500+ Sourced quotes
Hermes rolled his eyes. "Surely you've seen network TV lately. It's clear they don't know whether they're coming or going. That's because Janus is in charge of programming. He loves ordering new shows and cancelling them after two episodes. God of beginnings and endings, after all. Anyway, I was bringing him some magic doormats, and I was double-parked-" "You have to worry about double-parking?" "Will you let me tell the story?" "Sorry.
One glance and I knew exactly who and what he was. The classic alpha male, the kind who had spurred evolution forward about five million years ago by nailing every female in sight. They charmed, seduced, and behaved like bastards, and yet women were biologically incapable of resisting their magic DNA.
The spectacle we find in true religions has as its purpose enchantment, not entertainment. The distinction is critical. By endowing things with magic, enchantment is a means through which we may gain access to sacredness. Entertainment is the means through which we distance ourselves from it.
Architecture is the triumph of human imagination over materials, methods, and men, to put man into possession of his own Earth. It is at least the geometric pattern of things, of life, of the human and social world. It is at best that magic framework of reality that we sometimes touch upon when we use the word order.
hither, hither, from thy home, airy sprite, i bid thee come! born of roses, fed on dew, charms and potions canst thow brew? bring me here, with elfin speed, the fragment philter witch i need; make it sweet and swift and stong, spirite amserw now my song hither i come, from my airy home, afar silver moon. take magic spell, and use it well. or its powers will vanish soon!
Then he reflected that reality does not usually coincide with our anticipation of it; with a logic of his own he inferred that to forsee a circumstantial detail is to prevent its happening. Trusting in this weak magic, he invented, so that they would not happen, the most gruesome details.
Today, for the mass of humanity, science and technology embody 'miracle, mystery, and authority'. Science promises that the most ancient human fantasies will at last be realized. Sickness and ageing will be abolished; scarcity and poverty will be no more; the species will become immortal. Like Christianity in the past, the modern cult of science lives on the hope of miracles. But to think that science can transform the human lot is to believe in magic. Time retorts to the illusions of humanism with the reality: frail, deranged, undelivered humanity. Even as it enables poverty to be diminished and sickness to be alleviated, science will be used to refine tyranny and perfect the art of war.
The word patriotism, or its equivalents and derivations, is upon everyone's lips at the present time. It is a magic word which is thought by most people to cover any multitude of sins. To be patriotic in whatever cause is tantamount to being virtuous, while no worse charge can be brought against a man in popular estimation than to say he is unpatriotic.
I must say this now about that first fire. It was magic. Out of dead tinder and grass and sticks came a live warm light. It cracked and snapped and smoked and filled the woods with brightness. It lighted the trees and made them warm and friendly. It stood tall and bright and held back the night.
And as much as I'd like to believe there's a truth beyond illusion, I've come to believe that there's no truth beyond illusion. Because, between 'reality' on the one hand, and the point where the mind strikes reality, there's a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic.
In 1936 the notion of a computable function was clarified by Turing, and he showed the existence of universal computers that, with an appropriate program, could compute anything computed by any other computer. [...] In some subconscious sense even the sales departments of computer manufacturers are aware of this, and they do not advertise magic instructions that cannot be simulated on competitors machines, but only that their machines are faster, cheaper, have more memory, or are easier to program.
People say, I am afraid of changes. But who is asking you to change? Knowledge is not a change. When you see yourself in the mirror, the first thing you will realize is that beauty that you have always looked for is right there. That's the first thing you will realize. That, to me, is the magic of this Knowledge.
I realized then why we respond to the sound of the waves, and the falling of rain, and wind in the trees. Because they are meaningless. They are nothing to do with us. They are outside our control. They remind us of a time, very early in our lives, when we did not understand the noises around us but simply accepted them in our ears; and so they provide blessed relief from our continual needy attempts to change our world in magic deed or endless thought. Meaningless sound, which we love against the anxiety of action, of pattern-making, of seeking to comprehend and change. As soon as we picked up something and used it for a purpose, we were both made and damned. Tool-making gave us the world, and we lost our minds.