Archive for the ‘relationships’ Category

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main

October 20, 2009

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

John Donne, Meditation XVII, English clergyman & poet (1572 – 1631)

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I have felt since early youth the pain of solitude

September 3, 2009

Underlying all occupations and all pleasures I have felt since early youth the pain of solitude. I have escaped it most nearly in moments of love, yet even there, on reflection, I have found that the escape depended partly upon illusion. I have known no woman to whom the claims of intellect were as absolute as they were to me, and wherever intellect intervened, I have found that the sympathy I sought in love was apt to fail. What Spinoza called ”the intellectual love of God” has seemed to me the best thing to live by, but I have not had even the somewhat abstract God that Spinoza allowed himself . . . I have loved a ghost, and in loving a ghost my inmost self has become spectral . . . my most profound feelings have remained always solitary and have found in human things no companionship. The sea, the stars, the night wind in waste places, mean more to me than even the human beings I love best, and I am conscious that human affection is to me at bottom an attempt to escape from the vain search for God.

Bertrand Russell, Ray Monk, vol.1., p.531

Man is a social animal

September 3, 2009

…no one would choose the whole world on condition of being alone, since man is a political (i.e. social) creature and one whose nature is to live with others. Therefore even the happy man lives with others; for he has the things that are by nature good. And plainly it is better to spend his days with friends and good men than with strangers or any chance persons. Therefore the happy man needs friends.

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book IX, 9

What drew me to [him] was that, hearing his voice, I could tell he was very lonesome, very alone, and very lost out in his time. That’s why I dug him.

Bob Dylan on Woody Guthrie

A woman tried to phone a colleague but mis-dialled. She apologised and was about to hang up when the person on the other end of the phone said, ‘Wait! Don’t go! I’m eighty years old and you’re the only person I’ve spoken to all week.’

Fame and Loneliness

September 3, 2009

I feel so alone sometimes. The night is quiet for me. I’d love to be able to sleep. I am glad that everyone is gone now. I’ll probably not rest. I have no need for all this. Help me, Lord.

Elvis Presley

(in his last engagement at the (Las Vegas) Hilton in December 1976, Elvis kept a pad by his bed, and wrote down his thoughts)

We lust for the very thing which is beyond our grasp

August 29, 2009

We value that which we are fortunate to get; we discredit that with which we are stuck! We lust for the very thing which is beyond our grasp; we disdain that same item when it becomes a permanent possession. No toy is ever as much fun to play with as it appeared to a wide-eyed child in a store. Seldom does an expensive automobile provide the satisfaction anticipated by the man who dreamed of its ownership.

James Dobson, Man to Man about Women, p.75

Humans: Made for relationships

August 4, 2009

The worst punishment the French penal convicts had to endure was not beatings or hard work but solitary confinement. Very few men survived extended periods in these cells where silence was strictly enforced. In effect, all human contact was removed. Many went mad or killed themselves. They called solitary the ‘man-eater’.

Papillion wrote of one man who could endure the silence no longer after 36 months. When the warder threatened him to shut up the convict replied: ‘Do you think you can find anything worse than this silence? Punish me as much as you like. Knowck me about if you feel like it…but you;ll never find anything to come up to this silence that you force me to live in. No, no no! I can’t stand it anymore. I can’t stand never hearing a word!

Papillion, p.288