It is true that our everyday view of the world is not quite naively realistic, but that is what it would like to be. Common-sense is naively realistic wherever it does not think that there is some positive reason why it should cease to be so. And this is so in the vast majority of its perceptions. When we see a tree we think that it is really green and really waving about in precisely the same way as it appears to be. We do not think of our object of perception being 'like' the real tree, we think that what we perceive is the tree, and that it is just the same at a given moment whether it be perceived or not, except that what we perceive may be only a part of the real tree.
Charlie Dunbar Broad
In general people experience their present naively, as it were, without being able to form an estimate of its contents; they have first to put themselves at a distance from it - the present, that is to say, must have become the past - before it can yield points of vantage from which to judge the future.
We've never thought too deeply about the roles things like forgetting or partisanship or inefficiency or ambiguity or hypocrisy play in our political or social life. It's been impossible to get rid of them, so we took them for granted, and we kind of thought, naively, that they're always the enemy.
Americans see democracy as a remedy for all ills-to be taken three times daily like prescription medicine. It works for them. Ergo - it should work for the world. What America naively forgets is that for democracy to function, most of a populace must have something personally that is worth preserving.
When you decide you want to become a television writer, you naively assume it's going to be like the writers on the old 'Dick Van Dyke Show.' You'll write something and they'll just put it on TV. But what you quickly discover is that American network television is television by committee.
In the 20th century, evangelical Christians in America have naively accepted the role assigned to us by an anti-religious, anti-Christian consensus in our society. We have been relegated to a cultural backwater, where we are meant to paddle around content in the knowledge that we are merely allowed to exist.
I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out.
The sight of stars always sets me dreaming just as naively as those black dots on a map set me dreaming of towns and villages. Why should these points of light in the firmament, I wonder, be less accessible than the dark ones on the map of France? We take a train to go to Torascon or Roven and we take death to a star.
Vincent Van Gogh
I always compare young missioners to the kids who naively signed up to go to Iraq to fight terrorism. They are just the foot soldiers in the spiritual war that Mike Bickle and Lou Engle are waging against what they consider sin. They will say it is biblical truth, but the Bible says many things, and you don't see anyone saying that slavery is okay or that we should not eat shellfish. Why the fascination with sex?
Roger Ross Williams
How can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, 'Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then, let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!'
Neal A. Maxwell
Did you not look upon the world this morning and imagine it as the boy might see it? And did you not recognize the mist and the dew and the birdsong as elements not of a place or a time but of a spirit? And did you not envy the boy his spirit? For you know there can be no power over him who freely gives what another would take. Such a one has the capacity to love. Freely, naively, to say I do.
The human mind is so limited it can only build an arbitrary heaven - and usually the physical comforts they endow it with are naively the kind that can be perceived as we humans perceive - nothing more. No: perhaps I will awake to find myself burning in hell. I think not. I think I will be snuffed out. Black is sleep; black is a fainting spell; and black is death, with no light, no waking.
Walking the spiritual path properly is a very subtle process; it is not something to jump into naively. There are numerous sidetracks which leades to a distorted, ego-centered version of spirituality; we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques. This fundamental distortion may be referred to as spiritual materialism
I didn't have the money to put myself through drama school, so I thought - naively - that if I wrote a play and put it on at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, agents would see me and that would be my ticket to Hollywood. I wrote a musical; an acting coach saw it and put me on his course for free while I wrote for his company.
Never will we be able to understand our times if we naively 'think' of this system of self Government as the work of a few gangsters or the creation of a pack of criminals we call a political party. The appeal of Socialism, Fascism and communism was principally negative; they were protests against a live and let live anything goes liberalism, a spineless indifference to causes, a failure to recognize that nothing was evil enough to hate, and nothing was good enough to die for.
Fulton J. Sheen
Why aren't people more successful? Because most people do not select and pursue a vision without regard for other objectives. Most people shift from one activity to another without any focused or directed purpose, naively assuming that things will take care of themselves or will be taken care of by others. George Bernard Shaw said, "The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."
Miss Trent regarded her thoughtfully. "Well, it's an odd circumstance, but I've frequently observed that whenever you boast of your beauty you seem to lose some of it. I expect it must be the change in your expression." Startled, Tiffany flew to gaze anxiously into the ornate looking-glass which hung above the fireplace. "Do I?" she asked naively. "Really do I, Ancilla?" "Yes, decidedly," replied Miss Trent, perjuring her soul without the least hesitation.
We are creators, and yet we naively play the role of "the created." We see ourselves as helpless sheep buffeted around by the God who made us. We kneel like frightened children, begging for help, for forgiveness, for good luck. But once we realize that we are truly created in the Creator's image, we will start to understand that we, too, must be Creators. When we understand this fact, the doors will burst wide open for human potential.
It is worth remembering that every writer begins with a naively physical notion of what art is. A book for him or her is not an expression or a series of expressions, but literally a volume, a prism with six rectangular sides made of thin sheets of papers which should include a cover, an inside cover, an epigraph in italics, a preface, nine or ten parts with some verses at the beginning, a table of contents, an ex libris with an hourglass and a Latin phrase, a brief list of errata, some blank pages, a colophon and a publication notice: objects that are known to constitute the art of writing.
Jorge Luis Borges
Whenever anyone has asked me if wrestling is 'worth it, ' meaning is the reward worth the pain, worth the travel, worth the being away from your family, I've always answered yes. And it always felt like it was. But I naively assumed that when I was done wrestling, I could always go home and make up for all the time I've missed with my family and friends. Now, going home isn't the same, and there is nothing I can do to make up for all the time I've spent away from my father. Instead of being proud of my accomplishments, all I feel is regret about not being there for the most important people in my life, the people who have loved me in a way that had nothing to do with wrestling. If you were to ask me today if all the reward was worth the sacrifices, I would say no. Yet I keep on because I'm not quite sure what else to do with myself and because stopping now won't give me any more time with my father.
Commenting acidly on a writer whom I perhaps too naively admired, my old classics teacher put on his best sneer to ask: 'Wouldn't you say, Hitchens, that his writing was somewhat journalistic?' This lofty schoolmaster employed my name sarcastically, and stressed the last term as if he meant it to sting, and it rankled even more than he had intended. Later on in life, I found that I still used to mutter and improve my long-meditated reply. e‰mile Zola-a journalist. Charles Dickens-a journalist. Thomas Paine-another journalist. Mark Twain. Rudyard Kipling. George Orwell-a journalist par excellence. Somewhere in my cortex was the idea to which Orwell himself once gave explicit shape: the idea that 'mere' writing of this sort could aspire to become an art, and that the word 'journalist'-like the ironic modern English usage of the word 'hack'-could lose its association with the trivial and the evanescent.
When tragedy established itself in England it did so in terms of plots and spectacle that had much more to do with medieval apocalypse than with the mythos and opsis of Aristotle. Later, tragedy itself succumbs to the pressure of 'demythologizing'; the End itself, in modern literary plotting loses its downbeat, tonic-and-dominant finality, and we think of it, as the theologians think of Apocalypse, as immanent rather than imminent. Thus, as we shall see, we think in terms of crisis rather than temporal ends; and make much of subtle disconfirmation and elaborate peripeteia. And we concern ourselves with the conflict between the deterministic pattern any plot suggests, and the freedom of persons within that plot to choose and so to alter the structure, the relation of beginning, middle, and end. Naively predictive apocalypses implied a strict concordance between beginning, middle, and end. Thus the opening of the seals had to correspond to recorded historical events. Such a concordance remains a deeply desired object, but it is hard to achieve when the beginning is lost in the dark backward and abysm of time, and the end is known to be unpredictable. This changes our views of the patterns of time, and in so far as our plots honour the increased complexity of these ways of making sense, it complicates them also. If we ask for comfort from our plots it will be a more difficult comfort than that which the archangel offered Adam: How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest, Measur'd this transient World, the race of Time, Till time stands fix'd. But it will be a related comfort. In our world the material for an eschatology is more elusive, harder to handle. It may not be true, as the modern poet argues, that we must build it out of 'our loneliness and regret'; the past has left us stronger materials than these for our artifice of eternity. But the artifice of eternity exists only for the dying generations; and since they choose, alter the shape of time, and die, the eternal artifice must change. The golden bird will not always sing the same song, though a primeval pattern underlies its notes. In my next talk I shall be trying to explain some of the ways in which that song changes, and talking about the relationship between apocalypse and the changing fictions of men born and dead in the middest. It is a large subject, because the instrument of change is the human imagination. It changes not only the consoling plot, but the structure of time and the world. One of the most striking things about it was said by Stevens in one of his adages; and it is with this suggestive saying that I shall mark the transition from the first to the second part of my own pattern. 'The imagination, ' said this student of changing fictions, 'the imagination is always at the end of an era.' Next time we shall try to see what this means in relation to our problem of making sense of the ways we make sense of the world.