I am afraid that old women are more skeptical in their most secret heart of hearts than any man: they believe in the superficiality of existence as in its essence, and all virtue and profundity is to them merely a veil over this "truth," a most welcome veil over a pudendum--and so a matter of decency and modesty, and nothing else.
The real deep text of music and the whole reason that it has continued with the profundity and urgency that it has for over a thousand years, has to do with what the notes say, what the notes witness, different experiences of hope or doubt that people are able to distill and encode and pass on in this way.
Michael Tilson Thomas
Jargon is the verbal sleight of hand that makes the old hat seem newly fashionable; it gives an air of novelty and specious profundity to ideas that, if stated directly, would seem superficial, stale, frivolous, or false. The line between serious and spurious scholarship is an easy one to blur, with jargon on your side.
Among the fluctuation of the river currents, an abyss as green as the sea, its extension and profundity as immense as the ocean opened before me: the eyes of a beautiful girl. I succumbed into that abyss instantly, like a man who falls from the highest cliff into the ocean ... and I drowned.
Today's banalities apparently gain in profundity if one states that the wisdom of the past, for all its virtues, belongs to the past. The arrogance of those who come later preens itself with the notion that the past is dead and gone. ... The modern mind can no longer think thought, only can locate it in time and space. The activity of thinking decays to the passivity of classifying.
I speak as an unregenerate reader, one who still believes that language and not technology is the true evolutionary miracle. I have not yet given up on the idea that the experience of literature offers a kind of wisdom that cannot be discovered elsewhere; that there is profundity in the verbal encounter itself, never mind what further profundities that author has to offer; and that for a host of reasons the bound book is the ideal vehicle for the written word.
Nothing in life was ever clearly drawn, obviously just, or totally emotionally satisfying, but the moment-to-moment stuff of reality featured infinitely more complication, sleaze, struggle, true beauty, unfairness, profundity, passion, and depth of consciousness than she, in her frantic struggle to be somebody other than her unspectacular self, had been previously aware of. page 302
No, I won't leave the world--I'll enter a lunatic asylum and see if the profundity of insanity reveals to me the riddles of life. Idiot, why didn't I do that long ago, why has it taken me so long to understand what it means when the Indians honour the insane, step aside for them? Yes, a lunatic asylum--don't you think I may end up there?
Could truth perhaps be a woman who has reasons for not permitting her reasons to be seen? Could her name perhaps be--to speak Greek--Baubo?... Oh, those Greeks! They understood how to live: to do that it is necessary to stop bravely at the surface, the fold, the skin, to adore the appearance, to believe in forms, in tones, in words, in the whole Olympus of appearance! Those Greeks were superficial--out of profundity!
Profundity fails me.' Father Ramon's gaze rested on Loup. 'And perhaps that is fitting, since words have never been your strong suit, Loup Garron. I said once that you were neither a leader nor a follower. I think perhaps you're something more rare. A catalyst. A catalyst for change, hope, faith. This group of you, God willing the last of you, have been different. What does it mean to live without fear? What lessons are we to take from your presence among us?' He shook his head. 'I don't know. I know only that in your own way, you inspire us.
It is only great pain--that slow, sustained pain that takes its time, in which we are, as it were, burned with smoldering green firewood--that forces us philosophers to sink to our ultimate profundity and to do away with all the trust, everything good-natured, veil-imposing, mild and middling, on which we may have previously based our humanity. I doubt that such a pain makes us 'better'--but I know that it makes us deeper.
I had left the visible, physical blue at the door, outside, in the street. The real blue was inside, the blue of the profundity of space, the blue of my kingdom, of our kingdom!.. ..the immaterialisation of blue, the coloured space that can not be seen but which we impregnate ourselves with.
The greatest achievements in the science of this [twentieth] century are themselves the sources of more puzzlement than human beings have ever experienced. Indeed, it is likely that the twentieth century will be looked back at as the time when science provided the first close glimpse of the profundity of human ignorance. We have not reached solutions; we have only begun to discover how to ask questions.
The silliest and most tendentious of baseball writing tries to wrest profundity from the spectacle of grown men hitting a ball with a stick by suggesting linkages between the sport and deep issues of morality, parenthood, history, lost innocence, gentleness, and so on, seemingly ad infinitum . (The effort reeks of silliness because baseball is profound all by itself and needs no excuses; people who don't know this are not fans and are therefore unreachable anyway.
Stephen Jay Gould
She dropped her head again on Marius' knees, and her eyelids closed. He thought the poor soul had departed. Eponine remained motionless. All at once, at the very moment when Marius fancied her asleep forever, she slowly opened her eyes in which appeared the sombre profundity of death, and said to him in a tone whose sweetness seemed already to proceed from another world:- "And by the way, Monsieur Marius, I believe that I was a little bit in love with you." She tried to smile once more and expired.
Promise to give me a kiss on my brow when I am dead. -I shall feel it." She dropped her head again on Marius' knees, and her eyelids closed. He thought the poor soul had departed. Eponine remained motionless. All at once, at the very moment when Marius fancied her asleep forever, she slowly opened her eyes in which appeared the sombre profundity of death, and said to him in a tone whose sweetness seemed already to proceed from another world:- "And by the way, Monsieur Marius, I believe that I was a little bit in love with you.
Promise to give me a kiss on my brow when I am dead. --I shall feel it." She dropped her head again on Marius' knees, and her eyelids closed. He thought the poor soul had departed. Eponine remained motionless. All at once, at the very moment when Marius fancied her asleep forever, she slowly opened her eyes in which appeared the sombre profundity of death, and said to him in a tone whose sweetness seemed already to proceed from another world:-- "And by the way, Monsieur Marius, I believe that I was a little bit in love with you.
Poetry interprets in two ways: it interprets by expressing, with magical felicity, the physiognomy and movements of the outward world; and it interprets by expressing, with inspired conviction, the ideas and laws of the inward world of man's moral and spiritual nature. In other words, poetry is interpretative both by having natural magic in it, and by having moral profundity.
The unified field theory that ties together Jobs personality and products begins with his most salient trait: his intensity. His silences could be as searing as his rants; he had taught himself to stare without blinking. Sometimes this intensity was charming, in a geeky way, such as when he was explaining the profundity of Bob Dylan's music or why whatever product he was unveiling at that moment was the most amazing thing that Apple had ever made. At other times it could be terrifying, such as when he was fulminating about Google or Microsoft ripping of Apple.
I tended to find lines of poetry beautiful only when I encountered them quoted in prose, in the essays my professors had assigned in college, where the line breaks were replaced with slashes, so that what was communicated was less a particular poem than the echo of poetic possibility. Insofar as I was interested in the arts, I was interested in the disconnect between my experience of actual artworks and the claims made on their behalf; the closest I'd come to having a profound experience of art was probably the experience of this distance, a profound experience of the absence of profundity.
This universe is shot through with mystery. The very fact of its being, and of our own, is a mystery absolute, and the only miracle worthy of the name. The consciousness that animates us is itself central to this mystery and the ground for any experience we might wish to call 'spiritual.' No myths need be embraced for us to commune with the profundity of our circumstance. No personal God need be worshiped for us to live in awe at the beauty and immensity of creation. No tribal fictions need be rehearsed for us to realize, one fine day, that we do, in fact, love our neighbors, that our happiness is inextricable from their own, and that our interdependence demands that people everywhere be given the opportunity to flourish.
The really important facts were that spatial relationships had ceased to matter very much and that my mind was perceiving the world in terms of other than spatial categories. At ordinary times the eye concerns itself with such problems as where? "" how far? "" how situated in relation to what? In the mescaline experience the implied questions to which the eye responds are of another order. Place and distance cease to be of much interest. The mind does its perceiving in terms of intensity of existence, profundity of significance, relationships within a pattern.
The discipline of suffering, of great suffering- do you not know that only this discipline has created all enhancements of man so far? That tension of the soul in unhappiness which cultivates its strength, its shudders face to face with great ruin, its inventiveness and courage in enduring, preserving, interpreting, and exploiting suffering, and whatever has been granted to it of profundity, secret, mask, spirit, cunning, greatness- was it not granted to it through suffering, through the discipline of great suffering?
Questions are not happenstance thoughts nor are questions common problems of today which one picks up from hearsay and booklearning and decks out with a gesture of profundity questions grow out of confrontation with the subject matter and the subject matter is there only where eyes are, it is in this manner that questions will be posed and all the more considering that questions that have today fallen out of fashion in the great industry of problems. One stands up for nothing more than the normal running of the industry. Philosophy interprets its corruption as the resurrection of metaphysics.
I am firmly convinced to-day that, generally speaking, it is in youth that men lay the essential groundwork of their creative thought, wherever that creative thought exists. I make a distinction between the wisdom of age- which can only arise from the greater profundity and foresight that are based on the experiences of a long life- and the creative genius of youth, which blossoms out in thoughts and ideas with inexhaustible fertility, without being able to put these into practice immediately, because of their very superabundance. These furnish the building materials and plans for the future; and it is from them that age takes the stones and builds the edifice, unless the so-called wisdom of the years may have smothered the creative genius of youth.
As is perhaps obvious, Morris Zapp had no great esteem for his fellow-labourers in the vineyards of literature. They seemed to him vague, fickle, irresponsible creatures, who wallowed in relativism like hippopotami in mud, with their nostrils barely protruding into the air of common-sense. They happily tolerated the existence of opinions contrary to their own - they even, for God's sake, sometimes changed their minds. Their pathetic attempts at profundity were qualified out of existence and largely interrogative in mode. They liked to begin a paper with some formula like, 'I want to raise some questions about so-and-so', and seemed to think they had done their intellectual duty by merely raising them. This manoeuvre drove Morris Zapp insane. Any damn fool, he maintained, could think of questions; it was answers that separated the men from the boys.
In the moral realm, there is very little consensus left in Western countries over the proper basis of moral behavior. And because of the power of the media, for millions of men and women the only venue where moral questions are discussed and weighed is the talk show, where more often than not the primary aim is to entertain, even shock, not to think. When Geraldo and Oprah become the arbiters of public morality, when the opinion of the latest media personality is sought on everything from abortion to transvestites, when banality is mistaken for profundity because [it's] uttered by a movie star or a basketball player, it is not surprising that there is less thought than hype. Oprah shapes more of the nation's grasp of right and wrong than most of the pulpits in the land. Personal and social ethics have been removed from the realms of truth and structures of thoughts; they have not only been relativized, but they have been democratized and trivialized.