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Muscle Quotations

Muscle Quotations

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Great pain urges all animals, and has urged them during endless generations, to make the most violent and diversified efforts to escape from the cause of suffering. Even when a limb or other separate part of  the body is hurt, we often see a tendency to shake it, as if to shake off  the cause, though this may obviously be impossible. Thus a habit of
exerting with the utmost force al the muscles will have been established, whenever great suffering is experienced. As the muscles of the chest and vocal organs are habitually used, these will be particularly liable to be acted on, and loud, harsh screams or cries will be uttered. But the advantage derived from outcries has here probably come into play in an
important manner; for the young of most animals, when in distress or danger, call loudly to their parents for aid, as do the members of the same community for mutual aid.
Charles Darwin, Expression of The Emotions In Man And Animals

A man cannot think deeply and exert his utmost muscular force.
Charles Darwin, Expression of The Emotions In Man And Animals

Under a transport of joy or of vivid pleasure, there is a strong tendency to various purposeless movements, and to the utterance of various sounds.
We see this in our young children, in their loud laughter, clapping of  hands, and jumping or joy; in the bounding and barking of a dog when  going out to walk with his master; and in the frisking of a horse when turned out into an open field. Joy quickens the circulation, and this stimulates the brain, which reacts again on the whole body. is chiefly
the anticipation of a pleasure and not its actual enjoyment, which leads to purposeless and extravagant movements of the body,  and to the utterance of various sounds, We see this in our children when they expect any great pleasure or treat; and dogs, which have been bounding about at the sight of a plate of food, when they get it do not show their delight by any outward sign, not even by wagging their tails. Now with animals of all kinds, the acquirement of almost all their pleasures, with the exception of those of warmth and rest, are associated, and have long been associated with active movements, as in the hunting or search for food, and in their courtship. Moreover, the mere exertion of the muscles after long rest or confinement is in itself a pleasure, as we ourselves feel, and as we see in the play of young
animals. Therefore on this latter principle alone we might expect, that vivid pleasure would be apt to show itself conversely in muscular movements.
Charles Darwin, Expression of The Emotions In Man And Animals

We know that every strong sensation, emotion, or excitement-- extreme pain, rage, terror, joy, or the passion of love-- all have a special tendency to cause the muscles to tremble; and the thrill or slight shiver which runs down the backbone and limbs of many persons when they are powerfully affected by music seems to bear the same relation to the above trembling of the body, as a slight suffusion of tears from the power of music does to weeping from any strong and real emotion.
Charles Darwin, Expression of The Emotions In Man And Animals

Shall I show you the muscular training of a philosopher? What muscles are those? --A will undisappointed; evils avoided; powers daily exercised; careful resolutions; unerring decisions.

The brain recalls just what the muscles grope for; no more, no less.
Faulkner, William    Absolom, Absolom

Nothing is more revealing than movement.
Graham, Martha from quotable women

"...I cannot believe that our muscular vigor will ever be a superfluity. Even if the day ever dawns in which it will not be needed for fighting the old heavy battles against Nature, it will always be needed to furnish the background of sanity, serenity and cheerfulness to life, to give moral elasticity to our disposition, to round off the wiry edge of our fretfulness,
and make us good humored and easy of approach. Weakness is too apt too be what doctors call irritable weakness. And that blessed internal peace and confidence, that acquiescentia in seipso, as Spinoza used to call it, that wells up from every part of the body of a muscularly well trained human being, and soaks the indwelling soul of him with
satisfaction, is, quite apart from every consideration of its mechanical utility, an element of spiritual hygiene of supreme significance."
And To Students On Some of Life's Ideals, Chapter 1-The Gospel of Relaxation

"In one sense, the more or less of tension in our faces and in our unused muscles is a small thing: not much mechanical work is done by these contractions. But it is not always the material size of a thing that measures its importance, often it is its place and function. One of the most philosophical remarks I ever heard was by an unlettered workman
who was doing some repairs at my house many years ago. "There is very little difference between one man and another," he said,"when you go to the bottom of it. But what little there is , is very important." And the remark certainly applies to this case. The general over-contraction may be small when estimated in foot pounds, but its importance is immense on account of its effects on the over-contracted person's spiritual life.
This follows as a necessary consequence from the theory of our emotions to which I made reference at the beginning of this article. For by the sensations that so incessantly pour in from the over-tense excited body the over-tense and excited habit of mind is kept up; and the sultry, threatening, exhausting, thunderous inner atmosphere never quite clears
away. "If you never wholly give yourself up to the chair you sit it, but always keep your leg and body muscles half contracted for a rise; if you breathe eighteen or nineteen instead of sixteen times a minute, and never quite
breath out at that,-- what mental mood can you be in but  one of inner panting and expectancy, and how can the future and its worries possibly forsake your mind? On the other hand, how can they gain admission to your mind if your brow be unruffled, your respiration calm and complete and your muscles all relaxed? 
James, William, 1899, Chapter 1-The Gospel of Relaxation, TALKS TO TEACHERS ON PSYCHOLOGY: And To Students On Some of Life's Ideals,

Our most sacred convictions, the unchanging elements of our supreme values, are judgements of our muscles.
Nietzsche, The Will To Power

You know you've got to exercise your brain just like your muscles.
Will Rogers

You cannot, at the very beginning of our work, have any conception of  the evil that results from muscular spasms and physical contraction.
Stanislavski, Constantin trans, by Eliz Reynolds Hapgood An Actor Prepares, Ch. 4 Relaxation of Muscles

At times of great stress it is especially necessary to achieve a complete freeing of the muscles.
Stanislavski, Constantin

For every thought supported by feelings, there is a muscle change.  Primary muscle patterns being the biological heritage of man, man's  whole body records his emotional thinking.
Todd, Mabel Ellsworth The Thinking Body

Action is transitory, a step, a blow,
The motion of a muscle-- this way or that--
Tis done, and the after-vacancy
We wonder at ourselves like men betrayed:
Suffering is permanent, obscure and dark,
And shares the nature of infinity
Wordsworth(1770-1850) The Borderers Act III, l. 1539

"Intellectual tasting of life will not supercede muscular activity."
rwe ib.

"Heart:1. The muscle which, by its contraction and dilatation, propels the blood through the course of circulation, and is therefore considered as  the force of vital motion.
2. It is supposed in popular language, to be the seat sometimes, of  courage, sometimes of affection, sometimes of honesty, or baseness.
Johnson, definition in Samuel Johnson's Dictionary


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