Kafka, again

“We are as forlorn as children lost in the wood. When you stand in front of me and look at me, what do you know of the griefs that are in me and what do I know of yours? And if I were to cast myself down before you and tell you, what more would you know about me that you know about Hell when someone tells you it is hot and dreadful?

“We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes.”

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“A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle;…they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other; age creeps upon them; infirmities follow; …those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. It (the release) comes at last—the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them—and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence,…a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever.”

Mark Twain

Who am I?

“Who am I? I am one who finds his life a question, whose life is always being put in question, which is what gives life its salt. We seek but do not find, not quite, not if we are honest, which does not discourage the religious heart but drives it on and heightens the passion, for this is one more encounter with the impossible. We may and we must have our opinions on the subject; we must finally reach a judgment and take a stand about life, but my advice is to attach a coefficient of uncertainty to what we say, for even after we have taken a stand, we still do not know who we are.”

John D. Caputo, On Religion

A comfortable idolatry

“Orthodoxy is idolatry if it means holding the ‘correct opinions about God’ – ‘fundamentalism’ is the most extreme and salient example of such idolatry – but not if it means holding faith in the right way, that is, not holding it at all but being held by God, in love and service. Theology is idolatry if it means what we say about God instead of letting ourselves be addressed by what God has to say to us. Faith is idolatrous if it is rigidly self-certain but not if it is softened in the waters of doubt.”

John D. Caputo, What Would Jesus Deconstruct?

“We are not authors of our lives; we are not even part-authors of the events that mark us most deeply. Nearly everything that is most important in our lives is unchosen. The time and place we are born, our parents, the first language we speak – these are chance, not choice. It is the casual drift of things that shapes our most fateful relationships. The life of each of us is a chapter of accidents.”

– John Gray, philosopher

“The incompetent always present themselves as experts, the cruel as pious, sinners as devout, usurers as benefactors, the small minded as patriots, the arrogant as humble, the vulgar as elegant, and the feeble-minded as intellectual.”

-Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Angel’s Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2)