Conceiving Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 441 quotes )
Conceive the condition of the human mind if all propositions whatsoever were self-evident except one, which was to become self-evident at the close of a summer’s day, but in the meantime might be the subject of question, of hypothesis, of debate. Art and philosophy, literature and science, would fasten like bees on that one proposition which had the honey of probability in it, and be the more eager because their enjoyment would end with sunset. Our impulses, our spiritual activities, no more adjust themselves to the idea of their future nullity, than the beating of our heart, or the irritability of our muscles.
Is this Tree of Life a God one could worship? Pray to? Fear? Probably not. But it did make the ivy twine and the sky so blue, so perhaps the song I love tells a truth after all. The Tree of Life is neither perfect nor infinite in space or time, but it is actual, and if it is not Anselm's "Being greater than which nothing can be conceived," it is surely a being that is greater than anything any of us will ever conceive of in detail worthy of its detail. Is something sacred? Yes, say I with Nietzsche. I could not pray to it, but I can stand in affirmation of its magnificence. This world is sacred.
... what man is capable of the insane self-conceit of believing that an eternity of himself would be tolerable even to himself? Those who try to believe it postulate that they shall bemade perfect first. But if you make me perfect I shall no longer be myself, nor will it be possible for me to conceive my present imperfections (and what I cannot conceive I cannot remember); so that you may just as well give me a new name and face the fact that I am a new person and that the old Bernard Shaw is as dead as mutton. Thus, oddly enough, the conventional belief in the matter comes to this: that if you wish to live for ever you must be wicked enough to be irretrievably damned, since the saved are no longer what they were, and in hell alone do people retain their sinful nature: that is to say, their individuality. And this sort of hell, however convenient as a means of intimidating persons who have practically no honor and no conscience, is not a fact.
The union Christ had with the Father was the greatest that we can conceive of in this life—if indeed we can conceive of it. Yet we have no indication that even Jesus was constantly awash with revelations as to what he should do. His union with the Father was so great that he was at all times obedient. This obedience was something that rested in his mature will and understanding of his life before God, not on always being told “Now do this” and “Now do that” with regard to every details of his life or work.
Was man, indeed, at once so powerful, so virtuous and magnificent, yet so vicious and base? He appeared at one time a mere scion of the evil principle and at another as all that can be conceived of noble and godlike. To be a great and virtuous man appeared the highest honour that can befall a sensitive being; to be base and vicious, as many on record have been, appeared the lowest degradation, a condition more abject than that of the blind mole or harmless worm. For a long time I could not conceive how one man could go forth to murder his fellow, or even why there were laws and governments; but when I heard details of vice and bloodshed, my wonder ceased and I turned away with disgust and loathing.
Origins and History of Consciousness III. It’s simple to wake from sleep with a stranger, dress, go out, drink coffee, enter a life again. It isn’t simple to wake from sleep into the neighborhood of one neither strange nor familiar whom we have chosen to trust. Trusting, untrusting, we lowered ourselves into this, let ourselves downward hand over hand as on a rope that quivered over the unsearched…. We did this. Conceived of each other, conceived each other in a darkness which I remember as drenched in light. I want to call this, life. But I can’t call it life until we start to move beyond this secret circle of fire where our bodies are giant shadows flung on a wall where the night becomes our inner darkness, and sleeps like a dumb beast, head on her paws, in the corner.
[W]e conceive the Devil as a necessary part of a respectable view of cosmology. Ours is a divided empire in which certain ideas and emotions and actions are of God, and their opposites are of Lucifer. It is as impossible for most men to conceive of a morality without sin as of an earth without 'sky'. Since 1692 a great but superficial change has wiped out God's beard and the Devil's horns, but the world is still gripped between two diametrically opposed absolutes. The concept of unity, in which positive and negative are attributes of the same force, in which good and evil are relative, ever-changing, and always joined to the same phenomenon - such a concept is still reserved to the physical sciences and to the few who have grasped the history of ideas.
This was the greatest gift that he had, the talent that fitted him for war; that ability not to ignore but to despise whatever bad ending there could be. This quality was destroyed by too much responsibility for others or the necessity of undertaking something ill planned or badly conceived. For in such things the bad ending, failure, could not be ignored. It was not simply a possibility of harm to one's self, which could be ignored. He knew he himself was nothing, and he knew death was nothing. He knew that truly, as truly as he knew anything. In the last few days he had learned that he himself, with another person, could be everything. But inside himself he knew that this was the exception. That we have had, he thought. In that I have been most fortunate. That was given to me, perhaps, because I never asked for it. That cannot be taken away nor lost. But that is over and done with now on this morning and what there is to do now is our work.
I'm against the picture of the artist as a starry-eyed visionary not really in control or knowing what he does. I'd almost prefer the word 'craftsman'. He's like one of those old-fashioned ship builders who conceived the build of the boat in their mind and after that touched every single piece that went into the boat.
I am satisfied that if a book is a good one, it is so whatever the sex of the author may be. All novels are or should be written for both men and women to read, and I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be really disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man.
[Christopher:] You cannot conceive of the quantity of explosives the armies throw at each other for each man killed! The shells make a continuous noise, sometimes like an enormous machine breaking apart. At other times, they come whistling towards you in a thoughtful sort of way and then go crump and the screw cap flies off, hurtling through the air, screaming. There’s a kind of shell which comes with a crescendo like an express train, only faster. Another kind which makes a noise like tearing calico, louder and louder. The largest kind are the ones which burst in the sky and make a double crack, like a wet canvas being shaken out by a giant. Such immense explosions to kill such small, weak animals.
As far as sacred Scripture is concerned, however much froward men try to gnaw at it, nevertheless it clearly is crammed with thoughts that could not be humanly conceived. Let each of the prophets be looked into: none will be found who does not far exceed human measure. Consequently, those for whom prophetic doctrine is tasteless ought to be thought of as lacking taste buds.
There can be, if I forebode aright, no power, short of the Divine mercy, to disclose, whether by uttered words, or by type or emblem, the secrets that may be buried with a human heart. The heart, making itself guilty of such secrets, must perforce hold them, until the day when all hidden things shall be revealed. Nor have I so read or interpreted the Holy Writ, as to understand that the disclosure of human thoughts and deeds, then to be made, is intended as part of the retribution. That, surely, were a shallow view of it. No; these revelations, unless I greatly error, are meant merely to promote the intellectual satisfaction of all intelligent beings, who will stand waiting, on that day, to see the dark problem of this life made plain. A knowledge of men's hearts will be needful to the completest solution of that problem. And I conceive, moreover, that the hearts holding such secrets as you speak of will yield them up, at that last day, not with reluctance, but with a joy unutterable.
Observe that for the novelist who has remained Christian, like myself, man is someone creating himself or destroying himself. He is not an immobile being, fixed, cast in a mold once and for all. This is what makes the traditional psychological novel so different from what I did or thought I was doing. The human being as I conceive him in the novel is a being caught up in the drama of human salvation, even if he doesn’t know it.
Now it seems to me that love of some kind is the only possible explanation of the extraordinary amount of suffering that there is in the world. I cannot conceive of any other explanation. I am convinced that there is no other, and that if the world has indeed, as I have said, been built of sorrow, it has been built by the hands of love, because in no other way could the soul of man, for whom the world was made, reach the full stature of its perfection. Pleasure for the beautiful body, but pain for the beautiful soul.
How old are you?' The question startled him. 'Earth and Air. There are times you are no more comfortable a companion than I am. The answer to that serves no conceivable purpose, and I refuse to give it to you.' When I was a kid I read Black Beauty. There were horse-drawn cabs in that. Are you that old?' Older, older, older. I shall not tell you, so you may as well leave off, my primrose.' She snorted. 'I think that means I should give up. You've started sweet-talking.' I am torn,' the phouka said, grinning, 'between responding, 'Oh, absolutely!' and 'What do you mean, started?'' He grabbed her hand, dropped a kiss on the knuckles, and loped across the street. Eddi felt the touch of his mouth on her hand for an inexplicably long time.