into the existence of others and of the world. In Jesus Christ, this character of action is not resisted, by trying to use our action to assert ourselves, extend ourselves, to impose our will and being upon situations. In Jesus Christ, this self-expending character of action is joyfully affirmed. I receive myself constantly from God’s Parenting love. But so far as some aspects of myself are at my disposal, these I receive to give away. Those who would live as Jesus did—who would act and purpose themselves as Jesus did—mean to love, i.e., they mean to expend themselves for others unto death. Their being is meant to pass away from them to others, and they make that meaning the conscious direction of their existence. Too often the love which is proclaimed in the churches suppresses this element of loss and need and death in activity. As a Christian, I often speak of love as helping others, but I ignore what this does to the person who loves. I ignore the fact that love is self-expenditure, a real expending and losing and deterioration of the self. I speak of love as if the person loving had no problems, no needs, no limits. In other words, I speak of love as if the affluent dream were true. This kind of proclamation is heard everywhere. We hear it said: 'Since you have no unanswered needs, why don’t you go out and help those other people who are in need?' But we never hear people go on and add: 'If you do this, you too will be driven into need.' And by not stating this conclusion, people give the childish impression that Christian love is some kind of cornucopia, where we can reach to everybody’s needs and problems and still have everything we need for ourselves. Believe me, there are grown-up persons who speak this kind of nonsense. And when people try to live out this illusory love, they become terrified when the self-expending begins to take its toll. Terror of relationship is [that] we eat each other. But note this very carefully: like Jesus, we too can only live to give our received selves away freely because we know our being is not thereby ended, but still and always lies in the Parenting of our God.... Those who love in the name of Jesus Christ... serve the needs of others willingly, even to the point of being exposed in their own neediness.... They do not cope with their own needs. They do not anguish over how their own needs may be met by the twists and turns of their circumstances, by the whims of their society, or by the strategies of their own egos. At the center of their life—the very innermost center—they are grateful to God, because... they do not fear neediness. That is what frees them to serve the needy, to companion the needy, to become and be one of the needy.
Arthur C. McGill (Dying Unto Life (Theological Fascinations))
Paranoia has its downsides as an agency in daily life, or in the political sphere of collective action, which finds itself beset everywhere by the nightmarish influence of conspiracy thinking (they call it theory, but theories exist to be tested, and conspiracy thinking exists never to be tested, and globally ignores the results of tests imposed by others). The suspicion that malign operators are responsible for every one of the injustices and heartbreaks of existence is a consoling view, a balm to bleak glimpses of the void behind our reality. It's brave to pursue truth, and brave to pursue and expose tricky and well-hidden bad guys (Nazi doctors, Pentagon intelligence-distorters, etc.). It's not brave to think tricky, well-hidden bad guys are the whole truth of what's out there. It might even be bravery's opposite. Or maybe it should go under the name "religion.
Jonathan Lethem (Fear of Music)
And mingled with her disbelief and resentment was another feeling, a question. Why hadn’t she spoken that day? Why, in the face of Bellew’s ignorant hate and aversion, had she concealed her own origin? Why had she allowed him to make his assertions and express his misconceptions undisputed? Why, simply because of Clare Kendry, who had exposed her to such torment, had she failed to take up the defense of the race to which she belonged?
Nella Larsen (The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen: Passing, Quicksand, and The Stories)
It was my experience that it was precisely the opposite of forgiveness—namely, rebellion against mistreatment suffered, the recognition and condemnation of my parents' misleading opinions and actions, and the articulation of my own needs—that ultimately freed me from the past. In my childhood, these things had been ignored in the name of "a good upbringing," and I myself learned to ignore them for decades in order to be the "good" and "tolerant" child my parents wished me to be. But today I know: I always needed to expose and fight against opinions and attitudes that I considered destructive of life wherever I encountered them, and not to tolerate them. But I could only do this effectively if I had felt and experienced what was inflicted on me earlier. By preventing me from feeling the pain, the moral-religious injunction to forgive did nothing but hinder this process.
Alice Miller (Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth)
conversation. In Laches, he discusses the meaning of courage with a couple of retired generals seeking instruction for their kinsmen. In Lysis, Socrates joins a group of young friends in trying to define friendship. In Charmides, he engages another such group in examining the widely celebrated virtue of sophrosune, the “temperance” that combines self-control and self-knowledge. (Plato’s readers would know that the bright young man who gives his name to the latter dialogue would grow up to become one of the notorious Thirty Tyrants who briefly ruled Athens after its defeat by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War.) None of these dialogues reaches definite conclusions. They end in aporia, contradictions or other difficulties. The Socratic dialogues are aporetic: his interlocutors are left puzzled about what they thought they knew. Socrates’s cross-examination, or elenchus, exposes their ignorance, but he exhorts his fellows to
Plato (The Socratic Dialogues)
I beg your pardon, Mrs. Graham - but you get on too fast. I have not yet said that a boy should be taught to rush into the snares of life, - or even wilfully to seek temptation for the sake of exercising his virtue by overcoming it; - I only say that it is better to arm and strengthen your hero, than to disarm and enfeeble the foe; - and if you were to rear an oak sapling in a hothouse, tending it carefully night and day, and shielding it from every breath of wind, you could not expect it to become a hardy tree, like that which has grown up on the mountain-side, exposed to all the action of the elements, and not even sheltered from the shock of the tempest.' 'Granted; - but would you use the same argument with regard to a girl?' 'Certainly not.' 'No; you would have her to be tenderly and delicately nurtured, like a hot-house plant - taught to cling to others for direction and support, and guarded, as much as possible, from the very knowledge of evil. But will you be so good as to inform me why you make this distinction? Is it that you think she has no virtue?' 'Assuredly not.' 'Well, but you affirm that virtue is only elicited by temptation; - and you think that a woman cannot be too little exposed to temptation, or too little acquainted with vice, or anything connected therewith. It must be either that you think she is essentially so vicious, or so feeble-minded, that she cannot withstand temptation, - and though she may be pure and innocent as long as she is kept in ignorance and restraint, yet, being destitute of real virtue, to teach her how to sin is at once to make her a sinner, and the greater her knowledge, the wider her liberty, the deeper will be her depravity, - whereas, in the nobler sex, there is a natural tendency to goodness, guarded by a superior fortitude, which, the more it is exercised by trials and dangers, is only the further developed - ' 'Heaven forbid that I should think so!' I interrupted her at last." 'Well, then, it must be that you think they are both weak and prone to err, and the slightest error, the merest shadow of pollution, will ruin the one, while the character of the other will be strengthened and embellished - his education properly finished by a little practical acquaintance with forbidden things. Such experience, to him (to use a trite simile), will be like the storm to the oak, which, though it may scatter the leaves, and snap the smaller branches, serves but to rivet the roots, and to harden and condense the fibres of the tree. You would have us encourage our sons to prove all things by their own experience, while our daughters must not even profit by the experience of others. Now I would have both so to benefit by the experience of others, and the precepts of a higher authority, that they should know beforehand to refuse the evil and choose the good, and require no experimental proofs to teach them the evil of transgression. I would not send a poor girl into the world, unarmed against her foes, and ignorant of the snares that beset her path; nor would I watch and guard her, till, deprived of self-respect and self-reliance, she lost the power or the will to watch and guard herself; - and as for my son - if I thought he would grow up to be what you call a man of the world - one that has "seen life," and glories in his experience, even though he should so far profit by it as to sober down, at length, into a useful and respected member of society - I would rather that he died to-morrow! - rather a thousand times!' she earnestly repeated, pressing her darling to her side and kissing his forehead with intense affection. He had already left his new companion, and been standing for some time beside his mother's knee, looking up into her face, and listening in silent wonder to her incomprehensible discourse. Anne Bronte, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (24,25)
Anne Brontë
Cupping her face, I reclaim her lips and gently guide her body next to mine on the bed. Rachel’s tank rides up and my fingers explore the satin skin of her belly. There are so many places I long to go, so many places I crave to take her. “I want to go further,” she whispers. When I skim the waistband of her pants, her breathing hitches. Further. Damn, my entire body responds. I don’t miss the way her hand fidgets with the hem of her shirt. Scared I’ll spook her, I don’t push her too far, but I’m all for reading body language. I place my hand over hers and her smile appears. “You sure?” I ask. I kiss each and every centimeter of her exposed skin as I move up her tank. I linger over the material of her bra and Rachel fists the sheet with both hands. She’s so damn hot I’m about to forget slow and go for fast. But I ignore those urges and guide the material up and over her head. I don’t know what the hell I did to have such a beautiful creature in my bed, but she’s here and I’m going to spend tonight worshipping this gift in front of me.
Katie McGarry (Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3))
The only reason anyone is "moderate" in matters of faith these days is that he has assimilated some of the fruits of the last two thousand years of human thought (democratic politics, scientific advancement on every front, concern for human rights, an end to cultural and geographic isolation, etc.). The doors leading out of scriptural literalism do not open from the inside (italicized). The moderation we see among nonfundamentalists is not some sign that faith itself has evolved; it is, rather, the product of the many hammer blows of modernity that have exposed certain tenets of faith to doubt. Not the least among these developments has been the emergence of our tendency to value evidence and to be convinced by a proposition to the degree that there is evidence for it.... Such concessions to modernity do not in the least suggest that faith is compatible with reason, or that our religious traditions are in principle open to new learning: it is just that the utility of ignoring (or "reinterpreting") certain articles of faith is now overwhelming.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
And who can blame those who don’t feel that they have to worry about the complicated truths we have to struggle with? In this country men can be born and live well and die without ever having to feel much of what makes their ease possible, just because so much is buried under all of this black and white mess that in their ignorance some folks accept it as a natural condition. But then again, maybe they just feel that the whole earth would blow up if even a handful of folks got to digging into it. It would even seem a shame to expose it, to have it known that so much has been built on top of such a shaky foundation. But look, Hickman—Alonzo … this is here and now and the stuff has begun to bubble. The man who fell and the man lying there on the bed is the child, Bliss. That’s the mystery. How did he become the child of that babyhood … father to the man, as it goes? And how could he have been my child, nephew and grandchild and brother-in-Christ as he grew? The confounding mystery of it has to be struggled with and I wish it was all a lie and and we could go back home and forget it.
Ralph Ellison (Juneteenth)
Albert Einstein once said, “Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.” . . . On one level, science is a collection of facts about the world, and adding to that collection does require discoveries. But science is also something larger. It’s a mindset, a process, a way of reasoning about the world that allows us to expose wishful thinking and biases and replace them with deeper, more reliable truths. Considering how vast the world is, there’s no way to check every reported experiment yourself and personally verify it. At some point, you have to trust other people’s claims—which means those people need to be honorable, need to be worthy of trusting. Moreover, science is an inherently social process. Results cannot be kept secret; they have to be verified by the wider community, or science simply doesn’t work. And given what a deeply social process science is, acts that damage society by shortchanging human rights or ignoring human dignity will almost always cost you in the end—by destroying people’s trust in science and even undermining the very conditions that make science possible.
Sam Kean (The Icepick Surgeon: Murder, Fraud, Sabotage, Piracy, and Other Dastardly Deeds Perpetrated in the Name of Science)
Violet didn’t realize that she’d pressed herself so tightly against the door until it opened from the inside and she stumbled backward. She fell awkwardly, trying to catch herself as her feet slipped and first she banged her elbow, and then her shoulder-hard-against the doorjamb. She heard her can of pepper spray hit the concrete step at her feet as she flailed to find something to grab hold of. Her back crashed into something solid. Or rather, someone. And from behind, she felt strong, unseen arms catch her before she hit the ground. But she was too stunned to react right away. “You think I can let you go now?” A low voice chuckled in her ear. Violet was mortified as she glanced clumsily over her shoulder to see who had just saved her from falling. “Rafe!” she gasped, when she realized she was face-to-face with his deep blue eyes. She jumped up, feeling unexpectedly light-headed as she shrugged out of his grip. Without thinking, and with his name still burning on her lips, she added, “Umm, thanks, I guess.” And then, considering that he had just stopped her from landing flat on her butt, she gave it another try. “No…yeah, thanks, I mean.” Flustered, she bent down, trying to avoid his eyes as she grabbed the paper spray that had slipped from her fingers. She cursed herself for being so clumsy and wondered why she cared that he had been the one to catch her. Or why she cared that he was here at all. She stood up to face him, feeling more composed again, and quickly hid the evidence of her paranoia-the tiny canister-in her purse. She hoped he hadn’t noticed it. He watched her silently, and she saw the hint of a smile tugging at his lips. Violet waited for him to say something or to move aside to let her in. His gaze stripped away her defenses, making her feel even more exposed than when she had been standing alone in the empty street. She shifted restlessly and finally sighed impatiently. “I have an appointment,” she announced, lifting her eyebrows. “With Sara.” Her words had the desired effect, and Rafe shrugged, still studying her as he stepped out of her way. But he held the door so she could enter. She brushed past him, stepping into the hallway, as she tried to ignore the fact that she was suddenly sweltering inside her own coat. She told herself it was just the furnace, though, and had nothing to do with her humiliation over falling. Or with the presence of the brooding dark-haired boy. When they reached the end of the long hallway, Rafe pulled out a thick plastic card from his back pocket. As he held it in front of the black pad mounted on the wall beside a door, a small red light flickered to green and the door clicked. He pushed it open and led the way through. Security, Violet thought. Whatever it is they do here, they need security. Violet glanced up and saw a small camera mounted in the corner above the door. If she were Chelsea, she would have flashed the peace sign-or worse-a message for whoever was watching on the other end. But she was Violet, so instead she hurried after Rafe before the door closed and she was locked out.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
Bearing witness takes the courage to realize the potential of the human spirit. Witnessing requires us to call forth the highest qualities of our species, qualities such as conviction, integrity, empathy, and compassion. It is easier by far to retain the attributes of carnistic culture: apathy, complacency, self-interest, and "blissful" ignorance. I wrote this book––itself an act of witnessing––because I believe that, as humans, we have a fundamental desire to strive to become our best selves. I believe that each and every one of us has the capacity to act as powerful witnesses in a world very much in need. I have had the opportunity to interact with thousands of individuals through my work as a teacher, author, and speaker, and through my personal life. I have witnessed, again and again, the courage and compassion of the so-called average American: previously apathetic students who become impassioned activists; lifelong carnists who weep openly when exposed to images of animal cruelty, never again to eat meat; butchers who suddenly connect meat to its living source and become unable to continue killing animals; and a community of carnists who aid a runaway cow in her flight from slaughter. Ultimately, bearing witness requires the courage to take sides. In the face of mass violence, we will inevitably fall into a role: victim or perpetrator. Judith Herman argues that all bystanders are forced to take a side, by their action or inaction, and that their is no such thing as moral neutrality. Indeed, as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel points out, "Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." Witnessing enables us to choose our role rather than having one assigned to us. And although those of us who choose to stand with the victim may suffer, as Herman says, "There can be no greater honor.
Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism)
It is the natural tendency of the ignorant to believe what is not true. In order to overcome that tendency it is not sufficient to exhibit the true; it is also necessary to expose and denounce the false. To admit that the false has any standing in court, that it ought to be handled gently because millions of morons cherish it and thousands of quacks make their livings propagating it — to admit this, as the more fatuous of the reconcilers of science and religion inevitably do, is to abandon a just cause to its enemies, cravenly and without excuse. It is, of course, quite true that there is a region in which science and religion do not conflict. That is the region of the unknowable.
H.L. Mencken
You must also know clearly what you want out of the situation, and be prepared to clearly articulate your desire. It’s a good idea to tell the person you are confronting exactly what you would like them to do instead of what they have done or currently are doing. You might think, “if they loved me, they would know what to do.” That’s the voice of resentment. Assume ignorance before malevolence. No one has a direct pipeline to your wants and needs—not even you. If you try to determine exactly what you want, you might find that it is more difficult than you think. The person oppressing you is likely no wiser than you, especially about you. Tell them directly what would be preferable, instead, after you have sorted it out. Make your request as small and reasonable as possible—but ensure that its fulfillment would satisfy you. In that manner, you come to the discussion with a solution, instead of just a problem. Agreeable, compassionate, empathic, conflict-averse people (all those traits group together) let people walk on them, and they get bitter. They sacrifice themselves for others, sometimes excessively, and cannot comprehend why that is not reciprocated. Agreeable people are compliant, and this robs them of their independence. The danger associated with this can be amplified by high trait neuroticism. Agreeable people will go along with whoever makes a suggestion, instead of insisting, at least sometimes, on their own way. So, they lose their way, and become indecisive and too easily swayed. If they are, in addition, easily frightened and hurt, they have even less reason to strike out on their own, as doing so exposes them to threat and danger (at least in the short term). That’s the pathway to dependent personality disorder, technically speaking.198 It might be regarded as the polar opposite of antisocial personality disorder, the set of traits characteristic of delinquency in childhood and adolescence and criminality in adulthood. It would be lovely if the opposite of a criminal was a saint—but it’s not the case. The opposite of a criminal is an Oedipal mother, which is its own type of criminal.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Consumers of racist ideas sometimes changed their viewpoints when exposed to Black people defying stereotypes (and then sometimes changed back when exposed to someone confirming the stereotypes). Then again, upwardly mobile Blacks seemed as likely to produce resentment as admiration. “If you were well dressed they would insult you for that, and if you were ragged you would surely be insulted for being so,” one Black Rhode Island resident complained in his memoir in the early 1800s. It was the cruel illogic of racism. When Black people rose, racists either violently knocked them down or ignored them as extraordinary. When Black people were down, racists called it their natural or nurtured place, and denied any role in knocking them down in the first place.
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
Do you forbid me to contemplate the universe? Do you compel me to withdraw from the whole and restrict me to a part? May I not ask what are the beginnings of all things, who moulded the universe, who took the confused and conglomerate mass of sluggish matter, and separated it into its parts? May I not inquire who is the Master-Builder of this universe, how the mighty bulk was brought under the control of law and order, who gathered together the scattered atoms, who separated the disordered elements and assigned an outward form to elements that lay in one vast shapelessness? Or whence came all the expanse of light? And whether is it fire, or even brighter than fire? Am I not to ask these questions? Must I be ignorant of the heights whence I have descended? Whether I am to see this world but once, or to be born many times? What is my destination afterwards? What abode awaits my soul on its release from the laws of slavery among men? Do you forbid me to have a share in heaven? In other words, do you bid me live with my head bowed down? No, I am above such an existence; I was born to a greater destiny than to be a mere chattel of my body, and I regard this body as nothing but a chain which manacles my freedom. Therefore, I offer it as a sort of buffer to Fortune, and shall allow no wound to penetrate through to my soul. For my body is the only part of me which can suffer injury. In this dwelling, which is exposed to peril, my soul lives free. Never shall this flesh drive me to feel fear or to assume any pretence that is unworthy of a good man. Never shall I lie in order to honour this petty body.
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
Our most holy religion is founded on faith, not on reason; and it is a sure method of exposing it to put it to such a trial, as it is, by no means, fitted to endure. To make this more evident, let us examine those miracles, related in scripture; and not to lose ourselves in too wide a field, let us confine ourselves to such as we find in the Pentateuch, which we shall examine, according to the principles of these pretended Christians, not as the word or testimony of God himself, but as the production of a mere human writer and historian. Here then we are first to consider a book, presented to us by a barbarous and ignorant people, written in an age when they were still more barbarous, and in all probability long after the facts which it relates, corroborated by no concurring testimony, and resembling those fabulous accounts, which every nation gives of its origin. Upon reading this book, we find it full of prodigies and miracles. It gives an account of a state of the world and of human nature entirely different from the present: Of our fall from that state: Of the age of man, extended to near a thousand years: Of the destruction of the world by a deluge: Of the arbitrary choice of one people, as the favourites of heaven; and that people the countrymen of the author: Of their deliverance from bondage by prodigies the most astonishing imaginable: I desire any one to lay his hand upon his heart, and after a serious consideration declare, whether he thinks that the falsehood of such a book, supported by such a testimony, would be more extraordinary and miraculous than all the miracles it relates; which is, however, necessary to make it be received, according to the measures of probability
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
My hypothesis is mimetic: because humans imitate one another more than animals, they have had to find a means of dealing with contagious similarity, which could lead to the pure and simple disappearance of their society. The mechanism that reintroduces difference into a situation in which everyone has come to resemble everyone else is sacrifice. Humanity results from sacrifice; we are thus the children of religion. What I call after Freud the founding murder, in other words, the immolation of a sacrificial victim that is both guilty of disorder and able to restore order, is constantly re-enacted in the rituals at the origin of our institutions. Since the dawn of humanity, millions of innocent victims have been killed in this way in order to enable their fellow humans to live together, or at least not to destroy one another. This is the implacable logic of the sacred, which myths dissimulate less and less as humans become increasingly self-aware. The decisive point in this evolution is Christian revelation, a kind of divine expiation in which God through his Son could be seen as asking for forgiveness from humans for having revealed the mechanisms of their violence so late. Rituals had slowly educated them; from then on, humans had to do without. Christianity demystifies religion. Demystification, which is good in the absolute, has proven bad in the relative, for we were not prepared to shoulder its consequences. We are not Christian enough. The paradox can be put a different way. Christianity is the only religion that has foreseen its own failure. This prescience is known as the apocalypse. Indeed, it is in the apocalyptic texts that the word of God is most forceful, repudiating mistakes that are entirely the fault of humans, who are less and less inclined to acknowledge the mechanisms of their violence. The longer we persist in our error, the stronger God’s voice will emerge from the devastation. […] The Passion unveiled the sacrificial origin of humanity once and for all. It dismantled the sacred and revealed its violence. […] By accepting crucifixion, Christ brought to light what had been ‘hidden since the foundation of the world,’ in other words, the foundation itself, the unanimous murder that appeared in broad daylight for the first time on the cross. In order to function, archaic religions need to hide their founding murder, which was being repeated continually in ritual sacrifices, thereby protecting human societies from their own violence. By revealing the founding murder, Christianity destroyed the ignorance and superstition that are indispensable to such religions. It thus made possible an advance in knowledge that was until then unimaginable. […] A scapegoat remains effective as long as we believe in its guilt. Having a scapegoat means not knowing that we have one. Learning that we have a scapegoat is to lose it forever and to expose ourselves to mimetic conflicts with no possible resolution. This is the implacable law of the escalation to extremes. The protective system of scapegoats is finally destroyed by the Crucifixion narratives as they reveal Jesus’ innocence, and, little by little, that of all analogous victims. The process of education away from violent sacrifice is thus underway, but it is going very slowly, making advances that are almost always unconscious. […] Mimetic theory does not seek to demonstrate that myth is null, but to shed light on the fundamental discontinuity and continuity between the passion and archaic religion. Christ’s divinity which precedes the Crucifixion introduces a radical rupture with the archaic, but Christ’s resurrection is in complete continuity with all forms of religion that preceded it. The way out of archaic religion comes at this price. A good theory about humanity must be based on a good theory about God. […] We can all participate in the divinity of Christ so long as we renounce our own violence.
René Girard (Battling to the End: Conversations with Benoît Chantre)
Had Elizabeth’s opinion been all drawn from her own family, she could not have formed a very pleasing opinion of conjugal felicity or domestic comfort. Her father, captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good humour which youth and beauty generally give, had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had very early in their marriage put an end to all real affection for her. Respect, esteem, and confidence had vanished for ever; and all his views of domestic happiness were overthrown. But Mr. Bennet was not of a disposition to seek comfort for the disappointment which his own imprudence had brought on, in any of those pleasures which too often console the unfortunate for their folly of their vice. He was fond of the country and of books; and from these tastes had arisen his principal enjoyments. To his wife he was very little otherwise indebted, than as her ignorance and folly had contributed to his amusement. This is not the sort of happiness which a man would in general wish to owe to his wife; but where other powers of entertainment are wanting, the true philosopher will derive benefit from such as are given. Elizabeth, however, had never been blind to the impropriety of her father’s behaviour as a husband. She had always seen it with pain; but respecting his abilities, and grateful for his affectionate treatment of herself, she endeavoured to forget what she could not overlook, and and to banish from her thoughts that continual breach of conjugal obligation and decorum which, in exposing his wife to the contempt of her own children, was so highly reprehensible. But she had never felt so strongly as now the disadvantages which must attend the children of so unsuitable a marriage, nor ever been so fully aware of the evils arising from so ill-judged a direction of talents; talents, which, rightly used, might at least have preserved the respectability of his daughters, even if incapable of enlarging the mind of his wife.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
I have no idea where it is. I just hop a ride when you do your disappearing thing.” “You can trail our siphons?” Jude asks, interested. “You call it a siphon? Then yeah; I can trail that. I just have to be close enough when you do it.” He moves toward me. “Then hold on. We can just ask someone who might know what’s going on.” My fingers go to his body without hesitation, and Kai snaps at him not to do it just as we disappear. The wind whirs in my ears much louder than before, and we appear in the back of an alleyway. “We’re seeing your pawn shop friend, aren’t we?” I ask him. He doesn’t even bother asking me how I know that. “Yes,” is his only reply as the other three join us. Kai stalks forward. “Until we figure out what’s going on, we can’t risk our very important friends by exposing them to a possible threat.” Jude ignores him, leading the way, and Ezekiel trails me as we walk out of the alley. I move through the wall of the pawn shop, causing Ezekiel to curse. “She’s going to draw attention. It’s not late enough for this,
Kristy Cunning (Four Psychos (The Dark Side, #1))
Stay back!” said one of the Varden, gesturing. “There’s a whole group of soldiers inside, and they have bows aimed at us.” Eragon and Saphira halted just out of sight of the building. The warrior who had brought them said, “We can’t get at them. The doors and windows are blocked, and they shoot at us if we try to chop our way in.” Eragon looked at Saphira. Shall I, or shall you? I’ll attend to it, she said, and jumped into the air with a rush of spreading wings. The building shook, windows shattering, as Saphira landed on the roof. Eragon and the other warriors watched with awe as she fit the tips of her claws into the mortared grooves between the stones and, snarling from the effort, tore the building apart until she exposed the terrified soldiers, whom she killed like a terrier kills rats. When Saphira returned to Eragon’s side, the Varden edged away from her, clearly frightened by her display of ferocity. She ignored them and began licking her paws, cleaning the gore from her scales. Have I ever told you how glad I am we’re not enemies? Eragon asked. No, but it’s very sweet of you.
Christopher Paolini (Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle, #3))
Notice in any event that at every point in Aquinas’s account of the soul, as at every point in his arguments for God’s existence, the appeal is to what follows rationally from such Aristotelian metaphysical notions as the formal and final causes of a thing. There is no appeal to “faith,” or to parapsychology, ghost stories, near-death experiences, or any other evidence of the sort materialists routinely dismiss as scientifically dubious. Whatever one’s ultimate appraisal of these arguments, the New Atheist’s pretense that a religious view of the world can only ever be the result of wishful thinking rather than objective rational argumentation is thereby exposed as a falsehood, the product, if not of willful deception, at least of inexcusable ignorance of the views of the most significant religious thinkers. That alone suffices to show that the arguments of Dawkins and his gang are worthless. For even if, per impossibile, their atheism turned out to be correct, they would not have arrived at it by rational means, shamelessly caricaturing as they do the best arguments for the other side, when they are not ignoring them altogether.
Edward Feser (The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism)
It was a wise policy in that false prophet, Alexander, who though now forgotten, was once so famous, to lay the first scene of his impostures in Paphlagonia, where, as Lucian tells us, the people were extremely ignorant and stupid, and ready to swallow even the grossest delusion. People at a distance, who are weak enough to think the matter at all worth enquiry, have no opportunity of receiving better information. The stories come magnified to them by a hundred circumstances. Fools are industrious in propagating the imposture; while the wise and learned are contented, in general, to deride its absurdity, without informing themselves of the particular facts, by which it may be distinctly refuted. And thus the impostor above mentioned was enabled to proceed, from his ignorant Paphlagonians, to the enlisting of votaries, even among the Grecian philosophers, and men of the most eminent rank and distinction in Rome; nay, could engage the attention of that sage emperor Marcus Aurelius; so far as to make him trust the success of a military expedition to his delusive prophecies. 23 The advantages are so great, of starting an imposture among an ignorant people, that, even though the delusion should be too gross to impose on the generality of them (which, though seldom, is sometimes the case) it has a much better chance for succeeding in remote countries, than if the first scene had been laid in a city renowned for arts and knowledge. The most ignorant and barbarous of these barbarians carry the report abroad. None of their countrymen have a large correspondence, or sufficient credit and authority to contradict and beat down the delusion. Men’s inclination to the marvellous has full opportunity to display itself. And thus a story, which is universally exploded in the place where it was first started, shall pass for certain at a thousand miles distance. But had Alexander fixed his residence at Athens, the philosophers of that renowned mart of learning had immediately spread, throughout the whole Roman empire, their sense of the matter; which, being supported by so great authority, and displayed by all the force of reason and eloquence, had entirely opened the eyes of mankind. It is true; Lucian, passing by chance through Paphlagonia, had an opportunity of performing this good office. But, though much to be wished, it does not always happen, that every Alexander meets with a Lucian, ready to expose and detect his impostures.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
God has made me so that when once I love I love for ever, and so I continue to pray for this girl and I love her still. When I saw how Céline loved one of the nuns, I tried to imitate her, but I didn’t succeed, as I didn’t know how to get into people’s good graces. It was a fortunate ignorance which has saved me from much evil. I am profoundly grateful to Jesus who has never let me find anything but bitterness in earthly friendships. With a nature like mine, I should have been trapped and had my wings clipped and then how should I have “flown away and found rest”? It’s impossible for one bound by human affection to have intimate union with God. I’ve seen so many souls, dazzled by this deluding light, fly into it and burn their wings like silly moths. Then they turn again to the true unfading light of love and, with new and more splendid wings, fly to Jesus, that divine Fire which burns yet does not destroy. I know that Jesus considered me too weak to be exposed to temptation. If I had seen this false light shining before me, I should have been wholly destroyed. I’ve been saved from that. I have found nothing but bitterness where stronger souls have found happiness and yet remained properly detached. So it’s no merit on my part that I never became entangled by love of creatures; I was saved only by the great mercy of God.
John Beevers (The Autobiography of Saint Therese: The Story of a Soul)
Occam's Razor: The simplest theory that fits the facts corresponds most closely to reality. Fit this, Jillian--why do I treat you so horribly? He grimaced. The simplest theory that encompassed the full range of asinine behavior he exhibited around Jillian was that he was hopelessly in love with her, and if he wasn't careful she would figure it out. He had to be cold, perhaps cruel, for Jillian was an intelligent woman and unless he maintained a convincing facade she would see right through him. He drew a deep breath and steeled his will. "You were saying?" He arched a sardonic brow. Powerful men had withered into babbling idiots beneath the sarcasm and mockery of that deadly gaze. But not his Jillian, and it delighted him as much as it worried him. She held her ground, even leaned closer, ignoring the curious stares and perked ears of the onlookers. Close enough that her breath fanned his neck and made him want to seal his lips over hers and draw her breath into his lungs so deeply that she'd need him to breathe it back into her. She looked deep into his eyes, then a smile of delight curved her mouth. "You do remember," she whispered fiercely. "I wonder what else you lie to me about," she murmured, and he had the dreadful suspicion she was about to start applying a scientific analysis to his idiotic behavior. The she'd know, and he'd be exposed for the love-struck dolt he was.
Karen Marie Moning (To Tame a Highland Warrior (Highlander, #2))
When I (Nancy) read Proverbs 7, in my mind’s eye I see women I know who, though they are “churched” and consider themselves to be believers, have made choices that are more consistent with the world’s way of thinking than with the Word of God. I think of a married woman I spoke with who was in an adulterous relationship with a colleague at the Christian ministry where she worked. Or the mother of six children who wrote me a note at a conference where I spoke, sharing that she was spending twelve to eighteen hours a day online, and was considering leaving her family for a man she had met on the Internet. I think of women who have been influenced by the world’s model of womanhood. They lack discernment and discretion; they see nothing wrong with being flirtatious, using suggestive or coarse language, carrying on covert Facebook exchanges with old boyfriends, wearing clothing that exposes or emphasizes private parts of the body, or numerous other “wild” patterns. In some cases, they are ignorant or naïve of what the Bible teaches. In other cases, they are more interested in fitting into the world than in honoring and reflecting the Lord. Some of them have already shipwrecked their lives and the lives of others; others may be well on the path to doing so. “HER FEET GO DOWN TO DEATH; HER STEPS FOLLOW THE PATH TO SHEOL; SHE DOES NOT PONDER THE PATH OF LIFE; HER WAYS WANDER, AND SHE DOES NOT KNOW IT.” Proverbs 5:5–6
Mary A. Kassian (True Woman 101: Divine Design: An Eight-Week Study on Biblical Womanhood (True Woman))
Well, Mr Markham, you that maintain that a boy should not be shielded from evil, but sent out to battle against it, alone and unassisted - not taught to avoid the snares of life, but boldly to rush into them, or over them, as he may - to seek danger rather than shun it, and feed his virtue by temptation - would you-' 'I beg your pardon, Mrs Graham - but you get on too fast. I have not yet said that a boy should be taught to rush into the snares of life - or even wilfully to seek temptation for the sake of exercising his virtue by overcoming it - I only say that it is better to arm and strengthen your hero, than to disarm and enfeeble the foe; and if you were to rear an oak sapling in a hot-house, tending it carefully night and day, and shielding it from every breath of wind, you could not expect it to become a hardy tree, like that which has grown up on the mountain-side, exposed to all the action of the elements, and not even sheltered form the shock of the tempest.' 'Granted; but would you use the same arguments with regard to a girl?' 'Certainly not.' 'No; you would have her to be tenderly and delicately nurtured, like a hot-house plant - taught to cling to others for direction and support, and guarded, as much as possible, from the very knowledge of evil. But will you be so good as to inform me why you make this distinction? Is it that you think she has no virtue?' 'Assuredly not.' 'Well, but you affirm that virtue is only elicited by temptation; and you think that a woman cannot be too little exposed to temptation, or too little acquainted with vice, or anything connected therewith. It must be, either, that you think she is essentially so vicious, or so feeble-minded that she cannot withstand temptation - and though she may be pure and innocent as long as she is kept in ignorance and restraint, yet, being destitute of real virtue, to teach her how to sin, is at once to make her a sinner, and the greater her knowledge, the wider her liberty, the deeper will be her depravity - whereas, in the nobler sex, there is a natural tendency to goodness, guarded by a superior fortitude, which, the more it is exercised by trials and dangers, it is only further developed-' 'Heaven forbid that I should think so!' I interrupted her at last. 'Well then, it must be that you think they are both weak and prone to err, and the slightest error, the nearest shadow of pollution, will ruin the one, while the character of the other will be strengthened and embellished - his education properly finished by a little practical acquaintance with forbidden things. Such experience, to him (to use a trite simile), will be like the storm to the oak, which, though it may scatter the leaves, and snap the smaller branches, serves but to rivet the roots, and to harden and condense the fibres of the tree. You would have us encourage our sons to prove all things by their own experience, while our daughters must not even profit by the experience of others.
Anne Brontë
When we go to the doctor, he or she will not begin to treat us without taking our history—and not just our history but that of our parents and grandparents before us. The doctor will not see us until we have filled out many pages on a clipboard that is handed to us upon arrival. The doctor will not hazard a diagnosis until he or she knows the history going back generations. As we fill out the pages of our medical past and our current complaints, what our bodies have been exposed to and what they have survived, it does us no good to pretend that certain ailments have not beset us, to deny the full truths of what brought us to this moment. Few problems have ever been solved by ignoring them. Looking beneath the history of one’s country is like learning that alcoholism or depression runs in one’s family or that suicide has occurred more often than might be usual or, with the advances in medical genetics, discovering that one has inherited the markers of a BRCA mutation for breast cancer. You don’t ball up in a corner with guilt or shame at these discoveries. You don’t, if you are wise, forbid any mention of them. In fact, you do the opposite. You educate yourself. You talk to people who have been through it and to specialists who have researched it. You learn the consequences and obstacles, the options and treatment. You may pray over it and meditate over it. Then you take precautions to protect yourself and succeeding generations and work to ensure that these things, whatever they are, don’t happen again.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
People are free. Well, they can't fly on their own . . . but pretty much whatever they can think up, they can make happen. When they're sleepy, they can sleep. They're free to start or quit whatever they're doing whenever they want. And the only reason they don't is because things like social norms, laws, traditions and sentiment get in the way. Running naked through the streets . . . conning old people . . . killing . . . everything’s possible if you ignore morality. That's why they insist on teaching you cooperation and ethics when you're young- But the world is set up to force people to fight, cheat and steal as a default. Trying to live with that contradiction is torture. But in so many places happiness and sorrow are traded like stocks on wall street. What will it take for everyone to be happy? Who knows? But if a kid could figure it out, war would've gone extinct long time ago. I'd hate to trust the entire thing to politicians. They're just old men who have to dance to public opinion. The world is the embodiment of human nature exposed . . . There's no way for everyone to be happy. Happiness is relative anyway . . . and people want it that way. Evil is relative too. In order to protect her, a mother can turn into a demon. And it gets held up as inspirational. People go to war to protect kin and country. It's the same thing. Even if you pretend to be good fundamentally everyone has some negative aspects. It's amazing that no one knows that. Why? People have become so adept at excuses and shifting the blame . . . that they never even consider the possibility that they're culpable for their own problems.
Inio Asano (Goodnight Punpun Omnibus, Vol. 3)
John Adams was keenly aware of the relationship between secrecy and corruption in government and the preservation of liberty. Many of the Founding Fathers understood the importance of transparency in a nation’s rulers. James Madison wrote that “A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both.” Thomas Jefferson said that “If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.” Judicial Watch has always believed that knowing the “characters and conduct” of the individuals who serve in the government and ensuring that the public is “informed” about what its government is doing is crucial to preserving our great republic. That is why for over twenty-two years we have been the most active user of the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to promote transparency, accountability, and integrity in government, politics, and the law. We are the nation’s largest and most effective government watchdog group that works to advance the public interest. Transparency is all about self-governance. If we don’t know what the government is doing, how is that self-governance? How is that even a republic? When we were founded in 1994, we used the FOIA open records law to root out corruption in the Clinton administration. During the Bush administration, we used it to combat that administration’s penchant for improper secrecy. But the Bush administration pales in comparison to the Obama administration. Today, our government is bigger than ever, and also the most secretive in recent memory.
Tom Fitton (Clean House: Exposing Our Government's Secrets and Lies)
Then something moved on the hall floor, just outside the bars. Her eyes swung there. Sunday Justice sat on his haunches staring at her dark eyes with his green ones. Her heart raced. Locked up alone all these weeks, and now this creature could step wizardlike between the bars. Be with her. Sunday Justice broke the stare and looked down the hall, toward the inmates' talk. Kya was terrified that he would leave her and walk to them. But he looked back at her, blinked in obligatory boredom, and squeezed easily between the bars. Inside. Kya breathed out. Whispered, "Please stay." Taking his time, he sniffed his way around the cell, researching the damp cement walls, the exposed pipes, and the sink, all the while compelled to ignore her. A small crack in the wall was the most interesting to him. She knew because he flicked his thoughts on his tail. He ended his tour next to the small bed. Then, just like that, he jumped onto her lap and circled, his large white paws finding soft purchase on her thighs. Kya sat frozen, her arms slightly raised, so as not to interfere with his maneuvering. Finally, he settled as though he had nested here every night of his life. He looked at her. Gently she touched his head, then scratched his neck. A loud purr erupted like a current. She closed her eyes at such easy acceptance. A deep pause in a lifetime of longing. Afraid to move, she sat stiff until her leg cramped, then shifted slightly to stretch her muscles. Sunday Justice, without opening his eyes, slid off her lap and curled up next to her side. She lay down fully clothed, and they both nestled in. She watched him sleep, then followed. Not falling toward a jolt, but a drifting, finally, into an empty calm. Once during the night, she opened her eyes and watched him sleeping on his back, forepaws stretched one way, hind paws the other.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
We began the show by asking: Who did more for the world, Michael Milken or Mother Teresa? This seems like a no-brainer. Milken is the greedy junk-bond king. One year, his firm paid him $550 million. Then he went to jail for breaking securities laws. Mother Teresa is the nun who spent her lifetime helping the poor and died without a penny. Her good deeds live on even after her death; several thousand sisters now continue the charities she began. At first glance, of course Mother Teresa did more for the world. But it's not so simple. Milken's selfish pursuit of profit helped a lot of people, too. Think about it: By pioneering a new way for companies to raise money, Milken created millions of jobs. The ignorant media sneered at 'junk bonds', but Milken's innovative use of them meant exciting new ideas flourished. We now make calls on a national cellular network established by a company called McCaw Cellular, which Milken financed. And our calls are cheaper because Milken's junk bonds financed MCI. CEO Bill McGowan simply couldn't get the money anywhere else. Without Milken, MCI wouldn't have grown from 11 to 50,000 employees. CNN's 24-hour news and Ted Turner's other left-wing ventures were made possible by Milken's 'junk'. The world's biggest toy company, Mattel, the cosmetics company Revlon, and the supermarket giant Safeway were among many rescued from bankruptcy by Milken's junk bonds. He financed more than 3,000 companies, including what are now Barnes & Noble, AOL Time Warner, Comcast, Mellon Bank, Occidental Petroleum, Jeep Eagle, Calvin Klein, Hasbro, Days Inn, 7-Eleven, and Computer Associates. Millions of people have productive employment today because of Michael Milken. (Millions of jobs is hard to believe, and when 'Greed' aired, I just said he created thousands of jobs; but later I met Milken, and he was annoyed with me because he claimed he'd created millions of jobs. I asked him to document that, to name the companies and the jobs, and he did.)
John Stossel (Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...)
First, it is the duty of black men to judge the South discriminatingly. The present generation of Southerners are not responsible for the past, and they should not be blindly hated or blamed for it. Furthermore, to no class is the indiscriminate endorsement of the recent course of the South toward Negroes more nauseating than to the best thought of the South. The South is not “solid’; it is a land in the ferment of social change, wherein forces of all kinds are fighting for supremacy; and to praise the ill the South is today perpetrating is just as wrong as to condemn the good. Discriminating and broad-minded criticism is what the South needs,—needs it for the sake of her own white sons and daughters, and for the insurance of robust, healthy mental and moral development. Today even the attitude of the Southern whites toward the blacks is not, as so many assume, in all cases the same; the ignorant Southerner hates the Negro, the workingmen fear his competition, the money-makers wish to use him as a laborer, some of the educated see a menace in his upward development, while others—usually the sons of the masters—wish to help him to rise. National opinion has enabled this last class to maintain the Negro common schools, and to protect the Negro partially in property, life, and limb. Through the pressure of the money-makers, the Negro is in danger of being reduced to semi-slavery, especially in the country districts; the workingmen, and those of the educated who fear the Negro, have united to disfranchise him, and some have urged his deportation; while the passions of the ignorant are easily aroused to lynch and abuse any black man. To praise this intricate whirl of thought and prejudice is nonsense; to inveigh indiscriminately against “the South” is unjust; but to use the same breath in praising Governor Aycock, exposing Senator Morgan, arguing with Mr. Thomas Nelson Page, and denouncing Senator Ben Tillman, is not only sane, but the imperative duty of thinking black men.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk)
Rennie looked again and his hand attached itself to his arm, which was part of him. He wasn’t very far away. She fell in love with him because he was the first thing she saw after her life had been saved. This was the only explanation she could think of. She wished, later, when she was no longer feeling dizzy but was sitting up, trying to ignore the little sucking tubes that were coming out of her and the constant ache, that it had been a potted begonia or a stuffed rabbit, some safe bedside object. Jake sent her roses but by then it was too late. I imprinted on him, she thought; like a duckling, like a baby chick. She knew about imprinting; once, when she was hard up for cash, she’d done a profile for Owl Magazine of a man who believed geese should be used as safe and loyal substitute for watchdogs. It was best to be there yourself when the goslings came out of the eggs, he said. Then they’d follow you to the ends of the earth. Rennie had smirked because that man seemed to think that being followed to the ends of the earth by a flock of adoring geese was both desirable and romantic, but she’d written it all down in his own words. Now she was behaving like a goose, and the whole thing put her on foul temper. It was inappropriate to have fallen in love with Daniel, who had no distinguishing features that Rennie could see. She hardly even knew what he looked like, since, during the examinations before the operation, she hadn’t bothered to look at him. One did not look at doctors; they were functionaries, they were what your mother one hoped you would marry, they were fifties, they were passe. It wasn’t only inappropriate, it was ridiculous. It was expected. Falling in love with your doctor was something middle-aged married women did, women in soaps, women in nurse novels and sex-and-scalpel epics with titles like Surgery and nurse with big tits and doctors who looked like Dr. Kildare on the covers. It was the sort of thing Toronto Life did stories about, soft-core gossip masquerading as hard-nosed research expose. Rennie could not stand being guilty of such a banality.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
What are you doing?” Leo demanded, wondering if she had lost her wits entirely. “He doesn’t need a lamp, Win.” Ignoring him, Win removed the glass fount and tossed it to the bed. She did the same with the brass wick burner, exposing the oil reservoir. Without hesitation, she poured the lamp oil over the front of the wardrobe. The pungent odor of highly flammable paraffin spread through the room. “Have you lost your mind?” Leo demanded, astonished not only by her actions, but also by her calm demeanor. “I have a matchbox, Julian,” she said. “Tell me what to give Mr. Rohan, or I’ll set the wardrobe on fire.” “You wouldn’t dare,” Harrow cried. “Win,” Leo said, “you’ll burn the entire damned house down, just after it’s been rebuilt. Give me the bloody matchbox.” She shook her head resolutely. “Are we starting a new springtime ritual?” Leo demanded. “The annual burning-of-the-manse? Come to your senses, Win.” Win turned from him and glared at the wardrobe door. “I was told, Julian, that you killed your first wife. Possibly by poison. And now knowing what you have done to my brother-in-law, I believe it. And if you don’t help us, I’m going to roast you like a piece of Welsh rarebit.” She opened the matchbox. Realizing she couldn’t possibly be serious, Leo decided to back her bluff. “I’m begging you, Win,” he said theatrically, “don’t do this. There’s no need to—Christ!” This last as Win struck a match and set the wardrobe on fire. It wasn’t a bluff, Leo thought dazedly. She actually intended to broil the bastard. At the first bright, curling blossom of flame, there was a terrified cry from inside the wardrobe. “All right! Let me out! Let me out! It’s tannic acid. Tannic acid. It’s in my medical case; let me out!” “Very well, Leo,” Win said, a bit breathless. “You may extinguish the fire.” In spite of the panic that raced through his veins, Leo couldn’t suppress a choked laugh. She spoke as if she’d asked him to snuff a candle, not put out a large flaming piece of furniture. Tearing off his coat, he rushed forward and beat wildly at the wardrobe door. “You’re a madwoman,” he told Win as he passed her. “He wouldn’t have told us otherwise,” Win said.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored. You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it. You’re afraid somebody else already did it better. You’re afraid everybody else already did it better. You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing. You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree. You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.) You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal. You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud. You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons. You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again. You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying? You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder. You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder . . . Listen, I don’t have all day here, so I’m not going to keep listing fears. It’s a bottomless list, anyhow, and a depressing one. I’ll just wrap up my summary this way: SCARY, SCARY, SCARY. Everything is so goddamn scary. Defending Your Weakness Please understand that the only reason I can speak so authoritatively about fear is that I know it so intimately.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
The Delusion of Lasting Success promises that building an enduring company is not only achievable but a worthwhile objective. Yet companies that have outperformed the market for long periods of time are not just rare, they are statistical artifacts that are observable only in retrospect. Companies that achieved lasting success may be best understood as having strung together many short-term successes. Pursuing a dream of enduring greatness may divert attention from the pressing need to win immediate battles. The Delusion of Absolute Performance diverts our attention from the fact that success and failure always take place in a competitive environment. It may be comforting to believe that our success is entirely up to us, but as the example of Kmart demonstrated, a company can improve in absolute terms and still fall further behind in relative terms. Success in business means doing things better than rivals, not just doing things well. Believing that performance is absolute can cause us to take our eye off rivals and to avoid decisions that, while risky, may be essential for survival given the particular context of our industry and its competitive dynamics. The Delusion of the Wrong End of the Stick lets us confuse causes and effects, actions and outcomes. We may look at a handful of extraordinarily successful companies and imagine that doing what they did can lead to success — when it might in fact lead mainly to higher volatility and a lower overall chance of success. Unless we start with the full population of companies and examine what they all did — and how they all fared — we have an incomplete and indeed biased set of information. The Delusion of Organizational Physics implies that the business world offers predictable results, that it conforms to precise laws. It fuels a belief that a given set of actions can work in all settings and ignores the need to adapt to different conditions: intensity of competition, rate of growth, size of competitors, market concentration, regulation, global dispersion of activities, and much more. Claiming that one approach can work everywhere, at all times, for all companies, has a simplistic appeal but doesn’t do justice to the complexities of business. These points, taken together, expose the principal fiction at the heart of so many business books — that a company can choose to be great, that following a few key steps will predictably lead to greatness, that its success is entirely of its own making and not dependent on factors outside its control.
Philip M. Rosenzweig (The Halo Effect: How Managers let Themselves be Deceived)
Unable to understand how or why the person we see behaves as he does, we attribute his behavior to a person we cannot see, whose behavior we cannot explain either but about whom we are not inclined to ask questions. We probably adopt this strategy not so much because of any lack of interest or power but because of a longstanding conviction that for much of human behavior there are no relevant antecedents. The function of the inner man is to provide an explanation which will not be explained in turn. Explanation stops with him. He is not a mediator between past history and current behavior, he is a center from which behavior emanates. He initiates, originates, and creates, and in doing so he remains, as he was for the Greeks, divine. We say that he is autonomous—and, so far as a science of behavior is concerned, that means miraculous. The position is, of course, vulnerable. Autonomous man serves to explain only the things we are not yet able to explain in other ways. His existence depends upon our ignorance, and he naturally loses status as we come to know more about behavior. The task of a scientific analysis is to explain how the behavior of a person as a physical system is related to the conditions under which the human species evolved and the conditions under which the individual lives. Unless there is indeed some capricious or creative intervention, these events must be related, and no intervention is in fact needed. The contingencies of survival responsible for man’s genetic endowment would produce tendencies to act aggressively, not feelings of aggression. The punishment of sexual behavior changes sexual behavior, and any feelings which may arise are at best by-products. Our age is not suffering from anxiety but from the accidents, crimes, wars, and other dangerous and painful things to which people are so often exposed. Young people drop out of school, refuse to get jobs, and associate only with others of their own age not because they feel alienated but because of defective social environments in homes, schools, factories, and elsewhere. We can follow the path taken by physics and biology by turning directly to the relation between behavior and the environment and neglecting supposed mediating states of mind. Physics did not advance by looking more closely at the jubilance of a falling body, or biology by looking at the nature of vital spirits, and we do not need to try to discover what personalities, states of mind, feelings, traits of character, plans, purposes, intentions, or the other perquisites of autonomous man really are in order to get on with a scientific analysis of behavior.
B.F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity (Hackett Classics))
That was the whole trouble with police work. You come plunging in. a jagged Stone Age knife, to probe the delicate tissues of people's relationships, and of course you destroy far more than you discover. And even what you discover will never be the same as it was before you came; the nubbly scars of your passage will remain. At the very least. you have asked questions that expose to the destroying air fibers that can only exist and fulfill their function in coddling darkness. Cousin Amy, now, mousing about in back passages or trilling with feverish shyness at sherry parties—was she really made all the way through of dust and fluff and unused ends of cotton and rusty needles and unmatching buttons and all the detritus at the bottom of God's sewing basket? Or did He put a machine in there to tick away and keep her will stern and her back straight as she picks out of a vase of brown-at-the-edges dahlias the few blooms that have another day's life in them? Or another machine, one of His chemistry sets, that slowly mixes itself into an apparently uncaused explosion, poof!, and there the survivors are sitting covered with plaster dust among the rubble of their lives. It's always been the explosion by the time the police come stamping in with ignorant heels on the last unbroken bit of Bristol glass; with luck they can trace the explosion back to harmless little Amy, but as to what set her off—what were the ingredients of the chemistry set and what joggled them together—it was like trying to reconstruct a civilization from three broken pots and a seven-inch lump of baked clay which might, if you looked at its swellings and hollows the right way, have been the Great Earth Mother. What's more. people who've always lived together think that they are still the same—oh, older of course and a bit more snappish, but underneath still the same laughing lad of thirty years gone by. "My Jim couldn't have done that." they say. "I know him. Course he's been a bit depressed lately, funny like. but he sometimes goes that way for a bit and then it passes off. But setting fire to the lingerie department at the Army and Navy, Inspector—such a thought wouldn't enter into my Jim's head. I know him." Tears diminishing into hiccuping snivels as doubt spreads like a coffee stain across the threadbare warp of decades. A different Jim? Different as a Martian, growing inside the ever-shedding skin? A whole lot of different Jims. a new one every seven years? "Course not. I'm the same. aren't I, same as I always was—that holiday we took hiking in the Peak District in August thirty-eight—the same inside?" Pibble sighed and shook himself. You couldn't build a court case out of delicate tissues. Facts were the one foundation.
Peter Dickinson (The Glass Sided Ant's Nest (Jimmy Pibble #1))
Everyone knew there had never been a cowardly Confederate soldier and they found this statement peculiarly irritating. He always referred to the soldiers as “our brave boys” or “our heroes in gray” and did it in such a way as to convey the utmost in insult. When daring young ladies, hoping for a flirtation, thanked him for being one of the heroes who fought for them, he bowed and declared that such was not the case, for he would do the same thing for Yankee women if the same amount of money were involved. Since Scarlett’s first meeting with him in Atlanta on the night of the bazaar, he had talked with her in this manner, but now there was a thinly veiled note of mockery in his conversations with everyone. When praised for his services to the Confederacy, he unfailingly replied that blockading was a business with him. If he could make as much money out of government contracts, he would say, picking out with his eyes those who had government contracts, then he would certainly abandon the hazards of blockading and take to selling shoddy cloth, sanded sugar, spoiled flour and rotten leather to the Confederacy. Most of his remarks were unanswerable, which made them all the worse. There had already been minor scandals about those holding government contracts. Letters from men at the front complained constantly of shoes that wore out in a week, gunpowder that would not ignite, harness that snapped at any strain, meat that was rotten and flour that was full of weevils. Atlanta people tried to think that the men who sold such stuff to the government must be contract holders from Alabama or Virginia or Tennessee, and not Georgians. For did not the Georgia contract holders include men from the very best families? Were they not the first to contribute to hospital funds and to the aid of soldiers’ orphans? Were they not the first to cheer at “Dixie” and the most rampant seekers, in oratory at least, for Yankee blood? The full tide of fury against those profiteering on government contracts had not yet risen, and Rhett’s words were taken merely as evidence of his own bad breeding. He not only affronted the town with insinuations of venality on the part of men in high places and slurs on the courage of the men in the field, but he took pleasure in tricking the dignified citizenry into embarrassing situations. He could no more resist pricking the conceits, the hypocrisies and the flamboyant patriotism of those about him than a small boy can resist putting a pin into a balloon. He neatly deflated the pompous and exposed the ignorant and the bigoted, and he did it in such subtle ways, drawing his victims out by his seemingly courteous interest, that they never were quite certain what had happened until they stood exposed as windy, high flown and slightly ridiculous.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Dear, What’s the Point of it All? What is the point of being nice? When you do not know what you are going to get from it? Knowing eventually sooner rather than later someone and maybe that person you are being nice to will turn their back on you. I always have to stay grounded and focused. When I am there for people, I feel like I am always punished for it. I am always treated as if I committed a crime. I was there for my mom; however, she was killing me slowly but surely. Like my mom, I noticed that when people get themselves in some shit, they get stuck in their own mess. They are confident that they do not have to deal with the consequences—because they know the ‘kind’ person will bail them out. What’s the point of being kind? Like my mom and the officer, there are so many people in the world who are judgmental and tainted because of their selfish needs. What’s the point of my life? Here I am in a library filled with many books. I can read them and go anywhere I want to in my mind, but after I close the book, I will have to snap out of my fantasy world and welcome the cruel cold world, which is reality. If I was a book, I would be better off left on the shelf. There is no excitement in my life—only struggles. What’s the point of living and loving life when the only thing I do is read between the lines and tread carefully? Come to think about it, I am a book that nobody can understand or read. They think they know what is best for me, but if they only take the time to listen, I would be so happy to tell them about me and my needs and wants. My actions scream for attention, but time after time, I am ignored. Sadly, without a care, they were quick to rip out the pages. Yet, once again, nobody noticed me. What’s the point of it all when I never had an opportunity to make a mistake? If I did one thing wrong, they would give up on me and send me to one home after another. I’ve always been fully exposed and had to walk in a line filled with sharp curves from disappointment to disappointment. Sorrow is my aura, and sadness hugs me tightly. It is hard to cry when my eyes are closed shut by the barbed wire fence of my eyelashes as they prohibit tears from falling. What’s the point of complicating my life? I am always back to where I started, and then ... I relive the same patterns, but on a more difficult journey. I believe when you put yourself in your own mess that you should clean it up and start over. What’s wrong with that? Nothing. However, when someone else puts you in their mess, you do not know how to clean up the mess they’ve made. You do not know how to start over because you do not know where to begin. I look at it this way; it is like telling a dead person he/she can start over. How so, when that person’s life no longer exists? I know my life isn’t over. However, I am lost in a maze my mom set up for herself—and she too is lost in her own maze. When a person gets lost in their own maze, they are really fucked up. However, this maze shouldn’t be left for me to figure out. Unfortunately, I am in it, and I have to find my way out one way or another. What’s the point of taking Kace from me? He was safe and in good hands. Now he is worse off with people who are abusing him. He didn’t ask for this—I didn’t either. He deserves so much better. Again, what is the point of it all? What’s the point of making me suffer? Do you get a kick out of it? What are you trying to accomplish? I am trying to understand; what is the point of it all? What is the point? I don’t know why I am here.
Charlena E. Jackson (Pinwheels and Dandelions)
You’re all I want, Jane.” As he stroked her, he used his other hand to brush hers away so he could unfasten his own trouser buttons. “The only woman I ever cared about.” “You’re the only man Iever cared about.” She undulated against his fingers, begging for him with her body. “Why do you think…I waited for you so long?” “Not long enough, apparently,” he muttered, “or you wouldn’t have gotten yourself engaged to Blakeborough.” He tugged at her nipple with his teeth, then relished her cry of pleasure. “I only…did it because I was…tired of waiting.” She arched against his mouth. “Because you clearly weren’t…coming back for me.” “I was sure you hated me.” At last he got his trousers open. “You acted like you hated me still.” “I did.” Her breath was unsteady. “But only because…you tore us apart.” He shifted her to sit astride him. “And now?” Flashing him a provocative smile he would never have dreamed she had in her repertoire, she unbuttoned his drawers. “Do I look like I hate you?” His cock, so hard he thought it might erupt right there and embarrass him, sprang free. “You look like…like…” He paused to take in her lovely face with its flushed cheeks, sparkling eyes, and lush lips. Then he swept his gaze down to her breasts with their brazen tips, displayed so enticingly above the boned corset and her undone shift. He then dropped his eyes to the smooth thighs emerging from beneath her bunched-up skirts. Shoving the fabric higher, he exposed her dewy thatch of curls, and a shudder of anticipation shook him. “You look like an angel.” She uttered a breathy laugh. “A wanton, more like.” Taking his cock in her hand, she stroked it so wonderfully that he groaned. “Would an angel do this?” His cock was a rod of iron. “Jane…” He covered her hand to stay it, but she ignored his attempt. “I love it when you can’t control yourself,” she whispered. “I love having you at my mercy. You have no idea…how much I enjoy seeing Dom the Almighty brought low.” He barely registered her words. What she was doing felt so good. So bloody damned good. If she stroked him much more… “I want to be inside you.” He gripped her wrist. “Please, Jane…” Her sensuous smile faltered. “You’ve never said ‘please’ to me before. Not in your whole life.” “Really?” Had he only ever issued orders? If so, no wonder she’d refused him last night. Perhaps it was time to show her she didn’t have to seduce him to gain control. That he could give up his control freely…to her, at least. “Then let me say it now. Please, Jane, make love to me. If you don’t mind.” She stared at him. “I…I don’t know what you mean.” He nodded to his cock, which looked downright ecstatic over the idea. “Get up on your knees and fit me inside you.” Realizing he’d just issued yet another order, he added, “Please. If you want.” Jane got that sultry look on her face again. Like the little seductress she was rapidly showing herself to be, she rose up and then came down on him. By degrees. Very slow degrees. He had trouble breathing. “Am I hurting you?” Her smile broadened as she shimmied down another inch. “Not really.” Stifling a curse, he clutched her arms. “You just…enjoy torturing me.” “Absolutely,” she said and moved his hands to cover her breasts. He was more than happy to oblige her unspoken request, happy to thumb her nipples and watch as her lovely mouth fell open and a moan of pure pleasure escaped her. His cock swelled, and he thrust up involuntarily. “Please…” he said hoarsely. “Please, Jane…” With a choked laugh, she sheathed herself on him. Then her eyes went wide. “Oh, that feels amazing.” “It would feel more amazing if you…would move,” he rasped, though the mere sensation of being buried inside her was making him insane. When she arched an eyebrow, he added, “Please.” “I could get to like this,” she said teasingly. “The begging.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))