You don't have to fear this amorphous thing called grief or loss or anger or jealousy. You define it for yourself in the intimacy of your own experience for exactly what it is, and then it comes. In other words, by experiencing your emotions somatically, there is no boogie man to scare you.
The Amoeba?" she asked Aiden. "The gang, " he said, tossing his hand to indicate all around. "My people. A large amorphous mass that keeps on changing size, hasn't much apparent use, sometimes makes you sick, and occasionally breaks off into smaller parts that act exactly like the parent.
Annette Curtis Klause
Yes, the kingdom of Christianity and the Church has been one of the most destructive forces in history, and there are levels of bastardization of religious beliefs. But the unique thing about Christianity is that it is so amorphous and not reductive to culture or place or anything. It's extremely malleable.
As I got older, I realised that people saw me as other things - sometimes Korean, sometimes Japanese, sometimes just Asian. When my family moved to a more affluent white neighbourhood, I started to see myself as 'other', this amorphous category. I didn't even know what 'not other' was, but I knew I wasn't it; I wasn't what was normal.
The existence of these patterns [fractals] challenges us to study forms that Euclid leaves aside as being formless, to investigate the morphology of the amorphous. Mathematicians have disdained this challenge, however, and have increasingly chosen to flee from nature by devising theories unrelated to anything we can see or feel.
I don't see that there is a credible threat for American action - the rhetoric of the U.S. President is too vague, very amorphous. I don't see that Obama's words will be translated into more tangible intentions and therefore this is probably why the Iranians don't take it seriously. They speak out against it and they dismiss it.
The principal reason, invariably, most "successful" giant companies rather quickly become also-rans, or just amorphous blobs on the competitive landscape, is their failure to re-tool in anything like a fundamental way. In fact, the worse things get, typically, the more they dig in their heels and defend yesterday's turf.
Some people are averse to competition and allow the words 'co-operation' and 'humanism' to drool from their mouths, apparently meaning thereby a large blob of protoplasmic homogeneity that lacks all individuality. It is not individuals and their liberty that concerns them, but rather some sort of well greased squirming mass that would seem to be analogous to the brains from which such amorphous 'ideas' emanate.
I always feel more comfortable in chaotic surroundings. I don't know why that is. I think order is dull. There is something about this kind of desire for order, particularly in Anglo Saxon cultures, that drive out this ability for the streets to become a really exotic, amorphous, chaotic, organic place where ideas can, basically, develop.
The novel is a formidable mass, and it is so amorphous - no mountain in it to climb, no Parnassus or Helicon, not even a Pisgah. It is most distinctly one of the moister areas of literature - irrigated by a hundred rills and occasionally degenerating into a swamp. I do not wonder that the poets despise it, though they sometimes find themselves in it by accident. And I am not surprised at the annoyance of the historians when by accident it finds itself among them.
Some of Mr. Gregory's poems have merely appeared in The New Yorker ; others are New Yorker poems: the inclusive topicality, the informed and casual smartness, the flat fashionable irony, meaningless because it proceeds from a frame of reference whose amorphous superiority is the most definite thing about it they are the trademark not simply of a magazine but of a class.
To have striven so hard, to have molded a public personality out of so amorphous an identity, to have sustained that superhuman effort only to end with every weakness disclosed and every error compounding the downfall--that was a fate of biblical proportions. Evidently the Deity would not tolerate the presumption that all can be manipulated; an object lesson of the limits of human presumption was necessary.
Henry A. Kissinger
I think language is a system that we have devised to negotiate a series of more amorphous entities. It's a layer you can use to see where those things exist, but if you don't have anyone speaking anymore, those things are still there. The things that language stands for do not require humans, and in fact are often trampled down by humans.
The internet has no government, no constitution, no laws, no rights, no police, no courts. Don't talk about fairness or innocence, and don't talk about what should be done. Instead, talk about what is being done and what will be done by the amorphous unreachable undefinable blob called the internet user base.
Much of the image of the amazingness of America comes from the movies into other cultures. And it's much the same thing when you reverse it. Much of Africa is presented through poverty, through drought and war. [But] you're not presenting people, you're not presenting countries, you're not presenting complexity, and so people can't care about an amorphous mass called Africa.
In a play, certainly, the subject is of more importance than in any other work of art. Infelicity, triviality, vagueness of subject, may be outweighed in a poem, a novel, or a picture, by charm of manner, by ingenuity of execution; but in a drama the subject is of the essence of the work-it is the work. If it is feeble, the work can have no force; if it is shapeless, the work must be amorphous.
A citizen walking through the airport today is bombarded with 1984-style propaganda messages that are designed to make us fear some amorphous threat and also be suspicious of others. The government designs these messages to make us feel dependent and heavily lorded over in every aspect of our lives. These messages are becoming ever more pervasive, hitting us even in grocery stores when we are shopping.
What, after all, is the public under present conditions? What are the reasons for its eclipse? What hinders it from finding and identifying itself? By what means shall its inchoate and amorphous estate be organized into effective political action relevant to present social needs and opportunities? What has happened to the public in the century and a half since the theory of political democracy was urged with such assurance and hope?
I claim that many patterns of Nature are so irregular and fragmented, that, compared with Euclid-a term used in this work to denote all of standard geometry-Nature exhibits not simply a higher degree but an altogether different level of complexity ... The existence of these patterns challenges us to study these forms that Euclid leaves aside as being "formless," to investigate the morphology of the "amorphous."
Poets are immersed in process, and I mean process not as an amorphous blur but as a discipline. The hard work of writing has taught me that in matters of the heart, such as writing, or faith, there is no right or wrong way to do it, but only the way of your life. Just paying attention will teach you what bears fruit and what doesn't. But it will be necessary to revise--to doodle, scratch out, erase, even make a mess of things--in order to make it come out right.
If diversity is a source of wonder, its opposite - the ubiquitous condensation to some blandly amorphous and singulary generic modern culture that takes for granted an impoverished environment - is a source of dismay. There is, indeed, a fire burning over the earth, taking with it plants and animals, cultures, languages, ancient skills and visionary wisdom. Quelling this flame, and re-inventing the poetry of diversity is perhaps the most importent challenge of our times.
This was the shocking thing; that the slime of the pit seemed to utter cries and voices; that the amorphous dust gesticulated and sinned; that what was dead, and had no shape, should usurp the offices of life. And this again, that that insurgent horror was knit to him closer than a wife, closer than an eye; lay caged in his flesh, where he heard it mutter and felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour of weakness, and in the confidence of slumber, prevailed against him, and deposed him out of life.
Robert Louis Stevenson
It's far easier to write why something is terrible than why it's good. If you're reviewing a film and you decide "This is a movie I don't like, " basically you can take every element of the film and find the obvious flaw, or argue that it seems ridiculous, or like a parody of itself, or that it's not as good as something similar that was done in a previous film. What's hard to do is describe why you like something. Because ultimately, the reason things move people is very amorphous. You can be cerebral about things you hate, but most of the things you like tend to be very emotive.
It's far easier to write why something is terrible than why it's good. If you're reviewing a film and you decide "This is a movie I don't like," basically you can take every element of the film and find the obvious flaw, or argue that it seems ridiculous, or like a parody of itself, or that it's not as good as something similar that was done in a previous film. What's hard to do is describe why you like something. Because ultimately, the reason things move people is very amorphous. You can be cerebral about things you hate, but most of the things you like tend to be very emotive.
The standard modern measurement for inebriation is the Ose system. This has been considerably developed over the years, but the common medical consensus currently has jocose, verbose, morose, bellicose, lachrymose, comatose, adios. This is a workable but incomplete system, as it fails to take in otiose (meaning impractical) which comes just after jocose. Nor does it have grandiose preceding bellicose. And how they managed to miss out globose (amorphous or formless) before comatose is beyond me.
He must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about...like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Coldplay songs deliver an amorphous, irrefutable interpretation of how being in love is supposed to feel, and people find themselves wanting that feeling for real. They want men to adore them like Lloyd Dobler would, and they want women to think like Aimee Mann, and they expect all their arguments to sound like Sam Malone and Diane Chambers. They think everything will work out perfectly in the end (just like it did for Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones and Nick Hornby's Rob Fleming), and they don't stop believing because Journey's Steve Perry insists we should never do that.
Listening (had there been any one to listen) from the upper rooms of the empty house only gigantic chaos streaked with lightning could have been heard tumbling and tossing, as the winds and waves disported themselves like the amorphous bulks of leviathans whose brows are pierced by no light of reason, and mounted one on top of another, and lunged and plunged in the darkness or the daylight (for night and day, month and year ran shapelessly together) in idiot games, until it seemed as if the universe were battling and tumbling, in brute confusion and wanton lust aimlessly by itself.
The last year of her college career was wheeling slowly round. She could see ahead her examination and her departure. She had the ash of disillusion gritting under her teeth. Would the next move turn out the same? Always the shining doorway ahead; and then, upon approach, always the shining doorway was a gate into another ugly yard, dirty and active and dead. Always the crest of the hill gleaming ahead under heaven: and then, from the top of the hill only another sordid valley full of amorphous, squalid activity.
In recent years my understanding of God had evolved into increasingly remote abstractions. I'd come to think of God in terms like Divine Reality, the Absolute, or the One who holds us in being. I do believe that God is beyond any form and image, but it has grown clear to me that I need an image in order to relate. I need an image in order to carry on an intimate conversation with what is so vast, amorphous, mysterious, and holy that it becomes ungraspable. I mean, really, how to you become intimate with Divine Reality? Or the Absolute?
Sue Monk Kidd
Many of the traditional approaches to interfaith dialogue have assumed that it can be successful only if agreements are reached about amorphous concepts and themes that various traditions may have in common. These approaches have also assumed that participants have to "weaken" or "compromise" elements of their own faith... this is not necessarily constructive for engaging in interfaith understanding and dialogue. It is only when participants have a deep understanding of their own religious traditions and are willing to learn and recognize the richness of other religious traditions that constructive cooperation can take place between groups from different faiths. (by Cilliers, Ch. 3, p. 57-58)
David R. Smock
I'm momentarily transfixed, torn between curiosity and fear. I can pull it up the gently sloping mud bank, but then what? Already thought is lagging behind events, as the blotchy brown mass slides up wet mud toward me, its amorphous margins flowing into the craters left by retreating feet. In the center of the yard-wide disc is a raised turret where two eyes open and close, flashing black. And it's bellowing. A loud rhythmic sound that is at first inexplicable until I realize that those blinking eyes are its spiracles, now sucking in air instead of water, which it is pumping out via gill slits on its underside. And all the while it brandishes that blade, stabbing the air like a scorpion...
He looked at her and tried to discover behind her lascivious expression the familiar features that he loved tenderly. It was as if he were looking at two images through the same lens, at two images superimposed one on the other with one showing through the other. These two images showing through each other were telling him that everything was in the girl, that her soul was terrifyingly amorphous, that it held faithfulness and unfaithfulness, treachery and innocence, flirtatiousness and chastity. This disorderly jumble seemed disgusting to him, like the variety to be found in a pile of garbage. Both images continued to show through each other, and the young man understood that the girl differed only on the surface from other women, but deep down was the same as they: full of all possible thoughts, feelings, and vices, which justified all his secret misgivings and fits of jealousy. The impression that certain outlines delineated her as an individual was only a delusion to which the other person, the one who was looking, was subject-namely himself. It seemed to him that the girl he loved was a creation of his desire, his thoughts, and his faith and that the real girl now standing in front of him was hopelessly other, hopelessly alien, hopelessly ambiguous. He hated her.
Some people think mental illness is a matter of mood, a matter of personality. They think depression is simply a form of being sad, that OCD is a form of being uptight. They think the soul is sick, not the body. It is, they believe, something that you have some choice over. I know how wrong this is. When I was a child, I didn't understand. I would wake up in a new body and wouldn't comprehend why things felt muted, dimmer. Or the opposite-I'd be supercharged, unfocused, like a radio at top volume flipping quickly from station to station. Since I didn't have access to the body's emotions, I assumed the ones I was feeling were my own. Eventually, though, I realized these inclinations, these compulsions, were as much a part of the body as its eye color or its voice. Yes, the feelings themselves were intangible, amorphous, but the cause of the feelings was a matter of chemistry, biology. It is a hard cycle to conquer. The body is working against you. And because of this, you feel even more despair. Which only amplifies the imbalance. It takes uncommon strength to live with these things. But I have seen that strength over and over again.
But what might a woman say about church as she? What might a woman say about the church as body and bride? Perhaps she would speak of the way a regular body moves through the world-always changing, never perfect-capable of nurturing life, not simply through the womb, but through hands, feet, eyes, voice, and brain. Every part is sacred. Every part has a function. Perhaps she would speak of impossible expectations and all the time she's wasted trying to contort herself into the shape of those amorphous silhouettes that flit from magazines and billboards into her mind. Or of this screwed-up notion of purity as a status, as something awarded by men with tests and checklists and the power to give it and take it away. Perhaps she would speak of the surprise of seeing herself-flaws and all-in the mirror on her wedding day. Or of the reality that with new life comes swollen breasts, dry heaves, dirty diapers, snotty noses, late-night arguments, and a whole army of new dangers and fears she never even considered before because life-giving isn't nearly as glamorous as it sounds, but it's a thousand times more beautiful. Perhaps she would talk about being underestimated, about surprising people and surprising herself. Or about how there are moments when her own strength startles her, and moments when her weakness-her forgetfulness, her fear, her exhaustion-unnerve her. Maybe she would tell of the time, in the mountains with bare feet on the ground, she stood tall and wise and felt every cell in her body smile in assent as she inhaled and exhaled and in one loud second realized, I'm alive! I'm enfleshed! only to forget it the next. Or maybe she would explain how none of the categories created for her sum her up or capture her essence.
Rachel Held Evans
Having DID is, for many people, a very lonely thing. If this book reaches some people whose experiences resonate with mine and gives them a sense that they aren't alone, that there is hope, then I will have achieved one of my goals. A sad fact is that people with DID spend an average of almost seven years in the mental health system before being properly diagnosed and receiving the specific help they need. During that repeatedly misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated, simply because clinicians fail to recognize the symptoms. If this book provides practicing and future clinicians certain insight into DID, then I will have accomplished another goal. Clinicians, and all others whose lives are touched by DID, need to grasp the fundamentally illusive nature of memory, because memory, or the lack of it, is an integral component of this condition. Our minds are stock pots which are continuously fed ingredients from many cooks: parents, siblings, relatives, neighbors, teachers, schoolmates, strangers, acquaintances, radio, television, movies, and books. These are the fixings of learning and memory, which are stirred with a spoon that changes form over time as it is shaped by our experiences. In this incredibly amorphous neurological stew, it is impossible for all memories to be exact. But even as we accept the complex of impressionistic nature of memory, it is equally essential to recognize that people who experience persistent and intrusive memories that disrupt their sense of well-being and ability to function, have some real basis distress, regardless of the degree of clarity or feasibility of their recollections. We must understand that those who experience abuse as children, and particularly those who experience incest, almost invariably suffer from a profound sense of guilt and shame that is not meliorated merely by unearthing memories or focusing on the content of traumatic material. It is not enough to just remember. Nor is achieving a sense of wholeness and peace necessarily accomplished by either placing blame on others or by forgiving those we perceive as having wronged us. It is achieved through understanding, acceptance, and reinvention of the self.
My identity as Jewish cannot be reduced to a religious affiliation. Professor Said quoted Gramsci, an author that I'm familiar with, that, and I quote, 'to know thyself is to understand that we are a product of the historical process to date which has deposited an infinity of traces, without leaving an inventory'. Let's apply this pithy observation to Jewish identity. While it is tempting to equate Judaism with Jewishness, I submit to you that my identity as someone who is Jewish is far more complex than my religious affiliation. The collective inventory of the Jewish people rests on my shoulders. This inventory shapes and defines my understanding of what it means to be Jewish. The narrative of my people is a story of extraordinary achievement as well as unimaginable horror. For millennia, the Jewish people have left their fate in the hands of others. Our history is filled with extraordinary achievements as well as unimaginable violence. Our centuries-long Diaspora defined our existential identity in ways that cannot be reduced to simple labels. It was the portability of our religion that bound us together as a people, but it was our struggle to fit in; to be accepted that identified us as unique. Despite the fact that we excelled academically, professionally, industrially, we were never looked upon as anything other than Jewish. Professor Said in his book, Orientalism, examined how Europe looked upon the Orient as a dehumanized sea of amorphous otherness. If we accept this point of view, then my question is: How do you explain Western attitudes towards the Jews? We have always been a convenient object of hatred and violent retribution whenever it became convenient. If Europe reduced the Orient to an essentialist other, to borrow Professor Said's eloquent language, then how do we explain the dehumanizing treatment of Jews who lived in the heart of Europe? We did not live in a distant, exotic land where the West had discursive power over us. We thought of ourselves as assimilated. We studied Western philosophy, literature, music, and internalized the same culture as our dominant Christian brethren. Despite our contribution to every conceivable field of human endeavor, we were never fully accepted as equals. On the contrary, we were always the first to be blamed for the ills of Western Europe. Two hundred thousand Jews were forcibly removed from Spain in 1492 and thousands more were forcibly converted to Christianity in Portugal four years later. By the time we get to the Holocaust, our worst fears were realized. Jewish history and consciousness will be dominated by the traumatic memories of this unspeakable event. No people in history have undergone an experience of such violence and depth. Israel's obsession with physical security; the sharp Jewish reaction to movements of discrimination and prejudice; an intoxicated awareness of life, not as something to be taken for granted but as a treasure to be fostered and nourished with eager vitality, a residual distrust of what lies beyond the Jewish wall, a mystical belief in the undying forces of Jewish history, which ensure survival when all appears lost; all these, together with the intimacy of more personal pains and agonies, are the legacy which the Holocaust transmits to the generation of Jews who have grown up under its shadow. -Fictional debate between Edward Said and Abba Eban.