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Enduring Insights from Fiction

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Chukka View Post
    “Time erodes gratitude more quickly than it does beauty
    So true. 'But what have you done for me today?' is the story of the human race.

    This seems to sum up the modern word though:

    'My mind is a mess. I don't know what to think or how to feel. The Patty Winters Show this morning was about Salad Bars.'
    Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

    That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by holly6 View Post
      There seems to be a bit of interest in my Benet quote, so I will add this.
      By the Waters of Babylon Is a short story Benet wrote in 1937. It's a quick easy read and can be found on line here.

      http://www.tkinter.smig.net/outings/...ts/babylon.htm

      Enjoy
      I haven't read that story, but a couple weeks ago I put Stephen Vincent Benet's epic poem "John Brown's Body" on my 2015 reread shelf. I loved that as a young person, and memorized hunks of it. I particularly want to read the rhythms and doom of the "This is the last" sequence, where the South's soon-to-be-lost plantation lifestyle is observed and treasured at one lovely dance by the poet, watching the people who do not know it will all be gone by the next day as the young men go off to a war they do not know they will lose.

      I guess that's a truth about war in fiction --- that everywhere there is an elaborate life people have made, then war comes and it is all suddenly destroyed, forever, and is different thereafter, with different people. This is the last, this is the last. I have read a Zen point that we should always live as if that were going to be true at every next moment.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Phebe View Post
        I haven't read that story, but a couple weeks ago I put Stephen Vincent Benet's epic poem "John Brown's Body" on my 2015 reread shelf. I loved that as a young person, and memorized hunks of it. I particularly want to read the rhythms and doom of the "This is the last" sequence, where the South's soon-to-be-lost plantation lifestyle is observed and treasured at one lovely dance by the poet, watching the people who do not know it will all be gone by the next day as the young men go off to a war they do not know they will lose.

        I guess that's a truth about war in fiction --- that everywhere there is an elaborate life people have made, then war comes and it is all suddenly destroyed, forever, and is different thereafter, with different people. This is the last, this is the last. I have read a Zen point that we should always live as if that were going to be true at every next moment.
        Zen-no past, no future--just the present.
        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
          Zen-no past, no future--just the present.
          I consider this valid in the context of how one conducts his own life.

          The counterpoint is that we are exchanging these ideas through a medium based not on Zen but on linear algebra and quantum mechanics. Each must be understood in its proper context.
          Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

          Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by GCoyote View Post
            I consider this valid in the context of how one conducts his own life.

            The counterpoint is that we are exchanging these ideas through a medium based not on Zen but on linear algebra and quantum mechanics. Each must be understood in its proper context.
            That's a proper western perception.

            IMHP(perception), these exchanges are natural visions of a detached leaf drifting through a breeze, a dew drop poised at the end of a leaf.
            Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 30 Jan 15, 09:52.
            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
              This extended, descriptive paragraph from Solzhenitsyn's August 1914 in 1972 prepared me for hard times in the military. It is about General N. N. Martos, cdr XV Corps, in the Second Army at the Battle of Tannenberg.

              "Yet Martos failed to detect any sign of a major victory resulting from his own unbroken series of local successes. All his gains seemed somehow to be won in vain.

              "But he continued fighting hard, just as an experienced actor goes on playing despite the fact that his partners are missing their cues and fluffing their lines, that the heroine's wig has come unstuck, that one of the scenery flats has fallen over, that there is an intolerable draft backstage, that the audience is whispering loudly and seems to be jostling for the exits. So, like the professional that he was, Martos went on playing his role: at least the show was not going to flop if he could help it, and he might even succeed in pulling the rest of the company through."

              Its on my "to read" pile......
              Lance W.

              Peace through superior firepower.

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              • #22
                Found a misplaced C P Snow, "In Their Wisdom", with highlighted insights.

                "Stupid intellectuals are the biggest curse we've got. Clever intellectuals have their uses. (He employed the word clever in the old-fashioned Cambridge manner, as a term of praise.)"

                "Commentators had the knack for taking the meaning out of words..."

                "Men were curious about each other's illnesses when they became old enough."
                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                • #23
                  Found a misplaced C P Snow, "In Their Wisdom", with highlighted insights.

                  "Stupid intellectuals are the biggest curse we've got. Clever intellectuals have their uses. (He employed the word clever in the old-fashioned Cambridge manner, as a term of praise.)"

                  "Commentators had the knack for taking the meaning out of words..."

                  "Men were curious about each other's illnesses when they became old enough."

                  "...some old mathematician saying that in an air raid he took refuge under the arch of probability."
                  Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                  Comment

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