Bradley Headstone, in his decent black coat and waistcoat, and decent white shirt, and decent formal black tie, and decent pantaloons of pepper and salt, with his decent silver watch in his pocket and its decent hair-guard round his neck, looked a thoroughly decent young man of six-and-twenty. He was never seen in any other dress, and yet there was a certain stiffness in his manner of wearing this, as if there were a want of adaptation between him and it, recalling some mechanics in their holiday clothes. He had acquired mechanically a great store of teacher's knowledge. He could do mental arithmetic mechanically, sing at sight mechanically, blow various wind instruments mechanically, even play the great church organ mechanically. From his early childhood up, his mind had been a place of mechanical stowage. The arrangement of his wholesale warehouse, so that it might be always ready to meet the demands of retail dealers history here, geography there, astronomy to the right, political economy to the left-natural history, the physical sciences, figures, music, the lower mathematics, and what not, all in their several places-this care had imparted to his countenance a look of care; while the habit of questioning and being questioned had given him a suspicious manner, or a manner that would be better described as one of lying in wait. There was a kind of settled trouble in the face. It was the face belonging to a naturally slow or inattentive intellect that had toiled hard to get what it had won, and that had to hold it now that it was gotten. He always seemed to be uneasy lest anything should be missing from his mental warehouse, and taking stock to assure himself.
Marianne had now been brought by degrees, so much into the habit of going out every day, that it was become a matter of indifference to her, whether she went or not: and she prepared quietly and mechanically for every evening's engagement, though without expecting the smallest amusement from any, and very often without knowing, till the last moment, where it was to take her.
They're events you remember all your life, like your first real orgasm. And the whole purpose of the absurd, mechanically persistent involvement with recorded music is the pursuit of that priceless moment. So it's not exactly that records might unhinge the mind, but rather that if anything is going to drive you up the wall it might as well be a record.
For you, o broker, there is no other principle but arithmetic. For me, commerce is of trivial import; love, faith, truth of character, the aspiration of man, these are sacred; nor can I detach one duty, like you, from all other duties, and concentrate my forces mechanically on the payment of moneys.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The only thing that interests the physicist is finding out on what assumptions a framework of things can be constructed which will enable us to know how to use them mechanically. Physics, as I have said on another occasion, is the technique of techniques and the ars combinatoria for fabricating machines. It is a knowledge which has scarcely anything to do with comprehension.
Jose Ortega y Gasset
The energy that actually shapes the world springs from emotions - racial pride, leader-worship, religious belief, love of war - which liberal intellectuals mechanically write off as anachronisms, and which they have usually destroyed so completely in themselves as to have lost all power of action.
It is possible, of course, to operate with figures mechanically, just as it is possible to speak like a parrot: but that hardly deserves the names of thought. It only becomes possible at all after the mathematical notation has, as a result of genuine thought, been so developed that it does the thinking for us, so to speak.
Awareness by itself is not enough: it must be joined by mastery. We need gradually to develop a steering ability to keep ourselves from slipping mechanically into this or that sub-personality. Thus we become able to identify with each part of our being as we wish. We can have more choice. It is the difference between being impotently transported by a roller coaster and, instead, driving a car and being able to choose which way to go and for what purpose to make the journey.
This seclusion of the artist with his work, sometimes misconceived as a selfish thing, is in truth as needful a tool as any, if a vision is to be made clear to others. And all the men I have known do creative work obtained it; either mechanically, by the walls of a workroom, or by that withdrawal into themselves which is part of their power.
Temples and churches have become social centers. They have lost their original purpose because the minds of the people are more attracted to worldly things than to prayer. The lips repeat the prayer mechanically like a phonograph record, but the mind wanders to other places. (23-24)
He who dictates and formulates the words and phrases we use, he who is master of the press and radio, is master of the mind. Repeat mechanically your assumptions and suggestions, diminish the opportunity for communicating dissent and opposition. This is the formula for political conditioning of the masses.
HIBERNATE, v. i. To pass the winter season in domestic seclusion. There have been many singular popular notions about the hibernation of various animals. Many believe that the bear hibernates during the whole winter and subsists by mechanically sucking its paws. It is admitted that it comes out of its retirement in the spring so lean that it has to try twice before it can cast a shadow.
Our civilisation being what it is, you've got to spent eight hours out of every twenty-four as a mixture between an imbecile and a sewing machine. It's very disagreeable, I know. It's humiliating and disgusting. But there you are. You've got to do it, otherwise the whole fabric of our world will fall to bits and we'll starve. Do the job then, idiotically and mechanically; and spend your leisure hours in being a real complete man or woman.
There's very little to be said for learning a piece note by note, reading the rhythmic markings, practising the fingerings and following your instructor's suggestions, if you haven't any idea how the music will eventually sound and feel. If you learn a piece mechanically, you may have to 'unlearn' it before you can play it with expression and feeling.
You will have to go deep into man. From where comes this violence? From where comes this exploitation? From where come all these ego-trips? From where? They all come from unconsciousness. Man lives asleep, man lives mechanically. That mechanism has to be broken, man has to be re-done. That is the religious revolution that has not been tried.
Schools train you to be ignorant with style [... ] they prepare you to be a usable victim for a military industrial complex that needs manpower. As long as you're just smart enough to do a job and just dumb enough to swallow what they feed you, you're going to be alright [... ] So I believe that schools mechanically and very specifically try and breed out any hint of creative thought in the kids that are coming up.
It seemed as though he gave way all at once; he was so languid that he could not control his thoughts; they would wander to her; they would bring back the scene, - not of his repulse and rejection the day before but the looks, the actions of the day before that. He went along the crowded streets mechanically, winding in and out among the people, but never seeing them, -almost sick with longing for that one half-hour-that one brief space of time when she clung to him, and her heart beat against his-to come once again.
It seemed as though he gave way all at once; he was so languid that he could not control his thoughts; they would wander to her; they would bring back the scene,- not of his repulse and rejection the day before but the looks, the actions of the day before that. He went along the crowded streets mechanically, winding in and out among the people, but never seeing them, -almost sick with longing for that one half-hour-that one brief space of time when she clung to him, and her heart beat against his-to come once again.
Today I've prepared for you a selection of plastic-wrapped charcuterie, featuring a rustic gastrique of artisanal pig anuses and a decadent melange of mechanically separated chicken, ' he said in the style of the chefs on all those cooking competition shows his mother complained about wasting her life watching, yet watched anyway. 'Bon appetit.
No more than a famous master can be replaced and another take over the completion of the half-finished painting he has left behind can the great poet and thinker, the great statesman and the great soldier, be replaced. For their activity lies always in the province of art. It is not mechanically trained but inborn by God's grace.
The day broke grey and dull. The clouds hung heavily, and there was a rawness in the air that suggested snow. A woman servant came into a room in which a child was sleeping and drew the curtains. She glanced mechanically at the house opposite, a stucco house with a portico, and went to the child's bed.
W. Somerset Maugham
Many things are mechanical and should remain mechanical. But mechanical thoughts, mechanical feelings""that is what has to be studied and can and should be changed. Mechanical thinking is not worth a penny. You can think about many things mechanically, but you will get nothing from it.
A real subjection is born mechanically from a fictitious relation [...] He who is subjected to a field of visibility, and who knows it, assumes responsibility for the constraints of power; he makes them play spontaneously upon himself; he inscribed in himself the power relation in which he simultaneously plays both roles; he becomes the principle of his own subjection.
But in the morning Lust is always furtive. It dresses as mechanically as it undressed and heads straight for the door, to return to its own solitude. Like all the sins, it also makes us solitary. It is self-abdication at the very core of one's own being, a surrender of our need and ability to give and receive. Lust does not come with open hands, certainly not with an open heart. It comes only with open legs.
While performing the great majority of the actions in their life, people are totally unaware. We tend to go through our daily activities mechanically. We talk without real purpose. We do things without even knowing that we do them. We are not really present to what we are doing. Even if we practise being aware, entire portions of our days can elapse before we retrieve our thread of awareness. In short, we are not living our life, we are sleeping it.
Charles Babbage proposed to make an automaton chess-player which should register mechanically the number of games lost and gained in consequence of every sort of move. Thus, the longer the automaton went on playing game, the more experienced it would become by the accumulation of experimental results. Such a machine precisely represents the acquirement of experience by our nervous organization.
William Stanley Jevons
In New York State they have a strange law that says you can't get a divorce unless you can prove adultery - and it's weird, because the Ten Commandments say 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' But New York State says you have to. Well, finally, what happened was that my wife committed adultery for me. She's always been more mechanically inclined than I have.
To construct mechanically the brain of a somniferous tale, it is not enough to dissect nonsense & mightily stupefy the reader's intelligence with renowned doses, so as to paralyze his faculties for the rest of his life by the infallible law of fatigue; one must, besides, with good mesmeric fluid, make it somnambulistically impossible for him to move, against his nature forcing his eyes to cloud over at your own fixed stare.
Comte de Lautreamont
For most digital-age writers, writing is rewriting. We grope, cut, block, paste, and twitch, panning for gold onscreen by deleting bucketloads of crap. Our analog ancestors had to polish every line mentally before hammering it out mechanically. Rewrites cost them months, meters of ink ribbon, and pints of Tippex. Poor sods.
When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases - bestial atrocities, iron heel, blood-stained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder - one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy, the appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved
Whenever asana is done mechanically from the front brain, the action is felt only on the peripheral body, and there is no inner sensation, there is no luminous inner light. If the asana is done with continual reference to the back of the brain, there is a reaction to each action, and there is sensitivity. Then life is not only dynamic, but it is also electrified with life force.
Technologies of the soul tend to be simple, bodily, slow and related to the heart as much as the mind. Everything around us tells us we should be mechanically sophisticated, electronic, quick, and informational in our expressiveness - an exact antipode to the virtues of the soul. It is no wonder, then, that in an age of telecommunications - which, by the way, literally means "distant connections" - we suffer symptoms of the loss of soul. We are being urged from every side to become efficient rather than intimate.
The machine not only does it relieve us mechanically of a crushing weight of physical and mental labor; but by the miraculous enhancing of our senses, through its powers of enlargement, penetration and exact measurement, it constantly increases the scope and clarity of our perceptions. It fulfills the dream of all living creatures by satisfying our instinctive craving for the maximum of consciousness with a minimum of effort! Having embarked upon so profitable a path, how can Mankind fail to pursue it?
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Big food companies make hot dogs with mechanically separated meat (msm) that, as described matter-of-factly by the [USDA], is "a paste-like and batter-like meat product produced by forcing bones with attached edible meat under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue.". I read that and wanted to unread it.
Now, we see what we are shown. We have gotten used to being shown no matter what, within or beyond the limited range of human sight. This habituation to the monopoly of visualization-on-command strongly suggests that only those things that can in some way be visualized, recorded, and replayed at will are part of reality... The result is a strange mistrusts of our own eyes, a disposition to take as real only that which is mechanically displayed in a photograph, a statistical curve, or a table. Eyewitness testimony must be "substantiated" by records that have been acquired, and can be stored and then shown.
The defect in wisdom and taste which exists among the majority of dancers is due to the bad education which they generally receive. They apply themselves only to the material side of their art, they learn to jump more or less high, they strive mechanically to execute a number of steps, and like children, who utter a great many words devoid of sense and relation, they execute many phrases of steps devoid of taste and grace.
GOOSE, n. A bird that supplies quills for writing. These, by some occult process of nature, are penetrated and suffused with various degrees of the bird's intellectual energies and emotional character, so that when inked and drawn mechanically across paper by a person called an "author," there results a very fair and accurate transcript of the fowl's thought and feeling. The difference in geese, as discovered by this ingenious method, is considerable: many are found to have only trivial and insignificant powers, but some are seen to be very great geese indeed.
prepare a little hot tea or broth and it should be brought to them . . . without their being asked if they would care for it. Those who are in great distress want no food, but if it is handed to them, they will mechanically take it ' ... There was something arresting about the matter-of-fact wisdom here, the instinctive understanding of the physiological disruptions... I will not forget the instinctive wisdom of the friend who, every day for those first few weeks, brought me a quart container of scallion-and-ginger congee from Chinatown. Congee I could eat. Congee was all I could eat.
Many feel compelled to be connected around the clock because we are afraid we'll miss something important. There is a growing movement to step out and create 'quiet zones' to disconnect from technology and unwind, giving ourselves time to stop and be still. Color choices follow the same minimalistic, 'en plein air' theme, taking a cue from nature rather than being reinvented or mechanically manipulated. Soft, cool hues blend with subtle warm tones to create a soothing escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.
To those privileged ones -- among whom we count ourselves -- the high-resounding "isms" to which their contemporaries ask them to give their allegiance are all equally futile: bound to be betrayed, defeated, and finally rejected by men at large, if containing anything really noble; bound to enjoy, for the time being, some sort of noisy success, if sufficiently vulgar, pretentious, and soul-killing to appeal to the growing number of mechanically conditioned slaves that crawl about our planet, posing as free men; all destined to prove, ultimately, of no avail.
The house cleared, I shut myself in, fastened the bolt that none might intrude, and proceeded-not to weep, not to mourn, I was yet too calm for that, but-mechanically to take off the wedding dress, and replace it by the stuff gown I had worn yesterday, as I thought, for the last time. I then sat down: I felt weak and tired. I leaned my arms on a table, and my head dropped on them. And now I thought: till now I had only heard, seen, moved-followed up and down where I was led or dragged-watched event rush on event, disclosure open beyond disclosure: but now, I thought.
In one sense the whole process of development consists of the formation of habits; for knowledge itself, and the powers of thought, as well as the higher elements in the will, all depend upon the establishment of fixed ways of reacting to given stimuli. Consequently, the general laws of habituation underlie the whole of education. But the term habit is more commonly restricted to those established reactions that act with little or no participation of consciousness, or, in other words, mechanically or automatically. Such habits as these begin to form very early, and constitute a kind of supporting framework for the higher elements of character.
Edward O. Sisson
We have now got what seems to be definite proof that an X ray which spreads out in a spherical form from a source as a wave through the aether can when it meets an atom collect up all its energy from all round and concentrate it on the atom. It is as if when a circular wave on water met an obstacle, the wave were all suddenly to travel round the circle and disappear all round and concentrate its energy on attacking the obstacle. Mechanically of course this is absurd, but mechanics have in this direction been for some time a broken reed.
If you could choose to master a single ingredient, no choice would teach you more about cooking than the egg. It is an end in itself; it's a multipurpose ingredient; it's an all-purpose garnish; it's an invaluable tool. The egg teaches your hands finesse and delicacy. It helps your arms develop strength and stamina. It instructs in the way proteins behave in heat and in the powerful ways we can change food mechanically. It's a lever for getting other foods to behave in great ways. Learn to take the egg to its many differing ends, and you've enlarged your culinary repertoire by a factor of ten.
But I've always been a sucker for externals alone: the shape, the shine, what the surface suggests to my palm. So mechanically disinclined it's verging on criminal, I never understood the beauty of an object's workings until Linny sat my reluctant self down one day and showed me her camera. Within fifteen minutes, I had fallen hard for the whole gadgety, eyelike nature of the thing: a tiny piece of glass slowing, bending, organizing light - light - into your grandmother, the Grand Canyon, the begonia on the windowsill, the film keeping the image like a secret. Grandmother, canyon, begonia tucked neatly into the sleek black box, like bugs in a jar. My mind boggled.
Marisa de los Santos
Now comes the picture of mass defeat, the most awesome spectacle of the war. It is in the bent bodies of old women who poke among ruins seeking some miserable object that will link their lives with the old days. It is in the shamed darting eyes of the defeated. It is in the faces of the little boys who regard our triumphant columns with fear and fascination. And above all it is in the thousands of beaten, dusty soldiers who stream along the roads towards the stockades. Their feet clump wearily, mechanically, hopelessly on the still endless road of war. They move as haggard, gray masses, in which the individual had neither life nor meaning. It is impossible to see in these men the quality that made them stand up and fight like demons out of hell a few shorts months ago.
The key to the scientist's purpose is the idea that every phenomenon is the product of a certain given set of condition. In his laboratory he hopes to reconstitute the set of conditions, however complex they may be, which, once they are fully reconstituted, cannot fail to give rise to the phenomenon he is after, life. In other words he seeks to start off a mechanically fated chain-reaction; and of course, in enumerating the conditions that have made it possible for him to manufacture his phenomenon he systematically discounts the huge mental toils, the plodding, methodical research, of himself and others. Thus, by a singular contradiction, he succeeds in convincing himself and, of course, attempts to persuade others, that he has arrived at the origin of his phenomenon; he sets out to demonstrate that everything in the universe runs perfectly smoothly by itself, without any creative power at anytime intruding.
[... ] without much ardor but quite unmistakably, she was writhing her hips as if she were dancing. When he was very close, he saw' her gaping mouth: she was yawning lengthily, insatiably: the great open hole was rocking gently atop die mechanically dancing body. Jean-Marc thought: she's dancing and she's bored. He reached the seawall: down below, on the beach, he saw men with their heads thrown back releasing kites into the air. They were doing it with passion, and Jean-Marc recalled his old theory: there are three kinds of boredom: passive boredom: the girl dancing and yawning; active boredom: kite-lovers; and rebellious boredom: young people burning cars and smashing shop windows.
No one can ever use his heart to listen or touch or feel or see or smell. It's just a lump of muscle pumping mechanically inside your ribs. It has no will and no ability to do anything but go on pumping until it gives up and withers away or is choked by some disease. Your spinal cord, on the other hand, feels. The central nervous system pours out from the spinal cord, and with it one feels pain. Pain is the most trustworthy sensation a human being can know because it teaches us what hurts. With the spinal cord, one can hear what will hurt, smell the sting of suffering, taste it, feel it, and see the world with new eyes. I learned a long time ago not to follow my heart, the hunk of meat flexing in the chest. I trust the tube locked up in a column of bone, the tube that shows me what pain is.
Joshua S. Porter
If you have to walk along a dark mountain path, don't you prefer to have a flashlight to shine on the path ahead? I would suggest that it is possible to have that flashlight in life all the time. What does a flashlight give us? Light. That is, a flashlight sheds light. It is like the faculty of attention-if we turn our full attention to something, we learn more about that thing. We are seeing it with more light. Our attention is our 'flashlight.' So it's all about how much and how fun an attention we consciously bring to life. This quality of attention doesn't make us hesitant, or slow to decide, particularly-just as the flashlight doesn't make us hang back on the trail. So, how do we get to the better quality of attention? With attention! That is, we turn our attention on our attention; we start by trying to see how we don't pay attention. We sort of keep that light on ourselves. 'Know thyself' has been an honored ancient teaching, and it's still a cornerstone of the world's greatest philosophies. If you watch yourself honestly, in a detached way-not guilt-tripping yourself when you screw up-you gradually learn where it was that you were just blundering along, reacting sort of mechanically, and being asleep even as you were in your waking day. Another way to make this happen is by returning your whole attention to the present-to what's happening now, in this moment, and this moment, and on-within yourself and around you.
James L. Harmon