"We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society."
"One must learn to love.— This is what happens to us in music: first one has to learn to hear a figure and melody at all, to detect and distinguish it, to isolate it and delimit it as a separate life; then it requires some exertion and good will to tolerate it in spite of its strangeness, to be patient with its appearance and expression, and kindhearted about its oddity:—finally there comes a moment when we are used to it, when we wait for it, when we sense that we should miss it if it were missing: and now it continues to compel and enchant us relentlessly until we have become its humble and enraptured lovers who desire nothing better from the world than it and only it.— But that is what happens to us not only in music: that is how we have learned to love all things that we now love. In the end we are always rewarded for our good will, our patience, fairmindedness, and gentleness with what is strange; gradually, it sheds its veil and turns out to be a new and indescribable beauty:—that is its thanks for our hospitality. Even those who love themselves will have learned it in this way: for there is no other way. Love, too, has to be learned.”
"You will be the best judge of what this moment means to you; the rest is silence."
The Shadow of Van Gogh
"The nature of [consciousness] is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere."
She didn’t hold with Darwinian or genetic determinism. Of course she knew that that was how things were, but she didn’t like the way things were. She didn’t approve of it… . She’d like to think one could rediscover an argument that would reinstate the freedom of the will and the adaptability of the species. Otherwise everything was too damn depressing, wasn’t it?
- Margaret Drabble, The Peppered Moth
"The ego is a rat on the sinking ship of being."