Lucidity Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 63 quotes )
In a brief moment of lucidity, I was sure that we'd all gone crazy. But then that moment of lucidity was displaced by a supersecond of superlucidity (if I can put it that way), in which I realized that this scene was the logical outcome of our ridiculous lives. It wasn't a punishment but a new wrinkle. It gave us a glimpse of ourselves in our common humanity. It wasn't proof of our idle guilt but a sign of our miraculous and pointless innocence. But that's not it. That's not it. We were still and they were in motion and the sand on the beach was moving, not because of the wind but because of what they were doing and what we were doing, which was nothing, which was watching, and all of that together was the wrinkle, the moment of superlucidity. Then, nothing.
The first impression of the writings of Mr. J. J. Rousseau received by a knowledgeable reader, who is reading for something more than vanity or to kill time, is that he is encountering a lucidity of mind, a noble impulse of genius and a sensitive soul of such a high level that perhaps never an author of whatever epoch or of whatever people has been able to possess in combination. The impression that immediately follows is bewilderment over the strange and contradictory opinions, which so oppose those which are in general circulation that one can easily come to the suspicion that the author, by virtue of his extraordinary talent, wishes to show off only the force of his bewitching wit and through the magic of rhetoric make himself something apart who through captivating novelties stands out among all rivals at wit.
The workman of today works every day in his life at the same tasks, and this fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.
The park is high. And as out of a house I step out of its glimmering half-light into openness and evening. Into the wind, the same wind that the clouds feel, the bright rivers and the turning mills that stand slowly grinding at the sky's edge. Now I too am a thing held in its hand, the smallest thing under the sky. --Look: Is that one sky?: Blissfully lucid blue, into which ever purer clouds throng, and under it all white in endless changes, and over it that huge, thin-spun gray, pulsing warmly as on red underpaint, and over everything this silent radiance of a setting sun. Miraculous structure, moved within itself and upheld by itself, shaping figures, giant wings, faults and high mountain ridges before the first star and suddenly, there: a gate into such distances as perhaps only birds know...
A day of dappled seaborne clouds. The phrase and the day and the scene harmonised in a chord. Words. Was it their colours? He allowed them to glow and fade, hue after hue: sunrise gold, the russet and green of apple orchards, azure of waves, the greyfringed fleece of clouds. No, it was not their colours: it was the poise and balance of the period itself. Did he then love the rhythmic rise and fall of words better than their associations of legend and colour? Or was it that, being as weak of sight as he was shy of mind, he drew less pleasure from the reflection of the glowing sensible world through the prism of a language manycoloured and richly storied than from the contemplation of an inner world of individual emotions mirrored perfectly in a lucid supple periodic prose?
The certainty of incoherence in reading, the inevitable crumbling of the soundest constructions, is the deep truth of books. Since appearance constitutes a limit, what truly exists is a dissolution into common opacity rather than a development of lucid thinking. The apparent unchangingness of books is deceptive: each book is also the sum of the misunderstandings it occasions.
America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence; perhaps the only piece of practical politics that is also theoretical politics and also great literature. It enunciates that all men are equal in their claim to justice, that governments exist to give them that justice, and that their authority is for that reason just. It certainly does condemn anarchism, and it does also by inference condemn atheism, since it clearly names the Creator as the ultimate authority from whom these equal rights are derived. Nobody expects a modern political system to proceed logically in the application of such dogmas, and in the matter of God and Government it is naturally God whose claim is taken more lightly. The point is that there is a creed, if not about divine, at least about human things.
He sank into the rocking chair, the same one in which Rebecca had sat during the early days of the house to give embroidery lessons, and in which Amaranta had played Chinese checkers with Colonel Gerineldo Marquez, and in which Amarana Ursula had sewn the tiny clothing for the child, and in that flash of lucidity he became aware that he was unable to bear in his soul the crushing weight of so much past.
How very paltry and limited the normal human intellect is, and how little lucidity there is in the human consciousness, may be judged from the fact that, despite the ephemeral brevity of human life, the uncertainty of our existence and the countless enigmas which press upon us from all sides, everyone does not continually and ceaselessly philosophize, but that only the rarest of exceptions do.
This is why a tainted society has invented psychiatry to defend itself against the investigations of certain superior intellects whose faculties of divination would be troublesome. No, van Gogh was not mad, but his paintings were bursts of Greek fire, atomic bombs, whose angle of vision would have been capable of seriously upsetting the spectral conformity of thebourgeoisie. In comparison with the lucidity of van Gogh, psychiatry is no better than a den of apes who are themselves obsessed and persecuted and who possess nothing to mitigate the most appalling states of anguish and human suffocation but a ridiculous terminology. To a man, this whole gang of pected scoundrels and patented quacks are all erotomaniacs.
Or on retiring to Prunesquallors' he might take down one of the Doctor's many books and read, for these days a passion to accumulate knowledge of any and every kind consumed him; but only as a means to an end. He must know all things, for only so might he have, when situations arose in the future, a full pack of cards to play from. He imagined himself occasions when the conversation of one from who he foresaw advancement might turn to astronomy, metaphysics, history, chemistry, or literature, and he realized that to be able to drop into the argument a lucid and exact thought, an opinion based on what might *appear* to be a life-time study, would instantaneously gain more for him than waiting until the conversation turned upon what lay within his scope of experience.
Men, too, secrete the inhuman. At certain moments of lucidity, the mechanical aspect of their gestures, their meaningless pantomime makes silly everything that surrounds them. A man is talking on the telephone behind a glass partition; you cannot hear him, but you see his incomprehensible dumb show: you wonder why he is alive. This discomfort in the face of man’s own inhumanity, this incalculable tumble before the image of what we are, this “nausea,” as a writer of today calls it, is also the absurd.
To what temptations, to what extremities does lucidity lead! Shall we desert it now to take refuge in unconsciousness? Anyone can escape into sleep, we are all geniuses when we dream, the butcher the poet’s equal there. But our perspicacity cannot bear that such a marvel should endure, nor that inspiration should be brought within everyone’s grasp; daylight strips us of the night’s gifts. Only the madman enjoys the privilege of passing smoothly from a nocturnal to a daylight existence: no distinction between his dreams and his waking. He has renounced our reason, as the beggar has renounced our belongings. Both have found a way that leads beyond suffering and solved all our problems; hence they remain examples we cannot follow, saviors without adepts.
Good writing is the hardest form of thinking. It involves the agony of turning profoundly difficult thoughts into lucid form, then forcing them into the tight-fitting uniform of language, making them visible and clear. If the writing is good, then the result seems effortless and inevitable. But when you want to say something life-changing or ineffable in a single sentence, you face both the limitations of the sentence itself and the extent of your own talent.
…my Lolita remarked: “You know, what’s so dreadful about dying is that you are completely on your own”; and it struck me, as my automaton knees went up and down, that I simply did not know a thing about my darling’s mind and that quite possibly, behind the awful juvenile cliches, there was in her a garden and a twilight, and a palace gate - dim and adorable regions which happened to be lucidly and absolutely forbidden to me, in my polluted rags and miserable convulsions…
How Rhythm Beautifies.- Rhythm casts a veil over reality; it causes various artificiality’s of speech and obscurities of thought; by the shadow it throws upon thought it sometimes conceals it, and sometimes brings it into prominence. As shadow is necessary to beauty, so the “dull” is necessary to lucidity. Art makes the aspect of life endurable by throwing over it the veil of obscure thought.