“Education doesn’t make you happy. Nor does freedom. We don’t become happy just because we’re free – if we are. Or because we’ve been educated – if we have. But because education may be the means by which we realize we are happy. It opens our eyes, our ears, tells us where delights are lurking, convinces us that there is only one freedom of any importance whatsoever, that of the mind, and gives us the assurance – the confidence – to walk the path our mind, our educated mind, offers.”
― Iris Murdoch
I recently saw the film ‘Iris’, a film about Iris Murdoch’s tragic spiral into the unforgiving disease of the mind, alzheimer disease. It is very painful to watch the life of someone who loved language so much only to lose the capability to use it in the end. Powerfully played by Judi Dench and Kate Winslet. Had me in tears when the credits rolled.
I’ll be searching for her books and I hope I will be able to read as much as I can since she had written a lot!
These young people amaze me; drinking their coffee, they tell clear, plausible stories. If you ask them what they did yesterday, they don’t get flustered; they tell you all about it in a few words. If I were in their place, I’d start stammering. It’s true that for a long time now nobody has bothered how I spend my time. When you live alone, you even forget what it is to tell a story: plausibility disappears at the same time as friends. You let events flow by too: you suddenly see people appear who speak and then go away; you plunge into stories of which you can’t make head or tail: you’d make a terrible witness.
-Jean Paul Sartre, Nausea
I think life will continue to beat us down until we acquire a little bit of humility.
Words shimmer, a darting cloud of tiny minnows ripples beneath the surface of the water.
Ungraspable. We sleeptogether in onelargeroom laid outin rowslike smallfishhungtodry . . .
But something’s gone wrong with the words in time—syllables linger, refusing to dissipate or fall into
silence—so that now there’s a pileup of sounds, like cars colliding on a highway, turning meaning
into cacophony, and before she knows it, she is adding to the din, wordlessly, soundlessly, with a
cry that rises from her throat and goes on and on forever. Time swells, overwhelming her. She tries
not to panic. Tries to relax and hold herself loosely, resisting the instinct to tense and flee. But
where would she go?
-Tale For The Time Being, Ruth Ozeki
“Tomorrow I will die in battle,” said Captain Crow.
Montaigne wrote that death itself is nothing. It is only the fear of death that makes death seem
important. Am I afraid? Certainly, and yet . . .
“Que sais-je?” Montaigne asked. The answer is nothing. In reality, I know nothing.
And yet, at night I lie on my bed, counting my beads, one for every thing on earth I love, on and on,
in a circle without end.
– Tale For The Time Being, Ruth Ozeki
Do not think that time simply flies away. Do not understand “flying” as the only function of time. If time simply flew away, a separation would exist between you and time. So if you understand time as only passing, then you do not understand the time being.
To grasp this truly, every being that exists in the entire world is linked together as moments in time, and at the same time they exist as individual moments of time. Because all moments are the time being, they are your time being.
—Dōgen Zenji, Uji
The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument, which he offers to the reader to permit him to discern what, without the book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself. The reader’s recognition in his own self of what the book says is the proof of its truth.
—Marcel Proust, Le temps retrouvé
to confine yourself to a single thought that one day stands still like a star in the world’s sky.”
― Martin Heidegger, Basic Writings