Requisite Quotes

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You lack the requisite spine and testicular fortitude to study under me.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.
George Washington
Fearlessness is the first requisite of spirituality. Cowards can never be moral.
Mahatma Gandhi
Lucky Charms?” I asked. “Magically delicious,” he explained. “Requisite for any sort of building project.” I shook my head, still amazed at how he had managed to weasel his way over here. “This isn’t a date.” He cut me a scandalized look. "Obviously. I’d bring Count Chocula for that.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1))
To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity.
Oscar Wilde
After the bare requisites to living and reproducing, man wants most to leave some record of himself, a proof, perhaps, that he has really existed. He leaves his proof on wood, on stone or on the lives of other people. This deep desire exists in everyone, from the boy who writes dirty words in a public toilet to the Buddha who etches his image in the race mind. Life is so unreal. I think that we seriously doubt that we exist and go about trying to prove that we do.
John Steinbeck (The Pastures of Heaven)
The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.
Thomas A. Edison
If freedom is a requisite for human happiness, then all that’s necessary is to provide the illusion of freedom.
B. F. Skinner
It is vain to fight totalitarianism by adopting totalitarian methods. Freedom can only be won by men unconditionally committed to the principles of freedom. The first requisite for a better social order is the return to unrestricted freedom of thought and speech.
Ludwig von Mises (Omnipotent Government)
For it is not requisite that a woman should hobble faster than she has strength!
Marjorie Pay Hinckley (Small and Simple Things)
No matter how mad, bad, and dangerous to know a civilization gets, unto every generation are born the lonely and the uncool, destined to forever stare into the candy-store window of their culture, and loneliness is the mother of ascension. Only the uncool have the requisite alone time to advance their species.
Catherynne M. Valente (Space Opera (Space Opera, #1))
Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man.
John Eldredge (Wild at Heart Revised and Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul)
A third...candidate for Shakespearean authorship was Christopher Marlowe. He was the right age (just two months older than Shakespeare), had the requisite talent, and would certainly have had ample leisure after 1593, assuming he wasn't too dead to work.
Bill Bryson (Shakespeare: The World as Stage)
Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings
Samuel Johnson
One of the requisites of sanity is to disagree with the majority of the British public.
Oscar Wilde
I have lost my friends," D'Artagnan said ruefully, burying his head in his hands. "I have nothing left but the bitterest of recollections..." Two large tears rolled down his cheeks. "You are young," Athos answered. "Your bitter recollections have the time requisite to change into the happiest of memories.
Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers)
Every cultivated man is a theologian, and faith is not a requisite.
Jorge Luis Borges (Other Inquisitions, 1937-1952)
I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty. I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master. I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living. I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs. I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order. I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man's word should be as good as his bond, that character—not wealth or power or position—is of supreme worth. I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free. I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual's highest fulfillment, greatest happiness and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will. I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.
John D. Rockefeller
...Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers... for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality... But I had gradually come by this time, i.e., 1836 to 1839, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow at sign, &c., &c., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian. ...By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, (and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become), that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost uncomprehensible by us, that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitnesses; by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me. Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can be hardly denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories. But I was very unwilling to give up my belief... Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.
Charles Darwin (The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82)
I don’t know. ‘Errorgant,’ perhaps.” Jasnah raised a skeptical eyebrow. “It means to be twice as certain as someone who is merely arrogant,” Shallan said, “while possessing only one-tenth the requisite facts.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with Himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits. (King Follett Discourse)
Joseph Smith Jr.
You battled monsters. You sweat and cried your way to this one prolific moment where you finally realize that those dark days and sleepless nights were pre-requisites to your becoming.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT Work at it, if necessary, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now. The old proverb is full of truth and meaning, "Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well." Many a man acquires a fortune by doing his business thoroughly, while his neighbor remains poor for life, because he only half does it. Ambition, energy, industry, perseverance, are indispensable requisites for success in business. Fortune always favors the brave, and never helps a man who does not help himself.
P.T. Barnum (The Art of Money Getting: Golden Rules for Making Money)
For to be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite is rightly to apply it.
René Descartes (Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy)
I will love you. Without requisite or deadline, I will love you.
blujamas, thcscus (blujamas) (passerine)
Plus, once he did the requisite double-take and recognized me, he’d probably beat the crap out of any guy who looked at me in all my Snow White meets Frederick’s of Hollywood glory.
Katja Millay (The Sea of Tranquility)
There were two types of survivors in life: those, like her, who found the requisite strength in having once been loved with great intensity; and those who, having not been loved, learned to thrive on hatred, suspicion, and the meager rewards of revenge.
Dean Koontz (Lightning)
For to be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite is rightly to apply it. The greatest minds, as they are capable of the highest excellence, are open likewise to the greatest aberrations; and those who travel very slowly may yet make far greater progress, provided they keep always to the straight road, than those who, while they run, forsake it.
René Descartes (Discourse on Method)
You don’t want to lose the foreign feel of a book entirely, but for me the prime requisite is to get it sounding good in English. If it sounds clumsy, readers will pounce on it of course.
Anthea Bell
There are, after all, atheists who say they wish the fable were true but are unable to suspend the requisite disbelief, or who have relinquished belief only with regret. To this I reply: who wishes that there was a permanent, unalterable celestial despotism that subjected us to continual surveillance and could convict us of thought-crime, and who regarded us as its private property even after we died? How happy we ought to be, at the reflection that there exists not a shred of respectable evidence to support such a horrible hypothesis.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
The nails from a suicide's coffin, and the skull of the parricide, were of course no trouble; for Vesquit never traveled without these household requisites.
Aleister Crowley (Moonchild)
He thought and suffered a good deal but he lacked the resolution to dare--the first requisite of a practitioner.
Lawrence Durrell (Justine (The Alexandria Quartet, #1))
He [Omar Khayyam] is an atheist, but knows how to interpret in orthodox style the most difficult passages of the Koran; for every educated man is a theologian and faith is not a requisite.
Jorge Luis Borges (Selected Non-Fictions)
[...] the diversity of our opinions, consequently, does not arise from some being endowed with a larger share of reason than others, but solely from this, that we conduct our thoughts along different ways, and do not fix our attention on the same objects. For to be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite is rightly to apply it. The greatest minds, as they are capable of the highest excellences, are open likewise to the greatest aberrations; and those who travel very slowly may yet make far greater progress, provided they keep always to the straight road, than those who, while they run, forsake it.
René Descartes (Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy)
Everybody allows that to know any other science you must have first studied it, and that you can only claim to express a judgment upon it in virtue of such knowledge. Everybody allows that to make a shoe you must have learned and practised the craft of the shoemaker, though every man has a model in his own foot, and possesses in his hands the natural endowments for the operations required. For philosophy alone, it seems to be imagined, such study, care, and application are not in the least requisite
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Friedrich Nietzsche, who famously gave us the ‘God is dead’ phrase was interested in the sources of morality. He warned that the emergence of something (whether an organ, a legal institution, or a religious ritual) is never to be confused with its acquired purpose: ‘Anything in existence, having somehow come about, is continually interpreted anew, requisitioned anew, transformed and redirected to a new purpose.’ This is a liberating thought, which teaches us to never hold the history of something against its possible applications. Even if computers started out as calculators, that doesn’t prevent us from playing games on them. (47) (quoting Nietzsche, the Genealogy of Morals)
Frans de Waal (The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates)
success awaits those who steadfastly commit to any requisite sacrifice
Ken Poirot
When people learn to master their feelings, they can soon learn to master their reflections and thoughts in the degree requisite for attaining the objects they are seeking. But while they yield to a feeling or spirit that distracts their minds from a subject they wish to study and learn, so long they will never gain the mastery of their minds.
Brigham Young
Is being burnt a requisite for the making of art? Personally, I don't think it is. But art is poultice for a burn. It is a privilege to have, somewhere within you, a capacity for making something speak from your own seared experience.
Molly Peacock (The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72)
I divide my officers into four classes as follows: The clever, the industrious, the lazy, and the stupid. Each officer always possesses two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious I appoint to the General Staff. Use can under certain circumstances be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy qualifies for the highest leadership posts. He has the requisite nerves and the mental clarity for difficult decisions. But whoever is stupid and industrious must be got rid of, for he is too dangerous.
Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord
If you seek tranquillity, do less.” Or (more accurately) do what’s essential—what the logos of a social being requires, and in the requisite way. Which brings a double satisfaction: to do less, better. Because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, “Is this necessary?” But we need to eliminate unnecessary assumptions as well. To eliminate the unnecessary actions that follow.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Ambassadors, of course, do not blush. It is a requisite of the job that they can sustain any manner of insult without any visible change at all to their face.
Sarah Dunant (Blood & Beauty: The Borgias)
The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.
Brian Tracy (Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time)
A capacity for going overboard is a requisite for a full-grown mind.
Dawn Powell
One's appreciation of, and understanding of the normal or the usual is requisite for any understanding of the abnormal or the unusual.
Milton H. Erickson
...wrote Lawrence Block. "Someone once told me that fear and courage are like lightning and thunder; they both start out at the same time, but the fear travels faster and arrives sooner. If we just wait a moment, the requisite courage will be along shortly." (quoted from Write for Your Live by Lawrence Block)
Ralph Keyes (The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear)
The political liberty, of the subject, (separation of powers), is a tranquility of mind arising from the opinion each person has of [their] safety. In order to have this liberty. It is requisite the government be so constituted as one [person] need not to be afraid of another." Baron de Montesquieu, Spirit of laws 1748
Montesquieu (The Spirit of Laws (With Active Table of Contents))
...fear and courage are like lightning and thunder; they both sart out at the same time, but the fear travels faster and arrives sooner. If we just wait a moment, the requisite courage will be along shortly.
Ralph Keyes (The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear)
To make the Society Happy... , it is requisite that great numbers should be Ignorant as well as Poor,” wrote Bernard Mandeville, the shrewdest and wickedest social commentator of the early eighteenth century.
Robert L. Heilbroner (The Worldly Philosophers)
The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion
Karl Marx
College was to teach me that I was one of life's journeymen, eager to excel but lacking the requisite gifts.
Pat Conroy (The Prince of Tides)
What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose-knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful, that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art. The main requisite, I think, on reading my old volumes, is not to play the part of a censor, but to write as the mood comes or of anything whatever; since I was curious to find how I went for things put in haphazard, and found the significance to lie where I never saw it at the time.
Virginia Woolf
Philosophers have said before that one of the fundamental requisites of science is that whenever you set up the same conditions, the same thing must happen. This is simply not true, it is not a fundamental condition of science.
Richard P. Feynman (The Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol 1)
To make someone an icon is to make him an abstraction, and abstractions are incapable of vital communication with living people.10 10 One has only to spend a term trying to teach college literature to realize that the quickest way to kill an author's vitality for potential readers is to present that author ahead of his time as "great" or "classic." Because then the author becomes for the students like medicine or vegetables, something the authorities have declared "good for them" that they "ought to like," at which point the students' nictitating membranes come down, and everyone just goes through the requisite motions of criticism and paper-writing without feeling one real or relevant thing. It's like removing all oxygen from the room before trying to start a fire.
David Foster Wallace (Consider the Lobster and Other Essays)
Eva was only a slut. She never had the requisite motivation to be anything so useful or lucrative as a whore.
Caitlín R. Kiernan (The Drowning Girl)
A sense of humor is a requisite to surviving in our demanding world
Janette Oke (Where Courage Calls (Return to the Canadian West #1))
Trying to reason with whiteness is akin to reasoning with a clinical narcissist who refuses to go to therapy: frustratingly impossible because the untreated narcissist simply does not have the requisite tools to see themselves as anything other than “good,
Ruby Hamad (White Tears Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Colour)
She was perfect. I knew this the moment she emerged from my body, white and wet and wailing. Beyond the requisite ten fingers and ten toes, the beating heart, the lungs inhaling and exhaling oxygen, my daughter knew how to scream. She knew how to make herself heard. She knew how to reach out and latch on. She knew what she needed to do to survive. I didn’t know how it was possible that such perfection could have developed within a body as flawed as my own, but when I looked into her face, I saw that it clearly was.
Vanessa Diffenbaugh (The Language of Flowers)
He chuckled, shaking his head. "Man, you hunters. I break a pencil and there's hell to pay." "I can see how that's deeply unfair, Chip. Especially if that pencil should try to kill you with it teeth and claws, or launch its brood of a thousand deadly paper clips against you.
Scott Westerfeld (Peeps (Peeps, #1))
Finally, having quite lost his wits, he was seized with the strangest conceit any madman in the world has ever had. It seemed to him that it was requisite and necessary, for the augmentation of his honor and for the benefit of the commonwealth, that he should become a knight-errant and ride throughout the world with his horse and his arms to seek adventures.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
These memories are the memorials and pledges of the vital hours of a lifetime. These hours of afflatus in the human spirit, the springs of art, are, in their mystery, akin to the epochs of history, when a race which for centuries has lived content, unknown, behind its own frontiers, digging, eating, sleeping, begetting, doing what was requisite for survival and nothing else, will, for a generation or two, stupefy the world; commit all manner of crimes, perhaps; follow the wildest chimeras, go down in the end in agony, but leave behind a record of new heights scaled and new rewards won for all mankind; the vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
After the bare requisites to living and reproducing, man wants most to leave some record of himself, a proof, perhaps, that he has really existed. He leaves his proof on wood, on stone or on the lives of other people.
John Steinbeck (The Pastures of Heaven)
In a world in which there is so much to interest, so much to enjoy, and so much also to correct and improve, everyone who has this moderate amount of moral and intellectual requisites is capable of an existence which may be called enviable; and unless such a person, through bad laws, or subjection to the will of others, is denied the liberty to use the sources of happiness within his reach, he will not fail to find the enviable existence
John Stuart Mill
In fact,' said Poirot, 'she stabbed him in the dark, not realising that he was dead already, but somehow deduced that he had a watch in his pyjama pocket, took it out, put back the hands blindly and gave it the requisite dent.
Agatha Christie (Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10))
As children get older, this incidental outdoor activity--say, while waiting to be called to eat--becomes less bumptious, physically and entails more loitering with others, sizing people up, flirting, talking, pushing, shoving and horseplay. Adolescents are always being criticized for this kind of loitering, but they can hardly grow up without it. The trouble comes when it is done not within society, but as a form of outlaw life. The requisite for any of these varieties of incidental play is not pretentious equipment of any sort, but rather space at an immediately convenient and interesting place. The play gets crowded out if sidewalks are too narrow relative to the total demands put on them. It is especially crowded out if the sidewalks also lack minor irregularities in building line. An immense amount of both loitering and play goes on in shallow sidewalk niches out of the line of moving pedestrian feet.
Jane Jacobs (The Death and Life of Great American Cities)
There is not much talk about the clouds that are visible up here. No one seems to think it remarkable that somewhere above an ocean we are flying past a vast white candy-floss island that would have made a perfect seat for an angel or even God himself in a painting by Piero della Francesca. In the cabin, no one stands up to announce with requisite emphasis that if we look out the window, we will see that we are flying over a cloud, a matter that would have detained Leonardo and Poussin, Claude and Constable.
Alain de Botton
Humankind, which discovers its capacity to transform and in a certain sense create the world through its own work, forgets that this is always based on God's prior and original gift of things that are. People think that they can make arbitrary use of the earth, subjecting it without restraint to their wills, as though the earth did not have its own requisites and a prior God-given purpose, which human beings can indeed develop but must not betray.
Pope John Paul II
Our normal waking consciousness . . . is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the flimsiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus and at a touch they are all there in all their completeness . . . No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded.
William James (The Varieties of Religious Experience)
But newspapers have a duty to truth,' Van said. Lev clucked his tongue. 'They tell the truth only as the exception. Zola wrote that the mendacity of the press could be divided into two groups: the yellow press lies every day without hesitating. But others, like the Times, speak the truth on all inconsequential occasions, so they can deceive the public with the requisite authority when it becomes necessary.' Van got up from his chair to gather the cast-off newspapers. Lev took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. 'I don't mean to offend the journalists; they aren't any different from other people. They're merely the megaphones of the other people.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Lacuna)
Those who deny guilt and sin are like the Pharisees of old who thought our Saviour had a “guilt complex” because He accused them of being whited sepulchers—outside clean, inside full of dead men’s bones. Those who admit that they are guilty are like the public sinners and the publicans of whom Our Lord said, “Amen, I say to you, that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the Kingdom of God before you” (Matt. 21:31). Those who think they are healthy but have a hidden moral cancer are incurable; the sick who want to be healed have a chance. All denial of guilt keeps people out of the area of love and, by inducing self-righteousness, prevents a cure. The two facts of healing in the physical order are these: A physician cannot heal us unless we put ourselves into his hands, and we will not put ourselves into his hands unless we know that we are sick. In like manner, a sinner’s awareness of sin is one requisite for his recovery; the other is his longing for God. When we long for God, we do so not as sinners, but as lovers.
Fulton J. Sheen (Peace of Soul: Timeless Wisdom on Finding Serenity and Joy by the Century's Most Acclaimed Catholic Bishop)
Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness. They will teach us to do ‘all these things … in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that [we] should run faster than [we have]strength. [But] it is expedient that [we] should be diligent, [and] thereby … win the prize.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
When people ask me whether I am a spy –‘are you now, or have you ever been?’ –I am tempted to reply with a hearty –‘Yes, and since the age of five.’ For a state of watchfulness must surely be the first requisite of a writer, as it is of a secret agent. A writer, like a spy, must prey upon his neighbours; like a spy he is dependent on those whom he deceives; like a spy he must somehow contrive to keep a distance from his own feelings and by doing so conjure up a package that will meet with the approval of his masters. Like a spy, he is not merely an outsider, but implicitly a subversive..
John le Carré
My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time. These memories, which are my life--for we possess nothing certainly except the past--were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark's, theywere everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning. These memories are the memorials and pledges of the vital hours of a lifetime. These hours of afflatus in the human spirit, the springs of art, are, in their mystery, akin to the epochs of history, when a race which for centuries has lived content, unknown, behind its own frontiers, digging, eating, sleeping, begetting, doing what was requisite for survival and nothing else, will, for a generation or two, stupefy the world; commit all manner of crimes, perhaps; follow the wildest chimeras, go down in the end in agony, but leave behind a record of new heights scaled and new rewards won for all mankind; the vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again. The human soul enjoys these rare, classic periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves -- the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleep-walker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outward eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a side street, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, out-distance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
No marriage is fair. It’s complementary. The idea of ‘fair’ is absurd at best, ableist at worst.” We both swivel our heads and look at her. “Ableist?” Freya asks. “Ableist,” Dr. Dietrich says. “Because saying a relationship has to be ‘fair’ implies only a certain balance and distribution of skills and aptitudes is valid. It upholds an arbitrary, damaging idea of ‘normal’ or ‘standard’ as requisite for fulfilling partnership. When in reality, all you need is two people who love what the other brings and share the work of love and life together.
Chloe Liese (Ever After Always (Bergman Brothers, #3))
Abelman’s Dry Goods Kansas City, Missouri U.S.A. Mr. I. Abelman, Mongoloid, Esq.: We have received via post your absurd comments about our trousers, the comments revealing, as they did, your total lack of contact with reality. Were you more aware, you would know or realize by now that the offending trousers were dispatched to you with our full knowledge that they were inadequate so far as length was concerned. “Why? Why?” You are, in your incomprehensible babble, unable to assimilate stimulating concepts of commerce into your retarded and blighted worldview. The trousers were sent to you (1) as a means of testing your initiative (A clever, wide-awake business concern should be able to make three-quarter-length trousers a byword of masculine fashion. Your advertising and merchandising programs are obviously faulty.) and (2) as a means of testing your ability to meet the standards requisite in a distributor of our quality product. (Our loyal and dependable outlets can vend any trouser bearing the Levy label no matter how abominable their design and construction. You are apparently a faithless people.) We do not wish to be bothered in the future by such tedious complaints. Please confine your correspondence to orders only. We are a busy and dynamic organization whose mission needless effrontery and harassment can only hinder. If you molest us again, sir, you may feel the sting of the lash across your pitiful shoulders. Yours in anger, Gus Levy, Pres.
John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)
The atheist, agnostic, or secularist ... should not be cowed by exaggerated sensitivity to people's religious beliefs and fail to speak vigorously and pointedly when the devout put forth arguments manifestly contrary to all the acquired knowledge of the past two or three millennia. Those who advocate a piece of folly like the theory of an 'intelligent creator' should be held accountable for their folly; they have no right to be offended for being called fools until they establish that they are not in fact fools. Religiously inclined writers like Stephen L Carter may plead that 'respect' should be accorded to religious views in public discourse, but he neglects to demonstrate that those views are worthy of respect. All secularists -- scientists, literary figures, even politicians (if there are any such with the requisite courage) -- should speak out on the issue when the opportunity presents itself.
S.T. Joshi (Atheism: A Reader)
Rich Indians typically tried to work around a dysfunctional government. Private security was hired, city water was filtered, private school tuitions were paid. Such choices had evolved over the years into a principle: The best government is the one that gets out of the way. The attacks on the Taj and the Oberoi, in which executives and socialites died, had served as a blunt correction. The wealthy now saw that their security could not be requisitioned privately. They were dependent on the same public safety system that ill served the poor.
Katherine Boo (Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity)
Faking depends on a measure of complicity between the perpetrator and the victim, who together conspire to believe what they don’t believe and to feel what they are incapable of feeling. There are fake beliefs, fake opinions, fake kinds of expertise. There is also fake emotion, which comes about when people debase the forms and the language in which true feeling can take root, so that they are no longer fully aware of the difference between the true and the false. Kitsch is one very important example of this. The kitsch work of art is not a response to the real world, but a fabrication designed to replace it. Yet both producer and consumer conspire to persuade each other that what they feel in and through the kitsch work of art is something deep, important and real. Anyone can lie. One need only have the requisite intention — in other words, to say something with the intention to deceive. Faking, by contrast, is an achievement. To fake things you have to take people in, yourself included. In an important sense, therefore, faking is not something that can be intended, even though it comes about through intentional actions. The liar can pretend to be shocked when his lies are exposed, but his pretence is merely a continuation of his lying strategy. The fake really is shocked when he is exposed, since he had created around himself a community of trust, of which he himself was a member. Understanding this phenomenon is, it seems to me, integral to understanding how a high culture works, and how it can become corrupted.
Roger Scruton
My father used to tease me at the table by implying that “cold Claire” had brought in the draft. I had three older sisters, all beautiful, and I was always less affected than them, slow to smile. I remember finding it extremely hard to open presents as a child because the requisite theatricality was too exhausting. My sisters forever humiliated me over a moment in fifth grade when I’d opened a present from my grandmother and declared, straight-faced, “I already have this.
Marina Keegan
We believe that the body hath its rights — to move in a reasonable ambit — to raise, to lower its limbs — but across the face of this earth, there are every day those who suffer unforgivable torments, strapped or chained, confined in boxes or in the holds of ships. May the Lord remind me of this always as I walk free upon paths, and may I thus always give thanks unto Him for the strange, small gifts of gesture, of simple tasks done with requisite care and sphere of action.
M.T. Anderson (The Pox Party (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, #1))
For those of us who remember dial telephones and manual typewriters, today’s technology is more than merely amazing. Also evolving at a rapid rate has been the moral compass of society. Behaviors which once were considered inappropriate and immoral are now not only tolerated but also viewed by ever so many as acceptable…Although the world has changed, the laws of God remain constant. They have not changed; they will not change. The Ten Commandments are just that—commandments. They are not suggestions. They are every bit as requisite today as they were when God gave them to the children of Israel.
Thomas S. Monson
All students of man and society who possess that first requisite for so difficult a study, a due sense of its difficulties, are aware that the besetting danger is not so much of embracing falsehood for truth, as of mistaking part of the truth for the whole. It might be plausibly maintained that in almost every one of the leading controversies, past or present, in social philosophy, both sides were in the right in what they affirmed, though wrong in what they denied; and that if either could have been made to take the other’s views in addition to its own, little more would have been needed to make its doctrine correct.
John Stuart Mill (An Essay on Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Illustrated))
It had been communicated to me through the odd, secret whispers of women that a female’s nose must never shine. In war, in famine, in fire, it had to be matte, and no one got a lipstick without the requisite face powder. … I was taunted by the problem: how could someone write something like the ‘Symposium’ and make sure her nose did not shine at the same time? It didn’t matter to me that I was reading a translation. I’d read Plato’s brilliant, dense prose and not be able to tear myself away. Even as a reader my nose shined. It was clearly either/or. You had to concentrate on either one or the other. In a New York minute, the oil from Saudi Arabia could infiltrate your house and end up on your nose. It didn’t hurt, it didn’t make noise, it didn’t incapacitate in any way except for the fact that no girl worth her salt took enough time away from vigilance to read a book let alone write one.
Andrea Dworkin (Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant)
Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for every one thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess. And in this it is not likely that all are mistaken the conviction is rather to be held as testifying that the power of judging aright and of distinguishing truth from error, which is properly what is called good sense or reason, is by nature equal in all men; and that the diversity of our opinions, consequently, does not arise from some being endowed with a larger share of reason than others, but solely from this, that we conduct our thoughts along different ways, and do not fix our attention on the same objects. For to be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite is rightly to apply it. The greatest minds, as they are capable of the highest excellences, are open likewise to the greatest aberrations; and those who travel very slowly may yet make far greater progress, provided they keep always to the straight road, than those who, while they run, forsake it.
René Descartes (Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy)
How little is requisite to supply the necessities of nature? And in a view to pleasure, what comparison between the unbought satisfaction of conversation, society, study, even health and the common beauties of nature, but above all the peaceful reflection on one's own conduct: What comparison, I say, between these, and the feverish, empty amusements of luxury and expense? These natural pleasures, indeed, are really without price; both because they are below all price in their attainment, an above it in their enjoyment.
David Hume (An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals)
Our Saviour's meaning, when He said, He must be born again and become a little child that will enter in the Kingdom of Heaven is deeper far than is generally believed. It is only in a careless reliance upon Divine Providence, that we are to become little children, or in the feebleness and shortness of our anger and simplicity of our passions, but in the peace and purity of all our soul. Which purity also is a deeper thing than is commonly apprehended. For we must disrobe infant-like and clear; the powers of our soul free from the leaven of this world, and disentangled from men's conceits and customs. Grit in the eye or yellow jaundice will not let a man see those objects truly that are before it. And therefore it is requisite that we should be as very strangers to the thoughts, customs, and opinions of men in this world, as if we were but little children. So those things would appear to us only which do to children when they are first born. Ambitions, trades, luxuries, inordinate affections, casual and accidental riches invented since the fall, would be gone, and only those things appear, which did to Adam in Paradise, in the same light and in the same colours: God in His works, Glory in the light, Love in our parents, men, ourselves, and the face of Heaven: Every man naturally seeing those things, to the enjoyment of which he is naturally born.
Thomas Traherne (Centuries of Meditations)
The majority of men is composed of two classes, for neither of which would this be at all a befitting resolution: in the first place, of those who with more than a due confidence in their own powers, are precipitate in their judgments and want the patience requisite for orderly and circumspect thinking; whence it happens, that if men of this class once take the liberty to doubt of their accustomed opinions, and quit the beaten highway, they will never be able to thread the byway that would lead them by a shorter course, and will lose themselves and continue to wander for life; in the second place, of those who, possessed of sufficient sense or modesty to determine that there are others who excel them in the power of discriminating between truth and error, and by whom they may be instructed, ought rather to content themselves with the opinions of such than trust for more correct to their own reason.
René Descartes (Discourse on Method)
In the beginning of the year 1665 I found the Method of approximating series & the Rule for reducing any dignity of any Binomial into such a series. The same year in May I found the method of Tangents of Gregory & Slusius, & in November had the direct method of fluxions & the next year in January had the Theory of Colours & in May following I had entrance into ye inverse method of fluxions. And the same year I began to think of gravity extending to ye orb of the Moon & (having found out how to estimate the force with wch [a] globe revolving within a sphere presses the surface of the sphere) from Kepler's rule of the periodic times of the Planets being in sesquialterate proportion of their distances from the center of their Orbs, I deduced that the forces wch keep the Planets in their Orbs must [be] reciprocally as the squares of their distances from the centers about wch they revolve: & thereby compared the force requisite to keep the Moon in her Orb with the force of gravity at the surface of the earth, & found them answer pretty nearly. All this was in the two plague years of 1665-1666. For in those days I was in the prime of my age for invention & minded Mathematicks & Philosophy more then than at any time since.
Isaac Newton
A soft luxurious course of habitual indulgence, is the practice of the bulk of modern Christians: and that constant moderation, that wholesome discipline of restraint and self-denial, which are requisite to prevent the unperceived encroachments of the inferior appetites, seem altogether disused, as the exploded austerities of monkish superstition... But the persons of whom we are now speaking, forgetting alike the duties they owe to themselves and to their fellow-creatures, often act as though their condition were meant to be a state of uniform indulgence, and vacant, unprofitable sloth... To multiply the comforts of affluence, to provide for the gratification of appetite, to be luxurious without diseases, and indolent without lassitude, seems the chief study of their lives. Others again seem more to attach themselves to what have been well termed the ‘pomps and vanities of this world.’ Magnificent houses, grand equipages, numerous retinues, splendid entertainments, high and fashionable connections, appear to constitute, in their estimation, the supreme happiness of life.
William Wilberforce (A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious Systems)
Now we will live!” This is what the hungry little boy liked to say, as he toddled along the quiet roadside, or through the empty fields. But the food that he saw was only in his imagination. The wheat had all been taken away, in a heartless campaign of requisitions that began Europe’s era of mass killing. It was 1933, and Joseph Stalin was deliberately starving Soviet Ukraine. The little boy died, as did more than three million other people. “I will meet her,” said a young Soviet man of his wife, “under the ground.” He was right; he was shot after she was, and they were buried among the seven hundred thousand victims of Stalin’s Great Terror of 1937 and 1938. “They asked for my wedding ring, which I….” The Polish officer broke off his diary just before he was executed by the Soviet secret police in 1940. He was one of about two hundred thousand Polish citizens shot by the Soviets or the Germans at the beginning of the Second World War, while Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union jointly occupied his country. Late in 1941, an eleven-year-old Russian girl in Leningrad finished her own humble diary: “Only Tania is left.” Adolf Hitler had betrayed Stalin, her city was under siege by the Germans, and her family were among the four million Soviet citizens the Germans starved to death. The following summer, a twelve-year-old Jewish girl in Belarus wrote a last letter to her father: “I am saying good-bye to you before I die. I am so afraid of this death because they throw small children into the mass graves alive.” She was among the more than five million Jews gassed or shot by the Germans.
Timothy Snyder (Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin)
My gaze returns to earth and when it does, it’s her eyes I see. Not the way I used to see them—around every corner, behind my own closed lids at the start of each day. Not in the way I used to imagine them in the eyes of every other girl I laid on top of. No, this time it really is her eyes. A photo of her, dressed in black, a cello leaning against one shoulder like a tired child. Her hair is up in one of those buns that seem to be a requisite for classical musicians. She used to wear it up like that for recitals and chamber music concerts, but with little pieces hanging down, to soften the severity of the look. There are no tendrils in this photo. I peer closer at the sign. YOUNG CONCERT SERIES PRESENTS MIA HALL.
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
There is an allegory for historians in the diverse functions of saw, wedge, and axe. The saw works only across the years, which it must deal with one by one, in sequence. From each year the raker teeth pull little chips of fact, which accumulate in little piles, called sawdust by woodsmen and archives by historians; both judge the character of what lies within by the character of the samples thus made visible without. It is not until the transect is complete that the tree falls, and the stump yields a collective view of the century. By its fall the tree attests the unity of the hodge-podge called history. The wedge on the other hand, works only in radial splits; such a split yields a collective view of all the years at once, or no view at all, depending on the skill with which the plane of the split is chosen[...] The axe functions only at an angle diagonal to the years, and this is only for the peripheral rings of the recent past. Its special function is to lop limbs, for which both the saw and wedge are useless. The three tools are requisite to good oak, and to good history.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There)
I am already far north of London, and as I walk in the streets of Petersburgh, I feel a cold northern breeze play upon my cheeks, which braces my nerves and fills me with delight. Do you understand this feeling? This breeze, which has travelled from the regions towards which I am advancing, gives me a foretaste of those icy climes. Inspirited by this wind of promise, my daydreams become more fervent and vivid. I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty and delight. There, Margaret, the sun is forever visible, its broad disk just skirting the horizon and diffusing a perpetual splendour. There—for with your leave, my sister, I will put some trust in preceding navigators—there snow and frost are banished; and, sailing over a calm sea, we may be wafted to a land surpassing in wonders and in beauty every region hitherto discovered on the habitable globe. Its productions and features may be without example, as the phenomena of the heavenly bodies undoubtedly are in those undiscovered solitudes. What may not be expected in a country of eternal light? I may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle and may regulate a thousand celestial observations that require only this voyage to render their seeming eccentricities consistent forever. I shall satiate my ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world never before visited, and may tread a land never before imprinted by the foot of man. These are my enticements, and they are sufficient to conquer all fear of danger or death and to induce me to commence this laborious voyage with the joy a child feels when he embarks in a little boat, with his holiday mates, on an expedition of discovery up his native river. But supposing all these conjectures to be false, you cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind, to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole to those countries, to reach which at present so many months are requisite; or by ascertaining the secret of the magnet, which, if at all possible, can only be effected by an undertaking such as mine.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus)
Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable.
George Washington (George Washington's Farewell Address (Books of American Wisdom))
The causes which have been specified produced at first only unequal and disproportionate degrees of compliance with the requisitions of the Union. The greater deficiencies of some States furnished the pretext of example and the temptation of interest to the complying, or to the least delinquent States. Why should we do more in proportion than those who are embarked with us in the same political voyage? Why should we consent to bear more than our proper share of the common burden? These were suggestions which human selfishness could not withstand, and which even speculative men, who looked forward to remote consequences, could not, without hesitation, combat. Each State, yielding to the persuasive voice of immediate interest or convenience, has successively withdrawn its support, till the frail and tottering edifice seems ready to fall upon our heads, and to crush us beneath its ruins.
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers)
Historians, and even common sense, may inform us, that, however specious these ideas of perfect equality may seem, they are really, at bottom, impracticable; and were they not so, would be extremely pernicious to human society. Render possessions ever so equal, men's different degrees of art, care, and industry will immediately break that equality. Or if you check these virtues, you reduce society to the most extreme indigence; and instead of preventing want and beggary in a few, render it unavoidable to the whole community. The most rigorous inquisition too is requisite to watch every inequality on its first appearance; and the most severe jurisdiction, to punish and redress it. But besides, that so much authority must soon degenerate into tyranny, and be exerted with great partialities; who can possibly be possessed of it, in such a situation as is here supposed? Perfect equality of possessions, destroying all subordination, weakens extremely the authority of magistracy, and must reduce all power nearly to a level, as well as property. We may conclude, therefore, that in order to establish laws for the regulation of property, we must be acquainted with the nature and situation of man; must reject appearances, which may be false, though specious; and must search for those rules, which are, on the whole, most useful and beneficial.
David Hume (An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals)
The fundamental basis by which the court’s decision might be made is, in itself, imperfect and subject to contradictions. There is very little consideration given to a priori knowledge regarding the circumstances being presented and as a result, arguments must be made empirically, under the assumption that assumptions themselves are, in fact, likely to give way to specious reasoning...Decisions must be made meticulously and according to specific, yet immeasurable criteria that can only be further manipulated by any cunning lawyer with the ability to make emotional pleas based on a requisite amount of inconsequential evidence to affect a decision beneficial to his clients. And so, in this respect, the law is capable of proving nothing except that its absurd attention to detail is really a kind of a façade meant to cover up the fact that a truly logical and just way to deal with such matters has not yet been devised. And the absence of adequate definition to its principles has given way to a kind of apathy among the men employed by the courts, who want nothing more now than to make a living for themselves and their families and not work themselves into too much of a frenzy about how little can be changed through their own initiative. Thus things aren’t likely to.
Ashim Shanker (Don't Forget to Breathe (Migrations, Volume I))
It is in connection with the deliberate effort of the skillful demagogue to weld together a closely coherent and homogeneous body of supporters that the third and perhaps most important negative element of selection enters. It seems to be almost a law of human nature that it is easier for people to agree on a negative program — on the hatred of an enemy, on the envy of those better off — than on any positive task. The contrast between the "we" and the "they," the common fight against those outside the group, seems to be an essential ingredient in any creed which will solidly knit together a group for common action. It is consequently always employed by those who seek, not merely support of a policy, but the unreserved allegiance of huge masses. From their point of view it has the great advantage of leaving them greater freedom of action than almost any positive program. The enemy, whether he be internal, like the "Jew" or the "kulak," or external, seems to be an indispensable requisite in the armory of a totalitarian leader. That in Germany it was the Jew who became the enemy until his place was taken by the "plutocracies" was no less a result of the anticapitalist resentment on which the whole movement was based than the selection of the kulak in Russia. In Germany and Austria the Jew had come to be regarded as the representative of capitalism because a traditional dislike of large classes of the population for commercial pursuits had left these more readily accessible to a group that was practically excluded from the more highly esteemed occupations. It is the old story of the alien race's being admitted only to the less respected trades and then being hated still more for practicing them. The fact that German anti-Semitism and anticapitalism spring from the same root is of great importance for the understanding of what has happened there, but this is rarely grasped by foreign observers.
Friedrich A. Hayek (The Road to Serfdom)
That reminded him of how thrifty she was, and he promptly decided-at least for the moment-that her thriftiness was one of her most endearingly amusing qualities. “What are you thinking about?” she asked. He tipped his chin down so that he could better see her and brushed a stray lock of golden hair off her cheek. “I was thinking how wise I must be to have known within minutes of meeting you that you were wonderful.” She chuckled, thinking his words were teasing flattery. “How soon did my qualities become apparent?” “I’d say,” he thoughtfully replied, “I knew it when you took sympathy on Galileo.” She’d expected him to say something about her looks, not her conversation or her mind. “Truly?” she asked with unhidden pleasure. He nodded, but he was studying her reaction with curiosity. “What did you think I was going to say?” Her slim shoulders lifted in an embarrassed shrug. “I thought you would say it was my face you noticed first. People have the most extraordinary reaction to my face,” she explained with a disgusted sigh. “I can’t imagine why,” he said, grinning down at what was, in his opinion-in anyone’s opinion-a heartbreakingly beautiful face belonging to a young woman who was sprawled across his chest looking like an innocent golden goddess. “I think it’s my eyes. They’re an odd color.” “I see that now,” he teased, then he said more solemnly, “but as it happens it was not your face which I found so beguiling when we met in the garden, because,” he added when she looked unconvinced, “I couldn’t see it.” “Of course you could. I could see yours well enough, even though night had fallen.” “Yes, but I was standing near a torch lamp, while you perversely remained in the shadows. I could tell that yours was a very nice face, with the requisite features in the right places, and I could also tell that your other-feminine assets-were definitely in all the right places, but that was all I could see. And then later that night I looked up and saw you walking down the staircase. I was so surprised, it took a considerable amount of will to keep from dropping the glass I was holding.” Her happy laughter drifted around the room and reminded him of music. “Elizabeth,” he said dryly, “I am not such a fool that I would have let a beautiful face alone drive me to madness, or to asking you to marry me, or even to extremes of sexual desire.” She saw that he was perfectly serious, and she sobered, “Thank you,” she said quietly. “That is the nicest compliment you could have paid me, my lord.” “Don’t call me ‘my lord,’” he told her with a mixture of gentleness and gravity, “unless you mean it. I dislike having you address me that way if it’s merely a reference to my title.” Elizabeth snuggled her cheek against his hard chest and quietly replied, “As you wish. My lord.” Ian couldn’t help it. He rolled her onto her back and devoured her with his mouth, claimed her with his hands and then his body.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
The earliest storytellers were magi, seers, bards, griots, shamans. They were, it would seem, as old as time, and as terrifying to gaze upon as the mysteries with which they wrestled. They wrestled with mysteries and transformed them into myths which coded the world and helped the community to live through one more darkness, with eyes wide open and hearts set alight. "I can see them now, the old masters. I can see them standing on the other side of the flames, speaking in the voices of lions, or thunder, or monsters, or heroes, heroines, or the earth, or fire itself -- for they had to contain all voices within them, had to be all things and nothing. They had to have the ability to become lightning, to become a future homeland, to be the dreaded guide to the fabled land where the community will settle and fructify. They had to be able to fight in advance all the demons they would encounter, and summon up all the courage needed on the way, to prophesy about all the requisite qualities that would ensure their arrival at the dreamt-of land. "The old masters had to be able to tell stories that would make sleep possible on those inhuman nights, stories that would counter terror with enchantment, or with a greater terror. I can see them, beyond the flames, telling of a hero's battle with a fabulous beast -- the beast that is in the hero." "The storyteller's art changed through the ages. From battling dread in word and incantations before their people did in reality, they became the repositories of the people's wisdom and follies. Often, conscripted by kings, they became the memory of a people's origins, and carried with them the long line of ancestries and lineages. Most important of all, they were the living libraries, the keepers of legends and lore. They knew the causes and mutations of things, the herbs, trees, plants, cures for diseases, causes for wars, causes of victory, the ways in which victory often precipitates defeat, or defeat victory, the lineages of gods, the rites humans have to perform to the gods. They knew of follies and restitutions, were advocates of new and old ways of being, were custodians of culture, recorders of change." "These old storytellers were the true magicians. They were humanity's truest friends and most reliable guides. Their role was both simple and demanding. They had to go down deep into the seeds of time, into the dreams of their people, into the unconscious, into the uncharted fears, and bring shapes and moods back up into the light. They had to battle with monsters before they told us about them. They had to see clearly." "They risked their sanity and their consciousness in the service of dreaming better futures. They risked madness, or being unmoored in the wild realms of the interspaces, or being devoured by the unexpected demons of the communal imagination." "And I think that now, in our age, in the mid-ocean of our days, with certainties collapsing around us, and with no beliefs by which to steer our way through the dark descending nights ahead -- I think that now we need those fictional old bards and fearless storytellers, those seers. We need their magic, their courage, their love, and their fire more than ever before. It is precisely in a fractured, broken age that we need mystery and a reawoken sense of wonder. We need them to be whole again.
Ben Okri (A Way of Being Free)