Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas. May 2, 2007.

Note: A bold-face statement at the conclusion of a quote is an attempt to express a wordy or convoluted quote in plain English.

Ends and Means
Ends and Means 585 The end and the means, the gamester and the game—life is made up of the intermixture and reaction of these two amicable powers, whose marriage appears beforehand monstrous, as each denies and tends to abolish the other. Emerson, Nominalist and Realist. [The effects are monstrous if ends or means demolish each other.]

Enemies 75 These are paranoid delusions on a societal scale, explainable in part by our need for enemies. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell. [We feel a need for enemies.]

Enemies 263 Hoope: Nay, but enemies can teach us many things, if we are wise. Aristophanes, Birds.

Enlightenment, Reason 53 In the Enlightenment…man was supposed to live by his reason alone, as if God did not exist. Pope John Paul II, Threshold

Enthusiasm 71 Earl of Egmont: It is a melancholy thing to see how zeal for a good thing abates when the novelty is over, and when there is no pecuniary reward attending the service. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience. [Enthusiasm wanes with the loss of novelty and no promise of monetary reward. ]

Epicureanism 98 Epicurus…is no Epicurean; he exalts the joys of intellect rather than those of sense; he warns against pleasures that excite and disturb the soul which they should rather quiet and appease; …proposes to seek not pleasure in its usual sense, but…tranquility, equanimity, repose of mind. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon. [Epicurus was no Epicurean: exalted the joys of intellect, tranquility, equanimity, repose of mind.]

Epitaph 253 Loren on himself in a letter to his niece Athena: “Just tell her he was a guy who had his troubles, was a poor letter writer, couldn’t stand most of his relatives and died by himself and to hell with it.” Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley

Epitaph 435 Epitaph: “We loved the earth but could not stay.” Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley

Epitaph 202 Her life closed in a gentle dream—may she wake as kindly in the other world. E. Brontë, Wuthering Heights.

Epitaph 408 I lingered around them, under the benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath and the harebells [blue bells], listening to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth. E. Brontë, Wuthering Heights.

Epitaph 1049 He reck’d the world of little prize/ ...But had the fortune in his age,/ To live a fool and die a sage. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote of La Mancha. Part Two: 1615.

Epitaph 797 Mr. Pickwick: If I have done but little good, I trust I have done less harm. Dickens, Pickwick.

Equality 34 Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do freedom. Hoffer, The True Believer

Equality 34 The passion for equality is partly a passion for anonymity; to be one thread of the many which make up a tunic; one thread not distinguishable from the others…no one can then point us out, measure us against others and expose our inferiority. Hoffer, The True Believer. [The passion for equality is a passion for anonymity.]

Equality 530 JFK: “I do not say that all are equal in their ability, their character or their motivation…but I say they should be equal in their chance to develop their character, their motivation and their ability. Sorenson, Kennedy

Equality 286 Equality is to be found only in the spiritual dignity of man…. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Equality 227 Lincoln: Of course the Declaration signers did not intend to declare “all men equal in all respects” but they did consider all men equal in “certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

Eternity 481 Borges’ Aleph: …equivalent to eternity, where “all time—past, present, and future—coexists simultaneously. Bloom, Western Canon.

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