A lobotomy involved some kind of rod or probe inserted through the eyesocket, the term was always "frontal" lobotomy;but was there any other kind?Knowing that internal stress could cause failure on the exam merely set up internal stress about the prospect of internal stress. There must be some other way to deal with the knowledge of the disastrous consequences fear and stress could bring about.Some answer or trick of the will:the ability not to think about it.What if everyone knew this trick but Claude Sylvanshine?He tended to conceptualize some ultimate, platonic-level Terror as a bird of prey in whose mere aloft shadow the prey was stricken and paralyzed, tembling as the shadow enlarged and became inevitability.He frequently had this feeling:What if there was something essentially wrong with Claude Sylvanshine that wasn't wrong with other people?What if he was simply ill-suited, the way some people are born without limbs or certain organs?The neurology of failure.What if he was simply born and destined to live in the shadow of Total Fear and Despair, and all his so called activities were pathetic attempts to distract him from the inevitable?...
David Foster Wallace
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On the planet O there has not been a war for five thousand years, she read, and on Gethen there has never been a war." She stopped reading, to rest her eyes and because she was trying to train herself to read slowly. "There has never been a war." In her mind the words stood clear and bright, surrounded by and sinking into an infinite, dark, soft incredulity. What would that world be, a world without war? It would be the real world. Peace was the true life, the life of working and learning and bringing up children to work and learn. War, which devoured work, learning, and children, was the denial of reality. But my people, she thought, know only how to deny. Born in the dark shadow of power misused, we set peace outside our world, a guiding and unattainable light. All we know to do is fight. Any peace one of us can make in our life is only a denial that the war is going on, a shadow of the shadow, a doubled unbelief. So as the cloud-shadows swept over the marshes and the page of the book open on her lap, she sighed and closed her eyes. thinking, "I am a liar." Then she opened her eyes and read more about the other worlds, the far realities.
Ursula K. Le Guin
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The man whirled, his hands still gripping the animal's skin, his face perfectly illuminated by the fire. He was half in shadow, and the shadow revealed him slowly. His left eye was covered by a black leather patch, and thin white scar raked his brow and the cheekbone below. The carried on, down the length of his neck, into the thick black beard, twisting under his collarbone and around his torso. They marred only the skin, I noted, for the muscles beneath were whole and strong, and the entire impression was one of great vitality and energy, strength unbridled. He looked nothing so much as a fallen god working at a trade. "Hephaestus at the forge, " I murmured, recalling my mythology...
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Darks drifts covered the horizon. A strange shadow approaching nearer and nearer, was spreading little by little over men, over things, over ideas; a shadow which came from indignations and from systems. All that had been hurriedly stifled was stirring and fermenting. Sometimes the conscious of the honest man caught its breath, there was so much confusion in that air in which sophisms were mingled with truths. Minds trembled in the social anxiety like leaves at the approach of the storm. The electric tension was so great that at certain moments any chance-comer, thought unknown, flashed out. Then the twilight darkness fell again. At intervals, deep and sullen mutterings enabled men to judge of the amount of lightning in the cloud.
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I am a shadow. I walk the wet roads under the dim light of the pale lamps, in the darkest hour of the cold dull nights. I walk past the silent graveyard of the dead memories, towards the city of chaos plagued with gloom. I do not exist, but in the eyes of the shattered souls. In the chapter of an old book. In the poem. In the smile of a wrecked and in the tear of a broken spirit. Listen me in the songs told in the times long forgotten. Search for me in the churchs and temples, bars and brothels, pitch black nights and the colorless days. Dive down in your deepest part of your soul. And you will find my home. I have many faces but I have no face of my own. I am a shadow.
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Souls are simply aspects of ego splintered off from Mae and Jin, the two original gods. They began with no ego at all, you know. But as they gained awareness of themselves, each affirmation of something they were created a denial of something they weren't. This created a polarity, a split between themselves and something that became a new 'soul'-an un-being that gave that shadow voice. One god, declaring himself to be good and denying that he was evil, split into two parts-one good and one evil-because each god is both good and evil. Each part, as it gained awareness of itself and declared itself this or that but denied that it was the shadow of each new identification, split into more and more pieces-creating an exponential birth of new souls.
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I asked if Tyler was an artist. Tyler shrugged... What Tyler had created was the shadow of a giant hand... he said how at exactly four-thirty the hand was perfect. The giant shadow hand was perfect for one minute, and for one perfect minute Tyler sat in the palm of a perfection he'd created himself. One minute was enough, Tyler said, a person had to work hard for it, but a minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection.
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It's a thought, " I said with a grin. "That's exactly what it is, Dan - a thought - no more real than the shadow of a shadow. Consciousness is not In the body; the body is In Consciousness. And you Are that Consciousness - no the phantom mind that troubles you so. You are the body, but you are everything else, too. That is what your visions revealed to you. Only the mind resists change. When you relax mindless into the body, you are happy and content and free, sensing no separation. Immortality is Already yours, but not in the same way you imagined or hope for. You have been immortal since before you were born and will be long after the body dissolves. The body is in Consciousness; never born; never dies; only changes. The mind - your ego, personal beliefs, history, and identity - is all that ends at death. And who needs it?" Socrates leaned back into his chair. "I'm not sure all of that sank in." "Of course not." He laughed. "Words mean little unless you realize the truth of it yourself. And when you do, you'll be free at last.
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