Quotations

Last modified: 04 May 2018, 12:28-0400

Greater Freedom
Unity
Mission
Religious Tolerance
Unexpected Pleasure
Where is That?
Balance
Rats in the Sea
Music and Spirit
Faith
Wander
Essential Communication
Know
Hope
So What?
Vision
Festival
Union and Self
Freedom?
Pride and Lust
Truth of God?
Obduracy
Cross of Iron
Endeavor
Glance of the Lord
God Chooses
Distant Dataset
Intrinsic Nature
Seven Genders
Existence of Reality
Physics and Reality
Control of Reality
Opinion and Facts
Rational World
One of the Five?
/home/yah/univ/src/
Constraint to be Aware
Paradox
Hypothesis
The Holy Ghost
Beginning
Creation
Why are People?
Evolved Limit
Plans
Cycle
Destiny
Zombie
Death
Eternal Costume
Watch
Understanding

Greater Freedom

Had those who drew and ratified the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment known the components of liberty in its manifold possibilities, they might have been more specific. They did not presume to have this insight. They knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Texas Fourteenth District is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy,
June 26, 2003


Mission

See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

Matthew 10:16, New Revised Standard, 1989.


Unity

There is only one political problem in our world today: the unification of mankind. The Internationale shall be the human race. That they may be one — ut unum sint. This is Christ's last prayer before the crucifixion, which was also the last prayer of the late Pope John; it must be set beside Freud's prayer in Civilization and its Discontents. For indeed they will not be one until Freud and Pope John are found to speak in unison; or Freud and Marx and Pope John: the thing is to bring them together. John X, 16: Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also must I bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
John XVII, 21.

The unification of the human race: a mental fight, a struggle in and about men's minds. The rents, the tears, splits and divisions are mindmade; they are not based on the truth but on what the Buddhists call illusion, what Freud calls unconscious fantasies. The prevailing sense of reality, the prevailing forms of knowledge, are ruled by the instinct of aggression and division, are under the dominion of the death instinct. We are in Satan's kingdom; to build a Heaven in Hell's despite is to construct an erotic sense of reality.

Norman O. Brown, 1966,
"Love's Body"


Religious Tolerance

...In every place the preachers shall preach and explain the Gospel, each according to his understanding of it, and if the congregation like[s] it, well; if not, no one shall compel them, for their souls would not be satisfied, but they shall be permitted to keep a preacher whose teaching they approve. Therefore none of the superintendents or others shall annoy or abuse the preachers on account of their religion, [as] according to the previous constitutions, [or] allow any to be imprisoned or punished by removal from his post on account of his teachings, for faith is the gift of God. This comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

King John Sigismund of Transylvania, 1568, in the Edict of Religious Tolerance, proclaimed at the Diet of Torda, as quoted in a sermon by Rosalie A. Clavez, who states: "Although the Edict of Torda might seem ordinary by today's standards, in the 1500's it was a radical departure and remarkable given the political and religious tensions in Transylvania."


Unexpected Pleasure

I never thought that I would be so happy to have someone throw up all over me.

Greg Roberts, 2002,
in describing the first breath of his child after a sudden, unexplained seizure.


Where is That?

Oh, … I live Uptown, … and so did my mother, … and her mother too.

A New Orleans landlady, circa 1975, wife of a lawyer, in response to a query regarding her opinion on real estate investment in the Fauberg Marigny district, and requiring an explanation that it is another part of New Orleans.


Balance

Oh you hear a lot of stories
'Bout the sailors and their sport,
About how every lad
Has got a girl in every port.
But if you'd added two and two,
You'd figure out right quick
That's just because the lassies
Have a lad on every ship.
Twiddley-Aye


Rats in the Sea

There are no rats in the sea.

Consumer Reports, The first sentence in an article on the quality of various brands of canned tuna. Exact reference unavailable.


Music and Spirit

The best healer for struggles of pain, after the issue is clear,
is happiness; and wise songs,
daughters of the Muses, stroke one with hands of gentleness,
Not warm water even laps in such ease
the body as praise molded to the lyre's measure.
The story of things done outlives the act
when by the Graces assent,
the lips lift it up out of the deep heart.
Pindar, circa 460 B.C., "Nemea 4". (1)


Faith

In his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, my friend Gabriel García Márquez writes of individuals ensnared, as we all are, by the inescapable cycles of life. The sun rises and sets, the seasons pass, the years go by, the wheels turn, and the axle irremediably wears down. We are not given a choice of whether to participate in this process. If we live, that is our lot. But this does not leave us without meaningful choices. I have always believed, because I learned it from my parents, that you have to fight to achieve all that you can, not literally but with the gifts you have. At first to me that meant doing well in school. Later it meant being a good wife and mother and so on through all the stages of my life up to and including Secretary of State and beyond. I was taught to strive not because there were any guarantees of success but because the act of striving is in itself the only way to keep faith with life.

Madeleine Albright, 2003,
"Madam Secretary".


Wander

Not all who wander are lost.

Tee shirt sold by the Youth Group of the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling (Virginia), 27 Apr 2008.

Essential Communication

I don't know, she talked Spanish.

Girl, 4 yrs., in response to being asked the name of a girl about the same age, whom she met at a playground, and played with for more than half an hour, 2017.

Know

You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when youre sittin at the table.
Therell be time enough for countin when the dealins done.
Don Schlitz, "The Gambler", sung by Kenny Rogers, 1978


Hope

I'm just a lonesome traveler the great historical bum
I'm highly educated from history I have come
I built the rock of ages that was the year of one
And that was the biggest thing that man has ever done.
...
Well I better quit my talking 'cause I told you all I know
but please remember pardner wherever you may go
the world is digging slavery's grave and when the job is done
this'll be the biggest thing that man has ever done.
Woody Guthrie Woodie Guthrie, < 1945,
"The Biggest Thing..."

So What?

Adolf Hitler Wer redet heute noch von der Vernichtung der Armenier?
[Who speaks today still of the annihilation of the Armenians?]
Adolph Hitler, August 22, 1939.


Vision

...
And each one wore a mask of white
To hide his cruel face from sight
And each one sucked a hungry breath
Out of the empty lungs of death
...
He who rides with the klan
Is a devil and not a man
For underneath his white disguise
I have looked into his eyes
...
Alan Arkin & David Arkin, 1951,
"The Klan".


Festival

21 I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
I will not look upon.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Amos 5:21-24
New Revised Standard, 1989.

Union and Self

"Good grief," I responded, "it is no wonder that you are having trouble in your marriages, and you'll continue to have difficulties until you recognize that each of you has your own separate destiny to fulfill." The group felt not only chastised but profoundly confused by my pronouncement. Somewhat belligerently they asked me to define the purpose and function of my wife. "The purpose of Lily," I responded, "is to grow and to be the most of which she is capable, not for my benefit but for her own and to the glory of God." The concept remained alien to them for some time, however.

M. Scott Peck, 1978,
"The Road Less Traveled"


Janice Joplin

Freedom?

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose
Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, 1970,
sung by Janice Joplin, 1971.


Pride and Lust

... There dwell an accursed people, full of pride and lust. There when a young man takes a maiden in marriage, they do not lie together, but each lies with a cunningly fashioned image of the other, made to move and be warm by devilish arts, for real flesh will not please them, they are so dainty (delicati) in their dreams of lust. Their real children they fabricate by vile arts in a secret place.

Clive Staples Lewis, 1943,
"That Hideous Strength".


Truth of God?

I think it's because of fundamentalists. Fundamentalism is a characteristic of dominant males, who, first of all, subjugate women, and derogate women's rights. Secondly, [an] aspect of their fundamentalism is that they assume that they have a rare or unique relationship with God Almighty, whatever god they define. And their beliefs, therefore, are ordained by God. And since their beliefs are God's beliefs, they are infallible. They cannot make a mistake or acknowledge a mistake. Anyone who disagrees with them, by definition is wrong, because the disagreement is with me and with God. And being wrong, you are inferior. And in extreme cases you are considered to be subhuman. And so that's where violence erupts, and condemnation erupts, and value of a human life within a person who disagrees with you has little or no value. And that's where the violence comes out and that's where the unnecessary war comes out that's where what we define as terrorism comes out.

Audio Clip James Earl Carter, Jr., 26 Apr 2007, in an interview with Krista Tippett, on the radio program "Speaking of Faith", in response to a query regarding: "how he explains the fact that so much division and violence in the post cold war world seems to have a religious dimension."


Obduracy

Constructing a mental yoke is easy, but removing it again from people's minds is difficult.

Nothing is more difficult than to exterminate than religion, no matter how false it may be.

Andreas Eschbach, 1995, in "Die Haarteppichknüpfer" (English version: "The Carpet Makers"), trans. 2005 from the German by Doryl Jensen.


Cross of Iron

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children... This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

Dwight David Eisenhower, April 16, 1953.


Endeavor

Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance.

Attributed to George Smith Patton Jr., 1943


Glance of the Lord

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
Lord Byron, 1815, The Destruction of Sennacherib. See also: 2 Kings 19.35; Isaiah 37.36.


God Chooses

I am appalled when ministerial colleagues preach the will of God in natural disasters. The path of the twister spares a particular church, and people assume it is the will of God. This means it was also the will of God that a school lay directly in the path of death and destruction.

Rev. Roberta Finkelstein, 2 Jan 2005, in a sermon.


Distant Dataset

These are exciting times: after centuries of trying, we may yet develop rigorous, inclusive approaches that can do justice to all humanity's experiences, and can explain history's patterns without oversimplifying them or disrespecting its agents. This would itself be a hugely meaningful accomplishment, and a cosmic perspective can only help us achieve it. And then if, someday, we discover another, distant dataset, we may know better how to see it.

Kathryn Denning, 2009, "Social Evolution: State of the Field" in Dick, Steven J., and Lupisella, Mark L., eds., "Cosmos & Culture: Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context", ISBN 978-0-16-083119-5.


Intrinsic Nature

Indeed, if we regard the march of the world from this standpoint (i.e. not that of its progress but of its risks and the efforts it requires) we soon see, under the veil of security and harmony which - viewed from on high - envelope the rise of man, a particular type of cosmos in which evil appears necessarily and as abundantly as you like in the course of evolution - not by accident (which would not much matter) but through the very structure of the system. A universe which is involuted and interiorized, but at the same time and by the same token a universe which labors, which sins, and which suffers. Arrangement and centration: a doubly conjugated operation which, like the scaling of a mountain or the conquest of the air, can only be effected objectively if it is rigorously paid for - for reasons and at charges which, if we only knew them, would enable us to penetrate the secret of the world around us.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., 1948, "Some Remarks on the Place and Part of Evil in a World in Evolution", an appendix to "The Phenomenon of Man".


Seven Genders

The three gods who had already met in the Blue Room were less unlike humanity than the two whom they still awaited. In Viritrilbia [Mercury] and Venus and Malacandra [Mars] were represented those two of the Seven Genders which bear a certain analogy to the biological sexes and can therefore be in some measure understood by men. It would not be so with those who were now preparing to descend. These also doubtless had their genders, but we have no clue to them. These would be mightier energies: ancient eldils [angels, gods], steersmen of giant worlds which have never from the beginning been subdued by the sweet humiliations of organic life.

Clive Staples Lewis, 1943,
"That Hideous Strength".


Existence of Reality

There are as many people who argue about the existence of reality as about the existence of truth. I encourage them to debate each other.

Carl Sagan, 1994, as quoted in Skeptical Inquirer 29(4):31, July/August 2005.


Physics and Reality

... let us make quite plain that the task of physics as of all science is found in the coherent description of experience. Physics has nothing to say about a possible real world lying behind experience. It is extremely important to realize that, although physics rests upon the assumptions of the possibility of knowledge and the uniformity of experience, other philosophical problems connected with realism and idealism have no significance for it.

Robert Bruce Lindsay (Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the Ultrasonics Laboratory, Brown University) & Henry Margenau (Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics, Yale University), "Foundations of Physics", Dover, New York, 1957 (original publication 1936).


Control of Reality

I myself belong to a group that believes the social and natural sciences are too important to be left to specialists in those fields and that Christian faith can and should be brought to bear in the formulation of their findings.

John B. Cobb, Jr., 2005, in a forward to "Hard Ball on Holy Ground", Stephen Swecker (ed.), ISBN 0-9711146-2-5.


Opinion and Facts

Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but not [to] their own set of facts.

Arianna Huffington, 01/13/2012, on the radio program "Science Friday" (NPR).


Rational World

...it is difficult for the "Children of the Enlightenment" to believe that many individuals do not live in a rational world.

Newton Abbot Rose, 2006


One of the Five?

It's my computer!

Girl, ~3.5 yrs, after her grandfather shouted that there was a computer in the bathroom.


/home/yah/univ/src/

... at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a "posthuman" stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.

Nick Bostrom, 2002, "Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?", Department of Philosophy, Oxford University.


Constraint to be Aware

Will these chips "experience" vision and emotions by simulating and appropriately connecting the brain areas known to be involved in the subjective experience associated with them? It's too soon to say. However, our goal is not to replicate subjective experience — consciousness — in a chip but rather to build functional machines that can behave intelligently in complex environments. In other words, the idea is to make machines that behave as if they are intelligent, emotionally biased, and motivated, without the constraint that they are actually aware of these feelings, thoughts, and motivations.

Massimiliano Versace & Ben Chandler, Dec. 2010, "The New Brain Machine", IEEE Spectrum. The machine will have about 1010 "synapses"/cm2, about the same as the human brain.


Paradox

Not truth, nor certainty. These I foreswore
In my novitiate, as young men called
To holy orders must abjure the world.
"If... then...", this only I assert;
And my successes are but pretty chains
Linking twin doubts, for it is vain to ask
If what I postulate be justified,
Or what I prove possess the stamp of fact.

Yet bridges stand, and men no longer crawl
In two dimensions. And such triumphs stem
In no small measure from the power this game,
Played with the thrice-attenuated shades
Of things, has over their originals.
How frail the wand, but how profound the spell!
Clarence R. Wylie Jr., 1948


Hypothesis

... for although in a certain sense and for light-minded persons non-existent things can be more easily and irresponsibly represented in words than existing things, for the serious and conscientious historian it is just the reverse. Nothing is harder, yet nothing is more necessary, than to speak of certain things whose existence is neither demonstrable nor probable. The very fact that serious and conscientious men treat them as existing things, brings them a step closer to existence and to the possibility of being born.

Hermann Hesse, 1943,
"The Glass Bead Game".


The Holy Ghost

The sun in the middle of the moving stars, himself at rest and yet the source of motion, carries the image of God the Father and Creator. He distributes his motive force through the medium which contains the moving bodies, even as the Father creates through the Holy Ghost.

Johannes Kepler, circa 1622, quoted indirectly in "The Act of Creation", 1964, by Arthur Koestler, who states: "Nobody before Kepler had postulated, or even suspected, the existence of a physical force acting between the sun and the planets."


Beginning

The beginning of all things was the Apeiron [the unlimited, unbounded, undefined] … from which coming-to-be was for all things, and their destruction was of necessity into the same. For they suffer punishment and make reparation to each other for injustice according to the order of time.

Anaximander of Miletus, circa 585 B.C.


Creation

Yah, the Lord of hosts, the living God, King of the Universe, Omnipotent, All-Kind and Merciful, Supreme and Extolled, who is Eternal, Sublime and Most-Holy, ordained (formed) and created the Universe in thirty-two mysterious paths of wisdom by three Sepharim, namely: 1) S'for; 2) Sipur; and 3) Sapher which are in Him one and the same. They consist of a decade out of nothing and of twenty-two fundamental letters. He divided the twenty-two consonants into three divisions: 1) three mothers, fundamental letters or first elements; 2) seven double; and 3) twelve simple consonants.

Chapter I, Section 1 of "Sepher Yezirah", A Book on Creation, anon., early to mid 1st millennium A.D., perhaps Rabbi Akiba, 2nd century A.D., trans. 1877 Rev. Dr. Isidor Kalisch, publ. 1948 for the Supreme Council of The Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis.


Why are People?

Charles Darwin Living organisms had existed on earth, without ever knowing why, for over three thousand million years before the truth finally dawned on one of them. His name was Charles Darwin.
Richard Dawkins, 1976,
"The Selfish Gene"

Evolved Limit

At no stage of our evolution did natural selection favor those who could make sense of how they are caused and the laws governing them, or in fact why they exist at all. And that is why we can't.

Frank Jackson, 1982, "Epiphenomenal Qualia", Philosophical Quarterly, 32:127-36.


Plans

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Robert Burns, 1785,
"To a Mouse"


Cycle

There is day, also, and night in the universe:
The wise know this, declaring the day of Brahma
A thousand ages in span
And the night a thousand ages.

Day dawns, and all those lives that lay hidden asleep
Come forth and show themselves, mortally manifest:
Night falls, and all are dissolved
Into the sleeping germ of life.

Thus they are seen, O Prince, and appear unceasingly,
Dissolving into the dark, and with day returning
Back to the new birth and death:
All helpless. They do what they must.

Bhagavad Gita, anon. circa 500 - 100 BC, trans. Swami Prabhavananda & Christopher Isherwood.

Destiny

O Gilgamesh, this was the meaning of your dream. You were given the kingship, such was your destiny, everlasting life was not your destiny. Because of this do not be sad at heart, do not be grieved or oppressed; he has given you power to bind and to loose, to be the darkness and the light of mankind. He has given unexampled supremacy over the people, victory in battle from which no fugitive returns, in forays and assaults from which there is no going back. But do not abuse this power, deal justly with your servants in the palace, deal justly before the face of the Sun.

From "The Epic of Gilgamesh", anon., circa 2750-2500 BC, English version by N.K. Sandars. This epic is considered to be the oldest known written story.


Zombie

If the spawning parent occasionally does a

int n;

waitpid(-1, &n, WNOHANG);

then it will clean up the zombies. Like a ghost that cannot go on to the afterlife because it has a terrible secret it must tell someone, the zombies are hanging on grimly so they can whisper their process return code into their parents' ear before finally fading away.
Andy Green, 08/20/2007, on the newsgroup: gmane.linux.redhat.fedora.general on the thread: "<defunct>: too many from pipe".


Death

Dylan Thomas Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas, 1952,
"Do Not Go Gentle..."


Eternal Costume

The good thing about your costume is you never have to take it off.
Boy (6 yrs) at a 2015 Halloween party a few minutes after I (76 yrs) told him that for my costume I was dressed as an old man, and that I was really only 12 years old.


Watch

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

Bob Dylan, circa 1967,
All Along The Watchtower.


Understanding

There are many sharp shafts in the quiver
under the crook of my arm.
They speak to the understanding; most men need interpreters.
The wise man knows many things in his blood; the vulgar are taught.
They will say anything. They clatter vainly like crows
against the sacred bird of Zeus.
Pindar, 476 B.C., Olympia 2. (1)


1. Richmond Lattimore, trans., "The Odes of Pindar", The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1947.