In the course of aesthetic experience, the perceiver may be overwhelmed by this 'mere object', overcome with emotion, altered to the very roots of his being.[...] The experience of beauty involves an exchange of power, and as such, it is often disorienting, a mix of humility and exaltation, subjugation and liberation, awe and mystified pleasure.[...] Many people, fearing a pleasure they cannot control, have vilified beauty as a siren or a whore. Since at one time or another though, everyone answers to 'her' call, it would be well if we could recognize the meaning of our succumbing as a valuable response, an opportunity for self-revelation rather than defeat.[...] It entails a flexibility and empathy toward 'Others' in general and the capacity to see ourselves as both active and passive without fearing that we will be diminished in the process.
Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself.
In sharp contrast with our culture, the Bible teaches that the essence of marriage is a sacrificial commitment to the good of the other. That means that love is more fundamentally action than emotion. But in talking this way, there is a danger of falling into the opposite error that characterized many ancient and traditional societies. It is possible to see marriage as merely a social transaction, a way of doing your duty to family, tribe and society. Traditional societies made the family the ultimate value in life, and so marriage was a mere transaction that helped your family's interest. By contrast, contemporary Western societies make the individual's happiness the ultimate value, and so marriage becomes primarily an experience of romantic fulfillment. But the Bible sees GOD as the supreme good - not the individual or the family - and that gives us a view of marriage that intimately unites feelings AND duty, passion AND promise. That is because at the heart of the Biblical idea of marriage is the covenant.
When we enlarge our view of the world, we deepen our understanding of our own lives. The Silk Road project hopes to plant the seed of new cultural growth and to celebrate traditions and musical voices everywhere. The Silk Road is far more than a historic trading route that connected the people and traditions of Asia with Europe.
Is it true that man was once perfectly pure and innocent, and that he became degenerate by disobedience? No. The real truth is, and the history of man shows, that he has advanced. Events, like the pendulum of a clock have swung forward and backward, but after all, man, like the hands, has gone steadily on. Man is growing grander. He is not degenerating. Nations and individuals fail and die, and make room for higher forms. The intellectual horizon of the world widens as the centuries pass. Ideals grow grander and purer; the difference between justice and mercy becomes less and less; liberty enlarges, and love intensifies as the years sweep on. The ages of force and fear, of cruelty and wrong, are behind us and the real Eden is beyond. It is said that a desire for knowledge lost us the Eden of the past; but whether that is true or not, it will certainly give us the Eden of the future.
I don't believe that the Scots were always frugal, now that I have read our mean history. Once the land was without mankind and was covered with trees - most of these heaths and moors are modern - and heather grows on the moor because the peasants snapped the limbs they could reach from the trees as high as they could reach, which slowed the growth of the trees, and their pigs rooted up saplings in the forest, and with branches beyond reach men chopped down the trees, trees that had leeched the shallow soil but at least held it with their roots, so that with fewer trees the rains carried off the thin layer of soil, trees became more scarce, winds blew wilder, dry land grew drier and wet land grew more wet, as one peasant here and another peasant there, gathering infinitesimal sticks for paltry winter fires, first raised the trees into the shapes of trees in a medieval hunting scene, and a courtier or if you will a laird might ride horseback through the forest, which looked as cultivated as he did, and he might hunt stags or roes visible among the visible trunks of allegorical trees, as allegory to us was naturalism to them, but their trim and vertical forests quickly deforested to vacant heath and moor, sheep and cattle grazing, nothing much taller than heather, and stone cottages built, a small dairy, smoke curling from chimneys in the morning, thick blue-grey ascending into blue, the old landshape become a landscape, and stones shaped into walls that curved with hilly fields, poisonously quaint, so that modern Scotland-Scotland by the seventeenth century-has been gardened, with no un-policied nature anywhere, and the only worse yet to come the townscape, the rustic villages, towns shaped with a view to the view, town hall spire rhyming with church steeple, a skyline constructed because they saw themselves as others would see them as they drove around the curve of the road, and they wanted to be ready for them, one tree left at the margin of a hill to catch the sunset in its branches, a grove of trees in the middle of a city as a park or square or green, the whole of Scotland a manshape, and the interferences of men applauded everywhere by men as they drove out to view the scenery and viewed the sum of infinitesimal greeds, the history of Scottish appetites, uncalculated and incalculable intrusions into the forest until the forest became a moor... ("Interim")
There is, in fact, no need to drag politics into literary theory: as with South African sport, it has been there from the beginning. I mean by the political no more than the way we organize our social life together, and the power-relations which this involves; and what I have tried to show throughout this book is that the history of modern literary theory is part of the political and ideological history of our epoch. From Percy Bysshe Shelley to Norman N. Holland, literary theory has been indissociably bound up with political beliefs and ideological values. Indeed literary theory is less an object of intellectual enquiry in its own right than a particular perspective in which to view the history of our times. Nor should this be in the least cause for surprise. For any body of theory concerned with human meaning, value, language, feeling and experience will inevitably engage with broader, deeper beliefs about the nature of human individuals and societies, problems of power and sexuality, interpretations of past history, versions of the present and hopes for the future. It is not a matter of regretting that this is so — of blaming literary theory for being caught up with such questions, as opposed to some 'pure' literary theory which might be absolved from them. Such 'pure' literary theory is an academic myth: some of the theories we have examined in this book are nowhere more clearly ideological than in their attempts to ignore history and politics altogether. Literary theories are not to be upbraided for being political, but for being on the whole covertly or unconsciously so — for the blindness with which they offer as a supposedly 'technical', 'self-evident', 'scientific' or 'universal' truth doctrines which with a little reflection can be seen to relate to and reinforce the particular interests of particular groups of people at particular times.
Springtime in Massachusetts is depressing for those who embrace a progressive view of history and experience. It does not gradually develop as spring is supposed to. Instead, the crocuses bloom and the grass grows, but the foliage is independent from the weather, which gets colder and colder and sadder and sadder until June when one day it becomes brutishly hot without warning...It was fitting, then, that the first people who chose to settle there were mentally suspect.
It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government." This idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power, is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. (October 27, 1964)
My identity as Jewish cannot be reduced to a religious affiliation. Professor Said quoted Gramsci, an author that I’m familiar with, that, and I quote, ‘to know thyself is to understand that we are a product of the historical process to date which has deposited an infinity of traces, without leaving an inventory’. Let’s apply this pithy observation to Jewish identity. While it is tempting to equate Judaism with Jewishness, I submit to you that my identity as someone who is Jewish is far more complex than my religious affiliation. The collective inventory of the Jewish people rests on my shoulders. This inventory shapes and defines my understanding of what it means to be Jewish. The narrative of my people is a story of extraordinary achievement as well as unimaginable horror. For millennia, the Jewish people have left their fate in the hands of others. Our history is filled with extraordinary achievements as well as unimaginable violence. Our centuries-long Diaspora defined our existential identity in ways that cannot be reduced to simple labels. It was the portability of our religion that bound us together as a people, but it was our struggle to fit in; to be accepted that identified us as unique. Despite the fact that we excelled academically, professionally, industrially, we were never looked upon as anything other than Jewish. Professor Said in his book, Orientalism, examined how Europe looked upon the Orient as a dehumanized sea of amorphous otherness. If we accept this point of view, then my question is: How do you explain Western attitudes towards the Jews? We have always been a convenient object of hatred and violent retribution whenever it became convenient. If Europe reduced the Orient to an essentialist other, to borrow Professor Said’s eloquent language, then how do we explain the dehumanizing treatment of Jews who lived in the heart of Europe? We did not live in a distant, exotic land where the West had discursive power over us. We thought of ourselves as assimilated. We studied Western philosophy, literature, music, and internalized the same culture as our dominant Christian brethren. Despite our contribution to every conceivable field of human endeavor, we were never fully accepted as equals. On the contrary, we were always the first to be blamed for the ills of Western Europe. Two hundred thousand Jews were forcibly removed from Spain in 1492 and thousands more were forcibly converted to Christianity in Portugal four years later. By the time we get to the Holocaust, our worst fears were realized. Jewish history and consciousness will be dominated by the traumatic memories of this unspeakable event. No people in history have undergone an experience of such violence and depth. Israel’s obsession with physical security; the sharp Jewish reaction to movements of discrimination and prejudice; an intoxicated awareness of life, not as something to be taken for granted but as a treasure to be fostered and nourished with eager vitality, a residual distrust of what lies beyond the Jewish wall, a mystical belief in the undying forces of Jewish history, which ensure survival when all appears lost; all these, together with the intimacy of more personal pains and agonies, are the legacy which the Holocaust transmits to the generation of Jews who have grown up under its shadow. -Fictional debate between Edward Said and Abba Eban.
[Bisexuality] is seen as threatening the homosexual/heterosexual and male/female dichotomies, or binarisms, which underpin our gender and sexual identities to such a large extent. In the case of the first three stereotypes, there is a refusal even to acknowledge the existence of bisexuality. It is simply wished out of existence. You can either be homosexual or heterosexual but anything else is just a phase, just playacting, not real. As Udis-Kessler argues [‘Challenging the Stereotypes’, in Rose and Stevens (eds), Bisexual Horizons: Politics, Histories, Lives. 1996. London: Lawrence and Wishart, pp. 45-57], this reflects an ideology of essentialism which dismisses the idea that sexuality may be fluid, not fixed, and that its forms can change over a person’s lifetime. This ideology assumes that there is a ‘true’ sexuality which we are working our way towards and that bisexuality is not really ‘true’ or ‘serious’ because it is a transition towards that other state… As Udis-Kessler points out, transitions are not a rehearsal for life. Life is a series of transitions: points of arrival become new points of departure, and vice versa. So why should we assume that the way we experienced our sexuality ten or twenty years ago is necessarily less ‘true’ or important than the way we experience it now, or that the way we experience it now will necessarily be the same in ten or twenty years time? Obviously this applies not only to bisexuality, but it is an argument which those - including some lesbian and gay activists - who accuse bisexuality of being a sort of ‘false consciousness’ seldom get to grips with… lesbians and gay men, anxious to create safe spaces where they are not subject to homophobic rejection or oppression, may (consciously or unconsciously) seek to exclude bisexuals[…].Unfortunately, as soon as this happens, as with every oppressed or stigmatised group, it can lead to others being oppressed or stigmatised in turn.
Fortunately, our colleges and universities are fully cognizant of the problems I have been delineating and take concerted action to address them. Curricula are designed to give coherence to the educational experience and to challenge students to develop a strong degree of moral awareness. Professors, deeply involved with the enterprise of undergraduate instruction, are committed to their students' intellectual growth and insist on maintaining the highest standards of academic rigor. Career services keep themselves informed about the broad range of postgraduate options and make a point of steering students away from conventional choices. A policy of noncooperation with U.S. News has taken hold, depriving the magazine of the data requisite to calculate its rankings. Rather than squandering money on luxurious amenities and exorbitant administrative salaries, schools have rededicated themselves to their core missions of teaching and the liberal arts. I'm kidding, of course.
Our experience places us in a unique position to understand the validation criteria and success factors in this area. We will define the criteria and validate the capability, integrity, and standardized performance of AST products, and we will work with as many suppliers as our resources allow.
It has been said at various points in history that the current sum of humanknowledge is but a fraction of that which was once known, yet now is lost.Likewise, it is argued with simple mathematics that any sum of knowledge wemay yet accrue must always equate to virtually nothing when compared to theinfinity of what is. Apparently our's is a fate of perpetual ignorance. What then is truly lost in the course of human events?(attrib: 'R.I.B. Ushguriud', Note On The Text)
History hasn't been very kind to this organization in 10 years. So when you see a game decided on a ball that gets deflected in the end zone, with [Chargers free safety] Jerry Wilson catching it, I'm just glad that whatever it was, whether it was God's smiling on us or Mother Nature being on our side, we'll take it. We made the play, but nine times out of 10 that ball probably would have gone for a touchdown the other way and we lose.
History, practical experience, common sense and economic theory all agree: economic competition is probably one of the greatest ideas humans ever came up with. When people compete to achieve the same goal, great things seem to happen that otherwise would not. Things get done faster, cheaper, and better; new methods for lifting a weight or quenching a thirst are invented; the average guy ends up with more of the stuff he likes at a lower price than before. That is why, in the end, socialism collapsed like a rotten wall: it did not allow its people to compete and, as a result, it not only made their economic life miserable, but strangled their hearts and souls.
A paradox: the same century invented History and PHotography. But History is a memory fabricated according to positive formulas, a pure intellectual discourse which abolishes mythic Time; and the Photograph is a certain but fugitive testimony; so that everything, today, prepares our race for this impotence: to be no longer able to conceive duration, affectively or symbolically: the age of the Photograph is also the age of revolutions, contestations, assassinations, explosions, in short, of impatiences, of everything which denies ripening.
Biographical history, as taught in our public schools, is still largely a history of boneheads: ridiculous kings and queens, paranoid political leaders, compulsive voyagers, ignorant generals — the flotsam and jetsam of historical currents. The men who radically altered history, the great scientists and mathematicians, are seldom mentioned, if at all.
As we experience this love, there is a temptation at times to become hostile to our earlier understandings, feeling embarrassed that we were so "simple" or "naive," or "brainwashed" or whatever terms arise when we haven't come to terms with our own story. These past understandings aren't to be denied or dismissed; they're to be embraced. Those experiences belong. Love demands that they belong. That's where we were at that point in our life and God met us there. Those moments were necessary for us to arrive here, at this place at this time, as we are. Love frees us to embrace all of our history, the history in which all things are being made new.