Post a random quote from a book you're reading

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IsabellaLinton
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14 Feb 2019, 5:48 pm

“I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots. I believe that this life is not all, neither the beginning nor the end. I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.”

Charlotte Brontë, Villette (1853)



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23 Feb 2019, 12:10 am

I forget from which Franz Metcalf book and page this was from..

Quote:
What would Buddha do about hypocrisy?

I think someone who calls on Amida Buddha when he’s gambling and doing other immoral things is trying totake advantage of Amida.

Zen Teacher Bankei

There are few things as disgusting as exhibitions of false piety. This is true no matter what the particular brand of piety—Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, New Age, 12-Step, whatever. People (or organizations) who make public displays of their religiosity or spirituality while their private behaviour is decadent and debauched are just fooling themselves (even if they aren’t fooling anyone else!). They certainly aren’t fooling whatever deity they worship. Amida is a celestial Buddha who particularly aids those too debauched to help themselves, but only if they’re sincere. Amida is not going to send grace to hypocrites. No—hypocrites will reap what they what they sow, not to worry. That’s the power of karma; trust it. Just make sure the hypocrite isn’t you.”



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01 Mar 2019, 11:23 am

Again not from a book..but I think this review on 'The conspiracy against the human race' by Thomas Ligotti (which I listened to as an audiobook) is unique and excellent enough to share..

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/852 ... human-race

Quote:
A remarkable if sometimes exasperating work of philosophy. Let me begin by saying that I agree with essentially all of the core assumptions of this book. As a Buddhist practitioner, I was especially moved by his treatment of suffering and of the Buddhist tradition, which I feel is mostly very perceptive, even if far from the platitudes of contemporary Buddhism. Further, the book spoke very directly to the sense of profundity I have occasionally experienced in the horror genre (HP Lovecraft and Ligotti's own fiction come to mind), particularly in it's exploration of the uncanny, which I have often felt is a much overlooked mind state in the Buddhist tradition.

I do not disagree with the facts of life as Mr. Ligotti has posed them. Samsara (the Buddhist name for the world) is indeed a thin and unsatisfactory veneer spread over a canyon filled with bones. However, I simply do not agree with the implications he has drawn from them. If we abandon all illusions, why die? Why would you want to die? It seems to me there is a fear lingering here, an attachment, a clinging to the negative space created by the removal of illusions.

Ligotti seems to appreciate that while he has made short work of so many of the commonplaces of life and the illusions of religion, Buddhism requires a different tack. His argument against the Buddhist conception of emptiness comes down to 1) most of the Buddhist tradition is consolation or at worst sort of a confidence game, 2) the realization of emptiness (enlightenment) is exceptionally rare and 3) the realization of emptiness is not directly produced, in a causal sense, by the practices of Buddhism. I disagree with none of the ideas, but fail to see how they constitute a refutation of the Buddhist understanding of and path towards emptiness. Ultimately, at the risk of being reductionist, my experience of the book is that it's many deep and dark insights are afflicted by a fearful and subtle attachment to negativity that drives it from unblinking realism to an overstated pessimism.

Altogether, a haunting, brilliant and brave book. If it is not perfect, it is still more true than almost everything else. I will do doubt return to it again and again.

___

I still stand by what I said once in a read about Ligotti and (I don't know if it was mentioned before) but I felt aghast and disappointed in a way by how many on this site like him and his work, which I found majorly repugnant esp. given the questionably irresponsible mentions of euthanasia in the work.



IsabellaLinton
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03 Mar 2019, 1:54 pm

From the personal journals of Charlotte Brontë. Age 27.

~ First entry 29 May, 1843 written by Charlotte to her sister Emily Brontë.
~ Second entry 20 February, 1844 written by Charlotte to her best friend (possible lover), Ellen Nussey.

He does not like me - why, I can't tell, nor do I think he himself has any definite reason for the aversion; but for one thing he cannot comprehend why I do not make intimate friends of Mesdames Blanche, Sophie and Haussé. He disapproves very much of my unamiable want of sociability. He has already given me a brief lecture on universal bienveillance, and, perceiving that I do not improve in consequence, I fancy he has taken to considering me as a person to be left alone - left to the error of her ways; and consequently he has in great measure withdrawn the light of his countenance, and I get on from day to day in a Robinson-Crusoe-like condition -- very lonely.

:(

I spent a week at Hunsworth not very pleasantly; headache, sickliness, and flatness of spirits made me a poor companion, a sad drag on the vivacious and loquacious gaiety of all the other inmates of the house. I never was fortunate enough to be able to rally, for so much as a single hour, while I was there. I am sure all, with the exception perhaps of Mary, were very glad when I took my departure. I began to perceive that I have too little life in me, nowadays, to be fit company for any except very quiet people. Is it age, or what else, that changes one so?


The Brontës: A Life in Letters, Ed. Juliet Barker, 2016.



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03 Mar 2019, 8:55 pm

The end is near. I hear a noise at the door, as of some immense slippery body lumbering against it. It shall not find me. God, that hand! The window! The window!

H. P. Lovecraft, Dagon.


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IsabellaLinton
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09 Mar 2019, 1:21 pm

I know only that it is time for me to be something when I am nothing. That I shall then have a constitution so strong that it will keep me years in torture and despair when I should every hour pray that I might die.

Branwell Brontë to J.B. Leyland; Haworth, 24 January 1847



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10 Mar 2019, 1:33 pm

Mr. Thackeray is a keen, ruthless satirist. Critics, it appears to me, do not know what an intellectual boa-constrictor he is - they call him 'humorous', 'brilliant' - his is a most scalping humour, a most deadly brilliancy - he does not play with his prey - he coils round it and crushes it in his rings.

Charlotte Brontë to publisher William Smith Williams, regarding WM Thackeray; Haworth, 11 December 1847



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23 Mar 2019, 2:29 pm

Read it long ago now, 'Prayer: a history' by Phillip Zaleski', p.31

Quote:
“Storming heaven, no less than sitting quietly in one’s boudoir, is part of the mature life of prayer. Contemplative prayer is not higher than petitionary prayer; wordless prayer is not superior to prayer with words spontaneous prayer is not superior to formal prayer. All are essential aspects of the religious life, and all may co-exist in a single person: thus the scientist who spills salt during breakfast and immediately throws some over her shoulder and makes a wish, who works in her laboratory following the purest protocols of the scientific method, and who retires for the night by saying the Lord’s Prayer. Is she a creature of rank inconsistency or of multiple levels of understanding?
Theorists often contend that the prayers of primitive people are founded on naive conceptual error; on the contrary, we are inclined to think that the instinct for prayer is primary, running ahead of any conceptual notions. Or perhaps it is better to say that the instinct for prayer and the sense of the divine arise simultaneously as immediate facts of consciousness, only later to be articulated as systems of belief”



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23 Mar 2019, 6:02 pm

"The case against Clevinger was open and shut. The only thing missing was something to charge him with."

Narrator, Chapter 8, Catch 22


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28 Mar 2019, 12:30 am

"Finally, of course, the noun ‘dividation’ means an unrestricted
and generalized totality of acts of seeing things as separate. As
has been indicated earlier, di-vidation implies a division in the
attention-calling function of the word, in the sense that di-
vidation is seen to be different from vidation. Nevertheless, this
difference holds only in some limited context and is not to be
taken as a fragmentation, or actual break, between the mean-
ings and functions of the two words. Rather, their very forms
indicate that dividation is a kind of vidation, indeed a special
case of the latter. So ultimately, wholeness is primary, in the
sense that these meanings and functions pass into each other to
merge and interpenetrate. Division is thus seen to be a con-
venient means of giving a more articulated and detailed
description to this whole, rather than a fragmentation of
‘what is’."

A paragraph from Wholeness and the Implicate Order,
Chapter 3: "The Rheomode: an experiment with language and thought"
David Bohm



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02 Apr 2019, 11:47 am

Emily will never suffer more in this world. She was torn from us, conscious and panting, in the fullness of her attachment, in the prime of her own days, in the promise of her power. We have not the conflict of her strangely strong spirit or its fragile frame before us. The anguish of seeing her suffer is over -- the spectacle of Death has gone by -- the loss is now ours but not hers. She is at peace with no need to tremble for the hard frost or keen wind, because she does not feel them. There is no Emily in Time or Earth -- she is nowhere now.


Charlotte Brontë on the death of Emily Jane; Haworth, 23 December, 1848 :cry:



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03 Apr 2019, 3:00 pm

My sister Emily had a particular love for the moors and there is not a knoll of heather nor a branch of fern, not a young bilberry leaf, not a fluttering lark or linnet but reminds me of her. The distant shores were Anne's delight, and when I look around she is in the blue tints, the pale mists, the waves and shadows of the horizon. In the hill-country silence their poetry comes by lines and stanzas into my mind: once I loved it - now I dare not read it - and am driven often to wish I could taste one draught of oblivion and forget much that, while mind remains, I shall never forget.

Charlotte Brontë to James Taylor on the loss of her sisters; Haworth, 22 May 1850 8O



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04 Apr 2019, 5:07 pm

From a web-comic not a book, http://existentialcomics.com/comic/283

Quote:
A lot of the critiques of Utilitarianism, the doctrine that we should try to create a world that maximizes happiness, point out the bizarre and inhuman actions that we would seemingly have to accept if we accepted the theory. For example, we can imagine that if we wanted to maximize happiness, it would be morally justified, and perhaps even required, to murder a healthy person and harvest their organs in order to save five people. After all, five lives are more valuable than one, so even if it doesn't seem like justice, we should kill one person to save the five. However, as the comic points out, you don't even need to get five people involved. It seems as though a single happy person is intrinsically "worth" more than a sad one, so we should even kill one person who is sad to save one that is happy. All in all, utilitarianism usually sounds great when people first hear about it, and the theory really only suffers from one minor flaw - no one wants to live in a world where we actually believe it is true.


Beautiful.

..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GocIobQ9MLs



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05 Apr 2019, 8:24 pm

A perfectly secluded life gave her retiring manners and habits. In Emily's nature the extremes of vigour and simplicity seemed to meet. Under an unsophisticated culture and an unpretending outside lay a secret power and fire that might have informed the brain and kindled the veins of a hero. She had no worldly wisdom; her powers were unadapted to the practical business of life; she would fail to defend her most manifest rights, or to consult her most legitimate advantage. An interpreter ought always to have stood between her and the world. Her will was not very flexible. Her temper was magnanimous, but warm and sudden; her spirit was altogether unbending.


Charlotte Brontë regarding her sister Emily
The Biographical Notice of Ellis and Acton Bell; Haworth, 19 September 1850

(I need an interpreter between me and the world, too. :roll: :oops: :heart:)



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07 Apr 2019, 12:31 pm

Jory wrote:
"Memory is not history."


Coming out of a foreshortened meditation retreat, failed--I find that (even more(?)) difficult to believe.