Modesty and taste are questions of latitude and education; the more people know,--the more their ideas are expanded by travel, experience, and observation,--the less easily they are shocked. The narrowness and bigotry of women are the result of their circumscribed sphere of thought and action.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
The lawyer must either learn to live more capaciously or be content to find himself continuously less trusted, more circumscribed, till he becomes hardly more important than a minor administrator, confined to a monotonous round of record and routine, without dignity, inspiration, or respect.
A dim vastness is spread before our souls; the perceptions of our mind are as obscure as those of our vision... But alas! when we have attained our object, when the distant 'there' becomes the present 'here, ' all is changed; we are as poor and circumscribed as ever, and our souls still languish for unattainable happiness.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
God, the supreme being, is neither circumscribed by space, nor touched by time; he cannot be found in a particular direction, and his essence cannot change. The secret conversation is thus entirely spiritual; it is a direct encounter between God and the soul, abstracted from all material constraints.
It will be well to advert to the proportion between the objects that will require a federal provision in respect to revenue; and those which will require a state provision. We shall discover that the former are altogether unlimited; and that the latter are circumscribed within very moderate bounds.
Distance... is like futurity. A dim vastness is spread before our souls; the perceptions of our mind are as obscure as those of our vision... But alas! when we have attained our object, when the distant 'there' becomes the present 'here,' all is changed; we are as poor and circumscribed as ever, and our souls still languish for unattainable happiness.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What about books? Well, precisely because you have denied it in every other field, you believe you may still grant yourself legitimately this youthful pleasure of expectation in a carefully circumscribed area like the field of books, where you can be lucky or unlucky, but the risk of disappointment isn't serious.
Mephistopheles: Within the bowels of these elements, Where we are tortured and remain forever. Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed In one self place, for where we are is hell, And where hell is must we ever be. And, to conclude, when all the world dissolves, And every creature shall be purified, All places shall be hell that is not heaven.
Fantasy is seductive and much more wonderful than reality, but you can't take it to the bank. It's always an escape. And if used as an escape, as in attending a movie or a show for a circumscribed period of time, it's fine. When it starts to become undifferentiated from reality, it leads to big trouble.
Now this circumscribed power, which we have scarcely examined, scarcely studied, this power to whose actions we nearly always attribute an intention and a goal, this power, finally, that always does necessarily the same things in the same circumstances and nevertheless does so many and such admirable ones, is what we call 'nature' .
The universal nature has no external space; but the wondrous part of her art is that though she has circumscribed herself, everything which is within her which appears to decay and to grow old and to be useless she changes into herself, and again makes other new things from these very same, so that she requires neither substance from without nor wants a place into which she may cast that which decays. She is content then with her own space, and her own matter, and her own art.
Violent resistance against the power of the state is the last resort of the minority in its effort to break loose from the oppression of the majority. ... The citizen must not be so narrowly circumscribed in his activities that, if he thinks differently from those in power, his only choice is either to perish or to destroy the machinery of state.
Ludwig von Mises
Rabbits (says Mr. Lockley) are like human beings in many ways. One of these is certainly their staunch ability to withstand disaster and to let the stream of their life carry them along, past reaches of terror and loss. They have a certain quality which it would not be accurate to describe as callousness or indifference. It is, rather, a blessedly circumscribed imagination and an intuitive feeling that Life is Now.
The true bounds and limitations, whereby human knowledge is confined and circumscribed,... are three: the first, that we do not so place our felicity in knowledge, as we forget our mortality: the second, that we make application of our knowledge, to give ourselves repose and contentment, and not distates or repining: the third, that we do not presume by the contemplation of Nature to attain to the mysteries of God.
I closed my eyes, adding dark to dark, and the wanting unfurled like the sails of a phantom ship. This could be my universe. This nowhere world, circumscribed by skin and breath, where nothing mattered but two bodies moving together. The past and the future rendered irrelevant by the beauty of the now, the sum of the self transmuted into a moment. Oh, was there ever a more seductive definition of madness?
Part of the beauty and much of the moral seriousness of sport derives from the severe justice of strenuous play in a circumscribed universe of rules that protect the integrity of competition. Records are worth recording, and worth striving to surpass, because they serve as benchmarks of excellence achieved under the pressure of competition.
Rabbits (says Mr. Lockley) are like human beings in many ways. One of these is certainly their staunch ability to withstand disaster and to let the stream of their life carry them along, past reaches of terror and loss. They have a certain quality which it would not be accurate to describe as callousness or indifference. It is, rather, a blessedly circumscribed imagination and an intuitive feeling that Life is Now. A foraging wild creature, intent above all upon survival, is as strong as the grass.
Molly Notkin often confides on the phone to Joelle van Dyne about the one tormented love of Nokin's life thus far, an erotically circumscribed G.W. Pabst scholar at New York University tortured by the neurotic compulsion that there are only a finite number of erections possible in the world at any one time and that his tumescence means e.g. the detumescence of some perhaps more deserving or tortured Third World sorghum farmer
David Foster Wallace
Traditionally in American society, men have been trained for both competition and teamwork through sports, while women have been reared to merge their welfare with that of the family, with fewer opportunities for either independence or other team identifications, and fewer challenges to direct competition. In effect, women have been circumscribed within that unit where the benefit of one is most easily believed to be the benefit of all.
Mary Catherine Bateson
They find seven cornices on which penitent and redeemed sinners are cleansed by the grace of God. On the first cornice, that of Pride, the proud are learning humility: Our Father, dwelling in the Heavens, nowise As circumscribed, but as the things above, Thy first effects, are dearer in Thine eyes, Hallowed Thy name be and the Power thereof, By every creature, as right meet it is We praise the tender effluence of Thy love. Let come to us, let come Thy kingdom's peace.
The Light of the Lord's Transfiguration does not come into being or cease to be, nor is it circumscribed or perceptible to the senses, even though for a short time on the narrow mountain top it was seen by human eyes. Rather, at that moment the initiated disciples of the Lord 'passed', as we have been taught, 'from flesh to spirit' by the transformation of their senses, which the Spirit wrought in them, and so they saw that ineffable light, when and as much as the Holy Spirit's power granted them to do so.
Consider... the university professor. What is his function? Simply to pass on to fresh generations of numskulls a body of so-called knowledge that is fragmentary, unimportant, and, in large part, untrue. His whole professional activity is circumscribed by the prejudices, vanities and avarices of his university trustees, i.e., a committee of soap-boilers, nail manufacturers, bank-directors and politicians. The moment he offends these vermin he is undone. He cannot so much as think aloud without running a risk of having them fan his pantaloons.
H. L. Mencken
To begin with, the key principle of American indie rock wasn't a circumscribed musical style; it was the punk ethos of DIY, or do-it-yourself. The equation was simple: If punk was rebellious and DIY was rebellious, then doing it yourself was punk. 'Punk was about more than just starting a band,' former Minutemen bassist Mike Watt once said, 'it was about starting a label, it was about touring, it was about taking control. It was like songwriting; you just do it. You want a record, you pay the pressing plant. That's what it was all about.'
Now that's a concept that's always fascinated me: the real world. Only a very specific subset of people use the term, have you noticed? To me, it seems self-evident that everyone lives in the real world - we all breathe real oxygen, eat real food, the earth under our feet feels equally solid to all of us. But clearly these people have a far more tightly circumscribed definition of reality, one that I find deeply mysterious, and an almost pathologically intense need to bring others into line with that definition.
Philippians 2:3-8 tells us to humble ourselves by imitating Christ. Even though He is God, He was willing to add humanity to His deity. Becoming a human being was degrading to the second Person of the Godhead beyond words to describe it. In His humanity the omnipotent God became tired. The omniscient God grew in wisdom. The omnipresent God was circumscribed in a localized body. The sovereign God willingly submitted Himself to do the Father's will. The eternal God died in the cruelest manner imaginable. The holy Go was made sin for us.
Bunnu was no amateur when it came to escape. And even in his drowsiest moments, he understood implicitly that to forget his circumstances, even for a short while, meant first to forget himself. Who he was and why he was-to strip it all bare and start from scratch, as it were. In his nearly 250 years of life and, now, as an old emaciated man completely estranged from his family and closest friends-albeit more by circumstance than by choice-he understood the importance of this process and revered it, for there were far greater things to be done and achieved in the dark, uncertain areas of existence than in those circumscribed-and thereby strained-by comprehensibility.
Let us suppose that we have laid on the table... [a] piece of glass... and let us homologize this glass to a whole order of plants or birds. Let us hit this glass a blow in such a manner as but to crack it up. The sectors circumscribed by cracks following the first blow may here be understood to represent families. Continuing, we may crack the glass into genera, species and subspecies to the point of finally having the upper right hand corner a piece about 4 inches square representing a sub-species.
The intersection of pork and man was circumscribed with vagueness. Until now sausage was a mysterious world: the fenced-in landscapes of strange, exotic muds, the cloak-and-dagger butchers that veiled their conversations in Old French, the silencing of whole towns upon a nocturnal report of a flying swarm of oinks, the secret herbs and spices involved in the intestinal displacement before my screen. My own sacred art suddenly stirred a sense of understanding in me as to why pig farmers were so reluctant to explain their missing bicuspids to outsiders: sausage could not have effects.
The arbitrary character of patriarchal ascriptions of temperament and role has little effect upon their power over us. Nor do the mutually exclusive, contradictory, and polar qualities of the categories 'masculine' and 'feminine' imposed upon human personality give rise to sufficiently serious question among us. Under their aegis each personality becomes little more, and often less than half, of its human potential. Politically, the fact that each group exhibits a circumscribed but complementary personality and range of activity is of secondary importance to the fact that each represents a status or power division. In the matter of conformity patriarchy is a governing ideology without peer; it is probably that no other system has ever exercised such a complete control over its subjects.
Thinking is computation, I claim, but that does not mean that the computer is a good metaphor for the mind. The mind is a set of modules, but the modules are not encapsulated boxes or circumscribed swatches on the surface of the brain. The organization of our mental modules comes from our genetic program, but that does not mean that there is a gene for every trait or that learning is less important than we used to think. The mind is an adaptation designed by natural selection, but that does not mean that everything we think, feel, and do is biologically adaptive. We evolved from apes, but that does not mean we have the same minds as apes. And the ultimate goal of natural selection is to propagate genes, but that does not mean that the ultimate goal of people is to propagate genes.
Being born a woman is my awful tragedy. From the moment I was conceived I was doomed to sprout breasts and ovaries rather than penis and scrotum; to have my whole circle of action, thought and feeling rigidly circumscribed by my inescapable feminity. Yes, my consuming desire to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, bar room regulars-to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording-all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yet, God, I want to talk to everybody I can as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night...
Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquility; and I affirm that tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind. Constantly then give to thyself this retreat, and renew thyself; and let thy principles be brief and fundamental, which, as soon as thou shalt recur to them, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and to send thee back free from all discontent with the things to which thou returnest. For with what art thou discontented? With the badness of men? Recall to thy mind this conclusion, that rational animals exist for one another, and that to endure is a part of justice, and that men do wrong involuntarily; and consider how many already, after mutual enmity, suspicion, hatred, and fighting, have been stretched dead, reduced to ashes; and be quiet at last.- But perhaps thou art dissatisfied with that which is assigned to thee out of the universe.- Recall to thy recollection this alternative; either there is providence or atoms, fortuitous concurrence of things; or remember the arguments by which it has been proved that the world is a kind of political community, and be quiet at last.- But perhaps corporeal things will still fasten upon thee.- Consider then further that the mind mingles not with the breath, whether moving gently or violently, when it has once drawn itself apart and discovered its own power, and think also of all that thou hast heard and assented to about pain and pleasure, and be quiet at last.- But perhaps the desire of the thing called fame will torment thee.- See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of the present, and the emptiness of applause, and the changeableness and want of judgement in those who pretend to give praise, and the narrowness of the space within which it is circumscribed, and be quiet at last. For the whole earth is a point, and how small a nook in it is this thy dwelling, and how few are there in it, and what kind of people are they who will praise thee.