# a summary of my adolescence
Slumped shoulders, wild eyes, and a stumbling gait -- this one is no more good to us.
-- Unknown, Unix Fortune Database
Breakdown of the thalamus explains why trauma is primarily remembered not as a story, a narrative with a beginning middle and end, but as isolated sensory imprints: images, sounds, and physical sensations that are accompanied by intense emotions, usually terror and helplessness.
-- Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps The Score
Jade kicks her shoeless feet behind her slowly, as if she's swimming with the current of the gravitational waves pulling her ever closer to their source. Her feet aren't completely bare; they're still covered by her gray-striped witch stockings. But the ruby slippers are gone. She kicked them off hours ago, as if to jettison all hope of returning anywhere resembling a place she used to call home. The fond remembrance of such a place no longer has any pull on her.
Now, something else entirely is pulling her.
Believe me, I'm sympathetic to the temptation. It's always just there, isn't it? A limitless reservoir of emptiness, perfectly available to you, patient, omnipresent, and dead ahead.
-- Andrew Hussie, Homestuck
Psychologists usually try to help people use insight and understanding to manage their behavior. However, neuroscience research shows that very few psychological problems are the result of defects in understanding; most originate in pressures from deeper regions in the brain that drive our perception and attention. When the alarm bell of the emotional brain keeps signaling that you are in danger, no amount of insight will silence it.
I am reminded of the comedy in which a seven-time recidivist in an anger-management program extols the virtue of the techniques he's learned: "They are great and work terrific -- as long as you are not really angry."
-- Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps The Score
This is it, huh?
-- My grandmother, to me, on her deathbed
Alien archaeologists millions of years from now have a heated debate over the prospects for civilization on Sol III. The "optimist school" argue that if Yellowstone had not exploded and killed all advanced life, the indigenous civilization would have ultimately spread into the stars the same way they had. The "pessimist school" argue that if Yellowstone had not exploded and killed all advanced life, the indigenous civilization would have gone extinct anyway because of its own self-destructive environmental, economic, and militarist tendencies. Both schools base this primarily on the artifacts found in a place they call "Boise, Idaho," which was preserved intact thanks to being instantly buried under ten metres of volcanic ash, though no one is sure how to pronounce the words "Boise" or "Idaho" in the indigenous alphabet.
-- vyelkin, C-SPAM
Virtually nothing is known, in bacteria or humans, about how combinations of external stimuli of differing valence are integrated with interoceptive cues into a coherent behavioral response.
-- Pamela Lyon, The Cognitive Cell
"What are you looking for?" I said.
"Oh, secrets," he said. "You know. Essences. Inherentnesses."
"Bravo on that ugly word. And?"
"And there aren't any."
"Mmm," I said. "Awkward."
"That's defeatist talk. I'll cobble something together. A scholar can never let mere wrongness get in the way of the theory."
"Bravo again." I toasted him.
-- China Mieville, Embassytown
Žižek repeatedly argues that the most uncanny or abyssal Thing in the world is the subject's own active subjectivity -- which is why he also repeatedly cites the Eastern saying that "Thou art that." It is finally the singularity of the subject's own active agency that subjects misperceive in fantasies concerning the sublime objects of their regimes' ideologies, in the face of which they can do nothing but reverentially abide by the rules.
-- Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Zizek, Slavoj
When it was gone, and there was everywhere beneath us the waste of rolling water and nothing more, the beast turned her head to regard me. Her beak was the beak of an ibis, her face the face of a hag; on her head was a miter of bone. For an instant we regarded each other, and I seemed to know her thought: You dream; but were you to wake from your waking, I would be there.
-- Gene Wolf, The Book of the New Sun
Deleuze argued that the self, a concept that evokes self primarily as an entity, as separate or finite matter, is a misleading and erroneous way of conceiving what it is to be human. He was interested in thinking of human subjects as movement, as made up of intersecting lines of force where matter and force are not separable.
-- Meenu Gupta, Reflections of Indian Philosophy in Deleuze’s 'Body without Organs'
There is a hole at the center of everything
And it is always growing
Between the stars i am seeing it
It is coming
And you are not escaping
And the universe is forgetting you.
And the universe is being forgotten
And there is nothing to remember it
Not even the things beyond
And now there is only the hole
You are atoms.
And your atoms are not caring if you are existing
Your atoms are monstrous existence
Little creature, you are not chosen
There is no one to choose you
This is going no where
We are not meeting again
And the universe is forgetting you
And I am remembering you
But not because i am caring
The beginning is moments ago
The end is moments away
There is no time to forget
Before all is forgotten
Goodbye, little creature
-- Scott Benson, Night in the Woods
The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.
-- Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World
Feel my vessel go up in flames
Flesh torch lit by the unnamed
Direct connection to the source
Vestment of unnatural force
Forever burning black torch
Shining to reveal the ways
Of a darkness that pervades
All that is and ever was
Inferno of witches' blood
Worship is not on bended knee
Nature knows not of mercy
To pray is to accept defeat
Power pisses on the weak
Bowed and beheaded by the beast
Beggar on a bitch's leash
Scum is desperate for relief
-- Death Grips, Beware
"I understood, at last. What real power is, what the victor, is." Her phosphorous eyes blaze, and the mask reappears, stealing over any echo of the person she might have once been. "You know, don't you? It's that empty waste, at the end of everything. The ultimate culmination of all our faith and all our failures." Her voice turns soft, both superior and hollow. "I will see it. I will stand there, in the ashes of the universe, and I will have satisfaction."
-- Blue_Sunshine, https://archiveofourown.org/works/22336816/chapters/55011409
Tokusan brought his notes on the Diamond Sutra to the front of the hall, pointed to them with a torch, and said, "Even though you have exhausted the abstruse doctrines, it is like placing a hair in a vast space. Even though you have learned all the secrets of the world, it is like a drop of water dripped on the great ocean." And he burned all his notes. Then, making bows, he took his leave of his teacher.
-- Mumon, The Gateless Barrier (Katsuki Sekida Translation)
You want to do some good in the world?
You want to make a difference?
You move things around and you call it change.
You put your back to entropy and grin like a tourist,
Smug thumbs-up for the camera,
Look at me, doing my bit!
Give it up.
Stones only fall one way.
Make yourself ART -- and die fulfilled.
-- ParaTactician, https://archiveofourown.org/works/472520/chapters/1023869
What we know comes to so little,
what we presume is so much,
what we learn, so laborious,
we can only ask quesions and die.
Better save all our pride
for the city of the dead
and the day of carrion:
there, when the wind shifts
through the hollows of your skull
it will show you all manner of
enigmatical things, whispering truths in the
void where your ears used to be.
-- Pablo Neruda