Concentrating Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 73 quotes )
Our minds tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power. Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom. Even though the men who wield this power initially be of good will and even though they be not corrupted by the power they exercise, the power will both attract and form men of a different stamp.
These examples suggest what one needs to learn to control attention. In principle any skill or discipline one can master on one’s own will serve: meditation and prayer if one is so inclined; exercise, aerobics, martial arts for those who prefer concentrating on physical skills. Any specialization or expertise that one finds enjoyable and where one can improve one’s knowledge over time. The important thing, however, is the attitude toward these disciplines. If one prays in order to be holy, or exercises to develop strong pectoral muscles, or learns to be knowledgeable, then a great deal of the benefit is lost. The important thing is to enjoy the activity for its own sake, and to know that what matters is not the result, but the control one is acquiring over one’s attention.
Between the end of that strange summer and the approach of winter, my life went on without change. Each day would dawn without incident and end as it had begun. It rained a lot in September. October had several warm, sweaty days. Aside from the weather, there was hardly anything to distinguish one day from the next. I worked at concentrating my attention on the real and useful. I would go to the pool almost every day for a long swim, take walks, make myself three meals. But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drank, the very air I breathed, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning.
The place where french-postmodernism has been really harmful is the Third World. Because Third World intellectuals are badly needed in popular movements, they can make contributions. And a lot of them is drawn away from this: antropologists, sociologists and others. They are drawn away in this arcane, and in my view, mostly meaningless discourses and are disassociated from popular struggles. And you can see the impact. They really indicate that the level of irrationality that grows out of this undermines the oportunities for doing something really significant and important. It is like consumerism because it diverts people from concentrating in a serious way and doing something about their own problems.
Beware of any work for God that causes or allows you to avoid concentrating on Him. A great number of Christian workers worship their work. The only concern of Christian workers should be their concentration on God. This will mean that all the other boundaries of life, whether they are mental, moral, or spiritual limits, are completely free with the freedom God gives His child; that is, a worshiping child, not a wayward one. A worker who lacks this serious controlling emphasis of concentration on God is apt to become overly burdened by his work. He is a slave to his own limits, having no freedom of his body, mind, or spirit. Consequently, he becomes burned out and defeated. There is no freedom and no delight in life at all. His nerves, mind, and heart are so overwhelmed that God’s blessing cannot rest on him.
scientific knowledge has taught [humans] much since the days of the Deluge, and it will increase their power still further. And, as for the great necessities of Fate, against which there is no help, they will learn to endure them with resignation. Of what use to them is the mirage of wide acres in the moon, whose harvest no one has ever yet seen? As honest smallholders on this earth they will know how to cultivate their plot in such a way that it supports them. By withdrawing their expectations from the other world and concentrating all their liberated energies into their life on earth, they will probably succeed in achieving a state of things in which life will become tolerable for everyone and civilization no longer oppressive to anyone. Then, with one of our fellow-unbelievers, they will be able to say without regret: 'We leave Heaven to the angels and the sparrows.
If he could have his way, Satan would distract us from our heritage. He would have us become involved in a million and one things in this life–probably none of which is very important in the long run–to keep us from concentrating on the things that are really important, particularly the reality that we are God’s children. He would like us to forget about home and family values. He’d like to keep us so busy with comparatively insignificant things that we don’t have time to make the effort to understand where we came from, whose children we are, and how glorious our ultimate homecoming can be!
... Like having to be able to say to yourself, ‘I am pretending to sit here reading Albert Camus’s The Fall for the Literature of Alienation midterm, but actually I’m really concentrating on listening to Steve try to impress this girl over the phone, and I am feeling embarrassment and contempt for him, and am thinking he’s a poser, and at the same time I am also uncomfortably aware of times that I’ve also tried to project the idea of myself as hip and cynical so as to impress someone, meaning that not only do I sort of dislike Steve, which in all honesty I do, but part of the reason I dislike him is that when I listen to him on the phone it makes me see similarities and realize things about myself that embarrass me, but I don’t know how to quit doing them—like, if I quit trying to seem nihilistic, even just to myself, then what would happen, what would I be like?
I will say something still easier. Take a single flea or louse-since you tempt and mock our God with this talk about curing a lame horse-and if, after combining all the powers and concentrating all the efforts both of your good and all your supporters, you succeed in killing it in the name of free choice, you shall be victorious, your case shall be established, and we too will come at once and worship that god of yours, that wonderful killer of the louse.
The process of concentrating on the goal every day greatly increases the likelihood of noticing an opportunity in the environment. The coincidence will create the illusion that writing down the goal causes the environment to produce opportunities. But in reality the only thing that changes is the person’s ability to notice the opportunities.
Shadow walked the meadow, making his own slow circles around the trunk of the tree, gradually widening his circle. Sometimes he would stop and pick something up: a flower, or a leaf, or a pebble, or a twig, or a blade of grass. He would examine it minutely, as if concentrating entirely on the twigness of the twig, the leafness of the leaf, as if he were seeing it for the first time. Easter found herself reminded of the gaze of a baby, at the point where it learns to focus.
What remains uncertain, rather, is whether this gain in evidence and (we might as well say it) splendor is due to the slow retreat of the sky, which as it moves away, sinks deeper and deeper into darkness, or whether on the contrary, it is the moon that is coming forward, collecting the previously scattered light and depriving the sky of it, concentrating it all in the round mouth of its funnel.
We know that attention acts as a lightning rod. Merely by concentrating on something one causes endless analogies to collect around it, even penetrate the boundaries of the subject itself: an experience that we call coincidence, serendipity? the terminology is extensive. My experience has been that in these circular travels what is really significant surrounds a central absence, an absence that, paradoxically, is the text being written or to be written.
I think... girls have a hard time being interesting. It’s actually easier to be famous, or notorious, than it is to be interesting. In our world, girls climb very well until they hit puberty-sexual maturity-and then they begin to fall out of the tree. They start role-playing instead of thinking, flirting instead of learning. They start admiring how smart the boys are-or how athletic or how handsome-instead of concentrating on their own intelligence.
That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating on anything is very hard work.
I’m the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point on it, I’m the type of person who doesn’t find it painful to be alone. I find spending an hour or two every day running alone, not speaking to anyone, as well as four or five hours alone at my desk, to be neither difficult nor boring. I’ve had this tendency ever since I was young, when, given a choice, I much preferred reading books on my own or concentrating on listening to music over being with someone else. I could always think of things to do by myself.
The snag in this business of falling in love, aged relative, is that the parties of the first part so often get mixed up with the wrong parties of the second part, robbed of their cooler judgement by the party of the second part's glamour. Put it like this: the male sex is divided into rabbits and non-rabbits and the female sex into dashers and dormice, and the trouble is that the male rabbit has a way of getting attracted by the female dasher (who would be fine for the non-rabbit) and realizing too late that he ought to have been concentrating on some mild, gentle dormouse with whom he could settle down peacefully and nibble lettuce.
This book is intended for use in English courses in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature. It aims to give in a brief space the principal requirements of plain English style. It aims to lighten the task of instructor and student by concentrating attention (in Chapters II and III) on a few essentials, the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated. The numbers of the sections may be used as references in correcting manuscript.