Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Quotes: Talking oneself into fear

"Anxiety is continual death."
Nicolas Berdyaev. The Divine and the Human. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1949. p 61.

"In the actual victim, according to various Gothic Tales, this glorying in impenetrability takes the form of admiration, even love of the cruel one while he is coiled to strike. And in the spectator there is a sense of identify [sic] or empathy with both the sufferer and the agent of that suffering. This double identity is the ‘terrible and indefinite curiosity of despair’ we call ‘horror.’"
Philip P. Hallie. The Paradox of Cruelty. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1969. p. 73.

"[The wise do] not put a wrong construction upon everything."
Seneca, quoted by Alain de Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy, New York: Vintage Press, 2000. p 103.

"Then I realized that we [Jews] have something better [than Christmas traditions]. We have fire. Think about it. The whole shpiel of Hanukkah is lighting the menorah to commemorate the miracle of the lamp oil that lasted for eight days (whatever.) Little kids like myself were handed matches and told to light the candles. I remember standing mesmerized in front of the flames as my mother and father gave us our nightly presents. It felt so dangerous. And in my book, just like rock beats scissors, danger beats tinsel."
"In Defense of Hanukkah," Barbara Rushkoff. Fresh Yarn. December 2004. Accessed December 25, 2004.

“...reason is often a casualty of fear...
* * *
Both religious faith and uncomplicated explanations of the world are even more highly valued at a time of great fear." [Al] Gore isn't slamming religion but is instead criticizing an interpretation of faith that contradicts reason. Faith is not the enemy of reason; fear is, something we seem to forget when we're afraid and searching for answers."
Nikki Stern. Because I Say So: The Dangerous Appeal of Moral Authority. Bascom Hill Books, 2010. p. 48, 121. Quoting Al Gore, The Assault on Reason (New York: Penguin Books, 2007) p. 55.

"To be afraid is to behave as if the truth were not true."
Civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, quoted in, quoted in The Week, May 18, 2012, p. 19.

Western psychologists call this biological response to experience an ‘affect.’ * * * Only in mammals do cognition and memory interact with affect to create the emotion of fear."
Tara Brach. Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha. Chapter 7, "Opening Our Heart in the Face of Fear." p. 166.

"Our worship of heroes who brave fear and go beyond the call of duty distracts us from the importance of those who simply (not easily) fulfill their duty in the face of fear—those, that is, who avoid cowardice. If it is a dangerous idea, as we shall see again and again, it is also a bracing one. More abstractly, pondering cowardice illuminates (from underneath, as it were) our moral world. What we think about cowardice reveals a great deal about our conceptions of human nature and responsibility, about what we think an individual person can and should have to endure, and how much one owes to others, to community or cause. Cowardice and cowards have something to teach us. Let us speak of them."
Chris Walsh. Cowardice: A Brief History. Princeton University Press, 2014. p. 21.

"We believed our paranoia would protect us; after all, what are the odds that two girls so well versed in disaster would be the ones to fall prey to it?"
Koethi Zan, The Never List

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