Quotes by Owen Barfield

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In the common words we use every day, souls of past races, the thoughts and feelings of individual men stand around us, not dead, but frozen into their attitudes like the courtiers in the garden of the Sleeping Beauty. more...

The obvious is the hardest thing of all to point out to anyone who has genuinely lost sight of it. more...

When the velocity of progress increases beyond a certain point, it becomes indistinguishable from crisis. more...

There is no surer or more illuminating way of reading a man's character, and perhaps a little of his past history, than by observing the contexts in which he prefers to use certain words. more...

And what is the very essence of poetry if it is not this 'metaphorical language'-this marking of the before unapprehended relations of things? more...

By contrast with history, evolution is an unconscious process. Another, and perhaps a better way of putting it would be to say that evolution is a natural process, history a human one.... Insofar as we treat man as a part of nature-for instance in a biological survey of evolution-we are precisely not treating him as a historical being. As a historically developing being, he is set over against nature, both as a knower and as a doer. more...

When any significant change takes place in the moral standards of a community, it is immediately reflected in a general shifting of the meanings of common words. more...

...the poet, while creating anew, is likely to be in a sense restoring something old. more...


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