Switzerland Nature Quotes

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Imagination is not, as some poets have thought, simply synonymous with good. It may be either good or evil. As long as art remained primarily mimetic, the evil which imagination could do was limited by nature. Again, as long as it was treated as an amusement, the evil which it could do was limited in scope. But in an age when the connection between imagination and figuration is beginning to be dimly realized, when the fact of the directionally creator relation is beginning to break through into consciousness, both the good and the evil latent in the working of imagination begin to appear unlimited. We have seen in the Romantic movement an instance of the way in which the making of images may react upon the collective representations. It is a fairly rudimentary instance, but even so it has already gone beyond the dreams and responses of a leisured few. The economic and social structure of Switzerland is noticeably affected by its tourist industry, and that is due only in part to increased facilities of travel. It is due not less to the condition that (whatever may be said about their ‘particles’) the mountains which twentieth-century man sees are not the mountains which eighteenth-century man saw. It may be objected that this is a very small matter, and that it will be a long time before the imagination of man substantially alters those appearances of nature with which his figuration supplies him. But then I am taking the long view. Even so, we need not be too confident. Even if the pace of change remained the same, one who is really sensitive to (for example) the difference between the medieval collective representations and our own will be aware that, without traveling any greater distance than we have come since the fourteenth century, we could very well move forward into a chaotically empty or fantastically hideous world. But the pace of change has not remained the same. It has accelerated and is accelerating. We should remember this, when appraising the aberrations of the formally representational arts. Of course, in so far as these are due to affectation, they are of no importance. But in so far as they are genuine, they are genuine because the artist has in some way or other experienced the world he represents. And in so far as they are appreciated, they are appreciated by those who are themselves willing to make a move towards seeing the world in that way, and, ultimately therefore, seeing that kind of world. We should remember this, when we see pictures of a dog with six legs emerging from a vegetable marrow or a woman with a motorbicycle substituted for her left breast.
Owen Barfield
There are countries in which the communal provision of housing, transport, education and health care is so inferior that inhabitants will naturally seek to escape involvement with the masses by barricading themselves behind solid walls. The desire for high status is never stronger than in situations where 'ordinary' life fails to answer a median need for dignity or comfort. Then there are communities—far fewer in number and typically imbued with a strong (often Protestant) Christian heritage—whose public realms exude respect in their principles and architecture, and whose citizens are therefore under less compulsion to retreat into a private domain. Indeed, we may find that some of our ambitions for personal glory fade when the public spaces and facilities to which we enjoy access are themselves glorious to behold; in such a context, ordinary citizenship may come to seem an adequate goal. In Switzerland's largest city, for instance, the need to own a car in order to avoid sharing a bus or train with strangers loses some of the urgency it has in Los Angeles or London, thanks to Zurich's superlative train network, which is clean, safe, warm and edifying in its punctuality and technical prowess. There is little reason to travel in an automotive cocoon when, for a fare of only a few francs, an efficient, stately tramway will provide transport from point A to point B at a level of comfort an emperor might have envied. One insight to be drawn from Christianity and applied to communal ethics is that, insofar as we can recover a sense of the preciousness of every human being and, even more important, legislate for spaces and manner that embody such a reverence in their makeup, then the notion of the ordinary will shed its darker associations, and, correspondingly, the desires to triumph and to be insulated will weaken, to the psychological benefit of all.
Alain de Botton (Status Anxiety)
I have seen," he said, "the most beautiful scenes of my own country; I have visited the lakes of Lucerne and Uri, where the snowy mountains descend almost perpendicularly to the water, casting black and impenetrable shades, which would cause a gloomy and mournful appearance, were it not for the most verdant islands that relieve the eye by their gay appearance; I have seen this lake agitated by a tempest, when the wind tore up whirlwinds of water, and gave you an idea of what the waterspout must be on the great ocean; and the waves dash with fury the base of the mountain, where the priest and his mistress were overwhelmed by an avalanche, and where their dying voices are still said to be heard amid the pauses of the nightly wind; I have seen the mountains of La Valais, and the Pays de Vaud: but this country, Victor, pleases me more than all those wonders. The mountains of Switzerland are more majestic and strange; but there is a charm in the banks of this divine river, that I never before saw equalled. Look at that castle which overhangs yon precipice; and that also on the island, almost concealed amongst the foliage of those lovely trees; and now that group of labourers coming from among their vines; and that village half hid in the recess of the mountain. Oh, surely, the spirit that inhabits and guards this place has a soul more in harmony with man than those who pile the glacier, or retire to the inaccessible peaks of the mountains of our own country. "Clerval! beloved friend! even now it delights me to record your words, and to dwell on the praise of which you are so eminently deserving. He was a being formed in the "very poetry of nature." His wild and enthusiastic imagination was chastened by the sensibility of his heart.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
We are blatantly biased by an overwhelming desire to find certain answers. Life good. Dead universe bad. Science, we have been taught, is supposed to be neutral, like Switzerland. We’re not supposed to take sides or rig the game. Yet, when it comes to life in the universe, we’ve unabashedly forsaken our neutrality. We can’t hide our love away. We want life.
David Grinspoon (Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life)
Yes, you do hate Switzerland. And," doctor Messerli paused for effect, "you love it. You love it and you hate it. What you don't feel is apathy. You're not indifferent. You're ambivalent." Anna had thought about this before, when nights came during which she could do nothing but wander Dietlikon's sleeping streets or hike the hill behind her house to sit upon the bench where most often she went to weep. She'd considered her ambivalence many, many times, and in the end, she's diagnosed herself with a disease that she'd also invented. Switzerland syndrome. Like Stockholm syndrome. But instead of my captors, I'm attached to the room in which I'm held captive. It's the prison I'm bound to, not the warden. Anna was absolutely right. It was the landscape. it was the geography. The fields, the streams, the lakes, the forests. And the mountains. On exceptionally clear days when the weather was right, if you walked south on Dietlikon's Bahnhofstrasse you could see the crisp outlines of snow-capped Alps against a blazing blue horizon eighty kilometers away. On these certain days it was something in the magic of the atmosphere that made them tangible and moved them close. The mutability of those particular mountains reminded Anna of herself. And it wasn't simply the natural landscape that she attached herself to emotionally. It was the cobblestone roads of Zürich's old town and the spires of this church and the towers of that one. And the trains, the trains, the goddamn trains. She could take the train anywhere she wanted to go.
Jill Alexander Essbaum
He generally traveled to Europe four or five times a year. The pharmaceutical empire he ran had research centers in Germany, Switzerland, and France, and huge laboratories and factories in England. It was always interesting coming over here, exchanging ideas with their research teams, and exploring new avenues of marketing, which was his real forte. But this time it was far more than that, far more than just a research trip, or the unveiling of a new product. He was here for the birth of “his baby.” Vicotec. His life’s dream. Vicotec was going to change the lives and the outlook of all people with cancer. It was going to dramatically alter maintenance programs, and the very nature of chemotherapy the world over. It would be Peter’s one major contribution to the human race. For the past four years, other than his family, it was what he had lived for. And undeniably, it was going to make Wilson-Donovan millions. More than that, obviously, their studies had already projected earnings in the first five years to well over a
Danielle Steel (Five Days in Paris (Danielle Steel))
The secret—to being you, to being Happy?” “Just keep on smiling. Even when you’re sad. Keep on smiling.” Not the most profound advice, admittedly. But Happy is wise, for only a fool or a philosopher would make sweeping generalizations about the nature of happiness. I am no philosopher, so here goes: Money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude. To venture any further, though, is to enter treacherous waters. A slippery seal, happiness is. On the road, I encountered bushels of inconsistencies. The Swiss are uptight and happy. The Thais are laid-back and happy. Icelanders find joy in their binge drinking, Moldovans only misery. Maybe an Indian mind can digest these contradictions, but mine can’t. Exasperated, I call one of the leading happiness researchers, John Helliwell. Perhaps he has some answers. “It’s simple,” he says. “There’s more than one path to happiness.” Of course. How could I have missed it? Tolstoy turned on his head. All miserable countries are alike; happy ones are happy in their own ways. It’s worth considering carbon. We wouldn’t be here without it. Carbon is the basis of all life, happy and otherwise. Carbon is also a chameleon atom. Assemble it one way—in tight, interlocking rows—and you have a diamond. Assemble it another way—a disorganized jumble—and you have a handful of soot. The arranging makes all the difference. Places are the same. It’s not the elements that matter so much as how they’re arranged and in which proportions. Arrange them one way, and you have Switzerland. Arrange them another way, and you have Moldova. Getting the balance right is important. Qatar has too much money and not enough culture. It has no way of absorbing all that cash. And then there is Iceland: a country that has no right to be happy yet is. Iceland gets the balance right. A small country but a cosmopolitan one. Dark and light. Efficient and laid-back. American gumption married to European social responsibility. A perfect, happy arrangement. The glue that holds the entire enterprise together is culture. It makes all the difference. I have some nagging doubts about my journey. I didn’t make it everywhere. Yet my doubts extend beyond matters of itinerary. I wonder if happiness is really the highest good, as Aristotle believed. Maybe Guru-ji, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, is right. Maybe love is more important than happiness. Certainly, there are times when happiness seems beside the point. Ask a single, working mother if she is happy, and she’s likely to reply, “You’re not asking the right question.” Yes, we want to be happy but for the right reasons, and,
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World)
The radial patterning of Protestantism allows us to use a county’s proximity to Wittenberg to isolate—in a statistical sense—that part of the variation in Protestantism that we know is due to a county’s proximity to Wittenberg and not to greater literacy or other factors. In a sense, we can think of this as an experiment in which different counties were experimentally assigned different dosages of Protestantism to test for its effects. Distance from Wittenberg allows us to figure out how big that experimental dosage was. Then, we can see if this “assigned” dosage of Protestantism is still associated with greater literacy and more schools. If it is, we can infer from this natural experiment that Protestantism did indeed cause greater literacy.16 The results of this statistical razzle-dazzle are striking. Not only do Prussian counties closer to Wittenberg have higher shares of Protestants, but those additional Protestants are associated with greater literacy and more schools. This indicates that the wave of Protestantism created by the Reformation raised literacy and schooling rates in its wake. Despite Prussia’s having a high average literacy rate in 1871, counties made up entirely of Protestants had literacy rates nearly 20 percentile points higher than those that were all Catholic.18 FIGURE P.2. The percentage of Protestants in Prussian counties in 1871.17 The map highlights some German cities, including the epicenter of the Reformation, Wittenberg, and Mainz, the charter town where Johannes Gutenberg produced his eponymous printing press. These same patterns can be spotted elsewhere in 19th-century Europe—and today—in missionized regions around the globe. In 19th-century Switzerland, other aftershocks of the Reformation have been detected in a battery of cognitive tests given to Swiss army recruits. Young men from all-Protestant districts were not only 11 percentile points more likely to be “high performers” on reading tests compared to those from all-Catholic districts, but this advantage bled over into their scores in math, history, and writing. These relationships hold even when a district’s population density, fertility, and economic complexity are kept constant. As in Prussia, the closer a community was to one of the two epicenters of the Swiss Reformation—Zurich or Geneva—the more Protestants it had in the 19th century. Notably, proximity to other Swiss cities, such as Bern and Basel, doesn’t reveal this relationship. As is the case in Prussia, this setup allows us to finger Protestantism as driving the spread of greater literacy as well as the smaller improvements in writing and math abilities.
Joseph Henrich (The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous)
Gross was a habitué of the decadent bohemian café society of Munich’s Schwabing district—a kind of early-twentieth-century Haight-Ashbury—and embraced the radical social ideas prevalent in Monte Verità, the “Mountain of Truth,” an early alternative community established in Ascona, Switzerland, in 1900, where as the historian Martin Green argued, “the counterculture began.”15 Notables such as Hermann Hesse, Rudolf Steiner, Isadora Dun-can, and many more made the trek to Monte Verità to take the nature cure, practice nudity (not Steiner), meditate, grow their own vegetables, enjoy “free love,” and in general cast off the ills of an increasingly mechanized society. Gross was initially drawn to psychoanalysis because, with its emphasis on the dangers of sexual repression, it seemed a potent weapon against authoritarianism.
Gary Lachman (Jung the Mystic: The Esoteric Dimensions of Carl Jung's Life & Teachings)
M. Keith Chen, an economist now at UCLA, was one of the first to explore the connection between language and economic behavior. He first grouped thirty-six languages into two categories—those that have a strong future tense and those that have a weak or nonexistent one. Chen, an American who grew up in a Chinese-speaking household, offers the differences between English and Mandarin to illustrate the distinction. He says, “[I]f I wanted to explain to an English-speaking colleague why I can’t attend a meeting later today, I could not say ‘I go to a seminar.’” In English, Chen would have to explicitly mark the future by saying, “I will be going to a seminar” or “I have to go to a seminar.” However, Chen says, if “on the other hand I were speaking Mandarin, it would be quite natural for me to omit any marker of future time and say Wŏ qù tīng jiăngzò (I go listen seminar).”13 Strong-future languages such as English, Italian, and Korean require speakers to make sharp distinctions between the present and the future. Weak-future languages such as Mandarin, Finnish, and Estonian draw little or often no contrast at all. Chen then examined—controlling for income, education, age, and other factors—whether people speaking strong-future and weak-future languages behaved differently. They do—in somewhat stunning fashion. Chen found that speakers of weak-future languages—those that did not mark explicit differences between present and future—were 30 percent more likely to save for retirement and 24 percent less likely to smoke. They also practiced safer sex, exercised more regularly, and were both healthier and wealthier in retirement. This was true even within countries such as Switzerland, where some citizens spoke a weak-future language (German) and others a strong-future one (French).14 Chen didn’t conclude that the language a person speaks caused this behavior. It could merely reflect deeper differences. And the question of whether language actually shapes thought and therefore action remains a contentious issue in the field of linguistics.15 Nonetheless, other research has shown we plan more effectively and behave more responsibly when the future feels more closely connected to the current moment and our current selves. For example, one reason some people don’t save for retirement is that they somehow consider the future version of themselves a different person than the current version. But showing people age-advanced images of their own photographs can boost their propensity to save.16 Other research has found that simply thinking of the future in smaller time units—days, not years—“made people feel closer to their future self and less likely to feel that their current and future selves were not really the same person.”17 As with nostalgia, the highest function of the future is to enhance the significance of the present.
Daniel H. Pink (When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing)
But with exceptional people who identify themselves almost entirely with their mind, who know that thought is foremost because where there is no thought there can be neither body nor object, the question is less important: the mind has no sex, or rather, it comprises both sexes alternately or even simultaneously. The body may grumble now and then at being forgotten, but since it is conditioned by the mind of which it is only a temporary tool, it will be unable to upset that mind. For such people it cannot be of grave consequence if they disobey the laws of nature: they can be said to have transcended them.
Ella Maillart (The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939)
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It is terrifyingly beautiful," Julia said softly. "Terrifying?" "Nature at its most beautiful and most lethal. It is like standing on the edge of one of those lakes in Switzerland, so blue and so calm and so deep and so dangerous. You have the overwhelming urge to plunge in, even though you know the cold will kill you. This desert - your desert - it makes me want to walk into it and keep walking. You probably think I'm being ridiculously fanciful." "I would not have put it in those words, but they are exactly how I feel about Qaryma. Terrifyingly beautiful.
Marguerite Kaye (The Widow and the Sheikh)
Impassivity was quite natural to her concern for perfect form: she could never have displayed an untidy face like mine. It was partly because of this strange tense serenity that a friend of ours used to call her the “Fallen Angel”. Her subtle body, her pensive face lighted by the pale brow, put forth a charm that acted powerfully on those who are attracted by the tragic greatness of androgyny. She spoke, determined to allay my fears: “Kini: I must go away.
Ella Maillart (The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939)
Chasing tax cheats using normal procedures was not an option. It would take decades just to identify anything like the majority of them and centuries to prosecute them successfully; the more we caught, the more clogged up the judicial system would become. We needed a different approach. Once Danis was on board a couple of days later, together we thought of one: we would extract historical and real-time data from the banks on all transfers taking place within Greece as well as in and out of the country and commission software to compare the money flows associated with each tax file number with the tax returns of that same file number. The algorithm would be designed to flag up any instance where declared income seemed to be substantially lower than actual income. Having identified the most likely offenders in this way, we would make them an offer they could not refuse. The plan was to convene a press conference at which I would make it clear that anyone caught by the new system would be subject to 45 per cent tax, large penalties on 100 per cent of their undeclared income and criminal prosecution. But as our government sought to establish a new relationship of trust between state and citizenry, there would be an opportunity to make amends anonymously and at minimum cost. I would announce that for the next fortnight a new portal would be open on the ministry’s website on which anyone could register any previously undeclared income for the period 2000–14. Only 15 per cent of this sum would be required in tax arrears, payable via web banking or debit card. In return for payment, the taxpayer would receive an electronic receipt guaranteeing immunity from prosecution for previous non-disclosure.17 Alongside this I resolved to propose a simple deal to the finance minister of Switzerland, where so many of Greece’s tax cheats kept their untaxed money.18 In a rare example of the raw power of the European Union being used as a force for good, Switzerland had recently been forced to disclose all banking information pertaining to EU citizens by 2017. Naturally, the Swiss feared that large EU-domiciled depositors who did not want their bank balances to be reported to their country’s tax authorities might shift their money before the revelation deadline to some other jurisdiction, such as the Cayman Islands, Singapore or Panama. My proposals were thus very much in the Swiss finance minister’s interests: a 15 per cent tax rate was a relatively small price to pay for legalizing a stash and allowing it to remain in safe, conveniently located Switzerland. I would pass a law through Greece’s parliament that would allow for the taxation of money in Swiss bank accounts at this exceptionally low rate, and in return the Swiss finance minister would require all his country’s banks to send their Greek customers a friendly letter informing them that, unless they produced the electronic receipt and immunity certificate provided by my ministry’s web page, their bank account would be closed within weeks. To my great surprise and delight, my Swiss counterpart agreed to the proposal.19
Yanis Varoufakis (Adults in the Room: My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment)
Like many Swiss-Germans, Wisner was rugged man of nature who had a gift for machinery and engineering. His grandfather was Johannes Wiesner, a Swiss mercenary from the Canton of Zürich. The German surname “Wiesner” means “of the meadows.
Zita Steele (Makers of America: A Personal Family History)
In some countries,’ he pronounced, ‘the cow is sacred and revered: in Switzerland, cows are loved.’ ‘Really?’ asked Lucy. ‘Have you been to the cow fights? I’m not sure I like the sound of that.’ ‘Common mistake,’ replied Tommy knowingly. ‘It’s not at all violent. Herens cows fight naturally to establish the hierarchy of the herd. They just lock horns, push and the loser runs away when she’s had enough. It’s great fun to watch and have a bet.’ ‘Herens cows make nice cheese and dried meat as well,’ contributed Eddie, licking his lips. ‘Let’s go and get some. 
Kathryn Adams Death in Grondère
Through Poppy’s eyes, she learned to see the treasures that the mountains held for those who lowered their eyes and let them linger on the ground: neat little mats of wild thyme encrusted on sun-baked rocks and stones covered with pin cushions of yellow saxifrage bobbing up and down between the sparkling ripples of the mountain streams. Lucy had passed waterfalls where tall, pink adenostyles stood proudly at the edge to be showered and splashed, and frothy clumps of white saxifrage cascaded from crannies in the shining, rocky sides into the tumbling waters below. She had wandered across hillsides where wild cumin blew on the breeze, ambled under the cool shadows of the pinewoods punctuated by bright, dainty astrantia and plodged through mountain bogs amongst the fluffy white drumsticks of cotton grass. 
Kathryn Adams Death in Grondère
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downslopes in the curve show that at various times Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Romania, South Korea, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, and Yugoslavia have pursued nuclear weapons but then thought the better of it—occasionally through the persuasion of an Israeli air strike, but more often by choice.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
we have everything and we have nothing. some do it well enough for a while and then give way. fame gets them or disgust or age or lack of proper diet or ink across the eyes or children in college or new cars or broken backs while skiing in Switzerland or new politics or new wives or just natural change and decay—
Charles Bukowski (Essential Bukowski: Poetry)
There was the loud noise of water, as ever, something eternal and maddening in its sound, like the sound of Time itself, rustling and rushing and wavering, but never for a second ceasing. The rushing of Time that continues throughout eternity, this is the sound of the icy streams of Switzerland, something that mocks and destroys out warm being.
D.H. Lawrence (D.H. Lawrence and Italy: Twilight in Italy/Sea and Sardinia/Etruscan Places)
Singapore, Switzerland, Austria, and many of the European countries that we all admire today, don’t have one tenth of the natural resources that African countries have. Yet, because of the principles of truth and honesty, they have been able to build some of the most civilized societies in the modern world.
Sunday Adelaja
Sometimes I wander round and round in circles, going over the same ground, getting lost, sometimes for hours, or days, or even weeks....But I know that if I immerse myself in it long enough, things will clarify, simplify. I can count on that. When it happens, it happens fast. Boom ba boom ba boom! One thing after the other, taking the breath away. And then, you know, I feel like I'm walking out in some remote corner of space, where no mortal's ever been, all alone with something beautiful....Once, when I was in Switzerland some friends took me up in some very high cable cars, climbing up a mountain....There was a restaurant on top and the view was supposed to be sublime. When we got up it was a great disappointment because the clouds were obscuring everything. But suddenly there was a rent in the clouds and there were the Jungrau and two other peaks towering right in front of us....That's what it's like.
Steven Pinker (The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature)
The quixotic nature of the Argentines, who have been described as “Italians who speak Spanish and think they are British living in Paris. Switzerland is the country where all the bandits come together and hide everything they rob from the others.
Gerrard Williams (Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler)
On 30 June 1934, the true criminal nature of the Nazi regime was revealed, but only a few observers inside and outside Germany were able to see it. “The horrible thing is that a European people has delivered itself up to such a band of lunatics and criminals and continues to tolerate them,” Victor Klemperer complained in his diary.304 Thomas Mann, who had left Germany in February for initial exile in Switzerland, saw all his dark premonitions confirmed. In comparison with the “dirty swindler and murderous charlatan” Hitler, Mann wrote, Robespierre was positively honourable. The circles around Hitler were little better than “gangsters of the lowest sort.” The Nobel laureate went on: “In any case, after little more than a year, Hitlerism is proving to be what we always saw, recognised and deeply felt it to be: the absolute nadir of baseness, decadent stupidity and bloodthirsty humiliation—it is becoming clear that Hitlerism will continue, certainly and unerringly, to prove itself as precisely that.
Volker Ullrich (Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939)