What ‘no’ means, in the final analysis, is always “If you continue to do that, something you do not like will happen to you.” Otherwise it means nothing. Or worse, it means “another nonsensical nothing muttered by ignorable adults.” Or worse still, it means, “all adults are ineffectual and weak.” This is a particularly bad lesson, when every child’s destiny is to become an adult, and when most things are learned without undue personal pain are modelled or explicitly taught by adults). What does a child who ignores adults and holds them in contempt have to look forward to? Why grow up at all? And that’s the story of Peter Pan, who thinks all adults are variants of Captain Hook, tyrannical and terrified of his own mortality (think hungry crocodile with clock in his stomach).

-Dr. Jordan Peterson, Twelve Rules for Life, 140. An interesting consideration on the origin of the Peter Pan complex, perhaps?

And yet, for Seneca, in so far as we can ever attain wisdom, it is by learning not to aggravate the world’s obstinacy through our own responses, through spasms of rage, self-pity, anxiety, bitterness, self-righteousness and paranoia. A single idea recurs throughout his work: that we best endure those frustrations which we have prepared ourselves for and understand and are hurt most by those we least expected and cannot fathom. Philosophy must reconcile us to the true dimensions of reality, and so spare us, if not frustration itself, then at least its panoply of pernicious accompanying emotions.

-Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy, 81.

“All that hooey! The trance and the white cocks and the brazier and the pentagrams and the voodoo and the reversed crucifix – all that was for the crudely superstitious. And the famous “box” was a bit of hooey for the contemporary-minded. We don’t believe in spirits and witches and spells nowadays, but we’re a gullible lot when it comes to “rays” and “waves” and psychological phenomena. That box, I bet, is nothing but a nice little assembly of electrical show-off, coloured bulbs and humming valves. Because we live in daily fear of radio fall out and strontium 90 and all the rest of it, we’re amenable to suggestion along the line of scientific talk. The whole set-up at the Pale Horse was bogus!”

-Christie, The Pale Horse, 210-211.

All life is dangerous. We forget that,we who have been reared in one of the small pockets of civilization. For that is all that civilization really is, Easterbrook. Small pockets of men here and there  who have gathered together for mutual protection and  who thereby are able to outwit and control Nature. They have beaten the jungle – but that victory is only temporary. At any moment, the jungle will once more take command. Proud cities that were, are now mere mounds of earth, overgrown with rank vegetation, and the poor hovels of men who just manage to keep alive, no more. Life is always dangerous – never forget that. in the end, perhaps, not only great natural forces, but the work of our own hands may destroy it. We are very near to that happening at this moment…”

-Christie, The Pale Horse, 182.

“But for the vast majority of romance readers, the hero should be a strong, confident, swaggering alpha. “I think this is one of the problems we’re having in romance in general right now: our heroes have gotten a little too PC. We’re portraying men the way feminist ideals say they should be – respectful and consensus-building,” muses Angela Knight. “Yet women like bad boys. I suspect that’s because our inner cave woman knows Doormat Man would become Sabertooth Tiger Lunch in short order. In fact, this may be one reason why EroRom is gaining popularity so fast – writers feel free to write dominant heroes with more of an edge.”

-Ogas and Goddam, A Billion Wicked Thoughts, 97.

“Our desiring model – our romantic theology – has emphasized that we are creatures who love first and foremost. The most basic way that we intend the world is on the affective order of love. This love constitutes our fundamental and governing orientation to the world. As such, our love is always ultimately aimed at a telos, a picture of the good life that pulls us toward it, thus shaping our actions and behavior. This orientation is something that comes before thinking; thus we’ve described it as precognitive. It is more at work at the level of the adaptive unconsciousness or the “social imaginary”. Our love is aimed from the fulcrum of our desire – the habits that constitute our character, or core identity. And the way our love or desire gets aimed in specific directions is through practices that shape, mold, and direct our love.”

-James K. A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation, 80.

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