Descent Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 69 quotes )
The workman of today works every day in his life at the same tasks, and this fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.
To understand a profound thought is to have, at the moment one understands it, a profound thought oneself; and this demands some effort, a genuine descent to the heart of oneself . . . Only desire and love give us the strength to make this effort. The only books that we truly absorb are those we read with real appetite, after having worked hard to get them, so great had been our need of them.
At times poetry is the vertigo of bodies and the vertigo of speech and the vertigo of death; the walk with eyes closed along the edge of the cliff, and the verbena in submarine gardens; the laughter that sets on fire the rules and the holy commandments; the descent of parachuting words onto the sands of the page; the despair that boards a paper boat and crosses, for forty nights and forty days, the night-sorrow sea and the day-sorrow desert; the idolatry of the self and the desecration of the self and the dissipation of the self; the beheading of epithets, the burial of mirrors; the recollection of pronouns freshly cut in thegarden of Epicurus, and the garden of Netzahualcoyotl; the flute solo on the terrace of memory and the dance of flames in the cave of thought; the migrations of millions of verbs, wings and claws, seeds and hands; the nouns, bony and full of roots, planted on the waves of language; the love unseen and the love unheard and the love unsaid: the love in love.
The beginning of Christendom, is, strictly, at a point out of time. A metphysical trigonometry finds it among the spiritual Secrets, at the meeting of two heavenward lines, one drawn from Bethany along the Ascent of the Messias, the other from Jerusalem against the Descent of the Paraclete. That measurement, the measurement of eternity in operation, of the bright cloud and the rushing wind, is, in effect, theology.
America truly is the best idea for a country that anyone has ever come up with so far. Not only because we value democracy and the rights of the individual, but because we are always our own most effective voice of descent....We must never mistake disagreement between Americans on political or moral issues to be an indication of their level of patriotism. If you don't like what I say or don't agree with where I stand on certain issues, then good. I'm glad we're in America, and don't have to oppress each other over it. We're not just a nation, we're not an ethnicity. We are a dream of justice that people have had for a thousand years.
Silence is a mirror. So faithful, and yet so unexpected, is the relection it can throw back at men that they will go to almost any length to avoid seeing themselves in it, and if ever its duplicating surface is temporarily wiped clean of modern life's ubiquitous hubbub, they will hasten to fog it over with such desperate personal noise devices as polite conversation, hummin, whistling, imaginary dialogue, schizophrenic babble, or, should it come to that, the clandestine cannonry of their own farting. Only in sleep is silence tolerated, and even there, most dreams have soundtracks. Since meditation is a deliberate descent into deep internal hush, a mute stare into the ultimate looking glass, it is regarded with suspicion by the nattering masses; with hostility by buisness interests (people sitting in silent serenity are seldom consuming goods); and with spite by a clergy whose windy authority it is seen to undermine and whose bombastic livelihood it is perceived to threaten.
Our lives aren't even about doing real things most of the time. We think and talk about people we've never met, pretend to visit places we've never actually been, to discuss things that are just names as though they were as real as rocks or animals or something. Information Age. Hell it's the Imagination Age. We're living in our own minds. No, she decided as the plane began its steep descent, really we're living in other people's minds.
I learned that the possessions most esteemed by your fellow-creatures were, high and unsullied descent united with riches. A man might be respected with only one of these acquisitions; but without either he was considered, except in very rare instances, as a vagabond and slave, doomed to waste his powers for the profit of the chosen few. And what was I? Of my creation and creator I was absolutely ignorant; but I knew that I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property. I was, besides, endowed with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome; I was not even of the same nature as man. I was more agile than they, and could subsist upon coarser diet; I bore the extremes of heat and cold with less injury to my frame; my stature far exceeded their's. When I looked around, I saw and heard of none like me. Was I then a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled, and whom all men disowned?
Humanity cannot lift itself by its own bootstraps; there is no such thing as spontaneous generation; life does not come from crystals; poetry does not come from donkeys; international peace does not come from wars; social justice does not come from selfishness. With all our knowledge of chemistry we cannot make a human life in our laboratories because we lack the unifying, vivifying principal of a soul which comes only from God. Life is not a push from below; it is a gift from above. It is not the result of the necessary ascent of man but the loving descent of God.
It sometimes happens that the town child is more alive to the fresh beauty of the country than a child who is country born. My brother and I were born in London...but our descent, our interest and our joy were in the north country'.Quoted in The Tale of Beatrix Potter a Biography by Margaret Lane, First Edition p 32-33
Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast aristocrat of French descent, and the heavy ones of her florid Irish father. But it was an arresting face, pointed of chin, square of jaw. Her eyes were pale green without a touch of hazel, starred with bristly black lashes and slightly tilted at the ends. Above them, her thick black brows slanted upward, cutting a startling oblique line in her magnolia-white skin - that skin so prized by Southern women and so carefully guarded with bonnets, veils and mittens against hot Georgia suns.