Ineffable Quotes

Quotes tagged as "ineffable" (showing 1-14 of 14)
Geoffrey M. Gluckman
“Feel your emotions,
Live true your passions,
Keep still your mind.”
Geoffrey M. Gluckman

Lauren Oliver
“She liked the word ineffable because it meant a feeling so big or vast that it could not be expressed in words.

And yet, because it could not be expressed in words, people had invented a word to express it, and that made Liesl feel hopeful, somehow.”
Lauren Oliver, Liesl & Po

Abraham Joshua Heschel
“The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding. Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh. We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore. Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another. Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap. They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.”
Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion

Aimee Bender
“No one needed to say it, but the room overflowed with that sort of blessing. The combination of loss and abundance. The abundance that has no guilt. The loss that has no fix. The simple tiredness that is not weary. The hope not built on blindness.”
Aimee Bender, Willful Creatures

Rebecca Solnit
“Every walker is a guard on patrol to protect the ineffable.”
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Kathleen Norris
“I was taught that I had to 'master' subjects. But who can 'master' beauty, or peace, or joy?”
Kathleen Norris, The Psalms with Commentary

Richard  Holmes
“Physical vision - one might say scientific vision - brings about a metaphysical shift in the observer's view of reality as a whole. The geography of the earth, or the structure of the solar system, are in an instant utterly changed, and forever. The explorer, the scientific observer, the literary reader, experience the Sublime: a moment of revelation into the idea of the unbounded, the infinite.”
Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science

John Green
“When observation fails to align with a truth, what do you trust--your senses or your truth? The Greeks didn't even have a word for blue. The color didn't exist to them. Couldn't see it without a word for it.

I think about her all the time. My stomach flips when I see her. But is it love, or just something we don't have a word for?”
John Green, Turtles All the Way Down

Robert Coover
“...'Well, I think of you as a straight shooter, Sheriff, but one who can't stop lustin' after the goddamn ineffable.'
"She said that, hunh?"
"Shitfire, Sheriff, what'd you do?"
"Well, I shot her.”
Robert Coover, A Night at the Movies, Or, You Must Remember This: Fictions

Gregory Maguire
“But so often, before words can rise to the mind to imply the ineffable, the ineffable has effed off.”
Gregory Maguire, Out of Oz

Steven James Taylor
“No, no,” howled Shadow. “Do not keep me here!”
“Do you not love the boy?” said the voice of the sea.
“Love is terrible!” Shadow howled.
“I know,” replied the sea.
“It is full of hurt.”
“It is. But do you not love the boy?”
“I do love the boy!” the dog cried.
“You cannot leave the boy in this storm, not if you truly love him,” she said.”
Steven James Taylor

C. Sean McGee
“I once spent a weekend on Earth,
With two men (of science; and god)
One man convinced me I did not exist,
And the other that I was a fraud.
In both men I saw the same reason,
In bothmen i saw the same light,
So I left for another dimension,
Assuming that both men were right."

- The Alien

From the novel 'Ineffable”
C.SeanMcGee, Ineffable

“...imagine that you hold in one hand an oddly shaped stone. You keep this hand closed into a fist, but still you can feel the stone’s curvature and the pointed edges, the roughness—of course, you know the relative size and weight and might even have a mental image of the color of this stone, even if you have not yet laid eyes upon it. Imagine that stone in your hand. Imagine what it is like to know everything about the way it feels, but nothing of how it looks. Hold that in mind for a moment.

Now, imagine that there is a person standing next to you who tells you that she also holds a stone in her hand. You look down and see the clenched fist and she sees yours and you confess the same. Neither of you, it seems, has yet opened the hand and seen the stone. Still, you can only trust each other’s proclamations. Standing together with your stones in hand, the two of you theorize about whether or not your respective stones are similar to one another. You discuss mundane details about your stones (not the special ones—you hesitate to make mention of the sharp point in the northern hemisphere or the flat area on the bottom). Your neighbor finally notes similarities between her stone and yours and you nod with relief and acknowledge that your stones indeed share reasonable commonalities. Over the course of your discussion, you and your neighbor finally conclude, without bothering to open your hands, that the stones you hold must indeed be quite similar.

Are they? It is only suitable to say that they are.

At the same time, and in spite of your desire not to offend, there is no doubt in your mind that the stone you hold bespeaks a greater prominence than that of your neighbor. You are not sure how you know this to be true, but it must be so! And I do not mean that this stone simply holds a greater subjective prominence. It has something of the universal, for it is, indeed, an auspicious stone! Silently, you hypothesize in what ways it must be special. It is possibly different in shape, color, weight, size and texture from the other, but you cannot confirm this. Perhaps, it is special by substance? Still, you are unsure. The very fact of your uncertainty begins to bother you and unleashes within you a deep insecurity. What if you are wrong and your stone is actually inferior to the other…or inferior even to some third stone not yet encountered?

Meanwhile, your neighbor is silently suffering in the same agony. Both of you tacitly understand that, without comparing the two visually, it is absurd to proclaim the two stones similar. Yet, your fist remains clenched, as does your neighbor’s and so you find yourselves unable to hold out the stones before you and compare them side-by-side. Of course, this is possible, but the mutual curiosity is outstripped by an inveterate pride, and so you both become afraid of showing (and even seeing) what you have, for fear that your respective stones will be different in appearance from the model that you have each conceptualized in mind. Meekly your eyes meet and you smile to one another at your new comradeship, but, all the while, remain paralyzed by a simultaneous shame and vanity.”
Ashim Shanker

Edmund White
“There’s something mystic and beautiful in the ineffable.”
Edmund White, The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading