We are living in what the Greeks called the kairos- the right moment- for a 'metamorphosis of the gods', of the fundamental principles and symbols. This peculiarity of our time, which is certainly not of our conscious choosing, is the expression of the unconscious man within us who is changing.
I feel that whatever virtues the novel may have are very much connected with the limitations you mention. I am not writing a conventional novel, and I think that the quality of the novel I write will derive precisely from the peculiarity or aloneness, if you will, of the experience I write from.
Particularity leads to peculiarity and then to pathological behavior. The three Ps. It is very insidious. You would eventually end up in a box. If you try to control your environment, it will control you. And everyone else around you will always have to be making adjustments to your maddening idiosyncracies... You are beginning to enslave yourself with your fussiness.
The scientific method of examining facts is not peculiar to one class of phenomena and to one class of workers; it is applicable to social as well as to physical problems, and we must carefully guard ourselves against supposing that the scientific frame of mind is a peculiarity of the professional scientist.
For a long time the fear of seeming singular scared me away; but by degrees, as people became accustomed to me and my habits, and to such shadows of peculiarity as were engrained in my nature - shades, certainly not striking enough to interest, and perhaps not prominent enough to offend, but born in and with me, and no more to be parted with than my identity - but slow degrees I became a frequenter of this straight narrow path.
A man's work reveals him. In social intercourse he gives you the surface that he wishes the world to accept, but in his book or his picture the real man delivers himself defenceless. No affectation of peculiarity can conceal a commonplace mind. No one can produce the most casual work without disclosing the innermost secrets of his soul.
W. Somerset Maugham
A great part of its [higher arithmetic] theories derives an additional charm from the peculiarity that important propositions, with the impress of simplicity on them, are often easily discovered by induction, and yet are of so profound a character that we cannot find the demonstrations till after many vain attempts; and even then, when we do succeed, it is often by some tedious and artificial process, while the simple methods may long remain concealed.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
The theoretical side of physical chemistry is and will probably remain the dominant one; it is by this peculiarity that it has exerted such a great influence upon the neighboring sciences, pure and applied, and on this ground physical chemistry may be regarded as an excellent school of exact reasoning for all students of the natural sciences.
It seems to be the special peculiarity of human beings that they reflect: they think about thinking and know that they know. This, like other feedback systems, may lead to vicious circles and confusions if improperly managed, but self-awareness makes human experience resonant. It imparts that simultaneous "echo" to all that we think and feel as the box of a violin reverberates with the sound of the strings. It gives depth and volume to what would otherwise be shallow and flat.
The peculiarity of sculpture is that it creates a three-dimensional object in space. Painting may strive to give on a two-dimensional plane, the illusion of space, but it is space itself as a perceived quantity that becomes the peculiar concern of the sculptor. We may say that for the painter space is a luxury; for the sculptor it is a necessity.
It's a peculiarity of the Norwegian culture and of the English and American, too, that men are not supposed to cry. Stiff upper lip and all that. But the Vikings cried like women in public or privately. They soaked their beards with tears and were not one bit ashamed about it. Yet, they were as quick to draw their swords as they were to shed tears. So, what's all this crap about men having to hold in their sorrow and grief and disappointment?
Philip Jose Farmer
Even if man's hunger and thirst and his sexual strivings are completely satisfied, 'he' is not satisfied. In contrast to the animal his most compelling problems are not solved then, they only begin. He strives for power or for love, or for destruction, he risks his life for religious, for political, for humanistic ideals, and these strivings are what constitutes and characterizes the peculiarity of human life.
Everybody is important, have some element is peculiarity and a story to tell. Also not only that, a story to learn from. We don't just gain from individuals of impact yet the poor as well. Don't only learn from people of influence only, but the poor too. In the event that we can simply apply the 40/60% rule in communication: listening 60%, talking 40%. We'll understand that even the poor have more shrewdness as well
From the time of the North Briton of the unprincipled Wilkes , a notion has been entertained that the moral spine in Scotland is more flexible than in England. The truth however is, that an elementary difference exists in the public feelings of the two nations quite as great as in the idioms of their respective dialects. The English are a justice-loving people, according to charter and statute; the Scotch are a wrong-resenting race, according to right and feeling: and the character of liberty among them takes its aspect from that peculiarity.
It considers not only how we relate to others, but how we relate to our ideas of others so that a completely phony, non-human replica of a dead wife can inspire the same feelings that the wife herself once did. That is a peculiarity of humans: We feel the same emotions for our ideas as we do for the real world, which is why we can cry while reading a book, or fall in love with movie stars. Our idea of humanity bewitches us, while humanity itself stays safely sealed away into its billions of separate containers, or "people.
It occurs to me that the peculiarity of most things we think of as fragile is how tough they truly are. There were tricks we did with eggs, as children, to show how they were, in reality, tiny load-bearing marble halls; while the beat of the wings of a butterfly in the right place, we are told, can create a hurricane across an ocean. Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles, able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minute, and scarcely falter along the way. Even dreams, the most delicate and intangible of things, can prove remarkable difficult to kill.
It is a peculiarity of knitters that they chronically underestimate the amount of time it takes to knit something. Birthday on Saturday? No problem. Socks are small. Never mind that the average sock knit out of sock-weight yarn contains about 17, 000 stitches. Never mind that you need two of them. (That's 34, 000 stitches, for anybody keeping track.) Socks are only physically small. By stitch count, they are immense.
It is a peculiarity of knitters that they chronically underestimate the amount of time it takes to knit something. Birthday on Saturday? No problem. Socks are small. Never mind that the average sock knit out of sock-weight yarn contains about 17,000 stitches. Never mind that you need two of them. (That's 34,000 stitches, for anybody keeping track.) Socks are only physically small. By stitch count, they are immense.
They who have drunk beer, fall on their back, but there is a peculiarity in the effects of the drink made from barley, for they that get drunk on other intoxicating liquors fall on all parts of their body, they fall on the left side, on the right side, on their faces, and and on their backs. But it is only those who get drunk on beer that fall on their backs with their faces upward.
In the case of Michel Angelo we have an artist who with brush and chisel portrayed literally thousands of human forms; but with this peculiarity, that while scores and scores of his male figures are obviously suffused and inspired by a romantic sentiment, there is hardly one of his female figures that is so, -the latter being mostly representative of woman in her part as mother, or sufferer, or prophetess or poetess, or in old age, or in any aspect of strength or tenderness, except that which associates itself especially with romantic love. Yet the cleanliness and dignity of Michel Angelo's male figures are incontestable, and bear striking witness to that nobility of the sentiment in him, which we have already seen illustrated in his sonnets.
[People] ask themselves, what is suitable for my position? What is usually done by persons of my station and percuniary circumstances? Or (worse still) what is usually done by persons of a station and circumstances superior to mine? I do not mean that they choose what is customary in preference to what suits their own inclinations. It does not occur to them to have any inclination, except for what is customary. Thus the mind itself is bowed to the yoke: even in what people do for pleasure, conformity is the first thing thought of; they like in crowds; they exercise choice only among things that are commonly done: peculiarity of taste, eccentricity of conduct, are shunned equally with crimes: until by dint of not following their own nature they have no nature to follow: their human capacities are withered and starved: they become incapable of any strong wishes or native pleasures, and are generally without either opinions or feelings of home growth, or properly their own.
John Stuart Mill
Before drifting away entirely, he found himself reflecting-not for the first time-on the peculiarity of adults. Thet took laxatives, liquor, or sleeping pills to drive away their terrors so that sleep would come, and their terrors were so tame and domestic: the job, the money, what the teacher will think if I can't get Jennie nicer clothes, does my wife still love me, who are my friends. They were pallid compared to the fears every child lies cheek and jowl with in his dark bed, with no one to confess to in hope of perfect understanding but another child. There is no group therapy or psychiatry or community social services for the child who must cope with the thing under the bed or in the cellar every night, the thing which leers and capers and threatens just beyond the point where vision will reach. The same lonely battle must be fought night after night and the only cure is the eventual ossification of the imaginary faculties, and this is called adulthood.
From his earliest years Cincinnatus, by some strange and happy chance comprehending his danger, carefully managed to conceal a certain peculiarity. He was impervious to the rays of others, and therefore produced when off his guard a bizarre impression, as of a lone dark obstacle in the world of souls transparent to one other; he learned however to feign translucence, employing a complex system of optical illusions, as it were-but he had only to forget himself, to allow a momentary lapse in self control, in the manipulation of cunningly illuminated facets and angles at which he turned his soul, and immediately there was alarm. In the midst of the excitement of a game his coevals would suddenly forsake him, as if they had sensed that his lucid gaze and the azure of his temples were but a crafty deception and that actually Cincinnatus was opaque. Sometimes, in the midst of sudden silence, the teacher, in a chagrined perplexity, would gather up all the reserves of skin around his eyes, gaze at him for a long while and finally say: "What is wrong with you, Cincinnatus?" Then Cincinnatus would take hold of himself, and, clutching his own self to his breast, would remove that self to a safe place.
St. Augustine hated the Stoics, Dostoevsky hated the Russian Liberals. At first sight this seems a quite inexplicable peculiarity. Both were convinced Christians, both spoke so much of love, and suddenly - such hate! And against whom? Against the Stoics, who preached self-abnegation, who esteemed virtue above all things in the world, and against the Liberals who also exalted virtue above all things! But the fact remains: Dostoevsky spoke in rage of Stassyulevitch and Gradovsky; Augustine could not be calm when he spoke the names of those pre-Stoic Stoics, Regulus and Mutius Scaevola, and even Socrates, the idol of the ancient world, appeared to him a bogey. Obviously Augustine and Dostoevsky were terrified and appalled by the mere thought of the possibility of such men as Scaevola and Gradovsky - men capable of loving virtue for its own sake, of seeing virtue as an end in itself. Dostoevsky says openly in the Diary of a Writer that the only idea capable of inspiring a man is that of the immortality of the soul.
One peculiarity of our present [ethical] climate is that we care much more about our rights than about our 'good'. For previous thinkers about ethics, such as those who wrote the Upanishads, or Confucius, or Plato, or the founders of the Christian tradition, the central concern was the state of one's soul, meaning some personal state of justice or harmony. Such a state might include resignation or renunciation, or detachment, or obedience, or knowledge, especially self-knowledge. For Plato there could be no just political order except one populated by just citizens... Today we tend not to believe that; we tend to think that modern constitutional democracies are fine regardless of the private vices of those within them. We are much more nervous talking about our good: it seems moralistic, or undemocratic, or elitist. Similarly, we are nervous talking about duty. The Victorian ideal of a life devoted to duty, or a calling, is substantially lost to us. So a greater proportion of our moral energy goes to protecting claims against each other, and that includes protecting the state of our soul as purely private, purely our own business.
She certainly did not hate him. No; hatred had vanished long ago, and she had almost as long been ashamed of ever feeling a dislike against him, that could be so called. The respect created by the conviction of his valuable qualities, though at first unwillingly admitted, had for some time ceased to be repugnant to her feelings; and it was now heightened into somewhat of a friendlier nature, by the testimony so highly in his favour, and bringing forward his disposition in so amiable a light, which yesterday had produced. But above all, above respect and esteem, there was a motive within her of good will which could not be overlooked. It was gratitude.-Gratitude not merely for having once loved her, but for loving her still well enough, to forgive all the petulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him, and all the unjust accusations accompanying her rejection. He who, she had been persuaded, would avoid her as his greatest enemy, seemed, on this accidental meeting, most eager to preserve the acquaintance, and without any indelicate display of regard, or any peculiarity of manner, where their two selves only were concerned, was soliciting the good opinion of her friends, and bent on making her known to his sister. Such a change in a man of so much pride, excited not only astonishment but gratitude-for to love, ardent love, it must be attributed; and as such its impression on her was of a sort to be encouraged, as by no means unpleasing, though it could not exactly be defined.
If Shakespeare be considered as a MAN born in a rude age and educated in the lowest manner, without any instruction either from the world or from books, he may be regarded as a prodigy; if represented as a POET capable of furnishing a proper entertainment to a refined or intelligent audience, we must abate much of this eulogy. In his compositions, we regret that many irregularities, and even absurdities, should so frequently disfigure the animated and passionated scenes intermixed with them; and, at the same time, we perhaps admire the more those beauties on account of their being surrounded by such deformities. A striking peculiarity of sentiment, adapted to a single character, he frequently hits, as it were, by inspiration; but a reasonable propriety of thought he cannot for any time uphold. Nervous and picturesque expressions as well as descriptions abound in him; but it is in vain we look either for purity or simplicity of diction. His total ignorance of all theatrical art and conduct, however material a defect, yet, as it affects the spectator rather than the reader, we can more easily excuse than that want of taste which often prevails in his productions, and which gives way only by intervals to the irradiations of genius. [... ] And there may even remain a suspicion that we overrate, if possible, the greatness of his genius; in the same manner as bodies often appear more gigantic on account of their being disproportioned and misshapen.