Assent Quotes (displaying: 1 - 28 of 28 quotes )
Men have gone on to build up vast intellectual schemes, philosophies, and theologies, to prove that ideals are not real as ideals but as antecedently existing actualities. They have failed to see that in converting moral realities into matters of intellectual assent they have evinced lack of moral faith. Faith that something should be in existence as far as lies in our power is changed into the intellectual belief that it is already in existence. When physical existence does not bear out the assertion, the physical is subtly changed into the metaphysical. In this way, moral faith has been inextricably tied up with intellectual beliefs about the supernatural.
A friend came to visit James Joyce one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair. James, what’s wrong?' the friend asked. 'Is it the work?' Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always? How many words did you get today?' the friend pursued. Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): 'Seven.' Seven? But James… that’s good, at least for you.' Yes,' Joyce said, finally looking up. 'I suppose it is… but I don’t know what order they go in!
To fail to experience gratitude when walking through the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum, when listening to the music of Bach or Beethoven, when exercising our freedom to speak, or ... to give, or withhold, our assent, is to fail to recognize how much we have received from the great wellsprings of human talent and concern that gave us Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, our parents, our friends. We need a rebirth of gratitude for those who have cared for us, living and, mostly, dead. The high moments of our way of life are their gifts to us. We must remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers; and in our deeds.
One of the few freedoms that we have as human beings that cannot be taken away from us is the freedom to assent to what is true and to deny what is false. Nothing you can give me is worth surrendering that freedom for. At this moment I'm a man with complete tranquillity...I've been a real estate developer for most of my life, and I can tell you that a developer lives with the opposite of tranquillity, which is perturbation. You're perturbed about something all the time. You build your first development, and right away you want to build a bigger one, and you want a bigger house to live in, and if it ain't in Buckhead, you might as well cut your wrists. Soon's you got that, you want a plantation, tens of thousands of acres devoted solely to shooting quail, because you know of four or five developers who've already got that. And soon's you get that, you want a place on Sea Island and a Hatteras cruiser and a spread northwest of Buckhead, near the Chattahoochee, where you can ride a horse during the week, when you're not down at the plantation, plus a ranch in Wyoming, Colorado, or Montana, because truly successful men in Atlanta and New York all got their ranches, and of course now you need a private plane, a big one, too, a jet, a Gulfstream Five, because who's got the patience and the time and the humility to fly commercially, even to the plantation, much less out to a ranch? What is it you're looking for in this endless quest? Tranquillity. You think if only you can acquire enough worldly goods, enough recognition, enough eminence, you will be free, there'll be nothing more to worry about, and instead you become a bigger and bigger slave to how you think others are judging you.
I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as ever I open my mouth, shan’t I? (looking round with the most good-humoured dependence on every body’s assent)— Do not you all think I shall?” Emma could not resist. “Ah! ma’am, but there may be a difficulty. Pardon me— but you will be limited as to number—only three at once.
The 'mystical experience'. Always here and now - in that freedom which is one with distance in that stillness which is born of silence. But - this is a freedom in the midst of action, a stillness in the midst of other human beings. The mystery is a constant reality to him who, in this world, is free from self-concern, a reality that grows peaceful and mature before the receptive attention of assent.
Since man always remains free and since his freedom is always fragile, the kingdom of good will never be definitively established in this world. Anyone who promises the better world that is guaranteed to last forever is making a false promise; he is overlooking human freedom. Freedom must be constantly won over for the cause of good. Free assent to the good never exists simply by itself. If there were structures which could irrevocably guarantee a determined and good state of the world, man's freedom would be denied, and hence they would not be good structures at all.
The point is that one's got an instinct to live. One does not live because one's reason assents to living. People who, as we say, 'would be better dead,' don’t want to die! People who apparently have got everything to live for just let themselves fade out of life because they have not got the energy to fight.
There is only one way: Go within. Search for the cause, find the impetus that bids you write. Put it to this test: Does it stretch out its roots in the deepest place of your heart? Can you avow that you would die if you were forbidden to write? Above all, in the most silent hour of your night, ask yourself this: Must I write? Dig deep into yourself for a true answer. And if it should ring its assent, if you can confidently meet this serious question with a simple, “I must,” then build your life upon it. It has become your necessity. Your life, in even the most mundane and least significant hour, must become a sign, a testimony to this urge.
Beware, Underlanders, time hangs by a thread.The hunters are hunted, white water runs red.The Gnawers will strike to extinguish the rest.The hope of the hopeless resides in a quest.An Overland warrior, a son of the sun,May bring us back light, he may bring us back none.But gather your neighbors and follow his callOr rats will most surely devour us all.Two over, two under, of royal descent,Two flyers, two crawlers, two spinners assent.One gnawer beside and one lost up ahead.And eight will be left when we count up the dead.The last who will die must decide where he stands.The fate of the eight is contained in his hands.So bid him take care, bid him look where he leaps,As life may be death and death life again reaps.
The central question is not: what is force and what is freedom? That is a good question, but in the realm of human cruelty - the realm of history - it is utterly abstract. The central question is: why is force never acknowledged as such when used against the racially or sexually despised? Nazi terror used against the Jews is not in dispute. Still, there is an almost universal - and intrinsically anti-Semitic - conviction that the Jews went voluntarily to the ovens. Rational discourse on how the Jews were terrorized does not displace or transform this irrational conviction. And similarly, no matter what force is used against women as a class or as individuals, the universal conviction is that women want (either seek out or assent to) whatever happens to them, however awful, dangerous, destructive, painful, or humiliating. A statement is made about the nature of the Jew, the nature of the woman. The nature of each and both is to be a victim. A metaphysical victim is never forced, only actualized.