Collecting Thoughts Quotes

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Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.
Mitch Albom (For One More Day)
We can only die in the future, I thought; right now we are always alive.
Amy Hempel (The Collected Stories)
He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
W.H. Auden (Collected Poems)
I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me. My love's not impersonal yet not wholly subjective either. I would like to be everyone, a cripple, a dying man, a whore, and then come back to write about my thoughts, my emotions, as that person. But I am not omniscient. I have to live my life, and it is the only one I'll ever have. And you cannot regard your own life with objective curiosity all the time...
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Magnus glanced at Alec and raised his eyebrows "Boo", he said. Jace was grinning. "Come on,surely you've got a phobia or two. What scares you?" Alec thought for a moment. "Spiders," he said. Clary turned to Luke. "Have you got a spider anywhere?" Luke looked exasperated. "Why would I have a spider? Do I look like someone who would collect them?" No offense," Jace said, "but you kind of do.
Cassandra Clare
Time Does Not Bring Relief Time does not bring relief; you all have lied Who told me time would ease me of my pain! I miss him in the weeping of the rain; I want him at the shrinking of the tide; The old snows melt from every mountain-side, And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane; But last year’s bitter loving must remain Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide. There are a hundred places where I fear To go,—so with his memory they brim. And entering with relief some quiet place Where never fell his foot or shone his face I say, “There is no memory of him here!” And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (Collected Poems)
Jace threw his hands up. "So it doesn't work." "Not necessarily," Luke said. "There might simply be nothing going on that might activate it. Perhaps there isn't anything here that Alec is afraid of." Magnus glanced at Alec and raised his eyebrows. "Boo," he said. Jace was grinning. "Come on, surely you've got a phobia or two. What scares you?" Alec thought for a moment. "Spiders," he said. Clary turned to Luke. "Have you got a spider anywhere?" Luke looked exasperated. "Why would I have a spider? Do I look like someone who would collect them?" "No offense," Jace said, "but you kind of do.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf. When I was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow globe. He would turn it over, letting all the snow collect on the top, then quickly invert it. The two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin. The penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told my father this, he said, "Don't worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He's trapped in a perfect world.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
I thought of my dad telling me that the universe wants to be noticed but what we want is to be noticed by the universe, to have the universe give a shit what happens to us- not the collective idea of sentient life but each of us as individuals.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
So many things I had thought forgotten Return to my mind with stranger pain: Like letters that arrive addressed to someone Who left the house so many years ago. from “Why Did I Dream of You Last Night?,
Philip Larkin (Collected Poems)
I Am Vertical But I would rather be horizontal. I am not a tree with my root in the soil Sucking up minerals and motherly love So that each March I may gleam into leaf, Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed Attracting my share of Ahs and spectacularly painted, Unknowing I must soon unpetal. Compared with me, a tree is immortal And a flower-head not tall, but more startling, And I want the one's longevity and the other's daring. Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars, The trees and flowers have been strewing their cool odors. I walk among them, but none of them are noticing. Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping I must most perfectly resemble them-- Thoughts gone dim. It is more natural to me, lying down. Then the sky and I are in open conversation, And I shall be useful when I lie down finally: The the trees may touch me for once, and the flowers have time for me. "I Am Vertical", 28 March 1961
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
To my babies, Merry Christmas. I'm sorry if these letters have caught you both by surprise. There is just so much more I have to say. I know you thought I was done giving advice, but I couldn't leave without reiterating a few things in writing. You may not relate to these things now, but someday you will. I wasn't able to be around forever, but I hope that my words can be. -Don't stop making basagna. Basagna is good. Wait until a day when there is no bad news, and bake a damn basagna. -Find a balance between head and heart. Hopefully you've found that Lake, and you can help Kel sort it out when he gets to that point. -Push your boundaries, that's what they're there for. -I'm stealing this snippet from your favorite band, Lake. "Always remember there is nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name." -Don't take life too seriously. Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit. Laugh at it. -And Laugh a lot. Never go a day without laughing at least once. -Never judge others. You both know good and well how unexpected events can change who a person is. Always keep that in mind. You never know what someone else is experiencing within their own life. -Question everything. Your love, your religion, your passions. If you don't have questions, you'll never find answers. -Be accepting. Of everything. People's differences, their similarities, their choices, their personalities. Sometimes it takes a variety to make a good collection. The same goes for people. -Choose your battles, but don't choose very many. -Keep an open mind; it's the only way new things can get in. -And last but not least, not the tiniest bit least. Never regret. Thank you both for giving me the best years of my life. Especially the last one. Love, Mom
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
This wasn't the person he'd thought he was, or would have chosen to be if he'd been free to choose, but there was something comforting and liberating about being an actual definite someone, rather than a collection of contradictory potential someones.
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
Once upon a time there was a bear and a bee who lived in a wood and were the best of friends. All summer long the bee collected nectar from morning to night while the bear lay on his back basking in the long grass. When winter came the bear realised he had nothing to eat and thought to himself 'I hope that busy little bee will share some of his honey with me.' But the bee was nowhere to be found - he had died of a stress induced coronary disease.
Banksy (Wall and Piece)
I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin. And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin. I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies. John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat. The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies. But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
There’s nothing to read into. I’m here to collect my beloved Damon and Stefan is just helping me.” Bonnie looked at her with her brows knitted and her mouth pursed, but didn’t venture a word. “Bonnie?” “Um-hm?” “Did I just say what I thought I said?” “Um-hm.” Elena, with one motion, gathered an armful of pillows and deposited them on her face.
L.J. Smith (The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries, #1))
God guard me from those thoughts men think In the mind alone.
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
He’d used the amulet to read my thoughts again. I pictured smacking him in the face.
Priya Ardis (Ever My Merlin (My Merlin, #3))
How is selfworth measured today? By the amount of likes a post gets, by how many friends we collect, by how many retweets we accumulate? Do we even know what we really think until we post our thoughts online and let others tell us if they are worthy?
Kasie West (The Fill-In Boyfriend)
Sometimes when I’ve felt despondent for several days, it helps to discipline myself by saying, ‘I’m going to think only positive thoughts.’ Enough is enough!
Larry Godwin (Transcending Depression: Quest Without a Compass)
The undercurrent of my every thought: To seek you, find you, have you for my own.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (Collected Poems)
Our relationship finally ended when he took to waking me up in the wee hours of the morning when he would go surfing. He thought it might be fun to have me come watch. "Fun for who?" I wanted to ask. I had never asked him to come to Happy Hour and watch me drink.
Chelsea Handler (My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands)
The permanent misfits can find salvation only in a complete separation from the self; and they usually find it by losing themselves in the compact collectivity of a mass movement.
Eric Hoffer (The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements)
I thought, my love is so good, why isn't it calling the same thing back.
Amy Hempel (The Collected Stories)
My mind then wandered. I thought of this: I thought of how every day each of us experiences a few little moments that have just a bit more resonance than other moments—we hear a word that sticks in our mind—or maybe we have a small experience that pulls us out of ourselves, if only briefly—we share a hotel elevator with a bride in her veils, say, or a stranger gives us a piece of bread to feed to the mallard ducks in the lagoon; a small child starts a conversation with us in a Dairy Queen—or we have an episode like the one I had with the M&M cars back at the Husky station. And if we were to collect these small moments in a notebook and save them over a period of months we would see certain trends emerge from our collection—certain voices would emerge that have been trying to speak through us. We would realize that we have been having another life altogether; one we didn’t even know was going on inside us. And maybe this other life is more important than the one we think of as being real—this clunky day-to-day world of furniture and noise and metal. So just maybe it is these small silent moments which are the true story-making events of our lives.
Douglas Coupland (Life After God)
A wager?" I repeated. "Yes," he said, and gave me a slow smile, bright with challenge. ... "Stake?" I asked cautiously. He was still smiling, an odd sort of smile, hard to define. "A kiss." My first reaction was outrage, but then I remembered that I was on my way to Court, and that had to be the kind of thing they did at Court. And if I win I don't have to collect. I hesitated only a moment longer, lured by the thought of open sky, and speed, and winning. "Done," I said.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1-2))
Perhaps there isn’t anything Alec is afraid of.” Magnus glanced at Alec and raised his eyebrows. “Boo,” he said. Jace was grinning. “Come on, surely you’ve got a phobia or two. What scares you?” Alec thought for a moment. “Spiders,” he said. Clary turned to Luke. “Have you got a spider anywhere?” Luke looked exasperated. “Why would I have a spider? Do I look like someone who would collect them?” “No offense,” Jace said, “But you kind of do.” “You know”---Alec’s tone was sour---”Maybe this was a stupid experiment.” “What about the dark?” Clary suggested. “We could lock you in the basement.” “I’m a demon hunter,” Alec said, with exaggerated patience. “Clearly, I am not afraid of the dark.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Most wives fuck their husbands, just to ensure financial support. Marriage is just a form of legalized prostitution, when you really thought about it.
K. Syrah (Sex and Stupidity: A collection of Short Stories)
All along — not only since she left, but for a decade before — I had been imagining her without listening, without knowing that she made as a poor a window as I did. And so I could not imagine her as a person who could feel fear, who could feel isolated in a roomful of people, who could be shy about her record collection because it was too personal to share. Someone who might have read travel books to escape having to live in the town that so many people escape to. Someone who — because no one thought she was a person — had no one to really talk to.
John Green (Paper Towns)
In one sense, reading is a great waste of time. In another sense, it is a great extension of time, a way for one person to live a thousand and one lives in a single lifespan, to watch the great impersonal universe at work again and again,
Mary Ruefle (Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures)
We were so wholly one I had not thought That we could die apart. I had not thought That I could move,—and you be stiff and still! That I could speak,—and you perforce be dumb! I think our heart-strings were, like warp and woof In some firm fabric, woven in and out; Your golden filaments in fair design Across my duller fibre.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (Collected Poems)
Krista asks,"What is it about society that disappoints you so much?" Elliot thinks, "Oh I don't know, is it that we collectively thought Steve Jobs was a great man even when we knew he made billions off the backs of children? Or maybe it's that it feels like all our heroes are counterfeit; the world itself's just one big hoax. Spamming each other with our burning commentary of bullshit masquerading as insight, our social media faking as intimacy. Or is it that we voted for this? Not with our rigged elections, but with our things, our property, our money. I'm not saying anything new. We all know why we do this, not because Hunger Games books makes us happy but because we wanna be sedated. Because it's painful not to pretend, because we're cowards. Fuck Society." "Mr. Robot" season 1 episode 1, 'ohellofriend.mov
Sam Esmail
Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor. Perhaps, in a way, that's where humanity is now: about to discover we're not as smart as we thought we were, will be forced by life to surrender our attacks and defenses which avail us of nothing, and finally break through into the collective beauty of who we really are." [Facebook post, August 31, 2013]
Marianne Williamson
Holidays are necessary celebrations of human collectiveness. It reminds us we’re a part of society. - STRONG: Powerful Philosophy for Timeless Thoughts by Kailin Gow
Kailin Gow
Over the years I’ve collected a thousand memories of you, every glimpse, every word you’ve ever said to me. All those visits to your family’s home, those dinners and holidays—I could hardly wait to walk through the front door and see you.” The corners of his mouth quirked with reminiscent amusement. “You, in the middle of that brash, bull-headed lot…I love watching you deal with your family. You’ve always been everything I thought a woman should be. And I have wanted you every second of my life since we first met.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
I said he kissed me. Really kissed me. It rocked me to my soul. It was brutal. It was brilliant. It was horrible. I thought I was going to die.
Margaret Way (Genni's Dilemma (Mills & Boon 100th Birthday Collection))
Instead of bringing back 1600 plants, we might return from our journeys with a collection of small unfêted but life-enhancing thoughts.
Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel)
Never before had she seen such creatures, though they looked much live very large, very shaggy white goats. Thin black horns punctuated the top of their long faces. You look like a collection of grandfathers, she thought, amused.
Tamora Pierce (Daja's Book (Circle of Magic, #3))
None but God would ever have thought of justifying me. I am a wonder to myself.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (All of Grace - A Spurgeon Collection)
Leave the dishes. Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor. Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster. Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup. Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins. Don't even sew on a button. Let the wind have its way, then the earth that invades as dust and then the dead foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch. Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome. Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry who uses whose toothbrush or if anything matches, at all. Except one word to another. Or a thought. Pursue the authentic-decide first what is authentic, then go after it with all your heart. Your heart, that place you don't even think of cleaning out. That closet stuffed with savage mementos. Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner again. Don't answer the telephone, ever, or weep over anything at all that breaks. Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life and talk to the dead who drift in though the screened windows, who collect patiently on the tops of food jars and books. Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything except what destroys the insulation between yourself and your experience or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters this ruse you call necessity.
Louise Erdrich (Original Fire)
Want to come back to the morgue with me after lunch? (Tate) I shudder at the thought of the pickup line you must have used the night you met LaShonda. Come with me, baby, and see my collection of stiffs. (Simone)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dream Chaser (Dark-Hunter, #13; Dream-Hunter, #3))
There was a strange but universal understanding among women. On some level all women knew, they all understood, the fear of being outnumbered, of being helpless. It throbbed in their chests when they thought about the times they left stores and were followed. The knocks on their car windows as they were sitting alone at red lights, and strangers asking for rides. Having too much to drink and losing their ability to be forceful enough to just say no. Smiling at strange men coming on to them, not wanting to hurt their feelings, not wanting to make a scene. All women remembered these things, even if they had never happened to them personally. It was a part of their collective unconscious.
Sarah Addison Allen (The Peach Keeper)
The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women's rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Center and Pentagon and kill thousands of people: um, I'm against that. But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list -- yes, even the short skirts and the dancing -- are worth dying for? The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing. In his world-view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences. To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong. We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world's resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them. How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.
Salman Rushdie (Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002)
We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing. It might be a thousand years. At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little. We cannot act collectively. We can only spread our knowledge outwards from individual to individual, generation after generation. In the face of the Thought Police there is no other way.
George Orwell (1984)
Dr. Green laughed, resting a hand on his forehead. “You should have seen those boys. They ran so fast, you’d have thought I was the devil come to collect.
C.L. Stone (Drop of Doubt (The Ghost Bird, #5))
We should have signs in the subways and shops “Watch your thoughts!” “Watch your words!
Florence Scovel Shinn (The Collected Wisdom of Florence Scovel Shinn)
I was free with every road as my home. No limitations and no commitments. But then summer passed and winter came and I fell short for safety. I fell for its spell, slowly humming me to sleep, because I was tired and small, too weak to take or handle those opinions and views, attacking me from every angle. Against my art, against my self, against my very way of living. I collected my thoughts, my few possessions and built isolated walls around my values and character. I protected my own definition of beauty and success like a treasure at the bottom of the sea, for no one saw what I saw, or felt the same as I did, and so I wanted to keep to myself. You hide to protect yourself.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
Aubade I work all day, and get half-drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain-edges will grow light. Till then I see what’s really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how And where and when I shall myself die. Arid interrogation: yet the dread Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify. The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse —The good not done, the love not given, time Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because An only life can take so long to climb Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never; But at the total emptiness for ever, The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always. Not to be here, Not to be anywhere, And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true. This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels. Religion used to try, That vast moth-eaten musical brocade Created to pretend we never die, And specious stuff that says No rational being Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound, No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, Nothing to love or link with, The anaesthetic from which none come round. And so it stays just on the edge of vision, A small unfocused blur, a standing chill That slows each impulse down to indecision. Most things may never happen: this one will, And realisation of it rages out In furnace-fear when we are caught without People or drink. Courage is no good: It means not scaring others. Being brave Lets no one off the grave. Death is no different whined at than withstood. Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape. It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know, Have always known, know that we can’t escape, Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring Intricate rented world begins to rouse. The sky is white as clay, with no sun. Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
Philip Larkin (Collected Poems)
Then the children went to bed, or at least went upstairs, and the men joined the women for a cigarette on the porch, absently picking ticks engorged like grapes off the sleeping dogs. And when the men kissed the women good night, and their weekend whiskers scratched the women's cheeks, the women did not think shave, they thought stay.
Amy Hempel (The Collected Stories)
The thought of him was a smoky cloud from hell that moved and crept in her head.
Katherine Anne Porter (The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter)
There will be consequences for this, he thought. You can't alter time and not be affected. But whatever the consequences are, I will bear them, because the alternative is too terrible. -Artemis Fowl, The Lost Colony
Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl Collection (Artemis Fowl, #1-7))
Ithaka As you set out for Ithaka hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them: you’ll never find things like that on your way as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, as long as a rare excitement stirs your spirit and your body. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them unless you bring them along inside your soul, unless your soul sets them up in front of you. Hope the voyage is a long one. May there be many a summer morning when, with what pleasure, what joy, you come into harbors seen for the first time; may you stop at Phoenician trading stations to buy fine things, mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, sensual perfume of every kind— as many sensual perfumes as you can; and may you visit many Egyptian cities to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars. Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you are destined for. But do not hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you are old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you have gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you would not have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
Constantinos P. Cavafy (C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems)
Happy the hare at morning, for she cannot read The hunter's waking thoughts.
W.H. Auden (Collected Poems)
THE THOUGHTFUL LOVER Deny yourself all half things. Have it or leave it. But it will keep—or it is not worth the having. Never start anything you can't finish— However do not lose faith because you are starved! She loves you she says. Believe it —tomorrow. But today the particulars of poetry that difficult art require your whole attention.
William Carlos Williams (The Collected Poems, Vol. 2: 1939-1962)
The library will endure; it is the universe. As for us, everything has not been written; we are not turning into phantoms. We walk the corridors, searching the shelves and rearranging them, looking for lines of meaning amid leagues of cacophony and incoherence, reading the history of the past and our future, collecting our thoughts and collecting the thoughts of others, and every so often glimpsing mirrors, in which we may recognize creatures of the information.
Jorge Luis Borges (The Library of Babel)
Often as writers, we are surprised by what we learn about ourselves. It runs counter to what we’ve thought about who we are. But it is closer to the truth.
Rob Bignell (Writing Affirmations: A Collection of Positive Messages to Inspire Writers)
But you are not your bank account, or your ambition. You're not the cold clay lump you leave behind when you die. You're not your collection of walking personality disorders. You are Spirit, you are love, and even though it is hard to believe sometimes, you are free. You're here to love, and be loved, freely. If you find out next week that you are terminally ill - and we're all terminally ill on this bus - what will matter are memories of beauty, that people loved you, and that you loved them.
Anne Lamott (Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith)
It’s the beating of my heart. The way I lie awake, playing with shadows slowly climbing up my wall. The gentle moonlight slipping through my window and the sound of a lonely car somewhere far away, where I long to be too, I think. It’s the way I thought my restless wandering was over, that I’d found whatever I thought I had found, or wanted, or needed, and I started to collect my belongings. Build a home. Safe behind the comfort of these four walls and a closed door. Because as much as I tried or pretended or imagined myself as a part of all the people out there, I was still the one locking the door every night. Turning off the phone and blowing out the candles so no one knew I was home. ’cause I was never really well around the expectations of my personality and I wanted to keep to myself. and because I haven’t been very impressed lately. By people, or places. Or the way someone said he loved me and then slowly changed his mind.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
He was there alone with himself, collected, tranquil, adoring, comparing the serenity of his heart with the serenity of the skies, moved in the darkness by the visible splendors of the constellations, and the invisible splendor of God, opening his soul to the thoughts which fall from the Unknown. In such moments, offering up his heart at the hour when the flowers of night inhale their perfume, lighted like a lamp in the center of the starry night, expanding his soul in ecstasy in the midst of the universal radiance of creation, he could not himself perhaps have told what was passing in his own mind; he felt something depart from him, and something descend upon him, mysterious interchanges of the depths of the soul with the depths of the universe.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Could the straggling thoughts of individuals be collected, they would frequently form materials for wise and able men to improve into useful matter.
Thomas Paine (Common Sense)
But, my darling, if you love me,' thought Miss Meadows, 'I don't mind how much it is. Love me as little as you like.
Katherine Mansfield (The Collected Stories of Katherine Mansfield)
A totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy, and its ruling caste, in order to keep its position, has to be thought of as infallible. But since, in practice, no one is infallible, it is frequently necessary to rearrange past events in order to show that this or that mistake was not made, or that this or that imaginary triumph actually happened.
George Orwell (Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell Volume 2 My Country Right or Left 1940 - 1943)
Your job then, should you choose to accept it, is to keep searching for the metaphors, rituals and teachers that will help you move ever closer to divinity. The Yogic scriptures say that God responds to the sacred prayers and efforts of human beings in any way whatsoever that mortals choose to worship—just so long as those prayers are sincere. I think you have every right to cherry-pick when it comes to moving your spirit and finding peace in God. I think you are free to search for any metaphor whatsoever which will take you across the worldly divide whenever you need to be transported or comforted. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. It's the history of mankind's search for holiness. If humanity never evolved in its exploration of the divine, a lot of us would still be worshipping golden Egyptian statues of cats. And this evolution of religious thinking does involve a fair bit of cherry-picking. You take whatever works from wherever you can find it, and you keep moving toward the light. The Hopi Indians thought that the world's religions each contained one spiritual thread, and that these threads are always seeking each other, wanting to join. When all the threads are finally woven together they will form a rope that will pull us out of this dark cycle of history and into the next realm. More contemporarily, the Dalai Lama has repeated the same idea, assuring his Western students repeatedly that they needn't become Tibetan Buddhists in order to be his pupils. He welcomes them to take whatever ideas they like out of Tibetan Buddhism and integrate these ideas into their own religious practices. Even in the most unlikely and conservative of places, you can find sometimes this glimmering idea that God might be bigger than our limited religious doctrines have taught us. In 1954, Pope Pius XI, of all people, sent some Vatican delegates on a trip to Libya with these written instructions: "Do NOT think that you are going among Infidels. Muslims attain salvation, too. The ways of Providence are infinite." But doesn't that make sense? That the infinite would be, indeed ... infinite? That even the most holy amongst us would only be able to see scattered pieces of the eternal picture at any given time? And that maybe if we could collect those pieces and compare them, a story about God would begin to emerge that resembles and includes everyone? And isn't our individual longing for transcendence all just part of this larger human search for divinity? Don't we each have the right to not stop seeking until we get as close to the source of wonder as possible? Even if it means coming to India and kissing trees in the moonlight for a while? That's me in the corner, in other words. That's me in the spotlight. Choosing my religion.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Cinder,” he said, “will you marry me?” Absurd, she thought. The emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth was proposing to her. It was uncanny. It was hysterical. But it was Kai, and somehow, that also made it exactly right. “Yes,” she whispered, “I will marry you.” Those
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5))
And what you thought you came for is only a shell, a husk of meaning from which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled if at all. Either you had no purpose or the purpose is beyond the end you figured And is altered in fulfillment.
T.S. Eliot (Collected Poems, 1909-1962)
He sensed the presence of death, he sensed the presence of undying love: something broke open inside him, and he thought of the invisible woman, incorporeal and passionate, as one might think of distant music.
Stefan Zweig (The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig)
I didn't give it much thought back then. I just wanted to get all the words straight and collect my A.
Gayle Forman (Just One Day (Just One Day, #1))
Music took her somewhere, and I used to wonder where. I thought it was dumb, the way she lived for a collection of sounds, for someone else's words and notes.
Megan Lindholm (The Inheritance)
But ask yourself this: Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back. What if you got it back?
Mitch Albom (For One More Day)
America is a dream. The poet says it was promises. The people say it is promises—that will come true. The people do not always say things out loud, Nor write them down on paper. The people often hold Great thoughts in their deepest hearts And sometimes only blunderingly express them, Haltingly and stumbling say them, And faultily put them into practice. The people do not always understand each other. But there is, somewhere there, Always the trying to understand, And the trying to say, "You are a man. Together we are building our land.
Langston Hughes (The Collected Poems)
Loneliness is a storm. Not something relaxing, the pitter patter and distant rumble. But the annoying pre-storm, wherein lives are boring, and not satisfying. Hello? Oh, the car crashed. It’s sad, that’s so abrasive. There are no voices in my head anymore, But I’d welcome the company, you know. Good thing I have nothing to hide, So I’ll wait for you, and them. ~
L.P. Cowling (PFI: Poetry Collection)
When you say to yourself, 'I am going to have a pleasant visit or a pleasant journey,' you are literally sending elements and forces ahead of your body that will arrange things to make your visit or journey pleasant....Our thoughts, or in other words, our state of mind, is ever at work 'fixing up' things good or bad in advance.
Prentice Mulford (Thoughts Are Things & the Real and the Unreal: The Collected New Thought Wisdom of Prentice Mulford and Charles Fillmore)
If we're lucky, writer and reader alike, we'll finish the last line or two of a short story and then just sit for a minute, quietly. Ideally, we'll ponder what we've just written or read; maybe our hearts or intellects will have been moved off the peg just a little from where they were before. Our body temperature will have gone up, or down, by a degree. Then, breathing evenly and steadily once more, we'll collect ourselves, writers and readers alike, get up, "created of warm blood and nerves" as a Chekhov character puts it, and go on to the next thing: Life. Always life.
Raymond Carver (Call If You Need Me: The Uncollected Fiction and Other Prose)
So?” Clary said. (After she Marked Alec with the Fearless rune.) “So what?” Alec rolled his sleeve down, covering the Mark. “So how do you feel? Any different?” Alec looked considering. “Not really.” Jace threw his hands up. “So it doesn’t work.” “No necessarily,” Luke said. “There might simply be nothing going on that might activate it. Perhaps there isn’t anything here that Alec is afraid of.” Magnus glanced at Alec and raised his eyebrows. “Boo,” he said. Jace was grinning. “Come on, surely you‘ve got a phobia or two. What scares you?” Alec thought for a moment. “Spiders,” he said. Clary turned to Luke. “Have you got a spider anywhere?” Luke looked exasperated. “Why would I have a spider? Do I look like someone who would collect them?” “No offense,” Jace said, “but you kind of do.” “You know” -Alec‘s tone was sour- “maybe this was a stupid experiment.” “What about the dark?” Clary suggested. “We could lock you in the basement.” “I‘m a demon hunter,” Alec said, with exaggerated patience. “Clearly, I am not afraid of the dark.” ~pg.284-285~
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
individual thought is mostly the result of collective thought and of interaction with other people. The language is entirely collective, and most of the thoughts in it are. Everybody does his own thing to those thoughts – he makes a contribution. But very few change them very much.
David Bohm (On Dialogue (Routledge Classics))
I'd been making desicions for days. I picked out the dress Bailey would wear forever- a black slinky one- innapropriate- that she loved. I chose a sweater to go over it, earrings, bracelet, necklace, her most beloved strappy sandals. I collected her makeup to give to the funeral director with a recent photo- I thought it would be me that would dress her; I didn't think a strange man should see her naked touch her body shave her legs apply her lipstick but that's what happened all the same. I helped Gram pick out the casket, the plot at the cemetery. I changed a few lines in the obituary that Big composed. I wrote on a piece of paper what I thought should go on the headstone. I did all this without uttering a word. Not one word, for days, until I saw Bailey before the funeral and lost my mind. I hadn't realized that when people say so-and-so snapped that's what actually happens- I started shaking her- I thought I could wake her up and get her the hell out of that box. When she didn't wake, I screamed: Talk to me. Big swooped me up in his arms, carried me out of the room, the church, into the slamming rain, and down to the creek where we sobbed together under the black coat he held over our heads to protect us from the weather.
Jandy Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere)
You don't fall in love like you fall in a hole. You fall like falling through space. It’s like you jump off your own private planet to visit someone else’s planet. And when you get there it all looks different: the flowers, the animals, the colours people wear. It is a big surprise falling in love because you thought you had everything just right on your own planet, and that was true, in a way, but then somebody signalled to you across space and the only way you could visit was to take a giant jump. Away you go, falling into someone else’s orbit and after a while you might decide to pull your two planets together and call it home. And you can bring your dog. Or your cat. Your goldfish, hamster, collection of stones, all your odd socks. (The ones you lost, including the holes, are on the new planet you found.) And you can bring your friends to visit. And read your favourite stories to each other. And the falling was really the big jump that you had to make to be with someone you don’t want to be without. That’s it. PS You have to be brave.
Jeanette Winterson
You can get used to horror, he thought. When it has lost immediacy and is no longer pungent and has become a steady diet. When it has degraded to a chain of mind-numbing events. (“Lover When You're Near Me”)
Richard Matheson (Collected Stories, Vol. 1)
How much weight can carry a thought which does not acknowledge that it is an illusion?
Sorin Cerin (Wisdom Collection: The Book of Wisdom)
Will you treat people who make you miserable, as prison guards, or travel agents?
Leslie Miklosy (My Thoughts Prefer Side Streets - Collected Essays and Other Reflections)
Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.
Esther Hicks (The Essential Law of Attraction Collection)
In my short life I made so many choices just because i thought they were required, but my dad was right: there's no rulebook for the world. It's in our heads, our collective human hive-mind. If there are rules, we're the ones making them. We can change them whenever we want to.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
Night doesn’t fall for my eyes But my idea of the night is that it falls for my eyes. Beyond my thinking and having any thoughts The night falls concretely And the shining of stars exists like it had weight.
Alberto Caeiro (The Collected Poems of Alberto Caeiro)
Must, must, must — detestable word. Once more, I who had thought myself immune, who had said, "Now I am rid of all that", find that the wave has tumbled me over, head over heels, scattering my possessions, leaving me to collect, to assemble, to head together, to summon my forces, rise and confront the enemy.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
By creating a new mythos - that is, a change in the way we perceive reality, the way we see ourselves, and the ways we behave - la mestiza creates a new consciousness. The work of mestiza consciousness is to break down the subject/object duality that keeps her prisoner and to show in the flesh and through the images in her work how duality is transcended. The answer to the problem between the white race and the colored, between males and females, lies in healing the split that originates in the very foundation of our lives, our culture, our languages, our thoughts. A massive uprooting of dualistic thinking in the individual and collective consciousness is the beginning of a long struggle, but one that could, in our best hopes, bring us to the end of rape, of violence, of war.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa
I nodded, mollified. “Okay, I can roll with that. And then after that, I suppose it’s just a matter of time until we’re taking the kids to soccer practice.” Her eyebrows rose. “Kids?” “Relax, it’s years away. But can you imagine? Your brains, my charm, our collective good looks . . . then add in the usual physical abilities dhampirs get.” She looked more amused than appalled at the speculation, which was something I’d never thought I’d see. “It’s really not even fair to everyone else. Good thing you’re on birth control, since the world obviously isn’t ready for our perfect offspring.” “Obviously,” she laughed.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
Thought tends to collect in pools.
Wallace Stevens (Opus Posthumous: Poems, Plays, Prose)
I believe in the power of love, and planting positive thought seeds into the collective consciousness.
Jay Woodman
All that we are is the result of what we have thought:
Anonymous (Dhammapada, a collection of verses; being one of the canonical books of the Buddhists)
I thought it would be nice to look up at the night sky with you beside me for once, rather than just wishing you were beside me.” Cinder
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5))
Wretched unfair, it is,” he remarked. “Of the three of us, I’m the one who’s always collected the rare and unusual, yet you two managed to snag the world’s most unusual women. First you, Crispin, with the only living half-breed, who then turned into an even more unusual vampire. And now you, Charles, have bagged a shape-shifter. Thought you were joking when you said Denise was the kitty. I’m simply green with jealousy
Jeaniene Frost (First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World, #1))
The mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought. An agreement reached by a group of men is only a compromise or an average drawn upon many individual thoughts. It is a secondary consequence. The primary act—the process of reason—must be performed by each man alone.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Study, along the lines which the theologies have mapped, will never lead us to discovery of the fundamental facts of our existence. That goal must be attained by means of exact science and can only be achieved by such means. The fact that man, for ages, has superstitiously believed in what he calls a God does not prove at all that his theory has been right. There have been many gods – all makeshifts, born of inability to fathom the deep fundamental truth. There must be something at the bottom of existence, and man, in ignorance, being unable to discover what it is through reason, because his reason has been so imperfect, undeveloped, has used, instead, imagination, and created figments, of one kind or another, which, according to the country he was born in, the suggestions of his environment, satisfied him for the time being. Not one of all the gods of all the various theologies has ever really been proved. We accept no ordinary scientific fact without the final proof; why should we, then, be satisfied in this most mighty of all matters, with a mere theory? Destruction of false theories will not decrease the sum of human happiness in future, any more than it has in the past... The days of miracles have passed. I do not believe, of course, that there was ever any day of actual miracles. I cannot understand that there were ever any miracles at all. My guide must be my reason, and at thought of miracles my reason is rebellious. Personally, I do not believe that Christ laid claim to doing miracles, or asserted that he had miraculous power... Our intelligence is the aggregate intelligence of the cells which make us up. There is no soul, distinct from mind, and what we speak of as the mind is just the aggregate intelligence of cells. It is fallacious to declare that we have souls apart from animal intelligence, apart from brains. It is the brain that keeps us going. There is nothing beyond that. Life goes on endlessly, but no more in human beings than in other animals, or, for that matter, than in vegetables. Life, collectively, must be immortal, human beings, individually, cannot be, as I see it, for they are not the individuals – they are mere aggregates of cells. There is no supernatural. We are continually learning new things. There are powers within us which have not yet been developed and they will develop. We shall learn things of ourselves, which will be full of wonders, but none of them will be beyond the natural. [Columbian Magazine interview]
Thomas A. Edison
He didn't touch me. He could have—he had the perfect reason to—but he didn't. Instead he bent to collect my papers before the breeze could whisk them away. Instead he picked up my satchel from the sidewalk and asked if I was okay. Instead he stood between me and the busy street while I brushed the dirt from my palms and tried to swallow the knot of frustration stuck in my throat. Instead he just waited. I had the strange thought that he would wait forever.
Nina Lane (Arouse (Spiral of Bliss, #1))
Politics How can I, that girl standing there, My attention fix On Roman or on Russian Or on Spanish politics? Yet here's a travelled man that knows What he talks about, And there's a politician That has read and thought, And maybe what they say is true Of war and war's alarms, But O that I were young again And held her in my arms!
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats, Volume 1: The Poems)
I love flowers for being flowers, directly. And I love trees for being trees without my thought.
Alberto Caeiro (The Collected Poems of Alberto Caeiro)
I feel fortunate to have spent a fair amount of time around toxic people, because their true purpose is confirming the value of those who should be treasured.
Sean Aeon (The Outsider’s Mind : A Collection of Short Stories and the Quotes They Inspired)
ROSE of all Roses, Rose of all the World! The tall thought-woven sails, that flap unfurled Above the tide of hours, trouble the air, And God’s bell buoyed to be the water’s care; While hushed from fear, or loud with hope, a band With blown, spray-dabbled hair gather at hand. Turn if you may from battles never done, I call, as they go by me one by one, Danger no refuge holds, and war no peace, For him who hears love sing and never cease, Beside her clean-swept hearth, her quiet shade: But gather all for whom no love hath made A woven silence, or but came to cast A song into the air, and singing past To smile on the pale dawn; and gather you Who have sought more than is in rain or dew Or in the sun and moon, or on the earth, Or sighs amid the wandering starry mirth, Or comes in laughter from the sea’s sad lips; And wage God’s battles in the long grey ships. The sad, the lonely, the insatiable, To these Old Night shall all her mystery tell; God’s bell has claimed them by the little cry Of their sad hearts, that may not live nor die. Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World! You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing. Beauty grown sad with its eternity Made you of us, and of the dim grey sea. Our long ships loose thought-woven sails and wait, For God has bid them share an equal fate; And when at last defeated in His wars, They have gone down under the same white stars, We shall no longer hear the little cry Of our sad hearts, that may not live nor die. The Sweet Far Thing
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
The God Wars had not been a pleasant time for Craftsmen and Craftswomen around the world. One day, you’re a simple thaumaturge, idly meddling in matters man was not meant to comprehend. The next, a collection of beings as old as humanity, with legions of followers, declare war on your “kind”, and neighbours who once thought you a harmless eccentric with a fondness for mystic sigils and foul unguents see you as an affront to Creation.
Max Gladstone (Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence, #1))
While it does, and should, feel good to be appreciated by another person, if you are dependent upon their appreciation to feel good, you will not be able to consistently feel good, because no other person has the ability, or a responsibility, to hold you as their singular, positive object of attention. Your Inner Being, however, the Source within you, always holds you, with no exceptions, as a constant object of appreciation. So if you will tune your thoughts and actions to that consistent Vibration of Well-Being flowing forth from your Inner Being—you will thrive under any and all conditions.
Esther Hicks (The Essential Law of Attraction Collection)
What people think about you has more to do with their habitual thinking than with who you really are. You, as you are right now, are filtered through decades of their life experiences, traumas, disappointments, heartaches, and suffering. It is a reflection of their patterns of thought and stories about life. Their judgment has nothing to do with you as a whole because the experience of you cannot be separated from their experience of life.
Emily Maroutian (Thirty: A Collection of Personal Quotes, Advice, and Lessons)
Lord, how unutterably disgusting life is! What dirty tricks it plays us, one moment free; the next, this. Here we are among the breadcrumbs and the stained napkins again. That knife is already congealing with grease. Disorder, sordidity and corruption surrounds us. We have been taking into our mouths the bodies of dead birds. It is with these greasy crumbs, slobbering over napkins, and little corpses that we have to build. Always it begins again; always there is the enemy; eyes meeting ours; fingers twitching ours; the effort waiting. Call the waiter. Pay the bill. We must pull ourselves up out of the chairs. We must find our coats. We must go. Must, must, must — detestable word. Once more, I who had thought myself immune, who had said, "Now I am rid of all that", find that the wave has tumbled me over, head over heels, scattering my possessions, leaving me to collect, to assemble, to head together, to summon my forces, rise and confront the enemy.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
I feel that I have had a blow; but it is not, as I thought as a child, simply a blow from an enemy hidden behind the cotton wool of daily life; it is or will become a revelation of some order; it is a token of some real thing behind appearances; and I make it real by putting it into words. It is only by putting it into words that I make it whole; this wholeness means that it has lost its power to hurt me; it gives me, perhaps because by doing so I take away the pain, a great delight to put the severed parts together.
Virginia Woolf (Moments of Being: A Collection of Autobiographical Writing)
If you saw her in these moments, you might think she was collecting her thoughts in order to go forward. But I see it another way: Her mind is being overwhelmed by two processes that must simultaneously proceed at full steam. One is to deal with and live in the present world. The other is to re-experience and mourn something that happened long ago. It is as though her lightness pulls her toward heaven, but the extra gravity around her keeps her earthbound.
Steve Martin (The Pleasure of My Company)
He who has renounced (the ‘I-thought’) thus, remains the same whether he is alone or in the midst of the extensive samsara
Ramana Maharshi (Collected works of Ramana Maharshi)
I sit alone and watch the clock Trying to collect my thoughts All I think about is you And so I cry myself to sleep And hope the devil I don't meet In the dreams that I live through
Staind (Staind - The Illusion of Progress)
You are the last Five left in the competition, yes? Do you think that hurts your chances of becoming the princess?" The word sprang from my lips without thought. "No!" "Oh, my! You do have a spirit there!" Gavril seemed pleased to have gotten such an enthusiastic response. "So you think you'll beat out all the others, then? Make it to the end?" I thought better of myself. "No, no. It's not like that. I don't think I'm better than any of the other girls; they're all amazing. It's just...I don't think Maxon would do that, just discount someone because of their caste." I heard a collective gasp. I ran over the sentence in my head. It took me a minute to catch my mistake: I'd called him Maxon. Saying that to another girl behind closed doors was one thing, but to say his name without the word "Prince" in front of it was incredibly informal in public. And I'd said it on live television. I looked to see if Maxon was angry. He had a calm smile on his face. So he wasn't mad...but I was embarrassed. I blushed fiercely. "Ah, so it seems you really have gotten to know our prince. Tell me, what do you think of Maxon?" I ahd thought of several answers while I was waiting for my turn. I was going to make fun of his laugh or talk about the pet name he wanted his wife to call him. It seemed like the only way to save the situation was to get back the comedy. But as I lifted my eyes to make one of my comments, I saw Maxon's face. He really wanted to know. And I couldn't poke fun at him, not when I had a chance to say what I'd really started to think now that he was my friend. I couldn't joke about the person who'd saved me from facing absolute heartbreak at home, who fed my family boxes of sweets, who ran to me worried that I was hurt if I asked for him. A month ago, I had looked at the TV and seen a stiff, distant, boring person-someone I couldn't imagine anyone loving. And while he wasn't anything close to the person I did love, he was worthy of having someone to love in his life. "Maxon Schreave is the epitome of all things good. He is going to be a phenomenal king. He lets girls who are supposed to be wearing dresses wear jeans and doesn't get mad when someone who doesn't know him clearly mislabels him." I gave Gavril a keen look, and he smiled. And behind him, Maxon looked intrigued. "Whoever he marries will be a lucky girl. And whatever happens to me, I will be honored to be his subject." I saw Maxon swallow, and I lowered my eyes. "America Singer, thank you so much." Gavril went to shake my hand. "Up next is Miss Tallulah Bell." I didn't hear what any of the girls said after me, though I stared at the two seats. That interview had become way more personal than I'd intended it to be. I couldn't bring myself to look at Maxon. Instead I sat there replaying my words again and again in my head.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Here we see that models, despite their reputation for impartiality, reflect goals and ideology. When I removed the possibility of eating Pop-Tarts at every meal, I was imposing my ideology on the meals model. It’s something we do without a second thought. Our own values and desires influence our choices, from the data we choose to collect to the questions we ask. Models are opinions embedded in mathematics.
Cathy O'Neil (Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy)
My dear heart, never think you are better than others. Listen to their sorrows with compassion. If you want peace, don't harbor bad thoughts, do not gossip and don't teach what you do not know.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Is there a certain type of drama you like?” Kate whispered. Carswell twisted his lips up in thought. “Adventure stories, I guess. With lots of exotic places and daring escapades … and swashbuckling space pirates, naturally.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5))
When I was a child, I thought, Casually, that solitude Never needed to be sought. Something everybody had, Like nakedness, it lay at hand, Not specially right or specially wrong, A plentiful and obvious thing Not at all hard to understand. Then, after twenty, it became At once more difficult to get And more desired -- though all the same More undesirable; for what You are alone has, to achieve The rank of fact, to be expressed In terms of others, or it's just A compensating make-believe. Much better stay in company! To love you must have someone else, Giving requires a legatee, Good neighbours need whole parishfuls Of folk to do it on -- in short, Our virtues are all social; if, Deprived of solitude, you chafe, It's clear you're not the virtuous sort. Viciously, then, I lock my door. The gas-fire breathes. The wind outside Ushers in evening rain. Once more Uncontradicting solitude Supports me on its giant palm; And like a sea-anemone Or simple snail, there cautiously Unfolds, emerges, what I am." (Best Company)
Philip Larkin (Collected Poems)
the thoughts you think and the way you feel are at the center of what you attract. Rather than looking for things outside of you that cause you to feel better, it is much easier to decide to feel better first and then attract, from the outside, things that do.
Esther Hicks (The Essential Law of Attraction Collection)
He remembered his mentor, Lou Kline, telling him in the nineties that rock and roll had peaked at Monterey Pop. They'd been in Lou's house in LA with its waterfalls, the pretty girls Lou always had, his car collection out front, and Bennie had looked into his idol's famous face and thought, You're finished. Nostalgia was the end - everyone knew that.
Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
Spending a night out drinking is akin to dismantling every piece of protection we have—our cognition, our decision making, our reaction time, our memory, our standards, our voice. If we thought about alcohol in this way—as something that undermines our collective momentum and personal agency and vitality and self-worth—what would that mean for us? What if we all rejected the poison—then what? I’ll tell you what: world domination, bitches.
Holly Whitaker (Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol)
The mental thought patterns that cause the most dis-ease in the body are CRITICISM, ANGER, RESENTMENT and GUILT. For instance, criticism indulged in long enought will often lead to dis-eases such as arthritis. Anger turns into things that boil and burn and infect the body. Resentment long held festers and eats away at the self and ultimately can lead to tumors and cancer. Guilt always seeks punishment and leads to pain.
Louise L. Hay (The Golden Louise L. Hay Collection)
Listen! This is where it began but I keep getting muddled... The fact of the matter is that I now want to recall everything, every trifle, every little detail. I still want to collect my thoughts and - I can't, and now there are these little details, these little details...
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Meek One)
Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom But thee, deep buried in the silent tomb, That spot which no vicissitude can find? Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind— But how could I forget thee? Through what power, Even for the least division of an hour, Have I been so beguiled as to be blind To my most grievous loss!—That thought's return Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore, Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn, Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more; That neither present time, nor years unborn Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.
William Wordsworth (The Works of William Wordsworth)
We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world's resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love.
Salman Rushdie (Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002)
I often thought there was too much time there. That the place was sick with it. Haunted by it. Time didn't leak away as it should. There was nowhere for it to go and no modernity to hurry it along. It collected as the black water did on the marshes and remained and stagnated in the same way.
Andrew Michael Hurley (The Loney)
No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it. Collective thought is stupid because it's collective. Nothing passes into the realm of the collective without leaving at the border -like a toll- most of the intelligence it contained. In youth we're twofold. Our innate intelligence, which may be considerable, coexists with the stupidity of our inexperience, which forms a second, lesser intelligence. Only later on do the two unite. That's why youth always blunders - not because of its inexperience, but because of it's non-unity. Today the only course left for the man of superior intelligence is abdication.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
I often thought that the simples fact, the mechanical fact, is no closer to the truth than a vague feeling, rumor, vision. Why repeat the facts - they cover up our feelings. The development of these feelings, the spilling of these feelings past the facts, is what fascinantes me. I try to find them, collect them, protect them.
Svetlana Alexievich (Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster)
Then they have the audacity to go shopping and pick out their own gifts. I want to know who the first person was who said this was okay. After spending all that money on a bachelorette weekend, a shower, and often a flight across the country, they expect you to go to Williams Sonoma or Pottery Barn and do research? Then they send you a thank-you note applauding you for such a thoughtful gift. They're the one who picked it out!
Chelsea Handler (My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands)
In Plaster I shall never get out of this! There are two of me now: This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one, And the white person is certainly the superior one. She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints. 
At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality -- She lay in bed with me like a dead body 
And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was 
 Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints. I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold. I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer. 
I couldn't understand her stupid behavior! 
When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist. 
Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her: She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages. 

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

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

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

I wasn't in any position to get rid of her. She'd supported me for so long I was quite limp -- I had forgotten how to walk or sit, So I was careful not to upset her in any way 
Or brag ahead of time how I'd avenge myself. Living with her was like living with my own coffin: Yet I still depended on her, though I did it regretfully. I used to think we might make a go of it together -- 
After all, it was a kind of marriage, being so close. 
Now I see it must be one or the other of us. She may be a saint, and I may be ugly and hairy, 
But she'll soon find out that that doesn't matter a bit. I'm collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her, 
And she'll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me. --written 26 Feburary 1961
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
He walked straight out of college into the waiting arms of the Navy. They gave him an intelligence test. The first question on the math part had to do with boats on a river: Port Smith is 100 miles upstream of Port Jones. The river flows at 5 miles per hour. The boat goes through water at 10 miles per hour. How long does it take to go from Port Smith to Port Jones? How long to come back? Lawrence immediately saw that it was a trick question. You would have to be some kind of idiot to make the facile assumption that the current would add or subtract 5 miles per hour to or from the speed of the boat. Clearly, 5 miles per hour was nothing more than the average speed. The current would be faster in the middle of the river and slower at the banks. More complicated variations could be expected at bends in the river. Basically it was a question of hydrodynamics, which could be tackled using certain well-known systems of differential equations. Lawrence dove into the problem, rapidly (or so he thought) covering both sides of ten sheets of paper with calculations. Along the way, he realized that one of his assumptions, in combination with the simplified Navier Stokes equations, had led him into an exploration of a particularly interesting family of partial differential equations. Before he knew it, he had proved a new theorem. If that didn't prove his intelligence, what would? Then the time bell rang and the papers were collected. Lawrence managed to hang onto his scratch paper. He took it back to his dorm, typed it up, and mailed it to one of the more approachable math professors at Princeton, who promptly arranged for it to be published in a Parisian mathematics journal. Lawrence received two free, freshly printed copies of the journal a few months later, in San Diego, California, during mail call on board a large ship called the U.S.S. Nevada. The ship had a band, and the Navy had given Lawrence the job of playing the glockenspiel in it, because their testing procedures had proven that he was not intelligent enough to do anything else.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
A whole population of strangers inhabited and shaped that little body, lived in that mind and controlled its wishes, dictated its thoughts...The name was an abstraction, a title arbitrarily given, like "France" or "England," to a collection, never long the same, of many individuals who were born, lived, and died within him, as the inhabitants of a country appear and disappear, but keep alive in their passage the identity of the nation to which they belong.
Aldous Huxley (Point Counter Point)
(From the story The Last Days of a Famous Mime) He said nothing. He was mildly annoyed at her presumption: that he had not thought this many, many times before. With perfect misunderstanding she interpreted his passivity as disdain. Wishing to hurt him, she slapped his face. Wishing to hurt her, he smiled brilliantly.
Peter Carey (Collected Stories)
Looking at the sky last night and the moon in the first fresh dark, just a few stars, bright with their cold flares, I had a little crumpled thought, 'Oh well, the moon. It's just another place like California.' One's imagination drags its feet as we are inexorably hauled into the future.
James Schuyler (Collected Poems)
It is a scientifically known fact that collectivities are capable of manipulating their individual members’ beliefs, thoughts, and even bodily reactions. You keep hearing a certain story over and over again, and the next thing you know you have internalized the narrative. From that moment on it ceases to be someone else’s story. It is not even a story anymore, but reality, your reality!
Elif Shafak (The Bastard of Istanbul)
Mad-Eye Moody?” said George thoughtfully, spreading marmalade on his toast. “Isn’t he that nutter —” “Your father thinks very highly of Mad-Eye Moody,” said Mrs. Weasley sternly. “Yeah, well, Dad collects plugs, doesn’t he?” said Fred quietly as Mrs. Weasley left the room. “Birds of a feather …” “Moody was a great wizard in his time,” said Bill. “He’s an old friend of Dumbledore’s, isn’t he?” said Charlie. “Dumbledore’s not what you’d call normal, though, is he?” said Fred. “I mean, I know he’s a genius and everything...
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
When you are focused upon something that you desire, then through the Law of Attraction, more and more thoughts about what you desire will be drawn, and you will feel greater positive emotion. You can speed the creation of something simply by giving it more attention—the Law of Attraction takes care of the rest and brings to you the essence of the subject of your thought.
Esther Hicks (The Essential Law of Attraction Collection)
Along with romantic love, she was introduced to another–physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion. In equating physical beauty with virtue, she stripped her mind, bound it, and collected self-contempt by the heap. She forgot lust and simple caring for. She regarded love as possessive mating, and romance as the goal of the spirit. It would be for her a well-spring from which she would draw the most destructive emotions, deceiving the lover, and seeking to imprison the beloved, curtailing freedom in every way.
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)
She thought of the recurrent waves of pain that for some reason or other she and her husband had had to endure; of the invisible giants hurting her boy in some unimaginable fashion; of the incalculable amount of tenderness contained in the world; of the fate of this tenderness, which is either crushed or wasted, or transformed into madness; of neglected children humming to themselves in unswept corners; of beautiful weeds that cannot hide from the farmer.
Vladimir Nabokov (Nabokov's Dozen: A Collection of Thirteen Stories‏ (Anchor Literary Library))
Doctor Doom was exactly the sort of bastard who would have armed al-Qaeda with death rays and killer robots if he thought for one second it would piss off the hated Reed Richards and the rest of his mortal enemies in the Fantastic Four, but here he was sobbing with the best of them, as representative not of evil, but of Marvel Comics' collective shock, struck dumb and moved to hand-drawn tears by the thought that anyone could hate America and its people enough to do this.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)
I recall how miserable I was, and how one day you brought me to a realization of my miserable state. I was preparing to deliver a eulogy upon the emperor in which I would tell plenty of lies with the object of winning favor with the well-informed by my lying; so my heart was panting with anxiety and seething with feverish, corruptive thoughts. As I passed through a certain district in Milan I noticed a poor beggar, drunk, as I believe, and making merry. I groaned and pointed out to the friends who were with me how many hardships our idiotic enterprises entailed. Goaded by greed, I was dragging my load of unhappiness along, and feeling it all the heavier for being dragged. Yet while all our efforts were directed solely to the attainment of unclouded joy, it appeared that this beggar had already beaten us to the goal, a goal which we would perhaps never reach ourselves. With the help of the few paltry coins he had collected by begging this man was enjoying the temporal happiness for which I strove by so bitter, devious and roundabout a contrivance. His joy was no true joy, to be sure, but what I was seeking in my ambition was a joy far more unreal; and he was undeniably happy while I was full of foreboding; he was carefree, I apprehensive. If anyone had questioned me as to whether I would rather be exhilarated or afraid, I would of course have replied, "Exhilarated"; but if the questioner had pressed me further, asking whether I preferred to be like the beggar, or to be as I was then, I would have chosen to be myself, laden with anxieties and fears. Surely that would have been no right choice, but a perverse one? I could not have preferred my condition to his on the grounds that I was better educated, because that fact was not for me a source of joy but only the means by which I sought to curry favor with human beings: I was not aiming to teach them but only to win their favor.
Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
If you think you're going to have a thoughtful discussion with someone who is toxic, be prepared for epic mindfuckery rather than conversational mindfulness. Malignant narcissists and sociopaths use word salad, circular conversations, ad hominem arguments, projection and gas lighting to disorient you and get you off track should you ever disagree with them or challenge them in any way. They do this in order to discredit, confuse and frustrate you, distract you from the main problem and make you feel guilty for being a human being with actual thoughts and feelings that might differ from their own. In their eyes, you are the problem if you happen to exist.
Shahida Arabi (POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse: A Collection of Essays on Malignant Narcissism and Recovery from Emotional Abuse)
This time we weren’t disturbed either by traveling through time or a cheeky gargoyle demon. While “Hallelujah” was running, the kiss was gentle and careful, but then Gideon buried both hands in my hair and held me very close. It wasn’t a gentle kiss anymore, and my reaction surprised me. I suddenly felt very soft and lightweight, and my arms went around Gideon’s neck of their own accord. I had no idea how, but at some point in the next few minutes, still kissing without a break, we landed on the green sofa, and we went on kissing there until Gideon abruptly sat up and looked at his watch. “Like I said, it really is a shame I’m not allowed to kiss you anymore,” he remarked rather breathlessly. The pupils of his eyes looked huge, and his cheeks were definitely flushed. I wondered what I looked like myself. As I’d temporarily mutated into some kind of human blancmange, there was no way I could get out of my half-lying position. And I realized, with horror, that I had no idea how much time had passed since Bon Jovi stopped singing “Hallelujah.” Ten minutes? Half an hour? Anything was possible. Gideon looked at me, and I thought I saw something like bewilderment in his eyes. “We’d better collect our things,” he said at last. “And you need to do something about your hair—it looks as if some idiot has been digging both hands into it and dragging you down on a sofa. Whoever’s back there waiting for us will put two and two together—oh, my God, don’t look at me like that.” “Like what?” “As if you couldn’t move.” “But I can’t,” I said, perfectly seriously. “I’m a blancmange. You’ve turned me into blancmange.” A brief smile brightened Gideon’s face, and then he jumped up and began stowing my school things in my bag. “Come along, little blancmange. Stand up.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
RAINBOW VOICES I ask people of the world and children of light to start reflecting the stories of their souls to vibrate wisdom around the earth. Pick up a paintbrush or microphone. Press the inks of your pens to paper or tap words onto your screens, and start sharing what you know and have learned with the masses. Turn your personal painting into a piece of the earth's puzzle so that our unified assemblage of thoughts, experiences and lessons reveal common truths that cannot be denied. Imagine the changes that could happen if everyone suddenly stopped acting like someone else, became true to themselves, and celebrated the beauty of their uniqueness. Only after people have willingly removed their masks and costumes, and have begun pouring light from their hearts to reveal their vulnerability, dreams and pains, will we be able to see that beneath the surface we are all the same. After all, how can the world collectively fight for truth, if soldiers in its army are void of truth? We must first all be true by putting truth in our words and actions. And to do so, everyone must learn to think and react with their conscience. Imagine what Truth could do to neutralize the clutches of evil once this black and white world suddenly became embraced by a strong rainbow of loud powerful voices. We could put color back into every home, every school, every industry, every nation, and every garden on earth where flowers have been crushed by corruption.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
the man i went on a date with did more than try to "cure me" of my asexuality it's funny because i never thought someone's penis would be considered an antidote of any kind and i don't think that's what my doctor meant when he told me i needed more Vitamin D in my diet but apparently my sexuality was enough of a diagnosis for him to decide to play doctor with me maybe he should’ve put his stethoscope up to my mouth instead of between my breasts maybe then he would’ve heard me when i told him to stop it
Courtney Carola (Have Some Pride: A Collection of LGBTQ+ Inspired Poetry)
These thoughts are depressing I know. They are depressing, I wish I was more cheerful, it is more pleasant, Also it is a duty, we should smile as well as submitting To the purpose of One Above who is experimenting With various mixtures of human character which goes best, All is interesting for him it is exciting, but not for us. There I go again. Smile, smile, and get some work to do Then you will be practically unconscious without positively having to go.
Stevie Smith (Collected Poems)
In the age of Facebook and Instagram you can observe this myth-making process more clearly than ever before, because some of it has been outsourced from the mind to the computer. It is fascinating and terrifying to behold people who spend countless hours constructing and embellishing a perfect self online, becoming attached to their own creation, and mistaking it for the truth about themselves.20 That’s how a family holiday fraught with traffic jams, petty squabbles and tense silences becomes a collection of beautiful panoramas, perfect dinners and smiling faces; 99 per cent of what we experience never becomes part of the story of the self. It is particularly noteworthy that our fantasy self tends to be very visual, whereas our actual experiences are corporeal. In the fantasy, you observe a scene in your mind’s eye or on the computer screen. You see yourself standing on a tropical beach, the blue sea behind you, a big smile on your face, one hand holding a cocktail, the other arm around your lover’s waist. Paradise. What the picture does not show is the annoying fly that bites your leg, the cramped feeling in your stomach from eating that rotten fish soup, the tension in your jaw as you fake a big smile, and the ugly fight the happy couple had five minutes ago. If we could only feel what the people in the photos felt while taking them! Hence if you really want to understand yourself, you should not identify with your Facebook account or with the inner story of the self. Instead, you should observe the actual flow of body and mind. You will see thoughts, emotions and desires appear and disappear without much reason and without any command from you, just as different winds blow from this or that direction and mess up your hair. And just as you are not the winds, so also you are not the jumble of thoughts, emotions and desires you experience, and you are certainly not the sanitised story you tell about them with hindsight. You experience all of them, but you don’t control them, you don’t own them, and you are not them. People ask ‘Who am I?’ and expect to be told a story. The first thing you need to know about yourself, is that you are not a story.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
It is impossible to understand how millions and millions of people all obey a sickly collection of gentlemen that call themselves 'Government!' The word, I expect, frightens people. It is a form of planetary hypnosis, and very unhealthy." "It has been going on for years," I said. "And it only occurred to relatively few to disobey and make what they call revolutions. If they won their revolutions, which they occasionally did, they made more governments, sometimes more cruel and stupid than the last." "Men are very difficult to understand," said Carmella. "Let's hope they all freeze to death. I am sure it would be very pleasant and healthy for human beings to have no authority whatever. They would have to think for themselves, instead of always being told what to do and think by advertisements, cinemas, policemen, and parliaments.
Leonora Carrington (The Hearing Trumpet)
Jesper sniffed. “I thought it had a certain rustic elegance.” “No,” said Wylan. “He hasn’t been trained. He’s stubborn that way.” “Independent,” corrected Jesper. “Pigheaded.” “But stylish.” Kaz rapped his cane on the floor. “And now you know why I don’t visit more often.” Jesper folded his arms. “No one asked you to visit more often. And I don’t remember issuing an invitation for lunch.” “I have a job that requires both of your skill sets.” “Kaz,” Wylan said, carefully collecting some of the half-full glasses around the room. “We’d prefer not to do anything illegal.” “That’s not strictly true,” said Jesper. “Wylan would prefer it, and I want to keep Wylan happy.” He paused, unable to hide his interest. “Is it illegal?” “Highly,” said Kaz. “But the pay is excellent,” offered Nikolai. “We don’t need money,” said Wylan. “Isn’t it glorious?” Jesper sighed happily. Kaz smoothed a gloved hand over his lapel, looking at no one. “It’s for Inej.” Wylan set down the dirty glasses. “Why didn’t you say so? What do you need?
Leigh Bardugo (Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2))
Harry’s letter to his daughter: If I could give you just one thing, I’d want it to be a simple truth that took me many years to learn. If you learn it now, it may enrich your life in hundreds of ways. And it may prevent you from facing many problems that have hurt people who have never learned it. The truth is simply this: No one owes you anything. Significance How could such a simple statement be important? It may not seem so, but understanding it can bless your entire life. No one owes you anything. It means that no one else is living for you, my child. Because no one is you. Each person is living for himself; his own happiness is all he can ever personally feel. When you realize that no one owes you happiness or anything else, you’ll be freed from expecting what isn’t likely to be. It means no one has to love you. If someone loves you, it’s because there’s something special about you that gives him happiness. Find out what that something special is and try to make it stronger in you, so that you’ll be loved even more. When people do things for you, it’s because they want to — because you, in some way, give them something meaningful that makes them want to please you, not because anyone owes you anything. No one has to like you. If your friends want to be with you, it’s not out of duty. Find out what makes others happy so they’ll want to be near you. No one has to respect you. Some people may even be unkind to you. But once you realize that people don’t have to be good to you, and may not be good to you, you’ll learn to avoid those who would harm you. For you don’t owe them anything either. Living your Life No one owes you anything. You owe it to yourself to be the best person possible. Because if you are, others will want to be with you, want to provide you with the things you want in exchange for what you’re giving to them. Some people will choose not to be with you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. When that happens, look elsewhere for the relationships you want. Don’t make someone else’s problem your problem. Once you learn that you must earn the love and respect of others, you’ll never expect the impossible and you won’t be disappointed. Others don’t have to share their property with you, nor their feelings or thoughts. If they do, it’s because you’ve earned these things. And you have every reason to be proud of the love you receive, your friends’ respect, the property you’ve earned. But don’t ever take them for granted. If you do, you could lose them. They’re not yours by right; you must always earn them. My Experience A great burden was lifted from my shoulders the day I realized that no one owes me anything. For so long as I’d thought there were things I was entitled to, I’d been wearing myself out —physically and emotionally — trying to collect them. No one owes me moral conduct, respect, friendship, love, courtesy, or intelligence. And once I recognized that, all my relationships became far more satisfying. I’ve focused on being with people who want to do the things I want them to do. That understanding has served me well with friends, business associates, lovers, sales prospects, and strangers. It constantly reminds me that I can get what I want only if I can enter the other person’s world. I must try to understand how he thinks, what he believes to be important, what he wants. Only then can I appeal to someone in ways that will bring me what I want. And only then can I tell whether I really want to be involved with someone. And I can save the important relationships for th
Harry Browne
For the first time, he caught a glimmer of what Laurent would be like as a king. He saw him, not as the Regent’s unready nephew, not as Auguste’s younger brother, but as himself, a young man with a collection of talents thrown into leadership too early, and taking it on, because he was given no other choice. I would serve him, he thought, and that itself was like a little revelation. ‘I
C.S. Pacat (Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3))
There are countless ingredients that make up the human body and mind, like all the components that make up me as an individual with my own personality. Sure, I have a face and voice to distinguish myself from others, but my thoughts and memories are unique only to me, and I carry a sense of my own destiny. Each of those things are just a small part of it. I collect information to use in my own way. All of that blends to create a mixture that forms me and gives rise to my conscience.
Mamoru Oshii
But only part of him was listening. Another part, even if it hadn't read Chomsky or Jung or Sheldrake—who had time for dead guys anyway?— at least had a basic understanding of what those guys had gone on about. Quantum nonlocality, quantum consciousness—Desjardins had seen too many cases of mass coincidence to dismiss the idea that nine billion human minds could be imperceptibly interconnected somehow. He’d never really thought about it much, but on some level he’d believed in the Collective Unconscious for years. He just hadn’t realized that the fucking thing had a death wish.
Peter Watts (Maelstrom (Rifters, #2))
He had always thought the Holy Grail would be finding a girl who submitted gladly and whole- heartedly to his leadership. Now he saw how much more powerful it was when the surrender was a bit reluctant, when she had to overcome her own strong will before yielding to his. He didn’t want an off-the-shelf submissive after all. He wanted a girl with a mind of her own, whose heart and will had to be tamed, who would submit to him and him alone.
Sweden Reese (The Southern Gentleman: Protective Instinct (Dominant Heroes Collection #1))
Oddly, I had never thought of myself as a feminist. I had been denounced by certain radical feminist collectives as a ‘lackey’ for men. That charge was based on my having written and sung two albums of songs that my female accusers claimed elevated and praised men. Resenting that label, I had joined the majority of black women in America in denouncing feminism… . The feminists were right. The value of my life had been obliterated as much by being female as by being black and poor. Racism and sexism in America were equal partners in my oppression.
Elaine Brown (A Taste of Power - A Black Woman's Story (Black Panthers))
One of the most profound changes in my life happened when I got my head around the relationship between gratitude and joy. I always thought that joyful people were grateful people. I mean, why wouldn’t they be? They have all of that goodness to be grateful for. But after spending countless hours collecting stories about joy and gratitude, three powerful patterns emerged: Without exception, every person I interviewed who described living a joyful life or who described themselves as joyful, actively practiced gratitude and attributed their joyfulness to their gratitude practice. Both joy and gratitude were described as spiritual practices that were bound to a belief in human interconnectedness and a power greater than us. People were quick to point out the differences between happiness and joy as the difference between a human emotion that’s connected to circumstances and a spiritual way of engaging with the world that’s connected to practicing gratitude.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
Books are essential to me. I cannot live without them, because I cannot live without reading. But, Arry has just said to me, you can always borrow them so why buy them? I don't buy books just to collect them. I'm not a collector. I'm not interested in them as objects that might be valuable one day, regardless of what they are about, nor do I want to own every book ever written by one particular author or on one particular subject. I buy them because I want to read them, and I keep them because I've read them. I can't afford to buy all the ones I'd like to, so I have to borrow quite a few, and this has taught me something about myself, which I haven't heard anyone else admit. When I've read a book which I really like, a book which MATTERS, I feel it belongs to me. I mean, the book itself, the copy I've read. It's as if I pour myself onto the pages as I read them, all my thoughts and emotions, so that by the time I've finished that copy holds inside it the essence of my reading. A borrowed book has to be returned, so I lose this essence of myself when I give it back. Besides which, a borrowed book has inside it something of everyone else who's read it. They've fingered it and pawed over it, breathed on it, done heaven knows what else as well as read it. And knowing this spoils my reading. The other readers get in my way. I can feel their presence on the cover and on the pages. They even make it smell differently from my own books. In fact, to my mind they've polluted the book and everything in it. That is also why I never buy second-hand books.
Aidan Chambers (This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn)
Some people read for instruction, which is praiseworthy, and some for pleasure, which is innocent, but not a few read from habit, and I suppose that is neither innocent nor praiseworthy. Of that lamentable company am I. Conversation after a time bores me, games tire me, and my own thoughts, which we are told are the unfailing resource of a sensible man, have a tendency to run dry. Then I fly to my book as the opium-seeker to his pipe. I would sooner read the catalogue of the Army and Navy stores or Bradshaw's Guide than nothing at all, and indeed I have spent many delightful hours over both these works. At one time I never went out without a second-hand bookseller's list in my pocket. I know no reading more fruity. Of course to read in this way is as reprehensible as doping, and I never cease to wonder at the impertinence of great readers who, because they are such, look down on the illiterate. From the standpoint of what eternity is it better to have read a thousand books than to have ploughed a million furrows? Let us admit that reading with us is just a drug that we cannot do without — who of this band does not know the restlessness that attacks him when he has been severed from reading too long, the apprehension and irritability, and the sigh of relief which the sight of a printed page extracts from him? — and so let us be no more vainglorious than the poor slaves of the hypodermic needle or the pint-pot. And like the dope-fiend who cannot move from place to place without taking with him a plentiful supply of his deadly balm I never venture far without a sufficiency of reading matter. Books are so necessary to me that when in a railway train I have become aware that fellow-travellers have come away without a single one I have been seized with a veritable dismay. But when I am starting on a long journey the problem is formidable.
W. Somerset Maugham (Collected Short Stories: Volume 4)
He did not wish to be divine. If there had never been a God, the emperor thought, it might have been easier to work out what goodness was. This business of worship, of the abnegation of self in the face of the Almighty, was a distraction, a false trail. Wherever goodness lay, it did not lie in ritual, unthinking obeisance before a deity but rather, perhaps, in the slow, clumsy, error-strewn working out of an individual or collective path.
Salman Rushdie (The Enchantress of Florence)
A mob cannot afford to doubt: that the Jews killed Christ or that niggers want to rape their sisters or that anyone who fails to make it in the land of the free and the home of the brave deserves to be wretched. But these ideas do not come from the mob. They come from the state, which creates and manipulates the mob. The idea of a black persons as property, for example, does not come from the mob. It is not a spontaneous idea. It does not come from the people, who knew better, who thought nothing of intermarriage until they were penalized for it: this idea comes from the architects of the American State. These architects decided that the concept of Property was more important—more real—than the possibilities of the human being.
James Baldwin (Collected Essays: Notes of a Native Son / Nobody Knows My Name / The Fire Next Time / No Name in the Street / The Devil Finds Work / Other Essays)
If I thought I could help you,” Dumbledore said gently, “by putting you into an enchanted sleep and allowing you to postpone the moment when you would have to think about what has happened tonight, I would do it. But I know better. Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it. You have shown bravery beyond anything I could have expected of you. I ask you to demonstrate your courage one more time. I ask you to tell us what happened.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter: The Complete Collection (1-7))
When we work creatively and productively with others, our experience of meaning can be profound. When we work directly for the good of others, meaning deepens in ways that reward us beyond measure. Whenever we go beyond satisfying our own personal needs, we enter the realm of what Frankl called "ultimate meaning." some call it connection to a higher self, to God, to our own spirit, to universal consciousness, to love, to the collective good. No matter what it's called, it is deep meaning and it transforms our lives.
Alex Pattakos (Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl's Principles for Discovering Meaning in Life and Work)
No one promised life would be easy or that the game wouldn't change without warning. There you are, all ready to pass Go and collect two hundred dollars, and suddenly Colonel Mustard is trapped in the conservatory, ranting and raving and waving a wrench, and no one knows what exactly a conservatory is or why anyone thought a wrench - of all things - would be a good murder weapon, or what branch of the military Colonel Mustard even served in! Has anyone seen his credentials?
Beth Harbison (When in Doubt, Add Butter)
I appreciate the scientific rigor with which you’ve approached this project, Anna,” said Christopher, who had gotten jam on his sleeve. “Though I don’t think I could manage to collect that many names and also pursue science. Much too time-consuming.” Anna laughed. “How many names would you want to collect, then?” Christopher tilted his head, a brief frown of concentration crossing his face, and did not reply. “I would only want one,” said Thomas. Cordelia thought of the delicate tracery of the compass rose on Thomas’s arm, and wondered if he had any special person in mind. “Too late for me to only have one,” declared Matthew airily. “At least I can hope for several names in a carefully but enthusiastically selected list.” “Nobody’s ever tried to seduce me at all,” Lucie announced in a brooding fashion. “There’s no need to look at me like that, James. I wouldn’t say yes, but I could immortalize the experience in my novel.” “It would be a very short novel, before we got hold of the blackguard and killed him,” said James. There was a chorus of laughter and argument. The afternoon sun was sinking in the sky, its rays catching the jeweled hilts of the knives in Anna’s mantelpiece. They cast shimmering rainbow patterns on the gold-and-green walls. The light illuminated Anna’s shabby-bright flat, making something in Cordelia’s heart ache. It was such a homey place, in a way that her big cold house in Kensington was not. “What about you, Cordelia?” said Lucie. “One,” said Cordelia. “That’s everyone’s dream, isn’t it, really? Instead of many who give you little pieces of themselves—one who gives you everything.” Anna laughed. “Searching for the one is what leads to all the misery in this world,” she said. “Searching for many is what leads to all the fun.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
I was in the fifth grade the first time I thought about turning thirty. My best friend Darcy and I came across a perpetual calendar in the back of the phone book, where you could look up any date in the future, and by using this little grid, determine what the day of the week would be. So we located our birthdays in the following year, mine in May and hers in September. I got Wednesday, a school night. She got a Friday. A small victory, but typical. Darcy was always the lucky one. Her skin tanned more quickly, her hair feathered more easily, and she didn't need braces. Her moonwalk was superior, as were her cart-wheels and her front handsprings (I couldn't handspring at all). She had a better sticker collection. More Michael Jackson pins. Forenze sweaters in turquoise, red, and peach (my mother allowed me none- said they were too trendy and expensive). And a pair of fifty-dollar Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles (ditto). Darcy had double-pierced ears and a sibling- even if it was just a brother, it was better than being an only child as I was. But at least I was a few months older and she would never quite catch up. That's when I decided to check out my thirtieth birthday- in a year so far away that it sounded like science fiction. It fell on a Sunday, which meant that my dashing husband and I would secure a responsible baby-sitter for our two (possibly three) children on that Saturday evening, dine at a fancy French restaurant with cloth napkins, and stay out past midnight, so technically we would be celebrating on my actual birthday. I would have just won a big case- somehow proven that an innocent man didn't do it. And my husband would toast me: "To Rachel, my beautiful wife, the mother of my chidren and the finest lawyer in Indy." I shared my fantasy with Darcy as we discovered that her thirtieth birthday fell on a Monday. Bummer for her. I watched her purse her lips as she processed this information. "You know, Rachel, who cares what day of the week we turn thirty?" she said, shrugging a smooth, olive shoulder. "We'll be old by then. Birthdays don't matter when you get that old." I thought of my parents, who were in their thirties, and their lackluster approach to their own birthdays. My dad had just given my mom a toaster for her birthday because ours broke the week before. The new one toasted four slices at a time instead of just two. It wasn't much of a gift. But my mom had seemed pleased enough with her new appliance; nowhere did I detect the disappointment that I felt when my Christmas stash didn't quite meet expectations. So Darcy was probably right. Fun stuff like birthdays wouldn't matter as much by the time we reached thirty. The next time I really thought about being thirty was our senior year in high school, when Darcy and I started watching ths show Thirty Something together. It wasn't our favorite- we preferred cheerful sit-coms like Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains- but we watched it anyway. My big problem with Thirty Something was the whiny characters and their depressing issues that they seemed to bring upon themselves. I remember thinking that they should grow up, suck it up. Stop pondering the meaning of life and start making grocery lists. That was back when I thought my teenage years were dragging and my twenties would surealy last forever. Then I reached my twenties. And the early twenties did seem to last forever. When I heard acquaintances a few years older lament the end of their youth, I felt smug, not yet in the danger zone myself. I had plenty of time..
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
Iam a sensitive, introverted woman, which means that I love humanity but actual human beings are tricky for me. I love people but not in person. For example, I would die for you but not, like…meet you for coffee. I became a writer so I could stay at home alone in my pajamas, reading and writing about the importance of human connection and community. It is an almost perfect existence. Except that every so often, while I’m thinking my thoughts, writing my words, living in my favorite spot—which is deep inside my own head—something stunning happens: A sirenlike noise tears through my home. I freeze. It takes me a solid minute to understand: The siren is the doorbell. A person is ringing my doorbell. I run out of my office to find my children also stunned, frozen, and waiting for direction about how to respond to this imminent home invasion. We stare at each other, count bodies, and collectively cycle through the five stages of doorbell grief: Denial: This cannot be happening. ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALLOWED TO BE IN THIS HOUSE ARE ALREADY IN THIS HOUSE. Maybe it was the TV. IS THE TV ON? Anger: WHO DOES THIS? WHAT KIND OF BOUNDARYLESS AGGRESSOR RINGS SOMEONE’S DOORBELL IN BROAD DAYLIGHT? Bargaining: Don’t move, don’t breathe—maybe they’ll go away. Depression: Why? Why us? Why anyone? Why is life so hard? Acceptance: Damnit to hell. You—the little one—we volunteer you. Put on some pants, act normal, and answer the door. It’s dramatic, but the door always gets answered. If the kids aren’t home, I’ll even answer it myself. Is this because I remember that adulting requires door answering? Of course not. I answer the door because of the sliver of hope in my heart that if I open the door, there might be a package waiting for me. A package!
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
...Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World! You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing. Beauty grown sad with its eternity Made you of us, and of the dim grey sea. Our long ships loose thought-woven sails and wait, For God has bid them share an equal fate; And when at last defeated in His wars, They have gone down under the same white stars, We shall no longer hear the little cry Of our sad hearts, that may not live nor die.
W.B. Yeats (The Plays (The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats #2))
The question is, shall it or shall it not be linear history. I've always thought a kaleidoscopic view might be an interesting heresey. Shake the tube and see what comes out. Chronology irritates me. There is no chronology inside my head. I am composed of myriad Claudias who spin and mix and part like sparks of sunlight on water. The pack of cards I carry around is forever shuffled and re-shuffled; there is no sequence, everything happens at once. The machines of the new technology, I understand, perform in much the same way: all knowledge is stored, to be summoned up at the flick of a key. They sound, in theory, more efficient. Some of my keys don't work; others demand pass-words, codes, random unlocking sequences. The collective past, curiously, provides these. It is public property, but it is also deeply private. We all look differently at it. My Victorians are not your Victorians. My seventeenth century is not yours. The voice of John Aubrey, of Darwin, of whoever you like, speaks in one tone to me, in another to you.
Penelope Lively (Moon Tiger)
The way we speak and think of the Puritans seems to me a serviceable model for important aspects of the phenomenon we call Puritanism. Very simply, it is a great example of our collective eagerness to disparage without knowledge or information about the thing disparaged, when the reward is the pleasure of sharing an attitude one knows is socially approved. And it demonstrates how effectively such consensus can close off a subject from inquiry.... Unauthorized views are in effect punished by incomprehension, not intentionally and not to anyone's benefit, but simply as a consequence of a hypertrophic instinct for consensus.
Marilynne Robinson (The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought)
What grief is not taken away by time? What passion will survive an unequal battle with it? I knew a man in the bloom of his still youthful powers, filled with true nobility and virtue, I knew him when he was in love, tenderly, passionately, furiously, boldly, modestly, and before me, almost before my eyes, the object of his passion - tender, beautiful as an angel - was struck down by insatiable death. I never saw such terrible fits of inner suffering, such furious scorching anguish, such devouring despair as shook the unfortunate lover. I never thought a man could create such a hell for himself, in which there would be no shadow, no image, nothing in the least resembling hope... They tried to keep an eye on him; they hid all instruments he might have used to take his own life. Two weeks later he suddenly mastered himself: he began to laugh, to joke; freedom was granted him, and the first thing he did was buy a pistol. One day his family was terribly frightened by the sudden sound of a shot. They ran into the room and saw him lying with his brains blown out. A doctor who happened to be there, whose skill was on everyone's lips, saw signs of life in him, found that the wound was not quite mortal, and the man, to everyone's amazement, was healed. The watch on him was increased still more. Even at the table they did not give him a knife to and tried to take away from him anything that he might strike himself with; but a short while later he found a new occasion and threw himself under the wheels of a passing carriage. His arms and legs were crushed; but again they saved him. A year later I saw him in a crowded room; he sat at the card table gaily saying 'Petite ouverte,' keeping one card turned down, and behind him, leaning on the back of his chair, stood his young wife, who was sorting through his chips.
Nikolai Gogol (The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol)
Edges I am a child throwing rocks into the stream. Challenging the rushing water. Raising my fist and daring fate to do it worst. I am a dancer in the waves of the ocean. Swaying in time with the tide. Pirouetting, the current my only friend. I am the sun, rising across the canyon Ascending, and shinning down. Giving the illusion of perception and motion. I am thoughts like a rolling river. Water cascading over the rocks of my soul. Shaping, forming, conforming. I am the peace of the rain forest. Basking in solitude Tranquil, serene, transfixing angles. Reflecting from within. Dripping and dropping. Shaking it off. I am the dust of the galaxy. Yearning to know itself. I am the wind. Wandering. Searching. A storm brewing from within.
Tosha Michelle (Confessions of a Reformed Southern Belle.: A Poet's Collection of Love, Loss, and Renewal)
Ian nodded. Do not question her, he told himself. Not when she is in a state like this. Still, it was a pity to attack them with such force. Especially the girl, Amy. He'd never met anyone like her. Shy. Gentle. With an exciting edge of hostility. So unlike the girls back home, who flung themselves at him so often that his chauffeurs traveled with first-aid kits. Doesn't she know better? Isn't she smart enough to stop the hunt? It was the boy and the au pair. He was a pint-sized hothead. She was a collection of piercings and piggishness. If only Amy and Dan had stayed trapped in the cave in Seoul, at least long enough to get discouraged. Why did they antagonize Mother? They don't know what it's like to live with her. "Right you are," Ian said. "They're asking for it. Heaven forbid they listen to the brains of the outfit." "And that would be–?" Isabel asked. Ian looked away. "Well, the sister, I'd say. Amy." He felt a smile inching across his face. "Ian?" His mother grabbed his wrist. "If you are having the inkling of a shadow of a thought..." "Mother!" Ian could feel the blood rushing to his face. "How could you suspect for a moment...?
Peter Lerangis (The Viper's Nest (The 39 Clues, #7))
A philosophical thought is not supposed to be impervious to all criticism; this is the error Whitehead describes of turning philosophy into geometry, and it is useful primarily as a way of gaining short-term triumphs in personal arguments that no one else cares (or even knows) about anyway. A good philosophical thought will always be subject to criticisms (as Heidegger’s or Whitehead’s best insights all are) but they are of such elegance and depth that they change the terms of debate, and function as a sort of “obligatory passage point” (Latour’s term) in the discussions that follow. Or in other words, the reason Being and Time is still such a classic, with hundreds of thousands or millions of readers almost a century later, is not because Heidegger made “fewer mistakes” than others of his generation. Mistakes need to be cleaned up, but that is not the primary engine of personal or collective intellectual progress.
Graham Harman
I love you, and it's driving me crazy to see you so upset. I want to fix it, and I know I can't. But what I want to do is rewrite this whole world so you can fix it. I want to come up with a story that all the world will choose to celebrate, and in it, the people we love will never get sick, and the people we love will never be sad for long, and there would be unlimited frozen hot chocolate. Maybe if it were up to me I wouldn't have the whole world collectively believe in Santa Claus, but I would definitely have them collectively believe in something, because there is a messed-up kind of beauty in the way we can bend over backward to make life seem magical when we want to. In other words, after giving it some thought , I think that reality has the distinct potential to complete suck, and the way to get around that is to step out of reality with someone you completely, unadulteratedly enjoy. In my life, that's you. And if it takes dressing up like Santa to get that across to you, then so be it.
David Levithan (The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily (Dash & Lily, #2))
Politicians in our times feed their clichés to television, where even those who wish to disagree repeat them. Television purports to challenge political language by conveying images, but the succession from one frame to another can hinder a sense of resolution. Everything happens fast, but nothing actually happens. Each story on televised news is ”breaking” until it is displaced by the next one. So we are hit by wave upon wave but never see the ocean. The effort to define the shape and significance of events requires words and concepts that elude us when we are entranced by visual stimuli. Watching televised news is sometimes little more than looking at someone who is also looking at a picture. We take this collective trance to be normal. We have slowly fallen into it. More than half a century ago, the classic novels of totalitarianism warned of the domination of screens, the suppression of books, the narrowing of vocabularies, and the associated difficulties of thought. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953, firemen find and burn books while most citizens watch interactive television. In George Orwell’s 1984, published in 1949, books are banned and television is two-way, allowing the government to observe citizens at all times. In 1984, the language of visual media is highly constrained, to starve the public of the concepts needed to think about the present, remember the past, and consider the future. One of the regime’s projects is to limit the language further by eliminating ever more words with each edition of the official dictionary. Staring at screens is perhaps unavoidable, but the two-dimensional world makes little sense unless we can draw upon a mental armory that we have developed somewhere else. When we repeat the same words and phrases that appear in the daily media, we accept the absence of a larger framework. To have such a framework requires more concepts, and having more concepts requires reading. So get the screens out of your room and surround yourself with books. The characters in Orwell’s and Bradbury’s books could not do this—but we still can.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
The triviality of American popular culture, its emptiness and gossip, accelerates this destruction of critical thought. It expands the void, the mindlessness that makes the magic, mythology, and irrationality of the Christian Right palatable. Television, the movement’s primary medium, allows viewers to preoccupy themselves with context-free information. The homogenized empty chatter on the airwaves, the banal amusement and clichés, the bizarre doublespeak endlessly repeated on cable news channels and the huge spectacles in sports stadiums have replaced America’s political, social and moral life, indeed replaced community itself. Television lends itself perfectly to this world of signs and wonders, to the narcissism of national and religious self-exaltation. Television discourages real communication. Its rapid frames and movements, its constant use of emotional images, its sudden shifts from one theme to an unrelated theme, banish logic and reason with dizzying perplexity. It, too, makes us feel good. It, too, promises to protect and serve us. It, too, promises to life us up and thrill us. The televangelists have built their movement on these commercial precepts. The totalitarian creed of the Religious Right has found in television the perfect medium. Its leaders know how television can be used to seduce and encourage us to walk away from dwindling, less exciting collectives that protect and nurture us. They have mastered television’s imperceptible, slowly induced hypnosis. And they understand the enticement of credo quia absurdum—I believe because it is absurb.
Chris Hedges (American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America)
In less than an hour I have to hold class for a group of idiot freshmen. And, on a desk in the living room, is a mountain of midterm examinations with essays I must suffer through, feeling my stomach turn at their paucity of intelligence, their adolescent phraseology. And all that tripe, all those miles of hideous prose, had been would into an eternal skein in his head. And there it sat unraveling into his own writing until he wondered if he could stand the thought of living anymore. I have digested the worst, he thought. Is it any wonder that I exude it piecemeal? (“Mad House”)
Richard Matheson (Collected Stories, Vol. 1)
I think it's degrading of you, Flora,' cried Mrs Smiling at breakfast. 'Do you truly mean that you don't ever want to work at anything?' Her friend replied after some thought: 'Well, when I am fifty-three or so I would like to write a novel as good as "Persuasion", but with a modern setting, of course. For the next thirty years or so I shall be collecting material for it. If anyone asks me what I work at, I shall say "Collecting material." No one can object to that. Besides, I shall be.' Mrs Smiling drank some coffee in silent disapproval. 'If you ask me,' continued Flora, 'I think I have much in common with Miss Austen. She liked everything to be tidy and pleasant and comfortable around her, and so do I. You see Mary,' - and here Flora began to grow earnest and to wave one finger about - 'unless everything is tidy and pleasant and comfortable all about one, people cannot even begin to enjoy life. I cannot endure messes.
Stella Gibbons (Cold Comfort Farm)
When I reached intellectual maturity, and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; a Christian or a freethinker, I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until at last I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure that they had attained a certain 'gnosis'--had more or less successfully solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. And, with Hume and Kant on my side, I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion ... So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of 'agnostic'. It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the 'gnostic' of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant; and I took the earliest opportunity of parading it at our Society, to show that I, too, had a tail, like the other foxes.
Thomas Henry Huxley (Collected Essays, Volume 5: Science and Christian Tradition: Essays)
Consider an adult who tends to the traumas of a child: spilled milk, a broken toy, a scraped knee. As adults we know that kids have no clue of what constitutes a genuine problem, because inexperience greatly limits their childhood perspective. Children do not yet know that the world doesn’t revolve around them. As grown-ups, dare we admit to ourselves that we, too, have a collective immaturity of view? Dare we admit that our thoughts and behaviors spring from a belief that the world revolves around us? Apparently not. Yet evidence abounds. Part the curtains of society’s racial, ethnic, religious, national, and cultural conflicts, and you find the human ego turning the knobs and pulling the levers. Now imagine a world in which everyone, but especially people with power and influence, holds an expanded view of our place in the cosmos. With that perspective, our problems would shrink—or never arise at all—and we could celebrate our earthly differences while shunning the behavior of our predecessors who slaughtered one another because of them.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
Imagination is not, as some poets have thought, simply synonymous with good. It may be either good or evil. As long as art remained primarily mimetic, the evil which imagination could do was limited by nature. Again, as long as it was treated as an amusement, the evil which it could do was limited in scope. But in an age when the connection between imagination and figuration is beginning to be dimly realized, when the fact of the directionally creator relation is beginning to break through into consciousness, both the good and the evil latent in the working of imagination begin to appear unlimited. We have seen in the Romantic movement an instance of the way in which the making of images may react upon the collective representations. It is a fairly rudimentary instance, but even so it has already gone beyond the dreams and responses of a leisured few. The economic and social structure of Switzerland is noticeably affected by its tourist industry, and that is due only in part to increased facilities of travel. It is due not less to the condition that (whatever may be said about their ‘particles’) the mountains which twentieth-century man sees are not the mountains which eighteenth-century man saw. It may be objected that this is a very small matter, and that it will be a long time before the imagination of man substantially alters those appearances of nature with which his figuration supplies him. But then I am taking the long view. Even so, we need not be too confident. Even if the pace of change remained the same, one who is really sensitive to (for example) the difference between the medieval collective representations and our own will be aware that, without traveling any greater distance than we have come since the fourteenth century, we could very well move forward into a chaotically empty or fantastically hideous world. But the pace of change has not remained the same. It has accelerated and is accelerating. We should remember this, when appraising the aberrations of the formally representational arts. Of course, in so far as these are due to affectation, they are of no importance. But in so far as they are genuine, they are genuine because the artist has in some way or other experienced the world he represents. And in so far as they are appreciated, they are appreciated by those who are themselves willing to make a move towards seeing the world in that way, and, ultimately therefore, seeing that kind of world. We should remember this, when we see pictures of a dog with six legs emerging from a vegetable marrow or a woman with a motorbicycle substituted for her left breast.
Owen Barfield
It's not the concept of marriage I have a problem with. I'd like to get married too. A couple times. It's the actual wedding that pisses me off. The problem is that everyone who gets married seems to think that they are the first person in the entire universe to do it, and that the year leading up to the event revolves entirely around them. You have to throw them showers, bachelorette weekends, buy a bridesmaid dress, and then buy a ticket to some godforsaken town wherever they decide to drag you. If you're really unlucky, they'll ask you to recite a poem at their wedding. That's just what I want to do- monitor my drinking until I'm done with my public service announcement. And what do we get out of it, you ask? A dry piece of chicken and a roll in the hay with their hillbilly cousin. I could get that at home, thanks. Then they have the audacity to go shopping and pick out their own gifts. I want to know who the first person was who said this was okay. After spending all that money on a bachelorette weekend, a shower, and often a flight across the country, they expect you to go to Williams Sonoma or Pottery Barn and do research? Then they send you a thank-you note applauding you for such a thoughtful gift. They're the one who picked it out! I always want to remind the person that absolutely no thought went into typing in a name and having a salad bowl come up.
Chelsea Handler (My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands)
I do not consider myself a religious person, because I don't adhere to a particular religion or faith or prescribed beliefs, as did my father, who was a Baptist minister. And I am not an atheist, one who thinks that belief in anything beyond the here and now and the rational is delusion. I love science, but I allow for mystery, things that can never be proven by a rational mind. I am a person who thinks about the nature of the spirit when I write. I think about what can't be known and only imagined. I often sense a spirit or force or meaning beyond myself. I leave it open as to what the spirit is, but I continue to make guesses -- that it could be the universal binding of the emotion of love, or a joyful quality of humanity, or a collective unconscious that turns out to be a unified conscience. The spirit could be all those worshiped by all the religions, even those that deny the validity of others. It could be that we all exist in all ten dimensions of a string-theory universe and are seeding memories in all of them and occupy them simultaneously as memory. Or we exist only as thought and out perception that it is a physical world is a delusion. The nature of spirit could also be my mother and my grandmother and that they really do serve as my muses as I fondly imagine them doing at times. Or maybe the nature of the spirit is a freer imagination. I've often thought that imagination was the conduit to compassion, and compassion is a true spiritual nature. Whatever the spirit might be, I am not basing what I do in this life on any expected reward or punishment in the hereafter or thereafter. It is enough that I feel blessed -- and by whom or what I don't know -- but I receive it with gratitude that I am a writer and my work is to imagine all the possibilities.
Amy Tan
If I had not immersed myself in books, in stories and legends, in newspapers, in reports, if everything communicable had not grown up in me, I should have been a nonentity, a collection of uncomprehended events. (And that might have been a good thing, then I should have thought of something new.) That I can see, that I can hear, are things I do not deserve; but my feelings, those I truly deserve, these herons over white beaches, these wanderers by night, the hungry vagabonds that take my heart as their highroad. I wish I could call out to all those who believe in their unique brains and the hard currency of their thoughts: be of good faith! But these coins which you clink together have been withdrawn from circulation, only you don't know it yet....Admit that when you really pay, with your lives, you do so only beyond the barrier, when you have said farewell to everything that is so dear to you--to landing-places, flying-bases, and only from there do you embark on your own path and your journey from imagined stop to imagined stop, travellers who must not be concerned with arriving.
Ingeborg Bachmann (The Thirtieth Year: Stories)
Tell me something about yourself.” “I’d rather save the small talk.” “There’s no need to be rude, child, and believe me, I’m asking for a reason. Tell me something about yourself. Anything.” “I’m twenty-eight . . .” He rejected that one out of hand. “Something personal. Something . . . interior. Tell me something you love.” I thought about it for a long few seconds, then said, “Ralph Lauren’s summer line this year. Not the spring collection, which was way too pastel, and the winter was really crappy, all bland browns and grays. But he’s got some good fabrics this summer, kind of a hot tangerine matched with dull red. Only he skirts, though. Hiscapri pants are for shit. Pockets? Who wants pockets on capri pants? What woman in her right mind puts extra fabric on her hips?” There was a long and ringing silence. Patrick’s eyes were wide and rather frightened. He finally cleared his throat and said, “Anything else apart from fashion?” “What do you want me to say? Puppies? Fluffy kittens? Babies?” “Let’s try something simple. Your favorite food.” I rolled my eyes. “Chocolate.” Duh .
Rachel Caine (Heat Stroke (Weather Warden, #2))
The idea of universal consciousness suffuses both Western and Eastern thought and philosophy, from the “collective unconscious” of psychologist Carl Jung, to unified field theory, to the investigations of the Institute of Noetic Sciences founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell in 1973. Though some of the Methodist ministers of my youth might be appalled, I feel blessed by the thought of sharing with an octopus what one website (loveandabove.com) calls “an infinite, eternal ocean of intelligent energy.” Who would know more about the infinite, eternal ocean than an octopus? And what could be more deeply calming than being cradled in its arms, surrounded by the water from which life itself arose? As Wilson and I pet Kali’s soft head on this summer afternoon, I think of Paul the Apostle’s letter to the Philippians about the power of the “peace that passeth understanding . . .
Sy Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness)
The main substantive achievement of neoliberalization, however, has been to redistribute, rather than to generate, wealth and income. …[T]his was achieved under the rubric of ‘accumulation by dispossession’. By this I mean the continuation and proliferation of accumulation practices which Marx had treated of as ‘primitive’ or ‘original’ during the rise of capitalism. These include the commodification and privatization of land and the forceful expulsion of peasant populations (compare the cases, described above, of Mexico and of China, where 70 million peasants are thought to have been displaced in recent times); conversion of various forms of property rights (common, collective, state, etc.) into exclusive private property rights (most spectacularly represented by China); suppression of rights to the commons; commodification of labour power and the suppression of alternative (indigenous) forms of production and consumption; colonial, neocolonial, and imperial processes of appropriation of assets (including natural resources); monetization of exchange and taxation, particularly of land; the slave trade (which continues particularly in the sex industry); and usury, the national debt and, most devastating of all, the use of the credit system as a radical means of accumulation by dispossession.
David Harvey (A Brief History of Neoliberalism)
In the United States I saw how the market liberates the individual and allows people to be free to make personal choices. But the biggest drawback was that the market always pushes things to the side of the powerful. I thought the poor should be able to take advantage of the system in order to improve their lot. Grameen is a private-sector self-help bank, and as its members gain personal wealth they acquire water-pumps, latrines, housing, education, access to health care, and so on. Another way to achieve this is to let abusiness earn profit that is then txed by the government, and the tax can be used to provide services to the poor. But in practice it never works that way. In real life, taxes only pay for a government bureaucracy that collects the tax and provides little or nothing to the poor. And since most government bureaucracies are not profit motivated, they have little incentive to increase their efficiency. In fact, they have a disincentive: governments often cannot cut social services without a public outcry, so the behemoth continues, blind and inefficient, year after year.
Muhammad Yunus (Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty)
The Devil's Rose You would never take a rose from a beast. If his callous hand were to hold out a scarlet flower, his grip unaffected by pricking thorns, you would shrink from the gift and refuse it. I know that is what you would do. But the cunning beast will have his beauty. He hunts not in hopeless pursuit, for fear would have you sprint all the day long. Thus, he turns toward the shadows and clutches the rosebud, crunching and twisting until every delicate petal is detached. One falls not far from your feet, and you notice the red spot in the snow. The color sparkles in the sunlight, catching your curious eye. No beast stands in sight; there is nothing to fear, so you dare retrieve the lone petal. The touch of temptation is velvet against your thumb. It carries a scent you bring to your nose, and both eyes close to float on a cloud of perfume. As your lashes lift, another scarlet drop stains the snow at a near distance. A glance around perceives no danger, and so your footprints scar the snowflakes to retrieve another rosy leaflet as soft and sweet as the first. Your eyes shine with flecks of golden greed at the discovery of more discarded petals, and you blame the wind for scattering them mere footprints apart. All you want is a few, so you step and snatch, step and snatch, step and snatch. Soon, there is enough velvet to rub against your cheek like a silken kerchief. Your collection of one-plus-one-more reeks of floral essence. Distracted, you jump at the sight of the beast in your path. He stands before his lair, grinning without love. His callous hands grip at thorns on a single naked stem, and you look down at your own hands that now cup his rose. But how can it be? You would never take a rose from a beast. You would shrink from the gift and refuse it. He knows that is what you would do.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
There was a man whom Sorrow named his Friend, And he, of his high comrade Sorrow dreaming, Went walking with slow steps along the gleaming And humming Sands, where windy surges wend: And he called loudly to the stars to bend From their pale thrones and comfort him, but they Among themselves laugh on and sing alway: And then the man whom Sorrow named his friend Cried out, Dim sea, hear my most piteous story.! The sea Swept on and cried her old cry still, Rolling along in dreams from hill to hill. He fled the persecution of her glory And, in a far-off, gentle valley stopping, Cried all his story to the dewdrops glistening. But naught they heard, for they are always listening, The dewdrops, for the sound of their own dropping. And then the man whom Sorrow named his friend Sought once again the shore, and found a shell, And thought, I will my heavy story tell Till my own words, re-echoing, shall send Their sadness through a hollow, pearly heart; And my own talc again for me shall sing, And my own whispering words be comforting, And lo! my ancient burden may depart. Then he sang softly nigh the pearly rim; But the sad dweller by the sea-ways lone Changed all he sang to inarticulate moan Among her wildering whirls, forgetting him.
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
We have one collective hope: the Earth And yet, uncounted people remain hopeless, famine and calamity abound Sufferers hurl themselves into the arms of war; people kill and get killed in the name of someone else’s concept of God Do we admit that our thoughts & behaviors spring from a belief that the world revolves around us? Each fabricated conflict, self-murdering bomb, vanished airplane, every fictionalized dictator, biased or partisan, and wayward son, are part of the curtains of society’s racial, ethnic, religious, national, and cultural conflicts, and you find the human ego turning the knobs and pulling the levers When I track the orbits of asteroids, comets, and planets, each one a pirouetting dancer in a cosmic ballet, choreographed by the forces of gravity, I see beyond the plight of humans I see a universe ever-expanding, with its galaxies embedded within the ever-stretching four-dimensional fabric of space and time However big our world is, our hearts, our minds, our outsize atlases, the universe is even bigger There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on the world’s beaches, more stars in the universe than seconds of time that have passed since Earth formed, more stars than words & sounds ever uttered by all humans who have ever lived The day we cease the exploration of the cosmos is the day we threaten the continuing of our species In that bleak world, arms-bearing, resource-hungry people & nations would be prone to act on their low-contracted prejudices, and would have seen the last gasp of human enlightenment Until the rise of a visionary new culture that once again embraces the cosmic perspective; a perspective in which we are one, fitting neither above nor below, but within
Neil deGrasse Tyson
The apartment was entirely, was only, for her: a wall of books, both read and unread, all of them dear to her not only in themselves, their tender spines, but in the moments or periods they evoked. She had kept some books since college that she had acquired for courses and never read—Fredric Jameson, for example, and Kant’s Critique of Judgment—but which suggested to her that she was, or might be, a person of seriousness, a thinker in some seeping, ubiquitous way; and she had kept, too, a handful of children’s books taken fro her now-dismantled girlhood room, like Charlotte’s Web and the Harriet the Spy novels, that conjured for her an earlier, passionately earnest self, the sober child who read constantly in the back of her parents’ Buick, oblivious to her brother punching her knee, oblivious to her parents’ squabbling, oblivious to the traffic and landscapes pressing upon her from outside the window. She had, in addition to her books, a modest shelf of tapes and CDs that served a similar, though narrower, function…she was aware that her collection was comprised largely of mainstream choices that reflected—whether popular or classical—not so much an individual spirit as the generic tastes of her times: Madonna, the Eurythmics, Tracy Chapman from her adolescence; Cecilia Bartoli, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mitsuko Uchida; more recently Moby and the posthumously celebrated folk-singing woman from Washington, DC, who had died of a melanoma in her early thirties, and whose tragic tale attracted Danielle more than her familiar songs. Her self, then, was represented in her books; her times in her records; and the rest of the room she thought of as a pure, blank slate.
Claire Messud (The Emperor's Children)
Disappointed in his hope that I would give him the fictional equivalent of “One Hundred Ways of Cooking Eggs” or the “Carnet de la Ménagère,” he began to cross-examine me about my methods of “collecting material.” Did I keep a notebook or a daily journal? Did I jot down thoughts and phrases in a cardindex? Did I systematically frequent the drawing-rooms of the rich and fashionable? Or did I, on the contrary, inhabit the Sussex downs? or spend my evenings looking for “copy” in East End gin-palaces? Did I think it was wise to frequent the company of intellectuals? Was it a good thing for a writer of novels to try to be well educated, or should he confine his reading exclusively to other novels? And so on. I did my best to reply to these questions — as non-committally, of course, as I could. And as the young man still looked rather disappointed, I volunteered a final piece of advice, gratuitously. “My young friend,” I said, “if you want to be a psychological novelist and write about human beings, the best thing you can do is to keep a pair of cats.” And with that I left him. I hope, for his own sake, that he took my advice.
Aldous Huxley (Collected Essays)
I maintain, then, that scientific psychology (and, it may be added, the psychology of the same kind that we all unconsciously practise when we try to "figure to ourselves" the stirrings of our own or others' souls) has, in its inability to discover or even to approach the essence of the soul, simply added one more to the symbols that collectively make up the Macrocosm of the culture-man. Like everything else that is no longer becoming but become, it has put a mechanism in place of an organism. We miss in its picture that which fills our feeling of life (and should surely be " soul " if anything is) the Destiny-quality, the necessary directedness of existence, the possibility that life in its course actualizes. I do not believe that the word "Destiny" figures in any psychological system whatsoever — and we know that nothing in the world could be more remote from actual life-experience and knowledge of men than a system without such elements. Associations, apperceptions, affections, motives, thought, feeling, will — all are dead mechanisms, the mere topography of which constitutes the insignificant total of our "soul-science." One looked for Life and one found an ornamental pattern of notions. And the soul remained what it was, something that could neither be thought nor represented, the secret, the ever-becoming, the pure experience.
Oswald Spengler (The Decline of the West, Vol 1: Form and Actuality)
With a sudden flash of anger, she blurted, "Lash wasn't impotent, all right? He wasn't ... impotent-" The temperature in the room plummeted so fast and so far, her breath came out in clouds. And what she saw in the mirror made her swing around and take a step back from John: His blue eyes glowed with an unholy light and his upper lip curled up to reveal fangs that were sharp and so long they looked like daggers. Objects all around the room began to vibrate: the lamps on the bed stands, the clothes on their hangers, the mirror on the wall. The collective rattling crescendoed to a dull roar and she had to steady herself on the bureau or run the risk of being knocked on her ass. The air was alive. Supercharged. Electric. Dangerous. And John was the center of the raging energy, his hands cranking into fists so tight his forearms trembled, his thighs grabbing onto his bones as he sank down into fighting stance. John's mouth stretched wide as his head shot forward on his spine... and he let out a war cry- Sound exploded all around her, so loud she had to cover her ears, so powerful she felt the blast against her face. For a moment, she thought he'd found his voice- except it wasn't vocal cords making that bellowing noise. The glass in the sliders blew out behind him, the sheets shattering into thousands of shards that blasted free of the house, the fragments bouncing on the slate and catching the light like raindrops... Or like tears.
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
He looks up. Our eyes lock,and he breaks into a slow smile. My heart beats faster and faster. Almost there.He sets down his book and stands.And then this-the moment he calls my name-is the real moment everything changes. He is no longer St. Clair, everyone's pal, everyone's friend. He is Etienne. Etienne,like the night we met. He is Etienne,he is my friend. He is so much more. Etienne.My feet trip in three syllables. E-ti-enne. E-ti-enne, E-ti-enne. His name coats my tongue like melting chocolate. He is so beautiful, so perfect. My throat catches as he opens his arms and wraps me in a hug.My heart pounds furiously,and I'm embarrassed,because I know he feels it. We break apart, and I stagger backward. He catches me before I fall down the stairs. "Whoa," he says. But I don't think he means me falling. I blush and blame it on clumsiness. "Yeesh,that could've been bad." Phew.A steady voice. He looks dazed. "Are you all right?" I realize his hands are still on my shoulders,and my entire body stiffens underneath his touch. "Yeah.Great. Super!" "Hey,Anna. How was your break?" John.I forget he was here.Etienne lets go of me carefully as I acknowledge Josh,but the whole time we're chatting, I wish he'd return to drawing and leave us alone. After a minute, he glances behind me-to where Etienne is standing-and gets a funny expression on hs face. His speech trails off,and he buries his nose in his sketchbook. I look back, but Etienne's own face has been wiped blank. We sit on the steps together. I haven't been this nervous around him since the first week of school. My mind is tangled, my tongue tied,my stomach in knots. "Well," he says, after an excruciating minute. "Did we use up all our conversation over the holiday?" The pressure inside me eases enough to speak. "Guess I'll go back to the dorm." I pretend to stand, and he laughs. "I have something for you." He pulls me back down by my sleeve. "A late Christmas present." "For me? But I didn't get you anything!" He reaches into a coat pocket and brings out his hand in a fist, closed around something very small. "It's not much,so don't get excited." "Ooo,what is it?" "I saw it when I was out with Mum, and it made me think of you-" "Etienne! Come on!" He blinks at hearing his first name. My face turns red, and I'm filled with the overwhelming sensation that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. His expression turns to amazement as he says, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand." Still blushing,I hold one out. His fingers brush against my palm, and my hand jerks back as if he were electrified. Something goes flying and lands with a faith dink behind us. I open my eyes. He's staring at me, equally stunned. "Whoops," I say. He tilts his head at me. "I think...I think it landed back here." I scramble to my feet, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I never felt what he placed in my hands. I only felt him. "I don't see anything! Just pebbles and pigeon droppings," I add,trying to act normal. Where is it? What is it? "Here." He plucks something tiny and yellow from the steps above him. I fumble back and hold out my hand again, bracing myself for the contact. Etienne pauses and then drops it from a few inches above my hand.As if he's avoiding me,too. It's a glass bead.A banana. He clears his throat. "I know you said Bridgette was the only one who could call you "Banana," but Mum was feeling better last weekend,so I took her to her favorite bead shop. I saw that and thought of you.I hope you don't mind someone else adding to your collection. Especially since you and Bridgette...you know..." I close my hand around the bead. "Thank you." "Mum wondered why I wanted it." "What did you tell her?" "That it was for you,of course." He says this like, duh. I beam.The bead is so lightweight I hardly feel it, except for the teeny cold patch it leaves in my palm.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Carl Jung tells in one of his books of a conversation he had with a Native American chief who pointed out to him that in his perception most white people have tense faces, staring eyes, and a cruel demeanor. He said: “They are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We don’t know what they want. We think they are mad.” The undercurrent of constant unease started long before the rise of Western industrial civilization, of course, but in Western civilization, which now covers almost the entire globe, including most of the East, it manifests in an unprecedentedly acute form. It was already there at the time of Jesus, and it was there six hundred years before that at the time of Buddha, and long before that. Why are you always anxious? Jesus asked his disciples. “Can anxious thought add a single day to your life?” And the Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and craving. Resistance to the Now as a collective dysfunction is intrinsically connected to loss of awareness of Being and forms the basis of our dehumanized industrial civilization. Freud, by the way, also recognized the existence of this undercurrent of unease and wrote about it in his book Civilization and Its Discontents, but he did not recognize the true root of the unease and failed to realize that freedom from it is possible. This collective dysfunction has created a very unhappy and extraordinarily violent civilization that has become a threat not only to itself but also to all life on the planet.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to your naïve pomposity. Many people you believe to be rich are not rich. Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got. Many people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are suffering. Many people who appear to you to be old and stupidly saddled down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and pompous as you. When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that this kiss doesn’t ‘mean anything’ because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back. Your daughter will have his sense of humor. Your son will have his eyes. The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming. One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don’t look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don’t hold it up and say it’s longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn’t say for the rest of your life. Say thank you.
Cheryl Strayed
Tomorrow will be like today, and the day after tomorrow will be like day before yesterday," said Apollonius. "I see your remaining days each as quiet, tedious collections of hours. You will not travel anywhere. You will think no new thoughts. You will experience no new passions. Older you will become but not wiser. Stiffer but not more dignified. Childless you are, and childless you shall remain. Of that suppleness you once commanded in your youth, of that strange simplicity which once attracted a few men to you, neither endures, nor shall you recapture any of them anymore. People will talk to you and visit with you out of sentiment or pity, not because you have anything to offer them. Have you ever seen an old cornstalk turning brown, dying, but refusing to fall over, upon which stray birds alight now and then, hardly remarking what it is they perch on? That is you. I cannot fathom your place in life's economy. A living thing should either create or destroy according to its capacity and caprice, but you, you do neither. You only live on dreaming of the nice things you would like to have happen to you but which never happen; and you wonder vaguely why the young lives about you which you occasionally chide for a fancied impropriety never listen to you and seem to flee at your approach. When you die you will be buried and forgotten and that is all. The morticians will enclose you in a worm-proof casket, thus sealing even unto eternity the clay of your uselessness. And for all the good or evil, creation or destruction, that your living might have accomplished, you might just as well has never lived at all. I cannot see the purpose in such a life. I can see in it only vulgar, shocking waste.
Charles G. Finney (The Circus of Dr. Lao)
More seriously-and this is probably why there has been a lot of garbage talked about a lost generation-it was easy to see, all over the landscape of contemporary fiction, the devastating effect of the Thatcher years. So many of these writers wrote without hope. They had lost all ambition, all desire to to wrestle with the world. Their books dealt with tiny patches of the world, tiny pieces of human experience-a council estate, a mother, a father, a lost job. Very few writers had the courage or even the energy to bite off a big chunk of the universe and chew it over. Very few showed any linguistic or formal innovation. Many were dulled and therefore dull. (And then, even worse, there were the Hooray Henries and Sloanes who evidently thought that the day of the yuppie novel, and the Bellini-drinking, okay-yah fiction had dawned. Dukedoms and country-house bulimics abounded. It was plain that too may books were being published; that too many writers had found their way into print without any justification for it at all; that too many publishers had adopted a kind of random, scattergun policy of publishing for turnover and just hoping that something would strike a cord. When the general picture is so disheartening, it is easy to miss the good stuff. I agreed to be a judge for "Best of Young British Novelists II" because I wanted to find out for myself if the good stuff really was there. In my view, it is...One of my old schoolmasters was fond of devising English versions of the epigrams of Martial. I remember only one, his version of Martial's message to a particularly backward-looking critic: "You only praise the good old days We young 'uns get no mention. I don't see why I have to die To gain your kind attention.
Salman Rushdie (Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002)
I pity those reviewers above, and people like them, who ridicule authors like R.A. Boulay and other proponents of similar Ancient Astronaut theories, simply for putting forth so many interesting questions (because that's really what he often throughout openly admits is all he does does) in light of fascinating and thought-provoking references which are all from copious sources. Some people will perhaps only read the cover and introduction and dismiss it as soon as any little bit of information flies in the face of their beliefs or normalcy biases. Some of those people, I'm sure, are some of the ones who reviewed this book so negatively without any constructive criticism or plausible rebuttal. It's sad to see how programmed and indoctrinated the vast majority of humanity has become to the ills of dogma, indoctrination, unverified status quos and basic ignorance; not to mention the laziness and conformity that results in such acquiescence and lack of critical thinking or lack of information gathering to confirm or debunk something. Too many people just take what's spoon fed to them all their lives and settle for it unquestioningly. For those people I like to offer a great Einstein quote and one of my personal favorites and that is: "Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance" I found this book to be a very interesting gathering of information and collection of obscure and/or remote antiquated information, i.e. biblical, sacred, mythological and otherwise, that we were not exactly taught to us in bible school, or any other public school for that matter. And I am of the school of thought that has been so for intended purposes. The author clearly cites all his fascinating sources and cross-references them rather plausibly. He organizes the information in a sequential manner that piques ones interest even as he jumps from one set of information to the next. The information, although eclectic as it spans from different cultures and time periods, interestingly ties together in several respects and it is this synchronicity that makes the information all the more remarkable. For those of you who continue to seek truth and enlightenment because you understand that an open mind makes for and lifelong pursuit of such things I leave you with these Socrates quotes: "True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
Socrates
Middlemarch is a novel that is diminished by being put on the screen. It can't help but be, because so much of what we enjoy in Middlemarch is the interplay between what the characters do and what we know about them because of the telling voice. It's less of a problem for the cinema when it deals with novels that are purely concerned with action and what people do. I haven't thought this through, and I'm just trying it now to see what it sounds like. But maybe it would be less a problem with novels that are told in the first person. The interesting thing to me about Middlemarch, and Thackeray's Vanity Fair, and several other great novels, is precisely this omniscient, as we call it, third person, which naive readers mistake for the author. It isn't George Eliot who is saying this; it's a voice that George Eliot adopts to tell this story. There can be something very interesting in a novel like Bleak House, which was also done very well on the television by the same adapter, Andrew Davis. Now, Bleak House is told in two voices, as you remember. One is the somewhat trying Esther Summerson, who is a paradigm of every kind of virtue, and the other is a different sort of voice entirely, a voice that tells the story in the present tense, which was unusual for the time, a voice that doesn't seem to have a main character attached to it. But I think that Dickens is playing a very subtle game here. I've noticed a couple of things about that second narration that make me wonder whether it isn't Esther herself writing the other bits of it. For instance, at the very beginning, she says, "When I come to write my portion of these pages . . ." So she knows that there is another narrative going on, but nobody else does. Nobody else refers to it. The second thing is that she is the only character who never appears in those passages of present-tense narration. The other characters do. She doesn't. Why would that be? There's one point very near the end of the book where she almost does. Inspector Bucket is coming into the house to collect Esther to go and look for Lady Dedlock, who's run away, and we hear that Esther is just coming -- but no, she's turned back and brought her cloak, so we don't quite see her. It's as if she's teasing us and saying, "You're going to see me; no, you're not." Now, that's Dickens, at the height of his powers, playing around -- in ways that we would now call, I don't know, postmodern, ironic, self-referential, or something -- with the whole notion of narration, characterization, and so on. Yet, it doesn't matter. Those things are there for us to notice and to enjoy and to relish, if we have the taste for that sort of thing. But the events of Bleak House are so thrilling, so perplexing, so exciting that a mere recital of the events themselves is enough to carry a whole television adaptation, a whole play, a whole story. It's so much better with Dickens's narrative playfulness there, but it's pretty good without them.
Philip Pullman
Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. A shiver raced down Daphne’s spine, causing her to sway. In just a moment, she would belong to this man forever. Simon’s head turned slightly, his eyes darting to her face. Are you all right? his eyes asked. She nodded, a tiny little jog of her chin that only he could see. Something blazed in his eyes— could it be relief? I now pronounce you— Gregory sneezed for a fourth time, then a fifth and sixth, completely obliterating the archbishop’s “man and wife.” Daphne felt a horrifying bubble of mirth pushing up her throat. She pressed her lips together, determined to maintain an appropriately serious facade. Marriage, after all, was a solemn institution, and not one to be treating as a joke. She shot a glance at Simon, only to find that he was looking at her with a queer expression. His pale eyes were focused on her mouth, and the corners of his lips began to twitch. Daphne felt that bubble of mirth rising ever higher. You may kiss the bride. Simon grabbed her with almost desperate arms, his mouth crashing down on hers with a force that drew a collective gasp from the small assemblage of guests. And then both sets of lips— bride and groom— burst into laughter, even as they remained entwined. Violet Bridgerton later said it was the oddest kiss she’d ever been privileged to view. Gregory Bridgerton— when he finished sneezing— said it was disgusting. The archbishop, who was getting on in years, looked perplexed. But Hyacinth Bridgerton, who at ten should have known the least about kisses of anyone, just blinked thoughtfully, and said, “I think it’s nice. If they’re laughing now, they’ll probably be laughing forever.” She turned to her mother. “Isn’t that a good thing?” Violet took her youngest daughter’s hand and squeezed it. “Laughter is always a good thing, Hyacinth. And thank you for reminding us of that.
Julia Quinn (The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1))
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)
BOWLS OF FOOD Moon and evening star do their slow tambourine dance to praise this universe. The purpose of every gathering is discovered: to recognize beauty and love what’s beautiful. “Once it was like that, now it’s like this,” the saying goes around town, and serious consequences too. Men and women turn their faces to the wall in grief. They lose appetite. Then they start eating the fire of pleasure, as camels chew pungent grass for the sake of their souls. Winter blocks the road. Flowers are taken prisoner underground. Then green justice tenders a spear. Go outside to the orchard. These visitors came a long way, past all the houses of the zodiac, learning Something new at each stop. And they’re here for such a short time, sitting at these tables set on the prow of the wind. Bowls of food are brought out as answers, but still no one knows the answer. Food for the soul stays secret. Body food gets put out in the open like us. Those who work at a bakery don’t know the taste of bread like the hungry beggars do. Because the beloved wants to know, unseen things become manifest. Hiding is the hidden purpose of creation: bury your seed and wait. After you die, All the thoughts you had will throng around like children. The heart is the secret inside the secret. Call the secret language, and never be sure what you conceal. It’s unsure people who get the blessing. Climbing cypress, opening rose, Nightingale song, fruit, these are inside the chill November wind. They are its secret. We climb and fall so often. Plants have an inner Being, and separate ways of talking and feeling. An ear of corn bends in thought. Tulip, so embarrassed. Pink rose deciding to open a competing store. A bunch of grapes sits with its feet stuck out. Narcissus gossiping about iris. Willow, what do you learn from running water? Humility. Red apple, what has the Friend taught you? To be sour. Peach tree, why so low? To let you reach. Look at the poplar, tall but without fruit or flower. Yes, if I had those, I’d be self-absorbed like you. I gave up self to watch the enlightened ones. Pomegranate questions quince, Why so pale? For the pearl you hid inside me. How did you discover my secret? Your laugh. The core of the seen and unseen universes smiles, but remember, smiles come best from those who weep. Lightning, then the rain-laughter. Dark earth receives that clear and grows a trunk. Melon and cucumber come dragging along on pilgrimage. You have to be to be blessed! Pumpkin begins climbing a rope! Where did he learn that? Grass, thorns, a hundred thousand ants and snakes, everything is looking for food. Don’t you hear the noise? Every herb cures some illness. Camels delight to eat thorns. We prefer the inside of a walnut, not the shell. The inside of an egg, the outside of a date. What about your inside and outside? The same way a branch draws water up many feet, God is pulling your soul along. Wind carries pollen from blossom to ground. Wings and Arabian stallions gallop toward the warmth of spring. They visit; they sing and tell what they think they know: so-and-so will travel to such-and-such. The hoopoe carries a letter to Solomon. The wise stork says lek-lek. Please translate. It’s time to go to the high plain, to leave the winter house. Be your own watchman as birds are. Let the remembering beads encircle you. I make promises to myself and break them. Words are coins: the vein of ore and the mine shaft, what they speak of. Now consider the sun. It’s neither oriental nor occidental. Only the soul knows what love is. This moment in time and space is an eggshell with an embryo crumpled inside, soaked in belief-yolk, under the wing of grace, until it breaks free of mind to become the song of an actual bird, and God.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Dr. Chanter, in his brilliant History of Human Thought in the Twentieth Century, has made the suggestion that only a very small proportion of people are capable of acquiring new ideas of political or social behaviour after they are twenty-five years old. On the other hand, few people become directive in these matters until they are between forty and fifty. Then they prevail for twenty years or more. The conduct of public affairs therefore is necessarily twenty years or more behind the living thought of the times. This is what Dr. Chanter calls the "delayed realisation of ideas". In the less hurried past this had not been of any great importance, but in the violent crises of the Revolutionary Period it became a primary fact. It is evident now that whatever the emergency, however obvious the new problem before our species in the nineteen-twenties, it was necessary for the whole generation that had learned nothing and could learn nothing from the Great War and its sequelae, to die out before any rational handling of world affairs could even begin. The cream of the youth of the war years had been killed; a stratum of men already middle-aged remained in control, whose ideas had already set before the Great War. It was, says Chanter, an inescapable phase. The world of the Frightened Thirties and the Brigand Forties was under the dominion of a generation of unteachable, obstinately obstructive men, blinded men, miseducating, misleading the baffled younger people for completely superseded ends. If they could have had their way, they would have blinded the whole world for ever. But the blinding was inadequate, and by the Fifties all this generation and its teachings and traditions were passing away, like a smoke-screen blown aside. Before a few years had passed it was already incredible that in the twenties and thirties of the twentieth century the whole political life of the world was still running upon the idea of competitive sovereign empires and states. Men of quite outstanding intelligence were still planning and scheming for the "hegemony" of Britain or France or Germany or Japan; they were still moving their armies and navies and air forces and making their combinations and alliances upon the dissolving chess-board of terrestrial reality. Nothing happened as they had planned it; nothing worked out as they desired; but still with a stupefying inertia they persisted. They launched armies, they starved and massacred populations. They were like a veterinary surgeon who suddenly finds he is operating upon a human being, and with a sort of blind helplessness cuts and slashes more and more desperately, according to the best equestrian rules. The history of European diplomacy between 1914 and 1944 seems now so consistent a record of incredible insincerity that it stuns the modern mind. At the time it seemed rational behaviour. It did not seem insincere. The biographical material of the period -- and these governing-class people kept themselves in countenance very largely by writing and reading each other's biographies -- the collected letters, the collected speeches, the sapient observations of the leading figures make tedious reading, but they enable the intelligent student to realise the persistence of small-society values in that swiftly expanding scene. Those values had to die out. There was no other way of escaping from them, and so, slowly and horribly, that phase of the moribund sovereign states concluded.
H.G. Wells (The Holy Terror)
I probably should say that this is what makes you a good traveler in my opinion, but deep down I really think this is just universal, incontrovertible truth. There is the right way to travel, and the wrong way. And if there is one philanthropic deed that can come from this book, maybe it will be that I teach a few more people how to do it right. So, in short, my list of what makes a good traveler, which I recommend you use when interviewing your next potential trip partner: 1. You are open. You say yes to whatever comes your way, whether it’s shots of a putrid-smelling yak-butter tea or an offer for an Albanian toe-licking. (How else are you going to get the volcano dust off?) You say yes because it is the only way to really experience another place, and let it change you. Which, in my opinion, is the mark of a great trip. 2. You venture to the places where the tourists aren’t, in addition to hitting the “must-sees.” If you are exclusively visiting places where busloads of Chinese are following a woman with a flag and a bullhorn, you’re not doing it. 3. You are easygoing about sleeping/eating/comfort issues. You don’t change rooms three times, you’ll take an overnight bus if you must, you can go without meat in India and without vegan soy gluten-free tempeh butter in Bolivia, and you can shut the hell up about it. 4. You are aware of your travel companions, and of not being contrary to their desires/​needs/​schedules more often than necessary. If you find that you want to do things differently than your companions, you happily tell them to go on without you in a way that does not sound like you’re saying, “This is a test.” 5. You can figure it out. How to read a map, how to order when you can’t read the menu, how to find a bathroom, or a train, or a castle. 6. You know what the trip is going to cost, and can afford it. If you can’t afford the trip, you don’t go. Conversely, if your travel companions can’t afford what you can afford, you are willing to slum it in the name of camaraderie. P.S.: Attractive single people almost exclusively stay at dumps. If you’re looking for them, don’t go posh. 7. You are aware of cultural differences, and go out of your way to blend. You don’t wear booty shorts to the Western Wall on Shabbat. You do hike your bathing suit up your booty on the beach in Brazil. Basically, just be aware to show the culturally correct amount of booty. 8. You behave yourself when dealing with local hotel clerks/​train operators/​tour guides etc. Whether it’s for selfish gain, helping the reputation of Americans traveling abroad, or simply the spreading of good vibes, you will make nice even when faced with cultural frustrations and repeated smug “not possible”s. This was an especially important trait for an American traveling during the George W. years, when the world collectively thought we were all either mentally disabled or bent on world destruction. (One anecdote from that dark time: in Greece, I came back to my table at a café to find that Emma had let a nearby [handsome] Greek stranger pick my camera up off our table. He had then stuck it down the front of his pants for a photo. After he snapped it, he handed the camera back to me and said, “Show that to George Bush.” Which was obviously extra funny because of the word bush.) 9. This last rule is the most important to me: you are able to go with the flow in a spontaneous, non-uptight way if you stumble into something amazing that will bump some plan off the day’s schedule. So you missed the freakin’ waterfall—you got invited to a Bahamian family’s post-Christening barbecue where you danced with three generations of locals in a backyard under flower-strewn balconies. You won. Shut the hell up about the waterfall. Sally
Kristin Newman (What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding)