Our negative thoughts are valuable messages to us about our deeper fears and negative attitudes. These usually are so basic to our thinking and feeling that we don't realize they are beliefs at all. We assume that they are simply "the way life is." We may be consciously affirming and visualizing prosperity, but if our unconscious belief is that we don't deserve it, then we won't create it. Once we become aware of our core negative beliefs, they begin to heal.
I think what happens in a religious life is that we have those experiences of affirmation and that one starts to live a Christian life or a Jewish life or a Muslim life or a Buddhist life, by affirming that affirmation each day. Each day you say 'Yes' to that Yes. So the life of being a Christian for example, is always a life of double affirmation, that you each day say 'Yes' to those counter-experiences of saying 'Yes', even when you're not experiencing them at that time, you're remaining loyal to that experience.
Americans are a lot more open, of course. There's something more declamatory in the way you express emotions. It's a stereotype but it's true. British people can appear repressed in expressing emotions. Not very good at self-evaluating, or affirming situations, touching, anything like that.
The very act of writing assumes, to begin with, that someone cares to hear what you have to say. It assumes that people share, that people can be reached, that people can be touched and even in some cases changed. So many of the things in our world lead us to despair. It seems to me that the final symptom of despair is silence, and that storytelling is one of the sustaining arts; it's one of the affirming arts. A writer may have a certain pessimism in his outlook, but the very act of being a writer seems to me to be an optimistic act.
I sat there beside him till morning - and as I watched his face in the starlight, then the first ray of the sun on his untroubled forehead and closed eyelids, what I experienced was not a prayer, I do not pray, but that state of spirit at which a prayer is a misguided attempt: a full, confident, affirming self-dedication to my love of the right, to the certainty that the right would win and that this boy would have the kind of future he deserved. . . . I did not expect it to be as great as this - or as hard.
There are always meaningful songs for somebody. People are doing their courting, people are finding their wives, people are making babies, people are washing their dishes, people are getting through the day, with songs that we may find insignificant. But their significance is affirmed by others. There's always someone affirming the significance of a song by taking a woman into his arms or by getting through the night. That's what dignifies the song. Songs don't dignify human activity. Human activity dignifies the song.
Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life. And not only do we have to put our feelings at the heart of our ambitions, we have to pursue our desires in a way that is life-affirming, rather than soul-depleting. Rigid goal-chasing is burning us out. Soul-anchored intentions are the way to get home.
Does biblical psychology, then, merely ask us to value good things a little less? Does the Bible seek a reduction of guilt by an overall deflation of the currency of moral ideals, so we can live more comfortably with an uneasy conscience? That would exaggerate a valid point. Although the Bible holds that no finite relationship is of infinite value, it does not embrace an extreme ascetic view that the source of happiness lies essentially in the reduction of desire. Some ascetic strategies try to diminish desire and reduce all valuing so as not to allow any loss to become an overwhelming disappointment. According to this view, the less one values created goods, the happier one is. In contrast, life-affirming Christianity hopes that love, desire, and appreciation of limited values can be increased or decreased to the measure of their real proportional value. Jesus does not call for a stark reduction of all finite valuing merely as a preventative measure against disappointment. He calls for a love of good things with an awareness that they exist within the boundaries of birth and death, and are therefore under the judgment of the giver and source of all value (Matt. 6:19-21).
Thomas C. Oden
Obviously, if theism is a belief in a God and atheism is a lack of a belief in a God, no third position or middle ground is possible. A person can either believe or not believe in a God. Therefore, our previous definition of atheism has made an impossibility out of the common usage of agnosticism to mean 'neither affirming nor denying a belief in God.' Actually, this is no great loss, because the dictionary definition of agnostic is still again different from Huxley's definition. The literal meaning of agnostic is one who holds that some aspect of reality is unknowable. Therefore, an agnostic is not simply someone who suspends judgment on an issue, but rather one who suspends judgment because he feels that the subject is unknowable and therefore no judgment can be made. It is possible, therefore, for someone not to believe in a God (as Huxley did not) and yet still suspend judgment (ie, be an agnostic) about whether it is possible to obtain knowledge of a God. Such a person would be an atheistic agnostic. It is also possible to believe in the existence of a force behind the universe, but to hold (as did Herbert Spencer) that any knowledge of that force was unobtainable. Such a person would be a theistic agnostic.
To struggle against censorship, whatever its nature, and whatever the power under which it exists, is my duty as a writer, as are calls for freedom of the press. I am a passionate supporter of that freedom, and I consider that if any writer were to imagine that he could prove he didn't need that freedom, then he would be like a fish affirming in public that it didn't need water.
Among us, on the other hand, 'the righteous man lives by faith.' Now, if you take away positive affirmation, you take away faith, for without positive affirmation nothing is believed. And there are truths about things unseen, and unless they are believed, we cannot attain to the happy life, which is nothing less than life eternal. It is a question whether we ought to argue with those who profess themselves ignorant not only about the eternity yet to come but also about their present existence, for they [the Academics] even argue that they do not know what they cannot help knowing. For no one can 'not know' that he himself is alive. If he is not alive, he cannot 'not know' about it or anything else at all, because either to know or to 'not know' implies a living subject. But, in such a case, by not positively affirming that they are alive, the skeptics ward off the appearance of error in themselves, yet they do not make errors simply by showing themselves alive; one cannot err who is not alive. That we live is therefore not only true, but it is altogether certain as well. And there are many things that are thus true and certain concerning which, if we withhold positive assent, this ought not to be regarded as a higher wisdom but actually a sort of dementia.
Augustine of Hippo
The pioneer, the creator, the explorer is generally a single, lonely person rather than a group, struggling all alone with his inner conflicts, fears, defenses against arrogance and pride, even against paranoia. He has to be a courageous man, not afraid to stick his neck out, not afraid even to make mistakes, well aware that he is, as Polanyi has stressed, a kind of gambler who comes to tentative conclusions in the absence of facts and then spends some years trying to figure out if his hunch was correct. If he has any sense at all, he is of course scared of his own ideas, of his temerity, and is well aware that he is affirming what he cannot prove.
The whiteness celebrated in Paris is Burning is not just any old brand of whiteness but rather that brutal imperial ruling-class capitalist patriarchal whiteness that presents itself -its way of life- as the only meaningful life there is. What could be more reassuring to a white public fearful that marginalized disenfranchised black folks might rise any day now make revolutionary black liberation struggle a reality than a documentary affirming that colonized, victimized, exploited black folks, are all too willing to be complicit in perpetuating the fantasy that ruling-class white culture is the quintessential site of unrestricted joy, freedom, power and pleasure.
Abolition is not some disstant future but something we create in every moment when we say no to the traps of empire and yes to the nourishing possibilities dreamed of and practiced by our ancestors and friends. Every time we insist on accessible and affirming health care, safe and quality education, meaningful and secure employment, loving and healing relationships, and being our full and whole selves, we are doing abolition. Abolition is about breaking down things that oppress and building up things that nourish. Abolition is the practice of transformation in the here and now and the ever after.
Eric A. Stanley
Within biblical theology it remains the case that the one living God created a world that is other than himself, not contained within himself. Creation was from the beginning an act of love, of affirming goodness of the other. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good; but it was not itself divine. At its height, which according to Genesis 1 is the creation of humans, it was designed to REFLECT God, both to reflect God back to God in worship and to reflect God into the rest of creation in stewardship. But this image-bearing capacity of humankind is not in itself the same thing as divinity. Collapsing this distinction means taking a large step toward a pantheism within which there is no way of understanding, let alone addressing, the problem of evil.
Because cooks love the social aspect of food, cooking for one is intrinsically interesting. A good meal is like a present, and it can feel goofy, at best, to give yourself a present. On the other hand, there is something life affirming in taking the trouble to feed yourself well, or even decently. Cooking for yourself allows you to be strange or decadent or both. The chances of liking what you make are high, but if it winds up being disgusting, you can always throw it away and order a pizza; no one else will know. In the end, the experimentation, the impulsiveness, and the invention that such conditions allow for will probably make you a better cook.
The trend in modern American culture is toward ever more individualized eating... and with every food added to the list of things one does not eat, the shorter becomes the list of people with whom one can enjoy table fellowship... for those of us whose health permits, partaking readily of whatever is offered can be a way of affirming that eating together is at least as important as whatever it is that is eaten.
Margaret Kim Peterson
I do not subscribe to the abuse "victim" or "survivor" labelling mentality. I have experienced every kind of abuse imaginable and I am and always have been the most happy-go-lucky, positive and life affirming person around. Your labels do not serve you, so don't use them as an excuse to be miserable. You have a beautiful life to live, so accept the beauty and start living.
It can be considered a societal cult: one that never wants to recognize that there is another viewpoint a little less affirming than there's and, perhaps, a bit more insightful. They encourage a smile and an accepting attitude towards things that may seem, upon reflection, rather revolting. They discourage healthy analysis and critical thinking seeking rather that people simply 'just accept their lot within a grander scheme of things'. Those less interested in this soft form of indoctrination are often singled out for ridicule or shunned. Why? Because they dared challenge the accepted narrative, refusing to simply 'get with the program'. It is a cult that has entrenched itself deep within the American psyche; 'The Cult of Happy'.
We are focus-points of consciousness, [... ] enormously creative. When we enter the self-constructed hologrammetric arena we call spacetime, we begin at once to generate creativity particles, imajons, in violent continuous pyrotechnic deluge. Imajons have no charge of their own but are strongly polarized through our attitudes and by the force of our choice and desire into clouds of conceptons, a family of very-high-energy particles which may be positive, negative or neutral. [... ] Some common positive conceptions are exhilarons, excytons, rhapsodons, jovions. Common negative conceptions include gloomons, tormentons, tribulons, agonons, miserons. "Indefinite numbers of conceptions are created in nonstop eruption, a thundering cascade of creativity pouring from every center of personal consciousness. They mushroom into conception clouds, which can be neutral or strongly charged - buoyant, weightless or leaden, depending on the nature of their dominant particles. "Every nanosecond an indefinite number of conception clouds build to critical mass, then transform in quantum bursts to high-energy probability waves radiating at tachyon speeds through an eternal reservoir of supersaturated alternate events. Depending on their charge and nature, the probability waves crystallize certain of these potential events to match the mental polarity of their creating consciousness into holographic appearance. [... ] "The materialized events become that mind's experience, freighted with all the aspects of physical structure necessary to make them real and learningful to the creating consciousness. This autonomic process is the fountain from which springs every object and event in the theater of spacetime. "The persuasion of the imajon hypothesis lies in its capacity for personal verification. The hypothesis predicts that as we focus our conscious intention on the positive and life-affirming, as we fasten our thought on these values, we polarize masses of positive conceptions, realize beneficial probability-waves, bring useful alternate events to us that otherwise would not have appeared to exist. "The reverse is true in the production of negative events, as is the mediocre in-between. Through default or intention, unaware or by design, we not only choose but create the visible outer conditions that are most resonant to our inner state of being [... ]
After moving his family from Yakima to Paradise, California, in 1958, he enrolled at Chico State College. There, he began an apprenticeship under the soon-to-be-famous John Gardner, the first "real writer" he had ever met. "He offered me the key to his office, " Carver recalled in his preface to Gardner's On Becoming a Novelist (1983). "I see that gift now as a turning point." In addition, Gardner gave his student "close, line-by-line criticism" and taught him a set of values that was "not negotiable." Among these values were convictions that Carver held until his death. Like Gardner, whose On Moral Fiction (1978) decried the "nihilism" of postmodern formalism, Carver maintained that great literature is life-connected, life-affirming, and life-changing. "In the best fiction, " he wrote "the central character, the hero or heroine, is also the 'moved' character, the one to whom something happens in the story that makes a difference. Something happens that changes the way that character looks at himself and hence the world." Through the 1960s and 1970s he steered wide of the metafictional "funhouse" erected by Barth, Barthelme and Company, concentrating instead on what he called "those basics of old-fashioned storytelling: plot, character, and action." Like Gardner and Chekhov, Carver declared himself a humanist. "Art is not self-expression, " he insisted, "it's communication.
William L. Stull
It is already the fashion to diminish Eliot by calling him derivative, the mouthpiece of Pound, and so forth; and yet if one wanted to understand the apocalypse of early modernism in its true complexity it would be Eliot, I fancy, who would demand one's closest attention. He was ready to rewrite the history of all that interested him in order to have past and present conform; he was a poet of apocalypse, of the last days and the renovation, the destruction of the earthly city as a chastisement of human presumption, but also of empire. Tradition, a word we especially associate with this modernist, is for him the continuity of imperial deposits; hence the importance in his thought of Virgil and Dante. He saw his age as a long transition through which the elect must live, redeeming the time. He had his demonic host, too; the word 'Jew' remained in lower case through all the editions of the poems until the last of his lifetime, the seventy-fifth birthday edition of 1963. He had a persistent nostalgia for closed, immobile hierarchical societies. If tradition is, as he said in After Strange Gods-though the work was suppressed-'the habitual actions, habits and customs' which represent the kinship 'of the same people living in the same place' it is clear that Jews do not have it, but also that practically nobody now does. It is a fiction, a fiction cousin to a myth which had its effect in more practical politics. In extenuation it might be said that these writers felt, as Sartre felt later, that in a choice between Terror and Slavery one chooses Terror, 'not for its own sake, but because, in this era of flux, it upholds the exigencies proper to the aesthetics of Art.' The fictions of modernist literature were revolutionary, new, though affirming a relation of complementarity with the past. These fictions were, I think it is clear, related to others, which helped to shape the disastrous history of our time. Fictions, notably the fiction of apocalypse, turn easily into myths; people will live by that which was designed only to know by. Lawrence would be the writer to discuss here, if there were time; apocalypse works in Woman in Love, and perhaps even in Lady Chatterley's Lover, but not n Apocalypse, which is failed myth. It is hard to restore the fictive status of what has become mythical; that, I take it, is what Mr. Saul Bellow is talking about in his assaults on wastelandism, the cant of alienation. In speaking of the great men of early modernism we have to make very subtle distinctions between the work itself, in which the fictions are properly employed, and obiter dicta in which they are not, being either myths or dangerous pragmatic assertions. When the fictions are thus transformed there is not only danger but a leak, as it were, of reality; and what we feel about. all these men at times is perhaps that they retreated inso some paradigm, into a timeless and unreal vacuum from which all reality had been pumped. Joyce, who was a realist, was admired by Eliot because he modernized myth, and attacked by Lewis because he concerned himself with mess, the disorders of common perception. But Ulysses , alone of these great works studies and develops the tension between paradigm and reality, asserts the resistance of fact to fiction, human freedom and unpredictability against plot. Joyce chooses a Day; it is a crisis ironically treated. The day is full of randomness. There are coincidences, meetings that have point, and coincidences which do not. We might ask whether one of the merits of the book is not its lack of mythologizing; compare Joyce on coincidence with the Jungians and their solemn concordmyth, the Principle of Synchronicity. From Joyce you cannot even extract a myth of Negative Concord; he shows us fiction fitting where it touches. And Joyce, who probably knew more about it than any of the others, was not at tracted by the intellectual opportunities or the formal elegance of fascism.
Chaucer's world in The Canterbury Tales brings together, for the first time, a diversity of characters, social levels, attitudes, and ways of life. The tales themselves make use of a similarly wide range of forms and styles, which show the diversity of cultural influences which the author had at his disposal. Literature, with Chaucer, has taken on a new role: as well as affirming a developing language, it is a mirror of its times - but a mirror which teases as it reveals, which questions while it narrates, and which opens up a range of issues and questions, instead of providing simple, easy answers.
In the area of linguistics, there are major language groups: Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Greek, German, French, and so on. Most of us grow up learning the language of our parents and siblings, which becomes our primary or native tongue. Later, we may learn additional languages but usually with much more effort. These become our secondary languages. We speak and understand best our native language. We feel most comfortable speaking that language. The more we use a secondary language, the more comfortable we become conversing in it. If we speak only our primary language and encounter someone else who speaks only his or her primary language, which is different from ours, our communication will be limited. We must rely on pointing, grunting, drawing pictures, or acting out our ideas. We can communicate, but it is awkward. Language differences are part and parcel of human culture. If we are to communicate effectively across cultural lines, we must learn the language of those with whom we wish to communicate. In the area of love, it is similar. Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse understands only Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other. My friend on the plane was speaking the language of 'Affirming Words' to his third wife when he said, 'I told her how beautiful she was. I told her I loved her. I told her how proud I was to be her husband.' He was speaking love, and he was sincere, but she did not understand his language. Perhaps she was looking for love in his behavior and didn't see it. Being sincere is not enough. We must be willing to learn our spouse's primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love.
Because of the Resurrection, our natural reaction must be to get past our emotional reactions as quickly as possible and reflect on what happened in light of the cross and the resurrection and our own baptisms into that defining reality - to the life-giving and life-affirming waters of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Unconditional love is not affirming another in every decision they make especially when those choices are unhealthy. Unconditional love will risk offending in the name of genuine concern. It will risk relationship for the ultimate well-being of the other. To indiscriminately affirm the unhealthy choices of others is not love at all but perhaps the worst kind of fraud.
Michael M. Rose
SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the bright And darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives; The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night. Accurate scholarship can Unearth the whole offence From Luther until now That has driven a culture mad, Find what occurred at Linz, What huge imago made A psychopathic god: I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return. Exiled Thucydides knew All that a speech can say About Democracy, And what dictators do, The elderly rubbish they talk To an apathetic grave; Analysed all in his book, The enlightenment driven away, The habit-forming pain, Mismanagement and grief: We must suffer them all again. Into this neutral air Where blind skyscrapers use Their full height to proclaim The strength of Collective Man, Each language pours its vain Competitive excuse: But who can live for long In an euphoric dream; Out of the mirror they stare, Imperialism's face And the international wrong. Faces along the bar Cling to their average day: The lights must never go out, The music must always play, All the conventions conspire To make this fort assume The furniture of home; Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood, Children afraid of the night Who have never been happy or good. The windiest militant trash Important Persons shout Is not so crude as our wish: What mad Nijinsky wrote About Diaghilev Is true of the normal heart; For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal love But to be loved alone. From the conservative dark Into the ethical life The dense commuters come, Repeating their morning vow; 'I will be true to the wife, I'll concentrate more on my work, ' And helpless governors wake To resume their compulsory game: Who can release them now, Who can reach the dead, Who can speak for the dumb? All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die. Defenseless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame.
I do not subscribe to the abuse "victim" or "survivor" mentality. I have experienced every kind of abuse imaginable and I am and always have been the most happy go-lucky, positive and life affirming person around. Your labels do not serve you, so don't use them as an excuse to be miserable. You have a beautiful life to live, so accept the beauty and start living.
Today. the celebration is for the "victorious", not the meritorious. The depiction to the youth, is that one can be victorious without merit, and that merit is less notable than victory. The result, is the masses are selectively and passively affirming that winning trumps hard work, that theft trumps the pride of ownership, and that personal success trumps collective progress.
Justin Kyle McFarlane Beau
I dared, for the first and last time in my life, to express a theological conclusion: "But how can a necessary being exist totally polluted with the possible? What difference is there, then, between God and primogenial chaos? Isn't affirming God's absolute omnipotence and His absolute freedom with regard to His own choices tantamount to demonstrating that God does not exist?
Who will teach me to write? a reader wanted to know. The page, the page, that eternal blankness, the blankness of eternity which you cover slowly, affirming time's scrawl as a right and your daring as necessity; the page, which you cover woodenly, ruining it, but asserting your freedom and power to act, acknowledging that you ruin everything you touch but touching it nevertheless, because acting is better than being here in mere opacity; the page, which you cover slowly with the crabbed thread of your gut; the page in the purity of its possibilities; the page of your death, against which you pit such flawed excellences as you can muster with all your life's strength: that page will teach you to write.
Many of the gay Christians I was in conversation with were not demanding wholesale movement to a fully affirming and inclusive stance. There were those who were uncertain of such a stance even for themselves. What they did desire was space, a safe space without judgment, accusation, condemnation, assumption, and rejection. They desired a generous spaciousness to embrace authentic faith while engaging the quest for an honest, godly, and fulfilling life as a gay person.
I think the best fiction is about the absolute irrepressibility of love in the face of every circumstance to the contrary. Even in someone as dark, on the face of it, as Faulkner often is, there is that unquenchable glimmer... "Grace will ever find a way." I don't think fiction has to be hokey, or end up hitting you on the head with positivity, to be life affirming. I think all we have to do is go on down to the bottom of the truth and hang out there in the dark for a bit, with nowhere to go but up, and grace will find a way.
The Idiot. I have read it once, and find that I don't remember the events of the book very well-or even all the principal characters. But mostly the 'portrait of a truly beautiful person' that dostoevsky supposedly set out to write in that book. And I remember how Myshkin seemed so simple when I began the book, but by the end, I realized how I didn't understand him at all. the things he did. Maybe when I read it again it will be different. But the plot of these dostoevsky books can hold such twists and turns for the first-time reader- I guess that's b/c he was writing most of these books as serials that had to have cliffhangers and such. But I make marks in my books, mostly at parts where I see the author's philosophical points standing in the most stark relief. My copy of Moby Dick is positively full of these marks. The Idiot, I find has a few... Part 3, Section 5. The sickly Ippolit is reading from his 'Explanation' or whatever its called. He says his convictions are not tied to him being condemned to death. It's important for him to describe, of happiness: "you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it." That it's the process of life-not the end or accomplished goals in it-that matter. Well. Easier said than lived! Part 3, Section 6. more of Ippolit talking-about a christian mindset. He references Jesus's parable of The Word as seeds that grow in men, couched in a description of how people are interrelated over time; its a picture of a multiplicity. Later in this section, he relates looking at a painting of Christ being taken down from the cross, at Rogozhin's house. The painting produced in him an intricate metaphor of despair over death "in the form of a huge machine of the most modern construction which, dull and insensible, has aimlessly clutched, crushed, and swallowed up a great priceless Being, a Being worth all nature and its laws, worth the whole earth, which was created perhaps solely for the sake of the advent of this Being." The way Ippolit's ideas are configured, here, reminds me of the writings of Gilles Deleuze. And the phrasing just sort of remidns me of the way everyone feels-many people feel crushed by the incomprehensible machine, in life. Many people feel martyred in their very minor ways. And it makes me think of the concept that a narrative religion like Christianity uniquely allows for a kind of socialized or externalized, shared experience of subjectivity. Like, we all know the story of this man-and it feels like our own stories at the same time. Part 4, Section 7. Myshkin's excitement (leading to a seizure) among the Epanchin's dignitary guests when he talks about what the nobility needs to become ("servants in order to be leaders"). I'm drawn to things like this because it's affirming, I guess, for me: "it really is true that we're absurd, that we're shallow, have bad habits, that we're bored, that we don't know how to look at things, that we can't understand; we're all like that." And of course he finds a way to make that into a good thing. which, it's pointed out by scholars, is very important to Dostoevsky philosophy-don't deny the earthly passions and problems in yourself, but accept them and incorporate them into your whole person. Me, I'm still working on that one.
Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented, and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful. Such attitudes are active and definite factors in creating satisfactory conditions. Watch your manner of speech then if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind.
Norman Vincent Peale
Don't ever accuse anyone of being full of pride, undignified and unprofessional when simply they are wise to move away from dishonest schemers. Dishonesty comprise too of layers of lies simply casted for impressive appearances. There are times too that corrupt hearts have their own confused, modified, self-affirming, pro-self interest business inclined definitions of "professionalism, integrity, dignity and pride.
I feel obligated to point out, though, that I have always been a sucker for ideas I find aesthetically pleasing. The cosmic sweep of the thing - an interstellar kula chain - affirming the differences and at the same time emphasizing the similarities of all the intelligent races in the galaxy - tying them together, building common traditions... The notion strikes me as kind of fine.
I have a feeling that we've seen the dismantling of civilisation, brick by brick, and now we're looking into the void. We thought that we were liberating people from oppressive cultural circumstances, but we were, in fact, taking something away from them. We were killing off civility and concern. We were undermining all those little ties of loyalty and consideration and affection that are necessary for human flourishing. We thought that tradition was bad, that it created hidebound societies, that it held people down. But, in fact, what tradition was doing all along was affirming community and the sense that we are members of one another. Do we really love and respect one another more in the absence of tradition and manners and all the rest? Or have we merely converted one another into moral strangers - making our countries nothing more than hotels for the convenience of guests who are required only to avoid stepping on the toes of other guests?
Alexander McCall Smith
Journey through the Power of the Rainbow represents a condensed compendium of literary efforts from a life dedicated to transforming the themes of injustice, grief, and despair that we all encounter during some unavoidable point of our existence into a sustainable life-affirming poetics of passionate creativity, empowered spiritual vision, and inspired commitment.
it occurred that the birds, whose twitters and repeated songs sounded so pretty and affirming of nature and the coming day, might actually, in a code known only to other birds, " be the birds each saying 'Get away' or 'This branch is mine!' or 'This tree is mine! I'll kill you! Kill, kill!' Or any manner of dark, brutal, or self-protective stuff-they might be listening to war cries. The thought came from nowhere and made his spirits dip from some reason.
David Foster Wallace
Despite two decisions, in 2008 and 2010, by the U.S. Supreme Court unequivocally affirming that the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms against infringement by the government, state legislatures continue to do just that - enact laws that significantly infringe this fundamental human right.
You honor your writing space by recovering, if you are an addict. You honor your writing space by becoming an anxiety expert, a real pro at mindfulness and personal calming. You honor your writing space by affirming that you matter, that your writing life matters, and that your current writing project matters. You honor your writing space by entering it with this mantra: "I am ready to work." You enter, grow quiet, and vanish into your writing.
Tell me," said the atheist , "Is there a God really?" Said the master, "If you want me to be perfectly honest with you, I will not answer." Later the disciples demanded to know why he had not answered. "Because the question is unanswerable," said the Master. "So you are an atheist?" "Certainly not. The atheist makes the mistake of denying that of which nothing may be said... and the theist makes the mistake of affirming it.
Anthony de Mello
Can one have love? If we could, love would need to be a thing, a substance that one can have, own, possess. The truth is, there is no such thing as love. Love is an abstraction, perhaps a goddess or an alien being, although nobody has ever seen this goddess. In reality, there exists only the act of loving. To love is a productive activity. It implies caring for, knowing, responding, affirming, enjoying: the person, the tree, the painting, the idea. It means bringing to life, increasing his/her/its aliveness. It is a process, self-renewing and self increasing.
I think we're in a new era where the advancing tide is towards human unity, where people all around the world want to come together. The United States is in a position where it can lead the way towards that and it can do it in practical ways by affirming the power of the United Nations so that the international process makes decisions on international security.
The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power. He has no desire for office and does not gather votes. He does not attempt to charm the public, he offers nothing and promises nothing. He can offer, if anything, only his own skin - and he offers it solely because he has no other way of affirming the truth he stands for. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost.
Tao is obscured when men understand only one pair of opposites, or concentrate only on a partial aspect of being. Then clear expression also becomes muddled by mere wordplay, affirming this one aspect and denying all the rest. The pivot of Tao passes through the center where all affirmations and denials converge. He who grasps the pivot is at the still-point from which all movements and oppositions can be seen in their right relationship... Abandoning all thought of imposing a limit or taking sides, he rests in direct intuition.
For me as a woman pride is not really sin, but rather something that I still have to learn. The male conception of the person who rebels against God by affirming himself, by acting proudly, arrogantly, and without constraints, is not a woman's concern. Rather, we women are in danger of not developing any pride, of never becoming independent, of constantly remaining within too narrow boundaries.
We cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide...t here is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.
The very purpose of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution is to protect minority rights against majority voters. Every court decision that strikes down discriminatory legislation, including past Supreme Court decisions, affirming the fundamental rights to marry the person you love, overrules a majority decision.
I don't think that writing, real writing, has much to do with affirming belief--if anything it causes rifts and gaps in belief which make belief more complex and more textured, more real. Good writing unsettles, destroys both the author and the reader. From my perspective, there always has to be a tension between the writer and the monolithic elements of the culture, such as religion.
Literature is a form of language that breaks with the whole definition of genres as forms adapted to an order of representations, and becomes merely a manifestation of a language which has no other law than that of affirming in opposition to all other forms of discourse its own precipitous existence.
It is so inspiring to see a new group coming together not to focus on a particular war or weapons system, but on all war-everywhere. And it's great to have such beautifully crafted arguments about why war is not inevitable and how war contributes to so many other global ills. This coalition is worthy of Martin Luther King's call to end violence and instead put our energies and resources into 'life-affirming activities.' Bravo!
Amis is acutely, vibrantly sensitive to the different registers of laughter. He knows that it can be the most affirming and uniquely human sound, and also the most sinister and animalistic one. He understands every note of every octave that separates the liberating shout of mirth from the cackle of a bully or the snigger of a sadist.
Marital faithfulness involves more than just sexual fidelity. Being faithful to your wife also means defending her and affirming her beauty, intelligence, and integrity at all times, particularly before other people. Faithfulness to your husband means sticking up for him, always building him up and never tearing him down. Marital fidelity means that your spouse's health, happiness, security, and welfare take a higher place in your life than anything else except your own relationship with the Lord.
The foundation of our belief is a basis of fact - the fact of the birth, ministry, miracles, death, resurrection by the Evangelists as having actually occurred, within their own personal knowledge it was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually rose from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.
Most governments have been based, practically, on the denial of equal rights of menours began, by affirming those rights. They said, some men are too ignorant, and vicious, to share in government. Possibly so, said we; and, by your system, you would always keep them ignorant, and vicious. We proposed to give all a chance; and we expected the weak to grow stronger, the ignorant wiser; and all better, and happier together.
I cleanse the windows of my mind, that it may become a mirror reflecting inspiration from the most High. I do this, not with strenuous effort, but through quiet contemplation, through gently reaching and affirming an inward recognition. I know exactly what to do in every situation. There is an inspiration within me which governs every act, every thought, with certainty, with conviction and in peace.
She looks at herself in the mirror. The idea is to look sexy again. And for whom exactly? Yourself, of course. Yes, well, that's all wonderfully self-affirming and very strong-minded as any decent woman should be these days, but let's just face facts here and say that when a woman - no, when a person is thinking about feeling sexy, it is always with the idea of someone else in mind.
The reward of commercial civilization is the ability to consume a never-ending array of products.There are limits beyond which commodities cannot be multiplied without preventing their consumers from affirming themselves through the exercise of their personal freedom.When market dependence reaches a certain threshold it deprives people of their power to live creatively and to act autonomously. And precisely because this new impotence is so deeply experienced, it is expressed with difficulty.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
In affirming God to be supreme in all things, the classical theist describes him in a number of ways. He is perfect, loving, good, infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, timeless, transcendent, personal, immutable and immanent. But how can this be? Is it really possible to be both eternal and timeless? Immutable and immanent? Personal and at the same time transcendent?