H

HABIT

To fall into a habit is to begin to cease to be.

de Unamuno, Miguel, The Tragic Sense of Life.

3/2000

HABIT, BREAKING

Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.

Twain, Mark, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar (1894).

8/99

HABIT, DECLINE INTO

It’s a terrible thing to feel that one has come to the end of one’s life-experience, – that there is nothing fundamentally new to look forward to: one must expect more and more combinations of the same sort of thing – the thing which has proven one a sort of failure.  So then you start on the declining path, living a sort of posthumous life, your blood cool, your pulse steady. … And yet it is just the fruitful point at which some big new understanding might jump out on you from behind the bushes and devour you like a lion.

Durrell, Lawrence, Tunc (Faber, 1968) 271.

7/96

HABIT, ENTRENCHED see SELFISHNESS (?)

HABIT, GOOD see PRACTICE, 9/93

HABITS

Sometimes I try and think of us all as habit-patterns rather than human beings.  I mean, wasn’t the idea of the individual soul grafted on us by the Greeks in the wild hope that, by its sheer beauty, it would ‘take’, as we say of vaccination?  That we might grow up to the size of the concept and grow the heavenly flame in each of our hearts?  Has it taken or hasn’t it? Who can say?

Durrell, Lawrence, Clea (Faber), 148.

12/87

HAKUIN

[See the commentary on the “Song of Meditation” by Abbott Sessan (1934).  It includes many Hakuin quotes, including the ‘teacher of the mice’ etc.; also the story of being given the baby (178).]

Leggett, Trevor, First Zen Reader.

11/84

HAMLET

Hamlet, at once the freest of Shakespeare’s “free artists of themselves” [Hegel], but also the most fated.

Bloom, Harold, ‘The Sage of Concord’, Guardian Review, 24/05/03, 6.

5/03

HAMLET see FATE, CAPRICIOUS, 9/93

HANDLES, SOFT AND HARD see LENIENCY, 8/2000

HAPPINESS

[It is] absence of worries, and security. …  Neither [man’s] happiness nor even self-interest means anything to him.  The only interest that stirs him to action is that of achieving permanence, of continuing.  [Story of prostitutes given healthy dwellings and work, but they are the same people underneath, since no slow new becoming is involved.]… ever a man seeks after what is weightiest in him, and not for happiness.

St.-Exupery, The Wisdom of the Sands (Hollis and Carter, 1952), 165, 8.

3/85

HAPPINESS

For seven long years of marriage he had repeated on every day the words ‘I am so happy’ – fatal as the striking of a grandfather clock on which silence is forever encroaching.

Durrell, Lawrence, Justine (Faber), 192.

5/87

HAPPINESS

One cannot pursue happiness, because happiness is not a possible goal of activity; it is rather an emotional reaction to activity, a feeling we get from pursuing something else.  The more genuine that something else is, the greater the chance of happiness: the more energetically we pursue happiness, the sooner we arrive at frustration.  The more one says he is happy, the more quickly we get out of his way to prevent him from making us miserable.

Frye, Northrop, “On Value Judgements”, in The Stubborn Structure (Methuen, 1970), 66.

8/93

HAPPINESS

Freud says that all happiness is the deferred fulfilment of a prehistoric wish, and then he adds: ‘that is why wealth bring so little happiness; money is not an infantile wish.’

Durrell, Lawrence, Nunquam (Faber, 1970), 177.

7/96

HAPPINESS

But if there is a state where the soul can find a resting place secure enough to establish itself and concentrate its entire being there, with no need to remember the past or reach into the future, where time is nothing to it, where the present runs on indefinitely but this duration goes unnoticed, with no sign of the passing of time, and no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than the simple feeling of existence, a feeling that fills our soul entirely, as long as this state lasts, we can call ourselves happy, not with a poor, incomplete and relative happiness such as we find in the pleasures of life, but with a sufficient, complete and perfect happiness which leaves no emptiness to be filled in the soul.  Such is the state which I often experienced… in my solitary reveries.

Rousseau, J J, Reveries of the Solitary Walker (Peter France translation, Penguin), 5th walk.

5/98

HAPPINESS

Happiness consists in the multiplicity of agreeable consciousness.

Johnson, Samuel, in Boswell’s Life, I, 480n.

8/99

HAPPINESS

Happiness is never to be found, and each believes it possessed by others, to keep alive the hope of obtaining it for himself. … (p 77)
Of the present state, whatever it be, we feel, and are forced to confess, the misery, yet, when the same state is again at a distance, imagination paints it as desirable. (p 87)
What satisfaction this world can afford, must arise from the conjunction of wealth, knowledge and goodness: wealth is nothing but as it is bestowed, and knowledge nothing but as it is communicated: they must therefore be imparted to others … Goodness affords the only comfort which can be enjoyed without a partner. (p 114)

Johnson, Samuel, Rasselas (Penguin, 1976, 1st ed. 1759).

6/2000

HAPPINESS

Those who want Happiness must stoop to find it; it is a flower that
grows in every vale

Blake (Keynes, p37, 1972).

3/01

HAPPINESS

Orwell says that the only way in which man can be happy is by not consciously striving for the things of which happiness is usually supposed to consist … the need, to borrow the title of C S Lewis’s autobiography, to be in a position where one can be “Surprised by Joy”, rather than imagining that joy is your birthright.

Taylor, D J, Independent on Sunday, 31/03/02, 2.

4/02

HAPPINESS

But I now thought that this end [one’s happiness] was only to be attained by not making it the direct end. Those only are happy (I thought) who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness…  Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness along the way… Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.

Mill, John Stuart, Autobiography (Harvard Classics, Vol. 25, 1909), 94.

7/07

HAPPINESS see GRIEF, 3/2000; STORY 9/06; STRIVING, 10/07

HARMONY, PRE-CONSCIOUS

And time there was – as one may guess
And as indeed, earth’s testimonies tell –
Before the birth of consciousness,
When all went well.//
None suffered sickness, love, or loss,
None knew regret, starved hope, or heart-burning;
None cared whatever crash or cross
Brought wrack to things.//
If something ceased, no tongue bewailed,
If something winced and waned, no heart was wrung,
If brightness dimmed, and dark prevailed,
No sense was stung.//
But the disease of feeling germed,
And primal rightness took the tinct of wrong;
Ere nescience shall be reaffirmed
How long, how long?

Hardy, Thomas, ‘Before life and after’.

11/88

HARVARD LAW see BEHAVIOUR, HARVARD LAW OF ANIMAL, 12/96

HATE see LOVE AND HATE, 6/98

HATRED

A man should not allow himself to hate even his enemies, because if you indulge this passion on some occasions, it will rise of itself in others; if you hate your enemies, you will contract such a vicious habit of mind, as by degrees will break out upon those who are your friends, or those who are indifferent to you.

Plutarch, ‘How one shall be helped by Enemies,’ Moral Essays, quoted & prob. trs. by Addison, Spectator, 24/7/1711

8/2000

HATRED, COLD

The most stormy ebullitions of passion, from blasphemy to murder, are less terrific that one single act of cool villainy: a still RABIES is more dangerous than the paroxysms of a fever – Fear the boisterous savage of passion less than the sedate grin of villainy.

Lavater, Aphorism 63.

1984

HATRED, COLD

Hatred…/… rose not with the reddening flush
Of transient anger’s hasty blush,
But pale as marble o’er the tomb
Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom.

Byron, The Giaiour.

10/89

HEART

I said to Heart,’ How goes it?’  Heart replied:
‘Right as a Ribstone Pippin!’  But it lied.

Belloc, “The False Heart”.

7/88

HEAVEN

Wherever he may go…
Man always has the fear of the beyond,
And glances up with apprehension.
Above is heaven!  Suffocating wall,
Ceiling lit up by opera comical
Where every actor treads on bloody ground;
Terror of libertines, and hermits’ rest,
Heaven!  The black lid of the cauldron vast
Where boils unseen, unnumbered, Humankind.

Baudelaire, “The Lid”, translated by Richardson, Penguin.

11/84

HEAVEN

I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
And a few lilies blow.//
And I have asked to be
Where no storms come,
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
And out of the swing of the sea.

Hopkins, Gerard Manley, “Heaven-Haven – a Nun Takes the Veil”, in The Rattle Bag.

5/98

HEAVEN

They [the faeries] hear the wind laugh and murmur and sing
Of a land where even the old are fair,
And even the wise are merry of tongue.

Yeats, from “The Land of Heart’s Desire”, in The Rattle Bag.

6/98

HEAVEN AND HELL

A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin and asked, ‘Do heaven and hell really exist?’ ‘Who are you?’ inquired the master. ‘I am a samurai’ the warrior replied. ‘You, a samurai?’ exclaimed Hakuin. ‘What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? You have the face of a beggar!’ Nobushige became so angry that he reached for his sword, but Hakuin continued, ‘So you have a sword! Well, you weapon is still probably much too dull to cut off my head!’ As Nobushige drew his sword, Hakuin looked at him and exclaimed, ‘THAT is hell!’ Sheathing his sword, the samurai bowed with great humility and respect. ‘and THIS,’ Hakuin announced, ‘is heaven.’

Quoted in Kapleau, P., The Wheel of Death (Harper and Row, 1971), 54

1/05

HEBRIDEANS

They appear in all their actions to have a certain air of freedom and contempt of these trifles, luxury and ambition, which we so so servilely creep after.  They bind their appetites to their necessities, and their happiness consists, not in having much, but in coveting little. [Sacheverell was the English Governor of the Isle of Man, and visited Mull in the 1690s.]

Sacheverell, William, quoted in W H Murray, The Islands of Western Scotland (Eyre Methuen, 1973), 210.

12/88

HEDONISM

… they may preach
Who please, – the more because they preach in vain,
Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda water the day after.

Byron, Don Juan, II, CCXXVIII.

1/90

HEDONISM

Poor vaunt of life indeed,
Were man but formed to feed
On joy, to solely seek and find and feast:
Such feasting ended, then
As sure an end to men:
Irks care the crop-full bird?  Frets doubt the maw-crammed beast?

Browning, “Rabbi Ben Ezra”.

6/92

HEDONISM see STRIVING, 6/92; ASCETIC AND SENSUALIST, 10/05

HELL

The horrors of hell can be experienced within a single day; that’s plenty of time.

Wittgenstein, Culture and Value, 26e.

1979

HELL

… mark that I do not believe there is such a thing literally, but Hell is that being shut up in the possession of corporeal desires which shortly weary the man, for ALL LIFE IS HOLY.

Blake, Annotations to Lavater, No 309. (Oxford), 74.

1984

HELL

I had but to look upon the persons, in this world, who in their breasts gave scope to hateful feelings; who so hardened their hearts against the Good of whatever kind, and strove to force the Evil on themselves and others: who shut their eyes by day, so they might deny the shining of the sun.  How unutterably wretched did these persons seem to me!  Who could have formed a Hell to make their situation worse?

Goethe, Wilhelm Meister, Carlyle’s translation (Collier, New York, 1962), 358.

9/93

HELL

… If after death you pay for your misdeeds,
Surely the direst and most just requital
Would be to listen while an angel reads
Before a crowd your endless, mean recital://
Golf score cards faked, thefts from your mother’s purse…
But why should Doomsday bother with such stuff?
This is the hell that you already nurse
Within you.  You’ve had punishment enough.

Cameron, Norman, “Punishment Enough”, in The Penguin Book of Unrespectable Verse (1971), 16.

4/97

HELL

Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed
In one self place; for where we are is hell,
And where hell is must we ever be.  [Or ‘… All places shall be hell that are not Heaven.’]

Marlowe, Christopher, Doctor Faustus, act 2, scene 1.

8/99

HELL (CHRISTIAN)

… A Universe of death, which God by curse
Created evil, for evil only good.
Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds,
Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, …

Milton, Paradise Lost, (ii) v 610.

9/87

HELL see JUDGEMENT (CHRISTIAN), 9/87

HELPING OTHERS

Wanting to change or improve someone’s situation means offering him, in exchange for difficulties in which he is practised and experienced, other difficulties which will find him perhaps even more bewildered.  If at any time I was able to pour out into the mould of my heart the imaginary voices of the dwarf or the beggar, the metal of this cast was not obtained from any wish that the dwarf or the beggar might have a less difficult time.  On the contrary: only through a praising of their incomparable fate could the poet, with his full attention suddenly given to them, be true and fundamental, and there is nothing that he would have to fear or refuse so much as a corrected world in which the dwarfs are stretched out and the beggar’s enriched.  The God of completeness sees to it that these varieties do not cease, and it would be a most superficial attitude to consider the poet’s joy in this suffering multiplicity as an aesthetic pretence.  [Or would it?!]

Rilke, letter, 21 October 1924, quoted by Mitchell, Selected Poetry (Picador/Pan, 1987), 299.

7/98

HERO

Show our critics a great man, and they begin to ‘account’ for him, not to worship him, but take the dimension of him, – and bring him out to be a very little kind of man!  He was the ‘creature of the Time,’ they say; the Time called him forth, the Time did everything, he nothing – but what we, the little critic, could have done too! … Alas, we have known Times call loudly enough for the great man; but not find him when they called!  [And]… the Time… had to go down to confusion and wreck because he would not come when called.  [Languid, crumbling times are like dry fuel, waiting for the lightning of the great man to kindle it – the blind generation has faith only in the dead fuel.] … The History of the World was the Biography of Great Men.

Carlyle, Thomas, Heroes and Hero Worship (Collins, no date, written 1840), 21-3.

10/95

HERO see ROMANTIC HERO, 3/91

HERO, SHAM see QUEST, HEROIC, 8/99

HEROISM

[Heroism is a predisposition inclining its bearer toward] an increased probability of entering an occupation not easily to be reconciled with family life.

Fisher, R A, quoted in Sagan and Druyan, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Century, 1992).

4/95

HIDDEN THOUGHTS see PRIVATE THOUGHTS, 10/96; LAUGHTER, 10/96

HIDING see COWERING 8/87

HIERARCHY see EQUALITY, 9/85

HIGH

Hold the hye way, and lat thy gost thee lede;
And trouthe shall delivere, hit is no drede.

Chaucer, ‘Balade de Bon Conceyl’.

5/86

HINDRANCES

The shadows of our own desires stand between us and our better angels, and thus their brightness is eclipsed.

Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, Chapter 29.

10/96

HISTORY

Two things still impress me: the immense inertia of the inherited past and the irrepressible powers of mankind to produce change in spite of it.  [Roberts was the author of The Pelican History of the World.]

Roberts, John, Independent, 17 September 1988, 29.

9/88

HISTORY

[History] tells me nothing that’s does not either vex or weary me… the men are all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all.

Austen, Jane, Northanger Abbey, Ch. 14.

12/91

HISTORY

People have never been able to have a new vision of the future without first revising their idea of the past.

Zeldin, Theodore, An Intimate History of Humanity (Minerva, 1995), 465.

4/99

HISTORY

History… is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.

Gibbon, Edward, ‘The Extent and Military Force of the Empire in the Age of the Antonines’, in Decline and Fall (1776).

10/01

HISTORY

This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet

Groys, Boris, quoted Guardian Review, 12/5/12.

5/12

HISTORY see PERSPECTIVE, 4/99

HISTORY, VALUE OF see PRESENT, LIVING IN THE, 6/2000

HOLOCAUST

[See very moving letter from fictional Jewish woman in Ukrainian Ghetto in 1941, who knows she is doomed to be killed.]

Grossman, Vasily, Life and Fate (R Chandler (trs), Vintage, 2006), 64-77.

6/13

HOLY ENTHUSIASM

He abandoned himself wholly to the feeling of a holy enthusiasm, to those half-spiritual, half physical emotions which, as they for a time exalted him to the third heaven, ere long sank him down to an abyss of powerlessness and vacant misery.

Goethe, Wilhelm Meister, Carlyle’s translation (Collier, New York, 1962), 70.

10/93

HOME AS JOURNEY’S END

In medieval days it seems that a traveller here and there… would journey clean round [the world] and so come back, to his amazement, to the place from which he started.  Here is such an experience from Sir John Mandeville, in his own words: “It was told that is certain worthy man departed some time from our Country for to go search the World… He passed India and the Isles beyond it, where are more than 5000 Isles, and so long and for so many seasons he went by Sea and Land, and so environed the World, that he came at last to an Isle whereon he heard spoken his own language — a calling of oxen in the Plough — such Words in fact as men were wont to speak to Beasts in his own country.  Whereof he greatly marvelled, knowing not how that might be.”  For there… was the chimney of his own house smoking up into the clear morning air!  And what did he do, maybe?  He stared; he sighed; he grew pale; he shuddered: and — he turned back!

de la Mare, Walter, Come Hither (Constable, 1923), 629.

2/03

HOME see HUNTER, 9/87

HOPE

Hope dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope

With that obstreperous joy success would bring.

Browning, “Childe Roland”.

5/92

HORROR

The reason why writers fail when they attempt to evoke horror is that horror is something invented after the fact, when one is recreating the experience over again in the memory.  [Trying to describe flying in a cyclone.]

St.-Exupery, Wind, Sand, and Stars (Penguin, 1966), 64.

3/85

HUMAN BEING

The only animal who can remain on good terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.

Butler, Samuel, quoted in John Grigg, the Wits Dictionary (Angus and Robertson, Australia, 1984).

1/97

HUMAN BEING (BODY)

You tell yourself that it is a woman you hold in your arms, but watching the sleeper, you see all her growth in time, the unerring unfolding of cells which group and dispose themselves into the beloved face which remains always and forever mysterious – repeating to infinity the soft boss of the human nose, an ear borrowed from a sea-shell’s helix, an eyebrow thought-patterned from ferns, or lips invented by bivalves in their dreaming union.  All this process is human, bears a name which pierces your heart, and offers the mad dream of an eternity which time disproves in every drawn breath.  And if human personality is an illusion?  And if, as biology tells us, every single cell in our bodies is replaced every seven years by another?  At the most I hold in my arms something like a fountain of flesh, continuously playing, and in my mind a rainbow of dust.  [The novelist Arnanti is writing.]

Durrell, Lawrence, Clea (Faber), 98.

12/87

HUMAN BEING see SELF 12/11

HUMAN CONDITION see ART, 11/03; PERFECTIBILITY OF MAN, 9/06

HUMAN LIFE

Hideyoshi asked Kuroda Josui: ‘What is the commonest thing in the world?’  – ‘ A man’ ‘What is the rarest?’  ‘A man.’  [An old Zen verse runs:] Many men, but not a man among them.
O man, be a man!  O man, make yourself a man!  [Trying to be the true human being, whose life is necessary to the world.]

Leggett, Trevor, trs, A First Zen Reader (Tuttle, Rutland Vm., 1960), 193.

11/84

HUMAN NATURE AS MIRRORING SELF see SELF HATRED, 7/98

HUMAN QUALITIES

One of the most widespread superstitions is that every man has his own special definite qualities: that a man is kind, cruel, wise, stupid, energetic, apathetic etc..  Men are not like that.  We may say of a man that he is more often kind than cruel [etc. …]; but it would be false to say of one man that he is kind and wise, of another that he is wicked and foolish. … Men are like rivers: the water is the same in each, and alike in all; but every river is narrow here, is more rapid there [etc. …].  Every man carries in himself the germs of every human quality, and sometimes one manifests itself, sometimes another, and the man often becomes unlike himself, while still remaining the same man.

Tolstoy, Resurrection (F R Henderson, 1900, Louise Maude translation) 244.

4/87

HUMANISM

[The anti-humanist] dark prophets, never specifically named, claimed that the price of human freedom was a threefold separation, first from God, then from fellow humans, finally from one’s own self.  What might be termed three schismatic sects arose to confront the threats.  The first, conservatism, accepts the dark prophecy but admits there is no going back in human history: the best one can do is slow the rate of destructive “progress”.  The second, scientism, denies that freedom exists: everything is determined by outside forces anyway, and the most that can be achieved is greater understanding.  The third, individualism, celebrates rather than laments the loss of an illusory solidarity among human beings: only the individual matters anyway.//
… [a fourth tendency is the true humanist, whose answers are] somewhere between servitude and freedom: we have many choices but not about everything, we have autonomy rather than absolute freedom, and we should try to maximise the possibility of self-direction.  Likewise, we are somewhere between rigidly defined creatures of society and isolated savages: we have instinctive needs for fellowship and community, we can negotiate place among our contemporaries, and we should try to maximise the opportunities for sociability.  And finally, we are somewhere between the embodiment of a universal human nature and a collection of anomalous impulses: we have a capacity for recognising moral values, we perceive our own self and its relation to other selves, and we should try to work towards a notion of goodness that can be accepted by all.
Todorov summarises the humanist moral philosophy as “the universality of the they, the finality of the you, and the autonomy of the I”.  Each person is an autonomous subject, and moral choice always involves giving the welfare of the other than higher priority than one’s own, and all of humanity is equally entitled to the humanist’s regard.

Todorov, Tvetan, paraphrased Guardian Review, 16/11/02, 15.

12/02

HUMANITY

[The Bedouin who rescued St.-Exupery from the desert:] You, Bedouin of Libya who saved our lives, though you will dwell for ever in my memory yet I shall never be able to capture your features.  You are Humanity and your face comes into my mind simply as man incarnate. You, our beloved fellow man, did not know who we might be, yet you recognised us without fail.  And I, in my turn, shall recognise you in the faces of all mankind.  You came towards me in an aureole of charity and magnanimity bearing the gift of water.  All my friends and all my enemies march towards me in your person.  It did not seem to me that you were rescuing me: rather did it seem that you were forgiving me.  And I felt I had no enemy in all the world.

St.-Exupery, Wind, Sand, and Stars (Penguin, 1966), 64.

3/85

HUMANITY

Above the nations is humanity.

Goethe, quoted by Fromm, To Have or to Be, 140.

5/88

HUMANITY

Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.

Kant, Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose, quoted Guardian Review, 11/5/13, 18.

5/13

HUMANITY

But the more I saw of the darkness of Fascism, the more clearly I realized that human qualities persist even on the edge of the grave, even at the door of the gas chamber.
My faith has been tempered in Hell. My faith has emerged from the flames of the crematoria, from the concrete of the gas chamber. I have seen that it is not man who is impotent in the struggle against evil, but the power of evil that is impotent in the struggle against man. The powerlessness of kindness, of senseless kindness, is the secret of its immortality. It can never be conquered. The more stupid, the more senseless, the more helpless it may seem, the vaster it is. Evil is impotent before it. The prophets, religious teachers, reformers, social and political leaders are impotent before it. This dumb, blind love is man’s meaning.
Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness. But if what is human in human beings has not been destroyed even now, then evil will never conquer.

Grossman, Vasily, Life and Fate (R Chandler (trs), Vintage, 2006), 394. Written by character Ikonnov in a labour camp.

6/13

HUMANITY (AS ONE UNIVERSAL MAN)

There is a soul above the soul of each
A mightier soul, which yet to each belongs:
There is a sound made of all human speech,
And numerous as the concourse of all songs:
And in that soul lives each, in each that soul;
Thro’ all the ages are its lifetime vast;
Each soul that dies, in its most sacred whole
Receiveth life that shall for ever last.
And thus for ever with a wider span
Humanity o’erarches time and death;
Man can elect the universal man,
And live in life that ends not with his breath,
And gather glory that increaseth still
Till Time his glass with Death’s last dust shall fill.

Dixon, R W, “Humanity”, in Bridges, Spirit of Man, No 157.

7/87

HUMANITY see RELATIONSHIPS, 4/99; WORDSWORTH, 4/04

HUMANITY, VALUE OF

The life of a single human organism commands respect … because of our wonder at the divine or evolutionary processes that produce new lives from old ones, at the processes of nation and community and language through which a human being will come to absorb and continue hundreds of generations of cultures and forms of life … and … at the process of internal personal creation … by which a person will make and remake himself, a mysterious, inescapable process in which we each participate, and which is therefore the most powerful and inevitable source of empathy and communion we have with every other creature who faces the same frightening challenge. The horror we feel in the wilful destruction of a human life reflects our shared inarticulate sense of the intrinsic importance of each of these dimensions of investment.

Dworkin, Ronald, Life’s Dominion, quoted Guardian Review, 30/11/13.

12/13

HUMBOLDT

His company is exceedingly interesting and stimulating.  Within eight days one could not learn as much from books as he imparts in an hour.  [His] presence would suffice to render an entire lifetime interesting and to stir up everything that could possibly be exciting in chemistry, physics and physiology. … he is like a fountain… forever refreshing.

Goethe, quoted in Zeldin, Theodore, An Intimate History of Humanity (Minerva, 1995), 201.

4/99

HUMBOLDT see DISCOVERY OF TRUTH, 4/99

HUMILITY

Humility!  The last trap that awaits the ego in search of absolute truth.  [Clea speaking.]

Durrell, Lawrence, Justine (Faber), 242.

5/87

HUMOUR

True humour springs not more from the head than from the heart; it is not contempt, its essence is love; it issues not in laughter, but in still smiles, which lie far deeper.  It is a sort of inverse sublimity, exalting, as it were, into our affections what is below us, while sublimity draws down into our affections what is above us.

Carlyle, Thomas, in Great Quotations (Readers Digest, 1978), 25.

8/99

HUNTER

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die.
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

Stevenson, R L, ‘Requiem’, in Essays and Poems (Everyman, 1992), 233.

9/87

HYPOCRISY

So easy still it proves in factious times
With public zeal to cancel private crimes.  (Lines 180-86)
[Shimei] Did wisely from expensive sins refrain
And never broke the Sabbath but for gain.  (Lines 587-8)

Dryden, John, “Absalom and Achitophel”.

10/86

HYPOCRISY

[The studious, reasonable man,]… does he always represent… all the things which make for true civilisation?  Here is a fallacy of bookish thought.  Experience offers proof on every hand that vigorous mental life may be but one side of a personality, of which the other is moral barbarism.  A man may be a fine archaeologist, and yet have no sympathy with human ideals.  [Etc.]

Gissing, George, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft (Oxford University Press, 1987, first edition 1903), 35-6.

9/88

HYPOCRISY

Cant is the voluntary overcharging or prolongation of a real sentiment; hypocrisy is the setting up a pretension to a feeling you never had and have no wish for.

Hazlitt, William, quoted in Alec Guinness, A Commonplace Book (Hamish Hamilton, 2001), 114.

9/04

HYPOCRISY AND HONESTY see RELATIVISM, ANTI-, 1/90

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