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Then you should say what you mean," the March Hare went on. "I do," Alice hastily replied; "at least--at least I mean what I say--that's the same thing, you know." "Not the same thing a bit!" said the Hatter. "You might just as well say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see"!
…. Query: How contrive not to waste one's time? Answer: By being fully aware of it all the while. Ways in which this can be done: By spending one's days on an uneasy chair in a dentist's waiting-room; by remaining on one's balcony all of a Sunday afternoon; by listening to lectures in a language on doesn't know; by traveling by the longest and least-convenient train routes, and of course standing all the way; by lining up at the box-office of theaters and then not buying a seat; and so forth.
The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ -- all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself -- that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness -- that I myself am the enemy who must be loved -- what then? As a rule, the Christian's attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering; we say to the brother within us "Raca," and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.
What a revelation it was, to discover so many ordinary people in a place together, more conscious of God than of one another: not there to show off their hats or their clothes, but to pray, or at least to fulfill a religious obligation, not a human one. For even those who might have been there for no better motive than that they were obliged to be, were at least free from any of the self-conscious and human constraint which is never absent from a Protestant church where people are definitely gathered together as people, as neighbors, and always have at least half an eye for one another, if not all of both eyes.
This is a book about Heaven. I know it now. It floats among us like a cloud and is the realest thing we know and the least to be captured, the least to be possessed by anybody for himself. It is like a grain of mustard seed, which you cannot see among the crumbs of earth where it lies. It is like the reflection of the trees on the water.
For all the ugly vices that capitalism encourages, it's at least interesting, exciting, it offers possiblities. In America, the struggle is at least an individual struggle. And if the individual has strength enough of character, salt enough of wit, the alternatives are thicker than polyesters in a car salesman's closet. In a socialistic system, you're no better or no worse than anybody else.'But that's equality!'Bullshit. Unromantic, unattractive bullshit. Equality is not in regarding different things similarly, equality is in regarding different things differently.
LET'S GIVE THE WORLD TO THE CHILDRENLet's give the world to the children just for one daylike a balloon in bright and striking colours to play withlet them play singing among the starslet's give the world to the childrenlike a huge apple like a warm loaf of breadat least for one day let them have enoughlet's give the world to the childrenat least for one day let the world learn friendshipchildren will get the world from our handsthey'll plant immortal trees
...the sea's only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don't know much about the sea, but I do know that that's the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head...
Rick feels almost the way he used to halfway through his third drink, his favorite moment, the way he wishes all moments in life could feel: heightened with the sense that anything could happen at any moment--that being alive is important, because just when you least expect it, you might receive exactly what you least expect.
Wherever in life it may be, whether amongst its tough, coarsely poor, and untidily moldering mean ranks, or its monotonously cold and boringly tidy upper classes, a man will at least once meet with a phenomenon which is unlike anything he has happened to see before, which for once at least awakens in him a feeling unlike those he is fated to feel all his life. Wherever, across whatever sorrow sour life is woven of, a resplendent joy will gaily race by, just as a splendid carriage with golden harness, picture-book horses, and a shining brilliance of glass sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly goes speeding by some poor, forsaken hamlet that has never seen anything but a country cart, and for a long time the muzhiks stand gaping open-mouthed, not putting their hats back on, though the wondrous carriage has long since sped away and vanished from sight.
When I saw that, the evidence left by two people, of love or something like it, desire at least, at least touch, between two people now perhaps old or dead, I covered the bed again and lay down on it. I looked up at the blind plaster eye in the ceiling. I wanted to feel Luke lying beside me. I have them, these attacks of the past, like faintness, a wave sweeping over my head. Sometimes it can hardly be borne. What is to be done, what is to be done, I thought. There is nothing to be done. They also serve who only stand and wait. Or lie down and wait. I know why the glass in the window is shatterproof, and why they took down the chandelier. I wanted to feel Luke lying besides me, but there wasn't room.
But if I am not a criminal, I beg to be permitted to go abroad with my wife temporarily, for at least one year, with the right to return as soon as it becomes possible in our country to serve great ideas in literature without cringing before little men, as soon as there is at least a partial change in the prevailing view concerning the role of the literary artist. (“Letter To Stalin”)
It may be that the only reason childhood memories act on us so strongly is that, being the most remote we possess, they are the worst remembered and so offer the least resistance to that process by which we mold them nearer and nearer to an ideal which is fundamentally artistic, or at least nonfactual.
Maybe in some distant place, everything is already, quietly, lost. Or at least there exists a silent place where everything can disappear. Or at least there exists a silent place where everything can disappear, melting together in a single overlapping figure. And as we live our lives we discover—drawing toward us the thin threads attached to each—what has been lost.
Then, what's the matter?' I wonder, in fact, how many times I have said that or something equal to it to a woman passing palely through my life. What're you thinking? What's made you so quiet? You seem suddenly different. What's the matter? Love me is what this means, of course. Or at least, second best: surrender. Or at the very least, take some time regaling me with why you won't, and maybe by the end you will.
... I believe in some sense much akin to the belief of faith, that I noticed, felt, or underwent what I describe—but it may be that the only reason childhood memories act on us so strongly is that, being the most remote we possess, they are the worst remembered and so offer the least resistance to that process by which we mold them nearer and nearer to an ideal which is fundamentally artistic, or at least nonfactual; so it may be that some of these events I describe never occurred at all, but only should have, and that others had not the shades and flavors—for example, of jealousy or antiquity or shame—that I have later unconsciously chosen to give them...