Dr. Perry Lyman: Really? Justin, I’m sorry if I contributed to any feelings of shame you may have about your thumb. I’ve been reading up on it. Medically, psychologically, there’s nothing really wrong with thumb sucking.
Justin Cobb: I don’t think I can agree with that.
Dr. Perry Lyman: No, really. Look. Justin… there was nothing wrong with you.
Justin Cobb: It felt like everything was wrong with me.
Dr. Perry Lyman: That’s ’cause we all wanna be problemless. To fix ourselves. We look for some magic solution to make us all better, but none of us really know what we’re doing. And why is that so bad? That’s all we humans can do. Guess. Try. Hope. But, Justin, just pray you don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ve got the answer. Because that’s bullshit. The trick is living without an answer. I think.
[both chuckle and laugh]
Dr. Perry Lyman: [Dr. Perry chuckles and lights another cigarette] I think.
“The Middle Years” is a short story by Henry James, first published in Scribner’s Magazine in 1893. It may be the most affecting and profound of James’s stories about writers. The novelist in the tale speculates that he has spent his whole life learning how to write, so a second life would make sense, “to apply the lesson.” Second lives aren’t usually available, so the novelist says of himself and his fellow artists: “We work in the dark—we do what we can—we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”
“We stand on a mountain pass in the midst of whirling snow and blinding mist, through which we get glimpses now and then of paths which may be deceptive. If we stand still we shall be frozen to death. If we take the wrong road we shall be dashed to pieces. We do not certainly know whether there is any right one. What must we do? ‘Be strong and of a good courage.’ Act for the best, hope for the best, and take what comes.… If death ends all, we cannot meet death better.”
Fitz James Stephen, quoted in The Will to Believe, William James.
Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is still theoretically possible; and as the test of belief is the willingness to act, one may say that faith is the readiness to act in a cause the prosperous issue of which is not certified to us in advance. It is in fact the same moral quality which we call courage in practical affairs… The Sentiment of Rationality, William James
Well I guess it would be nice
If I could touch your body
I know not everybody
Has got a body like you, uhh Faith, George Michael
Like Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light describes God as a “spider-god,” with Winter Light explaining the metaphor when Tomas relates the spider-god to suffering, as opposed to his previous ideas of a God of love that provides comfort. The ending may mean Tomas has decided God does not exist, or that Tomas learns he must keep his faith because all Christians, including Jesus, grapple with God’s silence. In Bergman’s view, Winter Light represents the end of his study on whether God exists, after which human love became his main concern.