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Antoni Tapies

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For instance, the symbolism of matter, with its controversies, that is to say, the inner similarity of the deepest being of human and nature. The symbolism of ashes, earth, of mud and clay from which the human being originates and to which he eventually will return; the grains of sand which so obviously indicate the fragility and insignificance of our life and the solidarity emanating from it when one realises that the differences between us (people, fh) are the same as those between one grain of sand and the other; fact is: there is no difference.(1977)
Antoni T?pies, Wikiquote Dutch, (translation C. Whorall)

Antoni Tapies

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I have a horror of tags and labels. I don't understand, for instance, how people can talk about Bergman's 'symbolism'. Far from being symbolic, be seems to me, through and almost biological naturalism, to arrive at the spiritual truth about human life that is important to him.

Ingmar Bergman

We call it a grain of sand
but it calls itself neither grain nor sand.
It does just fine without a name,
whether general, particular,
permanent, passing,
incorrect or apt.

Wislawa Szymborska

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?

Richard Dawkins

How good is it to remember one's insignificance: that of a man among billions of men, of an animal amid billions of animals; and one's abode, the earth, a little grain of sand in comparison with Sirius and others, and one's life span in comparison with billions on billions of ages. There is only one significance, you are a worker. The assignment is inscribed in your reason and heart and expressed clearly and comprehensibly by the best among the beings similar to you. The reward for doing the assignment is immediately within you. But what the significance of the assignment is or of its completion, that you are not given to know, nor do you need to know it. It is good enough as it is. What else could you desire?

Leo Tolstoy

Philosophy is in history, and is never independent of historical discourse. But for the tacit symbolism of life it substitutes, in principle, a conscious symbolism; for a latent meaning, one that is manifest. It is never content to accept its historical situation. It changes this situation by revealing it to itself.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty
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