Conquer Your Mind Quotes

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No one knows what you have been through or what your pretty little eyes have seen, but I can reassure you ~ whatever you have conquered, it shines through your mind.
Nikki Rowe
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete... Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Bob Moorehead (Words Aptly Spoken)
Positive belief in yourself will give you the energy needed to conquer the world and this belief is the power behind all creation.
Stephen Richards (Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free)
I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Charlie Chaplin
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will ACT like lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
All men fear death. It’s a natural fear that consumes us all. We fear death because we feel that we haven’t loved well enough or loved at all, which ultimately are one and the same. However, when you make love with a truly great woman, one that deserves the utmost respect in this world and one that makes you feel truly powerful, that fear of death completely disappears. Because when you are sharing your body and heart with a great woman the world fades away. You two are the only ones in the entire universe. You conquer what most lesser men have never conquered before, you have conquered a great woman’s heart, the most vulnerable thing she can offer to another. Death no longer lingers in the mind. Fear no longer clouds your heart. Only passion for living, and for loving, become your sole reality. This is no easy task for it takes insurmountable courage. But remember this, for that moment when you are making love with a woman of true greatness you will feel immortal. I believe that love that is true and real creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving or not loving well, which is the same thing. And when the man who is brave and true looks death squarely in the face like some rhino hunters I know or Belmonte, who is truly brave, it is because they love with sufficient passion to push death out of their minds. Until it returns, as it does to all men. And then you must make really good love again. Think about it.
Woody Allen
You grow old when you lose interest in life, when you cease to dream, to hunger after new truths, and to search for new worlds to conquer. When your mind is open to new ideas, new interests, and when you raise the curtain and let in the sunshine and inspiration of new truths of life and the universe, you will be young and vital.
Joseph Murphy (The Power of Your Subconscious Mind)
The mythology of your culture hums in your ears so constantly that no one pays the slightest bit of attention to it. Of course man is conquering space and the atom and the deserts and the oceans and the elements. According to your mythology, this is what he was BORN to do.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
Relax into your creativity. Allow your mind to paint the pictures of words and colors, images and lines, rhythm and melodies. Lean into your passion without strife and allow your heart to sing as you create. Share your gifts with the world as we all deserve to absorb the beauty and awes of art.
C. Toni Graham
The world is already yours - why try to conquer it?
Rasheed Ogunlaru
Your VISION and your self-willingness is the MOST powerful elements to conquer your goal
Rashedur Ryan Rahman
I have a fear of living a surface kind of life; barely existing, barely touching or tasting anything. That's why you'll always see me giving my all or walking away ~ I'm too full of depth to dance in the middle of anything.
Nikki Rowe
If you want to conquer overthinking, bring your mind to the present moment and reconnect it with the immediate world.
Amit Ray (Meditation: Insights and Inspirations)
If you aren't destroying your enemies, it's because you have been conquered and assimilated, you do not even have an idea of who your enemies are. You have been brainwashed into believing you are your own enemy, and you are set against yourself. The enemy is laughing at you as you tear yourself to pieces. That is the most effective warfare an enemy can launch on his foes: confounding them.
Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
From now on start asking yourself WHY you feel a certain way, WHAT made you perform a certain action, and HOW you could do things differently. The information you discover is powerful because it helps you to discover patterns and in turn use your mind productively and efficiently. After all, your mind is your most powerful tool, but it’s not useful if you don’t know how to use it. It’s like trying to fix a printer with a stapler: it doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried.
Lilly Singh (How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life)
What you fear is what you must conquer.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Conquer your mind or it will conquer you.
Timothy Pina (Hearts for Haiti: Book of Poetry & Inspiration)
Men lose their birthrights for a mess of pottage only if they stop using the gifts given them by God for their betterment. By prayer. That is the first and greatest gift. Use the gift of prayer. Ask for strength of mind, and a clear vision. Then sense. Use your sense. … Think long and well. By prayer and good thought you will conquer all enemies.
Richard Llewellyn (How Green Was My Valley)
Don't let sickness, depression, and disease THUG YOU OUT. Eat healthier, think healthier, speak healthier, and more positively over your life. When you do so, you will soon begin to conquer your life and your health through new found empowerment- mind, body, and spirit.
SupaNova Slom
Go forward and conquer any mountain on your path.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Goals are for losers. Your mind isn’t magic. It’s a moist computer you can program. The most important metric to track is your personal energy. Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success. Happiness is health plus freedom. Luck can be managed, sort of. Conquer shyness by being a huge phony (in a good way). Fitness is the lever that moves the world. Simplicity transforms ordinary into amazing.
Scott Adams (How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life)
Live, share and learn the art of true deep listening. The main keys are honesty and humility. Cultivate good filters in the mind. Conquer and tame the ego. If words and actions pass from your lips, sights and tapping words in the keyboard, don't forget to ask first, "Is it true, necessary and kind?
Angelica Hopes
If you are patient, your mind will be more settled, and what you do will be more perfect.
Suzanne Morrison (Yoga Bitch: One Woman's Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment)
When the deep limbic system is less active, there is generally a positive, more hopeful state of mind. When it is heated up, or overactive, negativity can take over.
Daniel G. Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness)
Conquer such whims, and endeavor to strengthen your mind. No existence is more contemptible than that, which is embittered by fear.
Ann Radcliffe (The Mysteries of Udolpho)
Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage which we did not take Towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden. Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future And time future contained in time past. (I) What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present. Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage which we did not take Towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden. My words echo Thus, in your mind. But to what purpose Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves I do not know. (I) Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind Cannot bear very much reality. What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present. Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children, Hidden excitedly, containing laughter. Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind Cannot bear very much reality. Time past and time future What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present. (I) At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is... At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance. I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time. (II) All is always now. Time past and time future Allow but a little consciousness. To be conscious is not to be in time But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden, The moment in the arbour where the rain beat, The moment in the draughty church at smokefall Be remembered; involved with past and future. Only through time time is conquered. (II) Words move, music moves Only in time; but that which is only living Can only die. Words, after speech, reach Into the silence. (V) Or say that the end precedes the beginning, And the end and the beginning were always there Before the beginning and after the end. And all is always now. Words strain, Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, Under the tension, slip, slide, perish, Will not stay still. (V) Desire itself is movement Not in itself desirable; Love is itself unmoving, Only the cause and end of movement, Timeless, and undesiring Except in the aspect of time Caught in the form of limitation Between un-being and being. (V)
T.S. Eliot (Four Quartets)
I didn’t know it was possible to conquer fear in your body before you did it in your mind. That was when I knew I should be wary of him.
Veronica Roth (Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Story (Divergent, #1.5))
You have to conquer every mountain to fulfill the dream.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Do not run away from your challenges. You must endure and overcome each challenge.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
When we have graciously endured every adversity, we become like a shining diamond.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Of his body the most vulnerable, and the easiest to attack, is the mind. Defeat your enemy's mind and you conquer their will to fight.
Alpha Four
Conquer your mind before you conquer the world.
Vinaya Panicker
You cannot blame circumstances for any failure. The ultimate power lies within you to fearlessly conquer challenges for your achievements.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Loving someone is a full time commitment. Use that time wisely. Cherish the high points and fight hard to conquer the challenges. No one said love would be easy, but it is dam sure worth it.
Carlos Wallace (The Other 99 T.Y.M.E.S: Train Your Mind to Enjoy Serenity)
Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're tryin' to be so quiet? We sit here stranded, though we're all doin' our best to deny it And Louise holds a handful of rain, temptin' you to defy it Lights flicker from the opposite loft In this room the heat pipes just cough The country music station plays soft But there's nothing, really nothing to turn off Just Louise and her lover so entwined And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind
Bob Dylan (Bob Dylan - Greatest Hits Volume 2: Song Tab Edition)
The unfailing rhythm of the seasons, the ever-turning wheel of life, the four facets of the earth which are lit in turn by the sun, the passing of life--all these filled me once more with a feeling of oppression. Once more there sounded within me, together with the cranes' cry, the terrible warning that there is only one life for all men, that there is no other, and that all that can be enjoyed must be enjoyed here. In eternity no other chance will be given to us. A mind hearing this pitiless warning--a warning which, at the same time, is so compassionate--would decide to conquer its weakness and meanness, its laziness and vain hopes and cling with all its power to every second which flies away forever. Great examples come to your mind and you see clearly that you are a lost soul, your life is being frittered away on petty pleasures and pains and trifling talk. "Shame! Shame!" you cry, and bite your lips.
Nikos Kazantzakis (Zorba the Greek)
And remembered—all he'd nearly forgotten, all her wild responses had driven from his mind. This was one seduction he had to, needed to, manage perfectly—this time, there was meaning beyond the act. Seducing Patience Debbington was too important to rush—conquering her senses, her body, was only the first step. He didn't want her just once—he wanted her for a lifetime.
Stephanie Laurens (A Rake's Vow (Cynster, #2))
Give time and money. And give it freely. But before giving it to another, give it to yourself. Spend lavishly, with your time and your money, on perfecting Yourself. Spend lavishly, with your time and money, on conquering Your mind. So that you may become a light to your loved ones, and the world.
Kapil Gupta (Direct Truth: Uncompromising, non-prescriptive Truths to the enduring questions of life)
Love is a choice. You can choose to love or hurt but the consequences you suffer will always be based on the choice you make. No one can force you to choose from the two but the state of your heart, soul and mind determines the one you lean towards. Remember, with hurt you can destroy but with love you can CONQUER!
Kemi Sogunle
those storms that you carry in your mind were meant to be conquered
Anamika Mishra (Dreamcatcher: A heartwarming love story)
Find your mission and live it with all your might.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Don’t spam people with your words of wisdom.
Gustavo Razzetti (Stretch Your Mind: How to conquer your comfort zone one stretch at a time)
When we set goals that feel safe and achievable, we are caving in to our own preconceived notions of what we are capable of.
Ruth Soukup (31 Days To A Clutter Free Life: One Month to Clear Your Home, Mind & Schedule)
Your thoughts really matter. They can either help or hurt your deep limbic system. Left unchecked, ANTs will cause an infection in your whole bodily system. Whenever you notice ANTs, you need to crush them or they’ll affect your relationships, your work, and your entire life. First you need to notice them. If you can catch them at the moment they occur and correct them, you take away the power they have over you. When a negative thought goes unchallenged, your mind believes it and your body reacts to it. ANTs have an illogical logic. By bringing them into the open and examining them on a conscious level, you can see for yourself how little sense it really makes to think these kinds of things to yourself. You take back control over your own life instead of leaving your fate to hyperactive limbic-conditioned negative thought patterns. Sometimes people have trouble talking back to these grossly unpleasant thoughts because they
Daniel G. Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness)
WHEN YOU INVEST, your mind has a mind of its own. At the very moment when you are most convinced of your own rationality, you may be feeling rather than thinking your way toward a decision.
Jason Zweig (The Little Book of Safe Money: How to Conquer Killer Markets, Con Artists, and Yourself (Little Books. Big Profits 4))
It is easier to teach saints than to learn from sinners. It is easier to teach young students than to guide old fools. It is easier to chastise saints than to caution sinners. It is easier to shine in the dark than to glow in the light. It is easier to multiply enemies than to accumulate friends. It is easier to embrace your angel than to face your demons. It is easier to fight an army of opinions than a single truth. It is easier to rise with enemies than to fall with friends. It is easier to fall into sin than to rise into virtue. It is easier to rise from defeat than to rise from ignorance. It is easier to survive a blow from a friend than a kiss from an enemy. It is easier to conquer a thousand devils than a single angel. It is easier to rise from love than to soar from hate. It is easier to move mountains by faith than hills by your hands. It is easier for stars to shine than for truth to glow. It is easier to resist pain than to defy pleasure. It is easier to appease the strong than to wrestle the mighty. It is easier to tame the mind than to bridle the soul. It is easier to fight an army than to grapple with your conscience. It is easier to embrace the future than to understand the past. It is easier for the sun to shine than for the moon to glow. It is easier for small seeds to rise than for big trees to grow. It is easier to heal a wounded heart than a broken soul. It is easier to rule the mind than to conquer the soul. It is easier to conquer your enemies than to master your fears.
Matshona Dhliwayo
A home where a woman is abused is a small-scale model of much larger oppressive systems that work in remarkably similar ways. Many of the excuses an abusive man uses for verbally tearing his partner to shreds are the same ones that a power-mad boss uses for humiliating his or her employees. The abusive man’s ability to convince himself that his domination of you is for your own good is paralleled by the dictator who says, “People in this country are too primitive for democracy.” The divide-and-conquer strategies used by abusers are reminiscent of a corporate head who tries to break the labor union by giving certain groups of workers favored treatment. The making of an abuser is thus not necessarily restricted to the specific values his society teaches him about men’s relationships with women; without realizing it he may also apply attitudes and tactics from other forms of oppression that he has been exposed to as a boy or as a young adult and that he has learned to justify or even admire.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
I keep in mind what Ann Dunnewold told me: when a mother takes care of herself, children absorb important lessons. “Both boys and girls learn that mothers have needs, too, which is also very important if they have children of their own,” she says. If you must conquer guilt, she adds, tell yourself, ‘When I take time for myself, I come back and I’m more the mother I want to be. More patient. Less reactive.
Jancee Dunn (How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids)
Tolerance, which is one form of love of neighbor, must manifest itself not only in our personal relations, but also in the arena of society as well. In the world of opinion and politics, tolerance is that virtue by which liberated minds conquer the evils of bigotry and hatred. Tolerance implies more than forbearance or the passive enduring of ideas different from our own. Properly conceived, tolerance is the positive and cordial effort to understand another’s beliefs, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting them. Tolerance quickens our appreciation and increases our respect for our neighbor’s point of view. It goes even further; it assumes a militant aspect when the rights of an opponent are assailed. Voltaire’s dictum, “I do not agree with a word that you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” is for all ages and places the perfect utterance of the tolerant ideal.
Joshua Loth Liebman
Discouragement, fear, and depression— three villains who lurk in the dark. They slip inside souls with a blindfold and goals to shatter your dreams and extinguish your spark. Their tactics are highly effective. They crush a great many each day. And under their spell it is easy to dwell On fiascoes and failures that end in dismay. The heart and the mind are left heavy. The last speck of will is erased. And nothing stays on when these villains are gone but a mouthful of bile with the bitterest taste. Alas! You must conquer the scoundrels! Elude, dodge, and keep them at bay! To feel fear slink in, boring under your skin, is a sign that his brothers are well on their way. So reach for your weapons against them! Take hope and hard work in each hand! Strap faith on your hips and a prayer on your lips and show those debasers how firmly you stand! Discouragement, fear and depression— the truth should be known of these cads. They’re empty and weak; it is your strength they seek. Deny them and life is your wish in the bag.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
If you want to do something big in your life, you must remember that shyness is only the mind, If you think shy, you act shy. If you think confident you act confident. Therefore never let shyness conquer your mind.
Arfa Karim Randhawa
Centered, open, and diverse, the universes correspondence to your hopes and dreams is the deliverance of your foremost thoughts and actions. Energetically you can create and destroy your immediate set of circumstances under the same laws. Posed as friends and foes, you will have obstacles, ones in which you must go through, over, under and aside sometimes to overcome. These are the stepping stones to your future reality. Overcome that which has weakened your state of mind and conquer the thoughts and actions that you have let lead your life.
Will Barnes (The Expansion of The Soul)
God has given you the spirit of self-control and you can choose what you will think about any situation (2 Timothy 1:7). You can also choose to do what you know is right no matter how you feel at the moment. Dale Carnegie said, “You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.
Joyce Meyer (The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Inspirations)
We are afraid of what we will do to others, afraid of the rage that lies in wait somewhere deep in our souls. How many human beings go through the world frozen with rage against life! This deeply hidden inner anger may be the product of hurt pride or of real frustration in office, factory, clinic, or home. Whatever may be the cause of our frozen rage (which is the inevitable mother of depression), the great word of hope today is that this rage can be conquered and drained off into creative channels … …What should we do? We should all learn that a certain amount of aggressive energy is normal and certainly manageable in maturity. Most of us can drain off the excess of our angry feelings and destructive impulses in exercise, in competitive games, or in the vigorous battles against the evils of nature and society. We also must realize that no one will punish us for the legitimate expression of self-assertiveness and creative pugnacity as our parents once punished us for our undisciplined temper tantrums. Furthermore, let us remember that we need not totally repress the angry part of our nature. We can always give it an outlet in the safe realm of fantasy. A classic example of such fantasy is given by Max Beerborn, who made a practice of concocting imaginary letters to people he hated. Sometimes he went so far as to actually write the letters and in the very process of releasing his anger it evaporated. As mature men and women we should regard our minds as a true democracy where all kinds of ideas and emotions should be given freedom of speech. If in political life we are willing to grant civil liberties to all sorts of parties and programs, should we not be equally willing to grant civil liberties to our innermost thoughts and drives, confident that the more dangerous of them will be outvoted by the majority within our minds? Do I mean that we should hit out at our enemy whenever the mood strikes us? No, I repeat that I am suggesting quite the reverse—self-control in action based upon (positive coping mechanisms such as) self expression in fantasy.
Joshua Loth Liebman (Peace of Mind: Insights on Human Nature That Can Change Your Life)
Piece by Piece Piece by piece They tear at you: Peeling away layers of being, Lying about who you are, Speaking for your dreams. In the squalor of their eyes You are an outlaw. Dressing you in a jacket of lies —tailor-made in steel— You fit their perfect picture. Take it off! Make your own mantle. Question the interrogators. Eyeball the death in their gaze. Say you won’t succumb. Say you won’t believe them When they rename you. Say you won’t accept their codes, Their colors, their putrid morals. Here you have a way. Here you can sing victory. Here you are not a conquered race Perpetual victim —the sullen face in a thunderstorm. Hands/minds, they are carving out A sanctuary. Use these weapons Against them. Use your given gifts —they are not stone.
Luis J. Rodríguez (My Nature Is Hunger: New and Selected Poems: 1989–2004)
Those who cannot conquer must bend the knee. They must find strength, or serve those of us who have. You are my generals. I will send you out: my hunting dogs, my wolves with iron teeth. When a city closes its gates in fear, you will destroy it. When they make roads and walls, you will cut them, pull down the stones. When a man raises a sword or bow against your men, you will hang him from a tree. Keep Karakorum in your minds as you go. This white city is the heart of the nation, but you are the right arm, the burning brand. Find me new lands, gentlemen. Cut a new path. Let their women weep a sea of tears and I will drink it all.
Conn Iggulden (Khan: Empire of Silver (Conqueror, #4))
we have a plastic brain that changes in response to our experience. It bears repeating: The brain doesn’t tell us what to do; it is part of a system in which our life experience teaches our brain what to do. So you can practice mindfulness, will power, overcoming procrastination, and other healthy new skills with the confidence that you are changing your brain. Each day’s practice does some good, and if you slip and fall off your diet or exercise program or mindfulness practice, all that you have learned before is not undone; it’s still there in your brain waiting for you to get back in the saddle.
Richard O'Connor (Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior)
I can do anything I believe I can do! I’ve got it, and every day I get more of it. I have talent, skills, and ability. I set goals and I reach them. I know what I want out of life. I go after it and I get it. People like me, and I feel good about myself. I have a sense of pride in who I am, and I believe in myself. Nothing seems to stop me. I have a lot of determination. I turn problems into advantages. I find possibilities in things that other people never give a chance. I have a lot of energy—I am very alive! I enjoy life and I can tell it and so can others. I keep myself up, looking ahead, and liking it. I know that I can accomplish anything I choose, and I refuse to let anything negative hold me back or stand in my way. I am not afraid of anything or anyone. I have strength, power, conviction, and confidence! I like challenges and I meet them head on, face to face—today especially! I am on top of the world and I’m going for it. I have a clear picture in my mind of what I want. I can see it in front of me. I know what I want and I know how to get it. I know that it’s all up to me and I know I can do it. Roadblocks don’t bother me. They just mean that I am alive and running, and I’m not going to stand still for anything. I trust myself I’ve got what it takes—plenty of it—and I know how to use it. Today, more than ever. Today I am unstoppable! I’ve got myself together and I’m getting more together every day. And today—look out world, here I come! Limitations? I don’t even recognize them as limitations. There is no challenge I can’t conquer; there is no wall I can’t climb over. There is no problem I can’t defeat, or turn around and make it work for me. I stand tall! I am honest and sincere. I like to deal with people and they like me. I think well; I think clearly. I am organized; I am in control of myself, and everything about me. I call my shots, and no one has to call them for me. I never blame anyone else for the circumstances of my life. I accept my failings and move past them as easily as I accept the rewards for my victories. I never demand perfection of myself, but I expect the very best of what I have to give—and that’s what I get! I never give myself excuses. I get things done on time and in the right way. Today I have the inner strength to do more than ever. I am an exceptional human being. My goals and my incredible belief in myself turn my goals into reality. I have the power to live my dreams. I believe in them like I believe in myself. And that belief is so strong that there is nothing that diminishes my undefeatable spirit.
Shad Helmstetter (What To Say When You Talk To Your Self)
A memory is least accurate when most reflected upon, and most accurate when least pondered. Together, those two facts make eyewitness testimony basically worthless. This isn’t what most people believe. Psychologists Dan Simons and Christopher Chabris published a study in 2011 revealing that 63 percent of those surveyed in the United States believe memory works like a video camera, and another 48 percent believe memories are permanent. An additional 37 percent said that eyewitness testimony was reliable enough to be the only evidence necessary to convict someone accused of a crime. Those are seriously shocking facts to a psychologist or a neuroscientist, because none of those things is true. You don’t record everything you see, nor do you notice everything that comes into your mind. The only things that make it past the ears and eyes are those things to which you attend. Memories are not recordings. The moment your first kiss was over, the memory of it began to decay. Each time you recall it, the event is reformed in your mind anew and differently, influenced by your current condition and by all the wisdom you’ve acquired since and all the erroneous details you’ve added.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
I can’t stand up in front of people and play and sing. I would rather die. Remember, Viv, the Year of Saying Yes. So what if I die? So what if I’m crap and make a fool of myself? I know that no one ever does anything or gets anywhere without failure and foolishness. I’ve got to do it. Nelson has made me an offer I can’t refuse, the bugger.
Viv Albertine (Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys)
It is better to be wise for one day than to be intelligent for a thousand. It is better to know yourself than to understand your enemies. It is better to find yourself than to find a thousand pots of gold. It is better to rule your mind than to rule the world. It is better to fight for justice than to give into tyranny. It is better to live in a pure mind than to reside in a darkened soul. It is better to be remembered as a coward than as a fool. It is better to study yourself than to examine your enemies. It is better to teach young children than to instruct old fools. It is better to strengthen your weaknesses than to celebrate your strengths. It is better to fight your fears than to harbour your anxieties. It is better to win hearts than to ruin souls. It is better to think your highest than to act your lowest. It is better to learn from fools than to ignore the wise. It is better to learn from your mistakes than to celebrate your success. It is better to think for yourself than to allow intellectuals to think for you. It is better to be wise and poor than to be rich and ignorant.  It is better to learn from children than to teach the wise. It is better to learn truth from your enemies than lies from your friends. It is better to be ostracized for who you are than to be embraced for who you are not. It is better to be hated for your virtues than to be loved for your vices. It is better to learn from the wise than to teach the foolish. It is better to discover your weaknesses than to glorify your strengths. It is better to heal yourself than to harm your enemies. It is better to love your enemies than to harm your friends. It is better to help the weak than to conquer the strong.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Negative prophecies are reversible. The Lord reveals to conquer. You are created to reverse any negative with your prayers and the word of God.
Patience Johnson (Why Does an Orderly God Allow Disorder)
You will conquer every mountain.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Transformation occurs when you open your mind to experience freedom. During the process, you transform your thoughts which enable you to leave behind old habits and negative thinking. You are then able to conquer your fears and remove self doubt. This irrevocable tranformation allows you to be seen in a new light. It reveals your unique characteristics and truthfulness.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana
If three men couldn’t see eye to eye on who among them was and was not the real Jesus, your chances of swaying someone on the Internet to trade in his belief system concerning religion, art, wedge issues, politics, or literally anything else at all are pretty grim. Personal narratives and private mythologies don’t flip in an instant; they don’t trade places in a single argument. If minds change at all, they change slowly.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
In order to win life's daily struggles, you must have a winner's mind. One that is in control and proclaims that you will conquer today's challenges and that you will adapt and overcome any obstacle put or placed in your way. But if you continue to nurture a mind set on losing or quitting, you will find yourself in a losing position every time. Today, adjust your mind set and proclaim "I am a winner because winning is within me.
Keyon Polite
Imagine squeezing a tennis ball in your hand, then releasing your grip and dropping the ball. A lot of people don’t realize that they can dismiss worry-thoughts just like that. One moment the thoughts have a grip on you; then you suddenly realize it’s you who have the grip on them. You release the grip, and the thoughts disappear. They come back again, and you release them again. With practice, they disappear and don’t come back, if you give your mind a more productive thing to do. The
Gay Hendricks (The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level)
Do I Love You" I stand in the night and stare up at a lone star, wondering what love means. You whisper your desire—do I love you? I dare say yes. But my eyes drift back to that solitary star; my mind is plagued with intimate uncertainty. What art thou, Love? Tell me. I contemplate what I know—the qualities that love doth not possess. Love lifts no cruel or unkind hand, for it seeketh no harm. It shirks from constraints and demands, for tyranny is not love. A boisterous voice never crosses love's lips, for to speak with thunder chases its very presence from the heart. Love inflicts no pain, no fear, no misery, but conquers all such foes. It is said that love is not selfish, yet it does not guilt those who are. On a heart unwillingly given it stakes no claim. Love is nothing from Pandora's box; it is no evil, sin, or sorrow unleashed on this world. My eyes glimmer as the star I gaze upon twinkles with brightness that I do not possess. I recognize my smallness—my ignorance of the One whose hands placed that star in the heavens for me. He is love. By His own mouth He proclaimed it. Again the whispered question hits my ear—do I love you? I dare say yes. But my eyes squint tight, wishing on a lonely star, wondering what love means.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
It is simple. Men lose their birthrights for a mess of pottage only if they stop using the gifts given them by God for their betterment. By prayer. That is the first and greatest gift. use the gift of prayer. Ask for strength of mind, and a clear vision. Then sense. Use your sense. Not all of us are born for greatness, but all of us have sense. Make use of it. Think. Think long and well. By prayer and good thought you will conquer all enemies....Behold, the night is coming. Prepare, for the time is at hand.
Richard Llewellyn
It is interesting to note that the people who had a good relationship with the person who died often heal their grief much more easily than those whose relationship with the deceased was filled with turmoil, bitterness, or disappointment. The reason is that a positive relationship is associated with good memories, and remembering and reprocessing these memories helps in the healing process. When people who had a bad relationship think back on it, they have to relive the pain. In their mind, they are still trying to fix what was wrong, to heal the wound, but they can’t. In addition, the guilt they carry with them impairs the healing process. Donna is a case in point. Donna and her mother had had a stormy relationship, fighting constantly over things that seemed insignificant in and of themselves. Yet in spite of their problems, the year after her mother’s death was the hardest of Donna’s life. Her husband could not understand the force of her grief; all he had ever heard her do was complain that her mother was selfish and uninterested in her. What he failed to understand was that Donna had to grieve not only over her mother’s death, but also over the fact that now she would never have the mother-daughter bond she had always wanted. Death had ended all her hopes.
Daniel G. Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness)
Joy is not the satisfied contemplation of an accomplished result, the emotion of victory, the satisfaction of having succeeded. It is the sign of an energy that is deftly deployed, it is a free affirmation: everything comes easy. Joy is an activity: executing with ease something difficult that has taken time to master, asserting the faculties of the mind and the body. Joys of thought when it finds and discovers, joys of the body when it achieves without effort. That is why joy, unlike pleasure, increases with repetition, and is enriched. When you are walking, joy is a basso continuo. Locally, of course, you may run into effort and difficulty. You will also find immediate moments of contentment: a proud gaze backwards to contemplate the long steep plunge of the slope behind you. Those satisfactions, though, too often present an opportunity to reintroduce quantities, scores, figures (which track? how long? what altitude?). And walking becomes a competition. That is why expeditions in high mountain country (conquering peaks, each one a challenge) are always slightly impure: because they give rise to narcissistic gratification. What dominates in walking, away from ostentation and showing off, is the simple joy of feeling your body in the most primitively natural activity.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
Loneliness is a condition of energetic imbalance. As with all human conditions it is an illusion, albeit a very debilitating one if left unchecked. The key to overcoming any imbalance is to open your awareness to it, and then simply observe it. By observing the imbalance, the anguish of the emotional aspect dissipates allowing a new perspective to emerge, which ultimately has a smoothing effect on the imbalance itself. A focused mind over a short period of time can conquer any energetic imbalance… even loneliness
Gary Hopkins
But you’re probably thinking something like this: “You call this ‘rest’? It’s nothing but uncomfortable and difficult. There’s no rest in it. When I try doing what you recommend, I find pain and struggling. It’s like I’m being attacked on all sides. A part of me always wants to quit. I don’t let it, but some facet of my mind is constantly trying to squash my best efforts. On the other hand, a part of me desperately wants to feel God and forget my self—be truly selfless—but I can’t.2 I’m still awkward, still self-conscious, and the conflict continues, overwhelming me. It’s agonizing. And this is the ‘rest’ you mean? If so, I think it’s a strange sort of rest.” My response to this is that you’re not used to contemplation yet and that’s why it seems painful. If you were familiar with this work and knew how much it could help you, you would never quit, not for all the physical joys and rest this world offers. Yes, I know it’s agonizing and strenuous. But I still call it “rest” for two reasons: When your soul is engaged in contemplation, it doesn’t worry or feel doubt. It’s totally at peace because it knows exactly what it’s supposed to do. Also, when practicing this prayer, your soul is purified and transformed. You become discerning. And you no longer want to wander from the path as much. Go forth and gently conquer, then. Be humble and passionate in this work. Persevere. Contemplation begins on earth but continues in eternity. Love never ends. Now I ask almighty Jesus to bring you and all those whom he has bought with his precious blood to this glorious, everlasting life. Amen.3
Anonymous (The Cloud of Unknowing: With the Book of Privy Counsel)
We owe all to Jesus crucified. What is your life, my brethren, but the cross? Whence comes the bread of your soul but from the cross? What is your joy but the cross? What is your delight, what is your heaven, but the Blessed One, once crucified for you, who ever liveth to make intercession for you? Cling to the cross, then, put both arms around it! Hold to the Crucified, and never let Him go. Come afresh to the cross at this moment, and rest there now and for ever! Then, with the power of God resting upon you, go forth and preach the cross! Tell out the story of the bleeding Lamb. Repeat the wondrous tale, and nothing else. Never mind how you do it, only proclaim that Jesus died for sinner. The cross held up by a babe’s hands is just as powerful as if a giant held it up. The power lies in the word itself, or rather in the Holy Spirit who works by it and with it. O glorious Christ, when I have had a vision of Thy cross, I have seen it at first like a common gibbet, and Thou wast hanging on it like a felon; but, as I have looked, I have seen it begin to rise, and tower aloft till it has reached the highest heaven, and by its mighty power has lifted up myriads to the throne of God. I have seen its arms extend and expand until they have embraced all the earth. I have seen the foot of it go down deep as our helpless miseries are; and what a vision I have had of Thy magnificence, O Thou crucified One! Brethren, believe in the power of the cross for the conversion of those around you. Do not say of any man that he cannot be saved. The blood of Jesus is omnipotent. Do not say of any district that it is too sunken, or of any class of men that they are too far gone: the word of the cross reclaims the lost. Believe it to be the power of God, and you shall find it so. Believe in Christ crucified, and preach boldly in His name, and you shall see great and gladsome things. Do not doubt the ultimate triumph of Christianity. Do not let a mistrust flit across your soul. The cross must conquer; it must blossom with a crown, a crown commensurate with the person of the Crucified, and the bitterness of His agony. His reward shall parallel His sorrows. Trust in God, and lift your banner high, and now with psalms and songs advance to battle, for the Lord of hosts is with us, the Son of the Highest leads our van. Onward, with blast of silver trumpet and shout of those that seize the spoil. Let no man’s heart fail him! Christ hath died! Atonement is complete! God is satisfied! Peace is proclaimed! Heaven glitters with proofs of mercy already bestowed upon ten thousand times ten thousand! Hell is trembling, heaven adoring, earth waiting. Advance, ye saints, to certain victory! You shall overcome through the blood of the Lamb.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Layla!" Don bounded into her sight. The door behind her was still bolted. Where had he come from? The starshot tumbled from her hands and clattered to the floor. She snatched it up and slipped it back inside her dress. Bill was gone.But Don was-Daniel was right where she wanted him to be. "What are you doing here?" Her voice broke with the force of having to act surprised to see him. He didn't seem to hear it.He rushed toward her and wrapped her in his arms. "Saving your life." "How did you get in?" "Don't worry about that.No mortal man, no slab of stone can obstruct a love as true as ours. I will always find you." In his bare, bronzed arms, it was Luce's instinct to feel comforted. But she couldn't right then.Her heart felt ragged and cold.This easy happiness, these feelings of complete trust, every one of the lovely emotions Daniel had shown her how to feel in every life-they were torture to her now. "Fear not," he whispered. "Let me tell you, my love, what happens after this life.You come back,you rise again. Your rebirth is beautiful and real.You come back to me,again and again-" The light from the lamp flickered and made his violet eyes sparkle.His body was so warm against hers. "But I die again and again." "What?" He tilted his head.Even when his physique looked exotic to her, she knew his expressions so well-that bemused adoration when she expressed something he hadn't expected her to understand. "How do you-Never mind. It doesn't matter.What matters is that we will again be together.We will always find each other,always love each other, no matter what.I will never leave you." Luce fell to her knees on the stone steps. She hid her face in her hands. "I don't know how you can stand it.Over and over again,the same sadness-" He lifted her up. "The same ecstasy-" "The same fire that kills everything-" "The same passion that ignites it all again.You don't know.You can't remember how wonderful-" "I've seen it.I do know." How she had his attention. He didn't seem sure whether or not to believe her, but at least he was listening. "What if there's no hope of anything ever changing?" she asked. "There is only hope. One day, you will live through it.That absolute truth is the only thing that keeps me going. I will never give up on you. Even if it takes forever." He wiped away her tears with his thumb. "I'll love you with all my heart,in every life, through every death. I will not be bound by anything but my love for you." "But it's so hard.Isn't it hard for you? Haven't you ever thought,what if..." "One day,our love will conquer this dark cycle.That's worth everything to me.
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
The enemy wants to make you believe that you are powerless over the circumstance of life, that God or no one else loves you and that you are all alone, you are going to lose your mind or that you are not smart enough to get out of this one. I call this the Divide and Conquer Strategy; I believe this one of the enemy's most successful strategies. Simply because, if he can make be feel and believe that you are unloved, not needed, and alone; you become hopeless! But the enemy is a liar! and the Bible calls Him the Father of all lies.
Michelle Word Hollis (It's in the House: Lessons from a Widow Woman for Everyone (Pearlable Woman, #1))
You were burning in the middle of the worst solar storm our records can remember. (...) Everyone else fled. All your companions and crew left you alone to wrestle with the storm. “You did not blame them. In a moment of crystal insight, you realized that they were cowards beyond mere cowardice: their dependence on their immortality circuits had made it so that they could not even imagine risking their lives. They were all alike in this respect. They did not know they were not brave; they could not even think of dying as possible; how could they think of facing it, unflinching? “You did not flinch. You knew you were going to die; you knew it when the Sophotechs, who are immune to pain and fear, all screamed and failed and vanished. “And you knew, in that moment of approaching death, with all your life laid out like a single image for you to examine in a frozen moment of time, that no one was immortal, not ultimately, not really. The day may be far away, it may be further away than the dying of the sun, or the extinction of the stars, but the day will come when all our noumenal systems fail, our brilliant machines all pass away, and our records of ourselves and memories shall be lost. “If all life is finite, only the grace and virtue with which it is lived matters, not the length. So you decided to stay another moment, and erect magnetic shields, one by one; to discharge interruption masses into the current, to break up the reinforcement patterns in the storm. Not life but honor mattered to you, Helion: so you stayed a moment after that moment, and then another. (...) “You saw the plasma erupting through shield after shield (...) Chaos was attempting to destroy your life’s work, and major sections of the Solar Array were evaporated. Chaos was attempting to destroy your son’s lifework, and since he was aboard that ship, outside the range of any noumenal circuit, it would have destroyed your son as well. “The Array was safe, but you stayed another moment, to try to deflect the stream of particles and shield your son; circuit after circuit failed, and still you stayed, playing the emergency like a raging orchestra. “When the peak of the storm was passed, it was too late for you: you had stayed too long; the flames were coming. But the radio-static cleared long enough for you to have last words with your son, whom you discovered, to your surprise, you loved better than life itself. In your mind, he was the living image of the best thing in you, the ideal you always wanted to achieve. “ ‘Chaos has killed me, son,’ you said. ‘But the victory of unpredictability is hollow. Men imagine, in their pride, that they can predict life’s each event, and govern nature and govern each other with rules of unyielding iron. Not so. There will always be men like you, my son, who will do the things no one else predicts or can control. I tried to tame the sun and failed; no one knows what is at its fiery heart; but you will tame a thousand suns, and spread mankind so wide in space that no one single chance, no flux of chaos, no unexpected misfortune, will ever have power enough to harm us all. For men to be civilized, they must be unlike each other, so that when chaos comes to claim them, no two will use what strategy the other does, and thus, even in the middle of blind chaos, some men, by sheer blind chance, if nothing else, will conquer. “ ‘The way to conquer the chaos which underlies all the illusionary stable things in life, is to be so free, and tolerant, and so much in love with liberty, that chaos itself becomes our ally; we shall become what no one can foresee; and courage and inventiveness will be the names we call our fearless unpredictability…’ “And you vowed to support Phaethon’s effort, and you died in order that his dream might live.
John C. Wright (The Golden Transcendence (Golden Age, #3))
They only exist because you have to much pride, and pride is one of the seven deadliest sins. It is pride that will cause you to stay in Hell. Remember the knowledge you read in my books. Remember that there is a Higher Power than yourself. Remember that it is okay to lean on others in your time of need. Go home and prepare your body, mind and soul to be as strong as it can be before The Game begins, and tell the others to do the same. That is the only real advice I can give you, but that advice is what will help you conquer.-Mayor Hercules
Teresa Lo (Hell's Game)
The god of the prosperity gospelists is a pathetic doormat, a genie. The god of the cutesy coffee mugs and Joel Osteen tweets is a milquetoast doofus like the guys in the Austen novels you hope the girls don’t end up with, holding their hats limply in hand and minding their manners to follow your lead like a butler—or the doormat he stands on. The god of the American Dream is Santa Claus. The god of the open theists is not sovereignly omniscient, declaring the end from the beginning, but just a really good guesser playing the odds. The god of our therapeutic culture is ourselves, we, the “forgivers” of ourselves, navel-haloed morons with “baggage” but not sin. None of these pathetic gods could provoke fear and trembling. But the God of the Scriptures is a consuming fire (Deut. 4:24). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). He stirs up the oceans with the tip of his finger, and they sizzle rolling clouds of steam into the sky. He shoots lightning from his fists. This is the God who leads his children by a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire. This is the God who makes war, sends plagues, and sits enthroned in majesty and glory in his heavens, doing what he pleases. This is the God who, in the flesh, turned tables over in the temple as if he owned the place. This Lord God Jesus Christ was pushed to the edge of the cliff and declared, “This is not happening today,” and walked right back through the crowd like a boss. This Lord says, “No one takes my life; I give it willingly,” as if to say, “You couldn’t kill me unless I let you.” This Lord calms the storms, casts out demons, binds and looses, and has the authority to grant us the ability to do the same. The Devil is this God’s lapdog. And it is this God who has summoned us, apprehended us, saved us. It is this God who has come humbly, meekly, lowly, pouring out his blood in infinite conquest to set the captives free, cancel the record of debt against us, conquer sin and Satan, and swallow up death forever. Let us, then, advance the gospel of the kingdom out into the perimeter of our hearts and lives with affectionate meekness and humble submission. Let us repent of our nonchalance. Let us embrace the wonder of Christ.
Jared C. Wilson (The Wonder-Working God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Miracles)
There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will act like lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit)
One of the best things about owning a brain is how you often seem to phase out of normalcy and briefly see your culture with a weirdly objective frame of mind. At some point every child realizes money is made up of slips of paper with no intrinsic value, and wonders why aloud. So, too, will children ask adults what’s up with shaking hands, or putting your fork on one side of the plate, or saying “Bless you” after a sneeze. Parents apply the glue that holds a culture together when explaining to a child that his socks must match, or that punctuality is paramount, or that picking his nose in public is a terrible habit. When a parent tells a boy he shouldn’t play with dolls, or a girl to wait for a boy to ask her to the prom, they are enforcing norms. When a kid asks, “But, why?” she is rightfully bringing to the attention of the adult world that all this stuff is just made up and mostly arbitrary nonsense often clung to for some long-forgotten reason. That feeling you sometimes get when you snap out of your culture for a moment, when the operating system crashes and slowly reboots, has been the subject of literature and drama for thousands of years.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
Whenever you get an impression of some pleasure, as with any impression, guard yourself from being carried away by it, let it await your action, give yourself a pause. After that, bring to mind both times, first when you have enjoyed the pleasure and later when you will regret it and hate yourself. Then compare to those the joy and satisfaction you’d feel for abstaining altogether. However, if a seemingly appropriate time arises to act on it, don’t be overcome by its comfort, pleasantness, and allure—but against all of this, how much better the consciousness of conquering it.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
The ambition of domineering over the mind, is one of the strongest passions. A theologian, a missionary, or a partisan of any description, is always for conquering like a prince, and there are many more sects than there are sovereigns in the world…. I conclude, that every sensible man, every honest man, ought to hold Christianity in abhorrence. ‘The great name of Theist, which we can never sufficiently revere,’ is the only name we ought to adopt. The only gospel we should read is the grand book of nature, written with God’s own hand, and stamped with his own seal. The only religion we ought to profess is, 'to adore God, and act like honest men.’ It would be as impossible for this simple and eternal religion to produce evil, as it would be impossible for Christian fanaticism not to produce it…. But what shall we substitute in its place? say you. What? A ferocious animal has sucked the blood of my relatives. I tell you to rid yourselves of this beast, and you ask me what you shall put in its place! Is it you that put this question to me? Then you are a hundred times more odious than the Pagan Pontiffs, who permitted themselves to enjoy tranquility among their ceremonies and sacrifices, who did not attempt to enslave the mind by dogmas, who never disputed the powers of the magistrates, and who introduced no discord among mankind. You have the face to ask what you must substitute in the place of your fables!
Voltaire
As long as you allow your intellectual force to pour out into the absolute, it moves in eddies, its power is dissipated, it is exposed to predatory blasts that disorganize it; but as soon as it is brought back by anxiety to your own mind and you direct it to the enigmatic object close at hand, it condenses, intensifies, becomes useful and penetrating, and brings you positive treasures, to wit, truths that are expressed with all the relief that can make them communicable, accessible to others, hence something which transcends your suffering, your very existence, which broadens and consolidates you, which gives you the only reality that man can reasonably hope to conquer by his own powers, reality in others.
Jacques Rivière
It came home to me as a great blow that it was only men who could take the world by its ears and conquer their fate, while women, metaphorically speaking, were forced to sit with tied hands and patiently suffer as the waves of fate tossed them hither and thither, battering and bruising without mercy. Familiarity made me used to this yoke; I recovered from the disappointment of being a girl, and was reconciled to that part of my fate. In fact, I found that being a girl was quite pleasant, until a hideous truth dawned upon me--I was ugly! ... In conjunction with this brand of hell I developed a reputation of cleverness. Worse and worse! Girls! girls! Those of you who have hearts, and therefore a wish for happiness, homes, and husbands by and by, never develop a reputation of being clever. It will put you out of the matrimonial running as effectually as though it had been circulated that you had leprosy. So, if you feel that you are afflicted with more than ordinary intelligence, and especially if you are plain with it, hide your brains, cramp your mind, study to appear unintellectual--it is your only chance. Provided a woman is beautiful, allowance will be made for all her shortcomings. She can be unchaste, vapid, untruthful, flippant, heartless, and even clever; so long as she is fair to see, men will stand by her, and as men in this world are "the dog on top," they are the power to truckle to. A plain woman will have nothing forgiven her.
Miles Franklin (My Brilliant Career)
Peter’s Laws™ The Creed of the Persistent and Passionate Mind 1. If anything can go wrong, fix it! (To hell with Murphy!) 2. When given a choice—take both! 3. Multiple projects lead to multiple successes. 4. Start at the top, then work your way up. 5. Do it by the book . . . but be the author! 6. When forced to compromise, ask for more. 7. If you can’t win, change the rules. 8. If you can’t change the rules, then ignore them. 9. Perfection is not optional. 10. When faced without a challenge—make one. 11. No simply means begin one level higher. 12. Don’t walk when you can run. 13. When in doubt: THINK! 14. Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing. 15. The squeaky wheel gets replaced. 16. The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live. 17. The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself! 18. The ratio of something to nothing is infinite. 19. You get what you incentivize. 20. If you think it is impossible, then it is for you. 21. An expert is someone who can tell you exactly how something can’t be done. 22. The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea. 23. If it was easy, it would have been done already. 24. Without a target you’ll miss it every time. 25. Fail early, fail often, fail forward! 26. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. 27. The world’s most precious resource is the persistent and passionate human mind. 28. Bureaucracy is an obstacle to be conquered with persistence, confidence, and a bulldozer when necessary.
Peter H. Diamandis (Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World (Exponential Technology Series))
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost…. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. ….. Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Charlie Chaplin (The Great Dictator: Il grande dittatore di Charlie Chaplin)
Well, what happened to your scruples in the woodcutter’s cottage? You knew I thought you’d already left when I went inside.” “Why did you stay,” he countered smoothly, “when you realized I was still there?” In confused distress Elizabeth raked her hair off her forehead. “I knew I shouldn’t do it,” she admitted. “I don’t know why I remained.” “You stayed for the same reason I did,” he informed her bluntly. “We wanted each other.” “I was wrong,” she protested a little wildly. “Dangerous and-foolish!” “Foolish or not,” he said grimly, “I wanted you. I want you now.” Elizabeth made the mistake of looking at him, and his amber eyes captured hers against her will, holding them imprisoned. The shawl she’d been clutching as if it was a lifeline to safety slid from her nerveless hand and dangled at her side, but Elizabeth didn’t notice. “Neither of us has anything to gain by continuing this pretense that the weekend in England is over and forgotten,” he said bluntly. “Yesterday proved that it wasn’t over, if it proved nothing else, and it’s never been forgotten-I’ve remembered you all this time, and I know damn well you’ve remembered me.” Elizabeth wanted to deny it; she sensed that if she did, he’d be so disgusted with her deceit that he’d turn on his heel and leave her. She lifted her chin, unable to tear her gaze from his, but she was too affected by the things he’d just admitted to her to lie to him. “All right,” she said shakily, “you win. I’ve never forgotten you or that weekend. How could I?” she added defensively. He smiled at her angry retort, and his voice gentled to the timbre of rough velvet. “Come here, Elizabeth.” “Why?” she whispered shakily. “So that we can finish what we began that weekend.” Elizabeth stared at him in paralyzed terror mixed with violet excitement and shook her head in a jerky refusal. “I’ll not force you,” he said quietly, “nor will I force you to do anything you don’t want to do once you’re in my arms. Think carefully about that,” he warned, “because if you come to me now, you won’t be able to tell yourself in the morning that I made you do this against your will-or that you didn’t know what was going to happen. Yesterday neither of us knew what was going to happen. Now we do.” Some small, insidious voice in her mind urged her to obey, reminded her that after the public punishment she’d taken for the last time they were together she was entitled to some stolen passionate kisses, if she wanted them. Another voice warned her not to break the rules again. “I-I can’t,” she said in a soft cry. “There are four steps separating us and a year and a half of wanting drawing us together,” he said. Elizabeth swallowed. “Couldn’t you meet me halfway?” The sweetness of the question was almost Ian’s undoing, but he managed to shake his head. “Not this time. I want you, but I’ll not have you looking at me like a monster in the morning. If you want me, all you have to do is walk into my arms.” “I don’t know what I want,” Elizabeth cried, looking a little wildly at the valley below, as if she were thinking of leaping off the path. “Come here,” he invited huskily, “and I’ll show you.” It was his tone, not his words, that conquered her. As if drawn by a will stronger than her own, Elizabeth walked forward and straight into his arms that closed around her with stunning force. “I didn’t think you were going to do it,” he whispered gruffly against her hair.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
CYRANO: Thy name is in my heart as in a sheep-bell, And as I ever tremble, thinking of thee, Ever the bell shakes, ever thy name ringeth! All things of thine I mind, for I love all things; I know that last year on the twelfth of May-month, To walk abroad, one day you changed your hair-plaits! I am so used to take your hair for daylight That,--like as when the eye stares on the sun's disk, One sees long after a red blot on all things-- So, when I quit thy beams, my dazzled vision Sees upon all things a blonde stain imprinted. ROXANE (agitated): Why, this is love indeed!. . . CYRANO: Ay, true, the feeling Which fills me, terrible and jealous, truly Love,--which is ever sad amid its transports! Love,--and yet, strangely, not a selfish passion! I for your joy would gladly lay mine own down, --E'en though you never were to know it,--never! --If but at times I might--far off and lonely,-- Hear some gay echo of the joy I bought you! Each glance of thine awakes in me a virtue,-- A novel, unknown valor. Dost begin, sweet, To understand? So late, dost understand me? Feel'st thou my soul, here, through the darkness mounting? Too fair the night! Too fair, too fair the moment! That I should speak thus, and that you should hearken! Too fair! In moments when my hopes rose proudest, I never hoped such guerdon. Naught is left me But to die now! Have words of mine the power To make you tremble,--throned there in the branches? Ay, like a leaf among the leaves, you tremble! You tremble! For I feel,--an if you will it, Or will it not,--your hand's beloved trembling Thrill through the branches, down your sprays of jasmine! (He kisses passionately one of the hanging tendrils.) ROXANE: Ay! I am trembling, weeping!--I am thine! Thou hast conquered all of me! --Cyrano de Bergerac III. 7
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac: nouveau programme (Classiques & Cie Collège (38)) (French Edition))
[Some people] think that sex is a physical capacity which functions independently of one's mind, choice, or code of values. They think that your body creates a desire and makes a choice for you–just about in some such way as if iron ore transformed itself into railroad rails of its own volition. Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a man's sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions. Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life. Show me the woman he sleeps with and I will tell you his valuation of himself. No matter what corruption he's taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which he cannot perform for any motive but his own enjoyment -- just try to think of performing it as an act of selfless charity! – an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exaltation, only in the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces him to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and to accept his real ego as his standard of value. He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience–or to fake– a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer, because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement, not the possession of a brainless slut. He does not seek to gain his value, but to express it. There is no conflict between the standards of his mind and the desires of his body . . .
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
feel that such obvious age-old “truisms” simply must be real. They think that if they don’t continue to believe these thoughts, they are lying to themselves. Once again, remember that to know what is true and what is not, you have to be conscious of the thoughts and have an intelligent perspective on them. Most negative thinking is automatic and goes unnoticed. You’re not really choosing how to respond to your situation, it’s being chosen for you by bad brain habits. To find out what is really true and what is not, you need to question it. Don’t believe everything you hear—even in your own mind! I often ask my patients about their ANT population. Is it high? Low? Dwindling? Or increasing? Keep control over the ANTs in order to maintain a healthy deep limbic environment. Whenever you notice an ANT entering your mind, train yourself to recognize it and write it down. When you write down automatic negative
Daniel G. Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness)
Sergeant Vlaskin called out the radiation readings from the new instruments, and Logachev scribbled them down on a map, hand-drawn on a sheet of parchment paper in ballpoint pen and colored marker: 1 roentgen an hour; then 2, then 3. They turned left, and the figures began to rise quickly: 10, 30, 50, 100. “Two hundred fifty roentgen an hour!” the sergeant shouted. His eyes widened. “Comrade Lieutenant—” he began, and pointed at the radiometer. Logachev looked down at the digital readout and felt his scalp prickle with terror: 2,080 roentgen an hour. 7 An impossible number. Logachev struggled to remain calm and remember the textbook; to conquer his fear. But his training failed him, and the lieutenant heard himself screaming in panic at the driver, petrified that the vehicle would stall. “Why are you going this way, you son of a bitch? Are you out of your fucking mind?” he yelled. “If this thing dies, we’ll all be corpses in fifteen minutes!
Adam Higginbotham (Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster)
If there are always forces around which are concerned to depress and discourage, there are always forces above and around us which we can draw upon, - draw into ourselves to restore, to fill up again with strength and faith and joy and the power that perseveres and conquers. It is really a habit that one has to get of opening to these helpful forces and either passively receiving them or actively drawing upon them - for one can do either. It is easier if you have the conception of them above and around you and the faith and the will to receive them - for that brings the experience and concrete sense of them and the capacity to receive at need or at will. It is a question of habituating your consciousness to get into touch and keep in touch with these helpful forces - and for that you must accustom yourself to reject the impressions forced on you by the others, depression, self-distrust, repining and all similar disturbances. ... it is part of the experience of those who have advanced far in Yoga that besides the ordinary forces and activities of the mind and life and body in Matter, there are other forces and powers that can act and do act from behind and from above; there is also a spiritual dynamic power which can be possessed by those who are advanced in the spiritual consciousness, though all do not care to possess or, possessing, to use it, and this power is greater than any other and more effective. The invisible Force producing tangible results both inward and outward is the whole meaning of the Yogic consciousness. Your question about Yoga bringing merely a feeling of Power without any result was really very strange. Who would be satisfied with such a meaningless hallucination and call it Power? If we had not had thousands of experiences showing that the Power within could alter the mind, develop its powers, add new ones, bring in new ranges of knowledge, master the vital movements, change the character, influence men and things, control
Sri Aurobindo (Integral Yoga: Teaching and Method of Practice)
In every affair consider what precedes and what follows, and then undertake it. Otherwise you will begin with spirit, indeed, careless of the consequences, and when these are developed, you will shamefully desist. “I would conquer at the Olympic Games.” But consider what precedes and what follows, and then, if it be for your advantage, engage in the affair. You must conform to rules, submit to a diet, refrain from dainties; exercise your body, whether you choose it or not, at a stated hour, in heat and cold; you must drink no cold water, and sometimes no wine—in a word, you must give yourself up to your trainer as to a physician. Then, in the combat, you may be thrown into a ditch, dislocate your arm, turn your ankle, swallow an abundance of dust, receive stripes [for negligence], and, after all, lose the victory. When you have reckoned up all this, if your inclination still holds, set about the combat. Otherwise, take notice, you will behave like children who sometimes play wrestlers, sometimes gladiators, sometimes blow a trumpet, and sometimes act a tragedy, when they happen to have seen and admired these shows. Thus you too will be at one time a wrestler, and another a gladiator; now a philosopher, now an orator; but nothing in earnest. Like an ape you mimic all you see, and one thing after another is sure to please you, but is out of favor as soon as it becomes familiar. For you have never entered upon anything considerately; nor after having surveyed and tested the whole matter, but carelessly, and with a halfway zeal. Thus some, when they have seen a philosopher and heard a man speaking like Euphrates[3]—though, indeed, who can speak like him?—have a mind to be philosophers, too. Consider first, man, what the matter is, and what your own nature is able to bear. If you would be a wrestler, consider your shoulders, your back, your thighs; for different persons are made for different things. Do you think that you can act as you do and be a philosopher, that you can eat, drink, be angry, be discontented, as you are now? You must watch, you must labor, you must get the better of certain appetites, must quit your acquaintances, be despised by your servant, be laughed at by those you meet; come off worse than others in everything—in offices, in honors, before tribunals. When you have fully considered all these things, approach, if you please—that is, if, by parting with them, you have a mind to purchase serenity, freedom, and tranquillity. If not, do not come hither; do not, like children, be now a philosopher, then a publican, then an orator, and then one of Caesar’s officers. These things are not consistent. You must be one man, either good or bad. You must cultivate either your own reason or else externals; apply yourself either to things within or without you—that is, be either a philosopher or one of the mob.
Epictetus (The Enchiridion (Illustrated))
…It usually starts innocently enough, a friend remarking to you that the co-op has a nice new crop of grapefruit. “Hmm, I don’t really care for grapefruit myself,” you say, entirely without malice. She seems startled, “Really?” she says. If you had a tendency to be sarcastic, you might say, “No, I deliberately misrepresent my taste in citrus to gain the upper hand in conversation.” But you are not sarcastic, so you restate your dislike, a little more timidly now. “Yeah, I just don’t care for grapefruit. It tastes bitter to me.” “Bitter! How can you think grapefruit tastes bitter?” she demands. “I find that difficult to answer — ” you say. “Grapefruit is the single least bitter thing in the world! Sugar is more bitter than grapefruit!” she continues. “Sugar is deliberately bitter,” you say, trying to calm her. “Sugar is pure white hate.” “You want bitter? Radicchio is bitter. Dandelion greens — they’re bitter!” “I hate them. They’re mean,” you say as the situation death-rolls out of control. “I’m going to get you some of that grapefruit right now and show you that it’s not bitter,” she says, marching to the refrigerator. You have apparently run afoul of a committed grapefruit apologist. Soon you are eating extremely bitter chunks of fruit you loathe. “Tell me, is that bitter? Is it?” she asks, leaving you no wiggle room. “Unbelievably not-bitter. Sweet, sure. Sour, you bet. Salty, powerfully so — but bitter? No and again, no. All bitterness has vanished from existence. Even the concept of bitterness has been conquered and bows down before this grapefruit,” you say, nearly gagging from the bitterness.
Michael J. Nelson (Mike Nelson's Mind over Matters)
At the moment Ormsley looked on the verge of tears as his damp, faded blue eyes roved almost lovingly over Ian’s face. “Good afternoon, my lord,” he intoned formally, but the ecstatic expression on his face gaze Ian the impression the servant was restraining himself from wrapping his arms around him. “And-and may I say-“ The elderly man stopped, his voice hoarse with emotion, and cleared his throat. “And may I say how very-how very very good it is to have you here at-“ His voice choked, he flushed, and Ian’s ire at his grandfather was momentarily forgotten. “Good afternoon, Ormsley,” Ian said, grinning at the look of sublime pleasure that crossed Ormsley’s lined face when Ian knew his name. Sensing the butler was about to bow again, Ian put out his hand instead, forcing the loyal retainer to shake hands with him. “I trust,” Ian joked gently, “that you’ve conquered your habit of overindulging in French brandy?” The faded old eyes brightened like diamonds at this added proof that Ian’s father had spoken of him to Ian. “Welcome home. Welcome home at last, my lord,” Ormsley said hoarsely, returning Ian’s handshake. “I’m only staying a few hours,” Ian told him calmly, and the butler’s hand went a little limp with disappointment. He recovered himself, however, and escorted Ian down a wide, oak-paneled hall. A small army of footmen and housemaids seemed to be lurking about, ostensibly dusting mirrors, paneling, and floors. As Ian passed, several of them stole long, lingering looks at him, then turned to exchange swift gratified smiles. His mind on the looming meeting with his grandfather, Ian was oblivious to the searching scrutiny and startled glances he was receiving, but he was dimly aware that a few of the servants were hastily dabbing at their eyes and noses with handkerchiefs.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
He began by expressing his gratitude to those “whom no partizan malice, or partizan hope, can make false to the nation’s life,” then passed at once, since peace seemed uppermost in men’s minds nowadays, to a discussion of “three conceivable ways” in which it could be brought about. First, by suppressing the rebellion; “This I am trying to do. Are you for it? If you are, so far we are agreed.” Second, by giving up the Union; “I am against this. Are you for it? If you are, you should say so plainly.” Third, by negotiating some sort of armistice based on compromise with the Confederates; but “I do not believe any compromise, embracing the maintenance of the Union, is now possible. All I learn leads to a directly opposite belief.” After disposing thus, to his apparent satisfaction, of the possibility of achieving peace except by force of arms, he moved on to another matter which his opponents had lately been harping on as a source of dissatisfaction: Emancipation. “You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you; but no matter. Fight you, then, exclusively to save the Union. I issued the Proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time then for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes. I thought that in your struggle for the Union, to whatever extent the negroes should cease helping the enemy, to that extent it weakened the enemy in his resistance to you. Do you think differently? I thought that whatever negroes can be got to do, as soldiers, leaves just so much less for white soldiers to do in saving the Union. Does it appear otherwise to you? But negroes, like other people, act upon motives. Why should they do anything for us if we will do nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive—even the promise of freedom. And the promise, being made, must be kept.
Shelby Foote (The Civil War, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian)
At the end of this Sabbath encounter with the religious leaders Mark records a remarkable sentence that sums up one of the main themes of the New Testament, “Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.” The Herodians were the supporters of Herod, the nastiest of the corrupt kings who ruled Israel, representing the Roman occupying power and its political system. In any country that the Romans conquered, they set up rulers. And wherever the Romans went, they brought along the culture of Greece—Greek philosophy, the Greek approach to sex and the body, the Greek approach to truth. Conquered societies like Israel felt assaulted by these immoral, cosmopolitan, pagan values. In these countries there were cultural resistance movements; and in Israel that was the Pharisees. They put all their emphasis on living by the teachings of the Hebrew Scriptures and putting up big hedges around themselves to prevent contamination by the pagans. See what was going on? The Herodians were moving with the times, while the Pharisees upheld traditional virtues. The Pharisees believed their society was being overwhelmed with pluralism and paganism, and they were calling for a return to traditional moral values. These two groups had been longtime enemies of each other—but now they agree: They have to get rid of Jesus. These two groups were not used to cooperating, but now they do. In fact, the Pharisees, the religious people, take the lead in doing so. That’s why I say this sentence hints at one of the main themes of the New Testament. The gospel of Jesus Christ is an offense to both religion and irreligion. It can’t be co-opted by either moralism or relativism. The “traditional values” approach to life is moral conformity—the approach taken by the Pharisees. It is that you must lead a very, very good life. The progressive approach, embodied in the Herodians, is self-discovery—you have to decide what is right or wrong for you. And according to the Bible, both of these are ways of being your own savior and lord. Both are hostile to the message of Jesus. And not only that, both lead to self-righteousness. The moralist says, “The good people are in and the bad people are out—and of course we’re the good ones.” The self-discovery person says, “Oh, no, the progressive, open-minded people are in and the judgmental bigots are out—and of course we’re the open-minded ones.” In Western cosmopolitan culture there’s an enormous amount of self-righteousness about self-righteousness. We progressive urbanites are so much better than people who think they’re better than other people. We disdain those religious, moralistic types who look down on others. Do you see the irony, how the way of self-discovery leads to as much superiority and self-righteousness as religion does? The gospel does not say, “the good are in and the bad are out,” nor “the open-minded are in and the judgmental are out.” The gospel says the humble are in and the proud are out. The gospel says the people who know they’re not better, not more open-minded, not more moral than anyone else, are in, and the people who think they’re on the right side of the divide are most in danger.
Timothy J. Keller (Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God)
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost…. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. ….. Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite! Charlie Chaplin, from The Great Dictator (1940)
Charlie Chaplin
PATTERNS OF THE “SHY” What else is common among people who identify themselves as “shy?” Below are the results of a survey that was administered to 150 of my program’s participants. The results of this informal survey reveal certain facts and attitudes common among the socially anxious. Let me point out that these are the subjective answers of the clients themselves—not the professional opinions of the therapists. The average length of time in the program for all who responded was eight months. The average age was twenty-eight. (Some of the answers are based on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest.) -Most clients considered shyness to be a serious problem at some point in their lives. Almost everyone rated the seriousness of their problem at level 5, which makes sense, considering that all who responded were seeking help for their problem. -60 percent of the respondents said that “shyness” first became enough of a problem that it held them back from things they wanted during adolescence; 35 percent reported the problem began in childhood; and 5 percent said not until adulthood. This answer reveals when clients were first aware of social anxiety as an inhibiting force. -The respondents perceived the average degree of “sociability” of their parents was a 2.7, which translates to “fair”; 60 percent of the respondents reported that no other member of the family had a problem with “shyness”; and 40 percent said there was at least one other family member who had a problem with “shyness.” -50 percent were aware of rejection by their peers during childhood. -66 percent had physical symptoms of discomfort during social interaction that they believed were related to social anxiety. -55 percent reported that they had experienced panic attacks. -85 percent do not use any medication for anxiety; 15 percent do. -90 percent said they avoid opportunities to meet new people; 75 percent acknowledged that they often stay home because of social fears, rather than going out. -80 percent identified feelings of depression that they connected to social fears. -70 percent said they had difficulty with social skills. -75 percent felt that before they started the program it was impossible to control their social fears; 80 percent said they now believed it was possible to control their fears. -50 percent said they believed they might have a learning disability. -70 percent felt that they were “too dependent on their parents”; 75 percent felt their parents were overprotective; 50 percent reported that they would not have sought professional help if not for their parents’ urging. -10 percent of respondents were the only child in their families; 40 percent had one sibling; 30 percent had two siblings; 10 percent had three; and 10 percent had four or more. Experts can play many games with statistics. Of importance here are the general attitudes and patterns of a population of socially anxious individuals who were in a therapy program designed to combat their problem. Of primary significance is the high percentage of people who first thought that “shyness” was uncontrollable, but then later changed their minds, once they realized that anxiety is a habit that can be broken—without medication. Also significant is that 50 percent of the participants recognized that their parents were the catalyst for their seeking help. Consider these statistics and think about where you fit into them. Do you identify with this profile? Look back on it in the coming months and examine the ways in which your sociability changes. Give yourself credit for successful breakthroughs, and keep in mind that you are not alone!
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)