Benign Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 52 quotes )
As if this great outburst of anger had purged all my ills, killed all my hopes, I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world- and finding it so much like myself, in fact so fraternal, I realized that I’d been happy, and that I was still happy. For the final consummation and for me to feel less lonely, my last wish was that there should be a crowd of spectators at my execution and that they should greet me with cries of hatred.
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.
You might think that, by now, people would have become accustomed to the idea of natural catastrophes. We live on a planet that is still cooling and which has fissures and faults in its crust; this much is accepted even by those who think that the globe is only six thousand years old, as well as by those who believe that the earth was "designed" to be this way. Even in such a case, it is to be expected that earthquakes will occur and that, if they occur under the seabed, tidal waves will occur also. Yet two sorts of error are still absolutely commonplace. The first of these is the idiotic belief that seismic events are somehow "timed" to express the will of God. Thus, reasoning back from the effect, people will seriously attempt to guess what sin or which profanity led to the verdict of the tectonic plates. The second error, common even among humanists, is to borrow the same fallacy for satirical purposes and to employ it to disprove a benign deity.
We tell ourselves how lovely it would be, would it not, if there were a God who created the universe and benign Providence, a moral world order, and life beyond the grave, yet it is very evident, is it not, that all of this is the way we should inevitably wish it to be. And it would be even more remarkable if our poor, ignorant bondsman ancestors had managed to solve all these difficult cosmic questions.
Lovers of small numbers go benignly potty, Believe all tales are thirteen chapters long, Have animal doubles, carry pentagrams, Are Millerites, Baconians, Flat-Earth-Men. Lovers of big numbers go horribly mad, would have the Swiss abolished, all of us. Well-purged, somatotyped, baptised, taught baseball: They empty bars, spoil parties, run for Congress.
At that moment, Harry fully understood for the first time why people said Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared. The look upon Dumbledore's face as he stared down at the unconscious form of Mad-Eye moody was more terrible than Harry could have ever imagined. There was no benign smile upon Dumbledore's face, no twinkle in the eyes behind the spectacles. There was cold fury in every line of the ancient face; a sense of power radiated from Dumbledore as though he were giving off burning heat.
I to my perils. Of cheat and charmer. Came clad in armour. By stars benign. Hope lies to mortals. And most believe her, But man's deceiver Was never mine. The thoughts of others. Were light and fleeting, Of lovers' meeting. Or luck or fame. Mine were of trouble, And mine were steady; So I was ready. When trouble came.
The genuflection toward 'fairness' is a familiar newsroom piety, in practice the excuse for a good deal of autopilot reporting and lazy thinking but in theory a benign ideal. In Washington, however, a community in which the management of news has become the single overriding preoccupation of the core industry, what 'fairness' has often come to mean is a scrupulous passivity, an agreement to cover the story not as it is occurring but as it is presented, which is to say as it is manufactured.
But I got a great deal else from the experience. I learned to pitch a tent and sleep beneath the stars. For a brief, proud period I was slender and fit. I gained a profound respect for the wilderness and nature and the benign dark power of woods. I understand now, in a way I never did before, the colossal scale of the world. I found patience and fortitude that I didn't know I had. I discovered an America that millions of people scarcely know exists. I made a friend. I came home.
The mysterious manner in which this growing sense of unity commingles with a sense of utter goodness is worth noting. It arises by no effort of mine; rather does it come to me out of I know not where. Harmony appears gradually and flows through my whole being like music. An infinite tenderness takes possession of me, smoothing away the harsh cynicism which a reiterated experience of human ingratitude and human treachery has driven deeply into my temperament. I feel the fundamental benignity of Nature despite the apparent manifestation of ferocity. Like the sounds of every instrument in an orchestra that is in tune, all things and all people seem to drop into the sweet relationship that subsists within the Great Mother's own heart.
I imagined I had discovered a new word. I rise up in bed and say, "It is not in the language; I have discovered it. 'Kuboa.' It has letters as a word has. By the benign God, Man you have discovered a word!... 'Kuboa' ... a word of profound import.[...]Some minutes pass over, and I wax nervous; this new word torments me unceasingly, returns again and again, takes up my thoughts, and makes me serious. I had fully formed an opinion as to what it should not signify, but had come to no conclusion as to what it should signify.[...]Then it seems to me that some one is interposing, interrupting my confab. I answer angrily, "Beg pardon! You match in idiocy is not to be found; no, sir! Knitting cotton? Ah! go to hell!" Well, really I had to laugh. Might I ask why should I be forced to let it signify knitting cotton, when I had a special dislike to its signifying knitting cotton?
I have written it before and am not ashamed to write it again. Without Wodehouse I am not sure that I would be a tenth of what I am today -- whatever that may be. In my teenage years, his writings awoke me to the possibilities of language. His rhythms, tropes, tricks and mannerisms are deep within me. But more than that, he taught me something about good nature. It is enough to be benign, to be gentle, to be funny, to be kind.
It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe. To feel it so like myself, indeed, so brotherly, made me realize that I'd been happy, and that I was happy still. For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remained to hope was that on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration.
The World. Hugo had once told Nathaniel in Will's presence, was made by many men, but shaped by few. The important thing was to be one of those few; to find a place in which you could change the repetitive patterns of the many Through political influence and intellectual discourse, and failing either of these , through benign coercion.
On a Fine Morning” in Poems of the Past and the Present (1901) WHENCE comes Solace?--Not from seeing What is doing, suffering, being, Not from noting Life’s conditions, Nor from heeding Time’s monitions; But in cleaving to the Dream, And in gazing at the gleam Whereby gray things golden seem. This do I this heyday, holding Shadows but as lights unfolding, As no specious show this moment With its iris-hued embowment; But as nothing other than Part of a benignant plan; Proof that earth was made for man.
You can find things in the traditional religions which are very benign and decent and wonderful and so on, but I mean, the Bible is probably the most genocidal book in the literary canon. The God of the Bible - not only did He order His chosen people to carry out literal genocide - I mean, wipe out every Amalekite to the last man, woman, child, and, you know, donkey and so on, because hundreds of years ago they got in your way when you were trying to cross the desert - not only did He do things like that, but, after all, the God of the Bible was ready to destroy every living creature on earth because some humans irritated Him. That's the story of Noah. I mean, that's beyond genocide - you don't know how to describe this creature. Somebody offended Him, and He was going to destroy every living being on earth? And then He was talked into allowing two of each species to stay alive - that's supposed to be gentle and wonderful.