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Walker Percy Wednesday 128

A RECENT POLL ASKED people what they feared most. A majority of respondents agreed in ranking one fear above all others, above fear of sickness, accidents, crime, war, even death. It is the fear of speaking before a group, stage fright. Yet in the conventional objective scientific view, man is an organism among other organisms…

Walker Percy Wednesday 127

THERE IS NO FASHION so absurd, even grotesque, that it cannot be adopted, given two things: the authority of the fashion-setter (Dior, Jackie Onassis) and the vacuity or noughtness of the consumer. E.g., bustles in the West, bound feet in the East. 00000 The efficacy of fashion turns on the self’s perception of itself either…

Walker Percy Wednesday 126

Question: Is amnesia a favorite device in fiction and especially soap operas because (a) The character in the soap opera is sick and tired of himself and his life and wants a change. (b) The writer is sick and tired of his character and wants a change. (c) The writer is sick and tired of…

Walker Percy Wednesday 125

(6) Consider the following short descriptions of different kinds of consciousness of self. Which of the selves, if any, do you identify with? (a) The cosmological self. The self is either unconscious of itself or only conscious of itself insofar as it is identified with a cosmological myth or classificatory system, e.g., totemism. Ask a…

Walker Percy Wednesday 124

One of the peculiar ironies of being a human self in the Cosmos: A stranger approaching you in the street will in a second’s glance see you whole, size you up, place you in a way in which you cannot and never will, even though you have spent a lifetime with yourself, live in the Century…

Walker Percy Wednesday 123

According to a recent poll, more Americans set store in astrology than in science or God. 00000 The first question is: Why is it that both descriptions seem to fit you—or, for that matter, why do you seem to recognize yourself in the self-analysis of all twelve astrological signs? Or, to put it another way,…

Walker Percy Wednesday 122

We are unknown, we knowers, to ourselves … Of necessity we remain strangers to ourselves, we understand ourselves not, in our selves we are bound to be mistaken, for each of us holds good to all eternity the motto, “Each is the farthest away from himself”—as far as ourselves are concerned we are not knowers.…