Enter My Life Quotes

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Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
I'm not frightened. I'm not frightened of anything. The more I suffer, the more I love. Danger will only increase my love. It will sharpen it, forgive its vice. I will be the only angel you need. You will leave life even more beautiful than you entered it. Heaven will take you back and look at you and say: Only one thing can make a soul complete and that thing is love.
Bernhard Schlink (The Reader)
We are all wounded. But wounds are necessary for his healing light to enter into our beings. Without wounds and failure and frustrations and defeats, there will be no opening for his brilliance to tickle in and invade our lives. Failures in life are courses with very high tuition fees, so I don't cut classes and miss my lessons: on humility, on patience, on hope, on asking others for help, on listening to God, on trying again and again and again.
Bo Sánchez (You Have The Power to Create Love: Take Another Step on the Simple Path to Happiness)
The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian.
Brennan Manning (The Furious Longing of God)
I often laughed, and you often gave me a dissatisfied look, till you pressed me to unfold my past before you as if it were a roll of pictures. It was then I felt respect for you. Because you unreservedly showed me your resolution to catch something alive in my being, and to sip the warm blood running in my body, by cutting my heart. At that time, I was still living, and did not want to die. So I rejected your request, promising to satisfy you some day. Now I am going to destroy my heart myself, and pour my blood into your veins. I shall be happy if a new life can enter into your bosom, when my heart has stopped beating.
Natsume Sōseki (Kokoro)
The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures--solitude, books and imagination--outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life)
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried treasure and other things submerged. It was appointed that the book should shut with a a spring, for ever and for ever, when I had read but a page. It was appointed that the water should be locked in an eternal frost, when the light was playing on its surface, and I stood in ignorance on the shore. My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead; it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to my life's end. In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
I don't believe in God. Can you understand that? Look around you man. Cant you see? The clamor and din of those in torment has to be the sound most pleasing to his ear. And I loathe these discussions. The argument of the village atheist whose single passion is to revile endlessly that which he denies the existence of in the first place. Your fellowship is a fellowship of pain and nothing more. And if that pain were actually collective instead of simply reiterative then the sheer weight of it would drag the world from the walls of the universe and send it crashing and burning through whatever night it might yet be capable of engendering until it was not even ash. And justice? Brotherhood? Eternal life? Good god, man. Show me a religion that prepares one for death. For nothingness. There's a church I might enter. Yours prepares one only for more life. For dreams and illusions and lies. If you could banish the fear of death from men's hearts they wouldnt live a day. Who would want this nightmare if not for fear of the next? The shadow of the axe hangs over every joy. Every road ends in death. Or worse. Every friendship. Every love. Torment, betrayal, loss, suffering, pain, age, indignity, and hideous lingering illness. All with a single conclusion. For you and for every one and everything that you have chosen to care for. There's the true brotherhood. The true fellowship. And everyone is a member for life. You tell me that my brother is my salvation? My salvation? Well then damn him. Damn him in every shape and form and guise. Do I see myself in him? Yes. I do. And what I see sickens me. Do you understand me? Can you understand me?
Cormac McCarthy (The Sunset Limited)
The tinkle of wind chimes announcing the return of our fairy guests made us both look up. Our chance to be alone was going to be shorter than either of us had hoped. I sighed and brushed an errant dragon scale from Eadric’s tunic. “Someday when we have lots of time, remind me to tell you what you mean to me.” Eadric tilted my head back so he could gaze into my eyes. “I can tell you what you mean to me with just one word.” Let me guess,” I said, smiling up at him. “Maybe I make you happy because you no longer have to enter kissing contests to find the best kisser? Do I bring excitement into your life because I can wisk you away to exotic lands on my magic carpet? Or do you find me delightful because I can conjure food whenever you’re hungry?” No, that’s not. . . Wait, what was that last one?” I laughed and shook my head. “Never mind. So tell me in one word, what do I mean to you?” That’s easy,” said Eadric. “Everything!
E.D. Baker (No Place for Magic (The Tales of the Frog Princess, #4))
When I arrived at the house in the suburbs that night I seriously contemplated suicide for the first time in my life. But as I thought about it, the idea became exceedingly tiresome, and I finally decided it would be a ludicrous business. I had an inherent dislike of admitting defeat. Moreover, I told myself, there's no need for me to take such decisive action myself, not when I'm surrounded by such a bountiful harvest of death—death in an air raid, death at one's post of duty, death in the military service, death on the battlefield, death from being run over, death from disease—surely my name has already been entered in the list for one of these: a criminal who has been sentenced to death does not commit suicide. No—no matter how I considered, the season was not auspicious for suicide. Instead I was waiting for something to do me the favor of killing me. And this, in the final analysis, is the same as to say that I was waiting for something to do me the favor of keeping me alive.
Yukio Mishima (Confessions of a Mask)
When I enter my home, many homes seem to be waiting for me to give a shape to this life, which is about to perish.
Suman Pokhrel
And St. Francis added: "My dear and beloved Brother, the treasure of blessed poverty is so very precious and divine that we are not worthy to possess it in our vile bodies. For poverty is that heavenly virtue by which all earthy and transitory things are trodden under foot, and by which every obstacle is removed from the soul so that it may freely enter into union with the eternal Lord God. It is also the virtue which makes the soul, while still here on earth, converse with the angels in Heaven. It is she who accompanied Christ on the Cross, was buried with Christ in the Tomb, and with Christ was raised and ascended into Heaven, for even in this life she gives to souls who love her the ability to fly to Heaven, and she alone guards the armor of true humility and charity.
Francis of Assisi (The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi)
I will do you one last favour, in the name and memory of the figment you have replaced. I will clarify a misapprehension of yours. Circumstances did not conspire against me. I was not led into anything, nor did I fall. I chose my life and my course. I chose to do wrong in the hope that right might come of it. I regret it. I would choose differently now. But the choice was mine. Deny that, falsify it, tinsel it over with pious, pitying justification, and you deny everything I am and every scrap of what little good I have been able to do in my life. Good or bad, give me credit for what I have done. I would rather go honestly to Hell, admitting that I leaped knowingly into error and folly, than enter into the sweetest Heaven men can dream of by whining that I had been pushed.
Steven Brust (Freedom & Necessity)
I had come to think of him as a library book, entering my life on rented time. Something that I could enjoy for a few hours, curled up and comfortable, devouring as much of him as possible before our time was up. And because he wasn't mine, I couldn't scribble in the margins or write my name on the spine; I couldn't leave my mark on him in any discernable way.
Stacy Willingham (All the Dangerous Things)
This is not (as you have charged) to paint religion with a broad brush. I am very quick to distinguish gradations of bad ideas; some clearly have no consequences at all (or at least not yet); some put civilization itself in peril. The problem with dogmatism, however, is that one can never quite predict how terrible its costs will be. To use one of my favorite examples, consider the Christian dogma that human life begins at the moment of conception: On its face, this belief seems likely to only improve our world. After all, it is the very quintessence of a life-affirming doctrine. Enter embryonic stem-cell research. Suddenly, this “life begins at the moment of conception” business becomes the chief impediment to medical progress. Who would have thought that such an innocuous idea could unnecessarily prolong the agony of tens of millions of people? This is the problem with dogmatism, no matter how seemingly benign: it is unresponsive to reality. Dogmatism is a failure of cognition (as well as a commitment to such failure); it is the state of being closed to new evidence and new arguments. And this frame of mind is rightly despised in every area of culture, on every subject, except where it goes by the name of “religious faith.” In this guise, parading its most grotesque faults as virtues, it is granted a special dispensation, even in the pages of Nature.
Sam Harris
All of us in this courtroom have entered into a debate about the quality of life versus the sanctity of life.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
I saw Derzhavin only once in my life but shall never forget that occasion. It was in 1815 at a public examination in the Lyceum. When we boys learned Derzhavin was coming, all of us grew excited. Delvig went out on the stairs to wait for him and kiss his hand, the hand that had written 'The Waterfall.' Derzhavin arrived. Derzhavin entered the vestibule, and Delvig heard him ask the janitor: 'Where is the privy here, my good fellow?' This prosaic question disenchanted Delvig, who canceled his intent and returned to the reception hall. Delvig told me the story with wonderful bonhomie and good humor.
Alexander Pushkin
In 1924, Nikola Tesla was asked why he never married? His answer was this: "I had always thought of woman as possessing those delicate qualities of mind and soul that made her in her respects far superior to man. I had put her on a lofty pedestal, figuratively speaking, and ranked her in certain important attributes considerably higher than man. I worshipped at the feet of the creature I had raised to this height, and, like every true worshiper, I felt myself unworthy of the object of my worship. But all this was in the past. Now the soft voiced gentle woman of my reverent worship has all but vanished. In her place has come the woman who thinks that her chief success in life lies on making herself as much as possible like man - in dress, voice, and actions, in sports and achievements of every kind. The world has experience many tragedies, but to my mind the greatest tragedy of all is the present economic condition wherein women strive against men, and in many cases actually succeed in usurping their places in the professions and in industry. This growing tendency of women to overshadow the masculine is a sign of a deteriorating civilization. Practically all the great achievements of man until now have been inspired by his love and devotion to woman. Man has aspired to great things because some woman believed in him, because he wished to command her admiration and respect. For these reasons he has fought for her and risked his life and his all for her time and time again. Perhaps the male in society is useless. I am frank to admit that I don't know. If women are beginning to feel this way about it - and there is striking evidence at hand that they do - then we are entering upon the cruelest period of the world's history. Our civilization will sink to a state like that which is found among the bees, ants, and other insects - a state wherein the male is ruthlessly killed off. In this matriarchal empire which will be established, the female rules. As the female predominates, the males are at her mercy. The male is considered important only as a factor in the general scheme of the continuity of life. The tendency of women to push aside man, supplanting the old spirit of cooperation with him in all the affairs of life, is very disappointing to me." Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, page 23. August 10, 1924.
Nikola Tesla
I think of human existence as being like a two-story house. On the first floor people gather together to take their meals, watch television, and talk. The second floor contains private chambers, bedrooms where people go to read books, listen to music by themselves, and so on. Then there is a basement; this is a special place, and there are a number of things stored here. We don’t use this room much in our daily life, but sometimes we come in, vaguely hang around the place. Then, my thought is that underneath that basement room is yet another basement room. This one has a very special door, very difficult to figure out, and normally you can’t get in there—some people never get in at all. . . . You go in, wander about in the darkness, and experience things there you wouldn’t see in the normal parts of the house. You connect with your past there, because you have entered into your own soul. But then you come back. If you stay over there for long you can never get back to reality.
Haruki Murakami
Whereas the craftsman mindset focuses on what you can offer the world, the passion mindset focuses instead on what the world can offer you. This mindset is how most people approach their working lives. There are two reasons why I dislike the passion mindset (that is, two reasons beyond the fact that, as I argued in Rule #1, it’s based on a false premise). First, when you focus only on what your work offers you, it makes you hyperaware of what you don’t like about it, leading to chronic unhappiness. This is especially true for entry-level positions, which, by definition, are not going to be filled with challenging projects and autonomy—these come later. When you enter the working world with the passion mindset, the annoying tasks you’re assigned or the frustrations of corporate bureaucracy can become too much to handle. Second, and more serious, the deep questions driving the passion mindset—“Who am I?” and “What do I truly love?”—are essentially impossible to confirm. “Is this who I really am?” and “Do I love this?” rarely reduce to clear yes-or-no responses. In other words, the passion mindset is almost guaranteed to keep you perpetually unhappy and confused, which probably explains why Bronson admits, not long into his career-seeker epic What Should I Do With My Life? that “the one feeling everyone in this book has experienced is of missing out on life.
Cal Newport (So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love)
But there is an unbounded pleasure to be had in the possession of a young, newly blossoming soul! It is like a flower, from which the best aroma evaporates when meeting the first ray of the sun; you must pluck it at that minute, breathing it in until you’re satisfied, and then throw it onto the road: perhaps someone will pick it up! I feel this insatiable greed, which swallows everything it meets on its way. I look at the suffering and joy of others only in their relation to me, as though it is food that supports the strength of my soul. I myself am not capable of going mad under the influence of passion. My ambition is stifled by circumstances, but it has manifested itself in another way, for ambition is nothing other than a thirst for power, and my best pleasure is to subject everyone around me to my will, to arouse feelings of love, devotion and fear of me—is this not the first sign and the greatest triumph of power? Being someone’s reason for suffering while not being in any position to claim the right—isn’t this the sweetest nourishment for our pride? And what is happiness? Sated pride. If I considered myself to be better, more powerful than everyone in the world, I would be happy. If everyone loved me, I would find endless sources of love within myself. Evil spawns evil. The first experience of torture gives an understanding of the pleasure in tormenting others. An evil idea cannot enter a person’s head without his wanting to bring it into reality: ideas are organic creations, someone once said. Their birth gives them form immediately, and this form is an action. The person in whom most ideas are born is the person who acts most. Hence a genius, riveted to his office desk, must die or lose his mind, just as a man with a powerful build who has a sedentary life and modest behavior will die from an apoplectic fit. Passions are nothing other than the first developments of an idea: they are a characteristic of the heart’s youth, and whoever thinks to worry about them his whole life long is a fool: many calm rivers begin with a noisy waterfall, but not one of them jumps and froths until the very sea. And this calm is often the sign of great, though hidden, strength. The fullness and depth of both feeling and thought will not tolerate violent upsurges. The soul, suffering and taking pleasure, takes strict account of everything and is always convinced that this is how things should be. It knows that without storms, the constant sultriness of the sun would wither it. It is infused with its own life—it fosters and punishes itself, like a child. And it is only in this higher state of self-knowledge that a person can estimate the value of divine justice.
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
What is the use of beauty in woman? Provided a woman is physically well made and capable of bearing children, she will always be good enough in the opinion of economists. What is the use of music? -- of painting? Who would be fool enough nowadays to prefer Mozart to Carrel, Michael Angelo to the inventor of white mustard? There is nothing really beautiful save what is of no possible use. Everything useful is ugly, for it expresses a need, and man's needs are low and disgusting, like his own poor, wretched nature. The most useful place in a house is the water-closet. For my part, saving these gentry's presence, I am of those to whom superfluities are necessaries, and I am fond of things and people in inverse ratio to the service they render me. I prefer a Chinese vase with its mandarins and dragons, which is perfectly useless to me, to a utensil which I do use, and the particular talent of mine which I set most store by is that which enables me not to guess logogriphs and charades. I would very willingly renounce my rights as a Frenchman and a citizen for the sight of an undoubted painting by Raphael, or of a beautiful nude woman, -- Princess Borghese, for instance, when she posed for Canova, or Julia Grisi when she is entering her bath. I would most willingly consent to the return of that cannibal, Charles X., if he brought me, from his residence in Bohemia, a case of Tokai or Johannisberg; and the electoral laws would be quite liberal enough, to my mind, were some of our streets broader and some other things less broad. Though I am not a dilettante, I prefer the sound of a poor fiddle and tambourines to that of the Speaker's bell. I would sell my breeches for a ring, and my bread for jam. The occupation which best befits civilized man seems to me to be idleness or analytically smoking a pipe or cigar. I think highly of those who play skittles, and also of those who write verse. You may perceive that my principles are not utilitarian, and that I shall never be the editor of a virtuous paper, unless I am converted, which would be very comical. Instead of founding a Monthyon prize for the reward of virtue, I would rather bestow -- like Sardanapalus, that great, misunderstood philosopher -- a large reward to him who should invent a new pleasure; for to me enjoyment seems to be the end of life and the only useful thing on this earth. God willed it to be so, for he created women, perfumes, light, lovely flowers, good wine, spirited horses, lapdogs, and Angora cats; for He did not say to his angels, 'Be virtuous,' but, 'Love,' and gave us lips more sensitive than the rest of the skin that we might kiss women, eyes looking upward that we might behold the light, a subtile sense of smell that we might breathe in the soul of the flowers, muscular limbs that we might press the flanks of stallions and fly swift as thought without railway or steam-kettle, delicate hands that we might stroke the long heads of greyhounds, the velvety fur of cats, and the polished shoulder of not very virtuous creatures, and, finally, granted to us alone the triple and glorious privilege of drinking without being thirsty, striking fire, and making love in all seasons, whereby we are very much more distinguished from brutes than by the custom of reading newspapers and framing constitutions.
Théophile Gautier (Mademoiselle de Maupin)
I know the days ahead of me are fewer than those I have left behind. There is no escaping this most basic fact of accounting. A certain amount of time is allotted to each of us. How much, only God knows. We cannot invest it. We cannot hope for a return of any kind. All we can do is spend it, second by second, decade by decade, until it runs out. Still, even if our days on this Earth are limited, we can always, through toil and industry, hope to extend our influence into the future. And so it is that, having lived my life with an eye set on posterity in the hopes of improving the lives of later generations, I enter these remaining years of mine not with nostalgia for all that is gone but with a sense of excitement for what is yet to come.
Hernan Diaz (Trust)
Was it possible that a single psychedelic experience—something that turned on nothing more than the ingestion of a pill or square of blotter paper—could put a big dent in such a worldview? Shift how one thought about mortality? Actually change one’s mind in enduring ways? The idea took hold of me. It was a little like being shown a door in a familiar room—the room of your own mind—that you had somehow never noticed before and being told by people you trusted (scientists!) that a whole other way of thinking—of being!—lay waiting on the other side. All you had to do was turn the knob and enter. Who wouldn’t be curious? I might not have been looking to change my life, but the idea of learning something new about it, and of shining a fresh light on this old world, began to occupy my thoughts. Maybe there was something missing from my life, something I just hadn’t named.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
After a moment he said, real quiet, "I fucking hate my dad." Up until then I didn't think a white boy could hate anything about his life. I wanted to know him through and through, by that very hate. Because that's what you give anyone who sees you, I thought. You take their hatred head-on and you cross it, like a bridge, to face them, to enter them.
Ocean Vuong
It's like my life came to a halt at age twenty, Tsukuru Tazaki though, as he sat at the bench in Shinkuku station. The days that came afterwards had no real weight or substance. The years passed by, quietly, like a gentle breeze. Leaving no scars behind, no sorrow, rousing no strong emotions, leaving no happiness or memories worth mentioning. And now he was entering middle age.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
The couple in the Skyline came to mind. Why did I have this fixation on them? Well, what else did I have to think about? By now, the two of them might be snoozing away in bed, or maybe pushing into commuter trains. They could be flat character sketches for a TV treatment: Japanese woman marries Frenchman while studying abroad; husband has traffic accident and becomes paraplegic. Woman tires of life in Paris, leaves husband, and returns to Tokyo, where she works in Belgian or Swiss embassy. Silver bracelets, a memento from her husband. Cut to beach scene in Nice: woman with the bracelets on left wrist. Woman takes bath, makes love, silver bracelets always on left wrist. Cut: enter Japanese man, veteran of student occupation of Yasuda Hall, wearing tinted glasses like lead in Ashes and Diamonds. A top TV director, he is haunted by dreams of tear gas, by memories of his wife who slit her wrist five years earlier. Cut (for what it's worth, this script has a lot of jump cuts): he sees the bracelets on woman's left wrist, flashes back to wife's bloodied wrist. So he asks woman: could she switch bracelets to her right wrist? "I refuse," she says. "I wear my bracelets on my left wrist.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
For whom are you preserving your secret? For your grandsons? They are rich enough without it; they do not know the worth of money. Your cards would be of no use to a spendthrift. He who cannot preserve his paternal inheritance, will die in want, even though he had a demon at his service. I am not a man of that sort; I know the value of money. Your three cards will not be thrown away upon me. Come!” ... He paused and tremblingly awaited her reply. The Countess remained silent; Hermann fell upon his knees. “If your heart has ever known the feeling of love,” said he, “if you remember its rapture, if you have ever smiled at the cry of your newborn child, if any human feeling has ever entered into your breast, I entreat you by the feelings of a wife, a lover, a mother, by all that is most sacred in life, not to reject my prayer. Reveal to me your secret. Of what use is it to you? . . . May be it is connected with some terrible sin, with the loss of eternal salvation, with some bargain with the devil.... Reflect,—you are old; you have not long to live—I am ready to take your sins upon my soul. Only reveal to me your secret. Remember that the happiness of a man is in your hands, that not only I, but my children, and grandchildren will bless your memory and reverence you as a saint. . . .” The old Countess answered not a word. Hermann rose to his feet. “You old hag!” he exclaimed, grinding his teeth, “then I will make you answer!” With these words he drew a pistol from his pocket. At
Alexander Pushkin (The Queen of Spades and Other Stories)
There is a passage in the Old French Queste del Saint Graal that epitomizes the true spirit of Western man. It tells of a day when the knights of Arthur’s court gathered in the banquet hall waiting for dinner to be served. It was a custom of that court that no meal should be served until an adventure had come to pass. Adventures came to pass in those days frequently so there was no danger of Arthur’s people going hungry. On the present occasion the Grail appeared, covered with a samite cloth, hung in the air a moment, and withdrew. Everyone was exalted, and Gawain, the nephew of King Arthur, rose and suggested a vow. “I propose,” he said, “that we all now set forth in quest to behold that Grail unveiled.” And so it was that they agreed. There then comes a line that, when I read it, burned itself into my mind. “They thought it would be a disgrace to go forth in a group. Each entered the forest at the point that he himself had chosen, where it was darkest, and there was no way or path.” No way or path! Because where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s path. And that is what marks the Western spirit distinctly from the Eastern. Oriental gurus accept responsibility for their disciples’ lives. They have an interesting term, “delegated free will.” The guru tells you where you are on the path, who you are, what to do now, and what to do next. The romantic quality of the West, on the other hand, derives from an unprecedented yearning, a yearning for something that has never yet been seen in this world. What can it be that has never yet been seen? What has never yet been seen is your own unprecedented life fulfilled. Your life is what has yet to be brought into being.
Joseph Campbell (Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Tradition (Collected Works of Joseph Campbell))
However, it looks somewhat different when viewed not from the personalistic standpoint, i.e., from the personal situation of Miss Miller, but from the standpoint of the archetype’s own life. As we have already explained, the phenomena of the unconscious can be regarded as more or less spontaneous manifestations of autonomous archetypes, and though this hypothesis may seem very strange to the layman, it is amply supported by the fact the archetype has a numinous character: it exerts a fascination, it enters into active opposition to the conscious mind, and may be said in the long run to mould the destinies of individuals by unconsciously influencing their thinking, feeling, and behaviour, even if this influence is not recognized until long afterwards. The primordial image is itself a “pattern of behaviour”4 which will assert itself with or without the co-operation of the conscious personality. Although the Miller case gives us some idea of the manner in which an archetype gradually draws nearer to consciousness and finally takes possession of it, the material is too scanty to serve as a complete illustration of the process. I must therefore refer my reader to the dream-series discussed in Psychology and Alchemy, where he will be able to follow the gradual emergence of a definite archetype with all the specific marks of its autonomy and authority.
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 5: Symbols of Transformation (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Book 7))
Once upon a time I'd left Los Angeles and been swallowed down the throat of a life in which my sole loyalty was to my tongue. My belly. Myself. My mother called me selfish and so selfish I became. From nineteen to twenty-five I was a mouth, sating. For myself I made three-day braises and chose the most marbled meats, I played loose with butter and cream. My arteries were young, my life pooling before me, and I lapped, luxurious, from it. I drank, smoked, flew cheap red-eyes around Europe, I lived in thrilling shitholes, I found pills that made nights pass in a blink or expanded time to a soap bubble, floating, luminous, warm. Time seemed infinite, then. I begged famous chefs for the chance to learn from them. I entered competitions and placed in a few. I volunteered to work brunch, turn artichokes, clean the grease trap. I flung my body at all of it: the smoke and singe of the grill station, a duck's breast split open like a geode, two hundred oysters shucked in the walk-in, sex in the walk-in, drunken rides around Paris on a rickety motorcycle and no helmet, a white truffle I stole and shaved in secret over a bowl of Kraft mac n' cheese for me, just me, as my body strummed the high taut selfish song of youth. On my twenty-fifth birthday I served black-market fugu to my guests, the neurotoxin stinging sweetly on my lips as I waited to see if I would, by eating, die. At that age I believed I knew what death was: a thrill, like brushing by a friend who might become a lover.
C Pam Zhang (Land of Milk and Honey)
It is necessary to have metaphysical ideas-we cannot do without them-but it is also necessary to submit them very seriously to the test whether they agree with the human being: a good metaphysical idea does not spoil one's stomach. For instance, if I hold a metaphysical conviction that we live on after death for fifty thousand years instead of fifty million-if that is a solution-! try what it means if I believe in fifty thousand years only; perhaps that is good for my digestion-or bad. You see, I have no other criterion. Of course, it sounds funny, but I start from the conviction that man has also a living body and if something is true for one side, it must be true for the other. For what is the body? The body is merely the visibility of the soul, the psyche; and the soul is the psychological experience of the body. So it is really one and the same thing. Therefore, a good truth must be true for the whole system, not only for half of it. According to my imagination, something seems to be good-it f-its in with my imagination-but it proves to be entirely wrong for my body. And something might apparently be quite nice for the body, but it is very bad for the experience of the soul, and in that case I have a metaphysical enteritis. So I must be careful to bring the two systems together; the only criterion is that both are balanced. When life flows, then I can say it is probably all right, but if I get upset I know something must be wrong, out of order at least. Jung, C. G.. Nietzsche's Zarathustra: Notes of the Seminar given in 1934-1939. Two Volumes: 1-2, unabridged (Jung Seminars) (p. 355).
C.G. Jung (Nietzsche's Zarathustra: Notes of the Seminar given in 1934-1939 C.G. Jung)
There was an artist in the city of Kouroo who was disposed to strive after perfection. One day it came into his mind to make a staff. Having considered that in an imperfect work time is an ingredient, but into a perfect work time does not enter, he said to himself, It shall be perfect in all respects, though I should do nothing else in my life. He proceeded instantly to the forest for wood, being resolved that it should not be made of unsuitable material; and as he searched for and rejected stick after stick, his friends gradually deserted him, for they grew old in their works and died, but he grew not older by a moment. His singleness of purpose and resolution, and his elevated piety, endowed him, without his knowledge, with perennial youth. As he made no compromise with Time, Time kept out of his way, and only sighed at a distance because he could not overcome him. Before he had found a stock in all respects suitable the city of Kouroo was a hoary ruin, and he sat on one of its mounds to peel the stick. Before he had given it the proper shape the dynasty of the Candahars was at an end, and with the point of the stick he wrote the name of the last of that race in the sand, and then resumed his work. By the time he had smoothed and polished the staff Kalpa was no longer the pole-star; and ere he had put on the ferule and the head adorned with precious stones, Brahma had awoke and slumbered many times. But why do I stay to mention these things? When the finishing stroke was put to his work, it suddenly expanded before the eyes of the astonished artist into the fairest of all the creations of Brahma. He had made a new system in making a staff, a world with full and fair proportions; in which, though the old cities and dynasties had passed away, fairer and more glorious ones had taken their places. And now he saw by the heap of shavings still fresh at his feet, that, for him and his work, the former lapse of time had been an illusion, and that no more time had elapsed than is required for a single scintillation from the brain of Brahma to fall on and inflame the tinder of a mortal brain. The material was pure, and his art was pure; how could the result be other than wonderful?
Henry David Thoreau
Be it a highwayman who confronts a traveler with the ultimatum: ‘Your money or your life,’ or a politician who confronts a country with the ultimatum: ‘Your children’s education or your life,’ the meaning of that ultimatum is: ‘Your mind or your life’—and neither is possible to man without the other. “If there are degrees of evil, it is hard to say who is the more contemptible: the brute who assumes the right to force the mind of others or the moral degenerate who grants to others the right to force his mind. That is the moral absolute one does not leave open to debate. I do not grant the terms of reason to men who propose to deprive me of reason. I do not enter discussions with neighbors who think they can forbid me to think. I do not place my moral sanction upon a murderer’s wish to kill me. When a man attempts to deal with me by force, I answer him—by force. “It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use. No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had the right to choose: his own. He uses force to seize a value; I use it only to destroy destruction. A holdup man seeks to gain wealth by killing me; I do not grow richer by killing a holdup man. I seek no values by means of evil, nor do I surrender my values to evil.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
There was an artist in the city of Kouroo who was disposed to strive after perfection. One day it came into his mind to make a staff. Having considered that in an imperfect work time is an ingredient, but into a perfect work time does not enter, he said to himself, It shall be perfect in all respects, though I should do nothing else in my life. He proceeded instantly to the forest for wood, being resolved that it should not be made of unsuitable material; and as he searched for and rejected stick after stick, his friends gradually deserted him, for they grew old in their works and died, but he grew not older by a moment. His singleness of purpose and resolution, and his elevated piety, endowed him, without his knowledge, with perennial youth. As he made no compromise with Time, Time kept out of his way, and only sighed at a distance because he could not overcome him. Before he had found a stock in all respects suitable the city of Kouroo was a hoary ruin, and he sat on one of its mounds to peel the stick. Before he had given it the proper shape the dynasty of the Candahars was at an end, and with the point of the stick he wrote the name of the last of that race in the sand, and then resumed his work. By the time he had smoothed and polished the staff Kalpa was no longer the pole-star; and ere he had put on the ferrule and the head adorned with precious stones, Brahma had awoke and slumbered many times. But why do I stay to mention these things? When the finishing stroke was put to his work, it suddenly expanded before the eyes of the astonished artist into the fairest of all the creations of Brahma. He had made a new system in making a staff, a world with fun and fair proportions; in which, though the old cities and dynasties had passed away, fairer and more glorious ones had taken their places. And now he saw by the heap of shavings still fresh at his feet, that, for him and his work, the former lapse of time had been an illusion, and that no more time had elapsed than is required for a single scintillation from the brain of Brahma to fall on and inflame the tinder of a mortal brain. The material was pure, and his art was pure; how could the result be other than wonderful?
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
carefully, by people with leisure, it is an art, nature does not enter into it. You should never despise social life—that of high society—I mean, it can be a very satisfying one, entirely artificial of course, but absorbing. Apart from the life of the intellect and the contemplative religious life, which few people are qualified to enjoy, what else is there to distinguish man from the animals but his social life? And who understands it so well and who can make it so smooth and so amusing as society people? But one cannot have it at the same time as a love affair, one must be whole-hearted to enjoy it, so I have cancelled all my engagements.
Nancy Mitford (The Pursuit of Love (Radlett and Montdore #1))
THE PRIORITY THAT TRANSFORMS ALL OTHER PRIORITIES That revolution begins with consciousness. Transform your consciousness, direct your attention wisely, and the transformation of your material circumstances immediately begins. According to most traditions, the time when meditation is most potent is in the morning. The delicious state of Bliss Brain is like a broadcast channel. You can decide to tune your awareness to it anytime. When you make this choice first thing in the morning, when your brain is in high alpha and you’re moving from sleep to wakefulness, you align your experience with the energy of this channel as the first act of your day. This is a powerful statement of intention. You are saying to the universe, “My first priority today is to align with you. I choose to live in synchrony with nature and the cosmos the whole of this day, starting now. Nothing is more important to me than this alignment. I surrender my local mind to the greatness of nonlocal mind, and I open the whole of my existence to love, joy, and peace.” Get this priority straight, and all your other priorities line up behind it. By getting in tune with the universe, you step into synchrony with all of nature. You enter a flow state, your life becomes easier, and the challenges you face are placed in the context of the love, joy, and peace found in Bliss Brain.
Dawson Church (Bliss Brain: The Neuroscience of Remodeling Your Brain for Resilience, Creativity, and Joy)
In my youth . . . my sacred youth . . . in eaves sole sparowe sat not more alone than I . . . in my youth, my saucer-deep youth, when I possessed a mirror and both a morning and an evening comb . . . in my youth, my pimpled, shame-faced, sugared youth, when I dreamed myself a fornicator and a poet; when life seemed to be ahead somewhere like a land o’ lakes vacation cottage, and I was pure tumescence, all seed, afloat like fuzz among the butterflies and bees; when I was the bursting pod of a fall weed; when I was the hum of sperm in the autumn air, the blue of it like watered silk, vellum to which I came in a soft cloud; O minstrel galleons of Carib fire, I sang then, knowing naught, clinging to the tall slim wheatweed which lay in a purple haze along the highway like a cotton star . . . in my fumbling, lubricious, my uticated youth, when a full bosom and a fine round line of Keats, Hart Crane, or Yeats produced in me the same effect—a moan throughout my molecules—in my limeade time, my uncorked innocence, my jellybelly days, when I repeated Olio de Oliva like a tenor; then I would touch the page in wonder as though it were a woman, as though I were blind in my bed, in the black backseat, behind the dark barn, the dim weekend tent, last dance, date's door, reaching the knee by the second feature, possibly the thigh, my finger an urgent emissary from my penis, alas as far away as Peking or Bangkok, so I took my heart in my hand, O my love, O my love, I sighed, O Christina, Italian rose; my inflated flesh yearning to press against that flesh becoming Word—a word—words which were wet and warm and responsive as a roaming tongue; and her hair was red, long, in ringlets, kiss me, love me up, she said in my anxious oral ear; I read: Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour; for I had oodles of needs, if England didn't; I was nothing but skin, pulp, and pit, in my grapevine time, during the hard-on priesthood of the poet; because then—in my unclean, foreskinned, and prurient youth—I devoutly believed in Later Life, in Passion, in Poetry, the way I thought only fools felt about God, prayer, heaven, foreknowledge, sin; for what was a poem if not a divine petition, a holy plea, a prophecy: [...] a stranger among strangers, myself the strangest because I could never bring myself to enter adolescence, but kept it about like a bit of lunch you think you may eat later, and later come upon at the bottom of a bag, dry as dust, at the back of the refrigerator, bearded with mold, or caked like sperm in the sock you've fucked, so that gingerly, then, you throw the mess out, averting your eyes, just as Rainer complained he never had a childhood—what luck!—never to have suffered birthpang, nightfear, cradlecap, lake in your lung; never to have practiced scales or sat numb before the dentist's hum or picked your mother up from the floor she's bled and wept and puked on; never to have been invaded by a tick, sucked by a leech, bitten by a spider, stung by a bee, slimed on by a slug, seared by a hot pan, or by paper or acquaintance cut, by father cuffed; never to have been lost in a crowd or store or parking lot or left by a lover without a word or arrogantly lied to or outrageously betrayed—really what luck!—never to have had a nickel roll with slow deliberation down a grate, a balloon burst, toy break; never to have skinned a knee, bruised a friendship, broken trust; never to have had to conjugate, keep quiet, tidy, bathe; to have lost the chance to be hollered at, bullied, beat up (being nothing, indeed, to have no death), and not to have had an earache, life's lessons to learn, or sums to add reluctantly right up to their bitter miscalculated end—what sublime good fortune, the Greek poet suggested—because Nature is not accustomed to life yet; it is too new, too incidental, this shiver in the stone, never altogether, and would just as soon (as Culp prefers to say) cancer it; erase, strike, stamp it out— [...]
William H. Gass (The Tunnel)
ENTERED 2021 FEELING a general sense of disenchantment. I was in my second year at Birzeit University, studying law, but the Covid-19 pandemic meant all my classes were online. Even though I was already living at home with my family in Nabi Saleh, a ten-minute drive from Birzeit, I missed the daily buzz and excitement of campus life. I yearned to be learning in an actual classroom, instead of my bedroom. But there was no telling when things would return to normal. At the same time, Israel was receiving global praise for leading the world in vaccinating its population, including settlers like the ones living across the road from our village. But not us. Despite its international obligations as an occupying power, Israel did not initially provide vaccines to the millions of Palestinians living under its occupation, a grotesque display of medical apartheid, and something that only added to my mounting frustration.
Ahed Tamimi (They Called Me a Lioness: A Palestinian Girl's Fight for Freedom)
I want to be accepted and appreciated as I am now. Skinny. I like myself this way. That's all I want, Hunter, and I feel you can give that to me. That, and even more. For years, it was my insecurity, that I secretly craved to turn into my pride. But it seemed too much to ask. And then…miracle. You entered my life.
Eden West (Stalker (Second Chances, #1))
of menopause—not to mention a potentially increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, as we’ll see in chapter 9. Medicine 2.0 would rather throw out this therapy entirely, on the basis of one clinical trial, than try to understand and address the nuances involved. Medicine 3.0 would take this study into account, while recognizing its inevitable limitations and built-in biases. The key question that Medicine 3.0 asks is whether this intervention, hormone replacement therapy, with its relatively small increase in average risk in a large group of women older than sixty-five, might still be net beneficial for our individual patient, with her own unique mix of symptoms and risk factors. How is she similar to or different from the population in the study? One huge difference: none of the women selected for the study were actually symptomatic, and most were many years out of menopause. So how applicable are the findings of this study to women who are in or just entering menopause (and are presumably younger)? Finally, is there some other possible explanation for the slight observed increase in risk with this specific HRT protocol?[*3] My broader point is that at the level of the individual patient, we should be willing to ask deeper questions of risk versus reward versus cost for this therapy—and for almost anything else we might do. The fourth and perhaps largest shift is that where Medicine 2.0 focuses largely on lifespan, and is almost entirely geared toward staving off death, Medicine 3.0 pays far more attention to maintaining healthspan, the quality of life. Healthspan was a concept that barely even existed when I went to medical school. My professors said little to nothing about how to help our patients maintain their physical and cognitive capacity as they aged. The word exercise was almost never uttered. Sleep was totally ignored, both in class and in residency, as we routinely worked twenty-four hours at a stretch. Our instruction in nutrition was also minimal to nonexistent. Today, Medicine 2.0 at least acknowledges the importance of healthspan, but the standard definition—the period of life free of disease or disability—is totally insufficient, in my view. We want more out of life than simply the absence of sickness or disability. We want to be thriving, in every way, throughout the latter half of our lives. Another, related issue is that longevity itself, and healthspan in particular, doesn’t really fit into the business model of our current
Peter Attia (Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity)
The heist of feelings Everything appeared older than it was, Time seemed to end sooner than it should have ended, A moment that was here just now, I wondered, now where it was, It felt like a desire, that before a wish could find it, always ended, A feeling of strangeness where every sense failed to feel anything, Because time ended sooner than before, And you only felt a feeling that was made of everything but you could not feel anything, Because it led to incomplete sensations that felt, only partially, like before, They bore no true shades of complete feelings, Because before the heart could feel them time ended their reign, And being caught in this ever flowing stream of incomplete feelings, Made you a victim of this strange reign, Where time no more ruled, but something that controlled it now manifested itself, Time rushed with an unknown pace, witnessing the premature death of its every moment, It was as if time was fleeing from its own interlooping moments, and confounding itself, And a sensation that visited the heart, left before it could be felt in that climactic moment, And in this trench of strangeness everything vanished, finally to be lost forever, Every incomplete feeling struggled to witness its completion, Before it was destroyed and lost forever, And moments of time too appeared desperate to realise their own completion, But every moment of time was dissected into two halves, One that felt a feeling and the other that carried its unfelt parts, And thus every feeling, every sensation was cut into halves, One that belonged to the mind and the one that only bore heart’s parts, For a feeling that enters the heart through the mind is incomplete unless it reaches the heart, And this force somehow stole the moments of time that entered the mind, Ending them before they could meet their waiting part in the heart, And as the moment left alone in the heart ended without feeling the sensation of the mind, The trench was filled with moments of heart and moments of mind, never together, And finally time realised it could undo this continuous heist of feelings and sensations, And keep its separated moments together, It dived into this trench with infinity and retrieved all feelings and sensations, While this strange force is now riding ripples of infinity, Time has rearranged sensations and feelings and paired them with their respective moments, While the evil force is caught in the loops of infinity, Time now flows as it always used to, in the form of complete moments, Where a feeling beginning in the mind grows as a sensation in the heart, And my love Irma, that is what time should be doing forever now, Letting the thoughts of mind sink into the sensations of my heart, To be our infinity of known feelings and sensations, always as fresh as now, always like now!
Javid Ahmad Tak (They Loved in 2075!)
More than half a century had passed, but I can still remember the exact moment when Rose the Beautiful entered my life like a distracted angel who stole my soul as she went by" -The House of Spirits
Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits)
concentration, of consciousness are of its essence.”2 But also importantly, James believed that our choice of what we pay attention to is consequential, as we construct our life experience this way: “Millions of items of the outward order are present to my senses which never properly enter into my experience. Why? Because they have no interest for me. My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind—without selective interest, experience is an utter chaos.”3 In other words, James believed that what we decide to pay attention to becomes part of our lived experience. I might be walking in a beautiful garden and have my cell phone out. I am texting with a friend, and I’m trying to spell correctly and dodge autocorrect, which often guesses wrong. It is the texts that have entered into the record of my experience, and not the softness of the ground, the trill of the warbler or the scarlet of the azaleas. I have focused my attention on texting, and I could have been in Times Square. To James, then, as we move through the world, we are confronted by a host of different kinds of stimuli, and we select what to focus on by our own volition. In other words, we can control where we pay attention. Oh, would that it were so easy as James envisioned.
Gloria Mark (Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity)
Every one knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought. Focalization, concentration, of consciousness are of its essence.”2 But also importantly, James believed that our choice of what we pay attention to is consequential, as we construct our life experience this way: “Millions of items of the outward order are present to my senses which never properly enter into my experience. Why? Because they have no interest for me. My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind—without selective interest, experience is an utter chaos.”3 In other words, James believed that what we decide to pay attention to becomes part of our lived experience. I might be walking in a beautiful garden and have my cell phone out. I am texting with a friend, and I’m trying to spell correctly and dodge autocorrect, which often guesses wrong. It is the texts that have entered into the record of my experience, and not the softness of the ground, the trill of the warbler or the scarlet of the azaleas. I have focused my attention on texting, and I could have been in Times Square. To James, then, as we move through the world, we are confronted by a host of different kinds of stimuli, and we select what to focus on by our own volition. In other words, we can control where we pay attention. Oh, would that it were so easy as James envisioned.
Gloria Mark (Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity)
A year ago I was myself intensely miserable, because I thought I had made a mistake in entering the ministry: its uniform duties wearied me to death. I burnt for the more active life of the world—for the more exciting toils of a literary career—for the destiny of an artist, author, orator; anything rather than that of a priest: yes, the heart of a politician, of a soldier, of a votary of glory, a lover of renown, a luster after power, beat under my curate’s surplice. I considered; my life was so wretched, it must be changed, or I must die. After a season of darkness and struggling, light broke and relief fell: my cramped existence all at once spread out to a plain without bounds—my powers heard a call from heaven to rise, gather their full strength, spread their wings, and mount beyond ken. God had an errand for me; to bear which afar, to deliver it well, skill and strength, courage and eloquence, the best qualifications of soldier, statesman, and orator, were all needed: for these all centre in the good missionary. “A
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre: The Original 1847 Unabridged and Complete Edition (Charlotte Brontë Classics))
Many of my friends around the world express surprise at the Palestinian attachment to place of origin and concerns for family ties. Some even scoff at it and contrast it with their own open-armed acceptance of adventure, discovery, a nomadic lifestyle and residence in places that they choose and change according to their fancy, without the slightest regret at leaving family or even homeland behind. They remind me that the world is wider and more beautiful than 'our villages' and 'our families'. I understand this beautiful sense of the vastness of the world. Like them, I love movement, journeys, and living in new places. What these friends forget is that it is they who choose to distance themselves. They are the ones who take the decision and make the plans and then present their passports (recognized everywhere) and get on planes and trains and cars and motorcycles and go to places where three conditions that the Palestinian cannot meet are fulfilled: first, that it is their preference and choice to go to specifically these places; second, that these places always welcome them; and third and most important, that it is in their power to return to their home country whenever they desire and decide. The Palestinian forced to become a refugee, to migrate, and to go into exile from his homeland in the sixty years since the Nakba of 1948, or the forty since the June 1967 War, suffers miseries trying to obtain a document by which he will be recognized at borders. He suffers miseries trying to obtain a passport from another state because he is stateless and has to go through Kafkaesque interrogations before being granted entry visa to any place in the world, even the Arab states. The Palestinian is forbidden to enter his own country by land, sea, or air, even in a coffin. It is not a matter of romantic attachment to a place but of eternal exclusion from it. The Palestinian stripped of an original identity is a palm tree broken in the middle. My foreign friends have control over the details of their lives but a single Israeli solder can control the details of the life of any Palestinian. This is the difference. This is the story.
Mourid Barghouti (ولدت هناك .. ولدت هنا)