Depths Of Soul Quotes

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How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
They’re not hideous,” said Tessa. Will blinked at her. “What?” “Gideon and Gabriel,” said Tessa. “They’re really quite good-looking, not hideous at all.” “I spoke,” said Will, in sepulchral tones, “of the pitch-black inner depths of their souls.” Tessa snorted. “And what color do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?” “Mauve,” said Will.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too
Vincent van Gogh (The Letters of Vincent van Gogh)
It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
Nothing is more tragic than loving someone to the depths of your soul and knowing they cannot and will not ever love you back.
Rick Riordan (The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1))
Sometimes I think, I need a spare heart to feel all the things I feel.
Sanober Khan (A Thousand Flamingos)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Sonnets from the Portuguese)
There are not enough days in forever to allow me to fully express the depth of my love for you.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action - Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)
Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.” Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.” For the soul walks upon all paths. The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
If you looked down to the bottom of my soul, you would understand fully the source of my longing and – pity me. Even the open, transparent lake has its unknown depths, which no divers know.
Hans Christian Andersen
We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
Disappointments in love, even betrayals and losses, serve the soul at the very moment they seem in life to be tragedies. The soul is partly in time and partly in eternity. We might remember the part that resides in eternity when we feel despair over the part that is in life.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
For Equilibrium, a Blessing: Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore, May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul. As the wind loves to call things to dance, May your gravity by lightened by grace. Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth, May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect. As water takes whatever shape it is in, So free may you be about who you become. As silence smiles on the other side of what's said, May your sense of irony bring perspective. As time remains free of all that it frames, May your mind stay clear of all it names. May your prayer of listening deepen enough to hear in the depths the laughter of god.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings)
The tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes never! You're asked an unexpected question, you don't even flinch, it takes just a second to get yourself under control, you know just what you have to say to hide the truth, and you speak very convincingly, and nothing in your face twitches to give you away. But the truth, alas, has been disturbed by the question, and it rises up from the depths of your soul to flicker in your eyes and all is lost.
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
It may help us, in those times of trouble, to remember that love is not only about relationship, it is also an affair of the soul.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
We rarely find a depth by looking inside of ourselves for it. Depth is found in what we can learn from the people and things around us. Everyone, everything, has a story, Gia. When you learn those stories, you learn experiences that fill you up, that expand your understanding. You add layers to your soul.
Kasie West (The Fill-In Boyfriend)
From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to give up; I wanted to give up on living. There was no denying that tomorrow would come, and the day after tomorrow, and so next week, too. I never thought it would be this hard, but I would go on living in the midst of a glomy depression, and that made me feel sick to the depths of my soul. In spite of the tempest raging within me, I walked the night path calmly.
Banana Yoshimoto (Kitchen)
It is precisely because we resist the darkness in ourselves that we miss the depths of the loveliness, beauty, brilliance, creativity, and joy that lie at our core.
Thomas Moore (Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life's Ordeals)
I fell in love with your eyes first because I looked into their depths and saw the other half of my soul.
R.K. Lilley (Grounded (Up in the Air, #3))
The poor man shuddered, overflowed with an angelic joy; he declared in his transport that this would last through life; he said to himself that he really had not suffered enough to deserve such radiant happiness, and he thanked God, in the depths of his soul, for having permitted that he, a miserable man, should be so loved by this innocent being.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world, and no longer compare it with some kind of desired imaginary vision of perfection, but to leave it as it is, to love it and be glad to belong to it.
Hermann Hesse
True beauty is a ray That springs from the sacred depths of the soul, and illuminates the body, just as life springs from the kernel of a stone and gives colour and scent to a flower.
Kahlil Gibran (Love Letters in the Sand: The Love Poems of Khalil Gibran)
The first thing which I can record concerning myself is, that I was born. These are wonderful words. This life, to which neither time nor eternity can bring diminution - this everlasting living soul, began. My mind loses itself in these depths.
Groucho Marx
no one talks more passionately about his rights than he who in the depths of his soul doubts whether he has any
Friedrich Nietzsche
Agatha wondered what these girls' souls would wish for. Depth, perhaps.
Soman Chainani (The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1))
If someone told me that I could live my life again free of depression provided I was willing to give up the gifts depression has given me--the depth of awareness, the expanded consciousness, the increased sensitivity, the awareness of limitation, the tenderness of love, the meaning of friendship, the apreciation of life, the joy of a passionate heart--I would say, 'This is a Faustian bargain! Give me my depressions. Let the darkness descend. But do not take away the gifts that depression, with the help of some unseen hand, has dredged up from the deep ocean of my soul and strewn along the shores of my life. I can endure darkness if I must; but I cannot lie without these gifts. I cannot live without my soul.' (p. 188)
David Elkins (Beyond Religion: A Personal Program for Building a Spiritual Life Outside the Walls of Traditional Religion)
There are so many layers inside of people, so much soul pain and angsty depth and heart hurt, and some ... hide all this so well that when it comes out in an action as simple as a nod, your entire world shifts a little bit on its axis.
Carrie Jones (Entice (Need, #3))
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I can't help but feel, across oceans and vast fields we will connect again. What we share is too rare to let go of for good but sometimes we have to accept, the timing isn't right.
Nikki Rowe
A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.
Meister Eckhart
...to the soul, the most minute details and the most ordinary activities, carried out with mindfulness and art, have an effect far beyond their apparent insignificance.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
Dance as the narration of a magical story; that recites on lips, illuminates imaginations and embraces the most sacred depths of souls.
Shah Asad Rizvi
I am talking about ultimate deceit. I am talking about unparalleled treachery. Bottomless lies. Depths that are seen that are previously unimaginable. Darkness and shattering despair that could break bones. Paranoia and horror that could stop the heart cold. All inflicted on one's self by one's self. The soul turns schizophrenic and goes hopelessly insane.
Henry Rollins (Pissing in the Gene Pool)
In this instant, shaken to her very depths, this ecstatic human being has a first inkling that the soul is made of stuff so mysteriously elastic that a single event can make it big enough to contain the infinite.
Stefan Zweig (The Post-Office Girl)
The institutions of human society treat us as parts of a machine. They assign us ranks and place considerable pressure upon us to fulfill defined roles. We need something to help us restore our lost and distorted humanity. Each of us has feelings that have been suppressed and have built up inside. There is a voiceless cry resting in the depths of our souls, waiting for expression. Art gives the soul's feelings voice and form.
Daisaku Ikeda
Somewhere in the center of my soul, a rusty chain began to unwind. It freed itself, link by link, from where it had rested, unobserved, waiting for him. My hands, which had been balled up and pressed against his chest, unfurled with it. The chain continued to drop, to an unfathomable depth where there was nothing but darkness and Matthew. At last it snapped to its full length, anchoring me to a vampire. Despite the manuscript, despite the fact that my hands contained enough voltage to run a microwave, and despite the photograph, as long as I was connected to him, I was safe.
Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1))
I blinked at her, suddenly loathing her to the depths of my soul. Not only was she probably rather evil, and definitely thoroughly unpleasant, but she also didn't read.
Nicole Peeler
Our hearts speak the same language but more importantly our souls share the same voice.
Nikki Rowe
Sometimes it takes great suffering to pierce the soul and open it up to greatness
Jocelyn Murray
You’re my favorite subject, Love. I’ll start with your eyes. I fell in love with those first. One look was like a punch to the guy. You have these ageless eyes on such a young face. I just knew that you had seen bad things, and from the start, I knew that you could understand pain. Understand feeling hopeless and helpless and alone. I fell in love with your eyes first because I looked into their depths and saw the other half of my soul.
R.K. Lilley (Grounded (Up in the Air, #3))
There is such a thing as looking through a person's eyes into the heart, and learning more of the height, and breadth, and depth of another's soul in one hour than it might take you a lifetime to discover, if he or she were not disposed to reveal it, or if you had not the sense to understand it.
Anne Brontë (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
True beauty is a ray That springs from the sacred depths of the soul, and illuminates the body, just as life springs from the kernel of a stone and gives colour and scent to a flower.
Rumi
The Marquis De Sade said that the most important experiences a man can have are those that take him to the very limit; that is the only way we learn, because it requires all our courage. When a boss humiliates an employee, or a man humiliates his wife, he is merely being cowardly or taking his revenge on life, they are people who have never dared to look into the depths of their soul, never attempted to know the origin of that desire to unleash the wild beast, or to understand that sex, pain and love are all extreme experiences. Only those who know those frontiers know life; everything else is just passing the time, repeating the same tasks, growing old and dying without ever having discovered what we are doing here.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
I never had anyone I could call “Master”. No Christ died for me. No Buddha showed me the right path. In the depths of my dreams no Apollo or Athena appeared to me to enlighten my soul
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
He stirred my soul in the most subtle way and the story between us wrote itself.
Nikki Rowe
Half of the time, the Holy Ghost tries to warn us about certain people that come into our life. The other half of the time he tries to tell us that the sick feeling we get in a situation is not the other person’s fault, rather it is our own hang-ups. A life filled with bias, hatred, judgment, insecurity, fear, delusion and self-righteousness can cloud the soul of anyone you meet. Our job is never to assume,instead it is to listen, communicate, ask questions then ask more, until we know the true depth of someone’s spirit.
Shannon L. Alder
You’re mine, mo duinne,” he said softly, pressing himself into my depths. “Mine alone, now and forever. Mine, whether ye will it or no.” I pulled against his grip, and sucked in my breath with a faint “ah” as he pressed even deeper. “Aye, I mean to use ye hard, my Sassenach,” he whispered. “I want to own you, to possess you, body and soul.” I struggled slightly and he pressed me down, hammering me, a solid, inexorable pounding that reached my womb with each stroke. “I mean to make ye call me ‘Master,’ Sassenach.” His soft voice was a threat of revenge for the agonies of the last minutes. “I mean to make you mine.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
I cannot imagine how religious persons can live satisfied without the practice of the presence of GOD. For my part I keep myself retired with Him in the depth of centre of my soul as much as I can; and while I am so with Him I fear nothing; but the least turning from Him is insupportable.
Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God)
A genuine odyssey is not about piling up experiences. It is a deeply felt, risky, unpredictable tour of the soul.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
He said to himself that he really had not suffered enough to deserve such radiant happiness, and he thanked God, in the depths of his soul, for having permitted that he, a miserable man, should be so loved by this innocent being." Jean Valjean about Cossette
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Even friends need private spaces, if only within the depths of their own souls, where no one else is allowed to intrude.
Mary Balogh (Simply Magic (Simply Quartet #3))
To be kin to a dragon, you must not only have a soul of water. You must have the blood of the sea, and the sea is not always pure. It is not any one thing. There is darkness in it, and danger, and cruelty. It can raze great cities with its rage. Its depths are unknowable; they do not see the touch of the sun. To be a Miduchi is not to be pure, Tané. It is to be the living sea. That is why I chose you. You have a dragon’s heart.
Samantha Shannon (The Priory of the Orange Tree)
We like to think that all people have hidden depths, but the fact is that a lot of people are shallow. The vast majority don't have an opinion until they tune in to AM radio or read the papers. Then they become social critics.
Jessica Zafra (Chicken Pox for the Soul)
[F]or contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation...
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
And what colour do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?' 'Mauve,' said Will.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
The thought of never crossing your path again is to enormous to bare, so for now I'll make dreams in my heart and remind myself to go and sit & remember them every once in a while.
Nikki Rowe
Intensity of connection, Depth of emotion, Unified thoughts, No doubts in the significance of you.
Truth Devour (Wantin (Wantin #1))
She might be a little introverted, livelier of movement than of conversation, neither bashful nor forward, with a soul that seemed submerged, but in a radiant moistness. Opalescent on the surface but translucent in her depths…
Vladimir Nabokov (The Enchanter)
Love Song How can I keep my soul in me, so that it doesn’t touch your soul? How can I raise it high enough, past you, to other things? I would like to shelter it, among remote lost objects, in some dark and silent place that doesn’t resonate when your depths resound. Yet everything that touches us, me and you, takes us together like a violin’s bow, which draws one voice out of two separate strings. Upon what instrument are we two spanned? And what musician holds us in his hand? Oh sweetest song.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose)
There are depths to the human soul that should not be fathomed.
Ann Rinaldi
The way a man drinks in company tells you nothing about him, but the way he drinks when alone reveals, without his realizing it, the very depths of his soul.
Irène Némirovsky (Fire in the Blood)
Why does one love? How queer it is to see only one being in the world, to have only one thought in one's mind, only one desire in the heart, and only one name on the lips--a name which comes up continually, rising, like the water in a spring, from the depths of the soul to the lips, a name which one repeats over and over again, which one whispers ceaselessly, everywhere, like a prayer.
Guy de Maupassant (The Complete Short Stories of Guy de Maupassant, Part One)
Socrates and Jesus, two teachers of virtue and love, were executed because of the unsettling, threatening power of their souls, which was revealed in their personal lives and in their words.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
The sea had jeeringly kept his finite body up, but drowned the infinite of his soul. Not drowned entirely, though. Rather carried down alive to wondrous depths, where strange shapes of the unwarped primal world glided to and fro before his passive eyes; and the miser-merman, Wisdom, revealed his hoarded heaps; and among the joyous, heartless, ever-juvenile eternities, Pip saw the multitudinous, God-omnipresent, coral insects, that out of the firmament of waters heaved the colossal orbs. He saw God’s foot upon the treadle of the loom, and spoke it; and therefore his shipmates called him mad. So man’s insanity is heaven’s sense; and wandering from all mortal reason, man comes at last to that celestial thought, which, to reason, is absurd and frantic; and weal or woe, feels then uncompromised, indifferent as his God.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried treasure and other things submerged. It was appointed that the book should shut with a a spring, for ever and for ever, when I had read but a page. It was appointed that the water should be locked in an eternal frost, when the light was playing on its surface, and I stood in ignorance on the shore. My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead; it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to my life's end. In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hetacombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?
Maximilian Kolbe
When one has let go of that great hidden agenda that drives humanity and its varied histories, then one can begin to encounter the immensity of one's own soul. If we are courageous enough to say, "Not this person, nor any other, can ultimately give me what I want; only I can," then we are free to celebrate a relationship for what it can give.
James Hollis (Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts, 79))
Most of the time it's not the Europeans who belittle us. What happens when we look at them is that we belittle ourselves. When we undertake the pilgrimage, it's not just to escape the tyranny at home but also to reach to the depths of our souls. The day arrives when the guilty must return to save those who could not find the courage to leave.
Orhan Pamuk (Snow)
You really don’t need more time before death; what you need is more depth of experience during the time you’re given.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
If then you do not make yourself equal to God, you cannot apprehend God; for like is known by like. Leap clear of all that is corporeal, and make yourself grown to a like expanse with that greatness which is beyond all measure; rise above all time and become eternal; then you will apprehend God. Think that for you too nothing is impossible; deem that you too are immortal, and that you are able to grasp all things in your thought, to know every craft and science; find your home in the haunts of every living creature; make yourself higher than all heights and lower than all depths; bring together in yourself all opposites of quality, heat and cold, dryness and fluidity; think that you are everywhere at once, on land, at sea, in heaven; think that you are not yet begotten, that you are in the womb, that you are young, that you are old, that you have died, that you are in the world beyond the grave; grasp in your thought all of this at once, all times and places, all substances and qualities and magnitudes together; then you can apprehend God. But if you shut up your soul in your body, and abase yourself, and say “I know nothing, I can do nothing; I am afraid of earth and sea, I cannot mount to heaven; I know not what I was, nor what I shall be,” then what have you to do with God?
Hermes Trismegistus (Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius)
If love makes you sad, you acquire a little depth, a little compassion. If it makes you happy, you learn how to be joyous. Every relationship should color your soul to a certain degree, don't you think? Every friendship, every love affair - each one should build up the chambers of your heart the way a sea creature builds the chamber of his shell.
Sharon Shinn (Jovah's Angel (Samaria, #2))
the sapphire depth of my own love...startles and warms and wounds my soul.
Sanober Khan
To the soul, memory is more important than planning, art more compelling than reason, and love more fulfilling than understanding.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
When you parent, it’s crucial you realize you aren’t raising a “mini me,” but a spirit throbbing with its own signature. For this reason, it’s important to separate who you are from who each of your children is. Children aren’t ours to possess or own in any way. When we know this in the depths of our soul, we tailor our raising of them to their needs, rather than molding them to fit our needs.
Shefali Tsabary (The Conscious Parent)
Why do you pray?" he asked me, after a moment. Why did I pray? A strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe? "I don't know why," I said, even more disturbed and ill at ease. "I don't know why." After that day I saw him often. He explained to me with great insistence that every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer. "Man raises himself toward God by the questions he asks Him," he was fond of repeating. "That is the true dialogue. Man questions God and God answers. But we don't understand His answers. We can't understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find the true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!" "And why do you pray, Moshe?" I asked him. "I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.
Elie Wiesel (Night (The Night Trilogy, #1))
Soul is to be found in the vicinity of taboo.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
I longed for the day when her soul would be taken into the depths of hell
Dave Pelzer
The beauty of the sea is that it never shows any weakness and never tires of the countless souls that unleash their broken voices into its secret depths.
Zeina Kassem (Crossing)
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea; And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes. But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure; And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line. For self is a sea boundless and measureless. Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.” Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.” For the soul walks upon all paths. The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
How many times do we lose an occasion for soul work by leaping ahead to final solutions without pausing to savor the undertones? We are a radically bottom-line society, eager to act and to end tension, and thus we lose opportunities to know ourselves for our motives and our secrets.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
...a writer's works, like the water in an artesian well, mount to a height which is in proportion to the depth to which suffering has penetrated his soul.
Marcel Proust (Remembrance of Things Past: Volume I - Swann's Way & Within a Budding Grove)
She had spent all her life in feeling miserable; this misery was her native element; its fluctuations, its varying depths, alone save her the impression of moving and living. What bothers me is that a sense of misery, and nothing else, is not enough to make a permanent soul. My enormous and morose Mademoiselle is all right on earth but impossible in eternity.
Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)
By degrees, however, they began to hope again. Such are our insubmergable mirages of the soul! There is no distress so complete but that even in the most critical moments the inexplicable sunrise of hope is seen in its depths.
Victor Hugo (The Man Who Laughs)
How can I begin to tell you how much I miss you without using those three common words that can't even start to express the magnitude nor the depth of my emotions. How can I write in my own blood while wanting to revert its color. The color of blood is similar to "I miss you". It has been raped by writers and lovers constantly, ever since Cain and Abel. I want to be able to create a new alphabet that can simply stand in front of you without bowing. I want to use new metaphors that would erupt like volcanoes between the phrases of my readers' souls. Metaphors such as your absence is similar to eating salt straight from the shaker while thirst is devouring my tongue. Metaphors such as the lack of your presence is like being straddled behind the glass of my own senses.
Malak El Halabi
I was just lying there, swimming in my own shame and guilt, when this still small voice whispered into the depths of my soul: I love you. I desire you. I delight in you. I saw you were going to that before I went to the cross, and I still went.
Jefferson Bethke (Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough)
Only by glaring into the depths of ones own reflection can we find our true selves. It is here where the mirrored voices of our souls speak and can be heard.
Paul Morabito (Mirrored Voices: Emerging Poets Anthology)
She was drawn to the wild warriors, they had to have a little gypsy in their veins.
Nikki Rowe
When we relate to our bodies as having soul, we attend to their beauty, their poetry and their expressiveness. Our very habit of treating the body as a machine, whose muscles are like pulleys and its organs engines, forces its poetry underground, so that we experience the body as an instrument and see its poetics only in illness.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
The moon went slowly down in loveliness; she departed into the depth of the horizon, and long veil-like shadows crept up the sky through which the stars appeared. Soon, however, they too began to pale before a splendour in the east, and the advent of the dawn declared itself in the newborn blue of heaven. Quieter and yet more quiet grew the sea, quiet as the soft mist that brooded on her bosom, and covered up her troubling, as in our tempestuous life the transitory wreaths of sleep brook upon a pain-racked soul, causing it to forget its sorrow. From the east to the west sped those angels of the Dawn, from sea to sea, from mountain-top to mountain-top, scattering light from breast and wing. On they sped out of the darkness, perfect, glorious; on, over the quiet sea, over the low coast-line, and the swamps beyond, and the mountains above them; over those who slept in peace and those who woke in sorrow; over the evil and the good; over the living and the dead; over the wide world and all that breathes or as breathed thereon.
H. Rider Haggard (She: A History of Adventure (She, #1))
Usually, the main problem with life conundrums is that we don't bring to them enough imagination
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
It is in the nature of things to be drawn to the very experiences that will spoil our innocence, transform our lives, and give us necessary complexity and depth.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
He was there alone with himself, collected, tranquil, adoring, comparing the serenity of his heart with the serenity of the skies, moved in the darkness by the visible splendors of the constellations, and the invisible splendor of God, opening his soul to the thoughts which fall from the Unknown. In such moments, offering up his heart at the hour when the flowers of night inhale their perfume, lighted like a lamp in the center of the starry night, expanding his soul in ecstasy in the midst of the universal radiance of creation, he could not himself perhaps have told what was passing in his own mind; he felt something depart from him, and something descend upon him, mysterious interchanges of the depths of the soul with the depths of the universe.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
All our language is composed of brief little dreams; and the wonderful thing is that we sometimes make of them strangely accurate and marvelously reasonable thoughts. What should we be without the help of that which does not exist? Very little. And our unoccupied minds would languish if fables, mistaken notions, abstractions, beliefs, and monsters, hypotheses, and the so-called problems of metaphysics did not people with beings and objectless images our natural depths and darkness. Myths are the souls of our actions and our loves. We cannot act without moving towards a phantom. We can love only what we create.
Paul Valéry
Culture is an elevated expression of the inner voice which the different peoples of the Earth have heard in the depths of their being, a voice which conveys the vibrant compassion and wisdom of the cosmic life. For different cultures to engage in interaction is to catalyze each other's souls and foster mutual understanding.
Daisaku Ikeda
It was a harsh reminder that one never knew the true depths of another soul. A caution against passing judgment over another.
Sabrina York (Hannah and the Highlander (Untamed Highlanders #1))
My soul is being whisked away again, to a place unfamiliar and not many know my name but its calling and following that instinct is all i know.
Nikki Rowe
I long for your embrace, your warmth, and your gentleness. I crave your touch. Your body, your mind, your words move me. I fear I am not capable of expressing the depth of my emotion, for I have never known such a feeling and never will again. As much as I have striven to remain detached, my heart and my soul belong to you, now and forever.
Chris Lange (An Era Apart)
Some of us have deeper feelings for one over another. It can’t be helped. It’s chemistry. It’s inherent. You can’t make yourself love someone you don’t and you can’t make yourself stop loving someone you do.
Kate McGahan (Jack McAfghan: Return from Rainbow Bridge: An Afterlife Story of Loss, Love and Renewal (Jack McAfghan Pet Loss Trilogy Book 3))
Spirituality is seeded, germinates, sprouts and blossoms in the mundane. It is to be found and nurtured in the smallest of daily activities.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
Our destiny is aligned with our heart's innermost longing, a longing embedded within our soul before birth. This longing is a unique pattern or configuration reminiscent of the constellations in the night sky. When we express (press out) our unique configuration, it shines through us with an otherworldly luminosity, manifesting abundance in our lives and the lives of others. Our sole task is to yoke our inner destiny, thread it through our lives and weave it into the world. All else is just shadows and dust.
Thea Euryphaessa (Running Into Myself)
Patch's eyes grazed me with silent heat. My reflection swirled in them, red hair and lips aflame. I was connected to him by a force I couldn't control, a tiny thread that tethered my soul to his. With the moon at his back, shadows painted the faint hollows beneath his eyes and cheekbones, making him look breathtakingly handsome and equally diabolical. His hands steadied my face, holding me still before him. The wind tangled my hair around his wrists, twining us together. His thumbs moved across my cheekbones in a slow, intimate caress. Despite the cold, a steady burn coiled up inside me, vulnerable to his touch. His fingers traced lower, lower, leaving behind a hot, delicious ache. I closed my eyes, my joints melting. He lit me up like a flame, light and heat burning at a depth I'd never fathomed. His thumb stroked my lip, a soft, seductive tease. I gave a sharp sigh of pleasure. "Kiss you now?" he asked. I couldn't speak; a wilted no was my reply. His mouth, hot and daring, met mine. All play had left him, and he kissed me with his own black fire, deep and possessive, consuming my body, my soul, and laying waste to all past notions of what it meant to be kissed.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
She was aware of the movement of his lips as he pressed soundless words in her palm. He released her, and the look he gave her seemed to reveal the depths of his lustful, longing, bitter soul. "Good-bye, Miss Fielding," he said hoarsely.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
Kate," he whispered, stepping closer to me, "you are not like your mother. You are a different creature from your sisters. The depths of your soul are fathomless. You are brave and loyal and true. You have such a good heart." he held my hand close to his chest and covered it with his other hand. "It is only afraid. But I would take such good care of it, love, if you would give it to me." He bent his head and pressed his lips to my fingers.
Julianne Donaldson (Blackmoore)
Algebra applies to the clouds, the radiance of the star benefits the rose--no thinker would dare to say that the perfume of the hawthorn is useless to the constellations. Who could ever calculate the path of a molecule? How do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by falling grains of sand? Who can understand the reciprocal ebb and flow of the infinitely great and the infinitely small, the echoing of causes in the abyss of being and the avalanches of creation? A mite has value; the small is great, the great is small. All is balanced in necessity; frightening vision for the mind. There are marvelous relations between beings and things, in this inexhaustible whole, from sun to grub, there is no scorn, each needs the other. Light does not carry terrestrial perfumes into the azure depths without knowing what it does with them; night distributes the stellar essence to the sleeping plants. Every bird that flies has the thread of the infinite in its claw. Germination includes the hatching of a meteor and the tap of a swallow's beak breaking the egg, and it guides the birth of the earthworm, and the advent of Socrates. Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has a greater view? Choose. A bit of mold is a pleiad of flowers; a nebula is an anthill of stars. The same promiscuity, and still more wonderful, between the things of the intellect and material things. Elements and principles are mingled, combined, espoused, multiplied one by another, to the point that the material world, and the moral world are brought into the same light. Phenomena are perpetually folded back on themselves. In the vast cosmic changes, universal life comes and goes in unknown quantities, rolling everything up in the invisible mystery of the emanations, using everything, losing no dream from any single sleep, sowing a microscopic animal here, crumbling a star there, oscillating and gyrating, making a force of light, and an element of thought, disseminated and indivisible dissolving all, that geometric point, the self; reducing everything to the soul-atom; making everything blossom into God; entangling from the highest to the lowest, all activities in the obscurity of a dizzying mechanism, linking the flight of an insect to the movement of the earth, subordinating--who knows, if only by the identity of the law--the evolutions of the comet in the firmament to the circling of the protozoa in the drop of water. A machine made of mind. Enormous gearing, whose first motor is the gnat, and whose last is the zodiac.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
It rasped her, though, to have stirring about in her this brutal monster! to hear twigs cracking and feel hooves planted down in the depths of that leaf-encumbered forest, the soul; never to be content quite, or quite secure, for at any moment the brute would be stirring, this hatred...
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
Innovation needs preparation, collaboration and the light of the soul. Every challenge provides that light - a greater depth of understanding about life and truth.
Amit Ray (Enlightenment Step by Step)
We long to find someone who has been where we've been, who shares our fragile places, who sees our sunsets with the same shades of blue. Soul mates. They somehow validate the depth of our experiences.
Beth Moore (Things Pondered: From the Heart of a Lesser Woman)
Tipping my head back, I screamed. Unlocked from the depths of my soul, it kept coming and coming. I couldn't stop it. I couldn't comprehend what I'd become—the things I had done. And when I stopped, it was only because my throat was raw.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
Turn to me with all your heart. Do not refuse me because I am dark and shadowed. The fire of the sun has altered me. The seas have encompassed me. The earth has been corrupted because of my work. Night fell over the earth when I sank into the miry deep, and my substance was hidden.” The Moon Queen held a star in one outstretched palm. “From the depths of the water I cried out to you, and from the depths of the earth I will call to those who pass by me,” I continued. “Watch for me. See me. And if you find another who is like me, I will give him the morning star.
Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1))
When you dare aspire upward, you reveal the inadequacy of the present and the promise of the future. Then you disturb others, in the depths of their souls, where they understand that their cynicism and immobility are unjustifiable. You play Abel to their Cain.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
I will never forget the way that my hand felt in yours, the way that your lips awoke a sense of vibrancy in the depths of my soul. I will never forget the joys in the simplicity of our moments together. I will never settle for anything less than what we had."~Emma Ranstein
Lindsay Detwiler
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, in instructing catechumens, wrote: “The dragon sits by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon.” No matter what form the dragon may take, it is of this mysterious passage past him, or into his jaws, that stories of any depth will always be concerned to tell, and this being the case, it requires considerable courage at any time, in any country, not to turn away from the storyteller.
Flannery O'Connor (Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose)
I must drink lots of tea or I cannot work. Tea unleashes the potential which slumbers in the depth of my soul.
Leo Tolstoy
Often care of the soul means not taking sides when there is a conflict at a deep level. It may be necessary to stretch the heart wide enough to embrace contradiction and paradox.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
art intensifies the presence of the world.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
One effective “trick” in caring for the soul is to look with special attention and openness at what the individual rejects, and then to speak favorably for that rejected element.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
I've never been a woman who will settle to fit in, i'd always have rathered find a little world all on my own. If people come they come and if they go they go, but for me staying authentic to my souls purpose is all i'll ever know.
Nikki Rowe
This, child, is our worship. To live and survive and play to God from the depths of our souls. This is the call that binds us. When we worship in the good times, it brings God joy. But worship in the midst of agony?” Her tongue clicked against the roof of her mouth and she shook her head. It was an action befitting the wisdom of the words she’d chosen. “That is authentic adoration of our Creator. An orchestra will worship together, as one body. As one song. A family must do no less.
Kristy Cambron (The Butterfly and the Violin (Hidden Masterpiece, #1))
Sean does the sweep of his eyes that he does, the one that goes from my head to my toes and back again and makes me feel that he's scanning the depths of my soul and teasing out my motivations and sins. It's worse than confession with Father Mooneyham. At the end of it, he says, "If you help, this will go faster.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
We demean people when we forget they have the depth and dignity of a soul. Even the people I don’t like have souls.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
There are strange red depths in the soul of the most commonplace man.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Lost World (Professor Challenger, #1))
The awakening passed from simple recognition of my need for God at the center of my life, to a depth where the will is stirred And that is a deeper place by far. That is the place of response, of unifying one's heart, mind, soul and feet around a decision.
Sue Monk Kidd (God's Joyful Surprise: Finding Yourself Loved)
Shaken to the depths of your soul, you know that day and night someone is waiting for you, thinking of you, longing and sighing for you - a woman, a stranger. She wants, she demands, she desires you with every fiber of her being, with her body, with her blood. She wants your hands, your hair, your lips, your night and your day, your emotions, your senses, and all your thought and dreams. She wants to share everything with you, to take everything from you, and to draw it in with her breath. Henceforth, day and night, whether you are awake or asleep, there is somewhere in the world a being who is feverish and wakeful and who waits for you, and you are the centre of her waking and her dreaming. It is in vain that you try not to think of her, of her who thinks always of you, in vain that you seek to escape, for you no longer dwell in yourself, but in her. Of a sudden a stranger bears your image within her as though she were a moving mirror - no, not a mirror, for that merely drinks in your image when you offer yourself willingly to it, whereas she, the woman, this stranger who loves you, she has absorbed you into her very blood.
Stefan Zweig (Beware of Pity)
ive lived so long a person, they tamed me to be, I spoke with care & held back the real, me. But the time has come, My voice will be heard. My messages are clear & I'm not the same girl. I am wild, my heart is rare I am untameable and I dont fuckin' care Life is too short, to live for another, I've faced the rain, storms and thunder And if there's one thing, I have kept in my mind It's i am, who I am and I don't give a damn if you don't like.
Nikki Rowe
Good Demeter mothering keeps a child in the heat and passion of life which immortalize and establish soulfulness. Mothering involves not only physical survival and achievement—Demeter's grain and fruit—it is also concerned with guiding a child to his or her unknown depths and the mystery of fate.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge. You would know in words that which you have always known in thought. You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams. And it is well that you should. The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea; and the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes. But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure; And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line. For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Kahlil Gibran
As the poets and painters of centuries have tried to tell us, art is not about the expression of talent or the making of pretty things. It is about the preservation and containment of soul. It is about arresting life and making it available for contemplation. Art captures the eternal in the everyday, and it is the eternal that feeds soul—the whole world in a grain of sand. Leonardo
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
Now for my pains, promise me-“ And she hesitated. “What?” asked Marius. “Promise me!” “I promise you.” “Promise to kiss me on the forehead when I’m dead. I’ll feel it.” She let her head fall back on Marius’s knees and her eyelids closed. He thought the poor soul had gone. Eponine lay motionless, but just when Marius supposed her forever asleep, she slowly opened her eyes, revealing the somber depths of death, and said to him in an accent whose sweetness already seemed to come from another world, “And then, do you know, Monsieur Marius, I believe I was a little in love with you.” She tried to smile again and died.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
And therefore, all of those for whom authentic transformation has deeply unseated their souls must, I believe, wrestle with the profound moral obligation to shout form the heart—perhaps quietly and gently, with tears of reluctance; perhaps with fierce fire and angry wisdom; perhaps with slow and careful analysis; perhaps by unshakable public example—but authentically always and absolutely carries a a demand and duty: you must speak out, to the best of your ability, and shake the spiritual tree, and shine your headlights into the eyes of the complacent. You must let that radical realization rumble through your veins and rattle those around you. Alas, if you fail to do so, you are betraying your own authenticity. You are hiding your true estate. You don’t want to upset others because you don’t want to upset your self. You are acting in bad faith, the taste of a bad infinity. Because, you see, the alarming fact is that any realization of depth carries a terrible burden: those who are allowed to see are simultaneously saddled with the obligation to communicate that vision in no uncertain terms: that is the bargain. You were allowed to see the truth under the agreement that you would communicate it to others (that is the ultimate meaning of the bodhisattva vow). And therefore, if you have seen, you simply must speak out. Speak out with compassion, or speak out with angry wisdom, or speak out with skillful means, but speak out you must. And this is truly a terrible burden, a horrible burden, because in any case there is no room for timidity. The fact that you might be wrong is simply no excuse: You might be right in your communication, and you might be wrong, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter, as Kierkegaard so rudely reminded us, is that only by investing and speaking your vision with passion, can the truth, one way or another, finally penetrate the reluctance of the world. If you are right, or if you are wrong, it is only your passion that will force either to be discovered. It is your duty to promote that discovery—either way—and therefore it is your duty to speak your truth with whatever passion and courage you can find in your heart. You must shout, in whatever way you can.
Ken Wilber (One Taste)
He held her forever. Ashy flickers swam in his eyes, shadows of temptation drawing her into infinite depths. A breath away from his tantalising mouth, she parted her lips. The thudding of her pulse hurt. The knocking of her heart brushed her soul. She sank into him.
Chris Lange (The Lord of the Clans)
Writing is like praying, because you stop all other activities, descend into silence, and listen patiently to the depths of your soul, waiting for true words to come. When they do, you thank God because you know the words are a gift, and you write them down as honestly and cleanly as you can.
Helen Prejean
I found you in the whispers of the shadow... luring me out into the light. Swallowed by the song and richness of the breath dancing in depth and perception wide. Heart within your eyes, soul in your word, I found home upon the essence of you.
Jennifer Hillman
The writer is a spiritual anarchist, as in the depth of his soul every man is. He is discontented with everything and everybody. The writer is everybody's best friend and only true enemy — the good and great enemy. He neither walks with the multitude nor cheers with them. The writer who is a writer is a rebel who never stops.
William Saroyan (The William Saroyan Reader)
The tension of the soul in unhappiness, which cultivates its strength; its horror at the sight of the great destruction; its inventiveness and bravery in bearing, enduring, interpreting, exploiting unhappiness, and whatever in the way of depth, mystery, mask, spirit, cleverness, greatness the heart has been granted - has it not been granted them through suffering, through the discipline of great suffering?
Friedrich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil)
There are stories within stories, whispered in the quiet of the night, shouted above the roar of the day, and played out between lovers and enemies, strangers and friends. But all are fragile things made of just twenty-six letters arranged and re-arranged to form tales and imaginings which will dazzle your senses, haunt your imagination and move you to the very depths of your soul.
Neil Gaiman
Even there, in the mines, underground, I may find a human heart in another convict and murderer by my side, and I may make friends with him, for even there one may live and love and suffer. One may thaw and revive a frozen heart in that convict, one may wait upon him for years, and at last bring up from the dark depths a lofty soul, a feeling, suffering creature; one may bring forth an angel, create a hero! There are so many of them, hundreds of them, and we are all to blame for them. [...] If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
Sean does that slow sweep of his eyes that he does, the one that goes from my head to my toes and back again and makes me feel that he's scanning the depths of my soul and teasing out my motivations and sins. It's worse than confession with Father Mooneyham.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
I have seen the sea lashed into fury and tossed into spray, and its grandeur moves the soul of the dullest man; but I remember that it is not the billows, but the calm level of the sea, from which all heights and depths are measured.
President James A. Garfield - courtesy of Millard's "Destiny of the Republic"
Oh, the pathos of it! - haggard, drawn into fixed lines of unutterable sadness, with a look of loneliness, as of a soul whose depth of sorrow and bitterness no human sympathy could ever reach. The impression I carried away was that I had seen, not so much the President of the United States, as the saddest man in the world.
George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)
Im happy to sit and be an ear to listen when the world gets wild but Id much prefer to watch the ways your eyes in sparkle in the midst of convincing me why you love the things you do. It gives me hope that someone else out there feels everything with this much depth and has the willingness to create a beautiful life from it.
Nikki Rowe
I, too, lived—which I had not done before, and which I could still do. I lived into the depths, and the depths began to speak. The depths taught me the other truth. It thus united sense and nonsense in me. I had to recognize that I am only the expression and symbol of the soul. In the sense of the spirit of the depths, I am as I am in this visible world a symbol of my soul, and I am thoroughly a serf, completely subjugated, utterly obedient. The spirit of the depths taught me to say: “I am the servant of a child.” Through this dictum I learn above all the most extreme humility, as what I most need.
C.G. Jung (The Red Book: A Reader's Edition: A Reader's Edition)
I’d admired him, and yes, lusted after him, but then I’d fallen. Fallen for a man who felt too much and took on too much, who believed if only he worked tirelessly and ceaselessly enough, that he could improve the lives of an entire race of people. And I’d had that depth of passion turned on me – seen it in his eyes, felt it in my heart. He loved me, and I loved him. And I’d love him as long as I lived, and if my soul endured, I’d love him for eternity
Danielle L. Jensen (Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy, #2))
No one knows loneliness like an atheist. When an average person feels isolated, he can call through the depths of his soul to One who knows him and sense an answer. An atheist cannot allow himself that luxury, for he has to crush the urge and remind himself of its absurdity.
Jeffrey Lang (Struggling to Surrender: Some Impressions of an American Convert to Islam)
I was born free, and that I might live in freedom I chose the solitude of the fields; in the trees of the mountains I find society, the clear waters of the brooks are my mirrors, and to the trees and waters I make known my thoughts and charms. I am a fire afar off, a sword laid aside. Those whom I have inspired with love by letting them see me, I have by words undeceived, and if their longings live on hope—and I have given none to Chrysostom or to any other—it cannot justly be said that the death of any is my doing, for it was rather his own obstinacy than my cruelty that killed him; and if it be made a charge against me that his wishes were honourable, and that therefore I was bound to yield to them, I answer that when on this very spot where now his grave is made he declared to me his purity of purpose, I told him that mine was to live in perpetual solitude, and that the earth alone should enjoy the fruits of my retirement and the spoils of my beauty; and if, after this open avowal, he chose to persist against hope and steer against the wind, what wonder is it that he should sink in the depths of his infatuation? If I had encouraged him, I should be false; if I had gratified him, I should have acted against my own better resolution and purpose. He was persistent in spite of warning, he despaired without being hated. Bethink you now if it be reasonable that his suffering should be laid to my charge. Let him who has been deceived complain, let him give way to despair whose encouraged hopes have proved vain, let him flatter himself whom I shall entice, let him boast whom I shall receive; but let not him call me cruel or homicide to whom I make no promise, upon whom I practise no deception, whom I neither entice nor receive. It has not been so far the will of Heaven that I should love by fate, and to expect me to love by choice is idle. Let this general declaration serve for each of my suitors on his own account, and let it be understood from this time forth that if anyone dies for me it is not of jealousy or misery he dies, for she who loves no one can give no cause for jealousy to any, and candour is not to be confounded with scorn. Let him who calls me wild beast and basilisk, leave me alone as something noxious and evil; let him who calls me ungrateful, withhold his service; who calls me wayward, seek not my acquaintance; who calls me cruel, pursue me not; for this wild beast, this basilisk, this ungrateful, cruel, wayward being has no kind of desire to seek, serve, know, or follow them. If Chrysostom's impatience and violent passion killed him, why should my modest behaviour and circumspection be blamed? If I preserve my purity in the society of the trees, why should he who would have me preserve it among men, seek to rob me of it? I have, as you know, wealth of my own, and I covet not that of others; my taste is for freedom, and I have no relish for constraint; I neither love nor hate anyone; I do not deceive this one or court that, or trifle with one or play with another. The modest converse of the shepherd girls of these hamlets and the care of my goats are my recreations; my desires are bounded by these mountains, and if they ever wander hence it is to contemplate the beauty of the heavens, steps by which the soul travels to its primeval abode.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
Never try to change the narrative structure of someone else's story, though you will certainly be tempted to, as you watch those poor souls in school, in life, heading unwittingly down dangerous tangents, fatal digressions from which they will unlikely be able to emerge. Resist the temptation. Spend your energies on your story. Reworking it. Making it better. Increasing the scale, the depth of content, the universal themes. And I don't care what those themes are- they're yours to uncover and stand behind-so long as, at the very least, there is courage.
Marisha Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
So what do we do then? What do you do when the only thing you want to do is yell at God and tell him how awful it is? You do exactly that. Cry. Yell. Scream. Be honest. Be transparent. And be vulnerable. For the first nineteen years of my life, I wanted God to give me an answer, but now I've found it is better when I get him. An answer isn't going to bring that spouse back. An answer won't ease that pain. But what will is God's Grace in the depths of our souls.
Jefferson Bethke (Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough)
In this way, his unhappy soul struggled with its anguish. Eighteen hundred years before this unfortunate man, the mysterious Being, in whom all the sanctities and all the sufferings of humanity come together, He too, while the olive trees trembled in the fierce breath of the Infinite, had brushed away the fearful cup that appeared before him, streaming with shadow and running over with darkness, in the star-filled depths. (pg. 236)
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
By all appreciable signs, they loved; they had looked love, with eyes that conveyed the holy secret from the depths of one soul into the depths of the other, as if it were too sacred to be whispered by the way; they had even spoken love, in those gushes of passion when their spirits darted forth in articulated breath, like tongues of long-hidden flame; and yet there had been no seal of lips, no clasp of hands, nor any slightest caress, such as love claims and hallows.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (Rappaccini's Daughter)
I tremble because of the sufferings of those persecuted in different lands. I tremble thinking about the eternal destiny of their torturers. I tremble for Western Christians who don't help their persecuted brethren. In the depth of my heart, I would like to keep the beauty of my own vineyard and not be involved in such a huge fight. I would like so much to be somewhere in quietness and rest. But it is not possible... The quietness and rest for which I long would be an escape from reality and dangerous for my soul... The West sleeps and must be awakened to see the plight of the captive nations.
Richard Wurmbrand (Tortured for Christ)
To explode or to implode - said Qwfwq - that is the question: whether 'tis nobler in the mind to expand one's energies in space without restraint, or to crush them into a dense inner concentration and, by ingesting, cherish them. To steal away, to vanish; no more; to hold within oneself every gleam, every ray, deny oneself every vent, suffocating in the depths of the soul the conflicts that so idly trouble it, give them their quietus; to hide oneself, to obliterate oneself; perchance to awaken elsewhere, unchanged.
Italo Calvino
It is a common belief that we breathe with our lungs alone, but in point of fact, the work of breathing is done by the whole body. The lungs play a passive role in the respiratory process. Their expansion is produced by an enlargement, mostly downward, of the thoracic cavity and they collapse when that cavity is reduced. Proper breathing involves the muscles of the head, neck, thorax, and abdomen. It can be shown that chronic tension in any part of the body's musculature interferes with the natural respiratory movements. Breathing is a rhythmic activity. Normally a person at rest makes approximately 16 to 17 respiratory incursions a minute. The rate is higher in infants and in states of excitation. It is lower in sleep and in depressed persons. The depth of the respiratory wave is another factor which varies with emotional states. Breathing becomes shallow when we are frightened or anxious. It deepens with relaxation, pleasure and sleep. But above all, it is the quality of the respiratory movements that determines whether breathing is pleasurable or not. With each breath a wave can be seen to ascend and descend through the body. The inspiratory wave begins deep in the abdomen with a backward movement of the pelvis. This allows the belly to expand outward. The wave then moves upward as the rest of the body expands. The head moves very slightly forward to suck in the air while the nostrils dilate or the mouth opens. The expiratory wave begins in the upper part of the body and moves downward: the head drops back, the chest and abdomen collapse, and the pelvis rocks forward. Breathing easily and fully is one of the basic pleasures of being alive. The pleasure is clearly experienced at the end of expiration when the descending wave fills the pelvis with a delicious sensation. In adults this sensation has a sexual quality, though it does not induce any genital feeling. The slight backward and forward movements of the pelvis, similar to the sexual movements, add to the pleasure. Though the rhythm of breathing is pronounced in the pelvic area, it is at the same time experienced by the total body as a feeling of fluidity, softness, lightness and excitement. The importance of breathing need hardly be stressed. It provides the oxygen for the metabolic processes; literally it supports the fires of life. But breath as "pneuma" is also the spirit or soul. We live in an ocean of air like fish in a body of water. By our breathing we are attuned to our atmosphere. If we inhibit our breathing we isolate ourselves from the medium in which we exist. In all Oriental and mystic philosophies, the breath holds the secret to the highest bliss. That is why breathing is the dominant factor in the practice of Yoga.
Alexander Lowen (The Voice of the Body)
Here dwells a snake, one thousand miles long Coiled, one thousand miles deep Eyes like candy, it has eyes like candy Hard and blue, but soft as kittens feet Out of sight or in the element of light It could be a devil, it could be an angel With spiders inside a vision from hell Its spine is a vertical scream Slow as concrete, blurred as a dream Fueled by inertia, depth, radius, and velocity, Its soul--a twisted wreckage of despair and pain And the spiders inside are just praying for rain Killing time killing time And praying for rain One thousand miles deep
James O'Barr
And I looked, held prisoner, bound to him. Looked, as he dropped the last of his masks, and showed me the depths of himself, and the wounds of his soul. I would have wept for his hurt, and for mine, had I been able. But his eyes held mine, tearless and open, boundless as the salt sea. His body held mine captive, driving me before his strength, like the west wind in the sails of a bark. And I voyaged into him,as he into me...
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
The spirit of the depths even taught me to consider my action and my decision as dependent on dreams. Dreams pave the way for life, and they determine you without you understanding their language. One would like to learn this language, but who can teach and learn it? Scholarliness alone is not enough; there is a knowledge of the heart that gives deeper insight. The knowledge of the heart is in no book and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher, but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth. Scholarliness belongs to the spirit of this time, but this spirit in no way grasps the dream, since the soul is everywhere that scholarly knowledge is not.
C.G. Jung (The Red Book: Liber Novus)
I will not speak of him as if he were absent, he has not been and he will never be. These are not mere words of consolation. Only those of us who feel it truly and permanently in the depths of our souls can comprehend this. Physical life is ephemeral, it passes inexorably... This truth should be taught to every human being -- that the immortal values of the spirit are above physical life. What sense does life have without these values? What then is it to live? Those who understand this and generously sacrifice their physical life for the sake of good and justice -- how can they die? God is the supreme idea of goodness and justice.
Fidel Castro
Silence is a frightening thing. Silences leaves us at the mercy of the noise within us. We hear the fears that need to be faced. We hear, then, the angers that need to be cooled. We hear the emptiness that needs to be filled. We hear the cries for humility and reconciliation and centeredness. We hear ambition and arrogance and attitudes of uncaring awash in the shallows of the soul. Silence demands answers. Silence invites us to depth. Silence heals what hoarding and running will not touch.
Joan D. Chittister (Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today)
It’s the other things he does, the things that crush me on the inside, that make me want to die. I would have if not for Dutch’s light. I would be dead. I know it. I wish it were real. I wish she were real. She’s getting older and more beautiful with each passing day, and even though she’s a figment of my fucked-up imagination, I love her. To the very depths of my soul.
Darynda Jones (Brighter Than the Sun (Charley Davidson, #8.5))
You are the stars hidden by clouds. I know you’re there even when I can’t see you. Your shine peeks out and reaches me in the depths of my soul. Tell me your arms are long enough to reach me across oceans. Tell me someday we will be together, somehow, some way. Tell me that this love we have can survive being together as well as we’ve survived being apart. Tell me we are more than the chasm of our divide.
Jacqueline Simon Gunn
In my experience - and this is a very awkward way to put it, since I don't really know what the word experience means - the strangest people in one's life are the people one has known and loved, still know and will always love. Here, both I and the vocabulary are both in trouble, for strangest does not imply stranger. A stranger is a stranger is a stranger, simply, and you watch the stranger to anticipate his next move. But the people who elicit from you a depth of attention and wonder which we helplessly call love are perpetually making moves which cannot possibly be anticipated. Eventually, you realize that it never occurred to you to anticipate their next move, not only because you couldn't but because you didn't have to: it was not a question of moving on the next move, but simply, of being present. Danger, true, you try to anticipate and you prepare yourself, without knowing it, to stand in the way of death. For the strangest people in the world are those people recognized, beneath one's senses, by one's soul - the people utterly indispensable for one's journey.
James Baldwin (Just Above My Head)
And as for the vague something --- was it a sinister or a sorrowful, a designing or a desponding expression? --- that opened upon a careful observer, now and then, in his eye, and closed again before one could fathom the strange depth partially disclosed; that something which used to make me fear and shrink, as if I had been wandering amongst volcanic-looking hills, and had suddenly felt the ground quiver, and seen it gape: that something, I, at intervals, beheld still; and with throbbing heart, but not with palsied nerves. Instead of wishing to shun, I longed only to dare --- to divine it; and I thought Miss Ingram happy, because one day she might look into the abyss at her leisure, explore its secrets and analyse their nature.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
How shall I hold my soul that it may not Be touching yours? How shall I lift it then Above you to where other things are waiting? Ah, gladly would I lodge it, all forgot, With some lost thing the dark is isolating On some remote and silent spot that, when Your depths vibrate, is not itself vibrating. You and me – all that lights upon us though, Brings us together like a fiddle bow Drawing one voice from two strings, it glides along. Across what instrument have we been spanned? And what violinist holds us in his hand? O sweetest song.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Love releases us into the realm of divine imagination, where the soul is expanded and reminded of its unearthly cravings and needs. We think that when a lover inflates his loved one he is failing to acknowledge her flaws - "Love is blind." But it may be the other way around. Love allows a person to see the true angelic nature of another person, the halo, the aureole of divinity. Certainly from the perspective of ordinary life this is madness and illusion. But if we let loose our hold on our philosophies and psychologies of enlightenment and reason, we might learn to appreciate the perspective of eternity that enters life as madness, Plato's divine frenzy.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
Happy the writer who, passing by characters that are boring, disgusting, shocking in their mournful reality, approaches characters that manifest the lofty dignity of man, who from the great pool of daily whirling images has chosen only the rare exceptions, who has never once betrayed the exalted turning of his lyre, nor descended from his height to his poor, insignificant brethren, and, without touching the ground, has given the whole of himself to his elevated images so far removed from it. Twice enviable is his beautiful lot: he is among them as in his own family; and meanwhile his fame spreads loud and far. With entrancing smoke he has clouded people's eyes; he has flattered them wondrously, concealing what is mournful in life, showing them a beautiful man. Everything rushes after him, applauding, and flies off following his triumphal chariot. Great world poet they name him, soaring high above all other geniuses in the world, as the eagle soars above the other high fliers. At the mere mention of his name, young ardent hearts are filled with trembling, responsive tears shine in all eyes...No one equals him in power--he is God! But such is not the lot, and other is the destiny of the writer who has dared to call forth all that is before our eyes every moment and which our indifferent eyes do not see--all the stupendous mire of trivia in which our life in entangled, the whole depth of cold, fragmented, everyday characters that swarm over our often bitter and boring earthly path, and with the firm strength of his implacable chisel dares to present them roundly and vividly before the eyes of all people! It is not for him to win people's applause, not for him to behold the grateful tears and unanimous rapture of the souls he has stirred; no sixteen-year-old girl will come flying to meet him with her head in a whirl and heroic enthusiasm; it is not for him to forget himself in the sweet enchantment of sounds he himself has evoked; it is not for him, finally, to escape contemporary judgment, hypocritically callous contemporary judgment, which will call insignificant and mean the creations he has fostered, will allot him a contemptible corner in the ranks of writers who insult mankind, will ascribe to him the quality of the heroes he has portrayed, will deny him heart, and soul, and the divine flame of talent. For contemporary judgment does not recognize that equally wondrous are the glasses that observe the sun and those that look at the movement of inconspicuous insect; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that lofty ecstatic laughter is worthy to stand beside the lofty lyrical impulse, and that a whole abyss separates it from the antics of the street-fair clown! This contemporary judgment does not recognize; and will turn it all into a reproach and abuse of the unrecognized writer; with no sharing, no response, no sympathy, like a familyless wayfarer, he will be left alone in the middle of the road. Grim is his path, and bitterly he will feel his solitude.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
If you're lucky enough you'll come across a certain individual who will completely shake up your life. A spark so deep you feel it before meeting them, a soul preparation for a drastic change. Whether this chance meeting it fleeting or holds longevity, it's a signpost you won't be able to ignore and you'll be a completely different person to whom you were before. This is magic, this is fate, this is purpose. And this is why we are alive, to experience a soul in human form and embrace The depth of life.
Nikki Rowe
Don’t hide your hurt, beautiful soul. Grab a hold of it. Run it through the purifying flame of your heart and mold it into something beautiful. Allow the depths of your pain to expand the breadth of your compassion. Gather up your stumbling stones and build a bridge for someone else. Remember what it’s like to be lost in darkness so you can be someone else’s much needed light. Don’t deny your pain or bury it away. Let it rise to the surface. And then transform it into something that makes it worthwhile.
Cristen Rodgers
Beyond love, beyond unrequited love, perhaps even beyond any other passion known to humanity, deep, deep in the depths of the turgid, clinging, swamplike pit of despair that lies dormant within every soul, lurks JEALOUSY. Jealousy, that most demeaning and debilitating of emotions. Jealousy, which can double the strength of the love upon which it is based, but whilst doubling it, warp and pervert it, untill it is no longer recognizable as the thing of beauty it once was. Jealous love is no more like true love than Mr Hyde was like Dr Jekyll or a stagnant swamp is like a freshwater lake.
Ben Elton (Stark)
There was hardly a touch of earth in her love for Clare. To her sublime trustfulness he was all that goodness could be—knew all that a guide, philosopher, and friend should know. She thought every line in the contour of his person the perfection of masculine beauty, his soul the soul of a saint, his intellect that of a seer. The wisdom of her love for him, as love, sustained her dignity; she seemed to be wearing a crown. The compassion of his love for her, as she saw it, made her lift up her heart to him in devotion. He would sometimes catch her large, worshipful eyes, that had no bottom to them looking at him from their depths, as if she saw something immortal before her.
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D'Urbervilles)
But, of course, what mattered most of all was my deep-seated hatred of authority, my monstrous individualism, my lawlessness. No word in my vocabulary expressed deeper hatred than the word INTERFERENCE. But Christianity placed at the centre what then seemed to me a transcendental Interferer. If its picture were true then no sort of 'treaty with reality' could ever be possible. There was no region even in the innermost depth of one's soul (nay, there least of all) which one could surround with a barbed wire fence and guard with a notice No Admittance. And that was what I wanted; some area, however small, of which I could say to all other beings, 'This is my business and mine only.
C.S. Lewis (Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life)
The allotted function of art is not, as is often assumed, to put across ideas, to propagate thoughts, to serve as example. The aim of art is to prepare a person for death, to plough and harrow his soul, rendering it capable of turning to good. Touched by a masterpiece, a person begins to hear in himself that same call of truth which prompted the artist to his creative act. When a link is established between the work and its beholder, the latter experiences a sublime, purging trauma. Within that aura which unites masterpieces and audience, the best sides of our souls are made known, and we long for them to be freed. In those moments we recognize and discover ourselves, the unfathomable depths of our own potential, and the furthest reaches of our emotions.
Andrei Tarkovsky (Sculpting in Time)
Madeleine in her turn stared at him steadily, straight into his eyes, in a profound, strange way, as if seeking to read something there, as if seeking to discover there that hidden part of a human being which can never be fathomed but may perhaps be glimpsed for a fleeting instant, in those moments of unguardedness or surrender or inattention, that are like doors left ajar onto the mysterious depths of the spirit... they stood for a few seconds, each gazing into the other's eyes, each striving to reach the impenetrable secret of the other's heart, to probe each other's thoughts to the quick. They tried, in a mute and passionate questioning, to see the other's conscience in its essential truth: the intimate struggles of two beings who, living side by side, never really know one another, who suspect and sniff around and spy on one another, but cannot plumb the miry depths of one another's soul.
Guy de Maupassant (Bel-Ami)
I know you’ve lost someone and it hurts. You may have lost them suddenly, unexpectedly. Or perhaps you began losing pieces of them until one day, there was nothing left. You may have known them all your life or you may have barely known them at all. Either way, it is irrelevant — you cannot control the depth of a wound another soul inflicts upon you. Which is why I am not here to tell you tomorrow is another day. That the sun will go on shining. Or there are plenty of fish in the sea. What I will tell you is this; it’s okay to be hurting as much as you are. What you are feeling is not only completely valid but necessary — because it makes you so much more human. And though I can’t promise it will get better any time soon, I can tell you that it will — eventually. For now, all you can do is take your time. Take all the time you need.
Lang Leav (Memories)
There are mainly nine emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, Pity, Disgust, Expectation, Surprise, and Trust. You are attached to those who give you joy. You are attached to those who make you sad. You are attached to those you fear. You are attached to those you are full of pity for. You are attached to those who disgust you. You are attached to those you expect from. You are attached to those who surprise you. You are attached to those you trust. In short, you are attached to those who evoke any kind of emotion in you. You should consider them all as mermaids, or the infected souls out to sink you in the depths of their bad Karma.
Shunya (Immortal Talks (- Book 1))
Don't you recognize me?' 'No.' 'Eponine.' Marius bent hastily forward and saw that it was indeed that unhappy girl, clad in a man's clothes. 'How do you come to be here? What are you doing?' 'I'm dying,' she said. There are words and happenings which arouse even souls in the depths of despair. Marius cried, as though starting out of sleep: 'You're wounded! I'll carry you into the tavern. They'll dress your wound. Is it very bad? How am I to lift you without hurting you? Help, someone! But what are you doing here?' He tried to get an arm underneath her to raise her up, and in doing so touched her hand. She uttered a weak cry. 'Did I hurt you?' 'A little.' 'But I only touched your hand.' She lifted her hand for him to see, and he saw a hole in the centre of the palm. 'What happened?' he asked. 'A bullet went through it.' 'A bullet? But how?' 'Don't you remember a musket being aimed at you?' 'Yes, and a hand was clapped over it.' 'That was mine.' Marius shuddered. 'What madness! Your poor child! Still, if that's all, it might be worse. I'll get you to a bed and they'll bind you up. One doesn't die of a wounded hand.' She murmured: 'The ball passed through my hand, but it came out through my back. It's no use trying to move me. I'll tell you how you can treat my wound better than any surgeon. Sit down on that stone, close beside me.' Marius did so. She rested her head on his knee and said without looking at him: 'Oh, what happiness! What bliss! Now I don't feel any pain.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
There is a theory that when a planet, like our earth for example, has manifested every form of life, when it has fulfilled itself to the point of exhaustion, it crumbles to bits and is dispersed like star dust throughout the universe. It does not roll on like a dead moon, but explodes, and in the space of a few minutes, there is not a trace of it visible in the heavens. In marine life we have a similar effect. it is called implosion. When an amphibian accustomed to the black depths rises above a certain level, when the pressure to which it adapts itself is lifted, the body bursts inwardly. Are we not familiar with this spectacle in the human being also? The norsemen who went berserk, the malay who runs amuck—are these not examples of implosion and explosion? When the cup is full it runs over. but when the cup and that which it contains are one substance, what then? There are moments when the elixir of life rises to such overbrimming splendor that the soul spills over. In the seraphic smile of the madonnas the soul is seen to flood the psyche. The moon of the face becomes full; the equation is perfect. A minute, a half minute, a second later, the miracle has passed. something intangible, something inexplicable, was given out—and received. In the life of a human being it may happen that the moon never comes to the full. In the life of some human beings it would seem, indeed, that the only mysterious phenomenon observable is that of perpetual eclipse. In the case of those afflicted with genius, whatever the form it may take, we are almost frightened to observe that there is nothing but a continuous waxing and waning of the moon. Rarer still are the anomalous ones who, having come to the full, are so terrified by the wonder of it that they spend the rest of their lives endeavoring to stifle that which gave them birth and being. The war of the mind is the story of the soul-split. When the moon was at full there were those who could not accept the dim death of diminution; they tried to hang full-blown in the zenith of their own heaven. They tried to arrest the action of the law which was manifesting itself through them, through their own birth and death, in fulfillment and transfiguration. Caught between the tides they were sundered; the soul departed the body, leaving the simulacrum of a divided self to fight it out in the mind. Blasted by their own radiance they live forever the futile quest of beauty, truth and harmony. Depossessed of their own effulgence they seek to possess the soul and spirit of those to whom they are attracted. They catch every beam of light; they reflect with every facet of their hungry being. instantly illumined, When the light is directed towards them, they are also speedily extinguished. The more intense the light which is cast upon them the more dazzling—and blinding—they appear. Especially dangerous are they to the radiant ones; it is always towards these bright and inexhaustible luminaries that they are most passionately drawn…
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
Houses, gardens, and people were transfigured into musical sounds, all that was solid seemed to be transfigured into soul and into gentleness. Sweet veils of silver and soul-haze swam through all things and lay over all things. The soul of the world had opened, and all grief, all human disappointment, all evil, all pain seemed to vanish, from now on never to appear again. Earlier walks came before my eyes; but the wonderful image of the humble present became a feeling which overpowered all others. The future paled, and the past dissolved. I glowed and flowered myself in the glowing, flowering present. From near and far, great things and small things emerged bright silver with marvelous gestures, joys, and enrichments, and in the midst of this beautiful place I dreamed of nothing but this place itself. All other fantasies sank and vanished in meaninglessness. I had the whole rich earth immediately before me, and I still looked only at what was most small and most humble. With gestures of love the heavens rose and fell. I had become an inward being, and walked as in an inward world; everything outside me became a dream; what I had understood till now became unintelligible. I fell away from the surface, down into the fabulous depths, which I recognized then to be all that was good. What we understand and love understands and loves us also. I was no longer myself, was another, and yet it was on this account that I became properly myself. In the sweet light of love I realized, or believe I realized, that perhaps the inward self is the only self which really exists.
Robert Walser (Selected Stories)
When you love a woman, what do you really love in her? It will be different with different people and it will be different at different times. If love really grows, this is the way: first you fall in love with the woman because her body is beautiful. That is the first available beauty - her face, her eyes, her proportion, her elegance, her dancing, pulsating energy. Her body is beautiful. That is the first approach. You fall in love. Then after a few days you start going deeper into the woman. You start loving her heart. Now a far more beautiful revelation is coming to you. The body becomes secondary; the heart becomes primary. A new vision has arisen, a new peak. If you go on loving the woman, sooner or later you will find there are peaks beyond peaks, depths beyond depths. Then you start loving the soul of the woman. Then it is not only her heart - now that has become secondary. Now it is the very person, the very presence, the very radiance, the aliveness, that unknown phenomenon of her being - that she is. The body is very far away, the heart has also gone away - now the being is. And then one day this particular woman's being becomes far away. Now you start loving womanhood in her, the femininity, the feminineness, that receptivity. Now she is not a particular woman at all, she simply reflects womanhood, a particular form of womanhood. Now it is no longer individual, it is becoming more and more universal. And one day that womanhood has also disappeared - you love the humanity in her. Now she is not just a representative of woman, she is also a representative of man as much. The sky is becoming bigger and bigger. Then one day it is not humanity, but existence. That she exists, that's all that you want - that she exists. You are coming very close to God. Then the last point comes - all formulations and all forms disappear and there is God. You have found God through your woman, through your man. Each love is an echo of God's love.
Osho
And with a relentlessness that comes from the world's depths, with a persistence that strikes the keys metaphysically, the scales of a piano student keep playing over and over, up and down the physical backbone of my memory. It's the old streets with other people, the same streets that today are different; it's dead people speaking to me through the transparency of their absence; it's remorse for what I did or didn't do; it's the rippling of streams in the night, noises from below in the quiet building. I feel like screaming inside my head. I want to stop, to break, to smash this impossible phonograph record that keeps playing inside me, where it doesn't belong, an intangible torturer. I want my soul, a vehicle taken over by others, to let me off and go on without me. I'm going crazy from having to hear. And in the end it is I – in my odiously impressionable brain, in my thin skin, in my hypersensitive nerves – who am the keys played in scales, O horrible and personal piano of our memory.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
On Pleasure Pleasure is a freedom-song, But it is not freedom. It is the blossoming of your desires, But it is not their fruit. It is a depth calling unto a height, But it is not the deep nor the high. It is the caged taking wing, But it is not space encompassed. Aye, in very truth, pleasure is a freedom-song. And I fain would have you sing it with fullness of heart; yet I would not have you lose your hearts in the singing. Some of your youth seek pleasure as if it were all, and they are judged and rebuked. I would not judge nor rebuke them. I would have them seek. For they shall find pleasure, but not her alone; Seven are her sisters, and the least of them is more beautiful than pleasure. Have you not heard of the man who was digging in the earth for roots and found a treasure? And some of your elders remember pleasures with regret like wrongs committed in drunkenness. But regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisement. They should remember their pleasures with gratitude, as they would the harvest of a summer. Yet if it comforts them to regret, let them be comforted. And there are among you those who are neither young to seek nor old to remember; And in their fear of seeking and remembering they shun all pleasures, lest they neglect the spirit or offend against it. But even in their foregoing is their pleasure. And thus they too find a treasure though they dig for roots with quivering hands. But tell me, who is he that can offend the spirit? Shall the nightingale offend the stillness of the night, or the firefly the stars? And shall your flame or your smoke burden the wind? Think you the spirit is a still pool which you can trouble with a staff? Oftentimes in denying yourself pleasure you do but store the desire in the recesses of your being. Who knows but that which seems omitted today, waits for tomorrow? Even your body knows its heritage and its rightful need and will not be deceived. And your body is the harp of your soul, And it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds. And now you ask in your heart, “How shall we distinguish that which is good in pleasure from that which is not good?” Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower, But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee. For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life, And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love, And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
I receive remarkable letters. They are opened for me, unfolded, and spread out before my eyes in a daily ritual that gives the arrival of the mail the character of a hushed and holy ceremony. I carefully read each letter myself. Some of them are serious in tone, discussing the meaning of life, invoking the supremacy of the soul, the mystery of every existence. And by a curious reversal, the people who focus most closely on these fundamental questions tend to be people I had known only superficially. Their small talk has masked hidden depths. Had I been blind and deaf, or does it take the harsh light of disaster to show a person's true nature? Other letters simply relate the small events that punctuate the passage of time: roses picked at dusk, the laziness of a rainy Sunday, a child crying himself to sleep. Capturing the moment, these small slices of life, these small gusts of happiness, move me more deeply than all the rest. A couple of lines or eight pages, a Middle Eastern stamp or a suburban postmark... I hoard all these letters like treasure. One day I hope to fasten them end to end in a half-mile streamer, to float in the wind like a banner raised to the glory of friendship. It will keep the vultures at bay.
Jean-Dominique Bauby (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
She tries to move toward him, but the path is covered with gravel, which slows her down. Then he turns his head and sees her. He puts down his brush and comes closer, and the closer he comes, the closer he comes, the happier she is she didn't put on mascara, she doesn't want to cry but she can't help it, she can hardly see him through the welling tears. She quickly wipes her eyes. She looks at him. He's standing two steps away. She could stretch out her hand, he'd come even closer, she could touch him. He's the same, thinner, the most beautiful man in the world, with the eyes Germain Pire described to her, a very pale blue, almost gray, quiet and gentle, with something struggling in their depths, a child, a soul of agony. His voice hasn't changed. The first thing she hears him say--it's terrible--he asks her, "You can't walk?" She shakes her head. He sighs, goes back to his painting. She pushes the wheels, moves toward the shed. He looks over at her again, he smiles. "You want to see what I'm doing?" She nods her head. "I'll show you in a little bit," he says. "But not right now, it's not finished." So while she waits, she sits up straight in her scooter, she crosses her hands in her lap, she looks at him. Yes, she looks at him, she looks at him, life is long and can still carry a great deal more on its back. She looks at him.
Sébastien Japrisot
I AM ROWING (a hex poem) i have cursed your forehead, your belly, your life i have cursed the streets your steps plod through the things your hands touch i have cursed the inside of your dreams i have placed a puddle in your eye so that you cant see anymore an insect in your ear so that you cant hear anymore a sponge in your brain so that you cant understand anymore i have frozen you in the soul of your body iced you in the depths of your life the air you breathe suffocates you the air you breathe has the air of a cellar is an air that has already been exhaled been puffed out by hyenas the dung of this air is something no one can breathe your skin is damp all over your skin sweats out waters of great fear your armpits reak far and wide of the crypt animals drop dead as you pass dogs howl at night their heads raised toward your house you cant run away you cant muster the strength of an ant to the tip of your feet your fatigue makes a lead stump in your body your fatigue is a long caravan your fatigue stretches out to the country of nan your fatigue is inexpressible your mouth bites you your nails scratch you no longer yours, your wife no longer yours, your brother the sole of his foot bitten by an angry snake someone has slobbered on your descendents someone has drooled in the mouth of your laughing little girl someone has walked by slobbering all over the face of your domain the world moves away from you i am rowing i am rowing i am rowing against your life i am rowing i split into countless rowers to row more strongly against you you fall into blurriness you are out of breath you get tired before the slightest effort i row i row i row you go off drunk tied to the tail of a mule drunkenness like a huge umbrella that darkens the sky and assembles the flies dizzy drunkenness of the semicircular canals unnoticed beginnings of hemiplegia drunkeness no longer leaves you lays you out to the left lays you out to the right lays you out on the stony ground of the path i row i row i am rowing against your days you enter the house of suffering i row i row on a black blinfold your life is unfolding on the great white eye of a one eyed horse your future is unrolling I AM ROWING
Henri Michaux
The young man was sincerely but placidly in love. He delighted in the radiant good looks of his betrothed, in her health, her horsemanship, her grace and quickness at games, and the shy interest in books and ideas that she was beginning to develop under his guidance. She was straightforward, loyal, and brave; she had a sense of humour (chiefly proved by her laughing at his jokes); and he suspected, in the depths of her innocently-gazing soul, a glow of feeling that it would be a joy to waken. But when he had gone the brief round of her he returned discouraged by the thought that all this frankness and innocence were only an artificial product. Untrained human nature was not frank and innocent; it was full of the twists and defences of an instinctive guile. And he felt himself oppressed by this creation of factitious purity, so cunningly manufactured by a conspiracy of mothers and aunts and grandmothers and long-dead ancestresses, because it was supposed to be what he wanted, what he had a right to, in order that he might exercise his lordly pleasure in smashing it like an image made of snow.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
Who can escape when in your grip, When your dark eyes confront one? I do not wish to flee when you seize me, I never shall believe that you only destroy. I know that you must course through everyone's life and nothing earthbound stays untouched by you, Though life without you would be beautiful! And yet, it is worthwhile to experience you. Indeed, you are not a night's phantom; You come to remind the spirit of its strength: It's the battle that has made the greatest persons great -on rugged roads towards the goal. For that, and happiness and joy, give me only one thing; pain which lends true greatness. So, come and let us wrestle breast to breast; do come, even if it means life or death. Do come and lip into the heart's deepest interior and rummage through the depths of life. Take away dream's illusion and joy; take away things not worth one's unlimited strivings. You are not mankind's final conqueror. Although we expose our breast to your blows and although we collapse in death, you are the pedestal for our soul's greatness.
Lou Andreas-Salomé
I thank you, Wilhelm, for your heartfelt sympathy, for your well-intentioned advice, but beg you to be quiet. Let me stick it out. Blessedly exhausted as I am, I have strength enough to carry through. I honor religion, you know that, I feel it is a staff for many weary souls, refreshment for many a one who is pining away. But--can it be, must it be, the same thing for everyone? If you look at the great world, you see thousands for whom it wasn't, thousands for whom it will not be the same, preached or unpreached, and must it then be the same for me? Does not the son of God Himself say that those would be around Him whom the Father had given Him? But if I am not given? If the Father wants to keep me for Himself, as my heart tells me?--I beg you, do not misinterpret this, do not see mockery in these innocent words. What I am laying before you is my whole soul; otherwise I would rather have kept silent, as I do not like to lose words over things that everyone knows as little about as I do. What else is it but human destiny to suffer out one's measure, drink up one's cup?--And if the chalice was too bitter for the God from heaven on His human lips, why should I boast and pretend that it tastes sweet to me? And why should I be ashamed in the terrible moment when my entire being trembles between being and nothingness, since the past flashes like lightning above the dark abyss of the future and everything around me is swallowed up, and the world perishes with me?--Is that not the voice of the creature thrown back on itself, failing, trapped, lost, and inexorably tumbling downward, the voice groaning in the inner depths of its vainly upwards-struggling energies: My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me? And if I should be ashamed of the expression, should I be afraid when facing that moment, since it did not escape Him who rolls up heaven like a carpet?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
Dear comrade in arms, after 15 years of battles, persecutions and sacrifices, Romania's youth must know that the hour of the Legionaire victory isn't far. All of our enemies attempts will be crushed. All plans of tempting us, All attempts at buying our souls, All attempts of seperating us, and all treasons will fall to the ground. Look at them, at your tyrants, straight in their eyes. Endure with submission all blows, endure all pains, whatever they may be, because our sacrifices will be the iron foundation made from broken bodies and from tortured souls, of our Victory. Those, among us, who will fall will have names and tombs of heroes, and those who will kill us will bear the names of traitors and will be cursed from generation to generation. From the depths the Legionnaire rises victorious with his rock-like soul. Those who think they can defeat him... as well as those who think they can buy him... will soon, but too late... Come to the conclusion... that they were wrong.
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
But most critically, sweet, never try to change the narrative structure of someone else’s story, though you will certainly be tempted to, as you watch those poor souls in school, in life, heading unwittingly down dangerous tangents, fatal digressions from which they will unlikely be able to emerge. Resist the temptation. Spend your energies on your story. Reworking it. Making it better. Increasing the scale, the depth of content, the universal themes. And I don’t care what those themes are – they’re yours to uncover and stand behind – so long as, at the very least, there is courage. Guts. Mut, in German. Those around you can have their novellas, sweet, their short stories of cliché and coincidence, occasionally spiced up with tricks of the quirky, the achingly mundane, the grotesque. A few will even cook up Greek tragedy, those born into misery, destined to die in misery. But you, my bride of quietness, you will craft nothing less than epic with your life. Out of all of them, your story will be the one to last.
Marisha Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
Sometimes, a person isn’t looking to increase their lifestyle, status or ego when they fall in love. Sometimes, they just want that special someone that is just like them. The one person that truly understands how they suffer because they have gone through it too. They want to wake up beside someone that knows their trials intimately. They want a teammate that doesn’t say they get it, but someone who knows it, lived it and survived it. They have been looking for that person their entire life because they feel alone and misunderstood. They are tired of people telling them not to care about other people, when that is not who God designed them to be. The depth of their soul can’t be reached by their partner standing at the top looking down. They want to come home to their “own kind”--the person that has run the same dark corridors they have traveled in their mind. They want to build a life with someone that would never break their heart, push them away or give up on them. They don’t want the person that has to win. They want the rescuer that has been to the fearful boundaries of their heart, but knows the way back to life. When they meet this person they will never forget them because they will come into their life with all the fire they possess and never leave their soul.
Shannon L. Alder
Since once again, Lord - though this time not in the forests of the Aisne but in the steppes of Asia - I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the Real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world. Over there, on the horizon, the sun has just touched with light the outermost fringe of the eastern sky. Once again, beneath this moving sheet of fire, the living surface of the earth wakes and trembles, and once again begins its fearful travail. I will place on my paten, O God, the harvest to be won by this renewal of labour. Into my chalice I shall pour all the sap which is to be pressed out this day from the earth’s fruits. My paten and my chalice are the depths of a soul laid widely open to all the forces which in a moment will rise up from every corner of the earth and converge upon the Spirit. Grant me the remembrance and the mystic presence of all those whom the light is now awakening to the new day . . . Over every living thing which is to spring up, to grow, to flower, to ripen during this day say again the words: ‘This is my Body’. And over every death-force which waits in readiness to corrode, to wither, to cut down, speak again your commanding words which express the supreme mystery of faith: ‘This is my Blood’.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (The Divine Milieu)
But in the depths of his heart, the older he became, and the more intimately he knew his brother, the more and more frequently the thought struck him that this faculty of working for the public good, of which he felt himself utterly devoid, was possibly not so much a quality as a lack of something --not a lack of good, honest, noble desires and tastes, but a lack of vital force, of what is called heart, of that impulse which drives a man to choose someone out of the innumerable paths of life, and to care only for that one. The better he knew his brother, the more he noticed that Sergey Ivanovitch, and many other people who worked for the public welfare, were not led by an impulse of the heart to care for the public good, but reasoned from intellectual considerations that it was a right thing to take interest in public affairs, and consequently took interest in them. Levin was confirmed in this generalization by observing that his brother did not take questions affecting the public welfare or the question of the immortality of the soul a bit more to heart than he did chess problems, or the ingenious construction of a new machine.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
When a man kills another man, the people say he is a murderer, but when the Emir kills him, the Emir is just. When a man robs a monastery, they say he is a thief, but when the Emir robs him of his life, the Emir is honourable. When a woman betrays her husband, they say she is an adulteress, but when the Emir makes her walk naked in the streets and stones her later, the Emir is noble. Shedding of blood is forbidden, but who made it lawful for the Emir? Stealing one's money is a crime, but taking away one's life is a noble act. Betrayal of a husband may be an ugly deed, but stoning of living souls is a beautiful sight. Shall we meet evil with evil and say this is the Law? Shall we fight corruption with greater corruption and say this is the Rule? Shall we conquer crimes with more crimes and say this is Justice? Had not the Emir killed an enemy in his past life? Had he not robbed his weak subjects of money and property? Had he not committed adultery? Was he infallible when he killed the murderer and hanged the thief in the tree? Who are those who hanged the thief in the tree? Are they angels descended from heaven, or men looting and usurping? Who cut off the murderer's head? Are they divine prophets, or soldiers shedding blood wherever they go? Who stoned that adulteress? Were they virtuous hermits who came from their monasteries, or humans who loved to commit atrocities with glee, under the protection of ignorant Law? What is Law? Who saw it coming with the sun from the depths of heaven? What human saw the heart of God and found its will or purpose? In what century did the angels walk among the people and preach to them, saying, "Forbid the weak from enjoying life, and kill the outlaws with the sharp edge of the sword, and step upon the sinners with iron feet?
Kahlil Gibran (Spirits Rebellious / The Madman/ The Forerunner)
Water everywhere, falling in thundering cataracts, singular drops, and draping sheets. Kellhus paused next to one of the shining braziers, peered beneath the bronze visage that loomed orange and scowling over his father, watched him lean back into absolute shadow. “You came to the world,” unseen lips said, “and you saw that Men were like children.” Lines of radiance danced across the intervening waters. “It is their nature to believe as their fathers believed,” the darkness continued. “To desire as they desired … Men are like wax poured into moulds: their souls are cast by their circumstances. Why are no Fanim children born to Inrithi parents? Why are no Inrithi children born to Fanim parents? Because these truths are made, cast by the particularities of circumstance. Rear an infant among Fanim and he will become Fanim. Rear him among Inrithi and he will become Inrithi … “Split him in two, and he would murder himself.” Without warning, the face re-emerged, water-garbled, white save the black sockets beneath his brow. The action seemed random, as though his father merely changed posture to relieve some vagrant ache, but it was not. Everything, Kellhus knew, had been premeditated. For all the changes wrought by thirty years in the Wilderness, his father remained Dûnyain … Which meant that Kellhus stood on conditioned ground. “But as obvious as this is,” the blurred face continued, “it escapes them. Because they cannot see what comes before them, they assume nothing comes before them. Nothing. They are numb to the hammers of circumstance, blind to their conditioning. What is branded into them, they think freely chosen. So they thoughtlessly cleave to their intuitions, and curse those who dare question. They make ignorance their foundation. They confuse their narrow conditioning for absolute truth.” He raised a cloth, pressed it into the pits of his eyes. When he withdrew it, two rose-coloured stains marked the pale fabric. The face slipped back into the impenetrable black. “And yet part of them fears. For even unbelievers share the depth of their conviction. Everywhere, all about them, they see examples of their own self-deception … ‘Me!’ everyone cries. ‘I am chosen!’ How could they not fear when they so resemble children stamping their feet in the dust? So they encircle themselves with yea-sayers, and look to the horizon for confirmation, for some higher sign that they are as central to the world as they are to themselves.” He waved his hand out, brought his palm to his bare breast. “And they pay with the coin of their devotion.
R. Scott Bakker (The Thousandfold Thought (The Prince of Nothing, #3))
What is hope? Is it the ambition of discovering for the first time what the carnal definition of physical love is without understanding the concept of true passion? Or is it imagination running wild and free fueled by the dram that tonight will last forever and tomorrows will always come as you are blinded by the brilliance of another's smile? Is it a theory of inevitability that relies on fate or destiny bringing two souls together for their one shot at true and unbridled happiness? Or is it a plea to erase a past that used to hold the potential for limitless smiles and endless laughs? I define hope as a narcotic. It courses through our veins, igniting ideas and feelings and emotions that all work in collaboration to produce a better tomorrow, while leaving today, but a distant memory. The essence of its unknown and unseen promise is beautiful and addicting to those who are in need of its satiating grace. The dependence on the idea of possibility can become a crutch however; an excuse for ignoring the here and now. It can swiftly morph from a therapeutic escape to an addictive obsession that somewhere over the rainbow lies the answer that will make everything right again. I am thankful to call myself a true addict to hope's mind altering panacea. It's blissful nirvana can seem both inconceivably irrational yet entirely fathomable to anyone lost in a sea of uncertainty. Just as age brings wisdom, experience brings the understanding that no matter what pot of gold lies at the end of your hopeful rainbow, the relief it casts over tragedy and heartache is the power behind it's true magic. To the hope that resides in the depths of my being, thank you.......
Ivan Rusilko (Entrée (The Winemaker's Dinner, #2))
Nothing on the horizon; nothing in heaven. He implores the expanse, the waves, the seaweed, the reef; they are deaf. He beseeches the tempest; the imperturbable tempest obeys only the infinite. Around him darkness, fog, solitude, the stormy and non- sentient tumult, the undefined curling of those wild waters. In him horror and fatigue. Beneath him the depths. Not a point of support. He thinks of the gloomy adventures of the corpse in the limitless shadow. The bottomless cold paralyzes him. His hands contract convulsively; they close, and grasp nothingness. Winds, clouds, whirlwinds, gusts, useless stars! What is to be done? The desperate man gives up; he is weary, he chooses the alternative of death; he resists not; he lets himself go; he abandons his grip; and then he tosses forevermore in the lugubrious dreary depths of engulfment. Oh, implacable march of human societies! Oh, losses of men and of souls on the way! Ocean into which falls all that the law lets slip! Disastrous absence of help! Oh, moral death! The sea is the inexorable social night into which the penal laws fling their condemned. The sea is the immensity of wretchedness. The soul, going down stream in this gulf, may become a corpse. Who shall resuscitate it?
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
The War on Men Through the Degradation of Woman” - "How is man to recognize his full self, his full power through the eye’s of an incomplete woman? The woman who has been stripped of Goddess recognition and diminished to a big ass and full breast for physical comfort only. The woman who has been silenced so she may forget her spiritual essence because her words stir too much thought outside of the pleasure space. The woman who has been diminished to covering all that rots inside of her with weaves and red bottom shoes. I am sure the men, who restructured our societies from cultures that honored woman, had no idea of the outcome. They had no idea that eventually, even men would render themselves empty and longing for meaning, depth and connection. There is a deep sadness when I witness a man that can’t recognize the emptiness he feels when he objectifies himself as a bank and truly believes he can buy love with things and status. It is painful to witness the betrayal when a woman takes him up on that offer. He doesn’t recognize that the [creation] of a half woman has contributed to his repressed anger and frustration of feeling he is not enough. He then may love no woman or keep many half women as his prize. He doesn’t recognize that it’s his submersion in the imbalanced warrior culture, where violence is the means of getting respect and power, as the reason he can break the face of the woman who bore him 4 four children. When woman is lost, so is man. The truth is, woman is the window to a man’s heart and a man’s heart is the gateway to his soul. Power and control will NEVER out weigh love. May we all find our way.
Jada Pinkett Smith
Konstantin Levin regarded his brother as a man of immense intellect and culture, as generous in the highest sense of the word, and possessed of a special faculty for working for the public good. But in the depths of his heart, the older he became, and the more intimately he knew his brother, the more and more frequently the thought struck him that this faculty of working for the public good, of which he felt himself utterly devoid, was possibly not so much a quality as a lack of something — not a lack of good, honest, noble desires and tastes, but a lack of vital force, of what is called heart, of that impulse which drives a man to choose someone out of the innumerable paths of life, and to care only for that one. The better he knew his brother, the more he noticed that Sergey Ivanovitch, and many other people who worked for the public welfare, were not led by an impulse of the heart to care for the public good, but reasoned from intellectual considerations that it was a right thing to take interest in public affairs, and consequently took interest in them. Levin was confirmed in this generalization by observing that his brother did not take questions affecting the public welfare or the question of the immortality of the soul a bit more to heart than he did chess problems, or the ingenious construction of a new machine.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
As we have seen, prayer, celebration of the religious offices, alms, consoling the afflicted, the cultivation of a little piece of ground, fraternity, frugality, hospitality, self-sacrifice, confidence, study, and work, filled up each day of his life. Filled up is exactly the phrase; and in fact, the Bishop's day was full to the brim with good thoughts, good words, and good actions. Yet it was not complete if cold or rainy weather prevented him from passing an hour or two in the evening, when the two women had retired, in his garden before going to sleep. It seemed as though it were a sort of rite with him, to prepare himself for sleep by meditating in the presence of the great spectacle of the starry firmament. Sometimes late at night, if the two women were awake, they would hear him slowly walking the paths. He was out there alone with himself, composed, tranquil, adoring, comparing the serenity of his heart with the serenity of the skies, moved in the darkness by the visible splendors of the constellations, and the invisible splendor of God, opening his soul to the thoughts that fall from the Unknown. In such moments, offering up his heart at the hour when the flowers of night emit their perfume, lit like a lamp in the center of the starry night, expanding his soul in ecstasy in the midst of creation’s universal radiance, perhaps he could not have told what was happening in his own mind; he felt something depart from him, and something descend upon him; mysterious exchanges of the depths of the soul with the depths of the universe. He contemplated the grandeur, and the presence of God; the eternity of the future, that strange mystery; the eternity of the past, a stranger mystery; all the infinities hidden deep in every direction; and, without trying to comprehend the incomprehensible, he saw it. He did not study God; he was dazzled by Him. He reflected upon the magnificent union of atoms, which give visible forms to Nature, revealing forces by recognizing them, creating individualities in unity, proportions in extension, the innumerable in the infinite, and through light producing beauty. These unions are forming and dissolving continually; from which come life and death. He would sit on a wooden bench leaning against a decrepit trellis and look at the stars through the irregular outlines of his fruit trees. This quarter of an acre of ground, so sparingly planted, so cluttered with shed and ruins, was dear to him and satisfied him. What more was needed by this old man, who divided the leisure hours of his life, where he had so little leisure, between gardening in the day time, and contemplation at night? Was this narrow enclosure, with the sky for a background not space enough for him to adore God in his most beautiful, most sublime works? Indeed, is that not everything? What more do you need? A little garden to walk in, and immensity to reflect on. At his feet something to cultivate and gather; above his head something to study and meditate on; a few flowers on earth and all the stars in the sky.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
The creative life! Ascension. Passing beyond oneself. Rocketing out into the blue, grasping at flying ladders, mounting, soaring, lifting the world up by the scalp, rousing the angels from their ethereal lairs, drowning in stellar depths, clinging to the tails of comets. Nietzsche had written of it ecstatically —and then swooned forward into the mirror to die in root and flower. «Stairs and contradictory stairs,» he wrote, and then suddenly there was no longer any bottom; the mind, like a splintered diamond, was pulverized by the hammer−blows of truth. There was a time when I acted as my father's keeper. I was left alone for long hours, cooped up in the little booth which we used as an office. While he was drinking with his cronies I was feeding from the bottle of creative life. My companions were the free spirits, the overlords of the soul. The young man sitting there in the mingy yellow light became completely unhinged; he lived in the crevices of great thoughts, crouched like a hermit in the barren folds of a lofty mountain range. From truth he passed to imagination and from imagination to invention. At this last portal, through which there is no return, fear beset him. To venture farther was to wander alone, to rely wholly upon oneself. The purpose of discipline is to promote freedom. But freedom leads to infinity and infinity is terrifying. Then arose the comforting thought of stopping at the brink, of setting down in words the mysteries of impulsion, compulsion, propulsion, of bathing the senses in human odors. To become utterly human, the compassionate fiend incarnate, the locksmith of the great door leading beyond and away and forever isolate. Men founder like ships. Children also. There are children who settle to the bottom at the age of nine, carrying with them the secret of their betrayal. There are perfidious monsters who look at you with the bland, innocent eyes of youth; their crimes are unregistered, because we have no names for them.
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
But there is an unbounded pleasure to be had in the possession of a young, newly blossoming soul! It is like a flower, from which the best aroma evaporates when meeting the first ray of the sun; you must pluck it at that minute, breathing it in until you’re satisfied, and then throw it onto the road: perhaps someone will pick it up! I feel this insatiable greed, which swallows everything it meets on its way. I look at the suffering and joy of others only in their relation to me, as though it is food that supports the strength of my soul. I myself am not capable of going mad under the influence of passion. My ambition is stifled by circumstances, but it has manifested itself in another way, for ambition is nothing other than a thirst for power, and my best pleasure is to subject everyone around me to my will, to arouse feelings of love, devotion and fear of me—is this not the first sign and the greatest triumph of power? Being someone’s reason for suffering while not being in any position to claim the right—isn’t this the sweetest nourishment for our pride? And what is happiness? Sated pride. If I considered myself to be better, more powerful than everyone in the world, I would be happy. If everyone loved me, I would find endless sources of love within myself. Evil spawns evil. The first experience of torture gives an understanding of the pleasure in tormenting others. An evil idea cannot enter a person’s head without his wanting to bring it into reality: ideas are organic creations, someone once said. Their birth gives them form immediately, and this form is an action. The person in whom most ideas are born is the person who acts most. Hence a genius, riveted to his office desk, must die or lose his mind, just as a man with a powerful build who has a sedentary life and modest behavior will die from an apoplectic fit. Passions are nothing other than the first developments of an idea: they are a characteristic of the heart’s youth, and whoever thinks to worry about them his whole life long is a fool: many calm rivers begin with a noisy waterfall, but not one of them jumps and froths until the very sea. And this calm is often the sign of great, though hidden, strength. The fullness and depth of both feeling and thought will not tolerate violent upsurges. The soul, suffering and taking pleasure, takes strict account of everything and is always convinced that this is how things should be. It knows that without storms, the constant sultriness of the sun would wither it. It is infused with its own life—it fosters and punishes itself, like a child. And it is only in this higher state of self-knowledge that a person can estimate the value of divine justice.
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
For the first time I understood the dogma of eternal pain -- appreciated "the glad tidings of great joy." For the first time my imagination grasped the height and depth of the Christian horror. Then I said: "It is a lie, and I hate your religion. If it is true, I hate your God." From that day I have had no fear, no doubt. For me, on that day, the flames of hell were quenched. From that day I have passionately hated every orthodox creed. That Sermon did some good. In the Old Testament, they said. God is the judge -- but in the New, Christ is the merciful. As a matter of fact, the New Testament is infinitely worse than the Old. In the Old there is no threat of eternal pain. Jehovah had no eternal prison -- no everlasting fire. His hatred ended at the grave. His revenge was satisfied when his enemy was dead. In the New Testament, death is not the end, but the beginning of punishment that has no end. In the New Testament the malice of God is infinite and the hunger of his revenge eternal. The orthodox God, when clothed in human flesh, told his disciples not to resist evil, to love their enemies, and when smitten on one cheek to turn the other, and yet we are told that this same God, with the same loving lips, uttered these heartless, these fiendish words; "Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." These are the words of "eternal love." No human being has imagination enough to conceive of this infinite horror. All that the human race has suffered in war and want, in pestilence and famine, in fire and flood, -- all the pangs and pains of every disease and every death -- all this is as nothing compared with the agonies to be endured by one lost soul. This is the consolation of the Christian religion. This is the justice of God -- the mercy of Christ. This frightful dogma, this infinite lie, made me the implacable enemy of Christianity. The truth is that this belief in eternal pain has been the real persecutor. It founded the Inquisition, forged the chains, and furnished the fagots. It has darkened the lives of many millions. It made the cradle as terrible as the coffin. It enslaved nations and shed the blood of countless thousands. It sacrificed the wisest, the bravest and the best. It subverted the idea of justice, drove mercy from the heart, changed men to fiends and banished reason from the brain. Like a venomous serpent it crawls and coils and hisses in every orthodox creed. It makes man an eternal victim and God an eternal fiend. It is the one infinite horror. Every church in which it is taught is a public curse. Every preacher who teaches it is an enemy of mankind. Below this Christian dogma, savagery cannot go. It is the infinite of malice, hatred, and revenge. Nothing could add to the horror of hell, except the presence of its creator, God. While I have life, as long as I draw breath, I shall deny with all my strength, and hate with every drop of my blood, this infinite lie.
Robert G. Ingersoll