The Women of Gee’s Bend make my heart soar.
In folk tales the person who tries to hold on to a gift usually dies.
Folk tales are like collective dreams; they are told in the kind of voice we hear at the edge of sleep – mingling the facts of our lives with their images in the psyche.
The ego’s firmness enjoys a slow dilation.
The passage into mystery always refreshes. If, when we work, we can look once a day upon the face of mystery, then our labor satisfies. We are lightened when our gifts rise from pools we cannot fathom.
Franz Boas – Ethnographer — Carl Kerenyi – Romanian historian of religion.
“We all prize a resolution, a gratifying ending, completeness and unity, but we are surrounded by incompleteness.”
“…then the undertow yanked him and he sank heavily in a viscous miasma, the pressure so imposing, he wondered why no one else could see the substance of his misery.”
“There is no ending, I’ve tried to invent one but it was a lie and I don’t want to be a liar. The story will end where it began, in the middle. A triangle or a circle, searching for a treasure buried in the woods, on the street, in books on empty trains. Craving an amulet, a jewel, a reason, a purpose, a truth. I can almost see it on the periphery, just where they said it would be glistening at me from the far edges of every angle I search.”
To hold your own knowledge to be suspect: Someone heavily introspective, tortured by the awareness of his own ignorance. She lacks the courage of the idiot, yet has the rare guts to say, “I don’t know.”
Montagine was one of these types. He accepted human weakness and the limitations of our rationality — as the flaws that make us human.
If you believe in free will – you can’t truly believe in social science.
Daniel Dennett: Philosopher: Most potent use of our brain is the ability to project conjectures into the future and play the counterfactual game — we think before we act – “anticipation machines”
Trevor’s Theory of self-deception – supposed to orient us favorably toward the future.
Deterministic chaos – masquerades as randomness but chaotic systems have entirely predictable properties; they are just hard to know.
Learn to read history but do not draw casual links – try not to reverse engineer too much.