The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing.
It was sometimes feebly argued, as the political and military war against this enemy ran into difficulties, that it was 'a war without end.' I never saw the point of this plaintive objection. The war against superstition and the totalitarian mentality is an endless war. In protean forms, it is fought and refought in every country and every generation. In bin Ladenism we confront again the awful combination of the highly authoritarian personality with the chaotically nihilist and anarchic one. Temporary victories can be registered against this, but not permanent ones. As Bertold Brecht's character says over the corpse of the terrible Arturo Ui, the bitch that bore him is always in heat. But it is in this struggle that we develop the muscles and sinews that enable us to defend civilization, and the moral courage to name it as something worth fighting for.
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival. p.71Affection is taken as the image when God is represented as our Father; Eros, when Christ is represented as the Bridegroom of the Church. p.78The little pockets of early Christians survived because they cared exclusively for the love of the brethren and stopped their ears to the opinion of the Pagan society all around them. p.70Friendship is even, if you like, angelic. But man needs to be triply protected by humility if he is to eat the bread of angels without risk. p.87
Those darling byegone times, Mr Carker,' said Cleopatra, 'with their delicious fortresses, and their dear old dungeons, and their delightful places of torture, and their romantic vengeances, and their picturesque assaults and sieges, and everything that makes life truly charming! How dreadfully we have degenerated!
All the practical principles behind the Innovator's case for posterity, or society, or the species, are there from time immemorial in the . But they are nowhere else. Unless you accept these without question as being to the world of action what axioms are to the world of theory, you can have no practical principles whatsoever. You cannot reach them as conclusions: they are premises. (...) If nothing is self-evident, nothing can be proved. Similarly, if nothing is obligatory for its own sake, nothing is obligatory at all.
I think I am beginning to understand why grief feels like suspense. It comes from the frustration of so many impulses that had become habitual. Thought after thought feeling after feeling action after action had H. for their object. Now their target is gone. I keep on through habit fitting an harrow to the string then I remember and have to lay the bow down. So many roads lead through to H. I set out on one of them. But now there's an impassable frontier-post across it. So many roads once now so many culs de sac.