Today I begin to understand what love must be, if it exists. When we are parted, we each feel the lack of the other half of ourselves. We are incomplete like a book in two volumes of which the first has been lost. That is what I imagine love to be: incompleteness in absence.
Edmond And Jules De Goncourt
The ecstatic state of wholeness is bound to be transient because it has no part in the total pattern of 'adaptation through maladaptation' which is characteristic of our species... the hunger of imagination, the desire and pursuit of the whole, take origin from the realization that something is missing, from awareness of incompleteness.
This superficial blurring has something to do with the incapacity I have just mentioned. I can make no statement about reality clearer than my own relationship to reality; and this has a great deal to do with imprecision, uncertainty, transience, incompleteness, or whatever. But this doesn't explain the pictures. At best it explains what led to their being painted.
There are days when I am convinced that Heaven starts already, now, in this ordinary life just as it is, in all its incompleteness, yet, this is where Heaven starts.. see within yourself, if you can find it. I walked through the field in front of the house, lots of swallows flying, everywhere! Some very near me..it was magical. "We are already one, yet we know it not.
People who do not love themselves can adore others, because adoration is making someone else big and ourselves small. They can desire others, because desire comes out of a sense of inner incompleteness, which demands to be filled. But they can not love others, because love is an affirmation of the living growing being in all of us. If you don't have it, you can't give it.
Isolated facts and experiments have in themselves no value, however great their number may be. They only become valuable in a theoretical or practical point of view when they make us acquainted with the law of a series of uniformly recurring phenomena, or, it may be, only give a negative result showing an incompleteness in our knowledge of such a law, till then held to be perfect.
Hermann von Helmholtz
There is something servile in the interpretation of sin as crime which infringes the will of God and calls for legal proceedings on the part of God. Sin is dividedness, a state of deficiency, incompleteness, dissociation, enslavement, hatred, but it is not disobedience and not formal violation of the will of God.
Part of the inner world of everyone is this sense of emptiness, unease, incompleteness, and I believe that this in itself is a word from God, that this is the sound that God's voice makes in a world that has explained him away. In such a world, I suspect that maybe God speaks to us most clearly through his silence, his absence, so that we know him best through our missing him.
To admit the existence of a need in God is to admit incompleteness in the divine Being. Need is a creature-word and cannot be spoken of the Creator. God has a voluntary relationg to everything He has made, but He has no Necessary relation to anything outside of Himself. His interest in His creatures arises from His sovereign good pleasure, not from any need those creatures can supply nor from any completeness they can dring to Him who is complete in himself.
Aiden Wilson Tozer
We patronize the animals for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they are more finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other Nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time.
I think of the snarling, cruel exchange back on the hovercraft. The bitterness that followed. But all I say is "I can't believe you didn't rescue Peeta." "I know," he replies. There's a sense of incompleteness. And not because he hasn't apologized. But because we were a team. We had a deal to keep Peeta safe. A drunken, unrealistic deal made in the dark of night, but a deal just the same. And in my heart of hearts, I know we both failed. "Now you say it," I tell him. "I can't believe you let him out of your sight that night," says Haymitch.
The idea of Christian perfection, which began in the ancient monasteries and spread to the world as an ideal, is one of the most appealing, demanding and ultimately hopeless notions of the spiritual life. By definition, only God is perfect-that is, complete and independent unto [God's] self. Humans, on the other hand, are radically imperfect, and that, paradoxically, is welcome news, for the recognition of our incompleteness throws us on the mercy of God and enables us, as Saint Paul stressed, to put up with one another's faults.
In the isolation of his clear, cold intellect, the sceptic abides in a glacial and spectral universe. No glow from the affections lights up the frost and shadow of the grave. He feels no prophecy in the thrill of the human heart-in the incompleteness of nature. He believes merely in things tangible, and sees only in the daytime. He will not confess the authenticity of that paler light of faith which was meant to shine when the sunshine of reason falls short, and the firmament of mystery is over our heads.
Edwin Hubbel Chapin
A personal relationship with God enhances life. First, it enables us to accept our limitations without being frustrated by them. It assures us that problems we can't solve are not necessarily insoluble. Second, when we need it, God offers us a sense of forgiveness, a sense of cleansing from our incompleteness. . . . Last and perhaps most important, a personal relationship with God redeems us from the fear of death. We needn't be afraid that all our good deeds will vanish when we die.
Harold S. Kushner
Made for spirituality, we wallow in introspection. Made for joy, we settle for pleasure. Made for justice, we clamor for vengeance. Made for relationship, we insist on our own way. Made for beauty, we are satisfied with sentiment. But new creation has already begun. The sun has begun to rise. Christians are called to leave behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to the brokenness and incompleteness of the present world ... That, quite simply, is what it means to be Christian: to follow Jesus Christ into the new world, God's new world, which he has thrown open before us.
N. T. Wright
We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.
Someday, the people we know, are acquainted to become the people we knew. They leave. They leave to pursue the opportunities laid down in their paths and they leave on account of misunderstandings. Their absence causes a vacuum, a space, an incompleteness which we believe no one can fill. But someday, someone eventually does and that someone rekindles our hopes for companionship, until the circle continues and is ultimately intervened by the permanence of death. The future is alarming, as atrocious as the past. And the friendship, the love, the memories either remain in our hearts cherished or are forgotten like an undeserving dream. Everything eventually fades away, either for the better or worse. Someday, the people we know, are acquainted to become the people we knew. But then again, that someday is not today and so we must be a little more appreciative, for the moment, for the times, for the present because someday everything is going to change.
Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth. Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery. A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error, for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief. Doubt is the touchstone of truth; it is an acid which eats away the false. Let no man fear for the truth, that doubt may consume it; for doubt is a testing of belief. The truth stands boldly and unafraid; it is not shaken by the testing; For truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing stronger, more secure. He that would silence doubt is filled with fear; the house of his spirit is built on shifting sands. But he that fears no doubt, and knows its use, is founded on a rock. He shall walk in the light of growing knowledge; the work of his hands shall endure. Therefore let us not fear doubt, but let us rejoice in its help: It is to the wise as a staff to the blind; doubt is the handmaiden of truth.
Robert T. Weston
Then what is true love?' she asked audaciously. Derian leaned forward, his focus powerfully fixed on her. His voice turned delicate and compelling as he spoke. 'Love is so much more than a feeling. True love, Eena, is something that develops over time. It's not that initial infatuation nor the shivers and butterflies that take your breath away when you're first attracted to someone. Those things are nice, but they are barely the beginning of what could become true love. The emotions you speak of are temporary and unreliable, elicited when two people come together. The power I speak of grows ever stronger over time until it is steadfast, even in separation. Then, reunited, it solidifies unshakably.' She shook her head. 'I don't quite follow.' The captain inched closer, fixing her with the sincerest of gazes. His hands cupped as if he were holding his very heart within them. 'True love is a developed and intense appreciation for someone. It's that perfect awareness that you are finally whole when she's with you, and that hollow incompleteness you suffer when she's gone. True love takes time, Eena. It's an earned comfort that tells you she'll be right there beside you no matter what you do, not necessarily happy with your every action, but faithful to you just the same. Love is knowing someone so deeply, understanding her so completely, that you can finish her thoughts without hesitation, confident in reading her face, her body, even her slightest gesture means something to you. Love is years of devotion, sacrifice, commitment, loyalty, trust, faith, and friendship all wrapped up in one. True love does more than cause your heart to flutter, Eena. It upholds your heart when the infatuation no longer makes it flutter.' 'Wow.
Richelle E. Goodrich
It happens that in our phase of civility, the novel is the central form of literary art. It lends itself to explanations borrowed from any intellectual system of the universe which seems at the time satisfactory. Its history is an attempt to evade the laws of what Scott called 'the land of fiction'-the stereotypes which ignore reality, and whose remoteness from it we identify as absurd. From Cervantes forward it has been, when it has satisfied us, the poetry which is 'capable, ' in the words of Ortega, 'of coping with present reality.' But it is a 'realistic poetry' and its theme is, bluntly, 'the collapse of the poetic' because it has to do with 'the barbarous, brutal, mute, meaningless reality of things.' It cannot work with the old hero, or with the old laws of the land of romance; moreover, such new laws and customs as it creates have themselves to be repeatedly broken under the demands of a changed and no less brutal reality. 'Reality has such a violent temper that it does not tolerate the ideal even when reality itself is idealized.' Nevertheless, the effort continues to be made. The extremest revolt against the customs or laws of fiction-the antinovels of Fielding or Jane Austen or Flaubert or Natalie Sarraute-creates its new laws, in their turn to be broken. Even when there is a profession of complete narrative anarchy, as in some of the works I discussed last week, or in a poem such as Paterson, which rejects as spurious whatever most of us understand as form, it seems that time will always reveal some congruence with a paradigm-provided always that there is in the work that necessary element of the customary which enables it to communicate at all. I shall not spend much time on matters so familiar to you. Whether, with Luke¡cs, you think of the novel as peculiarly the resolution of the problem of the individual in an open society-or as relating to that problem in respect of an utterly contingent world; or express this in terms of the modern French theorists and call its progress a necessary and 'unceasing movement from the known to the unknown'; or simply see the novel as resembling the other arts in that it cannot avoid creating new possibilities for its own future-however you put it, the history of the novel is the history of forms rejected or modified, by parody, manifesto, neglect, as absurd. Nowhere else, perhaps, are we so conscious of the dissidence between inherited forms and our own reality. There is at present some good discussion of the issue not only in French but in English. Here I have in mind Iris Murdoch, a writer whose persistent and radical thinking about the form has not as yet been fully reflected in her own fiction. She contrasts what she calls 'crystalline form' with narrative of the shapeless, quasi-documentary kind, rejecting the first as uncharacteristic of the novel because it does not contain free characters, and the second because it cannot satisfy that need of form which it is easier to assert than to describe; we are at least sure that it exists, and that it is not always illicit. Her argument is important and subtle, and this is not an attempt to restate it; it is enough to say that Miss Murdoch, as a novelist, finds much difficulty in resisting what she calls 'the consolations of form' and in that degree damages the 'opacity, ' as she calls it, of character. A novel has this (and more) in common with love, that it is, so to speak, delighted with its own inventions of character, but must respect their uniqueness and their freedom. It must do so without losing the formal qualities that make it a novel. But the truly imaginative novelist has an unshakable 'respect for the contingent'; without it he sinks into fantasy, which is a way of deforming reality. 'Since reality is incomplete, art must not be too afraid of incompleteness, ' says Miss Murdoch. We must not falsify it with patterns too neat, too inclusive; there must be dissonance.