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Olaf Stapledon

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He knew that this creature, though imperfect, though... a mere figment of his own creative power, was yet in a manner more real than himself. For beside this concrete splendor what was he but a mere abstract potency of creation? Moreover in another respect the thing that he had made was... his teacher. ...As he discriminated its virtue and its weakness, his own perception and his own skill matured. So at least it seemed to my bewildered, awe-struck mind.
Ch. XV The Maker and His Works, 3. Mature Creating

Olaf Stapledon

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Of the three Universes of Experience familiar to us all, the first comprises all mere Ideas, those airy nothings to which the mind of poet, pure mathematician, or another might give local habitation and a name within that mind. Their very airy-nothingness, the fact that their Being consists in mere capability of getting thought, not in anybody's Actually thinking them, saves their Reality. The second Universe is that of the Brute Actuality of things and facts. I am confident that their Being consists in reactions against Brute forces, notwithstanding objections redoubtable until they are closely and fairly examined. The third Universe comprises everything whose being consists in active power to establish connections between different objects, especially between objects in different Universes. Such is everything which is essentially a Sign — not the mere body of the Sign, which is not essentially such, but, so to speak, the Sign's Soul, which has its Being in its power of serving as intermediary between its Object and a Mind.

Charles Sanders Peirce

We speak of concrete and not abstract painting because nothing is more concrete, more real then a line, a colour, a surface. A woman, a tree, a cow; are these concrete elements in a painting? No. A woman, a tree and a cow are concrete only in nature; in painting they are abstract, illusionistic, vague and speculative. However, a plane is a plane, a line is a line and no more or no less than that. "Concrete painting". Spirit has arrived at the age of maturity…

Theo van Doesburg

Real success in business is to be found in achievements comparable rather with those of the artist or the scientist, of the inventor or statesman. And the joys sought in the profession of business must be like their joys and not the mere vulgar satisfaction which is experienced in the acquisition of money, in the exercise of power or in the frivolous pleasure of mere winning.

Louis Brandeis

To the fanatical believer physical and spiritual suffering is beside the point, compared with salvation. That is why, to him, everything happening around him is irrelevant, a mirror-image, a mere will-o'-the-wisp. ... I can really never get shot of them, the fanatics. Whether they appear as religious fanatics or vegetarian fanatics makes no odds. They're catastrophic people. These types whose whole cast of mind as it were looks beyond mere human beings toward some unknown goal. The terrible thing is the great power they often wield over their fellow human beings. Apart from the fact that I believe they suffer like the very devil, I've no sympathy for them.

Ingmar Bergman

We speak of concrete and not abstract painting because nothing is more concrete, more real than a line, a colour, a surface. (1925)

Theo van Doesburg
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