Food For Thought

A Collection of Heretical Notions and Wretched Adages
compiled by Jack Tourette

author index



[see also: ALPHA/OMEGA]

Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.

William Blake (1757-1827)
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
1790-1793, Plate 3

Body and soul are not two different things, but only two different ways of perceiving the same thing. Similarly, physics and psychology are only different attempts to link our experiences together by way of systematic thought.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Albert Einstein, The Human Side, 1979
Edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman

Unity is plural and, at minimum, is two.

R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)
Synergetics, 1975
"Moral of the Work"
Section 224.12

Everything tends to make us believe that there exists a certain point of the mind at which life and death, the real and the imagined, past and future, the communicable and the incommunicable, high and low, cease to be perceived as contradictions.

Andre Breton (1896-1966)
"Second Manifesto of Surrealism", 1930

To place one in the position of God is painful: being God is equivalent to being tortured. For being God means that one is in harmony with all that is, including the worst. The existence of the worst evils is unimaginable unless God willed them.

Georges Bataille (1897-1962)
"Bataille, Feydeau and God"
Interview with Marguerite Duras
France-Observateur, 1957

"You see, Micky...I can always see two sides of a question."

And his reply, blindingly swift, was: "Only two, Fran? What a frightfully narrow-minded person you must be!

James Hilton (1900-1956)
The Meadows of the Moon, 1927
Chapter 1, "Michael", 16

Among men, it seems, historically at any rate, that processes of co-ordination and disintegration follow each other with great regularity, and the index of the co-ordination is the measure of the disintegration which follows. There is no mob like a group of well-drilled soldiers when they have thrown off their discipline. And there is no lostness like that which comes to a man when a perfect and certain pattern has dissolved about him. There is no hater like one who has greatly loved.

John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
and Edward Flanders Ricketts (1897-1948)
The Log from the Sea of Cortez, 1951
Chapter 28 "April 11"

To reject the shadow side of life and pass it by with averted eyes, refusing our share of common sorrow while expecting our share of common joy, would cause the unlived, closed-off shadows in us to deepen into fear, including the fear of death.

Huston Smith (b.1919)
Cleansing the Doors of Perception, 2000
Chapter 5 "The Sacred Unconscious"

...I think that whenever you run up against either/or formulations, you should try to replace it with both/and.

Andrew T. Weil (b.1942)
The Psychedelic Vision at the Turn of the Millenium
Preconference to the 1997 Association for Transpersonal Conference
Monterey, California, 31 July-01 August 1997



Ah! what would the world be to us
If the children were no more?
We should dread the desert behind us
Worse than the dark before.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
The Courtship of Miles Standish and Other Poems, 1859

Our children are not individuals whose rights and tastes are casually respected from infancy, as they are in some primitive societies.... They are fundamentally extensions of our own egos and give a special opportunity for the display of authority.

Ruth Fulton Benedict (1887-1948)
Patterns of Culture, 1934
Chapter 7 "The Nature of Society"

Young people are more hopeful at a certain age than adults, but I suspect that's glandular. As for children, I keep as far from them as possible. I don't like the sight of them. The scale is all wrong. The heads tend to be too big for the bodies, and the hands and feet are a disaster. They keep falling into things. The nakedness of their bad character! We adults have learned how to disguise our terrible character, but children, well, they are like grotesque drawings of us. They should be neither seen nor heard, and no one must make another one.

Gore Vidal (b.1925)
Conversations With Gore Vidal, 1981

With the open eyes of their dead fathers
Toward other worlds they gaze ahead --
Children who, wide-eyed, become
Periscopes of the buried dead.

Andrei Voznesensky (1933-2010)
Nostalgia for the Present, 1978
Translated by William Jay Smith and Vera Dunham

I've never understood why people consider youth a time of freedom and joy. It's probably because they have forgotten their own.

Margaret Atwood (b.1939)
"Hair Jewelry"
Ms., New York, 1976

When I was baby, I kept a diary. Recently, I was rereading it. It said, "Day One: Still tired from the move." "Day Two: Everybody talks to me like I'm an idiot."

Steven Wright (b.1955)
Saturday Night Live, NBC-TV
06 April 1985

I think an embryo/fetus/baby becomes a "person" when it is smarter than a non-primate like a dog. By those standards, chimpanzees and gorillas are persons (although somewhat cognitively impaired -- kind of like Fundamentalist Christians), but human newborns are not.

David S. Touretzsky

© 1999 by MonkeyPants Press, an imprint of Bonobo Books, a division of Consolidated Trout, Ltd.
Last update: 03-July-2015
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