This merely formal conceiving of the facts of one's own wretchedness is at the same time a departure from them--placing them in the object. It is not idle, therefore, to observe reflexively that in that very Thought, one has separated himself from them, and is no longer that which empirically he still sees himself to be.
William Ernest Hocking
If the test of patriotism comes only by reflexively falling into lockstep behind the leader whenever the flag is waved, then what we have is a formula for dictatorship, not democracy... But the American way is to criticize and debate openly, not to accept unthinkingly the doings of government officials of this or any other country.
The stinging slap against her cheek whipped her head sideways. Her hand reflexively went to her burning face. "I told you no, " Tobe said, barely above a whisper. Daphne had no words. He'd never so much as hinted at touching her in anger before. She now understood what stunned speechless meant.
Recapping the water he turned on the sofa to face her, his eyes reflexively dropping to her chest where he knew the key was hidden. Thank God the dress was high necked, otherwise he would be outright eyeing her cleavage. 'Thinking of going in?' She questioned, amusement dancing in those clear eyes.
Strip away all the assumptions about what competition is supposed to do, all the claims in its behalf that we accept and repeat reflexively. What you have left is the essence of the concept: mutually exclusive goal attainment (MEGA). One person succeeds only if another does not. From this uncluttered perspective, it seems clear right away that something is drastically wrong with such an arrangement. How can we do our best when we are spending our energies trying to make others lose--and fearing that they will make us lose?
When the words are fuzzy, the programmers reflexively retreat to the most precise method of articulation available: source code. Although there is nothing more precise than code, there is also nothing more permanent or resistant to change. So the situation frequently crops up where nomenclature confusion drives programmers to begin coding prematurely, and that code becomes the de facto design, regardless of its appropriateness or correctness.
It occurred to me that my cheek was probably right over his tattoo. Without thinking, I lifted my face and tugged at the neckline of his T-shirt. This time, the stark black-and-gold mark wasn't hidden. No need for that spell anymore, I guess. Still, I covered it with my palm. Archer's hands clutched reflexively on my waist. Our eyes met. "It doesn't burn this time, " I whispered. His breathing was ragged. "Beg to differ, Mercer.
And next to Allie, the screamer, once more reminded of his job, began to wail in Allie's ear. Reflexively Allie clapped her hand over his mouth. "That," she said, "is totally uncalled for. Don't do that again. Ever." The screamer looked at her with worried eyes. "Are we clear on this subject?" said Allie. The screamer nodded and she removed her hand. "Can I scream a little?" he asked. "No," said Allie. "Your screaming days are over." "Darn." And he was quiet thereafter.
Another longstanding foreign policy flaw is the degree to which special interests dictate the way in which the "national interest" as a whole is defined and pursued.... America's important historic relationship with Israel has often led foreign policy decision-makers to defer reflexively to Israeli security assessments, and to replicate Israeli tactics, which, as the war in Lebanon last summer demonstrated, can turn out to be counter-productive.
Whoever has the power to label others as evil is automatically, or reflexively, the good person. Good people label bad people as evil. And once you do that, then it demonizes them. You don't negotiate with evil. You don't sit down at the table with the devil and say, "Okay, let's work this out." What you want to do is destroy evil. Every Catholic kid every night says, or should say, "Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil." And so you've got to go to God to help you deal with evil rather than your State Department or your negotiators.
The description of Huck's father grabbed my full attention, and I glanced up at the book in my teacher's hand as if to double check. My eyes bulged reflexively. Huck's father was an abusive drunk just like mine. The boy was hopeful that a corpse found near the river was actually his dad, but it turned out not to be. It was spooky how high my hopes rose for the boy, and then sank so utterly low when the body was discovered to be a female in disguise. I should've mourned for the woman, but it was the boy I felt bad for.
Richelle E. Goodrich
All the general fear I've been feeling condenses into an immediate fear of this girl, this predator who might kill me in seconds. Adrenaline shoots through me and I sling the pack over one shoulder and run full-speed for the woods. I can hear the blade whistling toward me and reflexively hike the pack up to protect my head. The blade lodges in the pack. Both straps on my shoulders now, I make for the trees. Somehow I knew the girl will not pursue me. That she'll be drawn back into the Cornucopia before all the good stuff is gone. A grin crosses my face. Thanks for the knife, I think.
In a world of alternative lifestyle options, strategic life planning becomes of special importance. Like lifestyle patterns, life plans of one kind or another are something of an inevitable concomitant of post-traditional social forms. Life plans are the substantial content of the reflexively organised trajectory of the self. Life-planning is a means of preparing a course of future actions mobilised in terms of the self's biography. We may also speak here of the existence of personal calendars or life-plan calendars, in relation to which the personal time of the lifespan is handled.
Imagine that a literalist and a moderate have gone to a restaurant for lunch, and the menu promises "fresh lobster" as the speciality of the house. Loving lobster, the literalist simply places his order and waits. The moderate does likewise, but claims to be entirely comfortable with the idea that the lobster might not really be a lobster after all-perhaps it's a goose! And, whatever it is, it need not be "fresh" in any conventional sense-for the moderate understands that the meaning of this term shifts according to context. This would be a very strange attitude to adopt toward lunch, but it is even stranger when considering the most important questions of existence-what to live for, what to die for, and what to kill for. Consequently, the appeal of literalism isn't difficult to see. Human beings reflexively demand it in almost every area of their lives. It seems to me that religious people, to the extent that they're 'certain' that their scripture was written or inspired by the Creator of the universe, demand it too. - pg. 67-68
Sam Harris & Maajid Nawaz
Then I'm suddenly reminded of how I get engulfed with nightmares of Mom's death as soon as I fall asleep. Hesitantly, I call to him, 'Hey, Adrian?' 'Yeah?' 'Can you hold my hand the entire night?' My voice comes out as a quiet whisper. There's a pause. I'm almost afraid to meet his eyes. Heartbeat picking up faster, his fingers interweave with mine and lace them together. I turn almost reflexively and I'm faced with his eyes-burning so green that it's hard to look away. And for a second-one second, there is this feeling that flits in my chest, making my breath catch. Then his eyes close and I blink slowly-feeling as I'm in a dream-like trance. Then mine slide close too after a while of memorizing this moment, this moment of silent peacefulness. The gentle pressure of his hand holding mine coaxes me into sleep. This time, there's only a soothing blankness. And we sleep just like that; backs curved together, my head folded in his chest. As we hold hands, I fall into the awaiting darkness.
Chapter 8 - The Rescue Team: "Timbroke Hall was completely dark. A creaking shutter opened and closed to the rhythm of a howling, north wind. It bore a cold reminder of the harsh winter coming quickly this year. The children crept up the rock stairs to the familiar wooden doors at the front of the building. Ariana led them around the porch to a side door according to her, was never locked. The broken handle dangled loosely and offered free entrance. The team cautiously crossed the threshold of the old hall into pitch blackness. An owl hooted and the sound of large wings flapping reverberated around them. Camilla startled, cried out a fearful yelp causing everyone to jump. Hannah reflexively covered Camilla's mouth until she was certain nothing more would slip out. 'Quiet, ' whispered Jess in an angry tone directed at Hannah. 'It wasn't me, ' whispered Hannah pointing down at Camilla. 'Sorry, ' whispered Camilla apologetically.
It is of the nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of legislative authority, " the Federalist tell us. And modern commanders in chief tend to reflexively invoke the war metaphor when the public demands that they take action to solve the emergency of the month, real or imagined. "War is the health of the state, " Randolph Bourne's famous aphorism has it, but Bourne could just as easily written that "war is the health of the presidency." Throughout American history, virtually every major advance in executive power has come during a war or warlike crisis. Convince the public that we are at war, and constitutional barriers to actions fall, as power flows to the commander in chief. Little wonder, then, that confronted with impossible expectations, the modern president tends to recast social and economic problems in military terms: war on crime, war on drugs, war on poverty. Martial rhetoric often ushers in domestic militarism, as presidents push to employ standing armies at home, to fight drug trafficking, terrorism, or natural disasters. And when the president raises the battle cry, he can usually count on substantial numbers of American opinion leaders to cheer him on.
Until then, my teenage soul-suspicious of cheerfulness, though still reflexively respectful of authority-would feel increasingly uncomfortable in the presence of the official soul. The official soul, as transmitted through church and Christian paraphernalia, was upbeat, incurious, happy with its lot. It did not have any heroes other than the ones who appeared in the Bible, and it was content to hear the same stories about these people over and over again. It described pain and suffering in such a way that a person might think alcoholism or the loss of a child were no more inconvenient than a tussle with the flu: after it passed, you could stand in front of the congregation on Sunday and testify that it was all better, and God was good. As far as I could tell, that was the only story told by the official soul, and the real and true sadnesses had be excised for a more mellifluous account. Which made it seem as if there were things you couldn't talk about in church, or with people from church-what made you laugh, why you cried at a movie, what made you angry, or what books you read that hadn't been written by C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer, or D.L. Moody. Church was supposed to be the most important thing in life, but so much of life was left out, because so much of its trouble was assumed to be conquered. My pastor mentioned Kierkegaard in a sermon only once, and it would be a long time before I discovered that there was a storied Christian who suffered from, and so in some way sanctioned, depression, rage, sarcasm, and despair-the diseases that took hold in adolescence, for which church offered no cure.
Which was why he reflexively turned when a flash of iridescence caught his eye. His first thought was: Morpho rhetenor Helena. The extraordinary tropical butterfly with wings of shifting colors: blues, lavenders, greens. It proved to be a woman's skirt. The color was blue, but by the light of the legion of overhead candles, he saw purples and even greens shivering in its weave. A bracelet of pale stones winked around one wrist, a circlet banded her dark head. The chandelier struck little beams from that, too. She's altogether too shiny for a woman, he decided, and began to turn away. Which was when she tipped her face up into the light. Everything stopped. The beat of his heart, the pump of his lungs, the march of time. Seconds later, thankfully, it all resumed. Much more violently than previously. And then absurd notions roman-candled in his mind. His palms ached to cradle her face-it was a kitten's face, broad and fair at the brow, stubborn at the chin. She had kitten's eyes, too: large and a bit tilted and surely they weren't actually the azure of calm southern seas? Surely he, Miles Redmond, hadn't entertained such a florid thought? Her eyebrows were wicked: fine, slanted, very dark. Her hair was probably brown, but it was as though he'd never learned the word 'brown.' Burnished. Silk. Copper. Azure. Delicate. Angel. Hallelujah. Suddenly these were the only words he knew.
Julie Anne Long
Yet, at the same time, as the Eastern sages also knew, man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many ways-the strangest and most repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever. It is a terrifying dilemma to be in and to have to live with. The lower animals are, of course, spared this painful contradiction, as they lack a symbolic identity and the self-consciousness that goes with it. They merely act and move reflexively as they are driven by their instincts. If they pause at all, it is only a physical pause; inside they are anonymous, and even their faces have no name. They live in a world without time, pulsating, as it were, in a state of dumb being. This is what has made it so simple to shoot down whole herds of buffalo or elephants. The animals don't know that death is happening and continue grazing placidly while others drop alongside them. The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it. They live and they disappear with the same thoughtlessness: a few minutes of fear, a few seconds of anguish, and it is over. But to live a whole lifetime with the fate of death haunting one's dreams and even the most sun-filled days-that's something else.