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)
Brevis esse laboro, Obscurus fio. I try hard to be succinct, and am merely obscure.Ars Poetica, l.25-6.
"When an alluring woman comes in at the door," warningly traced the austere Kien-fi on the margin of his well-known essay, "discretion may be found up the chimney". It is incredible that beneath this ever-timely reminder an obscure disciple should have added the words: "The wiser the sage, the more profound the folly."ernest bramah
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
Twenty or thirty years ago, in the army, we had a lot of obscure adventures, and years later we tell them at parties, and suddenly we realize that those two very difficult years of our lives have become lumped together into a few episodes that have lodged in our memory in a standardized form, and are always told in a standardized way, in the same words. But in fact that lump of memories has nothing whatsoever to do with our experience of those two years in the army and what it has made of us.václav havel
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 endgilbert keith chesterton
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
One percent of the nation owns a third of the wealth. The rest of the wealth is distributed in such a way as to turn those in the 99 percent against one another: small property owners against the propertyless, black against white, native-born against foreign-born, intellectuals and professionals against the uneducated and the unskilled. These groups have resented one another and warred against one another with such vehemence and violence as to obscure their common position as sharers of leftovers in a very wealthy country.howard zinn
On the other hand, the artist has much to do in the realm of color construction, which is so little explored and so obscure, and hardly dates back any farther than to the beginning of Impressionism .In: Herschel Browning Chipp Theories of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and Critics, University of California Press, 1968, p.318
Whence can we the future learn? Life to mortals is obscure.Odes, XXXVIII. (XXXVL), 19. (Quotes)
More fundamentally, I'm interested in memory because it's a filter through which we see our lives, and because it's foggy and obscure, the opportunities for self-deception are there. In the end, as a writer , I'm more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened.Kazuo Ishiguro, in In the land of memory
In constructing what we are calling the epic of evolution we are thus taking up religious issues of the most fundamental sort, issues ultimately quite baffling and obscure and shrouded in mystery.Gordon D. Kaufman - "The Epic of Evolution as a Framework for Human Orientation in Life", Zygon, vol. 32 #2, June 1997
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))
It is somewhat curious that the three persons whose names are the most universally recorded were of very obscure parentage. Moses was a foundling; Jesus Christ was born in a stable; and Mahomet was a mule driver.Thomas Paine, in The Age of Reason, Part First (1793), Ch. VII
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)
The essence of our God is obscure. It ripens continuously; perhaps victory is strenghened with our every valorous deed, but perhaps even all these agonizing struggles toward deliverance and victory are inferior to the nature of divinity. Whatever it might be, we fight on without certainty, and our virtue, uncertain of any rewards, acquires a profound nobility.Nikos Kazantzakis, in ?. Salvatores dei [Ascesis : The Saviors of God] (1923) translated by Kimon Friar as The Saviors of God : Spiritual Exercises(1960), The Action : The Relationship Between Man and Man
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