There are very many sentences that qualify to be treated as quotable quotes. Besides that, the novel is such a fine read.
In one place, he has Lord Henry wonder loudly
I wonder who it was defined mab as a rational animal. It was the moat premature definition ever given. Man is many things, but he is not rational.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Before that, he has Lord Henry complain about ‘always’ not the pads, of course. He says
Always! That is a dreadful word. It makes me shudder when I hear it. Women are so fond of using it. They spoil every romance by trying to make it last for ever.
Ans finally, something that reminded me of a quote I read many years ago, he says about temptation;
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.
And in totally unrelated news, the electoral body is still tallying votes since Tuesday night. There should be a much simpler and quicker way to count and tally votes from 46k polling stations.
In case you have not read Humble Pi: a comedy of mathematical errors, I recommend you do. Even if you don’t find it interesting, I bet you will learn something new.
And with that, happy weekend everyone.
In one place, he writes that an idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea.
In the same dialogue he writes that the security of society lies in custom and unconscious instinct, and the basis of the stability of society, as a healthy organism, is the complete absence of any intelligence amongst its members.
Man, he says, is least himself when he talks in his person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
And what, you may ask, is truth? To this, his answer is in matters religion, it is simply the opinion that has survived. In matters of science, it is the ultimate sensation. In matters of art, it is one’s last mood.
He says there is much to be said in favour of journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.
And in what has become too important in our days, he says of art; art is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon things beautiful and immortal and ever changing.
I will stop here for now and go back to my reading.
Have a beautiful week everyone and Pink.
wrote Mrs. Ernestine L Rose
to say god made man in his image. Man, in all ages, made god in his image. and we find that just in accordance with his civilization, his knowledge, his experience, his taste, his refinement, his sense of right, of justice, of freedom, and humanity,—so has he made his God. But whether coarse or refined ; cruel and vindictive, or kind and generous; an implacable tyrant, or a gentle and loving father ;—it still was the emanation of his own mind —the picture of himselfA Defense of Atheism by E. L Rose
As you have guessed it already, I am reading Steve B Biko’s selected letters in I write what I like. The essays were written when our author was actively involved in black emancipation in South Africa before he was brutally killed by the apartheid regime. In this address to black ministers of religion, he writes in conclusion
[..]I would like to remind the black ministry, and in deed all black people that god is not in the habit of coming down from heaven to solve people’s problems on earth.
Even now, in the face of a mass shooting in the US where over a dozen children were shot dead, sending thoughts and prayers will not help. Enacting stringent regulations around gun ownership, addressing other societal pressures like racism, unemployment, mental health is what is called for.
Elsewhere, writing on African religion, we read
Another aspect of religious practices was the occasion of worship. Again we did not believe that religion could be featured as a separate part of our existence on earth. It was manifest in our daily lives. We thanked god through our ancestors before we drank beer, married, worked etc. We would obviously find it artificial to create special occasions for worship. Neither did we see it logical to have a particular building in which all worship would be conducted. We believed that god was always in communication with us and therefore merited attention everywhere and anywhere
He then says
It was the missionaries who confused our people with their new religion. By some strange logic, they argued that theirs was a scientific religion and ours was mere superstition in spite of the biological discrepancies so obvious in the basis of their religion. They further went on to preach a theology of the existence of hell, scaring our fathers and mothers with stories about burning in eternal flames and gnashing of teeth and grinding of bone. This cold cruel religion was strange to us but our forefathers we sufficiently scared of unknown impending anger to believe that it was worth a try. Down went our cultural values.
And I can’t agree more!
Steve Bantu Biko, in I write what I like, describes it as being
There exists among men, because they are men, a solidarity through which each sharesBiko
responsibility for every injustice and every wrong committed in the world, and especially for crimes that are committed in his presence or of which he cannot be ignorant
He then goes ahead to write
This description of “metaphysical guilt” explains adequately that white racism “is onlySteve Biko
possible because whites are indifferent to suffering and patient with cruelty” meted out to the
black man. Instead of involving themselves in an all-out attempt to stamp out racism from
their white society, liberals waste lots of time trying to prove to as many blacks as they can
find that they are liberal. This arises out of the false belief that we are faced with a black
problem. There is nothing the matter with blacks. The problem is WHITE RACISM and it
rests squarely on the laps of the white society. The sooner the liberals realise this the better
for us blacks. Their presence amongst us is irksome and of nuisance value. It removes the
focus of attention from essentials and shifts it to ill-defined philosophical concepts that are
both irrelevant to the black man and merely a red herring across the track. White liberals
must leave blacks to take care of their own business while they concern themselves with the
real evil in our society—white racism.
which, from what I read of some societies where racism is still a problem, almost rings true. But I could be wrong given that the problem of race did not have a long gestation period here, not that it didn’t exist at all. No it did. We have white neighbourhoods and African estates. There were miscegenation laws among other racist policies here too.
When he can look on generals and donkey-drivers in the same light- Crates of Thebes
The second year of this pandemic is coming to an end and if you are reading this, you are still alive having avoided death by the pandemic, death by the police and if you are a Kenyan death by a myriad of things from flash floods to hunger depending on where you live or how well you pray to the different gods. But before we get to the business of this post, I take this great opportunity to wish you all a happy and cheerful holiday season. Stay alive!
Leisure is the most valuable of possessions
There is only one good, knowledge; and one only evil, ignorance.
Riches and high birth have nothing estimable in them, on the contrary, they are wholly evil.
On why he was learning to play the lyre, he said, it was not absurd to learn anything that one did not know.
Those who bought things out of season at an extravagant price did not expect to live till the proper season for them.
What was the virtue of a young man? ‘To avoid excess in everything.’
Should one marry or not? Whichever you do, you will repent it, was his advice.
Young man, keep constantly looking at the mirror, for if you are handsome, you might worthy of the beauty, and if ugly, you might conceal the unsightly appearance by their accomplishments.
God is the most ancient of all things, for he had no birth
The world is the most beautiful of things, for it is the work of God
Place is the greatest of all things, for it contains all things
Intellect is the swiftest of things, for it runs through everything
Necessity is the strongest of things, for it rules everything
Time is the wisest of things, for it finds out everything
To the question, which was made first, night or day, he replied ” night was made first by one day”. What was most difficult? To know oneself; most easy? To advise others; most pleasant? To be successful.
Have a day full of wisdom
I cant recall who it was that said he is displeased by anyone who doubts that we are intelligent or who compares our intelligence to that of other animals. Though I like what Plutarch wrote
For I do not believe there is such difference between beast and beast, in point of reason and understanding and memory, as between man and man.Plutarch
but the most relevant to this post is
The man from Mars who saw how men suffered in the last war and how frantically they are preparing for the next war, which they know will be worse, would come to the conclusion that he was looking at the denizens of a lunatic asylum.Norman Thomas, 1935
I just finished reading AC Grayling’s An enquiry on war where he reviews many topics around war such as what causes war, justifications for it, future of war and such. My contention and I think Grayling would agree is that as long as our nation states continue to build arsenal in preparation for war, we cannot claim to be intelligent. In a world where there is starvation, homelessness, disease, poverty, it is insanity to keep spending trillions of dollars on armaments. It is madness. Blind folly.
Maybe some day war will end and until that day, we must remember that man is only capable of being intelligent but may not be intelligent, yet.