„Like a compass needle that points north, a man's accusing finger always finds a woman. -Nana“

A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007)

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
Khaled Hosseini photo
Khaled Hosseini225
novelist 1965

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„Uncertainty and unpredictability impended. Compass needles no longer had a North, maps became useless.“

—  Eric Hobsbawm, book The Age of Extremes

Source: The Age of Extremes (1992), Chapter Eleven, Cultural Revolution, p.338-339
Context: The old moral vocabulary of rights and duties, mutual obligations, sin and virtue, sacrifice, conscience, rewards, and penalties, could no longer be translated into the new language of desired gratification. Once such practices and institutions were no longer accepted as part of a way of ordering society that linked people to each other and ensured social cooperation and reproduction, most of their capacity to structure human social life vanished. They were reduced simply expressions of individuals' preferences, and claims that the law should recognize the supremacy of these preferences. Uncertainty and unpredictability impended. Compass needles no longer had a North, maps became useless.

Albert Pike photo

„The unknown is an ocean, of which conscience is the compass. Thought, meditation, prayer, are the great mysterious pointings of the needle.“

—  Albert Pike, book Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry

Source: Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (1871), Ch. I : Apprentice, The Twelve-Inch Rule and Common Gavel, p. 1
Context: Though Masonry neither usurps the place of, nor apes religion, prayer is an essential part of our ceremonies. It is the aspiration of the soul toward the Absolute and Infinite Intelligence, which is the One Supreme Deity, most feebly and misunderstandingly characterized as an "architect." Certain faculties of man are directed toward the Unknown — thought, meditation, prayer. The unknown is an ocean, of which conscience is the compass. Thought, meditation, prayer, are the great mysterious pointings of the needle. It is a spiritual magnetism that thus connects the human soul with the Deity. These majestic irradiations of the soul pierce through the shadow toward the light.
It is but a shallow scoff to say that prayer is absurd, because it is not possible for us, by means of it, to persuade God to change His plans. He produces foreknown and foreintended effects, by the instrumentality of the forces of nature, all of which are His forces. Our own are part of these. Our free agency and our will are forces. We do not absurdly cease to make efforts to attain wealth or happiness, prolong life, and continue health, because we cannot by any effort change what is predestined. If the effort also is predestined, it is not the less our effort, made of our free will.

Benjamin Disraeli photo

„It is the initial letters of the four points of the compass that make the word "news," and he must understand that news is that which collies from the North, East, West and South, and if it comes from only one point of the compass, then it is a class publication, and not news.“

—  Benjamin Disraeli British Conservative politician, writer, aristocrat and Prime Minister 1804 - 1881

Speech http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1855/mar/26/newspaper-stamp-duties-bill in the House of Commons (26 March 1855).
1850s

Arthur Miller photo

„I have seen too many frightful proofs in court — the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!“

—  Arthur Miller, The Crucible

John Hale
The Crucible (1953)
Context: Though our own hearts break, we cannot flinch; these are new times, sir. There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should be criminal to cling to old respect and ancient friendships. I have seen too many frightful proofs in court — the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!

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Kenneth Oppel photo

„Our single purpose was to walk through snow
With faces swung to their prodigious North
Like compass iron.“

—  Stephen Spender English poet and man of letters 1909 - 1995

"Polar Exploration"
The Still Centre (1939)

Bruce Lee photo

„Don't think, feel…. it is like a finger pointing a way to the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!“

—  Bruce Lee Hong Kong-American actor, martial artist, philosopher and filmmaker 1940 - 1973

Bruce Lee: Enter the Dragon (1973); In a training session with one of the temple students.
Variant: Its like a finger pointing away to the moon. Dont concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.
Source: Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living

Confucius photo

„When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.“

—  Confucius Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher -551 - -479 BC

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Marianne von Werefkin photo

„I am more a man than a woman. Only the need to please and compassion turn me into a woman. I am not a man, I am not a woman, I am I.“

—  Marianne von Werefkin expressionist painter 1860 - 1938

written in her Journal, 1905
Quote of Werefkin's Journal, 1905; in Briefe an einen Unbekannten, ed. Clemens Weiler, Cologne: Verlag M. DuMont, 1960, p. 50
1895 - 1905

Vincent Van Gogh photo

„Some good must come by clinging to the right. Conscience is a man's compass, and though the needle sometimes deviates, though one often perceives irregularities in directing one's course by it, still one must try to follow its direction.“

—  Vincent Van Gogh Dutch post-Impressionist painter (1853-1890) 1853 - 1890

Quote in a letter of Vincent to brother Theo, from The Hague, between c. 13 and c. 18 December 1882; as cited in Dear Theo: the Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh; ed. Irving Stone and Jean Stone, (1995) p. 181 - ISBN 0452275040
1880s, 1882

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