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Quotations

 

Quotations

When we are engaged with reading, whether in scholarship or in a more personal search, we sometimes find that we are quarrying a few lines out of a larger text.   As quotes, these lines stand alone becoming focused kernels of thought.   Often, despite their origin as part of something else, these ‘fragments’, can seem more complete than the mother text ever was.    A quote hints at how effective reductive techniques can be.    Every time we take a snapshot we are also quarrying a moment from a larger matrix of time. As Meyer Shapiro once pointed out, a quote is a form of generosity.

 


“There are plenty of ruined buildings in the world but no ruined stones.”

— Hugh MacDiarmid   

On a Raised Beach

 

“Below what we think we are, we are something else,?we are almost anything."?

— D.H. Lawrence

 

 “The growing efforts of governments, corporations, and individuals to prevent competitors from knowing certain things that they themselves know has led to a stunning expansion of intellectual property rights and the strengthening of state classification powers … Broad areas of two of the sciences, physics and biology, are now off-limits to public discourse because they are national security risks. Our society is sequestering knowledge more extensively, rapidly, and thoroughly than any before it in history.  Indeed, the information Age should be called the Age of Amnesia because it has meant, in practice, a steep decline in public accessibility of important information,”                

 —  Robert B Laughlin

 (Physics Nobel Laureate)

 The Crime of Reason

 

“People often try to substitute criteria for the activity of distinguishing essentials and accidentals.  An essay may be judged to be good because of the journal in which it is published; a painting or building is praised because it costs a lot of money;  an achievement is deemed good because certain people say it is.  The use of criteria is an evasion of the responsibility to think.  We must rely on criteria in many areas because we cannot become expert in everything, but if we have any responsibility for making a judgment in a particular domain, if our evaluation and decision make a difference, we are obliged to know enough about the matter, and to take sufficient pains to let the essentials of the issue assert themselves in our minds.”

— Robert Sokolowsky

Presence and Absence


“Like cars in amusement parks, our direction is often determined through collisions.”

—Yahia Lababidi

 

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”

— Albert Einstein

 

“…That seems a very … fundamental intellectual difference… one of the most important steps that man has taken… the distinction between the molding action of the hand and the splitting or analytic action of the hand. It seems the most natural thing in the world to take some clay and mould it into a ball, …  This is the man-made shape… [reflecting] the shaping action of man.  And nothing has been discovered about nature herself …The only thing that you reflect is the shape of your own hand. But there is another action of the human hand which is different and opposite.  That is the splitting of wood or stone; for by that action the hand (armed with a tool) probes and explores beneath the surface, … Now the hand no longer imposes itself on the shape of things.  Instead it becomes an instrument of discovery…”

— J. Bronowski

The Ascent of Man

 

“Carving creates a face for the stone. … Modelling is more purely plastic creation: it makes things, it does not disclose, as a face, the significance of what already exists. …but objects which in virtue of their surface sensitiveness, shows a face. … ”

— Adrian Stokes

pp 22 & 18

 

“And is it not also the bird, which, as it cuts through the sky, writes and repeats the universal “delete” which rules our fate.”

—Edmond Jabes 

The Book of Questions

 

“…the time of life when the joys are most likely to come from contraction rather than expansion…”

—Demosthenes

 

 

“In youth we feel richer for every new illusion; in maturer years, for every one we lose.”

— Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine

 

“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. “

— John Stuart Mill

 

“ This was obviously due to the fact that my intuition was not strong enough in the field of mathematics in order to differentiate clearly the fundamentally important, that which is really basic, from the rest of the more or less dispensable erudition.  In this field [physics], however, I soon learned to scent out that which was able to lead to fundamentals, and to turn aside from everything else, from the multitude of things which clutter up the mind and divert it from the essentials.”

— Albert Einstein

 

 

“For in mathematics, as in other disciplines, the power of a system resides in its elegance (literally its capacity to pick out or elect), which is achieved by condensing as much as is needed into as little as is needed, and so making that little as free from irrelevance (or from elaboration) as is allowed by the necessity of writing it out and reading it in with ease and without error.”

—  G. Spencer Brown

The Laws of Form

 

“Children play a kind of game which might be called 'Do as I do'.  There are very many varieties, but basically the leader challenges the victims to imitate him as, for instance, he outlines a face on the floor, chanting, "Two eyes a nose and a mouth. Do as I do" The victims hopefully follow the leaders actions but they do not pass the test, for the pattern they have seen and copied is only part of the pattern that he has ordained shall be copied.  He may have coughed, or crossed his arms or scratched his ear in addition to outlining the face, and his victims fail because they do not appreciate this as part of the instructions.”

— M. L. Johnson Abercrombie

The Anatomy of Judgment

 

“If anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.”

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

“Even granite is heightened by human touch.  Continual contact with hands and clothes causes nearly all stones to develop a smooth surface which is seldom observed to flake off.”

—Adrian  Stokes

Stones of Rimini

 

“Almost magically, motion patterns can go from being uncoordinated one day to being acceptable motions the next day. ‘We get it!’ But what is often overlooked is how  ‘we got it’  and why some people take so long to make progress.”

 — Michael Hebron

 

“Panpsychism, roughly speaking, is the view that all things have mind or  a mind-like quality.. It is an ancient concept, dating back to the earliest days  of both Eastern and Western civilizations. The term ‘panpsychism’, intro-

duced by the Italian philosopher Patrizi in the sixteenth century, derives from the Greek ‘pan’(all) and ‘psyche’(mind or soul). The theological implications of soul are largely set aside in the present work; at issue is the notion  of mind as a naturalistic aspect of reality”.

— David Skrbina

Panpsychism In The West

 

“Listen to this!” shouted Monkey. “After all the trouble we had getting here from China, and after you specially ordered that we were to be given the scriptures, Amanda and Kasyapa made a fraudulent delivery of goods.  They gave us blank copies to take away; I ask you, what is the good of that to us?”

“You needn’t shout,” said the Buddha, smiling.  As a matter of fact, it is such blank scrolls as these that are the true scriptures. But I quite see that the people of China are too foolish and ignorant to believe this, so there is nothing for it but to give them copies with some writing on.”

 

— Wu Ch’êng-ên  

Monkey

 

 

“Each person enfolds something of the spirit of the other in his consciousness.”

— David Bohm 

 

 

“Mind, rather than emerging as a late outgrowth in the evolution of life, has existed always … the source and condition of physical reality”.

— George Wald  

 

"Consciousness was here first."

Willis Harman  

 

 

“To divide or multiply consciousness is something meaningless.  There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds or consciousness … in truth there is only one mind.”

—  Erwin Schrödinger 

 

 

“ The individual mind is immanent, but not only in the body.  It is immanent also in the pathways and messages outside the body, and there is a larger Mind of which the individual mind is only a subsystem.  This larger Mind is comparable to God and is perhaps what some people mean by ‘God’, but it is still immanent in the total interconnected social system and planetary ecology” .

 — Gregory Bateson

 

 

“There is evidence … that the universe as a whole is hospitable to the growth of mind…therefore it is reasonable to believe in the existence of …a mental component of the universe.  If we believe in this mental component of the universe, then we can say that we are small pieces of god’s mental apparatus.”

Freeman Dyson  

 

 

 “ All that’s separating you from him, from the other person, is your skin.  Remove the skin and you experience that person’s touch in your mind. You dissolve the barrier between you and another human being…There is no real independent self aloof from other human beings, inspecting the world and inspecting other people, separating you from other human beings…in fact you are connected quite literally by your neurons and there are whole chains of neurons around this room talking with each other and there is no real distinction between your consciousness and another’s consciousness and this is not mumbo jumbo philosophy  this is basic neuroscience.”

—V.S.Ramachandran,

from his TED lecture The Great Leap Forward … explaining mirror neurons and how they fire when we act but also when we watch someone else perform the same action. He calls them empathy neurons.

 

“One of the most surprising discoveries of modern physics is that objects aren't as separate as they may seem … these connections were predicted by quantum theory and were called "spooky action at a distance" by Albert Einstein. One of the founders of quantum theory, Erwin Schrödinger, dubbed this peculiarity entanglement, saying, "I would not call that one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics."  …Scientists are now finding that there are ways in which the effects of microscopic entanglements "scale up" into our macroscopic world. Entangled connections between carefully prepared atomic-sized objects can persist over many miles. There are theoretical descriptions showing how tasks can be accomplished by entangled groups without the members of the group communicating with each other in any conventional way. Some scientists suggest that the remarkable degree of coherence displayed in living systems might depend in some fundamental way on quantum effects like entanglement. Others suggest that conscious awareness is caused or related in some important way to entangled particles in the brain. Some even propose that the entire universe is a single, self-entangled object.” 

— Dean Radin

Entangled Minds

 

 “If you could see what is happening in all my nerve fibres and all my inputs and all my outputs, then it wouldn’t be very sensible to draw a line around me and say he is limited there.  There is a mass of pathways for messages and information to travel on in this room. …The skin is a pickup affair.  It’s not the blind man’s stick. The stick is the pathway it goes along.  Where does the blind man begin? Can we cut him off halfway up the stick? But you are cutting the line of communication when you cut there.  The rule for any sort of systems theory is to draw around the lines of communication, so far as you can. …” 

—Gregory Bateson

A Sacred Unity

 

"I learn through my hands, my eyes, and my skin what I can never learn through my brain.”

— M.C.Richards

 

“We have to stop overvaluing words; we should realize that they are only one of the many bridges that connect our thoughts to common life.”

— Rainer Maria Rilke  

 

“In visual experience, which pushes objectification further than does tactile experience, we can, at least at first sight, flatter ourselves that we constitute the world, because it presents us with a spectacle spread out before us at a distance, and gives us the illusion of being immediately present everywhere and being situated nowhere. Tactile experience, on the other hand, adheres to the surface of our body; we cannot unfold it before us, and it never quite becomes an object.”

— Maurice Merleau-Ponte

The Phenomenology of Perception

 

“The body knows things … before the mind catches up to them.”

  —  Lilly Owens

 

“Not known because not looked for

But heard, half-heard in the stillness

between two waves of the sea.”

— T.S. Elliott

Little Gidding

(From the Four Quartets)  

 

 

“Either through experience or intuition, you are aware of where the power lies and it is hard to keep your scientific statements from being transmuted from nonjudgmental objective science into politics. You are confronting the underground power structure — the one obsessed with the notion that everyone should prove loyalty to the team by conforming, and the one which requires that you recant and say that what you have said isn’t really true.”

 —Edward T Hall

An Anthropology of Everyday Life

 

“To read without speaking, to understand without language”

— Michel Serres

 

"What I believe most of all is that in the late twentieth century, culminating in Postmodernism, we have distanced ourselves from a sense of touch.  Increasingly the surface is everything.  To touch, to move inside the surface of something, is a capacity that takes time to develop, and increasingly, in most experiences, that seems to me to be in the public interest.  The luxury of time is, however, increasingly foreclosed.  More than anything in the world I want this sense of touch to be made more available.  I have staked everything on the belief that if I want to increase the experience of the sense of touch, then maybe somebody might want to share it."

—Thomas Joshua Cooper

interview with Nick Hackworth

 

“Balance is partly an involuntary and unconscious business, dependent on ‘spinal reflexes.’  When provided with appropriate context, these reflexes go into oscillation that is called ‘clonus,’ a phenomenon that is familiar to everybody and which is easily produced. (While sitting, place the leg with thigh horizontal and foot supported on the floor.  Move the foot inward toward you so that the heel is off the floor and the ball of the foot supports the weight of the leg. When the weights and angles are correctly adjusted, an oscillation will start in the muscle of the calf with a frequency of about six to eight per second, and an amplitude of about an inch at the knee.  This oscillation is called clonus in neurophysiology and is a recurrent series of patellar reflexus, generated in a feedback circuit.  The effect of each contraction is fed back as a modification of tension to the calf muscle. This change of tension triggers the next patellar reflex.”

— Gregory Bateson

A Sacred Unity

 

 

“In lecturing, I commonly make a heavy dot with chalk on the surface of the blackboard, crushing the chalk a little against the board to achieve some thickness in the patch.  I now have on the board something rather like the bump in the road.  If I lower my fingertip — a touch sensitive area  — vertically onto the white spot, I shall not feel it.  But if I move my finger across the spot, the difference in levels is very conspicuous.  I know exactly where the edge of the dot is, how steep it is, and so on.”  

— Gregory Bateson

Mental Processes 

Mind and Nature: a Necessary Unity 

 

‘[The] hand’s essence can never be determined, or explained, by its being an organ which can grasp…Every motion of the hand in every one of its works carries itself through the elements of thinking, every bearing of the hand bears itself in that element…”

— Martin Heidegger

What Calls for Thinking

 

“Hand gestures not only enhance our ability to articulate thoughts, they also may boost thinking itself.  Psychologists at the University of Chicago found that children who were encouraged to gesture while explaining how they approached a math problem became more receptive afterwards to instructions on how to solve other numeric brainteasers.  Conveying an unspoken idea with gestures, the scientists said, prompted new problem solving strategies that readied kids to learn.”

— Scientific American Mind 

Feb/March 2008 

 

 

“We must resist the impulse to translate every other art into verbal terms… So many effects in nature and in visual and musical art say much through overtones, all sorts of vague symbolic allegorical suggestions which cannot be put into words, not even by the greatest poets…Explanations can satisfy only in a world of objects that have no attribute but measurable-ness….”

— Bernard Berenson   

Aesthetics and History

 

“The Navajo sense of thought is also fluid, an active and effective force that can influence the material and spiritual worlds. The western view, on the other hand, sees the mind’s activities as determined by the world outside. This inside perspective and responsibility is innate in cultures living in harmony with the earth. The thoughts and intentions of the people create their experience and the thus lies the power of their ceremonies which constantly intend to restore the world to its natural condition of hózhó.”

— Richard L Anderson

Calliope’s Sisters:

A Comparative Study of Philosophies of Art

 

"It is not a question of memories themselves. They must first all get into our bloodstream. For only when their looks and gestures, have become nameless and indistinguishable from ourselves can it happen that, at rare moments, the first word of a verse arises in their midst and detaches itself from them."

— Marie Rainer Rilke

 

“By holding it tightly I feel strangely more detached.  If I just simply let go and allow my hand and my arm to be a support system suddenly I have more dynamic with less effort...And I feel one with stick and one with the drum.”

—  Evelyn Glennie 

Glennie is a deaf percussionists.When she performs she ‘hears’ through her bare feet.  

 

“I sometimes wonder, if the hand is not more sensitive to the beauties of sculpture than the eye.  I should think the wonderful rhythmical flow of lines and curves could be more subtly felt than seen. Be this as it may I know that I can feel the heart-throbs of the ancient Greeks in their marble gods and goddesses.”

 — Helen Keller 

 

“[The] hand’s essence can never be determined, or explained, by its being an organ which can grasp…Every motion of the hand in every one of its works carries itself through the elements of thinking, every bearing of the hand bears itself in that element…”

— Martin Heidegger:

     What Calls for Thinking

 

“If I ask you how many fingers you have, you will probably answer, “Five.” That I believe to be an incorrect answer…[because] you are asking a question [incorrectly]. In the process of human growth, there is surely no word which means finger, and no word which means five.  There might be a word for “branching,” a command of some sort identifying the contingencies of branching. If that is so, then the right question would be: How many relations between pairs of fingers do you have? And the correct answer, of course, is four.  The relation between one and two, the relation between two and three, between three and four, four and five. ( It is unlikely, I think, that the relation between number four and five acted back upon the relation between one and two — but conceivable.)

You should be counting not the things which are related, but the relationships; not the relata, but the relationships. How many branchings did it take to make a hand? Not how many fingers were a result of such branchings.

Look at your hand now…And try to catch the difference between seeing it as a base for five parts and seeing it as constructed of a tangle of relationships.  Not a tangle, a pattern of the interlocking of relationships which were the determinants of its growth. And if you can really manage to see the hand in terms of the epistemology that I am offering you, I think you will find that your hand is suddenly much more recognizably beautiful as a product of relationship than as a composition of countable parts.  In other words … even without much knowledge to adventure into what it would be like to look at the world with a biological epistemology, you will come into contact with concepts which the biologists don’t look at all..... These may be real components in the world that you as a living creature live in."

— Gregory Bateson

“Last Lecture”

 

I’ll have a wager with you” said Buddha.  “If you are really so clever, jump off the palm of my right hand.  If you succeed, I’ll tell the Jade Emporor to come and live with me in the Western Paradise, and you shall have his throne without more ado.  But if you fail, you shall go back to earth and do penance there for many a kalpa before you come back to me with your talk.”

“This Buddha,” Monkey thought to himself, “is a perfect fool.  I can jump a hundred and eight thousand leagues, while his palm cannot be as much as eight inches across.  How could I fail to jump clear of it?”

You’re sure you’re in a position to do this for me? ” he asked.

Of course I am,” said Buddha.

He stretched out his right hand, which looked about the size of a lotus leaf. Monkey put his cudgel behind his ear, and leapt with all his might. “That’s all right,” he said to himself. “I’m right off it now.”  He was whizzing so fast that he was almost invisible, and Buddha, watching him with the eye of Wisdom, saw a mere whirligig shoot along.

The monkey came at last to five pink pillars, sticking up into the air. “This is the end of the World,” said Monkey to himself. “All I have got to do is to go back to Buddha and claim my forfeit. The throne is mine.”

“Wait a minute,” he said presently.  “I’d better just leave a record of some kind, in case I have trouble with Buddha.”  He plucked a hair and blew on it with magic breath, crying ‘change!’  It changed at once into a writing brush charged with heavy ink, and at the base of the central pillar he wrote, “the great Sage Equal to Heaven reached this place.”  Then, to mark his disrespect, he relieved himself at the botton of the first pillar, and somersaulted back to where he had come from. Standing before Buddha’s palm he said

Well, I’ve gone and come back. You can go and tell the Jade Emperor to hand over the palaces of Heaven.”

You stinking ape, “ said Buddha, “You’ve  been on the palm of my hand all the time.”

You are quite mistaken,” said Monkey. “I got to the end of the World, where I saw five flesh coloured pillars sticking up into the sky. I wrote something on one of them. I’ll take you there and show you, if you like.”

No need for that,” said Buddha. “Just look down.”

Monkey peered down with his fiery, steely eyes, and there at the base of the middle finger of Buhhda’s hand he saw written the words, “The Great Sage Equal to Heaven reached this place,’ and from the fork between the thumb and first finger came the smell of monkey’s urine.

— Wu Ch’êng-ên  

Monkey

 

“Hand gestures not only enhance our ability to articulate thoughts, they also may boost thinking itself.  Psychologists at the University of Chicago found that children who were encouraged to gesture while explaining how they approached a math problem became more receptive afterwards to instructions on how to solve other numeric brainteasers.  Conveying an unspoken idea with gestures, the scientists said, prompted new problem solving strategies that readied kids to learn.”

— Scientific American Mind 

Feb/March 2008  

 

 

“I am making a basic separation between architecture as molding and architecture as the assembly of parts. That seems a very simple distinction: the mud house, the stone masonry.  But in fact it represents a fundamental intellectual difference, not just a technical one. And I believe it to be one of the most important steps that man has taken, wherever and whenever he did so: the distinction between the molding action of the hand and the splitting or analytic action of the hand.

It seems the most natural thing in the world to take some clay and mould it into a ball, a little clay figure, a cup, a pit house.  At first we feel that the shape of nature has been given us by this.  But, of course, it has not.  This is the man-made shape.  What the pot does is to reflect the cupped hand; what the pit house does is to reflect the shaping action of man.  And nothing has been discovered about nature herself whan man imposes these warm, rounded, feminine artistic shapes on her.  The only thing that you reflect is the shape of your own hand.

But there is another action of the human hand which is different and opposite.  That is the splitting of wood or stone; for by that action the hand (armed with a tool) probes and explores beneath the surface, … Now the hand no longer imposes itself on the shape of things.  Instead it becomes an instrument of discovery…”

— J. Bronowski

The Ascent of Man


 

 

"If the body had been easier to understand, nobody would have thought that we had a mind."

    — Richard Rorty

    Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature

 

 

 

 

“ Our body is not in space like things; it inhabits or haunts space.  It applies itself to space like a hand to an instrument, and when we wish to move about we do not move the body as we move an object."

— Maurice Merleau-Ponty

 “The Primacy of Perception & other essays”

 

“…when I think this object, that subject, there is no doubt that I am this subject, that object, if I truly think them; when I think a given concept, I am entirely this concept, when I think tree, I am the tree, when I think river, I am the river, when I think number, I am through and through and from head to toe, number.  That is the unquestionable experience of thinking.”

— Michel Serres 

Genesis

 

“ The hand is no longer a hand when it has taken hold of the hammer, it is the hammer itself, it is no longer a hammer, it flies, transparent, between the hammer and the nail, it disappears and dissolves, my own hand has long since taken flight in writing.  The hand and thought, like one’s tongue, disappear in their determinations.”

— Michel Serres  

Genesis

One cannot grip one’s pen but this thing, which does not yet have a word, takes off.

 — Michel Serres 

Genesis

 

 “Life has grown from the rock and still rests upon it; because men have left it far behind, they are able consciously to turn back to it.  We do turn back, for it has kept some hold over us.

— Jacquetta Hawkes

 A Land 

 

 

“Background noise is the background of the world.” 

— Michel Serres 

 Genesis

 

"On the day when a statue is finished, its life, in a certain sense, begins."

— Marguerite Yourcenar

That Mighty Sculptor, Time

 

“Etymologically the evidence does point to quarries as the prototype of the Labyrinth.  Not only was the Labyrinth the double axe — a divine symbol; in antiquity it served as the quarrier’s tool.”

— Bernard Rudofsky

The Prodigious Builder

 

"Between the end of the Jurassic and the beginning of the Tertiary era a great amount of chalk was formed.  It was such a striking episode that the whole period has been called the Cretaceous Age.  Minute an innumerable oceanic animals, called foraminifera, floating about near the surface of the sea, sunk to the bottom when dead, and then accumulated in a slowly solidifying ooze.  We call the resultant accumulation Chalk.  If we examine a handful of it under a microscope we find that it consists of the casing of the foraminifera — really shells of the most delicate and beautiful design, six thousand to a square inch.  In view of the fact that such deposits are only found today at a depth of about twelve thousand feet, it would seem that this Dorset hill was once in the abysses of the sea whose surface flowed where the low flying clouds float now …"

   — John Stewart Collis

    The Worm Forgives the Plough

 

 

 “Istrian marble blackens in the shade, is snow white or salt-white where exposed to the sun.”

— A Stokes

Stones of Rimini

 

“It is significant that most stones used for carving possess preeminently inner light, whereas the modeler casts his clay into hollow shining metal.”

— Adrian Stokes

Critical writings

volume II

 

"The place of incorporation or in-formation was moved into the eye, was believed to occur in the crystal body behind the pupil. This inversion of vision is reflected very clearly in the change of epistemology taking place in the course of the thirteenth century, the peak period of scholastic thinking. Cognition in Thomas Aquinas, the great Italian Dominican scholar, is still modeled on the scopic regime of tradition. The intellectus agens behaves like the visual ray of the classical gaze. It goes out to reach the object, and by illuminating the object forces it to show its universal characteristics; it's as if the intellectus agens is the sun "forcing" objects to show their colors.

The "acting" intellect abstracts these universal characteristics from the object of cognition. Analogously to the visual ray tinged by a color, the intellect is informed "intentionally" by these characteristics which, then, by reflection, it unites with the spirit from which it had been sent out. - By the end of the thirteenth century, the great Franciscan scholars in England, principally Roger Bacon and William of Ockham, are already marked by the new scopic regime attributed to Alhazen. They try to understand cognition as the result of a so-called multiplicatio specierum, a kind of metaphysical simulacrum swarming out from the object of cognition to be grasped, embodied and named by the knowing subject. Another result of this inversion appears clearly in the treatment of light in painting. Wolfgang Schöne has examined such light as a transition from the luminous to the illuminated object. When we contemplate a medieval miniature or mosaic, what we see are radiating colors: objects are intrinsically alight, phos-phorous, light-carrying entities. They throw no shadow, there is no shading, no indication of a light source causing this luminosity. Things appear in their Eigen-licht, their own sparkle. This changes, not as fast as in philosophy, but just as inexorably. By the end of the fourteenth century, painters acquire competence in shading. Not long afterwards, they paint objects in such a way that the viewer clearly notices the location of the source - extrinsic to the objects - that illuminates them. Artists paint the shadows that things throw. The painter restricts himself to what a fixed light shows (Zeigelicht) and illuminates. The source of light has become this-worldly. The image bespeaks the transformation of the gaze from the outgoing act of a touching grasp to a reception of things that light brings into the eye."

— Ivan Illich

The Scopic Past and the Ethics of the Gaze

 

“I do not want Michael Angelo for breakfast, for luncheon, for tea, for supper, for between meals. In Florence, he painted everything, designed everything, nearly, and what he did not design he used to sit on a favorite stone and look at, and they showed us the stone…He designed Saint Peter’s;  he designed the Pope;  he designed the Pantheon, the uniform of the Pope’s soldiers, the Tiber, the Vatican….the eternal bore designed the Eternal City….?”

   — Mark Twain

 

Mark Twain on his first visit to Rome was deeply impressed by Michelangelo’s works, but gradually got tired of having Michelangelo thrown up all the time. One guide mentioned Michelangelo’s name one too many times: Mark Twain had had enough

 

“The closer you see paintings approach good sculpture, the better they will be; the more sculptures will approach paintings, the worse you will hold them to be.”

—  Michaelangelo,

as recorded by Giovani Battista

 

“ The biases in the mind are what might usefully be called hidden assumption, because we are generally unaware of what they are but nevertheless take them for granted — without proper logical scrutiny — and apply them automatically.  …. Though very little is known about how these hidden assumptions are implemented by our neural hardware, their existence is established by logic.  Without them, we would be soaked in sensory overload, never sure of anything, and never learn a language (or a single word).  Since we get on just fine, hidden assumptions must reside somewhere in the brain.  Unfortunately, for many aspects of human cognition, we have come to know the necessity, but precisely what these are and how they are integrated in the brain remains a mystery.  This is not helped by the tendency to underestimate the complexity that lies beneath ‘easy’ things such as seeing walking, and talking.”

— Charles Yang

The Infinite Gift

 

"Panpsychism, roughly speaking, is the view that all things have mind or  a mind-like quality.1It is an ancient concept, dating back to the earliest days of both Eastern and Western civilizations. The term ‘panpsychism’, introduced by the Italian philosopher Patrizi in the sixteenth century, derives from the Greek ‘pan’(all) and ‘psyche’(mind or soul). The theological implications of soul are largely set aside in the present work; at issue is the notion of mind as a naturalistic aspect of reality."

— David Skrbina

Panpsychism In The West

 

“And the actual achievements of biology are explanations in terms of mechanisms founded on physics and chemistry, which is not the same thing as explanations in terms of physics and chemistry.

— Michael Polanyi

 

 

 

 

 

 “Smoothness is not a collection of similar pressures but the way in which a surface utilizes the time occupied by our tactile exploration, or modulates the movement of our hand.”

 

— Merleau-Ponte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 “Tactility can be described as the body’s reaction to the spaces and environment around it.  Engaging the senses, tactility informs the mind of the body’s limitations, desires and fragility.  These senses are developed throughout our lives and become our tacit knowledge.”

 

—Susie McCorquodale 

in a “Research Debate” at eca

 

“…That seems a very … fundamental intellectual difference… one of the most important steps that man has taken… the distinction between the molding action of the hand and the splitting or analytic action of the hand. It seems the most natural thing in the world to take some clay and mould it into a ball, …  This is the man-made shape… [reflecting] the shaping action of man.  And nothing has been discovered about nature herself …The only thing that you reflect is the shape of your own hand. But there is another action of the human hand which is different and opposite.  That is the splitting of wood or stone; for by that action the hand (armed with a tool) probes and explores beneath the surface, … Now the hand no longer imposes itself on the shape of things.  Instead it becomes an instrument of discovery…”

— J. Bronowski

The Ascent of Man

 

“The boundary is not the point where something ends but, as the Greeks recognized, the point at which something begins its existence.”

—Martin Heidigger

 

“Carving creates a face for the stone. … Modelling is more purely plastic creation: it makes things, it does not disclose, as a face, the significance of what already exists. (p 22)  …but objects which in virtue of their surface sensitiveness, shows a face. … (p 18)”

— Adrian Stokes

 

 

 

 

 


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