„Western civilization presents one of the most difficult tasks for historical analysis, because it is not yet finished, because we are a part of it and lack perspective, and because it presents considerable variation from our pattern of historical change.“
„The present has its élan because it is always on the edge of the unknown and one misunderstands the past unless one remembers that this unknown was once part of its nature.“
— V.S. Pritchett British writer and critic 1900 - 1997
"Boris Pasternak: Unsafe Conduct", p. 14
„It is difficult for a fool's habits to change to selflessness. ... Because we do most things relying only on our own sagacity we become self-interested, turn our backs on reason, and things do not turn out well.“
— Tsunetomo Yamamoto Samurai 1659 - 1719
Context: It is difficult for a fool's habits to change to selflessness.... Because we do most things relying only on our own sagacity we become self-interested, turn our backs on reason, and things do not turn out well. As seen by other people this is sordid, weak, narrow and inefficient. When one is not capable of true intelligence, it is good to consult with someone of good sense. An advisor will fulfill the Way when he makes a decision by selfless and frank intelligence because he is not personally involved. This way of doing things will certainly be seen by others as being strongly rooted. It is, for example, like a large tree with many roots. One man's intelligence is like a tree that has been simply stuck in the ground. We learn about the sayings and deeds of the men of old in order to entrust ourselves to their wisdom and prevent selfishness. When we throw off our own bias, follow the sayings of the ancients, and confer with other people, matters should go well and without mishap. Variant translation: When all your judgements are based on your own wisdom, you tend towards selfishness and fail by straying from the right path. Your own judgements are narrow minded and have no persuasive power or growth for others. It is best to consult a wise man when a fit decision does not occur to you. A wise man is a fair judge from an objective point of view. He is passing judgement for the benefit of others, not for his own sake. A judgement passed using only one's own wisdom is just like thrusting a stick into the ground and expecting it to grow!
„Our Real Self is a ceaseless, ever-changing, and vital expression of eternal energies, even though this timeless nature remains veiled from us because of our present level of consciousness.“
— Guy Finley American self-help writer, philosopher, and spiritual teacher, and former professional songwriter and musician 1949
„The present is a time of testing, we believe, to many of the Lord's people. Have we in the past been active merely because we hoped for our glorious change in A. D. 1914, or have we been active because of love and loyalty to the Lord and his message and the brethren!“
— Charles Taze Russell Founder of the Bible Student Movement 1852 - 1916
The Watch Tower, reprints (March 1, 1915) p. 5649.
„Symptoms are meaningless traces, their meaning is not discovered, excavated from the hidden depth of the past, but constructed retroactively - the analysis produces the truth; that is, the signifying frame which gives their symptoms their symbolic place and meaning. As soon as we enter the symbolic order, the past is always present in the form of historical tradition and the meaning of these traces is not given; it changes continually with the transformations of the signifier's network. Every historical rupture, every advent of a new master-signifier, changers retroactively the meaning of all tradition, restructures the narration of the past, and makes it readable in another, new way.“
— Slavoj Žižek Slovene philosopher 1949
„People arrive at a factory and perform a totally meaningless task from eight to ﬁve without question because the structure demands that it be that way. There’s no villain, no ‘mean guy’ who wants them to live meaningless lives, it’s just that the structure, the system demands it and no one is willing to take on the formidable task of changing the structure just because it is meaningless. But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding“
— Robert M. Pirsig American writer and philosopher 1928
„While modern changes were intrinsic to Western historical development, they were largely seen by Muslims as alien and enforced.“
— Suha Taji-Farouki British Islamic scholar 1950
Islamic Thought in the Twentieth Century, I.B.Tauris, London 2004
„Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.“
— Max Planck, Where is Science Going?
Where is Science Going? (1932) Variants: Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve. Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature, for in the final analysis we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.
„I would say the time has not yet come. I rebel against the present, whenever it is, because I have not seen any change, other than oppositions grow stronger.“
— Nico German musician, model and actress, one of Warhol's superstars 1938 - 1988
Context: I would say the time has not yet come. I rebel against the present, whenever it is, because I have not seen any change, other than oppositions grow stronger. I would be a communist if it was more anarchist. Otherwise, I see only everything as an absurdity, so I can laugh and cry. I have lived in a continuation, from birth and growing towards death in a chain that cannot end. I don't see this decade then that decade. The same things happen in different guises. I am bohemian but at one time you would call me a hippie or a punk. I remain a bohemian whatever you call me. So maybe I am locked in the fifties. But I have never desired to grow up from my world as a child, which is when things are most clear and utopian. They are clear because you are at the center and you see all around you. When you get older you lose your sight … I lost something of my childishness when people around me start dying. Four of my family died within a year. On the decade which she fit in best, as quoted in Life and Lies of an Icon (1995) by Richard Witts.
„The real is the present, conceived not as a mathematical point between the present and the past, but as the union of present and past in a duration or permanence that is at the same time change. Thus the past as past and the future as future do not exist at all, but are purely ideal; the past as living in the present and the future as germinating in the present are wholly real and indeed are just the present itself. It is because of the presence of these two elements in the present... that the present is a concrete and changing reality and not an empty mathematical point.“
— R. G. Collingwood British historian and philosopher 1889 - 1943
p. 149. as cited in: Jonathan Gorman, "The transmission of our understanding of historical time." Historia Social y de la Educación 1.2 (2012): 129-152.
„It is because our culture is changing so fast, because it does not settle on everything that we need to go into these questions.“
— Mary Midgley British philosopher and ethicist 1919
Context: Other areas were being mapped by anthropologists, who seemed to have some interest in my problem, but who were inclined (at that time) to say that what human beings had in common was not in the end very important; that the key to all the mysteries did lie in culture. This seemed to me shallow. It is because our culture is changing so fast, because it does not settle on everything that we need to go into these questions. Introduction, Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature (1979).
„We cannot let the bogeyman of al-Qaida and extremism be used to stall historic change in our country“
— Tawakkol Karman Yemeni journalist, politician, human rights activist, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient 1979
„Our questions and answers are in part determined by the historical tradition in which we find ourselves.“
— Karl Jaspers German psychiatrist and philosopher 1883 - 1969
Context: Our questions and answers are in part determined by the historical tradition in which we find ourselves. We apprehend truth from our own source within the historical tradition. The content of our truth depends upon our appropriating the historical foundation. Our own power of generation lies in the rebirth of what has been handed down to us. If we do not wish to slip back, nothing must be forgotten; but if philosophising is to be genuine our thoughts must arise from our own source. Hence all appropriation of tradition proceeds from the intentness of our own life. The more determinedly I exist, as myself, within the conditions of the time, the more clearly I shall hear the language of the past, the nearer I shall feel the glow of its life.