“A human being is nothing but a story with skin around it.”
Quoted in Writing Changes Everything , edited
by Deborah Brodie (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997)
IDEAS OF ENDANGERMENT
“It’s too much, this being alive. Too heavy , too
uncertain, too chronically cataclysmic, too bellicose,
too unwell, too freighted with a possibility of the
perception of error. The word of the last few years –
in American activist and academic circles anyway –
has been ‘precarity.’ Which gets at ideas of endangerment, neglect, contingency, risk. Basically, we’re worried.
And: we’re worried you’re not worried enough. Like I said:
it’s too much.”
Wesley Morris. “Beyonce’ Is, of Course, In Control”
in The New York Times (August 1, 2022)
“ There are two categories of friendship: those
in which people are enlivened by each other and
those in which people must be enlivened to be with
each other. In the first category one clears
the decks to be together. In the second one looks
for an empty space in the schedule.”
Vivian Gornick. Approaching Eye Level (Boston:
Beacon Press, 1996)
THE STRAIGHT FORWARD STARE
“Flaubert said at one point that it’s only by looking
down at the black pit at our feet, that we can remain
calm (i.e. you’re more likely to panic if you don’t
look at it, and the only way to look at it is to look
at it with a straight forward stare.”
from Conversations With Julian Barnes, edited by Vanessa Guignery and Ryan Roberts (University Press of Mississippi, 2009)
on Famine, Affluence, and Morality by Peter Singer
“Singer, prompted by widespread and credible hunger
in what’s now Bangladesh, proposed a simple thought
experiment : if you stroll by a child drowning in
a shallow pond, presumably you don’t worry too
much about soiling your clothes before you wade
in to help; given the irrelevance of the child’s
location – in an actual pond nearby or in a
metaphorical pond six thousand miles away—devoting
resources to superfluous goods is tantamount to
allowing a child to drown for the sake of a
dry cleaner’s bill.
Gideon Lewis-Kraut. “Do Better” in The New Yorker
(August 15, 2022)
ESCAPE FROM DOUBT
“To some people return to religion is the answer,
not as an act of faith but in order to escape an
intolerable doubt but in search of security. The
student of the contemporary scene who is not concerned
with the church but with man’s soul considers this
step another sympton of the failure of nerve.”
Erich Fromm. Psychoanalysis and Religion (New Haven:
Yale University Press. 1958)
WHAT IS CORRECT THINKING?
“What is correct thinking? It is to make our little
interior model of the outside world as exact as possible.
If the laws of our microcosm resemble fairly closely
those of macrocosm, if our map represents with relative precision the country though which we must travel,
there is some chance that our actions may be
adjusted to our needs, our desires, or our fears.”
Andre Maurois. The Art of Living (New York:
Harpers Brothers, 1959)
THE PARALLEL WORLD WHERE WE REALLY LIVE
“Man lives in the real world; but there’s also
a parallel world: a paper one, a bureaucratic one.
So the passport is the person’s double in the
parallel world.’ The comment comes from a Russian
woman in her thirties interviewed as part of a study
in St. Petersburg in 2008. She might have been
channeling the philosopher Ron Harre’ , who
called these bureaucratic doubles ‘file-selves.’”
Sheila Fitzpatrick. “Diary” in London Review of Books (22 September 2022)
ESSENCE OF READING POETRY
The essence of knowing
Is not knowing.
Since that is true,
Then the essence
Of reading this short verse
Is not reading this verse.
6 thoughts on “BITS & PIECES OF A MISPLACED LIFE:PHILOSOPHY (sort of)”
God invented hell for the devil and his fallen angels. Man has to work at going to hell. He has to ignore God’s witness to all of us. Man has to climb over the Cross of Christ to enter hell. God sent His only Son the die for the sins of the world. He died for people who hate Him. A profound thought. Jesus was scourged with a whip 49 times. He was unrecognizable after the whipping with the cat of nine tales. He then suffered the humiliation of the death on the cross for all of us. Salvation is so simple anyone can understand it and it is free. Just accept Jesus as our Savior. He is the Lamb of God who took away all our sins if we accept Him.
I read a story about Mark Twain when he took an infant child out into a blinding snow storm. The child’s wrapping came undone in the high winds and it froze to death. Twain became embittered and blamed God. But it was Twain who failed to properly wrap the child. Twain’s bitterness shows in this piece.
20,000 dead in Turkey & Syria. Not Mark Twains’ fault there.
Your God, among other Gods in thd world, is not kind nor good.
Thanks for being the friend whom enlivens us all.
Thank you for being such a generous & supportive reader.