Prefer Being Single Quotes

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So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don't let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don't force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi-tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Why does everyone think a guy who prefers love to people is missing something in his life?
Slash Coleman (Bohemian Love Diaries: A Memoir)
You have fun at the cool kids table. I prefer my spot over here with the real people.
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing: The Best of Year One)
The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep. They could see how love might control you, from your head to your toes, not to mention every single part of you in between. A woman could want a man so much she might vomit in the kitchen sink or cry so fiercly blood would form in the corners of her eyes. She put her hand to her throat as though someone were strangling her, but really she was choking on all that love she thought she’d needed so badly. What had she thought, that love was a toy, something easy and sweet, just to play with? Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for it’s sake. She refused to believe in superstition, she wouldn’t; yet it was claiming her. Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene. After all I’ve done for you is lodged somewhere in her brain, and far worse, it’s in her heart as well. She was bad luck, ill-fated and unfortunate as the plague. She is not worth his devotion. She wishes he would evaporate into thin air. Maybe then she wouldn’t have this feeling deep inside, a feeling she can deny all she wants, but that won’t stop it from being desire. Love is worth the sum of itself and nothing more. But that’s what happens when you’re a liar, especially when you’re telling the worst of these lies to yourself. He has stumbled into love, and now he’s stuck there. He’s fairly used to not getting what he wants, and he’s dealt with it, yet he can’t help but wonder if that’s only because he didn’t want anything so badly. It’s music, it’s a sound that is absurdly beautiful in his mouth, but she won’t pay attention. She knows from the time she spent on the back stairs of the aunts’ house that most things men say are lies. Don’t listen, she tells herself. None if it’s true and none of it matters, because he’s whispering that he’s been looking for her forever. She can’t believe it. She can’t listen to anything he tells her and she certainly can’t think, because if she did she might just think she’d better stop. What good would it do her to get involved with someone like him? She’d have to feel so much, and she’s not that kind. The greatest portion of grief is the one you dish out for yourself. She preferred cats to human beings and turned down every offer from the men who fell in love with her. They told her how sticks and stones could break bones, but taunting and name-calling were only for fools. — & now here she is, all used up. Although she’d never believe it, those lines in *’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside. She’s gotten back some of what she’s lost. Attraction, she now understands, is a state of mind. If there’s one thing * is now certain of, it’s house you can amaze yourself by the things you’re willing to do. You really don’t know? That heart-attack thing you’ve been having? It’s love, that’s what it feels like. She knows now that when you don’t lose yourself in the bargain, you find you have double the love you started with, and that’s one recipe that can’t be tampered with. Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
If you’re an introvert, find your flow by using your gifts. You have the power of persistence, the tenacity to solve complex problems, and the clear-sightedness to avoid pitfalls that trip others up. You enjoy relative freedom from the temptations of superficial prizes like money and status. Indeed, your biggest challenge may be to fully harness your strengths. You may be so busy trying to appear like a zestful, reward-sensitive extrovert that you undervalue your own talents, or feel underestimated by those around you. But when you’re focused on a project that you care about, you probably find that your energy is boundless. So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multitasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way. It’s up to you to use that independence to good effect.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
You are being very demanding indeed. Where, I wonder, will we find the woman to satisfy you You really should have stayed single--all woman-worshippers should be single. They never find the woman who answers all the requirements.
Jun'ichirō Tanizaki (Some Prefer Nettles)
If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way. It’s up to you to use that independence to good effect.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
What I had was classic short-term PTSD. From an evolutionary perspective, it’s exactly the response you want to have when your life is in danger: you want to be vigilant, you want to avoid situations where you are not in control, you want to react to strange noises, you want to sleep lightly and wake easily, you want to have flashbacks and nightmares that remind you of specific threats to your life, and you want to be, by turns, angry and depressed. Anger keeps you ready to fight, and depression keeps you from being too active and putting yourself in more danger. Flashbacks also serve to remind you of the danger that’s out there—a “highly efficient single-event survival-learning mechanism,” as one researcher termed it. All humans react to trauma in this way, and most mammals do as well. It may be unpleasant, but it’s preferable to getting killed. Like
Sebastian Junger (Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging)
So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way. It’s up to you to use that independence to good effect.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
The official philosophies of the totalitarian regimes unanimously brand as nonsensical the idea that there exists a single objective truth valid for everybody. The criterion of "truth," they say, is not agreement with reality, but agreement with the spirit of a race or nation or class—that is, racial, national or utilitarian. Pushing to their limits the biological, pragmatist, activist theories of truth, the official philosophies of the totalitarian regimes deny the inherent value of thought. For them thought is not a light but a weapon: its function, they say, is not to discover reality as it is, but to change and transform it with the purpose of leading us towards what is not. Such being the case, myth is better than science and rhetoric that works on the passions preferable to proof that appeals to the intellect.
Alexandre Koyré (Réflexions sur le mensonge)
If you're an introvert, find your flow by using your gifts. You have the power of persistence, the tenacity to solve complex problems, and the clear-sightedness to avoid pitfalls that trip others up. You enjoy relative freedom from the temptations of superficial prizes like money and status. Indeed, your biggest challenge may be to fully harness your strengths. You may be so busy trying to appear like a zestful, reward-sensitive extrovert that you undervalue your own talents, or feel underestimated by those around you. But when you're focused on a project you care about, you probably find that your energy is boundless. So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow, steady way, don't let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don't force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi-tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way. It's up to you to use that independence to good effect.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
To replace wiring diagrams, Marcus suggests a better analogy: The brain is like a book, the first draft of which is written by the genes during fetal development. No chapters are complete at birth, and some are just rough outlines waiting to be filled in during childhood. But not a single chapter—be it on sexuality, language, food preferences, or morality—consists of blank pages on which a society can inscribe any conceivable set of words.
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
His heart is expended that way, of loving the single, particular individual. He loved Clara with every fibre of his being, but now he has nothing left. Or rather, he has learned to live with her absence, and he has no wish to fill that absence; that would be like losing her a second time. Instead he would prefer to be kind to everyone, a less personal but broader love.
Yann Martel (The High Mountains of Portugal)
It is true that there are dreams and single symbols (I should prefer to call them “motifs”) that are typical and often occur. Among such motifs are falling, flying, being persecuted by dangerous animals or hostile men, being insufficiently or absurdly clothed in public places, being in a hurry or lost in a milling crowd, fighting with useless weapons or being wholly defenseless, running hard yet getting nowhere.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
The vision of human marriage as the reward for faithfulness to Christ is a deadly lie. Nowhere in Scripture is earthly marriage promised to any of us. Not only is not promised but it's not even presented as the preferred state of being. Instead, under the new covenant we see that the unmarried and the married have equal dignity and opportunity to image and serve the Lord. They are both beautiful, and both circumstances require the death to self which is at the heart of following Jesus.
Rachel Gilson (Born Again This Way)
Man, no doubt, owes many other moral duties to his fellow men; such as to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, protect the defenceless, assist the weak, and enlighten the ignorant. But these are simply moral duties, of which each man must be his own judge, in each particular case, as to whether, and how, and how far, he can, or will, perform them. But of his legal duty—that is, of his duty to live honestly towards his fellow men—his fellow men not only may judge, but, for their own protection, must judge. And, if need be, they may rightfully compel him to perform it. They may do this, acting singly, or in concert. They may do it on the instant, as the necessity arises, or deliberately and systematically, if they prefer to do so, and the exigency will admit of it.
Lysander Spooner (The Lysander Spooner Reader (LFB))
Why my blood? Don't vampires prefer virgins or something?" Shiro's smile showed a single, needle-sharp fang as he said, "This isn't a fairy tale. Virgins are relatively common, no matter how decadent human society becomes. After all, 'virgin' is your default state of being. Heroes, on the other hand? They're a rare vintage.
Cebelius (Velise (Would You Love a Monster Girl?, #1))
So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way. It’s
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multitasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way. It’s up to you to use that independence to good effect. Of
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
The Celtic mind was never drawn to the single line; it avoided ways of seeing and being that seek satisfaction in certainty. The Celtic mind had a wonderful respect for the mystery of the circle and the spiral. The circle is one of the oldest and most powerful symbols. The world is a circle; the sun and moon are too. Even time itself has a circular nature; the day and the year build to a circle. At its most intimate level so is the life of each individual. The circle never gives itself completely to the eye or to the mind but offers a trusting hospitality to that which is complex and mysterious; it embraces depth and height together. The circle never reduces the mystery to a single direction or preference. Patience with this reserve is one of the profound recognitions of the Celtic mind. The world of the soul is secret. The secret and the sacred are sisters. When the secret is not respected,
John O'Donohue (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)
Being well acquainted with the psychology of castes, and also with the psychology of other categories of crowds, I do not perceive a single case in which, wrongly accused of a crime, I should not prefer to have to deal with a jury rather than with magistrates. I should have some chance that my innocence would be recognised by the former and not the slightest chance that it would be admitted by the latter. The power of crowds is to be dreaded, but the power of certain castes is to be dreaded yet more. Crowds are open to conviction; castes never are.
Gustave Le Bon (The Crowd; study of the popular mind)
For the psychologist Paul Bloom, this is a huge downside. Empathy, he argues, focuses our attention on single individuals, leading us to become both parochial and insensitive to scale.62 As Bertrand Russell is often reported to have said, “The mark of a civilized man is the capacity to read a column of numbers and weep,”63 but few of us are capable of truly feeling statistics in this way. If only we could be moved more by our heads than our hearts, we could do a lot more good. And yet the incentives to show empathy and spontaneous compassion are overwhelming. Think about it: Which kind of people are likely to make better friends, coworkers, and spouses—“calculators” who manage their generosity with a spreadsheet, or “emoters” who simply can’t help being moved to help people right in front of them? Sensing that emoters, rather than calculators, are generally preferred as allies, our brains are keen to advertise that we are emoters. Spontaneous generosity may not be the most effective way to improve human welfare on a global scale, but it’s effective where our ancestors needed it to be: at finding mates and building a strong network of allies.
Kevin Simler (The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life)
All spiritual schools worth their salt teach that there cannot be Light without Shadow. This means that any spiritual path is going to confront people with their own shadow and our collective shadow as much as their capacity to feel love and light. This surprises many who prefer to think that one can exist without the other. This is one of the many reasons why high quality spiritual teachings are of crucial importance right now. Spirituality is about living an authentic life, questioning every single choice we make, owning our own side of any difficult encounter, being awake to every single mirror the Universe holds up.
Trevor Greenfield (Shaman Pathways - What is Shamanism?)
We have long known that in closed societies, the the arrival of democracy, with its clashing voices and differing opinions, can be "complex and frightening," as [Karen] Stenner puts it, for people unaccustomed to public dissent. The noise of argument, the constant hum of disagreement--these can irritate people who prefer to live in a society tied together by a single narrative. The strong preference for unity, at least among a portion of the population, helps explain why numerous liberal or democratic revolutions, from 1789 onward, ended in dictatorships that enjoyed wide support. Isaiah Berlin once wrote of the human need to believe that "somewhere, in the past or in the future, in divine revelation or in the mind of an individual thinker, in the pronouncements of history or science... there is a final solution." Berlin observed that not all of the things that human beings think are good or desirable are compatible. Efficiency, liberty, justice, equality, the demands of the individual, and the demands of the group--all these things push us in different directions. And this, Berlin wrote, is unacceptable to many people: "to admit that the fulfilment of some of our ideals may in principle make the fulfilment of others impossible is to say that the notion of total human fulfilment is a formal contradiction, a metaphysical chimera." Nevertheless, unity is a chimera that some will always pursue.
Anne Applebaum (Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism)
I'd heard once in school that if a single bird were to transport all the sand, grain by grain, from the eastern seabord to the west coast of Africa, it would take... I didn't catch the number of years, preferring to concentrate on the single bird chosen to perform this thankless task. It hardly seemed fair, because, unlike a horse or a Seeing Eye dog, the whole glory of being a bird is that nobody would ever put you to work. Birds search for grubs and build their nests, but their leisure time is theirs to spend as they see fit. I pictured this bird looking down from the branches to say, "You want me to do what?" before flying off, laughing at the at the foolish story he now had to tell his friends.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
A well expected question here is why to live such a tough life and why bear so much. The answer is if you have decided to become a saint, why to leverage anything. You should not become saint to live in Ashramas which have palace like amenities, being served by ladies and even spending nights with them. You should not enjoy a variety of food, when even a single diet is not available to lots of poor people. You should not charge people to help them with their problems. If a saint or a monk does this and prefer enjoying his life with all these earnings he make of it, this means he is more into the profession and he must be considered a businessman. And no businessman deserves the respect like a Saint or a Monk does.
Tarun Jain (Jainism Scientifically)
There is a flower that Bees prefer— And Butterflies—desire— To gain the Purple Democrat The Humming Bird—aspire— And Whatsoever Insect pass— A Honey bear away Proportioned to his several dearth And her—capacity— Her face be rounder than the Moon And ruddier than the Gown Or Orchis in the Pasture— Or Rhododendron—worn— She doth not wait for June— Before the World be Green— Her sturdy little Countenance Against the Wind—be seen— Contending with the Grass— Near Kinsman to Herself— For Privilege of Sod and Sun— Sweet Litigants for Life— And when the Hills be full— And newer fashions blow— Doth not retract a single spice For pang of jealousy— Her Public—be the Noon— Her Providence—the Sun— Her Progress—by the Bee—proclaimed— In sovereign—Swerveless Tune— The Bravest—of the Host— Surrendering—the last— Nor even of Defeat—aware— What cancelled by the Frost—
Emily Dickinson
Necessities 1 A map of the world. Not the one in the atlas, but the one in our heads, the one we keep coloring in. With the blue thread of the river by which we grew up. The green smear of the woods we first made love in. The yellow city we thought was our future. The red highways not traveled, the green ones with their missed exits, the black side roads which took us where we had not meant to go. The high peaks, recorded by relatives, though we prefer certain unmarked elevations, the private alps no one knows we have climbed. The careful boundaries we draw and erase. And always, around the edges, the opaque wash of blue, concealing the drop-off they have stepped into before us, singly, mapless, not looking back. 2 The illusion of progress. Imagine our lives without it: tape measures rolled back, yardsticks chopped off. Wheels turning but going nowhere. Paintings flat, with no vanishing point. The plots of all novels circular; page numbers reversing themselves past the middle. The mountaintop no longer a goal, merely the point between ascent and descent. All streets looping back on themselves; life as a beckoning road an absurd idea. Our children refusing to grow out of their childhoods; the years refusing to drag themselves toward the new century. And hope, the puppy that bounds ahead, no longer a household animal. 3 Answers to questions, an endless supply. New ones that startle, old ones that reassure us. All of them wrong perhaps, but for the moment solutions, like kisses or surgery. Rising inflections countered by level voices, words beginning with w hushed by declarative sentences. The small, bold sphere of the period chasing after the hook, the doubter that walks on water and treads air and refuses to go away. 4 Evidence that we matter. The crash of the plane which, at the last moment, we did not take. The involuntary turn of the head, which caused the bullet to miss us. The obscene caller who wakes us at midnight to the smell of gas. The moon's full blessing when we fell in love, its black mood when it was all over. Confirm us, we say to the world, with your weather, your gifts, your warnings, your ringing telephones, your long, bleak silences. 5 Even now, the old things first things, which taught us language. Things of day and of night. Irrational lightning, fickle clouds, the incorruptible moon. Fire as revolution, grass as the heir to all revolutions. Snow as the alphabet of the dead, subtle, undeciphered. The river as what we wish it to be. Trees in their humanness, animals in their otherness. Summits. Chasms. Clearings. And stars, which gave us the word distance, so we could name our deepest sadness.
Lisel Mueller (Alive Together)
The second part of the folk theory holds that racism is entirely a matter of individual beliefs, intentions, and actions. In the folk theory, a racist is a person who believes that people of color are biologically inferior to Whites, so that White privilege is deserved and must be defended. Racism is what this kind of White supremacist thinks and does. The folk theory holds that such people are anachronisms, who are ignorant, vicious, and remote from the mainstream. Their ignorance can be cured by education. Their viciousness can be addressed by helping them to enjoy new advantages, so that they can gain self-esteem and will not have to look down on others. Since education and general well-being are increasing, racism should soon disappear entirely, except as a sign of mental derangement or disability. One of the most difficult exercises that this book recommends is to move away from thinking of racism as entirely a matter of individual beliefs and psychological states. White Americans generally agree that things happen in the world because individuals, with beliefs, emotions, and intentions, cause them to happen. They consider this understanding to be the most obvious kind of common sense. Yet not everyone approaches the world from this perspective, and it is very interesting to try to think about racism from outside the framework that it imposes. Critical theorists do not deny that individual beliefs figure in racism. But we prefer to emphasize its collective, cultural dimensions, and to avoid singling out individuals and trying to decide whether they are racists or not. Furthermore, critical theorists insist that ordinary people who do not share White supremacist beliefs can still talk and behave in ways that advance the projects of White racism. I will try to show, in chapters to come, how
Jane H. Hill (The Everyday Language of White Racism (Wiley Blackwell Studies in Discourse and Culture Book 4))
Well, now, if we’d known we were going to have such…ah…gra…that is, illustrious company, we’d have-“ “Swept off the chairs?” Lucinda suggested acidly. “Shoveled off the floor?” “Lucinda!” Elizabeth whispered desperately. “They didn’t know we were coming.” “No respectable person would dwell in such a place even for a night,” she snapped, and Elizabeth watched in mingled distress and admiration as the redoubtable woman turned around and directed her attack on their unwilling host. “The responsibility for our being here is yours, whether it was a mistake or not! I shall expect you to rout your servants from their hiding places and have them bring clean linens up to us at once. I shall also expect them to have this squalor remedied by morning! It is obvious from your behavior that you are no gentleman; however, we are ladies, and we shall expect to be treated as such.” From the corner of her eye Elizabeth had been watching Ian Thornton, who was listening to all of this, his jaw rigid, a muscle beginning to twitch dangerously in the side of his neck. Lucinda, however, was either unaware of or unconcerned with his reaction, for, as she picked up her skirts and turned toward the stairs, she turned on Jake. “You may show us to our chambers. We wish to retire.” “Retire!” cried Jake, thunderstruck. “But-but what about supper?” he sputtered. “You may bring it up to us.” Elizabeth saw the blank look on Jake’s face, and she endeavored to translate, politely, what the irate woman was saying to the startled red-haired man. “What Miss Throckmorton-Jones means is that we’re rather exhausted from our trip and not very good company, sir, and so we prefer to dine in our rooms.” “You will dine,” Ian Thornton said in an awful voice that made Elizabeth freeze, “on what you cook for yourself, madam. If you want clean linens, you’ll get them yourself from the cabinet. If you want clean rooms, clean them! Am I making myself clear?” “Perfectly!” Elizabeth began furiously, but Lucinda interrupted in a voice shaking with ire: “Are you suggesting, sirrah, that we are to do the work of servants?” Ian’s experience with the ton and with Elizabeth had given him a lively contempt for ambitious, shallow, self-indulgent young women whose single goal in life was to acquire as many gowns and jewels as possible with the least amount of effort, and he aimed his attack at Elizabeth. “I am suggesting that you look after yourself for the first time in your silly, aimless life. In return for that, I am willing to give you a roof over your head and to share our food with you until I can get you to the village. If that is too overwhelming a task for you, then my original invitation still stands: There’s the door. Use it!” Elizabeth knew the man was irrational, and it wasn’t worth riling herself to reply to him, so she turned instead to Lucinda. “Lucinda,” she said with weary resignation, “do not upset yourself by trying to make Mr. Thornton understand that his mistake has inconvenienced us, not the other way around. You will only waste your time. A gentleman of breeding would be perfectly able to understand that he should be apologizing instead of ranting and raving. However, as I told you before we came here, Mr. Thornton is no gentleman. The simple fact is that he enjoys humiliating people, and he will continue trying to humiliate us for as long as we stand here.” Elizabeth cast a look of well-bred disdain over Ian and said, “Good night, Mr. Thornton.” Turning, she softened her voice a little and said, “Good evening, Mr. Wiley.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Alone, trying to calm down, we would each ask ourselves the same single question: What had we each done to contribute to the situation we were arguing about? However small, however distant … we had each made some error. Then we would reunite, and share the results of our questioning: Here’s how I was wrong …. The problem with asking yourself such a question is that you must truly want the answer. And the problem with doing that is that you won’t like the answer. When you are arguing with someone, you want to be right, and you want the other person to be wrong. Then it’s them that has to sacrifice something and change, not you, and that’s much preferable. If it’s you that’s wrong and you that must change, then you have to reconsider yourself—your memories of the past, your manner of being in the present, and your plans for the future. Then you must resolve to improve and figure out how to do that. Then you actually have to do it. That’s exhausting. It takes repeated practice, to instantiate the new perceptions and make the new actions habitual. It’s much easier just not to realize, admit and engage. It’s much easier to turn your attention away from the truth and remain wilfully blind.
Jordan B. Peterson
What this reveals about our universities is the operation of a pathological element. One need not ban the American flag from most of our campuses. It is more useful to deceive the world by allowing that flag to fly in a place where, all things being equal, its meaning and spirit has been abolished. In the Humanities and Social Science departments, where freedom of thought is of central importance, the American flag is more hated than loved by the faculty and the graduate students. I know this from firsthand because I was a graduate student at UC Irvine from 1986-1989. Professors there promoted Marxism, engaged in active recruitment of students amenable to Marxist ideas, and damaged the careers of those who were anti-Marxist. In those days it was done very quietly, administratively. If you dared speak up for America or economic freedom, you were persecuted. Your reputation was ruined. It is preferable to avert one’s eyes from such a situation, and very unpleasant to experience it directly; that is why those singled out for persecution were never defended. They were hung out to dry, and nobody dared interfere. Who, after all, wants trouble? This is the beauty of a quiet and selective intimidation.
J.R. Nyquist
In other words, in the long list, most everything is about a leader’s character; only a single characteristic pertains to giftedness (teaching). Depending on how the traits are counted, the ratio is as drastic as twelve to one. There’s nothing on this list about being a strong leader, being able to cast a vision, or being charismatic or dynamic. I am not suggesting those aspects of leadership are irrelevant, but they certainly are not the heart of God’s concern for a pastor. Nor are they ever to trump God’s concern over character. As the Reformer Martin Bucer noted, “It is better to take those who may be lacking in eloquence and learning, but are genuinely concerned with the things of Christ.”33 When this God-given ratio is reversed and churches prefer giftedness over character, churches inevitably begin to overlook a pastor’s character flaws because he’s so successful in other areas. Leadership performance becomes the shield that protects the pastor from criticism. As Michael Jensen observed, “We frequently promote narcissists and psychopaths. Time and time again, we forgive them their arrogance. We bracket out their abuses of their power, because we feel that we need that power to get things done.”34
Michael J. Kruger (Bully Pulpit: Confronting the Problem of Spiritual Abuse in the Church)
The invention of the devil. If we are possessed by the devil, it cannot be by one, for then we should live, at least here on earth, quietly, as with God, in unity, without contradiction, without reflection, always sure of the man behind us. His face would not frighten us, for as diabolical beings we would, if somewhat sensitive to the sight, be clever enough to prefer to sacrifice a hand in order to keep his face covered with it. If we were possessed by only a single devil, one who had a calm, untroubled view of our whole nature, and freedom to dispose of us at any moment, then that devil would also have enough power to hold us for the length of a human life high above the spirit of God in us, and even to swing us to and fro, so that we should never get to see a glimmer of it and therefore should not be troubled from that quarter. Only a crowd of devils could account for our earthly misfortunes. Why don’t they exterminate one another until only a single one is left, or why don’t they subordinate themselves to one great devil? Either way would be in accord with the diabolical principle of deceiving us as completely as possible. With unity lacking, of what use is the scrupulous attention all the devils pay us? It simply goes without saying that the falling of a human hair must matter more to the devil than to God, since the devil really loses that hair and God does not. But we still do not arrive at any state of well-being so long as the many devils are within us.
Franz Kafka (Diaries, 1910-1923)
Man was made for action, and to promote by the exertion of his faculties such changes in the external circumstances both of himself and others, as may seem most favourable to the happiness of all. He must not be satisfied with indolent benevolence, nor fancy himself the friend of mankind, because in his heart he wishes well to the prosperity of the world. That he may call forth the whole vigour of his soul, and strain every nerve, in order to produce those ends which it is the purpose of his being to advance, Nature has taught him, that neither himself nor mankind can be fully satisfied with his conduct, nor bestow upon it the full measure of applause, unless he has actually produced them. He is made to know, that the praise of good intentions, without the merit of good offices, will be but of little avail to excite either the loudest acclamations of the world, or even the highest degree of self-applause. The man who has performed no single action of importance, but whose whole conversation and deportment express the justest, the noblest, and most generous sentiments, can be entitled to demand no very high reward, even though his inutility should be owing to nothing but the want of an opportunity to serve. We can still refuse it him without blame. We can still ask him, What have you done? What actual service can you produce, to entitle you to so great a recompense? We esteem you, and love you; but we owe you nothing. To reward indeed that latent virtue which has been useless only for want of an opportunity to serve, to bestow upon it those honours and preferments, which, though in some measure it may be said to deserve them, it could not with propriety have insisted upon, is the effect of the most divine benevolence. To punish, on the contrary, for the affections of the heart only, where no crime has been committed, is the most insolent and barbarous tyranny.
Adam Smith (The Theory of Moral Sentiments)
Many of my friends around the world express surprise at the Palestinian attachment to place of origin and concerns for family ties. Some even scoff at it and contrast it with their own open-armed acceptance of adventure, discovery, a nomadic lifestyle and residence in places that they choose and change according to their fancy, without the slightest regret at leaving family or even homeland behind. They remind me that the world is wider and more beautiful than 'our villages' and 'our families'. I understand this beautiful sense of the vastness of the world. Like them, I love movement, journeys, and living in new places. What these friends forget is that it is they who choose to distance themselves. They are the ones who take the decision and make the plans and then present their passports (recognized everywhere) and get on planes and trains and cars and motorcycles and go to places where three conditions that the Palestinian cannot meet are fulfilled: first, that it is their preference and choice to go to specifically these places; second, that these places always welcome them; and third and most important, that it is in their power to return to their home country whenever they desire and decide. The Palestinian forced to become a refugee, to migrate, and to go into exile from his homeland in the sixty years since the Nakba of 1948, or the forty since the June 1967 War, suffers miseries trying to obtain a document by which he will be recognized at borders. He suffers miseries trying to obtain a passport from another state because he is stateless and has to go through Kafkaesque interrogations before being granted entry visa to any place in the world, even the Arab states. The Palestinian is forbidden to enter his own country by land, sea, or air, even in a coffin. It is not a matter of romantic attachment to a place but of eternal exclusion from it. The Palestinian stripped of an original identity is a palm tree broken in the middle. My foreign friends have control over the details of their lives but a single Israeli solder can control the details of the life of any Palestinian. This is the difference. This is the story.
Mourid Barghouti (ولدت هناك .. ولدت هنا)
Once the writer was at the deathbed of a fellow writer. What interested his dying colleague more than anything else was what was being said in the cultural section of the newspapers. Did these battles of opinion take his mind off his illness by infuriating him or making him laugh? Did they put him in mind of an eternal repetition, preferable after all to what was in store for him? There was more to it than that. Even in his hopeless situation, far-removed as he was from the editorial offices, he was their prisoner; more than his nearest and dearest, the critics and editors were the object of his dreams; and in the intervals when he was free from pain, he would ask, since by then he was incapable of reading, what one publication or another had said about some new book. The intrigues, and the almost pleasurable fury they aroused in the sufferer - who saw through them - brought a kind of world, a certain permanence into the sickroom, and the man at his bedside understood his vituperating or silently nodding friend as well as if it had been his own self lying there. But later, when the end was near and the dying man still insisted on having opinions read out to him from the latest batch of newspapers, the witness vowed that he would never let things come to such a pass with him as they had with his image and likeness. Never again would he involve himself in this circuit of classifications and judgments, the substance of which was almost exclusively the playing off of one writer or school against another. Over the years since then, he had derived pride and satisfaction from staying on the outside and carrying on by his own strength rather than at the expense of rivals. The mere thought of returning to the circuit or to any of the persistently warring cliques made him feel physically ill. Of course, he would never get entirely away from them, for even today, so long after his vow, he suddenly caught sight of a word that he at first mistook for his name. But today at least he was glad - as he would not have been years ago - to have been mistaken. Lulled in security, he leafed through the local section and succeeded in giving his mind to every single news item.
Peter Handke (The Afternoon of a Writer)
If you’re still not sure where you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, you can assess yourself here. Answer each question “true” or “false,” choosing the answer that applies to you more often than not.* ______ I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities. ______ I often prefer to express myself in writing. ______ I enjoy solitude. ______ I seem to care less than my peers about wealth, fame, and status. ______ I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in depth about topics that matter to me. ______ People tell me that I’m a good listener. ______ I’m not a big risk-taker. ______ I enjoy work that allows me to “dive in” with few interruptions. ______ I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members. ______ People describe me as “soft-spoken” or “mellow.” ______ I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it’s finished. ______ I dislike conflict. ______ I do my best work on my own. ______ I tend to think before I speak. ______ I feel drained after being out and about, even if I’ve enjoyed myself. ______ I often let calls go through to voice mail. ______ If I had to choose, I’d prefer a weekend with absolutely nothing to do to one with too many things scheduled. ______ I don’t enjoy multitasking. ______ I can concentrate easily. ______ In classroom situations, I prefer lectures to seminars. The more often you answered “true,” the more introverted you probably are. If you found yourself with a roughly equal number of “true” and “false” answers, then you may be an ambivert—yes, there really is such a word. But even if you answered every single question as an introvert or extrovert, that doesn’t mean that your behavior is predictable across all circumstances. We can’t say that every introvert is a bookworm or every extrovert wears lampshades at parties any more than we can say that every woman is a natural consensus-builder and every man loves contact sports. As Jung felicitously put it, “There is no such thing as a pure extrovert or a pure introvert. Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum.” This is partly because we are all gloriously complex individuals, but also because there are so many different kinds of introverts and extroverts. Introversion and extroversion interact with our other personality traits and personal histories, producing wildly different kinds of people. So
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
On many occasions in our nearly thirty years of marriage my wife and I have had a disagreement—sometimes a deep disagreement. Our unity appeared to be broken, at some unknowably profound level, and we were not able to easily resolve the rupture by talking. We became trapped, instead, in emotional, angry and anxious argument. We agreed that when such circumstances arose we would separate, briefly: she to one room, me to another. This was often quite difficult, because it is hard to disengage in the heat of an argument, when anger generates the desire to defeat and win. But it seemed better than risking the consequences of a dispute that threatened to spiral out of control. Alone, trying to calm down, we would each ask ourselves the same single question: What had we each done to contribute to the situation we were arguing about? However small, however distant…we had each made some error. Then we would reunite, and share the results of our questioning: Here’s how I was wrong…. The problem with asking yourself such a question is that you must truly want the answer. And the problem with doing that is that you won’t like the answer. When you are arguing with someone, you want to be right, and you want the other person to be wrong. Then it’s them that has to sacrifice something and change, not you, and that’s much preferable. If it’s you that’s wrong and you that must change, then you have to reconsider yourself—your memories of the past, your manner of being in the present, and your plans for the future. Then you must resolve to improve and figure out how to do that. Then you actually have to do it. That’s exhausting. It takes repeated practice, to instantiate the new perceptions and make the new actions habitual. It’s much easier just not to realize, admit and engage. It’s much easier to turn your attention away from the truth and remain wilfully blind. But it’s at such a point that you must decide whether you want to be right or you want to have peace.216 You must decide whether to insist upon the absolute correctness of your view, or to listen and negotiate. You don’t get peace by being right. You just get to be right, while your partner gets to be wrong—defeated and wrong. Do that ten thousand times and your marriage will be over (or you will wish it was). To choose the alternative—to seek peace—you have to decide that you want the answer, more than you want to be right. That’s the way out of the prison of your stubborn preconceptions. That’s the prerequisite for negotiation. That’s to truly abide by the principle of Rule 2 (Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping).
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Gray froze as Miss Turner emerged from the hold. For weeks, she’d plagued him-by day, he suffered glimpses of her beauty; by night, he was haunted by memories of her touch. And just when he thought he’d finally wrangled his desire into submission, today she’d ruined everything. She’d gone and changed her dress. Gone was that serge shroud, that forbidding thundercloud of a garment that had loomed in his peripheral vision for weeks. Today, she wore a cap-sleeved frock of sprigged muslin. She stepped onto the deck, smiling face tilted to the wind. A flower opening to greet the sun. She bobbed on her toes, as though resisting the urge to make a girlish twirl. The pale, sheer fabric of her dress billowed and swelled in the breeze, pulling the undulating contour of calf, thigh, hip into relief. Gray thought she just might be the loveliest creature he’d ever seen. Therefore, he knew he ought to look away. He did, for a moment. He made an honest attempt to scan the horizon for clouds. He checked the hour on his pocket watch, wound the small knob one, two, three, four times. He wiped a bit of salt spray from its glass face. He thought of England. And France, and Cuba, and Spain. He remembered his brother, his sister, and his singularly ugly Aunt Rosamond, on whom he hadn’t clapped eyes in decades. And all this Herculean effort resulting in nothing but a fine sheen of sweat on his brow and precisely thirty seconds’ delay in the inevitable. He looked at her again. Desire swept through his body with starling intensity. And beneath that hot surge of lust, a deeper emotion swelled. It wasn’t something Gray wished to examine. He preferred to let it sink back into the murky depths of his being. An unnamed creature of the deep, let for a more intrepid adventurer to catalog. Instead, he examined Miss Turner’s new frock. The fabric was of fine quality, the sprig pattern evenly stamped, without variations in shape or hue. The dressmaker had taken great pains to match the pattern at the seams. The sleeves of the frock fit perfectly square with her shoulders, in a moment of calm, the skirt’s single flounce lapped the laces of her boots. Unlike that gray serge abomination, this dress was expensive, and it had been fashioned for her alone. But it no longer fit. As she turned, Gray noted how the neckline gaped slightly, and the column of her skirt that ought to have skimmed the swell of her hip instead caught on nothing but air. He frowned. And in that instant, she turned to face him. Their gazes caught and held. Her own smile faded to a quizzical expression. And because Gray didn’t know how to answer the unspoken question in her eyes, and because he hated the fact that he’d banished the giddy delight from her face, he gave her a curt nod and a churlish, “Good morning.” And then he walked away.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
While David runs the financial end of the Rockefeller dynasty, Nelson runs the political. Nelson would like to be President of the United States. But, unfortunately for him, he is unacceptable to the vast majority of the grass roots of his own party. The next best thing to being President is controlling a President. Nelson Rockefeller and Richard Nixon are supposed to be bitter political competitors. In a sense they are, but that still does not preclude Rockefeller from asserting dominion over Mr. Nixon. When Mr. Nixon and Mr. Rockefeller competed for the Republican nomination in 1968, Rockefeller naturally would have preferred to win the prize, but regardless of who won, he would control the highest office in the land. You will recall that right in the middle of drawing up the Republican platform in 1960, Mr. Nixon suddenly left Chicago and flew to New York to meet with Nelson Rockefeller in what Barry Goldwater described as the "Munich of the Republican Party." There was no political reason why Mr. Nixon needed to crawl to Mr. Rockefeller. He had the convention all sewed up. The Chicago Tribune cracked that it was like Grant surrendering to Lee. In The Making of the President, 1960, Theodore White noted that Nixon accepted all the Rockefeller terms for this meeting, including provisions "that Nixon telephone Rockefeller personally with his request for a meeting; that they meet at the Rockefeller apartment…that their meeting be secret and later be announced in a press release from the Governor, not Nixon; that the meeting be clearly announced as taking place at the Vice President's request; that the statement of policy issuing from it be long, detailed, inclusive, not a summary communiqué." The meeting produced the infamous "Compact of Fifth Avenue" in which the Republican Platform was scrapped and replaced by Rockefeller's socialist plans. The Wall Street Journal of July 25, 1960, commented: "…a little band of conservatives within the party…are shoved to the sidelines… [T]he fourteen points are very liberal indeed; they comprise a platform akin in many ways to the Democratic platform and they are a far cry from the things that conservative men think the Republican Party ought to stand for…" As Theodore White put it: "Never had the quadrennial liberal swoop of the regulars been more nakedly dramatized than by the open compact of Fifth Avenue. Whatever honor they might have been able to carry from their services on the platform committee had been wiped out. A single night's meeting of the two men in a millionaire's triplex apartment in Babylon-by-the-Hudson, eight hundred and thirty miles away, was about to overrule them; they were exposed as clowns for all the world to see." The whole story behind what happened in Rockefeller's apartment will doubtless never be known. We can only make an educated guess in light of subsequent events. But it is obvious that since that time Mr. Nixon has been in the Rockefeller orbit.
Gary Allen (None Dare Call It Conspiracy)
So why haven’t we been visited? Maybe the probability of life spontaneously appearing is so low that Earth is the only planet in the galaxy—or in the observable universe—on which it happened. Another possibility is that there was a reasonable probability of forming self-reproducing systems, like cells, but that most of these forms of life did not evolve intelligence. We are used to thinking of intelligent life as an inevitable consequence of evolution, but what if it isn’t? The Anthropic Principle should warn us to be wary of such arguments. It is more likely that evolution is a random process, with intelligence as only one of a large number of possible outcomes. It is not even clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value. Bacteria, and other single-cell organisms, may live on if all other life on Earth is wiped out by our actions. Perhaps intelligence was an unlikely development for life on Earth, from the chronology of evolution, as it took a very long time—two and a half billion years—to go from single cells to multi-cellular beings, which are a necessary precursor to intelligence. This is a good fraction of the total time available before the Sun blows up, so it would be consistent with the hypothesis that the probability for life to develop intelligence is low. In this case, we might expect to find many other life forms in the galaxy, but we are unlikely to find intelligent life. Another way in which life could fail to develop to an intelligent stage would be if an asteroid or comet were to collide with the planet. In 1994, we observed the collision of a comet, Shoemaker–Levy, with Jupiter. It produced a series of enormous fireballs. It is thought the collision of a rather smaller body with the Earth, about sixty-six million years ago, was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. A few small early mammals survived, but anything as large as a human would have almost certainly been wiped out. It is difficult to say how often such collisions occur, but a reasonable guess might be every twenty million years, on average. If this figure is correct, it would mean that intelligent life on Earth has developed only because of the lucky chance that there have been no major collisions in the last sixty-six million years. Other planets in the galaxy, on which life has developed, may not have had a long enough collision-free period to evolve intelligent beings. A third possibility is that there is a reasonable probability for life to form and to evolve to intelligent beings, but the system becomes unstable and the intelligent life destroys itself. This would be a very pessimistic conclusion and I very much hope it isn’t true. I prefer a fourth possibility: that there are other forms of intelligent life out there, but that we have been overlooked. In 2015 I was involved in the launch of the Breakthrough Listen Initiatives. Breakthrough Listen uses radio observations to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, and has state-of-the-art facilities, generous funding and thousands of hours of dedicated radio telescope time. It is the largest ever scientific research programme aimed at finding evidence of civilisations beyond Earth. Breakthrough Message is an international competition to create messages that could be read by an advanced civilisation. But we need to be wary of answering back until we have developed a bit further. Meeting a more advanced civilisation, at our present stage, might be a bit like the original inhabitants of America meeting Columbus—and I don’t think they thought they were better off for it.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
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Earl Meyer (The Seasons of Our Souls)
Throughout the history of the church, Christians have tended to elevate the importance of one over the other. For the first 1,500 years of the church, singleness was considered the preferred state and the best way to serve Christ. Singles sat at the front of the church. Marrieds were sent to the back.4 Things changed after the Reformation in 1517, when single people were sent to the back and marrieds moved to the front — at least among Protestants.5 Scripture, however, refers to both statuses as weighty, meaningful vocations. We’ll spend more time on each later in the chapter, but here is a brief overview. Marrieds. This refers to a man and woman who form a one-flesh union through a covenantal vow — to God, to one another, and to the larger community — to permanently, freely, faithfully, and fruitfully love one another. Adam and Eve provide the clearest biblical model for this. As a one-flesh couple, they were called by God to take initiative to “be fruitful . . . fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). Singles. Scripture teaches that human beings are created for intimacy and connection with God, themselves, and one another. Marriage is one framework in which we work this out; singleness is another. While singleness may be voluntarily chosen or involuntarily imposed, temporary or long-term, a sudden event or a gradual unfolding, Christian singleness can be understood within two distinct callings: • Vowed celibates. These are individuals who make lifelong vows to remain single and maintain lifelong sexual abstinence as a means of living out their commitment to Christ. They do this freely in response to a God-given gift of grace (Matthew 19:12). Today, we are perhaps most familiar with vowed celibates as nuns and priests in the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Church. These celibates vow to forgo earthly marriage in order to participate more fully in the heavenly reality that is eternal union with Christ.6 • Dedicated celibates. These are singles who have not necessarily made a lifelong vow to remain single, but who choose to remain sexually abstinent for as long as they are single. Their commitment to celibacy is an expression of their commitment to Christ. Many desire to marry or are open to the possibility. They may have not yet met the right person or are postponing marriage to pursue a career or additional education. They may be single because of divorce or the death of a spouse. The apostle Paul acknowledges such dedicated celibates in his first letter to the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 7). Understanding singleness and marriage as callings or vocations must inform our self-understanding and the outworking of our leadership. Our whole life as a leader is to bear witness to God’s love for the world. But we do so in different ways as marrieds or singles. Married couples bear witness to the depth of Christ’s love. Their vows focus and limit them to loving one person exclusively, permanently, and intimately. Singles — vowed or dedicated — bear witness to the breadth of Christ’s love. Because they are not limited by a vow to one person, they have more freedom and time to express the love of Christ to a broad range of people. Both marrieds and singles point to and reveal Christ’s love, but in different ways. Both need to learn from one another about these different aspects of Christ’s love. This may be a radically new concept for you, but stay with me. God intends this rich theological vision to inform our leadership in ways few of us may have considered. Before exploring the connections between leadership and marriage or singleness, it’s important to understand the way marriage and singleness are commonly understood in standard practice among leaders today.
Peter Scazzero (The Emotionally Healthy Leader: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World)
Exactly why the sources were intertwined in this way is unclear. Exploring this issue really involves asking two questions: (1) Why were all of these sources retained, rather than just retaining the latest or most authoritative one? (2) Why were they combined in this odd way, rather than being left as complete documents that would be read side by side, much like the model of the four different and separate gospels, which introduce the Christian Bible or New Testament? Since there is no direct evidence going back to the redaction of the Torah, these issues may be explored only in a most tentative fashion, with plausible rather than definitive answers. Probably the earlier documents had a certain prestige and authority in ancient Israel, and could not simply be discarded.9 Additionally, the redaction of the Torah from a variety of sources most likely represents an attempt to enfranchise those groups who held those particular sources as authoritative. Certainly the Torah does not contain all of the early traditions of Israel. Yet, it does contain the traditions that the redactor felt were important for bringing together a core group of Israel (most likely during the Babylonian exile of 586-538 B.C.E.). The mixing of these sources by intertwining them preserved a variety of sources and perspectives. (Various methods of intertwining were used-the preferred method was to interleave large blocks of material, as in the initial chapters of Genesis. However, when this would have caused narrative difficulties, as in the flood story or the plagues of Exodus, the sources were interwoven-several verses from one source, followed by several verses from the other.) More than one hundred years ago, the great American scholar G. F Moore called attention to the second-century Christian scholar Tatian, who composed the Diatessaron.10 This work is a harmony of the Gospels, where most of the four canonical gospels are combined into a single work, exactly the same way that scholars propose the four Torah strands of J, E, D, and P have been combined. This, along with other ancient examples, shows that even though the classical model posited by source criticism may seem strange to us, it reflects a way that people wrote literature in antiquity
Marc Zvi Brettler (How to Read the Bible)
battlefield. Christ fought against the powers of sin and death for us. He defeated the powers of evil for us. 2. The language of the marketplace. Christ paid the ransom price, the purchase price, to buy us out of our indebtedness. He frees us from enslavement. 3. The language of exile. Christ was exiled and cast out of the community so we who deserve to be banished could be brought in. He brings us home. 4. The language of the temple. Christ is the sacrifice that purifies us and makes us acceptable to draw near to the holy God. He makes us clean and beautiful. 5. The language of the law court. Christ stands before the judge and takes the punishment we deserve. He removes our guilt and makes us righteous. It is sometimes implied we can choose which of these models we prefer and ignore the others, but this is misleading. Each way of communicating the atonement reflects a piece of inspired Scripture, and each tells us great things about our salvation that the others do not bring out as clearly. Each will have special resonance with certain temperaments and cultures. People who are fighting oppression or even enslavement and long for freedom will be helped by the first two grammars (the battlefield and the marketplace). People seeking relief for guilt and a sense of shame will be especially moved by the last two — the temple and the law court. People who feel alienated, rootless, and rejected will find the exile grammar intensely engaging. But perhaps the single most consoling and appealing theme is what theologian Roger Nicole has called the one, irreducible theme that runs through every single one of these models — the idea of substitution.28 Dr. Nicole taught that, regardless of the grammar being used, the essence of the atonement is always Jesus acting as our substitute. Jesus fights the powers, pays the price, bears the exile, makes the sacrifice, and bears the punishment for us, in our place, on our behalf. In every grammar, Jesus does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He accomplishes salvation; we do nothing at all. And therefore the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus is at the heart of everything. This act — giving one’s life
Timothy J. Keller (Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City)
We have misunderstood the nature of testimony, seeing it as a set of optional values rather than the life we have no choice but to lead. We have at times lost the authority to act on behalf of the collective over individual preferences. We have lost our primal language, a single set of understandings behind and beyond all the detail of doctrine, and have needed to become practised in translation as we have adopted a spirituality of many tongues.
Ben Pink Dandelion (Open for transformation: Being Quaker (Swarthmore Lecture Book 2014))
And California, long a bellwether for national trends in the United States, has tilted the balance further in favor of voter over party preferences: it agreed by popular referendum in 2011 to have all primary candidates appear on a single ballot, with the top two vote-getters moving on to the general election regardless of party.
Moisés Naím (The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be)
Each time you teach your dog a new skill or cue, use the same hand. Dogs like consistency, and they learn better when the things they’re being asked to do look the same every single time. Get into the habit of being as consistent as possible with every lesson. I prefer to use my left hand because that’s how I was taught. I give treats with my left hand, and I always have my dogs walk on my left side. In many training programs the left side is considered the correct side—you’ll see that in dog shows almost all dogs are on the handler’s left side—but either side is okay, just as long as you make a choice and stick with it while your dog becomes fluent (learning stage #2) for each new skill. After
Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz (Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement)
To those who still deludedly think they prefer Star Wars over Ghostbusters, all I need to do is ask you is this: You don’t really want to be a Jedi, do you? In a greige cowl, getting off with your sister, without a single gag across three films? I think if you thought about it a little while longer, you’d realize that you’d far rather be a Ghostbuster: a nerd in New York with an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on your back, and a one-in-four chance of being Bill Murray.
Caitlin Moran (Moranthology)
Marcus suggests a better analogy: The brain is like a book, the first draft of which is written by the genes during fetal development. No chapters are complete at birth, and some are just rough outlines waiting to be filled in during childhood. But not a single chapter—be it on sexuality, language, food preferences, or morality—consists of blank pages on which a society can inscribe any conceivable set of words.
Anonymous
The “tragedy of the commons,” as exposed by economists, is as follows—the commons being a collective property, say, a forest or fishing waters or your local public park. Collectively, farmers as a community prefer to avoid overgrazing, and fishermen overfishing—the entire resource becomes thus degraded. But every single individual farmer would personally gain from his own overgrazing or overfishing under, of course, the condition that others don’t. And that is what plagues socialism: people’s individual interests do not quite work well under collectivism. But it is a critical mistake to think that people can function only under a private property system. What Ostrom found empirically is that there exists a certain community size below which people act as collectivists, protecting the commons, as if the entire unit became rational. Such a commons cannot be too large. It is like a club. Groups behave differently at a different scale. This explains why the municipal is different from the national.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Having a child has become a prodigiously artificial thing. It no longer has anything of the passionately accidental event about it; it has become the parthenogenetic fruit of a calculation of biological, dietary and psychosocial data and you wonder to what extent dream, desire or fatality are still involved. But perhaps the race is losing its interest in sexuality, preferring instead a sort of protozoan transplantation. Leaving out of account that what has been conceived by artificial insemination is very likely to continue its life in artificial intelligence and to die of built-in obsolescence. After the mechanical bride, the mechanical widow. Now every human being is the product of a sexual act, a sexual pact or else we should not be the human race. It takes a sexual copulation successfully to produce a human being, just as, among the Hindus, it takes a copulation between the word and silence for a sacrifice to be successfully carried out. In a sense the child is indeed the continuation of the species. But in another, he or she is a biological vestige of it. The further we go with change, genetic innovations and fashion, the more unreal it becomes, with each new generation, to put our trust in the processes of childbirth and organic growth. The simplicity and slowness of those things are entirely outside the range of our contemporary experience. How can we claim to exercise judgement if we have lost a sense of punishment? How can we claim to judge anything at all if we no longer accept being judged? And if we are no longer able either to judge or be judged, then we lose all hope of being absolved or condemned in the past or the future. Now, what can no longer be reflected in the past or the future takes place in a single instant with all its consequences. The Last Judgement becomes an immediate reality. We have right here before us the unchecked proliferation in epidemic proportions of all processes, the multiplication of all cancers on an epidemic scale.
Jean Baudrillard (Cool Memories)
These are some of the bigger issues the developer testing strategy needs to address, but there will be smaller ones too, which still need to be handled to avoid diverging implementations and misunderstandings. Here are some questions that may be helpful in reaching such an understanding: Which tests give bang for the buck and which don’t? What types of tests are we running and how do they overlap? What types of tests are we avoiding (and why)? How large should a test preferably be? (Size depends on the level of abstraction too.) How many layers is a single test allowed to touch? Do we optimize for speed of execution or test simplicity? How do we handle test data and its setup? How do we approach integrations with external systems? What testing frameworks and libraries do we use? What trade-offs are we willing to make in the spirit of working with legacy code?
Alexander Tarlinder (Developer Testing: Building Quality into Software (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn)))
But in order to make this new theory echo Newton’s laws and conform to the rigours of differential calculus, Jevons, Walras and their fellow mathematical pioneers had to make some heroically simplifying assumptions about how markets and people work. Crucially, the nascent theory hinged on assuming that, for any given mix of preferences that consumers might have, there was just one price at which everyone who wanted to buy and everyone who wanted to sell would be satisfied, having bought or sold all that they wanted for that price. In other words, each market had to have one single, stable point of equilibrium, just as a pendulum has only one point of rest. And for that condition to hold, the market’s buyers and sellers all had to be ‘price-takers’—no single actor being big enough to have sway over prices—and they had to be following the law of diminishing returns. Together these assumptions underpin the most widely recognised diagram in all of microeconomic theory,
Kate Raworth (Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist)
Liberal politics is based on the idea that the voters know best, and there is no need for Big Brother to tell us what is good for us. Liberal economics is based on the idea that the customer is always right. Liberal art declares that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Students in liberal schools and universities are taught to think for themselves. Commercials urge us to ‘Just do it.’ Action films, stage dramas, soap operas, novels and catchy pop songs indoctrinate us constantly: ‘Be true to yourself’, ‘Listen to yourself’, ‘Follow your heart’. Jean-Jacques Rousseau stated this view most classically: ‘What I feel to be good – is good. What I feel to be bad – is bad.’ People who have been raised from infancy on a diet of such slogans are prone to believe that happiness is a subjective feeling and that each individual best knows whether she is happy or miserable. Yet this view is unique to liberalism. Most religions and ideologies throughout history stated that there are objective yardsticks for goodness and beauty, and for how things ought to be. They were suspicious of the feelings and preferences of the ordinary person. At the entrance of the temple of Apollo at Delphi, pilgrims were greeted by the inscription: ‘Know thyself!’ The implication was that the average person is ignorant of his true self, and is therefore likely to be ignorant of true happiness. Freud would probably concur.fn1 And so would Christian theologians. St Paul and St Augustine knew perfectly well that if you asked people about it, most of them would prefer to have sex than pray to God. Does that prove that having sex is the key to happiness? Not according to Paul and Augustine. It proves only that humankind is sinful by nature, and that people are easily seduced by Satan. From a Christian viewpoint, the vast majority of people are in more or less the same situation as heroin addicts. Imagine that a psychologist embarks on a study of happiness among drug users. He polls them and finds that they declare, every single one of them, that they are only happy when they shoot up. Would the psychologist publish a paper declaring that heroin is the key to happiness? The idea that feelings are not to be trusted is not restricted to Christianity. At least when it comes to the value of feelings, even Darwin and Dawkins might find common ground with St Paul and St Augustine. According to the selfish gene theory, natural selection makes people, like other organisms, choose what is good for the reproduction of their genes, even if it is bad for them as individuals. Most males spend their lives toiling, worrying, competing and fighting, instead of enjoying peaceful bliss, because their DNA manipulates them for its own selfish aims. Like Satan, DNA uses fleeting pleasures to tempt people and place them in its power.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
How did the senator know that children meant happiness? Could he see into their souls? What if, the moment they were out of sight, three of them jumped the fourth and began beating him up? The senator had only one argument in his favor: his feeling. When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object. In the realm of kitsch, the dictatorship of the heart reigns supreme. The feeling induced by kitsch must be a kind the multitudes can share. Kitsch may not, therefore, depend on an unusual situation; it must derive from the basic images people have engraved in their memories: the ungrateful daughter, the neglected father, children running on the grass, the motherland betrayed, first love. Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass! The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together with all mankind, by children running on the grass! It is the second tear that makes kitsch kitsch. The brotherhood of man on earth will be possible only on a base of kitsch. And no one knows this better than politicians. Whenever a camera is in the offing, they immediately run to the nearest child, lift it in the air, kiss it on the cheek. Kitsch is the aesthetic ideal of all politicians and all political parties and movements. Those of us who live in a society where various political tendencies exist side by side and competing influences cancel or limit one another can manage more or less to escape the kitsch inquisition: the individual can preserve his individuality; the artist can create unusual works. But whenever a single political movement corners power, we find ourselves in the realm of totalitarian kitsch. When I say totalitarian, what I mean is that everything that infringes on kitsch must be banished for life: every display of individualism (because a deviation from the collective is a spit in the eye of the smiling brotherhood); every doubt (because anyone who starts doubting details will end by doubting life itself); all irony (because in the realm of kitsch everything must be taken quite seriously); and the mother who abandons her family or the man who prefers men to women, thereby calling into question the holy decree Be fruitful and multiply. In this light, we can regard the gulag as a septic tank used by totalitarian kitsch to dispose of its refuse.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
Try this on. What if I didn’t want to have babies because I loved my job too much to compromise it, or because serious travel makes me feel in relation to the world in an utterly essential way? What if I’ve always liked the looks of my own life much better than those of the ones I saw around me? What if, given the option, I would prefer to accept an assignment to go trekking for a month in the kingdom of Bhutan than spend that same month folding onesies? What if I simply like dogs a whole lot better than babies? What if I have become sure that personal freedom is the thing I hold most dear? Some of my closest friends love being mothers, live, to a certain extent, to be mothers. It has been the single most challenging and rewarding endeavor of their lives. Others of my friends don’t like it that much, thought they would like it better than they do, are counting the days till the last kid goes off to college so they can turn their attention to their own dreams. A few friends pretend to love it, but everyone within twelve square miles can hear them grinding their teeth. Still others pretend motherhood is the world’s biggest hassle and yet you can tell they love it deep down. And
Meghan Daum (Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids)
No, Sonia, that’s not it... ...that’s not it! Better … imagine—yes, it’s certainly better—imagine that I am vain, envious, malicious, base, vindictive and … well, perhaps with a tendency to insanity. (Let’s have it all out at once! They’ve talked of madness already, I noticed.) I told you just now I could not keep myself at the university. But do you know that perhaps I might have done? My mother would have sent me what I needed for the fees and I could have earned enough for clothes, boots and food, no doubt. Lessons had turned up at half a rouble. Razumihin works! But I turned sulky and wouldn’t. (Yes, sulkiness, that’s the right word for it!) I sat in my room like a spider. You’ve been in my den, you’ve seen it.… And do you know, Sonia, that low ceilings and tiny rooms cramp the soul and the mind? Ah, how I hated that garret! And yet I wouldn’t go out of it! I wouldn’t on purpose! I didn’t go out for days together, and I wouldn’t work, I wouldn’t even eat, I just lay there doing nothing. If Nastasya brought me anything, I ate it, if she didn’t, I went all day without; I wouldn’t ask, on purpose, from sulkiness! At night I had no light, I lay in the dark and I wouldn’t earn money for candles. I ought to have studied, but I sold my books; and the dust lies an inch thick on the notebooks on my table. I preferred lying still and thinking. And I kept thinking … And I had dreams all the time, strange dreams of all sorts, no need to describe! Only then I began to fancy that.… No, that’s not it! Again I am telling you wrong! You see I kept asking myself then: why am I so stupid, that if others are stupid—and I know they are—yet I won’t be wiser? Then I saw, Sonia, that if one waits for every one to get wiser it will take too long.… Afterwards I understood that that would never come to pass, that men won’t change and that nobody can alter it and that it’s not worth wasting effort over it. Yes, that’s so. That’s the law of their nature, Sonia, … that’s so!… And I know now, Sonia, that whoever is strong in mind and spirit will have power over them. Anyone who is greatly daring is right in their eyes. He who despises most things will be a law-giver among them and he who dares most of all will be most in the right! So it has been till now and so it will always be. A man must be blind not to see it!... ...I divined then, Sonia... ...that power is only vouchsafed to the man who dares to stoop and pick it up. There is only one thing, one thing needful: one has only to dare! Then for the first time in my life an idea took shape in my mind which no one had ever thought of before me, no one! I saw clear as daylight how strange it is that not a single person living in this mad world has had the daring to go straight for it all and send it flying to the devil! I … I wanted to have the daring … and I killed her. I only wanted to have the daring, Sonia! That was the whole cause of it!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
More recently, physicist Edwin May, who directed the ESP research at SRI after 1986 and then headed the program researching “anomalous cognition” (May’s preferred term) after it was transferred to SAIC, and psychologist Sonali Bhatt Marwaha have also argued that all forms of ESP are likely precognition misinterpreted or misidentified.29 Unlike Feinberg, they do not assume precognition is solely an “inside the head” phenomenon30; but reducing anomalous cognition to precognition is a bold step that may move the field of parapsychology forward by, as they say, “collaps[ing] the problem space”31 of these phenomena. What has always seemed like several small piles of interesting but perhaps not overwhelming data supporting various diverse forms of psi or anomalous cognition may really be a single, impressively large pile of evidence for the much more singular, astonishing, and as I hope to show, physically plausible ability of people to access information arriving from their own future. In Part Two, where I address the possible “nuts and bolts” of this ability, I will be making a case for precognition being something close to Feinberg’s “memory of things future”—an all-in-the-head information storage and retrieval process, but one that is not limited to short-term memory. Evidence from life and laboratory suggests it may be possible, within limits, to “premember” experiences days, months, and years in our future, albeit dimly and obliquely, in a manner not all that different from how we remember experiences in our past. The main qualitative difference would be that, unlike memory for past experiences, we have no context for recognizing information from our future, let alone interpreting or evaluating it, and thus will seldom even notice its existence. We would also have little ability to directly search our memory for things future, the way we can rummage in our mental attic for information we know we acquired earlier in life. Yet things we will learn in our future may “inform” us in many non-conscious ways, and this information may be accessed in dreams and art and tasks like ESP experiments that draw on ill-defined intuitive abilities.
Eric Wargo (Time Loops: Precognition, Retrocausation, and the Unconscious)
Hitler's claim to distinction rested not on the quality of his ideas, but instead on his extraordinary drive to turn warped concepts into reality. Where others hesitated or were constrained by moral scruples, he preferred to act and saw emotional hardness as essential. From early in his career, he was a genius at reading a crowd and modulating his message accordingly. In conversations with advisers, he was frank about this. He said that most people earnestly desired to have faith in something and were not intellectually equipped to quibble over what that object of belief might be. He thought it shrewd, therefore, to reduce issues to terms that were easy to grasp and to lure his audiences into thinking that behind the many sources of their problems there loomed a single adversary. “There are…only two possibilities,” he explained, “either the victory of the Aryan side or its annihilation and the victory of the Jews.” Hitler felt that his countrymen were looking for a man who spoke to their anger, understood their fears, and sought their participation in a stirring and righteous cause. He was delighted, not dismayed, by the outrage his speeches generated abroad. He believed that his followers wanted to see him challenged, because they yearned to hear him express contempt for those who thought they could silence him. The image of a brave man standing up against powerful foes is immensely appealing. In this way, Hitler could make even his persecution of the defenseless seem like self-defense.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
67. One Day When There Were Several People in the Empress’s Presence One day when there were several people in the empress’s presence, including many senior courtiers and young noblemen, I was leaning against a pillar, chatting with some of the other women. Suddenly Her Majesty threw a note at me. “Should I love you or should I nor?” it said. “What will you do if I cannot give you first place in my heart?” No doubt she was thinking of recent conversations when I had remarked in her hearing, “If I do not come first in people’s affections, I had just soon not be loved at all; in fact I would rather be hated or even maltreated. It is better to be dead than to be loved in second or third place. Yes, I must be first.” Hearing this, someone had said, “There we have the Single Vehicle of the Law!” and everyone had burst out laughing. Now the Empress gave me a brush and some paper. I wrote the following note and handed it to her: “Among the Nine Ranks of lotus seats even the lowliest would satisfy me.” “Well, well,” said the Empress, “you seem to have lost heart completely. That’s bad. I prefer you to go on thinking as you did before.” “My attitude depends on the person in question,” I replied. “That’s really bad,” she said, much to my delight. “You should try to come first in the affections of even the most important people.
Sei Shōnagon (The pillow-book of Sei Shōnagon)
67. One Day When There Were Several People in the Empress’s Presence One day when there were several people in the empress’s presence, including many senior courtiers and young noblemen, I was leaning against a pillar, chatting with some of the other women. Suddenly Her Majesty threw a note at me. “Should I love you or should I not?” it said. “What will you do if I cannot give you first place in my heart?” No doubt she was thinking of a recent conversation when I had remarked in her hearing, “If I do not come first in people’s affections, I had just soon not be loved at all; in fact I would rather be hated or even maltreated. It is better to be dead than to be loved in second or third place. Yes, I must be first.” Hearing this, someone had said, “There we have the Single Vehicle of the Law!” and everyone had burst out laughing. Now the Empress gave me a brush and some paper. I wrote the following note and handed it to her: “Among the Nine Ranks of lotus seats even the lowliest would satisfy me.” “Well, well,” said the Empress, “you seem to have lost heart completely. That’s bad. I prefer you to go on thinking as you did before.” “My attitude depends on the person in question,” I replied. “That’s really bad,” she said, much to my delight. “You should try to come first in the affections of even the most important people.
Sei Shōnagon (The pillow-book of Sei Shōnagon)
Is the rift dividing them in fact a bottomless chasm; is that why such powerful turbulences have been released? And is it a rift between Black and White? Or Poor or Rich? Stranger and Friend? Or between those whose father's have died and those whose father's are still alive? Or those with curly hair and those with straight? Those who call their dinner fufu and those that call it stew? Or those who like to wear yellow, red, and green t-shirts and those who prefer neckties? Or those who like to drink water and those who prefer beer? Or between speakers of one language or another? How many borders exist within a single universe? Or, to ask it differently, what is the one true, crucial border? ... it's just a matter of a few pigments in the material that's known as skin in all the languages of the world, meaning that the violence on display here is not at all the harbinger of a storm in the center of the universe but is in fact due merely to an absurd misunderstanding that has been dividing humankind and preventing it from realizing how enormously long the lifespan of a planet is compared to the life and breath of any one human being. Whether you clothe your body in hand-me-down pants and jackets from a donation bin, brand-name sweater's, expensive or cheap dresses, or uniforms with a helmet and visor- underneath this clothing, every one of us is naked and must surely, let's hope, have taken pleasure in sunshine and wind, in water and snow, have eaten or drunk this and that tasty thing, perhaps even have loved someone and been loved in return before dying one day.
Jenny Erpenbeck (Go, Went, Gone)
You know very well that the wealth gathered here in Copenhagen has been garnished for successive generations from the Iceland trade monopoly. The road to the highest rank in the Danish capital has always run through the Iceland trade. Scarcely a single family in this city doesn't have a member who hasn't earned his bread from the Company. And no one would think of Iceland being granted as an emolument to anyone other than the highest-ranking nobleman, preferably royalty. Iceland is a good country. No country has supported so many wealthy people as Iceland.
Halldór Laxness (Iceland's Bell)
Citizens were truly free when they could engage 'what is just and good without fear.' Liberty was therefore a positive act of will. Liberty was not an 'enemy of all authority' but 'a civil and moral' quality that made it possible for individuals, singly or in groups, to realize their potential. Tocqueville, who believed in the possibilities of human achievement, embraced the idea of liberty as capable of fostering equality. With liberty empowering individuals, equality could spread. There began the great challenge of modern history, that of balancing liberty and equality. Tocqueville kept arguing in successive formulations that the two concepts of liberty and equality, so easily at odds, actually touch and join. For one cannot be free without being equal to others; and one cannot be equal to others, in a positive sense, without being free. For Tocqueville, the combination of equality and liberty was the best possible human condition, while equality without liberty was among the worst, as he had argued in the prison report. Although Tocqueville asserted that equality and liberty ideally should be mutually reinforcing in democratic life, he recognized that men loved equality passionately but often resented the kind of demanding liberty that democracy required. It was simply too much work to set positive liberty in motion and sustain it. Indeed, Tocqueville underscored that 'nothing is harder than the apprenticeship of liberty.' As a result, Tocqueville charged, too many accept 'equality in servitude' (the result of leveling) and prefer it over the more demanding condition of 'inequality in freedom.' Only by acquiring the habit of liberty, Tocqueville argued throughout the book, could a democratic society make creative use of equality and liberty was the precondition for the dogma of popular sovereignty to 'emerge from the towns,' take possession of the government,' and become 'law of laws.
Olivier Zunz (The Man Who Understood Democracy: The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville)
Francis says we should make reasonable efforts to refute lies that are being told about us, but if our efforts are not effective, we should simply go on with our lives trusting in God to care for us, continuing to humble ourselves. If He permits our reputation to be taken away from us it will either be “to give us a better one or to make us profit by holy humility, of which a single ounce is preferable to a thousand pounds of honor.
Ralph Martin (The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints)
Because she didn’t want any of them to know just how unhappy she was being single. Especially since Serena knew a good number of women who preferred being single and that many of them were happily living their lives to the fullest.
Kimberla Lawson Roby (Sister Friends Forever)
Each of us has a beast roaming beneath our skin, roaring to get out. While your Tamlin prefers fur, I find wings and talons to be more entertaining.' A lick of cold kissed down my spine. 'Can you shift now, or did she take that, too?' 'So many questions from a little human.' But the darkness that hovered around him began to writhe and twist and flare as he rose to his feet. I blinked, and it was done. I lifted the iron poker, just a little bit. 'Not a full shift, you see,' Rhysand said, clicking the black razor-sharp talons that had replaced his fingers. Below the knee, darkness stained his skin- but talons also gleamed in lieu of toes. 'I don't particularly like yielding wholly to my baser side.' Indeed, it was still Rhysand's face, his powerful male body, but flaring out behind him were massive black membranous wings- like a bat's, like the Attor's. He tucked them in neatly behind him, but the single claw at the apex of each peeked over his broad shoulders. Horrific, stunning- the face of a thousand nightmares and dreams. That again-useless part of me stirred at the sight, the way the candlelight shone through the wings, illuminating the veins, the way it bounced off his talons. Rhysand rolled his neck, and it all vanished in a flash- the wings, the talons, the feet, leaving only the male behind, well-dressed and unruffled. 'No attempts at flattery?' I had made a very, very big mistake in offering my life to him. But I said. 'You have a high-enough opinion of yourself already. I doubt the flattery of a little human matters much to you.' He let out a low laugh that slid along my bones, warming my blood. 'I can't decide whether I should consider you admirable or very stupid for being so bold with a High Lord.' Only around him did I have trouble keeping my mouth shut, it seemed.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
The large majority wanted to be at home at the end of life, only 1 percent said they would prefer being in a hospital, and not a single participant wanted to be in a nursing home at the end of life.
Ira Byock (The Best Care Possible: A Physician's Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life)
Contemplation is purer still, yet more sophisticated. This comes from a strongly developed base of concentration—basically, constancy—through any temptation, including altered states of consciousness, that leads one to meditation (effortless engagement), from which is born an intuitive connection to that which is being focused upon (often, the nature of being in the moment, which is the default “focus”). Some people can attain this state accidentally through some combination of surprising events, which is sometimes called revelation. Fewer still can cause this to happen intentionally, mainly because you have to surprise yourself to have it occur. In any case, it requires a real sense of the value of paradox. One leaves a single position behind (such as “I like this” or “I don’t like this”) and expands in comprehension to simultaneously experience its opposite as well. From there, one rises above the two through a creative burst of intuition, and looks down on them both. What you might call transcendence, although I prefer mildly amused.
Darrell Calkins (Re:)
Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God, the reason being that they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and the scientist will admit that there is much that they do not know; but that is quite another thing from admitting that there is something which they can never know, which indeed they have no technique for discovering. To admit that there is One who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all our categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, nor submit to our curious inquiries: this requires a great deal of humility, more than most of us possess, so we save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least down to where we can manage Him. Yet how He eludes us! For He is everywhere while He is nowhere, for "where" has to do with matter and space, and God is independent of both. He is unaffected by time or motion, is wholly self-dependent and owes nothing to the worlds His hands have made. Timeless, spaceless, single, lonely, Yet sublimely Three, Thou art grandly, always, only God is Unity! Lone in grandeur, lone in glory, Who shall tell Thy wondrous story? Awful Trinity! FREDERICK W. FABER It is not a cheerful thought that millions of us who live in a land of Bibles, who belong to churches and labor to promote the Christian religion, may yet pass our whole life on this earth without once having thought or tried to think seriously about the being of God. Few of us have let our hearts gaze in wonder at the I AM, the self-existent Self back of which no creature can think. Such thoughts are too painful for us. We prefer to think where it will do more good - about how to build a better mousetrap, for instance, or how to make two blades of grass grow where one grew before. And for this we are now paying a too heavy price in the secularlzation of our religion and the decay of our inner lives. Perhaps some sincere but puzzled Christian may at this juncture wish to inquire about the practicality of such concepts as I am trying to set forth here. "What bearing does this have on my life?" he may ask. "What possible meaning can the self-existence of God have for me and others like me in a world such as this and in times such as these?" To this I reply that, because we are the handiwork of God, it follows that all our problems and their solutions are theological. Some knowledge of what kind of God it is that operates the universe is indispensable to a sound philosophy of life and a sane outlook on the world scene. The much-quoted advice of Alexander Pope, "Know then thyself, presume not God to scan: The proper study of mankind is man," if followed literally would destroy any possibility of man's ever knowing himself in any but the most superficial way. We can never know who or what we are till we know at least something of what God is. For this reason the self-existence of God is not a wisp of dry doctrine, academic and remote; it is in fact as near as our breath and as practical as the latest surgical technique.
A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy)
To act on this fear—a fear of being evaluated then dismissed by others—was to forgo a friendship that actually had some possibilities. In many instances, a preoccupation with appearances—unrealistic social expectations, impossible standards—can be the single largest barrier to a satisfying social life. When I talk about social expectations, I use the term “pecking order” to describe a kind of hierarchy of sociability that exists in the minds of the people who suffer social difficulties. Generally, people who are well adjusted aren’t giving much thought to that guy whose friend is wearing a hearing aid, or how that guy could date that unattractive woman. But people who fear judgment are inevitably far harsher judges of themselves than any outsider could ever be. And yet, at the same time, they deny that there is a problem in need of attention. In fact, denial can be the largest stumbling block in overcoming social anxiety. I see denial at every level. Those in deep denial make statements such as “I don’t want a social life.” Those whose denial is less ingrained make excuses such as “Sure, I’d like to socialize, but I’m too busy with work” or they say offhandedly, “I really prefer to spend time by myself.” But these comments may not tell the whole story. To deny the reality of the social situation is to ensure that the problem will go unaddressed. Denying that loneliness exists allows loneliness to remain. Denying that social anxiety exists can only mean that the anxiety will continue to control your life.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
After years of selfish lovers, my preference for pleasuring as opposed to being pleasured had unsettled her at first but as brief fumbles had turned into stolen weekends, her confidence and trust in me had grown to the point where she was now totally relaxed and at ease with me. There was nothing, not a single thing I couldn’t do for or to her if I so wished it. We didn’t even have a safe word because we didn’t need one. We just knew.
Michael Bayswater (The Adventures of Michael Bayswater.)
5. The most important sort of union that obtains among things, pragmatically speaking, is their GENERIC UNITY. Things exist in kinds, there are many specimens in each kind, and what the 'kind' implies for one specimen, it implies also for every other specimen of that kind. We can easily conceive that every fact in the world might be singular, that is, unlike any other fact and sole of its kind. In such a world of singulars our logic would be useless, for logic works by predicating of the single instance what is true of all its kind. With no two things alike in the world, we should be unable to reason from our past experiences to our future ones. The existence of so much generic unity in things is thus perhaps the most momentous pragmatic specification of what it may mean to say 'the world is One.' ABSOLUTE generic unity would obtain if there were one summum genus under which all things without exception could be eventually subsumed. 'Beings,' 'thinkables,' 'experiences,' would be candidates for this position. Whether the alternatives expressed by such words have any pragmatic significance or not, is another question which I prefer to leave unsettled just now. 6. Another specification of what the phrase 'the world is One' may mean is UNITY OF PURPOSE. An enormous number of things in the world subserve a common purpose. All the man-made systems, administrative, industrial, military, or what not, exist each for its controlling purpose. Every living being pursues its own peculiar purposes. They co-operate, according to the degree of their development, in collective or tribal purposes, larger ends thus enveloping lesser ones, until an absolutely single, final and climacteric purpose subserved by all things without exception might conceivably be reached. It is needless to say that the appearances conflict with such a view. Any resultant, as I said in my third lecture, MAY have been purposed in advance, but none of the results we actually know in is world have in point of fact been purposed in advance in all their details. Men and nations start with a vague notion of being rich, or great, or good. Each step they make brings unforeseen chances into sight, and shuts out older vistas, and the specifications of the general purpose have to be daily changed. What is reached in the end may be better or worse than what was proposed, but it is always more complex and different. Our different purposes also are at war with each other. Where one can't crush the other out, they compromise; and the result is again different from what anyone distinctly proposed beforehand. Vaguely and generally, much of what was purposed may be gained; but everything makes strongly for the view that our world is incompletely unified teleologically and is still trying to get its unification better organized. Whoever claims ABSOLUTE teleological unity, saying that there is one purpose that every detail of the universe subserves, dogmatizes at his own risk. Theologians who dogmalize thus find it more and more impossible, as our acquaintance with the warring interests of the world's parts grows more concrete, to imagine what the one climacteric purpose may possibly be like. We see indeed that certain evils minister to ulterior goods, that the bitter makes the cocktail better, and that a bit of danger or hardship puts us agreeably to our trumps. We can vaguely generalize this into the doctrine that all the evil in the universe is but instrumental to its greater perfection. But the scale of the evil actually in sight defies all human tolerance; and transcendental idealism, in the pages of a Bradley or a Royce, brings us no farther than the book of Job did—God's ways are not our ways, so let us put our hands upon our mouth. A God who can relish such superfluities of horror is no God for human beings to appeal to. His animal spirits are too high. In other words the 'Absolute' with his one purpose, is not the man-like God of common people.
Will James
I consider myself a student of colours and shades and hues and tints. Crimson lake, burnt umber, ultramarine … I was too clumsy as a child to paint with my moistened brush the scenery that I would have liked to bring into being. I preferred to leave untouched in their white metallic surroundings my rows of powdery rectangles of water-colours, to read aloud one after another of the tiny printed names of the coloured rectangles, and to let each colour seem to soak into each word of its name or even into each syllable of each word of each name so that I could afterwards call to mind an exact shade or hue from an image of no more than black letters on a white ground. Deep cadmium, geranium lake, imperial purple, parchment … after the last of our children had found employment and had moved out of our home, my wife and I were able to buy for ourselves things that had previously been beyond our means. I bought my first such luxury, as I called it, in a shop selling artists’ supplies. I bought there a complete set of coloured pencils made by a famous maker of pencils in England: a hundred and twenty pencils, each stamped with gold lettering along its side and having at its end a perfectly tapered wick. The collection of pencils is behind me as I write these words. It rests near the jars of glass marbles and the kaleidoscope mentioned earlier. None of the pencils has ever been used in the way that most pencils are used, but I have sometimes used the many-striped collection in order to confirm my suspicion as a child that each of what I called my long-lost moods might be recollected and, perhaps, preserved if only I could look again at the precise shade or hue that had become connected with the mood – that had absorbed, as it were, or had been permeated with, one or more of the indefinable qualities that constitute what is called a mood or a state of feeling. During the weeks since I first wrote in the earlier pages of this report about the windows in the church of white stone, I have spent every day an increasing amount of time in moving my pencils to and fro among the hollow spaces allotted to them in their container. I seem to recall that I tried sometimes, many years ago, to move my glass marbles from place to place on the carpet near my desk with the vague hope that some or another chance arrangement of them would restore to me some previously irretrievable mood. The marbles, however, were too variously coloured, and each differed too markedly from the other. Their colours seemed to vie, to compete. Or, a single marble might suggest more than I was in search of: a whole afternoon in my childhood or a row of trees in a backyard when I had wanted back only a certain few moments when my face was brushed by a certain few leaves. Among the pencils are many differing only subtly from their neighbours. Six at least I might have called simply red if I had not learned long ago their true names. With these six, and with still others from each side of them, I often arrange one after another of many possible sequences, hoping to see in the conjectured space between some or another unlikely pair a certain tint that I have wanted for long to see.
Gerald Murnane (Border Districts)
(KJV) King James Translation Important Facts An advantage of owning or reading a (KJV) King James Translation or Authorized Version, whether they are the older 1611 version or newer non-1611 version is that they are usually more accurate compared to many other bibles. They rank highly when translated from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek manuscripts. However all bible translations have many faults with the translation as does the King James Version which is not perfect by any means It’s a difficult task to master translation of hundreds of scrolls and manuscripts and compile them into a single book. With that being said, when choosing a bible you will usually have to choose between the lesser of the two evils, and it is always advised to have at least three translations if not more when you want to get a more accurate idea of what the writer is saying. One major disadvantage that the King James Bible (KJV) has is that the translators have replaced the holy names of The Almighty Creator and His Son, as many other translators have also done with other bible translations. This is never a good thing to do. To replace a proper noun or name, especially when it happens to be the name of our Heavenly Father or His Son our Messiah is a serious thing to consider changing. The bible clearly states in many verses to make His name “known” and proclaim it. It does not say to “change it” or to proclaim a different name. Our Opinion about Name Changes The reasons of why the translators chose to make these name changes is “not” something that we at Heavenly Publishers want to focus on. Instead, we prefer to educate readers of this fact, especially those that were not already aware of it and make suggestions as to how to fix this. Many translations around these days have this same issue and even other serious changes on top of this one. We would also like to encourage all readers to consider restoring the holy names of our Savior and Heavenly Father back into the bible and back into our reading and vocabulary. The example of how our Savior taught us to pray by starting out in prayer by acknowledging and revering the holy name of “Our Father” is something we should remember. The prayer starts out with the words, Our Father who art in Heaven, “Hallowed be Thy Name” and is a great example of how important and holy His name is. This word “hallow” means to render sacred and consider holy. So my question to you is can you imagine doing something like changing our Father’s holy name to something else? Never should this be done, but the translators of many bible versions have done this. The KJV is only one example of this spiritually criminal act. The people that have done this for whatever agendas they had will be held accountable and judged accordingly one day by their maker as He sees fit. It’s not our job to judge but to make others aware of this and hopefully reverse this wrongdoing.
Heavenly Father (King James Bible for Kindle: KJV with All Word Search)
Being single can be confusing. On the one hand you sometimes yearn for the simple comfort of companionship; someone to discuss your day with, someone with whom you can celebrate a raise or tax refund, someone who’ll commiserate when you’re down with a cold. On the other hand, once you get used to being alone (in other words, having everything your way), you have to wonder why you’d ever take on the aggravation of a relationship. Other human beings have all these hotly held opinions, habits, and mannerisms, not to mention mood disorders, food preferences, passions, hobbies, allergies, emotional fixations and attitudes that in no way coincide with the correct ones, namely yours.
Sue Grafton
The only time people talk about me, it’s with fear. Like I’m the boogeyman hiding under their beds, ready to kill them with a single attack. Still, at least they only talk about me in whispers, instead of saying it to my face. I prefer it that way, even if being called a monster hurts.
Katee Robert (Stone Heart (Dark Olympus, #0.5))
A study asked fifteen thousand people around the world if they’d prefer a job in which individual initiative is encouraged or one in which no one is singled out for honor but everybody works as a team. More than 90 percent of American, British, Dutch, and Swedish respondents chose the individual initiative job. But fewer than 50 percent of Japanese and Singaporean respondents did.
David Brooks (How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen)
Jesus said, after all, that the difference between his kingdom, which was not ‘from this world’, and those kingdoms that were ‘from this world’ was that if his kingdom had been of the ordinary kind then his followers would fight.58 When a supposed ‘Christian nationalism’ goes hand in hand with a culture that glorifies violence, and the means of violence, at whatever level; where the churches are so divided that they have no collective witness with which to speak the truth to the powers in question; where people ignore the regular biblical insistence on the love of enemies, and the goal of a single multi-ethnic worshipping community, and prefer de facto ethnically based separate assemblies; where truth ceases to matter, either because it is deconstructed into ‘my truth’ and ‘your truth’ or because political leaders so obviously tell lies – then the gospel, the euangelion, is being denied, irrespective of how many people within ‘the system’ think of themselves as evangelisch or ‘evangelical’. Jesus warned against mistaking the work of God’s holy spirit for the work of the devil. There is equal danger the other way round, when people suppose they are working for God while unthinkingly serving the ‘powers’.59
N.T. Wright (Jesus and the Powers: Christian Political Witness in an Age of Totalitarian Terror and Dysfunctional Democracies)