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Nadine Gordimer

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Like the prisoners incarcerated with the jaguar in Borges' story, 'The God's Script', who was trying to read, in a ray of light which fell only once a day, the meaning of being from the marking on the creature's pelt, we spend our lives attempting to interpret through the word the readings we take in the societies, the world of which we are part. It is in this sense, this inextricable, ineffable participation, that writing is always and at once an exploration of self and of the world; of individual and collective being.

 
Nadine Gordimer

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[L]ife, individual or collective, personal or historic, is the one entity in the universe whose substance is compact of danger, of adventure. It is, in the strict sense of the word, drama. … [T]he primary, radical meaning of life appears when it is employed in the sense not of biology, but of biography. For the very strong reason that the whole of biology is quite definitely only a chapter in certain biographies, it is what biologists do in the portion of their lives open to biography.

 
Jose Ortega y Gasset
 

For when God said, “Let there be light, and there was light,” if we are justified in understanding in this light the creation of the angels, then certainly they were created partakers of the eternal light which is the unchangeable Wisdom of God, by which all things were made, and whom we call the only-begotten Son of God; so that they, being illumined by the Light that created them, might themselves become light and be called “Day,” in participation of that unchangeable Light and Day which is the Word of God, by whom both themselves and all else were made. “The true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” — this Light lighteth also every pure angel, that he may be light not in himself, but in God; from whom if an angel turn away, he becomes impure, as are all those who are called unclean spirits, and are no longer light in the Lord, but darkness in themselves, being deprived of the participation of Light eternal. For evil has no positive nature; but the loss of good has received the name “evil.”

 
Augustine of Hippo
 

The whole world yearns after freedom, yet each creature is in love with his chains; this is the first paradox and inextricable knot of our nature.

 
Sri Aurobindo
 

In our reflection we must go back to where we stand in awe before sheer being, faced with the marvel of the moment. The world is not just here. It shocks us into amazement.
Of being itself all we can positively say is: being is ineffable. The heart of being confronts me as enigmatic, incompatible with my categories, sheer mystery. My power of probing is easily exhausted, my words fade, but what I sense is not emptiness but inexhaustible abundance, ineffable abundance. What I face I cannot utter or phrase in language. But the richness of my facing the abundance of being endows me with marvelous reward: a sense of the ineffable.

 
Abraham Joshua Heschel
 

If a man possessed a letter which he knew, or believed, contained information bearing upon what he must regard as his life’s happiness, but the writing was pale and fine, almost illegible-then would he read it with restless anxiety and with all possible passion, in one moment getting one meaning, in the next another, depending on his belief that, having made out one word with certainty, he could interpret the rest thereby; but he would never arrive at anything except the same uncertainty with which he began. He would stare more and more anxiously, but the more he stared the less he would see. His eyes would sometimes fill with tears; but the oftener this happened the less he would see. In the course of time, the writing would become fainter and more illegible, until at last the paper itself would crumble away, and nothing would be left to him except the tears in his eyes.

 
Soren Aabye Kierkegaard
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