Ambiguous Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 53 quotes )
Altruism is for thosewho can't endure their desires. There's a worldas ambiguous as a moan, a pleasure moanour earnest neighborsmight think a crime. It's where we could live. I'll say I love you, Which will lead, of course, to disappointment, but those words unsaidpoison every next moment. I will try to disappoint youbetter than anyone else has.--Mon Semblable
People usually complain that music is so ambiguous, and what they are supposed to think when they hear it is so unclear, while words are understood by everyone. But for me it is exactly the opposite...what the music I love expresses to me are thoughts not to indefinite for words, but rather too definite.
It is great good health to believe as the Hindus do that there are 33 million gods and goddesses in the world. It is great good health to want to understand one s dreams. It is great good health to desire the ambiguous and paradoxical. It is sickness of the profoundest kind to believe that there is one reality. There is sickness in any piece of work or any piece of art seriously attempting to suggest that the idea that there is more than one reality is somehow redundant.
It was if the charming theatrical curtain had dropped away and I saw him for the first time as he really was: not the benign old sage, the indulgent and protective good-parent of my dreams, but ambiguous, a moral neutral, whose beguiling trappings concealed a being watchful, capricious, and heartless.
Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody. Not a few men who cherish lofty and noble ideals hide them under a bushel for fear of being called different.
Help!' he shrieked shrilly in a voice strangling in its own emotion, as the policemen carried him to the open doors in the rear of the ambulance and threw him inside. 'Police! Help! Police!' The doors were shut and bolted, and the ambulance raced away. There was a humorless irony in the ludicrous panic of the man screaming for help to the police while policemen were all around him. Yossarian smiled wryly at the futile and ridiculous cry for aid, then saw with a start that the words were ambiguous, realized with alarm that they were not perhaps, intended as a call for police but as a heroic warning from the grave by a doomed friend to everyone who was not a policeman with a club and gun and a mob of other policemen with clubs and guns to back him up. 'Help! Police!' the man had cried, and he could have been shouting of danger.
The Light of humane minds is Perspicuous Words, but by exact definitions first snuffed, and purged from ambiguity; Reason is the pace; Encrease of Science, the way; and the Benefit of man-kind, the end. And on the contrary, Metaphors, and senslesse and ambiguous words, are like ignes fatui; and reasoning upon them, is wandering amongst innumerable absurdities; and their end, contention, and sedition, or contempt.
and in that recurring dream, I found myself trapped in some sort of gigantic game of which I was unfamiliar with the rules; lost in a labyrinthine town of dark and damp, criss-crossing streets, ambiguous characters of uncertain authority having no idea of why I was there nor what I had to do, and where the first sign of the beginning of understanding was the wish to die.
In fact, I suspect that our only hope is disaster. Cruel tho' it is to say it, there has got to be a vast die-off in the human population -- likely including us and our families -- before the survivors find themselves in a world where a new and humble and 'religious' adaptation with nature is possible. Disaster is not necessary; the better world could be achieved through reason and common sense and a sense of fellowship -- but most of the present human world is dead set against us. Thus I was forced to the disagreeable resolutions (not solutions) which I attempted to sketch out in the novel 'Good News.' The title is of course deliberately ambiguous.
The marriage of reason and nightmare that dominated the 20th century has given birth to an ever more ambiguous world. Across the communications landscape move the spectres of sinister technologies and the dreams that money can buy. Thermo-nuclear weapons systems and soft-drink commercials coexist in an overlit realm ruled by advertising and pseudo-events, science and pornography. Over our lives preside the great twin leitmotifs of the 20th century – sex and paranoia…In a sense, pornography is the most political form of fiction, dealing with how we use and exploit each other, in the most urgent and ruthless way.
I feel with some passion that what we truly are is private, and almost infinitely complex, and ambiguous, and both external and internal, and double- or triple- or multiply natured, and largely mysterious even to ourselves; and furthermore that what we are is only part of us, because identity, unlike "identity", must include what we do. And I think that to find oneself and every aspect of this complexity reduced in the public mind to one property that apparently subsumes all the rest ("gay", "black", "Muslim", whatever) is to be the victim of a piece of extraordinary intellectual vulgarity.
Special Circumstances had always been the Contact section’s moral espionage weapon, the very cutting edge of the Culture’s interfering diplomatic policy, the elite of the elite, in a society which abhorred elitism. Even before the war, its standing and its image within the Culture had been ambiguous. It was glamorous but dangerous, possessed of an aura of roguish sexiness - there was no other word for it - which implied predation, seduction and even violation…No other part of the Culture more exactly represented what the society as a whole really stood for, or was more militant in the application of he Culture’s fundamental beliefs. Yet no other part embodied less of the society’s day-to-day character.
However sugarcoated and ambiguous, every form of authoritarianism muststart with a belief in some group's greater right to power, whether thatright is justified by sex, race, class, religion or all four. Howeverfar it may expand, the progression inevitably rests on unequal powerand airtight roles within the family.
It was the judge and the imbecile. They were both of them naked and they neared through the desert dawn like beings of a mode little more than tangential to the world at large, their figures now quick with clarity and now fugitive in the strangeness of that same light. Like things whose very portent renders them ambiguous. Like things so charged with meaning that their forms are dimmed.
And what is it that preachers do, to this very day? Do they interpret and expound the Scriptures? Yet if the Scripture they expound is uncertain, who can assure us that heir exposition is certain? Another new exposition? And who will expound the exposition? At this rate we will go on forever. In short, if Scripture is obscure or ambiguous, what part is there in God's giving it to us?
Even those novelists most commonly deemed “philosophical” have sometimes answered with an emphatic no. Iris Murdoch, the longtime Oxford philosopher and author of some two dozen novels treating highbrow themes like consciousness and morality, argued that philosophy and literature were contrary pursuits. Philosophy calls on the analytical mind to solve conceptual problems in an “austere, unselfish, candid” prose, she said in a BBC interview broadcast in 1978, while literature looks to the imagination to show us something “mysterious, ambiguous, particular” about the world. Any appearance of philosophical ideas in her own novels was an inconsequential reflection of what she happened to know. “If I knew about sailing ships I would put in sailing ships,” she said. “And in a way, as a novelist, I would rather know about sailing ships than about philosophy.
There was a wall. It did not look important. It was built of uncut rocks roughly mortared. An adult could look right over it, and even a child could climb it. Where it crossed the roadway, instead of having a gate it degenerated into mere geometry, a line, an idea of boundary. But the idea was real. It was important. For seven generations there had been nothing in the world more important than that wall. Like all walls it was ambiguous, two-faced. What was inside it and what was outside it depended upon which side of it you were on.
Ben: You know what's really great about baseball? Lindsey Meeks: Hmm? Ben: You can't fake it. You know, anything else in life you don't have to be great in - business, music, art - I mean you can get lucky. Lindsey Meeks: Really? Ben: Yeah, you can fool everyone for awhile, you know? It's like - not - not baseball. You can either hit a curveball or you can't. That's the way it works... Lindsey Meeks: Hmm. Ben: You know? Ben: You can have a lucky day, sure, but you can't have a lucky career. It's a little like math. It's orderly. Win or lose, it's fair. It all adds up. It's, like, not as confusing or as ambiguous as, uh... Lindsey Meeks: Life? Ben: Yeah. It's - it's safe.