Thursday, June 4, 2015

Quotables From WILFRED

I've been watching the show WILFRED. I like it a lot. It is dark and raunchy at points but ultimately it is about one man's struggle with the meaning of experiences that are almost too much for him to bear. The infinite manifests itself as various visions. He cannot tell whether these visions correspond to anything outside of his head or not, though. Is he crazy? Or is he connected to something Deeper? Is this mystical experience? Or schizophrenia? These questions resonate with me. Each episode begins with a quote. Here is a collection of them. They are excellent. Some are followed by commentary.

"Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination."- Mark Twain
 [I've always found this to be true.]

"Trust thyself only, and another shall not betray thee." - Thomas Fuller
[Oh if it were only that easy. The hardest part of life is that you are forced to trust those you are inclined not to. Trusting others is non-optional. But how is one to be comfortable with that, knowing human nature to be what it is?]

"Fear has its uses but cowardice has none." - Mahatma Ghandi 
[To understand this quote, one must remember that Aristotle taught us that bravery is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to act in the face of fear.]

"Happiness can exist only in acceptance." - George Orwell 
[The Serenity Prayer, anyone?]

"Seek respect mainly from thyself, for it comes first from within." - Steven H. Coogler
[But to respect oneself, one must first respect others. Even with have to give respect to get respect.]

"Conscience is the dog that can't bite, but never stops barking." - Proverb

"In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes." - Steven H. Coogler

"Anger as soon as fed is dead -- tis starving makes it fat." - Emily Dickinson
[Recent studies have shown this may not be true. "Healthy outlets" for aggression may not relieve it.]

"Make no judgements where you have no compassion." - Anne McCaffrey
[There is no justice without mercy.]

"Isolation is a self-defeating dream." - Carlos Salinas de Gortari
[Any thoughts on this one? I got nothing]

"Doubt must be no more than vigilance, otherwise it can become dangerous." - George C. Lichtenberg 
[This may be one of the greatest reflections on doubt I've ever read. Yes, this is what doubt is about, really. It is not about a stultifying skepticism that prevents creative belief or action, but about a certain type of mindfulness...mindfulness of what one does not know.]

"Love is a willingness to sacrifice." - Michael Novak 
[I believe Novak is a Christian, and so the wisdom here is not surprising.]

"The value of identity is that so often with it comes purpose." - Richard R. Grant 
[But can one have purpose without identity?]

"Discontent is the first necessity of progress." - Thomas Edison 
[Oh, absolutely. This is a major line of criticism of Buddhism, for me.]

"Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go." - Herman Hesse 

"Let not a man guard his dignity but let his dignity guard him." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
[I got nothing.] 

"Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving." - Erma Bombeck
[Guilt is not in and of itself bad. Guilt that has no end is. We must have someone who can both judge and forgive. Without that we are lost.]

"Be here now." - Ram Dass 
[I'm trying]

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