As any of us approaches middle age, we inevitably come up against our limitations: the realization that certain dearly-held fantasies may not be realized; that circumstances have thwarted us; that even with intention and will we may not be able to set our ship back on the course we'd planned.
Just as a stream flows smoothly on as long as it encounters no obstruction, so the nature of man and animal is such that we never really notice or become conscious of what is agreeable to our will; if we are to notice something, our will has to have been thwarted, has to have experienced a shock of some kind.
I warn you, Kelsey, that I'm an extremely patient man. I've had extensive practice in waiting out the enemy. My life as a tiger has taught me that attentive persistence and focused diligence always pay off. Consider yourself forewarned, priyatama. I'm on the hunt. I've caught your scent, and I won't be thwarted in my course.
There are confessable agonies, sufferings of which one can positively be proud. Of bereavement, of parting, of the sense of sin and the fear of death the poets have eloquently spoken. They command the world's sympathy. But there are also discreditable anguishes, no less excruciating than the others, but of which the sufferer dare not, cannot speak. The anguish of thwarted desire, for example.
I try to write things that can't be made into movies. My novels have thwarted many attempts to film them and I think that was true of the essay, too. If you'd actually tried to be true to the essay, it would have been, perhaps, boring. So taking that narrow little cast of characters and expanding it out, that was what was exciting about the project for me.
You are a terror, aren't you? Leave this yard alone. I know just where everything is in it, and I won't be able to find the things I need for my transport spells if you tidy them up.'So there was probably a bundle of souls or a box of chewed hearts somewhere out here, Sophie thought. She felt really thwarted. 'Tidying up is what I'm here for!' she shouted at Howl. 'Then you must think of a new meaning for your life,' Howl said.
Diana Wynne Jones
A buoyant and full-blooded soul has quick senses and miscellaneous sympathies: it changes with the changing world; and when not too much starved or thwarted by circumstances, it finds all things vivid and comic. Life is free play fundamentally and would like to be free play altogether.
All force strives forward to work far and wide To live and grow and ever to expand; Yet we are checked and thwarted on each side By the world's flux and swept along like sand: In this internal storm and outward tide We hear a promise, hard to understand: From the compulsion that all creatures binds, Who overcomes himself, his freedom finds.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Integration proceeds by just the opposite route: a deliberate heightening of every organic function; a release of impulses from circumstances that irrationally thwarted them; richer and more complex patterns of activity; an esthetic heightening of anticipated realizations; a steady lengthening of the future; a faith in cosmic perspectives.
Except that today, oblivious to everyone, there is a hair standing tall inside his shorts: a single hair: long, black and shining. Sprouting out of nowhere, it stands rebelliously erect on his tiny barren orb, not thwarted by the force of the cloth of his underwear, announcing its eventual arrival with elan.
I love the working class, and everyone from it that I've met, and think they're incredible witty, inventive - there's a lot of poetry there. A lot of rough stuff as well. What there is, too, is an awful lot of expressiveness and intelligence and originality down there. And a lot of thwarted intelligence.
For a long time the human instinct to understand was thwarted by facile religious explanations, as in ancient Greece in the time of Homer, where there were gods of the sky and the Earth, the thunderstorm, the oceans and the underworld, fire and time and love and war; where every tree and meadow had its dryad and maenad.
[M]ay not literature (and, in particular, fiction) be considered a desperate and permanently thwarted effort to produce a unique form of expression? Something like a cry, perhaps, a cry that, somehow, inexplicably contains all the millions of words that have ever existed, anywhere, in any age. In contrast with the spoken word and its classifying function, the purpose of writing seems, rather, to be a quest for the egg, the seed, nothing more.
Jean-Marie G. Le Clezio
For as soon as the procreative faculty is thwarted and the number of births diminished, the natural struggle for existence which allows only healthy and strong individuals to survive is replaced by a sheer craze to 'save' feeble and even diseased creatures at any cost. And thus the seeds are sown for a human progeny which will become more and more miserable from one generation to another, as long as Nature's will is scorned.
We are, almost all of us, descended from people who responded to the dangers of existence by inventing stories about unpredictable or disgruntled deities. For a long time the human instinct to understand was thwarted by facile religious explanations [... ]. For thousands of years humans were oppressed - as some of us still are - by the notion that the universe is a marionette whose strings are pulled by a god or gods.
If each side had been frankly contending for its own real wish, they would all have kept within the bounds of reason and courtesy; but just because the contention is reversed and each side is fighting the other side's battle, all the bitterness which really flows from thwarted self-righteousness and obstinacy and from the accumulated grudges of the last ten years is concealed from them by the nominal or official "Unselfishness" of what they are doing or, at least, held to be excused by it.
As night goes round the Earth always there are hundreds of thousands of people who should be sleeping, lying awake, fearing a bully, fearing a cruel competition, dreading lest they cannot make good, ill of some illness they cannot comprehend, distressed by some irrational quarrel, maddened by some thwarted instinct or some suppressed perverted desire.
My prayer time alone with the Lord Jesus is more important than any other thing I do each day. There in the secret place, the devil's plans are shattered and God's victories are won, evil is thwarted and blessings are unleashed, sicknesses are overcome and sin is denied its sway over the lives of the weak. Our God is an answering God.
Lee Ann Rubsam
How I hated myself, thwarted, poisoned and tortured myself, made myself old and ugly. Never again, as I once fondly imagined, will I consider that Siddartha is clever. But one thing I have done well, which pleases me, which I must praise- I have now put an end to that self-detestation, to that foolish empty life. I commend you, Siddartha, that after so many years of folly, you have again a good idea, that you have accomplished something, that you have again heard the bird in your breast sing and followed it.
From your results I have determined that you are one of the strongest Divergent, which I say not to compliment you but to explain my purpose. If I am to develop a simulation that cannot be thwarted by the Divergent mind, I must study the strongest Divergent mind in order to shore up all weaknesses in the technology.
A man, at least, is free; he can explore every passion, every land, overcome obstacles, taste the most distant pleasures. But a woman is continually thwarted. Inert and pliant at the same time, she must struggle against both the softness of her flesh and subjection to the law. Her will, like the veil tied to her hat by a string, flutters with every breeze; there is always some desire luring her on, some convention holding her back.
The man has a curious inborn conviction of his own superiority which is quite unshakeable. All his life he has bullied and browbeaten those around him by his high-and-mightiness and his atrocious temper. As a boy he terrorized his entire family by his tantrums, when, if thwarted, he would throw himself on the floor and yell till he went blue in the face. It has been much the same ever since. Everyone's terrified of his rages. He has only to start grinding his teeth, and people fall flat before him.
Something is missing: that's as close as I can come to naming the sensation, an awareness of missed or thwarted connections, or of a great hollowness left where something lovely and solid used to be. ...There is something fundamentally insatiable about being human, as though we come into the world with a kind of built-in tension between the experience of being hungry, which is a condition of striving and yearning, and the experience of being fed, which may offer temporary satisfaction but always gives way to new strivings, new yearnings.
Something is missing: that's as close as I can come to naming the sensation, an awareness of missed or thwarted connections, or of a great hollowness left where something lovely and solid used to be... There is something fundamentally insatiable about being human, as though we come into the world with a kind of built-in tension between the experience of being hungry, which is a condition of striving and yearning, and the experience of being fed, which may offer temporary satisfaction but always gives way to new strivings, new yearnings.
You know what I did this morning? I played the voice of a toy. Some terrible robot toys from Japan that changed from one thing to another. The Japanese have funded a full-length animated cartoon about the doings of these toys, which is all bad outer-space stuff. I play a planet. I menace somebody called Something-or-other. Then I'm destroyed. My plan to destroy Whoever-it-is is thwarted and I tear myself apart on the screen.
The perfect life, the perfect lie, I realised after Christmas, is one which prevents you from doing that which you would ideally have done (painted, say, or written unpublishable poetry) but which, in fact, you have no wish to do. People need to feel that they have been thwarted by circumstances from pursuing the life which, had they led it, they would not have wanted; whereas the life they really want is precisely a compound of all those thwarting circumstances.
It was a lot to carry out of a childhood--all those textured layers of thwarted dreams rumbling under the fifties patina--but a lot of us did it. In those manicured lives and choreographed marriages there was an often-pronounced loneliness, an emptiness that we would try to fill with our own accomplishments. And our role, the one we would have so much trouble trying to shed later, was simply to be the best little girls in the world, the high- achieving, make-no-waves, properly behaved little kittens.
Anne Taylor Fleming
After Bruno's death, during the first half of the seventeenth century, Descartes seemed about to take the leadership of human thought... in promoting an evolution doctrine as regards the mechanical formation of the solar system... but his constant dread of persecution, both from Catholics and Protestants, led him steadily to veil his thoughts and even to suppress them. ...Since Roger Bacon, perhaps, no great thinker had been so completely abased and thwarted by theological oppression.
Andrew Dickson White
Advance like a hero. Do not be thwarted by anything. How many days will this body last, with its happiness and misery? When you have the human body, then rouse the Atman within and say-I have reached the state of fearlessness!...and then as long as the body endures, speak unto others this message of fearlessness: 'Thao art That', 'Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached'
Now let me be clear - I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.
The popularity of disaster movies expresses a collective perception of a world threatened by irresistible and unforeseen forces which nevertheless are thwarted at the last moment. Their thinly veiled symbolic meaning might be translated thus: We are innocent of wrongdoing. We are attacked by unforeseeable forces come to harm us. We are, thus, innocent even of negligence. Though those forces are insuperable, chance will come to our aid and we shall emerge victorious.
LIFE IS A DIVINE GIFT. The divine is not something outside of us; it is right in our very center; it is our freedom. In our training, we learn the real nature of life and death. When life is victorious, there is birth; when it is thwarted, there is death. A warrior is always engaged in a life-and-death struggle for peace.
The criminal law has, from the point of view of thwarted virtue, the merit of allowing an outlet for those impulses of aggression which cowardice, disguised as morality, restrains in their more spontaneous forms. War has the same merit. You must not kill you neighbor, whom perhaps you genuinely hate, but by a little propaganda this hate can be transferred to some foreign nation, against whom all your murderous impulses become patriotic heroism.
In the Middle Ages, the troubadour poets invented the concept of courtly love--a fantasy love, a noble passion, which was also extra-marital and thus inevitably thwarted, illicit, adulterous. One of the medieval terms for it was amour honestus (honest love). I've always wondered why this passionate ideal--masochistic, spiritual-travelled with such wildfire throughout Europe. My poem, a ghazal, takes up the subject.
The public sector can only feed off the private sector; it necessarily lives parasitically upon the private economy. But this means that the productive resources of society - far from satisfying the wants of consumers - are now directed, by compulsion, away from these wants and needs. The consumers are deliberately thwarted, and the resources of the economy diverted from them to those activities desire by the parasitic bureaucracy and politicians.
Prominent and influential editors, accustomed to deal with politicians, men of an infinitely lower grade, say, in their ignorance,that he acted "on the principle of revenge." They do not know the man. They must enlarge themselves to conceive of him.... They have got to conceive of a man of faith and of religious principle, and not a politician or an Indian; of a man who did not wait till he was personally interfered with or thwarted in some harmless business before he gave his life to the cause of the oppressed.
Henry David Thoreau
Thwarted, or starved, in the important objects proper to young capacities, the boys and young men naturally find or invent deviant objects for themselves. ... Their choices and inventions are rarely charming, usually stupid, and often disastrous; we cannot expect average kids to deviate with genius. But on the other hand, the young men who conform to the dominant society become for the most part apathetic, disappointed, cynical and wasted.
Poetry can be more eloquent than the most eloquent sermons, and it becomes a weapon more formidable than the sharpest of swords; whenever such a poem-which finds its correct tune and conveys the excitement of the heart-rings out, all the miserable, heaped drifts of words fly for shelter and bury themselves in ashamed silence. Whenever such a sword of poetry is drawn from its scabbard, all the false princes of words, who have set their thrones on a void, are thwarted and retreat into seclusion.
M. Fethullah Gulen
It was not for me, after these last seventy-two hours, to reject as too outlandish the possibility that the situation for him here had driven George crazy. Yet I did reject it. It was just too insipid a conclusion. Not everybody was cray. Resolute is not crazy. Deluded is not crazy. To be thwarted, vengeful, terrified, treacherous-this is not to be crazy. Not even fanatically held illusions are crazy, and deceit certainly isn't crazy-deceit, deviousness, cunning, cynicism, all of that is far from crazy... and there, that, deceit, there was the key to my confusion. Of course!
Day 24. Situation is growing worse. My captors continue to find new and horrific ways to torture me. When not working, Agent Scarlet spends her days examining fabric swatches for bridesmaid dresses and going on about how in love she is. This usually causes Agent Boring Borscht to regale us with stories of Russian weddings that are even more boring than his usual ones. My attempts at escape have been thwarted thus far. Also, I am out of cigarettes. Any assistance or tobacco products you can send will be greatly appreciated. -Prisoner 24601
Rather, I plead with you to see a mode of life in our midst, a mode of life stunted and distorted, but possessing its own laws and claims, an existence of men growing out of the soil prepared by the collective but blind will of a hundred million people. I beg you to recognize human life draped in a form and guise alien to ours, but springing from a soil plowed and sown by our own hands. I ask you to recognize laws and processes flowing from such a condition, understand them, seek to change them. If we do none of these, then we should not pretend horror or surprise when thwarted life expresses itself in fear and hate and crime.
To say that God elects to fashion rational creatures in his image, and so grants them the freedom to bind themselves and the greater physical order to another master - to say that he who sealed up the doors of the sea might permit them to be opened again by another, more reckless hand - is not to say that God's ultimate design for his creatures can be thwarted. It is to acknowledge, however, that his will can be resisted by a real and (by his grace) autonomous force of defiance, or can be hidden from us by the history of cosmic corruption, and that the final realization of the good he intends in all things has the form (not simply as a dramatic fiction, for our edification or his glory, nor simply as a paedogogical device on his part, but in truth) of a divine victory.
David Bentley Hart
We hurt one another. We go through life dressing up in new clothes and covering up our true motives. We meet up lightly, we drink rose wine, and then we give each other pain. We don't want to! What we want to do, what one really wants to do is put out one's hands-like some dancer, in a trance, just put out one's hands-and touch all the people and tell them: I'm sorry. I love you. Thank you for your e-mail. Thank you for coming to see me. Thank you. But we can't. We can't. On the little life raft of Mark only one other person could fit. Just one! And so, thwarted, we inflict pain. That's what we do. We do not keep each other company. We do not send each other cute text messages. Or, rather, when we do these things, we do them merely to postpone the moment when we'll push these people off, and beat forward, beat forward on our little raft, alone.
I found that when women were able to act in line with their natural inclinations and ambitions - whether to work or stay at home - they were generally happy, and generally felt that their children were happy too. Whereas those whose natural inclinations and ambitions had been thwarted - whether they were working or stay-at-home moms - were sure that they and their kids would be better off if they changed course, and either went to work or went home. The morality of the situation- whether they felt it was good or bad for their chidlren- derived, not from some external sense of the morality of their "choices, " but from the amount of happiness generated by any given arrangement.
England is not the jewelled isle of Shakespeare's much-quoted message, nor is it the inferno depicted by Dr Goebbels. More than either it resembles a family, a rather stuffy Victorian family, with not many black sheep in it but with all its cupboards bursting with skeletons. It has rich relations who have to be kow-towed to and poor relations who are horribly sat upon, and there is a deep conspiracy of silence about the source of the family income. It is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts. Still, it is a family. It has its private language and its common memories, and at the approach of an enemy it closes its ranks. A family with the wrong members in control - that, perhaps is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.
Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world' (Acts 15:18). From the beginning God purposed to glorify Himself 'in the Church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end' (Eph. 3:21). To this end, He created the world, and formed man. His all-wise plan was not defeated when man fell, for in the Lamb 'slain from the foundation of the world' (Rev. 13:8) we behold the Fall anticipated. Now will God's purpose be thwarted by the wickedness of men since the Fall, as is clear from the words of the psalmist, 'Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain' (Ps. 76:10).
Arthur W. Pink
But before we cue the brass section to blare "The Stars and Stripes Forever, " it might be worth taking another moment of melancholy silence to mourn the thwarted reconciliation with the mother country and what might have been. Anyone who accepts the patriots' premise that all men are created equal must come to terms with the fact that the most obvious threat to equality in eighteenth-century North America was not taxation without representation but slavery. Parliament would abolish slavery in the British Empire in 1833, thirty years before President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. A return to the British fold in 1776 might have freed American slaves three decades sooner, which is what, a generation and a half? Was independence for some of us more valuable than freedom for all of us? As the former slave Frederick Douglass put it in an Independence Day speech in 1852, "This is your Fourth of July, not mine.
When the gap between the world of the city and the world my grandfather had presented to me as right and good became too wide and depressing to tolerate, I'd turn to my other great love, which was pulp adventure fiction. Despite the fact that [he] would have had nothing but scorn and loathing for all of those violent and garish magazines, there was a sort of prevailing morality in them that I'm sure he would have responded to. The world of Doc Savage and The Shadow was one of absolute values, where what was good was never in the slightest doubt and where what was evil inevitably suffered some fitting punishment. The notion of good and justice espoused by Lamont Cranston with his slouch hat and blazing automatics seemed a long way from that of the fierce and taciturn old man I remembered sitting up alone into the Montana night with no company save his bible, but I can't help feeling that if the two had ever met they'd have found something to talk about. For my part, all those brilliant and resourceful sleuths and heroes offered a glimpse of a perfect world where morality worked the way it was meant to. Nobody in Doc Savage's world ever killed themselves except thwarted kamikaze assassins or enemy spies with cyanide capsules. Which world would you rather live in, if you had the choice?