She makes her way through the dark trees down to the lake to be alone following their voices on the breeze she makes her way. Through the dark trees the distant stars are all she sees. They cannot light the way she’s gone. She makes her way through the dark trees down to the lake to be alone.
The night reflected on the lake the fire of stars changed into water. She cannot see the winds that break the night reflected on the lake but knows they motion for her sake. These are the choices they have brought her: the night reflected on the lake the fire of stars changed into water.
All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable. See Proverbs xxx: There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, a fourth thing which says not, It is enough; that is, the mouth of the womb. Wherefore for the sake of fulfilling their lusts they consort even with devils…
On account of the fact, he said gentlemanly, that I have at all times purposely refrained from an exhaustive exercise of my faculty of vision and my power of optical inspection (I refer now to things perfectly palpable and discernible—the coming of dawn across the mountains is one example and the curious conduct of owls and bats in strong moonlight is another), I had expected (foolishly, perhaps) that I should be able to see quite clearly things that are normally not visible at all as a compensation for my sparing inspection of the visible.
The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it all from birth it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream… Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you should not lose your way. For existence has its own order and that no man’s mind can compass, that mind itself being but a fact among others.
There’s a Supreme Court case about involuntary commitment, O’Connor v. Donaldson, and the man at the center of it, Kenneth Donaldson, wrote a book about being involuntarily committed for 20 years. He keeps going back to this expression: “Give a dog a bad name and you might as well kill it.” I always took that to mean that once you label something in a certain way, an infernal logic takes over. There’s very little you can do about it. Once you label someone crazy, or once you label somebody guilty, usually you can find evidence to support that a priori conclusion…
In general, evidence never speaks for itself, in spite of all the doctrine that says it does. Evidence always becomes part of an argument, a narrative.
There is a great ladder of religious cruelty, with many rungs; but three of these are the most important.
Once one sacrificed human beings to one’s god, perhaps precisely those whom one loved most: the sacrifices of the first-born in all prehistoric religions belong here…
Then, during the moral epoch of mankind, one sacrificed to one’s god one’s own strongest instincts, one’s “nature”…
Finally—what remained to be sacrificed? At long last, did one not have to sacrifice for once whatever is comforting, holy, healing; all hope, all faith in hidden harmony, in future blisses and justices? didn’t one have to sacrifice God himself and, from cruelty against oneself, worship the stone, stupidity, gravity, fate, the nothing? To sacrifice God for the nothing—this paradoxical mystery of the final cruelty was reserved for the generation that is now coming up: all of us already know something of this.—
—Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future
Nobody is very likely to consider a doctrine true merely because it makes people happy or virtuous… But people like to forget—even sober spirits—that making unhappy and evil are no counterarguments. Something might be true while being harmful and dangerous in the highest degree.
—Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future
In the past, families of all classes kept domestic animals because they served a useful purpose — guard dogs, hunting dogs, mice-killing cats, and so on. The practice of keeping animals regardless of their usefulness, the keeping, exactly, of pets… is a modern innovation, and, on the social scale on which it exists today, is unique. It is part of that universal but personal withdrawal into the private small family unit, decorated or furnished with mementos from the outside world, which is such a distinguishing feature of consumer societies.
The small family living unit lacks space, earth, other animals, seasons, natural temperatures, and so on. The pet is either sterilised or sexually isolated, extremely limited in its exercise, deprived of almost all other animal contact, and fed with artificial foods. This is the material process which lies behind the truism that pets come to resemble their masters or mistresses. They are creatures of their owner’s way of life.
“The English verb “‘to look at” does not convey this meaning, but the German “betrachten,” which is an equivalent, means also to make pregnant… And if it is pregnant, then something is due to come out of it; it is alive, it produces, it multiplies. That is the case with any fantasy image; one concentrates upon it, and then finds that one has great difficulty in keeping the thing quiet, it gets restless, it shifts, something is added, or it multiplies itself; one fills it with living power and it becomes pregnant…”—Carl Gustav Jung. Vol. 6, Lecture I, May 4, 1932, p. 3. (via whaleextract)
reading Cynthia Ozick makes me not want to die, unless it can be like this
… to postulate an afterlife was her single irony—a game in the head not unlike a melting fudge cube held against the upper palate. There, at any rate, Puttermesser would sit, in Eden, under a middle-sized tree, in the solid blaze of an infinite heart-of-summer July, green, green, green everywhere, green above and green below, herself gleaming and made glorious by sweat, every inch annihilated, fecundity dismissed. And there Puttermesser would, as she imagined it, take in. Ready to her left hand, the box of fudge… ready to her right hand, a borrowed steeple of library books: for into Eden the Crotona Park Branch has ascended intact, sans librarians and fines, but with its delectable terrestrial binding-glue fragrances unevaporated.
Here Puttermesser sits. Day after celestial day, perfection of desire upon perfection of contemplation, into the exaltations of an uninterrupted forever, she eats fudge in human shape… or fudge in square shapes… and she reads. Puttermesser reads and reads. Her eyes in Paradise are unfatigued. And if she still does not know what it is she wants to solve, she has only to read on. The Crotona Park Branch is as paradisal here as it was on earth. She reads anthropology, zoology, physical chemistry, philosophy (in the green air of heaven, Kant and Nietzsche together fall into crystal splinters). The New Books section is peerless: she will learn about the linkages of genes, about quarks, about primate sign language, theories of the origins of the races, religions of ancient civilizations, what Stonehenge meant. Puttermesser will read Non-Fiction into eternity; and there is still time for Fiction!
To argue that a psychological feature is a social construct implies precisely that there is some natural, non-socially constructed reality behind it, something more real. It is clear, however, that what is socially constructed is real, like an atom bomb or a hole in the ozone layer. To deny this is to underestimate the power of social and symbolic forces, which is mere fancy.
— Darian Leader, Why Do Women Write More Letters Than They Post?
impossible to read this without thinking about academics
Jews “evacuate the law of jouissance,” they are “the people of the Book” who stick to the rules and allow for no ecstatic experience of the Sacred; yet, at the same time, they do find an excessive enjoyment precisely in their dealings with the Text of the Book: The “Talmudic” enjoyment of how to read it properly, how to interpret it so we can none the less have it our own way. Is not the tradition of lively debates and disputes which strike foreigners (Gentiles) as meaningless hairsplitting a neat example of how the very renunciation of the Thing-jouissance produces its own jouissance (in interpreting the text)?
Misery does not automatically generate discontent, nor is the intensity of discontent directly proportionate to the degree of misery.
Discontent is likely to be highest when misery is bearable; when conditions have so improved that an ideal state seems almost within reach. A grievance is most poignant when almost redressed. De Tocqueville in his researches into the state of society in France before the revolution was struck by the discovery that “in no one of the periods which have followed the Revolution of 1789 has the national prosperity of France augmented more rapidly than it did in the twenty years preceding the event.” He is forced to conclude that “the French found their position the more intolerable the better it became.”
The lure of a permanent childhood in America partly comes from the overwhelming feeling that one hasn’t yet achieved one’s true youth, because true youth would be defined by freedom so total that no one can attain it
Without a powerful aspiration to become adult, without some separate value that downplays childhood for sharper freedoms in age and maturity, the feeling of dissatisfaction can proceed indefinitely
All day he appears to me touchingly desirable, a prize one could wreck one’s peace for. I’d call it love if love didn’t take so many years but lust too is a jewel a sweet flower and what pure happiness to know all our high-toned questions breed in a lively animal
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate that unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.