Two quotes from this week’s show.
“God is first and foremost that depth around all things and beyond all things into which, when I pray, I try to sink. But God is also the activity that comes to me out of that depth, tells me I’m loved, that opens up a future for me, that offers transformations I can’t imagine. Very much a mystery but also very much a presence. Very much a person”.
Rowan Williams, interviewed by Melvyn Bragg, quoted in Rupert Shortt, God is No Thing
“I am done with great things and big things, great institutions and big success, and I am for those tiny, invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which if you give them time, will rend the hardest monuments of man’s pride.”
― Attributed to William James.
This appears to be something of a misquote. The actual quote is below.
“As for me, my bed is made: I am against bigness and greatness in all their forms, and with the invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, stealing in through the crannies of the world like so many soft rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, and yet rending the hardest monuments of man’s pride, if you give them time. The bigger the unit you deal with, the hollower, the more brutal, the more mendacious is the life displayed. So I am against all big organisations as such, national ones first and foremost; against all big successes and big results; and in favour of the eternal forces of truth which always work in the individual and immediately unsuccessful way, under-dogs always, till history comes, after they are long dead, and puts them on the top.—You need take no notice of these ebullitions of spleen, which are probably quite unintelligible to anyone but myself.”
This comes from a letter to Mrs. Henry Whitman, June 7, 1899. For the source of the (mis)quotation see this excellent piece of detective work: The Invisible Molecular Moral Forces of William James, Or, The Hunt for the Misquotation.