Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Types of Trauma

I am in an internal space, non-verbal space, so I'm not posting much.  I have been thinking/emoting a lot about this process of trauma.  It is INTERESTING that the same experience that might permanently scar one person won't even be remembered by another.  What makes the difference?

I would propose it is your digestive capability, your processing capability, your ability to integrate.  Thus, I propose four grades of trauma:

1) Life trauma: this you can integrate into an existing sense of self with little modification.  This would include the death at a normal age of a parent.

2) Life trauma that forces an improvement in your sense of self.  Example would be Marine Boot Camp.  Most people leave feeling a part of something larger than themselves, more energetic, and more disciplined.  War, similarly, has this effect on many people; others it breaks--see number 4.

3) Life trauma that forces a degradation in your sense of self.  An example would be a bad marriage, in which to keep things together you have to sacrifice parts of yourself that are important.

4) Life trauma you can't integrate at all, like premature sexual experience/molestation, or "combat fatigue".  This goes into a hidden, timeless place which you can't remember well, but which frequently sends out signals in all sorts of weird ways that it is still there and unprocessed.

I love to quote myself--another bon mot

Some errors are so egregious they take a Harvard education to rationalize, and a Phd to repeat.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bon Mot

There is no such thing as gun control: there is only CITIZEN control.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Good polite gun freedom argument

I have a Facebook friend who is quite different than me politically, but who for certain reasons I have always tried to respond to more gently than I normally would.  Here is what I wrote in response to his most recent call for increased gun controls (note both that we ALREADY have gun controls, and that our basic position is best expressed as the fight for continued gun freedom).  I doubt it convinced him, but he "Liked" it, so I suspect it did succeed in convincing him that at least my position is not definitionally one of being callous. 

{}. my reading of the actual, empirical evidence is that guns are used ten times by honest people to protect themselves from harm for every one time they are used in the commission of crimes. One statistic will show the pattern: when Concealed Carry laws are passed, homicide rates go DOWN, by a national average of 8.5%. Why this would be, should be obvious enough. Criminals vastly prefer being the only ones armed. This means that, statistically, 8.5% of the murders in all States that do NOT have relatively lax Concealed Carry Laws were PREVENTABLE. This means the living breathing human beings, with families, kids, parents, jobs are murdered in these States simply because guns--like all tools, and they are tools--can be abused. The salient question, though, is: what public policy has the longest, best track record at preventing unnecessary death and violence? Yes, people use guns for suicide. Yes, accidents happen. But the evidence is that the quality of life is best when gun ownership is easy, and worse when it is not. Only 4% of guns used in crimes were purchased legally. Ponder that fact, then add the fact that at the moment there are well over a 100 million guns in circulation, many of them never registered. The practical, empirical, and moral approaches to this question all lead, in my mind, to the belief that we would be better served with MORE guns, and more places to carry them. I am compassionate. I do want what is best for my fellow humans. And after giving this a LOT of thought, these are the policy positions I have adopted as most likely to foster peace, and the well being of our nation.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cleve Backster--PLEASE SHARE

In this experiment, which is easily replicated--as shown by the Mythbusters link following--measurements are made which are inexplicable within the dominant contemporary models of life.

Please watch this clip.  It is just over 8 minutes, but powerful:

Here is a modern replication of this experiment, done some 40 years after the original experiments, but with a Stoelting 22600, the same model Backster used.  It is just over five minutes:

In this Mythbusters episode, you will note that they start not just as skeptics, but believing that the very idea is farcical.  In the end, though, as they say, "it's hard to dispute the ink."

Watch their reactions, though: having found something potentially very profound, they more or less shake it off and move on.  This has been the history of reactions to Backsters work, which is a shame.  People have a hard time seeing the large.  As Churchill put it, "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."

Please do me, yourself, and your children a favor: share this post with absolutely everyone you know who may benefit from it, but PARTICULARLY with anyone you may know in the life sciences.  My goal is that some brave soul somewhere, ideally with tenure, will replicate this experiment in a formal academic setting and get it published in a journal of the sort that will make this work hard to ignore.

PLEASE do what you can to make this happen.  Thanks!!!!

The political power of flanking--PLEASE READ

Most leftists--all, if we only include actual and latent Cultural Sadeists--lack a coherent meaning system based on a sincere sense of connection with others outside their political involvement--which is to say personality involvement based on power and conformity.

Obama does not believe in God.  He does not relate to or care about poor people.  He does not relate to or really care about poor black kids in single parent homes living in poverty.  Nor does he truly hate the wealthy, per se.  He rubs elbows with them daily.  Nor does he oppose privilege.  He enjoys it every day, and works to build it for his supporters in a thoroughly nepotistic way.

What he believes in is distinction: he and his against everyone else.  He KNOWS, based on long experience, that the invocation of hate can win him power and all that goes with it.

Yet, we ARE connected, and it can be shown, empirically.

For me, and here is the crux of this post, the most important thing we can do is generalize awareness of Cleve Backsters work, and do everything possible to get it incorporated into the modern life sciences.  It will work to erode atheism, and that in turn will work to erode the ENTIRETY of the Leftist project.  I truly believe this.  ALL of it is based, ultimately. on flawed metaphysics. 

Personally, I have had cards printed up, and have decided to start sending letters, physical letters, to biology professors, challenging them to try and replicate Backster's work.  I am also going to create a one page summary of my economics plan, and challenge economics professors to consider it.  This, too, has the potential to radically alter our political landscape.

There is a need to maintain the battle in the center.  We should not let up at all.  Yet, we also need to understand that you can't win an argument.  You can overpower someone with reason and fact, but that doesn't mean they will change their mind.  They just hate you more.  A very special set of circumstances has to be in place for people to more or less grant someone else moral or intellectual superiority, and one key element is usually the ability to do so without a perceived loss of dignity.

Working on the metaphysical level--which is what this is--enables that, in my view.

I will summarize the ideas in my next post, and encourage those with the inclination to share it with any folks they know involved in the life sciences in any form, but particularly plant biologists.  Our goal is to get findings published in a well regarded journal that quite simply are inconsistent with materialistic atheism, and thus the dominant thrust of our age.


I rarely use this word, quite consciously.  Its meaning has been overpowered by overuse.

Still.. . .

I spent the last week doing (W)holotropic breathwork, and came back with some little tingle in me that might be love.  I look at people, and I see the scars, the hidden wounds, the worries, uncertainties, constrictions of motion.  If I do this long enough, I think I will come very close to being able to read people's minds, without using psychic abilities at all.

And I can look people in the eye and say without words "your wounds do not scare me."  Many people--particularly very wounded people, of whom I met a few this week--have throughout their lives seen fear in people's eyes when they tried to share their experience.  This song expresses this nicely, and the video compliments this well: Lyle Lovett's "Pontiac"  (I will add, that his wife won't stop talking because his eyes make her uncomfortable, but neither of them know what to do about it.  Such is the human condition.)

I rarely quote Gandhi either.  It is cliche.  I put few people on pedestals.  Yet: "be the change you want to see in the world".  Do you need comforting?  Do you feel sad?  Then comfort others, and be happy.  They are like you.  No different.  The chain must be broken.  The cross must be borne.

Politically--one of my preferred means of expressing what might be termed love--it seems to me that we have developed a very vocal, engaged group of conservatives.  Even on the HuffPo, there is quite a bit of dissent.  I see many well reasoned, factually congruent arguments across the internet, which did not seem to be the case 4 years ago.  There is no reason to believe it will subside.  How can it?  All the arguments are valid, and things are getting worse.  Love for our children, and respect for those who came before dictates a fight.

For me personally though, it seems like my highest and best use is in writing, which in turn necessitates reading.  I want to write a book on my economic plan, and I want to develop a church, both of which will take time that is probably NOT better spent arguing with fools on the internet, or even typing here.  I lack discipline, so I may well continue to post here often, but my plan is to try to redirect that energy into the less immediately satisfying task of reading books.

I do also have a plan to start writing professors of biology and economics, which I will deal with in the next post for simplicity.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bon Mots

Beginners mind is unconscious skill. (OK: not so bonmotish, but hell, I like it).

Misery is often a means but never an end.

I've been off in the desert, literally and figuratively, the past week.  I'll have more to say soon enough if anyone has missed my public ideosyncrasies.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A is A

This was a popular phrase with Ayn Rand.  I can't remember if I've posted on this, but if so, I apologize.  Usually I can come up with a slight variation in how I repeat myself.

The only reason to say this is in response to people saying "A is NOT A".  Who were these people?  Philosophically, I don't know who she thought she was responding to, but psychologically I would submit that this was a response to her narcissistic mother.

Narcissists lie pathologically.  They confuse the border between themselves and others.  This is particularly damaging in the relationship between a mother and a child, particularly a daughter.  They will feel something, and assume you are feeling it too, when you are not.  This leads to all sorts of issues with emotional development.  The child become unable to accurately label its own feelings, and tends to doubt their truth outright.  They tend to avoid emotions.

This was certainly the case with Rand, who was obsessively, compulsively intellectual, spending many hours every day for many years talking in the abstract with her coterie of admirers. Her only genuine spontaneity seems to have come when she would celebrate something by breaking out records from her childhood and dancing to what she called "Tiddlywink" music, in what seems to have been a genuine but happy regression to some happy periods of her life.

To counter the ill effects of such a childhood, you have to develop a strong will, and the ability to enforce borders and boundaries.  You have to be willing to call a lie a lie.

This is what Rand was doing, in my view.  A is A means "I will not accept covert attacks on my personhood, and my understanding of truth which flows from it."  She was very dogmatic.  On many occasions she banished those unwilling to meekly accept her version of truth.  She was rigid, because becoming that way had been a requirement for her psychic survival.

Now, I have planned for some time a more comprehensive treatment of her ideas, but have not been successful in my time management to the extent I would have liked.  I have been spending a lot of time trying to sort my own issues out.  But I will read Galt's speech, Rourke's speech (sp?), and rescan her biography, and the plot synopses. 

I am in no way trying to minimize the value of her contributions.  For a period of time, hers was virtually the only voice speaking out against Collectivism.

And we need to be clear: Narcissism is a FOUNDATIONAL psychological element in socialism.  It is the conceit that the needs of one person are equal to those of another.  It is by definition a cultural blending that diminishes the individual both philosophically and practically.  It is the creed of malignant mothers demonically feeding on their children.  It is the creed of zombies and vampires.  This is the heart, even if many nice people are fooled into thinking that their politics is a way of improving the world.


I will often see things being uncovered in the dirt when I am having my deeper, more expository dreams.  Our brain's silt of forgetting covers up so much.  The other day I had a dream like that, but it was recovering a memory of my grandfather's.

This raises an interesting question: if you can remember someone else's memories, who are you?  For me, the feeling was one of relief.  I could see THERE, there is where it started.  And that memory was clearly part of me.  His experience became the experience of my parent, and thus my own.  We all live in long lines stretching across unfathomably large expanses of time.  And yet all of that is still here, now.  I exist the way I do because of a decision someone made a million years ago.

As I recall (and I recall mistakenly sometimes) Nietszche considered "the Asian religions" (in roughly that broad stroke, although I'm sure he would have known some Sanskritists and Sinologists) to be pessimistic because they viewed life as drudgery, and the task to escape it, to escape Samsara.  Now, he was an atheist, so this life is all he got, so logically he HAD to make the best of it, which is how he came up with living the same life over and over and being OK with it. (One wonders: is he doing this in some otherworldly sphere now? It's an interesting thought).

But if we drop the materialism, what we get is the possibility of experiential EXPANSION.  When you lose your "self", you are not shrinking.  You are not dying.  That is what your brain tells you, since its job is to differentiate things, to make sure you know this is this and that is that, and the two are not the same.

But experientially, in the same way perhaps you are overcome with emotions when going into a splendid and beautiful new room for the first time, or hearing music that just transports you somewhere else, growing into a larger self is a pleasurable, exciting process.  You are not losing: you are gaining.  You are becoming larger. Your perceptual power is increasing.  Your flexibility of motion is increasing.  The best positive emotions you have access to are being refined in quality and intensity.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Joy this side of pain is fragile; joy that side of pain is priceless.

Adapted from a quote from Oliver Wendall Holmes on a different topic.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Posted on Michael Yon

 I have not posted on there in a while, but I feel I had a comment or two not make it through a while back, so I'm cross posting here.  Here is the original link:

Overall, this is a thoughtful piece.  You are trying to walk the line between those who want to blame PTSD for everything, and those who want to pretend it is just a species of moral weakness.

As I think most reflective people will realize, all of us are some combination of our heritage, our history--genetic and sociopsychological--and our individual wills.  I think all of us are born with predispositions, which are further shaped by our decisions, which I tend to term "non-statistical coherence".  By that, I mean that individual agency can disrupt otherwise dominant patterns in ways which are greatly muted in lower animals like dogs, and absent entirely in animals like insects.

In this particular case, we need to understand that PTSD is not a single, unitary disorder, but a complex of tendencies created in a normally much more pronounced way in vulnerable individuals via combat than many other sources.  Being the son of an abusive alcoholic is not fundamentally different than going through tough combat situations, but if you combine the two, the net effect will no doubt be larger.

In my considered view, we need to increase the mental health of our nation across the board.  This would include work--such as the meditation exercises the Marines have been experimenting with--that works to inoculate against the accumulation of stress.  As a nation, we need to learn how to relax deeply.  Virtually our entire culture works against this currently.

Finally--and yes I grant this is a bit meandering since I am thinking out loud--I would submit that the shooter, who according to reports I read was a Marine, did also at one point in his life sign a contract to protect and defend the Constitution, with the understanding that it might cost his life.

We don't know who he is, or what makes him tick, but we DO know that a common outcome of prolonged combat is increased issues with anger.  Yes, they may be increased relative to preexisting issues with anger--combat seems to find character flaws and amplify them--but this shooting would likely not have happened had this man never signed that contract.  That is speculation, but likely in my view accurate speculation.

His life is over too.  If he goes the Timothy McVeigh route, he will be executed in relatively short order.  Certainly, he will be behind bars the rest of his life.  I do not think it is pushing my logic too far to call him a combat casualty too, although of course I am open to further information.

Actually, one more note: if you have not read it, I suggest you read Judith Herman's "Trauma and Recovery".  It was very eye-opening to me.  A case can be made that exposure to combat is not all that different than exposure to rape.  It is a trauma; some people deal with it without issue, but others don't.  A variety of factors affect what that outcome is, and some of them can be named and measured.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


There are several excerpts from books I have been meaning to transcribe for some time.  Here is one, from Judith Hermann's excellent "Trauma and Recovery"

Pages 11-14.  There is much to ponder here, and many insights to win.

The ambition of Charcot's followers was to surpass his work by demonstrating the causes of hysteria.  Each wanted to be the first to make the great discovery.  In pursuit of their goal, these investigators found that it was not sufficient to observe and classify hysterics.  It was necessary to talk with them.  For a brief decade men of science listened to women with a devotion and a respect unparalleled before or since.

These investigations bore fruit.  By the mid 1890's both Janet in France and Freud in Vienna had arrived independently at strikingly similar formulations: hysteria was a condition caused by psychological trauma.  Unbearable emotional reactions to traumatic events produced an altered state of consciousness, which in turn induced the hysterical symptoms.  Janet called this alteration in consciousness "dissociation" and Freud and Breuer "double consciousness."

Both Janet and Freud recognized the essential similarity of altered states of consciousness induced by psychological trauma and those induced by hypnosis. Janet believed that the capacity for dissociation or hypnotic trance was a sign of psychological weakness and suggestibility.  Breuer and Freud argued, on the contary, that hysteria, with its associated alterations of consciousness, could be found among "people of the clearest intellect, strongest will, greatest character, and highest critical power".

Both Freud and Janet recognized that the somatic symptoms of hysteria represented disguised representations of intensely distressing events which had been banished from memory. Janet described his hysterical patients as governed by "subconscious fixed ideas", the memories of traumatic events.  Breuer and Freud, in an immortal summation, wrote that "hysterics suffer mainly from reminiscences."

By the mid 1890's these investigators had also discovered that hysterical symptoms could be alleviated when traumatic memories, as well as the intense feelings that accompanied them, were recovered and put into words.  This method of treatment became the basis of modern psychotherapy.. .

In spite of an ancient clinical tradition that recognized the association of hysterical symptoms with female sexuality, Freud's mentors, Charcot and Breuer, had been highly skeptical about the role of sexuality in the origins of hysteria.  Freud himself was initially resistant to the idea: "When I began to analyze the second patient . . .the expectation of a sexual neurosis being the basis of hysteria was fairly remote from my mind.  I had come fresh from the school of Charcot, and I regarded the linking of hysteria with the topic of sexuality as a sort of insult--just as the women patients themselves do.

This empathic identification with his patients reactions is characteristic of Freud's early writings on hysteria.  His case studies reveal a man possessed of such passionate curiosity that he was willing to overcome his own defensiveness, and willing to listen.  What he heard was appalling. Repeatedly his patients told him of sexual assault, abuse, and incest.  Following back the thread of memory, Freud and his patients uncovered major traumatic events of childhood concealed beneath the more recent, often relatively trivial experiences that had triggered the onset of hysterical symptoms.  By 1896 Freud believed he had found the source.  In a report on on 18 case studies, entitled "The Aetiology of Hysteria", he made a dramatic claim: "I therefore put forward the thesis that at the bottom of every case of hysteria there are one or more occurrences of premature sexual experience, occurences which belong to the earliest years of childhood, but which can be reproduced through the work of psycho-analysis in spite of the intervening decades.  I believe that this is an important finding, the discoverty of a caput Nili in neuropathology."

A century later, this paper still rivals contemporary clinical descriptions of the effects of childhood sexual abuse.  It is brilliant, compassionate, eloquently argued, closely reasoned document.  Its triumphant title and exultant tone suggest Freud viewed his contribution as the crowning achievement in the field.

Instead, the publication of "The Aetiology of hysteria" marked the end of this line of inquiry.  Within a year, Freud had privately repudiated the traumatic theory of the origins of hysteria.  His correspondance makes clear that he was increasingly troubled by the radical social implications of his hypothesis.  Hysteria was so common among women that if his patients stories were true, and if his theory were correct, he would be forced to conclude that what he called "perverted acts against children" were endemic, not only among the proletariat of Paris, where he had studied hysteria, but also among the respectable bourgeois families of Vienna, where he had established his practice.  This idea was simply unacceptable.  It was beyond credulity.

Faced with this dilemna, Freud stopped listening to his female patients.  The turning point is documented in the famous case of Dora. This, the last of Freud's case studies on hysteria, reads more like a battle of wits than a cooperative venture.  The interaction between Freud and Dora has been described as "emotional combat".  In this case, Freud still acknowledged the reality of his patient's experience: the adolescent Dora was being used as a pawn in her father's elaborate sexual intrigues.  Her father had essentially offered her to his friends as a sexual toy.  Freud refused, however, to validate Dora's feelings of outrage and humilitation.  Instead he insisted on exploring her feelings of erotic excitement, as if the exploitative situation were a fulfillment of her desire.  In an act that Freud viewed as revenge, Dora broke off treatment.

The breach of their alliance marked the bitter end of an era of collaboration between ambitious investigators and hysterical patients. For close to a century these patients would again be scorned and silenced.  Freud's followers held a particular grudge against the rebellious Dora, who was later described by a disciple as "one of the most repulsive hysterics he had ever met".

Out of the ruins of the traumatic theory of hysteria, Freud created psychoanalysis.  The dominant theory of the next century was founded in the denial of women's reality. [emphasis mine]

Saturday, February 2, 2013

More guns less crime

John Lott, 1998 interview.  Two excepts:

The horrific shooting in Arkansas occurred in one of the few places where having guns was already illegal. These laws risk creating situations in which the good guys cannot defend themselves from the bad ones. I have studied multiple victim public shootings in the United States from 1977 to 1995. These were incidents in which at least two or more people were killed and or injured in a public place; in order to focus on the type of shooting seen in Arkansas, shootings that were the byproduct of another crime, such as robbery, were excluded. The effect of “shall-issue” laws on these crimes has been dramatic. When states passed these laws, the number of multiple-victim shootings declined by 84 percent. Deaths from these shootings plummeted on average by 90 percent, and injuries by 82 percent. 


The total number of accidental gun deaths each year is about 1,300 and each year such accidents take the lives of 200 children 14 years of age and under. However, these regrettable numbers of lives lost need to be put into some perspective with the other risks children face. Despite over 200 million guns owned by between 76 to 85 million people, the children killed is much smaller than the number lost through bicycle accidents, drowning, and fires. Children are 14.5 times more likely to die from car accidents than from accidents involving guns. 

HuffPo post on Skepticism

 From here:

I will add that Shermer apparently had the hots for some hippy chick back in the day.  She dumped him, and he has acted like somebody crapped in his corn flakes ever since.  NONE of these people are scientifically credible. They simply ignore what they don't like.  You want a dragon in a garage?  Then come look in the fucking garage, instead of running away at top speed.

True science--not what you practice--is value free.  The word "extraordinary" connotes value, which means that it HAS NO PLACE in scientific discussion.  There are two possible conditions: observable, and not observable.  If it is observable, it belongs in science.  If it is not observable, it is either irrelevant or wrong.

Culturally, what is wrong with you people--and there is clearly a cultish group calling themselves "skeptics" to which one might properly refer in this sense--is that you only apply "reason and empiricism" to claims you already support.  What does not support your claims--most notably that materialism is even REMOTELY a consistent position with respect to the best data we have as to how the universe works--you ignore.

True, scientific skepticism is equidistance from both belief and disbelief.  True skeptics do not ask "is this claim extraordinary?", but simply "what is the data?"

To take one obvious example, the work of Cleve Backster is CLEARLY not explainable within a materialistic, mainstream paradigm.  Yet he has been ignored for 40 or so years, despite replicating his own work MANY times, and having written a book on it, published some 9 years ago.  I researched this the other day and was only able to find ONE effort at replicating his work, and at that by a self acknowledged skeptic.  All has to know about skeptical self reporting is that James Randi is the final judge as to whether or not he will give HIS money to someone he hates.

Like all his ilk, Shermer is an angry man dedicated to ideas which are both pernicious and wrong.  For actual skeptics, I will suggest watching this video:

Then this one:

That is DATA. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Notes, quotes, grabbag continued

You can have a name without an experience, and an experience without a name.  One obvious example: you can know what saffron IS without knowing what it TASTES like.  Conversely, you can sense a familiar taste in your food, but be utterly unable to name it.

I have a note to discuss the Ethiopian famine.  The short version--which by the way I have verified in personal conversation with people from Ethiopia--is that Communists took over and tried to collectivize farming.  This meant highly stupid policies in which people were moved at the point of guns from farms which were working and feeding people to places chosen nearly at random by people who did not understand farming, but who wanted it all to happen in one place and in a certain way.  This is what provoked the need for Bob Geldof to create an international aid blitz.  Many, many people died quite simply as a result of the accession to power of people who were arrogant, ignorant, and indifferent to human suffering.

I will note that virtually no one realized--at the time, or now--that this famine was artificial and brought about by policies that in general are supported by New York and California elites and their ilk.

Persevere in what you want to define you.

Attention is a scarce resource with alternative uses (borrowing from Sowell's definition of economics).  Wealth is meaning and engagement.  A meaning system allocates attention.  So does a truth system.  A meaning system is true if it works.

Ref: previous quote: all life is economics.

Economic growth is mixing chemicals together that take time to react.

Think of profit as a tip for service.

There will be more tomorrow. I  am organizing and want to get rid of this pile.


I sometimes keep the pages on my planner that have quotes I like on them.  I'm going to record some here without comment:

Where is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making.  John Milton

Discovery consists in seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.  Albert Szent-Gyurgyi

Conspiracy is paradigmatic thinking.  Me.  That should be a note, but I have a pile to get through.

Costs are foregone opportunities.  Me again, on the costs of taxes and meeting regulation.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.  Thomas Jefferson.

The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that, while all politicians lie, Republicans have an alternative.  Me.

It seems to me we lack identities until we choose them, as what we are willing to limit our freedom of movement for.  Given this, the development of psychological health is a function of consciously choosing one thing and not another, and not regretting the choice.  Me.

I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.  Thomas Paine.

Finding the right work is like discovering your own soul in the world.  Thomas Moore.

For man's greatest actions are performed in minor struggles.  Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment, and poverty are battlefields which have their heroes--obscure heroes who are at times greater than illustrious heroes.  Victor Hugo

A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.  Goethe.

Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.  Whitehead.

90% of all those who fail are not actually defeated.  They simply quit.  Paul Meyer.

The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.  Disraeli.

Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.  Jane Addams.

[note to self: can Arabic distinguish linguistically between law and principle?]

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.  My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad belief in the preponderance of good and a willing effort always to cooperate with the good, that it may prevail.  Helen Keller.

That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer.  Jacob Bronowski.

The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them.  G.K. Chesterton.

Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.  Henry Brooke Adams

Celebrity-worship and hero-worship should not be confused.  Yet we confuse them every day, and by doing so we come dangerously close to depriving ourselves of all real models.  Daniel Boorstin.

Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.  John Dalberg.

Strengthen me by sympathizing with my strength, not my weakness.  Amos Bronson Alcott

To live life well is to express is poorly; if one expresses life too well, one is living it no longer.  Gaston Bachelard. (I cannot resist speculating that he was a bit rotund)

The inevitability of gradualness cannot fail to be appreciated.  Sidney Webb (founding member of the Fabian Society).

Bon Mot

Poorly done is still better than well said.