Saturday, August 25, 2018

Full score please!

"Typographically the volume, crafted by the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, is a superior piece of book-making—though lamentably with footnotes placed at the end of a chapter.  (What would be thought of a piece of music in which the bass clef followed some pages after the treble clef?)"

Friday, August 24, 2018

"God does not fit in an occupied heart."

     St. John of the Cross, Llama de amor viva (The living flame of love) iii.48, trans. Kavanaugh & Rodriguez (Collected works of St. John of the Cross (Washington, DC:  ICS Publications, 1973), 628).
It [(the intellect)] thereby empties itself of everything comprehensible to it, because none of that is God; as we have said, God does not fit in an occupied heart.
Obras de San Juan de la Cruz, Doctor de la Iglesia, ed. Silverio de Santa Teresa, tom. 4 (Burgos:  Tipografia «El Monte Carmelo», 1931), 182:
pues que se va vaciando de todo lo que en él podia caer, porque nada de ello era Dios, pues, como habemos dicho, Dios no puede caber en él [(alternatively, from Madrid. Bib. Nac. Ms. 17.950, the variant translated by Kavanaugh & Rodriguez:  no puede caber en el corazón ocupado)]. . . .
Despite the phrase "as we have said" ("como habemos dicho"), an Adobe Acrobat search of the PDF of tom. 4 of the Obras (above) revealed no other occurrence of the exact phrase "no puede caber" in the Llama de amor viva (but two irrelevant occurrences on p. 365 of tom. 1 and p. 373 of tom. 3).

"The psychic machinery [of the false self-project] runs by itself, ever exacerbating one’s slavery to conditioning, and, moment to moment, steals attention from the real present and blows it like fluffy spores of milkweed down the lanes of the past or up the streets of the future."

     Philip Novak, "Attention," The encyclopedia of religion, 2nd ed., ed. Lindsay Jones (Detroit:  Macmillan Reference USA, 2005), vol. 1, p. 607 (603-610).

"not into those things which are about to be and be passing but into those which are before"

     St. Augustine, Confessions XI.xxix.39.  Trans. Chadwick:
'forgetting the past' and moving not towards those future things which are transitory but to 'the things which are before' me. . .
Trans. Pine-Coffin:
"forgetting what I have left behind.  I look forward, not to what lies ahead of me in this life and will surely pass away, but to my eternal goal.
The Latin, continuing on beyond this point just a bit:
praeterita oblitus, non in ea quae futura et transitura sunt, sed in ea quae ante sunt non distentus sed extentus, non secundum distentionem sed secundum intentionem sequor ad palmam supernae vocationis. . . . 
having forgotten the past; not into those things which are about to be and be passing but into those which are before; not distended but extended; not according to distention but according to intention do I press towards the prize of the supernal vocation. . . .
This is so indescribably rich in context!

Monday, August 20, 2018

The frog in the kettle

     "But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That's the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in '43 had come immediately after the 'German Firm' stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in '33. But of course this isn't the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.
     "And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying 'Jew swine,' collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way."

     Milton Mayer, They thought they were free:  the Germans, 1933-1945 (Chicago:  The University of Chicago Press, 2017 [1955]), 170-171, as checked against the online version in Google Books.  I was put onto this by James Williams, Stand out of our light:  freedom and resistance in the attention economy (Cambridge, UK:  Cambridge University Press, 2018), 94.

To be petty is "to pursue a low-level goal as though it were a higher, intrinsically valuable one."

     James Williams, Stand out of our light:  freedom and resistance in the attention economy (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2018), 57.  The OED supports this.