„I expect nothing of man, and disown the race. The only folly is expecting what is never attained; man is most contemptible when compared with his own pretensions. It is better to laugh at man from outside the universe, than to weep for him within.“

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H. P. Lovecraft7
escritor americano 1890 - 1937
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 Maimónides photo
Clive Staples Lewis photo

„A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?“

—  Clive Staples Lewis, Mere Christianity
Mere Christianity (1952), Context: My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? Book II, Chapter 1, "The Rival Conceptions of God"

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Bob Marley photo

„Man is a universe within himself.“

—  Bob Marley Jamaican singer, songwriter, musician 1945 - 1981

Algis Budrys photo
Joseph B. Soloveitchik photo
 Maimónides photo

„It is of great advantage that man should know his station, and not imagine that the whole universe exists only for him.“

—  Maimónides, book The Guide for the Perplexed
Guide for the Perplexed (c. 1190), Part III, Context: It is of great advantage that man should know his station, and not imagine that the whole universe exists only for him. We hold that the universe exists because the Creator wills it so; that mankind is low in rank as compared with the uppermost portion of the universe, viz., with the spheres and the stars; but, as regards the angels, there cannot be any real comparison between man and angels, although man is the highest of all beings on earth; i. e., of all the beings formed of the four elements. Ch.12

Felix Adler photo

„The divine in man is our sole ground for believing that there is anything divine in the universe outside of man.“

—  Felix Adler German American professor of political and social ethics, rationalist, and lecturer 1851 - 1933
Founding Address (1876), Life and Destiny (1913), Context: The divine in man is our sole ground for believing that there is anything divine in the universe outside of man. Man is the revealer of the divine. At bottom, the world is to be interpreted in terms of joy, but of a joy that includes all the pain, includes it and transforms it and transcends it. The Light of the World is a light that is saturated with the darkness which it has overcome and transfigured. Section 1 : The Meaning of Life

Northrop Frye photo

„Man lives, not directly or nakedly in nature like the animals, but within a mythological universe, a body of assumptions and beliefs developed from his existential concerns.“

—  Northrop Frye Canadian literary critic and literary theorist 1912 - 1991
"Quotes", The Great Code: The Bible and Literature (1982), Introduction, p. xviii

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Clive Staples Lewis photo

„The imagined beings have their insides on the outside; they are visible souls. And Man as a whole, Man pitted against the universe, have we seen him at all till we see that he is like a hero in a fairy tale?“

—  Clive Staples Lewis Christian apologist, novelist, and Medievalist 1898 - 1963
Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Context: But why,' (some ask), 'why, if you have a serious comment to make on the real life of men, must you do it by talking about a phantasmagoric never-never land of your own?' Because, I take it, one of the main things the author wants to say is that the real life of men is of that mythical and heroic quality. One can see the principle at work in his characterization. Much that in a realistic work would be done by 'character delineation' is here done simply by making the character an elf, a dwarf, or a hobbit. The imagined beings have their insides on the outside; they are visible souls. And Man as a whole, Man pitted against the universe, have we seen him at all till we see that he is like a hero in a fairy tale? p. 89

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Simone Weil photo

„There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside man's mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.“

—  Simone Weil French philosopher, Christian mystic, and social activist 1909 - 1943
Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation (1943), Context: There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside man's mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties. Corresponding to this reality, at the centre of the human heart, is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world. Another terrestrial manifestation of this reality lies in the absurd and insoluble contradictions which are always the terminus of human thought when it moves exclusively in this world. Just as the reality of this world is the sole foundation of facts, so that other reality is the sole foundation of good. That reality is the unique source of all the good that can exist in this world: that is to say, all beauty, all truth, all justice, all legitimacy, all order, and all human behaviour that is mindful of obligations. Those minds whose attention and love are turned towards that reality are the sole intermediary through which good can descend from there and come among men. Although it is beyond the reach of any human faculties, man has the power of turning his attention and love towards it. Nothing can ever justify the assumption that any man, whoever he may be, has been deprived of this power. It is a power which is only real in this world in so far as it is exercised. The sole condition for exercising it is consent. This act of consent may be expressed, or it may not be, even tacitly; it may not be clearly conscious, although it has really taken place in the soul. Very often it is verbally expressed although it has not in fact taken place. But whether expressed or not, the one condition suffices: that it shall in fact have taken place. To anyone who does actually consent to directing his attention and love beyond the world, towards the reality that exists outside the reach of all human faculties, it is given to succeed in doing so. In that case, sooner or later, there descends upon him a part of the good, which shines through him upon all that surrounds him.

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„The limits of man's observation lie within very narrow boundaries, and it would be arrogance to suppose that the reach of man's power is to form the limits of the natural world. The universe offers daily proof of the existence of power of which we know nothing, but whose mighty agency nevertheless manifestly appears in the most familiar works of creation.“

—  Charles Babbage, Passages from the life of a philosopher
Passages from the Life of a Philosopher (1864), Context: It has always occurred to my mind that many difficulties touching Miracles might be reconciled, if men would only take the trouble to agree upon the nature of the phenomenon which they call Miracle. That writers do not always mean the same thing when treating of miracles is perfectly clear; because what may appear a miracle to the unlearned is to the better instructed only an effect produced by some unknown law hitherto unobserved. So that the idea of miracle is in some respect dependent upon the opinion of man. Much of this confusion has arisen from the definition of Miracle given in Hume's celebrated Essay, namely, that it is the "violation of a law of nature." Now a miracle is not necessarily a violation of any law of nature, and it involves no physical absurdity. As Brown well observes, "the laws of nature surely are not violated when a new antecedent is followed by a new consequent; they are violated only when the antecedent, being exactly the same, a different consequent is the result;" so that a miracle has nothing in its nature inconsistent with our belief of the uniformity of nature. All that we see in a miracle is an effect which is new to our observation, and whose cause is concealed. The cause may be beyond the sphere of our observation, and would be thus beyond the familiar sphere of nature; but this does not make the event a violation of any law of nature. The limits of man's observation lie within very narrow boundaries, and it would be arrogance to suppose that the reach of man's power is to form the limits of the natural world. The universe offers daily proof of the existence of power of which we know nothing, but whose mighty agency nevertheless manifestly appears in the most familiar works of creation. And shall we deny the existence of this mighty energy simply because it manifests itself in delegated and feeble subordination to God's omnipotence? "Passages from the life of a philosopher", Appendix: Miracle. Note (A)

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