...the tragedy of consumerism: one acquires more and more things without taking the time to ever see and know them, and thus one never truly enjoys them. One has without truly having. The consumer is right-there is pleasure to be had in good things, a sacred and almost unspeakable pleasure, but the consumer wrongly thinks that one finds this pleasure by having more and more possessions instead of possessing them more truly through grateful contemplation. And here we are, living in an economy that perpetuates this tragedy.
The imagination acquires by custom a certain involuntary, unconscious power of observation and comparison, correcting its own mistakes, and arriving at precision of judgment, just as the outward eye is disciplined to compare, adjust, estimate, measure, the objects reflected on the back of its retina.
Remove justice, and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale?... A gang is a group of men... in which the plunder is divided according to an agreed convention. If this villainy... acquires territory, establishes a base, captures cities and subdues people, it then openly arrogates to itself the title of kingdom.
The more one suffers, the more, I believe, has one a sense for the comic. It is only by the deepest suffering that one acquires true authority in the use of the comic, an authority which by one word transforms as by magic the reasonable creature one calls man into a caricature.
Certain supplementary restrictions imposed on the text compel us to perceive it as poetry. As soon as one assigns a given text to the category of poetry, the number of meaningful elements in it acquires the capacity to grow and the system of their combinations also becomes more complex.
There's something nearly mystical about certain words and phrases that float through our lives. It's computer mysticism. Words that are computer generated to be used on products that might be sold anywhere from Japan to Denmark - words devised to be pronounceable in a hundred languages. And when you detach one of these words from the product it was designed to serve, the words acquires a chantlike quality.
No matter what we have come through, or how many perils we have safely passed, or how many imperfect and jagged - in some places perhaps irreparably - our life has been, we cannot in our heart of hearts imagine how it could have been different. As we look back on it, it slips in behind us in orderly array, and, with all its mistakes, acquires a sort of eternal fitness, and even, at times, of poetic glamour.
For there is no virtue, the honour and credit for which procures a man more odium from the elite than that of justice; and this, because more than any other, it acquires a man power and authority among the common people. For they only honour the valiant and admire the wise, while in addition they also love just men, and put entire trust and confidence in them.
When desire, having rejected reason and overpowered judgment which leads to right, is set in the direction of the pleasure which beauty can inspire, and when again under the influence of its kindred desires it is moved with violent motion towards the beauty of corporeal forms, it acquires a surname from this very violent motion, and is called love.