Friday, August 30, 2013

Weekly Quotes

God Revised

The question is why:  what’s the problem that belief in God and the practice of religion will solve that cannot be solved any other way?  Do we as human beings have a problem?  Do we need saving?  If so, from what?  What is the problem to which a political, or social, or psychological solution is insufficient, one that only belief in God and the practice of religion can resolve?  (92)

[T]he desire to know the difference between good and evil is a sin more people should have committed ever since. (94)

On empirical terms, a diagnosis of original sin doesn’t fit the evidence.  (96)

Skepticism has replaced boredom, and cynicism has replaced apathy as the dominant spiritual traits of our time.  (106)

My identity is principally defined not by freedom but by relationships.  (107)

The War of Art 

[The professional] masters how, and leaves what and why to the gods.  (78)

The professional understands that Resistance is fertile and ingenious.  It will throw stuff at him that he’s never seen before.  (82)

The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique not because he believes technique is a substitute for inspiration but because he wants to be in possessions of the full arsenal of skills when inspiration does come.  The professional is sly.  He knows that by toiling beside the front door of technique, he leaves room for genius to enter by the back.  (84)

Fear of rejection isn’t just psychological; it’s biological.  It’s in our cells.  (87)

The professional loves her work.  She is invested in it wholeheartedly.  But she does not forget that the work is not her.  Her artistic self contains many works and many performances.  Already the next is percolating inside her.  The next will be better, and the one after that better still.  (88)

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls 

. . . I’ve always found guilt to be exhausting. . . . (150)

I’m a lonely person.  That’s why I read books.  (189)

The ending of a good book, I had always thought . . . should be satisfying. . . .  A character . . . should see things differently.  They should change.  (218)

Gone Girl

But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.  (150)

There is an unfair responsibility that comes with being an only child—you grow up knowing you aren’t allowed to disappoint, you’re not even allowed to die.  There isn’t a replacement toddling around; you’re it.  It makes you desperate to be flawless, and it also makes you drunk with the power.  In such ways are despots made.  (259)

Ironic people always dissolve when confronted with earnestness, it’s their kryptonite.  (260)

Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents

Persistence and high standards lead to success, but an anxious child often does not know when enough is enough. Their drive to be perfect, fueled by a fear of failure, becomes an all-or-nothing strategy that dictates limited outcomes.  (kindle)

Why can’t you eradicate worry? Because everybody worries and everybody is supposed to worry. It’s an early-warning signal that we may be moving too quickly without thinking things through, or that we haven’t yet completed an important task, or that we are impulsively stepping into a situation for which we are not yet prepared. And, although we hope that it will never happen, worry helps us get ready to escape or fight when facing a true danger.  (kindle)

The truth is that even those who are highly skilled and successful at what they do feel worry and doubt along the way.  (kindle)

How to Make Worry Bigger
We tend to worry when . . . But we really worry when . . . We’re trying something new or different We’re unsure about our plans We have a lot of “what if ” questions We have to perform We need it to go exactly right We need to be sure We need to answer all of them We don’t feel prepared, or we are afraid we’ll be criticized or fail When we understand that such thoughts and feelings are a normal part of the process, we can give ourselves permission to move forward. We don’t have to interpret such feelings as a signal to stop.  (kindle)

Anxiety is not that creative once you step back and see how it operates.  (kindle)

Cloud Atlas: A Novel

“We—by whom I mean anyone over sixty—commit two offenses just by existing. One is Lack of Velocity. We drive too slowly, walk too slowly, talk too slowly. The world will do business with dictators, perverts, and drug barons of all stripes, but being slowed down it cannot abide. Our second offence is being Everyman’s memento mori. The world can only get comfy in shiny-eyed denial if we are out of sight.”  (kindle)

Once any tyranny becomes accepted as ordinary . . its victory is assured. (kindle)

[R]eading too many novels makes you go blind.  (kindle)

“Know thine Enemy” trumps “Know thyself.”  (kindle)

Christmas is a wonderful time for bridging the spaces between us.  (kindle)


  1. I LOVED Cloud Atlas the movie. I must read the book.

    1. I haven't seen the movie but I definitely enjoyed the book so much that if you LOVED the movie then you truly must read the book.