Converter Quotes

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To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.
Thomas Paine (The American Crisis)
Gay people don’t actually try to convert people. That’s Jehovah’s Witnesses you’re thinking of.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Jesus himself did not try to convert the two thieves on the cross; he waited until one of them turned to him.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison)
Falling in love is very real, but I used to shake my head when people talked about soul mates, poor deluded individuals grasping at some supernatural ideal not intended for mortals but sounded pretty in a poetry book. Then, we met, and everything changed, the cynic has become the converted, the sceptic, an ardent zealot.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.
Thomas Paine (Common Sense)
When you convert a good book to a film. stupid things happen
Jesse Andrews (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)
So. Are you guys here to convert me or sell me siding?
Richelle Mead (Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1))
Scratch the surface of most cynics and you find a frustrated idealist — someone who made the mistake of converting his ideals into expectations.
Peter M. Senge
Time makes more converts than reason.
Thomas Paine (Common Sense)
I know that two and two make four - and should be glad to prove it too if I could - though I must say if by any sort of process I could convert 2 and 2 into five it would give me much greater pleasure.
Lord Byron
You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.
John Morley (On Compromise (Barnes & Noble Digital Library))
In politics as in philosophy, my tenets are few and simple. The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved. If this maxim was generally adopted, wars would cease and our swords would soon be converted into reap hooks and our harvests be more peaceful, abundant, and happy.
George Washington
I thought maybe she'd whisk us off by magic, or at least hail a taxi. Instead, Bast borrowed a silver Lexus convertible. "Oh, yes," she purred. "I like this one! Come along, children." "But this isn't yours," I pointed out. "My dear, I'm a cat. Everything I see is mine." She touched the ignition and the keyhole sparked. The engine began to purr. [No, Sadie. Not like a cat, like an engine.]
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1))
Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It's a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God. If we don't want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.
John Piper (God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself)
When it rains it pours. Maybe the art of life is to convert tough times to great experiences: we can choose to hate the rain or dance in it.
Joan Marques
Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.
Thomas Carlyle
I am the happiest man alive. I have that in me that can convert poverty to riches, adversity to prosperity, and I am more invulnerable than Archilles; Fortune hath not one place to hit me.
Thomas Browne
When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me-it still sometimes happens-and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don't ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous-not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance. . . . That pure chance could be so generous and so kind. . . . That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time. . . . That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful. . . . The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don't think I'll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.
Ann Druyan
Hey, have you ever heard of the Alchemists? " "Sure, " he said. "Of course you have. " "Why? Did you run into them? " "Kind of. " "What'd you do? " "Why do you think I did anything? " He laughed. "Alchemists only show up when trouble happens, and you bring trouble wherever you go. Be careful, though. They're religious nuts." "That's kind of extreme," I said. "Just don't let them convert you." He winked. "I like you being the sinner you are.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
I think you must be some kind of a freak. Either that or you’re trying to convert me to your secret horse religion.” “Darn, you got me,” she says theatrically. “You thwarted my evil plan.
Cynthia Hand (Unearthly (Unearthly, #1))
You, and those like you, take your fill of pleasure on earth by making the life of such as me bitter and black with sorrow; and then it is a fine thing, when you have had enough of that, to think of securing your pleasure in heaven by becoming converted!
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D'Urbervilles)
I...have always known that my destiny was, above all, a literary destiny — that bad things and some good things would happen to me, but that, in the long run, all of it would be converted into words. Particularly the bad things, since happiness does not need to be transformed: happiness is its own end.
Jorge Luis Borges (Seven Nights)
If I convert it's because it's better that a believer dies than that an atheist does.
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
People throw stones at you and you convert them into milestones.
Sachin Tendulkar
Now here's somebody who wants to smoke a marijuana cigarette. If he's caught, he goes to jail. Now is that moral? Is that proper? I think it's absolutely disgraceful that our government, supposed to be our government, should be in the position of converting people who are not harming others into criminals, of destroying their lives, putting them in jail. That's the issue to me. The economic issue comes in only for explaining why it has those effects. But the economic reasons are not the reasons
Milton Friedman
Habit converts luxurious enjoyments into dull and daily necessities.
Aldous Huxley
Once you believe in yourself and see your soul as divine and precious, you'll automatically be converted to a being who can create miracles.
Wayne W. Dyer
When ideas evaporate, when shapes fade and forms lose their integrity, our imagination can create an outlandish setting and convert everything into a hazy, misty Turner landscape. ("Back garden of a dream")
Erik Pevernagie
Capital is an abstract parasite, an insatiable vampire and zombie maker; but the living flesh it converts into dead labor is ours, and the zombies it makes are us.
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
I early learned that it is a hard matter to convert an individual by abusing him, and that this is more often accomplished by giving credit for all the praiseworthy actions performed than by calling attention alone to all the evil done.
Booker T. Washington (Up From Slavery: An Autobiography)
The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his 'natural superiors,' and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, callous 'cash payment.' It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation. The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers. The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
The sorrow that lay cold in her mother's heart... converted it into a tomb.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
But we were born of risen apes, not fallen angels, and the apes were armed killers besides. And so what shall we wonder at? Our murders and massacres and missiles, and our irreconcilable regiments? Or our treaties whatever they may be worth; our symphonies however seldom they may be played; our peaceful acres, however frequently they may be converted into battlefields; our dreams however rarely they may be accomplished. The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk but how magnificently he has risen. We are known among the stars by our poems, not our corpses.
Robert Ardrey
Love can crystallize things. When love is in the air, distressing rain can become a wonderful avalanche of shimmering diamonds. Raindrops are transformed into a flood of sparkling crystal pearls. The power of love can convert rain into a multitude of glittering prisms. The mental seduction of love and a boundless illusion, inflamed by a profound uprising emotion, can change any ordinary incident into a radiant, luminous voyage. ( "Crystallization under an umbrella" )
Erik Pevernagie
If the gospel isn't good news for everybody, then it isn't good news for anybody. And this is because the most powerful things happen when the church surrenders its desire to convert people and convince them to join. It is when the church gives itself away in radical acts of service and compassion, expecting nothing in return, that the way of Jesus is most vividly put on display. To do this, the church must stop thinking about everybody primarily in categories of in or out, saved or not, believer or nonbeliever. Besides the fact that these terms are offensive to those who are the "un" and "non", they work against Jesus' teachings about how we are to treat each other. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor, and our neighbor can be anybody. We are all created in the image of God, and we are all sacred, valuable creations of God. Everybody matters. To treat people differently based on who believes what is to fail to respect the image of God in everyone. As the book of James says, "God shows no favoritism." So we don't either.
Rob Bell
We are not evil. We don't harm or seduce people. We are not dangerous. We are ordinary people like you. We have families, jobs, hopes, and dreams. We are not a cult. This religion is not a joke. We are not what you think we are from looking at T.V. We are real. We laugh, we cry. We are serious. We have a sense of humor. You don't have to be afraid of us. We don't want to convert you. And please don't try to convert us. Just give us the same right we give you--to live in peace. We are much more similar to you than you think.
Margot Adler
That is the principal thing-not to remain with the dream, with the intention, with the being-in-the-mood, but always forcibly to convert it all into things.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
We are always trying to convert people to a belief in our own explanation of the universe. We think that the more people there are who believe as we do, the more certain it will be that what we believe is the truth. But it doesn't work that way at all.
Paulo Coelho (The Pilgrimage)
Knowledge is simply a kind of fuel; it needs the motor of understanding to convert it into power.
John Wyndham (The Midwich Cuckoos)
The end and aim of spying in all its five varieties is knowledge of the enemy; and this knowledge can only be derived, in the first instance, from the converted spy. Hence it is essential that the converted spy be treated with the utmost liberality.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don't get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism, but deception.
John Piper
Even the greatest fool can accomplish a task if it were after his or her heart. But the intelligent ones are those who can convert every work into one that suits their taste.
Swami Vivekananda
When we are young we are often puzzled by the fact that each person we admire seems to have a different version of what life ought to be, what a good man is, how to live, and so on. If we are especially sensitive it seems more than puzzling, it is disheartening. What most people usually do is to follow one person's ideas and then another's depending on who looms largest on one's horizon at the time. The one with the deepest voice, the strongest appearance, the most authority and success, is usually the one who gets our momentary allegiance; and we try to pattern our ideals after him. But as life goes on we get a perspective on this and all these different versions of truth become a little pathetic. Each person thinks that he has the formula for triumphing over life's limitations and knows with authority what it means to be a man, and he usually tries to win a following for his particular patent. Today we know that people try so hard to win converts for their point of view because it is more than merely an outlook on life: it is an immortality formula.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Relax, she’s not really converting. (Acheron) Look at her! She’s not exactly baking cookies! (Xypher)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dream Chaser (Dark-Hunter, #13; Dream-Hunter, #3))
It is more productive to convert an opportunity into results than to solve a problem - which only restores the equilibrium of yesterday.
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done)
A human body in no way resembles those that were born for ravenousness; it hath no hawk’s bill, no sharp talon, no roughness of teeth, no such strength of stomach or heat of digestion, as can be sufficient to convert or alter such heavy and fleshy fare. But if you will contend that you were born to an inclination to such food as you have now a mind to eat, do you then yourself kill what you would eat. But do it yourself, without the help of a chopping-knife, mallet or axe, as wolves, bears, and lions do, who kill and eat at once. Rend an ox with thy teeth, worry a hog with thy mouth, tear a lamb or a hare in pieces, and fall on and eat it alive as they do. But if thou had rather stay until what thou eat is to become dead, and if thou art loath to force a soul out of its body, why then dost thou against nature eat an animate thing? There is nobody that is willing to eat even a lifeless and a dead thing even as it is; so they boil it, and roast it, and alter it by fire and medicines, as it were, changing and quenching the slaughtered gore with thousands of sweet sauces, that the palate being thereby deceived may admit of such uncouth fare.
Plutarch
...unfortunately, it's true: time does heal. It will do so whether you like it or not, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. If you're not careful, time will take away everything that ever hurt you, everything you have ever lost, and replace it with knowledge. Time is a machine: it will convert your pain into experience. Raw data will be compiled, will be translated into a more comprehensible language. The individual events of your life will be transmuted into another substance called memory and in the mechanism something will be lost and you will never be able to reverse it, you will never again have the original moment back in its uncategorized, preprocessed state. It will force you to move on and you will not have a choice in the matter.
Charles Yu (How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe)
Just as there are laws of Conservation of Matter and Energy, so there are in fact Laws of Conservation of Pain and Joy. Neither can ever be created or destroyed. But one can be converted into the other.
Spider Robinson (Callahan's Crosstime Saloon (Callahan's #1))
There is a core difference between sharing the gospel with the lost and imposing a specific moral standard on the unconverted.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith)
The spoken word converts individual knowledge into mutual knowledge, and there is no way back once you've gone over that cliff. Saying nothing was more amendable, and over time I'd come to see that it was usually your best course of action.
Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves)
But the color of a Negro's skin makes him easily recognizable, makes him suspect, converts him into a defenseless target
Richard Wright (Black Boy)
1. Replace upstairs hall bathroom lightbulb. 2. Get online and research Ferragamo shoes, then email someone named Kell to see if he could convert Ferragamos into weapons. 3. Order a replacement coat for the one that was torn. (see closet for coat) Make sure it matches exactly. 4. Wash Cars. 5. Take out trash for Rosa 6. Most important, don't bitch.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
It is possible to argue that the really influential book is not that which converts ten millions of casual readers, but rather that which converts the very few who, at any given moment, succeed in seizing power. Marx and Sorel have been influential in the modern world, not so much because they were best-sellers (Sorel in particular was not at all a widely read author), but because among their few readers were two men, called respectively Lenin and Mussolini.
Aldous Huxley
[09:09] MAV: You’re sending me into space in a convertible. [09:24] HOUSTON: There will be Hab canvas covering the holes. It will provide enough aerodynamics in Mars’s atmosphere. [09:38] MAV: So it’s a ragtop. Much better.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
None of us will become perfect in a day or a month or a year. We will not accomplish it in lifetime, but we can begin now, starting with our more obvious weaknesses and gradually converting them to strengths as we go forward with our lives. this quest may be a long one: in fact, it will be lifelong. It may be fraught with many mistakes, with falling down and getting back up again. And it will take much effort. But we must not sell ourselves short. We must make a little extra effort. We would be wise to kneel before our God in supplication. He will help us. He will bless us. He will comfort and sustain us. He will help us to do more, and be more, than we can ever accomplish or be on our own.
Gordon B. Hinckley
All human accomplishment has this same origin, identically. Imagination is a force of nature. Is this not enough to make a person full of ecstasy? Imagination, imagination, imagination! It converts to actual. It sustains, it alters, it redeems!
Saul Bellow (Henderson the Rain King)
But now we know there has been no one great disaster—only the slow-motion disaster of capitalism converting every living thing and idea into property.
Annalee Newitz (Autonomous)
In fact her maturity and blood kinship converted her passion to fever, so it was more affliction than affection. It literally knocked her down at night, and raised her up in the morning, for when she dragged herself off to bed, having spent another day without his presence, her heart beat like a gloved fist against her ribs. And in the morning, long before she was fully awake, she felt a longing so bitter and tight it yanked her out of a sleep swept clean of dreams.
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)
Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge are essential resources, but only effectiveness converts them into results.
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive)
During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the “consolation” of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it.
Vladimir Lenin (The State and Revolution)
Spirituality without a prayer life is no spirituality at all, and it will not last beyond the first defeats. Prayer is an opening of the self so that the Word of God can break in and make us new. Prayer unmasks. Prayer converts. Prayer impels. Prayer sustains us on the way. Pray for the grace it will take to continue what you would like to quit.
Joan D. Chittister (In a High Spiritual Season)
I don't miss him anymore. Most of the time, anyway. I want to. I wish I could but unfortunately, it's true: time does heal. It will do so whether you like it or not, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. If you're not careful, time will take away everything that ever hurt you, everything you have lost, and replace it with knowledge. Time is a machine: it will convert your pain into experience... It will force you to move on and you will not have a choice in the matter.
Charles Yu (How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe)
Yes. The opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference. That is why few people find God. They go to church and talk about him and that sort of thing. They may even go out and evangelize and try to win converts. But in their hearts, if they are honest with themselves, they are indifferent to him because they cannot see him. God is too abstract for people. God is a word without meaning. If Jesus came back today, nothing he said would make any sense to those who wait for him. They would be the first ones to kill him again.
Christopher Pike (Black Blood (The Last Vampire, #2))
It's a McLaren SLR 722 Roadster." "How big is it?" "It's a convertible." "Will a tiger fit?" "No. It seats only two, but the boys are man half the day now." "Is it more than $30,000?" He squirmed and hedged, "Yes, but-" "How much more?" "Much more." "How much more?" "About $400,000 more." My mouth dropped open. "Mr. Kadam!" "Miss Kelsey, I know it's extravagant, but when you drive it, you will see it's worth every cent." I folded my hands across my chest. "I won't drive it." He looked offended. "That car was meant to be driven." "Then you drive it. I'll drive the Jeep." He looked tempted. "If it will appease you, perhaps we can share it." Kishan clapped his hands. "I can't wait." Mr. Kadam wagged a finger at him. "Oh, no! Not you. We'll get you a nice sedan. Used.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga, #2))
Destruction, best expressed in this age in which I write as terrorism, is truly there for its own sake, but the pretense of religion or secular patriotism converts the destructive into the speciously creative.
Anthony Burgess (Any Old Iron)
Good teachers make it possible for people to change their positions without shame.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith)
Our life is a hope which is continually converting itself into memory and memory in its turn begets hope.
Miguel de Unamuno (Tragic Sense of Life)
IF you remember every word in this book, your memory will have recorded about two million pieces of information: the order in your brain will have increased by about two million units. However, while you have been reading the book, you will have converted at least a thousand calories of ordered energy, in the form of food, into disordered energy, in the form of heat that you lose to the air around you by convection and sweat. This will increase the disorder of the universe by about twenty million million million million units - or about ten million million million times the increase in order in your brain - and that's if you remember everything in this book.
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
Some may be more fortunate than others, and many might feel more like second bests, not sure how to survive. Not seeing the light on their path, they keep on living with fear. Albeit social security systems may be supportive existential anxiety subsists, crushing their identity. Only by converting 'fear' into a challenge, we can grit our teeth, strengthen resilience, and brighten up the dimness in our minds. ("A new life with Schengen"")
Erik Pevernagie
Mrs. Winalski owned a candy-apple-red 1965 Mustang GT convertible, and she drove it like she could die at any minute and needed to get five things done before that happened.
Lish McBride (Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer, #1))
One can convert only a sinner, never a saint.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2))
As man sows, so shall he reap. In works of fiction, such men are sometimes converted. More often, in real life, they do not change their natures until they are converted into dust.
Charles W. Chesnutt
That is why I often find myself at such cross-purposes with the modern world: I have been a converted Pagan living among apostate Puritans.
C.S. Lewis (Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life)
I will paint a classic car yellow and convert it into a bulldozer. If you need me, I’ll be in the cemetery digging to try to find myself as a person.
Jarod Kintz (Write like no one is reading 3)
Social responsibility becomes an aspect not of Christian mission only, but also of Christian conversion. It is impossible to be truly converted to God without being thereby converted to our neighbor.
John R.W. Stott
I can't seem to fathom that the things important to me are not important to other people as well, and so I come off sounding like a missionary, someone whose job it is to convert rather than listen.
David Sedaris
To write does not mean to convert the real into words but to make the power of the word real.
Augusto Roa Bastos (I, the Supreme (Trilogía sobre el monoteísmo del poder #2))
Our existence has always and everywhere been tragic, but man has converted these numberless tragedies into works of art. I know of nothing more astonishing or more wonderful than this transformation.
Maxim Gorky
First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
I am to be converted to the joys of knitting,' said Mrs. Ali, smiling at the Major. 'My condolences,' he said.
Helen Simonson (Major Pettigrew's Last Stand)
The building had been sold and the new owners wanted to convert it into high-end condos. Oh, please. Chicago needed more high-end condos like they needed another baseball franchise.
Kelly Moran (The Dysfunctional Test)
The church must suffer for speaking the truth, for pointing out sin, for uprooting sin. No one wants to have a sore spot touched, and therefore a society with so many sores twitches when someone has the courage to touch it and say: “You have to treat that. You have to get rid of that. Believe in Christ. Be converted.
Oscar A. Romero (The Violence of Love)
A mathematician is a magician who converts adjectives into nouns: continuous into continuum, infinite into infinity, infinitesimal into location, 0D into point, 1D into line, curved into geodesic...
Bill Gaede (Why God Doesn't Exist)
Neither fear nor self-interest can convert the soul. They may change the appearance, perhaps even the conduct, but never the object of supreme desire... Fear is the motive which constrains the slave; greed binds the selfish man, by which he is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed (James 1:14). But neither fear nor self-interest is undefiled, nor can they convert the soul. Only charity can convert the soul, freeing it from unworthy motives.
Bernard of Clairvaux
Through eons of living in a land so poor there was little to eat but oats, they had as usual converted necessity into a virtue, and insisted that they liked the stuff.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
Energy can't be destroyed, only converted into something different. So when a person dies, where does that energy go?
Jodi Picoult (Plain Truth)
The financial crisis we are facing today arises from the fact that there is almost no more social, cultural, natural, and spiritual capital left to convert into money.
Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition)
Has the old man lost his freaking mind? Would I ask him to share something he’s worked his ass off for? Would he let someone else drive his 1962 cherry Mustang convertible? Would he open his bedroom door and let some other guy screw his wife? Okay, that was too far. I take it back—considering his wife is my mother. Forget I ever referred to my mother and screwing in the same sentence. That’s just…wrong. On so many levels. But for the love of God, tell me you see my point.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
After Hatuey, a fifteenth-century Indian insurrectionist, had been fixed to the stake, his Spanish captors extended him the choice of converting to Christianity and ascending to Heaven of going unrepentantly to Hell. Gathering that his executioners expected to go to heaven, Hatuey chose the other
Kathy Acker (My Mother: Demonology)
I think that churches would be places of greater intimacy and growth in Christ if people stopped lying about what we need, what we fear, where we fail, and how we sin.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith)
Wealth converts a strange land into homeland and poverty turns a native place into a strange land.
Hazrat Ali ibn Abu-Talib
A robber who justified his theft by saying that he really helped his victims, by his spending giving a boost to retail trade, would find few converts; but when this theory is clothed in Keynesian equations and impressive references to the “multiplier effect,” it unfortunately carries more conviction.
Murray N. Rothbard (Anatomy of the State)
Our actions may be impeded... But there can be no impeding our intentions or our dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impeding to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
Marcus Aurelius
The gospel is preached in the ears of all men; it only comes with power to some. The power that is in the gospel does not lie in the eloquence of the preacher otherwise men would be converters of souls. Nor does it lie in the preacher’s learning; otherwise it could consists of the wisdom of men. We might preach till our tongues rotted, till we should exhaust our lungs and die, but never a soul would be converted unless there were mysterious power going with it – the Holy Ghost changing the will of man. O Sirs! We might as well preach to stone walls as preach to humanity unless the Holy Ghost be with the word, to give it power to convert the soul.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Mystical experiences do not necessarily supply new ideas to the mind, rather, they transform what one believes into what one knows, converting abstract concepts, such as divine love, into vivid, personal, realities.
R.M. Jones
This is a wonderful day,” Anthony was muttering to himself. “A wonderful day.” He looked up sharply at Gareth. “You don’t have sisters, do you?” “None,” Gareth confirmed. “I am in possession of four,” Anthony said, tossing back at least a third of the contents of his glass. “Four. And now they’re all off my hands. I’m done,” he said, looking as if he might break into a jig at any moment. “I’m free.” “You’ve daughters, don’t you?” Gareth could not resist reminding him. “Just one, and she’s only three. I have years before I have to go through this again. If I’m lucky, she’ll convert to Catholicism and become a nun. Gareth choked on his drink. “It’s good, isn’t it?” Anthony said, looking at the bottle. “Aged twenty-four years.” “I don’t believe I’ve ever ingested anything quite so ancient,” Gareth murmured.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
Religion comforts us for the defeat of our will to power. It adds new worlds to ours, and thus brings us hope of new conquests and new victories. We are converted to religion out of fear of suffocating within the narrow confines of this world.
Emil M. Cioran (Tears and Saints)
لا أحد يعرف الوحدة كالملحد. فعندما يشعر الشخص العادي بالعزلة فإنه يستطيع أن يناجي، من خلال أعماق روحه، الواحد الأحد الذي يعرفه ويكون بمقدوره أن يشعر بالاستجابة.، لكن الملحد لا يستطيع أن يسمح لنفسه بتلك النعمة، لأن عليه أن يسحق هذا الدافع، ويُذكِّر نفسه بسخفها. لأن الملحد يكون إله عالمه الخاص به، ولكنه عالم صغير جدًا، لأن حدود هذا العالم قد حددتها إدراكاته، وهذه الحدود تكون دومًا في تناقص مستمر.
Jeffrey Lang (Struggling to Surrender: Some Impressions of an American Convert to Islam)
There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible.
P.J. O'Rourke
Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning.
Frederick William Faber
Anybody who was easily converted was not worth converting.
Milton Friedman
...the fact that certain members of the oppressor class join the oppressed in their struggle for liberation, thus moving from one pole of the contradiction to the other... Theirs is a fundamental role, and has been throughout the history of this struggle. It happens, however, that as they cease to be exploiters or indifferent spectators or simply the heirs of exploitation and move to the side of the exploited, they almost always bring with them the marks of their origin: their prejudices and their deformations, which include a lack of confidence in the people's ability to think, to want, and to know. Accordingly, these adherents to the people's cause constantly run the risk of falling into a type of generosity as malefic as that of the oppressors. The generosity of the oppressors is nourished by an unjust order, which must be maintained in order to justify that generosity. Our converts, on the other hand, truly desire to transform the unjust order; but because of their background they believe that they must be the executors of the transformation. They talk about the people, but they do not trust them; and trusting the people is the indispensable precondition for revolutionary change. A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle, than by a thousand actions in their favor without that trust.
Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
If Los Angeles is a woman reclining billboard model with collagen-puffed lips and silicone-inflated breasts, a woman in a magenta convertible with heart-shaped sunglasses and cotton candy hair; if Los Angeles is this woman, then the San Fernando Valley is her teenybopper sister. The teenybopper sister snaps bug stretchy pink bubbles over her tongue and checks her lipgloss in the rearview mirror, . . . Teeny plays the radio too loud and bites her nails, wondering if the glitter polish will poison her.
Francesca Lia Block (I Was a Teenage Fairy)
If the Lord calls us to be a bridge, we have to learn to bear in his strength the weight. And it hurts. And it's good. And the Lord equips.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith)
You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words “compelle intrare,” compel them to come in, have been so abused be wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.
C.S. Lewis (Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life)
Although initially only few in numbers, it seems my gray hairs have launched an effective peer-pressure campaign intended to convert the others.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I learned the first rule of repentance: that repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sin. How much greater? About the size of a mustard seed. Repentance requires that we draw near to Jesus, no matter what. And sometimes we all have to crawl there on our hands and knees. Repentance is an intimate affair. And for many of us, intimacy with anything is a terrifying prospect.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith)
It is no longer a question of a Christian going about to convert others to the faith, but of each one being ready to listen to the other and so to grow together in mutual understanding.
Bede Griffiths
How tragic it is to find that an entire lifetime is wasted in pursuit of distractions while purpose is neglected.
Sunday Adelaja (How To Become Great Through Time Conversion: Are you wasting time, spending time or investing time?)
Racing cars which have been converted for road use never really work. It's like making a hard core adult film, and then editing it so that it can be shown in British hotels. You'd just end up with a sort of half hour close up of some bloke's sweaty face.
Jeremy Clarkson
Little girls dream about growing up and living in a big house with a gorgeous husband and a pink plastic convertible. It’s not until much later in life that you realize what really matters. Love isn't about what you have or who you know. It’s about how you earn what you have and how you treat those you love. The material things don’t matter when your heart is full of joy and contentment.
Lisa De Jong (Plastic Hearts (Hearts, #1))
It is easy to catch a disease from another, but not to catch health. The bad will sooner corrupt the good, than the good will convert the bad.
Thomas Watson (The Art of Divine Contentment)
She was all cotton candy and pink champagne --- legs that stretched out for five or six miles, and one of those laughs that made you feel like riding around in a convertible.
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
If you view everything through the lens of fear, then you tend to stay in retreat mode. You can just as easily see a crises or problem as a challenge, an opportunity to prove your mettle, the chance to strengthen and toughen yourself, or a call to collective action. By seeing it as a challenge, you will have converted this negative into a positive purely by a mental process that will result in positive action as well. 
Robert Greene (The 50th Law)
Ramon looked closely at the little guy as he ate. "Maybe he's Jewish. I mean, if Sammy Davis Jr. could convert to Judaism, why not a chupacabra? We should name him Harry Mendelbaum." I held up my arms in protest. "You're all racist. Now shut up. We'll call him Taco von Precious of Svenenstein. There, everybody happy?" "Isn't von the same thing as of?" Frank asked. "Wouldn't that be kind of redundant?" "You're redundant," I said.
Lish McBride (Necromancing the Stone (Necromancer, #2))
He quietly groaned. Again and again, he’d witnessed this phenomenon with his friends. They got married. They were happy in that sated, grateful way of infrequently pleasured men with a now-steady source of coitus. Then they went about crowing as if they’d invented the institution of matrimony and stood to earn a profit for every bachelor they could convert.
Tessa Dare (A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2))
Real men don't dance to other people's tune, instead, they play for others to dance.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Romance lives by repetition, and repetition converts an appetite into an art. Besides, each time that one loves is the only time one has ever loved. Difference of object does not alter singleness of passion. It merely intensifies it. We can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
All items listed above belong in the world In which all things are continuous, And are parts of the original dream which I am now trying to discover the logic of. This Is the process whereby pain of the past in its pastness May be converted into the future tense Of joy. I Am Dreaming of a White Christmas: The Natural History of a Vision (1974)
Robert Penn Warren
When the world started ending, everybody became a convert and wanted nothing more than to spout the virtues of whatever apocalyptic religion they had latched onto. I wasn't sure who, if any, of them were right, but my best bet for avoiding hell was avoiding death.
Amanda Hocking (Hollowland (The Hollows, #1))
Yes," Bitterblue said. "I suppose you could convert everything into minutes. Twelve times sixty is seven hundred twenty, and fifteen times fifty is seven hundred fifty. So our seven-hundred-twenty-minute half day equals its seven-hundred-fifty-minute half day. Let's see...Right now, the watch reads a time of nearly twenty-five past two. That's one hundred twenty-five total minutes, which, divided by seven hundred fifty, should equal our time in minutes divided by seven hundred twenty...so, seven hundred twenty times one hundred twenty-five is...give me a moment...ninety thousand...divided by seven hundred fifty...is one hundred twenty...which means...well! The numbers are quite neat, aren't they? It's just about two o'clock. I should go home.
Kristin Cashore (Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3))
Do you know what my name is, converted to binary code?" He looked at her. "Is Tanzie your full name?" "No. But it's the one I use." He blew out his cheeks. "Um. Okay. 01010100 01100001 01101110 01111010 01101001 01100101." "Did you say 1010 at the end? Or 0101?" "1010. Duh.
Jojo Moyes (One Plus One)
A way of certifying experience, taking photographs is also a way of refusing it—by limiting experience to a search for the photogenic, by converting experience into an image, a souvenir. Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.
Susan Sontag (On Photography)
You’re just a young kid. What are you doin’ here? You oughta be out in a convertible, why… bird-doggin’ chicks and bangin’ beaver. What are ya doin’ here, for Christ’s sake? What’s funny about that? Jesus, I mean, you guys do nothin’ but complain about how you can’t stand it in this place here and then you haven’t got the guts just to walk out!
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
Don't give it to them all at once, make them work for it. Confuse them with detail, leave things out, go back on your tracks. Be testy, be cussed, be difficult. Drink like a fish; don't give way on the ideology, they won't trust that. They want to deal with a man they've bought; they want the clash of opposites, Alec, not some half-cock convert.
John le Carré (The Spy Who Came In from the Cold)
Look at all the Eastern writers who've written great Western literature. Kazuo Ishiguro. You'd never guess that The Remains of the Day or Never Let Me Go were written by a Japanese guy. But I can't think of anyone who's ever done the reverse-- any Westerner who's written great Eastern literature. Well, maybe if we count Lawrence Durrell - does the Alexandria Quartet qualify as Eastern literature?" "There is a very simple test," said Vikram. "Is it about bored, tired people having sex?" "Yes," said the convert, surprised. "Then it's western.
G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen)
There are tines in the prophetic ministry when words we receive for others must stay in the throne room...they are more powerful when converted into crafted prayer and spoken to the father than when put into prophetic language and ministered to human beings.
Graham Cooke (Crafted Prayer: The Joy of Always Getting Your Prayers Answered)
In itself, every idea is neutral, or should be; but man animates ideas, projects his flames and flaws into them; impure, transformed into beliefs, ideas take their place in time, take shape as events: the trajectory is complete, from logic to epilepsy . . . whence the birth of ideologies, doctrines, deadly games. Idolaters by instinct, we convert the objects of our dreams and our interests into the Unconditional. History is nothing but a procession of false Absolutes, a series of temples raised to pretexts, a degradation of the mind before the Improbable. Even when he turns from religion, man remains subject to it; depleting himself to create fake gods, he feverishly adopts them: his need for fiction, for mythology triumphs over evidence and absurdity alike.
Emil M. Cioran (A Short History of Decay)
For Someone Awakening To The Trauma of His or Her Past: For everything under the sun there is a time. This is the season of your awkward harvesting, When the pain takes you where you would rather not go, Through the white curtain of yesterdays to a place You had forgotten you knew from the inside out; And a time when that bitter tree was planted That has grown always invisibly beside you And whose branches your awakened hands Now long to disentangle from your heart. You are coming to see how your looking often darkened When you should have felt safe enough to fall toward love, How deep down your eyes were always owned by something That faced them through a dark fester of thorns Converting whoever came into a further figure of the wrong; You could only see what touched you as already torn. Now the act of seeing begins your work of mourning. And your memory is ready to show you everything, Having waited all these years for you to return and know. Only you know where the casket of pain is interred. You will have to scrape through all the layers of covering And according to your readiness, everything will open. May you be blessed with a wise and compassionate guide Who can accompany you through the fear and grief Until your heart has wept its way to your true self. As your tears fall over that wounded place, May they wash away your hurt and free your heart. May your forgiveness still the hunger of the wound So that for the first time you can walk away from that place, Reunited with your banished heart, now healed and freed, And feel the clear, free air bless your new face.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings)
A conversation in which the two parties have different beliefs should never begin with the intention of converting the other party to your own beliefs. Every worthwhile conversation's goal should be to understand the other person's opinions and help them understand your own.
Emily Eskowich
Converting a decision into action requires answering several distinct questions: Who has to know of this decision? What action has to be taken? Who is to take it? And what does the action have to be so that the people who have to do it can do it? The first and the last of these are too often overlooked—with dire results.
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive)
We are loping sequences of chemical conversions, acting ourselves converted. We are twists of genes acting ourselves twisted; we are wicks of burning neuroses acting ourselves wicked. And nothing to be done about it. And nothing to be done about it.
Gregory Maguire (Son of a Witch (The Wicked Years, #2))
You could buy a car for fifty thousand dollars. A really nice car.” Ascanio’s eyes lit up. “A Hummer. You could buy a converted Hummer.” “You don’t need a Hummer.” I said. “Chicks dig the Hummer.” “You don`t need any chicks either.” He gave me an injured look. “I have needs.” “I have needs too and right now I need you to concentrate on tracking down Jamar`s collection. Get to it.” - Andrea & Ascanio
Ilona Andrews (Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels, #5.5))
Compassion means entering the suffering of another in order to lead the way out.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith)
I believed then and I believe now that where everybody thinks the same nobody thinks very much.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert)
What he says, even on his knees, about his own sinfulness is all parrot talk. At bottom, he still believes he has run up a very favorable credit-balance in the Enemy's ledger by allowing himself to be converted, and thinks that he is showing great humility and condescension in going to church with these 'smug', commonplace neighbors at all.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
After changing shape several times, the ball eventually turned into a huge face. It floated alongside the air-car. This time, time instead of sending him a mental message, the face spoke out aloud and the whole air-car vibrated with its intensity. “If you are foolish enough to renege on your contract, you will be severely punished. For your sake, I hope you wouldn’t do such a thing.” When Tarmy made no attempt to respond, the face turned and pressed itself against the millipede-free window. A moment later, Tarmy felt the fat slug entering his mind, the sign that the face was attempting to use its powers to obtain his response by other means. But as the slug dug deeper, Samantha’s cover stories began springing out of the corners of his mind. Instead of obtaining Tarmy’s agreement, all that the face saw was a burning army transporter surrounded by bodies. Undeterred, the face continued its assault. Samantha had anticipated that Tarmy might come up against an adept, so the mental images of death and destruction flowed unchecked. After failing to break Tarmy’s defences, the face removed the slug and tried reason. “You can’t win, Mr Tarleton, so why don’t you do yourself a favour and cooperate? It will be better for you in the long run. Now, where is the miniature pulse drive engine?” Tarmy realised why the millipedes hadn’t been allowed to attack. It was obvious that the Great Ones were hoping to retrieve the engine. When Tarmy didn’t respond, the face said, “I am prepared to overlook your desertion if you agree to tell us where the engine is and also honour your contract by showing us how to convert the engine into a bomb.
Andrew R. Williams (Samantha's Revenge (Arcadia's Children #1))
But genius, and even great talent, springs less from seeds of intellect and social refinement superior to those of other people than from the faculty of transforming and transposing them. To heat a liquid with an electric lamp requires not the strongest lamp possible, but one of which the current can cease to illuminate, can be diverted so as to give heat instead of light. To mount the skies it is not necessary to have the most powerful of motors, one must have a motor which, instead of continuing to run along the earth's surface, intersecting with a vertical line the horizontal line which it began by following, is capable of converting its speed into lifting power. Similarly, the men who produce works of genius are not those who live in the most delicate atmosphere, whose conversation is the most brilliant or their culture the most extensive, but those who have had the power, ceasing suddenly to live only for themselves, to transform their personality into a sort of mirror, in such a way that their life, however mediocre it may be socially and even, in a sense, intellectually, is reflected by it, genius consisting in reflecting power and not int he intrinsic quality of the scene reflected.
Marcel Proust (Within a Budding Grove, Part 2)
I tell sincere white people, 'Work in conjunction with us- each of us working among our own kind.' Let sincere white individuals find all other white people they can who feel as they do- and let them form their own all-white groups, to work trying to convert other white people who are thinking and acting so racist. Let sincere whites go and teach non-violence to white people! We will completely respect our white co-workers. They will deserve every credit. We will give them every credit. We will meanwhile be working among our own kind, in our own black communities- showing and teaching black men in ways that only other black men can- that the black man has got to help himself. Working separately, the sincere white people and sincere black people actually will be working together. In our mutual sincerity we might be able to show a road to the salvation of America's very soul.
Malcolm X
In a sense, people are our proper occupation. Our job is to do them good and put up with them. But when they obstruct our proper tasks, they become irrelevant to us—like sun, wind, animals. Our actions may be impeded by them, but there can be no impeding our intentions or our dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
Marcus Aurelius
We are products of the past and we live immersed in the past, which encompasses us. How can we move towards the new life, how create new activities without getting out of the past and without placing ourselves above it? And how can we place ourselves above the past if we are in it and it is in us? There is no other way out except through thought, which does not break off relations with the past but rises ideally above it and converts it into knowledge.
Benedetto Croce
Scientists want to search for alien signals because that's what gets them publicity. They are like Jesus Christ." "Jesus Christ?" Nambodri asked, with a faintly derogatory chuckle. "Yes. They are exactly like Jesus Christ. You know that he turned water into wine." "I've heard that story." "From the point of view of pure chemistry, it is more miraculous to make wine into water than water into wine. But he did not do that. Because if he had gone to someone's house and converted their wine into water, they would have crucified him much earlier. He knew, Jana. He knew making water into wine was a more popular thing to do.
Manu Joseph (Serious Men)
What I really needed wasn't a dose of school spirit; it was a glass of water, an aspirin the size of my fist, and the answers to the history exam that I hadn't studied for the night before. "As long as I'm dreaming," I muttered, my words lost to the cacophony of the gym, "I'd also like a pony, a convertible, and a couple of friends." "That's a tall order." I'd known that there were people sitting next to me, but I couldn't begin to imagine how one of them had heard me. I hadn't even heard me. "Would you settle for a piece of gum, an orange Tic Tac, and an introduction the the school slut?
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Every Other Day)
the proof or validation of genuine conversion is that the one who professes faith in Christ perseveres in that faith and grows in sanctification throughout the full course of his life. If a person professes faith in Christ and yet falls away or makes no progress in godliness, it does not mean that he has lost his salvation. It reveals that he was never truly converted.
Paul David Washer (The Gospel's Power & Message)
Most mainline Protestant churches are, to one degree or another, post-Christian. If they no longer seem disposed to converting the unbelieving to Christ, they can at least convert them to the boggiest of soft-left clichés, on the grounds that if Jesus were alive today he’d most likely be a gay Anglican bishop in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally friendly car with an “Arms are for Hugging” sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi imams.
Mark Steyn
Life Is a Gift from God. We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life -- physical, intellectual, and moral life. But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course. Life, faculties, production--in other words, individuality, liberty, property -- this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.
Frédéric Bastiat (The Law)
The Chinese say that you should never, ever buy a used desk unless you know the history of it. They claim that if it belonged to a bad businessman, his karma will befall you. This one here belonged to President Kennedy. So what do you think that means? (Randy) I don’t know, but if I were you, I wouldn’t ride through Dallas in a convertible in November. Bad feng shui. (Steele)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Bad Attitude (B.A.D. Agency #1))
The man or woman who proclaims devotion to the cause of liberation yet is unable to enter into communion with the people, whom he or she continues to regard as totally ignorant, is grievously self-deceived. The convert who approaches the people but feels alarm at each step they take, each doubt they express, and each suggestion they offer, and attempts to impose his "status," remains nostalgic towards his origins.
Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
You cannot simply read the Quran,not if you take it seriously.You either have surrendered to it already or you fight it. It attacks tenaciously,directly,personally; it debates,criticizes,shames and challenges. From the outset it draws the line of battle, and I was on other side.
Jeffrey Lang (Struggling to Surrender: Some Impressions of an American Convert to Islam)
As I travel through life, I gather experiences that lie imprinted on the deepest strata of memory, and there they ferment, are transformed, and sometimes rise to the surface and sprout like strange plants from other worlds. What is the fertile humus of the subconscious composed of? Why are certain images converted into recurrent themes in nightmares or writing?
Isabel Allende (La suma de los días)
Most artists are brought to their vocation when their own nascent gifts are awakened by the work of a master. That is to say, most artists are converted to art by art itself. Finding one's voice isn't just an emptying and purifying oneself of the words of others but an adopting and embracing of filiations, communities, and discourses. Inspiration could be called inhaling the memory of an act never experienced. Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos. Any artist knows these truths, no matter how deeply he or she submerges that knowing.
Lewis Hyde (The Gift)
Something is very wrong with Bunce. She's collapsed in the back seat like a dead rabbit. But I can't really focus on it because of the sun and also the wind and because I'm very busy making a list. Things I hate, a list: 1. The sun. 2. The wind. 3. Penelope Bunce, when she hasn't got a plan. 4. American sandwiches. 5. America. 6. The band, America. Which I didn't know about an hour ago. 7. Kansas, also a band I've recently become acquainted with. 8. Kansas, the state. Which isn't that far from Illinois, so it must be wretched. 9. The State of Illinois, for fucking certain. 10. The sun. In my eyes. 11. The wind in my hair. 12. Convertible automobiles. 13. Myself, most of all. 14. My soft heart. 15. My foolish optimism. 16. The words "road" and "trip" when said together with any enthusiasm. 17. Being a vampire, if we're being honest. 18. Being a vampire in a fucking convertible. 19. A deliriously thirsty vampire in a convertible at midday. In Illinois, which is apparently the brightest place on the planet. 20. The sun. Which hangs miles closer to Minooka, Illinois, than it does over London blessed England. 21. Minooka, Illinois. Which seems dreadful. 22. These sunglasses. Rubbish. 23. The fucking sun! We get it - you're very fucking bright! 24. Penelope Bunce, who came up with this idea. An idea not accompanied by a plan. Because all she cared about was seeing her rubbish boyfriend, who clearly cocked it all up. Which we all should have expected from someone from Illinois, land of the damned - a place that manages to be both hot and humid at the same time. You might well expect hell to be hot, but you don't expect it to also be humid. That's what makes it hell, the surprise twist! The devil is clever!
Rainbow Rowell (Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2))
It’s unavoidable: so long as we value money more highly than living beings and more highly than relationships, we will continue to see living beings as resources, and convert them to cash; objectifying, killing, extirpating. This is true whether we’re talking about fish, fur-bearing mammals, Indians, day-laborers, and so on. If monetary value is attached to something it will be exploited until it’s gone.
Derrick Jensen (A Language Older Than Words)
But where is the antidote for lucid despair, perfectly articulated, proud, and sure? All of us are miserable, but how many know it? The consciousness of misery is too serious a disease to figure in an arithmetic of agonies or in the catalogues of the Incurable. It belittles the prestige of hell, and converts the slaughterhouses of time into idyls. What sin have you committed to be born, what crime to exist? Your suffering like your fate is without motive. To suffer, truly to suffer, is to accept the invasion of ills without the excuse of causality, as a favor of demented nature, as a negative miracle. . .
Emil M. Cioran (A Short History of Decay)
Nick spoke again. "Her legitimacy will be questioned." Gabriel thought for several moments. "If our mother married her father, it means that the marchioness must have converted to Catholicism upon arriving in Italy. The Catholic Church would never have acknowledged her marriage in the Church of England." "Ah, so it is we who are illegitimate." Nick's words were punctuated with a wry smile. "To Italians, at least," Gabriel said. "Luckily, we are English." "Excellent. That works out well for us.
Sarah MacLean (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1))
Voting, we might even say, is the next to last refuge of the politically impotent. The last refuge is, of course, giving your opinion to a pollster, who will get a version of it through a desiccated question, and then will submerge it in a Niagara of similar opinions, and convert them into--what else?--another piece of news. Thus we have here a great loop of impotence: The news elicits from you a variety of opinions about which you can do nothing except to offer them as more news, about which you can do nothing.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Jesus' 'lack of moral principles.' He sat at meat with publicans and sinners, he consorted with harlots. Did he do this to obtain their votes? Or did he think that, perhaps, he could convert them by such 'appeasement'? Or was his humanity rich and deep enough to make contact, even in them, with that in human nature which is common to all men, indestructible, and upon which the future is built?
Dag Hammarskjöld (Markings)
Are you born again?" he asked, as we taxied down the runway. He was rather prim and tense, maybe a little like David Eisenhower with a spastic colon. I did not know how to answer for a moment. "Yes," I said. "I am." My friends like to tell each other that I am not really a born-again Christian. They think of me more along the lines of that old Jonathan Miller routine, where he said, "I'm not really a Jew -- I'm Jew-ish." They think I am Christian-ish. But I'm not. I'm just a bad Christian. A bad born-again Christian. And certainly, like the apostle Peter, I am capable of denying it, of presenting myself as a sort of leftist liberation-theology enthusiast and maybe sort of a vaguely Jesusy bon vivant. But it's not true. And I believe that when you get on a plane, if you start lying you are totally doomed. So I told the truth; that I am a believer, a convert. I'm probably about three months away from slapping an aluminum Jesus-fish on the back of my car, although I first want to see if the application or stickum in any way interferes with my lease agreement. And believe me, all this boggles even *my* mind. But it's true. I could go to a gathering of foot-wash Baptists and, except for my dreadlocks, fit right in. I would wash their feet; I would let them wash mine.
Anne Lamott
Love at first sight is a hypnosis: I am fascinated by an image: at first shaken, electrified, stunned, "paralysed" as Menon was by Socrates, the model of loved objects, of captivating images, or again converted by an apparition, nothing distinguishing the path of enamoration from the Road to Damascus; subsequently ensnared, held fast, immobilised, nose stuck to the image (the mirror). In that moment when the other's image comes to ravish me for the first time, I am nothing more than the Jesuit Athanasius Kirchner's wonderful Hen: feet tied, the hen went to sleep with her eyes fixed on the chalk line, which was traced not far from her beak; when she was untied, she remained motionless, fascinated, "submitting to her vanquisher," as the Jesuit says (1646); yet, to waken her from her enchantment, to break off the violence of her Image-repertoire (vehemens animalis imaginatio), it was enough to tap her on the wing; she shook herself and began pecking in the dust again.
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came; and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness. The great trees, which had looked shrunken and bare in the earlier months, had now burst into strong life and health; and stretching forth their green arms over the thirsty ground, converted open and naked spots into choice nooks, where was a deep and pleasant shade from which to look upon the wide prospect, steeped in sunshine, which lay stretched out beyond. The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green; and shed her richest perfumes abroad. It was the prime and vigour of the year; all things were glad and flourishing.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
In its encounter with Nature, science invariably elicits a sense of reverence and awe. The very act of understanding is a celebration of joining, merging, even if on a very modest scale, with the magnificence of the Cosmos. And the cumulative worldwide build-up of knowledge over time converts science into something only a little short of a trans-national, trans-generational meta-mind.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
These days, we've got booksellers in cities, in deserts, and in the middle of a rain forest; we've got travelling bookshops, and bookshops underground. We've got bookshops in barns, in caravans and in converted Victorian railway stations. We've even got booksellers selling books in the middle of a war. Are bookshops still relevant? They certainly are. All bookshops are full of stories, and stories want to be heard.
Jen Campbell (The Bookshop Book)
If you understand that a wasted time is a wasted life, you will start running away from television, you will begin to run away from movies, you will run away from games like criminal case and candy crush.
Sunday Adelaja (How To Become Great Through Time Conversion: Are you wasting time, spending time or investing time?)
The true elitists in the literary world are the ones who have become annoyed by literary ambition in any form, who have converted the very meaning of ambition so totally that it now registers as an act of disdain, a hostility to the poor common reader, who should never be asked to do anything that might lead to a pulled muscle. (What a relief to be told there's no need to bother with a book that might seem thorny, or abstract, or unusual.) The elitists are the ones who become angry when it is suggested to them that a book with low sales might actually deserve a prize (...) and readers were assured that the low sales figures for some of the titles could only mean that the books had failed our culture's single meaningful literary test.
Ben Marcus
In desperate attempt to give meaning to life, many turn to religion, because a struggle in the name of a faith is always a justification for some grand action that could transform the world. ‘We are doing God’s work,’ they tell themselves. And they become devout followers, then evangelists and, finally, fanatics. They don’t understand that religion was created in order to share the mystery and to worship, not to oppress or convert others. The great manifestation of the miracle of God is life. Tonight, I will weep for you, O Jerusalem, because that understanding of the Divine Unity is about to disappear for the next one thousand years.
Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra)
Many people in our community protect themselves from inconvenience as though inconvenience is deadly. We have decided that we are not inconvenienced by inconvenience. The needs of children come up unexpectedly. We are sure that the Good Samaritan had other plans that fateful day. Our plans are not sacred” (p. 126).
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith)
What is a hobby anyway? Where is the line of demarcation between hobbies and ordinary normal pursuits? I have been unable to answer this question to my own satisfaction. At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant. Certainly many of our most satisfying avocations today consist of making something by hand which machines can usually make more quickly and cheaply, and sometimes better. Nevertheless I must in fairness admit that in a different age the mere fashioning of a machine might have been an excellent hobby... Today the invention of a new machine, however noteworthy to industry, would, as a hobby, be trite stuff. Perhaps we have here the real inwardness of our own question: A hobby is a defiance of the contemporary. It is an assertion of those permanent values which the momentary eddies of social evolution have contravened or overlooked. If this is true, then we may also say that every hobbyist is inherently a radical, and that his tribe is inherently a minority. This, however, is serious: Becoming serious is a grievous fault in hobbyists. It is an axiom that no hobby should either seek or need rational justification. To wish to do it is reason enough. To find reasons why it is useful or beneficial converts it at once from an avocation into an industry–lowers it at once to the ignominious category of an 'exercise' undertaken for health, power, or profit. Lifting dumbbells is not a hobby. It is a confession of subservience, not an assertion of liberty.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There)
So, Swami Jesus, will you go on the hajj this year?" Ravi said, bringing the palms of his hands together in front of his face in a reverent namaskar. "Does Mecca beckon?" He crossed himself. "Or will it be to Rome for your coronation as the next Pope Pius?" He drew in the air a Greek letter, making clear the spelling of his Mockery. "Have you found time yet to get the end of your pecker cut off and become a Jew? At the rate you're going, if you go to temple on Thursday, mosque on Friday, synagogue on Saturday and church on Sunday, you only need to convert to three more religions to be on holiday for the rest of your life.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
Thomas Merton said it was actually dangerous to put the Scriptures in the hands of people whose inner self is not yet sufficiently awakened to encounter the Spirit, because they will try to use God for their own egocentric purposes. (This is why religion is so subject to corruption!) Now, if we are going to talk about conversion and penance, let me apply that to the two major groups that have occupied Western Christianity—Catholics and Protestants. Neither one has really let the Word of God guide their lives. Catholics need to be converted to giving the Scriptures some actual authority in their lives. Luther wasn’t wrong when he said that most Catholics did not read the Bible. Most Catholics are still not that interested in the Bible. (Historically they did not have the printing press, nor could most people read, so you can’t blame them entirely.) I have been a priest for 42 years now, and I would sadly say that most Catholics would rather hear quotes from saints, Popes, and bishops, the current news, or funny stories, if they are to pay attention. If I quote strongly from the Sermon on the Mount, they are almost throwaway lines. I can see Catholics glaze over because they have never read the New Testament, much less studied it, or been guided by it. I am very sad to have to admit this. It is the Achilles heel of much of the Catholic world, priests included. (The only good thing about it is that they never fight you like Protestants do about Scripture. They are easily duped, and the hierarchy has been able to take advantage of this.) If Catholics need to be converted, Protestants need to do penance. Their shout of “sola Scriptura” (only Scripture) has left them at the mercy of their own cultures, their own limited education, their own prejudices, and their own selective reading of some texts while avoiding others. Partly as a result, slavery, racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, and homophobia have lasted authoritatively into our time—by people who claim to love Jesus! I think they need to do penance for what they have often done with the Bible! They largely interpreted the Bible in a very individualistic and otherworldly way. It was “an evacuation plan for the next world” to use Brian McLaren’s phrase—and just for their group. Most of Evangelical Protestantism has no cosmic message, no social message, and little sense of social justice or care for the outsider. Both Catholics and Protestants (Orthodox too!) found a way to do our own thing while posturing friendship with Jesus.
Richard Rohr
Good teachers make it possible for people to change their positions without shame. Even as Ken prayed for my soul, he did it in a way that welcomed me into the church rather than made me a scapegoat of Christian fear or an example of what not to become," (p 14).
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith)
Sin is not a mistake. A mistake is taking the wrong exit on the highway. A sin is treason against a Holy God. A mistake is a logical misstep. Sin lurks in our heart and grabs us by the throat to do its bidding. Remember what God said to Cain about his sin? It's true for us too. In the fourth chapter of Genesis, God warns Cain like this: 'Sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it' (Gen. 4:6). In accepting misrepresentations of the gospel that render sin anything less than this, you will never learn of the fruit of repentance.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith)
Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos. From the beginning it was never anything but chaos: it was a fluid which enveloped me, which I breathed in through the gills. In the substrata, where the moon shone steady and opaque, it was smooth and fecundating; above it was a jangle and a discord. In everything I quickly saw the opposite, the contradiction, and between the real and the unreal the irony, the paradox. I was my own worst enemy. There was nothing I wished to do which I could just as well not do. Even as a child, when I lacked for nothing, I wanted to die: I wanted to surrender because I saw no sense in struggling. I felt that nothing would be proved, substantiated, added or subtracted by continuing an existence which I had not asked for. Everybody around me was a failure, or if not a failure, ridiculous. Especially the successful ones. The successful ones bored me to tears. I was sympathetic to a fault, but it was not sympathy that made me so. It was purely negative quality, a weakness which blossomed at the mere sight of human misery. I never helped anyone expecting that it would do me any good; I helped because I was helpless to do otherwise. To want to change the condition of affairs seemed futile to me; nothing would be altered, I was convinced, except by a change of heart, and who could change the hearts of men? Now and then a friend was converted: it was something to make me puke. I had no more need of God than He had of me, and if there were one, I often said to myself, I would meet Him calmly and spit in His face.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #1))
Talking of being eaten by dogs, there’s a dachshund at Brinkley who when you first meet him will give you the impression that he plans to convert you into a light snack between his regular meals. Pay no attention. It’s all eyewash. His belligerent attitude is simply—" Sound and fury signifying nothing, sir?" That’s it. Pure swank. A few civil words, and he will be grappling you . . . What’s the expression I’ve heard you use?" Grappling me to his soul with hoops of steel, sir?" In the first two minutes. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, but he has to put up a front because his name’s Poppet. One can readily appreciate that when a dog hears himself addressed day in and day out as Poppet, he feels he must throw his weight about. Is self-respect demands it." Precisely, sir." You’ll like Poppet. Nice dog. Wears his ears inside out. Why do dachshunds wear their ears inside out?" I could not say, sir." Nor me. I’ve often wondered.
P.G. Wodehouse
Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
The broken branch hissed loudly, and then that wind was converted into these words: "Briefly will you be answered. When the fierce soul departs from the body from which it has uprooted itself, Minos sends it to the seventh mouth. It falls into the wood, and no place is assigned to it, but where chance hurls it, there it sprouts like a grain of spelt. It grows into a shoot, then a woody plant; the Harpies, feeding on its leaves, give it pain and a window for the pain. Like the others, we will come for our remains, but not so that any may put them on again, for it is not just to have what one has taken from oneself. Here we will drag them, and through the sad wood our corpses will hang, each on the thornbrush of the soul that harmed it.
Dante Alighieri (Inferno)
During Aurangzeb’s rule, which lasted for forty-nine years from 1658 onwards, there were many phases during which Pandits were persecuted. One of his fourteen governors, Iftikhar Khan, who ruled for four years from 1671, was particularly brutal towards the community. It was during his rule that a group of Pandits approached the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur, in Punjab and begged him to save their faith. He told them to return to Kashmir and tell the Mughal rulers that if they could convert him (Tegh Bahadur), all Kashmiri Pandits would accept Islam. This later led to the Guru’s martyrdom, but the Pandits were saved.
Rahul Pandita (Our Moon Has Blood Clots: The Exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits)
When he heard laughter, before he could think or feel anything, his heart would already be beating like he’d sprinted twenty yards. As the beating slowly normalized he’d think of how his heart, unlike him, was safely contained, away from the world, behind bone and inside skin, held by muscles and arteries in its place, carefully off-center, as if to artfully assert itself as source and creator, having grown the chest to hide in and to muffle and absorb—and, later, after innovating the brain and face and limbs, to convert into productive behavior—its uncontrollable, indefensible, unexplainable, embarrassing squeezing of itself.
Tao Lin (Taipei)
One feels such love for the little ones, such anticipation that all that is lovely in life will be known by them, such fondness for that set of attributes manifested uniquely in each: mannerisms of bravado, of vulnerability, habits of speech and mispronouncement and so forth; the smell of the hair and head, the feel of the tiny hand in yours—and then the little one is gone! Taken! One is thunderstruck that such a brutal violation has occurred in what had previously seemed a benevolent world. From nothingness, there arose great love; now, its source nullified, that love, searching and sick, converts to the most abysmal suffering imaginable.
George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)
philosophy I studied philosophy for four years. But I'd trade everything I learned for this passage... quoted in the Britannica: 'But we were born of risen apes, not fallen angels, and the apes were armed killers besides. And so what shall we wonder at? Our murders and massacres and missiles, and our irreconcilable regiments? Or our treaties whatever they may be worth; our symphonies however seldom they may be played; our peaceful acres, however frequently they may be converted into battlefields; our dreams however rarely they may be accomplished. The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk but how magnificently he has risen. We are known among the stars by our poems, not our corpses.' Amen.
A.J. Jacobs (The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World)
In all your course, walk with God and follow Christ as a little, poor, helpless child, taking hold of Christ’s hand, keeping your eye on the mark of the wounds on his hands and side, whence came the blood that cleanses you from sin and hiding your nakedness under the skirt of the white shining robe of his righteousness.
Jonathan Edwards (Jonathan Edwards' Resolutions: And Advice to Young Converts)
To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their declamations and the bitterness of their invectives. An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized as the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power and hostile to the principles of liberty. An over-scrupulous jealousy of danger to the rights of the people, which is more commonly the fault of the head than of the heart, will be represented as mere pretense and artifice, the stale bait for popularity at the expense of the public good.
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers)
As the ego-dead, so we might imagine, we would continue to know pain in its various forms—that is the essence of existence—but we would not be cozened by our egos to take it personally, an attitude that converts an individual’s pain into conscious suffering. Naturally, we would still have to feed, but we would not be omnivorous gourmands who eat for amusement, gorging down everything in nature and turning to the laboratory for more. As for reproduction, who can say? Animals are driven to copulate, and even as the ego-dead we would not be severed from biology, although we would not be unintelligently ruled by it, as we are now. As a corollary of not being unintelligently ruled by biology, neither would we sulk over our extinction, as we do now. Why raise another generation destined to climb aboard the evolution treadmill? But then, why not raise another generation of the ego-dead? For those who do not perceive either their pleasures or their pains as belonging to them, neither life nor death would be objectionable or not objectionable, desirable or not desirable, all right or not all right. We would be the ego-dead, the self-less, and, dare we are, the enlightened.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
I dissuade Party members from putting down people who do not understand. Even people who are unenlightened and seemingly bourgeois should be answered in a polite way. Things should be explained to them as fully as possible. I was turned off by a person who did not want to talk to me because I was not important enough. Maurice just wanted to preach to the converted, who already agreed with him. I try to be cordial, because that way you win people over. You cannot win them over by drawing the line of demarcation, saying you are on this side and I am on the other; that shows a lack of consciousness. After the Black Panther Party was formed, I nearly fell into this error. I could not understand why people were blind to what I saw so clearly. Then I realized that their understanding had to be developed.
Huey P. Newton
Social Ecology: The notion that man must dominate nature emerges directly from the domination of man by man… But it was not until organic community relation … dissolved into market relationships that the planet itself was reduced to a resource for exploitation. This centuries-long tendency finds its most exacerbating development in modern capitalism. Owing to its inherently competitive nature, bourgeois society not only pits humans against each other, it also pits the mass of humanity against the natural world. Just as men are converted into commodities, so every aspect of nature is converted into a commodity, a resource to be manufactured and merchandised wantonly. … The plundering of the human spirit by the market place is paralleled by the plundering of the earth by capital.
Murray Bookchin
Encouraged by this to a further examination of his opinions, she proceeded to question him on the subject of books; her favourite authors were brought forward and dwelt upon with so rapturous a delight, that any young man of five-and-twenty must have been insensible indeed, not to become an immediate convert to the excellence of such works, however disregarded before. Their taste was strikingly alike. The same books, the same passages were idolized by each -- or, if any difference appeared, any objection arose, it lasted no longer than till the force of her arguments and the brightness of her eyes could be displayed. He acquiesced in all her decisions, caught all her enthusiasm, and long before his visit concluded, they conversed with the familiarity of a long-established acquaintance.
Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility)
[W]hen you make your mistakes in public you will learn that they are mistakes and in being corrected you will grow. It also reminded me that being wrong and responding to correction with resilience was a higher virtue than covering up your mistakes so your students and the watching world assumed that success meant never being wrong. Working from your strengths and cultivating resilience in all matters of life have always been guiding principles for me.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith)
For centuries poets, some poets, have tried to give a voice to the animals, and readers, some readers, have felt empathy and sorrow. If animals did have voices, and they could speak with the tongues of angels--at the very least with the tongues of angels--they would be unable to save themselves from us. What good would language do? Their mysterious otherness has not saved them, nor have their beautiful songs and coats and skins and shells and eyes. We discover the remarkable intelligence of the whale, the wolf, the elephant--it does not save them, nor does our awareness of the complexity of their lives. Their strength, their skills, their swiftness, the beauty of their flights. It matters not, it seems, whether they are large or small, proud or shy, docile or fierce, wild or domesticated, whether they nurse their young or brood patiently on eggs. If they eat meat, we decry their viciousness; if they eat grasses and seeds, we dismiss them as weak. There is not one of them, not even the songbird who cannot, who does not, conflict with man and his perceived needs and desires. St. Francis converted the wolf of Gubbio to reason, but he performed this miracle only once and as miracles go, it didn’t seem to capture the public’s fancy. Humans don’t want animals to reason with them. It would be a disturbing, unnerving, diminishing experience; it would bring about all manner of awkwardness and guilt.
Joy Williams (Ill Nature)
The great ones do not set up offices, charge fees, give lectures, or write books. Wisdom is silent, and the most effective propaganda for truth is the force of personal example. The great ones attract disciples, lesser figures whose mission is to preach and to teach. These are gospelers who, unequal to the highest task, spend their lives in converting others. The great ones are indifferent, in the profoundest sense. They don’t ask you to believe: they electrify you by their behavior. They are the awakeners. What you do with your petty life is of no concern to them. What you do with your life is only of concern to you, they seem to say. In short, their only purpose here on earth is to inspire. And what more can one ask of a human being than that?
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
I dare say you are planning on a late repentance. You do not know what you are doing. You are planning without God. Repentance and faith are the gifts of God, and they are gifts that He often withholds, when they have been long offered in vain. I grant you true repentance is never too late, but I warn you at the same time, late repentance is seldom true. I grant you, one penitent thief was converted in his last hours, that no man might despair; But I warn you, only one was converted, that no man might presume. I grant you it is written, Jesus is ‘Able to save completely those who come to God through him’ (Hebrews 7:25). But I warn you, it is also written by the same Spirit, ‘Since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you’ (Proverbs 1:24-26). Believe me, you will find it no easy matter to turn to God whenever you please.
J.C. Ryle
Where the Divine and the Human Meet" shows how important it is to meet the world with the creativity of an artist, particularly in these uncertain times: "What do we do with chaos? Creativity has an answer. We are told by those who have studied the processes of nature that creativity happens at the border between chaos and order. Chaos is a prelude to creativity. We need to learn, as every artist needs to learn, to live with chaos and indeed to dance with it as we listen to it and attempt some ordering. Artists wrestle with chaos, take it apart, deconstruct and reconstruct from it. Accept the challenge to convert chaos into some kind of order, respecting the timing of it all, not pushing beyond what is possible—combining holy patience with holy impatience--that is the role of the artist. It is each of our roles as we launch the twenty-first century because we are all called to be artists in our own way. We were all artists as children. We need to study the chaos around us in order to turn it into something beautiful. Something sustainable. Something that remains".
Matthew Fox (Creativity)
Pride combined with wealth leads to idleness because you falsely feel that God just wants you to have fun; if unchecked, this sin will grow into entertainment-driven lust; if unchecked, this sin will grow into hardness of heart that declares other people’s problems no responsibility or care of your own; if unchecked, we become bold in our sin and feel entitled to live selfish lives fueled by the twin values of our culture: acquiring and achieving.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey into Christian Faith)
Will and George were doing well in business, and Joe was writing letters home in rhymed verse and making as smart an attack on all the accepted verities as was healthful. Samuel wrote to Joe, sayings, "I would be disappointed if you had not become an atheist, and I read pleasantly that you have, in your age and wisdom, accepted agnosticism the way you'd take a cookie on a full stomach. But I would ask you with all my understanding heart not to try to convert your mother. Your last letter only made her think you are not well. Your mother does not believe there are many ills uncurable by good strong soup. She puts your brave attack on the structure of our civilization down to a stomach ache. It worries her. Her faith is a mountain, and you, my son, haven't even got a shovel yet.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
At the end of that class Demian said to me thoughtfully: "There’s something I don’t like about this story, Sinclair. Why don’t you read it once more and give it the acid test? There’s something about it that doesn’t taste right. I mean the business with the two thieves. The three crosses standing next to each other on the hill are almost impressive, to be sure. But now comes this sentimental little treatise about the good thief. At first he was a thorough scoundrel, had committed all those awful things and God knows what else, and now he dissolves in tears and celebrates such a tearful feast of self-improvement and remorse! What’s the sense of repenting if you’re two steps from the grave? I ask you. Once again, it’s nothing but a priest’s fairy tale, saccharine and dishonest, touched up with sentimentality and given a high edifying background. If you had to pick a friend from between the two thieves or decide which one you’d rather trust, you most certainly wouldn’t choose the sniveling convert. No, the other fellow, he’s a man of character. He doesn’t give a hoot for ‘conversion’, which to a man in his position can’t be anything but a pretty speech. He follows his destiny to it’s appointed end and does not turn coward and forswear the devil, who has aided and abetted him until then. He has character, and people with character tend to receive the short end of the stick in biblical stories. Perhaps he’s even a descendant of Cain. Don’t you agree?" I was dismayed. Until now I had felt completely at home in the story of the Crucifixion. Now I saw for the first time with how little individuality, with how little power of imagination I had listened to it and read it. Still, Demian’s new concept seemed vaguely sinister and threatened to topple beliefs on whose continued existence I felt I simply had to insist. No, one could not make light of everything, especially not of the most Sacred matters. As usual he noticed my resistance even before I had said anything. "I know," he said in a resigned tone of voice, "it’s the same old story: don’t take these stories seriously! But I have to tell you something: this is one of the very places that reveals the poverty of this religion most distinctly. The point is that this God of both Old and New Testaments is certainly an extraordinary figure but not what he purports to represent. He is all that is good, noble, fatherly, beautiful, elevated, sentimental—true! But the world consists of something else besides. And what is left over is ascribed to the devil, this entire slice of world, this entire half is hushed up. In exactly the same way they praise God as the father of all life but simply refuse to say a word about our sexual life on which it’s all based, describing it whenever possible as sinful, the work of the devil. I have no objection to worshiping this God Jehovah, far from it. But I mean we ought to consider everything sacred, the entire world, not merely this artificially separated half! Thus alongside the divine service we should also have a service for the devil. I feel that would be right. Otherwise you must create for yourself a God that contains the devil too and in front of which you needn’t close your eyes when the most natural things in the world take place.
Hermann Hesse (Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)
Alexander Hamilton Junior High School -- SEMESTER REPORT -- STUDENT: Joseph Margolis TEACHER: Janet Hicks ENGLISH: A, ARITHMETIC: A, SOCIAL STUDIES: A, SCIENCE: A, NEATNESS: A, PUNCTUALITY: A, PARTICIPATION: A, OBEDIENCE: D Teacher's Comments: Joseph remains a challenging student. While I appreciate his creativity, I am sure you will agree that a classroom is an inappropriate forum for a reckless imagination. There is not a shred of evidence to support his claim that Dolley Madison was a Lesbian, and even fewer grounds to explain why he even knows what the word means. Similarly, an analysis of the Constitutional Convention does not generate sufficient cause to initiate a two-hour classroom debate on what types of automobiles the Founding Fathers would have driven were they alive today. When asked on a subsequent examination, "What did Benjamin Franklin use to discover electricity?" eleven children responded "A Packard convertible". I trust you see my problem. [...] Janet Hicks Parent's Comments: As usual I am very proud of Joey's grades. I too was unaware that Dolley Madison was a Lesbian. I assumed they were all Protestants. Thank you for writing. Ida Margolis
Steve Kluger (Last Days of Summer)
From time to time our national history has been marred by forgetfulness of the Jeffersonian principle that restraint is at the heart of liberty. In 1789 the Federalists adopted Alien and Sedition Acts in a shabby political effort to isolate the Republic from the world and to punish political criticism as seditious libel. In 1865 the Radical Republicans sought to snare private conscience in a web of oaths and affirmations of loyalty. Spokesmen for the South did service for the Nation in resisting the petty tyranny of distrustful vengeance. In the 1920's the Attorney General of the United States degraded his office by hunting political radicals as if they were Salem witches. The Nation's only gain from his efforts were the classic dissents of Holmes and Brandeis. In our own times, the old blunt instruments have again been put to work. The States have followed in the footsteps of the Federalists and have put Alien and Sedition Acts upon their statute books. An epidemic of loyalty oaths has spread across the Nation until no town or village seems to feel secure until its servants have purged themselves of all suspicion of non-conformity by swearing to their political cleanliness. Those who love the twilight speak as if public education must be training in conformity, and government support of science be public aid of caution. We have also seen a sharpening and refinement of abusive power. The legislative investigation, designed and often exercised for the achievement of high ends, has too frequently been used by the Nation and the States as a means for effecting the disgrace and degradation of private persons. Unscrupulous demagogues have used the power to investigate as tyrants of an earlier day used the bill of attainder. The architects of fear have converted a wholesome law against conspiracy into an instrument for making association a crime. Pretending to fear government they have asked government to outlaw private protest. They glorify "togetherness" when it is theirs, and call it conspiracy when it is that of others. In listing these abuses I do not mean to condemn our central effort to protect the Nation's security. The dangers that surround us have been very great, and many of our measures of vigilance have ample justification. Yet there are few among us who do not share a portion of the blame for not recognizing soon enough the dark tendency towards excess of caution.
John F. Kennedy
Between the onion and the parsley, therefore, I shall give the summation of my case for paying attention. Man's real work is to look at the things of the world and to love them for what they are. That is, after all, what God does, and man was not made in God's image for nothing. The fruits of his attention can be seen in all the arts, crafts, and sciences. It can cost him time and effort, but it pays handsomely. If an hour can be spent on one onion, think how much regarding it took on the part of that old Russian who looked at onions and church spires long enough to come up with St. Basil's Cathedral. Or how much curious and loving attention was expended by the first man who looked hard enough at the inside of trees, the entrails of cats, the hind ends of horses and the juice of pine trees to realize he could turn them all into the first fiddle. No doubt his wife urged him to get up and do something useful. I am sure that he was a stalwart enough lover of things to pay no attention at all to her nagging; but how wonderful it would have been if he had known what we know now about his dawdling. He could have silenced her with the greatest riposte of all time: Don't bother me; I am creating the possibility of the Bach unaccompanied sonatas. But if man's attention is repaid so handsomely, his inattention costs him dearly. Every time he diagrams something instead of looking at it, every time he regards not what a thing is but what it can be made to mean to him - every time he substitutes a conceit for a fact - he gets grease all over the kitchen of the world. Reality slips away from him; and he is left with nothing but the oldest monstrosity in the world: an idol. Things must be met for themselves. To take them only for their meaning is to convert them into gods - to make them too important, and therefore to make them unimportant altogether. Idolatry has two faults. It is not only a slur on the true God; it is also an insult to true things. They made a calf in Horeb; thus they turned their Glory into the similitude of a calf that eateth hay. Bad enough, you say. Ah, but it was worse than that. Whatever good may have resided in the Golden Calf - whatever loveliness of gold or beauty of line - went begging the minute the Israelites got the idea that it was their savior out of the bondage of Egypt. In making the statue a matter of the greatest point, they missed the point of its matter altogether.
Robert Farrar Capon (The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection)
What is the use of beauty in woman? Provided a woman is physically well made and capable of bearing children, she will always be good enough in the opinion of economists. What is the use of music? -- of painting? Who would be fool enough nowadays to prefer Mozart to Carrel, Michael Angelo to the inventor of white mustard? There is nothing really beautiful save what is of no possible use. Everything useful is ugly, for it expresses a need, and man's needs are low and disgusting, like his own poor, wretched nature. The most useful place in a house is the water-closet. For my part, saving these gentry's presence, I am of those to whom superfluities are necessaries, and I am fond of things and people in inverse ratio to the service they render me. I prefer a Chinese vase with its mandarins and dragons, which is perfectly useless to me, to a utensil which I do use, and the particular talent of mine which I set most store by is that which enables me not to guess logogriphs and charades. I would very willingly renounce my rights as a Frenchman and a citizen for the sight of an undoubted painting by Raphael, or of a beautiful nude woman, -- Princess Borghese, for instance, when she posed for Canova, or Julia Grisi when she is entering her bath. I would most willingly consent to the return of that cannibal, Charles X., if he brought me, from his residence in Bohemia, a case of Tokai or Johannisberg; and the electoral laws would be quite liberal enough, to my mind, were some of our streets broader and some other things less broad. Though I am not a dilettante, I prefer the sound of a poor fiddle and tambourines to that of the Speaker's bell. I would sell my breeches for a ring, and my bread for jam. The occupation which best befits civilized man seems to me to be idleness or analytically smoking a pipe or cigar. I think highly of those who play skittles, and also of those who write verse. You may perceive that my principles are not utilitarian, and that I shall never be the editor of a virtuous paper, unless I am converted, which would be very comical. Instead of founding a Monthyon prize for the reward of virtue, I would rather bestow -- like Sardanapalus, that great, misunderstood philosopher -- a large reward to him who should invent a new pleasure; for to me enjoyment seems to be the end of life and the only useful thing on this earth. God willed it to be so, for he created women, perfumes, light, lovely flowers, good wine, spirited horses, lapdogs, and Angora cats; for He did not say to his angels, 'Be virtuous,' but, 'Love,' and gave us lips more sensitive than the rest of the skin that we might kiss women, eyes looking upward that we might behold the light, a subtile sense of smell that we might breathe in the soul of the flowers, muscular limbs that we might press the flanks of stallions and fly swift as thought without railway or steam-kettle, delicate hands that we might stroke the long heads of greyhounds, the velvety fur of cats, and the polished shoulder of not very virtuous creatures, and, finally, granted to us alone the triple and glorious privilege of drinking without being thirsty, striking fire, and making love in all seasons, whereby we are very much more distinguished from brutes than by the custom of reading newspapers and framing constitutions.
Théophile Gautier (Mademoiselle de Maupin)
We entered the cool cave of the practice space with all the long-haired, goateed boys stoned on clouds of pot and playing with power tools. I tossed my fluffy coat into the hollow of my bass drum and lay on the carpet with my worn newspaper. A shirtless boy came in and told us he had to cut the power for a minute, and I thought about being along in the cool black room with Joey. Let's go smoke, she said, and I grabbed the cigarettes off the amp. She started talking to me about Wonder Woman. I feel like something big is happening, but I don't know what to do about it. With The Straight Girl? I asked in the blankest voice possible. With everything. Back in the sun we walked to the edge of the parking lot where a black Impala convertible sat, rusted and rotting, looking like it just got dredged from a swamp. Rainwater pooling on the floor. We climbed up onto it and sat our butts backward on the edge of the windshield, feet stretched into the front seat. Before she even joined the band, I would think of her each time I passed the car, the little round medallions with the red and black racing flags affixed to the dash. On the rusting Chevy, Joey told me about her date the other night with a girl she used to like who she maybe liked again. How her heart was shut off and it felt pretty good. How she just wanted to play around with this girl and that girl and this girl and I smoked my cigarette and went Uh-Huh. The sun made me feel like a restless country girl even though I'd never been on a farm. I knew what I stood for, even if nobody else did. I knew the piece of me on the inside, truer than all the rest, that never comes out. Doesn't everyone have one? Some kind of grand inner princess waiting to toss her hair down, forever waiting at the tower window. Some jungle animal so noble and fierce you had to crawl on your belly through dangerous grasses to get a glimpse. I gave Joey my cigarette so I could unlace the ratty green laces of my boots, pull them off, tug the linty wool tights off my legs. I stretched them pale over the car, the hair springing like weeds and my big toenail looking cracked and ugly. I knew exactly who I was when the sun came back and the air turned warm. Joey climbed over the hood of the car, dusty black, and said Let's lie down, I love lying in the sun, but there wasn't any sun there. We moved across the street onto the shining white sidewalk and she stretched out, eyes closed. I smoked my cigarette, tossed it into the gutter and lay down beside her. She said she was sick of all the people who thought she felt too much, who wanted her to be calm and contained. Who? I asked. All the flowers, the superheroes. I thought about how she had kissed me the other night, quick and hard, before taking off on a date in her leather chaps, hankies flying, and I sat on the couch and cried at everything she didn't know about how much I liked her, and someone put an arm around me and said, You're feeling things, that's good. Yeah, I said to Joey on the sidewalk, I Feel Like I Could Calm Down Some. Awww, you're perfect. She flipped her hand over and touched my head. Listen, we're barely here at all, I wanted to tell her, rolling over, looking into her face, we're barely here at all and everything goes so fast can't you just kiss me? My eyes were shut and the cars sounded close when they passed. The sun was weak but it baked the grime on my skin and made it smell delicious. A little kid smell. We sat up to pop some candy into our mouths, and then Joey lay her head on my lap, spent from sugar and coffee. Her arm curled back around me and my fingers fell into her slippery hair. On the February sidewalk that felt like spring.
Michelle Tea
Jesus Christ is not a cosmic errand boy. I mean no disrespect or irreverence in so saying, but I do intend to convey the idea that while he loves us deeply and dearly, Christ the Lord is not perched on the edge of heaven, anxiously anticipating our next wish. When we speak of God being good to us, we generally mean that he is kind to us. In the words of the inimitable C. S. Lewis, "What would really satisfy us would be a god who said of anything we happened to like doing, 'What does it matter so long as they are contented?' We want, in fact, not so much a father in heaven as a grandfather in heaven--a senile benevolence who as they say, 'liked to see young people enjoying themselves,' and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, 'a good time was had by all.'" You know and I know that our Lord is much, much more than that. One writer observed: "When we so emphasize Christ's benefits that he becomes nothing more than what his significance is 'for me' we are in danger. . . . Evangelism that says 'come on, it's good for you'; discipleship that concentrates on the benefits package; sermons that 'use' Jesus as the means to a better life or marriage or job or attitude--these all turn Jesus into an expression of that nice god who always meets my spiritual needs. And this is why I am increasingly hesitant to speak of Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. As Ken Woodward put it in a 1994 essay, 'Now I think we all need to be converted--over and over again, but having a personal Savior has always struck me as, well, elitist, like having a personal tailor. I'm satisfied to have the same Lord and Savior as everyone else.' Jesus is not a personal Savior who only seeks to meet my needs. He is the risen, crucified Lord of all creation who seeks to guide me back into the truth." . . . His infinity does not preclude either his immediacy or his intimacy. One man stated that "I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father nor a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behavior or desire of mine that he will not condone." . . . Christ is not "my buddy." There is a natural tendency, and it is a dangerous one, to seek to bring Jesus down to our level in an effort to draw closer to him. This is a problem among people both in and outside the LDS faith. Of course we should seek with all our hearts to draw near to him. Of course we should strive to set aside all barriers that would prevent us from closer fellowship with him. And of course we should pray and labor and serve in an effort to close the gap between what we are and what we should be. But drawing close to the Lord is serious business; we nudge our way into intimacy at the peril of our souls. . . . Another gospel irony is that the way to get close to the Lord is not by attempting in any way to shrink the distance between us, to emphasize more of his humanity than his divinity, or to speak to him or of him in casual, colloquial language. . . . Those who have come to know the Lord best--the prophets or covenant spokesmen--are also those who speak of him in reverent tones, who, like Isaiah, find themselves crying out, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5). Coming into the presence of the Almighty is no light thing; we feel to respond soberly to God's command to Moses: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5). Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained, "Those who truly love the Lord and who worship the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Spirit, according to the approved patterns, maintain a reverential barrier between themselves and all the members of the Godhead.
Robert L. Millet