“Of course, I wasn’t seeing it so clearly then, I was so fucked up on alcohol and heroin. You know that saying, Zesty, that at the core, the best definition of an addict is an egomaniac with low self-esteem?”
I nod, smoke.
“Well, then, you have a good picture of what I was.”
Abramowitz, Adam. A Town Called Malice
A bike messenger navigates Boston’s gritty underworld of gangsters and blood money in this novel with more twists and turns than Boston’s streets, in Adam Abramowitz’s A Town Called Malice.
The best reason for being a nomad is not the fresh air but the escape from the rationalist theory of society based on the rationalist interpretation of history, since the rationalist approach to either is a blithely idealistic flight from human intuition. A nineteenth-century philosopher could afford it. You can’t. If one can’t become a nomad physically, one should at least become one mentally. You can’t save your skin, but you can try for your mind.
Profile of Clio, Joseph Brodsky
On Grief and Reason: Essays
From the essay, Less Than One.
“But I freely admit that real Christianity (as distinct from Christianity-and-water) goes much nearer to Dualism than people think. One of the things that surprised me when I first read the New Testament seriously was that it talked so much about a Dark Power in the universe—a mighty evil spirit who was held to be the Power behind death and disease, and sin. The difference is that Christianity thinks this Dark Power was created by God, and was good when he was created, and went wrong. Christianity agrees with Dualism that this universe is at war. But it does not think this is a war between independent powers. It thinks it is a civil war, a rebellion, and that we are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel.
Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”
Lewis, C. S.. Mere Christianity
As courage and intelligence are the two qualities best worth a good man’s cultivation, so it is the first part of intelligence to recognise our precarious estate in life, and the first part of courage to be not at all abashed before the fact. A frank and somewhat headlong carriage, not looking too anxiously before, not dallying in maudlin regret over the past, stamps the man who is well armoured for this world.
And not only well armoured for himself, but a good friend and a good citizen to boot. We do not go to cowards for tender dealing; there is nothing so cruel as panic; the man who has least fear for his own carcass, has most time to consider others.
Aes Triplex, by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Check out the whole thing at Project Gutenberg
Prayer unites the soul to God. For though the soul be ever like to God in nature and substance, restored by grace, it is often unlike in condition by sin on man’s part. Then is prayer a witness that the soul wills as God wills, and it comforts the conscience and enables man to grace. And He teaches us to pray and mightily trust that we shall have it. For He beholdeth us in love and would make us partners of His good deed. And therefore He moves us to pray for that which it pleases Him to do.
Prayers (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets Series)
Julian of Norwich (c. 8 November 1342 – c. 1416) was an English Christian mystic and theologian. Little is known of her life. Even her name is uncertain, the name “Julian” probably originated from the Church of St. Julian, Norwich, where she was an anchoress.
Within a day after Zonka gave me the job, I read The Immediate Experience by Robert Warshow. He wrote, “A man watches a movie, and the critic must acknowledge that he is that man.” By this he meant that the critic has to set aside theory and ideology, theology and politics, and open himself to—well, the immediate experience. More than once in my early years his words allowed me to find an approach to writing about movies I didn’t understand, like Bergman’s Persona the first time I saw it. I wrote about what happened to me.
Ebert, Roger. Life Itself
This was exactly what Professor Yip meant by being detached — not being without emotion or feeling, but being one in whom feeling was not sticky or blocked. Therefore in order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.
Be Like Water: The Philosophy and Origin of Bruce Lee’s Famous Metaphor for Resilience, Maria Popova
To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Nature
“This is, I think, one little part of what Christ meant by saying that a thing will not really live unless it first dies. It is simply no good trying to keep any thrill: that is the very worst thing you can do. Let the thrill go—let it die away—go on through that period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow—and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time. But if you decide to make thrills your regular diet and try to prolong them artificially, they will all get weaker and weaker, and fewer and fewer, and you will be a bored, disillusioned old man for the rest of your life. It is because so few people understand this that you find many middle-aged men and women maundering about their lost youth, at the very age when new horizons ought to be appearing and new doors opening all round them. It is much better fun to learn to swim than to go on endlessly (and hopelessly) trying to get back the feeling you had when you first went paddling as a small boy.”
Lewis, C. S., Mere Christianity
“For the liquor of Miss Amelia has a special quality of its own. It is clean and sharp on the tongue, but once down a man it glows inside him for a long time afterward. And that is not all. It is known that if a message is written with lemon juice on a clean sheet of paper there will be no sign of it. But if the paper is held for a moment to the fire then the letters turn brown and the meaning becomes clear. Imagine that the whisky is the fire and that the message is that which is known only in the soul of a man—then the worth of Miss Amelia’s liquor can be understood. Things that have gone unnoticed, thoughts that have been harbored far back in the dark mind, are suddenly recognized and comprehended.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe: and Other Stories
The Words / Les Mots (1964)
“When you are criticizing the philosophy of an epoch, do not chiefly direct your attention to those intellectual positions which its exponents feel it necessary explicitly to defend. There will be some fundamental assumptions which adherents to all the variant systems within the epoch unconsciously presuppose. Such assumptions appear so obvious that people do not know what they are assuming because no other way of putting things has ever occurred to them. With these assumptions a certain limited number of types of philosophic systems are possible, and this group of systems constitutes the philosophy of the epoch.”
Alfred Whitehead, Science and the Modern
Hypothetical example – Everything is about Growth. The assumption that growing the GDP is a universal imperative, or that it’s an inherent good.