Strange and hard that paradox true I give, Objects gross and the unseen soul are one.
Beginners How they are provided for upon the earth, (appearing at intervals,) How dear and dreadful they are to the earth, How they inure to themselves as much as to any—what a paradox appears their age, How people respond to them, yet know them not, How there is something relentless in their fate all times, How all times mischoose the objects of their adulation and reward, And how the same inexorable price must still be paid for the same great purchase.
…it not in the chosen—the act itself the main, the quadriennial choosing,) The stretch of North and South arous’d—sea-board and inland— Texas to Maine—the Prairie States—Vermont, Virginia, California, The final ballot-shower from East to West—the paradox and conflict, The countless snow-flakes falling—(a swordless conflict, Yet more than all Rome’s wars of old, or modern Napoleon’s:) the peaceful choice of all, Or good or ill humanity—welcoming the darker odds, the dross: —Foams and…
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It’s the grandfather paradox of time travel in which a man cannot travel to a time before he was born and kill his grandfather.
It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.