Dinah and I were raised to believe money taints ordinary people, obstructs virtue, and makes a fool out of you. So, the inheritance was like a tiger somebody'd left on the doorstep of my house, and I had to figure out something to do with it. Having never seen a tiger up close, I perceived it as strange, frightful, and yet it pricked my curiosity enough to warrant a peek at its big body. But what to do with it?
This [Magna Carta] has been forced from the King. It constitutes an insult to the Holy See, a serious weakening of the royal power, a disgrace to the English nation, a danger to all Christendom, since this civil war obstructs the crusade. Therefore?we condemn the charter and forbid the King to keep it, or the barons and their supporters to make him do so, on pain of excommunication.
Pope Innocent III
If ever there was a cause, if ever there can be a cause, worthy to be upheld by all of toil or sacrifice that the human heart can endure, it is the cause of Education. It has intrinsic and indestructible merits. It holds the welfare of mankind in its embrace, as the protecting arms of a mother hold her infant to her bosom. The very ignorance and selfishness which obstructs its path are the strongest arguments for its promotion, for it furnishes the only adequate means for their removal.
To a naturalist nothing is indifferent; the humble moss that creeps upon the stone is equally interesting as the lofty pine which so beautifully adorns the valley or the mountain: but to a naturalist who is reading in the face of the rocks the annals of a former world, the mossy covering which obstructs his view, and renders indistinguishable the different species of stone, is no less than a serious subject of regret.
It will startle you to see what slaves we are to by-gone times-to Death, if we give the matter the right word! ... We read in Dead Men's books! We laugh at Dead Men's jokes, and cry at Dead Men's pathos! . . . Whatever we seek to do, of our own free motion, a Dead Man's icy hand obstructs us!
You complain and demand zero compromise - so the GOP obstructs Obama so the economy doesn't improve - then you complain and demand even more zero compromise. Then you get to blame Obama for the slow recovery, which is sorta like John Wilkes Booth blaming Lincoln for missing the end of a play.
From the clayey soil of northern Wyoming is mined bentonite, which is used as filler in candy, gum, and lipstick. We Americans are great on fillers, as if what we have, what we are, is not enough. We have a cultural tendency toward denial, but being affluent, we strangle ourselves with what we can buy. We gave only to look at the houses we build to see how we build *against* space, the way we drink against pain and loneliness. We fill up space as if it were a pie shell, with things whose opacity further obstructs our ability to see what is already there.
To an extent that undermines classical standards of science, some purported scientific results concerning 'HIV' and 'AIDS' have been handled by press releases, by disinformation, by low-quality studies, and by some suppression of information, manipulating the media and people at large. When the official scientific press does not report correctly, or obstructs views dissenting from those of the scientific establishment, it loses credibility and leaves no alternative but to find information elsewhere.
I take the seashell from my jeans pocket and rub my fingers across its silken, indented surface, shallow as my own open hand. This chalice, subtly shaped by some divine intelligence to allow water to flow in and out with ease, is what I aspire to become: a vessel through which feelings can pour in and spill right out again, without all the grasping and holding that obstructs the flow. Can I be as serene and simple as this bleached shell, rubbed smooth by wind and water, receiving and releasing, filling and emptying and filling again, eternally receptive to the currents of life?
Yasunari Kawabata, the Japanese Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1968, committed suicide in 1971. Two years earlier, in 1969, another great Japanese novelist, Yukio Mishima, ended his life in the same way. Since 1895 , thirteen Japanese novelists and writers have committed suicide, including the author of the Rashomon, Ryunosuko Akutagawa, in 1927. That "continuous tragedy" of Japanese culture during 70 years coincides with the penetration of Western civilization and materialistic ideas into the traditional culture of Japan. Whatever it be, for the poets and the writers of tragedies, civilization will always have an inhuman face and be a threat to humanity. A year before his death, Kawabata wrote "men are separated from each other by a concrete wall that obstructs any circulation of love. Nature is smothered in the name of progress." In the novel The Snow Country, published in 1937 , Kawabata places man's loneliness and alienation in the modern world at the very focus of his reflections.