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I have a studio in the country - in the woods - but my paintings look more real to me than what is outdoors. You walk outside; the rocks are inert; even the clouds are inert. It makes me feel a little better. But I do have a faith that it is possible to make a living thing, not a diagram of what I have been thinking: to posit with paint something living, something that changes each day.
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Every intellectual revolution which has ever stirred humanity into greatness has been a passionate protest against inert ideas. Then, alas, with pathetic ignorance of human psychology, it has proceeded by some educational scheme to bind humanity afresh with inert ideas of its own fashioning.
Alfred North Whitehead
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'Under the Skin' is handsome, in a dour way, but inert - a cunning experiment that died in the shooting or on the editing table. You'll want to get the DVD, though, and not just for its study of Scarlett. Odds are that the Making-Of documentary will be far stranger and more fascinating than the movie that was made.
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It is because the public are a mass inert, obtuse, and passive that they need to be shaken up from time to time so that we can tell from their bear-like grunts where they are and also where they stand. They are pretty harmless, in spite of their numbers, because they are fighting against intelligence.
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The answer to growing complexity in the social sphere is renewed efforts at participation by each one of us, or else a progressive decline of inert and unquestioning masses submitting to government by an elite which will have little regard for the ultimate interest of the common man.
Gordon Willard Allport
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I never heard of anybody who admired the character of sheep. Even the gentlest human personalities in contact with them are annoyed by their lack of brains, courage and initiative, by their extraordinary ability to get themselves into uncomfortable or dangerous situations and then wait in inert helplessness for someone to rescue them.
Dorothy Canfield Fisher
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I almost wish I had cancer. Then I'd either beat it or die from it. But my disease, even if successfully treated, will never go away. And it might not kill me. But it will hang over me like the blade of a guillotine; more threatening inert than if the blade suddenly slips and mercifully turns out my lights. This is my war to end all wars.
William Cope Moyers
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Young men and women are causing wealth loss to their generation because they are sitting on inert ideas, bottled-up potential energy and scratching the ground when they should be gliding the skies and perambulating with the stars. These people are so disillusioned they live life without any urgency.
Nana Awere Damoah
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I can concede that the government has no knowledge of the people, but I believe the people know less of the government. There are useless officials, evil, if you like, but there are also good ones, and these are not able to accomplish anything because they encounter an inert mass, the population that takes little part in matters that concern them.
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It is obvious that the most despotic forms of social organization would be suitable for inert men who are satisfied with the situation fate has placed them in, and that the most abstract form of democratic theory would be practicable among sages guided only by their reason. The only problem is to what degree it is possible to excite or to contain the passions without endangering public happiness.
Madame de Stael
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Late twentieth-century machines have made thoroughly ambiguous the difference between natural and artificial, mind and body, self-developing and externally designed, and many other distinctions that used to apply to organisms and machines. Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert.
Donna J. Haraway
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If I remember correctly writers usually find some excuse for their books, although why one should excuse oneself for having such a quiet & peaceful occupation I really don't know. Military people never seem to apologize for killing each other yet novelists feel ashamed for writing some nice inert paper book that is not certain to be read by anybody.
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But no: he was empty, he was confronted by a vast anger, a desperate anger, he saw it and could almost have touched it. But it was inert - if it were to live and find expression and suffer, he must lend it his own body. It was other people's anger. "Swine!" He clenched his fists, he strode along, but nothing came, the anger remained external to himself.
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Without you, without your onslaughts, without your uprootings of us, we should remain all our lives inert, stagnant, puerile, ignorant both of ourselves and of God. You who batter us and then dress our wounds, you who resist us and yield to us, you who wreck and build, you who shackle and liberate, the sap of our souls, the hand of God, the flesh of Christ: it is you, matter, that I bless.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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When I speak of knowledge of nature, I do not mean industrial science, which argues that nature is inert and can be understood only to enable humans to manipulate it. I mean that sense of nature that Aldo Leopold had in mind when he said, "A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community, wrong when it tends otherwise.
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An unchangeable colour rules over the melancholic: his dwelling is a space the colour of mourning. Nothing happens in it. No one intrudes. It is a bare stage where the inert I is assisted by the I suffering from that inertia. The latter wishes to free the former, but all efforts fail, as Theseus would have failed had he been not only himself but also the Minotaur; to kill him then, he would have had to kill himself
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A particular place in the land is never, for an oral culture, just a passive or inert setting for the human events that occur there. It is an active participant in those occurrences. Indeed, by virtue of its underlying and enveloping presence, the place may even be felt to be the source, the primary power that expresses itself through the various events that unfold there.
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If you want to write anything that works, you have to go with the grain of your talent, not against it. If your talent is inert and sullen in the face of business or politics...but takes fire at the thought of ghosts and vampires and witches and demons then feed the flames, feed the flames.
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Adults look upon a child as something empty that is to be filled through their own efforts, as something inert and helpless for which they must do everything, as something lacking an inner guide and in constant need of inner direction. . . . An adult who acts in this way, even though he may be convinced that he is filled with zeal, love, and a spirit of sacrifice on behalf of his child, unconsciously suppresses the development of the child's own personality.
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Space expands or contracts in the tensions and functions through which it exists. Space is not a static, inert thing. Space is alive; space is dynamic; space is imbued with movement expressed by forces and counterforces; space vibrates and resounds with color, light and form in the rhythm of life.
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If gold has been prized because it is the most inert element, changeless and incorruptible, water is prized for the opposite reason -- its fluidity, mobility, changeability that make it a necessity and a metaphor for life itself. To value gold over water is to value economy over ecology, that which can be locked up over that which connects all things.
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If gold has been prized because it is the most inert element, changeless and incorruptible, water is prized for the opposite reason - its fluidity, mobility, changeability that make it a necessity and a metaphor for life itself. To value gold over water is to value economy over ecology, that which can be locked up over that which connects all things.
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A man, at least, is free; he can explore every passion, every land, overcome obstacles, taste the most distant pleasures. But a woman is continually thwarted. Inert and pliant at the same time, she must struggle against both the softness of her flesh and subjection to the law. Her will, like the veil tied to her hat by a string, flutters with every breeze; there is always some desire luring her on, some convention holding her back.
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It is terrible to see how a single unclear idea, a single formula without meaning, lurking in a young man's head, will sometimes act like an obstruction of inert matter in an artery, hindering the nutrition of the brain and condemning its victim to pine away in the fullness of his intellectual vigor and in the midst of intellectual plenty.
Charles Sanders Peirce
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Vanity, or to call it by a gentler name, the desire of admiration and applause, is, perhaps, the most universal principle of humanactions.... Where that desire is wanting, we are apt to be indifferent, listless, indolent, and inert.... I will own to you, under the secrecy of confession, that my vanity has very often made me take great pains to make many a woman in love with me, if I could, for whose person I would not have given a pinch of snuff.
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Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I'm aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don't have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift.
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So it is a good idea to start simple, I think, and be very careful. There is a spiritual opening in the Kosmos. Let us be careful of how we fill it. The simplest is: Spirit or Emptiness is unqualifiable, but it is not inert and unyielding, for it gives rise to manifestation itself: new forms emerge, and that creativity is ultimate. Emptiness, creativity, holons.
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Sophisticated readers understand that writers work out their anger, their conflicts, their endless grief and rolling list of loss, through their stories. That however mean-spirited or diabolical, it's only a story. That the darkness in the soul is shaped into type and lies there, brooding and inert, black on the page, and active, dangerous, only in the reader's mind. Actually, harmless. I am not harmless.
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Miracles are commonplace in religious scripture. Our ancient ancestors are said to have felt Jesus' wounds, verified Muhammad's ascent to heaven, and even interacted with their respective deities directly. Today, believers have no such luxury. They are forced to rely on blind faith that these things occurred, that people were at one time able to overcome or render inert natural laws.
David G. McAfee
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If, on the other hand, we wish to describe a particular phenomenon without repressing our direct experience, then we cannot avoid speaking of the phenomenon as an active, animate entity with which we find ourselves engaged. To the sensing body, no thing presents itself as utterly passive or inert. Only by affirming the animateness of perceived things do we allow our words to emerge directly from the depths of our ongoing reciprocity with the world.
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The Democratic line is that the Republican House does nothing but block and oppose. In fact, it has passed hundreds of bills only to have them die upon reaching the desk of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He has rendered the Senate inert by simply ensuring that any bill that might present a politically difficult vote for his Democratic colleagues never even comes to the floor.
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The mass depiction of the modern woman as a "beauty" is a contradiction: Where modern women are growing, moving, and expressing their individuality, as the myth has it, "beauty" is by definition inert, timeless, and generic. That this hallucination is necessary and deliberate is evident in the way "beauty" so directly contradicts women's real situation.
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Construed as turf, home just seems a provisional claim, a designation you make upon a place, not one it makes on you. A certain set of buildings, a glimpsed, smudged window-view across a schoolyard, a musty aroma sniffed behind a garage when you were a child, all of which come crowding in upon your latter-day senses -- those are pungent things and vivid, even consoling. But to me they are also inert and nostalgic and unlikely to connect you to the real, to that essence art can sometimes achieve, which is permanence.
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The typical image of a depressed, lazy and tired person is someone hunched over and inert. Often, the assumption is that if one had more enthusiasm and inspiration, he would then stand up straight and move. In many cases, this equation is backward. But, as with everything related to one's physicality, balance is the key. An overly erect and rigid posture may convey confidence and power to some, but it also causes a subtle accumulation of tension and rigidity on various levels, including psychological and emotional.
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When oxygen and sulphur dioxide are mixed in the presence of a filiament of platinum, they form sulphurous acid. This combination takes place only if the platinum is present; nevertheless the newly formed acid contains no trace of platinum, and the platinum itself is apparently unaffected: has remained inert, neutral, and unchanged. The mind of the poet is the shred of platinum.
T. S. Eliot
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There is nothing more terrible, I learned, than having to face the objects of a dead man. Things are inert: that have meaning only in function of the life that makes use of them. When that life ends, the things change, even though they remain the same. [... ] they say something to us, standing there not as objects but as remnants of thought, of consciousness, emblems of the solitude in which a man comes to make decisions about himself.
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The mechanism that directs government cannot be virtuous, because it is impossible to thwart every crime, to protect oneself from every criminal without being criminal too; that which directs corrupt mankind must be corrupt itself; and it will never be by means of virtue, virtue being inert and passive, that you will maintain control over vice, which is ever active: the governor must be more energetic than the governed.
Marquis de Sade
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Photographs have the kind of authority over imagination to-day, which the printed word had yesterday, and the spoken word before that. They seem utterly real. They come, we imagine, directly to us without human meddling, and they are the most effortless food for the mind conceivable. Any description in words, or even any inert picture exists in the mind. But on the screen the whole process of observing, describing, reporting, and then imagining, has been accomplished for you.
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This Being out of God cannot, by any means, be a limited, completed, and inert Being, since God himself is not such a dead Being, but, on the contrary, is Life; but it can only be a Power, since only a Power is the true formal picture or Schema of Life. And indeed it can only be the Power of realising that which is contained in itself a Schema.
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
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The vast majority of psychopaths, like an iceberg, are underwater, and like an iceberg, they are inert. They do nothing. They're just there. They torment their spouse by being unempathic, but they don't beat her or kill her. They bully coworkers, but they don't burn the office. They are not dramatic. They are pernicious. Most psychopaths are subtle. They are more like poison than a knife, and they are more like slow-working poison than cyanide.
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Imperishable moments and immortal deeds, death itself and love stronger than death, will be as though they had never been. The energies of our system will decay, the glory of the sun will be dimmed and the earth tideless and inert, will no longer tolerate the race which has for the moment disturbed its solitude. Man will go down into the pit and all his thoughts will perish. The uneasy consciousness, which in this obscure corner has for a brief space broken the contented silence of the universe, will be at rest.
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It came to him that he had turned away from the buffalo not because of a womanish nausea at blood and stench and spilling gut; it came to him that he had sickened and turned away because of his shock at seeing the buffalo, a few moments before proud and noble and full of the dignity of life, now stark and helpless, a length of inert meat, divested of itself, or his notion of its self, swinging grotesquely, mockingly, before him. It was not itself; or it was not that self that he had imagined it to be. That self was murdered; and in that murder he had felt the destruction of something within him, and he had not been able to face it. So he had turned away.
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In our more arrogant moments, the sin of pride-or superbia, in Augustine's Latin formulation-takes over our personalities and shuts us off from those around us. We become dull to others when all we seek to do is assert how well things are going for us, just as friendship has a chance to grow only when we fare to share what we are afraid of and regret. The rest is merely showmanship. The flaws whose exposure we so dread, the indiscretions we know we would be mocked for, the secrets that keep our conversations with our so-called friends superficial and inert-all of these emerge as simply part of the human condition.
Alain de Botton
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The passive American consumer, sitting down to a meal of pre-prepared food, confronts inert, anonymous substances that have been processed, dyed, breaded, sauced, gravied, ground, pulped, strained, blended, prettified, and sanitized beyond resemblance to any part of any creature that ever lived. The products of nature and agriculture have been made, to all appearances, the products of industry. Both eater and eaten are thus in exile from biological reality.
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Art is the conscious making of numinous phenomena. Many objects are just objects - inert, merely utilitarian. Many events are inconsequential, too banal to add anything to our experience of life. This is unfortunate, as one cannot grow except by having one's spirit greatly stirred; and the spirit cannot be greatly stirred by spiritless things. Much of our very life is dead. For primitive man, this was not so. He made his own possessions, and shaped and decorated them with the aim of making them not merely useful, but powerful. He tried to infuse his weapons with the nature of the tiger, his cooking pots with the life of growing things; and he succeeded. Appearance, material, history, context, rarity - perhaps rarity most of all - combine to create, magically, the quality of soul. But we modern demiurges are prolific copyists; we give few things souls of their own. Locomotives, with their close resemblance to beasts, may be the great exception; but in nearly all else with which today's poor humans are filling the world, I see a quelling of the numinous, an ashening of the fire of life. We are making an inert world; we are building a cemetery. And on the tombs, to remind us of life, we lay wreaths of poetry and bouquets of painting. You expressed this very condition, when you said that art beautifies life. No longer integral, the numinous has become optional, a luxury - one of which you, my dear friend, are fond, however unconsciously. You adorn yourself with the same instincts as the primitive who puts a frightening mask of clay and feathers on his head, and you comport yourself in an uncommonly calculated way - as do I. We thus make numinous phenomena of ourselves. No mean trick - to make oneself a rarity, in this overpopulated age.
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To make the distinction unmistakably clear: Civilization is the vital force in human history; culture is that inert mass of institutions and organizations which accumulate around and tend to drag down the advance of life; Civilization is Giordano Bruno facing death by fire; culture is the Cardinal Bellarmino, after ten years of inquisition, sending Bruno to the stake in the Campo di Fiori...
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I love to think of the whole universe together as one eternal fact. I love to think that everything is alive; that crystallization is itself a step toward joy. I love to think that when a bud bursts into blossom: it feels a thrill. I love to have the universe full of feeling and full of joy, and not full of simple dead, inert matter, managed by an old bachelor for all eternity.
Robert Green Ingersoll
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