To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see over-all patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom (or, at least, the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology, or in states of mind that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings.We may seek, too, a relaxing of inhibitions that makes it easier to bond with each other, or transports that make our consciousness of time and mortality easier to bear. We seek a holiday from our inner and outer restrictions, a more intense sense of the here and now, the beauty and value of the world we live in.
Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns.
America's intellectual community has never been very bright. Or honest. They're all sheep, following whatever the intellectual fashion of the decade happens to be. Demanding that everyone follow their dicta in lockstep. Everyone has to be open-minded and tolerant of the things they believe, but God forbid they should ever concede, even for a moment, that someone who disagrees with them might have some fingerhold of truth.
ConnubialBecause with alarming accuracy she’d been identifying patterns I was unaware of—this tic, that tendency, like the way I've mastered the language of intimacy in order to conceal how I felt— I knew I was in danger of being terribly understood.
[The] tremendous and still accelerating development of science and technology has not been accompanied by an equal development in social, economic, and political patterns...We are now...only beginning to explore the potentialities which it offers for developments in our culture outside technology, particularly in the social, political and economic fields. It is safe to predict that...such social inventions as modern-type Capitalism, Fascism, and Communism will be regarded as primitive experiments directed toward the adjustment of modern society to modern methods
I am constantly mystified by what John ends up remembering… I just don’t understand why he’s able to hang on to information like that, while so many other more important memories evaporate. Then again, I suppose so much of what stays with us is often insignificant. The memories we take to the ends of our lives have no real rhyme or reason, especially when you think of the endless things that you do over the course of a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime. All the cups of coffee, hand-washings, changes of clothes, lunches, goings to the bathroom, headaches, naps, walks to school, trips to the grocery store, conversations about the weather—all the things so unimportant they should be immediately forgotten. Yet they aren’t. I often think of the Chinese red bathrobe I had when I was twenty-seven years old; the sound of our first cat Charlie’s feet on the linoleum of our old house; the hot rarefied air around aluminum pot the moment before the kernels of popcorn burst open. I think of these things as often as I think about getting married or giving birth or the end of the Second World War. What is truly amazing is that before you know it, sixty years go by and you can remember maybe eight or nine important events, along with a thousand meaningless ones. How can that be?You want to think there’s a pattern to it all because it makes you feel better, gives you some sense of a reason why we’re here, but there really isn’t any. People look for God in these patterns, these reasons, but only because they don’t know where else to look.Things happen to us: some of it important, most of it not, and a little of it stays with us till the end. What stays after that? I’ll be damned if I know.(pp.174-175)
What discoveries I made in the course of writing stories all begin with the particular, never the general. They are mostly hindsight: arrows that I now find I myself have left behind me, which have shown me some right, or wrong, way I have come. What one story may have pointed out to me is of no avail in the writing of another. But 'avail' is not what I want; freedom ahead is what each story promises - beginning anew. And all the while, as further hindsight has told me, certain patterns in my work repeat themselves without my realizing. There would be no way of knowing this, for during the writing of any single story, there is no other existing. Each writer must find out for himself, I imagine, on what basis he lives with his own stories.
No marriage stays in the same pattern forever. It is both the best feature of marriage and the worst, that it inevitably changes.
Great leader knows that under the turmoil of chaos and change, there is a beauty of patterns and designs.
A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than their, it is because they are made with ideas.
A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of poems. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.
There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns. If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself. What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. what we can't understand we call nonsense. What we can't read we call gibberish.There is no free will. There are no variables.
We deal with so many nightmares on a regular basis. When I’m watching a horror movie, there’s a pattern, a sense of control in them. I’m just an observer, not having to deal with any of the repercussions. It’s a nice dream to think monsters play by the rules, that they’ve got a pattern you can unlock and follow. Real life’s messy, and the chaos leaves you devastated in the wake.
As if each of us might somehow have a blueprint. As if somewhere there's the shape of my life, and I had the chance to choose a few variations, but not far from the pattern.
A marijuana high can enhance core human mental abilities. It can help you to focus, to remember, to see new patterns, to imagine, to be creative, to introspect, to empathically understand others, and to come to deep insights. If you don’t find this amazing you have lost your sense of wonder. Which, by the way, is something a high can bring back, too.
Whereas moral courage is the righting of wrongs, creative courage, in contrast, is the discovering of new forms, new symbols, new patterns on which a new society can be built.
People are going to come into your life, and God is going to use them to help you. To them you’re insignificant and don’t matter. They are not going to understand you, or even see the point of why God had you hang in there with them for so long. Remember this: Sometimes meeting someone has nothing to do with what you can provide for him or her and everything to do with what God needs you to recognize in that person. If you didn’t understand the message, God will keep sending the same person or situation into your life.
Sometimes you can grow more in a shorter amount of time with the right company than years of soul-searching alone, or by living the same patterns you've lived for your entire life.
Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.
Civilization is always threatened from below, by patterns of belief and emotion that may once have been useful to our ancestors, but that are useful no longer.
Rhythm. Life is full of it; words should have it, too. But you have to train your ear. Listen to the waves on a quiet night; you’ll pick up the cadence. Look at the patterns the wind makes in dry sand and you’ll see how syllables in a sentence should fall. Arthur Gordon
Perhaps grief, which destroys all patterns, destroys even more: the belief that any patterns exist. But we cannot, I think, survive without such belief. So each of us must pretend to find, or re-erect, a pattern.
So [in mathematics] we get to play and imagine whatever we want and make patterns and ask questions about them. But how do we answer these questions? It’s not at all like science. There’s no experiment I can do ... The only way to get at the truth about our imaginations is to use our imaginations, and that is hard work.
I'm prepared now to use the wonderful word confluence, which of itself exists as a reality and a symbol in one. It is the only kind of symbol that for me as a writer had any weight, testifying to the pattern, one of the chief patterns, of human experience. Of course the greatest confluence of all is that which makes up the human memory - the individual human memory. My own is the treasure most dearly regarded by me, in my life and in my work as a writer. Here time, also, is subject to confluence. The memory is a living thing - it too is in transit. But during its moment, all that is remembered joins, and lives - the old and the young, the past and the present, the living and the dead.
I remember a cartoon depicting a chimney sweep falling from the roof of a tall building and noticing on the way that a signboard had one word spelled wrong, and wondering in his headlong flight why nobody had thought of correcting it. In a sense, we all are crashing to our death from the top story of our birth to the flat stones of the churchyard and wondering with an immortal Alice in Wonderland at the patterns of the passing wall. This capacity to wonder at trifles—no matter the imminent peril—these asides of the spirit, these footnotes in the volume of life are the highest forms of consciousness, and it is in this childishly speculative state of mind, so different from common sense and its logic, that we know the world to be good.
When someone is cruel, harsh, mean, to not take their words personally is one thing, but to hear the silent cry within those words is another. This sort of perspective can not only liberate us from crippling self-doubt in the face of criticism, it can also liberate us from automatically becoming blind participants in the interaction patterns that the cruel person has become accustomed to—a favour we do for the other person as much as for ourselves.
At this moment, in this place, the shifting action potential in my neurons cascade into certain arrangements, patterns, thoughts; they flow down my spine, branch into my arms, my fingers, until muscles twitch and thought is translated into motion; mechanical levers are pressed; electrons are rearranged; marks are made on paper.At another time, in another place, light strikes the marks, reflects into a pair of high-precision optical instruments sculpted by nature after billions of years of random mutations; upside-down images are formed against two screens made up of millions of light-sensitive cells, which translate light into electrical pulses that go up the optic nerves, cross the chiasm, down the optic tracts, and into the visual cortex, where the pulses are reassembled into letters, punctuation marks, words, sentences, vehicles, tenors, thoughts.The entire system seems fragile, preposterous, science fictional.
I have noticed that the solar radiation reflections from rippled privacy windows cause greatly accelerated growth patterns in plants
If we experience any failures or setbacks, we do not forget them because they offend our self-esteem. Instead we reflect on them deeply, trying to figure out what went wrong and discern whether there are any patterns to our mistakes.
I do believe in fate, Anne-not the blind fate that gives one no freedom of choice, but a fate that sets down a pattern for each of our lives and gives us choices, numerous choices, by which to find that pattern and be happy.
The library will endure; it is the universe. As for us, everything has not been written; we are not turning into phantoms. We walk the corridors, searching the shelves and rearranging them, looking for lines of meaning amid leagues of cacophony and incoherence, reading the history of the past and our future, collecting our thoughts and collecting the thoughts of others, and every so often glimpsing mirrors, in which we may recognize creatures of the information.