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Showing posts from February, 2021

Quotes: Learning from people who are different

Without stealing or unfairly/inexpertly appropriating ideas from each other, we can learn from each other. Two reflections on this: “The Jew can teach the Indian a lot about how to survive as a people and as a culture while being uprooted from one’s homeland, and against the odds of genocide and forceful proselytizing campaigns perpetrated by dominant religions and cultures. The Indian can teach the Jew a lot about what the Jew has lost at the expense of centuries of survival consciousness and uprootedness from connection to the land, information that is far more fresh in the ways of the Indians than it is in the ways of contemporary Jews.” Gershon Winkler. Magic of the Ordinary: Recovering the Shamanic in Judaism. Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books, 2003. p. xx. "Sufi mystics were renowned for their poetic testimonies to a paradigm of self-annihilation (fana) followed by a return to the glorious ‘subsistence’ (baqa) of everyday life. And similar notions, I believe, ar

What are friends for? Some quotes on friendship.

Let's brainstorm a few purposes for which friends are for! To provide something you want (e.g. cocaine, secretarial skills, chocolate) "In The Americanization of Narcissism, Elizabeth Lunbeck explains that Freud wrote his book on Leonardo during the climax and dissolution of one of the most important relationships in his life, an intensely intimate friendship with Wilhelm Fliess, an ear, nose, and throat doctor who was, for some time, Freud’s coke dealer. Beyond that, the exact nature of their intimacy is a matter of debate. The two exchanged hundreds of letters; Freud’s friends thought Fliess a fraud and a charlatan. * * * Freud traveled with another close friend, the psychoanalyst Sándor Ferenczi, to Sicily, a trip that both seemed to have highly anticipated. Despite having sent dozens of passionate letters to Ferenczi in anticipation of the trip, however, once they arrived in Italy, Freud reversed course, treating Ferenczi as his secretary, suddenly more intereste

Quotes on friendship, especially political friendship

Danielle Allen describes the similarities between friendship and democracy. "Friendship is not an emotion, but a practice," she says, "a set of hard-won, complicated habits that are used to bridge trouble, difficulty, and differences of personality, experience, and aspiration." Friends have "a shared life...with common events, climates, built-environments, fixations of the imagination, and social structures." And so, too, democracy. Each of us has "an individual perspective on a set of phenomena relevant to all. Some live behind one veil, and others behind another, but the air that we all breathe carries the same gases and pollens through those veils. More important, our shared elements (events, climates, environments, imaginative fixations, economic conditions, and social structures), when considered at the political rather than the private level, are made out of the combination of all our interactions with each other." Think about the histo