Being Loved Properly Quotes

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I'm tired of living unable to love anyone. I don't have a single friend - not one. And, worst of all, I can't even love myself. Why is that? Why can't I love myself? It's because I can't love anyone else. A person learns how to love himself through the simple acts of loving and being loved by someone else. Do you understand what I am saying? A person who is incapable of loving another cannot properly love himself.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can't even write this properly. I can't read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.
Virginia Woolf
We sit in silence and watch the stars, I suppose because there are no words, not in all the languages on earth, that can properly describe the feeling of being in love. And perhaps those little burning lights out there in the dark, are the closest we come to something that does.
Beau Taplin
We really have to understand the person we want to love. If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we know only our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we cannot love. We must look deeply in order to see and understand the needs, aspirations, and suffering of the person we love. This is the ground of real love. You cannot resist loving another person when you really understand him or her. From time to time, sit close to the one you love, hold his or her hand, and ask, 'Darling, do I understand you enough? Or am I making you suffer? Please tell me so that I can learn to love you properly. I don't want to make you suffer, and if I do so because of my ignorance, please tell me so that I can love you better, so that you can be happy." If you say this in a voice that communicates your real openness to understand, the other person may cry. That is a good sign, because it means the door of understanding is opening and everything will be possible again. Maybe a father does not have time or is not brave enough to ask his son such a question. Then the love between them will not be as full as it could be. We need courage to ask these questions, but if we don't ask, the more we love, the more we may destroy the people we are trying to love. True love needs understanding. With understanding, the one we love will certainly flower.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life)
Is there no context for our lives? No song, no literature, no poem full of vitamins, no history connected to experience that you can pass along to help us start strong? You are an adult. The old one, the wise one. Stop thinking about saving your face. Think of our lives and tell us your particularized world. Make up a story. Narrative is radical, creating us at the very moment it is being created. We will not blame you if your reach exceeds your grasp; if love so ignites your words they go down in flames and nothing is left but their scald. Or if, with the reticence of a surgeon's hands, your words suture only the places where blood might flow. We know you can never do it properly - once and for all. Passion is never enough; neither is skill. But try. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don't tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear's caul. You, old woman, blessed with blindness, can speak the language that tells us what only language can: how to see without pictures. Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. Language alone is meditation.
Toni Morrison (The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993)
We deserve some respect. You deserve some respect. You are important to other people, as much as to yourself. You have some vital role to play in the unfolding destiny of the world. You are, therefore, morally obliged to take care of yourself. You should take care of, help and be good to yourself the same way you would take care of, help and be good to someone you loved and valued. You may therefore have to conduct yourself habitually in a manner that allows you some respect for your own Being—and fair enough. But every person is deeply flawed. Everyone falls short of the glory of God. If that stark fact meant, however, that we had no responsibility to care, for ourselves as much as others, everyone would be brutally punished all the time. That would not be good. That would make the shortcomings of the world, which can make everyone who thinks honestly question the very propriety of the world, worse in every way. That simply cannot be the proper path forward.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
What did she say?” asked Matthias. Nina coughed and took his arm, leading him away. “She said you’re a very nice fellow, and a credit to the Fjerdan race. Ooh, look, blini! I haven’t had proper blini in forever.” “That word she used: babink,” he said. “You’ve called me that before. What does it mean?” Nina directed her attention to a stack of paper-thin buttered pancakes. “It means sweetie pie.” “Nina—” “Barbarian.” “I was just asking, there’s no need to name-call.” “No, babink means barbarian.” Matthias’ gaze snapped back to the old woman, his glower returning to full force. Nina grabbed his arm. It was like trying to hold on to a boulder. “She wasn’t insulting you! I swear!” “Barbarian isn’t an insult?” he asked, voice rising. “No. Well, yes. But not in this context. She wanted to know if you’d like to play Princess and Barbarian.” “It’s a game?” “Not exactly.” “Then what is it?” Nina couldn’t believe she was actually going to attempt to explain this. As they continued up the street, she said, “In Ravka, there’s a popular series of stories about, um, a brave Fjerdan warrior—” “Really?” Matthias asked. “He’s the hero?” “In a manner of speaking. He kidnaps a Ravkan princess—” “That would never happen.” “In the story it does, and”—she cleared her throat—“they spend a long time getting to know each other. In his cave.” “He lives in a cave?” “It’s a very nice cave. Furs. Jeweled cups. Mead.” “Ah,” he said approvingly. “A treasure hoard like Ansgar the Mighty. They become allies, then?” Nina picked up a pair of embroidered gloves from another stand. “Do you like these? Maybe we could get Kaz to wear something with flowers. Liven up his look.” “How does the story end? Do they fight battles?” Nina tossed the gloves back on the pile in defeat. “They get to know each other intimately.” Matthias’ jaw dropped. “In the cave?” “You see, he’s very brooding, very manly,” Nina hurried on. “But he falls in love with the Ravkan princess and that allows her to civilize him—” “To civilize him?” “Yes, but that’s not until the third book.” “There are three?” “Matthias, do you need to sit down?” “This culture is disgusting. The idea that a Ravkan could civilize a Fjerdan—” “Calm down, Matthias.” “Perhaps I’ll write a story about insatiable Ravkans who like to get drunk and take their clothes off and make unseemly advances toward hapless Fjerdans.” “Now that sounds like a party.” Matthias shook his head, but she could see a smile tugging at his lips. She decided to push the advantage. “We could play,” she murmured, quietly enough so that no one around them could hear. “We most certainly could not.” “At one point he bathes her.” Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he—” “She’s tied up, so he has to.” “Be silent.” “Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.” “How about I bite your lip?” “Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Tessa exploded "I am not asking you to maul me in the Whispering Gallery! By the Angel, Will, would you stop being so polite?!" He looked at her in amazement. "But wouldn't you rather-" "I would not rather. I don't want you to be polite! I want you to be Will! I don't want you to indicate points of architectural interest to me as if you were a Baedecker guide! I want you to say dreadfully mad, funny things, and make up songs and be-" The Will I fell in love with, she almost said. "And be Will," she finished instead. "Or I shall strike you with my umbrella." "I am trying to court you," Will said in exasperation. "Court you properly. That's what all this has been about. You know that, don't you?" "Mr. Rochester never courted Jane Eyre," Tessa pointed out. "No, he dressed up as a woman and terrified the poor girl out of her wits. Is that what you want?" "You would make a very ugly woman." "I would not. I would be stunning." Tessa laughed. "There," she said. "There is Will. Isn't that better? Don't you think so?" "I don't know," Will said, eyeing her. I'm afraid to answer that. I've heard that when I speak, it makes American women wish to strike me with umbrellas." Tessa laughed again, and then they were both laughing, their smothered giggles bouncing off the walls of the Whispering Gallery. After that, things were decidedly easier between them, and Will's smile when he helped her down from the carriage on their return home, was bright and real.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. When there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended - there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving anyone too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're so conditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what you ought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulses are allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations to resist. And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your mortality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears - that's what soma is.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
A real relationship doesn't properly begin until the NRE burns away. That's when you have to start dealing with this person as an all-around human being, replete with irritating little habits. When disillusion sets in, love can begin.
Anthony Ravenscroft (Polyamory: Roadmaps for the Clueless & Hopeful)
Love begins with the experience of being understood in highly supportive and uncommon ways. They grasp the lonely parts of us; we don’t have to explain why we find a particular joke so funny; we have the same people; we both want to try that rather specialised sexual scenario. It cannot continue. When we run up against the reasonable limits of our lovers’ capacities for understanding, we mustn’t blame them for dereliction. They were not tragically inept. They couldn’t fully fathom who we were – and we could do no better. Which is normal. No one properly gets, or can fully sympathize with, anyone else.
Alain de Botton (The Course of Love)
Nobody here could ever talk about a heaven on earth. Heaven remained rigidly in its proper place on the other side of death, and on this side flourished the injustices, the cruelties, the meanness that elsewhere people so cleverly hushed up. Here you could love human beings nearly as God loved them, knowing the worst: you didn’t love a pose, a pretty dress, a sentiment artfully assumed.
Graham Greene (The Heart of the Matter)
Being told we simply have to love someone for all that they are, or else think of ourselves as bad people, is asking for the impossible. How could someone never want to change any part of us if they know us properly? Do
The School of Life (Relationships)
A woman cannot bear to feel empty and purposeless. But a man may take real pleasure in that feeling. A man can take real pride and satisfaction in pure negation: 'I am quite empty of feeling. I don't care the slightest bit in the world for anybody or anything except myself. But I do care for myself, and I'm going to survive in spite of them all, and I'm going to have my own success without caring the least in the world how I get it. Because I'm cleverer than they are, I'm cunninger than they are, even if I'm weak. I must build myself up proper protections, and entrench myself, and then I'm safe. I can sit inside my glass tower and feel nothing and be touched by nothing, and yet exert my power, my will, through the glass walls of my ego'. That, roughly, is the condition of a man who accepts the condition of true egoism, and emptiness, in himself. He has a certain pride in the condition, since in pure emptiness of real feeling he can still carry out his ambition, his will to egoistic success. Now I doubt if a woman can feel like this. The most egoistic woman is always in a tangle of hate, if not of love. But the true male egoist neither hates nor loves. He is quite empty, at the middle of him. Only on the surface he has feelings: and these he is always trying to get away from. Inwardly, he feels nothing. And when he feels nothing, he exults in his ego and knows he is safe. Safe, within his fortifications, inside his glass tower. But I doubt if women can even understand this condition in a man. They mistake emptiness for depth. They think the false calm of the egoist who really feels nothing is strength. And they imagine that all the defenses which the confirmed egoist throws up, the glass tower of imperviousness, are screens to a real man, a positive being. And they throw themselves madly on the defences, to tear them down and come at the real man, little knowing that there is no real man, the defences are only there to protect a hollow emptiness, an egoism, not a human man.
D.H. Lawrence (Selected Essays)
Love is an actual need, an urgent requirement of the heart," he read aloud from an old essay on marriage that he found in his files. "Every properly constituted human being who entertains an appreciation of loneliness...and looks forward to happiness and content feels the necessity of loving. Without it, life is unfinished...
Jan Karon (A Light in the Window (Mitford Years, #2))
Interrupting what promised to be a long spate of fatherly advice, St. Vincent said in a clipped voice, “It’s not a love match. It’s a marriage of convenience, and there’s not enough warmth between us to light a birthday candle. Get on with it, if you please. Neither of us has had a proper sleep in two days.” Silence fell over the scene, with MacPhee and his two daughters appearing shocked by the brusque remarks. Then the blacksmith’s heavy brows lowered over his eyes in a scowl. “I don’t like ye,” he announced. St. Vincent regarded him with exasperation. “Neither does my bride-to-be. But since that’s not going to stop her from marrying me, it shouldn’t stop you either. Go on.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
On the way back to the office- I get a cab, on expenses, naturally- I decide that I could quite like Ed. Maybe I could even fancy him, and maybe the fact that I'm not thinking about him that much when I'm not with him is a good thing, maybe it means this is a proper relationship, not just lust, or the equivalent to a teenage crush. Because quite frankly I'm sick of falling madly in love and spending twenty-four hours a day thinking about them and crying with misery when they don't phone. I'm sick of being the kind of girl who, when they say jump, says how high. I'm sick of always, always being the one to fall in love and get hurt. And maybe this is how it should be, getting on with my life and not putting all my energies into a relationship.
Jane Green (Mr Maybe)
What we have named as anger on the surface is the violent outer response to our own inner powerlessness, a powerlessness connected to such a profound sense of rawness and care that it can find no proper outer body or identity or voice, or way of life to hold it. What we call anger is often simply the unwillingness to live the full measure of our fears or of our not knowing, in the face of our love for a wife, in the depth of our caring for a son, in our wanting the best, in the face of simply being alive and loving those with whom we live.
David Whyte (Consolations - Revised edition: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words)
When I was this kid's age, you'd be burned alive for such talk. Being a homosexual was unthinkable, and so you denied it, and found a girlfriend who was willing to settle for the sensitive type. On dates, you'd remind her that sex before marriage was just that, sex: what dogs did in the front yard. This as opposed to making love, which was more what you were about. A true union of souls could take anywhere from eight to ten years to properly establish, but you were willing to wait, and for this the mothers loved you. You sometimes discussed it with them over an iced tea, preferably on the back porch when you girlfriend's brother was mowing the lawn with his shirt off.
David Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames)
In Plaster I shall never get out of this! There are two of me now: This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one, And the white person is certainly the superior one. She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints. 
At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality -- She lay in bed with me like a dead body 
And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was 
 Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints. I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold. I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer. 
I couldn't understand her stupid behavior! 
When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist. 
Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her: She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages. 

Without me, she wouldn't exist, so of course she was grateful. 
I gave her a soul, I bloomed out of her as a rose 
Blooms out of a vase of not very valuable porcelain, And it was I who attracted everybody's attention, 
Not her whiteness and beauty, as I had at first supposed. 
I patronized her a little, and she lapped it up -- 
You could tell almost at once she had a slave mentality. 

I didn't mind her waiting on me, and she adored it. 
In the morning she woke me early, reflecting the sun 
From her amazingly white torso, and I couldn't help but notice 
Her tidiness and her calmness and her patience: She humored my weakness like the best of nurses, 
Holding my bones in place so they would mend properly. In time our relationship grew more intense. 

She stopped fitting me so closely and seemed offish. 
I felt her criticizing me in spite of herself, 
As if my habits offended her in some way. She let in the drafts and became more and more absent-minded. 
And my skin itched and flaked away in soft pieces 
Simply because she looked after me so badly. Then I saw what the trouble was: she thought she was immortal. She wanted to leave me, she thought she was superior, 
And I'd been keeping her in the dark, and she was resentful -- Wasting her days waiting on a half-corpse! 
And secretly she began to hope I'd die. Then she could cover my mouth and eyes, cover me entirely, 
And wear my painted face the way a mummy-case Wears the face of a pharaoh, though it's made of mud and water. 

I wasn't in any position to get rid of her. She'd supported me for so long I was quite limp -- I had forgotten how to walk or sit, So I was careful not to upset her in any way 
Or brag ahead of time how I'd avenge myself. Living with her was like living with my own coffin: Yet I still depended on her, though I did it regretfully. I used to think we might make a go of it together -- 
After all, it was a kind of marriage, being so close. 
Now I see it must be one or the other of us. She may be a saint, and I may be ugly and hairy, 
But she'll soon find out that that doesn't matter a bit. I'm collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her, 
And she'll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me. --written 26 Feburary 1961
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
Because, if you stop to think of it, the three Rules of Robotics are the essential guiding principles of a good many of the world’s ethical systems. Of course, every human being is supposed to have the instinct of self-preservation. That’s Rule Three to a robot. Also every ‘good’ human being, with a social conscience and a sense of responsibility, is supposed to defer to proper authority; to listen to his doctor, his boss, his government, his psychiatrist, his fellow man; to obey laws, to follow rules, to conform to custom—even when they interfere with his comfort or his safety. That’s Rule Two to a robot. Also, every ‘good’ human being is supposed to love others as himself, protect his fellow man, risk his life to save another. That’s Rule One to a robot. To put it simply—if Byerley follows all the Rules of Robotics, he may be a robot, and may simply be a very good man.
Isaac Asimov (I, Robot (Robot, #0.1))
The emphasis and the reason for a pure humility is to result in love for others; not always necessarily the belittlement of self. When there is pride and self-righteousness and being pretentiously too far above, generally, one has a difficult time reaching the compassionate side of love for others, the side that understands (or at least attempts to understand): 'I am aware that I am not so far from falling in the same way.' Humility seeks to understand, and sometimes even relate; and in result, the love lovingly, properly, effectively wills the removal of the destructive sins of another as from oneself.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Stil snorted. “I am not in love with Angelique. I’m in love with you,” he said, scooting closer. Gemma pushed her chair away. “Well, that’s not proper.” “Why not?” Stil asked, butting his chair up against Gemma’s. “Because of the age difference.” “Age difference?” “Of course. Surely you can’t be a day younger than fifty or sixty,” Gemma said in surprise. Stil’s jaw dropped. “You think I’m an OLD MAN?!” Stil thundered. “Most magic users are not the age they physically appear to be,” Gemma said.“And it is well known that they age much more slowly.” “You think I’m an OLD MAN?!” he repeated, his voice even louder. “I’m not even twenty-five yet, you mean-spirited mule, and my clothes are fashionable among mages!” Stil said. “This whole time you’ve thought I am OLD?” “I get the impression that offends you.” “IT DOES.” Gemma only lifted her eyebrows. “Aren’t you going to apologize?” Stil asked. “For what?” “For thinking I’m OLD!” Gemma shrugged. “It seems you have only yourself to blame for that misunderstanding.” Stil glowered
K.M. Shea (Rumpelstiltskin (Timeless Fairy Tales, #4))
Maria was married on Saturday. In all important preparations of mind she was complete, being prepared for matrimony by a hatred of home, by the misery of disappointed affection, and contempt of the man she was to marry. The bride was elegantly dressed and the two bridesmaids were duly inferior. Her mother stood with salts, expecting to be agitated, and her aunt tried to cry. Marriage is indeed a maneuvering business.
Jane Austen (Mansfield Park)
I don’t know where being a servant came into disrepute. It is the refuge of a philosopher, the food of the lazy, and, properly carried out, it is a position of power, even of love.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
She grows up, too, with the memory of what it meant to be properly loved, for what you are, not what you ought to be.
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
Memory cannot be understood, either, without a mathematical approach. The fundamental given is the ratio between the amount of time in the lived life and the amount of time from that life that is stored in memory. No one has ever tried to calculate this ratio, and in fact there exists no technique for doing so; yet without much risk of error I could assume that the memory retains no more than a millionth, a hundred-millionth, in short an utterly infinitesimal bit of the lived life. That fact too is part of the essence of man. If someone could retain in his memory everything he had experienced, if he could at any time call up any fragment of his past, he would be nothing like human beings: neither his loves nor his friendships nor his angers nor his capacity to forgive or avenge would resemble ours. We will never cease our critique of those persons who distort the past, rewrite it, falsify it, who exaggerate the importance of one event and fail to mention some other; such a critique is proper (it cannot fail to be), but it doesn't count for much unless a more basic critique precedes it: a critique of human memory as such. For after all, what can memory actually do, the poor thing? It is only capable of retaining a paltry little scrap of the past, and no one knows why just this scrap and not some other one, since in each of us the choice occurs mysteriously, outside our will or our interests. We won't understand a thing about human life if we persist in avoiding the most obvious fact: that a reality no longer is what it was when it was; it cannot be reconstructed.
Milan Kundera
Well, look at the other characters in Winnie the Pooh. They all actually demonstrate that Pooh is the most mentally balanced. There’s Tigger, I mean, that tiger just can’t stay in the moment and enjoy it. He’s too much of a hedonist; he always wants the next adventure. That’s not healthy, he’ll burn out.” I started properly laughing. “And what about Eeyore?” “Well he’s a depressive, isn’t he? If Eeyore walked into my doctor’s office he’d be prescribed with a lifetime supply of antidepressants. And not just because US doctors dole them out like candy canes at Christmas.” The music stopped and I found myself clapping without even looking. “But Pooh?” “Pooh lives in the moment. He doesn’t fret about the past, or freak about the future. He’s an expert at mindfulness.” Kyle
Holly Bourne (How Hard Can Love Be? (The Spinster Club, #2))
He was good looking, "sort of distinguished when he wants to be", had a line, and was properly inconstant. In fact, he summed up all the romance that her age and environment led her to desire
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
Oh Cecelia, you would have loved my grandmother, Miz Goodpepper said, dunking a cookie into her wine. She was so alive and full of original ideas, especially for that era. While other women were busy being proper, she was busy cultivating her spirit.
Beth Hoffman (Saving CeeCee Honeycutt)
The human in what it is objectively ever since its beginning is two, two who are different. Each part of what constitutes the unity of the human species corresponds to a proper being and a proper Being, to an identity of one's own. In order to carry out the destiny of humanity, the man-human and the woman-human each have to fulfill what they are and at the same time realize the unity that they constitute.
Luce Irigaray (The Way of Love)
Houses, gardens, and people were transfigured into musical sounds, all that was solid seemed to be transfigured into soul and into gentleness. Sweet veils of silver and soul-haze swam through all things and lay over all things. The soul of the world had opened, and all grief, all human disappointment, all evil, all pain seemed to vanish, from now on never to appear again. Earlier walks came before my eyes; but the wonderful image of the humble present became a feeling which overpowered all others. The future paled, and the past dissolved. I glowed and flowered myself in the glowing, flowering present. From near and far, great things and small things emerged bright silver with marvelous gestures, joys, and enrichments, and in the midst of this beautiful place I dreamed of nothing but this place itself. All other fantasies sank and vanished in meaninglessness. I had the whole rich earth immediately before me, and I still looked only at what was most small and most humble. With gestures of love the heavens rose and fell. I had become an inward being, and walked as in an inward world; everything outside me became a dream; what I had understood till now became unintelligible. I fell away from the surface, down into the fabulous depths, which I recognized then to be all that was good. What we understand and love understands and loves us also. I was no longer myself, was another, and yet it was on this account that I became properly myself. In the sweet light of love I realized, or believe I realized, that perhaps the inward self is the only self which really exists.
Robert Walser (Selected Stories)
civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. Where there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended–there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
She grows up, too, with the memory of what it meant to be properly loved, for what you are, not what you ought to be. There is just enough of this recollection alive, she hopes, to enable her to recognise it if she meets it again. And if she does, she won’t hesitate. She will seize it with both hands, as a means of escape, a means of survival. She won’t listen to the protestations of others, their objections, their reasoning. This will be her chance, her way through the narrow hole at the heart of the stone, and nothing will stand in her way.
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
When you are not being honest in a relationship – to another person or to yourself – it is a little like screwing on the top of a jam jar when the ridges are out of line. An onlooker might think you are screwing it on just fine, but you can feel a stiffness developing that warns you it’s not on properly, and you know then that, however hard you try to keep turning it, the lid will never tightly seal.
Natasha Lunn (Conversations on Love: Lovers, Strangers, Parents, Friends, Endings, Beginnings)
...civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. Where there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended—there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving any one too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're so conditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what you ought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulses are allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations to resist.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
Spoil me differently! Spoil me with your love, honesty, and commitment. Spoil me with respect, honor, and appreciation. Spoil me with engaging conversations. Spoil me with your attentiveness. Spoil me by being kind, understanding, and genuine. Spoil me with laughter and let’s create memorable memories together. Spoil me by giving me your heart wholeheartedly. Spoil me baby, and I vow to do the same. Material things are okay, but nothing compares to knowing and feeling that you’re genuinely loved. Any man can buy a woman gifts, but it takes a special King to love his Queen properly.
Stephanie Lahart
Where's the purpose in life for a proper submissive, and loving slave, without a strong Master to care for, tending to his every need as it should be?
Johnny Stone (Steam & Spurs)
it’s a terrible feeling when you first fall in love. your mind gets completely taken over, you can’t function properly anymore. the world turns into a dream place, nothing seems real. you forget your keys, no one seems to be talking English and even if they are you don’t care as you can’t hear what they’re saying anyway, and it doesn’t matter since your not really there. things you cared about before don’t seem to matter anymore and things you didn’t think you cared about suddenly do. I must become a brilliant cook, I don’t want to waste time seeing my friends when I could be with him, I feel no sympathy for all those people in India killed by an earthquake last night; what is the matter with me? It’s a kind of hell, but you feel like your in heaven. even your body goes out of control, you can’t eat, you don’t sleep properly, your legs turn to jelly as your not sure where the floor is anymore. you have butterflies permanently, not only in your tummy but all over your body - your hands, your shoulders, your chest, your eyes everything’s just a jangling mess of nerve endings tingling with fire. it makes you feel so alive. and yet its like being suffocated, you don’t seem to be able to see or hear anything real anymore, its like people are speaking to you through treacle, and so you stay in your cosy place with him, the place that only you two understand. occasionally your forced to come up for air by your biggest enemy, Real Life, so you do the minimum then head back down under your love blanket for more, knowing it’s uncomfortable but compulsory. and then, once you think you’ve got him, the panic sets in. what if he goes off me? what if I blow it, say the wrong thing? what if he meets someone better than me? Prettier, thinner, funnier, more like him? who doesn’t bite there nails? perhaps he doesn’t feel the same, maybe this is all in my head and this is just a quick fling for him. why did I tell him that stupid story about not owning up that I knew who spilt the ink on the teachers bag and so everyone was punished for it? does he think I'm a liar? what if I'm not very good at that blow job thing and he’s just being patient with me? he says he loves me; yes, well, we can all say words, can’t we? perhaps he’s just being polite. of course you do your best to keep all this to yourself, you don’t want him to think you're a neurotic nutcase, but now when he’s away doing Real Life it’s agony, your mind won’t leave you alone, it tortures you and examines your every moment spent together, pointing out how stupid you’ve been to allow yourself to get this carried away, how insane you are to imagine someone would feel like that about you. dad did his best to reassure me, but nothing he said made a difference - it was like I wanted to see Simon, but didn’t want him to see me.
Annabel Giles (Birthday Girls)
In a garden, things grow . . . but first, they must wither; trees have to lose their leaves in order to put forth new leaves, and to grow thicker and stronger and taller. Some trees die, but fresh saplings replace them. Gardens need a lot of care. But if you love your garden, you don’t mind working in it, and waiting. Then in the proper season you will surely see it flourish.
Jerzy Kosiński (Being There)
Tonight," he announced, "is the night we take back that village. And we're not going to do it by marching in lines or committing acts of brave idiocy. We're going to do it by being men. Manly men. The kind of men a woman wants to take control." Brows wrinkled in confusion. "But . . ." The blacksmith looked around the group. "We are men. Last I checked, anyhow." "It's not just a matter of having the proper equipment. It's using the equipment properly." Leaping up on a crate, Colin spread his arms wide. "Look at me. Now look at yourselves. Now look back at me. I am the man you want to be like." Dawes crossed his arms. "Why is that, precisely?" "Do you know how many women I've bedded?" When Rufus and Finn perked, he waved at them. "Have a guess, boys." "Seventeen," offered Finn. "More." "Eighteen." "Still more." "Er . . . nineteen?" "Oh, for the love of God," he muttered. "We'll be here all day. Let's just call the number more than you can imagine. Because clearly, that is the case." Under his breath, he added, "Perhaps higher than you know how to count.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
Until we forgive ourselves, we will always see ourselves through the shattered pieces of the dreams we can no longer have. Nothing can be seen clearly through broken pieces: no future, no hope, no faith, no love is capable of being seen properly until we admit that we are driving on a flat tire. We have to stop believing that just because we are damaged we are irreparably broken.
Sarah Jakes (Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life)
Oh, how proper we seem to ourselves when we have no reason to be improper! It takes being in love to know something about yourself. Sometimes, with you, I feel like the slut of the world, the eager, faithful slut of the world. Does that seem proper to you?
John Williams
CAMPBELL: Read myths. They teach you that you can turn inward, and you begin to get the message of the symbols. Read other people’s myths, not those of your own religion, because you tend to interpret your own religion in terms of facts—but if you read the other ones, you begin to get the message. Myth helps you to put your mind in touch with this experience of being alive. It tells you what the experience is. Marriage, for example. What is marriage? The myth tells you what it is. It’s the reunion of the separated duad. Originally you were one. You are now two in the world, but the recognition of the spiritual identity is what marriage is. It’s different from a love affair. It has nothing to do with that. It’s another mythological plane of experience. When people get married because they think it’s a long-time love affair, they’ll be divorced very soon, because all love affairs end in disappointment. But marriage is recognition of a spiritual identity. If we live a proper life, if our minds are on the right qualities in regarding the person of the opposite sex, we will find our proper male or female counterpart. But if we are distracted by certain sensuous interests, we’ll marry the wrong person. By marrying the right person, we
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
To live a hard life was to make solid and impregnable every way in, until no openings remained and the soul hid in darkness, and no one else could hear its screams, its railing at injustice, its long, agonizing stretches of sadness. Hardness without created hardness within. Sadness was, she well knew, not something that could be cured. It was not, in fact, a failing, not a flaw, not an illness of spirit. Sadness was never without reason, and to assert that it marked some kind of dysfunction did little more than prove ignorance or, worse, cowardly evasiveness in the one making the assertion. As if happiness was the only legitimate way of being. As if those failing at it needed to be locked away, made soporific with medications; as if the causes of sadness were merely traps and pitfalls in the proper climb to blissful contentment, things to be edged round or bridged, or leapt across on wings of false elation. Scillara knew better. She had faced her own sadness often enough. Even when she discovered her first means of escaping it, in durhang, she’d known that such an escape was simply a flight from feelings that existed legitimately. She’d just been unable to permit herself any sympathy for such feelings, because to do so was to surrender to their truth. Sadness belonged. As rightful as joy, love, grief and fear. All conditions of being. Too often people mistook the sadness in others for self-pity, and in so doing revealed their own hardness of spirit, and more than a little malice.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
Submission means that a wife acknowledges her husband’s headship as spiritual leader and guide for the family. It has nothing whatsoever to do with her denying or suppressing her will, her spirit, her intellect, her gifts, or her personality. To submit means to recognize, affirm, and support her husband’s God-given responsibility of overall family leadership. Biblical submission of a wife to her husband is a submission of position, not personhood. It is the free and willing subordination of an equal to an equal for the sake of order, stability, and obedience to God’s design. As a man, a husband will fulfill his destiny and his manhood as he exercises his headship in prayerful and humble submission to Christ and gives himself in sacrificial love to his wife. As a woman, a wife will realize her womanhood as she submits to her husband in honor of the Lord, receiving his love and accepting his leadership. When a proper relationship of mutual submission is present and active, a wife will be released and empowered to become the woman God always intended her to be.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
Despite this invisible caring, we prefer to imagine ourselves thrown naked into the world, utterly vulnerable and fundamentally alone. It is easier to accept the story of heroic self-made development than the story that you may well be loved by this guiding providence, that you are needed for what you bring, and that you are sometimes fortuitously helped by it in situations of distress. May I state this as a bare and familiar fact without quoting a guru, witnessing for Christ, or claiming the miracle of recovery? Why not keep within psychology proper what once was called providence—being invisibly watched and watched over?
James Hillman (The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling)
if you love your garden, you don’t mind working in it, and waiting. Then in the proper season you will surely see it flourish.
Jerzy Kosiński (Being There)
He loves me for who I am and not for who I am supposed to be. How can I not find comfort in that?
Esther Hatch (A Proper Charade)
A person learns to love himself through the simple acts of loving and being loved by someone else.... A person who is incapable of loving another cannot properly love himself.
Haruki Murakami
My life was awful. When I was a kid, I was fat, pretty ugly and had awful hair. I used to get teased every fucking day, slammed up against lockers, punched in the face - you name it. Hell, I had to go to prom with one of my female friends because I couldn’t even get a proper date. I can’t even look back at those photos because I look so bad. I transferred schools, but the teasing just got worse. After an, let’s say, ‘incident’ I had with the school play the bullying just got worse. But I made it through high school, only to find out that real life was pretty much the same. I just stayed in my dark room all day and didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t go outside. I just stayed inside and drew. I’d draw vampires, mummies, heroes, villains. Anything to help me escape all the bad in the world. I went to art school and didn’t really belong. All I could draw was comic book characters. I tried to put my only good talent to use by drawing a cartoon and pitching it - only to have it turned down. Life to me was just pointless. I started drinking, doing drugs and just generally wasting my life drawing.
Then one day, I saw bodies falling from the sky. I witnessed people dying. And that’s when I decided to turn my life around. I called up anyone I knew who had an instrument and we formed a band. Being on tour for the first few years was bad. All we’d do is get drunk and do drugs, but I loved it. Because I was doing something I loved with people I loved. And a few years ago I met the most perfect woman ever. It’s like we share a wave-link or something. She just knows me without even knowing me, if you understand. And now, 2011, I have a beautiful baby girl, a caring wife and I get to perform for my adoring fans everyday. I am living proof that no matter how bad it gets, it gets better. I am Gerard Way, and I survived.
Gerard Way
But it did not stop her from wishing that it had all been different. Wishing that she had had the chance to be everything daughters of earls were born to be. Wishing that she'd been raised without a care in the world. Without a doubt in her head that it would someday be her day to sparkle; that she would one day be courted properly - by a man who wanted her for her, not as a spoil from a game of chance. Wishing that she were not so very alone. Not that wishing had ever helped.
Sarah MacLean (Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers, #2))
Perfect You’re a beautiful kind of madness a misunderstood truth O, the things they could learn from the darkness that is hidden behind your eyes So gifted, yet your talents are wasted you gave up chasing dreams Reality hit and you got a taste of failure Cautious now about bearing your soul For if others saw you fully exposed they may not love you like they claim to Time and experience have taught you to trust no one Friends, lovers, and even family have forsaken you You keep the shattered pieces of your heart in a box Stitching, gluing, and staying up all night trying to put it back together Attempting to fill the void that was left Moving from one man to the next It seems no one can satisfy the appetite for affection that you seek Continually picking at old wounds they never heal properly You have no real home, too restless to stay in one place You are reckless, selfish, stubborn, sometimes rude You’ve bottled up the pain of so much that has been done When you’re hurt You close into yourself, shut down You love attention and yet love being by yourself more May God have mercy on your soul For you are truly lost Daily you fight your demons Yet no one knows of that which you endure You bear it alone, never speaking of it You can blame the broken home from which you came Or the environment that you grew up in The people who tore you down so young You can point the finger at those who have whispered behind your back They all have played a role in your development But looking so deep into the past will keep you from moving forward You must love yourself more than these people claim they do Look at where you stand now No one can know the things you have endured like you You’ve never claimed to be perfect Your flaws tell your story There is no need to hide them
Samantha King (Born to Love, Cursed to Feel)
I have come to see this fear, this sense of my own imperilment by my creations, as not only an inevitable, necessary part of writing fiction but as virtual guarantor, insofar as such a thing is possible, of the power of my work: as a sign that I am on the right track, that I am following the recipe correctly, speaking the proper spells. Literature, like magic, has always been about the handling of secrets, about the pain, the destruction and the marvelous liberation that can result when they are revealed. Telling the truth, when the truth matters most, is almost always a frightening prospect. If a writer doesn’t give away secrets, his own or those of the people he loves; if she doesn’t court disapproval, reproach and general wrath, whether of friends, family, or party apparatchiks; if the writer submits his work to an internal censor long before anyone else can get their hands on it, the result is pallid, inanimate, a lump of earth. The adept handles the rich material, the rank river clay, and diligently intones his alphabetical spells, knowing full well the history of golems: how they break free of their creators, grow to unmanageable size and power, refuse to be controlled. In the same way, the writer shapes his story, flecked like river clay with the grit of experience and rank with the smell of human life, heedless of the danger to himself, eager to show his powers, to celebrate his mastery, to bring into being a little world that, like God’s, is at once terribly imperfect and filled with astonishing life. Originally published in The Washington Post Book World
Michael Chabon
Paradoxically, it is friendship that often offers us the real route to the pleasures that Romanticism associates with love. That this sounds surprising is only a reflection of how underdeveloped our day-to-day vision of friendship has become. We associate it with a casual acquaintance we see only once in a while to exchange inconsequential and shallow banter. But real friendship is something altogether more profound and worthy of exultation. It is an arena in which two people can get a sense of each other’s vulnerabilities, appreciate each other’s follies without recrimination, reassure each other as to their value and greet the sorrows and tragedies of existence with wit and warmth. Culturally and collectively, we have made a momentous mistake which has left us both lonelier and more disappointed than we ever needed to be. In a better world, our most serious goal would be not to locate one special lover with whom to replace all other humans but to put our intelligence and energy into identifying and nurturing a circle of true friends. At the end of an evening, we would learn to say to certain prospective companions, with an embarrassed smile as we invited them inside – knowing that this would come across as a properly painful rejection – ‘I’m so sorry, couldn’t we just be … lovers?
The School of Life (The School of Life: An Emotional Education)
Men! You know why you can never rely on men? Because they love men! No one loves men as much as men do, Kira! They can’t even watch sports if it’s not being played by men! Sweaty, panting men fighting against other men, with ten thousand men in the stands, that’s what men want. I bet you they’ll soon invent a type of porn featuring nothing but men but aimed at heterosexual men who don’t really get turned on by men but don’t think women are actually capable of having sex properly!
Fredrik Backman (Us Against You (Beartown #2))
... the proper self-knowledge and self-love of every created thing is ipso facto a participation in the knowledge and love of God. The entire universe moves by desire for the Highest Good simply because every part of it loves what God loves - namely, its own being.
Robert Farrar Capon (Between Noon & Three: Romance, Law & the Outrage of Grace)
We not only do not believe that man is punished for his 'sins,' but emphatically state that there is no such thing as sin. There are wrongs and injustices, but no sin. Sin, like purgatory and hell, was invented by priests, first to frighten, and then to rob the living. We do not fear these myths and curses, and that is why we devote our time and energies to help our fellow man. That is why we build educational institutions and seek, by a slow and painful process, to teach man the true nature of the universe and a proper understanding of his place as a member in society. At the same time we try to fortify his mind with courage to withstand the rebuffs, the trials and tribulations of life. That it is a difficult and arduous task no one can deny because we cannot correct all of 'God's mistakes' in one life time. As Ingersoll so succinctly states: 'Nature cannot pardon.' Remember this: You are not a depraved human being. You have no sins to atone for. There is no need for fear. There are no ghosts—holy or otherwise. Stop making yourself miserable for 'the love of God.' Drive this monster of tyrannic fear from your mind, and enjoy the inestimable freedom of an emancipated human being.
Joseph Lewis (An Atheist Manifesto)
Hey, I am sorry that I am not like other people... I don't say things like, "let's let go of each other now and if we are meant to be, we will be in the end" and things like "if god leads us to it, he will lead us through it." If that's the kind of person you're looking for... well that's not me. I don't love that way. If I loved someone living in the pits of hell, I would go into those pits of hell and I would embrace that person right there in hell. That is how I love. And I would try to bring him out of hell, but first I would burn with him in it. So that is why saying something nice to me like, "let's love one day when it's proper to love" just isn't going to cut it. It doesn't reach me in my soul, because the way my soul loves is different. I don't love like people love. If one day you are burning in hell, I wouldn't say, "look at that bad man in hell!" but I would say "how do I get in there?" So you see... I am very different.
C. JoyBell C.
1. Myth: Without God, life has no meaning. There are 1.2 billion Chinese who have no predominant religion, and 1 billion people in India who are predominantly Hindu. And 65% of Japan's 127 million people claim to be non-believers. It is laughable to suggest that none of these billions of people are leading meaningful lives. 2. Myth: Prayer works. Studies have now shown that inter-cessionary prayer has no effect whatsoever of the health or well-being of the subject. 3. Myth: Atheists are immoral. There are hundreds of millions of non-believers on the planet living normal, decent, moral lives. They love their children, care about others, obey laws, and try to keep from doing harm to others just like everyone else. In fact, in predominantly non-believing countries such as in northern Europe, measures of societal health such as life expectancy at birth, adult literacy, per capita income, education, homicide, suicide, gender equality, and political coercion are better than they are in believing societies. 4. Myth: Belief in God is compatible with science. In the past, every supernatural or paranormal explanation of phenomena that humans believed turned out to be mistaken; science has always found a physical explanation that revealed that the supernatural view was a myth. Modern organisms evolved from lower life forms, they weren't created 6,000 years ago in the finished state. Fever is not caused by demon possession. Bad weather is not the wrath of angry gods. Miracle claims have turned out to be mistakes, frauds, or deceptions. We have every reason to conclude that science will continue to undermine the superstitious worldview of religion. 5. Myth: We have immortal souls that survive death. We have mountains of evidence that makes it clear that our consciousness, our beliefs, our desires, our thoughts all depend upon the proper functioning of our brains our nervous systems to exist. So when the brain dies, all of these things that we identify with the soul also cease to exist. Despite the fact that billions of people have lived and died on this planet, we do not have a single credible case of someone's soul, or consciousness, or personality continuing to exist despite the demise of their bodies. 6. Myth: If there is no God, everything is permitted. Consider the billions of people in China, India, and Japan above. If this claim was true, none of them would be decent moral people. So Ghandi, the Buddha, and Confucius, to name only a few were not moral people on this view. 7. Myth: Believing in God is not a cause of evil. The examples of cases where it was someone's belief in God that was the justification for their evils on humankind are too numerous to mention. 8. Myth: God explains the origins of the universe. All of the questions that allegedly plague non-God attempts to explain our origins still apply to the faux explanation of God. The suggestion that God created everything does not make it any clearer to us where it all came from, how he created it, why he created it, where it is all going. In fact, it raises even more difficult mysteries: how did God, operating outside the confines of space, time, and natural law 'create' or 'build' a universe that has physical laws? We have no precedent and maybe no hope of answering or understanding such a possibility. What does it mean to say that some disembodied, spiritual being who knows everything and has all power, 'loves' us, or has thoughts, or goals, or plans? 9. Myth: There's no harm in believing in God. Religious views inform voting, how they raise their children, what they think is moral and immoral, what laws and legislation they pass, who they are friends and enemies with, what companies they invest in, where they donate to charities, who they approve and disapprove of, who they are willing to kill or tolerate, what crimes they are willing to commit, and which wars they are willing to fight.
Matthew S. McCormick
It is not Christian, this ability. They beg her to stop, not to touch people’s hands, to hide this odd gift. No good will come of it, her father says, standing over Agnes as she crouches by the fire, no good at all. When she reaches up to take his hand, he snatches it away. She grows up feeling wrong, out of place, too dark, too tall, too unruly, too opinionated, too silent, too strange. She grows up with the awareness that she is merely tolerated, an irritant, useless, that she does not deserve love, that she will need to change herself substantially, crush herself down if she is to be married. She grows up, too, with the memory of what it meant to be properly loved, for what you are, not what you ought to be. There is just enough of this recollection alive, she hopes, to enable her to recognise it if she meets it again. And if she does, she won’t hesitate. She
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
In here was the image of God. It isn't the devil in humanity that makes man a lonely creature, it's his God-likeness. It's the fullness of the Good that can't get out or can't find its proper "other place" that makes for loneliness.Anna's misery was for others. They just could not see the beauty of that broken iron stump, the colors, the crystalline shapes; they could not see the possibilities there. Anna wanted them to join with her in this exciting new world , but they could not imagine themselves to be so small that this jagged fracture could become a world of iron mountains, of iron plains with crystal trees.It was a new world to explore, a world of the imagination, a world where few people would or could follow her. In this broken-off stump was a whole new realm of possibilities to be explored and to be enjoyed. Mister God most certainly enjoyed it, but then Mister God didn't at all mind making himself small. People thought that Mister God was very big, and that's where they made a big mistake. Obviously Mister God could be any size he wanted to be. "If he couldn't be little, how could he know what it's like to be a lady -bird?" Indeed, how could he? So, like Alice in Wonderland, Anna ate of the cake of imagination and altered her size to fit the occasion.After all, Mister God did not have only one point of view but an infinity of viewing points, and the whole purpose of living was to be like Mister God. So far as Anna was concerned, being good, being generous, being kind, praying, and all that kind of stuff had very little to do with Mister God. They were, in the jargon of today, merely "spinoffs." This sort of thing was just "playing it safe," and Anna was going to have none of it. No! Religion was all about being like Mister God and it was here that things could get a little tough. The instructions weren't to be good and kind and loving, etc., and it therefore followed that you would be more like Mi ster God. No! The whole point of being alive was to be like Mister God and then you couldn't help but be good and kind and loving, could you?
Fynn (Mister God, This is Anna)
The word God can mean whatever you believe it to mean, for me it is the conscious stream of life from which we all come, and to which we can stay connected throughout our lives as a source of peace, wisdom, love, support, knowing, inspiration, vitality, security, balance, and inner strength. I think that awareness is paramount, because in awareness we gain understanding, which then enables us to regain our feeling of empowerment. We need to feel empowered to make our choices conciously, about how to deal with changes in life, rather than reacting in fear (which tends to make us blind and weak). If we are aware, we can be realistic yet postive, and we can properly focus our intentions. Awareness can be quite sensual (which can add to your sense of feeling empowered). Think about how your body moves as you live your life, how amazing it is; think about nature, observe the intricate beautiful details of natural thngs, and of things we create, and breathe deeply to soak it all in.. Focus on the taste of food, the feel of textures in cloth, the feel of you partner's hand in yours; smell the sea breeze, listen to the wind in the trees, witness the colours of the leaves, the children playing; and be thankful for this life we are experiencing - this life we can all help to keep wonderful. Feel the wonder of being alive flood into you anytime you want, by taking a deep breath and letting the experience of these things fill you, even just by remembering. We all have that same stream of life within us, so you are a part of everything. Each one of us has the power to make a difference to everything. Breathe in that vital connection to the life source and sensual beauty everywhere, Feel loved and strong.
Jay Woodman
I'm sorry. I don't mean to be so emotional. It's just that it's been a very trying few weeks. My feelings are all a bit too close to the surface and I can't seem to manage them properly." She was collected against his warm body, his hard muscles surrounding her, his voice weaving through her hair. "Evie, love, don't apologize for being emotional. You've been through hell. And only a heartless brute like me could truly appreciate the courage it takes to be honest about your feelings.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
But each of us comes to marriage with a disordered inner being. Many of us have sought to overcome self-doubts by giving ourselves to our careers. That will mean we will choose our work over our spouse and family to the detriment of our marriage. Others of us hope that unending affection and affirmation from a beautiful, brilliant romantic partner will finally make us feel good about ourselves. That turns the relationship into a form of salvation, and no relationship can live up to that. Do you see why Paul introduces the subject of marriage with a summons to love one another “out of the fear of Christ”? We come into our marriages driven by all kinds of fears, desires, and needs. If I look to my marriage to fill the God-sized spiritual vacuum in my heart, I will not be in position to serve my spouse. Only God can fill a God-sized hole. Until God has the proper place in my life, I will always be complaining that my spouse is not loving me well enough, not respecting me enough, not supporting me enough.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
Well, the black man has functioned in the white man's world as a fixed star, as an immovable pillar: and as he moves out of his place, heaven and earth are shaken to their foundations. You, don't be afraid. I said that it was intended that you should perish in the ghetto, perish by never being allowed to go behind the white man's definitions, by never being allowed to spell your proper name. You have, and many of us have, defeated this intention; and, by a terrible law, a terrible paradox, those innocents who believed that your imprisonment made them safe are losing their grasp of reality. But these men are your brothers - your lost, younger brothers. And if the word integration means anything, this is what it means: that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it. For this is your home, my friend, do not be driven from it; great men have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what America must become. It will be hard, James, but you come from sturdy, peasant stock, men who picked cotton and damned rivers and built railroads, and, in the teeth of the most terrifying odds, achieved an unassailable and monumental dignity. You come from a long line of great poets, some of the greatest poets since Homer. One of them said, The very time I thought I was lost, My dungeon shook and my chains fell off.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
Why does our avoidance of slow, careful introspection matter? The gospel is cognitively costly. It upsets our innate and cultivated assumptions about power and guilt and existential validation. It presses down on our values and hopes. It decenters our perception of the world. Life ceases to be our story and is revealed to be his redemptive story of glory and love. It convicts us of our sins. It reveals our disordered desires and reforms them into Christ’s image. Paul urges his readers to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2), and that renewal is the proper work of the Spirit through the gospel. The kind of work the gospel does in our lives tasks our minds with unsettling assumptions and habits.
Alan Noble (Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age)
God would have to come through for them because they had nothing else to fall back on. This place of trust isn't a comfortable place to be; in fact, it flies in the face of everything we've been taught about proper planning. We like finding refuge in what we already have rather than in what we hope God will provide. But when Christ says to count the cost of following Him, it means we must surrender everything. It means being willing to go without an extra tunic or a place to sleep at night, and sometimes without knowing where we are going.
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
When seventeenth-century Jesuit missionary Paul Le Jeune lectured a Montagnais Indian man about the dangers of the rampant infidelity he’d witnessed, Le Jeune received a lesson on proper parenthood in response. The missionary recalled, “I told him that it was not honorable for a woman to love any one else except her husband, and that this evil being among them, he himself was not sure that his son, who was there present, was his son. He replied, ‘Thou hast no sense. You French people love only your own children; but we all love all the children of our tribe.’”5
Christopher Ryan (Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships)
Being really alone means being free from anticipation. Even to know that something is going to happen, that I am required to do something is an intrusion on the emptiness I am after. What I love to see is an empty diary, pages and pages of nothing planned. A date, an arrangement, is a point in the future when something is required of me. I begin to worry about it days, sometimes weeks ahead. Just a haircut, a hospital visit, a dinner party. Going out. The weight of the thing-that-is-going-to-happen sits on my heart and crushes the present into non-existence. My ability to live in the here and now depends on not having any plans, on there being no expected interruption. I have no other way to do it. How can you be alone, properly alone, if you know someone is going to knock at the door in five hours, or tomorrow morning, or you have to get ready and go out in three days’ time? I can’t abide the fracturing of the present by the intrusion of a planned future.
Jenny Diski
I’m tired of living in hatred and resentment. I’m tired of living unable to love anyone. I don’t have a single friend—not one. And, worst of all, I can’t even love myself. Why is that? Why can’t I love myself? It’s because I can’t love anyone else. A person learns how to love himself through the simple acts of loving and being loved by someone else. Do you understand what I am saying? A person who is incapable of loving another cannot properly love himself. No, I’m not blaming you for this. Come to think of it, you may be such a victim. You probably don’t know how to love yourself. Am I wrong about that?
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
I don't know where being a servant came into disrepute. It is the refuse of a philosopher, the food of the lazy, and, properly carried out, it is a position of power, even of love. I can't understand why more intelligent people don't take it as a career--learn to do it well and reap its benefits. A good servant has absolute security, not because of his master's kindness, but because of habit and indolence...He'll keep a bad servant rather than change. But a good servant, and I am an excellent one, can completely control his master, tell him what to think, how to act, whom to marry, when to divorce, reduce him to terror as a discipline, or distribute happiness to him, and finally be mentioned in his will...My master will defend me, protect me. You have to work and worry. I work less and worry less. And I am a good servant. A bad one does not work and does no worrying, and he still is fed, clothed, and protected. I don't know any profession where the field is so cluttered with incompetents and where excellence is so rare.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
The very concept of trying to “teach” a lover things feels patronizing, incongruous, and plain sinister. If we truly loved someone, there could be no talk of wanting him or her to change. Romanticism is clear on this score: true love should involve an acceptance of a partner’s whole being. It is this fundamental commitment to benevolence that makes the early months of love so moving. Within the new relationship, our vulnerabilities are treated with generosity. Our shyness, awkwardness, and confusion endear (as they did when we were children) rather than generate sarcasm or complaint; the trickier sides of us are interpreted solely through the filter of compassion. From these moments, a beautiful yet challenging and even reckless conviction develops: that to be properly loved must always mean being endorsed for all that one is. Marriage
Alain de Botton (The Course of Love)
I Not my best side, I'm afraid. The artist didn't give me a chance to Pose properly, and as you can see, Poor chap, he had this obsession with Triangles, so he left off two of my Feet. I didn't comment at the time (What, after all, are two feet To a monster?) but afterwards I was sorry for the bad publicity. Why, I said to myself, should my conqueror Be so ostentatiously beardless, and ride A horse with a deformed neck and square hoofs? Why should my victim be so Unattractive as to be inedible, And why should she have me literally On a string? I don't mind dying Ritually, since I always rise again, But I should have liked a little more blood To show they were taking me seriously. II It's hard for a girl to be sure if She wants to be rescued. I mean, I quite Took to the dragon. It's nice to be Liked, if you know what I mean. He was So nicely physical, with his claws And lovely green skin, and that sexy tail, And the way he looked at me, He made me feel he was all ready to Eat me. And any girl enjoys that. So when this boy turned up, wearing machinery, On a really dangerous horse, to be honest I didn't much fancy him. I mean, What was he like underneath the hardware? He might have acne, blackheads or even Bad breath for all I could tell, but the dragon-- Well, you could see all his equipment At a glance. Still, what could I do? The dragon got himself beaten by the boy, And a girl's got to think of her future. III I have diplomas in Dragon Management and Virgin Reclamation. My horse is the latest model, with Automatic transmission and built-in Obsolescence. My spear is custom-built, And my prototype armour Still on the secret list. You can't Do better than me at the moment. I'm qualified and equipped to the Eyebrow. So why be difficult? Don't you want to be killed and/or rescued In the most contemporary way? Don't You want to carry out the roles That sociology and myth have designed for you? Don't you realize that, by being choosy, You are endangering job prospects In the spear- and horse-building industries? What, in any case, does it matter what You want? You're in my way. - Not My Best Side
U.A. Fanthorpe
But God's the reason for everything noble and fine and heroic. If you had a God …" "My dear young friend," said Mustapha Mond, "civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. Where there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended–there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving any one too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're so conditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what you ought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulses are allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations to resist. And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears–that's what soma is.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race, I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place. Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all. We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn: But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind, So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind. We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace, Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place, But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome. With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch, They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch; They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings; So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things. When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace. They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease. But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know." On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife) Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death." In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul; But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die." Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more. As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man There are only four things certain since Social Progress began. That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire; And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
Rudyard Kipling
Being a disciple of Jesus is not primarily a matter of getting the right ideas and doctrines and beliefs into your head in order to guarantee proper behavior; rather, it's a matter of being the kind of person who loves rightly--who loves God and neighbor and is oriented to the world by the primacy of that love. We are made to be such people by our immersion in the material practices of Christian worship--through affective impact, over time, of sights and smell in water and wine.
James K.A. Smith (Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Cultural Liturgies))
Until the moment I met you, I always seem to be caught between dreading the responsibility of someone else’s love and being resentful that I didn’t feel properly loved myself. Often both seemed to exist at the same time. With you it’s different. I can’t hear enough about your love for me. Yet still, in some way I’m holding back. it’s as though I can’t fully let go without causing an eruption of need, hunger, and desire of such overwhelming proportions that it would wipe me out entirely.
Nick Bantock (Alexandria: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Unfolds (Morning Star Trilogy, #2))
The first time I took Valium was the first time that I experienced being unbothered by my own body. The thing is, until the calm of that little pill spread its lovely little tentacles all through me, I had absolutely no idea how uneasy in my own skin I'd always felt. I am not just talking about pain, either. It's more of an extreme and ever-present awareness of my body, as if I don't quite fit myself properly, as if my flesh is a pair of underpants that is forever sliding up the butt crack of my soul.
Hannah Gadsby (Ten Steps to Nanette)
Gustavo Tiberius speaking." “It’s so weird you do that, man,” Casey said, sounding amused. “Every time I call.” “It’s polite,” Gus said. “Just because you kids these days don’t have proper phone etiquette.” “Oh boy, there’s the Grumpy Gus I know. You miss me?” Gus was well aware the others could hear the conversation loud and clear. He was also aware he had a reputation to maintain. “Hadn’t really thought about it.” “Really.” “Yes.” “Gus.” “Casey.” “I miss you.” “I miss you too,” Gus mumbled into the phone, blushing fiercely. “Yeah? How much?” Gus was in hell. “A lot,” he said truthfully. “There have been allegations made against my person of pining and moping. False allegations, mind you, but allegations nonetheless.” “I know what you mean,” Casey said. “The guys were saying the same thing about me.” Gus smiled. “How embarrassing for you.” “Completely. You have no idea.” “They’re going to get you packed up this week?” “Ah, yeah. Sure. Something like that.” “Casey.” “Yes, Gustavo.” “You’re being cagey.” “I have no idea what you mean. Hey, that’s a nice Hawaiian shirt you’ve got on. Pink? I don’t think I’ve seen you in that color before.” Gus shrugged. “Pastor Tommy had a shitload of them. I think I could wear one every day for the rest of the year and not repeat. I think he may have had a bit of a….” Gus trailed off when his hand started shaking. Then, “How did you know what I was wearing?” There was a knock on the window to the Emporium. Gus looked up. Standing on the sidewalk was Casey. He was wearing bright green skinny jeans and a white and red shirt that proclaimed him to be a member of the 1987 Pasadena Bulldogs Women’s Softball team. He looked ridiculous. And like the greatest thing Gus had ever seen. Casey wiggled his eyebrows at Gus. “Hey, man.” “Hi,” Gus croaked. “Come over here, but stay on the phone, okay?” Gus didn’t even argue, unable to take his eyes off Casey. He hadn’t expected him for another week, but here he was on a pretty Saturday afternoon, standing outside the Emporium like it was no big deal. Gus went to the window, and Casey smiled that lazy smile. He said, “Hi.” Gus said, “Hi.” “So, I’ve spent the last two days driving back,” Casey said. “Tried to make it a surprise, you know?” “I’m very surprised,” Gus managed to say, about ten seconds away from busting through the glass just so he could hug Casey close. The smile widened. “Good. I’ve had some time to think about things, man. About a lot of things. And I came to this realization as I drove past Weed, California. Gus. It was called Weed, California. It was a sign.” Gus didn’t even try to stop the eye roll. “Oh my god.” “Right? Kismet. Because right when I entered Weed, California, I was thinking about you and it hit me. Gus, it hit me.” “What did?” Casey put his hand up against the glass. Gus did the same on his side. “Hey, Gus?” “Yeah?” “I’m going to ask you a question, okay?” Gustavo’s throat felt very dry. “Okay.” “What was the Oscar winner for Best Song in 1984?” Automatically, Gus answered, “Stevie Wonder for the movie The Woman in Red. The song was ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You.’” It was fine, of course. Because he knew answers to all those things. He didn’t know why Casey wanted to— And then he could barely breathe. Casey’s smile wobbled a little bit. “Okay?” Gus blinked the burn away. He nodded as best he could. And Casey said, “Yeah, man. I love you too.” Gus didn’t even care that he dropped his phone then. All that mattered was getting as close to Casey as humanely possible. He threw open the door to the Emporium and suddenly found himself with an armful of hipster. Casey laughed wetly into his neck and Gus just held on as hard as he could. He thought that it was possible that he might never be in a position to let go. For some reason, that didn’t bother him in the slightest.
T.J. Klune (How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1))
I left no ring with her. What means this lady? Fortune forbid my outside have not charmed her. She made good view of me; indeed, so much That, as methought, her eyes had lost her tongue, For she did speak in starts distractedly. She loves me sure; the cunning of her passion Invites me in this churlish messenger. None of my lord's ring? Why, he sent her none. I am the man. If it be so, as 'tis, Poor lady, she were better love a dream. Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness Wherein the pregnant enemy does much. How easy is it for the proper false In women's waxen hearts to set their forms! Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we, For such as we are made of, such we be. How will this fadge? My master loves her dearly; And I (poor monster) fond as much on him; And she (mistaken) seems to dote on me. What will become of this? As I am man, My state is desperate for my master's love. As I am woman (now alas the day!), What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe? O Time, thou must untangle this, not I; It is too hard a knot for me t' untie.
William Shakespeare
we learn responsibility through involvements with responsible fellow human beings, preferably loving parents who will love and discipline us properly, who are intelligent enough to allow us freedom to try out our newly acquired responsibility as soon as we show readiness to do so.
William Glasser (Reality Therapy: A New Approach to Psychiatry (Colophon Books))
The source of love, as I learned later, is a curiosity which, combined with the inclination which nature is obliged to give us in order to preserve itself. […] Hence women make no mistake in taking such pains over their person and their clothing, for it is only by these that they can arouse a curiosity to read them in those whom nature at their birth declared worthy of something better than blindness. […] As time goes on a man who has loved many women, all of them beautiful, reaches the point of feeling curious about ugly women if they are new to him. He sees a painted woman. The paint is obvious to him, but it does not put him off. His passion, which has become a vice, is ready with the fraudulent title page. ‘It is quite possible,’ he tells himself, ‘that the book is not as bad as all that; indeed, it may have no need of this absurd artifice.’ He decides to scan it, he tries to turn over the pages—but no! the living book objects; it insists on being read properly, and the ‘egnomaniac’ becomes a victim of coquetry, the monstrous persecutor of all men who ply the trade of love. You, Sir, who are a man of intelligence and have read these least twenty lines, which Apollo drew from my pen, permit me to tell you that if they fail to disillusion you, you are lost—that is, you will be the victim of the fair sex to the last moment of your life. If that prospect pleases you, I congratulate you
Giacomo Casanova (History of My Life, Vols. I & II)
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining-board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea-cosy. I can't say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring - I wrote my very best poem while sitting on the hen-house. Though even that isn't a very good poem. I have decided my best poetry is so bad that I mustn't write any more of it. Drips from the roof are plopping into the water-butt by the back door. The view through the windows above the sink is excessively drear. Beyond the dank garden in the courtyard are the ruined walls on the edge of the moat. Beyond the moat, the boggy ploughed fields stretch to the leaden sky. I tell myself that all the rain we have had lately is good for nature, and that at any moment spring will surge on us. I try to see leaves on the trees and the courtyard filled with sunlight. Unfortunately, the more my mind's eye sees green and gold, the more drained of all colour does the twilight seem. It is comforting to look away from the windows and towards the kitchen fire, near which my sister Rose is ironing - though she obviously can't see properly, and it will be a pity if she scorches her only nightgown. (I have two, but one is minus its behind.) Rose looks particularly fetching by firelight because she is a pinkish person; her skin has a pink glow and her hair is pinkish gold, very light and feathery. Although I am rather used to her I know she is a beauty. She is nearly twenty-one and very bitter with life. I am seventeen, look younger, feel older. I am no beauty but I have a neatish face. I have just remarked to Rose that our situation is really rather romantic - two girls in this strange and lonely house. She replied that she saw nothing romantic about being shut up in a crumbling ruin surrounded by a sea of mud. I must admit that our home is an unreasonable place to live in. Yet I love it. The house itself was built in the time of Charles II, but it was grafted on to a fourteenth-century castle that had been damaged by Cromwell. The whole of our east wall was part of the castle; there are two round towers in it. The gatehouse is intact and a stretch of the old walls at their full height joins it to the house. And Belmotte Tower, all that remains of an even older castle, still stands on its mound close by. But I won't attempt to describe our peculiar home fully until I can see more time ahead of me than I do now. I am writing this journal partly to practise my newly acquired speed-writing and partly to teach myself how to write a novel - I intend to capture all our characters and put in conversations. It ought to be good for my style to dash along without much thought, as up to now my stories have been very stiff and self-conscious. The only time father obliged me by reading one of them, he said I combined stateliness with a desperate effort to be funny. He told me to relax and let the words flow out of me.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
I had to slow down. If I was going to listen to Venice properly I needed to hear the cadence of the place. I needed to stand still. <...> I thought of Whitman observing the parade of humanity with lewd concentration. Walt had a good ear. He loved opera and knew how to sit perfectly still.
Stephen Kuusisto (Eavesdropping)
Dear Reader, We wouldn’t need books quite so much if everyone around us understood us well. But they don’t. Even those who love us get us wrong. They tell us who we are but miss things out. They claim to know what we need, but forget to ask us properly first. They can’t understand what we feel—and sometimes, we’re unable to tell them, because we don’t really understand it ourselves. That’s where books come in. They explain us to ourselves and to others, and make us feel less strange, less isolated and less alone. We might have lots of good friends, but even with the best friends in the world, there are things that no one quite gets. That’s the moment to turn to books. They are friends waiting for us any time we want them, and they will always speak honestly to us about what really matters. They are the perfect cure for loneliness. They can be our very closest friends. Yours, Alain
Maria Popova (A Velocity of Being: Letters to A Young Reader)
We are addicted to fulfilment, to the eradication of all emptiness. . . . swallowed the cultural myth that says, “if you are well-adjusted, and if you are living your life properly, you will feel fulfilled, satisfied, content, and serene.” If you are not satisfied and fulfilled, there is something wrong with you. . . . . . The myth of fulfilment makes us miss the most beautiful aspect of our human souls: our emptiness, our incompleteness, our radical yearning for love. We were never meant to be completely fulfilled; we were meant to taste it, to long for it, and to grow toward it. In this way we participate in love becoming life, life becoming love. To miss our emptiness is, finally, to miss our hope. Emptiness, yearning, incompleteness: these unpleasant words hold a hope for incomprehensible beauty. It is precisely in these seemingly abhorrent qualities of ourselves – qualities that we spend most of our time trying to fix or deny – that the very thing we most long for can be found: hope for the human spirit, freedom for love. This is a secret known by those who have had the courage to face their own emptiness. The secret of being in love, of falling in love with life as it is meant to be, is to befriend our yearning instead of avoiding it, to live into our longing rather than trying to resolve it, to enter the spaciousness of our emptiness instead of trying to fill it up. It has taken me a long time to learn this secret, and I continue to forget it many times each day.
Gerald G. May (The Awakened Heart: Opening Yourself to the Love You Need)
You could pretend that Guenever was a sort of man-eating lioncelle herself, or that she was one of those selfish women who insist on ruling everywhere. In fact, this is what she did seem to be to a superficial inspection. She was beautiful, sanguine, hot-tempered, demanding, impulsive, acquisitive, charming - she had all the proper qualities for a man-eater. But the rock on which these easy explanations founder, is that she was not promiscuous. There was never anybody in her life except Lancelot and Arthur. She never ate anybody except these. And even these she did not eat in the full sense of the word. People who have been digested by a man-eating lioncelle tend to become nonentities - to live no life except within the vitals of the devourer. Yet both Arthur and Lancelot, the people whom she apparently devoured, lived full lives, and accomplished things of their own. She lived in warlike times, when the lives of young people were as short as those of airmen in the twentieth century. In such times, the elderly moralists are content to relax their moral laws a little, in return for being defended. The condemned pilots, with their lust for life and love which is probably to be lost so soon, touch the hearts of young women, or possibly call up an answering bravado. Generosity, courage, honesty, pity, the faculty to look short life in the face - certainly comradeship and tenderness - these qualities may explain why Guenever took Lancelot as well as Arthur. It was courage more than anything else - the courage to take and give from the heart, while there was time. Poets are always urging women to have this kind of courage. She gathered her rose-buds while she might, and the striking thing was that she only gathered two of them, which she kept always, and that those two were the best.
T.H. White (The Ill-Made Knight (The Once and Future King, #3))
The value of Greek prose composition, he said, was not that it gave one any particular facility in the language that could not be gained as easily by other methods but that if done properly, off the top of one's head, it taught one to think in Greek. One's thought patterns become different, he said, when forced into the confines of a rigid and unfamiliar tongue. Certain common ideas become inexpressible; other, previously undreamt-of ones spring to life, finding miraculous new articulation. By necessity, I suppose, it is difficult for me to explain in English exactly what I mean. I can only say that an incendium is in its nature entirely different from the feu with which a Frenchman lights his cigarette, and both are very different from the stark, inhuman pur that the Greeks knew, the pur that roared from the towers of Ilion or leapt and screamed on that desolate, windy beach, from the funeral pyre of Patroklos. Pur: that one word contains for me the secret, the bright, terrible clarity of ancient Greek. How can I make you see it, this strange harsh light which pervades Homer's landscapes and illumines the dialogues of Plato, an alien light, inarticulable in our common tongue? Our shared language is a language of the intricate, the peculiar, the home of pumpkins and ragamuffins and bodkins and beer, the tongue of Ahab and Falstaff and Mrs. Gamp; and while I find it entirely suitable for reflections such as these, it fails me utterly when I attempt to describe in it what I love about Greek, that language innocent of all quirks and cranks; a language obsessed with action, and with the joy of seeing action multiply from action, action marching relentlessly ahead and with yet more actions filing in from either side to fall into neat step at the rear, in a long straight rank of cause and effect toward what will be inevitable, the only possible end. In a certain sense, this was why I felt so close to the other in the Greek class. They, too, knew this beautiful and harrowing landscape, centuries dead; they'd had the same experience of looking up from their books with fifth-century eyes and finding the world disconcertingly sluggish and alien, as if it were not their home. It was why I admired Julian, and Henry in particular. Their reason, their very eyes and ears were fixed irrevocably in the confines of those stern and ancient rhythms – the world, in fact, was not their home, at least the world as I knew it – and far from being occasional visitors to this land which I myself knew only as an admiring tourist, they were pretty much its permanent residents, as permanent as I suppose it was possible for them to be. Ancient Greek is a difficult language, a very difficult language indeed, and it is eminently possible to study it all one's life and never be able to speak a word; but it makes me smile, even today, to think of Henry's calculated, formal English, the English of a well-educated foreigner, as compared with the marvelous fluency and self-assurance of his Greek – quick, eloquent, remarkably witty. It was always a wonder to me when I happened to hear him and Julian conversing in Greek, arguing and joking, as I never once heard either of them do in English; many times, I've seen Henry pick up the telephone with an irritable, cautious 'Hello,' and may I never forget the harsh and irresistible delight of his 'Khairei!' when Julian happened to be at the other end.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
Utensil While feasting On venison stew After we buried my mother, I recognized my spoon And realized my family Had been using it For at least forty-two years. How does one commemorate The ordinary? I thanked The spoon for being a spoon And finished my stew. How does one get through A difficult time? How does A son properly mourn his mother? It helps to run the errands-- To get shit done. I washed That spoon, dried it, And put it back In the drawer, But I did it consciously, Paying attention To my hands, my wrists, And the feel of steel Against my fingertips. Then my wife drove us back Home to Seattle, where I wrote This poem about ordinary Grief. Thank you, poem, For being a poem. Thank you, Paper and ink, for being paper And ink. Thank you, desk, For being a desk. Thank you, Mother, for being my mother. Thank you for your imperfect love. It almost worked. It mostly worked. Or partly worked. It was almost enough.
Sherman Alexie (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)
This Soul, says Love, has six wings, 4 just as the Seraphim. She no longer wishes for anything which comes by an intermediary, for that is the proper state of being of the Seraphim; 5 there is no intermediary between their love and God’s love. Love is constantly made new in them6 without any intermediaries, and so too in this Soul, for she does not seek for knowledge of God among the teachers of this world, but by truly despising this world and herself. Ah, God, how great is the difference between the gift that a lover makes to his loved one through an intermediary, and the gift made directly to his loved one by a lover!
Marguerite Porete (The Mirror of Simple Souls (Notre Dame Texts in Medieval Culture Book 6))
The things sane societies loved, it hated. The things sane societies hated, it loved; the things sane societies tried to do, it tried to avoid; the things sane societies tried to avoid, it did with relish. It pursued chaos and hated order, it worshipped ugliness and loathed beauty. If sane people wished to dress as neatly and well as they could, these people were persuaded to dress as hideously and grotesquely as possible; if sane people wanted music to be melodious, these people (whether we are speaking of their "popular" or their "serious" music) were cozened into believing they liked raucous and tuneless noise. If women had been feminine, if home life had been secure, if children had been innocent, if men had been gallant, if art had been beautiful, if love had been romantic, then all these things must be stood on their heads. Of course, life was not always like that. Of course things had often fallen short of their ideals, or even of their minimal norms; but at least most people tried to do things properly and at least the surrounding civilisation encouraged them to try. Never before had the deliberate aim been an inverted parody of all that should be. Everywhere, in every area of life, a single principle reigned: inversion; the worship of chaos; the creed of the madhouse.
Alice Lucy Trent (The Feminine Universe)
Side by side, their faces blurred, The earl and countess lie in stone, Their proper habits vaguely shown As jointed armour, stiffened pleat, And that faint hint of the absurd - The little dogs under their feet. Such plainness of the pre-Baroque Hardly involves the eye, until It meets his left-hand gauntlett, still Clasped empty in the other, and One sees with a sharp tender shock His hand withdrawn, holding her hand. They would not think to lie so long, Such faithfulness in effigy Was just a detail friends would see, A sculptor's sweet commissioned grace Thrown off in helping to prolong The Latin names around the base. They would not guess how early in Their supine stationary voyage The air would change to soundless damage, Turn the old tenantry away; How soon succeeding eyes being To look, not read. Rigidly, they Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light Each summer thronged the grass. A bright Litter of birdcalls strewed the same Bone-littered ground. And up the paths The endless altered people came Washing at their identity. Now helpless in the hollow Of an unarmorial age, a trough Of smoke in slow suspended skeins Above their scrap of history, Only an attitude remains. Time has transfigured them into Untruth. The stone fidelity They hardly meant has come to be Their final blazon and to prove Our almost-instinct almost-true: What will survive of us is love. - An Arundel Tomb
Philip Larkin (The Whitsun Weddings)
For such people, finding a mate is like scoring a goal. You have to develop skills like talking cheesy, praising generously, and targeting properly. They are unable to see the opposite person as a human being. All they focus upon is their own strategy and tactics. For them, all the people on the opposite team are alike - except for looks, education and career.
Gracia Hunter
Obsidian rests around your neck as if you are carrying the history of every night sky in one stone Smile young girl Your eyes are moonless, grimmer than the rock revolved around your throat Your voice is weak when you speak of the things you love You do not love things properly Your jaw was battered against the ceramic when your father screamed of your selfishness and slapped you with all the anger your grandfather bred in him You conduct yourself in spite of his judgement In spite of being just like him But while you chase after reckless habits and restless bodies you are mirroring his tantrums Drain the anger from your blood, young girl Do not make this tempered interpretation a trio Your Obsidian is the cooling heat of lava and only pure when it maintains its darkness But there is more power in your will than in the frozen anger of the stone Your body does not have to erupt when you feel the heat of an outrage bubbling at the rim Keep your composure, you are not a volcano You do not have to hang around someone’s neck like a chunk of lava wishing to explode
Alessia Di Cesare
He needed to get Mollie out from under that woman’s roof as soon as possible. The most desirable option being moving her into the clinic as his wife. But she deserved a proper courtship, not some rushed affair that would lend itself to whispers behind closed doors. Of course, if he were openly courting her, the hours they spent together in the clinic or on house calls could raise eyebrows as well. Jacob smacked the trunk of one of the young pines that stood outside his clinic with enough force to shake needles loose. Shoot, maybe he should just abduct her and elope. A smile finally curved his lips as he imagined Mollie’s response to that idea. She’d probably dose his coffee with castor oil for a week if he suggested such a thing.
Karen Witemeyer (Love on the Mend (Full Steam Ahead, #1.5))
The really proper address between one man and another should be, instead of Sir, Monsieur,…my fellow sufferer. However strange this may sound, it accords with the facts, puts the other man in the most correct light, and reminds us of that most necessary thing, tolerance, patience, forbearance, and love of one’s neighbor, which everyone needs and each of us therefore owes to another.
Irvin D. Yalom (The Schopenhauer Cure)
She could smell the wrongness in the air and it made her wolf nervous. It felt like something was watching them, as if the wrongness had an intelligence— and it didn't help to remember that at least one of the people they were hunting could hide from their senses. Anna fought the urge to turn around, to take Charles's hand or slide under his arm and let his presence drive away the wrongness. Once, she would have, but now she had the uneasy feeling that he might back away as he almost had when she sat on his lap in the boat, before Brother Wolf had taken over. Maybe he was just tired of her. She had been telling everyone that there was something wrong with him...but Bran knew his son and thought the problem was her. Bran was smart and perceptive; she ought to have considered that he was right. Charles was old. He'd seen and experienced so much—next to him she was just a child. His wolf had chosen her without consulting Charles at all. Maybe he'd have preferred someone who knew more. Someone beautiful and clever who... "Anna?" said Charles. "What's wrong? Are you crying?" He moved in front of her and stopped, forcing her to stop walking, too. She opened her mouth and his fingers touched her wet cheeks. "Anna," he said, his body going still. "Call on your wolf." "You should have someone stronger," she told him miserably. "Someone who could help you when you need it, instead of getting sent home because I can't endure what you have to do. If I weren't Omega, if I were dominant like Sage, I could have helped you." "There is no one stronger," Charles told her. "It's the taint from the black magic. Call your wolf." "You don't want me anymore," she whispered. And once the words were out she knew they were true. He would say the things that he thought she wanted to hear because he was a kind man. But they would be lies. The truth was in the way he closed down the bond between them so she wouldn't hear things that would hurt her. Charles was a dominant wolf and dominant wolves were driven to protect those weaker than themselves. And he saw her as so much weaker. "I love you," he told her. "Now, call your wolf." She ignored his order—he knew better than to give her orders. He said he loved her; it sounded like the truth. But he was old and clever and Anna knew that, when push came to shove, he could lie and make anyone believe it. Knew it because he lied to her now—and it sounded like the truth. "I'm sorry," she told him. "I'll go away—" And suddenly her back was against a tree and his face was a hairsbreadth from hers. His long hot body was pressed against her from her knees to her chest—he'd have to bend to do that. He was a lot taller than her, though she wasn't short. Anna shuddered as the warmth of his body started to penetrate the cold that had swallowed hers. Charles waited like a hunter, waited for her to wiggle and see that she was truly trapped. Waited while she caught her breathe. Waited until she looked into his eyes. Then he snarled at her. "You are not leaving me." It was an order, and she didn't have to follow anyone's orders. That was part of being Omega instead of a regular werewolf—who might have had a snowball's chance in hell of being a proper mate. "You need someone stronger," Anna told him again. "So you wouldn't have to hide when you're hurt. So you could trust your mate to take care of herself and help, damn it, instead of having to protect me from whatever you are hiding." She hated crying. Tears were weaknesses that could be exploited and they never solves a damn thing. Sobs gathered in her chest like a rushing tide and she needed to get away from him before she broke. Instead of fighting his grip, she tried to slide out of it. "I need to go," she said to his chest. "I need—" His mouth closed over hers, hot and hungry, warming her mouth as his body warmed her body. "Me," Charles said, his voice dark and gravelly as if it had traveled up from the bottom of the earth,...
Patricia Briggs (Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3))
Well,” I said, trying to keep my tone light as I walked over to put my arms around his neck, though I had to stand on my toes to do so. “That wasn’t so bad, was it? You told me something about yourself that I didn’t know before-that you didn’t, er, care for your family, except for your mother. But that didn’t make me hate you…it made me love you a bit more, because now I know we have even more in common.” He stared down at him, a wary look in his eyes. “If you knew the truth,” he said, “you wouldn’t be saying that. You’d be running.” “Where would I go?” I asked, with a laugh I hoped didn’t sound as nervous to him as it did to me. “You bolted all the doors, remember? Now, since you shared something I didn’t know about you, may I share something you don’t know about me?” Those dark eyebrows rose as he pulled me close. “I can’t even begin to imagine what this could be.” “It’s just,” I said, “that I’m a little worried about rushing into this consort thing…especially the cohabitation part.” “Cohabitation?” he echoed. He was clearly unfamiliar with the word. “Cohabitation means living together,” I explained, feeling my cheeks heat up. “Like married people.” “You said last night that these days no one your age thinks of getting married,” he said, holding me even closer and suddenly looking much more eager to stick around for the conversation, even though I heard the marina horn blow again. “And that your father would never approve it. But if you’ve changed your mind, I’m sure I could convince Mr. Smith to perform the ceremony-“ “No,” I said hastily. Of course Mr. Smith was somehow authorized to marry people in the state of Florida. Why not? I decided not to think about that right now, or how John had come across this piece of information. “That isn’t what I meant. My mom would kill me if I got married before I graduated from high school.” Not, of course, that my mom was going to know about any of this. Which was probably just as well, since her head would explode at the idea of my moving in with a guy before I’d even applied to college, let alone at the fact that I most likely wasn’t going to college. Not that there was any school that would have accepted me with my grades, not to mention my disciplinary record. “What I meant was that maybe we should take it more slowly,” I explained. “The past couple years, while all my friends were going out with boys, I was home, trying to figure out how this necklace you gave me worked. I wasn’t exactly dating.” “Pierce,” he said. He wore a slightly quizzical expression on his face. “Is this the thing you think I didn’t know about you? Because for one thing, I do know it, and for another, I don’t understand why you think I’d have a problem with it.” I’d forgotten he’d been born in the eighteen hundreds, when the only time proper ladies and gentlemen ever spent together before they were married was at heavily chaperoned balls…and that for most of the past two centuries, he’d been hanging out in a cemetery. Did he even know that these days, a lot of people hooked up on first dates, or that the average age at which girls-and boys as well-lost their virginity in the United States was seventeen…my age? Apparently not. “What I’m trying to say,” I said, my cheeks burning brighter, “is that I’m not very experienced with men. So this morning when I woke up and found you in bed beside me, while it was really, super nice-don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it very much-it kind of freaked me out. Because I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of thing yet.” Or maybe the problem was that I wasn’t prepared for how ready I was…
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Evangelism is intrinsically relational, the outcome of love of neighbor, for to love our neighbor is to share the love of God holistically. The proper context for evangelism is authentic Christian community, where the expression of loving community is the greatest apologetic for the gospel. Holiness—being given to God and God’s mission in this world—is a way of life that is expressly concerned with evangelism.
Elaine A. Heath (The Mystic Way of Evangelism: A Contemplative Vision for Christian Outreach)
... stress hormones are meant to give us the strength and endurance to respond to extraordinary conditions. People who actively do something to deal with a disaster - rescuing loved ones or strangers, transporting people to a hospital, being a part of a medical team, pitching tents or cooking meals - utilize their stress hormones for their proper purpose and therefore are at much lower risk of becoming traumatized.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma) takes great humility to find oneself unjustly condemned and be silent, and to do this is to imitate the Lord Who set us free from all our sins. ... The truly humble person will have a genuine desire to be thought little of, and persecuted, and condemned unjustly, even in serious matters. ... It is a great help to meditate upon the great gain which in any case this is bound to bring us, and to realize how, properly speaking, we can never be blamed unjustly, since we are always full of faults, and a just man falls seven times a day, so that it would be a falsehood for us to say we have no sin. If, then, we are not to blame for the thing that we are accused of, we are never wholly without blame in the way that our good Jesus was. ... Thou knowest, my Good, that if there is anything good in me it comes from no other hands than Thine own. For what is it to Thee, Lord, to give much instead of little? True, I do not deserve it, but neither have I deserved the favors which Thou hast shown me already. Can it be that I should wish a thing so evil as myself to be thought well of by anyone, when they have said such wicked things of Thee, Who art good above all other good? ... Do Thou give me light and make me truly to desire that all should hate me, since I have so often let Thee, Who hast loved me with such faithfulness. ... What does it matter to us if we are blamed by them all, provided we are without blame in the sight of the Lord? ...meditate upon what is real and upon what is not. ... Do you suppose, ... that, if you do not make excuses for yourself, there will not be someone else who will defend you? Remember how the Lord took the Magdalen's part in the Pharisee's house and also when her sister blamed her. He will not treat you as rigorously as He treated Himself: it was not until He was on the Cross that He had even a thief to defend Him. His Majesty, then, will put it into somebody's mind to defend you; if He does not, it will be because there is no need. glad when you are blamed, and in due time you will see what profit you experience in your souls. For it is in this way that you will begin to gain freedom; soon you will not care if they speak ill or well of you; it will seem like someone else's business. ... So here: it becomes such a habit with us not to reply that it seems as if they are not addressing us at all. This may seem impossible to those of us who are very sensitive and not capable of great mortification. It is indeed difficult at first, but I know that, with the Lord's help, the gradual attainment of this freedom, and of renunciation and self-detachment, is quite possible.
Teresa of Ávila
Latter-day Saints are far from being the only ones who call Jesus the Savior. I have known people from many denominations who say those words with great feeling and deep emotion. After hearing one such passionate declaration from a devoutly Christian friend, I asked, “From what did Jesus save us?” My friend was taken aback by the question, and struggled to answer. He spoke of having a personal relationship with Jesus and being born again. He spoke of his intense love and endless gratitude for the Savior, but he still never gave a clear answer to the question. I contrast that experience with a visit to an LDS Primary where I asked the same question: “If a Savior saves, from what did Jesus save us?” One child answered, “From the bad guys.” Another said, “He saved us from getting really, really, hurt really, really bad.” Still another added, “He opened up the door so we can live again after we die and go back to heaven.” Then one bright future missionary explained, “Well, it’s like this—there are two deaths, see, physical and spiritual, and Jesus, well, he just beat the pants off both of them.” Although their language was far from refined, these children showed a clear understanding of how their Savior has saved them. Jesus did indeed overcome the two deaths that came in consequence of the Fall of Adam and Eve. Because Jesus Christ “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light” (2 Timothy 1:10), we will all overcome physical death by being resurrected and obtaining immortality. Because Jesus overcame spiritual death caused by sin—Adam’s and our own—we all have the opportunity to repent, be cleansed, and live with our Heavenly Father and other loved ones eternally. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). To Latter-day Saints this knowledge is basic and fundamental—a lesson learned in Primary. We are blessed to have such an understanding. I remember a man in Chile who scoffed, “Who needs a Savior?” Apparently he didn’t yet understand the precariousness and limited duration of his present state. President Ezra Taft Benson wrote: “Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effects upon all mankind” (“Book of Mormon,” 85). Perhaps the man who asked, “Who needs a Savior?” would ask President Benson, “Who believes in Adam and Eve?” Like many who deny significant historical events, perhaps he thinks Adam and Eve are only part of a folktale. Perhaps he has never heard of them before. Regardless of whether or not this man accepts the Fall, he still faces its effects. If this man has not yet felt the sting of death and sin, he will. Sooner or later someone close to him will die, and he will know the awful emptiness and pain of feeling as if part of his soul is being buried right along with the body of his loved one. On that day, he will hurt in a way he has not yet experienced. He will need a Savior. Similarly, sooner or later, he will feel guilt, remorse, and shame for his sins. He will finally run out of escape routes and have to face himself in the mirror knowing full well that his selfish choices have affected others as well as himself. On that day, he will hurt in a profound and desperate way. He will need a Savior. And Christ will be there to save from both the sting of death and the stain of sin.
Brad Wilcox (The Continuous Atonement)
The unity of existence is the foundation of all ethical codes. Properly understood, it widens the bounds of charity beyond humanity to include the animal world as well. Self-love is the mainspring of man‘s action and the raison d'être of his love for others. We learn from Non-dualistic Vedanta that the true Self of man is the Self of all beings. Therefore, self-love finds its expression and fulfilment in love for all. – Swami Nikhilananda
Adi Shankaracharya (Self-Knowledge: Sankara's "Atmabodha")
She grows up feeling wrong, out of place, too dark, too tall, too unruly, too opinionated, too silent, too strange. She grows up with the awareness that she is merely tolerated, an irritant useless, that she does not deserve love, that she will need to change herself substantially, crush herself down if she is to be married. She grows up, too, with the memory of what it meant to be properly loved, for what you are, not what you ought to be.
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
She grows up feeling wrong, out of place, too dark, too tall, too unruly, too opinionated, too silent, too strange. She grows up with the awareness that she is merely tolerated, an irritant, useless, that she does not deserve love, that she will need to change herself substantially, crush herself down if she is to be married. She grows up, too, with the memory of what it meant to be properly loved, for what you are, not what you ought to be.
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
Darya Alexandrovna, in a dressing jacket, and with her now scanty, once luxuriant and beautiful hair fastened up with hairpins on the nape of her neck, with a sunken, thin face and large, startled eyes, which looked prominent from the thinness of her face, was standing among a litter of all sorts of things scattered all over the room, before an open bureau, from which she was taking something. Hearing her husband's steps, she stopped, looking towards the door, and trying assiduously to give her features a severe and contemptuous expression. She felt she was afraid of him, and afraid of the coming interview. She was just attempting to do what she had attempted to do ten times already in these last three days—to sort out the children's things and her own, so as to take them to her mother's—and again she could not bring herself to do this; but now again, as each time before, she kept saying to herself, "that things cannot go on like this, that she must take some step" to punish him, put him to shame, avenge on him some little part at least of the suffering he had caused her. She still continued to tell herself that she should leave him, but she was conscious that this was impossible; it was impossible because she could not get out of the habit of regarding him as her husband and loving him. Besides this, she realized that if even here in her own house she could hardly manage to look after her five children properly, they would be still worse off where she was going with them all. As it was, even in the course of these three days, the youngest was unwell from being given unwholesome soup, and the others had almost gone without their dinner the day before. She was conscious that it was impossible to go away; but, cheating herself, she went on all the same sorting out her things and pretending she was going.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
I remember the air outside being redolent of farmyards, proper rural smells, but also the fresh, clean scent of the countryside, and that I was fascinated by the well fifty yards beyond the garage, which always seemed to produce fresh water. I can still conjure in my mind the outdoor fragrance of my grandfather’s clothes – I used to love pressing my nose into the folds of his coat, immersing myself in all it represented. It was a simple house, defined by simple things, but no less profound for that.
David Nott (War Doctor: Surgery on the Front Line)
None of the things I have mentioned can make a foolish man wise or a bad book good. But when they are properly used they remind us that the act of reading is an act of confidence, and almost of conspiracy, between one human being and another. That conspiracy can get nowhere, and that confidence can be betrayed. But if all goes well the reader may put down the book at the end and say what the author - and this author is no exception - most wants to hear:'I learned a lot from your book, but what is more to the point is I had a very good time.
John Russell (Meanings Of Modern Art, Revised)
No human being was ever meant to be the source of personal joy and contentment for someone else. And surely, no sinner is ever going to be able to pull that off day after day in the all-encompassing relationship of marriage! Your spouse, your friends, and your children cannot be the sources of your identity. When you seek to define who you are through those relationships, you are actually asking another sinner to be your personal messiah, to give you the inward rest of soul that only God can give. Only when I have sought my identity in the proper place (in my relationship with God) am I able to put you in the proper place as well. When I relate to you knowing that I am God’s child and the recipient of his grace, I am able to serve and love you. I have the hope and courage to get my hands dirty with the hard work involved when two sinners live together. And you are able to do the same with me! However, if I am seeking to get identity from you, I will watch you too closely, listen to you too intently, and need you too fundamentally. I will ride the roller coaster of your best and worst moments and everything in between. And because I am watching you too closely, I will become acutely aware of your weaknesses and failures. I will become overly critical, frustrated, disappointed, hopeless, and angry. I will be angry not because you are a sinner, but because you have failed to deliver the one thing I seek from you: identity. But none of us will ever get the well-being that comes from knowing who we are from our relationships. Instead, we will be left with damaged relationships filled with hurt, frustration, and anger. Matt
Timothy S. Lane (Relationships: A Mess Worth Making)
Our situation is that we view our lives through a set of lies about ourselves, false stories of who we are and are meant to be, never getting an accurate picture of ourselves. Through the "lens" of the story of Jesus we are able to see ourselves truthfully and call things by their proper names. Only through the story of the cross of Christ do we see the utter depth and seriousness of our sin. Only through this story that combines cross and resurrection do we see the utter resourcefulness and love of a God who is determined to save sinners (Romans 3:21-25).
William H. Willimon (The Best of Will Willimon: Acting Up in Jesus' Name)
How Robin would have loved this!’ the aunts used to say fondly. 'How Robin would have laughed!’ In truth, Robin had been a giddy, fickle child - somber at odd moments, practically hysterical at others - and in life, this unpredictability had been a great part of his charm. But his younger sisters, who had never in any proper sense known him at all, nonetheless grew up certain of their dead brother’s favorite color (red); his favorite book (The Wind in the Willows) and his favorite character in it (Mr. Today); his favorite flavor of ice cream (chocolate) and his favorite baseball team (the Cardinals) and a thousand other things which they - being living children, and preferring chocolate ice cream one week and peach the next - were not even sure they knew about themselves. Consequently their relationship with their dead brother was of the most intimate sort, his strong, bright, immutable character shining changelessly against the vagueness and vacillation of their own characters, and the characters of people that they knew; and they grew up believing that this was due to some rare, angelic incandescence of nature on Robin’s part, and not at all to the fact that he was dead.
Donna Tartt (The Little Friend)
Nearly two years of dates. Still no question. Her mother and father want to set a proper date. Still no question. Her friends keep asking, when, Natasha? When? But she still hasn’t been asked The Question. It’s enjoyable to be the one with all the secrets, but in her honest mind – the hidden part that’s always sleeping – the secrets he keeps about when and if give her a feeling inside she’s never really understood completely – a sensation she had as a child when she got to the end of a fairytale where never-ending love and happiness were all but expected and wondered whether there might be…. one last page.
Carla H. Krueger (Coma House)
That was my life until Stregobor and that whore Aridea ordered a huntsman to butcher me in the forest and bring back my heart and liver. Lovely, don't you think?” “No. I’m pleased you evaded the huntsman, Renfri.” “Like shit I did. He took pity on me and let me go. After the son of a bitch raped me and robbed me.” Geralt, fiddling with his medallion, looked her straight in the eyes. She didn't lower hers. “That was the end of the princess,” she continued. “The dress grew torn, the cambric grew grubby. And then there was dirt, hunger, stench, stink and abuse. Selling myself to any old bum for a bowl of soup or a roof over my head. Do you know what my hair was like? Silk. And it reached a good foot below my hips. I had it cut right to the scalp with sheep-shears when I caught lice. It's never grown back properly.” She was silent for a moment, idly brushing the uneven strands of hair from her forehead. “I stole rather than starve to death. I killed to avoid being killed myself. I was locked in prisons which stank of urine, never knowing if they would hang me in the morning, or just flog me and release me. And through it all, my stepmother and your sorcerer were hard on my heels, with their poisons and assassins and spells. And
Andrzej Sapkowski (The Last Wish (The Witcher 0.5))
It had been off-hand and flattering, in exactly the proper proportions, and Louise had cleverly erected a thin shield of something that was less than and better than love to protect him from the comic, unending abuse of the Army. And, now, it was probably over. Women, Michael thought resentfully, can never learn the art of being transients. They are all permanent settlers at heart, making homes with dull, instinctive persistence in floods and wars, on the edges of invasions, at the moment of the crumbling of states. No, he thought, I will not have it. For my own protection I am going to get through this time alone …
Irwin Shaw (The Young Lions)
But the greatest human problems are not social problems, but decisions that the individual has to make alone. The most important feelings of which man is capable emphasise his separateness from other people, not his kinship with them. The feelings of a mountaineer towards a mountain emphasise his kinship with the mountain rather than with the rest of mankind. The same goes for the leap of the heart experienced by a sailor when he smells the sea, or for the astronomer’s feeling about the stars, or for the archaeologist’s love of the past. My feeling of love for my fellowmen makes me aware of my humanness; but my feeling about a mountain gives me an oddly nonhuman sensation. It would be incorrect, perhaps, to call it ‘superhuman’; but it nevertheless gives me a sense of transcending my everyday humanity. Maslow’s importance is that he has placed these experiences of ‘transcendence’ at the centre of his psychology. He sees them as the compass by which man gains a sense of the magnetic north of his existence. They bring a glimpse of ‘the source of power, meaning and purpose’ inside himself. This can be seen with great clarity in the matter of the cure of alcoholics. Alcoholism arises from what I have called ‘generalised hypertension’, a feeling of strain or anxiety about practically everything. It might be described as a ‘passively negative’ attitude towards existence. The negativity prevents proper relaxation; there is a perpetual excess of adrenalin in the bloodstream. Alcohol may produce the necessary relaxation, switch off the anxiety, allow one to feel like a real human being instead of a bundle of over-tense nerves. Recurrence of the hypertension makes the alcoholic remedy a habit, but the disadvantages soon begin to outweigh the advantage: hangovers, headaches, fatigue, guilt, general inefficiency. And, above all, passivity. The alcoholics are given mescalin or LSD, and then peak experiences are induced by means of music or poetry or colours blending on a screen. They are suddenly gripped and shaken by a sense of meaning, of just how incredibly interesting life can be for the undefeated. They also become aware of the vicious circle involved in alcoholism: misery and passivity leading to a general running-down of the vital powers, and to the lower levels of perception that are the outcome of fatigue. ‘The spirit world shuts not its gates, Your heart is dead, your senses sleep,’ says the Earth Spirit to Faust. And the senses sleep when there is not enough energy to run them efficiently. On the other hand, when the level of will and determination is high, the senses wake up. (Maslow was not particularly literary, or he might have been amused to think that Faust is suffering from exactly the same problem as the girl in the chewing gum factory (described earlier), and that he had, incidentally, solved a problem that had troubled European culture for nearly two centuries). Peak experiences are a by-product of this higher energy-drive. The alcoholic drinks because he is seeking peak experiences; (the same, of course, goes for all addicts, whether of drugs or tobacco.) In fact, he is moving away from them, like a lost traveller walking away from the inn in which he hopes to spend the night. The moment he sees with clarity what he needs to do to regain the peak experience, he does an about-face and ceases to be an alcoholic.
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)
Dear Mother and Dad: Since I left for college I have been remiss in writing and I am sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date now, but before you read on, please sit down. You are not to read any further unless you are sitting down, okay? Well, then, I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and the concussion I got when I jumped out the window of my dormitory when it caught on fire shortly after my arrival here is pretty well healed now. I only spent two weeks in the hospital and now I can see almost normally and only get those sick headaches once a day. Fortunately, the fire in the dormitory, and my jump, was witnessed by an attendant at the gas station near the dorm, and he was the one who called the Fire Department and the ambulance. He also visited me in the hospital and since I had nowhere to live because of the burntout dormitory, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. It’s really a basement room, but it’s kind of cute. He is a very fine boy and we have fallen deeply in love and are planning to get married. We haven’t got the exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show. Yes, Mother and Dad, I am pregnant. I know how much you are looking forward to being grandparents and I know you will welcome the baby and give it the same love and devotion and tender care you gave me when I was a child. The reason for the delay in our marriage is that my boyfriend has a minor infection which prevents us from passing our pre-marital blood tests and I carelessly caught it from him. Now that I have brought you up to date, I want to tell you that there was no dormitory fire, I did not have a concussion or skull fracture, I was not in the hospital, I am not pregnant, I am not engaged, I am not infected, and there is no boyfriend. However, I am getting a “D” in American History, and an “F” in Chemistry and I want you to see those marks in their proper perspective. Your loving daughter, Sharon Sharon may be failing chemistry, but she gets an “A” in psychology.
Robert B. Cialdini (Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials))
Thought Control * Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth * Adopt the group’s “map of reality” as reality * Instill black and white thinking * Decide between good versus evil * Organize people into us versus them (insiders versus outsiders) * Change a person’s name and identity * Use loaded language and clichés to constrict knowledge, stop critical thoughts, and reduce complexities into platitudinous buzzwords * Encourage only “good and proper” thoughts * Use hypnotic techniques to alter mental states, undermine critical thinking, and even to age-regress the member to childhood states * Manipulate memories to create false ones * Teach thought stopping techniques that shut down reality testing by stopping negative thoughts and allowing only positive thoughts. These techniques include: * Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking * Chanting * Meditating * Praying * Speaking in tongues * Singing or humming * Reject rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism * Forbid critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy * Label alternative belief systems as illegitimate, evil, or not useful * Instill new “map of reality” Emotional Control * Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings—some emotions and/or needs are deemed as evil, wrong, or selfish * Teach emotion stopping techniques to block feelings of hopelessness, anger, or doubt * Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault * Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness, such as: * Identity guilt * You are not living up to your potential * Your family is deficient * Your past is suspect * Your affiliations are unwise * Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish * Social guilt * Historical guilt * Instill fear, such as fear of: * Thinking independently * The outside world * Enemies * Losing one’s salvation * Leaving * Orchestrate emotional highs and lows through love bombing and by offering praise one moment, and then declaring a person is a horrible sinner * Ritualistic and sometimes public confession of sins * Phobia indoctrination: inculcate irrational fears about leaving the group or questioning the leader’s authority * No happiness or fulfillment possible outside the group * Terrible consequences if you leave: hell, demon possession, incurable diseases, accidents, suicide, insanity, 10,000 reincarnations, etc. * Shun those who leave and inspire fear of being rejected by friends and family * Never a legitimate reason to leave; those who leave are weak, undisciplined, unspiritual, worldly, brainwashed by family or counselor, or seduced by money, sex, or rock and roll * Threaten harm to ex-member and family (threats of cutting off friends/family)
Steven Hassan
...we begin to understand marriage as the insistently practical union that it is. We begin to understand it, that is, as it is represented in the traditional marriage ceremony, those vows being only a more circumstantial and practical way of saying what the popular songs say dreamily and easily: "I will love you forever"--a statement that, in this world, inescapably leads to practical requirements and consequences because it proposes survival as a goal. Indeed, marriage is a union much more than practical, for it looks both to our survival as a species and to the survival of our definition as human beings--that is, as creatures who make promises and keep them, who care devotedly and faithfully for one another, who care properly for the gifts of life in this world.
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
The way women are made to conform to this double standard is through the deprivation of sexual self knowledge. Deprived of their own bodies, they have no way of discovering or developing sexual responses. Had an early age, women are prohibited from touching their genitals with the threat of supernatural or real punishment. Information about the clitoris and life affirming orgasm is withheld, and women are installed with the idea that female genitals are inferior, that a woman’s main value lies in procreation and giving a man sexual pleasure. Without any sexual pleasure of her own, I woman may come to think of her genitals as being repulsive and a constant source of discomfort and shame. This kind of sexual repression is a vital aspect of keeping women in their ‘proper role’.
Betty Dodson (Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving)
Tess took a deep breath. 'You are not marrying me for love, Lord Mayne. Nor-as far as I can see-due to any overwhelming feeling of a less...less proper nature.' She could feel color rising into her cheeks. 'Now that's not true,' Mayne said. There was a hint of wicked laughter in his eyes, and his fingers tightened on hers. 'I feel quite improperly toward you.' Goodness, but he was attractive when he wasn't hedging, when he was being honest. 'Are you not disturbed by the fact that we do not feel warmer emotions for each other?' she asked him. 'I would be disturbed if we /did/ ... I do not wish for a tempestuous marriage, although I am quite certain that there will be sufficient warmth between us.' 'And in your estimation, tempests must accompany love,' she said, raising an eyebrow.
Eloisa James (Much Ado About You (Essex Sisters, #1))
Marriage is a paradox second only to life itself. That at the age of twenty or so, with little knowledge of each other and a dangerous overdose of self-confidence, two human beings should undertake to commit themselves for life – and that church and state should receive their vows with a straight face – all this is absurd indeed. And it is tolerable only if it is reveled in as such. A pox on all the neat little explanations as to why it is reasonable that two teenagers should be bound to each other until death. It is not reasonable. It happens to be true to life, but it remains absurd. Down with the books that moralize reasonably on the subject of why divorce is wrong. Divorce is not a wrong; it is a metaphysical impossibility. It is an attempt to do something about life rather than with it - to work out the square root of –I rather than to use it. Up with the absurdity of marriage then. Let the peasant rejoice. He is a very odd ball on a very odd pool table, and his marriage is one of the few things left to him that will roll properly in this game. And up with the marriage service. Let the peasant go back and read it while he rejoices - preferably in the old unbowdlerized version still used by the Church of England. It is full of death and cast iron. And it is one of the great remaining sanity markers. The world is going mad because it has too many reasonable options, and not enough interest or nerve to choose anything for good. In such a world, the marriage service is not reasonable, but it is sane; which is quite another matter. The lunatic lives in a world of reason, and he goes mad without making sense; it is precisely paradox that keeps the rest of us sane. To be born, to love a woman, to cry at music, to catch a cold, to die – these are not excursions on the narrow road of logic; they are blind launchings on a trackless sea. They are not bargains, they are commitments, and for ordinary people, marriage is the very keel of their commitment, the largest piece of ballast in their small and storm-tossed boat. Its unqualified hurling of two people into their deathbead is absurd, but so is the rest of that welter of unqualified hurlings we call life. You cannot contract out of being born, out of crying, out of loving, out of dying; you cannot contract out of marriage. It may be uncomfortable, it certainly is absurd; but it is not abnormal.
Robert Farrar Capon (Bed And Board: Plain Talk About Marriage)
Oh, it can’t be as bad as all that. Come on, can’t I interest you in some soup? I make a pretty mean vegetable barley, if I do say so myself.” “You know I love your food. It’s just that my stomach is in knots. I noticed a gray hair in the mirror the other day.” “Oh please, you’re still just a girl,” Ibis laughed, then caught himself. “I guess I shouldn’t speak to you that way, you being noble and all. I should be saying, ‘Yes, Your Ladyship,’ or in this case, ‘No, no, Your Ladyship! If you’ll allow me to be so bold as to speak plainly in your presence, I beg to differ, for I think you’re purty as a pot!’ That would be a more proper response.” Amilia smiled. “You know, I never have understood that saying of yours.” Ibis drew himself up in feigned offense. “I’m a cook. I like pots.
Michael J. Sullivan (Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations, #3-4))
It is a proper and excellent thing for infinite glory to shine forth; and for the same reason, it is proper that the shining forth of God's glory should be complete; that is, that all parts of his glory should shine forth, that every beauty should be proportionably effulgent, that the beholder may have a proper notion of God.” Thus it is necessary, that God's awful majesty, his authority and dreadful greatness, justice, and holiness, should be manifested. But this could not be, unless sin and punishment had been decreed; so that the shining forth of God's glory would be very imperfect, both because these parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the others do, and also the glory of his goodness, love, and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all.
Jonathan Edwards (Works of Jonathan Edwards)
Self-Love Self-love is the quality that determines how much we can be friends with ourselves and, day to day, remain on our own side. When we meet a stranger who has things we don’t, how quickly do we feel ourselves pitiful, and how long can we remain assured by the decency of what we have and are? When another person frustrates or humiliates us, can we let the insult go, able to perceive the senseless malice beneath the attack, or are we left brooding and devastated, implicitly identifying with the verdict of our enemies? How much can the disapproval or neglect of public opinion be offset by the memory of the steady attention of significant people in the past? In relationships, do we have enough self-love to leave an abusive union? Or are we so down on ourselves that we carry an implicit belief that harm is all we deserve? In a different vein, how good are we at apologizing to a lover for things that may be our fault? How rigidly self-righteous do we need to be? Can we dare to admit mistakes or does an admission of guilt or error bring us too close to our background sense of nullity? In the bedroom, how clean and natural or alternatively disgusting and unacceptable do our desires feel? Might they be a little odd, but not for that matter bad or dark, since they emanate from within us and we are not wretches? At work, do we have a reasonable, well-grounded sense of our worth and so feel able to ask for (and properly expect to get) the rewards we are due? Can we resist the need to please others indiscriminately? Are we sufficiently aware of our genuine contribution to be able to say no when we need to?
The School of Life (The School of Life: An Emotional Education)
I’d better redefine some terms for you. ‘Mind’ is one of those slippery terms like ‘love.’ The proper definition depends on your state of consciousness. Look at it this way: You have a brain that directs the body, stores information, and plays with that information. We refer to the brain’s abstract processes as ‘the intellect.’ Nowhere have I mentioned mind. The brain and the mind are not the same. The brain is real; the mind isn’t. “‘Mind’ is an illusory reflection of cerebral fidgeting. It comprises all the random, uncontrolled thoughts that bubble into awareness from the subconscious. Consciousness is not mind; awareness is not mind; attention is not mind. Mind is an obstruction, an aggravation. It is a kind of evolutionary mistake in the human being, a primal weakness in the human experiment. I have no use for the mind.
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior)
Because you deserve a duke, damn it!” A troubled expression furrowed his brow. “You deserve a man who can give you the moon. I can’t. I can give you a decent home in a decent part of town with decent people, but you…” His voice grew choked. “You’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. It destroys me to think of what you’ll have to give up to be with me.” “I told you before-I don’t care!” she said hotly. “Why can’t you believe me?” He hesitated a long moment. “The truth?” “Always.” “Because I can’t imagine why you’d want me when you have men of rank and riches at your fingertips.” She gave a rueful laugh. “You grossly exaggerate my charms, but I can’t complain. It’s one of many things I adore about you-that you see a better version of me than I ever could.” Remembering the wonderful words he’d said last night when she’d been so self-conscious, she left the bed to walk up to him. “Do you know what I see when I look at you?” His wary gaze locked with hers. “Proper Pinter. Proud Pinter.” “Yes, but that’s just who you show to the world to protect yourself.” She reached up to stroke his cheek, reveling in the ragged breath that escaped him. “When you let down your guard, however, I see Jackson-who ferrets out the truth, no matter how hard. Who risks his own life to protect the weak. Who’d sacrifice anything to prevent me from having to sacrifice everything.” Catching her hand, he halted its path. “You see a saint,” he said hoarsely. “I’m not a saint; I’m a man with needs and desires and a great many rough edges.” “I like your rough edges,” she said with a soft smile. “If I’d really wanted a man of rank and riches, I probably would have married long ago. I always told myself I couldn’t marry because no one wanted me, but the truth was, I didn’t want any of them.” She fingered a lock of hair. “Apparently I was waiting for you, rough edges and all.” His eyes turned hot with wanting. Drawing her hand to his lips, he kissed the palm so tenderly that her heart leapt into her throat. When he lifted his head, he said, “Then marry me, rough edges and all.” She swallowed. “That’s what you say now, when we’re alone and you’re caught up in-“ He covered her mouth with his, kissing her so fervently that she turned into a puddle of mush. Blast him-he always did that, too, when they were alone; it was when they were with others that he reconsidered their being together forever. And he still had said nothing of live. “That’s enough of that,” she warned, drawing back from him. “Until you make a proper proposal, before my family, you’re not sharing my bed.” “Sweeting-“ “Don’t you ‘sweeting’ me, Jackson Pinter.” She edged away from him. “I want Proper Pinter back now.” A mocking smile crossed his lips. “Sorry, love. I threw him out when I saw how he was mucking up my private life.” Love? No, she wouldn’t let that soften her. Not until she was sure he wouldn’t turn cold later. “You told Oliver you’d behave like a gentleman.” “To hell with your brother.” He stalked her with clear intent. Even as she darted behind a chair to avoid him, excitement tore through her. “Aren’t you still worried Gran will cut me off, and you’ll be saddled with a spoiled wife and not enough money to please her?” “To hell with your grandmother, too. For that matter, to hell with the money.” He tossed the chair aside as if it were so much kindling; it clattered across the floor. “It’s you I want.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
The Farmer's Bride Three Summers since I chose a maid, Too young maybe - but more's to do At harvest-time than bide and woo. When us was wed she turned afraid Of love and me and all things human; Like the shut of a winter's day Her smile went out, and 'twasn't a woman - More like a little frightened fay. One night, in the Fall, she runned away. 'Out 'mong the sheep, her be,' they said, Should properly have been abed; But sure enough she wasn't there Lying awake with her wide brown stare. So over seven-acre field and up-along across the down We chased her, flying like a hare Before our lanterns. To Church-Town All in a shiver and a scare We caught her, fetched her home at last And turned the key upon her, fast. She does the work about the house As well as most, but like a mouse: Happy enough to chat and play With birds and rabbits and such as they, So long as men-folk keep away. 'Not near, not near!' her eyes beseech When one of us comes within reach. The women say that beasts in stall Look round like children at her call. I've hardly heard her speak at all. Shy as a leveret, swift as he, Straight and slight as a young larch tree, Sweet as the first wild violets, she, To her wild self. But what to me? The short days shorten and the oaks are brown, The blue smoke rises to the low grey sky, One leaf in the still air falls slowly down, A magpie's spotted feathers lie On the black earth spread white with rime, The berries redden up to Christmas-time. What's Christmas-time without there be Some other in the house than we! She sleeps up in the attic there Alone, poor maid. 'Tis but a stair Betwixt us. Oh! my God! the down, The soft young down of her; the brown, The brown of her - her eyes, her hair, her hair!
Charlotte Mew
and confused if someone does not appreciate their niceness. Others often sense this and avoid giving them feedback not only, effectively blocking the nice person’s emotional growth, but preventing risks from being taken. You never know with a nice person if the relationship would survive a conflict or angry confrontation. This greatly limits the depths of intimacy. And would you really trust a nice person to back you up if confrontation were needed? 3. With nice people you never know where you really stand. The nice person allows others to accidentally oppress him. The “nice” person might be resenting you just for talking to him, because really he is needing to pee. But instead of saying so he stands there nodding and smiling, with legs tightly crossed, pretending to listen. 4. Often people in relationship with nice people turn their irritation toward themselves, because they are puzzled as to how they could be so upset with someone so nice. In intimate relationships this leads to guilt, self-hate and depression. 5. Nice people frequently keep all their anger inside until they find a safe place to dump it. This might be by screaming at a child, blowing up a federal building, or hitting a helpless, dependent mate. (Timothy McVeigh, executed for the Oklahoma City bombing, was described by acquaintances as a very, very nice guy, one who would give you the shirt off his back.) Success in keeping the anger in will often manifest as psychosomatic illnesses, including arthritis, ulcers, back problems, and heart disease. Proper Peachy Parents In my work as a psychotherapist, I have found that those who had peachy keen “Nice Parents” or proper “Rigidly Religious Parents” (as opposed to spiritual parents), are often the most stuck in chronic, lowgrade depression. They have a difficult time accessing or expressing any negative feelings towards their parents. They sometimes say to me “After all my parents did for me, seldom saying a harsh word to me, I would feel terribly guilty complaining. Besides, it would break their hearts.” Psychologist Rollo May suggested that it is less crazy-making to a child to cope with overt withdrawal or harshness than to try to understand the facade of the always-nice parent. When everyone agrees that your parents are so nice and giving, and you still feel dissatisfied, then a child may conclude that there must be something wrong with his or her ability to receive love. -§ Emotionally starving children are easier to control, well fed children don’t need to be. -§ I remember a family of fundamentalists who came to my office to help little Matthew with his anger problem. The parents wanted me to teach little Matthew how to “express his anger nicely.” Now if that is not a formula making someone crazy I do not know what would be. Another woman told me that after her stinking drunk husband tore the house up after a Christmas party, breaking most of the dishes in the kitchen, she meekly told him, “Dear, I think you need a breath mint.” Many families I work with go through great anxiety around the holidays because they are going to be forced to be with each other and are scared of resuming their covert war. They are scared that they might not keep the nice garbage can lid on, and all the rotting resentments and hopeless hurts will be exposed. In the words to the following song, artist David Wilcox explains to his parents why he will not be coming home this Thanksgiving: Covert War by David Wilcox
Kelly Bryson (Don't Be Nice, Be Real)
Living with audacity isn’t just about strength. I’ve learned that there’s bravery in being vulnerable, too. In the past, I’ve run from challenges, withdrawn from loved ones and cheated on partners, all because I didn’t have the courage I needed to face tough situations properly. Accepting who I used to be, admitting I was wrong and apologising for the mistakes I’ve made hasn’t been easy, but you’ve got to forgive yourself and fix up if you want to move forward. I love the wild child who still exists in my stand-up and is woven through my writing. I tried to kill her a hundred thousand times before accepting that the angry-baby-musical-theatre-kid-weirdo is not only an inescapable part of who I am, but that it’s maybe the best part. She’s certainly got the most unique tools and is probably the entire reason I’ve been able to pursue this incredible life authentically. Having
Katherine Ryan (The Audacity)
My dear young friend,' said Mustapha Mond, 'civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. Where there are wars, where there are dividied allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended - there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving anyone too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're so conditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what you ought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulses are allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations to resist.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
I prop my guitar up against the nightstand. Then I turn toward the bed and fall into it face first. The mattress is soft but firm, like a sheet of steel wrapped in a cloud. I roll around, moaning loud and long. “Oh, that’s good. Really, really good. What a grand bed!” Sarah clears her throat. “Well. We should probably get to sleep, then. Big day tomorrow.” The pillow smells sweet, like candy. I can only imagine it’s from her. I wonder if I pressed my nose to the crook of her neck, would her skin smell as delicious? I brush away the thought as I watch her stiffly gather a pillow and blanket from the other side of the bed, dragging them to . . . the nook. “What are you doing?” She looks up, her doe eyes widening. “Getting ready for bed.” “You’re going to sleep there?” “Of course. The sofa’s very uncomfortable.” “Why can’t we share the bed?” She chokes . . . stutters. “I . . . I can’t sleep with you. I don’t even know you.” I throw my arms out wide. “What do you want to know? Ask me anything—I’m an open book.” “That’s not what I mean.” “You’re being ridiculous! It’s a huge bed. You could let one rip and I wouldn’t hear it.” And the blush is back. With a vengeance. “I’m not . . . I don’t . . .” “You don’t fart?” I scoff. “Really? Are you not human?” She curses under her breath, but I’d love to hear it out loud. I bet uninhibited Sarah Von Titebottum would be a stunning sight. And very entertaining. She shakes her head, pinning me with her eyes. “There’s something wrong with you.” “No.” I explain calmly, “I’m just free. Honest with myself and others. You should try it sometime.” She folds her arms, all tight, trembling indignation. It’s adorable. “I’m sleeping in the nook, Your Highness. And that’s that.” I sit up, pinning her gaze right back at her. “Henry.” “What?” “My name is not Highness, it’s fucking Henry, and I’d prefer you use it.” And she snaps. “Fine! Fucking Henry—happy?” I smile. “Yes. Yes, I am.” I flop back on the magnificent bed. “Sleep tight, Titebottum.” I think she growls at me, but it’s muffled by the sound of rustling bed linens and pillows. And then . . . there’s silence. Beautiful, blessed silence. I wiggle around, getting comfy. I turn on my side and fluff the pillow. I squeeze my eyes tight . . . but it’s hopeless. “Fucking hell!” I sit up. And Sarah springs to her feet. “What? What’s wrong?” It’s the guilt. I’ve barged into this poor girl’s room, confiscated her bed, and have forced her to sleep in a cranny in the wall. I may not be the man my father was or the gentleman my brother is, but I’m not that much of a prick. I stand up, rip my shirt over my head. and march toward the window seat. I feel Sarah’s eyes graze my bare chest, arms. and stomach, but she circles around me, keeping her distance. “You take the bloody bed,” I tell her. “I’ll sleep in the bloody nook.” “You don’t have to do that.” I push my hand through my hair. “Yes, I do.” Then I stand up straight and proper, an impersonation of Hugh Grant in one of his classic royal roles. “Please, Lady Sarah.” She blinks, her little mouth pursed. “Okay.” Then she climbs onto the bed, under the covers. And I squeeze onto the window bench, knees bent, my elbow jammed against the icy windowpane, and my neck bent at an odd angle that I’m going to be feeling tomorrow. The light is turned down to a very low dim, and for several moments all I hear is Sarah’s soft breaths. But then, in the near darkness, her delicate voice floats out on a sigh. “All right, we can sleep in the bed together.” Music to my ears. I don’t make her tell me twice—I’ve fulfilled my noble quota for the evening. I stumble from the nook and crash onto the bed. That’s better.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
Perfectionists are working not to improve the world but to keep it under control. They do everything perfectly not for the satisfaction of a job well done but as a way of camouflaging addiction’s presence in the family. By keeping everything orderly, they’re trying to make the disease less noticeable. They work tirelessly to create a perfect family life but are rarely cognizant of what motivates their obsession. Through their eyes, perfectionism is their finest quality. It’s the way they provide the ones they love with the very best. They have no idea that perfectionism is an outgrowth of fear and that it’s more about looking happy than being happy. The compulsion to have the cleanest house, cook the best meals, plant the perfect garden, and always look perfectly coiffed is, for the perfectionist, a way to stay safe. After all, when the house is well kept, the children are properly dressed, and everyone has good manners, how can
Debra Jay (No More Letting Go: The Spirituality of Taking Action Against Alcoholism and Drug Addiction)
Onions! Fresh, hot, sweet onions,” Sam called as Mary Lou pulled the cart down Main Street. “Eight cents a dozen.” It was a beautiful spring morning. The sky was painted pale blue and pink—the same color as the lake and the peach trees along its shore. Mrs. Gladys Tennyson was wearing just her nightgown and robe as she came running down the street after Sam. Mrs. Tennyson was normally a very proper woman who never went out in public without dressing up in fine clothes and a hat. So it was quite surprising to the people of Green Lake to see her running past them. “Sam!” she shouted. “Whoa, Mary Lou,” said Sam, stopping his mule and cart. “G’morning, Mrs. Tennyson,” he said. “How’s little Becca doing?” Gladys Tennyson was all smiles. “I think she’s going to be all right. The fever broke about an hour ago. Thanks to you.” “I’m sure the good Lord and Doc Hawthorn deserve most of the credit.” “The Good Lord, yes,” agreed Mrs. Tennyson, “but not Dr. Hawthorn. That quack wanted to put leeches on her stomach! Leeches! My word! He said they would suck out the bad blood. Now you tell me. How would a leech know good blood from bad blood?” “I wouldn’t know,” said Sam. “It was your onion tonic,” said Mrs. Tennyson. “That’s what saved her.” Other townspeople made their way to the cart. “Good morning, Gladys,” said Hattie Parker. “Don’t you look lovely this morning.” Several people snickered. “Good morning, Hattie,” Mrs. Tennyson replied. “Does your husband know you’re parading about in your bed clothes?” Hattie asked. There were more snickers. “My husband knows exactly where I am and how I am dressed, thank you,” said Mrs. Tennyson. “We have both been up all night and half the morning with Rebecca. She almost died from stomach sickness. It seems she ate some bad meat.” Hattie’s face flushed. Her husband, Jim Parker, was the butcher. “It made my husband and me sick as well,” said Mrs. Tennyson, “but it nearly killed Becca, what with her being so young. Sam saved her life.” “It wasn’t me,” said Sam. “It was the onions.” “I’m glad Becca’s all right,” Hattie said contritely. “I keep telling Jim he needs to wash his knives,” said Mr. Pike, who owned the general store. Hattie Parker excused herself, then turned and quickly walked away. “Tell Becca that when she feels up to it to come by the store for a piece of candy,” said Mr. Pike. “Thank you, I’ll do that.” Before returning home, Mrs. Tennyson bought a dozen onions from Sam. She gave him a dime and told him to keep the change. “I don’t take charity,” Sam told her. “But if you want to buy a few extra onions for Mary Lou, I’m sure she’d appreciate it.” “All right then,” said Mrs. Tennyson, “give me my change in onions.” Sam gave Mrs. Tennyson an additional three onions, and she fed them one at a time to Mary Lou. She laughed as the old donkey ate them out of her hand.
Louis Sachar (Holes)
I now pronounce you husband and wife. I hadn’t considered the kiss. Not once. I suppose I’d assumed it would be the way a wedding kiss should be. Restrained. Appropriate. Mild. A nice peck. Save the real kisses for later, when you’re deliciously alone. Country club girls don’t make out in front of others. Like gum chewing, it should always be done in private, where no one else can see. But Marlboro Man wasn’t a country club boy. He’d missed the memo outlining the rules and regulations of proper ways to kiss in public. I found this out when the kiss began--when he wrapped his loving, protective arms around me and kissed me like he meant it right there in my Episcopal church. Right there in front of my family, and his, in front of Father Johnson and Ms. Altar Guild and our wedding party and the entire congregation, half of whom were meeting me for the first time that night. But Marlboro Man didn’t seem to care. He kissed me exactly the way he’d kissed me the night of our first date--the night my high-heeled boot had gotten wedged in a crack in my parents’ sidewalk and had caused me to stumble. The night he’d caught me with his lips. We were making out in church--there was no way around it. And I felt every bit as swept away as I had that first night. The kiss lasted hours, days, weeks…probably ten to twelve seconds in real time, which, in a wedding ceremony setting, is a pretty long kiss. And it might have been longer had the passionate moment not been interrupted by the sudden sound of a person clapping his hands. “Woohoo! All right!” the person shouted. “Yes!” It was Mike. The congregation broke out in laughter as Marlboro Man and I touched our foreheads together, cementing the moment forever in our memory. We were one; this was tangible to me now. It wasn’t just an empty word, a theological concept, wishful thinking. It was an official, you-and-me-against-the-world designation. We’d both left our separateness behind. From that moment forward, nothing either of us did or said or planned would be in a vacuum apart from the other. No holiday would involve our celebrating separately at our respective family homes. No last-minute trips to Mexico with friends, not that either of us was prone to last-minute trips to Mexico with friends. But still. The kiss had sealed the deal in so many ways. I walked proudly out of the church, the new wife of Marlboro Man. When we exited the same doors through which my dad and I had walked thirty minutes earlier, Marlboro Man’s arm wriggled loose from my grasp and instinctively wrapped around my waist, where it belonged. The other arm followed, and before I knew it we were locked in a sweet, solidifying embrace, relishing the instant of solitude before our wedding party--sisters, cousins, brothers, friends--followed closely behind. We were married. I drew a deep, life-giving breath and exhaled. The sweating had finally stopped. And the robust air-conditioning of the church had almost completely dried my lily-white Vera.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
For a start, we should recognise that the idea of being deeply in love with one special partner over a whole lifetime, what we can call Romantic love, is a very new, ambitious and odd concept, which is at best 250 years old. Before then, people lived together of course but without any very high expectations of being blissfully content doing so. It was a purely practical arrangement, entered into for the sake of survival and the children. We should recognise the sheer historical strangeness of the idea of happy coupledom. A good Romantic marriage is evidently theoretically possible, but it may also be extremely unlikely, something only some 5 or 10 per cent of us can ever properly succeed at – which should make any failure feel a good deal less shameful. As a society, we’ve made something normal that’s in fact a profound anomaly. It is as though we’d set up high altitude tight rope walking as a popular sport. No wonder most of us fall off – and might not want to, or be able to, face getting back on.
Alain de Botton
Was it the arc of the universe? The natural result of centuries, millenia of wrong headed politics? Was she trained to find you, or were you trained to be found? Was it the fact that you'd already been tenderized like a pork chop by: never having been properly in love, being told you should be grateful for anything you get as a fat woman, getting weird messages that relationships are about fighting and being at odds with each other? The fact that your heart had been broken that one time and you desperately wanted to feel it unbreak? That you felt complete with someone loving you? That you just straight-up loved being desired, desiring someone, coming all the time? That you got addicted to her smell, her voice, her body? That you figured this was what you deserved? The super predictable result of a religion that pathologized sex but never talked about relationships? Terrible sex ed? Bad timing? You feel as if there is a box you can open to find the answer, but with the lid closed, the answer is all of these things, all at once.
Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House)
Jason, it’s a pleasure.” Instead of being in awe or “fangirling” over one of the best catchers in the country, my dad acts normal and doesn’t even mention the fact that Jason is a major league baseball player. “Going up north with my daughter?” “Yes, sir.” Jason sticks his hands in his back pockets and all I can focus on is the way his pecs press against the soft fabric of his shirt. “A-plus driver here in case you were wondering. No tickets, I enjoy a comfortable position of ten and two on the steering wheel, and I already established the rule in the car that it’s my playlist we’re listening to so there’s no fighting over music. Also, since it’s my off season, I took a siesta earlier today so I was fresh and alive for the drive tonight. I packed snacks, the tank is full, and there is water in reusable water bottles in the center console for each of us. Oh, and gum, in case I need something to chew if this one falls asleep.” He thumbs toward me. “I know how to use my fists if a bear comes near us, but I’m also not an idiot and know if it’s brown, hit the ground, if it’s black, fight that bastard back.” Oh my God, why is he so adorable? “I plan on teaching your daughter how to cook a proper meal this weekend, something she can make for you and your wife when you’re in town.” “Now this I like.” My dad chuckles. Chuckles. At Jason. I think I’m in an alternate universe. “I saw this great place that serves apparently the best pancakes in Illinois, so Sunday morning, I’d like to go there. I’d also like to hike, and when it comes to the sleeping arrangements, I was informed there are two bedrooms, and I plan on using one of them alone. No worries there.” Oh, I’m worried . . . that he plans on using the other one. “Well, looks like you’ve covered everything. This is a solid gentleman, Dottie.” I know. I really know. “Are you good? Am I allowed to leave now?” “I don’t know.” My dad scratches the side of his jaw. “Just from how charismatic this man is and his plans, I’m thinking I should take your place instead.” “I’m up for a bro weekend,” Jason says, his banter and decorum so easy. No wonder he’s loved so much. “Then I wouldn’t have to see the deep eye-roll your daughter gives me on a constant basis.” My dad leans in and says, “She gets that from me, but I will say this, I can’t possibly see myself eye-rolling with you. Do you have extra clothes packed for me?” “Do you mind sharing underwear with another man? Because I’m game.” My dad’s head falls back as he laughs. “I’ve never rubbed another man’s underwear on my junk, but never say never.” “Ohhh-kay, you two are done.” I reach up and press a kiss to my dad’s cheek. “We are leaving.” I take Jason by the arm and direct him back to the car. From over his shoulder, he mouths to my dad to call him, which my dad replies with a thumbs up. Ridiculous. Hilarious. When we’re saddled up in the car, I let out a long breath and shift my head to the side so I can look at him. Sincerely I say, “Sorry about that.” With the biggest smile on his face, his hand lands on my thigh. He gives it a good squeeze and says, “Don’t apologize, that was fucking awesome.
Meghan Quinn (The Lineup)
READER’S REPORT From the Parent of a College Coed Dear Mother and Dad: Since I left for college I have been remiss in writing and I am sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date now, but before you read on, please sit down. You are not to read any further unless you are sitting down, okay? Well, then, I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and the concussion I got when I jumped out the window of my dormitory when it caught on fire shortly after my arrival here is pretty well healed now. I only spent two weeks in the hospital and now I can see almost normally and only get those sick headaches once a day. Fortunately, the fire in the dormitory, and my jump, was witnessed by an attendant at the gas station near the dorm, and he was the one who called the Fire Department and the ambulance. He also visited me in the hospital and since I had nowhere to live because of the burntout dormitory, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. It’s really a basement room, but it’s kind of cute. He is a very fine boy and we have fallen deeply in love and are planning to get married. We haven’t got the exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show. Yes, Mother and Dad, I am pregnant. I know how much you are looking forward to being grandparents and I know you will welcome the baby and give it the same love and devotion and tender care you gave me when I was a child. The reason for the delay in our marriage is that my boyfriend has a minor infection which prevents us from passing our pre-marital blood tests and I carelessly caught it from him. Now that I have brought you up to date, I want to tell you that there was no dormitory fire, I did not have a concussion or skull fracture, I was not in the hospital, I am not pregnant, I am not engaged, I am not infected, and there is no boyfriend. However, I am getting a “D” in American History, and an “F” in Chemistry and I want you to see those marks in their proper perspective. Your loving daughter, Sharon Sharon may be failing chemistry, but she gets an “A” in psychology.
Robert B. Cialdini (Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials))
Having been through a real marriage, it’s hard for me not to feel like those perfect old dead couples are lying, or in denial, or maybe they just didn’t go deep enough, maybe they were always too scared. The truth is that you simply can’t make it into adulthood unscathed. And if somehow you did, you wouldn’t have the perspective and empathy to properly care for another human being for the rest of both your lives. It’s impossible. Everyone’s going to have their shit... The true work of love isn’t staying together when things are perfect; it’s staying together even when things are awful, weathering catastrophic mistakes (within reason) because, well, you decided to, and because you know the potential is as real as the now. It turns your partnership into something that grows instead of something that atrophies. You’re promising another person not just passion and love but a safety net, some degree of stability and certainty in a fucking terrible world. You’re saying, “I promise I will stay with you even if you suck for a while,” an almost narcotic comfort that we all deserve.
Lindy West (Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema)
Social prejudices are in the process of disappearing. More and more, nature is reclaiming her rights. We're moving in the proper direction. I've much more respect for the woman who has an illegitimate child than for an old maid. I've often been told of unmarried women who had children and brought these children up in a truly touching manner. It often happens amongst women servants, notably. The women who have no children finally go off their heads. It's somewhat striking to observe that in the majority of peoples the number of women exceeds that of men. What harm is there, then, in every woman's fulfilling her destiny? I love to see this display of health around me. The opposite thing would make me misanthropic. And I'd become really so, if all I had to look at were the spectacle of the ten thousand so-called élite. Luckily for me, I've always retained contacts with the people. Amongst the people, moral health is obligatory. It goes so far that in the country one never reproaches a priest for having a liaison with his servant. People even regard it as a kind of guarantee : the women and girls of the village need not protect themselves. In any case, women of the people are full of understanding; they admit that a young priest can't sweat his sperm out through his brain. The hypocrites are to be found amongst the ten-thousandstrong élite. That's where one meets the Puritan who can reproach his neighbour for his adventures, forgetting that he has himself married a divorcée. Everybody should draw from his own experience the reasons to show himself indulgent towards others. Marriage, as it is practised in bourgeoise society, is generally a thing against nature. But a meeting between two beings who complete one another, who are made for one another, borders already, in my conception, upon a miracle. I often think of those women who people the convents—because they haven't met the man with whom they would have wished to share their lives. With the exception of those who were promised to God by their parents, most of them, in fact, are women cheated by life. Human beings are made to suffer passively. Rare are the beings capable of coming to grips with existence.
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)
My brother, do you know the word 'contempt' yet? And the agony of your justice — being just to those who despise you? You force many to relearn about you; they charge it bitterly against you. You came close to them and yet passed by; that they will never forgive. You pass over and beyond them: but the higher you ascend, the smaller you appear to the eye of envy. But most of all they hate those who fly. 'How would you be just to me?' you must say. 'I choose injustice as my proper lot.' Injustice and filth they throw after the lonely one: but, my brother, if you would be a star, you must not shine less for them because of that. And beware of the good and the just! They like to crucify those who invent their own virtue for themselves — they hate the lonely one. Beware also of holy simplicity! Everything that is not simple it considers unholy; it also likes to play with fire — the stake. And beware also of the attacks of your love! The lonely one offers his hand too quickly to whomever he encounters. To some people you may not give your hand, only a paw: and I desire that your paw should also have claws.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)
I now pronounce you husband and wife. I hadn’t considered the kiss. Not once. I suppose I’d assumed it would be the way a wedding kiss should be. Restrained. Appropriate. Mild. A nice peck. Save the real kisses for later, when you’re deliciously alone. Country club girls don’t make out in front of others. Like gum chewing, it should always be done in private, where no one else can see. But Marlboro Man wasn’t a country club boy. He’d missed the memo outlining the rules and regulations of proper ways to kiss in public. I found this out when the kiss began--when he wrapped his loving, protective arms around me and kissed me like he meant it right there in my Episcopal church. Right there in front of my family, and his, in front of Father Johnson and Ms. Altar Guild and our wedding party and the entire congregation, half of whom were meeting me for the first time that night. But Marlboro Man didn’t seem to care. He kissed me exactly the way he’d kissed me the night of our first date--the night my high-heeled boot had gotten wedged in a crack in my parents’ sidewalk and had caused me to stumble. The night he’d caught me with his lips.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Over the years, I’ve figured out that two of the biggest mistakes duck hunters make are choosing a poor position for their duck blinds and not properly camouflaging themselves from the ducks. It seems like every duck season, I’ll get at least one call at Duck Commander from a hunter somewhere in the world. The guy usually tells me, “Hey, I love your duck calls. They grab the ducks’ attention like nothing else, but they will not finish in my decoys. For some reason, the ducks always land two hundred yards from my blind. Do I need another type of duck call?” “Hey, save your money,” I tell him. “You need to move your duck blind two hundred yards to the other side of the lake! It’s not about the duck call. You’re in the wrong spot, buddy.” My boss and brother, Willie, is not fond of my advice because it doesn’t promote the sale of duck calls. I remember being reprimanded by him at a trade show about another response I gave to a potential customer. The guy asked me what the difference was between a forty-dollar duck call and one that cost one hundred and forty. My response was, “About a hundred dollars.” Obviously, Willie didn’t like my answer, even if I was only trying to be honest.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
It is already the fashion to diminish Eliot by calling him derivative, the mouthpiece of Pound, and so forth; and yet if one wanted to understand the apocalypse of early modernism in its true complexity it would be Eliot, I fancy, who would demand one's closest attention. He was ready to rewrite the history of all that interested him in order to have past and present conform; he was a poet of apocalypse, of the last days and the renovation, the destruction of the earthly city as a chastisement of human presumption, but also of empire. Tradition, a word we especially associate with this modernist, is for him the continuity of imperial deposits; hence the importance in his thought of Virgil and Dante. He saw his age as a long transition through which the elect must live, redeeming the time. He had his demonic host, too; the word 'Jew' remained in lower case through all the editions of the poems until the last of his lifetime, the seventy-fifth birthday edition of 1963. He had a persistent nostalgia for closed, immobile hierarchical societies. If tradition is, as he said in After Strange Gods--though the work was suppressed--'the habitual actions, habits and customs' which represent the kinship 'of the same people living in the same place' it is clear that Jews do not have it, but also that practically nobody now does. It is a fiction, a fiction cousin to a myth which had its effect in more practical politics. In extenuation it might be said that these writers felt, as Sartre felt later, that in a choice between Terror and Slavery one chooses Terror, 'not for its own sake, but because, in this era of flux, it upholds the exigencies proper to the aesthetics of Art.' The fictions of modernist literature were revolutionary, new, though affirming a relation of complementarity with the past. These fictions were, I think it is clear, related to others, which helped to shape the disastrous history of our time. Fictions, notably the fiction of apocalypse, turn easily into myths; people will live by that which was designed only to know by. Lawrence would be the writer to discuss here, if there were time; apocalypse works in Woman in Love, and perhaps even in Lady Chatterley's Lover, but not n Apocalypse, which is failed myth. It is hard to restore the fictive status of what has become mythical; that, I take it, is what Mr. Saul Bellow is talking about in his assaults on wastelandism, the cant of alienation. In speaking of the great men of early modernism we have to make very subtle distinctions between the work itself, in which the fictions are properly employed, and obiter dicta in which they are not, being either myths or dangerous pragmatic assertions. When the fictions are thus transformed there is not only danger but a leak, as it were, of reality; and what we feel about. all these men at times is perhaps that they retreated inso some paradigm, into a timeless and unreal vacuum from which all reality had been pumped. Joyce, who was a realist, was admired by Eliot because he modernized myth, and attacked by Lewis because he concerned himself with mess, the disorders of common perception. But Ulysses ,alone of these great works studies and develops the tension between paradigm and reality, asserts the resistance of fact to fiction, human freedom and unpredictability against plot. Joyce chooses a Day; it is a crisis ironically treated. The day is full of randomness. There are coincidences, meetings that have point, and coincidences which do not. We might ask whether one of the merits of the book is not its lack of mythologizing; compare Joyce on coincidence with the Jungians and their solemn concordmyth, the Principle of Synchronicity. From Joyce you cannot even extract a myth of Negative Concord; he shows us fiction fitting where it touches. And Joyce, who probably knew more about it than any of the others, was not at tracted by the intellectual opportunities or the formal elegance of fascism.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
An extreme optimism is a condition precedent of Democracy, and democratic scepticism itself is optimist. There is no despair on account of the loss of Truth. It is believed that a mechanical counting of votes must always lead to good results. Behind Democracy stands the optimistic dogma of the natural goodness and loving-kindness proper to human nature. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the spiritual father of Democracy and it was infected at its roots by his sentimental notions about humanity. It simply will not see that there is also a radical evil in human nature, and does not allow for the fact that the will of the people can follow iniquity, that the majority may be for error and untruth, leaving truth and rightness to a weak minority. There is no guarantee that the general will shall be turned towards the good, that it will seek freedom rather than the complete destruction of freedom. The Revolution in France was begun by the proclamation of the rights and liberty of man; under the Terror all liberty was completely done away with. When, in pure affirmation of itself, the unenlightened popular will refuses to submit itself to any superior being, and claims arbitrarily to direct the destinies of human societies, it easily enters on persecution of Truth, denial of the true, and quenching of all spiritual freedom.
Nikolai A. Berdyaev
Ten days later I was amazed to receive a letter from Diana written just days after she’d arrived home--in fact, before I’d written her a thank-you letter. I was mortified by my delay in writing to her. I had managed to fire off proper thank-you notes to Ambassador Wight and Ms. Gillett, but I had so much more to say to Diana. Her letter was the most heartwarming one I have ever received--even more so, now that I know what personal strain she was under then. After thanking us “a million times” for coming to see them in Washington, she wrote, “From the beginning to the end I had a lump in my throat looking at what a special little man Patrick had grown up to be--Goodness, you must be extremely proud of him and if either of my boys turn out like Patrick I will have no worries and I really mean every word.” I had a lump in my throat as I read this. I was very proud of Patrick and deeply touched by Diana’s praise. Diana added that, for her, the high point of the visit to Washington was seeing Patrick and me. She explained, “Being able to get in touch with a v. happy and memorable part of my past meant a tremendous amount to me and kept me going for days!” Seeing the world-famous Diana in such a warm and personal way after five years and realizing how much she still cherished our friendship kept me going for months, even years!
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
As Maximus explains in Ad Thalassium 64, each law has its own proper discipline (ἀγωγή) and its own place within the gospel of Jesus. The natural law trains us in the basic solidarity and single-mindedness appropriate to individual human beings who share a common nature; it is enshrined in Jesus’s Golden Rule (Mt 7:12; Lk 6:31). The scriptural law leads to a higher discipline wherein human beings are motivated no longer by the mere fear of divine punishment but by a deep-seated embrace of the principle of mutual love. “For the law of nature,” writes Maximus, “consists in natural reason assuming control of the senses, while the scriptural law, or the fulfillment of the scriptural law, consists in the natural reason acquiring a spiritual desire conducive to a relation of mutuality ith others of the same human nature.”44 The essence of the scriptural law is thus summarized in Jesus’s dictum Love your neighbor as yourself (Lev 19:18; Mt 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mk 12:31). Finally, the spiritual law, or law of grace, leads humanity to the ultimate imitation of the love of Christ demonstrated in the incarnation, a love which raises us to the level of loving others even above ourselves, a sure sign of the radical grace of deification. It is enshrined in Jesus’s teaching that There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend (Jn 15:13).
John Behr (On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ)
Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, god damnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick. Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived. Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness. Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. I hate you. I really, really, really hate you.
Charles Warnke
You’re holding a challenge in a fencing club?” “Yes. Is there something wrong with that?” He pulled on his black pants and the heavy silk green shirt I loved for him to wear because the material seemed to caress hisskin. No, it’s just kind of an incongruous place to hold something so serious as a challenge, isn’t it?” He finished with his shoes, grabbed another towel, and shook it out for me. I made sure Pal still had his back to me, hurrying out of the pool to clasp the towel around me. “It is no less incongruous than holding a challenge in a bar.” I smiled. “Yes, but my challenge to you wasn’t serious. I hope you’ll notice that I’m not freaking out about this at all. I haven’t even asked you how good you are with asword.” “I noticed.” His mouth burned on mine for a moment, his fire being shared between us as his tongue twined around mine in a fiery—albeit brief—dance. “You are learning to have faith in me as is proper between a mateand her wyvern.” “No, I am learning to ask around. Pal told me earlier today that Dmitri had picked swords and that you were pleased because you were some sort of master swordsman a few centuries ago. You’d better not have forgotten anything.” Pal peeked at me out of the corner of his eye, his grin not too obvious. Drake pinched my bare behind as punishment for my saucy tone. “I never forget. Istvan will drive you when you are ready. The challenge is not for an hour. Do not be late.” “Happy chevauchee-ing,” I called, feeling remarkably happy.
Katie MacAlister (Light My Fire (Aisling Grey, #3))
Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue. On the other hand, when the manners of a nation are pure, when true religion and internal principles maintain their vigour, the attempts of the most powerful enemies to oppress them are commonly baffled and disappointed. . . . [H]e is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy to God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country. Do not suppose, my brethren, that I mean to recommend a furious and angry zeal for the circumstantials of religion, or the contentions of one sect with another about their peculiar distinctions. I do not wish you to oppose any body’s religion, but every body’s wickedness. Perhaps there are few surer marks of the reality of religion, than when a man feels himself more joined in spirit to a true holy person of a different denomination, than to an irregular liver of his own. It is therefore your duty in this important and critical season to exert yourselves, every one in his proper sphere, to stem the tide of prevailing vice, to promote the knowledge of God, the reverence of his name and worship, and obedience to his laws. . . . Many from a real or pretended fear of the imputation of hypocrisy, banish from their conversation and carriage every appearance of respect and submission to the living God. What a weakness and meanness of spirit does it discover, for a man to be ashamed in the presence of his fellow sinners, to profess that reverence to almighty God which he inwardly feels: The truth is, he makes himself truly liable to the accusation which he means to avoid. It is as genuine and perhaps a more culpable hypocrisy to appear to have less religion than you really have, than to appear to have more. . . . There is a scripture precept delivered in very singular terms, to which I beg your attention; “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, but shalt in any wise rebuke him, and not suffer sin upon him.” How prone are many to represent reproof as flowing from ill nature and surliness of temper? The spirit of God, on the contrary, considers it as the effect of inward hatred, or want of genuine love, to forbear reproof, when it is necessary or may be useful. I am sensible there may in some cases be a restraint from prudence, agreeably to that caution of our Saviour, “Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rent you.” Of this every man must judge as well as he can for himself; but certainly, either by open reproof, or expressive silence, or speedy departure from such society, we ought to guard against being partakers of other men’s sins.
John Witherspoon
Letter to the tech giants: When fame and abundance kiss somebody’s feet before that person is wise enough, he or she is very likely to lose track of what’s necessity and what’s luxury. And modern society is filled with examples of such intelligent stupidity – stupidity that is carried out by apparently smart humans. Because being smart is not the same as being wise. The world has enough smartness, but not enough wisdom to bring that smartness into proper productive practice – and I mean productive practice not sophisticated practice – there is a difference. A person smart enough to visualize a Falcon rocket engine can easily pinpoint the locations of various organizations that spread terrorism, yet the person chooses to explore the space further instead of prioritizing the technological advantages to first fix real issues of the human society that inflict harm to the humans every walk of the way. The world is a miserable place not because we have lack of resources, but because those who have an abundance of resources do not have the slightest idea of true human need. The resources needed for colonizing Mars if put to proper practice can fix the world’s global warming issues – it can fix the world’s climate change issues – it can fix the world’s terrorism issues, yet people are more interested in the pompous idea of living in Mars for whatever reason, instead of paying attention to improving human condition on earth. I am not against technological advancement, for I am a scientist, but my soul aches when I see smart people are dumb enough to chase after illusory glory of doing something different and innovative instead of focusing the powers of their soul on cleaning up the misery business on earth. You can, yet you don’t. Why? Smartness without wisdom is stupidity. You are smart – yes indeed – but I am sorry – you are stupid at the same time. How can you dream of having a cheese burger on Mars when your own kind on Earth is suffering! How can you think of taking rich kids into the orbit just so they can admire the beauty of earth from the heavens, when that very earth is infested with the primordial evils of human character! Awaken the human within you my friend, and pay attention. Awaken the human within and let it consume all the miseries from the world that you live in. Say a member of your family falls ill, would you ignore his or her misery completely just because you want to make life more comfortable for others than it already is, or would you first try everything in your capacity in order to heal your loved one! Be wise my friend, for it is not enough to be smart. You are smart – there is no doubt about that – so utilize that smartness for humanity and heal your own kind. Heal your kind with your capacity my friend. It is wailing for healers – not some delusional faith healers, but real tangible healers. Would you not do anything! Would you not give your soul to fix the broken soul of this world! Arise my friend, Awake my friend and work for humanity, not to make it sophisticated, but to make it peaceful first. Remember, humanity first, then everything else. Peace first, sophistication later. Harmony first, luxury later.
Abhijit Naskar
If people have no respect for God, no love for their Maker, I would ask the question another way: Why not pillage, rape, persecute and murder? If it feels good, and they can get away with it, why not? If God is dead or does not exist, as these people believe, why are not all things permitted? Why should they restrain themselves? Because it’s just wrong? Because it’s not the way civilized people behave? Because what goes around comes around? Because they’ll end up feeling terrible inside? Within tidy circles of properly socialized and reasonable people, such appeals can seem like they actually have the power to restrain people from doing what they otherwise feel like doing. But in the real world outside the philosophy seminar room, oppressors frankly don’t care that you think it’s just wrong. Who are you, they ask, to foist your random moral intuition on them? Who are you to tell them or the lords of the Third Reich what civilized people should and should not do? If what goes around tends to come around, then there’s no moral problem, only a practical problem of making sure it doesn’t come around to you. They think, Fine, if being brutal makes you feel terrible inside, then don’t do it. But it makes me feel powerful, alive, exhilarated and masterful, so quit whining — unless you want to try to stop me. This description of a dark Nietzschean world of self-will — a vacuum devoid of moral authority or spiritual resources for good — used to sen excessively melodramatic to me. But then I got out more. The world is truly full of brutal oppression because humans have rejected their Maker, the source of all goodness, mercy, compassion, truth, justice, and love.
Gary A. Haugen (Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World)
Tradition? Kadash, did I ever tell you about my first sword trainer? Back when I was young, our branch of the Kholin family didn't have grand monasteries and beautiful practice grounds. My father found a teacher for me from two towns over. His name was Harth. Young fellow, not a true swordmaster -- but good enough. He was very focused on proper procedure, and wouldn't let me train until I'd learned how to put on a takama the right way. He wouldn't have stood for me fighting like this. You put on the skirt, then the overshirt, then you wrap your cloth belt around yourself three times and tie it. I always found that annoying. The belt was too tight, wrapped three times -- you had to pull it hard to get enough slack to tie the knot. The first time I went to duels at a neighboring town, I felt like an idiot. Everyone else had long drooping belt ends at the front of their takamas. I asked Harth why we did it differently. He said it was the right way, the true way. So, when my travels took me to Harth's hometown, I searched out his master, a man who had trained with the ardents in Kholinar. He insisted that this was the right way to tie a takama, as he'd learned from his master. I found my master's master's master in Kholinar after we captured it. The ancient, wizened ardent was eating curry and flatbread, completely uncaring of who ruled the city. I asked him. Why tie your belt three times, when everyone else thinks you should do it twice? The old man laughed and stood up. I was shocked to see that he was terribly short. 'If I only tie it twice,' he exclaimed, 'the ends hang down so low, I trip!' I love tradition, I've fought for tradition. I make my men follow the codes. I uphold Vorin virtues. But merely being tradition does not make something worthy, Kadash. We can't just assume that because something is old it is right.
Brandon Sanderson (Oathbringer (Stormlight Archive #3, Part 1 of 6))
But your lolas took offense at being called witches. That is an Amerikano term, they scoff, and that they live in the boroughs of an American city makes no difference to their biases. Mangkukulam was what they styled themselves as, a title still spoken of with fear in their motherland, with its suggestions of strange healing and old-world sorcery. Nobody calls their place along Pepper Street Old Manila, either, save for the women and their frequent customers. It was a carinderia, a simple eatery folded into three food stalls; each manned by a mangkukulam, each offering unusual specialties: Lola Teodora served kare-kare, a healthy medley of eggplant, okra, winged beans, chili peppers, oxtail, and tripe, all simmered in a rich peanut sauce and sprinkled generously with chopped crackling pork rinds. Lola Teodora was made of cumin, and her clients tiptoed into her stall, meek as mice and trembling besides, only to stride out half an hour later bursting at the seams with confidence. But bagoong- the fermented-shrimp sauce served alongside the dish- was the real secret; for every pound of sardines you packed into the glass jars you added over three times that weight in salt and magic. In six months, the collected brine would turn reddish and pungent, the proper scent for courage. unlike the other mangkukulam, Lola Teodora's meal had only one regular serving, no specials. No harm in encouraging a little bravery in everyone, she said, and with her careful preparations it would cause little harm, even if clients ate it all day long. Lola Florabel was made of paprika and sold sisig: garlic, onions, chili peppers, and finely chopped vinegar-marinated pork and chicken liver, all served on a sizzling plate with a fried egg on top and calamansi for garnish. Sisig regular was one of the more popular dishes, though a few had blanched upon learning the meat was made from boiled pigs' cheeks and head.
Rin Chupeco (Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love)
Grey wasn’t quite drunk, but he was far from sober when Rose entered his study later that evening. His heart stuttered at the sight of her, but his head…his head couldn’t take any more. “I’ve been drinking,” he warned her, just in case his sprawled posture and missing cravat wasn’t enough indication. “And I refuse to dance this ridiculous dance with you any more tonight.” “May I have a drink with you?” He glanced up. She stood beside the sofa where he half sat, half lay. She looked like someone who’d just lost her best friend or puppy or something equally as tragic. He sat up. “Of course.” Never mind that it wasn’t proper. Who the hell cared? They were well past proper. He was simply trying to hold on to sane. She poured herself a substantial glass of sherry and took a seat on the chair nearest him. He sat quietly, nursing the remainder of whiskey in his glass while she took several sips from her own. “Do you remember my come-out ball?” she asked after a few minutes. “Of course.” And he did. “I remember telling you that you looked lovely in pink.” She smiled. “You danced the first dance with me so I wouldn’t have to dance with Papa.” “You were afraid the other girls would laugh at you if you danced with your father.” “They didn’t laugh at me for dancing with you.” “No.” He chuckled at took a drink. “I wager they didn’t.” Rose sighed. “They thought you were so scandalous, you know. All night I had girls coming up to me wanting to know about you. I felt very important.” He saluted her with his glass. “Glad to be of service.” “I think I fell a little bit in love with you that night.” Grey choked on a mouthful of whiskey. Coughing, he cursed himself for being stupid enough to relax his guard with her. “Rose…” She held up her hand. “I’m not telling you this to make you uncomfortable, Grey. I wanted to tell you that you were a knight to me that evening-a knight on a big white horse. I didn’t know much about your reputation, all I knew was that you made me feel grown-up.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
So then…you still like me?” “Yeah,” I whisper. “I mean, sort of.” My heartbeat is going quick-quick-quick. I’m giddy. Is this a dream? If so, let me never wake up. Peter gives me a look like Get real, you know you like me. I do, I do. Then, softly, he says, “Do you believe me that I didn’t tell people we had sex on the ski trip?” “Yes.” “Okay.” He inhales. “Did…did anything happen with you and Sanderson after I left your house that night?” He’s jealous! The very thought of it warms me up like hot soup. I start to tell him no way, but he quickly says, “Wait. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.” “No,” I say, firmly so he knows I mean it. He nods but doesn’t say anything. Then he leans in, and I close my eyes, heart thrumming in my chest like hummingbird wings. We’ve technically only kissed four times, and only one of those times was for real. I’d like to just get right to it, so I can stop being nervous. But Peter doesn’t kiss me, not the way I expect. He kisses me on my left cheek, and then my right; his breath is warm. And then nothing. My eyes fly open. Is this a literal kiss-off? Why isn’t he kissing me properly? “What are you doing?” I whisper. “Building the anticipation.” Quickly I say, “Let’s just kiss.” He angles his head, and his cheek brushes against mine, which is when the front door opens, and it’s Peter’s younger brother, Owen, standing there with his arms crossed. I spring away from Peter like I just found out he has some incurable infectious disease. “Mom wants you guys to come in and have some cider,” he says, smirking. “In a minute,” Peter says, pulling me back. “She said right now,” Owen says. Oh my God. I throw a panicky look at Peter. “I should probably get going before my dad starts to worry…” He nudges me toward the door with his chin. “Just come inside for a minute, and then I’ll take you home.” As I step inside, he takes off my coat and says in a low voice, “Were you really going to walk all the way home in that fancy dress? In the cold?” “No, I was going to guilt you into driving me,” I whisper back.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
-1 PETER 5:3 Over and over I have attempted to be an example by doing rather than telling. I feel that God's great truths are "caught" and not always "taught." In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses (the author) says the following about God's commandments, statutes, and judgments: "You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up" (6:7). In other words, at all times we are to be examples. It is amazing how much we can teach by example in every situation: at home, at the beach, while jogging, when resting, when eating-in every part of the day. It's amazing how often I catch our children and grandchildren imitating the values we exhibited in our home-something as little as a lighted candle to warm the heart, to a thank you when food is being served in a restaurant. Little eyes are peering around to see how we behave when we think no one is looking. Are we consistent with what we say we believe? If we talk calmness and patience, how do we respond when standing in a slow line at the market? How does our conversation go when there is a slowdown on Friday evening's freeway drive? Do we go by the rules on the freeway (having two people or more in the car while driving in the carpool lane, going the speed limit, and obeying all traffic signs)? How can we show God's love? By helping people out when they are in need of assistance, even when it is not convenient. We can be good neighbors. Sending out thank you cards after receiving a gift shows our appreciation for the gift and the person. Being kind to animals and the environment when we go to the park for a campout or picnic shows good stewardship. We are continually setting some kind of example whether we know it or not. PRAYER Father God, let my life be an example to those around me, especially the little ones who are learning the ways of faith. May I exhibit proper conduct even when no one is around. I want to be obedient to Your guiding principles. Thank You for Your example. Amen.
Emilie Barnes (The Tea Lover's Devotional)
I reach out and squeeze her hand, and remember everything we’ve lived through together. The normal things we endured as we grew from girls to women. The days in school where boys would line us up in order of our fuckability. The parties where it was normal to lie on top of a semi-conscious girl, do things to her, then call her a slut afterwards. A Christmas number-one song about a pregnant woman being stuffed into the boot of a car and driven off a bridge. Laughing when your male friends made rape jokes. Opening a newspaper and seeing the breasts of a girl who had only just turned legal, dressed in school uniform to make her look underage. Of the childhood films we grew up on, and loved, and knew all the words to, where, at the end, a girl would always get chosen for looking the prettiest compared to all the others. Reading magazines that told you to mirror men’s body language, and hum on their dick when you went down on them, that turned into books about how to get them to commit by not being yourself. Of size zero, and Atkins, and Five-Two, and cabbage soup, and juice cleanses and eat clean. Of pole-dancing lessons as a great way to get fit, and actually, if you want to be really cool, come to the actual strip club too. Of being sexually assaulted when you kissed someone on a dance floor and not thinking about it properly until you are twenty-seven and read a book about how maybe it was wrong. Of being jealous of your friend who got assaulted on the dance floor because why didn’t he pick you to assault? Boys not wanting to be with you unless you fuck them quickly. Boys not wanting to be with you because you fucked them too quickly. Being terrified to walk anywhere in the dark in case the worst thing happens to you, and so your male friend walks you home to keep you safe, and then comes into your bedroom and does the worst thing to you, and now, when you look him up online, he’s engaged to a woman who wears a feminist T-shirt and isn’t going to change her name when they get married. Of learning to have no pubic hair, and how liberating it is to pay thirty-five pounds a month to rip this from your body and lurch up in agony. Rings around famous women’s bodies saying ‘look at this cellulite’, oh, by the way, here is a twenty-quid cream so you don’t get
Holly Bourne (Girl Friends: the unmissable, thought-provoking and funny new novel about female friendship)
You don't have to say that," she insisted. "I mean - I'll understand, if you hate me." "I could never hate you, Bee. I just...I miss you." There was no reproach in Connor's words, only a weary, unflinching truth. "I miss you, too." she said, and meant it. Beatrice's tears were coming more freely now, but that wasn't surprising. Nothing in life hurt more than hurting the people you loved. Yet Beatrice knew she had to say all of this. She and Connor had loved each other too fiercely for her to let him go without a proper goodbye. "I am...forever changed by you," she added, her voice catching. "I gave you part of my heart a long time ago, and I've never gotten it back." "You don't need it back." His voice was rough with unshed tears. "I swear that I'll keep it safe. Everywhere I go, that part of you will come with me, and I will guard and treasure it. Always." A sob escaped her chest. She hurt for Connor and with Connor and because of Connor, all at once. This wasn't how breakups were meant to go. In the movies they always seemed so hateful, with people yelling and throwing things at each other. They weren't meant to be like this, tender and gentle and full of heartache. "Okay," she replied, through her tears. "That part of my heart is yours to keep." Connor stepped back, loosening his hand from hers, and Beatrice felt the thread between them pull taut and finally snap. She imagined that she could hear it - a crisp sort of sound, like the stem of a rose being snapped in two. Her body felt strangely sore, or maybe it was her heart that felt sore, recognizing the parts of it that she had given away, forever. "You're such an amazing person, Connor. I hope you find someone who deserves you." Again he attempted a crooked smile. "It won't be easy on her, trying to live up to the queen. For a small person, you cast quite the shadow," he said, and then his features grew serious once more. "Bee - if you ever need me, I'll be there for you. You know that, right?" She swallowed against a lump in her throat. "The same promise holds for me, too. I'm always here if you need me." As she spoke, the steel panel began to lift back into the ceiling. Beatrice straightened her shoulders beneath the cool silk of the gown, drew in a breath. Somehow she managed to gather up the tattered shreds of her self-control, as if she wasn't a young woman who'd just said goodbye to her first love - to her best friend. As of she wasn't a young woman at all, but a queen.
Katharine McGee (American Royals II: Majesty)
He surprised her by reaching out for her, his arms closing around her. She stiffened but allowed him to draw her near. “Poor sweet,” he murmured. “You have so many burdens to carry.” There had been a time when Amelia had passionately longed for a moment such as this. Being held by Christopher, soothed by him. Once this would have been heaven. But it didn’t feel quite the same as before. “Christoph—” she began, moving away from him, but his mouth caught hers, and she froze in astonishment as he kissed her. This, too, was different … and yet for a moment, she remembered what it had been like, how happy she had once been with him. It seemed so long ago, that time before the scarlet fever, when she had been innocent and hopeful and the future had seemed full of promise. She turned her face from his. “No, Christopher.” “Of course.” He pressed his lips to her hair. “Now isn’t the proper time for this. I’m sorry.” “I’m so concerned about my brother, and Merripen, I can’t think of anything else—” “I know, sweet.” He turned her face back to his. “I’m going to help you and your family. There’s nothing I want more than your safety and happiness. And you need my protection. With your family in turmoil, you could easily be taken advantage of.” She frowned. “No one is taking advantage of me.” “What about the Gypsy?” “You’re referring to Mr. Rohan?” Christopher nodded. “I chanced to meet him on his way to London, and he spoke of you in a way that … well, suffice it to say, he’s no gentleman. I was offended for your sake.” “What did he say?” “He went so far as to claim that you and he were going to marry.” A scornful laugh escaped him. “As if you would ever lower yourself to that. A half-bred Gypsy with no manners or education.” Amelia felt a rush of defensive anger. She looked into the face of the man she had once loved so desperately. He was the embodiment of everything a young woman should want to marry. Not all that long ago, she might have compared him to Cam Rohan and found Christopher superior. But she was no longer the woman she had been … and Christopher wasn’t the knight in shining armor she had believed him to be. “I wouldn’t consider it lowering myself,” she said. “Mr. Rohan is a gentleman, and highly esteemed by his friends.” “They all find him entertaining enough for social occasions, but he will never be their equal. And never a gentleman. That’s understood by everyone, my dear, even Rohan himself.” “It’s neither understood nor accepted by me,” she said. “There is more to being a gentleman than fine manners.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
The Inner Critic really wants you to be okay. It really wants you to make it in the world, to have a good job, to make enough money. It really wants you to be loved, to be successful, to be accepted, to have a family. It developed in your early years to protect your vulnerability by helping you to adapt to the world around you and to meet its requirements, whatever they might be. In order to do its job properly, it needed to curb your natural inclinations and to make you acceptable to others by criticizing and correcting your behavior before other people could criticize or reject you. In this way, it reasoned, it could earn love and protection for you as well as save you much shame and hurt. However, the Inner Critic often does not know when to stop. It does not know when enough is enough. It has a tendency to grow until it is out of control and begins to undermine us and to do real damage. Its original intent gets lost in the sands of time. Like a well-trained CIA agent, the Inner Critic has learned how to infiltrate every portion of your life, checking you out in minute detail for weakness and imperfections. Since its main job is to protect you from being too vulnerable in the world, it must know everything about you that might be open to attack from the outside. But, like a renegade CIA agent, at some point the Critic oversteps its bounds, takes matters into its own hands, and begins to operate on its own agenda. The information, which was originally supposed to be for your overall defense and to promote your general well-being, is now being used against you, the very person it was meant to protect. With the Critic’s original aims and purposes forgotten, all that is left for it is the excitement of the chase and the wonderfully triumphant feeling of conquest, as it operates secretly and independently of any outside control. When the Critic starts to outgrow its initial usefulness in this way, there is real trouble. At this point, the Inner Critic makes you feel dreadful about yourself. With your Inner Critic watching your every move, you become self-conscious, awkward, and ever more fearful about making a mistake. You may even stop trying because the Critic tells you that you are going about things all wrong and will undoubtedly fail. Although, underneath all of this, the Critic may want you to be so perfect that you will not fail, its effect is to block any attempts you might make. The Inner Critic kills your creativity. How can you possibly try anything new or different when you know that you will do something wrong?
Hal Stone (Embracing Your Inner Critic: Turning Self-Criticism into a Creative Asset)
What is involved in appearing to court me?” He quirked an eyebrow at her. “You haven’t been courted before? What about the climbing cits and baronets’ sons? They never came up to scratch?” “Many of them did.” She wondered what he’d look like if somebody were to shave off those piratical eyebrows. “They did not bother much with the other part of the business.” “The wooing?” “The nonsense.” “We need the nonsense,” he said. “We need to drive out at the fashionable hour; we need to be seen arm in arm at the social events. I need to call upon you at the proper times with flowers in hand, to spend time with your menfolk when I creditably can. I’ll carry your purchases when you go shopping and be heard begging you to save your waltzes for me.” “There’s a problem,” she said, curiously disappointed to see the flaw in his clever scheme. He was a wonderful dancer; that was just plain fact. And she loved flowers, and loved the greenery and fresh air of Hyde Park. She also liked to shop but generally contented herself with the occasional minor outing with her sisters. And to hear him begging for her waltzes… “What sort of problem can there possibly be? Couples are expected to court in spring. It’s the whole purpose behind the Season.” “If you court me like that, Their Graces will get wind of it. They very likely already know you’ve called on me.” “And this is a problem how?” He wasn’t a patient man, or one apparently plagued with meddlesome parents. “They will start, Mr. Hazlit. They will get their hopes up. They will sigh and hint and quiz my siblings, all in hopes that you will take me off their hands.” “Then they will be disappointed. Parents expect to be disappointed. My sister was a governess, and she has explained this to me.” He looked like he was winding up for a lecture before the Royal Society, so she put a hand on his arm. “I do not like to disappoint Their Graces,” she said quietly. “They have suffered much at the hands of their children.” He blinked at her, his lips pursing as if her sentiments were incomprehensible. “I won’t declare for you,” he said. “If they let their hopes be raised by a few silly gestures, then that is their problem. You have many siblings. Let them fret over the others.” “It isn’t like that.” She cocked her head to study him. Hadn’t he had any parents at all? “I could have seventeen siblings, and Their Graces would still worry about me. You mentioned having sisters. Do you worry less about the one than the other?” “I do not.” He didn’t seem at all pleased with this example. “I worry about them both, incessantly. Excessively, to hear them tell it, but they have no regard for my feelings, else they’d write more than just chatty little…” “Yes?” “Never mind.” Some
Grace Burrowes (Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5))
Your house is lovely, ma’am.” The duchess gave her a radiant smile. “If you like, I’ll take you on a tour later this afternoon. We have some very good art, and interesting old f-furniture, and some beautiful views from the second floor.” “Oh, that would be—” Pandora began, but to her annoyance, Lord St. Vincent interrupted from behind them. “I had already planned to take Lady Pandora on an outing this afternoon.” Pandora glanced over her shoulder with a quick frown. “I would prefer a tour of the house with the duchess.” “I don’t trust you around unfamiliar furniture,” Lord St. Vincent said. “It could be disastrous. What if I have to pull you out of an armoire, or God forbid, a credenza?” Embarrassed by the reminder of how they’d met, Pandora said stiffly, “It wouldn’t be proper for me to go on an outing without a chaperone.” “You’re not worried about being compromised, are you?” he asked. “Because I’ve already done that.” Forgetting her resolution to be dignified, Pandora stopped and whirled to face the provoking man. “No, you didn’t. I was compromised by a settee. You just happened to be there.” Lord St. Vincent seemed to enjoy her indignation. “Regardless,” he said, “you have nothing to lose now.” “Gabriel—” the duchess began, but fell silent as he slid her a glance of bright mischief. The duke regarded his son dubiously. “If you’re trying to be charming,” he said, “I should tell you that it’s not going well.” “There’s no need for me to be charming,” Lord St. Vincent replied. “Lady Pandora is only pretending disinterest. Beneath the show of indifference, she’s infatuated with me.” Pandora was outraged. “That is the most pomposterous thing I’ve ever heard!” Before she had finished the sentence, however, she saw the dance of mischief in Lord St. Vincent’s eyes. He was teasing, she realized. Turning pink with confusion, she lowered her head. Within a few minutes of arriving at Heron’s Point, she had tumbled on the drive, lost her hat and her temper, and had used a made-up word. It was a good thing Lady Berwick wasn’t there, or she’d have had apoplexy. As they continued to walk, Lord St. Vincent fell into step beside Pandora while the duchess followed with the duke. “Pomposterous,” he murmured, a smile in his voice. “I like that one.” “I wish you wouldn’t tease,” Pandora muttered. “It’s difficult enough for me to be ladylike.” “You don’t have to be.” Pandora sighed, her momentary annoyance fading into resignation. “No, I do,” she said earnestly. “I’ll never be good at it, but the important thing is to keep trying.” It was the statement of a young woman who was aware of her limitations but was determined not to be defeated by them. Gabriel didn’t have to look at his parents to know they were thoroughly charmed by Pandora. As for him . . .
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
(3) Theology of Exodus: A Covenant People “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God” (Exod 6:7). When God first demanded that the Egyptian Pharaoh let Israel leave Egypt, he referred to Israel as “my … people.” Again and again he said those famous words to Pharaoh, Let my people go.56 Pharaoh may not have known who Yahweh was,57 but Yahweh certainly knew Israel. He knew them not just as a nation needing rescue but as his own people needing to be closely bound to him by the beneficent covenant he had in store for them once they reached the place he was taking them to himself, out of harm's way, and into his sacred space.58 To be in the image of God is to have a job assignment. God's “image”59 is supposed to represent him on earth and accomplish his purposes here. Reasoning from a degenerate form of this truth, pagan religions thought that an image (idol) in the form of something they fashioned would convey to its worshipers the presence of a god or goddess. But the real purpose of the heavenly decision described in 1:26 was not to have a humanlike statue as a representative of God on earth but to have humans do his work here, as the Lord's Prayer asks (“your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” Matt 6:10). Although the fall of humanity as described in Genesis 3 corrupted the ability of humans to function properly in the image of God, the divine plan of redemption was hardly thwarted. It took the form of the calling of Abraham and the promises to him of a special people. In both Exod 6:6–8 and 19:4–6 God reiterates his plan to develop a people that will be his very own, a special people that, in distinction from all other peoples of the earth, will belong to him and accomplish his purposes, being as Exod 19:6 says “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Since the essence of holiness is belonging to God, by belonging to God this people became holy, reflecting the character of their Lord as well as being obedient to his purposes. No other nation in the ancient world ever claimed Yahweh as its God, and Yahweh never claimed any other nation as his people. This is not to say that he did not love and care for other nations60 but only to say that he chose Israel as the focus of his plan of redemption for the world. In the New Testament, Israel becomes all who will place faith in Jesus Christ—not an ethnic or political entity at all but now a spiritual entity, a family of God. Thus the New Testament speaks of the true Israel as defined by conversion to Christ in rebirth and not by physical birth at all. But in the Old Covenant, the true Israel was the people group that, from the various ethnic groups that gathered at Sinai, agreed to accept God's covenant and therefore to benefit from this abiding presence among them (see comments on Exod 33:12–24:28). Exodus is the place in the Bible where God's full covenant with a nation—as opposed to a person or small group—emerges, and the language of Exod 6:7, “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God,” is language predicting that covenant establishment.61
Douglas K. Stuart (The New American Commentary - Volume 2 - Exodus)
maternal love, the most successful object of the religious imagination of romantic art. For the most part real and human, it is yet entirely spiritual, without the interest and exigency of desire, not sensuous and yet present: absolutely satisfied and blissful spiritual depth. It is a love without craving, but it is not friendship; for be friendship never so rich in emotion, it yet demands a content, something essential, as a mutual end and aim. Whereas, without any reciprocity of aim and interests, maternal love has an immediate support in the natural bond of connection. But in this instance the mother’s love is not at all restricted to the natural side. In the child which she conceived and then bore in travail, Mary has the complete knowledge and feeling of herself; and the same child, blood of her blood, stands all the same high above her, and nevertheless this higher being belongs to her and is the object in which she forgets and maintains herself. The natural depth of feeling in the mother’s love is altogether spiritualized; it has the Divine as its proper content, but this spirituality remains lowly and unaware, marvellously penetrated by natural oneness and human feeling. It is the blissful maternal love, the love of the one mother alone who was the first recipient of this joy. Of course this love too is not without grief, but the grief is only the sorrow of loss, lamentation for her suffering, dying, and dead son, and does not, as we shall see at a later stage,[9] result from injustice and torment from without, or from the infinite battle against sins, or from the agony and pain brought about by the self. Such deep feeling is here spiritual beauty, the Ideal, human identification of man with God, with the spirit and with truth: a pure forgetfulness and complete self-surrender which still in this forgetfulness is from the beginning one with that into which it is merged and now with blissful satisfaction has a sense of this oneness. In such a beautiful way maternal love, the picture as it were of the Spirit, enters romantic art in place of the Spirit itself because only in the form of feeling is the Spirit made prehensible by art, and the feeling of the unity between the individual and God is present in the most original, real, and living way only in the Madonna’s maternal love. This love must enter art necessarily if, in the portrayal of this sphere, the Ideal, the affirmative satisfied reconciliation is not to be lacking. There was therefore a time when the maternal love of the blessed Virgin belonged in general to the highest and holiest [part of religion] and was worshipped and represented as this supreme fact. But when the Spirit brings itself into consciousness of itself in its own element, separated from the whole natural grounding which feeling supplies, then too it is only the spiritual mediation, free from such a grounding, that can be regarded as the free route to the truth; and so, after all, in Protestantism, in contrast to mariolatry in art and in faith, the Holy Spirit and the inner mediation of the Spirit has become the higher truth.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
1. ‘ I hate people who collect things and classify things and give them names and then forget all about them. That’s what people are always doing in art.They call a painter an impressionist or a cubist or something and then they put him in a drawer and don’t see him as a living individual painter any more. But I can see they’re beautiful arranged.’ 2. ’ Do you know that every great thing in the history of art and every beautiful thing in life is actually what you call nasty or has been caused by feelings that you would call nasty? By passion, by love, by hatred, by truth. Do you know that?... Why do you keep on using these stupid words-nasty, nice, proper, right? Why are you so worried about what’s proper?...why do you take all the life out of life? Why do you kill all the beauty?’ 3. ‘ Because I can’t marry a man to whom I don’t feel I belong in all ways. My mind must be his, my heart must be his, my body must be his. Just as I must feel he belongs to me. ‘ 4.’ The only thing that really matters is feeling and living what you believe-so long as it’s something more than belief in your own comfort.’ 5. 'It’s weird. Uncanny. But there is a sort of relationship between us. I make fun of him, I attack him all the time, but he senses when I’m ‘soft’. When he can dig back and not make me angry. So we slip into teasing states that are almost friendly. It’s partly because I’m so lonely, it’s partly deliberate (I want make him relax, both for his own good and so that one dat he may make a mistake), so it’s part weakness, and part cunning, and part charity. But there’s a mysterious fourth part I can’t define. It can’t be friendship, I loathe him. Perhaps it’s just knowledge. Just knowing a lot about him. And knowing someone automatically makes you feel close to him. Even when you wish he was on another planet.’ 6.’ You must MAKE, always. You must act, if you believe something. Talking about acting is like boasting about pictures you’re going to paint. The most terrible form. If you feel something deeply, you’re not ashamed to show your feeling.’ 7. ‘ The women I’ve loved have always told me I’m selfish. It’s what makes them love me. And then be disgusted with me...But what they can’t stand is that I hate them when they don’t behave in their own way. ‘ 8. ‘ I love honesty and freedom and giving. I love making , I love doing, I love being to the full, I love everything which is not sitting and watching and copying and dead at heart. ‘ 9. ‘ I don’t know what love is something that comes in different clothes, with a different way and different face, and perhaps it takes a long time for you to accept it, to be able to call it love.’ 10. ‘ All this business, it’s bound up with my bossy attitude to life. I’ve always known where I’m going, how I want things to happen. And they have happened as I have wanted, and I have taken it for granted that they have because I know where I’m going. But I have been lucky in all sorts of things. I’ve always tried to happen to life; but it’s time I let life happen to me. ‘ 11. ‘I said, what you love is your own love. It’s not love, it’s selfishness. It’s not me you think of, but what you feel about me.’ 12. ‘ The power of women! I’ve never felt so full of mysterious power. Men are a joke. We’re so weak physically, so helpless with things. Still, even today. But we’re stronger then they are. We can stand their cruelty. They can’t stand ours.
John Fowles
Do we need to talk about my kissing you a year ago? I’ve behaved myself for two weeks, Ellen, and hope by action I have reassured you where words would not.” Silence or the summer evening equivalent of it, with crickets chirping, the occasional squeal of a passing bat, and the breeze riffling through the woods nearby. “Ellen?” Val withdrew his hand, which Ellen had been holding for some minutes, and slid his arm around her waist, urging her closer. “A woman gone silent unnerves a man. Talk to me, sweetheart. I would not offend you, but neither will I fare well continuing the pretense we are strangers.” He felt the tension in her, the stiffness against his side, and regretted it. In the past two weeks, he’d all but convinced himself he was recalling a dream of her not a real kiss, and then he’d catch her smiling at Day and Phil or joking with Darius, and the clench in his vitals would assure him that kiss had been very, very real. At least for him. For him, that kiss had been a work of sheer art. “My husband seldom used my name. I was my dear, or my lady, or occasionally, dear wife. I was not Ellen, and I was most assuredly not his sweetheart. And to you I am the next thing to a stranger.” Val’s left hand, the one she’d just held for such long, lovely moments between her own, drifted up to trace slow patterns on her back. “We’re strangers who kissed. Passionately, if memory serves.” “But on only one occasion and that nearly a year ago.” “Should I have written? I did not think to see you again, nor you me, I’m guessing.” Now he wished he’d written, though it would hardly have been proper, even to a widow. That hand Valentine considered so damaged continued its easy caresses on Ellen’s back, intent on stealing the starch from her spine and the resolve from her best intentions. And she must have liked his touch, because the longer he stroked his hand over her back, the more she relaxed and leaned against him. “I did not think to see you again,” Ellen admitted. “It would have been much easier had you kept to your place in my memory and imagination. But here you are.” “Here we are.” Haunting a woman’s imagination had to be a good thing for a man whose own dreams had turned to nightmares. “Sitting on the porch in the moonlight, trying to sort out a single kiss from months ago.” “I shouldn’t have kissed you,” Ellen said, her head coming to rest on Val’s shoulder as if the weight of truth were a wearying thing. “But I’m lonely and sometimes a little desperate, and it seemed safe, to steal a kiss from a handsome stranger.” “It was safe,” Val assured her, seeing the matter from her perspective. In the year since he’d seen Ellen FitzEngle, he’d hardly been celibate. He wasn’t a profligate Philistine, but neither was he a monk. There had been an older maid in Nick’s household, some professional ladies up in York, the rare trip upstairs at David’s brothel, and the frequent occasion of self-gratification. But he surmised Ellen, despite the privileges of widowhood, had not been kissed or cuddled or swived or flirted with in all those days and weeks and months. “And now?” Ellen pressed. “You show up on my porch after dark and think perhaps it’s still safe, and here I am, doing not one thing to dissuade you.” “You are safe with me, Ellen.” He punctuated the sentiment with a kiss to her temple then rested his cheek where his lips had been. “I am a gentleman, if nothing else. I might try to steal a kiss, but you can stop me with a word from even that at any time. The question is, how safe do you want to be?” “Shame
Grace Burrowes (The Virtuoso (Duke's Obsession, #3; Windham, #3))
While I was intent on improving my language, I met with an English grammar (I think it was Greenwood's), at the end of which there were two little sketches of the arts of rhetoric and logic, the latter finishing with a specimen of a dispute in the Socratic method; and soon after I procur'd Xenophon's Memorable Things of Socrates, wherein there are many instances of the same method. I was charm'd with it, adopted it, dropt my abrupt contradiction and positive argumentation, and put on the humble inquirer and doubter. And being then, from reading Shaftesbury and Collins, become a real doubter in many points of our religious doctrine, I found this method safest for myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used it; therefore I took a delight in it, practis'd it continually, and grew very artful and expert in drawing people, even of superior knowledge, into concessions, the consequences of which they did not foresee, entangling them in difficulties out of which they could not extricate themselves, and so obtaining victories that neither myself nor my cause always deserved. I continu'd this method some few years, but gradually left it, retaining only the habit of expressing myself in terms of modest diffidence; never using, when I advanced any thing that may possibly be disputed, the words certainly, undoubtedly, or any others that give the air of positiveness to an opinion; but rather say, I conceive or apprehend a thing to be so and so; it appears to me, or I should think it so or so, for such and such reasons; or I imagine it to be so; or it is so, if I am not mistaken. This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engag'd in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat every one of those purposes for which speech was given to us, to wit, giving or receiving information or pleasure. For, if you would inform, a positive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may provoke contradiction and prevent a candid attention. If you wish information and improvement from the knowledge of others, and yet at the same time express yourself as firmly fix'd in your present opinions, modest, sensible men, who do not love disputation, will probably leave you undisturbed in the possession of your error. And by such a manner, you can seldom hope to recommend yourself in pleasing your hearers, or to persuade those whose concurrence you desire. Pope says, judiciously:           "Men should be taught as if you taught them not,           And things unknown propos'd as things forgot;" farther recommending to us "To speak, tho' sure, with seeming diffidence." And he might have coupled with this line that which he has coupled with another, I think, less properly, "For want of modesty is want of sense." If you ask, Why less properly? I must repeat the lines,           "Immodest words admit of no defense,           For want of modesty is want of sense." Now, is not want of sense (where a man is so unfortunate as to want it) some apology for his want of modesty? and would not the lines stand more justly thus?           "Immodest words admit but this defense,           That want of modesty is want of sense." This, however, I should submit to better judgments.
Benjamin Franklin (The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)
In Romans 12:4-8, Paul writes about gifts: “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.” Recognize that the gifts inside you are not only for you; just as the gifts inside other people around you are not only for them. We are meant to help each other. God designed us this way on purpose! All being members of one body, our successes are shared — there is no need to be threatened by another person’s gift. Use your gifts, and encourage the people in your life to use their gifts as well. You will be blessed as a result! Unfortunately, one thing that keeps us from asking for help or taking advantage of the talents in people around us is pride. Never allow pride to keep you from asking for counsel when it is needed! 1 Corinthians 12:20 is another passage about gifts: “now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ ” We need each other, and joining our gifts together will result in a much stronger body. If you have time, read 1 Corinthians 12:4-20. Reflect on how there can be unity in the diversity of gifts if we use our different gifts properly. Determine that you will not be threatened by anyone else’s gifts! Esther was not afraid of the gifts in the people around her. Let’s see how she responds to the wisdom of others today. And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her. Esther 2:11 Every day, Mordecai goes to the palace gates to inquire after Esther and learn of what was happening to her. He goes to the palace gates with purpose. He paces in front of the women’s court until he has learns the day’s news about Esther. Even though she is no longer under his roof, he stills feels a strong responsibility toward her, and acts accordingly. He is a faithful man, and has set a great example before Esther. The news that he hears concerning Esther daily must be good: her inward beauty and submission to authority are two of the many wonderful traits that God placed in her so that she will be effective in Persia. Even though Esther is in an unfamiliar place and experiencing “firsts” every day in the palace, God is making sure she has what she needs. Esther did not need to feel nervous! She needed wise counsel; it has been provided for her in Mordecai and Hegai. She needs a pleasant and patient personality; that has been being developed in her by the Lord for many years. In your own life, you are constantly undergoing change and growth as you are submitting to the Lord. Whether or not you can see it, God is continually preparing you for what lies ahead so that you will have what you need when you need it. The God who loves you so much knows your future, and He is preparing you today for what you will experience tomorrow. Esther is receiving what she needs as well. She is in the palace undergoing her beauty preparations — a twelve month process! Even through this extended period of time, Mordecai is still at the palace gates every day (the Bible does not say that he stopped his concern for her at any point). It is an entire
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
What a joy this book is! I love recipe books, but it’s short-lived; I enjoy the pictures for several minutes, read a few pages, and then my eyes glaze over. They are basically books to be used in the kitchen for one recipe at a time. This book, however, is in a different class altogether and designed to be read in its entirety. It’s in its own sui generis category; it has recipes at the end of most of the twenty-one chapters, but it’s a book to be read from cover to cover, yet it could easily be read chapter by chapter, in any order, as they are all self-contained. Every bite-sized chapter is a flowing narrative from a well-stocked brain encompassing Balinese culture, geography and history, while not losing its main focus: food. As you would expect from a scholar with a PhD in history from Columbia University, the subject matter has been meticulously researched, not from books and articles and other people’s work, but from actually being on the ground and in the markets and in the kitchens of Balinese families, where the Balinese themselves learn their culinary skills, hands on, passed down orally, manually and practically from generation to generation. Vivienne Kruger has lived in Bali long enough to get it right. That’s no mean feat, as the subject has not been fully studied before. Yes, there are so-called Balinese recipe books, most, if I’m not mistaken, written by foreigners, and heavily adapted. The dishes have not, until now, been systematically placed in their proper cultural context, which is extremely important for the Balinese, nor has there been any examination of the numerous varieties of each type of recipe, nor have they been given their true Balinese names. This groundbreaking book is a pleasure to read, not just for its fascinating content, which I learnt a lot from, but for the exuberance, enthusiasm and originality of the language. There’s not a dull sentence in the book. You just can’t wait to read the next phrase. There are eye-opening and jaw-dropping passages for the general reader as Kruger describes delicacies from the village of Tengkudak in Tabanan district — grasshoppers, dragonflies, eels and live baby bees — and explains how they are caught and cooked. She does not shy away from controversial subjects, such as eating dog and turtle. Parts of it are not for the faint-hearted, but other parts make you want to go out and join the participants, such as the Nusa Lembongan fishermen, who sail their outriggers at 5.30 a.m. The author quotes Miguel Covarrubias, the great Mexican observer of the 1930s, who wrote “The Island of Bali.” It has inspired all writers since, including myself and my co-author, Ni Wayan Murni, in our book “Secrets of Bali, Fresh Light on the Morning of the World.” There is, however, no bibliography, which I found strange at first. I can only imagine it’s a reflection of how original the subject matter is; there simply are no other sources. Throughout the book Kruger mentions Balinese and Indonesian words and sometimes discusses their derivations. It’s a Herculean task. I was intrigued to read that “satay” comes from the Tamil word for flesh ( sathai ) and that South Indians brought satay to Southeast Asia before Indonesia developed its own tradition. The book is full of interesting tidbits like this. The book contains 47 recipes in all, 11 of which came from Murni’s own restaurant, Murni’s Warung, in Ubud. Mr Dolphin of Warung Dolphin in Lovina also contributed a number of recipes. Kruger adds an introduction to each recipe, with a detailed and usually very personal commentary. I think my favorite, though, is from a village priest (pemangku), I Made Arnila of the Ganesha (Siwa) Temple in Lovina. water. I am sure most will enjoy this book enormously; I certainly did.” Review published in The Jakarta Globe, April 17, 2014. Jonathan Copeland is an author and photographer based in Bali. thejakartaglobe/features/spiritual-journey-culinary-world-bali
Vivienne Kruger
As the days mounted he grew convinced that Kitty's basic difficulty was her lack of a full and proper concept of God. It was nothing new in his experience, and it was this that made it all the sadder for him to see. Many people fail to recognize God's sovereign rights over them; fail dismally to see themselves as creatures - with all the raptures that word connotes. Failing to recognize God as Creator; they can never come to a full realization of their own very nature; for they have already missed the discovery of the origin and the end of their being. Consequently, no matter how active they may be, nor how orderly in their activities, they are like a mariner on an horizonless sea minus a compass. They go on and on; but they really have no ultimate destination. He had discussed with his fellow priests, telling how he had found souls more naked to his sight in sickness than even in the sacrament of penance. He claimed that, for many, God was too "distant"; for others, merely "hypothetical" and even "purely imaginary". He saw how these good and earnest people had conceived the notion that their true greatness lay in serving their fellowman, in loving them, helping them, and even forgetting themselves in the process. This was putting man in the place of God; substituting social service for the service of God. "It is extremely attractive to many noble souls," he said, "truly seductive." Then he would add with a sad shake of his head, "But it is truly destructive, also. What is more, these people not only run the danger of losing eternal life, they are missing out in true temporal living; for there is no real living that is not worship of God. And these people are not worshipping Him." He admitted that such people found some satisfaction in their dedication, but insisted it was not full satisfaction, nor could it ever be; for it was a distortion of the way God wants us to serve our fellowman. "They are serving man as man, and not as images of God and members of Christ," was his conclusion.
M. Raymond (Your Hour)
I speak now of the mission the Elders of the council granted to you in the conference chamber. As you remember, your part in the coming task is twofold. In one phase of this you will accompany us to act with us in the great war that must be fought. We have developed a plan in which your help as an advance and secret agent is necessary. You will be told more about that later, when we have embarked. “Now, however, your other mission begins, here on Nor. It is the mission of love for your fellow men. No matter how successful we are in rescuing the men of Atlan, it cannot be that we will rescue all of them. Many must not be rescued! There is nothing we could do for them, poisoned as they are to the point of death. Nor must we allow any of this poison to escape to the dark worlds where it can infect others. Too, the dero influence is dangerous, and madness must not spread over the universe. “Thus, it has been given to you to inscribe on imperishable plates of telonion, our eternal metal, a message to future man which will be placed on and in Mu so that those who have the intelligence to find and read it may benefit by the truths of growth and defense against a too-soon death by age. “After the passing of Atlan science from Mu, men will begin to die at the same age, and their sons will all be the same size at the same age. This will be caused by accumulations of sun-poison in the water of Mu, which will stop all growth in mankind at almost the very beginning of their development. They will scarcely get beyond childhood before they will begin to die. “These plates you will inscribe will contain a message that is a key and a path to the door that will open life value to these future men, whose fate we know and pity, but cannot prevent. We can only teach them what we know that will enable them to get the most out of their life on Mu. The dero will not be able to read, and thus will die as they should. Those whose minds are powerful enough to escape complete dero-robotism will read and profit. “You can tell them how to attain this life growth by freeing their food and water intake of all the poisons that will be found in it in the natural state. The age poisons can be removed by centrifuge and by still; their air can be made a nutrient by proper treatment and freed of all its detrimental ions by field sweeps of electric. The exd on which the basic integration of life feeds can be concentrated (just as it was in your body in the growth school tank) in energy flows which greatly increase the rate of growth and the solidity and weight of the flesh. “Tell future man to do these things, Mutan Mion, and their reward will be great. You have seen what the reward of such effort can be—in thousands of years of life’s fullness—even on a planet under a detrimental sun. We cannot save those men yet unborn. We can only leave for them the heritage that is rightfully theirs, the heritage of our sciencon knowledge. And you, Mutan, in your infinite love and pity for your fellow men, shall perform this task with all the energy that your love makes possible!
Richard S. Shaver (The Shaver Mystery, Book One)
He wouldn’t kneel for anyone, and because of that, his masculinity is safely intact. He can sleep well at night, knowing he’s properly being a man. It’s not toxic masculinity when it comes to him, it’s just a shit-ton of it. And he has a woman who loves him for it.
Sara Cate (Mercy (Salacious Players Club, #4))
Anderson’s use of the word ‘grotesque’ is quite important in this context. In its usual sense in reference to human beings it connotes disgust or revulsion, but Anderson’s use is quite different. To him a grotesque is, as he points out later, like the twisted apples that are left behind in the orchards because they are imperfect. These apples, he says, are the sweetest of all, perhaps even because of the imperfections that have caused them to be rejected. He approaches the people in his stories as he does the apples, secure in his knowledge that the sources or natures of their deformities are unimportant when compared to their intrinsic worth as human beings needing and deserving of understanding. This approach is based on intuition rather than objective knowledge, and it is the same sort of intuition with which one approaches the twisted apples; he believes that one dare not reject because of mere appearance, either physical or spiritual; that appearance may mask a significant experience made more intense and more worthwhile by the deformity itself. In the body of the work proper, following this introductory sketch, Anderson has set up an organizational pattern that no only gives partial unity to the book but explores systematically the diverse origins of the isolation of his people, each of whom is in effect a social displaced person because he is cut off from human intercourse with his fellow human beings. In the first three stories Anderson deals with three aspects of the problem of human isolation. The first story, ‘Hands,’ deals with the inability to communicate feeling; the second, ‘Paper Pills,’ is devoted to the inability to communicate thought; and the third, ‘Mother,’ focuses on the inability to communicate love. This three-phased examination of the basic problem of human isolation sets the tone for the rest of the book because these three shortcomings, resulting partially from the narrowness of the vision of each central figure but primarily from the lack of sympathy with which the contemporaries of each regard him, are the real creators of the grotesques in human nature. Each of the three characters has encountered one aspect of the problem: he has something that he feels is vital and real within himself that he wants desperately to reveal to others, but in each case he is rebuffed, and, turning in upon himself, he becomes a bit more twisted and worn spiritually. But, like the apples left in the orchards, he is the sweeter, the more human for it. In each case the inner vision of the main character remains clear, and the thing that he wishes to communicate is in itself good, but his inability to break through the shell that prevents him from talking to others results in misunderstanding and spiritual tragedy. David D. Anderson “Sherwood Anderson’s Moments of Insight
David D. Anderson (Sherwood Anderson: An Introduction and Interpretation (American Authors and Critics Series))
Let “I intend to find happiness” become “I intend to find happiness to benefit myself and the others in my life.” Let “I set the intention to feel no more misery” become “I set the intention to help all beings escape from misery, beginning with myself.” You can convert any poison into medicine by applying the proper wisdom.
Susan Piver (The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: An Uncommon Guide to Healing, Insight, and Love)
The world is a beautiful place, full of opportunity. We cannot be contained or destroyed. We can unreservedly and wholeheartedly be wherever we wish to be. There is an embracing of one’s proper place and destiny, whatever that may be. Our devotion to all that is good, and all that is good for us, becomes unshakeable. The soul’s path is secure and assured. We can walk with profound peace and confidence in our hearts.
Donna Goddard (The Love of Devotion (Love and Devotion, #2))
The pragmatic mood is already visible in the Odyssey. The poem opens with Odysseus living on a remote island ruled by a nymph who offers him immortality if he will remain as her consort. A bit surprisingly to anyone steeped in the orthodox Western religio-philosophical-scientific tradition, he refuses, preferring mortality and a dangerous struggle to regain his position as the king of a small, rocky island and be reunited with his son, aging wife, and old father. He turns down what the orthodox tradition says we should desire above all else, the peace that comes from overcoming the transience and vicissitudes of mortality, whether that peace takes the form of personal immortality or of communing with eternal verities, moral or scientific—in either case ushering us to the still point of the turning world. Odysseus prefers going to arriving, struggle to rest, exploring to achieving—curiosity is one of his most marked traits—and risk to certainty. The Odyssey situates Calypso’s enchanted isle in the far west, the land of the setting sun, and describes the isle in images redolent of death. In contrast, Odysseus’s arrival at his own island, far to the east, a land of the rising sun, is depicted in imagery suggestive of rebirth. Another thing that is odd about the protagonist, and the implicit values, of the Odyssey from the orthodox standpoint is that Odysseus is not a conventional hero, the kind depicted in the Iliad. He is strong, brave, and skillful in fighting, but he is no Achilles (who had a divine mother) or even Ajax; and he relies on guile, trickery, and outright deception to a degree inconsistent with what we have come to think of as heroism or with its depiction in the Iliad. His dominant trait is skill in coping with his environment rather than ability to impose himself upon it by brute force. He is the most intelligent person in the Odyssey but his intelligence is thoroughly practical, adaptive. Unlike Achilles in the Iliad, who is given to reflection, notably about the heroic ethic itself, Odysseus is pragmatic. He is an instrumental reasoner rather than a speculative one. He is also, it is true, distinctly pious, a trait that the Odyssey harps on and modern readers tend to overlook. But piety in Homeric religion is a coping mechanism. Homeric religion is proto-scientific; it is an attempt to understand and control the natural world. The gods personify nature and men manipulate it by “using” the gods in the proper way. One sacrifices to them in order to purchase their intervention in one’s affairs—this is religion as magic, the ancestor of modern technology—and also to obtain clues to what is going to happen next; this is the predictive use of religion and corresponds to modern science. The gods’ own rivalries, mirroring (in Homeric thought, personifying or causing) the violent clash of the forces of nature, prevent human beings from perfecting their control over the environment. By the same token, these rivalries underscore the dynamic and competitive character of human existence and the unrealism of supposing that peace and permanence, a safe and static life, are man’s lot. Odysseus’s piety has nothing to do with loving God as creator or redeemer, or as the name, site, metaphysical underwriter, or repository of the eternal or the unchanging, or of absolutes (such as omniscience and omnipotence) and universals (numbers, words, concepts). Odysseus’s piety is pragmatic because his religion is naturalistic—is simply the most efficacious means known to his society for controlling the environment, just as science and technology are the most efficacious means by which modern people control their environment.
Richard A. Posner (Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy)
the basic antagonism of our psychic life is not the one between egotism and altruism but one between the domain of the Good in all its guises and the domain beyond the pleasure-principle in all its guises (the excess of love, of the death-drive, of envy, of duty . . . ). In philosophical terms, this antagonism can be best exemplified by the names of Aristotle and Kant: Aristotle’s ethics is the ethics of the Good, the ethics of moderation, of the proper measure, directed against excesses, while Kant’s ethics is the ethics of unconditional duty, which enjoins us to act beyond all proper measure, even if our acts entail a catastrophe. No wonder many critics find Kant’s rigorism too “fanatical,” and no wonder Lacan discerned in the Kantian unconditional ethical command the first formulation of his own ethics of the fidelity to one’s desire. Any ethics of the Good is ultimately an ethics of goods— of things that can be divided, distributed, exchanged (for other goods). This is why Lacan was deeply skeptical about the notion of distributive justice: it remains at the level of the distribution of goods and cannot deal even with a relatively simple paradox of envy—what if I prefer to get less if my neighbor gets even less than me (and this awareness that my neighbor is even more deprived gives me a surplus-enjoyment)? This is why egalitarianism itself should never be accepted at its face value. The notion (and practice) of egalitarian justice, insofar as it is sustained by envy, relies on an inversion of the standard renunciation accomplished to benefit others: “I am ready to renounce it, so that others will (also) not (be able to) have it!” Far from being opposed to the spirit of sacrifice, Evil here emerges as the very spirit of sacrifice—a readiness to ignore my own well-being if, through my sacrifice, I can deprive the Other of its enjoyment . .
Slavoj Žižek (Heaven in Disorder)
How can Christians uphold moral values in a secular society while at the same time conveying a spirit of grace and love? As the psalmist expressed it, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Behind the gruffness of many Christians with strong opinions, I’m sure, lies a deep and proper concern for a world that has little place for God. Yet I also know that, as Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees, a concern for moral values alone is not nearly enough. Moralism apart from grace solves little.
Philip Yancey (Grace Notes: Daily Readings with Philip Yancey)
children from pain and loss and tragedy and illness. You cannot be sure that you will always be married, let alone happily married. You cannot be sure you will always be employed, or healthy, or relatively sane. All you can do is face the world with quiet grace and hope you make a sliver of difference. Humility does not mean self-abnegation, lassitude, detachment; it’s more like a calm recognition that you must trust in that which does not make sense, that which is unreasonable, illogical, silly, ridiculous, crazy by the measure of most of our culture; you must trust that you being a very good you matters somehow. That trying to be an honest and tender parent will echo for centuries through your tribe. That doing your chosen work with creativity and diligence will shiver people far beyond your ken. That being an attentive and generous friend and citizen will somehow matter in the social fabric, save a thread or two from unraveling. And you must do all of this with the sure and certain knowledge that you will never get proper credit for it, at all, one bit, and in fact the vast majority of the things you do right will go utterly unremarked; except, perhaps, in ways we will never know or understand, by the Arab Jew who once shouted about his cloak, and may have been somehow also the One who invented and infuses this universe and probably a million others—not to put a hard number on it or anything. Humility, the final frontier, as my late brother Kevin used to say. When we are young we build a self, a persona, a story in which to reside, or several selves in succession, or several at once, sometimes; when we are older we take on other roles and personas, other masks and duties; and you and I both know men and women who become trapped in the selves they worked so hard to build, so desperately imprisoned that sometimes they smash their lives simply to escape who they no longer wish to be; but finally, I think, if we are lucky, if we read the book of pain and loss with humility, we realize that we are all broken and small and brief, that none among us is actually rich or famous or more beautiful than another; and then, perhaps, we begin to understand something deep and true finally about humility. This is what I know: that the small is huge, that the tiny is vast, that pain is part and parcel of the gift of joy, and that there is love, and then there is everything else. You either walk toward love or away from it with every breath you draw. Humility is the road to love. Humility, maybe, is love. That could be. I wouldn’t know; I am a muddle and a conundrum, shuffling slowly along the road, gaping in wonder, trying to just see and say what is, trying to leave shreds and shards of ego along the road like wisps of litter and chaff.
Brian Doyle (Eight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace)
Being a disciple of Jesus is not primarily a matter of getting the right ideas and doctrines and beliefs into your head in order to guarantee proper behavior; rather, it’s a matter of being the kind of person who loves rightly—who loves God and neighbor and is oriented to the world by the primacy of that love.
James K.A. Smith (Desiring the Kingdom (Cultural Liturgies): Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation)
The importance of being rich in unsolved problems is not likely to be overestimated. Most well-informed adults who have little "push" are not lazy by nature; they have merely failed to fall in love with worthy aims. That is often partly because education has been allowed to mean to them little more than the collecting of facts. If it had included the collection of interesting and valuable purposes as well, their devotion to proper aims in life might have grown as have their facts; then their energy might have kept pace with their knowledge.
Frank Morton McMurry (How to Study and Teaching How to Study (免费公版书))
If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation it must be by other means than any now being used. If the church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher. The proper, ruler-of-the-synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions, nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting. Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many) he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the one and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.
A.W. Tozer (Of God and Men)
That looked good on you, Talin." Talin's steps slowed until he paused in the middle of the hall. "I just lost control." "No," Wraythe said. "You let go. Those two things aren't the same. You feel things. Most people do. The problem is that you've spent so long trying to pretend like you don't. That? That's the kind of man who was meant to guard Zeal's Chosen. That was my partner. I don't give a fuck if it's messy. I don't care if it's fucking proper. Shit, I'm not proper." Then he clasped the back of Talin's neck. "We just care that it's real." "Any version of real that you end up being," Ela added. Talin looked down at me, and I nodded. "I love you no matter what. We just want you to be happy with who you are.
Auryn Hadley (The Gods We Obey (The Path of Temptation, #6))
Is it right for God to be pleased when others hold him in contempt? Is it fitting that he be joyful when his created beings despise him? Of course not! To the contrary, it’s fitting and proper for God to be displeased when his created beings hold him in contempt. But this means that it’s also fitting and proper for him to be pleased when appropriate love, esteem, and honor are given to him.
Jonathan Edwards (The End for Which God Created the World: Updated to Modern English)
Nevertheless, Reformed epistemology does not regard belief in God as groundless or arbitrary. Plantinga distinguishes between evidence and grounds, the former being what apologists look for in theistic proofs, while the latter is more straightforward. Direct experience provides grounds to justify belief even without argumentation. One’s experience of God appropriately grounds belief in His existence.33 Reformed epistemologists stress the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit as confirming, for example, that the Bible is the reliable revelation from God. Stephen Evans believes that those who dismiss this Reformed approach as fideism (i.e., irrational faith based solely upon personal experience) try to understand it in evidentialist terms.34 He says that it should be understood in externalist terms, which means that the factors that determine whether or not I am justified or warranted in holding my belief do not have to be internal to my consciousness. At bottom the externalist says that what properly “grounds” a belief is the relationship of the believer to reality.35 For Reformed epistemologists such as Evans, the biblical story is self-authenticating in the sense that “through the work of the Spirit the story itself produces a conviction of its truth in persons, and it is in that sense epistemologically basic.”36
Bryan A. Follis (Truth with Love: The Apologetics of Francis Schaeffer)
Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God ... and we ... think that the way we accomplish this is to become someone God could love; we believe that if we become what God wants us to be then God will become what we want him to be. Yet the New Testament presents a vastly different way of coming to love God. It begins not with doing ... but with knowing. ... The mature Christian is not someone who has learned to behave properly, but one who has come to know God.
Doug A. Reed (God is a Gift: Learning to Live in Grace)
Worship as such especially provides the subject-matter of prayer. This is indeed a situation of humility, of the sacrifice of Pelf and the quest for peace in another, but still it is not so much begging (Bitten) as praying (Beten). Of course begging and praying are closely related because a prayer may also be a begging. Yet begging proper wants something for itself; it is addressed to someone who possesses something essential to me, in the hope that my begging will incline his heart to me, weaken his heart, and stimulate his love for me and so arouse in him a sense of identity with me. But what I feel in begging him is the desire for something that he is to lose when I get it; he is to love me so that my own selfishness can be satisfied and my interest and welfare furthered. But I give nothing in return except perhaps an implicit avowal that he can ask the same things of me. This is not the kind of thing that prayer is. Prayer is an elevation of the heart to God who is absolute love and asks nothing for himself. Worship itself is the prayer answered; the petition itself is bliss. For although prayer may also contain a petition for some particular thing, this particular request is not what should really be expressed; on the contrary, the essential thing is the assurance of simply being heard, not of being heard in respect of this particular request, but absolute confidence that God will give me what is best for me. Even in this respect, prayer is itself satisfaction, enjoyment, the express feeling and consciousness of eternal love which is not only a ray of transfiguration shining through the worshipper’s figure and situation, but is in itself the situation and what exists and is to be portrayed. This is the prayerful situation of e.g. Pope Sixtus in the Raphael picture that is called after him,[18] and of St. Barbara in the same picture; the same is true of the innumerable prayerful situations of Apostles and saints (e.g. St. Francis) at the foot of the Cross, where what is now chosen as the subject is, not Christ’s grief or the timorousness, doubt, and despair of the Disciples, but the love and adoration of God, the prayer that loses itself in him. Especially in the earlier ages of painting there are faces of this kind, usually of old men who have gone through much in life and suffering. The faces have been treated as if they were portraits, yet they are those of worshipful souls. The result is that this worship is not their occupation at this moment only, but on the contrary they become priests, as it were, or saints whose whole life, thought, desire, and will is worship, and their expression, despite all portraiture, has in it nothing but this assurance and this peace of love.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
That is the ultimate alternative: is the opposition between Loveand Law to be reduced to its “truth,” the opposition, internal to theLaw itself, between the determinate positive Law and the excessivesuperego injunction, the Law beyond every measure—that is to say,is the excess of Love with regard to the Law the form of appearanceof a superego Law, of a Law beyond any determinate law; or is theexcessive superego Law the way the dimension beyond the Law ap-pears withinthe domain of the Law, so that the crucial step to be ac-complished is the step (comparable to Nietzsche’s “High Noon”)from the excessive Law to Love, from the way Love appears withinthe domain of the Law to Love beyond the Law? Lacan himselfstruggled continuously with this same deeply Pauline problem: isthere love beyond Law? Paradoxically (in view of the fact that thenotion as unsurpassable Law is usually perceived as Jewish), in thevery last page of Four Fundamental Concepts,he identifies this stance oflove beyond Law as that of Spinoza, opposing it to the Kantian no-tion of moral Law as the ultimate horizon of our experience. InEthics of Psychoanalysis,Lacan deals extensively with the Pauline di-alectic of the Law and its transgression13—perhaps what we shoulddo, therefore, is read this Pauline dialectic together with its corol-lary, Saint Paul’s other paradigmatic passage, the one on love from 1Corinthians 13. Crucial here is the clearly paradoxical place of Love with regard to All(to the completed series of knowledge or prophecies): first, SaintPaul claims that love is here even if we possess all of knowledge—then, in the second quoted paragraph, he claims that love is hereonly for incomplete beings, that is, beings who possess incompleteknowledge.When I “know fully . . . as I have been fully known,” willthere still be love? Although, in contrast to knowledge, “love neverends,” it is clearly only “now” (while I am still incomplete) that“faith, hope, and love abide.” The only way out of this deadlock isto read the two inconsistent claims according to Lacan’s feminineformulas of sexuation:14even when it is “all” (complete, with no ex-ception), the field of knowledge remains, in a way, non-all, incom-plete—love is not an exception to the All of knowledge, but preciselythat “nothing” which makes incomplete even the complete series/field of knowledge. In other words, the point of the claim that, evenif I were to possess all knowledge, without love, I would be nothing,is not simply that withlove, I am “something”—in love, I am also noth-ing,but, as it were, a Nothing humbly aware of itself, a Nothing par-adoxically made rich through the very awareness of its lack.Only a lacking, vulnerable being is capable of love: the ultimatemystery of love, therefore, is that incompleteness is, in a way, higherthan completion. On the one hand, only an imperfect, lacking beingloves: we love because we do notknow all. On the other hand, evenif we were to know everything, love would, inexplicably, still behigher than completed knowledge. Perhaps the true achievement ofChristian is to elevate a loving (imperfect) Being to the place ofGod, that is, of ultimate perfection. That is the kernel of the Chris-tian experience. In the previous pagan attitude, imperfect earthlyphenomena can serve as signs of the unattainable divine perfection.In Christianity, on the contrary, it is physical (or mental) perfectionitself that is the sign of the imperfection (finitude, vulnerability, un-certainty) of you as the absolute person. becomes a sign of this spiritual dimension—not the sign of your“higher” spiritual perfection, but the sign of youas a finite, vulner-able person. Only in this way do we really break out of idolatry. Forthis reason, the properly Christian relationship between sex and loveis not the one between body and soul, but almost the opposite...
When Jews “unplug,” and maintaina distance toward the society in which they live, they do not do it forthe sake of their own different substantial identity—in a way, anti-Semitism is right here: the Jews are, in effect, “rootless,” their Law is“abstract,” it “extrapolates” them from the social Substance.And there we have the radical gap that separates the Christian sus-pension of the Law, the passage from Law to love, from the pagan sus-pension of the social law: the highest (or, rather, deepest) point ofevery pagan Wisdom is, of course, also a radical “unplugging” (ei-ther the carnivalesque orgy, or direct immersion in the abyss of theprimordial Void, in which all articulated differences are suspended);what is suspended here, however, is the “pagan” immanent law ofthe social, not the Jewish Law that already unplugs us from the so-cial. When Christian mystics get too close to the pagan mystical ex-perience, they bypass the Jewish experience of the Law—no wonderthey often become ferocious anti-Semites. Christian anti-Semitismis, in effect, a clear sign of the Christian position’s regression into pa-ganism: it gets rid of the “rootless,” universalist stance of Christian-ity proper by transposing it onto the Jewish Other; consequently,when Christianity loses the mediation of the Jewish Law, it loses thespecific Christian dimension of Love itself, reducing Love to the pa-gan “cosmic feeling” of oneness with the universe. It is only refer-ence to the Jewish Law that sustains the specific Christian notion of Love that needs a distance, that thrives on differences, that has noth-ing to do with any kind of erasure of borders and immersion inOneness. (And within the Jewish experience, love remains on thispagan level—that is to say, the Jewish experience is a unique combi-nation of the new Law with pagan love, which accounts for its innertension.)The trap to be avoided here is the opposition of the “external” so-cial law (legal regulations, “mere legality”) and the higher “inter-nal” moral law, where the external social law may strike us ascontingent and irrational, while the internal law is fully assumed as“our own”: we should radically abandon the notion that external so-cial institutions betray the authentic inner experience of the true we should radically abandon the notion that external so-cial institutions betray the authentic inner experience of the trueTranscendence of Otherness (in the guise, for example, of the oppo-sition between the authentic “inner” experience of the divine and its“external” reification into a religious institution in which the reli-gious experience proper degenerates into an ideology legitimizingpower relations). If there is a lesson to be learned from Kafka, it isthat, in the opposition between internal and external, the divine di-mension is on the side of the external. What can be more “divine”than the traumatic encounter with the bureaucracy at its craziest—when, say, a bureaucrat tells us that, legally, we don’t exist? It is insuch encounters that we catch a glimpse of another order beyondmere earthly everyday reality. There is no experience of the divinewithout such a suspension of the Ethical. And far from being simplyexternal, this very externality (to sense, to symbolic integration)holds us from within: Kafka’s topic is precisely the obscene jouissancethrough which bureaucracy addresses the subject on the level of thedisavowed innermost (“ex-timate,” as Lacan would have put it) realkernel of his being.
Jeez.” Daniella eyed her textbook with an expression of disgust. “Why does everything with the myths have to do with sex?” “Not every myth has to do with sex,” I argued, pushing myself off the wall so I could properly look Daniella in the eye. “A lot of it does,” Jade said, jumping on the bandwagon. “What about all the animals that gods turned into so they could have sex with mortals? Swans and bulls and eagles.” “That was just Zeus,” I corrected with a disgusted frown. “Then there was the sex cloud!” Jade continued. With a vigor, she yanked Beth’s textbook out of her hand and flipped through. She found her page and held up a picture of a centaur. “Ixion had sex with the Hera-shaped cloud and formed the centaurs.” “Or when Aphrodite cursed that one chick to fall in love with her dad,” Bethany said with clenched teeth and a wrinkled nose. “Everything with Aphrodite has to do with sex,” I reasoned unthinkingly. “True story,” Jade said pointedly. “Didn’t she impregnate a girl?” “She didn’t, but she caused a bear to impregnate a follower of Artemis. Her children turned out to be cannibals until Zeus turned them into birds,” I blurted out, unconsciously correcting my friend about the myth. “I don’t think that’s going to be on the test,” Daniella said skeptically. “That’s it!” Beth said with a triumphant slam of her book. “When in doubt, just write sex. You have a fifty-fifty chance of being right. Why did the Trojan war start? Sex! Why did Hercules complete his twelve tasks? Sex! How did Odysseus win Athena’s favor? Sex!
Simon Archer (Forge of the Gods (Forge of the Gods, #1))
Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed that some of your lady callers have had questions on a wife’s submission to her husband and how it deals with their Christian faith when faced with a moral problem. Nowhere in the Bible is a woman told to blindly submit to the will of her husband. In fact, the first act of submission is on the husband’s part! The husband is to submit himself to Christ and the will of God. When he does this he is not setting himself up as master, but rather as servant of the Lord. Only then is the wife to submit to the will of her husband—because the will of her husband will be obedience to the Lord. So the wife is not submitting to the husband, but to God. As soon as the husband steps outside this and acts contrary to scripture, the woman is under no moral obligation whatsoever to her husband to transgress the moral law! Women are not, and were never meant to be, set up as servants to men in the kingdom of God. A man is supposed to love his wife as Christ loves the church. That means that a husband is required to love, care for, nurture, protect, comfort, and even be willing to die for his wife. That is love.
Laura Schlessinger (The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands)
The despotism of custom is everywhere the standing hindrance to human advancement, being in unceasing antagonism to that disposition to aim at something better than customary, which is called, according to circumstances, the spirit of liberty, or that of progress or improvement. The spirit of improvement is not always a spirit of liberty, for it may aim at forcing improvements on an unwilling people; and the spirit of liberty, in so far as it resists such attempts, may ally itself locally and temporarily with the opponents of improvement; but the only unfailing and permanent source of improvement is liberty, since by it there are as many possible independent centres of improvement as there are individuals. The progressive principle, however, in either shape, whether as the love of liberty or of improvement, is antagonistic to the sway of Custom, involving at least emancipation from that yoke; and the contest between the two constitutes the chief interest of the history of mankind. The greater part of the world has, properly speaking, no history, because the despotism of Custom is complete.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Episodes of unrequited love force us to develop a sense of humour about ourselves, it’s impossible to think too well of who we are in their aftermath. Unrequited love edges us inevitably towards a basic humility. We are at last confirmed as truly ridiculous. With any luck, no one gets hurt, it is just that, for a time, the world seems a bit more wondrous, more exciting and more blessed than usual. A natural impulse is to try to convert our longing into something more sensible, either to start a proper love affair or else to dismiss our dreams as too silly to nurture. Maybe we should do neither, but rather let the unrequited love exist on its own, neither fully grown up nor wholly damnable, neither deeply horrible nor quite sane. It is just the mind, a very complicated machine, constrained by the narrowness of existence, turning its wheels, tantalised by a vision of happiness and sensing, quite rightly and quite hopelessly, that there could have been so much more to life than there ever really will be.
Alain de Botton
With any luck, no one gets hurt, it is just that, for a time, the world seems a bit more wondrous, more exciting and more blessed than usual. A natural impulse is to try to convert our longings into something more sensible, either to start a proper love affair or else to dismiss our dreams as too silly to nurture. Maybe we should do neither, but rather let the unrequited love exist on its own, neither fully grown up nor wholly damnable, neither deeply horrible nor quite sane. It is just the mind, a very complicated machine, constrained by the narrowness of existence, turning its wheels, tantalised by a vision of happiness and sensing, quite rightly and quite hopelessly, that there could have been so much more to life than there ever will be.
Alain de Botton
We deserve some respect. You deserve some respect. You are important to other people, as much as to yourself. You have some vital role to play in the unfolding destiny of the world. You are, therefore, morally obliged to take care of yourself. You should take care of, help and be good to yourself the same way you would take care of, help and be good to someone you loved and valued. You may therefore have to conduct yourself habitually in a manner that allows you some respect for your own Being—and fair enough. But every person is deeply flawed. Everyone falls short of the glory of God. If that stark fact meant, however, that we had no responsibility to care, for ourselves as much as others, everyone would be brutally punished all the time. That would not be good. That would make the shortcomings of the world, which can make everyone who thinks honestly question the very propriety of the world, worse in every way. That simply cannot be the proper path forward. To treat yourself as if you were someone you are responsible for helping is, instead, to consider what would be truly good for you. This is not “what you want.” It is also not “what would make you happy.” Every time you give a child something sweet, you make that child happy. That does not mean that you should do nothing for children except feed them candy. “Happy” is by no means synonymous with “good.” You must get children to brush their teeth. They must put on their snowsuits when they go outside in the cold, even though they might object strenuously. You must help a child become a virtuous, responsible, awake being, capable of full reciprocity—able to take care of himself and others, and to thrive while doing so. Why would you think it acceptable to do anything less for yourself?
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Idealism is the belief that only mind is real or knowable. Though not properly an idealist, Descartes inspired the movement. An idealist says that when you eat a chili pepper and burn your mouth, the sensations of pain or heat are indisputably real. The chili pepper itself may be an illusion: a marzipan fake doctored with Tabasco sauce, or part of a bad dream brought on by indigestion. Because pain and flavor are purely subjective, the fact of the pain or the flavor is beyond dispute. Subjective feelings transcend the physical reality of their cause. Another example: Almost everyone has been frightened by horror movies, horror novels, and nightmares. Although it’s only a movie/story/dream, the momentary fear is real fear. Penfield’s patient J.V. was genuinely frightened by the man with the bag of snakes, even if he was (in neurological replay on the operating table) an illusion. Likewise, one cannot doubt that one is happy, sad, in love, in grief, amused, or jealous, if such mental states apply. Subjective feelings are a very limited basis for reasoning about the external world. Descartes nevertheless believed he could deduce many significant conclusions from the fact of his own mind. From “I am,” he concluded that “God exists.” Every effect must have a cause, Descartes reasoned, and thus he must have a creator. From “God exists” Descartes jumped to “The external world exists” because, as a perfect being, God could not deceive us into believing in an illusory external world: He would not permit an evil genius. Few modern philosophers accept this chain of reasoning. All things may seem to have a cause, but do we know this with total certainty? Again, cause and effect could be a fiction put in our minds by an evil genius. Even allowing that there is a cause for one’s existence, it is misleading to call that cause “God.” “God” means a lot more than a cause for one’s existence. Perhaps Darwinian evolution is a cause for our existence, but that is not what most people mean by “God.” And even allowing that God exists, how do we know that He wouldn’t countenance an evil genius? None of this means that Descartes was wrong, but only that he was not true to the spirit of his original skepticism. One of Descartes’s severest critics was Scottish philosopher and historian David Hume (1711–76). At the height of his renown, Hume was a celebrity in London and Paris but could not teach at any university because of his outspoken atheism. For a time he made a difficult living as private tutor to the Third Marquess of Annandale, who was insane. Hume doubted every step of Descartes’s argument, even the existence of one’s own mind. Hume said that when he introspected, he always “stumbled on” ideas and sensations. Never did he find a self distinct from those thoughts. Hume argued that there are only two types of revealed truth. There are “truths of reason,” such as 2 + 2 = 4. Then there are “matters of fact,” such as “The raven in the aviary of the Copenhagen zoo is black.” This double-pronged conception of truth is called “Hume’s fork.” A question not of either type (such as “Does the external world really exist?”) is unanswerable and meaningless, maintained Hume.
William Poundstone (Labyrinths of Reason: Paradox, Puzzles and the Frailty of Knowledge)
Yahweh to Urset I pray that you are kept safe throughout this day, that you live as wholly as you can, that you see things that you have not seen before and that more of them are beautiful than not, more of them delightful than not. I pray that you hold easily in your hands the balance of the earth and sky, that you laugh and cry, know freedom and restraint, some joy and some sorrow, pleasure and pain, much of life and a little of death. I pray that you are grateful for the gift of your being, and I pray that you celebrate your life in the proper way, with grace and humility, wonder and contentment, in the strong, deep current of your spirit’s voice. I pray that you are happily in love with the dawn and that you are more deeply in love in the dusk.
N. Scott Momaday (The Death of Sitting Bear: New and Selected Poems)
Love, understood properly, is never a reward for being good. Goodness, rather, is always a consequence of having been loved. We are not loved because we are good, but hopefully we become good as we experience love.
Ronald Rolheiser (Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity)