The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

Adversaria (2)

‘The deepest secrets are to be found in the simplest natural things, but, pining away for the Beyond, the speculative fantast treads them under his feet’ —Ludwig Feuerbach (‘Towards a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy’, in The Fiery Brook: Selected Writings, p. 94, trans. Zawar Hanfi)

‘Even though many ideas come, we do not think about them – they come in and go out, that’s all. We do not entertain various ideas – we do not invite them to stay or serve them food or anything. If they come in, okay, and if they go out, okay. That’s all.’ —Shunryu Suzuki (Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness, p. 63)

‘I have come to the conclusion that mindfulness is much like tidying the house. It is focus and satisfying in concentrated spurts, but it lacks a direction of travel. It seeks to keep things as they are. It leaves the world unchanged’ —Marina Benjamin (Insomnia, 85%)

‘Ambivalence was painful equipoise; poetry was how he broke its grip’ —Martha Cooley (Guesswork, ch.14)

‘The problem with routine is that when you are wedded to it—let’s say, it’s breakfast, and you must have an egg or your kind of coffee or tea—when that gets disrupted, even temporarily, so you can’t perform it, the rest of the day is off, and it all feels wrong’ —Lynne Tillman (Mothercare, 89%)

‘If you are being trashed by the machinations of a heedless world, disguise yourself as a bin bag; if you’re being savaged by wolves, disguise yourself as a wolf. It’s a way of hiding in plain sight’ —Samantha Harvey (The Shapeless Unease, 21%)

‘The thing about running, I was realizing, was that I could think in motion in a way that I could not bear to when sitting still. In stillness, thinking threatened to overpower me, sink me, destroy me. There on the trail the thinking rolled with me, the hill itself forcing me to breathe’ —Liz Tichenor (The Night Lake, ch. 4, §2)

‘…enlightenment as a kind of majestic imperturbability’ —Marina Benjamin (Insomnia, 84%)

Erinnere dich, daß wir manchmal Erklärungen fordern nicht ihres Inhalts wegen, sondern der Form der Erklärung wegen. Unsere Forderung ist eine architektonische; die Erklärung eine Art Scheingesims, das nichts trägt.

Remember that we sometimes demand explanations for the sake not of their content, but of their form. Our requirement is an architectural one; the explanation a kind of sham corbel that supports nothing.

—Wittgenstein (Philosophical Investigations, ¶217; trans. G.E.M. Anscombe et al.)

‘A dull person is good because he is dull; a sharp person is good because he is sharp. Even though you compare, you cannot say which is best.’ —Shunryu Suzuki (Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness, p. 42)

‘St Augustine asked: what is time but a set of nothings? The “no longer” and the “not yet” separated by the vanishing now’ —Samantha Harvey (The Shapeless Unease, 39%)

‘…chronos—the kind of time we know and mark here in this life, the kind that moves like an arrow, orderly, reliable, chronological—and kairos—the kind of time that folds in on itself, mysterious and creative and well beyond us, the kind of time that belongs to God’ —Liz Tichenor (The Night Lake, ch. 10, §2)

During our tea, Bononi had told us that his biblioteca gave him access to an interior space, a realm of truths at once hidden and open, available to all. What he hadn’t said, though I was certain he felt it, was that this realm belonged to the dead, could belong to no one else. They and not he were its real curators.

—Martha Cooley (Guesswork, ch. 12)

‘Being so out of time, unable to plan, not able to maintain her own schedule must have been terrifying. Also a terrific blow to her sense of self. A great wound to her pride’ —Lynne Tillman (Mothercare, 19%)

He picks up on the sense of anxiety I describe, that of something groundless and objectless, something that has to find objects to attach to in order to maintain itself, but which originates without those objects. The mind inflates with a shapeless unease, he says. I find myself going over that phrase again, the loveliness of it, the aptness, the fact that shapeless is a word that occurs to me often lately: the shapeless dark, a shapeless fog of thought, the shapelessness of loneliness as opposed to that human shape in the doorway, the shapelessness of a life without sleep, where days merge unbounded.

—Samantha Harvey (The Shapeless Unease, 59%)

‘He who has written a bad poem and knows it to be bad, is in his knowledge – and hence in his being – not so limited as he who, having written a bad poem, thinks it is good.’ —Ludwig Feuerbach (‘Introduction to The Essence of Christianity’, in The Fiery Brook: Selected Writings, p. 105, trans. Zawar Hanfi)


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