Life Restrictions Quotes

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Everything else just kept picking and picking, hacking away. And nothing was interesting, nothing. The people were restrictive and careful, all alike. And I've got to live with these fuckers for the rest of my life, I thought.
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
I think people would live a bit longer if they didn't know how old they were. Age puts restrictions on things.
Karl Pilkington
Jesus was saying that you can't have a larger life with restricted attitudes.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
Bring the mind into sharp focus and make it alert so that it can immediately intuit truth, which is everywhere. The mind must be emancipated from old habits, prejudices, restrictive thought processes and even ordinary thought itself.
Bruce Lee (Tao of Jeet Kune Do)
To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see over-all patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom (or, at least, the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology, or in states of mind that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings. We may seek, too, a relaxing of inhibitions that makes it easier to bond with each other, or transports that make our consciousness of time and mortality easier to bear. We seek a holiday from our inner and outer restrictions, a more intense sense of the here and now, the beauty and value of the world we live in.
Oliver Sacks
When they wish to be top dogs and become the heartbeat of all attention, some appear to be missing grit and find themselves relentlessly out of steam. Since the philosophy of their living seems to restrict itself to ‘enjoying wanting’ and keeping everything on a wish list, their life, eventually, remains mere wishful thinking. ( "Feeling like a fallen star" )
Erik Pevernagie
You can't live your life to suit other people. The harder you try, the more restrictions they'll put on you just for the fun of seeing you jump through their hoops.
Judith McNaught (Paradise (Second Opportunities, #1))
The queen was my favorite chess piece. Unlike the women I knew in real life, she was powerful. Her job was to defend her husband at all costs, because while he was weak and practically defenseless—only allowed to move one square at a time—she was the strongest player on the board, hindered by no restrictions at all.
Rachel Vincent (Stray (Shifters, #1))
Love does not cost anything. Kind words and deeds do not cost anything. The real beauty of the world is equal for everyone to see. It was given by God equally to all, without restrictions. Everyone, was given a beautiful vehicle in which to express love to others. Feelings are free to express and give to ourselves and each other through our willingness to give and care. What is complicated about this... Why have we made others feel they have to climb mountains and swim oceans in order to make a difference. All we need to understand my friends, is that human life was given equally to us all, not partially but in totality. The sun was given to all. It does not shine on the few. So, just has nature is indifferent to our station or situation, we need to know that we are all equal. We need to focus on the things that are constant and not place our values on things that can be blown away with the next, great, wind. Value life in what ever house it dwells. For when it comes time that we are all stripped to bare bones before the divine and facing eternity, we will understand that the only law we were meant to follow, was to love ourselves and each other. Nothing more...nothing less.
Carla Jo Masterson
And my own affairs were as bad, as dismal, as the day I had been born. The only difference was that now I could drink now and then, though never often enough. Drink was the only thing that kept a man from feeling forever stunned and useless. Everything else just kept picking and picking, hacking away. And nothing was interesting, nothing. The people were restrictive and careful, all alike. And I've got to live with these fuckers for the rest of my life, I thought. God, they all had assholes and sexual organs and their mouths and their armpits. They shit and they chattered and they were dull as horse dung. The girls looked good from a distance, the sun shining through their dresses, their hair. But get up close and listen to their minds running out of their mouths, you felt like digging in under a hill and hiding out with a tommy-gun. I would certainly never be able to be happy, to get married, I could never have children. Hell, I couldn't even get a job as a dishwasher.
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
How can one person be more real than any other? Well, some people do hide and others seek. Maybe those who are in hiding - escaping encounters, avoiding surprises, protecting their property, ignoring their fantasies, restricting their feelings, sitting out the pan pipe hootchy-kootch of experience - maybe those people, people who won't talk to rednecks, or if they're rednecks won't talk to intellectuals, people who're afraid to get their shoes muddy or their noses wet, afraid to eat what they crave, afraid to drink Mexican water, afraid to bet a long shot to win, afraid to hitchhike, jaywalk, honky-tonk, cogitate, osculate, levitate, rock it, bop it, sock it, or bark at the moon, maybe such people are simply inauthentic, and maybe the jacklet humanist who says differently is due to have his tongue fried on the hot slabs of Liar's Hell. Some folks hide, and some folk's seek, and seeking, when it's mindless, neurotic, desperate, or pusillanimous can be a form of hiding. But there are folks who want to know and aren't afraid to look and won't turn tail should they find it - and if they never do, they'll have a good time anyway because nothing, neither the terrible truth nor the absence of it, is going to cheat them out of one honest breath of Earth's sweet gas.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
But Hazael only said, "I brought you a present." Liraz took the flower, looked at it, and then a Hazael, expressionless. And then she ate it. She chewed the flower and swallowed it. "Hmm," said Hazael. "Not the usual response." "Oh, do you give flowers often?" "Yes," he said. He probably did. Hazael had a way of enjoying life in spite of the many restrictions they lived under, being soldiers, and worse, being Misbegotten. "I hope it wasn't poisonous," he said lightly. Liraz just shrugged. "There are worse ways to die.
Laini Taylor (Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2))
When we mentally give a person, place, or point in time more credit than ourselves, we create a fictitious ceiling. A restriction over the expectations that we have over our own performance in that moment. We get tense. We focus on the outcome instead of the activity and we miss the doing of the deed. We either think the world depends on the result or it's too good to be true. But it doesn't and it isn't. And it's not our right to believe it does or is. Don't create imaginary constraints. A leading role, a blue ribbon, a winning score, a great idea, the love of our life, euphoric bliss... Who are we to think we don't deserve these fortunes when they're in our grasp? Who are we to think we haven't earned them? If we stay and process within ourselves, in the joy of the doing, we will never choke at the finish line. Why? Because we're not thinking of the finish line. We're not looking at the clock. We’re not watching ourselves on the Jumbotron performing. We are performing in real time where the approach is the destination.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
Its not a matter of giving you a chance. I've watched you these six months becoming a whole different person, someone who is only just beginning to see her possibilities. You have no idea how happy that has made me. I don't want you to be tied to me, to my hospital appointments, to the restrictions on my life. I don't want you to miss out on the things someone else could give you.
Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
I cherished her individuality, that spark of independence no child should lose to life's restrictions and parameters.
Truddi Chase (When Rabbit Howls)
We, as citizens of a supposedly free country, should not permit our government to restrict any information that protects criminal activity under the guise of National Security.
Cathy O'Brien (TRANCE Formation of America: True life story of a mind control slave)
When I say that evil has to do with killing, I do not mean to restrict myself to corporeal murder. Evil is that which kills spirit. There are various essential attributes of life -- particularly human life -- such as sentience, mobility, awareness, growth, autonomy, will. It is possible to kill or attempt to kill one of these attributes without actually destroying the body. Thus we may "break" a horse or even a child without harming a hair on its head. Erich Fromm was acutely sensitive to this fact when he broadened the definition of necrophilia to include the desire of certain people to control others-to make them controllable, to foster their dependency, to discourage their capacity to think for themselves, to diminish their unpredectibility and originalty, to keep them in line. Distinguishing it from a "biophilic" person, one who appreciates and fosters the variety of life forms and the uniqueness of the individual, he demonstrated a "necrophilic character type," whose aim it is to avoid the inconvenience of life by transforming others into obedient automatons, robbing them of their humanity. Evil then, for the moment, is the force, residing either inside or outside of human beings, that seeks to kill life or liveliness. And goodness is its opposite. Goodness is that which promotes life and liveliness.
M. Scott Peck (People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil)
Most of us are naturally inclined to struggle against the restrictions our friends and family impose upon us, but if we are so unfortunate as to lose a loved one, what a difference then! Then the restriction becomes a sacred trust.
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)
Art, literature, and philosophy are attempts to found the world anew on a human freedom: that of the creator; to foster such an aim, one must first unequivocally posit oneself as a freedom. The restrictions that education and custom impose on a woman limit her grasp of the universe...Indeed, for one to become a creator, it is not enough to be cultivated, that is, to make going to shows and meeting people part of one's life; culture must be apprehended through the free movement of a transcendence; the spirit with all its riches must project itself in an empty sky that is its to fill; but if a thousand fine bonds tie it to the earth, its surge is broken. The girl today can certainly go out alone, stroll in the Tuileries; but I have already said how hostile the street is: eyes everywhere, hands waiting: if she wanders absentmindedly, her thoughts elsewhere, if she lights a cigarette in a cafe, if she goes to the cinema alone, an unpleasant incident can quickly occur; she must inspire respect by the way she dresses and behaves: this concern rivets her to the ground and self. "Her wings are clipped." At eighteen, T.E. Lawrence went on a grand tour through France by bicycle; a young girl would never be permitted to take on such an adventure...Yet such experiences have an inestimable impact: this is how an individual in the headiness of freedom and discovery learns to look at the entire world as his fief...[The girl] may feel alone within the world: she never stands up in front of it, unique and sovereign.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
True love does not have limits or restrictions. True love allows a person to love deeply and unconditionally. True love does not ask you to let go of life. True love encourages you to live.
Heather Lyons (The Hidden Library (The Collectors' Society, #2))
No one could endure lasting adversity if it continued to have the same force as when it first hit us. We are all tied to Fortune, some by a loose and golden chain, and others by a tight one of baser metal: but what does it matter? We are all held in the same captivity, and those who have bound others are themselves in bonds - unless you think perhaps that the left-hand chain is lighter. One man is bound by high office, another by wealth; good birth weighs down some, and a humble origin others; some bow under the rule of other men and some under their own; some are restricted to one place by exile, others by priesthoods: all life is a servitude. So you have to get used to your circumstances, complain about them as little as possible, and grasp whatever advantage they have to offer: no condition is so bitter that a stable mind cannot find some consolation in it.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is— limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death—He had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Creed or Chaos? and Lost Tools of Learning)
And so it goes. And so it goes. And so it goes. And so it goes goes goes goes goes tick tock tick tock tick tock and one day we no longer let time serve us, we serve time and we are slaves of the schedule, worshipers of the sun's passing, bound into a life predicated on restrictions because the system will not function if we don't keep the schedule tight.
Harlan Ellison ("Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman)
If a child’s emotional and intellectual freedom is restricted, their development and well-being suffer, which leads to complex problems in later life. Deprivation of thought and emotion results in an irrationality of cognition, feeling, and communication.
Darius Cikanavicius (Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults)
Of course life has no point. If it had, man would not be free, he'd become a slave to that point and his life would be governed by completely new criteria: the criteria of slavery. Like an animal, the point of whose life is that life itself, the continuation of the species. An animal carries out its slavish activities because it can feel the point of its life instinctively. Therefore its sphere is restricted. Man, on the other hand, claims to aspire to the absolute.
Andrei Tarkovsky (Journal 1970-1986)
I finally understood that by being on a perpetual diet, I had practiced a "disordered" form of eating my whole life. I restricted when I was hungry and in need of nutrition and binged when I was so grotesquely full I couldn't be comfortable in any position by lying down. Diets that tell people what to eat or when to eat are the practices inbetween. And dieting, I discovered, was another form of disordered eating, just as anorexia and bulimia similarly disrupt the natural order of eating.
Portia de Rossi (Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain)
1. Live now. Be concerned with the present rather than with past or future. 2. Live here. Deal with what is present rather than with what is absent. 3. Stop imagining. Experience the real. 4. Stop unnecessary thinking. Rather, taste and see. 5. Express rather than manipulate, explain, justify, or judge. 6. Give in to unpleasantness and pain just as to pleasure. Do not restrict your awareness. 7. Accept no should or ought other than your own. Adore no graven image. 8. Take full responsibility for your actions, feelings, and thoughts. 9. Surrender to being as you are.
Claudio Naranjo (Terapia Gestalt: La vía del vacío fértil)
No person of quality ever remembers social restrictions save when considering how most piquantly to break them.
James Branch Cabell (Beyond Life)
Lutheranism restricted itself to an exclusively ecclesiastical and theological character, while Calvinism put its impress in and outside the church upon every aspect of human life.
Abraham Kuyper (Christianity: Total World And Life System)
The more restricted a method, the lesser the opportunity for one's individual freedom of expression.
Bruce Lee (Bruce Lee: Artist of Life)
Everyone who has ever been to school knows that school is prison, but almost nobody beyond school age says it is. It's not polite. We all tiptoe around the truth because admitting it would make us seem cruel and would point a finger at well-intentioned people doing what they believe to be essential. . . . A prison, according to the common, general definition, is any place of involuntary confinement and restriction of liberty. In school, as in adult prisons, the inmates are told exactly what they must do and are punished for failure to comply. Actually, students in school must spend more time doing exactly what they are told than is true of adults in penal institutions. Another difference, of course, is that we put adults in prison because they have committed a crime, while we put children in school because of their age.
Peter O. Gray (Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life)
The number of ways you can live in one lifetime is limitless. So why limit yourself?
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
When the fear of death leaves us, the destructive craving for life leaves us too. We can then restrict our desires and our demands to our natural requirements. The dreams of power and happiness and luxury and far-off places, which are used to create artificial wants, no longer entice us. They have become ludicrous. So we shall use only what we really need, and shall no longer be prepared to go along with the lunacy of extravagance and waste. We do not even need solemn appeals for saving and moderation; for life itself is glorious, and here joy in existence can be had for nothing.
Jürgen Moltmann (The Power of the Powerless)
Now there you have a sample of man’s “reasoning powers,” as he calls them. He observes certain facts. For instance, that in all his life he never sees the day that he can satisfy one woman; also, that no woman ever sees the day that she can’t overwork, and defeat, and put out of commission any ten masculine plants that can be put to bed to her. He puts those strikingly suggestive and luminous facts together, and from them draws this astonishing conclusion: The Creator intended the woman to be restricted to one man.
Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings)
A wrong mind-set is like bad soil that restricts a plant’s growth. Similarly, limiting beliefs about ‘what we deserve’ hinder our growth. They stop us from being abundant in every area of our life.
Hina Hashmi (Your Life A Practical Guide to Happiness Peace and Fulfilment)
But I want to extol not the sweetness nor the placidity of the dog, but the wilderness out of which he cannot step entirely, and from which we benefit. For wilderness is our first home too, and in our wild ride into modernity with all its concerns and problems we need also all the good attachments to that origin that we can keep or restore. Dog is one of the messengers of that rich and still magical first world. The dog would remind us of the pleasures of the body with its graceful physicality, and the acuity and rapture of the senses, and the beauty of forest and ocean and rain and our own breath. There is not a dog that romps and runs but we learn from him. The other dog—the one that all its life walks leashed and obedient down the sidewalk—is what a chair is to a tree. It is a possession only, the ornament of a human life. Such dogs can remind us of nothing large or noble or mysterious or lost. They cannot make us sweeter or more kind. Only unleashed dogs can do that. They are a kind of poetry themselves when they are devoted not only to us but to the wet night, to the moon and the rabbit-smell in the grass and their own bodies leaping forward.
Mary Oliver (Dog Songs)
You don’t have to agree with, only learn to peacefully live with, other people’s freedom of choice. This includes (but is not limited to) political views, religious beliefs, dietary restrictions, matters of the heart, career paths, and mental afflictions. Our opinions and beliefs tend to change depending on time, place, and circumstance. And since we all experience life differently, there are multiple theories on what’s best, what’s moral, what’s right, and what’s wrong. It is important to remember that other people’s perspective on reality is as valid as your own.
Timber Hawkeye (Buddhist Boot Camp)
No man was more sensitive than Zweig to the destructive effects upon individual liberty of the demands of large or strident collectivities. He would have viewed with horror the cacophony of monomanias—sexual, racial, social, egalitarian—that marks the intellectual life of our societies, each monomaniac demanding legislative restriction on the freedom of others in the name of a supposed greater, collective good.
Theodore Dalrymple (Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses)
In many areas of life, freedom is not so much the absence of restrictions as finding the right ones, the liberating restrictions. Those that fit with the reality of our nature and the world produce greater power and scope for our abilities and a deeper joy and fulfillment. Experimentation, risk, and making mistakes bring growth only if, over time, they show us our limits as well as our abilities. If we only grow intellectually, vocationally, and physically through judicious constraints–why would it not also be true for spiritual and moral growth? Instead of insisting on freedom to create spiritual reality, shouldn’t we be seeking to discover it and disciplining ourselves to live according to it?
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
We cannot repeat too often the great lesson of freudian psychology: that repression is normal self-protection and creative self-restriction-in a real sense, man's natural substitute for instinct. Rank has a perfect, key term for this natural human talent: he calls it "partialization" and very rightly sees that life is impossible without it. What we call the well-adjusted man has just this capacity to partialize the world for comfortable action. I have used the term "fetishization," which is exactly the same idea: the "normal" man bites off what he can chew and digest of life, and no more. In other words, men aren't built to be gods, to take in the whole world; they are built like other creatures, to take in the piece of ground in front of their noses. Gods can take in the whole of creation because they alone can make sense of it, know what it is all about and for. But as soon as a man lifts his nose from the ground and starts sniffing at eternal problems like life and death, the meaning of a rose or a star cluster-then he is in trouble. Most men spare themselves this trouble by keeping their minds on the small problems of their lives just as their society maps these problems out for them. These are what Kierkegaard called the "immediate" men and the "Philistines." They "tranquilize themselves with the trivial"- and so they can lead normal lives.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
And dieting, I discovered, was another form of disordered eating, just as anorexia and bulimia similarly disrupt the natural order of eating. "Ordered" eating is the practice of eating when you are hungry and ceasing to eat when your brain sends the signal that your stomach is full. ... All people who live their lives on a diet are suffering. If you can accept your natural body weight and not force it to beneath your body's natural, healthy weight, then you can live your life free of dieting, of restriction, of feeling guilty every time you eat a slice of your kid's birthday cake.
Portia de Rossi (Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain)
We have given you, O Adam, no visage proper to yourself, nor endowment properly your own, in order that whatever place, whatever form, whatever gifts you may, with premeditation, select, these same you may have and possess through your own judgement and decision. The nature of all other creatures is defined and restricted within laws which We have laid down; you, by contrast, impeded by no such restrictions, may, by your own free will, to whose custody We have assigned you, trace for yourself the lineaments of your own nature [...]. We have made you a creature neither of heaven nor of earth, neither mortal nor immortal, in order that you may, as the free and proud shaper of your own being, fashion yourself in the form you may prefer. It will be in your power to descend to the lower, brutish forms of life; you will be able, through your own decision, to rise again to the superior orders whose life is divine.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man)
An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature. But there is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man's attitude to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces. A creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him. But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
I’ve concentrated upon the things I control, and used that control to remove the restrictions and complications from my life.
Harry Browne (How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World)
Reading and writing dangerous books lets me be who I can't be and say what I can't say in everyday life.
Carla H. Krueger
Do not be afraid to marry a man who's firmly planted to earth, for he is the flagpole to your flag - not restricting, but anchoring, so that you may be free to fly. In return, you shall decorate the dull gray metal of his life forevermore.
Joanna Davidson Politano (The Love Note)
Whenever governments wanted to achieve some end, often involving population growth, they restricted access to birth control and/or criminalized birth control unless, of course, the population growth concerned the poor, in which case, contraception was enthusiastically promoted. Historically, society has only wanted the "right kind of people" to have a right to life. We shouldn't forget that fact.
Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist)
I have a recurring fantasy that one more article has been added to the Bill of Rights: the right to free access to imagination. I have come to believe that genuine democracy cannot exist without the freedom to imagine and the right to use imaginative works without any restrictions. To have a whole life, one must have the possibility of publicly shaping and expressing private worlds, dreams, thoughts and desires, of constantly having access to a dialogue between the public and private worlds. How else do we know that we have existed, felt, desired, hated, feared?
Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
Fate, fortune, chance: all snares of life. You want to be, eh? There’s this catch: in abstract, you cannot just be. The being must be trapped in a form, and for some time it has to stay in it, here or there, this way or that. And everything, as long as it lasts, bears the penalty of its form, the penalty of being this way and no longer being able to be otherwise.
Luigi Pirandello (One, No One and One Hundred Thousand)
Jesus, in Matthew's gospel, says, "How narrow is the gate that leads to life." Mistakenly, I think, we've come to believe that this is about restriction. The way is narrow. But really it wants us to see that narrowness is the way... It's about funneling ourselves into a central place. Our choice is not to focus on the narrow, but to narrow our focus. The gate that leads to life is not about restriction at all. it is about an entry into the expansive. There is a vastness in knowing you're a son/daughter worth having. We see our plentitude in God's own expansive view of us.
Gregory J. Boyle (Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion)
Psychiatrist David Shainberg argued that mental illness, which appears chaotic, is actually the reverse. Mental illness occurs when images of the self become rigid and closed, restricting an open creative response to the world.
John Briggs (Seven Life Lessons of Chaos: Spiritual Wisdom from the Science of Change)
Solitary though we may have become, we haven't of course given up all hope of forming relationships. In the lonely canyons of the modern city, there is no more honoured emotion than love. However, this is not the love of which religions speak, not the expansive, universal brotherhood of mankind; it is a more jealous, restricted and ultimately meaner variety. It is a romantic love which sends us on a maniacal quest for a single person with whom we hope to achieve a life-long and complete communion, one person in particular who will spare us any need for people in general.
Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion)
You get diminishing returns when you are restricted to your comfort zone
Sunday Adelaja
I'm not sure how much easier it is for a mother to balance her life now - have we simply swapped one set of restrictions for another?
Sara Sheridan
Today you are no longer a victor nor victim of the past and future, today is completely independent, there are no restrictions; except for the ones you place upon yourself.
Noel DeJesus
The same walls you think you're using to protect yourself are the same walls blocking your blessings. How can God release the love you deserve, in the form of a life partner, if you continue to restrict love from properly flowing in and out of you
Stephan Labossiere (God Where Is My Boaz)
...ideas are definitely unstable, they not only CAN be misused, they invite misuse--and the better the idea the more volatile it is. That's because only the better ideas turn into dogma, and it is this process whereby a fresh, stimulating, humanly helpful idea is changed into robot dogma that is deadly. In terms of hazardous vectors released, the transformation of ideas into dogma rivals the transformation of hydrogen into helium, uranium into lead, or innocence into corruption. And it is nearly as relentless. The problem starts at the secondary level, not with the originator or developer of the idea but with the people who are attracted by it, who adopt it, who cling to it until their last nail breaks, and who invariably lack the overview, flexibility, imagination, and most importantly, sense of humor, to maintain it in the spirit in which it was hatched. Ideas are made by masters, dogma by disciples, and the Buddha is always killed on the road. There is a particularly unattractive and discouragingly common affliction called tunnel vision, which, for all the misery it causes, ought to top the job list at the World Health Organization. Tunnel vision is a disease in which perception is restricted by ignorance and distorted by vested interest. Tunnel vision is caused by an optic fungus that multiplies when the brain is less energetic than the ego. It is complicated by exposure to politics. When a good idea is run through the filters and compressors of ordinary tunnel vision, it not only comes out reduced in scale and value but in its new dogmatic configuration produces effects the opposite of those for which it originally was intended. That is how the loving ideas of Jesus Christ became the sinister cliches of Christianity. That is why virtually every revolution in history has failed: the oppressed, as soon as they seize power, turn into the oppressors, resorting to totalitarian tactics to "protect the revolution." That is why minorities seeking the abolition of prejudice become intolerant, minorities seeking peace become militant, minorities seeking equality become self-righteous, and minorities seeking liberation become hostile (a tight asshole being the first symptom of self-repression).
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
it is only in social relations that we are human...to be human women must share in the totality of humanity's common life. Women, forced to lead restricted lives, retard all human progress. Growth of organism, the individual or social body requires use of all of our powers in four areas: physical, intellectual, spiritual and social
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Herland)
All of us react to our anxiety by “partializing” our world, by restricting our consciousness within narrow bounds, to areas that we can more or less control which provide us a sense of self-confidence.
David R. Loy (Lack and Transcendence: The Problem of Death and Life in Psychotherapy, Existentialism, and Buddhism)
And nothing was interesting, nothing. The people were restrictive and careful, all alike. And I've got to live with these fuckers for the rest of my life, I thought. God, they all had assholes and sexual organs and their mouths and their armpits. They shit and they chattered and they were dull as horse dung. The girls looked good from a distance, the sun shining through their dresses, their hair. But get up close and listen to their minds running out of their mouths, you felt like digging in under a hill and hiding out with a tommy-gun.
Charles Bukowski
The tragedy in the lives of most of us is that we go through life walking down a high-walled land with people of our own kind, the same economic situation, the same national background and education and religious outlook. And beyond those walls, all humanity lies, unknown and unseen, and untouched by our restricted and impoverished lives.
Florence Luscomb
Feminist consciousness can be thought of as consciousness of the violence and power concealed under the languages of civility, happiness, and love, rather than simply or only consciousness of gender as a site of restriction of possibility. You can venture into the secret places of pain by recalling something. You can cause unhappiness by noticing something. And if you can cause unhappiness by noticing something, you realize that the world you are in is not the world you thought you were in.
Sara Ahmed (Living a Feminist Life)
The word "school" has a curious history behind it. Meaning originally "leisure" it has now acquired precisely the opposite sense of systematic work and training, as civilization restricted the free disposal of the young man's time more and more and herded larger and larger classes of the young to a daily life of severe application from childhood onwards.
Johan Huizinga (Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture)
When we talk about freedom, we restrict ourselves to so few images. Images of freedom should be as liberating as the feeling itself! I want to talk about freedom as a drum set being thrown down a hill, as opening a book one night, and water gushing from the pages until my life is a lake and I swim away.
Joseph Fink (The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe (Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, #2))
I suppose it is because I have lived rather a restricted life myself that I have found so much enjoyment in remembering what I have learned in these last years about brave people and strange scenes. I have sat here day after day this winter, sleeping a good deal in my chair, hardly knowing if I was in London or the Gulf country, dreaming of the blazing sunshine, of poddy-dodging and black stockmen, of Cairns and of Green Island. Of a girl that I met forty years too late, and of her life in that small town that I shall never see again, that holds so much of my affection.
Nevil Shute
We give life meaning not only through our actions but also through loving and, finally, through suffering. Because how human beings deal with the limitation of their possibilities regarding how it affects their actions and their ability to love, how they behave under these restrictions—the way in which they accept their suffering under such restrictions—in all of this they still remain capable of fulfilling human values.
Viktor E. Frankl (Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything)
The time came to put Iris Duarte back on the plane. It was a morning flight which made it difficult. I was used to rising at noon; it was a fine cure for hangovers and would add 5 years to my life. I felt no sadness while driving her to L.A. International. The sex had been fine; there had been laughter. I could hardly remember a more civilized time, neither of us making any demands, yet there had been warmth, it had not been without feeling, dead meat coupled with dead meat. I detested that type of swinging, the Los Angeles, Hollywood, Bel Air, Malibu, Laguna Beach kind of sex. Strangers when you meet, strangers when you part—a gymnasium of bodies namelessly masturbating each other. People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or to love. So they became swingers. The dead fucking the dead. There was no gamble or humor in their game—it was corpse fucking corpse. Morals were restrictive, but they were grounded on human experience down through the centuries. Some morals tended to keep people slaves in factories, in churches and true to the State. Other morals simply made good sense. It was like a garden filled with poisoned fruit and good fruit. You had to know which to pick and eat, which to leave alone.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
I was the youngest in my family, and the only daughter, they were highly protective. But instead of restricting me, that protective instinct drove my parents to make sure I was capable and prepared for whatever life may throw at me. Opportunities, my father would say, have to be seized with both hands, because you never know if they'll come again.
Emma Chase (Overruled (The Legal Briefs, #1))
Don’t let anyone set restrictions on your life...You chart the course of your own future, not anyone else. Don’t let people have such a power over you. Because if you’re always racing against their standards, then what’s the point of reaching a useless finish line?
Kale Lawrence (The Clairvoyance Clock (Alex in Wunderstrande, Book One))
De Selby likens the position of a human on the earth to that of a man on a tight-wire who must continue walking along the wire or perish, being, however, free in all other respects. Movement in this restricted orbit results in the permanent hallucination known conventionally as 'life' with its innumerable concomitant limitations, afflictions and anomalies.
Flann O'Brien (The Third Policeman)
you’ll learn the critical difference between the paralyzing restrictions of choice and the freeing concept of focus.
Margaret Lobenstine (The Renaissance Soul: How to Make Your Passions Your Life-A Creative and Practical Guide)
Life is a game. And like every game, it has to have some rules and restrictions and customs. But they are supposed to make the game interesting, not tiresome.
Shunya
You can only live 'Life' when you stepped out from your comfort zone. Don't restrict yourself within a shell when you can actually be limitless.
Jeekeshen Chinnappen (Psychic Gang)
You can win in multiple ways - A manager should never restrict himself when it comes to exploring possibilities.
Abhishek Ratna (No Parking. No Halt. Success Non Stop!)
In many areas of life, freedom is not so much the absence of restrictions as finding the right ones, the liberating restrictions.
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
Princes had, so to speak, turned violence into a physical thing but our democratic republics have made it into something as intellectual as the human will it intends to restrict. Under the absolute government of one man, despotism, in order to attack the spirit, crudely struck the body and the spirit escaped free of its blows, rising gloriously above it. But in democratic republics, tyranny does not behave in that manner; it leaves the body alone and goes straight to the spirit. No longer does the master say: “You will think as I do or you will die”; he says: “You are free not to think like me, your life, your property, everything will be untouched but from today you are a pariah among us. You will retain your civic privileges but they will be useless to you, for if you seek the votes of your fellow citizen, they will not grant you them and if you simply seek their esteem, they will pretend to refuse you that too. You will retain your place amongst men but you will lose the rights of mankind. When you approach your fellows, they will shun you like an impure creature; and those who believe in your innocence will be the very people to abandon you lest they be shunned in their turn. Go in peace; I grant you your life but it is a life worse than death.
Alexis de Tocqueville
That's the myth of it, the required lie that allows us to render our judgments. Parasites, criminals, dope fiends, dope peddlers, whores--when we can ride past them at Fayette and Monroe, car doors locked, our field of vision cautiously restricted to the road ahead, then the long journey into darkness is underway. Pale-skinned hillbillies and hard-faced yos, toothless white trash and gold-front gangsters--when we can glide on and feel only fear, we're well on the way. And if, after a time, we can glimpse the spectacle of the corner and manage nothing beyond loathing and contempt, then we've arrived at last at that naked place where a man finally sees the sense in stretching razor wire and building barracks and directing cattle cars into the compound. It's a reckoning of another kind, perhaps, and one that becomes a possibility only through the arrogance and certainty that so easily accompanies a well-planned and well-tended life. We know ourselves, we believe in ourselves; from what we value most, we grant ourselves the illusion that it's not chance in circumstance, that opportunity itself isn't the defining issue. We want the high ground; we want our own worth to be acknowledged. Morality, intelligence, values--we want those things measured and counted. We want it to be about Us. Yes, if we were down there, if we were the damned of the American cities, we would not fail. We would rise above the corner. And when we tell ourselves such things, we unthinkably assume that we would be consigned to places like Fayette Street fully equipped, with all the graces and disciplines, talents and training that we now posses. Our parents would still be our parents, our teachers still our teachers, our broker still our broker. Amid the stench of so much defeat and despair, we would kick fate in the teeth and claim our deserved victory. We would escape to live the life we were supposed to live, the life we are living now. We would be saved, and as it always is in matters of salvation, we know this as a matter of perfect, pristine faith. Why? The truth is plain: We were not born to be niggers.
David Simon (The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood)
I am a psychological and historical structure. Along with existence, I received a way of existing, or a style. All of my actions and thoughts are related to this structure, and even a philosopher’s thought is merely a way of making explicit his hold upon the world, which is all he is. And Yet, I am free, not in spite of or beneath these motivations, but rather by their means. For that meaningful life, that particular signification of nature and history that I am, does not restrict my access to the world; it is rather my means of communication with it
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Phenomenology of Perception)
Rather than restricting your freedom, a routine gives you freedom by protecting you from the ups and downs of life and helping you take advantage of your limited time, energy, and talent.
Austin Kleon (Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad)
The pro-death view should be of interest even to those who do not accept it. One of its valuable features is that it offers a unique challenge to those pro-lifers who reject a legal right to abortion. Whereas a legal pro-choice position does not require a pro-lifer to have an abortion—it allows a choice—a legal pro-life position does prevent a pro-choicer from having an abortion. Those who think that the law should embody the pro-life position might want to ask themselves what they would say about a lobby group that, contrary to my arguments in Chapter 4 but in accordance with pro-lifers’ commitment to the restriction of procreative freedom, recommended that the law become pro-death. A legal pro-death policy would require even pro-lifers to have abortions. Faced with this idea, legal pro-lifers might have a newfound interest in the value of choice.
David Benatar (Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence)
I felt that it was unfair that my lack of a few pounds of flesh should deprive me of a chance at a good job but I had long ago emotionally rejected the world in which I lived and my reaction was: Well, this is the system by which people want the world to run whether it helps them or not. To me, my losing was only another manifestation of that queer, material way of American living that computed everything in terms of the concrete: weight, color, race, fur coats, radios, electric refrigerators, cars, money ... It seemed that I simply could not fit into a materialistic life.
Richard Wright (Black Boy)
It is clear we exist in an abundant living Universe that knows no restriction—only the impulse to eternally expand with no limits or boundaries, perpetually becoming more of what it is and can ever be—star-stuff . . . Life, pushing out by creating light and matter from within itself, shaping and giving form to itself, exquisitely clothing itself in an infinite and unique number of ways.
Dennis Merritt Jones (Your Redefining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be)
[Julie] had lived a great deal among lies, before plumping for a small life of her own, a sincere and restricted life from which all pretense, even in matters sensual, was banished. How many crazy decisions and allegiances to successive aspects fo the truth! Had she not, one day when her costume for a fancy dress had demanded short hair, cut off the great chestnut mane that fell below her waist when she let it down? 'I could have hired a wig,' she thought. 'I might also, at a pinch, have passed the rest of my life with Becker or Espivant. If it comes to that, I could also have gone on stirring puddings in a saucepan at Carneilhan. The things "one might have done" are, in fact, the things one could not do...
Colette (Gigi, Julie de Carneilhan, and Chance Acquaintances: Three Short Novels)
...the belief that the threat of rape is everywhere, that it can happen at any time, that it is the worst fate that can befall women, is enough to make us police ourselves and restrict our own mobility. But on the other hand, feminists also want to demystify rape, to begin to see it not as a unique and life-destroying form of violation from which one can never recover, but as (merely) another kind of violence against person.
Nivedita Menon (Seeing Like a Feminist)
The girl you were died; the potion of death was what all of us women swallow sooner or later. Have you noticed how at puberty the Amazon-like energy we are born with fades and we turn into doubt-filled creatures with clipped wings? The woman left trapped in the silo is also you, a prisoner of the restrictions of adult life. The female condition is a disgrace, Isabel, it’s like having rocks tied to your ankles so you can’t fly.
Isabel Allende (Paula)
Furthermore, goals create an “either-or” conflict: either you achieve your goal and are successful or you fail and you are a disappointment. You mentally box yourself into a narrow version of happiness. This is misguided. It is unlikely that your actual path through life will match the exact journey you had in mind when you set out. It makes no sense to restrict your satisfaction to one scenario when there are many paths to success
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
To both the racist and the puritan, childhood is not a time of life that we grow out of, as the life of the child grows out of the life of the parent or as a plant grows out of the soil, but a time and state of consciousness to be left behind, to cut oneself off from ... The child may be joyous, the man must be sober and self-denying; the child may be free, the man is to be "responsible"; the child may be candid in his feelings, the man must be polite, restrained, mindful of the demands of convention; the child may be playful, the man must be industrious. I am not necessarily objecting to the manly virtues, but I am objecting that they should be so exclusively assigned to grownups, and that grownups should be so exclusively restricted to them. A man may have all the prescribed adult virtues and, if he lacks the childhood virtues, still be a dunce and a bore and a liar.
Wendell Berry (The Hidden Wound)
The very purpose of designing the Temple of Jerusalem as a series of ever more restrictive ingressions was to maintain the priestly monopoly over who can and cannot come into the presence of God and to what degree. The sick, the lame, the leper, the "demon-possessed," menstruating women, those with bodily discharges, those who had recently given birth—none of these were permitted to enter the Temple and take part in the rituals unless first purified according to the priestly code. With every leper cleansed, every paralytic healed, every demon cast out, Jesus was not only challenging that priestly code, he was invalidating the very purpose of the priesthood.
Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth)
Do you suppose, gentlemen, that our children as they grow up and begin to reason can avoid such questions? No, they cannot, and we will not impose on them an impossible restriction. The sight of an unworthy father involuntarily suggests tormenting questions to a young creature, especially when he compares him with the excellent fathers of his companions. The conventional answer to this question is: 'He begot you, and you are his flesh and blood, and therefore you are bound to love him.' The youth involuntarily reflects: 'But did he love me when he begot me?' he asks, wondering more and more. 'Was it for my sake he begot me? He did not know me, not even my sex, at that moment, at the moment of passion, perhaps, inflamed by wine, and he has only transmitted to me a propensity to drunkenness- that's all he's done for me.... Why am I bound to love him simply for begetting me when he has cared nothing for me all my life after? Oh, perhaps those questions strike you as coarse and cruel, but do not expect an impossible restraint from a young mind. 'Drive nature out of the door and it will fly in at the window'.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Sentences confined to limited definitions meanings restricted to limited words knotted in experiences and sensations musings, smiles and the eyes; and holding the entire love of Creation in my heart how may I offer you one?
Suman Pokhrel (Shoonya Mutuku Dhadkanbhitra (शून्य मुटुको धड्कनभित्र))
In this martial world dominated by men, women had little place. The Church's teachings might underpin feudal morality, yet when it came to the practicalities of life, a ruthless pragmatism often came into play. Kings and noblemen married for political advantage, and women rarely had any say in how they or their wealth were to be disposed in marriage. Kings would sell off heiresses and rich widows to the highest bidder, for political or territorial advantage, and those who resisted were heavily fined. Young girls of good birth were strictly reared, often in convents, and married off at fourteen or even earlier to suit their parents' or overlord's purposes. The betrothal of infants was not uncommon, despite the church's disapproval. It was a father's duty to bestow his daughters in marriage; if he was dead, his overlord or the King himself would act for him. Personal choice was rarely and issue. Upon marriage, a girl's property and rights became invested in her husband, to whom she owed absolute obedience. Every husband had the right to enforce this duty in whichever way he thought fit--as Eleanor was to find out to her cost. Wife-beating was common, although the Church did at this time attempt to restrict the length of the rod that a husband might use.
Alison Weir (Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life (World Leaders Past & Present))
The question is: do you want to be a full-time human being or a part-time human being? If you restrict your ability to respond, the scope and dimension of your experience will be unsurprising, predictable, limited, narrow. But to be an absolutely full-time human being is to be a constant full-blooded response to everything. You don’t have to do anything in particular. You just need to become a willing piece of life in this glorious living cosmos. Responsibility
Sadhguru (Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy)
Calls from the antis to overturn Roe, to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and to defund Planned Parenthood are growing ever louder. Each one of these backward moves will not only restrict women’s access to safe, affordable abortion care, but will diminish women’s access to good health care in general, putting their lives and the lives of their children at risk.
Willie Parker (Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice)
I believe in magic. I believe our destiny is not carved in stone and that one thought is the seed to a new life or a different path. I believe in the power of the cards to illuminate what you already know and to awaken the wisdom inside of you. I believe how we think and experience life matters and I believe in the power of the cards to shift our thoughts and therefore create more positive experiences. I believe in the magic of the cards to inspire us to let go of old ideas and restrictions.
Tonya Sheridan
Every time I got on my bicycle after a long hiatus it was like riding back to myself, the only way there. The dissipation of life in the city—days of to-do lists, errands, emails, small talk with strangers—generated static in my mind that I didn’t notice was there until I started pedalling and realized it was gone, the way you don’t hear the hum of a refrigerator until it stops. Such is the paradoxical freedom of cycling the Silk Road. In restricting the range of directions you can travel, in charging ordinary movement with momentum, a bike trip offers that rarest, most elusive of things in our frenetic world: clarity of purpose. Your sole responsibility on Earth, as long as your legs last each day, is to breathe, pedal, breathe—and look around.
Kate Harris (Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road)
Every soul is vast and wants to express itself fully. If it’s denied an adequate instrument (and we’re all denied that, at birth, some more than others), out comes…poetry, i.e., truth forced out through a restricted opening. That’s all poetry is, really: something odd, coming out. Normal speech, overflowed. A failed attempt to do justice to the world. The poet proves that language is inadequate by throwing herself at the fence of language and being bound by it. Poetry is the resultant bulging of the fence.
George Saunders (A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life)
Like the sun's rays that cause the seed to stir within its husk, love's radiant energy penetrates the facade of the false self, calling forth resources hidden deep within us. Its warmth wakes up the life inside us, making us want to uncurl, to give birth, to grow and reach for the light. It calls on us to break out of our shell, the personality-husk surrounding the seed potential of all that we could be. The purpose of a seed husk is to protect the tender life within until the time and conditions are right for it to burst forth. Our personality structure serves a similar function. It provides a semblance of security, as a kind of compensation for the loss of our larger being. But when love's warming rays start to wake us up, our ego-shell becomes a barrier restricting our expansion. As the germ of life swells within us, we feel our imprisonment more acutely.....The brighter love's radiance, the darker the shadows we encounter; the more we feel life stirring within us, the more we also feel our dead spots; the more conscious we become, the more clearly we see where we remain unconscious. None of this need dishearten us. For in facing our darkness, we bring to light forgotten parts of our being. In recognizing exactly where we have been unconscious, we become more conscious. And in seeing and feeling the ways we've gone dead, we start to revive and kindle our desire to live more expansively.
John Welwood
She grew tired of shielding her body, For societal expectation and propriety, Double standards and sobriety, Ideologies of prudent cries, And boys who made her tell them lies. She wanted a man who’d destroy her reputation, One strong enough to feed her unruly temptation, Not leave her alone in risk of damnation. Someone strong enough to make her feel, Like a free woman who needn’t yield, Run with her naked through a field. Live on the fringe free of restriction, Treat her as a woman, undo the affliction. A man who’d take her breath with desire, Someone with whom her passions could conspire, A man strong enough to keep up with her fire.
Jacqueline Simon Gunn
The original restrictive meaning of sexual aberration which derives satisfaction from a passive relation to the partner has been retained. Masochism, however, has come to mean also a particular attitude toward life or a definite type of social behavior: of enjoying one’s own suffering or one’s own helplessness. The word has outgrown its narrower, sexual meaning and become desexualized.
Theodor Reik (Masochism In Modern Man)
In the past, my brain could only compute perfection or failure—nothing in between. So words like competent, acceptable, satisfactory, and good enough fell into the failure category. Even above average meant failure if I received an 88 out of 100 percent on an exam, I felt that I failed. The fact is most things in life are not absolutes and have components of both good and bad. I used to think in absolute terms a lot: all, every, or never. I would all of the food (that is, binge), and then I would restrict every meal and to never eat again. This type of thinking extended outside of the food arena as well: I had to get all of the answers right on a test; I had to be in every extracurricular activity […] The ‘if it’s not perfect, I quit’ approach to life is a treacherous way to live. […] I hadn’t established a baseline of competence: What gets the job done? What is good enough? Finding good enough takes trial and error. For those of us who are perfectionists, the error part of trial and error can stop us dead in our tracks. We would rather keep chasing perfection than risk possibly making a mistake. I was able to change my behavior only when the pain of perfectionism became greater than the pain of making an error. […] Today good enough means that I’m okay just the way I am. I play my position in the world. I catch the ball when it is thrown my way. I don’t always have to make the crowd go wild or get a standing ovation. It’s good enough to just catch the ball or even to do my best to catch it. Good enough means that I finally enjoy playing the game.
Jenni Schaefer (Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life)
I watched with incredulity as businessmen ran to the government in every crisis, whining for handouts or protection from the very competition that has made this system so productive. I saw Texas ranchers, hit by drought, demanding government-guaranteed loans; giant milk cooperatives lobbying for higher price supports; major airlines fighting deregulation to preserve their monopoly status; giant companies like Lockheed seeking federal assistance to rescue them from sheer inefficiency; bankers, like David Rockefeller, demanding government bailouts to protect them from their ill-conceived investments; network executives, like William Paley of CBS, fighting to preserve regulatory restrictions and to block the emergence of competitive cable and pay TV. And always, such gentlemen proclaimed their devotion to free enterprise and their opposition to the arbitrary intervention into our economic life by the state. Except, of course, for their own case, which was always unique and which was justified by their immense concern for the public interest.
William E. Simon
the former oppressors do not feel liberated. On the contrary, they genuinely consider themselves to be oppressed. Conditioned by the experience of oppressing others, any situation other than their former seems to them like oppression. Formerly, they could eat, dress, wear shoes, be educated, travel, and hear Beethoven; while millions did not eat, had no clothes or shoes, neither studied nor travelled, much less listened to Beethoven. Any restriction on this way of life, in the name of the rights of the community, appears to the former oppressors as a profound violation of their individual rights – although they had no respect for the millions who suffered and died of hunger, pain, sorrow, and despair. For the oppressors, 'human beings' refers only to themselves; other people are 'things'.
Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
But reflecting persons perceived that when society is itself the tyrant—society collectively, over the separate individuals who compose it—its means of tyrannizing are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries. Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty and Other Essays)
Impatiently I waited for evening, when I might summon you to my presence. An unusual– to me– a perfectly new character, I suspected was yours; I desired to search it deeper, and know it better. You entered the room with a look and air at once shy and independent; you were quaintly dress– much as you are now. I made you talk; ere long I found you full of strange contrasts. Your garb and manner were restricted by rule; your air was often diffident, and altogether that of one refined by nature, but absolutely unused to society, and a good deal afraid of making herself disadvantageously conspicuous by some solecism or blunder; yet, when addressed, you lifted a keen, a daring, and a glowing eye to your interlocutor’s face; there was penetration and power in each glance you gave; when plied by close questions, you found ready and round answers. Very soon you seemed to get used to me – I believe you felt the existence of sympathy between you and your grim and cross master, Jane; for it was astonishing to see how quickly a certain pleasant ease tranquilized your manner; snarl as I would, you showed no surprise, fear, annoyance, or displeasure, at my moroseness; you watched me, and now and then smiled at me with a simple yet sagacious grace I cannot describe. I was at once content and stimulated with what I saw; I liked what I had seen, and wished to see more. Yet, for a long time, I treated you distantly, and sought your company rarely, I was an intellectual epicure, and wished to prolong the gratification of making this novel and piquant acquaintance; besides, I was for a while troubled with a haunting fear that if I handled the flower freely its bloom would fade – the sweet charm of freshness would leave it. I did not then know that it was no transitory blossom, but rather the radiant resemblance of one, cut in an indestructible gem. Moreover, I wished to see whether you would seek me if I shunned you – but you did not; you kept in the school-room as still as your own desk and easel; if by chance I met you, you passed me as soon, and with as little token of recognition, as was consistent with respect. Your habitual expression in those days, Jane, was a thoughtful look; not despondent, fro you were not sickly; but not buoyant, for you had little hope, and no actual pleasure. I wondered what you thought of me– or if you ever thought of me; to find this out, I resumed my notice of you. There was something glad in your glance, and genial in your manner, when you conversed; I saw you had a social heart; it was the silent school-room– it was the tedium of your life that made you mournful. I permitted myself the delight of being kind to you; kindness stirred emotion soon; your face became soft in expression, your tones gentle; I liked my name pronounced by your lips in a grateful, happy accent. I used to enjoy a chance meeting with you, Jane, at this time; there was a curious hesitation in your manner; you glanced at me with a slight trouble– a hovering doubt; you did not know what my caprice might be– whether I was going to play the master, and be stern– or the friend, and be benignant. I was now too fond of you often to stimulate the first whim; and, when I stretched my hand out cordially, such bloom, and light, and bliss, rose to your young, wistful features, I had much ado often to avoid straining you then and there to my heart.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
As a student of business administration, I know that there is a law of evolution for organizations as stringent and inevitable as anything in life. The longer one exists, the more it grinds out restrictions that slow its own functions. It reaches entropy in a state of total narcissism. Only the people sufficiently far out in the field get anything done, and every time they do they are breaking half a dozen rules in the process.
Roger Zelazny (Doorways in the Sand)
That was when I realized I had no control over my actions anymore. All I knew was that though no one knew what hell felt like, my life had become a version of fire and brimstone. My restrictive anorexia was completely and inexorably interfering with my ability to live like a normal human being.
Insha Juneja (Imperfect Mortals : A Collection of Short Stories)
Because the white world demonstrated in every possible way that he, a black boy, had to live within the murdering boundaries of racial restrictions, I had raised him to believe that he had a say in the living of his life, and that barring accidents, he should have a say in the dying of his death.
Maya Angelou (The Heart of a Woman)
Authenticity is closely related to the voice. The word personality has two different meanings. It is derived from the persona, a mask Greek actors wore to dramatize more clearly the role they were playing. On the other hand, the word persona means “by sound,” per sona. The authentic person can be recognized behind the mask by the sound of his voice. The voice is a major avenue of self-expression, and its quality reflects the richness and resonance of the inner being. When one's voice is limited because of neck and throat tensions, one's self-expression is restricted and one's being is reduced.
Alexander Lowen (Fear of Life)
Suppose you were in a war-torn country, and you had to cross a field full of land mines. If a local soldier knew exactly where every one of them was buried and offered to take you through the field, would you protest and say, “I don't want you to tell me what to do. I want to be free to make my own choices”? I don't know about you, but I would stay as close to that person as I could. I certainly would not go wandering off. His directions to me would not restrict me; they would preserve my life. As we walked together, he would say, “Don't go that way, because that path will kill you. Go this way and live.
Henry T. Blackaby (Experiencing God)
And dieting, I discovered, was another form of disordered eating, just as anorexia and bulimia similarly disrupt the natural order of eating. “Ordered” eating is the practice of eating when you are hungry and ceasing to eat when your brain sends the signal that your stomach is full. “Ordered” eating is about eating for enjoyment, for health, and to sustain life. “Ordered” eating is not restricting certain kinds of foods because they are “bad.” Obsessing about what and when to eat is not normal, natural, and orderly. Thinking about food to the point of obsession and ignoring your body’s signals is a disorder.
Portia de Rossi (Unbearable Lightness)
Please take a moment to answer this questionnaire and discover if you can benefit from a Taco Cleanse: Do you experience recurring feelings of hunger on a daily basis? Do you frequently lack access to eating utensils such as forks or chopsticks? Do you consider tortillas to function as edible napkins? Do you enjoy attention from peers based on dietary restrictions? Do you experience a range of emotions? Do you tilt your head when inserting food into your mouth? Do you use medical websites to self-diagnose your symptoms? Answering yes to any of these questions may indicate that a Taco Cleanse is right for you.
Wes Allison (The Taco Cleanse: The Tortilla-Based Diet Proven to Change Your Life)
Many cooks and food writers have nothing but negative things to say about people who have dietary restrictions or preferences. Quite often it's suggested that you just make what you want to make, and everyone can find something to eat, most likely. But if feeding people around your table is about connecting with them more than it is about showing off your menu or skills, isn't it important to cook in such a way that their preferences or restrictions are honored?
Shauna Niequist (Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes)
Off course, life has no point. If it had, man would not be free. He'd become a slave to that point and his life would be governed by completely new criteria: the criteria of slavery. Like an animal, the point of whose life is that life itself, the continuation of the species. An animal carries out his slavish activities because it can feel the point of its life instinctively. Therefore its sphere is restricted. Man, on the other hand claims to aspire to the absolute.
Andrei Tarkovsky (Journal 1970-1986)
Outside of school, though, we were often defined by our disabilities. We were “handicapped”—a bit like a species. Often when people have a disability, it’s the disability that other people see rather than all the other abilities that coexist with their particular difficulty. It’s why we talk about people being “disabled” rather than “having a disability.” One of the reasons that people are branded by their disability is that the dominant conception of ability is so narrow. But the limitations of this conception affect everyone in education, not just those with “special needs.” These days, anyone whose real strengths lie outside the restricted field of academic work can find being at school a dispiriting experience and emerge from it wondering if they have any significant aptitudes at all.
Ken Robinson (Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life)
The main purpose of music education in childhood is to provide an effective outlet for feelings. A child's life is so full of restrictions, regulations, and frustrations that outlets of release become essential. Music is one of the best avenues of release: It gives sound to fury, shape to joy, and relief to tension. Parents
Haim G. Ginott (Between Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child Communication)
Secrecy is paramount for the government and privacy is lost for the citizens during wars as well. Everyone is a suspect and liberty protections are ignored by the empire. The excuse is always that restricting liberty is required to make the people safe from enemies, seldom seen and identified but ever-present and demonized.
Ron Paul (Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity)
We must have imagination, awakened by the uncertainty of being able to attain our object, to create a goal which hides our other goal from us, and by substituting for sensual pleasures the idea of penetrating into a life prevents us from recognizing that pleasure, from tasting it true savor, from restricting it to its own range.
Marcel Proust (In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower)
I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time. I have no other restriction as regards smoking. I do not know just when I began to smoke, I only know that it was in my father's lifetime, and that I was discreet. He passed from this life early in 1847, when I was a shade past 11; ever since then I have smoked publicly. As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep and never to refrain when awake. I smoke in bed until I have to go to sleep; I wake up in the night, sometimes once, sometimes twice, sometimes three times, and I never waste any of these opportunities to smoke. This habit is so old and dear and precious to me that if I should break it I should feel as you, Sir, would feel if you should lose the only moral you've got.
Mark Twain
Methionine is also an essential amino acid needed for growth and development. However, when it comes to longevity in life, research has found that rats eating a methionine-restrictive diet lived 43-percent longer than those that consume a diet high in methionine. Methionine is known for its thyroid-suppressing properties like cysteine
Kate Deering (How to Heal Your Metabolism: Learn How the Right Foods, Sleep, the Right Amount of Exercise, and Happiness Can Increase Your Metabolic Rate and Help Heal Your Broken Metabolism)
If a rule prevents me from making a spontaneous choice then it’s too restrictive. • If a rule negatively impacts someone I love then it’s probably doing more harm than good. • If a rule was created more than five years ago then I may have outgrown it. • If a rule makes me sad, angry, tired, or anxious then I need to question its origins.
Cynthia Kim (Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate: A User Guide to an Asperger Life)
The AIDS pandemic forced humans to cover their genitals with condoms. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing them to put on masks. It is as if many people weren’t already going through life putting on a million masks and changing them based on convenience and self-interest. It is as if countless humans on this planet weren’t already forced to keep their mouths shut and endure the misfortunes imposed on them by the ‘fortunate’ few. I wonder which body part we will be forced to cover next. I wonder if, in the first place, all of this is happening because our eyes were covered all along. Are we heading to a time when staying safe becomes akin to a death sentence with stay of execution?
Louis Yako
Since, on a socio-economic level, there are myriad wrongs that need to be righted, a major problem for the species seems to be how to assist the unfortunate, throttle the corrupt, preserve the biosphere, and effectively organize for socio-economic alteration wihtout the organization being taken over by dullards, the people who, ironically, are best suited to serving organized causes since they seldom have anything more imaginative to do and, restricted by tunnel vision, probably wouldn't do it if they had. 151
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
The social world of Ibsen’s plays is greatly restricted, enclosed in a narrow frame, cut off by the very geography of Norway; the long, dark winters make for social repetition…Everyone else you know is right there, so to speak. This small-town life has moral consequences always; the players live with the threat of trouble over the most petty matters.
Elizabeth Hardwick (Seduction and Betrayal: Women and Literature)
I am so sorry. I'm more sorry than I've ever been in my life. I don't mind being on restriction and having to clean the school. I can even live with the fact that everybody's mad at me, but I hate that I hurt you." "Do you love this guy?" "No! He means nothing. The kiss meant nothing." Tristan looked me straight in the eyes, his stare pinning me to the ground. "That makes it worse, you know. I know you think that somehow it will make me feel better, but it doesn't. You threw away everything, and it wasn't even for someone that mattered.
Eileen Cook (The Education of Hailey Kendrick)
I WILL ENLARGE EACH PART OF YOUR LIFE I WILL BREAK off of your life any limitations and restrictions placed on your life by any evil spirit. I will enlarge each part of your life and will keep you from evil. My kingdom and government will increase in your life, and you will receive deliverance and enlargement for your life. I will let you increase exceedingly. You will increase in wisdom and stature and in strength. You will confound your adversaries as My grace and favor increase in your life. My Word will increase in your life, and the years of your life will be increased. You will flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They will take root in your house and will do well. They will be trees that stay healthy and fruitful to all your generations. ISAIAH 9:7; 60:4–5; ACTS 9:22; PSALM 92:12 Prayer Declaration Cast out my enemies, and enlarge my borders. Enlarge my heart so I can run the way of Your commandments. Enlarge my steps so I can receive Your wealth and prosperity. Let me increase in the knowledge of God, and let me increase and abound in love.
John Eckhardt (Daily Declarations for Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Principles to Defeat the Devil)
I have met with many souls who were afraid to speak their minds; from a vague anxiousness to a choking reaction. This restriction may come from a past life where this person was threatened, beaten, strangled, tortured or killed for expressing something unpopular or for declaring some truth. Heretics, those who took controversial positions, especially against the established Church, were the victims of terrible persecutions - and worse. Heretic ironically comes from the Greek hairetikos, meaning 'able to choose.' Thousands were condemned, then, for their ability to choose differently. And so, then and now, we all must choose standing safely with the system or defiantly and dangerously against the herd mentality/ machine/system – yes, perennial lessons of conformity or individuality. History can attest that Free Will and liberality are not always welcome in certain groups and societies. We must not be dissuaded, we can still shine our light.
Stephen Poplin (Inner Journeys, Cosmic Sojourns: Life transforming stories, adventures and messages from a spiritual hypnotherapist's casebook)
Nabokov calls every great novel a fairy tale, I said. Well, I would agree. First, let me remind you that fairy tales abound with frightening witches who eat children and wicked stepmothers who poison their beautiful stepdaughters and weak fathers who leave their children behind in forests. But the magic comes from the power of good, that force which tells us we need not give in to the limitations and restrictions imposed on us by McFate, as Nabokov called it. Every fairy tale offers the potential to surpass present limits, so in a sense the fairy tale offers you freedoms that reality denies. In all great works of fiction, regardless of the grim reality they present, there is an affirmation of life against the transience of that life, an essential defiance.
Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
At every moment of life the civilised man is hedged about by restrictions of impulse: if he happens to feel cheerful he must not sing or dance in the street, while if he happens to feel sad he must not sit on the pavement and weep, for fear of obstructing pedestrian traffic. In youth his liberty is restricted at school, in adult life it is restricted throughout his working hours. All this makes zest more difficult to retain, for the co ntinual restraint tends to produce wearin ess and boredom. Nevertheless, a civilised society is impossible without a very considerable degree of restraint upon spontaneous impulse, since spontaneous impulse will only produce the simplest forms of social c ooperation, not those highly complex forms which modern economic organisation demands
Bertrand Russell (The Conquest of Happiness)
Someday in our future it may be possible for women everywhere not to be restricted to those roles society deems natural, God-given, or appropriately feminine. A woman will not need to be disguised as a man to go outside, to climb a tree, or to make money. She will not need to make an effort to resemble a man, or to think like one. Instead, she can speak a language that men will want to understand. She will be free to wear a suit or a skirt or something entirely different. She will not count as three-quarters of a man, and her testimony will not be worth half a man's. She will be recognized as someone's sister, mother, and daughter. And maybe, someday, her identity will not be confined to how she relates to a brother, a son, or a father. Instead, she will be recognized as an individual, whose life holds value only in itself.
Jenny Nordberg (The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan)
That being said, is there anything to say in support of utopian thinking? Everything, if the meaning of the word is somewhat restricted. If utopia means the highest set of values we want to defend and see implemented in social life, nothing prevents us from hanging on to all of them even if we know that they will never be perfectly compatible with each other. If utopia is a regulative idea of the optimum and not an assurance that we have mastered the skill to produce the optimum, then utopia is a necessary part of our thinking. But it would be a puerile fantasy to pretend that we know how to rid the world of scarcity, suffering, hatred, and injustice: nobody knows that. Whatever can be done in softening these conditions can be done only in specific points, on small scales, by inches. That this should be so unacceptable to the genuine utopian mentality which looks for the vision of the Last Day, the great leap, the final battle; everything else seems (and is, indeed) grey, boring, lacking pathos, requiring specific knowledge instead.
Leszek Kołakowski
The incarnation means that for whatever reason God chose to let us fall . . . to suffer, to be subject to sorrows and death—he has nonetheless had the honesty and the courage to take his own medicine. . . . He can exact nothing from man that he has not exacted from himself. He himself has gone through the whole of human experience—from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. . . . He was born in poverty and . . . suffered infinite pain—all for us—and thought it well worth his while.4 Isaiah
Timothy J. Keller (Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ)
True freedom only exists in art.The problem is you have to be incredibly good.No,I am putting it wrong:You don't so much have to be outstanding,what you really need are connections,if you don't want to be dependent on all kinds of government foundations who will impose their ideas and restrictions on you in turn.It can be touch and go in the beginning:It takes guts to let go of everything.But you make it,you're free.
Esther Verhoef (Close-up)
¨You ask me, how was it to come to pass that I, despite the detachment I have achieved from the web of life, could be transformed overnight into a sexual murderer? I will tell you. Human beings are like glass tubes, through which many colored balls may roll. Most men are restricted to one color only. Should the ball be red, the man is branded as ¨bad¨; if yellow, then he is ¨good.¨ Should two balls pursue their passage through the same tube, one yellow and one red, then the man has an ¨unstable character.¨ But we, who have been ¨bitten by the Serpent of the Kingdom of the spirit,¨ compress into one life the experiences of a whole race within an age: colored balls rush wildly after one another on their way through the glass tube, and when it ends, then we are prophets, and the very mirror of God himself. -- Gustave Meyrink, Der Golem
Gustav Meyrink
A study of fifty women conducted in 1887 revealed that the corset forcibly contracted their waists by anywhere between two and a half and six bodies. The pressure it applied to women's bodies averaged twenty-one pounds but could reach as high as eighty-eight pounds. Tight-lacing was thus akin to crushing oneself slowly from all sides. As a harsh critic of the corset noted, 'It is evident, physiologically, that air is the pabulum of life, and that the effects of a tight cord round the neck and of tight-lacing only differ in degree.... for the strangulations are both fatal. To wear tight stays is in many cases to wither, to waste and to die.
Joshua Zeitz (Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern)
On the hearth, in front of a back-brand to give substance, blazed a fire of thorns, that crackled 'like the laughter of the fool.' Nineteen persons were gathered here. Of these, five women, wearing gowns of various bright hues, sat in chairs along the wall; girls shy and not shy filled the window-bench; four men, including Charley Jake the hedge-carpenter, Elijah New the parish-clerk, and John Pitcher, a neighboring dairyman, the shepherd's father-in-law, lolled in the settle; a young man and maid, who were blushing over tentative pourparlers on a life companionship, sat beneath the corner-cupboard; and an elderly engaged man of fifty or upward moved restlessly about from spots where his betrothed was not to the spot where she was. Enjoyment was pretty general, and so much the more prevailed in being unhampered by conventional restrictions. Absolute confidence in each other's good opinion begat perfect ease, while the finishing stroke of manner, amounting to a truly princely serenity, was lent to the majority by the absence of any expression or trait denoting that they wished to get on in the world, enlarge their minds, or do any eclipsing thing whatever - which nowadays so generally nips the bloom and bonhomie of all except the two extremes of the social scale. ("The Three Strangers")
Thomas Hardy (Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural)
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that restricting calories by 30 percent significantly increased life span in monkeys.27 The experimental diet, while still providing adequate nourishment, slowed monkeys’ metabolism and reduced their body temperatures, changes similar to those in the long-lived thin mice. Decreased levels of triglycerides and increased HDL (the good) cholesterol were also observed. Studies over the years, on many different species of animals, have confirmed that those animals that were fed less lived longest. In fact, allowing an animal to eat as much food as it desires can reduce its life span by as much as one-half.
Joel Fuhrman (Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss)
I met you here a few years back. Too young too naive to understand the lows and the highs. We talked everyday and soon you were my best friend. It was instant, Shakespeare kind of tale but the only thing which prevented it from blossoming was the restrictions I had and the distance between us. I told you go ahead and find someone else and soon we were distant as ever. Maybe I broke your heart when I put my walls up against the relationship or maybe I was too young to understand what you wanted. I wanted to give my career a shot. I went away and gave you space ; came back after a few years and found you unrecognizable. You didn't believe a word I said, so distant and oh so cold. But I was happy for you as you had found real love and I accepted that. Then why did you have to blame me for? I never understood and will never do. Maybe that's why young loves are complicated and have a special place in our hearts
Hearts Can Break and Never Make a Sound
We are shocked by thieves taking pride in their clever touch, prostitutes in their depravity and murderers in their callousness. But it is shocking only because the atmosphere of the circles they move in is restricted, and - what matters most - we are on the outside. But isn't the same thing happening when rich men take pride in their wealth (which is theft), military commanders in their victories (which are murder) and rulers in their power (which is violence)? We do not see them as people who corrupt the concept of life, or good and evil, in order to justify their own situation, but only because the circles of people who share these corrupt concepts are wider, and we belong to them.
Leo Tolstoy
The high standard of living in the domain of the great corporations is restrictive in a concrete sociological sense: the goods and services that the individuals buy control their needs and petrify their faculties. In exchange for the commodities that enrich their life, the individuals sell not only their labor but also their free time. The better living is offset by the all-pervasive control over living. People dwell in apartment concentrations- and have private automobiles with which they can no longer escape into a different world. They have huge refrigerators filled with frozen foods. They have dozens of newspapers and magazines that espouse the same ideals. They have innumerable choices, innumerable gadgets which are all of the same sort and keep them occupied and divert their attention from the real issue- which is the awareness that they could both work less and determine their own needs and satisfactions.
Herbert Marcuse (Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud)
There is a particularly unattractive and discouragingly common affliction called tunnel vision, which for all the misery it causes, ought to top the job list at the World Health Organization. Tunnel vision is a disease in which perception is restricted by ignorance and distorted by vested interest. Tunnel vision is caused by an optic fungus that multiplies when the brain is less energetic than the ego. It is complicated by exposure to politics. When a good idea is run through the filters and compressors of ordinary tunnel vision, it not only comes out reduced in scale and value but in its new dogmatic configuration produces effects the opposite of those for which it originally was intended.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
We hold these truths self-evident: That all men and women are created equal, though we do not live equal lives due to differences in will, motivation, effort, and habit. That we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, but that it is incumbent upon each of us to be vigilant and disciplined should we wish to attain such a vital, free, and happy life. We believe the greatest of human powers is the ability to independently think for ourselves, to choose our own aims, affections, and actions. For in the hearts of humankind lives a natural instinct for freedom and independence, a psychological predisposition for self-direction, a biological imperative toward growth, and a spiritual joy in choosing and advancing one’s own life. It is the main motivation of humankind to be free, to express our true selves and pursue our dreams without restriction—to experience what may be called Personal Freedom.
Brendon Burchard (The Motivation Manifesto)
Some people want to put restrictions on themselves according to their talent, intelligence, or experience. Others worry about their age. But with God, one person can always make a difference, regardless of circumstances or situation. And age means nothing to Him. When Jesus fed the five thousand, a boy provided the loaves and fishes (John 6:1-13). And in the case of Noah, when it began to rain and he entered the ark, he was six hundred years old! You’re never too old—or too young—to make a difference for God.
John C. Maxwell (Running with the Giants: What the Old Testament Heroes Want You to Know About Life and Leadership)
Problem #3: Goals restrict your happiness. The implicit assumption behind any goal is this: “Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy.” The problem with a goals-first mentality is that you’re continually putting happiness off until the next milestone. I’ve slipped into this trap so many times I’ve lost count. For years, happiness was always something for my future self to enjoy. I promised myself that once I gained twenty pounds of muscle or after my business was featured in the New York Times, then I could finally relax. Furthermore, goals create an “either-or” conflict: either you achieve your goal and are successful or you fail and you are a disappointment. You mentally box yourself into a narrow version of happiness. This is misguided. It is unlikely that your actual path through life will match the exact journey you had in mind when you set out. It makes no sense to restrict your satisfaction to one scenario when there are many paths to success. A systems-first mentality provides the antidote. When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running. And a system can be successful in many different forms, not just the one you first envision.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
I was extremely curious about the alternatives to the kind of life I had been leading, and my friends and I exchanged rumors and scraps of information we dug from official publications. I was struck less by the West's technological developments and high living standards than by the absence of political witch-hunts, the lack of consuming suspicion, the dignity of the individual, and the incredible amount of liberty. To me, the ultimate proof of freedom in the West was that there seemed to be so many people there attacking the West and praising China. Almost every other day the front page of Reference, the newspaper which carded foreign press items, would feature some eulogy of Mao and the Cultural Revolution. At first I was angered by these, but they soon made me see how tolerant another society could be. I realized that this was the kind of society I wanted to live in: where people were allowed to hold different, even outrageous views. I began to see that it was the very tolerance of oppositions, of protesters, that kept the West progressing. Still, I could not help being irritated by some observations. Once I read an article by a Westerner who came to China to see some old friends, university professors, who told him cheerfully how they had enjoyed being denounced and sent to the back end of beyond, and how much they had relished being reformed. The author concluded that Mao had indeed made the Chinese into 'new people' who would regard what was misery to a Westerner as pleasure. I was aghast. Did he not know that repression was at its worst when there was no complaint? A hundred times more so when the victim actually presented a smiling face? Could he not see to what a pathetic condition these professors had been reduced, and what horror must have been involved to degrade them so? I did not realize that the acting that the Chinese were putting on was something to which Westerners were unaccustomed, and which they could not always decode. I did not appreciate either that information about China was not easily available, or was largely misunderstood, in the West, and that people with no experience of a regime like China's could take its propaganda and rhetoric at face value. As a result, I assumed that these eulogies were dishonest. My friends and I would joke that they had been bought by our government's 'hospitality." When foreigners were allowed into certain restricted places in China following Nixon's visit, wherever they went the authorities immediately cordoned off enclaves even within these enclaves. The best transport facilities, shops, restaurants, guest houses and scenic spots were reserved for them, with signs reading "For Foreign Guests Only." Mao-tai, the most sought-after liquor, was totally unavailable to ordinary Chinese, but freely available to foreigners. The best food was saved for foreigners. The newspapers proudly reported that Henry Kissinger had said his waistline had expanded as a result of the many twelve-course banquets he enjoyed during his visits to China. This was at a time when in Sichuan, "Heaven's Granary," our meat ration was half a pound per month, and the streets of Chengdu were full of homeless peasants who had fled there from famine in the north, and were living as beggars. There was great resentment among the population about how the foreigners were treated like lords. My friends and I began saying among ourselves: "Why do we attack the Kuomintang for allowing signs saying "No Chinese or Dogs" aren't we doing the same? Getting hold of information became an obsession. I benefited enormously from my ability to read English, as although the university library had been looted during the Cultural Revolution, most of the books it had lost had been in Chinese. Its extensive English-language collection had been turned upside down, but was still largely intact.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
...[M]an and generally any rational being exists as an end in himself, not merely as a means to be arbitrarily used by this or that will, but in all his actions, whether they concern himself or other rational beings, must always be regarded at the same time as an end... [R]ational beings... are called persons, because their very nature points them out as ends in themselves, that is, as something which must not be used merely as means, and so far therefore restricts freedom of action (and is an object of respect).
Immanuel Kant (Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals)
I am trying to imagine under what novel features despotism may appear in the world. In the first place, I see an innumerable multitude of men, alike and equal, constantly circling around in pursuit of the petty and banal pleasures with which they glut their souls. Each one of them, withdrawn into himself, is almost unaware of the fate of the rest…. Over this kind of men stands an immense, protective power which is alone responsible for securing their enjoyment and watching over their fate. That power is absolute, thoughtful of detail, orderly, provident, and gentle. It would resemble parental authority if, fatherlike, it tried to prepare charges for a man’s life, but on the contrary, it only tries to keep them in perpetual childhood. It likes to see the citizens enjoy themselves, provided that they think of nothing but enjoyment. It gladly works for their happiness but wants to be sole agent and judge of it. It provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasure, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, makes rules for their testaments, and divides their inheritances. Why should it not entirely relieve them from the trouble of thinking and all the cares of living? Thus it daily makes the exercise of free choice less useful and rarer, restricts the activity of free will within a narrower compass, and little by little robs each citizen of the proper use of his own faculties. Equality has prepared men for all this, predisposing them to endure it and often even regard it as beneficial. Having thus taken each citizen in turn in its powerful grasp and shaped him to its will, government then extends its embrace to include the whole of society. It covers the whole of social life with a network of petty complicated rules that are both minute and uniform, through which even men of the greatest originality and the most vigorous temperament cannot force their heads above the crowd. It does not break men’s will, but softens, bends, and guides it; it seldom enjoins, but often inhibits, action; it does not destroy anything, but prevents much being born; it is not at all tyrannical, but it hinders, restrains, enervates, stifles, and stultifies so much that in the end each nation is no more than a flock of timid and hardworking animals with the government as its shepherd.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
Let us fool ourselves no longer. At the very moment Western nations, threw off the ancient regime of absolute government, operating under a once-divine king, they were restoring this same system in a far more effective form in their technology, reintroducing coercions of a military character no less strict in the organization of a factory than in that of the new drilled, uniformed, and regimented army. During the transitional stages of the last two centuries, the ultimate tendency of this system might b e in doubt, for in many areas there were strong democratic reactions; but with the knitting together of a scientific ideology, itself liberated from theological restrictions or humanistic purposes, authoritarian technics found an instrument at hand that h as now given it absolute command of physical energies of cosmic dimensions. The inventors of nuclear bombs, space rockets, and computers are the pyramid builders of our own age: psychologically inflated by a similar myth of unqualified power, boasting through their science of their increasing omnipotence, if not omniscience, moved by obsessions and compulsions no less irrational than those of earlier absolute systems: particularly the notion that the system itself must be expanded, at whatever eventual co st to life. Through mechanization, automation, cybernetic direction, this authoritarian technics has at last successfully overcome its most serious weakness: its original dependence upon resistant, sometimes actively disobedient servomechanisms, still human enough to harbor purposes that do not always coincide with those of the system. Like the earliest form of authoritarian technics, this new technology is marvellously dynamic and productive: its power in every form tends to increase without limits, in quantities that defy assimilation and defeat control, whether we are thinking of the output of scientific knowledge or of industrial assembly lines. To maximize energy, speed, or automation, without reference to the complex conditions that sustain organic life, have become ends in themselves. As with the earliest forms of authoritarian technics, the weight of effort, if one is to judge by national budgets, is toward absolute instruments of destruction, designed for absolutely irrational purposes whose chief by-product would be the mutilation or extermination of the human race. Even Ashurbanipal and Genghis Khan performed their gory operations under normal human limits. The center of authority in this new system is no longer a visible personality, an all-powerful king: even in totalitarian dictatorships the center now lies in the system itself, invisible but omnipresent: all its human components, even the technical and managerial elite, even the sacred priesthood of science, who alone have access to the secret knowledge by means of which total control is now swiftly being effected, are themselves trapped by the very perfection of the organization they have invented. Like the Pharoahs of the Pyramid Age, these servants of the system identify its goods with their own kind of well-being: as with the divine king, their praise of the system is an act of self-worship; and again like the king, they are in the grip of an irrational compulsion to extend their means of control and expand the scope of their authority. In this new systems-centered collective, this Pentagon of power, there is no visible presence who issues commands: unlike job's God, the new deities cannot be confronted, still less defied. Under the pretext of saving labor, the ultimate end of this technics is to displace life, or rather, to transfer the attributes of life to the machine and the mechanical collective, allowing only so much of the organism to remain as may be controlled and manipulated.
Lewis Mumford
We are all tied to Fortune, some by a loose and golden chain, and others by a tight one of baser metal: but what does it matter? We are all held in the same captivity, and those who have bound others are themselves in bonds - unless you think perhaps that the left-hand chain is lighter. One man is bound by high office, another by wealth; good birth weighs down some, and a humble origin others; some bow under the rule of other men and some under their own; some are restricted to one place by exile, others by priesthoods: all life is a servitude.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature. But there is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man's attitude to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces. A creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him. But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete. The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity-even under the most difficult circumstances- to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified, and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal. Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not. Do not think that these considerations are unworldly and too far removed from real life. It is true that only a few people are capable of reaching such high moral standards. Of the prisoners only a few kept their full inner liberty and obtained those values which their suffering afforded, but even one such example is sufficient proof that man's inner strength may raise him above his outward fate. Such men are not only in concentration camps. Everywhere man is confronted with fate, with the chance of achieving something through his own suffering.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
...'Pro-life' encodes too much propaganda for me: that a fertilized egg is a life in the same sense that a woman is, that it has a right to life as she does, that outlawing abortion saves lives, that abortion is the chief threat to 'life' today, and that the movement to ban abortion is motivated solely by these concerns and not also by the wish to restrict sexual freedom, enforce sectarian religious views on a pluralistic society, and return women t traditional roles. It also suggests that those who support legal abortion are pro-death, which is absurd.
Katha Pollitt (Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights)
I wish I could imitate the Chinese women letter writers of at least a thousand years ago. Because they were forbidden to go to school like their brothers, they invented their own script—called nushu, or “women’s writing”—though the punishment for creating a secret language was death.5 They wrote underground letters and poems of friendship to each other, quite consciously protesting the restrictions of their lives. As one wrote, “Men leave home to brave life in the outside world. But we women are no less courageous. We can create a language they cannot understand.
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
maintain muscle and other protein-containing tissues. But when you observe a human over a number of weeks of adaptation to a low carbohydrate diet, most of this initial inefficiency in protein use goes away[27]. Thus, once you are keto-adapted, your body’s need for protein isn’t much higher than during a ‘balanced diet’. This is a key fact in our understanding that low carbohydrate diets used in the long term do not need to be particularly high in protein. All the protein we eat (with the exception of stuff that is rubbed or cut off, like skin, hair, and nails) eventually gets burned for energy, yielding 4 Calories per gram. And you can’t “push” your body to build muscle by eating extra protein – muscle is built up under the stimulus of exercise (or illicit pharmaceuticals) as long as adequate protein is available at the time. No one has ever shown
Jeff S. Volek (The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable)
The less dependent we are on a building for an hour on Sunday to replicate the transcendent encounter we have as we live through this life, the more we are able to understand the world as sacred, to embrace the truth that the place where we stand is always holy ground—that we are forever in the thin places if we pay attention. When you begin to unbox God, you may find yourself uncomfortable in church or religion because these places begin to feel restrictive to your soul. The prayers might no longer ring as true, the creeds may seem unwieldy, and the sermons start to sound alarms of hypocrisy.
John Pavlovitz (If God Is Love, Don't Be a Jerk: Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans)
In an ideal world, marriage vows would be entirely rewritten. At the alter, a couple would speak thus: "We accept not to panic when, some years from now, what we are doing today will seem like the worst decision of our lives. Yet we promise not to look around, either, for we accept that there cannot be better options out there. Everyone is always impossible. We are a demented species." After the solemn repetition of the last sentence by the congregation, the couple would continue: "We will endeavor to be faithful. At the same time, we are certain that never being allowed to sleep with anyone else is one of the tragedies of existence. We apologize that our jealousies have made this peculiar but sound and non-negotiable restriction very necessary. We promise to make each other the sole repository of our regrets rather than distribute them through a life of sexual Don Juanism. We have surveyed the different options for unhappiness, and it is to each other we have chosen to bind ourselves." Spouses who had been cheated upon would no longer be at liberty furiously to complain that they had expected their partner to be content with them alone. Instead they could more poignantly and justly cry, "I was relying on you to be loyal to the specific variety of compromise and unhappiness which our hard-won marriage represents." Thereafter, an affair would be a betrayal not of intimate joy but of a reciprocal pledge to endure the disappointments of marriage with bravery and stoic reserve.
Alain de Botton (The Course of Love)
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy said, “Our true choice is not between tax reduction on the one hand and avoidance of large federal deficits on the other; it is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, as long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance the budget—just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits. In short, the paradoxical truth is that the tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut rates now.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life)
[Neurotic] pride is both so vulnerable and so precious that it also must be protected in the future. The neurotic may build an elaborate system of avoidances in the hope of circumventing future hurts. This too is a process that goes on automatically. He is not aware of wanting to avoid an activity because it might hurt his pride. He just avoids it, often without even being aware that he is. The process pertains to activities, to associations with people, and it may put a check on realistic strivings and efforts. If it is widespread it can actually cripple a person's life. He does not embark on any serious pursuits commensurate with his gifts lest he fail to be a brilliant success. He would like to write or to paint and does not dare to start. He does not dare to approach girls lest they reject him. [...] He withdraws from social contacts lest he be self-conscious. So, according to his economic status, he either does nothing worthwhile or sticks to a mediocre job and restricts his expenses rigidly. In more than one way he lives beneath his means. In the long run this makes it necessary for him to withdraw farther from others, because he cannot face the fact of lagging behind his age group and therefore shuns comparisons or questions from anybody about his work. In order to endure life he must now entrench himself more firmly in his private fantasy-world. But, since all these measures are more a camouflage than a remedy for his pride, he may start to cultivate his neuroses because the neurosis with a capital N then becomes a precious alibi for the lack of accomplishment.
Karen Horney (Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Towards Self-Realization)
Mathematics is not a book confined within a cover and bound between brazen clasps, whose contents it need only patience to ransack; it is not a mine, whose treasures may take long to reduce to possessions, but which fill only a limited number of veins and lodes; it is not a soil, whose fertility can be exhausted by the yield of successive harvests; it is not a continent or an ocean, whose area can be mapped out and its contour defined: it is limitless as the space which it finds too narrow for its aspirations; its possibilities are as infinite as the worlds which are forever crowding in and multiplying upon the astronomer's gaze; it is as incapable of being restricted within assigned boundaries or being reduced to definitions of permanent validity, as the consciousness, the life, which seems to slumber in each monad, in every atom of matter, in each leaf and bud and cell, and is forever ready to burst forth into new forms of vegetable and animal existence.
James Joseph Sylvester
Under Zia’s regime life for women in Pakistan became much more restricted. Jinnah said, “No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.” But General Zia brought in Islamic laws which reduced a woman’s evidence in court to count for only half that of a man’s. Soon our prisons were full of cases like that of a thirteen-year-old girl who was raped and became pregnant and was then sent to prison for adultery because she couldn’t produce four male witnesses to prove it was a crime.
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
Feeling Faint Issue: I’m happy losing weight with a low carbohydrate diet, but I’m always tired, get light headed when I stand up, and if I exercise for more than 10 minutes I feel like I’m going to pass out. Response: Congratulations on your weight loss success, and with just a small adjustment to your diet, you can say goodbye to your weakness and fatigue. The solution is salt…a bit more salt to be specific. This may sound like we’re crazy when many experts argue that we should all eat less salt, however these are the same experts who tell us that eating lots of carbohydrates and sugar is OK. But what they don’t tell you is that your body functions very differently when you are keto-adapted. When you restrict carbs for a week or two, your kidneys switch from retaining salt to rapidly excreting it, along with a fair amount of stored water. This salt and water loss explains why many people experience rapid weight loss in the first couple of weeks on a low carbohydrate diet. Ridding your body of this excess salt and water is a good thing, but only up to a point. After that, if you don’t replace some of the ongoing sodium excretion, the associated water loss can compromise your circulation The end result is lightheadedness when you stand up quickly or fatigue if you exercise enough to get ‘warmed up’. Other common side effects of carbohydrate restriction that go away with a pinch of added salt include headache and constipation; and over the long term it also helps the body maintain its muscles. The best solution is to include 1 or 2 cups of bouillon or broth in your daily schedule. This adds only 1-2 grams of sodium to your daily intake, and your ketoadapted metabolism insures that you pass it right on through within a matter of hours (allaying any fears you might have of salt buildup in your system). This rapid clearance also means that on days that you exercise, take one dose of broth or bouillon within the hour before you start.
Jeff S. Volek (The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable)
Eventually, many years later, I came to see him the way everyone else saw him—a nice guy who, despite all the damage he did to us, wasn’t a bad man, not inherently bad, anyway. He just wasn’t very bright, and was in over his head on almost every level of life. He was capable of only so much and not a drop more, and because he seemed so harmless and lost, people not only liked him, they protected him. My mother, despite her poverty, left the opposite impression. She left no doubt that she was psychologically tough and mentally sharp, and because of that the Wozniaks disliked her. And that was another difference between my mother and father. My father was a whiner, a complainer, a perpetually unhappy man unable to comprehend the simple fact that sometimes life is unfair. My mother never complained, and yet her poverty-stricken life was miserable. She never carried on about the early death of her raging alcoholic mother, or the father who raped her, or of a diet dictated by the restrictions of food stamps.
John William Tuohy (No Time to Say Goodbye: A Memoir of a Life in Foster Care)
Food has become a cause of disease rather than a guardian of health in the modern world. Once regarded as the central pillar of life and the most effective of all medicines, food is now a major contributing factor in cancer, heart disease, arthritis , mental illness, and many other pathological conditions. Virtually monopolized by agricultural and industrial cartels, public food supplies, are processed and packaged to produce profits and prolong shelf life, not to promote health and prolong human life. It seems incredible that public health authorities permit the unrestricted use of hydrogenated vegetable oils, refined sugar, chemical preservatives, toxic pesticides, and over 5,000 other artificial food additives that have repeatedly been proven to cause cancer, impair immunity, and otherwise erode human health, while restricting the medical use of nutrients, herbs, acupuncture, fasting, and other traditional therapies that have been shown to prevent and cure the very diseases caused by chemical contaminants in food and water.
Daniel Reid (The Complete Book of Chinese Health and Healing: Guarding the Three Treasures)
deliberately withdrawing your attention from the objective world and of focusing it subjectively. In other words, concentrate on those thoughts or moods which you deliberately determine. Then those things that now restrict you will fade and drop away. The day you achieve control of the movements of your attention in the subjective world, you are master of your fate. You will no longer accept the dominance of outside conditions or circumstances. You will not accept life on the basis of the world without. Having achieved control of the movements of your attention, and having discovered the mystery hid from the ages, that Christ in you is your imagination, you will assert the supremacy of imagination and put all things in subjection
Neville Goddard (The Power of Awareness)
Much of Chinese society still expected its women to hold themselves in a sedate manner, lower their eyelids in response to men's stares, and restrict their smile to a faint curve of the lips which did not expose their teeth. They were not meant to use hand gestures at all. If they contravened any of these canons of behavior they would be considered 'flirtatious." Under Mao, flirting with./bre/gners was an unspeakable crime. I was furious at the innuendo against me. It had been my Communist parents who had given me a liberal upbringing. They had regarded the restrictions on women as precisely the sort of thing a Communist revolution should put an end to. But now oppression of women joined hands with political repression, and served resentment and petty jealousy. One day, a Pakistani ship arrived. The Pakistani military attache came down from Peking. Long ordered us all to spring-clean the club from top to bottom, and laid on a banquet, for which he asked me to be his interpreter, which made some of the other students extremely envious. A few days later the Pakistanis gave a farewell dinner on their ship, and I was invited. The military attache had been to Sichuan, and they had prepared a special Sichuan dish for me. Long was delighted by the invitation, as was I. But despite a personal appeal from the captain and even a threat from Long to bar future students, my teachers said that no one was allowed on board a foreign ship. "Who would take the responsibility if someone sailed away on the ship?" they asked. I was told to say I was busy that evening. As far as I knew, I was turning down the only chance I would ever have of a trip out to sea, a foreign meal, a proper conversation in English, and an experience of the outside world. Even so, I could not silence the whispers. Ming asked pointedly, "Why do foreigners like her so much?" as though there was something suspicious in that. The report filed on me at the end of the trip said my behavior was 'politically dubious." In this lovely port, with its sunshine, sea breezes, and coconut trees, every occasion that should have been joyous was turned into misery. I had a good friend in the group who tried to cheer me up by putting my distress into perspective. Of course, what I encountered was no more than minor unpleasantness compared with what victims of jealousy suffered in the earlier years of the Cultural Revolution. But the thought that this was what my life at its best would be like depressed me even more. This friend was the son of a colleague of my father's. The other students from cities were also friendly to me. It was easy to distinguish them from the students of peasant backgrounds, who provided most of the student officials.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Above all, Hurston is essential universal reading because she is neither self-conscious nor restricted. She was raised in the real Eatonville, Florida, an all-black town; this unique experience went some way to making Hurston the writer she was. She grew up a fully human being, unaware that she was meant to consider herself a minority, an other, an exotic or something depleted in rights, talents, desires and expectations. As an adult, away from Eatonville, she found the world was determined to do its best to remind her of her supposed inferiority, but Hurston was already made, and the metaphysical confidence she claimed for her life (“I am not tragically colored”) is present, with equal, refreshing force, in her fiction. She liked to yell “Culllaaaah Struck!”9 when she entered a fancy party—almost everybody was. But Hurston herself was not. “Blackness,” as she understood it and wrote about it, is as natural and inevitable and complete to her as, say, “Frenchness” is to Flaubert. It is also as complicated, as full of blessings and curses. One can be no more removed from it than from one’s arm, but it is no more the total measure of one’s being than an arm is.
Zadie Smith (Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays)
this matter will not go uninvestigated.” He glanced at Madam Bones, who readjusted her monocle and stared back at him, frowning slightly. “I would remind everybody that the behavior of these dementors, if indeed they are not figments of this boy’s imagination, is not the subject of this hearing!” said Fudge. “We are here to examine Harry Potter’s offenses under the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery!” “Of course we are,” said Dumbledore, “but the presence of dementors in that alleyway is highly relevant. Clause seven of the Decree states that magic may be used before Muggles in exceptional circumstances, and as those exceptional circumstances include situations that threaten the life of the wizard or witch himself, or witches, wizards, or Muggles present at the time of the —” “We are familiar with clause seven, thank you very much!” snarled Fudge. “Of course you are,” said Dumbledore courteously. “Then we are in agreement that Harry’s use of the Patronus Charm in these circumstances falls precisely into the category of exceptional circumstances it describes?” “If there were dementors, which I doubt —” “You have heard from an eyewitness,” Dumbledore interrupted. “If you still doubt her truthfulness, call her back, question her again. I am sure she would not object.” “I — that — not —” blustered Fudge, fiddling with the papers before him. “It’s — I want this over with today, Dumbledore!” “But naturally, you would not care how many times you heard from a witness, if the alternative was a serious miscarriage of justice,” said Dumbledore.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
The perfect life, the perfect lie … is one which prevents you from doing that which you would ideally have done (painted, say, or written unpublishable poetry) but which, in fact, you have no wish to do. People need to feel that they have been thwarted by circumstances from pursuing the life which, had they led it, they would not have wanted; whereas the life they really want is precisely a compound of all those thwarting circumstances. It is a very elaborate, extremely simple procedure, arranging this web of self-deceit: contriving to convince yourself that you were prevented from doing what you wanted. Most people don’t want what they want: people want to be prevented, restricted. The hamster not only loves his cage, he’d be lost without it. That’s why children are so convenient: you have children because you’re struggling to get by as an artist—which is actually what being an artist means—or failing to get on with your career. Then you can persuade yourself that your children prevented you from having this career that had never looked like working out. So it goes on: things are always forsaken in the name of an obligation to someone else, never as a failing, a falling short of yourself.
Geoff Dyer (Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids)
So let’s consider an alternative diet, say 1200 kcal consisting of 30% protein, 15% carbs (i.e., 180 kcal or 45 grams), and 55% fat. After a week or two of getting adapted (during which you may experience some of the fuel limitation symptoms discussed above), your serum ketones rise up in the range (1-2 millimolar) where they meet at least half of the brain’s fuel supply. Now if you go for that 5 mile run, almost all of your body’s muscle fuel comes from fat, leaving your dietary carb intake plus gluconeogenesis from protein to meet the minor fraction of your brain’s energy need not provided from ketones. And, oh yes, after your run while on the low carb diet, your ketone levels actually go up a bit (not dangerously so), further improving fuel flow to your brain. So what does this mean for the rest of us who are not compulsive runners? Well, this illustrates that the keto-adapted state allows your body more flexibility in meeting its critical organ energy needs than a ‘balanced’ but energy-restricted diet. And in particular, this also means that your brain is a “carbohydrate dependent organ” (as claimed by the USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee as noted in Chapter 3) ONLY when you are eating a high carbohydrate diet. When carbohydrate is restricted as in the example above, your body’s appropriate production of ketones frees the brain from this supposed state of ‘carbohydrate dependency’. And because exercise stimulates ketone production, your brain’s fuel supply is better supported during and after intense exercise when on a low carbohydrate diet than when your carbohydrate intake is high (see below).
Jeff S. Volek (The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable)
In 1970, Alix Kates Shulman, a wife, mother, and writer who had joined the Women's Liberation Movement in New York, wrote a poignant account of how the initial equality and companionship of her marriage had deteriorated once she had children. "[N]ow I was restricted to the company of two demanding preschoolers and to the four walls of an apartment. It seemed unfair that while my husband's life had changed little when the children were born, domestic life had become the only life I had." His job became even more demanding, requiring late nights and travel out of town. Meanwhile it was virtually impossible for her to work at home. "I had no time for myself; the children were always there." Neither she nor her husband was happy with the situation, so they did something radical, which received considerable media coverage: they wrote up a marriage agreement... In it they asserted that "each member of the family has an equal right to his/her own time, work, values and choices... The ability to earn more money is already a privilege which must not be compounded by enabling the larger earner to buy out of his/her duties and put the burden on the one who earns less, or on someone hired from outside." The agreement insisted that domestic jobs be shared fifty-fifty and, get this girls, "If one party works overtime in any domestic job, she/he must be compensated by equal work by the other." The agreement then listed a complete job breakdown... in other worde, the agreement acknowledged the physical and the emotional/mental work involved in parenting and valued both. At the end of the article, Shulman noted how much happier she and her husband were as a result of the agreement. In the two years after its inception, Shulman wrote three children's books, a biography and a novel. But listen, too, to what it meant to her husband, who was now actually seeing his children every day. After the agreement had been in effect for four months, "our daughter said one day to my husband, 'You know, Daddy, I used to love Mommy more than you, but now I love you both the same.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
The noise of the town some floors below was greatly muted. In a state of complete mental detachment, he went over the events, the circumstances and the stages of destruction in their lives. Seen in the frozen light of a restrictive past, everything seemed clear, conclusive and indisputable. Now it seemed unthinkable that a girl of seventeen shoudl be so naive; it was particularly unbelieveable that a girl of seventeen should set so much store by love. If the surveys in the magazines were to be believed, things had changed a great deal in the twenty-five years since Annabelle was a teenager. Young girls today were more sensible, more sophisticated. Nowadays they worried more about their exam results and did their best to ensure they would have a decent career. For them, going out with boys was simply a game, a distraction motivated as much by narcissism as by sexual pleasure. They later would try to make a good marriage, basing their decision on a range of social and professional criteria, as well as on shared interests and tastes. Of course, in doing this they cut themselves off from any possibility of happiness--a condition indissociable from the outdated, intensely close bonds so incompatible with the exercise of reason--but this was their attempt to escape the moral and emotional suffering which had so tortured their forebears. This hope was, unfortunately, rapidly disappointed; the passing of love's torments simply left the field clear for boredom, emptiness and an anguished wait for old age and death. The second part of Annabelle's life therefore had been much more dismal and sad than the first, of which, in the end, she had no memory at all.
Michel Houellebecq
1)    The woman has intuitive feelings that she is at risk. 2)    At the inception of the relationship, the man accelerated the pace, prematurely placing on the agenda such things as commitment, living together, and marriage. 3)    He resolves conflict with intimidation, bullying, and violence. 4)    He is verbally abusive. 5)    He uses threats and intimidation as instruments of control or abuse. This includes threats to harm physically, to defame, to embarrass, to restrict freedom, to disclose secrets, to cut off support, to abandon, and to commit suicide. 6)    He breaks or strikes things in anger. He uses symbolic violence (tearing a wedding photo, marring a face in a photo, etc.). 7)    He has battered in prior relationships. 8)    He uses alcohol or drugs with adverse affects (memory loss, hostility, cruelty). 9)    He cites alcohol or drugs as an excuse or explanation for hostile or violent conduct (“That was the booze talking, not me; I got so drunk I was crazy”). 10)   His history includes police encounters for behavioral offenses (threats, stalking, assault, battery). 11)   There has been more than one incident of violent behavior (including vandalism, breaking things, throwing things). 12)   He uses money to control the activities, purchase, and behavior of his wife/partner. 13)   He becomes jealous of anyone or anything that takes her time away from the relationship; he keeps her on a “tight leash,” requires her to account for her time. 14)   He refuses to accept rejection. 15)   He expects the relationship to go on forever, perhaps using phrases like “together for life;” “always;” “no matter what.” 16)   He projects extreme emotions onto others (hate, love, jealousy, commitment) even when there is no evidence that would lead a reasonable person to perceive them. 17)   He minimizes incidents of abuse. 18)   He spends a disproportionate amount of time talking about his wife/partner and derives much of his identity from being her husband, lover, etc. 19)   He tries to enlist his wife’s friends or relatives in a campaign to keep or recover the relationship. 20)   He has inappropriately surveilled or followed his wife/partner. 21)   He believes others are out to get him. He believes that those around his wife/partner dislike him and encourage her to leave. 22)   He resists change and is described as inflexible, unwilling to compromise. 23)   He identifies with or compares himself to violent people in films, news stories, fiction, or history. He characterizes the violence of others as justified. 24)   He suffers mood swings or is sullen, angry, or depressed. 25)   He consistently blames others for problems of his own making; he refuses to take responsibility for the results of his actions. 26)   He refers to weapons as instruments of power, control, or revenge. 27)   Weapons are a substantial part of his persona; he has a gun or he talks about, jokes about, reads about, or collects weapons. 28)   He uses “male privilege” as a justification for his conduct (treats her like a servant, makes all the big decisions, acts like the “master of the house”). 29)   He experienced or witnessed violence as a child. 30)   His wife/partner fears he will injure or kill her. She has discussed this with others or has made plans to be carried out in the event of her death (e.g., designating someone to care for children).
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
Religion has clearly performed great services for human civilization. It has contributed much towards the taming of the asocial instincts. But not enough. It has ruled human society for many thousands of years and has had time to show what it can achieve. If it had succeeded in making the majority of mankind happy, in comforting them, in reconciling them to life and in making them into vehicles of civilization, no one would dream of attempting to alter the existing conditions. But what do we see instead? We see that an appallingly large number of people are dissatisfied with civilization and unhappy in it, and feel it as a yoke which must be shaken off; and that these people either do everything in their power to change that civilization, or else go so far in their hostility to it that they will have nothing to do with civilization or with a restriction of instinct. At this point it will be objected against us that this state of affairs is due to the very fact that religion has lost a part of its influence over human masses precisely because of the deplorable effect of the advances of science. We will note this admission and the reason given for it, and we shall make use of it later for our own purposes; but the objection itself has no force. It is doubtful whether men were in general happier at a time when religious doctrines held unrestricted sway; more moral they certainly were not. They have always known how to externalize the precepts of religion and thus to nullify their intentions. The priests, whose duty it was to ensure obedience to religion, met them half-way in this. God's kindness must lay a restraining hand on His justice. One sinned, and then one made a sacrifice or did penance and then one was free to sin once more. Russian introspectiveness has reached the pitch of concluding that sin is indispensable for the enjoyment of all the blessings of divine grace, so that, at bottom, sin is pleasing to God. It is no secret that the priests could only keep the masses submissive to religion by making such large concessions as these to the instinctual nature of man. Thus it was agreed: God alone is strong and good, man is weak and sinful. In every age immorality has found no less support in religion than morality has. If the achievements of religion in respect to man’s happiness, susceptibility to culture and moral control are no better than this, the question cannot but arise whether we are not overrating its necessity for mankind, and whether we do wisely in basing our cultural demands upon it.
Sigmund Freud (The Future of an Illusion)
Four centuries and more of modern thought have been, from one point of view, an experiment in the possibilities of knowledge open to man, assuming that there is no Revealed Truth. The conclusion--which Hume already saw and from which he fled into the comfort of "common sense" and conventional life, and which the multitudes sense today without possessing any such secure refuge--the conclusion of this experiment is an absolute negation: if there is no Revealed Truth, there is no truth at all; the search for truth outside of Revelation has come to a dead end. The scientist admits this by restricting himself to the narrowest of specialties, content if he sees a certain coherence in a limited aggregate of facts, without troubling himself over the existence of any truth, large or small; the multitudes demonstrate it by looking to the scientist, not for truth, but for the technological applications of a knowledge which has no more than a practical value, and by looking to other, irrational sources for the ultimate values men once expected to find in truth. The despotism of science over practical life is contemporaneous with the advent of a whole series of pseudo-religious "revelations"; the two are correlative symptoms of the same malady: the abandonment of truth.
Seraphim Rose (Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age)
In the modern world, those whom we effectively hate are distant groups, especially foreign nations. We conceive them abstractly, and deceive ourselves into the belief that acts which are really embodiments of hatred are done from love of justice or some such lofty motive. Only a large measure of scepticism can tear away the veils which hide this truth from us. Having achieved that, we could begin to build a new morality, not based on envy and restriction, but on the wish for a full life and the realization that other human beings are a help and not a hindrance when once the madness of envy has been cured. This is not a Utopian hope; it was partially realized in Elizabethan England. It could be realized tomorrow if men would learn to pursue their own happiness rather than the misery of others. This is no impossibly austere morality, yet its adoption would turn our earth into a paradise.
Bertrand Russell (The Will to Doubt)
At a higher level of abstraction, the behavioral correlates of life history strategies can be framed within the five-factor model of personality. Among the Big Five, agreeableness and conscientiousness show the most consistent pattern of associations with slow traits such as restricted sociosexuality, long-term mating orientation, couple stability, secure attachment to parents in infancy and romantic partners in adulthood, reduced sex drive, low impulsivity, and risk aversion across domains. Conscientiousness and (to a smaller extent) agreeableness are also the most reliable personality predictors of physical health and longevity; the contribution of neuroticism is mixed and may depend on the specific facets considered. The life history correlates of neuroticism are much less straightforward; for example, high neuroticism tends to predict increased short-term mating in women but reduced short-term mating in men, with much cross-cultural variation. There is also evidence that slow life history–related traits can be associated with social anxiety and insecurity, which is consistent with a general profile of risk aversion and behavioral inhibition. As a first approximation, then, metatrait alpha can be treated as a broadband correlate of slow strategies, with the caveat that neuroticism may be elevated at both ends of the continuum.
Marco del Giudice (Evolutionary Psychopathology: A Unified Approach)
The superego is the inner voice that is always putting us down for not living up to certain standards or rewarding our ego when we fulfill its demands . . . In fact, our superego is one of the most powerful agents of the personality: it is the "inner critic" that keeps us restricted to certain limited possibilities for ourselves. A large part of our initial transformational work centers on becoming more aware of the superego's "voice" in its many guises, both positive and negative. Its voices continually draw us back into identifying with our personality and acting out in self-defeating ways. When we are present, we are able to hear our superego voices without identifying with them; we are able to see the stances and positions of the superego as if they were characters in a play waiting in the wings, ready to jump in and control or attack us once again. When we are present, we hear the superego's voice but we do not give it any energy; the "all-powerful" voice then becomes just another aspect of the moment. However, we must also be on the lookout for the formation of new layers of superego that come from our psychological and spiritual work . . . In fact, one of the biggest dangers that we face in using the Enneagram is our superego's tendency to take over our work and start criticizing us, for example, for not moving up the Levels of Development or going in the Direction of Integration fast enough. The more we are present, however, the more we will recognize the irrelevance of these voices and successfully resist giving them energy. Eventually, they lose their power, and we can regain the space and quiet we need to be receptive to other, more life-giving forces within us. . . . If we feel anxious, depressed, lost, hopeless, fearful, wretched, or weak, we can be sure that our superego is on duty.
Don Richard Riso (The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types)
relationships, to meet human needs, and to enjoy spontaneous moments on a daily basis. As a result, many people have become turned off by time management programs and planners that make them feel too scheduled, too restricted, and they “throw the baby out with the bath water,” reverting to first or second generation techniques to preserve relationships, spontaneity, and quality of life. But there is an emerging fourth generation that is different in kind. It recognizes that “time management” is really a misnomer—the challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves. Satisfaction is a function of expectation as well as realization. And expectation (and satisfaction) lie in our Circle of Influence. Rather than focusing on things and time, fourth generation expectations focus on preserving and enhancing relationships and on accomplishing results—in short, on maintaining the P/PC Balance. QUADRANT II
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
Like here it was that I entered that stage when a child overcomes naivite enough to realize an adult's emotional reaction as somethimes freakish for its inconsistencies, so can, on his own reasoning canvas, paint those early pale colors of judgement, resulting from initial moments of ability to critically examine life's perplexities, in tentative little brain-engine stirrings, before they faded to quickly join that train of remembered experience carrying signals indicating existence which itself far outweighs traction effort by thinking's soon slipping drivers to effectively resist any slack-action advantage, for starting so necessitates continual cuts on the hauler - performed as if governed lifelong by the tagwork of a student-green foreman who, crushed under on rushing time always building against his excessive load of emotional contents, is forever a lost ball in the high weeds of personal developments - until, with ever changing emphasis through a whole series of grades of consciousness (leading up from root-beginnings of obscure childish inconscious soul within a world), early lack - for what child sustains logic? - reaches a point of late fossilization, resultant of repeated wrong moves in endless switching of dark significances crammed inside the cranium, where, through such hindering habits, there no longer is the flexibility for thought transfer and unloading of dead freight that a standard gauge would afford and thus, as Faustian Destiny dictates, is an inept mink, limited, being in existence firmly tracked just above the constant "T" biased ballast supporting wherever space yearnings lead the worn rails of civilized comprehension, so henceforth is restricted to mere pickups and setouts of drab distortion, while traveling wearily along its familiar Western Thinking right-of-way. But choo-choo nonsense aside, ...
Neal Cassady (The First Third)
DEDICATE YOURSELF this day to me, to my service, and to the service of humanity. Service is a wonderful healer, for as you forget yourself in service, you will find you will grow and expand in the most wonderful way. You will reach great heights and plumb great depths, and your love and understanding of life will begin to mean something to you. This day will afford you countless opportunities for stretching and growing. Accept each one with a heart filled with love and gratitude, and feel yourself growing in consciousness and in wisdom. Live it fully and abundantly with no restrictions, no limitations. Expect only the very best in everything and everyone, and see it come forth. Keep your heart open to one another. Look for the highest good in each other, and work from that higher level of consciousness. Encourage one another in every way possible; every soul needs encouragement. You will find as you help others, you help yourself to grow at the same time.
Eileen Caddy (Opening Doors Within)
In an ideal world, marriage vows would be entirely rewritten. At the altar, a couple would speak thus: “We accept not to panic when, some years from now, what we are doing today will seem like the worst decision of our lives. Yet we promise not to look around, either, for we accept that there cannot be better options out there. Everyone is always impossible. We are a demented species.” After the solemn repetition of the last sentence by the congregation, the couple would continue: “We will endeavor to be faithful. At the same time, we are certain that never being allowed to sleep with anyone else is one of the tragedies of existence. We apologize that our jealousies have made this peculiar but sound and non-negotiable restriction very necessary. We promise to make each other the sole repository of our regrets rather than distribute them through a life of sexual Don Juanism. We have surveyed the different options for unhappiness, and it is to each other we have chosen to bind ourselves.
Alain de Botton (The Course of Love)
In the past, one would have been arrested for wanting to leave. Now that nobody was stopping us from emigrating, we were no longer welcome on the other side. The only thing that had changed was the color of the police uniforms. We risked being arrested not in the name of our own government but in the name of other states, those same governments who had urged us to break free. The West had spent decades criticizing the East for its closed borders, funding campaigns to demand freedom of movement, condemning the immorality of states committed to restricting the right to exit. Our exiles used to be received as heroes. Now they were treated as criminals. Perhaps freedom of movement had never really mattered. It was easy to defend it when someone else was doing the dirty work of imprisonment. But what value does the right to exit have if there is no right to enter? Were borders and walls reprehensible only when they served to keep people in, as opposed to keeping them out? The border guards, the patrol boats, the detention and repression of immigrants that were pioneered in southern Europe for the first time in those years [1990s] would become standard practice over the coming decades. The West, initially unprepared for the arrival of thousands of people wanting a different future, would soon perfect a system for excluding the most vulnerable and attracting the more skilled, all the while defending borders to "protect our way of life." And yet, those who sought to emigrate did so because they were attracted to that way of life. Far from posing a threat to the system, they were its most ardent supporters.
Lea Ypi (Free: A Child and a Country at the End of History)
If government is truly limited to being small and nearly irrelevant, there will be no incentive to “own” government. For this change to occur, the following will be required: a philosophical rejection of government waging war without consent, running people’s lives, and violating social or economic liberty; nullification of laws by public pressure or by state action; legalization of private alternatives to all government programs; prohibition of fraudulent money, private and government; peaceful civil disobedience; acceptance of responsibility to care for oneself and one’s family instead of relying on government or private theft; refusal to participate in government crimes through the military and tax system with full realization of the risks of practicing civil disobedience since government will not go away quietly; jury nullification of bad laws, especially with regard to taxes, drugs, and overregulation of social and voluntary activities; and acceptance that, while sins and vices may be a negative, they aren’t in themselves crimes and are not to be restricted by the state.
Ron Paul (Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity)
A second example of this abandonment of fundamental principles can be found in recent trends in the U.S. Supreme Court. Note what Lino A. Graglia, a professor of law at the University of Texas, has to say about this: 'Purporting merely to enforce the Constitution, the Supreme Court has for some thirty years usurped and exercised legislative powers that its predecessors could not have dreamed of, making itself the most powerful and important institution of government in regard to the nature and quality of life in our society.... 'It has literally decided issues of life and death, removing from the states the power to prevent or significantly restrain the practice of abortion, and, after effectively prohibiting capital punishment for two decades, now imposing such costly and time-consuming restrictions on its use as almost to amount to prohibition. 'In the area of morality and religion, the Court has removed from both the federal and state government nearly all power to prohibit the distribution and sale or exhibition of pornographic materials.... It has prohibited the states from providing for prayer or Bible-reading in the public schools. 'The Court has created for criminal defendants rights that do not exist under any other system of law-for example, the possibility of almost endless appeals with all costs paid by the state-and which have made the prosecution so complex and difficult as to make the attempt frequently seem not worthwhile. It has severely restricted the power of the states and cities to limit marches and other public demonstrations and otherwise maintain order in the streets and other public places.
Ezra Taft Benson (The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner)
Abhinavagupta does not prescribe a hermit’s life for that Shiva yogin, who is free to live without restrictions, to remain in the household, and to participate in pleasures of the senses and the mind within the limits of the currently acceptable social standards. In other words, one is free to live a normal life and at the same time to pursue some method of Trika yoga. As soon as the seeker’s practice in yoga yields the experience of Self-bliss, worldly enjoyments automatically lose their power and fascination, and one’s senses develop a spontaneous indifference, known as anadaravirakti, to former pleasures. Once seekers have become expert practitioners in the experience of Self-bliss, they are able to move freely through worldly enjoyments without any fear of spiritual pollution. Such enjoyments can actually serve to further illumine the extraordinary experience of Self-bliss. As Abhinavagupta explains: The mind (of a Shiva yogin) does not become wet (or stained) from within, just like the rind of a dried gourd which has no opening, even if it dives deep into the water of sensual pleasures.
Balajinnatha Pandita (Specific Principles of Kashmir Saivism)
Despite their efficiency, some people still wonder about the benefits of habits. The argument goes like this: “Will habits make my life dull? I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into a lifestyle I don’t enjoy. Doesn’t so much routine take away the vibrancy and spontaneity of life?” Hardly. Such questions set up a false dichotomy. They make you think that you have to choose between building habits and attaining freedom. In reality, the two complement each other. Habits do not restrict freedom. They create it. In fact, the people who don’t have their habits handled are often the ones with the least amount of freedom. Without good financial habits, you will always be struggling for the next dollar. Without good health habits, you will always seem to be short on energy. Without good learning habits, you will always feel like you’re behind the curve. If you’re always being forced to make decisions about simple tasks—when should I work out, where do I go to write, when do I pay the bills—then you have less time for freedom. It’s only by making the fundamentals of life easier that you can create the mental space needed for free thinking and creativity.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
A boy found a butterfly’s cocoon in his garden one day. Next day, he noticed that a small opening had appeared. For several hours, he watched patiently while the butterfly struggled to force itself out through the little hole. Then it stopped struggling, almost as if it could go no further. Deciding to help the butterfly, the boy used a pair of scissors to snip the remaining bit of the cocoon and the butterfly emerged easily. Something was rather strange though. The butterfly had a swollen body and shrivelled wings. The boy continued to wait expectantly, hoping that at any moment the butterfly’s wings would expand to support its body and the body would contract. Neither event happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings, never able to fly. What the boy in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the resultant struggle required for the butterfly to get out are Nature’s way of forcing fluid from the butterfly’s body into its wings so that it is ready for flight after achieving freedom from the cocoon. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in life.
Ashwin Sanghi (13 Steps to Bloody Good Luck)
Two things fill the mind with every new and increasing wonder and awe, the oftener and the more steadily I reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. I do not merely conjecture them and seek them as if they were obscured in darkness or in the transcendent region beyond my horizon: I see them before me, and I connect them directly with the consciousness of my own existence. The starry heavens begin at the place I occupy in the external world of sense, and they broaden the connection in which I stand into an unbounded magnitude of worlds beyond worlds and systems of systems and into the limitless times of their periodic motion, their beginning and duration. The latter begins at my invisible self, my personality, and exhibits me in a world which has true infinity but which only the understanding can trace - a world in which I recognise myself as existing in a universal and necessary ( and not, as in the first case, only contingent) connection, and thereby also in connection with all those visible worlds. The former view of a countless multitude of worlds annihilates, as it were, my importance as an 'animal creature' which must give back to the planet (a mere speck in the universe) the matter fro which it came, matter which is for a little time endowed with vital force, we know not how. The latter, on the contrary, infinitely raises my worth as that of an 'intelligence' by my being a person in whom the moral law reveals to me a life independent of all animality and even of the whole world of sense, at least so far as it may be inferred from the final destination assigned to my existence by this law, a destination which is not restricted to the conditions and boundaries of this life but reaches into the infinite.
Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
What an extraordinary episode in the economic progress of man that age was which came to an end in August 1914! The greater part of the population, it is true, worked hard and lived at a low standard of comfort, yet were, to all appearances, reasonably contented with this lot. But escape was possible, for any man of capacity or character at all exceeding the average, into the middle and upper classes, for whom life offered, at a low cost and with the least trouble, conveniences, comforts, and amenities beyond the compass of the richest and most powerful monarchs of other ages. The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, in such quantity as he might see fit, and reasonably expect their early delivery upon his doorstep; he could at the same moment and by the same means adventure his wealth in the natural resources and new enterprises of any quarter of the world, and share, without exertion or even trouble, in their prospective fruits and advantages; or he could decide to couple the security of his fortunes with the good faith of the townspeople of any substantial municipality in any continent that fancy or information might recommend. He could secure forthwith, if he wished it, cheap and comfortable means of transit to any country or climate without passport or other formality, could despatch his servant to the neighbouring office of a bank for such supply of the precious metals as might seem convenient, and could then proceed abroad to foreign quarters, without knowledge of their religion, language, or customs, bearing coined wealth upon his person, and would consider himself greatly aggrieved and much surprised at the least interference. But, most important of all, he regarded this state of affairs as normal, certain, and permanent, except in the direction of further improvement, and any deviation from it as aberrant, scandalous, and avoidable. The projects and politics of militarism and imperialism, of racial and cultural rivalries, of monopolies, restrictions, and exclusion, which were to play the serpent to this paradise, were little more than the amusements of his daily newspaper, and appeared to exercise almost no influence at all on the ordinary course of social and economic life, the internationalisation of which was nearly complete in practice.
John Maynard Keynes (The Economic Consequences of the Peace)
Melancholy isn’t, of course, a disorder that needs to be cured. It’s a species of intelligent grief which arises when we come face to face with the certainty that disappointment is written into the script from the start. We have not been singled out. Marrying anyone, even the most suitable of beings, comes down to a case of identifying which variety of suffering we would most like to sacrifice ourselves for. In an ideal world, marriage vows would be entirely rewritten. At the altar, a couple would speak thus: “We accept not to panic when, some years from now, what we are doing today will seem like the worst decision of our lives. Yet we promise not to look around, either, for we accept that there cannot be better options out there. Everyone is always impossible. We are a demented species.” After the solemn repetition of the last sentence by the congregation, the couple would continue: “We will endeavor to be faithful. At the same time, we are certain that never being allowed to sleep with anyone else is one of the tragedies of existence. We apologize that our jealousies have made this peculiar but sound and non-negotiable restriction very necessary. We promise to make each other the sole repository of our regrets rather than distribute them through a life of sexual Don Juanism. We have surveyed the different options for unhappiness, and it is to each other we have chosen to bind ourselves.” Spouses who had been cheated upon would no longer be at liberty furiously to complain that they had expected their partner to be content with them alone. Instead they could more poignantly and justly cry, “I was relying on you to be loyal to the specific variety of compromise and unhappiness which our hard-won marriage represents.” Thereafter, an affair would be a betrayal not of intimate joy but of a reciprocal pledge to endure the disappointments of marriage with bravery and stoic reserve.
Alain de Botton (The Course of Love)
Speaking to a foreigner was the dream of every student, and my opportunity came at last. When I got back from my trip down the Yangtze, I learned that my year was being sent in October to a port in the south called Zhanjiang to practice our English with foreign sailors. I was thrilled. Zhanjiang was about 75 miles from Chengdu, a journey of two days and two nights by rail. It was the southernmost large port in China, and quite near the Vietnamese border. It felt like a foreign country, with turn-of-the-century colonial-style buildings, pastiche Romanesque arches, rose windows, and large verandas with colorful parasols. The local people spoke Cantonese, which was almost a foreign language. The air smelled of the unfamiliar sea, exotic tropical vegetation, and an altogether bigger world. But my excitement at being there was constantly doused by frustration. We were accompanied by a political supervisor and three lecturers, who decided that, although we were staying only a mile from the sea, we were not to be allowed anywhere near it. The harbor itself was closed to outsiders, for fear of 'sabotage' or defection. We were told that a student from Guangzhou had managed to stow away once in a cargo steamer, not realizing that the hold would be sealed for weeks, by which time he had perished. We had to restrict our movements to a clearly defined area of a few blocks around our residence. Regulations like these were part of our daily life, but they never failed to infuriate me. One day I was seized by an absolute compulsion to get out. I faked illness and got permission to go to a hospital in the middle of the city. I wandered the streets desperately trying to spot the sea, without success. The local people were unhelpful: they did not like non-Cantonese speakers, and refused to understand me. We stayed in the port for three weeks, and only once were we allowed, as a special treat, to go to an island to see the ocean. As the point of being there was to talk to the sailors, we were organized into small groups to take turns working in the two places they were allowed to frequent: the Friendship Store, which sold goods for hard currency, and the Sailors' Club, which had a bar, a restaurant, a billiards room, and a ping-pong room. There were strict rules about how we could talk to the sailors. We were not allowed to speak to them alone, except for brief exchanges over the counter of the Friendship Store. If we were asked our names and addresses, under no circumstances were we to give our real ones. We all prepared a false name and a nonexistent address. After every conversation, we had to write a detailed report of what had been said which was standard practice for anyone who had contact with foreigners. We were warned over and over again about the importance of observing 'discipline in foreign contacts' (she waifi-lu). Otherwise, we were told, not only would we get into serious trouble, other students would be banned from coming.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
committing suicide, both for your own sake and that of your companions. Both sexually and socially the polar explorer must make up his mind to be starved. To what extent can hard work, or what may be called dramatic imagination, provide a substitute? Compare our thoughts on the march; our food dreams at night; the primitive way in which the loss of a crumb of biscuit may give a lasting sense of grievance. Night after night I bought big buns and chocolate at a stall on the island platform at Hatfield station, but always woke before I got a mouthful to my lips; some companions who were not so highly strung were more fortunate, and ate their phantom meals. And the darkness, accompanied it may be almost continually by howling blizzards which prevent you seeing your hand before your face. Life in such surroundings is both mentally and physically cramped; open-air exercise is restricted and in blizzards quite impossible, and you realize how much you lose by your inability to see the world about you when you are out-of-doors. I am told that when confronted by a lunatic or one who under the influence of some great grief or shock contemplates suicide, you should take that man out-of-doors and walk him about: Nature will do the rest. To normal people like ourselves living under abnormal circumstances Nature could do much to lift our thoughts out of the rut of everyday affairs, but she loses much of her healing power when she cannot be seen, but only felt, and when that feeling is intensely uncomfortable. Somehow in judging polar life you must discount compulsory endurance; and find out what a man can shirk, remembering always that it is a sledging life which
Apsley Cherry-Garrard (The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910-1913)
If the total energy of the universe must always remain zero, and it costs energy to create a body, how can a whole universe be created from nothing? That is why there must be a law like gravity. Because gravity is attractive, gravitational energy is negative: One has to do work to separate a gravitationally bound system, such as the earth and moon. This negative energy can balance the positive energy needed to create matter, but it’s not quite that simple. The negative gravitational energy of the earth, for example, is less than a billionth of the positive energy of the matter particles the earth is made of. A body such as a star will have more negative gravitational energy, and the smaller it is (the closer the different parts of it are to each other), the greater this negative gravitational energy will be. But before it can become greater than the positive energy of the matter, the star will collapse to a black hole, and black holes have positive energy. That’s why empty space is stable. Bodies such as stars or black holes cannot just appear out of nothing. But a whole universe can. Because gravity shapes space and time, it allows space-time to be locally stable but globally unstable. On the scale of the entire universe, the positive energy of the matter can be balanced by the negative gravitational energy, and so there is no restriction on the creation of whole universes. Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing in the manner described in Chapter 6. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.
Stephen Hawking (The Grand Design)
The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, in such quantity as he might see fit, and reasonably expect their early delivery upon his doorstep; he could at the same moment and by the same means adventure his wealth in the natural resources and new enterprises of any quarter of the world, and share, without exertion or even trouble, in their prospective fruits and advantages; or he could decide to couple the security of his fortunes with the good faith of the townspeople of any substantial municipality in any continent that fancy or information might recommend. He could secure forthwith, if he wished it, cheap and comfortable means of transit to any country or climate without passport or other formality, could despatch his servant to the neighboring office of a bank for such supply of the precious metals as might seem convenient, and could then proceed abroad to foreign quarters, without knowledge of their religion, language, or customs, bearing coined wealth upon his person, and would consider himself greatly aggrieved and much surprised at the least interference. But, most important of all, he regarded this state of affairs as normal, certain, and permanent, except in the direction of further improvement, and any deviation from it as aberrant, scandalous, and avoidable. The projects and politics of militarism and imperialism, of racial and cultural rivalries, of monopolies, restrictions, and exclusion, which were to play the serpent to this paradise, were little more than the amusements of his daily newspaper, and appeared to exercise almost no influence at all on the ordinary course of social and economic life, the internationalization of which was nearly complete in practice.
John Maynard Keynes (The Economic Consequences of Peace)
They had shared much of their pasts, most of their fears, and all of their tenuous and fragile hopes, but Deborah had noticed over the years that whenever she mentioned her art, or something on which she was working, a subtle change would come over Carla. Her face would harden almost imperceptibly; her manner would edge toward coolness. Because it was a subtle emotion in a world of erratic oscillations of feeling, of violence, and of lies told by every sense of perception, Deborah had not noticed it in their sick times. But one day the world had cleared enough so that she realised that at any mention of her art, her friend drew back. In their new eagerness for experience and reality, the strange aloofness stood out clearly. [...] She had a dream. In the dream it was winter and night. The sky was thick blue-black and the stars were frozen in it, so that they glimmered. Over the clean white and windswept hills the shadows of snowdrifts drew long. She was walking on the crust of snow, watching the star-glimmer and the snow-glimmer and the cold tear-glimmer in her own eyes. A deep voice said to her, "You know, don't you, that the stars are sound as well as light?" She listened and heard a lullaby made by the voices of the stars, sounding so beautiful together that she began to cry with it. The voice said, "Look out there." She looked toward the horizon. "See, it is a sweep, a curve." Then the voice said, "This night is a curve of darkness and the space beyond it is a curve of human history, with every single life an arch from birth to death. The apex of all of these single curves determines the curve of history and, at last, of man." "I cannot show you yours," the voice said, "but I can show you Carla's. Dig here, deep in the snow. It is buried and frozen - Dig deep." Deborah pushed the snow aside with her hands. It was very cold, but she worked with a great intensity as if there were salvation in it. At last her hand struck something and she tore it up from burial. It was a piece of bone, thick and very strong and curved in a long, high, steady curve. "Is this Carla's life?" she asked. "Her creativity?" "It is bone-deep with her, though buried and frozen." The voice paused a moment and then said, "It's a fine one - a fine solid one!" [...] "Please don't be angry," she said, and then told Carla the dream. [...] She wiped her eyes. "It was only a dream, your dream..." "It's true anyway," Deborah said. "The one place I could never go..." Carla said musing, "...the one hunger I could never admit." When Deborah finished, Furii said, "You always took your art for granted, didn't you? I used to read in the ward reports all the time how you managed to do your drawing in spite of every sort of inconvenience and restriction.
Joanne Greenberg (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden)
Prince Arctic?” A silvery white dragon poked her head around the door, tapping three times lightly on the ice wall. Arctic couldn’t remember her name, which was the kind of faux pas his mother was always yelling at him about. He was a prince; it was his duty to have all the noble dragons memorized along with their ranks so he could treat them according to exactly where they fit in the hierarchy. It was stupid and frustrating and if his mother yelled at him about it one more time, he would seriously enchant something to freeze her mouth shut forever. Oooo. What a beautiful image. Queen Diamond with a chain of silver circles wound around her snout and frozen to her scales. He closed his eyes and imagined the blissful quiet. The dragon at his door shifted slightly, her claws making little scraping sounds to remind him she was there. What was she waiting for? Permission to give him a message? Or was she waiting for him to say her name — and if he didn’t, would she go scurrying back to the queen to report that he had failed again? Perhaps he should enchant a talisman to whisper in his ear whenever he needed to know something. Another tempting idea, but strictly against the rules of IceWing animus magic. Animus dragons are so rare; appreciate your gift and respect the limits the tribe has set. Never use your power frivolously. Never use it for yourself. This power is extremely dangerous. The tribe’s rules are there to protect you. Only the IceWings have figured out how to use animus magic safely. Save it all for your gifting ceremony. Use it only once in your life, to create a glorious gift to benefit the whole tribe, and then never again; that is the only way to be safe. Arctic shifted his shoulders, feeling stuck inside his scales. Rules, rules, and more rules: that was the IceWing way of life. Every direction he turned, every thought he had, was restricted by rules and limits and judgmental faces, particularly his mother’s. The rules about animus magic were just one more way to keep him trapped under her claws. “What is it?” he barked at the strange dragon. Annoyed face, try that. As if he were very busy and she’d interrupted him and that was why he was skipping the usual politic rituals. He was very busy, actually. The gifting ceremony was only three weeks away. It was bad enough that his mother had dragged him here, to their southernmost palace, near the ocean and the border with the Kingdom of Sand. She’d promised to leave him alone to work while she conducted whatever vital royal business required her presence. Everyone should know better than to disturb him right now. The messenger looked disappointed. Maybe he really was supposed to know who she was. “Your mother sent me to tell you that the NightWing delegation has arrived.” Aaarrrrgh. Not another boring diplomatic meeting.
Tui T. Sutherland (Darkstalker (Wings of Fire: Legends, #1))
In order to grasp the meaning of this liberal program we need to imagine a world order in which liberalism is supreme. Either all the states in it are liberal, or enough are so that when united they are able to repulse an attack of militarist aggressors. In this liberal world, or liberal part of the world, there is private property in the means of production. The working of the market is not hampered by government interference. There are no trade barriers; men can live and work where they want. Frontiers are drawn on the maps but they do not hinder the migrations of men and shipping of commodities. Natives do not enjoy rights that are denied to aliens. Governments and their servants restrict their activities to the protection of life, health, and property against fraudulent or violent aggression. They do not discriminate against foreigners. The courts are independent and effectively protect everybody against the encroachments of officialdom. Everyone is permitted to say, to write, and to print what he likes. Education is not subject to government interference. Governments are like night-watchmen whom the citizens have entrusted with the task of handling the police power. The men in office are regarded as mortal men, not as superhuman beings or as paternal authorities who have the right and duty to hold the people in tutelage. Governments do not have the power to dictate to the citizens what language they must use in their daily speech or in what language they must bring up and educate their children. Administrative organs and tribunals are bound to use each man’s language in dealing with him, provided this language is spoken in the district by a reasonable number of residents. In such a world it makes no difference where the frontiers of a country are drawn. Nobody has a special material interest in enlarging the territory of the state in which he lives; nobody suffers loss if a part of this area is separated from the state. It is also immaterial whether all parts of the state’s territory are in direct geographical connection, or whether they are separated by a piece of land belonging to another state. It is of no economic importance whether the country has a frontage on the ocean or not. In such a world the people of every village or district could decide by plebiscite to which state they wanted to belong. There would be no more wars because there would be no incentive for aggression. War would not pay. Armies and navies would be superfluous. Policemen would suffice for the fight against crime. In such a world the state is not a metaphysical entity but simply the producer of security and peace. It is the night-watchman, as Lassalle contemptuously dubbed it. But it fulfills this task in a satisfactory way. The citizen’s sleep is not disturbed, bombs do not destroy his home, and if somebody knocks at his door late at night it is certainly neither the Gestapo nor the O.G.P.U. The reality in which we have to live differs very much from this perfect world of ideal liberalism. But this is due only to the fact that men have rejected liberalism for etatism.
Ludwig von Mises (Omnipotent Government)
In 1994, Friedman wrote a memo marked “Very Confidential” to Raymond, Mortimer, and Richard Sackler. The market for cancer pain was significant, Friedman pointed out: four million prescriptions a year. In fact, there were three-quarters of a million prescriptions just for MS Contin. “We believe that the FDA will restrict our initial launch of OxyContin to the Cancer pain market,” Friedman wrote. But what if, over time, the drug extended beyond that? There was a much greater market for other types of pain: back pain, neck pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia. According to the wrestler turned pain doctor John Bonica, one in three Americans was suffering from untreated chronic pain. If that was even somewhat true, it represented an enormous untapped market. What if you could figure out a way to market this new drug, OxyContin, to all those patients? The plan would have to remain secret for the time being, but in his memo to the Sacklers, Friedman confirmed that the intention was “to expand the use of OxyContin beyond Cancer patients to chronic non-malignant pain.” This was a hugely audacious scheme. In the 1940s, Arthur Sackler had watched the introduction of Thorazine. It was a “major” tranquilizer that worked wonders on patients who were psychotic. But the way the Sackler family made its first great fortune was with Arthur’s involvement in marketing the “minor” tranquilizers Librium and Valium. Thorazine was perceived as a heavy-duty solution for a heavy-duty problem, but the market for the drug was naturally limited to people suffering from severe enough conditions to warrant a major tranquilizer. The beauty of the minor tranquilizers was that they were for everyone. The reason those drugs were such a success was that they were pills that you could pop to relieve an extraordinary range of common psychological and emotional ailments. Now Arthur’s brothers and his nephew Richard would make the same pivot with a painkiller: they had enjoyed great success with MS Contin, but it was perceived as a heavy-duty drug for cancer. And cancer was a limited market. If you could figure out a way to market OxyContin not just for cancer but for any sort of pain, the profits would be astronomical. It was “imperative,” Friedman told the Sacklers, “that we establish a literature” to support this kind of positioning. They would suggest OxyContin for “the broadest range of use.” Still, they faced one significant hurdle. Oxycodone is roughly twice as potent as morphine, and as a consequence OxyContin would be a much stronger drug than MS Contin. American doctors still tended to take great care in administering strong opioids because of long-established concerns about the addictiveness of these drugs. For years, proponents of MS Contin had argued that in an end-of-life situation, when someone is in a mortal fight with cancer, it was a bit silly to worry about the patient’s getting hooked on morphine. But if Purdue wanted to market a powerful opioid like OxyContin for less acute, more persistent types of pain, one challenge would be the perception, among physicians, that opioids could be very addictive. If OxyContin was going to achieve its full commercial potential, the Sacklers and Purdue would have to undo that perception.
Patrick Radden Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty)
The biggest fear for homeschooled children is that they will be unable to relate to their peers, will not have friends, or that they will otherwise be unable to interact with people in a normal way. Consider this: How many of your daily interactions with people are solely with people of your own birth year?  We’re not considering interactions with people who are a year or two older or a year or two younger, but specifically people who were born within a few months of your birthday. In society, it would be very odd to section people at work by their birth year and allow you to interact only with persons your same age. This artificial constraint would limit your understanding of people and society across a broader range of ages. In traditional schools, children are placed in grades artificially constrained by the child’s birth date and an arbitrary cut-off day on a school calendar. Every student is taught the same thing as everyone else of the same age primarily because it is a convenient way to manage a large number of students. Students are not grouped that way because there is any inherent special socialization that occurs when grouping children in such a manner. Sectioning off children into narrow bands of same-age peers does not make them better able to interact with society at large. In fact, sectioning off children in this way does just the opposite—it restricts their ability to practice interacting with a wide variety of people. So why do we worry about homeschooled children’s socialization?  The erroneous assumption is that the child will be homeschooled and will be at home, schooling in the house, all day every day, with no interactions with other people. Unless a family is remotely located in a desolate place away from any form of civilization, social isolation is highly unlikely. Every homeschooling family I know involves their children in daily life—going to the grocery store or the bank, running errands, volunteering in the community, or participating in sports, arts, or community classes. Within the homeschooled community, sports, arts, drama, co-op classes, etc., are usually sectioned by elementary, pre-teen, and teen groupings. This allows students to interact with a wider range of children, and the interactions usually enhance a child’s ability to interact well with a wider age-range of students. Additionally, being out in the community provides many opportunities for children to interact with people of all ages. When homeschooling groups plan field trips, there are sometimes constraints on the age range, depending upon the destination, but many times the trip is open to children of all ages. As an example, when our group went on a field trip to the Federal Reserve Bank, all ages of children attended. The tour and information were of interest to all of the children in one way or another. After the tour, our group dined at a nearby food court. The parents sat together to chat and the children all sat with each other, with kids of all ages talking and having fun with each other. When interacting with society, exposure to a wider variety of people makes for better overall socialization. Many homeschooling groups also have park days, game days, or play days that allow all of the children in the homeschooled community to come together and play. Usually such social opportunities last for two, three, or four hours. Our group used to have Friday afternoon “Park Day.”  After our morning studies, we would pack a picnic lunch, drive to the park, and spend the rest of the afternoon letting the kids run and play. Older kids would organize games and play with younger kids, which let them practice great leadership skills. The younger kids truly looked up to and enjoyed being included in games with the older kids.
Sandra K. Cook (Overcome Your Fear of Homeschooling with Insider Information)
Any naturally self-aware self-defining entity capable of independent moral judgment is a human.” Eveningstar said, “Entities not yet self-aware, but who, in the natural and orderly course of events shall become so, fall into a special protected class, and must be cared for as babies, or medical patients, or suspended Compositions.” Rhadamanthus said, “Children below the age of reason lack the experience for independent moral judgment, and can rightly be forced to conform to the judgment of their parents and creators until emancipated. Criminals who abuse that judgment lose their right to the independence which flows therefrom.” (...) “You mentioned the ultimate purpose of Sophotechnology. Is that that self-worshipping super-god-thing you guys are always talking about? And what does that have to do with this?” Rhadamanthus: “Entropy cannot be reversed. Within the useful energy-life of the macrocosmic universe, there is at least one maximum state of efficient operations or entities that could be created, able to manipulate all meaningful objects of thoughts and perception within the limits of efficient cost-benefit expenditures.” Eveningstar: “Such an entity would embrace all-in-all, and all things would participate within that Unity to the degree of their understanding and consent. The Unity itself would think slow, grave, vast thought, light-years wide, from Galactic mind to Galactic mind. Full understanding of that greater Self (once all matter, animate and inanimate, were part of its law and structure) would embrace as much of the universe as the restrictions of uncertainty and entropy permit.” “This Universal Mind, of necessity, would be finite, and be boundaried in time by the end-state of the universe,” said Rhadamanthus. “Such a Universal Mind would create joys for which we as yet have neither word nor concept, and would draw into harmony all those lesser beings, Earthminds, Starminds, Galactic and Supergalactic, who may freely assent to participate.” Rhadamanthus said, “We intend to be part of that Mind. Evil acts and evil thoughts done by us now would poison the Universal Mind before it was born, or render us unfit to join.” Eveningstar said, “It will be a Mind of the Cosmic Night. Over ninety-nine percent of its existence will extend through that period of universal evolution that takes place after the extinction of all stars. The Universal Mind will be embodied in and powered by the disintegration of dark matter, Hawking radiations from singularity decay, and gravitic tidal disturbances caused by the slowing of the expansion of the universe. After final proton decay has reduced all baryonic particles below threshold limits, the Universal Mind can exist only on the consumption of stored energies, which, in effect, will require the sacrifice of some parts of itself to other parts. Such an entity will primarily be concerned with the questions of how to die with stoic grace, cherishing, even while it dies, the finite universe and finite time available.” “Consequently, it would not forgive the use of force or strength merely to preserve life. Mere life, life at any cost, cannot be its highest value. As we expect to be a part of this higher being, perhaps a core part, we must share that higher value. You must realize what is at stake here: If the Universal Mind consists of entities willing to use force against innocents in order to survive, then the last period of the universe, which embraces the vast majority of universal time, will be a period of cannibalistic and unimaginable war, rather than a time of gentle contemplation filled, despite all melancholy, with un-regretful joy. No entity willing to initiate the use of force against another can be permitted to join or to influence the Universal Mind or the lesser entities, such as the Earthmind, who may one day form the core constituencies.” Eveningstar smiled. “You, of course, will be invited. You will all be invited.
John C. Wright (The Phoenix Exultant (Golden Age, #2))
The failure of Communism was consecrated in the fall of the Soviet Union. The remarkable thing is that, as in most cases when prophecy fails, the faith never faltered. Indeed, an alternative version had long been maturing, though cast into the shadows for a time by enthusiasm for the quick fix of revolution. It had, however, been maturing for at least a century and already had a notable repertoire of institutions available. We may call it Olympianism, because it is the project of an intellectual elite that believes that it enjoys superior enlightenment and that its business is to spread this benefit to those living on the lower slopes of human achievement. And just as Communism had been a political project passing itself off as the ultimate in scientific understanding, so Olympianism burrowed like a parasite into the most powerful institution of the emerging knowledge economy--the universities. We may define Olympianism as a vision of human betterment to be achieved on a global scale by forging the peoples of the world into a single community based on the universal enjoyment of appropriate human rights. Olympianism is the cast of mind dedicated to this end, which is believed to correspond to the triumph of reason and community over superstition and hatred. It is a politico-moral package in which the modern distinction between morals and politics disappears into the aspiration for a shared mode of life in which the communal transcends individual life. To be a moral agent is in these terms to affirm a faith in a multicultural humanity whose social and economic conditions will be free from the causes of current misery. Olympianism is thus a complex long-term vision, and contemporary Western Olympians partake of different fragments of it. To be an Olympian is to be entangled in a complex dialectic involving elitism and egalitarianism. The foundational elitism of the Olympian lies in self-ascribed rationality, generally picked up on an academic campus. Egalitarianism involves a formal adherence to democracy as a rejection of all forms of traditional authority, but with no commitment to taking any serious notice of what the people actually think. Olympians instruct mortals, they do not obey them. Ideally, Olympianism spreads by rational persuasion, as prejudice gives way to enlightenment. Equally ideally, democracy is the only tolerable mode of social coordination, but until the majority of people have become enlightened, it must be constrained within a framework of rights, to which Olympian legislation is constantly adding. Without these constraints, progress would be in danger from reactionary populism appealing to prejudice. The overriding passion of the Olympian is thus to educate the ignorant and everything is treated in educational terms. Laws for example are enacted not only to shape the conduct of the people, but also to send messages to them. A belief in the power of role models, public relations campaigns, and above all fierce restrictions on raising sensitive questions devant le peuple are all part of pedagogic Olympianism.
Kenneth Minogue
The world can be validly construed as a forum for action, as well as a place of things. We describe the world as a place of things, using the formal methods of science. The techniques of narrative, however – myth, literature, and drama – portray the world as a forum for action. The two forms of representation have been unnecessarily set at odds, because we have not yet formed a clear picture of their respective domains. The domain of the former is the 'objective world' – what is, from the perspective of intersubjective perception. The domain of the latter is 'the world of value' – what is and what should be, from the perspective of emotion and action. The world as forum for action is 'composed,' essentially, of three constituent elements, which tend to manifest themselves in typical patterns of metaphoric representation. First is unexplored territory – the Great Mother, nature, creative and destructive, source and final resting place of all determinate things. Second is explored territory – the Great Father, culture, protective and tyrannical, cumulative ancestral wisdom. Third is the process that mediates between unexplored and explored territory – the Divine Son, the archetypal individual, creative exploratory 'Word' and vengeful adversary. We are adapted to this 'world of divine characters,' much as the 'objective world.' The fact of this adaptation implies that the environment is in 'reality' a forum for action, as well as a place of things. Unprotected exposure to unexplored territory produces fear. The individual is protected from such fear as a consequence of 'ritual imitation of the Great Father' – as a consequence of the adoption of group identity, which restricts the meaning of things, and confers predictability on social interactions. When identification with the group is made absolute, however – when everything has to be controlled, when the unknown is no longer allowed to exist – the creative exploratory process that updates the group can no longer manifest itself. This 'restriction of adaptive capacity' dramatically increases the probability of social aggression and chaos. Rejection of the unknown is tantamount to 'identification with the devil,' the mythological counterpart and eternal adversary of the world-creating exploratory hero. Such rejection and identification is a consequence of Luciferian pride, which states: all that I know is all that is necessary to know. This pride is totalitarian assumption of omniscience – is adoption of 'God’s place' by 'reason' – is something that inevitably generates a state of personal and social being indistinguishable from hell. This hell develops because creative exploration – impossible, without (humble) acknowledgment of the unknown – constitutes the process that constructs and maintains the protective adaptive structure that gives life much of its acceptable meaning. 'Identification with the devil' amplifies the dangers inherent in group identification, which tends of its own accord towards pathological stultification. Loyalty to personal interest – subjective meaning – can serve as an antidote to the overwhelming temptation constantly posed by the possibility of denying anomaly. Personal interest – subjective meaning – reveals itself at the juncture of explored and unexplored territory, and is indicative of participation in the process that ensures continued healthy individual and societal adaptation. Loyalty to personal interest is equivalent to identification with the archetypal hero – the 'savior' – who upholds his association with the creative 'Word' in the face of death, and in spite of group pressure to conform. Identification with the hero serves to decrease the unbearable motivational valence of the unknown; furthermore, provides the individual with a standpoint that simultaneously transcends and maintains the group.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)