Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit. It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind.
W. Somerset Maugham
The answer to the problem of suffering is not away from the problem but in it. The inevitability of pain will not be met by deadening sensitivity but by increasing it, by exploring and feeling out the manner in which the natural organism itself wants to react and which its innate wisdom has provided.
Alan W. Watts
This is the deadening consensus that crosses party lines, that dominates our major media, and that is strangling the liberty and prosperity that were once the birthright of Americans. Dissenters who tell their fellow citizens what is really going on are subject to smear campaigns that, like clockwork, are aimed at the political heretic. Truth is treason in the empire of lies.
it had been a winter of deadening seriousness, when all the illusions and bright dreams of my early twenties had withered and died. I did not yet have the interior resources to dream new dreams; I was far too busy mourning the death of the old ones and wondering how I was to survive without them. I was sure I could replace them somehow , but was not sure I could restore their brassy luster or dazzling impress.
We have reached a point where the value we do add to our economy is now being outweighed by the value we are removing, not only from future generations in terms of diminished resources, but from ourselves in terms of unlivable cities, deadening jobs, deteriorating health, and rising crime. In biological terms, we have become a parasite and are devouring our host.
One foot in front of the other, more aimless than direct, Bradford left the waiting room for the outside world. Called for a taxi and then dialed Munroe again, desperate for her voice, for one ray of light in the darkness, afraid of what he might say if she did answer, afraid of himself and the inner deadening that pointed to a danger far more lethal than any rage he'd felt.
I go from flying to drowning as I slide down the soul-deadening slippery slope I realize I'm on. I can't breathe, can't talk, suddenly realizing I'm an imposter. I've crossed the line. Wronged my girl. And in that few seconds of thought I feel fate strong-arm me, forcing me to turn and walk away like a helpless idiot needing to be put out of his misery.
Rapture teaching is one of the most faith deadening teachings ever preached. It has the most neutralizing affect on a Christian's aggressive growth process. We have a lot to do in this Earth and there is going to be a lot of stuff that we need to do in eternity. If you don't have a big comprehensive vision, both restorationally and eternally, then what motivation is there to do much except try to win a few souls to get a big reward in heaven?
When you know too much information and you acquire it too easily, you tend to either use it in disagreeable ways, out of vanity, or you tend to be indiscriminate about it. I mean, in the old days, it was tricky, you had to go to various encyclopedias, you had to go to the library, maybe spend a day there, whatever. But in the end, if you found something, it was really exciting. Now you hit a couple of buttons and you get some information. Which, by the way, is almost always presented in that same goddamn mediocre style that characterizes the Internet for me. It is slightly deadening.
The "stiff, dead, retracted pelvis" is one of man's most frequent vegetative disturbances. It is responsible for lumbago as well as for hemorrhoidal disturbances. Elsewhere, we shall demonstrate an important connection between these disturbances and genital cancer in women, which is so common. Thus, the "deadning of the pelvis" has the same function as the deadening of the abdomen, i.e., to avoid feelings, particularly those of pleasure and anxiety.
It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, or a rich country inhabited by starving people... Who indeed could afford to ignore science today? At every turn we have to seek its aid... The future belongs to science and those who make friends with science.
In masturbation there is nothing but loss. There is no reciprocity. There is merely the spending away of a certain force, and no return. The body remains, in a sense, a corpse, after the act of self-abuse. There is no change, only deadening. There is what we call dead loss. And this is not the case in any act of sexual intercourse between two people. Two people may destroy one another in sex. But they cannot just produce the null effect of masturbation.
D. H. Lawrence
The obscenities of this country are not girls like you. It is the poverty which is obscene, and the criminal irresponsibility of the leaders who make this poverty a deadening reality. The obscenities in this country are the places of the rich, the new hotels made at the expense of the people, the hospitals where the poor die when they get sick because they don't have the money either for medicines or services. It is only in this light that the real definition of obscenity should be made.
F. Sionil Jose
If children had teachers for judgment and eloquence just as they have for languages, if their memory was exercised less than their energy or their natural genius, if instead of deadening their vivacity of mind we tried to elevate the free scope and impulse of their souls, what might not result from a fine disposition? As it is, we forget that courage, or love of truth and glory are the virtues that matter most in youth; and our one endeavour is to subdue our children's spirits, in order to teach them that dependence and suppleness are the first laws of success in life.
Luc de Clapiers
It snowed all week. Wheels and footsteps moved soundlessly on the street, as if the business of living continued secretly behind a pale but impenetrable curtain. In the falling quiet there was no sky or earth, only snow lifting in the wind, frosting the window glass, chilling the rooms, deadening and hushing the city. At all hours it was necessary to keep a lamp lighted, and Mrs. Miller lost track of the days: Friday was no different from Saturday and on Sunday she went to the grocery: closed, of course.
It may be somewhat paradoxical to refer to shame as a 'feeling, ' for while shame is initially painful, constant shaming leads to a deadening of feeling. Shame, like cold, is, in essence, the absence of warmth. And when it reaches overwhelming intensity, shame is experienced, like cold, as a feeling of numbness and deadness. [In Dante's Inferno] the lowest circle of hell was a region not of flames, but of ice-absolute coldness.
The serious reader in the age of technology is a rebel by definition: a protester without a placard, a Luddite without hammer or bludgeon. She reads on planes to picket the antiseptic nature of modern travel, on commuter trains to insist on individualism in the midst of the herd, in hotel rooms to boycott the circumstances that separate her from her usual sources of comfort and stimulation, during office breaks to escape from the banal conversation of office mates, and at home to revolt against the pervasive and mind-deadening irrelevance of television.
Where suspicion fills the air and holds scholars in line for fear of their jobs, there can be no exercise of the free intellect. Supineness and dogmatism take the place of inquiry. A problem can no longer be pursued to its edges. Fear stalks the classroom. The teacher is no longer a stimulant to adventurous thinking; she becomes instead a pipe line for safe and sound information. A deadening dogma takes the place of free inquiry. Instruction tends to become sterile; pursuit of knowledge is discouraged; discussion often leaves off where it should begin.
William O. Douglas
The very reason why we object to state ownership, that it puts a stop to individual initiative and to the healthy development of personal responsibility, is the reason why we object to an unsupervised, unchecked monopolistic control in private hands. We urge control and supervision by the nation as an antidote to the movement for state socialism. Those who advocate total lack of regulation, those who advocate lawlessness in the business world, themselves give the strongest impulse to what I believe would be the deadening movement toward unadulterated state socialism.
While the repression of a memory is a psychological process, the suppression of feeling is accomplished by deadening a part of the body or reducing its motility so that feeling is diminished. The repression of the memory is dependent upon and related to the suppression of feeling, for as long as the feeling persists, the memory remains vivid. Suppression entails the development of chronic muscular tension in those areas of the body where the feeling would be experienced. In the case of sexual feeling, this tension is found in and about the abdomen and pelvis
Carroll was eleven years old when he saw The Haunting in The Oregon Theater. He had gone with his cousins, but when the lights went down, his companions were swallowed by the dark and Carroll found himself essentially alone, shut tight into his own suffocating cabinet of shadows. At times, it required all his will not to hide his eyes, yet his insides churned with a nervous-sick frisson of pleasure. When the lights finally came up, his nerve endings were ringing, as if he had for a moment grabbed a copper wire with live current in it. It was a sensation for which he had developed a compulsion. Later, when he was a professional and it was his business, his feelings were more muted - not gone, but experienced distantly, more like the memory of an emotion than the thing itself. More recently, even the memory had fled, and in its place was a deadening amnesia, a numb disinterest when he looked at the piles of magazines on his coffee table. Or no - he was overcome with dread, but the wrong kind of dread. ("Best New Horror")
Often I felt that these men were play-acting: the unreality of their role was their security, even their own destinies were to them saga and folk-tale rather than a private matter; these were men under a spell, men who had been turned into birds or even more likely into some strange beast, and who bore their magic shapes with the same unflurried equanimity, magnanimity, and dignity that we children had marvelled at the beasts of fairy tale. Did they not suspect, moreover, with the wordless apprehension of animals, that if their magic shapes were to be stripped from them the fairy tale would be at an end and their security gone, too, while real life would begin with all it's problems, perhaps in some town where there was neither nature or mirage, no link with the folk-tale and the past, no ancient path to the far side of the mountains and down to the river gullies and out beyond the grass plains, no landmarks from the Sagas? - Only a restless search for sterile, deadening enjoyment.
Like so many other things in the previous year, my politics had also been retooled by maternity. I began to suspect that modern feminism had gotten it at least partly wrong... In devaluing the home and the vast range of domestic work-childrearing included-and in fighting a fight largely for the right to work outside the home, the modern feminist movement ignored a singular power already available to women and, maybe more important, to the collective imagination. Rather than fighting to re-invent the home, or to effect a real transformation of values, or to legitimize and legalize the domestic and childrearing work that so many women engage in-which is necessary to support any mother's work outside the home-we have found it easier to map power where it already existed. Is this really my only choice? Between the intense demands of an academic career (supported by full-time childcare) and the mind-deadening contemplation of Cheerios?
Lisa Catherine Harper
Today, in this atmosphere, the very word and idea of asceticism is probably incomprehensible to a very large number of Christian people. Anyone talking about fasting and chastity and voluntary restriction of our individual desires is sure to meet with condescension or mockery. This does not, of course, prevent people from having their 'metaphysical convictions' and believing in a 'supreme being' or in the 'sweet Jesus' who had a wonderful ethical teaching. The question is, however, what is the use of 'metaphysical convictions' when they do not go any way towards providing a real answer - as opposed to one that is idealistic and abstract - to the problem of death, the scandal of the dissolution of the body in the earth. This real answer is to be found only in the knowledge granted by asceticism, in the effort to resist death in our own bodies, and by the dynamic triumph over the deadening of man. And not just in any kind of asceticism, but in that which consists in conformity to the example of Christ, who willingly accepted death so as to destroy death - 'trampling down death by death.' Every voluntary mortification of the egocentricity which is 'contrary to nature' is a dynamic destruction of death and a triumph for the life of the person.
Life is wonderful and strange... and it's also absolutely mundane and tiresome. It's hilarious and it's deadening. It's a big, screwed-up morass of beauty and change and fear and all our lives we oscillate between awe and tedium. I think stories are the place to explore that inherent weirdness; that movement from the fantastic to the prosaic that is life... What interests me-and interests me totally-is how we as living human beings can balance the brief, warm, intensely complicated fingersnap of our lives against the colossal, indifferent, and desolate scales of the universe. Earth is four-and-a-half billion years old. Rocks in your backyard are moving if you could only stand still enough to watch. You get hernias because, eons ago, you used to be a fish. So how in the world are we supposed to measure our lives-which involve things like opening birthday cards, stepping on our kids' LEGOs, and buying toilet paper at Safeway-against the absolutely incomprehensible vastness of the universe? How? We stare into the fire. We turn to friends, bartenders, lovers, priests, drug-dealers, painters, writers. Isn't that why we seek each other out, why people go to churches and temples, why we read books? So that we can find out if life occasionally sets other people trembling, too?