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Human Knowledge
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--- DICTIONARIES (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



--- QUOTES [6 / 6 - 243 / 243] (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



KEYS (10k)

   2 Sri Aurobindo
   1 The Mother
   1 Mortimer J Adler
   1 Jimmy Wales
   1 Fa.khen-pi.u

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   14 Paul Kalanithi

   6 Stephen Hawking

   6 Alexandre Dumas

   5 Charles Dickens

   4 Francis Bacon

   3 Sri Aurobindo
   3 Immanuel Kant

   3 Eben Alexander

   3 Bertrand Russell

   2 Walter Isaacson

   2 Vera John Steiner

   2 Thomas Malthus

   2 Sri Aurobindo

   2 Salman Rushdie

   2 Robertson Davies

   2 Rick Yancey

   2 Ray Kurzweil

   2 Nigel Warburton

   2 Michael Jackson

   2 Jonathan Edwards

   2 John F Kennedy

   2 Jean Piaget

   2 George Bernard Shaw

   2 Ernest Sosa

   2 Chuck Palahniuk

   2 Carl Jung

   2 Benjamin Franklin

   2 Auguste Comte

   2 Anonymous

   2 Aleksandar Hemon

   2 Albert Einstein


1:Our human knowledge is a candle burntOn a dim altar to a sun-vast Truth. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri 02.12 - The Heavens of the Ideal,
2:Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet has free access to the sum of all human knowledge. ~ Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia ,
3:Wisdom is greater than all terrestrial sciences and than all human knowledge. She renders a man indifferent to the joys of the world and permits him to consider with an impassive heart their precipitous and tumultous course. ~ Fa.khen-pi.u,
4:When, in last week's aphorism, Sri Aurobindo opposed - as one might say - "knowledge" to "Wisdom", he was speaking of knowledge as it is lived in the average human consciousness, the knowledge which is obtained through effort and mental development, whereas here, on the contrary, the knowledge he speaks of is the essential Knowledge, the supramental divine Knowledge, Knowledge by identity. And this is why he describes it here as "vast and eternal", which clearly indicates that it is not human knowledge as we normally understand it.Many people have asked why Sri Aurobindo said that the river is "slender". This is an expressive image which creates a striking contrast between the immensity of the divine, supramental Knowledge - the origin of this inspiration, which is infinite - and what a human mind can perceive of it and receive from it.Even when you are in contact with these domains, the portion, so to say, which you perceive, is minimal, slender. It is like a tiny little stream or a few falling drops and these drops are so pure, so brilliant, so complete in themselves, that they give you the sense of a marvellous inspiration, the impression that you have reached infinite domains and risen very high above the ordinary human condition. And yet this is nothing in comparison with what is still to be perceived.I have also been asked if the psychic being or psychic consciousness is the medium through which the inspiration is perceived.Generally, yes. The first contact you have with higher regions is a psychic one. Certainly, before an inner psychic opening is achieved, it is difficult to have these inspirations. It can happen as an exception and under exceptional conditions as a grace, but the true contact comes through the psychic; because the psychic consciousness is certainly the medium with the greatest affinity with the divine Truth. ~ The Mother, On Thoughts And Aphorisms ,
5:The object of spiritual knowledge is the Supreme, the Divine, the Infinite and the Absolute. This Supreme has its relations to our individual being and its relations to the universe and it transcends both the soul and the universe. Neither the universe nor the individual are what they seem to be, for the report of them which our mind and our senses give us, is, so long as they are unenlightened by a faculty of higher supramental and suprasensuous knowledge, a false report, an imperfect construction, an attenuated and erroneous figure. And yet that which the universe and the individual seem to be is still a figure of what they really are, a figure that points beyond itself to the reality behind it. Truth proceeds by a correction of the values our mind and senses give us, and first by the action of a higher intelligence that enlightens and sets right as far as may be the conclusions of the ignorant sense-mind and limited physical intelligence; that is the method of all human knowledge and science. But beyond it there is a knowledge, a Truth-Consciousness, that exceeds our intellect and brings us into the true light of which it is a refracted ray. There the abstract terms of pure reason and the constructions .of the mind disappear or are converted into concrete soul-vision and the tremendous actuality of spiritual experience. This knowledge can turn away to the absolute Eternal and lose vision of the soul and the universe; but it can too see that existence from that Eternal. When that is done, we find that the ignorance of the mind and the senses and all the apparent futilities of human life were not an useless excursion of the conscious being, an otiose blunder. Here they were planned as a rough ground for the self-expression of the Soul that comes from the Infinite, a material foundation for its self-unfolding and self-possessing in the terms of the universe. It is true that in themselves they and all that is here have no significance, and to build separate significances for them is to live in an illusion, Maya; but they have a supreme significance in the Supreme, an absolute Power in the Absolute and it is that that assigns to them and refers to that Truth their present relative values. This is the all-uniting experience that is the foundation of the deepest integral and most intimate self-knowledge and world-knowledge ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga 2.01 - The Object of Knowledge,
6:Reading list (1972 edition)[edit]1. Homer - Iliad, Odyssey2. The Old Testament3. Aeschylus - Tragedies4. Sophocles - Tragedies5. Herodotus - Histories6. Euripides - Tragedies7. Thucydides - History of the Peloponnesian War8. Hippocrates - Medical Writings9. Aristophanes - Comedies10. Plato - Dialogues11. Aristotle - Works12. Epicurus - Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoecus13. Euclid - Elements14.Archimedes - Works15. Apollonius of Perga - Conic Sections16. Cicero - Works17. Lucretius - On the Nature of Things18. Virgil - Works19. Horace - Works20. Livy - History of Rome21. Ovid - Works22. Plutarch - Parallel Lives; Moralia23. Tacitus - Histories; Annals; Agricola Germania24. Nicomachus of Gerasa - Introduction to Arithmetic25. Epictetus - Discourses; Encheiridion26. Ptolemy - Almagest27. Lucian - Works28. Marcus Aurelius - Meditations29. Galen - On the Natural Faculties30. The New Testament31. Plotinus - The Enneads32. St. Augustine - On the Teacher; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine33. The Song of Roland34. The Nibelungenlied35. The Saga of Burnt Njal36. St. Thomas Aquinas - Summa Theologica37. Dante Alighieri - The Divine Comedy;The New Life; On Monarchy38. Geoffrey Chaucer - Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales39. Leonardo da Vinci - Notebooks40. Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy41. Desiderius Erasmus - The Praise of Folly42. Nicolaus Copernicus - On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres43. Thomas More - Utopia44. Martin Luther - Table Talk; Three Treatises45. François Rabelais - Gargantua and Pantagruel46. John Calvin - Institutes of the Christian Religion47. Michel de Montaigne - Essays48. William Gilbert - On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies49. Miguel de Cervantes - Don Quixote50. Edmund Spenser - Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene51. Francis Bacon - Essays; Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum, New Atlantis52. William Shakespeare - Poetry and Plays53. Galileo Galilei - Starry Messenger; Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences54. Johannes Kepler - Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Concerning the Harmonies of the World55. William Harvey - On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals56. Thomas Hobbes - Leviathan57. René Descartes - Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy58. John Milton - Works59. Molière - Comedies60. Blaise Pascal - The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises61. Christiaan Huygens - Treatise on Light62. Benedict de Spinoza - Ethics63. John Locke - Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding;Thoughts Concerning Education64. Jean Baptiste Racine - Tragedies65. Isaac Newton - Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz - Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding;Monadology67.Daniel Defoe - Robinson Crusoe68. Jonathan Swift - A Tale of a Tub; Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; A Modest Proposal69. William Congreve - The Way of the World70. George Berkeley - Principles of Human Knowledge71. Alexander Pope - Essay on Criticism; Rape of the Lock; Essay on Man72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu - Persian Letters; Spirit of Laws73. Voltaire - Letters on the English; Candide; Philosophical Dictionary74. Henry Fielding - Joseph Andrews; Tom Jones75. Samuel Johnson - The Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; The Lives of the Poets ~ Mortimer J Adler,

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1:Human knowledge is never contained in one person. ~ Paul Kalanithi
2:All human knowledge takes the form of interpretation. ~ Walter Benjamin
3:Human knowledge is never contained in just one person. ~ Paul Kalanithi
4:But inner experience is only one source of human knowledge. ~ Muhammad Iqbal
5:'Facts' are the bounds of human knowledge, set for it, not by it. ~ William James
6:A successful account enables us to understand human knowledge in general. ~ Ernest Sosa
7:Our human knowledge is a candle burnt On a dim altar to a sun-vast Truth. ~ Sri Aurobindo
8:Mobile phones are misnamed. They should be called gateways to human knowledge. ~ Ray Kurzweil
9:We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine. ~ H L Mencken
10:The irony is that science has served only to show how small human knowledge is. ~ Masanobu Fukuoka
11:Human knowledge and skills alone cannot lead humanity to a happy and dignified life. ~ Albert Einstein
12:This is what is ultimate in our human knowledge of God, to know that we do not know. ~ Anthony de Mello
13:Religion is an outcome of the human weakness, or The limitation of human knowledge, or the fear. ~ Anonymous
14:In the end to add to the sum of human knowledge is the only thing a man can be truly proud of. ~ Daisy Goodwin
15:Human knowledge is dark and uncertain; philosophy is dark, astrology is dark, and geometry is dark. ~ John Jewel
16:To express the same idea in still another way, I think that human knowledge is essentially active. ~ Jean Piaget
17:All human knowledge begins with intuitions, proceeds from thence to concepts, and ends with ideas. ~ Immanuel Kant
18:This means that no single logic is strong enough to support the total construction of human knowledge. ~ Jean Piaget
19:I shall reconsider human knowledge by starting from the fact that we can know more than we can tell. ~ Michael Polanyi
20:Every branch of human knowledge, if traced up to its source and final principles, vanishes into mystery. ~ Arthur Machen
21:Not everyone needs to possess every ounce of human knowledge to survive. I mean, that’s what Google is for. ~ Abby McDonald
22:The Divine is simply that which science has not yet explained. In effect, God = Infinity - Human Knowledge. ~ Ashwin Sanghi
23:Evolution, life, physis, appear here as enveloping with regard to ‘consciousness’ of human knowledge. ~ Maurice Merleau Ponty
24:The most promising words ever written on the maps of human knowledge are terra incognita—unknown territory. ~ Daniel J Boorstin
25:is clear that human knowledge must always be content to accept some terms as intelligible without definition, ~ Bertrand Russell
26:Our human knowledge is a candle burnt
On a dim altar to a sun-vast Truth. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Heavens of the Ideal,
27:Human knowledge hasn't been complete enough to understand the afterlife if it hasn't been through the valley of death. ~ Toba Beta
28:What's important is that all human knowledge be made available to all intelligent people who want to learn it. ~ Stephen Jay Gould
29:A man would make but a very sorry chemist if he attended to that department of human knowledge alone. ~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
30:Because of the rush of human knowledge, because of the digital revolution, I have a voice, and I do not need to scream. ~ Roger Ebert
31:IT IS A COMMON REPROACH AGAINST CHRISTIANITY THAT ITS dogmas are unchanging, while human knowledge is in continual growth. ~ C S Lewis
32:Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character. ~ George Bernard Shaw
33:On the ostensible exactitude of certain branches of human knowledge, including mathematics. The exactness is a fake. ~ Alfred North Whitehead
34:Universal access to human knowledge is in our grasp, for the first time in the history of the world. This is not a bad thing. ~ Cory Doctorow
35:"Human knowledge consists essentially in the constant adaptation of the primordial patterns of ideas that were given us a priori." ~ Carl Jung
36:These facts make the creator of music a being like the gods, and make music itself the supreme mystery of human knowledge. ~ Claude Levi Strauss
37:I suppose half a klick won on some alien rock has a price about the same as a paragraph gained in the storehouse of human knowledge. ~ Hugh Howey
38:Philosophy stands in need of a science which shall determine the possibility, principles, and extent of human knowledge à priori. ~ Immanuel Kant
39:Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet has free access to the sum of all human knowledge. ~ Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia,
40:They never open their mouths,” he complained of two House colleagues, “without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.” Asked ~ Edmund Morris
41:trichloroethane [...] All my extensive testing has shown this to be the best treatment for a dangerous excess of human knowledge ~ Chuck Palahniuk
42:I am conscious of my inability to grasp, in all its details and positive developments, any very large portion of human knowledge. ~ Mikhail Bakunin
43:One thing in any case is certain: man is neither the oldest nor the most constant problem that has been posed for human knowledge. ~ Michel Foucault
44:The pretensions of final truth are always partlyan effort to obscure a darkly felt consciousness of the limits of human knowledge. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr
45:Those who want to row on the ocean of human knowledge do not get far, and the storm drives those out of their course who set sail. ~ Franz Grillparzer
46:...The impotence of human knowledge, and the insolence of its assumption that denies that to be possible which it has no experience of. ~ H Rider Haggard
47:we must listen to the very limits of human knowledge and only when this utterly breaks down should we refer things to God.”45 William ~ Thomas E Woods Jr
48:In a world in which the total of human knowledge is doubling about every ten years, our security can rest only on our ability to learn ~ Nathaniel Branden
49:Philosophy, being nothing but the study of wisdom and truth... ~ George Berkeley A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Introduction, §1'
50:To think, it seems to me, is to hold an idea long enough to unlock and shape its power in the varied contexts of shared human knowledge. ~ Vera John Steiner
51:One can state, without exaggeration, that the observation of and the search for similarities and differences are the basis of all human knowledge. ~ Alfred Nobel
52:Today’s mathematics is intimately bound up with two key areas of human knowledge and activity: the natural world, and the society in which we live. ~ Bill Bryson
53:Human knowledge is one thing, human wellbeing another. There is no predetermined harmony between the two. The examined life may not be worth living. ~ John N Gray
54:Hegel said that `truth` is subjective, thus rejecting the existence of any `truth` above or beyond human reason. All knowledge is human knowledge. ~ Jostein Gaarder
55:There's never enough information...That's the great tragedy of human knowledge. No matter how much we think we know, we can never predict the future. ~ Orson Scott Card
56:Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. ~ Paul Kalanithi
57:Cities are more than the sum of their infrastructure. They transcend brick and mortar, concrete and steel. They're the vessels into which human knowledge is poured. ~ Rick Yancey
58:The purpose of human existence is to learn and to understand as much as we can of what came before us, so we can further the sum total of human knowledge in our life. ~ Erik Naggum
59:who they were, or how they worked. That’s how I add my few grains to the sandbox of human knowledge. It’s what I love best about what I do. And there were so many ~ Geraldine Brooks
60:I found out that with one hundred and fifty well-chosen books a man possesses, if not a complete summary of all human knowledge, at least all that a man need really know. ~ Alexandre Dumas
61:Raising a cold eye from book to clock in the positively sultry Beardsley College library, among bulky young women caught and petrified in the overflow of human knowledge. ~ Vladimir Nabokov
62:[Google is] an omnivorous collector of information, a hyperencyclopedic vault of human knowledge, an unerring auctioneer, an eerily skilful student of languages, behaviour, and desires. ~ Steven Levy
63:His blade of human knowledge, natural astuteness particularized by long association with cases in the police courts, had been tempered by brief immersions in the waters of general philosophy. ~ James Joyce
64:I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. ~ John F Kennedy
65:There is a continuity of all things that make classifications fictions. But all human knowledge depends upon arrangements. Then all books--scientific, theological, philosophical--are only literary. ~ Charles Fort
66:It has been said, and perhaps with truth, that the conclusions of Political Economy partake more of the certainty of the stricter sciences than those of most of the other branches of human knowledge. ~ Thomas Malthus
67:The enterprise of making sense of the material world turns on a key question: what happens when something observed in nature doesn’t fit within the established framework of existing human knowledge? ~ Thomas Levenson
68:I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House-- with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. ~ John F Kennedy
69:Newton’s time it was possible for an educated person to have a grasp of the whole of human knowledge, at least in outline. But since then, the pace of the development of science has made this impossible. ~ Stephen Hawking
70:Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And Truth comes somewhere above all of them, where, ~ Paul Kalanithi
71:Human knowledge has been changing from the word go and people in certain respects behave more rationally than they did when they didn't have it. They spend less time doing rain dances and more time seeding clouds. ~ Herbert Simon
72:Human knowledge and skills alone cannot lead humanity to a happy and dignified life. Humanity has every reason to place the proclaimers of high moral standards and values above the discoverers of objective truth. ~ Albert Einstein
73:The beginning of human knowledge is through the senses, and the fiction writer begins where the human perception begins. He appeals through the senses, and you cannot appeal through the senses with abstractions. ~ Flannery O Connor
74:The science of political economy is essentially practical, and applicable to the common business of human life. There are few branches of human knowledge where false views may do more harm, or just views more good. ~ Thomas Malthus
75:As human knowledge has grown, it has also become plain that every religious story ever told about how we got here is quite simply wrong. This, finally, is what all religions have in common. They didn't get it right. ~ Salman Rushdie
76:Any material element or resource which, in order to become of use or value to men, requires the application of human knowledge and effort, should be private property-by the right of those who apply the knowledge and effort. ~ Ayn Rand
77:No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge
78:There were no more wireless networks to feed that information, no more information clouds to store all human knowledge. The only clouds now were the ones above, angry and red and perpetually blanketing the cold, bare Earth. ~ Kyle West
79:Human knowledge consists not only of libraries of parchment and ink - it is also comprised of the volumes of knowledge that are written on the human heart, chiselled on the human soul, and engraved on the human psyche. ~ Michael Jackson
80:Wisdom is greater than all terrestrial sciences and than all human knowledge. She renders a man indifferent to the joys of the world and permits him to consider with an impassive heart their precipitous and tumultous course. ~ Fa.khen-pi.u
81:Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule. ~ Francis Bacon
82:Wisdom is greater than all terrestrial sciences and than all human knowledge. She renders a man indifferent to the joys of the world and permits him to consider with an impassive heart their precipitous and tumultous course. ~ Fa.khen-pi.u,
83:My journey deep into coma, outside this lowly physical realm and into the loftiest dwelling place of the almighty Creator, revealed the indescribably immense chasm between our human knowledge and the awe-inspiring realm of God. ~ Eben Alexander
84:There are still many large white spaces on the map of human knowledge. You can go discover them. So do it. Get out there and fill in the blank spaces. Every single moment is a possibility to go to these new places and explore them. ~ Peter Thiel
85:Before the Internet, coordinating more than 100,000 people, let alone paying them, was essentially impossible. But now with the Internet, I've just shown you a project where we've gotten 750 million people to help us digitize human knowledge. ~ Luis von Ahn
86:Quarry the granite rock with razors, or moor the vessel with a thread of silk; then may you hope with such keen and delicate instruments as human knowledge and human reason to contend against those giants, the passion and the pride of man. ~ John Henry Newman
87:This knowledge is that which is above all others sweet and joyful. Men have a great deal of pleasure in human knowledge, in studies of natural things; but this is nothing to that joy which arises from this divine light shining into the soul. ~ Jonathan Edwards
88:Knowledge was the great thing--not abstract knowledge in which Dr. Forester had been so rich, the theories which lead one enticingly on with their appearance of nobility, of transcendent virtue, but detailed, passionate, trivial human knowledge. ~ Graham Greene
89:The range of human knowledge today is so great that we're all specialists and the distance between specializations has become so great that anyone who seeks to wander freely between them almost has to forego closeness with the people around him. ~ Robert M Pirsig
90:Quarry the granite rock with razors, or moor the vessel with a thread of silk; then may you hope with such keen and delicate instruments as human knowledge and human reason to contend against those giants, the passion and the pride of man. ~ Saint John Henry Newman
91:We tend to think human knowledge as progressive; because we know more and more, our parents and grandparents are back numbers. But a contrary theory is possible - that we simply recognize different things at different times and in different ways. ~ Robertson Davies
92:Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And Truth comes somewhere above all of them, where, as at the end of that Sunday’s reading, ~ Paul Kalanithi
93:Libraries, museums, universities, everything we designed and built over six thousand years. Cities are more than the sum of their infrastructure. They transcend brick and mortar, concrete and steel. They're the vessels into which human knowledge is poured. ~ Rick Yancey
94:And as mere human knowledge can split a ray of light and analyze the manner of its composition, so, sublimer intelligences may read in the feeble shining of this earth of ours, every thought and act, every vice and virtue, of every responsible creature on it ~ Charles Dickens
95:And as mere human knowledge can split a ray of light and analyse the manner of its composition, so, sublimer intelligences may read in the feeble shining of this earth of ours, every thought and act, every vice and virtue, of every responsible creature on it. ~ Charles Dickens
96:Human knowledge, by its nature, has limits, so some questions must remain mysteries. Some religions treat such mysteries as secrets that the gods choose to hide from humans; others, such as Buddhism, treat them as ultimate riddles that are not worth pursuing. ~ David Christian
97:In the first sense, probability means the degree of belief or approvability of an opinion—the gut view of probability. Scholars use the term “epistemological” to convey this meaning; epistemological refers to the limits of human knowledge not fully analyzable. ~ Peter L Bernstein
98:The Deus ex Machina should be employed only for events external to the drama, — for antecedent or subsequent events, which lie beyond the range of human knowledge, and which require to be reported or foretold; for to the gods we ascribe the power of seeing all things. ~ Aristotle
99:MAGNETISM, n. Something acting upon a magnet. The two definitions immediately foregoing are condensed from the works of one thousand eminent scientists, who have illuminated the subject with a great white light, to the inexpressible advancement of human knowledge. ~ Ambrose Bierce
100:Upon a given body to generate and superinduce a new nature or new natures is the work and aim of human power. To discover the Form of a given nature, or its true difference, or its causal nature, or fount of its emanation... this is the work and aim of human knowledge. ~ Francis Bacon
101:I had nearly five thousand volumes in my library at Rome; but after reading them over many times, I found out that with one hundred and fifty well-chosen books a man possesses, if not a complete summary of all human knowledge, at least all that a man need really know. ~ Alexandre Dumas
102:So the peak of human knowledge or philosophy is to recognize its own uselessness—if man were still the same as he was in the beginning—and to undo the damage that it has done, and return man to the condition in which he would always have been if it had never existed. ~ Giacomo Leopardi
103:The explosion of human knowledge has accelerated to the point where even the most brilliant can’t cope with it any more. Theories have rigidified into dogma just as they did in the Middle Ages. The leading experts feel obligated to protect their creed against the heretics. ~ John Brunner
104:I love the Internet, but it's hard not to get lost in it. It's not like a book where you start and get to the end. It's like we've found a way to encapsulate all of human knowledge within one thing only to learn that you can't do that. It's an overabundance of information. ~ Jarvis Cocker
105:You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.

Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. ~ Paul Kalanithi
106:Our aim as scientists is objective truth; more truth, more interesting truth, more intelligible truth. We cannot reasonably aim at certainty. Once we realize that human knowledge is fallible, we realize also that we can never be completely certain that we have not made a mistake. ~ Karl Popper
107:—This, she said, is a book. It is one of our ways of codifying and keeping human knowledge. When it cannot be kept in a person’s head, this is one method of keeping it safe. It is a good way of moving ideas from one head to another, as it only requires one person’s time to do it, and not two. ~ Jesse Ball
108:I will frankly tell you that my experience in prolonged scientific investigations convinces me that a belief in God-a God who is behind and within the chaos of vanishing points of human knowledge-adds a wonderful stimulus to the man who attempts to penetrate into the regions of the unknown. ~ Louis Agassiz
109:For if a man by magical arts and sacrifices will bring down the moon, and darken the sun, and induce storms, or fine weather, I should not believe that there was anything divine, but human, in these things, provided the power of the divine were overpowered by human knowledge and subjected to it. ~ Hippocrates
110:Mechanical Notation ... I look upon it as one of the most important additions I have made to human knowledge. It has placed the construction of machinery in the rank of a demonstrative science. The day will arrive when no school of mechanical drawing will be thought complete without teaching it. ~ Charles Babbage
111:I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.2 —PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY, at a dinner in honor of all living recipients of the Nobel Prize, 1962 ~ Jon Meacham
112:To inquisitive minds like yours and mine the reflection that the quantity of human knowledge bears no proportion to the quantity of human ignorance must be in one view rather pleasing, viz., that though we are to live forever we may be continually amused and delighted with learning something new. ~ Benjamin Franklin
113:Count,' said Morrel, 'you are the epitome of all human knowledge, and you seem like a being descended from a wiser and more advanced world than ours.'

'There is something true in what you say,' said the count, with that smile which made him so handsome; 'I have descended from a planet called grief. ~ Alexandre Dumas
114:He who by an exertion of mind or body, adds to the aggregate of enjoyable wealth, increases the sum of human knowledge, or gives to human life higher elevation or greater fullness - he is, in the larger meaning of the words, a " producer," a " working man," a " laborer," and is honestly earning honest wages. ~ Henry George
115:The human condition can almost be summed up in the observation that, whereas all experiences are of the past, all decisions are about the future. It is the great task of human knowledge to bridge this gap and to find those patterns in the past which can be projected into the future as realistic images. ~ Kenneth E Boulding
116:I possessed nearly five thousand volumes in my library at Rome; but after reading them over many times, I found out that with a hundred and fifty well-chosen books a man possesses a complete analysis of all human knowledge, or at least all that is either useful or desirable to be acquainted with. – Abbe Faria ~ Alexandre Dumas
117:The foundation of all human knowledge, the beginning of human consciousness, must be that each and every one of us is an object of love. Before you know if you have red hair or brown, before you know if you are black or white, before you know of what religion you are a part, you have to know that you are loved ~ Michael Jackson
118:Do you enjoy reading?’ ‘I enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey.’ Bryant quailed at the thought. ‘That’s not really reading, is it? More like staring at an assortment of words.’ ‘It is very popular.’ ‘So is taking photographs of your dinner for Facebook, but that doesn’t mean it adds to the total sum of human knowledge. ~ Christopher Fowler
119:Education is like a diamond with many facets: It includes the basic mastery of numbers and letters that give us access to the treasury of human knowledge, accumulated and refined through the ages; it includes technical and vocational training as well as instruction in science, higher mathematics, and humane letters. ~ Ronald Reagan
120:You do not settle whether an argument is justified by merely showing that it is of some use. The distinction is not between useful and useless experiments but between barbarous and civilized behaviour. Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character. ~ George Bernard Shaw
121:I was a precocious child, and I resolved to read everything I could get my hands on, in order to encapsulate the whole of human knowledge. At the time the project seemed less impractical than it does today. I did as best I could and by the time I was ten or elven had read what I suspect was equivalent to a college education. ~ Jack Vance
122:In Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge, Edelman theorizes that the human brain's astonishing interconnectivity produces consciousness and, because of the astronomical number of associations our brains are capable of making, pattern recognition is the basis not just for metaphorical thinking but for all thinking. ~ James Geary
123:Learn to cease from your own wisdom as well as your own goodness; draw near in poverty of spirit to let the Holy One show you how utterly above human knowledge or human power is the holiness He demands; to the soul that ceases from self, and has no confidence in the flesh, He will show and give the holiness He calls us to. ~ Andrew Murray
124:On consideration.. .of the reason wherefore men have so far gone astray, or that many - alas! - should follow diverse ways of belief concerning the Son of God, the marvel seems to be, not at all that human knowledge has been baffled in dealing with superhuman things, but that it has not submitted to the authority of the Scriptures ~ Ambrose
125:to admit we do not understand a phenomenon is not to admit the presence of the miraculous but merely, reasonably, to accept the limitations of human knowledge. God was invented to explain what our ancestors couldn't comprehend: the radiant mystery of being. The existence of the incomprehensible, however, is not a proof of god. ~ Salman Rushdie
126:The seers of ancient India had, in their experiments and efforts at spiritual training and the conquest of the body, perfected a discovery which in its importance to the future of human knowledge dwarfs the divinations of Newton and Galileo , even the discovery of the inductive and experimental method in Science was not more momentous. ~ Sri Aurobindo
127:Despite these afternoon misgivings and self-reproaches I clung to my notion, ill-defined though it was, that a serious study of human knowledge, or theory, or belief, if undertaken with a critical but not a cruel mind, would in the end yield some secret, some valuable permanent insight, into the nature of life and the true end of man. ~ Robertson Davies
128:Elections, for their part, are typically popularity contests rather than measures of candidates' relative competency or effectiveness. Imagine if scientific truth were determined according to which scientist was most popular. To be successful, scientists would have to be charismatic and attractive - and human knowledge would suffer terribly. ~ Nathan Myhrvold
129:What you select from, in order to tell your story, is nothing less than everything. What you build up your world from, your local, intelligible rational, coherent world, is nothing less than everything. . . . . All human knowledge is local. Every life, each human life is local, is arbitrary, the infinitesimal momentary glitter of a reflection. ~ Ursula K Le Guin
130:So does a whole world, with all its greatnesses and littlenesses, lie in a twinkling star. And as mere human knowledge can split a ray of light and analyse the manner of its composition, so, sublimer intelligences may read in the feeble shining of this earth of ours, every thought and act, every vice and virtue, of every responsible creature on it. ~ Charles Dickens
131:Furnished as all Europe now is with Academies of Science, with nice instruments and the spirit of experiment, the progress of human knowledge will be rapid and discoveries made of which we have at present no conception. I begin to be almost sorry I was born so soon, since I cannot have the happiness of knowing what will be known a hundred years hence. ~ Benjamin Franklin
132:You know, old books are a big problem for us. Old knowledge in general. We call it OK. Old knowledge, OK. Did you know that ninety-five percent of the internet was only created in the last five years? But we know that when it comes to all human knowledge, the ratio is just the opposite - in fact, OK accounts for most things that people know, and have ever known. ~ Robin Sloan
133:The unconscious is the only available source of religious experience. This in certainly not to say that what we call the unconscious is identical with God or is set up in his place. It is simply the medium from which religious experience seems to flow. As to what the further cause of such experience might be, the answer to this lies beyond the range of human knowledge. ~ Carl Jung
134:We never seemed to have any money. His celebrity was not of the kind that brought in a cash return. Although he was a fellow of almost every important society and had rows of letters after his name, the general public scarcely knew of his existence, and his long-learned books, though adding signally to the sum total of human knowledge, had no attraction for the masses. ~ Agatha Christie
135:In less than eight years "The Origin of Species" has produced conviction in the minds of a majority of the most eminent living men of science. New facts, new problems, new difficulties as they arise are accepted, solved, or removed by this theory; and its principles are illustrated by the progress and conclusions of every well established branch of human knowledge. ~ Alfred Russel Wallace
136:Human knowledge progresses when people recognize that they may be wrong even on issues that seem certain to them. Wisdom involves openness to those who disagree with us. It is only when our ideas have been subjected to criticism and all objections considered—if necessary seeking these objections out—that we have any right to think of our judgement as better than another’s. ~ Nigel Warburton
137:It must be splendid to command millions of people in great national ventures, to lead a hundred thousand to victory in battle. But it seems to me greater still to discover fundamental truths in a very modest room with very modest means - truths that will still be foundations of human knowledge when the memory of these battles is painstakingly preserved only in the archives of the historian. ~ Ludwig Boltzmann
138:I will tell you a little secret about archaeologists, dear Reader. They all pretend t be very high-minded. They claim that their sole aim in excavation is to uncover the mysteries of the past and add to the store of human knowledge. They lie. What they really want is a spectacular discovery, so they can get their names in the newspapers and inspire envy and hatred in the hearts of their rivals. ~ Elizabeth Peters
139:Hitherto the principle of causality was universally accepted as an indispensable postulate of scientific research, but now we are told by some physicists that it must be thrown overboard. The fact that such an extraordinary opinion should be expressed in responsible scientific quarters is widely taken to be significant of the all-round unreliability of human knowledge. This indeed is a very serious situation. ~ Max Planck
140:So passed away Sorrow the Undesired--that intrusive creature, that bastard gift of shameless Nature who respects not the social law; a waif to whom eternal Time had been a matter of days merely, who knew not that such things as years and centuries ever were; to whom the cottage interior was the universe, the week's weather climate, new-born babyhood human existence, and the instinct to suck human knowledge. ~ Thomas Hardy
141:Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. Wikis give us a place where anyone who is kind, thoughtful and intelligent can come and join us in building a better and more rational world. Jimmy Wales Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness. ~ George Sand
142:believe human beings will be able to access in ever larger numbers in the future. But conveying that knowledge now is rather like being a chimpanzee, becoming a human for a single day to experience all of the wonders of human knowledge, and then returning to one’s chimp friends and trying to tell them what it was like knowing several different Romance languages, the calculus, and the immense scale of the universe. ~ Eben Alexander
143:The true bounds and limitations, whereby human knowledge is confined and circumscribed,... are three: the first, that we do not so place our felicity in knowledge, as we forget our mortality: the second, that we make application of our knowledge, to give ourselves repose and contentment, and not distates or repining: the third, that we do not presume by the contemplation of Nature to attain to the mysteries of God. ~ Francis Bacon
144:As commonly practised, philosophy is the attempt to find good reasons for conventional beliefs'
'There is no mechanism of selection in the history of ideas akin to that of the natural selection of genetic mutations in evolution'
'Human knowledge is one thing, human well-being is another.There is no predetermined harmony between the two'
'In the struggle for life, the taste for truth is a luxury-or else a disability ~ John Gray
145:No one has yet been found so firm of mind and purpose as resolutely to compel himself to sweep away all theories and common notions, and to apply the understanding, thus made fair and even, to a fresh examination of particulars. Thus it happens that human knowledge, as we have it, is a mere medley and ill-digested mass, made up of much credulity and much accident, and also of the childish notions which we at first imbibed. ~ Francis Bacon
146:Well, when it became obvious that magic was going to wreck the computer networks, people tried to preserve portions of the Internet. They took snapshots of their servers and sent the data to a central database at the Library of Congress. The project became known as the Library of Alexandria, because in ancient times Alexandria's library was said to contain all the human knowledge, before some jackass burned it to the ground. ~ Ilona Andrews
147:One of the major challenges facing creative individuals is that of building upon the continuity of human knowledge while achieving novel insights. ... On the one hand, to intensify an inquiry and develop a sense of commitment to a creative life, the learner needs models, teachers, and collaborators. On the other hand, the individual, while building upon the past, needs to transform it, and thus broaden his or her choices. ~ Vera John Steiner
148:Lord Krishna... proclaims Self-realization, true wisdom, as the highest branch of all human knowledge-the king of all sciences, the very essence of dharma ("religion")-for it alone permanently uproots the cause of man's threefold suffering and reveals to him his true nature of Bliss. Self-realization is yoga or "oneness" with truth-the direct perception or experience of truth by the all-knowing intuitive faculty of the soul. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
149:Listening to Ella furiously and endlessly unfurl the yarns of the Mingus tales, I understood that the need to tell stories is deeply embedded in our minds, and inseparably entangled with the mechanisms that generate and absorb language. Narrative imagination--and therefore fiction--is a basic evolutionary tool of survival. We process the world by telling stories and produce human knowledge through our engagement with imagined selves. ~ Aleksandar Hemon
150:Human knowledge is not (or does not follow) a straight line, but a curve, which endlessly approximates a series of circles, a spiral. Any fragment, segment, section of this curve can be transformed (transformed one-sidedly) into an independent, complete, straight line, which then (if one does not see the wood for the trees) leads into the quagmire, into clerical obscurantism (where it is anchored by the class interests of the ruling classes). ~ Vladimir Lenin
151:Since all terms that are defined are defined by means of other terms, it is clear that human knowledge must always be content to accept some terms as intelligible without definition, in order to have a starting point for its definitions...[and] since human powers are finite, the definitions known to us must always begin somewhere, with terms undefined for the moment, though perhaps not permanently." - Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy ~ Bertrand Russell
152:There's a sense in which Marx does contribute to the fund of human knowledge, and we can no more dismiss him than we can [George] Hegel or [Jean-Jacques] Rousseau or [Baruch] Spinoza or [Charles] Darwin; you don't have to be a Darwinian to appreciate Darwin's views, and I don't have to be a Marxist to appreciate what is valid in a number of [Karl] Marx's writings-and Marx would call that a form of simple commodity production rather than capitalism. ~ Murray Bookchin
153:The knowledge we teach is simply the truth as we know it at a particular time. What we believe to be true now may be exposed as error through the discoveries of succeeding generations. That’s how human knowledge has been renewed throughout the ages. Remind your students of this every chance you get. “A good teacher is not one who never doubts, but rather one who strives to keep on learning despite the doubts in her mind. At least, that’s what I think. ~ Nahoko Uehashi
154:It is an undeniable fact that the universe is only knowable to us through the human minds ability to perceive reality. If all human knowledge is rooted in consciousness, perhaps we are viewing not the real universe based on limitations of the brain. This proposition leads to the conclusion that the apparent evolution of the cosmos since the Big Bang has been totally dependent upon human consciousness. We create reality in our own image as a collective dream. ~ Deepak Chopra
155:I had a foretaste of another, larger kind of knowledge: one I believe human beings will be able to access in ever larger numbers in the future. But conveying that knowledge now is rather like a chimpanzee, becoming a human for a single day to experience all of the wonders of human knowledge, and then returning to one's chimp friends and trying to tell them what it was like knowing several different Romance languages, the calculus, and the immense scale of the universe. ~ Eben Alexander
156:Yet anger, like guilt, is an incomplete form of human knowledge. More useful than hatred, but still limited. Anger is useful to help clarify our differences, but in the long run, strength that is bred by anger alone is a blind force which cannot create the future. It can only demolish the past. Such strength does not focus upon what lies ahead, but upon what lies behind, upon what created it -- hatred. And hatred is a deathwish for the hated, not a lifewish for anything else. ~ Audre Lorde
157:In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can see only a part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the economist a fourth, the pearl diver a fifth, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheep farmer an eighth, the Indian beggar a ninth, the pastor a tenth. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. ~ Paul Kalanithi
158:as long as there is an AI shortcoming in any such area of endeavor, skeptics will point to that area as an inherent bastion of permanent human superiority over the capabilities of our own creations. This book will argue, however, that within several decades information-based technologies will encompass all human knowledge and proficiency, ultimately including the pattern-recognition powers, problem-solving skills, and emotional and moral intelligence of the human brain itself. ~ Ray Kurzweil
159:These long chains of perfectly simple and easy reasonings by means of which geometers are accustomed to carry out their most difficult demonstrations had led me to fancy that everything that can fall under human knowledge forms a similar sequence; and that so long as we avoid accepting as true what is not so, and always preserve the right order of deduction of one thing from another, there can be nothing too remote to be reached in the end, or to well hidden to be discovered. ~ Rene Descartes
160:My two older brothers are both molecular biologists and neuroscientists, and I feel like representing them accurately is never done in movies, and I really wanted to at least capture the spirit of a Ph.D. student whose goal and aspiration is to increase the sum total of human knowledge. That is noble. That was really, really important, to capture the three-dimensionality of scientists. Scientists fall in love, scientists have the greatest sense of humor, scientists are passionate. ~ Mike Cahill
161:Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And Truth comes somewhere above all of them, where, as at the end of that Sunday’s reading, the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For here the saying is verified that “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work. — ~ Paul Kalanithi
162:For Mill, the acknowledgment of his or her own fallibility is part of what makes someone a serious thinker. Human knowledge progresses when people recognize that they may be wrong even on issues that seem certain to them. Wisdom involves openness to those who disagree with us. It is only when our ideas have been subjected to criticism and all objections considered—if necessary seeking these objections out—that we have any right to think of our judgement as better than another’s. ~ Nigel Warburton
163:[Mathematics] is security. Certainty. Truth. Beauty. Insight. Structure. Architecture. I see mathematics, the part of human knowledge that I call mathematics, as one thing - one great, glorious thing. Whether it is differential topology, or functional analysis, or homological algebra, it is all one thing. ... They are intimately interconnected, they are all facets of the same thing. That interconnection, that architecture, is secure truth and is beauty. That's what mathematics is to me. ~ Paul Halmos
164:In Newton's time it was possible for an educated person to have a grasp of the whole of human knowledge, at least in outline. But since then, the pace of the development of science has made this impossible. Because theories are always being changed to account for new observations, they are never properly digested or simplified so that ordinary people can understand them... Further, the rate of progress is so rapid that what one learns at school or university is always a bit out of date. ~ Stephen Hawking
165:The preservation of our free society in the years and decades to come will depend ultimately on whether we succeed or fail in directing the enormous power of human knowledge to the enrichment of our own lives and the shaping of a rational and civilized world order....It is the task of education, more than any other instrument of foreign policy to help close the dangerous gap between the economic and technological interdependence of the people of the world and their psychological, political and spiritual alienation. ~ J William Fulbright
166:Human knowledge as it actually is and can only ever be is not a revelation of something objectively and timelessly true, an assured grasp of something existing 'out there' independently of ourselves. It is what we have the best grounds at any given time for believing. Because this is what it is, it does indeed provide the best possible basis for our suppositions and actions. But it always remains our belief, our, conjecture, our hypothesis, our theory; and as such, fallible - and also, as such, a creation of the human mind. ~ Bryan Magee
167:In his pocket, the mobile phone beeped and wriggled. They'd said on the radio that the entirety of human knowledge was available on these handsets, that smartphones had outsmarted their owners. But, for now, he was in control, and the nagging gadget had to wait. He took only a glance at the little screen, enough to see that the text came from Tooly. He pocketed the phone and finished tidying up the Honesty Barrel. Soon he'd read her message and he would know. But not yet. That present had not arrived yet. This one lingered. ~ Tom Rachman
168:In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can see only a part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the economist a fourth, the pearl diver a fifth, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheep farmer an eighth, the Indian beggar a ninth, the pastor a tenth. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And Truth comes somewhere above all of them, where, ~ Paul Kalanithi
169:It will be okay," Franklin said. And even though I felt he was far too optimistic, I also suspected that there was wisdom in his optimism; Franklin's scale for "okay" spanned thousands of years. He didn't worry about someone being unhappy for a few hours or days. He didn't really worry about unhappiness at all. I think he worried about animals and sunlight and possibly grain. He worried about the furtherance of human knowledge as a grand cooperative endeavor that made him coworkers with everyone from Proust to Einstein to the author of Inanna. ~ Rufi Thorpe
170:Most frequently given of such reasons is the conviction that a general stock market decline of some proportion is somewhere in the offing. In the preceding chapter I tried to show that postponing an attractive purchase because of fear of what the general market might do will, over the years, prove very costly. This is because the investor is ignoring a powerful influence about which he has positive knowledge through fear of a less powerful force about which, in the present state of human knowledge, he and everyone else is largely guessing. ~ Philip A Fisher
171:If one does not make human knowledge wholly dependent upon the original self-knowledge and consequent revelation of God to man, then man will have to seek knowledge within himself as the final reference point. Then he will have to seek an exhaustive understanding of reality. He will have to hold that if he cannot attain to such an exhaustive understanding of reality he has no true knowledge of anything at all. Either man must then know everything or he knows nothing. This is the dilemma that confronts every form of non-Christian epistemology ~ Cornelius Van Til
172:Claude Bernard explained this in 1865; “to have an idea about a natural phenomenon, we must, first of all, observe it…. All human knowledge is limited to working back from observed effects to their cause.” But if the initial observations are incorrect or incomplete, then we will distort what it is we’re trying to explain. If we make the observations with preconceived notions of what the truth is, if we believe we know the cause before we observe the effect, we will almost assuredly see what we want to see, which is not the same as seeing things clearly. ~ Gary Taubes
173:And last of all we have the secondary forms of crystals bursting in upon us, and sparkling in the rigidity of mathematical necessity and telling us, neither of harmony of design, usefulness or moral significance, nothing but spherical trigonometry and Napier's analogies. It is because we have blindly excluded the lessons of these angular bodies from the domain of human knowledge that we are still in doubt about the great doctrine that the only laws of matter are those which our minds must fabricate, and the only laws of mind are fabricated for it by matter. ~ James Clerk Maxwell
174:If, as has been said, man learned to lie an hour after he learned to talk, then a phenomenon such as the one we’re discussing would be the genesis of the most fundamental change in human knowledge since the beginning of society; the transformations it would wreak—in fields from communications to ethics, in our most basic concepts, in every detail of daily existence—would be so profound that it is difficult to even conceive what life would be like in a subsequent new era of truth. The world as we know it would be irrevocably changed, right down to its very roots. ~ David R Hawkins
175:In my view there is a level of human knowledge that involves just getting it right aptly. This "animal" epistemic level is an inferior level in just the way of Diana's long shot in the dark while drunk. That shot is inferior in a certain respect if too poorly selected as a hunter's archery shot, even if not quite as poorly selected as would be a shot aimed at the moon. Even if Diana's too risky shot turns out to be apt by attaining success through sublime archery dexterity, it is still inferior in the particular respect of being so risky and hence so poorly selected. ~ Ernest Sosa
176:In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can see only a part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the economist a fourth, the pearl diver a fifth, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheep farmer an eighth, the Indian beggar a ninth, the pastor a tenth. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And Truth comes somewhere above all of them, where, as at the end of that Sunday’s reading, ~ Paul Kalanithi
177:Nor is it in fact a purely human knowledge bound by the context and categories of the human mind. Rather, metaphysics, which some of his translators render as metaphysic in order to emphasize its non-multiple but unitary nature, is the science of Ultimate Reality, attainable through the intellect and not reason, of an essentially suprahuman character and including in its fullness the whole of man's being. It is a sacred science or scientia sacra, a wisdom which liberates and which requires not only certain mental capacities but also moral and spiritual qualifications. It ~ Frithjof Schuon
178:Discoveries are always accidental; and the great use of science is by investigating the nature of the effects produced by any process or contrivance, and of the causes by which they are brought about, to explain the operation and determine the precise value of every new invention. This fixes as it were the latitude and longitude of each discovery, and enables us to place it in that part of the map of human knowledge which it ought to occupy. It likewise enables us to use it in taking bearings and distances, and in shaping our course when we go in search of new discoveries. ~ Benjamin Thompson
179:faith is never meant to exist apart from knowledge, where knowledge is possible. What is possible through the Scriptures and the actions of God in history is knowledge—knowledge of God, knowledge of human life—and that dignity has to be restored. So our focus is on knowledge for living and the disastrous effects of forcing the teachings of Jesus Christ and his people from the domain of human knowledge. Now we have an odd thing called secular knowledge. What is that? Is reality secular? If reality is not secular, secular knowledge falls miserably short of what human beings need. ~ Dallas Willard
180:No general description of the mode of advance of human knowledge can be just which leaves out of account the social aspect of knowledge. That is of its very essence. What a thing society is! The workingman, with his trade union, knows that. Men and women moving in polite society understand it, still better. But Bohemians, like me, whose work is done in solitude, are apt to forget that not only is a man as a whole little better than a brute in solitude, but also that everything that bears any important meaning to him must receive its interpretation from social considerations. ~ Charles Sanders Peirce
181:Modern man, seeking a middle position in the evaluation of sense impression and thought, can, following Plato , interpret the process of understanding nature as a correspondence, that is, a coming into congruence of pre-existing images of the human psyche with external objects and their behaviour. Modern man, of course, unlike Plato , looks on the pre-existent original images also as not invariable, but as relative to the development of a conscious point of view, so that the word "dialectic" which Plato is fond of using may be applied to the process of development of human knowledge. ~ Wolfgang Pauli
182:Alas, my child,’ he said, ‘human knowledge is very limited and when I have taught you mathematics, physics, history and the three or four modern languages that I speak, you will know everything that I know; and it will take me scarcely two years to transfer all this knowledge from my mind to yours.’
‘Two years!’ said Dantès. ‘Do you think I could learn all this in two years?’
‘In their application, no; but the principles, yes. Learning does not make one learned: there are those who have knowledge and those who have understanding. The first requires memory, the second philosophy. ~ Alexandre Dumas
183:In April 1962, McGeorge Bundy—the former Harvard dean and now national security adviser to President Kennedy—had Oppenheimer invited to a White House dinner honoring forty-nine Nobel laureates. At this gala affair, Oppie rubbed elbows with such other luminaries as the poet Robert Frost, the astronaut John Glenn and the writer Norman Cousins. Everyone laughed when Kennedy quipped, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Afterwards, ~ Kai Bird
184:All good intellects have repeated, since Bacon's time, that there can be no real knowledge but that which is based on observed facts. This is incontestable, in our present advanced stage; but, if we look back to the primitive stage of human knowledge, we shall see that it must have been otherwise then. If it is true that every theory must be based upon observed facts; it is equally true that facts can not be observed without the guidance of some theory. Without such guidance, our facts would be desultory and fruitless; we could not retain them: for the most part we could not even perceive them. ~ Auguste Comte
185:The late Jonathan Rowe, one of the visionaries of the new networked Commons, best explained the idea of what a Commons is all about. He wrote: To say “the commons” is to evoke a puzzled pause. . . . Yet the commons is more basic than both government and market. It is the vast realm that is the shared heritage of all of us that we typically use without toll or price. The atmosphere and oceans, languages and cultures, the stores of human knowledge and wisdom, the informal support systems of community, the peace and quiet that we crave, the genetic building blocks of life—these are all aspects of the commons.41 ~ Jeremy Rifkin
186:Chateau and hut, stone face and dangling figure, the red stain on the stone floor, and the pure water in the village well--thousands of acres of land--a whole province of France--all France itself--lay under the night sky, concentrated into a faint hairbreadth line. So does a whole world, with all its greatnesses and littlenesses, lie in a twinkling star. And as mere human knowledge can split a ray of light and analyse the manner of its composition, so, sublimer intelligences may read in the feeble shining of this earth of ours, every thought and act, every vice and virtue, of every responsible creature on it. ~ Charles Dickens
187:In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: Did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists. Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, "The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language." What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant! ~ Stephen Hawking
188:Tolya answered their questions and he puffed up those men with the notion they were doing good, embroidering their task with a lot of long words like dedication and sacrifice that reminded me of those odd telegrams from the Almighty that would burst into our silent worship at home.

I don't trust those words or the people that use them. Maybe I'm simple, but they ring in my ears with the same dull thud you get when a stone bangs against an empty coffee can...where Tolya said he saw holy men preserving the lost jewels of human knowledge, all I saw was a team of burglars getting ready to shoot their accomplices. ~ Marcel Theroux
189:Boswell, who visited Hume on his deathbed, found him as negative as ever about Christianity. What, then, accounts for the footnote added to the last dialogue? Actually, Philo was repeating what had been asserted by Christian skeptics from Montaigne and Pascal to Bayle and Hume. This view, which is close to that of Demea in the first dialogue, contends that because human intellectual resources are incapable of any certain truths, one therefore should abandon reason and accept truths on faith. This view, called “fideism,” employs skepticism to undermine human knowledge claims in order to prepare the way for the acceptance of revealed truth. ~ David Hume
190:If the painful history of the human and Christian striving for God proves anything, it surely proves this: that any attempt to reduce God to the scope of our own comprehension leads to the absurd. We can only speak rightly about him if we renounce the attempt to comprehend and let him be the uncomprehended. Any doctrine of the Trinity, therefore, cannot aim at being a perfect comprehension of God. It is a frontier notice, a discouraging gesture pointing over to unchartable territory. It is not a definition that confines a thing to the pigeonholes of human knowledge, nor is it a concept that would put the thing within the grasp of the human mind. ~ Benedict XVI
191:Trichloroethane. All my extensive testing has shown this to be the best treatment for a dangerous excess of human knowledge... For one flash, mommy had seen the mountain without thinking of logging and ski resorts and avalanches, managed wildlife, plate tectonic geology, microclimates, rain shadow, or yin-yang locations. She'd seen the mountain without the framework of language. Without the cage of associations. She'd seen it without looking through the lens of everything she knew was true about mountains. What shed seen wasn't even a "mountain." It wasn't a natural resource. It had no name. "that's the big goal. To find a cure for knowledge. ~ Chuck Palahniuk
192:A word as to the title. In the preface of my Human Knowledge I said that I was writing not only for professional philosophers, and that 'philosophy proper deals with matters of interest to the general educated public.' Reviewers took me to task, saying they found parts of the book difficult, and implying that my words were such as to mislead purchasers. I do not wish to expose myself again to this charge; I will therefore confess that there are several sentences in the present volume which some unusually stupid children of ten might find a little puzzling. On this ground I do not claim that the essays are popular; and if not popular, then 'unpopular. ~ Bertrand Russell
193:Since thou readest in her what thou thyself hast there written,
And, to gladden the eye, placest her wonders in groups;
Since o'er her boundless expanses thy cords to extend thou art able,
Thou dost think that thy mind wonderful Nature can grasp.
Thus the astronomer draws his figures over the heavens,
So that he may with more ease traverse the infinite space,
Knitting together e'en suns that by Sirius-distance are parted,
Making them join in the swan and in the horns of the bull.
But because the firmament shows him its glorious surface,
Can he the spheres' mystic dance therefore decipher aright?

~ Friedrich Schiller, Human Knowledge

194:Today the leading (and only) candidate for a theory of everything is string theory. But, again, a backlash has arisen. Opponents claim that to get a tenured position at a top university you have to work on string theory. If you don’t you will be unemployed. It’s the fad of the moment, and it’s not good for physics. I smile when I hear this criticism, because physics, like all human endeavors, is subject to fads and fashions. The fortunes of great theories, especially on the cutting edge of human knowledge, can rise and fall like hemlines. In fact, years ago the tables were turned; string theory was historically an outcast, a renegade theory, the victim of the bandwagon effect. ~ Michio Kaku
195:The world is in some essential sense a construct. Human knowledge is radically interpretive. There are no perspective-independent facts. Every act of perception and cognition is contingent, mediated, situated, contextual, theory-soaked. Human language cannot establish its ground in an independent reality. Meaning is rendered by the mind and cannot be assumed to inhere in the object, in the world beyond the mind, for that world can never be contacted without having already been saturated by the mind's own nature. That world cannot even be justifiably postulated. Radical uncertainty prevails, for in the end what one knows and experiences is to an indeterminate extent a projection. ~ Richard Tarnas
196:The history of human knowledge has so uninterruptedly shown that to collateral, or incidental, or accidental events we are indebted for the most numerous and most valuable discoveries, that it has at length become necessary, in any prospective view of improvement, to make not only large, but the largest allowances for inventions that shall arise by chance, and quite out of the range of ordinary expectation. It is no longer philosophical to base, upon what has been, a vision of what is to be. Accident is admitted as a portion of the substructure. We make chance a matter of absolute calculation. We subject the unlooked for and unimagined, to the mathematical formulae of the schools. ~ Edgar Allan Poe
197:All good intellects have repeated, since Bacon’s time, that there can be no real knowledge but that which is based on observed facts. This is incontestable, in our present advanced stage; but, if we look back to the primitive stage of human knowledge, we shall see that it must have been otherwise then. If it is true that every theory must be based upon observed facts, it is equally true that facts cannot be observed without the guidance of some theory. Without such guidance, our facts would be desultory and fruitless; we could not retain them: for the most part we could not even perceive them. ~ Auguste Comte
198:Not just that every day more of our life is used up and less
and less of it is left, but this too: if we live longer, can we be
sure our mind will still be up to understanding the world—to
the contemplation that aims at divine and human knowledge?
If our mind starts to wander, we’ll still go on breathing, go
on eating, imagining things, feeling urges and so on. But
getting the most out of ourselves, calculating where our duty
lies, analyzing what we hear and see, deciding whether it’s
time to call it quits—all the things you need a healthy mind
for . . . all those are gone.
So we need to hurry.
Not just because we move daily closer to death but also
because our understanding—our grasp of the world—may be
gone before we get there. ~ Marcus Aurelius
199:For example, at the very end of Leviathan, their discussion of "making" leads Shapin and Schaffer to express their overall conclusions in a way that involves a real confusion. They say: "It is ourselves and not reality that is responsible for what we know" (1985, 344)• This is a classic
example of a false dichotomy. Neither we alone nor reality alone is "responsible" for human knowledge. The rough answer is that both are responsible for it; knowledge involves an interaction between the two. Even this formulation is imperfect; human knowledge is part of reality, not something separate from or outside it. But, speaking roughly, in order to understand knowledge, we need both a theory of human thought, language, and social interaction, and a theory of how these human capacities are connected to the world outside us. ~ Peter Godfrey Smith
200:Debates about the imagination and its role in human knowledge go back in the West to ancient Greece around the secrets and enigmas of the revealed “symbol” and its relationship to the more plodding ways of reason and rational knowledge. The most recent chapter of that larger conversation goes back to the eighteenth century and what we now call the Romantic movement. The poets and philosophers of the latter asked: What is the imagination? Is it simply a spinner of fantasies? Or can it also become a “window” of revealed truths from some other deeper part of the soul or world? Or, better yet, like some secret two-way mirror in a modern-day police station, is the imagination both, depending on whether one is looking at or through its reflecting surface, that is, depending on which side of it one is standing? Can one stand on both sides? ~ Whitley Strieber
201:Did you know that the fundamental building blocks of life are not cells, are not DNA are not even carbon but language yeah 'cause DNA is just a four-character language and binary code is a two-character language and what these languages are saying is the very act of revealing, so you reach an X-point when language attains a level of complexity where it begins to fold in upon itself trying to understand itself and this is sentience. Did you know that the entire Library of Congress can be encoded in our DNA because all you have to do is translate a binary system into a four-character system to where you can decode the genes like you're searching a microfiche and if you were to genetically engineer the corpus of human knowledge into our DNA then we'd be able to genetically pass the entire library along from generation to generation like frickin' disease, man. ~ Ryan Boudinot
202:Much like Ella, I'd found myself with an excess of words, the wealth of which far exceeded the pathetic limits of my own biography. I'd needed narrative space to to extend myself into; I'd needed more lives. I, too, had needed another set of parents, and someone other than myself to throw my metaphysical tantrums. I'd cooked up those avatars in the soup of my ever-changing self, but they were not me--they did what I wouldn't, or couldn't, do. Listening to Ella furiously and endlessly unfurl the Mingus tales, I understood that the need to tell stories was deeply embedded in our minds and inseparably entangled with the mechanisms that generate and absorb language. Narrative imagination--and therefore fiction--was a basic evolutionary tool of survival. We processed the world by telling stories, produced human knowledge through our engagement with imagined selves. ~ Aleksandar Hemon
203:In Rome, I had nearly five thousand volumes in my library. By reading and re-reading them, I discovered that one hundred and fifty books, carefully chosen, give you, if not a complete summary of human knowledge, at least everything that it is useful for a man to know. I devoted three years of my life to reading and re-reading these hundred and fifty volumes, so that when I was arrested I knew them more or less by heart. In prison, with a slight effort of memory, I recalled them entirely. So I can recite to you Thucydides, Xenophon, Plutarch, Livy, Tacitus, Strada, Jornadès, Dante, Montaigne, Shakespeare,
Spinoza, Machiavelli and Bossuet; I mention only the most important …’

I have to admit that my historical work is my favourite occupation. When I go back to the past, I forget the present. I walk free and independently through history, and forget that I am a prisoner. ~ Alexandre Dumas
204:Men have a great deal of pleasure in human knowledge, in studies of natural things; but this is nothing to that joy which arises from divine light shining into the soul. This spiritual light is the dawning of the light of glory in the heart. There is nothing so powerful as this to support persons in affliction, and to give the mind peace and brightness in this stormy and dark world. This knowledge will wean from the world, and raise the inclination to heavenly things. It will turn the heart to God as the fountain of good, and to choose him for the only portion. This light, and this only, will bring the soul to a saving close with Christ. It conforms the heart to the gospel, mortifies its enmity and opposition against the scheme of salvation therein revealed: it causes the heart to embrace the joyful tidings, and entirely to adhere to, and acquiesce in the revelation of Christ as our Savior. ~ Jonathan Edwards
205:If God has the truth and if man has only an analogy, it follows that he does not have the truth. An analogy of the truth is not the truth; even if man’s knowledge is not called an analogy of the truth but an analogical truth, the situation is no better. An analogical truth, except it contain a univocal point of coincident meaning, simply is not the truth at all. In particular (and the most crushing reply of all) if the human mind were limited to analogical truths, it could never know the univocal truth that it was limited to analogies. Even if it were true that the contents of human knowledge are analogies, a man could never know that such was the case; he could only have the analogy that his knowledge was analogical. This theory, therefore, whether found in Thomas Aquinas, Emil Brunner, or professed conservatives is unrelieved skepticism and is incompatible with the acceptance of a divine revelation of truth. ~ Anonymous
206:Of course the Curies died. They identified ionizing radiation while bathing in it. There were risks involved in being your own guinea pig. But there was a long tradition of scientists doing just that: of paying for the expansion of human knowledge with their lives. I didn't deserve to be categorized with them, because honestly, I wasn't interested in the greater good. I just wanted to make myself better legs. I didn't mind other people benefiting in some long-term indirect way but it wasn't what motivated me. I felt guilty about this for a while. Every time a lab assistant looked at me with starstruck eyes, I felt I should confess: Look, I'm not being heroic. I'm just interested in seeing what I can do. Then it occured to me that maybe they all felt this way. All these great scientists who risked their themselves to bring light to darkness, maybe they weren't especially altruistic either. Maybe they were like me, seeing what they could do. ~ Max Barry
207:Struggle toward the capital-T Truth, but recognize that the task is impossible—or that if a correct answer is possible, verification certainly is impossible. In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can see only a part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the economist a fourth, the pearl diver a fifth, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheep farmer an eighth, the Indian beggar a ninth, the pastor a tenth. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And Truth comes somewhere above all of them, where, as at the end of that Sunday’s reading, the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For here the saying is verified that “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work. ~ Paul Kalanithi
208:Struggle toward the capital-T Truth, but recognize that the task is impossible - or that if a correct answer is possible, verification certainly is impossible.
In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can see only a part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the economist a fourth, the pear diver a fifth, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheep farmer an eighth, the Indian beggar a ninth, the pastor a tenth. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And Truth comes somewhere above all of them, where, as at the end of that Sunday's ready;
the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For here the saying is verified that "One sows and another reaps." I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work. ~ Paul Kalanithi
209:Struggle toward the capital-T Truth, but recognize that the task is impossible - or that if a correct answer is possible, verification certainly is impossible.
In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can see only a part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the economist a fourth, the pearl diver a fifth, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheep farmer an eighth, the Indian beggar a ninth, the pastor a tenth. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And Truth comes somewhere above all of them, where, as at the end of that Sunday's reading;
the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For here the saying is verified that "One sows and another reaps." I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work. ~ Paul Kalanithi
210:Struggle toward the capital-T Truth, but recognize that the task is impossible—or that if a correct answer is possible, verification certainly is impossible.

In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can only see part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the economist a fourth, the pearl diver a fifth, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheep farmer an eighth, the Indian beggar a ninth, the pastor a tenth. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And truth comes somewhere above all of them, where, as at the end of that Sunday’s reading: the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For here the saying is verified that “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of that work (172-173). ~ Paul Kalanithi
211:the universe, cosmic forces, as we would put it now, to Nature. The ground of our existence. To be repaid through ritual: ritual being an act of respect and recognition towards all that beside which we are small.58 •  To those who have created the knowledge and cultural accomplishments that we value most, that give our existence its form, its meaning, but also its shape. Here we would include not only the philosophers and scientists who created our intellectual tradition but everyone from William Shakespeare to that long-since-forgotten woman, somewhere in the Middle East, who created leavened bread. We repay them by becoming learned ourselves and contributing to human knowledge and human culture. •  To our parents, and their parents—our ancestors. We repay them by becoming ancestors. •  To humanity as a whole. We repay them by generosity to strangers, by maintaining that basic communistic ground of sociality that makes human relations, and hence life, possible. ~ David Graeber
212:We must be careful to make a distinction between the intellectual and the person of intellectual achievement. The two are very, very different animals. There are people of intellectual achievement who increase the sum of human knowledge, the powers of human insight, and analysis. And then there are the intellectuals. An intellectual is a person knowledgeable in one field who speaks out only in others. Starting in the early twentieth century, for the first time an ordinary storyteller, a novelist, a short story writer, a poet, a playwright, in certain cases a composer, an artist, or even an opera singer could achieve a tremendous eminence by becoming morally indignant about some public issue. It required no intellectual effort whatsoever. Suddenly he was elevated to a plane from which he could look down upon ordinary people. Conversely — this fascinates me — conversely, if you are merely a brilliant scholar, merely someone who has added immeasurably to the sum of human knowledge and the powers of human insight, that does not qualify you for the eminence of being an intellectual. ~ Tom Wolfe
213:Ladies and gentlemen, you see before you the ultimate repository of human knowledge: Adam Black’s Travelling Chautauqua and Educational ‘Stravaganza. History, art, science, nature, wonders of earth and sky, marvels of science and technology, tales of strange places and faraway lands, where the miraculous is workaday, all are within. See the mighty works of ROTECH at first hand through the Adam Black Patent Opticon; hear Adam Black’s tales of mystery and imagination from the four quarters of the globe; marvel at the latest developments in science and technology; wonder at the train, yes, this very train, which drives itself with a mind of its own; goggle in amazement at the Dumbletonians, half man, half machine,; learn of the mysteries of physics, of chemistry, of philosophy, of theology, art and nature; all this can be yours, ladies and gentlemen, this cornucopia of ancient wisdom; your for only fifty centavos, yes fifty centavos, or equivalent value in whatever commodity you choose: yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Adam Black presents his Travelling Chautauqua and Educational ‘Stravaganza! ~ Ian McDonald
214:If you’re an adrenaline junkie, I understand why you’d find that exciting. But I’m not, and I don’t.

To me, the only good reason to take a risk is that there’s a decent possibility of a reward that outweighs the hazard. Exploring the edge of the universe and pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and capability strike me as pretty significant rewards, so I accept the risks of being an astronaut, but with an abundance of caution: I want to understand them, manage them and reduce them as much as possible.

It’s almost comical that astronauts are stereotyped as daredevils and cowboys. As a rule, we’re highly methodical and detail-oriented. Our passion isn’t for thrills but for the grindstone, and pressing our noses to it. We have to: we’re responsible for equipment that has cost taxpayers many millions of dollars, and the best insurance policy we have on our lives is our own dedication to training. Studying, simulating, practicing until responses become automatic—astronauts don’t do all this only to fulfill NASA’s requirements. Training is something we do to reduce the odds that we’ll die. ~ Chris Hadfield
215:However, not only are fortunes equal in America, equality extends to some degree to intelligence itself. I do not think that there is a single country in the world where, in proportion to the population, there are so few ignorant and, at the same time, so few educated individuals as in America. Primary education is available to all; secondary is within reach of no one, which can be explained quite easily as the inevitable result, so to speak, of my argument above. Almost all Americans enjoy a life of comfort and can, therefore, obtain the first elements of human knowledge. In America there are few rich people; therefore, all Americans have to learn the skills of a profession which demands a period of apprenticeship. Thus America can devote to general learning only the early years of life. At fifteen, they begin a career; their education ends most often when ours begins. If education is pursued beyond that point, it is directed only towards specialist subjects with a profitable return in mind. Science is studied as if it were a job and only those branches are taken up which have a recognized and immediate usefulness. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville
216:A separate, international team analyzed more than a half million research articles, and classified a paper as “novel” if it cited two other journals that had never before appeared together. Just one in ten papers made a new combination, and only one in twenty made multiple new combinations. The group tracked the impact of research papers over time. They saw that papers with new knowledge combinations were more likely to be published in less prestigious journals, and also much more likely to be ignored upon publication. They got off to a slow start in the world, but after three years, the papers with new knowledge combos surpassed the conventional papers, and began accumulating more citations from other scientists. Fifteen years after publication, studies that made multiple new knowledge combinations were way more likely to be in the top 1 percent of most-cited papers. To recap: work that builds bridges between disparate pieces of knowledge is less likely to be funded, less likely to appear in famous journals, more likely to be ignored upon publication, and then more likely in the long run to be a smash hit in the library of human knowledge. • ~ David Epstein
217:In the eighteenth century, there was said to be a man who had read every book written. But nowadays, if you read one book a day, it would take you many tens of thousands of years to read through the books in a national library. By which time, many more books would have been written.
This has meant that no one person can be the master of more than a small corner of human knowledge. People have to specialise, in narrower and narrower fields. This is likely to be a major limitation in the future. We certainly cannot continue, for long, with the exponential rate of growth of knowledge that we have had in the last 300 years. An even greater limitation and danger for future generations is that we still have the instincts, and in particular the aggressive impulses, that we had in caveman days. Aggression, in the form of subjugating or killing other men and taking their women and food, has had definite survival advantage up to the present time. But now it could destroy the entire human race and much of the rest of life on Earth. A nuclear war is still the most immediate danger, but there are others, such as the release of a genetically engineered virus. Or the greenhouse effect becoming unstable. ~ Stephen Hawking
218:The general premiss of … belief is: man of himself can know nothing of God; all his knowledge is merely vain, earthly, human. … God is known only by himself. Thus we know nothing of God; for revelation is the word of God … [I]n revelation man … places revelation in opposition to human knowledge … ; here reason must hold its peace. But nevertheless the divine revelation is determined by the human nature. God speaks not to brutes or angels, but to men; hence he uses human speech and human conceptions. … God is … free in will; … but he is not free as to the understanding; he cannot reveal to man whatever he will, but only what is adapted to man, … [W]hat God thinks in relation to man is determined by the idea of man – it has arisen out of reflection on human nature. [H]e thinks of himself, not with his own thinking power, but with man's. … That which comes from God to man, comes to man only from man in God, … only from the ideal nature of man to the phenomenal man, from the species to the individual. Thus, between the divine revelation and the so-called human reason or nature, there is no other than an illusory distinction; … so in revelation man goes out of himself, in order, by a circuitous path, to return to himself! ~ Ludwig Feuerbach
219:Up to now, most scientists have been too occupied with the development of new theories that describe what the universe is to ask the question why. On the other hand, the people whose business it is to ask why, the philosophers, have not been able to keep up with the advance of scientific theories. In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: Did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists. Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, 'The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language.' What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant!

However, if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason--for then we would know the mind of God. ~ Stephen Hawking
220:a simple, inspiring mission for Wikipedia: “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.” It was a huge, audacious, and worthy goal. But it badly understated what Wikipedia did. It was about more than people being “given” free access to knowledge; it was also about empowering them, in a way not seen before in history, to be part of the process of creating and distributing knowledge. Wales came to realize that. “Wikipedia allows people not merely to access other people’s knowledge but to share their own,” he said. “When you help build something, you own it, you’re vested in it. That’s far more rewarding than having it handed down to you.”111 Wikipedia took the world another step closer to the vision propounded by Vannevar Bush in his 1945 essay, “As We May Think,” which predicted, “Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified.” It also harkened back to Ada Lovelace, who asserted that machines would be able to do almost anything, except think on their own. Wikipedia was not about building a machine that could think on its own. It was instead a dazzling example of human-machine symbiosis, the wisdom of humans and the processing power of computers being woven together like a tapestry. ~ Walter Isaacson
221:The literatures of Greece and Rome comprise the longest, most complete and most nearly continuous record we have of what the strange creature known as Homo sapiens has been busy about in virtually every department of spiritual, intellectual and social activity. That record covers nearly twenty-five hundred years in an unbroken stretch of this animated oddity’s operations in poetry, drama, law, agriculture, philosophy, architecture, natural history, philology, rhetoric, astronomy, logic, politics, botany, zoölogy, medicine, geography, theology,—everything, I believe, that lies in the range of human knowledge or speculation. Hence the mind which has attentively canvassed this record is much more than a disciplined mind, it is an experienced mind. It has come, as Emerson says, into a feeling of immense longevity, and it instinctively views contemporary man and his doings in the perspective set by this profound and weighty experience. Our studies were properly called formative, because beyond all others their effect was powerfully maturing. Cicero told the unvarnished truth in saying that those who have no knowledge of what has gone before them must forever remain children; and if one wished to characterise the collective mind of this present period, or indeed of any period,—the use it makes of its powers of observation, reflection, logical inference,—one would best do it by the one word immaturity. ~ Albert Jay Nock
222:The argument between nature and our species is certainly not restricted to measurements of the physical universe. It includes the great variety of possible human reactions and responses to nature that the social sciences and humanities have also described. The manner in which the argument is now being conducted is less a struggle for control and more a desire for participation. Western peoples have previously believed that scientific knowledge could indefinitely provide them with techniques to control and understand nature. They partially accomplished this goal by reducing the phenomena of nature to objects valuable only because they could be measured and modified. Even while technological progress continues, scientists are retreating from an absolute stance that purports to explain everything in theoretical terms. “The primary significance of modern physics lies not in any disclosure of the fundamental nature of reality,” Ian Barbour writes, “but in the recognition of the limitations of science.”31 If we have knowledge of nature at all, we must conceive it as a “modest, sharply delimited sector of, and extract from, the multiplicity of phenomena observed by our senses,”32 Heisenberg argued. Complete knowledge of the world, either in the scientific or philosophical sense, would require the reintroduction of factors previously omitted from consideration. The metaphysical task that brings together all facets of human knowledge ~ Vine Deloria Jr
223:And just how did you arrive at that remarkable conclusion, Mr. Mayor?"

"In a rather simple way. It merely required the use of that much-neglected commodity -- common sense. You see, there is a branch of human knowledge known as symbolic logic, which can be used to prune away all sorts of clogging deadwood that clutters up human language."

"What about it?" said Fulham.

"I applied it. Among other things, I applied it to this document here. I didn't really need to for myself because I knew what it was all about, but I think I can explain it more easily to five physical scientists by symbols rather than by words."

Hardin removed a few sheets of paper from the pad under his arm and spread them out. "I didn't do this myself, by the way," he said. "Muller Holk of the Division of Logic has his name signed to the analyses, as you can see."

Pirenne leaned over the table to get a better view and Hardin continued: "The message from Anacreon was a simple problem, naturally, for the men who wrote it were men of action rather than men of words. It boils down easily and straightforwardly to the unqualified statement, when in symbols is what you see, and which in words, roughly translated is, 'You give us what we want in a week, or we take it by force.'"

There was silence as the five members of the Board ran down the line of symbols, and then Pirenne sat down and coughed uneasily.

Hardin said, "No loophole, is there, Dr. Pirenne?"

"Doesn't seem to be. ~ Isaac Asimov
224:Today the evolution theory of the ancient Yogis will be better understood in the light of modern research. And yet the theory of the Yogis is a better explanation. The two causes of evolution advanced by the moderns, viz sexual selection and survival of the fittest, are inadequate. Suppose human knowledge to have advanced so much as to eliminate competition, both from the function of acquiring physical sustenance and of acquiring a mate. Then, according to the moderns, human progress will stop and the race will die. The result of this theory is to furnish every oppressor with an argument to calm the qualms of conscience. Men are not lacking, who, posing as philosophers, want to kill out all wicked and incompetent persons (they are, of course, the only judges of competency) and thus preserve the human race! But the great ancient evolutionist, Patanjali, declares that the true secret of evolution is the manifestation of the perfection which is already in every being; that this perfection has been barred and the infinite tide behind is struggling to express itself. These struggles and competitions are but the results of our ignorance, because we do not know the proper way to unlock the gate and let the water in. This infinite tide behind must express itself; it is the cause of all manifestation. Competitions for life or sex-gratification are only momentary, unnecessary, extraneous effects, caused by ignorance. Even when all competition has ceased, this perfect nature behind will make us go forward until everyone has become perfect. Therefore there is no reason to believe that competition is necessary to progress. ~ Swami Vivekananda
225:Technology, I said before, is most powerful when it enables transitions—between linear and circular motion (the wheel), or between real and virtual space (the Internet). Science, in contrast, is most powerful when it elucidates rules of organization—laws—that act as lenses through which to view and organize the world. Technologists seek to liberate us from the constraints of our current realities through those transitions. Science defines those constraints, drawing the outer limits of the boundaries of possibility. Our greatest technological innovations thus carry names that claim our prowess over the world: the engine (from ingenium, or “ingenuity”) or the computer (from computare, or “reckoning together”). Our deepest scientific laws, in contrast, are often named after the limits of human knowledge: uncertainty, relativity, incompleteness, impossibility. Of all the sciences, biology is the most lawless; there are few rules to begin with, and even fewer rules that are universal. Living beings must, of course, obey the fundamental rules of physics and chemistry, but life often exists on the margins and interstices of these laws, bending them to their near-breaking limit. The universe seeks equilibriums; it prefers to disperse energy, disrupt organization, and maximize chaos. Life is designed to combat these forces. We slow down reactions, concentrate matter, and organize chemicals into compartments; we sort laundry on Wednesdays. “It sometimes seems as if curbing entropy is our quixotic purpose in the universe,” James Gleick wrote. We live in the loopholes of natural laws, seeking extensions, exceptions, and excuses. ~ Siddhartha Mukherjee
226:I used to be like that once. I never gave anybody a second chance. It’s a very sad way to live your life.” “Do you believe the dragons should provide patternform technology to humans?” “Yes, I do. Denise is convinced that because we didn’t create it for ourselves we won’t be able to handle it properly, that it will be constantly misused. To me it’s completely irrelevant that we didn’t work out every little detail for ourselves.” “Why?” “Other than pride? We know the scientific principles behind technology. If we don’t understand this particular theory, I trust in us to learn it soon enough. There’s very little we can’t grasp once it’s fully explained and broken down into its basic equations. But that’s just the clinical analysis. From a moral point of view, consider this: when the Americans first sent a man to the Moon, there were people living in Africa and South America and Asia who had never seen a lightbulb, or known of electricity or antibiotics. There were even Americans who didn’t have running water to their houses, or an indoor toilet. Does that mean they shouldn’t have been given access to electricity or modern medicine, because they personally didn’t invent it? It might not have been their local community’s knowledge, but it was human knowledge. We don’t have a clue how to build the nullvoid drive that the Ring Empire’s Outbounds employed in their intergalactic ships, but the knowledge is there, developed by sentient entities. Why shouldn’t we have access to that? Because it’s a shortcut? Because we don’t have to spend centuries of time developing it for ourselves? In what way will using ideas other than our own demean and diminish us? All knowledge should be cherished, not denied.” “I believe you would make an excellent dragon, Lawrence.” A ~ Peter F Hamilton
227:When, in last week's aphorism, Sri Aurobindo opposed - as one might say - "knowledge" to "Wisdom", he was speaking of knowledge as it is lived in the average human consciousness, the knowledge which is obtained through effort and mental development, whereas here, on the contrary, the knowledge he speaks of is the essential Knowledge, the supramental divine Knowledge, Knowledge by identity. And this is why he describes it here as "vast and eternal", which clearly indicates that it is not human knowledge as we normally understand it.
Many people have asked why Sri Aurobindo said that the river is "slender". This is an expressive image which creates a striking contrast between the immensity of the divine, supramental Knowledge - the origin of this inspiration, which is infinite - and what a human mind can perceive of it and receive from it.
Even when you are in contact with these domains, the portion, so to say, which you perceive, is minimal, slender. It is like a tiny little stream or a few falling drops and these drops are so pure, so brilliant, so complete in themselves, that they give you the sense of a marvellous inspiration, the impression that you have reached infinite domains and risen very high above the ordinary human condition. And yet this is nothing in comparison with what is still to be perceived.
I have also been asked if the psychic being or psychic consciousness is the medium through which the inspiration is perceived.
Generally, yes. The first contact you have with higher regions is a psychic one. Certainly, before an inner psychic opening is achieved, it is difficult to have these inspirations. It can happen as an exception and under exceptional conditions as a grace, but the true contact comes through the psychic; because the psychic consciousness is certainly the medium with the greatest affinity with the divine Truth. ~ The Mother, On Thoughts And Aphorisms,
228:March 21 MORNING “Ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone.” — John 16:32 FEW had fellowship with the sorrows of Gethsemane. The majority of the disciples were not sufficiently advanced in grace to be admitted to behold the mysteries of “the agony.” Occupied with the passover feast at their own houses, they represent the many who live upon the letter, but are mere babes as to the spirit of the gospel. To twelve, nay, to eleven only was the privilege given to enter Gethsemane and see “this great sight.” Out of the eleven, eight were left at a distance; they had fellowship, but not of that intimate sort to which men greatly beloved are admitted. Only three highly favoured ones could approach the veil of our Lord’s mysterious sorrow: within that veil even these must not intrude; a stone’s-cast distance must be left between. He must tread the wine-press alone, and of the people there must be none with Him. Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, represent the few eminent, experienced saints, who may be written down as “Fathers;” these having done business on great waters, can in some degree measure the huge Atlantic waves of their Redeemer’s passion. To some selected spirits it is given, for the good of others, and to strengthen them for future, special, and tremendous conflict, to enter the inner circle and hear the pleadings of the suffering High Priest; they have fellowship with Him in His sufferings, and are made conformable unto His death. Yet even these cannot penetrate the secret places of the Saviour’s woe. “Thine unknown sufferings” is the remarkable expression of the Greek liturgy: there was an inner chamber in our Master’s grief, shut out from human knowledge and fellowship. There Jesus is “left alone.” Here Jesus was more than ever an “Unspeakable gift!” Is not Watts right when he sings — “And all the unknown joys he gives, Were bought with agonies unknown. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
229:Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing? Is the unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence? Or does it need a creator, and, if so, does he have any other effect on the universe? And who created him?
Up to now, most scientists have been too occupied with the development of new theories that describe what the universe is to ask the question why. On the other hand, the people whose business it is to ask why, the philosophers, have not been able to keep up with the advance of scientific theories. In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists.
Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, “The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language.” What a comedown from
the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant!
However, if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to
that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God. ~ Stephen Hawking
230:To my lovely starling,
Maybe there are magical words that will make you understand, but if so, I do not know them. Words are your domain. I've always been better with pictures.
I fear you think I am a monster. It's true I've disrupted many graves. The way I see it, the dead are dead. If, after their death, we can learn things from the about the human form - things that will increase the sum of human knowledge and the possibilities of art - what harm is that? After death, new life, new beauty. How can that be wrong? My friends and I have made use of some of the bodies as models. some we sell to surgeons who study them with the hopes of learning something about the frail mechanisms of the human body.
I don't know exactly what Dottor de Gradi does in his workshop on the Rialto, and I was as surprised as you were to stumble on it. He couldn't - he wouldn't tell me if your friend's body ended up there. But he did assure me all of his work is focused solely on extending human life.
I won't lie. I did it for the money as well. Don Loredan is holding a private exhibition in his palazzo tomorrow. The entry fee was quite steep but two of my paintings were accepted. This could be the beginning for me. I could find my own patrons. I could be more than just a peasant. Tommaso's assistant.
So yes; a little for money. But mostly I did for the art.
I don't expect these words to change how you feel. I simply want you not to see me as a monster. I don't want to be a monster. Not anymore. Not after meeting you. I know that we disrupted you dear friend's body, and for that I am deeply regretful. But if we had not done so, if I had not lingered in the San Domenico churchyard after standing guard for my friends, you and I might never have met. Meeting you is one thing I will never regret.
I hope you like the painting. Consider tit a wedding gift. How stupid of me to let my heart go. It was a lovely fantasy while it lasted, though, wasn't it?
Yours,
Falco ~ Fiona Paul
231:Brunelleschi’s successor as a theorist of linear perspective was another of the towering Renaissance polymaths, Leon Battista Alberti (1404 –1472), who refined many of Brunelleschi’s experiments and extended his discoveries about perspective. An artist, architect, engineer, and writer, Alberti was like Leonardo in many ways: both were illegitimate sons of prosperous fathers, athletic and good-looking, never-married, and fascinated by everything from math to art. One difference is that Alberti’s illegitimacy did not prevent him from being given a classical education. His father helped him get a dispensation from the Church laws barring illegitimate children from taking holy orders or holding ecclesiastical offices, and he studied law at Bologna, was ordained as a priest, and became a writer for the pope. During his early thirties, Alberti wrote his masterpiece analyzing painting and perspective, On Painting, the Italian edition of which was dedicated to Brunelleschi. Alberti had an engineer’s instinct for collaboration and, like Leonardo, was “a lover of friendship” and “open-hearted,” according to the scholar Anthony Grafton. He also honed the skills of courtiership. Interested in every art and technology, he would grill people from all walks of life, from cobblers to university scholars, to learn their secrets. In other words, he was much like Leonardo, except in one respect: Leonardo was not strongly motivated by the goal of furthering human knowledge by openly disseminating and publishing his findings; Alberti, on the other hand, was dedicated to sharing his work, gathering a community of intellectual colleagues who could build on each other’s discoveries, and promoting open discussion and publication as a way to advance the accumulation of learning. A maestro of collaborative practices, he believed, according to Grafton, in “discourse in the public sphere.” When Leonardo was a teenager in Florence, Alberti was in his sixties and spending much of his time in Rome, so it is unlikely they spent time together. Alberti was a major influence nonetheless. ~ Walter Isaacson
232:Finally there are those who saw at once that the question was a trap. There is no answer. Instead of wasting time grappling with that trap. They decide to act. They look to their childhood and look for what filled them with enthusiasm then and disregarding the advice of their elders, devote their life to it. Because enthusiasm is the sacred fire. They slowly discover, their actions are linked to a mysterious impulse beyond human knowledge. And they bow their heads as a sign of respect for that mystery and pray that they will not be diverted from a path they do not know, a path which they have chosen to travel because of the flame burning in their hearts. They use their intuition when they can and resort to discipline when intuition fails them. They seem quite mad. And sometimes they behave like mad people. But they are not mad. They have discovered true love and will. And those two things reveal the goal and the direction that they should follow. Their will is crystalline, their love is pure and their steps determined. In moments of doubt or sadness they never forget: I am an instrument, allow me to be an instrument capable of manifesting your will. They have chosen their road, and they may understand what their goal is only when they find themselves before the unwanted visitor. That is the beauty of the person who continues onward with enthusiasm and respect for the mystery of life as his only guide. His road is beautiful, and his burden light. The goal will be large or small, it can be far away or right next door. He goes in search of it with respect and honor. He knows what each step means, and how much it costs in effort and training and intuition. He focuses not just on the goal to be reached but on everything happening around him. He often has to stop because his strength fails him. At such moments, love appears and says: You think you're heading toward a specific point, but the whole justification for the goals existence lies in your love for it. Rest a little. But as soon as you can, get up and carry on. Because ever since your goal found out that you were traveling toward it, it has been running to meet you. ~ Paulo Coelho
233:If we live in a world of states, and if out-of-state existence is impossible, then we all must live as national citizens. We are the nation, and the nation is us. This is as fundamental as it is an inescapable reality. Nationalism engulfs both the individual and the collective; it produces the 'I' and 'We' dialectically and separately. Not only does nationalism produce the community and its individual members: it is itself the community and its realized individual subjects, for without these there is no nationalism.

"Leading sociologists and philosophers have emphasized the pervasive presence of the community in individual consciousnesses, where the social bond is an essential part of the self. It is not only that the 'I' is a member of the 'We,' but, more importantly, that the 'We' is a necessary member of the 'I.' It is an axiom of sociological theory, writes Scheler, that all human knowledge 'precedes levels of self-contagiousness of one's self-value. There is no "I" without "We." The "We" is filled with contents prior to the "I." ' Likewise, Mannheim emphasizes ideas and thought structures as functions of social relations that exist within the group, excluding the possibility of any ideas arising independently of socially shared meanings. The social reality of nationalism not only generates meanings but is itself a 'context of meaning'; hence our insistence that nationalism constitutes and is constituted by the community as a social order. 'It is senseless to pose questions such as whether the mind is socially determined, as though the mind and society each posses a substance of their own' [citing Pressler and Dasilva's Sociology]. The profound implications of the individual's embeddedness in the national community is that the community's ethos is prior and therefore historically determinative of all socioepistemic phenomena. And if thought structures are predetermined by intellectual history, by society's inheritance of historical forms of knowledge, then those structures are also a priori predetermined by the linguistic structures in which this history is enveloped, cast, and framed.

Like law, nationalism is everywhere: it creates the community and shapes world history even before nationalism comes into it. ~ Wael B Hallaq
234:The object of spiritual knowledge is the Supreme, the Divine, the Infinite and the Absolute. This Supreme has its relations to our individual being and its relations to the universe and it transcends both the soul and the universe. Neither the universe nor the individual are what they seem to be, for the report of them which our mind and our senses give us, is, so long as they are unenlightened by a faculty of higher supramental and suprasensuous knowledge, a false report, an imperfect construction, an attenuated and erroneous figure. And yet that which the universe and the individual seem to be is still a figure of what they really are, a figure that points beyond itself to the reality behind it. Truth proceeds by a correction of the values our mind and senses give us, and first by the action of a higher intelligence that enlightens and sets right as far as may be the conclusions of the ignorant sense-mind and limited physical intelligence; that is the method of all human knowledge and science. But beyond it there is a knowledge, a Truth-Consciousness, that exceeds our intellect and brings us into the true light of which it is a refracted ray.
   There the abstract terms of pure reason and the constructions .of the mind disappear or are converted into concrete soul-vision and the tremendous actuality of spiritual experience. This knowledge can turn away to the absolute Eternal and lose vision of the soul and the universe; but it can too see that existence from that Eternal. When that is done, we find that the ignorance of the mind and the senses and all the apparent futilities of human life were not an useless excursion of the conscious being, an otiose blunder. Here they were planned as a rough ground for the self-expression of the Soul that comes from the Infinite, a material foundation for its self-unfolding and self-possessing in the terms of the universe. It is true that in themselves they and all that is here have no significance, and to build separate significances for them is to live in an illusion, Maya; but they have a supreme significance in the Supreme, an absolute Power in the Absolute and it is that that assigns to them and refers to that Truth their present relative values. This is the all-uniting experience that is the foundation of the deepest integral and most intimate self-knowledge and world-knowledge
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Object of Knowledge, 293, 11457,
235:The Interrogatio
The bright sun is hidden, the night shows its face
The night's hair is spread on shoulders of the earth
This black dress is preparation for some one's mourning
Perhaps the Nature's assemblage for the sun is mourning
The sky is casting a spell over the talking lip
The night's magician is watching the awakened eye
The wind current is submerged in the river of silence
However, the tolling bell's sound comes from the distance
Heart which in love's turmoil is evading the world
Has dragged me here far from the maddening crowd
I am the spectator of the spectacle of disappointments
I am the associate of those sleeping in solitude's corner
O My restlessness! Wait and let me rest awhile
And let me shed a few tears at this habitation
O those steeped in a swoon, 'Where are you?
Tell me something of the land where you live
Is that world also one of prevarication?
Is that world also one of denizens' struggle?
Is Man engulfed by sorrow in that land also?
Is Man's heart suppressed and helpless in that land also?
Does the moth burn itself in candle's love in that land also?
Does the tale of flower and nightingale exist in that garden also?
In this world a single hemistich perturbs the heart
Does there also the warmth of verse soften the heart?
This world's relations and alliances life's woes are
Are similar sharp thorns present in that garden also?
52
The daily bread and a million calamities this world has
Does the soul freedom from anxieties in that world has?
Are the thunder, the farmer, the harvest there also?
Are the caravan and the robber's fear there also?
Do birds collect bits of straw for nests there also?
Is the search for bricks and clay for house there also?
Are the humans unaware of their reality there also? 1
Are they after nations' and customs' discrimination there also
Does garden not cry at the nightingale's wail there also?
Like this world is there no sympathy in that world also?
Does the Paradise a garden or a restful mansion constitute?
Or does the Eternal Beauty's Unveiled Face it constitute? 2
Does hell a method of burning away sins constitute?
Or it in flames of fire a way of discipline constitute?
Has walking given way to speedy flying in that world?
What is the secret of what is called death by denizens of this world?
Life eases the heart's restlessness in this world
Is human knowledge also restricted in that world?
Does the separated heart get satisfaction by sight there also?
Are 'Lan Tar
~ Allama Muhammad Iqbal
236:longer; it cannot deceive them too much." Madame Defarge looked superciliously at the client, and nodded in confirmation. "As to you," said she, "you would shout and shed tears for anything, if it made a show and a noise. Say! Would you not?" "Truly, madame, I think so. For the moment." "If you were shown a great heap of dolls, and were set upon them to pluck them to pieces and despoil them for your own advantage, you would pick out the richest and gayest. Say! Would you not?" "Truly yes, madame." "Yes. And if you were shown a flock of birds, unable to fly, and were set upon them to strip them of their feathers for your own advantage, you would set upon the birds of the finest feathers; would you not?" "It is true, madame." "You have seen both dolls and birds to-day," said Madame Defarge, with a wave of her hand towards the place where they had last been apparent; "now, go home!" XVI. Still Knitting Madame Defarge and monsieur her husband returned amicably to the bosom of Saint Antoine, while a speck in a blue cap toiled through the darkness, and through the dust, and down the weary miles of avenue by the wayside, slowly tending towards that point of the compass where the chateau of Monsieur the Marquis, now in his grave, listened to the whispering trees. Such ample leisure had the stone faces, now, for listening to the trees and to the fountain, that the few village scarecrows who, in their quest for herbs to eat and fragments of dead stick to burn, strayed within sight of the great stone courtyard and terrace staircase, had it borne in upon their starved fancy that the expression of the faces was altered. A rumour just lived in the village—had a faint and bare existence there, as its people had—that when the knife struck home, the faces changed, from faces of pride to faces of anger and pain; also, that when that dangling figure was hauled up forty feet above the fountain, they changed again, and bore a cruel look of being avenged, which they would henceforth bear for ever. In the stone face over the great window of the bed-chamber where the murder was done, two fine dints were pointed out in the sculptured nose, which everybody recognised, and which nobody had seen of old; and on the scarce occasions when two or three ragged peasants emerged from the crowd to take a hurried peep at Monsieur the Marquis petrified, a skinny finger would not have pointed to it for a minute, before they all started away among the moss and leaves, like the more fortunate hares who could find a living there. Chateau and hut, stone face and dangling figure, the red stain on the stone floor, and the pure water in the village well—thousands of acres of land—a whole province of France—all France itself—lay under the night sky, concentrated into a faint hair-breadth line. So does a whole world, with all its greatnesses and littlenesses, lie in a twinkling star. And as mere human knowledge can split a ray of light and analyse the manner of its composition, so, sublimer intelligences may read in the feeble shining of this earth of ours, every thought and act, every vice and virtue, of every responsible ~ Charles Dickens
237:Reading list (1972 edition)[edit]
1. Homer – Iliad, Odyssey
2. The Old Testament
3. Aeschylus – Tragedies
4. Sophocles – Tragedies
5. Herodotus – Histories
6. Euripides – Tragedies
7. Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War
8. Hippocrates – Medical Writings
9. Aristophanes – Comedies
10. Plato – Dialogues
11. Aristotle – Works
12. Epicurus – Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoecus
13. Euclid – Elements
14. Archimedes – Works
15. Apollonius of Perga – Conic Sections
16. Cicero – Works
17. Lucretius – On the Nature of Things
18. Virgil – Works
19. Horace – Works
20. Livy – History of Rome
21. Ovid – Works
22. Plutarch – Parallel Lives; Moralia
23. Tacitus – Histories; Annals; Agricola Germania
24. Nicomachus of Gerasa – Introduction to Arithmetic
25. Epictetus – Discourses; Encheiridion
26. Ptolemy – Almagest
27. Lucian – Works
28. Marcus Aurelius – Meditations
29. Galen – On the Natural Faculties
30. The New Testament
31. Plotinus – The Enneads
32. St. Augustine – On the Teacher; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine
33. The Song of Roland
34. The Nibelungenlied
35. The Saga of Burnt Njál
36. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica
37. Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy;The New Life; On Monarchy
38. Geoffrey Chaucer – Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales
39. Leonardo da Vinci – Notebooks
40. Niccolò Machiavelli – The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy
41. Desiderius Erasmus – The Praise of Folly
42. Nicolaus Copernicus – On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
43. Thomas More – Utopia
44. Martin Luther – Table Talk; Three Treatises
45. François Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel
46. John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion
47. Michel de Montaigne – Essays
48. William Gilbert – On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies
49. Miguel de Cervantes – Don Quixote
50. Edmund Spenser – Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene
51. Francis Bacon – Essays; Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum, New Atlantis
52. William Shakespeare – Poetry and Plays
53. Galileo Galilei – Starry Messenger; Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences
54. Johannes Kepler – Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Concerning the Harmonies of the World
55. William Harvey – On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals
56. Thomas Hobbes – Leviathan
57. René Descartes – Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy
58. John Milton – Works
59. Molière – Comedies
60. Blaise Pascal – The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises
61. Christiaan Huygens – Treatise on Light
62. Benedict de Spinoza – Ethics
63. John Locke – Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding;Thoughts Concerning Education
64. Jean Baptiste Racine – Tragedies
65. Isaac Newton – Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics
66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz – Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding;Monadology
67. Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe
68. Jonathan Swift – A Tale of a Tub; Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; A Modest Proposal
69. William Congreve – The Way of the World
70. George Berkeley – Principles of Human Knowledge
71. Alexander Pope – Essay on Criticism; Rape of the Lock; Essay on Man
72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu – Persian Letters; Spirit of Laws
73. Voltaire – Letters on the English; Candide; Philosophical Dictionary
74. Henry Fielding – Joseph Andrews; Tom Jones
75. Samuel Johnson – The Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; The Lives of the Poets ~ Mortimer J Adler
238:Reading list (1972 edition)[edit]
1. Homer - Iliad, Odyssey
2. The Old Testament
3. Aeschylus - Tragedies
4. Sophocles - Tragedies
5. Herodotus - Histories
6. Euripides - Tragedies
7. Thucydides - History of the Peloponnesian War
8. Hippocrates - Medical Writings
9. Aristophanes - Comedies
10. Plato - Dialogues
11. Aristotle - Works
12. Epicurus - Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoecus
13. Euclid - Elements
14.Archimedes - Works
15. Apollonius of Perga - Conic Sections
16. Cicero - Works
17. Lucretius - On the Nature of Things
18. Virgil - Works
19. Horace - Works
20. Livy - History of Rome
21. Ovid - Works
22. Plutarch - Parallel Lives; Moralia
23. Tacitus - Histories; Annals; Agricola Germania
24. Nicomachus of Gerasa - Introduction to Arithmetic
25. Epictetus - Discourses; Encheiridion
26. Ptolemy - Almagest
27. Lucian - Works
28. Marcus Aurelius - Meditations
29. Galen - On the Natural Faculties
30. The New Testament
31. Plotinus - The Enneads
32. St. Augustine - On the Teacher; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine
33. The Song of Roland
34. The Nibelungenlied
35. The Saga of Burnt Njal
36. St. Thomas Aquinas - Summa Theologica
37. Dante Alighieri - The Divine Comedy;The New Life; On Monarchy
38. Geoffrey Chaucer - Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales
39. Leonardo da Vinci - Notebooks
40. Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy
41. Desiderius Erasmus - The Praise of Folly
42. Nicolaus Copernicus - On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
43. Thomas More - Utopia
44. Martin Luther - Table Talk; Three Treatises
45. François Rabelais - Gargantua and Pantagruel
46. John Calvin - Institutes of the Christian Religion
47. Michel de Montaigne - Essays
48. William Gilbert - On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies
49. Miguel de Cervantes - Don Quixote
50. Edmund Spenser - Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene
51. Francis Bacon - Essays; Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum, New Atlantis
52. William Shakespeare - Poetry and Plays
53. Galileo Galilei - Starry Messenger; Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences
54. Johannes Kepler - Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Concerning the Harmonies of the World
55. William Harvey - On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals
56. Thomas Hobbes - Leviathan
57. René Descartes - Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy
58. John Milton - Works
59. Molière - Comedies
60. Blaise Pascal - The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises
61. Christiaan Huygens - Treatise on Light
62. Benedict de Spinoza - Ethics
63. John Locke - Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding;Thoughts Concerning Education
64. Jean Baptiste Racine - Tragedies
65. Isaac Newton - Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics
66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz - Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding;Monadology
67.Daniel Defoe - Robinson Crusoe
68. Jonathan Swift - A Tale of a Tub; Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; A Modest Proposal
69. William Congreve - The Way of the World
70. George Berkeley - Principles of Human Knowledge
71. Alexander Pope - Essay on Criticism; Rape of the Lock; Essay on Man
72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu - Persian Letters; Spirit of Laws
73. Voltaire - Letters on the English; Candide; Philosophical Dictionary
74. Henry Fielding - Joseph Andrews; Tom Jones
75. Samuel Johnson - The Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; The Lives of the Poets
   ~ Mortimer J Adler,
239:It must be *possible* for the *I think* to accompany all my representations: for otherwise something would be represented within me that could not be thought at all, in other words, the representation would either be impossible, or at least would be nothing to me. That representation which can be given prior to all thought is called *intuition*, and all the manifold of intuition has, therefore, a necessary relation to the *I think* in the same subject in which this manifold of intuition is found. This representation (the *I think*), however, is an act of *spontaneity*, that is, it cannot be considered as belonging to sensibility. I call it *pure apperception*, in order to distinguish it from empirical apperception, as also from original apperception, because it is that self-consciousness which, by producing the representations, *I think* (which must be capable of accompanying all other representations, and which is one and the same in all consciousness), cannot itself be accompanied by any further representations. I also call the unity of apperception the *transcendental* unity of self-consciousness, in order to indicate that *a priori* knowledge can be obtained from it. For the manifold representations given in an intuition would not one and all be *my* representations, if they did not all belong to one self-consciousness. What I mean is that, as my representations (even though I am not conscious of them as that), they must conform to the condition under which alone they *can* stand together in one universal self-consciousness, because otherwise they would not one and all belong to me. From this original combination much can be inferred.

The thoroughgoing identity of the apperception of a manifold that is given in intuition contains a synthesis of representations, and is possible only through the consciousness of this synthesis. For the empirical consciousness which accompanies different representations is itself dispersed and without reference to the identity of the subject. Such a reference comes about, not simply through my accompanying every representation with consciousness, but through my *adding* one representation to another and being conscious of the synthesis of them. Only because I am able to combine a manifold of given representations *in one consciousness* is it possible for me to represent to myself the *identity of the consciousness in these representations*, that is, only under the presupposition of some *synthetic* unity of apperception is the *analytic* unity of apperception possible. The thought that the representations given in intuition belong one and all *to me*, is therefore the same as the thought that I unite them in one self-consciousness, or can at least do so; and although that thought itself is not yet the consciousness of the synthesis of representations, it nevertheless presupposes the possibility of this synthesis. In other words, it is only because I am able to comprehend the manifold of representations in one consciousness that I call them one and all *my* representations. For otherwise I should have as many-coloured and varied a self as I have representations of which I am conscious. Synthetic unity of the manifold of intuitions, as given *a priori*, is thus the ground of the identity of apperception itself, which precedes *a priori* all *my* determinate thought. Combination, however, does not lie in the objects, and cannot be borrowed from them by perception and thus first be taken into the understanding. It is, rather, solely an act of the understanding, which itself is nothing but the faculty of combining *a priori* and of bringing the manifold of given representations under the unity of apperception; and the principle of this unity is, in fact, the supreme principle of all human knowledge."

—from Critique of Pure Reason . Translated, edited, and with an Introduction by Marcus Weigelt, based on the translation by Max Müller, pp. 124-128 ~ Immanuel Kant
240:Mr. Dana, Of The New York Sun
Thar showed up out'n Denver in the spring uv '81
A man who'd worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
His name wuz Cantell Whoppers, 'nd he wuz a sight ter view
Ez he walked inter the orfice 'nd inquired fer work ter do.
Thar warn't no places vacant then,--fer be it understood,
That wuz the time when talent flourished at that altitood;
But thar the stranger lingered, tellin' Raymond 'nd the rest
Uv what perdigious wonders he could do when at his best,
Till finally he stated (quite by chance) that he hed done
A heap uv work with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
Wall, that wuz quite another thing; we owned that ary cuss
Who'd worked f'r Mr. Dana must be good enough fer us!
And so we tuk the stranger's word 'nd nipped him while we could,
For if we didn't take him we knew John Arkins would;
And Cooper, too, wuz mouzin' round fer enterprise 'nd brains,
Whenever them commodities blew in across the plains.
At any rate we nailed him, which made ol' Cooper swear
And Arkins tear out handfuls uv his copious curly hair;
But we set back and cackled, 'nd bed a power uv fun
With our man who'd worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
It made our eyes hang on our cheeks 'nd lower jaws ter drop,
Ter hear that feller tellin' how ol' Dana run his shop:
It seems that Dana wuz the biggest man you ever saw,-He lived on human bein's, 'nd preferred to eat 'em raw!
If he hed Democratic drugs ter take, before he took 'em,
As good old allopathic laws prescribe, he allus shook 'em.
The man that could set down 'nd write like Dany never grew,
And the sum of human knowledge wuzn't half what Dana knew;
The consequence appeared to be that nearly every one
Concurred with Mr. Dana of the Noo York Sun.
This feller, Cantell Whoppers, never brought an item in,-He spent his time at Perrin's shakin' poker dice f'r gin.
Whatever the assignment, he wuz allus sure to shirk,
He wuz very long on likker and all-fired short on work!
If any other cuss had played the tricks he dared ter play,
The daisies would be bloomin' over his remains to-day;
229
But somehow folks respected him and stood him to the last,
Considerin' his superior connections in the past.
So, when he bilked at poker, not a sucker drew a gun
On the man who 'd worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
Wall, Dana came ter Denver in the fall uv '83.
A very different party from the man we thought ter see,-A nice 'nd clean old gentleman, so dignerfied 'nd calm,
You bet yer life he never did no human bein' harm!
A certain hearty manner 'nd a fulness uv the vest
Betokened that his sperrits 'nd his victuals wuz the best;
His face wuz so benevolent, his smile so sweet 'nd kind,
That they seemed to be the reflex uv an honest, healthy mind;
And God had set upon his head a crown uv silver hair
In promise uv the golden crown He meaneth him to wear.
So, uv us boys that met him out'n Denver, there wuz none
But fell in love with Dana uv the Noo York Sun.
But when he came to Denver in that fall uv '83,
His old friend Cantell Whoppers disappeared upon a spree;
The very thought uv seein' Dana worked upon him so
(They hadn't been together fer a year or two, you know),
That he borrered all the stuff he could and started on a bat,
And, strange as it may seem, we didn't see him after that.
So, when ol' Dana hove in sight, we couldn't understand
Why he didn't seem to notice that his crony wa'n't on hand;
No casual allusion, not a question, no, not one,
For the man who'd "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun!"
We broke it gently to him, but he didn't seem surprised,
Thar wuz no big burst uv passion as we fellers had surmised.
He said that Whoppers wuz a man he 'd never heerd about,
But he mought have carried papers on a Jarsey City route;
And then he recollected hearin' Mr. Laffan say
That he'd fired a man named Whoppers fur bein' drunk one day,
Which, with more likker underneath than money in his vest,
Had started on a freight-train fur the great 'nd boundin' West,
But further information or statistics he had none
Uv the man who'd "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun."
We dropped the matter quietly 'nd never made no fuss,-When we get played for suckers, why, that's a horse on us!--
230
But every now 'nd then we Denver fellers have to laff
To hear some other paper boast uv havin' on its staff
A man who's "worked with Dana," 'nd then we fellers wink
And pull our hats down on our eyes 'nd set around 'nd think.
It seems like Dana couldn't be as smart as people say,
If he educates so many folks 'nd lets 'em get away;
And, as for us, in future we'll be very apt to shun
The man who "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun."
But bless ye, Mr. Dana! may you live a thousan' years,
To sort o' keep things lively in this vale of human tears;
An' may I live a thousan', too,--a thousan' less a day,
For I shouldn't like to be on earth to hear you'd passed away.
And when it comes your time to go you'll need no Latin chaff
Nor biographic data put in your epitaph;
But one straight line of English and of truth will let folks know
The homage 'nd the gratitude 'nd reverence they owe;
You'll need no epitaph but this: "Here sleeps the man who run
That best 'nd brightest paper, the Noo York Sun."
~ Eugene Field
241:To The Royal Society (Excerpts)
Philosophy the great and only heir
Of all that human knowledge which has bin
Unforfeited by man's rebellious sin,
Though full of years he do appear,
(Philosophy, I say, and call it, he,
For whatso'ere the painter's fancy be,
It a male-virtue seems to me)
Has still been kept in nonage till of late,
Nor manag'd or enjoy'd his vast estate:
Three or four thousand years one would have thought,
To ripeness and perfection might have brought
A science so well bred and nurst,
And of such hopeful parts too at the first.
But, oh, the guardians and the tutors then,
(Some negligent, and some ambitious men)
Would ne'er consent to set him free,
Or his own natural powers to let him see,
Lest that should put an end to their authority.
That his own business he might quite forget,
They' amus'd him with the sports of wanton wit,
With the desserts of poetry they fed him,
Instead of solid meats t' encrease his force;
Instead of vigorous exercise they led him
Into the pleasant labyrinths of ever-fresh discourse:
Instead of carrying him to see
The riches which do hoarded for him lie
In Nature's endless treasury,
They chose his eye to entertain
(His curious but not covetous eye)
With painted scenes, and pageants of the brain.
Some few exalted spirits this latter age has shown,
That labour'd to assert the liberty
(From guardians, who were now usurpers grown)
Of this old minor still, captiv'd Philosophy;
But 'twas rebellion call'd to fight
For such a long oppressed right.
Bacon at last, a mighty man, arose
Whom a wise King and Nature chose
88
Lord Chancellor of both their laws,
And boldly undertook the injur'd pupil's cause.
Authority, which did a body boast,
Though 'twas but air condens'd, and stalk'd about,
Like some old giant's more gigantic ghost,
To terrify the learned rout
With the plain magic of true reason's light,
He chas'd out of our sight,
Nor suffer'd living men to be misled
By the vain shadows of the dead:
To graves, from whence it rose, the conquer'd phantom fled;
He broke that monstrous god which stood
In midst of th' orchard, and the whole did claim,
Which with a useless scythe of wood,
And something else not worth a name,
(Both vast for show, yet neither fit
Or to defend, or to beget;
Ridiculous and senseless terrors!) made
Children and superstitious men afraid.
The orchard's open now, and free;
Bacon has broke that scarecrow deity;
Come, enter, all that will,
Behold the ripen'd fruit, come gather now your fill.
Yet still, methinks, we fain would be
Catching at the forbidden tree,
We would be like the Deity,
When truth and falshood, good and evil, we
Without the senses aid within our selves would see;
For 'tis God only who can find
All Nature in his mind.
From words, which are but pictures of the thought,
Though we our thoughts from them perversely drew
To things, the mind's right object, he it brought,
Like foolish birds to painted grapes we flew;
He sought and gather'd for our use the true;
And when on heaps the chosen bunches lay,
He press'd them wisely the mechanic way,
Till all their juice did in one vessel join,
Ferment into a nourishment divine,
The thirsty soul's refreshing wine.
89
Who to the life an exact piece would make,
Must not from other's work a copy take;
No, not from Rubens or Vandyke;
Much less content himself to make it like
Th' ideas and the images which lie
In his own fancy, or his memory.
No, he before his sight must place
The natural and living face;
The real object must command
Each judgment of his eye, and motion of his hand.
From these and all long errors of the way,
In which our wand'ring predecessors went,
And like th' old Hebrews many years did stray
In deserts but of small extent;
Bacon, like Moses, led us forth at last,
The barren wilderness he past,
Did on the very border stand
Of the blest promis'd land,
And from the mountain's top of his exalted wit,
Saw it himself, and shew'd us it.
But life did never to one man allow
Time to discover worlds, and conquer too;
Nor can so short a line sufficient be
To fathom the vast depths of Nature's sea:
The work he did we ought t' admire,
And were unjust if we should more require
From his few years, divided 'twixt th' excess
Of low affliction, and high happiness.
For who on things remote can fix his sight,
That's always in a triumph, or a fight?
From you, great champions, we expect to get
These spacious countries but discover'd yet;
Countries where yet in stead of Nature, we
Her images and idols worshipp'd see:
These large and wealthy regions to subdue,
Though learning has whole armies at command,
Quarter'd about in every land,
A better troop she ne're together drew.
Methinks, like Gideon's little band,
God with design has pick'd out you,
To do these noble wonders by a few:
90
When the whole host he saw, they are (said he)
Too many to o'ercome for me;
And now he chooses out his men,
Much in the way that he did then:
Not those many whom he found
Idly extended on the ground,
To drink with their dejected head
The stream just so as by their mouths it fled:
No, but those few who took the waters up,
And made of their laborious hands the cup.
...
With courage and success you the bold work begin;
Your cradle has not idle bin:
None e're but Hercules and you could be
At five years age worthy a history.
And ne're did fortune better yet
Th' historian to the story fit:
As you from all old errors free
And purge the body of philosophy;
So from all modern follies he
Has vindicated eloquence and wit.
His candid style like a clean stream does slide,
And his bright fancy all the way
Does like the sun-shine in it play;
It does like Thames, the best of rivers, glide,
Where the god does not rudely overturn,
But gently pour the crystal urn,
And with judicious hand does the whole current guide.
'T has all the beauties Nature can impart,
And all the comely dress without the paint of art.
~ Abraham Cowley
242:The spider spreads her webs, whether she be
In poet's tower, cellar, or barn, or tree;
The silk-worm in the dark green mulberry leaves
His winding sheet and cradle ever weaves;
So I, a thing whom moralists call worm,
Sit spinning still round this decaying form,
From the fine threads of rare and subtle thought
No net of words in garish colours wrought
To catch the idle buzzers of the day
But a soft cell, where when that fades away,
Memory may clothe in wings my living name
And feed it with the asphodels of fame,
Which in those hearts which must remember me
Grow, making love an immortality.
Whoever should behold me now, I wist,
Would think I were a mighty mechanist,
Bent with sublime Archimedean art
To breathe a soul into the iron heart
Of some machine portentous, or strange gin,
Which by the force of figured spells might win
Its way over the sea, and sport therein;
For round the walls are hung dread engines, such
As Vulcan never wrought for Jove to clutch
Ixion or the Titan:or the quick
Wit of that man of God, St. Dominic,
To convince Atheist, Turk, or Heretic,
Or those in philanthropic council met,
Who thought to pay some interest for the debt
They owed to Jesus Christ for their salvation,
By giving a faint foretaste of damnation
To Shakespeare, Sidney, Spenser, and the rest
Who made our land an island of the blest,
When lamp-like Spain, who now relumes her fire
On Freedom's hearth, grew dim with Empire:
With thumbscrews, wheels, with tooth and spike and jag,
Which fishers found under the utmost crag
Of Cornwall and the storm-encompassed isles,
Where to the sky the rude sea rarely smiles
Unless in treacherous wrath, as on the morn
When the exulting elements in scorn,
Satiated with destroyed destruction, lay
Sleeping in beauty on their mangled prey,
As panthers sleep;and other strange and dread
Magical forms the brick floor overspread,
Proteus transformed to metal did not make
More figures, or more strange; nor did he take
Such shapes of unintelligible brass,
Or heap himself in such a horrid mass
Of tin and iron not to be understood;
And forms of unimaginable wood,
To puzzle Tubal Cain and all his brood:
Great screws, and cones, and wheels, and groovd blocks,
The elements of what will stand the shocks
Of wave and wind and time.Upon the table
More knacks and quips there be than I am able
To catalogize in this verse of mine:
A pretty bowl of woodnot full of wine,
But quicksilver; that dew which the gnomes drink
When at their subterranean toil they swink,
Pledging the demons of the earthquake, who
Reply to them in lavacry halloo!
And call out to the cities o'er their head,
Roofs, towers, and shrines, the dying and the dead,
Crash through the chinks of earthand then all quaff
Another rouse, and hold their sides and laugh.
This quicksilver no gnome has drunkwithin
The walnut bowl it lies, veind and thin,
In colour like the wake of light that stains
The Tuscan deep, when from the moist moon rains
The inmost shower of its white firethe breeze
Is stillblue Heaven smiles over the pale seas.
And in this bowl of quicksilverfor I
Yield to the impulse of an infancy
Outlasting manhoodI have made to float
A rude idealism of a paper boat:
A hollow screw with cogsHenry will know
The thing I mean and laugh at me,if so
He fears not I should do more mischief.Next
Lie bills and calculations much perplexed,
With steam-boats, frigates, and machinery quaint
Traced over them in blue and yellow paint.
Then comes a range of mathematical
Instruments, for plans nautical and statical;
A heap of rosin, a queer broken glass
With ink in it;a china cup that was
What it will never be again, I think,
A thing from which sweet lips were wont to drink
The liquor doctors rail atand which I
Will quaff in spite of themand when we die
We'll toss up who died first of drinking tea,
And cry out,'Heads or tails?' where'er we be.
Near that a dusty paint-box, some odd hooks,
A half-burnt match, an ivory block, three books,
Where conic sections, spherics, logarithms,
To great Laplace, from Saunderson and Sims,
Lie heaped in their harmonious disarray
Of figures,disentangle them who may.
Baron de Tott's Memoirs beside them lie,
And some odd volumes of old chemistry.
Near those a most inexplicable thing,
With lead in the middleI'm conjecturing
How to make Henry understand; but no
I'll leave, as Spenser says, with many mo,
This secret in the pregnant womb of time,
Too vast a matter for so weak a rhyme.
And here like some weird Archimage sit I,
Plotting dark spells, and devilish enginery,
The self-impelling steam-wheels of the mind
Which pump up oaths from clergymen, and grind
The gentle spirit of our meek reviews
Into a powdery foam of salt abuse,
Ruffling the ocean of their self-content;
I sitand smile or sigh as is my bent,
But not for themLibeccio rushes round
With an inconstant and an idle sound,
I heed him more than themthe thunder-smoke
Is gathering on the mountains, like a cloak
Folded athwart their shoulders broad and bare;
The ripe corn under the undulating air
Undulates like an ocean;and the vines
Are trembling wide in all their trellised lines
The murmur of the awakening sea doth fill
The empty pauses of the blast;the hill
Looks hoary through the white electric rain,
And from the glens beyond, in sullen strain,
The interrupted thunder howls; above
One chasm of Heaven smiles, like the eye of Love
On the unquiet world;while such things are,
How could one worth your friendship heed the war
Of worms? the shriek of the world's carrion jays,
Their censure, or their wonder, or their praise?
You are not here! the quaint witch Memory sees,
In vacant chairs, your absent images,
And points where once you sat, and now should be
But are not.I demand if ever we
Shall meet as then we met;and she replies,
Veiling in awe her second-sighted eyes;
'I know the past alonebut summon home
My sister Hope,she speaks of all to come.'
But I, an old diviner, who knew well
Every false verse of that sweet oracle,
Turned to the sad enchantress once again,
And sought a respite from my gentle pain,
In citing every passage o'er and o'er
Of our communionhow on the sea-shore
We watched the ocean and the sky together,
Under the roof of blue Italian weather;
How I ran home through last year's thunder-storm,
And felt the transverse lightning linger warm
Upon my cheekand how we often made
Feasts for each other, where good will outweighed
The frugal luxury of our country cheer,
As well it might, were it less firm and clear
Than ours must ever be;and how we spun
A shroud of talk to hide us from the sun
Of this familiar life, which seems to be
But is not:or is but quaint mockery
Of all we would believe, and sadly blame
The jarring and inexplicable frame
Of this wrong world:and then anatomize
The purposes and thoughts of men whose eyes
Were closed in distant years;or widely guess
The issue of the earth's great business,
When we shall be as we no longer are
Like babbling gossips safe, who hear the war
Of winds, and sigh, but tremble not;or how
You listened to some interrupted flow
Of visionary rhyme,in joy and pain
Struck from the inmost fountains of my brain,
With little skill perhaps;or how we sought
Those deepest wells of passion or of thought
Wrought by wise poets in the waste of years,
Staining their sacred waters with our tears;
Quenching a thirst ever to be renewed!
Or how I, wisest lady! then endued
The language of a land which now is free,
And, winged with thoughts of truth and majesty,
Flits round the tyrant's sceptre like a cloud,
And bursts the peopled prisons, and cries aloud,
'My name is Legion!'that majestic tongue
Which Calderon over the desert flung
Of ages and of nations; and which found
An echo in our hearts, and with the sound
Startled oblivion;thou wert then to me
As is a nursewhen inarticulately
A child would talk as its grown parents do.
If living winds the rapid clouds pursue,
If hawks chase doves through the aethereal way,
Huntsmen the innocent deer, and beasts their prey,
Why should not we rouse with the spirit's blast
Out of the forest of the pathless past
These recollected pleasures?
               You are now
In London, that great sea, whose ebb and flow
At once is deaf and loud, and on the shore
Vomits its wrecks, and still howls on for more.
Yet in its depth what treasures! You will see
That which was Godwin,greater none than he
Though fallenand fallen on evil timesto stand
Among the spirits of our age and land,
Before the dread tribunal of to come
The foremost,while Rebuke cowers pale and dumb.
You will see Coleridgehe who sits obscure
In the exceeding lustre and the pure
Intense irradiation of a mind,
Which, with its own internal lightning blind,
Flags wearily through darkness and despair
A cloud-encircled meteor of the air,
A hooded eagle among blinking owls.
You will see Huntone of those happy souls
Which are the salt of the earth, and without whom
This world would smell like what it isa tomb;
Who is, what others seem; his room no doubt
Is still adorned with many a cast from Shout,
With graceful flowers tastefully placed about;
And coronals of bay from ribbons hung,
And brighter wreaths in neat disorder flung;
The gifts of the most learned among some dozens
Of female friends, sisters-in-law, and cousins.
And there is he with his eternal puns,
Which beat the dullest brain for smiles, like duns
Thundering for money at a poet's door;
Alas! it is no use to say, 'I'm poor!'
Or oft in graver mood, when he will look
Things wiser than were ever read in book,
Except in Shakespeare's wisest tenderness.
You will see Hogg,and I cannot express
His virtues,though I know that they are great,
Because he locks, then barricades the gate
Within which they inhabit;of his wit
And wisdom, you'll cry out when you are bit.
He is a pearl within an oyster shell,
One of the richest of the deep;and there
Is English Peacock, with his mountain Fair,
Turned into a Flamingo;that shy bird
That gleams i' the Indian airhave you not heard
When a man marries, dies, or turns Hindoo,
His best friends hear no more of him?but you
Will see him, and will like him too, I hope,
With the milk-white Snowdonian Antelope
Matched with this cameleopardhis fine wit
Makes such a wound, the knife is lost in it;
A strain too learnd for a shallow age,
Too wise for selfish bigots; let his page,
Which charms the chosen spirits of the time,
Fold itself up for the serener clime
Of years to come, and find its recompense
In that just expectation.Wit and sense,
Virtue and human knowledge; all that might
Make this dull world a business of delight,
Are all combined in Horace Smith.And these,
With some exceptions, which I need not tease
Your patience by descanting on,are all
You and I know in London.
              I recall
My thoughts, and bid you look upon the night.
As water does a sponge, so the moonlight
Fills the void, hollow, universal air
What see you?unpavilioned Heaven is fair,
Whether the moon, into her chamber gone,
Leaves midnight to the golden stars, or wan
Climbs with diminished beams the azure steep;
Or whether clouds sail o'er the inverse deep,
Piloted by the many-wandering blast,
And the rare stars rush through them dim and fast:
All this is beautiful in every land.
But what see you beside?a shabby stand
Of Hackney coachesa brick house or wall
Fencing some lonely court, white with the scrawl
Of our unhappy politics;or worse
A wretched woman reeling by, whose curse
Mixed with the watchman's, partner of her trade,
You must accept in place of serenade
Or yellow-haired Pollonia murmuring
To Henry, some unutterable thing.
I see a chaos of green leaves and fruit
Built round dark caverns, even to the root
Of the living stems that feed themin whose bowers
There sleep in their dark dew the folded flowers;
Beyond, the surface of the unsickled corn
Trembles not in the slumbering air, and borne
In circles quaint, and ever-changing dance,
Like wingd stars the fire-flies flash and glance,
Pale in the open moonshine, but each one
Under the dark trees seems a little sun,
A meteor tamed; a fixed star gone astray
From the silver regions of the milky way;
Afar the Contadino's song is heard,
Rude, but made sweet by distanceand a bird
Which cannot be the Nightingale, and yet
I know none else that sings so sweet as it
At this late hour;and then all is still
NowItaly or London, which you will!
Next winter you must pass with me; I'll have
My house by that time turned into a grave
Of dead despondence and low-thoughted care,
And all the dreams which our tormentors are;
Oh! that Hunt, Hogg, Peacock, and Smith were there,
With everything belonging to them fair!
We will have books, Spanish, Italian, Greek;
And ask one week to make another week
As like his father, as I'm unlike mine,
Which is not his fault, as you may divine.
Though we eat little flesh and drink no wine,
Yet let's be merry: we'll have tea and toast;
Custards for supper, and an endless host
Of syllabubs and jellies and mince-pies,
And other such lady-like luxuries,
Feasting on which we will philosophize!
And we'll have fires out of the Grand Duke's wood,
To thaw the six weeks' winter in our blood.
And then we'll talk;what shall we talk about?
Oh! there are themes enough for many a bout
Of thought-entangled descant;as to nerves
With cones and parallelograms and curves
I've sworn to strangle them if once they dare
To bother mewhen you are with me there.
And they shall never more sip laudanum,
From Helicon or Himeros[1];well, come,
And in despite of God and of the devil,
We'll make our friendly philosophic revel
Outlast the leafless time; till buds and flowers
Warn the obscure inevitable hours,
Sweet meeting by sad parting to renew;
'To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures new.'
Composed during Shelley's occupation of the Gisbornes' house at Leghorn, July 1820; published in Posthumous Poems, 1824.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Letter To Maria Gisborne

243: Ilion

Book I: The Book of the Herald



Dawn in her journey eternal compelling the labour of mortals,
Dawn the beginner of things with the night for their rest or their ending,
Pallid and bright-lipped arrived from the mists and the chill of the Euxine.
Earth in the dawn-fire delivered from starry and shadowy vastness
Woke to the wonder of life and its passion and sorrow and beauty,
All on her bosom sustaining, the patient compassionate Mother.
Out of the formless vision of Night with its look on things hidden
Given to the gaze of the azure she lay in her garment of greenness,
Wearing light on her brow. In the dawn-ray lofty and voiceless
Ida climbed with her god-haunted peaks into diamond lustres,
Ida first of the hills with the ranges silent beyond her
Watching the dawn in their giant companies, as since the ages
First began they had watched her, upbearing Time on their summits.
Troas cold on her plain awaited the boon of the sunshine.
There, like a hope through an emerald dream sole-pacing for ever,
Stealing to wideness beyond, crept Simois lame in his currents,
Guiding his argent thread mid the green of the reeds and the grasses.
Headlong, impatient of Space and its boundaries, Time and its slowness,
Xanthus clamoured aloud as he ran to the far-surging waters,
Joining his call to the many-voiced roar of the mighty Aegean,
Answering Oceans limitless cry like a whelp to its parent.
Forests looked up through their rifts, the ravines grew aware of their shadows.
Closer now gliding glimmered the golden feet of the goddess.
Over the hills and the headlands spreading her garment of splendour,
Fateful she came with her eyes impartial looking on all things,
Bringer to man of the day of his fortune and day of his downfall.
Full of her luminous errand, careless of eve and its weeping,
Fateful she paused unconcerned above Ilions mysteried greatness,
Domes like shimmering tongues of the crystal flames of the morning,
Opalesque rhythm-line of tower-tops, notes of the lyre of the sungod.
High over all that a nation had built and its love and its laughter,
Lighting the last time highway and homestead, market and temple,
Looking on men who must die and women destined to sorrow,
Looking on beauty fire must lay low and the sickle of slaughter,
Fateful she lifted the doom-scroll red with the script of the Immortals,
Deep in the invisible air that folds in the race and its morrows
Fixed it, and passed on smiling the smile of the griefless and deathless,
Dealers of death though death they know not, who in the morning
Scatter the seed of the event for the reaping ready at nightfall.
Over the brooding of plains and the agelong trance of the summits
Out of the sun and its spaces she came, pausing tranquil and fatal,
And, at a distance followed by the golden herds of the sungod,
Carried the burden of Light and its riddle and danger to Hellas.
Even as fleets on a chariot divine through the gold streets of ether,
Swiftly when Life fleets, invisibly changing the arc of the soul-drift,
And, with the choice that has chanced or the fate man has called and now suffers
Weighted, the moment travels driving the past towards the future,
Only its face and its feet are seen, not the burden it carries.
Weight of the event and its surface we bear, but the meaning is hidden.
Earth sees not; lifes clamour deafens the ear of the spirit:
Man knows not; least knows the messenger chosen for the summons.
Only he listens to the voice of his thoughts, his hearts ignorant whisper,
Whistle of winds in the tree-tops of Time and the rustle of Nature.
Now too the messenger hastened driving the car of the errand:
Even while dawn was a gleam in the east, he had cried to his coursers.
Half yet awake in lights turrets started the scouts of the morning
Hearing the jar of the wheels and the throb of the hooves exultation,
Hooves of the horses of Greece as they galloped to Phrygian Troya.
Proudly they trampled through Xanthus thwarting the foam of his anger,
Whinnying high as in scorn crossed Simois tangled currents,
Xanthus reed-girdled twin, the gentle and sluggard river.
One and unarmed in the car was the driver; grey was he, shrunken,
Worn with his decades. To Pergama cinctured with strength Cyclopean
Old and alone he arrived, insignificant, feeblest of mortals,
Carrying Fate in his helpless hands and the doom of an empire.
Ilion, couchant, saw him arrive from the sea and the darkness.
Heard mid the faint slow stirrings of life in the sleep of the city,
Rapid there neared a running of feet, and the cry of the summons
Beat round the doors that guarded the domes of the splendour of Priam.
Wardens charged with the night, ye who stand in Laomedons gateway,
Waken the Ilian kings. Talthybius, herald of Argos,
Parleying stands at the portals of Troy in the grey of the dawning.
High and insistent the call. In the dimness and hush of his chamber
Charioted far in his dreams amid visions of glory and terror,
Scenes of a vivider world,though blurred and deformed in the brain-cells,
Vague and inconsequent, there full of colour and beauty and greatness,
Suddenly drawn by the pull of the conscious thread of the earth-bond
And of the needs of Time and the travail assigned in the transience
Warned by his body, Deiphobus, reached in that splendid remoteness,
Touched through the nerve-ways of life that branch to the brain of the dreamer,
Heard the terrestrial call and slumber startled receded
Sliding like dew from the mane of a lion. Reluctant he travelled
Back from the light of the fields beyond death, from the wonderful kingdoms
Where he had wandered a soul among souls in the countries beyond us,
Free from the toil and incertitude, free from the struggle and danger:
Now, compelled, he returned from the respite given to the time-born,
Called to the strife and the wounds of the earth and the burden of daylight.
He from the carven couch upreared his giant stature.
Haste-spurred he laved his eyes and regained earths memories, haste-spurred
Donning apparel and armour strode through the town of his fathers,
Watched by her gods on his way to his fate, towards Pergamas portals.
Nine long years had passed and the tenth now was wearily ending,
Years of the wrath of the gods, and the leaguer still threatened the ramparts
Since through a tranquil morn the ships came past Tenedos sailing
And the first Argive fell slain as he leaped on the Phrygian beaches;
Still the assailants attacked, still fought back the stubborn defenders.
When the reward is withheld and endlessly leng thens the labour,
Weary of fruitless toil grows the transient heart of the mortal.
Weary of battle the invaders warring hearthless and homeless
Prayed to the gods for release and return to the land of their fathers:
Weary of battle the Phrygians beset in their beautiful city
Prayed to the gods for an end of the danger and mortal encounter.
Long had the high-beached ships forgotten their measureless ocean.
Greece seemed old and strange to her children camped on the beaches,
Old like a life long past one remembers hardly believing
But as a dream that has happened, but as the tale of another.
Time with his tardy touch and Nature changing our substance
Slowly had dimmed the faces loved and the scenes once cherished:
Yet was the dream still dear to them longing for wife and for children,
Longing for hearth and glebe in the far-off valleys of Hellas.
Always like waves that swallow the shingles, lapsing, returning,
Tide of the battle, race of the onset relentlessly thundered
Over the Phrygian corn-fields. Trojan wrestled with Argive,
Caria, Lycia, Thrace and the war-lord mighty Achaia
Joined in the clasp of the fight. Death, panic and wounds and disaster,
Glory of conquest and glory of fall, and the empty hearth-side,
Weeping and fortitude, terror and hope and the pang of remembrance,
Anguish of hearts, the lives of the warriors, the strength of the nations
Thrown were like weights into Destinys scales, but the balance wavered
Pressed by invisible hands. For not only the mortal fighters,
Heroes half divine whose names are like stars in remoteness,
Triumphed and failed and were winds or were weeds on the dance of the surges,
But from the peaks of Olympus and shimmering summits of Ida
Gleaming and clanging the gods of the antique ages descended.
Hidden from human knowledge the brilliant shapes of Immortals
Mingled unseen in the mellay, or sometimes, marvellous, maskless,
Forms of undying beauty and power that made tremble the heart-strings
Parting their deathless secrecy crossed through the borders of vision,
Plain as of old to the demigods out of their glory emerging,
Heard by mortal ears and seen by the eyeballs that perish.
Mighty they came from their spaces of freedom and sorrowless splendour.
Sea-vast, trailing the azure hem of his clamorous waters,
Blue-lidded, maned with the Night, Poseidon smote for the future,
Earth-shaker who with his trident releases the coils of the Dragon,
Freeing the forces unborn that are locked in the caverns of Nature.
Calm and unmoved, upholding the Word that is Fate and the order
Fixed in the sight of a Will foreknowing and silent and changeless,
Hera sent by Zeus and Athene lifting his aegis
Guarded the hidden decree. But for Ilion, loud as the surges,
Ares impetuous called to the fire in mens hearts, and his passion
Woke in the shadowy depths the forms of the Titan and demon;
Dumb and coerced by the grip of the gods in the abyss of the being,
Formidable, veiled they sit in the grey subconscient darkness
Watching the sleep of the snake-haired Erinnys. Miracled, haloed,
Seer and magician and prophet who beholds what the thought cannot witness,
Lifting the godhead within us to more than a human endeavour,
Slayer and saviour, thinker and mystic, leaped from his sun-peaks
Guarding in Ilion the wall of his mysteries Delphic Apollo.
Heavens strengths divided swayed in the whirl of the Earth-force.
All that is born and destroyed is reborn in the sweep of the ages;
Life like a decimal ever recurring repeats the old figure;
Goal seems there none for the ball that is chased throughout Time by the Fate-teams;
Evil once ended renews and no issue comes out of living:
Only an Eye unseen can distinguish the thread of its workings.
Such seemed the rule of the pastime of Fate on the plains of the Troad;
All went backwards and forwards tossed in the swing of the death-game.
Vain was the toil of the heroes, the blood of the mighty was squandered,
Spray as of surf on the cliffs when it moans unappeased, unrequited
Age after fruitless age. Day hunted the steps of the nightfall;
Joy succeeded to grief; defeat only greatened the vanquished,
Victory offered an empty delight without guerdon or profit.
End there was none of the effort and end there was none of the failure.
Triumph and agony changing hands in a desperate measure
Faced and turned as a man and a maiden trampling the grasses
Face and turn and they laugh in their joy of the dance and each other.
These were gods and they trampled lives. But though Time is immortal,
Mortal his works are and ways and the anguish ends like the rapture.
Artists of Nature content with their work in the plan of the transience,
Beautiful, deathless, august, the Olympians turned from the carnage,
Leaving the battle already decided, leaving the heroes
Slain in their minds, Troy burned, Greece left to her glory and downfall.
Into their heavens they rose up mighty like eagles ascending
Fanning the world with their wings. As the great to their luminous mansions
Turn from the cry and the strife, forgetting the wounded and fallen,
Calm they repose from their toil and incline to the joy of the banquet,
Watching the feet of the wine-bearers rosily placed on the marble,
Filling their hearts with ease, so they to their sorrowless ether
Passed from the wounded earth and its air that is ploughed with mens anguish;
Calm they reposed and their hearts inclined to the joy and the silence.
Lifted was the burden laid on our wills by their starry presence:
Man was restored to his smallness, the world to its inconscient labour.
Life felt a respite from height, the winds breathed freer delivered;
Light was released from their blaze and the earth was released from their greatness.
But their immortal content from the struggle titanic departed.
Vacant the noise of the battle roared like the sea on the shingles;
Wearily hunted the spears their quarry; strength was disheartened;
Silence increased with the march of the months on the tents of the leaguer.
But not alone on the Achaians the steps of the moments fell heavy;
Slowly the shadow deepened on Ilion mighty and scornful:
Dragging her days went by; in the rear of the hearts of her people
Something that knew what they dared not know and the mind would not utter,
Something that smote at her soul of defiance and beauty and laughter,
Darkened the hours. For Doom in her sombre and giant uprising
Neared, assailing the skies: the sense of her lived in all pastimes;
Time was pursued by unease and a terror woke in the midnight:
Even the ramparts felt her, stones that the gods had erected.
Now no longer she dallied and played, but bounded and hastened,
Seeing before her the end and, imagining massacre calmly,
Laughed and admired the flames and rejoiced in the cry of the captives.
Under her, dead to the watching immortals, Deiphobus hastened
Clanging in arms through the streets of the beautiful insolent city,
Brilliant, a gleaming husk but empty and left by the daemon.
Even as a star long extinguished whose light still travels the spaces,
Seen in its form by men, but itself goes phantom-like fleeting
Void and null and dark through the uncaring infinite vastness,
So now he seemed to the sight that sees all things from the Real.
Timeless its vision of Time creates the hour by things coming.
Borne on a force from the past and no more by a power for the future
Mighty and bright was his body, but shadowy the shape of his spirit
Only an eidolon seemed of the being that had lived in him, fleeting
Vague like a phantom seen by the dim Acherontian waters.
But to the guardian towers that watched over Pergamas gateway
Out of the waking city Deiphobus swiftly arriving
Called, and swinging back the huge gates slowly, reluctant,
Flung Troy wide to the entering Argive. Ilions portals
Parted admitting her destiny, then with a sullen and iron
Cry they closed. Mute, staring, grey like a wolf descended
Old Talthybius, propping his steps on the staff of his errand;
Feeble his body, but fierce still his glance with the fire within him;
Speechless and brooding he gazed on the hated and coveted city.
Suddenly, seeking heaven with her buildings hewn as for Titans,
Marvellous, rhythmic, a child of the gods with marble for raiment,
Smiting the vision with harmony, splendid and mighty and golden,
Ilion stood up around him entrenched in her giant defences.
Strength was uplifted on strength and grandeur supported by grandeur;
Beauty lay in her lap. Remote, hieratic and changeless,
Filled with her deeds and her dreams her gods looked out on the Argive,
Helpless and dumb with his hate as he gazed on her, they too like mortals
Knowing their centuries past, not knowing the morrow before them.
Dire were his eyes upon Troya the beautiful, his face like a doom-mask:
All Greece gazed in them, hated, admired, grew afraid, grew relentless.
But to the Greek Deiphobus cried and he turned from his passion
Fixing his ominous eyes with the god in them straight on the Trojan:
Messenger, voice of Achaia, wherefore confronting the daybreak
Comest thou driving thy car from the sleep of the tents that besiege us?
Fateful, I deem, was the thought that, conceived in the silence of midnight,
Raised up thy aged limbs from the couch of their rest in the stillness,
Thoughts of a mortal but forged by the Will that uses our members
And of its promptings our speech and our acts are the tools and the image.
Oft from the veil and the shadow they leap out like stars in their brightness,
Lights that we think our own, yet they are but tokens and counters,
Signs of the Forces that flow through us serving a Power that is secret.
What in the dawning bringst thou to Troya the mighty and dateless
Now in the ending of Time when the gods are weary of struggle?
Sends Agamemnon challenge or courtesy, Greek, to the Trojans?
High like the northwind answered the voice of the doom from Achaia:
Trojan Deiphobus, daybreak, silence of night and the evening
Sink and arise and even the strong sun rests from his splendour.
Not for the servant is rest nor Time is his, only his death-pyre.
I have not come from the monarch of men or the armoured assembly
Held on the wind-swept marge of the thunder and laughter of ocean.
One in his singleness greater than kings and multitudes sends me.
I am a voice out of Phthia, I am the will of the Hellene.
Peace in my right I bring to you, death in my left hand. Trojan,
Proudly receive them, honour the gifts of the mighty Achilles.
Death accept, if Ate deceives you and Doom is your lover,
Peace if your fate can turn and the god in you chooses to hearken.
Full is my heart and my lips are impatient of speech undelivered.
It was not made for the streets or the market, nor to be uttered
Meanly to common ears, but where counsel and majesty harbour
Far from the crowd in the halls of the great and to wisdom and foresight
Secrecy whispers, there I will speak among Ilions princes.
Envoy, answered the Laomedontian, voice of Achilles,
Vain is the offer of peace that sets out with a threat for its prelude.
Yet will we hear thee. Arise who are fleetest of foot in the gateway,
Thou, Thrasymachus, haste. Let the domes of the mansion of Ilus
Wake to the bruit of the Hellene challenge. Summon Aeneas.
Even as the word sank back into stillness, doffing his mantle
Started to run at the bidding a swift-footed youth of the Trojans
First in the race and the battle, Thrasymachus son of Aretes.
He in the dawn disappeared into swiftness. Deiphobus slowly,
Measuring Fate with his thoughts in the troubled vasts of his spirit,
Back through the stir of the city returned to the house of his fathers,
Taming his mighty stride to the pace infirm of the Argive.
But with the god in his feet Thrasymachus rapidly running
Came to the halls in the youth of the wonderful city by Ilus
Built for the joy of the eye; for he rested from war and, triumphant,
Reigned adored by the prostrate nations. Now when all ended,
Last of its mortal possessors to walk in its flowering gardens,
Great Anchises lay in that luminous house of the ancients
Soothing his restful age, the far-warring victor Anchises,
High Bucoleons son and the father of Rome by a goddess;
Lonely and vagrant once in his boyhood divine upon Ida
White Aphrodite ensnared him and she loosed her ambrosial girdle
Seeking a mortals love. On the threshold Thrasymachus halted
Looking for servant or guard, but felt only a loneness of slumber
Drawing the souls sight within away from its life and things human;
Soundless, unheeding, the vacant corridors fled into darkness.
He to the shades of the house and the dreams of the echoing rafters
Trusted his high-voiced call, and from chambers still dim in their twilight
Strong Aeneas armoured and mantled, leonine striding,
Came, Anchises son; for the dawn had not found him reposing,
But in the night he had left his couch and the clasp of Cresa,
Rising from sleep at the call of his spirit that turned to the waters
Prompted by Fate and his mother who guided him, white Aphrodite.
Still with the impulse of speed Thrasymachus greeted Aeneas:
Hero Aeneas, swift be thy stride to the Ilian hill-top.
Dardanid, haste! for the gods are at work; they have risen with the morning,
Each from his starry couch, and they labour. Doom, we can see it,
Glows on their anvils of destiny, clang we can hear of their hammers.
Something they forge there sitting unknown in the silence eternal,
Whether of evil or good it is they who shall choose who are masters
Calm, unopposed; they are gods and they work out their iron caprices.
Troy is their stage and Argos their background; we are their puppets.
Always our voices are prompted to speech for an end that we know not,
Always we think that we drive, but are driven. Action and impulse,
Yearning and thought are their engines, our will is their shadow and helper.
Now too, deeming he comes with a purpose framed by a mortal,
Shaft of their will they have shot from the bow of the Grecian leaguer,
Lashing themselves at his steeds, Talthybius sent by Achilles.
Busy the gods are always, Thrasymachus son of Aretes,
Weaving Fate on their looms, and yesterday, now and tomorrow
Are but the stands they have made with Space and Time for their timber,
Frame but the dance of their shuttle. What eye unamazed by their workings
Ever can pierce where they dwell and uncover their far-stretching purpose?
Silent they toil, they are hid in the clouds, they are wrapped with the midnight.
Yet to Apollo I pray, the Archer friendly to mortals,
Yet to the rider on Fate I abase myself, wielder of thunder,
Evil and doom to avert from my fatherland. All night Morpheus,
He who with shadowy hands heaps error and truth upon mortals,
Stood at my pillow with images. Dreaming I erred like a phantom
Helpless in Ilions streets with the fire and the foeman around me.
Red was the smoke as it mounted triumphant the house-top of Priam,
Clang of the arms of the Greeks was in Troya, and thwarting the clangour
Voices were crying and calling me over the violent Ocean
Borne by the winds of the West from a land where Hesperus harbours.
Brooding they ceased, for their thoughts grew heavy upon them and voiceless.
Then, in a farewell brief and unthought and unconscious of meaning,
Parting they turned to their tasks and their lives now close but soon severed:
Destined to perish even before his perishing nation,
Back to his watch at the gate sped Thrasymachus rapidly running;
Large of pace and swift, but with eyes absorbed and unseeing,
Driven like a car of the gods by the whip of his thoughts through the highways,
Turned to his mighty future the hero born of a goddess.
One was he chosen to ascend into greatness through fall and disaster,
Loser of his world by the will of a heaven that seemed ruthless and adverse,
Founder of a newer and greater world by daring adventure.
Now, from the citadels rise with the townships crowding below it
High towards a pondering of domes and the mystic Palladium climbing,
Fronted with the morning ray and joined by the winds of the ocean,
Fate-weighed up Troys slope strode musing strong Aeneas.
Under him silent the slumbering roofs of the city of Ilus
Dreamed in the light of the dawn; above watched the citadel, sleepless
Lonely and strong like a goddess white-limbed and bright on a hill-top,
Looking far out at the sea and the foe and the prowling of danger.
Over the brow he mounted and saw the palace of Priam,
Home of the gods of the earth, Laomedons marvellous vision
Held in the thought that accustomed his will to unearthly achievement
And in the blaze of his spirit compelling heaven with its greatness,
Dreamed by the harp of Apollo, a melody caught into marble.
Out of his mind it arose like an epic canto by canto;
Each of its halls was a strophe, its chambers lines of an epode,
Victor chant of Ilions destiny. Absent he entered,
Voiceless with thought, the brilliant megaron crowded with paintings,
Paved with a splendour of marble, and saw Deiphobus seated,
Son of the ancient house by the opulent hearth of his fathers,
And at his side like a shadow the grey and ominous Argive.
Happy of light like a lustrous star when it welcomes the morning,
Brilliant, beautiful, glamoured with gold and a fillet of gem-fire,
Paris, plucked from the song and the lyre by the Grecian challenge,
Came with the joy in his face and his eyes that Fate could not alter.
Ever a child of the dawn at play near a turn of the sun-roads,
Facing destinys look with the careless laugh of a comrade,
He with his vision of delight and beauty brightening the earth-field
Passed through its peril and grief on his way to the ambiguous Shadow.
Last from her chamber of sleep where she lay in the Ilian mansion
Far in the heart of the house with the deep-bosomed daughters of Priam,
Noble and tall and erect in a nimbus of youth and of glory,
Claiming the world and life as a fief of her strength and her courage,
Dawned through a doorway that opened to distant murmurs and laughter,
Capturing the eye like a smile or a sunbeam, Penthesilea.
She from the threshold cried to the herald, crossing the marble,
Regal and fleet, with her voice that was mighty and dire in its sweetness.
What with such speed has impelled from the wind-haunted beaches of Troas,
Herald, thy car though the sun yet hesitates under the mountains?
Comest thou humbler to Troy, Talthybius, now than thou camest
Once when the streams of my East sang low to my ear, not this Ocean
Loud, and I roamed in my mountains uncalled by the voice of Apollo?
Bringest thou dulcet-eyed peace or, sweeter to Penthesilea,
Challenge of war when the spears fall thick on the shields of the fighters,
Lightly the wheels leap onward chanting the anthem of Ares,
Death is at work in his fields and the heart is enamoured of danger?
What says Odysseus, the baffled Ithacan? what Agamemnon?
Are they then weary of war who were rapid and bold and triumphant,
Now that their gods are reluctant, now victory darts not from heaven
Down from the clouds above Ida directing the luminous legions
Armed by Fate, now Pallas forgets, now Poseidon slumbers?
Bronze were their throats to the battle like bugles blaring in chorus;
Mercy they knew not, but shouted and ravened and ran to the slaughter
Eager as hounds when they chase, till a woman met them and stayed them,
Loud my war-shout rang by Scamander. Herald of Argos,
What say the vaunters of Greece to the virgin Penthesilea?
High was the Argives answer confronting the mighty in Troya.
Princes of Pergama, whelps of the lion who roar for the mellay,
Suffer my speech! It shall ring like a spear on the hearts of the mighty.
Blame not the herald; his voice is an impulse, an echo, a channel
Now for the timbrels of peace and now for the drums of the battle.
And I have come from no cautious strength, from no half-hearted speaker,
But from the Phthian. All know him! Proud is his soul as his fortunes,
Swift as his sword and his spear are the speech and the wrath from his bosom.
I am his envoy, herald am I of the conquering Argives.
Has not one heard in the night when the breezes whisper and shudder,
Dire, the voice of a lion unsatisfied, gnawed by his hunger,
Seeking his prey from the gods? For he prowls through the glens of the mountains,
Errs a dangerous gleam in the woodlands, fatal and silent.
So for a while he endures, for a while he seeks and he suffers
Patient yet in his terrible grace as assured of his banquet;
But he has lacked too long and he lifts his head and to heaven
Roars in his wonder, incensed, impatiently. Startled the valleys
Shrink from the dreadful alarum, the cattle gallop to shelter.
Arming the herdsmen cry to each other for comfort and courage.
So Talthybius spoke, as a harper voicing his prelude
Touches his strings to a varied music, seeks for a concord;
Long his strain he prepares. But one broke in on the speaker,
Sweet was his voice like a harps though heard in the front of the onset,
One of the sons of Fate by the people loved whom he ruined,
Leader in counsel and battle, the Priamid, he in his beauty
Carelessly walking who scattered the seeds of Titanic disaster.
Surely thou dreamedst at night and awaking thy dreams have not left thee!
Hast thou not woven thy words to intimidate children in Argos
Sitting alarmed in the shadows who listen pale to their nurses?
Greek, thou art standing in Ilion now and thou facest her princes.
Use not thy words but thy kings. If friendship their honey-breathed burden,
Friendship we clasp from Achilles, but challenge outpace with our challenge
Meeting the foe ere he moves in his will to the clash of encounter.
Such is the way of the Trojans since Phryx by the Hellespont halting
Seated Troy on her hill with the Ocean for comrade and sister.
Shaking in wrath his filleted head Talthybius answered:
Princes, ye speak their words who drive you! Thus said Achilles:
Rise, Talthybius, meet in her spaces the car of the morning;
Challenge her coursers divine as they bound through the plains of the Troad.
Hasten, let not the day wear gold ere thou stand in her ramparts.
Herald charged with my will to a haughty and obstinate nation,
Speak in the palace of Priam the word of the Phthian Achilles.
Freely and not as his vassal who leads, Agamemnon, the Argive,
But as a ruler in Hellas I send thee, king of my nations.
Long I have walked apart from the mellay of gods in the Troad,
Long has my listless spear leaned back on the peace of my tent-side,
Deaf to the talk of the trumpets, the whine of the chariots speeding;
Sole with my heart I have lived, unheeding the Hellene murmur,
Chid when it roared for the hunt the lion pack of the war-god,
Day after day I walked at dawn and in blush of the sunset,
Far by the call of the seas and alone with the gods and my dreaming,
Leaned to the unsatisfied chant of my heart and the rhythms of ocean,
Sung to by hopes that were sweet-lipped and vain. For Polyxenas brothers
Still are the brood of the Titan Laomedon slain in his greatness,
Engines of God unable to bear all the might that they harbour.
Awe they have chid from their hearts, nor our common humanity binds them,
Stay have they none in the gods who approve, giving calmness to mortals:
But like the Titans of old they have hugged to them grandeur and ruin.
Seek then the race self-doomed, the leaders blinded by heaven
Not in the agora swept by the winds of debate and the shoutings
Lion-voiced, huge of the people! In Troyas high-crested mansion
Speak out my word to the hero Deiphobus, head of the mellay,
Paris the racer of doom and the stubborn strength of Aeneas.
Herald of Greece, when thy feet shall be pressed on the gold and the marble,
Rise in the Ilian megaron, curb not the cry of the challenge.
Thus shalt thou say to them striking the ground with the staff of defiance,
Fronting the tempests of war, the insensate, the gamblers with downfall.
Princes of Troy, I have sat in your halls, I have slept in your chambers;
Not in the battle alone as a warrior glad of his foemen,
Glad of the strength that mates with his own, in peace we encountered.
Marvelling I sat in the halls of my enemies, close to the bosoms
Scarred by the dints of my sword and the eyes I had seen through the battle,
Ate rejoicing the food of the East at the tables of Priam
Served by the delicatest hands in the world, by Hecubas daughter,
Or with our souls reconciled in some careless and rapturous midnight
Drank of the sweetness of Phrygian wine, admiring your bodies
Shaped by the gods indeed, and my spirit revolted from hatred,
Softening it yearned in its strings to the beauty and joy of its foemen,
Yearned from the death that oertakes and the flame that cries and desires
Even at the end to save and even on the verge to deliver
Troy and her wonderful works and her sons and her deep-bosomed daughters.
Warned by the gods who reveal to the heart what the mind cannot hearken
Deaf with its thoughts, I offered you friendship, I offered you bridal,
Hellas for comrade, Achilles for brother, the world for enjoyment
Won by my spear. And one heard my call and one turned to my seeking.
Why is it then that the war-cry sinks not to rest by the Xanthus?
We are not voices from Argolis, Lacedaemonian tricksters,
Splendid and subtle and false; we are speakers of truth, we are Hellenes,
Men of the northl and faithful in friendship and noble in anger,
Strong like our fathers of old. But you answered my truth with evasion
Hoping to seize what I will not yield and you flattered your people.
Long have I waited for wisdom to dawn on your violent natures.
Lonely I paced oer the sands by the thousand-throated waters
Praying to Pallas the wise that the doom might turn from your mansions,
Buildings delightful, gracious as rhythms, lyrics in marble,
Works of the transient gods, and I yearned for the end of the war-din
Hoping that Death might relent to the beautiful sons of the Trojans.
Far from the cry of the spears, from the speed and the laughter of axles,
Heavy upon me like iron the intolerable yoke of inaction
Weighed like a load on a runner. The war-cry rose by Scamander;
Xanthus was crossed on a bridge of the fallen, not by Achilles.
Often I stretched out my hand to the spear, for the Trojan beaches
Rang with the voice of Deiphobus shouting and slaying the Argives;
Often my heart like an anxious mother for Greece and her children
Leaped, for the air was full of the leonine roar of Aeneas.
Always the evening fell or the gods protected the Argives.
Then by the moat of the ships, on the hither plain of the Xanthus
New was the voice that climbed through the din and sailed on the breezes,
High, insistent, clear, and it shouted an unknown war-cry
Threatening doom to the peoples. A woman had come in to aid you,
Regal and insolent, fair as the morning and fell as the northwind,
Freed from the distaff who grasps at the sword and she spurns at subjection
Breaking the rule of the gods. She is turbulent, swift in the battle.
Clanging her voice of the swan as a summons to death and disaster,
Fleet-footed, happy and pitiless, laughing she runs to the slaughter;
Strong with the gait that allures she leaps from her car to the slaying,
Dabbles in blood smooth hands like lilies. Europe astonished
Reels from her shock to the Ocean. She is the panic and mellay,
War is her paean, the chariots thunder of Penthesilea.
Doom was her coming, it seems, to the men of the West and their legions;
Ajax sleeps for ever, Meriones lies on the beaches.
One by one they are falling before you, the great in Achaia.
Ever the wounded are borne like the stream of the ants when they forage
Past my ships, and they hush their moans as they near and in silence
Gaze at the legions inactive accusing the fame of Achilles.
Still have I borne with you, waited a little, looked for a summons,
Longing for bridal torches, not flame on the Ilian housetops,
Blood in the chambers of sweetness, the golden amorous city
Swallowed by doom. Not broken I turned from the wrestle Titanic,
Hopeless, weary of toil in the ebb of my glorious spirit,
But from my stress of compassion for doom of the kindred nations,
But for her sake whom my soul desires, for the daughter of Priam.
And for Polyxenas sake I will speak to you yet as your lover
Once ere the Fury, abrupt from Erebus, deaf to your crying,
Mad with the joy of the massacre, seizes on wealth and on women
Calling to Fire as it strides and Ilion sinks into ashes.
Yield; for your doom is impatient. No longer your helpers hasten,
Legions swift to your call; the yoke of your pride and your splendour
Lies not now on the nations of earth as when Fortune desired you,
Strength was your slave and Troya the lioness hungrily roaring
Threatened the western world from her ramparts built by Apollo.
Gladly released from the thraldom they hated, the insolent shackles
Curbing their manhood the peoples arise and they pray for your ruin;
Piled are their altars with gifts; their blessings help the Achaians.
Memnon came, but he sleeps, and the faces swart of his nation
Darken no more like a cloud over thunder and surge of the onset.
Wearily Lycia fights; far fled are the Carian levies.
Thrace retreats to her plains preferring the whistle of stormwinds
Or on the banks of the Strymon to wheel in her Orphean measure,
Not in the revel of swords and fronting the spears of the Hellenes.
Princes of Pergama, open your gates to our Peace who would enter,
Life in her gracious clasp and forgetfulness, grave of earths passions,
Healer of wounds and the past. In a comity equal, Hellenic,
Asia join with Greece, one world from the frozen rivers
Trod by the hooves of the Scythian to farthest undulant Ganges.
Tyndarid Helen resign, the desirable cause of your danger,
Back to Greece that is empty long of her smile and her movements.
Broider with riches her coming, pomp of her slaves and the waggons
Endlessly groaning with gold that arrive with the ransom of nations.
So shall the Fury be pacified, she who exultant from Sparta
Breathed in the sails of the Trojan ravisher helping his oarsmen.
So shall the gods be appeased and the thoughts of their wrath shall be cancelled,
Justice contented trace back her steps and for brands of the burning
Torches delightful shall break into Troy with the swords of the bridal.
I like a bridegroom will seize on your city and clasp and defend her
Safe from the envy of Argos, from Lacedaemonian hatred,
Safe from the hunger of Crete and the Locrians violent rapine.
But if you turn from my voice and you hearken only to Ares
Crying for battle within you deluded by Hera and Pallas,
Swiftly the fierce deaths surges shall close over Troy and her ramparts
Built by the gods shall be stubble and earth to the tread of the Hellene.
For to my tents I return not, I swear it by Zeus and Apollo,
Master of Truth who sits within Delphi fathomless brooding
Sole in the caverns of Nature and hearkens her underground murmur,
Giving my oath to his keeping mute and stern who forgets not,
Not from the panting of Ares toil to repose, from the wrestle
Locked of hope and death in the ruthless clasp of the mellay
Leaving again the Trojan ramparts unmounted, leaving
Greece unavenged, the Aegean a lake and Europe a province.
Choosing from Hellas exile, from Peleus and Deidamia,
Choosing the field for my chamber of sleep and the battle for hearthside
I shall go warring on till Asia enslaved to my footsteps
Feels the tread of the God in my sandal pressed on her bosom.
Rest shall I then when the borders of Greece are fringed with the Ganges;
Thus shall the past pay its Titan ransom and, Fate her balance
Changing, a continent ravished suffer the fortune of Helen.
This I have sworn allying my will to Zeus and Ananke.
So was it spoken, the Phthian challenge. Silent the heroes
Looked back amazed on their past and into the night of their future.
Silent their hearts felt a grasp from gods and had hints of the heavens.
Hush was awhile in the room, as if Fate were trying her balance
Poised on the thoughts of her mortals. At length with a musical laughter
Sweet as the jangling of bells upon anklets leaping in measure
Answered aloud to the gods the virgin Penthesilea.
Long I had heard in my distant realms of the fame of Achilles,
Ignorant still while I played with the ball and ran in the dances
Thinking not ever to war; but I dreamed of the shock of the hero.
So might a poet inland who imagines the rumour of Ocean,
Yearn with his lust for the giant upheaval, the dance as of hill-tops,
Toss of the yellow mane and the tawny march and the voices
Lionlike claiming earth as a prey for the clamorous waters.
So have I longed as I came for the cry and the speed of Achilles.
But he has lurked in his ships, he has sulked like a boy that is angry.
Glad am I now of his soul that arises hungry for battle,
Glad, whether victor I live or defeated travel the shadows.
Once shall my spear have rung on the shield of the Phthian Achilles.
Peace I desire not. I came to a haughty and resolute nation,
Honour and fame they cherish, not life by the gift of a foeman.
Sons of the ancient house on whom Ilion looks as on Titans,
Chiefs whom the world admires, do you fear then the shock of the Phthian?
Gods, it is said, have decided your doom. Are you less in your greatness?
Are you not gods to reverse their decrees or unshaken to suffer?
Memnon is dead and the Carians leave you? Lycia lingers?
But from the streams of my East I have come to you, Penthesilea.
Virgin of Asia, answered Talthybius, doom of a nation
Brought thee to Troy and her haters Olympian shielded thy coming,
Vainly who feedest mens hearts with a hope that the gods have rejected.
Doom in thy sweet voice utters her counsels robed like a woman.
Answered the virgin disdainfully, wroth at the words of the Argive:
Hast thou not ended the errand they gave thee, envoy of Hellas?
Not, do I think, as our counsellor camst thou elected from Argos,
Nor as a lover to Troy hast thou hastened with amorous footing
Hurting thy heart with her frowardness. Hatred and rapine sent thee,
Greed of the Ilian gold and lust of the Phrygian women,
Voice of Achaian aggression! Doom am I truly; let Gnossus
Witness it, Salamis speak of my fatal arrival and Argos
Silent remember her wounds. But the Argive answered the virgin:
Hearken then to the words of the Hellene, Penthesilea.
Virgin to whom earths strongest are corn in the sweep of thy sickle,
Lioness vain of thy bruit who besiegest the paths of the battle!
Art thou not satiate yet? hast thou drunk then so little of slaughter?
Death has ascended thy car; he has chosen thy hand for his harvest.
But I have heard of thy pride and disdain, how thou scornest the Argives
And of thy fate thou complainest that ever averse to thy wishes
Cloisters the Phthian and matches with weaklings Penthesilea.
Not of the Ithacan boar nor the wild-cat littered in Locris
Nor of the sleek-coat Argive wild-bulls sates me the hunting;
So hast thou said, I would bury my spear in the lion of Hellas.
Blind and infatuate, art thou not beautiful, bright as the lightning?
Were not thy limbs made cunningly linking sweetness to sweetness?
Is not thy laughter an arrow surprising hearts imprudent?
Charm is the seal of the gods upon woman. Distaff and girdle,
Work of the jar at the well and the hush of our innermost chambers,
These were appointed thee, but thou hast scorned them, O Titaness, grasping
Rather the shield and the spear. Thou, obeying thy turbulent nature,
Tramplest oer laws that are old to the pleasure thy heart has demanded.
Rather bow to the ancient Gods who are seated and constant.
But for thyself thou passest and what hast thou gained for the aeons
Mingled with men in their works and depriving the age of thy beauty?
Fair art thou, woman, but fair with a bitter and opposite sweetness
Clanging in war when thou matchest thy voice with the shout of assemblies.
Not to this end was thy sweetness made and the joy of thy members,
Not to this rhythm Heaven tuned its pipe in thy throat of enchantment,
Armoured like men to go warring forth and with hardness and fierceness
Mix in the strife and the hate while the varied meaning of Nature
Perishes hurt in its heart and life is emptied of music.
Long have I marked in your world a madness. Monarchs descending
Court the imperious mob of their slaves and their suppliant gesture
Shameless and venal offends the majestic tradition of ages:
Princes plead in the agora; spurred by the tongue of a coward,
Heroes march to an impious war at a priestly bidding.
Gold is sought by the great with the chaffering heart of the trader.
Asia fails and the Gods are abandoning Ida for Hellas.
Why must thou come here to perish, O noble and exquisite virgin,
Here in a cause not thine, in a quarrel remote from thy beauty,
Leaving a land that is lovely and far to be slain among strangers?
Girl, to thy rivers go back and thy hills where the grapes are aspirant.
Trust not a fate that indulges; for all things, Penthesilea,
Break with excess and he is the wisest who walks by a measure.
Yet, if thou wilt, thou shalt meet me today in the shock of the battle:
There will I give thee the fame thou desirest; captive in Hellas,
Men shall point to thee always, smiling and whispering, saying,
This is the woman who fought with the Greeks, overthrowing their heroes;
This is the slayer of Ajax, this is the slave of Achilles.
Then with her musical laughter the fearless Penthesilea:
Well do I hope that Achilles enslaved shall taste of that glory
Or on the Phrygian fields lie slain by the spear of a woman.
But to the herald Achaian the Priamid, leader of Troya:
Rest in the halls of thy foes and ease thy fatigue and thy winters.
Herald, abide till the people have heard and reply to Achilles.
Not as the kings of the West are Ilions princes and archons,
Monarchs of men who drive their nations dumb to the battle.
Not in the palace of Priam and not in the halls of the mighty
Whispered councils prevail and the few dispose of the millions;
But with their nation consulting, feeling the hearts of the commons
Ilions princes march to the war or give peace to their foemen.
Lightning departs from her kings and the thunder returns from her people
Met in the ancient assembly where Ilus founded his columns
And since her famous centuries, names that the ages remember
Leading her, Troya proclaims her decrees to obedient nations.
Ceasing he cried to the thralls of his house and they tended the Argive.
Brought to a chamber of rest in the luminous peace of the mansion,
Grey he sat and endured the food and the wine of his foemen,
Chiding his spirit that murmured within him and gazed undelighted,
Vexed with the endless pomps of Laomedon. Far from those glories
Memory winged it back to a sward half-forgotten, a village
Nestling in leaves and low hills watching it crowned with the sunset.
So for his hour he abode in earths palace of lordliest beauty,
But in its caverns his heart was weary and, hurt by the splendours,
Longed for Greece and the smoke-darkened roof of a cottage in Argos,
Eyes of a woman faded and children crowding the hearthside.
Joyless he rose and eastward expected the sunrise on Ida.
***
~ Sri Aurobindo, 1 - The Book of the Herald


--- IN CHAPTERS (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



0

   28 Integral Yoga
   7 Philosophy
   7 Fiction
   6 Poetry
   5 Christianity
   4 Occultism
   3 Science
   3 Psychology
   2 Integral Theory
   1 Yoga
   1 Hinduism


   18 Sri Aurobindo
   17 The Mother
   6 Plato
   6 H P Lovecraft
   5 Satprem
   5 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
   5 Nolini Kanta Gupta
   2 William Wordsworth
   2 Carl Jung
   2 Aleister Crowley
   2 A B Purani


   10 The Life Divine
   4 On Thoughts And Aphorisms
   3 Questions And Answers 1953
   2 Wordsworth - Poems
   2 Words Of Long Ago
   2 The Synthesis Of Yoga
   2 The Problems of Philosophy
   2 The Phenomenon of Man
   2 The Future of Man
   2 Questions And Answers 1957-1958
   2 Mysterium Coniunctionis
   2 Liber ABA
   2 Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo
   2 Essays On The Gita
   2 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07
   2 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04


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