Life Is Not Predictable Quotes

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The best way to predict your future is to create it.
Abraham Lincoln
I've found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances, Be more active, Show up more often.
Brian Tracy
The behavior of a human being in sexual matters is often a prototype for the whole of his other modes of reaction in life.
Sigmund Freud (Sexuality and the Psychology of Love)
At some point during almost every romantic comedy, the female lead suddenly trips and falls, stumbling helplessly over something ridiculous like a leaf, and then some Matthew McConaughey type either whips around the corner just in the nick of time to save her or is clumsily pulled down along with her. That event predictably leads to the magical moment of their first kiss. Please. I fall ALL the time. You know who comes and gets me? The bouncer.
Chelsea Handler (My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands)
HEARTWORK Each day is born with a sunrise and ends in a sunset, the same way we open our eyes to see the light, and close them to hear the dark. You have no control over how your story begins or ends. But by now, you should know that all things have an ending. Every spark returns to darkness. Every sound returns to silence. And every flower returns to sleep with the earth. The journey of the sun and moon is predictable. But yours, is your ultimate ART.
Suzy Kassem
It was so strange, the way that life moved forward: the twists and the dead ends, the sudden opportunities. She supposed if you could predict or foresee everything that was going to happen, you’d lose the motivation to go through it all. The promise was always in the possibility.
Lauren Oliver (Panic (Panic, #1))
But no one can predict of a certainty what will happen. And none of it will change how I intend to spend the rest of my life. I will live it on my terms. And you... you can have all of me or nothing. I won't be an invalid any longer. Not even if it means losing you.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
Hindsight, I think, is a useless tool. We, each of us, are at a place in our lives because of innumerable circumstances, and we, each of us, have a responsibility (if we do not like where we are) to move along life's road, to find a better path if this one does not suit, or to walk happily along this one if it is indeed our life's way. Changing even the bad things that have gone before would fundamentally change who we are, and whether or not that would be a good thing, I believe, it is impossible to predict. So I take my past experiences... and try to regret nothing. -Drizzt Do'urden
R.A. Salvatore (Sea of Swords (Forgotten Realms: Paths of Darkness, #4; Legend of Drizzt, #13))
It is predictable that God will take care of us. What's unpredictable is how he will do it.
Donna VanLiere (Finding Grace: A True Story about Losing Your Way in Life...and Finding It Again)
In fiction: we find the predictable boring. In real life: we find the unpredictable terrifying.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
These days, I've been trying to classify my thoughts into two categories: "Things I can change," and "Things I can't." It seems to help me sort through what to really stress about. But there I go again, over-planning and over-organizing my over-thinking! I write songs about my adventures and misadventures, most of which concern love. Love is a tricky business. But if it wasn't, I wouldn't be so enthralled with it. Lately I've come to a wonderful realization that makes me even more fascinated by it: I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to love. No one does! There's no pattern to it, except that it happens to all of us, of course. I can't plan for it. I can't predict how it'll end up. Because love is unpredictable and it's frustrating and it's tragic and it's beautiful. And even though there's no way to feel like I'm an expert at it, it's worth writing songs about -- more than anything else I've ever experienced in my life.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift)
Life comes at us in waves. We can't predict or control those waves, but we can learn to surf
Dan Millman
16 Things Romance Readers Are Tired Of Hearin 1. All Romance books are exactly the same. 2. The endings are so predictable. 3. You know romance doesn't happen like that in real life. 4. You're setting unrealistic expectations for yourself about love. 5. Real men don't have abs like that. 6.So you think you're going to go on a lot of dates? 7. So you think you're going to fall in love with an ex-boyfriend? 8. ...or a billionaire? 9. ...or a duke? 10. So you'll stop reading romances when you have a boyfriend, right? 11. It's basically mommy porn, right? 12. I could write a romance book. 13. Do you only read female authors? 14. I saw the Notebook once. 15. Is Danielle Steel your favorite author? 16. Do you read REAL books?
Bookbub Bulletin
Spontaneity is a meticulously prepared art
Oscar Wilde
You cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do is like a farmer create the conditions under which it will begin to flourish.
Ken Robinson
It was inevitable for people to try to create a sense of normalcy in a place where nothing was normal. It helped one get through the day, to add predictability to a life that was inherently unpredictable.
Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
Patience is the antidote to the restless poison of the Ego. Without it we all become ego-maniacal bulls in china shops, destroying our future happiness as we blindly rush in where angels fear to tread. In these out-of-control moments, we bulldoze through the best possible outcomes for our lives, only to return to the scene of the crime later to cry over spilt milk.
Anthon St. Maarten (Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny)
If you do not have control over your mouth, you will not have control over your future.
Germany Kent
Listen,” he said gently and stepped closer. “No one can predict the future, but right now you’re the most important thing to me. I would regret it for the rest of my life if we didn’t give this a chance.
Angie Stanton (Rock and a Hard Place (The Jamieson Collection, #1))
There are lots of reasons why a woman stays with a man, even when she's given up on changing him and can predict with certainty the shape that the rest of her life with him is going to take.
A.S.A. Harrison (The Silent Wife)
Clouds, leaves, soil, and wind all offer themselves as signals of changes in the weather. However, not all the storms of life can be predicted.
David Petersen
we usually think of ourselves as sitting the driver's seat, with ultimate control over the decisions we made and the direction our life takes; but, alas, this perception has more to do with our desires-with how we want to view ourselves-than with reality
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions)
It's a scary thing; moving on. Part of me wishes life were more predictable and part of me is excited that it's not. I think it's impossible to tell the good things from the bad things while they're happening.
Chris Crutcher (Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes)
Marriage was an economic institution in which you were given a partnership for life in terms of children and social status and succession and companionship. But now we want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition I want you to be my best friend and my trusted confidant and my passionate lover to boot, and we live twice as long. So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide: Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise. And we think it’s a given, and toys and lingerie are going to save us with that. Ideally, though, we’re lucky, and we find our soul mate and enjoy that life-changing mother lode of happiness. But a soul mate is a very hard thing to find.
Aziz Ansari (Modern Romance)
If you're reading this, I hope God opens incredible doors for your life this year. Greatness is upon you. You must believe it though.
Germany Kent
No one else knows exactly what the future holds for you, no one else knows what obstacles you've overcome to be where you are, so don't expect others to feel as passionate about your dreams as you do.
Germany Kent
When we come to face the entangled vagaries on the chessboard of our life, let us not shrink from using the queen’s gambit to disentwine predictable hassles or diffuse incendiary plots if we want to take control of our being and make our dreams come true, transparent, and straightforward. (”Life with a sea view”)
Erik Pevernagie
And your life,' Katie said to Christy, 'is turning into a rather predictable romance. Girl meets boy. Boy is a dork for four years. Girl blossoms into a gorgeous woman. Boy finds his brain. Girl turns into starry-eyed mush head.
Robin Jones Gunn (In Your Dreams (Sierra Jensen, #2))
The prediction I can make with the highest confidence is that the most amazing discoveries will be the ones we are not today wise enough to foresee.
Carl Sagan (Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium)
I see that the life of this place is always emerging beyond expectation or prediction or typicality, that it is unique, given to the world minute by minute, only once, never to be repeated. And this is when I see that this life is a miracle, absolutely worth having, absolutely worth saving. We are alive within mystery, by miracle.
Wendell Berry (Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition)
Life is like the oil within a lamp. It can be measured, but the pace at which it burns depends on how the dial is turned day by day, how bright and fierce the flame. And there is no predicting whether the lamp might be knocked to the ground and shatter, when it could have blazed on a great while longer. Such is the unpredictability of life.
Margaret Rogerson (Sorcery of Thorns)
Intuition comes in several forms: - a sudden flash of insight, visual or auditory - a predictive dream - a spinal shiver of recognition as something is occurring or told to you - a sense of knowing something already - a sense of deja vu - a snapshot image of a future scene or event - knowledge, perspective or understanding divined from tools which respond to the subconscious mind
Sylvia Clare (Trusting Your Intuition: Rediscover Your True Self to Achieve a Richer, More Rewarding Life)
Understand: people judge you by appearances, the image you project through your actions, words, and style. If you do not take control of this process, then people will see and define you the way they want to, often to your detriment. You might think that being consistent with this image will make others respect and trust you, but in fact it is the opposite—over time you seem predictable and weak. Consistency is an illusion anyway—each passing day brings changes within you. You must not be afraid to express these evolutions. The powerful learn early in life that they have the freedom to mold their image, fitting the needs and moods of the moment. In this way, they keep others off balance and maintain an air of mystery. You must follow this path and find great pleasure in reinventing yourself, as if you were the author writing your own drama
50 Cent (The 50th Law)
My previous outlook could be summed up as follows: Life is shit. Math makes sense. Fictional characters are superior to real people because real people are equal parts pitiful and predictable.
Penny Reid (Love Hacked (Knitting in the City, #3))
...interests are not discovered through introspection. Instead, interests are triggered by interactions with the outside world. The process of interest discovery can be messy, serendipitous, and inefficient. This is because you can't really predict with certainty what will capture your attention and what won't...Without experimenting, you can't figure out which interests will stick, and which won't.
Angela Duckworth (Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success)
After a pause, he asked, 'What do you think of Nasuada's plans?' 'Mmm...she's doomed! You're doomed! They're all doomed!'She cackled, doubling over, then straightened abruptly. 'notice I didn't specify what kind of doom, so no matter what happens, I predicted it. How very wise of me.' She lifted the basket again, setting it on one hip. 'I supposed I won't see you for a while, so farewell, best of luck, avoid roasted cabbage, don't eat earwax, and look on the bright side of life!' And with a cheery wink, she strolled off, leaving Eragon blinking and nonplussed.
Christopher Paolini (Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle, #2))
All of it was new to him. After a life of Sameness and predictability, he was awed by the surprises that lay beyond each curve of the road.
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
People with anxiety and trust issues find themselves drawn to people of consistency because they feel safe with someone who is predictable. However, that doesn’t cure their problem. The anxious person still remains the same because anxiety is a wave that crashes on the shore every time an unpredictable circumstance challenges their expectations and comfort zone.
Shannon L. Alder
If you don’t get this elementary, but mildly unnatural, mathematics of elementary probability into your repertoire, then you go through a long life like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.
Charles T. Munger (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
The best way to predict your future is to create it.
Peter F. Drucker
If you took the time to be with what I’m saying, you’d realize that what causes most of your worry is trying to predict the future and then refusing to accept things when they don’t or aren’t going to go your way.
Gary John Bishop (Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life)
The most important things in your life are almost always impossible to predict.
Joe Meno (The Boy Detective Fails)
Without risk, life is far too predictable
Renée Ahdieh (Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1))
It is a healthy approach not to expect persons to turn out precisely how you would have wished.
Criss Jami (Healology)
The journey of the sun and moon is predictable, but yours is your ultimate art.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Because IQ tests favor memory skills and logic, overlooking artistic creativity, insight, resiliency, emotional reserves, sensory gifts, and life experience, they can't really predict success, let alone satisfaction.
Diane Ackerman (An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain)
No matter how dysfunctional your background, how broke or broken you are, where you are today, or what anyone else says, YOU MATTER, and your life matters!
Germany Kent
Positive thinking is powerful thinking. If you want happiness, fulfillment, success and inner peace, start thinking you have the power to achieve those things. Focus on the bright side of life and expect positive results.
Germany Kent
Life isn't supposed to be predictable.
Eileen Cook (What Would Emma Do?)
No matter how predictable, banal and listless the rest of my life might be, you can guarantee that there'll always be something interesting going on with my skin.
David Nicholls (Starter for Ten)
I think the way I feel about the internet is the way some people feel about the ocean. It's so huge and unknowable, but also totally predictable. You type a line of symbols and click enter, and everything you want to happen, happens. Not like real life, where all the wanting in the world can't make something exist.
Becky Albertalli (The Upside of Unrequited (Simonverse, #2))
Every spark returns to darkness. Every sound returns to silence. Every flower returns to sleep with the earth. The journey of the sun and moon is predictable. But yours, is your ultimate art.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Because death is fucking predictable... but life has science experiments and free time and surprise naps and who knows what comes next?
Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Vol. 6)
Everything good or bad that has occurred in my life has been predictable and inevitable, especially the choices and actions that have made sure I am now utterly alone.
Lucia Berlin (A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories)
Life is no different than the weather. Not only is it unpredictable, but it shows us a new perspective of the world every day.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
If life were predictable it would cease to be life,and be without flavor
Eleanor Roosevelt
Life here is so orderly, so predictable-so painless. It's what they've chosen.
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
The thing is, I like rules. They make me feel safe. The predictability of my boring life makes everything make sense. I guess that makes me a freak but I'm okay with that. You get to a certain point and you just realize there's no use in trying to pretend you're normal.
Amy Reed (Clean)
Hope is not a prediction of the future, it's a declaration of what's possible.
Yogi Bhajan
I don't think anyone aims to be typical, really. Most people even vow to themselves some time in high school or college not to be typical. But still, they just kind of loop back to it somehow. Like the circular rails of a train at an amusement park, the scripts we know offer a brand of security, of predictability, of safety for us. But the problem is, they only take us where we've already been. They loop us back to places where everyone can easily go, not necessarily where we were made to go. Living a different kind of life takes some guts and grit and a new way of seeing things.
Bob Goff (Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World)
Through the gamut of life we struggled for control, for a means to fashion the world around us, an eternal, hopeless hunt for the privilege of being able to predict the shape of our lives.
Steven Erikson (Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1))
Also, when you are young, you think you can predict the likely pains and bleaknesses that age might bring. You imagine yourself being lonely, divorced, widowed; children growing away from you, friends dying. You imagine the loss of status, the loss of desire – and desirability. You may go further and consider your own approaching death, which, despite what company you may muster, can only be faced alone. But all this is looking ahead. What you fail to do is look ahead, and then imagine yourself looking back from the future point. Learning the new emotions that time brings. Discovering, for example, that as the witnesses to your life diminish, there is less corroboration, and therefore less certainty, as to what you are or have been. Even if you have assiduously kept records – in words, sound, pictures – you may find that you have attended to the wrong kind of record-keeping. What was the line Adrian used to quote? 'History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
When all the normal patterns and routines of a person’s life fell apart—and with such shocking suddenness—you had to find something you could hold onto, something that was both sane and predictable.
Stephen King (Gerald's Game)
Self-discipline predicted academic performance more robustly than did IQ. Self-discipline also predicted which students would improve their grades over the course of the school year, whereas IQ did not.… Self-discipline has a bigger effect on academic performance than does intellectual talent.”5.2
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
We must be learning if we are to feel fully alive, and when life, or love, becomes too predictable and it seems like there is little left to learn, we become restless - a protest, perhaps, of the plastic brain when it can no longer perform its essential task.
Norman Doidge (The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science)
Real love feels less like a throbbing, pulsing animal begging for its freedom and beating against the inside of my chest and more like, 'Hey, that place you like had fish tacos today and i got you some while i was out', as it sets a bag spotted with grease on the dining room table. It's not a game you don't understand the rules of, or a test you never got the materials to study for. It never leaves you wondering who could possibly be texting at 3 am. Or what you could possibly do to make it come home and stay there. It's fucking boring, dude. I don't walk around mired in uneasiness, waiting for the other shoe to drop. No parsing through spun tales about why it took her so long to come back from the store. No checking her emails or calling her job to make sure she's actually there. No sitting in my car outside her house at dawn, to make sure she's alone when she leaves. This feels safe, and steadfast, and predictable. And secure. It's boring as shit. And it's easily the best thing I've ever felt.
Samantha Irby (We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.)
A disruption of the circadian cycle—the metabolic and glandular rhythms that are central to our workaday life—seems to be involved in many, if not most, cases of depression; this is why brutal insomnia so often occurs and is most likely why each day’s pattern of distress exhibits fairly predictable alternating periods of intensity and relief.
William Styron (Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)
Even if it were possible to cast my horoscope in this one life, and to make an accurate prediction about my future, it would not be possible to 'show' it to me because as soon as I saw it my future would change by definition. This is why Werner Heisenberg's adaptation of the Hays Office—the so-called principle of uncertainty whereby the act of measuring something has the effect of altering the measurement—is of such importance. In my case the difference is often made by publicity. For example, and to boast of one of my few virtues, I used to derive pleasure from giving my time to bright young people who showed promise as writers and who asked for my help. Then some profile of me quoted someone who disclosed that I liked to do this. Then it became something widely said of me, whereupon it became almost impossible for me to go on doing it, because I started to receive far more requests than I could respond to, let alone satisfy. Perception modifies reality: when I abandoned the smoking habit of more than three decades I was given a supposedly helpful pill called Wellbutrin. But as soon as I discovered that this was the brand name for an antidepressant, I tossed the bottle away. There may be successful methods for overcoming the blues but for me they cannot include a capsule that says: 'Fool yourself into happiness, while pretending not to do so.' I should actually want my mind to be strong enough to circumvent such a trick.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
The trouble with life (the novelist will feel) is its amorphousness, its ridiculous fluidity. Look at it: thinly plotted, largely themeless, sentimental and ineluctably trite. The dialogue is poor, or at least violently uneven. The twists are either predictable or sensationalist. And it’s always the same beginning, and the same ending.
Martin Amis (Experience: A Memoir)
The choices we’re working with here are a block universe, where past, present and future all coexist simultaneously and everything has already happened; chaos, where anything can happen and nothing can be predicted because we can’t know all the variables; and a Christian universe in which God made everything and it’s all here for a purpose but we have free will anyway.
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
The possibility of death was like the weather—you could make attempts to predict it, but you would likely be wrong, and no one would change their most important plans due to threat of rain.
Fonda Lee (Jade War (The Green Bone Saga, #2))
The journey of the sun and moon is predictable. But yours, is your ultimate art.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
I had a dream about you last night... You replaced all the people in your life with kittens. It felt more like a prediction of the future.
Amy Sommers (I Had a Dream About You)
A time will come when men will stretch out their eyes. They should see planets like our Earth.
Christopher Wren
At its best fashion is a game. But for women it's a compulsory game, like net ball, and you can't get out of it by faking your period. I know I have tried. And so for a woman every outfit is a hopeful spell, cast to influence the outcome of the day. An act of trying to predict your fate, like looking at your horoscope. No wonder there are so many fashion magazines. No wonder the fashion industry is worth an estimated 900 billion dollars a year. No wonder every woman's first thought is, for nearly every event in her life, be it work, snow or birth. The semi-despairing cry of "but what will I wear?" Because when a woman says I have nothing to wear, what she really means is there is nothing here for who I am supposed to be today.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
There are moments that change everything, mired in the mass of more ordinary time like insects caught in amber. Without them, life would be a tame, predictable thing. But with them, ah. With them, life does as it will, like lightning, like the wind that blows across the castle battlements, and none may stop it, and none may tell it “no”.
Seanan McGuire (Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2))
You have no control over how your story begins or ends. But by now, you should know that all things have an ending. Every spark returns to darkness. Every sound returns to silence. Every flower returns to sleep with the earth. The journey of the sun and moon is predictable. But yours, is your ultimate art.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Prayer is not a means of removing the unknown and predictable elements in life, but rather a way of including the unknown and unpredictable in the outworking of the grace of God in our lives.
Philip Yancey (Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?)
I have far more enthusiasm in life than I have actual energy. In my excitement, I routinely take on more that I can physically or emotionally handle, which causes me to break down in quite predictable displays of dramatic exhaustion. You will be the one burdened with the job of mopping me up every time I've overextended myself and then fallen apart. This will be unbelievably tedious. I apologize in advance.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
Only a demon would prevent a person from saving lives or fulfilling their life mission. There is no reasoning with the devil. Stand with pride because your heart is filled with the goodness of helping others, while theirs is filled with helping themselves.
Shannon L. Alder
It’s fine to go offline. You won’t lose your place in the world. And once you practice it and get good at it, I predict you’ll move a step farther from thinking, “It’s fine,” to realizing, “It’s divine!” The more you log off, the more you’ll realize how fabulously freeing it truly is.
Art Rios (Let's Talk: ...About Making Your Life Exciting, Easier, And Exceptional)
His weakness in this game, and in life, is that he's never prepared for how others will act. They are predetermined but too complex to solve or predict, and there are rules that he is just no good at applying.
Janna Levin (A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines)
The more I read, the more I was led to abhor and detest my enslavers. I could regard them in no other light than a band of successful robbers, who had left their homes, and gone to Africa, and stolen us from our homes, and in a strange land reduced us to slavery. I loathed them as being the meanest as well as the most wicked of men. As I read and contemplated the subject, behold! that very discontentment which Master Hugh had predicted would follow my learning to read had already come, to torment and sting my soul to unutterable anguish. As I writhed under it, I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. it opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out. in moments of agony, I envied my fellow-slaves for their stupidity. I have often wished myself a beast. I preferred the condition of the meanest reptile to my own. Any thing, no matter what, to get rid of thinking! It was this everlasting thinking of my condition that tormented me. There was no getting rid of it. It was pressed upon me by every object within sight or hearing, animate or inanimate. The silver trump of freedom had roused my soul to eternal wakefulness. Freedom now appeared, to disappear no more forever. It was heard in every sound and seen in every thing. It was ever present to torment me with a sense of my wretched condition. I saw nothing without seeing it, I heard nothing without hearing it, and felt nothing without feeling it. It looked from every star, it smiled in every calm, breathed in every wind, and moved in every storm.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
But I had no plans to end my own life, and accidents couldn't be predicted. Neither could murder, unless my aunt and uncle were planning to take me out themselves.
Rachel Vincent
The more I protested about this ambiguity, the more Joanna pointed out to me that it was both a terrible and wonderful part of life: terrible because you can't count on anything for sure—like certain good health and no possibility of cancer; wonderful because no human being knows when another is going to die—no doctor can absolutely predict the outcome of a disease. The only thing that is certain is change. Joanna calls all of this 'delicious ambiguity.' 'Couldn't there be comfort and freedom in no one knowing the outcome of anything and all things being possible?' she asked. Was I convinced? Not completely. I still wanted to believe in magic thinking. But I was intrigued.
Gilda Radner (It's Always Something)
I've been desperately unhappy in my life." Her voice was quiet. "Have you, Chief Inspector?" It wasn't a response he could have predicted. He nodded. "I thought so. I think people who have had that experience and survived have a responsibility to help others. We can't let someone drown where we were saved.
Louise Penny (A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2))
For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood. We invest far-off places with a certain romance. This appeal, I suspect, has been meticulously crafted by natural selection as an essential element in our survival. Long summers, mild winters, rich harvests, plentiful game—none of them lasts forever. It is beyond our powers to predict the future. Catastrophic events have a way of sneaking up on us, of catching us unaware. Your own life, or your band’s, or even your species’ might be owed to a restless few—drawn, by a craving they can hardly articulate or understand, to undiscovered lands and new worlds. Herman Melville, in Moby Dick, spoke for wanderers in all epochs and meridians: “I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas…” Maybe it’s a little early. Maybe the time is not quite yet. But those other worlds— promising untold opportunities—beckon. Silently, they orbit the Sun, waiting.
Carl Sagan
It was the kind of terrified look that reminds you that no matter how rational or grown up a person might seem, some part of him is absolutely sure - knows - that an evil other-world exists just outside of our regular, everyday world. And that although we don't expect that world to collide with our calm, predictable one...well, really, at any moment that is exactly what might happen.
Ann M. Martin (A Corner of the Universe)
Your path is your path, for better or worse.  It is what it is.  You don't know what's going to happen in life.  You've got right now and that's it.  Can't change the past, can't predict the future.
Sabrina Paige (Elias (West Bend Saints, #1))
Keep your eyes on Christ, not the circumstances you find yourself in or the feelings you are experiencing.
Bruce H. Wilkinson (You Were Born for This: Seven Keys to a Life of Predictable Miracles)
Is a twist less satisfying if you know it’s coming? Is a twist that you can’t predict symptomatic of bad construction? These are things to consider when writing.
Gabrielle Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)
A traumatic experience is a seismic event that shakes our belief in a just world, robbing us of the sense that life is controllable, predictable, and meaningful.
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
Learn to live small and you will discover great pleasures. You will accomplish more in your life than you could ever predict if you were overly ambitious.
Thomas Moore (The Way of the Small: Why Less Is Truly More)
You see it as me going back. I see it as me staying on track.
Germany Kent
The fact of the matter is, if you haven’t been in an abusive relationship, you don’t really know what the experience is like. Furthermore, it’s quite hard to predict what you would do in the same situation. I find that the people most vocal about what they would’ve done in the same situation often have no clue what they are talking about – they have never been in the same situation themselves. By invalidating the survivor’s experience, these people are defending an image of themselves that they identify with strength, not realizing that abuse survivors are often the strongest individuals out there. They’ve been belittled, criticized, demeaned, devalued, and yet they’ve still survived. The judgmental ones often have little to no life experience regarding these situations, yet they feel quite comfortable silencing the voices of people who’ve actually been there.
Shahida Arabi (Becoming the Narcissist's Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself)
This is the legend of Cassius Clay, The most beautiful fighter in the world today. He talks a great deal, and brags indeed-y, of a muscular punch that's incredibly speed-y. The fistic world was dull and weary, But with a champ like Liston, things had to be dreary. Then someone with color and someone with dash, Brought fight fans are runnin' with Cash. This brash young boxer is something to see And the heavyweight championship is his des-tin-y. This kid fights great; he’s got speed and endurance, But if you sign to fight him, increase your insurance. This kid's got a left; this kid's got a right, If he hit you once, you're asleep for the night. And as you lie on the floor while the ref counts ten, You’ll pray that you won’t have to fight me again. For I am the man this poem’s about, The next champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt. This I predict and I know the score, I’ll be champ of the world in ’64. When I say three, they’ll go in the third, 10 months ago So don’t bet against me, I’m a man of my word. He is the greatest! Yes! I am the man this poem’s about, I’ll be champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt. Here I predict Mr. Liston’s dismemberment, I’ll hit him so hard; he’ll wonder where October and November went. When I say two, there’s never a third, Standin against me is completely absurd. When Cassius says a mouse can outrun a horse, Don’t ask how; put your money where your mouse is! I AM THE GREATEST!
Muhammad Ali
Sometimes I wish they'd ask for my wisdom more often - there are so many things I could tell them; things I wish they would change. But they don't want change. Life here is so orderly, so predictable - so painless. It's what they've chosen.
Lois Lowry (The Giver: A Teaching Guide)
When you first meet a person, sometimes they'll pretend to be all that you like. Deception is hard to predict instantly at times, but if you hang with them for a while their true colors will eventually begin to show.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Release The Ink)
According to the surgeon general, obesity today is officially an epidemic; it is arguably the most pressing public health problem we face, costing the health care system an estimated $90 billion a year. Three of every five Americans are overweight; one of every five is obese. The disease formerly known as adult-onset diabetes has had to be renamed Type II diabetes since it now occurs so frequently in children. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association predicts that a child born in 2000 has a one-in-three chance of developing diabetes. (An African American child's chances are two in five.) Because of diabetes and all the other health problems that accompany obesity, today's children may turn out to be the first generation of Americans whose life expectancy will actually be shorter than that of their parents. The problem is not limited to America: The United Nations reported that in 2000 the number of people suffering from overnutrition--a billion--had officially surpassed the number suffering from malnutrition--800 million.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
We tend to think of dangers and uncertainties as anomalies in the continuum of life, or irruptions of unpredictable forces into a largely predictable world. I suggest the contrary: that dangers and uncertainties are an inescapable dimension of life. In fact, as we shall come to understand, they make life matter. They define what it means to be human.
Arthur Kleinman
The number one joy indicator, the one thing that will predict whether someone feels joy in their life or not, is the practice of gratitude.
John O'Leary (On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life)
The lasting legacy of the Cooter Smash is that I'm the first to know when it's going to rain. That's right. I both sing and predict the weather with my hoo hoo.
Kristin Chenoweth (A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages)
Best way to predict your future is to create it.
Stephen R. Covey (First Things First)
Extraordinary change can happen in your life, but it will take extraordinary people, extraordinary courage and extraordinary faith to believe that this won't be a repeat of your past.
Shannon L. Alder
The changes we make in life often happen when we have a degree of certainty. However, the pain of our past failures and the fears of our peers often fuel our uncertainty. This inability to predict the future is why people find themselves stuck and unable to move forward. They don't want to feel the emotions of failure. They prefer to talk themselves into settling for an "okay" life, rather than the life they really want. However, failure is a matter of perspective! Is it not failure when you don't take a chance on the one thing you need? There is no happiness in regret, staying safe or settling for anything less than what you can have through action.
Shannon L. Alder
I dreamed I read the cards for you," she said. "And?" "And I predicted I would bring heartbreak and trouble into your life," she said. "Too late," he said, staring down at their joined hands. "Heartbreak and trouble got there ahead of you.
Cinda Williams Chima (Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, #1))
Shakespeare's plays often turn on the idea of fate, as much drama does. What makes them so tragic is the gap between what his characters might like to accomplish and what fate provides them.
Nate Silver (The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don't)
Sometimes Midas suspected that life was a film with subliminal messages. Things would move along with an acceptable degree of predictability, then be punctuated by some horrible childhood memory.
Ali Shaw (The Girl With Glass Feet)
Indeed, the capacity to tolerate uncertainty is a prerequisite for the profession. Though the public may believe that therapists guide patients systematically and sure-handedly through predictable stages of therapy to a foreknown goal, such is rarely the case: instead, as these stories bear witness, therapists frequently wobble, improvise, and grope for direction. The powerful temptation to achieve certainty through embracing an ideological school and a tight therapeutic system is treacherous: such belief may block the uncertain and spontaneous encounter necessary for effective therapy. This encounter, the very heart of psychotherapy, is a caring, deeply human meeting between two people, one (generally, but not always, the patient) more troubled than the other. Therapists have a dual role: they must both observe and participate in the lives of their patients. As observer, one must be sufficiently objective to provide necessary rudimentary guidance to the patient. As participant, one enters into the life of the patient and is affected and sometimes changed by the encounter.
Irvin D. Yalom (Love's Executioner)
As long as scepticism is based on a sound understanding of science it is invaluable, for that is how science progresses. But poor criticism can lead those who are unfamiliar with the science involved into doubting everything about climate change predictions.
Tim Flannery (The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth)
And from the time I was a kid, I've had this internal monologue roaring through my head, which doesn't stop - unless I'm asleep. I'm sure every person has this; it's just that my monologue is particularly loud. And particularly troublesome. I'm constantly asking myself questions. And the problem with that is that your brain is like a computer: If you ask a question, it's programmed to respond, whether there's an answer or not. I'm constantly weighing everything in my mind and trying to predict how my actions will influence events. Or maybe manipulate events are the more appropriate words. It's like playing a game of chess with your own life. And I hate fucking chess!
Jordan Belfort (The Wolf of Wall Street (The Wolf of Wall Street, #1))
There was nothing predictable in this life, and very little that was fair.
Sara Donati (The Gilded Hour (The Waverly Place #1))
No matter what I do, no matter how predictable I try to make my life, it will not be any more predictable than the rest of the world. Which is chaotic.
Elizabeth Moon (The Speed of Dark)
Postponing happiness until "all your ducks are in order" means never because life is not that clean, fair or predictable. It isn’t what happens to you that defines your life, it is what you do with it that does.
Laura Schlessinger
You have no control over how your story begins or ends. But by now, you should know that all things have an ending. Every spark returns to darkness. Every sound returns to silence. Every flower returns to sleep with the earth. The journey of the sun and moon is predictable. But yours, is your ultimate art.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
There’s always been something inside her that men have wanted to dominate, and their desire for domination can look so much like attraction, even love. In school the boys had tried to break her with cruelty and disregard, and in college men had tried to do it with sex and popularity, all with the same aim of subjugating some force in her personality. It depressed her to think people were so predictable. Whether she was respected or despised, it didn’t make much difference in the end. Would every stage of her life continue to reveal itself as the same thing, again and again, the same remorseless contest for dominance?
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
Sometimes, you can be more than enough for someone, but they choose not to be in your life. Always remember that Satan works hard to keep people miserable by feeding their fears, so they stay in their comfort zone. The truth is some people value what is predictable, more than chemistry.
Shannon L. Alder
Over and over, we are broken on the shore of life. Our stubborn egos are knocked around, and our frightened hearts are broken open—not once, and not in predictable patterns, but in surprising ways and for as long as we live.
Elizabeth Lesser (Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow)
The normal reasons. Like, I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. It’s all the dumb clichés about how even when I’m mad at you I love you and how every day the best part of it is waking up next to you. And it kills me that this is all the normal, typical people-in-love stuff, because I want to believe our love is special—that it’s bigger and more interesting than any love that anyone else has had before—but the heartbreaking truth is my love for you is so consistent and predictable and boring.
Raphael Bob-Waksberg (Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory)
At one time or another, we all stand at the crossroads and at the fork in the road.We can go back where it’s comfortable, predictable and easy. Or we can go forward. If you go back, my friend, you will miss the ride of your life!
Donna Schultz (Lessons From Ruth:Discovering Your Destiny)
The gravitational waves of the first detection were generated by a collision of black holes in a galaxy 1.3 billion light-years away, and at a time when Earth was teeming with simple, single-celled organisms. While the ripple moved through space in all directions, Earth would, after another 800 million years, evolve complex life, including flowers and dinosaurs and flying creatures, as well as a branch of vertebrates called mammals. Among the mammals, a sub-branch would evolve frontal lobes and complex thought to accompany them. We call them primates. A single branch of these primates would develop a genetic mutation that allowed speech, and that branch—Homo Sapiens—would invent agriculture and civilization and philosophy and art and science. All in the last ten thousand years. Ultimately, one of its twentieth-century scientists would invent relativity out of his head, and predict the existence of gravitational waves. A century later, technology capable of seeing these waves would finally catch up with the prediction, just days before that gravity wave, which had been traveling for 1.3 billion years, washed over Earth and was detected. Yes, Einstein was a badass.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
After my mother died, I had a feeling that was not unlike the homesickness that always filled me for the first few days when I went to stay at my grandparents'' house, and even, I was stunned to discover, during the first few months of my freshman year at college. It was not really the home my mother had made that I yearned for. But I was sick in my soul for that greater meaning of home that we understand most purely when we are children, when it is a metaphor for all possible feelings of security, of safety, of what is predictable, gentle, and good in life.
Anna Quindlen (One True Thing)
And the beauty of the anthropic principle is that it tells us, against all intuition, that a chemical model need only predict that life will arise on one planet in a billion billion to give us a good and entirely satisfying explanation for the presence of life here.
Richard Dawkins
If we don't accept any common beliefs, we can't exist in spacetime. But when we don't believe in age, at least we don't have to die because our numbers change. [...] When you don't believe in birthdays, the idea of aging turns a little foreign to you. You don't fall into trauma over your sixteenth birthday or your thirtieth or the big Five-Oh or the deadly Century. You measure your life by what you learn, not by counting how many calendars you've seen. If you're going to have trauma, better it be the shock of discovering the fundamental principle of the universe that some date predictable as next July.
Richard Bach (Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit)
I mean, that's life. Life is never predictable. Life is never really manageable. If your mind-set is always, "I'm just surviving", it seems to me that would wind up being the mind-set for the rest of your life. You'd just get stuck in it.
Joanna Gaines (The Magnolia Story)
When reading a book, one hopes it doesn’t turn into a painful process. Predictable is bad enough. Laborious is acceptable if the labor produces fruit. But with painfully bad writing, all one can do is grab a hatchet, slice off its head, and bury it.
Chila Woychik (On Being a Rat and Other Observations)
The forest stretched on seemingly forever with the most monotonous predictability, each tree just like the next - trunk, branches, leaves; trunk, branches, leaves. Of course a tree would have taken a different view of the matter. We all tend to see the way others are alike and how we differ, and it's probably just as well we do, since that prevents a great deal of confusion. But perhaps we should remind ourselves from time to time that ours is a very partial view, and that the world is full of a great deal more variety than we ever manage to take in.
Thomas M. Disch (The Brave Little Toaster)
Instead of trying to freeze the present moment and hang on to it, we need to remember that life is a process of constantly letting go. The ego wants dependable rituals and people who stay the same. But to be free means that we enjoy this touch, this kiss, this sunrise, and then let it go. This is sometimes described as not letting the ground under your feet get too solid, not grasping for security or predictability.
Charlotte Kasl (If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path)
Intuition is an essential part of the whole experience of living. Although it will not help predict the future or how people will behave, using intuition as a guide makes life more rewarding. It helps you follow what seems to be the right path, even when social convention or common sense appears to tell differently
Sylvia Clare (Trusting Your Intuition: Rediscover Your True Self to Achieve a Richer, More Rewarding Life)
I don't know about you, but this connection we have, this attraction, it doesn't come along everyday. It's been years...years since I felt this way. Honestly, I never thought I'd feel it again. Does it scare me? Hell yes. Can I predict the future? Nope. But know this, I would never, ever in a million years, hurt you. I'd be in it one hundred percent. At some point in your life, you have to trust someone.
Kim Holden (Bright Side (Bright Side, #1))
Charles Darwin, who had witnessed the atrocities perpetrated against Argentina’s native Indians by Juan Manuel de Rosas, had predicted that “the country will be in the hands of white Gaucho savages instead of copper-coloured Indians. The former being a little superior in education, as they are inferior in every moral virtue.
Jon Lee Anderson (Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life)
A happy woman is a woman relaxed in her body and heart: powerful, unpredictable, deep, potentially wild and destructive, or calm and serene, but always full of life, surrendered to and moved by the great force of her oceanic heart. When you ask her to analyze her heart’s emotions, it’s like building walls around a part of the ocean and turning it into a swimming pool. It’s safer and more predictable, but far less alive and enlivening. Most men have made their women into swimming pools by continually treating them like men, talking with them about their feelings as if they can be analyzed to the point of “fixing” them.
David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man)
Yet in another way, calculus is fundamentally naive, almost childish in its optimism. Experience teaches us that change can be sudden, discontinuous, and wrenching. Calculus draws its power by refusing to see that. It insists on a world without accidents, where one thing leads logically to another. Give me the initial conditions and the law of motion, and with calculus I can predict the future -- or better yet, reconstruct the past. I wish I could do that now.
Steven H. Strogatz (The Calculus of Friendship: What a Teacher and a Student Learned about Life While Corresponding about Math)
When Isaiah predicted that spears would become pruning hooks, that's a reference to cultivating. Pruning and trimming and growing and paying close attention to the plants and whether they're getting enough water and if their roots are deep enough. Soil under the fingernails, grapes being trampled under bare feet, fingers sticky from handling fresh fruit. It's that green stripe you get around the sole of your shoes when you mow the lawn. Life in the age to come. Earthy.
Rob Bell (Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived)
There was no predicting where life would go. There was no real way for a person to try something out, see if he liked it - the words he'd chosen when he told his uncle Patsy that he'd gotten into the police academy - because you try it and try it and try it a little longer and next thing it's who you are.
Mary Beth Keane (Ask Again, Yes)
Well, we all like things to be predictable, don't we? We expect things to be safe and to keep on happening just the way they always have. We expect the sun to rise in the morning. We expect to get up, survive the day and finish up back in bed at the end of it, ready to start all over again the next day. But maybe that's just a trick we play on ourselves, our way of making life seem ordinary. Because the truth is, life is so extraordinary that for most of hte time we can't bring ourselves to look at it. It's too bright and it hurts our eyes. The fact of the matter is that nothing is ever certain. But most people never find that out until the ground suddenly disappears from beneath their feet.
Steve Voake (The Dreamwalker's Child)
They just change. Their body changes. Their abilities - the things they do that make them who they are - leave, sometimes temporarily, sometimes forever. Every day they wake up with that big what if? And nothing is scarier than a life filled with what ifs - living by day without predictability and control. Some people end up losing feeling. Some have uncontrollable spasms. Some can't function. Some end up blind or in a wheelchair. Some end up bedridden and paralyzed. It's hard to know who "some people" will be.
Lindsey Leavitt (Sean Griswold's Head)
Louis XI (1423-1483), the great Spider King of France, had a weakness for astrology. He kept a court astrologer whom he admired, until one day the man predicted that a lady of the court would die within eight days. When the prophecy came true, Louis was terrified, thinking that either the man had murdered the woman to prove his accuracy or that he was so versed in his science that his powers threatened Louis himself. In either case he had to be killed. One evening Louis summoned the astrologer to his room, high in the castle. Before the man arrived, the king told his servants that when he gave the signal they were to pick the astrologer up, carry him to the window, and hurl him to the ground, hundreds of feet below. The astrologer soon arrived, but before giving the signal, Louis decided to ask him one last question: “You claim to understand astrology and to know the fate of others, so tell me what your fate will be and how long you have to live.” “I shall die just three days before Your Majesty,” the astrologer replied. The king’s signal was never given. The man’s life was spared. The Spider King not only protected his astrologer for as long as he was alive, he lavished him with gifts and had him tended by the finest court doctors. The astrologer survived Louis by several years, disproving his power of prophecy but proving his mastery of power.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
Maybe I was just flattering myself, thinking I'd be worth some sort of risk. Not that I'd wish that on anyone!" he clarified. "I don't mean that. It just...I don't know. Don't you all see everything I'm risking?" "Umm, no. You're here with your family to give you advice, and we all live around your schedule. Everything about your life stays the same, and ours changed overnight. What in the world could you possibly be risking?" Maxon looked shocked. "America, I might have my family, but imagine how embarrassing it is to have your parents watch as you attempt to date for the first time. And not just your parents-the whole country! Worse than that, it's not even a normal style of dating. "And living around my schedule? When I'm not with you all, I'm organizing troops, making laws, perfecting budgets...and all on my own these days, while my father watches me stumble in my own stupidity because I have none of his experience. And then, when I inevitably do things in a way he wouldn't, he goes and corrects my mistakes. And while I'm trying to do all this work, you-the girls, I mean-are all I can think about. I'm excited and terrified by the lot of you!" He was using his hands more than I'd ever seen, whipping them in the air and running them through his hair. "And you think my life isn't changing? What do you think my chances might be of finding a soul mate in the group of you? I'll be lucky if I can just find someone who'll be able to stand me for the rest of our lives. What if I've already sent her home because I was relying on some sort of spark I didn't feel? What if she's waiting to leave me at the first sign of adversity? What if I don't find anyone at all? What do I do then, America?" His speech had started out angered and impassioned, but by the end his questions weren't rhetorical anymore. He really wanted to know: What was he going to do if no one here was even close to being someone he could love? Though that didn't even seem to be his main concern; he was more worried that no one would love him. "Actually, Maxon, I think you will find your soul mate here. Honestly." "Really?" His voice charged with hope at my prediction. "Absolutely." I put a hand on his shoulder. He seemed to be comforted by that touch alone. I wondered how often people simply touched him. "If your life is as upside down as you say it is, then she has to be here somewhere. In my experience, true love is usually the most inconvenient kind.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
to require perfection is to invite paralysis. The pattern is predictable: as you see error in what you have done, you steer your work toward what you imagine you can do perfectly. You cling ever more tightly to what you already know you can do — away from risk and exploration, and possibly further from the work of your heart. You find reasons to procrastinate, since to not work is to not make mistakes. Believing that artwork should be perfect, you gradually become convinced that you cannot make such work. (You are correct.) Sooner or later, since you cannot do what you are trying to do, you quit. And in one of those perverse little ironies of life, only the pattern itself achieves perfection — a perfect death spiral: you misdirect your work; you stall; you quit.
David Bayles (Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking)
I slid a hand down the rail to cover hers. It was a simple gesture, but it was easily the greatest decision I’d ever made. That one touched destroyed a wall. I wasn’t even sure whose wall it had been to begin with— hers or mine. But I would have spent my entire life tearing it down if I could have only predicted what was on the other side.
Aly Martinez (The Fall Up (The Fall Up, #1))
It is in vain that we can predict and control the course of events in the future, unless we know how to live in the present. It is in vain that doctors prolong life if we spend the extra time being anxious to live still longer. It is in vain that engineers devise faster and easier means of travel if the new sights that we see are merely sorted and understood in terms of old prejudices. It is in vain that we get the power of the atom if we are just to continue in the rut of blowing people up.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity)
When you are dying and coming to life in each moment, would-be scientific predictions about what will happen after death are of little consequence. The whole glory of it is that we do not know. Ideas of survival and annihilation are alike based on the past, on memories of waking and sleeping, and, in their different ways, the notions of everlasting continuity and everlasting nothingness are without meaning. It needs but slight imagination to realize that everlasting time is a monstrous nightmare, so that between heaven and hell as ordinarily understood there is little to choose.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity)
Getting what you want means making the decisions you need to make to get what you want. Not the decisions those around you think you should make. Making the safe decision is full, predictable and elads nowhere new. The unsafe decision causess you to think and respond in a way you hadn't thought of. And that thought will lead to other thoughts which will help you achieve what you want. Start taking bad decisions and it will take you to a plce where others only dream of being.
Paul Arden (Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite)
This is not (as you have charged) to paint religion with a broad brush. I am very quick to distinguish gradations of bad ideas; some clearly have no consequences at all (or at least not yet); some put civilization itself in peril. The problem with dogmatism, however, is that one can never quite predict how terrible its costs will be. To use one of my favorite examples, consider the Christian dogma that human life begins at the moment of conception: On its face, this belief seems likely to only improve our world. After all, it is the very quintessence of a life-affirming doctrine. Enter embryonic stem-cell research. Suddenly, this “life begins at the moment of conception” business becomes the chief impediment to medical progress. Who would have thought that such an innocuous idea could unnecessarily prolong the agony of tens of millions of people? This is the problem with dogmatism, no matter how seemingly benign: it is unresponsive to reality. Dogmatism is a failure of cognition (as well as a commitment to such failure); it is the state of being closed to new evidence and new arguments. And this frame of mind is rightly despised in every area of culture, on every subject, except where it goes by the name of “religious faith.” In this guise, parading its most grotesque faults as virtues, it is granted a special dispensation, even in the pages of Nature.
Sam Harris
We're a nation with an eating disorder, and we know it. The multiple maladies caused by bad eating are taking a dire toll on our health--most tragically for our kids, who are predicted to be this country's first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. That alone is a stunning enough fact to give us pause. So is a government policy that advises us to eat more fruits and vegetables, while doling out subsidies not to fruit and vegetable farmers, but to commodity crops destined to become soda pop and cheap burgers. The Farm Bill, as of this writing, could aptly be called the Farm Kill, both for its effects on small farmers and for what it does to us, the consumers who are financing it.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
My life will be what I make it," he told her. "That is true for all of us all the time. We cannot know what the future will bring or how the events of the future will make us feel. We cannot even plan and feel any certainty that our most carefully contrived plans will be put into effect. Could I have predicted what happened to me in the Peninsula? Could you have predicted what happened to you in Cornwall? But those things happened to us nevertheless. And they changed our plans and our dreams so radically that we both might have been excused for giving up, for never planning or dreaming again, for never living again. That too is a choice we all have to make.
Mary Balogh (Simply Love (Simply Quartet #2))
There is a sense of danger in leaving what you know, even if what you know isn’t much. These mill towns with their narrow lanes and often narrow minds were all I really knew and I feared that if I left it behind, I would lose it and not find anything to replace it. The other reason I didn’t want to go was because I wanted to be the kind of person who stays, who builds a stable and predictable life. But I wasn’t one of the people, nor would I ever be. I had a vision for my life. It wasn’t clear, but it was beautiful and involved leaving my history and my poverty behind me. I wasn’t happy about who I was or where I was, but I didn’t worry about it. It didn’t define me. We’re always in the making. God always has us on his anvil, melting, bending and shaping us for another purpose. It was time to change, to find a new purpose.
John William Tuohy
It used to be obvious that the world was designed by some sort of intelligence. What else could account for fire and rain and lightning and earthquakes? Above all, the wonderful abilities of living things seemed to point to a creator who had a special interest in life. Today we understand most of these things in terms of physical forces acting under impersonal laws. We don't yet know the most fundamental laws, and we can't work out all the consequences of the laws we do know. The human mind remains extraordinarily difficult to understand, but so is the weather. We can't predict whether it will rain one month from today, but we do know the rules that govern the rain, even though we can't always calculate their consequences. I see nothing about the human mind any more than about the weather that stands out as beyond the hope of understanding as a consequence of impersonal laws acting over billions of years.
Steven Weinberg
There are at the present time two great nations in the world, which started from different points, but seem to tend towards the same end. I allude to the Russians and the Americans. Both of them have grown up unnoticed; and whilst the attention of mankind was directed elsewhere, they have suddenly placed themselves in the front rank among the nations, and the world learned their existence and their greatness at almost the same time. All other nations seem to have nearly reached their natural limits, and they have only to maintain their power; but these are still in the act of growth. All the others have stopped, or continue to advance with extreme difficulty; these alone are proceeding with ease and celerity along a path to which no limit can be perceived. The American struggles against the obstacles which nature opposes to him; the adversaries of the Russian are men. The former combats the wilderness and savage life; the latter, civilization with all its arms. The conquests of the American are therefore gained with the ploughshare; those of the Russian by the sword. The Anglo-American relies upon personal interest to accomplish his ends, and gives free scope to the unguided strength and common sense of the people; the Russian centres all the authority of society in a single arm. The principal instrument of the former is freedom; of the latter, servitude. Their starting-point is different, and their courses are not the same; yet each of them seems marked out by the will of Heaven to sway the destinies of half the globe.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
It's the treasure in the empty field; it's worth selling everything to own--your entertainment, your 401(k) or your registered retirement savings plan, your home, your comfort, the sand where you stick your head, your last word, your right answers, your safe and predictable nice little life centered on avoiding heartbreak or inconvenience to your schedule.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
People annoy the crap out of me," he says. "I think people are nervous and loud and rude and selfish and stupid pretty much all the time." [...] "If they're beautiful they know it, so they don't bother having a personality or associating with people that don't fit into their league or can't afford their company. And, somehow these people are the most popular, which makes absolutely no sense. People try so hard to be accepted, they turn into a walking stereotype. They're pathetically easy to predict. They're insecure and try to mask it with whatever product corporate America is currently making and they always let you down. Just give them enough time, and they will." [...] "I think everyone's caught up in these narrow-minded worlds and they think their world exists in the center of the universe. Relationship only happen when it's convenient. You have to walk on eggshells for people because that's how strong they are these days. And you can't confront people, because if you do, that brittle shell of confidence will crack. So we all become passive cowards that carry a fake smile wherever we go because God forbid you let your guard down long enough for people to see your life isn't perfect. That you have a few flaws. Because who wants to see that?
Katie Kacvinsky (First Comes Love (First Comes Love, #1))
To those who suspect that intellect is a subversive force in society, it will not do to reply that intellect is really a safe, bland, and emollient thing. In a certain sense, the suspicious Tories and militant philistines are right: intellect is dangerous. Left free, there is nothing it will not reconsider, analyze, throw into question. "Let us admit the case of the conservative," John Dewey once wrote. "If we once start thinking no one can guarantee what will be the outcome, except that many objects, ends and institutions will be surely doomed. Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently stable world in peril, and no one can wholly predict what will emerge in its place." Further, there is no way of guaranteeing that an intellectual class will be discreet and restrained in the use of its influence; the only assurance that can be given to any community is that it will be far worse off if it denies the free uses of the power of intellect than if it permits them. To be sure, intellectuals, contrary to the fantasies of cultural vigilantes, are hardly ever subversive of a society as a whole. But intellect is always on the move against something: some oppression, fraud, illusion, dogma, or interest is constantly falling under the scrutiny of the intellectual class and becoming the object of exposure, indignation, or ridicule.
Richard Hofstadter (Anti-Intellectualism in American Life)
I always think fondly of my years inside Detention Center LC/766B. The women and the children I met had all lost people they loved, but they never wallowed in despair. Dying is one of the few experiences we'll eventually all enjoy firsthand, and like most shit that's commonplace, it's boring to dwell on. My fellow inmates/classmates (and really, what's the difference?) showed me it was more interesting to concentrate on the living. Because death is fucking predictable... ...but life has science experiments and free time and surprise naps and who knows what comes next?
Brian K. Vaughan (Saga #36)
The Greeks shape bronze statues so real they seem to breathe, And carve cold marble until it almost comes to life. The Greeks compose great orations, and measure The heavens so well they can predict the rising of the stars. But you, Romans, remember your great arts; To govern the peoples with authority, To establish peace under the rule of law, To conquer the mighty, and show them mercy once they are conquered." -Virgil, Aeneid VI, 847-853
Virgil
From this cascade comes a prediction: getting too little sleep across the adult life span will significantly raise your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Precisely this relationship has now been reported in numerous epidemiological studies, including those individuals suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea.VIII Parenthetically, and unscientifically, I have always found it curious that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan—two heads of state that were very vocal, if not proud, about sleeping only four to five hours a night—both went on to develop the ruthless disease. The current US president, Donald Trump—also a vociferous proclaimer of sleeping just a few hours each night—may want to take note.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams)
According to legend, Father Earth did not originally hate life. In fact, as the lorists tell it, once upon a time Earth did everything he could to facilitate the strange emergence of life on his surface. He crafted even, predictable seasons; kept changes of wind and wave and temperature slow enough that every living being could adapt, evolve; summoned waters that purified themselves, skies that always cleared after a storm. He did not create life—that was happenstance—but he was pleased and fascinated by it, and proud to nurture such strange wild beauty upon his surface. Then people began to do horrible things to Father Earth. They poisoned waters beyond even his ability to cleanse, and killed much of the other life that lived on his surface. They drilled through the crust of his skin, past the blood of his mantle, to get at the sweet marrow of his bones. And at the height of human hubris and might, it was the orogenes who did something that even Earth could not forgive: They destroyed his only child.
N.K. Jemisin (The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1))
...this is the first time in the history of humankind where we are trying to experience sexuality in the long term, not because we want 14 children, for which we need to have even more because many of them won't make it, and not because it is exclusively a woman's marital duty. This is the first time that we want sex over time about pleasure and connection that is rooted in desire. So what sustains desire, and why is it so difficult? And at the heart of sustaining desire in a committed relationship, I think is the reconciliation of two fundamental human needs... So reconciling our need for security and our need for adventure into one relationship, or what we today like to call a passionate marriage, used to be a contradiction in terms. Marriage was an economic institution in which you were given a partnership for life in terms of children and social status and succession and companionship. But now we want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition I want you to be my best friend and my trusted confidant and my passionate lover to boot, and we live twice as long. So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide: Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise. And we think it's a given, and toys and lingerie are going to save us with that.
Esther Perel
If you wanted to predict how people would behave, Munger said, you only had to look at their incentives. FedEx couldn’t get its night shift to finish on time; they tried everything to speed it up but nothing worked—until they stopped paying night shift workers by the hour and started to pay them by the shift. Xerox created a new, better machine only to have it sell less well than the inferior older ones—until they figured out the salesmen got a bigger commission for selling the older one. “Well, you can say, ‘Everybody knows that,’ ” said Munger. “I think I’ve been in the top five percent of my age cohort all my life in understanding the power of incentives, and all my life I’ve underestimated it. And never a year passes but I get some surprise that pushes my limit a little
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
This is an example of what Jung called “the regressive restoration of the persona,” namely, the re-identification with a former position, role, ideology because it offers a predictable content, security, and script. In the face of the new and uncertain, we often return to the old place, which is why we so often stop growing. (It has become clear to me, for example, that aging itself does not bring wisdom. It often brings regression to childishness, dependency, and bitterness over lost opportunities.
James Hollis (What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life)
Habits are undeniably useful tools, relieving us of the need to run a complex mental operation every time we’re confronted with a new task or situation. Yet they also relieve us of the need to stay awake to the world: to attend, feel, think, and then act in a deliberate manner. (That is, from freedom rather than compulsion.) If you need to be reminded how completely mental habit blinds us to experience, just take a trip to an unfamiliar country. Suddenly you wake up! And the algorithms of everyday life all but start over, as if from scratch. This is why the various travel metaphors for the psychedelic experience are so apt. The efficiencies of the adult mind, useful as they are, blind us to the present moment. We’re constantly jumping ahead to the next thing. We approach experience much as an artificial intelligence (AI) program does, with our brains continually translating the data of the present into the terms of the past, reaching back in time for the relevant experience, and then using that to make its best guess as to how to predict and navigate the future. One of the things that commends travel, art, nature, work, and certain drugs to us is the way these experiences, at their best, block every mental path forward and back, immersing us in the flow of a present that is literally wonderful—wonder being the by-product of precisely the kind of unencumbered first sight, or virginal noticing, to which the adult brain has closed itself. (It’s so inefficient!) Alas, most of the time I inhabit a near-future tense, my psychic thermostat set to a low simmer of anticipation and, too often, worry. The good thing is I’m seldom surprised. The bad thing is I’m seldom surprised.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
Did I really want predictability? Did I want a never-ending routine that, while always resulting in pleasure, never altered, never faltered? Was he even capable of failing? And with that question, had I truly believed that the possibility of failure was a bad thing? Wasn’t risk the very marrow of life? Never knowing what you were going to get…or how? Never knowing whether it was going to change your entire existence or leave you dejected?
Jennifer DeLucy (A Valentine Anthology)
There’s one kind of writing that’s always easy: Picking out something obviously stupid and reiterating how stupid it obviously is. This is the lowest form of criticism, easily accomplished by anyone. And for most of my life, I have tried to avoid this. In fact, I’ve spend an inordinate amount of time searching for the underrated value in ostensibly stupid things. I understand Turtle’s motivation and I would have watched Medelin in the theater. I read Mary Worth every day for a decade. I’ve seen Korn in concert three times and liked them once. I went to The Day After Tomorrow on opening night. I own a very expensive robot that doesn’t do anything. I am open to the possibility that everyting has metaphorical merit, and I see no point in sardonically attacking the most predictable failures within any culture.
Chuck Klosterman (Eating the Dinosaur)
One major irony here is that law, which always lags behind technological innovation by at least a generation, gives substantially more protections to a communication’s content than to its metadata—and yet intelligence agencies are far more interested in the metadata—the activity records that allow them both the “big picture” ability to analyze data at scale, and the “little picture” ability to make perfect maps, chronologies, and associative synopses of an individual person’s life, from which they presume to extrapolate predictions of behavior.
Edward Snowden (Permanent Record)
It was Valentine's Day and I had spent the day in bed with my life partner, Ketel One. The two of us watched a romance movie marathon on TBS Superstation that made me wonder how people who write romantic comedies can sleep at night. At some point during almost every romantic comedy, the female lead suddenly trips and falls, stumbling helplessly over something ridiculous like a leaf, and then some Matthew McConaughey type either whips around the corner just in the nick of time to save her or is clumsily pulled down along with her. That event predictably leads to the magical moment of their first kiss. Please. I fall all-the-time. You know who comes and gets me? The bouncer. Then, within the two hour time frame of the movie, the couple meet, fall in love, fall out of love, break up, and then just before the end of the movie, they happen to bump into each other by "coincidence" somewhere absolutely absurd, like by the river. This never happens in real life. The last time I bumped into an ex-boyfriend was at three o'clock in the morning at Rite Aid. I was ringing up Gas-X and corn removers.
Chelsea Handler (My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands)
Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of the world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion [quoting 1 Tim 1:7].
Augustine of Hippo (The Literal Meaning of Genesis, Vol 2 (De Genesi ad litteram))
Go now, and live. Experience. Dream. Risk. Close your eyes and jump. Enjoy the freefall. Choose exhilaration over comfort. Choose magic over predictability. Choose potential over safety. Wake up to the magic of everyday life. Make friends with your intuition. Trust your gut. Discover the beauty of uncertainty. Know yourself fully before you make promises to another. Make millions of mistakes so that you will know how to choose what you really need. Know when to hold on and when to let go. Love hard and often and without reservation. Seek knowledge. Open yourself to possibility. Keep your heart open, your head high and your spirit free. Embrace your darkness along with your light. Be wrong everyday once in a while, and don't be afraid to admit it. Awaken to the brilliance in ordinary moments. Tell the truth about yourself no matter what the cost. Own your reality without apology. See goodness in the world. Be Bold. Be Fierce. Be Grateful. Be Wild, Crazy and Gloriously Free. Be You. Go now, and live.
Jeanette LeBlanc
...I continued to sit there hour after hour watching the unrelenting rain slosh against the glass, thinking of our life together, Lotte's and mine, how everything in it was designed to give a sense of permanence, the chair against the wall that was there when we went to sleep and there again when we awoke, the little habits that quoted from the day before and predicted the day to come, though in truth it was all just an illusion, just as solid matter is an illusion, just as our bodies are an illusion, pretending to be one thing when really they are millions upon millions of atoms coming and going, some arriving while others are leaving us forever, as if each of us were only a great train station, only not even that since at least in a train station the stones and the tracks and the glass roof stay still while everything else rushes through it, no, it was worse than that, more like a giant empty field where every day a circus erected and dismantled itself, the whole thing from top to bottom, but never the same circus, so what hope did we really have of ever making sense of ourselves, let alone one another?
Nicole Krauss (Great House)
What daily life is like for “a multiple” Imagine that you have periods of “lost time.” You may find writings or drawings which you must have done, but do not remember producing. Perhaps you find child-sized clothing or toys in your home but have no children. You might also hear voices or babies crying in your head. Imagine that you can never predict when you will be able to have certain knowledge or social skills, and your emotions and your energy level seem to change at the drop of a hat, and for no apparent reason. You cannot understand why you feel what you feel, and, if you are in therapy, you cannot explore those feelings when asked. Your life feels disjointed and often confusing. It is a frightening experience. It feels out of control, and you probably think you are going crazy. That is what it is like to be multiple, and all of it is experienced by the ANPs. A multiple may also experience very concrete problems, even life-threatening ones.
Alison Miller (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
Is there any way to be sure that your whole life has not been a dream? I don't think that there is. Typically we call some experiences "dreams" and others "reality" by contrasting them. Experiences that we call "real" are consistent and predictable. For example, people don't just get up and fly away in "real life" while they sometimes do in dreams. And it is not unusual for the experiences we have in dreams to jump around from one time and place to another, while those events we call "real" do not. But if your whole life has been a dream, then there is nothing to contrast these experiences with. In this case, the "dreams" that you recall each night are just dreams within the dream. And that contrast still holds. Even if your whole life has been a dream you could distinguish your nightly dreams from your "waking experiences" much of the time. But how do you know that you are not in Neo's predicament- that even your waking experiences are simply more dreams- just more predictable ones? Morpheus's suggestion seems correct. If you have never awakened from the dream to see what "real life" is actually like, you would have absolutely no way to discern that you are dreaming.
Matt Lawrence (Like a Splinter in Your Mind)
I had this sudden awareness, she continues, of how the moments of our lives go out of existence before we're conscious of having lived them. It's only a relatively few moments that we get to keep and carry with us for the rest of our lives. Those moments are our lives. Or maybe it's more like those moments are the dots in what we call our lives, or the lines we draw between them, connecting them into imaginary pictures of ourselves. You know, like those mythical pictures of constellations traced between stars. I remember how when I was a kid, I actually expected to be able to look up and see Pagasus spread out against the night. And when I couldn't, it seemed like a trick had been played on me, like a fraud. I thought, hey, if this is all there is to it, then I could reconnect the stars in any shape I wanted. I could create the Ken and Barbie constellations… I realize we can never predict when those few special moments will occur, she says. How... there are certain people, not that many, who enter one's life with the power to make those moments happen. Maybe that's what falling in love means…the power to create for each other the moments by which we define ourselves.
Stuart Dybek (Paper Lantern)
I was really more like an old star, out of fuel, my own gravity pulling me inward, crushing me. I ran out of energy for my too-perfect life, my too-predictable job, my loveless relationship--exhausted at only twenty-seven. Like a star, my life in Chicago collapsed under the force of its own weight, so I was leaving. Massive stars leave behind black holes. Small stars leave behind white dwarfs. I was barely leaving behind a shadow. All of my light was coming with me. I was ready to start over as a comet: refuel, reignite, and burn across the sky.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard, #2))
but at the Lychgate we may all pass our own conduct and our own judgments under a searching review. It is not given to human beings, happily for them, for otherwise life would be intolerable, to foresee or to predict to any large extent the unfolding course of events. In one phase men seem to have been right, in another they seem to have been wrong. Then again, a few years later, when the perspective of time has lengthened, all stands in a different setting. There is a new proportion. There is another scale of values. History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. What is the worth of all this? The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honor.
Winston S. Churchill
Because people who live their lives this way can look forward to a single destiny, shared with others of this type - though such people do not believe they represent a type, but feel themselves distinguished from the common run of man, who they see as held down by the banal anchors of the world. But while others actually build a life in which things gain meaning and significance, this is not true of the puer. Such a person inevitably looks back on life as it nears its end with a feeling of emptiness and sadness, aware of what they have built: nothing. In their quest for a life without failure, suffer, or doubt, that is what they achieve: a life empty of all those things that make a human life meaningful. And yet they started off believing themselves too special for this world! But - and here is the hope - there is a solution for people of this type, and it's perhaps not the solution that could have been predicted. The answer for them is to build on what they have begun and not abandon their plans as soon as things start getting difficult. They must work - without escaping into fantasies about being the person who worked. And I don't mean work for its own sake, but they must choose work that begins and ends in a passion, a question that is gnawing at their guts, which is not to be avoided but must be realized and live through the hard work and suffering that inevitably comes with the process. They must reinforce and build on what is in their life already rather than always starting anew, hoping to find a situation without danger. Puers don't need to check themselves into analysis. If they can just remember this - It is their everlasting switching that is the dangerous thing, and not what they choose - they might discover themselves saved. The problem is the puer ever anticipates loss, disappointment, and suffering - which they foresee at the very beginning of every experience, so they cut themselves off at the beginning, retreating almost at once in order to protect themselves. In this way, they never give themselves to life - living in constant dread of the end. Reason, in this case, has taken too much from life. They must give themselves completely to the experience! One things sometimes how much more alive such people would be if they suffered! If they can't be happy, let them at least be unhappy - really, really unhappy for once, and then the might become truly human!
Sheila Heti (How Should a Person Be?)
Marriage was an economic institution in which you were given a partnership for life in terms of children and social status and succession and companionship. But now we want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition I want you to be my best friend and my trusted confidant and my passionate lover to boot, and we live twice as long. So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide: Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise. And we think it’s a given, and toys and lingerie are going to save us with that.6
Aziz Ansari (Modern Romance: An Investigation)
Realism is for lazy-minded, semi-educated people whose atrophied imagination allows them to appreciate only the most limited and convention subject matter. Re-Fi is a repetitive genre written by unimaginative hacks who rely on mere mimesis. If they had any self-respect they'd be writing memoir, but they're too lazy to fact-check. Of course I never read Re-Fi. But the kids keep bringing home these garish realistic novels and talking about them, so I know that it's an incredibly narrow genre, completely centered on one species, full of worn-out cliches and predictable situations--the quest for the father, mother-bashing, obsessive male lust, dysfunctional suburban families, etc., etc. All it's good for is being made into mass-market movies. Given its old-fashioned means and limited subject matter, realism is quite incapable of describing the complexity of contemporary experience.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000–2016, with A Journal of a Writer's Week)
It's a scary thing, moving on. Part of me wishes life were more predictable and part of me is excited that it's not. I think it's impossible to tell the good things from the bad things while they're happening. Once I thought being a fat kid was the worst thing that could possibly be, but if I hadn't been fat I would never have known Sarah Byrnes--I mean Sarah--and that would have been a true tragedy in my life. And what is a worse thing than living like she lived for all those years? Nothing I can think of, but someday some kid in a group home somewhere in Kansas--chronicled in LIFE magazine more than five years ago--may be touched by her courage, and I guarantee that will change his or her life forever.
Chris Crutcher (Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes)
I was told that the disorder was not really in my eyes, but in my central nervous system. I might or might not experience symptoms of neural damage all my life. These symptoms, which might or might not appear, might or might not involve my eyes. They might or might not involve my arms or legs, they might or might not be disabling. Their effects might be lessened by cortisone injections, or they might not. It could not be predicted. The condition had a name, the kind of name usually associated with telethons, but the name meant nothing and the neurologist did not like to use it. The name was multiple sclerosis, but the name had no meaning. This was, the neurologist said, an exclusionary diagnosis, and meant nothing. I had, at this time, a sharp apprehension not of what it was like to be old but of what it was like to open the door to the stranger and find that the stranger did indeed have the knife. In a few lines of dialogue in a neurologist’s office in Beverly Hills, the improbable had become the probable, the norm: things which happened only to other people could in fact happen to me. I could be struck by lightning, could dare to eat a peach and be poisoned by the cyanide in the stone. The startling fact was this: my body was offering a precise physiological equivalent to what had been going on in my mind.
Joan Didion (The White Album: Essays)
The first fact of the world is that it repeats itself. I had been taught to believe that the freshness of children lay in their capacity for wonder at the vividness and strangeness of the particular, but what is fresh in them is that they still experience the power of repetition, from which our first sense of the power of mastery comes. Though predictable is an ugly little world in daily life, in our first experience of it we are clued to the hope of a shapeliness in things. To see that power working on adults, you have to catch them out: the look of foolish happiness on the faces of people who have just sat down to dinner is their knowledge that dinner will be served. Probably, that is the psychological basis for the power and the necessity of artistic form...Maybe our first experience of form is the experience of our own formation...And I am not thinking mainly of poems about form; I’m thinking of the form of a poem, the shape of its understanding. The presence of that shaping constitutes the presence of poetry.
Robert Hass
When writers who are just starting out ask me when it gets easier, my answer is never. It never gets easier. I don’t want to scare them, so I rarely say more than that, but the truth is that, if anything, it gets harder. The writing life isn’t just filled with predictable uncertainties but with the awareness that we are always starting over again. That everything we ever write will be flawed. We may have written one book, or many, but all we know — if we know anything at all — is how to write the book we’re writing. All novels are failures. Perfection itself would be a failure. All we can hope is that we will fail better. That we won’t succumb to fear of the unknown. That we will not fall prey to the easy enchantments of repeating what may have worked in the past. I try to remember that the job — as well as the plight, and the unexpected joy — of the artist is to embrace uncertainty, to be sharpened and honed by it. To be birthed by it. Each time we come to the end of a piece of work, we have failed as we have leapt—spectacularly, brazenly — into the unknown.
Dani Shapiro (Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life)
Hippocrates cured many illnesses—and then fell ill and died. The Chaldaeans predicted the deaths of many others; in due course their own hour arrived. Alexander, Pompey, Caesar—who utterly destroyed so many cities, cut down so many thousand foot and horse in battle—they too departedthis life. Heraclitus often told us the world would end in fire. But it was moisture that carried him off; he died smeared with cowshit. Democritus was killed by ordinary vermin, Socrates by the human kind. And? You boarded, you set sail, you’ve made the passage. Time to disembark. If it’s for another life, well, there’s nowhere without gods on that side either. If to nothingness, then you no longer have to put up with pain and pleasure, or go on dancing attendance on this battered crate, your body—so much inferior to that which serves it. One is mind and spirit, the other earth and garbage.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Why, the isolation that prevails everywhere, above all in our age—it has not fully developed, it has not reached its limit yet. For every one strives to keep his individuality as apart as possible, wishes to secure the greatest possible fullness of life for himself; but meantime all his efforts result not in attaining fullness of life but self-destruction, for instead of self-realization he ends by arriving at complete solitude. All mankind in our age have split up into units, they all keep apart, each in his own groove; each one holds aloof, hides himself and hides what he has, from the rest, and he ends by being repelled by others and repelling them. He heaps up riches by himself and thinks, ‘How strong I am now and how secure,’ and in his madness he does not understand that the more he heaps up, the more he sinks into self-destructive impotence. For he is accustomed to rely upon himself alone and to cut himself off from the whole; he has trained himself not to believe in the help of others, in men and in humanity, and only trembles for fear he should lose his money and the privileges that he has won for himself. Everywhere in these days men have, in their mockery, ceased to understand that the true security is to be found in social solidarity rather than in isolated individual effort. But this terrible individualism must inevitably have an end, and all will suddenly understand how unnaturally they are separated from one another. It will be the spirit of the time, and people will marvel that they have sat so long in darkness without seeing the light.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
What was I supposed to do then I wondered. Was there even a supposed-to for this kind of situation? A situation when when I looked at my receding past everything seemed retrospectively marked by an extreme order and predictability yet all moments since seemed to obey, and promised to continue obeying, their own set of stochastic, undisclosed, and undiscoverable laws. Where I was fully aware of the pitfalls and folly of a finely-tuned narcissism but still the known universe seemed to bend and bend inexorably inward and towards me where it awaited my next move, supremely ready to react accordingly. And how I knew that decisions I would soon make or defer would have near-Sophoclean import and yet nonetheless it all seemed oddly irrelevant.
Sergio de la Pava (A Naked Singularity)
Adjusting to a world that is continually inconsistent and untrustworthy is a major problem for the borderline. The borderline’s universe lacks pattern and predictability. Friends, jobs, and skills can never be relied upon. The borderline must keep testing and retesting all of these aspects of his life; he is in constant fear that a trusted person or situation will change into the total opposite—absolute betrayal. A hero becomes a devil; the perfect job becomes the bane of his existence. The borderline cannot conceive that individual or situational object constancy can endure. He has no laurels on which to rest. Every day he must begin anew trying desperately to prove to himself that the world can be trusted. Just because the sun has risen in the East for thousands of years does not mean it will happen today. He must see it for himself each and every day. CASE
Jerold J. Kreisman (I Hate You, Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality)
One of the study’s major findings was that in the successful relationships, positive attention outweighed negative on a daily basis by a factor of five to one. This positive attention wasn’t about dramatic actions like throwing over-the-top birthday parties or purchasing a dream home. It took the form of small gestures, such as: using a pleased tone of voice when receiving a phone call from the partner, as opposed to an exasperated tone or a rushed pace that implied the partner’s call was interrupting important tasks inquiring about dentist appointments or other details of the other person’s day putting down the remote control, newspaper, or telephone when the other partner walked through the door arriving home at the promised time—or at least calling if there was a delay These small moments turned out to be more predictive of a loving, trusting relationship than were the more innovative steps of romantic vacations and expensive presents. Possibly, that’s because small moments provide consistent tending and nurturing.
Robert Maurer (One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way)
What are the things that make adults depressed? The master list is too comprehensive to quantify (plane crashes, unemployment, killer bees, impotence, Stringer Bell's murder, gambling addictions, crib death, the music of Bon Iver, et al.) But whenever people talk about their personal bouts of depression in the abstract, there are two obstructions I hear more than any other. The possibility that one's life is not important, and the mundane predictability of day-to-day existence. Talk to a depressed person (particularly one who's nearing midlife), and one (or both) of these problems will inevitably be described. Since the end of World War II, every generation of American children has been endlessly conditioned to believe that their lives are supposed to be great -- a meaningful life is not just possible, but required. Part of the reason forward-thinking media networks like Twitter succeed is because people want to believe that every immaterial thing they do is pertinent by default; it's interesting because it happened to them, which translates as interesting to all. At the same time, we concede that a compelling life is supposed to be spontaneous and unpredictable-- any artistic depiction of someone who does the same thing every day portrays that character as tragically imprisoned (January Jones on Mad Men, Ron Livingston in Office Space, the lyrics to "Eleanor Rigby," all novels set in affluent suburbs, pretty much every project Sam Mendes has ever conceived, etc.) If you know exactly what's going to happen tomorrow, the voltage of that experience is immediately mitigated. Yet most lives are the same, 95 percent of the time. And most lives aren't extrinsically meaningful, unless you're delusionally self-absorbed or authentically Born Again. So here's where we find the creeping melancholy of modernity: The one thing all people are supposed to inherently deserve- a daily subsistence that's both meaningful and unpredictable-- tends to be an incredibly rare commodity. If it's not already there, we cannot manufacture it.
Chuck Klosterman (Eating the Dinosaur)
Jonathan Sacks; “One way is just to think, for instance, of biodiversity. The extraordinary thing we now know, thanks to Crick and Watson’s discovery of DNA and the decoding of the human and other genomes, is that all life, everything, all the three million species of life and plant life—all have the same source. We all come from a single source. Everything that lives has its genetic code written in the same alphabet. Unity creates diversity. So don’t think of one God, one truth, one way. Think of one God creating this extraordinary number of ways, the 6,800 languages that are actually spoken. Don’t think there’s only one language within which we can speak to God. The Bible is saying to us the whole time: Don’t think that God is as simple as you are. He’s in places you would never expect him to be. And you know, we lose a bit of that in English translation. When Moses at the burning bush says to God, “Who are you?” God says to him three words: “Hayah asher hayah.”Those words are mistranslated in English as “I am that which I am.” But in Hebrew, it means “I will be who or how or where I will be,” meaning, Don’t think you can predict me. I am a God who is going to surprise you. One of the ways God surprises us is by letting a Jew or a Christian discover the trace of God’s presence in a Buddhist monk or a Sikh tradition of hospitality or the graciousness of Hindu life. Don’t think we can confine God into our categories. God is bigger than religion.
Krista Tippett (Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living)
What is Destiny? Is it a doctrine formulated by aristocrats and philosophers arguing that there is some unseen driving force predicting the outcomes of every minuscule and life altering moment in one's life? Or is it the artistry illustrated by those under-qualifed and over-eager to give their future meaning and their ambitions hope? Is it a declaration by those who refuse to accept that we are alone in this universe, spinning randomly through a matrix of accidental coincidences? Or is it the assumptions made by those who concede that there is a divine plan or pre-ordained path for each human being,regardless of their current station? I think destiny is a bit of a tease.... It's syndical taunts and teases mock those naive enough to believe in its black jack dealing of inevitable futures. Its evolution from puppy dogs and ice cream to razor blades and broken mirrors characterizes the fickle nature of its sordid underbelly. Those relying on its decisive measures will fracture under its harsh rules. Those embracing the fact that life happens at a million miles a minute will flourish in its random grace. Destiny has afforded me the most magical memories and unbelievably tragic experiences that have molded and shaped my life into what it is today...beautiful. I fully accept the mirage that destiny promises and the reality it can produce. Without the invisible momentum carried with its sincere fabrication of coming attraction, destiny is the covenant we rely on to get ourselves through the day. To the destiny I know awaits me, I thank you in advance. Don't cry because it's over....smile because it happened.
Ivan Rusilko (Dessert (The Winemaker's Dinner, #3))
Clara shrugged and immediately knew her betrayal of Peter. In one easy movement she'd distanced herself from his bad behavior, even thought she herself was responsible for it. Just before everyone had arrived, she'd told Peter about her adventure with Gamache. Animated and excited she'd gabbled on about her box and the woods and the exhilarating climb up the ladder to the blind. But her wall of words hid from her a growing quietude. She failed to notice his silence, his distance, until it was too late and he'd retreated all the way to his icy island. She hated that place. From it he stood and stared, judged, and lobbed shards of sarcasm. 'You and your hero solve Jane's death?' 'I thought you'd be pleased,' she half lied. She actually hadn't thought at all, and if she had, she probably could have predicted his reaction. But since he was comfortably on his Inuk island, she'd retreat to hers, equipped with righteous indignation and warmed by moral certitude. She threw great logs of 'I'm right, you're an unfeeling bastard' onto the fire and felt secure and comforted.
Louise Penny (Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1))
In the writings of many contemporary psychics and mystics (e.g., Gopi Krishna, Shri Rajneesh, Frannie Steiger, John White, Hal Lindsay, and several dozen others whose names I have mercifully forgotten) there is a repeated prediction that the Earth is about to be afflicted with unprecedented calamities, including every possible type of natural catastrophe from Earthquakes to pole shifts. Most of humanity will be destroyed, these seers inform us cheerfully. This cataclysm is referred to, by many of them, as "the Great Purification" or "the Great Cleansing," and is supposed to be a punishment for our sins. I find the morality and theology of this Doomsday Brigade highly questionable. A large part of the Native American population was exterminated in the 19th century; I cannot regard that as a "Great Cleansing" or believe that the Indians were being punished for their sins. Nor can I think of Hitler's death camps, or Hiroshima or Nagasaki, as "Great Purifications." And I can't make myself believe that the millions killed by plagues, cancers, natural catastrophes, etc., throughout history were all singled out by some Cosmic Intelligence for punishment, while the survivors were preserved due to their virtues. To accept the idea of "God" implicit in such views is logically to hold that everybody hit by a car deserved it, and we should not try to get him to a hospital and save his life, since "God" wants him dead. I don't know who are the worst sinners on this planet, but I am quite sure that if a Higher Intelligence wanted to exterminate them, It would find a very precise method of locating each one separately. After all, even Lee Harvey Oswald -- assuming the official version of the Kennedy assassination -- only hit one innocent bystander while aiming at JFK. To assume that Divinity would employ earthquakes and pole shifts to "get" (say) Richard Nixon, carelessly murdering millions of innocent children and harmless old ladies and dogs and cats in the process, is absolutely and ineluctably to state that your idea of God is of a cosmic imbecile.
Robert Anton Wilson
The more time that passes, what begins to seem uncanny to Ben is the fact that all the days ahead are such a darkness, that all of us move through our hours as if blindfolded, never knowing what will happen next. How can he send his daughter out into a world like that? But even an infant’s brain can predict the rough path of a falling object in flight. And so, maybe, in a way, Ben can see what’s coming: His girl will love and be loved. She will suffer, and she will cause suffering. She will be known and unknown. She will be content and discontented. She will sometimes be lonely and sometimes less so. She will dream and be dreamed of. She will grieve and be grieved for. She will struggle and triumph and fail. There will be days of spectacular beauty, sublime and unearned. There will be moments of rapture. She will sometimes feel afraid. The sun will warm her face. The earth will ground her body. And her heart—now thrumming strong and steady, against her father’s chest, as he rocks her to sleep on a porch swing one evening in early summer, at the very start of a life—that heart: it will beat, and it will someday cease to beat. And so much of this life will remain always beyond her understanding, as obscure as the landscapes of someone else’s dreams.
Karen Thompson Walker (The Dreamers)
The Creed for the Sociopathic Obsessive Compulsive (Peter's Laws) 1. If anything can go wrong, Fix it!!! (To hell with Murphy!!) 2. When given a choice - Take Both!! 3. Multiple projects lead to multiple successes. 4. Start at the top, then work your way up. 5. Do it by the book... but be the author! 6. When forced to compromise, ask for more. 7. If you can't beat them, join them, then beat them. 8. If it's worth doing, it's got to be done right now. 9. If you can't win, change the rules. 10. If you can't change the rules, then ignore them. 11. Perfection is not optional. 12. When faced without a challenge, make one. 13. "No" simply means begin again at one level higher. 14. Don't walk when you can run. 15. Bureaucracy is a challenge to be conquered with a righteous attitude, a tolerance for stupidity, and a bulldozer when necessary. 16. When in doubt: THINK! 17. Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing. 18. The squeaky wheel gets replaced. 19. The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live. 20. The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!!
Peter Safar
When I behold other people, who are of course the children of some family or other, and think of my own children, and of myself...I am astonished at how sensible, well-behaved, practical, courteous, and predictable these other children are. The other children are so easy about the whole business of being who they are, being in the world, and getting along. Whereas with us it is an awful fight, all the way. I am left with the conclusion that we are quite probably crazy, but somehow not in a way that compels commitment. We get over our rampages before society or clinical insanity charges in on us. I can think of very few of us who are not nuts. And that's not at our worst, that's pretty much as we always are. We find fault with everything. The world stinks, and even long after we have reconciled ourselves to that truth, we still regret it, and now and then even rage against it. Running through the various branches of the family I fail to find one branch which might be said to be nice- ordinary, sober, adjusted, willing, courteous, undemanding, charming, practical, predictable, and all of the other things nice people are. Lunacy runs straight down the middle of every branch of my family. We have nobody who is not some kind of nut. What did it? How did it happen? Well, there's no answer, of course.
William Saroyan (Days Of Life And Death And Escape To The Moon)
I wish you well, explorer, but I wonder: Does the same fate that befell me await you? I can only imagine that it must, that the tendency toward equilibrium is not a trait peculiar to our universe but inherent in all universes. Perhaps that is just a limitation of my thinking, and your people have discovered a source of pressure that is truly eternal. But my speculations are fanciful enough already. I will assume that one day your thoughts too will cease, although I cannot fathom how far in the future that might be. Your lives will end just as ours did, just as everyone’s must. No matter how long it takes, eventually equilibrium will be reached. I hope you are not saddened by that awareness. I hope that your expedition was more than a search for other universes to use as reservoirs. I hope that you were motivated by a desire for knowledge, a yearning to see what can arise from a universe’s exhalation. Because even if a universe’s life span is calculable, the variety of life that is generated within it is not. The buildings we have erected, the art and music and verse we have composed, the very lives we’ve led: none of them could have been predicted, because none of them was inevitable. Our universe might have slid into equilibrium emitting nothing more than a quiet hiss. The fact that it spawned such plenitude is a miracle, one that is matched only by your universe giving rise to you.
Ted Chiang (Exhalation)
People spoke to foreigners with an averted gaze, and everybody seemed to know somebody who had just vanished. The rumors of what had happened to them were fantastic and bizarre though, as it turned out, they were only an understatement of the real thing. Before going to see General Videla […], I went to […] check in with Los Madres: the black-draped mothers who paraded, every week, with pictures of their missing loved ones in the Plaza Mayo. (‘Todo mi familia!’ as one elderly lady kept telling me imploringly, as she flourished their photographs. ‘Todo mi familia!’) From these and from other relatives and friends I got a line of questioning to put to the general. I would be told by him, they forewarned me, that people ‘disappeared’ all the time, either because of traffic accidents and family quarrels or, in the dire civil-war circumstances of Argentina, because of the wish to drop out of a gang and the need to avoid one’s former associates. But this was a cover story. Most of those who disappeared were openly taken away in the unmarked Ford Falcon cars of the Buenos Aires military police. I should inquire of the general what precisely had happened to Claudia Inez Grumberg, a paraplegic who was unable to move on her own but who had last been seen in the hands of his ever-vigilant armed forces [….] I possess a picture of the encounter that still makes me want to spew: there stands the killer and torturer and rape-profiteer, as if to illustrate some seminar on the banality of evil. Bony-thin and mediocre in appearance, with a scrubby moustache, he looks for all the world like a cretin impersonating a toothbrush. I am gripping his hand in a much too unctuous manner and smiling as if genuinely delighted at the introduction. Aching to expunge this humiliation, I waited while he went almost pedantically through the predicted script, waving away the rumored but doubtless regrettable dematerializations that were said to be afflicting his fellow Argentines. And then I asked him about Senorita Grumberg. He replied that if what I had said was true, then I should remember that ‘terrorism is not just killing with a bomb, but activating ideas. Maybe that’s why she’s detained.’ I expressed astonishment at this reply and, evidently thinking that I hadn’t understood him the first time, Videla enlarged on the theme. ‘We consider it a great crime to work against the Western and Christian style of life: it is not just the bomber but the ideologist who is the danger.’ Behind him, I could see one or two of his brighter staff officers looking at me with stark hostility as they realized that the general—El Presidente—had made a mistake by speaking so candidly. […] In response to a follow-up question, Videla crassly denied—‘rotondamente’: ‘roundly’ denied—holding Jacobo Timerman ‘as either a journalist or a Jew.’ While we were having this surreal exchange, here is what Timerman was being told by his taunting tormentors: Argentina has three main enemies: Karl Marx, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of society; Sigmund Freud, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of the family; and Albert Einstein, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of time and space. […] We later discovered what happened to the majority of those who had been held and tortured in the secret prisons of the regime. According to a Navy captain named Adolfo Scilingo, who published a book of confessions, these broken victims were often destroyed as ‘evidence’ by being flown out way over the wastes of the South Atlantic and flung from airplanes into the freezing water below. Imagine the fun element when there’s the surprise bonus of a Jewish female prisoner in a wheelchair to be disposed of… we slide open the door and get ready to roll her and then it’s one, two, three… go!
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
You make plans and decisions assuming randomness and chaos are for chumps. The illusion of control is a peculiar thing because it often leads to high self-esteem and a belief your destiny is yours for the making more than it really is. This over-optimistic view can translate into actual action, rolling with the punches and moving ahead no matter what. Often, this attitude helps lead to success. Eventually, though, most people get punched in the stomach by life. Sometimes, the gut-punch doesn’t come until after a long chain of wins, until you’ve accumulated enough power to do some serious damage. This is when wars go awry, stock markets crash, and political scandals spill out into the media. Power breeds certainty, and certainty has no clout against the unpredictable, whether you are playing poker or running a country. Psychologists point out these findings do not suggest you should throw up your hands and give up. Those who are not grounded in reality, oddly enough, often achieve a lot in life simply because they believe they can and try harder than others. If you focus too long on your lack of power, you can slip into a state of learned helplessness that will whirl you into a negative feedback loop of depression. Some control is necessary or else you give up altogether. Langer proved this when studying nursing homes where some patients were allowed to arrange their furniture and water plants—they lived longer than those who had had those tasks performed by others. Knowing about the illusion of control shouldn’t discourage you from attempting to carve a space for yourself out of whatever field you want to tackle. After all, doing nothing guarantees no results. But as you do so, remember most of the future is unforeseeable. Learn to coexist with chaos. Factor it into your plans. Accept that failure is always a possibility, even if you are one of the good guys; those who believe failure is not an option never plan for it. Some things are predictable and manageable, but the farther away in time an event occurs, the less power you have over it. The farther away from your body and the more people involved, the less agency you wield. Like a billion rolls of a trillion dice, the factors at play are too complex, too random to truly manage. You can no more predict the course of your life than you could the shape of a cloud. So seek to control the small things, the things that matter, and let them pile up into a heap of happiness. In the bigger picture, control is an illusion anyway.
David McRaney (You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself)
We are focus-points of consciousness, [...] enormously creative. When we enter the self-constructed hologrammetric arena we call spacetime, we begin at once to generate creativity particles, imajons, in violent continuous pyrotechnic deluge. Imajons have no charge of their own but are strongly polarized through our attitudes and by the force of our choice and desire into clouds of conceptons, a family of very-high-energy particles which may be positive, negative or neutral. [...] Some common positive conceptions are exhilarons, excytons, rhapsodons, jovions. Common negative conceptions include gloomons, tormentons, tribulons, agonons, miserons. "Indefinite numbers of conceptions are created in nonstop eruption, a thundering cascade of creativity pouring from every center of personal consciousness. They mushroom into conception clouds, which can be neutral or strongly charged - buoyant, weightless or leaden, depending on the nature of their dominant particles. "Every nanosecond an indefinite number of conception clouds build to critical mass, then transform in quantum bursts to high-energy probability waves radiating at tachyon speeds through an eternal reservoir of supersaturated alternate events. Depending on their charge and nature, the probability waves crystallize certain of these potential events to match the mental polarity of their creating consciousness into holographic appearance. [...] "The materialized events become that mind's experience, freighted with all the aspects of physical structure necessary to make them real and learningful to the creating consciousness. This autonomic process is the fountain from which springs every object and event in the theater of spacetime. "The persuasion of the imajon hypothesis lies in its capacity for personal verification. The hypothesis predicts that as we focus our conscious intention on the positive and life-affirming, as we fasten our thought on these values, we polarize masses of positive conceptions, realize beneficial probability-waves, bring useful alternate events to us that otherwise would not have appeared to exist. "The reverse is true in the production of negative events, as is the mediocre in-between. Through default or intention, unaware or by design, we not only choose but create the visible outer conditions that are most resonant to our inner state of being [...]
Richard Bach (Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit)
My Darling, It is late at night and though the words are coming hard to me, I can’t escape the feeling that it’s time that I finally answer your question. Of course I forgive you. I forgive you now, and I forgave you the moment I read your letter. In my heart, I had no other choice. Leaving you once was hard enough; to have done it a second time would have been impossible. I loved you too much to have let you go again. Though I’m still grieving over what might have been, I find myself thankful that you came into my life for even a short period of time. In the beginning, I’d assumed that we were somehow brought together to help you through your time of grief. Yet now, one year later, I’ve come to believe that it was the other way around. Ironically, I am in the same position you were, the first time we met. As I write, I am struggling with the ghost of someone I loved and lost. I now understand more fully the difficulties you were going through, and I realize how painful it must have been for you to move on. Sometimes my grief is overwhelming, and even though I understand that we will never see each other again, there is a part of me that wants to hold on to you forever. It would be easy for me to do that because loving someone else might diminish my memories of you. Yet, this is the paradox: Even though I miss you greatly, it’s because of you that I don’t dread the future. Because you were able to fall in love with me, you have given me hope, my darling. You taught me that it’s possible to move forward in life, no matter how terrible your grief. And in your own way, you’ve made me believe that true love cannot be denied. Right now, I don’t think I’m ready, but this is my choice. Do not blame yourself. Because of you, I am hopeful that there will come a day when my sadness is replaced by something beautiful. Because of you, I have the strength to go on. I don’t know if spirits do indeed roam the world, but even if they do, I will sense your presence everywhere. When I listen to the ocean, it will be your whispers; when I see a dazzling sunset, it will be your image in the sky. You are not gone forever, no matter who comes into my life. you are standing with God, alongside my soul, helping to guide me toward a future that I cannot predict. This is not a good-bye, my darling, this is a thank-you. Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy, thank you for loving me and receiving my love in return. Thank you for the memories I will cherish forever. But most of all, thank you for showing me that there will come a time when I can eventually let you go. I love you
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
All this attempt to control... We are talking about Western attitudes that are five hundred years old... The basic idea of science - that there was a new way to look at reality, that it was objective, that it did not depend on your beliefs or your nationality, that it was rational - that idea was fresh and exciting back then. It offered promise and hope for the future, and it swept away the old medieval system, which was hundreds of years old. The medieval world of feudal politics and religious dogma and hateful superstitions fell before science. But, in truth, this was because the medieval world didn't really work any more. It didn't work economically, it didn't work intellectually, and it didn't fit the new world that was emerging... But now... science is the belief system that is hundreds of years old. And, like the medieval system before it, science is starting to not fit the world any more. Science has attained so much power that its practical limits begin to be apparent. Largely through science, billions of us live in one small world, densely packed and intercommunicating. But science cannot help us decide what to do with that world, or how to live. Science can make a nuclear reactor, but it can not tell us not to build it. Science can make pesticide, but cannot tell us not to use it. And our world starts to seem polluted in fundamental ways - air, and water, and land - because of ungovernable science... At the same time, the great intellectual justification of science has vanished. Ever since Newton and Descartes, science has explicitly offered us the vision of total control. Science has claimed the power to eventually control everything, through its understanding of natural laws. But in the twentieth century, that claim has been shattered beyond repair. First, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle set limits on what we could know about the subatomic world. Oh well, we say. None of us lives in a subatomic world. It doesn't make any practical difference as we go through our lives. Then Godel's theorem set similar limits to mathematics, the formal language of science. Mathematicians used to think that their language had some inherent trueness that derived from the laws of logic. Now we know what we call 'reason' is just an arbitrary game. It's not special, in the way we thought it was. And now chaos theory proves that unpredictability is built into our daily lives. It is as mundane as the rain storms we cannot predict. And so the grand vision of science, hundreds of years old - the dream of total control - has died, in our century. And with it much of the justification, the rationale for science to do what it does. And for us to listen to it. Science has always said that it may not know everything now but it will know, eventually. But now we see that isn't true. It is an idle boast. As foolish, and misguided, as the child who jumps off a building because he believes he can fly... We are witnessing the end of the scientific era. Science, like other outmoded systems, is destroying itself. As it gains in power, it proves itself incapable of handling the power. Because things are going very fast now... it will be in everyone's hands. It will be in kits for backyard gardeners. Experiments for schoolchildren. Cheap labs for terrorists and dictators. And that will force everyone to ask the same question - What should I do with my power? - which is the very question science says it cannot answer.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
You were burning in the middle of the worst solar storm our records can remember. (...) Everyone else fled. All your companions and crew left you alone to wrestle with the storm. “You did not blame them. In a moment of crystal insight, you realized that they were cowards beyond mere cowardice: their dependence on their immortality circuits had made it so that they could not even imagine risking their lives. They were all alike in this respect. They did not know they were not brave; they could not even think of dying as possible; how could they think of facing it, unflinching? “You did not flinch. You knew you were going to die; you knew it when the Sophotechs, who are immune to pain and fear, all screamed and failed and vanished. “And you knew, in that moment of approaching death, with all your life laid out like a single image for you to examine in a frozen moment of time, that no one was immortal, not ultimately, not really. The day may be far away, it may be further away than the dying of the sun, or the extinction of the stars, but the day will come when all our noumenal systems fail, our brilliant machines all pass away, and our records of ourselves and memories shall be lost. “If all life is finite, only the grace and virtue with which it is lived matters, not the length. So you decided to stay another moment, and erect magnetic shields, one by one; to discharge interruption masses into the current, to break up the reinforcement patterns in the storm. Not life but honor mattered to you, Helion: so you stayed a moment after that moment, and then another. (...) “You saw the plasma erupting through shield after shield (...) Chaos was attempting to destroy your life’s work, and major sections of the Solar Array were evaporated. Chaos was attempting to destroy your son’s lifework, and since he was aboard that ship, outside the range of any noumenal circuit, it would have destroyed your son as well. “The Array was safe, but you stayed another moment, to try to deflect the stream of particles and shield your son; circuit after circuit failed, and still you stayed, playing the emergency like a raging orchestra. “When the peak of the storm was passed, it was too late for you: you had stayed too long; the flames were coming. But the radio-static cleared long enough for you to have last words with your son, whom you discovered, to your surprise, you loved better than life itself. In your mind, he was the living image of the best thing in you, the ideal you always wanted to achieve. “ ‘Chaos has killed me, son,’ you said. ‘But the victory of unpredictability is hollow. Men imagine, in their pride, that they can predict life’s each event, and govern nature and govern each other with rules of unyielding iron. Not so. There will always be men like you, my son, who will do the things no one else predicts or can control. I tried to tame the sun and failed; no one knows what is at its fiery heart; but you will tame a thousand suns, and spread mankind so wide in space that no one single chance, no flux of chaos, no unexpected misfortune, will ever have power enough to harm us all. For men to be civilized, they must be unlike each other, so that when chaos comes to claim them, no two will use what strategy the other does, and thus, even in the middle of blind chaos, some men, by sheer blind chance, if nothing else, will conquer. “ ‘The way to conquer the chaos which underlies all the illusionary stable things in life, is to be so free, and tolerant, and so much in love with liberty, that chaos itself becomes our ally; we shall become what no one can foresee; and courage and inventiveness will be the names we call our fearless unpredictability…’ “And you vowed to support Phaethon’s effort, and you died in order that his dream might live.
John C. Wright (The Golden Transcendence (Golden Age, #3))