Tell me, you vain professor, when did you shed a tear for the deadness, hardness, unbelief, or earthliness of your heart? Do you think that such an easy religion can save you? If so, we may invert Christ's words and say, 'Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to life, and may there be that go in there.'
That reality is 'independent' means that there is something in every experience that escapes our arbitrary control. If it be a sensible experience it coerces our attention; if a sequence, we cannot invert it; if we compare two terms we can come to only one result. There is a push, an urgency, within our very experience, against which we are on the whole powerless, and which drives us in a direction that is the destiny of our belief.
The truth is this: The rich will rule even at a place like Oberlin, where their kind is technically forbidden. They will simply invert the power structure to suit their needs. They will come out on top no matter what. Stuyvesant was hard but hopeful; Oberlin, on the other hand, reminds me yet again how the world works. I guess that's why they call it an education.
Howard Altmann has found a way to make language transform itself. If the elusive moment between I and Thou could speak, it might be one of his quietly amazing lines-'you ask the silence to invert itself / like a gymnast in the dark . . . ' Without a trace of rhetoric, In This House reminds us of the power of poetry: to show us how to live in a world in which we are strangers. It's a thrill to come close to such an original and deeply realized art.
Skeptical scientists often point out, as Carl Sagan has, that the wonders of real science far surpass the supposed wonders of fringe science. I think it is possible to invert that idea, and to say that the wonders of real consciousness far surpass what conventional science admits can exist.
Our greatest dreams and desires abide in the mental and spiritual realm. In order to transfer them in the physical plane we need to invert subject and object. You will receive from the world what you deeply long to receive the day when you give to the world what you deeply long to receive. Today could be that day.
In actual fact. The manifold sexualities - those which appear with the different ages (sexualities of the infant or the child), those which become fixated on particular tastes or practices (the sexuality of the invert, the gerontophile, the fetishist), those which, in a diffuse manner, invest relationships (the sexuality of doctor and patient, teacher and student, psychiatrist and mental patient), those which haunt spaces (the sexuality of the home, the school, the prison)- all form the correlate of exact procedures of power.
I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the word begin to move around. Stressed accents begin to invert. The word abandons its meaning like an overload which is too heavy and prevents dreaming. Then words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young. And the words wander away, looking in the nooks and crannies of vocabulary for new company, bad company.
Inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf. When I was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow globe. He would turn it over, letting all the snow collect on the top, then quickly invert it. The two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin. The penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told my father this, he said, "Don't worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He's trapped in a perfect world.
The substance of what I have to say to the disadvantage of the theory and practice of universal suffrage is that it tends to invert what I should have regarded as the true and natural relation between wisdom and folly. I think that wise and good men ought to rule those who are foolish and bad. To say that the sole function of the wise and good is to preach to their neighbors, and that everyone indiscriminately should be left to do what he likes, should be provided with a ratable share of the sovereign power in the shape of the vote, and that the result of this will be the direction of power by wisdom, seems to me the wildest romance that ever got possession of any considerable number of minds.
James Fitzjames Stephen
What is the use of the colon? What is a colon? Generally it opens onto an explanation, but it is always done with the help of an interruption. It can be said that the colon is not the period, it is the period of the period, the canceling of the period. It is a moment mute and marked; it is the most delicate tattoo of the text. It is also in place of, instead of, everything that would be causal. For example, when we read: "It's simply that: secret." "Secret, " is a sentence, it is the shortest sentence perhaps. But it is a sentence in one word. It is a sentence that is secret and that at the same time says its name. One could invert and say: "Secret: it is simply that." This is secret, the secret is the secret of this, it is a word which makes infinite sense all by itself, it is a sentence which performs the secret itself [Clarice Lispector, The Stream of Life, trans Elizabeth Lowe and Earl Fitz, Foreword by Hele¨ne Cixous trans Verena Conley, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989]
We have come to understand the phenomena of life only as an assemblage of the lifeless. We take the mechanistic abstractions of our technical calculation to be ultimately concrete and "fundamentally real, " while our most intimate experiences are labelled "mere appearance" and something having reality only within the closet of the isolated mind. Suppose however we were to invert this whole scheme, reverse the order in which it assigns abstract and concrete. What is central to our experience, then, need not be peripheral to nature. This sunset now, for example, caught within the network of bare winter branches, seems like a moment of benediction in which the whole of nature collaborates. Why should not these colours and these charging banners of light be as much a part of the universe as the atoms and molecules that make them up? If they were only "in my mind, " then I and my mind would no longer be a part of nature. Why should the pulse of life toward beauty and value not be a part of things? Following this path, we do not vainly seek to assemble the living out of configurations of dead stuff, but we descend downwards from more complex to simpler grades of the organic. From humans to trees to rocks; from "higher grade" to "lower grade" organisms. In the universe of energy, any individual thing is a pattern of activity within the flux, and thereby an organism at some level.