Moment

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It must be obvious... that there is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity. ~ Alan Watts

Moment is a word which most often refers to an ambiguously short length of time, but also signifies in mathematics a quantitative measure of the shape of a set of points, and in physics relates to the perpendicular distance from a point to a line or a surface. Most of the quotes on this page will likely refer primarily to moments in reference to time, but others are permissible, especially when there are ambiguities in their usage which are likely deliberate.

Quotes[edit]

Rest, like a goad,
Spurred my eyes open — and light broke
Upon them like a million swords:
And she was there. There are no words.

Heaven is for a moment's span.
And ever. ~ Stephen Vincent Benét

You read the face of the sky and of the earth, but you have not recognized the one who is before you, and you do not know how to read this moment. ~ Jesus
In the most deeply significant of the legends concerning Jesus, we are told how the devil took him up into a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time… ~ Upton Sinclair
The Moment is coming. The Moment is me. You have to decide. ~ "The Moment" in the guise of Rose Tyler as "Bad Wolf" in lines written by Steven Moffat
  • "I exist" does not follow from "there is a thought now." The fact that a thought occurs at a given moment does not entail that any other thought has occurred at any other moment, still less that there has occurred a series of thoughts sufficient to constitute a single self. As Hume conclusively showed, no one event intrinsically points to any other. We infer the existence of events which we are not actually observing, with the help of general principle. But these principles must be obtained inductively. By mere deduction from what is immediately given we cannot advance a single step beyond. And, consequently, any attempt to base a deductive system on propositions which describe what is immediately given is bound to be a failure.
  • There was no pain when I awoke,
    No pain at all.
    Rest, like a goad,
    Spurred my eyes open — and light broke
    Upon them like a million swords:
    And she was there. There are no words.

    Heaven is for a moment's span.
    And ever.

  • What one needs to do at every moment of one's life is to put an end to the old world and to begin a new world.
  • But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
    The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
    The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
    Be remembered; involved with past and future.
  • The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies,
    For the pattern is new in every moment
    And every moment is a new and shocking
    Valuation of all we have been.
  • For most of us, there is only the unattended
    Moment, the moment in and out of time
    ,
    The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
    The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
    Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
    That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
    While the music lasts.
  • I will make many people amazed at thee, and their kings shall be horribly afraid for thee, when I shall brandish my sword before them; and they shall tremble at every moment, every man for his own life, in the day of thy fall.
    • Ezekiel 32:10
  • The devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
  • You read the face of the sky and of the earth, but you have not recognized the one who is before you, and you do not know how to read this moment.
  • O servant, where dost thou seek Me?
    Lo! I am beside thee.
    I am neither in temple nor in mosque: I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:
    Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation.
    If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me: thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
    • Kabir, as translated by Rabindranath Tagore, in Songs of Kabîr (1915)
    • Variant translation: Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.
      My shoulder is against yours.
      you will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine
      rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals:
      not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding
      around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but
      vegetables.
      When you really look for me, you will see me
      instantly —
      you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
      • As paraphrased by Robert Bly in The Kabir Book (1977)
  • The devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
  • Look upon this moment. Savor it! Rejoice with great gladness! Great gladness! Remember it always, for you are joined by it. You are One, under the stars. Remember it well, then... this night, this great victory. So that in the years ahead, you can say, "I was there that night, with Arthur, the King!" For it is the doom of men that they forget.
  • All things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
  • I beg my mirror image for a moment with my soul.
  • In the most deeply significant of the legends concerning Jesus, we are told how the devil took him up into a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time; and the devil said unto him: "All this power will I give unto thee, and the glory of them, for that is delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will, I give it. If thou, therefore, wilt worship me, all shall be thine." Jesus, as we know, answered and said "Get thee behind me, Satan!" And he really meant it; he would have nothing to do with worldly glory, with "temporal power;" he chose the career of a revolutionary agitator, and died the death of a disturber of the peace.
    • Upton Sinclair, in The Profits of Religion : An Essay in Economic Interpretation (1918), Book Seven : The Church of the Social Revolution, "Christ and Caesar"
  • Oh, if life were made of moments,
    Even now and then a bad one!
    But if life were only moments,
    Then you'd never know you had one.
  • The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
  • It must be obvious... that there is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity.
  • "Is," "is." "is" — the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don't know what anything "is"; I only know how it seems to me at this moment.
  • Throwing down your own sword is also an art of war. If you have attained mastery of swordlessness, you will never lack for a sword. The opponent's sword is your sword. This is acting at the vanguard of the moment.
    • Yagyū Munenori, as quoted in Soul of the Samurai (2005) by Thomas Cleary, p. 28
  • Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. … If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so. I like to think I am a gentle man, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me. … Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?
  • Life moved ever outward into infinite possibilities and yet all things were perfect and finished in every single moment, their end attained.
  • The elite of the universal religions have always substituted belief in the Infinite for the experience of it. We all need God — but only in small and measured doses. Who can look upon the burning bush and not be destroyed in its flames? Who can bear the heaven and hell of each moment blazing in time? Who can shine like a star?

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