era

Not years but experiences age us; hence man would be the unhappiest of creatures were he a diligent pupil of experience. That each new generation and each new era starts out from the cradle is what keeps mankind eternally young.

Those who are versed in the history of their country, in the history of the human race, must know that rigorous state prosecutions have always preceded the era of convulsion; and this era, I fear, will be accelerated by the folly and madness of our rulers. If the people are discontented, the proper mode of quieting their discontent is, not by instituting rigorous and sanguinary prosecutions, but by redressing their wrongs and conciliating their affections. Courts of justice, indeed, may be called in to the aid of ministerial vengeance; but if once the purity of their proceedings is suspected, they will cease to be objects of reverence to the nation; they will degenerate into empty and expensive pageantry, and become the partial instruments of vexatious oppression. Whatever may become of me, my principles will last forever. Individuals may perish; but truth is eternal. The rude blasts of tyranny may blow from every quarter; but freedom is that hardy plant which will survive the tempest and strike an everlasting root into the most unfavorable soil.

Every era opens with its challenges, and they cannot be met by elaborating methods of the past.

The art of our era is not art, but technology. Today Rembrandt is painting automobiles; Shakespeare is writing research reports.

Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of hair-trigger balances, when a false, or misunderstood word may create as much disaster as a sudden thoughtless act.

Our current obsession with creativity is the result of our continued striving for immortality in an era when most people no longer believe in an after-life.

We are actors in a great historical drama. It rests upon us to decide if a new era is to dawn in the transformation of the world into the kingdom of God, or if Western civilization is to descend to the graveyard of dead civilizations and God will have to try once more.

It seems to be a constant throughout history: In every period, people believed things that were just ridiculous, and believed them so strongly that you would have gotten in terrible trouble for saying otherwise. Is our time any different? To anyone who has read any amount of history, the answer is almost certainly no. It would be a remarkable coincidence if ours were the first era to get everything just right. It's tantalizing to think we believe things that people in the future will find ridiculous. What would someone coming back to visit us in a time machine have to be careful not to say?

The soul is an embryo in the body of man, and the day of death is the day of awakening, for it is the great era of labour and the rich hour of creation... Death is an ending to the son of the earth, but to the soul it is the start, the triumph of life... Death removes but the touch, and not the awareness of all good. And he who has lived one spring or more possesses the spiritual life of one who has lived a score of springs.

In the social production of their existence, human beings necessarily enter into determinate relations, independent of their will, relations of production, corresponding to a given stage of development of their material productive powers. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation on which rises a legal and political superstructure and tow which correspond determinate forms of social consciousness. the mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and spiritual life. It is not the consciousness of human beings which determines their existence, but their social existence determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of development, the material productive powers of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or - this merely expresses the same things in terms of right - with the property relations in the framework of which they have thus far operated. From forms of development of the productive powers these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution. The changes in the economic foundation lead sooner or later to the transformation of the whole immense superstructure.

We in the contemporary west may wake up each morning to cast out our sleep and dream experience like so much rubbish. But that is an almost freakish act of alienation. Only western society - and especially in the modern era - has been quite so prodigal in dealing with what is, even by the fictitious measure of our mechanical clocks, a major portion of our lives.

Our current obsession with creativity is the result of our continued striving for immortality in an era when most people no longer believe in an after-life.

The era of Moshiach is the fulfillment and culmination of the creation of the world, for which purpose it was originally created. Something of this revelation has been experienced once before on earth, at the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai [when] "To you it has been shown, to know that the L-rd is G‑d; there is none else beside Him" (Deuteronomy 4:35). G‑dliness was then perceived with physical vision.... Subsquently, however, sin coarsened both them and the world - until the era of Moshiach, when the physicality of the body and the world will be refined, and we will be able to apprehend the revealed Divine light which will shine forth to Israel by means of the Torah.... "The glory of G‑d will be revealed; and all flesh will see that the mouth of G‑d has spoken" (Isaiah 40:5)... This all depends on our deeds and labor throughout the duration of the galut... When a person does a mitzvah, he draws down a flow of Divine light into the world, to be suffused and integrated into the material reality.

The passionate controversies of one era are viewed as sterile preoccupations by another, for knowledge alters what we seek as well as what we find.

Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of hair-trigger balances, when a false or misunderstood word may create as much disaster as a sudden thoughtless act.

Modern man’s discovery of the fundamental aloneness and solitude in a universe indifferent to his fate is due to an expectation that it was in the universe where care for what is ultimately precious was to be found. He now suffers from the collapse of naïve self-deception and oversimplification. Our era marks the end of simplification, the end of personal exclusiveness, the end of self-defense through aloofness, the end of a sense of security.

From the cave to the skyscraper, from the club to weapons of mass destruction, from the tautological life of the tribe to the era of globalization, the fictions of literature have multiplied human experiences, preventing us from succumbing to lethargy, self-absorption, resignation. Nothing has sown so much disquiet, so disturbed our imagination and our desires as the life of lies we add, thanks to literature, to the one we have, so we can be protagonists in the great adventures, the great passions real life will never give us. The lies of literature become truths through us, the readers transformed, infected with longings and, through the fault of fiction, permanently questioning a mediocre reality. Sorcery, when literature offers us the hope of having what we do not have, being what we are not, acceding to that impossible existence where like pagan gods we feel mortal and eternal at the same time, that introduces into our spirits non-conformity and rebellion, which are behind all the heroic deeds that have contributed to the reduction of violence in human relationships. Reducing violence, not ending it. Because ours will always be, fortunately, an unfinished story. That is why we have to continue dreaming, reading, and writing, the most effective way we have found to alleviate our mortal condition, to defeat the corrosion of time, and to transform the impossible into possibility.

The idea inherent in all idealistic metaphysics–that the world is in some sense a product of the mind–is thus turned into its opposite: the mind is a product of the world, of the processes of nature. Hence, according to popular Darwinism, nature does not need philosophy to speak for her: nature, a powerful and venerable deity, is ruler rather than ruled. Darwinism ultimately comes to the aid of rebellious nature in undermining any doctrine, theological or philosophical, that regards nature itself as expressing a truth that reason must try to recognize. The equating of reason with nature, by which reason is debased and raw nature exalted, is a typical fallacy of the era of rationalization. Instrumentalized subjective reason either eulogizes nature as pure vitality or disparages it as brute force, instead of treating it as a text to be interpreted by philosophy that, if rightly read, will unfold a tale of infinite suffering. Without committing the fallacy of equating nature and reason, mankind must try to reconcile the two.

In traditional theology and metaphysics, the natural was largely conceived as the evil, and the spiritual or supernatural as the good. In popular Darwinism, the good is the well-adapted, and the value of that to which the organism adapts itself is unquestioned or is measured only in terms of further adaptation. However, being well adapted to one’s surroundings is tantamount to being capable of coping successfully with them, of mastering the forces that beset one. Thus the theoretical denial of the spirit’s antagonism to nature–even as implied in the doctrine of interrelation between the various forms of organic life, including man–frequently amounts in practice to subscribing to the principle of man’s continuous and thoroughgoing domination of nature. Regarding reason as a natural organ does not divest it of the trend to domination or invest it with greater potentialities for reconciliation. On the contrary, the abdication of the spirit in popular Darwinism entails the rejection of any elements of the mind that transcend the function of adaptation and consequently are not instruments of self-preservation. Reason disavows its own primacy and professes to be a mere servant of natural selection. On the surface, this new empirical reason seems more humble toward nature than the reason of the metaphysical tradition. Actually, however, it is arrogant, practical mind riding roughshod over the ‘useless spiritual,’ and dismissing any view of nature in which the latter is taken to be more than a stimulus to human activity. The effects of this view are not confined to modern philosophy.

Our sages point to Messiah and the Messianic era as the ultimate purpose for the creation of the world. God created the world in order that he would have a dwelling place among men. And this would be realized in the messianic era because the world was created solely for the Messiah.

The present era grabs everything that was ever written in order to transform it into films, TV programmes, or cartoons. What is essential in a novel is precisely what can only be expressed in a novel, and so every adaptation contains nothing but the non-essential. If a person is still crazy enough to write novels nowadays and wants to protect them, he has to write them in such a way that they cannot be adapted, in other words, in such a way that they cannot be retold.