His face contained for me all possibilities of fierceness and sweetness, pride and submissiveness, violence, self-containment. I never saw more in it than I had when I saw it first, because I saw everything then. The whole thing in him that I was going to love, and never catch or explain.
He wanted to tell her that he was inspired and vigilant and recklessly alone, that his body contained his unsteady heart and something else, something he felt but could not describe: porous and spiky, shifting with flecks of thought, with urge and memory; salted with brightness, flickerings of white and green and pale gold; something that loved stars because it was made of the same substance.
Beauty is that little something that fills the whole world, and is contained neither in a single straight nose, a long eyelash, nor a blue mountain. Some see it in a leg of mutton, others in a compound fracture; and to expect others to accept one's own definition of it is as absurd as to expect all humanity to use the same toilet-brush.
Each man is contained and constrained, on entering social life, to fit his own life in, just as he fits his words and thoughts into a language that was formed without and before him and which is impervious to his power. Entering the game, as it were, whether of belonging to a nation or of using a language, a man enters arrangements which it does not fall to him to determine, but only to learn and respect the rules.
Truth lies in a small compass! The Aristotelians say, all truth is contained in Aristotle, in one place or another. Galileo makes Simplicius say so, but shows the absurdity of that speech by answering all truth is contained in a lesser compass, namely, in the alphabet.
We're like Magic 8-Balls. After you ask your question and shake the 8-Ball, you read the answer in the little window. If you ever broke open a Magic 8-Ball with a hammer, you discovered that it contained a many-sided plastic object, with an answer on every facet, floating in a cylinder of murky blue fluid. The many-sided core held the answer to your question. My theory is that, as with our children, as with every surface of that geodesic dome inside the 8-Ball, every age we've ever been is who we are.
The burning of a book is a sad, sad sight, for even though a book is nothing but ink and paper, it feels as if the ideas contained in the book are disappearing as the pages turn to ashes and the cover and binding--which is the term for the stitching and glue that holds the pages together--blacken and curl as the flames do their wicked work. When someone is burning a book, they are showing utter contempt for all of the thinking that produced its ideas, all of the labor that went into its words and sentences, and all of the trouble that befell the author. . .
It happens every millennium. Now more than ever, man threatens to destroy himself with his own technology, and all the ideas contained within Big Brother exist within Little Brother. We're all watching ourselves. We are our own oppressors. This is a time when an idea like God is needed more than ever. For me, I've found that God exists within yourself and what you create. The only thing we've got to look forward to is saving ourselves