Negation Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 52 quotes )
at one time, a freethinker was a man who had been brought up in the conceptions of religion, law and morality, who reached freethought only after conflict and difficulty. But now a new type of born freethinkers has appeared, who grow up without so much as hearing that there used to be laws of morality, or religion, that authorities existed... In the old days, you see, if a man - a Frenchman, for instance- wished to get an education, he would have set to work to study the classics, the theologians, the tragedians, historians and philosophers- and you can realize all the intellectual labour involved. But nowadays he goes straight for the literature of negation, rapidly assimilates the essence of the science of negation, and thinks he's finished.
It is cognition that is the fantasy.... Everything I tell you now is mere words. Arrange them and rearrange them as I might, I will never be able to explain to you the form of Will... My explanation would only show the correlation between myself and that Will by means of a correlation on the verbal level. The negation of cognition thus correlates to the negation of language. For when those two pillars of Western humanism, individual cognition and evolutionary continuity, lose their meaning, language loses meaning. Existence ceases for the individuum as we know it, and all becomes chaos. You cease to be a unique entity unto yourself, but exist simply as chaos. And not just the chaos that is you; your chaos is also my chaos. To wit, existence is communication, and communication, existence.
We start, then, with nothing, pure zero. But this is not the nothing of negation. For not means other than, and other is merely a synonym of the ordinal numeral second. As such it implies a first; while the present pure zero is prior to every first. The nothing of negation is the nothing of death, which comes second to, or after, everything. But this pure zero is the nothing of not having been born. There is no individual thing, no compulsion, outward nor inward, no law. It is the germinal nothing, in which the whole universe is involved or foreshadowed. As such, it is absolutely undefined and unlimited possibility -- boundless possibility. There is no compulsion and no law. It is boundless freedom.
It is easier for a Russian to become an Atheist, than for any other nationality in the world. And not only does a Russian 'become an Atheist,' but he actually BELIEVES IN Atheism, just as though he had found a new faith, not perceiving that he has pinned his faith to a negation. Such is our anguish of thirst!
My being subsists only from a supreme point of view which is precisely incompatible with my point of view. The perspective in which I fade away for my eyes restores me as a complete image for the unreal eye to which I deny all images. A complete image with reference to a world devoid of image which imagines me in the absence of any imaginable figure. The being of a nonbeing of which I am the infinitely small negation which it instigates as its profound harmony. In the night shall I become the universe?
Don't you believe in flying saucers, they ask me? Don't you believe in telepathy? — in ancient astronauts? — in the Bermuda triangle? — in life after death? No, I reply. No, no, no, no, and again no. One person recently, goaded into desperation by the litany of unrelieved negation, burst out "Don't you believe in anything?" Yes", I said. "I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.
It seemed to him he had waited an age for some stir of the great grim hush; the life of the town was itself under a spell--so unnaturally, up and down the whole prospect of known and rather ugly objects, the blankness and the silence lasted. Had they ever, he asked himself, the hard-faced houses, which had begun to look livid in the dim dawn, had they ever spoken so little to any need of his spirit? Great builded voids, great crowded stillnesses put on, often, in the heart of cities, for the small hours, a sort of sinister mask, and it was of this large collective negation that Brydon presently became conscious--all the more that the break of day was, almost incredibly, now at hand, proving to him what night he had made of it.
And when someone suggests you believe in a proposition, you must first examine it to see whether it is acceptable, because our reason was created by God, and whatever pleases our reason can but please divine reason, of which, for that matter, we know only what we infer from the processes of our own reason by analogy and often by negation.
At one time,' Golenishchev continued, either not observing or not willing to observe that both Anna and Vronsky wanted to speak, 'at one time a freethinker was a man who had been brought up in the conception of religion, law, and morality, who reached freethought only after conflict and difficulty. But now a new type of born freethinkers has appeared, who grow up without so much as hearing that there used to be laws of morality, or religion, that authorities existed. They grow up in ideas of negation in everything -- in other words, utter savages.
Insofar as the theorist wins, therefore, by constructing an increasingly closed and terrifying machine, to that very degree he loses, since the critical capacity of his work is thereby paralysed, and the impulses of negation and revolt, not to speak of those of social transformation, are increasingly perceived as vain and trivial in the face of the model itself.
The test of man then is not, 'How have I believed?' but 'How have I loved?'. The final test of religion is not religiousness, but love: not what I have done, not what I have believed, not what I have achieved, but how I have discharged the common charities of life. Sins of commission in that awful indictment are not even referred to. By what we have not done, by sins of omission, we are judged. It could not be otherwise. For the withholding of love is the negation of the Spirit of Christ, the proof that we never knew Him, that for us He lived in vain. Pastor Henry Drummond, 1890
The practical joker despises his victims, but at the same time he envies them because their desires, however childish and mistaken, are real to them, whereas he has no desire which he can call his own. His goal, to make game of others, makes his existence absolutely dependent upon theirs; when he is alone, he is a nullity. Iago’s self-description, I am not what I am, is correct and the negation of the Divine I am that I am. If the word motive is given its normal meaning of a positive purpose of the self like sex, money, glory, etc., then the practical joker is without motive. Yet the professional practical joker is certainly driven, like a gambler, to his activity, but the drive is negative, a fear of lacking concrete self, of being nobody.
In its rational form [dialectic] is a scandal and abomination to bourgeoisdom and its doctrinaire professors, because it includes in its comprehension and affirmative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary.
But are there philosophical problems? The present position of English philosophy - my point of departure - originates, I believe, in the late Professor Ludwig Wittgenstein's doctrine that there are none; that all genuine problems are scientific problems; that the alleged propositions or theories of philosophy are pseudo-propositions or pseudo-theories; that they are not false (if they were false, their negations would be true propositions or theories) but strictly meaningless combinations of words, no more meaningful than the incoherent babbling of a child who has not yet learned to speak properly.
Thought as suc? is an act of negation, of resistance to that which is forced upon it; this is what thought has inherited from its archetype, the relation between labor and material. Today, when ideologues tend more than ever to encourage thought to be positive, they cleverly note that positivity runs precisely counter to thought, and that it takes friendly persuasion by social authority to accustom thought to positivity.
Nowadays, no one believes in evil. It is considered, at most, a mere negation of good. Evil, people say, is done by those who know no better - who are undeveloped - who are to be pitied rather than blamed. But, M. Poirot, evil is real! It is a fact! I believe in Evil as I believe in Good. It exists! It is powerful! It walks the earth!' He stopped. His breath was coming fast. He wiped his forehead with his handkerchief and looked suddenly apologetic. 'I'm sorry. I got carried away.
What I liked in anthropology was its inexhaustible faculty of negation, its relentless definition of man, as though he were no better than God, in terms of what he is not. But my ideas on this subject were always horribly confused, for my knowledge of men was scant and the meaning of being beyond me.
A woman cannot bear to feel empty and purposeless. But a man may take real pleasure in that feeling. A man can take real pride and satisfaction in pure negation: 'I am quite empty of feeling. I don't care the slightest bit in the world for anybody or anything except myself. But I do care for myself, and I'm going to survive in spite of them all, and I'm going to have my own success without caring the least in the world how I get it. Because I'm cleverer than they are, I'm cunninger than they are, even if I'm weak. I must build myself up proper protections, and entrench myself, and then I'm safe. I can sit inside my glass tower and feel nothing and be touched by nothing, and yet exert my power, my will, through the glass walls of my ego'.That, roughly, is the condition of a man who accepts the condition of true egoism, and emptiness, in himself. He has a certain pride in the condition, since in pure emptiness of real feeling he can still carry out his ambition, his will to egoistic success.Now I doubt if a woman can feel like this. The most egoistic woman is always in a tangle of hate, if not of love. But the true male egoist neither hates nor loves. He is quite empty, at the middle of him. Only on the surface he has feelings: and these he is always trying to get away from. Inwardly, he feels nothing. And when he feels nothing, he exults in his ego and knows he is safe. Safe, within his fortifications, inside his glass tower.But I doubt if women can even understand this condition in a man. They mistake emptiness for depth. They think the false calm of the egoist who really feels nothing is strength. And they imagine that all the defenses which the confirmed egoist throws up, the glass tower of imperviousness, are screens to a real man, a positive being. And they throw themselves madly on the defences, to tear them down and come at the real man, little knowing that there is no real man, the defences are only there to protect a hollow emptiness, an egoism, not a human man.
Naive enough to set off in pursuit of Truth, I had explored - to no avail - any number of disciplines. I was beginning to be confirmed in my skepticism when the notion occurred to me of consulting, as a last result, Poetry: who knows? perhaps it would be profitable, perhaps it conceals beneath its arbitrary appearances some definitive revelation ... Illusory recourse! Poetry had outstripped be in negation and cost me even my uncertainties ...