He went on for some time while I sat listening in silence because I knew he was right, and like two people who have loved each other however imperfectly, who have tried to make a life together, however imperfectly, who have lived side by side and watched the wrinkles slowly form at the corner of the other's eyes, and watched a little drop of gray, as if poured from a jug, drop into the other's skin and spread itself evenly, listening to the other's coughs and sneezes and little collected mumblings, like two people who'd had one idea together and slowly allowed that idea to be replaced with two separate, less hopeful, less ambitious ideas, we spoke deep into the night, and the next day, and the next night. For forty days and forty nights, I want to say, but the fact of the matter is it only took three. One of us had loved the other more perfectly, had watched the other more closely, and one of us listened and the other hadn't, and one of us held on to the ambition of the one idea far longer than was reasonable, whereas the other, passing a garbage can one night, had casually thrown it away.
The ideas of Freud were popularized by people who only imperfectly understood them, who were incapable of the great effort required to grasp them in their relationship to larger truths, and who therefore assigned to them a prominence out of all proportion to their true importance.
Alfred North Whitehead
I realized clearly, perhaps for the first time, what strained and anxious lives dogs must lead, so emotionally involved in the world of men, whose affections they strive endlessly to secure, whose authority they are expected unquestioningly to obey, and whose mind they never can do more than imperfectly reach and comprehend.
J. R. Ackerley
There is something indefinably keen and wan about her anatomy, and she has a watchful way of looking out of the corners of her eyes without turning her head which could be pleasantly dispensed with, especially when she is in an ill humour and near knives. Through all the good taste of her dress and little adornments, these objections so express themselves that she seems to go about like a very neat she-wolf imperfectly tamed.
The world is not as it was when it came from its Maker's hands. It has been modified by many great revolutions, brought about by an inner mechanism of which we very imperfectly comprehend the movements; but of which we gain a glimpse by studying their effects: and their many causes still acting on the surface of our globe with undiminished power, which are changing, and will continue to change it, as long as it shall last.
Presenting leadership as a list of carefully defined qualities (like strategic, analytical, and performance-oriented) no longer holds. Instead, true leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed... Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.
But although we have noticed the ark as being the first ship, we cannot with propriety place it in the front of the history of navigation. After the flood the ark seems to have been soon forgotten, or at least imperfectly remembered, and men reverted to their little canoes and clumsy boats, which sufficed for all their limited wants. It was not until about a thousand years later in the world
R. M. Ballantyne
The Bhagavad Gita-that ancient Indian Yogic text-says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection. So now I have started living my own life. Imperfect and clumsy as it may look, it is resembling me now, thoroughly.
I look at the natural geological record as a history of the world imperfectly kept and written in a changing dialect; of this history we possess the last volume alone, relating only to two or three countries. Of this volume, only here and there a short chapter has been preserved; and of each page, only here and there a few lines.
I'm not getting it all sorted, she worried. I'm not getting it right. You are brilliant, the Voice reassured her. It is imperfect. So are all things trapped in time. You are brilliant, nonetheless. How fortunate for Us that We thirst for glorious souls rather than faultless ones, or We should be parched indeed, and most lonely in Our perfect righteousness. Carry on imperfectly, shining Ista.
Lois McMaster Bujold
Presenting leadership as a list of carefully defined qualities (like strategic, analytical, and performance-ori ented) no longer holds. Instead, true leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed.... Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.
It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy . . . great improvement . . . were either not known at all, or imperfectly known to the ancients.
Whenever we encounter the Infinite in man, however imperfectly understood, we treat it with respect. Whether in the synagogue, the mosque, the pagoda, or the wigwam, there is a hideous aspect which we execrate and a sublime aspect which we venerate. So great a subject for spiritual contemplation, such measureless dreaming - the echo of God on the human wall!
Man has been reared by his errors: first he never saw himself other than imperfectly, second he attributed to himself imaginary qualities, third he felt himself in a false order of rank with animal and nature, fourth he continually invented new tables of values and for a time took each of them to be eternal and unconditional... If one deducts the effect of these four errors, one has also deducted away humanity, humaneness, and 'human dignity'.
He put this engine [a silver pocket watch] into our ears, which made an incessant noise, like that of a water-mill: and we conjecture it is either some unknown animal, or the god that he worships; but we are more inclined to the latter opinion, because he assured us, (if we understood him right, for he expressed himself very imperfectly) that he seldom did any thing without consulting it. He called it his oracle, and said, it pointed out the time for every action of his life.
Whatever is placed beyond the reach of sense and knowledge, whatever is imperfectly discerned, the fancy pieces out at its leisure; and all but the present moment, but the present spot, passion claims for its own, and brooding over it with wings outspread, stamps it with an image of itself. Passion is lord of infinite space, and distant objects please because they border on its confines and are moulded by its touch.
Our principles were revolutionary. We began as a small, weak republic. But we survived. Our example inspired others, imperfectly at times, but it inspired them nevertheless. This constitutional republic, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, prospered and grew strong. To this day, America is still the abiding alternative to tyranny. That is our purpose in the world - nothing more and nothing less.
Speech, originally, was the device whereby Man learned, imperfectly, to transmit the thoughts and emotions of his mind. By setting up arbitrary sounds and combinations of sounds to represent certain mental nuances, he developed a method of communication--but one which in its clumsiness and thick-thumbed inadequacy degenerated all the delicacy of the mind into gross and guttural signaling.
Casting my eyes on Mr. Wemmick as we went along, to see what he was like in the light of day, I found him to be a dry man, rather short in stature, with a square wooden face, whose expression seemed to have been imperfectly chipped out with a dull-edged chisel. There were some marks in it that might have been dimples, if the material had been softer and the instrument finer, but which, as it was, were only dints. The chisel had made three or four of these attempts at embellishment over his nose, but had given them up without an effort to smooth them off.
If nature be regarded as the teacher and we poor human beings as her pupils, the human race presents a very curious picture. We all sit together at a lecture and possess the necessary principles for understanding it, yet we always pay more attention to the chatter of our fellow students than to the lecturer's discourse. Or, if our neighbor copies something down, we sneak it from him, stealing what he himself may have heard imperfectly, and add it to our own errors of spelling and opinion.
Georg C. Lichtenberg
You can t, in sound morals, condemn a man for taking care of his own integrity. It is his clear duty. And least of all can you condemn an artist pursuing, however humbly and imperfectly, a creative aim. In that interior world where his thought and his emotions go seeking for the experience of imagined adventures, there are no policemen, no law, no pressure of circumstance or dread of opinion to keep him within bounds. Who then is going to say Nay to his temptations if not his conscience?
It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I feel also not able to imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. My views are near those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly. I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem-the most important of all human problems.
None may wholly escape the good of Nature, however imperfectly exposed to her blessings. The minister will not preach a perfectly flat and sedimentary sermon after climbing a snowy peak; and the fair play and tremendous impartiality of Nature, so tellingly displayed, will surely affect the after pleadings of the lawyer. Fresh air at least will get into everybody, and the cares of mere business will be quenched like the fires of a sinking ship.
The body protects itself, and the same happens in the mind. It occurs sluggishly and imperfectly, a bad job done by indifferent craftsmen, but within minutes an accretion of defence mechanisms starts to form around the trauma, blunting its edges, eventually sealing it away inside scar tissue. Like a sliver of glass buried deep in a cut, the event will never go away, and often a movement will cause it to nudge a nerve ending and burn like fire for a while. However much it hurts when that happens, the last thing you want.
Everything assumes a different intensity when you are feeling the pain of loss. Be prepared. A minor annoyance that you might once have managed with a shrug now becomes a nuclear crisis! You are no doubt going to do things perfectly imperfectly. That is part of our path as humans. Forget about striving for perfection while dealing with grief! If you beat yourself up every time you forget something, have a breakdown, or don't do something correctly then you're going to end up very black and blue. I guarantee you won't want to look in the mirror! So be kinder and more patient with yourself.
What, did you think, " she asked, laughing as he struggled up the bank, "that I, a Gaulish maiden, could not swim?" "I did not think anything about it, " Malchus said; "I saw you pushed in and followed without thinking at all." Although they imperfectly understood each other's words the meaning was clear; the girl put her hand on his shoulder and looked frankly up in his face. "I thank you, " she said, "just the same as if you had saved my life. You meant to do so, and it was very good of you, a great chief of this army, to hazard your life for a Gaulish maiden. Clotilde will never forget.
What, did you think," she asked, laughing as he struggled up the bank, "that I, a Gaulish maiden, could not swim?" "I did not think anything about it," Malchus said; "I saw you pushed in and followed without thinking at all." Although they imperfectly understood each other's words the meaning was clear; the girl put her hand on his shoulder and looked frankly up in his face. "I thank you," she said, "just the same as if you had saved my life. You meant to do so, and it was very good of you, a great chief of this army, to hazard your life for a Gaulish maiden. Clotilde will never forget.
Christ was a sublime actor on the stage of the world. He knew what he was thinking of when he said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." I draw near to him at such a time. Yet he taught mankind but imperfectly how to live; his thoughts were all directed toward another world. There is another kind of success than his. Even here we have a sort of living to get, and must buffet it somewhat longer. There are various tough problems yet to solve, and we must shift to live, betwixt spirit and matter, such a human life as we can.
Henry David Thoreau
The proposition that primitive dream imagery might reproduce, albeit imperfectly, the experience of one's ancestors, including their terrors, was rather too existentially charged for post-modern sensitivities, for which the meaningless hypothesis of memory de-junking was much more appealing. Even worse, the notion that one's own ideation, one's own monsters, or indeed oneself as a monster, might be transmitted forward to future generations threatened deeply assumptions about the privacy of the mind and an individual's discretionary power of inviolable concealment over unedifying thoughts.
Soul one might say is more imperfectly infinite than spirit, because soul tends to abolish the ego-consciousness that it absorbs or overwhelms, reducing its particularizing structure to pure sublime feeling (immediacy); but spirit is more successfully infinite than soul, even though also more difficult and abstruse, because it digests the functions of consciousness into itself and thus preserves and deploys the senses and intelligence of conscious ego to higher ends.
The surface of the quieted river, as I think now, is like a window looking into another world that is like this one except that it is quiet. Its quietness makes it seem perfect. The ripples are like the slates of a blind of a shutter through which we see imperfectly what is perfect. Though that other world can be seen only momentarily, it looks everlasting. As the ripples become more agitated, the window darkens and the other world is hidden.the surface of the river is like a living soul, which is easy to disturb, is often disturbed, but, growing calm, shows what it was, is, and will be.
The (nation) state's concern had been the development of citizens - social subjects whose identity was shaped by the goals of the state - and the preparation of a labour force serving the needs of a national economy and administration. That state was interested in cohesion, integration and homogeneity - however imperfectly realized. The globally framed interests of current versions of the market are neither about citizenship - shared social values, aspirations, dispositions - nor about the preparation of a labour force...
Humboldt's early biographer, F.A. Schwarzenberg, subtitled his life of Humboldt What May Be Accomplished in a Lifetime. He summarised the areas of his subject's extraordinary curiosity as follows: '1) The knowledge of the Earth and its inhabitants. 2) The discovery of the higher laws of nature, which govern the universe, men, animals, plants, minerals. 3) The discovery of new forms of life. 4) The discovery of territories hitherto but imperfectly known, and their various productions. 5) The acquaintance with new species of the human race- their manners, their language and the historical traces of their culture.' What may be accomplished in a lifetime-and seldom or never is.
Alain de Botton
We're seeking "" imperfectly at every turn, no doubt "" an incarnational theology, a theology that brings radical good news of great joy for all the people, good news that God loves the world and didn't send Jesus to condemn it but to save it, good news that God's wrath is not merely punitive but restorative, good news that the fire of God's holiness is not bent on eternal torment but always works to purify and refine, good news that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.
Brian D. McLaren
We're seeking - imperfectly at every turn, no doubt - an incarnational theology, a theology that brings radical good news of great joy for all the people, good news that God loves the world and didn't send Jesus to condemn it but to save it, good news that God's wrath is not merely punitive but restorative, good news that the fire of God's holiness is not bent on eternal torment but always works to purify and refine, good news that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.
Brian D. McLaren
What struck me, in reading the reports from Sri Lanka, was the mild disgrace of belonging to our imperfectly evolved species in the first place. People who had just seen their neighbors swept away would tell the reporters that they knew a judgment had been coming, because the Christians had used alcohol and meat at Christmas or because... well, yet again you can fill in the blanks for yourself. It was interesting, though, to notice that the Buddhists were often the worst. Contentedly patting an image of the chubby lord on her fencepost, a woman told the New York Times that those who were not similarly protected had been erased, while her house was still standing. There were enough such comments, almost identically phrased, to make it seem certain that the Buddhist authorities had been promulgating this consoling and insane and nasty view. That would not surprise me.
What is Zen? Zen means doing anything perfectly, making mistakes perfectly, being defeated perfectly, hesitating perfectly, doing anything perfectly or imperfectly, perfectly. What is the meaning of this perfectly? How does it differ from perfectly? Perfectly is in the will; perfectly is in the activity. Perfectly means that at each moment of the activity there is no egoism in it... our pain is not only our own pain; it is the pain of the universe. The joy of the universe is also our joy. Our failure and misjudgment is that of nature, which never hopes or despairs, but keeps on trying. R. H. Blyth
Fulfilled desires, like pleasures (even of the intrinsic kind), are states of achievement rather than default states. For instance, one has to work at satiating oneself, while hunger comes naturally. After one has eaten or taken liquid, bowel and bladder discomfort ensues quite naturally and we have to seek relief. One has to seek out pleasurable sensations, in the absence of which blandness comes naturally. The upshot of this is that we must continually work at keeping suffering (including tedium) at bay, and we can do so only imperfectly. Dissatisfaction does and must pervade life. There are moments, perhaps even periods, of satisfaction, but they occur against a background of dissatisfied striving. Pollyannaism may cause most people to blur out this background, but it remains there.
Grief can destroy you -or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it's over and you're alone, you begin to see that it wasn't just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
By now, I hope you recognize this as one more example of the reductionist paradigm at work, even when it's couched in natural and alternative terms. As we saw in chapter ten, one of the major problems with modern medicine is its reliance on isolated, unnatural chemical pharmaceuticals as the primary tool in the war against disease. But the medical profession isn't the only player in the health-care system that has embraced this element of reductionism. The natural health community has also fallen prey to the ideology that chemicals ripped from their natural context are as good as or better than whole foods. Instead of synthesizing the presumed "active ingredients" from medicinal herbs, as done for prescription drugs, supplement manufacturers seek to extract and bottle the active ingredients from foods known or believed to promote good health and healing. And just like prescription drugs, the active agents function imperfectly, incompletely, and unpredictably when divorced from the whole plant food from which they're derived or synthesized.
T. Colin Campbell
Men, Kellhus had once told her, were like coins: they had two sides. Where one side of them saw, the other side of them was seen, and though all men were both at once, men could only truly know the side of themselves that saw and the side of others that was seen-they could only truly know the inner half of themselves and the outer half of others. At first Esmenet thought this foolish. Was not the inner half the whole, what was only imperfectly apprehended by others? But Kellhus bid her to think of everything she'd witnessed in others. How many unwitting mistakes? How many flaws of character? Conceits couched in passing remarks. Fears posed as judgements ... The shortcomings of men-their limits-were written in the eyes of those who watched them. And this was why everyone seemed so desperate to secure the good opinion of others-why everyone played the mummer. They knew without knowing that what they saw of themselves was only half of who they were. And they were desperate to be whole. The measure of wisdom, Kellhus had said, was found in the distance between these two selves. Only afterward had she thought of Kellhus in these terms. With a kind of surpriseless shock, she realized that not once-not once!-had she glimpsed shortcomings in his words or actions. And this, she understood, was why he seemed limitless, like the ground, which extended from the small circle about her feet to the great circle about the sky. He had become her horizon. For Kellhus, there was no distance between seeing and being seen. He alone was whole. And what was more, he somehow stood from without and saw from within. He made whole ...
R. Scott Bakker
The American share of the crisis began with grossly improper mortgages provided to wholly unqualified borrowers, all directly caused and encouraged by government distortion of and interference in the market. The government's market deformation and market intervention was in turn the result of two factors: political favouritism and Leftist ideology, on the one hand; and upon the other, corruption: the blatant cooption of such Friends of Angelo as Mr Dodd and of such bien-pensant Lefties as Mr Frank. The stability and efficiency of any market is directly proportional to the amount and trustworthiness of market information. The Yank Congress, for blatantly partisan and ideological reasons, gave out false information to the market, pushing lenders into making bad loans and giving out, with the appropriate winks and nudges, that Fannie (will Americans ever realise how that sounds) and Freddie, imperfectly quangoised, were 'really just as good as the Treasury' and were in any case 'too big to [be let] fail': which, as it happens, was untrue. Similarly, this moronic mantra of 'too big to fail' was chanted desperately and loudly to drown out the warning sounds of various financial institutions on the brink and of the automobile industry. Incomprehensible sums of public money were thrown at these corporations so that they could avoid bankruptcy, and have succeeded only in privatising profit whilst socialising risk.