Complexity and obscurity have professional value - they are the academic equivalents of apprenticeship rules in the building trades. They exclude the outsiders, keep down the competition, preserve the image of a privileged or priestly class. The man who makes things clear is a scab. He is criticized less for his clarity than for his treachery.
John Kenneth Galbraith
I have long held an opinion, almost amounting to conviction, in common I believe with many other lovers of natural knowledge, that the various forms under which the forces of matter are made manifest have one common origin; or, in other words, are so directly related and mutually dependent, that they are convertible, as it were, one into another, and possess equivalents of power in their action.
The problem with love and God, the two of them, is how to say anything about them that doesn't annihilate them instantly with the wrong words, with untruth. . . . In this sense, love and God are equivalents. We feel both, but because we cannot speak clearly about them, we end up""wordless, inarticulate""by denying their existence altogether, and, pfffffft, they die.
Superficial parallels were drawn between the Church and the Nazi Party, with its emphasis on active involvement by every member. The women's auxiliary of the Party and the Hitler Youth were regarded by some as secular equivalents to the Church's Relief Society, MIA, and the Scouting programs.
Fawn M. Brodie
I know I had my equivalents in Adrian Lester and Lenny James when I was at drama school. I remember David Harewood doing 'Othello' at the National, and Adrian Lester having done Cheek by Jowl's famous 'As You Like It and Company' at the Donmar. Not necessarily performances I saw, but just the fact they happened was massively encouraging.
Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child's love of reading. Stop them reading what they enjoy or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like - the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian 'improving' literature - you'll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and, worse, unpleasant.
My early self-portraits appeared effortlessly and seemed like equivalents for my deeper emotions. Many critics remarked that the images had an almost other-worldly haunting presence. For me, they were simply my own reality at that point in my life. What I was trying to reveal was my inner soul in all its fragile complexity. Without knowing it, I was trying to peel back the layers that shroud and bind us all as we struggle to reveal our own authentic selves.
The mind has a definite way of clothing one's thoughts in appropriate physical equivalents. Think in terms of poverty and you will live in poverty. Think in terms of opulence and you will attract opulence. Through the eternal law of harmonious attraction, one's thoughts always clothe themselves in material things appropriate unto their nature.
What a gulf between impression and expression! That's our ironic fate-to have Shakespearean feelings and (unless by some billion-to-one chance we happen to be Shakespeare) to talk about them like automobile salesmen or teen-agers or college professors. We practice alchemy in reverse-touch gold and it turns into lead; touch the pure lyrics of experience, and they turn into the verbal equivalents of tripe and hogwash.
What a gulf between impression and expression! That's our ironic fate""to have Shakespearean feelings and (unless by some billion-to-one chance we happen to be Shakespeare) to talk about them like automobile salesmen or teen-agers or college professors. We practice alchemy in reverse""touch gold and it turns into lead; touch the pure lyrics of experience, and they turn into the verbal equivalents of tripe and hogwash.
I get depressed with these fluffy dragons and noble elves. Elves were never noble. They were cruel bastards. And I dislike heroes. You can't trust the buggers. They always let you down. I don't believe in the natural nobility of kings, because a large percentage of them in our history have turned out to be power-crazed idiots. And I certainly don't believe in the wisdom of wizards. I've worked with their modern equivalents, and I know what I'm talking about.
A steady exposure to distant human need that is beyond our personal response can gradually inoculate us against particular action... Isolation from local need, and overexposure to overwhelming but distant need, make our responses to strangers uncertain and tentative at best. We need to find or create contemporary equivalents of the city gate, community rituals, and small group meetings in which we can build preliminary relations with strangers.
'Tis folly in one Nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its Independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favours and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation. 'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
It is difficult to generalize about Islam. To begin with, the word itself is commonly used with two related but distinct meanings, as the equivalents both of Christianity, and Christendom. In the one sense, it denotes a religion, as system of beliefs and worship; in the other, the civilization that grew up and flourished under the aegis of that religion. The word Islam thus denotes more than fourteen centuries of history, a billion and a third people, and a religious and cultural tradition of enormous diversity.
Any guilt about food, shame about the body, or judgment about health are considered stressors by the brain and are immediately transduced into their electrochemical equivalents in the body. You could eat the healthiest meal on the planet, but if you're thinking toxic thoughts the digestion of your food goes down and your fat storage metabolism can go up. Likewise, you could be eating a nutritionally challenged meal, but if your head and heart are in the right place, the nutritive power of your food will be increased.
Marriage has for women many equivalents of joining a mass movement. It offers them a new purpose in life, a new future and a new identity (a new name). The boredom of spinsters and of women who can no longer find joy and fulfillment in marriage stems from an awareness of a barren, spoiled life. By embracing a holy cause and dedicating their energies and substance to its advancement, they find a new life full of purpose and meaning.
The thing that distinguishes social systems from physical or even biological systems is their incomparable (and embarrassing) richness in special cases. Generalizations in the social sciences are mere pathways which lead through a riotous forest of individual trees, each a species unto itself. The social scientist who loses this sense of the essential individuality and uniqueness of each case is all too likely to make a solemn scientific ass of himself, especially if he thinks that his faceless generalizations are the equivalents of the rich vareity of the world.
Kenneth E. Boulding
[On Chopin's Preludes:] "His genius was filled with the mysterious sounds of nature, but transformed into sublime equivalents in musical thought, and not through slavish imitation of the actual external sounds. His composition of that night was surely filled with raindrops, resounding clearly on the tiles of the Charterhouse, but it had been transformed in his imagination and in his song into tears falling upon his heart from the sky... The gift of Chopin is [the expression of] the deepest and fullest feelings and emotions that have ever existed. He made a single instrument speak a language of infinity. He could often sum up, in ten lines that a child could play, poems of a boundless exaltation, dramas of unequalled power.
And then Harry Potter had launched in to a speech that was inspiring, yet vague. A speech to the effect that Fred and George and Lee had tremendous potential if they could just learn to be weirder. To make people's live surreal, instead of just surprising them with the equivalents of buckets of water propped above doors. (Fred and George had exchanged interested looks, they'd never thought of that one.) Harry Potter had invoked a picture of the prank they'd pulled on Neville - which, Harry had mentioned with some remorse, the Sorting Hat had chewed him out on - but which must have made Neville doubt his own sanity. For Neville it would have felt like being suddendly transported into an alternate universe. The same way everyone else had felt when they'd seen Snape apologize. That was the true power of pranking.
I never heard communism seriously propounded or argued; perhaps I was too deeply preoccupied with my own dissipations; and, as it turned out in the end it was a way of thought that I was denied or spared by a geographical fluke. From the end of these travels till the War, I lived, with a year's interruption, in Eastern Europe, among friends whom I must call old-fashioned liberals. They hated Nazi Germany; but it was impossible to look eastwards for inspiration and hope, as their western equivalents-peering from afar, and with the nightmare of only one kind of totalitarianism to vex them-felt able to do. For Russia began only a few fields away, the other side of a river; and there, as all her neighbours knew, great wrong was being done and terrible danger lay. All their fears came true. Living among them made me share those fears and they made stony ground for certain kinds of grain.
Patrick Leigh Fermor
Apropos of Eskimo, I once heard a missionary describe the extraordinary difficulty he had found in translating the Bible into Eskimo. It was useless to talk of corn or wine to a people who did not know even what they meant, so he had to use equivalents within their powers of comprehension. Thus in the Eskimo version of the Scriptures the miracle of Cana of Galilee is described as turning the water into blubber; the 8th verse of the 5th chapter of the First Epistle of St. Peter ran: 'Your adversary the devil, as a roaring Polar bear walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.' In the same way 'A land flowing with milk and honey' became 'A land flowing with whale's blubber, ' and throughout the New Testament the words 'Lamb of God' had to be translated 'little Seal of God, ' as the nearest possible equivalent. The missionary added that his converts had the lowest opinion of Jonah for not having utilised his exceptional opportunities by killing and eating the whale.
Every November of my boyhood, we put on red poppies and attended highly patriotic services in remembrance of those who had 'given' their lives. But on what assurance did we know that these gifts had really been made? Only the survivors-the living-could attest to it. In order to know that a person had truly laid down his life for his friends, or comrades, one would have to hear it from his own lips, or at least have heard it promised in advance. And that presented another difficulty. Many brave and now dead soldiers had nonetheless been conscripts. The known martyrs-those who actually, voluntarily sought death and rejoiced in the fact-had been the kamikaze pilots, immolating themselves to propitiate a 'divine' emperor who looked (as Orwell once phrased it) like a monkey on a stick. Their Christian predecessors had endured torture and death (as well as inflicted it) in order to set up a theocracy. Their modern equivalents would be the suicide murderers, who mostly have the same aim in mind. About people who set out to lose their lives, then, there seems to hang an air of fanaticism: a gigantic sense of self-importance unattractively fused with a masochistic tendency to self-abnegation. Not wholesome. The better and more realistic test would therefore seem to be: In what cause, or on what principle, would you risk your life?
Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it's a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it's hard, because someone's in trouble and you have to know how it's all going to end ... that's a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you're on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate, and translation programs only go so far. The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them. I don't think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of children's books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading. I've seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was RL Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy. It's tosh. It's snobbery and it's foolishness. There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories. A hackneyed, worn-out idea isn't hackneyed and worn out to them. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you. Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child's love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian 'improving' literature. You'll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant. We need our children to get onto the reading ladder: anything that they enjoy reading will move them up, rung by rung, into literacy. [from, Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming]