If my happiness at this moment consists largely in reviewing happy memories and expectations, I am but dimly aware of this present. I shall still be dimly aware of the present when the good things that I have been expecting come to pass. For I shall have formed a habit of looking behind and ahead, making it difficult for me to attend to the here and now. If, then , my awareness of the past and future makes me less aware of the present, I must begin to wonder whether I am actually living in the real world.
Your question is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.
One thing about this face was very strange and startling. You could not look upon it in its most cheerful mood without feeling that it had some extraordinary capacity of expressing terror. It was not on the surface. It was in no one feature that it lingered. You could not take the eyes or mouth, or lines upon the cheek, and say, if this or that were otherwise, it would not be so. Yet there it always lurked-something for ever dimly seen, but ever there, and never absent for a moment.
Walking at random through the streets, we came by chance upon the Cathedral of Notre Dame. I shall long remember my first impression of the scene within. The lofty gothic ceiling arched far above my head and through the stained windows the light came but dimly - it was all still, solemn and religious.
The door burst open. Murphy came through it, her eyes living flames of azure blue, her hair a golden coronet around her. She held a blazing sword in her hand and she shone so bright and beautiful and terrifying in her anger that it was hard to see. The Sight, I realized, dimly. I was seeing her for who she was.
It was well said-by Jean Tarrou in The Plague, I think-that attendance at lectures in an unknown language will help to hone one's awareness of the exceedingly slow passage of time. I once had the experience of being 'waterboarded' and can now dimly appreciate how much every second counts in the experience of the torture victim, forced to go on enduring what is unendurable.
It is possible that an individual may be successful, largely because he conserves all his powers for individual achievement and does not put any of his energy into the training which will give him the ability to act with others. The individual acts promptly, and we are dazzled by his success while only dimly conscious of the inadequacy of his code.
People know, or dimly feel, that if thinking is not kept pure and keen, and if respect for the world of mind is no longer operative, ships and automobiles will soon cease to run right, the engineer's slide rule and the computations of banks and stock exchanges will forfeit validity and authority, and chaos will ensue.
When we think how narrow and devious this path of nature is, how dimly we can trace it, for all our lamps of science, and how from the darkness which girds it round great and terrible possibilities loom ever shadowly upwards, it is a bold and a confident man who will put a limit to the strange by-oaths into which the human spirit may wander.
Arthur Conan Doyle
in the distance across the dark fields I saw a flame. With the rainy season, the fireflies had long since disappeared. What then could this be? The flame flickered, now brightly, no dimly, and sometimes it glowed like a halo, as if it had sunk deep into water. I was frightened by this flame. For in my heart I, too, carried a flame.
I believe in a passionately strong feeling for the poetry of life - for the beautiful, the mysterious, the romantic, the ecstatic - the loveliness of Nature, the lovability of people, everything that excites us, everything that starts our imagination working, LAUGHTER, gaiety, strength, heroism, love, tenderness, every time we see - however dimly - the godlike that is in everyone and want to kneel in reverence.
The club was only dimly lit aside from the flashing strobes and rotating beams casting their vibrant glow over the pulsing, writhing crowd. The heat of the club was a stark contrast to the chill of the air outside, and she pulled slightly at the sweater, cursing her modesty for quite possibly the first time.
Davout looked up and gazed intently at him. For some seconds they looked at one another, and that look saved Pierre. Apart from conditions of war and law, that look established human relations between the two men. At that moment an immense number of things passed dimly through both their minds, and they realized that they were both children of humanity and were brothers.
Man passes; he knows that he is dust; nothing is more evident than his frailty. If he should for a single moment forget it, what a chorus of voices would recall it to him! And yet, in the drop of existence which he absorbs, he takes in ages through memory and ages through presentiment. In the moments as they pass, he dimly sees eternity, and more than this, he possesses it by anticipation.
It is no very good symptom, either of nations or individuals, that they deal much in vaticination. Happy men are full of the present, for its bounty suffices them; and wise men also, for its duties engage them. Our grand business undoubtedly is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what clearly lies at hand.
Heroism is latent in every human soul - However humble or unknown, they (the veterans) have renounced what are accounted pleasures and cheerfully undertaken all the self-denials - privations, toils, dangers, sufferings, sicknesses, mutilations, life-long hurts and losses, death itself - for some great good, dimly seen but dearly held.
The light of genius is sometimes so resplendent as to make a man walk through life, amid glory and acclamation; but it burns very dimly and low when carried into "the valley of the shadow of death." But faith is like the evening star, shining into our souls the more brightly, the deeper is the night of death in which they sink.
here's why I take comedies seriously: they present and celebrate the world in which we survive our own and others' mistakes, follies, transgressions, and deep sins. However lightly, dimly, or bleakly, comedies revel in our survival-in the delaying of death and the staying of the curse. Comedies tell the story of ruined folk somehow avoiding ruin.
Even yet Christ Jesus has to lie out in waste places very often, because there is no room for him in the inn--no room for him in our hearts, because of our worldliness. There is no room for him even in our politics and religion. There is no room in the inn, and we put him in the manger, and he lies outside our faith, coldly and dimly conceived by us.
Edwin Hubbel Chapin
Lying on the floor, with the carved panels of the ceiling flickering dimly above, I found myself thinking that I had always heretofore assumed that the tendency of eigh teenth-century ladies to swoon was due to tight stays; now I rather thought it might be due to the idiocy of eighteenth-century men.
A man vows, and yet will not east away the means of breaking his vow. Is it that he distinctly means to break it? Not at all; but the desires which tend to break it are at work in him dimly, and make their way into his imagination, and relax his muscles in the very moments when he is telling himself over again the reasons for his vow.
Perhaps her faults and follies, the unhappiness she had suffered, were not entirely vain if she could follow the path that now she dimly discerned before her, not the path that kind funny old Waddington had spoken of that led nowhither, but the path those dear nuns at the convent followed so humbly, the path that led to peace.
W. Somerset Maugham
There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dare not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.
All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.
Grace stopped in the door, dimly silhouetted by the dull gray morning light, and looked back at me, at my eyes, my mouth, my hands, in a way that made something inside me knot and unknot unbearably. I didn't think I belonged here in her world, a boy stuck between two lives, dragging the dangers of the wolves with me, but when she said my name, waiting for me to follow, I knew I'd do anything to stay with her.
Let us hope that the advent of a successful flying machine, now only dimly foreseen and nevertheless thought to be possible, will bring nothing but good into the world; that it shall abridge distance, make all parts of the globe accessible, bring men into closer relation with each other, advance civilization, and hasten the promised era in which there shall be nothing but peace and goodwill among all men.
To make images is a way of ordering one's world, of exploring and understanding one's relationship to existence. ... The images we make are often ahead of our understanding, but to say "yes" to a subject is also to have recognized, however dimly, a part of oneself; to live with that image, to accept its significance is perhaps to grow in understanding.
God speaks to each of us as he makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night. These are the words we dimly hear: You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. Embody me. Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in. Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don't let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness. Give me your hand.
Rainer Maria Rilke
To the Sabbath! To the Sabbath!' they cried. 'On to the Witches' Sabbath!" Up and down that narrow hall they danced, the women on each side of him, to the wildest measure he had ever imagined, yet which he dimly, dreadfully remembered, till the lamp on the wall flickered and went out, and they were left in total darkness. And the devil woke in his heart with a thousand vile suggestions and made him afraid.
Extroverts want us to have fun, because they assume we want what they want. And sometimes we do. But "fun" itself is a "bright" word, the kind of word that comes with flashing lights and an exclamation point! One of Merriam-Webster's definitions of "fun" is "violent or excited activity or argument." The very word makes me want to sit in a dimly lit room with lots of pillows-by myself.
For most of us the rules of English grammar are at best a dimly remembered thing. But even for those who make the rules, grammatical correctitude sometimes proves easier to urge than to achieve. Among the errors cited in this book are a number committed by some of the leading authorities of this century. If men such as Fowler and Bernstein and Quirk and Howard cannot always get their English right, is it reasonable to expect the rest of us to?
There is an exercise I teach at colleges: Get yourself a canvas and a bunch of acrylics and go into a very dimly lighted room. Dip a brush into one of the colors, slap it on the canvas, don't look, close your eyes, make a painting, don't look, turn the lights on and see what you've got. I think this releases people from the editor in their life that's always standing over their shoulder saying, "Oh, you don't have any talent; who do you think you are?"
The effort of the economist is to "see," to picture the interplay of economic elements. The more clearly cut these elements appear in his vision, the better; the more elements he can grasp and hold in his mind at once, the better. The economic world is a misty region. The first explorers used unaided vision. Mathematics is the lantern by which what before was dimly visible now looms up in firm, bold outlines. The old phantasmagoria disappear. We see better. We also see further.
Giving importance to what we think because we thought it, taking our own selves not only (to quote the Greek philosopher) as the measure of all things but as their norm or standard, we create in ourselves, if not an interpretation, at least a criticism of the universe, which we don't even know and therefore cannot criticize. The giddiest, most weak-minded of us then promote that criticism to an interpretation that's superimposed, like a hallucination; induced rather than deduced. It's a hallucination in the strict sense, being an illusion based on something only dimly seen.
It was a bad night to be about with such a feeling in one's heart. The rain was cold, pitiless and increasing. A damp, keen wind blew down the cross streets leading from the river. The fumes of the gas works seemed to fall with the rain. The roadway was muddy; the pavement greasy; the lamps burned dimly; and that dreary district of London looked its very gloomiest and worst. ("The Old House In Vauxhall Road")
We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library, whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different languages. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend but only dimly suspects.