Paine suffered then, as now he suffers not so much because of what he wrote as from the misinterpretations of others...He disbelieved the ancient myths and miracles taught by established creeds. But the attacks on those creeds - or on persons devoted to them - have served to darken his memory, casting a shadow across the closing years of his life.When Theodore Roosevelt termed Tom Paine a 'dirty little atheist' he surely spoke from lack of understanding. It was a stricture, an inaccurate charge of the sort that has dimmed the greatness of this eminent American. But the true measure of his stature will yet be appreciated. The torch which he handed on will not be extinguished. If Paine had ceased his writings with 'The Rights of Man' he would have been hailed today as one of the two or three outstanding figures of the Revolution. But 'The Age of Reason' cost him glory at the hands of his countrymen - a greater loss to them than to Tom Paine.I was always interested in Paine the inventor. He conceived and designed the iron bridge and the hollow candle; the principle of the modern central draught burner. The man had a sort of universal genius. He was interested in a diversity of things; but his special creed, his first thought, was liberty.Traducers have said that he spent his last days drinking in pothouses. They have pictured him as a wicked old man coming to a sorry end. But I am persuaded that Paine must have looked with magnanimity and sorrow on the attacks of his countrymen. That those attacks have continued down to our day, with scarcely any abatement, is an indication of how strong prejudice, when once aroused, may become. It has been a custom in some quarters to hold up Paine as an example of everything bad.The memory of Tom Paine will outlive all this. No man who helped to lay the foundations of our liberty - who stepped forth as the champion of so difficult a cause - can be permanently obscured by such attacks. Tom Paine should be read by his countrymen. I commend his fame to their hands.{The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison
No one else knows exactly what the future holds for you, no one else knows what obstacles you've overcome to be where you are, so don't expect others to feel as passionate about your dreams as you do.
Germany Kent
In 2011, actor Johnny Depp told the November issue of Vanity Fair that he felt participating in a photoshoot was akin to rape.Well, you just feel like you're being raped somehow. Raped . . . It feels like a kind of weird - just weird, man. But whenever you have a photo shoot or something like that, it's like - you just feel dumb. It's just so stupid, he said.Likening instances of being flustered or uneasy to the often life-shattering experience of rape has become a far too common comparison in modern lexicon.The phrase Facebook rape is perhaps the most widely used, which implies one person has posted on another person's Facebook account - usually something intended to embarrass the person.But the casual, flippant use of the term rape in instances that do not involve sexual violence is highly problematic in that it trivialises one of the most despicable invasions of a human being.Desensitising the masses to the term rape is just another way the conversation surrounding sexual assault is derailed or diluted in society.Rape is and should be considered universally, as a serious societal sickness that occurs within the toxic silence that surrounds sexual assault as Tara Moss put so elegantly in her recent Q&A appearance.Further to that, the use of the term can be a trigger for rape survivors in that it may jolt terrifying memories of their own experience.According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, up to 57 per cent of rape survivors suffer post-traumatic stress disorder in their lifetime, with triggers including inflammatory words like rape causing deeply traumatic recollections.Beware desensitising the term rape, Newcastle Herald, June 6, 2014
Emma Elsworth
Reade drew a deep breath. He said with resignation, All right. I'll try to explain. But it's rather difficult. You see, I've devoted my life to the problem of why certain men see visions. Men like Blake and Boehme and Thomas Traherne. A psychologist once suggested that it's a chemical in the bloodstream—the same sort of thing that makes a dipsomaniac see pink elephants. Now obviously, I can't accept this view. But I've spent a certain amount of time studying the action of drugs and taken some of them myself. And it's become clear to me that what we call 'ordinary consciousness' is simply a special, limited case. . . But this is obvious after a single glass of whiskey. It causes a change in consciousness, a kind of deepening. In ordinary consciousness, we're mainly aware of the world around us and its problems. This is awfully difficult to explain. . .Fisher said, You're being very clear so far. Please go on.Perhaps an analogy will help. In our ordinary state of consciousness, we look out from behind our eyes as a motorist looks from behind the windscreen of a car. The car is very small and the world out there is very big. Now if I take a few glasses of whiskey, the world out there hasn't really changed, but the car seems to have grown bigger. When I look inside myself, there seem to be far greater spaces than I am normally aware of. And if I take certain drugs, the car becomes vast, as vast as a cathedral. There are great, empty spaces. . . No, not empty. They're full of all kinds of things—of memories of my past life and millions of things I never thought I'd noticed. Do you see my point? Man deliberately limits his consciousness. It would frighten him if he were aware of these vast spaces of consciousness all the time. He stays sane by living in a narrow little consciousness that seems to be limited by the outside world. Because these spaces aren't just inhabited by memories. There seem to be strange, alien things, other minds. . .As he said this, he saw Violet de Merville shudder. He said, laughing, I am not trying to be alarming. There's nothing fundamentally horrible about these spaces. One day we shall conquer them, as we shall conquer outer space. They're like a great jungle, full of wild creatures. We build a high wall around us for safety, but that doesn't mean we're afraid of the jungle. One day we shall build cities and streets in its spaces.
Colin Wilson