„If I could snap my fingers and be nonautistic, I would not. Autism is part of what I am.“

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Ingmar Bergman photo

„Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral.“

—  Ingmar Bergman Swedish filmmaker 1918 - 2007
Context: People ask what are my intentions with my films — my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer: I try to tell the truth about the human condition, the truth as I see it. This answer seems to satisfy everyone, but it is not quite correct. I prefer to describe what I would like my aim to be. There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed — master builders, artists, labourers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres. Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; 'eternal values,' 'immortality' and 'masterpiece' were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility. Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation. The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other's eyes and yet deny the existence of each other. We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster's whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon's head, an angel, a devil — or perhaps a saint — out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts. Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral. Four Screenplays of Ingmar Bergman (1960).

Alexander Hamilton photo

„For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.“

—  Alexander Hamilton Founding Father of the United States 1755 - 1804
Letter published 15 October 1787 in the New York Daily Advertiser under the pseudonym “Caesar”; Paul Leicester Ford suggested that “Caesar” was Alexander Hamilton, but this has not been generally accepted. See Jacob E. Cooke, "Alexander Hamilton's Authorship of the 'Caesar' Letters," The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Jan., 1960), pp. 78-85

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D.H. Lawrence photo

„I am part of the sun as my eye is of me. That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea.“

—  D.H. Lawrence English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter 1885 - 1930
Context: What man most passionately wants is his living wholeness and his living unison, not his own isolate salvation of his "soul." Man wants his physical fulfillment first and foremost, since now, once and once only, he is in the flesh and potent. For man, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive. Whatever the unborn and the dead may know, they cannot know the beauty, the marvel of being alive in the flesh. The dead may look after the afterwards. But the magnificent here and now of life in the flesh is ours, and ours alone, and ours only for a time. We ought to dance with rapture that we should be alive and in the flesh, and part of the living, incarnate cosmos. I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea. My soul knows that I am part of the human race, my soul is an organic part of the great human soul, as my spirit is part of my nation. In my own very self, I am part of my family. There is nothing of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surface of the waters. Apocalypse (1930)

Leonard Cohen photo
Francesco Petrarca photo

„[Portraying Godzilla in the water] is the most dangerous part of my job. If I fell over, I could drown. I would never be able to get back up with the Godzilla costume on.“

—  Kenpachiro Satsuma Japanese actor 1947
As quoted by David Milner, "Kenpachiro Satsuma Interview I" http://www.davmil.org/www.kaijuconversations.com/satsum.htm, Kaiju Conversations (December 1993)

William Fitzsimmons photo
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Ted Bundy photo
Black Elk photo

„I was very sad; for it seemed to me that everybody ought to know about it, but I was afraid to tell, because I knew that nobody would believe me, little as I was, for I was only nine years old. Also, as I lay there thinking of my vision, I could see it all again and feel the meaning with a part of me like a strange power glowing in my body; but when the part of me that talks would try to make words for the meaning, it would be like fog and get away from me.“

—  Black Elk Oglala Lakota leader 1863 - 1950
Context: They told me I had been sick twelve days, lying like dead all the while, and that Whirlwind Chaser, who was Standing Bear's uncle and a medicine man, had brought me back to life. I knew it was the Grandfathers in the Flaming Rainbow Tepee who had cured me; but I felt afraid to say so. My father gave Whirlwind Chaser the best horse he had for making me well, and many people came to look at me, and there was much talk about the great power of Whirlwind Chaser who had made me well all at once when I was almost the same as dead. Everybody was glad that I was living; but as I lay there thinking about the wonderful place where I had been and all that I had seen, I was very sad; for it seemed to me that everybody ought to know about it, but I was afraid to tell, because I knew that nobody would believe me, little as I was, for I was only nine years old. Also, as I lay there thinking of my vision, I could see it all again and feel the meaning with a part of me like a strange power glowing in my body; but when the part of me that talks would try to make words for the meaning, it would be like fog and get away from me. I am sure now that I was then too young to understand it all, and that I only felt it. It was the pictures I remembered and the words that went with them; for nothing I have ever seen with my eyes was so clear and bright as what my vision showed me; and no words that I have ever heard with my ears were like the words I heard. I did not have to remember these things; they have remembered themselves all these years. It was as I grew older that the meanings came clearer and clearer out of the pictures and the words; and even now I know that more was shown to me than I can tell.

Max Frisch photo
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Theodore Roosevelt photo

„I am a part of everything that I have read.“

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919

Meles Zenawi photo

„I am proud to be an Ethiopian. I am proud to be a part of that history.“

—  Meles Zenawi Ethiopian politician; Prime Minister of Ethiopia 1955 - 2012
Meles speaking to American intellectuals about Ethiopia and its history, as quoted in Harold G. Marcus, "A Breakfast Meeting with Prime Minister Meles", Michigan State University. 20 October, 1995.

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