Comprehension Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 199 quotes )
[God says] Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend - it must transcend all comprehension. Plunge into the deep waters beyond your own comprehension, and I will help you to comprehend even as I do. Bewilderment is the true comprehension. Not to know where you are going is the true knowledge. My comprehension transcends yours.
If the painful history of the human and Christian striving for God proves anything, it surely proves this: that any attempt to reduce God to the scope of our own comprehension leads to the absurd. We can only speak rightly about him if we renounce the attempt to comprehend and let him be the uncomprehended. Any doctrine of the Trinity, therefore, cannot aim at being a perfect comprehension of God. It is a frontier notice, a discouraging gesture pointing over to unchartable territory. It is not a definition that confines a thing to the pigeonholes of human knowledge, nor is it a concept that would put the thing within the grasp of the human mind.
They understood that. They all understood it. This is not the same as comprehension, but it was good enough. When you stop to think, the whole idea of comprehension has a faintly archaic taste, like the sound of forgotten tongues or a look into a Victorian camera obscura. We Americans are much higher on simple understanding. It makes it easier to read the billboards when you're heading into town on the expressway at plus-fifty. To comprehend, the mental jaws have to gape wide enough to make the tendons creak. Understanding, however, can be purchased on every paperback-book rack in America.
The world is big but it is comprehensible," says R. Buckminster Fuller. But it seems to me that the world is not nearly big enough and that any portion of its surface, left unpaved and alive, is infinitely rich in details and relationships, in wonder, beauty, mystery comprehensible only in part. The very existence of existence is itself suggestive of the unknown - not a problem, but a mystery. We will never get to the bottom of it, never know the whole of even so small and trivial and useless and precious a place as Aravaipa. Therein lies our redemption.
Whatever happens, I must be back in Somerset by Dec 1 when Mrs Shirley Williams comes to address a rally of the Social Democratic party in Bridgwater. Suitably enough, this hellish woman has chosen the local Comprehensive School as her venue. Rotten eggs and cowpats can probably be acquired locally, but stink bombs and more sophisticated devices should be brought with you. Hoax bomb calls and maniacal threatening letters should be addressed to Bridgwater Police Headquarters. Tea and biscuits will be served at halftime.
From year to year, and from age to age, we see [biologists] at work, adding no doubt much to the unknown, and advancing many important interests, but, at the same time, doing little for the establishment of comprehensive views of nature. Experiments in however narrow a walk, facts of whatever minuteness, make reputations in scientific societies; all beyond is regarded with suspicion and distrust.
What is a Poet? He is a man speaking to men: a man, it is true, endued with more lively sensibility, more enthusiasm and tenderness, who has a greater knowledge of human nature, and a more comprehensive soul, than are supposed to be common among mankind; a man pleased with his own passions and volitions, and who rejoices more than other men in the spirit of life that is in him; delighting to contemplate similar volitions and passions as manifested in the goings-on of the universe, and habitually impelled to create them where he does not find them.
Such are the visions which ceaselessly float up, pace beside, put their faces in front of, the actual thing; often overpowering the solitary traveller and taking away from him the sense of the earth, the wish to return, and giving him for substitute a general peace, as if (so he thinks as he advances down the forest ride) all this fever of living were simplicity itself; and myriads of things merged in one thing; and this figure, made of sky and branches as it is, had risen from the troubled sea (he is elderly, past fifty now) as a shape might be sucked up out of the waves to shower down from her magnificent hands, compassion, comprehension, absolution. So, he thinks, may I never go back to the lamplight; to the sitting-room; never finish my book; never knock out my pipe; never ring for Mrs. Turner to clear away; rather let me walk on to this great figure, who will, with a toss of her head, mount me on her streamers and let me blow to nothingness with the rest.
It was the American middle class. No one's house cost more than two or three year's salary, and I doubt the spread in annual wages (except for the osteopath) exceeded more than five thousand dollars. And other than the doctor (who made house calls), the store managers, the minister, the salesman, and the banker, everyone belonged to a union. That meant they worked a forty-hour week, had the entire weekend off (plus two to four weeks' paid vacation in the summer), comprehensive medical benefits, and job security. In return for all that, the country became the most productive in the world and in our little neighborhood it meant your furnace was always working, your kids could be dropped off at the neighbors without notice, you could run next door anytime to borrow a half-dozen eggs, and the doors to all the homes were never locked -- because who would need to steal anything if they already had all that they needed?
But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself. Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!
Back at the office, Woodward went to the rear of the newsroom to call Deep Throat. Bernstein wished he had a source like that. The only source he knew who had such comprehensive knowledge in any field was Mike Schwering, who owned Georgetown Cycle Sport Shop. There was nothing about bikes - and, more important, bike thieves - that Schwering didn't know. Bernstein knew something about bike thieves: the night of the Watergate indictments, somebody had stolen his 10-speed Raleigh from a parking garage. That was the difference between him and Woodward. Woodward went into a garage to find a source who could tell him what Nixon's men were up to. Bernstein walked into a garage to find an eight-pound chain cut neatly in two and his bike gone.-- Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
The renaissance of interest in Eastern spiritual philosophies, various mystical traditions, meditation, ancient and aboriginal wisdom, as well as the widespread psychedelic experimentation during the stormy 1960s, made it absolutely clear that a comprehensive and cross-culturally valid psychology had to include observations from such areas as mystical states; cosmic consciousness; psychedelic experiences; trance phenomena; creativity; and religious, artistic, and scientific inspiration.
Had he been informed by an indisputable authority that the end of the world was to be finally accomplished by a catastrophic disturbance of the atmosphere, he would have assimilated the information under the simple idea of dirty weather, and no other, because he had no experience of cataclysms, and belief does not necessarily imply comprehension.
In the modern world all terrors could be gutted by simple use of the transitive axiom of quality. Some fears were justified, of course (you don't drive when you're too plowed to see, don't extend the hand of friendship to snarling dogs, don't go parking with boys you don't know - how did the old joke go? Screw or walk?), but until now she had not believed that some fears were larger than comprehension, apocalyptic and nearly paralyzing. This equation was insoluble. The act of moving forward at all became heroism.
It would be good," thought Prince Andrei, glancing at the little image that his sister had hung around his neck with such reverence and emotion, "It would be good if everything were as clear and simple as it seems to Princess Marya . How good it would be to know where to seek help in this life, and what to expect after it, beyond the grave! How happy and at peace I should be if I could now say:" Lord have mercy on me!... But to whom should I say this? To some power--- indefinable and incomprehensible, to which I not only cannot appeal, but which I cannot express in words---The Great All or Nothing," he said to himself, "or to that God who has been sewn into this amulet by Marya? There is nothing certain, nothing except the nothingness of everything that is comprehensible to me, and the greatness of something incomprehensible but all important!
Though it is disguised by the illusion that a bureaucracy accountable to a majority of voters, and susceptible to the pressure of organized minorities, is not exercising compulsion, it is evident that the more varied and comprehensive the regulation becomes, the more the state becomes a despotic power as against the individual. For the fragment of control over the government which he exercises through his vote is in no effective sense proportionate to the authority exercised over him by the government.
Neither mine nor other people's prospects seem particularly pleasing just at the moment, and I have fantasies of going to Iceland, never to return. As it is, I tell myself not to remember the past, not to hope or fear for the future, and not to think in the present, a comprehensive program that will undoubtedly have very little success.