Connections Matter Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Connections Matter. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Music is a total constant. That's why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know? Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in your or the world, that one song says the same, just like that moment.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
most importantly love like it's the only thing you know how at the end of the day all this means nothing this page where you're sitting your degree your job the money nothing even matters except love and human connection who you loved and how deeply you loved them how you touched the people around you and how much you gave them
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
The way to maintain one's connection to the wild is to ask yourself what it is that you want. This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt. One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the choice of mates and lovers. A lover cannot be chosen a la smorgasbord. A lover has to be chosen from soul-craving. To choose just because something mouthwatering stands before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-self. And that is what the intuition is for; it is the direct messenger of the soul.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
He came up and kissed me on my forehead, and before he stepped away, I closed my eyes and tried hard to memorize this moment. I wanted to remember him exactly as he was right then, how his arms looked brown against his white shirt, the way his hair was cut a little too short in the front. Even the bruise, there because of me. Then he was gone. Just for that moment, the thought that I might never see him again… it felt worse than death. I wanted to run after him. Tell him anything, everything. Just don’t go. Please just never go. Please just always be near me, so I can at least see you. Because it felt final. I always believed that we would find our way back to each other every time. That no matter what, we would be connected—by our history, by this house. But this time, this last time, it felt final. Like I would never see him again, or that when I did, it would be different, there would be a mountain between us. I knew it in my bones. That this time was it. I had finally made my choice, and so had he. He let me go. I was relieved, which I expected. What I didn’t expect was to feel so much grief. Bye bye, Birdie.
Jenny Han (We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3))
Most people write me off when they see me. They do not know my story. They say I am just an African. They judge me before they get to know me. What they do not know is The pride I have in the blood that runs through my veins; The pride I have in my rich culture and the history of my people; The pride I have in my strong family ties and the deep connection to my community; The pride I have in the African music, African art, and African dance; The pride I have in my name and the meaning behind it. Just as my name has meaning, I too will live my life with meaning. So you think I am nothing? Don’t worry about what I am now, For what I will be, I am gradually becoming. I will raise my head high wherever I go Because of my African pride, And nobody will take that away from me.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for all Africans: How Every African Can Live the Life of Their Dreams)
I'm not sure what I am. I just know there's something dark in me. I hide it. I certainly don't talk about it, but it's there always, this Dark Passenger. And when he's driving, I feel alive, half sick with the thrill of complete wrongness. I don't fight him, I don't want to. He's all I've got. Nothing else could love me, not even... especially not me. Or is that just a lie the Dark Passenger tells me? Because lately there are these moments when I feel connected to something else... someone. It's like the mask is slipping and things... people... who never mattered before are suddenly starting to matter. It scares the hell out of me.
Jeff Lindsay (Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter, #1))
When fate connects an invisible thread between a man and a woman who are bound to be together, no matter how hard they try to fight against their own destiny, they can’t change what’s meant to be.
Nino Varsimashvili
It doesn't matter how sensitive you are or how damn smart and educated you are, if you're not both at the same time, if your heart and your brain aren't connected, aren't working together harmoniously, well, you're just hopping through life on one leg. You may think you're walking, you may think you're running a damn marathon, but you're only on a hop trip. The connections gotta be maintained.
Tom Robbins (Villa Incognito)
I believe that two people are connected at the heart, and it doesn't matter what you do, or who you are or where you live; there are no boundaries or barriers if two people are destined to be together.
Julia L. Roberts
Being in love is a very strange thing. Your thoughts constantly drift towards this other person, no matter what you’re doing. You could be reaching for a glass in the cupboard or brushing your teeth or listening to someone tell a story, and your mind will just start drifting towards their face, their hair, the way they smell, wondering what they’ll wear, and what they’ll say the next time they see you. And on top of the constant dream state you’re in, your stomach feels like it’s connected to a bungee cord, and it bounces and bounces around for hours until it finally lodges itself next to your heart.
Pittacus Lore (The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2))
One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think—though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one—that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
That's the difference between family and friends. Family is always there, no matter what, even when it's not right next door. Which means that you'll find a way to keep the connection alive. Especially since you realize how important it is.
Nicholas Sparks (The Longest Ride)
No one was to blame for what happened, but that does not make it any less difficult to accept. It was all a matter of missed connections, bad timing, blundering in the dark. We were always in the right place at the wrong time, the wrong place at the right time, always just missing each other, always just a few inches from figuring the whole thing out. That's what the story boils down to, I think. A series of lost chances. All the pieces were there from the beginning, but no one knew how to put them together.
Paul Auster (Moon Palace)
No matter who we are, no matter what our circumstances, our feelings and emotions are universal. And music has always been a great way to make people aware of that connection. It can help you open up a part of yourself and express feelings you didn't know you were feeling. It's risky to let that happen. But it's a risk you have to take-because only then will you find you're not alone.
Josh Groban
Living a connected life ultimately is about setting boundaries, spending less time and energy hustling and winning over people who don’t matter, and seeing the value of working on cultivating connection with family and close friends.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
But history does matter. There is a line connecting the Armenians and the Jews and the Cambodians and the Bosnians and the Rwandans. There are obviously more, but, really, how much genocide can one sentence handle?
Chris Bohjalian (The Sandcastle Girls)
I believe that no matter what happens, or where we go, or if there's an afterlife, that we'll always be connected. Not even death can make me forget you, or forget that I love you.
J.A. Redmerski (The Ballad of Aramei (The Darkwoods Trilogy, #3))
There is something beautiful about each and every scar we bear no matter where it comes from.
Kim Karr (Connected (Connections, #1))
Loneliness isn’t the physical absence of other people, he said—it’s the sense that you’re not sharing anything that matters with anyone else. If you have lots of people around you—perhaps even a husband or wife, or a family, or a busy workplace—but you don’t share anything that matters with them, then you’ll still be lonely.
Johann Hari (Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions)
It’s the people we hardly know, and not our closest friends, who will improve our lives most dramatically
Meg Jay (The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter - And How to Make the Most of Them Now)
We need to bridge our sense of loneliness and disconnection with a sense of community and continuity even if we must manufacture it from our time on the Web and our use of calling cards to connect long distance. We must “log on” somewhere, and if it is only in cyberspace, that is still far better than nowhere at all. (264)
Julia Cameron (God is No Laughing Matter)
Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
Whoever's reading this, if anyone is reading it: does it matter that our old selves are lost to us as surely as the past is lost, or is it enough to know yes we lived then, and we are living now, and the connection must be there? Like a river hundreds of miles long exists both at its source and at its mouth, simultaneously?
Joyce Carol Oates (Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang)
You and I have been through too much together. We're too close, too connected. I wasn't that crazy on spirit when I said you're my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don't matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
Plus there’s the fact,” he went on, making it clear he didn’t need me to reply anyway, “that music is a total constant. That’s why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know? Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment. Which is pretty amazing, when you actually think about it.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
Everything is connected, like a delicate web. Ever growing, ever changing. New silvery strands come together every day, and once the strand is formed, no matter what superficial circumstances may sometimes keep you apart, it is never broken. You will meet again, perhaps in another lifetime. The connection is unbreakable, lying dormant in your subconscious.
Chelsie Shakespeare (The Pull)
The weather and my mood have little connection. I have my foggy and my fine days within me; my prosperity or misfortune has little to do with the matter.
Blaise Pascal
Every life, no matter how isolated, touches hundred of others. It's up to us to decide if those micro connections are positive or negative. But whichever we decide, it does impact the ones we deal with.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, #3))
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
People aren't just ants rushing around over a crust of bread. Every life, no matter how isolated, touches hundreds of others. It's up to us to decide if those micro connections are positive or negative. But whichever we decide, it does impact the ones we deal with. One word can give someone the strength they needed at that moment or it can shred them down to nothing. A single smile can turn a bad moment good. And one wrong outburst or word could be the tiny push that causes someone to slip over the edge into destruction.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, #3))
Whatever connection we thought we had before this...it doesn't compare to this moment. No matter what happens between us in life, this moment has just merged pieces of our souls together. Well always have that, and in a way it's comforting to know.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
That's the way it is when you love. It makes you suffer, and I have suffered much in the years since. But it matters little that you suffer, so long as you feel alive with a sense of the close bond that connects all living things, so long as love does not die!
Hermann Hesse (Peter Camenzind)
I don’t want fine. Fine isn’t enough. Isn’t not about the open fire or whatever other clichés you can conjure up, but yes, I want a connection. I want you to care as much as I care. I want you to need it and want it and mean it. I want it to matter.
Alexis Hall (Boyfriend Material)
Mom turned but did a double take. "Where did you get that necklace from?" I touched the pendant. "A friend." "A boy?" Yikes. "He's a friend who's a boy." Her mouth twitched in amusement and her gaze left the necklace. "First roses, and now a necklace? Are you sure Landon isn't you boyfriend?" "This wasn't from him, Mom." "So you have two boyfriends?" "No, Mom!" I almost shouted. "Neither of them is my boyfriend. Trust me. They're just boys who are friends. No connecting of words going on... or connecting of anything else, for that matter." She stared at me. "Hmm." Then she left my room. She was so weird sometimes.
Courtney Allison Moulton (Angelfire (Angelfire, #1))
No matter how lonely and isolated and starved for connection you are, there’s always the possibility in the online world that you can find a place to be accepted, or discover a friendship that’s started with the smallest of interests but could last a lifetime.
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
The biggest challenge facing the great teachers and communicators of history is not to teach history itself, nor even the lessons of history, but why history matters. How to ignite the first spark of the will o'the wisp, the Jack o'lantern, the ignis fatuus [foolish fire] beloved of poets, which lights up one source of history and then another, zigzagging across the marsh, connecting and linking and writing bright words across the dark face of the present. There's no phrase I can come up that will encapsulate in a winning sound-bite why history matters. We know that history matters, we know that it is thrilling, absorbing, fascinating, delightful and infuriating, that it is life. Yet I can't help wondering if it's a bit like being a Wagnerite; you just have to get used to the fact that some people are never going to listen.
Stephen Fry (Making History)
Fundraising is an extreme sport!
Marc A. Pitman (Ask Without Fear!: A Simple Guide to Connecting Donors with What Matters to Them Most)
This is how it works. Everything is connected. Every choice matters. Every person is vital, and valuable, and worthy of respect.
Deborah Wiles (Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy, #2))
Not too long ago thousands spent their lives as recluses to find spiritual vision in the solitude of nature. Modern man need not become a hermit to achieve this goal, for it is neither ecstasy nor world-estranged mysticism his era demands, but a balance between quantitative and qualitative reality. Modern man, with his reduced capacity for intuitive perception, is unlikely to benefit from the contemplative life of a hermit in the wilderness. But what he can do is to give undivided attention, at times, to a natural phenomenon, observing it in detail, and recalling all the scientific facts about it he may remember. Gradually, however, he must silence his thoughts and, for moments at least, forget all his personal cares and desires, until nothing remains in his soul but awe for the miracle before him. Such efforts are like journeys beyond the boundaries of narrow self-love and, although the process of intuitive awakening is laborious and slow, its rewards are noticeable from the very first. If pursued through the course of years, something will begin to stir in the human soul, a sense of kinship with the forces of life consciousness which rule the world of plants and animals, and with the powers which determine the laws of matter. While analytical intellect may well be called the most precious fruit of the Modern Age, it must not be allowed to rule supreme in matters of cognition. If science is to bring happiness and real progress to the world, it needs the warmth of man's heart just as much as the cold inquisitiveness of his brain.
Franz Winkler
No one today is purely one thing. Labels like Indian, or woman, or Muslim, or American are not more than starting-points, which if followed into actual experience for only a moment are quickly left behind. Imperialism consolidated the mixture of cultures and identities on a global scale. But its worst and most paradoxical gift was to allow people to believe that they were only, mainly, exclusively, white, or Black, or Western, or Oriental. Yet just as human beings make their own history, they also make their cultures and ethnic identities. No one can deny the persisting continuities of long traditions, sustained habitations, national languages, and cultural geographies, but there seems no reason except fear and prejudice to keep insisting on their separation and distinctiveness, as if that was all human life was about. Survival in fact is about the connections between things; in Eliot’s phrase, reality cannot be deprived of the “other echoes [that] inhabit the garden.” It is more rewarding - and more difficult - to think concretely and sympathetically, contrapuntally, about others than only about “us.” But this also means not trying to rule others, not trying to classify them or put them in hierarchies, above all, not constantly reiterating how “our” culture or country is number one (or not number one, for that matter).
Edward W. Said (Culture and Imperialism)
I can’t tell how much of our connection is because of the things we still have in common or the one thing that bonds us for life. But no matter what happens, I know I can totally count on Erin for anything. And she knows I’d do anything for her.
Susane Colasanti (Something Like Fate)
I never am really satisfied that I understand anything; because, understand it well as I may, my comprehension can only be an infinitesimal fraction of all I want to understand about the many connections and relations which occur to me, how the matter in question was first thought of or arrived at, etc., etc.
Ada Lovelace
Places don't matter to people any more. Places aren't the point. People are only ever half present where they are these days. They always have at least one foot in the great digital nowhere.
Matt Haig
It doesn't matter, that's the point. It doesn't matter that things don't always work exactly the way you thought they should. Moments matter. People matter, how they feel, how they connect. Who they are alone and together. All that matters, no matter how quickly the moment passes. Maybe because it passes.
Nora Roberts
THE HABIT OF NARRATION, of crafting something miraculous out of the commonplace, was hard to break. Narration came naturally after a time spent in the company of talking scarecrows or disappearing cats; it was, in its own way, a method of keeping oneself grounded, connected to the thin thread of continuity that ran through all lives, no matter how strange they might become. Narrate the impossible things, turn them into a story, and they could be controlled.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1))
Kiaran and I have little connection beyond our names. We battle, bleed and hunt together almost every night. He teaches me how to slaughter in the most effective, brutal ways possible. But I've never told Kiaran why I hunt, and he has never told me why he kills his own kind. This is our ritual, our dance. The only one that matters.
Elizabeth May (The Falconer (The Falconer, #1))
I see how it is,” I snapped. “You were all in favor of me breaking the tattoo and thinking on my own—but that’s only okay if it’s convenient for you, huh? Just like your ‘loving from afar’ only works if you don’t have an opportunity to get your hands all over me. And your lips. And . . . stuff.” Adrian rarely got mad, and I wouldn’t quite say he was now. But he was definitely exasperated. “Are you seriously in this much self-denial, Sydney? Like do you actually believe yourself when you say you don’t feel anything? Especially after what’s been happening between us?” “Nothing’s happening between us,” I said automatically. “Physical attraction isn’t the same as love. You of all people should know that.” “Ouch,” he said. His expression hadn’t changed, but I saw hurt in his eyes. I’d wounded him. “Is that what bothers you? My past? That maybe I’m an expert in an area you aren’t?” “One I’m sure you’d just love to educate me in. One more girl to add to your list of conquests.” He was speechless for a few moments and then held up one finger. “First, I don’t have a list.” Another finger, “Second, if I did have a list, I could find someone a hell of lot less frustrating to add to it.” For the third finger, he leaned toward me. “And finally, I know that you know you’re no conquest, so don’t act like you seriously think that. You and I have been through too much together. We’re too close, too connected. I wasn’t that crazy on spirit when I said you’re my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don’t matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too. Running away and fleeing all your problems isn’t going to change that. You’re just going to end up scared and confused.” “I already feel that way,” I said quietly. Adrian moved back and leaned into his seat, looking tired. “Well, that’s the most accurate thing you’ve said so far.” I grabbed the basket and jerked open the car door. Without another word, I stormed off, refusing to look back in case he saw the tears that had inexplicably appeared in my eyes. Only, I wasn’t sure exactly which part of our conversation I was most upset about.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
I always want us to be like this, connected, sharing everything with each other. Not holding anything back, no matter how the other person may feel.” “You have my word from this point forward. No matter what.
Nicole Gulla (The Lure of the Moon (The Scripter Trilogy, #1))
Are you Stupid?" "Huh?" "Hotoba-san, Even if you are far away the sky i always connected. Friends are friend no matter where you are. Change isn't so bad...I was scared of change too. We're both scared. Lets be friend...okay?
Peach-Pit (Shugo Chara!, Vol. 2: Friends in Need (Shugo Chara!, #2))
The library is a whispering post. You don't need to take a book off a shelf to know there is a voice inside that is waiting to speak to you, and behind that was someone who truly believed that if he or she spoke, someone would listen. It was that affirmation that always amazed me. Even the oddest, most peculiar book was written with that kind of courage -- the writer's belief that someone would find his or her book important to read. I was struck by how precious and foolish and brave that belief is, and how necessary, and how full of hope it is to collect these books and manuscripts and preserve them. It declares that stories matter, and so does every effort to create something that connects us to one another, and to our past, and to what is still to come.
Susan Orlean (The Library Book)
I define wholehearted living as engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Through our constant connectivity to each other, we have become increasingly reactive to what comes to us rather than being proactive about what matters most to us.
Jocelyn K. Glei (Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind)
We love men because they can never fake orgasms, even if they wanted to. Because they write poems, songs, and books in our honor. Because they never understand us, but they never give up. Because they can see beauty in women when women have long ceased to see any beauty in themselves. Because they come from little boys. Because they can churn out long, intricate, Machiavellian, or incredibly complex mathematics and physics equations, but they can be comparably clueless when it comes to women. Because they are incredible lovers and never rest until we’re happy. Because they elevate sports to religion. Because they’re never afraid of the dark. Because they don’t care how they look or if they age. Because they persevere in making and repairing things beyond their abilities, with the naïve self-assurance of the teenage boy who knew everything. Because they never wear or dream of wearing high heels. Because they’re always ready for sex. Because they’re like pomegranates: lots of inedible parts, but the juicy seeds are incredibly tasty and succulent and usually exceed your expectations. Because they’re afraid to go bald. Because you always know what they think and they always mean what they say. Because they love machines, tools, and implements with the same ferocity women love jewelry. Because they go to great lengths to hide, unsuccessfully, that they are frail and human. Because they either speak too much or not at all to that end. Because they always finish the food on their plate. Because they are brave in front of insects and mice. Because a well-spoken four-year old girl can reduce them to silence, and a beautiful 25-year old can reduce them to slobbering idiots. Because they want to be either omnivorous or ascetic, warriors or lovers, artists or generals, but nothing in-between. Because for them there’s no such thing as too much adrenaline. Because when all is said and done, they can’t live without us, no matter how hard they try. Because they’re truly as simple as they claim to be. Because they love extremes and when they go to extremes, we’re there to catch them. Because they are tender they when they cry, and how seldom they do it. Because what they lack in talk, they tend to make up for in action. Because they make excellent companions when driving through rough neighborhoods or walking past dark alleys. Because they really love their moms, and they remind us of our dads. Because they never care what their horoscope, their mother-in-law, nor the neighbors say. Because they don’t lie about their age, their weight, or their clothing size. Because they have an uncanny ability to look deeply into our eyes and connect with our heart, even when we don’t want them to. Because when we say “I love you” they ask for an explanation.
Paulo Coelho
The world today is fast becoming one.Humanity is one, God is one and mankind are all part of one human family. all Religions are connected, and they all lead to faith in the one God, no matter what name we give him he is but one God.
Naeem Abdullah (Islam: A Favor to Humanity)
This love is actually part of you; it is always flowing through you. It’s like the subatomic texture of the universe, the dark matter that connects everything. When you tune in to that flow, you will feel it in your own heart—not your physical heart or your emotional heart, but your spiritual heart, the place you point to in your chest when you say, “I am.
Ram Dass (Be Here Now)
We are complex beings who wake up every day and fight against being labeled and diminished with stereotypes and characterizations that don’t reflect our fullness. Yet when we don’t risk standing on our own and speaking out, when the options laid before us force us into the very categories we resist, we perpetuate our own disconnection and loneliness. When we are willing to risk venturing into the wilderness, and even becoming our own wilderness, we feel the deepest connection to our true self and to what matters the most.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
Everyone will be forgotten, nothing we do will make any difference, and all good endeavours, even the best, will come to naught. Unless there is God. If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavour, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God's calling, can matter forever.
Timothy J. Keller (Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work)
Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Matters of the heart were important, but people tended to put too much stock in the particular organ when, in retrospect, it was only tissue. It pumped blood and the body couldn’t live without it, sure, but it had no actual bearing on love. The soul was what made a person distinct—the part that lived on after death, how one being connected to another, and what bound essence.
Kelly Moran (Benediction (Cattenach Ranch, #2))
Well, see, I think it's that most people don't like that lonely feeling. People don't like looking up and feeling small or lost. That's what I think prayer is all about. It doesn't matter which stories they believe in, they're all doing the same thing, kind of casting a line out to outer space, like there's something out there to connect to. It's like people make themselves part of something bigger that way, and maybe it makes them less afraid.
Craig Silvey (Jasper Jones)
Mental patterns do not originate out of inorganic nature. They originate out of society, which originates out of inorganic nature. And, as anthropologists know so well, what a mind thinks is as dominated by biological patterns as social patterns are dominated by biological patterns and as biological patterns are dominated by inorganic patterns. There is no direct scientific connection between mind and matter. As the atomic scientist, Niels Bohr, said, "We are suspended in language." Our intellectual description of nature is always culturally derived.
Robert M. Pirsig
No matter what advantages you are born with-- money, intelligence, an appealing personality, a sunny outlook, or good social connections-- none of these provides a magic key to an easy existence. Somehow life manages to bring difficult problems, the causes of untold suffering and struggle. How you meet your challenges makes all the difference between the promise of success and the specter of failure.
Deepak Chopra (Spiritual Solutions: Answers to Life's Greatest Challenges)
But history does matter. There are lines connecting the Armenians and the Jews and the Cambodians and the Serbs and the Rwandans. They are obviously morbid. Really, how much genocide can one sentence handle? You get the point. Besides, my grandparents’ story deserves to be told, regardless of their nationalities.
Chris Bohjalian (The Sandcastle Girls)
There is no end of things in the heart. ...she understood it to mean that if you took something to heart, really brought it inside those red velvet folds, then it would always be there for you. No matter what happened, it would be there waiting. She said this could mean a person, a place, a dream. A mission. Anything sacred. She told me that it is all connected in those secret folds. Always. It is all part of the same and will always be there, carrying the same beat as your heart.
Michael Connelly (Lost Light (Harry Bosch, #9; Harry Bosch Universe, #11))
But sometimes it's like you just meet someone and you just know that you're totally connected, and this person is, like, your brother - or your sister. Even if they don't, like, recognize it, you feel it. And in a lot of ways it don't matter if they do or they don't see that for what it is - all you can do is put the feeling out there. That's your duty. Then you just wait and see what comes back to you. That's the deal.
Zadie Smith
There is a truth in Schopenhauer’s view that philosophy is an organism, and that a book on philosophy, with a beginning and end, is a sort of contradiction. ... In philosophy matters are not simple enough for us to say ‘Let’s get a rough idea’, for we do not know the country except by knowing the connections between the roads.
Ludwig Wittgenstein
If you ever forget who you are; always remember that you are everything you know you are not. And if you cannot remember that then remember this: you are every moment that is meant to be remembered. You are everything that matters and you are everything that makes sense to everything that connect inside you.
r.m drake
Betterment is perpetual labor. The world is chaotic, disorganized, and vexing, and medicine is nowhere spared that reality. To complicate matters, we in medicine are also only human ourselves. We are distractible, weak, and given to our own concerns. Yet still, to live as a doctor is to live so that one's life is bound up in others' and in science and in the messy, complicated connection between the two It is to live a life of responsibility. The question then, is not whether one accepts the responsibility. Just by doing this work, one has. The question is, having accepted the responsibility, how one does such work well.
Atul Gawande (Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance)
My definition of a great manager is someone with whom you can make a connection no matter where you sit in the organization chart.
Michael Lopp (Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager)
In the laboratory, we call this the six-degrees-of-separation-from-cancer rule: you can ask any biological question, no matter how seemingly distant—what makes the heart fail, or why worms age, or even how birds learn songs—and you will end up, in fewer than six genetic steps, connecting with a proto-oncogene or tumor suppressor.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Emperor of All Maladies)
my final piece We’re born into the world As just one small piece to the puzzle That makes up an entire life. It’s up to us throughout our years, to find all of our pieces that fit. The pieces that connect who we are To who we were To who we’ll one day be. Sometimes pieces will almost fit. They’ll feel right. We’ll carry them around for a while, Hoping they’ll change shape. Hoping they’ll conform to our puzzle. But they won’t. We’ll eventually have to let them go. To find the puzzle that is their home. Sometimes pieces won’t fit at all. No matter how much we want them to. We’ll shove them. We’ll bend them. We’ll break them. But what isn’t meant to be, won’t be. Those are the hardest pieces of all to accept. The pieces of our puzzle That just don’t belong. But occasionally . . . Not very often at all, If we’re lucky, If we pay enough attention, We’ll find a perfect match. The pieces of the puzzle that slide right in The pieces that hug the contours of our own pieces. The pieces that lock to us. The pieces that we lock to. The pieces that fit so well, we can’t tell where our piece begins And that piece ends. Those pieces we call Friends. True loves. Dreams. Passions. Beliefs. Talents. They’re all the pieces that complete our puzzles. They line the edges, Frame the corners, Fill the centers, Those pieces are the pieces that make us who we are. Who we were. Who we’ll one day be. Up until today, When I looked at my own puzzle, I would see a finished piece. I had the edges lined, The corners framed, The center filled. It felt like it was complete. All the pieces were there. I had everything I wanted. Everything I needed. Everything I dreamt of. But up until today, I realized I had collected all but one piece. The most vital piece. The piece that completes the picture. The piece that completes my whole life. I held this girl in my arms She wrapped her tiny fingers around mine. It was then that I realized She was the fusion. The glue. The cement that bound all my pieces together. The piece that seals my puzzle. The piece that completes my life. The element that makes me who I am. Who I was. Who I’ll one day be. You, baby girl. You’re my final piece.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
When you travel, you're forced to have new thoughts. "Is this alley safe?" "Is this the right bus?" "Was this meat ever a house pet?" It doesn't even matter what the new thoughts are, it feels so good to just have some variety. And it's a reboot for your brain. I can feel the neurons making new connections again with new problems to solve, clawing their way back to their nimbler, younger days.
Kristin Newman (What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding)
It doesn’t matter what you’ve got in your pants if there is nothing in your brain to connect it to.
Paul Joannides (Guide to Getting It On!)
Whiteness has privilege and power connected to it, no matter how poor you are.
Michael Eric Dyson (Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America)
When everything is connected to everything else, for better or worse, everything matters.
Bruce Mau
Artists and scientists are activists. They look at the world as changeable and they look upon themselves as instruments for change. They understand that the slice of world they occupy is only a fragment but that the fragment is intrinsically connected to the whole. They know that action matters.
Anne Bogart (What's the Story: Essays about art, theater and storytelling)
The key to activating maturation is to take care of the attachment needs of the child. To foster independance we must first invite dependance; to promote individuation we must provide a sense of belonging and unity; to help the child separate we must assume the responsibility for keeping the child close. We help a child let go by providing more contact and connection than he himself is seeking. When he asks for a hug, we give him a warmer one than he is giving us. We liberate children not by making them work for our love but by letting them rest in it. We help a child face the separation involved in going to sleep or going to school by satisfying his need for closeness.
Gordon Neufeld (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
We—each of us—are intricately, irremovably connected to the larger universe. It is our true home, and thinking that this physical world is all that matters is like shutting oneself up in a small closet and imagining that there is nothing else out beyond it.
Eben Alexander
Life is not a matter of reaching a stagnant end point, but is rather an ongoing process in which one, hopefully and with grace, grows ever more deeply in love.
Gerald G. May (The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth)
Loneliness isn’t the physical absence of other people, he said—it’s the sense that you’re not sharing anything that matters with anyone else.
Johann Hari (Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions)
Recovery can take place only within then context of relationships; it cannot occur in isolation. In her renewed connection with other people, the survivor re-creates the psychological facilities that were damaged or deformed by the traumatic experience. These faculties include the basic operations of trust, autonomy, initiative, competence, identity, and intimacy. Just as these capabilities are formed in relationships with other people, they must be reformed in such relationships. The first principle of recovery is empowerment of the survivor. She must be the author and arbiter of her own recovery. Others may offer advice, support, assistance, affection, and care, but not cure. Many benevolent and well-intentioned attempts to assist the survivor founder because this basic principle of empowerment is not observed. No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her immediate best interest.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
'Motivation matters,' he said again, 'because why you do something connects to how you do it, who you do it to, or for. And maybe what you see at the end of it-if you're looking that far.'
Nora Roberts (The Search)
As a matter of fact, we are wired for connection. It’s in our biology. From the time we are born, we need connection to thrive emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually. A decade ago, the idea that we’re “wired for connection” might have been perceived as touchy-feely or New Age. Today, we know that the need for connection is more than a feeling or a hunch. It’s hard science. Neuroscience, to be exact.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
If you organize your family life to spend even ten or fifteen minutes a morning reading something that connects you with these timeless principles, its almost guaranteed that you will make better choices during the day--in the family, on the job, in every dimension of life. Your thoughts will be higher. Your interactions will be more satisfying. You will have a greater perspective. You will increase that space between what happens to you and your response to it. You will be more connected to what really matters most.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families)
There is evidence that the honoree [Leonard Cohen] might be privy to the secret of the universe, which, in case you're wondering, is simply this: everything is connected. Everything. Many, if not most, of the links are difficult to determine. The instrument, the apparatus, the focused ray that can uncover and illuminate those connections is language. And just as a sudden infatuation often will light up a person's biochemical atmosphere more pyrotechnically than any deep, abiding attachment, so an unlikely, unexpected burst of linguistic imagination will usually reveal greater truths than the most exacting scholarship. In fact. The poetic image may be the only device remotely capable of dissecting romantic passion, let alone disclosing the inherent mystical qualities of the material world. Cohen is a master of the quasi-surrealistic phrase, of the "illogical" line that speaks so directly to the unconscious that surface ambiguity is transformed into ultimate, if fleeting, comprehension: comprehension of the bewitching nuances of sex and bewildering assaults of culture. Undoubtedly, it is to his lyrical mastery that his prestigious colleagues now pay tribute. Yet, there may be something else. As various, as distinct, as rewarding as each of their expressions are, there can still be heard in their individual interpretations the distant echo of Cohen's own voice, for it is his singing voice as well as his writing pen that has spawned these songs. It is a voice raked by the claws of Cupid, a voice rubbed raw by the philosopher's stone. A voice marinated in kirschwasser, sulfur, deer musk and snow; bandaged with sackcloth from a ruined monastery; warmed by the embers left down near the river after the gypsies have gone. It is a penitent's voice, a rabbinical voice, a crust of unleavened vocal toasts -- spread with smoke and subversive wit. He has a voice like a carpet in an old hotel, like a bad itch on the hunchback of love. It is a voice meant for pronouncing the names of women -- and cataloging their sometimes hazardous charms. Nobody can say the word "naked" as nakedly as Cohen. He makes us see the markings where the pantyhose have been. Finally, the actual persona of their creator may be said to haunt these songs, although details of his private lifestyle can be only surmised. A decade ago, a teacher who called himself Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh came up with the name "Zorba the Buddha" to describe the ideal modern man: A contemplative man who maintains a strict devotional bond with cosmic energies, yet is completely at home in the physical realm. Such a man knows the value of the dharma and the value of the deutschmark, knows how much to tip a waiter in a Paris nightclub and how many times to bow in a Kyoto shrine, a man who can do business when business is necessary, allow his mind to enter a pine cone, or dance in wild abandon if moved by the tune. Refusing to shun beauty, this Zorba the Buddha finds in ripe pleasures not a contradiction but an affirmation of the spiritual self. Doesn't he sound a lot like Leonard Cohen? We have been led to picture Cohen spending his mornings meditating in Armani suits, his afternoons wrestling the muse, his evenings sitting in cafes were he eats, drinks and speaks soulfully but flirtatiously with the pretty larks of the street. Quite possibly this is a distorted portrait. The apocryphal, however, has a special kind of truth. It doesn't really matter. What matters here is that after thirty years, L. Cohen is holding court in the lobby of the whirlwind, and that giants have gathered to pay him homage. To him -- and to us -- they bring the offerings they have hammered from his iron, his lead, his nitrogen, his gold.
Tom Robbins
During this very, very long poem You could have connected Maybe you are connecting Maybe we’re connecting See, I believe that the only things that really matter In the grand scheme of life are God and people And if people are made in the image of God Then when you spend your time with people It’s never wasted - A Very Long Poem, by Marty Schoenleber III
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
Embrace your beautiful mess of a life with your child. No matter how hard it gets, do not disengage... Do something—anything—to connect with and guide your child today. Parenting is an adventure of the greatest significance. It is your legacy." - Andy Kerckhoff, from Critical Connection
Andy Kerckhoff (Critical Connection: A Practical Guide to Parenting Young Teens)
In nature everything is connected, interwoven, subject to natural law. We cannot separate ourselves from that, no matter how hard we try.
Jeffrey R. Anderson (The Nature of Things - Navigating Everyday Life with Grace)
This poem is very long So long, in fact, that your attention span May be stretched to its very limits But that’s okay It’s what’s so special about poetry See, poetry takes time We live in a time Call it our culture or society It doesn’t matter to me cause neither one rhymes A time where most people don’t want to listen Our throats wait like matchsticks waiting to catch fire Waiting until we can speak No patience to listen But this poem is long It’s so long, in fact, that during the time of this poem You could’ve done any number of other wonderful things You could’ve called your father Call your father You could be writing a postcard right now Write a postcard When was the last time you wrote a postcard? You could be outside You’re probably not too far away from a sunrise or a sunset Watch the sun rise Maybe you could’ve written your own poem A better poem You could have played a tune or sung a song You could have met your neighbor And memorized their name Memorize the name of your neighbor You could’ve drawn a picture (Or, at least, colored one in) You could’ve started a book Or finished a prayer You could’ve talked to God Pray When was the last time you prayed? Really prayed? This is a long poem So long, in fact, that you’ve already spent a minute with it When was the last time you hugged a friend for a minute? Or told them that you love them? Tell your friends you love them …no, I mean it, tell them Say, I love you Say, you make life worth living Because that, is what friends do Of all of the wonderful things that you could’ve done During this very, very long poem You could have connected Maybe you are connecting Maybe we’re connecting See, I believe that the only things that really matter In the grand scheme of life are God and people And if people are made in the image of God Then when you spend your time with people It’s never wasted And in this very long poem I’m trying to let a poem do what a poem does: Make things simpler We don’t need poems to make things more complicated We have each other for that We need poems to remind ourselves of the things that really matter To take time A long time To be alive for the sake of someone else for a single moment Or for many moments Cause we need each other To hold the hands of a broken person All you have to do is meet a person Shake their hand Look in their eyes They are you We are all broken together But these shattered pieces of our existence don’t have to be a mess We just have to care enough to hold our tongues sometimes To sit and listen to a very long poem A story of a life The joy of a friend and the grief of friend To hold and be held And be quiet So, pray Write a postcard Call your parents and forgive them and then thank them Turn off the TV Create art as best as you can Share as much as possible, especially money Tell someone about a very long poem you once heard And how afterward it brought you to them
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
Funerals, in fact, are one of the most powerful examples of collective pain. They feature in a surprising finding from my research on trust. When I asked participants to identify three to five specific behaviors that their friends, family, and colleagues do that raise their level of trust with them, funerals always emerged in the top three responses. Funerals matter. Showing up to them matters. And funerals matter not just to the people grieving, but to everyone who is there. The collective pain (and sometimes joy) we experience when gathering in any way to celebrate the end of a life is perhaps one of the most powerful experiences of inextricable connection. Death, loss, and grief are the great equalizers.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
If everyone has the same number of hours in the day, why do some people seem to get so much more done than others? How do they do more, achieve more, earn more, have more? If time is the currency of achievement, then why are some able to cash in their allotment for more chips than others? The answer is they make getting to the heart of things the heart of their approach. They go small. Going small is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. It’s recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. It’s a tighter way to connect what you do with what you want. It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.
Gary Keller (The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
People "at the top" are eager to attribute their position to their own intellect, savvy, and hard work. The reality is much more complicated. Personal connections, family environment, and what appears to be plain luck determine how successful a person is. We are the product of three things- genetics, environment, and our personal choices- but two of these three factors we have no power over. We are not nearly as responsible for our success as our popular views of God and reality lead us to think.
Timothy J. Keller (Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters)
Stories are like spiders, with all they long legs, and stories are like spiderwebs, which man gets himself all tangled up in but which look so pretty when you see them under a leaf in the morning dew, and in the elegant way that they connect to one another, each to each. What’s that? You want to know if Anansi looked like a spider? Sure he did, except when he looked like a man. No, he never changed his shape. It’s just a matter of how you tell the story. That’s all.
Neil Gaiman (Anansi Boys)
That’s the problem with all of this. No matter how hard I try, I can’t make it perfect. I can’t keep it in a bottle, can’t ignore reality. Chemicals are involved, the kind scientists try to synthesize and put into pill form, and they’re making tremendous advances every day. They’re winning the war against love. It’s probably inevitable now. There are only two ways to see the world: either no one and nothing is connected to anything, or we are all a random series of carbon molecules connected to each other. Tell me if there’s room for love in either of those scenarios.
Pete Wentz (Gray)
Both science and mysticism describe a force that connects everything together and gives us the power to influence how matter behaves—and reality itself—simply through the way we perceive the world around us.
Gregg Braden (The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief)
Art has to be a kind of confession. I don’t mean a true confession in the sense of that dreary magazine. The effort it seems to me, is: if you can examine and face your life, you can discover the terms with which you are connected to other lives, and they can discover them, too — the terms with which they are connected to other people. This has happened to every one of us, I’m sure. You read something which you thought only happened to you, and you discovered it happened 100 years ago to Dostoyevsky. This is a very great liberation for the suffering, struggling person, who always thinks that they are alone. This is why art is important. Art would not be important if life were not important, and life is important. Most of us, no matter what we say, are walking in the dark, whistling in the dark. Nobody knows what is going to happen to them from one moment to the next, or how one will bear it. This is irreducible. And it’s true for everybody. Now, it is true that the nature of society is to create, among its citizens, an illusion of safety; but it is also absolutely true that the safety is always necessarily an illusion. Artists are here to disturb the peace. They have to disturb the peace. Otherwise, chaos.
James Baldwin
The usual antonym for the word “spiritual” is “material.” That at least is what I believed when I began this inquiry—that the whole issue with spirituality turned on a question of metaphysics. Now I’m inclined to think a much better and certainly more useful antonym for “spiritual” might be “egotistical.” Self and Spirit define the opposite ends of a spectrum, but that spectrum needn’t reach clear to the heavens to have meaning for us. It can stay right here on earth. When the ego dissolves, so does a bounded conception not only of our self but of our self-interest. What emerges in its place is invariably a broader, more openhearted and altruistic—that is, more spiritual—idea of what matters in life. One in which a new sense of connection, or love, however defined, seems to figure prominently.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
For kids stuck in small towns everywhere who feel like you'll never escape, I hear you. We are all connected. We're all in this together. You are not alone. No matter what happens, never *ever* give up. Happiness is not limited. There's enough for everyone. You can start right now, today, to move toward a happier life. Your life is shaped by your choices. Make ones that will help you get where you want to go. Find your place to belong. It may not be a physical place. At least, not yet. Maybe your place is somewhere you let your imagination take you. Maybe it's your vision of the way your ideal life will be. Eventually, you'll find a real place that feels like home. Your whole world will open up in ways you kept believing were possible. And you'll be so happy you held on long enough to make it there. So let's do this thing. Let's own what makes up unique. Let's refuse to allow haters to stop us from moving forward. Let's turn our dreams into reality. Starting now.
Susane Colasanti (Keep Holding On)
Lies propagate, that's what I'm saying. You've got to tell more lies to cover them up, lie about every fact that's connected to the first lie. And if you kept on lying, and you kept on trying to cover it up, sooner or later you'd even have to start lying about the general laws of thought. Like, someone is selling you some kind of alternative medicine that doesn't work, and any double-blind experimental study will confirm that it doesn't work. So if someone wants to go on defending the lie, they've got to get you to disbelieve in the experimental method. Like, the experimental method is just for merely scientific kinds of medicine, not amazing alternative medicine like theirs. Or a good and virtuous person should believe as strongly as they can, no matter what the evidence says. Or truth doesn't exist and there's no such thing as objective reality. A lot of common wisdom like that isn't just mistaken, it's anti-epistemology, it's systematically wrong. Every rule of rationality that tells you how to find the truth, there's someone out there who needs you to believe the opposite. If you once tell a lie, the truth is ever after your enemy; and there's a lot of people out there telling lies.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
most importantly love like its the only thing you know how at the end of the day all this means nothing this page where you're sitting your degree your job the money nothing even matters except love and human connection who you loved and how deeply you loved them how you touched the people around you and how much you gave them
Cheryl Strayed (Brave Enough)
What matters most: Stay connected and never withdraw your love, even for a moment. The deepest reason kids cooperate is that they love you and want to please you. Above all, safeguard your relationship with your child. That’s your only leverage to have any influence on your child. It’s what your child needs most. And that closeness is what makes all the sacrifices of parenting worth it.
Laura Markham (Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting)
One fast more or I'm gone', I realize, gone the way of the last three years of drunken hopelessness which is a physical and spiritual and metaphysical hopelessness you can't learn in school no matter how many books on existentialism or pessimism you read, or how many jugs of vision-producing Ayahuasca you drink, or Mescaline you take, or Peyote goop up with-- That feeling when you wake up with the delirium tremens with the fear of eerie death dripping from your ears like those special heavy cobwebs spiders weave in the hot countries, the feeling of being a bent back mudman monster groaning underground in hot steaming mud pulling a long hot burden nowhere, the feeling of standing ankledeep in hot boiled pork blood, ugh, of being up to your waist in a giant pan of greasy brown dishwater not a trace of suds left in it--The face of yourself you see in the mirror with its expression of unbearable anguish so hagged and awful with sorrow you can't even cry for a thing so ugly, so lost, no connection whatever with early perfection and therefore nothing to connect with tears or anything: it's like William Seward Burroughs' 'Stranger' suddenly appearing in your place in the mirror- Enough! 'One fast move or I'm gone' so I jump up, do my headstand first to pump blood back into the hairy brain, take a shower in the hall, new T-shirt and socks and underwear, pack vigorously, hoist the rucksack and run out throwing the key on the desk and hit the cold street...I've got to escape or die...
Jack Kerouac
This is why you don't call the police. Or Preternatural Control. No matter what. Ever. If I'd doubted that rule--and I was fairly sure I never had--I certainly never would have again. My skin itched just talking to the authorities....The police department had more than a few open cases with my name on them--figuratively, and I had no desire to make that literal [where they connected me to] the vigilante responsible for dozens of area beastie slayings....
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Every Other Day)
History is ending because the dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley, and as the inevitable chaostrophie approaches, people look for metaphors and answers. Every time a culture gets into trouble it casts itself back into the past looking for the last sane moment it ever knew. And the last sane moment we ever knew was on the plains of Africa 15,000 years ago rocked in the cradle of the Great Horned Mushroom Goddess before history, before standing armies, before slavery and property, before warfare and phonetic alphabets and monotheism, before, before, before. And this is where the future is taking us because the secret faith of the twentieth century is not modernism, the secret faith of the twentieth century is nostalgia for the archaic, nostalgia for the paleolithic, and that gives us body piercing, abstract expressionism, surrealism, jazz, rock-n-roll and catastrophe theory. The 20th century mind is nostalgic for the paradise that once existed on the mushroom dotted plains of Africa where the plant-human symbiosis occurred that pulled us out of the animal body and into the tool-using, culture-making, imagination-exploring creature that we are. And why does this matter? It matters because it shows that the way out is back and that the future is a forward escape into the past. This is what the psychedelic experience means. Its a doorway out of history and into the wiring under the board in eternity. And I tell you this because if the community understands what it is that holds it together the community will be better able to streamline itself for flight into hyperspace because what we need is a new myth, what we need is a new true story that tells us where we're going in the universe and that true story is that the ego is a product of pathology, and when psilocybin is regularly part of the human experience the ego is supressed and the supression of the ego means the defeat of the dominators, the materialists, the product peddlers. Psychedelics return us to the inner worth of the self, to the importance of the feeling of immediate experience - and nobody can sell that to you and nobody can buy it from you, so the dominator culture is not interested in the felt presence of immediate experience, but that's what holds the community together. And as we break out of the silly myths of science, and the infantile obsessions of the marketplace what we discover through the psychedelic experience is that in the body, IN THE BODY, there are Niagaras of beauty, alien beauty, alien dimensions that are part of the self, the richest part of life. I think of going to the grave without having a psychedelic experience like going to the grave without ever having sex. It means that you never figured out what it is all about. The mystery is in the body and the way the body works itself into nature. What the Archaic Revival means is shamanism, ecstacy, orgiastic sexuality, and the defeat of the three enemies of the people. And the three enemies of the people are hegemony, monogamy and monotony! And if you get them on the run you have the dominators sweating folks, because that means your getting it all reconnected, and getting it all reconnected means putting aside the idea of separateness and self-definition through thing-fetish. Getting it all connected means tapping into the Gaian mind, and the Gaian mind is what we're calling the psychedelic experience. Its an experience of the living fact of the entelechy of the planet. And without that experience we wander in a desert of bogus ideologies. But with that experience the compass of the self can be set, and that's the idea; figuring out how to reset the compass of the self through community, through ecstatic dance, through psychedelics, sexuality, intelligence, INTELLIGENCE. This is what we have to have to make the forward escape into hyperspace.
Terence McKenna
We aren't fighting right now." I blurted out. He gave me a sidelong look. "Do you want to fight?" "No. I hate fighting with you. Verbally, I mean. I don't mind in the gym." I thought I detected the hint of a smile. Always a half-smile for me. Rarely a full one. "I don't like fighting with you either." Sitting next to him there, I marveled at the warm and happy emotions springing up inside me. There was something about being around him that felt so good, that moved me in a way Mason couldn't. You can't force love, I realized, It's there or it isn't. If it's not there, you've got to be able to admit it. If it is there, you've got to do whatever it takes to protect the ones you love. The next words that came out of my mouth astonished me, both because they were completely unselfish and because I actually meant them. "You should take it." He flinched. "What?" "Tasha's offer. You should take her up on it. It's a really great chance." I remembered my mom's words about being ready for children. I wasn't. Maybe she hadn't been. But Tasha was. And I knew Dimitri was too. They got along really well. He could go be her guardian, have some kids with her...it would be a good deal for both of them. "I never expected to hear you say anything like that," he told me, voice tight. "Especially after-" "What a bitch I've been? Yeah." I tugged his coat tighter against the cold. It smelled like him. It was intoxicating, and I could half-imagine being wrapped in his embrace. Adrian might have been onto something about the power of scent. "Well. Like I said, I don't want to fight anymore. I don't want us to hate each other. And...well..." I squeezed my eyes shut and then opened them. "No matter how I feel about us...I want you to be happy." Silence yet again. I noticed then that my chest hurt. Dimitri reached out and put his arm around me. He pulled me to him, and I rested my head on his chest. "Roza," was all he said. It was the first time he'd really touched me since the night of the lust charm. The practice room had been something different...more animal. This wasn't even about sex. It was just about being close to someone you cared about, about the emotion that kind of connection flooded you with. Dimitri might run off with Tasha, but I would still love him. I would probably always love him. I cared about Mason. But I would probably never love him. I sighed into Dimitri, just wishing I could stay like that forever. It felt right being with him. And-no matter how much the thought of him and Tasha made me ache-doing what was best for him felt right. Now, I knew, it was time to stop being a coward and do something else that was right. Mason had said I needed to learn something about myself. I just had. Reluctantly, I pulled away and handed Dimitri his coat. I stood up. He regarded me curiously, sensing my unease. "Where you going?" he asked. "To break someone's heart," I replied. I admired Dimitri for a heartbeat more-the dark, knowing eyes and silken hair. The I headed inside. I had to apologize to Mason...and tell him there'd never be anything between us.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
And finally, I know that you know you’re no conquest, so don’t act like you seriously think that. You and I have been through too much together. We’re too close, too connected. I wasn’t that crazy on spirit when I said you’re my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don’t matter. What we have is bigger than that. love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too. Running away to Mexico and fleeing all your problems isn’t going to change that. You’re just going to end up scared and confused.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
We have flattered ourselves by inventing proverbs of comparison in matter of blindness,--"blind as a bat," for instance. It would be safe to say that there cannot be found in the animal kingdom a bat, or any other creature, so blind in its own range of circumstance and connection, as the greater majority of human beings are in the bosoms of their families. Tempers strain and recover, hearts break and heal, strength falters, fails, and comes near to giving way altogether, every day, without being noted by the closest lookers-on.
Helen Hunt Jackson (Ramona)
This is my real bed-rock objection to the eastern systems. They decry all manly virtue as dangerous and wicked, and they look upon Nature as evil. True enough, everything is evil relatively to Adonai; for all stain is impurity. A bee's swarm is evil — inside one's clothes. "Dirt is matter in the wrong place." It is dirt to connect sex with statuary, morals with art. Only Adonai, who is in a sense the True Meaning of everything, cannot defile any idea. This is a hard saying, though true, for nothing of course is dirtier than to try and use Adonai as a fig-leaf for one's shame. To seduce women under the pretense of religion is unutterable foulness; though both adultery and religion are themselves clean. To mix jam and mustard is a messy mistake.
Aleister Crowley (Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary)
What do you know of love or marriage?" I asked. "You were all set to marry a woman ten years older than you before the King stole her away." "I wouldn't have married her anyway," Loki shrugged. "Not if I didn't love her." "Now you've got integrity?" I scoffed. "You kidnapped me, and your father was a traitor." "I've never said a nice word about my father," Loki said quickly. "And I've never done anything bad to you." "You still kidnapped me!" I said dubiously. "Did I?" Loki cocked his head. "Because I remember Kyra kidnapping you,and me preventing her from pummeling you to death. Then,when you were coughing up blood, I sent for the Queen to help you. When you escaped,I didn't stop you. And since I came here,I've done nothing to you. I've even been good because you told me to be. So what terrible crimes have I committed against you, Princess?" "I-I-" I stammered. "I never said you did anything terrible." "Then why don't you trust me, Wendy?" He'd never called me by my name before, and the underlying affection underneath it startled me. Even his eyes, which still held their usual veil of playfulness, had something deeper brewing underneath. When he wasn't trying so hard to be devilishly handsome, he actually was. The growing connection I felt with him unnerved me, but I didn't want him to see that. More than that,it didn't matter what feelings I might be having for him.He was leaving today, and I would probably never see him again. "I do trust you," I admitted. "I do trust you.I just don't know why I do,and I don't know why you've been helping me." "You want the truth?" He smiled at me, and there was something sincere and sweet underlying. "You piqued my curiosity." "You risked your life for me because you were curious?" I asked doubtfully. "As soon as you came to,your only conern was for helping your friends, and you never stopped," Loki said. "You were kind. And I haven't seen that much kindness in my life.
Amanda Hocking (Torn (Trylle, #2))
As people become aware of the finitude of their life, they do not ask for much. They do not seek more riches. They do not seek more power. They ask only to be permitted, insofar as possible, to keep shaping the story of their life in the world—to make choices and sustain connections to others according to their own priorities.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
It was all a matter of missed connections, bad timing, blundering in the dark. We were always in the right place at the wrong time, always just missing each other, always just a few inches from figuring the whole thing out. That’s what the story boils down to, I think. A series of lost chances. All the pieces were there from the beginning, but no one knew how to put them together.
Paul Auster (Moon Palace)
What I hope you'll remember, Grace-is that all your life there will be people who have more than you-and people who have less. Grace hung her head. What's really important,'Miss Louise went on to say,'are the connections you have with the people you love. Your family, your friends, Grace-truly, those are the things that matter. Those are the things that will always matter the most.
Priscilla Cummings (Saving Grace)
Maybe we feel meaning only when we deal with something bigger. Perhaps we hope that someone else, especially someone important to us, will ascribe value to what we've produced? Maybe we need the illusion that our work might one day matter to many people. That it might be of some value in the big, broad world out there [...]? Most likely it is all of these. But fundamentally, I think that almost any aspect of meaning [...] can be sufficient to drive our behaviour. As long as we are doing something that is somewhat connected to our self image, it can fuel our motivation and get us to work much harder.
Dan Ariely (The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves)
Profound connections exist between all; interdependency so manifest that perceived separation is a delusion. Like a great pool containing millions of drops of water, introduce a stone and all are elevated, poison a part and all are ill affected. You can't connect more or less; the connection exists no matter what our perception. But ignore the connection, deny it, and consequences come.
Cory Booker (United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good)
When you are young and healthy, you believe you will live forever. You do not worry about losing any of your capabilities. People tell you “the world is your oyster,” “the sky is the limit,” and so on. And you are willing to delay gratification—to invest years, for example, in gaining skills and resources for a brighter future. You seek to plug into bigger streams of knowledge and information. You widen your networks of friends and connections, instead of hanging out with your mother. When horizons are measured in decades, which might as well be infinity to human beings, you most desire all that stuff at the top of Maslow’s pyramid—achievement, creativity, and other attributes of “self-actualization.” But as your horizons contract—when you see the future ahead of you as finite and uncertain—your focus shifts to the here and now, to everyday pleasures and the people closest to you.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
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)
Of course, these women ought to have listened when he told them he wasn't looking for anything serious. But on a certain level, it didn't really matter if it was stupid of them. Ethical people don't take advantage of other people's weakness; that's like being a slumlord or a price gouger. And treading on weakness is exactly what dating felt like, with so many of these women--with their wide-open hopefulness, their hunger for connection and blithe assumption that men wanted it just as badly.
Adelle Waldman (The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.)
As the blood poured from his tattered heart into the open air and his brain suffocated, all those incomplete thoughts of Wittgenstein decayed with the dying neurons. Neural connections in the gray matter storing memories and ideas in their ordered configurations fired across the gaps, last gaps of mental life. Thoughts on Truth and Will were erased as flesh sloshed soft and limp against alabaster, no more than rotting human fruit.
Janna Levin (A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines)
I especially loved the Old Testament. Even as a kid I had a sense of it being slightly illicit. As though someone had slipped an R-rated action movie into a pile of Disney DVDs. For starters Adam and Eve were naked on the first page. I was fascinated by Eve's ability to always stand in the Garden of Eden so that a tree branch or leaf was covering her private areas like some kind of organic bakini. But it was the Bible's murder and mayhem that really got my attention. When I started reading the real Bible I spent most of my time in Genesis Exodus 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. Talk about violent. Cain killed Abel. The Egyptians fed babies to alligators. Moses killed an Egyptian. God killed thousands of Egyptians in the Red Sea. David killed Goliath and won a girl by bringing a bag of two hundred Philistine foreskins to his future father-in-law. I couldn't believe that Mom was so happy about my spending time each morning reading about gruesome battles prostitutes fratricide murder and adultery. What a way to have a "quiet time." While I grew up with a fairly solid grasp of Bible stories I didn't have a clear idea of how the Bible fit together or what it was all about. I certainly didn't understand how the exciting stories of the Old Testament connected to the rather less-exciting New Testament and the story of Jesus. This concept of the Bible as a bunch of disconnected stories sprinkled with wise advice and capped off with the inspirational life of Jesus seems fairly common among Christians. That is so unfortunate because to see the Bible as one book with one author and all about one main character is to see it in its breathtaking beauty.
Joshua Harris (Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters)
If you get in tune with the tendency field, through expanding and exploring the set of positive characteristics within yourself, the tendency field responds with constant energy, and affirmations. If you work against the tendency field, by being negative, unfair, unloving, and unconscious of the truth, you weaken your connection to the tendency field, and you experience existential dread, no matter how rich or famous or powerful you are.
Gregory David Roberts (The Mountain Shadow)
But there comes a point in the speech where I find my cadence. The crowd quiets rather than roars. It's the kind of moment I'd come to recognize in subsequent years, on certain magic nights. There's a physical feeling, a current of emotion that passes back and forth between you and the crowd, as if your lives and theirs are suddenly spliced together, like a movie reel, projecting backward and forward in time, and your voice creeps right up to the edge of cracking, because for an instant, you feel them deeply; you can see them whole. You've tapped into some collective spirit, a thing we all know and wish for - a sense of connection that overrides our differences and replaces them with a giant swell of possibility - and like all things that matter most, you know the moment is fleeting and that soon the spell will be broken.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
I have been made to feel sad for such persons because I am conscious of the fact that mere connection with what is known as a superior race will not permanently carry an individual forward unless he has individual worth, and mere connection with what is regarded as an inferior race will not finally hold an individual back if he possesses intrinsic, individual merit. Every persecuted individual and race should get much consolation out of the great human law, which is universal and eternal, that merit, no matter under what skin found, is, in the long run, recognized and rewarded.
Booker T. Washington (Up from Slavery: an autobiography)
Your relationship with your brother will be, in many ways, the most complex and bewildering of all the interpersonal connections you will form. An older brother is both authority and peer, friend and bitter enemy, partner and rival, and will play these contradictory roles to varying degrees throughout your life. At this point the rivalry is most prominent, owing to the difference in age and the resentment your brother feels toward you monopolizing your mother's attention. Try to remember, in the face of the poor treatment you receive at his hands, that more than a pure desire to cause you harm or pain, this is an effort on his part to win back some of that attention, even if it's only through being scolded and punished.
Ron Currie Jr. (Everything Matters!)
If you want to see philosophy in action, pay a visit to a robo-rat laboratory. A robo-rat is a run-ofthe-mill rat with a twist: scientists have implanted electrodes into the sensory and reward areas in the rat’s brain. This enables the scientists to manoeuvre the rat by remote control. After short training sessions, researchers have managed not only to make the rats turn left or right, but also to climb ladders, sniff around garbage piles, and do things that rats normally dislike, such as jumping from great heights. Armies and corporations show keen interest in the robo-rats, hoping they could prove useful in many tasks and situations. For example, robo-rats could help detect survivors trapped under collapsed buildings, locate bombs and booby traps, and map underground tunnels and caves. Animal-welfare activists have voiced concern about the suffering such experiments inflict on the rats. Professor Sanjiv Talwar of the State University of New York, one of the leading robo-rat researchers, has dismissed these concerns, arguing that the rats actually enjoy the experiments. After all, explains Talwar, the rats ‘work for pleasure’ and when the electrodes stimulate the reward centre in their brain, ‘the rat feels Nirvana’. To the best of our understanding, the rat doesn’t feel that somebody else controls her, and she doesn’t feel that she is being coerced to do something against her will. When Professor Talwar presses the remote control, the rat wants to move to the left, which is why she moves to the left. When the professor presses another switch, the rat wants to climb a ladder, which is why she climbs the ladder. After all, the rat’s desires are nothing but a pattern of firing neurons. What does it matter whether the neurons are firing because they are stimulated by other neurons, or because they are stimulated by transplanted electrodes connected to Professor Talwar’s remote control? If you asked the rat about it, she might well have told you, ‘Sure I have free will! Look, I want to turn left – and I turn left. I want to climb a ladder – and I climb a ladder. Doesn’t that prove that I have free will?
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
If you are not from a particular place the history of that particular place will dwell inside you differently to how it dwells within those people who are from that particular place. Your connection to certain events that define the history of a particular place is not straightforward because none of your ancestors were in any way involved or affected by those events. You have no stories to relate and compare, you have no narrative to inherit and run with, and all the names are strange one that mean nothing to you at all. And it's as if the history of a particular place knows all about this blankness you contain. Consequently if you are not from a particular place you will always be vulnerable for the reason that it doesn't matter how many years you have lived there you will never have a side of the story; nothing with which you can hold the full force of the history of a particular place at bay. And so it comes at you directly, right through the softly padding soles of your feet, battering up throughout your body, before unpacking its clamouring store of images in the clear open spaces of your mind. Opening out at last; out, out, out And shimmered across the pale expanse of a flat defenceless sky. All the names mean nothing to you, and your name means nothing to them.
Claire-Louise Bennett (Pond)
When you realize that you can connect with the essence of true abundance in any moment… then not only will the dollars not matter to you, they’ll also flow to you in large amounts. That is the whole irony of it all — When you finally give up the need for something, what you were so needful for previously starts flowing to you in huge quantities. But you would no longer react to it in the same way with lust. You would react to this newfound reality in your life with grace and poise.
Richard Dotts (Dollars Flow To Me Easily)
I'm just wondering why people stay together," I say. "Why they connect in the first place, and what keeps that connection is strong. I want it to be all things inside---who you are, what you believe. But what if the things on the outside are just as important? When I was little, I was always worried I'd fall in love with someone ugly. Like Shrek. Then I figured that love would make anyone beautiful to me, if I love them enough. I want to believe that. I want to believe that you can love someone so strongly that none of it will matter. But what if it does?
David Levithan (Another Day (Every Day, #2))
So the boy…the boy must die?” asked Snape quite calmly. “And Voldemort himself must do it, Severus. That is essential.” Another long silence. Then Snape said, “I thought…all these years…that we were protecting him for her. For Lily.” “We have protected him because it has been essential to teach him, to raise him, to let him try his strength,” said Dumbledore, his eyes still tight shut. “Meanwhile, the connection between them grows ever stronger, a parasitic growth: Sometimes I have thought he suspects it himself. If I know him, he will have arranged matters so that when he does set out to meet his death, it will truly mean the end of Voldemort.” Dumbledore opened his eyes. Snape looked horrified. “You have kept him alive so that he can die at the right moment?” “Don’t be shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die?” “Lately, only those whom I could not save,” said Snape. He stood up. “You have used me.” “Meaning?” “I have spied for you and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to be to keep Lily Potter’s son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter--” “But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?” “For him?” shouted Snape. “Expecto Patronum!” From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe: She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears. “After all this time?” “Always,” said Snape.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
[Wild animals], and the beautiful landscapes that sustain them...possess a value and a virtue regardless of our dwindling connection with them. It seems that there is a virtue and a wisdom in keeping some things beyond our reach: that the protection of wilderness itself is imperative... We have touched, and are consuming, everything. The world is very old, and we are so new. I like the feeling of awe--what the late writer Wallace Stegner called 'the birth of awe'--in beholding wild country not reduced by man. I like to remember that it is wild country that gives rise to wild animals; and that the marvelous specificity of wild animals reminds us to wake up, to let our senses be inflamed by every scent and sound and sight and taste and touch of the world. I like to remember that we are not here forever, and not here alone, and that the respect with which we behold the wild world matters, if anything does.
Rick Bass
The God is wild, but his is the wildness of connection, not of domination and violence. Wildness is not the same as violence. Gentleness and tenderness do no translate into wimpiness. When men -- or women, for that matter -- begin to unleash what is untamed in us, we need to remember that the first images and impulses we encounter will often be the stereotyped paths of power we have learned in a culture of domination. To become truly wild, we must not be sidetracked by the dramas of power-over, the seduction of addictions, or the thrill of control. We must go deeper.
Starhawk (The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess)
Love is a connection with another person, either through birth or through something else that I cannot even explain. It is often just an attraction at first. But it goes far deeper than that. It is a determination to care for the other person no matter what and to allow oneself to be cared for in return. It is a commitment to make the other happy and to be happy oneself. It is not possessive, but neither is it a victim. And it does not always bring happiness. Often it brings a great deal of pain, especially when the beloved is suffering and one feels impotent to comfort. It is what life is all about. It is openness and trust and vulnerability.
Mary Balogh (Then Comes Seduction (Huxtable Quintet, #2))
You don't need to be deep in order to be called intellectual. You need to create connectivity with the people by using the language that they can understand. You don't need to be an artist, because it comes out naturally. You don't need to be critic and poet, because what matters is that you believe in yourself. You just don't need to be envious for the happiness of other people. Throw all your bitterness away. Peace be with you!
Alon Calinao Dy (Best Love Poems Collection)
The purity of peace, which is genuine happiness, cannot be found outside of you in material possessions, accomplishments, or other people. Pleasure is a fleeting emotion based on an external factor. But true happiness is who you are, and does not depend on anything else. When you are at peace, you are more than enough. You are pure life--complete, fulfilled, whole, and you are everything you could possibly want or need. You feel sufficiently independent and whole, yet connected to life and every being on the planet. Peace is true fulfillment. Once peace is consistently maintained, it is unwavering, no matter the strength of the storm surrounding you.
Janice Anderson
Think about it. Why does one eat a snack? Why is a snack necessary? The answer—and we’ve done a million studies on this—is because our lives are filled with tedium and drudgery and endless toil and we need a tiny blip of pleasure to repel the gathering darkness. Thus, we give ourselves a treat. “But here’s the thing,” Periwinkle continues, his eyes all aglow, “even the things we do to break the routine become routine. Even the things we do to escape the sadness of our lives have themselves become sad. What this ad acknowledges is that you’ve been eating all these snacks and yet you are not happy, and you’ve been watching all these shows and yet you still feel lonely, and you’ve been seeing all this news and yet the world makes no sense, and you’ve been playing all these games and yet the melancholy sinks deeper and deeper into you. How do you escape?” “You buy a new chip.” “You buy a missile-shaped chip! That’s the answer. What this ad does is admit something you already deeply suspect and existentially fear: that consumerism is a failure and you will never find any meaning there no matter how much money you spend. So the great challenge for people like me is to convince people like you that the problem is not systemic. It’s not that snacks leave you feeling empty, it’s that you haven’t found the right snack yet. It’s not that TV turns out to be a poor substitute for human connection, it’s that you haven’t found the right show yet. It’s not that politics are hopelessly bankrupt, it’s that you haven’t found the right politician yet. And this ad just comes right out and says it. I swear to god it’s like playing poker against someone who’s showing his cards and yet still bluffing by force of personality.
Nathan Hill (The Nix)
In all the things that really matter, we are one. Love and faith, trust and empathy, family and friendship, sunsets and songs of awe: in every wish born in our humanity we are one. Our humankind, at this moment in our destiny, is a child blowing on a dandelion, without thought or understanding. But the wonder in the child is the wonder in us, and there’s no limit to the good we can do when human hearts connect. It’s the truth of us. It’s the story of us. It’s the meaning of the word God: we are one. We are one. We are one.
Gregory David Roberts (The Mountain Shadow)
Readers who were born postmillennium might not understand the fuss, but trust me, this was a goddamned miracle. Nowadays, connectivity is just presumed. Smartphones, laptops, desktops, everything’s connected, always. Connected to what exactly? How? It doesn’t matter. You just tap the icon your older relatives call “the Internet button” and boom, you’ve got it: the news, pizza delivery, streaming music, and streaming video that we used to call TV and movies. Back then, however, we walked uphill both ways, to and from school, and plugged our modems directly into the wall, with manly twelve-year-old hands.
Edward Snowden (Permanent Record)
You know someone is special to you when you're literally captivated by them in even the little moments. The slightest thing they say or do, is like watching the universe unfold. And nothing else matters in those moments. Where you go about your day, & the most capricious of things send you into a whirlwind of thoughts connected to them. And a plethora of thoughts flood into your mind, for no apparent reason other than its them. Or perhaps, you randomly see a picture of them in your news feed & you just pause & look, & the world melts away & all time seems to stop, & there's a radiance that illuminates your life. And you focus on the little details, & wish you could just capture every single detail vividly. And you see their eyes, & though they're merely a moment in time, their eyes are so beautiful, that they transcend the medium & are as if they're there looking back. And all you can do it look into them. Knowing those eyes are what you could look into endlessly. And you know that it's all you could ever want, if for just a single moment in time. Or they share their thoughts, & you rack your brain around how they think. An you just want to understand & know more of their thoughts, simply because they're theirs. They, to you, are a more elegant work of art than even the finest painting, songs or poems of the great artists. And you know that even the most renowned artist couldn't conceive of a more perfect image of beauty. Leonardo, Van Gough, Rembrandt, Picasso, the most renowned artist of time would go mad in attempts to capture even a fraction of such a beautiful sight. That even Shakespeare couldn't put such a person into words. Though there's no doubt they're worthy of being the subject of a Shakespearean sonnet. But it could do no justice to their reality, that because there are no words that truly could ever describe them, even such an attempt would be like trying to describe the complex, wondrous & marvelous nature of the universe in but a single word. That no words, paintings, pictures, or thought could describe them & encapsulate the essence of their grace. And that though no one is truly perfect, they as a person through your eyes, reach a state as near perfect as you could imagine. And even dreams couldn't conceive of a greater wonder of life. It's as if the sum of all the beauty in the world can be found within this one person. It's wonderful, inspiring, breathtaking. Or rather, it's a whirlwind of emotions. Where the wonder & awe bleed into & merge with the disheartening longing, utter belief that you could not for a second touch that with you so desperately struggle & grasp for & an inability to even breath in the moments you're interacting with them. But it's all the more maddening because with all the wanting of your heart, you know it's wanting for something it could never have. That for all your wanting, you know such things are simply & purely unobtainable. And all you can do is hold to adoration & hopes. Hopes that you in your heart know fully are hopeless, but which you can't help but maintain. I think few things are more maddening than that feelings. Most people, when face with such a situation, might despair & grow cynical. But so seldom do we ever meet someone who so maddeningly captivates us, so seldom someone who's very existence throws your world upside down. In a time in which genuine emotion is a scarcity. And pseudo-emotions, frivolous & quick to fade, are rampant. The genuine article is something I cherish. When something makes you feel anything, it's something amazing. Regardless if it's a fervent concoction of the greatest good & the saddest sad. The experience of meeting such a person, who can spark such thoughts & feeling, is a genuine rarity. One in which a given person could go a lifetime without experiencing, but which is worth experiencing. And something that, though ultimately heartbreaking, I wouldn't give up experiencing.
Trevor Driggers
I mean, when you really think about it music is a great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything else can have in common. Plus there's the face that music is a total constant. That's why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know? Because a song can taking you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
The power of both myth and art is this magical ability to open doors, to make connections — not only between us and the natural world, but between us and the rest of humanity. Myths show us what we have in common with every other human being, no matter what culture we come from, no matter what century we live in. . .and at the same time, mythic stories and art celebrate our essential differences...
Alan Lee
HOW TO ASCERTAIN THE WILL OF GOD I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is. 2.—Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions. 3.—I seek the Will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them. 4.—Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God's Will in connection with His Word and Spirit. 5.—I ask God in prayer to reveal His Will to me aright. 6.—Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters, and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective. GEORGE MÜLLER.
George Müller (Answers to Prayer From George Müller's Narratives)
I know I've said this before, but it can't be said enough -- you really matter. Not just to me, but to this planet at this time. Don't ever forget that. As you do the inner work and have breakthroughs, you are literally changing human consciousness -- it's all connected. Every time you have an ‘Ah-Ha’ or grow through something and are lifted, you are lifting someone somewhere in the world -- or many people. Not to mention those closest to you. You really are God's gift to the world. Stay Inspired, Derek
Derek Rydall (Emergence: The End of Self Improvement)
Suppose you’re called on to navigate some particularly difficult life dilemma, your own, or that of a close confidant. You yearn to talk matters over with your mentor, spouse, or best friend. Yet, for whatever reason, you can’t get a hold of these valued others—perhaps they’re traveling, busy, or even deceased. Research shows that simply imagining having a conversation with them is as good as actually talking with them. So consult them in your mind. Ask them what advice they’d offer. In this way, a cherished parent or mentor, even if deceased, leaves you with an inner voice that guides you through challenging times. Your past moments of love and connection make you lastingly wiser.
Barbara L. Fredrickson (Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become)
Sexual expression is so powerful a way of bonding with others and so devastating a way of hurting others that it can never be reduced to a mere matter of personal preferences. Sexual desires have immense capacities to order or disorder the social world. Because of this, the social meanings and expressions of sexual desire, connections, and taboos are an organizing component of human societies: Who wants whom? Who belongs with whom? Who is forbidden to whom? What do infractions mean, and what are their consequences?
Rachel Adler (Engendering Judaism: An Inclusive Theology and Ethics)
A lot of habitually creative people have preparation rituals linked to the setting in which they choose to start their day. By putting themselves into that environment, they start their creative day. The composer Igor Stravinsky did the same thing every morning when he entered his studio to work: He sat at the piano and played a Bach fugue. Perhaps he needed the ritual to feel like a musician, or the playing somehow connected him to musical notes, his vocabulary. Perhaps he was honoring his hero, Bach, and seeking his blessing for the day. Perhaps it was nothing more than a simple method to get his fingers moving, his motor running, his mind thinking music. But repeating the routine each day in the studio induced some click that got him started. In the end, there is no ideal condition for creativity. What works for one person is useless for another. The only criterion is this: Make it easy on yourself. Find a working environment where the prospect of wrestling with your muse doesn't scare you, doesn't shut you down. It should make you want to be there, and once you find it, stick with it. To get the creative habit, you need a working environment that's habit-forming. All preferred working states, no matter how eccentric, have one thing in common: When you enter into them, they compel you to get started.
Twyla Tharp (The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life)
Buddha is our inherent nature—our buddha nature—and what that means is that if you’re going to grow up fully, the way that it happens is that you begin to connect with the intelligence that you already have. It’s not like some intelligence that’s going to be transplanted into you. If you’re going to be fully mature, you will no longer be imprisoned in the childhood feeling that you always need to protect yourself or shield yourself because things are too harsh. If you’re going to be a grown-up—which I would define as being completely at home in your world no matter how difficult the situation—it’s because you will allow something that’s already in you to be nurtured. You allow it to grow, you allow it to come out, instead of all the time shielding it and protecting it and keeping it buried. Someone once told me, “When you feel afraid, that’s ‘fearful buddha.’” That could be applied to whatever you feel. Maybe anger is your thing. You just go out of control and you see red, and the next thing you know you’re yelling or throwing something or hitting someone. At that time, begin to accept the fact that that’s “enraged buddha.” If you feel jealous, that’s “jealous buddha.” If you have indigestion, that’s “buddha with heartburn.” If you’re happy, “happy buddha”; if bored, “bored buddha.” In other words, anything that you can experience or think is worthy of compassion; anything you could think or feel is worthy of appreciation.
Pema Chödrön (Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living)
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
The erotic instinct is something questionable, and will always be so whatever a future set of laws may have to say on the matter. It belongs, on the one hand, to the original animal nature of man, which will exist as long as man has an animal body. On the other hand, it is connected with the highest forms of the spirit. But it blooms only when the spirit and instinct are in true harmony. If one or the other aspect is missing, then an injury occurs, or at least there is a one-sided lack of balance which easily slips into the pathological. Too much of the animal disfigures the civilized human being, too much culture makes a sick animal.
C.G. Jung
Still, as Wyn watched the beautiful landscape move past, on rails which evermore were connecting the states and territories, he felt an ache for the untamed, the wild country. He wondered if one day the beauty outside his window might all be lost; a day when everything was connected by train; a day when towns were so big, and so close together, that the land was viewed simply as a place to build. To Wyn the wild country was a living, natural thing to be respected, and he suddenly felt wistful for days gone by, no matter how dangerous they may have been.
Bobby Underwood (Whisper Valley: A Wild Country Western)
Studies show that children and adults who are securely attached tend to be more curious and open to new information than people who are not. It’s another tenet of attachment theory that if you have someone in your life who listens to you and who you feel connected to, then the safer you feel stepping out in the world and interacting with others. You know you will be okay if you hear something or find out things that upset you because you have someone, somewhere, you can confide in and who will relieve your distress. It’s called having a secure base, and it’s a bulwark against loneliness.
Kate Murphy (You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters)
Describing good relatedness to someone, no matter how precisely or how often, does not inscribe it into the neural networks that inspire love. Self-help books are like car repair manuals: you can read them all day, but doing so doesn't fix a thing. Working on a car means rolling up your sleeves and getting under the hood, and you have to be willing to get dirt on your hands and grease beneath your fingernails. Overhauling emotional knowledge is no spectator sport; it demands the messy experience of yanking and tinkering that comes from a limbic bond. If someone's relationship today bear a troubled imprint, they do so because an influential relationship left its mark on a child's mind. When a limbic connection has established a neural pattern, it takes a limbic connection to revise it. (177)
Thomas Lewis (A General Theory of Love)
If our shallow, self-critical culture sometimes seems to lack a sense of the numinous or spiritual it’s only in the same way a fish lacks a sense of the ocean. Because the numinous is everywhere, we need to be reminded of it. We live among wonders. Superhuman cyborgs, we plug into cell phones connecting us to one another and to a constantly updated planetary database, an exo-memory that allows us to fit our complete cultural archive into a jacket pocket. We have camera eyes that speed up, slow down, and even reverse the flow of time, allowing us to see what no one prior to the twentieth century had ever seen — the thermodynamic miracle of broken shards and a puddle gathering themselves up from the floor to assemble a half-full wineglass. We are the hands and eyes and ears, the sensitive probing feelers through which the emergent, intelligent universe comes to know its own form and purpose. We bring the thunderbolt of meaning and significance to unconscious matter, blank paper, the night sky. We are already divine magicians, already supergods. Why shouldn’t we use all our brilliance to leap in as many single bounds as it takes to a world beyond ours, threatened by overpopulation, mass species extinction, environmental degradation, hunger, and exploitation? Superman and his pals would figure a way out of any stupid cul-de-sac we could find ourselves in — and we made Superman, after all.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)
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
If an enthusiastic, ardent, and ambitous man marry a wife on whose name there is a stain, which, though it originate in no fault of hers, may be visited by cold and sordid people upon her, and upon his children also: and, in exact proportion to his success in the world, be cast in his teeth, and made the subject of sneers against him: he may-no matter how generous and good his nature- one day repent of the connection he formed in early life; and she may have the pain and torture of knowing that he does so.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
When I was 15, I sat in despair one day in a creaky old bus that was winding its way through central Mexico (that’s another story), trying to decide if I truly believed in God. Not necessarily God with a big white beard looking down from a Biblical heaven, but some kind of sacred spirit above, beneath, and within all things. I’d always had a deep, instinctive faith (even as a small child) in a sacred dimension to life, a Mystery I didn’t need to fully define in order to know it, feel it, experience it. But recent grueling events had shaken my faith and closed that connection. Now, I realize that sitting and railing at God is practically a cliche of teenage angst; that doesn’t make the experience any less urgent at age 15, and I was in a dark place. “Okay,” I said, throwing the gauntlet down to whatever out there might be listening, “if there is something more than this, then prove it. Just prove it. Or I quit.” The bus turned a corner on the narrow, dusty road, and a gasp went up from the people around me. Above us, a rainbow arched through a bright blue, cloudless, rainless desert sky. Rainbows have been special to me ever since. I know the scientific explanation, of course, water and air and angles of sunlight and all that. But to me, they are always a message. They say: “The universe is a Mystery and you’re part of it.” And sometimes that’s all I need to hear; that’s all the answer I need, no matter what the prayer.
Terri Windling
Unless you put prayer with your fasting, there is no need to fast. If it doesn't mean anything to you, it won't mean anything to God. I can do without a lot of things, but I cannot do anything without Jesus. Moses fasted. Elijah fasted forty days. Paul fasted fourteen days. Jesus fasted forty days. If the children of God do not fast, how will we ever fit into the armor of God? Fasting is not a requirement; it is a choice. It is a vow you choose to make to pursue God on a deeper level. The entire time that you are on a fast you are acknowledging God. When you are feeling hungry, empty, and weak, you connect with God without all the clutter. In that way fasting is a time vow. It is also a discipline vow. Fasting, especially a longer fast, strengthens your character in every area of your life. If you do not have the power of a made-up mind to honor God with your body, you will be at the mercy of the lust of your flesh. If failure is not a possibility, then success doesn’t mean anything. Prayer and fasting were a big part of Jesus’s life. Why should it be such a small part of yours? If Jesus needed to fast, how much greater is our need to fast? If we are not drawing closer to God, we are drifting farther from Him. I am not in this for what I can get out of Jesus. I’m in this because He loved me first and gave Himself for me. I have nothing to go back to. I crossed that bridge a long time ago. The enemy, this world, difficult circumstances—it doesn’t matter. I’ll still be in church. I am never going to walk away from God.
Jentezen Franklin (The Fasting Edge: Recover Your Passion. Recapture Your Dream. Restore Your Joy)
There is a great loneliness of spirit today. We’re trying to live, we’re trying to cope in the face of what seems to be overwhelming evidence that who we are doesn’t matter, that there is no real hope for enough change, that the environment and human experience is deteriorating so rapidly and increasingly and massively. This is the context, psychically and spiritually, in which we are working today. This is how our lives are reflected to us. Meanwhile, we’re yearning for connection with each other, with ourselves, with the powers of nature, the possibilities of being alive. When that tension arises, we feel pain, we feel anguish at the very root of ourselves, and then we cover that over, that grief, that horror, with all kinds of distraction – with consumerism, with addictions, with anything that we can use to disconnect and to go away. We’ve been opening ourselves to the grief, to the knowing of what’s taking place, the loss of species, the destruction of the natural world, the unimaginable levels of social injustice and economic injustice that deprive so many human beings of basic opportunities. And as we open to the pain of that, there’s a possibility of embracing that pain and that grief in a way that it becomes a strength, a power to respond. There is the possibility that the energy that has been bound in the repression of it can now flow through us and energize us, make us clearer, more alive, more passionate, committed, courageous, determined people.
John Robbins
The connection being that in my head all language began in song and that the best stories inevitably reutrn to song, to a state of rapture. For years, I had assumed that throwing beautiful words at the page would make my prose feel true. But I had the process exactly backward. It was truth that lifted the language into beauty and toward song. It was a matter of doing what Joe Henry did, of pursuing characters into moments of emotional truth and slowing down. The result was a compression of sensual and psychological detail that released the rhythm and melody in language itself, what Longfellow called "the happy accidents of language.
Steve Almond (Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us)
And however one might sentimentalise it, this sex business was one of the most ancient, sordid connections and subjections. Poets who glorified it were mostly men. Women had always known there was something better, something higher. And now they knew it more definitely than ever. The beautiful pure freedom of a woman was infinitely more wonderful than any sexual love. The only unfortunate thing was that men lagged so far behind women in the matter. They insisted on the sex thing like dogs. And a woman had to yield. A man was like a child with his appetites. A woman had to yield him what he wanted, or like a child he would probably turn nasty and flounce away and spoil what was a very pleasant connection. But a woman could yield to a man without yielding her inner, free self. That the poets and talkers about sex did not seem to have taken sufficiently into account. A woman could take a man without really giving herself away. Certainly she could take him without giving herself into his power. Rather she could use this sex thing to have power over him. For she only had to hold herself back in sexual intercourse, and let him finish and expend himself without herself coming to the crisis: and then she could prolong the connection and achieve her orgasm and her crisis while he was merely her tool.
D.H. Lawrence (Lady Chatterley's Lover)
We have to dive below to discover the basic problem: these couples have disconnected emotionally; they don’t feel emotionally safe with each other. What couples and therapists too often do not see is that most fights are really protests over emotional disconnection. Underneath all the distress, partners are asking each other: Can I count on you, depend on you? Are you there for me? Will you respond to me when I need, when I call? Do I matter to you? Am I valued and accepted by you? Do you need me, rely on me? The anger, the criticism, the demands, are really cries to their lovers, calls to stir their hearts, to draw their mates back in emotionally and reestablish a sense of safe connection.
Sue Johnson (Hold Me Tight: Your Guide to the Most Successful Approach to Building Loving Relationships)
I stood as she straightened and snaked my arms around her, pulling her close to me, savoring the feel of every delicate curve. For three weeks, I spent my time convincing myself that our breakup was the right choice. But being this close to her, hearing her laugh, listening to her voice, I knew I had been telling myself lies. Her eyes widened when I lowered my head to hers. “It doesn’t have to be this way. We can find a way to make us work.” She tilted her head and licked her lips, whispering through shallow breaths, “You’re not playing fair.” “No, I’m not.” Echo thought too much. I threaded my fingers into her hair and kissed her, leaving her no opportunity to think about what we were doing. I wanted her to feel what I felt. To revel in the pull, the attraction. Dammit, I wanted her to undeniably love me. Her pack hit the floor with a resounding thud and her magical fingers explored my back, neck and head. Echo’s tongue danced manically with mine, hungry and excited. Her muscles stiffened when her mind caught up. I held her tighter to me, refusing to let her leave so easily again. Echo pulled her lips away, but was unable to step back from my body. “We can’t, Noah.” “Why not?” I shook her without meaning to, but if it snapped something into place, I’d shake her again. “Because everything has changed. Because nothing has changed. You have a family to save. I …” She looked away, shaking her head. “I can’t live here anymore. When I leave town, I can sleep. Do you understand what I’m saying?” I did. I understood all too well, as much as I hated it. This was why we ignored each other. When she walked away the first time, my damn heart ruptured and I swore I’d never let it happen again. Like an idiot, here I was setting off explosives. Both of my hands wove into her hair again and clutched at the soft curls. No matter how I tightened my grip, the strands kept falling from my fingers, a shower of water from the sky. I rested my forehead against hers. “I want you to be happy.” “You, too,” she whispered. I let go of her and left the main office. When I first connected with Echo, I’d promised her I would help her find her answers. I was a man of my word and Echo would soon know that.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
They're on a cusp; a highly heterogeneous but highly connected--and stressedly connected--civilization. I'm not sure that one approach could encompass the needs of their different systems. The particular stage of communication they're at, combining rapidity and selectivity, usually with something added to the signal and almost always with something missed out, means that what passes for truth often has to travel at the speed of failing memories, changing attitudes, and new generations. Even when this form of handicap is recognized all they ever try to do, as a rule, is codify it, tidy it up. Their attempts of filter become part of the noise, and they seem unable to bring any more thought to bear on the matter than that which leads them to try and simplify what can only be understood by coming to terms with its complexity.
Iain M. Banks
E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G—is connected. The soil needs rain, organic matter, air, worms and life in order to do what it needs to do to give and receive life. Each element is an essential component. “Organizing takes humility and selflessness and patience and rhythm while our ultimate goal of liberation will take many expert components. Some of us build and fight for land, healthy bodies, healthy relationships, clean air, water, homes, safety, dignity, and humanizing education. Others of us fight for food and political prisoners and abolition and environmental justice. Our work is intersectional and multifaceted. Nature teaches us that our work has to be nuanced and steadfast. And more than anything, that we need each other—at our highest natural glory—in order to get free.
Adrienne Maree Brown (Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds)
Even we ourselves change, learning and growing, getting pulled down and then rebuilding ourselves again. But for all that, there was a rare and hidden thing, maybe the most important thing, that never changed, and that was the spirit deep inside us, the thing we were when we were a child, and the thing we were when we grow up, the thing we are when we’re at home, and the thing we are when we go out into the world—it’s always with us—that inner spirit stays with us through it all, no matter how our body changes from year to year or how the world changes around us. And through all of this, there is one thing we seek. To be connected to the people around us, to touch and be touched, to have a true family and friends of all kinds with which we share the world and its changes. Like our own spirit within us, our family is the hidden, inner core that deep down never changes, the river that is always flowing.
Robert Beatty (Serafina and the Splintered Heart)
for a girl who was lonely and desperate for friends, that group of people was the most important social thing to happen to me growing up. I can’t imagine being as confident about my passion for geeky things today without that opportunity to connect with OTHER people who were saying, “Wow, I love those geeky things, too!” That early community taught me how wonderful it is to connect with like-minded people. No matter how lonely and isolated and starved for connection you are, there’s always the possibility in the online world that you can find a place to be accepted, or discover a friendship that’s started with the smallest of interests but could last a lifetime. Your qualification for finding a place to belong is enthusiasm and passion, and I think that’s a beautiful thing.
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
And as the music ended, he saw her, like a woman in a romance, pull from her cotton sleeve a note that she pushed into his breast pocket. It would burn there unread for another hour as he danced and talked with in-laws who did not matter to him, who got in the way, whose bloodline connection to him or his wife he could not care less about. Everything that was important to him existed suddenly in the potency of Marie-Neige. He could tell what the shallow freize of the wedding party that surrounded them would continue to be, and yet the one he knew best-he could not conceive how she would behave or respond to him in a week, or even in an hour. She had stepped into more than his arms for a dance, had waited for the precise seconds so it was possible and socially forgivable-the sunlit wedding procession, the eternal meal-and she had passed him a billet-doux as if they were within a Dumas. The note she had written said 'Good-bye.' Then it said 'Hello.' And then it reminded him that 'A message sent by pigeon to The Hague can sometimes change everything.' She had, like one of those partially villainous and always evolving heroines, turned his heart over on the wrong day.
Michael Ondaatje (Divisadero)
10 ways to raise a wild child. Not everyone wants to raise wild, free thinking children. But for those of you who do, here's my tips: 1. Create safe space for them to be outside for a least an hour a day. Preferable barefoot & muddy. 2. Provide them with toys made of natural materials. Silks, wood, wool, etc...Toys that encourage them to use their imagination. If you're looking for ideas, Google: 'Waldorf Toys'. Avoid noisy plastic toys. Yea, maybe they'll learn their alphabet from the talking toys, but at the expense of their own unique thoughts. Plastic toys that talk and iPads in cribs should be illegal. Seriously! 3. Limit screen time. If you think you can manage video game time and your kids will be the rare ones that don't get addicted, then go for it. I'm not that good so we just avoid them completely. There's no cable in our house and no video games. The result is that my kids like being outside cause it's boring inside...hah! Best plan ever! No kid is going to remember that great day of video games or TV. Send them outside! 4. Feed them foods that support life. Fluoride free water, GMO free organic foods, snacks free of harsh preservatives and refined sugars. Good oils that support healthy brain development. Eat to live! 5. Don't helicopter parent. Stay connected and tuned into their needs and safety, but don't hover. Kids like adults need space to roam and explore without the constant voice of an adult telling them what to do. Give them freedom! 6. Read to them. Kids don't do what they are told, they do what they see. If you're on your phone all the time, they will likely be doing the same thing some day. If you're reading, writing and creating your art (painting, cooking...whatever your art is) they will likely want to join you. It's like Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers in the laps of their parents (or guardians)." - it's so true! 7. Let them speak their truth. Don't assume that because they are young that you know more than them. They were born into a different time than you. Give them room to respectfully speak their mind and not feel like you're going to attack them. You'll be surprised what you might learn. 8. Freedom to learn. I realize that not everyone can homeschool, but damn, if you can, do it! Our current schools system is far from the best ever. Our kids deserve better. We simply can't expect our children to all learn the same things in the same way. Not every kid is the same. The current system does not support the unique gifts of our children. How can they with so many kids in one classroom. It's no fault of the teachers, they are doing the best they can. Too many kids and not enough parent involvement. If you send your kids to school and expect they are getting all they need, you are sadly mistaken. Don't let the public school system raise your kids, it's not their job, it's yours! 9. Skip the fear based parenting tactics. It may work short term. But the long term results will be devastating to the child's ability to be open and truthful with you. Children need guidance, but scaring them into listening is just lazy. Find new ways to get through to your kids. Be creative! 10. There's no perfect way to be a parent, but there's a million ways to be a good one. Just because every other parent is doing it, doesn't mean it's right for you and your child. Don't let other people's opinions and judgments influence how you're going to treat your kid. Be brave enough to question everything until you find what works for you. Don't be lazy! Fight your urge to be passive about the things that matter. Don't give up on your kid. This is the most important work you'll ever do. Give it everything you have.
Brooke Hampton
Marx wrote about finance and industry all his life but he only knew two people connected with financial and industrial processes. One was his uncle in Holland, Lion Philips, a successful businessman who created what eventually became the vast Philips Electric Company. Uncle Philips' views on the whole capitalist process would have been well-informed and interesting, had Marx troubled to explore them. But he only once consulted him, on a technical matter of high finance, and though he visited Philips four times, these concerned purely personal mattes of family money. The other knowledgeable man was Engels himself. But Marx declined Engel's invitation to accompany him on a visit to a cotton mill, and so far as we know Marx never set foot in a mill, factory, mine or other industrial workplace in the whole of his life.
Paul Johnson
The idea of being forgotten is terrifying. I fear not just that I, personally, will be forgotten but that we are all doomed to being forgotten; that the sum of life is ultimately nothing; that we experience joy and disappointment and aches and delights and loss, make our little mark on the world, and then we vanish, and the mark is erased, and it is as if we never existed. If you gaze into that bleakness even for a moment, the sum of life becomes null and void, because if nothing lasts nothing matters. Everything we experience unfolds without a pattern, and life is just a baffling occurrence, a scattering of notes with no melody. But if something you learn or observe or imagine can be set down and saved, and if you can see your life reflected in previous lives, and can imagine it reflected in subsequent ones, you can begin to discover order and harmony. You know that you are a part of a larger story that has shape and purpose—a tangible, familiar past and a constantly refreshed future. We are all whispering in a tin can on a string, but we are heard, so we whisper the message into the next tin can and the next string. Writing a book is an act of sheer defiance. It is a declaration that you believe in the persistence of memory.
Susan Orlean
The myth of quantum consciousness sits well with many whose egos have made it impossible for them to accept the insignificant place science perceives for humanity, as modern instruments probe the farthest reaches of space and time. ... quantum consciousness has about as much substance as the aether from which it is composed. Early in this century, quantum mechanics and Einstein’s relativity destroyed the notion of a holistic universe that had seemed within the realm of possibility in the century just past. First, Einstein did away with the aether, shattering the doctrine that we all move about inside a universal, cosmic fluid whose excitations connect us simultaneously to one another and to the rest of the universe. Second, Einstein and other physicists proved that matter and light were composed of particles, wiping away the notion of universal continuity. Atomic theory and quantum mechanics demonstrated that everything, even space and time, exists in discrete bits – quanta. To turn this around and say that twentieth century physics initiated some new holistic view of the universe is a complete misrepresentation of what actually took place. ... The myth of quantum consciousness should take its place along with gods, unicorns, and dragons as yet another product of the fantasies of people unwilling to accept what science, reason, and their own eyes tell them about the world.
Victor J. Stenger
To listen well is to figure out what’s on someone’s mind and demonstrate that you care enough to want to know. It’s what we all crave; to be understood as a person with thoughts, emotions, and intentions that are unique and valuable and deserving of attention. Listening is not about teaching, shaping, critiquing, appraising, or showing how it should be done (“Here, let me show you.” “Don’t be shy.” “That’s awesome!” “Smile for Daddy.”). Listening is about the experience of being experienced. It’s when someone takes an interest in who you are and what you are doing. The lack of being known and accepted in this way leads to feelings of inadequacy and emptiness. What makes us feel most lonely and isolated in life is less often the result of a devastating traumatic event than the accumulation of occasions when nothing happened but something profitably could have. It’s the missed opportunity to connect when you weren’t listening or someone wasn’t really listening to you.
Kate Murphy (You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters)
The archetypal image of the redeemer serpent is certainly placed here in opposition to the serpents of evil that battle with it. But why do they both have the same form if there is only oppositIOn between them? What does it mean that they both dwell in the same place, the depth of the great abyss? Are they not possibly two aspects of the same thing? We know this image of the redeemer serpent not only from Gnosis and from the Sabbataian myth, but we know of the same serpent rising from below, redeeming and to be redeemed, as the Kundalini serpent in India, and finally from alchemy as the serpens Mercurii, the ambiguous serpent whose significance was first made clear to us by Jung's researches. Since Jung's work on alchemy we know two things. The first is that in its "magnum opus" alchemy dealt with a redemption of matter itself. The second is that pari passu with this redemption of matter, a redemption of the individual psyche was not only unconsciously carried out but was also consciously intended. As we know, the serpent is a primeval symbol of the Spirit, as primeval and ambiguous as the Spirit itself. The emergence of the Earth archetype of the Great Mother brings with it the emergence of her companion, the Great Serpent. And, strangely enough, it seems as though modern man is confronted with a curious task, a task which is essentially connected with what mankind, rightly or wrongly, has feared most, namely the Devil.
Erich Neumann (The Fear of the Feminine and Other Essays on Feminine Psychology)
The room contains a few dozen living human bodies, each one a big sack of guts and fluids so highly compressed that it will squirt for a few yards when pierced. Each one is built around an armature of 206 bones connected to each other by notoriously fault-prone joints that are given to obnoxious creaking, grinding, and popping noises when they are in other than pristine condition. This structure is draped with throbbing steak, inflated with clenching air sacks, and pierced by a Gordian sewer filled with burbling acid and compressed gas and asquirt with vile enzymes and solvents produced by the many dark, gamy nuggets of genetically programmed meat strung along its length. Slugs of dissolving food are forced down this sloppy labyrinth by serialized convulsions, decaying into gas, liquid, and solid matter which must all be regularly vented to the outside world lest the owner go toxic and drop dead. Spherical, gel-packed cameras swivel in mucus-greased ball joints. Infinite phalanxes of cilia beat back invading particles, encapsulate them in goo for later disposal. In each body a centrally located muscle flails away at an eternal, circulating torrent of pressurized gravy. And yet, despite all of this, not one of these bodies makes a single sound at any time during the sultan’s speech.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
Scientists are cautiously beginning to question the view that the brain is the sole and absolute ruler over the body. The gut not only possesses an unimaginable number of nerves, those nerves are also unimaginably different from those of the rest of the body. The gut commands an entire fleet of signaling substances, nerve-insulation materials, and ways of connecting. There is only one other organ in the body that can compete with the gut for diversity—the brain. The gut’s network of nerves is called the “gut brain” because it is just as large and chemically complex as the gray matter in our heads. Were the gut solely responsible for transporting food and producing the occasional burp, such a sophisticated nervous system would be an odd waste of energy. Nobody would create such a neural network just to enable us to break wind. There must be more to it than that.
Giulia Enders (Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ)
Reader: Will you not admit that you are arguing against yourself? You know that what the English obtained in their own country they obtained by using brute force. I know you have argued that what they have obtained is useless, but that does not affect my argument. They wanted useless things and they got them. My point is that their desire was fulfilled. What does it matter what means they adopted? Why should we not obtain our goal, which is good, by any means whatsoever, even by using violence? Shall I think of the means when I have to deal with a thief in the house? My duty is to drive him out anyhow. You seem to admit that we have received nothing, and that we shall receive nothing by petitioning. Why, then, may we do not so by using brute force? And, to retain what we may receive we shall keep up the fear by using the same force to the extent that it may be necessary. You will not find fault with a continuance of force to prevent a child from thrusting its foot into fire. Somehow or other we have to gain our end. Editor: Your reasoning is plausible. It has deluded many. I have used similar arguments before now. But I think I know better now, and I shall endeavour to undeceive you. Let us first take the argument that we are justified in gaining our end by using brute force because the English gained theirs by using similar means. It is perfectly true that they used brute force and that it is possible for us to do likewise, but by using similar means we can get only the same thing that they got. You will admit that we do not want that. Your belief that there is no connection between the means and the end is a great mistake. Through that mistake even men who have been considered religious have committed grievous crimes. Your reasoning is the same as saying that we can get a rose through planting a noxious weed. If I want to cross the ocean, I can do so only by means of a vessel; if I were to use a cart for that purpose, both the cart and I would soon find the bottom. "As is the God, so is the votary", is a maxim worth considering. Its meaning has been distorted and men have gone astray. The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree. I am not likely to obtain the result flowing from the worship of God by laying myself prostrate before Satan. If, therefore, anyone were to say : "I want to worship God; it does not matter that I do so by means of Satan," it would be set down as ignorant folly. We reap exactly as we sow. The English in 1833 obtained greater voting power by violence. Did they by using brute force better appreciate their duty? They wanted the right of voting, which they obtained by using physical force. But real rights are a result of performance of duty; these rights they have not obtained. We, therefore, have before us in English the force of everybody wanting and insisting on his rights, nobody thinking of his duty. And, where everybody wants rights, who shall give them to whom? I do not wish to imply that they do no duties. They don't perform the duties corresponding to those rights; and as they do not perform that particular duty, namely, acquire fitness, their rights have proved a burden to them. In other words, what they have obtained is an exact result of the means they adapted. They used the means corresponding to the end. If I want to deprive you of your watch, I shall certainly have to fight for it; if I want to buy your watch, I shall have to pay you for it; and if I want a gift, I shall have to plead for it; and, according to the means I employ, the watch is stolen property, my own property, or a donation. Thus we see three different results from three different means. Will you still say that means do not matter?
Mahatma Gandhi
No matter what I study, I can see patterns. I see the gestalt, the melody within the notes, in everything: mathematics and science, art and music, psychology and sociology. As I read the texts, I can think only that the authors are plodding along from one point to the next, groping for connections that they can’t see. They’re like a crowd of people unable to read music, peering at the score for a Bach sonata, trying to explain how one note leads to another. As glorious as these patterns are, they also whet my appetite for more. There are other patterns waiting to be discovered, gestalts of another scale entirely. With respect to those, I’m blind myself; all my sonatas are just isolated data points by comparison. I have no idea what form such gestalts might assume, but that’ll come in time. I want to find them, and comprehend them. I want this more than anything I’ve ever wanted before.
Ted Chiang
But…” Hazel gripped his shoulders and stared at him in amazement. “Frank, what happened to you?” “To me?” He stood, suddenly self-conscious. “I don’t…” He looked down and realized what she meant. Triptolemus hadn’t gotten shorter. Frank was taller. His gut had shrunk. His chest seemed bulkier. Frank had had growth spurts before. Once he’d woken up two centimeters taller than when he’d gone to sleep. But this was nuts. It was as if some of the dragon and lion had stayed with him when he’d turned back to human. “Uh…I don’t…Maybe I can fix it.” Hazel laughed with delight. “Why? You look amazing!” “I—I do?” “I mean, you were handsome before! But you look older, and taller, and so distinguished—” Triptolemus heaved a dramatic sigh. “Yes, obviously some sort of blessing from Mars. Congratulations, blah, blah, blah. Now, if we’re done here…?” Frank glared at him. “We’re not done. Heal Nico.” The farm god rolled his eyes. He pointed at the corn plant, and BAM! Nico di Angelo appeared in an explosion of corn silk. Nico looked around in a panic. “I—I had the weirdest nightmare about popcorn.” He frowned at Frank. “Why are you taller?” “Everything’s fine,” Frank promised. “Triptolemus was about to tell us how to survive the House of Hades. Weren’t you, Trip?” The farm god raised his eyes to the ceiling, like, Why me, Demeter? “Fine,” Trip said. “When you arrive at Epirus, you will be offered a chalice to drink from.” “Offered by whom?” Nico asked. “Doesn’t matter,” Trip snapped. “Just know that it is filled with deadly poison.” Hazel shuddered. “So you’re saying that we shouldn’t drink it.” “No!” Trip said. “You must drink it, or you’ll never be able to make it through the temple. The poison connects you to the world of the dead, lets you pass into the lower levels. The secret to surviving is”—his eyes twinkled—“barley.” Frank stared at him. “Barley.” “In the front room, take some of my special barley. Make it into little cakes. Eat these before you step into the House of Hades. The barley will absorb the worst of the poison, so it will affect you, but not kill you.” “That’s it?” Nico demanded. “Hecate sent us halfway across Italy so you could tell us to eat barley?” “Good luck!” Triptolemus sprinted across the room and hopped in his chariot. “And, Frank Zhang, I forgive you! You’ve got spunk. If you ever change your mind, my offer is open. I’d love to see you get a degree in farming!” “Yeah,” Frank muttered. “Thanks.” The god pulled a lever on his chariot. The snake-wheels turned. The wings flapped. At the back of the room, the garage doors rolled open. “Oh, to be mobile again!” Trip cried. “So many ignorant lands in need of my knowledge. I will teach them the glories of tilling, irrigation, fertilizing!” The chariot lifted off and zipped out of the house, Triptolemus shouting to the sky, “Away, my serpents! Away!” “That,” Hazel said, “was very strange.” “The glories of fertilizing.” Nico brushed some corn silk off his shoulder. “Can we get out of here now?” Hazel put her hand on Frank’s shoulder. “Are you okay, really? You bartered for our lives. What did Triptolemus make you do?” Frank tried to hold it together. He scolded himself for feeling so weak. He could face an army of monsters, but as soon as Hazel showed him kindness, he wanted to break down and cry. “Those cow monsters…the katoblepones that poisoned you…I had to destroy them.” “That was brave,” Nico said. “There must have been, what, six or seven left in that herd.” “No.” Frank cleared his throat. “All of them. I killed all of them in the city.” Nico and Hazel stared at him in stunned silence. Frank
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
As a physician, I was trained to deal with uncertainty as aggressively as I dealt with disease itself. The unknown was the enemy. Within this worldview, having a question feels like an emergency; it means that something is out of control and needs to be made known as rapidly, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible. But death has taken me to the edge of certainty, to the place of questions. After years of trading mystery for mastery, it was hard and even frightening to stop offering myself reasonable explanations for some of the things that I observed and that others told me, and simply take them as they are. "I don't know" had long been a statement of shame, of personal and professional failing. In all of my training I do not recall hearing it said aloud even once. But as I listened to more and more people with life-threatening illnesses tell their stories, not knowing simply became a matter of integrity. Things happened. And the explanations I offered myself became increasingly hollow, like a child whistling in the dark. The truth was that very often I didn't know and couldn't explain, and finally, weighed down by the many, many instances of the mysterious which are such an integral part of illness and healing, I surrendered. It was a moment of awakening. For the first time, I became curious about the things I had been unwilling to see before, more sensitive to inconsistencies I had glibly explained or successfully ignored, more willing to ask people questions and draw them out about stories I would have otherwise dismissed. What I have found in the end was that the life I had defended as a doctor as precious was also Holy. I no longer feel that life is ordinary. Everyday life is filled with mystery. The things we know are only a small part of the things we cannot know but can only glimpse. Yet even the smallest of glimpses can sustain us. Mystery seems to have the power to comfort, to offer hope, and to lend meaning in times of loss and pain. In surprising ways it is the mysterious that strengthens us at such times. I used to try to offer people certainty in times that were not at all certain and could not be made certain. I now just offer my companionship and share my sense of mystery, of the possible, of wonder. After twenty years of working with people with cancer, I find it possible to neither doubt nor accept the unprovable but simply to remain open and wait. I accept that I may never know where truth lies in such matters. The most important questions don't seem to have ready answers. But the questions themselves have a healing power when they are shared. An answer is an invitation to stop thinking about something, to stop wondering. Life has no such stopping places, life is a process whose every event is connected to the moment that just went by. An unanswered question is a fine traveling companion. It sharpens your eye for the road.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal)
You know, sleeping outdoors isn’t all bad. You get to stare up at the stars and cool breezes ruffle your fur after a hot day. The grass smells sweet and,” he made eye contact with me, “so does your hair.” I blushed and grumbled, “Well, I’m glad someone enjoyed it.” He smiled smugly and said, “I did.” I had a quick flash of him as a man snuggled up next to me in the forest, imagined him resting his head on my lap while I stroked his hair, and decided to focus on the matter at hand. “Well, listen, Ren, you’re changing the subject. I don’t appreciate the way you manipulated me into being here. Mr. Kadam should’ve told me at the circus.” He shook his head. “We didn’t think you’d believe his story. He made up the trip to the tiger reserve to get you to India. We figured once you were here, I could change into a man and clarify everything.” I admitted, “You’re probably right. If you had changed to a man there, I don’t think I would have come” “Why did you come?” “I wanted to spend more time with…you. You know, the tiger. I would have missed him. I mean you.” I blushed. He grinned lopsidedly. “I would have missed you too.” I wrung the hem of my shirt between my hands. Misreading my thoughts, he said, “Kelsey. I’m truly sorry for the deception. If there’d been any other way-“ I looked up. He hung his head in a way that reminded me of the tiger. The frustration and awkwardness I felt about him dissipated. My instincts told me that I should believe him and help him. The strong emotional connection that drew me to the tiger tugged at my heart even more powerfully with the man. I felt pity for him and his situation. Softly, I asked, “When will you change into a tiger?” “Soon.” “Does it hurt?” “Not as much as it used to.” “Do you understand me when you are a tiger? Can I still speak to you?” “Yes, I’ll still be able to hear and understand you.” I took a deep breath. “Okay. I’ll stay here with you until the shaman comes back. I still have a lot of questions for you though.” “I know. I’ll try to answer them as best I can, but you’ll have to save them for tomorrow when I’ll be able to speak with you again. We can stay here for the night. The shaman should be back around dusk.” “Ren?” “Yes?” “The jungle frightens me, and this situation frightens me.” He let go of the apron string and looked into my eyes. “I know.” “Ren?” “Yes?” “Don’t…leave me, okay?” His face softened into a tender expression, and his mouth turned up in a sincere smile. “Asambhava. I won’t.” I felt myself responding to his smile with one of my own when a shadow fell across his face. He clenched his fists and tightened his jaw. I saw a tremor pass through his body, and the chair fell forward as he collapsed to the ground on his hands and knees. I stood to reach out to him and was amazed to see his body morph back into the tiger form I knew so well. Ren the tiger shook himself, then approached my outstretched hand and rubbed his head against it.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
These are among the people I've tried to know twice, the second time in memory and language. Through them, myself. They are what I've become, in ways I don't understand but which I believe will accrue to a rounded truth, a second life for me as well as them. Cracking jokes in the mandatory American manner of people self-concious about death. This is the humor of violent surprise. How do you connect things? Learn their names. It was a strange conversation, full of hedged remarks and obscure undercurrents, perfect in its way. I was not a happy runner. I did it to stay interested in my body, to stay informed, and to set up clear lines of endeavor, a standard to meet, a limit to stay within. I was just enough of a puritan to think there must be some virtue in rigorous things, although I was careful not to overdo it. I never wore the clothes. the shorts, tank top, high socks. Just running shoes and a lightweight shirt and jeans. I ran disguised as an ordinary person. -When are you two going to have children? -We're our own children. In novels lately the only real love, the unconditional love I ever come across is what people feel for animals. Dolphins, bears, wolves, canaries. I would avoid people, stop drinking. There was a beggar with a Panasonic. This is what love comes down to, things that happen and what we say about them. But nothing mattered so much on this second reading as a number of spirited misspellings. I found these mangled words exhilarating. He'd made them new again, made me see how they worked, what they really were. They were ancient things, secret, reshapable.The only safety is in details. Hardship makes the world obscure. How else could men love themselves but in memory, knowing what they know? The world has become self-referring. You know this. This thing has seeped into the texture of the world. The world for thousands of years was our escape, was our refuge. Men hid from themselves in the world. We hid from God or death. The world was where we lived, the self was where we went mad and died. But now the world has made a self of its own.
Don DeLillo (The Names)
Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about. Thus the production of bullshit is stimulated whenever a person’s obligations or opportunities to speak about some topic are more excessive than his knowledge of the facts that are relevant to that topic. This discrepancy is common in public life, where people are frequently impelled — whether by their own propensities or by the demands of others — to speak extensively about matters of which they are to some degree ignorant. Closely related instances arise from the widespread conviction that it is the responsibility of a citizen in a democracy to have opinions about everything, or at least everything that pertains to the conduct of his country’s affairs. The lack of any significant connection between a person’s opinions and his apprehension of reality will be even more severe, needless to say, for someone who believes it his responsibility, as a conscientious moral agent, to evaluate events and conditions in all parts of the world.
Harry G. Frankfurt (On Bullshit)
Look in it,' he said, smiling slightly, as you do when you have given someone a present which you know will please him and he is unwrapping it before your eyes. I opened it. In the folder I found four 8×10 glossy photos, obviously professionally done; they looked like the kind of stills that the publicity departments of movie studios put out. The photos showed a Greek vase, on it a painting of a male figure who we recognized as Hermes. Twined around the vase the double helix confronted us, done in red glaze against a black background. The DNA molecule. There could be no mistake. 'Twenty-three or -four hundred years ago,' Fat said. 'Not the picture but the krater, the pottery.' 'A pot,' I said. 'I saw it in a museum in Athens. It's authentic. Thats not a matter of my own opinion; I'm not qualified to judge such matters; it's authenticity has been established by the museum authorities. I talked with one of them. He hadn't realized what the design shows; he was very interested when I discussed it with him. This form of vase, the krater, was the shape later used as the baptismal font. That was one of the Greek words that came into my head in March 1974, the word “krater”. I heard it connected with another Greek word: “poros”. The words “poros krater” essentially mean “limestone font”. ' There could be no doubt; the design, predating Christianity, was Crick and Watson's double helix model at which they had arrived after so many wrong guesses, so much trial-and-error work. Here it was, faithfully reproduced. 'Well?' I said. 'The so-called intertwined snakes of the caduceus. Originally the caduceus, which is still the symbol of medicine was the staff of- not Hermes-but-' Fat paused, his eyes bright. 'Of Asklepios. It has a very specific meaning, besides that of wisdom, which the snakes allude to; it shows that the bearer is a sacred person and not to be molested...which is why Hermes the messenger of the gods, carried it.' None of us said anything for a time. Kevin started to utter something sarcastic, something in his dry, witty way, but he did not; he only sat without speaking. Examining the 8×10 glossies, Ginger said, 'How lovely!' 'The greatest physician in all human history,' Fat said to her. 'Asklepios, the founder of Greek medicine. The Roman Emperor Julian-known to us as Julian the Apostate because he renounced Christianity-conside​red Asklepios as God or a god; Julian worshipped him. If that worship had continued, the entire history of the Western world would have basically changed
Philip K. Dick (VALIS (VALIS Trilogy, #1))
While in principle groups for survivors are a good idea, in practice it soon becomes apparent that to organize a successful group is no simple matter. Groups that start out with hope and promise can dissolve acrimoniously, causing pain and disappointment to all involved. The destructive potential of groups is equal to their therapeutic promise. The role of the group leader carries with it a risk of the irresponsible exercise of authority. Conflicts that erupt among group members can all too easily re-create the dynamics of the traumatic event, with group members assuming the roles of perpetrator, accomplice, bystander, victim, and rescuer. Such conflicts can be hurtful to individual participants and can lead to the group’s demise. In order to be successful, a group must have a clear and focused understanding of its therapeutic task and a structure that protects all participants adequately against the dangers of traumatic reenactment. Though groups may vary widely in composition and structure, these basic conditions must be fulfilled without exception. Commonality with other people carries with it all the meanings of the word common. It means belonging to a society, having a public role, being part of that which is universal. It means having a feeling of familiarity, of being known, of communion. It means taking part in the customary, the commonplace, the ordinary, and the everyday. It also carries with it a feeling of smallness, or insignificance, a sense that one’s own troubles are ‘as a drop of rain in the sea.’ The survivor who has achieved commonality with others can rest from her labors. Her recovery is accomplished; all that remains before her is her life.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
After all relationships had sell-by dates. Sometimes, the ones with the most passion were the ones to burn out faster. Others had a sweet and long-winding coil which burned with slow amicability. At times, it was true, people rekindled a dying ember with a new flame. But they hardly ever noticed the rekindling had come after some time of estrangement - whether physical or emotional. Because people needed newness to make a thing last indefinitely. To make it really last. And because Jan didn't like letting people go, she knew to look for the signs of love's waning. So she could tell how to ease it down slowly into its grave and keep her lovers as friends. Because she really believed people were meant to cross paths. People were meant to stay in your life. There was a reason for all encounters. And relationships had to be cosseted, no matter their shelf life. But they had to be allowed to change shape and form. It had to be given space to grow into something different.
Adelheid Manefeldt (Consequence)
Will we be extinguished? What difference does it make then, the ones of us who had plans, what does it matter the work we’ve done? The children we’ve raised? He looked pointedly at Olhado. “What will it matter then, that you have such a big happy family, if you’re all erased in one instant by that … bomb? “Not one moment of my life with my family has been wasted,” said Olhado quietly. “But the point of it is to go on, isn’t it? To connect with the future?” “That’s one part, yes,” said Olhado. “But part of the purpose of it is now, is the moment. And part of it is the web of connections. Links from soul to soul. If the purpose of life was just to continue into the future, then none of it would have meaning, because it would be all anticipation and preparation. There’s fruition, Grego. There’s the happiness we’ve already had. The happiness of each moment. The end of our lives, even if there’s no forward continuation, no progeny at all, the end of our lives doesn’t erase the beginning.
Orson Scott Card (Children of the Mind (Ender's Saga, #4))
In the original form of the word, to worry someone else was to harass, strangle, or choke them. Likewise, to worry oneself is a form of self-harassment. To give it less of a role in our lives, we must understand what it really it is. Worry is the fear we manufacture—it is not authentic. If you choose to worry about something, have at it, but do so knowing it’s a choice. Most often, we worry because it provides some secondary reward. There are many variations, but a few of the most popular follow. Worry is a way to avoid change; when we worry, we don’t do anything about the matter. Worry is a way to avoid admitting powerlessness over something, since worry feels like we’re doing something. (Prayer also makes us feel like we’re doing something, and even the most committed agnostic will admit that prayer is more productive than worry.) Worry is a cloying way to have connection with others, the idea being that to worry about someone shows love. The other side of this is the belief that not worrying about someone means you don’t care about them. As many worried-about people will tell you, worry is a poor substitute for love or for taking loving action. Worry is a protection against future disappointment. After taking an important test, for example, a student might worry about whether he failed. If he can feel the experience of failure now, rehearse it, so to speak, by worrying about it, then failing won’t feel as bad when it happens. But there’s an interesting trade-off: Since he can’t do anything about it at this point anyway, would he rather spend two days worrying and then learn he failed, or spend those same two days not worrying, and then learn he failed? Perhaps most importantly, would he want to learn he had passed the test and spent two days of anxiety for nothing? In Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman concludes that worrying is a sort of “magical amulet” which some people feel wards off danger. They believe that worrying about something will stop it from happening. He also correctly notes that most of what people worry about has a low probability of occurring, because we tend to take action about those things we feel are likely to occur. This means that very often the mere fact that you are worrying about something is a predictor that it isn’t likely to happen!
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
We have been together for 40 years, married for 36. There have been three times in our relationship when we were unable to resolve an issue on our own. We used all the skill that we have and yet it was still unresolved. In those three times we sought professional help because there was a blind spot for each of us. The therapist was able to listen to both of us and help us come to a place of resolution that we both felt good about. I feel very grateful for that help. Most times we have been able to work things through on our own. Sometimes we can clear the issue in a matter of a few minutes, sometimes an hour and sometimes it can take several days. But we still keep working on it until we both say that we feel complete, we understand our own part and responsibility in the issue rather than simply blaming each other, are willing to go on, and there is an even deeper connection and sometimes even humor to the situation. In working each issue through to completion we have been able to retain a beautiful lightness in our relationship that we both cherish.
Joyce Vissell
The strident emotional belief that children made you happy, even when all the data pointed to misery. The high-amplitude fear of sharks and dark-skinned snipers who would never kill you; indifference to all the toxins and pesticides that could. The mind was so rotten with misrepresentation that in some cases it literally had to be damaged before it could make a truly rational decision—and should some brain-lesioned mother abandon her baby in a burning house in order to save two strangers from the same fire, the rest of the world would be more likely to call her a monster than laud the rationality of her lifeboat ethics. Hell, rationality itself—the exalted Human ability to reason—hadn’t evolved in the pursuit of truth but simply to win arguments, to gain control: to bend others, by means logical or sophistic, to your will. Truth had never been a priority. If believing a lie kept the genes proliferating, the system would believe that lie with all its heart. Fossil feelings. Better off without them, once you’d outgrown the savanna and decided that Truth mattered after all. But Humanity wasn’t defined by arms and legs and upright posture. Humanity had evolved at the synapse as well as at the opposable thumb—and those misleading gut feelings were the very groundwork on which the whole damn clade had been built. Capuchins felt empathy. Chimps had an innate sense of fair play. You could look into the eyes of any cat or dog and see a connection there, a legacy of common subroutines and shared emotions.
Peter Watts (Firefall (Firefall #1-2))
If you believe in the lone genius myth, creativity is an antisocial act, performed by only a few great figures — mostly dead men with names like Mozart, Einstein, or Picasso. The rest of us are left to stand around and gawk in awe at their achievements. Under the "scenius" model, great ideas are often birthed by a group of creative individuals — artists, curators, thinkers, theorists, and other tastemakers — who make up an “ecology of talent.” Being a valuable part of a scenius is not necessarily about how smart or talented you are, but about what you have to contribute—the ideas you share, the quality of the connections you make, and the conversations you start. If we forget about genius and think more about how we can nurture and contribute to a scenius, we can adjust our own expectations and the expectations of the worlds we want to accept us. We can stop asking what others can do for us, and start asking what we can do for others. Think about what you want to learn, and make a commitment to learning it in front of others. Find a scenius, pay attention to what others are sharing, and then start taking note of what they’re not sharing. Be on the lookout for voids that you can fill with your own efforts, no matter how bad they are at first. . . . Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.
Austin Kleon (Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered)
I knew a young fellow once, who was studying to play the bagpipes, and you would be surprised at the amount of opposition he had to contend with. Why, not even from the members of his own family did he receive what you could call active encouragement. His father was dead against the business from the beginning, and spoke quite unfeelingly on the subject. My friend used to get up early in the morning to practise, but he had to give that plan up, because of his sister. She was somewhat religiously inclined, and she said it seemed such an awful thing to begin the day like that. So he sat up at night instead, and played after the family had gone to bed, but that did not do, as it got the house such a bad name. People, going home late, would stop outside to listen, and then put it about all over the town, the next morning, that a fearful murder had been committed at Mr. Jefferson's the night before; and would describe how they had heard the victim's shrieks and the brutal oaths and curses of the murderer, followed by the prayer for mercy, and the last dying gurgle of the corpse. So they let him practise in the day-time, in the back-kitchen with all the doors shut; but his more successful passages could generally be heard in the sitting-room, in spite of these precautions, and would affect his mother almost to tears. She said it put her in mind of her poor father (he had been swallowed by a shark, poor man, while bathing off the coast of New Guinea - where the connection came in, she could not explain). Then they knocked up a little place for him at the bottom of the garden, about quarter of a mile from the house, and made him take the machine down there when he wanted to work it; and sometimes a visitor would come to the house who knew nothing of the matter, and they would forget to tell him all about it, and caution him, and he would go out for a stroll round the garden and suddenly get within earshot of those bagpipes, without being prepared for it, or knowing what it was. If he were a man of strong mind, it only gave him fits; but a person of mere average intellect it usually sent mad.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
It is a special blessing to belong among those who can and may devote their best energies to the contemplation and exploration of objective and timeless things. How happy and grateful I am for having been granted this blessing, which bestows upon one a large measure of independence from one's personal fate and from the attitude of one's contemporaries. Yet this independence must not inure us to the awareness of the duties that constantly bind us to the past, present and future of humankind at large. Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here, involuntarily and uninvited, for a short stay, without knowing the why and the wherefore. In our daily lives we feel only that man is here for the sake of others, for those whom we love and for many other beings whose fate is connected with our own. I am often troubled by the thought that my life is based to such a large extent on the work of my fellow human beings, and I am aware of my great indebtedness to them. I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer's words: 'Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills,' accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of free will keeps me from taking myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and deciding individuals, and from losing my temper. I have never coveted affluence and luxury and even despise them a good deal. My passion for social justice has often brought me into conflict with people, as has my aversion to any obligation and dependence I did not regard as absolutely necessary. [Part 2] I have a high regard for the individual and an insuperable distaste for violence and fanaticism. All these motives have made me a passionate pacifist and antimilitarist. I am against any chauvinism, even in the guise of mere patriotism. Privileges based on position and property have always seemed to me unjust and pernicious, as does any exaggerated personality cult. I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I know well the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual have always seemed to me the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice keeps me from feeling isolated. The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all there is.
Albert Einstein
She went to bed mentally exhausted but woke after only a few hours of disrupted sleep…because she could smell Judd’s scent in her quarters. Getting out of bed still half-asleep, she saw it was four a.m. She walked out wearing the satin slip she used as her nightgown, her feet bare. “Judd?” For a second, she couldn’t locate him. Then her night vision kicked in and she found him seated in an armchair close to the coffee table. He was watching her, his entire body motionless. It didn’t strike her that she should be afraid or even wary. Yawning, she walked over and sat on his lap, curling her body into the armchair. His arms came around her without hesitation, one hand curving around her shoulders, the other sliding to close over the bare skin of her upper thigh. The sensual contact brought her to full wakefulness. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she nuzzled at his throat. “Are you okay?” His hand shifted to slide between her thighs, surprising a shocked feminine sound out of her. “Judd? Baby?” Something was wrong. With a changeling male, she would’ve let her body soothe him, used touch to connect. But Judd was Psy…and hers. At that moment, she knew the answer to the question that had tormented her all day—she would hold him, accept him, no matter what. That was what mates did. She didn’t care if there was no bond—no one was going to tell her she wasn’t meant to be with this man. “What do you want?” she asked, but he remained silent. Deciding to let instinct guide her, she softened for him. His other hand tangled in her hair, tilting her head back in a sharp move. She went rather than resist. A woman who loved a dominant male had to know when to bend…and when to bite.
Nalini Singh (Caressed by Ice (Psy-Changeling #3))
And there’s one other matter I must raise. The epidemic of domestic sexual violence that lacerates the soul of South Africa is mirrored in the pattern of grotesque raping in areas of outright conflict from Darfur to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in areas of contested electoral turbulence from Kenya to Zimbabwe. Inevitably, a certain percentage of the rapes transmits the AIDS virus. We don’t know how high that percentage is. We know only that women are subjected to the most dreadful double jeopardy. The point must also be made that there’s no such thing as the enjoyment of good health for women who live in constant fear of rape. Countless strong women survive the sexual assaults that occur in the millions every year, but every rape leaves a scar; no one ever fully heals. This business of discrimination against and oppression of women is the world’s most poisonous curse. Nowhere is it felt with greater catastrophic force than in the AIDS pandemic. This audience knows the statistics full well: you’ve chronicled them, you’ve measured them, the epidemiologists amongst you have disaggregated them. What has to happen, with one unified voice, is that the scientific community tells the political community that it must understand one incontrovertible fact of health: bringing an end to sexual violence is a vital component in bringing an end to AIDS. The brave groups of women who dare to speak up on the ground, in country after country, should not have to wage this fight in despairing and lonely isolation. They should hear the voices of scientific thunder. You understand the connections between violence against women and vulnerability to the virus. No one can challenge your understanding. Use it, I beg you, use it.
Stephen Lewis
It is hard to understand how a compassionate world order can include so many people afflicted by acute misery, persistent hunger and deprived and desperate lives, and why millions of innocent children have to die each year from lack of food or medical attention or social care. This issue, of course, is not new, and it has been a subject of some discussion among theologians. The argument that God has reasons to want us to deal with these matters ourselves has had considerable intellectual support. As a nonreligious person, I am not in a position to assess the theological merits of this argument. But I can appreciate the force of the claim that people themselves must have responsibility for the development and change of the world in which they live. One does not have to be either devout or non devout to accept this basic connection. As people who live-in a broad sense-together, we cannot escape the thought that the terrible occurrences that we see around us are quintessentially our problems. They are our responsibility-whether or not they are also anyone else's. As competent human beings, we cannot shirk the task of judging how things are and what needs to be done. As reflective creatures, we have the ability to contemplate the lives of others. Our sense of behavior may have caused (though that can be very important as well), but can also relate more generally to the miseries that we see around us and that lie within our power to help remedy. That responsibility is not, of course, the only consideration that can claim our attention, but to deny the relevance of that general claim would be to miss something central about our social existence. It is not so much a matter of having the exact rules about how precisely we ought to behave, as of recognizing the relevance of our shared humanity in making the choices we face.
Amartya Sen (Development as Freedom)
Why are you here?" My voice sounded breathless. As if it should've been obvious, Cole said, "I came here to offer you eternal life.Again." I pushed him away from him. "I already made my choice." "Yes,but it's obviously the wrong choice. Return with me. To the Everneath. And we'll live in the High Court. And you won't be a battery in the Tunnels. You could be a queen." "The Everneath has a High Court?" "Of course.It's where Osiris and Isis ruled.Hades and Persephone.Every realm in every dimension has people who give orders and people who take orders. And I'm tired of taking orders,Nick." I grimaced. "That has nothing to do with me." He paused and let out a little sigh. "Then I'm saying it wrong,beause it has everything to do with you. I want what Hades and Persephone had, and I can't do it without you.The only time the queen of the Everneath has been overthrown is when an Everliving has found his perfect match. I've spent my whole life-and it's a long one,trust me-looking for my perfect match,and it's you. I knew you were different from the first moment I met you.The first moment you placed your hands on mine.You remember?" I nodded. It had been the night we first met. "Your cheeks turned red,and I was gone for you." He shook his head,and his lips quirked up in a smile. "I know you felt it too.The connection between us. It started even before the Feed." I looked away,because my cheeks were getting warm thinking about it, and I couldn't let him see it.Remembering that night was pointless. I was a different person now. "It doesn't matter what I felt then.I didn't know who you really were." I glanced up.He raised his eyebrows and said, "It wouldn't have made a difference." He held my gaze with eyes so intense I couldn't look away. He was probably right. From the moment we met, I had been drawn to him.At the time, nothing would've changed my decision to go with him.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
Through The Mecca I saw that we were, in our own segregated body politic, cosmopolitans. The black diaspora was not just our own world but, in so many ways, the Western world itself. Now, the heirs of those Virginia planters could never directly acknowledge this legacy or reckon with its power. And so that beauty that Malcolm pledged us to protect, black beauty, was never celebrated in movies, in television, or in the textbooks I’d seen as a child. Everyone of any import, from Jesus to George Washington, was white. This was why your grandparents banned Tarzan and the Lone Ranger and toys with white faces from the house. They were rebelling against the history books that spoke of black people only as sentimental “firsts”—first black five-star general, first black congressman, first black mayor—always presented in the bemused manner of a category of Trivial Pursuit. Serious history was the West, and the West was white. This was all distilled for me in a quote I once read from the novelist Saul Bellow. I can’t remember where I read it, or when—only that I was already at Howard. “Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus?” Bellow quipped. Tolstoy was “white,” and so Tolstoy “mattered,” like everything else that was white “mattered.” And this view of things was connected to the fear that passed through the generations, to the sense of dispossession. We were black, beyond the visible spectrum, beyond civilization. Our history was inferior because we were inferior, which is to say our bodies were inferior. And our inferior bodies could not possibly be accorded the same respect as those that built the West. Would it not be better, then, if our bodies were civilized, improved, and put to some legitimate Christian use?
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
I am a thin layer of all those beings on [samadhi level] 3, mingling, connected with one another in a spherical surface around the whole known universe. Our "backs" are to the void. We are creating energy, matter and life at the interface between the void and all known creation. We are facing into the known universe, creating it, filling it. I am one with them; spread in a thin layer around the sphere with a small, slightly greater concentration of me in one small zone. I feel the power of the galaxy pouring through me. I am following the programme, the conversion programme of void to space, to energy, to matter, to life, to consciousness, to us, the creators. From nothing on one side to the created everything on the other. I am the creation process itself, incredibly strong, incredibly powerful. This time there is no flunking out, no withdrawal, no running away, no unconsciousness, no denial, no negation, no fighting against anything. I am "one of the boys in the engine room pumping creation from the void into the known universe; from the unknown to the known I am pumping". I am coming down from level +3. There are a billion choices of where to descend back down. I am conscious down each one of the choices simultaneously. Finally I am in my own galaxy with millions of choices left, hundreds of thousands on my own solar system, tens of thousands on my own planet, hundreds in my own country and then suddenly I am down to two, one of which is this body. In this body I look back up, see the choice-tree above me that I came down. Did I, this Essence, come all the way down to this solar system, this planet, this place, this body, or does it make any difference? May not this body be a vehicle for any Essence that came into it? Are not all Essences universal, equal, anonymous, and equally able? Instructions for this vehicle are in it for each Essence to read and absorb on entry. The new pilot-navigator reads his instructions in storage and takes over, competently operating this vehicle.
John C. Lilly (The Center of the Cyclone: Looking into Inner Space)
Be honest with yourself. You were at your lowest and broken down. You were unsure and lost hope. You were hiding your fears until you showed them on your sleeve. You felt like everything and everyone was the hammer and you were the nail as they were beating down on you, and it was never-ending. Their empty threats had you scared and you were always running because your weakness was exposed. You were their prey. You didn’t know who to believe because of their mixed signals. You might not see it now, but you are stronger than you can ever imagine. You cannot become comfortable in your pain. You have to let the pain that you feel turn you into a rose without thorns. There are sixteen pieces on the chessboard. The king is the most important piece, but the difference is that the queen is the most powerful piece! You are a queen, you can maneuver around your opponents; they do not have the power over your life, your mind or soul. You might think you’ve been a prisoner, but that is your past’. Look in the now and work your way to how you want your future to be. Exercise your thoughts into a pattern of letting go, and think positively about more of what you want than what you do not want. Queen! You are a queen! As a matter of fact, you are the queen! Act as if you know it! You are powerful, determined, strong, and you can make the biggest and most extravagant move and put it into action. Lights, camera, strike a pose and own it! It is yours to own! Yes, you loved and loved so much. You also lost as well, but you lost hurt, pain, agony, and confusion. You’ve lost interest in wanting to know answers to unanswered questions. You’ve lost the willingness to give a shit about what others think. You’ve surrendered to being fine, that you cannot change the things you have no control over. You’ve lost a lot, but you’ve gained closure. You are now balanced, centered, focused, and filled with peace surrounding you in your heart, mind, body, and soul. Your pride was hurt, but you would rather walk alone and be more willing to give and learn more about the queen you are. You lost yourself in the process, but the more you learn about the new you, the more you will be so much in love with yourself. The more you learn about the new you, the more you will know your worth. The more you learn about the new you, the happier you are going to be, and this time around you will be smiling inside and out! The dots are now connecting. You feel alive! You know now that all is not lost. Now that you’ve cut the cord it is time to give your heart a second chance at loving yourself. Silence your mind. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. As you open your eyes, look at your reflection in the mirror. Aren’t you beautiful, Queen? Embrace who you are. Smile, laugh, welcome the new you and say, “My world is just now beginning.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
What we feel and how we feel is far more important than what we think and how we think. Feeling is the stuff of which our consciousness is made, the atmosphere in which all our thinking and all our conduct is bathed. All the motives which govern and drive our lives are emotional. Love and hate, anger and fear, curiosity and joy are the springs of all that is most noble and most detestable in the history of men and nations. The opening sentence of a sermon is an opportunity. A good introduction arrests me. It handcuffs me and drags me before the sermon, where I stand and hear a Word that makes me both tremble and rejoice. The best sermon introductions also engage the listener immediately. It’s a rare sermon, however, that suffers because of a good introduction. Mysteries beg for answers. People’s natural curiosity will entice them to stay tuned until the puzzle is solved. Any sentence that points out incongruity, contradiction, paradox, or irony will do. Talk about what people care about. Begin writing an introduction by asking, “Will my listeners care about this?” (Not, “Why should they care about this?”) Stepping into the pulpit calmly and scanning the congregation to the count of five can have a remarkable effect on preacher and congregation alike. It is as if you are saying, “I’m about to preach the Word of God. I want all of you settled. I’m not going to begin, in fact, until I have your complete attention.” No sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as crystal. The getting of that sentence is the hardest, most exacting, and most fruitful labor of study. We tend to use generalities for compelling reasons. Specifics often take research and extra thought, precious commodities to a pastor. Generalities are safe. We can’t help but use generalities when we can’t remember details of a story or when we want anonymity for someone. Still, the more specific their language, the better speakers communicate. I used to balk at spending a large amount of time on a story, because I wanted to get to the point. Now I realize the story gets the point across better than my declarative statements. Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell. Limits—that is, form—challenge the mind, forcing creativity. Needless words weaken our offense. Listening to some speakers, you have to sift hundreds of gallons of water to get one speck of gold. If the sermon is so complicated that it needs a summary, its problems run deeper than the conclusion. The last sentence of a sermon already has authority; when the last sentence is Scripture, this is even more true. No matter what our tone or approach, we are wise to craft the conclusion carefully. In fact, given the crisis and opportunity that the conclusion presents—remember, it will likely be people’s lasting memory of the message—it’s probably a good practice to write out the conclusion, regardless of how much of the rest of the sermon is written. It is you who preaches Christ. And you will preach Christ a little differently than any other preacher. Not to do so is to deny your God-given uniqueness. Aim for clarity first. Beauty and eloquence should be added to make things even more clear, not more impressive. I’ll have not praise nor time for those who suppose that writing comes by some divine gift, some madness, some overflow of feeling. I’m especially grim on Christians who enter the field blithely unprepared and literarily innocent of any hard work—as though the substance of their message forgives the failure of its form.
Mark Galli (Preaching That Connects: Using Techniques of Journalists to Add Impact)
What, in fact, do we know about the peak experience? Well, to begin with, we know one thing that puts us several steps ahead of the most penetrating thinkers of the 19th century: that P.E’.s are not a matter of pure good luck or grace. They don’t come and go as they please, leaving ‘this dim, vast vale of tears vacant and desolate’. Like rainbows, peak experiences are governed by definite laws. They are ‘intentional’. And that statement suddenly gains in significance when we remember Thorndike’s discovery that the effect of positive stimuli is far more powerful and far reaching than that of negative stimuli. His first statement of the law of effect was simply that situations that elicit positive reactions tend to produce continuance of positive reactions, while situations that elicit negative or avoidance reactions tend to produce continuance of these. It was later that he came to realise that positive reactions build-up stronger response patterns than negative ones. In other words, positive responses are more intentional than negative ones. Which is another way of saying that if you want a positive reaction (or a peak experience), your best chance of obtaining it is by putting yourself into an active, purposive frame of mind. The opposite of the peak experience—sudden depression, fatigue, even the ‘panic fear’ that swept William James to the edge of insanity—is the outcome of passivity. This cannot be overemphasised. Depression—or neurosis—need not have a positive cause (childhood traumas, etc.). It is the natural outcome of negative passivity. The peak experience is the outcome of an intentional attitude. ‘Feedback’ from my activities depends upon the degree of deliberately calculated purpose I put into them, not upon some occult law connected with the activity itself. . . . A healthy, perfectly adjusted human being would slide smoothly into gear, perform whatever has to be done with perfect economy of energy, then recover lost energy in a state of serene relaxation. Most human beings are not healthy or well adjusted. Their activity is full of strain and nervous tension, and their relaxation hovers on the edge of anxiety. They fail to put enough effort—enough seriousness—into their activity, and they fail to withdraw enough effort from their relaxation. Moods of serenity descend upon them—if at all—by chance; perhaps after some crisis, or in peaceful surroundings with pleasant associations. Their main trouble is that they have no idea of what can be achieved by a certain kind of mental effort. And this is perhaps the place to point out that although mystical contemplation is as old as religion, it is only in the past two centuries that it has played a major role in European culture. It was the group of writers we call the romantics who discovered that a man contemplating a waterfall or a mountain peak can suddenly feel ‘godlike’, as if the soul had expanded. The world is seen from a ‘bird’s eye view’ instead of a worm’s eye view: there is a sense of power, detachment, serenity. The romantics—Blake, Wordsworth, Byron, Goethe, Schiller—were the first to raise the question of whether there are ‘higher ceilings of human nature’. But, lacking the concepts for analysing the problem, they left it unsolved. And the romantics in general accepted that the ‘godlike moments’ cannot be sustained, and certainly cannot be re-created at will. This produced the climate of despair that has continued down to our own time. (The major writers of the 20th century—Proust, Eliot, Joyce, Musil—are direct descendants of the romantics, as Edmund Wilson pointed out in Axel’s Castle.) Thus it can be seen that Maslow’s importance extends far beyond the field of psychology. William James had asserted that ‘mystical’ experiences are not mystical at all, but are a perfectly normal potential of human consciousness; but there is no mention of such experiences in Principles of Psychology (or only in passing).
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)
Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you'll be sick. The simplest single-celled organism oscillates to a number of different frequencies, at the atomic, molecular, sub-cellular, and cellular levels. Microscopic movies of these organisms are striking for the ceaseless, rhythmic pulsation that is revealed. In an organism as complex as a human being, the frequencies of oscillation and the interactions between those frequencies are multitudinous. -George Leonard Learning any new skill involves relatively brief spurts of progress, each of which is followed by a slight decline to a plateau somewhat higher in most cases than that which preceded it…the upward spurts vary; the plateaus have their own dips and rises along the way…To take the master’s journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence. But while doing so–and this is the inexorable–fact of the journey–you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere. (Mastery, p. 14-15). Backsliding is a universal experience. Every one of us resists significant change, no matter whether it’s for the worse or for the better. Our body, brain and behavior have a built-in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits, and to snap back when changed…Be aware of the way homeostasis works…Expect resistance and backlash. Realize that when the alarm bells start ringing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sick or crazy or lazy or that you’ve made a bad decision in embarking on the journey of mastery. In fact, you might take these signals as an indication that your life is definitely changing–just what you’ve wanted….Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change. Our preoccupation with goals, results, and the quick fix has separated us from our own experiences…there are all of those chores that most of us can’t avoid: cleaning, straightening, raking leaves, shopping for groceries, driving the children to various activities, preparing food, washing dishes, washing the car, commuting, performing the routine, repetitive aspects of our jobs….Take driving, for instance. Say you need to drive ten miles to visit a friend. You might consider the trip itself as in-between-time, something to get over with. Or you could take it as an opportunity for the practice of mastery. In that case, you would approach your car in a state of full awareness…Take a moment to walk around the car and check its external condition, especially that of the tires…Open the door and get in the driver’s seat, performing the next series of actions as a ritual: fastening the seatbelt, adjusting the seat and the rearview mirror…As you begin moving, make a silent affirmation that you’ll take responsibility for the space all around your vehicle at all times…We tend to downgrade driving as a skill simply because it’s so common. Actually maneuvering a car through varying conditions of weather, traffic, and road surface calls for an extremely high level of perception, concentration, coordination, and judgement…Driving can be high art…Ultimately, nothing in this life is “commonplace,” nothing is “in between.” The threads that join your every act, your every thought, are infinite. All paths of mastery eventually merge. [Each person has a] vantage point that offers a truth of its own. We are the architects of creation and all things are connected through us. The Universe is continually at its work of restructuring itself at a higher, more complex, more elegant level . . . The intention of the universe is evolution. We exist as a locus of waves that spreads its influence to the ends of space and time. The whole of a thing is contained in each of its parts. We are completely, firmly, absolutely connected with all of existence. We are indeed in relationship to all that is.
George Leonard