Characters Change Quotes

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If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character...Would you slow down? Or speed up?
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
In youth, it was a way I had, To do my best to please. And change, with every passing lad To suit his theories. But now I know the things I know And do the things I do, And if you do not like me so, To hell, my love, with you.
Dorothy Parker (The Complete Poems of Dorothy Parker)
All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.
Sophocles (Antigone (The Theban Plays, #3))
I'm unpredictable, I never know where I'm going until I get there, I'm so random, I'm always growing, learning, changing, I'm never the same person twice. But one thing you can be sure of about me; is I will always do exactly what I want to do.
C. JoyBell C.
When you choose your friends, don't be short-changed by choosing personality over character.
W. Somerset Maugham
What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. With out them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence.
H.G. Wells (The Time Machine)
A relationship built on lies and trickery will not last; only truthfulness can uphold a relationship
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
Reading changes your life. Reading unlocks worlds unknown or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time. Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education. Through characters – the saints and the sinners, real or imagined – reading shows you how to be a better human being.
Donalyn Miller (The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child)
You read and write and sing and experience, thinking that one day these things will build the character you admire to live as. You love and lose and bleed best you can, to the extreme, hoping that one day the world will read you like the poem you want to be.
Charlotte Eriksson
You think that you are an iconoclast, but you’re not. You just move, or replace what you cannot have. If you fail at something, you retreat into something else. Nothing changes you.... I left you because I knew I could never change you. You would stand in the room so still sometimes, as if the greatest betrayal of yourself would be to reveal one more inch of your character.
Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
Times will change for the better when you change.
Maxwell Maltz
What is a Wanderess? Bound by no boundaries, contained by no countries, tamed by no time, she is the force of nature’s course.
Roman Payne (The Wanderess)
Ô, Wanderess, Wanderess When did you feel your most euphoric kiss? Was I the source of your greatest bliss?
Roman Payne
people don't change, they just have momentary steps outside of their true character
Chad Kultgen (The Lie)
One day can change your life. One day can ruin your life. All life is is three or four big days that change everything.
Beverly Donofrio
Character is not cut in marble - it is not something solid and unalterable. It is something living and changing, and may become diseased as our bodies do.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
There are times when I am so unlike myself that I might be taken for someone else of an entirely opposite character.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Confessions)
People adjust their behavior to fit the society they live in. They integrate because they have to. But what they are on the inside doesn't change.
Sandra Brown (Tough Customer (Mitchell & Associates #2))
Drugs age you after mental excitement. Lethargy then. Why? Reaction. A lifetime in a night. Gradually changes your character.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
How to win in life: 1 work hard 2 complain less 3 listen more 4 try, learn, grow 5 don't let people tell you it cant be done 6 make no excuses
Germany Kent
It is not until you change your identity to match your life blueprint that you will understand why everything in the past never worked.
Shannon L. Alder
Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test... You will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedies.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
Does character develop over time? In novels, of course it does: otherwise there wouldn't be much of a story. But in life? I sometimes wonder. Our attitudes and opinions change, we develop new habits and eccentricities; but that's something different, more like decoration. Perhaps character resembles intelligence, except that character peaks a little later: between twenty and thirty, say. And after that, we're just stuck with what we've got. We're on our own. If so, that would explain a lot of lives, wouldn't it? And also—if this isn't too grand a word—our tragedy.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
No change in circumstances can repair a defect of character.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our lips were for each other and our eyes were full of dreams. We knew nothing of travel and we knew nothing of loss. Ours was a world of eternal spring, until the summer came.
Roman Payne (Hope and Despair)
First steps are always the hardest but until they are taken the notion of progress remains only a notion and not an achievement.
Aberjhani (Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I.)
A woman must prefer her liberty over a man. To be happy, she must. A man to be happy, however, must yearn for his woman more than his liberty. This is the rightful order.
Roman Payne (Hope and Despair)
I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.
Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)
Thus, when we plead for the gift of charity, we aren't asking for lovely feelings toward someone who bugs us or someone who has injured or wounded us. We are actually pleading for our very natures to be changed, for our character and disposition to become more and more like the Savior's, so that we literally feel as He would feel and thus do what He would do.
Sheri Dew (If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard: And Other Reassuring Truths)
Don't let your character change color with your environment. Find out who you are and let it stay its true color.
Rachel Scott
people have character strength but they lack communication skills, and that undoubtedly affects the quality of relationships as well.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
If the point of life is the same as the point of a story, the point of life is character transformation. If I got any comfort as I set out on my first story, it was that in nearly every story, the protagonist is transformed. He's a jerk at the beginning and nice at the end, or a coward at the beginning and brave at the end. If the character doesn't change, the story hasn't happened yet. And if story is derived from real life, if story is just condensed version of life then life itself may be designed to change us so that we evolve from one kind of person to another.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
The world can no longer be left to mere diplomats, politicians, and business leaders. They have done the best they could, no doubt. But this is an age for spiritual heroes- a time for men and women to be heroic in their faith and in spiritual character and power. The greatest danger to the Christian church today is that of pitching its message too low.
Dallas Willard (The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives)
God isn't interested in watching you enact some performance of personality in order to comply with some crackpot notion you have about how a spiritual person looks or behaves. We all seem to get this idea that, in order to be sacred, we have to make some massive, dramatic change of character, that we have to renounce our individuality.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
What I have learned so far had been an incredible journey and adventure. I remained in my own character even when I was not well liked. I now enter a room looking for people I may like rather than for those who will like me. There are people who change their demeanor between regular people and professional people. Just try to be who you are consistently and let those closest to you see your best, along with those you work with. People around you should not be the cause of change in your personal character.
Gaylan D. Wright (Slave to the Dream: Everyone’s Dream)
My God, that scene in Monster Inc. where the monsters realise that their entire world is founded on hurting children -look at that for a change! Two galumphing cartoon characters making a shattering realisation about their world and their role in sustaining it. A truly epic moment. It's stunning.
Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale)
It's never too late to change what you are, it took me a long time to figure that out.
Erin Morgenstern (The Starless Sea)
There is a curious thing that happens with the passage of time: a calcification of character... Change isn't always for the worst; the shell that forms around a piece of sand looks to some people like an irritation, and to others, like a pearl.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
When a Wanderess has been caged, or perched with her wings clipped, She lives like a Stoic, She lives most heroic, smiling with ruby, moistened lips once her cup of Death is welcome sipped.
Roman Payne
The presence of a noble nature, generous in its wishes, ardent in its charity, changes the lights for us: we begin to see things again in their larger, quieter masses, and to believe that we too can be seen and judged in the wholeness of our character.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
The average personality reshapes frequently, every few years even our bodies undergo a complete overhaul - desirable or not, it is a natural thing that we should change. All right, here were two people who never would change. That is what Mildred Grossman had in common with Holly Golightly. They would never change because they'd been given their character too soon; which, like sudden riches, leads to a lack of proportion: the one had splurged herself into a top-heavy realist, the other a lopsided romantic.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories)
Trust is equal parts character and competence... You can look at any leadership failure, and it's always a failure of one or the other.
Stephen M.R. Covey (The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything)
I was exhilarated by the new realization that I could change the character of my life by changing my beliefs. I was instantly energized because I realized that there was a science-based path that would take me from my job as a perennial “victim” to my new position as “co-creator” of my destiny. (Prologue, xv)
Bruce H. Lipton
The most effective attitude to adopt is one of supreme acceptance. The world is full of people with different characters and temperaments. We all have a dark side, a tendency to manipulate, and aggressive desires. The most dangerous types are those who repress their desires or deny the existence of them, often acting them out in the most underhanded ways. Some people have dark qualities that are especially pronounced. You cannot change such people at their core, but must merely avoid becoming their victim. You are an observer of the human comedy, and by being as tolerant as possible, you gain a much greater ability to understand people and to influence their behavior when necessary
Robert Greene (Mastery)
Directors are always changing things at the last minute. Actors will do a scene, and the director will say, ‘Okay, that was perfect, but this time, Bob, instead of saying “What’s for dinner?” you say, “Wait a minute! Benzene is actually a hydrocarbon!” And say it with a Norwegian accent. Also, we think maybe your character should have no arms.
Dave Barry
I think of life as a book of stories. You move through the stories and the characters change. But once you have a name on your skin you are stuck with one story, even if it's a bad one.
Alice Hoffman (Faithful)
It was easy to be good and kind in times of plenty. The trying times were the moments that defined a man. And love? Love was something that did much to change a person. It brought joy as it brought suffering, and in turn brought about those moments that defined one’s character. Love gave life to the lifeless. It was the greatest of all living powers. But, as with all things, love had a dark side to it.
Renée Ahdieh (The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn, #2))
Love was something that did much to change a person. It brought joy as it brought suffering, and in turn brought about those moments that defined one’s character.
Renée Ahdieh (The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn, #2))
When no possessions keep us, when no countries contain us, and no time detains us, man becomes a heroic wanderer, and woman, a wanderess.
Roman Payne (The Wanderess)
I am not the heroine of this story. And I'm not trying to be cute. It's the truth. I'm diagnosed borderline and seriously fucked-up. I hold grudges. I bottle my hate until it ferments into poison, and then I get high off the fumes. I'm completely dysfunctional and that's the way I like it, so don't expect a character arc where I finally find Redemption, Growth, and Change, or learn How to Forgive Myself and Others.
Leah Raeder (Black Iris)
NC passed law against global warming science, therefore it's not happening. So I'm ignoring Twitter's 140-character limit, so it's not happ
Stephen Colbert
Jealousy is a strange transformer of characters.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, #10))
It is a healthy approach not to expect persons to turn out precisely how you would have wished.
Criss Jami (Healology)
If you really want to be different, you'd better keep quiet and be a good person on the inside.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
The most important quality in the man you decide to marry should be the ability to make you laugh. Beauty fades, careers end, money comes and goes, religions change, children grow up and move away, spouses get sick, struggles happen, family members die, senility sets in when your older, but the ability to make you giggle every day is the most precious gift God can give you to get through all of it.
Shannon L. Alder (300 Questions LDS Couples Should Ask Before Marriage)
The question we need to ask ourselves is: what is success to us? More money? That's fine. A healthy family? A happy marriage? Helping others? To be famous? Spiritually sound? To express ourselves? To create art? To leave the world a better place than we found it? What is success to me? Continue to ask yourself that question. How are you prosperous? What is your relevance? Your answer may change over time and that's fine but do yourself this favor – whatever your answer is, don't choose anything that would jeopardize your soul. Prioritize who you are, who you want to be, and don't spend time with anything that antagonizes your character. Don't depend on drinking the Kool-Aid – it's popular, tastes sweet today, but it will give you cavities tomorrow. Life is not a popularity contest. Be brave, take the hill. But first answer the question.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
The abuser’s mood changes are especially perplexing. He can be a different person from day to day, or even from hour to hour. At times he is aggressive and intimidating, his tone harsh, insults spewing from his mouth, ridicule dripping from him like oil from a drum. When he’s in this mode, nothing she says seems to have any impact on him, except to make him even angrier. Her side of the argument counts for nothing in his eyes, and everything is her fault. He twists her words around so that she always ends up on the defensive. As so many partners of my clients have said to me, “I just can’t seem to do anything right.” At other moments, he sounds wounded and lost, hungering for love and for someone to take care of him. When this side of him emerges, he appears open and ready to heal. He seems to let down his guard, his hard exterior softens, and he may take on the quality of a hurt child, difficult and frustrating but lovable. Looking at him in this deflated state, his partner has trouble imagining that the abuser inside of him will ever be back. The beast that takes him over at other times looks completely unrelated to the tender person she now sees. Sooner or later, though, the shadow comes back over him, as if it had a life of its own. Weeks of peace may go by, but eventually she finds herself under assault once again. Then her head spins with the arduous effort of untangling the many threads of his character, until she begins to wonder whether she is the one whose head isn’t quite right.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
More often than not, people who are obsessed with their desires and feelings are generally unhappier in life vs. people that refocus their attention on service to others or a righteous cause. Have you ever heard someone say their life sucked because they fed the homeless? Made their children laugh? Or, bought a toy for a needy child at Christmas time?
Shannon L. Alder
The most painful moments and memories eventually lead to the greatest strengths and growth in life.
Kemi Sogunle
People can't live with change if there's not a changeless core inside them. The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value.
Stephen R. Covey
The drug of love was no escape, for in its coils lie latent dreams of greatness which awaken when men and women fecundate each other deeply. Something is always born of man and woman lying together and exchanging the essences of their lives. Some seed is always carried and opened in the soil of passion. The fumes of desire are the womb of man's birth and often in the drunkeness of caresses history is made, and science, and philosophy. For a woman, as she sews, cooks, embraces, covers, warms, also dreams that the man taking her will be more than a man, will be the mythological figure of her dreams, the hero, the discoverer, the builder....Unless she is the anonymous whore, no man enters woman with impunity, for where the seed of man and woman mingle, within the drops of blood exchanged, the changes that take place are the same as those of great flowing rivers of inheritance, which carry traits of character from father to son to grandson, traits of character as well as physical traits. Memories of experience are transmitted by the same cells which repeated the design of a nose, a hand, the tone of a voice, the color of an eye. These great flowing rivers of inheritance transmitted traits and carried dreams from port to port until fulfillment, and gave birth to selves never born before....No man and woman know what will be born in the darkness of their intermingling; so much besides children, so many invisible births, exchanges of soul and character, blossoming of unknown selves, liberation of hidden treasures, buried fantasies...
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
This I conceive to be the chemical function of humor: to change the character of our thought.
Lin Yutang
They would not find me changed from him they knew — Only more sure of all I thought was true.
Robert Frost
As man sows, so shall he reap. In works of fiction, such men are sometimes converted. More often, in real life, they do not change their natures until they are converted into dust.
Charles W. Chesnutt
The ear participates, and helps arrange marriages; the eye has already made love with what it sees. The eye knows pleasure, delights in the body's shape: the ear hears words that talk about all this. When hearing takes place, character areas change; but when you see, inner areas change. If all you know about fire is what you have heard see if the fire will agree to cook you! Certain energies come only when you burn. If you long for belief, sit down in the fire! When the ear receives subtly; it turns into an eye. But if words do not reach the ear in the chest, nothing happens.
Rumi (Night and Sleep)
Embrace who you are and your divine purpose. Identify the barriers in your life, and develop discipline, courage and the strength to permanently move beyond them, and keep moving forward.
Germany Kent
You should think about your character. Know where you are changing, how you will be changed, what cannot be changed back again.
Amy Tan (The Bonesetter's Daughter)
…. by the time they have reached the middle of their life’s journey, few people remember how they have managed to arrive at themselves, at their amusements, their point of view, their wife, character, occupation and successes, but they cannot help feeling that not much is likely to change anymore. It might even be asserted that they have been cheated, for one can nowhere discover any sufficient reason for everything’s coming about as it has. It might just have well as turned out differently. The events of people’s lives have, after all, only to the last degree originated in them, having generally depended on all sorts of circumstances such as the moods, the life or death of quite different people, and have, as it were, only at the given point of time come hurrying towards them
Robert Musil (The Man Without Qualities: Volume I)
How he could be a good user of LSD," I asked, "And know about the spiritual dimension - all that sort of thing - and still be a crook? I don't understand." "Then it's time you did. Psychedelic drugs don't change you - they don't change you character - unless you want to be changed. They enable change; they can't impose it...
Alexander Shulgin (Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story)
Even when we have realized oneness and nothingness, we still have our personal lives to manage, bodies to take care of, and mouths to feed, and you will know which one is yours and which ones are others', so you won't put food into another person's mouth when you are hungry. Also you won't kiss a rattlesnake or hug a cactus no matter how strong an affinity you feel toward them. But at the same time, we know these apparent separations are functional, not fundamental, and should be recognized as such without mistaking one for the other. I would call this apparent separation "functional ego," or you can call it your "character," which is the collection of your beliefs, habits, and other people's expectations.
Ilchi Lee (Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential)
The Bible is the Word of God: supernatural in origin, eternal in duration, inexpressible in valor, infinite in scope, regenerative in power, infallible in authority, universal in interest, personal in application, inspired in totality. Read it through, write it down, pray it in, work it out, and then pass it on. Truly it is the Word of God. It brings into man the personality of God; it changes the man until he becomes the epistle of God. It transforms his mind, changes his character, takes him on from grace to grace, and gives him an inheritance in the Spirit. God comes in, dwells in, walks in, talks through, and sups with him.
Smith Wigglesworth
People don't change, they just have momentary steps outside of their true character, isolated actions contrary to their true nature.
Chad Kultgen (The Lie)
Writers seldom choose as friends those self-centered characters who are never in trouble, never make mistakes, and always count their change as it is handed to them.
Catherine Drinker Bowen
I love the way that each book -- any book -- is its own journey. You open it, and off you go. You are changed in some way, large or small, by having traveled with those characters.
Sharon Creech
I'll tell you how the sun rose A ribbon at a time... It's a living book, this life; it folds out in a million settings, cast with a billion beautiful characters, and it is almost over for you. It doesn't matter how old you are; it is coming to a close quickly, and soon the credits will roll and all your friends will fold out of your funeral and drive back to their homes in cold and still and silence. And they will make a fire and pour some wine and think about how you once were . . . and feel a kind of sickness at the idea you never again will be. So soon you will be in that part of the book where you are holding the bulk of the pages in your left hand, and only a thin wisp of the story in your right. You will know by the page count, not by the narrative, that the Author is wrapping things up. You begin to mourn its ending, and want to pace yourself slowly toward its closure, knowing the last lines will speak of something beautiful, of the end of something long and earned, and you hope the thing closes out like last breaths, like whispers about how much and who the characters have come to love, and how authentic the sentiments feel when they have earned a hundred pages of qualification. And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?
Donald Miller (Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road)
there was no crime in unconscious plagiarism; that I committed it everyday, that he committed it everyday, that every man alive on earth who writes or speaks commits it every day and not merely once or twice but every time he open his mouth… there is nothing of our own in it except some slight change born of our temperament, character, environment, teachings and associations
Mark Twain
People that hold onto hate for so long do so because they want to avoid dealing with their pain. They falsely believe if they forgive they are letting their enemy believe they are a doormat. What they don’t understand is hatred can’t be isolated or turned off. It manifests in their health, choices and belief systems. Their values and religious beliefs make adjustments to justify their negative emotions. Not unlike malware infesting a hard drive, their spirit slowly becomes corrupted and they make choices that don’t make logical sense to others. Hatred left unaddressed will crash a person’s spirit. The only thing he or she can do is to reboot, by fixing him or herself, not others. This might require installing a firewall of boundaries or parental controls on their emotions. Regardless of the approach, we are all connected on this "network of life" and each of us is responsible for cleaning up our spiritual registry.
Shannon L. Alder
I am thankful that there are those among us who have sacrificed dearly on behalf of us. And I ardently pray to God that I might be less like myself and more like them.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
Scent is such a powerful tool of attraction, that if a woman has this tool perfectly tuned, she needs no other. I will forgive her a large nose, a cleft lip, even crossed-eyes; and I’ll bathe in the jouissance of her intoxicating odour.
Roman Payne
More chibis," said Simon gloomily. All the characters on-screen had turned into inch-high baby versions of themselves and were chasing each other around waving pots and pans. "I'm changing the channel," Simon announced, seizing the remote. "I'm tired of this anime. I can't tell what the plot is and no one ever has sex." "Of course they don't," Clary said, taking another chip. "Anime is wholesome family entertainment." "If you're in the mood for less wholesome entertainment, we could try the porn channels," Simon observed. "Would you rather watch The Witches of Breastwick or As I Lay Dianne?
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Ô, Muse of the Heart’s Passion, let me relive my Love’s memory, to remember her body, so brave and so free, and the sound of my Dreameress singing to me, and the scent of my Dreameress sleeping by me, Ô, sing, sweet Muse, my soliloquy!
Roman Payne
If we hear, in our inner ear, a voice saying we are failures, we are losers, we will never amount to anything, this is the voice of Satan trying to convince the bride that the groom does not love her. This is not the voice of God. God woos us with kindness. He changes out of character with the passion of his love.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
Inside-Out" means to start first with self; even more fundamentally, to start with the most inside part of self -- with your paradigms, your character, and your motives
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
Is it possible, I wonder, for a man to truly change? Or do character and habit form the immovable boundaries of our lives?
Nicholas Sparks (The Wedding (The Notebook, #2))
Finding out what that ideal is and making visible changes in your personality according to that ideal would certainly help in improving the image that person has of you.
Prem Jagyasi
If there is any indication of how an author and her books can affect change, look at the proof of her works on society. And ignore the critics and the trolls. -Strong by Kailin Gow on How Her Indie Success helped motivate and inspired others to become authors and how her books with strong women leads helped the film industry to portray more strong women leads
Kailin Gow
She knows her timing, always knows. The time to strike or the time to starve. Her eyes as a clock, she watches she waits she learns, and in the second she blinks, she changes her mind just like that.
Anthony Liccione
I am the creator of my very own self and I intend to treat me like my greatest masterpiece.
Charlotte Eriksson (Everything Changed When I Forgave Myself: growing up is a wonderful thing to do)
Nowadays I’m really cranky about comics. Because most of them are just really, really poorly written soft-core. And I miss good old storytelling. And you know what else I miss? Super powers. Why is it now that everybody’s like “I can reverse the polarity of your ions!” Like in one big flash everybody’s Doctor Strange. I like the guys that can stick to walls and change into sand and stuff. I don’t understand anything anymore. And all the girls are wearing nothing, and they all look like they have implants. Well, I sound like a very old man, and a cranky one, but it’s true.
Joss Whedon
Time provides all of us with the opportunity to change, alter our belief system, and create new perspectives that challenge a person’s character and teach him or her how to become a happier and wiser person.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
In our day and age, global society has been saturated with the wrong teaching of false positivity. The denial of darkness never equates the abundance of light. And the denial of your actual character never equates to the reality of your best character. People today are afraid to work on themselves and on their actual realities, they believe that outward appearances are enough. Outward appearances have become everything in our current day and age. People don't see what they are actually like, nor who they actually are, in reality. They live in a phantasmic version of reality. It has to stop. In the phantasmic version of reality, there is no chance to experience true love, true goodness, and true metamorphosis. The caterpillar does not become a butterfly by telling everybody it has wings. It actually buries itself in darkness and grows those wings.
C. JoyBell C.
It is character that communicates most eloquently.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
When you find yourself thinking about someone or something in the same old negative way, just stop yourself. Think. Check. Change. Refresh. Job done. Smile. Move on. Do this enough times and you will change. For the better; for the stronger.
Bear Grylls (A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character)
You know what’s sad about reading books? It’s that you fall in love with the characters. They grow on you. And as you read, you start to feel what they feel - all of them - you become them. And when you’re done, you’re never the same. Sure you’re still you, you look the same, talk in the same manner, but something in you has changed. Something in the way you think, the way you choose, sometimes, even the things you say may differ. But it all comes down to the state you go to after a nice novel. The after-feeling. It’s amazing, but somehow, you feel left alone by that world you were once in. It’s overwhelming. But it makes you sad. Cause for once you were this, this otherworldly being in… Neverwhere, and then you suddenly have to say goodbye after a few weeks from when you read the last page. When you’ve recovered from that state it’s just… quite sad.
Suzanne Collins
The change of character brought about by the uprush of collective forces is amazing. A gentle and reasonable being can be transformed into a maniac or a savage beast. One is always inclined to lay the blame on external circumstances, but nothing could explode in us if it had not been there. As a matter of fact, we are constantly living on the edge of a volcano, and there is, so far as we know, no way of protecting ourselves from a possible outburst that will destroy everybody within reach. It is certainly a good thing to preach reason and common sense, but what if you have a lunatic asylum for an audience or a crowd in a collective frenzy? There is not much difference between them because the madman and the mob are both moved by impersonal, overwhelming forces.
C.G. Jung
But what about human nature? Can it be changed? And if not, will it endure under Anarchism? Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature. Yet, how can any one speak of it today, with every soul in a prison, with every heart fettered, wounded, and maimed? John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities? Freedom, expansion, opportunity, and, above all, peace and repose, alone can teach us the real dominant factors of human nature and all its wonderful possibilities. Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations. This is not a wild fancy or an aberration of the mind. It is the conclusion arrived at by hosts of intellectual men and women the world over; a conclusion resulting from the close and studious observation of the tendencies of modern society: individual liberty and economic equality, the twin forces for the birth of what is fine and true in man.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
All we ask is to be allowed to remain the writers of our own story. That story is ever changing. Over the course of our lives, we may encounter unimaginable difficulties. Our concerns and desires may shift. But whatever happens, we want to retain the freedom to shape our lives in ways consistent with our character and loyalties. This is why the betrayals of body and mind that threaten to erase our character and memory remain among our most awful tortures. The battle of being mortal is the battle to maintain the integrity of one’s life—to avoid becoming so diminished or dissipated or subjugated that who you are becomes disconnected from who you were or who you want to be.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
Your brain is the organ of your personality, character, and intelligence and is heavily involved in making you who you are.
Daniel G. Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Body: Use Your Brain to Get and Keep the Body You Have Always Wanted)
People don't suddenly just change, you just suddenly see the real them.
Michelle Blanchard
...isn't it possible that advertising as a whole is a fantastic fraud, presenting an image of America taken seriously by no one, least of all the advertising men who create it?
David Riesman (The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character)
CUSTOMER: Do you have any of those books where you can change the names of the main character to the name of the person you're giving the book to? Do you have Alice in Wonderland, but not Alice, I'd like Sarah in Wonderland. BOOKSELLER: I'm afraid you have to buy those from the publisher, as they're a print on demand service. CUSTOMER: Yeah, I don't really have time to do that. Do you have a copy of Alice? Then I can buy some Tipp-ex or something, and edit it.
Jen Campbell (Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)
Faith is not merely “feeling good about God” but a conscious choice, even in the utter absence of feelings or external encouragements to obey His word when He says, “Trust Me.” This choice has nothing to do with mood but is a deliberate act of laying hold of the character of God whom circumstances never change.
Elisabeth Elliot
It is difficult when reading the description of certain fictional characters not at the same time to imagine the real-life acquaintances who they most closely, if often unexpectedly, resemble.
Alain de Botton (How Proust Can Change Your Life)
Never permit circumstances to change your plans, but give so much character to your plans that they will change circumstances. Give so much character to the current of your work that all things will be drawn into that current, and that which at first was but a tiny rivulet, will thus be swelled into a mighty, majestic stream.
Christian D. Larson
If you do not want what I want, please try not to tell me that my want is wrong. Or if my beliefs are different from yours, at least pause before you set out to correct them. Or if my emotion seems less or more intense than yours, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel other than I do. Or if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, please let me be. I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me. That will come only when you are willing to give up trying to change me into a copy of you.
David Keirsey (Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence)
Dear Collector: We hate you. Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. It becomes a bore. You have taught us more than anyone I know how wrong it is not to mix it with emotion, hunger, desire, lust, whims, caprices, personal ties, deeper relationships that change its color, flavor, rhythms, intensities. "You do not know what you are missing by your micro-scopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are the fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood. If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent man in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Without feeling, inventions, moods, no surprises in bed. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine. How much do you lose by this periscope at the tip of your sex, when you could enjoy a harem of distinct and never-repeated wonders? No two hairs alike, but you will not let us waste words on a description of hair; no two odors, but if we expand on this you cry Cut the poetry. No two skins with the same texture, and never the same light, temperature, shadows, never the same gesture; for a lover, when he is aroused by true love, can run the gamut of centuries of love lore. What a range, what changes of age, what variations of maturity and innocence, perversity and art . . . We have sat around for hours and wondered how you look. If you have closed your senses upon silk, light, color, odor, character, temperament, you must be by now completely shriveled up. There are so many minor senses, all running like tributaries into the mainstream of sex, nourishing it. Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
There is, in fact, not much point in writing a novel unless you can show the possibility of moral transformation, or an increase in wisdom, operating in your chief character or characters. Even trashy bestsellers show people changing. When a fictional work fails to show change, when it merely indicates that human character is set, stony, unregenerable, then you are out of field of the novel and into that of the fable or the allegory. - from the introduction of the 1986 Norton edition
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
have noticed that people do not change which feature they lead with, any more than they change in character.
Tracy Chevalier (Remarkable Creatures)
Only then, when no situation or character is obviously good or evil, is it truly interesting to act.
Liv Ullmann (Changing)
The gift of life, gives you the greatest opportunity to live and chance to rise above any situation. With hopeful attitude you can overcome any struggle.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
One day, you're going to have to make a choice. You have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be. Whoever that man is, good character or bad, is going to change the world.
Krista Ritchie (Addicted for Now (Addicted #3))
Anyone can say 'I love you', however so many other sayings carry more weight in a relationship: “I understand what you went through because I went through it too.” “I believe you and in you.” “I see the pain you are going through and we will conquer this together.” “I don’t want to change you. I just want to help you become the best version of yourself.” “You matter to me, therefore I will be there for you always.” "I will never keep things from you because you have my respect and friendship. If I find out someone is putting you down, I will stand up for you. ” “Your character will always shine when I speak about you because to damage your name is to damage ours.” “I will go to the ends of the earth to save you from yourself or others.” “What you have to say is important to me because I see you’re hurting and that hurts me, so I am going to listen. Together we will solve this problem.” “I don’t care about your past. That was yesterday. Today, we are going to start over because people make mistakes, but they don’t have to pay for them for the rest of their life.” "How can I help you get through this?" “In sickness or in health...I meant it and I will search the world to find a way to keep you in it because you mean that much to me.” “I don’t want to be your parent. I want to be your best friend, lover, cheering section, playmate and fill all the important parts of your soul. Together we will fill the rest as equals.
Shannon L. Alder
Some sleepers have intelligent faces even in sleep, while other faces, even intelligent ones, become very stupid in sleep and therefore ridiculous. I don't know what makes that happen; I only want to say that a laughing man, like a sleeping one, most often knows nothing about his face. A great many people don't know how to laugh at all. However, there's nothing to know here: it's a gift, and it can't be fabricated. It can only be fabricated by re-educating oneself, developing oneself for the better, and overcoming the bad instincts of one's character; then the laughter of such a person might quite possibly change for the better. A man can give himself away completely by his laughter, so that you suddenly learn all of his innermost secrets. Even indisputably intelligent laughter is sometimes repulsive. Laughter calls first of all for sincerity, and where does one find sincerity? Laughter calls for lack of spite, but people most often laugh spitefully. Sincere and unspiteful laughter is mirth. A man's mirth is a feature that gives away the whole man, from head to foot. Someone's character won't be cracked for a long time, then the man bursts out laughing somehow quite sincerely, and his whole character suddenly opens up as if on the flat of your hand. Only a man of the loftiest and happiest development knows how to be mirthful infectiously, that is, irresistibly and goodheartedly. I'm not speaking of his mental development, but of his character, of the whole man. And so, if you want to discern a man and know his soul, you must look, not at how he keeps silent, or how he speaks, or how he weeps, or even how he is stirred by the noblest ideas, but you had better look at him when he laughs. If a man has a good laugh, it means he's a good man. Note at the same time all the nuances: for instance, a man's laughter must in no case seem stupid to you, however merry and simplehearted it may be. The moment you notice the slightest trace of stupidity in someone's laughter, it undoubtedly means that the man is of limited intelligence, though he may do nothing but pour out ideas. Or if his laughter isn't stupid, but the man himself, when he laughs, for some reason suddenly seems ridiculous to you, even just slightly—know, then, that the man has no real sense of dignity, not fully in any case. Or finally, if his laughter is infectious, but for some reason still seems banal to you, know, then, that the man's nature is on the banal side as well, and all the noble and lofty that you noticed in him before is either deliberately affected or unconsciously borrowed, and later on the man is certain to change for the worse, to take up what's 'useful' and throw his noble ideas away without regret, as the errors and infatuations of youth.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Adolescent)
..[My friend Marco said]. essentially, humans are alive for the purpose of journey, a kind of three-act structure. They are born and spend several years discovering themselves and the world, then plod through a long middle in which they are compelled to search for a mate and reproduce and also create stability out of natural instability and then they find themselves at an ending tha seems to be designed for reflection. At the end, their bodies are slower, they are not as easily distracted, they do less work, and they think and feel about a life lived rather than look forward to a life getting started. He didn't know what the point of the journey was, but he did believe we were designed to search for and find something. And he wondered out loud if the point wasn't the search but the transformation the search creates. ...[I wondered] that we were designed to live through something rather than to attain something, and the thing we were meant to live through was designed to change us. The point of a story is the character arc, the change.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
All social inequalities which have ceased to be considered expedient, assume the character not of simple inexpediency, but of injustice, and appear so tyrannical, that people are apt to wonder how they ever could have. been tolerated; forgetful that they themselves perhaps tolerate other inequalities under an equally mistaken notion of expediency, the correction of which would make that which they approve seem quite as monstrous as what they have at last learnt to condemn.
John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism)
Your life isn't some prerecorded movie where, no matter how many times you watch it, the ending remains the same. Your life is a book in progress, and you are the author. So if you don't care for the main character or the gloomy scenery or how the twisted plot is unfolding, then do something to change it. You write your own story.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
...if you can change the fate of a character you read out of a book by adding new words to his story, then maybe you can change everything about it: who goes out, who comes in, how it ends, who's happy, and who's unhappy afterwards.
Cornelia Funke (Inkheart (Inkworld, #1))
Any character who goes after a desire and is impeded is forced to struggle (otherwise the story is over.) And that struggle makes him change. So the ultimate goal of the dramatic code, and of the storyteller, is to present a change in a character or to illustrate why that change did not occur.
John Truby (The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller)
Somewhere in the back of my brain there exists this certainty: The body is no more than a costume, and can be changed at will. That the changing of bodies, like costumes, would make me into a different character, a character who might, finally, be all right.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
Do you believe," said Martin, "that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they have found them?" "Yes, without doubt," said Candide. "Well, then," said Martin, "if hawks have always had the same character why should you imagine that men may have changed theirs?
Voltaire (Candide)
It is a wonderful thing to be liked by a stranger, but without respect it is pointless. It is like pulling the pedals off a rose and throwing the stem at the person you like. It’s creepy, but had good intentions that suddenly experienced some strange form of verticillium wilt, during the climate change of their mood.
Shannon L. Alder
Your judgments about another person say more about your own character than the character of the person you are pointing a finger at. This is the key and one of the most fundamental insights about the ‘red flags’ that we often dismiss regarding the people in our lives. If someone complains a lot to you about other people, guess what? That is part of their current character. And, as quickly as the tide changes, you can just as easily become the person they target and criticize, point fingers at, and negatively judge. Forever and always, until vibrations are raised, this will be the cycle of the relationship. So, it’s your choice to continue to engage in the cycle with them, or to move on. There are plenty of people who do not criticize, point fingers, or judge. THIS is the kind of character we want to foster within ourselves. THIS is the character of the kind of people we DO want to develop close relationships with.
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings for Enriching Life)
Let us define our terms. A woman who writes her lover four letters a day is not a graphomaniac, she is simply a woman in love. But my friend who xeroxes his love letters so he can publish them someday--my friend is a graphomaniac. Graphomania is not a desire to write letters, diaries, or family chronicles (to write for oneself or one's immediate family); it is a desire to write books (to have a public of unknown readers). In this sense the taxi driver and Goethe share the same passion. What distinguishes Goethe from the taxi driver is the result of the passion, not the passion itself. "Graphomania (an obsession with writing books) takes on the proportions of a mass epidemic whenever a society develops to the point where it can provide three basic conditions: 1. a high degree of general well-being to enable people to devote their energies to useless activities; 2. an advanced state of social atomization and the resultant general feeling of the isolation of the individual; 3. a radical absence of significant social change in the internal development of the nation. (In this connection I find it symptomatic that in France, a country where nothing really happens, the percentage of writers is twenty-one times higher than in Israel. Bibi [character from the book] was absolutely right when she claimed never to have experienced anything from the outside. It is this absence of content, this void, that powers the moter driving her to write). "But the effect transmits a kind of flashback to the cause. If general isolation causes graphomania, mass graphomania itself reinforces and aggravates the feeling of general isolation. The invention of printing originally promoted mutual understanding. In the era of graphomania the writing of books has the opposite effect: everyone surrounds himself with his own writings as with a wall of mirrors cutting off all voices from without.
Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
A newborn baby has a powerful effect on character. But so does a toddler. A child. A preteen. A teenager. A mother changes with every stage. Some stages are within a mother's skill set. Some stages are like being told to scale a cliff using a rope attached to nothing.
Louise Erdrich (The Sentence)
Writing is hard work, and if anything's true about the process, it's that fact that a good story is hard to find and even trickier to get on paper. What's less romantic than staring alone at a blank screen? And edgy? I've changed the cat little because I didn't know what my characters were going to say next.
Adam Johnson
Ignorance is the mother of all the evil and all the misery we see. Let men have light, let them be pure and spiritually strong and educated, then alone will misery cease in the world, not before. We may convert every house in the country into a charity asylum, we may fill the land with hospitals, but the misery of man will still continue to exist until man's character changes.
Vivekananda (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 9 Vols.)
Maybe it was possible that you could take someone out of their life and drop them in the middle of another place entirely and they could seem like someone completely different. But even if that were the case, she thought, it wasn't really 'they' change—it was just the backdrop, the circumstances, the cast of characters. Just because you painted a house didn't mean the furniture inside was any different. It had to be the same with people. Deep down, at the very core, they'd still be the same no matter where they were, wouldn't they?
Jennifer E. Smith (The Geography of You and Me)
The beauty of being shattered is how the shards become our character and our marks of distinction. This is how we are refined by our pain. When the storm rips you to pieces, you get to decide how to put yourself back together again. The storm gives us the gift of our defining choices. You will be a different person after the storm, because the storm will heal you from your perfection. People who stay perfect and unblemished never really get to live fully or deeply. You will not be the same after the storms of life; you will be stronger, wiser and more alive than ever before!
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
I believe life is an education meant to teach us the need to be better people.  And I believe this learning often takes place through trial and error which may mean being an awful person at times before clearly seeing and grasping the necessity to improve. If you don't agree with me, just ask Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge.  I think Charles Dickens got it quite right.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
I develop oddly deep emotional connections to people in my life that are one-sided. I may just be a passing character to them. I don't know what that is. I don't know why that is. I can have one encounter with somebody and feel very connected to them and read a lot into that. They become very important people to me, but to them I may just be like, "Oh yeah, we talked that one time, right?" To me it's a live-changing moment that bonded us; to them, it was a five-minute polite chat in passing.
Marc Maron (Attempting Normal)
What moralists describe as the mysteries of the human heart are solely the deceiving thoughts, the spontaneous impulses of self-regard. The sudden changes in character, about which so much has been said, are instinctive calculations for the furtherance of our own pleasures. Seeing himself now in his fine clothes, his new gloves and shoes, Eugène de Rastignac forgot his noble resolve. Youth, when it swerves toward wrong, dares not look in the mirror of conscience; maturity has already seen itself there. That is the whole difference between the two phases of life.
Honoré de Balzac (Père Goriot)
As in the universe every atom has an effect, however miniscule, on every other atom, so that to pinch the fabric of Time and Space at any point is to shake the whole length and breadth of it, so that to change a character's name from Jane to Cynthia is to make the fictional ground shudder under her feet.
John Gardner (The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers)
But when I was seven or eight years old, the film that changed my life was Titanic. It amazed me that it was a story that took place a hundred years ago. Those people living in 1912 had better technology than most North Koreans! But mostly I couldn’t believe how someone could make a movie out of such a shameful love story. In North Korea, the filmmakers would have been executed. No real human stories were allowed, nothing but propaganda about the Leader. But in Titanic, the characters talked about love and humanity. I was amazed that Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were willing to die for love, not just for the regime, as we were. The idea that people could choose their own destinies fascinated me. This pirated Hollywood movie gave me my first small taste of freedom.
Yeonmi Park (In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom)
The 10 ever greatest misplacements in life: 1. Leadership without character. 2. Followership without servant-being. 3. Brotherhood without integrity. 4. Affluence without wisdom. 5. Authority without conscience. 6. Relationship without faithfullness. 7. Festivals without peace. 8. Repeated failure without change. 9. Good wealth without good health. 10. Love without a lover.
Israelmore Ayivor
For whatever reason, there are people we like and people we don't like. It's hard to say why, and often a difficult opinion to change. Luckily, there's no steadfast rule stating that we must like everyone. But to keep from disliking ourselves, we should develop the good character to treat everyone kindly whether or not we deem them deserving.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
But nothing is said of the closeness between two people: how they grew in the shade of each other's presence. No one speaks of that exchange of gift and character --- the way a person took on and recognized in himself the smile of a lover. Individuals are seen only in the context of these swirling social tides.
Michael Ondaatje (Running in the Family)
No one can play a game alone. One cannot be human by oneself. There is no selfhood where there is no community. We do not relate to others as the persons we are; we are who we are in relating to others. Simultaneously the others with whom we are in relation are themselves in relation. We cannot relate to anyone who is not also relating to us. Our social existence has, therefore, an inescapably fluid character... this ceaseless change does not mean discontinuity; rather change is itself the very basis of our continuity as persons.
James P. Carse (Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility)
Our best moral stories don’t tell us what is right or wrong in every situation, but they show us what one character did in one situation at one time. Readers, viewers, and listeners are supposed to extrapolate the moral meaning from the story. We’re not supposed to have it handed to us.
Jonathan D. Fitzgerald (Not Your Mother's Morals: How the New Sincerity is Changing Pop Culture for the Better)
Being a hero was much easier than being a coward. To be a hero, you only had to be brave for a moment - when you took out the gun, threw the bomb, pressed the detonator, did away with the tyrant, and away with yourself as well. But to be a coward was to embark on a career that lasted a lifetime. You couldn't ever relax. You had to anticipate the next occasion when you would have to make excuses for yourself, dither, cringe, reacquaint yourself with the taste of rubber boots and the state of your own fallen, abject character. Being a coward required pertinacity, persistence, a refusal to change - which made it, in a way, a kind of courage.
Julian Barnes (The Noise of Time)
...no mind ever grew fat on a diet of novels. The pleasure which they occasionally offer is far too heavily paid for: they undermine the finest characters. They teach us to think ourselves into other men's places. Thus we acquire a taste for change. The personality becomes dissolved in pleasing figments of imagination. The reader learns to understand every point of view. Willingly he yields himself to the pursuit of other people's goals and loses sight of his own. Novels are so many wedges which the novelist, an actor with his pen, inserts into the closed personality of the reader. The better he calculates the size of the wedge and the strength of the resistance, so much the more completely does he crack open the personality of the victim. Novels should be prohibited by the State.
Elias Canetti
We've written the rough draft of our love together, the draft with loose ends, unfinished edges, mistakes every other page. But every writer knows there's magic in revision, where your work changes from a manuscript into a book. Where intentions, emotions, missed connections coalesce into something complete. It's where what you mean to say becomes what you have said. The characters deepen, the details shine, the prose sparkles. Suddenly, from nothing, you find your story.
Emily Wibberley (The Roughest Draft)
He'd been a good man once. A man who had loved his wife and daughter, and lived a life of simple desires. But suffering had changed all that. For it was easy to be good and kind in times of plenty. The trying times were the moments that defined a man. And love? Love was something that did much to change a person. It brought joy as it brought suffering, and in turn brought about those moments that defined one's character. Love gave life to the lifeless it was the greatest of all living powers. But, as with all things, love had a dark side to it.
Renée Ahdieh (The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn, #2))
All we ask is to be allowed to remain the writers of our own story. That story is ever changing. Over the course of our lives, we may encounter unimaginable difficulties. Our concerns and desires may shift. But whatever happens, we want to retain the freedom to shape our lives in ways consistent with our character and loyalties.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
What to keep of all these reels of film, what to throw away? If we could only take 1 memory on our journey, what would we choose? At the expense of what or whom? And most importantly, how to choose among all these shadows, all these spectres, all these titans? Who are we, when all is said and done? Are we the people we once were or the people we wish we had been? Are we the pain we caused others or the pain we suffered at the hands of others? The encounters we missed or those fortuitous meetings that changed the course of our destiny? Our time behind the scenes that saved us form our vanity or the moment in the limelight that warmed us? We are all of these things, we are the whole life that we have lived, its highs and lows, its fortunes and its hardships, we are the sum of the ghosts that haunt us... we are a host of characters in one, so convincing in every role we played that it is impossible for us to tell who we really were, who we have become, who we will be.
Yasmina Khadra (What the Day Owes the Night)
Perhaps the most fascinating character to emerge from the history of the Rape of Nanking is the German businessman John Rabe. To most of the Chinese in the city, he was a hero, “the living Buddha of Nanking,” the legendary head of the International Safety Zone who saved hundreds of thousands of Chinese lives.
Iris Chang (The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II)
What is evil neither can nor should be loved; for it is not one’s duty to be a lover of evil or to become like what is bad; and we have said that like is dear to like. Must the friendship, then, be forthwith broken off? Or is this not so in all cases, but only when one’s friends are incurable in their wickedness? If they are capable of being reformed one should rather come to the assistance of their character or their property, inasmuch as this is better and more characteristic of friendship. But a man who breaks off such a friendship would seem to be doing nothing strange; for it was not to a man of this sort that he was a friend; when his friend changed, therefore, and he is unable to save him, he gives him up.
Aristotle (The Nicomachean Ethics)
Christian complicity with racism in the twenty-first century looks different than complicity with racism in the past. It looks like Christians responding to 'black lives matter' with the phrase 'all lives matter.' It looks like Christians consistently supporting a president whose racism has been on display for decades. It looks like Christians telling black people and their allies that their attempts to bring up racial concerns are 'divisive.' It looks conversations on race that focus on individual relationships and are unwilling to discuss systemic solutions. Perhaps Christian complicity in racism has not changed after all. Although the characters and the specifics are new, many of the same rationalizations for racism remain.
Jemar Tisby (The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism)
Whedon: Studios will tell you: A woman cannot headline an action movie. After The Hunger Games they might stop telling you that a little bit. Whatever you think of the movie, it’s done a great service. And after The Avengers, I think it’s changing. Johansson: A lot of the female superhero movies just suck really badly. Whedon: The suck factor is not small. Johansson: They are really not well made, and already you’re fighting against the tide. There are a couple [female-driven action movies] that have worked-ish, don’t you think? Hemsworth: Angelina Jolie tends to do it pretty well, as the dominant female. Jackson: They got to get The Pro to the screen! Whedon: [Groaning] See, that is the problem. Sam is the problem! Jackson: I love that book! Whedon: [Reluctantly] The Pro is hilarious. Jackson: The Pro’s hilarious. [To the group] You ever see or hear of it? Johansson: No, what’s The Pro? Jackson: It’s [a comic book] about a hooker who gets super powers! Johansson: [Pauses] That is exactly the problem right there. Whedon: That’s why I wasn’t going to bring up The Pro! (From an Entertainment Weekly interview)
Joss Whedon
I used to send my characters into a fire that necessarily consumed them, but I have learned, a little, how to send them through the fire to a new place. The characters who do not change — most notably Nakota in Cipher, Bibi in Skin, and Lena in Kink — are motivated by an essential selfishness or self-centeredness, an unwillingness to relinquish control to the process, a refusal to become.
Kathe Koja
Our attitudes and opinions change, we develop new habits and eccentricities; but that's something different, more like decoration. Perhaps character resembles intelligence, except that character peaks a little later [...]. And after that, we're just stuck with what we've got. We're on our own. If so, that would explain a lot of lives, wouldn't it?
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
My character was tested because I didn’t think I would have to compromise so much of who I was as a person. I changed so much because I gave so much of me and lost myself in the process. Sadly, when I lost myself, I did not notice. It just happened; it was more of a habit I formed to adjust. I was damaged from the inside out because my life wasn’t mine anymore. I was someone I had to be; not who I wanted to be. I wasn’t someone that made “me” happy. I made everyone else happy, and it wasn’t enough. Losing yourself is scary.
Charlena E. Jackson
Personal struggles, mistakes, and perseverance are part of every person’s life story. A proper mindset can turn failure into a gift. Specific human qualities such as intelligence and adaptive skills can be cultivated through applied effort to assist a person overcome a resounding failure. Each person would be wise to ask how does a person cope – grapple – with failure? We derive strength from our struggles.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
I look at the books on my library shelves. They certainly seem dormant. But what if the characters are quietly rearranging themselves? What if Emma Woodhouse doesn’t learn from her mistakes? What if Tom Jones descends into a sodden life of poaching and outlawry? What if Eve resists Satan, remembering God’s injunction and Adam’s loving advice? I imagine all the characters bustling to get back into their places as they feel me taking the book down from the shelf. “Hurry,” they say, “he’ll expect to find us exactly where he left us, never mind how much his life has changed in the meantime.
Verlyn Klinkenborg
What changes when a woman marries? What does a woman lose and what does she gain? For Abishag, marrying king David gave her instant status. As a wife, impugning Abishag's character meant a swift death. As a wife, she inspired fear. What changes when a woman is widowed? For Abishag, it meant foreign women came to Jerusalem to marry Solomon--and she was relegated to that of a spectator. In Abishag's widowhood, none feared her.
Michael Ben Zehabe (Song of Songs: The Book for Daughters)
You take yourself too seriously, " he said slowly. "You are too damn important in your own mind. That must be changed! You are so goddamn important that you feel justified to be annoyed with everything. You're so damn important that you can afford to leave if things don't go your way. I suppose you think that shows you have character. That's nonsense! You're weak, and conceited!" - Dom Juan
Carlos Castaneda (Journey to Ixtlan)
Study changes a man, puts pride into him. You need it to get to the bottom of life. Without it you just skim the surface. You think you're in the know, but trifles throw you off. You dream too much. You content yourself with words instead of going deeper. That's not what you wanted. Intentions, appearances, no more. A man of character can't content himself with that. Medicine, even if I wasn't very gifted, had brought me a good deal closer to people, to animals, everything. Now all I had to do was plunge straight into the heart of things. Death is chasing you, you've got to hurry, and while you're looking you've got to eat, and keep away from wars. That's a lot of things to do. It's no picnic.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
In my world," said Posy, "authors write stories, and the characters do whatever the author tells them. It's not like this--the characters don't have minds and lives of their own." "How do you know this?" was Caris' surprising reply. The corner of her mouth turned up in a playful smile. "You do not see the characters when the pages of the book are shut. Is there never a time when you read a book for the second time and you notice something that you didn't remember from the first time? Or hear a story told, and every time it is told it grows and changes in the telling? Change is the nature of everything.
Ashlee Willis (The Word Changers)
The boundaries of this world are forever shifting – from day to night, joy to sorrow, love to hate, and from life itself to death; and who can say at what moment we may suddenly cross over the border, from one state of existence to another, like heat applied to some flammable substance? I have been given my own ever-changing margins, across which I move, continually and hungrily, like a migrating animal. Now civilized, now untamed; now responsive to decency and human concern, now viciously attuned to the darkest of desires.
Michael Cox (The Meaning of Night (The Meaning of Night, #1))
Dear God, Reveal to me through stories something of what it is like to walk around in someone else's shoes. Show me something about myself in the stories I read, something that needs changing, a thought, a feeling or attitude. Deliver me from myself, O God, and from the parachial and sometimes prejudiced views I have of other people, other nations, other races, other religions. Enlarge by heart with a story, and change me by the characters I meet there. May some of the light from their lives spill over into mine, giving me illumination where there was once ignorance, compassion where there was once contempt.
Ken Gire
Coordination' occurred with astonishing speed, even in sectors of life not directly targeted by specific laws, as Germans willingly placed themselves under the sway of Nazi rule, a phenomenon that became known as Selbtsgleichschaltung, or 'self-coordination.' Change came to Germany so quickly and across such a wide front that German citizens who left the country for business or travel returned to find everything around them altered, as if they were characters in a horror movie who come back to find that people who once were their friends, clients, patients, and customers have become different in ways hard to discern.
Erik Larson (In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin)
What would you say is your pet peeve about poorly crafted romance novels? That would be when two adult characters avoid having a grown-up conversation that could change the course of the story.” “You know what I love most about the books? I love how they can make us cheer for pretty much any character if we understand why they’re doing something. We’ll let them get away with pretty much anything–including pushing away the woman they desperately want–if they have a strong motivation. The why behind their actions.
Lyssa Kay Adams (Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club, #3))
From the vast, invisible ocean of moonlight overhead fell, here and here, a slender, broken stream that seemed to plash against the intercepting branches and trickle to earth, forming small white pools among the clumps of laurel. But these leaks were few and served only to accentuate the blackness of his environment, which his imagination found it easy to people with all manner of unfamiliar shapes, menacing, uncanny, or merely grotesque. He to whom the portentous conspiracy of night and solitude and silence in the heart of a great forest is not an unknown experience needs not to be told what another world it all is - how even the most commonplace and familiar objects take on another character. The trees group themselves differently; they draw closer together, as if in fear. The very silence has another quality than the silence of the day. And it is full of half-heard whispers, whispers that startle - ghosts of sounds long dead. There are living sounds, too, such as are never heard under other conditions: notes of strange night birds, the cries of small animals in sudden encounters with stealthy foes, or in their dreams, a rustling in the dead leaves - it may be the leap of a wood rat, it may be the footstep of a panther. What caused the breaking of that twig? What the low, alarmed twittering in that bushful of birds? There are sounds without a name, forms without substance, translations in space of objects which have not been seen to move, movements wherein nothing is observed to change its place. Ah, children of the sunlight and the gaslight, how little you know of the world in which you live! ("A Tough Tussle")
Ambrose Bierce (Ghost Stories (Haunting Ghost Stories))
What is the point. That is what must be borne in mind. Sometimes the point is really who wants what. Sometimes the point is what is right or kind. Sometimes the point is a momentum, a fact, a quality, a voice, an imitation, a thing that is said or unsaid. Sometimes it's who's at fault, or what will happen if you do not move at once. The point changes and goes out. You cannot be forever watching for the point, or you lose the simplest thing: being a major character in your own life. But if you are, for any length of time, custodian of the point-- in art, in court, in politics, in lives, in rooms-- it turns out there are rear-guard actions everywhere. To see a thing clearly, and when your vision of it dims, or when it goes to someone else, if you have a gentle nature, keep your silence, that is lovely. Otherwise, now and then, a small foray is worthwhile. Just so that being always, complacently, thoroughly wrong does not become the safest position of them all. The point has never quite been entrusted to me.
Renata Adler (Speedboat)
Unless Lin made the whole thing up - and nobody has said that he did - it suggest that however innovative Obama's speeches and Lin's show might seem, they are, in fact, traditional. They don't reinvent the American character, they renew it. They remind us of something we forgot, something that fell as far out of sight as the posthumously neglected Alexander Hamilton, who spent his life defending one idea above all: "the necessity of Union to the respectability and happiness of this Country." Obama's speeches and Lin's show resonate so powerfully with their audiences because they find eloquent ways to revive Hamilton's revolution, the one that spurred Americans to see themselves and each other as fellow citizens in a sprawling, polyglot, young republic. It's the change in thought and feeling that makes all the other changes possible.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton: The Revolution)
Then he had looked on his spirit as his I; now, it was his healthy strong animal I that he looked upon as himself. And all this terrible change has come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. This he had done because it was too difficult to live believing one's self: believing one's self, one had to decide every question, not in favour of one's animal I, which was always seeking for easy gratification, but in almost every case against it. Believing others, there was nothing to decide; everything had been decided already, and always in favor of the animal I and against the spiritual. Nor was this all. Believing in his own self, he was always exposing himself to the censure of those around him; believing others, he had their approval.
Leo Tolstoy (Resurrection)
Women are mere "beauties" in men's culture so that culture can be kept male. When women in culture show character, they are not desirable, as opposed to the desirable. A beautiful heroine is a contradiction in terms, since heroism is about individuality, interesting and ever changing, while "beauty" is generic, boring, and inert. While culture works out moral dilemmas, "beauty" is amoral: If a woman is born resembling an art object, it is an accident of nature, a fickle consensus of mass perception, a peculiar coincidence--but it is not a moral act. From the "beauties" in male culture, women learn a bitter amoral lesson--that the moral lessons of their culture exclude them.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
You can’t tell half a tale, Poison. You can’t write half a book. Whatever you choose to do next will completely change the aspect of what has gone before. if you decided to suddenly kill your friends as they slept –“ Why would I do that?” Poison interjected. Bear with me,” Fleet said patiently. “If you did, then the tale would take on a whole new light. Instead of being the journey of Poison from Gull to save her sister, it would be the terrible story of how a young girl became a cold-blooded killer. They way it would be written would be different. Do you see? Or you might die right now, and it would turn out that it wasn’t your tale all along it was Bram’s or Peppercorn’s, and you were just one of the sideline characters. The whole story has to be known before it can be recorded; otherwise it might suddenly change. That’s the beauty, Poison. You never know what’s going to happen next. When the tale is ended, then the writing will be visible to your eyes; until then it is unwritten.
Chris Wooding (Poison)
The twenty-first chapter gives the novel the quality of genuine fiction, an art founded on the principle that human beings change. There is, in fact, not much point in writing a novel unless you can show the possibility of moral transformation, or an increase in wisdom, operating in your chief character or characters. Even trashy bestsellers show people changing. When a fictional work fails to show change, when it merely indicates that human character is set, stony, unregenerable, then you are out of the field of the novel and into that of the fable or the allegory.
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
I said that my current feelings of powerlessness had changed the way I looked at what happens and why, to the extent that I was beginning to see what other people called fate in the unfolding of events, as though living were merely an act of reading to find out what happens next. That idea – of one’s own life as something that had already been dictated – was strangely seductive, until you realised that it reduced other people to the moral status of characters and camouflaged their capacity to destroy. Yet the illusion of meaning recurred, much as you tried to resist it: like childhood, I said, which we treat as an explanatory text rather than merely as a formative experience of powerlessness.
Rachel Cusk (Transit)
Every day I stand at turning points. My thoughts and actions can propel me toward growth or turn me down the road to old habits and to booze. Sometimes turning points are beginnings, as when I decide to start praising, instead of condemning someone. Or when I begin to ask for help instead of going it alone. At other times turning points are endings, such as when I see clearly the need to stop festering resentments or crippling self-seeking. Many shortcomings tempt me daily; therefore, I also have daily opportunities to become aware of them. In one form or another, many of my character defects appear daily: self-condemnation, anger, running away, being prideful, wanting to get even, or acting out of grandiosity. Attempting half measures to eliminate these defects merely paralyzes my efforts to change. It is only when I ask God for help, with complete abandon, that I become willing—and able—to change.
Alcoholics Anonymous (Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members)
The existential attitude is one of involvement in contrast to a merely theoretical or detached attitude. “Existential” in this sense can be defined as participating in a situation, especially a cognitive situation, with the whole of one’s existence....There are realms of reality or—more exactly—of abstraction from reality in which the most complete detachment is the adequate cognitive approach. Everything which can be expressed in terms of quantitative measurement has this character. But it is most inadequate to apply the same approach to reality in its infinite concreteness. A self which has become a matter of calculation and management has ceased to be a self. It has become a thing. You must participate in a self in order to know what it is. But by participating you change it. In all existential knowledge both subject and object are transformed by the very act of knowing.
Paul Tillich
I want to be the one you turn to for guidance and comfort. I want to create things that become a source of stability for people, some sort of home. Write books that you read until the edges are torn and songs that you listen to in your headphones on a lonely night bus, taking you somewhere far far away.I want to be so sure of my own place in the universe that no one could ever doubt me. What I’m about or what I’m here to do. I want to be a safe aura in a sea of worries and uncertainty. I want to stand for clarity where only chaos seems to grow.
Charlotte Eriksson (Everything Changed When I Forgave Myself: growing up is a wonderful thing to do)
I read a book one day and my whole life was changed” starts Orhan Pamuk to his famous and brilliantly written book: The New Life. Some books just strike you with the very first sentence, and generally those are the ones that leave a mark in your memory and soul, the ones that make you read, come back many years later and read again, and have the same pleasure each time. I was lucky enough to have a father who was passionate about literature, so passionate that he would teach me how to read at the age of five. The very first book he bought for me was “The Little Black Fish” by Samad Behrangi. After that I started reading his other books, and at that age I had already owned a small Behrangi collection. Recently I was talking with a Persian friend about how Behrangi and his books changed my life. A girl, from another country, from kilometeters away, around the same time was also reading Behrangi’s books, and creating her own imaginary worlds with his rich and deep characters, and intense stories.
Samad Behrangi (The Little Black Fish)
But confining myself more to the particular, I say that a prince may be seen happy to-day and ruined to-morrow without having shown any change of disposition or character. This, I believe, arises firstly from causes that have already been discussed at length, namely, that the prince who relies entirely upon fortune is lost when it changes. I believe also that he will be successful who directs his actions according to the spirit of the times, and that he whose actions do not accord with the times will not be successful. Because men are seen, in affairs that lead to the end which every man has before him, namely, glory and riches, to get there by various methods; one with caution, another with haste; one by force, another by skill; one by patience, another by its opposite; and each one succeeds in reaching the goal by a different method. One can also see of two cautious men the one attain his end, the other fail; and similarly, two men by different observances are equally successful, the one being cautious, the other impetuous; all this arises from nothing else than whether or not they conform in their methods to the spirit of the times. This follows from what I have said, that two men working differently bring about the same effect, and of two working similarly, one attains his object and the other does not.
Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
The soul was not made to run on empty. But the soul doesn’t come with a gauge. The indicators of soul-fatigue are more subtle: • Things seem to bother you more than they should. Your spouse’s gum-chewing suddenly reveals to you a massive character flaw. • It’s hard to make up your mind about even a simple decision. • Impulses to eat or drink or spend or crave are harder to resist than they otherwise would be. • You are more likely to favor short-term gains in ways that leave you with high long-term costs. Israel ended up worshiping a golden calf simply because they grew tired of having to wait on Moses and God. • Your judgment is suffering. • You have less courage. “Fatigue makes cowards of us all” is a quote so ubiquitious that it has been attributed to General Patton and Vince Lombardi and Shakespeare. The same disciples who fled in fear when Jesus was crucified eventually sacrificed their lives for him. What changed was not their bodies, but their souls.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
The revolution of Jesus is in the first place and continuously a revolution of the human heart or spirit. It did not and does not proceed by means of the formation of social institutions and laws, the outer forms of our existence, intending that these would then impose a good order of life upon people who come under their power. Rather, his is a revolution of character, which proceeds by changing people from the inside through ongoing personal relationship to God in Christ and to one another. It is one that changes their ideas, beliefs, feelings, and habits of choice, as well as their bodily tendencies and social relations. It penetrates to the deepest layers of their soul.
Dallas Willard (Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ)
The process of miraculous change is twofold.  One:  I see my error or dysfunctional pattern.  Two: I ask God to take it from me.  The first principle without the second is impotent.  As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, your best thinking got you here.  You're the problem but you're not the answer. The second principle isn't enough to change us either. The Holy Spirit can't take from us what we will not release to him.  He won't work without our consent.  He cannot remove our character defects without our willingness, because that would be violating our free will.  We chose those patterns, however mistakenly, and he will not force us to give them up.  In asking God to heal us, we're committing to the choice to be healed.
Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles")
Poetic Terrorism WEIRD DANCING IN ALL-NIGHT computer-banking lobbies. Unauthorized pyrotechnic displays. Land-art, earth-works as bizarre alien artifacts strewn in State Parks. Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave Poetic-Terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they're the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune--say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection of alchemical mss. ... Bolt up brass commemorative plaques in places (public or private) where you have experienced a revelation or had a particularly fulfilling sexual experience, etc. Go naked for a sign. Organize a strike in your school or workplace on the grounds that it does not satisfy your need for indolence & spiritual beauty. Graffiti-art loaned some grace to ugly subways & rigid public monuments--PT-art can also be created for public places: poems scrawled in courthouse lavatories, small fetishes abandoned in parks & restaurants, Xerox-art under windshield-wipers of parked cars, Big Character Slogans pasted on playground walls, anonymous letters mailed to random or chosen recipients (mail fraud), pirate radio transmissions, wet cement... The audience reaction or aesthetic-shock produced by PT ought to be at least as strong as the emotion of terror-- powerful disgust, sexual arousal, superstitious awe, sudden intuitive breakthrough, dada-esque angst--no matter whether the PT is aimed at one person or many, no matter whether it is "signed" or anonymous, if it does not change someone's life (aside from the artist) it fails. PT is an act in a Theater of Cruelty which has no stage, no rows of seats, no tickets & no walls. In order to work at all, PT must categorically be divorced from all conventional structures for art consumption (galleries, publications, media). Even the guerilla Situationist tactics of street theater are perhaps too well known & expected now. An exquisite seduction carried out not only in the cause of mutual satisfaction but also as a conscious act in a deliberately beautiful life--may be the ultimate PT. The PTerrorist behaves like a confidence-trickster whose aim is not money but CHANGE. Don't do PT for other artists, do it for people who will not realize (at least for a few moments) that what you have done is art. Avoid recognizable art-categories, avoid politics, don't stick around to argue, don't be sentimental; be ruthless, take risks, vandalize only what must be defaced, do something children will remember all their lives--but don't be spontaneous unless the PT Muse has possessed you. Dress up. Leave a false name. Be legendary. The best PT is against the law, but don't get caught. Art as crime; crime as art.
Hakim Bey (TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone (New Autonomy))
This is the difference between someone whose heart is purified and sound and one whose heart is impure and corrupt. Impure people oppress, and the pure-hearted not only forgive their oppressors, but elevate them in status and character. In order to purify ourselves, we must begin to recognize this truth. This is what this book is all about — a book of self-purification and a manual of liberation. If we work on our hearts, if we actually implement what is suggested here, we’ll begin to see changes in our lives, our condition, our society, and even within our own family dynamics. It is a blessing that we have this science of purification, a blessing that this teaching exists in the world today. What remains is for us to take these teachings seriously. Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart. Translation and Commentary of Imam Mawlud's Matharat al-Qulub. Schaykh Hamza Yusuf. E-Book S. 10
Hamza Yusuf (Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart)
When we encounter a friend who's depressed or afraid, we automatically try to take that distress away and to cheer the person up. While we may be operating with the best of intentions, this Band-Aid approach only reinforces the condition. Unless people experience their pain completely and begin to undrstand it, they will not only fail to overcome it, they'll also lose the opportunity of using it to advance their own growth. Pain can get you somewhere, and that somewhere can be a life-enhancing experience. We all tend to forget that pain can signal change. Alleviating the symptoms of pain in someone, without helping them to get at its underlying source, robs them of an important to for self-exploration. It's also a way of placating that reinforces the person'S need to cave in and succumb to another. This attitude undermines healthy character development and contributes to psychospiritual, moral, and ultimately social decay.
Adele von Rust McCormick (Horse Sense and the Human Heart)
It is my job to create universes, as the basis of one novel after another. And I have to build them in such a way that they do not fall apart two days later. Or at least that is what my editors hope. However, I will reveal a secret to you: I like to build universes which do fall apart. I like to see them come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem. I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it. Do not believe — and I am dead serious when I say this — do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.
Philip K. Dick
You can start training yourself in this Stoic practice of objective representation right now by writing down a description of an upsetting or problematic event in plain language. Phrase things as accurately as possible and view them from a more philosophical perspective, with studied indifference. Once you’ve mastered this art, take it a step further by following the example of Paconius Agrippinus and look for positive opportunities. Write how you could exercise strength of character and cope wisely with the situation. Ask yourself how someone you admire might cope with the same situation or what that person might advise you to do. Treat the event like a sparring partner in the gym, giving you an opportunity to strengthen your emotional resilience and coping skills. You might want to read your script aloud and review it several times or compose several versions until you’re satisfied it’s helped you change how you feel about events.
Donald J. Robertson (How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius)
Many people define who they are, based upon what the world sees when it looks at them. They build themselves with their foundation set upon the perceptions of others. Do others think they are good, kind, smart, loving? But I define who I am, based upon the person who looks back at me in the mirror. If you were the only person on Earth, with nobody to see you, know your name, or ever be aware of your existence; what kind of person would you be? Live for the person who looks back at you in the mirror and be that person even if you are the last human being on Earth. Too many people live for what the world will think and will see; too few people live for their own soul. Are you smart, successful, got lots of super ideas? But those are not important questions. This is the most important question: do you know how to love? I do not care if nobody on Earth were to know my name; do I know my own soul? Do I know how to love? These are the questions I ask myself.
C. JoyBell C.
When I fall in love with someone, then that doesn’t “just” happen… When I love someone’s character, over time I’ll see that personality, I love so much, shining through their eyes and fusing with their appearance, turning them in the most beautiful girl in the world. It’s not about appearance, it’s about someone’s beautiful, amazing, wonderful, fantastic personality, you’ll see every time you look at her. It’s about the fact that when you look in her eyes, you just feel home… You forget all your problems, all your fears, you just feel safe, you feel like you’ve finally found a place where you belong… A place you can spend an eternity, where you will spend an eternity, cause those enchanting, beautiful eyes will slow down time and make every second; looking in her beautiful eyes, right into her amazing personality, last more than a lifetime. It’s about the fact that the whole world, the whole universe just looks so much more beautiful!! All of a sudden everything looks different and your heart will just start smiling. That’s what love is all about… the moment someone you only “liked” before, changes into the most aesthetically pleasing girl in the world. The moment you realize how blind you’ve been all those days, how you were living in a fake universe, never knowing that the only thing your life is all about, the only thing that keeps you smiling, was all the time right next to you.
Tom Hiddleston
And besides, in the matter of friendship, I have observed that the disappointment here arises chiefly, not from liking our friends too well, or thinking of them too highly, but rather from an over-estimate of their liking for and opinion of us; and that if we guard ourselves with sufficient scrupulousness of care from error in this direction, and can be content, and even happy to give more affection than we receive -- can make just comparison of circumstances, and be severely accurate in drawing inferences thence, and never let self-love blind our eyes -- I think we may manage to get through life with consistency and constancy, unembittered by that misanthropy which springs from revulsions of feeling. All this sounds a little metaphysical, but it is good sense of if you consider it. The moral of it is, that if we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love our friends for their sakes rather than for our own; we must look at their truth to themselves, full as much as their truth to us. In the latter case, every wound to self-love would be a cause of coldness; in the former, only some painful change in the friend's character and disposition -- some fearful breach in his allegiance to his better self -- could alienate the heart.
Elizabeth Gaskell (The Life of Charlotte Brontë)
Nature of the Desire for Change: There is in us a tendency to locate the shaping forces of our existence outside ourselves. Success and failure are unavoidably related in our minds with the state of things around us. Hence it is that people with a sense of fulfillment think it a good world and would like to conserve it as it is, while the frustrated favor radical change. The tendency to look for all causes outside ourselves persists even when it is clear that our state of being is the product of personal qualities such as ability, character, appearance, health and so on. “If anything ail a man,” says Thoreau, “so that he does not perform his functions, if he have a pain in his bowels even … he forthwith sets about reforming—the world.” It is understandable that those who fail should incline to blame the world for their failure. The remarkable thing is that the successful, too, however much they pride themselves on their foresight, fortitude, thrift and other “sterling qualities,” are at bottom convinced that their success is the result of a fortuitous combination of circumstances. The self-confidence of even the consistently successful is never absolute. They are never sure that they know all the ingredients which go into the making of their success. The outside world seems to them a precariously balanced mechanism, and so long as it ticks in their favor they are afraid to tinker with it. Thus the resistance to change and the ardent desire for it spring from the same conviction, and the one can be as vehement as the other.
Eric Hoffer (The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements)
The fundamental metaphor of National Socialism as it related to the world around it was the garden, not the wild forest. One of the most important Nazi ideologists, R.W. Darré, made clear the relationship between gardening and genocide: “He who leaves the plants in a garden to themselves will soon find to his surprise that the garden is overgrown by weeds and that even the basic character of the plants has changed. If therefore the garden is to remain the breeding ground for the plants, if, in other words, it is to lift itself above the harsh rule of natural forces, then the forming will of a gardener is necessary, a gardener who, by providing suitable conditions for growing, or by keeping harmful influences away, or by both together, carefully tends what needs tending and ruthlessly eliminates the weeds which would deprive the better plants of nutrition, air, light, and sun. . . . Thus we are facing the realization that questions of breeding are not trivial for political thought, but that they have to be at the center of all considerations, and that their answers must follow from the spiritual, from the ideological attitude of a people. We must even assert that a people can only reach spiritual and moral equilibrium if a well-conceived breeding plan stands at the very center of its culture.
Derrick Jensen (The Culture of Make Believe)
The objective of learning is not necessarily to remember. It may even be salutary to forget. It is only when we forget the early pains and struggles of forming letters that we acquire the capacity for writing. The adult does not remember all the history s/he learned but s/he may hope to have acquired a standard of character and conduct, a sense of affairs and a feeling of change and development in culture. Naturally there is nothing against having a well-stocked mind provided it does not prevent the development of other capacities. But it is still more important to allow knowledge to sink into one in such a way that it becomes fruitful for life; this best done when we feel deeply all we learn. For the life of feeling is less conscious, more dream-like, than intellectual activity and leads to the subconscious life of will where the deep creative capacities of humanity have their being. It is from this sphere that knowledge can emerge again as something deeply significant for life. It is not what we remember exactly, but what we transform which is of real value to our lives. In this transformation the process of forgetting, of allowing subjects to sink into the unconscious before "re-membering" them is an important element.
Henning Hansmann (Education for Special Needs: Principles and Practice in Camphill Schools)
I think of two landscapes- one outside the self, the other within. The external landscape is the one we see-not only the line and color of the land and its shading at different times of the day, but also its plants and animals in season, its weather, its geology… If you walk up, say, a dry arroyo in the Sonoran Desert you will feel a mounding and rolling of sand and silt beneath your foot that is distinctive. You will anticipate the crumbling of the sedimentary earth in the arroyo bank as your hand reaches out, and in that tangible evidence you will sense the history of water in the region. Perhaps a black-throated sparrow lands in a paloverde bush… the smell of the creosote bush….all elements of the land, and what I mean by “the landscape.” The second landscape I think of is an interior one, a kind of projection within a person of a part of the exterior landscape. Relationships in the exterior landscape include those that are named and discernible, such as the nitrogen cycle, or a vertical sequence of Ordovician limestone, and others that are uncodified or ineffable, such as winter light falling on a particular kind of granite, or the effect of humidity on the frequency of a blackpoll warbler’s burst of song….the shape and character of these relationships in a person’s thinking, I believe, are deeply influenced by where on this earth one goes, what one touches, the patterns one observes in nature- the intricate history of one’s life in the land, even a life in the city, where wind, the chirp of birds, the line of a falling leaf, are known. These thoughts are arranged, further, according to the thread of one’s moral, intellectual, and spiritual development. The interior landscape responds to the character and subtlety of an exterior landscape; the shape of the individual mind is affected by land as it is by genes. Among the Navajo, the land is thought to exhibit sacred order…each individual undertakes to order his interior landscape according to the exterior landscape. To succeed in this means to achieve a balanced state of mental health…Among the various sung ceremonies of this people-Enemyway, Coyoteway, Uglyway- there is one called Beautyway. It is, in part, a spiritual invocation of the order of the exterior universe, that irreducible, holy complexity that manifests itself as all things changing through time (a Navajo definition of beauty).
Barry Lopez (Crossing Open Ground)
Colored like a sunset tide is a gaze sharply slicing through the reflective glass. A furrowed brow is set much too seriously, as if trying to unfold the pieces of the face that stared back at it. One eyebrow is raised skeptically, always calculating and analyzing its surroundings. I tilt my head trying to see the deeper meaning in my features, trying to imagine the connection between my looks and my character as I stare in the mirror for the required five minutes. From the dark brown hair fastened tightly in a bun, a curl as bright as woven gold comes loose. A flash of unruly hair prominent through the typical browns is like my temper; always there, but not always visible. I begin to grow frustrated with the girl in the mirror, and she cocks her hip as if mocking me. In a moment, her lips curve in a half smile, not quite detectable in sight but rather in feeling, like the sensation of something good just around the corner. A chin was set high in a stubborn fashion, symbolizing either persistence or complete adamancy. Shoulders are held stiff like ancient mountains, proud but slightly arrogant. The image watches with the misty eyes of a daydreamer, glazed over with a sort of trance as if in the middle of a reverie, or a vision. Every once and a while, her true fears surface in those eyes, terror that her life would amount to nothing, that her work would have no impact. Words written are meant to be read, and sometimes I worry that my thoughts and ideas will be lost with time. My dream is to be an author, to be immortalized in print and live forever in the minds of avid readers. I want to access the power in being able to shape the minds of the young and open, and alter the minds of the old and resolute. Imagine the power in living forever, and passing on your ideas through generations. With each new reader, a new layer of meaning is uncovered in writing, meaning that even the author may not have seen. In the mirror, I see a girl that wants to change the world, and change the way people think and reason. Reflection and image mean nothing, for the girl in the mirror is more than a one dimensional picture. She is someone who has followed my footsteps with every lesson learned, and every mistake made. She has been there to help me find a foothold in the world, and to catch me when I fall. As the lights blink out, obscuring her face, I realize that although that image is one that will puzzle me in years to come, she and I aren’t so different after all.
K.D. Enos
When The Matrix debuted in 1999, it was a huge box-office success. It was also well received by critics, most of whom focused on one of two qualities—the technological (it mainstreamed the digital technique of three-dimensional “bullet time,” where the on-screen action would freeze while the camera continued to revolve around the participants) or the philosophical (it served as a trippy entry point for the notion that we already live in a simulated world, directly quoting philosopher Jean Baudrillard’s 1981 reality-rejecting book Simulacra and Simulation). If you talk about The Matrix right now, these are still the two things you likely discuss. But what will still be interesting about this film once the technology becomes ancient and the philosophy becomes standard? I suspect it might be this: The Matrix was written and directed by “the Wachowski siblings.” In 1999, this designation meant two brothers; as I write today, it means two sisters. In the years following the release of The Matrix, the older Wachowski (Larry, now Lana) completed her transition from male to female. The younger Wachowski (Andy, now Lilly) publicly announced her transition in the spring of 2016. These events occurred during a period when the social view of transgender issues radically evolved, more rapidly than any other component of modern society. In 1999, it was almost impossible to find any example of a trans person within any realm of popular culture; by 2014, a TV series devoted exclusively to the notion won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series. In the fifteen-year window from 1999 to 2014, no aspect of interpersonal civilization changed more, to the point where Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner attracted more Twitter followers than the president (and the importance of this shift will amplify as the decades pass—soon, the notion of a transgender US president will not seem remotely implausible). So think how this might alter the memory of The Matrix: In some protracted reality, film historians will reinvestigate an extremely commercial action movie made by people who (unbeknownst to the audience) would eventually transition from male to female. Suddenly, the symbolic meaning of a universe with two worlds—one false and constructed, the other genuine and hidden—takes on an entirely new meaning. The idea of a character choosing between swallowing a blue pill that allows him to remain a false placeholder and a red pill that forces him to confront who he truly is becomes a much different metaphor. Considered from this speculative vantage point, The Matrix may seem like a breakthrough of a far different kind. It would feel more reflective than entertaining, which is precisely why certain things get remembered while certain others get lost.
Chuck Klosterman (But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past)
The missing remained missing and the portraits couldn't change that. But when Akhmed slid the finished portrait across the desk and the family saw the shape of that beloved nose, the air would flee the room, replaced by the miracle of recognition as mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, and cousin found in that nose the son, brother, nephew, and cousin that had been, would have been, could have been, and they might race after the possibility like cartoon characters dashing off a cliff, held by the certainty of the road until they looked down -- and plummeted is the word used by the youngest brother who, at the age of sixteen, is tired of being the youngest and hopes his older brother will return for many reasons, not least so he will marry and have a child and the youngest brother will no longer be youngest; that youngest brother, the one who has nothing to say about the nose because he remembers his older brother's nose and doesn't need the nose to mean what his parents need it to mean, is the one who six months later would be disappeared in the back of a truck, as his older brother was, who would know the Landfill through his blindfold and gag by the rich scent of clay, as his older brother had known, whose fingers would be wound with the electrical wires that had welded to his older brother's bones, who would stand above a mass grave his brother had dug and would fall in it as his older brother had, though taking six more minutes and four more bullets to die, would be buried an arm's length of dirt above his brother and whose bones would find over time those of his older brother, and so, at that indeterminate point in the future, answer his mother's prayer that her boys find each other, wherever they go; that younger brother would have a smile on his face and the silliest thought in his skull a minute before the first bullet would break it, thinking of how that day six months earlier, when they all went to have his older brother's portrait made, he should have had his made, too, because now his parents would have to make another trip, and he hoped they would, hoped they would because even if he knew his older brother's nose, he hadn't been prepared to see it, and seeing that nose, there, on the page, the density of loss it engendered, the unbelievable ache of loving and not having surrounded him, strong enough to toss him, as his brother had, into the summer lake, but there was nothing but air, and he'd believed that plummet was as close as they would ever come again, and with the first gunshot one brother fell within arms' reach of the other, and with the fifth shot the blindfold dissolved and the light it blocked became forever, and on the kitchen wall of his parents' house his portrait hangs within arm's reach of his older brother's, and his mother spends whole afternoons staring at them, praying that they find each other, wherever they go.
Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena)
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12 Divine sonship is not something that we gain of ourselves. Only to those who receive Christ as their Saviour is given the power to become sons and daughters of God. The sinner cannot, by any power of his own, rid himself of sin. For the accomplishment of this result, he must look to a higher Power. John exclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Christ alone has power to cleanse the heart. He who is seeking for forgiveness and acceptance can say only,-- "Nothing in my hand I bring; Simply to Thy cross I cling." But the promise of sonship is made to all who "believe on his name." Every one who comes to Jesus in faith will receive pardon. The religion of Christ transforms the heart. It makes the worldly-minded man heavenly-minded. Under its influence the selfish man becomes unselfish, because this is the character of Christ. The dishonest, scheming man becomes upright, so that it is second nature to him to do to others as he would have others do to him. The profligate is changed from impurity to purity. He forms correct habits; for the gospel of Christ has become to him a savor of life unto life. God was to be manifest in Christ, "reconciling the world unto himself." Man had become so degraded by sin that it was impossible for him, in himself, to come into harmony with Him whose nature is purity and goodness. But Christ, after having redeemed man from the condemnation of the law, could impart divine power, to unite with human effort. Thus by repentance toward God and faith in Christ, the fallen children of Adam might once more become "sons of God." When a soul receives Christ, he receives power to live the life of Christ.
Ellen Gould White
Leaders instill courage in the hearts of those who follow. This rarely happens through words alone. It generally requires action. It goes back to what we said earlier: Somebody has to go first. By going first, the leader furnishes confidence to those who follow. As a next generation leader, you will be called upon to go first. That will require courage. But in stepping out you will give the gift of courage to those who are watching. What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business? What has been done is safe. But to attempt a solution to a problem that plagues an entire industry - in my case, the local church - requires courage. Unsolved problems are gateways to the future. To those who have the courage to ask the question and the tenacity to hang on until they discover or create an answer belongs the future. Don’t allow the many good opportunities to divert your attention from the one opportunity that has the greatest potential. Learn to say no. There will always be more opportunities than there is time to pursue them. Leaders worth following are willing to face and embrace current reality regardless of how discouraging or embarrassing it might be. It is impossible to generate sustained growth or progress if your plan for the future is not rooted in reality. Be willing to face the truth regardless of how painful it might be. If fear causes you to retreat from your dreams, you will never give the world anything new. it is impossible to lead without a dream. When leaders are no longer willing to dream, it is only a short time before followers are unwilling to follow. Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity? Uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape. It never goes away. Where there is no uncertainty, there is no longer the need for leadership. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the need for leadership. Your capacity as a leader will be determined by how well you learn to deal with uncertainty. My enemy is not uncertainty. It is not even my responsibility to remove the uncertainty. It is my responsibility to bring clarity into the midst of the uncertainty. As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear. People will follow you in spite of a few bad decisions. People will not follow you if you are unclear in your instruction. As a leader you must develop the elusive skill of leading confidently and purposefully onto uncertain terrain. Next generation leaders must fear a lack of clarity more than a lack of accuracy. The individual in your organization who communicates the clearest vision will often be perceived as the leader. Clarity is perceived as leadership. Uncertainty exposes a lack of knowledge. Pretending exposes a lack of character. Express your uncertainty with confidence. You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential. You need a leadership coach. Great leaders are great learners. God, in His wisdom, has placed men and women around us with the experience and discernment we often lack. Experience alone doesn’t make you better at anything. Evaluated experience is what enables you to improve your performance. As a leader, what you don’t know can hurt you. What you don’t know about yourself can put a lid on your leadership. You owe it to yourself and to those who have chosen to follow you to open the doors to evaluation. Engage a coach. Success doesn’t make anything of consequence easier. Success just raises the stakes. Success brings with it the unanticipated pressure of maintaining success. The more successful you are as a leader, the more difficult this becomes. There is far more pressure at the top of an organization than you might imagine.
Andy Stanley
Perspective - Use It or Lose It. If you turned to this page, you're forgetting that what is going on around you is not reality. Think about that. Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place. You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them. Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers. Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah. Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully. The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change. Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years. The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof. There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect. Then be sure of one thing: The Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have. The original sin is to limit the Is. Don't. A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion....this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons. You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however. Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours. If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats. The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages. Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you. In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice. The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities." The truth you speak has no past and no future. It is, and that's all it needs to be. Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't. Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. You're going to die a horrible death, remember. It's all good training, and you'll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind. Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution it not generally understood by less advanced lifeforms, and they'll call you crazy. Everything above may be wrong!
Richard Bach
I once read a theory about ‘positive thinking’ that seems to be true or, at least, made a sufficient impression on me to remember it. I have always been distrustful of positive thinking, believing it to be as fixed and unyielding as negative thinking. Yet it is the advice most often offered to depressives. That it does not work seems not to occur to those who offer it up like some benevolent panacea. Perhaps it works for them or perhaps they are a product of some positive thinking gene pool. Who knows? Anywhere, here is the theory that helped me. I hope that it will help you too. Imagine you are driving a car, and you are heading straight for a brick wall. If you stay in habitual or rigid thinking (the kind of thinking that says, ‘this is the way I always do things’) and do not change the direction in the way you are headed, you will drive you car into the brick wall. Now imagine you are driving that same car towards that same brick wall. Now use positive thinking to imagine that wall is, in fact, a tunnel. It is not, of course, you simply hope or wish that it is a tunnel but it is the same old, intractable brick. You still drive your car into the wall. You are in the same car, facing the same wall except that you use creative or constructive thinking. You see the wall as an obstacle set dead ahead and see that it is solid and immoveable. You use your thinking to change direction and drive your car around it. Understanding that our thinking is not always helpful sounds so obvious and simple. So does changing our thinking, yet both are formidably difficult to do, perhaps because, most of the time, we never question it. We go right ahead and do what we have always done, in the same way we have always done it. We crash into relationships, mess up jobs, ruin friendships and all because we believe that our way is the right way. There is a saying: ‘I’d rather be right than happy.’ And here is another: ‘My way or no way.’ I see that wall as a symbol for an obstacle (or obstacles, there may be many) in our emotional make-up. If we go on behaving in the same way, we will crash. If we pretend that those obstacles in our character don’t exist, or are something else entirely, we will still crash. But if we acknowledge them and behave in a different way, we will come to a better and safer place. Or at least we will, until we meet the next obstacle.
Sally Brampton (Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression)
If Samkhya-Yoga philosophy does not explain the reason and origin of the strange partnership between the spirit and experience, at least tries to explain the nature of their association, to define the character of their mutual relations. These are not real relationships, in the true sense of the word, such as exist for example between external objects and perceptions. The true relations imply, in effect, change and plurality, however, here we have some rules essentially opposed to the nature of spirit. “States of consciousness” are only products of prakriti and can have no kind of relation with Spirit the latter, by its very essence, being above all experience. However and for SamPhya and Yoga this is the key to the paradoxical situation the most subtle, most transparent part of mental life, that is, intelligence (buddhi) in its mode of pure luminosity (sattva), has a specific quality that of reflecting Spirit. Comprehension of the external world is possible only by virtue of this reflection of purusha in intelligence. But the Self is not corrupted by this reflection and does not lose its ontological modalities (impassibility, eternity, etc.). The Yoga-sutras (II, 20) say in substance: seeing (drashtri; i.e., purusha) is absolute consciousness (“sight par excellence”) and, while remaining pure, it knows cognitions (it “looks at the ideas that are presented to it”). Vyasa interprets: Spirit is reflected in intelligence (buddhi), but is neither like it nor different from it. It is not like intelligence because intelligence is modified by knowledge of objects, which knowledge is ever-changing whereas purusha commands uninterrupted knowledge, in some sort it is knowledge. On the other hand, purusha is not completely different from buddhi, for, although it is pure, it knows knowledge. Patanjali employs a different image to define the relationship between Spirit and intelligence: just as a flower is reflected in a crystal, intelligence reflects purusha. But only ignorance can attribute to the crystal the qualities of the flower (form, dimensions, colors). When the object (the flower) moves, its image moves in the crystal, though the latter remains motionless. It is an illusion to believe that Spirit is dynamic because mental experience is so. In reality, there is here only an illusory relation (upadhi) owing to a “sympathetic correspondence” (yogyata) between the Self and intelligence.
Mircea Eliade (Yoga: Immortality and Freedom)
We are dealing, then, with an absurdity that is not a quirk or an accident, but is fundamental to our character as people. The split between what we think and what we do is profound. It is not just possible, it is altogether to be expected, that our society would produce conservationists who invest in strip-mining companies, just as it must inevitably produce asthmatic executives whose industries pollute the air and vice-presidents of pesticide corporations whose children are dying of cancer. And these people will tell you that this is the way the "real world" works. The will pride themselves on their sacrifices for "our standard of living." They will call themselves "practical men" and "hardheaded realists." And they will have their justifications in abundance from intellectuals, college professors, clergymen, politicians. The viciousness of a mentality that can look complacently upon disease as "part of the cost" would be obvious to any child. But this is the "realism" of millions of modern adults. There is no use pretending that the contradiction between what we think or say and what we do is a limited phenomenon. There is no group of the extra-intelligent or extra-concerned or extra-virtuous that is exempt. I cannot think of any American whom I know or have heard of, who is not contributing in some way to destruction. The reason is simple: to live undestructively in an economy that is overwhelmingly destructive would require of any one of us, or of any small group of us, a great deal more work than we have yet been able to do. How could we divorce ourselves completely and yet responsibly from the technologies and powers that are destroying our planet? The answer is not yet thinkable, and it will not be thinkable for some time -- even though there are now groups and families and persons everywhere in the country who have begun the labor of thinking it. And so we are by no means divided, or readily divisible, into environmental saints and sinners. But there are legitimate distinctions that need to be made. These are distinctions of degree and of consciousness. Some people are less destructive than others, and some are more conscious of their destructiveness than others. For some, their involvement in pollution, soil depletion, strip-mining, deforestation, industrial and commercial waste is simply a "practical" compromise, a necessary "reality," the price of modern comfort and convenience. For others, this list of involvements is an agenda for thought and work that will produce remedies. People who thus set their lives against destruction have necessarily confronted in themselves the absurdity that they have recognized in their society. They have first observed the tendency of modern organizations to perform in opposition to their stated purposes. They have seen governments that exploit and oppress the people they are sworn to serve and protect, medical procedures that produce ill health, schools that preserve ignorance, methods of transportation that, as Ivan Illich says, have 'created more distances than they... bridge.' And they have seen that these public absurdities are, and can be, no more than the aggregate result of private absurdities; the corruption of community has its source in the corruption of character. This realization has become the typical moral crisis of our time. Once our personal connection to what is wrong becomes clear, then we have to choose: we can go on as before, recognizing our dishonesty and living with it the best we can, or we can begin the effort to change the way we think and live.
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
She locked herself in her room. She needed time to get used to her maimed consciousness, her poor lopped life, before she could walk steadily to the place allotted her. A new searching light had fallen on her husband's character, and she could not judge him leniently: the twenty years in which she had believed in him and venerated him by virtue of his concealments came back with particulars that made them seem an odious deceit. He had married her with that bad past life hidden behind him, and she had no faith left to protest his innocence of the worst that was imputed to him. Her honest ostentatious nature made the sharing of a merited dishonor as bitter as it could be to any mortal. But this imperfectly taught woman, whose phrases and habits were an odd patchwork, had a loyal spirit within her. The man whose prosperity she had shared through nearly half a life, and who had unvaryingly cherished her—now that punishment had befallen him it was not possible to her in any sense to forsake him. There is a forsaking which still sits at the same board and lies on the same couch with the forsaken soul, withering it the more by unloving proximity. She knew, when she locked her door, that she should unlock it ready to go down to her unhappy husband and espouse his sorrow, and say of his guilt, I will mourn and not reproach. But she needed time to gather up her strength; she needed to sob out her farewell to all the gladness and pride of her life. When she had resolved to go down, she prepared herself by some little acts which might seem mere folly to a hard onlooker; they were her way of expressing to all spectators visible or invisible that she had begun a new life in which she embraced humiliation. She took off all her ornaments and put on a plain black gown, and instead of wearing her much-adorned cap and large bows of hair, she brushed her hair down and put on a plain bonnet-cap, which made her look suddenly like an early Methodist. Bulstrode, who knew that his wife had been out and had come in saying that she was not well, had spent the time in an agitation equal to hers. He had looked forward to her learning the truth from others, and had acquiesced in that probability, as something easier to him than any confession. But now that he imagined the moment of her knowledge come, he awaited the result in anguish. His daughters had been obliged to consent to leave him, and though he had allowed some food to be brought to him, he had not touched it. He felt himself perishing slowly in unpitied misery. Perhaps he should never see his wife's face with affection in it again. And if he turned to God there seemed to be no answer but the pressure of retribution. It was eight o'clock in the evening before the door opened and his wife entered. He dared not look up at her. He sat with his eyes bent down, and as she went towards him she thought he looked smaller—he seemed so withered and shrunken. A movement of new compassion and old tenderness went through her like a great wave, and putting one hand on his which rested on the arm of the chair, and the other on his shoulder, she said, solemnly but kindly— "Look up, Nicholas." He raised his eyes with a little start and looked at her half amazed for a moment: her pale face, her changed, mourning dress, the trembling about her mouth, all said, "I know;" and her hands and eyes rested gently on him. He burst out crying and they cried together, she sitting at his side. They could not yet speak to each other of the shame which she was bearing with him, or of the acts which had brought it down on them. His confession was silent, and her promise of faithfulness was silent. Open-minded as she was, she nevertheless shrank from the words which would have expressed their mutual consciousness, as she would have shrunk from flakes of fire. She could not say, "How much is only slander and false suspicion?" and he did not say, "I am innocent.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)