Zitate von Richard Francis Burton

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Richard Francis Burton

Geburtstag: 19. März 1821
Todesdatum: 20. Oktober 1890

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Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG war ein britischer Afrikaforscher, Offizier, Konsul, Übersetzer, Orientalist und Mitglied der Royal Geographical Society.

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Zitate Richard Francis Burton

„How shall the Shown pretend to ken aught of the Showman or the Show?“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: How shall the Shown pretend to ken aught of the Showman or the Show? Why meanly bargain to believe, which only means thou ne'er canst know? How may the passing Now contain the standing Now — Eternity? — An endless is without a was, the be and never the to-be?

„He can only wail over the prevalence of evil, assume its foundation to be error, and purpose to abate it by uprooting that Ignorance which bears and feeds it.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: That creatures endowed with the mere possibility of liberty should not always choose the Good appears natural. But that of the milliards of human beings who have inhabited Earth, not one should have been found invariably to choose Good, proves how insufficient is the solution. Hence no one believes in the existence of the complete man under the present state of things. The Haji rejects all popular and mythical explanation by the Fall of "Adam," the innate depravity of human nature, and the absolute perfection of certain Incarnations, which argues their divinity. He can only wail over the prevalence of evil, assume its foundation to be error, and purpose to abate it by uprooting that Ignorance which bears and feeds it. His "eschatology," like that of the Soofis generally, is vague and shadowy.

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„The "original calamity" was either caused by God or arose without leave of God, in either case degrading God to man.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: The "Schedule of Doctrines" of the most liberal Christian Church insists upon human depravity, and the "absolute need of the Holy Spirit's agency in man's regeneration and sanctification." But what have we here? The "original calamity" was either caused by God or arose without leave of God, in either case degrading God to man. It is the old dilemma whose horns are the irreconcilable attributes of goodness and omniscience in the supposed Creator of sin and suffering. If the one quality be predicable, the other cannot be predicable of the same subject. Far better and wiser is the essayist's poetical explanation now apparently despised because it was the fashionable doctrine of the sage bard's day:—

„The Now, that indivisible point which studs the length of infinite line
Whose ends are nowhere, is thine all, the puny all thou callest thine.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: And hold Humanity one man, whose universal agony Still strains and strives to gain the goal, where agonies shall cease to be. Believe in all things; none believe; judge not nor warp by "Facts" the thought; See clear, hear clear, tho' life may seem Mâyâ and Mirage, Dream and Naught. Abjure the Why and seek the How: the God and gods enthroned on high, Are silent all, are silent still; nor hear thy voice, nor deign reply. The Now, that indivisible point which studs the length of infinite line Whose ends are nowhere, is thine all, the puny all thou callest thine.

„Thus he seeks to discover a system which will prove them all right, and all wrong; which will reconcile their differences; will unite past creeds; will account for the present, and will anticipate the future with a continuous and uninterrupted development; this, too, by a process, not negative and distinctive, but, on the contrary, intensely positive and constructive.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: He looks with impartial eye upon the endless variety of systems, maintained with equal confidence and self-sufficiency, by men of equal ability and honesty. He is weary of wandering over the world, and of finding every petty race wedded to its own opinions; claiming the monopoly of Truth; holding all others to be in error, and raising disputes whose violence, acerbity and virulence are in inverse ratio to the importance of the disputed matter. A peculiarly active and acute observation taught him that many of these jarring families, especially those of the same blood, are par in the intellectual processes of perception and reflection; that in the business of the visible working world they are confessedly by no means superior to one another; whereas in abstruse matters of mere Faith, not admitting direct and sensual evidence, one in a hundred will claim to be right, and immodestly charge the other ninety-nine with being wrong. Thus he seeks to discover a system which will prove them all right, and all wrong; which will reconcile their differences; will unite past creeds; will account for the present, and will anticipate the future with a continuous and uninterrupted development; this, too, by a process, not negative and distinctive, but, on the contrary, intensely positive and constructive. I am not called upon to sit in the seat of judgment; but I may say that it would be singular if the attempt succeeded. Such a system would be all-comprehensive, because not limited by space, time, or race; its principle would be extensive as Matter itself, and, consequently, eternal. Meanwhile he satisfies himself, — the main point.

„How melancholy a thing is success.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: How melancholy a thing is success. Whilst failure inspirits a man, attainment reads the sad prosy lesson that all our glories "Are shadows, not substantial things." Truly said the sayer, "disappointment is the salt of life" a salutary bitter which strengthens the mind for fresh exertion, and gives a double value to the prize. First Footsteps in East Africa (1856)

„I am an individual … a circle touching and intersecting my neighbours at certain points, but nowhere corresponding, nowhere blending.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: I am an individual … a circle touching and intersecting my neighbours at certain points, but nowhere corresponding, nowhere blending. Physically I am not identical in all points with other men. Morally I differ from them: in nothing do the approaches of knowledge, my five organs of sense (with their Shelleyan "interpenetration"), exactly resemble those of any other being. Ergo, the effect of the world, of life, of natural objects, will not in my case be the same as with the beings most resembling me. Thus I claim the right of creating or modifying for my own and private use, the system which most imports me; and if the reasonable leave be refused to me, I take it without leave. But my individuality, however all-sufficient for myself, is an infinitesimal point, an atom subject in all things to the Law of Storms called Life. I feel, I know that Fate is. But I cannot know what is or what is not fated to befall me. Therefore in the pursuit of perfection as an individual lies my highest, and indeed my only duty, the "I" being duly blended with the "We." I object to be a "self-less man," which to me denotes an inverted moral sense. I am bound to take careful thought concerning the consequences of every word and deed. When, however, the Future has become the Past, it would be the merest vanity for me to grieve or to repent over that which was decreed by universal Law.

„Cease, then, your own Almighty Power to bind, to bound, to understand.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: Is not the highest honour his who from the worst hath drawn the best; May not your Maker make the world from matter, an it suit His hest? Nay more, the sordider the stuff the cunninger the workman's hand: Cease, then, your own Almighty Power to bind, to bound, to understand.

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„I am bound to take careful thought concerning the consequences of every word and deed. When, however, the Future has become the Past, it would be the merest vanity for me to grieve or to repent over that which was decreed by universal Law.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: I am an individual … a circle touching and intersecting my neighbours at certain points, but nowhere corresponding, nowhere blending. Physically I am not identical in all points with other men. Morally I differ from them: in nothing do the approaches of knowledge, my five organs of sense (with their Shelleyan "interpenetration"), exactly resemble those of any other being. Ergo, the effect of the world, of life, of natural objects, will not in my case be the same as with the beings most resembling me. Thus I claim the right of creating or modifying for my own and private use, the system which most imports me; and if the reasonable leave be refused to me, I take it without leave. But my individuality, however all-sufficient for myself, is an infinitesimal point, an atom subject in all things to the Law of Storms called Life. I feel, I know that Fate is. But I cannot know what is or what is not fated to befall me. Therefore in the pursuit of perfection as an individual lies my highest, and indeed my only duty, the "I" being duly blended with the "We." I object to be a "self-less man," which to me denotes an inverted moral sense. I am bound to take careful thought concerning the consequences of every word and deed. When, however, the Future has become the Past, it would be the merest vanity for me to grieve or to repent over that which was decreed by universal Law.

„He looks with impartial eye upon the endless variety of systems, maintained with equal confidence and self-sufficiency, by men of equal ability and honesty. He is weary of wandering over the world, and of finding every petty race wedded to its own opinions; claiming the monopoly of Truth; holding all others to be in error, and raising disputes whose violence, acerbity and virulence are in inverse ratio to the importance of the disputed matter.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: He looks with impartial eye upon the endless variety of systems, maintained with equal confidence and self-sufficiency, by men of equal ability and honesty. He is weary of wandering over the world, and of finding every petty race wedded to its own opinions; claiming the monopoly of Truth; holding all others to be in error, and raising disputes whose violence, acerbity and virulence are in inverse ratio to the importance of the disputed matter. A peculiarly active and acute observation taught him that many of these jarring families, especially those of the same blood, are par in the intellectual processes of perception and reflection; that in the business of the visible working world they are confessedly by no means superior to one another; whereas in abstruse matters of mere Faith, not admitting direct and sensual evidence, one in a hundred will claim to be right, and immodestly charge the other ninety-nine with being wrong. Thus he seeks to discover a system which will prove them all right, and all wrong; which will reconcile their differences; will unite past creeds; will account for the present, and will anticipate the future with a continuous and uninterrupted development; this, too, by a process, not negative and distinctive, but, on the contrary, intensely positive and constructive. I am not called upon to sit in the seat of judgment; but I may say that it would be singular if the attempt succeeded. Such a system would be all-comprehensive, because not limited by space, time, or race; its principle would be extensive as Matter itself, and, consequently, eternal. Meanwhile he satisfies himself, — the main point.

„And still the Weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched Man
Weaving th' unpattern'd dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a plan.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: How Thought is imp'otent to divine the secret which the gods defend, The Why of birth and life and death, that Isis-veil no hand may rend. Eternal Morrows make our day; our is is aye to be till when Night closes in; 'tis all a dream, and yet we die, — and then and then? And still the Weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched Man Weaving th' unpattern'd dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a plan.

„Unknown, Incomprehensible, whateíer you choose to call it, call;
But leave it vague as airy space, dark in its darkness mystical.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: Grant an Idea, Primal Cause, the Causing Cause, why crave for more? Why strive its depth and breadth to mete, to trace its work, its aid to íimplore? Unknown, Incomprehensible, whateíer you choose to call it, call; But leave it vague as airy space, dark in its darkness mystical.

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„The instructor must spare no pains in preventing the soldier from using force, especially with the left or guiding arm, as too much exertion generally causes the thrust to miss. A trifling body-stab with the bayonet (I may add with the sword) is sufficient to disable a man; and many a promising young soldier has lost his life by burying his weapon so deep in the enemy's breast that it could not be withdrawn quickly enough to be used against a second assailant. To prevent this happening, the point must be delivered smartly, with but little exertion of force, more like a dart than a thrust, and instantly afterwards the bayonet must be smartly withdrawn.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: The recruit must be carefully and sedulously taught when meeting the enemy, even at a trot or canter, to use no force whatever, otherwise his sword will bury itself to the hilt, and the swordsman will either be dragged from his horse, or will be compelled to drop his weapon — if he can. Upon this point I may quote my own System of Bayonet Exercise (p. 27): — "The instructor must spare no pains in preventing the soldier from using force, especially with the left or guiding arm, as too much exertion generally causes the thrust to miss. A trifling body-stab with the bayonet (I may add with the sword) is sufficient to disable a man; and many a promising young soldier has lost his life by burying his weapon so deep in the enemy's breast that it could not be withdrawn quickly enough to be used against a second assailant. To prevent this happening, the point must be delivered smartly, with but little exertion of force, more like a dart than a thrust, and instantly afterwards the bayonet must be smartly withdrawn." In fact the thrust should consist of two movements executed as nearly simultaneously as possible; and it requires long habit, as the natural man, especially the Englishman, is apt to push home, and to dwell upon his slouching push. A New System of Sword Exercise for Infantry (1876)

„Shall we ever understand that ignorance is not innocence?“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: The England of our day would fain bring up both sexes and keep all ages in profound ignorance of sexual and intersexual relations; and the consequences of that imbecility are particularly cruel and afflicting. … Shall we ever understand that ignorance is not innocence? The Supplemental Nights (1888), quoted in The Life of Sir Richard Burton, Vol. II (1906), by Thomas Wright, p. 124

„Both propose a reward for mere belief, and a penalty for simple unbelief; rewards and punishments being, by the way, very disproportionate. Thus they reduce everything to the scale of a somewhat unrefined egotism; and their demoralizing effects become clearer to every progressive age.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: Christianity and Islamism have been on their trial for the last eighteen and twelve centuries. They have been ardent in proselytizing, yet they embrace only one-tenth and one-twentieth of the human race. Hâjî Abdû would account for the tardy and unsatisfactory progress of what their votaries call "pure truths," by the innate imperfections of the same. Both propose a reward for mere belief, and a penalty for simple unbelief; rewards and punishments being, by the way, very disproportionate. Thus they reduce everything to the scale of a somewhat unrefined egotism; and their demoralizing effects become clearer to every progressive age.

„Learn from the mighty Spi'rits of old to set thy foot on Heav'en and Hell;
In Life to find thy hell and heav'en as thou abuse or use it well.“

— Richard Francis Burton
Context: There is no Heav'en, there is no Hell; these be the dreams of baby minds, Tools of the wily Fetisheer, to 'fright the fools his cunning blinds. Learn from the mighty Spi'rits of old to set thy foot on Heav'en and Hell; In Life to find thy hell and heav'en as thou abuse or use it well.

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