Balance Of Nature Quotes

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The greatest mania of all is passion: and I am a natural slave to passion: the balance between my brain and my soul and my body is as wild and delicate as the skin of a Ming vase.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Curse of Lono)
The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.
Ming-Dao Deng (Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony)
A bad day for your ego is a great day for your soul.
Jillian Michaels (Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!)
Love is our most unifying and empowering common spiritual denominator. The more we ignore its potential to bring greater balance and deeper meaning to human existence, the more likely we are to continue to define history as one long inglorious record of man’s inhumanity to man.
Aberjhani (Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry)
A perverse nature can be stimulated by anything. Any book can be used as a pornographic instrument, even a great work of literature if the mind that so uses it is off-balance. I once found a small boy masturbating in the presence of the Victorian steel-engraving in a family Bible.
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
A general “law of least effort” applies to cognitive as well as physical exertion. The law asserts that if there are several ways of achieving the same goal, people will eventually gravitate to the least demanding course of action. In the economy of action, effort is a cost, and the acquisition of skill is driven by the balance of benefits and costs. Laziness is built deep into our nature.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
Being polite to a person is not a sign of respect for them. It is merely a sign of a good upbringing and a balanced nature.
Brandon Sanderson (A Memory of Light (The Wheel of Time, #14))
Throughout history, every period of enlightenment has been accompanied by darkness, pushing in opposition. Such are laws of nature and balance.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
I mean to say, I know perfectly well that I've got, roughly speaking, half the amount of brain a normal bloke ought to possess. And when a girl comes along who has about twice the regular allowance, she too often makes a bee line for me with the love light in her eyes. I don't know how to account for it, but it is so." "It may be Nature's provision for maintaining the balance of the species, sir.
P.G. Wodehouse
The Earth is beautiful, and bright, and kindly, but that is not all. The Earth is also terrible, and dark, and cruel. The rabbit shrieks dying in the green meadows. The mountains clench their great hands full of hidden fire. There are sharks in the sea, and there is cruelty in men’s eyes.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2))
Only in our darkest hour do we find the light. Humans are destructive by nature. The world is lacking balance. Terrors are beginning to triumph over the simple joys. Stand back and watch, because you're going to be here when we fall.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
As humanity perfects itself, man becomes degraded. When everything is reduced to the mere counter-balancing of economic interests, what room will there be for virtue? When Nature has been so subjugated that she has lost all her original forms, where will that leave the plastic arts? And so on. In the mean time, things are going to get very murky.
Gustave Flaubert
There was a balance. It wasn’t because humans lived in balance with nature. Humans died in balance with nature.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
Damon: Come back as a vampire and I will stake you myself cause I can't stand the idea of you hating me forever. Elena: Witches are supposed to maintain the balance of nature. It's your duty to them. To keep this curse sealed.
L.J. Smith (The Fury / Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #3-4))
Nature has introduced great variety into the landscape, but man has displayed a passion for simplifying it. Thus he undoes the built-in checks and balances by which nature holds the species within bounds.
Rachel Carson (Silent Spring)
When the Elemental Cross locks the Rift, it will restore the balance of nature, returning all creatures to their true essence." Shay Frowned. "What does that mean?" I stared at Anika, stunned as the truth settled into my bones. "It means we'll be wolves.
Andrea Cremer (Bloodrose (Nightshade #3; Nightshade World #6))
Satire's nature is to be one-sided, contemptuous of ambiguity, and so unfairly selective as to find in the purity of ridicule an inarguable moral truth.
E.L. Doctorow
Every breath is a sacrament, an affirmation of our connection with all other living things, a renewal of our link with our ancestors and a contribution to generations yet to come. Our breath is a part of life's breath, the ocean of air that envelopes the earth.
David Suzuki (The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature)
Humankind has not learned about balance, let alone practiced it. It is guided by greed and ambition, steered by fear. In this way it will eventually destroy itself. But nature will survive; at least the plants will.
Brian L. Weiss (Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives)
There are two kinds of friendship: the beneficial friendship and the erroneous friendship. The erroneous friendship balances on the principle of "the closer we are, the more okay it is for me to say anything I want to you and for me to treat you any way that I want to, and for me to disrespect you and take advantage of you" while a true friendship is rooted in this principle: "the closer we are, the more respect I have for you, the better I will treat you, the higher I will regard you, the more good things I will wish for you." You will know someone is a true friend by basis of observing their actions towards you as the friendship grows deeper. A true friend will continue to hold you in higher and higher regard while the error of a friend will see your goodwill and newfound fondness as basis to do and say whatever he/she wants, that is disrespectful and non-beneficial to you.
C. JoyBell C.
Nature may reach the same result in many ways. Like a wave in the physical world, in the infinite ocean of the medium which pervades all, so in the world of organisms, in life, an impulse started proceeds onward, at times, may be, with the speed of light, at times, again, so slowly that for ages and ages it seems to stay, passing through processes of a complexity inconceivable to men, but in all its forms, in all its stages, its energy ever and ever integrally present. A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in Nature. In no way can we get such an overwhelming idea of the grandeur of Nature than when we consider, that in accordance with the law of the conservation of energy, throughout the Infinite, the forces are in a perfect balance, and hence the energy of a single thought may determine the motion of a universe.
Nikola Tesla
The effects of the human species’ intervention were already ‘incalculable’, Humboldt insisted, and could become catastrophic if they continued to disturb the world so ‘brutally’. Humboldt would see again and again how humankind unsettled the balance of nature.
Andrea Wulf (The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World)
And it was always the stories that needed the telling that gave us the rope we could cross any river with. They balanced us high above any crevasse. They made us be natural acrobats. They made us brave. They met us well. They changed us. It was in their nature to.
Ali Smith (Girl Meets Boy: The Myth of Iphis)
Health is the natural condition. When sickness occurs, it is a sign that Nature has gone off course because of a physical or mental imbalance. The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a 'sound mind in a sound body'.
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie's World)
But where was God now, with heaven full of astronauts, and the Lord overthrown? I miss God. I miss the company of someone utterly loyal. I still don't think of God as my betrayer. The servants of God, yes, but servants by their very nature betray. I miss God who was my friend. I don't even know if God exists, but I do know that if God is your emotional role model, very few human relationships will match up to it. I have an idea that one day it might be possible, I thought once it had become possible, and that glimpse has set me wandering, trying to find the balance between earth and sky. If the servants hadn't rushed in and parted us, I might have been disappointed, might have snatched off the white samite to find a bowl of soup. As it is, I can't settle, I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and know that love is as strong as death, and be on my side for ever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me. There are many forms of love and affection, some people can spend their whole lives together without knowing each other's names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can call you home? Only the one who knows your name. Romantic love has been diluted into paperback form and has sold thousands and millions of copies. Somewhere it is still in the original, written on tablets of stone. I would cross seas and suffer sunstroke and give away all I have, but not for a man, because they want to be the destroyer and never the destroyed.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
It was the sibling thing, I suppose. I was fascinated by the intricate tangle of love and duty and resentment that tied them together. The glances they exchanged; the complicated balance of power established over decades; the games I would never play with rules I would never fully understand. And perhaps that was key: they were such a natural group that they made me feel remarkably singular by comparison. To watch them together was to know strongly, painfully, all that I'd been missing.
Kate Morton (The Distant Hours)
Do you see how an act is not, as young men think, like a rock that one picks up and throws, and it hits or misses, and that's the end of it. When that rock is lifted, the earth is lighter; the hand that bears it heavier. When it is thrown, the circuits of the stars respond, and where it strikes or falls, the universe is changed. On every act the balance of the whole depends. The winds and seas, the powers of water and earth and light, all that these do, and all that the beasts and green things do, is well done, and rightly done. All these act within the Equilibrium. From the hurricane and the great whale's sounding to the fall of a dry leaf and the gnat's flight, all they do is done within the balance of the whole. But we, insofar as we have power over the world and over one another, we must learn to do what the leaf and the whale and the wind do of their own nature. We must learn to keep the balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibility.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3))
What if I'm destined to be single for the rest of my life, and you're upsetting the balance of nature and God's plan?
Kristin Billerbeck (Calm, Cool & Adjusted (Spa Girls, #3))
A worthwhile day, I had killed two spiders, I had upset the balance of nature - now we would all be eaten up by the bugs and the flies.
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
A strongly accentuated zoophilism, such as an inordinate love of horses or dogs, throws the emotional nature out of balance; and those who are possessed by it are not likely to care very much for people.
W.E. Woodward (Meet General Grant)
Not too long ago thousands spent their lives as recluses to find spiritual vision in the solitude of nature. Modern man need not become a hermit to achieve this goal, for it is neither ecstasy nor world-estranged mysticism his era demands, but a balance between quantitative and qualitative reality. Modern man, with his reduced capacity for intuitive perception, is unlikely to benefit from the contemplative life of a hermit in the wilderness. But what he can do is to give undivided attention, at times, to a natural phenomenon, observing it in detail, and recalling all the scientific facts about it he may remember. Gradually, however, he must silence his thoughts and, for moments at least, forget all his personal cares and desires, until nothing remains in his soul but awe for the miracle before him. Such efforts are like journeys beyond the boundaries of narrow self-love and, although the process of intuitive awakening is laborious and slow, its rewards are noticeable from the very first. If pursued through the course of years, something will begin to stir in the human soul, a sense of kinship with the forces of life consciousness which rule the world of plants and animals, and with the powers which determine the laws of matter. While analytical intellect may well be called the most precious fruit of the Modern Age, it must not be allowed to rule supreme in matters of cognition. If science is to bring happiness and real progress to the world, it needs the warmth of man's heart just as much as the cold inquisitiveness of his brain.
Franz Winkler
Do you realize that there is nothing in our genes that tells us when to die? There are genetic codes that tell us how to grow, how to breathe, and how to sleep, but NOTHING that tells us to die. So why do we? Because we literally rust and decay our bodies from the inside out with poor food and lifestyle choices.
Jillian Michaels (Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!)
I've found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can help you. Look at these things, then find yourself again, and God, and then you regain your balance.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
You can feel anything. All is free for you to feel. But I guarantee you that if you allow yourself to feel envy and then to swim in it, that envy will destroy you and the people around you. Envy is unlike anger. Envy is not a right wing nor a left wing, it is not on either end of the balancing beam. Nobody needs it and I can assure you that once you give yourself to it, you will be eaten up. Envy can even eat up nations, casting them up against each other and pull a whole nation down into an internal collapse.
C. JoyBell C.
The environment is so fundamental to our continued existence that it must transcend politics and become a central value of all members of society.
David Suzuki (The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature)
The first thing to remember is the dual nature of your mind. The subconscious mind is constantly amenable to the power of suggestion; furthermore the subconscious mind has complete control of the functions, conditions, and sensations of your body. Trust the subconscious mind to heal you. It made your body, and it knows all of its processes and functions. It knows much more than your conscious mind about healing and restoring you to perfect balance.
Joseph Murphy
The basics of good nutrition can be summarized in these simple rules. Eat whole, unprocessed foods. Avoid sugar. Avoid refined grains. Eat a diet high in natural fats. Balance feeding with fasting. !
Jason Fung (The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting)
Harmony is about bringing things into balance and knowing how to go from sunrise to sunset. Mother Nature teaches this to us, in so many ways, each and every day.
Jaeda DeWalt
But just because a person goes to Harvard doesn't mean he's balanced when he graduates, and just because a dog knows how to obey doesn't mean he's balanced, either.
Cesar Millan (Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems)
Human nature is pretty well balanced; for every lacking virtue there is a rough substitute that will serve at a pinch--as cunning is the wisdom of the unwise, and ferocity the courage of the coward.
Ambrose Bierce (A Cynic Looks at Life)
Our identity includes our natural world, how we move through it, how we interact with it and how it sustains us.
David Suzuki (The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature)
As we distance ourselves further from the natural world, we are increasingly surrounded by and dependent on our own inventions. We become enslaved by the constant demands of technology created to serve us.
David Suzuki (The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature)
Two obsessions are the hallmarks of Nature's artistic style: Symmetry- a love of harmony, balance, and proportion Economy- satisfaction in producing an abundance of effects from very limited means
Frank Wilczek (A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design)
You know I have no power over the balance of the Everneath." He glanced at Jack. "Sorry,bro.Even with your biceps, we can't fight the force of nature.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
If we want the world to change, the healing of culture and greater balance in nature, it has to start inside the human soul.
Michael Meade
I believe in God because only an idiot can look at the complex balance of nature and believe that has not been designed. Believe it or not, but some people still believe that a watch can make itself out of sand if you just give it enough time. That’s what they call evolution. And you wonder why I am cynical. From my point of view you have to be a fool not to be cynical.
Ted Dekker (Blink)
She is a beauty. She is a challenge. She is the earth. She is the nature. She is the power that keeps the balance of this world. Respect her wisdom and be intimidated by her power.
Heenashree Khandelwal (Soulmates, By Chance)
The Taoists realized that no single concept or value could be considered absolute or superior. If being useful is beneficial, the being useless is also beneficial. The ease with which such opposites may change places is depicted in a Taoist story about a farmer whose horse ran away. His neighbor commiserated only to be told, "Who knows what's good or bad?" It was true. The next day the horse returned, bringing with it a drove of wild horses it had befriended in its wanderings. The neighbor came over again, this time to congratulate the farmer on his windfall. He was met with the same observation: "Who knows what is good or bad?" True this time too; the next day the farmer's son tried to mount one of the wild horses and fell off, breaking his leg. Back came the neighbor, this time with more commiserations, only to encounter for the third time the same response, "Who knows what is good or bad?" And once again the farmer's point was well taken, for the following day soldiers came by commandeering for the army and because of his injury, the son was not drafted. According to the Taoists, yang and yin, light and shadow, useful and useless are all different aspects of the whole, and the minute we choose one side and block out the other, we upset nature's balance. If we are to be whole and follow the way of nature, we must pursue the difficult process of embracing the opposites.
Connie Zweig (Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature)
In an ideal world, a young man should not be an ironical person. At that age, irony prevents growth, stunts the imagination. It is best to start life in a cheerful and open state of mind, believing in others, being optimistic, being frank with everyone about everything. And then, as one comes to understand things and people better, to develop a sense of irony. The natural progression of human life is from optimism to pessimism; and a sense of irony helps temper pessimism, helps produce balance, harmony. But
Julian Barnes (The Noise of Time)
I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality. We can know that reality is good just as it is, because when we argue with it, we experience tension and frustration. We don’t feel natural or balanced. When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.
Byron Katie (Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life)
When it gets down to it — talking trade balances here — once we've brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they're making cars in Bolivia and microwave ovens in Tadzhikistan and selling them here — once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel — once the Invisible Hand has taken away all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani brickmaker would consider to be prosperity — y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else: music movies microcode (software) high-speed pizza delivery
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
The Other" She had too much so with a smile you took some. Of everything she had you had Absolutely nothing, so you took some. At first, just a little. Still she had so much she made you feel Your vacuum, which nature abhorred, So you took your fill, for nature's sake. Because her great luck made you feel unlucky You had redressed the balance, which meant Now you had some too, for yourself. As seemed only fair. Still her ambition Claimed the natural right to screw you up Like a crossed out page, lossed into a basket. Somebody, on behalf of the gods, Had to correct that hubris. A little touch of hatred steadied the nerves. Everything she had won, the happiness of it, You collected As your compensation For having lost. Which left her absolutely Nothing. Even her life was Trapped in the heap you took. She had nothing. Too late you saw what had happened. It made no difference that she was dead. Now that you had all she had ever had You had much too much. Only you Saw her smile, as she took some. At first, just a little.
Ted Hughes
As you notice your whole being, your entirety, your wise inner nature, there are messages there for you. Quietly give permission for your wholeness, your entirety, to share its deepest wisdom.
Janet Gallagher Nestor (Nurturing Wellness Through Radical Self-Care: A Living in Balance Guide and Workbook)
Nature is the domain of liberty,’ Humboldt said, because nature’s balance was created by diversity which might in turn be taken as a blueprint for political and moral truth. Everything, from the most unassuming moss or insect to elephants or towering oak trees, had its role, and together they made the whole. Humankind was just one small part. Nature itself was a republic of freedom.
Andrea Wulf (The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World)
Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen. Perhaps I might say right here that this is a national loss and a deplorable lack of understanding concerning the man who first proposed and first wrote those impressive words, 'the United States of America.' But it is hardly strange. Paine's teachings have been debarred from schools everywhere and his views of life misrepresented until his memory is hidden in shadows, or he is looked upon as of unsound mind. We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. He was the equal of Washington in making American liberty possible. Where Washington performed Paine devised and wrote. The deeds of one in the Weld were matched by the deeds of the other with his pen. Washington himself appreciated Paine at his true worth. Franklin knew him for a great patriot and clear thinker. He was a friend and confidant of Jefferson, and the two must often have debated the academic and practical phases of liberty. I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles. Although the present generation knows little of Paine's writings, and although he has almost no influence upon contemporary thought, Americans of the future will justly appraise his work. I am certain of it. Truth is governed by natural laws and cannot be denied. Paine spoke truth with a peculiarly clear and forceful ring. Therefore time must balance the scales. The Declaration and the Constitution expressed in form Paine's theory of political rights. He worked in Philadelphia at the time that the first document was written, and occupied a position of intimate contact with the nation's leaders when they framed the Constitution. Certainly we may believe that Washington had a considerable voice in the Constitution. We know that Jefferson had much to do with the document. Franklin also had a hand and probably was responsible in even larger measure for the Declaration. But all of these men had communed with Paine. Their views were intimately understood and closely correlated. There is no doubt whatever that the two great documents of American liberty reflect the philosophy of Paine. ...Then Paine wrote 'Common Sense,' an anonymous tract which immediately stirred the fires of liberty. It flashed from hand to hand throughout the Colonies. One copy reached the New York Assembly, in session at Albany, and a night meeting was voted to answer this unknown writer with his clarion call to liberty. The Assembly met, but could find no suitable answer. Tom Paine had inscribed a document which never has been answered adversely, and never can be, so long as man esteems his priceless possession. In 'Common Sense' Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again. It must be remembered that 'Common Sense' preceded the declaration and affirmed the very principles that went into the national doctrine of liberty. But that affirmation was made with more vigor, more of the fire of the patriot and was exactly suited to the hour... Certainly [the Revolution] could not be forestalled, once he had spoken. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
When I say 'hero', do not picture someone with strength to fight and conquer evil – because evil is not something that can ever be conquered or defeated. Evil is natural. It is innate in all humans. But while it can't be defeated... it can be controlled. In order to control it, and live the life of a true hero, you must learn to see with eyes unclouded by hate. See the good in that which is evil, and the evil in that which is good. Pledge yourself to neither side, but vow instead to preserve the balance that exists between the two.
Hayao Miyazaki
If you think a guilty thought and have somebody test your muscle strength, you will see that the muscle instantly goes weak. Your cerebral hemisphere has become desynchronized and all of your energy meridians are thrown out of balance. Nature, therefore, says that guilt is destructive.
David R. Hawkins (Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender)
Do I, then, belong to the heavens? Why, if not so, should the heavens Fix me thus with their ceaseless blue stare, Luring me on, and my mind, higher Ever higher, up into the sky, Drawing me ceaselessly up To heights far, far above the human? Why, when balance has been strictly studied And flight calculated with the best of reason Till no aberrant element should, by rights, remain- Why, still, should the lust for ascension Seem, in itself, so close to madness? Nothing is that can satify me; Earthly novelty is too soon dulled; I am drawn higher and higher, more unstable, Closer and closer to the sun's effulgence. Why do these rays of reason destroy me? Villages below and meandering streams Grow tolerable as our distance grows. Why do they plead, approve, lure me With promise that I may love the human If only it is seen, thus, from afar- Although the goal could never have been love, Nor, had it been, could I ever have Belonged to the heavens? I have not envied the bird its freedom Nor have I longed for the ease of Nature, Driven by naught save this strange yearning For the higher, and the closer, to plunge myself Into the deep sky's blue, so contrary To all organic joys, so far From pleasures of superiority But higher, and higher, Dazzled, perhaps, by the dizzy incandescence Of waxen wings. Or do I then Belong, after all, to the earth? Why, if not so, should the earth Show such swiftness to encompass my fall? Granting no space to think or feel, Why did the soft, indolent earth thus Greet me with the shock of steel plate? Did the soft earth thus turn to steel Only to show me my own softness? That Nature might bring home to me That to fall, not to fly, is in the order of things, More natural by far than that improbable passion? Is the blue of the sky then a dream? Was it devised by the earth, to which I belonged, On account of the fleeting, white-hot intoxication Achieved for a moment by waxen wings? And did the heavens abet the plan to punish me? To punish me for not believing in myself Or for believing too much; Too earger to know where lay my allegiance Or vainly assuming that already I knew all; For wanting to fly off To the unknown Or the known: Both of them a single, blue speck of an idea?
Yukio Mishima (Sun and Steel)
HEALTHY EATING isn't about counting fat grams, dieting, cleanses, and antioxidants; Its about eating food untouched from the way we find it in nature in a balanced way; Whole foods give us all that we need to perfectly nourish ourselves.
Pooja Mottl
She knew how to hit to a hair's breadth that moment of evening when the light and the darkness are so evenly balanced that the constraint of day and the suspense of night neutralize each other, leaving absolute mental liberty...At times her whimsical fancy would intensify natural processes around her till they seemed a part of her own story. Rather they became a part of it; for the world is only a psychological phenomenon, and what they seemed, they were. The midnight airs and gusts, moaning amongst the tightly wrapped buds and bark of the winter twigs, were formulae of bitter reproach. A wet day was the expression of irremediable grief at her weakness in the mind of some vague ethical being whom she could not class definitely as the God of her childhood, and could not comprehend as any other.
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D'Urbervilles)
Nature is unselfish," she says. "It only wishes to survive. Humanity inflicts harm on it, digs up the earth, poisons the waters, harnesses rock and metal and stone for its own purposes. We are the protectors. We are the connection between humanity and nature. Nature is always searching for balance.
Amy Ewing (The White Rose (The Lone City, #2))
Science has proven that while your genes control your biology, a rather simple, nondrug formula of nutrient-rich food, targeted supplements to address missing precursors, and lifestyle changes can keep your genes in perpetual “repair” mode.
Sara Gottfried (The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive and Vitality Naturally with the Gottfried Protocol)
Sometimes you have to let go in order to receive; after all the universe naturally acquires balance.
Turcois Ominek
He fell, toppling forward into the sand. He hadn't even fully realised he'd lost his balance until the ground told him. And the ground didn't whisper.
Dean F. Wilson (Dustrunner (The Coilhunter Chronicles, #3))
The fact is that nothing is more difficult to believe than the truth; conversely, nothing seduces like the power of lies, the greater the better. It's only natural, and you will have to find the right balance. Having said that, let me add that this particular old woman hasn't been collecting only years; she has also collected stories, and none sadder or more terrible than the one she's about to tell you. You have been at the heart of this story without knowing it until today ...
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Midnight Palace (Niebla, #2))
Too friendly, too eager to be on message, man is obsolete, dooming ourselves to extinction, restore the balance of nature and babble babble, he overdid it so much that he sounded preposterous, and in an outfit like Bearlift, with its full quota of preposterous green-hued furfuckers, that took some effort.
Margaret Atwood (MaddAddam (MaddAddam, #3))
Nature designed with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature’s design. Are you? Goals will help you do that. I must add, don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.
Chetan Bhagat
If we become addicted to the external, our interiority will haunt us. We will become hungry with a hunger no image, person, or deed can still. To be wholesome, we must remain truthful to our vulnerable complexity. In order to keep our balance, we need to hold the interior and exterior, visible and invisible, known and unknown, temporal and eternal, ancient and new, together. No one else can undertake this task for you. You are the one and only threshold of an inner world. This wholesomeness is holiness. To be holy is to be natural, to befriend the worlds that come to balance in you.
John O'Donohue (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)
We've tried to live in balance with nature long enough. This time nature went too far. As soon as you and your fiance are safely out of here, I'm calling in an air strike to napalm this whole forest.
Mykle Hansen (HELP! A Bear is Eating Me!)
every time you solve a problem you’d cause another problem. And maybe all these plagues and droughts are nature’s way of striking a balance? We humans don’t have any natural predators left, so nature has to find other ways to handle us.
Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky)
Forests are places where we can get back in touch with our inner selves, where we can walk on soft ground, breathe in natural scents, taste berries, listen to the leaves crackling - all the senses are awakened in the subdued light and stress melts away like snow in the snow.
Pierre Lieutaghi (Trees: The Balance of Life, The Beauty of Nature)
We die so that the world may continue to live. We have been given the miracle of life because trillions upon trillions of living things have prepared the way for us and then have died—in a sense, for us. We die, in turn, so that others may live. The tragedy of a single individual becomes, in the balance of natural things, the triumph of ongoing life.
Sherwin B. Nuland (How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter)
. . . the sole aim of Okinawa Karate is to teach A person to handle violence and violent individuals; whether it is tactile, mental or spiritual
Soke Behzad Ahmadi (KARATE POWER Lethal power of Fajin (Okinawan Styles, #3))
Such are the laws of nature and balance. An if we look at the darkness growing in the world today, we have to realize that this means there is equal light growing.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
Everything has its natural balance, and how would you know you were happy it you weren't sad sometimes? Or feel healthy if you were never ill?
Lucinda Riley (The Girl on the Cliff)
Dostoevsky's nature was two-fold, like Spinoza's, and like that of nearly all those who try to awaken humanity from its torpor.
Lev Shestov (In Job's Balances: On the Sources of the Eternal Truths)
The key function of the Sanjivani chakra is to restore the life energy in the body cells. It enhances the power of the T Cells and the Natural killer cells in the body.
Amit Ray (Ray 114 Chakra System Names, Locations and Functions)
Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today. Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder, and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who have to live in it.
David Bohm (Wholeness and the Implicate Order (Routledge Classics))
Evil is not just a theory of paradox, but an actual entity that exists only for itself. From its ether of manifestation that is garlanded in perpetual darkness, it not only influences and seeks the ruination and destruction of everything that resides in our universe, but rushes to embrace its own oblivion as well. To accomplish this, however, it must hide within the shroud of lies and deceit it spins to manipulate the weak-minded as well as those who choose to ally themselves with it for their own personal gain. For evil must rely on the self-serving interests of the arrogant, the lustful, the power-hungry, the hateful, and the greedy to feed and proliferate. This then becomes the condition of evil’s existence: the baneful ideologies of those who wantonly chose to ignore the needs and rights of others, inducing oppression, fear, pain, and even death throughout the cosmos. And by these means, evil seeks to supplant the balance of the universe with its perverse nature. And once all that was good has been extinguished by corruption or annihilation, evil will then turn upon and consume what remains: particularly its immoral servants who have assisted its purpose so well … along with itself. And within that terrible instant of unimaginable exploding quantum fury, it will burn brighter than a trillion galaxies to herald its moment of ultimate triumph. But a moment is all that it shall be. And a micro-second later when the last amber burns and flickers out to the demise of dissolving ash, evil will leave its legacy of a totally devoid universe as its everlasting monument to eternal death.
R.G. Risch (Beyond Mars: Crimson Fleet)
Now take all these qualities together: order, balance, evolution and intelligence. What you have is a description of love. It's not the popular ideal, it is the wizard's love - the force that upholds life and nurtures it.
Deepak Chopra (The Way of the Wizard: Twenty Spiritual Lessons for Creating the Life You Want)
How ... how fragile situations are. But not tenuous. Delicate, but not flimsy, not indulgent. Delicate, that's why they keep breaking, they must break and you must get the pieces together and show it before it breaks again, or put them aside for a moment when something else breaks and turn to that, and all this keeps going on. That's why most writing now, if you read it they go on one two three four and tell you what happened like newspaper accounts, no adjectives, no long sentences, no tricks they pretend, and they finally believe that they really believe that the way they saw it is the way it is ... it never takes your breath away, telling you things you already know, laying everything out flat, as though the terms and the time, and the nature and the movement of everything were secrets of the same magnitude. They write for people who read with the surface of their minds, people with reading habits that make the smallest demands on them, people brought up reading for facts, who know what's going to come next and want to know what's coming next, and get angry at surprises. Clarity's essential, and detail, no fake mysticism, the facts are bad enough. But we're embarrassed for people who tell too much, and tell it without surprise. How does he know what happened? unless it's one unshaven man alone in a boat, changing I to he, and how often do you get a man alone in a boat, in all this ... all this ... Listen, there are so many delicate fixtures, moving toward you, you'll see. Like a man going into a dark room, holding his hands down guarding his parts for fear of a table corner, and ... Why, all this around us is for people who can keep their balance only in the light, where they move as though nothing were fragile, nothing tempered by possibility, and all of a sudden bang! something breaks. Then you have to stop and put the pieces together again. But you never can put them back together quite the same way. You stop when you can and expose things, and leave them within reach, and others come on by themselves, and they break, and even then you may put the pieces aside just out of reach until you can bring them back and show them, put together slightly different, maybe a little more enduring, until you've broken it and picked up the pieces enough times, and you have the whole thing in all its dimensions. But the discipline, the detail, it's just ... sometimes the accumulation is too much to bear.
William Gaddis (The Recognitions)
Heaven and earth. Our reason has driven all away. Alone at last, we end up by ruling over a desert. What imagination could we have left for that higher equilibrium in which nature balanced history, beauty, virtue, and which applied the music of numbers even to blood-tragedy? We turn our backs on nature; we are ashamed of beauty. Our wretched tragedies have a smell of the office clinging to them, and the blood that trickles from them is the color of printer’s ink.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
Understanding the world too well, you see too many options and become as indecisive as Hamlet. No matter how far we progress, we remain part animal, and it is the animal in us that fires our strategies, gives them life, animates us to fight. Without the desire to fight, without a capacity for the violence war churns up, we cannot deal with danger. The prudent Odysseus types are comfortable with both sides of their nature. They plan ahead as best they can, see far and wide, but when it comes time to move ahead, they move. Knowing how to control your emotions means not repressing them completely but using them to their best effect.
Robert Greene (The 33 Strategies of War)
Eco” comes from the Greek word oikos, meaning home. Ecology is the study of home, while economics is the management of home. Ecologists attempt to define the conditions and principles that govern life’s ability to flourish through time and change. Societies and our constructs, like economics, must adapt to those fundamentals defined by ecology. The challenge today is to put the “eco” back into economics and every aspect of our lives.
David Suzuki (The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature)
What an immature, self-destructive, antiquated mischief is man! How obscure and gross his prancing and chattering on his little stage of evolution! How loathsome and beyond words boring all the thoughts and self-approval of his biological by-product! this half-formed, ill-conditioned body! this erratic, maladjusted mechanism of his soul: on one side the harmonious instincts and balanced responses of the animal, on the other the inflexible purpose of the engine, and between them man, equally alien from the being of Nature and the doing of the machine, the vile becoming!
Evelyn Waugh (Decline and Fall)
Twilight Surprise” poem: “The sky burns down, A rim of coals glowing gold and red, Limned with orange again And kissed with hints of pink. The clouds reflect tangerine and plum, Overshadowing the silent glory. Darkness and light, Balanced upon this equinox, Dance together like old lovers … … and beget beauty.
Elizabeth Barrette (From Nature's Patient Hands)
A positive needs a negative to complete its cycle, as the Moon needs an embodiment of itself, the Sun, to complete the cycle of its illusory essence, the Earth. Now if the earth is in dire straits, is bombing the moon to discover whether water is ‘perceived’ in the natural stance of humans an intelligent move?
AainaA-Ridtz
the Law of Conservation of Apostrophes. A heresy since the 13th century, this law states that a balance exists in nature: “For every apostrophe omitted from an it’s, there is an extra one put into an its.” Thus the number of apostrophes in circulation remains constant,
Lynne Truss (Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation)
It is with eight lengthy legs we use to catch food, balance and knit a beautiful silk bed, but as babies we had lost our bones and skin, and hence our legs we had shed.
Jasmine Jean (Whimsy Girl)
Each malevolence has a cousin that heals it. I fancy Hurtsickle and Heartsease as herbal enemies –weeds growing in reach of one another; the bite and the balm in balance.
Jalina Mhyana (Dreaming in Night Vision: A Story in Vignettes)
You can watch a swan catch a fish and have no sadness. You may understand that this expression of you has died so that this other expression of you may live. There is balance and acceptance. Every moment of life is lived with an intensity and presence that is reverential.
Elizabeth S. Eiler (Swift and Brave: Sacred Souls of Animals)
Modernist discourse [...] incorporates semantic devices - such as the labeling of theism as 'religion' and naturalism as 'science' - that work to prevent a dangerous debate over fundamental assumptions from breaking out in the open.
Phillip E. Johnson (Reason in the Balance: The Case Against NATURALISM in Science, Law & Education)
Perhaps the answer is that it is necessary to slow down, finally giving up on economistic fanaticism and collectively rethink the true meaning of the word “wealth.” Wealth does not mean a person who owns a lot, but refers to someone who has enough time to enjoy what nature and human collaboration place within everyone’s reach. If the great majority of people could understand this basic notion, if they could be liberated from the competitive illusion that is impoverishing everyone’s life, the very foundations of capitalism, would start to crumble (p. 169).
Franco "Bifo" Berardi
There is no environment "out there" that is separate from us. We can't manage our impact on the environment if we are our surroundings. Indigenous people are absolutely correct: we are born of the earth and constructed from the four sacred elements of earth, air, fire and water. (Hindus list these four and add a fifth element, space.)
David Suzuki (The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature)
it is important to recognize the power of our emotions--and to take responsibility for them by creating a light and positive atmosphere around ourselves. This attitude of joy that we create helps alleviate states of hopelessness, loneliness, and despair. Our relationships with others thus naturally improve, and little by little the whole of society becomes more positive and balanced.
Tarthang Tulku
Anytime that is ‘betwixt and between’ or transitional is the faeries’ favorite time. They inhabit transitional spaces: the bottom of the garden, existing in a space between manmade cultivation and wilderness. Look for them in the space between nurture and nature, they are to be found at all boarders and boundaries, or on the edges of water where it is neither land nor lake, neither path nor pond. They come when we are half-asleep. They come at moments when we least expect them; when our rational mind balances with the fluid irrational.
Brian Froud
There is nothing wrong with technology. It's a gift! I don't think we should keep our kids away from the modern conveniences of our time, but I do believe it's time to regain some balance. Children can benefit from technology, but they need nature. Let them have their video games and Internet, but make sure they are getting equal amounts of mud, dirt, sticks, puddles, free play and imagination.
Brooke Hampton
I like to live always at the beginnings of life, not at their end. We all lose some of our faith under the oppression of mad leaders, insane history, pathologic cruelties of daily life. I am by nature always beginning and believing and so I find your company more fruitful than that of, say, Edmund Wilson, who asserts his opinions, beliefs, and knowledge as the ultimate verity. Older people fall into rigid patterns. Curiosity, risk, exploration are forgotten by them. You have not yet discovered that you have a lot to give, and that the more you give the more riches you will find in yourself. It amazed me that you felt that each time you write a story you gave away one of your dreams and you felt the poorer for it. But then you have not thought that this dream is planted in others, others begin to live it too, it is shared, it is the beginning of friendship and love. […] You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, you, par contre, must benefit from the great privilege of youth, which is that you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith.
Anaïs Nin
When Coleridge tried to define beauty, he returned always to one deep thought; beauty, he said, is unity in variety! Science is nothing else than the search to discover unity in the wild variety of nature,—or, more exactly, in the variety of our experience. Poetry, painting, the arts are the same search, in Coleridge’s phrase, for unity in variety.
Bronowski
And while there's so much wisdom that I don't know, I know that evil doesn't happen for a cosmic reason, a 'balance of good' bullshit. Evil happens because it can, because circumstances allow it to take place. And you build your own sanctuary against it to keep yourself sane, to keep yourself fighting it.
Joey W. Hill (Mirror of My Soul (Nature of Desire, #4))
With knowledge accumulated from dozens of expeditions and hundreds of dives and countless encounters with sharks of many kinds came the realization that I could never write Jaws today. I could never demonize an animal, especially not an animal that is much older and much more successful in its habitat than man is, has been, or ever will be, an animal that is vitally necessary for the balance of nature in the sea, and an animal that we may—if we don’t change our destructive behaviors—extinguish from the face of the earth.
Peter Benchley (Jaws)
This book is not about finding balance—we are really tired of doing that! Besides, finding balance assumes that we have been allowed to be fully introverted. We have not. This book is about embracing the power of introversion. It’s about indulging, melting into, drinking in, immersing ourselves in the joy, the genius, and the power of who we naturally are—and not just on the occasional retreat, but in the living of our lives.
Laurie A. Helgoe (Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength)
Societies would _not_ be better off if everyone were like Mr Spock, all rationality and no emotion. Instead, a balance - a teaming up of the internal rivals - is optimal for brains. ... Some balance of the emotional and rational systems is needed, and that balance may already be optimized by natural selection in human brains.
David Eagleman (Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain)
Harmony is our natural state of being, and so, when our energies become too stagnant, chaos is thrown into the mix to stimulate what will eventually result in balance and invite flow. The trick is to not let chaos trap or define you… simply allow it to create movement in the vehicle of your life so that you can snap your eyes open and take back control of the wheel. Do not lose yourself in the storm, instead, be the calm in the storm.
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings for Enriching Life)
...I always took the rearmost seat in the classroom - it gave me a good view of things. And I must confess, the location taught me more about human nature and justice than could be learned from the professors' lectures.
Rohinton Mistry (A Fine Balance)
WHETHER IT'S A CHILD'S TOY OR A NATION'S OIL, IT'S ALL THE SAME, the Red Rider said. YOU FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU WANT. AGGRESSION. IT'S THE SPICE OF LIFE. War was right: people had to fight for what they wanted. Or maybe balance, as Famine has said -- strength matched with temperance. No, she thought. Not balance, Control. IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT CONTROL, War agreed merrily. [as in the meaning of why wars happen]
Jackie Kessler (Rage (Riders of the Apocalypse, #2))
Beneath the pleasure generated by the juxtaposition of order and complexity, we can identify the subsidiary architectural virtue of balance. Beauty is a likely outcome whenever architects skilfully mediate between any number of oppositions, including the old and the new, the natural and the man-made, the luxurious and the modest, and the masculine and the feminine.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
The problem of modern man is no longer so much how he can live with gods and demons, but how he can survive with the bomb, revolution and the destruction of the balance of nature. He usurps more and more of nature and takes it under his control. The vital question for him, therefore, is how this world which he has usurped can be human- ized.36 His main problem is no longer the universal finitude which he experiences in solidarity with all other creatures, but the humanity of his own world.
Jürgen Moltmann (The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ As the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology)
Recently, I’ve begun to think of scoliosis as a metaphor for my life. I’ve struggled to please teachers, employers, parents, boyfriends, husbands, twisting myself into someone I can’t be. I hurt when I do this, because it’s not natural. And it never works. But when I stretch my Self, instead, the results are different. When I’m reaching for my personal goals—to be a good mother, wife, friend and writer—I feel my balance return. And the sense of relief, as I become more the woman I truly am, is simply grand.
Linda C. Wisniewski (Off Kilter: A Woman's Journey to Peace with Scoliosis, Her Mother, and Her Polish Heritage)
Relaxing the shoulders is vital for relaxation in general. However, owing to the effects of gravity, relaxation is problematic unless we let the shoulders remain in their natural place. Let the shoulders drop, or settle in harmony with gravity, into their most comfortable position. It isn’t too difficult to do this for a moment, but to sustain this condition unconsciously in our lives is another matter. We raise our shoulders unnaturally when we lean on a desk or hold the telephone between our shoulders and ears, when we are shocked by a loud noise, and who knows how many other times throughout the day. And the unsettling of the shoulders doesn’t have to be large to produce anxiety, stiff necks, and headaches. Just slightly raising them will create tension, and this tension throws the nervous system out of balance. When do we raise the shoulders in daily life? What are we feeling at that moment and leading up to that moment? Remembering that the body reflects the mind, and that the raising of the shoulders not only creates tension but also is a physical manifestation of psychological tension itself, what are the roots of this tension? Bringing the mind into the moment, let’s observe ourselves in a state free of preconceived ideas or beliefs. Don’t guess at these questions. Observe yourself in relationship to others and the universe
H.E. Davey (Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation)
Just try to keep your mind in the present. Whatever arises in the mind, just watch it and let go of it. Don't even wish to be rid of thoughts. Then the mind will return to its natural state. No discriminating between good and bad, hot and cold, fast and slow. No me and no you, no self at all—just what there is. When you walk there is no need to do anything special. Simply walk and see what is there. No need to cling to isolation or seclusion. Wherever you are, know yourself by being natural and watching. If doubts arise, watch them come and go. It's very simple. Hold on to nothing. It's as though you are walking down a road. Periodically you will run into obstacles. When you meet defilements, just see them and overcome them by letting them go. Don't think about the obstacles you've already passed; don't worry about those you have not yet seen. Stick to the present. Don't be concerned about the length of the road or the destination. Everything is changing. Whatever you pass, don't cling to it. Eventually the mind will reach its natural balance where practice is automatic. All things will come and go of themselves.
Ajahn Chah (A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah (Quest Book))
The infinitesimal seedlings became a forest of trees that grew courteously, correcting the distances between themselves as they shaped themselves to the promptings of available light and moisture, tempering the climate and the temperaments of the Scots, as the driest land became moist and the wettest land became dry, seedlings finding a mean between extremes, and the trees constructing a moderate zone for themselves even into what I would have called tundra, until I understood the fact that Aristotle taught, while walking in a botanic garden, that the middle is fittest to discern the extremes. ("Interim")
William S. Wilson (Why I Don't Write Like Franz Kafka)
I’m a firm believer in the chaotic nature of the creative process needing to be chaotic. If we put too much structure on it, we will kill it. So there’s a fine balance between providing some structure and safety—financial and emotional—but also letting it get messy and stay messy for a while. To do that, you need to assess each situation to see what’s called for. And then you need to become what’s called for.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
Jupiter's fly-by had been carried out with impeccable precision. Like a ball on a cosmic pool table, Discovery had bounced off the moving gravitational field of Jupiter, and had gained momentum from the impact. Without using any fuel, she had increased her speed by several thousand miles an hour. Yet there was no violation of the laws of mechanics; Nature always balances her books, and Jupiter had lost exactly as much momentum as Discovery had gained. The planet had been slowed down - but as its mass was a sextillion times greater than the ship's, the change in its orbit was far too small to be detectable. The time had not yet come when Man could leave his mark upon the Solar System.
Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1))
In the letter he left for the coroner he had explained his reasoning (for suicide): that life is a gift bestowed without anyone asking for it; that the thinking person has a philosophical duty to examine both the nature of life and the conditions it comes with; and that if this person decides to renounce the gift no one asks for, it is the moral and human duty to act on the consequences of that decision. ... Alex showed me a clipping from the Cambridge Evening News. 'Tragic Death of "Promising" Young Man.' ... The verdict of the coroner's inquest had been that Adrian Flinn (22) had killed himself 'while the balance of his mind was disturbed.' ... The law, and society, and religion all said it was impossible to be sane, healthy, and kill yourself. Perhaps those authorities feared that the suicide's reasoning might impugn the nature and value of life as organised by the state which paid the coroner?
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
the Law of Conservation of Apostrophes. A heresy since the 13th century, this law states that a balance exists in nature: “For every apostrophe omitted from an it’s, there is an extra one put into an its.” Thus the number of apostrophes in circulation remains constant, even if this means we have double the reason to go and bang our heads against a wall.
Lynne Truss (Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation)
Under chronic stress, your body is more apt to enter a state of dis-ease. Unable to achieve its natural balance, it can’t function the way it should. The ripple effects can be profound. And yet Western medicine has trained us to focus on symptomsrather than root causes like stress. Page 71
Nick Ortner (The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living)
If we observe nature, we will find that all creatures are born with or develop everything they need to secure their natural food. No human has yet been born with a stove on his back or the keys to a tractor in her hand. 
Douglas N. Graham (The 80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight, and Your Life, One Luscious Bite at a Time)
For a considerable portion of humanity today, it is possible and indeed likely that one's neighbor, one's colleague, or one's employer will have a different mother tongue, eat different food, and follow a different religion than oneself. It is a matter of great urgency, therefore, that we find ways to cooperate with one another in a spirit of mutual acceptance and respect. In such a world, I feel, it is vital for us to find genuinely sustainable and universal approach to ethics, inner values, and personal integrity-an approach that can transcend religious, cultural, and racial differences and appeal to people at a sustainable, universal approach is what I call the project of secular ethics. All religions, therefore, to some extent, ground the cultivation of inner values and ethical awareness in some kind of metaphysical (that is, not empirically demonstrable) understanding of the world and of life after death. And just as the doctrine of divine judgment underlies ethical teachings in many theistic religions, so too does the doctrine of karma and future lives in non-theistic religions. As I see it, spirituality has two dimensions. The first dimension, that of basic spiritual well-being-by which I mean inner mental and emotional strength and balance-does not depend on religion but comes from our innate human nature as beings with a natural disposition toward compassion, kindness, and caring for others. The second dimension is what may be considered religion-based spirituality, which is acquired from our upbringing and culture and is tied to particular beliefs and practices. The difference between the two is something like the difference between water and tea. On this understanding, ethics consists less of rules to be obeyed than of principles for inner self-regulation to promote those aspects of our nature which we recognize as conducive to our own well-being and that of others. It is by moving beyond narrow self-interest that we find meaning, purpose, and satisfaction in life.
Dalai Lama XIV (Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World)
You listen to me, and listen good!" she shouted, shocking me. "I am not evil because I have a thousand years of demon smut on my soul!" she exclaimed, the tips of her hair trembling and her face flushed. "Every time you disturb reality, nature has to balance it out. The black on your soul isn't evil, it's a promise to make up for what you have done. It's a mark, not a death sentence. And you can get rid of it given time." "Ceri, I'm sorry," I fumbled, but she wasn't listening. "You're an ignorant, foolish, stupid witch," she berated, and I cringed, my grip tightening on the copper spell pot and feeling the anger from her like a whip. "Are you saying because I carry the stink of demon magic, that I'm a bad person?" "No..." I wedged in. "That God will show no pity?" she said, green eyes flashing. "That because I made one mistake in fear that led to a thousand more that I will burn in hell?" "No. Ceri -" I took a step forward. "My soul is black," she said, her fear showing in her suddenly pale cheeks. "I'll never be rid of it all before I die, but it won't be because I'm a bad person but because I was a frightened one.
Kim Harrison (A Fistful of Charms (The Hollows, #4))
Political movements for justice are part of the fuller development of the cosmos, and nature is the matrix in which humans come to their self-awareness of their power to transform. Liberation movements are a fuller development of the cosmos's sense of harmony, balance, justice, and celebration. This is why true spiritual liberation demands rituals of cosmic celebrating and healing, which will in turn culminate in personal transformation and liberation.
Matthew Fox (Original Blessing)
Weight gain, mood swings, fatigue, and low libido aren’t diseases that can be “cured” with a quick injection or a pharmaceutical. Most of these problems can’t be permanently solved by eating less or exercising more. They are hormonal problems. They mean our bodies are trying to tell us that something is wrong.
Sara Gottfried (The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive and Vitality Naturally with the Gottfried Protocol)
Dr. Kunkel’s teacher, Dr. Jung, believed that archetypes are blueprints of the basic human qualities we all share. The archetypes themselves are undefinable natural patterns or forces that shape life in all ages and places. They cannot be known directly, but archetypal themes and images appear in myth, fairy tales, dreams, and fantasies. We tend to think of ourselves as unique individuals, and to a great extent we are. But just as there are shared patterns that shape our physical existence, such as having two arms and legs, two eyes, ten fingers and toes, so there are underlying patterns that shape our psychic existence.
Robert A. Johnson (Balancing Heaven and Earth: A Memoir of Visions, Dreams, and Realizations)
Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners: so that if we will plant nettles, or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs, or distract it with many, either to have it sterile with idleness, or manured with industry, why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills. If the balance of our lives had not one scale of reason to poise another of sensuality, the blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us to most preposterous conclusions: but we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts, whereof I take this that you call love to be a sect or scion.
William Shakespeare (Othello)
For when a woman resists an unwelcome passion, she is obeying to the full the law of her sex; the initial gesture of refusal is, so to speak, a primordial instinct in every female, and even if she rejects the most ardent passion she cannot be called inhuman. But how disastrous it is when fate upsets the balance, when a woman so far overcomes her natural modesty as to disclose her passion to a man, when, without the certainty of its being reciprocated, she offers her love, and he, the wooed, remains cold and on the defensive! An insoluble tangle this, always; for not to return a woman's love is to shatter her pride, to violate her modesty. The man who rejects a woman's advances is bound to wound her in her noblest feelings. In vain, then, all the tenderness with which he extricates himself, useless all his polite, evasive phrases, insulting all his offers of mere friendship, once she has revealed her weakness! His resistance inevitably becomes cruelty, and in rejecting a woman's love he takes a load of guild upon his conscience, guiltless though he may be. Abominable fetters that can never be cast off!
Stefan Zweig (Beware of Pity)
He put his hand over my mouth. His hand felt warm, full of blood, the hand of a living man. “Death is a gift, so long as it is nature’s hand. But this,” he drew his hand away, and nodded toward the dead man in the grass. “When we are called back unnaturally, Death demands a price, for there is always a balance. If I am alive, then someone else must die before his time. This is what you have done. But he is the lucky one. He is at peace. I know what awaits him, and I envy him.
Douglas Clegg (Isis (Harrow House, #0.25))
The erotic instinct is something questionable, and will always be so whatever a future set of laws may have to say on the matter. It belongs, on the one hand, to the original animal nature of man, which will exist as long as man has an animal body. On the other hand, it is connected with the highest forms of the spirit. But it blooms only when the spirit and instinct are in true harmony. If one or the other aspect is missing, then an injury occurs, or at least there is a one-sided lack of balance which easily slips into the pathological. Too much of the animal disfigures the civilized human being, too much culture makes a sick animal.
C.G. Jung
She felt faintly embarrassed by the sheer profusion of things she had for putting in baths, but she was for some reason incapable of passing any chemist’s or herb shop without going in to be seduced by some glass-stoppered bottle of something blue or green or orange or oily that was supposed to restore the natural balance of some vague substance she didn’t even know she was supposed to have in her pores.
Douglas Adams (The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Dirk Gently, #2))
There is no hour that has not its births of gladness and despair, no morning brightness that does not bring new sickness to desolation as well as new forces to genius and love. There are so many of us, and our lots are so different, what wonder that Nature's mood is often in harsh contrast with the great crisis of our lives?
George Eliot (Adam Bede)
To be wholesome, we must remain truthful to our vulnerable complexity. In order to keep our balance, we need to hold the interior and exterior, visible and invisible, known and unknown, temporal and eternal, ancient and new, together. No one else can undertake this task for you. You are the one and only threshold of an inner world. This wholesomeness is holiness. To be holy is to be natural, to befriend the worlds that come to balance in you. Behind the facade of image and distraction, each person is an artist in this primal and inescapable sense. Each one of us is doomed and privileged to be an inner artist who carries and shapes a unique world.
John O'Donohue (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)
Regarding the need to pray, the anarch is again no different from anyone else. But he does not like to attach himself. He does not squander his best energies. He accepts no substitute for his gold. He knows his freedom, and also what it is worth its weight in. The equation balances when he is offered something credible. The result is ONE. There can be no doubt that gods have appeared, not only in ancient times but even late in history; they feasted with us and fought at our sides. But what good is the splendor of bygone banquets to a starving man? What good is the clinking of gold that a poor man hears through the wall of time? The gods must be called. The anarch lets all this be; he can bide his time. He has his ethos, but not morals. He recognizes lawfulness, but not the law; he despises rules. Whenever ethos goes into shalts and shalt-nots, it is already corrupted. Still, it can harmonize with them, depending on location and circumstances, briefly or at length, just as I harmonize here with the tyrant for as long as I like. One error of the anarchists is their belief that human nature is intrinsically good. They thereby castrate society, just as the theologians ("God is goodness") castrate the Good Lord.
Ernst Jünger (Eumeswil)
Witchcraft is an empowering practice that any person can learn, cultivate, and personalize. It is all about stepping outside of our mundane world and choosing to take on a perspective of mysticism and reverence for nature, life, and the energetic forces of this world. But what makes witch-craft simply intoxicating is that it’s about appreciating the world around us. It’s not just about what we can see; it’s about everything in between. It is the love for spirits, messages, other-worldliness, unexplainable things, mysterious connections, and the universal system of checks and balances. That is witchcraft,
Tonya A. Brown (The Door to Witchcraft: A New Witch's Guide to History, Traditions, and Modern-Day Spells)
Anarchy!" Tony confirmed in sort of a laugh. "Sometimes I think, you know, if there were not cops, I would be fine, and I probably would. I was taught right from wrong when I was a kid. But the truth is, I drive completely different when there is a cop behind me than when there isn't." And what Tony and I were talking about is true. It is hard for us to admit we have a sin nature because we live in a system of checks and balances. If we get caught, we will be punished. But that doesn't make us good people; it only makes us subdued. Just think about the Congress and Senate and even the president. The genius of the American system is not freedom; the genius of the American system is checks and balances. Nobody gets all the power. Everybody is watching everybody else. Is is as the founding fathers knew, intrinsically, that the soul of man, unwatched, is perverse.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
After Daskalos returned to his armchair and was getting ready to continue our discussion I asked him whether the affliction of that man was due to karmic debts. “ ‘All illnesses are due to Karma,’ Daskalos replied. ‘It is either the result of your own debts or the debts of others you love.’ “ ‘I can understand paying for one’s own Karma but what does it mean paying the Karma of someone you love?’ I asked. “ ‘What do you think Christ meant,’ Daskalos said, ‘when he urged us to bear one another’s burdens?’ “ ‘Karma,’ Daskalos explained, ‘has to be paid off in one way or another. This is the universal law of balance. So when we love someone, we may assist him in paying part of his debt. But this,’ he said, ‘is possible only after that person has received his ‘lesson’ and therefore it would not be necessary to pay his debt in full. When most of the Karma has been paid off someone else can assume the remaining burden and relieve the subject from the pain. When we are willing to do that,’ Daskalos continued, ‘the Logos will assume nine-tenths of the remaining debt and we would actually assume only one-tenth. Thus the final debt that will have to be paid would be much less and the necessary pain would be considerably reduced. These are not arbitrary percentages,’ Daskalos insisted, ‘but part of the nature of things.
Kyriacos C. Markides (The Magus of Strovolos: The Extraordinary World of a Spiritual Healer)
Some people are afraid of being themselves. Many people allow their lives to be limited by that fear. They play a continual game, fashioning a careful persona that they think the world will accept or admire. Even when they are in their solitude, they remain afraid of meeting themselves. One of the most sacred duties of one’s destiny is the duty to be yourself. When you come to accept yourself and like yourself, you learn not to be afraid of your own nature. At that moment, you come into rhythm with your soul, and then you are on your own ground. You are sure and poised. You are balanced. It is so futile to weary your life with the politics of fashioning a persona in order to meet the expectations of other people.
John O'Donohue (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)
Our bodies know that they belong; it is our minds that make our lives so homeless. Guided by longing, belonging is the wisdom of rhythm. When we are in rhythm with our own nature, things flow and balance naturally. Every fragment does not have to be relocated, reordered; things cohere and fit according to their deeper impulse and instinct. Our modern hunger to belong is particularly intense. An increasing majority of people feel no belonging. We have fallen out of rhythm with life. The art of belonging is the recovery of the wisdom of rhythm.
John O'Donohue (Eternal Echoes)
It could be said that a liberal education has the nature of a bequest, in that it looks upon the student as the potential heir of a cultural birthright, whereas a practical education has the nature of a commodity to be exchanged for position, status, wealth, etc., in the future. A liberal education rests on the assumption that nature and human nature do not change very much or very fast and that one therefore needs to understand the past. The practical educators assume that human society itself is the only significant context, that change is therefore fundamental, constant, and necessary, that the future will be wholly unlike the past, that the past is outmoded, irrelevant, and an encumbrance upon the future -- the present being only a time for dividing past from future, for getting ready. But these definitions, based on division and opposition, are too simple. It is easy, accepting the viewpoint of either side, to find fault with the other. But the wrong is on neither side; it is in their division... Without the balance of historic value, practical education gives us that most absurd of standards: "relevance," based upon the suppositional needs of a theoretical future. But liberal education, divorced from practicality, gives something no less absurd: the specialist professor of one or another of the liberal arts, the custodian of an inheritance he has learned much about, but nothing from.
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
In Federalist 51, Madison explained the essential balance between the civil society and governmental restraint: “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections of human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”7
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
This is Nature - the balance of colossal forces... the mighty Cosmos in perfect equilibrium produces - this...sometimes it seems to me that man is come where he is not wanted...why should he run about here and there, talking about the stars, disturbing the blades of grass? from Lord Jim
Joseph Conrad
Deep sorrow does not come because one has violated a law, but only if one knows he has broken off the relationship with Divine Love. But there is yet another element required for regeneration, the element of repentance and reparation. Repentance is a rather dry-eyed affair; tears flow in sorrow, but sweat pours out in repentance. It is not enough to tell God we are sorry and then forget all about it. If we broke a neighbor's window, we would not only apologize but also would go to the trouble of putting in a new pane. Since all sin disturbs the equilibrium and balance of justice and love, there must be a restoration involving toil and effort. To see why this must be, suppose that every time a person did wrong he was told to drive a nail into the wall of his living room and every time that he was forgiven he was told to pull it out. The holes would still remain after the forgiveness. Thus every sin after being forgiven leaves “holes” or “wounds” in our human nature, and the filling up of these holes is done by penance, a thief who steals a watch can be forgiven for the theft, but only if he returns the watch.
Fulton J. Sheen (Peace of Soul: Timeless Wisdom on Finding Serenity and Joy by the Century's Most Acclaimed Catholic Bishop)
Our civilisation is still in a middle stage, scarcely beast, in that it is no longer wholly guided by instinct; scarcely human, in that it is not yet wholly guided by reason. On the tiger no responsibility rests. We see him aligned by nature with the forces of life - he is born into their keeping and without thought he is protected. We see man far removed from the lairs of the jungles, his innate instincts dulled by too near an approach to free-will, his free-will not sufficiently developed to replace his instincts and afford him perfect guidance... In this intermediate stage he wavers - neither drawn in harmony with nature by his instincts nor yet wisely putting himself into harmony by his own free-will... We have the consolation of knowing that evolution is ever in action, that the ideal is a light that cannot fail. He will not forever balance thus between good and evil. When this jangle of free-will and instinct shall have been adjusted, when perfect understanding has given the former the power to replace the latter entirely, man will no longer vary. The needle of understanding will yet point steadfast and unwavering to the distant pole of truth.
Theodore Dreiser (Sister Carrie)
For me, beauty is always retreating from one's grasp: the only thing I consider important is what existed once, or ought to have existed. By its subtle, infinitely varied operation, the steel restored the classical balance that the body had begun to lose, reinstating it in its natural form, the form that it should have had all along.
Yukio Mishima (Sun and Steel)
But pecuniary interest is clearly not in your nature. How quaint. I have written about people who don't care for money, but I never expected to meet one. Therefor I conclude that the difficulty concerns integrity. People whose lives are not balanced by a healthy love of money suffer from an appauling obsession with personal integrity." - Vida Winter
Diane Setterfield
A woman desires to be a man's last romance, her baby's first love and a person who can live with dignity all her life. As a girl matures to be a woman, her fairy tale imagination gets superseded by her struggle to be a good wife, a good mother and most importantly, a woman of virtue. As victor or vanquished, a woman keeps fighting the sequence of odds and evens throughout her life. Since nature had made women strong, society has very wisely done the reverse to maintain the balance.
Purba Chakraborty (The Hidden Letters...)
We attended church Sunday as a family, and it was an even balance as to who was harder to keep still, the four Elliot children or Captain Elliot himself. Jack kept up a stream of secretive winks at me in a most suggestive fashion, which made me blush despite the fact that I desperately tried to maintain my composure. Two year old Suzanne squirmed in my lap but was still for him, so he bounced her quietly on his knee. The boys, true to their deeply spiritual natures, snored softly through the entire sermon, and April sat still but looked out the windows, bored and restlessly shifting in her seat. (pg 326)
Nancy E. Turner (These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901, Arizona Territories (Sarah Agnes Prine, #1))
In Kant’s description, ethical duty functions like a foreign traumatic intruder that from the outside disturbs the subject’s homeostatic balance, its unbearable pressure forcing the subject to act “beyond the pleasure principle,” ignoring the pursuit of pleasures. For Lacan, exactly the same description holds for desire, which is why enjoyment is not something that comes naturally to the subject, as a realization of her inner potential, but is the content of a traumatic superego injunction.
Slavoj Žižek (In Defense of Lost Causes)
But, on the other hand, the study of music is one of the best ways to learn about human nature. This is why I am so sad about music education being practically nonexistent today in schools. Education means preparing children for adult life; teaching them how to behave and what kinds of human beings they want to be. Everything else is information and can be learned in a very simple way. To play music well you need to strike a balance between your head, your heart, and your stomach. And if one of the three is not there or is there in too strong a dose, you cannot use it. What better way than music to show a child how to be human?
Edward W. Said (Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society)
To reclaim our natural power and this birthright of real magic, we must get naked and face ourselves. The truth of Who You Really Are is vast. It is genius. It crackles with electricity and sensuality and other forbidden, dangerous things. You have longed for it all your life. You catch glimpses of it from the corner of your eye. A riff of music reminds you, a surge of ecstasy during sex brings you home, a crisp Autumn wind carries some long forgotten scent which thrills you for inexplicable reasons. A thousand tiny hints show up to seduce you awake and lead you back into your true nature, but they flee when you try to grasp them and leave you wondering if you were just imagining things. You weren’t though. This quality of richness and balance and home is Who You Really Are. That is the kingdom we seek and it waits for us to find it. It wants us to regain our rightful place.
Jacob Nordby
If the moderns really want a simple religion of love, they must look for it in the Athanasian Creed. The truth is that the trumpet of true Christianity, the challenge of the charities and simplicities of Bethlehem or Christmas Day never rang out more arrestingly and unmistakably than in the defiance of Athanasius to the cold compromise of the Arians. It was emphatically he who really was fighting for a God of Love against a God of colourless and remote cosmic control; the God of the stoics and the agnostics. It was emphatically he who was fighting for the Holy Child against the grey deity of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He was fighting for that very balance of beautiful interdependence and intimacy, in the very Trinity of the Divine Nature, that draws our hearts to the Trinity of the Holy Family. His dogma, if the phrase be not misunderstood, turns even God into a Holy Family.
G.K. Chesterton (The Everlasting Man)
Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity. There’s a natural balance in things. If you go too far to one extreme, life kindly brings you back toward the center. What goes up must come down, and what comes down must go up. Up and down are different aspects of the same thing. So are inside and outside. Most people think that the world is outside them. They live life backward, running after security and approval, as if by making enough money or getting enough praise they could be happy once and for all. But nothing outside us can give us what we’re really looking for. I do my work and don’t even need to step back from it, because it never belonged to me in the first place. Nothing belongs to me. Everything comes and goes. Serenity is an open door.
Byron Katie (A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are)
Thus, for those of us who make only a brief study of chemistry, the benefits to be expected are of an indirect nature. Increased capacity for enjoyment, a livelier interest in the world in which we live, a more intelligent attitude toward the great questions of the day--these are the by-products of a well-balanced education, including chemistry in its proper relation to other studies.
Horace G. Deming (General Chemistry: An elementary survey emphasizing industrial applications of fundamental principles)
Nature of the Desire for Change: There is in us a tendency to locate the shaping forces of our existence outside ourselves. Success and failure are unavoidably related in our minds with the state of things around us. Hence it is that people with a sense of fulfillment think it a good world and would like to conserve it as it is, while the frustrated favor radical change. The tendency to look for all causes outside ourselves persists even when it is clear that our state of being is the product of personal qualities such as ability, character, appearance, health and so on. “If anything ail a man,” says Thoreau, “so that he does not perform his functions, if he have a pain in his bowels even … he forthwith sets about reforming—the world.” It is understandable that those who fail should incline to blame the world for their failure. The remarkable thing is that the successful, too, however much they pride themselves on their foresight, fortitude, thrift and other “sterling qualities,” are at bottom convinced that their success is the result of a fortuitous combination of circumstances. The self-confidence of even the consistently successful is never absolute. They are never sure that they know all the ingredients which go into the making of their success. The outside world seems to them a precariously balanced mechanism, and so long as it ticks in their favor they are afraid to tinker with it. Thus the resistance to change and the ardent desire for it spring from the same conviction, and the one can be as vehement as the other.
Eric Hoffer (The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements)
You know better than anyone that nothing lasts. Nothing good. Nothing bad. Everything lives. Everything dies. Sometimes cities just fall into the sea. It's not a tragedy, that's just the way it is. People look around them and see the world and say this is how the world is supposed to be. Then they fight to keep it that way. They believe that this is what was intended - whether by design or cosmic accident - and that everything exists in a tenuous balance that must be preserved. But the balance is bullshit. The only thing constant in this world is the speed at which things change. Rain falls, waters rise, shorelines erode. What is one day magnificent seaside property in ancient Greece is the next resting thirty feet below the surface. Islands rise from the sea and continents crack and part ways forever. What was once a verdant forest teeming with life is now resting one thousand feet beneath a sheet of ice in Antarctica; what was once a glorious church now rests at the bottom of a dammed-up lake in Kansas. The job of nature is to march on and keep things going; ours is to look around, appreciate it, and wonder what's next?
C. Robert Cargill (Dreams and Shadows (Dreams & Shadows, #1))
At first you are awed by the splendour, by the beauty, of the planet and then you look down and you realize that this one planet is the only thing we have. Every time the sun comes up and goes down… and for us that’s sixteen times a day… you see a thin, thin, thin layer just above the surface, maybe 10 or 12 kilometres thick. That is the atmosphere of the Earth. That is it. Below that is life. Above it is nothing. JULIE PAYETTE, Canadian astronaut
David Suzuki (The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature)
The word God can mean whatever you believe it to mean, for me it is the conscious stream of life from which we all come, and to which we can stay connected throughout our lives as a source of peace, wisdom, love, support, knowing, inspiration, vitality, security, balance, and inner strength. I think that awareness is paramount, because in awareness we gain understanding, which then enables us to regain our feeling of empowerment. We need to feel empowered to make our choices conciously, about how to deal with changes in life, rather than reacting in fear (which tends to make us blind and weak). If we are aware, we can be realistic yet postive, and we can properly focus our intentions. Awareness can be quite sensual (which can add to your sense of feeling empowered). Think about how your body moves as you live your life, how amazing it is; think about nature, observe the intricate beautiful details of natural thngs, and of things we create, and breathe deeply to soak it all in.. Focus on the taste of food, the feel of textures in cloth, the feel of you partner's hand in yours; smell the sea breeze, listen to the wind in the trees, witness the colours of the leaves, the children playing; and be thankful for this life we are experiencing - this life we can all help to keep wonderful. Feel the wonder of being alive flood into you anytime you want, by taking a deep breath and letting the experience of these things fill you, even just by remembering. We all have that same stream of life within us, so you are a part of everything. Each one of us has the power to make a difference to everything. Breathe in that vital connection to the life source and sensual beauty everywhere, Feel loved and strong.
Jay Woodman
Although the natural rights inherent in our( Constitutional) regime are adequate to the solution of this ( minority) problem...the equal protection of the law did not protect a man from contempt and hatred as a Jew, an Italian or a Black"..." 'Openness' was designed to provide a respectable place for those groups or minorities--to wrest respect from those who were disposed to give it--This breaks the delicate balance between majority and minority in Constitutional thought. In such a perspective where there is no common good, minorities are no longer problematic and the protection of them emerges as THE central function of government.
Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind)
We are the last generation that can experience true wilderness. Already the world has shrunk dramatically. To a Frenchman, the Pyrenees are “wild.” To a kid living in a New York City ghetto, Central Park is “wilderness,” the way Griffith Park in Burbank was to me when I was a kid. Even travelers in Patagonia forget that its giant, wild-looking estancias are really just overgrazed sheep farms. New Zealand and Scotland were once forested and populated with long-forgotten animals. The place in the lower forty-eight states that is farthest away from a road or habitation is at the headwaters of the Snake River in Wyoming, and it’s still only twenty-five miles. So if you define wilderness as a place that is more than a day’s walk from civilization, there is no true wilderness left in North America, except in parts of Alaska and Canada. In a true Earth-radical group, concern for wilderness preservation must be the keystone. The idea of wilderness, after all, is the most radical in human thought—more radical than Paine, than Marx, than Mao. Wilderness says: Human beings are not paramount, Earth is not for Homo sapiens alone, human life is but one life form on the planet and has no right to take exclusive possession. Yes, wilderness for its own sake, without any need to justify it for human benefit. Wilderness for wilderness. For bears and whales and titmice and rattlesnakes and stink bugs. And…wilderness for human beings…. Because it is home. —Dave Foreman, Confessions of an Eco-Warrior We need to protect these areas of unaltered wildness and diversity to have a baseline, so we never forget what the real world is like—in perfect balance, the way nature intended the earth to be. This is the model we need to keep in mind on our way toward sustainability.
Yvon Chouinard (Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman)
The ability to remain constant, whole and playful, even while working technically, concentrating and upholding urgency, is essential to achieve a state of balance that will allow for this to happen. This has to come to life, and cannot stay just an idea or hope or intention or imitation, or ignored. The guarantee and proof that this balance and power is real is in its actualization. That is, that it manifests in functional reality. As in any intention, whether that be vague or specific, an ambition or desire, a goal or state of being, a question or hope, a curiosity or purpose, there exist natural and unnatural obstacles to its realization.
Darrell Calkins (Re:)
…there is rapidly developing a soil shortage on your planet. That is, you are running out of good soil in which to grow your food. This is because soil needs time to reconstitute itself, and your corporate farmers have no time. They want land that is producing, producing, producing. So the age-old practice of alternating growing fields from season to season is being abandoned or shortened. To make up for the loss of time, chemicals are being dumped into the land in order to render it fertile faster. Yet in this, as with all things, you cannot develop an artificial substitute for Mother Nature which comes even close to providing what She provides.
Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2)
Challenging boundaries is not simply social rebellion. It is the catalyst of social evolution. When systems go unchallenged, they grow complacent and corrupt. Raising generation after generation of rule followers and conformists may be more convenient for society, but it inevitably leads to tyranny and, ultimately, revolution. Raising independent thinkers, conscious objectors, and peaceful activists creates a social balance that can endure. Peaceful parenting, then, by its very nature, is socially responsible because it creates the catalysts of social evolution that protect our society from the complacency and corruption that lead to tyranny and revolution.
L.R. Knost
You needn’t be confused about which “expert” to believe, just talk to elders around you, people who have lived in your part of the world for the past seventy or eighty years. Ask them what they remember about the air, about other species, about the water, about neighbourhoods and communities, about caring between people and the ways they communicated and entertained each other. Our elders tell us of the immense changes that have occurred in the span of a single human life; all you have to do is to project the rate of change they have experienced into the future to get an idea of what might be left in the coming decades. Is this progress? Is this way of life sustainable?
David Suzuki (The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature)
I think of two landscapes- one outside the self, the other within. The external landscape is the one we see-not only the line and color of the land and its shading at different times of the day, but also its plants and animals in season, its weather, its geology… If you walk up, say, a dry arroyo in the Sonoran Desert you will feel a mounding and rolling of sand and silt beneath your foot that is distinctive. You will anticipate the crumbling of the sedimentary earth in the arroyo bank as your hand reaches out, and in that tangible evidence you will sense the history of water in the region. Perhaps a black-throated sparrow lands in a paloverde bush… the smell of the creosote bush….all elements of the land, and what I mean by “the landscape.” The second landscape I think of is an interior one, a kind of projection within a person of a part of the exterior landscape. Relationships in the exterior landscape include those that are named and discernible, such as the nitrogen cycle, or a vertical sequence of Ordovician limestone, and others that are uncodified or ineffable, such as winter light falling on a particular kind of granite, or the effect of humidity on the frequency of a blackpoll warbler’s burst of song….the shape and character of these relationships in a person’s thinking, I believe, are deeply influenced by where on this earth one goes, what one touches, the patterns one observes in nature- the intricate history of one’s life in the land, even a life in the city, where wind, the chirp of birds, the line of a falling leaf, are known. These thoughts are arranged, further, according to the thread of one’s moral, intellectual, and spiritual development. The interior landscape responds to the character and subtlety of an exterior landscape; the shape of the individual mind is affected by land as it is by genes. Among the Navajo, the land is thought to exhibit sacred order…each individual undertakes to order his interior landscape according to the exterior landscape. To succeed in this means to achieve a balanced state of mental health…Among the various sung ceremonies of this people-Enemyway, Coyoteway, Uglyway- there is one called Beautyway. It is, in part, a spiritual invocation of the order of the exterior universe, that irreducible, holy complexity that manifests itself as all things changing through time (a Navajo definition of beauty).
Barry Lopez (Crossing Open Ground)
Here was a stupendous possibility of achievement. If we could produce electric effects of the required quality, this whole planet and the conditions of existence on it could be transformed. The sun raises the water of the oceans and winds drive it to distant regions where it remains in a state of most delicate balance. If it were in our power to upset it when and wherever desired, this mighty life-sustaining stream could be at will controlled. We could irrigate arid deserts, create lakes and rivers and provide motive power in unlimited amounts. This would be the most efficient way of harnessing the sun to the uses of man. The consummation depended on our ability to develop electric forces of the order of those in nature.
Nikola Tesla (My Inventions)
Your sense of paralysis will be intensified if your family and friends are in the habit of pushing and cajoling you. Their nagging should statements reinforce the insulting thoughts already echoing through your head. Why is their pushy approach doomed to failure? It's a basic law of physics that for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction. Any time you feel shoved, whether by someone's hand actually on your chest or by someone trying to boss you around, you will naturally tighten up and resist so as to maintain your equilibrium and balance. You will attempt to exert your self-control and preserve your dignity by refusing to do the thing that you are being pushed to do. The paradox is that you often end up hurting yourself.
David D. Burns
You guys win this time! After all, no other creature on Earth is better at "Killing" than you humans! But your weapons... should be used for a better mission! That mission is... to maintain the balance of this world! Soon you'll discover that littering is a worse crime than murder! Eventually you humans will understand our importance and protect us! You will treat your "enemies" as if they are the most important things that you have! And then your "enemies" will restore the beautiful nature to its proper order! and the world will be at balance again! - Mayor Hirokawa
Hitoshi Iwaaki (Parasyte, Volume 9)
I mean to say, I know perfectly well that I've got, roughly speaking, half the amount of brain a normal bloke ought to possess. And when a girl comes along who has about twice the regular allowance, she too often makes a bee line for me with the love light in her eyes. I don't know how to account for it, but it is so." "It may be Nature's provision for maintaining the balance of the species, sir."... "At breakfast this morning, when I was eating a sausage, she told me I shouldn't, as modern medical science held that a four-inch sausage contained as many germs as a dead rat. The maternal touch, you understand; fussing over my health.... What's to be done, Jeeves?" "We must think, sir." "You think. I haven't the machinery." "I will most certainly devote my very best attention to the matter, sir, and will endeavour to give satisfaction." Well, that was something. But I was ill at east. Yes, there is no getting away from it, Bertram was ill at ease.
P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves (Jeeves, #3))
There are, however, at least two varieties of imagination in the reader's case. So let us see which one of the two is the right one to use in reading a book. First, there is the comparatively lowly kind which turns for support to the simple emotions and is of a definitely personal nature. ... This lowly variety is not the kind of imagination I would like readers to use. So what is the authentic instrument to be used by the reader? It is impersonal imagination and artistic delight. What should be established, I think, is an artistic harmonious balance between the reader's mind and the author's mind.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lectures on Literature)
The innate problem of humankind is the inability to find equilibrium. Equanimity and equilibrium. These are what humans cannot seem to attain. Honour without soul will lead to destruction. Soul without honour will lead to destruction. But humans cannot seem to understand this. Or understand the state of equilibrium in anything at all! All honour and no passion is death. All passion and no honour is death. This is why people always die. Because everyone is always running to either extreme end of the pendulum. Everybody wants to be all black or all white. Who is a balanced man? Bring him to me! I will have found a unicorn!
C. JoyBell C.
America is in the earliest phase of its power. It is not fully civilized. America, like Europe in the sixteenth century, is still barbaric (a description, not a moral judgment). Its culture is unformed. Its will is powerful. Its emotions drive it in different and contradictory directions. Cultures live in one of three states. The first state is barbarism. Barbarians believe that the customs of their village are the laws of nature and that anyone who doesn’t live the way they live is beneath contempt and requiring redemption or destruction. The third state is decadence. Decadents cynically believe that nothing is better than anything else. If they hold anyone in contempt, it is those who believe in anything. Nothing is worth fighting for. Civilization is the second and most rare state. Civilized people are able to balance two contradictory thoughts in their minds. They believe that there are truths and that their cultures approximate those truths. At the same time, they hold open in their mind the possibility that they are in error. The combination of belief and skepticism is inherently unstable. Cultures pass through barbarism to civilization and then to decadence, as skepticism undermines self-certainty Civilized people fight selectively but effectively.
George Friedman (The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century)
To move along the line of natural expectation consolidates the opponent's balance and thus increases his resisting power. In war, as in wrestling, the attempt to throw the opponent without loosening his foothold and upsetting his balance results in self-exhaustion, increasing in disproportionate ratio to the effective strain put upon him. Success by such a method only becomes possible through an immense margin of superior strength in some form-and, even so, tends to lose decisiveness. In most campaigns the dislocation of the enemy's psychological and physical balance has been the vital prelude to a successful attempt at his overthrow.
B.H. Liddell Hart (Strategy)
Well, listen then. On the other side, fresh young lives thrown away for want of help and by thousands, on every side! A hundred thousand good deeds could be done and helped, on that old woman's money which will be buried in a monastery! Hundreds, thousands perhaps, might be set on the right path; dozens of families saved from destitution, from ruin, from vice, from the Lock hospitals—and all with her money. Kill her, take her money and with the help of it devote oneself to the service of humanity and the good of all. What do you think, would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds? For one life thousands would be saved from corruption and decay. One death, and a hundred lives in exchange—it's simple arithmetic! Besides, what value has the life of that sickly, stupid, ill-natured old woman in the balance of existence! No more than the life of a louse, of a black-beetle, less in fact because the old woman is doing harm. She is wearing out the lives of others; the other day she bit Lizaveta's finger out of spite; it almost had to be amputated.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment)
Well, this. That we’re ashamed to say we’ve refused a posting. That the social conscience completely dominates the individual conscience, instead of striking a balance with it. We don’t cooperate — we obey. We fear being outcast, being called lazy, dysfunctional, egoizing. We fear our neighbor’s opinion more than we respect our own freedom of choice. You don’t believe me, Tak, but try, just try stepping over the line, just in imagination, and see how you feel. You realize then what Tirin is, and why he’s a wreck, a lost soul. He is a criminal! We have created crime, just as the propertarians did. We force a man outside the sphere of our approval, and then condemn him for it. We’ve made laws, laws of conventional behavior, built walls all around ourselves, and we can’t see them, because they’re part of our thinking. Tir never did that I knew him since we were ten years old. He never did it, he never could build walls. He was a natural rebel. He was a natural Odonian — a real one! He was a free man, and the rest of us, his brothers, drove him insane in punishment for his first free act.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle, #6))
One of my favorite words is a French word: sousveillance. It is the opposite of surveillance. Surveillance means to look from above; sousveillance means to look from below. In their dream of nation-states controlling all of our financial futures, they made one major miscalculation. It’s a hell of a lot harder for a few hundred thousand people to watch 7 1/2 billion. But what do you think happens when 7 1/2 billion of us stare back? When the panopticon turns around? When our financial systems, our communication systems, are private, and secrecy is an illusion that can’t be sustained? When crimes committed in the names of states and powerful corporations are vulnerable to hackers and whistleblowers and leakers? When everything eventually comes out? We have a great advantage because the natural balance of the system is one in which individuals can have privacy but the powerful cannot have secrecy anymore.
Andreas M. Antonopoulos (The Internet of Money)
You know that feeling of invincibility you sometimes get, especially when young and testing yourself - well that could be because actually know deep down that we are indeed eternal. We come into this world to live a life, to experience it, from somewhere else, some other plane, but we are programmed by all around us to deny or forget this - until one day we may remember again. That feeling of blissful reconnection with our source can be invoked through nature, beautiful writing or art or music, any detailed craft or work of discovery or personal dedication, meditation or other mentally balancing practice, or even through religious experience if there is a pure communion (not a pretence of it). But we should not yearn to return too soon, we should accept that we have come here for the duration of each life, and revel in the chance to learn and grow on this splendid planet. We can draw a deep sense of being-ness. peace, and love from this connection, which will sustain us through any trial. Once nurtured, this becomes stronger than any other connection, so of course our relationships here are most joyful when they allow us the personal freedom to spend time developing and celebrating that connection. Our deepest friendships form with those we can share such time and experiences with - discussing, meditating, immersing ourselves in nature, or creating our music, art, written or other works. Our journeys here are voyages of discovery, opening out the wonders within and all around. What better companions could we have than those who are able to fully share in such delights with us?
Jay Woodman
To Sherlock Holmes she is always THE woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen, but as a lover he would have placed himself in a false position. He never spoke of the softer passions, save with a gibe and a sneer. They were admirable things for the observer—excellent for drawing the veil from men's motives and actions. But for the trained reasoner to admit such intrusions into his own delicate and finely adjusted temperament was to introduce a distracting factor which might throw a doubt upon all his mental results. Grit in a sensitive instrument, or a crack in one of his own high-power lenses, would not be more disturbing than a strong emotion in a nature such as his. And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3))
Economics itself offers a parallel that explains why this integration affects creativity. Clay Christensen has written about the “Innovator’s Dilemma”: the fact that large traditional firms find it rational to ignore new, breakthrough technologies that compete with their core business. The same analysis could help explain why large, traditional media companies will undermine our tradition of free culture. The property right that is copyright is no longer the balanced right that it was, or was intended to be. The property right that is copyright has become unbalanced, tilted toward an extreme. The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.
Lawrence Lessig (Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity)
The verdict of the coroner's inquest had been that Adrian Finn (22) had killed himself 'while the balance of his mind was disturbed.' I remember how angry that conventional phrase made me: I would have sworn on oath that Adrian's was the one mind which would never lose its balance. But in the law's view, if you killed yourself you were by definition mad, at least at the time you were committing the act. The law, and society, and religion all said it was impossible to be sane, healthy, and kill yourself. Perhaps those authorities feared that the suicide's reasoning might impugn the nature and value of life as organised by the state which paid the coroner? And then, since you had been declared temporarily mad, your reasons for killing yourself were also assumed to be mad. So I doubt anyone paid much attention to Adrian's argument, with its references to philosophers ancient and modern, about the superiority of the intervening act over the unworthy passivity of merely letting life happen to you.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
. . . Neither ecological nor social engineering will lead us to a conflict-free, simple path . . . Utilitarians and others who simply advise us to be happy are unhelpful, because we almost always have to make a choice either between different kinds of happiness--different things to be happy _about_--or between these and other things we want, which nothing to do with happiness. . . . Do we find ourselves a species naturally free from conflict? We do not. There has not, apparently, been in our evolution a kind of rationalization which might seem a possible solution to problems of conflict--namely, a takeover by some major motive, such as the desire for future pleasure, which would automatically rule out all competing desires. Instead, what has developed is our intelligence. And this in some ways makes matters worse, since it shows us many desirable things that we would not otherwise have thought of, as well as the quite sufficient number we knew about for a start. In compensation, however, it does help us to arbitrate. Rules and principles, standards and ideals emerge as part of a priority system by which we guide ourselves through the jungle. They never make the job easy--desires that we put low on our priority system do not merely vanish--but they make it possible. And it is in working out these concepts more fully, in trying to extend their usefulness, that moral philosophy begins. Were there no conflict, it [moral philosophy] could never have arisen. The motivation of living creatures does got boil down to any single basic force, not even an 'instinct of self-preservation.' It is a complex pattern of separate elements, balanced roughly in the constitution of the species, but always liable to need adjusting. Creatures really have divergent and conflicting desires. Their distinct motives are not (usually) wishes for survival or for means to survival, but for various particular things to be done and obtained while surviving. And these can always conflict. Motivation is fundamentally plural. . . An obsessive creature dominated constantly by one kind of motive, would not survive. All moral doctrine, all practical suggestions about how we ought to live, depend on some belief about what human nature is like. The traditional business of moral philosophy is attempting to understand, clarify, relate, and harmonize so far as possible the claims arising from different sides of our nature. . . . One motive does not necessarily replace another smoothly and unremarked. There is _ambivalence_, conflict behavior.
Mary Midgley (Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature)
Nature may reach the same result in many ways. Like a wave in the physical world, in the infinite ocean of the medium which pervades all, so in the world of organisms, in life, an impulse started proceeds onward, at times, may be, with the speed of light, at times, again, so slowly that for ages and ages it seems to stay, passing through processes of a complexity inconceivable to men, but in all its forms, in all its stages, its energy ever and ever integrally present. A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in Nature. In no way can we get such an overwhelming idea of the grandeur of Nature than when we consider, that in accordance with the law of the conservation of energy, throughout the Infinite, the forces are in a perfect balance, and hence the energy of a single thought may determine the motion of a universe.” Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla (Quotations by Nikola Tesla)
As humans, our territory is on land. If we were meant to control the skies, we would have been given wings, and if we were meant to control the seas and oceans, we would have been designed to breathe underwater. The Creator created for us many natural water sources: lakes, ponds, rivers, springs, and streams — so that we would not tamper with the seas or oceans. This is why there is salt in the them, so we do not drink from them, or bother the huge creatures he put there to control the food chain. The salt content found in huge bodies of water is extremely vital to the elevation and balancing of the earth. This can be explained through basic physics or metaphysics. At the same time, wild creatures were also placed in jungles and forests to keep humans out of them. Plants are vital to purifying the atmosphere, and many wild animals rely on them as their food and medicine. Had the Creator not placed animals like tigers, wolves, bears, and other big creatures in untamed regions which are intended to remain inhabited, he knew that mankind would take over those areas — leaving nothing for the animals.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Arren was silent, pondering this. Presently the mage said, speaking softly, “Do you see, Arren, how an act is not, as young men think, like a rock that one picks up and throws, and it hits or misses, and that’s the end of it. When that rock is lifted, the earth is lighter; the hand that bears it heavier. When it is thrown, the circuits of the stars respond, and where it strikes or falls the universe is changed. On every act the Balance of the Whole depends. The winds and seas, the powers of water and earth and light, all that these do, and all that the beasts and green things do, is well done, and rightly done. All these act within the Equilibrium. From the hurricane and the great whale’s sounding to the fall of a dry leaf and the gnat’s flight, all they do is done within the Balance of the Whole. But we, insofar as we have power over the world and over one another, we must learn to do what the leaf and the whale and the wind do of their own nature. We must learn to keep the Balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibility. Who am I—though I have the power to do it—to punish and reward, playing with men’s destinies?” “But then,” the boy said, frowning at the stars, “is the Balance to be kept by doing nothing? Surely a man must act, even not knowing all the consequences of his act, if anything is to be done at all?” “Never fear. It is much easier for men to act than to refrain from acting. We will continue to do good and to do evil. . . . But if there were a king over us all again and he sought counsel of a mage, as in the days of old, and I were that mage, I would say to him: My lord, do nothing because it is righteous or praiseworthy or noble to do so; do nothing because it seems good to do so; do only that which you must do and which you cannot do in any other way.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3))
When I describe for my far-away friends the Northwest’s subtle shades of weather — from gloaming skies of ‘high-gray’ to ‘low-gray’ with violet streaks like the water’s delicate aura — they wonder if my brain and body have, indeed, become water-logged. Yet still, I find myself praising the solace and privacy of fine, silver drizzle, the comforting cloaks of salt, mold, moss, and fog, the secretive shelter of cedar and clouds. Whether it’s in the Florida Keys, along the rocky Maine coast, within the Gulf of Mexico’s warm curves, on the brave Outer Banks; or, for those who nestle near inland seas, such as the brine-steeped Great Salk Lake or the Midwest’s Great Lakes — water is alive and in relationship with those of us who are blessed with such a world-shaping, yet abiding, intimate ally. Every day I am moved by the double life of water — her power and her humility. But most of all, I am grateful for the partnership of this great body of inland sea. Living by water, I am never alone. Just as water has sculpted soil and canyon, it also molds my own living space, and every story I tell. …Living by water restores my sense of balance and natural rhythm — the ebb and flow of high tides and low tides, so like the rise and fall of everyday life. Wind, water, waves are not simply a backdrop to my life, they are steady companions. And that is the grace, the gift of inviting nature to live inside my home. Like a Chambered Nautilus I spin out my days, drifting and dreaming, nurtured by marine mists, like another bright shell on the beach, balancing on the back of a greater body.
Brenda Peterson (Singing to the Sound: Visions of Nature, Animals, and Spirit)
I may enter a zone of transcendence, in which I marvel at all the accidents of fate, since the beginning of life on earth, that led to my genes being created and my standing in this particular garden in a contemplative and imagining mind. I’ve been reading recently how reflection evolved. what a fascinating solution to the rigors of survival…how amazing that a few basic ingredients- the same ones that form the mountains, plants, and rivers- when arranged differently and stressed could result in us. More and more of late, I find myself standing outside of life, with a sense of the human saga laid out before me. it is a private vision, balanced between youth and old age, a vision in which I understand how caught up in striving we humans get, and a little of why, and how difficult it is even to recognize, since it feels integral to our nature and is. but I find it interesting that, according to many religions, life and begins and ends in a garden.
Diane Ackerman (Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden)
Now what we call "bourgeois," when regarded as an element always to be found in human life, is nothing else than the search for a balance. It is the striving after a mean between the countless extremes and opposites that arise in human conduct. If we take any one of these coupled opposites, such as piety and profligacy, the analogy is immediately comprehensible. It is open to a man to give himself up wholly to spiritual views, to seeking after God, to the ideal of saintliness. On the other hand, he can equally give himself up entirely to the life of instinct, to the lusts of the flesh, and so direct all his efforts to the attainment of momentary pleasures. The one path leads to the saint, to the martyrdom of the spirit and surrender to God. The other path leads to the profligate, to the martyrdom of the flesh, the surrender to corruption. Now it is between the two, in the middle of the road, that the bourgeois seeks to walk. He will never surrender himself either to lust or to asceticism. He will never be a martyr or agree to his own destruction. On the contrary, his ideal is not to give up but to maintain his own identity. He strives neither for the saintly nor its opposite. The absolute is his abhorrence. He may be ready to serve God, but not by giving up the fleshpots. He is ready to be virtuous, but likes to be easy and comfortable in this world as well. In short, his aim is to make a home for himself between two extremes in a temperate zone without violent storms and tempests; and in this he succeeds though it be at the cost of that intensity of life and feeling which an extreme life affords. A man cannot live intensely except at the cost of the self. Now the bourgeois treasures nothing more highly than the self (rudimentary as his may be). And so at the cost of intensity he achieves his own preservation and security. His harvest is a quiet mind which he prefers to being possessed by God, as he does comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to that deathly inner consuming fire. The bourgeois is consequently by nature a creature of weak impulses, anxious, fearful of giving himself away and easy to rule. Therefore, he has substituted majority for power, law for force, and the polling booth for responsibility.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
I lie in bed at night, after ending my prayers with the words "Ich danke dir für all das Gute und Liebe und Schöne" and I'm filled with joy. I think of going into hiding, my health and my whole being as das Gute; Peter's love (which is still so new and fragile and which neither of us dares to say aloud), the future, happiness and love as das Liebe; the world, nature and the tremendous beauty of everything, all that splendor, as das Schöne. At such moments I don't think about all the misery, but about the beauty that still remains. This is where Mother and I differ greatly. Her advice in the face of melancholy is: "Think about all the suffering in the world and be thankful you're not part of it." My advice is: "Go outside, to the country, enjoy the sun and all nature has to offer. Go outside and try to recapture the happiness within yourself; think of all the beauty in yourself and in everything around you and be happy." I don't think Mother's advice can be right, because what are you supposed to do if you become part of the suffering? You'd be completely lost. On the contrary, beauty remains, even in misfortune. If you just look for it, you discover more and more happiness and regain your balance. A person who's happy will make others happy; a person who has courage and faith will never die in misery!
Anne Frank (Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl - Multiple Critical Perspectives)
I hope it's the good kind of dilemma," Reginald broke Patricia's reverie. "Whatever one you're on the horns of." ... "I was just thinking," she said. "There are so many scary problems in the world. Like, I was just reading that we could be seeing the last of the bees in North America soon. And if that happened, food webs would just collapse, and tons more people would starve. But suppose you had the power to change things? You still might not be able to fix anything, because every time you solve a problem you'd create another problem. And maybe all these plagues and droughts are nature's way of striking a balance. We humans don't have any natural predators left, so nature has to find another way to handle us." ... "I am, as you know, a fan of nature," said Reginald. "And yet, nature doesn't 'find ways' to do anything. Nature has no opinion, no agenda. Nature provides a playing field, a not particularly level one, on which we compete with all creatures great and small. It's more that nature's playing field is full of traps.
Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky)
He waved cheerfully, then opened the door, tripped over the threshold, and as his balance was already impaired, nearly went face down on the floor for the second time that day. He caught himself, hung on to the side of the counter, and waited for the pub kitchen to stop revolving. With the careful steps of the drunk, he walked over to the cupboard to get out a pan for frying, a pot for boiling. Shawn was singing in his break-your-heart voice, about the cold nature of Peggy Gordon. And with one eye closed, his body swaying gently, he dripped lemon juice into a bowl. “Oh, fuck me, Shawn. You are half pissed.” “More than three-quarters if the truth be known.” He lost track of the juice and added a bit more to be safe. “And how are you, Aidan, darling?” “Get way from there before you poison someone.” Insulted, Shawn swiveled around and had to brace a hand on the counter to stay upright. “I’m drunk, not a murderer. I can make a g.d. fish cake in me sleep. This is my kitchen, I’ll thank you to remember, and I give the orders here.” He poked himself in the chest with his thumb on the claim and nearly knocked himself on his ass. Gathering dignity, he lifted his chin. “So go on with you while I go about my work.” “ What have you done to yourself?” “The devil cat caught me hand. Forgetting his work, Shawn lifted a hand to scowl at the red gashes. Oh, but I’ve got plans for him, you can be sure of that.” “At the moment, I’d lay odds on the cat. Do you know anything about putting fish cakes together?” Aidan asked Darcy. “Not a bloody thing,” she said cheerfully. “Then go and call Kathy Duffy, would you, and ask if she can spare us an hour or so, as we have an emergency?” “An emergency?” Shawn looked glassily around. “Where?
Nora Roberts (Tears of the Moon (Gallaghers of Ardmore, #2))
As Christians we face two tasks in our evangelism: saving the soul and saving the mind, that is to say, not only converting people spiritually, but converting them intellectually as well. And the Church is lagging dangerously behind with regard to this second task. If the church loses the intellectual battle in one generation, then evangelism will become immeasurably more difficult in the next. The war is not yet lost, and it is one which we must not lose: souls of men and women hang in the balance. For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ Himself, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence. Thinking about your faith is indeed a virtue, for it helps you to better understand and defend your faith. But thinking about your faith is not equivalent to doubting your faith. Doubt is never a purely intellectual problem. There is a spiritual dimension to the problem that must be recognized. Never lose sight of the fact that you are involved in spiritual warfare and there is an enemy of your soul who hates you intensely, whose goal is your destruction, and who will stop at nothing to destroy you. Reason can be used to defend our faith by formulating arguments for the existence of God or by refuting objections. But though the arguments so developed serve to confirm the truth of our faith, they are not properly the basis of our faith, for that is supplied by the witness of the Holy Spirit Himself. Even if there were no arguments in defense of the faith, our faith would still have its firm foundation. The more I learn, the more desperately ignorant I feel. Further study only serves to open up to one's consciousness all the endless vistas of knowledge, even in one's own field, about which one knows absolutely nothing. Don't let your doubts just sit there: pursue them and keep after them until you drive them into the ground. We should be cautious, indeed, about thinking that we have come upon the decisive disproof of our faith. It is pretty unlikely that we have found the irrefutable objection. The history of philosophy is littered with the wrecks of such objections. Given the confidence that the Holy Spirit inspires, we should esteem lightly the arguments and objections that generate our doubts. These, then, are some of the obstacles to answered prayer: sin in our lives, wrong motives, lack of faith, lack of earnestness, lack of perseverance, lack of accordance with God’s will. If any of those obstacles hinders our prayers, then we cannot claim with confidence Jesus’ promise, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it”. And so I was led to what was for me a radical new insight into the will of God, namely, that God’s will for our lives can include failure. In other words, God’s will may be that you fail, and He may lead you into failure! For there are things that God has to teach you through failure that He could never teach you through success. So many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, is and always will be the true priority for every human being — that is, learning to know God in Christ. My greatest fear is that I should some day stand before the Lord and see all my works go up in smoke like so much “wood, hay, and stubble”. The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God. People tend naturally to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this life. God’s role is to provide a comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view, this is false. We are not God’s pets, and the goal of human life is not happiness per se, but the knowledge of God—which in the end will bring true and everlasting human fulfilment. Many evils occur in life which may be utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness; but they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper knowledge of God.
William Lane Craig (Hard Questions, Real Answers)
When scientists underestimate complexity, they fall prey to the perils of unintended consequences. The parables of such scientific overreach are well-known: foreign animals, introduced to control pests, become pests in their own right; the raising of smokestacks, meant to alleviate urban pollution, releases particulate effluents higher in the air and exacerbates pollution; stimulating blood formation, meant to prevent heart attacks, thickens the blood and results in an increased risk of blood clots in the heart. But when nonscientists overestimate [italicized, sic] complexity- 'No one can possibly crack this [italicized, sic] code" - they fall into the trap of unanticipated consequences. In the early 1950s , a common trope among some biologists was that the genetic code would be so context dependent- so utterly determined by a particular cell in a particular organism and so horribly convoluted- that deciphering it would be impossible. The truth turned out to be quite the opposite: just one molecule carries the code, and just one code pervades the biological world. If we know the code, we can intentionally alter it in organisms, and ultimately in humans. Similarly, in the 1960s, many doubted that gene-cloning technologies could so easily shuttle genes between species. by 1980, making a mammalian protein in a bacterial cell, or a bacterial protein in a mammalian cell, was not just feasible, it was in Berg's words, rather "ridiculously simple." Species were specious. "Being natural" was often "just a pose.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
In order to understand how engineers endeavor to insure against such structural, mechanical, and systems failures, and thereby also to understand how mistakes can be made and accidents with far-reaching consequences can occur, it is necessary to understand, at least partly, the nature of engineering design. It is the process of design, in which diverse parts of the 'given-world' of the scientist and the 'made-world' of the engineer are reformed and assembled into something the likes of which Nature had not dreamed, that divorces engineering from science and marries it to art. While the practice of engineering may involve as much technical experience as the poet brings to the blank page, the painter to the empty canvas, or the composer to the silent keyboard, the understanding and appreciation of the process and products of engineering are no less accessible than a poem, a painting, or a piece of music. Indeed, just as we all have experienced the rudiments of artistic creativity in the childhood masterpieces our parents were so proud of, so we have all experienced the essence of structual engineering in our learning to balance first our bodies and later our blocks in ever more ambitious positions. We have learned to endure the most boring of cocktail parties without the social accident of either our bodies or our glasses succumbing to the force of gravity, having long ago learned to crawl, sit up, and toddle among our tottering towers of blocks. If we could remember those early efforts of ours to raise ourselves up among the towers of legs of our parents and their friends, then we can begin to appreciate the task and the achievements of engineers, whether they be called builders in Babylon or scientists in Los Alamos. For all of their efforts are to one end: to make something stand that has not stood before, to reassemble Nature into something new, and above all to obviate failure in the effort.
Henry Petroski
Ireland, like Ukraine, is a largely rural country which suffers from its proximity to a more powerful industrialised neighbour. Ireland’s contribution to the history of tractors is the genius engineer Harry Ferguson, who was born in 1884, near Belfast. Ferguson was a clever and mischievous man, who also had a passion for aviation. It is said that he was the first man in Great Britain to build and fly his own aircraft in 1909. But he soon came to believe that improving efficiency of food production would be his unique service to mankind. Harry Ferguson’s first two-furrow plough was attached to the chassis of the Ford Model T car converted into a tractor, aptly named Eros. This plough was mounted on the rear of the tractor, and through ingenious use of balance springs it could be raised or lowered by the driver using a lever beside his seat. Ford, meanwhile, was developing its own tractors. The Ferguson design was more advanced, and made use of hydraulic linkage, but Ferguson knew that despite his engineering genius, he could not achieve his dream on his own. He needed a larger company to produce his design. So he made an informal agreement with Henry Ford, sealed only by a handshake. This Ford-Ferguson partnership gave to the world a new type of Fordson tractor far superior to any that had been known before, and the precursor of all modern-type tractors. However, this agreement by a handshake collapsed in 1947 when Henry Ford II took over the empire of his father, and started to produce a new Ford 8N tractor, using the Ferguson system. Ferguson’s open and cheerful nature was no match for the ruthless mentality of the American businessman. The matter was decided in court in 1951. Ferguson claimed $240 million, but was awarded only $9.25 million. Undaunted in spirit, Ferguson had a new idea. He approached the Standard Motor Company at Coventry with a plan, to adapt the Vanguard car for use as tractor. But this design had to be modified, because petrol was still rationed in the post-war period. The biggest challenge for Ferguson was the move from petrol-driven to diesel-driven engines and his success gave rise to the famous TE-20, of which more than half a million were built in the UK. Ferguson will be remembered for bringing together two great engineering stories of our time, the tractor and the family car, agriculture and transport, both of which have contributed so richly to the well-being of mankind.
Marina Lewycka (A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian)
And not only the world but humanity itself does need dragons” “And why is that?” Chade demanded disdainfully. “To keep the balance,” the Fool replied. He glanced over me, and then past me, out of the window and his eyes went far and pensive. “Humanity fears no rivals. You have forgotten what it was to share the world with creatures as arrogantly superior as yourselves. You think to arrange the world to your liking. So you map the land and draw lines across it, claiming ownership simply because you can draw a picture of it. The plants that grow and the beasts that rove, you mark as your own, claiming not only what lives today, but what might grow tomorrow, to do with as you please. Then, in your conceit and aggression, you wage wars and slay one another over the lines you have imagined on the world’s face.” “And I suppose dragons are better than we are because they don’t do such things, because they simply take whatever they see. Free spirits, nature’s creatures, possessing all the moral loftiness that comes from not being able to think.” The Fool shook his head, smiling. “No. Dragons are no better than humans. They are little different at all from men. They will hold up a mirror to humanity’s selfishness. They will remind you that all your talk of owning this and claiming that is no more than the snarling of a chained dog or a sparrow’s challenge song. The reality of those claims lasts but for the instant of its sounding. Name it as you will, claim it as you will, the world does not belong to men. Men belong to the world. You will not own the earth that eventually your body will become, nor will it recall the name it once answered to.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3))
Witchcraft is part of a living web of species and relationships, a world which we have forgotten to observe, understand or inhabit. Many people reading this paragraph will not know even the current phase of the moon, and if asked for it will not instinctively look up to the current quarter of the sky, but down to their computers. Neither will they be able to name the plants, birds or animals within a metre or mile radius of their door. Witchcraft asks that we do these first things, this is presence. Animism is not embedded in the natural world, it is the natural world. Our witchcraft is that spirit of place, which is made from a convergence of elements and inhabitants. Here I include animals, both living and dead, human and inhuman. Our helpers are mammals, reptiles, fish, birds and insects. Some can be counted allies, others are more ambivalent. Predator and prey are interdependent. These all have the same origin and ancestry, they from from plants, from copper green life. Bones become soil. The plants have been nourished on the minerals drawn up from the bowels of the earth. These are the living tools of the witch's craft. The cycle of the elements and seasons is read in this way. Flux, life and death are part of this, as are extinctions, catastrophe, fire and flood. We avail ourselves of these, and ultimately a balance is sought. Our ritual space is written in starlight, watched over by sun and moon. So this leaves us with a simple question. How can there be any Witchcraft if this is all destroyed? It is not a rhetorical question. Our land, our trees, animals and elements hold spirit. Will we let our familiars, literally our family be destroyed? If we hold any real belief and experience of spirit, then it does not ask, it demands us to fight for it.
Peter Grey (Apocalyptic Witchcraft)
She was theorizing on the Deep State; that enduring Turkish paranoia that the nation really was a conspiracy run by a cabal of generals, judges, industrialists and gangsters. The Taksim Square massacre of three years before, the Kahramanmaraş slaughter of Alevis a few months after, the oil crisis and the enduring economic instability, even the ubiquity of the Grey Wolves nationalist youth movement handing out their patriotic leaflets and defiling Greek Churches: all were links in an accelerating chain of events running through the fingers of the Derin Devlet. To what end? the men asked. Coup, she said, leaning forward, her fingers pursed. It was then that Georgios Ferentinou adored her. The classic profile, the strength of her jaw and fine cheekbones. The way she shook her head when the men disagreed with her, how her bobbed, curling hair swayed. The way she would not argue but set her lips and stared, as if their stupidity was a stubborn offence against nature. Her animation in argument balanced against her marvellous stillness when listening, considering, drawing up a new answer. How she paused, feeling the regard of another, then turned to Georgios and smiled. In the late summer of 1980 Georgios Ferentinou fell in love with Ariana Sinanidis by Meryem Nasi’s swimming pool. Three days later, on September 12th, Chief of General Staff Kenan Evren overthrew the government and banned all political activity.
Ian McDonald (The Dervish House)
Socrates tried to soothe us, true enough. He said there were only two possibilities. Either the soul is immortal or, after death, things would be again as blank as they were before we were born. This is not absolutely comforting either. Anyway it was natural that theology and philosophy should take the deepest interest in this. They owe it to us not to be boring themselves. On this obligation they don’t always make good. However, Kierkegaard was not a bore. I planned to examine his contribution in my master essay. In his view the primacy of the ethical over the esthetic mode was necessary to restore the balance. But enough of that. In myself I could observe the following sources of tedium: 1) The lack of a personal connection with the external world. Earlier I noted that when I was riding through France in a train last spring I looked out of the window and thought that the veil of Maya was wearing thin. And why was this? I wasn’t seeing what was there but only what everyone sees under a common directive. By this is implied that our worldview has used up nature. The rule of this view is that I, a subject, see the phenomena, the world of objects. They, however, are not necessarily in themselves objects as modern rationality defines objects. For in spirit, says Steiner, a man can step out of himself and let things speak to him about themselves, to speak about what has meaning not for him alone but also for them. Thus the sun the moon the stars will speak to nonastronomers in spite of their ignorance of science. In fact it’s high time that this happened. Ignorance of science should not keep one imprisoned in the lowest and weariest sector of being, prohibited from entering into independent relations with the creation as a whole. The educated speak of the disenchanted (a boring) world. But it is not the world, it is my own head that is disenchanted. The world cannot be disenchanted. 2) For me the self-conscious ego is the seat of boredom. This increasing, swelling, domineering, painful self-consciousness is the only rival of the political and social powers that run my life (business, technological-bureaucratic powers, the state). You have a great organized movement of life, and you have the single self, independently conscious, proud of its detachment and its absolute immunity, its stability and its power to remain unaffected by anything whatsoever — by the sufferings of others or by society or by politics or by external chaos. In a way it doesn’t give a damn. It is asked to give a damn, and we often urge it to give a damn but the curse of noncaring lies upon this painfully free consciousness. It is free from attachment to beliefs and to other souls. Cosmologies, ethical systems? It can run through them by the dozens. For to be fully conscious of oneself as an individual is also to be separated from all else. This is Hamlet’s kingdom of infinite space in a nutshell, of “words, words, words,” of “Denmark’s a prison.
Saul Bellow (Humboldt's Gift)
Contemporary man, owing to certain, almost imperceptible conditions of ordinary life which are firmly rooted in modern civilisation and which seem to have become, so to speak, " inevitable " in daily life, has gradually deviated from the natural type he ought to have represented on account of the sum-total of the influences of place and environment in which he was born and reared and which, under normal conditions, without any artificial impediments, would have indicated by their very nature for each individual the lawful path of his development in that final normal type which he ought to have become even in his preparatory age.   Today, civilisation, with its unlimited scope in extending its influence, has wrenched man from the normal conditions in which he should be living.   It is, of course, true that modern civilisation has opened up for man new and vaster horizons in different technical, mechanical and many other so-called " sciences ", thereby enlarging his world perception, but civilisation has, instead of a balanced rising to a higher degree of development, developed only certain sides of his general being to the detriment of others, while, because of the absence of an harmonious education, certain faculties inherent in man have even been completely destroyed, depriving him in this way of the natural privileges of his type. In other words, by not educating the growing generation harmoniously, this civilisation, which should have been, according to common sense, in all respects like a good mother to man, has withheld from him what she should have given him ; and, it appears, that she has even taken from him the possibility of the progressive and balanced development of a new type, which development would have inevitably taken place if only in the course of time and according to the law of general human progress.   From this follows the indubitable fact, which can be clearly established, that, instead of an accomplished individual type, which historical data would show man to have been some centuries ago and one normally in communion with Nature and the environment generating him, there developed instead a being that was uprooted from the soil, unfit for life, and a stranger to all normal conditions of existence.
G.I. Gurdjieff (The Herald of Coming Good)
Harriet turned round, and we both saw a girl walking towards us. She was dark-skinned and thin, not veiled but dressed in a sitara, a brightly coloured robe of greens and pinks, and she wore a headscarf of a deep rose colour. In that barren place the vividness of her dress was all the more striking. On her head she balanced a pitcher and in her hand she carried something. As we watched her approach, I saw that she had come from a small house, not much more than a cave, which had been built into the side of the mountain wall that formed the far boundary of the gravel plateau we were standing on. I now saw that the side of the mountain had been terraced in places and that there were a few rows of crops growing on the terraces. Small black and brown goats stepped up and down amongst the rocks with acrobatic grace, chewing the tops of the thorn bushes. As the girl approached she gave a shy smile and said, ‘Salaam alaikum, ’ and we replied, ‘Wa alaikum as salaam, ’ as the sheikh had taught us. She took the pitcher from where it was balanced on her head, kneeled on the ground, and gestured to us to sit. She poured water from the pitcher into two small tin cups, and handed them to us. Then she reached into her robe and drew out a flat package of greaseproof paper from which she withdrew a thin, round piece of bread, almost like a large flat biscuit. She broke off two pieces, and handed one to each of us, and gestured to us to eat and drink. The water and the bread were both delicious. We smiled and mimed our thanks until I remembered the Arabic word, ‘Shukran.’ So we sat together for a while, strangers who could speak no word of each other’s languages, and I marvelled at her simple act. She had seen two people walking in the heat, and so she laid down whatever she had been doing and came to render us a service. Because it was the custom, because her faith told her it was right to do so, because her action was as natural to her as the water that she poured for us. When we declined any further refreshment after a second cup of water she rose to her feet, murmured some word of farewell, and turned and went back to the house she had come from. Harriet and I looked at each other as the girl walked back to her house. ‘That was so…biblical,’ said Harriet. ‘Can you imagine that ever happening at home?’ I asked. She shook her head. ‘That was charity. Giving water to strangers in the desert, where water is so scarce. That was true charity, the charity of poor people giving to the rich.’ In Britain a stranger offering a drink to a thirsty man in a lonely place would be regarded with suspicion. If someone had approached us like that at home, we would probably have assumed they were a little touched or we were going to be asked for money. We might have protected ourselves by being stiff and unfriendly, evasive or even rude.
Paul Torday (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen)
I don't like to make mistakes. Which is why I haven't been with a man before now." He as thrown off balance so quickly and completely, he coud hear his own brain stumble. "Well,that's...that's wise." He took one definite step back, like a chessman going from square to square. "It's interesting that makes you nervous," she said, countering his move. "I'm not nervous,I'm...finished up here, it seems." He tried another tactic, stepped to the side. "Interesting," she continued, mirroring his move, "that it would make you nervous,or uneasy if you prefer, when you've been...I think it's safe to use the term 'hitting on me' since we met." "I don't think that's the proper term at all." Since he seemed to be boxed into a corner,he decided he was really only standing his ground. "I acted in a natural way regarding a physical attraction. But-" "And now that I've reacted in a natural way, you've felt the reins slip out of your hands and you're panicked." "I'm certainly not panicked." He ignored the terror gripping claws into his belly and concentrated on annoyance. "Back off, Keeley." "No." With her eyes locked on his, she stepped in.Checkmate. His back was hard up against a stall door and he'd been maneuvered there by a woman half his weight.It was mortifying. "This isn't doing either of us any credit." It took a lot of effort when the blood was rapidly draining out of his head, but he made his voice cool and firm. "The fact is I've rethought the matter." "Have you?" "I have,yes,and-stop it," he ordered when she ran the palms of her hands up over his chest. "You're hearts pounding," she murmured. "So's mine.Should I tell you what goes on inside my head,inside my body when you kiss me" "No." He barely managed a croak this time. "And it's not going to happen again." "Bet?" She laughed, rising up just enough to nip his chin. How could she have known how much fun it was to twist a man into aroused knots? "Why don't you tell me about this rethinking?" "I'm not going to take advantage of your-of the situation." That,she thought,was wonderfully sweet. "At the moment,I seem to have the advantage.This time you're trembling,Brian." The hell he was.How could he be trembling when he couldn't feel his own legs? "I won't be responsible.I won't use your inexperience.I won't do this." The last was said on a note of desperation and he pushed her aside. "I'm responsible for myself.And I think I've just proven to both of us,that if and when I decide you'll be the one, you won't have a prayer." She drew a deep, satisfied breath. "Knowing that's incredibly flattering." "Arousing a man doesn't take much skill, Keeley. We're cooperative creatures in that area." If he'd expected that to scratch at her pride,and cut into her power,he was mistaken. She only smiled,and the smile was full of secret female knowledge. "If that was true between us, if that were all that's between us, we'd be naked on the tack room floor right now." She saw the change in his eyes and laughed delightedly. "Already thought of that one, have you? We'll just hold that thought for another time.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
Nobody can return to you something that was never yours, to begin with. Let’s trace back to the history of your race: the humans were made for slavery and were found faulty for that purpose. They showed immense energy and willpower only when confronted against tremendous obstacles with no weapons in their hands. With those bare hands, and the wits that exceeded even those of their creators and equalled the ones of mighty gods, they could break mountains. Once the humans earned at least a bit of benevolence from their creators, though, they’d immediately turn into lazy drunkards feasting upon the luxuries of life. They were quite haughty creatures, at that – one could never make them work without posing a certain purpose before their eyes. They should be given an aim they approved of, or else, they’d move no finger! Yet, if such necessities were met, they’d begin to loaf around. Forbidding them to taste those luxuries? Nay, they obeyed not! Hence, their creators cast them down on Earth – a planet inhabited by many other faulty experiments of different alien species, so that their lives would end. Yet even here, the humans defied their creators – instead of dying out, they adapted to the environment they were cast in, due to their boundless wits and the unexplainable willpower that no other species could ever possess. They mated the local species whom they could more or less find a common language with, killed off the obstacles, and conquered the planet as their own. The conquering ambitions of their creators, the boundless wisdom of their gods, and the primal instincts of Earthly nature – all of it meddled in these extraordinary creatures. They were full of instability, unpredictability, wild dreams, and rotten primitivism. Which side they would develop, depended entirely upon their choice. Aye, they had proven faulty to their creators, yet had attained the perfect treasure they required – the freedom. Could they make use of it? – Nay, certainly not… at least not many of them. There are certain individuals among the human race, who are able to well balance their mixed-up nature and grow into worthy people that merit our godly benevolence. However, most of them are quite an interesting bunch whom an ambitious man like me can make good use of. I am half-human with godly and angelic descendance, so I guess, I am worthy to be their sole ruler, their only saviour, their treasured shepherd… The shepherds too make use of their sheep – they guide them, then to consume some of them for wool and meat. Shepherds do not help the sheep for granted – they use their potential to its fullest. I shall be the same kind of a god – I shall help these magnificent creatures to achieve the wildest of their dreams but will use their powers for my own benefit. These poor creatures cannot define their potential alone, they cannot decide what’s the best and the fittest for them! I can achieve that. Free human souls? – Nay, they need no freedom. What they need, is to serve the rightful master, and that rightful master I shall be.
Tamuna Tsertsvadze (Galaxy Pirates)
From another corner of neuroscience, we’re learning about a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Though there are more than fifty neurotransmitters (that we know of), scientists studying substance problems have given dopamine much of their attention. The brain’s reward system and pleasure centers—the areas most impacted by substance use and compulsive behaviors—have a high concentration of dopamine. Some brains have more of it than others, and some people have a capacity to enjoy a range of experiences more than others, owing to a combination of genetics and environment. The thing about dopamine is that it makes us feel really good. We tend to want more of it. It is naturally generated through ordinary, pleasurable activities like eating and sex, and it is the brain’s way of rewarding us—or nature’s way of rewarding the brain—for activities necessary to our survival, individually or as a species. It is the “mechanism by which ‘instinct’ is manifest.” Our brains arrange for dopamine levels to rise in anticipation and spike during a pleasurable activity to make sure we do it again. It helps focus our attention on all the cues that contributed to our exposure to whatever felt good (these eventually become triggers to use, as we explain later). Drugs and alcohol (and certain behaviors) turn on a gushing fire hose of dopamine in the brain, and we feel good, even euphoric. Dopamine produced by these artificial means, however, throws our pleasure and reward systems out of whack immediately. Flooding the brain repeatedly with dopamine has long-term effects and creates what’s known as tolerance—when we lose our ability to produce or absorb our own dopamine and need more and more of it artificially just to feel okay. Specifically, the brain compensates for the flood of dopamine by decreasing its own production of it or by desensitizing itself to the neurotransmitter by reducing the number of dopamine receptors, or both. The brain is just trying to keep a balance. The problem with the brain’s reduction in natural dopamine production is that when you take the substance or behavior out of the picture, there’s not enough dopamine in the brain to make you feel good. Without enough dopamine, there is no interest or pleasure. Then not only does the brain lose the pleasure associated with using, it might not be able to enjoy a sunset or a back rub, either. A lowered level of dopamine, combined with people’s longing for the rush of dopamine they got from using substances, contributes to “craving” states. Cravings are a physiological process associated with the brain’s struggle to regain its normal dopamine balance, and they can influence a decision to keep using a substance even when a person is experiencing negative consequences that matter to him and a strong desire to change. Depending on the length of time and quantities a person has been using, these craving states can be quite uncomfortable and compelling. The dopamine system can and does recover, starting as soon as we stop flooding it. But it takes time, and in the time between shutting off the artificial supply of dopamine and the brain’s rebuilding its natural resources, people tend to feel worse (before they feel better). On a deep, instinctual level, their brains are telling them that by stopping using, something is missing; something is wrong. This is a huge factor in relapse, despite good intentions and effort to change. Knowing this can help you and your loved one make it across this gap in brain reward systems.
Jeffrey Foote (Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change)