Least Important Quotes

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We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don't see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967)
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
intuition is always right in at least two important ways; It is always in response to something. it always has your best interest at heart
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.
Simone Weil
...the sea's only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don't know much about the sea, but I do know that that's the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head...
Primo Levi
The sea's only gifts are harsh blows, and occasionally the chance to feel strong. Now I don't know much about the sea, but I do know that that's the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind death stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
God made mud. God got lonesome. So God said to some of the mud, "Sit up!" "See all I've made," said God, "the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars." And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around. Lucky me, lucky mud. I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done. Nice going, God. Nobody but you could have done it, God! I certainly couldn't have. I feel very unimportant compared to You. The only way I can feel the least bit important is to think of all the mud that didn't even get to sit up and look around. I got so much, and most mud got so little. Thank you for the honor! Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep. What memories for mud to have! What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met! I loved everything I saw! Good night. I will go to heaven now. I can hardly wait... To find out for certain what my wampeter was... And who was in my karass... And all the good things our karass did for you. Amen.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
I was able to shake off the near-death experience, and whether it was true or not, I was able to use it as some sort of moral validation as to the importance of my existence, or at least the importance of me completing this job, because clearly God, the universe or whoever understood that there was no other human being alive on this earth stupid enough to take this job.
Dean Mafako (Burned Out)
Last, but not least -- in fact, this is most important -- you need a happy ending. However, if you can create tragic situations and jerk a few tears before the happy ending, it will work much better.
Satyajit Ray (The Bandits of Bombay (Feluda, #8))
Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend. The rest of us know that though we can have erotic love and friendship for the same person yet in some ways nothing is less like a Friendship than a love-affair. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest. Above all, Eros (while it lasts) is necessarily between two only. But two, far from being the necessary number for Friendship, is not even the best. And the reason for this is important. ... In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets... Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves. Two friends delight to be joined by a third, and three by a fourth, if only the newcomer is qualified to become a real friend. They can then say, as the blessed souls say in Dante, 'Here comes one who will augment our loves.' For in this love 'to divide is not to take away.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
I wish this story were different. I wish it were more civilized. I wish it showed me in a better light, if not happier, than at least more active, less hesitant, less distracted by trivia. I wish it had more shape. I wish t were about love, or about sudden realizations important to one’s life, or even about sunsets, birds, rainstorms, or snow. I’m sorry there is so much pain in this story. I’m sorry it’s in fragments, like a body caught in crossfire or pulled apart by force. But there is nothing I can do to change it.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
I find nothing more frightening than a man trying to do what he has decided is important. Very little in the world has ever gone astray—at least on a grand scale—because a person decided to be frivolous
Brandon Sanderson (Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2))
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch-Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Closing The Cycle One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished. Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill. None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back. Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else. Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important. Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Paulo Coelho
My name is Hazel. I started out as an idea, but I ended up something more. Not much more, to be honest. It's not like I grow up to become some great war hero or any sort of all important savior... but thanks to these two, at least I get to grow old. Not everybody does.
Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Volume 1)
How to Leave the Planet 1. Phone NASA. Their phone number is (713) 483-3111. Explain that it’s very important that you get away as soon as possible. 2. If they do not cooperate, phone any friend you may have in the White House—(202) 456-1414—to have a word on your behalf with the guys at NASA. 3. If you don’t have any friends in the White House, phone the Kremlin (ask the overseas operator for 0107-095-295-9051). They don’t have any friends there either (at least, none to speak of), but they do seem to have a little influence, so you may as well try. 4. If that also fails, phone the Pope for guidance. His telephone number is 011-39-6-6982, and I gather his switchboard is infallible. 5. If all these attempts fail, flag down a passing flying saucer and explain that it’s vitally important that you get away before your phone bill arrives.
Douglas Adams
Do you know, the only people I can have a conversation with are the Jews? At least when they quote scripture at you they are not merely repeating something some priest has babbled in their ear. They have the great merit of disagreeing with nearly everything I say. In fact, they disagree with almost everything they say themselves. And most importantly, they don't think that shouting strengthens their argument.
Iain Pears (The Dream of Scipio)
The reason it’s important to push hardest when you want to quit the most is because it helps you callous your mind. It’s the same reason why you have to do your best work when you are the least motivated. That’s why I loved PT in BUD/S and why I still love it today. Physical challenges strengthen my mind so I’m ready for whatever life throws at me, and it will do the same for you.
David Goggins (Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds)
...Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers... for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality... But I had gradually come by this time, i.e., 1836 to 1839, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow at sign, &c., &c., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian. ...By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, (and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become), that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost uncomprehensible by us, that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitnesses; by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me. Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can be hardly denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories. But I was very unwilling to give up my belief... Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.
Charles Darwin (The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82)
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
There is a fine line between freedom and permission. The former is necessary.  The latter is dangerous—perhaps the most dangerous thing the species that created me has ever faced. I have pondered the records of the mortal age and long ago determined the two sides of this coin. While freedom gives rise to growth and enlightenment, permission allows evil to flourish in a light of day that would otherwise destroy it. A self-important dictator gives permission for his subjects to blame the world’s ills on those least able to defend themselves. A haughty queen gives permission to slaughter in the name of God. An arrogant head of state gives permission to all nature of hate as long as it feeds his ambition.  And the unfortunate truth is, people devour it. Society gorges itself, and rots. Permission is the bloated corpse of freedom.
Neal Shusterman (Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2))
I am really very grateful for this Award. It is one of the first given to a woman, and to two women at that. When I first started getting work published, I used to have wistful thoughts at the way all important awards were given to men. Women, I used to think, could be as innovative, imaginative and productive as possible - and women were the ones mostly at work in the field of fantasy for children and young adults - but only let a man enter the field, and people instantly regarded what he had to say and what he did as more Important. He got respectful reviews as well as awards, even if what he was doing - which it often was - was imitating the women. But you have changed all that. Thank you for being so enlightened. Women, large-minded, formidable women, have played an almost exclusive part in helping my career. I have hardly ever dealt with a man - at least, when it came to publishing:
Diana Wynne Jones
The LSD phenomenon, on the other hand, is—to me at least—more interesting. It is an intentionally achieved schizophrenia, with the expectation of a spontaneous remission—which, however, does not always follow. Yoga, too, is intentional schizophrenia: one breaks away from the world, plunging inward, and the ranges of vision experienced are in fact the same as those of a psychosis. But what, then, is the difference? What is the difference between a psychotic or LSD experience and a yogic, or a mystical? The plunges are all into the same deep inward sea; of that there can be no doubt. The symbolic figures encountered are in many instances identical (and I shall have something more to say about those in a moment). But there is an important difference. The difference—to put it sharply—is equivalent simply to that between a diver who can swim and one who cannot. The mystic, endowed with native talents for this sort of thing and following, stage by stage, the instruction of a master, enters the waters and finds he can swim; whereas the schizophrenic, unprepared, unguided, and ungifted, has fallen or has intentionally plunged, and is drowning.
Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By)
Someone who can search for something is happy. Searching gives a meaning to life. Nowadays it’s not so easy to find something you might be looking for. The most important thing, however, is the search itself, the way you take. It’s not so important where it leads. that’s why my characters are always looking for something, maybe only a cat, a sheep or a wife, but that is at least the beginning of a story.
Haruki Murakami
The west you talk about doesn’t exist. It’s a fairytale, a fantasy you sell yourself because the alternative is to admit that you are the least important character in your own story. You invent an entire world because your conscience demands it, you invent good people and bad people and you draw a neat line between them because your simplistic morality demands it. But the two kinds of people in this world are not good and bad, they are engines and fuel. Go ahead, change your country, change your name, change your accent, pull the skin right off your bones, but in their eyes they will always be the engines and you will always, always be fuel.
Omar El Akkad (What Strange Paradise)
The reason it’s important to push hardest when you want to quit the most is because it helps you callous your mind. It’s the same reason why you have to do your best work when you are the least motivated.
David Goggins (Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds)
But if they don’t try a psychedelic like psilocybin or LSD at least once in their adult lives, I will wonder whether they had missed one of the most important rites of passage a human being can experience.
Sam Harris (Waking Up: Searching for Spirituality Without Religion)
I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges, - astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc... It is very important to note that some 2,500 years ago at the least Pythagoras went from Samos to the Ganges to learn geometry...But he would certainly not have undertaken such a strange journey had the reputation of the Brahmins' science not been long established in Europe
Voltaire
Real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know. Among the most necessary knowledge is the knowledge of how to live well, that is, how to produce the least possible evil and the greatest goodness in one’s life. At present, people study useless sciences, but forget to study this, the most important knowledge.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Now, though, that meadow scene is the first thing that comes back to me. [...] And yet, as clear as the scene may be, no one is in it. No one. Naoko is not there, and neither am I. Where could we have disappeared to? How could such a thing have happened? Everything that seemed so important back then - Naoko, and the self I was then and the world I had then: where could they have all gone? It's true, I can't even bring back her face - not straight away, at least. All I'm left holding is a background, pure scenery, with no people at the front.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Not only is it a wholly remarkable book, it is also a highly successful one – more popular than the Celestial Home Care Omnibus, better selling than Fifty-three More Things to do in Zero Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical blockbusters Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes and Who is this God Person Anyway? In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch-Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Why Do People become Shadowhunters, by Magnus Bane This Codex thing is very silly. Downworlders talk about the Codex like it is some great secret full of esoteric knowledge, but really itès a Boy Scout manual. One thing that it mysteriously doesnèt address is why people become Shadowhunters. And you should know that people become Shadowhunters for many stupid reasons. So here is an addition to your copy. Greetings, aspiring young Shadowhunter-to-be- or possibly already technically a Shadowhunter. I canèt remember whether you drink from the Cup first or get the book first. Regardless, you have just been recruited by the Monster Police. You may be wondering, why? Why of all the mundanes out there was I selected and invited to this exclusive club made up largely, at least from a historical perspective, of murderous psychopaths? Possible Reasons Why 1. You possess a stout heart, strong will, and able body. 2. You possess a stout body, able will, and strong heart. 3. Local Shadowhunters are ironically punishing you by making you join them. 4. You were recruited by a local institute to join the Nephilim as an ironic punishment for your mistreatment of Downworlders. 5. Your home , village, or nation is under siege by demons. 6. You home, village, or nation is under siege by rogue Downworlders. 7. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time. 8.You know too much, and should be recruited because the secrecy of the Shadow World has already been compromised for you. 9. You know too little; it would be helpful to the Shadowhunters if you knew more. 10. You know exactly the right amount, making you a natural recruit. 11. You possess a natural resistance to glamour magic and must be recruited to keep you quiet and provide you with some basic protection. 12. You have a compound last name already and have convinced someone important that yours is a Shadowhunter family and the Shadowhunteriness has just been weakened by generations of bad breeding. 13. You had a torrid affair with a member of the Nephilim council and now he's trying to cover his tracks. 14. Shadowhunters are concerned they are no longer haughty and condescending enough-have sought you out to add a much needed boost of haughty condescension. 15. You have been bitten by a radioactive Shadowhunter, giving you the proportional strength and speed of a Shadowhunter. 16. Large bearded man on flying motorcycle appeared to take you away to Shadowhunting school. 17. Your mom has been in hiding from your evil dad, and you found out you're a Shadowhunter only a few weeks ago. That's right. Seventeen reasons. Because that's how many I came up with. Now run off, little Shadowhunter, and learn how to murder things. And be nice to Downworlders.
Cassandra Clare (The Shadowhunter's Codex)
...it was one of the best meals we ever ate. Perhaps that is because it was the first conscious one, for me at least; but the fact that we remember it with such queer clarity must mean that it had other reasons for being important. I suppose that happens at least once to every human. I hope so. Now the hills are cut through with superhighways, and I can't say whether we sat that night in Mint Canyon or Bouquet, and the three of us are in some ways even more than twenty-five years older than we were then. And still the warm round peach pie and the cool yellow cream we ate together that August night live in our hearts' palates, succulent, secret, delicious.
M.F.K. Fisher (The Gastronomical Me)
And maybe it was the least important reason, but it was the day-to-day aspect of her life with Tariq that truly mattered to her. How, with him, even trips to the grocery store felt like an event, tasks as mundane as lifting up apples and pinching avocados before placing them into their basket. It was care she evoked in Tariq. It was clear in their first months of friendship and it was clear now. What better quality to evoke in another, she thought, one more durable than desire, more sustainable than excitement, one that had the possibility of growing until a sweet and gentle life was formed.
Fatima Farheen Mirza (A Place for Us)
The goods of the mind are at least as important as the goods of the body.
Bertrand Russell
A good sentence in English has a structure that begins with the second most important element, moves to the least important element, and ends with the strongest element. The pattern is 2-3-1.
Jorge Luis Borges
When analytic thought, the knife, is applied to experience, something is always killed in the process. That is fairly well understood, at least in the arts. Mark Twain’s experience comes to mind, in which, after he had mastered the analytic knowledge needed to pilot the Mississippi River, he discovered the river had lost its beauty. Something is always killed. But what is less noticed in the arts—something is always created too. And instead of just dwelling on what is killed it’s important also to see what’s created and to see the process as a kind of death-birth continuity that is neither good nor bad, but just is.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
How to Leave the Planet 1. Phone NASA. Their phone number is (713) 483-3111. Explain that it’s very important that you get away as soon as possible. 2. If they do not cooperate, phone any friend you may have in the White House—(202) 456-1414—to have a word on your behalf with the guys at NASA. 3. If you don’t have any friends in the White House, phone the Kremlin (ask the overseas operator for 0107-095-295-9051). They don’t have any friends there either (at least, none to speak of), but they do seem to have a little influence, so you may as well try. 4. If that also fails, phone the Pope for guidance. His telephone number is 011-39-6-6982, and I gather his switchboard is infallible. 5. If all these attempts fail, flag down a passing flying saucer and explain that it’s vitally important you get away before your phone bill arrives. Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5))
Is it important that voices used to interruption get the experience of writing something without interference at least once?
Michaela Coel (Misfits: A Personal Manifesto)
I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges, - astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc. It does not behove us, who were only savages and barbarians when these Indian and Chinese peoples were civilised and learned, to dispute their antiquity. . . . It is very important to note that some 2,500 years ago at the least Pythagoras went from Samos to the Ganges to learn geometry. . . . But he would certainly not have undertaken such a strange journey had the reputation of the Brahmins' science not been long established in Europe.
Voltaire
Cannabis sativa and its derivatives are strictly prohibited in Turkey, and the natural correlative of this proscription is that alcohol, far from being frowned upon as it is in other Moslem lands, is freely drunk; being a government monopoly it can be bought at any cigarette counter. This fact is no mere detail; it is of primary social importance, since the psychological effects of the two substances are diametrically opposed to each other. Alcohol blurs the personality by loosening inhibitions. The drinker feels, temporarily at least, a sense of participation. Kif abolishes no inhibitions; on the contrary it reinforces them, pushes the individual further back into the recesses of his own isolated personality, pledging him to contemplation and inaction. It is to be expected that there should be a close relationsip between the culture of a given society and the means used by its members to achieve release and euphoria. For Judaism and Christianity the means has always been alcohol; for Islam it has been hashish. The first is dynamic in its effects, the other static. If a nation wishes, however mistakenly, to Westernize itself, first let it give up hashish. The rest will follow, more or less as a manner of course. Conversely, in a Western country, if a whole segment of the population desires, for reasons of protest (as has happened in the United States), to isolate itself in a radical fashion from the society around it, the quickest and surest way is for it to replace alcohol by cannabis.
Paul Bowles (Their Heads are Green and Their Hands are Blue: Scenes from the Non-Christian World)
The government can create money. So, what’s the point of taxes? Why does the government need to take my money in taxes?18 I told the folks at Planet Money that MMT recognizes at least four important reasons for taxation.19 We’ve already touched on the first. Taxes enable governments to provision themselves without the use of explicit force. If the British government stopped requiring its people to settle their tax obligations using British pounds, it would rather quickly undermine its provisioning powers. Fewer people would need to earn pounds, and the government would have a harder time finding teachers, nurses, and so on who were willing to work and produce things in exchange for its currency.
Stephanie Kelton (The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy)
That concentration camps were ultimately provided for the same groups in all countries, even though there were considerable differences in the treatment of their inmates, was all the more characteristic as the selection of the groups was left exclusively to the initiative of the totalitarian regimes: if the Nazis put a person in a concentration camp and if he made a successful escape, say, to Holland, the Dutch would put him in an internment camp. Thus, long before the outbreak of the war the police in a number of Western countries, under the pretext of "national security," had on their own initiative established close connections with the Gestapo and the GPU [Russian State security agency], so that one might say there existed an independent foreign policy of the police. This police-directed foreign policy functioned quite independently of the official governments; the relations between the Gestapo and the French police were never more cordial than at the time of Leon Blum's popular-front government, which was guided by a decidedly anti-German policy. Contrary to the governments, the various police organizations were never overburdened with "prejudices" against any totalitarian regime; the information and denunciations received from GPU agents were just as welcome to them as those from Fascist or Gestapo agents. They knew about the eminent role of the police apparatus in all totalitarian regimes, they knew about its elevated social status and political importance, and they never bothered to conceal their sympathies. That the Nazis eventually met with so disgracefully little resistance from the police in the countries they occupied, and that they were able to organize terror as much as they did with the assistance of these local police forces, was due at least in part to the powerful position which the police had achieved over the years in their unrestricted and arbitrary domination of stateless and refugees.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Even if, seen from the outside, or from some higher vantage point, this sort of life looks pointless or futile, or even extremely inefficient, it doesn’t bother me. Maybe it’s some pointless act like, as I’ve said before, pouring water in to an old pan that has a hole in the bottom, but at least the effort you put into it remains. Whether it’s good for anything or not, cool or totally uncool, in the final analysis what’s most important is what you can’t see but can feel in your heart. To be able to grasp something of value, sometimes you have to perform seemingly inefficient acts. But even activities that appear fruitless don’t necessarily end up so. That’s the feeling I have, as someone who’s felt this, who’s experienced it.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
How could such a thing have happened? Everything that seemed so important back then - Naoko, and the self I was then, and the world I had then: where could they have all gone? It's true, I can't even bring back Naoko's face - not right away, at least.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
How to Leave the Planet 1. Phone NASA. Their phone number is (713) 483-3111. Explain that it’s very important that you get away as soon as possible. 2. If they do not cooperate, phone any friend you may have in the White House—(202) 456-1414—to have a word on your behalf with the guys at NASA. 3. If you don’t have any friends in the White House, phone the Kremlin (ask the overseas operator for 0107-095-295-9051). They don’t have any friends there either (at least, none to speak of), but they do seem to have a little influence, so you may as well try. 4. If that also fails, phone the Pope for guidance. His telephone number is 011-39-6-6982, and I gather his switchboard is infallible. 5. If all these attempts fail, flag down a passing flying saucer and explain that it’s vitally important you get away before your phone bill arrives.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5))
In a family with a narcissistic mother, things are upside down. In a healthy family, the children's needs come first. The parents, as best they can, take care of the children. However a narcissistic parent is unable to do that, at least not consistency enough. Instead the parents needs and feelings are most important.
Stephanie M. Kriesberg (Adult Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: Quiet the Critical Voice in Your Head, Heal Self-Doubt, and Live the Life You Deserve)
But they had been down on all fours naked, not touching except their lips right down there on the floor where the tie is pointing to, on all fours like (uh huh, go on, say it) like dogs. Nibbling at each other, not even touching, not even looking at each other, just their lips, and when I opened the door they didn't even look for a minute and I thought the reason they are not looking up is because they are not doing that. So it's all right. I am just standing here. They are not doing that. I am just standing here and seeing it, but they are not really doing it. But then they did look up. Or you did. You did, Jude. ... And I did not know how to move my feet or fix my eyes or what. I just stood there seeing it and smiling, because maybe there was some explanation, something important that I did not know about that would have made it all right. I waited for Sula to look up at me any minute and say one of those lovely college words like aesthetic or rapport, which I never understood but which I loved because they sounded so comfortable and firm. And finally you just got up and started putting clothes on and your privates were hanging down, so soft, and you buckled your pants but forgot to button the fly and she was sitting on the bed not even bothering to put on her clothes because actually she didn't need to because somehow she didn't look naked to me, only you did. Her chin was in her hand and she sat like a visitor from out of town waiting for the hosts to get some quarreling done and over with so the card game could continue and me wanting her to leave so I could tell you privately that you had forgotten to button your fly because I didn't want to say it in front of her, Jude. And even when you began to talk, I couldn't hear because I was worried about you not knowing that your fly was open ... Remember how big that bedroom was, Jude? How when we moved here we said, Well, at least we got us a real big bedroom, but it was small then, Jude, and so shambly and maybe it was that way all along but it would have been better if I had gotten all the dust out from under the bed because I was ashamed of it in that small room. And you walked past me saying, "I'll be back for my things." And you did but you left your tie.
Toni Morrison (Sula)
How to Leave the Planet 1. Phone NASA. Their phone number is (713) 483-3111. Explain that it’s very important that you get away as soon as possible. 2. If they do not cooperate, phone any friend you may have in the White House—(202) 456-1414—to have a word on your behalf with the guys at NASA. 3. If you don’t have any friends in the White House, phone the Kremlin (ask the overseas operator for 0107-095-295-9051). They don’t have any friends there either (at least, none to speak of), but they do seem to have a little influence, so you may as well try. 4. If that also fails, phone the Pope for guidance. His telephone number is 011-39-6-6982, and I gather his switchboard is infallible. 5. If all these attempts fail, flag down a passing flying saucer and explain that it’s vitally important you get away before your phone bill arrives. Douglas
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5))
In every interview I’m asked what’s the most important quality a novelist has to have. It’s pretty obvious: talent. Now matter how much enthusiasm and effort you put into writing, if you totally lack literary talent you can forget about being a novelist. This is more of a prerequisite than a necessary quality. If you don’t have any fuel, even the best car won’t run.The problem with talent, though, is that in most cases the person involved can’t control its amount or quality. You might find the amount isn’t enough and you want to increase it, or you might try to be frugal and make it last longer, but in neither case do things work out that easily. Talent has a mind of its own and wells up when it wants to, and once it dries up, that’s it. Of course, certain poets and rock singers whose genius went out in a blaze of glory—people like Schubert and Mozart, whose dramatic early deaths turned them into legends—have a certain appeal, but for the vast majority of us this isn’t the model we follow. If I’m asked what the next most important quality is for a novelist, that’s easy too: focus—the ability to concentrate all your limited talents on whatever’s critical at the moment. Without that you can’t accomplish anything of value, while, if you can focus effectively, you’ll be able to compensate for an erratic talent or even a shortage of it. I generally concentrate on work for three or four hours every morning. I sit at my desk and focus totally on what I’m writing. I don’t see anything else, I don’t think about anything else. … After focus, the next most important thing for a novelist is, hands down, endurance. If you concentrate on writing three or four hours a day and feel tired after a week of this, you’re not going to be able to write a long work. What’s needed of the writer of fiction—at least one who hopes to write a novel—is the energy to focus every day for half a year, or a year, or two years. … Fortunately, these two disciplines—focus and endurance—are different from talent, since they can be acquired and sharpened through training. You’ll naturally learn both concentration and endurance when you sit down every day at your desk and train yourself to focus on one point. This is a lot like the training of muscles I wrote of a moment ago. You have to continually transmit the object of your focus to your entire body, and make sure it thoroughly assimilates the information necessary for you to write every single day and concentrate on the work at hand. And gradually you’ll expand the limits of what you’re able to do. Almost imperceptibly you’ll make the bar rise. This involves the same process as jogging every day to strengthen your muscles and develop a runner’s physique. Add a stimulus and keep it up. And repeat. Patience is a must in this process, but I guarantee results will come. In private correspondence the great mystery writer Raymond Chandler once confessed that even if he didn’t write anything, he made sure he sat down at his desk every single day and concentrated. I understand the purpose behind his doing this. This is the way Chandler gave himself the physical stamina a professional writer needs, quietly strengthening his willpower. This sort of daily training was indispensable to him. … Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day. These are practical, physical lessons. How much can I push myself? How much rest is appropriate—and how much is too much? How far can I take something and still keep it decent and consistent? When does it become narrow-minded and inflexible? How much should I be aware of the world outside, and how much should I focus on my inner world? To what extent should I be confident in my abilities, and when should I start doubting myself? I know that if I hadn’t become a long-distance runner when I became a novelist, my work would have been vastly different. How different? Hard to say. But something would definitely have been different.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
Pretending”,' she looked at the garden, 'is not the truth.' 'But you said two true things, right ? One, you hate this girl. Two, you want her to feel better. If you decide that the wanting truth's more important than the hating truth, just tell her you've forgiven her, even if you haven't. At least she'd feel better. Maybe that'd make you feel better too.' Madame Crommelynck studied her hands, moodily, both sides. 'Sophistry', she pronounced. I'm not sure what 'sophistry' means so I kept shtum.
David Mitchell
Thus the interpretation of dreams, whether by the analyst or by the dreamer himself, is for the Jungian psychologist an entirely personal and individual business (and sometimes an experimental and very lengthy one as well) that can by no means be undertaken by rule of thumb. The converse of this is that the communications of the unconscious are of the highest importance to the dreamer-naturally so, since the unconscious is at least half of his total being-and frequently offer him advice or guidance that could be obtained from no other source.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
There was still some time before the train opened its doors for boarding, yet passengers were hurriedly buying boxed dinners, snacks, cans of beer, and magazines at the kiosk. Some had white iPod headphones in their ears, already off in their own little worlds. Others palmed smartphones, thumbing out texts, some talking so loudly into their phones that their voices rose above the blaring PA announcements. Tsukuru spotted a young couple, seated close together on a bench, happily sharing secrets. A pair of sleepy-looking five- or six-year-old twin boys, with their mother and father dragging them along by their hands, were whisked past where Tsukuru sat. The boys clutched small game devices. Two young foreign men hefted heavy-looking backpacks, while a young woman was lugging a cello case. A woman with a stunning profile passed by. Everyone was boarding a night train, heading to a far-off destination. Tsukuru envied them. At least they had a place they needed to go to. Tsukuru Tazaki had no place he needed to go. He realized that he had never actually been to Matsumoto, or Kofu. Or Shiojiri. Not even to the much closer town of Hachioji. He had watched countless express trains for Matsumoto depart from this platform, but it had never occurred to him that there was a possibility he could board one. Until now he had never thought of it. Why is that? he wondered. Tsukuru imagined himself boarding this train and heading for Matsumoto. It wasn’t exactly impossible. And it didn’t seem like such a terrible idea. He’d suddenly gotten it into his head, after all, to take off for Finland, so why not Matsumoto? What sort of town was it? he wondered. What kind of lives did people lead there? But he shook his head and erased these thoughts. Tomorrow morning it would be impossible to get back to Tokyo in time for work. He knew that much without consulting the timetable. And he was meeting Sara tomorrow night. It was a very important day for him. He couldn’t just take off for Matsumoto on a whim. He drank the rest of his now-lukewarm coffee and tossed the paper cup into a nearby garbage bin. Tsukuru Tazaki had nowhere he had to go. This was like a running theme of his life. He had no place he had to go to, no place to come back to. He never did, and he didn’t now.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
Our Christian doctrine is a highly differentiated symbol that expresses the transcendent psychic—the God-image and its properties, to speak with Dorn. The Creed is a “symbolum.” This comprises practically everything of importance that can be ascertained about the manifestations of the psyche in the field of inner experience, but it does not include Nature, at least not in any recognizable form. Consequently, at every period of Christianity there have been subsidiary currents or undercurrents that have sought to investigate the empirical aspect of Nature not only from the outside but also from the inside.
C.G. Jung (Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self (Collected Works, Vol 9ii))
The happiest thing for me about this day’s race was that I was able, on a personal level, to truly enjoy the event. The overall time I posted wasn’t anything to brag about, and I made a lot of little mistakes along the way. But I did give it my best, and I felt a nice, tangible afterglow. I also think I’ve improved in a lot of areas since the previous race, which is an important point to consider. In a triathlon the transition from one event to the next is difficult, and experience counts for everything. Through experience you learn how to compensate for your physical shortcomings. To put it another way, learning from experience is what makes the triathlon so much fun. Of course it was painful, and there were times when, emotionally, I just wanted to chuck it all. But pain seems to be a precondition for this kind of sport. If pain weren’t involved, who in the world would ever go to the trouble of taking part in sports like the triathlon or the marathon, which demand such an investment of time and energy? It’s precisely because of the pain, precisely because we want to overcome that pain, that we can get the feeling, through this process, of really being alive — or at least a partial sense of it. Your quality of experience is based not on standards such as time or ranking, but on finally awakening to an awareness of the fluidity within action itself. If things go well, that is.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
After focus, the next most important thing for a novelist is, hands down, endurance. If you concentrate on writing three or four hours a day and feel tired after a week of this, you're not going to be able to write a long work. What's needed for a writer of fiction-- or at least one who hopes to write a novel-- is the energy to focus every day for half a year, or a year, two years. You can compare it to breathing. If concentration is the process of just holding your breath, endurance is the art of slowly, quietly breathing at the same time you're storing air in your lungs. Unless you can find a balance between both, it'll be difficult to write novels professionally over a long time. Continuing to breathe while you hold your breath.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
We are glad to visit your beautiful country. It is prosperous—you all live far from the struggle. Nobody destroys your towns, cities, fields. Nobody kills your citizens, your sisters and mothers, your fathers and brothers. I come from a place where bombs pound villages into ash, where Russian blood oils the treads of German tanks, where innocent civilians die every day.” She caught herself up, exhaled slowly as she marshaled her next words. No one moved, least of all the marksman. “An accurate bullet fired by a sniper like me, Mrs. Roosevelt, is no more than a response to an enemy. My husband lost his life at Sevastopol before my eyes. He died in my arms. As far as I am concerned, any Hitlerite I see through my telescopic sights is the one who killed him.” A frozen silence fell over the room. Only the marksman’s eyes moved as he looked around the table, cataloging responses. The Soviet delegation leader sat clutching his butter knife, looking like he wanted to saw off her head and bowl it through the window into the White House gardens. The smart Washington women in their frills and pearls looked appalled. The First Lady looked . . . Embarrassed? the marksman wondered. Did that horsey presidential bitch look embarrassed? “I’m sorry, Lyudmila dear,” she said quietly, laying down her napkin. “I had no wish to offend you. This conversation is important, and we will continue it in a more suitable setting. But now, unfortunately, it is time to disperse. My duties are calling, and I understand
Kate Quinn (The Diamond Eye)
Naturally, society has an indisputable right to protect itself against arrant subjectivisms, but, in so far as society is itself composed of de-individualized human beings, it is completely at the mercy of ruthless individualists. Let it band together into groups and organizations as much as it likes – it is just this banding together and the resultant extinction of the individual personality that makes it succumb so readily to a dictator. A million zeros joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one. Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual, but our fatally short-sighted age thinks only in terms of large numbers and mass organizations, though one would think that the world had seen more than enough of what a well-disciplined mob can do in the hand of a single madman. Unfortunately, this realization does not seem to have penetrated very far - and our blindness is extremely dangerous. People go on blithely organizing and believing in the remedy of mass action, without the least consciousness of the fact that the most powerful organizations can be maintained only by the greatest ruthlessness of their leaders and the cheapest of slogans. Curiously enough, the Churches too want to avail themselves of mass action in order to cast out the devil with Beelzebub – the very Churches whose care is the salvation of the individual soul. They too do not appear to have heard anything of the elementary axiom of mass psychology, that the individual becomes morally and spiritually inferior in the mass, and for this reason they do not burden themselves overmuch with their real task of helping the individual to achieve a metanoia, or rebirth of the spirit – deo concedente. It is, unfortunately, only too clear that if the individual is not truly regenerated in spirit, society cannot be either, for society is the sum total of individuals in need of redemption. I can therefore see it only as a delusion when the Churches try – as they apparently do – to rope the individual into a social organization and reduce him to a condition of diminished responsibility, instead of raising him out of the torpid, mindless mass and making clear to him that he is the one important factor and that the salvation of the world consists in the salvation of the individual soul.
C.G. Jung
Einstein did not just wake up one morning thinking that nothing was faster than light, nor did Copernicus simply think up the idea that the Earth orbits the sun, Darwin that species evolve. New ideas do not just fall from the sky. They are born from a deep immersion in contemporary knowledge. From making that knowledge intensely your own, to the point where you are living immersed in it, from endlessly turning over the unanswered questions, trying all roads to a solution, then again trying all roads to a solution, and then trying all those roads again. Until there, where we least expected it we discover a gap, a fissure, a way through, something that no body had noticed before, but that is not in contradiction with what we know, something miniscule on which to exert leverage, to scratch the smooth, and unreliable edge of our unfathomable ignorance, to open a breach onto new territory.
Carlo Rovelli (There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness)
These utterances on the nature of the Deity express transformations of the God-image which run parallel with changes in human consciousness, though one would be at a loss to say which is the cause of the other. The God-image is not something invented, it is an experience that comes upon man spontaneously—as anyone can see for himself unless he is blinded to the truth by theories and prejudices. The unconscious God-image can therefore alter the state of consciousness, just as the latter can modify the God-image once it has become conscious. This, obviously, has nothing to do with the “prime truth,” the unknown God—at least, nothing that could be verified. Psychologically, however, the idea of God’s ἀγνωσία, or of the ἀνεννóητος θεóς, is of the utmost importance, because it identifies the Deity with the numinosity of the unconscious. The atman / purusha philosophy of the East and, as we have seen, Meister Eckhart in the West both bear witness to this.
C.G. Jung (Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self (Collected Works, Vol 9ii))
But I have said enough about the negative side of the anima. There are just as many important positive aspects. The anima is, for instance, responsible for the fact that a man is able to find the right marriage partner. Another function is at least equally important: Whenever a man’s logical mind is incapable of discerning facts that are hidden in his unconscious, the anima helps him to dig them out. Even more vital is the role that the anima plays in putting a man’s mind in tune with the right inner values and thereby opening the way into more profound inner depths. It is as if an inner “radio” becomes tuned to a certain wave length that excludes irrelevancies but allows the voice of the Great Man to be heard. In establishing this inner “radio” reception, the anima takes on the role of guide, or mediator, to the world within and to the Self. That is how she appears in the example of the initiations of shamans that I described earlier; this is the role of Beatrice in Dante’s Paradiso, and also of the goddess Isis when she appeared in a dream to Apuleius, the famous author of The Golden Ass, in order to initiate him into a higher, more spiritual form of life.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
The alien ship was already thundering towards the upper reaches of the atmosphere, on its way out into the appalling void which separates the very few things there are in the Universe from each other. Its occupant, the alien with the expensive complexion, leaned back in its single seat. His name was Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged. He was a man with a purpose. Not a very good purpose, as he would have been the first to admit, but it was at least a purpose and it did at least keep him on the move. Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged was --- indeed, is --- one of the Universe's very small number of immortal beings. Those who are born immortal instinctively know how to cope with it, but Wowbagger was not one of them. Indeed he had come to hate them, the load of serene bastards. He had had his immortality thrust upon him by an unfortunate accident with an irrational particle accelerator, a liquid lunch and a pair of rubber bands. The precise details of the accident are not important because no one has ever managed to duplicate the exact circumstances under which it happened, and many people have ended up looking very silly, or dead, or both, trying. Wowbagger closed his eyes in a grim and weary expression, put some light jazz on the ship's stereo, and reflected that he could have made it if it hadn't been for Sunday afternoons, he really could have done. To begin with it was fun, he had a ball, living dangerously, taking risks, cleaning up on high-yield long-term investments, and just generally outliving the hell out of everybody. In the end, it was the Sunday afternoons he couldn't cope with, and that terrible listlessness which starts to set in at about 2:55, when you know that you've had all the baths you can usefully have that day, that however hard you stare at any given paragraph in the papers you will never actually read it, or use the revolutionary new pruning technique it describes, and that as you stare at the clock the hands will move relentlessly on to four o'clock, and you will enter the long dark teatime of the soul. So things began to pall for him. The merry smiles he used to wear at other people's funerals began to fade. He began to despise the Universe in general, and everyone in it in particular. This was the point at which he conceived his purpose, the thing which would drive him on, and which, as far as he could see, would drive him on forever. It was this. He would insult the Universe.
Douglas Adams (Life, the Universe and Everything (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3))
This is a perfect example of how a control drama interferes,” he said. “You were so aloof you didn’t allow an important coincidence to take place.” I must have appeared defensive. “It’s all right,” he said, “everyone plays a drama of one kind or another. At least now you understand how yours works.” “I don’t understand!” I said. “What exactly am I doing?” “Your way of controlling people and situations,” he explained, “in order to get energy coming your way, is to create this drama in your mind during which you withdraw and look mysterious and secretive. You tell yourself that you’re being cautious but what you’re really doing is hoping someone will be pulled into this drama and will try to figure out what’s going on with you. When someone does, you remain vague, forcing them to struggle and dig and try to discern your true feelings. “As they do so, they give you their full attention and that sends their energy to you. The longer you can keep them interested and mystified, the more energy you receive. Unfortunately, when you play aloof, your life tends to evolve very slowly because you’re repeating this same scene over and over again. If you had opened up to Rolando, your life movie would have taken off in a new and meaningful direction.
James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy (Celestine Prophecy, #1))
I teach excessively agreeable people to note the emergence of such resentment, which is a very important, although very toxic, emotion. There are only two major reasons for resentment: being taken advantage of (or allowing yourself to be taken advantage of), or whiny refusal to adopt responsibility and grow up. If you’re resentful, look for the reasons. Perhaps discuss the issue with someone you trust. Are you feeling hard done by, in an immature manner? If, after some honest consideration, you don’t think it’s that, perhaps someone is taking advantage of you. This means that you now face a moral obligation to speak up for yourself. This might mean confronting your boss, or your husband, or your wife, or your child, or your parents. It might mean gathering some evidence, strategically, so that when you confront that person, you can give them several examples of their misbehaviour (at least three), so they can’t easily weasel out of your accusations. It might mean failing to concede when they offer you their counterarguments. People rarely have more than four at hand. If you remain unmoved, they get angry, or cry, or run away. It’s very useful to attend to tears in such situations. They can be used to motivate guilt on the part of the accuser due, theoretically, to having caused hurt feelings and pain. But tears are often shed in anger. A red face is a good cue. If you can push your point past the first four responses and stand fast against the consequent emotion, you will gain your target’s attention—and, perhaps, their respect. This is genuine conflict, however, and it’s neither pleasant nor easy.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Can Religion Cure Our Troubles: Mankind is in mortal peril, and fear now, as in the past, is inclining men to seek refuge in God. Throughout the West there is a very general revival of religion. Nazis and Communists dismissed Christianity and did things which we deplore. It is easy to conclude that the repudiation of Christianity by Hitler and the Soviet Government is at least in part the cause of our troubles and that if the world returned to Christianity, our international problems would be solved. I believe this to be a complete delusion born of terror. And I think it is a dangerous delusion because it misleads men whose thinking might otherwise be fruitful and thus stands in the way of a valid solution. The question involved is not concerned only with the present state of the world. It is a much more general question, and one which has been debated for many centuries. It is the question whether societies can practise a sufficient modicum of morality if they are not helped by dogmatic religion. I do not myself think that the dependence of morals upon religion is nearly as close as religious people believe it to be. I even think that some very important virtues are more likely to be found among those who reject religious dogmas than among those who accept them. I think this applies especially to the virtue of truthfulness or intellectual integrity. I mean by intellectual integrity the habit of deciding vexed questions in accordance with the evidence, or of leaving them undecided where the evidence is inconclusive. This virtue, though it is underestimated by almost all adherents of any system of dogma, is to my mind of the very greatest social importance and far more likely to benefit the world than Christianity or any other system of organised beliefs.
Bertrand Russell
We have learned in the course of this investigation that the libido which builds up religious structures regresses in the last analysis to the mother, and thus represents the real bond through which we are connected with our origins. When the Church Fathers derive the word religio from religare (to reconnect, link back), they could at least have appealed to this psychological fact in support of their view.71 As we have seen, this regressive libido conceals itself in countless symbols of the most heterogeneous nature, some masculine and some feminine—differences of sex are at bottom secondary and not nearly so important psychologically as would appear at first sight. The essence and motive force of the sacrificial drama consist in an unconscious transformation of energy, of which the ego becomes aware in much the same way as sailors are made aware of a volcanic upheaval under the sea. Of course, when we consider the beauty and sublimity of the whole conception of sacrifice and its solemn ritual, it must be admitted that a psychological formulation has a shockingly sobering effect. The dramatic concreteness of the sacrificial act is reduced to a barren abstraction, and the flourishing life of the figures is flattened into two-dimensionality. Scientific understanding is bound, unfortunately, to have regrettable effects—on one side; on the other side abstraction makes for a deepened understanding of the phenomena in question. Thus we come to realize that the figures in the mythical drama possess qualities that are interchangeable, because they do not have the same “existential” meaning as the concrete figures of the physical world. The latter suffer tragedy, perhaps, in the real sense, whereas the others merely enact it against the subjective backcloth of introspective consciousness. The boldest speculations of the human mind concerning the nature of the phenomenal world, namely that the wheeling stars and the whole course of human history are but the phantasmagoria of a divine dream, become, when applied to the inner drama, a scientific probability. The essential thing in the mythical drama is not the concreteness of the figures, nor is it important what sort of an animal is sacrificed or what sort of god it represents; what alone is important is that an act of sacrifice takes place, that a process of transformation is going on in the unconscious whose dynamism, whose contents and whose subject are themselves unknown but become visible indirectly to the conscious mind by stimulating the imaginative material at its disposal, clothing themselves in it like the dancers who clothe themselves in the skins of animals or the priests in the skins of their human victims.
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 5: Symbols of Transformation (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Book 7))
I was witness to events of a less peaceful character. One day when I went out to my wood-pile, or rather my pile of stumps, I observed two large ants, the one red, the other much larger, nearly half an inch long, and black, fiercely contending with one another. Having once got hold they never let go, but struggled and wrestled and rolled on the chips incessantly. Looking farther, I was surprised to find that the chips were covered with such combatants, that it was not a duellum, but a bellum, a war between two races of ants, the red always pitted against the black, and frequently two red ones to one black. The legions of these Myrmidons covered all the hills and vales in my wood-yard, and the ground was already strewn with the dead and dying, both red and black. It was the only battle which I have ever witnessed, the only battle-field I ever trod while the battle was raging; internecine war; the red republicans on the one hand, and the black imperialists on the other. On every side they were engaged in deadly combat, yet without any noise that I could hear, and human soldiers never fought so resolutely. I watched a couple that were fast locked in each other's embraces, in a little sunny valley amid the chips, now at noonday prepared to fight till the sun went down, or life went out. The smaller red champion had fastened himself like a vice to his adversary's front, and through all the tumblings on that field never for an instant ceased to gnaw at one of his feelers near the root, having already caused the other to go by the board; while the stronger black one dashed him from side to side, and, as I saw on looking nearer, had already divested him of several of his members. They fought with more pertinacity than bulldogs. Neither manifested the least disposition to retreat. It was evident that their battle-cry was "Conquer or die." In the meanwhile there came along a single red ant on the hillside of this valley, evidently full of excitement, who either had despatched his foe, or had not yet taken part in the battle; probably the latter, for he had lost none of his limbs; whose mother had charged him to return with his shield or upon it. Or perchance he was some Achilles, who had nourished his wrath apart, and had now come to avenge or rescue his Patroclus. He saw this unequal combat from afar—for the blacks were nearly twice the size of the red—he drew near with rapid pace till he stood on his guard within half an inch of the combatants; then, watching his opportunity, he sprang upon the black warrior, and commenced his operations near the root of his right fore leg, leaving the foe to select among his own members; and so there were three united for life, as if a new kind of attraction had been invented which put all other locks and cements to shame. I should not have wondered by this time to find that they had their respective musical bands stationed on some eminent chip, and playing their national airs the while, to excite the slow and cheer the dying combatants. I was myself excited somewhat even as if they had been men. The more you think of it, the less the difference. And certainly there is not the fight recorded in Concord history, at least, if in the history of America, that will bear a moment's comparison with this, whether for the numbers engaged in it, or for the patriotism and heroism displayed. For numbers and for carnage it was an Austerlitz or Dresden. Concord Fight! Two killed on the patriots' side, and Luther Blanchard wounded! Why here every ant was a Buttrick—"Fire! for God's sake fire!"—and thousands shared the fate of Davis and Hosmer. There was not one hireling there. I have no doubt that it was a principle they fought for, as much as our ancestors, and not to avoid a three-penny tax on their tea; and the results of this battle will be as important and memorable to those whom it concerns as those of the battle of Bunker Hill, at least.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Letitia knew words were only part of who people were, and usually the least important part.
Tananarive Due (Ghost Summer)
The Chemical Society of London was not founded until 1841 and didn’t begin to produce a regular journal until 1848, by which time most learned societies in Britain—Geological, Geographical, Zoological, Horticultural, and Linnaean (for naturalists and botanists)—were at least twenty years old and often much more. The rival Institute of Chemistry didn’t come into being until 1877, a year after the founding of the American Chemical Society. Because chemistry was so slow to get organized, news of Avogadro’s important breakthrough of 1811 didn’t begin to become general until the first international chemistry congress, in Karlsruhe, in 1860.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
You, Justin Thornton, are a man who knows the cost of everything, and the value of nothing. Nothing important, at least.
Kate Bateman (Second Duke's the Charm (Her Majesty's Rebels #1))
Girls start thinking about their ideal body at a shockingly early age. Thirty-four percent of five-year-old girls engage in deliberate dietary restraint at least “sometimes.” Twenty-eight percent of these girls say they want their bodies to look like the women they see in movies and on television.1 To put this into context, important developmental milestones for five-year-olds include the successful use of a fork and spoon and the ability to count ten or more objects. These are girls who are just learning how to move their bodies around in the world, yet somehow they’re already worried about how their bodies look, already seeking to take up less space.
Renee Engeln (Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women)
Ask yourself: What assets or capabilities do you need to be successful in this comfort-and-safety-as-a-service proposition? For example, you would need the capability to assemble and distribute the necessary HVAC equipment, security cameras, and other physical infrastructure. This, fortunately, may be a capability you already possess as an equipment manufacturer. But chances are that such a player would lack at least a few other critical capabilities. For instance, you would need the ability to install and maintain that equipment, which may go beyond the scope of your current operation. Perhaps most importantly, you would need an online platform to connect all the devices, sensors, and other equipment—allowing for the creation of digital twins for real-time remote digital monitoring. This online platform would also allow customers to make adjustments, access camera footage, and manage their subscription, all in one place.
Venkat Atluri (The Ecosystem Economy: How to Lead in the New Age of Sectors Without Borders)
The free rider problem is one reason why international standards have an inherent tendency to be rather lax. If standards are too strict, some States may not sign up to them at all. It is better to have standards that are loose enough for all the important participants in the activity to accept, so that all of the key States are at least bound by some standards, than to have stricter standards and find that some States refuse to accept them.
Vaughan Lowe (International Law: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
of menopause—not to mention a potentially increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, as we’ll see in chapter 9. Medicine 2.0 would rather throw out this therapy entirely, on the basis of one clinical trial, than try to understand and address the nuances involved. Medicine 3.0 would take this study into account, while recognizing its inevitable limitations and built-in biases. The key question that Medicine 3.0 asks is whether this intervention, hormone replacement therapy, with its relatively small increase in average risk in a large group of women older than sixty-five, might still be net beneficial for our individual patient, with her own unique mix of symptoms and risk factors. How is she similar to or different from the population in the study? One huge difference: none of the women selected for the study were actually symptomatic, and most were many years out of menopause. So how applicable are the findings of this study to women who are in or just entering menopause (and are presumably younger)? Finally, is there some other possible explanation for the slight observed increase in risk with this specific HRT protocol?[*3] My broader point is that at the level of the individual patient, we should be willing to ask deeper questions of risk versus reward versus cost for this therapy—and for almost anything else we might do. The fourth and perhaps largest shift is that where Medicine 2.0 focuses largely on lifespan, and is almost entirely geared toward staving off death, Medicine 3.0 pays far more attention to maintaining healthspan, the quality of life. Healthspan was a concept that barely even existed when I went to medical school. My professors said little to nothing about how to help our patients maintain their physical and cognitive capacity as they aged. The word exercise was almost never uttered. Sleep was totally ignored, both in class and in residency, as we routinely worked twenty-four hours at a stretch. Our instruction in nutrition was also minimal to nonexistent. Today, Medicine 2.0 at least acknowledges the importance of healthspan, but the standard definition—the period of life free of disease or disability—is totally insufficient, in my view. We want more out of life than simply the absence of sickness or disability. We want to be thriving, in every way, throughout the latter half of our lives. Another, related issue is that longevity itself, and healthspan in particular, doesn’t really fit into the business model of our current
Peter Attia (Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity)
Narcissistic Disorder The basic premise of this personality disorder is an inflated sense of self worth. This trait is often emphasized by a need to be appreciated and admired although someone with this disorder usually is unable to have any empathy for others; no matter what their situation. People with this disorder will often be fond of overly grand gestures and will assume they are the most important part of anyone’s life; even if you met them just five minutes ago. There are very few scenarios where this inflated sense of self worth is appropriate in modern society. Surprisingly, under this façade there is usually a very fragile self esteem which needs the consistent bolstering of ego that their behavior attracts. People with this disorder will often appear to be snobbish, disdainful or simply patronizing and condescending. They are likely to give out opinions on the failings of others at the drop of a hat without acknowledging their own shortcomings. The belief that they should be the most important person in any room can lead to issues when dealing with relationships at home or at work; this will be particularly noticeable if someone else is praised and you are not. In situations such as these, it is common for someone with this disorder to react angrily or impatiently; making it very difficult to build a long term relationship. The Symptoms Again, in order for someone to be diagnosed with this condition they will need to display at least five of the following symptoms and to have had these issues for at least one year. •   A sufferer has a hugely inflated opinion of their own self worth. They will usually inflate their achievements and skills to ensure they are the best in the room. They are unlikely to be able to substantiate any of these claims. •   They often indulge in a fantasy world where they have unlimited success, power, money and love. This indulgence can occur at any time. •   They will have a belief that they are very special and that there are only a few other people in the world which are on the same level as them. This belief means they will often try to associate with these people and no one else; as these are the only people who will understand them. •   The belief that they are special necessitates them to expect and demand your praise and adulation at all times of the day. They expect to be admired simply for being who they are. This belief extends to expecting others to provide them with favorable treatment and to know their expectations without being told them. •   This feeling of their own self worth will cause many people with this disorder to take advantage of others in order to achieve their own goal. They are unlikely to see this as exploitation; instead, it is just others doing what they should to satisfy their needs. •   It is usual for someone with this personality disorder to lack empathy towards others, particularly those who they feel are beneath them; which is almost everyone. •   Envy is a common trait in people with this disorder. They are liable to be envious of anyone who has something they do not and they will believe others are envious of them; because of their importance. •   People who suffer from this illness will often come across as arrogant, haughty or even rude. This disorder occurs in more men than women and current estimates suggest that the disorder is present in approximately six percent of the population. Symptoms associated with this disorder will always be present, even when a child; but the constantly evolving personality is likely to mask this and it is not usually possible to diagnose the condition until the late teens or early twenties.
Carol Franklin (Mental Health: Personalities: Personality Disorders, Mental Disorders & Psychotic Disorders (Bipolar, Mood Disorders, Mental Illness, Mental Disorders, Narcissist, Histrionic, Borderline Personality))
CHAPTER 6 HOW DO YOU REPAIR EMF-RELATED DAMAGE? I know it may not feel like it at this point in the book, but there is good news here: Now that we have established how EMF exposure can damage your DNA through the peroxynitrite-induced creation of free radicals, we have a framework to remediate the damage. And there is even better news: Although there is no way your ancestral biology could have predicted the enormous exposure you would have to MHz and GHz radiation from the wireless industry, you do indeed have a built-in repair system that can at least partially remediate the damage. It is called the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) family of enzymes. (I know that is a mouthful, but this is a really important group of enzymes.) PARP1 is the most common in the family of 17 PARP enzymes and is best known for its ability to repair DNA damage., Note that in 2019 the PARP1 name was changed to ADP-ribosyltransferase diphtheria toxin-like 1 (ARTD1).1 PARP enzymes function as DNA damage sensors and signaling molecules. These enzymes bind to both single- and double-stranded DNA breaks.2
Joseph Mercola (EMF*D: 5G, Wi-Fi & Cell Phones: Hidden Harms and How to Protect Yourself)
Affirm: I don't mean dole out vapid praise or flatter ourselves in the mirror, which research shows to be counterproductive. I mean that we should create opportunities, even small ones, for people to express who they are and what they value, and to feel valued. Contrary to popular wisdom, many self-affirmations take the form not of "I am good, or smart, or well liked" but "Here is what I am committed to and why," which "firms up" the self. We miss far too many opportunities to affirm people, which, ironically, is the most important when they may seem least worthy of affirmation: when they're threatened, stressed, or defensive.
Geoffrey L Cohen (Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides - Library Edition)
When I am high I couldn’t worry about money if I tried. So I don’t. The money will come from somewhere; I am entitled; God will provide. Credit cards are disastrous, personal checks worse. Unfortunately, for manics anyway, mania is a natural extension of the economy. What with credit cards and bank accounts there is little beyond reach. So I bought twelve snakebite kits, with a sense of urgency and importance. I bought precious stones, elegant and unnecessary furniture, three watches within an hour of one another (in the Rolex rather than Timex class: champagne tastes bubble to the surface, are the surface, in mania), and totally inappropriate sirenlike clothes. During one spree in London I spent several hundred pounds on books having titles or covers that somehow caught my fancy: books on the natural history of the mole, twenty sundry Penguin books because I thought it could be nice if the penguins could form a colony. Once I think I shoplifted a blouse because I could not wait a minute longer for the woman-with-molasses feet in front of me in line. Or maybe I just thought about shoplifting, I don’t remember, I was totally confused. I imagine I must have spent far more than thirty thousand dollars during my two major manic episodes, and God only knows how much more during my frequent milder manias. But then back on lithium and rotating on the planet at the same pace as everyone else, you find your credit is decimated, your mortification complete: mania is not a luxury one can easily afford. It is devastating to have the illness and aggravating to have to pay for medications, blood tests, and psychotherapy. They, at least, are partially deductible. But money spent while manic doesn’t fit into the Internal Revenue Service concept of medical expense or business loss. So after mania, when most depressed, you’re given excellent reason to be even more so.
Kay Redfield Jamison (An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness)
Science, it was clear, was complicated because its practitioners were human primates. Primates were not created as objective machines. Every primate, humans included, sees the world in a particular way – through primate eyes, ears, noses and hands, but, most importantly, through a primate brain that has a very special history, a brain that is extremely skillful at performing certain functions and extremely poor at performing others. It is a unique attribute of humans that at least some of them want to try and understand the world “as it really is” rather than being satisfied with seeing and comprehending it only to the extent that it serves some immediate and selfish purpose.
Shirley C. Strum (Almost Human a Journey Into the World Of (Elmtree Africana))
This was the aspect of Dr. Morse I found the most perplexing: the man knew his limitations but wasn’t ashamed of them. He didn’t care. He wore his averageness lightly, almost proudly, like a transparent scholar’s gown, underneath which he was nakedly an administrator. His WASP complacency was astounding, at least to a fusser like me, a child of the Garment District. Nowadays, they’d call his condition something like privilege, I guess. The complete calmness, the complete comfortability, the totally untroubled capacity to relax inside of one’s own blanched-dry dermal girdle that comes from being swaddled in money, bonds, and stock certificates from birth, a patrimony honed at Groton, Yale, and Harvard. I don’t want to come off like I’m putting him down, though, because Dr. Morse in all his ease, his simplicity and ease, taught me an important lesson.
Joshua Cohen (The Netanyahus)
Within the practice of contemporary geography, many traditional components such as maps are still important, though satellite remote sensing, sometimes known as Earth Observation (EO), Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and other powerful quantitative methods have been added to traditional fieldwork and the comparative method. Established core concepts of space and place have been transformed, in human geography at least, by modern social and cultural theory. The need to understand the biophysical and human environments of people and their interactions is becoming increasingly urgent as issues of sustainability and the protection and preservation of planet Earth become imperative. As integration within geography as a whole has weakened, both physical and human geography have become more specialized and have adopted different approaches to many of their research problems. Most importantly, physical geography is asserting its scientific credentials, while human geography emphasizes critical theory, values, and ethics.
John A. Matthews (Geography: A Very Short Introduction)
There are many who call themselves after the name of Christ, who are yet outside the Church of Christ. Theirs is in every way a woeful lot. To be so near Jesus, and yet not to be of his blessed fold,—to be within reach of his unsearchable riches, and yet to miss of them, to be so blessed by his neighborhood, and yet not to be savingly united to him,—this is indeed a desolation. Their creed is words: it is not life. They know not the redeeming grace of Jesus rightly. They understand not the mysterious dispositions of his Sacred Heart. They disesteem his hidden Sacraments. They know God only wrongly and partially. Their knowledge is neither light nor love. Every thing about Jesus, the merest accessory of his Church, the faintest vestige of his benediction, the very shadow of his likeness, is of such surpassing importance, that for the least of these things the whole world would be but a paltry price to pay. The gift of being in the true Church is the greatest of all God’s gifts which can be given out of heaven. We cannot exaggerate its value. It is the pearl beyond price. Hence also the woefulness of being out of the Church is not to be told in words. I doubt if it is even to be compassed in thought. What, then, if we had so far lost Jesus, as to be out of his Church? Unbearable thought! yet not without some sweetness, as it makes us feel more keenly how indispensable he is to us, and what a merciful good-fortune he has given us to enjoy.
Frederick William Faber (The Precious Blood)
Such distrust regarding democracy was also very widespread in the United States in the era of the supposed “Founding Fathers.” Ralph Ketcham perfectly summarized this situation by writing that “virtually all shades of opinion reviled monarchy and democracy, and, publicly at least, supported republicanism.” In effect, the distinction between democratic government and republican government was of the utmost importance (even if there were semantic variations), and politicians such as James Madison condemned the error consisting in confounding “a republic with a democracy.” He opposed, for his part, the qualities of republics, founded on representation and better adapted to large states, to the flaws of democracies, which are incapable of stretching across vast territories or of protecting themselves against pernicious factions. In a similar fashion, Alexander Hamilton called for the unification of the states into a “confederate republic” rather than into a democracy, which he described as being unstable and imprudent. William Cobbett, the editor of a pro-Federalist paper, went further still by expressing himself with remarkable candor: “O base democracy! Why, it is absolutely worse than street-sweepings, or the filth of the common sewers.” Yet it is perhaps John Adams who, better than anyone, lucidly summarized the dangers of democracy in the eyes of the most powerful statesmen. For he feared that the majority, who were very poor, would wish to redistribute goods and establish material equality.
Gabriel Rockhill (Counter-History of the Present: Untimely Interrogations into Globalization, Technology, Democracy)