Oct. 21. The prospect is limited to Nobscot and Annursnack. The trees stand with boughs downcast like pilgrims beaten by a storm, and the whole landscape wears a sombre aspect. So when thick vapors cloud the soul, it strives in vain to escape from its humble working-day valley, and pierce the dense fog which shuts out from view the blue peaks in its horizon, but must be content to scan its near and homely hills.
—Henry David Thoreau.
In the growth of the embryo, Sir Everard Home, I think, noticed that the evolution was not from one central point, but co-active from three or more points. Life has no memory. That which proceeds in succession might be remembered, but that which is coexistent, or ejaculated from a deeper cause, as yet far from being conscious, knows not its own tendency. So is it with us, now skeptical, or without unity, because immersed in forms and effects all seeming to be of equal yet hostile value, and now religious, whilst in the reception of spiritual law. Bear with these distractions, with this coetaneous growth of the parts: they will one day be members, and obey one will.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Some conception of [evil] would be reached by thinking of measurelessness as opposed to measure, of the unbounded against bound, the unshaped against a principle of shape, the ever-needy against the self-sufficing; think of the ever-undefined, the never at rest, the all-accepting but never sated, utter dearth; and make all this character not mere accident in it but its equivalent for essential-being, so that, whatsoever fragment of it is taken, that part is all lawless void, while whatever participates in it and resembles it becomes evil…
But let us return to the [turtle] eggs in which the formation of the yolk is just beginning. The instant the water is allowed to act upon a portion of the yolk, the hyaline masses swell slightly, and the internal portions lose their homogeneity; multitudes of faint granular particles appear suddenly; they dance about their confined sphere in a zigzag quiver, and finally their delicate boundary wall, which by this time has become unequivocally demonstrated, bursts suddenly on one side, and extrudes at a single contractive effort nearly the whole horde of its vivacious motes, assuming itself by this loss a wrinkled, unsymmetrical, much diminished shape, but still holding a few oscillating corpuscles.
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, as a result of his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
[Gerard Manley Hopkins] felt that everything in the universe was characterized by what he called inscape, the distinctive design that constitutes individual identity. This identity is not static but dynamic. Each being in the universe ‘selves,’ that is, enacts its identity. And the human being, the most highly selved, the most individually distinctive being in the universe, recognizes the inscape of other beings in an act that Hopkins calls instress, the apprehension of an object in an intense thrust of energy toward it that enables one to realize specific distinctiveness. Ultimately, the instress of inscape leads one to Christ, for the individual identity of any object is the stamp of divine creation on it.
It is quite a common thing to be thus annoyed by the ringing in our ears, or memories, of the burden of an ordinary song, or some unimpressive snatches from an opera.
—Edgar Allen Poe.