Preceded Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 43 quotes )
I see the terrifying spaces of the universe that enclose me, and I find myself attached to a corner of this vast expanse, without knowing why I am more in this place than in another, nor why this little time that is given me to live is assigned me at this point more than another out of all the eternity that has preceded me and out of all that will follow me.
We feel that our actions are voluntary when they follow a decision and involuntary when they happen without decision. But if a decision itself were voluntary every decision would have to be preceded by a decision to decide - An infinite regression which fortunately does not occur. Oddly enough, if we had to decide to decide, we would not be free to decide
When I saw any external object, my consciousness that I was seeing it would remain between me and it, enclosing it in a slender, incorporeal outline which prevented me from ever coming directly in contact with the material form; for it would volatilise itself in some way before I could touch it, just as an incandescent body which is moved towards something wet never actually touches moisture, since it is always preceded, itself, by a zone of evaporation.
And wasn't my mind also like another crib in the depths of which I felt I remained ensconced, even in order to watch what was happening outside? When I saw an external object, my awareness that I was seeing it would remain between me and it, lining it with a thin spiritual border that prevented me from ever directly touching its substance; it would volatize in some way before I could make contact with it, just as an incandescent body brought near a wet object never touches its moisture because it is always preceded by a zone of evaporation.
For mile after mile the same melodic phrase rose up in my memory. I simply couldn’t get free of it. Each time it had a new fascination for me. Initially imprecise in outline, it seemed to become more and more intricately woven, as if to conceal from the listener how eventually it would end. This weaving and re-weaving became so complicated that one wondered how it could possibly be unravelled; and then suddenly one note would resolve the whole problem, and the solution would seem yet more audacious than the procedures which had preceded, called for, and made possible its arrival; when it was heard, all that had gone before took on a new meaning, and the quest, which had seemed arbitrary, was seen to have prepared the way for this undreamed-of solution.
It was in these sessions that I first came across the "To my shame" technique...You can get away with any admission, however appalling, so long as it's preceded by the words "to my shame."...The self-accusatory prefix robs the listener of the right to disapprove...SANS "TO MY SHAME."I used to exploit women because I couldn't cope with being alone...CORRECT RESPONSE. He didn't say "to my shame!" You bastard! You viscious selfish bastard. It's like "Simon Says" for junkies.
One of the greatest glories of growing older is the willingness to ask why and, getting no good answer, deciding to follow my own inclinations and desires. Asking why is the way to wisdom. Why are we supposed to want possessions we don't need and work that seems beside the point and tight shoes and a fake tan? Why are we supposed to think new is better than old, youth and vigor better than long life and experience? Why are we supposed to turn our backs on those who have preceded us and to snipe at those who come after? When we were small children we asked 'Why?' constantly. Asking the question now is more a matter of testing the limits of what sometimes seems a narrow world. One of the useful things about age is realizing conventional wisdom is often simply inertia with a candy coating conformity.
...as a mark of gratitude for his previous patronage, and a slight super-added morsel after breakfast, put likewise into his hand a whale! The great fish, reversing his experience with the prophet of Nineveh, immediately began his progress down the same red pathway of fate whiter so varied a caravan had preceded him.
Nothing ever begins. There is no first moment; no single word or place from which this or any story springs. The threads can always be traced back to some earlier tale, and the tales that preceded that; though as the narrator's voice recedes the connections will seem to grow more tenuous, for each age will want the tale told as if it were of its own making.
When we gaze at the magnificence of an ancient monument and ascribe its achievement to one man, we are guilty of spiritual embezzlement. We forget the army of craftsmen, unknown and unsung, who preceded him in the darkness of the ages, who toiled humbly - all heroism is humble - each contributing his small share to the common treasure of his time. A great building is not the private invention of some genius or other. It is merely a condensation of the spirit of a people.
(To the newly graduated)There never did, there never will, and there never can exist a parliament, or any description of men, or any generation of men, in any country, possessed of the right or the power of binding and controlling posterity to the "end of time", or of commanding for ever how the world shall be governed, or who shall govern it; and therefore all such clauses, acts or declarations, by which the makers of them attempt to do what they have neither the right nor the power to do, nor the power to execute, are in themselves null and void. Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself, in all cases, as the ages and generations which preceded it...Man has no property in man; neither has any generation a property in the generations which are to follow.