Basis Of Life Quotes

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I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen - I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Mary Schmich
There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparison. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always like a sketch. No, "sketch" is not quite a word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch for nothing, an outline with no picture.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
This is for girls who have the tendency to stay up at night listening to music that reminds them of their current situation. Who hide their fears, hurt, pain and tears under the smiles, laughs and giggles on a daily basis. The girls who wear their heart on their sleeve. The girls who pray that things will work out just once and they'll be satisfied. The girls who sceam and cry to their pillows because everyone else fails to listen. The girls who have so many secrets but wont tell a soul. The girls who have mistakes and regrets as a daily moral. The girls that never win. The girls that stay up all night thinking about that one boy and hoping that he'll notice her one day. The girls who take life as it comes, to the girls who are hoping that it'll get better somewhere down the road. For the girls who love with all their heart although it always gets broken. To girls who think it's over. To real girls, to all girls: You're beautiful.
Zayn Malik
Consideration for others is the basis of a good life, a good society.
Confucius
When you look at what C.S. Lewis is saying, his message is so anti-life, so cruel, so unjust. The view that the Narnia books have for the material world is one of almost undisguised contempt. At one point, the old professor says, ‘It’s all in Plato’ — meaning that the physical world we see around us is the crude, shabby, imperfect, second-rate copy of something much better. I want to emphasize the simple physical truth of things, the absolute primacy of the material life, rather than the spiritual or the afterlife. [The New York Times interview, 2000]
Philip Pullman
Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly -- that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to oneself. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion -- these are the two things that govern us.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Stories)
I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief... I'm not in the business of offending people. I find the books upholding certain values that I think are important, such as life is immensely valuable and this world is an extraordinarily beautiful place. We should do what we can to increase the amount of wisdom in the world. [Washington Post interview, 19 February 2001]
Philip Pullman
The pleasure of living and the pleasure of the orgasm are identical. Extreme orgasm anxiety forms the basis of the general fear of life.
Wilhelm Reich
The truth was, history repeated itself on a daily basis; mistakes were made over and over. People were haunted by what they had done, and by what they hadn't had time to do.
Jodi Picoult
I used to think it utterly normal that I suffered from “suicidal ideation” on an almost daily basis. In other words, for as long as I can remember, the thought of ending my life came to me frequently and obsessively.
Stephen Fry
There is an hour, a minute - you will remember it forever - when you know instinctively on the basis of the most inconsequential evidence, that something is wrong. You don't know - can't know - that it is the first of a series of "wrongful" events that will culminate in the utter devastation of your life as you have known it.
Joyce Carol Oates (A Widow's Story)
It's an odd thing to think about, but try imagining that your breakup is a disease. If you were told that you had a serious yet curable disease, would you go get hammered on a regular basis? Eat two bags of Oreos? Chain-smoke, pop, pills, get stoned, or fuck around? NO YOU WOULDN'T. You would take great care of yourself and cut all the unhealthy things out of your life. Because you love yourself, and even if you don't right now, WE DO. So put the (insert vice here) and start moving on.
Greg Behrendt (It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy)
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's. Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.
Mary Schmich (Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life)
Everybody in this life has their challenges and difficulties. That is part of our mortal test. The reason for some of these trials cannot be readily understood except on the basis of faith and hope because there is often a larger purpose which we do not always understand. Peace comes through hope.
James E. Faust
Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand.
Neil Armstrong
Decadence is the total loss of unconsciousness, which is the very basis of life. Could it think, the heart would stop beating.
Fernando Pessoa
To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see over-all patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom (or, at least, the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology, or in states of mind that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings. We may seek, too, a relaxing of inhibitions that makes it easier to bond with each other, or transports that make our consciousness of time and mortality easier to bear. We seek a holiday from our inner and outer restrictions, a more intense sense of the here and now, the beauty and value of the world we live in.
Oliver Sacks
The only casting directors who’d be willing to call Tommy in on the basis of this headshot were the ones curious about what it was like to be murdered.
Greg Sestero (The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made)
Is that the basis of friendship? Is it as reactive as that? Do we respond only to people who seem to find us interesting?... Do we all buzz or ring or light up when people press our vanity buttons, and only then? Can I think of anyone in my whole life whom I have liked without his first showing signs of liking me?
Wallace Stegner (Crossing to Safety)
The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all morality.
John F. Kennedy
No matter what you feel is holding you back in life, you can attempt anything. Repeat that motivational cup sentence until it gets in your gut and doesn’t sound like something stupid on a Hallmark card, because it is the basis for anything that will make you happy in this world.
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
When everything is subject to money, then the scarcity of money makes everything scarce, including the basis of human life and happiness. Such is the life of the slave—one whose actions are compelled by threat to survival. Perhaps the deepest indication of our slavery is the monetization of time.
Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition)
Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. it is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.
C.S. Lewis
Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? . . . No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation. And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. Amen.
Benedict XVI
It is not lies or a lack of loyalty that ends a relationship. It is the agonizing truth that one person feels in their heart on a daily basis. It is realizing that you are coping and not living. It is the false belief that there is a verse, quote, phrase or talk that will magically make you feel content, complete or not care. However, it doesn’t last longer than a few days, before your mind and heart goes back to what it wants. It is the moment you realize that you left without ever leaving. It is the moment you realize that fear, shame or guilt is the only thing standing in the way of the life God meant for you to live.
Shannon L. Alder
When life becomes too complicated and we feel overwhelmed, it’s often useful just to stand back and remind ourselves of our overall purpose, our overall goal. When faced with a feeling of stagnation and confusion, it may be helpful to take an hour, an afternoon, or even several days to simply reflect on what it is that will truly bring us happiness, and then reset our priorities on the basis of that. This can put our life back in proper context, allow a fresh perspective, and enable us to see which direction to take.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living)
Compassion is the basis of morality,’ the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer had written, in one of his softer moments. Maybe it was the basis of life too.
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
I am still surprised on a regular basis at the love I feel for the spirit of God, the deep respect and emotion that I experience when I see an expanse of water or a new baby or the kindness of strangers.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
Independence I have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue; and independence I will ever secure by contracting my wants, though I were to live on a barren heath.
Mary Wollstonecraft
Look at that chessboard we put back in place,’ said Mrs Elm softly. ‘Look at how ordered and safe and peaceful it looks now, before a game starts. It’s a beautiful thing. But it is boring. It is dead. And yet the moment you make a move on that board, things change. Things begin to get more chaotic. And that chaos builds with every single move you make.’ ‘It’s an easy game to play,’ she told Nora. ‘But a hard one to master. Every move you make opens a whole new world of possibilities...In chess, as in life, possibility is the basis of everything. Every hope, every dream, every regret, every moment of living...never underestimate the big importance of small things.
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
I have no desire for others to take it on themselves to analyze my thoughts. I am without thoughts. I have never, not even once, acted on the basis of any doctrine or philosophy.I am convinced that those people whom the world considers good and respects are all liars and fakes. I do not trust the world.
Osamu Dazai (The Setting Sun)
Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth. What remains in the bum or studiedly jocular desperation of one who is aware of the obscene Presence in the corner of the room and knows that the door is locked, that there aren’t any windows. And now the thing bears down on him. He feels a hand on his sleeve, smells a stinking breath, as the executioner’s assistant leans almost amorously toward him. “Your turn next, brother. Kindly step this way.” And in an instant his quiet terror is transmuted into a frenzy as violent as it is futile. There is no longer a man among his fellow men, no longer a rational being speaking articulately to other rational beings; there is only a lacerated animal, screaming and struggling in the trap. For in the end fear casts out even a man’s humanity. And fear, my good friends, fear is the very basis and foundation of modern life. Fear of the much touted technology which, while it raises out standard of living, increases the probability of our violently dying. Fear of the science which takes away the one hand even more than what it so profusely gives with the other. Fear of the demonstrably fatal institutions for while, in our suicidal loyalty, we are ready to kill and die. Fear of the Great Men whom we have raised, and by popular acclaim, to a power which they use, inevitably, to murder and enslave us. Fear of the war we don’t want yet do everything we can to bring about.
Aldous Huxley (Ape and Essence)
I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves -- this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed empty to me. The trite objects of human efforts -- possessions, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible.
Albert Einstein (The World As I See It)
This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.
Thich Nhat Hanh (No Death, No Fear)
Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we've utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy. So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
Wasn’t that kind of the basis of passion? I didn’t know that either. The only thing I knew for sure was that this kiss had been a lot like the last one. Nice, but it didn’t blow me away. My heart sank. There was something wrong with me. Everyone was always going on about how socially inept I was. Did it extend to romance as well? Was I so cold that I’d spend my life never feeling anything?
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
The foundation of success in life is good health: that is the substratum fortune; it is also the basis of happiness. A person cannot accumulate a fortune very well when he is sick.
P.T. Barnum (The Art of Money Getting: Golden Rules for Making Money)
My mother's voice and my father's fists are two bookends of my childhood, and they form the basis of my art.
Pat Conroy (My Reading Life)
Understanding human nature must be the basis of any real improvement in human life. Science has done wonders in mastering the laws of the physical world, but our own nature is much less understood, as yet, than the nature of stars and electrons. When science learns to understand human nature, it will be able to bring a happiness into our lives which machines and the physical sciences have failed to create.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays)
Take a moment to think about the context in which your next decision will occur: You did not pick your parents or the time and place of your birth. You didn't choose your gender or most of your life experiences. You had no control whatsoever over your genome or the development of your brain. And now your brain is making choices on the basis of preferences and beliefs that have been hammered into it over a lifetime - by your genes, your physical development since the moment you were conceived, and the interactions you have had with other people, events, and ideas. Where is the freedom in this? Yes, you are free to do what you want even now. But where did your desires come from?
Sam Harris (Free Will)
It was strange how the heart clung to hope even when there was no reasonable basis for it, Morgan found. And how life went on.
Mary Balogh (Slightly Tempted (Bedwyn Saga, #4))
What you tell yourself on a daily basis is more powerful than you know.
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
Optimism hopes for the best without any guarantee of its arriving and is often no more than whistling in the dark. Christian hope, by contrast, is faith looking ahead to the fulfillment of the promises of God, as when the Anglican burial service inters the corpse 'in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ.' Optimism is a wish without warrant; Christian hope is a certainty, guaranteed by God himself. Optimism reflects ignorance as to whether good things will ever actually come. Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life, and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth, on the basis of God's own commitment, that the best is yet to come.
J.I. Packer
Losing a belief in free will has not made me fatalistic—in fact, it has increased my feelings of freedom. My hopes, fears, and neuroses seem less personal and indelible. There is no telling how much I might change in the future. Just as one wouldn’t draw a lasting conclusion about oneself on the basis of a brief experience of indigestion, one needn’t do so on the basis of how one has thought or behaved for vast stretches of time in the past. A creative change of inputs to the system—learning new skills, forming new relationships, adopting new habits of attention—may radically transform one’s life.
Sam Harris (Free Will)
...loss is essential, loss is part and parcel of that necessary calamity called life. Mind you, I'm not complaining. Thanks to some inexplicable universal guiding force, it is always the worthless things we lose - slough off, like a moulting snake. Losing and losing again, is the very basis of the process, til all we are left with is the bare essence of human existence...
Rohinton Mistry
And, as I watched the Lincoln come by degrees to a relationship with what it saw, I understood something: the basis of life is not a greed to exist, not a desire of any kind. It's fear, the fear which I saw here. And not even fear: much worse. Absolute dread. Paralyzing dread so great as to produce apathy.
Philip K. Dick (We Can Build You)
He isn’t like most guys, you know?' I know.' No, but do you really know? I mean here’s the deal, what do most guys want from a woman? I’ll tell you what we want. We want a warm body to sleep next to, preferably one with a nice pair of tits, maybe someone who’ll cook for us and fuck us on a regular basis. Pretty simple, huh? Now, what we don’t want is someone who’s going to come in and disrupt our lives and steal our souls. That’s what we fear most. We call it our freedom, but it’s our souls we’re talking about. You following me?' I nodded. Okay, good. Now forget it. Forget all that,' Pete said. 'Because Jacob’s not like that. He’s never been like that. He’s a damn fool and he wants the exact opposite of all that. He wants someone to obsess over, someone to possess his soul, and those are his corny words, by the way, not mine. It’s what he lives for. It’s what he thinks life’s all about. Do you get what I’m saying?' I nodded again.
Tiffanie DeBartolo (God-Shaped Hole)
Choice is the basis of every part of your existence, but so is fear. The difference is, choice creates movement, where fear limits movement.
Réné Gaudette
As Heinz Pagels has said, The challenge to our civilization which has come from our knowledge of the cosmic energies that fuels the stars, the movement of light and electrons through matter, the intricate molecular order which is the biological basis of life, must be met by the creation of a moral and political order which will accommodate these forces or we shall be destroyed. It will try our deepest resources of reason and compassion.
Michio Kaku (Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension)
There are many ways to understand this. One simple way to know this is: today, if you lose your mental peace totally, you will go to a doctor. He will give you a pill. If you take this pill, your system will become peaceful. Maybe this will last just for a few hours, but you become peaceful. This pill is just a little bit of chemicals. These chemicals enter your system and make you peaceful. Or in other words, what you call peace is a certain kind of chemistry within you. Similarly, what you call joy, what you call love, what you call suffering, what you call misery, what you call fear, every human experience that you go through, has a chemical basis within you. Now the spiritual process is just to create the right kind of chemistry, where you are naturally peaceful, naturally joyous. When you are joyous by your own nature, when you don’t have to do anything to be happy, then the very dimension of your life, the very way you perceive and express yourself in the world will change. The very way you experience your life will change.
Sadhguru (Encounter the Enlightened: Sadhguru, A Profound Mystic Of Our Times)
When perception of the physical world is limited to the five-sensory modality, the basis of life in the physical arena becomes fear. Power to control the environment, and those within the environment appears to be essential.
Gary Zukav (The Seat of the Soul)
Some people are content in the midst of deprivation and danger, while others are miserable despite having all the luck in the world. This is not to say that external circumstances do not matter. But it is your mind, rather than circumstances themselves, that determines the quality of your life. Your mind is the basis of everything you experience and of every contribution you make to the lives of others. Given this fact, it makes sense to train it.
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
Welcome to My Super Secret Life, where people try to kill us on a regular basis, and we thwart bad-guy schemes for breakfast. We’re almost like a reality show, only without the alcohol and hot tubs.
Gini Koch (Alien Diplomacy (Katherine "Kitty" Katt, #5))
The actor's life offers, on a daily basis, the simulacrum of love; a mask can be satisfied, or at least consoled, by the echo of what it seeks.
Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses)
The basis of your life is absolute freedom, the goal is joy, and the result of that perfect combination is motion forward, or growth. Your goal is to find objects of attention that let your cork raise.
Abraham Hicks
Manners are really the basis for how we treat other people—manners are born out of compassion, empathy, the “golden rule.” Manners are, quite simply, making people feel welcome, comfortable, and respected.
Brian Grazer (A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life)
Menders of all times and places have taught that silencing the thoughts in our heads and opening to the experience of the body and emotions is the basis of all healing. It's the only means by which we can reclaim our true nature or feel the subtle cues telling us how to find our way through life.
Martha N. Beck
Freuchen tells how one day, after coming home hungry from an unsuccessful walrus-hunting expedition, he found one of the successful hunters dropping off several hundred pounds of meat. He thanked him profusely. The man objected indignantly: "Up in our country we are human!" said the hunter. "And since we are human we help each other. We don't like to hear anybody say thanks for that. What I get today you may get tomorrow. Up here we say that by gifts one makes slaves and by whips one makes dogs. ... The refusal to calculate credits and debits can be found throughout the anthropological literature on egalitarian hunting societies. Rather than seeing himself as human because he could make economic calculations, the hunter insisted that being truly human meant refusing to make such calculations, refusing to measure or remember who had given what to whom, for the precise reason that doing so would inevitably create a world where we began "comparing power with power, measuring, calculating" and reducing each other to slaves or dogs through debt. It's not that he, like untold millions of similar egalitarian spirits throughout history, was unaware that humans have a propensity to calculate. If he wasn't aware of it, he could not have said what he did. Of course we have a propensity to calculate. We have all sorts of propensities. In any real-life situation, we have propensities that drive us in several different contradictory directions simultaneously. No one is more real than any other. The real question is which we take as the foundation of our humanity, and therefore, make the basis of our civilization.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
I think it was the first real pain I ever felt in my life...It wasn't what I thought it would be at all. It didn't put an end to me as a person. I think...it gave me a basis for comparison, finding out you could still exist inside the pain, in SPITE of the pain.
Stephen King (It)
Contemporaneous with the financial crisis we have an ecological crisis and a health crisis. They are intimately interlinked. We cannot convert much more of the earth into money, or much more of our health into money, before the basis of life itself is threatened.
Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition)
Carbon is the basis of human life and iron of robot life. It becomes easy to speak of C/Fe when you wish express a culture that combines the best of the two on an equal but parallel basis.
Isaac Asimov (The Caves of Steel (Robot #1))
‎People have presuppositions... By 'presuppositions' we mean the basic way that an individual looks at life- his worldview. The grid through which he sees the world. Presuppositions rest upon that which a person considers to be the truth of what exists. A person's presuppositions provide the basis for their values- and therefore the basis for their decisions.
Francis A. Schaeffer
Each life is formed by its unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny. As the force of fate, this image acts as a personal daimon, an accompanying guide who remembers your calling. The daimon motivates. It protects. It invents and persists with stubborn fidelity. It resists compromising reasonableness and often forces deviance and oddity upon its keeper, especially when neglected or opposed. It offers comfort and can pull you into its shell, but it cannot abide innocence. It can make the body ill. It is out of step with time, finding all sorts of faults, gaps, and knots in the flow of life - and it prefers them. It has affinities with myth, since it is itself a mythical being and thinks in mythical patterns. It has much to do with feelings of uniqueness, of grandeur and with the restlessness of the heart, its impatience, its dissatisfaction, its yearning. It needs its share of beauty. It wants to be seen, witnessed, accorded recognition, particularly by the person who is its caretaker. Metaphoric images are its first unlearned language, which provides the poetic basis of mind, making possible communication between all people and all things by means of metaphors
James Hillman
No more fear of hunger. A new kind of freedom. But what then ... what? What would my life be like on a daily basis? Most of it has been consumed with the acquisition of food. Take that away and I'm not really sure who I am, what my identity is. The idea scares me some.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Consciousness is the basis of all life and the field of all possibilities. Its nature is to expand and unfold its full potential. The impulse to evolve is thus inherent in the very nature of life.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
I would not have done anything differently. All of the moments in my life, everyone I have met, every trip I have taken, every success I have enjoyed, every blunder I have made, every loss I have endured has been just right. I am not saying that they were all good or that they happened for a reason...but they have been right. They have been okay. As far as revelations go its pretty lame, I know. Okay is not bliss or even happiness. Okay is not the basis for a new religion or self help movement. Okay won't get me on Oprah, but okay is a start and for that I am grateful. Can I thank Bhutan for this breakthrough? It's hard to say […] It is a strange place, peculiar in ways large and small. You lose your bearings here and when that happens a crack forms in your armor. A crack large enough, if you're lucky, to let in a few shafts of light.
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World)
Pegging your contentment to the overall state of the world rather than of your own life: the basis of morality, or a sort of madness?
Alain de Botton
This is what true love is about, the Rebbe told Sharfstein. “It’s the small acts that you do on a daily basis that turn two people from a ‘you and I’ into an ‘us.’” Sharfstein
Joseph Telushkin (Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History)
So let us reflect on what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities-warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful-happier.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
All through my life the counsel to depend on prayer has been prized above almost any other advice I have ever received. It has become an integral part of me, an anchor, a constant source of strength and the basis of my knowledge of things divine.
Ezra Taft Benson
In the Principia Mathematica, Bertrand Russell and Alfred Whitehead attempted to give a rigorous foundation to mathematics using formal logic as their basis. They began with what they considered to be axioms, and used those to derive theorems of increasing complexity. By page 362, they had established enough to prove "1 + 1 = 2.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
A goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don't sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, its a system. If you're waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it's a goal. If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of your success until they bore you, or set new goals and reenter the cycle of permanent presuccess failure. All I'm suggesting is that thinking of goals and systems as very different concepts has power. Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous presuccess failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good everytime they apply their system. That's a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.
Scott Adams (How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life)
But that is love, isn't it? It's terribly inconvenient. It sweeps you up and stales your attention and slows down your work. our labors fall behind, our friends report us missing, and everything comes to a screeching halt! Everything, that is, except what truly matters in this life --- true love. We've all been there. We know the feelings. So when we see it in a friend, a dear, dear friend, we throw down our work and we celebrate. We rejoice. We raise a glass. Because when we recognize it in the hearts of friends, it reminds us of how important it is in our own. Mr. Seven, you are and always have been my companion and friend. You have made me a better man, and almost on a daily basis you have reminded me that I too need to celebrate the love in my life. - William Charming
Michael Buckley (The Council of Mirrors (The Sisters Grimm, #9))
We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. I desperately wanted mercy for Jimmy Dill and would have done anything to create justice for him, but I couldn’t pretend that his struggle was disconnected from my own. The ways in which I have been hurt—and have hurt others—are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us. Paul Farmer, the renowned physician who has spent his life trying to cure the world’s sickest and poorest people, once quoted me something that the writer Thomas Merton said: We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I’d always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity. I thought of the guards strapping Jimmy Dill to the gurney that very hour. I thought of the people who would cheer his death and see it as some kind of victory. I realized they were broken people, too, even if they would never admit it. So many of us have become afraid and angry. We’ve become so fearful and vengeful that we’ve thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and the weak—not because they are a threat to public safety or beyond rehabilitation but because we think it makes us seem tough, less broken. I thought of the victims of violent crime and the survivors of murdered loved ones, and how we’ve pressured them to recycle their pain and anguish and give it back to the offenders we prosecute. I thought of the many ways we’ve legalized vengeful and cruel punishments, how we’ve allowed our victimization to justify the victimization of others. We’ve submitted to the harsh instinct to crush those among us whose brokenness is most visible. But simply punishing the broken—walking away from them or hiding them from sight—only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
The Love that dare not speak its name" in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep, spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as the "Love that dare not speak its name," and on account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man, when the elder man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so, the world does not understand. The world mocks at it and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it.
Oscar Wilde
I never define depression, clinical or otherwise. It's the basis of most life. It seems to be the modern world: we all are depressed.
Terry Gilliam
Truthfullness to life—both fantasy life and factual life—is the basis of all great art.
Maurice Sendak
The basis of peace is for people to understand the pain of others.
Susan Southard (Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War)
It is a matter of living in that state of the absurd I know on what it is founded, this mind and this world straining against each other without being able to embrace each other. I ask for the rule— of life of that state, and what I am offered neglects its basis, negates one of the terms of the painful opposition, demands of me a resignation. I ask what is involved in the condition I recognize as mine; I know it implies obscurity and ignorance; and I am assured that this ignorance explains everything and that this darkness is my light.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
The basis of everything in the wizards' world rests upon the insight "All this is myself." Therefore, in accepting the world as it is, the wizard views everything in the light of self-acceptance, which is the light of love.
Deepak Chopra (The Way of the Wizard: Twenty Spiritual Lessons for Creating the Life You Want)
Overslept and had to race to get a life to Jas’s with my dad. No time for yoga or makeup. Oh well, I’ll start tomorrow. God alone knows how the Dalai Lama copes on a daily basis. He must get up at dawn. Actually, I read somewhere that he does get up at dawn.
Louise Rennison (Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #1))
Remember that every person who you come into contact to on any given day has a story that is probably far more amazing than you will imagine and no one is going to just offer up their entire life's worth of experiences to you because you want them to. It takes time to draw someone's story out from within them. It takes trust. It takes sincerity and dedication. Keep in mind that each and every interaction you have with all those people on a daily basis is a unique opportunity to develop any kind of relationship with that person that the two of you might want to be a part of. It doesn't matter how you meet them or what it is that you do with them. It can be as mundane as waving to them in the morning as they leave their driveway, or it can be as huge as saving someone's life in a moment of uncertainty and sacrifice. Each person has the potential to become a friend or a lover or to simply teach you something important and then slip back into the endless rush of other bodies moving about the planet around us. Don't pass these chances up too often, or you'll get lost in the tide yourself.
Ashly Lorenzana
The side effects of others become a hazard because this sucks the life out of you, and you begin to neglect yourself, but they do not care. As long as you are doing for them and supplying their needs, they are fine. Their faces are the same on a daily basis, but the person you do not recognize is yourself. Their side effects begin to make you sick, yet you ignore the signs. The warning signs have been there for years, but again, you push yourself because you feel like someday soon you will finally make them happy.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one's self. Of course, they are charitable. They feed the hungry and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion—these are the two things that govern us. And yet—
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Allowing a person or thing to leave your life, without further pain is the basis of humanity. Everything else is the reason (theology).
Shannon L. Alder
In fact, we can directly experience that consciousness is never improved or harmed by what it knows. Making this discovery, again and again, is the basis of spiritual life.
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
At the beginning of a game, there are no variations. There is only one way to set up a board. There are nine million variations after the first six moves. And after eight moves there are two hundred and eighty-eight billion different positions. And those possibilities keep growing. There are more possible ways to play a game of chess than the amount of atoms in the observable universe. So it gets very messy. And there is no right way to play; there are many ways. In chess, as in life, possibility is the basis of everything. Every hope, every dream, every regret, every moment of living.
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
No one can play a game alone. One cannot be human by oneself. There is no selfhood where there is no community. We do not relate to others as the persons we are; we are who we are in relating to others. Simultaneously the others with whom we are in relation are themselves in relation. We cannot relate to anyone who is not also relating to us. Our social existence has, therefore, an inescapably fluid character... this ceaseless change does not mean discontinuity; rather change is itself the very basis of our continuity as persons.
James P. Carse (Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility)
If you have the power to hit people over the head whenever you want, you don’t have to trouble yourself too much figuring out what they think is going on, and therefore, generally speaking, you don’t. Hence the sure-fire way to simplify social arrangements, to ignore the incredibly complex play of perspectives, passions, insights, desires, and mutual understandings that human life is really made of, is to make a rule and threaten to attack anyone who breaks it. This is why violence has always been the favored recourse of the stupid: it is the one form of stupidity to which it is almost impossible to come up with an intelligent response. It is also of course the basis of the state.
David Graeber (Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology)
The code-of-ethics playlist: o Treat your colleagues, family, and friends with respect, dignity, fairness, and courtesy. o Pride yourself in the diversity of your experience and know that you have a lot to offer. o Commit to creating and supporting a world that is free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. o Have balance in your life and help others to do the same. o Invest in yourself, achieve ongoing enhancement of your skills, and continually upgrade your abilities. o Be approachable, listen carefully, and look people directly in the eyes when speaking. o Be involved, know what is expected from you, and let others know what is expected from them. o Recognize and acknowledge achievement. o Celebrate, relive, and communicate your successes on an ongoing basis.
Lorii Myers (Targeting Success, Develop the Right Business Attitude to be Successful in the Workplace (3 Off the Tee, #1))
If you believe that science provides not basis for God, then you are almost obligated to conclude that science provides no basis for meaning and, there for, life itself doesn't have any. In other words, existential claims have no weight; all knowledge is scientific knowledge. Yet the paradox is that scientific methodology is the product of human hands and thus cannot reach some permanent truth. We build scientific theories to organize and manipulate the world, to reduce phenomena into manageable units. Science is based on reproducibility and manufactured objectivity. As strong as that makes its ability to generate claims about matter and energy, it also makes scientific knowledge inapplicable to the existential, visceral nature or human life, which is unique and subjective and unpredictable. Science may provide the most useful may to organize empirical, reproducible data, but its power to do so is predicated on its inability to grasp the most central aspects of human life: hope, fear, love, hate, beauty, envy, honor, weakness, striving, suffering, virtue.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
In the 1890s, when Freud was in the dawn of his career, he was struck by how many of his female patients were revealing childhood incest victimization to him. Freud concluded that child sexual abuse was one of the major causes of emotional disturbances in adult women and wrote a brilliant and humane paper called “The Aetiology of Hysteria.” However, rather than receiving acclaim from his colleagues for his ground-breaking insights, Freud met with scorn. He was ridiculed for believing that men of excellent reputation (most of his patients came from upstanding homes) could be perpetrators of incest. Within a few years, Freud buckled under this heavy pressure and recanted his conclusions. In their place he proposed the “Oedipus complex,” which became the foundation of modern psychology. According to this theory any young girl actually desires sexual contact with her father, because she wants to compete with her mother to be the most special person in his life. Freud used this construct to conclude that the episodes of incestuous abuse his clients had revealed to him had never taken place; they were simply fantasies of events the women had wished for when they were children and that the women had come to believe were real. This construct started a hundred-year history in the mental health field of blaming victims for the abuse perpetrated on them and outright discrediting of women’s and children’s reports of mistreatment by men. Once abuse was denied in this way, the stage was set for some psychologists to take the view that any violent or sexually exploitative behaviors that couldn’t be denied—because they were simply too obvious—should be considered mutually caused. Psychological literature is thus full of descriptions of young children who “seduce” adults into sexual encounters and of women whose “provocative” behavior causes men to become violent or sexually assaultive toward them. I wish I could say that these theories have long since lost their influence, but I can’t. A psychologist who is currently one of the most influential professionals nationally in the field of custody disputes writes that women provoke men’s violence by “resisting their control” or by “attempting to leave.” She promotes the Oedipus complex theory, including the claim that girls wish for sexual contact with their fathers. In her writing she makes the observation that young girls are often involved in “mutually seductive” relationships with their violent fathers, and it is on the basis of such “research” that some courts have set their protocols. The Freudian legacy thus remains strong.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
I am not frightened of my beliefs. If there is a God who is threatening me with damnation because I don't believe in Him, so be it. I've lived my life in conscience, and I will suffer damnation willingly in conscience against a tyrannical God who would damn me because, on the basis of the intelligence He gave me, I have come to a conclusion doubting His existence, and I will continue to be a skeptic all of my life.
Alan M. Dershowitz
Pain is surprising; we cannot understand why we have been abandoned in love... why we are unable to sleep at night.... Identifying reasons for such discomforts does not spectacularly absolve us of pain, but it may form the principal basis of a recovery. While assuring us that we are not uniquely cursed, understanding grants us a sense of the boundaries to, and bitter logic behind, our suffering. 'Griefs, at the moment when they change into ideas, lose some of their power to injure our heart.' - Proust
Alain de Botton (How Proust Can Change Your Life)
There is a difference between the fact and the truth. The fact is what you may be experiencing at any particular point in time in your life, the day-to-day reality of life, the struggles, the challenges, the issues and the problems that you face on a daily basis. On the other hand, the truth is what God’s Word says about the particular situation you are going through or the challenges you currently face...God expects you to confess and proclaim the truth of His Word, not the fact of your daily struggles!
Pedro Okoro (Crushing the Devil: Your Guide to Spiritual Warfare and Victory in Christ)
Being others-focused instead of self-focused changes your worldview. Living in a selfless manner and seeking to help others enriches our very existence on a daily basis. Get your hands dirty once in a while by serving in a capacity that is lower than your position or station in life. This keeps you tethered to the real world and grounded to reality, which should make it harder to be prideful and forget where you came from.
Miles Anthony Smith (Why Leadership Sucks™ Volume 1: Fundamentals of Level 5 Leadership and Servant Leadership)
This is not to say that external circumstances do not matter. But it is your mind, rather than circumstances themselves, that determines the quality of your life. Your mind is the basis of everything you experience
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
Don’t judge centering prayer on the basis of how many thoughts come or how much peace you enjoy. The only way to judge this prayer is by its long-range fruits: whether in daily life you enjoy greater peace, humility and charity. Having come to deep interior silence, you begin to relate to others beyond the superficial aspects of social status, race, nationality, religion, and personal characteristics. (OM, 114)
Thomas Keating (The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living)
Often, people build stories in their mind which have no basis in the contours of reality. Those which build these images, are building such images which are based on their relatively limited sense of understanding about the particular subject or person. This is a "fill in the blank" reality, which often manifests itself into the hearts and the minds of those who have a "fill in the blank" mindset, not the person with the here said reality. The universe is designed in a way that reflects itself, just like a mirror, showing you exactly who you are to yourself, not who others are. Your largest and most concealed insecurities have their way of presenting themselves to you in a fashion that is relative to your self designed way of communication. This short writing is a reminder that your preconceived notions on a particular subject or person, are a construct of your inner mind and emotional-relational well being and not of others. This is one of the largest fundamental truths in which you must have large insight to carefully watch who and what you massacre with your personal thoughts. Having a keen sense of control on this subject will lead you to enlightenment in many platforms of life.
Will Barnes (The Expansion of The Soul)
I let that swim around in my aching head for a few minutes - "the arsenal of megadeath...the arsenal of megadeath" - and then, for some reason I can't quite explain, I began to write. Using a borrowed pencil and a cupcake wrapper, I wrote the first lyrics of my post-Metallica life. This song was called "Megadeth" (I dropped the second "a"), and though it would never find its way onto an album, it did serve as the basis for the song "Set the World Afire." It hadn't occured to me then that Megadeth-as used by Senator Cranston, megadeath referred to the loss of one million lives as a result of nuclear holocaust-might be a perfectly awesome name for a thrash metal band.
Dave Mustaine (Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir)
The best way to choose the wrong door, or never even open the door, is to let fear run the show. When you reflect on any big-ticket decision you have made on the basis of fear and anxiety, you can almost guarantee you made the wrong decision.
Ramani Durvasula (You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life)
When I come to the Lord after I’ve blown it, I’ve only one argument to make. It’s not the argument of the difficulty of the environment that I am in. It’s not the argument of the difficult people that I’m near. It’s not the argument of good intentions that were thwarted in some way. I come to the Lord with only one appeal; his mercy. I’ve no other defense. I’ve no other standing. I’ve no other hope. I can’t escape the reality of my biggest problem; me! So I appeal to the one thing in my life that’s sure and will never fail. I appeal to the one thing that guaranteed not only my acceptance with God, but the hope of new beginnings and fresh starts. I appeal on the basis of the greatest gift I ever have or ever will be given. I leave the courtroom of my own defense, I come out of hiding and I admit who I am. But I’m not afraid, because I’ve been personally and eternally blessed. Because of what Jesus has done, God looks on me with mercy. It’s my only appeal, it’s the source of my hope, it’s my life. Mercy, mercy me!
Paul David Tripp (Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy)
Fundamentally, the basis of yoga is just this: to initiate a process of self-creation where the nature of your body, your emotion, your mind, your energy is consciously created by you. This is what Adiyogi did. He crafted his life in its entirety.
Sadhguru (Adiyogi: The Source of Yoga)
The internet reminds us on a daily basis that it is not at all rewarding to become aware of problems that you have no reasonable hope of solving. And, more important, the internet already is what it is. It has already become the central organ of contemporary life. It has already rewired the brains of its users, returning us to a state of primitive hyperawareness and distraction while overloading us with much more sensory input than was ever possible in primitive times. It has already built an ecosystem that runs on exploiting attention and monetizing the self. Even if you avoid the internet completely—my partner does: he thought #tbt meant “truth be told” for ages—you still live in the world that this internet has created, a world in which selfhood has become capitalism’s last natural resource, a world whose terms are set by centralized platforms that have deliberately established themselves as near-impossible to regulate or control.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror)
For many people it is the notion of time that makes them feel restless – that there just aren't enough hours in the day, that they are rushing, either on an hourly or daily basis or that life was somehow better in the past or will be so in the future.
Gyalwa Dokhampa (The Restful Mind)
A child who is being abused on an ongoing basis needs to be able to function despite the trauma that dominates his or her daily life. That becomes the job of at least one ANP [apparently normal part of the personality], whom the child creates to be unaware of the abuse and also of the multiplicity, and to “pass as normal” in the real world. The ANP is just an alter specialized for handling the adult world—in other words, the “front person” for the system.
Alison Miller (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral - immoral from the scientific point of view.' 'Why?' 'Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of someone else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here ofr. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one's self. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion - these are the two things that govern us. And yet [...] I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream - I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all maladies of medievalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal - to something finer, richer, than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. [...] We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind, and poisons us. ... The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.
Oscar Wilde
Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don't have to trust God if something unexpected happens- they have their savings account. They don't need God to help them- they have their retirement plan in place. They don't genuinely seek out what life God would have them live- they have life figured and mapped out. They don't depend on God on a daily basis- their refrigerators are full and, for the most part, they are in good health. The truth is, their lives wouldn't look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
The long poem of walking manipulates spatial organizations, no matter how panoptic they may be: it is neither foreign to them (it can take place only within them) nor in conformity with them (it does not receive its identity from them). It creates shadows and ambiguities within them. It inserts its multitudinous references and citations into them (social models, cultural mores, personal factors). Within them it is itself the effect of successive encounters and occasions that constantly alter it and make it the other's blazon: in other words, it is like a peddler carrying something surprising, transverse or attractive compared with the usual choice. These diverse aspects provide the basis of a rhetoric. They can even be said to define it.
Michel de Certeau (The Practice of Everyday Life)
In contrast, investing time and energy in your relationship with your spouse and children typically doesn’t offer that same immediate sense of achievement. Kids misbehave every day. It’s really not until 20 years down the road that you can put your hands on your hips and say, “I raised a good son or a good daughter.” You can neglect your relationship with your spouse, and on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t seem as if things are deteriorating. People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers—even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness.
Clayton M. Christensen (The Innovator's Dilemma with Award-Winning Harvard Business Review Article ?how Will You Measure Your Life (2 Items))
There was, currently, far more hairy masculinity in her life than any Englishwoman should really have to put up with on a monthly basis. That said, half the pack was away fighting in northern India; someday there would be even more full-moon maleness. She thought of her husband; him she had to deal with on a daily basis.
Gail Carriger (Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2))
believe in God the Father, Almighty, Creator, infinitely holy and loving, who has a plan for the world, a plan for my life, and some daily work for me to do. I believe in Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, as Example, Lord, and Saviour. I believe in the Holy Spirit who is able to guide my life so that I may know God’s will; and I am prepared to allow him to guide and control my life. I believe in God’s law that I should love the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind, and with all my strength; and my neighbour as myself. I believe it is God’s will that the whole world should be without any barriers of race, colour, class, or anything else that breaks the spirit of fellowship. To believe means to believe with the mind and heart, to accept, and to act accordingly on that basis.
Eric Liddell (The Disciplines of the Christian Life)
It is my job to create universes, as the basis of one novel after another. And I have to build them in such a way that they do not fall apart two days later. Or at least that is what my editors hope. However, I will reveal a secret to you: I like to build universes which do fall apart. I like to see them come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem. I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it. Do not believe — and I am dead serious when I say this — do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.
Philip K. Dick
Question 1: What is the chief end of man? This most basic question confronts each of us. Why am I here? What is the reason for my existence? What is the purpose of my life? The catechism on the basis of 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Psalm 73:25 provides the familiar answer. “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Alistair Begg (Pathway to Freedom: How God's Law Guides Our Lives)
A common mistake many people make is to decide where to store things on the basis of where it’s easiest to take them out. This approach is a fatal trap. Clutter is caused by a failure to return things to where they belong. Therefore, storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away, not the effort needed to get them out.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
As a leader, it is so important that your words equal your actions. It is imperative that you make sure that you go through a self-evaluation process on an almost daily basis to make sure that your actions are in line with your words. You must do what you say and say what you do.
Jon Gordon (You Win in the Locker Room First: The 7 C's to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life)
To become aware of what is constant in the flux of nature and life is the first step in abstract thinking. The recognition of regularity in the courses of the heavenly bodies and in the succession of seasons first provides a basis for a systematic ordering of events, and this knowledge makes possible a calendar. ... Simultaneously with this concept, a system of relationships comes into the idea of the world. Change is not something absolute, chaotic, and kaleidoscopic; its manifestation is a relative one, something connected with fixed points and a given order.
Hellmut Wilhelm
Fire, slavery, cloth, coin, and stone - these are the basis of civilized life. Sometimes it happens that one or another of them gets hopelessly involved in the most basic appetites of a woman or a man. There are people I have met in my travels who cannot eat food unless it has been held long over fire; and there are others, like me, who cannot love without some mark of possession. Both, no doubt, seem squally strange and incomprehensible to you, 'ey, barbarian?
Samuel R. Delany (Tales of Nevèrÿon (Return to Nevèrÿon, #1))
In a recluse, the most irrevocable, lifelong rejection of the world often has as its basis an uncontrolled passion for the crowd, of such force that, finding when he does go out that he cannot win the admiration of a concierge, passers-by or even the coachman halted at the corner, he prefers to spend his life out of their sight, and gives up all activities which would make it necessary for him to leave the house.
Marcel Proust (In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower)
Who would appreciate such candor? No one. None of us really likes honesty. We prefer deception –but only when it is unabashedly flattering or artfully camouflaged. Groups seem to need to believe that they are superior to others and that they have a purpose greater than just passing along their genes to the next generation. Individuals seem to need similar delusions – about who they are and why they do what they do. They need heroes, however fraudulent… Studies show that people are more likely to accept the opinion of a confident con man than the cautious view of someone who actually knows what he is talking about. And professionals who form overconfident opinions on the basis of incorrect readings of the facts are more likely to succeed than their more competent peers who display greater doubt. What’s more, deception works best, according to studies by psychologists, when the person doing the deceiving is fool enough to be deceived, too; that is, when he believes his own lies. That is why incompetent leaders – who are naïve enough to fall for their own guff – are such a danger to civilized life. If they are modern leaders, they must also delude themselves into thinking they know how to make the world a better place. Invariably, the answers they propose to problems are ones that bubble up from their own vanity, the essence of which is to make the rest of the world look just like them!
William Bonner (Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets: Surviving the Public Spectacle in Finance and Politics)
The lack of insight to reality, life and history as well as into God's ways, or sunan in His creation, some people will continue to seek or demand the impossible. They will imagine what does not or cannot happen, misunderstand occurrences and events, and interpret them on the basis of cherished illusions which in no way reflect God's sunan or the essence of Islamic law.
يوسف القرضاوي (Uṣūl al Fiqh al Islāmī: Source Methodology in Islamic Jurisprudence)
We are self-determined by the meaning we give to our experiences; and there is probably something of a mistake always involved when we take particular experiences as the basis for our future life. Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations. There
Alfred Adler (WHAT LIFE COULD MEAN TO YOU (Timeless Wisdom Collection Book 196))
Kembali lagi soal takdir, mulailah menerimanya dengan lapang hati. Karena kita mau menerima atau menolaknya, dia tetap terjadi. Takdir tidak pernah bertanya apa perasaan kita, apakah kita bahagia, apakah kita tidak suka. Takdir bahkan basa-basi menyapa pun tidak. Tidak peduli. Nah, kabar baiknya, karena kita tidak bisa mengendalikannya bukan berarti kita menjadi makhluk yang tidak berdaya. Kita tetap bisa mengendalikan diri sendiri bagaimana menyikapinya. Apakah bersedia menerimanya atau mendustakannya.
Tere Liye
We become pitiable and ridiculous when we imbibe an unreasoned mysticism in our life without any natural or substantial basis. People like us, who are proud to be revolutionary in every sense, should always be prepared to bear all the difficulties, anxieties, pain and suffering which we invite upon ourselves by the struggles initiated by us and for which we call ourselves revolutionary.
Bhagat Singh
I think that we may safely trust a good deal more than we do. We may waive just so much care of ourselves as we honestly bestow elsewhere. Nature is well adapted to our weakness as our strength. The incessant anxiety and strain of some is a well nigh incurable form of disease. We are made to exaggerate the importance of what work we do; and yet how much is not done by us! or, what if we had been taken sick? How vigilant we are! determined not to live by faith if we can avoid it; all the day long on the alert, at night we unwillingly say our prayers and commit ourselves to uncertainties. So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change. This is the only way, we say; but there are as many ways as there can be drawn radii from one centre. All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant. Confucius said, “To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.” When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men will at length establish their lives on that basis.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
As I grew older, I realized that no matter how hard you keep your shoes clean – especially the mid-soles – they will always get dirty since they mostly touch the ground... and dirt. Conclusion? All shoes are destined to be dirty when worn on a regular basis. It's just like life. No matter how comfortable you want it to be, trials and obstacles will always come your way. And you have to face it.
Paul Nat (A Rogue Element)
The way to solve the conflict between human values and technological needs is not to run away from technology. That’s impossible. The way to resolve the conflict is to break down the barrier of dualistic thought that prevent a real understanding of what technology is – not an exploitation of nature, but a fusion of nature and the human spirit into a new kind of creation that transcends both. When this transcendence occurs in such events as the first airplane flight across the ocean or the first footsteps on the moon, a kind of public recognition of the transcendent nature of technology occurs. But this transcendence should also occur at the individual level, on a personal basis, in one's own life, in a less dramatic way.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
Loving someone doesn't mean you have to bow down to them or drop everything and run to their relentless calls. They must understand and love you enough to give you the respect that you deserve. Loving someone doesn't mean you have to shower them with gifts all the time. Give them your honesty, hope, joy, and encouragement on a daily basis.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Sweet Destiny)
Every smallest step in the field of free thinking, and of the personally formed life, has ever been fought for at the cost of spiritual and physical tortures . . . change has required its innumerable martyrs. . . . Nothing has been bought more dearly than that little bit of human reason and sense of freedom that is now the basis of our pride.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Dawn of Day: Friedrich Nietzsche)
...I've been ripped off, lied to, slandered, gossiped about slapped, falsely accused, and had my truths not believed. I've had my heart broken, had my pride stomped on, witnessed unforgivable acts, and heard words that hurt so much I withed that they would not replay in my head, but they did. In all these moments--some tear-soaked, some life-defining, but all character-building moments--I have felt vulnerable. And I believe these feelings of vulnerability--when a person feels scared and alone and overwhelmed and pissed off, wen the sting of unfairness bites deep--while miserable to live through, are the basis for writing compelling fiction.
Jessica Page Morrell
Whether we are speaking of a flower or an oak tree, of an earthworm or a beautiful bird, of an ape or a person, we will do well, I believe, to recognize that life is an active process, not a passive one. Whether the stimulus arises from within or without, whether the environment is favorable or unfavorable, the behaviors of an organism can be counted on to be in the direction of maintaining, enhancing, and reproducing itself. This is the very nature of the process we call life. This tendency is operative at all times. Indeed, only the presence or absence of this total directional process enables us to tell whether a given organism is alive or dead. The actualizing tendency can, of course, be thwarted or warped, but it cannot be destroyed without destroying the organism. I remember that in my boyhood, the bin in which we stored our winter's supply of potatoes was in the basement, several feet below a small window. The conditions were unfavorable, but the potatoes would begin to sprout—pale white sprouts, so unlike the healthy green shoots they sent up when planted in the soil in the spring. But these sad, spindly sprouts would grow 2 or 3 feet in length as they reached toward the distant light of the window. The sprouts were, in their bizarre, futile growth, a sort of desperate expression of the directional tendency I have been describing. They would never become plants, never mature, never fulfill their real potential. But under the most adverse circumstances, they were striving to become. Life would not give up, even if it could not flourish. In dealing with clients whose lives have been terribly warped, in working with men and women on the back wards of state hospitals, I often think of those potato sprouts. So unfavorable have been the conditions in which these people have developed that their lives often seem abnormal, twisted, scarcely human. Yet, the directional tendency in them can be trusted. The clue to understanding their behavior is that they are striving, in the only ways that they perceive as available to them, to move toward growth, toward becoming. To healthy persons, the results may seem bizarre and futile, but they are life's desperate attempt to become itself. This potent constructive tendency is an underlying basis of the person-centered approach.
Carl R. Rogers
And as soon as you have renounced that aim of "surviving at any price" and gone where the calm and simple people go—then imprisonment begins to transform your former character in an astonishing way. To transform it in a direction most unexpected to you. And it would seem that in this situation feelings of malice, the disturbance of being oppressed, aimless hate, irritability, and nervousness ought to multiply. But you yourself do not notice how, with the impalpable flow of time, slavery nurtures in you the shoots of contradictory feelings. Once upon a time you were sharply intolerant. You were constantly in a rush. And you were constantly short of time. And now you have time with interest. You are surfeited with it, with its months and its years, behind you and ahead of you—and a beneficial calming fluid pours through your blood vessels—patience. You are acending... Formerly you never forgave anyone. You judged people without mercy. And you praised people with equal lack of moderation. And now an understanding mildness has become the basis of your uncategorical judgements. You have come to realize your own weakness—and you can therefore understand the weakness of others. And be astonished at another's strength. And wish to possess it yourself. The stones rustle beneath our feet. We are ascending... With the year, armor-plated restraint covers your heart and all your skin. You do not hasten to question and you do not hasten to answer. Your tongue has lost its flexible capability for easy oscillation. Your eyes do not flash over with gladness over good tidings, nor do they darken with grief. For you still have to verify whether that's how it is going to be. And you also have to work out—what is gladness and what is grief. And now the rule of your life is this: Do not rejoice when you have found, do not weep when you have lost. Your soul, which formerly was dry, now ripens with suffering. And even if you haven't come to love your neighbors in the Christian sense, you are at least learning to love those close to you.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
When I lost my mother, I also lost the reflection of myself that she showed me on a daily basis, a reflection of a young woman who was loved and cared about and wanted. Even the most important accomplishments of my lifetime have felt slightly hollow in her absence. Without the person who brought me into this world, I have struggled to feel like I am worthy of having a place in it.
Claire Bidwell Smith (After This: When Life Is Over, Where Do We Go?)
The problem, however, eventually became evident: to make science the arbiter of metaphysics is to banish not only God from the world but also love, hate, meaning—to consider a world that is self-evidently not the world we live in. That’s not to say that if you believe in meaning, you must also believe in God. It is to say, though, that if you believe that science provides no basis for God, then you are almost obligated to conclude that science provides no basis for meaning and, therefore, life itself doesn’t have any. In other words, existential claims have no weight; all knowledge is scientific knowledge.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
It's laughable, looking back, to see the processes I went through, pretending to make a reasoned decision. No choice is ever made on the basis of logic; the logic is fabricated around the impulse, the initial desire which is innate and incontrovertible. All the time, I knew where I was going, the elements of my fulfillment or ruin were always present; I only had to work my way into that seam of desire and find the hidden vein of dross or gold. It's not a question of predestination, it's just that free will and destiny are illusions, false opposites, consolations. In the end, they are one and the same: a single process. You choose what you choose and it could not have been otherwise: the choice is destiny. It was there all along, but any alternative you might have considered is an absurd diversion, because it is in your nature to make one choice rather than another. That is identity. To speak of freedom or destiny is absurd because it suggests there is something outside yourself, directing your life, where really it is of the essence: identity, the craftwork of the soul.
John Burnside (The Dumb House)
Yes, yes," he shut off her attempted objection. "You would have destroyed my writing and my career. Realism is imperative to my nature, and the bourgeois spirit hates realism. The bourgeoisie is cowardly. It is afraid of life. And all your effort was to make me afraid of life. You would have formalized me. You would have compressed me into a two-by-four pigeonhole of life, where all life's values are unreal and false and vulgar." He felt her stir protestingly. "Vulgarity--a heart of vulgarity, I'll admit--is the basis of bourgeois refinement and culture. As I say, you wanted to formalize me to make me over into one of your own class, with your class ideas, class values and class prejudices.
Jack London (Martin Eden)
It is hard to love an addict. Not only practically difficult, in the picking up after them and the handling of those aspects of life they're not able for themselves, but metaphysically hard. It feels like bashing yourself against a wall, not just your head, but your whole self. It makes your heart hard. Caught between ultimatums (stop drinking) and radical acceptance (I love you no matter what) the person who loves the addict exhausts and renews their love on a daily basis.
Emilie Pine (Notes to Self: Essays)
I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards—in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.
Paul A.M. Dirac
I have always liked the concept of trying to put myself in someone else’s shoes, in order to better understand the basis of their emotions and actions. When we are fleshed out and outwardly adorned we are all unique. But under the costumes and grease paint, we are one, all Mother Earth’s children. I still have hope that in my lifetime I will see everyone, despite their race, ethnicity, religion, lack of religion, economic situation, sexual orientation, etc., treated with dignity. How hard is it, really, just to treat people the way you want to be treated?
Pamela Allegretto
Losing a belief in free will has not made me a fatalist - in fact, it has increased my feelings of freedom. My hopes, fears, and neuroses seem less personal and indelible. There is no telling how much I might change in the future. Just as one wouldn't draw a lasting conclusion about oneself on the basis of a brief experience of indigestion, one needn't do so on a basis of how one has thought or behaved for vast stretches of time in the past. A creative change of inputs to the system - learning new skills, forming new relationships, adopting new habits of attention - may radically transform one's life. Becoming sensitive to the background causes of one's thoughts and feelings can -paradoxically- allow for greater creative control over one's life. This understanding reveals you to be a biochemical puppet, of course, but it also allows you to grab hold of one of your strings.
Sam Harris (Free Will)
Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness. They will teach us to do ‘all these things … in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that [we] should run faster than [we have]strength. [But] it is expedient that [we] should be diligent, [and] thereby … win the prize.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
But race is the child of racism, not the father. And the process of naming 'the people' has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy. Difference in hue and hair is old. But belief in the preeminence of hue and hair, the belief that these factors can correctly organize a society and that they signify deeper attributes , which are indelible--this is the new idea at the heart of these new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, to believe that they are white. These people are, like us, a modern invention. But unlike us, their new name has no real meaning divorced from the machinery of criminal power. The new people were something else before they were white--Catholic, Corsican, Welsh, Mennonite, Jewish--and if all our national hopes have any fulfillment, then they will have to be something else again. Perhaps they will truly become American and create a nobler basis for their myths. I cannot call it. As for now, it must be said that the process of washing the disparate tribes white, was not achieved through wine tasting and ice cream socials, but rather through the pillaging of life, liberty, labor, and land; through the flaying of backs; the chaining of limbs; the strangling of dissidents; the destruction of families; the rape of mothers; the sale of children; and various other acts meant, first and foremost, to you and me the right to secure and govern our own bodies.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
Every temptation proves a crossroad where we must choose between the high road and the low road. On some occasions it is a trial of agonizing frustration. On other occasions, it is a mere annoyance, a nuisance of minor proportions. but in each case there is some element tot uneasiness, anxiety, and spiritual tugging--ultimately a choosing that forces us to take sides. Neutrality is a nonexistent condition in this life. We are always choosing, always taking sides. That is part of the human experience--facing temptations on a daily, almost moment-by-moment basis--facing them not only on the good days but on the days we are down, the days we are tired, rejected, discouraged, or sick. Every day of our lives we battle temptation--and so did the Savior. It is an integral part of the human experience, faced not only by us but also by him. He drank from the same cup.
Tad R. Callister (The Infinite Atonement)
I think that in all descriptions of the good life here on earth we must assume a certain basis of animal vitality and animal instinct; without this, life becomes tame and uninteresting. Civilization should be something added to this, not substituted for it; the ascetic saint and the detached sage fail in this respect to be complete human beings. A small number of them may enrich a community; but a world composed of them would die of boredom.
Bertrand Russell
Still writing?" I usually nod and smile, then quickly change the subject. But here is what I would like to put down my fork and say: Yes, yes, I am. I will write until the day I die, or until I am robbed of my capacity to reason. Even if my fingers were to clench and wither, even if I were to grow deaf or blind, even if I were unable to move a muscle in my body save for the blink of one eye, I would still write. Writing saved my life. Writing has been my window -- flung wide open to this magnificent, chaotic existence -- my way of interpreting everything within my grasp. Writing has extended that grasp by pushing me beyond comfort, beyond safety, past my self-perceived limits. It has softened my heart and hardened my intellect. It has been a privilege. It has whipped my ass. It has burned into me a valuable clarity. It has made me think about suffering, randomness, good will, luck, memory responsibility, and kindness, on a daily basis -- whether I feel like it or not. It has insisted that I grow up. That I evolve. It has pushed me to get better, to be better. It is my disease and my cure. It has allowed me not only to withstand the losses in my life but to alter those losses -- to chip away at my own bewilderment until I find the pattern in it. Once in a great while, I look up at the sky and think that, if my father were alive, maybe he would be proud of me. That if my mother were alive, I might have come up with the words to make her understand. That I am changing what I can. I am reaching a hand out to the dead and to the living and the not yet born. So yes. Yes. Still writing.
Dani Shapiro (Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life)
The one thing that I want every single child to have experienced at some point in their life, as part of their education, is to have some idea they hold to be true, and at the very basis of their being, proved to be wrong. Because that opens your mind to the realization that the world is different than you thought it would be, and you have to begin to open your mind to the possibilities of existence. And opening your mind frees you, it doesn't constrain you. It makes the world more wonderful, more exciting, and more worth living in.
Lawrence M. Krauss
We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come. [...] There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparison. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always like a sketch. No, "sketch" is not quite the word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch for nothing, an outline with no picture.
Milan Kundera
The first fact of the world is that it repeats itself. I had been taught to believe that the freshness of children lay in their capacity for wonder at the vividness and strangeness of the particular, but what is fresh in them is that they still experience the power of repetition, from which our first sense of the power of mastery comes. Though predictable is an ugly little world in daily life, in our first experience of it we are clued to the hope of a shapeliness in things. To see that power working on adults, you have to catch them out: the look of foolish happiness on the faces of people who have just sat down to dinner is their knowledge that dinner will be served. Probably, that is the psychological basis for the power and the necessity of artistic form...Maybe our first experience of form is the experience of our own formation...And I am not thinking mainly of poems about form; I’m thinking of the form of a poem, the shape of its understanding. The presence of that shaping constitutes the presence of poetry.
Robert Hass
If you are a white person who would like to treat black people as equals in every way—who would like to have a set of associations with blacks that are as positive as those that you have with whites—it requires more than a simple commitment to equality. It requires that you change your life so that you are exposed to minorities on a regular basis and become comfortable with them and familiar with the best of their culture, so that when you want to meet, hire, date, or talk with a member of a minority, you aren’t betrayed by your hesitation and discomfort. Taking
Malcolm Gladwell (Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)
But in a way it's like looking at old photographs of yourself. There comes a point at which the record needs to be updated, because you've shed too many links with what you were. He doesn't quite know how it happened; all he knows is that he doesn't recognize himself in those stories any more, though he remembers the bursting feeling of writing them, something in himself massing and pushing irresistibly to be born. He hasn't had that feeling since; he almost thinks that to remain a writer he'd have to become one all over again, when he might just easily become an astronaut, or a farmer. It's as if he can't quite remember what drove him into words in the first place, all those years before, yet words are what he still deals in. I suppose it's a bit like marriage, he said. You build a whole structure on a period of intensity that's never repeated. It's the basis of your faith and sometimes you doubt it, but you never renounce it because too much of your life stands on that ground.
Rachel Cusk (Outline)
In Him we have . . . the forgiveness of sins . . . —Ephesians 1:7 Beware of the pleasant view of the fatherhood of God: God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That thought, based solely on emotion, cannot be found anywhere in the New Testament. The only basis on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ. To base our forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive our sin and reinstate us to His favor is through the Cross of Christ. There is no other way! Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony at Calvary. We should never take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our sanctification in simple faith, and then forget the enormous cost to God that made all of this ours. Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace. The cost to God was the Cross of Christ. To forgive sin, while remaining a holy God, this price had to be paid. Never accept a view of the fatherhood of God if it blots out the atonement. The revealed truth of God is that without the atonement He cannot forgive— He would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God through the atonement of the Cross. God’s forgiveness is possible only in the supernatural realm. Compared with the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, the experience of sanctification is small. Sanctification is simply the wonderful expression or evidence of the forgiveness of sins in a human life. But the thing that awakens the deepest fountain of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven his sin. Paul never got away from this. Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
Being less available over text, in other words, has a way of paradoxically strengthening your relationship even while making you (slightly) less available to those you care about. This point is crucial because many people fear that their relationships will suffer if they downgrade this form of lightweight connection. I want to reassure you that it will instead strengthen the relationships you care most about. You can be the one person in their life who actually talks to them on a regular basis, forming a deeper, more nuanced relationship than any number of exclamation points and bitmapped emojis can provide.
Cal Newport (Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World)
Creativity is the basis of self-expression. Why are some people supposedly more creative than others, and why can’t others open themselves up enough to be able to express who they are? Creation is the birth of something, and something cannot come from nothing. When someone creates something: a painting, a poem, a photograph, the creativity comes from an idea, from a feeling, from emotion, or from a combination of ideas, feelings and emotions that are somehow ‘reborn’ from all our experiences and perspectives. Creativity is the desire to express ourselves. To formulate these expressions, we have to draw from our reservoir of experience, dreams, desires and experimentation and mix together what was, what is, and what could be… I don’t think you can learn it, it is rather something that evolves. Your perception of everything in your life fills up this reservoir.
Peter Lindbergh
That single moment's intensity hasn't been matched in my life before or since. A woman I didn't know had chosen to accept me, in body and mind. Perhaps it is this instant that forms the basis of traditional marriage—a complete stranger is suddenly mine. And then, I am hers, too; I must offer her my all. I want her to wield her power over me as an acknowledgment of my love. The rush of those feelings all at once is too much to describe. Language communicates in terms of what is already known; it chokes up when asked to deal with the entirely unprecedented.
Vivek Shanbhag (Ghachar Ghochar)
Individuality is deeply imbued in us from the very start, at the neuronal level. Even at a motor level, researchers have shown, an infant does not follow a set pattern of learning to walk or how to reach for something. Each baby experiments with different ways of reaching for objects and over the course of several months discovers or selects his own motor solutions. When we try to envisage the neural basis of such individual learning, we might imagine a "population" of movements (and their neural correlates) being strengthened or pruned away by experience. Similar considerations arise with regard to recover and rehabilitation after strokes and other injuries. There are no rules; there is no prescribed path of recovery; every patient must discover or create his own motor and perceptual patterns, his own solutions to the challenges that face him; and it is the function of a sensitive therapist to help him in this. And in its broadest sense, neural Darwinism implies that we are destined, whether we wish it or not, to a life of particularity and self-development, to make our own individual paths through life.
Oliver Sacks (On the Move: A Life)
Worst fears: That God was not good. That the earth you stood upon shifted, and chasms yawned; that people, falling, clutched one another for help and none was forthcoming. That the basis of all things was evil. That the beauty of the evening, now settling in a yellow glow on the stone of The Cottage barns, the swallows dipping and soaring, a sudden host of butterflies in the long grasses in the foreground, was a lie; a deceitful sheen on which hopeful visions flitted momentarily, and that long, long ago evil had won against good, death over life... in the glow of the sun against the stone walls, as well as in the dancing of butterflies- that in this she had been mocked.
Fay Weldon
The real difference is this: the Christian says that he has knowledge; the Agnostic admits that he has none; and yet the Christian accuses the Agnostic of arrogance, and asks him how he has the impudence to admit the limitations of his mind. To the Agnostic every fact is a torch, and by this light, and this light only, he walks. The Agnostic knows that the testimony of man is not sufficient to establish what is known as the miraculous. We would not believe to-day the testimony of millions to the effect that the dead had been raised. The church itself would be the first to attack such testimony. If we cannot believe those whom we know, why should we believe witnesses who have been dead thousands of years, and about whom we know nothing? The Agnostic takes the ground that human experience is the basis of morality. Consequently, it is of no importance who wrote the gospels, or who vouched or vouches for the genuineness of the miracles. In his scheme of life these things are utterly unimportant. He is satisfied that “the miraculous” is the impossible. He knows that the witnesses were wholly incapable of examining the questions involved, that credulity had possession of their minds, that 'the miraculous' was expected, that it was their daily food.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol 1: Lectures)
It is not only the hostility of others that may prevent us from questioning the status quo. Our will to doubt can be just as powerfully sapped by an internal sense that societal conventions must have a sound basis, even if we are not sure exactly what this may be, because they have been adhered to by a great many people for a long time. It seems implausible that our society could be gravely mistaken in its beliefs, and at the same time, that we would be alone in noticing the fact. We stifle our doubts, and follow the flock, because we cannot conceive of ourselves as pioneers of hitherto unknown difficult truths. It is for help in overcoming our meekness that we can turn to the philosopher.
Alain de Botton
In daily life we never understand each other, neither complete clairvoyance nor complete confessional exists. We know each other approximately, by external signs, and these serve well enough as a basis for society and even for intimacy. But people in a novel can be understood completely by the reader, if the novelist wishes; their inner as well as their outer life can be exposed. And this is why they often seem more definite than characters in history, or even our own friends; we have been told all about them that can be told; even if they are imperfect or unreal they do not contain any secrets, whereas our friends do and must, mutual secrecy being one of the conditions of life upon this globe.
E.M. Forster
In the twentieth century per capita GDP was perhaps the supreme yardstick for evaluating national success. From this perspective, Singapore, each of whose citizens produces on average $56,000 worth of goods and services a year, is a more successful country than Costa Rica, whose citizens produce only $14,000 a year. But nowadays thinkers, politicians and even economists are calling to supplement or even replace GDP with GDH – gross domestic happiness. After all, what do people want? They don’t want to produce. They want to be happy. Production is important because it provides the material basis for happiness. But it is only the means, not the end. In one survey after another Costa Ricans report far higher levels of life satisfaction than Singaporeans. Would you rather be a highly productive but dissatisfied Singaporean, or a less productive but satisfied Costa Rican?
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
Suddenly an unexpected series of sounds began to be heard in this place up against the starry sky. They were the notes of Oak´s flute. It came from the direction of a small dark object under the hedge - a shephard´s hut - now presenting an outline to which an unintiated person might have been puzzled to attach either meaning or use. ... Being a man not without a frequent consciousness that there was some charm in this life he led, he stood still after looking at the sky as a useful instrument, and regarded it in an appreciative spirit, as a work of art superlatively beautiful. For a moment he seemed impressed with the speaking loneliness of the scene, or rather with the complete abstraction from all its compass of the sights and sounds of man. ... Oak´s motions, though they had a quiet energy, were slow, and their deliberateness accorded well with his occupation. Fitness being the basis of beauty, nobody could have denied tha his steady swings and turns in and about the flock had elements of grace. His special power, morally, physically, and mentally, was static. ... Oak was an intensely human man: indee, his humanity tore in pieces any politic intentions of his which bordered on strategy, and carried him on as by gravitation. A shadow in his life had always been that his flock should end in mutton - that a day could find a shepherd an arrant traitor to his gentle sheep.
Thomas Hardy (Far From the Madding Crowd)
It is said that there are four kinds of horses: excellent ones, good ones, poor ones, and bad ones. The best horse will run slow and fast, right and left, at the driver’s will, before it sees the shadow of the whip; the second best will run as well as the first one does, just before the whip reaches its skin; the third one will run when it feels pain on its body; the fourth will run after the pain penetrates to the marrow of its bones. You can imagine how difficult it is for the fourth one to learn how to run! When we hear this story, almost all of us want to be the best horse. If it is impossible to be the best one, we want to be the second best. That is, I think, the usual understanding of this story, and of Zen. You may think that when you sit in zazen you will find out whether you are one of the best horses or one of the worst ones. Here, however, there is a misunderstanding of Zen. If you think the aim of Zen practice is to train you to become one of the best horses, you will have a big problem. This is not the right understanding. If you practice Zen in the right way it does not matter whether you are the best horse or the worst one. When you consider the mercy of Buddha, how do you think Buddha will feel about the four kinds of horses? He will have more sympathy for the worst one than for the best one. When you are determined to practice zazen with the great mind of Buddha, you will find the worst horse is the most valuable one. In your very imperfections you will find the basis for your firm, way-seeking mind. Those who can sit perfectly physically usually take more time to obtain the true way of Zen, the actual feeling of Zen, the marrow of Zen. But those who find great difficulties in practicing Zen will find more meaning in it. So I think that sometimes the best horse may be the worst horse, and the worst horse can be the best one. If you study calligraphy you will find that those who are not so clever usually become the best calligraphers. Those who are very clever with their hands often encounter great difficulty after they have reached a certain stage. This is also true in art and in Zen. It is true in life. So when we talk about Zen we cannot say, 'He is good,' or 'He is bad,' in the ordinary sense of the words. The posture taken in zazen is not the same for each of us. For some it may be impossible to take the cross-legged posture. But even though you cannot take the right posture, when you arouse your real, way-seeking mind, you can practice Zen in its true sense. Actually it is easier for those who have difficulties in sitting to arouse the true way-seeking mind that for those who can sit easily.
Shunryu Suzuki
STAGE 1—shared by most street gangs and characterized by despair, hostility, and the collective belief that “life sucks.” STAGE 2—filled primarily with apathetic people who perceive themselves as victims and who are passively antagonistic, with the mind-set that “my life sucks.” Think The Office on TV or the Dilbert comic strip. STAGE 3—focused primarily on individual achievement and driven by the motto “I’m great (and you’re not).” According to the authors, people in organizations at this stage “have to win, and for them winning is personal. They’ll outwork and outthink their competitors on an individual basis. The mood that results is a collection of ‘lone warriors.’” STAGE 4—dedicated to tribal pride and the overriding conviction that “we’re great (and they’re not).” This kind of team requires a strong adversary, and the bigger the foe, the more powerful the tribe. STAGE 5—a rare stage characterized by a sense of innocent wonder and the strong belief that “life is great.” (See Bulls, Chicago, 1995–98.)
Phil Jackson (Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success)
The majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism – are forced, indeed, so to spoil them. They find themselves surrounded by hideous poverty, by hideous ugliness, by hideous starvation. It is inevitable that they should be strongly moved by all this. The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man’s intelligence; and, as I pointed out some time ago in an article on the function of criticism, it is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought. Accordingly, with admirable, though misdirected intentions, they very seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see. But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease. They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor. But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible. And the altruistic virtues have really prevented the carrying out of this aim. Just as the worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves, and so prevented the horror of the system being realised by those who suffered from it, and understood by those who contemplated it, so, in the present state of things in England, the people who do most harm are the people who try to do most good; and at last we have had the spectacle of men who have really studied the problem and know the life – educated men who live in the East End – coming forward and imploring the community to restrain its altruistic impulses of charity, benevolence, and the like. They do so on the ground that such charity degrades and demoralises. They are perfectly right. Charity creates a multitude of sins.
Oscar Wilde (The Soul of Man Under Socialism, the Socialist Ideal Art, and the Coming Solidarity. by Oscar Wilde, William Morris, W.C. Owen)
Imagine now a man who is deprived of everyone he loves, and at the same time of his house, his habits, his clothes, in short, of everything he possesses: he will be a hollow man, reduced to suffering and needs, forgetful of dignity and restraint, for he who loses all often easily loses himself. He will be a man whose life or death can be lightly decided with no sense of human affinity, in the most fortunate of cases, on the basis of a pure judgment of utility. It is in this way that one can understand the double sense of the term “extermination camp,” and it is now clear what we seek to express with the phrase: “to lie on the bottom.
Primo Levi (Survival in Auschwitz)
One of the study’s major findings was that in the successful relationships, positive attention outweighed negative on a daily basis by a factor of five to one. This positive attention wasn’t about dramatic actions like throwing over-the-top birthday parties or purchasing a dream home. It took the form of small gestures, such as: using a pleased tone of voice when receiving a phone call from the partner, as opposed to an exasperated tone or a rushed pace that implied the partner’s call was interrupting important tasks inquiring about dentist appointments or other details of the other person’s day putting down the remote control, newspaper, or telephone when the other partner walked through the door arriving home at the promised time—or at least calling if there was a delay These small moments turned out to be more predictive of a loving, trusting relationship than were the more innovative steps of romantic vacations and expensive presents. Possibly, that’s because small moments provide consistent tending and nurturing.
Robert Maurer (One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way)
one gradually equilibrizes the whole of one’s mental structure and obtains a simple view of the incalculably vast complexity of the universe. For it is written: “Equilibrium is the basis of the work.” Serious students will need to make a careful study of the attributions detailed in this work and commit them to memory. When, by persistent application to his own mental apparatus, the numerical system with its correspondences is partly understood—as opposed to being merely memorized—the student will be amazed to find fresh light breaking in on him at every turn as he continues to refer every item in experience and consciousness to this standard.
Israel Regardie (A Garden of Pomegranates: Skrying on the Tree of Life)
From the beginning, Judeo-Christian principles have been the foundation for American public dialogue and government policy. They serve as the solid basis for political activism in support of a better socioeconomic environment. Found in American homes, truth from the Hebrew Christian Bible has enabled individual liberty to prevail over secular empires because it is a practical message about reality from man’s Creator. In their quest for liberty, Americans focused upon the conspicuously self-evident “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” It is the governing character of these principles (laws), such as humility, the Golden Rule, and the Ten Commandments, that leads to success. This is the sure foundation upon which man’s right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” rests. Called “virtue” by America’s Founding Fathers, the impartial and divine element frees man to do what is right. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
David A. Norris (Restoring Education: Central to American Greatness Fifteen Principles That Liberated Mankind from the Politics of Tyranny)
Fear is one of the persistent hounds of hell that dog the footsteps of the poor, the dispossessed, the disinherited. There is nothing new or recent about fear—it is doubtless as old as the life of man on the planet. Fears are of many kinds—fear of objects, fear of people, fear of the future, fear of nature, fear of the unknown, fear of old age, fear of disease, and fear of life itself. Then there is fear which has to do with aspects of experience and detailed states of mind. Our homes, institutions, prisons, churches, are crowded with people who are hounded by day and harrowed by night because of some fear that lurks ready to spring into action as soon as one is alone, or as soon as the lights go out, or as soon as one’s social defenses are temporarily removed. The ever-present fear that besets the vast poor, the economically and socially insecure, is a fear of still a different breed. It is a climate closing in; it is like the fog in San Francisco or in London. It is nowhere in particular yet everywhere. It is a mood which one carries around with himself, distilled from the acrid conflict with which his days are surrounded. It has its roots deep in the heart of the relations between the weak and the strong, between the controllers of environment and those who are controlled by it. When the basis of such fear is analyzed, it is clear that it arises out of the sense of isolation and helplessness in the face of the varied dimensions of violence to which the underprivileged are exposed. Violence, precipitate and stark, is the sire of the fear of such people. It is spawned by the perpetual threat of violence everywhere. Of course, physical violence is the most obvious cause. But here, it is important to point out, a particular kind of physical violence or its counterpart is evidenced; it is violence that is devoid of the element of contest. It is what is feared by the rabbit that cannot ultimately escape the hounds.
Howard Thurman
The realm of freedom actually begins only where labour which is determined by necessity and mundane considerations ceases; thus in the very nature of things it lies beyond the sphere of actual material production. Just as the savage must wrestle with Nature to satisfy his wants, to maintain and reproduce life, so must civilised man, and he must do so in all social formations and under all possible modes of production. With his development this realm of physical necessity expands as a result of his wants; but, at the same time, the forces of production which satisfy these wants also increase. Freedom in this field can only consist in socialised man, the associated producers, rationally regulating their interchange with Nature, bringing it under their common control, instead of being ruled by it as by the blind forces of Nature; and achieving this with the least expenditure of energy and under conditions most favourable to, and worthy of, their human nature. But it nonetheless still remains a realm of necessity. Beyond it begins that development of human energy which is an end in itself, the true realm of freedom, which, however, can blossom forth only with this realm of necessity as its basis. The shortening of the working-day is its basic prerequisite.
Karl Marx
Dasein does not fill up a track or stretch ‘of life’ — one which is somehow present-at-hand — with the phases of its momentary actualities. It stretches itself along in such a way that its own being is constituted in advance as a stretching-along. The ‘between’ which relates to birth and death already lies in the being of Dasein … It is by no means the case that Dasein ‘is’ actual in a point of time, and that, apart from this, it is ‘surrounded’ by the non-actuality of its birth and death. Understood existentially, birth is not … something past in the sense of something no longer present-at-hand; and death is just as far from having the kind of being of something … not yet present-at-hand but coming along … Factical Dasein exists as born; and, as born, it is already dying, in the sense of being-towards-death. As long as Dasein factically exists, both the ‘ends’ and their ‘between’ *are*, and they are in the only way possible on the basis of Dasein’s being as *care* … As care, Dasein is the ‘between’.
Martin Heidegger (Being and Time)
In my lifelong study of the scores of species of ants to be found in the tropical forests of Dal Hon, I am led to the conviction that all forms of life are engaged in a struggle to survive, and that within each species there exists a range of natural but variable proclivities, of physical condition and of behaviour, which in turn weighs for or against in the battle to survive and procreate. Further, it is my suspicion that in the act of procreation, such traits are passed on. By extension, one can see that ill traits reduce the likelihood of both survival and procreation. On the basis of these notions, I wish to propose to my fellow scholars at this noble gathering a law of survival that pertains to all forms of life. But before I do so, I must add one more caveat, drawn from the undeniable behavioural characteristics of, in my instance of speciality, ants. To whit, success of one form of life more often than not initiates devastating population collapse among competitors, and indeed, sometimes outright extinction. And that such annihilation of rivals may in fact be a defining feature of success. Thus, my colleagues, I wish to propose a mode of operation among all forms of life, which I humbly call-in my four-volume treatise-‘The Betrayal of the Fittest’. Obsessional Scrolls Sixth Day Proceedings Address Of Skavat Gill Unta, Malazan Empire, 1097 Burn's Sleep
Steven Erikson (Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9))
Wonder acts upon a man like a shock, he is "moved" and "shaken", and in the dislocation that succeeds all that he had taken for granted as being natural or self-evident loses its compact solidity and obviousness; he is literally dislocated and no longer knows where he is. If this were only to involve the man of action in all of us, so that a man only lost his sense of certainty of everyday life, it would be relatively harmless; but the ground quakes beneath his feet in a far more dangerous sense, and it is his whole spiritual nature, his capacity to know, that is threatened. It is an extremely curious fact that this is the only aspect of wonder, or almost the only aspect, that comes to evidence in modern philosohpy, and the old view that wonder was the beginning of philosophy takes on a new meaning: doubt is the beginning of philosophy. . . . The innermost meaning of wonder is fulfilled in a deepened sense of mystery. It does not end in doubt, but is the awakening of the knowledge that being, qua being, is mysterious and inconceivable, and that it is a mystery in the full sense of the word: neither a dead end, nor a contradiction, nor even something impenetrable and dark. Rather, mystery means that a reality cannot be comprehended because its light is ever-flowing, unfathomable, and inexhaustible. And that is what the wonderer really experiences. . . . Since the very beginning philosophy has always been characterized by hope. Philosophy never claimed to be a superior form of knowledge but, on the contrary, a form of humility, and restrained, and conscious of this restraint and humility in relation to knowledge. The words philosopher and philosophy were coined, according to legend--and the legend is of great antiquity--by Pythagoras in explicit contrast to the words sophia and sophos: no man is wise, and no man "knows"; God alone is wise and all-knowing. At the very most a man might call himself a lover of wisdom and a seeker after knowledge--a philosopher. --from The Philosophical Act, Chapter III
Josef Pieper (Leisure, the basis of culture, and, The philosophical act!)
More importantly, I didn’t know then that one day I would genuinely be free. That freedom came out of a thousand small steps of obedience, most of which I took during the waiting or limbo time. The more I learned to lean into Him on a daily basis and simply live out my faith in the everyday elements, the more I was prepared for the bigger steps when they arrived. Not only that, I was given the gift of living my life fully in the present, rather than being fixated and frustrated over some distant time or hope. In the crossroads called limbo, you do arrive at mile markers. You become more mature. More healed. Less surprised by or resistant to or unprepared for the good things God is giving you in the ordinary. Your challenge is to begin to embrace the waiting times as part of the overall journey. Limbo is a key part of the healing process! As you are faithful daily, He is working in you powerfully, and it all counts. Every single moment!
Suzanne Eller (The Mended Heart: God's Healing for Your Broken Places)
The emptiness of the narcissist often means that they are only focused on whatever is useful or interesting to them at the moment. If at that moment it is interesting for them to tell you they love you, they do. It’s not really a long game to them, and when the next interesting issue comes up, they attend to that. The objectification of others—viewing other people as objects useful to his needs—can also play a role. When you are the only thing in the room, or the most interesting thing in the room, then the narcissist’s charisma and charm can leave you convinced that you are his everything. The problem is that this is typically superficial regard, and that superficiality results in inconsistency, and emotions for the narcissistic person range from intense to detached on a regular basis. This vacillation between intensity and detachment can be observed in the narcissist’s relationships with people (acquaintances, friends, family, and partners), work, and experiences. A healthy relationship should feel like a safe harbor in your life. Life throws us enough curve balls in the shape of money problems, work issues, medical issues, household issues, and even the weather. Sadly, a relationship with a narcissist can be one more source of chaos in your life, rather than a place of comfort and consistency.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
Progress is hardly ever dramatic; in fact, it is usually very slow. As every parent and teacher knows, education is never a matter of ten-step plans or quick formulas, but of faithful commitment to the mundane challenges of daily life: getting up from the sofa to spend time with our children, loving them and disciplining them, becoming involved in their lives at school and, most important, making sure they have a wholesome family life to return to at home. Maybe that is why Jesus teaches us to ask for strength little by little, on a daily basis - "Give us this day our daily bread" - and why he stresses the significance of even the smallest, humblest beginnings: "Wherever two of you agree about anything you ask for, it shall be done for you... For where two or three come together in my name, I shall be with them" (Mt. 18:19-20).
Johann Christoph Arnold (A Little Child Shall Lead Them: Hopeful Parenting in a Confused World)
We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. I desperately wanted mercy for Jimmy Dill and would have done anything to create justice for him, but I couldn’t pretend that his struggle was disconnected from my own. The ways in which I have been hurt—and have hurt others—are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us. Paul Farmer, the renowned physician who has spent his life trying to cure the world’s sickest and poorest people, once quoted me something that the writer Thomas Merton said: We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I’d always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral—immoral from the scientific point of view." "Why?" "Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly—that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty hat one owes to one's self. Of course, they are charitable. They feed the hungry and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion—these are the two things that govern us. And yet, I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream—I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal—to something finer, richer than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray (Collector's Edition): Including the Uncensored 13 Chapter Version & The Revised 20 Chapter Version)
Having DID is, for many people, a very lonely thing. If this book reaches some people whose experiences resonate with mine and gives them a sense that they aren't alone, that there is hope, then I will have achieved one of my goals. A sad fact is that people with DID spend an average of almost seven years in the mental health system before being properly diagnosed and receiving the specific help they need. During that repeatedly misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated, simply because clinicians fail to recognize the symptoms. If this book provides practicing and future clinicians certain insight into DID, then I will have accomplished another goal. Clinicians, and all others whose lives are touched by DID, need to grasp the fundamentally illusive nature of memory, because memory, or the lack of it, is an integral component of this condition. Our minds are stock pots which are continuously fed ingredients from many cooks: parents, siblings, relatives, neighbors, teachers, schoolmates, strangers, acquaintances, radio, television, movies, and books. These are the fixings of learning and memory, which are stirred with a spoon that changes form over time as it is shaped by our experiences. In this incredibly amorphous neurological stew, it is impossible for all memories to be exact. But even as we accept the complex of impressionistic nature of memory, it is equally essential to recognize that people who experience persistent and intrusive memories that disrupt their sense of well-being and ability to function, have some real basis distress, regardless of the degree of clarity or feasibility of their recollections. We must understand that those who experience abuse as children, and particularly those who experience incest, almost invariably suffer from a profound sense of guilt and shame that is not meliorated merely by unearthing memories or focusing on the content of traumatic material. It is not enough to just remember. Nor is achieving a sense of wholeness and peace necessarily accomplished by either placing blame on others or by forgiving those we perceive as having wronged us. It is achieved through understanding, acceptance, and reinvention of the self.
Cameron West (First Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple)
Here is one set of 'New Ten Commandments' from today, which I happened to find on an atheist website: • Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you. • In all things, strive to cause no harm. • Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect. • Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted. • Live life with a sense of joy and wonder. • Always seek to be learning something new. • Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them. • Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you. • Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others. • Question everything.
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
A profound piece of surgery has to take place in the very psyche of the disinherited before the great claim of the religion of Jesus can be presented. The great stretches of barren places in the soul must be revitalized, brought to life, before they can be challenged. Tremendous skill and power must be exercised to show the disinherited the awful results of the role of negative deception into which their lives have been cast. How to do this is perhaps the greatest challenge that the religion of Jesus faces in modern life. Mere preaching is not enough. What are words, however sacred and powerful, in the presence of the grim facts of the daily struggle to survive? Any attempt to deal with this situation on a basis of values that disregard the struggle for survival appears to be in itself a compromise with life. It is only when people live in an environment in which they are not required to exert supreme effort into just keeping alive that they seem to be able to selects ends besides those of mere physical survival.
Howard Thurman (Jesus and the Disinherited)
Memories are better than life. Nothing I'm part of is good until later. I love what time does. I make decisions on the basis of sensing what will produce the best memory. They're my finest works: all that multidimensional and liquid maze of experience minus the fear and uncertainty, or with the fear and uncertainty changed to something else. Because they're already finished. I made them up and they comprise me. It's as if experience is only the dark, chaotic factory where these little infinity jewels are pressed into being. Everyone is the poet of their memories. Usually it's better to get things over with so you have the memory. But like the best poems, they're also never really finished because they gain new meaning as time reveals them in different lights. Maybe every memory is inside you from the beginning; they erupt and branch and merge in fantastic patterns, but if you really tried you could trace any one of them back to the same original. Maybe the best ones are all the same: of being born. Or dying, or whatever it is.
Richard Hell
I have said that there is no "average" American. That is due to the circumstance that the people of the United States differ from each as widely as the parts they live in. The New Yorker is a different specimen of man from the Westerner; the latter is entirely different again from the people of Texas. The Middle West, such States for instance as Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska or Iowa, have an entirely different psychology from that of Florida or Lower California. Their habits of life, their modes of thought, even their language is different. Still further, it must also be considered that millions of foreigners and descendants of foreign born people live in the United States and are part of the entire population that is known as "American". Add to this more than 10 million negroes, not to mention the score of different Indian (red-skin) tribes, who are the real, indigenous Americans. In this conglomeration of races it is impossible to speak of the "average" American, nor can any adequate estimate of American psychology be made on such a basis.
Alexander Berkman
Darwinism met with such overwhelming success because it provided, on the basis of inheritance, the ideological weapons for race and well as class rule and could be used for, as well as against, race discrimination. Politically speaking, Darwinism as such was neutral, and it has led, indeed, to all kinds of pacifism and cosmopolitanism as well as to the sharpest forms of imperialistic ideologies. In the seventies and eighties of the last century, Darwinism was still almost exclusively in the hands of the utilitarian anti-colonial party in England. And the first philosopher of evolution, Herbert Spencer, who treated sociology as part of biology, believed natural selection to benefit the evolution of mankind and to result in everlasting peace. For political discussion, Darwinism offered two important concepts: the struggle for existence with optimistic assertion of the necessary and automatic "survival of the fittest," and the indefinite possibilities which seemed to lie in the evolution of man out of animal life and which started the new "science" of eugenics.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
What, after all, is so special about genes? The answer is that they are replicators. The laws of physics are supposed to be true all over the accessible universe. Are there any principles of biology which are likely to have similar universal validity? When astronauts voyage to distant planets and look for life, they can expect to find creatures too strange and unearthly for us to imagine. But is there anything which must be true of all life, wherever it is found, and whatever the basis of its chemistry? If forms of life exist whose chemistry is based on silicon rather than carbon, or ammonia rather than water, if creatures are discovered which boil to death at -100 degrees centigrade, if a form of life is found which is not based on chemistry at all, but on electronic reverberating circuits, will there still be any general principle which is true of all life? Obviously I do not know but, if I had to bet, I would put my money on one fundamental principle. This is the law that all life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. The gene, the DNA molecule, happens to be the replicating entity which prevails on our own planet. There may be others. If there are, provided certain conditions are met, they will almost inevitably tend to become the basis for an evolutionary process.
Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene)
Our "increasing mental sickness" may find expres­sion in neurotic symptoms. These symptoms are con­spicuous and extremely distressing. But "let us beware," says Dr. Fromm, "of defining mental hygiene as the prevention of symptoms. Symptoms as such are not our enemy, but our friend; where there are symp­toms there is conflict, and conflict always indicates that the forces of life which strive for integration and happiness are still fighting." The really hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. "Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been si­lenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does." They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their per­fect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted, still cherish "the illusion of indi­viduality," but in fact they have been to a great extent deindividualized. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity. But "uniformity and free­dom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible too. . . . Man is not made to be an automaton, and if he becomes one, the basis for mental health is destroyed.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
In a flash I had a change of heart. Even one precious life was worth saving. Japan was defeated; but the wounded were still alive. The war was over; but the work of our relief team remained. Our country was destroyed; but medical science still existed. Wasn't our work only beginning? Irrespective of the rise and fall of our country, wasn't our main duty to attend to the life and death of each single person? the very basis of the Red Cross was to attend to the wounded, be they friend or foe. Precisely because we Japanese had treated human life so simply and so carelessly--precisely for this reason we were reduced to our present miserable plight. Respect for the life of every person--this must be the foundation stone on which we would built a new society. Our people had been told that they must suffer these terrible wounds to win the war; but in fact they had suffered in order to lose. Now they were thrown into the most pitiable and desperate situation. And there was no one to console them, no one to help them except us. We must stand and come to their aid. I stood there unsteadily on my tottering legs. And then the whole group stood up beside me. Our courage came back. The determination to continue our work gave us strength and joy.
Takashi Nagai (The Bells of Nagasaki)
We are not being true to the artist as a man if we consider his work "junk", simply because we differ with his outlook on life. Instead, if the artist's technical excellence is high, he is to be praised for this even if we differ with his worldview... Yet where his work shows his worldview, it must be judged by its relationship to the Christian worldview. If we stand as Christians before a man's canvas and recognize that he is a great artist in technical excellence, we have been fair with him as a man. Then we can say that his worldview is wrong. We can judge his views on the same basis as we judge anybody else- philosopher, common man, laborer, business man, or whatever. God's Word binds the great man and the small, the scientist and the simple, the king and the artist. We should realize that if something untrue or immoral is stated in great art, it can be far more devastating than if it is expressed in poor art. The greater the artistic expression, the more important it is to consciously bring it and it's worldview under the judgment of Christ and the Bible. The common reaction among many however, is just the opposite. Ordinarily, many seem to feel that the greater the art, the less we ought to be critical of its worldview. This we must reverse.
Francis A. Schaeffer
Carl Jung tells in one of his books of a conversation he had with a Native American chief who pointed out to him that in his perception most white people have tense faces, staring eyes, and a cruel demeanor. He said: “They are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We don’t know what they want. We think they are mad.” The undercurrent of constant unease started long before the rise of Western industrial civilization, of course, but in Western civilization, which now covers almost the entire globe, including most of the East, it manifests in an unprecedentedly acute form. It was already there at the time of Jesus, and it was there six hundred years before that at the time of Buddha, and long before that. Why are you always anxious? Jesus asked his disciples. “Can anxious thought add a single day to your life?” And the Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and craving. Resistance to the Now as a collective dysfunction is intrinsically connected to loss of awareness of Being and forms the basis of our dehumanized industrial civilization. Freud, by the way, also recognized the existence of this undercurrent of unease and wrote about it in his book Civilization and Its Discontents, but he did not recognize the true root of the unease and failed to realize that freedom from it is possible. This collective dysfunction has created a very unhappy and extraordinarily violent civilization that has become a threat not only to itself but also to all life on the planet.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
Many survivors of relational and other forms of early life trauma are deeply troubled and often struggle with feelings of anger, grief, alienation, distrust, confusion, low self-esteem, loneliness, shame, and self-loathing. They seem to be prisoners of their emotions, alternating between being flooded by intense emotional and physiological distress related to the trauma or its consequences and being detached and unable to express or feel any emotion at all - alternations that are the signature posttraumatic pattern. These occur alongside or in conjunction with other common reactions and symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem) and their secondary manifestations. Those with complex trauma histories often have diffuse identity issues and feel like outsiders, different from other people, whom they somehow can't seem to get along with, fit in with, or get close to, even when they try. Moreover, they often feel a sense of personal contamination and that no one understands or can help them. Quite frequently and unfortunately, both they and other people (including the professionals they turn to for help) do misunderstand them, devalue their strengths, or view their survival adaptations through a lens of pathology (e.g., seeing them as "demanding", "overdependent and needy", "aggressive", or as having borderline personality). Yet, despite all, many individuals with these histories display a remarkable capacity for resilience, a sense of morality and empathy for others, spirituality, and perseverance that are highly admirable under the circumstances and that create a strong capacity for survival. Three broad categories of survivorship, with much overlap between them, can be discerned: 1. Those who have successfully overcome their past and whose lives are healthy and satisfying. Often, individuals in this group have had reparative experiences within relationships that helped them to cope successfully. 2. Those whose lives are interrupted by recurring posttraumatic reactions (often in response to life events and experiences) that periodically hijack them and their functioning for various periods of time. 3. Those whose lives are impaired on an ongoing basis and who live in a condition of posttraumatic decline, even to the point of death, due to compromised medical and mental health status or as victims of suicide of community violence, including homicide.
Christine A. Courtois (Treatment of Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-Based Approach)
The transformation of the world is brought about by the transformation of oneself, because the self is the product and a part of the total process of human existence. To transform oneself, self-knowledge is essential; without knowing what you are, there is no basis for right thought, and without knowing yourself there cannot be transformation. One must know oneself as on is, not as on wishes to be, which is merely an ideal and there for fictitious, unreal; it is only that which is that can be transformed, not that which you wish to be. To know oneself as one is requires and extraordinary alertness of mind, because what is, is constantly undergoing transformation, change; and to follow it swiftly the mind must not be tethered to any particular dogma or belief, to any particular pattern of action. If you would follow anything, it is no good being tethered. To know yourself, there must be the awareness, the alertness of mind in which there is freedom from all beliefs, from all idealization, because beliefs and ideals only give you a color, perverting true perception. If you want to know what you are, you cannot imagine or have belief in something which you are not. If I am greedy, envious, violent, merely having an ideal of non-violence, of non-greed, is of little value. The understanding of what you are, whatever it be – ugly or beautiful, wicked or mischievous – the understanding of what you are, without distortion, is the beginning of virtue. Virtue is essential, for it gives freedom.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (The Book of Life)
Curiously enough, it seems that at times the spiritual side prevails, and then the materialistic side—in wave-like motions following each other. ...At one time the full flood of materialistic ideas prevails, and everything in this life—prosperity, the education which procures more pleasures, more food—will become glorious at first and then that will degrade and degenerate. Along with the prosperity will rise to white heat all the inborn jealousies and hatreds of the human race. Competition and merciless cruelty will be the watchword of the day. To quote a very commonplace and not very elegant English proverb, "Everyone for himself, and the devil take the hindmost", becomes the motto of the day. Then people think that the whole scheme of life is a failure. And the world would be destroyed had not spirituality come to the rescue and lent a helping hand to the sinking world. Then the world gets new hope and finds a new basis for a new building, and another wave of spirituality comes, which in time again declines. As a rule, spirituality brings a class of men who lay exclusive claim to the special powers of the world. The immediate effect of this is a reaction towards materialism, which opens the door to scores of exclusive claims, until the time comes when not only all the spiritual powers of the race, but all its material powers and privileges are centered in the hands of a very few; and these few, standing on the necks of the masses of the people, want to rule them. Then society has to help itself, and materialism comes to the rescue.
Swami Vivekananda (The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 3)
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)
A Christian people doesn't mean a lot of goody-goodies. The Church has plenty of stamina, and isn't afraid of sin. On the contrary, she can look it in the face calmly and even take it upon herself, assume it at times, as Our Lord did. When a good workman's been at it for a whole week, surely he's due for a booze on Saturday night. Look: I'll define you a Christian people by the opposite. The opposite of a Christian people is a people grown sad and old. You'll be saying that isn't a very theological definition. I agree... Why does our earliest childhood always seem so soft and full of light? A kid's got plenty of troubles, like everybody else, and he's really so very helpless, quite unarmed against pain and illness. Childhood and old age should be the two greatest trials of mankind. But that very sense of powerlessness is the mainspring of a child's joy. He just leaves it all to his mother, you see. Present, past, future -- his whole life is caught up in one look, and that look is a smile. Well, lad, if only they'd let us have our way, the Church might have given men that supreme comfort. Of course they'd each have their own worries to grapple with, just the same. Hunger, thirst, poverty, jealousy -- we'd never be able to pocket the devil once and for all, you may be sure. But man would have known he was the son of God; and therein lies your miracle. He'd have lived, he'd have died with that idea in his noddle -- and not just a notion picked up in books either -- oh, no! Because we'd have made that idea the basis of everything: habits and customs, relaxation and pleasure, down to the very simplest needs. That wouldn't have stopped the labourer ploughing, or the scientist swotting at his logarithms, or even the engineer making his playthings for grown-up people. What we would have got rid of, what we would have torn from the very heart of Adam, is that sense of his own loneliness... God has entrusted the Church to keep [the soul of childhood] alive, to safeguard our candour and freshness... Joy is the gift of the Church, whatever joy is possible for this sad world to share... What would it profit you even to create life itself, when you have lost all sense of what life really is?
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment. Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units. There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention. Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing. The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure. Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well. If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship. Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability. Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship. Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships. The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance. You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work. Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus? When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)
Praise be to Allah, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism, and says in His Book: 'But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)'; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-'Abdallah, who said: I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one but Allah is worshipped, Allah who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders. ...All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on Allah, his messenger, and Muslims. And ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by Imam Bin-Qadamah in 'Al- Mughni,' Imam al-Kisa'i in 'Al-Bada'i,' al-Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of al-Islam in his books, where he said: 'As for the fighting to repulse [an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life.' On that basis, and in compliance with Allah's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims: The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, 'and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,' and 'fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.' ...We -- with Allah's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Allah's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson. ...Almighty Allah also says: 'O ye who believe, what is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling so heavily to the earth! Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things.' Almighty Allah also says: 'So lose no heart, nor fall into despair. For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in faith.' [World Islamic Front Statement, 23 February 1998]
Osama bin Laden
Certainty is an unrealistic and unattainable ideal. We need to have pastors who are schooled in apologetics and engaged intellectually with our culture so as to shepherd their flock amidst the wolves. People who simply ride the roller coaster of emotional experience are cheating themselves out of a deeper and richer Christian faith by neglecting the intellectual side of that faith. They know little of the riches of deep understanding of Christian truth, of the confidence inspired by the discovery that one’s faith is logical and fits the facts of experience, and of the stability brought to one’s life by the conviction that one’s faith is objectively true. God could not possibly have intended that reason should be the faculty to lead us to faith, for faith cannot hang indefinitely in suspense while reason cautiously weighs and reweighs arguments. The Scriptures teach, on the contrary, that the way to God is by means of the heart, not by means of the intellect. When a person refuses to come to Christ, it is never just because of lack of evidence or because of intellectual difficulties: at root, he refuses to come because he willingly ignores and rejects the drawing of God’s Spirit on his heart. unbelief is at root a spiritual, not an intellectual, problem. Sometimes an unbeliever will throw up an intellectual smoke screen so that he can avoid personal, existential involvement with the gospel. In such a case, further argumentation may be futile and counterproductive, and we need to be sensitive to moments when apologetics is and is not appropriate. A person who knows that Christianity is true on the basis of the witness of the Spirit may also have a sound apologetic which reinforces or confirms for him the Spirit’s witness, but it does not serve as the basis of his belief. As long as reason is a minister of the Christian faith, Christians should employ it. It should not surprise us if most people find our apologetic unconvincing. But that does not mean that our apologetic is ineffective; it may only mean that many people are closed-minded. Without a divine lawgiver, there can be no objective right and wrong, only our culturally and personally relative, subjective judgments. This means that it is impossible to condemn war, oppression, or crime as evil. Nor can one praise brotherhood, equality, and love as good. For in a universe without God, good and evil do not exist—there is only the bare valueless fact of existence, and there is no one to say that you are right and I am wrong. No atheist or agnostic really lives consistently with his worldview. In some way he affirms meaning, value, or purpose without an adequate basis. It is our job to discover those areas and lovingly show him where those beliefs are groundless. We are witnesses to a mighty struggle for the mind and soul of America in our day, and Christians cannot be indifferent to it. If moral values are gradually discovered, not invented, then our gradual and fallible apprehension of the moral realm no more undermines the objective reality of that realm than our gradual, fallible apprehension of the physical world undermines the objectivity of that realm. God has given evidence sufficiently clear for those with an open heart, but sufficiently vague so as not to compel those whose hearts are closed. Because of the need for instruction and personal devotion, these writings must have been copied many times, which increases the chances of preserving the original text. In fact, no other ancient work is available in so many copies and languages, and yet all these various versions agree in content. The text has also remained unmarred by heretical additions. The abundance of manuscripts over a wide geographical distribution demonstrates that the text has been transmitted with only trifling discrepancies.
William Lane Craig (Reasonable Faith)
Leave all the ‘wise men to mock it or tolerate.’ Let them reach the moon or the stars, they are all dead. Nothing lives outside of man. Man is the living soul, turning slowly into a life-giving Spirit. But you cannot tell it except in a parable or metaphor to excite the mind of man to get him to go out and prove it. Leave the good and evil and eat of the Tree of Life. Nothing in the world is untrue if you want it to be true. You are the truth of everything that you perceive. ‘I am the truth, and the way, the life revealed.’ If I have physically nothing in my pocket, then in Imagination I have MUCH. But that is a lie based on fact, but truth is based on the intensity of my imagination and then I will create it in my world. Should I accept facts and use them as to what I should imagine? No. It is told us in the story of the fig tree. It did not bear for three years. One said, ‘Cut it down, and throw it away.’ But the keeper of the vineyard pleaded NO’! Who is the tree? I am the tree; you are the tree. We bear or we do not. But the Keeper said he would dig around the tree and feed it ‘or manure it, as we would say today’ and see if it will not bear. Well I do that here every week and try to get the tree ‘you’ me to bear. You should bear whatever you desire. If you want to be happily married, you should be. The world is only response. If you want money, get it. Everything is a dream anyway. When you awake and know what you are creating and that you are creating it that is a different thing. The greatest book is the Bible, but it has been taken from a moral basis and it is all weeping and tears. It seems almost ruthless as given to us in the Gospel, if taken literally. The New Testament interprets the Old Testament, and it has nothing to do with morals. You change your mind and stay in that changed state until it unfolds. Man thinks he has to work himself out of something, but it is God asleep in you as a living soul, and then we are reborn as a life-giving spirit. We do it here in this little classroom called Earth or beyond the grave, for you cannot die. You can be just as asleep beyond the grave. I meet them constantly, and they are just like this. Same loves and same hates. No change. They will go through it until they finally awake, until they cease to re-act and begin to act. Do not take this story lightly which I have told you tonight. Take it to heart. Tonight when you are driving home enact a scene. No matter what it is. Forget good and evil. Enact a scene that implies you have what you desire, and to the degree that you are faithful to that state, it will unfold in your world and no power can stop it, for there is no other power. Nothing is independent of your perception of it, and this goes for that great philosopher among us who is still claiming that everything is independent of the perceiver, but that the perceiver has certain powers. It is not so. Nothing is independent of the perceiver. Everything is ‘burned up’ when I cease to behold it. It may exist for another, but not for me. Let us make our dream a noble one, for the world is infinite response to you, the being you want to be. Now let us go into the silence.
Neville Goddard (The Law and Other Essays on Manifestation)
ESTABLISHING A DAILY MEDITATION First select a suitable space for your regular meditation. It can be wherever you can sit easily with minimal disturbance: a corner of your bedroom or any other quiet spot in your home. Place a meditation cushion or chair there for your use. Arrange what is around so that you are reminded of your meditative purpose, so that it feels like a sacred and peaceful space. You may wish to make a simple altar with a flower or sacred image, or place your favorite spiritual books there for a few moments of inspiring reading. Let yourself enjoy creating this space for yourself. Then select a regular time for practice that suits your schedule and temperament. If you are a morning person, experiment with a sitting before breakfast. If evening fits your temperament or schedule better, try that first. Begin with sitting ten or twenty minutes at a time. Later you can sit longer or more frequently. Daily meditation can become like bathing or toothbrushing. It can bring a regular cleansing and calming to your heart and mind. Find a posture on the chair or cushion in which you can easily sit erect without being rigid. Let your body be firmly planted on the earth, your hands resting easily, your heart soft, your eyes closed gently. At first feel your body and consciously soften any obvious tension. Let go of any habitual thoughts or plans. Bring your attention to feel the sensations of your breathing. Take a few deep breaths to sense where you can feel the breath most easily, as coolness or tingling in the nostrils or throat, as movement of the chest, or rise and fall of the belly. Then let your breath be natural. Feel the sensations of your natural breathing very carefully, relaxing into each breath as you feel it, noticing how the soft sensations of breathing come and go with the changing breath. After a few breaths your mind will probably wander. When you notice this, no matter how long or short a time you have been away, simply come back to the next breath. Before you return, you can mindfully acknowledge where you have gone with a soft word in the back of your mind, such as “thinking,” “wandering,” “hearing,” “itching.” After softly and silently naming to yourself where your attention has been, gently and directly return to feel the next breath. Later on in your meditation you will be able to work with the places your mind wanders to, but for initial training, one word of acknowledgment and a simple return to the breath is best. As you sit, let the breath change rhythms naturally, allowing it to be short, long, fast, slow, rough, or easy. Calm yourself by relaxing into the breath. When your breath becomes soft, let your attention become gentle and careful, as soft as the breath itself. Like training a puppy, gently bring yourself back a thousand times. Over weeks and months of this practice you will gradually learn to calm and center yourself using the breath. There will be many cycles in this process, stormy days alternating with clear days. Just stay with it. As you do, listening deeply, you will find the breath helping to connect and quiet your whole body and mind. Working with the breath is an excellent foundation for the other meditations presented in this book. After developing some calm and skills, and connecting with your breath, you can then extend your range of meditation to include healing and awareness of all the levels of your body and mind. You will discover how awareness of your breath can serve as a steady basis for all you do.
Jack Kornfield (A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life)