Sunday, September 15, 2019 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

James Jones

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Somewhere along the line, he thought, these things have become your heritage. You are multiplied by each sound that you hear. And you cannot deny them, without denying with them the purpose of your own existence. Yet now, he told himself, you are denying them, by renouncing the place that they have given you.

 
James Jones

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My best friend was at the grocery store standing behind these two guys in line, and one of the guys told the other that I was a man. He said, 'If you look closely, you can tell that she is,' and the other guy was like, 'Oh, my God! Now that you mention it, she is a man!'. So I'm denying that I'm a man.

 
Megan Mullally
 

Fischer has become more virulently anti-Jewish since ceasing to play competitive chess. In denying himself chess, therefore, is he, in fact, denying his own Jewishness? As Cockburn writes: 'No player has ever been such a walking advertisement for the Freudian interpretation of chess.'

 
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Attention involves seeing and hearing. We hear not only with our ears but also we are sensitive to the tones, the voice, to the implication of words, to hear without interference, to capture instantly the depth of a sound. Sound plays an extraordinary part in our lives: the sound of thunder, a flute playing in the distance, the unheard sound of the universe; the sound of silence, the sound of one’s own heart beating; the sound of a bird and the noise of a man walking on the pavement; the waterfall. The universe is filled with sound. This sound has its own silence; all living things are involved in this sound of silence. To be attentive is to hear this silence and move with it.

 
Jiddu Krishnamurti
 

This is the last programme in this natural history, and it's very different from all the others because it's been devoted to just one animal: ourselves. And that may have been a very misleading thing to have done. It may have given the impression that somehow man was the ultimate triumph of evolution, that all those thousands of millions of years of development had no purpose other than to put man on Earth. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever for such a belief. No reason to suppose that man's stay on Earth should be any longer than that of the dinosaurs. He may have learned how to control his environment, how to pass on information from one generation to another, but the very forces of evolution that brought him into existence here on these African plains are still at work elsewhere in the world, and if man were to disappear, for whatever reason, there is doubtless somewhere some small, unobtrusive creature that would seize the opportunity and, with a spurt of evolution, take man's place. But although denying a special place in the world may be becomingly modest, the fact remains that man has an unprecedented control over the world and everything in it. And so, whether he likes it or not, what happens next is very largely up to him.

 
David Attenborough
 

I know what they think they seek. But I know it to be a lie. Listen to me, Arren. You will die. You will not live forever. Nor will any man nor any thing. Nothing is immortal. But only to us is it given to know that we must die. And that is a great gift: the gift of selfhood. For we have only what we know we must lose, what we are willing to lose....That selfhood which is our torment, and our treasure, and our humanity, does not endure. It changes; it is gone, a wave on the sea. Would you have the sea grow still and the tides cease, to save one wave, to save yourself? Would you give up the craft of your hands, and the passion of your heart, and the light of sunrise and sunset, to buy safety for yourself—safety forever? That is what they seek to do on Wathort and Lorbanery and elsewhere. That is the message that those who know how to hear have heard: By denying life you may deny death and live forever!—And this message I do not hear, Arren, for I will not hear it. I will not take the counsel of despair.

 
Ursula K. Le Guin
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