Producer Motivation Quotes

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I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker.
Stanley Kubrick
Plants are more courageous than almost all human beings: an orange tree would rather die than produce lemons, whereas instead of dying the average person would rather be someone they are not.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
If you want the motivation back, you must feed it Feed it everything. Books, television, movies, paintings, stage plays, real-life experience. Sometimes feeding simply means working, working through nonmotivation, working even when you hate it. We create art for many reasons - wealth, fame, love, admiration - but I find the one thing that produces the best results is desire. When you want the thing you're creating, the beauty of it will shine through, even if the details aren't all in order. Desire is the fuel of creators, and when we have that, motivation will come in its wake.
Francesca Zappia (Eliza and Her Monsters)
The most unlucky generation is the one which couldn't produce a hero to look upto.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
How can the intensity of this shame be understood by those who have never experienced it? How can they understand the strength of the motivations produced by the desire to escape from it?
Didier Eribon (Insult and the Making of the Gay Self (Series Q))
The deepness of your mind produces the thickness of your thoughts.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Sometimes, when people have a low opinion of their own worth—or, perhaps, when they refuse responsibility for their lives—they choose a new acquaintance, of precisely the type who proved troublesome in the past. Such people don’t believe that they deserve any better—so they don’t go looking for it. Or, perhaps, they don’t want the trouble of better. Freud called this a “repetition compulsion.” He thought of it as an unconscious drive to repeat the horrors of the past—sometimes, perhaps, to formulate those horrors more precisely, sometimes to attempt more active mastery and sometimes, perhaps, because no alternatives beckon. People create their worlds with the tools they have directly at hand. Faulty tools produce faulty results. Repeated use of the same faulty tools produces the same faulty results. It is in this manner that those who fail to learn from the past doom themselves to repeat it. It’s partly fate. It’s partly inability. It’s partly … unwillingness to learn? Refusal to learn? Motivated refusal to learn?
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
She certainly did not hate him. No; hatred had vanished long ago, and she had almost as long been ashamed of ever feeling a dislike against him, that could be so called. The respect created by the conviction of his valuable qualities, though at first unwillingly admitted, had for some time ceased to be repugnant to her feelings; and it was now heightened into somewhat of a friendlier nature, by the testimony so highly in his favour, and bringing forward his disposition in so amiable a light, which yesterday had produced. But above all, above respect and esteem, there was a motive within her of good will which could not be overlooked. It was gratitude.--Gratitude not merely for having once loved her, but for loving her still well enough, to forgive all the petulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him, and all the unjust accusations accompanying her rejection. He who, she had been persuaded, would avoid her as his greatest enemy, seemed, on this accidental meeting, most eager to preserve the acquaintance, and without any indelicate display of regard, or any peculiarity of manner, where their two selves only were concerned, was soliciting the good opinion of her friends, and bent on making her known to his sister. Such a change in a man of so much pride, excited not only astonishment but gratitude--for to love, ardent love, it must be attributed; and as such its impression on her was of a sort to be encouraged, as by no means unpleasing, though it could not exactly be defined.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
A farmer is a magician who produces money from the mud.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity; it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.
William Faulkner
Necessity may not be the opposite of freedom, and perhaps a man is most free when, instead of producing motives, he could only say, "I am what I do.
C.S. Lewis
The man who attempts to live for others is a dependent. He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of those he serves. The relationship produces nothing but mutual corruption. It is impossible in concept. The nearest approach to it in reality -- the man who lives to serve others -- is the slave. If physical slavery is repulsive, how much more repulsive is the concept of servility of the spirit. The conquered slave has a vestige of honor. He has the merit of having resisted and of considering his condition evil. But the man who enslaves himself voluntarily in the name of love is the basest of creatures. He degrades the dignity of man, and he degrades the conception of love. But that is the essence of altruism
Ayn Rand
The value the world sets upon motives is often grossly unjust and inaccurate. Consider, for example, two of them: mere insatiable curiosity and the desire to do good. The latter is put high above the former, and yet it is the former that moves one of the most useful men the human race has yet produced: the scientific investigator. What actually urges him on is not some brummagem idea of Service, but a boundless, almost pathological thirst to penetrate the unknown, to uncover the secret, to find out what has not been found out before. His prototype is not the liberator releasing slaves, the good Samaritan lifting up the fallen, but a dog sniffing tremendously at an infinite series of rat-holes.
H.L. Mencken (A Mencken Chrestomathy)
The secret to strong leaders is that strong leaders are strong because they have been tempered by the negative. They have discovered the secret of combining the negative and the positive to PRODUCED their very own POWER plant!
John Paul Warren
When, therefore, we maintain that pleasure is the end, we do not mean the pleasures of profligates and those that consist in sensuality, as is supposed by some who are either ignorant or disagree with us or do not understand, but freedom from pain in the body and from trouble in the mind. For it is not continuous drinkings and revelings, nor the satisfaction of lusts, nor the enjoyment of fish and other luxuries of the wealthy table, which produce a pleasant life, but sober reasoning, searching out the motives for all choice and avoidance, and banishing mere opinions, to which are due the greatest disturbance of the spirit.
Epicurus
While I don't think sociopaths have any sort of moral urge to do good things, I think they can and do act morally in the context of pursuing their own advantage. A good analogy would be a corporation. There are a lot of corporations that do things that you like, maybe even good things, like produce vaccines or electric cars, although the primary motivation is to make a profit. But just because you are trying to make a profit doesn't mean you can't do it by doing things you like, or that you are good at, or that comport with the way you see the world, or want the world to see you.
M.E. Thomas (Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight)
Cowards say it can't be done, critics say it shouldn't have been done, creator say well done.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Awake! arise! the hour is late! Angels are knocking at thy door! They are in haste and cannot wait, And once departed come no more. Awake! arise! the athlete's arm Loses its strength by too much rest; The fallow land, the untilled farm Produces only weeds at best.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (The Complete Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
All motivators are valid if they produce good work, son. And frustration can be a powerful motivator.
Ann Napolitano (Dear Edward)
A sense of control can fuel motivation, but for that drive to produce insights and innovations, people need to know their suggestions won’t be ignored, that their mistakes won’t be held against them. And they need to know that everyone else has their back.
Charles Duhigg (Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business)
God’s grace is so much more powerful of a motivator than fear. Love is the deepest motivator. Only love can produce not only willing obedience but also lasting obedience. If you are being motivated by fear, rules, anger, or some other emotion, it usually only lasts while that emotion is there. Love, being a state of the heart, lasts even past the initial emotion.
Jefferson Bethke (Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough)
We became the most successful advanced projects company in the world by hiring talented people, paying them top dollar, and motivating them into believing that they could produce a Mach 3 airplane like the Blackbird a generation or two ahead of anybody else.
Ben R. Rich (Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed)
He who has a mind has thoughts and he who has thoughts has vision! Think vision. Produce vision!
Darnaya Darice
...After all, the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world. I am strongly of the opinion that the great majority of people will always find these are the moving impulses of our life. But it is only those who do not understand our people, who believe that our national life is entirely absorbed by material motives. We make no concealment of the fact that we want wealth, but there are many other things that we want much more. We want peace and honor, and that charity which is so strong an element of all civilization. The chief ideal of the American people is idealism.
Calvin Coolidge
Maybe we feel meaning only when we deal with something bigger. Perhaps we hope that someone else, especially someone important to us, will ascribe value to what we've produced? Maybe we need the illusion that our work might one day matter to many people. That it might be of some value in the big, broad world out there [...]? Most likely it is all of these. But fundamentally, I think that almost any aspect of meaning [...] can be sufficient to drive our behaviour. As long as we are doing something that is somewhat connected to our self image, it can fuel our motivation and get us to work much harder.
Dan Ariely (The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves)
Excerpt from Ursula K Le Guin's speech at National Book Awards Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality. Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship. Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this – letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write. Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words. I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.
Ursula K. Le Guin
If we promoted justice and charity among men, we should be playing directly into the Enemy's hands; but if we guide them to the opposite behaviour, this sooner or later produces (for He permits it to produce) a war or a revolution, and the undisguisable issue of cowardice or courage awakes thousands of men from moral stupor. This, indeed, is probably one of the Enemy's motives for creating a dangerous world—a world in which moral issues really come to the point. He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
God, who in the beginning was the creator, appears in the end as revenger and rewarder. Deference to such a God admittedly can produce virtuous actions; however, because fear of punishment or hope for reward are their motive, these actions will not be purely moral; on the contrary, the inner essence of such virtue will amount to prudent and carefully calculating egoism.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Parerga and Paralipomena)
So what motivates people to work hard every day to do things that will satisfy the economy’s needs but not their own? Like so many thinkers, Smith believed that people want just one thing—happiness—hence economies can blossom and grow only if people are deluded into believing that the production of wealth will make them happy.14 If and only if people hold this false belief will they do enough producing, procuring, and consuming to sustain their economies.
Daniel Todd Gilbert (Stumbling on Happiness)
I was taught the popular folktale of racism: that ignorant and hateful people had produced racist ideas, and that these racist people had instituted racist policies. But when I learned the motives behind the production of many of America’s most influentially racist ideas, it became quite obvious that this folktale, though sensible, was not based on a firm footing of historical evidence. Ignorance/hateracist ideasdiscrimination: this causal relationship is largely ahistorical. It has actually been the inverse relationship—racial discrimination led to racist ideas which led to ignorance and hate. Racial discriminationracist ideasignorance/hate: this is the causal relationship driving America’s history of race relations.
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. The state has not produced one iota of medical evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place... It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses, whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on cross-examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant. Now, there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewel was beaten - savagely, by someone who led exclusively with his left. And Tom Robinson now sits before you having taken the oath with the only good hand he possesses... his RIGHT. I have nothing but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the State. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance. But my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man's life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt. Now I say "guilt," gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. She's committed no crime - she has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She must destroy the evidence of her offense. But what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson, a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was to her a daily reminder of what she did. Now, what did she do? She tempted a *****. She was white, and she tempted a *****. She did something that, in our society, is unspeakable. She kissed a black man. Not an old uncle, but a strong, young ***** man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards. The witnesses for the State, with the exception of the sheriff of Maycomb County have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption... the evil assumption that all Negroes lie, all Negroes are basically immoral beings, all ***** men are not to be trusted around our women. An assumption that one associates with minds of their caliber, and which is, in itself, gentlemen, a lie, which I do not need to point out to you. And so, a quiet, humble, respectable *****, who has had the unmitigated TEMERITY to feel sorry for a white woman, has had to put his word against TWO white people's! The defendant is not guilty - but somebody in this courtroom is. Now, gentlemen, in this country, our courts are the great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system - that's no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality! Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review, without passion, the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision and restore this man to his family. In the name of GOD, do your duty. In the name of God, believe... Tom Robinson
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Fathers of the fatherless sons and daughters, your presence will help build your children’s identity. Whether you know it or not, your presence builds security and confidence, and it will produce great strides in your children’s confidence and determination.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dear fathers of the fatherless children)
Our schools will not improve if we continue to focus only on reading and mathematics while ignoring the other studies that are essential elements of a good education. Schools that expect nothing more of their students than mastery of basic skills will not produce graduates who are ready for college or the modern workplace. *** Our schools will not improve if we value only what tests measure. The tests we have now provide useful information about students' progress in reading and mathematics, but they cannot measure what matters most in education....What is tested may ultimately be less important that what is untested... *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to close neighborhood schools in the name of reform. Neighborhood schools are often the anchors of their communities, a steady presence that helps to cement the bond of community among neighbors. *** Our schools cannot improve if charter schools siphon away the most motivated students and their families in the poorest communities from the regular public schools. *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to drive away experienced principals and replace them with neophytes who have taken a leadership training course but have little or no experience as teachers. *** Our schools cannot be improved if we ignore the disadvantages associated with poverty that affect children's ability to learn. Children who have grown up in poverty need extra resources, including preschool and medical care.
Diane Ravitch (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education)
Let us suppose that the great empire of China, with all its myriads of inhabitants, was suddenly swallowed up by an earthquake, and let us consider how a man of humanity in Europe, who had no sort of connection with that part of the world, would be affected upon receiving intelligence of this dreadful calamity. He would, I imagine, first of all, express very strongly his sorrow for the misfortune of that unhappy people, he would make many melancholy reflections upon the precariousness of human life, and the vanity of all the labours of man, which could thus be annihilated in a moment. He would too, perhaps, if he was a man of speculation, enter into many reasonings concerning the effects which this disaster might produce upon the commerce of Europe, and the trade and business of the world in general. And when all this fine philosophy was over, when all these humane sentiments had been once fairly expressed, he would pursue his business or his pleasure, take his repose or his diversion, with the same ease and tranquillity, as if no such accident had happened. The most frivolous disaster which could befall himself would occasion a more real disturbance. If he was to lose his little finger to-morrow, he would not sleep to-night; but, provided he never saw them, he will snore with the most profound security over the ruin of a hundred millions of his brethren, and the destruction of that immense multitude seems plainly an object less interesting to him, than this paltry misfortune of his own. To prevent, therefore, this paltry misfortune to himself, would a man of humanity be willing to sacrifice the lives of a hundred millions of his brethren, provided he had never seen them? Human nature startles with horror at the thought, and the world, in its greatest depravity and corruption, never produced such a villain as could be capable of entertaining it. But what makes this difference? When our passive feelings are almost always so sordid and so selfish, how comes it that our active principles should often be so generous and so noble? When we are always so much more deeply affected by whatever concerns ourselves, than by whatever concerns other men; what is it which prompts the generous, upon all occasions, and the mean upon many, to sacrifice their own interests to the greater interests of others? It is not the soft power of humanity, it is not that feeble spark of benevolence which Nature has lighted up in the human heart, that is thus capable of counteracting the strongest impulses of self-love. It is a stronger power, a more forcible motive, which exerts itself upon such occasions. It is reason, principle, conscience, the inhabitant of the breast, the man within, the great judge and arbiter of our conduct.
Adam Smith (The Theory of Moral Sentiments)
There is a classic psychology experiment that seems to confirm Brewer's point. Children who enjoy drawing were given marker pens and allowed to go at it. Some were rewarded for drawing (they were given a certificate with a gold seal and a ribbon, and told ahead of time about this arrangement, whereas for others the issue of rewards was never raised. Weeks later, those who had been rewarded took less interest in drawing, and their drawings were judged to be lower in quality, whereas those who had not been rewarded continued to enjoy the activity and produced higher-quality drawings. The hypothesis is that the child begins to attribute his interest, which previously needed no justification, to the external reward, and this has the effect of reducing his intrinsic interest in it. That is, an external reward can affect one's interpretation of one's own motivation, an interpretation that comes to be self-fulfilling.
Matthew B. Crawford (Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work)
Take dopamine. Elevated levels of dopamine in the brain produce extremely focussed attention,2 as well as unwavering motivation and goal-directed behaviors.3 These are central characteristics of romantic love. Lovers intensely focus on the beloved, often to the exclusion of all around them. Indeed, they concentrate so relentlessly on the positive qualities of the adored one that they easily overlook his or her negative traits;4 they even dote on specific events and objects shared with this sweetheart.
Helen Fisher (Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love)
(...) never play to the gallery, but you never learn that until much later on, I think. Never work for other people. Always remember that the reason that you initially started working was that there was something inside yourself that you felt that if you could manifest it in some way, you would understand more about yourself and how you coexist with the rest of society. I think it's terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people's expectations. I think they generally produce their worst work when they do that.
David Bowie
Gratitude without practicing maybe like practicing a faith without good work. A grateful heart is not enough without a grateful habit; because your joy is not produced by what you put in your heart but by habit you put in your life.
Patience Johnson (Why Does an Orderly God Allow Disorder)
The recent spate of magazines for "parents" (i.e., mothers) bombard the anxiety-induced mothers of America with reassurances that they can (after a $100,000 raise and a personality transplant) produce bright, motivated, focused, fun-loving, sensitive, cooperative, confident, contented kids just like the clean, obedient ones on the cover.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
Tyrian Purple. A historical pigment, nearly impossible to get. It was made from excreted dye of sea snails such as the Purpura lapillus. Snails were ill-motivated pigment makers; it took an enornous number of them to produce even a small amount of Tyrian purple.
Maggie Stiefvater (Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy, #1))
8-Push all your own buttons: Make a note of everything that inspires you. That's your control panel. Those buttons operate your whole system of personal motivation.
Steve Chandler (100 Ways To Motivate Others: How Great Leaders Can Produce Insane Results Without Driving People Crazy)
Prior Planning Produces Positive Performance
Salley Farquharson
You will always end up in frustration whenever you try to produce outside your purpose.
Patience Johnson (Why Does an Orderly God Allow Disorder)
The ACA wisdom is this: “There is nothing like hitting bottom to motivate someone into action that produces lasting change.
Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization (Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families)
The fun part is finding which thoughts, in that crazy beehive of emotion, are the ones that mass produce the honey.
Curtis Tyrone Jones
Apple Stores produce more sales per square foot than any other retailer in the United States, including luxury stores like Tiffany.
Neel Doshi (Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation)
But decent motives don't always produce decent results. And the body is not the only target of rape. Violence does not always take visible form, and not all wounds gush blood." ~the dowager
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 Book 1 (1Q84, #1))
Social scientists have determined that we accept inner responsibility for a behavior when we think we have chosen to perform it in the absence of strong outside pressures. A large reward is one such external pressure. It may get us to perform a certain action, but it won’t get us to accept inner responsibility for the act. Consequently, we won’t feel committed to it. The same is true of a strong threat; it may motivate immediate compliance, but it is unlikely to produce long-term commitment.
Robert B. Cialdini (Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials))
The only way of life satisfying the need of all times must be motivated by incentives and rewards – materially, morally and spiritually because motivation for work is produced by incentives and rewards only, an aspect built into the fundamental specification of human nature itself. Any prescription not recognising this important aspect of life is bound to fail in the life-styles of human beings.
Mohammed Ali Muhiyaddin (A Comparative Study of the Religions of Today)
One simple change – replacing news and mass media with books – can produce dramatic changes in your life. No matter what your ambition in life is, you can find books that will inspire you to work on your goals.
Martin Meadows (How to Think Bigger: Aim Higher, Get More Motivated, and Accomplish Big Things)
... on the historical scale, the damages wrought by individual violence for selfish motives are insignificant compared to the holocausts resulting from self-transcending devotion to collectively shared belief-systems. It is derived from primitive identification instead of mature social integration; it entails the partial surrender of personal responsibility and produces the quasi-hypnotic phenomena of group-psychology.
Arthur Koestler (The Ghost in the Machine)
Facta! Yes, Facta ficta! - A historian has to do, not with what actually happened, but only with events supposed to have happened: for only the latter have produced an effect. Likewise only with supposed heroes. His theme, so-called world history, is opinions about supposed actions and their supposed motives, which in turn give rise to further opinions and actions, the reality of which is however at once vaporised again and produces an effect only as vapour - a continual generation and pregnancy of phantoms over the impentetrable mist of unfathomable reality. All historians speak of things which have never existed except in imagination.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality)
The recipe for becoming a good novelist, for example is easy to give but to carry it out presupposes qualities one is accustomed to overlook when one says 'I do not have enough talent'. One has only to make a hundred or so sketches for novels, none longer than two pages but of such distinctness that every word in them is necessary; one should write down anecdotes each day until one has learned how to give them the most pregnant and effective form; one should be tireless in collecting and describing human types and characters; one should above all relate things to others and listen to others relate, keeping one's eyes and ears open for the effect produced on those present, one should travel like a landscape painter or costume designer; one should excerpt for oneself out of the individual sciences everything that will produce an artistic effect when it is well described, one should, finally, reflect on the motives of human actions, disdain no signpost to instruction about them and be a collector of these things by day and night. One should continue in this many-sided exercise some ten years: what is then created in the work­shop, however, will be fit to go out into the world. - What, however, do most people do? They begin, not with the parts, but with the whole. Per­haps they chance to strike a right note, excite attention and from then on strike worse and worse notes, for good, natural reasons.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
Love of power, operating through greed and through personal ambition, was the cause of all these evils. To this must be added the violent fanaticism which came into play once the struggle had broken out. Leaders of parties in the cities had programmes which appeared admirable – on one side political equality for the masses, on the other the safe and sound government of the aristocracy – but in professing to serve the public interest they were seeking to win the prizes for themselves. In their struggles for ascendancy nothing was barred; terrible indeed were the actions to which they committed themselves, and in taking revenge they went farther still. Here they were deterred neither by the claims of justice nor by the interests of the state; their one standard was the pleasure of their own party at that particular moment, and so, either by means of condemning their enemies on an illegal vote or by violently usurping power over them, they were always ready to satisfy the hatreds of the hour. Thus neither side had any use for conscientious motives; more interest was shown in those who could produce attractive arguments to justify some disgraceful action. As for the citizens who held moderate views, they were destroyed by both the extreme parties, either for not taking part in the struggle or in envy at the possibility that they might survive.
Thucydides (The History of the Peloponnesian War)
You were born a giver, don't die a taker. You were born an earner, don't die a begger. You were born a sharer, don't die a hoader. You were born a lover, don't die a hater. You were born a builder, don't die a destroyer. You were born a creator, don't die an immitator. You were born a leader, don't die a follower. You were born a learner, don't die a teacher. You were born a doer, don't die a talker. You were born a dreamer, don't die a doubter. You were born a winner, don't die a loser. You were born an encourager, don't die a shamer. You were born a defender, don't die an aggressor. You were born a liberator, don't die an executioner. You were born a soldier, don't die a murderer. You were born an angel, don't die a monster. You were born a protecter, don't die an attacker. You were born an originator, don't die a repeater. You were born an achiever, don't die a quitter. You were born a victor, don't die a failure. You were born a conqueror, don't die a warrior. You were born a contender, don't die a joker. You were born a producer, don't die a user. You were born a motivator, don't die a discourager. You were born a master, don't die an amateur. You were born an intessessor, don't die an accusor. You were born an emancipator, don't die a backstabber. You were born a sympathizer, don't die a provoker. You were born a healer, don't die a killer. You were born a peacemaker, don't die an instigater. You were born a deliverer, don't die a collaborator. You were born a savior, don't die a plunderer. You were born a believer, don't die a sinner.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Universul ne inspaimanta prin imensitatea nesocotita a departarilor lui, prin lungimea de neconceput a perspectivelor de timp, care reduc toata istoria omenirii la durata unei clipiri din ochi, prin extrema noastra singuratate, prin neinsemnatatea materiala a locuintei noastre in spatiu-a milioana particica dintr-un bob de nisip, printre toate boabele de nisip ale tuturor tarmurilor din lume. Dar mai presus de toate ni se pare universul ingrozitor, pentru ca pare indiferent fata de orice fel de viata, la fel cu a noastra. Emotie, ambitie si succes, arta si religie, toate par deopotriva de straine planului lui. ... Pentru aceste motive mi se pare imposibil ca universul sa fi putut fi conceput la origine cu intentia de a produce viata...
Camil Petrescu (Patul lui Procust)
Every second of every day, a man is the sum effect of every second that has touched him before; he routinely encounters influences that will produce changes and actions that he cannot begin to predict or understand. And yet to acknowledge the complexity of these causes and motives was not to disallow agency. In that, all men are equal, even the cloistered monk--equally innocent, equally guilty. A man is not wholly responsible for what he becomes, but he is absolutely accountable for who he is.
John Pipkin (Woodsburner)
An emotion as such tells you nothing about reality, beyond the fact that something makes you feel something. Without a ruthlessly honest commitment to introspection—to the conceptual identification of your inner states—you will not discover what you feel, what arouses the feeling, and whether your feeling is an appropriate response to the facts of reality, or a mistaken response, or a vicious illusion produced by years of self-deception. The men who scorn or dread introspection take their inner states for granted, as an irreducible and irresistible primary, and let their emotions determine their actions. This means that they choose to act without knowing the context (reality), the causes (motives), and the consequences (goals) of their actions.
Ayn Rand (Philosophy: Who Needs It)
And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this--letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write. Books aren't just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable--but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Late in the Day: Poems 2010–2014)
To produce new works a writer will use a kind of sixth sense as well as the logical process. He’ll enjoy playing with words, and that’ll help his brain to relax and produce better ideas. His study is where he discovers order and finds hidden meanings in the words. He’ll enjoy expanding the boundaries of what is feasible, and is possibly motivated more by the writing itself than by the hard cash that is the reward for writing.
Karl Wiggins (Self-Publishing In the Eye of the Storm)
Vanderbilt University scientists had discovered chemically testable differences between psychopaths and others. One was the variance in levels of dopamine, a naturally produced chemical that contributed to a person’s motivation and pleasure. Those scientists concluded that the elevated level of dopamine was not an additional symptom to the personality abnormalities already known, but rather responsible for the personality changes.
Michael Benson (Watch Mommy Die)
Here was a stupendous possibility of achievement. If we could produce electric effects of the required quality, this whole planet and the conditions of existence on it could be transformed. The sun raises the water of the oceans and winds drive it to distant regions where it remains in a state of most delicate balance. If it were in our power to upset it when and wherever desired, this mighty life-sustaining stream could be at will controlled. We could irrigate arid deserts, create lakes and rivers and provide motive power in unlimited amounts. This would be the most efficient way of harnessing the sun to the uses of man. The consummation depended on our ability to develop electric forces of the order of those in nature.
Nikola Tesla (My Inventions)
Looking back on the fifty years since I first became aware of its flaws, the word that summarizes my feelings about Neoclassical economics today is that it is, as Marx once described the proto-Neoclassical Jean-Baptiste Say, ‘dull’ [...] Its vision of capitalism at its best is a system manifesting the harmony of equilibrium, where everyone is paid their just return (their ‘marginal product’), growth is occurring smoothly at a rate that maximizes social utility through time, and everyone is motivated by consumption – rather than accumulation and power – because, to quote Say, ‘the producers, though they have all of them the air of demanding money for their goods, do in reality demand merchandise for their merchandise’ [...] What a bland picture of the complex, changing world in which we live!
Steve Keen (The New Economics: A Manifesto)
Knowing your purpose motivates your life. Purpose always produces passion. Nothing energizes like a clear purpose. On the other hand, passion dissipates when you lack a purpose. Just getting out of bed becomes a major chore. It is usually meaningless work, not overwork, that wears us down, saps our strength, and robs our joy.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?)
Pettiness often leads both to error and to the digging of a trap for oneself. Wondering (which I am sure he didn't) 'if by the 1990s [Hitchens] was morphing into someone I didn’t quite recognize”, Blumenthal recalls with horror the night that I 'gave' a farewell party for Martin Walker of the Guardian, and then didn't attend it because I wanted to be on television instead. This is easy: Martin had asked to use the fine lobby of my building for a farewell bash, and I'd set it up. People have quite often asked me to do that. My wife did the honors after Nightline told me that I’d have to come to New York if I wanted to abuse Mother Teresa and Princess Diana on the same show. Of all the people I know, Martin Walker and Sidney Blumenthal would have been the top two in recognizing that journalism and argument come first, and that there can be no hard feelings about it. How do I know this? Well, I have known Martin since Oxford. (He produced a book on Clinton, published in America as 'The President We Deserve'. He reprinted it in London, under the title, 'The President They Deserve'. I doffed my hat to that.) While Sidney—I can barely believe I am telling you this—once also solicited an invitation to hold his book party at my home. A few days later he called me back, to tell me that Martin Peretz, owner of the New Republic, had insisted on giving the party instead. I said, fine, no bones broken; no caterers ordered as yet. 'I don't think you quite get it,' he went on, after an honorable pause. 'That means you can't come to the party at all.' I knew that about my old foe Peretz: I didn't then know I knew it about Blumenthal. I also thought that it was just within the limit of the rules. I ask you to believe that I had buried this memory until this book came out, but also to believe that I won't be slandered and won't refrain—if motives or conduct are in question—from speculating about them in my turn.
Christopher Hitchens
Owing to the shape of a bell curve, the education system is geared to the mean. Unfortunately, that kind of education is virtually calculated to bore and alienate gifted minds. But instead of making exceptions where it would do the most good, the educational bureaucracy often prefers not to be bothered. In my case, for example, much of the schooling to which I was subjected was probably worse than nothing. It consisted not of real education, but of repetition and oppressive socialization (entirely superfluous given the dose of oppression I was getting away from school). Had I been left alone, preferably with access to a good library and a minimal amount of high-quality instruction, I would at least have been free to learn without useless distractions and gratuitous indoctrination. But alas, no such luck. Let’s try to break the problem down a bit. The education system […] is committed to a warm and fuzzy but scientifically counterfactual form of egalitarianism which attributes all intellectual differences to environmental factors rather than biology, implying that the so-called 'gifted' are just pampered brats who, unless their parents can afford private schooling, should atone for their undeserved good fortune by staying behind and enriching the classroom environments of less privileged students. This approach may appear admirable, but its effects on our educational and intellectual standards, and all that depends on them, have already proven to be overwhelmingly negative. This clearly betrays an ulterior motive, suggesting that it has more to do with social engineering than education. There is an obvious difference between saying that poor students have all of the human dignity and basic rights of better students, and saying that there are no inherent educationally and socially relevant differences among students. The first statement makes sense, while the second does not. The gifted population accounts for a very large part of the world’s intellectual resources. As such, they can obviously be put to better use than smoothing the ruffled feathers of average or below-average students and their parents by decorating classroom environments which prevent the gifted from learning at their natural pace. The higher we go on the scale of intellectual brilliance – and we’re not necessarily talking just about IQ – the less support is offered by the education system, yet the more likely are conceptual syntheses and grand intellectual achievements of the kind seldom produced by any group of markedly less intelligent people. In some cases, the education system is discouraging or blocking such achievements, and thus cheating humanity of their benefits.
Christopher Michael Langan
We shouldn't let our envy of distinguished masters of the arts distract us from the wonder of how each of us gets new ideas. Perhaps we hold on to our superstitions about creativity in order to make our own deficiencies seem more excusable. For when we tell ourselves that masterful abilities are simply unexplainable, we're also comforting ourselves by saying that those superheroes come endowed with all the qualities we don't possess. Our failures are therefore no fault of our own, nor are those heroes' virtues to their credit, either. If it isn't learned, it isn't earned. When we actually meet the heroes whom our culture views as great, we don't find any singular propensities––only combinations of ingredients quite common in themselves. Most of these heroes are intensely motivated, but so are many other people. They're usually very proficient in some field--but in itself we simply call this craftmanship or expertise. They often have enough self-confidence to stand up to the scorn of peers--but in itself, we might just call that stubbornness. They surely think of things in some novel ways, but so does everyone from time to time. And as for what we call "intelligence", my view is that each person who can speak coherently already has the better part of what our heroes have. Then what makes genius appear to stand apart, if we each have most of what it takes? I suspect that genius needs one thing more: in order to accumulate outstanding qualities, one needs unusually effective ways to learn. It's not enough to learn a lot; one also has to manage what one learns. Those masters have, beneath the surface of their mastery, some special knacks of "higher-order" expertise, which help them organize and apply the things they learn. It is those hidden tricks of mental management that produce the systems that create those works of genius. Why do certain people learn so many more and better skills? These all-important differences could begin with early accidents. One child works out clever ways to arrange some blocks in rows and stacks; a second child plays at rearranging how it thinks. Everyone can praise the first child's castles and towers, but no one can see what the second child has done, and one may even get the false impression of a lack of industry. But if the second child persists in seeking better ways to learn, this can lead to silent growth in which some better ways to learn may lead to better ways to learn to learn. Then, later, we'll observe an awesome, qualitative change, with no apparent cause--and give to it some empty name like talent, aptitude, or gift.
Marvin Minsky (The Society of Mind)
The Christian up to his eyes in trouble can take comfort from the knowledge that in God’s kindly plan it all has a positive purpose, to further his sanctification. In this world, royal children have to undergo extra training and discipline which other children escape, in order to fit them for their high destiny. It is the same with the children of the King of kings. The clue to understanding all his dealings with them is to remember that throughout their lives he is training them for what awaits them, and chiseling them into the image of Christ. Sometimes the chiseling process is painful and the discipline irksome, but then the Scripture reminds us: “The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons . . . No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Heb 12:6-7,11). Only the person who has grasped this can make sense of Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to them that love God” (KJV); equally, only he can maintain his assurance of sonship against satanic assault as things go wrong. But he who has mastered the truth of adoption both retains assurance and receives blessing in the day of trouble: this is one aspect of faith’s victory over the world. Meanwhile, however, the point stands that the Christian’s primary motive for holy living is not negative, the hope (vain!) that hereby he may avoid chastening, but positive, the impulse to show his love and gratitude to his adopting God by identifying himself with the Father’s will for him.
J.I. Packer (Knowing God)
People create their worlds with the tools they have directly at hand. Faulty tools produce faulty results. Repeated use of the same faulty tools produce the same faulty results. It is in this manner that those who fail to learn from the past doom themselves to repeat it. It’s partly fate. It’s partly inability. It’s partly… unwillingness to learn? Refusal to learn? Motivated refusal to learn?
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
It’s common to associate the ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ of behaviour with the ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ of the motivations that drive it. But the nobility or ignobility of individuals’ motivations often bears no relationship, and in some cases even exhibits an inverse relationship, to the nobility or ignobility of the outcomes these motivations create. Sometimes the basest of intentions can produce the best of outcomes.
Peter T. Leeson (The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates)
Most of the crimes which disturb the internal peace of society are produced by the restraints which the necessary, but unequal, laws of property have imposed on the appetites of mankind, by confining to a few the possession of those objects that are coveted by many. Of all our passions and appetites, the love of power is of the most imperious and unsociable nature, since the pride of one man requires the submission of the multitude. In the tumult of civil discord, the laws of society lose their force, and their place is seldom supplied by those of humanity. The ardor of contention, the pride of victory, the despair of success, the memory of past injuries, and the fear of future dangers, all contribute to inflame the mind, and to silence the voice of pity. From such motives almost every page of history has been stained with civil blood....
Edward Gibbon (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume I)
Recognizing that many forms of violence are motivated by a range of intentions and hostilities, the terms racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, and homophobic and transphobic violence are used here in an effort to more accurately describe the phenomena under discussion: the terms bias or hate crime suggest that such violence is motivated entirely by prejudice (presumably irrational) and not informed by historical patterns of dominance and subordination that produce tangible political, social, and economic benefits for majority groups. Regardless of the terminology used or its targets, there is no question that such violence is abhorrent, structural, and pervasive. Where
Joey L. Mogul (Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States (Queer Ideas/Queer Action Book 5))
We now have a theory of effective collective action with decentralized authority. The theory is based on a conception of human nature as at once social, interdependent, justice-seeking, self-interested, and strategic. That conception is consistent with contemporary social science and with ancient Greek thought. The theory explains (through a mix of ideology, federalism, “altruistic” punishment, and existential threats) individual motivation to cooperate in the absence of a unitary sovereign as third-party enforcer. It provides (through information exchange) a mechanism that enables many individuals to accomplish common goals and to produce public goods without requiring orders from a master.
Josiah Ober (The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece (The Princeton History of the Ancient World Book 1))
Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance. Bestial thoughts crystallize into habits of drunkenness and sensuality, which solidify into circumstances of destitution and disease: impure thoughts of every kind crystallize into enervating and confusing habits, which solidify into distracting and adverse circumstances: thoughts of fear, doubt, and indecision crystallize into weak, unmanly, and irresolute habits, which solidify into circumstances of failure, indigence, and slavish dependence: lazy thoughts crystallize into habits of uncleanliness and dishonesty, which solidify into circumstances of foulness and beggary: hateful and condemnatory thoughts crystallize into habits of accusation and violence, which solidify into circumstances of injury and persecution: selfish thoughts of all kinds crystallize into habits of self-seeking, which solidify into circumstances more or less distressing. On the other hand, beautiful thoughts of all kinds crystallize into habits of grace and kindliness, which solidify into genial and sunny circumstances: pure thoughts crystallize into habits of temperance and self-control, which solidify into circumstances of repose and peace: thoughts of courage, self-reliance, and decision crystallize into manly habits, which solidify into circumstances of success, plenty, and freedom: energetic thoughts crystallize into habits of cleanliness and industry, which solidify into circumstances of pleasantness: gentle and forgiving thoughts crystallize into habits of gentleness, which solidify into protective and preservative circumstances: loving and unselfish thoughts crystallize into habits of self-forgetfulness for others, which solidify into circumstances of sure and abiding prosperity and true riches. A particular train of thought persisted in, be it good or bad, cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances. A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.
James Allen (As a Man Thinketh)
Givers are worth more than takers. Earners are worth more than beggars. Sharers are worth more than hoarders. Lovers are worth more than haters. Builders are worth more than destroyers. Creators are worth more than imitators. Leaders are worth more than followers. Learners are worth more than teachers. Doers are worth more than talkers. Dreamers are worth more than doubters. Winners are worth more than losers. Encouragers are worth more than detractors. Defenders are worth more than aggressors. Liberators are worth more than jailers. Soldiers are worth more than murderers. Angels are worth more than monsters. Protectors are worth more than attackers. Originators are worth more than copiers. Achievers are worth more than quitters. Victors are worth more than failures. Conquerors are worth more than warriors. Contenders are worth more than spectators. Producers are worth more than users. Motivators are worth more than discouragers. Masters are worth more than amateurs. Intercessors are worth more than accusers. Emancipators are worth more than backstabbers. Sympathizers are worth more than provokers. Healers are worth more than killers. Peacemakers are worth more than instigators. Deliverers are worth more than collaborators. Saviors are worth more than invaders. Believers are worth more than sinners.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Nature is infinitely rich and diverse in her ways. She can be seen to break her most unchanging laws. She has made self-interest the motive of all human action, but in the great host of men she produces ones who are strangely constituted, in whom selfishness is scarcely perceptible because they do not place their affections in themselves. Some are passionate about the sciences, others about the public good. They are as attached to the discoveries of others as if they themselves had made them, or to the institutions of public welfare and the state as if they derived benefit from them. This habit of not thinking of themselves influences the whole course of their lives. They don't know how to use other men for their profit. Fortune offers them opportunities which they do not think of taking up. In nearly all men the self is almost never inactive. You will detect their self-interest in nearly all the advice they give you, in the services they do for you, in the contacts they make, in the friendships they form. They are deeply attached to the things which affect their interests however remotely, and are indifferent to all others. When they encounter a man who is indifferent to personal interest they cannot understand him. They suspect him of hidden motives, of affectation, or of insanity. They cast him from their bosom, revile him.
Jan Potocki (The Manuscript Found in Saragossa)
If the sleep disruption is repeated night after night, the actual measured impairments do not remain constant. Instead, there is an escalating accumulation of sleepiness that produces in adults continuing increases in headaches, gastrointestinal complaints, forgetfulness, reduced concentration, fatigue, emotional ups and downs, difficulty in staying awake during the daytime, irritability, and difficulty awakening. Not only do the adults describe themselves as more sleepy and mentally exhausted, they also feel more stressed. The stress may be a direct consequence of partial sleep deprivation or it may result from the challenge of coping with increasing amounts of daytime sleepiness. Think how hard it would be to concentrate or be motivated if you were struggling every day to stay awake. If children have
Marc Weissbluth (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child)
The fact is that moving matter about, while a certain amount of it is necessary to our existence, is emphatically not one of the ends of human life. If it were, we should have to consider every navvy superior to Shakespeare. We have been misled in this matter by two causes. One is the necessity of keeping the poor contented, which has led the rich, for thousands of years, to preach the dignity of labor, while taking care themselves to remain undignified in this respect. The other is the new pleasure in mechanism, which makes us delight in the astonishingly clever changes that we can produce on the earth's surface. Neither of these motives makes any great appeal to the actual worker. If you ask him what he thinks the best part of his life, he is not likely to say: "I enjoy manual work because it makes me feel that I am fulfilling man's noblest task, and because I like to think how much man can transform his planet. It is true that my body demands periods of rest, which I have to fill in as best I may, but I am never so happy as when the morning comes and I can return to the toil from which my contentment springs.
Bertrand Russell (In Praise of Idleness)
Reasoning systematically, Marx was one of the few socialists to understand that economic competition, motivated by "greed," was what drove prices down under capitalism, as capitalists ceaselessly searched for more profits by seeking cheaper ways of producing than those possessed by their fellow capitalist rivals. Mutual competition ensured that capitalists were in no position simply to tack higher profits onto production costs. Therefore, as production costs were driven down throughout an industry, prices tended to be driven down as well, to the benefit of the consuming public.
Thomas Sowell (Marxism: Philosophy and Economics)
Yet many creative spirits have found inspiration in the idea that the Creator might be, among other things, an artist whose esthetic motivations we can appreciate and share-or even, in daring speculation, that the Creator is primarily a creative artist. Such spirits have engaged our Question, in varied and evolving forms, across many centuries. Thus inspired, they have produced deep philosophy, great science, compelling literature, and striking imagery. Some have produced works that combine several, or all, of those features. These works are a vein of gold running back through our civilization.
Frank Wilczek (A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design)
When you’ve invested a lot of time in being accessible and keeping up with what’s happening, it’s easy to conclude that it all has a certain value, even if what you have done might not be important. This is called rationalization. The New York Review of Books labeled the battle between producers of apps “the new opium wars,” and the paper claims that “marketers have adopted addiction as an explicit commercial strategy.” The only difference is that the pushers aren’t peddling a product that can be smoked in a pipe, but rather is ingested via sugar-coated apps. In a way, silence is the opposition to all of this. It’s about getting inside what you are doing. Experiencing rather than overthinking. Allowing each moment to be big enough. Not living through other people and other things. Shutting out the world and fashioning your own silence whenever you run, cook food, have sex, study, chat, work, think of a new idea, read or dance.
Erling Kagge (Stillhet i støyens tid. Gleden ved å stenge verden ute)
Although the ideal of celibacy was always put forward as a matter of high spirituality, the controlling motive for this purging of marriage from the priesthood [with the First Lateran Council, 1123] was economic. Through networks of monasteries and feudal fiefdoms, the Church was the largest landowner in Christendom — the territory described today as Western Europe. Celibate clergy, with no households to support, would lack the essential drive to accumulate wealth for themselves; nor would they produce legitimate heirs to lodge competing claims to the vast estates and treasures the medieval church was hell-bent on protecting and expanding.
James Carroll (The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul)
All the great biographies of the Bible involve suffering. The great souls grown in the Lord’s vineyard all know what it is to suffer. American Christianity, on the other hand, is conditioned to avoid suffering at all cost. But what a cost it is! Grape juice Christianity is what is produced by the purveyors of the motivational-seminar, you-can-have-it-all, success-in-life, pop-psychology Christianity. It’s a children’s drink. It comes with a straw and is served in a little cardboard box. I don’t want to drink that anymore. I don’t want to serve that anymore. I want the vintage wine. The kind of faith marked by mystery, grace, and authenticity.
Brian Zahnd (Water To Wine: Some of My Story)
As Christians we face two tasks in our evangelism: saving the soul and saving the mind, that is to say, not only converting people spiritually, but converting them intellectually as well. And the Church is lagging dangerously behind with regard to this second task. If the church loses the intellectual battle in one generation, then evangelism will become immeasurably more difficult in the next. The war is not yet lost, and it is one which we must not lose: souls of men and women hang in the balance. For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ Himself, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence. Thinking about your faith is indeed a virtue, for it helps you to better understand and defend your faith. But thinking about your faith is not equivalent to doubting your faith. Doubt is never a purely intellectual problem. There is a spiritual dimension to the problem that must be recognized. Never lose sight of the fact that you are involved in spiritual warfare and there is an enemy of your soul who hates you intensely, whose goal is your destruction, and who will stop at nothing to destroy you. Reason can be used to defend our faith by formulating arguments for the existence of God or by refuting objections. But though the arguments so developed serve to confirm the truth of our faith, they are not properly the basis of our faith, for that is supplied by the witness of the Holy Spirit Himself. Even if there were no arguments in defense of the faith, our faith would still have its firm foundation. The more I learn, the more desperately ignorant I feel. Further study only serves to open up to one's consciousness all the endless vistas of knowledge, even in one's own field, about which one knows absolutely nothing. Don't let your doubts just sit there: pursue them and keep after them until you drive them into the ground. We should be cautious, indeed, about thinking that we have come upon the decisive disproof of our faith. It is pretty unlikely that we have found the irrefutable objection. The history of philosophy is littered with the wrecks of such objections. Given the confidence that the Holy Spirit inspires, we should esteem lightly the arguments and objections that generate our doubts. These, then, are some of the obstacles to answered prayer: sin in our lives, wrong motives, lack of faith, lack of earnestness, lack of perseverance, lack of accordance with God’s will. If any of those obstacles hinders our prayers, then we cannot claim with confidence Jesus’ promise, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it”. And so I was led to what was for me a radical new insight into the will of God, namely, that God’s will for our lives can include failure. In other words, God’s will may be that you fail, and He may lead you into failure! For there are things that God has to teach you through failure that He could never teach you through success. So many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, is and always will be the true priority for every human being — that is, learning to know God in Christ. My greatest fear is that I should some day stand before the Lord and see all my works go up in smoke like so much “wood, hay, and stubble”. The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God. People tend naturally to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this life. God’s role is to provide a comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view, this is false. We are not God’s pets, and the goal of human life is not happiness per se, but the knowledge of God—which in the end will bring true and everlasting human fulfilment. Many evils occur in life which may be utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness; but they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper knowledge of God.
William Lane Craig (Hard Questions, Real Answers)
The actual consumers of knowledge are the children—who can’t pay, can’t vote, can’t sit on the committees. Their parents care for them, but don’t sit in the classes themselves; they can only hold politicians responsible according to surface images of “tough on education.” Politicians are too busy being re-elected to study all the data themselves; they have to rely on surface images of bureaucrats being busy and commissioning studies—it may not work to help any children, but it works to let politicians appear caring. Bureaucrats don’t expect to use textbooks themselves, so they don’t care if the textbooks are hideous to read, so long as the process by which they are purchased looks good on the surface. The textbook publishers have no motive to produce bad textbooks, but they know that the textbook purchasing committee will be comparing textbooks based on how many different subjects they cover, and that the fourth-grade purchasing committee isn’t coordinated with the third-grade purchasing committee, so they cram as many subjects into one textbook as possible. Teachers won’t get through a fourth of the textbook before the end of the year, and then the next year’s teacher will start over. Teachers might complain, but they aren’t the decision-makers, and ultimately, it’s not their future on the line, which puts sharp bounds on how much effort they’ll spend on unpaid altruism . . .
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Rationality: From AI to Zombies)
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment. Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units. There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention. Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing. The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure. Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well. If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship. Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability. Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship. Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships. The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance. You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work. Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus? When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)
We became the most successful advanced projects company in the world by hiring talented people, paying them top dollar, and motivating them into believing that they could produce a Mach 3 airplane like the Blackbird a generation or two ahead of anybody else. Our design engineers had the keen experience to conceive the whole airplane in their mind’s-eye, doing the trade-offs in their heads between aerodynamic needs and weapons requirements. We created a practical and open work environment for engineers and shop workers, forcing the guys behind the drawing boards onto the shop floor to see how their ideas were being translated into actual parts and to make any necessary changes on the spot. We made every shop worker who designed or handled a part responsible for quality control. Any worker—not just a supervisor or a manager—could send back a part that didn’t meet his or her standards. That way we reduced rework and scrap waste. We encouraged our people to work imaginatively, to improvise and try unconventional approaches to problem solving, and then got out of their way. By applying the most commonsense methods to develop new technologies, we saved tremendous amounts of time and money, while operating in an atmosphere of trust and cooperation both with our government customers and between our white-collar and blue-collar employees. In the end, Lockheed’s Skunk Works demonstrated the awesome capabilities of American inventiveness when free to operate under near ideal working conditions. That may be our most enduring legacy as well as our source of lasting pride.
Ben R. Rich (Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed)
Buddha is the only prophet who said, "I do not care to know your various theories about God. What is the use of discussing all the subtle doctrines about the soul? Do good and be good. And this will take you to freedom and to whatever truth there is." He was, in the conduct of his life, absolutely without personal motives; and what man worked more than he? Show me in history one character who has soared so high above all. The whole human race has produced but one such character, such high philosophy, such wide sympathy. This great philosopher, preaching the highest philosophy, yet had the deepest sympathy for the lowest of animals, and never put forth any claims for himself. He is the ideal Karma-Yogi, acting entirely without motive, and the history of humanity shows him to have been the greatest man ever born; beyond compare the greatest combination of heart and brain that ever existed, the greatest soul-power that has even been manifested. He is the first great reformer the world has seen. He was the first who dared to say, "Believe not because some old manuscripts are produced, believe not because it is your national belief, because you have been made to believe it from your childhood; but reason it all out, and after you have analysed it, then, if you find that it will do good to one and all, believe it, live up to it, and help others to live up to it." He works best who works without any motive, neither for money, nor for fame, nor for anything else; and when a man can do that, he will be a Buddha, and out of him will come the power to work in such a manner as will transform the world. This man represents the very highest ideal of Karma-Yoga.
Swami Vivekananda (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda)
The Crowd Follower: I don’t believe it? The Risk Taker: What exactly you don’t believe? The completion of the project or the process of completion. The Crowd Follower: I don’t believe this can be done this way. No one ever thought of such method, it is beyond my belief. The Risk Taker: Exactly! Your belief was in the failure, you believed its impossible, & when the work progressed, you started questioning the process? The Crowd Follower: I need to know how they made it possible? The Risk Taker: It’s very simple, unlike you. They started with a clean thought process & a missing ingredient, you know what was missing? The belief that it is impossible. They believed it’s possible, & they kept trying & improvising during the process. The absence of a dis-belief resulted in a new method. They discussed the set-backs/failures in a positive manner on making it more effective, and not to declare the project as failure & stop work. It’s the thought process which provides a positive or negative result, when you start negatively you are already working towards proving your point that it’s impossible, didn’t I tell you so? However positive thoughts generates a positive energy that produces improvisation & innovation required to succeed
Shahenshah Hafeez Khan
The Sumerians considered themselves destined to “clothe and feed” such gods, because they viewed themselves as the servants, in a sense, of what we would call instinctive forces, “elicited” by the “environment.” Such forces can be reasonably regarded as the Sumerians regarded them—as deities inhabiting a “supracelestial place,” extant prior to the dawn of humanity. Erotic attraction, for example—a powerful god—has a developmental history that predates the emergence of humanity, is associated with relatively “innate” releasing “stimuli” (those that characterize erotic beauty), is of terrible power, and has an existence “transcending” that of any individual who is currently “possessed.” Pan, the Greek god of nature, produced/represented fear (produced “panic”); Ares or the Roman Mars, warlike fury and aggression. We no longer personify such “instincts,” except for the purposes of literary embellishment, so we don't think of them “existing” in a “place” (like heaven, for example). But the idea that such instincts inhabit a space—and that wars occur in that space—is a metaphor of exceeding power and explanatory utility. Transpersonal motive forces do wage war with one another over vast spans of time; are each forced to come to terms with their powerful “opponents” in the intrapsychic hierarchy. The battles between the different “ways of life” (or different philosophies) that eternally characterize human societies can usefully be visualized as combat undertaken by different standards of value (and, therefore, by different hierarchies of motivation). The “forces” involved in such wars do not die, as they are “immortal”: the human beings acting as “pawns of the gods” during such times are not so fortunate.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
ONE OF THE main differences between standard and behavioral economics involves this concept of “free lunches.” According to the assumptions of standard economics, all human decisions are rational and informed, motivated by an accurate concept of the worth of all goods and services and the amount of happiness (utility) all decisions are likely to produce. Under this set of assumptions, everyone in the marketplace is trying to maximize profit and striving to optimize his experiences. As a consequence, economic theory asserts that there are no free lunches—if there were any, someone would have already found them and extracted all their value. Behavioral economists, on the other hand, believe that people are susceptible to irrelevant influences from their immediate environment (which we call context effects), irrelevant emotions, shortsightedness, and other forms of irrationality (see any chapter in this book or any research paper in behavioral economics for more examples). What good news can accompany this realization? The good news is that these mistakes also provide opportunities for improvement. If we all make systematic mistakes in our decisions, then why not develop new strategies, tools, and methods to help us make better decisions and improve our overall well-being? That’s exactly the meaning of free lunches from the perspective of behavioral economics—the idea that there are tools, methods, and policies that can help all of us make better decisions and as a consequence achieve what we desire.
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions)
But even if men wanted to read the truth about their condition, women would still be the decisive factor. Though both men and women read, women are in addition the big consumers. Since women do most of the buying, most advertising campaigns are aimed directly or indirectly at them. Since most Western papers are financed largely through advertising, they cannot risk displeasing women by their editorial content; the day on which they do so, they would hear from their advertisers in no uncertain terms. Men would not stand a chance, even if they wanted to publish independent opinions about women, of being published in any medium addressing both sexes, as the great majority do. The same is true of television, financed as it is in most Western countries by advertisers, promoters, publicity aimed at consumers. Here too the editorial content must pass female censorship. It is not pre-censored, of course, but subject to a censorship which functions on the principle that the producer is done for if the product does not sell. The producer is therefore motivated to avoid catastrophe by censoring himself.
Esther Vilar (The Polygamous Sex)
Language reflects the monopoly of the industrial mode of production over perception and motivation. The tongues of industrial nations identify the fruits of creative work and of human labor with the outputs of industry. The materialization of consciousness is reflected in Western languages. Schools operate by the slogan "education!" while ordinary language asks what children "learn." The functional shift from verb to noun highlights the corresponding impoverishment of the social imagination. People who speak a nominalist language habitually express proprietary relationships to work which they have. All over Latin America only the salaried employees, whether workers or bureaucrats, say that they have work; peasants say that they do it: "Van a trabajar, pero no tienen trabajo." Those who have been modernized and unionized expect industries to produce not only more goods but also more work for more people. Not only what men do but also what men want is designated by a noun. "Housing" designates a commodity rather than an activity. People acquire knowledge, mobility, even sensitivity or health. They have not only work or fun but even sex.
Ivan Illich (Tools for Conviviality)
Thank you Neil, and to the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks from the heart. My family, my agent, editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as mine, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice at accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who were excluded from literature for so long, my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction—writers of the imagination, who for the last 50 years watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists. I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality. Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between the production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximize corporate profit and advertising revenue is not quite the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship. (Thank you, brave applauders.) Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial; I see my own publishers in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an ebook six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience and writers threatened by corporate fatwa, and I see a lot of us, the producers who write the books, and make the books, accepting this. Letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish and what to write. (Well, I love you too, darling.) Books, you know, they’re not just commodities. The profit motive often is in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art—the art of words. I have had a long career and a good one. In good company. Now here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want—and should demand—our fair share of the proceeds. But the name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom. Thank you.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Our plan? We put into practice that noble historical precept: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Everybody in the factory, from charwomen to president, received the same salary—the barest minimum necessary. Twice a year, we all gathered in a mass meeting, where every person presented his claim for what he believed to be his needs. We voted on every claim, and the will of the majority established every person’s need and every person’s ability. The income of the factory was distributed accordingly. Rewards were based on need, and the penalties on ability. Those whose needs were voted to be the greatest, received the most. Those who had not produced as much as the vote said they could, were fined and had to pay the fines by working overtime without pay. That was our plan. It was based on the principle of selflessness. It required men to be motivated, not by personal gain, but by love for their brothers.” Dagny heard a cold, implacable voice saying somewhere within her: Remember it—remember it well—it is not often that one can see pure evil—look at it—remember—and some day you’ll find the words to name its essence. . . . She heard it through the screaming of other voices that cried in helpless violence: It’s nothing—I’ve heard it before—I’m hearing it everywhere—it’s nothing but the same old tripe—why can’t I stand it?—I can’t stand it—I can’t stand it! “What’s
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
[God] tells the woman that she will now bring forth children in sorrow, and desire an unworthy, sometimes resentful man, who will in consequence lord her biological fate over her, permanently. What might this mean? It could just mean that God is a patriarchal tyrant, as politically motivated interpretations of the ancient story insist. I think it’s—merely descriptive. Merely. And here is why: As human beings evolved, the brains that eventually gave rise to self-consciousness expanded tremendously. This produced an evolutionary arms race between fetal head and female pelvis.56 The female graciously widened her hips, almost to the point where running would no longer be possible. The baby, for his part, allowed himself to be born more than a year early, compared to other mammals of his size, and evolved a semi-collapsible head.57 This was and is a painful adjustment for both. The essentially fetal baby is almost completely dependent on his mother for everything during that first year. The programmability of his massive brain means that he must be trained until he is eighteen (or thirty) before being pushed out of the nest. This is to say nothing of the woman’s consequential pain in childbirth, and high risk of death for mother and infant alike. This all means that women pay a high price for pregnancy and child-rearing, particularly in the early stages, and that one of the inevitable consequences is increased dependence upon the sometimes unreliable and always problematic good graces of men.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
It truly is a team sport, and we have the best team in town. But it’s my relationship with Ilana that I cherish most. We have such a strong partnership and have learned how we work most efficiently: I need coffee, she needs tea. When we’re stressed, I pace around and use a weird neck massager I bought online that everyone makes fun of me for, and she knits. When we’re writing together she types, because she’s faster and better at grammar. We actually FaceTime when we’re not in the same city and are constantly texting each other ideas for jokes or observations to potentially use (I recently texted her from Asheville: girl with flip-flops tucked into one strap of tank top). Looking back now at over ten years of doing comedy and running a business with her I can see how our collaboration has expanded and contracted. But it’s the problem-solving aspect of this industry, the producing, the strategy, the realizing that we could put our heads together and figure out the best solution, that has made our relationship and friendship what it is. Because that spills into everything. We both have individual careers now, but those other projects have only been motivating and inspiring to each other and the show. We bring back what we’ve learned on the other sets, in the other negotiations, in the other writers’ rooms or press situations. I’m very lucky to have jumped into this with Ilana Rose Glazer, the ballsy, curly-haired, openhearted, nineteen-year-old girl that cracked me up that night at the corner of the bar at McManus. So many wonderful things have happened since we began working together, but there are a lot of confusing, life-altering things in there too, and it’s such a relief to have someone who completely understands the good and the bad.
Abbi Jacobson (I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff)
From *the form of time and of the single dimension* of the series of representations, on account of which the intellect, in order to take up one thing, must drop everything else, there follows not only the intellect’s distraction, but also its *forgetfulness*. Most of what it has dropped it never takes up again, especially as the taking up again is bound to the principle of sufficient reason, and thus requires an occasion which the association of ideas and motivation have first to provide. Yet this occasion may be the remoter and the smaller, the more our susceptibility to it is enhanced by interest in the subject. But, as I have already shown in the essay *On the Principle of Sufficient Reason*, memory is not a receptacle, but a mere faculty, acquired by practice, of bringing forth any representations at random, so that these have always to be kept in practice by repetition, otherwise they are gradually lost. Accordingly, the knowledge even of the scholarly head exists only *virtualiter* as an acquired practice in producing certain representations. *Actualiter*, on the other hand, it is restricted to one particular representation, and for the moment is conscious of this one alone. Hence there results a strange contrast between what a man knows *potentia* and what he knows *actu*, in other words, between his knowledge and his thinking at any moment. The former is an immense and always somewhat chaotic mass, the latter a single, distinct thought. The relation is like that between the innumerable stars of the heavens and the telescope’s narrow field of vision; it stands out remarkably when, on some occasion, a man wishes to bring to distinct recollection some isolated fact from his knowledge, and time and trouble are required to look for it and pick it out of that chaos. Rapidity in doing this is a special gift, but depends very much on the day and the hour; therefore sometimes memory refuses its service, even in things which, at another time, it has ready at hand. This consideration requires us in our studies to strive after the attainment of correct insight rather than an increase of learning, and to take to heart the fact that the *quality* of knowledge is more important than its quantity. Quantity gives books only thickness; quality imparts thoroughness as well as style; for it is an *intensive* dimension, whereas the other is merely extensive. It consists in the distinctness and completeness of the concepts, together with the purity and accuracy of the knowledge of perception that forms their foundation. Therefore the whole of knowledge in all its parts is permeated by it, and is valuable or troubling accordingly. With a small quantity but good quality of knowledge we achieve more than with a very great quantity but bad quality." —from_The World as Will and Representation_. Translated from the German by E. F. J. Payne in two volumes: volume II, pp. 139-141
Arthur Schopenhauer
Diagnozele clinice sunt importante, întrucât oferă o oarecare orientare, dar ele nu-l ajută cu nimic pe pacient. Punctul decisiv este problema “poveștii” pacientului; căci ea dezvăluie fundalul uman și suferința umană și numai atunci poate începe terapia medicului. Am văzut asta clar și într-un alt caz. Era vorba despre o pacientă bătrână de la secția de femei, în vârstă de șaptezeci și cinci de ani. Venise la spital cu aproape cincizeci de ani în urmă, dar nimeni nu-și mai amintea de momentul internării ei; toți muriseră între timp. Doar o soră-șefă, care lucra în această instituție de treizeci și cinci de ani, mai știa câte ceva din povestea ei. Bătrâna nu mai putea vorbi și nu putea consuma decât hrană lichidă sau semilichidă. Își ducea hrana la gură numai cu ajutorul degetelor. Uneori îi lua aproape două ore pentru o cană de lapte. Dacă nu era ocupată cu mâncarea, făcea niște mișcări ciudate, ritmice, cu mâinile și brațele, cărora nu le înțelegeam natura și sensul. Eram profund impresionat de gradul distrugerii pe care-l poate produce o boală mintală, dar nu găseam nici o explicație. În conferințele clinice era prezentată ca o formă catatonică de demență precoce, ceea ce nu-mi spunea nimic, căci nu mă lămurea absolut deloc în legătură cu semnificația și originea mișcărilor ei ciudate. Impresia lăsată de acest caz asupra mea caracterizează reacția mea la psihiatria de atunci. Când am ajuns medic, am avut senzația că nu pricepeam nimic din ceea ce pretindea psihiatria că este. Mă simțeam extrem de jenat față de șeful meu și de colegii care afișau atâta siguranță, în timp ce eu orbecăiam nedumerit prin întuneric. Consideram că misiunea principală a psihiatriei este cunoașterea lucrurilor care se petrec în interiorul spiritului bolnav, iar despre aceasta nu știam încă nimic. Eram antrenat deci într-o meserie în care nu mă orientam deloc! Într-o seară, târziu, m-am dus prin secție, am văzut-o pe bătrâna cu mișcările ei enigmatice și m-am întrebat din nou: de ce o fi așa? Care o fi explicația? M-am dus la bătrâna noastră soră-șefă și m-am interesat dacă pacienta fusese dintotdeauna astfel. – Da, mi-a răspuns, dar sora dinaintea mea îmi povestea că pe vremuri bolnava confecționa pantofi. Apoi i-am studiat încă o dată vechea poveste; scria despre ea că ar fi avut niște gesturi de parcă ar fi făcut cizmărie. Odinioară, cizmarii țineau pantofii între genunchi și trăgeau firele prin piele cu niște mișcări foarte asemănătoare. (La cizmarii de la sate se mai poate vedea și astăzi.) Pacienta a murit curând și fratele ei mai mare a venit pentru înmormântare. – De ce s-a îmbolnăvit sora dumneavoastră? l-am întrebat. Mi-a povestit că sora lui iubise un cizmar, care însă nu voise să se însoare cu ea dintr-un oarecare motiv și atunci ea “o luase razna”. Mișcările de cizmar arătau identificarea ei cu omul iubit, care a durat până la moarte.
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
The world can be validly construed as a forum for action, as well as a place of things. We describe the world as a place of things, using the formal methods of science. The techniques of narrative, however – myth, literature, and drama – portray the world as a forum for action. The two forms of representation have been unnecessarily set at odds, because we have not yet formed a clear picture of their respective domains. The domain of the former is the 'objective world' – what is, from the perspective of intersubjective perception. The domain of the latter is 'the world of value' – what is and what should be, from the perspective of emotion and action. The world as forum for action is 'composed,' essentially, of three constituent elements, which tend to manifest themselves in typical patterns of metaphoric representation. First is unexplored territory – the Great Mother, nature, creative and destructive, source and final resting place of all determinate things. Second is explored territory – the Great Father, culture, protective and tyrannical, cumulative ancestral wisdom. Third is the process that mediates between unexplored and explored territory – the Divine Son, the archetypal individual, creative exploratory 'Word' and vengeful adversary. We are adapted to this 'world of divine characters,' much as the 'objective world.' The fact of this adaptation implies that the environment is in 'reality' a forum for action, as well as a place of things. Unprotected exposure to unexplored territory produces fear. The individual is protected from such fear as a consequence of 'ritual imitation of the Great Father' – as a consequence of the adoption of group identity, which restricts the meaning of things, and confers predictability on social interactions. When identification with the group is made absolute, however – when everything has to be controlled, when the unknown is no longer allowed to exist – the creative exploratory process that updates the group can no longer manifest itself. This 'restriction of adaptive capacity' dramatically increases the probability of social aggression and chaos. Rejection of the unknown is tantamount to 'identification with the devil,' the mythological counterpart and eternal adversary of the world-creating exploratory hero. Such rejection and identification is a consequence of Luciferian pride, which states: all that I know is all that is necessary to know. This pride is totalitarian assumption of omniscience – is adoption of 'God’s place' by 'reason' – is something that inevitably generates a state of personal and social being indistinguishable from hell. This hell develops because creative exploration – impossible, without (humble) acknowledgment of the unknown – constitutes the process that constructs and maintains the protective adaptive structure that gives life much of its acceptable meaning. 'Identification with the devil' amplifies the dangers inherent in group identification, which tends of its own accord towards pathological stultification. Loyalty to personal interest – subjective meaning – can serve as an antidote to the overwhelming temptation constantly posed by the possibility of denying anomaly. Personal interest – subjective meaning – reveals itself at the juncture of explored and unexplored territory, and is indicative of participation in the process that ensures continued healthy individual and societal adaptation. Loyalty to personal interest is equivalent to identification with the archetypal hero – the 'savior' – who upholds his association with the creative 'Word' in the face of death, and in spite of group pressure to conform. Identification with the hero serves to decrease the unbearable motivational valence of the unknown; furthermore, provides the individual with a standpoint that simultaneously transcends and maintains the group.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)