Friday, March 2, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas March 2, 2007

293 Beethoven…the sound of European man once more reaching for something beyond his grasp. Clark, Civilization.

1107 …being immediately surrounded by a swarm of beggars, who are present possessors of Italy, and share the spoil of the stranger with the fleas and mosquitoes, their formidable allies. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

Beginnings and Endings
552 Every end is prospective of some other end, which is also temporary; a round and final success nowhere. Emerson, Nature, Second Series.

403 ...there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning. Emerson, Circles.

405 Every ultimate fact is only the first of a new series. Emerson, Circles.

22 Human behavior, says Plato, flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

76 We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have these because we have acted rightly. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

113 Anything is conceivable in a world so irrational as this one. Mencken, Minority Report.

707 Great believers are always reckoned infidels, impracticable, fantastic, atheistic, and really men of no account. Emerson, Representative Men: Montaigne, or The Skeptic.

466 Before him [Bergson] we were cogs and wheels in a vast and dead machine; now, if we wish it, we can help write our own parts in the drama of creation. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Bergson.

Bertrand Russell
484 [Russell] has not applied to his economic and political theories the same rigid scrutiny of assumptions, the same skepticism of axioms, which gave him such satisfaction in mathematics and logic. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Bertrand Russell.

61 Richard Lockridge on writing crime novels: If the characters lift themselves, for however brief a time, from the page; if the scenes are vivid and stir the reader’s imagination so that momentarily he lives them too; if the action similarly catches the reader up, so that he reads faster and faster to learn what happens next…. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

38 Ebe Hawthorne: “The only argument for the inspiration of the Bible that has any weight with that it is readable, which other religious books are not.” Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times.

19 For them [the Puritans], the Bible was less a body of legislation than a set of binding precedents…preoccupied with the similarities in pairs of situations: the situation described in the Bible story and that in which they found themselves. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

163 Spinoza: "Scripture…only narrates…in the order and style which has most power to move men, and especially uneducated men to devotion…object is not to convince the reason, but to attract and lay hold of the imagination." Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

73 But the Bible’s profoundest lesson seemed to him [Albert Schweitzer] a simple one: that “he who would find his life must lose it,” and he who would follow as a disciple must become a servant of men. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

310 There was the Bible, in its rich old Hebrew, with Moses and the prophets speaking to him, and God’s voice through all. Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter.

66 …our culture’s wholesale ignorance of the Bible; one survey found that ten percent of Americans thought Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife, and that thirty-eight percent believe the New and Old Testaments were written immediately after Jesus’ death. Boynton, Robert S. “Life and Letters: God and Harvard.” The New Yorker (Nov. 11, 1996), pp. 64-73.

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