Plainly Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 80 quotes )
Plainly, such an approach does not exclude other ways of trying to comprehend the world. Someone committed to it (as I am) can consistently believe (as I do) that we learn much more of human interest about how people think and feel and act by reading novels or studying history than from all of naturalistic psychology, and perhaps always will; similarly, the arts may offer appreciation of the heavens to which astrophysics cannot aspire.
Plainly, this unwillingness to give ground even on unimportant disagreements is the symptom of some deepseated insecurity, as was my one-time fondness for making teasing remarks (which I amended when I read Anthony Powell's matter-of-fact observation that teasing is an unfailing sign of misery within) and as is my very pronounced impatience. The struggle, therefore, is to try and cultivate the virtuous side of these shortcomings: to be a genial host while only slightly whiffled, for example, or to be witty at the expense of one's own weaknesses instead of those of other people.
Plainly it isn't an exact science, despite it being a complex interaction of micro-decisions and corresponding thought; perhaps it doesn't always work and we pass by some potential soulmates like the proverbial ships in the night, never quite connecting. Then again, perhaps the system is tenacious and continues to run like a computer program on infinite loop, so that if at first you don't meet, you are drawn back together for another try.
The ship drew on and had safely passed the strait, which some volcanic shock has made between the Calasareigne and Jaros islands; had doubled Pomegue, and approached the harbor under topsails, jib, and spanker, but so slowly and sedately that the idlers, with that instinct which is the forerunner of evil, asked one another what misfortune could have happened on board. However, those experienced in navigation saw plainly that if any accident had occurred, it was not to the vessel herself, for she bore down with all the evidence of being skilfully handled, the anchor a-cockbill, the jib-boom guys already eased off, and standing by the side of the pilot, who was steering the Pharaon towards the narrow entrance of the inner port, was a young man, who, with activity and vigilant eye, watched every motion of the ship, and repeated each direction of the pilot.
Daniel was slow to take up the cheer. But when he did, he meant it. This was politics. It was ugly, it was irrational, but it was preferable to war. Roger was being cheered because he had won. What did it mean to win? It meant being cheered. So Daniel huzzahed, as lustily as his dry pipes and creaky ribs would permit, and was astounded to see the way people came a-running: not only the Quality from their town-houses, but hooligans and Vagabonds from bonfire-strewn fields to the north, to throng around Roger and cheer him. Not because they agreed with his positions, or even knew who he was, but because he was plainly enough the man of the hour.
If Shirley were not an indolent, a reckless, an ignorant being, she would take a pen at such moments, or at least while the recollection of such moments was yet fresh on her spirit. She would seize, she would fix the apparition, tell the vision revealed. Had she a little more of the organ of acquisitiveness in her head, a little more of the love of property in her nature, she would take a good-sized sheet of paper and write plainly out, in her own queer but clear and legible hand, the story that has been narrated, the song that has been sung to her, and thus possess what she was enabled to create. But indolent she is, reckless she is, and most ignorant; for she does not know her dreams are rare, her feelings peculiar. She does not know, has never known, and will die without knowing, the full value of that spring whose bright fresh bubbling in her heart keeps it green.
From the standpoint of the upper classes, the system had many merits. They felt that what was paid out of the poor rate was charity, and therefore a proof of their benevolence; at the same time, wages were kept at starvation level by a method which just prevented discontent from developing into revolution...It was plainly the certainty, derived from the old Poor Law, that actual death would be averted by the parish authorities, which induced the rural poor of England to endure their misery patiently...it taught them respect for their 'betters'.While leaving all the wealth that they produced, beyond the absolute minimum required for subsistence, in the hands of the landowners and farmers. It was at this period that landowners built the sham Gothic ruins called 'follies', where they indulged in romantic sensibility about the past while they filled the present with misery and degradation.
Man is not a 'fixed and limited animal whose nature is absolutely constant'. He changed drastically when he developed 'divided consciousness' to cope with complexities of civilisation, and has been changing steadily ever since. His greatest problem, the problem that has caused most of his agonies and miseries, has been his attempt to compensate for the narrowing of cinsciousness and the entrapment in the left-brain ego. His favorite method of compensation has been to seek out excitement. He feels most free in moments of conquest; so for the past three thousand years or so, most of the greatest man have led armies into their neighbours' territority, and turned order into chaos. This has plainly been a retrogressive step; the evolutionary urge has been defeating its own purpose.
After all, there was nothing preposterous and world-shaking in the idea that there might be events which overstepped the limited categories of space, time, and causality. Animals were known to sense beforehand storms and earthquakes. There were dreams which foresaw the death of certain persons, clocks which stopped at the moment of death, glasses which shattered at the critical moment. All these things had been taken for granted in the world of my childhood. And now I was apparently the only person who had ever heard of them. In all earnestness I asked myself what kind of world I had stumbled into. Plainly, the urban world knew nothing about the country world, the real world of mountains, woods and rivers, of animals and ‘God’s thoughts’ (plants and crystals). I found this explanation comforting. At all events, it bolstered my self-esteem.
It sometimes entered Mr. Pontellier's mind to wonder if his wife were not growing a little unbalanced mentally. He could see plainly that she was not herself. That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.
He’d heard of this woman. The Dame de Doubtance, they called her: a madwoman and a caster of horoscopes. Gaultier gave her house-room and men and women came to her from all the known world and had their futures foretold—if she felt like it. She had given some help once to Lymond, on her own severe terms, because of a distant link, it was said, with his family. Plainly, a crazy old harridan. But if she was going to tell Lymond he ought to find a nice girl and marry her, Jerott wanted very much to be there.
The sum of the knowable, that soil which the human spirit must till, lies between all the languages and independent of them, at their center. But man cannot approach this purely objective realm other than through his own modes of cognition and feeling, in other words: subjectively. Just where study and research touch the highest and deepest point, just there does the mechanical, logical use of reason - whatever in us can most easily be separated from our uniqueness as individual human beings - find itself at the end of its rope. From here on we need a process of inner perception and creation. And all that we can plainly know about this is its result, namely, that objective truth always rises from the entire energy of subjective individuality.
I learned that it is better, a thousand-fold, for a proud man to fall and be humbled, than to hold up his head in his pride and fancied innocence. I learned that he that will be a hero, will barely be a man; that he that will be nothing but a doer of his work, is sure of his manhood. In nothing was my ideal lowered, or dimmed, or grown less precious; I only saw it too plainly, to set myself for a moment beside it. Indeed, my ideal soon became my life; whereas, formerly, my life had consisted in a vain attempt to behold, if not my ideal in myself, at least myself in my ideal.
One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think—though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one—that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.
And so will I here state just plainly and briefly that I accept God. But I must point out one thing: if God does exist and really created the world, as we well know, he created it according to the principles of Euclidean geometry and made the human brain capable of grasping only three dimensions of space. Yet there have been and still are mathematicians and philosophers-among them some of the most outstanding-who doubt that the whole universe or, to put it more generally, all existence was created to fit Euclidean geometry; they even dare to conceive that two parallel lines that, according to Euclid, never do meet on earth do, in fact, meet somewhere in infinity. And so my dear boy, I’ve decided that I am incapable of understanding of even that much, I cannot possibly understand about God.
If the average man is made in God's image, then a man such as Beethoven or Aristotle is plainly superior to God, and so God may be jealous of him, and eager to see his superiority perish with his bodily frame. All animal breeders know how difficult it is to maintain a fine strain. The universe seems to be in a conspiracy to encourage the endless reproduction of peasants and Socialists, but a subtle and mysterious opposition stands eternally against the reproduction of philosophers.
More striking still, it appeared that, if the process of concentration goes on at the same rate, at the end of another century we shall have all American industry controlled by a dozen corporations and run by perhaps a hundred men. Put plainly, we are steering a steady course toward economic oligarchy, if we are not there already.
If I had been downright honest with myself, I would have seen very plainly in my heart that I did but half fancy being committed this way to so long a voyage, without once laying my eyes on the man who was to be the absolute dictator of it, so soon as the ship sailed out upon the open sea. But when a man suspects any wrong, it sometimes happens that if he be already involved in the matter, he insensibly strives to cover up his suspicions even from himself. And much this way it was with me. I said nothing, and tried to think nothing.
The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name, liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names, liberty and tyranny. The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty, especially as the sheep was a black one. Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty.
For a real glimpse into an almost vanished world, one should look...at a scorpion who so obviously has no business lingering into the twentieth century. He is not shaped like a spider and he has too many legs to be an insect. Plainly, he is a discontinued model--still running but very difficult, one imagines, to get spare parts for.