Being The Strongest Quotes

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I've never been lonely. I've been in a room -- I've felt suicidal. I've been depressed. I've felt awful -- awful beyond all -- but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me...or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I've never been bothered with because I've always had this terrible itch for solitude. It's being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I'll quote Ibsen, "The strongest men are the most alone." I've never thought, "Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a fuck-job, rub my balls, and I'll feel good." No, that won't help. You know the typical crowd, "Wow, it's Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?" Well, yeah. Because there's nothing out there. It's stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I've never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in bars, because I didn't want to hide in factories. That's all. Sorry for all the millions, but I've never been lonely. I like myself. I'm the best form of entertainment I have. Let's drink more wine!
Charles Bukowski
Out of my thoughts! You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since – on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to displace with your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation I associate you only with the good, and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may. O God bless you, God forgive you!
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.
Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)
The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in hardness against themselves and others, in experiments. Their joy is self-conquest: asceticism becomes in them nature, need, and instinct. Difficult tasks are a privilege to them; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation. Knowledge–a form of asceticism. They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not preclude their being the most cheerful and the kindliest.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Anti-Christ)
Her mother told her she could grow up to be anything she wanted to be, so she grew up to become the strongest of the strong, the strangest of the strange, the wildest of the wild, the wolf leading the wolves.
Nikita Gill
Sex is a powerful intent to create: the creation of pleasure, creation of love, and ultimately the creation of life. It connects and syncs two beings emotionally, physically, and mentally and is one of the strongest expressions of love that exists in this World.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
I took the life of the woman I was supposed to call mother in the process of being born... in order to become the world's strongest shinobi... an incarnation of sand was implanted inside of me...
Masashi Kishimoto
The great are strongest when they stand alone, A God-given might of being is their force.
Sri Aurobindo (Savitri)
When we are young we are often puzzled by the fact that each person we admire seems to have a different version of what life ought to be, what a good man is, how to live, and so on. If we are especially sensitive it seems more than puzzling, it is disheartening. What most people usually do is to follow one person's ideas and then another's depending on who looms largest on one's horizon at the time. The one with the deepest voice, the strongest appearance, the most authority and success, is usually the one who gets our momentary allegiance; and we try to pattern our ideals after him. But as life goes on we get a perspective on this and all these different versions of truth become a little pathetic. Each person thinks that he has the formula for triumphing over life's limitations and knows with authority what it means to be a man, and he usually tries to win a following for his particular patent. Today we know that people try so hard to win converts for their point of view because it is more than merely an outlook on life: it is an immortality formula.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
The miracle is that, in most cases, he succeeds - for the powers of survival, of the will to survive, and to survive as a unique inalienable individual, are absolutely, the strongest in our being: stronger than any impulses, stronger than disease.
Oliver Sacks (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales)
Poverty is not being able to protect your family. Poverty is not being able to save your children when mothers with more money could. And because the strongest instinct of a mother is to protect her children, poverty is the most disempowering force on earth.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
and she loved him still; but the pleasure of shouting “It’s your fault” being the strongest any human being can enjoy, all truths and all feelings were swept along in its wake.
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (The Leopard)
There is a fine line between love and hate, or haven't you heard? Sometimes it's hard to decipher exactly which emotion is strongest." I raised my chin. "I don't love you either." He lowered his head and watched me from underneath his dark lashes. "Are you certain? Because the emotion pouring out of you every time I'm near you is certainly not disinterest." "That doesn't mean it's love." "It could be, I promise you. Take off that sweater and give me ten minutes, and you'll believe beyond a shadow of a doubt you're in love.
Darynda Jones (Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4))
He wanted to be loved for being just what he was. In this community of Yskalnari there was harmony, but no love. He no longer wanted to be the greatest, strongest or cleverest. He had left all that far behind. He longed to be loved just as he was, good or bad, handsome or ugly, clever or stupid, with all his faults - or possibly because of them. But what was he actually? He no longer knew. So much have been given to him in Fantastica, and now, among all these gifts and powers, he could no longer find himself.
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
The family is the cradle of the world’s misinformation. There must be something in family life that generates factual error. Over-closeness, the noise and heat of being. Perhaps even something deeper like the need to survive. Murray says we are fragile creatures surrounded by a world of hostile facts. Facts threaten our happiness and security. The deeper we delve into things, the looser our structure may seem to become. The family process works towards sealing off the world. Small errors grow heads, fictions proliferate. I tell Murray that ignorance and confusion can’t possibly be the driving forces behind family solidarity. What an idea, what a subversion. He asks me why the strongest family units exist in the least developed societies. Not to know is a weapon of survival, he says. Magic and superstition become entrenched as the powerful orthodoxy of the clan. The family is strongest where objective reality is most likely to be misinterpreted. What a heartless theory, I say. But Murray insists it’s true.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
The course of history is determined not by battles, by sieges, or usurpation, but by the individuals. The strongest army is, at its most basic level, a collection of individuals. Their decisions, their passions, their foolishness, and their dreams shape the years to come. If there is any lesson to be learned from history, it is that all too often the fate of armies, of cities, of entire realms rests upon the actions of one person's decision, good or bad, right or wrong, big or small, can unwittingly change the world. But history can be quite the slattern. One never knows who that person is, where he might be, or what decision he might male. It is almost enough to make me believe in destiny.
Jim Butcher (Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, #1))
A mother's love is everything, Jared. It is what brings a child into this world. It is what molds their entire being. When a mother sees her child in danger, she is literally capable of anything. Mother have lifted cars off of their children, and destroyed entire dynasties. A mother's love is the strongest energy known to man. You must that love, and it's power.
Jamie McGuire (Eden (Providence, #3))
I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the south is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes, - a justifier of the most appalling barbarity, - a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds, - and a dark shelter under, which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of the slaveholders find the strongest protection. Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me. For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
Justice, might.—It is right that what is just should be obeyed; it is necessary that what is strongest should be obeyed. Justice without might is helpless; might without justice is tyrannical. Justice without might is gainsaid, because there are always offenders; might without justice is condemned. We must then combine justice and might, and for this end make what is just strong, or what is strong just. Justice is subject to dispute; might is easily recognised and is not disputed. So we cannot give might to justice, because might has gainsaid justice, and has declared that it is she herself who is just. And thus being unable to make what is just strong, we have made what is strong just.
Blaise Pascal (Pensées)
Because you are my sister in every fiber of my being....but there are aother strands that link us, that wouldn't be seen by even the strongest electron microscope.......We are conjoined by hundreds os thousands of memories that silt down into you and stop being memories and become a part of who you are.
Rosamund Lupton (Sister)
The most intelligent men, like the strongest, find their happiness where others would find only disaster: in the labyrinth, in being hard with themselves and with others, in effort; their delight is in self-mastery; in them asceticism becomes second nature, a necessity, an instinct. They regard a difficult task as a privilege; it is to them a recreation to play with burdens that would crush all others.
Friedrich Nietzsche
...suddenly I was afraid of what Father would say. Afraid he would say, "There'll be someone else soon," and that forever afterward this untruth would lie between us. For in some deep part of me I knew already that there would not--soon or ever--be anyone else. The sweet cigar-smell came into the room with Father. And of course he did not say the false, idle words. "Corrie," he began instead, "do you know what hurts so very much? It's love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. "There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel. "God loves Karel--even more than you do--and if you ask Him, He will give you His love for this man, a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy. Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way, Corrie, God can give us his perfect way." I did not know, as I listened to Father's footsteps winding back down the stairs, that he had given me more than the key to this hard moment. I did not know that he had put into my hands the secret that would open far darker rooms than this--places where there was not, on a human level, anything to love at all.
Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom)
On the one hand, our entire species survived because we stuck together and cooperated, but on the other hand we developed because the strongest individuals always thrived at the expense of the weak. So we always end up arguing about where the boundaries should be drawn. How selfish are we allowed to be? How much are we obliged to care about each other?
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
Sometimes it’s the freaks of nature who end up being the strongest.
Amy Reed (The Nowhere Girls)
The world is a mysterious place. On the one hand, its size can be measured and recorded and verified. Its marvels and oddities captured in complex, empirical detail. On the other hand, its size is relative to our mind’s perception of it. Its marvels and oddities only extending to how far our vision goes. For some of us, this means the world is small, including only those we see as belonging to it. People related to us, people who look like us, dress like us, think like us. For others, it’s medium-size and includes those we connect to through some similarity, some trait that pings familiarity within, which then allows us to overlook the differences between us and them. And then there are those who see the world as huge, as the actual size it measurably is. Huge enough to include vast differences, people with nothing in common with one another except a beating heart and a feeling soul, these two—heart, soul—being the strongest connection between us all.
S.K. Ali (Love From A to Z)
I will be forever grateful for your presence in my life. I am a much better human being because of you. The experience of loving you, living with you, was the greatest journey of my life thus far. You showed me an alternative to the man I was becoming. I know I still have much to learn, much to accomplish, and I know my future is bright. I owe you the confidence I now have in myself. This is the confidence that could only come from the knowledge that a woman of your caliber loved me for who I am; for what you saw in me. You are a great woman and I mean that in the strongest sense of the phrase. You feel deeply, think deeply, and live deeply. I admire so much about you. Regardless of whether our paths cross again, know that I am actively wishing you success and happiness. I pray that you will once again be part of my life. But if left with just the experience we've shared, I know my life was better because of it.
Emma Forrest (Your Voice in My Head)
there would be no powerful will binding hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature…And yet she had loved him- sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being.
Kate Chopin (The Story of an Hour)
But what a superb game the three of us are playing. Who is the demon? Who is the liar? Who the human being? Who the cleverest? Who the strongest? Who loves the most? Are we three immense egos fighting for domination or for love, or are these things mixed?
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
Because we are saturated with life, because we are human, our strongest motive is life, humanity; and the stronger the motive back of the line the stronger, and therefore more beautiful, the line will be.
Robert Henri
The strongest drug that exists for a human is another human being.
Ella Frank (A Desperate Man: Volume 1 (A Desperate Man, #1))
One of the strongest signs of being in the zone is a sense of freedom and of authenticity.
Ken Robinson (The Element - How finding your passion changes everything)
The strongest force in our universe is not overriding power, but love.
Carl R. Rogers (A Way of Being)
Whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain, and danger, that is to say, whatever is in any sort terrible, or is conversant about terrible objects, or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling .... When danger or pain press too nearly, they are incapable of giving any delight, and [yet] with certain modifications, they may be, and they are delightful, as we every day experience.
Edmund Burke (A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful)
The strongest people are those who don’t fear being alone.
Troy Gathers (Take Me With You)
I wasn't born with any innate talent. I've never been naturally gifted at anything. I always had to work at it. The only way I knew how to succeed was to try harder than anyone else. Dogged persistence is what got me through life. But here was something I was half-decent at. Being able to run great distances was the one thing I could offer the world. Others might be faster, but I could go longer. My strongest quality is that I never give up.
Dean Karnazes (Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner)
We are strange beings, we seem to go free, but we go in chains -- chains of training, custom, convention, association, environment -- in a word, Circumstance -- and against these bonds the strongest of us struggle in vain.
Mark Twain
It is part of the irony of life that the strongest feelings of devoted gratitude of which human nature seems to be susceptible, are called forth in human beings towards those who, having the power entirely to crush their earthly existence, voluntarily refrain from using that power.
John Stuart Mill (The Subjection of Women)
True Christian fortitude consists in strength of mind, through grace, exerted in two things; in ruling and suppressing the evil and unruly passions and affections of the mind; and in steadfastly and freely exerting and following good affections and dispositions, without being hindered by sinful fear or the opposition of enemies... Though Christian fortitude appears in withstanding and counteracting the enemies that are without us; yet it much more appears in resisting and suppressing the enemies that are within us; because they are our worst and strongest enemies and have greatest advantage against us. The strength of the good soldier of Jesus Christ appears in nothing more than in steadfastly maintaining the holy calm, meekness, sweetness, and benevolence of his mind, amidst all the storms, injuries, strange behaviour, and surprising acts and events of this evil and unreasonable world.
Jonathan Edwards (The Religious Affections)
Don’t be afraid of criticism; the tallest trees are always confronted by the strongest winds.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Artists shouldn't wait until they are told what their art should be, they shouldn't follow trends or allow other people to influence their work, an artist should only create from the strongest emotions within their heart
Andrew James Pritchard
The commandment, 'Love thy neighbour as thyself', is the strongest defence against human aggressiveness and an excellent example of the unpsychological [expectations] of the cultural super-ego. The commandment is impossible to fulfil; such an enormous inflation of love can only lower its value, not get rid of the difficulty. Civilization pays no attention to all this; it merely admonishes us that the harder it is to obey the precept the more meritorious it is to do so. But anyone who follows such a precept in present-day civilization only puts himself at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the person who disregards it. What a potent obstacle to civilization aggressiveness must be, if the defence against it can cause as much unhappiness as aggressiveness itself! 'Natural' ethics, as it is called, has nothing to offer here except the narcissistic satisfaction of being able to think oneself better than others. At this point the ethics based on religion introduces its promises of a better after-life. But so long as virtue is not rewarded here on earth, ethics will, I fancy, preach in vain. I too think it quite certain that a real change in the relations of human beings to possessions would be of more help in this direction than any ethical commands; but the recognition of this fact among socialists has been obscured and made useless for practical purposes by a fresh idealistic misconception of human nature.
Sigmund Freud (Civilization and Its Discontents)
Your ribcage never meant to hurt you. Your windpipe doesn’t know how to be pretty, but she knows how to howl— and here, I’d like to take a moment to submit a formal apology to my soft parts because they kept me warm when I was trying to freeze to death, and I hated them for it. An apology for a starvation that went deeper than my skin. One for the strongest skeleton I will ever own and how I kept using the word girl against it. Or how I turned words like beautiful into shapes I could contort myself into. I didn’t mean to compare myself to faces I can’t have. Or spend years trying to carve myself, like Michelangelo’s angels, from the marble— forgetting what it is to be skin instead of stone. I let myself be afraid. I was taught to be. When you learn you are only as good as your beauty routine, you forget how to define yourself by anything else.
Ashe Vernon (Wrong Side of a Fistfight)
And when I look around the apartment where I now am,—when I see Charlotte’s apparel lying before me, and Albert’s writings, and all those articles of furniture which are so familiar to me, even to the very inkstand which I am using,—when I think what I am to this family—everything. My friends esteem me; I often contribute to their happiness, and my heart seems as if it could not beat without them; and yet—if I were to die, if I were to be summoned from the midst of this circle, would they feel—or how long would they feel—the void which my loss would make in their existence? How long! Yes, such is the frailty of man, that even there, where he has the greatest consciousness of his own being, where he makes the strongest and most forcible impression, even in the memory, in the heart of his beloved, there also he must perish,—vanish,—and that quickly. I could tear open my bosom with vexation to think how little we are capable of influencing the feelings of each other. No one can communicate to me those sensations of love, joy, rapture, and delight which I do not naturally possess; and though my heart may glow with the most lively affection, I cannot make the happiness of one in whom the same warmth is not inherent. Sometimes I don’t understand how another can love her, is allowed to love her, since I love her so completely myself, so intensely, so fully, grasp nothing, know nothing, have nothing but her! I possess so much, but my love for her absorbs it all. I possess so much, but without her I have nothing. One hundred times have I been on the point of embracing her. Heavens! what a torment it is to see so much loveliness passing and repassing before us, and yet not dare to lay hold of it! And laying hold is the most natural of human instincts. Do not children touch everything they see? And I! Witness, Heaven, how often I lie down in my bed with a wish, and even a hope, that I may never awaken again! And in the morning, when I open my eyes, I behold the sun once more, and am wretched. If I were whimsical, I might blame the weather, or an acquaintance, or some personal disappointment, for my discontented mind; and then this insupportable load of trouble would not rest entirely upon myself. But, alas! I feel it too sadly; I am alone the cause of my own woe, am I not? Truly, my own bosom contains the source of all my pleasure. Am I not the same being who once enjoyed an excess of happiness, who at every step saw paradise open before him, and whose heart was ever expanded towards the whole world? And this heart is now dead; no sentiment can revive it. My eyes are dry; and my senses, no more refreshed by the influence of soft tears, wither and consume my brain. I suffer much, for I have lost the only charm of life: that active, sacred power which created worlds around me,—it is no more. When I look from my window at the distant hills, and behold the morning sun breaking through the mists, and illuminating the country around, which is still wrapped in silence, whilst the soft stream winds gently through the willows, which have shed their leaves; when glorious Nature displays all her beauties before me, and her wondrous prospects are ineffectual to extract one tear of joy from my withered heart,—I feel that in such a moment I stand like a reprobate before heaven, hardened, insensible, and unmoved. Oftentimes do I then bend my knee to the earth, and implore God for the blessing of tears, as the desponding labourer in some scorching climate prays for the dews of heaven to moisten his parched corn.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
The strongest athlete isn't the one who finishes first. That athlete is the fastest. The strongest athlete is the one who gets up again every time he falls, the one who doesn't stop when he feels a pain in his side, the one who doesn't abandon the race, no matter how far away the finish line is. That runner is a winner whenever he reaches the finish line, even if he comes in last. Sometimes, no matter how much you want it, being the fastest isn't an option, because your legs aren't as long or your lungs as large. But you can always choose to be the strongest. It's up to you - your willpower and your effort.
Antonio Iturbe (La bibliotecaria de Auschwitz)
To commit to loving a person for five minutes is easy. To commit to loving a person for the rest of your life, after you have met them, is a strong commitment. But when you commit to loving a person before you meet them and for the rest of your life, you have made the strongest commitment one can make to a relationship.
Tom Houck (Being Faithful To Your Future Spouse: Faithfulness Begins Before You Meet)
Every day, people engaged in the clever defiance of their own intuition become, in mid-thought, victims of violence and accidents. So when we wonder why we are victims so often, the answer is clear: It is because we are so good at it. A woman could offer no greater cooperation to her soon-to-be attacker than to spend her time telling herself, “But he seems like such a nice man.” Yet this is exactly what many people do. A woman is waiting for an elevator, and when the doors open she sees a man inside who causes her apprehension. Since she is not usually afraid, it may be the late hour, his size, the way he looks at her, the rate of attacks in the neighborhood, an article she read a year ago—it doesn’t matter why. The point is, she gets a feeling of fear. How does she respond to nature’s strongest survival signal? She suppresses it, telling herself: “I’m not going to live like that, I’m not going to insult this guy by letting the door close in his face.” When the fear doesn’t go away, she tells herself not to be so silly, and she gets into the elevator. Now, which is sillier: waiting a moment for the next elevator, or getting into a soundproofed steel chamber with a stranger she is afraid of? The inner voice is wise, and part of my purpose in writing this book is to give people permission to listen to it.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
There’s all this pressure in our society to be beautiful, to be strong, to be sexy. So we spend our time and money on trying to become these things. We put on the high heels, the suits, the makeup, the mask. Then, we feel more awkward than confident, so we drink away our anxieties. That doesn’t make us look any sexier – it just makes us stop caring about how we look. Everyone is beautiful. Everyone is sexy. Everyone is strong. It’s lunacy. We’re all running around trying to become something that we already are. You know what’s really sexy? A person who’s 100% comfortable with themselves. And you know what’s really funny? It is just as time consuming and difficult to learn to accept yourself as it is to pretend to be someone else. The only difference is – with self acceptance, one day, it’s not hard anymore. One day, you feel like your sexiest, strongest self just rolling out of bed in the morning. You’re either going to spend the little time you have in your life on trying to know yourself or trying to hide yourself. The choice is yours. You can’t do both. And you know what’s really amazing about choosing self-love? You’ll be setting an example for all the people around you and all the kids of the coming generation. You’ll be part of a revolution to take back the precious moments of our lives out of the hands of shame-inducing advertisers and back into the hands and hearts of real people like you, like me, like all of us. I know you’ve dreamt about changing the world. So this is your chance. Learn to love yourself, accept yourself, and unleash your strongest, sexiest self. It’s in there. You just have to believe it.
Vironika Tugaleva
And yet, you didn’t bother telling me yourself,” I snapped, still outraged. “I couldn’t! They made me promise not to.” Somehow, his betrayal hurt worse than all the others. I had come to trust him implicitly. How could he do this to me? “No one believed I’d be able to talk the Warriors down, so everyone just made contingency plans without me.” Never mind that I Hadn’t been able to talk them down. “Someone should have told me. You should have told me.” There was legitimate pain and regret in his voice. “I’m telling you, I wanted to. But I was trapped. You of all people should know what it’s like being caught between groups, Sage. Besides, don’t you remember what I said just before you got in the car with Trey?” I did actually. Almost word for word. No matter what happens, I want you to know that I never doubted what you’re going to do. It’s smart, and it’s brave. I slouched further into my seat and felt like I was on the verge of tears. Adrian was right. I did know what it was like to have your loyalty stretched between different groups. I understood the position he’d been in. It was just, some selfish part of me wished that I’d been the one his loyalty has been strongest to.
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
It is a question of the freedom of God, which finds its strongest evidence precisely in that God freely chose to be bound to historical human beings and to be placed at the disposal of human beings. God is free not from human beings but for them. Christ is the word of God’s freedom.
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
Out of my thoughts! You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read since I first [met you]. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since,—on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation, I associate you only with the good; and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
The desire of being believed, the desire of persuading, of leading, and directing other people, seems to be one of the strongest of all our natural desires.
Adam Smith (The Theory of Moral Sentiments)
my point being, what if my attacks are enterly unrelated attributable in fact to something entirely else, perhaps for instance just warning shocks brought on by my own crumbling biology, tiny flakes of unknown chemical origin already burning holes through the fabric of my mind, dismantling memories, undoing even the strongest powers of imagination and reason? how then do you fly from that path?
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
Sometimes,' Anastazia said, 'it isn't about being the most powerful person or the person who has the most knowledge. It isn't about being the oldest person, or the strongest person, or the person who makes all the right decisions. Sometimes it's about being the person who decides to stand up and fight.
Claire Legrand (Foxheart (Foxheart, #1))
Being forced to confront the prospect of failure head-on—to study it, dissect it, tease apart all its components and consequences—really works. After a few years of doing that pretty much daily, you’ve forged the strongest possible armor to defend against fear: hard-won competence. Our training pushes us to develop a new set of instincts: instead of reacting to danger with a fight-or-flight adrenaline rush, we’re trained to respond unemotionally by immediately prioritizing threats and methodically seeking to defuse them. We go from wanting to bolt for the exit to wanting to engage and understand what’s going wrong, then fix it.
Chris Hadfield (An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth)
If we take good care of ourselves, we help everyone. We stop being a source of suffering to the world, and we become a reservoir of joy and freshness. Here and there are people who know how to take good care of themselves, who live joyfully and happily. They are our strongest support. Whatever they do, they do for everyone.
Thich Nhat Hanh (How to Love (Mindfulness Essentials, #3))
Love of Truth is one of the strongest motives for replacing what really happens by a streamlined account or, to express it in a less polite manner -- love of truth is one of the strongest motives for deceiving oneself and others.
Paul Karl Feyerabend (Conquest of Abundance: A Tale of Abstraction versus the Richness of Being)
From all the poems written on the subject of unrequited love, there are so few on the pain of being the object of that affection. The truth is..it's not love on which the strongest foundations are built. It's the decency of merciful lies.
Klaus Mikaelson
There are some pains that run very deeply, as so that the strongest one accept them without being broken.
Sherrilyn Kenyon
As a child, every human being passes through a state of powerlessness, and truth is one of the strongest weapons of those who have no power.
Erich Fromm (Escape from Freedom)
This was another taarof: Sohrab giving me his nicer cleats. And invoking my being a guest was one of the strongest strategies you could employ in taarof.
Adib Khorram (Darius the Great Is Not Okay (Darius The Great, #1))
The strongest argument for gene editing cane toads, house mice, and ship rats is also the simplest: what's the alternative? Rejecting such technologies as unnatural isn't going to bring nature back. The choice is not between what is and what was, but between what is and what will be, which, often enough, is nothing.
Elizabeth Kolbert (Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future)
Aidan pulled away and stared intently at her. His blue eyes blazed with intensity. “Listen to me. You have every right to be scared, but I want you to believe me when I say that Noah is going to be fine. He’s blessed with some strong as hell genes.” Placing his hand on her belly, he smiled. “He’s part Fitzgerald, and for generations, the men of my family have been known for being tough, scrappy fighters with a will of iron to survive.” “Really?” she questioned with a hiccup. Aidan nodded. “But even more than the fighting Irish Fitzgerald blood pumping through him, he’s inherited the most amazing DNA from his mother. She’s the strongest person I’ve ever known.
Katie Ashley (The Proposal (The Proposition, #2))
Ours is a bourgeois civilization. I am not using this term in its Marxian sense. Chicken! In the vocabularies of modern art and religion it is bourgeois to consider that the universe was made for our safe use and to give us comfort, ease, and support. Light travels at a quarter of a million miles per second so that we can see to comb our hair or read in the paper that ham hocks are cheaper than yesterday. De Tocqueville considered the impulse toward well-being as one of the strongest impulses of a democratic society. He can't be blamed for underestimating the destructive powers generated by this same impulse.
Saul Bellow
If you want to obtain the strongest emotional response, then you write between the lines, never on the line; you write around the feeling, you don't spell it out explicitly. Because - if you tell the reader everything, if you don't leave spaces for the mind to fill in, if you don't engage the consciousness by giving the reader something to do -- if, in effect, you try to do it all -- then you leave the reader passive, the consciousness is not engaged as it could be, and so the reader is not that involved emotionally.
Nathaniel Branden (Judgement Day)
Pain . . . such a simple word, but so packed with meaning. I have come to learn that pain is the strongest emotion one can feel. Unlike every other emotion, it’s the only one every human being is guaranteed to feel at some point in their life, and there is no upside to pain, no positive aspect that can make you look at it from a different perspective . . . there’s only the overwhelming sensation of pain itself.
Anna Todd (After We Fell (After, #3))
It seems right to me sometimes that we should follow our strongest feeling; but then, such feelings continually come across the ties that our former life has made for us -- the ties that have made others dependent on us -- and would cut them in two. If life were quite easy and simple, as it might have been in paradise, and we could always see that one being first towards whom -- I mean, if life did not make duties for us before love comes, love would be a sign that two people ought to belong to each other. But I see -- I feel it is not so now; there are things we must renounce in life; some of us must resign love. Many thing are difficult and dark to me, but I see one thing quite clearly: that I must not, cannot, seek my own happiness by sacrificing others. Love is natural, but surely pity and faithfulness and memory are natural too. And they would live in me still and punish me if I did not obey them. I should be haunted by the suffering I had caused. Our love would be poisoned.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest. What force has a multitude? They only can force me who obey a higher law than I. They force me to become like themselves. I do not hear of men being forced to live this way or that by masses of men. What sort of life were that to live? When I meet a government which says to me, "Your money or your life," why should I be in haste to give it my money?
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience)
Bushido. The sense of honor which cannot bear being looked down upon as an inferior power,—that was the strongest of motives.
Inazō Nitobe (Bushido, the Soul of Japan)
The strongest beings are those who sing themselves into existence.
Dan Simmons (The Fifth Heart)
Love being the strongest thing in this Universe isn't always a good thing. It just implies that broken hearts can break worlds.
Nenad Almaj (Timeless Fate: Love Adventure Through the Ages)
Sometimes it's the freaks of nature who end up being the strongest.
Amy Reed (The Nowhere Girls)
Yes, being gay is just one of a thousand traits that make up my character, no more remarkable than my love of M&M's or my ability to mess up a room in fifteen seconds flat or my failure to understand the appeal of Luke and Owen Wilson. But I believe that the desire to love and be loved is the strongest force on earth. And in that way, being gay affects every interaction in which straight people take part. Every human motive is in the end a yearning for companionship, and every act of every person on this planet is an effort not to be alone.
Joel Derfner (Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever)
Let us consider the power of FAITH, as it is now being demonstrated, by a man who is well known to all of civilization, Mahatma Gandhi, of India. In this man the world has one of the most astounding examples known to civilization, of the possibilities of FAITH. Gandhi wields more potential power than any man living at this time, and this, despite the fact that he has none of the orthodox tools of power, such as money, battle ships, soldiers, and materials of warfare. Gandhi has no money, he has no home, he does not own a suit of clothes, but HE DOES HAVE POWER. How does he come by that power? HE CREATED IT OUT OF HIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE PRINCIPLE OF FAITH, AND THROUGH HIS ABILITY TO TRANSPLANT THAT FAITH INTO THE MINDS OF TWO HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE. Gandhi has accomplished, through the influence of FAITH, that which the strongest military power on earth could not, and never will accomplish through soldiers and military equipment. He has accomplished the astounding feat of INFLUENCING two hundred million minds to COALESCE AND MOVE IN UNISON, AS A SINGLE MIND. What other force on earth, except FAITH could do as much? There will come a day when employees as well as employers will discover the possibilities of FAITH. That day is dawning. The whole world has had ample opportunity, during the recent business depression, to witness what the LACK OF FAITH will do to business.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
I turn to Libby. "You're kind. Probably the kindest person I know. You're also forgiving, at least a little, but I'm hoping a lot, and in my book that's a superpower." Her eyes are on mine, and there's a lot going on there. "You're smart as hell, and you don't take people's crap, least of all mine. You are who you are. You know who that is, and you aren't afraid of it, and how many of us can say that." She's not smiling, but it's not about what her mouth is doing. It's about her eyes. "You're strong too. It's not just a matter of being able to knock down a guy with a single shot to the jaw." (Everyone laughs, except her.) "I'm talking about inner strength. Like, if I would draw that inner strength it might look a lot like a triangle made of carbyne. That's the world's strongest material. You also make things better for people around you...
Jennifer Niven (Holding Up the Universe)
There wasn’t much that scared her. She was the strongest person I’d ever known. And I’m not talking about the kind of strength that’s measured by the number of reps someone can perform. I’m talking about being fearless. About standing up for yourself. About not caring what people think.
Elizabeth Eulberg (Better Off Friends)
I firmly believe that American society would not endure ten years if subjected to half the trials and tortures we’ve put Natives through. And yet Native peoples have not been utterly destroyed, not by the world’s strongest military. They have not been totally assimilated, not by the world’s largest religion. Native religions are indeed concerned with being a good person, respecting one’s family, ancestors, community, and the Earth—and when these principles are lived, there is great strength.
Israel Morrow (Gods of the Flesh: A Skeptic's Journey Through Sex, Politics and Religion)
As Buechner says, we are in constant danger of being not actors in the drama of our lives but reactors, “to go where the world takes us, to drift with whatever current happens to be running the strongest.
John Eldredge (Wild at Heart Revised and Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul)
One of my biggest problems in dealing with the breakdown of my body is that I keep looking in the wrong direction. I look to the past and the capabilities I once had, instead of looking to the future and what I will someday become in the presence and by the grace of God. Perhaps that is the strongest temptation for you too. Our culture reinforces that mistake by its refusal to talk about heaven, as if it were an old-fashioned and outdated notion. We also intensify the problem by craving present health (as limited as it can be) more than we desire God. A friend once said to me. "This is so hard getting old—there are so many things we can‘t do any more. I guess the Lord wants to teach us something." Indeed, our bodies will never be what they previously were, and we find that difficult because we miss our former activities. But God wants to teach us to hunger for Him, our greatest treasure. Instead of rejecting the notion of heaven, we genuinely ache in our deepest self to fill that concept with a larger landscape of the Joy of basking in God‘s presence.
Marva J. Dawn (Being Well When We're Ill: Wholeness and Hope in Spite of Infirmity)
You've won," Jack said softly. He looked at Mimi with such fiery hatred that she almost cowered at his words. But she was no weakling. She was Azrael, and Azrael did not cower, not even to Abbadon. "I've won nothing," Mimi replied coldly. "Please remember that almost all of the Elders are dead, that the Dark Prince is ascendant, and what is left of the Conclave is being led by a broken man who used to be the strongest of us all. And yet all you seem to care about, my darling, is that you no longer get to play with your little love toy." Instead of answering her, Jack flew across the room and slapped her hard across the face, sending her crashing to the floor. But before he could wield another blow, Mimi leaped up and slammed him against the window, knocking him completely out of breath. "Is this what you want?" she hissed as she lifted him up by his shirt collar, his face turning a ghastly shade of red. "Don't let me destroy you," he sneered. "Just try, my sweet." Jack twisted out of her grasp and flipped her over, kicking her down the length of the room. She sprung up with her hands clenched, her nails sharp as claws, and fangs bared. They met halfway in the air, and Jack put a hand on her throat and began to squeeze. But she scratched at his eyes and wrenched her body so that she was rolling on top of him, her sword at his throat, with the upper hand. SUBMIT. Mimi sent. NEVER.
Melissa de la Cruz
For all the alcoholics and addicts out there, you are loved, stopped being so stubborn and come in from the cold. Wherever you are, there is a brighter light in your sight. Move towards it every day, and keep moving towards it. Even the worst and strongest addiction is a choice—a choice not to fight, to give up, to indulge the impulse, or instead to accept the hands offered you to help, even from strangers, even from the state. Don’t hate those who gave up on you, it wasn’t their fault, you just wore them down. Show them they were wrong about you. Your troubles are meant to mold you into something better, not destroy you, so FIGHT! Another day comes for the better if you’re standing in the right spot for it to hit you. Find the right spot and stay there until it does.
Dave Pryor
What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being! Free! Body and soul free! She kept whispering.
Kate Chopin
The strongest lesson I can teach my son is the same lesson I teach my daughter: how to be who he wishes to be for himself. And the best way I can do this is to be who I am and hope that he will learn from this not how to be me, which is not possible, but how to be himself. And this means how to move to that voice from within himself, rather than to those raucous, persuasive, or threatening voices from outside, pressuring him to be what the world wants him to be.
Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)
Ah's me! if we could be what what we wish to be, instead of being only what we are, there would be a great difference in our characters and knowledge and appearance. One may be rude and coarse and ignorant, and yet happy, if he does not know it; but it is hard to see our own failings in the strongest light, just as we wish to hear the least about them.
James Fenimore Cooper (Pathfinder; or, the inland sea)
It is a question of the freedom of God, which finds its strongest evidence precisely in that God freely chose to be bound to historical human beings and to be placed at the disposal of human beings. God is not from human beings but for them.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I don't have all of the answers to the world. I don't know everything about life and marriage and happiness. But I do know what love is. And I do know that when love is real, and when love is in its strongest form, it is the most powerful thing on this earth. It kills, saves lives, heals wounds, and most of all, brings hope. That is what you have done for me, Lily. You have brought me hope. When I look into your eyes, I know that no matter what may happen to me, as long as I can see those eyes staring back at me, then I'll be fine. Somehow I'll make it through. Somehow I'll find a way to survive for you. And that's what I want to feel for the rest of my time here on Earth, however short or long that may be. I want to wake up every morning and see your shining face staring back at me. But I also want to protect you. I want to protect you from anything that may hurt you. I want to be there when you cry to dry your tears. When you feel lonely, I want to give you a kiss. When you are scared, to embrace you. And when you are happy, to share a laugh with you. I don't know what's in store for us, but I do know that true love outlasts everything. It outlasts doubt, hate, war, misfortune, and most of all death. I vow to you to always be beside you. Not only in this life, but the next. Because that's when love becomes real. That's when love becomes unchained from anything in this life. I know that when I die, the first thing that I will see will be your eyes. That is how I will know that I made it to Heaven. Because you and I will still be together, forever." -James Potter
Mordred
I choose weird stories because they suit my inclination best—one of my strongest and most persistent wishes being to achieve, momentarily, the illusion of some strange suspension or violation of the galling limitations of time, space, and natural law which for ever imprison us and frustrate our curiosity about the infinite cosmic spaces beyond the radius of our sight and analysis.
H.P. Lovecraft (Complete Collection Of H.P.Lovecraft - 150 eBooks With 100+ Audio Book Links(Complete Collection Of Lovecraft's Fiction,Juvenilia,Poems,Essays And Collaborations))
I guess, anything and everything that she wants. Marriage, babies, travelling the world, whatever it may be. I’m my strongest and happiest when she is with me, so all I need is her. I intend to love and cherish that girl until the end of time, and more if it’s possible.
Angela Richardson (Pieces of Truth (Pieces of Lies, #2))
The individual act of will is the strongest, most transcendent part of us. To look upon something with our deepest overriding passions, whether it be rage, grief, hope or love, and yet recognise a greater need or goal, and to say, "I will do this" or "I will not do that", no matter what the personal cost, is a triumph of the spirit. The exercise of the will is the art of humans in the state of being.' --
Amanda Carpenter (The Winter King)
What was the point in being human, in having brains that could develop vaccines and organize people across a continent, if all we did was behave like animals? This world, where all that matters was being in the strongest, biggest pack - it wasn't a world I wanted to save.
Megan Crewe (The Worlds We Make (Fallen World, #3))
In my isolation, I dreamt of power. My daydreams and fantasies were all about how I could win, how I could be number one, how I could have my cake and eat it too. When those dreams were fulfilled, I felt nothing. The love-sized hole within me grew larger and larger as I died by my own hand, by my own mind. During my transformation, I found what I needed to fill the hole. I found peace, joy, and connection. To power, I waved goodbye. I thought that being a loving, spiritual being meant sacrificing that triumph-hungry drive within. For much too long, I ignored these urges, believing them to be the opposite of love while I cycled in and out of love awareness. The day that my love mindset became a permanent state of mind was the day I realized that love is not the opposite of power. Love is power. Love is the strongest power there is.
Vironika Tugaleva (The Love Mindset)
You are part of my existence, part of myelf. You have been in every line I ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since - on the river, ont he sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy, that my mind has ever become aquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence you have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil" (Pip to Estalla)
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
A pyramid of souls exists, based on the desire to receive. At the base of the pyramid are many souls with small desires, earthly, looking for a comfortable life in an animal-like manner: food, sex, sleep. The next layer comprises fewer souls, those with the urge to acquire wealth. These are people who are willing to invest their entire lives in making money, and who sacrifice themselves for the sake of being rich. Next are those that will do anything to control others, to govern and reach positions of power. An even greater desire, felt by even fewer souls, is for knowledge; these are scientists and academics, who spend their lives engaged in discovering something specific. They are interested in nothing but their all-important discovery. Located at the zenith of the pyramid is the strongest desire, developed by only a small few, for the attainment of the spiritual world. All these levels are built into the pyramid.
Michael Laitman
there used to be, dirtside, a legal defenses called "diminished capacity" and "not guilty by reason on insanity." These concepts would bewilder a Loonie. In Luna City a man would necessarily be of diminished mental capacity to even think about rape; to carry one out would be the strongest possible proof of insanity - but among Loonies such mental disorders would not gain a rapist any sympathy. loonies do not psychoanalyze a rapist; they kill him. Now. Fast. Brutally.
Robert A. Heinlein (The Cat Who Walks Through Walls)
Finally, it may not be a logical deduction, but to my imagination it is far more satisfactory to look at such instincts as the young cuckoo ejecting its foster-brothers, ants making slaves, the larvae of ichneumonidae feeding within the live bodies of caterpillars, not as specially endowed or created instincts, but as small consequences of one general law leading to the advancement of all organic beings—namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.
Charles Darwin (On the Origin of Species)
There are no specific memories of the first time I used ketamine, which was around age 17 or 18. The strongest recollection of ketamine use regarded an instance when I was concurrently smoking marijuana and inhaling nitrous oxide. I was in an easy chair and the popular high school band Sublime was playing on the CD player. I was with a friend. We were snorting lines of ketamine and then smoking marijuana from a pipe and blowing the marijuana smoke into a nitrous-filled balloon and inhaling and exhaling the nitrous-filled balloon until there was no more nitrous oxide in the balloon to achieve acute sensations of pleasure, [adjective describing state in which one is unable to comprehend anything], disorientation, etc. The first time I attempted this process my vision behaved as a compact disc sound when it skips - a single frame of vision replacing itself repeatedly for over 60 seconds, I think. Everything was vibrating. Obviously I couldn't move. My friend was later vomiting in the bathroom a lot and I remember being particularly fascinated by the sound of it; it was like he was screaming at the same time as vomiting, which I found funny, and he was making, to a certain degree, demon-like noises. My time 'with' ketamine lasted three months at the most, but despite my attempts I never achieved a 'k-hole.' At a party, once, I saw a girl sitting in bushes and asked her what she was doing and she said "I'm in a 'k-hole.'" While I have since stopped doing ketamine because of availability and lack of interest, I would do ketamine again because I would like to be in a 'k-hole.
Brandon Scott Gorrell
Gnosticism is undeniably pre-Christian, with both Jewish and gentile roots. The wisdom of Solomon already contained Gnostic elements and prototypes for the Jesus of the Gospels...God stops being the Lord of righteous deed and becomes the Good One...A clear pre-Christian Gnosticism can be distilled from the epistles of Paul. Paul is recklessly misunderstood by those who try to read anything Historical Jesus-ish into it. The conversion of Paul in the Acts of the Apostles is a mere forgery from various Tanakh passages... [The epistles] are from Christian mystics of the middle of the second century. Paul is thus the strongest witness against the Historical Jesus hypothesis...John's Gnostic origin is more evident than that of the synoptics. Its acceptance proves that even the Church wasn't concerned with historical facts at all.
Arthur Drews
My conception of freedom. -- The value of a thing sometimes does not lie in that which one attains by it, but in what one pays for it -- what it costs us. I shall give an example. Liberal institutions cease to be liberal as soon as they are attained: later on, there are no worse and no more thorough injurers of freedom than liberal institutions. Their effects are known well enough: they undermine the will to power; they level mountain and valley, and call that morality; they make men small, cowardly, and hedonistic -- every time it is the herd animal that triumphs with them. Liberalism: in other words, herd-animalization. These same institutions produce quite different effects while they are still being fought for; then they really promote freedom in a powerful way. On closer inspection it is war that produces these effects, the war for liberal institutions, which, as a war, permits illiberal instincts to continue. And war educates for freedom. For what is freedom? That one has the will to assume responsibility for oneself. That one maintains the distance which separates us. That one becomes more indifferent to difficulties, hardships, privation, even to life itself. That one is prepared to sacrifice human beings for one's cause, not excluding oneself. Freedom means that the manly instincts which delight in war and victory dominate over other instincts, for example, over those of "pleasure." The human being who has become free -- and how much more the spirit who has become free -- spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free man is a warrior. How is freedom measured in individuals and peoples? According to the resistance which must be overcome, according to the exertion required, to remain on top. The highest type of free men should be sought where the highest resistance is constantly overcome: five steps from tyranny, close to the threshold of the danger of servitude. This is true psychologically if by "tyrants" are meant inexorable and fearful instincts that provoke the maximum of authority and discipline against themselves; most beautiful type: Julius Caesar. This is true politically too; one need only go through history. The peoples who had some value, who attained some value, never attained it under liberal institutions: it was great danger that made something of them that merits respect. Danger alone acquaints us with our own resources, our virtues, our armor and weapons, our spirit, and forces us to be strong. First principle: one must need to be strong -- otherwise one will never become strong. Those large hothouses for the strong -- for the strongest kind of human being that has so far been known -- the aristocratic commonwealths of the type of Rome or Venice, understood freedom exactly in the sense in which I understand it: as something one has and does not have, something one wants, something one conquers
Friedrich Nietzsche
I have the strongest sense of déjà vu,” she said. “Some people think that's a sign, that you're right where you're supposed to be.
Caroline Flarity (The Ghost Hunter's Daughter)
Whatever you’ve imagined your limits of strength and daring to be, the strongest woman in the world can inspire you to go beyond them. That’s what champions are for.
Gloria Steinem (Moving Beyond Words: Essays on Age, Rage, Sex, Power, Money, Muscles: Breaking the Boundaries of Gender)
She didn’t realize there was such a thing as being too strong too fast. She didn’t realize that even the strongest people could be dangerously close to breaking.
L.C. Perry (Emerald Dream (Bronze Rebellion #2))
It makes you doubt yourself, it makes you feel like nothing but in the end, you emerge as the strongest human being ever. That's life. Leave it or live it.
Vibhuti Rajawat (The Last Day Of My Life)
The strongest, the most intelligent, the most successful of men is not worthy of being called a Man if he is devoid of courage!
Augusto Branco
Years now without coffee, without alcohol, without tobacco. ...Luckily, there is anxiety, which usefully replaces the strongest stimulants.
Emil M. Cioran (The Trouble with Being Born)
Conscience is a sense of obligation ultimately based in an emotional attachment to another living creature (often but not always a human being), or to a group of human beings, or even in some cases to humanity as a whole. Conscience does not exist without an emotional bond to someone or something, and in this way conscience is closely allied with the spectrum of emotions we call "love." This alliance is what gives true conscience its resilience and its astonishing authority over those who have it. It can drive us in compelling ways because its fuel is none other than our strongest affections. And witnessing or hearing about an act of.conscience, even an ordinary one, pleases us, because any conscience-bound choice reminds us of the sweet ties that bind us. A story about conscience is a story about the connectedness of living things, and in unconscious recognition, we smile at the true nature of the tale.
Martha Stout (The Sociopath Next Door)
As regards being dead, however, one of my main consolations has always been that I have the strongest intention of being an extremely active ghost. Let nobody make any mistake about that.
Siegfried Sassoon
You are infinitely my superior in merit; all that I know - You have qualities which I had not supposed to exist in such a degree in any human creature. You have some touches of the angel in you, beyond what - not merely beyond what one sees, because one never sees any thing like it - but beyond what one fancies might be. But still I am not frightened. It is not by equality of merit that you can be won. That is out of the question. It is he who sees and worships your merit the strongest, who loves you most devotedly, that has the best right to a return.” (326)
Jane Austen (Mansfield Park)
Darkness makes the brain giddy. Man needs light. Whoever plunges into the opposite of day feels his heart chilled. When the eye sees blackness, the mind sees trouble. In an eclipse, in night, in the sooty darkness, there is an anxiety even to the strongest. Nobody walks alone at night in the forest without trembling. Darkness and trees, two formidable depths - a reality of chimeras appears in the indistinct distance. The Inconceivable outlines itself a few steps from you with a spectral clearness. You see floating in space or in your brain something strangely vague and unseizable as the dreams of sleeping flowers. There are fierce phantoms in the horizon. You breathe in the odours of the great black void. You are afraid, and tempted to look behind you. The hollowness of night, the haggardness of all things, the silent profiles that fade away as you advance, the obscure dishevelments, angry clumps, livid pools, the gloomy reflected in the funeral, the sepulchral immensity of silence, the possible unknown beings, the swaying of mysterious branches, the frightful twistings of the trees, long spires of shivering grass - against all this you have no defence. There is no bravery which does not shudder and feel the nearness of anguish. You feel something hideous as if the soul were amalgamating with the shadow. This penetration of the darkness is inexperessibly dismal for a child. Forests are apocalypses; and the beating of the wings of a little soul makes an agonising sound under their monstrous vault.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
The human desire to experience union with others is rooted in the specific conditions of existence that characterize the human species and is one of the strongest motivators of human behavior.
Erich Fromm (To Have or to Be? The Nature of the Psyche)
...those who deny or oppose these so pleasant delights (of virtue), do so only from jealousy, you may be sure, from the barbarous pleasure of making others as guilty and unhappy as they are. They are blind and would like everyone to be the same, they are mistaken, and would like everyone else to be mistaken; but if you could see into the depths of their hearts you would find only sorrow and repentance; all these apostles of crime are only evil and desperate people; you would not find a sincere person among them who would not admit, if he were truthful, that their poisonous words or dangerous writings had not been guided only by their passions. And what man in fact can say in cold blood that the bases of morality can be shaken without risk? What being would dare maintain that doing good and desiring good are not essentially the aim of mankind? And how can a man who will do only evil expect to be happy in a society whose strongest concern is the perpetual increase of good? But will not this apologist of crime not shudder himself when he had uprooted from all hearts the only thing which could lead to his conversion? What will stop his servants ruining him, if they have ceased to be virtuous?
Marquis de Sade (Gothic Tales of the Marquis de Sade)
Mighty Nyx came, Mighty Nyx sought, All that he could, Of his dark lot. In the deep night, His kingdom rose, Beware, great king, Of that which grows. Easy to conquer, Easy to crown, But even the strongest, Can be cut down. Raised in the shadows, Reared in the night, Your child will come, And ascend by might. And you, the slain, Shall wait and see, What other things, A soul can be. A body to curse, A body to blame, A body the earth, Will not yet claim. Beware the mortal, Beneath your sky, Crush the human, Who’ll see you die. Twice you’ll rise, Twice you’ll fall, Lest you can, Change it all. Or perish by day, Perish by dawn, The world believes, You’re already gone. So darken your heart, My shadow king, And let us see, What war will bring. —The Prophecy of Galleghar Nyx
Laura Thalassa (A Strange Hymn (The Bargainer, #2))
Now the flirting couple had been joined by a bunny girl who’d screamed how she wanted to fuck a guy at the top of her lungs, and a beautiful older woman who was panting heavily after being called a pervert
Ryo Shirakome (Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest, Vol. 4)
In barbaric lands like the Americas, writers produced their best work before learning the craft, and nine times out of ten, their book was the strongest, as well as being, in general, the only one they wrote.
César Aira (Varamo)
In 1988, a cave explorer named Véronique Le Guen volunteered for an extreme experiment: to live alone in an underground cavern in southern France without a clock for one hundred and eleven days, monitored by scientists who wished to study the human body's natural rhythms in the absence of time cues. For a while, she settled into a pattern of thirty hours awake and twenty hours asleep. She described herself as being "psychologically completely out of phase, where I no longer know what my values are or what is my purpose in life." When she returned to society, her husband later noted, she seemed to have an emptiness inside her that she was unable to fully express. "While I was alone in my cave I was my own judge," she said. "You are your own most severe judge. You must never lie or all is lost. The strongest sentiment I brought out of the cave is that in my life I will never tolerate lying." A little more than a year later, Le Guen swallowed an overdose of barbiturates and lay down in her car in Paris, a suicide at age thirty-three.
Michael Finkel (The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit)
I smile, I am compassionate, I am strong, I am empathetic, I am emotional. If you think being emotional is my Weakness in this Selfish world, Then I Believe I'm the Strongest of all As I Help people when they Fall.
Somya Kedia
But hope is an elusive thing, always there, but never where you expect it to be. After all, hope’s brother is despair, and they’re always working together to crush the minds and souls of even the strongest men and women.
David Estes (Brew (Salem's Revenge, #1))
We have stopped deriving humanity from ‘spirit’, from ‘divinity’, we have stuck human beings back among the animals. We see them as the strongest animals because they are the most cunning: one consequence of this is their spirituality.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Anti-Christ)
Fabian didn't flinch under Vlad's harsh analysis. "You have no idea what it's like, existing between worlds," he said, floating closer instead of backing away. "We are neither the living or the undead. It takes years to cope with the fact that even though over ninety-nine percent of everyone who dies crosses over to the next place, you are left behind. Years to accept that everything you worked for in your life is gone, and the shell of memory is all that remains. Years to recover from hopelessly trying to communicate with loved ones, only to fail time and again because no one except the crazed, psychics, the undead, or other ghosts can see you. Years to accept---even if you don't understand why---that vampires and ghouls will treat you worse that they do vermin, even though they are no human than you are." Fabian advanced again, until his finger disappeared into Vlad's chest. "I'd dare the strongest of your race or any other to say that they've conquered the same hardships my people have overcome. So think again before you question a ghost's worth, or judge those younger ones who are still in the process of becoming tougher than anyone tied to flesh will ever be." Stunned silence filled the air once Fabian was finished. I wanted to break out in apologies and applause all at the same time, but I was still recovering from my shock at how my mild-mannered, Casperesque friend had just unloaded a truck full of I-dare-yous onto one of the scariest vampires in existence. Damned if I would ever underestimate a ghost's chutzpah again, or question their fortitude. Being noncorporeal clearly didn't equate to lacking a pair of balls.
Jeaniene Frost (This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5))
Healing is not only a specific method, healing is also to invite another person into our own inner light, to invite another person into our presence, love, joy, acceptance, humor, understanding, playfulness, meditation and silence. Healing can also be a loving word, an understanding glance, a present touch, a silent listening or simply joking with another person and making him or her happy. Humor is also one of the strongest healing powers to see our situation and ourselves in a new and creative light.
Swami Dhyan Giten (Presence - Working from Within. The Psychology of Being)
In my travels on the surface, I once met a man who wore his religious beliefs like a badge of honor upon the sleeves of his tunic. "I am a Gondsman!" he proudly told me as we sat beside eachother at a tavern bar, I sipping my wind, and he, I fear, partaking a bit too much of his more potent drink. He went on to explain the premise of his religion, his very reason for being, that all things were based in science, in mechanics and in discovery. He even asked if he could take a piece of my flesh, that he might study it to determine why the skin of the drow elf is black. "What element is missing," he wondered, "that makes your race different from your surface kin?" I think that the Gondsman honestly believed his claim that if he could merely find the various elements that comprised the drow skin, he might affect a change in that pigmentation to make the dark elves more akin to their surface relatives. And, given his devotion, almost fanaticism, it seemed to me as if he felt he could affect a change in more than physical appearance. Because, in his view of the world, all things could be so explained and corrected. How could i even begin to enlighten him to the complexity? How could i show him the variations between drow and surface elf in the very view of the world resulting from eons of walking widely disparate roads? To a Gondsman fanatic, everything can be broken down, taken apart and put back together. Even a wizard's magic might be no more than a way of conveying universal energies - and that, too, might one day be replicated. My Gondsman companion promised me that he and his fellow inventor priests would one day replicate every spell in any wizard's repertoire, using natural elements in the proper combinations. But there was no mention of the discipline any wizard must attain as he perfects his craft. There was no mention of the fact that powerful wizardly magic is not given to anyone, but rather, is earned, day by day, year by year and decade by decade. It is a lifelong pursuit with gradual increase in power, as mystical as it is secular. So it is with the warrior. The Gondsman spoke of some weapon called an arquebus, a tubular missile thrower with many times the power of the strongest crossbow. Such a weapon strikes terror into the heart of the true warrior, and not because he fears that he will fall victim to it, or even that he fears it will one day replace him. Such weapons offend because the true warrior understands that while one is learning how to use a sword, one should also be learning why and when to use a sword. To grant the power of a weapon master to anyone at all, without effort, without training and proof that the lessons have taken hold, is to deny the responsibility that comes with such power. Of course, there are wizards and warriors who perfect their craft without learning the level of emotional discipline to accompany it, and certainly there are those who attain great prowess in either profession to the detriment of all the world - Artemis Entreri seems a perfect example - but these individuals are, thankfully, rare, and mostly because their emotional lacking will be revealed early in their careers, and it often brings about a fairly abrupt downfall. But if the Gondsman has his way, if his errant view of paradise should come to fruition, then all the years of training will mean little. Any fool could pick up an arquebus or some other powerful weapon and summarily destroy a skilled warrior. Or any child could utilize a Gondsman's magic machine and replicate a firebal, perhaps, and burn down half a city. When I pointed out some of my fears to the Gondsman, he seemed shocked - not at the devastating possibilities, but rather, at my, as he put it, arrogance. "The inventions of the priests of Gond will make all equal!" he declared. "We will lift up the lowly peasant
R.A. Salvatore (Streams of Silver (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #5))
Almondine To her, the scent and the memory of him were one. Where it lay strongest, the distant past came to her as if that morning: Taking a dead sparrow from her jaws, before she knew to hide such things. Guiding her to the floor, bending her knee until the arthritis made it stick, his palm hotsided on her ribs to measure her breaths and know where the pain began. And to comfort her. That had been the week before he went away. He was gone, she knew this, but something of him clung to the baseboards. At times the floor quivered under his footstep. She stood then and nosed into the kitchen and the bathroom and the bedroom-especially the closet-her intention to press her ruff against his hand, run it along his thigh, feel the heat of his body through the fabric. Places, times, weather-all these drew him up inside her. Rain, especially, falling past the double doors of the kennel, where he’d waited through so many storms, each drop throwing a dozen replicas into the air as it struck the waterlogged earth. And where the rising and falling water met, something like an expectation formed, a place where he might appear and pass in long strides, silent and gestureless. For she was not without her own selfish desires: to hold things motionless, to measure herself against them and find herself present, to know that she was alive precisely because he needn’t acknowledge her in casual passing; that utter constancy might prevail if she attended the world so carefully. And if not constancy, then only those changes she desired, not those that sapped her, undefined her. And so she searched. She’d watched his casket lowered into the ground, a box, man-made, no more like him than the trees that swayed under the winter wind. To assign him an identity outside the world was not in her thinking. The fence line where he walked and the bed where he slept-that was where he lived, and they remembered him. Yet he was gone. She knew it most keenly in the diminishment of her own self. In her life, she’d been nourished and sustained by certain things, him being one of them, Trudy another, and Edgar, the third and most important, but it was really the three of them together, intersecting in her, for each of them powered her heart a different way. Each of them bore different responsibilities to her and with her and required different things from her, and her day was the fulfillment of those responsibilities. She could not imagine that portion of her would never return. With her it was not hope, or wistful thoughts-it was her sense of being alive that thinned by the proportion of her spirit devoted to him. "ory of Edgar Sawtelle" As spring came on, his scent about the place began to fade. She stopped looking for him. Whole days she slept beside his chair, as the sunlight drifted from eastern-slant to western-slant, moving only to ease the weight of her bones against the floor. And Trudy and Edgar, encapsulated in mourning, somehow forgot to care for one another, let alone her. Or if they knew, their grief and heartache overwhelmed them. Anyway, there was so little they might have done, save to bring out a shirt of his to lie on, perhaps walk with her along the fence line, where fragments of time had snagged and hung. But if they noticed her grief, they hardly knew to do those things. And she without the language to ask.
David Wroblewski (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle)
Having proven that solitary pleasures are as delicious as any others and much more likely to delight, it becomes perfectly clear that this enjoyment, taken in independence of the objectwe employ, is not merely of a nature very remote from what could be pleasurable to thatobject, but is even found to be inimical to that object’s pleasure: what is more, it may becomean imposed suffering, a vexation, or a torture, and the only thing that results from this abuse isa very certain increase of pleasure for the despot who does the tormenting or vexing; let usattempt to demonstrate this.”Voluptuous emotion is nothing but a kind of vibration produced in our soul by shockswhich the imagination, inflamed by the remembrance of a lubricious object, registers uponour senses, either through this object’s presence, or better still by this object’s being exposedto that particular kind of irritation which most profoundly stirs us; thus, our voluptuoustransport Ä this indescribable convulsive needling which drives us wild, which lifts us to thehighest pitch of happiness at which man is able to arrive Ä is never ignited save by twocauses: either by the perception in the object we use of a real or imaginary beauty, the beautyin which we delight the most, or by the sight of that object undergoing the strongest possiblesensation; now, there is no more lively sensation than that of pain; its impressions are certainand dependable, they never deceive as may those of the pleasure women perpetually feign andalmost never experience; and, furthermore, how much self-confidence, youth, vigor, healthare not needed in order to be sure of producing this dubious and hardly very satisfyingimpression of pleasure in a woman. To produce the painful impression, on the contrary,requires no virtues at all: the more defects a man may have, the older he is, the less lovable,the more resounding his success. With what regards the objective, it will be far more certainlyattained since we are establishing the fact that one never better touches, I wish to say, that onenever better irritates one’s senses than when the greatest possible impression has been produced in the employed object, by no matter what devices; therefore, he who will cause themost tumultuous impression to be born in a woman, he who will most thoroughly convulsethis woman’s entire frame, very decidedly will have managed to procure himself the heaviest possible dose of voluptuousness, because the shock resultant upon us by the impressionsothers experience, which shock in turn is necessitated by the impression we have of thoseothers, will necessarily be more vigorous if the impression these others receive be painful,than if the impression they receive be sweet and mild; and it follows that the voluptuousegoist, who is persuaded his pleasures will be keen only insofar as they are entire, willtherefore impose, when he has it in his power to do so, the strongest possible dose of painupon the employed object, fully certain that what by way of voluptuous pleasure he extractswill be his only by dint of the very lively impression he has produced.
Marquis de Sade
In the dark all alone eyes sore mouth shut head bowed they weep even the strongest of them blaming themselves for deals gone wrong lying about being all right numbing emotional distress grieving over loss refusing any help Yes, men do cry but the world hardly sees.
Temi O'Sola (Love Opens Your Eyes)
It isn't about being the most powerful person or the person who has the most knowledge. It isn't about being the oldest person, or the strongest person, or the person who makes all the right decisions. Sometimes it's about being the person who decides to stand up and fight.
Claire Legrand (Foxheart (Foxheart, #1))
Yet the love of money is not only one of the strongest moving forces of human life, but money is, in many cases, desired in and for itself; the desire to possess it is often stronger than the desire to use it, and goes on increasing when all the desires which point to ends beyond it, to be compassed by it, are falling off. It may, then, be said truly, that money is desired not for the sake of an end, but as part of the end. From being a means to happiness, it has come to be itself a principal ingredient of the individual's conception of happiness.
John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism)
My desire to work—my desire to engage with my creativity as intimately and as freely as possible—is my strongest personal incentive to fight back against pain, by any means necessary, and to fashion a life for myself that is as sane and healthy and stable as it can possibly be. But
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
Wonder of time,' quoth she, 'this is my spite, That, thou being dead, the day should yet be light. 'Since thou art dead, lo, here I prophesy: Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend: It shall be waited on with jealousy, Find sweet beginning, but unsavoury end, Ne'er settled equally, but high or low, That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe. 'It shall be fickle, false and full of fraud, Bud and be blasted in a breathing-while; The bottom poison, and the top o'erstraw'd With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile: The strongest body shall it make most weak, Strike the wise dumb and teach the fool to speak. 'It shall be sparing and too full of riot, Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures; The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet, Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures; It shall be raging-mad and silly-mild, Make the young old, the old become a child. 'It shall suspect where is no cause of fear; It shall not fear where it should most mistrust; It shall be merciful and too severe, And most deceiving when it seems most just; Perverse it shall be where it shows most toward, Put fear to valour, courage to the coward. 'It shall be cause of war and dire events, And set dissension 'twixt the son and sire; Subject and servile to all discontents, As dry combustious matter is to fire: Sith in his prime Death doth my love destroy, They that love best their loves shall not enjoy.
William Shakespeare (Venus and Adonis)
Had Lucifer really desired to be like the Most High, he would never have deserted his appointed place in heaven; for the spirit of the Most High is manifested in unselfish ministry. Lucifer desired God’s power, but not His character. He sought for himself the highest [436] place, and every being who is actuated by his spirit will do the same. Thus alienation, discord, and strife will be inevitable. Dominion becomes the prize of the strongest. The kingdom of Satan is a kingdom of force; every individual regards every other as an obstacle in the way of his own advancement, or a steppingstone on which he himself may
Ellen Gould White (The Desire of Ages (Conflict of the Ages Series))
Practicing loving kindness meditation is like digging deep into the ground until we reach the purest water. We look deeply into ourselves until insight arises and our love flows to the surface. Joy and happiness radiate from our eyes, and everyone around us benefits from our smile and our presence. If we take good care of ourselves, we help everyone. We stop being a source of suffering to the world, and we become a reservoir of joy and freshness. Here and there are people who know how to take good care of themselves, who live joyfully and happily. They are our strongest support. Whatever they do, they do for everyone.
Thich Nhat Hanh (How to Love (Mindfulness Essentials, #3))
At the city gate and by your fireside I have seen you prostrate yourself and worship your own freedom, Even as slaves humble themselves before a tyrant and praise him though he slays them. Ay, in the grove of the temple and in the shadow of the citadel I have seen the freest among you wear their freedom as a yoke and a handcuff. And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfilment. You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief, But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound. And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights unless you break the chains which you at the dawn of your understanding have fastened around your noon hour? In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest of these chains, though its links glitter in the sun and dazzle your eyes. And what is it but fragments of your own self you would discard that you may become free? If it is an unjust law you would abolish, that law was written with your own hand upon your own forehead. You cannot erase it by burning your law books nor by washing the foreheads of your judges, though you pour the sea upon them. And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed. For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud, but for a tyranny in their own freedom and a shame in their own pride? And if it is a care you would cast off, that care has been chosen by you rather than imposed upon you. And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared. Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape. These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling. And when the shadow fades and is no more, the light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light. And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes itself the fetter of a greater freedom.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
Another advantage I gained in my new master was, he made no pretensions to, or profession of, religion; and this, in my opinion, was truly a great advantage. I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the south is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes,—a justifier of the most appalling barbarity,—a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds,—and a dark shelter under, which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection. Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me. For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others. It was my unhappy lot not only to belong to a religious slaveholder, but to live in a community of such religionists.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
An individual is a complex, indefinable object. And so only the individual possesses something that can without lying be called existence. As the Cynic philosophers already knew, nothing real, nothing concrete is definable. The necessities of thought, speech, of science and action force us to act as if the definable exists. Let us consent to this, while all the while smiling at the inevitable. But we should never forget that no word can give us the essence of a being, not even my own essence, and that no thought, whatever good will and sympathy might animate it, will ever penetrate the essence of another. Our most beautiful, strongest, most penetrating truths glory — modestly — in being but lesser lies. The more I strive to seize the concrete, the more my formulas become complex and hesitant, then the more I become irritated at not being able to make them flexible and mobile. Whenever I pronounce absolute words I know I am speaking in the abstract and that I am speaking of the void.
Han Ryner
I was desperate. I spent almost two months traipsing around the mountains of one of the world’s most dangerous places, and as the piece went to press, my reporting was being questioned, some of my strongest images were being removed from the layout, and the editor in chief decided uncharacteristically that he would not run a slide show.
Lynsey Addario (It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War)
A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place your sight can knock on, echoing; but here within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze will be absorbed and utterly disappear: just as a raving madman, when nothing else can ease him, charges into his dark night howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels the rage being taken in and pacified. She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen into her, so that, like an audience, she can look them over, menacing and sullen, and curl to sleep with them. But all at once as if awakened, she turns her face to yours; and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny, inside the golden amber of her eyeballs suspended, like a prehistoric fly. - Black Cat
Rainer Maria Rilke
My desire to work—my desire to engage with my creativity as intimately and as freely as possible—is my strongest personal incentive to fight back against pain, by any means necessary, and to fashion a life for myself that is as sane and healthy and stable as it can possibly be. But that’s only because of what I have chosen to trust, which is quite simply: love.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
For some reason such grand concepts as love and kindness often get relegated to the realm of the spiritual, as if they have no place in all other aspects of life. Quite simply, this is about humanity. Not only is love very much a part of what makes us human, it is the strongest force for being able to work together collaboratively in community so that we may thrive.
Kristi Bowman (A Butterfly Life: 4 Keys to More Happiness, Better Health & Letting Your True Self Shine)
If you are fortunate enough to have a particular activity with which you find greatest joy and technical success, it is your responsibility as a growing human being to continue that study. Whatever your endeavor, if you can expand upon the knowledge in your strongest subject, that new found understanding of all things will trickle down to every other area of your life.
Chris Matakas (My Mastery: Learning to Live through Jiu Jitsu)
Within each one of us there is a healer. Healing has always been a way and a deep source of joy for me. Healing is basically our own energy, which overflows from our inner being, from the meditative quality within, from the inner silence and emptiness. Healing is pure love in essence. Love is what creates healing. Love is the strongest force there is. The sheer presence of love is, in itself, healing. It is more the absence of love – than the presence of love –, which creates problems. Healing is a quality, which we can freely share without any ownership. Healing is not something that we can claim as our own; healing is to be a medium, a channel, for the whole. Healing is a medium through which we can develop our inner qualities of presence, love, joy, intuition, truth, silence, wisdom, creativity and inner wholeness. Healing comes originally from the silence within, where we are already in contact with the whole, with the divine. Healing is what makes us spread our inner wings of love and silence and soar high on the sky of consciousness and touch the stars. Healing is to be in service of God. People who have a quality of heart and sensitivity are naturally healing. With some people that we meet, we feel naturally uplifted and inspired. With other people that we meet, we become tired and heavy. With people, who can listen without judging and evaluating, it is easy to find the right words to share problems and difficulties. And with other people, it seems almost impossible to find the right words. People, who have a healing presence and quality, can support our own inner source of love, truth and silence through their presence. These people also seem to have an intuitive sensitivity to saying the right words, which lift and inspires us. This is the people whose presence can mirror the inner truth, which we already know deep within ourselves. The human heart is a healer, which heals others and ourselves. It is the hearts quality of love, acceptance and compassion, plus communication through words, that creates healing. A word that comes from the heart creates healing. A silent listening with a quality of presence and an accepting attitude creates space for healing to happen. Without love it is only possible to reach the personality of the other person, to reach the surface and periphery of the other person The gift of healing comes when we see the other person with love and compassion. It is the quality of heart, which creates the love and the genuine caring for the other person. When our words are carried by the quality of heart, you can say almost anything to the other person and he will still be able to be open and receptive. But if our words lack the quality of heart, it also becomes difficult for the other person to continue to be open and receptive. Even if a therapist is very skilful, technically, or has a clear clairvoyant ability, and still lacks the natural roots in the soil of the heart, then his words will not touch the heart of the other person.
Swami Dhyan Giten (Presence - Working from Within. The Psychology of Being)
The dichotomy between the spiritual and the political is also false, resulting from an incomplete attention to our erotic knowledge. For the bridge which connects them is formed by the erotic—the sensual—those physical, emotional, and psychic expressions of what is deepest and strongest and richest within each of us, being shared: the passions of love, in its deepest meanings.
Audre Lorde (The Selected Works of Audre Lorde)
He slammed his cup down. Coffee splashed over the rim and puddled around the base. “What on earth gave you the idea I want space? I want you here. With me. All the time. I want to come home and hear the shower running and get excited because I know you’re in it. I want to struggle every morning to get up and go to the gym because I hate the idea of leaving your warm body behind in bed. I want to hear a key turn in the lock and feel contented knowing you’re home. I don’t want fucking space, Harper.” Harper laughed. “What’s funny?” “I didn’t mean space. I meant space, like closet space, a drawer in the bedroom, part of the counter in the bathroom.” Trent’s mouth twitched, a slight smile making its way to his lips. “Like a compromise. A commitment that I want more. I seem to recall you telling me in the car about something being a step in the right direction to a goal we both agreed on. Well, I want all those things you just said, with you, eventually. And if we start to leave things at each other’s places, it’s a step, right?” Trent reached up, flexing his delicious tattooed bicep, and scratched the side of his head. Without speaking, he leapt to his feet, grabbing Harper and pulling her into a fireman’s lift. “Trent,” she squealed, kicking her feet to get free. “What are you doing?” He slapped her butt playfully and laughed as he carried her down the hallway. Reaching the bedroom, Trent threw her onto the bed. “We’re doing space. Today, right now.” He started pulling open his drawers, looking inside each one before pulling stuff out of the top drawer and dividing it between the others. “Okay, this is for your underwear. I need to see bras, panties, and whatever other girly shit you have in here before the end of the day.” Like a panther on the prowl, Trent launched himself at the bed, grabbing her ankle and pulling her to the edge of the bed before sweeping her into his arms to walk to the bathroom. He perched her on the corner of the vanity, where his stuff was spread across the two sinks. “Pick one.” “Pick one what?” “Sink. Which do you want?” “You’re giving me a whole sink? Wait … stop…” Trent grabbed her and started tickling her. Harper didn’t recognize the girly giggles that escaped her. Pointing to the sink farthest away from the door, she watched as he pushed his toothbrush, toothpaste, and styling products to the other side of the vanity. He did the same thing with the vanity drawers and created some space under the sink. “I expect to see toothbrush, toothpaste, your shampoo, and whatever it is that makes you smell like vanilla in here.” “You like the vanilla?” It never ceased to surprise her, the details he remembered. Turning, he grabbed her cheeks in both hands and kissed her hard. He trailed kisses behind her ear and inhaled deeply before returning to face her. “Absolutely. I fucking love vanilla,” he murmured against her lips before kissing her again, softly this time. “Oh and I’d better see a box of tampons too.” “Oh my goodness, you are beyond!” Harper blushed furiously. “I want you for so much more than just sex, Harper.
Scarlett Cole (The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos, #1))
O’Sah explained to me that there are four categories of Chosen, each more powerful than the last. First are Zeros, Chosen who possess barely any magic. Second are Phobien, Chosen who have a reasonable amount of magic. Then, there are Thrones, considered powerful and holding many influential positions across Duwyn. And last, the Pulsar, the strongest of Chosen, revered as almost god-like beings.
Giselle Simlett (Girl of Myth and Legend (The Chosen Saga #1))
You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since—on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hours of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
We are above all things loved--that is the good news of the gospel--and loved not just the way we turn up on Sundays in our best clothes and on our best behavior and with our best feet forward, but loved as we alone know ourselves to be, the weakest and shabbiest of what we are along with the strongest and gladdest. To come together as people who believe that just maybe this gospel is actually true should be to come together like people who have just won the Irish Sweepstakes. It should have us throwing our arms around each other like people who have just discovered that every single man and woman in those pews is not just another familiar or unfamiliar face but is our long-lost brother and our long-lost sister because despite the fact that we have all walked in different gardens and knelt at different graves, we have all, humanly speaking, come from the same place and are heading out into the same blessed mystery that awaits us all. This is the joy that is so apt to be missing, and missing not just from church but from our own lives--the joy of not just managing to believe at least part of the time that it is true that life is holy, but of actually running into that holiness head-on.
Frederick Buechner (Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons)
That’s never been an easy thing for biology teachers to explain: on the one hand, our entire species survived because we stuck together and cooperated, but on the other hand we developed because the strongest individuals always thrived at the expense of the weak. So we always end up arguing about where the boundaries should be drawn. How selfish are we allowed to be? How much are we obliged to care about each other?
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
Galaxies are as mothers, every star a child, every planet a grandchild. The eyes many. The sheer size of the universe offer a chilling stream of terror down the spines of those who truly fathom. Most, unaware how terrified they should be. Astronomers are very rarely barbaric. Just as gravity keeps us grounded, those few enlightened with ability to grasp (even a little) the awes (and threats) of our cosmos, unwilling to obtain the strengths and powers necessary to get our affairs in order. Too few world leaders as terrified as reality demands, and whatever could be said of the majority. Without full realization of the skies can they never hope to know the true meaning of horror and hopelessness [even with all its beauty]. To the strongest, wisest, most heartful. To the bravest, most fearless [warrior philosopher kings]. May (the god of) luck be with us.
Monaristw
But there is also my brain and it is gently, unobtrusively asking me questions that don’t require answers because the answers are already there: it won’t last; he’s just TOO perfect for me, TOO handsome, TOO sexy; I’m not the one for him, if such a person exists at all. Sooner or later it will come to an end because the feelings disappear, even the strongest ones. They are inexorably broken down by life’s worries and problems and the fears that come with them. But with Alex it will most likely happen sooner rather than later – he is just TOO seductive and virtually all women without exception look at him TOO greedily. When it’s all over, he’ll simply step over us and move on and I... I’ll be abandoned like an empty cigarette packet on a dirty pavement. I have no desire to fade away in the scorching sun, covered in dust and dripping wet with dirty rainwater.
Victoria Sobolev (Monogamy Book One. Lover (Monogamy, #1))
Even the strongest toward emotion, lust, is unlikely to make you run, whereas fear can do so in an instant. The toward emotions are more subtle, more easily displaced, and harder to build on, than the away emotions. This also explains why upward spirals, where positive emotions beget more positive emotions, are less common than downward spirals, where negative emotions beget more negative emotions. Human beings walk toward, but run away.
David Rock (Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long)
Think about what you want to be, do, and have. Think about it often until you are very clear about this. Then, when you are very clear, think about nothing else. Imagine no other possibilities. Throw all negative thoughts out of your mental constructions. Lose all pessimism. Release all doubts. Reject all fears. Discipline your mind to hold fast to the original creative thought. When your thoughts are clear and steadfast, begin to speak them as truths. Say them out loud. Use the great command that calls forth creative power: I am. Make I-am statements to others. “I am” is the strongest creative statement in the universe. Whatever you think, whatever you say, after the words “I am” sets into motion those experiences, calls them forth, brings them to you. There is no other way the universe knows how to work. There is no other route it knows to take. The universe responds to “I am” as would a genie in a bottle.
Neale Donald Walsch (The Complete Conversations with God)
Our goal should be to make decision makers internalize the full consequences of their decisions, rather than prevent them from making decisions altogether [...] But we tend to reform under the delusion that the regulated institutions and the markets they operate in are static and passive, and that the regulatory environment will not vary with the cycle. Ironically, faith in draconian regulation is strongest at the bottom of the cycle, when there is little need for participants to be regulated. By contrast, the misconception that markets will govern themselves is most widespread at the top of the cycle, at the point of maximum danger to the system. We need to acknowledge these differences and enact cycle-proof regulation, for a regulation set against the cycle will not stand. To have a better chance of creating stability throughout the cycle--of being cycle-proof--new regulations should be comprehensive, nondiscretionary, contingent, and cost-effective.
Raghuram G. Rajan
My advice would be to find a good woman and steer well clear of the whole bloody business, and it’s a shame no one told me the same twenty years ago.” He looked sideways at Jezal. “But if, say, you’re stuck out on some great wide plain in the middle of nowhere and can’t avoid it, there’s three rules I’d take to a fight. First, always do your best to look the coward, the weakling, the fool. Silence is a warrior’s best armour, the saying goes. Hard looks and hard words have never won a battle yet, but they’ve lost a few.” “Look the fool, eh? I see.” Jezal had built his whole life around trying to appear the cleverest, the strongest, the most noble. It was an intriguing idea, that a man might choose to look like less than he was. “Second, never take an enemy lightly, however much the dullard he seems. Treat every man like he’s twice as clever, twice as strong, twice as fast as you are, and you’ll only be pleasantly surprised. Respect costs you nothing, and nothing gets a man killed quicker than confidence.” “Never underestimate the foe. A wise precaution.” Jezal was beginning to realise that he had underestimated this Northman. He wasn’t half the idiot he appeared to be. “Third, watch your opponent as close as you can, and listen to opinions if you’re given them, but once you’ve got your plan in mind, you fix on it and let nothing sway you. Time comes to act, you strike with no backwards glances. Delay is the parent of disaster, my father used to tell me, and believe me, I’ve seen some disasters.
Joe Abercrombie (Before They Are Hanged (The First Law Trilogy Book 2))
The fear of being alone is greater than the fear of losing yourself. How scary, and sad, is that? The reality is that you’ll never find someone wonderful while you’re wasting your time on some guy who’s not ready to be fully present in your life. Your strongest self knows this. She never waits. If a guy needs time, she bounces. If he wants to be with her, he’ll prove that through his actions, not his sweet talk. And that’s how it should be because you have better places to be, things to do, guys to meet.
Halle Kaye (Maybe He's Just an Asshole: Sharpen Your Bullshit Detector, Rock Your Expectations, and Become Your Strongest Self!)
...I maintain that cosmic religiousness is the strongest and most noble driving force of scientific research. Only the man who can conceive the gigantic effort and above all the devotion, without which original scientific thought cannot succeed, can measure the strength of the feeling from which alone such work...can grow. What a deep belief in the intelligence of Creation and what longing for understanding, even if only of a meagre reflection in the revealed intelligence of this world, must have flourished in Kepler and Newton, enabling them as lonely men to unravel over years of work the mechanism of celestial mechanics....Only the man who devotes his life to such goals has a living conception of what inspired these men and gave them strength to remain steadfast in their aims in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religiousness that bestows such strength. A contemporary has said, not unrightly, that the serious research scholar in our generally materialistic age is the only deeply religious human being.
Albert Einstein
I have said that people are rendered sociable by their ability to endure solitude, that is to say, their own society. They become sick of themselves. It is this vacuity of soul which drives them to intercourse with others,—to travels in foreign countries. Their mind is wanting in elasticity; it has no movement of its own, and so they try to give it some,—by drink, for instance. How much drunkenness is due to this cause alone! They are always looking for some form of excitement, of the strongest kind they can bear—the excitement of being with people of like nature with themselves; and if they fail in this, their mind sinks by its own weight, and they fall into a grievous lethargy.[1] Such people, it may be said, possess only a small fraction of humanity in themselves; and it requires a great many of them put together to make up a fair amount of it,—to attain any degree of consciousness as men. A man, in the full sense of the word,—a man par excellence—does not represent a fraction, but a whole number: he is complete in himself. [Footnote
Arthur Schopenhauer (The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Counsels and Maxims)
My Personal Super Shortcut To Happiness - When you prefer to lighten up your self-awareness, allow yourself to focus on your strongest joy, passion, and excitement. It is something you can do at every moment of your life, whenever you become aware of not feeling well. Always choose, out of all available joys, passions and excitements, as small as they may be, whatever makes you feel good about yourself. Act on the joy you determine as the passion of the moment, and enjoy it as long as it is fun for you. When it stops being enjoyable or when there is something else, which you become aware of, as more pleasurable, do it. You do not need any reason to have in order to embrace what interests you. You do not need any reason either, to stop doing something in the middle, when it does not excite you anymore. Whatever you choose to follow as your joy, as small and insignificant as it may appear, have no expectations, how this little joy can take you to your big dreams. Enjoy it only because you like it, and not because you expect some specific outcome in the future.
Raphael Zernoff
My friends esteem me; I often contribute to their happiness, and my heart seems as if it could not beat without them; and yet —— if I were to die, if I were to be summoned from the midst of this circle, would they feel — or how long would they feel the void which my loss would make in their existence? How long! Yes, such is the frailty of man, that even there, where he has the greatest consciousness of his own being, where he makes the strongest and most forcible impression, even in the memory, in the heart, of his beloved, there also he must perish — vanish — and that quickly. October
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
But Rousseau — to what did he really want to return? Rousseau, this first modern man, idealist and rabble in one person — one who needed moral "dignity" to be able to stand his own sight, sick with unbridled vanity and unbridled self-contempt. This miscarriage, couched on the threshold of modern times, also wanted a "return to nature"; to ask this once more, to what did Rousseau want to return? I still hate Rousseau in the French Revolution: it is the world-historical expression of this duality of idealist and rabble. The bloody farce which became an aspect of the Revolution, its "immorality," is of little concern to me: what I hate is its Rousseauan morality — the so-called "truths" of the Revolution through which it still works and attracts everything shallow and mediocre. The doctrine of equality! There is no more poisonous poison anywhere: for it seems to be preached by justice itself, whereas it really is the termination of justice. "Equal to the equal, unequal to the unequal" — that would be the true slogan of justice; and also its corollary: "Never make equal what is unequal." That this doctrine of equality was surrounded by such gruesome and bloody events, that has given this "modern idea" par excellence a kind of glory and fiery aura so that the Revolution as a spectacle has seduced even the noblest spirits. In the end, that is no reason for respecting it any more. I see only one man who experienced it as it must be experienced, with nausea — Goethe. Goethe — not a German event, but a European one: a magnificent attempt to overcome the eighteenth century by a return to nature, by an ascent to the naturalness of the Renaissance — a kind of self-overcoming on the part of that century. He bore its strongest instincts within himself: the sensibility, the idolatry of nature, the anti-historic, the idealistic, the unreal and revolutionary (the latter being merely a form of the unreal). He sought help from history, natural science, antiquity, and also Spinoza, but, above all, from practical activity; he surrounded himself with limited horizons; he did not retire from life but put himself into the midst of it; he if was not fainthearted but took as much as possible upon himself, over himself, into himself. What he wanted was totality; he fought the mutual extraneousness of reason, senses, feeling, and will (preached with the most abhorrent scholasticism by Kant, the antipode of Goethe); he disciplined himself to wholeness, he created himself. In the middle of an age with an unreal outlook, Goethe was a convinced realist: he said Yes to everything that was related to him in this respect — and he had no greater experience than that ens realissimum [most real being] called Napoleon. Goethe conceived a human being who would be strong, highly educated, skillful in all bodily matters, self-controlled, reverent toward himself, and who might dare to afford the whole range and wealth of being natural, being strong enough for such freedom; the man of tolerance, not from weakness but from strength, because he knows how to use to his advantage even that from which the average nature would perish; the man for whom there is no longer anything that is forbidden — unless it be weakness, whether called vice or virtue. Such a spirit who has become free stands amid the cosmos with a joyous and trusting fatalism, in the faith that only the particular is loathesome, and that all is redeemed and affirmed in the whole — he does not negate anymore. Such a faith, however, is the highest of all possible faiths: I have baptized it with the name of Dionysus. 50 One might say that in a certain sense the nineteenth century also strove for all that which Goethe as a person had striven for: universality in understanding and in welcoming, letting everything come close to oneself, an audacious realism, a reverence for everything factual.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Dreaming is impossible without myths. If we ll latch onto those of others -- even if don't have enough myths of our own, we'll latch onto those of others -- even if those myths make us believe terrible or false things about ourselves... Call it superego, call it common sense, call it pragmatism, call it learned helplessness, but the mind craves boundaries. Depending on the myths we believe in, those boundaries can be magnificently vast or crushingly tight. Throughout my life as I've sought to become a published writer of speculative fiction, my strongest detractors and discouragers have been other African Americans... Having swallowed these ideas, people regurgitate them at me at nearly every turn. And for a time, I swallowed them, too... Myths tell us what those like us have done, can do, should do. Without myths to lead the way, we hesitate to leap forward. Listen to the wrong myths, and we might even go back a few steps... Because Star Trek takes place five hundred years from now, supposedly long after humanity has transcended racism, sexism, etc. But there's still only one black person on the crew, and she's the receptionist. This is disingenuous. I know now what I did not understand then: That most science fiction doesn't realistically depict the future; it reflects the present in which it is written. So for the 1960s, Uhura's presence was groundbreaking - and her marginalization was to be expected. But I wasn't watching the show in the 1960s. I was watching it in the 1980s... I was watching it as a tween/teen girl who'd grown up being told that she could do anything if she only put her mind to it, and I looked to science fiction to provide me with useful myths about my future: who I might become, what was possible, how far I and my descendants might go... In the future, as in the present, as in the past, black people will build many new worlds. This is true. I will make it so. And you will help me.
Glory Edim (Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves)
I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the south is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes,—a justifier of the most appalling barbarity,—a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds,—and a dark shelter under, which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection. Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me. For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others.
Solomon Northup (Twelve Years a Slave: Plus Five American Slave Narratives, Including Life of Frederick Douglass, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Life of Josiah Henson, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Up From Slavery)
The strongest athlete isn’t the one who finishes first. That athlete is the fastest. The strongest athlete is the one who gets up again every time he falls, the one who doesn’t stop when he feels a pain in his side, the one who doesn’t abandon the race, no matter how far away the finish line is. That runner is a winner whenever he reaches the finish line, even if he comes in last. Sometimes, no matter how much you want it, being the fastest isn’t an option, because your legs aren’t as long or your lungs as large. But you can always choose to be the strongest. It’s up to you—your willpower and your effort. I’m not going to ask you to be the fastest, but I am going to require you to be the strongest.
Antonio Iturbe (The Librarian of Auschwitz)
Ralph Waldo Emerson would later observe that “Souls are not saved in bundles.”16 Johnson fervently believed in each individual’s mysterious complexity and inherent dignity. He was, through it all, a moralist, in the best sense of that term. He believed that most problems are moral problems. “The happiness of society depends on virtue,” he would write. For him, like other humanists of that age, the essential human act is the act of making strenuous moral decisions. He, like other humanists, believed that literature could be a serious force for moral improvement. Literature gives not only new information but new experiences. It can broaden the range of awareness and be an occasion for evaluation. Literature can also instruct through pleasure. Today many writers see literature and art only in aesthetic terms, but Johnson saw them as moral enterprises. He hoped to be counted among those writers who give “ardor to virtue and confidence to truth.” He added, “It is always a writer’s duty to make the world better.” As Fussell puts it, “Johnson, then, conceives of writing as something very like a Christian sacrament, defined in the Anglican catechism as ‘an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given to us.’ ” Johnson lived in a world of hack writers, but Johnson did not allow himself to write badly—even though he wrote quickly and for money. Instead, he pursued the ideal of absolute literary honesty. “The first step to greatness is to be honest” was one of Johnson’s maxims. He had a low but sympathetic view of human nature. It was said in Greek times that Demosthenes was not a great orator despite his stammer; he was a great orator because he stammered. The deficiency became an incentive to perfect the associated skill. The hero becomes strongest at his weakest point. Johnson was a great moralist because of his deficiencies. He came to understand that he would never defeat them. He came to understand that his story would not be the sort of virtue-conquers-vice story people like to tell. It would be, at best, a virtue-learns-to-live-with-vice story. He wrote that he did not seek cures for his failings, but palliatives. This awareness of permanent struggle made him sympathetic to others’ failings. He was a moralist, but a tenderhearted one.
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
The duties, which a man performs as a friend or parent, do not seem merely owing to his benefactor or children; nor can he be wanting to these duties, without breaking through all the ties of nature and morality. A strong inclination may prompt him to the performance: A sentiment of order and moral obligation joins its force to these natural ties: And the whole man, if truly virtuous, is drawn to his duty, without any effort or endeavour. Even with regard to the virtues, which are more austere, and more founded on reflection, such as public spirit, filial duty, temperance, or integrity; the moral obligation, in our apprehension, removes all pretension to religious merit; and the virtuous conduct is deemed no more than what we owe to society and to ourselves. In all this, a superstitious man finds nothing, which he has properly performed for the sake of his deity, or which can peculiarly recommend him to the divine favor and protection. He considers not, that the most genuine method of serving the divinity is by promoting the happiness of his creatures. He still looks out for some immediate service of the supreme Being, in order to allay those terrors, with which he is haunted. And any practice, recommended to him, which either serves to no purpose in life, or offers the strongest violence to his natural inclinations; that practice he will the more readily embrace, on account of those very circumstances, which should make him absolutely reject it. It seems the more purely religious, because it proceeds from no mixture of any other motive or consideration. And if, for its sake, he sacrifices much of his ease and quiet, his claim of merit appears still to rise upon him, in proportion to the zeal and devotion, which he discovers. In restoring a loan, or paying a debt, his divinity is nowise beholden to him; because these acts of justice are what he was bound to perform, and what many would have performed, were there no god in the universe. But if he fast a day, or give himself a sound whipping; this has a direct reference, in his opinion, to the service of God. No other motive could engage him to such austerities. By these distinguished marks of devotion, he has now acquired the divine favor; and may expect, in recompense, protection, and safety in this world, and eternal happiness in the next.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
The trivialization of life is perhaps the strongest anti-mystical force among us. Some people are literally obsessed by the compulsion to trivialize everything . . . For mystical consciousness, it is essential that everything internal become external and be made visible. A dream wants to be told, the "inner light" wants to shine, the vision has to be shared . . . It is so easy to douse the inner light of a human being. And we busily assist in doing just that as we learn to make the world's efficiency our own. We cut ourselves off from our own experiences by looking upon them as irrelevant and not worth talking about or, what is no less cynical, not communicable at all. We are losing dreams, those of the night and those of the day, and increasingly we lose the visions of our life.
Dorothee Sölle (The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance)
Refinement through degeneration.—History teaches that the most self-sustaining branch of a people will be the one where most individuals have a sense of community as a result of the similarity in their habitual and indiscussible principles, that is, as a result of their common beliefs. Here good, sound customs are strengthened, here the subordination of the individual is learned and character is already given steadiness as a gift at birth and has it afterward reinforced by upbringing. The danger for these strong communities based upon individuals who all share a similar character is a gradual increase in inherited stupidity, which trails all stability like its shadow. It is the more unconstrained, the much more uncertain and morally weaker individuals upon whom spiritual progress depends in such communities: these are the people who attempt new things and, in general, many different things. Because of their weakness, countless individuals of this kind perish without much visible effect; but in general, especially when they have descendants, they loosen things up and inflict from time to time a wound upon the stable element of a community. Precisely in this wounded and weakened spot, the collective being is inoculated, as it were, with something new; but its strength as a whole must be great enough to absorb this new thing into its blood and to assimilate it. Degenerate natures are of the highest significance wherever progress is to ensue. A partial weakening has to precede every large-scale advance. The strongest natures maintain the type; the weaker ones help to develop it further.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
I should be blind, indeed, if I did not recognize in it the true will of God I must even help the patient to prevail in his egoism; if he succeeds in this, he estranges himself from other people. He drives them away, and they come to themselves—as they should, for they were seeking to rob him of his “sacred egoism. This must be left to him, for it is his strongest and healthiest power; it is, as I have said, a true will of God, which sometimes drives him into complete isolation. However wretched this state may be, it also stands him in good stead, for in this way alone can he take his own measure and learn what an invaluable treasure is the love of his fellow-beings. It is, moreover, only in the state of complete abandonment and loneliness that we experience the helpful powers of our own natures.
C.G. Jung (Modern Man in Search of a Soul)
The question ‘Why poetry?’ isn’t asking what makes poetry unique among art forms; poetry may indeed share its origins with other forms of privileged utterance. A somewhat more interesting question would be: “What is the nature of experience, and especially the experience of using language, that calls poetic utterance into existence? What is there about experience that’s unutterable?” You can’t generalize very usefully about poetry; you can’t reduce its nature down to a kernel that underlies all its various incarnations. I guess my internal conversation suggests that if you can’t successfully answer the question of “Why poetry?,” can’t reduce it in the way I think you can’t, then maybe that’s the strongest evidence that poetry’s doing its job; it’s creating an essential need and then satisfying it.
Richard Ford
I believe that the clue to his mind is to be found in his unusual powers of continuous concentrated introspection. A case can be made out, as it also can with Descartes, for regarding him as an accomplished experimentalist. Nothing can be more charming than the tales of his mechanical contrivances when he was a boy. There are his telescopes and his optical experiments, These were essential accomplishments, part of his unequalled all-round technique, but not, I am sure, his peculiar gift, especially amongst his contemporaries. His peculiar gift was the power of holding continuously in his mind a purely mental problem until he had seen straight through it. I fancy his pre-eminence is due to his muscles of intuition being the strongest and most enduring with which a man has ever been gifted. Anyone who has ever attempted pure scientific or philosophical thought knows how one can hold a problem momentarily in one's mind and apply all one's powers of concentration to piercing through it, and how it will dissolve and escape and you find that what you are surveying is a blank. I believe that Newton could hold a problem in his mind for hours and days and weeks until it surrendered to him its secret. Then being a supreme mathematical technician he could dress it up, how you will, for purposes of exposition, but it was his intuition which was pre-eminently extraordinary - 'so happy in his conjectures', said De Morgan, 'as to seem to know more than he could possibly have any means of proving'. The proofs, for what they are worth, were, as I have said, dressed up afterwards - they were not the instrument of discovery.
John Maynard Keynes
Do you ever get tired of being so funny? It's a nice little smoke screen, but I know you. Confident people do stuff. They get stuff done. They make things, even if it's just making money. You know what you're making?" "It doesn't matter." "You're making our couch sag. That's about it. You're making your mom sad because you're not trying. You're making your siblings miserable because you're acting like you're miserable." "I am. I'm depressed and on a bunch of drugs. I want to take more of them every day just to feel different." "This isn't depression and that's not their fault. But I don't want to fight. I think what we're about to do is going to give you a way to make some progress." "There's nothing important about lifting weights." "There's nothing insignificant about progress. Let's just give it a try.
Josh Hanagarne (The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family)
Masculinity is not about being the biggest, the fastest, the strongest, the one who sleeps with the most girls, and the one who has the most money. The one who has the most accomplishments is not the most masculine. In fact, it is often the men who covet these things most who are covering and compensating for the greatest insecurities. Let us revere the one who loves others deeply, loves himself deeply, and has a dream that he is inspired to live with and by and through. He is a man. He does not stand unmoved or untouched in the face of truly moving experiences. He does not judge the totality of his life or anyone else’s life by the totals on the scoreboard as the clock ticks down to zero. He does not use money as a proxy for emotional connection nor material possessions as the measure of his self-worth. He does not define his manhood by the number of women he has conquered. He does not always fight fire with fire; sometimes he doesn’t need to fight at all. He does not meet seriousness with silliness when it is seriousness that is required. He does not take risks for risks’ sake, because he does not hide from his frailty, his mortality, or his humanity. He does not pretend to know everything about anything, nor is he afraid to admit when he knows nothing about something. And perhaps most important of all, he does not walk around thinking he’s The Man. No, the masculine man goes through a journey, a process of self-discovery, and figures out what he needs to do to acquire the tools, knowledge, wisdom, grace, love, passion, and joy to pursue his destiny. His destiny is his dreams. Those may evolve over time, but in their pursuit, he is not breaking down anyone else or hurting anyone else. He is not at war with other people, conquering them. He is the one joining forces, searching for the win-win. He is the one who is lifting others up, inspiring others through his journey and his own process (in which he is finding ways to create value along the way). He is the hero of his own journey. And in so being, he is looking for every way to have the best relationships possible with his family, friends, his romantic partner, his colleagues, or his customers. He’s finding ways to be the best possible version of himself. Masculinity is about discovering yourself and owning what you find. It’s about being kind to others, and pursuing your dreams with all the passion and energy you can muster. It’s about doing something that is meaningful to you that brings value to others. That’s how you build a legacy.
Lewis Howes (The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives)
Being wounded by one’s own arrow signifies, therefore, a state of introversion. What this means we already know: the libido sinks “into its own depths” (a favourite image of Nietzsche’s), and discovers in the darkness a substitute for the upper world it has abandoned—the world of memories (“Amidst a hundred memories”), the strongest and most influential of which are the earliest ones. It is the world of the child, the paradisal state of early infancy, from which we are driven out by the relentless law of time. In this subterranean kingdom slumber sweet feelings of home and the hopes of all that is to be. As Heinrich says of his miraculous work in Gerhart Hauptmann’s The Sunken Bell: It sings a song, long lost and long forgotten, A song of home, a childlike song of love, Born in the waters of some fairy well, Known to all mortals, and yet heard of none.54
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 5: Symbols of Transformation)
Nevertheless, it seems to us that there are some criteria that can be used to help distinguish between the two sorts of difficulty. First, when the difficulty is genuine, it is usually possible to explain in simple terms, at some rudimentary level, what phenomena the theory is examining, what are its main results and what are the strongest arguments in its favour.247 For example, although neither of us has any training in biology, we are able to follow, at some basic level, developments in that field by reading good popular or semi-popular books. Second, in these cases there is a clear path – possibly a long one – that will lead to a deeper knowledge of the subject. By contrast, some obscure discourses give the impression that the reader is being asked to make a qualitative jump, or to undergo an experience similar to a revelation, in order to understand them.
Alan Sokal (Intellectual Impostures)
Leyel had buried himself within the marriage, helping and serving and loving Deet with all his heart. She was wrong, completely wrong about his coming to Trantor. He hadn't come as a sacrifice, againt his will, solely because she wanted to come. On the contrary: because she wanted so much to come, he also wanted to come, changing even his desires to coincide with hers. She commanded his very heart, because it was impossible for him not to desire anything that would bring her happiness. But she, no, she could not do that for him. If she went to Terminus, it would be as a noble sacrifice. She wold never let him forget that she hadn't wanted to. To him, their marriage was his very soul. To Deet, their marriage was just a friendship with sex. Her soul belonged as much to these other women as to him. By dividing her loyalties, she fragmented them; none were strong enough to sway her deepest desires. Thus he discovered what he supposed all faithful men eventually discover--that no human relationship is ever anything but tentative. There is no such thing as an unbreakable bond between people. Like the particles in the nucleus of the atom. They are bound by the strongest forces in the universe, and yet they can be shattered, they can break. Nothing can last. Nothing is, finally, waht it once seemed to be. Deet and he had had a perfect marriage until there came a stress that exposed its imperfection. Anyonewho thinks he has a perfect marriage, a perfect friendship, a perfect trust of any kind, he only believes this becasue the stress that will break it has not yet come. He might die with the illusion of happiness, but all he has proven is that sometimes death comes before betrayal. If you live long enough, betrayal will inevitably come.
Orson Scott Card (Maps in a Mirror: The Short Fiction of Orson Scott Card)
But the effects of the alleged discovery of the means to direct the more terrible force of vril were chiefly remarkable in their influence upon social polity. As these effects became familiarly known and skillfully administered, war between the vril-discoverers ceased, for they brought the art of destruction to such perfection as to annul all superiority in numbers, discipline, or military skill. The fire lodged in the hollow of a rod directed by the hand of a child could shatter the strongest fortress, or cleave its burning way from the van to the rear of an embattled host. If army met army, and both had command of this agency, it could be but to the annihilation of each. The age of war was therefore gone, but with the cessation of war other effects bearing upon the social state soon became apparent. Man was so completely at the mercy of man, each whom he encountered being able, if so willing, to slay him on the instant, that all notions of government by force gradually vanished from political systems and forms of law. It is only by force that vast communities, dispersed through great distances of space, can be kept together; but now there was no longer either the necessity of self-preservation or the pride of aggrandisement to make one state desire to preponderate in population over another. The Vril-discoverers thus, in the course of a few generations, peacefully split into communities of moderate size. The tribe amongst which I had fallen was limited to 12,000 families. Each tribe occupied a territory sufficient for all its wants, and at stated periods the surplus population departed to seek a realm of its own. There appeared no necessity for any arbitrary selection of these emigrants; there was always a sufficient number who volunteered to depart.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (The Coming Race)
Beliefs are a powerful thing. I often travel the world and sometimes the local waitresses attending me are nervous if they can’t speak English. Now, when this happens, I point at the pictures in the menu. However, I’ve noticed that the ones with the strongest beliefs, the most nervous ones, still do a mistake in my order. Another interesting things to notice in these situations is that, when I correct them, by pointing again at what I ordered before, they recognize their mistake, but get angry, as if their mistake was my fault, and that’s called irresponsibility. Now, when you combine irresponsibility with the wrong beliefs, you have a a very dumb person. That’s what stupidity is, it’s a human being doing the wrong things with the wrong beliefs and never ever accepting any responsibility for it. That’s how those with the lowest spiritual conscience behave in general with themselves and others.
Robin Sacredfire
The strongest evidence yet was published in 2010. In a painstaking long-term study, much larger and more thorough than anything done previously, an international team of researchers tracked one thousand children in New Zealand from birth until the age of thirty-two. Each child’s self-control was rated in a variety of ways (through observations by researchers as well as in reports of problems from parents, teachers, and the children themselves). This produced an especially reliable measure of children’s self-control, and the researchers were able to check it against an extraordinarily wide array of outcomes through adolescence and into adulthood. The children with high self-control grew up into adults who had better physical health, including lower rates of obesity, fewer sexually transmitted diseases, and even healthier teeth. (Apparently, good self-control includes brushing and flossing.) Self-control was irrelevant to adult depression, but its lack made people more prone to alcohol and drug problems. The children with poor self-control tended to wind up poorer financially. They worked in relatively low-paying jobs, had little money in the bank, and were less likely to own a home or have money set aside for retirement. They also grew up to have more children being raised in single-parent households, presumably because they had a harder time adapting to the discipline required for a long-term relationship. The children with good self-control were much more likely to wind up in a stable marriage and raise children in a two-parent home. Last, but certainly not least, the children with poor self-control were more likely to end up in prison. Among those with the lowest levels of self-control, more than 40 percent had a criminal conviction by the age of thirty-two, compared with just 12 percent of the people who had been toward the high end of the self-control distribution in their youth.
Roy F. Baumeister (Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength)
I never wanted it to end. I wondered if it felt like this the first time. Seeing him. Really seeing him. He wiped his eyes. “You really want to know, don’t you.” “Yeah.” “Why?” I gave in. I couldn’t not. I reached over and put my hand on his knee. He tensed briefly but settled when I curled my fingers over his leg, just letting my hand rest there. I couldn’t look at him. I thought my face was on fire. He said, “That’s….” His voice broke. He cleared his throat. “After the hunters came, something shifted. Between us. I don’t know how or why exactly. You stopped being weird around me.” “Seems like I’ve picked that right up again.” He chuckled. “A little. It’s okay, though. It’s like… a beginning. You came to me one day. You were sweating. I remember thinking something bad had happened because you kept wringing your hands until I thought you were going to break your bones. I asked you what was wrong. And you know what you said? “Probably something stupid.” “You said that you didn’t think you could ever give up on me. That no matter how long it took, you would be there until I told you otherwise. That you weren’t going to push me for anything but you thought I should know that you had… intentions.” “Oh dear god,” I said in horror. “And that worked?” Kelly snorted, and I felt his hand on the back of mine. “Not quite. But what you said next did.” I looked over at him. “What did I say?” He was watching me with human eyes, and I thought I could love him. I saw how easy it could be. I didn’t, not yet, but oh, I wanted to. “You said you thought the world of me. That we’d been through so much and you couldn’t stand another day if I didn’t know that. You told me that you were a good wolf, a strong wolf, and if I’d only give you a chance, you’d make sure I’d never regret it.” I had to know. “Have you?” “No,” he whispered. “Not once. Not ever.” He looked away. “It was good between us. We took it slow. You smiled all the time. You brought me flowers once. Mom was pissed because you ripped them up from her flower bed and there were still roots and dirt hanging from the bottom, but you were so damn proud of yourself. You said it was romantic. And I believed you.” He plucked a blade of grass and held it in the palm of his hand. “There was something… I don’t know. Endless. About you and me.” He took my hand off his knee and turned it over. He set the blade of grass in my palm and closed his hand over mine. He looked toward the sky and the stars through the canopy of leaves. “We came here sometimes. Just the two of us. And you would pretend to know all the stars. You would make up stories that absolutely weren’t true, and I remember looking at you, thinking how wonderful it was to be by your side. And if we were lucky, there’d be—ah. Look. Again.” His voice was wet and soft, and it cracked me right down the middle. Fireflies rose around us, pulsing slowly. At first there were only two or three, but then more began to hang heavy in the air. They were yellow-green, and I wondered how this could be real. Here. Now. This moment. How I ever could have forgotten this. Forgotten him. It had to have been the strongest magic the world had ever known. That was the only way I’d have ever left his side. He reached out with his other hand, quick and light, and snatched a firefly out of the air. He was careful not to crush it. He leaned his head toward mine like he was about to tell me a great secret. Instead he opened his hand between us. The firefly lay near the bottom of his ring finger. Its shell was black with a stripe down the middle. It barely moved. “Just wait,” Kelly whispered. I did. It only took a moment. The firefly pulsed in his hand. “There it is,” he said. He pulled away and lifted his hand. The firefly took to its wings, lifting off and flying away. He stared after it. I only had eyes for him.
T.J. Klune (Heartsong (Green Creek, #3))
IT is not impossible that among the English readers of this book there may be one who in 1915 and 1916 was in one of those trenches that were woven like a web among the ruins of Monchy-au-Bois. In that case he had opposite him at that time the 73rd Hanoverian Fusiliers, who wear as their distinctive badge a brassard with ' Gibraltar ' inscribed on it in gold, in memory of the defence of that fortress under General Elliot; for this, besides Waterloo, has its place in the regiment's history. At the time I refer to I was a nineteen-year-old lieutenant in command of a platoon, and my part of the line was easily recognizable from the English side by a row of tall shell-stripped trees that rose from the ruins of Monchy. My left flank was bounded by the sunken road leading to Berles-au-Bois, which was in the hands of the English ; my right was marked by a sap running out from our lines, one that helped us many a time to make our presence felt by means of bombs and rifle-grenades. I daresay this reader remembers, too, the white tom-cat, lamed in one foot by a stray bullet, who had his headquarters in No-man's-land. He used often to pay me a visit at night in my dugout. This creature, the sole living being that was on visiting terms with both sides, always made on me an impression of extreme mystery. This charm of mystery which lay over all that belonged to the other side, to that danger zone full of unseen figures, is one of the strongest impressions that the war has left with me. At that time, before the battle of the Somme, which opened a new chapter in the history of the war, the struggle had not taken on that grim and mathematical aspect which cast over its landscapes a deeper and deeper gloom. There was more rest for the soldier than in the later years when he was thrown into one murderous battle after another ; and so it is that many of those days come back to my memory now with a light on them that is almost peaceful.
Ernst Jünger (Storm of Steel)
you can’t fight a tremendous, emotion filled drive with cold mathematics. This man Hilder has invented a name, ‘Wasters.’ Slowly he has built this name up into a gigantic conspiracy; a gang of brutal, profit-seeking wretches raping Earth for their own immediate benefit. “He has accused the government of being riddled with them, the Assembly of being dominated by them, the press of being owned by them. None of this, unfortunately, seems ridiculous to the average man. He knows all too well what selfish men can do to Earth’s resources. He knows what happened to Earth’s oil during the Time of Troubles, for instance, and the way topsoil was ruined. “When a fanner experiences a drought, he doesn’t care that the amount of water lost in space flight isn’t a droplet in a fog as far as Earth’s overall water supply is concerned. Hilder has given him something to blame and that’s the strongest possible consolation for disaster. He isn’t going to give that up for a diet of figures.
Isaac Asimov (Robot Dreams (Robot, #0.4))
The men believe that activity results from frustration and frustration results from never being able to get what you want. The perpetual out-of-reach. The men frantically scurry about with great schemes and much noise to try and reach the out-of-reach. Each tries to be the first or richest or strongest or most potent. Each compares himself to the others and each is always inadequate; less than first, not yet rich enough, or strong enough, or potent enough. None of this leads to happiness, but then the men do not look approvingly at happiness. None of this leads to contentment but then the men care nothing for contentment. They fill their heads with inflated notions of total control and empire and strength and sexual conquest. They fill their bodies with meat and drugs and dirty air. And they rush about in a frenzy making messes and ugliness and fear everywhere. And when they tire they sit with each other and lament and blabber how little they are appreciated and how hard they try and how nothing ever works out quite as they plan.
Larry Mitchell (The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions)
You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since--on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation I associate you only with the good, and I will faithful hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may. O God Bless you, God forgive you!
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
There is a great ladder of religious cruelty with many rungs; but three of them are the most important. At one time one sacrificed human beings to one's god, perhaps precisely those human beings one loved best–the sacrifice of the first-born present in all prehistoric religions belongs here, as does the sacrifice of the Emperor Tiberius in the Mithras grotto on the isle of Capri, that most horrible of all Roman anachronisms. Then, in the moral epoch of mankind, one sacrificed to one's god the strongest instincts one possessed, one's ‘nature’; the joy of this festival glitters in the cruel glance of the ascetic, the inspired ‘anti-naturist’. Finally: what was left to be sacrificed? Did one not finally have to sacrifice everything comforting, holy, healing, all hope, all faith in a concealed harmony, in a future bliss and justice? Did one not have to sacrifice God himself and out of cruelty against oneself worship stone, stupidity, gravity, fate, nothingness? To sacrifice God for nothingness–this paradoxical mystery of the ultimate act of cruelty was reserved for the generation which is even now arising: we all know something of it already.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil)
Ouch.” The yelp came out by accident as Trent went back over the bumps of her spine. Harper winced. Trent was doing his best to move the needle location around, she could feel that, but it was really starting to hurt. She heard Trent put down his equipment and slide the stool around in front of her. “This is the worst it’s going to be, Harp. You’re being so incredibly brave. I’ve had grown men cry at this point.” He paused for a moment before kissing her gently on the temple. “We have two options. I can stop in a minute and we can pick it up next time, or I can keep going for another twenty minutes and it will be done. The final appointments, then, will be short and sweet. Not to mention a whole lot less painful.” Harper took in a deep breath and blew it out harshly. Determined not to cry, she bit down on her lip hard. It stopped the pending deluge, but the tears still threatened. “Oh darlin’.” Trent kissed her softly. “I’d switch places with you in a heartbeat if I could. I know it hurts where I’m working.” Harper nodded. He understood. “Can you make it fifteen?” Trent kissed the side of her eye, where a single tear was making a break for freedom. “I’ll do it in ten.
Scarlett Cole (The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos, #1))
She looked at the strong hand holding hers. “Oh my goodness, what did you do?” Harper asked, eyebrows raised and mouth open as she studied the cuts and bruises. “Had a conversation with a streetlight once you got into the cab,” he said, pulling her closer to him. “I’m sorry, Trent. I really am. If I blew you and me because of all this, I get it and I don’t blame you. I’m done running. I’m done being scared. I’m done doubting whether you and your friends will help me if I need it. I am done with everything except being in love with you. I—” Harper was flipped onto her back and underneath Trent in the blink of an eye. “Say it again.” His dark eyes were fierce as he held each side of her face in his big, safe hands. “I’m sorry, I—” “No.” He cut her off. “Not that part. The ‘I love you’ part.” “I love you.” Harper had barely gotten the words out of her mouth before Trent’s lips descended on hers. Their mouths clashed together, banging teeth before soothing bitten lips with soft tongues. Trent pulled away, taking a deep breath before staring deep into her eyes. Harper could feel his very soul merging with hers. “I love you, Harper. Everything else is details. A lot of fucking details, granted, but just details.
Scarlett Cole (The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos, #1))
MT: But you are. You are justifying it. RG: I'm trying to show that there's meaning at precisely the point where the nihilistic temptation is strongest today. I'm saying: there's a Revelation, and people are free to do with it what they will. But it too will keep reemerging. It's stronger than them. And, as we have seen, it's even capable of putting mimetic phenomena to work on its behalf, since today everyone is competing to see who is the most “victimized.” Revelation is dangerous. It's the spiritual equivalent of nuclear power. What's most pathetic is the insipidly modernized brand of Christianity that bows down before everything that's most ephemeral in contemporary thought. Christians don't see that they have at their disposal an instrument that is incomparably superior to the whole mishmash of psychoanalysis and sociology that they conscientiously feed themselves. It's the old story of Esau sacrificing his inheritance for a plate of lentils. All the modes of thought that once served to demolish Christianity are being discredited in turn by more “radical” versions of the same critique. There's no need to refute modern thought because, as each new trend one-ups its predecessors, it's liquidating itself at high speed. The students are becoming more and more skeptical, but, and above all in America, the people in power, the department chairs, the “chairpersons,” as they say, are fervent believers. They're often former sixties' radicals who've made the transition to administrative jobs in academia, the media, and the church. For a long time, Christians were protected from this insane downward spiral, and, when they finally dive in, you can recognize them by their naïve modernist faith. They're always one lap behind. They always choose the ships that the rats are in the midst of abandoning. They're hoping to tap into the hordes of people who have deserted their churches. They don't understand that the last thing that can attract the masses is a Christian version of the demagogic laxity in which they're already immersed. Today, it's thought that playing the social game, whether on the individual or the group level, is more indispensable than thinking…it's thought that there are truths that shouldn't be spoken. In America, it's become impossible to be unapologetically Christian, white, or European without running the risk of being accused of “ethnocentrism.” To which I reply that the eulogists of “multiculturalism” place themselves, to the contrary, in the purest of Western traditions. The West is the only civilization ever to have directed such criticisms against itself. The capital of the Incas had a name that I believe meant “the navel of the world.
René Girard (When These Things Begin: Conversations with Michel Treguer (Studies in Violence, Mimesis, & Culture))
I think pain is the most underrated emotion available to us," the Count said. "The Serpent, to my interpretation, was pain. Pain has been with us always, and it always irritates me when people say 'as important as life and death' because the proper phrase, to my mind, should be, 'as important as pain and death.'" The Count fell silent for a time then, as he began and completed a series of complex adjustments. "One of my theories," he said somewhat later, "is that pain involves anticipation. Nothing original, I admit, but I'm going to demonstrate to you what I mean: I will not, underline not, use the Machine on you this evening. I could. It's ready and tested. But instead I will simply erect it and leave it beside you, for you to stare at the next twenty-four hours, wondering just what it is and how it works and can it really be as dreadful as all that." He tightened some things here, loosened some more over there, tugged and patted and shaped. The Machine looked so silly Westley was tempted to giggle. Instead, he groaned again. "I'll leave you to your imagination, then," the Count said, and he looked at Westley. "But I want you to know one thing before tomorrow night happens to you, and I mean it: you are the strongest, the most brilliant and brave, the most altogether worthy creature it has ever been my privilege to meet, and I feel almost sad that, for the purposes of my book and future pain scholars, I must destroy you.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
My conception of freedom. — The value of a thing sometimes does not lie in that which one attains by it, but in what one pays for it — what it costs us. I shall give an example. Liberal institutions cease to be liberal as soon as they are attained: later on, there are no worse and no more thorough injurers of freedom than liberal institutions. Their effects are known well enough: they undermine the will to power; they level mountain and valley, and call that morality; they make men small, cowardly, and hedonistic — every time it is the herd animal that triumphs with them. Liberalism: in other words, herd-animalization. These same institutions produce quite different effects while they are still being fought for; then they really promote freedom in a powerful way. On closer inspection it is war that produces these effects, the war for liberal institutions, which, as a war, permits illiberal instincts to continue. And war educates for freedom. For what is freedom? That one has the will to assume responsibility for oneself. That one maintains the distance which separates us. That one becomes more indifferent to difficulties, hardships, privation, even to life itself. That one is prepared to sacrifice human beings for one's cause, not excluding oneself. Freedom means that the manly instincts which delight in war and victory dominate over other instincts, for example, over those of "pleasure." The human being who has become free — and how much more the spirit who has become free — spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free man is a warrior. How is freedom measured in individuals and peoples? According to the resistance which must be overcome, according to the exertion required, to remain on top. The highest type of free men should be sought where the highest resistance is constantly overcome: five steps from tyranny, close to the threshold of the danger of servitude. This is true psychologically if by "tyrants" are meant inexorable and fearful instincts that provoke the maximum of authority and discipline against themselves; most beautiful type: Julius Caesar. This is true politically too; one need only go through history. The peoples who had some value, attained some value, never attained it under liberal institutions: it was great danger that made something of them that merits respect. Danger alone acquaints us with our own resources, our virtues, our armor and weapons, our spirit, and forces us to be strong. First principle: one must need to be strong — otherwise one will never become strong. Those large hothouses for the strong — for the strongest kind of human being that has so far been known — the aristocratic commonwealths of the type of Rome or Venice, understood freedom exactly in the sense in which I understand it: as something one has or does not have, something one wants, something one conquers.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols)
Only men of the utmost simplicity can believe that the nature man knows can be changed into a purely logical nature. Yet were there steps affording approach to this goal, how utterly everything would be lost on the way! Even the most rational man needs nature again, from time to time, that is, his illogical fundamental relation (Grundstellung) to all things. No practical knowledge of a man, for example, stood he never so near to us, can be complete—so that we could have a logical right to form a total estimate of him; all estimates are summary and must be so. Then the standard by which we measure, (our being) is not an immutable quantity; we have moods and variations, and yet we should know ourselves as an invariable standard before we undertake to establish the nature of the relation of any thing (Sache) to ourselves. Perhaps it will follow from all this that one should form no judgments whatever; if one could but merely live without having to form estimates, without aversion and without partiality!—for everything most abhorred is closely connected with an estimate, as well as every strongest partiality. An inclination towards a thing, or from a thing, without an accompanying feeling that the beneficial is desired and the pernicious contemned, an inclination without a sort of experiential estimation of the desirability of an end, does not exist in man. We are primordially illogical and hence unjust beings and can recognise this fact: this is one of the greatest and most baffling discords of existence.
Friedrich Nietzsche
There are no silly or inferior people; or people whose destiny is to be poor or to barely survive. There are, though, many that have bought into the lies of this world, internalizing and accepting as truth the horrible “You can’t”. And as they believe they can’t, they transmit it to others and “manifest” it in their lives. But THE TRUTH, the only absolute truth is that every human being is special. Each and every one of us is a soul that is growing and evolving. A soul on a mission! To find and fulfill this mission, and not only to work tirelessly to accumulate material things, THAT IS SUCCESS! If you've ever doubted how special you are, and the immense value you have for the world, you just have to do a historical analysis, and think about the thousands of people who had to live before you, only for you to be born! Think of your ancestors: they survived a thousand tragedies so you could be here and read this book. Do not kid yourself: life in this world has been harsh! Your ancestors had to fight against enormous odds, and only the strongest, fittest and special survived. The weak perished... But not your grandparents, great-grandparents; great-great-grandparents and the ones before. You come from a bread of Champions! You descend from the greater ones! From those who crossed seas and conquered lands… From those who beat pest, hunger and war. From those who kept going ahead despite the persecutions… From those who weighed anchors to go on great adventures... And thanks to them, success runs in your blood… You are destined to success! You are called to live a meaningful life!
Mauricio Chaves Mesén (YES! TO SUCCESS)
To suggest, as Shine does, that my father was in some way mean-spirited is totally unfair. Holding back David’s career was not in the least my father’s aim. He was extremely proud of his son and nurtured his talent in every way. He was David’s strongest advocate. But allowing any boy who had just turned fourteen to live by himself so far away without proper provisions being made for him would have been irresponsible, to say the least. In David’s case, it would have been particularly inappropriate. He had never been abroad before; he was completely hopeless in practical matters; and he needed to be looked after, cooked for, and cared for. He was also by that time behaving rather erratically, although of course we did not know then that these may have been the first signs of a serious mental illness. My father’s attitude was proved correct: when David did go to London of his own volition four years later, he fell ill and ended up receiving psychiatric care. In any case there simply wasn’t enough money available to finance the trip to America. Contrary to what is related in Shine, where my father and Mr. Rosen decide that David should have a bar mitzvah as a method of raising money for this trip, David had already had his bar mitzvah almost a year earlier, when he turned thirteen, the usual age for this ceremony. His bar mitzvah had nothing to do with “digging for gold,” as Mr. Rosen puts it in Shine, in one of several offensive references in the film to Jews or Judaism. My father may not have been an Orthodox Jew himself, but he still had a strong desire to hold onto the basic tenets of Jewish tradition and to pass them on to his children.
Margaret Helfgott (Out of Tune: David Helfgott and the Myth of Shine)
Christina walks out, bumping me with her shoulder as she leaves. Tris lifts her eyes to mine. “We should talk,” I say. “Fine,” she says, and I follow her into the hallway. We stand next to the door until everyone else leaves. Her shoulders are drawn in like she’s trying to make herself even smaller, trying to evaporate on the spot, and we stand too far apart, the entire width of the hallway between us. I try to remember the last time I kissed her and I can’t. Finally we’re alone, and the hallway is quiet. My hands start to tingle and go numb, the way they always do when I panic. “Do you think you’ll ever forgive me?” I say. She shakes her head, but says, “I don’t know. I think that’s what I need to figure out.” “You know…you know I never wanted Uriah to get hurt, right?” I look at the stitches crossing her forehead and I add, “Or you. I never wanted you to get hurt either.” She’s tapping her foot, her body shifting with the movement. She nods. “I know that.” “I had to do something,” I say. “I had to.” “A lot of people got hurt,” she says. “All because you dismissed what I said, because--and this is the worst part, Tobias--because you thought I was being petty and jealous. Just some silly sixteen-year-old girl, right?” She shakes her head. “I would never call you silly or petty,” I say sternly. “I thought your judgment was clouded, yes. But that’s all.” “That’s enough.” Her fingers slide through her hair and wrap around it. “It’s just the same thing all over again, isn’t it? You don’t respect me as much as you say you do. When it comes down to it, you still believe I can’t think rationally--” “That is not what’s happening!” I say hotly. “I respect you more than anyone. But right now I’m wondering what bothers you more, that I made a stupid decision or that I didn’t make your decision.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” “It means,” I say, “that you may have said you just wanted us to be honest with each other, but I think you really wanted me to always agree with you.” “I can’t believe you would say that! You were wrong--” “Yeah, I was wrong!” I’m shouting now, and I don’t know where the anger came from, except that I can feel it swirling around inside me, violent and vicious and the strongest I have felt in days. “I was wrong, I made a huge mistake! My best friend’s brother is as good as dead! And now you’re acting like a parent, punishing me for it because I didn’t do as I was told. Well, you are not my parent, Tris, and you don’t get to tell me what to do, what to choose--!” “Stop yelling at me,” she says quietly, and she finally looks at me. I used to see all kinds of things in her eyes, love and longing and curiosity, but now all I see is anger. “Just stop.” Her quiet voice stalls the anger inside me, and I relax into the wall behind me, shoving my hands into my pockets. I didn’t mean to yell at her. I didn’t mean to get angry at all. I stare, shocked, as tears touch her cheeks. I haven’t seen her cry in a long time. She sniffs, and gulps, and tries to sound normal, but she doesn’t. “I just need some time,” she says, choking on each word. “Okay?” “Okay,” I say. She wipes her cheeks with her palms and walks down the hallway. I watch her blond head until it disappears around the bend, and I feel bare, like there’s nothing left to protect me against pain. Her absence stings worst of all.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
First, because, in the first case, the right of conquest being in fact no right at all, it could not serve as a foundation for any other right, the conqueror and the conquered ever remaining with respect to each other in a state of war, unless the conquered, restored to the full possession of their liberty, should freely choose their conqueror for their chief. Till then, whatever capitulations might have been made between them, as these capitulations were founded upon violence, and of course de facto null and void, there could not have existed in this hypothesis either a true society, or a political body, or any other law but that of the strongest. Second, because these words strong and weak, are ambiguous in the second case; for during the interval between the establishment of the right of property or prior occupation and that of political government, the meaning of these terms is better expressed by the words poor and rich, as before the establishment of laws men in reality had no other means of reducing their equals, but by invading the property of these equals, or by parting with some of their own property to them. Third, because the poor having nothing but their liberty to lose, it would have been the height of madness in them to give up willingly the only blessing they had left without obtaining some consideration for it: whereas the rich being sensible, if I may say so, in every part of their possessions, it was much easier to do them mischief, and therefore more incumbent upon them to guard against it; and because, in fine, it is but reasonable to suppose, that a thing has been invented by him to whom it could be of service rather than by him to whom it must prove detrimental.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality)
The very human-looking, terrified eyes of the young woman are burned into my mind. “What are they?” I ask, still shaken. “They’re seals. Very fierce seals, at that.” My aunt pauses to lean back against the elaborately embroidered cushions. “Long ago, the Selkies were enchanted by a sea witch. Every full moon they come to shore somewhere on the coast, step out of their seal skin and emerge in human form. For many years they caused a great deal of havoc—attacking sailors, dismantling ships. It was terrible.” “But she looked so frail.” “Ah, it’s like I just said. Appearances can be deceiving. Selkies, in possession of their skins, are stronger than the strongest Mage, and like most seals, they are very dangerous predators.” “And without their skins?” “Very good, Elloren.” My aunt looks pleased. “You’ve gotten right to the heart of it. Without their skins, they can be easily controlled.” “Why?” “Because they lose their strength, and because they cannot transform back into seals without them. Without their skins, they cannot get back to the ocean. Being wild animals, no matter how long they are kept in human form, they desperately want to get back to their ocean home. They’re not human, Elloren. It’s only an illusion. Don’t let it trouble you.” “But why was she in a cage?” My aunt grimaces at my question, like she’s detected an unpleasant odor. “Some people like to keep them...as pets.” I scrutinize her face. She’s not looking at me. She’s now glancing toward the window impatiently. “She...she looked so terrified,” I say, upset. My aunt’s expression softens. “Well, caged wild animals are never a pleasant sight. I am completely and utterly against the Selkie trade and am doing everything I can to wipe it out.” She pats my hand reassuringly.
Laurie Forest (The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles, #1))
[Some people] think that sex is a physical capacity which functions independently of one's mind, choice, or code of values. They think that your body creates a desire and makes a choice for you–just about in some such way as if iron ore transformed itself into railroad rails of its own volition. Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a man's sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions. Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life. Show me the woman he sleeps with and I will tell you his valuation of himself. No matter what corruption he's taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which he cannot perform for any motive but his own enjoyment -- just try to think of performing it as an act of selfless charity! – an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exaltation, only in the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces him to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and to accept his real ego as his standard of value. He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience–or to fake– a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer, because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement, not the possession of a brainless slut. He does not seek to gain his value, but to express it. There is no conflict between the standards of his mind and the desires of his body . . .
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
in order to increase the probability against the testimony of witnesses, let us suppose, that the fact, which they affirm, instead of being only marvelous, is really miraculous; and suppose also, that the testimony considered apart and in itself, amounts to an entire proof; in that case, there is proof against proof, of which the strongest must prevail, but still with a diminution of its force in proportion to that of its antagonist. 12. A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature; and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined. Why is it more than probable, that all men must die; that lead cannot, of itself, remain suspended in the air; that fire consumes wood, and is extinguished by water; unless it be, that these events are found agreeable to the laws of nature, and there is required a violation of these laws, or in other words, a miracle to prevent them? Nothing is esteemed a miracle, if it ever happen in the common course of nature. It is no miracle that a man, seemingly in good health, should die on a sudden; because such a kind of death, though more unusual than any other, has yet been frequently observed to happen. But it is a miracle, that a dead man should come to life; because that has never been observed in any age or country. There must, therefore, be a uniform experience against every miraculous event, otherwise the event would not merit that appellation. And as a uniform experience amounts to a proof, there is here a direct and full proof, from the nature of the fact, against the existence of any miracle; nor can such a proof be destroyed, or the miracle rendered credible, but by an opposite proof, which is superior.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
Dave does extra-mural work for the University, and collects about him many youths who have a part-time interest in truth. Dave’s pupils adore him, but there is a permanent fight on between him and them. They aspire like sunflowers. They are all natural metaphysicians, or so Dave says in a tone of disgust. This seems to me a wonderful thing to be, but it inspires in Dave a passion of opposition. To Dave’s pupils the world is a mystery; a mystery to which it should be reasonably possible to discover a key. The key would be something of the sort that could be contained in a book of some eight hundred pages. To find the key would not necessarily be a simple matter, but Dave’s pupils feel sure that the dedication of between four and ten hours a week, excluding University vacations, should suffice to find it. They do not conceive that the matter should be either more simple or more complex than that. They are prepared within certain limits to alter their views. Many of them arrive as theosophists and depart as Critical Realists or Bradeians. It is remarkable how Dave’s criticism seems os often to be purely catalytic in its action. He blazes upon them with the destructive fury of the sun, but instead of shrivelling up their metaphysical pretensions, achieves merely their metamorphosis from one rich stage into another. This curious fact makes me think that perhaps after all Dave is, in spite of himself, a good teacher. Occasionally he succeeds in converting some peculiarly receptive youth to his own brand of linguistics analysis; after which as often as not the youth loses interest in philosophy altogether. To watch Dave at work on these young men is like watching someone prune a rose bush. It is all the strongest and most luxuriant shoots which have to come off. Then later perhaps there will be blossoms; but not philosophical ones, Dave trusts. His great aim is to dissuade the young from philosophy. He always warns me off it with particular earnestness.
Iris Murdoch (Under the Net)
He began by expressing his gratitude to those “whom no partizan malice, or partizan hope, can make false to the nation’s life,” then passed at once, since peace seemed uppermost in men’s minds nowadays, to a discussion of “three conceivable ways” in which it could be brought about. First, by suppressing the rebellion; “This I am trying to do. Are you for it? If you are, so far we are agreed.” Second, by giving up the Union; “I am against this. Are you for it? If you are, you should say so plainly.” Third, by negotiating some sort of armistice based on compromise with the Confederates; but “I do not believe any compromise, embracing the maintenance of the Union, is now possible. All I learn leads to a directly opposite belief.” After disposing thus, to his apparent satisfaction, of the possibility of achieving peace except by force of arms, he moved on to another matter which his opponents had lately been harping on as a source of dissatisfaction: Emancipation. “You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you; but no matter. Fight you, then, exclusively to save the Union. I issued the Proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time then for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes. I thought that in your struggle for the Union, to whatever extent the negroes should cease helping the enemy, to that extent it weakened the enemy in his resistance to you. Do you think differently? I thought that whatever negroes can be got to do, as soldiers, leaves just so much less for white soldiers to do in saving the Union. Does it appear otherwise to you? But negroes, like other people, act upon motives. Why should they do anything for us if we will do nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive—even the promise of freedom. And the promise, being made, must be kept.
Shelby Foote (The Civil War, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian)
There is no shortage of more stable generalizations about dangerous dogs, though. A 1991 study in Denver, for example, compared 178 dogs that had a history of biting people with a random sample of 178 dogs with no history of biting. The breeds were scattered: German shepherds, Akitas, and Chow Chows were among those most heavily represented. (There were no pit bulls among the biting dogs in the study, because Denver banned pit bulls in 1989.) But a number of other, more stable factors stand out. The biters were 6.2 times as likely to be male than female, and 2.6 times as likely to be intact than neutered. The Denver study also found that biters were 2.8 times as likely to be chained as unchained. “About twenty percent of the dogs involved in fatalities were chained at the time, and had a history of long-term chaining,” Lockwood said. “Now, are they chained because they are aggressive or aggressive because they are chained? It’s a bit of both. These are animals that have not had an opportunity to become socialized to people. They don’t necessarily even know that children are small human beings. They tend to see them as prey.” In many cases, vicious dogs are hungry or in need of medical attention. Often, the dogs had a history of aggressive incidents, and, overwhelmingly, dog-bite victims were children (particularly small boys) who were physically vulnerable to attack and may also have unwittingly done things to provoke the dog, like teasing it, or bothering it while it was eating. The strongest connection of all, though, is between the trait of dog viciousness and certain kinds of dog owners. In about a quarter of fatal dog-bite cases, the dog owners were previously involved in illegal fighting. The dogs that bite people are, in many cases, socially isolated because their owners are socially isolated, and they are vicious because they have owners who want a vicious dog. The junkyard German shepherd — which looks as if it would rip your throat out — and the German-shepherd guide dog are the same breed. But they are not the same dog, because they have owners with different intentions. “A
Malcolm Gladwell (What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures)
And an orator said, "Speak to us of Freedom." And he answered: At the city gate and by your fireside I have seen you prostrate yourself and worship your own freedom, Even as slaves humble themselves before a tyrant and praise him though he slays them. Ay, in the grove of the temple and in the shadow of the citadel I have seen the freest among you wear their freedom as a yoke and a handcuff. And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfillment. You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief, But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound. And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights unless you break the chains which you at the dawn of your understanding have fastened around your noon hour? In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest of these chains, though its links glitter in the sun and dazzle the eyes. And what is it but fragments of your own self you would discard that you may become free? If it is an unjust law you would abolish, that law was written with your own hand upon your own forehead. You cannot erase it by burning your law books nor by washing the foreheads of your judges, though you pour the sea upon them. And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed. For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud, but for a tyranny in their own freedom and a shame in their won pride? And if it is a care you would cast off, that care has been chosen by you rather than imposed upon you. And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared. Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape. These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling. And when the shadow fades and is no more, the light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light. And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes itself the fetter of a greater freedom.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
As the year went on, I felt I was handling my grief and depression better, but the pressures kept piling up. You don’t really ever feel “comfortable” being a widow. You endure, maybe get through it, but you don’t ever truly own it. And still, a part of me didn’t want to get beyond it. My pain was proof of my love. One night I went over to a friend’s house and just started bawling. I had been going through photos of Chris when he was in his twenties and thirties. I’m going to be an old woman somewhere, and he’s going to be young. So many other emotions ran through me every day. People suggested that I might find someone else. “No,” I’d tell them. “No one will ever take his place.” School forms would ask about the kids’ family situation. Were their parents married, divorced? I’m not a single mother. I’m raising the kids with my husband! Even if he’s not here. I always think about what he would want to do. One night, alone in my bedroom, I picked up the laundry basket off the treadmill. I suddenly felt as if Chris was there with me, somehow hovering two feet off the ground. He grinned. “I’m working on something for you,” he said. And I knew he meant he was trying to hook me up with a man. I jerked back. Had I really heard that? Was he really there? The room was empty, but I had the strongest feeling that he was there. I could feel his grin. I became furious. “How dare you!” I screamed in my head. “I don’t want anyone else. I want you! What’s wrong with you?” I walked out of the room. I blocked him out for a while, partly because of that incident, partly because of how overwhelming the emotions were. Finally I realized I didn’t want to do that. And one night toward the end of the year, I said aloud, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to block you out.” The room was empty, but I sensed he might be with me. “I am so sorry!” I repeated. Then I started bawling. I felt as if he came over and put his arm around my waist. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. His voice, in a whisper, but one I felt rather than heard: I didn’t want to hurt you. I cried and cried. I felt a million things--sorry, crazy, insane. I finally glanced up and looked in the mirror. I was alone. “I’m not losing it,” I told myself. “What little I have left, I’m not losing it.” I slumped off to bed, exhausted.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
I saw the Tracker—but that’s wrong, really. I saw right to where the tracking thing was. I saw those winnowing tentacles come out again, and the front figure pause, and then—it’s the only word that actually describes it—ooze on again on its via dolorosa. And at that the hind figure seemed to summon all its strength. It seemed to open out a fringe of arms or tentacles, a sort of corona of black rays spread out. It gaped with a full expansion, and even I could feel that there was a perfectly horrible attraction, or vacuum drag, being exerted. That was horrible enough, with the face of the super-suffering man now almost under me resonating my own terror. But the worst thing was that, as the tentacles unwrapped and winnowed out toward their prey, I saw they weren’t really tentacles at all. They were spreading cracks, veins, fissures, rents of darkness expanding from a void, a gap of pure blackness. There’s only one way to say it—one was seeing right through the solid world into a gap, an ultimate maelstrom. And from it was spreading out a—I can only call it so—a negative sunrise of black radiation that would deluge and obliterate everything. Of course it was still only a fissure, a vent, but one realized—This is a hole, a widening hole, that has been pierced in the dike that defends the common-sense, sensuous world. Through this vortex-hole that is rapidly opening, over this lip and brink, everything could slip, fall in, find no purchase, be swallowed up. It was like watching a crumbling cliff with survivors clinging to it being undercut and toppling into a black tide that had swallowed up its base. This negative force could drag the solidest things from their base, melt them, engulf the whole hard, visible world. And we were right on that brink. What was after us, for I knew now I was in its field, was not a thing of any passions or desires. Those are limited things, satiable things—in a way, balanced things, and so familiar, safe even, almost friendly in comparison with this. You know the grim saying, “You can give a sop to Cerberus, but not to his Master.” No, this was—that’s the technical term, I found, coined by those who have been up against this and come back alive—this was absolute Deprivation, really insatiable need, need that nothing can satisfy, absolute refusal to give, to yield. It is the second strongest thing in the universe, and, indeed, outside that. It could swallow the whole universe, and the universe would go for nothing, because in that gap the whole universe could fill not a bit of it. It would remain as empty, as gaping, as insatiable as ever, for it is the bottomless pit made by unstanchable Lack.
Gerald Heard (Dromenon: The Best Weird Stories of Gerald Heard)
When we reflect on our daily lives, we might look back at a day that was very stressful and think, “Well, that wasn’t my favorite day this week.” When you’re in the middle of one of those days, you might long for a day with less stress in it. But if you put a wider lens on your life and subtract every day that you have experienced as stressful, you won’t find yourself with an ideal life. Instead, you’ll find yourself also subtracting the experiences that have helped you grow, the challenges you are most proud of, and the relationships that define you. You may have spared yourself some discomfort, but you will also have robbed yourself of some meaning. And yet, it’s not at all uncommon to wish for a life without stress. While this is a natural desire, pursuing it comes at a heavy cost. In fact, many of the negative outcomes we associate with stress may actually be the consequence of trying to avoid it. Psychologists have found that trying to avoid stress leads to a significantly reduced sense of well-being, life satisfaction, and happiness. Avoiding stress can also be isolating. In a study of students at Doshisha University in Japan, the goal to avoid stress predicted a drop, over time, in their sense of connection and belonging. Having such a goal can even exhaust you. For example, researchers at the University of Zurich asked students about their goals, then tracked them for one month. Across two typically stressful periods—end-of-semester exams and the winter holidays—those with the strongest desire to avoid stress were the most likely to report declines in concentration, physical energy, and self-control. One particularly impressive study conducted through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in Palo Alto, California, followed more than one thousand adults for ten years. At the beginning of the study, researchers asked the participants about how they dealt with stress. Those who reported trying to avoid stress were more likely to become depressed over the following decade. They also experienced increasing conflict at work and at home, and more negative outcomes, such as being fired or getting divorced. Importantly, avoiding stress predicted the increase in depression, conflict, and negative events above and beyond any symptoms or difficulties reported at the beginning of the study. Wherever a participant started in life, the tendency to avoid stress made things worse over the next decade. Psychologists call this vicious cycle stress generation. It’s the ironic consequence of trying to avoid stress: You end up creating more sources of stress while depleting the resources that should be supporting you. As the stress piles up, you become increasingly overwhelmed and isolated, and therefore even more likely to rely on avoidant coping strategies, like trying to steer clear of stressful situations or to escape your feelings with self-destructive distractions. The more firmly committed you are to avoiding stress, the more likely you are to find yourself in this downward spiral. As psychologists Richard Ryan, Veronika Huta, and Edward Deci write in The Exploration of Happiness, “The more directly one aims to maximize pleasure and avoid pain, the more likely one is to produce instead a life bereft of depth, meaning, and community.
Kelly McGonigal (The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It)
In temperament the Second Men were curiously different from the earlier species. The same factors were present, but in different proportions, and in far greater subordination to the considered will of the individual. Sexual vigour had returned. But sexual interest was strangely altered. Around the ancient core of delight in physical and mental contact with the opposite sex there now appeared a kind of innately sublimated, and no less poignant, appreciation of the unique physical and mental forms of all kinds of live things. It is difficult for less ample natures to imagine this expansion of the innate sexual interest; for to them it is not apparent that the lusty admiration which at first directs itself solely on the opposite sex is the appropriate attitude to all the beauties of flesh and spirit in beast and bird and plant. Parental interest also was strong in the new species, but it too was universalized. It had become a strong innate interest in, and a devotion to, all beings that were conceived as in need of help. In the earlier species this passionate spontaneous altruism occurred only in exceptional persons. In the new species, however, all normal men and women experienced altruism as a passion. And yet at the same time primitive parenthood had become tempered to a less possessive and more objective love, which among the First Men was less common than they themselves were pleased to believe. Assertiveness had also greatly changed. Formerly very much of a man's energy had been devoted to the assertion of himself as a private individual over against other individuals; and very much of his generosity had been at bottom selfish. But in the Second Men this competitive self-assertion, this championship of the most intimately known animal against all others, was greatly tempered. Formerly the major enterprises of society would never have been carried through had they not been able to annex to themselves the egoism of their champions. But in the Second Men the parts were reversed. Few individuals could ever trouble to exert themselves to the last ounce for merely private ends, save when those ends borrowed interest or import from some public enterprise. It was only his vision of a world-wide community of persons, and of his own function therein, that could rouse the fighting spirit in a man. Thus it was inwardly, rather than in outward physical characters, that the Second Men differed from the First. And in nothing did they differ more than in their native aptitude for cosmopolitanism. They had their tribes and nations. War was not quite unknown amongst them. But even in primitive times a man's most serious loyalty was directed toward the race as a whole; and wars were so hampered by impulses of kindliness toward the enemy that they were apt to degenerate into rather violent athletic contests, leading to an orgy of fraternization. It would not be true to say that the strongest interest of these beings was social. They were never prone to exalt the abstraction called the state, or the nation, or even the world-commonwealth. For their most characteristic factor was not mere gregariousness but something novel, namely an innate interest in personality, both in the actual diversity of persons and in the ideal of personal development. They had a remarkable power of vividly intuiting their fellows as unique persons with special needs. Individuals of the earlier species had suffered from an almost insurmountable spiritual isolation from one another. Not even lovers, and scarcely even the geniuses with special insight into personality, ever had anything like accurate vision of one another. But the Second Men, more intensely and accurately self-conscious, were also more intensely and accurately conscious of one another. This they achieved by no unique faculty, but solely by a more ready interest in each other, a finer insight, and a more active imagination.
Olaf Stapledon (The Last and First Men)