Disease Pain Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Disease Pain. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Sometimes I think illness sits inside every woman, waiting for the right moment to bloom. I have known so many sick women all my life. Women with chronic pain, with ever-gestating diseases. Women with conditions. Men, sure, they have bone snaps, they have backaches, they have a surgery or two, yank out a tonsil, insert a shiny plastic hip. Women get consumed.
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
She could ask for anything, she thought dizzily, anything--an end to pain or world hunger or disease, or for peace on earth. But then again, perhaps these things weren't in the power of angels to grant, or they would already have been granted. And perhaps people were supposed to find these things for themselves.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
The past does not haunt us. We haunt the past. We allow our minds to focus in that direction. We open memories and examine them. We reexperience emotions we felt during the painful events we experienced because we are recalling them in as much detail as we can.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
I often wished that more people understood the invisible side of things. Even the people who seemed to understand, didn't really.
Jennifer Starzec (Determination (5k, Ballet, #2))
That’s the trouble with pain. It’s a contagious as a disease. It spreads from the person who first endured it to those who love them most. Truth isn’t always the highest ideal’ sometimes it must be sacrificed to stop the spread of pain to those you love.
Nita Prose (The Maid (Molly the Maid, #1))
The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.
Erma Bombeck
God whispered, "You endured a lot. For that I am truly sorry, but grateful. I needed you to struggle to help so many. Through that process you would grow into who you have now become. Didn't you know that I gave all my struggles to my favorite children? One only needs to look at the struggles given to your older brother Jesus to know how important you have been to me.
Shannon L. Alder
Dante laughed. "No cold soup, no goat cheese. I'll make a mental note. And no Gottfried Curse." "And for you it's no food at all. No sleep. And no tunnels." "I'm low maintenance." "Is that what you are? Because I've been trying to figure it out all semester." "And what have you concluded?" "A mutant. A rare disease. A creature from the inferno. Dante." "And what if you found out you were right?" he asked. "What if it meant that I could hurt you?" "I would say that I'm not scared. Everyone has the ability to hurt. It's the choice that matters.
Yvonne Woon (Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1))
Adults, light-years away from this, rolled their eyes and smirked and said, "this too shall pass" - as if adolescence was a disease like chicken pox, something everyone recalled as a mild nuisance, completely forgetting how painful it had been at the time.
Jodi Picoult (The Pact)
Remember laughing? Laughter enhances the blood flow to the body’s extremities and improves cardiovascular function. Laughter releases endorphins and other natural mood elevating and pain-killing chemicals, improves the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to internal organs. Laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body fight off disease, cancer cells as well as viral, bacterial and other infections. Being happy is the best cure of all diseases!
Patch Adams
Willow sees her before any of the others. A walking skeleton, the victim of some terrible wasting disease, like something out of the history books, a death camp survivor. It takes Willow a moment to realize that the girl is none of those things. She's just a girl, a girl like Willow, who's chosen to inflict terrible pain on herself. Only this girl's weapon isn't a razor, it's starvation.
Julia Hoban (Willow)
At 17, the smallest crises took on tremendous proportions; someone else's thoughts could take root in the loam of your own mind; having someone accept you was as vital as oxygen. Adults, light years away from this, rolled their eyes and smirked and said, 'This too shall pass' - as if adolescence was a disease like chicken pox, something everyone recalled as a milk nuisance, completely forgetting how painful it had been at the time.
Jodi Picoult
I was raised the old-fashioned way, with a stern set of moral principles: Never lie, cheat, steal or knowingly spread a venereal disease. Never speed up to hit a pedestrian or, or course, stop to kick a pedestrian who has already been hit. From which it followed, of course, that one would never ever -- on pain of deletion from dozens of Christmas card lists across the country -- vote Republican.
Barbara Ehrenreich
I wake sometimes in the dark terrified by my life's precariousness, its thready breath. Beside me, my husband's pulse beats at his throat; in their beds, my children's skin shows every faintest scratch. A breeze would blow them over, and the world is filled with more than breezes: diseases and disasters, monsters and pain in a thousand variations. I do not forget either my father and his kind hanging over us, bright and sharp as swords, aimed at our tearing flesh. If they do not fall on us in spite and malice, then they will fall by accident or whim. My breath fights in my throat. How can I live on beneath such a burden of doom? I rise then and go to my herbs. I create something, I transform something. My witchcraft is as strong as ever, stronger. This too is good fortune. How many have such power and leisure and defense as I do? Telemachus comes from our bed to find me. He sits with me in the greensmelling darkness, holding my hand. Our faces are both lined now, marked with our years. Circe, he says, it will be all right. It is not the saying of an oracle or a prophet. They are words you might speak to a child. I have heard him say them to our daughters, when he rocked them back to sleep from a nightmare, when he dressed their small cuts, soothed whatever stung. His skin is familiar as my own beneath my fingers. I listen to his breath, warm upon the night air, and somehow I am comforted. He does not mean it does not hurt. He does not mean we are not frightened. Only that: we are here. This is what it means to swim in the tide, to walk the earth and feel it touch your feet. This is what it means to be alive.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.
Hugh Mackay
If, as a culture, we don’t bear witness to grief, the burden of loss is placed entirely upon the bereaved, while the rest of us avert our eyes and wait for those in mourning to stop being sad, to let go, to move on, to cheer up. And if they don’t — if they have loved too deeply, if they do wake each morning thinking, I cannot continue to live — well, then we pathologize their pain; we call their suffering a disease. We do not help them: we tell them that they need to get help.
Cheryl Strayed (Brave Enough)
But feelings, no matter how strong or “ugly,” are not a part of who you are. They are the radio stations your mind listens to if you don’t give it something better to do. Feelings are fluid and dynamic; they change frequently. Feelings are something you HAVE, not something you ARE. Like physical beauty, a cold sore, or an opinion. Admitting you feel rage or terrible pain or regret or some old, rotten blame does not mean these feelings are part of who you are as a person. What these feelings mean is, you have to change your thinking to be free of them.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
It was a truth that invaded her, like a dark disease, a truth too painful to talk about. And I was beginning to wonder if all I was doing was making it worse.
Kevin Brooks (Candy)
Even painfully shy and awkward people are not painfully shy or awkward when they are alone. The way to access this natural, comfortable alone-self when you are with others is by choosing to forbid yourself to wonder what "they" are thinking. Instead, force yourself to exist in the instant, then take it- and give it- as it comes.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
This is the kind of thing that makes sense to them; this is a language they know. They know what to do with`disease'. They know how to attach a doctor's medical descriptions to hope.
Amy Reed (Clean)
No matter how huge your loss, as long as you remain engaged with your life, the best days of your life may still be ahead of you. Don't misunderstand me: the pain of your loss will remain with you for the rest of your life. But great joy will be there right beside it. Deep sorrow and deep joy can exist within you, side by side. At every moment. And it's not confusing. And it's not a conflict.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
And then a throb hits you on the left ide of the head so hard that your head bobs to the right...There's no way that came from inside your head, you think. That's no metaphysical crisis. God just punched you in the face.
Andrew Levy (A Brain Wider Than the Sky: A Migraine Diary)
It's because I haven't courage,' said Samuel. 'I could never quite take the responsibility. When the Lord God did not call my name, I might have called his name - but I did not. There you have the difference between greatness and mediocrity. It's not an uncommon disease. But it's nice for a mediocre man to know that greatness must be the loneliest state in the world.' 'I'd think there are degrees of greatness,' Adam said. 'I don't think so,' said Samuel. 'That would be like saying there is a little bigness. No. I believe when you come to that responsibility the hugeness and you are alone to make your choice. On one side you have warmth and companionship and sweet understanding, and on the other - cold, lonely greatness. There you make your choice. I'm glad I chose mediocrity, but how am I to say what reward might have come with the other? None of my children will be great either, except perhaps Tom. He's suffering over the choosing right now. It's a painful thing to watch. And somewhere in me I want him to say yes. Isn't that strange? A father to want his son condemned to greatness! What selfishness that must be.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
I told you, in my last, that He sometimes permits bodily diseases to cure the distempers of the soul. Have courage then: make a virtue of necessity: ask of GOD, not deliverance from your pains, but strength to bear resolutely, for the love of Him, all that He should please, and as long as He shall please.
Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God)
Suffering is the condition on which we live. And when it comes you know it. You know it as the truth. Of course it's right to cure diseases, to prevent hunger and injustice, as the social organism does. But no society can change the nature of its existence. We can't prevent suffering. This pain and that pain, yes, but not Pain. A society can only relieve social suffering - unnecessary suffering. The rest remains. The root, the reality.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia)
True pain can only come gradually. It is exactly like tuberculosis in that the disease has already progressed to a critical stage before the patient becomes aware of its symptoms.
Yukio Mishima (Confessions of a Mask)
And so it is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman in possession of vague symptoms like fatigue and pain will be in search of a doctor who believes she is actually sick.
Meghan O'Rourke (The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness)
The psyche cannot tolerate a vacuum of love. In the severely abused or deprived child, pain, dis-ease, and violance rush in to fill the void. In the average person in our culture, who has been only "normally" deprived of touch, anxiety and an insatiable hunger for posessions replace the missing eros. The child lacking a sense of welcome, joyous belonging, gratuitous security, will learn to hoard the limited supply of affection. According to the law of psychic compensation, not being held leads to holding on, grasping, addiction, posessiveness. Gradually, things replace people as a source of pleasure and security. When the gift of belonging with is denied, the child learns that love means belongin to. To the degree we are arrested at this stage of development, the needy child will dominate our motivations. Other people and things (and there is fundamentally no difference) will be seen as existing solely for the purpose of "my" survival and satisfaction. "Mine" will become the most important word.
Sam Keen (The Passionate Life: Stages of Loving)
Mother, monogamy, romance. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the wild jet. The urge has but a single outlet. My love, my baby. No wonder those poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Their world didn’t allow them to take things easily, didn’t allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy. What with mothers and lovers, what with the prohibitions they were not conditioned to obey, what with the temptations and the lonely remorses, what with all the diseases and the endless isolating pain, what with the uncertainties and the poverty—they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly (and strongly, what was more, in solitude, in hopelessly individual isolation), how could they be stable?
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
I had learned quickly that life doesn't always go the way I want it to, and that's okay. I still plod on.
Sarah Todd Hammer (Determination (5k, Ballet, #2))
Falling out of love was much harder than Gabe would have liked. Normally led through life by the heart attached to his sleeve, finding logic in love proved to be a bit like getting vaccinated for some dread disease: a good idea in the end, but the initial pain certainly wasn’t any fun. He came to appreciate that there were worse ways to live than to live without love. For instance, if he didn’t have arms, Gabe wouldn’t be able to hide in his work. Yes, a life without arms would be quite tragic, indeed.
Leslye Walton (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)
Don’t ever forget you are beautiful, although your life, your past and your present situation may be ugly. You are beautiful.
Ricky Maye (Barefoot Christianity: The Rough Road Ahead in the Life of a Jesus Follower)
Furthermore, as the body suffers the horrors of disease and the pangs of pain, so we see the mind stabbed with anguish, grief and fear. What more natural than that it should likewise have a share in death?
Lucretius (On the Nature of Things)
Many empaths are diagnosed with chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, CFS, lupus, and various autoimmune diseases, as well as psychological disorders such as agoraphobia, social anxiety, ADHD, depression, sensory processing disorder, among many others.
Aletheia Luna (Awakened Empath: The Ultimate Guide to Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Healing)
Let me tell you the truth about the world to which you so desperately want to return. It is a place of pain and suffering and grief. When you left it, cities were being attacked. Women and children were being blasted to pieces or burned alive by bombs dropped from planes flown by men with wives and children of their own. People were being dragged from their homes and shot in the street. Your world is tearing itself apart, and the most amusing thing of all is that it was little better before the war started. War merely gives people an excuse to indulge themselves further, to murder with impunity. There were wars before it, and there will be wars after it, and in between people will fight one another and hurt one another and maim one another and betray one another, because that is what they have always done. And even if you avoid warfare and violent death, little boy, what else do you think life has in store for you? You have already seen what it is capable of doing. It took your mother from you, drained her of health and beauty, and then cast her aside like the withered, rotten husk of a fruit. It will take others from you too, mark me. Those whom you care about--lovers, children--will fall by the wayside, and your love will not be enough to save them. Your health will fail you. You will become old and sick. Your limbs will ache, your eyesight will fade, and your skin will grow lined and aged. There will be pains deep within that no doctor will be able to cure. Diseases will find a warm, moist place inside you and there they will breed, spreading through your system, corrupting it cell by cell until you pray for the doctors to let you die, to put you out of your misery, but they will not. Instead you will linger on, with no one to hold your hand or soothe your brow, as Death comes and beckons you into his darkness. The life you left behind you is no life at all. Here, you can be king, and I will allow you to age with dignity and without pain, and when the time comes for you to die, I will send you gently to sleep and you will awaken in the paradise of your choosing, for each man dreams his own heaven.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things (The Book of Lost Things, #1))
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
The list of fun and easily fixed brain diseases is very short.
Mike Birbiglia (Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories)
Change is inevitable. Progression is a choice. We all move, but are you going to move forward?
Ricky Maye
I had tried years earlier to kill myself, and nearly died in the attempt, but did not consider it either a selfish or a not-selfish thing to have done. It was simply the end of what I could bear, the last afternoon of having to imagine waking up the next morning only to start all over again with a thick mind and black imaginings. It was the final outcome of a bad disease, a disease it seemed to me I would never get the better of. No amount of love from or for other people0and there was a lot-could help. No advantage of a caring family and fabulous job was enough to overcome the pain and hopelessness I felt; no passionate or romantic love, however strong, could make a difference. Nothing alive and warm could make its way in through my carapace. I knew my life to be a shambles, and I believed-incontestably-that my family, friends, and patients would be better off without me. There wasn't much of me left anymore, anyway, and I thought my death would free up the wasted energies and well-meant efforts that were being wasted on my behalf.
Kay Redfield Jamison (Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide)
Clary hesitated - only for a moment, but the moment stretched out as long as any moment ever had. She could ask for anything, she thought dizzily, anything. - an end to pain or world hunger or disease, or for peace on earth. But then again, perhaps those things weren't in the power of angels to grant, or they would have already been granted. And perhaps people were supposed to find these things for themselves. It didn't matter, anyway. There was only one thing she could ask for, in he end, only one real choice. She raised her eyes to the Angel's. "Jace.
Cassandra Clare
I am progressing along the path of life in my ordinary contentedly fallen and godless condition, absorbed in a merry meeting with my friends for the morrow or a bit of work that tickles my vanity today, a holiday or a new book, when suddenly a stab of abdominal pain that threatens serious disease, or a headline in the newspapers that threatens us all with destruction, sends this whole pack of cards tumbling down. At first I am overwhelmed, and all my little happinesses look like broken toys. Then, slowly and reluctantly, bit by bit, I try to bring myself into the frame of mind that I should be in at all times. I remind myself that all these toys were never intended to possess my heart, that my true good is in another world, and my only real treasure is Christ. And perhaps, by God's grace, I succeed, and for a day or two become a creature consciously dependent on God and drawing its strength from the right sources.
C.S. Lewis
There is within us a fundamental dis-ease, an unquenchable fire that renders us incapable, in this life, of ever coming to full peace. This desire lies at the center of our lives, in the marrow of our bones, and in the deep recesses of the soul. At the heart of all great literature, poetry, art, philosophy, psychology, and religion lies the naming and analyzing of this desire. Spirituality is, ultimately, about what we do with that desire. What we do with our longings, both in terms of handling the pain and the hope they bring us, that is our spirituality . . . Augustine says: ‘You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.’ Spirituality is about what we do with our unrest.
Ronald Rolheiser
That’s the trouble with pain. It’s as contagious as a disease. It spreads from the person who first endured it to those who love them most. Truth isn’t always the highest ideal; sometimes it must be sacrificed to stop the spread of pain to those you love. Even children know this intuitively.
Nita Prose (The Maid (Molly the Maid, #1))
Good health is about being able to fully enjoy the time we do have. It is about being as functional as possible throughout our entire lives and avoiding crippling, painful and lengthy battles with disease. There are many better ways to die, and to live.
T. Colin Campbell (The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health)
The mental thought patterns that cause the most dis-ease in the body are CRITICISM, ANGER, RESENTMENT and GUILT. For instance, criticism indulged in long enought will often lead to dis-eases such as arthritis. Anger turns into things that boil and burn and infect the body. Resentment long held festers and eats away at the self and ultimately can lead to tumors and cancer. Guilt always seeks punishment and leads to pain.
Louise L. Hay (The Golden Louise L. Hay Collection)
People used to die naturally. Old age used to be a terminal affliction, not a temporary state. There were invisible killers called “diseases” that broke the body down. Aging couldn’t be reversed, and there were accidents from which there was no return. Planes fell from the sky. Cars actually crashed. There was pain, misery, despair. It’s hard for most of us to imagine a world so unsafe, with dangers lurking in every unseen, unplanned corner.  All of that is behind us now, and yet a simple truth remains: People have to die. It
Neal Shusterman (Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1))
Cruelty, Wallace thinks, is really just the conduit of pain. It conveys pain from one place to another -- from the place of highest concentration to the place of lowest concentration, in the same way heat flows. It is a delivery system, as in the way that certain viruses convey illness, disease, irreparable harm. They're all infected with pain, hurting each other.
Brandon Taylor (Real Life)
Now, my dear little girl, you have come to an age when the inward life develops and when some people (and on the whole those who have most of a destiny) find that all is not a bed of roses. Among other things there will be waves of terrible sadness, which last sometimes for days; irritation, insensibility, etc., etc., which taken together form a melancholy. Now, painful as it is, this is sent to us for an enlightenment. It always passes off, and we learn about life from it, and we ought to learn a great many good things if we react on it right. (For instance, you learn how good a thing your home is, and your country, and your brothers, and you may learn to be more considerate of other people, who, you now learn, may have their inner weaknesses and sufferings, too.) Many persons take a kind of sickly delight in hugging it; and some sentimental ones may even be proud of it, as showing a fine sorrowful kind of sensibility. Such persons make a regular habit of the luxury of woe. That is the worst possible reaction on it. It is usually a sort of disease, when we get it strong, arising from the organism having generated some poison in the blood; and we mustn't submit to it an hour longer than we can help, but jump at every chance to attend to anything cheerful or comic or take part in anything active that will divert us from our mean, pining inward state of feeling. When it passes off, as I said, we know more than we did before. And we must try to make it last as short as time as possible. The worst of it often is that, while we are in it, we don't want to get out of it. We hate it, and yet we prefer staying in it—that is a part of the disease. If we find ourselves like that, we must make something ourselves to some hard work, make ourselves sweat, etc.; and that is the good way of reacting that makes of us a valuable character. The disease makes you think of yourself all the time; and the way out of it is to keep as busy as we can thinking of things and of other people—no matter what's the matter with our self.
William James
The body is a treacherous friend. Give it its due; no more. Pain and pleasure are transitory; endure all dualities with calmness, trying at the same time to remove yourself beyond their power. Imagination is the door through which disease as well as healing enters. Disbelieve in the reality of sickness even when you are ill; an unrecognized visitor will flee!
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi)
It’s not words that fail, it’s the people who wield them. We have no power over life and death, we are subject to pain and disease and misery, but we command words. When you think about it, words are all we really have.
Jessica Zafra (Tw7sted)
For remember, that it is altogether your world now. You and all the rest. We have delivered you from evil, but the evil that is inside men is at the last a matter for men to control. The responsibility and the hope and the promise are in your hands-your hands and the hands of all men on this earth. The future can not blame the present, just as the present can not blame the past. The hope is always here, always alive, but only your fierce caring can fan it into a fire to warm the world. For Drake is no longer in his hammock, children, nor is Arthur somewhere sleeping, and you may not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now, because the world is yours and it is up to you. Now especially since man has the strength to destroy the world, it is the responsibility of man to keep it alive, in all its beauty and marvelous joy. And the world will still be imperfect, because men are imperfect. Good men will still be killed by bad, or sometimes by other good men, and there will still be pain and disease and famine, anger and hate. But if you work and care and are watchful, as we have tried to be for you, then in the long run the worse will never, ever, triumph over the better. And the gifts put into some men, that shine as bright as Eirias the sword, shall light the dark corners of life for all the rest, in so brave a world.
Susan Cooper (Silver on the Tree (The Dark is Rising, #5))
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the quarter century following the introduction of OxyContin, some 450,000 Americans had died of opioid-related overdoses. Such overdoses were now the leading cause of accidental death in America, accounting for more deaths than car accidents—more deaths, even, than that most quintessentially American of metrics, gunshot wounds. In fact, more Americans had lost their lives from opioid overdoses than had died in all of the wars the country had fought since World War II.
Patrick Radden Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty)
it seemed that the pain of their physical illness at times was less than the misery of their poverty ridden existence, the unending wait in the queues and the feeling of hopelessness and abandonment by your own system was enough to rob them of their will power to fight any disease.
Madhu Vajpayee (Seeking Redemption)
I see Nic on the plane. I see him as he is - frail, opaque, ill - my beloved son, my beautiful boy. "Everything," I say to him. "Everything." Fortunately there is a beautiful boy. Unfortunately he has a terrible disease. Fortunately there is love and joy. Unfortunately there is pain and misery. Fortunately the story is not over.
David Sheff (Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction)
For almost every addict who s mired in this terrible disease, other -- a mother or father, a child or spouse, an aunt or uncles or grandparents, a brother or sister -- are suffering too. Families are the hidden victims of addiction, enduring enormous levels of stress and pain. They suffer sleepless nights, deep anxiety, and physical exhaustion brought on by worry and desperation. They lie awake for hours on end as fear for their loved one's safety crowds out any possibility of sleep. They liveeach day with a weight inside that drags them down. Unable to laugh or smile, they are sometimes filled with bottled-up anger or a constant sadness that keeps them on the verge of tears.
Beverly Conyers (Addict In The Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery)
The addiction crisis is terrifying, and many people don’t comprehend appropriate opioid use. When I first started taking pain medication, I remember a family member saying, “Dianne, you’re going to become an addict!” We need to help people understand that taking pain medicine to maximize one’s ability to be productive and to sustain enriching relationships is very different than the disease of addiction, which limits one’s ability to contribute to society and maintain healthy habits.
Dianne Bourque
Although a male physician could quite easily, and convincingly, assert that ovarian cancer was “silent,” if you were to really listen to women who have had ovarian cancer speak, you’d find that it wasn’t so much that the disease process was silent—but that they were. Conditions that seem to lurk unnoticed in a woman’s body go unnoticed by others because, for one thing, they are an assumed part of womanhood, and, for another, women are taught to keep those pains private. I’ve often found it curious that when a woman is suffering, her competence is questioned, but when a man is suffering, he’s humanized. It’s a gender stereotype that hurts both men and women, though it lends itself to the question of why there is a proclivity in health care, and in society, to deny female pain.
Abby Norman (Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women's Pain)
Perhaps the greatest strike against philosophical pessimism is that its only theme is human suffering. This is the last item on the list of our species’ obsessions and detracts from everything that matters to us, such as the Good, the Beautiful, and a Sparking Clean Toilet Bowl. For the pessimist, everything considered in isolation from human suffering or any cognition that does not have as its motive the origins, nature, and elimination of human suffering is at base recreational, whether it takes the form of conceptual probing or physical action in the world—for example, delving into game theory or traveling in outer space, respectively. And by “human suffering,” the pessimist is not thinking of particular sufferings and their relief, but of suffering itself. Remedies may be discovered for certain diseases and sociopolitical barbarities may be amended. But those are only stopgaps. Human suffering will remain insoluble as long as human beings exist. The one truly effective solution for suffering is that spoken of in Zapffe’s “Last Messiah.” It may not be a welcome solution for a stopgap world, but it would forever put an end to suffering, should we ever care to do so. The pessimist’s credo, or one of them, is that nonexistence never hurt anyone and existence hurts everyone. Although our selves may be illusory creations of consciousness, our pain is nonetheless real.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
At the heart of almost all the pathways I’ve learned about is one guiding principle: if we feel safe, cared for and in control—in a critical moment during injury or disease, or generally throughout our lives—we do better. We feel less pain, less fatigue, less sickness. Our immune system works with us instead of against us. Our bodies ease off on emergency defenses and can focus on repair and growth.
Jo Marchant (Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body)
It is devilish to suffer from a pain that is all but nameless. Blessed are they who are stricken only with classifiable diseases! Blessed are the poor, the sick, the crossed in love, for at least other people know what is the matter with them and will listen to their belly-achings with sympathy. But who that has not suffered it understands the pains of exile?
George Orwell (Burmese Days)
In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. ‘How are we to live in an atomic age?’ I am tempted to reply: Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.’ In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances… and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty. This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
C.S. Lewis
No easy way out. No escape. From yourself. You had to LEARN to DEAL with the cards you were dealt. Had to learn the hard way that the world doesn't OWE you a fucking thing. Not a reason, nor excuse. No apologies. Had to learn that some forms of insanity run in the family, pure genetics, polluted lifelines, full of disease. Profanity. Addiction. Co-addiction. Inability to deal with reality, what the fuck ever that's suppose to mean when you're born into an emotional ghetto of endless abuse. Where the only way out is in...deep, deep inside, so you poke holes in your skin, thinking that if you could just concentrate the pain it wouldn't remain an all-consuming surround which suffocates you from the first breath of day to your last dying day. Day in. Day out. Day in. Day out. I knew all about it.
Lydia Lunch (Paradoxia: A Predator's Diary)
The primitive tribes permitted far less individual freedom than does modern society. Ancient wars were committed with far less moral justification than modern ones. A technology that produces debris can find, and is finding, ways of disposing of it without ecological upset. And the schoolbook pictures of primitive man sometimes omit some of the detractions of his primitive life - the pain, the disease, famine, the hard labor needed just to stay alive. From that agony of bare existence to modern life can be soberly described only as upward progress, and the sole agent for this progress is quite clearly reason itself.
Robert M. Pirsig
Happiness and goodness, according to canting moralists, stand in the relation of effect and cause. There was never anything less proved or less probable: our happiness is never in our own hands; we inherit our constitution; we stand buffet among friends and enemies; we may be so built as to feel a sneer or an aspersion with unusual keenness and so circumstanced as to be unusually exposed to them; we may have nerves very sensitive to pain, and be afflicted with a disease very painful. Virtue will not help us, and it is not meant to help us.
Robert Louis Stevenson (A Christmas Sermon)
As life in general constituted much pain in the form of struggles against poverty, disease, ignorance, and emotional anguish, what more civilized way for people to alleviate the same than by giving themselves to one another as brothers and sisters in deed as well as in word? A society of people hoping to become politically superior needed first to become spiritually valid.
Aberjhani (The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois)
Gilbert had finally made up his mind that he was going to be a doctor. "It's a splendid profession," he said enthusiastically. "A fellow has to fight something all through life. . .didn't somebody once define man as a fighting animal?. . .and I want to fight disease and pain and ignorance. . .which are all members one of another. I want to do my share of honest, real work in the world, Anne. . . add a little to the sum of human knowledge that all the good men have been accumulating since it began. The folks who lived before me have done so much for me that I want to show my gratitude by doing something for the folks who will live after me. It seems to me that is the only way a fellow can get square with his obligations to the race." "I'd like to add some beauty to life," said Anne dreamily. "I don't exactly want to make people know more. . .though I know that is the noblest ambition. . .but I'd love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me. . .to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn't been born." "I think you're fulfilling that ambition every day," said Gilbert admiringly. And he was right. Anne was one of the children of light by birthright. After she had passed through a life with a smile or a word thrown across it like a gleam of sunshine the owner of that life saw it, for the time being at least, as hopeful and lovely and of good report.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2))
... And suddenly he thought, I'm the abnormal one now. Normalcy was a majority concept, the standard of many and not the standard of just one man. Abruptly that realization joined with what he saw on their faces -- awe, fear, shrinking horror -- and he knew that they were afraid of him. To them he was some terrible scourge they had never seen, a scourge even worse than the disease they had come to live with. He was an invisible spectre who had left for evidence of his existence the bloodless bodies of their loved ones. And he understood what they felt and did not hate them. His right hand tightened on the tiny envelope of pills. So long as the end did not come with violence, so long as it did not have to be a butchery before their eyes... Robert Neville looked out over the new people of the earth. He knew he did not belong to them; he knew that, like the vampires, he was anathema and black terror to be destroyed. And, abruptly, the concept came, amusing to him even in his pain. A coughing chuckle filled his throat. He turned and leaned against the wall while he swallowed the pills. Full circle, he thought while the final lethargy crept into his limbs. Full circle. A new terror born in death, a new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of forever. I am legend.
Richard Matheson (I Am Legend and Other Stories)
No one can ever use his heart to listen or touch or feel or see or smell. It's just a lump of muscle pumping mechanically inside your ribs. It has no will and no ability to do anything but go on pumping until it gives up and withers away or is choked by some disease. Your spinal cord, on the other hand, feels. The central nervous system pours out from the spinal cord, and with it one feels pain. Pain is the most trustworthy sensation a human being can know because it teaches us what hurts. With the spinal cord, one can hear what will hurt, smell the sting of suffering, taste it, feel it, and see the world with new eyes. I learned a long time ago not to follow my heart, the hunk of meat flexing in the chest. I trust the tube locked up in a column of bone, the tube that shows me what pain is.
Joshua S. Porter (The Spinal Cord Perception)
The Things that Cause a Quiet Life My friend, the things that do attain The happy life be these, I find: The riches left, not got with pain, The fruitful ground; the quiet mind; The equal friend; no grudge, no strife; No charge of rule nor governance; Without disease the healthy life; The household of continuance; The mean diet, no dainty fare; True wisdom joined with simpleness; The night discharged of all care, Where wine the wit may not oppress; The faithful wife, without debate; Such sleeps as may beguile the night: Content thyself with thine estate, Neither wish death, nor fear his might.
Henry Howard
I seriously doubt that some slave ship ancestor, in those idle moments between being raped and beaten, was standing knee-deep in their own feces rationalizing that, in the end, the generations of murder, unbearable pain and suffering, mental anguish, and rampant disease will all be worth it because someday my great-great-great-great-grandson will have Wi-Fi, no matter how slow and intermittent the signal is.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
Cry Out in Your Weakness A dragon was pulling a bear into its terrible mouth. A courageous man went and rescued the bear. There are such helpers in the world, who rush to save anyone who cries out. Like Mercy itself, they run toward the screaming. And they can’t be bought off. If you were to ask one of those, “Why did you come so quickly?” He or she would say, “Because I heard your helplessness.” Where lowland is, that’s where water goes. All medicine wants is pain to cure. And don’t just ask for one mercy. Let them flood in. Let the sky open under your feet. Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music. . . . Give your weakness to One Who Helps. Crying out loud and weeping are great resources. A nursing mother, all she does is wait to hear her child. Just a little beginning-whimper, and she’s there. God created the child, that is, your wanting, so that it might cry out, so that milk might come. Cry out! Don’t be stolid and silent with your pain. Lament! And let the milk of Loving flow into you. The hard rain and wind are ways the cloud has to take care of us. Be patient. Respond to every call that excites your spirit. Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back toward disease and death.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi) (The Essential Rumi)
Philip himself asked desperately what was the use of living at all. It all seemed inane. It was the same with Cronshaw: it was quite unimportant that he had lived; he was dead and forgotten; his life seemed to have served nothing except to give a pushing journalist occasion to write an article in a review. And Philip cried out in his soul: 'What is the use of it?' The effort was so incommensurate with the result. The bright hopes of youth had to be paid for at such a bitter price of disillusionment. Pain and disease and unhappiness weighed down the scale so heavily. What did it all mean? He thought of his own life, the high hopes with which he had entered upon it, the limitations which his body forced upon him, his friendlessness, and the lack of affection which had surrounded his youth. He did not know that he had ever done anything but what seemed best to do, and what a cropper he had come! Other men, with no more advantages than he, succeeded, and others again, with many more, failed. It seemed pure chance. The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
You already know what you know, after all—and, unless your life is perfect, what you know is not enough. You remain threatened by disease, and self-deception, and unhappiness, and malevolence, and betrayal, and corruption, and pain, and limitation. You are subject to all these things, in the final analysis, because you are just too ignorant to protect yourself. If you just knew enough, you could be healthier and more honest. You would suffer less. You could recognize, resist and even triumph over malevolence and evil. You would neither betray a friend, nor deal falsely and deceitfully in business, politics or love. However, your current knowledge has neither made you perfect nor kept you safe. So, it is insufficient, by definition—radically, fatally insufficient.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Many men have a secret monster this way, a disease that they feed, a dragon that gnaws them, a despair that inhabits their night. Such a man seems like others, quite normal. Nobody knows that he has within him a fearful parasitic pain, with a thousand teeth, which lives in the miserable man, who is dying of it. Nobody knows that this man is a gulf. It is stagnant, but deep. From time to time a turmoil, of which we understand nothing, shows up on its surface. A mysterious wrinkle comes along, then vanishes, then reappears; an air bubble rises and bursts. It is a little thing, it is terrible. It is the breathing of the unknown monster.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
You’d rather be here than in Africa. The trump card all narrow-minded nativists play. If you put a cupcake to my head, of course, I’d rather be here than any place in Africa, though I hear Johannesburg ain’t that bad and the surf on the Cape Verdean beaches is incredible. However, I’m not so selfish as to believe that my relative happiness, including, but not limited to, twenty-four-hour access to chili burgers, Blu-ray, and Aeron office chairs is worth generations of suffering. I seriously doubt that some slave ship ancestor, in those idle moments between being raped and beaten, was standing knee-deep in their own feces rationalizing that, in the end, the generations of murder, unbearable pain and suffering, mental anguish, and rampant disease will all be worth it because someday my great-great-great-great-grandson will have Wi-Fi, no matter how slow and intermittent the signal is.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
Women, porn assets, whether they know it or not, are objects They are whores. These whores deserve to be dominated and abused. And once men have had their way with them, these whores are to be discarded. Porn glorifies the cruelty and domination of sexual exploitation in the same way popular culture, as Jensen points out, glorifies the domination and cruelty of war. It is the same disease. It is the belief that “because I have the ability to use force and control to make others do as I please, I have the right to use this force and control.” It is the disease of corporate and imperial power. It extinguishes the sacred and the human to worship power, control, force, and pain. It replaces empathy, eros, and compassion with the illusion that we are gods. Porn is the glittering façade, like the casinos and resorts of Las Vegas, like the rest of the fantasy that is America, of a culture seduced by death.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
Sometimes I think illness sits inside every woman, waiting for the right moment to bloom. I have known so many sick women all my life. Women with chronic pain, with ever-gestating diseases. Women with conditions. Men, sure, they have bone snaps, they have backaches, they have a surgery or two, yank out a tonsil, insert a shiny plastic hip. Women get consumed. Not surprising, considering the sheer amount of traffic a woman’s body experiences. Tampons and speculums. Cocks, fingers, vibrators and more, between the legs, from behind, in the mouth. Men love to put things inside women, don’t they?
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
There is a Sufi story about a man who is so good that the angels ask God to give him the gift of miracles. God wisely tells them to ask him if that is what he would wish. So the angels visit this good man and offer him first the gift of healing by hands, then the gift of conversion of souls, and lastly the gift of virtue. He refuses them all. They insist that he choose a gift or they will choose one for him. "Very well," he replies. "I ask that I may do a great deal of good without ever knowing it." The story ends this way: The angels were perplexed. They took counsel and resolved upon the following plan: Every time the saint's shadow fell behind him it would have the power to cure disease, soothe pain, and comfort sorrow. As he walked, behind him the shadow made arid paths green, caused withered plants to bloom, gave clear water to dried up brooks, fresh color to pale children, and joy to unhappy men and women. The saint simply went about his daily life diffusing virtue as the stars diffuse light and the flowers scent, without ever being aware of it. The people respecting his humility followed him silently, never speaking to him about his miracles. Soon they even forgot his name and called him "the Holy Shadow.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal)
God likes to play hide-and-seek, but because there is nothing outside of God, he has no one but himself to play with! But he gets over this difficulty by pretending that he is not himself. This is his way of hiding from himself. He pretends that he is you and I and all the people in the world, all the animals, plants, all the rocks, and all the stars. In this way he has strange and wonderful adventures, some of which are terrible and frightening. But these are just like bad dreams, for when he wakes up they will disappear. Now when God plays "hide" and pretends that he is you and I, he does it so well that it takes him a long time to remember where and how he hid himself! But that's the whole fun of it-just what he wanted to do. He doesn't want to find himself too quickly, for that would spoil the game. That is why it is so difficult for you and me to find out that we are God in disguise, pretending not to be himself. But- when the game has gone on long enough, all of us will WAKE UP, stop pretending, and REMEMBER that we are all one single Self- the God who is all that there is and who lives forever and ever. You may ask why God sometimes hides in the form of horrible people, or pretends to be people who suffer great disease and pain. Remember, first, that he isn't really doing this to anyone but himself. Remember too, that in almost all the stories you enjoy there have to be bad people as well as good people, for the thrill of the tale is to find out how the good people will get the better of the bad. It's the same as when we play cards. At the beginning of the game we shuffle them all into a mess, which is like the bad things in the world, but the point of the game put the mess into good order, and the one who does it best is the winner. Then we shuffle the cards and play again, and so it goes with the world.
Alan W. Watts (A. Book)
For it is not the anger of Black women which is dripping down over this globe like a diseased liquid. It is not my anger that launches rockets, spends over sixty thousand dollars a second on missiles and other agents of war and death, slaughters children in cities, stockpiles nerve gas and chemical bombs, sodomizes our daughters and our earth. It is not the anger of Black women which corrodes into blind, dehumanizing power, bent upon the annihilation of us all unless we meet it with what we have, our power to examine and to redefine the terms upon which we will live and work; our power to envision and to reconstruct, anger by painful anger, stone upon heavy stone, a future of pollinating difference and the earth to support our choices.
Audre Lorde (The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House)
Some of these stories, it is understood, are not to be passed on to my father, because they would upset him. It is well known that women can deal with this sort of thing better than men can. Men are not to be told anything they might find too painful; the secret depths of human nature, the sordid physicalities, might overwhelm or damage them. For instance, men often faint at the sight of their own blood, to which they are not accustomed. For this reason you should never stand behind one in the line at the Red Cross donor clinic. Men, for some mysterious reason, find life more difficult than women do. (My mother believes this, despite the female bodies, trapped, diseased, disappearing, or abandoned, that litter her stories.) Men must be allowed to play in the sandbox of their choice, as happily as they can, without disturbance; otherwise they get cranky and won't eat their dinners. There are all kinds of things that men are simply not equipped to understand, so why expect it of them? Not everyone shares this believe about men; neverthetheless, it has its uses.
Margaret Atwood (Bluebeard's Egg)
The Love I Gave You Once My beloved, My own, Do not demand the love I gave you once. For a moment, I really believed That you alone gave meaning To my withered life; That the accelerating pain Of my unrequited love, Would make me forget All other torments Of this troubled world; That your face lent stability To the restless spring; That nothing else mattered In this empty world But your deep, seductive eyes. For a moment, I really believed That if I could only possess you, I could conquer Fate itself. But all that was false, A mere illusion. This world of ours bleeds With more pains than just the pain of love; And many more pleasures beckon us all the time Than just the fleeting pleasures of a reunion with you. For untold centuries, The affluent have always woven many webs of intrigue, Dark and cruel and mysterious, And dressed them up in silks and brocades. And for all those years, On every street and in every bazaar, Human bodies have been brazenly sold, Dressed in dust and bathed in blood, Malnourished, misshapen and baked by disease. Time and time again, My eyes are diverted To this tragic scene, Your beauty is alluring as ever, Your arms inviting as always: But how can I ever ignore All this ugliness, all this pain? Yes, my love, This world of ours bleeds With more pains that just the pain of love; And many more pleasures beckon us all the time Than just the fleeting pleasure of a reunion with you. My beloved, My own, Do not demand the love I gave you once.
Faiz Ahmad Faiz
Under conditions of a truly human existence, the difference between succumbing to disease at the age of ten, thirty, fifty, or seventy, and dying a "natural" death after a fulfilled life, may well be a difference worth fighting for with all instinctual energy. Not those who die, but those who die before they must and want to die, those who die in agony and pain, are the great indictment against civilization. They also testify to the unredeemable guilt of mankind. Their death arouses the painful awareness that it was unnecessary, that it could be otherwise. It takes all the institutions and values of a repressive order to pacify the bad conscience of this guilt. Once again, the deep connection between the death instinct and the sense of guilt becomes apparent. The silent "professional agreement" with the fact of death and disease is perhaps one of the most widespread expressions of the death instinct -- or, rather, of its social usefulness. In a repressive civilization, death itself becomes an instrument of repression. Whether death is feared as constant threat, or glorified as supreme sacrifice, or accepted as fate, the education for consent to death introduces an element of surrender into life from the beginning -- surrender and submission. It stifles "utopian" efforts. The powers that be have a deep affinity to death; death is a token of unfreedom, of defeat. Theology and philosophy today compete with each other in celebrating death as an existential category: perverting a biological fact into an ontological essence, they bestow transcendental blessing on the guilt of mankind which they help to perpetuate -- they betray the promise of utopia.
Herbert Marcuse (Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud)
And yet your shadow isn't following you anymore. At some point your shadow has quietly slipped away. You pretend you don't notice, but you have, you're missing your fucking shadow, though there are plenty of ways to explain it, the angle of the sun, the degree of oblivion induced by the sun beating down on hatless heads, the quantity of alcohol ingested, the movement of something like subterranean tanks of pain, the fear of more contingent things, a disease that begins to become apparent, wounded vanity, the desire just for once in your life to be on time. But the point is, your shadow is lost and you, momentarily, forget it.
Roberto Bolaño (2666)
Yes?” Came the thin and reedy voice. I winced as I pushed the door open. Beth sounded terrible. And when I got an eyeful of her, she looked just as bad. Sitting up against the headboard with a mountain of blankets piled around her, she had dark circles under her eyes. Her pale, waiflike features were sharp, and her hair was an unwashed, tangled mess. I tried not to breathe too deeply, because the room smelled of vomit and sweat. I halted at the bed, shocked to my core. “Are you sick?” Her unfocused gaze drifted away from me, landing on the door to the adjoined bathroom, it didn’t make sense. Hybrids—we couldn’t get sick. Not the common cold or the most dangerous cancer. Like the Luxen, we were immune to everything out there in terms of disease, but Beth? Yeah, she wasn’t looking too good. A great sense of unease blossomed in my belly, stiffening my muscles. “Beth?” Her watery stare finally drifted to me. “Is Dawson back yet?” My heart turned over heavily, almost painfully. The two of them have been through so much, more than Daemon and I had, and this . . . God, this wasn’t fair. “No, he’s not back yet, but you? You look sick.” She raised a slim, pale hand to her throat. “I'm not feeling very well.” I didn’t know how bad this was, and I was almost afraid to find out. “What’s wrong?” One shoulder rose, and it looked like it had taken great effort. “You shouldn’t be worried,” she said, her voice low as she picked at the hem of a blanket. “It’s not a big deal. I’ll be okay once Dawson comes back.” Her gaze floated off again, and as she dropped the edge of the blanket, she reached down, put her hand over her blanket-covered belly, and said, “We’ll be okay once Dawson comes back.” “We’ll be . . . ?” I trailed off as my eyes widened. My jaw came unhinged and dropped as I gaped at her. I stared at where her hand was and watched in dawned horror as she rubbed her belly in slow, steady circles. Oh no. oh, hell to the no to the tenth power. I started forward and then stopped. “Beth, are you . . . are you pregnant?
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
So many modern diseases, including heart disease, depression, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and all the autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus), occur in part because our body’s immune systems produce excess chronic inflammation. In chronic inflammation, the immune system stays on too long and may even begin to attack the body’s own tissues, as though they were outside invaders. The causes of chronic inflammation are many, including diet and, of course, the countless chemical toxins that become embedded in the body. Chronically inflamed bodies produce chemicals, called pro-inflammatory cytokines, which contribute to pain and inflammation.
Norman Doidge (The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity)
It was as easy as breathing to go and have tea near the place where Jane Austen had so wittily scribbled and so painfully died. One of the things that causes some critics to marvel at Miss Austen is the laconic way in which, as a daughter of the epoch that saw the Napoleonic Wars, she contrives like a Greek dramatist to keep it off the stage while she concentrates on the human factor. I think this comes close to affectation on the part of some of her admirers. Captain Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion, for example, is partly of interest to the female sex because of the 'prize' loot he has extracted from his encounters with Bonaparte's navy. Still, as one born after Hiroshima I can testify that a small Hampshire township, however large the number of names of the fallen on its village-green war memorial, is more than a world away from any unpleasantness on the European mainland or the high or narrow seas that lie between. (I used to love the detail that Hampshire's 'New Forest' is so called because it was only planted for the hunt in the late eleventh century.) I remember watching with my father and brother through the fence of Stanstead House, the Sussex mansion of the Earl of Bessborough, one evening in the early 1960s, and seeing an immense golden meadow carpeted entirely by grazing rabbits. I'll never keep that quiet, or be that still, again. This was around the time of countrywide protest against the introduction of a horrible laboratory-confected disease, named 'myxomatosis,' into the warrens of old England to keep down the number of nibbling rodents. Richard Adams's lapine masterpiece Watership Down is the remarkable work that it is, not merely because it evokes the world of hedgerows and chalk-downs and streams and spinneys better than anything since The Wind in the Willows, but because it is only really possible to imagine gassing and massacre and organized cruelty on this ancient and green and gently rounded landscape if it is organized and carried out against herbivores.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
It exists,” Shevek said, spreading out his hands. “It’s real. I can call it a misunderstanding, but I can’t pretend that it doesn’t exist, or will ever cease to exist. Suffering is the condition on which we live. And when it comes, you know it. You know it as the truth. Of course it’s right to cure diseases, to prevent hunger and injustice, as the social organism does. But no society can change the nature of existence. We can’t prevent suffering. This pain and that pain, yes, but not Pain. A society can only relieve social suffering, unnecessary suffering. The rest remains. The root, the reality. All of us here are going to know grief; if we live fifty years, we’ll have known pain for fifty years. And in the end we’ll die. That’s the condition we’re born on. I’m afraid of life! There are times I—I am very frightened. Any happiness seems trivial. And yet, I wonder if it isn’t all a misunderstanding—this grasping after happiness, this fear of pain. . . . If instead of fearing it and running from it, one could . . . get through it, go beyond it There is something beyond it. It’s the self that suffers, and there’s a place where the self—ceases. I don’t know how to say it. But I believe that the reality—the truth that I recognize in suffering as I don’t in comfort and happiness—that the reality of pain is not pain. If you can get through it. If you can endure it all the way.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed)
Our world is in turmoil. It is aging toward senility. It is very ill. Long ago it was born with brilliant prospects. It was baptized by water, and its sins were washed away. It was never baptized by fire, for that is still to come. It has had shorter periods of good health, but longer ones of ailing. Most of the time there have been pains and aches in some parts of its anatomy, but now that it is growing old, complications have set in, and all the ailments seem to be everywhere. The world has been ‘cliniced,’ and the complex diseases have been catalogued. The physicians have had summit consultations, and temporary salve has been rubbed on afflicted parts, but it has only postponed the fatal day and never cured it. It seems that while remedies have been applied, staph infection has set in, and the patient’s suffering intensified. His mind is wandering. It cannot remember its previous illnesses nor the cure which was applied. The political physicians through the ages have rejected suggested remedies as unprofessional since they came from lowly prophets. Man being what he is with tendencies such as he has, results can be prognosticated with some degree of accuracy.
Spencer W. Kimball (Proclaiming the Gospel: Spencer W. Kimball Speaks on Missionary Work)
My name is CRPS, or so they say But I actually go by; a few different names. I was once called causalgia, nearly 150 years ago And then I had a new name It was RSD, apparently so. I went by that name because the burn lived inside of me. Now I am called CRPS, because I have so much to say I struggle to be free. I don't have one symptom and this is where I change, I attack the home of where I live; with shooting/burning pains. Depression fills the mind of the body I belong, it starts to speak harsh to self, negativity growing strong. Then I start to annoy them; with the issues with sensitivity, You'd think the pain enough; but no, it wants to make you aware of its trembling disability. I silently make my move; but the screams are loud and clear, Because I enter your physical reality and you can't disappear. I confuse your thoughts; I contain apart of your memory, I cover your perspective, the fog makes it sometimes unbearable to see. I play with your temperature levels, I make you nervous all the time - I take away your independance and take away your pride. I stay with you by the day & I remind you by the night, I am an awful journey and you will struggle with this fight. Then there's a side to me; not many understand, I have the ability to heal and you can be my friend. Help yourself find the strength to fight me with all you have, because eventually I'll get tired of making you grow mad. It will take some time; remember I mainly live inside your brain, Curing me is hard work but I promise you, You can beat me if you feed love to my pain. Find the strength to carry on and feed the fears with light; hold on to the seat because, like I said, it's going to be a fight. But I hope to meet you, when your healthy and healed, & you will silenty say to me - I did this, I am cured is this real? That day could possibly come; closer than I want- After all I am a disease and im fighting for my spot. I won't deny from my medical angle, I am close to losing the " incurable " battle.
Nikki Rowe
As a physician, I was trained to deal with uncertainty as aggressively as I dealt with disease itself. The unknown was the enemy. Within this worldview, having a question feels like an emergency; it means that something is out of control and needs to be made known as rapidly, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible. But death has taken me to the edge of certainty, to the place of questions. After years of trading mystery for mastery, it was hard and even frightening to stop offering myself reasonable explanations for some of the things that I observed and that others told me, and simply take them as they are. "I don't know" had long been a statement of shame, of personal and professional failing. In all of my training I do not recall hearing it said aloud even once. But as I listened to more and more people with life-threatening illnesses tell their stories, not knowing simply became a matter of integrity. Things happened. And the explanations I offered myself became increasingly hollow, like a child whistling in the dark. The truth was that very often I didn't know and couldn't explain, and finally, weighed down by the many, many instances of the mysterious which are such an integral part of illness and healing, I surrendered. It was a moment of awakening. For the first time, I became curious about the things I had been unwilling to see before, more sensitive to inconsistencies I had glibly explained or successfully ignored, more willing to ask people questions and draw them out about stories I would have otherwise dismissed. What I have found in the end was that the life I had defended as a doctor as precious was also Holy. I no longer feel that life is ordinary. Everyday life is filled with mystery. The things we know are only a small part of the things we cannot know but can only glimpse. Yet even the smallest of glimpses can sustain us. Mystery seems to have the power to comfort, to offer hope, and to lend meaning in times of loss and pain. In surprising ways it is the mysterious that strengthens us at such times. I used to try to offer people certainty in times that were not at all certain and could not be made certain. I now just offer my companionship and share my sense of mystery, of the possible, of wonder. After twenty years of working with people with cancer, I find it possible to neither doubt nor accept the unprovable but simply to remain open and wait. I accept that I may never know where truth lies in such matters. The most important questions don't seem to have ready answers. But the questions themselves have a healing power when they are shared. An answer is an invitation to stop thinking about something, to stop wondering. Life has no such stopping places, life is a process whose every event is connected to the moment that just went by. An unanswered question is a fine traveling companion. It sharpens your eye for the road.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal)
Sure, the disease- the inner illness- kills. nevertheless, it's the symptoms - right?- which disfigure, which denude, which scrofulate and scar and maim. it hurts, we say, but we don't care a howl about it; we never cared about it before the pain came, only until the pain came, only because the pain came (perhaps that's why we have to suffer now); and we don't care about it today. we care about the presence of our feeling. period. we want it gone. soonest. make the pain go away doc; rub the spots out; make the quarreling stop; let the war end. peace is the death we rest in under that stone that says so. [...] peace is everybody's favourite teddy, peace is splendiferous, and it's not simply the habit of the sandy-nosed. it's the "get well" word. but after all, without a symptom, what do we see? without an outbreak of anger or impatience, what do we feel? without a heart-warming war, would we ever know or care or concern ourselves with what was wrong? the trouble is that the wrong we care for is soon the war itself, the family wrangle, the bellyache, the coated tongue, the blurry eyes, the fever-ah- the fever in the fevertube.
William H. Gass (The Tunnel)
Because the end of a friendship isn’t even formally acknowledged—no Little Talk, no papers served—you walk around effectively heartbroken but embarrassed to admit it, even to yourself. It’s a special, open-ended kind of pain, like having a disease that doesn’t even have a name. You worry you must be pathetically oversensitive to feel so wounded over such a thing. You can’t tell people, “My friend broke up with me,” without sounding like a nine-year-old. The only phrase I can think of that even recognizes this kind of hurt—“You look like you just lost your best friend”—is only ever spoken by adults to children. You can give yourself the same ineffectual lecture your parents used to give you as a kid: anyone who’d treat you this way isn’t a very good friend and doesn’t deserve your friendship anyway. But the nine-year-old in you knows that the reason they’ve ditched you is that you suck.
Tim Kreider (We Learn Nothing: Essays and Cartoons)
…he is invariably a kind of super-size but unmistakably ‘classical’ neurotic, an aberrant who only occasionally, and never deeply, wishes to surrender his aberration; or, in English, a Sick Man who not at all seldom, though he’s reported to childishly deny it, gives out terrible cries of pain, as if he would wholeheartedly let go of both his art and soul to experience what passes in other people for wellness, and yet (the rumor continues) when his unsalutary-looking little room is broken into and someone - not infrequently, at that, someone who actually loves him - passionately asks him where the pain is, he either declines or seems unable to discuss it an any constructive critical length, and in the morning, when even great poets and painters presumably feel a bit more chipper than usual, he looks more perversely determined than ever to see his sickness run its course, as though by the light of another, presumably working day he had remembered that all men, the healthy ones included, eventually die, but that he, lucky man, is at least being done in by the most stimulating companion, disease or no, he has ever known.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
I encouraged my patients to floss. It was hard to do some days. They should have flossed. Flossing prevents periodontal disease and can extend life up to seven years. It’s also time consuming and a general pain in the ass. That’s not the dentist talking. That’s the guy who comes home, four or five drinks in him, what a great evening, ha-has all around, and, the minute he takes up the floss, says to himself, What’s the point? In the end, the heart stops, the cells die, the neurons go dark, bacteria consumes the pancreas, flies lay their eggs, beetles chew through tendons and ligaments, the skin turns to cottage cheese, the bones dissolve, and the teeth float away with the tide. But then someone who never flossed a day in his life would come in, the picture of inconceivable self-neglect and unnecessary pain— rotted teeth, swollen gums, a live wire of infection running from enamel to nerve— and what I called hope, what I called courage, above all what I called defiance, again rose up in me, and I would go around the next day or two saying to all my patients, “You must floss, please floss, flossing makes all the difference.
Joshua Ferris (To Rise Again at a Decent Hour)
Defining philosophy as “an activity, attempting by means of discussion and reasoning, to make life happy,” he believed that happiness is gained through the achievement of moral self-sufficiency (autarkeia) and freedom from disturbance (ataraxia). The main obstacles to the goal of tranquillity of mind are our unnecessary fears and desires, and the only way to eliminate these is to study natural science. The most serious disturbances of all are fear of death, including fear of punishment after death, and fear of the gods. Scientific inquiry removes fear of death by showing that the mind and spirit are material and mortal, so that they cannot live on after we die: as Epicurus neatly and logically puts it: “Death…is nothing to us: when we exist, death is not present; and when death is present, we do not exist. Consequently it does not concern either the living or the dead, since for the living it is non-existent and the dead no longer exist” (Letter to Menoeceus 125). As for fear of the gods, that disappears when scientific investigation proves that the world was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, that the gods live outside the world and have no inclination or power to intervene in its affairs, and that irregular phenomena such as lightning, thunder, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes have natural causes and are not manifestations of divine anger. Every Epicurean would have agreed with Katisha in the Mikado when she sings: But to him who’s scientific There’s nothing that’s terrific In the falling of a flight of thunderbolts! So the study of natural science is the necessary means whereby the ethical end is attained. And that is its only justification: Epicurus is not interested in scientific knowledge for its own sake, as is clear from his statement that “if we were not disturbed by our suspicions concerning celestial phenomena, and by our fear that death concerns us, and also by our failure to understand the limits of pains and desires, we should have no need of natural science” (Principal Doctrines 11). Lucretius’ attitude is precisely the same as his master’s: all the scientific information in his poem is presented with the aim of removing the disturbances, especially fear of death and fear of the gods, that prevent the attainment of tranquillity of mind. It is very important for the reader of On the Nature of Things to bear this in mind all the time, particularly since the content of the work is predominantly scientific and no systematic exposition of Epicurean ethics is provided.25 Epicurus despised philosophers who do not make it their business to improve people’s moral condition: “Vain is the word of a philosopher by whom no human suffering is cured. For just as medicine is of no use if it fails to banish the diseases of the body, so philosophy is of no use if it fails to banish the suffering of the mind” (Usener fr. 221). It is evident that he would have condemned the majority of modern philosophers and scientists.
Lucretius (On the Nature of Things (Hackett Classics))
In the car inching its way down Fifth Avenue, toward Bergdorf Goodman and this glamorous party, I looked back on my past with a new understanding. This sickness, the “endo-whatever,” had stained so much—my sense of self, my womanhood, my marriage, my ability to be present. I had effectively missed one week of each month every year of my life since I was thirteen, because of the chronic pain and hormonal fluctuations I suffered during my period. I had lain in bed, with heating pads and hot-water bottles, using acupuncture, drinking teas, taking various pain medications and suffering the collateral effects of them. I thought of all the many tests I missed in various classes throughout my education, the school dances, the jobs I knew I couldn’t take as a model, because of the bleeding and bloating as well as the pain (especially the bathing suit and lingerie shoots, which paid the most). How many family occasions was I absent from? How many second or third dates did I not go on? How many times had I not been able to be there for others or for myself? How many of my reactions to stress or emotional strife had been colored through the lens of chronic pain? My sense of self was defined by this handicap. The impediment of expected pain would shackle my days and any plans I made. I did not see my own womanhood as something positive or to be celebrated, but as a curse that I had to constantly make room for and muddle through. Like the scar on my arm, my reproductive system was a liability. The disease, developing part and parcel with my womanhood starting at puberty with my menses, affected my own self-esteem and the way I felt about my body. No one likes to get her period, but when your femininity carries with it such pain and consistent physical and emotional strife, it’s hard not to feel that your body is betraying you. The very relationship you have with yourself and your person is tainted by these ever-present problems. I now finally knew my struggles were due to this condition. I wasn’t high-strung or fickle and I wasn’t overreacting.
Padma Lakshmi (Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir)
No follower of Christ knew the shape of the earth. For many centuries this great Peasant of Palestine has been worshiped as God. Millions and millions have given their lives to his service. The wealth of the world was lavished on his shrines. His name carried consolation to the diseased and dying. His name dispelled the darkness of death, and filled the dungeon with light. His name gave courage to the martyr, and in the midst of fire, with shriveling lips the sufferer uttered it again and again. The outcasts, the deserted, the fallen, felt that Christ was their friend, felt that he knew their sorrows and pitied their sufferings. All this is true, and if it were all, how beautiful, how touching, how glorious it would be. But it is not all. There is another side. In his name millions and millions of men and women have been imprisoned, tortured and killed. In his name millions and millions have been enslaved. In his name the thinkers, the investigators, have been branded as criminals, and his followers have shed the blood of the wisest and best. In his name the progress of many nations was stayed for a thousand years. In his gospel was found the dogma of eternal pain, and his words added an infinite horror to death. His gospel filled the world with hatred and revenge; made intellectual honesty a crime; made happiness here the road to hell, denounced love as base and bestial, canonized credulity, crowned bigotry and destroyed the liberty of man. It would have been far better had the New Testament never been written – far better had the theological Christ never lived. Had the writers of the Testament been regarded as uninspired, had Christ been thought of only as a man, had the good been accepted and the absurd, the impossible, and the revengeful thrown away, mankind would have escaped the wars, the tortures, the scaffolds, the dungeons, the agony and tears, the crimes and sorrows of a thousand years.
Robert G. Ingersoll
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
The Heiligenstadt Testament" Oh! ye who think or declare me to be hostile, morose, and misanthropical, how unjust you are, and how little you know the secret cause of what appears thus to you! My heart and mind were ever from childhood prone to the most tender feelings of affection, and I was always disposed to accomplish something great. But you must remember that six years ago I was attacked by an incurable malady, aggravated by unskillful physicians, deluded from year to year, too, by the hope of relief, and at length forced to the conviction of a lasting affliction (the cure of which may go on for years, and perhaps after all prove impracticable). Born with a passionate and excitable temperament, keenly susceptible to the pleasures of society, I was yet obliged early in life to isolate myself, and to pass my existence in solitude. If I at any time resolved to surmount all this, oh! how cruelly was I again repelled by the experience, sadder than ever, of my defective hearing! — and yet I found it impossible to say to others: Speak louder; shout! for I am deaf! Alas! how could I proclaim the deficiency of a sense which ought to have been more perfect with me than with other men, — a sense which I once possessed in the highest perfection, to an extent, indeed, that few of my profession ever enjoyed! Alas, I cannot do this! Forgive me therefore when you see me withdraw from you with whom I would so gladly mingle. My misfortune is doubly severe from causing me to be misunderstood. No longer can I enjoy recreation in social intercourse, refined conversation, or mutual outpourings of thought. Completely isolated, I only enter society when compelled to do so. I must live like art exile. In company I am assailed by the most painful apprehensions, from the dread of being exposed to the risk of my condition being observed. It was the same during the last six months I spent in the country. My intelligent physician recommended me to spare my hearing as much as possible, which was quite in accordance with my present disposition, though sometimes, tempted by my natural inclination for society, I allowed myself to be beguiled into it. But what humiliation when any one beside me heard a flute in the far distance, while I heard nothing, or when others heard a shepherd singing, and I still heard nothing! Such things brought me to the verge of desperation, and well-nigh caused me to put an end to my life. Art! art alone deterred me. Ah! how could I possibly quit the world before bringing forth all that I felt it was my vocation to produce? And thus I spared this miserable life — so utterly miserable that any sudden change may reduce me at any moment from my best condition into the worst. It is decreed that I must now choose Patience for my guide! This I have done. I hope the resolve will not fail me, steadfastly to persevere till it may please the inexorable Fates to cut the thread of my life. Perhaps I may get better, perhaps not. I am prepared for either. Constrained to become a philosopher in my twenty-eighth year! This is no slight trial, and more severe on an artist than on any one else. God looks into my heart, He searches it, and knows that love for man and feelings of benevolence have their abode there! Oh! ye who may one day read this, think that you have done me injustice, and let any one similarly afflicted be consoled, by finding one like himself, who, in defiance of all the obstacles of Nature, has done all in his power to be included in the ranks of estimable artists and men. My brothers Carl and [Johann], as soon as I am no more, if Professor Schmidt be still alive, beg him in my name to describe my malady, and to add these pages to the analysis of my disease, that at least, so far as possible, the world may be reconciled to me after my death. I also hereby declare you both heirs of my small fortune (if so it may be called). Share it fairly, agree together and assist each other. You know that any
Ludwig van Beethoven