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Edwin Abbott Abbott

Data de nascimento: 20. Dezembro 1838
Data de falecimento: 12. Outubro 1926

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Edwin Abbott Abbott foi um escritor e erudito inglês.

Foi sucessivamente professor em Birmingham, director da Escola da City, em Londres, professor na universidade de Cambridge e pregador na universidade de Oxford em 1877. Entre as obras que fizeram a sua reputação, cita-se a Gramática shakespeariana publicada em 1870; Bacon, e Essex editado em 1877; Sobre a natureza de Cristo publicado em; etc. Devem-se-lhe também dois romances anónimos: Filocristo e Onesimo . Uma de suas grandes obras é Flatland - A Romance of Many Dimensions.

Com 51 anos, em 1889, Abbott se afastou de todas as suas outras atividades, dedicando-se apenas a uma vida acadêmica, produzindo, a partir de então, numerosas obras: Silanus, the Christian , Apologia: An Explanation and Defense , Message of the Son of Man , Light on the Gospel from an Ancient Poet , de 1913.

Citações Edwin Abbott Abbott

„I could hear the mild voice of my Companion pointing the moral of my vision, and stimulating me to aspire, and to teach others to aspire.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: I could hear the mild voice of my Companion pointing the moral of my vision, and stimulating me to aspire, and to teach others to aspire. He had been angered at first — he confessed — by my ambition to soar to Dimensions above the Third; but, since then, he had received fresh insight, and he was not too proud to acknowledge his error to a Pupil. Then he proceeded to initiate me into mysteries yet higher than those I had witnessed, shewing me how to construct Extra-Solids by the motion of Solids, and Double Extra-Solids by the motion of Extra-Solids, and all "strictly according to Analogy", all by methods so simple, so easy, as to be patent even to the Female Sex. Chapter 20. How the Sphere Encouraged Me in a Vision

„Well, then, to content and silence you, let me say at once, I would shew you what you wish if I could; but I cannot. Would you have me turn my stomach inside out to oblige you?“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: p>Gracious Teacher, deny me not what I know it is in thy power to perform. Grant me but one glimpse of thine interior, and I am satisfied for ever, remaining henceforth thy docile pupil, thy unemancipable slave, ready to receive all thy teachings and to feed upon the words that fall from thy lips. SPHERE. Well, then, to content and silence you, let me say at once, I would shew you what you wish if I could; but I cannot. Would you have me turn my stomach inside out to oblige you?</p Chapter 19. How, Though the Sphere Showed Me Other Mysteries of Spaceland, I Still Desired More; and What Came of It

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„By way of compensation, we must lay far more stress on "Wise" and "Good."“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: Never shall we apprehend the nature of true divinity nor the true divineness of Jesus of Nazareth, the Carpenter's Son, till we learn to moralize our theology, training ourselves to lay less stress on "Almighty" — an epithet characteristic of the silver age of Hebrew literature and of our Anglican Prayer Book, but never once used as an epithet of God by Him who knew Him as He is. By way of compensation, we must lay far more stress on "Wise" and "Good." Paradosis : Or "In the Night in Which He Was (?) Betrayed" (1904), "Introduction : Paradosis or Delivering Up the Soul", p. 7

„I could see many of the younger Counsellors start back in manifest horror, as the Sphere's circular section widened before them.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: I could see many of the younger Counsellors start back in manifest horror, as the Sphere's circular section widened before them. But on a sign from the presiding Circle — who shewed not the slightest alarm or surprise — six Isosceles of a low type from six different quarters rushed upon the Sphere. "We have him," they cried; "No; yes; we have him still! he's going! he's gone!" "My Lords," said the President to the Junior Circles of the Council, "there is not the slightest need for surprise; the secret archives, to which I alone have access, tell me that a similar occurrence happened on the last two millennial commencements. You will, of course, say nothing of these trifles outside the Cabinet." Chapter 18. How I came to Spaceland, and What I Saw There

„I awoke rejoicing, and began to reflect on the glorious career before me. I would go forth, methought, at once, and evangelize the whole of Flatland. Even to Women and Soldiers should the Gospel of Three Dimensions be proclaimed. I would begin with my Wife.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: I awoke rejoicing, and began to reflect on the glorious career before me. I would go forth, methought, at once, and evangelize the whole of Flatland. Even to Women and Soldiers should the Gospel of Three Dimensions be proclaimed. I would begin with my Wife. Just as I had decided on the plan of my operations, I heard the sound of many voices in the street commanding silence. Then followed a louder voice. It was a herald's proclamation. Listening attentively, I recognized the words of the Resolution of the Council, enjoining the arrest, imprisonment, or execution of any one who should pervert the minds of the people by delusions, and by professing to have received revelations from another World. Chapter 21. How I Tried to Teach the Theory of Three Dimensions to My Grandson, and With What Success

„I take shame to be forced to confess it — my brother has not yet grasped the nature of the Third Dimension, and frankly avows his disbelief in the existence of a Sphere.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: My brother is one of the best of Squares, just, sensible, cheerful, and not without fraternal affection; yet I confess that my weekly interviews, at least in one respect, cause me the bitterest pain. He was present when the Sphere manifested himself in the Council Chamber; he saw the Sphere's changing sections; he heard the explanation of the phenomena then given to the Circles. Since that time, scarcely a week has passed during seven whole years, without his hearing from me a repetition of the part I played in that manifestation, together with ample descriptions of all the phenomena in Spaceland, and the arguments for the existence of Solid things derivable from Analogy. Yet — I take shame to be forced to confess it — my brother has not yet grasped the nature of the Third Dimension, and frankly avows his disbelief in the existence of a Sphere.Hence I am absolutely destitute of converts, and, for aught that I can see, the millennial Revelation has been made to me for nothing. Prometheus up in Spaceland was bound for bringing down fire for mortals, but I — poor Flatland Prometheus — lie here in prison for bringing down nothing to my countrymen. Yet I exist in the hope that these memoirs, in some manner, I know not how, may find their way to the minds of humanity in Some Dimension, and may stir up a race of rebels who shall refuse to be confined to limited Dimensionality.That is the hope of my brighter moments. Alas, it is not always so. Heavily weighs on me at times the burdensome reflection that I cannot honestly say I am confident as to the exact shape of the once-seen, oft-regretted Cube; and in my nightly visions the mysterious precept, "Upward, not Northward", haunts me like a soul-devouring Sphinx. It is part of the martyrdom which I endure for the cause of the Truth that there are seasons of mental weakness, when Cubes and Spheres flit away into the background of scarce-possible existences; when the Land of Three Dimensions seems almost as visionary as the Land of One or None; nay, when even this hard wall that bars me from my freedom, these very tablets on which I am writing, and all the substantial realities of Flatland itself, appear no better than the offspring of a diseased imagination, or the baseless fabric of a dream. Chapter 22. How I Then Tried to Diffuse the Theory of Three Dimensions by Other Means, and of the Result

„Behold yon miserable creature. That Point is a Being like ourselves, but confined to the non-dimensional Gulf. He is himself his own World, his own Universe; of any other than himself he can form no conception; he knows not Length, nor Breadth, nor Height, for he has had no experience of them; he has no cognizance even of the number Two; nor has he a thought of Plurality; for he is himself his One and All, being really Nothing. Yet mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn this lesson, that to be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: "Behold yon miserable creature. That Point is a Being like ourselves, but confined to the non-dimensional Gulf. He is himself his own World, his own Universe; of any other than himself he can form no conception; he knows not Length, nor Breadth, nor Height, for he has had no experience of them; he has no cognizance even of the number Two; nor has he a thought of Plurality; for he is himself his One and All, being really Nothing. Yet mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn this lesson, that to be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy. Now listen."He ceased; and there arose from the little buzzing creature a tiny, low, monotonous, but distinct tinkling, as from one of your Spaceland phonographs, from which I caught these words, "Infinite beatitude of existence! It is; and there is none else beside It." Chapter 20. How the Sphere Encouraged Me in a Vision

„In vain did the Sphere, in his voice of thunder, reiterate his command of silence, and threaten me with the direst penalties if I persisted. Nothing could stem the flood of my ecstatic aspirations. Perhaps I was to blame; but indeed I was intoxicated with the recent draughts of Truth to which he himself had introduced me.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: p>Those who have thus appeared — no one knows whence — and have returned — no one knows whither — have they also contracted their sections and vanished somehow into that more Spacious Space, whither I now entreat you to conduct me?SPHERE (MOODILY). They have vanished, certainly — if they ever appeared. But most people say that these visions arose from the thought — you will not understand me — from the brain; from the perturbed angularity of the Seer.I. Say they so? Oh, believe them not. Or if it indeed be so, that this other Space is really Thoughtland, then take me to that blessed Region where I in Thought shall see the insides of all solid things. There, before my ravished eye, a Cube, moving in some altogether new direction, but strictly according to Analogy, so as to make every particle of his interior pass through a new kind of Space, with a wake of its own — shall create a still more perfect perfection than himself, with sixteen terminal Extra-solid angles, and Eight solid Cubes for his Perimeter. And once there, shall we stay our upward course? In that blessed region of Four Dimensions, shall we linger on the threshold of the Fifth, and not enter therein? Ah, no! Let us rather resolve that our ambition shall soar with our corporal ascent. Then, yielding to our intellectual onset, the gates of the Sixth Dimension shall fly open; after that a Seventh, and then an Eighth —How long I should have continued I know not. In vain did the Sphere, in his voice of thunder, reiterate his command of silence, and threaten me with the direst penalties if I persisted. Nothing could stem the flood of my ecstatic aspirations. Perhaps I was to blame; but indeed I was intoxicated with the recent draughts of Truth to which he himself had introduced me. However, the end was not long in coming. My words were cut short by a crash outside, and a simultaneous crash inside me, which impelled me through space with a velocity that precluded speech. Down! down! down! I was rapidly descending; and I knew that return to Flatland was my doom. One glimpse, one last and never-to-be-forgotten glimpse I had of that dull level wilderness — which was now to become my Universe again — spread out before my eye. Then a darkness. Then a final, all-consummating thunder-peal; and, when I came to myself, I was once more a common creeping Square, in my Study at home, listening to the Peace-Cry of my approaching Wife.</p Chapter 19. How, Though the Sphere Showed Me Other Mysteries of Spaceland, I Still Desired More; and What Came of It

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„All beings in Flatland, animate or inanimate, no matter what their form, present TO OUR VIEW the same, or nearly the same, appearance, viz. that of a straight Line. How then can one be distinguished from another, where all appear the same?“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: p>You, who are blessed with shade as well as light, you, who are gifted with two eyes, endowed with a knowledge of perspective, and charmed with the enjoyment of various colours, you, who can actually SEE an angle, and contemplate the complete circumference of a circle in the happy region of the Three Dimensions — how shall I make clear to you the extreme difficulty which we in Flatland experience in recognizing one another's configuration?Recall what I told you above. All beings in Flatland, animate or inanimate, no matter what their form, present TO OUR VIEW the same, or nearly the same, appearance, viz. that of a straight Line. How then can one be distinguished from another, where all appear the same?</p Chapter 5. Of Our Methods of Recognizing One Another

„I resumed my seat, again exclaiming, "The boy is a fool, I say; 3&sup3; can have no meaning in Geometry." At once there came a distinctly audible reply, "The boy is not a fool; and 3&sup3; has an obvious Geometrical meaning."“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: There I sat by my Wife's side, endeavouring to form a retrospect of the year 1999 and of the possibilities of the year 2000, but not quite able to shake off the thoughts suggested by the prattle of my bright little Hexagon. Only a few sands now remained in the half-hour glass. Rousing myself from my reverie I turned the glass Northward for the last time in the old Millennium; and in the act, I exclaimed aloud, "The boy is a fool."Straightway I became conscious of a Presence in the room, and a chilling breath thrilled through my very being. "He is no such thing," cried my Wife, "and you are breaking the Commandments in thus dishonouring your own Grandson." But I took no notice of her. Looking round in every direction I could see nothing; yet still I FELT a Presence, and shivered as the cold whisper came again. I started up. "What is the matter?" said my Wife, "there is no draught; what are you looking for? There is nothing." There was nothing; and I resumed my seat, again exclaiming, "The boy is a fool, I say; 3&sup3; can have no meaning in Geometry." At once there came a distinctly audible reply, "The boy is not a fool; and 3&sup3; has an obvious Geometrical meaning." Chapter 15. Concerning a Stranger from Spaceland

„I groaned with horror, doubting whether I was not out of my senses; but the Stranger continued: "Surely you must now see that my explanation, and no other, suits the phenomena. What you call Solid things are really superficial; what you call Space is really nothing but a great Plane.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: I groaned with horror, doubting whether I was not out of my senses; but the Stranger continued: "Surely you must now see that my explanation, and no other, suits the phenomena. What you call Solid things are really superficial; what you call Space is really nothing but a great Plane. I am in Space, and look down upon the insides of the things of which you only see the outsides. You could leave this Plane yourself, if you could but summon up the necessary volition. A slight upward or downward motion would enable you to see all that I can see. Chapter 17. How the Sphere, Having in Vain Tried Words, Resorted to Deeds

„When our Lord uttered (or implied) the words "Do this in remembrance of me," He meant "Do as I am doing." And what He was doing was not a mere "dealing" of "bread" but a "drawing out" of the "soul."“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: When our Lord uttered (or implied) the words "Do this in remembrance of me," He meant "Do as I am doing." And what He was doing was not a mere "dealing" of "bread" but a "drawing out" of the "soul." This view does not deny that He also contemplated a continuous celebration of the evening meal of thanksgiving in future generations; but it asserts something more, namely, that He meant a spiritual act, "'Draw out your souls' to one another, and for one another, according to your ability, even as I give my soul, my complete self, delivering it up to you as a gift, and for you as a sacrifice." There is nothing contrary to history and historical development in the belief that Christ taught this doctrine — of self-sacrifice, or losing the soul, of giving the soul as a ransom for others, or drawing out the soul to those in need of help. Paradosis : Or "In the Night in Which He Was (?) Betrayed" (1904), "Introduction : Paradosis or Delivering Up the Soul", p. 6

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„The Fourth Gospel is admitted by all Greek scholars to be, in parts, extraordinarily obscure.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: The Fourth Gospel is admitted by all Greek scholars to be, in parts, extraordinarily obscure. No honest writer of history is obscure, as a rule, except through carelessness or ignorance — ignorance, it may be, of the art of writing, or of the subject he is writing about, or of the persons he is addressing, or of the words he is using, but, in any case, ignorance of something. But an honest writer of poetry or prophecy may be consciously obscure because a message, so to speak, has come into his mind in a certain form, and he feels this likely to prove the best form — ultimately, when his readers have thought about it. Johannine Grammar (1906), p. 5

„About three hundred years ago, it was decreed by the Chief Circle that, since women are deficient in Reason but abundant in Emotion, they ought no longer to be treated as rational, nor receive any mental education.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: About three hundred years ago, it was decreed by the Chief Circle that, since women are deficient in Reason but abundant in Emotion, they ought no longer to be treated as rational, nor receive any mental education. The consequence was that they were no longer taught to read, nor even to master Arithmetic enough to enable them to count the angles of their husband or children; and hence they sensibly declined during each generation in intellectual power. And this system of female non-education or quietism still prevails.My fear is that, with the best intentions, this policy has been carried so far as to react injuriously on the Male Sex.For the consequence is that, as things now are, we Males have to lead a kind of bi-lingual, and I may almost say bi-mental, existence. With Women, we speak of "love", "duty", "right", "wrong", "pity", "hope", and other irrational and emotional conceptions, which have no existence, and the fiction of which has no object except to control feminine exuberances; but among ourselves, and in our books, we have an entirely different vocabulary and I may almost say, idiom. "Love" then becomes "the anticipation of benefits"; "duty" becomes "necessity" or "fitness"; and other words are correspondingly transmuted. Moreover, among Women, we use language implying the utmost deference for their Sex; and they fully believe that the Chief Circle Himself is not more devoutly adored by us than they are: but behind their backs they are both regarded and spoken of — by all except the very young — as being little better than "mindless organisms". Chapter 12. Of the Doctrine of our Priests

„That is the hope of my brighter moments. Alas, it is not always so.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: My brother is one of the best of Squares, just, sensible, cheerful, and not without fraternal affection; yet I confess that my weekly interviews, at least in one respect, cause me the bitterest pain. He was present when the Sphere manifested himself in the Council Chamber; he saw the Sphere's changing sections; he heard the explanation of the phenomena then given to the Circles. Since that time, scarcely a week has passed during seven whole years, without his hearing from me a repetition of the part I played in that manifestation, together with ample descriptions of all the phenomena in Spaceland, and the arguments for the existence of Solid things derivable from Analogy. Yet — I take shame to be forced to confess it — my brother has not yet grasped the nature of the Third Dimension, and frankly avows his disbelief in the existence of a Sphere.Hence I am absolutely destitute of converts, and, for aught that I can see, the millennial Revelation has been made to me for nothing. Prometheus up in Spaceland was bound for bringing down fire for mortals, but I — poor Flatland Prometheus — lie here in prison for bringing down nothing to my countrymen. Yet I exist in the hope that these memoirs, in some manner, I know not how, may find their way to the minds of humanity in Some Dimension, and may stir up a race of rebels who shall refuse to be confined to limited Dimensionality.That is the hope of my brighter moments. Alas, it is not always so. Heavily weighs on me at times the burdensome reflection that I cannot honestly say I am confident as to the exact shape of the once-seen, oft-regretted Cube; and in my nightly visions the mysterious precept, "Upward, not Northward", haunts me like a soul-devouring Sphinx. It is part of the martyrdom which I endure for the cause of the Truth that there are seasons of mental weakness, when Cubes and Spheres flit away into the background of scarce-possible existences; when the Land of Three Dimensions seems almost as visionary as the Land of One or None; nay, when even this hard wall that bars me from my freedom, these very tablets on which I am writing, and all the substantial realities of Flatland itself, appear no better than the offspring of a diseased imagination, or the baseless fabric of a dream. Chapter 22. How I Then Tried to Diffuse the Theory of Three Dimensions by Other Means, and of the Result

„Every reader in Spaceland will easily understand that my mysterious Guest was speaking the language of truth and even of simplicity. But to me, proficient though I was in Flatland Mathematics, it was by no means a simple matter.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: You are living on a Plane. What you style Flatland is the vast level surface of what I may call a fluid, on, or in, the top of which you and your countrymen move about, without rising above it or falling below it.I am not a plane Figure, but a Solid. You call me a Circle; but in reality I am not a Circle, but an infinite number of Circles, of size varying from a Point to a Circle of thirteen inches in diameter, one placed on the top of the other. When I cut through your plane as I am now doing, I make in your plane a section which you, very rightly, call a Circle. For even a Sphere — which is my proper name in my own country — if he manifest himself at all to an inhabitant of Flatland — must needs manifest himself as a Circle.Do you not remember — for I, who see all things, discerned last night the phantasmal vision of Lineland written upon your brain — do you not remember, I say, how, when you entered the realm of Lineland, you were compelled to manifest yourself to the King, not as a Square, but as a Line, because that Linear Realm had not Dimensions enough to represent the whole of you, but only a slice or section of you? In precisely the same way, your country of Two Dimensions is not spacious enough to represent me, a being of Three, but can only exhibit a slice or section of me, which is what you call a Circle.The diminished brightness of your eye indicates incredulity. But now prepare to receive proof positive of the truth of my assertions. You cannot indeed see more than one of my sections, or Circles, at a time; for you have no power to raise your eye out of the plane of Flatland; but you can at least see that, as I rise in Space, so my sections become smaller. See now, I will rise; and the effect upon your eye will be that my Circle will become smaller and smaller till it dwindles to a point and finally vanishes.There was no "rising" that I could see; but he diminished and finally vanished. I winked once or twice to make sure that I was not dreaming. But it was no dream. For from the depths of nowhere came forth a hollow voice — close to my heart it seemed — "Am I quite gone? Are you convinced now? Well, now I will gradually return to Flatland and you shall see my section become larger and larger."Every reader in Spaceland will easily understand that my mysterious Guest was speaking the language of truth and even of simplicity. But to me, proficient though I was in Flatland Mathematics, it was by no means a simple matter. Chapter 16. How the Stranger Vainly Endeavoured to Reveal to Me in Words the Mysteries of Spaceland

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