New York was no mere city. It was instead an infinitely romantic notion, the mysterious nexus of all love and money and power, the shining and perishable dream itself. To thinkof 'living'there was to reduce the miraculous to the mundane; one does not 'live'at Xanadu.joan didion: 1967 'Goodbye To All That', collected in Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968).
The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence, were ... the general principles of Christianity, in which all those sects were united, and the general principles of English and American liberty, in which all those young men united, and which had united all parties in America, in majorities sufficient to assert and maintain her independence. Now I will avow, that I then believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature and our terrestrial, mundane system.john adams: Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 28 June 1813. Often misquoted as "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity"
What all other men are is of the greatest importance to me. However independent I may imagine myself to be, however far removed I may appear from mundane considerations by my social status, I am enslaved to the misery of the meanest member of society. The outcast is my daily menace. Whether I am Pope, Czar, Emperor, or even Prime Minister, I am always the creature of their circumstance, the conscious product of their ignorance, want and clamoring. They are in slavery, and I, the superior one, am enslaved in consequence.mikhail bakunin: Solidarity in Liberty: The Workers' Path to Freedom (1867)
Religion is a link between God and man and man and man. Political ideology is a link between man and man. For this reason the great religions of the world like Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the last of all religions, have outlived and outlasted political ideologies. If an unlearned adventurer in his quest for political power and perpetuation brings religion down from its celestial plane to a mundane level by converting it into a narrow political ideology, the adventurer endangers the link between God and man and man and man.zulfikar ali bhutto: p. 80. (Letter to his daughter (1978))
Every night, at exactly a quarter past three, something dreadful happens on the street outside our bedroom window. We peek through the curtains, yawning and shivering in the life-draining chill, and then we clamber back beneath the blankets without exchanging a word, to hug each other tightly and hope for sound sleep before it's time to rise.Usually what we witness verges on the mundane. Drunken young men fighting, swaying about with outstretched knives, cursing incoherently. Robbery, bashings, rape. We wince to see such violence, but we can hardly be shocked or surprised any more, and we're never tempted to intervene: it's always far too cold, for a start! A single warm exhalation can coat the window pane with mist, transforming the most stomach-wrenching assault into a safely cryptic ballet for abstract blobs of light.On some nights, though, when the shadows in the room are subtly wrong, when the familiar street looks like an abandoned film set, or a painting of itself perversely come to life, we are confronted by truly disturbing sights, oppressive apparitions which almost make us doubt we're awake, or, if awake, sane. I can't catalogue these visions, for most, mercifully, are blurred by morning, leaving only a vague uneasiness and a reluctance to be alone even in the brightest sunshine.greg egan: Scatter My Ashes, published in Interzone (Spring 1988)
The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite…And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United:…Now I will avow, that I then believe, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System.John Adams letter to Thomas Jefferson (28 June 1813).
A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong , powerful , beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.Pam Brown, in Karen Weekes Women Know Everything!: 3,241 Quips, Quotes, & Brilliant Remarks, Quirk Books, 2007, p.214
I think there’s something spiritual in a very day-to-day, mundane existence. It’s impossible to articulate, and it’s happening now, almost like a perverse secret. . . . That’s always sort of fascinating to me.miranda july: As quoted in "Miranda July Is Totally Not Kidding" by Katrina Onstad, in The New York Times (14 July 2011)
We are indeed living at the end of the Golden Age of Mankind, or at least the end of this particular human civilization. That almost everything we take for granted today may, only a couple of decades farther along, seem entirely remarkable, that our most mundane artefacts and toys will stand as incredible examples of luxury and excess. That all of this will pass away, and the "simplest" bits of our day-to-day lives will become miracles of a half-remembered past. A past which will be responsible for that future-present misery. It is difficult to force myself through the trivial routine of my days when these thoughts are front and center. It is difficult to see beyond the veil they draw up about me and difficult to push it all aside long enough to write my silly little stories.caitlín r. kiernan: (29 March 2007)
Facts are more mundane than fantasies, but a better basis for conclusions.amory lovins: Salon.com, 05/26/05
It may be observed, that provinces amid the vicissitudes to which they are subject, pass from order into confusion, and afterward recur to a state of order again; for the nature of mundane affairs not allowing them to continue in an even course, when they have arrived at their greatest perfection, they soon begin to decline. In the same manner, having been reduced by disorder, and sunk to their utmost state of depression, unable to descend lower, they, of necessity, reascend; and thus from good they gradually decline to evil, and from evil again return to good. The reason is, that valor produces peace; peace, repose; repose, disorder; disorder, ruin; so from disorder order springs; from order virtue, and from this, glory and good fortune.niccolò machiavelli: Book V, Chapter 1
Twenty years from now, when space travel is likely to become mundane like airline travel today, we don't want to be buying travel tickets on other people's space vehicles.Quoted in Pallava Bagla, "India's growing strides in space,", BBC News (2008-04-30)
Now in war we are confronted with conditions which are strangeIf we accept them we will never win.Since being realistic, as in mundane combats fisticWe will get a bloody nose and that's a sin.george s. patton: Stanza 1 of "Absolute War" a poem composed by Patton in July 1944, during Operation Cobra as quoted in The Patton Papers 1940-1945 (1996) edited by Martin Blumenson p. 492
Now until some convincing piece of evidence about a Biblical, historical or purely mythical Jesus (or the beliefs of the earliest Christians) is found in future, it seems that the most rational position on Jesus would be a complete rejection of the ‘Christ of Faith’ or ‘Biblical Jesus’, and holding to an agnostic-type position on a more mundane, ‘Historical Jesus’. Maybe there was such a Jesus, maybe there was not. In the absence of convincing evidence, it is possible, but not necessarily probable, and certainly not certain.Raphael Lataster, in 'There Was No Jesus, There Is No God'
From a mundane standpoint, one might merely observe that Neil has arranged appearances here by every major occult figure in DC's history, to the possible end of introducing a new series character. And I do wonder whether Timothy will be back. It is more than a clever story however. It is rich and resonant. Like all good writing it causes the mind to wander off down byways by arousing speculations and leaving them to simmer... Neil Gaiman is a writer I have resolved to watch, and so far the effort has never failed to return more than the price of admission to his worlds.Introduction by Roger Zelazny (1993)
The word 'mundane' has come to mean boring and dull, and it really shouldn't. It should mean the opposite because it comes from the latin 'mundus', meaning the world, and the world is anything but dull; the world is wonderful. There's real poetry in the real world. Science is the poetry of reality.Richard Dawkins: The Enemies of Reason, "Slaves to Superstition" [1.01], 13 August 2007, timecode 00:38:16ff
I confess that I am no longer thinking in musical terms, or at least not much, even though I believe with all my heart that Music remains for all time the finest means of expression we have. It’s just that I find the actual pieces whether they’re old or modern, which is in any case merely a matter of dates so totally poverty-stricken, manifesting an inability to see beyond the work-table. They smell of the lamp, not of the sun. And then, overshadowing everything, there’s the desire to amaze one’s colleagues with arresting harmonies, quite unnecessary for the most part. In short, these days especially, music is devoid of emotional impact. I feel that, without descending to the level of the gossip column or the novel, it should be possible to solve the problem somehow. There’s no need either for music to make people think! ... It would be enough if music could make people listen , despite themselves and despite their petty mundane troubles, and never mind if they’re incapable of expressing anything resembling an opinion. It would be enough if they could no longer recognize their own grey, dull faces, if they felt that for a moment they had been dreaming of an imaginary country, that’s to say, one that can’t be found on the map.claude debussy: Letter to Paul Dukas (1901)
In the upstairs bedroom, old Ann dies very slowly, remembering the events of the long-ago wedding night and the next morning...She is attended by a nurse with an Irish accent (Eileen Atkins), who sometimes prompts her: "Remember a happy time!" Dissolve to Ann's memory of a happy time. It is so mundane that if it qualifies as a high point in her life, it compares with Paris Hilton remembering a good stick of gum.roger ebert: Review of Evening (29 June 2007)
Iconography becomes even more revealing when processes or concepts, rather than objects, must be depicted for the constraint of a definite “thing” cedes directly to the imagination. How can we draw “evolution” or “social organization,” not to mention the more mundane “digestion” or “self-interest,” without portraying more of a mental structure than a physical reality? If we wish to trace the history of ideas, iconography becomes a candid camera trained upon the scholar's mind.stephen jay gould: "A Tale of Three Pictures", p. 428
When mundane, lowly activities are at stake, too much insight is detrimental far-sightedness errs in immediate concerns.Franz Grillparzer: Libussa, act 1 (1848)
If the material world rests upon a similar ideal world, this ideal world must rest upon some other; and so on, without end. It were better, therefore, never to look beyond the present material world. By supposing it to contain the principle of its order within itself, we really assert it to be God; and the sooner we arrive at that Divine Being, so much the better. When you go one step beyond the mundane system, you only excite an inquisitive humour which it is impossible ever to satisfy.David Hume: Philo to Cleanthes, Part IV
The most widely discussed formulation of [the One World model] was the "end of history" thesis advanced by Francis Fukuyama. "We may be witnessing, Fukuyama argued, "…:;the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.":;… The future will be devoted not to great exhilarating struggles over ideas but rather to resolving mundane economic and technical problems. And, he concluded rather sadly, it will all be rather boring. (P. 31)samuel p. huntington: On Fukuyama's "end of history" thesis
Having granted the excellence of these maxims, I come to certain points in which I do not believe that one can grant either the superlative wisdom or the superlative goodness of Christ as depicted in the Gospels... there one does find some things that do not seem to be very wise. For one thing, he certainly thought that His second coming would occur in clouds of glory before the death of all the people who were living at that time. There are a great many texts that prove that. He says, for instance, "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of Man be come." Then he says, "There are some standing here which shall not taste death till the Son of Man comes into His kingdom"; and there are a lot of places where it is quite clear that He believed that His second coming would happen during the lifetime of many then living. That was the belief of His earlier followers, and it was the basis of a good deal of His moral teaching. When He said, "Take no thought for the morrow," and things of that sort, it was very largely because He thought that the second coming was going to be very soon, and that all ordinary mundane affairs did not count. I have, as a matter of fact, known some Christians who did believe that the second coming was imminent. I knew a parson who frightened his congregation terribly by telling them that the second coming was very imminent indeed, but they were much consoled when they found that he was planting trees in his garden. The early Christians did really believe it, and they did abstain from such things as planting trees in their gardens, because they did accept from Christ the belief that the second coming was imminent. In that respect, clearly He was not so wise as some other people have been, and He was certainly not superlatively wise.jesus christ: Bertrand Russell, Why I am not a Christian (1927), "Defects in Christ's Teaching"
In the days before de Kooning establishing himself formally as a painter, Willem de Kooning had a variety of experiences that helped him to define himself. His influences by friends and the times were surprising. Of the singular influences was his relationship to music: "In the early thirties, ... de Kooning made one astonishing and symbolic purchase. Just when the Depression was destroying the livlihood of millions of people, including that of many artists, de Kooning bought the best and most expensive record player money could buy - a miraculous machine that could summon "God and all those angels up there." Called a Capehart high-fidelity system, it was one of the first to change records automatically. It cost then the prodigious sum of $700, more than half of de Kooning's annual salary at A.S. Beck; he got an advance to pay for it. With this purchase, de Kooning announced that he would not use this money to make himself conventionally respectable, even during the hard, early years of the Depression. He did not buy a house or a car, get married, have a baby, or stash away money against hard times. Instead, he professed himself sublimely irresponsible, a man nourished by music rather than mundane realities. And yet, it was still music rather than art that prompted his expansive gesture, for he could not yet find a comparable fluency, vitality, or extravagance in art."willem de kooning: M. Stevens & A. Swan (2004) De Kooning. An American Master, New York: A.Knopf. p.92
For all the sublimity of art, physics, music, mathematics, and other manifestations of human genius, everything depends on the mundane, frustrating, often debased vocation known as politics (and its most exacting subspecialty – statecraft). Because if we don't get politics right, everything else risks extinction.charles krauthammer: Column, December 30, 2011, "Are we alone in the universe?" at jewishworldreview.com.