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Showing posts from August, 2020

Quotes: The 'environmental crisis' is a crisis of human self-understanding

"To quote the great farmer-philosopher (and man of Christian faith) Wendell Berry, the entire term environmental crisis is a misnomer, because it is not a crisis of the environment, but rather of ourselves." Jeremy Benstein. The Way Into Judaism and the Environment. Woodstock, Vt.: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2006. pp. 14-15. "The land has not been desecrated; human beings desecrate only themselves." Leslie Marmon Silko. Quoted in footnote 410. Derrick Jensen. Endgame. Volume 1: The Problem of Civilization. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2006. p. 415. "Some people in desperation have turned to witchcraft, magic and occultism, to drugs and madness, anything to rekindle imagination and find a world ensouled. But these reactions are not enough. What is needed is a revisioning, a fundamental shift of perspective out of that soulless predicament we call modern consciousness." James Hillman (1926-2011), writing in 1976 "To be eng

Quotes on ecological adaptability

A few statements I've collected on this topic. These are direct quotes from the authors cited. I want to propose another way of thinking, one that regards human cultures not as completely independent forces changing the world, but as strategies that people develop in order to adjust to the natural world and exploit its resources. Instead of making nature a subset of culture, as Russell does, historians might see culture as a subset of nature. We can think of this approach, following the lead of biologists, as redefining culture as a mental response to opportunities or pressures posed by the natural environment. In other words, culture can be defined as a form of “adaptation.” The word adaptation is as familiar to historians as it is to biologists. Historians often talk of cultures clashing and adapting to one other, mixing and merging through trade, immigration, and mass communications, or they talk about societies adapting to new technologies like the automobile or comput

Quotes: Forgiveness as transforming the past and heading into the future

"No life is beyond repair, and no damage so great as to not be forgiven. This in no way was to belittle your tortuous past, but merely to excuse you from constantly reliving it." Ralph Minogue. Responsibility To, Responsibility For. Baltimore: AmErica House, 2000. p 224. "Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past." Lily Tomlin, quoted in Atlanta's Creative Loafing, quoted in "Wit and Wisdom" in The Week, Feb. 18, 2011, p. 21. "[Forgiveness] can never mean as you're t' have your old feelings back again, for that's not possible. He's not the same man to me, and I can't feel the same towards him." Adam Bede, quoted by George Eliot ( Adam Bede , 1859, Chapter 29), quoted by William Ian Miller. Faking It. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. p 92. "'Motion of the heart' is the right phrase. Forgiveness permits all parties to lay the past at last to rest and to proceed with a new

Quotes on lying

"What I see as white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it." Ignatius of Loyola. Quoted by Tom Beaudoin. Consuming Faith: Integrating Who We Are with What We Buy. Lanham, Md.: Sheed and Ward, 2003. p. 54. "Men hate those to whom they have to lie." Victor Hugo, quoted in the Associated Press, quoted in The Week, Sept. 26, 2014, p. 17. "The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves." V. S. Naipaul, quoted in The Wall Street Journal, quoted in The Week, May 24, 2013, p. 17. "What does the specific hypnotic experiment with which we started show? (1) The subject wills something, namely, to read his manuscript, (2) he thinks something, namely, that C has taken it, and (3) he feels something, namely, anger against C. We have seen that all three mental acts—his will impulse, his thought, his feeling — are not his own in the sense of being the result of his own mental a