Divinely Protected Quotes

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Mooner was walking around laying his hands on the cars, divining karma. "this is it", he said, standing by a small khaki-colored jeep."this car has protective qualities" You mean like a guardian angel?" I mean, like, it has seatbelts
Janet Evanovich (Hot Six (Stephanie Plum, #6))
Instead of being encouraged to feel completely protected, loved, honored, and respected by the Divine Force, you've been taught that you're being judged. Because you've been taught that, you feel guilt and fear. But guilt and fear do not open you connection to the Divine; they only serve to close your heart. The reality is that God's way is love, and you can see this for yourself.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
Thomas Jefferson
Friendship, then, like the other natural loves, is unable to save itself. In reality, because it is spiritual and therefore faces a subtler enemy, it must, even more wholeheartedly than they, invoke the divine protection if it hopes to remain sweet. For consider how narrow its true path is. Is must not become what the people call a "mutual admiration society"; yet if it is not full of mutual admiration, of Appreciative love, it is not Friendship at all.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
Be a light unto the world, and hurt it not. Seek to build not destroy. Bring My people home. How? By your shining example. Seek only Godliness. Speak only in truthfulness. Act only in love. Live the Law of Love now and forever more. Give everything require nothing. Avoid the mundane. Do not accept the unacceptable. Teach all who seek to learn of Me. Make every moment of your life an outpouring of love. Use every moment to think the highest thought, say the highest word, do the highest deed. In this, glorify your Holy Self, and thus too, glorify Me. Bring peace to the Earth by bringing peace to all those whose lives you touch. Be peace. Feel and express in every moment your Divine Connection with the All, and with every person, place, and thing. Embrace every circumstance, own every fault, share every joy, contemplate every mystery, walk in every man’s shoes, forgive every offense (including your own), heal every heart, honor every person’s truth, adore every person’s God, protect every person’s rights, preserve every person’s dignity, promote every person’s interests, provide every person’s needs, presume every person’s holiness, present every person’s greatest gifts, produce every person’s blessing, pronounce every person’s future secure in the assured love of God. Be a living, breathing example of the Highest Truth that resides within you. Speak humbly of yourself, lest someone mistake your Highest Truth for boast. Speak softly, lest someone think you are merely calling for attention. Speak gently, that all might know of Love. Speak openly, lest someone think you have something to hide. Speak candidly, so you cannot be mistaken. Speak often, so that your word may truly go forth. Speak respectfully, that no one be dishonored. Speak lovingly, that every syllable may heal. Speak of Me with every utterance. Make of your life a gift. Remember always, you are the gift! Be a gift to everyone who enters your life, and to everyone whose life you enter. Be careful not to enter another’s life if you cannot be a gift. (You can always be a gift, because you always are the gift—yet sometimes you don’t let yourself know that.) When someone enters your life unexpectedly, look for the gift that person has come to receive from you…I HAVE SENT YOU NOTHING BUT ANGELS.
Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2)
Our government rests upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberality, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles they cannot believe in our government. There are only two main theories of government in our world. One rests on righteousness and the other on force. One appeals to reason, and the other appeals to the sword. One is exemplified in the republic, the other is represented by despotism. The government of a country never gets ahead of the religion of a country. There is no way by which we can substitute the authority of law for the virtue of man. Of course we endeavor to restrain the vicious, and furnish a fair degree of security and protection by legislation and police control, but the real reform which society in these days is seeking will come as a result of our religious convictions, or they will not come at all. Peace, justice, humanity, charity—these cannot be legislated into being. They are the result of divine grace.
Calvin Coolidge
Happy is the mother who can say sincerely, that she puts her child in God's hands, and knows therefore, that he is divinely protected.
Florence Scovel Shinn (The Game of Life and How To Play It)
The chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization, and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
The hour has arrived to abandon theories and go directly to what is practical.
Samael Aun Weor (The Divine Science: Prayers and Mantras for Protection and Awakening)
If you must be careless with your possessions, let it be in connection with material things. Your mind is your spiritual estate! Protect and use it with the care to which Divine Royalty is entitled. You were given a WILL-POWER for this purpose.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich! (The Unabridged Classic by Napoleon Hill))
Have times really changed? Don't we today, as always, love our children and want them to live righteously? Don't we today, as always, need God's divine protecting care? Don't we today, as always, continue to be at his mercy and in his debt for the very life he has given us?
Thomas S. Monson (Pathways to perfection;: Discourses of Thomas S. Monson)
If we become aware that someone is sending thoughts of ill will in our direction, we do not argue with the apparent reality of malice. To do so would give it more substance. We remove the personal sense of ourself and the other person.
Donna Goddard (The Love of Devotion)
After deep prayer and meditation the devotee is in touch with his divine consciousness; there is no greater power than that inward protection." —Paramhansa Yogananda
Paramahansa Yogananda
as a guide and protection. Trust your divinity, trust your brain,
Timothy Leary (The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead (1964))
I recognize that there are times in God's divine will and infinite wisdom that He chooses not to heal or to protect from harm. It was out of my love relationship with God that I was able to trust Him to walk with me through the situation, regardless of how it turned out.
Henry T. Blackaby (Experiencing God)
If I had to name my disability, I would call it an unwillingness to fall. On the one hand, this is perfectly normal. I do not know anyone who likes to fall. But, on the other hand, this reluctance signals mistrust of the central truth of the Christian gospel: life springs from death, not only at the last but also in the many little deaths along the way. When everything you count on for protection has failed, the Divine Presence does not fail. The hands are still there – not promising to rescue, not promising to intervene – promising only to hold you no matter how far you fall. Ironically, those who try hardest not to fall learn this later than those who topple more easily. The ones who find their lives are the losers, while the winners come in last.
Barbara Brown Taylor (Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith)
There’s often a reason why people and dogs bite. It’s about self-protection. If we respect what we may not know about the suffering of others and look at them compassionately, we open the door that can lead to understanding.
Jennifer Skiff (The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man's Best Friend)
Shara was already an avid reader by then, but she had never realized until that moment what books meant, the possibility they presented: you could protect them forever, store them up like engineers store water, endless resources of time and knowledge snared in ink, tied down to paper, layered on shelves.... Moments made physical, untouchable, perfect, like preserving a dead hornet in crystal, one drop of venom forever hanging from its stinger. She felt overwhelmed. It was--she briefly thinks of herself and Vo, reading together in the library--a lot like being in love for the first time.
Robert Jackson Bennett (City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1))
I know my rightful place as a child of God; I am blessed and highly favoured. I am protected and delivered from every evil. I am redeem and set free from all bondages in Jesus Name.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
I believe that we carry within us a divinely inspired moral imperative to love ... We have within us the ability to change for the better and to find dignity as individuals rather than as drones in one mass movement or another. We have the ability to love, the need to be loved, and the willingness to put our own lives on the line to protect those we love, and it is in these aspects of ourselves that we can glimpse the face of God; and through the exercise of these qualities, we come to a Godlike state.
Dean Koontz (Watchers)
I AM in control. I AM the only authority in my life. I AM divinely protected by the light of my being. I close off my aura and body of light to the lower astral levels of mind, and I open to the spiritual world. Thank you, God, and so it is.
Susan Shumsky (Divine Revelation)
There are two influences ever present in the world. One is constructive and elevating and comes from our Heavenly Father; the other is destructive and debasing and comes from Lucifer. We have our agency and make our own choice in life subject to these unseen powers. There is a division line well defined that separates the Lord's territory from Lucifer's. If we live on the Lord's side of the line Lucifer cannot come there to influence us, but if we cross the line into his territory we are in his power. By keeping the commandments of the Lord we are safe on His side of the line, but if we disobey His teachings we voluntarily cross into the zone of temptation and invite the destruction that is ever present there. Knowing this, how anxious we should always be to live on the Lord's side of the line.
George Albert Smith
The spiritual freedom we seek cannot be found by grasping at, retreating to, or protecting our perceived safe spaces. Our freedom lies in remaining open continuously, not only to Life's changes but also to the Divine Light within us and others.
Peter Santos
It is not possible to be seduced by the lure of ego-gratification or intimidated by the tyranny of imposters when we know that we are as the angels. We are loved beyond comprehension. So, we must claim our rightful inheritance and live with the confidence of protection.
Donna Goddard (The Love of Devotion)
What are we craving underneath the layers of protection we carefully construct around our hearts? Connection, visibility, a naked dance with another’s soul.
Cassie Jeans
Sometimes the universe conspires in ways that make it look like you are being rejected, but really, you are being protected from misaligned, potentially harmful people and situations.
Vanessa Ooms (Do It For You: How to Stop People-Pleasing and Find Peace)
Luna, the thought of losing you is like losing my heart. You have me completely, and if you died because I wasn't there to protect you, it would kill me. I know you're strong, I know you're different, but that doesn't change my natural instincts. I still have to protect you.
Justine Winter (Sapphire's Divinity (Nature's Destiny, #2))
Every one was born with a guardian angel. Guardian angels brightens our journey of life with divine love,protection,peace, healing,grace,strength and miracles.
Lailah GiftyAkita
Thank you Lord. Thank you Lord for the gift of life. Thank you Lord for divine protection. Thank you Lord for daily guidance.
Lailah Gifty Akita
Our existence and our environment enclose entities of divinity.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
They weren't protected by our own laws. They were on their own. Doesn't sound terribly American. On the contrary, it's very American, Will said bitterly
Libba Bray (The Diviners (The Diviners, #1))
Our faith narratives must be protected, and we must remember that no person is ordained to judge our divinity or to write the story of our spiritual worthiness.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.)
The saint is precisely one who has no “I” to protect or project. His or her “I” is in conscious union with the “I AM” of God, and that is more than enough. Divine
Richard Rohr (Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life)
Your sensuality has divine mandate to protect you.
Lebo Grand (Sensual Lifestyle)
The principles of Islam teach us to be messengers of peace—to be like water, gentle enough to wash away tears and strong enough to drown hatred. To be Muslim is to protect the weak, the orphan, the beggar, the disabled of all races and cultures. To be Muslim is not to be color-blind, but to see the differences between people and to celebrate that diversity as a product of the free will that God chose to give us. As the Qur’an says, “And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed, in that are signs for those of knowledge” (30:22)
A. Helwa (Secrets of Divine Love: A Spiritual Journey into the Heart of Islam)
...what books meant, the possibility they presented: you could protect them forever, store them up like engineers store water, endless resources of time and knowledge snared in ink, tied down to paper, layered on shelves...Moments made physical, untouchable, perfect, like preserving a dead hornet in crystal, one drop of venom forever hanging from its stinger.
Robert Jackson Bennett (City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1))
Men in power always pretend things like virtue, or divine guidance, some kind of mandate to ‘protect’ the rest of us. If we believe that the Almighty put them where they are, it’s easier for us to swallow what they do to us.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
The spiritual freedom we seek cannot be found by grasping at, retreating to, or protecting our perceived safe spaces. Our freedom lies in remaining open continuously, not only to Life’s changes but also to the Divine Light within us and others. This is our choice. Although often perceived as a weakness, being open and surrendering to the experience of the present moment is our greatest strength. By authentically living Life in the Now, we submit to Divine guidance where we find the freedom to see everything equally and sacred in Truth.
Peter Santos (Everything I Wanted To Know About Spirituality But Didn't Know How To Ask: A Spiritual Seekers Guidebook)
I believed he had no human weaknesses or faults, and that, therefore, he could make no mistakes and that he could do no wrong. There on a Holy World hilltop, I realized how very dangerous it is for people to hold any human being in such esteem, especially to consider anyone some sort of "divinely guided" and "protected" person.
Alex Haley (The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley (MAXNotes Literature Guides))
The primitive idea of justice is partly legalized revenge and partly expiation by sacrifice. It works out from both sides in the notion that two blacks make a white, and that when a wrong has been done, it should be paid for by an equivalent suffering. It seems to the Philistine majority a matter of course that this compensating suffering should be inflicted on the wrongdoer for the sake of its deterrent effect on other would-be wrongdoers; but a moment's reflection will shew that this utilitarian application corrupts the whole transaction. For example, the shedding of blood cannot be balanced by the shedding of guilty blood. Sacrificing a criminal to propitiate God for the murder of one of his righteous servants is like sacrificing a mangy sheep or an ox with the rinderpest: it calls down divine wrath instead of appeasing it. In doing it we offer God as a sacrifice the gratification of our own revenge and the protection of our own lives without cost to ourselves; and cost to ourselves is the essence of sacrifice and expiation.
George Bernard Shaw (Androcles and the Lion)
The chaplain had sinned, and it was good. Common sense told him that telling lies and defecting from duty were sins. On the other hand, everyone knew that sin was evil and that no good could come from evil. But he did feel good; he felt positively marvelous. Consequently, it followed logically that telling lies and defecting from duty could not be sins. "The chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization, and he was exhilarated by the discovery. It was miraculous. "It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue, slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
SELF-SURRENDER IS THE HIGHEST AND EASIEST method for enlightenment. One who has surrendered himself is always protected by the divine power. One who possesses nothing and has no one to protect him belongs to God and is constantly under the protection of the Divine.
Swami Rama (Living With the Himalayan Masters)
I believe you have to protect your relationship with God more than any other, Charlotte. Whether you believe in God or not, whether you think God is terrible, truly divine, or absolutely nonexistent, it is the most sacred and intimate relationship we have in our lives.
Renee Carlino (Wish You Were Here)
Human rejection can be God’s divine protection.
Paula Hendricks
They torture us but could not kill our spirit. We have greater divine power, guiding and protecting us.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
A divine perspective on skill will both motivate us to develop skill and protect us from exalting it.
Bob Kauflin (Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God)
Our Constitution is not good. It is a document designed to create a society of enduring white male dominance, hastily edited in the margins to allow for what basic political rights white men could be convinced to share. The Constitution is an imperfect work that urgently and consistently needs to be modified and reimagined to make good on its unrealized promises of justice and equality for all. And yet you rarely see liberals make the point that the Constitution is actually trash. Conservatives are out here acting like the Constitution was etched by divine flame upon stone tablets, when in reality it was scrawled out over a sweaty summer by people making deals with actual monsters who were trying to protect their rights to rape the humans they held in bondage.
Elie Mystal (Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution)
Some are questioning whether the churches they grew up in have anything to offer them as they make their ways in a culture of many cultures with many views of truth, some of which make a great deal of sense to them. For those who counted on God to protect them from so many choices, it is as if the heavenly Father let go of their hand in a crowd one day and vanished into a sea of divine possibilities. I cannot protect the students in my classes from this any better than I can protect myself. Existential dizziness is one of the side effects of higher education, and it affects teachers too.
Barbara Brown Taylor (Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others)
God has predestined every single one of us for fruitfulness. (See John 15.) We need to be familiar with a place of divine intimacy in which we are so consumed by the Holy Spirit that we will nurture and protect the seed He places in us. We need to fearlessly step out and activate His promises. It is intimacy that gives us the grace and strength we need to push through suffering, pain, and inconvenience.
Heidi Baker (Birthing the Miraculous: The Power of Personal Encounters with God to Change Your Life and the World)
It is your divine right and your spiritual duty to protect your energy field from unwanted influences. In the wise words of the Mahatma, do not allow anyone to walk through your mind with their dirty feet.
Anthon St. Maarten
Every man who begets a free act projects his personality into the infinite. If he gives a poor man a penny grudgingly, that penny pierces the poor man’s hand, falls, pierces the earth, bores holes in suns, crosses the firmament and compromises the universe. If he begets an impure act, he perhaps darkens thousands of hearts whom he does not know, who are mysteriously linked to him, and who need this man to be pure as a traveler dying of thirst needs the Gospel’s draught of water. A charitable act, an impulse of real pity sings for him the divine praises, from the time of Adam to the end of the ages; it cures the sick, consoles those in despair, calms storms, ransoms prisoners, converts the infidel and protects mankind
Léon Bloy (Pilgrim of the Absolute)
The chaplain had sinned, and it was good. Common sense told him that telling lies and defecting from duty were sins. On the other hand, everyone knew that sin was evil and that no good could come from evil. But he did feel good; he felt positively marvelous. Consequently, it followed logically that telling lies and defecting from duty could not be sins. The chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization, and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
a blood covenant relationship with God, by the blood of Jesus Christ, there is divine protection over your life. The sign of the blood of Jesus is over your life spiritually. Whatever spirit of destruction or whatever plague is going around town, when they see you, they will see the blood of Christ on you and pass over you.
Sam Adeyemi (Success Guaranteed By the Blood Covenant)
It was a splendid mind. For if thought is like the keyboard of a piano, divided into so many notes, or like the alphabet is ranged in twenty-six letters all in order, then his splendid mind had one by one, firmly and accurately, until it had reached, say, the letter Q. He reached Q. Very few people in the whole of England ever reach Q. Here, stopping for one moment by the stone urn which held the geraniums, he saw, but now far, far away, like children picking up shells, divinely innocent and occupied with little trifles at their feet and somehow entirely defenceless against a doom which he perceived, his wife and son, together, in the window. They needed his protection; he gave it them. But after Q? What comes next? After Q there are a number of letters the last of which is scarcely visible to mortal eyes, but glimmers red in the distance. Z is only reached once by one man in a generation. Still, if he could reach R it would be something. Here at least was Q. He dug his heels in at Q. Q he was sure of. Q he could demonstrate. If Q then is Q--R--. Here he knocked his pipe out, with two or three resonant taps on the handle of the urn, and proceeded. "Then R ..." He braced himself. He clenched himself.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
The sufferings of Christ on the cross are not just his sufferings; they are “the sufferings of the poor and weak, which Jesus shares in his own body and in his own soul, in solidarity with them” (Moltmann 1992, 130). And since God was in Christ, “through his passion Christ brings into the passion history of this world the eternal fellowship of God and divine justice and righteousness that creates life” (131). On the cross, Christ both “identifies God with the victims of violence” and identifies “the victims with God, so that they are put under God's protection and with him are given the rights of which they have been deprived
Miroslav Volf (Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation)
When a man kills another man, the people say he is a murderer, but when the Emir kills him, the Emir is just. When a man robs a monastery, they say he is a thief, but when the Emir robs him of his life, the Emir is honourable. When a woman betrays her husband, they say she is an adulteress, but when the Emir makes her walk naked in the streets and stones her later, the Emir is noble. Shedding of blood is forbidden, but who made it lawful for the Emir? Stealing one's money is a crime, but taking away one's life is a noble act. Betrayal of a husband may be an ugly deed, but stoning of living souls is a beautiful sight. Shall we meet evil with evil and say this is the Law? Shall we fight corruption with greater corruption and say this is the Rule? Shall we conquer crimes with more crimes and say this is Justice? Had not the Emir killed an enemy in his past life? Had he not robbed his weak subjects of money and property? Had he not committed adultery? Was he infallible when he killed the murderer and hanged the thief in the tree? Who are those who hanged the thief in the tree? Are they angels descended from heaven, or men looting and usurping? Who cut off the murderer's head? Are they divine prophets, or soldiers shedding blood wherever they go? Who stoned that adulteress? Were they virtuous hermits who came from their monasteries, or humans who loved to commit atrocities with glee, under the protection of ignorant Law? What is Law? Who saw it coming with the sun from the depths of heaven? What human saw the heart of God and found its will or purpose? In what century did the angels walk among the people and preach to them, saying, "Forbid the weak from enjoying life, and kill the outlaws with the sharp edge of the sword, and step upon the sinners with iron feet?
Kahlil Gibran (Spirits Rebellious / The Madman/ The Forerunner)
… everyone knew that sin was evil, and that no good could come from evil. But he did feel good; he felt positively marvellous. Consequently, it followed logically that telling lies and defecting from duty could not be sins. The chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalisation, and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honour, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
Children are the purest manifestation of love and divinity in the world; they care, they are considerate and they know more about humanity than the smartest adult. We must protect, guide and allow the children of our world to flourish because they are the key to heal this broken planet.
Sam Fuentes
Humans fear the supernatural, both the undivine ( the animal impulses such as sexuality, the unconscious, the unknown, the alien) and the divine (the superhuman, the god in us). Culture and religion seek to protect us from these two forces. The female, by virtue of creating entities of flash and blood in her stomach (she bleeds every month but does not die) by virtue of being in tune with nature's cycles, is feared. Because, according to Christianity and most other major religions, woman is carnal, animal, and closer to the undivine, she must be protected. Protected from herself. Woman is the stranger, the other. She is man's recognized nightmarish pieces, his Shadow-Beast. The sight of her sends him into a frenzy of anger and fear.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa (Borderlands/La Frontera : La Nueva Mestiza)
THE POWER OF TWO If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. —MATTHEW 18:19 Imagine for a moment the unlimited power of a husband and wife who walk constantly in agreement—the power of a mother and father united in the raising of children who understand the power of relationships, are saturated in wisdom, and are full of faith! How different would our world be today if there were more couples like this? How different would the church be? How different would our communities be? How different would our nations be? Father, Your Word says one person can put a thousand to flight and two can chase off ten thousand. Strengthen the hedge of protection around my marriage and family and whisper peace into my relationships, ministry, workplace, and business. No evil shall come near to my dwelling place or my marriage. Cause my relationships to work in perfect harmony with You today. Break any unhealthy patterns in our relationship, guard our thoughts and words, and fill us with new levels of passion and zeal for your calling upon us as a couple. Remove every hindrance from the divinely ordained intimacy and unity You intend for our relationship. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Most of the time there aren’t as many fireworks. I lay down the cards, and they talk to me. I see the Tower and know that it was necessary, and I see the dust settling and what the path ahead looks like (usually dusty). I throw down the Seven of Wands and feel my client bristling with protective energy. I can hear the celebration in the Four of Wands, or see the connective energy in the Three of Cups. My cards come alive for me. That’s the best way I can describe it.
Melissa Cynova (Kitchen Table Tarot: Pull Up a Chair, Shuffle the Cards, and Let's Talk Tarot)
John Locke, called the Father of Liberalism, made the argument that the individual instead of the community was the foundation of society. He believed that government existed by the consent of the governed, not by divine right. But the reason government is necessary is to defend private property, to keep people from stealing from each other. This idea appealed to the wealthy for an obvious reason: they wanted to keep their wealth. From the perspective of the poor, things look decidedly different. The rich are able to accumulate wealth by taking the labor of the poor and by turning the commons into privately owned commodities; therefore, defending the accumulation of wealth in a system that has no other moral constraints is in effect defending theft, not protecting against it.
Lierre Keith (Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet)
If you’ve ever really loved anybody, then you know what true love means. It means that you love them more than you love yourself. If you truly love someone, your love sees past their humanness. It embraces their whole being, including past wrongs and current shortcomings. It is like the unconditional love of a mother. A mother devotes every moment of her life to a child who is physically or mentally challenged. She thinks the child is beautiful. She doesn’t focus on the shortcomings; in fact, she doesn’t even see them as shortcomings. What if that is how God looks upon His creation? Then you’ve lost out if you’ve been told otherwise. Instead of being encouraged to feel completely protected, loved, honored, and respected by the Divine Force, you’ve been taught that you’re being judged. Because you’ve been taught that, you feel guilt and fear. But guilt and fear do not open your connection to the Divine; they only serve to close your heart.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
Relationships are used by the darkness to keep people revolving around the ego’s demands. For a moment, people see the light of the divine in each other. They run to it and then quickly forget the light they once saw as their fears reclaim their consciousness. Thus begins the ongoing battle to protect one’s own ‘rights’, in case they be forgotten or betrayed. The tally of what is owed is counted, the guilt of perceived wrong doings is cast upon the other, one’s freedom must be paid as the price for ‘love’, and it is only in short periods of peace when all of this is forgotten. Those moments are the precious windows of the Soul.
Donna Goddard (Waldmeer)
…[E]veryone knew that sin was evil, and that no good could come from evil. But he did feel good; he felt positively marvellous. Consequently, it followed logically that telling lies and defecting from duty could not be sins. The chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalisation, and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honour, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
Why the devil couldn’t it have been blue?” I said to myself. And this thought—one of the most profound ever made since the discovery of butterflies—consoled me for my misdeed and reconciled me with myself. I stood there, looking at the corpse with, I confess, a certain sympathy. The butterfly had probably come out of the woods, well-fed and happy, into the sunlight of a beautiful morning. Modest in its demands on life, it had been content to fly about and exhibit its special beauty under the vast cupola of a blue sky, al sky that is always blue for those that have wings. It flew through my open window, entered by room, and found me there. I suppose it had never seen a man; therefore it did not know what a man was. It described an infinite number of circles about my body and saw that I moved, that I had eyes, arms, legs, a divine aspect, and colossal stature. Then it said to itself, “This is probably the maker of butterflies.” The idea overwhelmed it, terrified it; but fear, which is sometimes stimulating, suggested the best way for it to please its creator was to kiss him on the forehead, and so it kissed me on the forehead. When I brushed it away, it rested on the windowpane, saw from there the portrait of my father, and quite possibly perceived a half-truth, i.e., that the man in the picture was the father of the creator of butterflies, and it flew to beg his mercy. Then a blow from a towel ended the adventure. Neither the blue sky’s immensity, nor the flowers’ joy, nor the green leaves’ splendor could protect the creature against a face towel, a few square inches fo cheap linin. Note how excellent it is to be superior to butterflies! For, even if it had been blue, its life would not have been safe; I might have pierced it with a pin and kept it to delight my eyes. It was not blue. This last thought consoled me again. I placed the nail of my middle finger against my thumb, gave the cadaver a flip, and it fell into the garden. It was high time; the provident ants were already gathering around…Yes, I stand by my first idea: I think that it would have been better for the butterfly if it had been born blue.
Machado de Assis (Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas)
Be a constant student of life; See the Divine in Nature and Nature in the Divine; Not say a word and be clearly heard; Lead without force and teach without pride; Take the most mundane things and surroundings, sense their inner magick and be able to open that window for others; Stare into the dark infinity of the night sky and feel it as an awesome source; Love the beauty of paradox and always be able to see the cosmic humor in the darkest times; Be a shapeshifter to blend in or be invisible if needed… and make those around feel safe, and heard; Maintain his calm center and clear mind when all about him is chaos; Open his inner eyes and really see; Say “I don’t know…” and realize that is great wisdom, that is okay; Have compassion for all beings, and know when to be a healer and when to be a witness; Know that the secrets of magick are bestowed upon the open-hearted; Speak to the Gods and know he is heard; Cast a sphere of protection and light; Make up his own mind, walk his own path and never follow another blindly; Know the courage and power of nonviolence and the swift strength of a keen mind; Conjure a tale or myth that the moment requires to be understood; Know the plants and creatures of the wild enough to call them friends and allies; See the God and Goddess within all and everyone; Have a spirit that glows in the dark. —Katlyn Breene
Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard)
No priest, no theologian stood at the manger of Bethlehem. And yet all Christian theology has its origin in the wonder of all wonders: that God became human. Holy theology arises from knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable. Without the holy night, there is no theology. “God is revealed in flesh,” the God-human Jesus Christ — that is the holy mystery that theology came into being to protect and preserve. How we fail to understand when we think that the task of theology is to solve the mystery of God, to drag it down to the flat, ordinary wisdom of human experience and reason! Its sole office is to preserve the miracle as miracle, to comprehend, defend, and glorify God’s mystery precisely as mystery. This and nothing else, therefore, is what the early church meant when, with never flagging zeal, it dealt with the mystery of the Trinity and the person of Jesus Christ…. If Christmas time cannot ignite within us again something like a love for holy theology, so that we—captured and compelled by the wonder of the manger of the son of God—must reverently reflect on the mysteries of God, then it must be that the glow of the divine mysteries has also been extinguished in our heart and has died out.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas)
A Naoimh Mìcheal Àird-aingeal, dìon sinn anns an àm a' chatha. Bi mar thèarmann againn an aghaidh an donais agus na ribeachan an Diabhail. Guma thoir Dia achmhasan air, tha sinn a’ guidhe gu h-umhail, agus caith dh’ifrinn, a Phrionnsa an t-sluaigh nèamhaidh, tro chumhachd Dè, Satàn agus na droch-spioradan eile a tha air allaban timcheall an t-saoghail a' lorg anman a mhilleadh. Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in time of battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly beseech thee, and cast into hell, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the divine power, Satan and all the other evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls
St. Michael's prayer (Scottish Gaelic)
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We...solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of a right ought to be free and independent states...and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour.
Thomas Jefferson (Declaration of Independence)
Bring peace to the Earth by bringing peace to all those whose lives you touch. Be peace. Feel and express in every moment your Divine Connection with the All, and with every person, place, and thing. Embrace every circumstance, own every fault, share every joy, contemplate every mystery, walk in every man’s shoes, forgive every offense (including your own), heal every heart, honor every person’s truth, adore every person’s God, protect every person’s rights, preserve every person’s dignity, promote every person’s interests, provide every person’s needs, presume every person’s holiness, present every person’s greatest gifts, produce every person’s blessing, and pronounce every person’s future secure in the assured love of God. Be a living, breathing example of the Highest Truth that resides within you.
Neale Donald Walsch (The Complete Conversations with God)
Is it necessary to point out to what extent and in what manner religions debase and corrupt the people? They destroy their reason, the principal instrument of human emancipation, and reduce them to imbecility, the essential condition of their slavery. They dishonor human labor, and make it a sign and source of servitude. They kill the idea and sentiment of human justice, ever tipping the balance to the side of triumphant knaves, privileged objects of divine indulgence. They kill human pride and dignity, protecting only the cringing and humble. They stifle in the heart of nations every feeling of human fraternity, filling it with divine cruelty instead.
Mikhail Bakunin (God and the State)
I conjured my father’s laugh and my mother’s cooking, the stars in the sky over Sylvan Lake. I made peace with anyone who might every have been an enemy. I asked forgiveness for every vain or selfish thing I’d done in my life. Inside the house in the sky, all the people I loved sat down for a big holiday meal. I was safe and protected. It was where the voices that normally tore through my head expressing fear and wishing for death went silent, until there was one left speaking. It was a calmer, stronger voice, one that to me felt divine. It said, See? You are okay, Amanda. It’s only your body that’s suffering, and you are not your body. The rest of you is fine.
Amanda Lindhout
The role of the prophet was ambiguous in the eyes of some of his contemporaries. The indignation that flowed from him, the anger he displayed, even when extrinsic to his mind, became so intimate a part of his soul that those exposed to it could easily mistake it as his own antipathy rather than as sympathy with divine anger, and could assume that he had his own ax to grind, that he was giving vent to personal hostility. It seems that Jeremiah was accused of feeling delight in anticipating the disaster which he had announced in the name of the Lord. He who loved his people, whose life was dedicated to saving his people, was regarded as an enemy. Over and above the agony of sensing the imminent disaster, his soul was bruised by calumny. What protection was there against such backbiting? No one could look into his heart, but everybody was hurt by his words. Only the Lord knew the truth.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being. And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers, and benefactors, obeying the Almighty effort, and advancing on Chaos and the Dark.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (We Are the Builders of Our Fortunes: Success through Self-Reliance)
Religion, then, is far from "useless." It humanizes violence; it protects man from his own violence by taking it out of his hands, transforming it into a transcendent and ever-present danger to be kept in check by the appropriate rites appropriately observed and by a modest and prudent demeanor. Religious misinterpretation is a truly constructive force, for it purges man of the suspicions that would poison his existence if he were to remain conscious of the crisis as it actually took place. To think religiously is to envision the city's destiny in terms of that violence whose mastery over man increases as man believes he has gained mastery over it. To think religiously (in the primitive sense) is to see violence as something superhuman, to be kept always at a distance and ultimately renounced. When the fearful adoration of this power begins to diminish and all distinctions begin to disappear, the ritual sacrifices lose their force; their potency is not longer recognized by the entire community. Each member tries to correct the situation individually, and none succeeds. The withering away of the transcendental influence means that there is no longer the slightest difference between a desire to save the city and unbridled ambition, between genuine piety and the desire to claim divine status for oneself. Everyone looks on a rival enterprise as evidence of blasphemous designs. Men set to quarreling about the gods, and their skepticism leads to a new sacrificial crisis that will appear - retrospectively, in the light of a new manifestation of unanimous violence - as a new act of divine intervention and divine revenge. Men would not be able to shake loose the violence between them, to make of it a separate entity both sovereign and redemptory, without the surrogate victim. Also, violence itself offers a sort of respite, the fresh beginning of a cycle of ritual after a cycle of violence. Violence will come to an end only after it has had the last word and that word has been accepted as divine. The meaning of this word must remain hidden, the mechanism of unanimity remain concealed. For religion protects man as long as its ultimate foundations are not revealed. To drive the monster from its secret lair is to risk loosing it on mankind. To remove men's ignorance is only to risk exposing them to an even greater peril. The only barrier against human violence is raised on misconception. In fact, the sacrificial crisis is simply another form of that knowledge which grows grater as the reciprocal violence grows more intense but which never leads to the whole truth. It is the knowledge of violence, along with the violence itself, that the act of expulsion succeeds in shunting outside the realm of consciousness. From the very fact that it belies the overt mythological messages, tragic drama opens a vast abyss before the poet; but he always draws back at the last moment. He is exposed to a form of hubris more dangerous than any contracted by his characters; it has to do with a truth that is felt to be infinitely destructive, even if it is not fully understood - and its destructiveness is as obvious to ancient religious thought as it is to modern philosophers. Thus we are dealing with an interdiction that still applies to ourselves and that modern thought has not yet invalidated. The fact that this secret has been subjected to exceptional pressure in the play [Bacchae] must prompt the following lines: May our thoughts never aspire to anything higher than laws! What does it cost man to acknowledge the full sovereignty of the gods? That which has always been held as true owes its strength to Nature.
René Girard (Violence and the Sacred)
The obstinacy of antiquated institutions in perpetuating themselves resembles the stubbornness of the rancid perfume which should claim our hair, the pretensions of the spoiled fish which should persist in being eaten, the persecution of the child's garment which should insist on clothing the man, the tenderness of corpses which should return to embrace the living. "Ingrates!" says the garment, "I protected you in inclement weather. Why will you have nothing to do with me?" "I have just come from the deep sea," says the fish. "I have been a rose," says the perfume. "I have loved you," says the corpse. "I have civilized you," says the convent. To this there is but one reply: "In former days." To dream of the indefinite prolongation of defunct things, and of the government of men by embalming, to restore dogmas in a bad condition, to regild shrines, to patch up cloisters, to rebless reliquaries, to refurnish superstitions, to revictual fanaticisms, to put new handles on holy water brushes and militarism, to reconstitute monasticism and militarism, to believe in the salvation of society by the multiplication of parasites, to force the past on the present, – this seems strange. Still, there are theorists who hold such theories. These theorists, who are in other respects people of intelligence, have a very simple process; they apply to the past a glazing which they call social order, divine right, morality, family, the respect of elders, antique authority, sacred tradition, legitimacy, religion; and they go about shouting, "Look! take this, honest people." This logic was known to the ancients. The soothsayers practise it. They rubbed a black heifer over with chalk, and said, "She is white, Bos cretatus." As for us, we respect the past here and there, and we spare it, above all, provided that it consents to be dead. If it insists on being alive, we attack it, and we try to kill it. Superstitions, bigotries, affected devotion, prejudices, those forms all forms as they are, are tenacious of life; they have teeth and nails in their smoke, and they must be clasped close, body to body, and war must be made on them, and that without truce; for it is one of the fatalities of humanity to be condemned to eternal combat with phantoms. It is difficult to seize darkness by the throat, and to hurl it to the earth.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Never Underestimate the Divine Strength of a Mother who appears Broken..... This phrase, in the most reciprocal form, is powerful. A broken woman is perceived as weak, battered, useless, and incapable, among many other low states of Human life, effortlessly causing her to think it might be best to lie down and die. The thought represents a desperation to escape a pain more powerful than she. There is, but one superseding power, greater than the pain itself. You take this woman, who loves her kids to the highest degree of unselfishness and give her a hint they’re suffering. A Divine Strength that can’t be seen, perhaps not even felt will ignite a fire within her from miles away. No one in its path will see it coming, not even her. This strength indicates that she will go beyond any limits to protect her offspring even if it means rising to her death. There’s no mountain too high, no fire too crucible, nor a fear she won’t face, to ensure they are safe, both mentally and physically. The best part is, no matter how broken down she appears, or how robbed she may be, no one can take from her, what they don’t know she possesses. Following the exhaustion of all other choices, this strength is activated, only when it’s most necessary. It may never be discovered in a lifetime by many, but you can bet it’s there when you need it most. It’s in every one of us, festering, waiting for what may be the last moments of life or death.
L. Yingling
It was uphill work for a foreigner, lame or sound, to make his way with the Bleeding Hearts. In the first place, they were vaguely persuaded that every foreigner had a knife about him; in the second, they held it to be a sound constitutional national axiom that he ought to go home to his own country. They never thought of inquiring how many of their own countrymen would be returned upon their hands from divers parts of the world, if the principle were generally recognised; they considered it particularly and peculiarly British. In the third place, they had a notion that it was a sort of Divine visitation upon a foreigner that he was not an Englishman, and that all kinds of calamities happened to his country because it did things that England did not, and did not do things that England did. In this belief, to be sure, they had long been carefully trained by the Barnacles and Stiltstalkings, who were always proclaiming to them, officially, that no country which failed to submit itself to those two large families could possibly hope to be under the protection of Providence; and who, when they believed it, disparaged them in private as the most prejudiced people under the sun.
Charles Dickens (Little Dorrit)
Principles of Liberty 1. The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law. 2. A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong. 3. The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally strong people is to elect virtuous leaders. 4. Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained. 5. All things were created by God, therefore upon him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible. 6. All men are created equal. 7. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things. 8. Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. 9. To protect man's rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law. 10. The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people. 11. The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical. 12. The United States of America shall be a republic. 13. A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers. 14. Life and Liberty are secure only so long as the Igor of property is secure. 15. The highest level of securitiy occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations. 16. The government should be separated into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. 17. A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power. 18. The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution. 19. Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to the government, all others being retained by the people. 20. Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority. 21. Strong human government is the keystone to preserving human freedom. 22. A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men. 23. A free society cannot survive a republic without a broad program of general education. 24. A free people will not survive unless they stay strong. 25. "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." 26. The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity. 27. The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest. 28. The United States has a manifest destiny to be an example and a blessing to the entire human race.
Founding Fathers
Once the spiritual journey begins, we leave the circumference of the circle and begin to travel along the radius of divine wisdom to reach the Center. This is a journey in and through the self of the human being. The End is the experience and knowledge of yourself as infinite eternal spirit. Along the way we leave behind every identification of gender, family, nationality, race, and religion, and understand ourselves as the Universal Human Being, the Child of God. In the past, the Greek mystery religions called this Logos; the Christian Gnostics called it Christos; the Sufis call it Insani Kamil. Some have experienced the inbreath of Holy Spirit — whether through a murshid, a realized being, a community of lovers of God, a living tradition — and this has initiated a process of transformation that, if nurtured and protected, will lead to the actualization of the divine in the human being. Such a person will relate from the Divine in himself or herself to the Divine in another.
Kabir Helminski
Every man who begets a free act projects his personality into the infinite. If he gives a poor man a penny grudgingly, that penny pierces the poor man’s hand, falls, pierces the earth, bores holes in suns, crosses the firmament and compromises the universe. If he begets an impure act, he perhaps darkens thousands of hearts whom he does not know, who are mysteriously linked to him, and who need this man to be pure as a traveller dying of thirst needs the Gospel’s draught of water. A charitable act, an impulse of real pity sings for him the divine praises, from the time of Adam to the end of the ages; it cures the sick, consoles those in despair, calms storms, ransoms prisoners, converts the infidel and protects mankind
Léon Bloy
We had better want the consequences of what we believe or disbelieve, because the consequences will come! . . . But how can a society set priorities if there are no basic standards? Are we to make our calculations using only the arithmetic of appetite? . . . The basic strands which have bound us together socially have begun to fray, and some of them have snapped. Even more pressure is then placed upon the remaining strands. The fact that the giving way is gradual will not prevent it from becoming total. . . . Given the tremendous asset that the family is, we must do all we can within constitutional constraints to protect it from predatory things like homosexuality and pornography. . . . Our whole republic rests upon the notion of “obedience to the unenforceable,” upon a tremendous emphasis on inner controls through self-discipline. . . . Different beliefs do make for different behaviors; what we think does affect our actions; concepts do have consequences. . . . Once society loses its capacity to declare that some things are wrong per se, then it finds itself forever building temporary defenses, revising rationales, drawing new lines—but forever falling back and losing its nerve. A society which permits anything will eventually lose everything! Take away a consciousness of eternity and see how differently time is spent. Take away an acknowledgement of divine design in the structure of life and then watch the mindless scurrying to redesign human systems to make life pain-free and pleasure-filled. Take away regard for the divinity in one’s neighbor, and watch the drop in our regard for his property. Take away basic moral standards and observe how quickly tolerance changes into permissiveness. Take away the sacred sense of belonging to a family or community, and observe how quickly citizens cease to care for big cities. Those of us who are business-oriented are quick to look for the bottom line in our endeavors. In the case of a value-free society, the bottom line is clear—the costs are prohibitive! A value-free society eventually imprisons its inhabitants. It also ends up doing indirectly what most of its inhabitants would never have agreed to do directly—at least initially. Can we turn such trends around? There is still a wealth of wisdom in the people of this good land, even though such wisdom is often mute and in search of leadership. People can often feel in their bones the wrongness of things, long before pollsters pick up such attitudes or before such attitudes are expressed in the ballot box. But it will take leadership and articulate assertion of basic values in all places and in personal behavior to back up such assertions. Even then, time and the tides are against us, so that courage will be a key ingredient. It will take the same kind of spunk the Spartans displayed at Thermopylae when they tenaciously held a small mountain pass against overwhelming numbers of Persians. The Persians could not dislodge the Spartans and sent emissaries forward to threaten what would happen if the Spartans did not surrender. The Spartans were told that if they did not give up, the Persians had so many archers in their army that they would darken the skies with their arrows. The Spartans said simply: “So much the better, we will fight in the shade!
Neal A. Maxwell
It is not enough for a population or a section of the population to have Christian faith and be docile to the ministers of religion in order to be in a position properly to judge political matters. If this population has no political experience, no taste for seeing clearly for itself nor a tradition of initiative and critical judgment, its position with respect to politics grows more complicated, for nothing is easier for political counterfeiters than to exploit good principles for purposes of deception, and nothing is more disastrous than good principles badly applied. And moreover nothing is easier for human weakness than to merge religion with prejudices of race, family or class, collective hatreds, passions of a clan and political phantoms which compensate for the rigors of individual discipline in a pious but insufficiently purified soul. Politics deal with matters and interests of the world and they depend upon passions natural to man and upon reason. But the point I wish to make here is that without goodness, love and charity, all that is best in us—even divine faith, but passions and reason much more so—turns in our hands to an unhappy use. The point is that right political experience cannot develop in people unless passions and reason are oriented by a solid basis of collective virtues, by faith and honor and thirst for justice. The point is that, without the evangelical instinct and the spiritual potential of a living Christianity, political judgment and political experience are ill protected against the illusions of selfishness and fear; without courage, compassion for mankind and the spirit of sacrifice, the ever-thwarted advance toward an historical ideal of generosity and fraternity is not conceivable.
Jacques Maritain (Christianity & Democracy (Essay Index Reprint Series) (English and French Edition))
Nor does it matter from the standpoint of a comparative study of symbolic forms whether Christ or the Buddha ever actually lived and performed the miracles associated with their teachings. The religious literatures of the world abound in counterparts of those two great lives. And what one may learn from them all, finally, is that the savior, the hero, the redeemed one, is the one who has learned to penetrate the protective wall of those fears within, which exclude the rest of us, generally, in our daylight and even our dreamnight thoughts, from all experience of our own and the world’s divine ground. The mythologized biographies of such saviors communicate the messages of their world-transcending wisdom in world-transcending symbols - which, ironically, are then generally translated back into such verbalized thoughts as built the interior walls in the first place.
Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By)
Politics is the science of domination, and persons in the process of enlargement and illumination are notoriously difficult to control. Therefore, to protect its vested interests, politics usurped religion a very long time ago. Kings bought off priests with land and adornments. Together, they drained the shady ponds and replaced them with fish tanks. The walls of the tanks were constructed of ignorance and superstition, held together with fear. They called the tanks “synagogues” or “churches” or “mosques.” After the tanks were in place, nobody talked much about soul anymore. Instead, they talked about spirit. Soul is hot and heavy. Spirit is cool, abstract, detached. Soul is connected to the earth and its waters. Spirit is connected to the sky and its gases. Out of the gases springs fire. Firepower. It has been observed that the logical extension of all politics is war. Once religion became political, the exercise of it, too, could be said to lead sooner or later to war. “War is hell.” Thus, religious belief propels us straight to hell. History unwaveringly supports this view. (Each modern religion has boasted that it and it alone is on speaking terms with the Deity, and its adherents have been quite willing to die—or kill—to support its presumptuous claims.) Not every silty bayou could be drained, of course. The soulfish that bubbled and snapped in the few remaining ponds were tagged “mystics.” They were regarded as mavericks, exotic and inferior. If they splashed too high, they were thought to be threatening and in need of extermination. The fearful flounders in the tanks, now psychologically dependent upon addictive spirit flakes, had forgotten that once upon a time they, too, had been mystical. Religion is nothing but institutionalized mysticism. The catch is, mysticism does not lend itself to institutionalization. The moment we attempt to organize mysticism, we destroy its essence. Religion, then, is mysticism in which the mystical has been killed. Or, at least diminished. Those who witness the dropping of the fourth veil might see clearly what Spike Cohen and Roland Abu Hadee dimly suspected: that not only is religion divisive and oppressive, it is also a denial of all that is divine in people; it is a suffocation of the soul.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
God's Rush to Give. January 17 SILENCE. Be silent before Me. Seek to know and then to do My will in all things. Abide in My Love. An atmosphere of loving understanding to all men. This is your part to carry out, and then I surround you with a protective screen that keeps all evil from you. It is fashioned by your own attitude of mind, words, and deeds, towards others. I want to give you all things, good measure, pressed down and running over. Be quick to learn. You know little yet of the Divine Impatience which longs to rush to give. Does one worrying thought enter your mind, one impatient thought? Fight it at once. Love and Trust are the solvents for the worry and cares and frets of a life. Apply them at once. You are channels, and though the channel may not be altogether blocked, fret and impatience and worry corrode, and in time would become beyond your help. Persevere, oh! persevere. Never lose heart. All is well.
A.J. Russell (God Calling)
The prophet proclaims that God cannot be identified with the status quo - however shiny, powerful, immortal, or divine that status quo may appear. The principalities and powers will always seek to capture and enslave God in an attempt to use the name of God to underwrite current power arrangements. To go against the status quo, declare the powers, is to go against God. Religion in this instance becomes another fear-based cudgel, wielded to protect the interests of the principalities and powers and those who currently benefit from business as usual, thus aiding in their success and survival. Consequently, before proclamation to human captives can be made - freedom to those being oppressed by current power arrangements - the prophet must dare to proclaim that God is not the spokesperson for the status quo, but rather stands outside the system - free - to speak a word of judgment. When the freedom of God is proclaimed, when God is outside the system and free to bring a word of indictment against us, the capacity is created to speak on behalf of the marginalized and the disfranchised in the name of God. Being free, God can now be for the weak and the least of these over against those at the top of current power arrangements. This was the real shock at the heart of Moses’s prophetic utterance to Pharaoh— that God was on the side of the slaves and stood with them over against the divinely ordained power and authority of Egypt.
Richard Beck (The Slavery of Death)
To the extent the divine source and inalienability of our rights are purported to be factual, history has proved our Founding Fathers plainly wrong: Every right has, in fact, been alienated by governments since the beginning of time. Within a generation of the establishment of our nation, the Founding Fathers rescinded virtually every right they previously declared unalienable. John Adams, one of the drafters of the Declaration of Independence, alienated the right to speak freely and express dissenting views when, as president, he enforced the Alien and Sedition Acts against his political opponents—with Hamilton’s support. (Perhaps Hamilton’s God had not given “sacred rights” to Jeffersonians!) Another of the drafters, Jefferson himself, alienated the most basic of rights—to the equal protection of the laws, based on the “truth” that “all men are created equal”—when he helped to write (and strengthen) Virginia’s “Slave Code,” just a few years after drafting the Declaration of Independence. The revised code denied slaves the right to liberty and to the pursuit of happiness by punishing attempted escape with “outlawry” or death. Jefferson personally suspected that “the blacks … are inferior to the whites in the endowments of body and mind.” In other words, they were endowed by their Creator not with equality but with inferiority. There is no right that has not been suspended or trampled during times of crisis and war, even by our greatest presidents. ... I wish there were an intellectually satisfying argument for the divine source of rights, as our Founding Fathers tried to put forth. Tactically, that would be the strongest argument liberals could make, especially in America, where many hold a strong belief in an intervening God. But we cannot offer this argument, because many liberals do not believe in concepts like divine hands. We believe in separation of church and state. We are pragmatists, utilitarians, empiricists, secularists, and (God forgive me!) moral relativists. We are skeptical of absolutes (as George Bernard Shaw cynically quipped: “The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.”).
Alan M. Dershowitz (The Case for Liberalism in an Age of Extremism: or, Why I Left the Left But Can't Join the Right)
In the years since the disaster, I often think of my friend Arturo Nogueira, and the conversations we had in the mountains about God. Many of my fellow survivors say they felt the personal presence of God in the mountains. He mercifully allowed us to survive, they believe, in answer to our prayers, and they are certain it was His hand that led us home. I deeply respect the faith of my friends, but, to be honest, as hard as I prayed for a miracle in the Andes, I never felt the personal presence of God. At least, I did not feel God as most people see Him. I did feel something larger than myself, something in the mountains and the glaciers and the glowing sky that, in rare moments, reassured me, and made me feel that the world was orderly and loving and good. If this was God, it was not God as a being or a spirit or some omnipotent, superhuman mind. It was not a God who would choose to save us or abandon us, or change in any way. It was simply a silence, a wholeness, an awe-inspiring simplicity. It seemed to reach me through my own feelings of love, and I have often thought that when we feel what we call love, we are really feeling our connection to this awesome presence. I feel this presence still when my mind quiets and I really pay attention. I don’t pretend to understand what it is or what it wants from me. I don’t want to understand these things. I have no interest in any God who can be understood, who speaks to us in one holy book or another, and who tinkers with our lives according to some divine plan, as if we were characters in a play. How can I make sense of a God who sets one religion above the rest, who answers one prayer and ignores another, who sends sixteen young men home and leaves twenty-nine others dead on a mountain? There was a time when I wanted to know that god, but I realize now that what I really wanted was the comfort of certainty, the knowledge that my God was the true God, and that in the end He would reward me for my faithfulness. Now I understand that to be certain–-about God, about anything–-is impossible. I have lost my need to know. In those unforgettable conversations I had with Arturo as he lay dying, he told me the best way to find faith was by having the courage to doubt. I remember those words every day, and I doubt, and I hope, and in this crude way I try to grope my way toward truth. I still pray the prayers I learned as a child–-Hail Marys, Our Fathers–-but I don’t imagine a wise, heavenly father listening patiently on the other end of the line. Instead, I imagine love, an ocean of love, the very source of love, and I imagine myself merging with it. I open myself to it, I try to direct that tide of love toward the people who are close to me, hoping to protect them and bind them to me forever and connect us all to whatever there is in the world that is eternal. …When I pray this way, I feel as if I am connected to something good and whole and powerful. In the mountains, it was love that kept me connected to the world of the living. Courage or cleverness wouldn’t have saved me. I had no expertise to draw on, so I relied upon the trust I felt in my love for my father and my future, and that trust led me home. Since then, it has led me to a deeper understanding of who I am and what it means to be human. Now I am convinced that if there is something divine in the universe, the only way I will find it is through the love I feel for my family and my friends, and through the simple wonder of being alive. I don’t need any other wisdom or philosophy than this: My duty is to fill my time on earth with as much life as possible, to become a little more human every day, and to understand that we only become human when we love. …For me, this is enough.
Nando Parrado
Our Constitution is not good. It is a document designed to create a society of enduring white male dominance, hastily edited in the margins to allow for what basic political rights white men could be convinced to share. The Constitution is an imperfect work that urgently and consistently needs to be modified and reimagined to make good on its unrealized promises of justice and equality for all. And yet you rarely see liberals make the point that the Constitution is actually trash. Conservatives are out here acting like the Constitution was etched by divine flame upon stone tablets, when in reality it was scrawled out over a sweaty summer by people making deals with actual monsters who were trying to protect their rights to rape the humans they held in bondage. Why would I give a fuck about the original public meaning of the words written by these men? Conservatives will tell you that the text of laws explicitly passed in response to growing political, social, or economic power of nonwhite minorities should be followed to their highest grammatical accuracy, and I’m supposed to agree the text of this bullshit is the valid starting point of the debate? Nah. As Rory Breaker says in the movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: “If the milk turns out to be sour, I ain’t the kind of pussy to drink it.” The Constitution was so flawed upon its release in 1787 that it came with immediate updates. The first ten amendments, the “Bill of Rights,” were demanded by some to ensure ratification of the rest of the document. All of them were written by James Madison, who didn’t think they were actually necessary but did it to placate political interests.
Elie Mystal (Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution)
The duties, which a man performs as a friend or parent, do not seem merely owing to his benefactor or children; nor can he be wanting to these duties, without breaking through all the ties of nature and morality. A strong inclination may prompt him to the performance: A sentiment of order and moral obligation joins its force to these natural ties: And the whole man, if truly virtuous, is drawn to his duty, without any effort or endeavour. Even with regard to the virtues, which are more austere, and more founded on reflection, such as public spirit, filial duty, temperance, or integrity; the moral obligation, in our apprehension, removes all pretension to religious merit; and the virtuous conduct is deemed no more than what we owe to society and to ourselves. In all this, a superstitious man finds nothing, which he has properly performed for the sake of his deity, or which can peculiarly recommend him to the divine favor and protection. He considers not, that the most genuine method of serving the divinity is by promoting the happiness of his creatures. He still looks out for some immediate service of the supreme Being, in order to allay those terrors, with which he is haunted. And any practice, recommended to him, which either serves to no purpose in life, or offers the strongest violence to his natural inclinations; that practice he will the more readily embrace, on account of those very circumstances, which should make him absolutely reject it. It seems the more purely religious, because it proceeds from no mixture of any other motive or consideration. And if, for its sake, he sacrifices much of his ease and quiet, his claim of merit appears still to rise upon him, in proportion to the zeal and devotion, which he discovers. In restoring a loan, or paying a debt, his divinity is nowise beholden to him; because these acts of justice are what he was bound to perform, and what many would have performed, were there no god in the universe. But if he fast a day, or give himself a sound whipping; this has a direct reference, in his opinion, to the service of God. No other motive could engage him to such austerities. By these distinguished marks of devotion, he has now acquired the divine favor; and may expect, in recompense, protection, and safety in this world, and eternal happiness in the next.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
Long before there were effective treatments, physicians dispensed prognoses, hope, and, above all, meaning. When something terrible happens-and serious disease is always terrible-people want to know why. In a pantheistic world, the explanation was simple-one god had caused the problem, another could cure it. In the time since people have been trying to get along with only one God, explaining disease and evil has become more difficult. Generations of theologians have wrestled with the problem of theodicy-how can a good God allow such bad things to happen to good people? Darwinian medicine can't offer a substitute for such explanations. It can't provide a universe in which events are part of a divine plan, much less one in which individual illness reflects individual sins. It can only show us why we are the way we are, why we are vulnerable to certain diseases. A Darwinian view of medicine simultaneously makes disease less and more meaningful. Diseases do not result from random or malevolent forces, they arise ultimately from past natural selection. Paradoxically, the same capacities that make us vulnerable to disease often confer benefits. The capacity for suffering is a useful defense. Autoimmune disease is a price of our remarkable ability to attack invaders. Cancer is the price of tissues that can repair themselves. Menopause may protect the interests of our genes in existing children. Even senescence and death are not random, but compromises struck by natural selection as it inexorably shaped out bodies to maximize the transmission of our genes. In such paradoxical benefits, some may find a gentle satisfaction, even a bit of meaning-at least the sort of meaning Dobzhansky recognized. After all, nothing in medicine makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Randolph M. Nesse (Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine)
What interested these gnostics far more than past events attributed to the “historical Jesus” was the possibility of encountering the risen Christ in the present.49 The Gospel of Mary illustrates the contrast between orthodox and gnostic viewpoints. The account recalls what Mark relates: Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene … She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.50 As the Gospel of Mary opens, the disciples are mourning Jesus’ death and terrified for their own lives. Then Mary Magdalene stands up to encourage them, recalling Christ’s continual presence with them: “Do not weep, and do not grieve, and do not doubt; for his grace will be with you completely, and will protect you.”51 Peter invites Mary to “tell us the words of the Savior which you remember.”52 But to Peter’s surprise, Mary does not tell anecdotes from the past; instead, she explains that she has just seen the Lord in a vision received through the mind, and she goes on to tell what he revealed to her. When Mary finishes, she fell silent, since it was to this point that the Savior had spoken with her. But Andrew answered and said to the brethren, “Say what you will about what she has said. I, at least, do not believe that the Savior has said this. For certainly these teachings are strange ideas!”53 Peter agrees with Andrew, ridiculing the idea that Mary actually saw the Lord in her vision. Then, the story continues, Mary wept and said to Peter, “My brother Peter, what do you think? Do you think that I thought this up myself in my heart? Do you think I am lying about the Savior?” Levi answered and said to Peter, “Peter, you have always been hot-tempered … If the Savior made her worthy, who are you to reject her?”54 Finally Mary, vindicated, joins the other apostles as they go out to preach. Peter, apparently representing the orthodox position, looks to past events, suspicious of those who “see the Lord” in visions: Mary, representing the gnostic, claims to experience his continuing presence.55 These gnostics recognized that their theory, like the orthodox one, bore political implications. It suggests that whoever “sees the Lord” through inner vision can claim that his or her own authority equals, or surpasses, that of the Twelve—and of their successors. Consider the political implications of the Gospel of Mary: Peter and Andrew, here representing the leaders of the orthodox group, accuse Mary—the gnostic—of pretending to have seen the Lord in order to justify the strange ideas, fictions, and lies she invents and attributes to divine inspiration. Mary lacks the proper credentials for leadership, from the orthodox viewpoint: she is not one of the “twelve.” But as Mary stands up to Peter, so the gnostics who take her as their prototype challenge the authority of those priests and bishops who claim to be Peter’s successors.
The Gnostic Gospels (Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books)
The fighting was horrendous. Bloodshed and death lie everywhere around us. It was not exciting, Vindhya. It is fearsome, and we were all scared out of our wits. There is no honour in battle but to protect you, my love. We have won the gates of Grilsom and lost the fortress of Loare...but we’ve gained allies from the Knights of Scrivehrim, and enemies of the dark elves of Scryire. There is no winning in War, my sweet...only loss. People die on every side. How can any battle be won with such consequence and loss? I do not understand war. It’s so unfair, so...unjustified. We take innocent lives, yet we gain medals of highest honour and divine, sacred blessings. What is the sense of it? And even much less do I understand Andsar’s concept of celibacy in soldiers, and that they choose to stay alone their entire lives. I might understand, were the reasoning that we would leave no one behind to suffer...but there is no reason for it. They tell us we are wrong to love one another, and so they justify our love by sending me to my assured death. If anyone were to find out about us, we’d both surely be killed. Love like this, though…I believe it is worth the cost of my life, if I could only be with you one moment.
Jennifer Megan Varnadore (An Angel's Misery (Tainted Moonlight))
Sign of Life. Now Pharaoh and his house and the priests in every temple, and indeed all Egypt went mad with joy, though there were many who in secret mourned over the sex of the infant, whispering that a man and not a woman should wear the Double Crown. But in public they said nothing, since the story of this child had gone abroad and folk declared that it was sent by the gods, and divine, and that the goddesses, Isis, Nepthys, and Hathor, with Khemu, the Maker of Mankind, were seen in the birth chamber, glowing like gold. Also Pharaoh issued a decree that wherever the name of the Queen Ahura was graven in all the land, to it should be added the title "By the will of Amen, Mother of his Morning Star," and that a new hall should be built in the temple of Amen in the Northern Apt, and all about it carved the story of the coming of Prince Abi and of the vision of the Queen. But Ahura never lived to see this glorious place, since from the hour of her daughter's birth she began to sink. On the fourteenth day, the day of purification, she bade the nurse bring the beautiful babe, and gazed at it long and blessed it, and spoke with the Ka or Double of the child, which she said she saw lying on her arm beside it, bidding that Ka protect it well through the dangers of life and death until the
H. Rider Haggard (Morning Star)
Inarguably, a successful restaurant demands that you live on the premises for the first few years, working seventeen-hour days, with total involvement in every aspect of a complicated, cruel and very fickle trade. You must be fluent in not only Spanish but the Kabbala-like intricacies of health codes, tax law, fire department regulations, environmental protection laws, building code, occupational safety and health regs, fair hiring practices, zoning, insurance, the vagaries and back-alley back-scratching of liquor licenses, the netherworld of trash removal, linen, grease disposal. And with every dime you've got tied up in your new place, suddenly the drains in your prep kitchen are backing up with raw sewage, pushing hundreds of gallons of impacted crap into your dining room; your coke-addled chef just called that Asian waitress who's working her way through law school a chink, which ensures your presence in court for the next six months; your bartender is giving away the bar to under-age girls from Wantagh, any one of whom could then crash Daddy's Buick into a busload of divinity students, putting your liquor license in peril, to say the least; the Ansel System could go off, shutting down your kitchen in the middle of a ten-thousand-dollar night; there's the ongoing struggle with rodents and cockroaches, any one of which could crawl across the Tina Brown four-top in the middle of the dessert course; you just bought 10,000 dollars-worth of shrimp when the market was low, but the walk-in freezer just went on the fritz and naturally it's a holiday weekend, so good luck getting a service call in time; the dishwasher just walked out after arguing with the busboy, and they need glasses now on table seven; immigration is at the door for a surprise inspection of your kitchen's Green Cards; the produce guy wants a certified check or he's taking back the delivery; you didn't order enough napkins for the weekend — and is that the New York Times reviewer waiting for your hostess to stop flirting and notice her?
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
Maybe the affecting aspect was that Madame Ko's tanukis sparked in an onlooker's muscles a kinetic memory of the innocent freedom of early childhood, when one could let one's body go all akimbo on the slightest whim, could bounce, flop, and skip about in pure corporeal joy without embarrassment, judgement, or restraint. Or maybe there was a more "mature" associations, memories, say, of being falling-down drunk at the company picnic-but now crazy little animals were serving as surrogates, allowing one to vicariously relive those deliciously liberating and rebellious moment while maintaining one's veneer of civilized respectability, protecting in the process, one's marriage, one's standing in the community, one's job. Or maybe, on a strictly subconscious level, circusgoers recognized in the antics of the tanukis-antics that appeared goofy and bumbling yet, at the same time, brave and successful-an analogy to their own blindly hopeful gyrations in a complex, impermanent universe where every happy dance was danced in the lengthening shadow of death. And maybe they were inspired, if only for a night, to emulate the tanuki capacity for self-enjoyment, a gift that ought to be the birthright of every Homo sapiens. or maybe not. Maybe all those interpretations are just so much god-fodder (The God-Fodder, The God-Fodder II), the very sort of bullshit responsible, some say, for keeping alive a modicum of divine interest in our discredited race.
Tom Robbins (Villa Incognito)
My hypothesis is mimetic: because humans imitate one another more than animals, they have had to find a means of dealing with contagious similarity, which could lead to the pure and simple disappearance of their society. The mechanism that reintroduces difference into a situation in which everyone has come to resemble everyone else is sacrifice. Humanity results from sacrifice; we are thus the children of religion. What I call after Freud the founding murder, in other words, the immolation of a sacrificial victim that is both guilty of disorder and able to restore order, is constantly re-enacted in the rituals at the origin of our institutions. Since the dawn of humanity, millions of innocent victims have been killed in this way in order to enable their fellow humans to live together, or at least not to destroy one another. This is the implacable logic of the sacred, which myths dissimulate less and less as humans become increasingly self-aware. The decisive point in this evolution is Christian revelation, a kind of divine expiation in which God through his Son could be seen as asking for forgiveness from humans for having revealed the mechanisms of their violence so late. Rituals had slowly educated them; from then on, humans had to do without. Christianity demystifies religion. Demystification, which is good in the absolute, has proven bad in the relative, for we were not prepared to shoulder its consequences. We are not Christian enough. The paradox can be put a different way. Christianity is the only religion that has foreseen its own failure. This prescience is known as the apocalypse. Indeed, it is in the apocalyptic texts that the word of God is most forceful, repudiating mistakes that are entirely the fault of humans, who are less and less inclined to acknowledge the mechanisms of their violence. The longer we persist in our error, the stronger God’s voice will emerge from the devastation. […] The Passion unveiled the sacrificial origin of humanity once and for all. It dismantled the sacred and revealed its violence. […] By accepting crucifixion, Christ brought to light what had been ‘hidden since the foundation of the world,’ in other words, the foundation itself, the unanimous murder that appeared in broad daylight for the first time on the cross. In order to function, archaic religions need to hide their founding murder, which was being repeated continually in ritual sacrifices, thereby protecting human societies from their own violence. By revealing the founding murder, Christianity destroyed the ignorance and superstition that are indispensable to such religions. It thus made possible an advance in knowledge that was until then unimaginable. […] A scapegoat remains effective as long as we believe in its guilt. Having a scapegoat means not knowing that we have one. Learning that we have a scapegoat is to lose it forever and to expose ourselves to mimetic conflicts with no possible resolution. This is the implacable law of the escalation to extremes. The protective system of scapegoats is finally destroyed by the Crucifixion narratives as they reveal Jesus’ innocence, and, little by little, that of all analogous victims. The process of education away from violent sacrifice is thus underway, but it is going very slowly, making advances that are almost always unconscious. […] Mimetic theory does not seek to demonstrate that myth is null, but to shed light on the fundamental discontinuity and continuity between the passion and archaic religion. Christ’s divinity which precedes the Crucifixion introduces a radical rupture with the archaic, but Christ’s resurrection is in complete continuity with all forms of religion that preceded it. The way out of archaic religion comes at this price. A good theory about humanity must be based on a good theory about God. […] We can all participate in the divinity of Christ so long as we renounce our own violence.
René Girard (Battling to the End: Conversations with Benoît Chantre)
Liberty is a word which, according as it is used, comprehends the most good and the most evil of any in the world. Justly understood it is sacred next to those which we appropiate in divine adoration; but in the mouths of some it means anything, which enervate a necessary government; excite a jealousy of the rulers who are our own choice, and keep society in confusion for want of a power sufficiently concentered to promote its good. It is not strange that the licentious should tell us a government of energy is inconsistent with liberty, for being inconsistent with their wishes and their vices, they would have us think it contrary to human happiness. . . . A government capable of controling the whole, and bringing its force to a point, is one of the prerequisites for national liberty. We combine in society, with an expectation to have our persons and properties defended against unreasonable exactions either at home or abroad. If the public are unable to protest against the unjust impositions of foreigners, in this case we do not enjoy our natural rights, and a weakness of government is the cause. If we mean to have our natural rights and properties protected, we must first create a power which is able to do it, and in our case there is no want of resources, but a civil constitution which may draw them out and point their force. . . . Some men are mightily afraid of giving power lest it should be improved for oppression; this is doubtless possible, but where is the probability. The same objection may be made against the constitution of every state in the union, and against every possible mode of government; because a power of doing good always implies a power to do evil if the person or party be disposed. The right of the legislature to ordain laws binding on the people, gives them a power to make bad laws. The right of the judge to inflict punishment, gives him both power and opportunity to oppress the innocent; yet none but crazy men will from thence determine that it is best to have neither a legislature nor judges. If a power to promote the best interest of the people, necessarily implies a power to do evil, we must never expect such a constitution in theory as will not be open in some respects to the objections of carping and jealous men. The new Constitution is perhaps more cautiously guarded than any other in the world, and at the same time creates a power which will be able to protect the subject; yet doubtless objections may be raised, and so they may against the constitution of each state in the union. . . . If, my countrymen, you wait for a constitution which absolutely bars a power of doing evil, you must wait long, and when obtained it will have no power of doing good. I allow you are oppressed, but not from the quarter that jealous and wrongheaded men would insinuate. You are oppressed by the men, who to serve their own purposes would prefer the shadow of government to the reality.
Oliver Ellsworth