Repetition Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 182 quotes )
That felicity, when I reflected on it, has induced me sometimes to say, that were it offered to my choice, I should have no objection to a repetition of the same life from its beginning, [...] Since such a repetition is not to be expected, the next thing most like living one's life over again seems to be a recollection of that life, and to make that recollection as durable as possible by putting it down into writing.
The karmic philosophy appeals to me on a metaphorical level because even in ones lifetime it's obvious how often we must repeat our same mistakes, banging our heads against the same ole addictions and compulsions, generating the same old miserable and often catastrophic consequences, until we can finally stop and fix it. This is the supreme lesson of karma ( and also of western psychology, by the way)- take care of the problem now, or else you'll just have to suffer again later when you screw everything up the next time. And that repetition of suffering-that's hell. Moving out of that endless repetition to a new level of understanding-there's where you'll find heaven.
So one must be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going? Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition? That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox...
No man, proclaimed Donne , is an Island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other's tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island ) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature, and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived, and then, by some means or another, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes-forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There's not a chance you'd mistake one for another, after a minute's close inspection), but still unique.
Historical fact: people stopped being human in 1913. That was the year Henry Ford put his cars on rollers and made his workers adopt the speed of the assembly line. At first, workers rebelled. They quit in droves, unable to accustom their bodies to the new pace of the age. Since then, however, the adaptation has been passed down: we've all inherited it to some degree, so that we plug right into joysticks and remotes, to repetitive motions of a hundred kinds.
SO THAT’S MY LIFE—or my life before I stopped sleeping—each day pretty much a repetition of the one before. I used to keep a diary, but if I forgot for two or three days, I’d lose track of what had happened on which day. Yesterday could have been the day before yesterday, or vice versa. I’d sometimes wonder what kind of life this was. Which is not to say that I found it empty. I was—very simply—amazed. At the lack of demarcation between the days. At the fact that I was part of such a life, a life that had swallowed me up so completely. At the fact that my demarcation between the days. At the fact that I was part of such a life, a life that had swallowed me up so completely.
But to Ezail, gifted with acceptance, it was only another facet of the riotos marvel of the earth. For all was marvelous there, was and is still, but humanity becomes innured to repetitive amazements - that the sun may rise, that a tiny seed may become a tree or a man, that life, coming from nowhere, sets us to moving like clockwork, and going out again leaves us to sleep. Or else, as then, takes us away with it, who knows? But we are used to it all, dawn and growth, living and dying. It takes a dragon on houseroof to wake us up now - and then, too. But to Ezail, all was wonder and no single item more than another: Dawns and dragons were one.
Is there a more pitiable spectacle than that of a wife contending with others for that charm in her husband's sight which no philters and no prayers can renew when once it has fled forever? Women are so unwise. Love is like a bird's song beautiful and eloquent when heard in forest freedom, harsh and worthless in repetition when sung from behind prison bars. You cannot secure love by vigilance, by environment, by captivity. What use is it to keep the person of a man beside you if his soul be truant from you?
But though, to landsmen in general, the native inhabitants of the seas have ever regarded with emotions unspeakably unsocial and repelling; though we know the sea to be an everlasting terra incognita, so that Columbus sailed over numberless unknown worlds to discover his one superficial western one; though, by vast odds, the most terrific of all mortal disasters have immemorially and indiscriminately befallen tens and hundreds of thousands of those who have gone upon the waters; though but a moment’s consideration will teach that, however baby man may brag of his science and skill, and however much, in a flattering future, that science and skill may augment; yet for ever and for ever, to the crack of doom, the sea will insult and murder him, and pulverize the stateliest, stiffest frigate he can make; nevertheless, by the continual repetition of these very impressions, man has lost that sense of the full awfulness of the sea which aboriginally belongs to it.
Everyone knows that a place exists which is not economically or politically indebted to all the vileness and compromise. That is not obliged to reproduce the system. That is writing. If there is a somewhere else that can escape the infernal repetition, it lies in that direction, where it writes itself, where it dreams, where it invents new worlds.
To imagine writing as absence seems to be a simple repetition, in transcendental terms, of both the religious principle of the inalterable and yet never fulfilled tradition, and the aesthetic principle of the work's survival, its perpetuation beyond the author's death, and it enigmatic excess in relation to him.