Wednesday, 27 August 2014


'The defining features of the human condition can all be traced to our ability to stand back from the world, for our selves and from the immediacy of experience. This enables us to plan, to think flexibly and inventively, and, in brief, to take control of the world around us rather than simply respond to it passively.' 
Iain McGilchrist, The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, p.21. 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


"...Mighty hard to get a boy to come to it right under his daddy's hand. I don'y know why."...
"Well," Mat says, "I do know why. By the time a boy gets big enough to work, his daddy's already been his boss for a long time, and not always an easy one. They've already pretty well-tested each other, and know each other's weaknesses and flaws. There are a lot of old irritations all ready-made. And then a man teaching his own boy gets misled by pride. What he does wrong looks like your failure as much as it is his, and so you don't correct or punish for his sake, but yours. The way around to let him work with somebody older than he is....that you know he admires.'
Wendell Berry, A Place on Earth, p.177.


'...the worst thing about preachers is they think they've got to say something whether anything can be said or not.'
Wendell Berry, A Place on Earth, p.105.


'The ideal rides ahead of the real, renewing beyond it, perishing in it - unreachable, surely, but made new over and over again just by hope and by the passage of time; what has not yet failed remains possible. And the ideal, remaining undiminished and perfect, out of reach, makes possible a judgment of failure, and a just grief and sympathy.'
Wendell Berry, A Place on Earth, p.72.


'...why do you think Jesus Christ came into this world through a pregnant, unwed teenage girl in a patriarchal shame-and-honor culture? God didn't have to do it that way. But I think it was his way of saying, "I don't do things the way the world expects, but in the opposite way altogether. My power is made perfect in weakness. My Savior-Prince will be born not into a cradle in a royal palace but into a feed trough in a stable - not to powerful and famous people but to disgraced peasants. And that is all part of the pattern.'
Timothy Keller, Encounters with Jesus, p.203.


'You ascended from before our eyes and we turned back grieving, only to find you in our hearts.'
Augustine of Hippo in Timothy Keller, Encounters with Jesus, p.179.


'The basic purpose of prayer is not to bend God's will to mine but to mold my will into his.' 
Timothy Keller, Encounters with Jesus, p.167.


'When you are in moments of pain and shock, the things that come out of your mind and mouth are the most primal things in your being. And when Jesus was in such moments, out came the words of the Bible. Something like 10 per cent of all the things he says in the Bible are quotations of, or allusions to, the Hebrew Scriptures. When you know Scripture that well, you process all thoughts and feelings through a grid of biblical revelation. And when you have God's own assurances, summonses, promises, and revelations secured that deep inside you, its extremely difficult for Satan to get a foothold and block your assurance of your salvation. You aren't vulnerable along the front where he can best attack you.'
Timothy Keller, Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life's Biggest Questions, p.123.

Monday, 11 August 2014


' caress that body which is of one's own sex is to caress one's self, and thus is not an escape of the self but an imprisonment within it.' 
John Williams, Augustus, p. 304. 


'...there is no wall that can be built to protect the human heart from its own weakness.' 
John Williams, Augustus, p.301.  


'The poet contemplates the chaos of experience, the confusion of accident, and the incomprehensible realms of possibility - which is to say the world in which we all so intimately live that few of us take the trouble to examine it. The fruits of that contemplation are the discovery, or invention, of some small principle of harmony and order that may be isolated from that disorder which obscures it, and the subjection of that discovery to those who poetic laws which at last make it possible. No general ever more carefully exercises his troops in their intricate formations than does the poet dispose his words to the rigorous necessity of meter; no consul more shrewdly aligns this faction against that in order to achieve his need than the poet who balances one line with another in order to display his truth; and no Emperor ever so carefully organizes the disparate parts of the world that he rules so that they will constitute a whole than does the poet dispose the details of his poem so that another world, perhaps more real than the one that we so precariously inhabit, will spin in the universe of men's minds.' 
John Williams, Augustus, p.295. 


'How contrary an animal is man, who most treasures what he refuse or abandons! The soldier who has chosen war for his profession in the midst of battle longs for peace, and in the security of peace hungers for the clash of sword and the chaos of the bloody field; the slave who sets himself against his unchosen servitude and by his industry purchases his freedom, then binds himself to a patron more cruel and demanding than his master was; the lover who abandons his mistress lives thereafter in his dreams of her imagined perfection.' 
John Williams, Augustus, p.284.