Included in this almost nothing, as a kind of geological afterthought of the last few million years, is the first development of self-conscious intelligence on this planet—an odd and unpredictable invention of a little twig on the mammalian evolutionary bush. Any definition of this uniqueness, embedded as it is in our possession of language, must involve our ability to frame the world as stories and to transmit these tales to others. If our propensity to grasp nature as story has distorted our perceptions, I shall accept this limit of mentality upon knowledge, for we receive in trade both the joys of literature and the core of our being.
Since the universe must contain millions of appropriate planets, consciousness in some form - but not with the paired eyes and limbs, and the brain built of neurons in the only example we know - may evolve frequently. But if only one origin of life in a million ever leads to consciousness, then Martian bacteria most emphatically do not imply Little Green Men.)
Four features of a good speech: 1. Clarity – achieved if you have a good outline. 2. Charity – praise the audience. 3. Brevity – JFK believed anything worth saying can be covered in a 20 minute speech. 4. Levity – as evidenced by Kennedy’s ironic wit.
The excitement of life is in the numinous experience wherein we are given to each other in that larger celebration of existence in which all things attain their highest expression, for the universe, by definition, is a single gorgeous celebratory event.
For the sake of goodness and love, Man shall let Death have No sovereignty over his thoughts.
The new hero-type favored by Aschenbach, and recurring in his books in a multiplicity of individual variants, had already been remarked upon at an early stage by a shrewd commentator, who had described his conception as that of an intellectual and boyish manly virtue, that of a youth who clenches his teeth in proud shame and stands calmly on as the swords and spears pass through his body ... the figure of Saint Sebastian is the most perfect symbol if not of art in general, then certainly of the kind of art in question.
Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.
We cannot arrive at the perfect possession of God in this life, and that is why we are travelling and in darkness. But we already possess Him by grace, and therefore in that sense we have arrived and are dwelling in the light. But oh! How far have I to go to find You in Whom I have already arrived!
Confusion of sign and object is original sin coeval with the word.
Unlike Descartes, we own and use our beliefs of the moment, even in the midst of philosophizing, until by what is vaguely called scientific method we change them here and there for the better. Within our own total evolving doctrine, we can judge truth as earnestly and absolutely as can be, subject to correction, but that goes without saying.
Yet, so strong is the hold which the insidious evil of Communism secures upon its disciples, that I could still say to someone at that time: I know that I am leaving the winning side for the losing side, but it is better to die on the losing side than to live under Communism.
To me, today, at age sixty-one, all prayer, by the humble or highly placed, has one thing in common: supplication for strength and inspiration to carry on the best human impulses which should bind us together for a better world. Without such inspiration, we would rapidly deteriorate and finally perish. But in our troubled time, the right of men to think and worship as their conscience dictates is being sorely pressed. We can retain these privileges only by being constantly on guard and fighting off any encroachment on these precepts. To retreat from any of the principles handed down by our forefathers, who shed their blood for the ideals we still embrace, would be a complete victory for those who would destroy liberty and justice for the individual.
Perhaps the efforts of the true poets, founders, religions, literatures, all ages, have been, and ever will be, our time and times to come, essentially the same - to bring people back from their present strayings and sickly abstractions, to the costless, average, divine, original concrete.
What a shame to waste those great shots on the practice tee.
The organizations of the future will increasingly depend on the creativity of their members to survive. Great Groups offer a new model in which the leader is an equal among Titans. In a truly creative collaboration, work is pleasure, and the only rules and procedures are those that advance the common cause.
If we can get that realistic feminine morality working for us, if we can trust ourselves and so let women think and feel that an unwanted child or an oversize family is wrong -- not ethically wrong, not against the rules, but morally wrong, all wrong, wrong like a thalidomide birth, wrong like taking a wrong step that will break your neck -- if we can get feminine and human morality out from under the yoke of a dead ethic, then maybe we'll begin to get somewhere on the road that leads to survival.
If you are serious about your religion, if you really wish to commit yourself to the spiritual quest, you must learn how to use psycho-chemicals. Drugs are the religion of the twenty-first century. Pursuing the religious life today without using psychedelic drugs is like studying astronomy with the naked eye because that's how they did it in the first century A.D., and besides telescopes are unnatural.
The language of symbol and dream is the route to the unconscious whole. Within these two facets of mind we must look if we would find security. This has been the route specifically human, the dual level contained within the universal concept of being. It has been mostly a foreign language, but in recent decades we have grown to comprehend that if we could remember the past, we could find the conception of a future which is daily being unfolded.
The fact is that men need women more than women need men; and so, aware of this fact, man has sought to keep woman dependent upon him economically as the only method open to him of making himself necessary to her. Since in the beginning woman would not become his willing slave, he has wrought through the centuries a society in which woman must serve him if she is to survive.
It's possible, although far-fetched, that in the future we could think of cancer being used as a therapy.