Affirmation Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 68 quotes )
What the best fiction does is make powerful affirmations of familiar truths...the trivial fiction which times filters out is that which either makes wrong affirmations or else makes affirmations in a squeaky little voice. Powerful affirmation comes from strong intellect and strong emotions supported by adequate technique.
In all great works of fiction, regardless of the grim reality they present, there is an affirmation of life against the transience of that life, an essential defiance. This affirmation lies in the way the author takes control of reality by retelling it in his own way, thus creating a new world. Every great work of art, I would declare pompously, is a celebration, an act of insubordination against the betrayals, horrors and infidelities of life. The perfection and beauty of form rebels against the ugliness and shabbiness of the subject matter.
I knelt and prayed, and the strongest truth came over me. Didn't matter if God in his heaven was a Catholic or a Protestant God, or the God of the Hindus. What mattered was something deeper and older and more powerful than any such image - it was a concept of goodness based upon the affirmation of life, the turning away from destruction, from the perverse, from man using and abusing man. It was the affirmation of the human and the natural.
What you feel in the presence of a thing you admire is just one word – ‘Yes.’ The affirmation, the acceptance, the sign of admittance. And that ‘Yes’ is more than an answer to one thing, it’s a kind of ‘Amen’ to life, to the earth that holds this thing, to the thought that created it, to yourself for being able to see it. But the ability to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ is the essence of all ownership. It’s your ownership of your own ego. Your soul, if you wish. Your soul has a single basic function-the act of valuing. ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, ‘I wish’ or ‘I do not wish.’ You can’t say ‘Yes’ without saying ‘I.’ There’s no affirmation without the one who affirms. In this sense, everything to which you grant your love is yours.
Stranger: 'Are not thought and speech the same, with this exception, that what is called thought is the unuttered conversation of the soul with herself? Theatetus: Quite true. Stranger: But the stream of thought which flows through the lips and is audible is called speech? Theatetus: True. Stranger: And we know that there exists in speech... Theatetus: What exists? Stranger: Affirmation Theatetus: Yes, we know it.
The future teachers I try to recruit are those show have refused to let themselves be neutered in this way, either in their private lives or in the lives that they intend to lead in school. When they begin to teach, they come into their classrooms with a sense of affirmation of the goodness and the fullness of existence, with a sense of satisfaction in discovering the unexpected in their students, and with a longing to surprise the world, their kids, even themselves, with their capacity to leave each place they've been ... a better and more joyful place than it was when they entered it.
I came across an article recently that reported how growing numbers of employers today complain that many young job applicants exhibit all thesigns of having been -- there's no other word for it-- SPOILED. These young people feel entitled to jobs and salaries they haven't earned. They have unrealistic views of their own capabilities. They don't take criticism well, and they demand lots of attention and guidance from their employres. They "were raised with so much affirmation and positive reinforcement that they come into the workplace needy for more," said one manager.
Love is the bridge that leads from the I sense to the We, and there is a paradox about personal love. Love of another individual opens a new relation between the personality and the world. The lover responds in a new way to nature and may even write poetry. Love is affirmation; it motivates the yes responses and the sense of wider communication. Love casts out fear, and in the security of this togetherness we find contentment, courage. We no longer fear the age-old haunting questions: "Who am I?" "Why am I?" "Where am I going?" - and having cast out fear, we can be honest and charitable.
I can worship Nature, and that fulfills my need for miracles and beauty. Art gives a spiritual depth to existence -- I can find worlds bigger and deeper than my own in music, paintings, and books. And from my friends and family I receive the highest benediction, emotional contact, and personal affirmation. I can bow before the works of Man, from buildings to babies, and that fulfills my need for wonder. I can believe in the sanctity of Life, and that becomes the Revealed Word, to live my life as I believe it should be, not as I'm told to by self-appointed guides.
In the literary machine that Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time” constitutes, we are struck by the fact that all the parts are produced as asymmetrical sections, paths that suddenly come to an end, hermetically sealed boxes, noncommunicating vessels, watertight compartments, in which there are gaps even between things that are contiguous, gaps that are affirmations, pieces of a puzzle belonging not to any one puzzle but to many, pieces assembled by forcing them into a certain place where they may or may not belong, their unmatched edges violently forced out of shape, forcibly made to fit together, to interlock, with a number of pieces always left over.
When the stories were over, four or five of us walked out the home of our host. The surrounding land, in the persistent light of a far northern summer, was still visible for miles--striated, pitched massifs of the Brooks Range; the shy, willow-lined banks of the John River flowing south from Anaktuvuk Pass; and the flat tundra plain, opening with great affirmation to the north. The landscape seemed alive because of the stories. It was precisely these ocherous tones, the kind of willow, exactly this austerity that had informed the wolverine narratives. I felt exhilaration, and a deeper confirmation of what I had heard. The mundane task that awaited me I anticipated now with pleasure. The stories had renewed in me a sense of the purpose of my life.
Is this Tree of Life a God one could worship? Pray to? Fear? Probably not. But it did make the ivy twine and the sky so blue, so perhaps the song I love tells a truth after all. The Tree of Life is neither perfect nor infinite in space or time, but it is actual, and if it is not Anselm's "Being greater than which nothing can be conceived," it is surely a being that is greater than anything any of us will ever conceive of in detail worthy of its detail. Is something sacred? Yes, say I with Nietzsche. I could not pray to it, but I can stand in affirmation of its magnificence. This world is sacred.
Few things build a person up like affirmation. According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition (Simon and Schuster, 1991), the word affirm comes from ad firmare, which means “to make firm.” So when you affirm people, you make firm within them the things you see about them. Do that often enough, and the belief that solidifies within them will become stronger than the doubts they have about themselves.
No, my advocates, my angels with sadist eyes, this is the beginning of my life, or the end. So I lean affirmation across the cafe table, and surrender my fifty years away with an easy smile. But the surety of my love is not dismayed by any eventuality which prudence or pity can conjure up, and in the end all that we can do is to sit at the table over which our hands cross, listening to tunes from the wurlitzer, with love huge and simple between us, and nothing more to be said.
Nevertheless, what was made in the hope of transforming the world need not be rejected because it failed to do so? otherwise, one would also have to throw out a good deal of the greatest painting and poetry of the nineteenth century. An objective political failure can still work as a model of intellectual affirmation or dissent.
I only wanted to suggest to you that self-sacrifice is a passion so overwhelming that beside it even lust and hunger are trifling. It whirls its victim to destruction in the highest affirmation of his personality. No wine is so intoxicating, no love so shattering, no vice so compelling. When he sacrifices himself, man for a moment is greater than God, for how can God, infinite and omnipotent, sacrifice himself? At best he can only sacrifice his only begotten son.
If we affirm one moment, we thus affirm not only ourselves but all existence. For nothing is self-sufficient, neither in us ourselves nor in things; and if our soul has trembled with happiness and sounded like a harp string just once, all eternity was needed to produce this one event - and in this single moment of affirmation all eternity was called good, redeemed, justified, and affirmed.
I now want to examine a second major feature of Western civilization that derives from Christianity. This is what philosopher Charles Taylor calls the 'affirmation of ordinary life.' It is the simple idea that ordinary people are fallible, and yet these fallible people matter. In this view, society should organize itself in order to meet their everyday concerns, which are elevated into a kind of spiritual framework. The nuclear family, the idea of limited government, the Western concept of the rule of law, and our culture's high emphasis on the relief of suffering all derive from this basic Christian understanding of the dignity of fallible human beings.
He read political books. They gave him phrases which he could only speak to himself and use on Shama. They also revealed one region after another of misery and injustice and left him feeling more helpless and more isolated than ever. Then it was that he discovered the solace of Dickens. Without difficulty he transferred characters and settings to people and places he knew. In the grotesques of Dickens everything he feared and suffered from was ridiculed and diminished, so that his own anger, his own contempt became unnecessary, and he was given strength to bear the most difficult part of his day: dressing in the morning, that daily affirmation of faith in oneself, which at times for him was almost like an act of sacrifice.