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That had not been the first time nor had it been the last, but all the... Video
That had not been the first time nor had it been the last, but all the years of killing boiled down in essence to that single moment â€” not the time that came after, but that long and terrible instant when he had watched the lines of men purposefully striding up the slope to kill him. It had been in that moment that he had realized the insanity of war, the futile gesture that in time became all but meaningless, the unreasoning rage that must be nursed long beyond the memory of the incident that had caused the rage, the sheer illogic that one man, by death or misery, might prove a right or uphold a principle. Somewhere, he thought, on the long backtrack of history, the human race had accepted an insanity for a principle and had persisted in it until today that insanity-turned-principle stood ready to wipe out, if not the race itself, at least all of those things, both material and immaterial, that had been fashioned as symbols of humanity through many hard-won centuries.
Simak, Clifford D.
My brother is one of the best of Squares, just, sensible, cheerful, and not without fraternal affection; yet I confess that my weekly interviews, at least in one respect, cause me the bitterest pain. He was present when the Sphere manifested himself in the Council Chamber; he saw the Sphere's changing sections; he heard the explanation of the phenomena then given to the Circles. Since that time, scarcely a week has passed during seven whole years, without his hearing from me a repetition of the part I played in that manifestation, together with ample descriptions of all the phenomena in Spaceland, and the arguments for the existence of Solid things derivable from Analogy. Yet â€” I take shame to be forced to confess it â€” my brother has not yet grasped the nature of the Third Dimension, and frankly avows his disbelief in the existence of a Sphere. Hence I am absolutely destitute of converts, and, for aught that I can see, the millennial Revelation has been made to me for nothing. Prometheus up in Spaceland was bound for bringing down fire for mortals, but I â€” poor Flatland Prometheus â€” lie here in prison for bringing down nothing to my countrymen. Yet I exist in the hope that these memoirs, in some manner, I know not how, may find their way to the minds of humanity in Some Dimension, and may stir up a race of rebels who shall refuse to be confined to limited Dimensionality. That is the hope of my brighter moments. Alas, it is not always so. Heavily weighs on me at times the burdensome reflection that I cannot honestly say I am confident as to the exact shape of the once-seen, oft-regretted Cube; and in my nightly visions the mysterious precept, "Upward, not Northward", haunts me like a soul-devouring Sphinx. It is part of the martyrdom which I endure for the cause of the Truth that there are seasons of mental weakness, when Cubes and Spheres flit away into the background of scarce-possible existences; when the Land of Three Dimensions seems almost as visionary as the Land of One or None; nay, when even this hard wall that bars me from my freedom, these very tablets on which I am writing, and all the substantial realities of Flatland itself, appear no better than the offspring of a diseased imagination, or the baseless fabric of a dream.
I realized that more and more I was saying, "It seems to me that we have come to the time war ought to be given up. It no longer makes sense to kill 20 million or 40 million people because of a dispute between two nations who are running things, or decisions made by the people who really are running things. It no longer makes sense. Nobody wins. Nobody benefits from destructive war of this sort and there is all of this human suffering." And Einstein was saying the same thing of course. So that is when we decided â€” my wife and I â€” that first, I was pretty effective as a speaker. Second, I better start boning up, studying these other fields so that nobody could stand up and say, "Well, the authorities say such and such "
I have tried to show that the Perennial Philosophy and its ethical corollaries constitute a Highest Common Factor, present in all the major religions of the world. To affirm this truth has never been more imperatively necessary than at the present time. There will never be enduring peace unless and until human beings come to accept a philosophy of life more adequate to the cosmic and psychological facts than the insane idolatries of nationalism and the advertising manâ€™s apocalyptic faith in Progress towards a mechanized New Jerusalem. All the elements of this philosophy are present, as we have seen, in the traditional religions. But in existing circumstances there is not the slightest chance that any of the traditional religions will obtain universal acceptance. Europeans and Americans will see no reason for being converted to Hinduism, say, or Buddhism. And the people of Asia can hardly be expected to renounce their own traditions for the Christianity professed, often sincerely, by the imperialists who, for four hundred years and more, have been systematically attacking, exploiting, and oppressing, and are now trying to finish off the work of destruction by â€œeducatingâ€� them. But happily there is the Highest Common Factor of all religions, the Perennial Philosophy which has always and everywhere been the metaphysical system of prophets, saints and sages. It is perfectly possible for people to remain good Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, or Moslems and yet to be united in full agreement on the basic doctrines of the Perennial Philosophy.
The industrial followed by the scientific revolution, combined with a world population explosion, have produced one of the most serious situations that the world has experienced since the flood. The sheer weight of numbers of the human population, our habitations, our machinery and our ruthless exploitation of the living and organic resources of the earth; together these are changing our whole environment. This is what we call progress and much of this development is naturally to the direct and welcome benefit of mankind. However, we cannot at the same time ignore the awkward consequences and the most direct and menacing, but not the only consequence of this change, is pollution....Pollution is a direct outcome of man's ruthless exploitation of the earth's resources. Experience shows that the growth of successful organic populations is eventually balanced by the destruction of its own habitat. The vast man-made deserts show that the human population started this process long ago. There are two important differences today. In the first place the process has gone from a walking pace to a breakneck gallop. Secondly we know exactly what is happening. If not exactly in all cases, we know enough to appreciate what is happening and the need to take care...Pollution is no longer a matter of local incidents, today it has the whole biosphere in its grip. The processes which devastated the Welsh valleys a hundred years ago are now at work, over, on and under the earth and the oceans. Even if we bury all this waste underground there still remains the risk that toxic materials through chemical reactions will be washed out and into underground water courses. If ever there was an area of research more closely related to human welfare it is the problem of the safe disposal of waste and effluents...The fact is that we have got to make a choice between human prosperity on the one hand and the total well-being of the planet Earth on the other. Even then it is hardly a choice because if we only look for human prosperity we shall certainly destroy by pollution the earth and the human population which has existed on it for millions of years...If the world pollution situation is not critical at the moment it is as certain as anything can be that the situation will become increasingly intolerable within a very short time. The situation can be controlled and even reversed but it demands co-operation on a scale and intensity beyond anything achieved so far...I realise that there are any number of vital causes to be fought for, I sympathise with people who work up a passionate concern about the all too many examples of inhumanity, injustice, and unfairness, but behind all this hangs a really deadly cloud. Still largely unnoticed and unrecognised, the process of destroying our natural environment is gathering speed and momentum. If we fail to cope with this challenge, all the other problems will pale into insignificance.
He stood with his back angled to the wall. To an indifferent observer he was simply in idle conversation, but it wasn't like that at all. This was an instinctive gesture of survival, being in constant readiness for an attack. His head didn't turn and his eyes didn't seem to move, but I knew he saw us. I could feel the hackles on the back of my neck stiffening and I knew he felt the same way. Dog was meeting dog. Nobody knew it but the dogs and they weren't telling. He was bigger than I thought. The suggestion of power I had seen in his photographs was for real. When he moved it was with the ponderous grace of some jungle animal, dangerously deceptive, because he could move a lot faster if he had to. When we were ten feet away he pretended to see us for the first time and a wave of charm washed the cautious expression from his face and he stepped out to greet Dulcie with outstretched hand. But it wasn't her he was seeing. It was me he was watching. I was one of his own kind. I couldn't be faked out and wasn't leashed by the proprieties of society. I could lash out and kill as fast as he could and of all the people in the room, I was the potential threat. I knew what he felt because I felt the same way myself.
I believe that in the 20th century, humanity has learned from many, many experiences. Some positive, and many negative. What misery, what destruction! The greatest number of human beings were killed in the two world wars of this century. But human nature is such that when we face a tremendous critical situation, the human mind can wake up and find some other alternative. That is a human capacity.
We have lost a battle, but I assure to you that we will not lose the war! I cannot say more at the present moment although I know the losses are crowded in your minds. That this happened does not hold importance. What counts is not to lose confidence in the future of Germany. At the same time everyone must understand the gravity of the situation. This moment will be enough to distinguish the true men from the inept ones. Every soldier has the same responsibilities: if the advancing one falls, another must be ready to take his place in order to go on.
Among the agonies of these after days is that chief of torments â€” inarticulateness. What I learned and saw in those hours of impious exploration can never be told â€” for want of symbols or suggestions in any language. I say this because from first to last our discoveries partook only of the nature of sensations; sensations correlated with no impression which the nervous system of normal humanity is capable of receiving. They were sensations, yet within them lay unbelievable elements of time and space â€” things which at bottom possess no distinct and definite existence. Human utterance can best convey the general character of our experiences by calling them plungings or soarings...
H. P. Lovecraft
If we work upon marble, it will perish if we work upon brass, time will efface it if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust but if we work upon immortal minds and instill into them just principles, we are then engraving that upon tablets which no time will efface, but will brighten and brighten to all eternity.
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