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Legally, Moosbrugger's case could be summed up in-a sentence. Hewas one of those borderline cases in law and forensic medicineknown even to the layman as a case of diminished responsibility. These unfortunates typically suffer not only substandard healthbut also have a substandard disease, Nature has a peculiar prefer-ence for producing such people in droves. Natura non fecit saltus, she makes no jumps but prefers gradual transitions; even on thegrand scale she keeps the world in a transitional state between imbe-cility and sanity.
It is always difficult to make the transition to a modern world. I moved from the world of faith to the world of reason - from the world of excision and forced marriage to the world of secual emancipation. Having made that journey, I know that one of those worlds is simply better than the other. Not because of its flashy gadgets, but fundamentally, because of its values. The message of this book, if it must have a message, is that we in the West would be wrong to prolong the pain of that transition unnecessarily, by elevating cultures full of bigotry and hatred toward women to the stature of respectable alternative ways of life.
I could hear and indescribable seething roar which wasn't which wasn't in my ear but everywhere and had nothing to do with sounds. I realised that I had died and reborn numberless times but just didn't remember especially because the transitions from life to death and back to life are so ghostly eas, a magical action for naught, like falling asleep and waking up again a million times, the utter casualness and deep ignorance of it. I realised it was only because of the stability of the intrinsic Mind that these ripples of birth and death took place, like the action of wind on a sheet of pure, serene, mirror-like water. I felt sweet, swinging bliss, like a big shot of heroin in the mainline vein, like a gulp of wine late in the afternoon and it makes you shudder; my feet tingled. I thought I was going to die the very next moment.
Because he let the entire world press upon him. For instance? Well, for instance, what it means to be a man. In a city. In a century. In transition. In a mass. Transformed by science. Under organized power. Subject to tremendous controls. In a condition caused by mechanization. After the late failure of radical hopes. In a society that was no community and devalued the person.Owing to the multiplied power of numbers which made the self negligible. Which spent military billions against foreign enemies but would not pay for order at home. Which permitted savagery and barbarism in its own great cities. At the same time, the pressure of human millions who have discovered what concerted efforts and thoughts can do.
A world like that is not really natural, or (the thought strikes one later) perhaps it really is, only more so. Parts of it are neither land nor sea and so everything is moving from one element to another, wearing uneasily the queer transitional bodies that life adopts in such places. Fish, some of them, come out and breathe air and sit about watching you. Plants take to eating insects, mammals go back to the water and grow elongate like fish, crabs climb trees. Nothing stays put where it began because everything is constantly climbing in, or climbing out, of its unstable environment.
It was expected, however, that [Erasmus] should make some reply and give some definition. But instead, by availing himself of a rhetorical transition, he drags us who knew nothing of rhetoric away with him, as if the matter at issue here were of no moment, but simply a lot of quibbling, and dashes bravely out of the crowded court, crowned with ivy and laurel.
Reconciliation means that those who have been on the underside of history must see that there is a qualitative difference between repression and freedom. And for them, freedom translates into having a supply of clean water, having electricity on tap; being able to live in a decent home and have a good job; to be able to send your children to school and to have accessible health care. I mean, what's the point of having made this transition if the quality of life of these people is not enhanced and improved? If not, the vote is useless.'-archbishop Desmond Tutu, chair of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Committee, 2001
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.
I realized that I had died and been reborn numberless times but just didn't remember especially because the transitions from life to death and back to life are so ghostly easy, a magical action for naught, like falling asleep and waking up again a million times, the utter casualness and deep ignorance of it.
Junk turns the user into a plant. Plants do not feel pain since pain has no function in a stationary organism. Junk is a pain killer. A plant has no libido in the human or animal sense. Junk replaces the sex drive. Seeding is the sex of the plant and the function of opium is to delay seeding. Perhaps the intense discomfort of withdrawal is the transition from plant back to animal, from a painless, sexless, timeless state back to sex and pain and time, from death back to life.
Here's something else I'd like your opinion about," I said. "If he went back underground and sat down again in the same spot, wouldn't the sudden transition from the sunlight mean that his eyes would be overwhelmed by darkness?" "Certainly," he replied. "Now, the process of adjustment would be quite long this time, and suppose that before his eyes had settled down and while he wasn't seeing well, he had once again to compete against those same old prisoners at identifying those shadows. Would he make a fool of himself? Wouldn't they say that he'd come back from his upward journey with his eyes ruined, and that it wasn't even worth trying to go up there? And would they -- if they could -- grab hold of anyone who tried to set them free and take them up there and kill him?
Carpool, my foot. But it's still not a date, MacGregor. What we'll call this is a... a civilized transit agreement. That sounds bureaucratic enough. I like your car," she added, patting the hood of his Mercedes. "Very sedate."Alan opened the trunk and set the box inside. He glanced back up at Shelby as he closed it. "You have an interesting way of insulting someone."She laughed, that free smoke-edged laugh as she went to him. "Dammit, Alan, I like you." Throwing her arms around his neck, she gave him a friendly hug that sent jolts of need careening through him. "I really like you," she added, tilting back her head with a smile that lit her whole face with a sense of fun. "I could probably have said that to a dozen other men who'd never have realized I was insulting them.""So." His hands settled at her hips. "I get points for perception.
And life? Life itself? Was it perhaps only an infection, a sickening of matter? Was that which one might call the original procreation of matter only a disease, a growth produced by morbid stimulation of the immaterial? The first step toward evil, toward desire and death, was taken precisely then, when there took place that first increase in the density of the spiritual, that pathologically luxuriant morbid growth, produced by the irritant of some unknown infiltration; this, in part pleasurable, in part a motion of self-defense, was the primeval stage of matter, the transition from the insubstantial to the substance. This was the Fall.
But Elizabeth was not formed for ill-humour; and though every prospect of her own was destroyed for the evening, it could not dwell long on her spirits; and having told all her griefs to Charlotte Lucas, whom she had not seen for a week, she was soon able to make a voluntary transition to the oddities of her cousin, and to point him out to her particular notice. The first two dances, however, brought a return of distress; they were dances of mortification. Mr. Collins, awkward
And there are always people who find their lives have become so unsupportable they believe the best thing they could do would be to hasten their transition to another plane of existence.' 'They kill themselves, you mean?' said Bod. [...] 'Indeed.' 'Does it work? Are they happier dead?' 'Sometimes. Mostly, no. It's like the people who believe they'll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn't work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.