For Spirits when they please Can either sex assume, or both; so soft And uncompounded is their essence pure, Not tied or manacled with joint or limb, Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they choose Dilated or condensed, bright or obscure, Can execute their airy purposes, And works of love or enmity fulfil.
There is always in the healthy mind an obscure prompting that religion teaches us rather to dig than to climb; that if we could once understand the common clay of earth we should understand everything. Similarly, we have the sentiment that if we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse. This is the great truth which has always lain at the back of baby-worship, and which will support it to the end.G. K. Chesterton, in "A Defence of Baby-Worship" in The Defendant (1901)
In the mind perfect intelligence flourished and reigned, uprightness attended as its companion, and all the senses were prepared and moulded for due obedience to reason; and in the body there was a suitable correspondence with this internal order. But now, although some obscure lineaments of that image are found remaining in us; yet are they so vitiated and maimed, that they may truly be said to be destroyed. For besides the deformity which everywhere appears unsightly, this evil also is added, that no part is free from the infection of sin.john calvin
I know not whether, in the eyes of the world, a brilliant death is not preferred to an obscure life of rectitude. Most men are remembered as they died, and not as they lived. We gaze with admiration upon the glories of the setting sun, yet scarcely bestow a passing glance upon its noonday splendor.davy crockett
It has been a long road from Plato's Meno to the present, but it is perhaps encouraging that most of the progress along that road has been made since the turn of the twentieth century, and a large fraction of it since the midpoint of the century. Thought was still wholly intangible and ineffable until modern formal logic interpreted it as the manipulation of formal tokens. And it seemed still to inhabit mainly the heaven of Platonic ideals, or the equally obscure spaces of the human mind, until computers taught us how symbols could be processed by machines.allen newell
When grown-up persons indulge in practical jokes, the fact gauges them. They have lived narrow, obscure, and ignorant lives, and at full manhood they still retain and cherish a job lot of left-over standards and ideals that would have been discarded with their boyhood if they had then moved out into the world and a broader life.mark twain
Think back through all the eras of history the major ones, the tiny obscure ones known only to scholars. Can you think of a man, ever, who was capable of fashioning the future development of mankind to suit his own idea of it no matter how noble that ideal may have been? Wouldn’t that be just another form of opinion control no matter how splendid the conception?” Kennedy did not turn around. “It takes a great deal of faith in mankind to keep from directing it the way we think it should go,” he said at last.mark clifton
A man has no reason to be ashamed of having an ape for his grandfather. If there was an ancestor whom I should feel shame in recalling it would rather be a man a man of restless and versatile intellect who not content with an equivocal success in his own sphere of activity, plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real acquaintance, only to obscure them with aimless rhetoric, and distract the attention of his hearers from the real point at issue by eloquent digressions and skilled appeals to religious prejudice.thomas henry huxley
Those quotations were really quite obscure. Anyone can see that he is a very well-read man.Barbara Pym, Crampton Hodnet (c. 1940).
Whence can we the future learn? Life to mortals is obscure.Odes, XXXVIII. (XXXVL), 19. (Quotes)
Histories of scientific thought tend to obscure the revolutionary state of knowledge in the age of Archimedes the Hellenistic period toning down the differences between it, the natural philosophy of classical Greece two centuries earlier, and even the prescientific knowledge of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia .Lucio Russo, "The Erasure of the Scientific Revolution" in The Forgotten Revolution: How Science Was Born in 300 BC and Why It Had to Be Reborn (2004)
I seemed to float not into clearness, but into a darker obscure, and within a minute there had come to me out of my very pity the appalling alarm of his being perhaps innocent. It was for the instant confounding and bottomless, for if he were innocent, what then on earth was I ?Ch. XXIV (The Turn of the Screw (1898))
Since the fabric of the universe is most perfect and the work of a most wise Creator, nothing at all takes place in the universe in which some rule of maximum or minimum does not appear ...there is absolutely no doubt that every affect in the universe can be explained satisfactorily from final causes, by the aid of the method of maxima and minima, as it can be from the effective causes themselves ... Of course, when the effective causes are too obscure, but the final causes are readily ascertained, the problem is commonly solved by the indirect method...leonhard euler
Nature is infallible and is the voice of God, with this difference, that the language of the Holy Scripture can and should be interpreted in many ways (otherwise it would say many things contrary to the evidence of the senses), but the language of Nature is always the same, without metaphor, without allegory, without hyperbole, without doubtful, obscure, mysterious meanings. Nature speaks clearly to him who knows how to understand her, and has no need of interpretation.Antonio Vallisneri, in a letter to Louis Bourguet (30 August 1721)
He upbraided Macro, in no obscure and indirect terms, "with forsaking the setting sun and turning to the rising".Book VI, 52, referring to Tiberius.
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