Thursday, June 27, 2013

only men sit down to think about what is important and not urgent

"In the first place, [men] think about problems that there is absolutely no need for them to solve so far as their biological needs, their struggle for survival, are concerned: the problems of mathematics, the problems of philosophy, the problems of any of the theoretical or speculative sciences. And in the second place, the manner in which they think about those problems is quite different. An animal, when thinking about or solving a problem, is active. He uses his senses, uses his limbs, runs around. But a man thinks in a different manner. You all I’m sure have the image of the human thinker. It is given us by that statue of Rodin’s which is here in San Francisco, Le Penseur. If you think about that famous statue, I want you to notice something. There is the posture of human thought. And what you see about that posture is intense bodily inactivity. Only men sit down to think about what is important and not urgent."
[Mortimer Adler, How to Think about the Great Ideas

Monday, June 24, 2013

faster than death

"It is not difficult to avoid death, gentlemen; it is much more difficult to avoid wickedness, for it runs faster than death." - Socrates, Apology

Sunday, June 23, 2013

many sacred veils

"We cannot be enlightened by the divine rays except they be hidden within the covering of many sacred veils." - Dionysius

the tree of life to all, but onely me

"O all ye who passe by, behold and see;
Man stole the fruit, but I must climbe the tree;
The tree of life to all, but onely me..." 
[George Herbert]

Friday, June 21, 2013

in the morning it's always Leah

"Most people if they really learn to look into their own heart would know that they do want and want acutely something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never keep their promise. The longings which arise in us when we first fall in love or first think of some foreign country or first take up some subject that excites us are longings which no marriage, no travel, no learning can ever really satisfy. I am not speaking of what would ordinarily be called unsuccessful marriages or failures of holidays and so on. I’m speaking of the very best possible ones. There is always something we have grasped at. There’s always something in that first moment of longing but fades away in the reality. The spouse may be a good spouse. The scenery has been excellent. It turned out to be a good job. But it’s evaded us. In the morning it’s always Leah."  
[C.S. Lewis]