Relevant Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 183 quotes )
Abraham Lincoln was asked by an aide about the church service he had attended. Lincoln responded that the minister was inspired, interesting, well-prepared, eloquent and the topic relevant. The aide said, “Then it was a good service?” Lincoln responded, “No.” The aide protested, “But, Mr. President, you said that the minister was inspired, interesting, well-prepared, eloquent, and that the topic was relevant.” “Yes,” replied Lincoln, “but he didn’t challenge us to do any great thing.
At least part of the reason I am a SNOOT is that for years my mom brainwashed us in all sort of subtle ways. Here's an example. Family suppers often involved a game: if one of us children made a usage error, Mom would pretend to have a coughing fit that would go on and on until the relevant child had identified the relevant error and corrected it. It was all very self-ironic and lighthearted; but still, looking back, it seems a bit excessive to pretend that your small child is actually denying you oxygen by speaking incorrectly.
Thinking in art and morals and even mathematics is neither the reflection in consciousness of a mechanical order in the brain nor the tracing with the mind’s eye of some empirical order in its object, but an endeavour to realize in thought an ideal order which would satisfy an inner demand. The nearer thought comes to its goal, the more it finds itself under constraint by that goal, and dominated in its creative effort by aesthetic or moral or logical relevance. These relations of relevance are not physical or psychological relations. They are normative relations that can enter into the mental current because that current is . . . teleological. Their operation marks the presence of a different type of law, which supervenes upon physical and psychological laws when purpose takes control.
Women must find their own answer. That’s the important thing. I’m no longer interested in books about women written by men. Even if I could believe in their objectivity, I just can’t find their opinions relevant. Now I will only believe what a woman has to say about women, because even if it’s not entirely true, it’s her struggle and she’s on the way to the answer. Many of you seek masculine approval. Even though you have inside you your way of talking and writing, you have mountains of it inside you, and even though it is enough to begin expressing yourselves so long as it is with your vocabulary, your abstractions, and your own conceptualization, I think you are still afraid of the master: men. Of their judgment. As long as you have this fear, you will not progress. I think the future belongs to women. Men have been completely dethroned. Their rhetoric is stale, used up. We must move on the rhetoric of women, one that is anchored in the organism, in the body.
The sense that in this universe we are treated as strangers, the longing to be acknowledged, to meet with some response, to bridge some chasm that yawns between us and reality, is part of our inconsolable secret. And surely, from this point of view, the promise of glory, in the sense described, becomes highly relevant to our deep desire. For glory means good report with God, acceptance by God, response, acknowledgment, and welcome into the heart of things. The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.
Reading things that are relevant to the facts of your life is of limited value. The facts are, after all, only the facts, and the yearning passionate part of you will not be met there. That is why reading ourselves as a fiction as well as fact is so liberating. The wider we read the freer we become.
Can I be a modern girl, if I acknowledge such thoughts? I must be modern; I live now. But like everybody else, as Hollier says, I live in a muddle of eras, and some of my ideas belong to today, and some to an ancient past, and some to periods of time that seem more relevant to my parents than to me. If I could sort them and control them I might know better where I stand, but when I most want to be contemporary the Past keeps pushing in, and when I long for the Past (like when I wish Tadeusz had not died, and were with me now to guide and explain and help me to find where I belong in life) the Present cannot be pushed away. When I hear girls I know longing to be what they call liberated, and when I hear others rejoicing in what they think of as liberation, I feel a fool, because I simply do not know where I stand.
To make someone an icon is to make him an abstraction, and abstractions are incapable of vital communication with living people.1010 One has only to spend a term trying to teach college literature to realize that the quickest way to kill an author's vitality for potential readers is to present that author ahead of his time as "great" or "classic." Because then the author becomes for the students like medicine or vegetables, something the authorities have declared "good for them" that they "ought to like," at which point the students' nictitating membranes come down, and everyone just goes through the requisite motions of criticism and paper-writing without feeling one real or relevant thing. It's like removing all oxygen from the room before trying to start a fire.
Majority decisions tend to be made without engaging the systematic thought and critical thinking skills of the individuals in the group. Given the force of the group's normative power to shape the opinions of the followers who conform without thinking things through, they are often taken at face value. The persistent minority forces the others to process the relevant information more mindfully. Research shows that the deciscions of a group as a whole are more thoughtful and creative when there is minority dissent than when it is absent.
My favourite piece of information is that Branwell Bront, brother of Emily and Charlotte, died standing up leaning against a mantle piece, in order to prove it could be done. This is not quite true, in fact. My absolute favourite piece of information is the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of trees. However, this is not relevant to what is currently on my mind because it concerns sloths, whereas the Branwell Bront piece of information concerns writers and feeling like death and doing things to prove they can be done, all of which are pertinent to my current situation to a degree that is, frankly, spooky.
I let one thing result from another. Of course, all of it could have been just loosely connected coincidences. And whether that's true or not, I know the intention was there. Becasue when I want something to happen-or not happen- I begin to look at all events and all things as relevant, an opportunity to take or avoid.
Differ though we might with Christianity's view of what precisely our souls need, it is hard to discredit the provocative underlying thesis, which seems no less relevant in the secular realm than in the religious one--that we have within us a precious, childlike, vulnerable core which we should nourish and nurture on its turbulent journey through life.
...gods, religions and national boundaries are absolutely imaginary. They don't tend to exist. As soon as you pull back half a mile and look down at the Earth there are no national boundaries. There aren't even national boundaries when you get down and walk around. They're just imaginary lines we draw on maps. I just get fascinated by people who assume that things that are imaginary have no relevance to their lives.
In fact, the belief that neurophysiology is even relevant to the functioning of the mind is just hypothesis. Who knows if we're looking at the right aspects of the brain at all. Maybe there are other aspects of the brain that nobody has even dreamt of looking at yet. That's often happened in the history of science. When people say that the mental is the neurophysiological at a higher level, they're being radically unscientific. We know a lot about the mental from a scientific point of view. We have explanatory theories that account for a lot of things. The belief that neurophysiology is implicated in these things could be true, but we have every little evidence for it. So, it's just a kind of hope; look around and you see neurons; maybe they're implicated.
The Saint whose water can light lamps, the clairvoyant whose lapse in recall is the breath of God, the true paranoid for whom all is organized in spheres joyful or threatening about the central pulse of himself, the dreamer whose puns probe ancient fetid shafts and tunnels of truth all act in the same special relevance to the word, or whatever it is the word is there, buffering, to protect us from. The act of metaphor than was a thrust at truth and a lie, depending where you were: inside, safe or outside, lost.
For it would be only for a time. Until what he knew and thought became no longer relevant or necessary and was forgotten. But that was the same with all of us. We were only what we were for a time, at that time. Then our own silver began to mix with the tin of our future to change us. I knew this to be so and grieved for Windlow while I grieved for me. In time I would not be this Peter, even as I now was not the peter of two years ago.... Yet that Peter was not lost.
It’s never going to be very mainstream. One reason is that poetry requires concentration, both on the part of the writer and the reader. But it’s kind of unkillable, poetry. It’s our most ancient artform and I think it’s more relevant today than ever, because it’s one person saying what they really believe.
Since I speak and write about this a good deal, I am often asked at public meetings, in what sometimes seems to me a rather prurient way, whether I myself or my family have 'ever been threatened' by jihadists. My answer is that yes, I have, and so has everyone else in the audience, if they have paid enough attention to the relevant bin-Ladenist broadcasts to notice the fact.
I believe that the rape-is-not-about-sex doctrine will go down in history as an example of extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds. It is preposterous on the face of it, does not deserve its sanctity, is contradicted by a mass of evidence, and is getting in the way of the only morally relevant goal surrounding rape, the effort to stamp it out.
I transcribe my text with no concern for timeliness. In the years when I discovered the Abb Vallet volume, there was a widespread conviction that one should write only out of a commitment to the present, in order to change the world. Now, after ten years or more, the man of letters (restored to his loftiest dignity) can happily write out of pure love of writing. And so I now feel free to tell, for sheer narrative pleasure, the story of Adso of Melk, and I am comforted and consoled in finding it immeasurably remote in time (now that the waking of reason has dispelled all the monsters that its sleep had generated), gloriously lacking in any relevance for our day, atemporally alien to our hopes and our certainties.