Claim What's Yours Quotes

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For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
Kahlil Gibran
What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, and the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them perfect, and we couldn't expect them to be. You can't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build your world from it.
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen - I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think every thing you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
Sixteen Moons, Sixteen Years Sixteen of your deepest fears Sixteen times you dreamed my tears Falling, Falling through the years Sixteen moons, sixteen years Sound of thunder in your ears Sixteen miles before she nears Sixteen seeks what sixteen fears Sixteen moons, sixteen years sixteen times you dreamed my fears Sixteen will try to Bind the spears Sixteen screams just one hears Sixteen moons, sixteen years The Claiming moon, the hour nears In these pages Darkness clears Powers bind what fire sears Sixteeth moon, Sixteenth year now has come the day you fear Claim or be Claimed Shed blood, Shed tear Moon or Sun- destroy, revere.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
Claim whatever you want. Say you only want a happy family or a successful career or a big house. I say: no, that's not what you want. You'll settle for those things, but you really want a monkey that does your evil bidding. Pullman is a genius just for this.
Maureen Johnson (The World of the Golden Compass: The Otherworldly Ride Continues)
It was like discovering that some part of you wasn't yours at all. And it made me wonder what else I couldn't claim.
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
If other people do not understand our behavior—so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being "asocial" or "irrational" in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them. How many lives have been ruined by this need to "explain," which usually implies that the explanation be "understood," i.e. approved. Let your deeds be judged, and from your deeds, your real intentions, but know that a free person owes an explanation only to himself—to his reason and his conscience—and to the few who may have a justified claim for explanation.
Erich Fromm (The Art of Being)
You're going to meet many people with domineering personalities: the loud, the obnoxious, those that noisily stake their claims in your territory and everywhere else they set foot on. This is the blueprint of a predator. Predators prey on gentleness, peace, calmness, sweetness and any positivity that they sniff out as weakness. Anything that is happy and at peace they mistake for weakness. It's not your job to change these people, but it's your job to show them that your peace and gentleness do not equate to weakness. I have always appeared to be fragile and delicate but the thing is, I am not fragile and I am not delicate. I am very gentle but I can show you that the gentle also possess a poison. I compare myself to silk. People mistake silk to be weak but a silk handkerchief can protect the wearer from a gunshot. There are many people who will want to befriend you if you fit the description of what they think is weak; predators want to have friends that they can dominate over because that makes them feel strong and important. The truth is that predators have no strength and no courage. It is you who are strong, and it is you who has courage. I have lost many a friend over the fact that when they attempt to rip me, they can't. They accuse me of being deceiving; I am not deceiving, I am just made of silk. It is they who are stupid and wrongly take gentleness and fairness for weakness. There are many more predators in this world, so I want you to be made of silk. You are silk.
C. JoyBell C.
People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But I don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive than in a fog, and I believe running helps you do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life—and for me, for writing as well. I believe many runners would agree.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
You'll be so busy with Bridge and what's-his-name that you'll forget all about your English mate, St. Clair." "Ha! So you are English!" I poke him in the stomach. He grabs my hand and we wrestle, laughing. "I claim... no... nationality.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Wolfy, is it? And what do you know about my turning?" "I asked around when I figured out I was your... mate." He stood, crossing to her. "Well, let's hear it." "Basically, you'll lose your mind, turning animalistic, hunting me down until you claim me repeatedly, biting my neck and marking me as your possession. Nothing will stop you- no cage can hold you. Did I miss anything? "Aye, Lousha." His gaze raked over her and his voice deepened. "The fact that you're going to like it.
Kresley Cole (Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark, #8))
What do you know of my heart? What do you know of anything but your own suffering. For weeks, Marianne, I've had this pressing on me without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature. It was forced on me by the very person whose prior claims ruined all my hope. I have endured her exultations again and again whilst knowing myself to be divided from Edward forever. Believe me, Marianne, had I not been bound to silence I could have provided proof enough of a broken heart, even for you.
Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility)
how come you're so ugly?" "my life has hardly been pretty — the hospitals, the jails, the jobs, the women, the drinking. some of my critics claim that i have deliberately inflicted myself with pain. i wish that some of my critics had been along with me for the journey. it’s true that i haven't always chosen easy situations but that's a hell of a long ways from saying that i leaped into the oven and locked the door. hangover, the electric needle, bad booze, bad women, madness in small rooms, starvation in the land of plenty, god knows how i got so ugly, i guess it just comes from being slugged and slugged again and again, and not going down, still trying to think, to feel, still trying to put the butterfly back together again…it’s written a map on my face that nobody would ever want to hang on their wall. sometimes i’ll see myself somewhere…suddenly…say in a large mirror in a supermarket…eyes like little mean bugs…face scarred, twisted, yes, i look insane, demented, what a mess…spilled vomit of skin…yet, when i see the “handsome” men i think, my god my god, i’m glad i’m not them
Charles Bukowski (Charles Bukowski: Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews and Encounters 1963-1993)
I will never claim to know what you are thinking. I only hope I am on your mind.
Amanda Mosher (Better to be able to love than to be loveable)
If you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a strong indication it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat
Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto)
There are rumors that your Lantsov prince has been sighted.” I drifted nearer, trying to keep my voice casual. “Where?” He glanced up, his lips curling in a slight smile. “Do you like him?” “Does it matter?” “It’s harder when you like them. You mourn them more.” “Tell me, Alina,” said the Darkling. “Has he claimed you yet?” “Claimed me? Like a peninsula?” “No blushes. No averted eyes. How you’ve changed. What about your faithful tracker? Will he sleep curled at the foot of your throne?
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
If you want to know what's in motherhood for you, as a woman, then - in truth - it's nothing you couldn't get from, say, reading the 100 greatest books in human history; learning a foreign language well enough to argue in it; climbing hills; loving recklessly; sitting quietly, alone, in the dawn; drinking whisky with revolutionaries; learning to do close-hand magic; swimming in a river in winter; growing foxgloves, peas and roses; calling your mum; singing while you walk; being polite; and always, always helping strangers. No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer, and crippled by it.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin.' 'In fact,' said Mustapha Mond, 'you're claiming the right to be unhappy.' 'All right then,' said the Savage defiantly, 'I'm claiming the right to be unhappy.' 'Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.' There was a long silence. 'I claim them all,' said the Savage at last. Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. 'You're welcome," he said.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
I’ve seen a lot of people in my life, and I’ve been with a lot of girls. None of them are as real as you. I’ll fuck you, sugar. I’ll claim you because you’re the meaning of need. You’re what I’ve been lookin’ for.
Bella Jewel (Hell's Knights (The MC Sinners, #1))
My favorite kind of musical experience is to feel afterward that your heart is filled up and transformed, like it is pumping a whole new kind of blood into your veins. This is what it is to be a fan: curious, open, desiring for connection, to feel like art has chosen you, claimed you as its witness.
Carrie Brownstein (Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir)
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountaintop,then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shal claim your limbs,then shall you truly dance.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be one of so many, to have not just parents and siblings but cousins and aunts and uncles, an entire tribe to claim as your own. Maybe you would feel lost in the crowd. Or sheltered by it. Whatever the case, one things was for sure: like it or not, you'd never be alone.
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
So you think that money is the root of all evil? [...] Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
When you are happy, so happy you have no sense of needing Him, so happy that you are tempted to feel His claims upon you as an interruption, if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be — or so it feels— welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
Da. This is going very well already." Thomas barked out a laugh. "There are seven of us against the Red King and his thirteen most powerful nobles, and it's going well?" Mouse sneezed. "Eight," Thomas corrected himself. He rolled his eyes and said, "And the psycho death faerie makes it nine." "It is like movie," Sanya said, nodding. "Dibs on Legolas." "Are you kidding?" Thomas said. "I'm obviously Legolas. You're . . ." He squinted thoughtfully at Sanya and then at Martin. "Well. He's Boromir and you're clearly Aragorn." "Martin is so dour, he is more like Gimli." Sanya pointed at Susan. "Her sword is much more like Aragorn's." "Aragorn wishes he looked that good," countered Thomas. "What about Karrin?" Sanya asked. "What--for Gimli?" Thomas mused. "She is fairly--" "Finish that sentence, Raith, and we throw down," said Murphy in a calm, level voice. "Tough," Thomas said, his expression aggrieved. "I was going to say 'tough.' " As the discussion went on--with Molly's sponsorship, Mouse was lobbying to claim Gimli on the basis of being the shortest, the stoutest, and the hairiest-- "Sanya," I said. "Who did I get cast as?" "Sam," Sanya said. I blinked at him. "Not . . . Oh, for crying out loud, it was perfectly obvious who I should have been." Sanya shrugged. "It was no contest. They gave Gandalf to your godmother. You got Sam.
Jim Butcher (Changes (The Dresden Files, #12))
He dropped his voice, so low that Tessa wasn’t sure if what he said next was real or part of the dream darkness rising to claim her, though she fought against it. “I’ve never minded it,” he went on. “Being lost, that is. I had always thought one could not be truly lost if one knew one’s own heart. But I fear I may be lost without knowing yours.” He closed his eyes as if he were bone-weary, and she saw how thin his eyelids were, like parchment paper, and how tired he looked. “Wo ai ni, Tessa,” he whispered. “Wo bu xiang shi qu ni.” She knew, without knowing how she knew, what the words meant. I love you. And I don’t want to lose you.
Cassandra Clare
If you're reading this, I hope God opens incredible doors for your life this year. Greatness is upon you. You must believe it though.
Germany Kent
She smiled darkly and shook her head. 'I'm not crazy. I'm not. Of course what else would a crazy person claim? That's the Kafkaesque genius of it all. If you're not crazy but people have told the world you are, then all your protests to the contrary just underscore their point. Do you see what I'm saying?
Dennis Lehane (Shutter Island)
People do go back, but they don't survive, because two realities are claiming them at the same time. Such things are too much. You can salt your heart, or kill your heart, or you can choose between the two realities. There is much pain here. Some people think you can have your cake and eat it. The cake goes mouldy and they choke on what's left. Going back after a long time will make you mad, because the people you left behind do not like to think of you changed, will treat you as they always did, accuse you of being indifferent, when you are only different.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
What ever happened to creativity? What ever happened to the passion? What ever happened to speaking ones mind? I'll tell you what happened. The kids aged, but never grew up. A baby can whine if it does not like something because it doesn't know better. What's your excuse? Stop getting offended whenever the wind blows your hair the wrong way! We will get nowhere if we continue to avoid truths to avoid offense. Speak your mind and do not be afraid of stepping on toes. The truth can be ugly, and that's what makes it so beautiful. Speak your mind, but don't take this as a chance to lose respect either. Always keep respect. If someone then still claims to be offended, it is not because of you, nor is it your fault. They simply don't like the taste of the bittersweet truth.
Caitlyn Paige
When you claim to be what you're not, you're deliberately killing opportunities, because those who would have help will shun you, thinking that you had it all already.
Michael Bassey Johnson
He would find a way to make it work, because he finally understood that sometimes you have to raise your expectations. And sometimes you need to make a claim on the world and the people you love to get what you most desire
Cinda Williams Chima (The Wizard Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #2))
Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
Isn't there something in living dangerously?' There's a great deal in it,' the Controller replied. 'Men and women must have their adrenals stimulated from time to time.' What?' questioned the Savage, uncomprehending. It's one of the conditions of perfect health. That's why we've made the V.P.S. treatments compulsory.' V.P.S.?' Violent Passion Surrogate. Regularly once a month. We flood the whole system with adrenin. It's the complete physiological equivalent of fear and rage. All the tonic effects of murdering Desdemona and being murdered by Othello, without any of the inconvenience.' But I like the inconveniences.' We don't,' said the Controller. 'We prefer to do things comfortably.' But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.' In fact,' said Mustapha Mond, 'you're claiming the right to be unhappy. Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer, the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.' There was a long silence. I claim them all,' said the Savage at last. Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. 'You're welcome,' he said.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
I can't - Kestrel, you must understand that I would never claim you. Calling you a prize - my prize - it was only words. But it worked. Cheat won't harm you, I swear that he won't, but you must...hide yourself a little. Help a little. Just tell us how much time we have before the battle. Give him a reason to decide you're not better off dead. Swallow your pride." "Maybe it's not as easy for me as it is for you." He wheeled on her. "It's not easy for me," "You know that it's not. What do you think I have had to swallow these past ten years? What do you think I have had to do to survive?" "Truly," she said, "I haven't the faintest interest. You may tell your sad story to someone else." He flinched as if slapped. His voice came low: "You can make people feel so small.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. Cora was right- we had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, as well as the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them were perfect, and we couldn't expect them to be. You couldn't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build a world from it. So my true family was not just my mom, lost or found; my dad, gone from the start; and Cora, the only one who had really been there all along. It was Jamie, who took me in without question and gave me a future I once couldn't even imagine; Oliva, who did question, but also gave me answers; Harriet, who, like me, believed she needed no one and discovered otherwise. And then there was Nate. Nate, who was a friend to me before I even knew what a friend was. Who picked me up, literally, over and over again, and never asked for anything in return except for my word and my understanding. I'd given him one but not the other, because at the time I thought I couldn't, and then proved myself right by doing exactly as my mother had, hurting to prevent from being hurt myself. Needing was so easy: it came naturally, like breathing. Being needed by someone else, though, that was the hard part. But as with giving help and accepting it, we had to do both to be made complete- like links overlapping to form a chain, or a lock finding the right key. ~Ruby (pgs 400-401)
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a great and glorious nation. Favourite amongst his subjects was the court painter of whom he was very proud. Everybody agreed this wizzened old man pianted the greatest pictures in the whole kingdom and the king would spend hours each day gazing at them in wonder. However, one day a dirty and dishevelled stranger presented himself at the court claiming that in fact he was the greatest painter in the land. The indignant king decreed a competition would be held between the two artists, confident it would teach the vagabond an embarrassing lesson. Within a month they were both to produce a masterpiece that would out do the other. After thirty days of working feverishly day and night, both artists were ready. They placed their paintings, each hidden by a cloth, on easels in the great hall of the castle. As a large crowd gathered, the king ordered the cloth be pulled first from the court artist’s easel. Everyone gasped as before them was revealed a wonderful oil painting of a table set with a feast. At its centre was an ornate bowl full of exotic fruits glistening moistly in the dawn light. As the crowd gazed admiringly, a sparrow perched high up on the rafters of the hall swooped down and hungrily tried to snatch one of the grapes from the painted bowl only to hit the canvas and fall down dead with shock at the feet of the king. ’Aha!’ exclaimed the king. ’My artist has produced a painting so wonderful it has fooled nature herself, surely you must agree that he is the greatest painter who ever lived!’ But the vagabond said nothing and stared solemnly at his feet. ’Now, pull the blanket from your painting and let us see what you have for us,’ cried the king. But the tramp remained motionless and said nothing. Growing impatient, the king stepped forward and reached out to grab the blanket only to freeze in horror at the last moment. ’You see,’ said the tramp quietly, ’there is no blanket covering the painting. This is actually just a painting of a cloth covering a painting. And whereas your famous artist is content to fool nature, I’ve made the king of the whole country look like a clueless little twat.
Banksy (Wall and Piece)
It all boils down to one thing...it is your ‘relationship’ to the source, and that relationship to that which we call God, or don’t call God, or don’t even know...is God. It is ALL that really matters...when you surrender, and stop resisting, and stop trying to change that which you cannot change, but be in the moment, be fully open to the blessings you have already received, and those that are yet to come to you, and stand in that space of gratitude, and honor, and claim that for yourself, and look at where you are, and how far you have come, and what you’ve gotten, and what you’ve accomplished, and who you are. When you can claim ‘that’, and see that, the literal vibration of your life will change. The Vibration of Your Life Will Change.
Oprah Winfrey
Cinder flexed her tongue, testing it, and raised her voice."I am princess Selene." Levana leaned forward. "Your are an impostor!" "And I am ready to claim what's mine. People of Artemisia, this is your chance. Renounce Levana as your queen and swear fealty to me, or I swear that when I wear that crown, very person in this room will be punished for their betrayal.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Do you know what I’d do for you?” A huskiness enters his voice as he circles my chin with his thumb. “You’re the only heaven I will ever know, Rachel”—he looks into my eyes—“and if you were a hell, I’d sin my whole life just to stay with you.
Katy Evans (Manwhore +1 (Manwhore, #2))
You’re hard to talk to,” Zayne said after a moment. Offended, I glared at him. “No, I’m not.” “Okay, let me rephrase that. You’re argumentative.” “No, I’m not.” Zayne stared at me, as if me arguing with him just then was proof enough of what he claimed. It was sort of proof of what he claimed, and that irritated me.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Storm and Fury (The Harbinger, #1))
I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had. Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.
Michael Crichton
What if I say I can't bear to lose you?" A smile tugged at her lips. "I'd say you're a liar. That claims like that belong to romantic ninnies." She raised her hand and let her fingertips trace the line of his beautiful jaw. He closed his eyes. "We would go on, you and I. If I couldn't be queen, you would find a way to win this battle and save this country. You would make a sheltering place for my people. You would march an bleed and crack terrible jokes until you had done all you said you would. I suppose that's why I love you.
Leigh Bardugo (Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2))
Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention? If, when the time has come for a commitment, he is not man enough to ask her to marry him, she should give him no reason to presume that she belongs to him.
Elisabeth Elliot (Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control)
The future isn’t written in the stars. There are no guarantees. So claim your adulthood. Be intentional. Get to work. Pick your family. Do the math. Make your own certainty. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. You are deciding your life right now.
Meg Jay (The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now)
I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
My son displays a general garment and you claim it’s cut to your fit?” Jessica asked. “What a fascinating revelation.
Frank Herbert (Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1))
Tessa reached to brush the damp hair from his forehead. He leaned into her touch, his eyes closing. “Jem—have you ever—” She hesitated. “Have you ever thought of ways to prolong your life that are not a cure for the drug?”   At that his eyelids flew open. “What do you mean?”   She thought of Will, on the floor of the attic, choking on holy water. “Becoming a vampire. You would live forever—”   He scrambled upright against the pillows of the bed. “Tessa, no. Don’t—you can’t think that way.”    “Is the thought of becoming a Downworlder truly so horrible to you?”   “Tessa …” He exhaled slowly. “I am a Shadowhunter. Nephilim. Like my parents before me. It is the heritage I claim, just as I claim my mother’s heritage as part of myself. It does not mean I hate my father. But I honor the gift they gave me, the blood of the Angel, the trust placed in me, the vows I have taken. Nor, I think, would I make a very good vampire. [redacted for spoilers] I would no longer be Will’s parabatai, no longer be welcome in the Institute. No, Tessa. I would rather die and be reborn and see the sun again, than live to the end of the world without daylight.”   “A Silent Brother, then,” she said.    His eyes softened slightly. “The path of Silent Brotherhood is not open to me.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Real change will come when you focus on yourself - not on changing him, Real change comes when you are willing and able to state your claim on what you are and are not willing to live with. Just remember to let him in on it
Dory Hollander (101 Lies Men Tell Women -- And Why Women Believe Them)
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy. And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor. Amen.
Craig Groeschel (It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It)
When you're a parent you find yourself looking at the unknown that is your child, trying to find a piece of yourself inside her, because sometimes that is what it takes to claim.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
G took another gulp, and thought about the best way to break the equestrian news. My dear, you know those four-legged majestical beasts of the land? Well, you married one! No. That could not be the right approach. My sweet, have you ever had a difficult time deciding between man or beast? Well, now you don’t have to! Again, he thought better of this tactic. Sweet lady, there are those of us who sleep lying down, and those of us who sleep standing up. I can do both. No. You know how some men claim to have another, perhaps hairier side? Have you ever cursed the fact that your loved one has just the two legs?Did you know that horses have incredible balance? Hey! What’s that over there? And then he would gallop away.
Cynthia Hand (My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1))
Every other person who is at the heart of any religion has had his or her beginning either in fancy or in fact. But nevertheless, there is a beginning. Jesus' birth in Bethlehem was a moment preceded by eternity. His being neither originated in time nor came about by the will of humanity. The Author of time, who lived in the eternal, was made incarnate in time that we might live with the eternal in view. In that sense, the message of Christ was not the introduction of a religion, but an introduction to truth about reality as God alone knows it. To deny Jesus' message while pursuing spirituality is to conjure an imaginary religion in an attempt to see heaven while sight is confined to the earth. That is precisely what Jesus challenged when he said, "I have come that [you] may have life" (John 10:10). His life spells living. Your life or my life, apart from Him, spells death.
Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message)
You are claiming what is yours, and that is a prosperous life. A prosperous life of peace, joy, love, happiness, inspiration, creativity, hope and guidance. Although it was taken from you because you were brainwashed to put others first, you have found your birthright. Having a prosperous life has always been your birthright!
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
And where the fuck are your clothes? That’s what I’d like to know. Do you know how disturbing it is to have a fight with a man who’s naked?
Eve Langlais (Kodiak's Claim (Kodiak Point, #1))
I never claimed to be the Chosen One. That was Qui-Gon. Even the Council doesn’t believe it anymore, so why should you?” "Because I think you believe it,” Obi-Wan said calmly. “I think you know in your heart that you’re meant for something extraordinary.” “And you, Master. What does your heart tell you you’re meant for?” “Infinite sadness,” Obi-Wan said, even while smiling.
James Luceno (Labyrinth of Evil)
When your dreams are bigger than the places you find yourself in, sometimes you need to seek out your own reminders that there is more. And there is always more waiting for you on the other side of fear.
Elaine Welteroth (More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say))
We love men because they can never fake orgasms, even if they wanted to. Because they write poems, songs, and books in our honor. Because they never understand us, but they never give up. Because they can see beauty in women when women have long ceased to see any beauty in themselves. Because they come from little boys. Because they can churn out long, intricate, Machiavellian, or incredibly complex mathematics and physics equations, but they can be comparably clueless when it comes to women. Because they are incredible lovers and never rest until we’re happy. Because they elevate sports to religion. Because they’re never afraid of the dark. Because they don’t care how they look or if they age. Because they persevere in making and repairing things beyond their abilities, with the naïve self-assurance of the teenage boy who knew everything. Because they never wear or dream of wearing high heels. Because they’re always ready for sex. Because they’re like pomegranates: lots of inedible parts, but the juicy seeds are incredibly tasty and succulent and usually exceed your expectations. Because they’re afraid to go bald. Because you always know what they think and they always mean what they say. Because they love machines, tools, and implements with the same ferocity women love jewelry. Because they go to great lengths to hide, unsuccessfully, that they are frail and human. Because they either speak too much or not at all to that end. Because they always finish the food on their plate. Because they are brave in front of insects and mice. Because a well-spoken four-year old girl can reduce them to silence, and a beautiful 25-year old can reduce them to slobbering idiots. Because they want to be either omnivorous or ascetic, warriors or lovers, artists or generals, but nothing in-between. Because for them there’s no such thing as too much adrenaline. Because when all is said and done, they can’t live without us, no matter how hard they try. Because they’re truly as simple as they claim to be. Because they love extremes and when they go to extremes, we’re there to catch them. Because they are tender they when they cry, and how seldom they do it. Because what they lack in talk, they tend to make up for in action. Because they make excellent companions when driving through rough neighborhoods or walking past dark alleys. Because they really love their moms, and they remind us of our dads. Because they never care what their horoscope, their mother-in-law, nor the neighbors say. Because they don’t lie about their age, their weight, or their clothing size. Because they have an uncanny ability to look deeply into our eyes and connect with our heart, even when we don’t want them to. Because when we say “I love you” they ask for an explanation.
Paulo Coelho
How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“ Winston thought. “By making him suffer”, he said. “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy – everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.
George Orwell (1984)
I never lied to you. (Kiara) Of course you did –you said you could see the real us– that we weren’t as bad as we claimed. But you didn’t and, just like everyone else, so long as we risk our lives to protect and save you, we’re okay. But the moment we have to make a choice not ours, the moment you see what our pasts have made us, you’re horrified by the truth and hate us for it like we had some kind of choice in what we are. (Syn)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of the Night (The League, #1))
Speak Life: You are loved. You have purpose. You are a masterpiece. You are wonderfully made. God has a great plan for you.
Germany Kent
A Book “Now” - said a good book unto me - “Open my pages and you shall see Jewels of wisdom and treasures fine, Gold and silver in every line, And you may claim them if you but will Open my pages and take your fill. “Open my pages and run them o’er, Take what you choose of my golden store. Be you greedy, I shall not care - All that you seize I shall gladly spare; There is never a lock on my treasure doors, Come - here are my jewels, make them yours! “I am just a book on your mantel shelf, But I can be part of your living self; If only you’ll travel my pages through, Then I will travel the world with you. As two wines blended make better wine, Blend your mind with these truths of mine. “I’ll make you fitter to talk with men, I’ll touch with silver the lines you pen, I’ll lead you nearer the truth you seek, I’ll strengthen you when your faith grows weak - This place on your shelf is a prison cell, Let me come into your mind to dwell!
Edgar A. Guest (Collected Verse)
You haven't gotten the dynamics of our relationship down yet, have you? Let me explain it to you: we're involved, very involved. You're mine, and your problems are also mine. No one messes with what belongs to me. Don't fight me on that, because you'll lose baby. and be aware next time you hide something like that from me, I'll turn you over my knee and spank your ass red. Do we understand each other?
Elle Aycart (More than Meets the Ink (Bowen Boys, #1))
We are as we are. How can you claim to know what life I was meant to lead, let alone threaten to force me into it? All your quibbling is nonsense. As well forbid your nose to snuff, or your ears to hear. We are as we do.
Robin Hobb
So, Zoe told me today that—” “Wait. Are you going to talk like that?” I glanced down and realized he was referring to the fact that my shirt was sitting on the floor beside me. “My bra’s still on. What’s the problem?” “The problem is that I’m distracted. Very distracted. If you want my undivided attention and wisdom, you’d better put the shirt back on.” I smiled and scooted over to him. “Why, Adrian Ivashkov, are you admitting weakness?” I reached out to touch his cheek, and he caught my wrist with a fierceness that was surprisingly provocative. “Of course. I never claimed strength in the face of your charms, Sage. I’m just an ordinary man. Now put the shirt back on.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
The Mistake With the mistake your life goes in reverse. Now you can see exactly what you did Wrong yesterday and wrong the day before And each mistake leads back to something worse And every nuance of your hypocrisy Towards yourself, and every excuse Stands solidly on the perspective lines And there is perfect visibility. What an enlightenment. The colonnade Rolls past on either side. You needn't move. The statues of your errors brush your sleeve. You watch the tale turn back — and you're dismayed. And this dismay at this, this big mistake Is made worse by the sight of all those who Knew all along where these mistakes would lead — Those frozen friends who watched the crisis break. Why didn't they say? Oh, but they did indeed — Said with a murmur when the time was wrong Or by a mild refusal to assent Or told you plainly but you would not heed. Yes, you can hear them now. It hurts. It's worse Than any sneer from any enemy. Take this dismay. Lay claim to this mistake. Look straight along the lines of this reverse.
James Fenton (Out of Danger)
But explaining men still assume I am, in some sort of obscene impregnation metaphor, an empty vessel to be filled with their wisdom and knowledge. A Freudian would claim to know what they have and I lack, but intelligence is not situated in the crotch—even if you can write one of Virginia Woolf’s long mellifluous musical sentences about the subtle subjugation of women in the snow with your willie.
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
Then what are you doing here, Luce?" he asked, his voice elevating. "You want time? You want space? Fine. I gave that to you. But then you keep throwing yourself back into my life whenever the hell you choose. No warning. No apology, No permanence. You show up at my front door and sneak out the back without so much as a goodbye," he continued, never taking his eyes off of me. "You couldn't take the up and down. The roller coaster was going to kill you. You know what I can't take? You in and back out of my life before I even knew you were there in the first place. You looking at me the way you are now and then able to turn your back and walk away five minutes later." His hands clenched over my cheek before he lowered it. "That is what will kill me. I can't live wondering if you're still mine to claim.
Nicole Williams (Clash (Crash, #2))
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room. Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure. If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it.... It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me. I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun. We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took. And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things. They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums. Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me. If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe. Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort. So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Lothaire to Trehan: “You are related to me by blood and, like me, are a Dacian royal.” “So?” “So that means your ridiculous behavior reflects “upon me.” “What are you talking about? My ridiculous behavior?I’ve done nothing to warrant this summoning, Lothaire. I keep to my library—and to myself. “Exactly. You sit in your room and stroke off to memories of your Bride.
Kresley Cole (Shadow's Claim (Immortals After Dark, #12; The Dacians, #1))
Trehan &Lothaire “My Bride poisoned me so that I would lose a match against the demon male she loves.” Lothaire hiked his shoulders. “So?” “Did you not hear me? She dumped toxins into a goblet of blood, then handed it to me, urging me to drink” “Who doesn’t have petty spats during courtship? So fucking what?” “So she doesn’t fucking want me!” Lothaire roared back, “She doesn’t get a godsdamned say in the matter!” “Trehan’s brows drew together. “What are you advising “advising—that I abduct her? As you recently did the Forbearer king? And your Bride before him?” Lothaire snapped his fingers. “Exactly
Kresley Cole (Shadow's Claim (Immortals After Dark, #12; The Dacians, #1))
Despite illness of body or mind, in spite of blinding despair or habitual belief, who you are is whole. Let nothing keep you separate from the truth. The soul, illumined from within, longs to be known for what it is. Undying, untouched by fire or the storms of life, there is a place inside where stillness and abiding peace reside.You can ride the breath to go there. Despite doubt or hopeless turns of mind, you are not broken. Spirit surrounds, embraces, fills you from the inside out. Release everything that isn't your true nature. What's left, the fullness, light and shadow, claim all that as your birthright.
Danna Faulds
You need to have mercy on me, baby," his tone turned slightly threatening, "before I snap." "I told you to stay the fuck away from him. I told you not to let him touch you. I told you not to let him kiss you. Did he fuckin' kiss you again? You let him fucking touch you again?" "Am i gonna have to beat the shit out o' him? Is that what it's gonna take?" "He can't fuck you, Elaina." His hands released her wrists and dropped down until his arms encircled her waist completely. He hugged her to him, running his hands up and down her back. "I get that you're too young for me. I can't have you yet." His hands clenched tight in pure possession. "But baby, you need to take care. You belong to me--" She jerked in his arms and caught him off guard. "I don't belong to you---" His head whipped up to glare at her face and his hand grabbed her chin and lifted it. "You're gonna fckin' belong to me. Just as soon as you get grown, I've told you before. But you need to take care, protect what's mine, or all bets are off and I'll move in now. Your choice. I'll give you time and space but you gotta promise. Nobody fucks you. Now. Promise Now.
Lynda Chance (Staking His Claim (Ranchers of Chatum County, #1))
Where am I?" Magnus croaked. "Nazca." "Oh, so we went on a little trip." "You broke into a man's house," Catarina said. "You stole a carpet and enchanted it to fly. Then you sped off into the night air. We pursued you on foot." "Ah," said Magnus. "You were shouting some things." "What things?" "I prefer not to repeat them," Catarina said. "I also prefer not to remember the time we spent in the desert. It is a mammoth desert, Magnus. Ordinary deserts are quite large. Mammoth deserts are so called because they are larger than ordinary deserts." "Thank you for that interesting and enlightening information," Magnus croaked. "You told us to leave you in the desert, because you planned to start a new life as a cactus," Catarina said, her voice flat. "Then you conjured up tiny needles and threw them at us. With pinpoint accuracy." "Well," he said with dignity. "Considering my highly intoxicated state, you must have been impressed with my aim." "'Impressed' is not the word to use to describe how I felt last night, Magnus." "I thank you for stopping me there," Magnus said. "It was for the best. You are a true friend. No harm done. Let's say no more about it. Could you possibly fetch me - " "Oh, we couldn't stop you," Catarina interrupted. "We tried, but you giggled, leaped onto the carpet, and flew away again. You kept saying that you wanted to go to Moquegua." "What did I do in Moquegua?" "You never got there," Catarina said. "But you were flying about and yelling and trying to, ahem, write messages for us with your carpet in the sky." "We then stopped for a meal," Catarina said. "You were most insistent that we try a local specialty that you called cuy. We actually had a very pleasant meal, even though you were still very drunk." "I'm sure I must have been sobering up at that point," Magnus argued. "Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your own plate." "I'm a very open-minded sort of fellow!" "Ragnor is not," Catarina said. "When he found out that you were feeding us guinea pigs, he hit you over the head with your plate. It broke." "So ended our love," Magnus said. "Ah, well. It would never have worked between me and the plate anyway. I'm sure the food did me good, Catarina, and you were very good to feed me and put me to bed - " Catarina shook her head."You fell down on the floor. Honestly, we thought it best to leave you sleeping on the ground. We thought you would remain there for some time, but we took our eyes off you for one minute, and then you scuttled off. Ragnor claims he saw you making for the carpet, crawling like a huge demented crab.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
You may claim no affiliation with them, but perhaps some have crossed your path.And perhaps you'd like to help us find them." "Oh,sure.You killed my mother. You can imagine I'm dying to help you out." Thomas manages to ignore me again. He glances at the first photo projected on the wall. "Know this person?" I shake my head. "Never seen him before." Thomas clicks the remote. Another photo pops up. "How about this one?" "Nope." Another photo. "How about this?" "Nope." Yet another stranger pops up on the wall. "Seen this girl before?" "Never seen her in my life." More unfamiliar faces. Thomas goes through them without blinking an eye or questioning my responses. What a stupid puppet of the state. I watch him as we continue, wishing I weren't chained so I could beat this man to the ground.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
Love changes us, Son." Ray rose to his feet, crossing the room slowly to set his empty glass on the bar. "Don't make the same mistake I did, Rowdy. Once it's over that first time, once you've let another man claim what's yours and yours alone, you lose a part of your soul. Getting it back is hell. A hell I hope you never know.
Lora Leigh (Nauti Boy (Nauti, #1))
It’s loneliness. Even though I’m surrounded by loved ones who care about me and want only the best, it’s possible they try to help only because they feel the same thing—loneliness—and why, in a gesture of solidarity, you’ll find the phrase “I am useful, even if alone” carved in stone. Though the brain says all is well, the soul is lost, confused, doesn’t know why life is being unfair to it. But we still wake up in the morning and take care of our children, our husband, our lover, our boss, our employees, our students, those dozens of people who make an ordinary day come to life. And we often have a smile on our face and a word of encouragement, because no one can explain their loneliness to others, especially when we are always in good company. But this loneliness exists and eats away at the best parts of us because we must use all our energy to appear happy, even though we will never be able to deceive ourselves. But we insist, every morning, on showing only the rose that blooms, and keep the thorny stem that hurts us and makes us bleed hidden within. Even knowing that everyone, at some point, has felt completely and utterly alone, it is humiliating to say, “I’m lonely, I need company. I need to kill this monster that everyone thinks is as imaginary as a fairy-tale dragon, but isn’t.” But it isn’t. I wait for a pure and virtuous knight, in all his glory, to come defeat it and push it into the abyss for good, but that knight never comes. Yet we cannot lose hope. We start doing things we don’t usually do, daring to go beyond what is fair and necessary. The thorns inside us will grow larger and more overwhelming, yet we cannot give up halfway. Everyone is looking to see the final outcome, as though life were a huge game of chess. We pretend it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose, the important thing is to compete. We root for our true feelings to stay opaque and hidden, but then … … instead of looking for companionship, we isolate ourselves even more in order to lick our wounds in silence. Or we go out for dinner or lunch with people who have nothing to do with our lives and spend the whole time talking about things that are of no importance. We even manage to distract ourselves for a while with drink and celebration, but the dragon lives on until the people who are close to us see that something is wrong and begin to blame themselves for not making us happy. They ask what the problem is. We say that everything is fine, but it’s not … Everything is awful. Please, leave me alone, because I have no more tears to cry or heart left to suffer. All I have is insomnia, emptiness, and apathy, and, if you just ask yourselves, you’re feeling the same thing. But they insist that this is just a rough patch or depression because they are afraid to use the real and damning word: loneliness. Meanwhile, we continue to relentlessly pursue the only thing that would make us happy: the knight in shining armor who will slay the dragon, pick the rose, and clip the thorns. Many claim that life is unfair. Others are happy because they believe that this is exactly what we deserve: loneliness, unhappiness. Because we have everything and they don’t. But one day those who are blind begin to see. Those who are sad are comforted. Those who suffer are saved. The knight arrives to rescue us, and life is vindicated once again. Still, you have to lie and cheat, because this time the circumstances are different. Who hasn’t felt the urge to drop everything and go in search of their dream? A dream is always risky, for there is a price to pay. That price is death by stoning in some countries, and in others it could be social ostracism or indifference. But there is always a price to pay. You keep lying and people pretend they still believe, but secretly they are jealous, make comments behind your back, say you’re the very worst, most threatening thing there is. You are not an adulterous man, tolerated and often even admired, but an adulterous woman, one who is ...
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
Babe, I'm not anyone's boyfriend. I blinked again but this was so I wouldn't flinch. "What?" I whispered. "You have a boyfriend when you're sixteen. You fuck a man casually, you don't have anything except, if he's good, a supply of orgasms. You got what we're building, you got everything. But bottom line, I've claimed you. This means you're my woman which in turn means I'm your man.
Kristen Ashley
I have more baggage than baggage claim. I'm damaged goods. I'm not good at...” she released him for a moment and fingered between the two of them “this.” “Well, I think you're dancing just fine, Miss Gerhart.” he smirked. He knew that was not what she meant, but he had hoped to lighten their mood. Maybe if he could get her to relax she would give him a chance.
J.B. McGee (Broken (This, #1))
Baby, sometimes what I’m thinking doesn’t translate into words. You’re going to have to badger them out of me until I get better at this, okay?
Tessa Bailey (Staking His Claim (Line of Duty, #5))
Daylight fades away as I watch you. Darkness claims the sky and I wish you knew that nothing you can do can keep me from you. But I stay out of sight and only whisper to you. Words I can’t say. Words you don’t need to hear. Words I can’t keep from tangling my way. Now, I can’t stand alone. Now, I am under your influence. You’ve taken over me and Now, I can’t ignore what I’ve been shown. You’ve claimed me and I don’t care who knows. You’ve claimed me and I don’t care if it shows. I’m weakened and I’m strengthened in your arms. You’ve claimed me and I need to feel you close.” “You stand wanting more than you could ever understand. I stand helpless needing to give in to your every command. Wanting to see you smile has consumed me and tied both my hands. Nothing I offer could ever be worthy of your love. It’s a miracle that you saw me and never ran. I will spend my whole life trying to be the man you think I am.   Now, I can’t stand alone. Now, I am under your influence. You’ve taken over me and Now, I can’t ignore what I’ve been shown. You’ve claimed me and I don’t care who knows. You’ve claimed me and I don’t care if it shows. I’m weakened and I’m strengthened in your arms. You’ve claimed me and I need to feel you close.” “You hold fire within your gaze. It mesmerizes everyone you allow into your maze. I know nothing of your thoughts but I need to bask within the warmth of your rays. Nothing you do could ever be wrong. You’re forever perfect in every way.   Now, I can’t stand alone. Now, I am under your influence. You’ve taken over me and Now, I can’t ignore what I’ve been shown. You’ve claimed me and I don’t care who knows. You’ve claimed me and I don’t care if it shows. I’m weakened and I’m strengthened in your arms. You’ve claimed me and I need to feel you close.” ~ Dank
Abbi Glines (Predestined (Existence, #2))
She said, “Do you see how I’m wearing this apron? It means I’m working. For a living.” The unconcerned expression didn’t flag. He said, “I’ll take care of it.” She echoed, “Take care of it?” “Yeah. How much do you make in an hour? I’ll take care of it. And I’ll talk to your manager.” For a moment, Blue was actually lost for words. She had never believed people who claimed to be speechless, but she was. She opened her mouth, and at first, all that came out was air. Then something like the beginning of a laugh. Then finally, she managed to sputter, “I am not a prostitute.” The Aglionby boy appeared puzzled for a long moment, and then realization dawned. “Oh, that was not how I meant it. That is not what I said.” “That is what you said! You think you can just pay me to talk to your friend? Clearly you pay most of your female companions by the hour and don’t know how it works with the real world, but . . . but . . .” Blue remembered that she was working to a point, but now what that point was. Indignation had eliminated all higher functions and all that remained was the desire to slap him. The boy opened his mouth to protest, and her thought came back to her all in a rush. “Most girls, when they’re interested in a guy, will sit with them for free.” To his credit, the Aglionby boy didn’t speak right away. Instead, he thought for a moment and then he said, without heat, “You said you were working for living. I thought it’d be rude to not take that into account. I’m sorry you’re insulted. I see where you’re coming from, but I feel it’s a little unair that you’re not doing the same for me.” “I feel you’re being condescending,” Blue said. In the background, she caught a glimpse of Soldier Boy making a plane of his hand. It was crashing and weaving toward the table surface while Smudgy Boy gulped laughter down. The elegant boy held his palm over his face in exaggerated horror, fingers spread just enough that she could see him wince. “Dear God,” remarked Cell Phone boy. “I don’t know what else to say.” “Sorry,” she recommended. “I said that already.” Blue considered. “Then ‘bye.’” He made a little gesture at his chest that she thought was supposed to mean he was curtsying or bowing or something sarcastically gentleman-like.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
The Other" She had too much so with a smile you took some. Of everything she had you had Absolutely nothing, so you took some. At first, just a little. Still she had so much she made you feel Your vacuum, which nature abhorred, So you took your fill, for nature's sake. Because her great luck made you feel unlucky You had redressed the balance, which meant Now you had some too, for yourself. As seemed only fair. Still her ambition Claimed the natural right to screw you up Like a crossed out page, lossed into a basket. Somebody, on behalf of the gods, Had to correct that hubris. A little touch of hatred steadied the nerves. Everything she had won, the happiness of it, You collected As your compensation For having lost. Which left her absolutely Nothing. Even her life was Trapped in the heap you took. She had nothing. Too late you saw what had happened. It made no difference that she was dead. Now that you had all she had ever had You had much too much. Only you Saw her smile, as she took some. At first, just a little.
Ted Hughes
She had a lot of nerve signing her note "Love." [...] But she did sign it that way: "Love." What did that mean? Did she mean it, or was it habit? She probably signed all of her letters with "Love." Dear Insured, We are sorry but your policy will not pay for your barium enema as it was done for recreational purposes. Love, Jody. Claims Dept... Maybe not.
Christopher Moore (Bloodsucking Fiends (A Love Story, #1))
Name your intention.
Patti Digh (What I Wish for You: Simple Wisdom for a Happy Life)
What did I want? I wanted a Roc's egg. I wanted a harem loaded with lovely odalisques less than the dust beneath my chariot wheels, the rust that never stained my sword,. I wanted raw red gold in nuggets the size of your fist and feed that lousy claim jumper to the huskies! I wanted to get u feeling brisk and go out and break some lances, then pick a like wench for my droit du seigneur--I wanted to stand up to the Baron and dare him to touch my wench! I wanted to hear the purple water chuckling against the skin of the Nancy Lee in the cool of the morning watch and not another sound, nor any movement save the slow tilting of the wings of the albatross that had been pacing us the last thousand miles. I wanted the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I wanted Storisende and Poictesme, and Holmes shaking me awake to tell me, "The game's afoot!" I wanted to float down the Mississippi on a raft and elude a mob in company with the Duke of Bilgewater and the Lost Dauphin. I wanted Prestor John, and Excalibur held by a moon-white arm out of a silent lake. I wanted to sail with Ulysses and with Tros of Samothrace and eat the lotus in a land that seemed always afternoon. I wanted the feeling of romance and the sense of wonder I had known as a kid. I wanted the world to be what they had promised me it was going to be--instead of the tawdry, lousy, fouled-up mess it is.
Robert A. Heinlein (Glory Road)
It’s funny isn’t it? People claim to know what love is — yet the minute they’re given the opportunity to prove it — they bail.Because when I said love — I meant I bled for you. When the word love actually leaves my lips — I’m speaking it into existence. I’m empowering my soul — I’m joining with yours..
Rachel Van Dyken (Toxic (Ruin, #2))
What do you mean, the police were suspicious because you weren’t wearing enough clothes?” Ash demanded, staring coldly at Jared. “Where were your clothes?" "He was doing some—Zen jogging,” she claimed. Jared flicked her an incredulous glance. “Yes,” he said slowly. “Zen jogging. I wasn’t wearing that many clothes because—that’s part of the process. You’re meant to commune with the elements. Normally, I wouldn’t have worn my jeans, but I put them on because I know the English are a modest people.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
Look, Percy, I'm not as smart as Annabeth. I'm not as brave as you. But I'm pretty good at reading emotions. You're glad your dad is alive. You feel good that he's claimed you, and part of you wants to make him proud. That's why you mailed Medusa's head to Olympus. You wanted him to notice what you'd done.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
make sure you feel safe enough to be real.” “I do not want to be party to forcing you into yet another role you did not ask for nor desire. I will not replace the veil you loathed with a crown you hate. If you do not want to take the Crown, I will support you,” he swore, and the intensity in his words captured me. The irrevocable oath he was making. “And if you decide you want to take what is yours, claim the throne, I will set this entire kingdom on fire and watch it burn if that ensures that the crown sits on your head.” I jolted. “You love your people—” “But I love you more.” Flecks of gold burned brightly in his eyes, churning restlessly. “Do not underestimate what I would or would not do to ensure your happiness. I think you know this by now. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do, Poppy. Nothing.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The ​Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash, #3))
And that, against this: the king-types who would snatch the apple from your hand and claim to have grown it, even though what they had, had come to them intact, or been gained unfairly (the nature of that unfairness perhaps being just that they had been born stronger, more clever, more energetic than others), and who, having seized the apple, would eat it so proudly, they seemed to think that not only had they grown it, but had invented the very idea of fruit, too,
George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)
And what is a friend? More than a father, more than a brother: a traveling companion, with him, you can conquer the impossible, even if you must lose it later. Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing. It is a friend that you communicate the awakening of a desire, the birth of a vision or a terror, the anguish of seeing the sun disappear or of finding that order and justice are no more. That's what you can talk about with a friend. Is the soul immortal, and if so why are we afraid to die? If God exists, how can we lay claim to freedom, since He is its beginning and its end? What is death, when you come down to it? The closing of a parenthesis, and nothing more? And what about life? In the mouth of a philosopher, these questions may have a false ring, but asked during adolescence or friendship, they have the power to change being: a look burns and ordinary gestures tend to transcend themselves. What is a friend? Someone who for the first time makes you aware of your loneliness and his, and helps you to escape so you in turn can help him. Thanks to him who you can hold your tongue without shame and talk freely without risk. That's it.
Elie Wiesel (The Gates of the Forest)
Do not say I use what is mine: you use what is alien to you; the indulgent, selfish use makes what is yours something alien; that is why I call it alien good, because you use it with a hardened heart and claim that it is right, that you alone live from what is yours.
John Chrysostom
I once knew an Episcopalian lady in Newport, Rhode Island who asked me to design and build a doghouse for her Great Dane. The lady claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly. She could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or about what was going to be. And yet, when I showed her a blueprint of the doghouse I proposed to build, she said to me, "I'm sorry, but I never could read one of those things." Give it to your husband or your minister to pass on to God," I said, "and, when God finds a minute, I'm sure he'll explain this doghouse of mine in a way that even YOU can understand.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
You're perfect- beautiful, intelligent, intractable in a kind of... attractive way. Headstrong, but a good strategist. An amazing fighter." "But that's not enough?" "It's too much. You think I haven't thought about what it might be like to return to my rooms at the end of the night and find you there- to find you in my bed, to have your body and your laugh and your mind? To look across a room and know that you were mine- that *I'd* claimed you. *Me.* Ethan Sullivan. Not the four-hundred-year-old vampire, not the child of Balthasar or the Novitiate of Peter Cadogan. Me. Just me. Just you and me.
Chloe Neill (Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3))
Very often we claim to know something. We get an idea about what to do or not do, yet, for some reason our behavior doesn’t change. At times, we just can’t seem to do what we know. This is known as mental healing. Something has shifted in your thinking, but it has not reach the other levels of your being—the heart and the spirit.
Iyanla Vanzant (Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through)
You turn your back on yourself when you allow every closed door to stop you from moving on to the next one. Sometimes we choose to stand at a closed door and hope that it will somehow open, although that may defy logic and although we may know deep down that no goodness will come from it. We wait. We choose to wait. We choose to have hope, and we're always scared that the door will open the second we walk away. We claim ownership over what we do not have and fear losing it, although it really never was ours.
Najwa Zebian (Mind Platter)
What is even happening here?" Will said, looking to each of us and the back to wherever the cougars had wandered off to. "Am I drunk? Hanna, they just pinched my ass and this one"- he motioned to George- "wants to claim me for his own. A little help?" Hanna took a drink off her frilly drink, complete with big pink umbrella and some sort of neon glow stick. "I don't know, you seem to be doing pretty well on your own there," she said, then took another long pull of her straw.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Beginning (Beautiful Bastard, #3.5))
Look on the effect of your religions, those movements that have swept up millions with their fantastical claims. Look at what they have done to human history. Look at the wars fought on account of them; look at the persecutions, the massacres. Look at the pure enslavement of reason; look at the price of faith and zeal.
Anne Rice (The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3))
Other religions sound good on the surface, but turn out to be impersonal systems based on grading what you 'do' to determine your worth. Christianity is the only religion that promises not a system but a personal God you have a relationship with. At its core, Christianity is a relationship with a God who is listening, responding, and interacting with those who love Him. That's how you prove it, Jen. You test Christianity's claims by testing out the relationship on which it's built.
Dee Henderson (Jennifer: An O'Malley Love Story (O'Malley #0.6))
I understand the mechanism of my own thinking. I know precisely how I know, and my understanding is recursive. I understand the infinite regress of this self-knowing, not by proceeding step by step endlessly, but by apprehending the limit. The nature of recursive cognition is clear to me. A new meaning of the term "self-aware." Fiat logos. I know my mind in terms of a language more expressive than any I'd previously imagined. Like God creating order from chaos with an utterance, I make myself anew with this language. It is meta-self-descriptive and self-editing; not only can it describe thought, it can describe and modify its own operations as well, at all levels. What Gödel would have given to see this language, where modifying a statement causes the entire grammar to be adjusted. With this language, I can see how my mind is operating. I don't pretend to see my own neurons firing; such claims belong to John Lilly and his LSD experiments of the sixties. What I can do is perceive the gestalts; I see the mental structures forming, interacting. I see myself thinking, and I see the equations that describe my thinking, and I see myself comprehending the equations, and I see how the equations describe their being comprehended. I know how they make up my thoughts. These thoughts.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
Has she accepted you?" "Not yet.She wants to discuss it with you first." "Thank God.Because I'll tell her that it's the worst idea I've ever heard." Leo arched a brow."You doubt I could protect her?" "I doubt you could keep from murdering each other!I doubt she could ever be happy in such volatile circumstances.I doubt...no,I won't bother listing all my concerns,it would take too bloody long." Harry's eyes were ice-cold. "The answer is no,Ramsay.I'll do what is necessary to take care of Cat.You can return to Hampshire." "I'm afraid it won't be that easy to get rid of me," Leo said."Perhaps you didn't notice that I haven't asked for your permission.There is no choice.Certain things have happened that can't be undone.Do you understand?" He saw from Harry's expression that only a few fragile constraints stood between him and certain death. "You seduced her deliberately," Harry managed to say. "Would you be happier if I claimed it was an accident?" "The only thing that would make me happy is to weight you with rocks and toss you into the Thames." "I understand.I even sympathize.I can't imagine what it would be like to face a man who's compromised your sister,how difficult it would be to keep from murdering him on the spot.Oh, but wait.." Leo tapped a forefinger thoughtfully on his chin. "I can imagine.Because I went through it two bloody months ago." Harry's eyes narrowed."That wasn't the same.Your sister was still a virgin when I married her." Leo gave him an unrepenting glance. "When I compromise a woman,I do it properly." "That does it," Harry muttered, leaping for his throat.
Lisa Kleypas (Married by Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900. To You WHOEVER you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands; Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, Your true Soul and Body appear before me, They stand forth out of affairs—out of commerce, shops, law, science, work, forms, clothes, the house, medicine, print, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying. Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem; I whisper with my lips close to your ear, I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you. O I have been dilatory and dumb; I should have made my way straight to you long ago; I should have blabb’d nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you. I will leave all, and come and make the hymns of you; None have understood you, but I understand you; None have done justice to you—you have not done justice to yourself; None but have found you imperfect—I only find no imperfection in you; None but would subordinate you—I only am he who will never consent to subordinate you; I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself. Painters have painted their swarming groups, and the centre figure of all; From the head of the centre figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color’d light; But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus of gold-color’d light; From my hand, from the brain of every man and woman it streams, effulgently flowing forever. O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you! You have not known what you are—you have slumber’d upon yourself all your life; Your eye-lids have been the same as closed most of the time; What you have done returns already in mockeries; (Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in mockeries, what is their return?) The mockeries are not you; Underneath them, and within them, I see you lurk; I pursue you where none else has pursued you; Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the accustom’d routine, if these conceal you from others, or from yourself, they do not conceal you from me; The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure complexion, if these balk others, they do not balk me, The pert apparel, the deform’d attitude, drunkenness, greed, premature death, all these I part aside. There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied in you; There is no virtue, no beauty, in man or woman, but as good is in you; No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you; No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits for you. As for me, I give nothing to any one, except I give the like carefully to you; I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God, sooner than I sing the songs of the glory of you. Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard! These shows of the east and west are tame, compared to you; These immense meadows—these interminable rivers—you are immense and interminable as they; These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution—you are he or she who is master or mistress over them, Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution. The hopples fall from your ankles—you find an unfailing sufficiency; Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the rest, whatever you are promulges itself; Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided, nothing is scanted; Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are picks its way.
Walt Whitman
The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep. They could see how love might control you, from your head to your toes, not to mention every single part of you in between. A woman could want a man so much she might vomit in the kitchen sink or cry so fiercly blood would form in the corners of her eyes. She put her hand to her throat as though someone were strangling her, but really she was choking on all that love she thought she’d needed so badly. What had she thought, that love was a toy, something easy and sweet, just to play with? Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for it’s sake. She refused to believe in superstition, she wouldn’t; yet it was claiming her. Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene. After all I’ve done for you is lodged somewhere in her brain, and far worse, it’s in her heart as well. She was bad luck, ill-fated and unfortunate as the plague. She is not worth his devotion. She wishes he would evaporate into thin air. Maybe then she wouldn’t have this feeling deep inside, a feeling she can deny all she wants, but that won’t stop it from being desire. Love is worth the sum of itself and nothing more. But that’s what happens when you’re a liar, especially when you’re telling the worst of these lies to yourself. He has stumbled into love, and now he’s stuck there. He’s fairly used to not getting what he wants, and he’s dealt with it, yet he can’t help but wonder if that’s only because he didn’t want anything so badly. It’s music, it’s a sound that is absurdly beautiful in his mouth, but she won’t pay attention. She knows from the time she spent on the back stairs of the aunts’ house that most things men say are lies. Don’t listen, she tells herself. None if it’s true and none of it matters, because he’s whispering that he’s been looking for her forever. She can’t believe it. She can’t listen to anything he tells her and she certainly can’t think, because if she did she might just think she’d better stop. What good would it do her to get involved with someone like him? She’d have to feel so much, and she’s not that kind. The greatest portion of grief is the one you dish out for yourself. She preferred cats to human beings and turned down every offer from the men who fell in love with her. They told her how sticks and stones could break bones, but taunting and name-calling were only for fools. — & now here she is, all used up. Although she’d never believe it, those lines in *’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside. She’s gotten back some of what she’s lost. Attraction, she now understands, is a state of mind. If there’s one thing * is now certain of, it’s house you can amaze yourself by the things you’re willing to do. You really don’t know? That heart-attack thing you’ve been having? It’s love, that’s what it feels like. She knows now that when you don’t lose yourself in the bargain, you find you have double the love you started with, and that’s one recipe that can’t be tampered with. Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
You can con God and get away with it, Granny said, if you do so with charm and wit. If you live your life with imagination and verve, God will play along just to see what outrageously entertaining thing you’ll do next. He’ll also cut you some slack if you’re astonishingly stupid in an amusing fashion. Granny claimed that this explains why uncountable millions of breathtakingly stupid people get along just fine in life.
Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1))
Every single time you claim to understand even a fraction of what I’m feeling, I want to disembowel you. I want to sever your carotid artery. I want to rip out your vertebrae, one by one. You have no idea what it is to love her,” he says angrily. “You couldn’t even begin to imagine. So stop trying to understand.
Tahereh Mafi (Imagine Me (Shatter Me, #6))
Everyone who’s ever been jealous because it’s my face in the magazines and not theirs. Every person who can’t believe or accept that someone can reach my level of success without being a total prick. Trust me, it’s not the lies that hurt people. It’s the willingness of everyone else to believe them. And then there are those who come out of the woodwork to back your accuser because it gives them the spotlight for three seconds. They can’t stand the fact that you’ve risen above your past and that they have no excuse for never rising above theirs. In their minds, you need to be taken down a notch and they need to be raised a few, off the lies they tell about you. Because in the end, they know you, they’ve seen the real you, and by backing your accusers, they make other people think that maybe they were close to you – at least that’s what they claim. It’s a sick world and I’m disgusted with it. (Aiden)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Upon the Midnight Clear (Dark-Hunter, #12; Dream-Hunter, #2))
To me it proves that life and time are not in sync. It’s as if time was all wrong and the wife’s life was lived on the wrong bank of the river or, worse yet, on two banks, with neither being the right one. None of us may want to claim to live life in two parallel lanes but all have many lives, one tucked beneath or right alongside the other. Some lives wait their turn because they haven’t been lived at all, while others die before they’ve lived out their time, and some are waiting to be relived because they haven’t been lived enough. Basically, we don’t know how to think of time, because time doesn’t really understand time the way we do, because time couldn’t care less what we think of time, because time is just a wobbly, unreliable metaphor for how we think about life. Because ultimately it isn’t time that is wrong for us, or we for time. It may be life itself that is wrong.
André Aciman (Find Me (Call Me By Your Name, #2))
Don't you ever think of going back?" Silly question. There are threads that help you find your way back, and there are threads that intend to bring you back. Mind turns to the pull, it's hard to pull away. I'm always thinking of going back. When Lot's wife looked over her shoulder, she turned into a pillar of salt.Pillars hold things up, and salt keeps things clean, but it's a poor exchange for losing your self. People do go back, but they don't survive, because two realities are claiming them at the same time. Such things are too much. You can salt your heart, or kill your heart, or you can choose between two realities. There is much pain here. Some people think you can have your cake and eat it. The cake goes mouldy and they choke on what's left.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
What - what - what are you doing?" he demanded. "I am almost six hundred years old," Magnus claimed, and Ragnor snorted, since Magnus changed his age to suit himself every few weeks. Magnus swept on. "It does seem about time to learn a musical instrument." He flourished his new prize, a little stringed instrument that looked like a cousin of the lute that the lute was embarrassed to be related to. "It's called a charango. I am planning to become a charanguista!" "I wouldn't call that an instrument of music," Ragnor observed sourly. "An instrument of torture, perhaps." Magnus cradled the charango in his arms as if it were an easily offended baby. "It's a beautiful and very unique instrument! The sound box is made from an armadillo. Well, a dried armadillo shell." "That explains the sound you're making," said Ragnor. "Like a lost, hungry armadillo." "You are just jealous," Magnus remarked calmly. "Because you do not have the soul of a true artiste like myself." "Oh, I am positively green with envy," Ragnor snapped. "Come now, Ragnor. That's not fair," said Magnus. "You know I love it when you make jokes about your complexion." Magnus refused to be affected by Ragnor's cruel judgments. He regarded his fellow warlock with a lofty stare of superb indifference, raised his charango, and began to play again his defiant, beautiful tune. They both heard the staccato thump of frantically running feet from within the house, the swish of skirts, and then Catarina came rushing out into the courtyard. Her white hair was falling loose about her shoulders, and her face was the picture of alarm. "Magnus, Ragnor, I heard a cat making a most unearthly noise," she exclaimed. "From the sound of it, the poor creature must be direly sick. You have to help me find it!" Ragnor immediately collapsed with hysterical laughter on his windowsill. Magnus stared at Catarina for a moment, until he saw her lips twitch. "You are conspiring against me and my art," he declared. "You are a pack of conspirators." He began to play again. Catarina stopped him by putting a hand on his arm. "No, but seriously, Magnus," she said. "That noise is appalling." Magnus sighed. "Every warlock's a critic." "Why are you doing this?" "I have already explained myself to Ragnor. I wish to become proficient with a musical instrument. I have decided to devote myself to the art of the charanguista, and I wish to hear no more petty objections." "If we are all making lists of things we wish to hear no more . . . ," Ragnor murmured. Catarina, however, was smiling. "I see," she said. "Madam, you do not see." "I do. I see it all most clearly," Catarina assured him. "What is her name?" "I resent your implication," Magnus said. "There is no woman in the case. I am married to my music!" "Oh, all right," Catarina said. "What's his name, then?" His name was Imasu Morales, and he was gorgeous.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
If you cannot understand my argument, and declare "It's Greek to me", you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger; if your wish is farther to the thought; if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise -why, be that as it may, the more fool you , for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut tut! For goodness' sake! What the dickens! But me no buts! - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.
Bernard Levin
I killed your friends.” – Abigail “And I’m not happy about that. But your head wasn’t screwed on right. It’s easy to let the enemies in and listen to them sometimes, especially when they’re pretending to be your best friends who only want the best for you. At least that’s what they claim. They’re insidious bastards, telling you what you want to hear and using your emotions to manipulate you think doing their bidding.” – Sundown
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
Glinda used her glitter beads, and you used your exotic looks and background, but weren't you just doing the same thing, trying to maximize what you had in order to get what you wanted? People who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us. It's people who claim that they're good, or anyway better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.
Gregory Maguire (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1))
Every fop and fool in London has been sniffing after her." Having said that, Jason returned his attention for the report. "Go ahead and read off the names, if you must." Frowning in surprise at Jason's dismissive attitude, Charles took the seat across the desk from him and put on his spectacles. "First, there is young Lord Crowley, who has already asked my permission to court her." "No. Too impulsive," Jason decreed flatly. "What makes you say so?" Charles said with a bewildered look. "Crowley doesn't know Victoria well enough to want to 'court' her, as you so quaintly phrased it." "Don't be ridiculous. The first four men on this list have already asked my permission to do the same thing- providing, of course, that your claim on her is not unbreakable.” “No, to all those four men- for the same reason,” Jason said curtly, leaning back in his chair, absorbed in the report in his hand. Who’s next?” “Crowley’s friend, Lord Wiltshire.” “Too young. Who’s next?” “Arthur Landcaster.” “Too short,” Jason said cryptically. “Next?” “William Rogers,” Charles shot back in a challenging voice, “and he’s tall, conservative, mature, intelligent, and handsome. He’s also the heir to one of the finest estates in England. I think he would do very well for Victoria.” “No.” “No?” Charles burst out. “Why not?” “I don’t like the way Roger sits a horse.” “You don’t like_” Charles bit out in angry disbelief; then he glanced at Jason’s implacable face and sighed. “Very well. The last name on my list is Lord Terrance. He sits horses extremely well, in addition to being and excellent chap. He is also tall, handsome, intelligent, and wealthy. Now,” he finished triumphantly, “what fault can you find with him?” Jason’s jaw tightened ominously.“I don’t like him.
Judith McNaught (Once and Always (Sequels, #1))
I don’t make any claims to answer any questions that science cannot answer, and I have tried very carefully within the text to define what I mean by “nothing” and “something.” If those definitions differ from those you would like to adopt, so be it. Write your own book. But don’t discount the remarkable human adventure that is modern science because it doesn’t console you.
Lawrence M. Krauss (A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing)
Louis XI (1423-1483), the great Spider King of France, had a weakness for astrology. He kept a court astrologer whom he admired, until one day the man predicted that a lady of the court would die within eight days. When the prophecy came true, Louis was terrified, thinking that either the man had murdered the woman to prove his accuracy or that he was so versed in his science that his powers threatened Louis himself. In either case he had to be killed. One evening Louis summoned the astrologer to his room, high in the castle. Before the man arrived, the king told his servants that when he gave the signal they were to pick the astrologer up, carry him to the window, and hurl him to the ground, hundreds of feet below. The astrologer soon arrived, but before giving the signal, Louis decided to ask him one last question: “You claim to understand astrology and to know the fate of others, so tell me what your fate will be and how long you have to live.” “I shall die just three days before Your Majesty,” the astrologer replied. The king’s signal was never given. The man’s life was spared. The Spider King not only protected his astrologer for as long as he was alive, he lavished him with gifts and had him tended by the finest court doctors. The astrologer survived Louis by several years, disproving his power of prophecy but proving his mastery of power.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
The god of Delos, proud in victory, Saw Cupid draw his bow's taut arc, and said: 'Mischievous boy, what are a brave man's arms To you? That gear becomes my shoulders best. My aim is sure; I wound my enemies, I wound wild beasts; my countless arrows slew But now the bloated Python, whose vast coils Across so many acres spread their blight. You and your loves! You have your torch to light them!Let that content you; never claim my fame!' And Venus' son replied: 'Your bow, Apollo, May vanquish all, but mine shall vanquish you. As every creature yields to power divine, So likewise shall your glory yield to mine.
Ovid (Metamorphoses)
There are those who don’t believe in God and yet do good. There are those who believe in God and kill for that belief; those who prepare for war because they claim they want peace, and so on. So one has to ask oneself what need there is to believe at all in anything, though this doesn’t deny the extraordinary mystery of life. But belief is a word, a thought, and this is not the thing, anymore than your name is actually you. Through experience you hope to touch the truth of your belief, to prove it to yourself, but this belief conditions your experience. It isn’t that the experience comes to prove the belief, but rather that the belief begets the experience. Your belief in God will give you the experience of what you call God. You will always experience what you believe and nothing else.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (The Krishnamurti Reader)
And this is what mere humanity always does. It's made up of these inventors or artists, millions and millions of them, each in his own way trying to recruit other people to play a supporting role and sustain him in his make-believe. The great chiefs and leaders recruit the greatest number, and that's what their power is. There's one image that gets out in front to lead the rest and can impose its claim to being genuine with more force than others, or one voice enlarged to thunder is heard above the others. Then a huge invention, which is the invention maybe of the world itself, and of nature, becomes the actual world - with cities, factories, public buildings, railroads, armies, dams, prisons, and movies - becomes the actuality. That’s the struggle of humanity, to recruit others to your version of what’s real. Then even the flowers and the moss on the stones become the moss and the flowers of a version.
Saul Bellow (The Adventures of Augie March)
Marshall,” he said levelly, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, but any organization that claims you for a member doesn’t get to call itself sinister, whether you’re left-handed or not. I would be insulted to be offered membership in such a namby-pamby organization. It would be like the Archbishop of Canterbury calling a select club of his compatriots ‘Bad, Bad Bishops’.” Marshall sniggered. “Watch out for the clergy,” Edward said. “They’re absolutely wild. Sometimes they have an extra biscuit at tea.
Courtney Milan (The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister, #4))
But because me and myself, as you no doubt are well aware, we are going to die, my relation—and yours too—to the event of this text, which otherwise never quite makes it, our relation is that of a structurally posthumous necessity. Suppose, in that case, that I am not alone in my claim to know the idiomatic code (whose notion itself is already contradictory) of this event. What if somewhere, here or there, there are shares in this non-secret’s secret? Even so the scene would not be changed. The accomplices, as you are once again well aware, are also bound to die.
Jacques Derrida (Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles/Éperons: Les Styles de Nietzsche)
You have to let it go if you're going to keep moving, if you're going to survive, because the past doesn't need a future. It has no use for what comes next. The past is greedy, always swallowing you up, always taking. If you don't hold it back, if you don't dam it up, it will spread and take and drown. The past is not a receding horizon. Rather, it advances one moment at a time, marching steadily forward until it has claimed everything and we become again who we were; we become ghosts when the past catches us. I can't live as long as my past does. It's one or the other.
Brandon Taylor (Real Life)
Internationalism is in any case hostile to democracy….The only purely popular government is local, and founded on local knowledge. The citizens can rule the city because they know the city; but it will always be an exceptional sort of citizen who has or claims the right to rule over ten cities, and these remote and altogether alien cities…To make all politics cosmopolitan is to create an aristocracy of globe-trotters. If your political outlook really takes in the Cannibal Islands, you depend of necessity upon a superior and picked minority of the people who have been to the Cannibal Islands; or rather of the still smaller and more select minority who have come back.
G.K. Chesterton (What I Saw in America)
I stay out of sight and only whisper to you. Words I can’t say. Words you don’t need to hear. Words I can’t keep from tangling my way. Now, I can’t stand alone. I can’t ignore what I’ve been shown. You’ve claimed me and I don’t care who knows. You’ve claimed me and I don’t care if it shows. I’m weakened and I’m strengthened in your arms. You’ve claimed me and I need to feel you close. You stand wanting more than you could ever understand. I stand helpless, needing to give in to your every command. Wanting to see you smile has consumed me and tied both my hands. Nothing I offer could ever be worthy of your love. It’s a miracle that you saw me and never ran. I will spend my whole life trying to be the man you think I am. Now, I can’t stand-alone. Now, I am under your influence. I can’t ignore what I’ve been shown. You’ve claimed me and I don’t care who knows. You’ve claimed me and I don’t care if it shows. I’m weakened and I’m strengthened in your arms. You’ve claimed me and I need to feel you close.” “You hold fire within your gaze. It mesmerizes everyone you allow into your maze. I know nothing of your thoughts but I need to bask within the warmth of your rays. Nothing you do could ever be wrong. You’re forever perfect in every way. Now, I can’t stand-alone. Now, I am under your influence. You’ve taken over me and now, I can’t ignore what I’ve been shown. You’ve claimed me and I don’t care who knows. You’ve claimed me and I don’t care if it shows. I’m weakened and I’m strengthened in your arms. You’ve claimed me and I need to feel you close.” ~ Dank Walker
Abbi Glines (Ceaseless (Existence, #3))
Jacob really did look older than sixteen--not quite forty, but maybe older than me. Quil didn't have too much on him in the muscle department, for all that Jacob claimed to be a skeleton. The muscles were the long wiry kind, but they were definitely there under the smooth skin. His skin was such a pretty color, it made me jealous. Jacob noticed my scrutiny. "What?" he asked, suddenly self-conscious. "Nothing. I just hadn't realized before. Did you know, you're sort of beautiful?" Once the words slipped out, I worried that he might take my impulsive observation the wrong way. But Jacob just rolled his eyes. "You hit your head pretty hard, didn't you?" "I'm serious." "Well, then, thanks. Sort of." I grinned. "You're sort of welcome.
Stephenie Meyer (New Moon (The Twilight Saga, #2))
Factfulness is … recognizing that a single perspective can limit your imagination, and remembering that it is better to look at problems from many angles to get a more accurate understanding and find practical solutions. To control the single perspective instinct, get a toolbox, not a hammer. • Test your ideas. Don’t only collect examples that show how excellent your favorite ideas are. Have people who disagree with you test your ideas and find their weaknesses. • Limited expertise. Don’t claim expertise beyond your field: be humble about what you don’t know. Be aware too of the limits of the expertise of others. • Hammers and nails. If you are good with a tool, you may want to use it too often. If you have analyzed a problem in depth, you can end up exaggerating the importance of that problem or of your solution. Remember that no one tool is good for everything. If your favorite idea is a hammer, look for colleagues with screwdrivers, wrenches, and tape measures. Be open to ideas from other fields. • Numbers, but not only numbers. The world cannot be understood without numbers, and it cannot be understood with numbers alone. Love numbers for what they tell you about real lives. • Beware of simple ideas and simple solutions. History is full of visionaries who used simple utopian visions to justify terrible actions. Welcome complexity. Combine ideas. Compromise.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
Even though you may not want to hear it, I want you to know that you’ll always be a part of me. In our time together, you claimed a special place in my heart, one I’ll carry with me forever and that no one can ever replace. You’re a hero and a gentleman, you’re kind and honest, but more than that, you’re the first man I ever truly loved. And no matter what the future brings, you always will be, and I know that my life is better for it. I’m so sorry— Savannah
Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)
The hoopoe said: 'Your heart's congealed like ice; When will you free yourself from cowardice? Since you have such a short time to live here, What difference does it make? What should you fear? The world is filth and sin, and homeless men Must enter it and homeless leave again. They die, as worms, in squalid pain; if we Must perish in this quest, that, certainly, Is better than a life of filth and grief. If this great search is vain, if my belief Is groundless, it is right that I should die. So many errors throng the world - then why Should we not risk this quest? To suffer blame For love is better than a life of shame. No one has reached this goal, so why appeal To those whose blindness claims it is unreal? I'd rather die deceived by dreams than give My heart to home and trade and never live. We've been and heard so much - what have we learned? Not for one moment has the self been spurned; Fools gather round and hinder our release. When will their stale, insistent whining cease? We have no freedom to achieve our goal Until from Self and fools we free the soul. To be admitted past the veil you must Be dead to all the crowd considers just. Once past the veil you understand the Way From which the crowd's glib courtiers blindly stray. If you have any will, leave women's stories, And even if this search for hidden glories Proves blasphemy at last, be sure our quest Is not mere talk but an exacting test. The fruit of love's great tree is poverty; Whoever knows this knows humility. When love has pitched his tent in someone's breast, That man despairs of life and knows no rest. Love's pain will murder him and blandly ask A surgeon's fee for managing the task - The water that he drinks brings pain, his bread Is turned to blood immediately shed; Though he is weak, faint, feebler than an ant, Love forces him to be her combatant; He cannot take one mouthful unaware That he is floundering in a sea of care.
Attar of Nishapur
Claiming to be offended is a great way to elevate yourself at the expense of others: “Look at me! I'm a much better person than you! And I judge you! I condemn you! Shame! Shame! SHAME! I shame you for being a bad person. That means I'm a good person! Look at how really really offended I am! That means I'm a really really good person!” According to the bible, Jesus said "let he who is without sin throw the first rock." But a lot of people seem to think he said: "If you throw rocks at someone else, it proves that you're without sin.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Why Creeps Don't Know They're Creeps - What Game of Thrones can teach us about relationships and Hollywood scandals (Educated Rants and Wild Guesses, #2))
...Grimacing, I plunged a hand into the fouled water to clear the clog, morbid curiosity drawing my youthful eyes to the gray globs of gore floating upon the surface. It was not horror that seized my imagination so much as wonder: sixty years of dreams and desires, hunger and hope, love and longing, blasted away in a single explosive instant, mind and brain. The mind of Erasmus Gray was gone; the remnants of its vessel floated, as light and insubstantial as popcorn, in the water. Which fluffy bit held your ambition, Erasmus Gray? Which speck your pride? Ah, how absurd the primping and preening of our race! Is it not the ultimate arrogance to believe we are more than is contained in our biology? What counterarguments may be put forth, what valid objections raised, to the claim of Ecclesiastes, "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity"?
Rick Yancey (The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1))
I have only one memory of getting here, and even that is just a single image: black ink curling around the side of a neck, the corner of a tattoo, and the gentle sway that could only mean he was carrying me. He turns off the bathroom light and gets an ice pack from the refrigerator in the corner of the room. As he walks toward me, I consider closing my eyes and pretending to be asleep,but then our eyes meet and it's too late. "Your hands," I croak. "My hands are none of your concern," he replies. He rests his knee on the mattress and leans over me,slipping the ice pack under my head. Before he pulls away,I reach out to touch the cut on the side of his lip but stop when I realize what I am about to do, my hand hovering. What do you have to lose? I ask myself. I touch my fingertips lightly to his mouth. "Tris," he says, speaking against my fingers. "I'm all right." "Why were you there?" I ask, letting my hand drop. "I was coming back from the control room. I heard a scream." "What did you do to them?" I say. "I deposited Drew at the infirmary a half hour ago," he says. "Peter and Al ran. Drew claimed they were just trying to scare you.At least,I think that's what he was trying to say." "He's in bad shape?" "He'll live," he replies. He adds bitterly, "In what condition, I can't say." It isn't right to wish pain on other people just because they hurt me first. But white-hot triumph races through me at the thought of Drew at the infirmary, and I squeeze Four's arm. "Good," I say.My voice sounds tight and fierce.Anger builds inside me, replacing my blood with bitter water and filling me, consuming me.I wantt o break something,or hit something, but I am afraid to move,so I start crying instead. Four crouches by the side of the bed, and watches me. I see no sympathy in his eyes.I would have been disappointed if I had. He pulls his wrist free and, to my surprise, rests his hand on the side of my face, his thumb skimming my cheekbone.His fingers are careful. "I could report this," he says. "No," I reply. "I don't want them to think I'm scared." He nods.He moves his thumb absently over my cheekbone, back and forth. "I figured you would say that." "You think it would be a bad idea if I sat up?" "I'll help you." Four grips my shoulder with one hand and holds my head steady with the other as I push myself up.Pain rushes through my body in sharp bursts,but I try to ignore it,stifling a groan. He hands me the ice pack. "You can let yourself be in pain," he says. "It's just me here.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
The more doors you open to the mysteries, or sacred knowledge, the smaller you feel. And because you begin to feel smaller and smaller until your ego disappears, the more humble you become. Therefore, any man who behaves arrogantly with what little he knows, or claims to know all, only reveals to all that he really knows nothing. Real greatness does not reside inside those who feel large. The truly wise are meek. Yet being small and meek do not make one weak. Arming oneself with true knowledge generates strong confidence and a bold spirit that makes you a lion of God. The Creator does not want you to suffer, yet we are being conditioned by society to accept suffering, weak and passive dispositions under the belief that such conditions are favorable by God. Weakness is not a virtue praised by God. How could he desire for you to be weak if he tells us to stand by our conscience? Doing so requires strength. However, there is a difference between arrogance when inflating your ego, and confidence when one truly gets closer to God. One feels large, while the other feels small. Why? Because a man of wisdom understands that he is just a small pea in a sea of infinite atoms, and that in the end — we are all connected. And did you not know that the smaller a creature is, the bolder its spirit?
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Thorne, I think I’m falling in love with you.” “Katie.” He took her face in his hands. Roughly, and with a possessive power that thrilled her. A brooding divot formed between his eyebrows. “Katie, you’re so—” She wondered what delightfully misanthropic word he would choose this time. Wrongheaded? Foolish? Stubborn? Kissable, apparently. He gave up on words and claimed her mouth instead, kissing her with more passion and fire than she would have ever dared to hope.
Tessa Dare (A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove, #3))
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
One reader of an early draft of this chapter complained at this point, saying that by treating the hypothesis of God as just one more scientific hypothesis, to be evaluated by the standards of science in particular and rational thought in general, Dawkins and I are ignoring the very widespread claim by believers in God that their faith is quite beyond reason, not a matter to which such mundane methods of testing applies. It is not just unsympathetic, he claimed, but strictly unwarranted for me simply to assume that the scientific method continues to apply with full force in this domain of truth. Very well, let's consider the objection. I doubt that the defender of religion will find it attractive, once we explore it carefully. The philosopher Ronaldo de Souza once memorably described philosophical theology as "intellectual tennis without a net," and I readily allow that I have indeed been assuming without comment or question up to now that the net of rational judgement was up. But we can lower it if you really want to. It's your serve. Whatever you serve, suppose I return service rudely as follows: "What you say implies that God is a ham sandwich wrapped in tin foil. That's not much of a God to worship!". If you then volley back, demanding to know how I can logically justify my claim that your serve has such a preposterous implication, I will reply: "oh, do you want the net up for my returns, but not for your serves? Either way the net stays up, or it stays down. If the net is down there are no rules and anybody can say anything, a mug's game if there ever was one. I have been giving you the benefit of the assumption that you would not waste your own time or mine by playing with the net down.
Daniel C. Dennett (Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life)
Daddy, you’re the worst person to watch Harry Potter with. The whole time you’re talking about”—I deepen my voice—“‘Why don’t they shoot that nigga Voldemort?’” “Ay, it don’t make sense that in all them movies and books, nobody thought to shoot him.” “If it’s not that,” Momma says, “you’re giving your ‘Harry Potter is about gangs’ theory.” “It is!” he says. Okay, so it is a good theory. Daddy claims the Hogwarts houses are really gangs. They have their own colors, their own hideouts, and they are always riding for each other, like gangs. Harry, Ron, and Hermione never snitch on one another, just like gangbangers. Death Eaters even have matching tattoos. And look at Voldemort. They’re scared to say his name. Really, that “He Who Must Not Be Named” stuff is like giving him a street name. That’s some gangbanging shit right there. “Y’all know that make a lot of sense,” Daddy says. “Just ’cause they was in England don’t mean they wasn’t gangbanging.” He looks at me. “So you down to hang out with your old man today or what?
Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1))
He knew what his father thought: that immigration, so often presented as a heroic act, could just as easily be the opposite; that it was cowardice that led many to America; fear marked the journey, not bravery; a cockroachy desire to scuttle to where you never saw poverty, not really, never had to suffer a tug to your conscience; where you never heard the demands of servants, beggars, bankrupt relatives, and where your generosity would never be openly claimed; where by merely looking after your wife-child-dog-yard you could feel virtuous. Experience the relief of being an unknown transplant to the locals and hide the perspective granted by journey. Ohio was the first place he loved, for there at last he had been able to acquire poise --
Kiran Desai (The Inheritance of Loss)
Her face screws up in disgust and she steps forward. "You're a fool, Miller Hart. He'll never let you walk away." He explodes. "I love her!" he roars, knocking every person back in the room. "I fucking love her!" Tears burst from my eyes and I fall into his side. He immediately grabs me and pulls me close. "I love her. I love everything she stands for and I love how much she loves me. It's more than you love me. It's more than any of you claim to love me! It's pure and light. It's made me feel. It's made me want more. If any fucker tries to take her away from me, I'll fucking kill them." Pulling up for a second, he gathers a long breath. "Slowly," he adds, shaking beside me, clinging to me tightly, like he's afraid someone will try right now. "I don't care what he says. I don't care what he thinks he can do to me. It'll be him sleeping with one eye open, Sophia, not me. So tell him. Fucking run to him and confirm what he already knows. I don't want to fuck for living anymore. Tell him I don't want to line his pockets anymore. You're not holding me to ransom. Miller Hart is out of the game. The Special One has quit!" He withdraws and takes a few moments to suck in another calming gulp of air, while everyone looks at him, shocked. Including me. "I love her. Go to him. Tell him I love her. Tell him I'm Olivia's now. And tell him if he even thinks about touching a hair on her precious head, it'll be the last thing he ever does.
Jodi Ellen Malpas (Unveiled (One Night, #3))
She pressed her hands against my chest and tried to push me away. "I can't think straight when you 're this close." I backed her up against the wall. "I don't like the thoughts running through your head. I plan on staying here until you look me in the eye and tell me you 're mine." "This isn't going to work. It never would have." "Bullshit. We belong together." Echo sniffed and the sound tore at me. I softened my voice. "Look at me, baby. I know you love me. Three nights ago you were willing to offer everything to me. There is no way you can walk away from us." "God Noah..." Her voice broke. "I'm a mess." A mess? "You 're beautiful." "I'm a mental mess. In two months you 're going to face some judge and convince him that you are the best person to raise your brothers. I'm a liability." "Not true. My brothers will love you and you 'll love them. You are not a liability." "But how will the judge see me? Are you really willing too take that risk? [...] What happens if the judge find out about me? What if he discovers what a mess you 're dating?" Breathing became a painful chore. Her lips turned down while her warm fingers caressed my cheek. That touch typically brought me to knees, but now it cut me open. "Did you know that when you stop being stubborn and accept i may be right on something, your eyes widen a little and you tilt your head to the side?" she asked. I forced my head straight and narrowed my eyes. "I love you." She flashed her glorious smile and then it became the saddest smile in the world. "You love your brothers more. I'm okay with that. In fact, it's one of the things i love about you. You were right the other day. I do want to be a part of a family. But i'd never forgive myself if i was the reason you didn't get yours." To my horror, tears pricked my eyes and my throat swelled shut. "No, you 're not pulling this sacrificial bullshit on me. I love you and you love me and we 're supposed to be together." Echo pressed her body to mine and her fingers clung to my hair. Water glistened in her eyes. "I love you enough to never make you choose." She pushed off her toes toward me, guiding my head down, and gently kissed my lips. No. This wouldn't be goudbye. I'd fill her up and make her realize she'd always be empty without me. I made Echo mine. My hands claimed her hair, her back. My lips claimed her mouth, her tongue. Her body shook against mine and i tasted salty wetness on her skin. She forced her lips away and i latched tighter to her. "No, baby, no," i whispered into her hair. She pushed her palms against my chest, then became a blur as she ran past. "I'm sorry.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Think what it implies when you say that a country needs leaders. In your day-to-day life, you interact with all sorts of other individuals. And that's all society is: the collective name for lots of INDIVIDUALS. But for some inexplicable reason, we're taught to believe that one huge, arbitrarily chosen assortment of individuals (the "citizens" of one human livestock farm--I mean, "country") need some control freaks acting as intermediaries in order to interact with a different arbitrarily chosen assortment of individuals (the "citizens" of some other human livestock farm--I mean, "country"). Because gee, how could I and some random person in the middle of China possibly leave each other alone if we didn't each have a gang of narcissistic sociopaths claiming to "represent" us? Oh, wait a minute. That's exactly how and why pretty much ALL wars happen: because different gangs of power-happy psychos pit their pawns against each other in violent conflict, while claiming to "represent" subsets of humanity. One more example of how "government" is a problem posing as its own solution.
Larken Rose
Listen, you machine,” he said, “you claim you can synthesize any drink in existence, so why do you keep giving me the same undrinkable stuff?” “Nutrition and pleasurable sense data,” burbled the machine. “Share and Enjoy.” “It tastes filthy!” “If you have enjoyed the experience of this drink,” continued the machine, “why not share it with your friends?” “Because,” said Arthur tartly, “I want to keep them. Will you try to comprehend what I’m telling you? That drink …” “That drink,” said the machine sweetly, “was individually tailored to meet your personal requirements for nutrition and pleasure.” “Ah,” said Arthur, “so I’m a masochist on a diet am I?” “Share and Enjoy.” “Oh, shut up.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
No, it was a human thing. You should not insult the brutes by such a misuse of the word; they have not deserved it . . . It is like your paltry race--always lying, always claiming virtues which it hasn't got, always denying them to the higher animals, which alone posses them. No brute ever does a cruel thing--that is the monopoly of those with the Moral Sense. When a brute inflicts pain he does it innocently; it is not wrong; for him there is no such thing as wrong. And he does not inflict pain for the pleasure of inflicting it--only man does that. Inspired by that mongrel Morel Sense of his! A sense whose function is to distinguish between right and wrong, with liberty to choose which of them he will do. Now what advantage can he get out of that? He is always choosing, and in nine time out of ten he prefers the wrong. There shouldn't be any wrong; and without the Moral Sense there couldn't be any. And yet he is such an unreasoning creature that he is not able to perceive that the Moral Sense degrades him to the bottom layer of animated beings and is a shameful possession. Are you feeling better? Let me show you something.
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)
Somewhere off to my left, a little voice chirped: The redhead is smart. We can help. In a nearby tree sat a murder of crows. (That's what you call a group of them. You learn useless facts like that in Valhalla.) "Uh, guys," I told my friends, "those crows claim they can help." Claim? squawked another crow. You don't trust us? Send your two friends back to the ship with the mead. We'll give you a hand here. All we ask for in return is something shiny. Anything will do. I related this to my friends. I looked at the crows. "Okay, guys, what's the plan?" Plan? cawed the nearest crow. We just said we'd help. We don't have a plan, per se. Stupid misleading crows. Also, what kind of bird uses the term per se? Since I didn't have time to murder the entire murder, I contemplated my limited options.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
Nearly seven years after Moore originally filed suit, the Supreme Court of California ruled against him in what became the definitive statement on this issue: When tissues are removed from your body, with or without your consent, any claim you might have had to owning them vanishes. When you leave tissues in a doctor’s office or a lab, you abandon them as waste, and anyone can take your garbage and sell it. Since Moore had abandoned his cells, they were no longer a product of his body, the ruling said. They had been “transformed” into an invention and were now the product of Golde’s “human ingenuity” and “inventive effort.
Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
Adults are not idiots often in books such as this one, the opposite impression is given. Adults in those stories will either (a) get captured, (b) disappear conspicuously when there is trouble, or (c) refuse to help. ( im not sure what authors have against adults, but everyone seems to hate them to an extent usually reserved for dogs and mothers. Why else make them out to make such idiots? "Ah look, the dark lord of evil has come to attack the castle! Annnd. ther's my lunch break. Have fun saving the word on your own kids") In the real world adults tend to get involved in everything whether you want them to or not. They won't disappear when the dark lord appears, though they may try to sue them. This discrepancy is yet another proof that most books are fantasies while this book is utterly true and invaluable. you see in this book, I will make it completely clear that adults are not idiots. they are however hairy Adults are like hairy kids who like to tell other what to do. Dispite what other books may claim they do have their uses, they can reach things on high shelves for instance... Regardless, i often wish that the two groups-adults and kids- could find a way to get along better. Some sort of treaty or something. The biggest problem is the adults have one of the most effective recruitment stratagies in the world. Give them enough time and they'll turn any kid into one of them.
Brandon Sanderson (Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones (Alcatraz, #2))
What do you envision for your future, Anna?” His abrupt question struck a nerve in me. It was the same question I'd been asking myself for months. “I don't know,” I said. “I used to know what I wanted, but not anymore.” He considered this, watching me with curiosity. “What did you want?” I reached down and touched the water. “A family, mostly.” “And you no longer want that?” I dried my hands on my jeans, trying not to get emotional. At one time, I wanted a loving husband and a houseful of kids more than anything in the world. But I'd let go of those dreams. I couldn't even adopt a child. What would the Dukes say if they caught me playing house? “I can't have those things,” I told him, still avoiding his stare. “And I'm tired of wanting things I can't have.” His voice was low when he responded. “Perhaps children are out of the question, but you could still have a husband, in secret.” My eyes flew up to his, and my skin sizzled as his words settled over me. I opened my mouth, but couldn't speak. His light eyes played chicken with mine, not backing down from his claim. “It's too dangerous,” I said. “You are young.” He didn't state it in a condescending way, but I still bristled. “Someday you may agree that there are dangers worth facing.” I swallowed, wishing my crazy heart would stop trying to break out of my rib cage.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Your frequent claim that we must understand religious belief as a “social construct,” produced by “societal causes,” dependent upon “social and cultural institutions,” admitting of “sociological questions,” and the like, while it will warm the hearts of most anthropologists, is either trivially true or obscurantist. It is part and parcel of the double standard that so worries me—the demolition of which is the explicit aim of The Reason Project. Epidemiology is also a “social construct” with “societal causes,” etc.—but this doesn’t mean that the germ theory of disease isn’t true or that any rival “construct”—like one suggesting that child rape will cure AIDS—isn’t a dangerous, deplorable, and unnecessary eruption of primeval stupidity. We either have good reasons or bad reasons for what we believe; we can be open to evidence and argument, or we can be closed; we can tolerate (and even seek) criticism of our most cherished views, or we can hide behind authority, sanctity, and dogma. The main reason why children are still raised to think that the universe is 6,000 years old is not because religion as a “social institution” hasn’t been appropriately coddled and cajoled, but because polite people (and scientists terrified of losing their funding) haven’t laughed this belief off the face of the earth. We did not lose a decade of progress on stem-cell research in the United States because of religion as a “social construct”; we lost it because of the behavioural and emotional consequences of a specific belief. If there were a line in the book of Genesis that read – “The soul enters the womb on the hundredth day (you idiots)” – we wouldn’t have lost a step on stem-cell research, and there would not be a Christian or Jew anywhere who would worry about souls in Petri dishes suffering the torments of the damned. The beliefs currently rattling around in the heads of human beings are some of the most potent forces on earth; some of the craziest and most divisive of these are “religious,” and so-dubbed they are treated with absurd deference, even in the halls of science; this is a very bad combination—that is my point.
Sam Harris
For sure we live in a youth-obsessed culture that is constantly trying to tell us that if we’re not young and glowing and “hot,” we don’t matter. But I refuse to buy into such a distorted view of reality. And I would never lie about or deny my age. To do so is to contribute to a sickness pervading our society—the sickness of wanting to be what you’re not. I know for sure that only by owning who and what you are can you step into the fullness of life. I feel sorry for anyone who buys into the myth that you can be what you once were. The way to your best life isn’t denial. It’s owning every moment and staking a claim to the here and now. You’re not the same woman you were a decade ago; if you’re lucky, you’re not the same woman you were last year. The whole point of aging, as I see it, is change. If we let them, our experiences can keep teaching us about ourselves. I celebrate that. Honor it. Hold it in reverence. And I’m grateful for every age I’m blessed to become.
Oprah Winfrey (What I Know for Sure)
How many people have I heard claim their children as the greatest accomplishment and comfort of their lives? It's the thing they can always lean on during a metaphysical crisis, or a moment of doubt about their relevancy - If I have done nothing else in this life, then at least I have raised my children well. But what if, either by choice or by reluctant necessity, you end up not participating in this comforting cycle of family and continuity? What if you step out? Where do you sit at the reunion? How do you mark time's passage without the fear that you've just fritted away your time on earth without being relevant? You'll need to find another purpose, another measure by which to judge whether or not you have been a successful human being. I love children, but what if I don't have any? What kind of person does that make me? Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword." On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where "all is correct." But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course." Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will also be more perilous.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
There’s a price for not taking care of yourself as you claim you do so well.” His eyes lift to mine and there is mischief in their depths. “I’ll have to punish you.” I glower at his reference to how well I take care of myself. “Don’t be a smart-ass. I can take care of myself.” “So you say.” His lips quirk, his eyes twinkle, and his dark mood has lightened in a flash as it often does. “I’m just looking out for us both. I need you alive and well if I’m going to fuck you until you can’t forget my name.” I feel myself heat from the inside out and I seize the opportunity to say what I had not earlier. “You’ve already done that, but if you want to be an overachiever, feel free.” “Your wish is my command,” he assures me. “I somehow doubt that.” “Don’t doubt, baby,” he says, and the laughter between us fades as we stare at each other with the promise of dark, erotic pleasure between us and so much more.
Lisa Renee Jones (Being Me (Inside Out, #2))
I am not a music snob. If anything, my musical taste is bad by any critical standards. My favorite song of all time is "Come On Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners. A close second is "MMMBop" by Hanson. So I am not out there claiming any musical superiority, but Creed really does suck. Bad music, pretentious lyrics, and a messianic front man. Also they are from Florida. No good rock music has ever come from Florida. Undoubtedly, there will be legions of offended readers who think to themselves, What are you talking about! Such-and-such band is from Flordia and they're freaking awesome! No, whatever band you are thinking of, if they are from Flordia, they suck. Not as much as Creed, but they still suck.
Michael Ian Black (You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations)
I find it appalling that the Church claims Mary consented at the age of thirteen to become the mother of God.” “But she did,” James said. “There is ample evidence to show she consented.” “Isn’t that the classic defense of the pedophile?” Helena asked. “In Christ’s time and even today in some countries in the Middle East and India, child marriages are customary. But that doesn’t make it right. In Europe and the U.S. we prosecute adults for preying on children. God would be arrested for impregnating a girl below the age of consent.” “People didn’t live as long then,” James said. Helena would not back down. “But human biology hasn’t changed. My point is she was too young to consent. The brain of a young teenager isn’t fully developed.” “The mysteries of the faith require us to have faith.” “Don’t hide behind that nonsense. What kind of message is the Church sending to women? Only virgin children are pure? Experienced mothers are impure and unfit to raise Christ? It’s creepy and insulting when you think about it, but you would have me suspend rational judgment and just accept something I would tear your eyes out for thinking about my underage sister?
Janet M. Tavakoli (Archangels: Rise of the Jesuits)
The family tree of Christ startlingly notes not one woman but four. Four broken women —women who felt like outsiders, like has-beens, like never-beens. Women who were weary of being taken advantage of, of being unnoticed and uncherished and unappreciated; women who didn’t fit in, who didn’t know how to keep going, what to believe, where to go —women who had thought about giving up. And Jesus claims exactly these who are wandering and wondering and wounded and worn out as His. He grafts you into His line and His story and His heart, and He gives you His name, His lineage, His righteousness. He graces you with plain grace. Is there a greater Gift you could want or need or have? Christ comes right to your Christmas tree and looks at your family tree and says, “I am your God, and I am one of you, and I’ll be the Gift, and I’ll take you. Take Me?
Ann Voskamp (The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas)
Robart blinked, momentarily thrown off track, but recovered. “I will have my knight returned to me.” Knight? What knight? Oh shoot. I had completely forgotten about the vampire who’d almost chopped the police car in a half. I’d left him in the basement holding cell for almost four hours. I concentrated. The knight was alive and well. He was sitting on the floor meditating. I gave the floor a little push and felt it slide up, carrying the knight with it. “You will find your knight in your quarters.” Robart nodded. His gaze narrowed. “Perhaps if you were less heavy-handed in your treatment of the guests you claim to honor and protect, your inn would have a higher rating.” He did not. Oh yes, yes he did. “Perhaps if you trained the knights under your command to follow simple orders, your House would’ve reached greater prominence within your empire.” Robart locked his jaw. If my smile were any sweeter, you could pour it on pancakes and call it syrup.
Ilona Andrews (Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2))
According to the biographical notes, Monsieur Julian Carax was twenty-seven, born with the century in Barcelona, and currently living in Paris; he wrote in French and worked at night as a professional pianist in a hostess bar. The blurb, written in the pompous, moldy style of the age, proclaimed that this was a first work of dazzling courage, the mark of a protean and trailblazing talent, and a sign of hope for the future of all of European letters. In spite of such solemn claims, the synopsis that followed suggested that the story contained some vaguely sinister elements slowly marinated in saucy melodrama, which, to the eyes of Monsieur Roquefort, was always a plus: after the classics what he most enjoyed were tales of crime, boudoir intrigue, and questionable conduct. One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. By the time the mind is able to comprehend what has happened, the wounds of the heart are already too deep. She laughed nervously. She had around her a burning aura of loneliness. "You remind me a bit of Julian," she said suddenly. "The way you look and your gestures. He used to do what you are doing now. He would stare at you without saying a word, and you wouldn't know what he was thinking, and so, like an idiot, you'd tell him things it would have been better to keep to yourself." "Someone once said that the moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you've already stopped loving that person forever." I gulped down the last of my coffee and looked at her for a few moments without saying anything. I thought about how much I wanted to lose myself in those evasive eyes. I thought about the loneliness that would take hold of me that night when I said good-bye to her, once I had run out of tricks or stories to make her stay with me any longer. I thought about how little I had to offer her and how much I wanted from her. "You women listen more to your heart and less to all the nonsense," the hatter concluded sadly. "That's why you live longer." But the years went by in peace. Time goes faster the more hollow it is. Lives with no meaning go straight past you, like trains that don't stop at your station.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
As observers of totalitarianism such as Victor Klemperer noticed, truth dies in four modes, all of which we have just witnessed. The first mode is the open hostility to verifiable reality, which takes the form of presenting inventions and lies as if they were facts. The president does this at a high rate and at a fast pace. One attempt during the 2016 campaign to track his utterances found that 78 percent of his factual claims were false. This proportion is so high that it makes the correct assertions seem like unintended oversights on the path toward total fiction. Demeaning the world as it is begins the creation of a fictional counterworld. The second mode is shamanistic incantation. As Klemperer noted, the fascist style depends upon “endless repetition,” designed to make the fictional plausible and the criminal desirable. The systematic use of nicknames such as “Lyin’ Ted” and “Crooked Hillary” displaced certain character traits that might more appropriately have been affixed to the president himself. Yet through blunt repetition over Twitter, our president managed the transformation of individuals into stereotypes that people then spoke aloud. At rallies, the repeated chants of “Build that wall” and “Lock her up” did not describe anything that the president had specific plans to do, but their very grandiosity established a connection between him and his audience. The next mode is magical thinking, or the open embrace of contradiction. The president’s campaign involved the promises of cutting taxes for everyone, eliminating the national debt, and increasing spending on both social policy and national defense. These promises mutually contradict. It is as if a farmer said he were taking an egg from the henhouse, boiling it whole and serving it to his wife, and also poaching it and serving it to his children, and then returning it to the hen unbroken, and then watching as the chick hatches. Accepting untruth of this radical kind requires a blatant abandonment of reason. Klemperer’s descriptions of losing friends in Germany in 1933 over the issue of magical thinking ring eerily true today. One of his former students implored him to “abandon yourself to your feelings, and you must always focus on the Führer’s greatness, rather than on the discomfort you are feeling at present.” Twelve years later, after all the atrocities, and at the end of a war that Germany had clearly lost, an amputated soldier told Klemperer that Hitler “has never lied yet. I believe in Hitler.” The final mode is misplaced faith. It involves the sort of self-deifying claims the president made when he said that “I alone can solve it” or “I am your voice.” When faith descends from heaven to earth in this way, no room remains for the small truths of our individual discernment and experience. What terrified Klemperer was the way that this transition seemed permanent. Once truth had become oracular rather than factual, evidence was irrelevant. At the end of the war a worker told Klemperer that “understanding is useless, you have to have faith. I believe in the Führer.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
We have gone sick by following a path of untrammelled rationalism, male dominance, attention to the visible surface of things, practicality, bottom-line-ism. We have gone very, very sick. And the body politic, like any body, when it feels itself to be sick, it begins to produce antibodies, or strategies for overcoming the condition of dis-ease. And the 20th century is an enormous effort at self-healing. Phenomena as diverse as surrealism, body piercing, psychedelic drug use, sexual permissiveness, jazz, experimental dance, rave culture, tattooing, the list is endless. What do all these things have in common? They represent various styles of rejection of linear values. The society is trying to cure itself by an archaic revival, by a reversion to archaic values. So when I see people manifesting sexual ambiguity, or scarifying themselves, or showing a lot of flesh, or dancing to syncopated music, or getting loaded, or violating ordinary canons of sexual behaviour, I applaud all of this; because it's an impulse to return to what is felt by the body -- what is authentic, what is archaic -- and when you tease apart these archaic impulses, at the very centre of all these impulses is the desire to return to a world of magical empowerment of feeling. And at the centre of that impulse is the shaman: stoned, intoxicated on plants, speaking with the spirit helpers, dancing in the moonlight, and vivifying and invoking a world of conscious, living mystery. That's what the world is. The world is not an unsolved problem for scientists or sociologists. The world is a living mystery: our birth, our death, our being in the moment -- these are mysteries. They are doorways opening on to unimaginable vistas of self-exploration, empowerment and hope for the human enterprise. And our culture has killed that, taken it away from us, made us consumers of shoddy products and shoddier ideals. We have to get away from that; and the way to get away from it is by a return to the authentic experience of the body -- and that means sexually empowering ourselves, and it means getting loaded, exploring the mind as a tool for personal and social transformation. The hour is late; the clock is ticking; we will be judged very harshly if we fumble the ball. We are the inheritors of millions and millions of years of successfully lived lives and successful adaptations to changing conditions in the natural world. Now the challenge passes to us, the living, that the yet-to-be-born may have a place to put their feet and a sky to walk under; and that's what the psychedelic experience is about, is caring for, empowering, and building a future that honours the past, honours the planet and honours the power of the human imagination. There is nothing as powerful, as capable of transforming itself and the planet, as the human imagination. Let's not sell it straight. Let's not whore ourselves to nitwit ideologies. Let's not give our control over to the least among us. Rather, you know, claim your place in the sun and go forward into the light. The tools are there; the path is known; you simply have to turn your back on a culture that has gone sterile and dead, and get with the programme of a living world and a re-empowerment of the imagination. Thank you very, very much.
Terence McKenna (The Archaic Revival)
From the hood of his car, he hefted a large green insulated pack - the kind Fadlan's Falafel used for deliveries. "This is for you, Magnus. I hope you enjoy." The scent of fresh falafel wafted out. True, I'd eaten falafel just a few hours ago, but my stomach growled because ... well, more falafel. "Man, you're the best. I can't believe - Wait. You're in the middle of a fast and you brought me food? That seems wrong." "Just because I'm fasting doesn't mean you can't enjoy." He clapped me on my shoulder. "You'll be in my prayers. All of you." I knew he was sincere. Me, I was an atheist. I only prayed sarcastically to my own father for a better colour of boat. Learning about the existence of Norse deities and the Nine Worlds had just made me more convinced that there was no grand divine plan. What kind of God would allow Zeus and Odin to run around the same cosmos, both claiming to be the king of creation, smiting mortals with lightning bolts and giving motivational seminars? Bur Amir was a man of faith. He and Samirah believed in something bigger, a cosmic force that actually cared about humans. I suppose it was kind of comforting to know Amir had my back in the prayer department, even if I doubted there was anybody at the end of that line. "Thanks, man." I shook his hand one last time.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
It's worth remembering that [having a baby] is not of vital use to you as a woman. Yes, you could learn thousands of interesting things about love, strength, faith, fear, human relationships, genetic loyalty, and the effect of apricots on an immune digestive system. But I don't think there's a single lesson that motherhood has to offer that couldn't be learned elsewhere. If you want to know what's in motherhood for you, as a woman, then-in truth-it's nothing you couldn't get from, say, reading the 100 greatest books in human history; learning a foreign language well enough to argue in it; climbing hills; loving recklessly; sitting quietly, alone, in the dawn; drinking whiskey with revolutionaries; learning to do close-hand magic; swimming in a river in the winter; growing foxgloves, peas, and roses; calling your mum; singing while you walk; being polite; and always, always helping strangers. No one has ever claimed for a minute that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer and crippled by it. Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Newton, Faraday, Plato, Aquinas, Beethoven, Handel, Kant, Hume, Jesus. They all seem to have managed quite well.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
You are the king no doubt, but in one respect, at least, I am your equal: the right to reply. I claim that privilege too. I am not your slave. I serve Apollo. I don't need Creon to speak for me in public. So, you mock my blindness? Let me tell you this. You with your precious eyes, you're blind to the corruption in your life, to the house you live in, those you live with- who are your parents? Do you know? All unknowing you are the scourge of your own flesh and blood, the dead below the earth and the living here above, and the double lash of your mother and your father's curse will whip you from this land one day, their footfall treading you down in terror, darkness shrouding your eyes that now can see the light! Soon, soon, you'll scream aloud - what haven won't reverberate? What rock of Cithaeron won't scream back in echo? That day you learn the truth about your marriage, the wedding-march that sang you into your halls, the lusty voyage home to the fatal harbor! And a crowd of other horrors you'd never dream will level you with yourself and all your children. There. Now smear us with insults - Creon, myself and every word I've said. No man will ever be rooted from the earth as brutally as you.
Robert Fagles (The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone)
No sane paleontologist would ever claim that he or she had discovered "The Ancestor." Think about it this way: What is the chance that while walking through any random cemetery on our planet I would discover an actual ancestor of mine? Diminishingly small. What I would discover is that all people buried in these cemeteries-- no mater whether that cemetery is in China, Botswana, or Italy-- are related to me to different degrees. I can find this out by looking at their DNA with many of the forensic techniques in use in crime labs today. I'd see that some of the denizens of the cemeteries are distantly related to me, others are related more closely. This tree would be a very powerful window into my past and my family history. It would also have a practical application because I could use this tree to understand my predilection to get certain diseases and other facts of my biology. The same is true when we infer relationship among species.
Neil Shubin (Your Inner Fish: a Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body)
Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good! You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as our own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. ... Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? You sow crops in order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon them the greatest privilege he knows—to be led into his battles, to be delivered to butchery, to be made servants of his greed and the instruments of his vengeance; you yield your bodies unto hard labour in order that he may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him stronger and the mightier to hold you in check. From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not be taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.
Étienne de La Boétie (The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude)
She spun to face him. “Listen, Hellboy, we need to make this quick. I have garage sales to hit and naughty souls to claim. Decide.” “I do not understand.” Was this goddess tormenting him for sport? Why did she call him “Hellboy?” How very rude! She poked at his bare chest with a razor sharp fingernail. “You hate taking orders.” Sì, true. After all, I am vampire. “And even if you decided to listen like a good little boy, the odds of pulling this off are slim to none.” I happen to excel at all things impossible. I am a vampire! “So don’t come crying if you end up in your queen’s dungeon…” Vampires do not cry, silly woman. “Tortured three times a day for all eternity, which is where you have a ninety-nine point nine, nine, nine percent chance of landing if you don’t do exactly as I say.” Actually, those numbers are quite encouraging. He thought his odds were somewhere between pigs flying and hell freezing over. “Buon. I understand. Tell me what you saw, what I must do.
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff (Accidentally Married to...a Vampire? (Accidentally Yours, #2))
Your faith is your conscience, and your conscience is your faith. You cannot have faith without a conscience, but you can have a conscience without faith. Man was designed to be good with or without religion, yet the challenge for many is staying good. Some people claim to be religious but have no conscience, while some people without religion are very much aware of their conscience. Therefore, a religious label does not define your character or validate your worth. In the end, all men will be judged by the amount of truth in them and the weight of their hearts. The heavier the conscience, the heavier the truth. The lighter the heart, the higher it goes. The only spiritual currency one has in the afterlife is amassed in the form of light, in that, the amount you have depends on the weight of your words and deeds in the living. Conscience is everything. Conscience is what connects us to the truth and light of the highest power source of all. God. The cosmic heart of the universe.
Suzy Kassem
Open Letter to Neil Armstrong" Dear Neil Armstrong, I write this to you as she sleeps down the hall. I need answers I think only you might have. When you were a boy, and space was simple science fiction, when flying was merely a daydream between periods of History and Physics, when gifts of moon dust to the one you loved could only be wrapped in your imagination.. Before the world knew your name; before it was a destination in the sky.. What was the moon like from your back yard? Your arm, strong warm and wrapped under her hair both of you gazing up from your back porch summers before your distant journey. But upon landing on the moon, as the earth rose over the sea of tranquility, did you look for her? What was it like to see our planet, and know that everything, all you could be, all you could ever love and long for.. was just floating before you. Did you write her name in the dirt when the cameras weren't looking? Surrounding both your initials with a heart for alien life to study millions of years from now? What was it like to love something so distant? What words did you use to bring the moon back to her? And what did you promise in the moons ear, about that girl back home? Can you, teach me, how to fall from the sky? I ask you this, not because I doubt your feat, I just want to know what it's like to go somewhere no man had ever been, just to find that she wasn't there. To realize your moon walk could never compare to the steps that led to her. I now know that the flight home means more. Every July I think of you. I imagine the summer of 1969, how lonely she must have felt while you were gone.. You never went back to the moon. And I believe that's because it dosen't take rockets to get you where you belong. I see that in this woman down the hall, sometimes she seems so much further. But I'm ready for whatever steps I must take to get to her.I have seem SO MANY skies.. but the moon, well, it always looks the same. So I gotta say, Neil, that rock you landed on, has got NOTHING on the rock she's landed on. You walked around, took samples and left.. She's built a fire cleaned up the place and I hope she decides to stay.. because on this rock.. we can breath. Mr. Armstrong, I don't have much, many times have I been upside down with trauma, but with these empty hands, comes a heart that is often more full than the moon. She's becoming my world, pulling me into orbit, and I now know that I may never find life outside of hers. I want to give her EVERYTHING I don't have yet.. So YES, for her, I would go to the moon and back.... But not without her. We'd claim the moon for each other, with flags made from sheets down the hall. And I'd risk it ALL to kiss her under the light of the earth, the brightness of home... but I can do all of that and more right here, where she is..And when we gaze up, her arms around ME, I will NOT promise her gifts of moon dust, or flights of fancy. Instead I will gladly give her all the earth she wants, in return for all the earth she is. The sound of her heart beat and laughter, and all the time it takes to return to fall from the sky,down the hall, and right into love. God, I'd do it every day, if I could just land next to her. One small step for man, but she's one giant leap for my kind.
Mike McGee
Classical liberalism . . . does not wholly define modern American conservatism. There is an added element: a concern with social and civic virtue. The term virtue has become a bad word in some quarters of American life. (It is especially unpopular with the chronically wicked and depraved.) Young people, especially, tend to associate it with finger-wagging and with people who tell you how to live your life. This is a very narrow view of virtue: It applies only to what it is good to do, rather than what it is good to be and what it is good to love. . . . Conservatives recognize, of course, that people frequently fall short of these standards. In their personal conduct, conservatives do not claim to be better than anyone else. . . . But for conservatives, these lapses do not provide an excuse to get rid of the standards. Even hypocrisy--professing one thing but doing another--is in the conservative view preferable to a denial of standards because such denial leads to moral chaos or nihilism.
Dinesh D'Souza (Letters to a Young Conservative)
Most of us will. We'll choose knowledge no matter what, we'll maim ourselves in the process, we'll stick our hands into the flames for it if necessary. Curiosity is not our only motive: love or grief or despair or hatred is what drives us on. We'll spy relentlessly on the dead: we'll open their letters, we'll read their journals, we'll go through their trash, hoping for a hint, a final word, an explanation, from those who have deserted us--who've left us holding the bag, which is often a good deal emptier than we'd supposed. But what about those who plant such clues, for us to stumble on? Why do they bother? Egotism? Pity? Revenge? A simple claim to existence, like scribbling your initials on a washroom wall? The combination of presence and anonymity--confession without penance, truth without consequences--it has its attractions. Getting the blood off your hands, one way or another. Those who leave such evidence can scarcely complain if strangers come along afterwards and poke their noses into every single thing that would once have been none of their business. And not only strangers: lovers, friends, relations. We're voyeurs, all of us. Why should we assume that anything in the past is ours for the taking, simply because we've found it? We're all grave robbers, once we open the doors locked by others. But only locked. The rooms and their contents have been left intact. If those leaving them had wanted oblivion, there was always fire.
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
And I was alone, had been for a while, and might be for a while, but it no longer frightened me the way it had. I was discovering something terrifyingly simple: there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I was discovering this in the way, I suppose, that everybody does, but having tried, endlessly, to do something about it. You attach yourself to someone, or you allow someone to attach themselves to you. This person is not for you, and you, really, are not for that person--and that's it, son. But you try, you both try. The only result of all your trying is to make absolutely real the unconquerable distance between you: to dramatize, in a million ways, the absolutely unalterable truth of this distance. Side by side, and hand in hand, your sunsets, nevertheless are not occurring in the same universe. It is not merely that the rain falls differently on each of you, for that can be a wonder and a joy: it is that what is rain for the one is not rain for the other. Your elements will not mix, unless one agrees that the elements be pulverized--and the result of that is worse than being alone. The result of that is to become one of the living dead. The most dreadful people I have ever known are those who have been "saved," as they claim, by Christ--they could not possibly be more deluded--those for whom the heavenly telephone is endlessly ringing, always with disastrous messages for everybody else. Or those people who have been cured by their psychiatrists, a cure which has rendered them a little less exciting than oatmeal. I prefer sinners and madmen, who can learn, who can change, who can teach--or people like myself, if I may say so, who are not afraid to eat a lobster alone as they take on their shoulders the monumental weight of thirty years.
James Baldwin (Just Above My Head)
Now Van Ness claimed already to have died, more than once, in various other universes. Who can refute that? Is there any proof otherwise? Imagine a slight revision in Nietzsche’s myth of eternal return: not that at history’s end all matter collapses back to the center, Big-Bangs, and starts again identically; but that it starts again with one infinitesimal difference in the action of a single molecule— every time, and an endless number of times. When you die, your consciousness blanks out, but it resumes eons later, when the history of molecules has been revised enough to preclude your death due to those particular circumstances: the bullet hits your brain in this world, but in a later one merely tickles your earlobe. You die in one universe and yet in another go on without a hitch. You don’t mark the intervening ages—subjectively you experience nothing other than almost having died. But in fact you’ve edged into another kingdom, ruled by another king, engaging other potentialities. If this were true, the person who understood it would have conquered death. Would be invulnerable. Would be the Superman. There’s a dizzying thrill in a philosophy that can only be tested by suicide— and then never proven, only tested again by another attempt. And the person embarked on that series of tests, treading that trail of lives as if from boulder to boulder across the river of time— no, out into the burning ocean of eternity— what a mutant! Some new genesis, like a pale, poisonous daisy.
Denis Johnson (Already Dead)
We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The Predator is our lord and master. It has rendered us docile, helpless. If we want to protest, it suppresses our protest. If we want to act independently, it demands that we don't do so... I have been beating around the bush all this time, insinuating to you that something is holding us prisoner. Indeed we are held prisoner! "This was an energetic fact for the sorcerers of ancient Mexico ... They took us over because we are food for them, and they squeeze us mercilessly because we are their sustenance. just as we rear chickens in chicken coops, the predators rear us in human coops, humaneros. Therefore, their food is always available to them." "No, no, no, no," [Carlos replies] "This is absurd don Juan. What you're saying is something monstrous. It simply can't be true, for sorcerers or for average men, or for anyone." "Why not?" don Juan asked calmly. "Why not? Because it infuriates you? ... You haven't heard all the claims yet. I want to appeal to your analytical mind. Think for a moment, and tell me how you would explain the contradictions between the intelligence of man the engineer and the stupidity of his systems of beliefs, or the stupidity of his contradictory behaviour. Sorcerers believe that the predators have given us our systems of belief, our ideas of good and evil, our social mores. They are the ones who set up our hopes and expectations and dreams of success or failure. They have given us covetousness, greed, and cowardice. It is the predators who make us complacent, routinary, and egomaniacal." "'But how can they do this, don Juan? [Carlos] asked, somehow angered further by what [don Juan] was saying. "'Do they whisper all that in our ears while we are asleep?" "'No, they don't do it that way. That's idiotic!" don Juan said, smiling. "They are infinitely more efficient and organized than that. In order to keep us obedient and meek and weak, the predators engaged themselves in a stupendous manoeuvre stupendous, of course, from the point of view of a fighting strategist. A horrendous manoeuvre from the point of view of those who suffer it. They gave us their mind! Do you hear me? The predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind. The predators' mind is baroque, contradictory, morose, filled with the fear of being discovered any minute now." "I know that even though you have never suffered hunger... you have food anxiety, which is none other than the anxiety of the predator who fears that any moment now its manoeuvre is going to be uncovered and food is going to be denied. Through the mind, which, after all, is their mind, the predators inject into the lives of human beings whatever is convenient for them. And they ensure, in this manner, a degree of security to act as a buffer against their fear." "The sorcerers of ancient Mexico were quite ill at ease with the idea of when [the predator] made its appearance on Earth. They reasoned that man must have been a complete being at one point, with stupendous insights, feats of awareness that are mythological legends nowadays. And then, everything seems to disappear, and we have now a sedated man. What I'm saying is that what we have against us is not a simple predator. It is very smart, and organized. It follows a methodical system to render us useless. Man, the magical being that he is destined to be, is no longer magical. He's an average piece of meat." "There are no more dreams for man but the dreams of an animal who is being raised to become a piece of meat: trite, conventional, imbecilic.
Carlos Castaneda (The Active Side of Infinity)
Finding her voice at last, she asked, “What dreams are you having, sir?” “I dreamt I was in a spring field and a woman stands in the shadows just at the edge of the nearby forest. I haven’t yet seen her face, only her long beautiful hair. I always wake too soon.” He reached up to touch the hawk touchstone around his throat as he described his dream, rubbing it absently between his fingers. Lily lowered her lashes to hide her astonishment. “When you see someone in a dream but cannot see their face, it means you haven’t met them yet,” she explained. “Then perhaps I’ll dream of her again tonight and this time I’ll see her face.” He smiled, reaching across the table to take her left hand and lift it to his lips. “My name is Ian Kelly, and it would give me the greatest pleasure to know yours.” “Lily Evans. Around here I go by Raven.” She raised a shoulder, indicating the gypsy tent. “Lily--indeed, a most beautiful name. Now tell me,” he stared pointedly at her hand, “I see no ring that another has claimed you as his, so my confidence is strengthened. Look at your cards again, milady, and tell me if you see me in your future…
Shannon MacLeod (The Celtic Knot (Suit of Cups, #1))
NOW this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back — For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep; And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep. The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown, Remember the Wolf is a Hunter — go forth and get food of thine own. Keep peace withe Lords of the Jungle — the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear. And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair. When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail, Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail. When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar, Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war. The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home, Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come. The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain, The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again. If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay, Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away. Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can; But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man! If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride; Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide. The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies; And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies. The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will; But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill. Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same. Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same. Cave-Right is the right of the Father — to hunt by himself for his own: He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone. Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw, In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law. Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they; But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is — Obey!
Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book)
If you turn to a branch of those sciences that try to give a solution to the questions of life--to physiology, psychology, biology, sociology--there you will find an astounding poverty of thought, a very great lack of clarity, completely unjustified claims to answer questions that lie outside their subject and never-ending contradictions between one thinker and others, and even within himself. If you turn to a branch of the sciences that is not concerned with solving the questions of life but answers its own scientific, specialized questions, then you are captivated by the power of human intellect but you know in advance that there are no answers to the questions of life. These sciences directly ignore the questions of life. They say, "We have no answers to 'What are you?' and 'Why do you live?' and are not concerned with this; but if you need to know the laws of light, of chemical compounds, the laws of the development of organisms, if you need to know the laws of bodies and their forms and the relation of numbers and quantities, if you need to know the laws of your own mind, to all that we have clear, precise, and unquestionable answers.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession)
I already knew what I’d research. I wrote the words ‘Courtly love’ on my notepad in swirly script, then caught Hayden peering at it. ‘Courtly love? Sorry, Aurora, but I think I’ve already got that one in the bag.’ ‘I think you’d better think again, because I’ve already claimed it,’ I replied. ‘You just said you’re not the Mills & Boon type and, technically, courtly love could be considered historical romance.’ He grinned. ‘As you don’t want to pollute your mind with any clichéd topics, you should probably leave that one to me.’ ‘You, discussing romance? Ha!’ Hayden put on a hurt face. ‘I think I might be alright at it. After all, I’ve been doing a lot of observing lately.’ He gave me a significant look. ‘Observing?’ I repeated, curiosity getting the better of me. ‘Well, you keep accusing me of spying on your dates,’ he said, and shrugged. ‘So, technically, I guess I’m learning about romance firsthand. It seems kind of brutal, judging from the goodnight ritual I saw last night.’ My blood wasn’t boiling, but it was pretty warm. Despite that, I was not going to lose my temper. I was determined that this year Hayden Paris wasn’t going to destroy my composure.
Tara Eglington
Young girl, don't cry I'll be right here when your world starts to fall Young girl, it's alright Your tears will dry, you'll soon be free to fly When you're safe inside your room, you tend to dream Of a place where nothing's harder than it seems No one ever wants or bothers to explain Of the heartache life can bring and what it means When there's no one else, look inside yourself Like your oldest friend, just trust the voice within Then you'll find the strength that will guide your way You'll learn to begin to trust the voice within Young girl, don't hide You'll never change if you just run away Young girl, just hold tight Soon you're gonna see your brighter day Now in a world where innocence is quickly claimed It's so hard to stand your ground when you're so afraid No one reaches out a hand for you to hold When you look outside, look inside to your soul When there's no one else, look inside yourself Like your oldest friend, just trust the voice within Then you'll find the strength that will guide your way If you will learn to begin to trust the voice within Life is a journey It can take you anywhere you choose to go As long as you're learning You'll find all you'll ever need to know Be strong You'll break it Hold on You'll make it Be strong Just don't forsake it because Hold on No one can tell you what you can't do No one can stop you, you know that I'm talking to you When there's no one else, look inside yourself Like your oldest friend, just trust the voice within Then you'll find the strength that will guide your way You'll learn to begin to trust the voice within Young girl, don't cry, I'll be right here When your world starts to fall
Christina Aguilera
EPILOGUE This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems, and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given you. You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between. Indeed, your pathway is more certain still. For it can not be possible to change the course of those whom God has called to Him. Therefore obey your will, and follow Him Whom you accepted as your voice, to speak of what you really want and really need. His is the Voice for God and also yours. And thus He speaks of freedom and of truth. No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own. And now I place you in His hands, to be His faithful follower, with Him as Guide through every difficulty and all pain that you may think is real. Nor will He give you pleasures that will pass away, for He gives only the eternal and the good. Let Him prepare you further. He has earned your trust by speaking daily to you of your Father and your brother and your Self. He will continue. Now you walk with Him, as certain as is He of where you go; as sure as He of how you should proceed; as confident as He is of the goal, and of your safe arrival in the end. The end is certain, and the means as well. To this we say “Amen.” You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make. And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach. And so we walk with Him from this time on, and turn to Him for guidance and for peace and sure direction. Joy attends our way. For we go homeward to an open door which God has held unclosed to welcome us. We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen.” In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do. He loves God’s Son as we would love him. And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes, and love him as He does. You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.
Foundation for Inner Peace (A Course in Miracles)
I've heard youngsters use some of George Lucas' terms––"the Force and "the dark side." So it must be hitting somewhere. It's a good sound teaching, I would say. The fact that the evil power is not identified with any specific nation on this earth means you've got an abstract power, which represents a principle, not a specific historical situation. The story has to do with an operation of principles, not of this nation against that. The monster masks that are put on people in Star Wars represent the real monster force in the modern world. When the mask of Darth Vader is removed, you see an unformed man, one who has not developed as a human individual. What you see is a strange and pitiful sort of undifferentiated face. Darth Vader has not developed his humanity. He's a robot. He's a bureaucrat, living not in terms of himself but of an imposed system. This is the threat to our lives that we all face today. Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes? How do you relate to the system so that you are not compulsively serving it? . . . The thing to do is to learn to live in your period of history as a human being ...[b]y holding to your own ideals for yourself and, like Luke Skywalker, rejecting the system's impersonal claims upon you. Well, you see, that movie communicates. It is in a language that talks to young people, and that's what counts. It asks, Are you going to be a person of heart and humanity––because that's where the life is, from the heart––or are you going to do whatever seems to be required of you by what might be called "intentional power"? When Ben Knobi says, "May the Force be with you," he's speaking of the power and energy of life, not of programmed political intentions. ... [O]f course the Force moves from within. But the Force of the Empire is based on an intention to overcome and master. Star Wars is not a simple morality play. It has to do with the powers of life as they are either fulfilled or broken and suppressed through the action of man.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
I’m tired of only being able to talk to you on the phone, Alyssa...”Silence. “I need to see you...” His voice was strained.  “I need to fuck you...”“Thoreau...” “No, listen to me.” His tone was a warning. “I need to be buried deep inside of you, feeling your pussy throb around my cock as you scream my name—my real name.”A hand trailed down past my stomach and between my thighs, and my fingers began to strum my clit. Slow at first, then faster, faster with every sound of his heavy breaths in my ear. “I’ve been very patient with you...” His voice trailed off. “Don’t you think?”“No...”“I have,” he said. “I’m tired of imagining how wet your pussy can get, how loudly you’ll scream when I suck your tits as you ride me...How hard I’ll pull your hair when I bend you over my desk and fuck you until you can’t breathe...Tired.”I shut my eyes, letting my other hand squeeze my breast, letting my thumb pinch my nipple.“I’m giving you two weeks to come to your fucking senses...”“What?”“Two weeks,” he whispered. “That’s when you and I are going to meet face to face, and I’m going to claim every inch of you.”“I can’t...I can’t agree to...that.”“You will.” His breathing was now in sync with mine. “And the second you do, you’re going to invite me over and I’m going to remind you of everything you’ve teased me with over the past six months.
Whitney G. (Reasonable Doubt: Volume 1 (Reasonable Doubt, #1))
But there is an unbounded pleasure to be had in the possession of a young, newly blossoming soul! It is like a flower, from which the best aroma evaporates when meeting the first ray of the sun; you must pluck it at that minute, breathing it in until you’re satisfied, and then throw it onto the road: perhaps someone will pick it up! I feel this insatiable greed, which swallows everything it meets on its way. I look at the suffering and joy of others only in their relation to me, as though it is food that supports the strength of my soul. I myself am not capable of going mad under the influence of passion. My ambition is stifled by circumstances, but it has manifested itself in another way, for ambition is nothing other than a thirst for power, and my best pleasure is to subject everyone around me to my will, to arouse feelings of love, devotion and fear of me—is this not the first sign and the greatest triumph of power? Being someone’s reason for suffering while not being in any position to claim the right—isn’t this the sweetest nourishment for our pride? And what is happiness? Sated pride. If I considered myself to be better, more powerful than everyone in the world, I would be happy. If everyone loved me, I would find endless sources of love within myself. Evil spawns evil. The first experience of torture gives an understanding of the pleasure in tormenting others. An evil idea cannot enter a person’s head without his wanting to bring it into reality: ideas are organic creations, someone once said. Their birth gives them form immediately, and this form is an action. The person in whom most ideas are born is the person who acts most. Hence a genius, riveted to his office desk, must die or lose his mind, just as a man with a powerful build who has a sedentary life and modest behavior will die from an apoplectic fit. Passions are nothing other than the first developments of an idea: they are a characteristic of the heart’s youth, and whoever thinks to worry about them his whole life long is a fool: many calm rivers begin with a noisy waterfall, but not one of them jumps and froths until the very sea. And this calm is often the sign of great, though hidden, strength. The fullness and depth of both feeling and thought will not tolerate violent upsurges. The soul, suffering and taking pleasure, takes strict account of everything and is always convinced that this is how things should be. It knows that without storms, the constant sultriness of the sun would wither it. It is infused with its own life—it fosters and punishes itself, like a child. And it is only in this higher state of self-knowledge that a person can estimate the value of divine justice.
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
THE ORGANIC FOODS MYTH A few decades ago, a woman tried to sue a butter company that had printed the word 'LITE' on its product's packaging. She claimed to have gained so much weight from eating the butter, even though it was labeled as being 'LITE'. In court, the lawyer representing the butter company simply held up the container of butter and said to the judge, "My client did not lie. The container is indeed 'light in weight'. The woman lost the case. In a marketing class in college, we were assigned this case study to show us that 'puffery' is legal. This means that you can deceptively use words with double meanings to sell a product, even though they could mislead customers into thinking your words mean something different. I am using this example to touch upon the myth of organic foods. If I was a lawyer representing a company that had labeled its oranges as being organic, and a man was suing my client because he found out that the oranges were being sprayed with toxins, my defense opening statement would be very simple: "If it's not plastic or metallic, it's organic." Most products labeled as being organic are not really organic. This is the truth. You pay premium prices for products you think are grown without chemicals, but most products are. If an apple is labeled as being organic, it could mean two things. Either the apple tree itself is free from chemicals, or just the soil. One or the other, but rarely both. The truth is, the word 'organic' can mean many things, and taking a farmer to court would be difficult if you found out his fruits were indeed sprayed with pesticides. After all, all organisms on earth are scientifically labeled as being organic, unless they are made of plastic or metal. The word 'organic' comes from the word 'organism', meaning something that is, or once was, living and breathing air, water and sunlight. So, the next time you stroll through your local supermarket and see brown pears that are labeled as being organic, know that they could have been third-rate fare sourced from the last day of a weekend market, and have been re-labeled to be sold to a gullible crowd for a premium price. I have a friend who thinks that organic foods have to look beat up and deformed because the use of chemicals is what makes them look perfect and flawless. This is not true. Chemical-free foods can look perfect if grown in your backyard. If you go to jungles or forests untouched by man, you will see fruit and vegetables that look like they sprouted from trees from Heaven. So be cautious the next time you buy anything labeled as 'organic'. Unless you personally know the farmer or the company selling the products, don't trust what you read. You, me, and everything on land and sea are organic. Suzy Kassem, Truth Is Crying
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Of a real, true contract, on whatsoever subject, there is no vestige in Rousseau's book. To give an exact idea of his theory, I cannot do better than compare it with a commercial agreement, in which the names of the parties, the nature and value of the goods, products and services involved, the conditions of quality, delivery, price, reimbursement, everything in fact which constitutes the material of contracts, is omitted, and nothing is mentioned but penalties and jurisdictions. "Indeed, Citizen of Geneva, you talk well. But before holding forth about the sovereign and the prince, about the policeman and the judge, tell me first what is my share of the bargain? What? You expect me to sign an agreement in virtue of which I may be prosecuted for a thousand transgressions, by municipal, rural, river and forest police, handed over to tribunals, judged, condemned for damage, cheating, swindling, theft, bankruptcy, robbery, disobedience to the laws of the State, offence to public morals, vagabondage,--and in this agreement I find not a word of either my rights or my obligations, I find only penalties! "But every penalty no doubt presupposes a duty, and every duty corresponds to a right. Where then in your agreement are my rights and duties? What have I promised to my fellow citizens? What have they promised to me? Show it to me, for without that, your penalties are but excesses of power, your law-controlled State a flagrant usurpation, your police, your judgment and your executions so many abuses. You who have so well denied property, who have impeached so eloquently the inequality of conditions among men, what dignity, what heritage, have you for me in your republic, that you should claim the right to judge me, to imprison me, to take my life and honor? Perfidious declaimer, have you inveighed so loudly against exploiters and tyrants, only to deliver me to them without defence?
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century)
After a long and happy life, I find myself at the pearly gates (a sight of great joy; the word for “pearl” in Greek is, by the way, margarita). Standing there is St. Peter. This truly is heaven, for finally my academic questions will receive answers. I immediately begin the questions that have been plaguing me for half a century: “Can you speak Greek? Where did you go when you wandered off in the middle of Acts? How was the incident between you and Paul in Antioch resolved? What happened to your wife?” Peter looks at me with some bemusement and states, “Look, lady, I’ve got a whole line of saved people to process. Pick up your harp and slippers here, and get the wings and halo at the next table. We’ll talk after dinner.” As I float off, I hear, behind me, a man trying to gain Peter’s attention. He has located a “red letter Bible,” which is a text in which the words of Jesus are printed in red letters. This is heaven, and all sorts of sacred art and Scriptures, from the Bhagavad Gita to the Qur’an, are easily available (missing, however, was the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version). The fellow has his Bible open to John 14, and he is frenetically pointing at v. 6: “Jesus says here, in red letters, that he is the way. I’ve seen this woman on television (actually, she’s thinner in person). She’s not Christian; she’s not baptized - she shouldn’t be here!” “Oy,” says Peter, “another one - wait here.” He returns a few minutes later with a man about five foot three with dark hair and eyes. I notice immediately that he has holes in his wrists, for when the empire executes an individual, the circumstances of that death cannot be forgotten. “What is it, my son?” he asks. The man, obviously nonplussed, sputters, “I don’t mean to be rude, but didn’t you say that no one comes to the Father except through you?” “Well,” responds Jesus, “John does have me saying this.” (Waiting in line, a few other biblical scholars who overhear this conversation sigh at Jesus’s phrasing; a number of them remain convinced that Jesus said no such thing. They’ll have to make the inquiry on their own time.) “But if you flip back to the Gospel of Matthew, which does come first in the canon, you’ll notice in chapter 25, at the judgment of the sheep and the goats, that I am not interested in those who say ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in those who do their best to live a righteous life: feeding the hungry, visiting people in prison . . . ” Becoming almost apoplectic, the man interrupts, “But, but, that’s works righteousness. You’re saying she’s earned her way into heaven?” “No,” replies Jesus, “I am not saying that at all. I am saying that I am the way, not you, not your church, not your reading of John’s Gospel, and not the claim of any individual Christian or any particular congregation. I am making the determination, and it is by my grace that anyone gets in, including you. Do you want to argue?” The last thing I recall seeing, before picking up my heavenly accessories, is Jesus handing the poor man a Kleenex to help get the log out of his eye.
Amy-Jill Levine (The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus)
How to Survive Racism in an Organization that Claims to be Antiracist: 10. Ask why they want you. Get as much clarity as possible on what the organization has read about you, what they understand about you, what they assume are your gifts and strengths. What does the organization hope you will bring to the table? Do those answers align with your reasons for wanting to be at the table? 9. Define your terms. You and the organization may have different definitions of words like "justice", "diveristy", or "antiracism". Ask for definitions, examples, or success stories to give you a better idea of how the organization understands and embodies these words. Also ask about who is in charge and who is held accountable for these efforts. Then ask yourself if you can work within the structure. 8. Hold the organization to the highest vision they committed to for as long as you can. Be ready to move if the leaders aren't prepared to pursue their own stated vision. 7. Find your people. If you are going to push back against the system or push leadership forward, it's wise not to do so alone. Build or join an antiracist cohort within the organization. 6. Have mentors and counselors on standby. Don't just choose a really good friend or a parent when seeking advice. It's important to have on or two mentors who can give advice based on their personal knowledge of the organization and its leaders. You want someone who can help you navigate the particular politics of your organization. 5. Practice self-care. Remember that you are a whole person, not a mule to carry the racial sins of the organization. Fall in love, take your children to the park, don't miss doctors' visits, read for pleasure, dance with abandon, have lots of good sex, be gentle with yourself. 4. Find donors who will contribute to the cause. Who's willing to keep the class funded, the diversity positions going, the social justice center operating? It's important for the organization to know the members of your cohort aren't the only ones who care. Demonstrate that there are stakeholders, congregations members, and donors who want to see real change. 3. Know your rights. There are some racist things that are just mean, but others are against the law. Know the difference, and keep records of it all. 2. Speak. Of course, context matters. You must be strategic about when, how, to whom, and about which situations you decide to call out. But speak. Find your voice and use it. 1. Remember: You are a creative being who is capable of making change. But it is not your responsibility to transform an entire organization.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
He was beautiful when he sat alone, he was like me, he had wide lapels, he was holding the mug in the hardest possible way so that his fingers were all twisted but still long and beautiful, he didn’t like to sit alone all the time, but this time, I swear, he didn’t care on way or the other. I’ll tell you why I like to sit alone, because I’m a sadist, that’s why we like to sit alone, because we’re the sadists who like to sit alone. He sat alone because he was beautifully dressed for the occasion and because he was not a civilian. We are the sadists you don’t have to worry about, you think, and we have no opinion on the matter of whether you have to worry about us, and we don’t even like to think about the matter because it baffles us. Maybe he doesn’t mean a thing to me any more but I think he was like me. You didn’t expect to fall in love, I said to myself and at the same time I answered gently, Do you think so? I heard you humming beautifully, your hum said that I can’t ignore you, that I’d finally come around for a number of delicious reasons that only you knew about, and here I am, Miss Blood. And you won’t come back, you won’t come back to where you left me, and that’s why you keep my number, so you don’t dial it by mistake when you’re fooling with the dial not even dialing numbers. You begin to bore us with your pain and we have decided to change your pain. You said you were happiest when you danced, you said you were happiest when you danced with me, now which do you mean? And so we changed his pain, we threw the idea of a body at him and we told him a joke, and then he thought a great deal about laughing and about the code. And he thought that she thought that he thought that she thought the worst thing a woman could do was to take a man away from his work because that made her what, ugly or beautiful? And now you’ve entered the mathematical section of your soul which you claimed you never had. I suppose that this, plus the broken heart, makes you believe that now you have a perfect right to go out and tame the sadists. He had the last line of each verse of the song but he didn’t have any of the other lines, the last line was always the same, Don’t call yourself a secret unless you mean to keep it. He thought he knew, or he actually did know too much about singing to be a singer; and if there is actually such a condition, is anybody in it, and are sadists born there? It is not a question mark, it is not an exclamation point, it is a full stop by the man who wrote Parasites of Heaven. Even if we stated our case very clearly and all those who held as we do came to our side, all of them, we would still be very few.
Leonard Cohen (Parasites of Heaven)
There’s something else I’m curious about, Kelsey.” I smiled at him. “Sure, what else do you want to know?” “What exactly is going on between you and Ren?” A vise clamped down on my chest, but I tried to play it cool. “What do you mean?” “I mean, are you two more than just traveling companions? Are you together?” I clipped off a fast, “No. Definitely not.” He grinned. “Good!” He grabbed my hand and kissed it. “Then that means you’re free to go out with me. No girl in her right mind would want to be with Ren, anyway. He’s very…stuffy. Cold, as far as relationships go.” My mouth hung open for a minute, shocked, and then I felt anger shove the shock aside and take over. “First of all, I am not going to be with either one of you. Second, a girl would have to be crazy not to want Ren. You’re wrong about him. He’s not stuffy or cold. In fact, he’s considerate, warm, drop-dead gorgeous, dependable, loyal, sweet, and charming.” He raised an eyebrow and measure me thoughtfuly for a minute. I squirmed under his gaze, knowing that I had spoken too quickly and said way too much. He ventured carefully. “I see. You may be right. The Dhiren I know has surely changed in the past couple of hundred years. However, despite that and your insistent claim that you will not be with either one of us, I would like to propose that we go out and celebrate tonight, if not as my..what is the correct word?” “The word is date.” “Date. If not as my date…then, as my friend.” I grimaced. Kishan continued, pressing his point, “Surely, you won’t leave me to fend for myself on my first night back in the real world?” He smiled at me, encouraging my acceptance. I did want to be his friend, but I wasn’t sure what to say to his request. And for just a moment, I wondered how Ren would feel about it and what the consequences might be. I questioned, “Where exactly do you want to go to celebrate?” “Mr. Kadam said there’s a nightclub in town nearby with dinner and dancing. I thought we could celebrate there, maybe get something to eat, and you can teach me how to dance.” I laughed nervously. “This is my first time in India, and I don’t know a thing about dancing or the music here.” Kisham seemed even more delighted by that news. “Fantastic! Then we will learn together. I won’t take no for an answer.” He jumped up to rush off. I yelled, “Wait, Kishan! I don’t even know what to wear!” He shouted back over his shoulder, “Ask Kadam. He knows everything!
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Q. Would you repeat, Dr. Seldon, your thoughts concerning the future of Trantor? A. I have said, and I say again, that Trantor will lie in ruins within the next three centuries. Q. You do not consider your statement a disloyal one? A. No, sir. Scientific truth is beyond loyalty and disloyalty." Q. You are sure that your statement represents scientific truth? A. I am. Q. On what basis? A. On the basis of the mathematics of psychohistory. Q. Can you prove that this mathematics is valid? A. Only to another mathematician. Q. ( with a smile) Your claim then is that your truth is of so esoteric a nature that it is beyond the understanding of a plain man. It seems to me that truth should be clearer than that, less mysterious, more open to the mind. A. It presents no difficulties to some minds. The physics of energy transfer, which we know as thermodynamics, has been clear and true through all the history of man since the mythical ages, yet there may be people present who would find it impossible to design a power engine. People of high intelligence, too. I doubt if the learned Commissioners— At this point, one of the Commissioners leaned toward the Advocate. His words were not heard but the hissing of the voice carried a certain asperity. The Advocate flushed and interrupted Seldon. Q. We are not here to listen to speeches, Dr. Seldon. Let us assume that you have made your point. Let me suggest to you that your predictions of disaster might be intended to destroy public confidence in the Imperial Government for purposes of your own! A. That is not so. Q. Let me suggest that you intend to claim that a period of time preceding the so-called ruin of Trantor will be filled with unrest of various types. A. That is correct. Q. And that by the mere prediction thereof, you hope to bring it about, and to have then an army of a hundred thousand available. A. In the first place, that is not so. And if it were, investigation will show you that barely ten thousand are men of military age, and none of these has training in arms. Q. Are you acting as an agent for another? A. I am not in the pay of any man, Mr. Advocate. Q. You are entirely disinterested? You are serving science? A. I am.
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
In my travels on the surface, I once met a man who wore his religious beliefs like a badge of honor upon the sleeves of his tunic. "I am a Gondsman!" he proudly told me as we sat beside eachother at a tavern bar, I sipping my wind, and he, I fear, partaking a bit too much of his more potent drink. He went on to explain the premise of his religion, his very reason for being, that all things were based in science, in mechanics and in discovery. He even asked if he could take a piece of my flesh, that he might study it to determine why the skin of the drow elf is black. "What element is missing," he wondered, "that makes your race different from your surface kin?" I think that the Gondsman honestly believed his claim that if he could merely find the various elements that comprised the drow skin, he might affect a change in that pigmentation to make the dark elves more akin to their surface relatives. And, given his devotion, almost fanaticism, it seemed to me as if he felt he could affect a change in more than physical appearance. Because, in his view of the world, all things could be so explained and corrected. How could i even begin to enlighten him to the complexity? How could i show him the variations between drow and surface elf in the very view of the world resulting from eons of walking widely disparate roads? To a Gondsman fanatic, everything can be broken down, taken apart and put back together. Even a wizard's magic might be no more than a way of conveying universal energies - and that, too, might one day be replicated. My Gondsman companion promised me that he and his fellow inventor priests would one day replicate every spell in any wizard's repertoire, using natural elements in the proper combinations. But there was no mention of the discipline any wizard must attain as he perfects his craft. There was no mention of the fact that powerful wizardly magic is not given to anyone, but rather, is earned, day by day, year by year and decade by decade. It is a lifelong pursuit with gradual increase in power, as mystical as it is secular. So it is with the warrior. The Gondsman spoke of some weapon called an arquebus, a tubular missile thrower with many times the power of the strongest crossbow. Such a weapon strikes terror into the heart of the true warrior, and not because he fears that he will fall victim to it, or even that he fears it will one day replace him. Such weapons offend because the true warrior understands that while one is learning how to use a sword, one should also be learning why and when to use a sword. To grant the power of a weapon master to anyone at all, without effort, without training and proof that the lessons have taken hold, is to deny the responsibility that comes with such power. Of course, there are wizards and warriors who perfect their craft without learning the level of emotional discipline to accompany it, and certainly there are those who attain great prowess in either profession to the detriment of all the world - Artemis Entreri seems a perfect example - but these individuals are, thankfully, rare, and mostly because their emotional lacking will be revealed early in their careers, and it often brings about a fairly abrupt downfall. But if the Gondsman has his way, if his errant view of paradise should come to fruition, then all the years of training will mean little. Any fool could pick up an arquebus or some other powerful weapon and summarily destroy a skilled warrior. Or any child could utilize a Gondsman's magic machine and replicate a firebal, perhaps, and burn down half a city. When I pointed out some of my fears to the Gondsman, he seemed shocked - not at the devastating possibilities, but rather, at my, as he put it, arrogance. "The inventions of the priests of Gond will make all equal!" he declared. "We will lift up the lowly peasant
R.A. Salvatore (Streams of Silver (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #5))
Picture it. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests, Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending.” “Snap ending.” Mildred nodded. “Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume. I exaggerate, of course. The dictionaries were for reference. But many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet (you know the title certainly, Montag; it is probably only a faint rumor of a title to you, Mrs. Montag), whose sole knowledge, as I say, of Hamlet was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: now at last you can read all the classics; keep up with your neighbors. Do you see? Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.” Mildred arose and began to move around the room, picking things up and putting them down. Beatty ignored her and continued: “Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!” Mildred smoothed the bedclothes. Montag felt his heart jump and jump again as she patted his pillow. Right now she was pulling at his shoulder to try to get him to move so she could take the pillow out and fix it nicely and put it back. And perhaps cry out and stare or simply reach down her hand and say, “What’s this?” and hold up the hidden book with touching innocence. “School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
That reminded him of how thrifty she was, and he promptly decided-at least for the moment-that her thriftiness was one of her most endearingly amusing qualities. “What are you thinking about?” she asked. He tipped his chin down so that he could better see her and brushed a stray lock of golden hair off her cheek. “I was thinking how wise I must be to have known within minutes of meeting you that you were wonderful.” She chuckled, thinking his words were teasing flattery. “How soon did my qualities become apparent?” “I’d say,” he thoughtfully replied, “I knew it when you took sympathy on Galileo.” She’d expected him to say something about her looks, not her conversation or her mind. “Truly?” she asked with unhidden pleasure. He nodded, but he was studying her reaction with curiosity. “What did you think I was going to say?” Her slim shoulders lifted in an embarrassed shrug. “I thought you would say it was my face you noticed first. People have the most extraordinary reaction to my face,” she explained with a disgusted sigh. “I can’t imagine why,” he said, grinning down at what was, in his opinion-in anyone’s opinion-a heartbreakingly beautiful face belonging to a young woman who was sprawled across his chest looking like an innocent golden goddess. “I think it’s my eyes. They’re an odd color.” “I see that now,” he teased, then he said more solemnly, “but as it happens it was not your face which I found so beguiling when we met in the garden, because,” he added when she looked unconvinced, “I couldn’t see it.” “Of course you could. I could see yours well enough, even though night had fallen.” “Yes, but I was standing near a torch lamp, while you perversely remained in the shadows. I could tell that yours was a very nice face, with the requisite features in the right places, and I could also tell that your other-feminine assets-were definitely in all the right places, but that was all I could see. And then later that night I looked up and saw you walking down the staircase. I was so surprised, it took a considerable amount of will to keep from dropping the glass I was holding.” Her happy laughter drifted around the room and reminded him of music. “Elizabeth,” he said dryly, “I am not such a fool that I would have let a beautiful face alone drive me to madness, or to asking you to marry me, or even to extremes of sexual desire.” She saw that he was perfectly serious, and she sobered, “Thank you,” she said quietly. “That is the nicest compliment you could have paid me, my lord.” “Don’t call me ‘my lord,’” he told her with a mixture of gentleness and gravity, “unless you mean it. I dislike having you address me that way if it’s merely a reference to my title.” Elizabeth snuggled her cheek against his hard chest and quietly replied, “As you wish. My lord.” Ian couldn’t help it. He rolled her onto her back and devoured her with his mouth, claimed her with his hands and then his body.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
He knew he needed to release her, but once he allowed his physical connection to drop away, he was uncertain if he’d ever have a chance to reconnect. Instinctively, he knew Azami was elusive, like water flowing through fingers, or the wind shifting in the trees. He needed a way to seal her to him. “How does one court a woman in Japan? Do I need your brothers’ permission?” She blinked again. Shocked. A hint of uncertainty crept into her eyes. She frowned, and he bent his head to swallow her protest before she could utter it. Her mouth trembled beneath his, and then she opened to him, like a flower, luring him deeper. Her arms slid around his neck, her body pressing tightly against his. He tightened his fingers in her hair. He was burning, through and through, from the inside out, a hot melting of bone and tissue. He hadn’t known he was lonely or even looking for something. He’d been complete. He loved his wife. He was a man with teammates he trusted implicitly. He lived in wild places of beauty he enjoyed. He hadn’t considered there would be a woman who could ever fit with him, who would ever turn his insides soft and his body hard. Feel the same way, Azami. He didn’t lift his mouth, kissing her again and again because one he’d made the mistake, he was addicted and what was the use fighting it? Not when it felt so damn right. Somewhere along the line, his kiss went from sheer aggression and command, to absolute tenderness. The emotion for her rose like a volcano, encompassing him entirely, drawn from some part of him he’d never known even existed. His mouth was gentle, his hands on her, possessive, yet just as gentle. Another claiming, this coming from that deep unknown well. Feel the same way, Azami, he whispered into her mind. An enticement. A need. He waited, something in him going still, waiting for her answer. Tell me how you’re feeling? She hadn’t pulled away. If anything, her arms had tightened around his neck. He shared every single breath she took, feeling the slight movement of her rib cage and breasts against him, the warm air they exchanged. Like I’m burning alive. Drowning. Like I never want this moment to end. He wasn’t a man to say flowery things to a woman, nor did he even think them, but he shared the honest truth with her. Like we belong. Once he let her go, the world would slip back into kilter. He wanted her to stay with him, to give him a chance with her. She didn’t hesitate, and he loved that about her as well. She gave herself in truth in the same way he did. I feel the same, but one of us has to be sane. She initiated the kiss when he pulled back slightly, chasing after him with her soft mouth, fingers digging tightly into the heavy muscle at his neck, sighing when his lips settled once more over hers. He took his time, kissing her thoroughly, again and again, all the while slipping deeper into her spell and hoping she was falling under his. Is this your idea of sanity? He’d make it his reality. He was falling further down the rabbit hole and he’d make her his sanity if she’d fall with him. Her soft laughter slipped inside his heart, winding there until there was no shaking her loose. Not really, but you have to be the strong one. He kissed her again. And again. Why is that? You started this.
Christine Feehan (Samurai Game (Ghostwalkers, #10))
Dear Jessa, I’ve started this letter so many times and I’ve never been able to finish it. So here goes again . . . I’m sorry. I’m sorry that Riley is dead. I’m sorry for ignoring your emails and for not being there for you. I’m sorry I’ve hurt you. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish it had been me that died and not Riley. If I could go back in time and change everything I would. I’m sorry I left without a word. There’s no excuse for my behaviour but please know that it had nothing to do with you. I was a mess. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone for months. And I felt too guilty and didn’t know how to tell you the truth about what happened. I couldn’t bear the thought of you knowing. I got all your emails but I didn’t read them until last week. I couldn’t face it and I guess that makes me the biggest coward you’ll ever meet. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I never replied. You needed me and I wasn’t there for you. I don’t even know how to ask your forgiveness because I don’t deserve it. I’m just glad you’re doing better. I’m better too. I’ve started seeing a therapist – twice a week – you’d like her. She reminds me of Didi. I never thought I’d be the kind of guy who needed therapy, but they made it a condition of me keeping my job. She’s helped me a lot with getting the panic attacks under control. Working in a room the size of a janitor’s closet helps too – there aren’t too many surprises, only the occasional rogue paperclip. I asked for the posting. I have to thank your dad ironically. The demotion worked out. Kind of funny that I totally get where your father was coming from all those years. Looks like I’ll be spending the remainder of my marine career behind a desk, but I’m OK with that. I don’t know what else to say, Jessa. My therapist says I should just write down whatever comes into my head. So here goes. Here’s what’s in my head . . . I miss you. I love you. Even though I long ago gave up the right to any sort of claim over you, I can’t stop loving you. I won’t ever stop. You’re in my blood. You’re the only thing that got me through this, Jessa. Because even during the bad times, the worst times, the times I’d wake up in a cold sweat, my heart thumping, the times I’d think the only way out was by killing myself and just having it all go away, I’d think of you and it would pull me back out of whatever dark place I’d fallen into. You’re my light, Jessa. My north star. You asked me once to come back to you and I told you I always would. I’m working on it. It might take me a little while, and I know I have no right to ask you to wait for me after everything I’ve done, but I’m going to anyway because the truth is I don’t know how to live without you. I’ve tried and I can’t do it. So please, I’m asking you to wait for me. I’m going to come back to you. I promise. And I’m going to make things right. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll never stop trying for the rest of my life to make things right between us. I love you. Always. Kit
Mila Gray (Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me, #1))
Everything belonged to him--but that was a trifle. The thing was to know what he belonged to, how many powers of darkness claimed him for their own. That was the reflection that made you creepy all over. It was impossible--it was not good for one either--trying to imagine. He had taken a high seat amongst the devils of the land--I mean literally. You can't understand. How could you?--with solid pavement under your feet, surrounded by kind neighbors ready to cheer you or to fall on you, stepping delicately between the butcher and the policeman, in the holy terror of scandal and gallows and lunatic asylums--how can you imagine what particular region of the first ages a man's untrammeled feet may take him into by the way of solitude--utter solitude without a policeman--by the way of silence, utter silence, where no warning voice of a kind neighbor can be heard whispering of public opinion? These little things make all the great difference. When they are gone you must fall back upon your own innate strength, upon your own capacity for faithfulness. Of course you may be too much of a fool to go wrong--too dull even to know you are being assaulted by the powers of darkness. I take it, no fool ever made a bargain for his soul with the devil: the fool is too much of a fool, or the devil too much of a devil--I don't know which. Or you may be such a thunderingly exalted creature as to be altogether deaf and blind to anything but heavenly sights and sounds. Then the earth for you is only a standing place -- and whether to be like this is your loss or your gain I won't pretend to say. But most of us are neither one nor the other. The earth for us is a place to live in, where we must put up with sights, with sounds, with smells too, by Jove!-- breathe dead hippo, so to speak, and not be contaminated. And there, don't you see? Your strength comes in, the faith in your ability for the digging of unostentatious holes to bury the stuff in--your power of devotion, not to yourself, but to an obscure, back-breaking business. And that's difficult enough. Mind, I am not trying to excuse or even explain--I am trying to account to myself for--for--Mr. Kurtz--for the shade of Mr. Kurtz. This initiated wraith from the back of Nowhere honored me with its amazing confidence before it vanished altogether. This was because it could speak English to me. The original Kurtz had been educated partly in England, and--as he was good enough to say himself--his sympathies were in the right place. His mother was half-English, his father was half-French. All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz.
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
On behalf of those you killed, imprisoned, tortured, you are not welcome, Erdogan! No, Erdogan, you’re not welcome in Algeria. We are a country which has already paid its price of blood and tears to those who wanted to impose their caliphate on us, those who put their ideas before our bodies, those who took our children hostage and who attempted to kill our hopes for a better future. The notorious family that claims to act in the name of the God and religion—you’re a member of it—you fund it, you support it, you desire to become its international leader. Islamism is your livelihood Islamism, which is your livelihood, is our misfortune. We will not forget about it, and you are a reminder of it today. You offer your shadow and your wings to those who work to make our country kneel down before your “Sublime Door.” You embody and represent what we loathe. You hate freedom, the free spirit. But you love parades. You use religion for business. You dream of a caliphate and hope to return to our lands. But you do it behind the closed doors, by supporting Islamist parties, by offering gifts through your companies, by infiltrating the life of the community, by controlling the mosques. These are the old methods of your “Muslim Brothers” in this country, who used to show us God’s Heaven with one hand while digging our graves with the other. No, Mr. Erdogan, you are not a man of help; you do not fight for freedom or principles; you do not defend the right of peoples to self-determination. You know only how to subject the Kurds to the fires of death; you know only how to subject your opponents to your dictatorship. You cry with the victims in the Middle East, yet sign contracts with their executioners. You do not dream of a dignified future for us, but of a caliphate for yourself. We are aware of your institutionalized persecution, your list of Turks to track down, your sinister prisons filled with the innocent, your dictatorial justice palaces, your insolence and boastful nature. You do not dream of a humanity that shares common values and principles, but are interested only in the remaking of the Ottoman Empire and its bloodthirsty warlords. Islam, for you, is a footstool; God is a business sign; modernity is an enemy; Palestine is a showcase; and local Islamists are your stunned courtesans. Humanity will not remember you with good deeds Humanity will remember you for your machinations, your secret coups d’état, and your manhunts. History will remember you for your bombings, your vengeful wars, and your inability to engage in constructive dialogue with others. The UN vote for Al-Quds is only an instrument in your service. Let us laugh at this with the Palestinians. We know that the Palestinian issue is your political capital, as it is for many others. You know well how to make a political fortune by exploiting others’ emotions. In Algeria, we suffered, and still suffer, from those who pretend to be God and act as takers and givers of life. They applaud your coming, but not us. You are the idol of Algerian Islamists and Populists, those who are unable to imagine a political structure beyond a caliphate for Muslim-majority societies. We aspire to become a country of freedom and dignity. This is not your ambition, nor your virtue. You are an illusion You have made beautiful Turkey an open prison and a bazaar for your business and loved ones. I hope that this beautiful nation rises above your ambitions. I hope that justice will be restored and flourish there once again, at least for those who have been imprisoned, tortured, bombed, and killed. You are an illusion, Erdogan—you know it and we know it. You play on the history of our humiliation, on our emotions, on our beliefs, and introduce yourself as a savior. However, you are a gravedigger, both for your own country and for your neighbors. Turkey is a political miracle, but it owes you nothing. The best thing you can do
Kamel Daoud
If she captured Tamlin’s power once, who’s to say she can’t do it again?” It was the question I hadn’t yet dared voice. “He won’t be tricked again so easily,” he said, staring up at the ceiling. “Her biggest weapon is that she keeps our powers contained. But she can’t access them, not wholly—though she can control us through them. It’s why I’ve never been able to shatter her mind—why she’s not dead already. The moment you break Amarantha’s curse, Tamlin’s wrath will be so great that no force in the world will keep him from splattering her on the walls.” A chill went through me. “Why do you think I’m doing this?” He waved a hand to me. “Because you’re a monster.” He laughed. “True, but I’m also a pragmatist. Working Tamlin into a senseless fury is the best weapon we have against her. Seeing you enter into a fool’s bargain with Amarantha was one thing, but when Tamlin saw my tattoo on your arm … Oh, you should have been born with my abilities, if only to have felt the rage that seeped from him.” I didn’t want to think much about his abilities. “Who’s to say he won’t splatter you as well?” “Perhaps he’ll try—but I have a feeling he’ll kill Amarantha first. That’s what it all boils down to, anyway: even your servitude to me can be blamed on her. So he’ll kill her tomorrow, and I’ll be free before he can start a fight with me that will reduce our once-sacred mountain to rubble.” He picked at his nails. “And I have a few other cards to play.” I lifted my brows in silent question. “Feyre, for Cauldron’s sake. I drug you, but you don’t wonder why I never touch you beyond your waist or arms?” Until tonight—until that damned kiss. I gritted my teeth, but even as my anger rose, a picture cleared. “It’s the only claim I have to innocence,” he said, “the only thing that will make Tamlin think twice before entering into a battle with me that would cause a catastrophic loss of innocent life. It’s the only way I can convince him I was on your side. Believe me, I would have liked nothing more than to enjoy you—but there are bigger things at stake than taking a human woman to my bed.” I knew, but I still asked, “Like what?” “Like my territory,” he said, and his eyes held a far-off look that I hadn’t yet seen. “Like my remaining people, enslaved to a tyrant queen who can end their lives with a single word. Surely Tamlin expressed similar sentiments to you.” He hadn’t—not entirely. He hadn’t been able to, thanks to the curse. “Why did Amarantha target you?” I dared ask. “Why make you her whore?” “Beyond the obvious?” He gestured to his perfect face. When I didn’t smile, he loosed a breath. “My father killed Tamlin’s father—and his brothers.” I started. Tamlin had never said—never told me the Night Court was responsible for that. “It’s a long story, and I don’t feel like getting into it, but let’s just say that when she stole our lands out from under us, Amarantha decided that she especially wanted to punish the son of her friend’s murderer—decided that she hated me enough for my father’s deeds that I was to suffer.” I might have reached a hand toward him, might have offered my apologies—but every thought had dried up in my head. What Amarantha had done to him … “So,” he said wearily, “here we are, with the fate of our immortal world in the hands of an illiterate human.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
As Christians we face two tasks in our evangelism: saving the soul and saving the mind, that is to say, not only converting people spiritually, but converting them intellectually as well. And the Church is lagging dangerously behind with regard to this second task. If the church loses the intellectual battle in one generation, then evangelism will become immeasurably more difficult in the next. The war is not yet lost, and it is one which we must not lose: souls of men and women hang in the balance. For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ Himself, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence. Thinking about your faith is indeed a virtue, for it helps you to better understand and defend your faith. But thinking about your faith is not equivalent to doubting your faith. Doubt is never a purely intellectual problem. There is a spiritual dimension to the problem that must be recognized. Never lose sight of the fact that you are involved in spiritual warfare and there is an enemy of your soul who hates you intensely, whose goal is your destruction, and who will stop at nothing to destroy you. Reason can be used to defend our faith by formulating arguments for the existence of God or by refuting objections. But though the arguments so developed serve to confirm the truth of our faith, they are not properly the basis of our faith, for that is supplied by the witness of the Holy Spirit Himself. Even if there were no arguments in defense of the faith, our faith would still have its firm foundation. The more I learn, the more desperately ignorant I feel. Further study only serves to open up to one's consciousness all the endless vistas of knowledge, even in one's own field, about which one knows absolutely nothing. Don't let your doubts just sit there: pursue them and keep after them until you drive them into the ground. We should be cautious, indeed, about thinking that we have come upon the decisive disproof of our faith. It is pretty unlikely that we have found the irrefutable objection. The history of philosophy is littered with the wrecks of such objections. Given the confidence that the Holy Spirit inspires, we should esteem lightly the arguments and objections that generate our doubts. These, then, are some of the obstacles to answered prayer: sin in our lives, wrong motives, lack of faith, lack of earnestness, lack of perseverance, lack of accordance with God’s will. If any of those obstacles hinders our prayers, then we cannot claim with confidence Jesus’ promise, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it”. And so I was led to what was for me a radical new insight into the will of God, namely, that God’s will for our lives can include failure. In other words, God’s will may be that you fail, and He may lead you into failure! For there are things that God has to teach you through failure that He could never teach you through success. So many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, is and always will be the true priority for every human being — that is, learning to know God in Christ. My greatest fear is that I should some day stand before the Lord and see all my works go up in smoke like so much “wood, hay, and stubble”. The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God. People tend naturally to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this life. God’s role is to provide a comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view, this is false. We are not God’s pets, and the goal of human life is not happiness per se, but the knowledge of God—which in the end will bring true and everlasting human fulfilment. Many evils occur in life which may be utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness; but they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper knowledge of God.
William Lane Craig (Hard Questions, Real Answers)
of the problem was that Chaos got a little creation-happy. It thought to its misty, gloomy self: Hey, Earth and Sky. That was fun! I wonder what else I can make. Soon it created all sorts of other problems—and by that I mean gods. Water collected out of the mist of Chaos, pooled in the deepest parts of the earth, and formed the first seas, which naturally developed a consciousness—the god Pontus. Then Chaos really went nuts and thought: I know! How about a dome like the sky, but at the bottom of the earth! That would be awesome! So another dome came into being beneath the earth, but it was dark and murky and generally not very nice, since it was always hidden from the light of the sky. This was Tartarus, the Pit of Evil; and as you can guess from the name, when he developed a godly personality, he didn't win any popularity contests. The problem was, both Pontus and Tartarus liked Gaea, which put some pressure on her relationship with Ouranos. A bunch of other primordial gods popped up, but if I tried to name them all we’d be here for weeks. Chaos and Tartarus had a kid together (don’t ask how; I don’t know) called Nyx, who was the embodiment of night. Then Nyx, somehow all by herself, had a daughter named Hemera, who was Day. Those two never got along because they were as different as…well, you know. According to some stories, Chaos also created Eros, the god of procreation... in other words, mommy gods and daddy gods having lots of little baby gods. Other stories claim Eros was the son of Aphrodite. We’ll get to her later. I don’t know which version is true, but I do know Gaea and Ouranos started having kids—with very mixed results. First, they had a batch of twelve—six girls and six boys called the Titans. These kids looked human, but they were much taller and more powerful. You’d figure twelve kids would be enough for anybody, right? I mean, with a family that big, you’ve basically got your own reality TV show. Plus, once the Titans were born, things started to go sour with Ouranos and Gaea’s marriage. Ouranos spent a lot more time hanging out in the sky. He didn't visit. He didn't help with the kids. Gaea got resentful. The two of them started fighting. As the kids grew older, Ouranos would yell at them and basically act like a horrible dad. A few times, Gaea and Ouranos tried to patch things up. Gaea decided maybe if they had another set of kids, it would bring them closer…. I know, right? Bad idea. She gave birth to triplets. The problem: these new kids defined the word UGLY. They were as big and strong as Titans, except hulking and brutish and in desperate need of a body wax. Worst of all, each kid had a single eye in the middle of his forehead. Talk about a face only a mother could love. Well, Gaea loved these guys. She named them the Elder Cyclopes, and eventually they would spawn a whole race of other, lesser Cyclopes. But that was much later. When Ouranos saw the Cyclops triplets, he freaked. “These cannot be my kids! They don’t even look like me!” “They are your children, you deadbeat!” Gaea screamed back. “Don’t you dare leave me to raise them on my own!
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Gods)
Every disciple is a believer, but not every believer is necessarily a disciple. Anything short of discipleship, however, is settling for less than what God really desires for us. Loving God more than anyone or anything else is the very foundation of being a disciple. If you want to live your Christian life to its fullest, then love Jesus more than anyone or anything else. Either you will have harmony with God and friction with people, or you will have harmony with people and friction with God. You become a disciple in the biblical sense only when you are totally and completely committed to Jesus Christ and His Word. As a true disciple, your life won’t only be characterized by practical results and a hunger for Scripture, but you also will have love for others — especially fellow believers. Without all of these characteristics, you can’t really claim to be His disciple. A person who has been with Jesus will boldly share his or her faith. A person who has been with Jesus will be a person of prayer. A person who has been with Jesus will be persecuted. If for you, the Christian life is all about feeling good and having everything go your way, then you won’t like being a disciple. Being a follower of Christ is the most joyful and exciting life there is. But it also can be the most challenging life there is. It’s a life lived out under the command of someone other than yourself. Most prayers are not answered because they are outside the will of God. Once we have discovered God’s will, we can then pray aggressively and confidently for it. We can pray, believing it will happen, because we know it is not something we have dreamed. A forgiven person will be a forgiving person. A true disciple will harbor no grudge toward another. The disciple knows it will hinder his or her prayer life and walk with God. It is far better to sit down for an hour and talk genuinely with one person than to rattle off trite clichés to scores of people. Attending more Bible studies, more prayer meetings, reading more Christian books, and listening to more teaching without an outlet for the truth will cause us to spiritually decay. We need to take what God has given us and use it constructively in the lives of others. You were placed on earth to know God. Everything else is secondary. The more we know God, the more we should want to make Him known to a lost world. Your life belongs to God. You don’t share your time and talents with Him; He shares them with you! He owns you and everything about you. You need to recognize and acknowledge that fact.
Greg Laurie (Start! to Follow: How to Be a Successful Follower of Jesus Christ)
All this attempt to control... We are talking about Western attitudes that are five hundred years old... The basic idea of science - that there was a new way to look at reality, that it was objective, that it did not depend on your beliefs or your nationality, that it was rational - that idea was fresh and exciting back then. It offered promise and hope for the future, and it swept away the old medieval system, which was hundreds of years old. The medieval world of feudal politics and religious dogma and hateful superstitions fell before science. But, in truth, this was because the medieval world didn't really work any more. It didn't work economically, it didn't work intellectually, and it didn't fit the new world that was emerging... But now... science is the belief system that is hundreds of years old. And, like the medieval system before it, science is starting to not fit the world any more. Science has attained so much power that its practical limits begin to be apparent. Largely through science, billions of us live in one small world, densely packed and intercommunicating. But science cannot help us decide what to do with that world, or how to live. Science can make a nuclear reactor, but it can not tell us not to build it. Science can make pesticide, but cannot tell us not to use it. And our world starts to seem polluted in fundamental ways - air, and water, and land - because of ungovernable science... At the same time, the great intellectual justification of science has vanished. Ever since Newton and Descartes, science has explicitly offered us the vision of total control. Science has claimed the power to eventually control everything, through its understanding of natural laws. But in the twentieth century, that claim has been shattered beyond repair. First, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle set limits on what we could know about the subatomic world. Oh well, we say. None of us lives in a subatomic world. It doesn't make any practical difference as we go through our lives. Then Godel's theorem set similar limits to mathematics, the formal language of science. Mathematicians used to think that their language had some inherent trueness that derived from the laws of logic. Now we know what we call 'reason' is just an arbitrary game. It's not special, in the way we thought it was. And now chaos theory proves that unpredictability is built into our daily lives. It is as mundane as the rain storms we cannot predict. And so the grand vision of science, hundreds of years old - the dream of total control - has died, in our century. And with it much of the justification, the rationale for science to do what it does. And for us to listen to it. Science has always said that it may not know everything now but it will know, eventually. But now we see that isn't true. It is an idle boast. As foolish, and misguided, as the child who jumps off a building because he believes he can fly... We are witnessing the end of the scientific era. Science, like other outmoded systems, is destroying itself. As it gains in power, it proves itself incapable of handling the power. Because things are going very fast now... it will be in everyone's hands. It will be in kits for backyard gardeners. Experiments for schoolchildren. Cheap labs for terrorists and dictators. And that will force everyone to ask the same question - What should I do with my power? - which is the very question science says it cannot answer.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))