Exact Truth Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Exact Truth. Here they are! All 200 of them:

All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable." REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE. "Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—" YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES. "So we can believe the big ones?" YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING. "They're not the same at all!" YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED. "Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—" MY POINT EXACTLY.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.
Theodore Roosevelt
...when two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.
Richard Dawkins
I’m not sure. But there’s something about the darkness, the stillness of this hour, I think, that creates a language of its own. There’s a strange kind of freedom in the dark; a terrifying vulnerability we allow ourselves at exactly the wrong moment, tricked by the darkness into thinking it will keep our secrets. We forget that the blackness is not a blanket; we forget that the sun will soon rise. But in the moment, at least, we feel brave enough to say things we’d never say in the light.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest. Or when, even as just now I've tried to articulate exactly what I felt to be the truth. No one was satisfied
Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man)
Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can't stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
So I wasn't lying, exactly. I was just choosing among truths.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Lying is easy. But it's lonely." "What do you mean?" "When you lie to everyone about everything, what's left? What's true?" "Nothing," I say. "Exactly.
Victoria Schwab (The Archived (The Archived, #1))
There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass! Who's been pinching my beer? And at the other end of the bar the world is full of the other type of person, who has a broken glass, or a glass that has been carelessly knocked over (usually by one of the people calling for a larger glass) or who had no glass at all, because he was at the back of the crowd and had failed to catch the barman's eye.
Terry Pratchett (The Truth (Discworld, #25; Industrial Revolution, #2))
My dear Watson," said [Sherlock Holmes], "I cannot agree with those who rank modesty among the virtues. To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are, and to underestimate one's self is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one's own powers.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, #9 ) (Sherlock Holmes))
I suppose I could let bygones be bygones, forgive and forget, yadda yadda. But where's the fun in that? These pretty little bitches got everything I ever wanted, and now I'm going to make sure they get exactly what they deserve. Does that make me sound awful? Sorry, but as every pretty little liar knows, sometimes the truth's ugly-and it always hurts. I'll be watching.... Mwah! -A
Sara Shepard (Wicked (Pretty Little Liars, #5))
Girls get screwed. Not that kind of screwed, what I mean is, they're always on the short end of things. The way things work, how guys feel great, but make girls feel cheap for doing exactly what they beg for. The way they get to play you, all the while claiming they love you and making you believe it's true. The way it's okay to gift their heart one day, a backhand the next, to move on to the apricot when the peach blushes and bruises. These things make me believe God's a man after all.
Ellen Hopkins (Crank (Crank, #1))
It wasn't a question of deceit. Just the opposite; he wanted to heat up the truth, to make it burn so hot that you would feel exactly what he felt.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
It is very hard to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings – much harder than to say something fine about them which is not the exact truth.
George Eliot (Adam Bede)
There isn't any questioning the fact that some people enter your life, at the exact point of need, want or desire - it's sometimes a coincendence and most times fate, but whatever it is, I am certain it came to make me smile.
Nikki Rowe
There is no god, and that's the simple truth. If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.
Penn Jillette (God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales)
They used to call the devil the father of lies. But for someone whose sin is meant to be pride, you'd think that lying would leave something of a sour taste. So my theory is that when the devil wants to get something out of you, he doesn't lie at all. He tells you the exact, literal truth. And he lets you find your own way to hell.
Mike Carey
…but all day long I would be training myself to think, to understand, to criticize, to know myself; I was seeking for the absolute truth: this preoccupation did not exactly encourage polite conversation.
Simone de Beauvoir (Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter)
If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”. As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”. As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”. As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”. As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”. As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”. As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”. As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”. As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”. We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!
Charlie Chaplin
People who have a religion should be glad, for not everyone has the gift of believing in heavenly things. You don't necessarily even have to be afraid of punishment after death; purgatory, hell, and heaven are things that a lot of people can't accept, but still a religion, it doesn't matter which, keeps a person on the right path. It isn't the fear of God but the upholding of one's own honor and conscience. How noble and good everyone could be if, every evening before falling asleep, they were to recall to their minds the events of the while day and consider exactly what has been good and bad. Then, without realizing it you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this, it costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn't know it must learn and find by experience that: "A quiet conscience mades one strong!
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
In any war story, but especially a true one, it's difficult to separate what happened from what seemed to happen. What seems to happen becomes its own happening and has to be told that way. The angles of vision are skewed. When a booby trap explodes, you close your eyes and duck and float outside yourself. .. The pictures get jumbled, you tend to miss a lot. And then afterward, when you go to tell about it, there is always that surreal seemingness, which makes the story seem untrue, but which in fact represents the hard and exact truth as it seemed.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Why does anyone stay in an unhappy relationship? Because people do. They do it all the time. And the truth is, when you’re in it, when you’re up to your neck in the everyday part of life with another human being, sometimes you don’t exactly notice how bad things really are. It’s not always as apparent as it would seem. Unhappiness, when it involves another person, can be like that line from The Sun Also Rises about going bankrupt, how it happens two ways: gradually, and then suddenly.
Sarah Dunn
Can you think what the Mirror of Erised shows us all?" Harry shook his head. "Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help." Harry thought. Then he said slowly, "It shows us what we want... whatever we want..." "Yes and no," said Dumbledore quietly. "It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible. "The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don't you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult....Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings -- much harder than to say something fine about them which is not the exact truth.
George Eliot (Adam Bede)
Truth or Dare,” he says. He always knows the exact right thing to say. “Dare.” “Coward. Okay, I dare you to eat the entire jar of hot mustard I have in my fridge.” “I was hoping for a sexy dare.” “I’ll get you a spoon.” “Truth.
Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
If you are happy in a dream, Ammu, does that count? Estha asked. "Does what count?" "The happiness does it count?". She knew exactly what he meant, her son with his spoiled puff. Because the truth is, that only what counts, counts....."If you eat fish in a dream, does it count?" Does it mean you've eaten fish?
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
A rumor is a social cancer: it is difficult to contain and it rots the brains of the masses. However, the real danger is that so many people find rumors enjoyable. That part causes the infection. And in such cases when a rumor is only partially made of truth, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where the information may have gone wrong. It is passed on and on until some brave soul questions its validity; that brave soul refuses to bite the apple and let the apple eat him. Forced to start from scratch for the sake of purity and truth, that brave soul, figuratively speaking, fully amputates the information in order to protect his personal judgment. In other words, his ignorance is to be valued more than the lie believed to be true.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Perfectly Imperfect We have all heard that no two snowflakes are alike. Each snowflake takes the perfect form for the maximum efficiency and effectiveness for its journey. And while the universal force of gravity gives them a shared destination, the expansive space in the air gives each snowflake the opportunity to take their own path. They are on the same journey, but each takes a different path. Along this gravity-driven journey, some snowflakes collide and damage each other, some collide and join together, some are influenced by wind... there are so many transitions and changes that take place along the journey of the snowflake. But, no matter what the transition, the snowflake always finds itself perfectly shaped for its journey. I find parallels in nature to be a beautiful reflection of grand orchestration. One of these parallels is of snowflakes and us. We, too, are all headed in the same direction. We are being driven by a universal force to the same destination. We are all individuals taking different journeys and along our journey, we sometimes bump into each other, we cross paths, we become altered... we take different physical forms. But at all times we too are 100% perfectly imperfect. At every given moment we are absolutely perfect for what is required for our journey. I’m not perfect for your journey and you’re not perfect for my journey, but I’m perfect for my journey and you’re perfect for your journey. We’re heading to the same place, we’re taking different routes, but we’re both exactly perfect the way we are. Think of what understanding this great orchestration could mean for relationships. Imagine interacting with others knowing that they too each share this parallel with the snowflake. Like you, they are headed to the same place and no matter what they may appear like to you, they have taken the perfect form for their journey. How strong our relationships would be if we could see and respect that we are all perfectly imperfect for our journey.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
People make their own reality. That was what Praxis had taught him years ago. A hundred people can witness the exact same event, and give two hundred and three different accountings of it.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #22))
There are many realities. There are many versions of what may appear obvious. Whatever appears as the unshakeable truth, its exact opposite may also be true in another context. After all, one's reality is but perception, viewed through various prisms of context.
Amish Tripathi (The Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy, #1))
One can tip too much as well as too little, indeed the coin that buys the exact truth has not yet been minted.
E.M. Forster (A Passage to India)
Ari, maybe we should get you out of here. No joke. You really are dangerous with thus truth serum in you, You might sat something you wished you hadn't." "Like that your mum scares me, but I think your dad is kind of cute in and old-guy sort of way?" "Exactly like that." "Eh. I'm not worried.
Bridget Zinn (Poison)
Most adults see teenagers as confused kids who don't understand much, while they're the pillars of knowledge and experience and know exactly what is right at all times. I think the truth is that everyone in the entire world is confused and nobody understands much of anything at all.
Alice Oseman (I Was Born for This)
Mirror I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions. Whatever I see I swallow immediately Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike. I am not cruel, only truthful- The eye of the little god, four cornered. Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall. It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers. Faces and darkness separate us over and over. Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me, Searching my reaches for what she really is. Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon. I see her back, and reflect it faithfully. She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands. I am important to her. She comes and goes. Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness. In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish. --written 1960
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
[T]he truth is that fullness of soul can sometimes overflow in utter vapidity of language, for none of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
We didn't exactly believe your story.' Then --?' 'We believed your two hundred dollars.' 'You mean --' She seemed not to know what he meant. 'I mean that you paid us more than if you'd been telling the truth,' he explained blandly, 'and enough more to make it all right.
Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon)
So here's the truth - I love you. I love everything about you – the way you stick up for people even when it costs you. The way you keep trying to do the right thing even when you're not exactly sure what the right thing is. I love how you put words together. You're as skilled with words as any knife fighter with a blade. You can put an enemy down on his back, or you can raise people up so they find what's best in themselves. You've changed my life. You've given me the words I need to become whatever I want. I love how you talk to lytlings. You don't talk down to them. You respect them, and anybody can tell you're actually interested in what they have to say. I love the way you ride a horse – how you stick there like an upland thistle, whooping like a Demonai. I love the way you throw back your head and stomp your feet when you dance. I love how you go after what you want – whether it's kisses or a queendom. I love your skin, like copper dusted over with gold. And your eyes – they're the color of a forest lake shaded by evergreens. One of the secret places that only the Demonai know about. I love the scent of you – when you've been out in the fresh air, and that perfume you put behind your ears sometimes. Believe it or not, I even love your road smell – of sweat and horses and leather and wool. I want to breathe you in for the rest of my life.
Cinda Williams Chima (The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms, #4))
He had two lives: one, open, seen and known by all who cared to know, full of relative truth and of relative falsehood, exactly like the lives of his friends and acquaintances; and another life running its course in secret. And through some strange, perhaps accidental, conjunction of circumstances, everything that was essential, of interest and of value to him, everything in which he was sincere and did not deceive himself, everything that made the kernel of his life, was hidden from other people.
Anton Chekhov (The Lady With the Little Dog and Other Stories, 1896-1904)
The fact that Ridge has been honest in his conversations with me is not something he did wrong. The fact that he has feelings for me also isn’t wrong, when you know exactly how much he’s fought those feelings. People can’t control matters of the heart, Warren. They can only control their actions, which is exactly what Ridge did. He lost control once for ten seconds, but after that, every single time temptation reared its ugly head, he walked in the other direction. The only thing Ridge has done wrong is fail to delete his messages, because by doing so, he failed to protect Maggie. He failed to protect her from the harsh truth that people don’t get to choose who they fall in love with. They only get to choose who they stay in love with.” I look up at the ceiling and blink back tears. “He was choosing to stay in love with her, Warren. Why can’t she see that? This will kill him so much more than it’s killing her.
Colleen Hoover (Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1))
I cared more about your happiness than your knowing the truth, more for your peace of mind than my plan, more for your life than the lives that might be lost if the plan failed. In other words I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
They all think any minute I'm going to commit suicide. What a joke. The truth of course is the exact opposite: suicide is the only thing that keeps me alive. Whenever everything else fails, all I have to do is consider suicide and in two seconds I'm as cheerful as a nitwit. But if I could not kill myself -- ah then, I would. I can do without nembutal or murder mysteries but not without suicide.
Walker Percy (The Moviegoer)
No one else knows exactly what the future holds for you, no one else knows what obstacles you've overcome to be where you are, so don't expect others to feel as passionate about your dreams as you do.
Germany Kent
In the future, when something comes up, you tell exactly how it happened but write down for yourself the way you think it should have happened. Tell the truth and write the story. Then you won't get mixed up. It was the best advice Francie every got.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
But, in truth, it had not exactly been gold, or even the promise of gold, but more like the fantasy of gold, the fairy dream that the gold is there, at the end of the rainbow, and will continue to be there forever - provided, naturally, that you don't go and look. This is known as finance.
Terry Pratchett (Going Postal (Discworld, #33; Moist von Lipwig, #1))
It’s not enough to be able to lie with a straight face; anybody with enough gall to raise on a busted flush can do that. The first way to lie artistically is to tell the truth — but not all of it. The second way involves telling the truth, too, but is harder: Tell the exact truth and maybe all of it…but tell it so unconvincingly that your listener is sure you are lying.
Robert A. Heinlein (Time Enough for Love)
Do you see, Harry? Do you see the flaw in my brilliant plan now? I had fallen into the trap I had foreseen, that I had told myself I could avoid, that I must avoid.” “I don’t —” “I cared about you too much,” said Dumbledore simply. “I cared more for your happiness than your knowing the truth, more for your peace of mind than my plan, more for your life than the lives that might be lost if the plan failed. In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act. “Is there a defense? I defy anyone who has watched you as I have — and I have watched you more closely than you can have imagined — not to want to save you more pain than you had already suffered. What did I care if numbers of nameless and faceless people and creatures were slaughtered in the vague future, if in the here and now you were alive, and well, and happy? I never dreamed that I would have such a person on my hands.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
But death doesn't scare me. To know exactly when I might expect it, up close and in my face, would actually be a comfort. Because to tell the truth, most of the time dying seems pretty much like my only means of escape.
Ellen Hopkins (Identical)
In this new year, may you have a deep understanding of your true value and worth, an absolute faith in your unlimited potential, peace of mind in the midst of uncertainty, the confidence to let go when you need to, acceptance to replace your resistance, gratitude to open your heart, the strength to meet your challenges, great love to replace your fear, forgiveness and compassion for those who offend you, clear sight to see your best and true path, hope to dispel obscurity, the conviction to make your dreams come true, meaningful and rewarding synchronicities, dear friends who truly know and love you, a childlike trust in the benevolence of the universe, the humility to remain teachable, the wisdom to fully embrace your life exactly as it is, the understanding that every soul has its own course to follow, the discernment to recognize your own unique inner voice of truth, and the courage to learn to be still.
Janet Rebhan
That’s not true. I love you more than my life, Pigeon,” he said, hurt. “That’s exactly what I mean. That’s crazy talk.” “It’s not crazy. It’s the truth.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Somewhere someone thinks they love someone else exactly like I love you. Somewhere someone shakes from the ripple of a thousand butterflies inside a single stomach. Somewhere someone is packing their bags to see the world with someone else. Somewhere someone is reaching through the most terrifying few feet of space to hold the hand of someone else. Somewhere someone is watching someone else’s chest rise and fall with the breath of slumber. Somewhere someone is pouring ink like blood onto pages fighting to say the truth that has no words. Somewhere someone is waiting patient but exhausted to just be with someone else. Somewhere someone is opening their eyes to a sunrise in someplace they have never seen. Somewhere someone is pulling out the petals twisting the apple stem picking up the heads up penny rubbing the rabbits foot knocking on wood throwing coins into fountains hunting for the only clover with only 4 leaves skipping over the cracks snapping the wishbone crossing their fingers blowing out the candles sending dandelion seeds into the air ushering eyelashes off their thumbs finding the first star and waiting for 11:11 on their clock to spend their wishes on someone else. Somewhere someone is saying goodbye but somewhere someone else is saying hello. Somewhere someone is sharing their first or their last kiss with their or no longer their someone else. Somewhere someone is wondering if how they feel is how the other they feels about them and if both theys could ever become a they together. Somewhere someone is the decoder ring to all of the great mysteries of life for someone else. Somewhere someone is the treasure map. Somewhere someone thinks they love someone else exactly like I love you. Somewhere someone is wrong.
Tyler Knott Gregson
Because, all too often, the things that we're the most resistant to are precisely what we need. And the things we're most scared to let go of are exactly the ones we most need to relinquish.
Neil Strauss (The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships)
Songs and movies tell us that when you meet the one you love, the planet stops spinning, the clouds open up, and your heart begins to sing. Reality is messier than that. The truth is, we meet new people all the time, but we can never tell exactly what they might mean to us. You never know who you’ll forget, or who you’ll need forever.
Claudia Gray (A Million Worlds with You (Firebird, #3))
It's frightening to think that you might not know something, but more frightening to think that, by and large, the world is run by people who have faith that they know exactly what is going on.
Amos Tversky
The good part about having a mental disorder is having a valid reason for all the stupid things we do because of a damaged prefrontal cortex. However, the best part is seeing someone completely sane do the exact same things, without a valid excuse. This is the great equalizer of God and his little gift for all us crazy people to enjoy.
Shannon L. Alder
But what if I did tell people exactly what was going on? What if I valued my own peace of mind more than what other people think of me? Would I end up jobless, friendless, and loveless? Would I vanish entirely?
Melissa Broder (So Sad Today: Personal Essays)
It is a simple logic truth that, short of mass emigration into space, with rockets taking off at the rate of several million per second, uncontrolled birth-rates are bound to lead to horribly increased death –rates. It is hard to believe that this simple truth is not understood by those leaders who forbid their followers to use effective contraceptive methods. They express a preference for ‘natural’ methods of population limitation, and a natural method is exactly what they are going to get. It is called starvation.
Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene)
We are this world. Its next generation. If you’re not trying to save us, then what exactly are you trying to save?
Claudia Gray (Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1))
In the mirror, I look the same. But I am a different person inside.I am a prodigy who knows the truth. I know exactly what I'm going to do.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
I make no manner of doubt that you threw a very diamond of truth at me, though you see it hit me so directly in the face that it wasn't exactly appreciated, at first.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
Like all who search for truth out of fear, I desperately wanted someone else to tell me exactly what to do.
Rachel Held Evans (A Year of Biblical Womanhood)
I am saddened by how people treat one another and how we are so shut off from one another and how we judge one another, when the truth is, we are all one connected thing. We are all from the same exact molecules.
Ellen DeGeneres
I walk outside and scream at the top of my lungs, and it maybe travels two blocks. A whale unleashes his cry, and it travels hundreds or even thousands of miles. Every whale in the ocean will at one time or another run into that song. And I figure whales probably don't edit. If they think it, they say it...Whale talk is the truth, and in a very short period of time, if you're a whale, you know exactly what it is to be you.
Chris Crutcher (Whale Talk)
We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the “intolerable compliment.” Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life—the work which he loves, though in a different fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child—he will take endless trouble—and would doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and re-commenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth.
H.L. Mencken
First of all, Buddhism is neither pessimistic nor optimistic. If anything at all, it is realistic, for it takes a realistic view of life and the world. It looks at things objectively (yathābhūtam). It does not falsely lull you into living in a fool's paradise, nor does it frighten and agonize you with all kinds of imaginary fears and sins. It tells you exactly and objectively what you are and what the world around you is, and shows you the way to perfect freedom, peace, tranquility and happiness.
Walpola Rahula (What the Buddha Taught)
Sometimes, the things They say, the laws They make, the way the world spins doesn't make any sense at all... Which is exactly why you have to ask "Why?" and keep on asking until you get the TRUTH...
Joe Kelly (Douglas Fredericks and the House of They)
When you’re young, you look at television and think, There’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It’s the truth.
Steve Jobs
I am powerful in my love for myself. The truth of my being is I love myself exactly as I am. I honor my empowered heart.
Amy Leigh Mercree (The Spiritual Girl's Guide to Dating: Your Enlightened Path to Love, Sex, & Soul Mates)
Scare the world. Be exactly who you say you are, and tell the truth.
Iain Cain Thomas
No two people will ever see or feel things in the same way, Merry. The challenge is to be truthful when you write. Don't approximate. Don't settle for the easiest combination of words. Go searching instead for those that explain exactly what you think. What you feel.
Kate Morton (The Distant Hours)
I now know exactly why they started the tradition of being apart the night before your wedding. It's nothing about romance, or sex, or being chaste, or whatever. It's so you don't have a row and stomp up the aisle seething at your bridegroom, planning all the home truths you're going to tell him as soon as you get this wedding bit out of the way.
Sophie Kinsella (I've Got Your Number)
Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life: You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored. You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it. You’re afraid somebody else already did it better. You’re afraid everybody else already did it better. You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing. You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree. You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.) You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal. You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud. You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons. You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again. You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying? You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder. You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
It's a thought," I said with a grin. "That's exactly what it is, Dan - a thought - no more real than the shadow of a shadow. Consciousness is not In the body; the body is In Consciousness. And you Are that Consciousness - no the phantom mind that troubles you so. You are the body, but you are everything else, too. That is what your visions revealed to you. Only the mind resists change. When you relax mindless into the body, you are happy and content and free, sensing no separation. Immortality is Already yours, but not in the same way you imagined or hope for. You have been immortal since before you were born and will be long after the body dissolves. The body is in Consciousness; never born; never dies; only changes. The mind - your ego, personal beliefs, history, and identity - is all that ends at death. And who needs it?" Socrates leaned back into his chair. "I'm not sure all of that sank in." "Of course not." He laughed. "Words mean little unless you realize the truth of it yourself. And when you do, you'll be free at last.
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives)
A historian ought to be exact, sincere and impartial; free from passion, unbiased by interest, fear, resentment or affection; and faithful to the truth, which is the mother of history the preserver of great actions, the enemy of oblivion, the witness of the past, the director of the future.
B.R. Ambedkar (Writings And Speeches: A Ready Reference Manual)
I am a broken person. And I know exactly where my cracks are and how deep they run. I don't pretend to not be a broken person and therein lies the big difference. Because the truth is, we are all broken in places, but it is those who know exactly where and how they are broken, who also know exactly where and how they are whole! And we may not be whole in all places and in all ways, but we take whatever wholeness that we do have, and we make good of it. And we try hard to work on the broken parts, and we ask for help when we need it.
C. JoyBell C.
For Africa to me... is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.
Maya Angelou
God! You'll do anything to avoid it.' Avoid what?' my mother said. The past,' Caroline said. 'Our past. I'm tired of acting like nothing ever happened, of pretending he was never here, of not seeing his pictures in the house, or his things Just because you're not able to let yourself grieve.' Don't,' my mother said, her voice low, 'talk to me about grief. You have no idea.' I do, though.' Caroline's voice caught, and she swallowed. 'I'm not trying to hide that I'm sad. I'm not trying to forget. You hide here behind all these plans for houses and townhouses because they're new and perfect and don't remind you of anything.' Stop it,' my mother said. And look at Macy,' Caroline continued, ignoring this.' Do you even know what you're doing to her?' My mother looked at me, and I shrank back, trying to stay out of this. 'Macy is fine,' my mother said. No, she's not. God you always say that, but she's not.' Caroline looked at me, as if she wanted me to jump in, but I just sat there. 'Have you even been paying the least bit of attention to what's going on with her? She's been miserable since Dad died, pushing herself so hard to please you. And then, this summer, she finally finds some friends and something she likes to do. But then one tiny slipup, and you take it all away from her.' That has nothing to do with what we're talking about,' my mother said. It has everything to do with it,' Caroline shot back. 'She was finally getting over what happened. Couldn't you see the change in her? I could, and I was berely here. She was different.' Exactly,' my mother said. 'She was-' Happy,' Caroline finished for her. 'She was starting to live her life again, and it scared you. Just like me redoing the beach house scares you. You think you're so strong becasue you never talk about Dad. Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that's what makes you strong.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Just because you can’t see the future, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. You don’t have to see everything clearly or know exactly where you’re going to move forward.
Kasie West (Moment of Truth (Love, Life, and the List, #3))
Like the most of you, I was raised among people who knew - who were certain. They did not reason or investigate. They had no doubts. They knew that they had the truth. In their creed there was no guess — no perhaps. They had a revelation from God. They knew the beginning of things. They knew that God commenced to create one Monday morning, four thousand and four years before Christ. They knew that in the eternity — back of that morning, he had done nothing. They knew that it took him six days to make the earth — all plants, all animals, all life, and all the globes that wheel in space. They knew exactly what he did each day and when he rested. They knew the origin, the cause of evil, of all crime, of all disease and death. At the same time they knew that God created man in his own image and was perfectly satisfied with his work... They knew all about the Flood -- knew that God, with the exception of eight, drowned all his children -- the old and young -- the bowed patriarch and the dimpled babe -- the young man and the merry maiden -- the loving mother and the laughing child -- because his mercy endureth forever. They knew too, that he drowned the beasts and birds -- everything that walked or crawled or flew -- because his loving kindness is over all his works. They knew that God, for the purpose of civilizing his children, had devoured some with earthquakes, destroyed some with storms of fire, killed some with his lightnings, millions with famine, with pestilence, and sacrificed countless thousands upon the fields of war. They knew that it was necessary to believe these things and to love God. They knew that there could be no salvation except by faith, and through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Then I asked myself the question: Is there a supernatural power -- an arbitrary mind -- an enthroned God -- a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world -- to which all causes bow? I do not deny. I do not know - but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme - that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken — that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer - no power that worship can persuade or change — no power that cares for man. Is there a God? I do not know. Is man immortal? I do not know. One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be. We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know. We can tell the truth, and we can enjoy the blessed freedom that the brave have won. We can destroy the monsters of superstition, the hissing snakes of ignorance and fear. We can drive from our minds the frightful things that tear and wound with beak and fang. We can civilize our fellow-men. We can fill our lives with generous deeds, with loving words, with art and song, and all the ecstasies of love. We can flood our years with sunshine — with the divine climate of kindness, and we can drain to the last drop the golden cup of joy.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol 1: Lectures)
The truth is, it's exactly what I want, but I'm so scared of wanting it and even more scared of actually having it.
Angelo Surmelis (The Dangerous Art of Blending In)
How wrong people always were when they said: 'It's better to know the worst than go on not knowing either way.' No; they had it exactly the wrong way round. Tell me the truth, doctor, I'd sooner know. But only if the truth is what I want to hear.
Kingsley Amis (Lucky Jim)
The first step is to tone down the prophecies of doom, and switch from panic mode to bewilderment. Panic is a form of hubris. It comes from the smug feeling that I know exactly where the world is heading – down. Bewilderment is more humble, and therefore more clear-sighted. If you feel like running down the street crying ‘The apocalypse is upon us!’, try telling yourself ‘No, it’s not that. Truth is, I just don’t understand what’s going on in the world.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Truth, I have learned, differs for everybody. Just as no two people ever see a rainbow in exactly the same place - and yet both most certainly see it, while the person seemingly standing right underneath it does not see it at all - so truth is a question of where one stands, and the direction one is looking in at the time.
Iain M. Banks (Inversions (Culture, #6))
In the future, when something comes up, you tell exactly how it happened but write down for yourself the way you think it happened. Tell the truth and write the story.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
The second I realized I had nothing left to say is the exact moment I realized it was truly over.
Dominic Riccitello
I didn't relate well to people my age. Maybe the truth was that I didn't relate well to people, period. Even my mother, who I was closer to than anyone else on the planet, was never in harmony with me, never on exactly the same page. Sometimes I wondered if I was seeing the same things through my eyes that the rest of the world was seeing through theirs. Maybe there was a glitch in my brain.
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight (Twilight, #1))
...What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might. When the churches learn to take this rational view of things, when they become true schools of ethics and stop teaching fables, they will be more effective than they are to-day... If they would turn all that ability to teaching this one thing – the fact that honesty is best, that selfishness and lies of any sort must surely fail to produce happiness – they would accomplish actual things. Religious faiths and creeds have greatly hampered our development. They have absorbed and wasted some fine intellects. That creeds are getting to be less and less important to the average mind with every passing year is a good sign, I think, although I do not wish to talk about what is commonly called theology. The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me. A man cannot control his beliefs. If he is honest in his frank expression of them, that is all that can in justice be required of him. Professor Thomson and a thousand others do not in the least agree with me. His criticism of me, as I read it, charged that because I doubted the soul’s immortality, or ‘personality,’ as he called it, my mind must be abnormal, ‘pathological,’ in other, words, diseased... I try to say exactly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and more than that no man can do. I honestly believe that creedists have built up a mighty structure of inaccuracy, based, curiously, on those fundamental truths which I, with every honest man, must not alone admit but earnestly acclaim. I have been working on the same lines for many years. I have tried to go as far as possible toward the bottom of each subject I have studied. I have not reached my conclusions through study of traditions; I have reached them through the study of hard fact. I cannot see that unproved theories or sentiment should be permitted to have influence in the building of conviction upon matters so important. Science proves its theories or it rejects them. I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. I earnestly believe that I am right; I cannot help believing as I do... I cannot accept as final any theory which is not provable. The theories of the theologians cannot be proved. Proof, proof! That is what I always have been after; that is what my mind requires before it can accept a theory as fact. Some things are provable, some things disprovable, some things are doubtful. All the problems which perplex us, now, will, soon or late, be solved, and solved beyond a question through scientific investigation. The thing which most impresses me about theology is that it does not seem to be investigating. It seems to be asserting, merely, without actual study. ...Moral teaching is the thing we need most in this world, and many of these men could be great moral teachers if they would but give their whole time to it, and to scientific search for the rock-bottom truth, instead of wasting it upon expounding theories of theology which are not in the first place firmly based. What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions born in days when men knew even less than we do now. [Columbian Magazine interview]
Thomas A. Edison
It is not a single crime when a child is photographed while sexually assaulted (raped.) It is a life time crime that should have life time punishments attached to it. If the surviving child is, more often than not, going to suffer for life for the crime(s) committed against them, shouldn't the pedophiles suffer just as long? If it often takes decades for survivors to come to terms with exactly how much damage was caused to them, why are there time limits for prosecution?
Sierra D. Waters (Debbie.)
If there is a god, or hundreds of them, I hope they will forgive me for the harm I may have inflicted on you by telling you exactly what happened.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Midnight Palace (Niebla, #2))
It is hard to believe that this simple truth is not understood by those leaders who forbid their followers to use effective contraceptive methods. They express a preference for 'natural' methods of population limitation, and a natural method is exactly what they are going to get. It is called starvation.
Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene)
What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition and settled upon the organ of conviction, where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Study, along the lines which the theologies have mapped, will never lead us to discovery of the fundamental facts of our existence. That goal must be attained by means of exact science and can only be achieved by such means. The fact that man, for ages, has superstitiously believed in what he calls a God does not prove at all that his theory has been right. There have been many gods – all makeshifts, born of inability to fathom the deep fundamental truth. There must be something at the bottom of existence, and man, in ignorance, being unable to discover what it is through reason, because his reason has been so imperfect, undeveloped, has used, instead, imagination, and created figments, of one kind or another, which, according to the country he was born in, the suggestions of his environment, satisfied him for the time being. Not one of all the gods of all the various theologies has ever really been proved. We accept no ordinary scientific fact without the final proof; why should we, then, be satisfied in this most mighty of all matters, with a mere theory? Destruction of false theories will not decrease the sum of human happiness in future, any more than it has in the past... The days of miracles have passed. I do not believe, of course, that there was ever any day of actual miracles. I cannot understand that there were ever any miracles at all. My guide must be my reason, and at thought of miracles my reason is rebellious. Personally, I do not believe that Christ laid claim to doing miracles, or asserted that he had miraculous power... Our intelligence is the aggregate intelligence of the cells which make us up. There is no soul, distinct from mind, and what we speak of as the mind is just the aggregate intelligence of cells. It is fallacious to declare that we have souls apart from animal intelligence, apart from brains. It is the brain that keeps us going. There is nothing beyond that. Life goes on endlessly, but no more in human beings than in other animals, or, for that matter, than in vegetables. Life, collectively, must be immortal, human beings, individually, cannot be, as I see it, for they are not the individuals – they are mere aggregates of cells. There is no supernatural. We are continually learning new things. There are powers within us which have not yet been developed and they will develop. We shall learn things of ourselves, which will be full of wonders, but none of them will be beyond the natural. [Columbian Magazine interview]
Thomas A. Edison
There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass! Who's been pinching my beer?
Terry Pratchett
Then Olivia came back. She came back, dancing like a siren. I knew exactly what she was doing the night she came to my frat house and cocked her finger at me from the dance floor. If she hadn’t come to me, I would have gone to her. Forget all you know — I said to myself. This is the one you belong with. I don’t know how I knew that. Maybe our souls touched underneath that tree. Maybe I decided to love her. Maybe love wasn’t our choice. But when I looked at that woman, I saw myself differently. And it wasn’t in a good light. Not a thing would keep me from her. And that could make a person do things they never thought themselves capable of. What I felt for her scared the hell out of me. It was a consuming obsession. In truth, I’d barely touched on the obsession. That was still coming.
Tarryn Fisher (Thief (Love Me with Lies, #3))
I'm not who you think I am, Abby," he said in English. I almost smiled. It was the kind of melodramatic line people said in bad made-for-TV movies, but then I saw his eyes, bleak and distant, and I knew he was telling the truth. "I thought you were Dante Alexander, foreign-exchange student visiting from Italy." He shook his head slowly, sadly. "Not exactly.
Lisa Mangum
You can't be together, which is exactly why you want to be.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Because this, for better or worse, is exactly where the truth lies--at the intersection of the forgotten and the ignored, in the neighborhood of all we have tried to forget.
Sara Gran
The truth is, we meet new people all the time, but we can never tell exactly what they might mean to us. You never know who you'll forget, or who you'll need forever.
Claudia Gray (A Million Worlds with You (Firebird, #3))
Whatever we say We're always telling each other exactly what we want them to know... We are always telling each other The truth Even when We're lying
Merrit Malloy (Things I Meant To Say To You When We Were Old)
Let me strip you piece by piece, exactly how you like it. Let me watch you shine through your brutal revelation.
Dianna Hardy (The Last Dragon)
Annabelle gnawed her bottom lip. “I know I have to tell him the truth. I just need to find the right moment.” Krystal cocked her hip. “Girl, there is no right moment to die.” Charmaine clucked her tongue. “You are going straight on the top of my prayer list.” Only Phoebe looked pleased, and her amber eyes glowed like a cat’s. “I love this. Not the fact that you’ll end up in a shallow grave – I’m really sorry about that, and I’ll make sure he’s prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But I love knowing that a mere slip of a female put one over on the great Python.” Molly glared at her sister. “This is the exact reason why Christine Jeffreys won’t let her daughters have a sleepover with the twins. You frighten people.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand. Unless, of course, you can literally believe all that stuff about family reunions 'on the further shore,' pictured in entirely earthly terms. But that is all unscriptural, all out of bad hymns and lithographs. There's not a word of it in the Bible. And it rings false. We know it couldn't be like that. Reality never repeats. The exact same thing is never taken away and given back. How well the Spiritualists bait their hook! 'Things on this side are not so different after all.' There are cigars in Heaven. For that is what we should all like. The happy past restored.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
Science enhances the moral value of life, because it furthers a love of truth and reverence—love of truth displaying itself in the constant endeavor to arrive at a more exact knowledge of the world of mind and matter around us, and reverence, because every advance in knowledge brings us face to face with the mystery of our own being.
Max Planck (Where is Science Going?)
So why does our writing matter, again?" they ask. Because of the spirit, I say. Because of the heart. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth: this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert-himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt - the Divine Reason... The old humility was a spur that prevented a man from stopping: not a nail in his boot that prevented him from going on. For the old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Why is wisdom so fair? Why is beauty so wise? Because all else is temporary, while beauty and wisdom are the only real and constant aspects of truth that can be perceived by human means. And I don't mean the kind of surface beauty that fades with age, or the sort of shallow wisdom that gets lost in platitudes. True beauty grips your gut and squeezes your lungs, and makes you see with utmost clarity exactly what is before you. True wisdom then steps in, to interpret, illuminate, and form a life-altering insight.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
Some years ago, there was a lovely philosopher of science and journalist in Italy named Giulio Giorello, and he did an interview with me. And I don’t know if he wrote it or not, but the headline in Corriere della Sera when it was published was "Sì, abbiamo un'anima. Ma è fatta di tanti piccoli robot – "Yes, we have a soul, but it’s made of lots of tiny robots." And I thought, exactly. That’s the view. Yes, we have a soul, but in what sense? In the sense that our brains, unlike the brains even of dogs and cats and chimpanzees and dolphins, our brains have functional structures that give our brains powers that no other brains have - powers of look-ahead, primarily. We can understand our position in the world, we can see the future, we can understand where we came from. We know that we’re here. No buffalo knows it’s a buffalo, but we jolly well know that we’re members of Homo sapiens, and it’s the knowledge that we have and the can-do, our capacity to think ahead and to reflect and to evaluate and to evaluate our evaluations, and evaluate the grounds for our evaluations. It’s this expandable capacity to represent reasons that we have that gives us a soul. But what’s it made of? It’s made of neurons. It’s made of lots of tiny robots. And we can actually explain the structure and operation of that kind of soul, whereas an eternal, immortal, immaterial soul is just a metaphysical rug under which you sweep your embarrassment for not having any explanation.
Daniel C. Dennett
I thought scientists were going to find out exactly how everything worked, and then make it work better. I fully expected that by the time I was twenty-one, some scientist, maybe my brother, would have taken a color photograph of God Almighty—and sold it to Popular Mechanics magazine. Scientific truth was going to make us so happy and comfortable. What actually happened when I was twenty-one was that we dropped scientific truth on Hiroshima.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
How could you do that to me?" I repeat. I don´t have to itemize. He knows what I speak of. Eventually N produces three answers, in this order: 1. "Because I am a complete rotter." I silently agree, but it´s a cop-out: I have maggots, therefore I am dead. 2. "I was stressed at work and unhappy and we were always fighting...and you know I was just crazy..." I cut him off, saying, "You don´t get to be crazy. You did exactly what you chose to do." Which is true, he did. It is what he has always done. He therefore seems slightly puzzled at the need for further diagnosis, which may explain his third response: 3. "I don´t know." This, I feel instinctively, is the correct answer. How can I stay angry with him for being what he is? I was, after all, his wife, and I chose him. No coincidences, that´s what Freud said. None. Ever. I wipe my eyes on my sleeve and walk toward the truck, saying to his general direction, "Fine. At least now I know: You don´t know." I stop and turn around and fire one more question: a bullet demanding attention in the moment it enters the skin and spreads outward, an important bullet that must be acknowledged. "What did you feel?" After a lengthy pause, he answers. "I felt nothing." And that, I realize too late, was not the whole truth, but was a valid part of the truth. Oh, and welcome to the Serengeti. That too.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
And I would tell him, so full of twentysomething wisdom, that life is almost never about choosing between one thing you really want and another thing you don't want at all. If you're lucky, and healthy, and live in a country where you have enough to eat and no fear that you're going to get shot when you walk out your door, life is an endless series of choosing between two things you want almost equally. And you have to evaluate and determine which awesome thing you want infinitesimally more, and then give up that other awesome thing you want almost exactly as much. You have to trade awesome for awesome. Everyone I knew, no matter what they chose, was at least a little in mourning for that other thing.
Kristin Newman (What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding)
Austerity means to eliminate the comforts and cushions in your life that you have learned to snuggle into and lose wakefulness. Take away anything that dulls your edge. No newspapers or magazines. No TV. No candy, cookies, or sweets. No sex. No cuddling. No reading of anything at all while you eat or sit on the toilet. Reduce working time to a necessary minimum. No movies. No conversation that isn't about truth, love, or the divine. If you take on these disciplines for a few weeks, as well as any other disciplines that may particularly cut through your unique habits of dullness, then your life will be stripped of routine distraction. All that will be left is the edge you have been avoiding by means of your daily routine. You will have to face the basic discomfort and dissatisfaction that is the hidden texture of your life. You will be alive with the challenge of living your truth, rather than hiding form it. Unadorned suffering is the bedmate of masculine growth. Only by staying intimate with your personal suffering can you feel through it to its source. By putting all your attention into work, TV, sex, and reading, your suffering remains unpenetrated, and the source remains hidden. Your life becomes structured entirely by your favorite means of sidestepping the suffering you rarely allow yourself to feel. And when you do touch the surface of your suffering, perhaps in the form of boredom, you quickly pick up a magazine or the remote control. Instead, feel your suffering, rest with it, embrace it, make love with it. Feel your suffering so deeply and thoroughly that you penetrate it, and realize its fearful foundation. Almost everything you do, you do because you are afraid to die. And yet dying is exactly what you are doing, from the moment you are born. Two hours of absorption in a good Super Bowl telecast may distract you temporarily, but the fact remains. You were born as a sacrifice. And you can either participate in the sacrifice, dissolving in the giving of your gift, or you can resist it, which is your suffering. By eliminating the safety net of comforts in your life, you have the opportunity to free fall in this moment between birth and death, right through the hole of your fear, into the unthreatenable openness which is the source of your gifts. The superior man lives as this spontaneous sacrifice of love.
David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire)
Girls are genius at getting through sexual abuse. Often the only way to get through is not to feel. And that is exactly what these fantasy worlds allow: They give girls a place to go so they don't have to be present in their violated bodies. Brilliant.
Patti Feuereisen (Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, and Everyone Who Cares About Them)
The first and most important field of philosophy is the application of principles such as “Do not lie.” Next come the proofs, such as why we should not lie. The third field supports and articulates the proofs, by asking, for example, “How does this prove it? What exactly is a proof, what is logical inference, what is contradiction, what is truth, what is falsehood?” Thus, the third field is necessary because of the second, and the second because of the first. The most important, though, the one that should occupy most of our time, is the first. But we do just the opposite. We are preoccupied with the third field and give that all our attention, passing the first by altogether. The result is that we lie – but have no difficulty proving why we shouldn’t.
Epictetus (The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness)
Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen. Perhaps I might say right here that this is a national loss and a deplorable lack of understanding concerning the man who first proposed and first wrote those impressive words, 'the United States of America.' But it is hardly strange. Paine's teachings have been debarred from schools everywhere and his views of life misrepresented until his memory is hidden in shadows, or he is looked upon as of unsound mind. We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. He was the equal of Washington in making American liberty possible. Where Washington performed Paine devised and wrote. The deeds of one in the Weld were matched by the deeds of the other with his pen. Washington himself appreciated Paine at his true worth. Franklin knew him for a great patriot and clear thinker. He was a friend and confidant of Jefferson, and the two must often have debated the academic and practical phases of liberty. I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles. Although the present generation knows little of Paine's writings, and although he has almost no influence upon contemporary thought, Americans of the future will justly appraise his work. I am certain of it. Truth is governed by natural laws and cannot be denied. Paine spoke truth with a peculiarly clear and forceful ring. Therefore time must balance the scales. The Declaration and the Constitution expressed in form Paine's theory of political rights. He worked in Philadelphia at the time that the first document was written, and occupied a position of intimate contact with the nation's leaders when they framed the Constitution. Certainly we may believe that Washington had a considerable voice in the Constitution. We know that Jefferson had much to do with the document. Franklin also had a hand and probably was responsible in even larger measure for the Declaration. But all of these men had communed with Paine. Their views were intimately understood and closely correlated. There is no doubt whatever that the two great documents of American liberty reflect the philosophy of Paine. ...Then Paine wrote 'Common Sense,' an anonymous tract which immediately stirred the fires of liberty. It flashed from hand to hand throughout the Colonies. One copy reached the New York Assembly, in session at Albany, and a night meeting was voted to answer this unknown writer with his clarion call to liberty. The Assembly met, but could find no suitable answer. Tom Paine had inscribed a document which never has been answered adversely, and never can be, so long as man esteems his priceless possession. In 'Common Sense' Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again. It must be remembered that 'Common Sense' preceded the declaration and affirmed the very principles that went into the national doctrine of liberty. But that affirmation was made with more vigor, more of the fire of the patriot and was exactly suited to the hour... Certainly [the Revolution] could not be forestalled, once he had spoken. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
My mental illness is not your mental illness. Even if we have the exact same diagnosis we will likely experience it in profoundly different ways. This book is my unique perspective on my personal path so far. It is not a textbook. If it were it would probably cost a lot more money and have significantly less profanity or stories about strangers sending you unexpected vaginas in the mail. As it is with all stories, fast cars, wild bears, mental illness, and even life, only one truth remains: your mileage may vary.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
The truth of the matter is, Satan and God may want the exact same event to take place - but for different reasons. Satan's motive in Jesus' crucifixion was rebellion; God's motive was love and mercy. Satan was a secondary cause behind the Crucifixion, but it was God who ultimately wanted it, willed it, and allowed Satan to carry it out. And the same holds true for disease.
Joni Eareckson Tada (A Step Further: growing closer to God through hurt and hardship)
See the exquisite contrast of the types of mind! The pragmatist clings to facts and concreteness, observes truth at its work in particular cases, and generalises. Truth, for him, becomes a class-name for all sorts of definite working-values in experience. For the rationalist it remains a pure abstraction, to the bare name of which we must defer. When the pragmatist undertakes to show in detail just why we must defer, the rationalist is unable to recognise the concretes from which his own abstraction is taken. He accuses us of denying truth; whereas we have only sought to trace exactly why people follow it and always ought to follow it. Your typical ultra-abstractions fairly shudders at concreteness: other things equal, he positively prefers the pale and spectral. If the two universes were offered, he would always choose the skinny outline rather than the rich thicket of reality. It is so much purer, clearer, nobler.
William James (Pragmatism and Other Writings)
Was I heartbroken or furious? I didn’t know. I did know: that’s it. Our relationship could not continue like this, out of balance, unequal. And as surely as I knew this, I knew something else: But of course it can. We can continue to live exactly as we do right now, in a heavy-lidded state of love and unspeakable compromise. Isn’t that what people do? Every day? Don’t they ache but rename it tired? It made me wonder: Was it even fair to expect the person you’re with to be just as happy as you? Furthermore, how could you ever even know for sure? You couldn’t, was the truth of it. You could not know this.
Augusten Burroughs (Lust & Wonder)
When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
That --ing zombie is going to end up on the end of a couple of --ing handy and versatile kebab skewers,' said Mr Tulip. 'An' then I'm gonna put an edge on this --ing spatula. An' then... then I'm gonna get medieval on his arse.' There were more pressing problems, but this one intrigued Mr Pin. 'How, exactly?' he said. 'I thought maybe a maypole,' said Mr Tulip reflectively. 'An' then a display of country dancing, land tillage under the three-filed system, several plagues and, if my --ing hand ain't too tired, the invention of the --ing horse collar.
Terry Pratchett (The Truth (Discworld, #25; Industrial Revolution, #2))
I suppose if you were inclined to misbehave, you wouldn't exactly tell me the truth anyway." "Darling, you have a brother fond of holding a gun on me, a sister who can shoot anything that moves, two other brothers who've repeatedly threatened to thrash me, and a grandmother who buys off constables. Do you really think I'm fool enough to antagonize them by committing adultery?" It was hard not to smile at that. "An excellent point." "I think so.
Sabrina Jeffries (How to Woo a Reluctant Lady (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #3))
There is evidence that the honoree [Leonard Cohen] might be privy to the secret of the universe, which, in case you're wondering, is simply this: everything is connected. Everything. Many, if not most, of the links are difficult to determine. The instrument, the apparatus, the focused ray that can uncover and illuminate those connections is language. And just as a sudden infatuation often will light up a person's biochemical atmosphere more pyrotechnically than any deep, abiding attachment, so an unlikely, unexpected burst of linguistic imagination will usually reveal greater truths than the most exacting scholarship. In fact. The poetic image may be the only device remotely capable of dissecting romantic passion, let alone disclosing the inherent mystical qualities of the material world. Cohen is a master of the quasi-surrealistic phrase, of the "illogical" line that speaks so directly to the unconscious that surface ambiguity is transformed into ultimate, if fleeting, comprehension: comprehension of the bewitching nuances of sex and bewildering assaults of culture. Undoubtedly, it is to his lyrical mastery that his prestigious colleagues now pay tribute. Yet, there may be something else. As various, as distinct, as rewarding as each of their expressions are, there can still be heard in their individual interpretations the distant echo of Cohen's own voice, for it is his singing voice as well as his writing pen that has spawned these songs. It is a voice raked by the claws of Cupid, a voice rubbed raw by the philosopher's stone. A voice marinated in kirschwasser, sulfur, deer musk and snow; bandaged with sackcloth from a ruined monastery; warmed by the embers left down near the river after the gypsies have gone. It is a penitent's voice, a rabbinical voice, a crust of unleavened vocal toasts -- spread with smoke and subversive wit. He has a voice like a carpet in an old hotel, like a bad itch on the hunchback of love. It is a voice meant for pronouncing the names of women -- and cataloging their sometimes hazardous charms. Nobody can say the word "naked" as nakedly as Cohen. He makes us see the markings where the pantyhose have been. Finally, the actual persona of their creator may be said to haunt these songs, although details of his private lifestyle can be only surmised. A decade ago, a teacher who called himself Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh came up with the name "Zorba the Buddha" to describe the ideal modern man: A contemplative man who maintains a strict devotional bond with cosmic energies, yet is completely at home in the physical realm. Such a man knows the value of the dharma and the value of the deutschmark, knows how much to tip a waiter in a Paris nightclub and how many times to bow in a Kyoto shrine, a man who can do business when business is necessary, allow his mind to enter a pine cone, or dance in wild abandon if moved by the tune. Refusing to shun beauty, this Zorba the Buddha finds in ripe pleasures not a contradiction but an affirmation of the spiritual self. Doesn't he sound a lot like Leonard Cohen? We have been led to picture Cohen spending his mornings meditating in Armani suits, his afternoons wrestling the muse, his evenings sitting in cafes were he eats, drinks and speaks soulfully but flirtatiously with the pretty larks of the street. Quite possibly this is a distorted portrait. The apocryphal, however, has a special kind of truth. It doesn't really matter. What matters here is that after thirty years, L. Cohen is holding court in the lobby of the whirlwind, and that giants have gathered to pay him homage. To him -- and to us -- they bring the offerings they have hammered from his iron, his lead, his nitrogen, his gold.
Tom Robbins
You think you know the difference between a hero and a coward, Mike? Well, there is no difference between a hero and a coward in what they feel. It’s what they do that makes them different. The hero and the coward feel exactly the same but you have to have the discipline to do what a hero does and to keep yourself from doing what the coward does.
Mike Tyson (Undisputed Truth)
The only truly intersting side of the matter was the intimate design of the injury, the fact that it was so penetrating, custom-made exactly to your measure. It's fascinating that hatred should be so personal as to be almost loving. The knife and the wound aching for each other.
Saul Bellow (Herzog)
You and Wes," she said, triumphant, "are just likethis ." She was holding a book, a paperback romance. The title, emblazoned in gold across the cover, wasForbidden , and the picture beneath it was of a man in a pirate outfit, eye patch and all, clutching a small, extremely busty woman to his chest. In the background, there was a deserted island surrounded by blue water. "We're pirates?" I said. She tapped the book with one fingernail. "This story," she said, "is all about two people who can't be together because of other circumstances. But secretly, they pine and lust for each other constantly, the very fact that their love is forbidden fueling their shared passion." "Did you just make that up?" "No," she said, flipping the book over to read the back cover. "It's right here! And it's totally you and Wes. You can't be together, which is exactly why you want to be. And why you can't admit it to us, because that would make it less secret and thus less passionate.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Everyone who has ever been to school knows that school is prison, but almost nobody beyond school age says it is. It's not polite. We all tiptoe around the truth because admitting it would make us seem cruel and would point a finger at well-intentioned people doing what they believe to be essential. . . . A prison, according to the common, general definition, is any place of involuntary confinement and restriction of liberty. In school, as in adult prisons, the inmates are told exactly what they must do and are punished for failure to comply. Actually, students in school must spend more time doing exactly what they are told than is true of adults in penal institutions. Another difference, of course, is that we put adults in prison because they have committed a crime, while we put children in school because of their age.
Peter O. Gray (Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life)
Honour the way a stranger can make sense in your world. Most people have been around for years without shaking our core & then one small instant in time, we cross paths with that one person who before them we didn't know what we were exactly looking for. Over 6 billion people I share this planet with and I've only felt that soul shaking, jaw dropping connection 4 times. Believe me when I say it's rare and you definitely owe it to yourself to honour it.
Nikki Rowe
Imagine supporting a leader who, as he finished his time at the helm, told us that, although he didn’t do anything intentionally wrong, he is sure he made many mistakes, prays his mistakes haven’t hurt people, and hopes we will forgive and forget the times when he was incompetent. That weakling would be run out of town on a rail. But America’s first president said exactly that in his farewell to the country in 1796.
James B. Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
How do text messages make you feel existential? I start thinking about exactly that: how people can edit a thought before sending it out to the world. They can make themselves seem more well spoken than they are, or funnier, smarter. I start thinking that no one in the world is who they say the are, then my mind goes to how I also edit myself, not just online but in real life, except for those rare instances like right now where I'm ranting- even though that's a lie because I've had this train of thought before and damned if I didn't tweak it in my head a few times to make it sound better- and then my mind starts racing so furiously I can't control my thoughts, and I start thinking about robots and wondering if I'm even a real person.
Adi Alsaid (Never Always Sometimes)
Look, there’s nothing I’m ever going to tell you about me that’s the truth. The more you know about me, the shorter your life span is going to be. All you need to know is that I don’t miss. In fact, you don’t even need to know exactly how good I really am, because if you ever find out, you’re going to be dead. (Steele)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Bad Attitude (B.A.D. Agency #1))
We all have a " someone " who we carry in our hearts sometimes for an entire lifetime. That one that just doesn't fully remove itself from your journey, reminded at coffee shops through scent and character of a stranger, or a song that you once shared. Years can go by without a thought and then one day you are reminded and it all comes crashing back. The one that could have been, the one that you never knew exactly how to say goodbye to. The one you wish to meet first in another life.
Nikki Rowe
I have always been interested in this man. My father had a set of Tom Paine's books on the shelf at home. I must have opened the covers about the time I was 13. And I can still remember the flash of enlightenment which shone from his pages. It was a revelation, indeed, to encounter his views on political and religious matters, so different from the views of many people around us. Of course I did not understand him very well, but his sincerity and ardor made an impression upon me that nothing has ever served to lessen. I have heard it said that Paine borrowed from Montesquieu and Rousseau. Maybe he had read them both and learned something from each. I do not know. But I doubt that Paine ever borrowed a line from any man... Many a person who could not comprehend Rousseau, and would be puzzled by Montesquieu, could understand Paine as an open book. He wrote with a clarity, a sharpness of outline and exactness of speech that even a schoolboy should be able to grasp. There is nothing false, little that is subtle, and an impressive lack of the negative in Paine. He literally cried to his reader for a comprehending hour, and then filled that hour with such sagacious reasoning as we find surpassed nowhere else in American letters - seldom in any school of writing. Paine would have been the last to look upon himself as a man of letters. Liberty was the dear companion of his heart; truth in all things his object. ...we, perhaps, remember him best for his declaration: 'The world is my country; to do good my religion.' Again we see the spontaneous genius at work in 'The Rights of Man', and that genius busy at his favorite task - liberty. Written hurriedly and in the heat of controversy, 'The Rights of Man' yet compares favorably with classical models, and in some places rises to vaulting heights. Its appearance outmatched events attending Burke's effort in his 'Reflections'. Instantly the English public caught hold of this new contribution. It was more than a defense of liberty; it was a world declaration of what Paine had declared before in the Colonies. His reasoning was so cogent, his command of the subject so broad, that his legion of enemies found it hard to answer him. 'Tom Paine is quite right,' said Pitt, the Prime Minister, 'but if I were to encourage his views we should have a bloody revolution.' Here we see the progressive quality of Paine's genius at its best. 'The Rights of Man' amplified and reasserted what already had been said in 'Common Sense', with now a greater force and the power of a maturing mind. Just when Paine was at the height of his renown, an indictment for treason confronted him. About the same time he was elected a member of the Revolutionary Assembly and escaped to France. So little did he know of the French tongue that addresses to his constituents had to be translated by an interpreter. But he sat in the assembly. Shrinking from the guillotine, he encountered Robespierre's enmity, and presently found himself in prison, facing that dread instrument. But his imprisonment was fertile. Already he had written the first part of 'The Age of Reason' and now turned his time to the latter part. Presently his second escape cheated Robespierre of vengeance, and in the course of events 'The Age of Reason' appeared. Instantly it became a source of contention which still endures. Paine returned to the United States a little broken, and went to live at his home in New Rochelle - a public gift. Many of his old companions in the struggle for liberty avoided him, and he was publicly condemned by the unthinking. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
I believe that ideas such as absolute certitude, absolute exactness, final truth, etc. are figments of the imagination which should not be admissible in any field of science... This loosening of thinking seems to me to be the greatest blessing which modern science has given to us. For the belief in a single truth and in being the possessor thereof is the root cause of all evil in the world.
Max Born
So it hadn’t been wrong or dishonest of her to say no this morning, when he asked if she hated him, any more than it had been wrong or dishonest to serve him the elaborate breakfast and to show the elaborate interest in his work, and to kiss him goodbye. The kiss, for that matter, had been exactly right—a perfectly fair, friendly kiss, a kiss for a boy you’d just met at a party, a boy who’d danced with you and made you laugh and walked you home afterwards, talking about himself all the way. The only real mistake, the only wrong and dishonest thing, was ever to have seen him as anything more than that. Oh, for a month or two, just for fun, it might be all right to play a game like that with a boy; but all these years! And all because, in a sentimentally lonely time long ago, she had found it easy and agreeable to believe whatever this one particular boy felt like saying, and to repay him for that pleasure by telling easy, agreeable lies of her own, until each was saying what the other most wanted to hear—until he was saying “I love you” and she was saying “Really, I mean it; you’re the most interesting person I’ve ever met.” What a subtle, treacherous thing it was to let yourself go that way! Because once you’d started it was terribly difficult to stop; soon you were saying “I’m sorry, of course you’re right,” and “Whatever you think is best,” and “You’re the most wonderful and valuable thing in the world,” and the next thing you knew all honesty, all truth, was as far away and glimmering, as hopelessly unattainable as the world of the golden people. Then you discovered you were working at life the way the Laurel Players worked at The Petrified Forest, or the way Steve Kovick worked at his drums—earnest and sloppy and full of pretension and all wrong; you found you were saying yes when you meant no, and “We’ve got to be together on this thing” when you meant the very opposite; then you were breathing gasoline as if it were flowers and abandoning yourself to a delirium of love under the weight of a clumsy, grunting, red-faced man you didn’t even like—Shep Campbell!—and then you were face to face, in total darkness, with the knowledge that you didn’t know who you were. (p.416-7)
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
Without ever exactly putting his mind to it, he's come to believe that loss is the standard trajectory. Something new appears in the world-a baby, say, or a car or a house, or an individual shows some special talent-with luck and huge expenditures of soul and effort you might keep the project stoked for a while, but eventually, ultimately, its going down. This is a truth so brutally self-evident that he can't fathom why it's not more widely percieved, hence his contempt for the usual public shock and outrage when a particular situation goes to hell. The war is fucked? Well, duh. Nine-eleven? Slow train coming. They hate our freedoms? Yo, they hate our actual guts! Billy suspects his fellow Americans secretly know better, but something in the land is stuck on teenage drama, on extravagant theatrics of ravaged innocence and soothing mud wallows of self-justifying pity.
Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Often, people build stories in their mind which have no basis in the contours of reality. Those which build these images, are building such images which are based on their relatively limited sense of understanding about the particular subject or person. This is a "fill in the blank" reality, which often manifests itself into the hearts and the minds of those who have a "fill in the blank" mindset, not the person with the here said reality. The universe is designed in a way that reflects itself, just like a mirror, showing you exactly who you are to yourself, not who others are. Your largest and most concealed insecurities have their way of presenting themselves to you in a fashion that is relative to your self designed way of communication. This short writing is a reminder that your preconceived notions on a particular subject or person, are a construct of your inner mind and emotional-relational well being and not of others. This is one of the largest fundamental truths in which you must have large insight to carefully watch who and what you massacre with your personal thoughts. Having a keen sense of control on this subject will lead you to enlightenment in many platforms of life.
Will Barnes (The Expansion of The Soul)
So what was it then exactly, this truth-telling? ... It was about being true to the very stuff of life, it was about trying to capture, though you never could, the very feel of being alive. It was about finding a language. And it was about being true to the fact, the one thing only followed from the other, that many things in life —of so many more than we think—can never be explained at all.
Graham Swift (Mothering Sunday)
Why can’t you just understand that not having a plan is my plan?” Chris implored. “I don’t know exactly where I’ll be. That’s the whole point, the freedom of it. I’ve been so structured with school and sports and work—everything has been scheduled and laid out for me. I just want to get out of that mundane existence and purely enjoy life for a while. I’ll decide on the fly where I want to go next.
Carine McCandless (The Wild Truth: The secrets that drove Chris McCandless into the wild)
A totalitarian society which succeeded in perpetuating itself would probably set us a schizophrenic system of thought, in which the laws of common sense held good in everyday life and in certain exact sciences, but could be disregarded by the politician, the historian, and the sociologist. Already there are countless people who would think it scandalous to falsify a scientific text-book, but would see nothing wrong in falsifying an historical fact.
George Orwell (Books v. Cigarettes)
Speaking of tongues, they are the main reason I'm a nervous wreck. Ryan is a senior and well, sadly, I'm not all that experienced with boys. I mean, I'm a freshman and have been to dances with boys my age and even have gone out with boys, but I've never really kissed them. Not like I hope to kiss Ryan anyway. Bobby Robinson did shove his tongue into my mouth one time, when we were kissing under the bleachers at a football game, but it didn't feel so good. I'm pretty sure he didn't have it exactly right. So I talked to my friends, Katie and Lisa, about how to properly make out. But, well, here is just a bit of their unhelpful advice. Just let him take the lead, do what ever he does. Um, couldn't that get me into a lot of trouble? Just sort of kiss his tongue, but try not to drool. Don't open your mouth too wide. And then, just open your mouth wide. See? Stupid, conflicting information. And this from girls who supposedly know how to do this! I feel like I'm an undercover CIA agent trying to wrestle vital information out of a ruthless double agent, and the fate of the free world depends upon it. All the while, the President is yelling at me in a panic, saying, Somebody! Anybody! Just get me the truth!
Jillian Dodd (That Boy (That Boy, #1))
I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest. Or when, even as just now I've tried to articulate exactly what I felt to be the truth. No one was satisfied -- not even I. On the other hand, I've never been more loved and appreciated than when I tried to "justify" and affirm someone's mistaken beliefs; or when I've tried to give my friends the incorrect, absurd answers they wished to hear. In my presence they could talk and agree with themselves, the world was nailed down, and they loved it. They received a feeling of security. But here was the rub: Too often, in order to justify them, I had to take myself by the throat and choke myself until my eyes bulged and my tongue hung out and wagged like the door of an empty house in a high wind. Oh, yes, it made them happy and it made me sick. So I became ill of affirmation, of saying "yes" against the nay-saying of my stomach -- not to mention my brain.
Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man)
Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of to-day) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that. Thus, he has always believed that there was such a thing as fate, but such a thing as free will also. Thus, he believes that children were indeed the kingdom of heaven, but nevertheless ought to be obedient to the kingdom of earth. He admired youth because it was young and age because it was not. It is exactly this balance of apparent contradictions that has been the whole buoyancy of the healthy man. The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand. The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes lucid.
G.K. Chesterton
Don't you think it would be interesting if you could read the story of your life- written perfectly truthfully by an omniscient author? And suppose you could only read it on this condition: that you would never forget it, but would have to go through life knowing ahead of time exactly how everything you did would turn out, and forseeing to the exact hour the time you would die. How many people do you suppose you have the courage to read it then? Or how many could suppress their curiosity sufficiently to escape from reading it, even at the price of having to live without hope, without surprise? Life is monotonous enough at best; you have to eat and sleep about so often. But imagine how deadly monotonous it would be if nothing unexpected could happen between meals?
Jean Webster (Daddy-Long-Legs (Daddy-Long-Legs, #1))
At last, Sturmhond straightened the lapels of his teal frock coat and said, “Well, Brekker, it’s obvious you only deal in half-truths and outright lies, so you’re clearly the man for the job.” “There’s just one thing,” said Kaz, studying the privateer’s broken nose and ruddy hair. “Before we join hands and jump off a cliff together, I want to know exactly who I’m running with.” Sturmhond lifted a brow. “We haven’t been on a road trip or exchanged clothes, but I think our introductions were civilized enough.” “Who are you really, privateer?” “Is this an existential question?” “No proper thief talks the way you do.” “How narrow-minded of you.” “I know the look of a rich man’s son, and I don’t believe a king would send an ordinary privateer to handle business this sensitive.” “Ordinary,” scoffed Sturmhond. “Are you so schooled in politics?” “I know my way around a deal. Who are you? We get the truth or my crew walks.” “Are you so sure that would be possible, Brekker? I know your plans now. I’m accompanied by two of the world’s most legendary Grisha, and I’m not too bad in a fight either.” “And I’m the canal rat who brought Kuwei Yul-Bo out of the Ice Court alive. Let me know how you like your chances.” His crew didn’t have clothes or titles to rival the Ravkans, but Kaz knew where he’d put his money if he had any left. Sturmhond clasped his hands behind his back, and Kaz saw the barest shift in his demeanor. His eyes lost their bemused gleam and took on a surprising weight. No ordinary privateer at all. “Let us say,” said Sturmhond, gaze trained on the Ketterdam street below, “hypothetically, of course, that the Ravkan king has intelligence networks that reach deep within Kerch, Fjerda, and the Shu Han, and that he knows exactly how important Kuwei Yul-Bo could be to the future of his country. Let us say that king would trust no one to negotiate such matters but himself, but that he also knows just how dangerous it is to travel under his own name when his country is in turmoil, when he has no heir and the Lantsov succession is in no way secured.” “So hypothetically,” Kaz said, “you might be addressed as Your Highness.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
What happened was, I got the idea in my head-and I could not get it out ㅡ that college was just one more dopey, inane place in the world dedicated to piling up treasure on earth and everything. I mean treasure is treasure, for heaven's sake. What's the difference whether the treasure is money, or property, or even culture, or even just plain knowledge? It all seemed like exactly the same thing to me, if you take off the wrapping ㅡ and it still does! Sometimes I think that knowledge ㅡ when it's knowledge for knowledge's sake, anyway ㅡ is the worst of all. The least excusable, certainly. [...] I don't think it would have all got me quite so down if just once in a while ㅡ just once in a while ㅡ there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn't, it's just a disgusting waste of time! But there never is! You never even hear any hints dropped on a campus that wisdom is supposed to be the goal of knowledge. You hardly ever even hear the word 'wisdom' mentioned! Do you want to hear something funny? Do you want to hear something really funny? In almost four years of college ㅡ and this is the absolute truth ㅡ in almost four years of college, the only time I can remember ever even hearing the expression 'wise man' being used was in my freshman year, in Political Science! And you know how it was used? It was used in reference to some nice old poopy elder statesman who'd made a fortune in the stock market and then gone to Washington to be an adviser to President Roosevelt. Honestly, now! Four years of college, almost! I'm not saying that happens to everybody, but I just get so upset when I think about it I could die.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
The cause of the Party’s defectiveness must be found. All our principles were right, but our results were wrong. This is a diseased century. We diagnosed the disease and its causes with microscopic exactness, but whenever we applied the healing knife anew sore appeared. Our will was hard and pure, we should have been loved by the people. But they hate us. Why are we so odious and detested? We brought you truth, and in our mouth it sounded a lie. We brought you freedom, and it looks in our hands like a whip. We brought you the living life, and where our voices is heard the trees wither and there is a rustling of dry leaves. We brought you the promise of the future, but our tongue stammered and barked…
Arthur Koestler (Darkness at Noon)
Ideologies aren't all that important. What's important is psychology. The Democratic constituency is just like a herd of cows. All you have to do is lay out enough silage and they come running. That's why I became an operative working with Democrats. With Democrats all you have to do is make a lot of noise, lay out the hay, and be ready to use the ole cattle prod in case a few want to bolt the herd. Eighty percent of the people who call themselves Democrats don't have a clue as to political reality. What amazes me is that you could take a group of people who are hard workers and convince them that they should support social programs that were the exact opposite of their own personal convictions. Put a little fear here and there and you can get people to vote any way you want. The voter is basically dumb and lazy. The reason I became a Democratic operative instead of a Republican was because there were more Democrats that didn't have a clue than there were Republicans. Truth is relative. Truth is what you can make the voter believe is the truth. If you're smart enough, truth is what you make the voter think it is. That's why I'm a Democrat. I can make the Democratic voters think whatever I want them to.
James Carville
Yes", Kumiko said, seriously. "Exactly that. The extraordinary happens all the time. So much, we can't take it. Life and happiness and heartache and love. If we couldn't put it in story - " "And explain it -" "No!" she said, suddenly sharp. "Not explain. Stories do not explain. They seem to, but all they provide is a starting point. The story never ends at the end. There is always after. And even within itself, even by saying that this version is the right one, it suggests other versions, versions that exist in parallel. No, story is not an explanation, it is a net, a net through which the truth flows. The net catches some of the truth, but not all, never all, only enough so that we can live with the extraordinary without it killing us." She sagged a little, as if exhausted by this speech. "As it surely, surely would.
Patrick Ness (The Crane Wife)
I could need you in many ways yet I don’t; I love you in many ways. It is peculiar. I need you only in the sense that you need yourself. I don’t expect anything to be mutually intense among us. I somehow like the thought of being the one who is feeling already more than one should. But I need you to believe that you are distinctively refreshing. And uncommon. And intriguing. It is an extreme oddity of mine but I need you to believe that. Call it a form of paranoia; I know that I am feeding your ego right now. Call it self-defense; I am putting in words your uniqueness in an attempt to explain to my own self why is it that I adore you. The truth is: You shine out like the sun shines out and you melt away all my intentions of a fatal, whatsoever, description regarding what is it exactly that you do. There is no exactness. See, it takes suns and miraculous imagery to slightly sketch you in words whereas you probably are as complex as an impressionist painting of impeccable quality. You continually provoke my blatantly awful poetical instincts; that is for sure.
Katherine Mansfield (Selected Stories)
Lucy reached in her bag and pulled out the book, knowing exactly where to search. I thank my Maker, that, in the midst of judgment, he has remembered mercy. I humbly entreat my Redeemer to give me strength to lead henceforth a purer life than I have done hitherto. There it was. Mercy. Grace. And just as she’d told James, fiction conveyed change and truth and was loved and digested again and again because it reflected the worst, the best, and all the moments in between of the human experience.
Katherine Reay (The Brontë Plot)
The Death of Allegory I am wondering what became of all those tall abstractions that used to pose, robed and statuesque, in paintings and parade about on the pages of the Renaissance displaying their capital letters like license plates. Truth cantering on a powerful horse, Chastity, eyes downcast, fluttering with veils. Each one was marble come to life, a thought in a coat, Courtesy bowing with one hand always extended, Villainy sharpening an instrument behind a wall, Reason with her crown and Constancy alert behind a helm. They are all retired now, consigned to a Florida for tropes. Justice is there standing by an open refrigerator. Valor lies in bed listening to the rain. Even Death has nothing to do but mend his cloak and hood, and all their props are locked away in a warehouse, hourglasses, globes, blindfolds and shackles. Even if you called them back, there are no places left for them to go, no Garden of Mirth or Bower of Bliss. The Valley of Forgiveness is lined with condominiums and chain saws are howling in the Forest of Despair. Here on the table near the window is a vase of peonies and next to it black binoculars and a money clip, exactly the kind of thing we now prefer, objects that sit quietly on a line in lower case, themselves and nothing more, a wheelbarrow, an empty mailbox, a razor blade resting in a glass ashtray. As for the others, the great ideas on horseback and the long-haired virtues in embroidered gowns, it looks as though they have traveled down that road you see on the final page of storybooks, the one that winds up a green hillside and disappears into an unseen valley where everyone must be fast asleep.
Billy Collins
Democracy and free speech are not facets of one gem; democracy and free speech are eternal enemies. But in any battle between an institution and an idea, the idea, in the long run, has the better of it. Here I do not venture into the absurdity of arguing that, as the world wags on, the truth always survives. I believe nothing of the sort. As a matter of fact, it seems to me that an idea that happens to be true—or, more exactly, as near to truth as any human idea can be, and yet remain generally intelligible—it seems to me that such an idea carries a special and often fatal handi cap. The majority of men prefer delusion to truth. It soothes. It is easy to grasp. Above all, it fits more snugly than the truth into a universe of false appearances—of complex and irrational phenomena,
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Antichrist)
Language as putative science. - The significance of language for the evolution of culture lies in this, that mankind set up in language a separate world beside the other world, a place it took to be so firmly set that, standing upon it, it could lift the rest of the world off its hinges and make itself master of it. To the extent that man has for long ages believed in the concepts and names of things as in aeternae veritates he has appropriated to himself that pride by which he raised himself above the animal: he really thought that in language he possessed knowledge of the world. The sculptor of language was not so modest as to believe that he was only giving things designations, he conceived rather that with words he was expressing supreame knowledge of things; language is, in fact, the first stage of occupation with science. Here, too, it is the belief that the truth has been found out of which the mightiest sources of energy have flowed. A great deal later - only now - it dawns on men that in their belief in language they have propagated a tremendous error. Happily, it is too late for the evolution of reason, which depends on this belief, to be put back. - Logic too depends on presuppositions with which nothing in the real world corresponds, for example on the presupposition that there are identical things, that the same thing is identical at different points of time: but this science came into existence through the opposite belief (that such conditions do obtain in the real world). It is the same with mathematics, which would certainly not have come into existence if one had known from the beginning that there was in nature no exactly straight line, no real circle, no absolute magnitude.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
I am a ridiculous person. Now they call me a madman. That would be a promotion if it were not that I remain as ridiculous in their eyes as before. But now I do not resent it, they are all dear to me now, even when they laugh at me — and, indeed, it is just then that they are particularly dear to me. I could join in their laughter — not exactly at myself, but through affection for them, if I did not feel so sad as I look at them. Sad because they do not know the truth and I do know it. Oh, how hard it is to be the only one who knows the truth! But they won't understand that. No, they won't understand it.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Dream of a Ridiculous Man)
We need to talk about the hierarchy of grief. You hear it all the time—no grief is worse than any other. I don’t think that’s one bit true. There is a hierarchy of grief. Divorce is not the same as the death of a partner. Death of a grandparent is not the same as the death of a child. Losing your job is not the same as losing a limb. Here’s the thing: every loss is valid. And every loss is not the same. You can’t flatten the landscape of grief and say that everything is equal. It isn’t. It’s easier to see when we take it out of the intensely personal: stubbing your toe hurts. It totally hurts. For a moment, the pain can be all-consuming. You might even hobble for a while. Having your foot ripped off by a passing freight train hurts, too. Differently. The pain lasts longer. The injury needs recovery time, which may be uncertain or complicated. It affects and impacts your life moving forward. You can’t go back to the life you had before you became a one-footed person. No one would say these two injuries are exactly the same.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
Grace is the first ingredient necessary for growing up in the image of God. Grace is unbroken, uninterrupted, unearned, accepting relationship. It is the kind of relationship humanity had with God in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were loved and provided for. They knew God’s truth, and they had perfect freedom to do God’s will. In short, they were secure; they had no shame and anxiety. They could be who they truly were. Perhaps you have experienced this kind of love and grace with someone. You can be exactly who you are. You do not need to hide your thoughts or feelings; you do not need to perform; you do not need to do anything to be loved. Someone knows the real you, and loves you anyway.
Henry Cloud (Changes That Heal: The Four Shifts That Make Everything Better…And That Everyone Can Do)
People, he had said, were always being looked at as points, and they ought to be looked at as lines. There weren't any points, it was false to assume that a person ever was anything. He was always becoming something, always changing, always continuous and moving, like the wiggly line on a machine used to measure earthquake shocks. He was always what he was in the beginning, but never quite exactly what he was; he moved along a line dictated by his heritage and his environment, but he was subject to every sort of variation within the narrow limits of his capabilities. ... She shut her mind on that too. There was danger in looking at people as lines. The past spread backward and you saw things in perspective that you hadn't seen then, and that made the future ominous, more ominous than if you just looked at the point, at the moment. There might be truth in what Bruce said, but there was not much comfort.
Wallace Stegner (The Big Rock Candy Mountain)
A lump forms in my throat as the truth hits me. Hard. “That’s why people are speaking out, huh? Because it won’t change if we don’t say something.” “Exactly. We can’t be silent.” “So I can’t be silent.” Daddy stills. He looks at me. I see the fight in his eyes. I matter more to him than a movement. I’m his baby, and I’ll always be his baby, and if being silent means I’m safe, he’s all for it. This is bigger than me and Khalil though. This is about Us, with a capital U; everybody who looks like us, feels like us, and is experiencing this pain with us despite not knowing me or Khalil. My silence isn’t helping Us. Daddy fixes his gaze on the road again. He nods. “Yeah. Can’t be silent.
Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give)
One of the biggest - and I would guess most common - mistakes parents make is to transfer their own childhood shit onto their kids. Whatever their joys and agonies were growing up, they assume will be exactly the same for their children, and they let it guide their parenting. I can see the same dumb instincts in myself. When I first started hanging out with my old boyfriend's kids, I found it depressing because I would just look at them and think of how miserable they must be, and how totally alone they must feel. To me, that's what childhood meant. But the truth was that they were fine. Happy-go-lucky, even.
Sarah Silverman (The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee)
I knew Kristy was probably exacting the revenge she thought I was due, while Delia moved right behind her, making apologies and smoothing rough edges. Monica was most likely following her own path, either oblivious or deeply emotionally invested, depending on what you believed, while Wes worked the perimeter, always keeping an eye on everything. There was a whole other world out there, the Talbots' world, where I didn't belong now, if I ever had. But it was okay not to fit in everywhere, as long as you did somewhere. So I picked up my tray, careful to keep it level, and pushed through the door to join my friends.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Only a man can see in the face of a woman the girl she was. It is a secret which can be revealed only to a particular man, and, then, only at his insistence. But men have no secrets, except from women, and never grow up in the way women do. It is very much harder, and it takes much longer, for a man to grow up, and he could never do it at all without women. This is a mystery which can terrify and immobilize a woman, and it is always the key to her deepest distress. She must watch and guide, but he must lead, and he will always appear to be giving far more of his real attention to his comrades than he is giving to her. But that noisy, outward openness of men with each other enables them to deal with the silence and secrecy of women, that silence and secrecy which contains the truth of a man, and releases it. I suppose that the root of the resentment—a resentment which hides a bottomless terror—has to do with the fact that a woman is tremendously controlled by what the man’s imagination makes of her—literally, hour by hour, day by day; so she becomes a woman. But a man exists in his own imagination, and can never be at the mercy of a woman’s.—Anyway, in this fucked up time and place, the whole thing becomes ridiculous when you realize that women are supposed to be more imaginative than men. This is an idea dreamed up by men, and it proves exactly the contrary. The truth is that dealing with the reality of men leaves a woman very little time, or need, for imagination. And you can get very fucked up, here, once you take seriously the notion that a man who is not afraid to trust his imagination (which is all that men have ever trusted) if effeminate. It says a lot about this country, because, of course, if all you want to do is make money, the very last thing you need is imagination. Or women, for that matter: or men.
James Baldwin (If Beale Street Could Talk)
The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
Theodore Roosevelt (The great adventure; present-day studies in American nationalism)
Dorothea, with all her eagerness to know the truths of life, retained very childlike ideas about marriage. She felt sure that she would have accepted the judicious Hooker, if she had been born in time to save him from that wretched mistake he made in matrimony; or John Milton when his blindness had come on; or any of the other great men whose odd habits it would have been glorious piety to endure; but an amiable handsome baronet, who said "Exactly" to her remarks even when she expressed uncertainty,--how could he affect her as a lover? The really delightful marriage must be that where your husband was a sort of father, and could teach you even Hebrew, if you wished it.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
You won’t stop until you have all of me, will you? My body, my blood, my trust…and still you want more.” He knew of what I spoke and his reply was immediate. “I want your heart the most. Above all else. You’re exactly right, I won’t stop until I have it.” Tears began to slide down my cheeks, because I couldn’t hold the truth back anymore. I didn’t know how I’d managed to hold it back this long. “You have it already. So now you can stop.” His whole body stilled. “You mean that?” Uncertainty but also growing emotion filled his eyes as they bore into mine. I nodded, mouth too dry to speak. “Say it. I need to hear the words. Tell me.” I licked my lips and cleared my throat. It took three times, but finally my voice returned. “I love you, Bones.” A weight seemed to lift from me I hadn’t known was there. Funny how much I’d feared something that shouldn’t have frightened me at all. “Again.” He started to smile, and a beautiful, pure joy filled up the emptiness I’d carried my entire life. “I love you.” He kissed my forehead, cheeks, eyelids, and chin, feather-soft brushes that had the impact of a locomotive. “Once more.” The request was muffled by his mouth on mine and I breathed the words into him. “I love you.” Bones kissed me until my head reeled and everything tilted even though I was lying flat. He only paused long enough to whisper onto my lips, “It was well worth the wait.
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
I see things in windows and I say to myself that I want them. I want them because I want to belong. I want to be liked by more people, I want to be held in higher regard than others. I want to feel valued, so I say to myself to watch certain shows. I watch certain shows on the television so I can participate in dialogues and conversations and debates with people who want the same things I want. I want to dress a certain way so certain groups of people are forced to be attracted to me. I want to do my hair a certain way with certain styling products and particular combs and methods so that I can fit in with the In-Crowd. I want to spend hours upon hours at the gym, stuffing my body with what scientists are calling 'superfoods', so that I can be loved and envied by everyone around me. I want to become an icon on someone's mantle. I want to work meaningless jobs so that I can fill my wallet and parentally-advised bank accounts with monetary potential. I want to believe what's on the news so that I can feel normal along with the rest of forever. I want to listen to the Top Ten on Q102, and roll my windows down so others can hear it and see that I am listening to it, and enjoying it. I want to go to church every Sunday, and pray every other day. I want to believe that what I do is for the promise of a peaceful afterlife. I want rewards for my 'good' deeds. I want acknowledgment and praise. And I want people to know that I put out that fire. I want people to know that I support the war effort. I want people to know that I volunteer to save lives. I want to be seen and heard and pointed at with love. I want to read my name in the history books during a future full of clones exactly like me. The mirror, I've noticed, is almost always positioned above the sink. Though the sink offers more depth than a mirror, and mirror is only able to reflect, the sink is held in lower regard. Lower still is the toilet, and thought it offers even more depth than the sink, we piss and shit in it. I want these kind of architectural details to be paralleled in my every day life. I want to care more about my reflection, and less about my cleanliness. I want to be seen as someone who lives externally, and never internally, unless I am able to lock the door behind me. I want these things, because if I didn't, I would be dead in the mirrors of those around me. I would be nothing. I would be an example. Sunken, and easily washed away.
Dave Matthes
As he was speaking, he kept reminding himself that he was going to a rendezvous and that not a living soul knew about it, or, probably, ever would. He led a double life--one in public, in the sight of all whom it concerned, full of conventional truth and conventional deception, exactly like the lives of his friends and acquaintances, and another which flowed in secret. And, owing to some strange, possibly quite accidental chain of circumstances, everything that was important, interesting, essential, everything about which he was sincere and never deceived himself, everything that composed the kernel of his life, went on in secret, while everything that was false in him, everything that composed the husk in which he hid himself and the truth which was in him--his work at the bank, discussions at the club, his 'lower race,' his attendance at anniversary celebrations with his wife--was on the surface. He began to judge others by himself, no longer believing what he saw, and always assuming that the real, the only interesting life of every individual goes on as under cover of night, secretly. Every individual existence revolves around mystery, and perhaps that is the chief reason that all cultivated individuals insisted so strongly on the respect due to personal secrets.
Anton Chekhov
Where's my sister?" "She's setting up the island we found tonight." Galen shakes his head. "You slithering eel. You might have told me what you were up to." Toraf laughs. "Oh sure. 'Hey, Galen, I need to borrow Emma for a few minutes so I can kiss her, okay?' Didn't see that going over very well." "You think your surprise attack went over better?" Toraf shrugs. "I'm satisfied." "I could have killed you today." "Yeah." "Don't ever do that again." "Wasn't planning on it. Thought it was real sweet of you to defend your sister's honor. Very brotherly." Toraf snickers. "Shut up." "I'm just saying." Galen runs a hand through his hair. "I only saw Emma. I forgot all about Rayna." "I know, idiot. That's why I let you hit me fifty-eight times. That's what I would do if someone kissed Rayna." "Fifty-nine times." "Don't get carried away, minnow. By the way, was Emma boiling mad or just a little heated? Should I keep my distance for a while?" Galen snorts. "She laughed so hard I thought she'd pass out. I'm the one in trouble." "Shocker. What'd you do?" "The usual." Hiding his feelings. Blurting out the wrong thing. Acting like a territorial bull shark. Toraf shakes his head. "She won't put up with that forever. She already thinks you only want to change her so she can become another of your royal subjects." "She said that?" Galen scowls. "I don't know what's worse. Letting her think that, or telling her the truth about why I'm helping her to change." "In my opinion, there's nothing to tell her unless she can actually change. And so far, she can't." "You don't think she's one of us?" Toraf shrugs. "Her skin wrinkles. It's kind of gross. Maybe she's some sort of superhuman. You know, like Batman." Galen laughs. "How do you know about Batman?" "I saw him on that black square in your living room. He can do all sorts of things other humans can't do. Maybe Emma is like him." "Batman isn't real. He's just a human acting like that so other humans will watch him." "Looked real to me." "They're good at making it look real. Some humans spend their whole lives making something that isn't real look like something that is." "Humans are creepier than I thought. Why pretend to be something you're not?" Galen nods. To take over a kingdom, maybe? "Actually, that reminds me. Grom needs you." Toraf groans. "Can it wait? Rayna's getting all cozy on our island right about now." "Seriously. I don't want to know." Toraf grins. "Right. Sorry. But you can see my point, right? I mean, if Emma were waiting for you-" "Emma wouldn't be waiting for me. I wouldn't have left." "Rayna made me. You've never hit me that hard before. She wants us to get along. Plus, there's something I need to tell you, but I didn't exactly get a change to." "What?" "Yesterday when we were practicing in front of your house, I sensed someone. Someone I don't know. I made Emma get out of the water while I went to investigate." "And she listened to you?" Toraf nods. "Turns out, you're the only one she disobeys.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Only, we must allow time. But our demands as far as time is concerned are no less exorbitant than those which the heart requires in order to change. For one thing, time is the very thing that we are least willing to allow, for our suffering is acute and we are anxious to see it brought to an end. And then, too, the time which the other heart will need in order to change will have been spent by our own heart in changing itself too, so that when the goal we had set ourselves becomes attainable it will have ceased to be our goal. Besides, the very idea that it will be attainable, that there is no happiness that, when it has ceased to be a happiness for us, we cannot ultimately attain, contains an element, but only an element, of truth. It falls to us when we have grown indifferent to it. But the very fact of our indifference will have made us less exacting, and enabled us in retrospect to feel convinced that it would have delighted us had it come at a time when perhaps it would have seemed to us miserably inadequate.
Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time (6 Volumes))
Why Is It So Important to Remember? When you were abused, those around you acted as if it weren’t happening. Since no one else acknowledged the abuse, you sometimes felt that it wasn’t real. Because of this you felt confused. You couldn’t trust your own experience and perceptions. Moreover, others’ denial led you to suppress your memories, thus further obscuring the issue. You can end your own denial by remembering. Allowing yourself to remember is a way of confirming in your own mind that you didn’t just imagine it. Because the person who abused you did not acknowledge your pain, you may have also thought that perhaps it wasn’t as bad as you felt it was. In order to acknowledge to yourself that it really was that bad, you need to remember as much detail as possible. Because by denying what happened to you, you are doing to yourself exactly what others have done to you in the past: You are negating and denying yourself.
Beverly Engel (The Right to Innocence)
Hive Queen: They never know anything. They don't have enough years in their little lives to come to an understanding of anything at all. And yet they think they understand. From earliest childhood, they delude themselves into thinking they comprehend the world, while all that's really going on is that they've got some primitive assumptions and prejudices. As they get older they learn a more elevated vocabulary in which to express their mindless pseudo- knowledge and bully other people into accepting their prejudices as if they were truth, but it all amounts to the same thing. Individually, human beings are all dolts. Pequenino: While collectively... Hive Queen: Collectively, they're a collection of dolts. But in all their scurrying around and pretending to be wise, throwing out idiotic half-understood theories about this and that, one or two of them will come up with some idea that is just a little bit closer to the truth than what was already known. And in a sort of fumbling trial and error, about half the time the truth actually rises to the top and becomes accepted by people who still don't understand it, who simply adopt it as a new prejudice to be trusted blindly until the next dolt accidentally comes up with an improvement.> Pequenino: So you're saying that no one is ever individually intelligent, and groups are even stupider than individuals-- and yet by keeping so many fools engaged in pretending to be intelligent, they still come up with some of the same results that an intelligent species would come up with. Hive Queen: Exactly.
Orson Scott Card (Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3))
But you sent off that Flounder fellow," Loki said, and I rolled my eyes. "His name is Finn, and I know you know that," I said as I left the room. Loki grabbed the vacuum and followed me. "You called him by his name this morning." "Fine, I know his name," Loki admitted. We went into the next room, and he set down the vacuum as I started peeling the dusty blankets off the bed. "But you were okay with Finn going off to Oslinna, but not Duncan?" "Finn can handle himself," I said tersely. The bedding got stuck on a corner, and Loki came over to help me free it. Once he had, I smiled thinly at him. "Thank you." "But I know you had a soft spot for Finn," Loki continued. "My feelings for him have no bearing on his ability to do his job." I tossed the dirty blankets at Loki. He caught them easily before setting them down by the door, presumably for Duncan to take to the laundry chute again. "I've never understood exactly what your relationship with him was, anyway," Loki said. I'd started putting new sheets on the bed, and he went around to the other side to help me. "Were you two dating?" "No." I shook my head. "We never dated. We were never anything." I continued to pull on the sheets, but Loki stopped, watching me. "I don't know if that's a lie or not, but I do know that he was never good enough for you." "But I suppose you think you are?" I asked with a sarcastic laugh. "No, of course I'm not good enough for you," Loki said, and I lifted my head to look up at him, surprised by his response. "But I at least try to be good enough." "You think Finn doesn't?" I asked, standing up straight. "Every time I've seen him around you, he's telling you what to do, pushing you around." He shook his head and went back to making the bed. "He wants to love you, I think, but he can't. He won't let himself, or he's incapable. And he never will." The truth of his words stung harder than I'd thought they would, and I swallowed hard. "And obviously, you need someone that loves you," Loki continued. "You love fiercely, with all your being. And you need someone that loves you the same. More than duty or the monarchy or the kingdom. More than himself even." He looked up at me then, his eyes meeting mine, darkly serious. My heart pounded in my chest, the fresh heartache replaced with something new, something warmer that made it hard for me to breathe. "But you're wrong." I shook my head. "I don't deserve that much." "On the contrary, Wendy." Loki smiled honestly, and it stirred something inside me. "You deserve all the love a man has to give." I wanted to laugh or blush or look away, but I couldn't. I was frozen in a moment with Loki, finding myself feeling things for him I didn't think I could ever feel for anyone else. "I don't know how much more laundry we can fit down the chute," Duncan said as he came back in the room, interrupting the moment. I looked away from Loki quickly and grabbed the vacuum cleaner. "Just get as much down there as you can," I told Duncan. "I'll try." He scooped up another load of bedding to send downstairs. Once he'd gone, I glanced back at Loki, but, based on the grin on his face, I'd say his earlier seriousness was gone. "You know, Princess, instead of making that bed, we could close the door and have a roll around in it." Loki wagged his eyebrows. "What do you say?" Rolling my eyes, I turned on the vacuum cleaner to drown out the conversation. "I'll take that as a maybe later!" Loki shouted over it.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
You’re seeing someone else, aren’t you?" Seeing someone else? How on earth could that explain any of this? Why would seeing someone else necessitate bringing home a middle­-aged woman, a teenaged punk and an American with a leather jacket and a Rod Stewart haircut? What would the story have been? But then, after reflection, I realised that Penny had probably been here before, and therefore knew that infidelity can usually provide the answer to any domestic mystery. If I had walked in with Sheena Easton and Donald Rumsfeld, Penny would probably have scratched her head for a few seconds before saying exactly the same thing. In other circumstances, on other evenings, it would have been the right conclusion, too; I used to be pretty resourceful when I was being unfaithful to Cindy, even if I do say so myself. I once drove a new BMW into a wall, simply because I needed to explain a four­-hour delay in getting home from work. Cindy came out into the street to inspect the crumpled bonnet, looked at me, and said, “You’re seeing someone else, aren’t you?” I denied it, of course. But then, anything – smashing up a new car, persuading Donald Rumsfeld to come to an Islington flat in the early hours of New Year’s Day – is easier than actually telling the truth. That look you get, the look which lets you see right through the eyes and down into the place where she keeps all the hurt and the rage and the loathing... Who wouldn’t go that extra yard to avoid it?
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
I Don’t Even Like Him—How Can I Pray for Him? Have you ever been so mad at your husband that the last thing you wanted to do was pray for him? So have I. It’s hard to pray for someone when you’re angry or he’s hurt you. But that’s exactly what God wants us to do. If He asks us to pray for our enemies, how much more should we be praying for the person with whom we have become one and are supposed to love? But how do we get past the unforgiveness and critical attitude? The first thing to do is be completely honest with God. In order to break down the walls in our hearts and smash the barriers that stop communication, we have to be totally up-front with the Lord about our feelings. We don’t have to “pretty it up” for Him. He already knows the truth. He just wants to see if we’re willing to admit it and confess it as disobedience to His ways. If so, He
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying® Wife)
BERENGER: And you consider all this natural? 

DUDARD: What could be more natural than a rhinoceros? 

 BERENGER: Yes, but for a man to turn into a rhinoceros is abnormal beyond question. 

DUDARD: Well, of course, that's a matter of opinion ... 

 BERENGER: It is beyond question, absolutely beyond question! 
DUDARD: You seem very sure of yourself. Who can say where the normal stops and the abnormal begins? Can you personally define these conceptions of normality and abnormality? Nobody has solved this problem yet, either medically or philosophically. You ought to know that. 

 BERENGER: The problem may not be resolved philosophically -- but in practice it's simple. They may prove there's no such thing as movement ... and then you start walking ... [he starts walking up and down the room] ... and you go on walking, and you say to yourself, like Galileo, 'E pur si muove' ... 

 DUDARD: You're getting things all mixed up! Don't confuse the issue. In Galileo's case it was the opposite: theoretic and scientific thought proving itself superior to mass opinion and dogmatism. 

 BERENGER: [quite lost] What does all that mean? Mass opinion, dogmatism -- they're just words! I may be mixing everything up in my head but you're losing yours. You don't know what's normal and what isn't any more. I couldn't care less about Galileo ... I don't give a damn about Galileo. 

 DUDARD: You brought him up in the first place and raised the whole question, saying that practice always had the last word. Maybe it does, but only when it proceeds from theory! The history of thought and science proves that. BERENGER: [more and more furious] It doesn't prove anything of the sort! It's all gibberish, utter lunacy! 

DUDARD: There again we need to define exactly what we mean by lunacy ... 

 BERENGER: Lunacy is lunacy and that's all there is to it! Everybody knows what lunacy is. And what about the rhinoceroses -- are they practice or are they theory?
Eugène Ionesco (Rhinoceros / The Chairs / The Lesson)
As I looked at the great tapestry that was the accumulation of my life up to that point, I was able to identify exactly what had brought me to where I was today. Just look at my life path! Why, oh why, have I always been so harsh with myself? Why was I always beating myself up? Why was I always forsaking myself? Why did I never stand up for myself and show the world the beauty of my own soul? Why was I always suppressing my own intelligence and creativity to please others? I betrayed myself every time I said yes when I meant no! Why have I violated myself by always needing to seek approval from others just to be myself? Why haven’t I followed my own beautiful heart and spoken my own truth? Why don’t we realize this when we’re in our physical bodies? How come I never knew that we’re not supposed to be so tough on ourselves? I still felt myself completely enveloped in a sea of unconditional love and acceptance. I was able to look at myself with fresh eyes, and I saw that I was a beautiful being of the Universe. I understood that just the fact that I existed made me worthy of this tender regard
Anita Moorjani (Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing)
What matters is the act of surrender. The awakening process all boils down to this: surrender. How, you may ask? Like this: Lay yourself down on the floor and let go of everything. Let go of the need to understand, the need to know how exactly to do it and what to say, how to be and so on. Just "give up" (the struggle). Literally just lay there and say "Take me, I'm yours. Do with me what you wish, I won't resist or avoid anything anymore. I'm sincerely yours". Let go. Surrender. Just let go. You don't have to figure anything out, you don't have to seek anymore, you don't have to look for any answers or solutions anymore. Just let go. Let everything go. I'm telling you; this is the ultimate solution and answer that the awakening process leads to anyway, so you might as well save yourself years of suffering by surrendering to Truth right now and let it take over your life. It all falls into place in the moment of surrender, that's when freedom and peace comes and takes over your whole being.
Maria Erving
How, in the contemporary period, can we evoke the imagery that communicates the most profound and most richly developed sense of experiencing life? These images must point past themselves to that ultimate truth which must be told: that life does not have one absolutely fixed meaning. These images must point past all meanings given, beyond all definitions and relationships, to that really ineffable mystery that is just the existence, the being of ourselves and of our world. If we give that mystery an exact meaning we diminish the experience of its real depth. But when a poet carries the mind into a context of meanings and then pitches it past those, one knows that marvelous rapture that comes from going past all categories of definition. Here we sense the function of metaphor that allows us to make a journey we could not otherwise make ...
Joseph Campbell (Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor)
KINGDOM OF THE WOMB From her thighs, she gives you life And how you treat she who gives you life Shows how much you value the life given to you by the Creator. And from seed to dust There is ONE soul above all others -- That you must always show patience, respect, and trust And this woman is your mother. And when your soul departs your body And your deeds are weighed against the feather There is only one soul who can save yours And this woman is your mother. And when the heart of the universe Asks her hair and mind, Whether you were gentle and kind to her Her heart will be forced to remain silent And her hair will speak freely as a separate entity, Very much like the seaweed in the sea -- It will reveal all that it has heard and seen. This woman whose heart has seen yours, First before anybody else in the world, And whose womb had opened the door For your eyes to experience light and more -- Is your very own MOTHER. So, no matter whether your mother has been cruel, Manipulative, abusive, mentally sick, or simply childish How you treat her is the ultimate test. If she misguides you, forgive her and show her the right way With simple wisdom, gentleness, and kindness. And always remember, That the queen in the Creator's kingdom, Who sits on the throne of all existence, Is exactly the same as in yours. And her name is, THE DIVINE MOTHER.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Neel cuts in: "Where'd you grow up?" "Palo Alto," she says. From there to Stanford to Google: for a girl obsessed with the outer limits of human potential, Kat has stayed pretty close to home. Neel nods knowingly. "The suburban mind cannot comprehend the emergent complexity of a New York sidewalk." "I don't know about that," Kat says, narrowing her eyes. "I'm pretty good with complexity." "See, I know what you're thinking," Neel says, shaking his head. "You're thinking it's just an agent-based simulation, and everybody out here follows a pretty simple set of rules"-- Kat is nodding--"and if you can figure out those rules, you can model it. You can simulate the street, then the neighborhood, then the whole city. Right?" "Exactly. I mean, sure, I don't know what the rules are yet, but I could experiment and figure them out, and then it would be trivial--" "Wrong," Neel says, honking like a game-show buzzer. "You can't do it. Even if you know the rules-- and by the way, there are no rules--but even if there were, you can't model it. You know why?" My best friend and my girlfriend are sparring over simulations. I can only sit back and listen. Kat frowns. "Why?" "You don't have enough memory." "Oh, come on--" "Nope. You could never hold it all in memory. No computer's big enough. Not even your what's-it-called--" "The Big Box." "That's the one. It's not big enough. This box--" Neel stretches out his hands, encompasses the sidewalk, the park, the streets beyond--"is bigger." The snaking crowd surges forward.
Robin Sloan (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1))
Many people of our time reason along the following lines: The religions—or the differing spiritual perspectives within a given religion—contradict one another, therefore they cannot all be right; consequently none is true. This is exactly as if one said: Every individual claims to be "I," thus they cannot all be right; consequently none is "I." This example shows up the absurdity of the antireligious argument, by recalling the real analogy between the inevitable external limitation of religious language and the no less inevitable limitation of the human ego. To reach this conclusion, as do the rationalists who use the above argument, amounts in practice to denying the diversity of the knowing subjects as also the diversity of aspects in the object to be known. It amounts to pretending that there are neither points of view nor aspects; that is to say, that there is but a single man to see a mountain and that the mountain has but a single side to be seen. The error of the subjectivist and relativist philosophers is a contrary one. According to them, the mountain would alter its nature according to whoever viewed it; at one time it might be a tree and at another a stream. [No activity without Truth] - Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 3, No. 4. (Autumn 1969)
Frithjof Schuon
I wanted, for so long, for someone to understand me better than I understood myself, to take control of me, to save me, to make it all better. I thought that the hardest part of a loving, mutually healing relationship would be showing my vulnerable, raw spots to a person, even though I'd been hurt so many times before. This has not been the hardest part. The actual hardest part has been realizing that no one, no matter how compassionate and kind they are, will say the perfect things always. Myself included. The hardest part has been learning to communicate what I need, to hear what others need, to tell others how to tell me what they need. Intimacy takes communication. A lot of it. We all have triggers. I don't know your triggers, and you don't know mine. No matter how much I love or trust you, you cannot possibly know exactly the words I need to hear, the words I don't want to hear, and the way I like to be touched. And how strange that we expect these things of each other. How strange (and self-sabotaging) that we refuse to get into relationships and friendships with people unless they treat us in just that perfect way. We've been raised to want fairy tales. We've been raised to wait for flawless saviors to rescue us. But the savior isn't flawless and the savior is not coming. The savior is you. The savior is still learning. The savior is never done learning. The savior is a human being. Forget perfect. Forget flawless. And start speaking your truth. Start speaking what you want and how you want it. And start asking and listening, really listening, to what the people around you say. Maybe, then, we will stop abandoning and hurting each other. Maybe, then, there's hope for us.
Vironika Tugaleva
You burn to have your photograph in a tennis magazine.” “I’m afraid so.” “Why again exactly, now?” “I guess to be felt about as I feel about those players with their pictures in magazines.” “Why?” “Why? I guess to give my life some sort of meaning, Lyle.” “And how would this do this again?” “Lyle, I don’t know. I do not know. It just does. Would. Why else would I burn like this, clip secret pictures, not take risks, not sleep or pee?” “You feel these men with their photographs in magazines care deeply about having their photographs in magazines. Derive immense meaning.” “I do. They must. I would. Else why would I burn like this to feel as they feel?” “The meaning they feel, you mean. From the fame.” “Lyle, don’t they?” “LaMont, perhaps they did at first. The first photograph, the first magazine, the gratified surge, the seeing themselves as others see them, the hagiography of image, perhaps. Perhaps the first time: enjoyment. After that, do you trust me, trust me: they do not feel what you burn for. After the first surge, they care only that their photographs seem awkward or unflattering, or untrue, or that their privacy, this thing you burn to escape, what they call their privacy is being violated. Something changes. After the first photograph has been in a magazine, the famous men do not enjoy their photographs in magazines so much as they fear that their photographs will cease to appear in magazines. They are trapped, just as you are.” “Is this supposed to be good news? This is awful news.” “LaMont, are you willing to listen to a Remark about what is true?” “Okey-dokey.” “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.” “Maybe I ought to be getting back.” “LaMont, the world is very old. You have been snared by something untrue. You are deluded. But this is good news. You have been snared by the delusion that envy has a reciprocal. You assume that there is a flip-side to your painful envy of Michael Chang: namely Michael Chang’s enjoyable feeling of being-envied-by-LaMont-Chu. No such animal.” “Animal?” “You burn with hunger for food that does not exist.” “This is good news?” “It is the truth. To be envied, admired, is not a feeling. Nor is fame a feeling. There are feelings associated with fame, but few of them are any more enjoyable than the feelings associated with envy of fame.” “The burning doesn’t go away?” “What fire dies when you feed it? It is not fame itself they wish to deny you here. Trust them. There is much fear in fame. Terrible and heavy fear to be pulled and held, carried. Perhaps they want only to keep it off you until you weigh enough to pull toward yourself.” “Would I sound ungrateful if I said this doesn’t make me feel very much better at all?” “LaMont, the truth is that the world is incredibly, incredibly, unbelievably old. You suffer with the stunted desire caused by one of its oldest lies. Do not believe the photographs. Fame is not the exit from any cage.” “So I’m stuck in the cage from either side. Fame or tortured envy of fame. There’s no way out.” “You might consider how escape from a cage must surely require, foremost, awareness of the fact of the cage.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Olujime was a pit fighter, an accountant, a magical warrior, and an ostrich whisperer. Somehow I was not surprised. “Is he going with you?” I asked. Thalia laughed. “No. Just helping us get ready. Seems like a good guy, but I don’t think he’s Hunter material. He’s not even, uh…a Greek-Roman type, is he? I mean, he’s not a legacy of you guys, the Olympians.” “No,” I agreed. “He is from a different tradition and parentage entirely.” Thalia’s short spiky hair rippled in the wind, as if reacting to her uneasiness. “You mean from other gods.” “Of course. He mentioned the Yoruba, though I admit I know very little about their ways.” “How is that possible? Other pantheons of gods, side by side?” I shrugged. I was often surprised by mortals’ limited imaginations, as if the world was an either/or proposition. Sometimes humans seemed as stuck in their thinking as they were in their meat-sack bodies. Not, mind you, that gods were much better. “How could it not be possible?” I countered. “In ancient times, this was common sense. Each country, sometimes each city, had its own pantheon of gods. We Olympians have always been used to living in close proximity to, ah…the competition.” “So you’re the sun god,” Thalia said. “But some other deity from some other culture is also the sun god?” “Exactly. Different manifestations of the same truth.” “I don’t get it.” I spread my hands. “Honestly, Thalia Grace, I don’t know how to explain it any better. But surely you’ve been a demigod long enough to
Rick Riordan (The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2))
A thought expressed is a falsehood." In poetry what is not said and yet gleams through the beauty of the symbol, works more powerfully on the heart than that which is expressed in words. Symbolism makes the very style, the very artistic substance of poetry inspired, transparent, illuminated throughout like the delicate walls of an alabaster amphora in which a flame is ignited. Characters can also serve as symbols. Sancho Panza and Faust, Don Quixote and Hamlet, Don Juan and Falstaff, according to the words of Goethe, are "schwankende Gestalten." Apparitions which haunt mankind, sometimes repeatedly from age to age, accompany mankind from generation to generation. It is impossible to communicate in any words whatsoever the idea of such symbolic characters, for words only define and restrict thought, but symbols express the unrestricted aspect of truth. Moreover we cannot be satisfied with a vulgar, photographic exactness of experimental photoqraphv. We demand and have premonition of, according to the allusions of Flaubert, Maupassant, Turgenev, Ibsen, new and as yet undisclosed worlds of impressionability. This thirst for the unexperienced, in pursuit of elusive nuances, of the dark and unconscious in our sensibility, is the characteristic feature of the coming ideal poetry. Earlier Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe said that the beautiful must somewhat amaze, must seem unexpected and extraordinary. French critics more or less successfully named this feature - impressionism. Such are the three major elements of the new art: a mystical content, symbols, and the expansion of artistic impressionability. No positivistic conclusions, no utilitarian computation, but only a creative faith in something infinite and immortal can ignite the soul of man, create heroes, martyrs and prophets... People have need of faith, they need inspiration, they crave a holy madness in their heroes and martyrs. ("On The Reasons For The Decline And On The New Tendencies In Contemporary Literature")
Dmitry Merezhkovsky (The Silver Age of Russian Culture: An Anthology)
HONESTY is reached through the doorway of grief and loss. Where we cannot go in our mind, our memory, or our body is where we cannot be straight with another, with the world, or with our self. The fear of loss, in one form or another, is the motivator behind all conscious and unconscious dishonesties: all of us are afraid of loss, in all its forms, all of us, at times, are haunted or overwhelmed by the possibility of a disappearance, and all of us therefore, are one short step away from dishonesty. Every human being dwells intimately close to a door of revelation they are afraid to pass through. Honesty lies in understanding our close and necessary relationship with not wanting to hear the truth. The ability to speak the truth is as much the ability to describe what it is like to stand in trepidation at this door, as it is to actually go through it and become that beautifully honest spiritual warrior, equal to all circumstances, we would like to become. Honesty is not the revealing of some foundational truth that gives us power over life or another or even the self, but a robust incarnation into the unknown unfolding vulnerability of existence, where we acknowledge how powerless we feel, how little we actually know, how afraid we are of not knowing and how astonished we are by the generous measure of grief that is conferred upon even the most average life. Honesty is grounded in humility and indeed in humiliation, and in admitting exactly where we are powerless. Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are. To become honest is in effect to become fully and robustly incarnated into powerlessness. Honesty allows us to live with not knowing. We do not know the full story, we do not know where we are in the story; we do not know who is at fault or who will carry the blame in the end. Honesty is not a weapon to keep loss and heartbreak at bay, honesty is the outer diagnostic of our ability to come to ground in reality, the hardest attainable ground of all, the place where we actually dwell, the living, breathing frontier where there is no realistic choice between gain or loss.
David Whyte
In answer to modern requests for signs and wonders, Our Lord might say, 'You repeat Satan's temptation, whenever you admire the wonders of science, and forget that I am the Author of the Universe and its science. Your scientists are the proofreaders, but not the authors of the Book of Nature; they can see and examine My handiwork, but they cannot create one atom themselves. You would tempt Me to prove Myself omnipotent by meaningless tests...You tempt Me after you have willfully destroyed your own cities with bombs by shrieking out, "Why does God not stop this war?" You tempt Me, saying that I have no power, unless I show it at your beck and call. This, if you remember, is exactly how Satan tempted Me in the desert. I have never had many followers on the lofty heights of Divine truth, I know; for instance, I have hardly had the intelligentsia. I refuse to perform stunts to win them, for they would not really be won that way. It is only when I am seen on the Cross that I really draw men to Myself; it is by sacrifice, and not by marvels, that I must make My appeal. I must win followers not with test tubes, but with My blood; not with material power, but with love; not with celestial fireworks, but with the right use of reason and free will.
Fulton J. Sheen (Life of Christ)
You speak as if you envied him." "And I do envy him, Emma. In one respect he is the object of my envy." Emma could say no more. They seemed to be within half a sentence of Harriet, and her immediate feeling was to avert the subject, if possible. She made her plan; she would speak of something totally different—the children in Brunswick Square; and she only waited for breath to begin, when Mr. Knightley startled her, by saying, "You will not ask me what is the point of envy.—You are determined, I see, to have no curiosity.—You are wise—but I cannot be wise. Emma, I must tell you what you will not ask, though I may wish it unsaid the next moment." "Oh! then, don't speak it, don't speak it," she eagerly cried. "Take a little time, consider, do not commit yourself." "Thank you," said he, in an accent of deep mortification, and not another syllable followed. Emma could not bear to give him pain. He was wishing to confide in her—perhaps to consult her;—cost her what it would, she would listen. She might assist his resolution, or reconcile him to it; she might give just praise to Harriet, or, by representing to him his own independence, relieve him from that state of indecision, which must be more intolerable than any alternative to such a mind as his.—They had reached the house. "You are going in, I suppose?" said he. "No,"—replied Emma—quite confirmed by the depressed manner in which he still spoke—"I should like to take another turn. Mr. Perry is not gone." And, after proceeding a few steps, she added—"I stopped you ungraciously, just now, Mr. Knightley, and, I am afraid, gave you pain.—But if you have any wish to speak openly to me as a friend, or to ask my opinion of any thing that you may have in contemplation—as a friend, indeed, you may command me.—I will hear whatever you like. I will tell you exactly what I think." "As a friend!"—repeated Mr. Knightley.—"Emma, that I fear is a word—No, I have no wish—Stay, yes, why should I hesitate?—I have gone too far already for concealment.—Emma, I accept your offer—Extraordinary as it may seem, I accept it, and refer myself to you as a friend.—Tell me, then, have I no chance of ever succeeding?" He stopped in his earnestness to look the question, and the expression of his eyes overpowered her. "My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma—tell me at once. Say 'No,' if it is to be said."—She could really say nothing.—"You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more." Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling. "I cannot make speeches, Emma:" he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing.—"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.—You hear nothing but truth from me.—I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.—Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover.—But you understand me.—Yes, you see, you understand my feelings—and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice.
Jane Austen (Emma)
I don’t believe you,’ he says. He takes a step towards me, fluster-ing me with his nearness, with his smell, which shouldn’t be so damn familiar after so much time and which shouldn’t still affect me the way it does. ‘I think you still love me,’ he says, ‘even though you don’t want to.’I glare at him, fury battling my instincts. ‘Because that kind of love, Jessa,’ Kit continues, ‘doesn’t just disappear. It doesn’t just fade. I still love you. I’ll always love you. And I think you feel the same way about me. And hell, I know I don’t deserve it. I know all I deserve is your hatred. But if there’s a chance, a single chance that you might still love me, then I’m not going to throw it away. Because I’ve been through hell and you’re the only reason I’m still standing.’ He pauses. ‘So tell me the truth. Do you love him?’I don’t answer. ‘Does he know you like I do? Does he know exactly how you like your eggs in the morning – just a little bit runny?’ he asks. ‘Does he know that you’re allergic to roses? Does he know that when your nostrils flare like that it’s because you’re trying to stop from crying and that when you say “yeah, sure” it usually means “no”?’ He takes a step nearer. ‘Does he make you see stars?’ he asks in a low voice. ‘Does he call you his north star? Because that’s what you are to me. You’re the reason I made it home.’ I squeeze my eyes shut. ‘Does he know exactly where to kiss you?’ Kit mur-murs and startles me by brushing his hand just beneath my ear. ‘Just here?’ My eyes flash open as I suppress a shudder. ‘Does he know exactly how to touch you?’ he asks, his gaze falling to my mouth. ‘Does he tell you that you’re all he thinks about? Does he tell you that he lives for you? That he breathes for you? That he dreams of you every damn moment, awake and asleep? Does he tell you any of that?’ He pauses to look at me and I try to keep a blank face. ‘No, I didn’t think so,’ he says quietly
Mila Gray (Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me, #1))
...if I have a daughter I will tell her she can do anything, and I will mean it, because I have no other intention of informing her otherwise. As my mother did with me, and my mother's mother before her, I shall simply hide the truth from her. I will tell her that despite what others may whisper, there is no difference between her and any boy. I will tell her to work her hardest and try her best. And that if one day she looks around and finds that, despite her very best efforts, lesser men have superseded her, then she probably could have done better. These words may not be true, nor will they be fair, but I would hope that they ensure she never becomes a victim of her own femininity. I hope she will be empowered to pick herself up, study harder, work longer, and exceed her own expectations. I don't want my daughter to break any glass ceilings. I'd rather she never even contemplated their existence. Because glass ceilings, closed doors, and boys clubs are notions, they're ideas, and they're not tangible. You can't see, touch, or feel them. They can only exercise power over us if we choose to believe in them. So why lay down your own gauntlet? The cliche rings true, if you reach for the moon, you might just land on the stars. Throw a glass ceiling into the works, and it can only get in the way. And I suspect that deep down, every woman who ever truly excelled thought exactly this way. I doubt they ever gave much thought to the fact that they are women. I think they just really wanted to rock out. And they did; louder, harder, and better than anyone else around them. And at some point down the line, enough people took note.
Amy Mowafi (Fe-mail 2)
CHRONO-SYNCLASTIC INFUNDIBULA—Just imagine that your Daddy is the smartest man who ever lived on Earth, and he knows everything there is to find out, and he is exactly right about everything, and he can prove he is right about everything. Now imagine another little child on some nice world a million light years away, and that little child’s Daddy is the smartest man who ever lived on that nice world so far away. And he is just as smart and just as right as your Daddy is. Both Daddies are smart, and both Daddies are right.    Only if they ever met each other they would get into a terrible argument, because they wouldn’t agree on anything. Now, you can say that your Daddy is right and the other little child’s Daddy is wrong, but the Universe is an awfully big place. There is room enough for an awful lot of people to be right about things and still not agree.    The reason both Daddies can be right and still get into terrible fights is because there are so many different ways of being right. There are places in the Universe, though, where each Daddy could finally catch on to what the other Daddy was talking about. These places are where all the different kinds of truths fit together as nicely as the parts in your Daddy’s solar watch. We call these places chrono-synclastic infundibula.    The Solar System seems to be full of chrono-synclastic infundibula. There is one great big one we are sure of that likes to stay between Earth and Mars. We know about that one because an Earth man and his Earth dog ran right into it.    You might think it would be nice to go to a chrono-synclastic infundibulum and see all the different ways to be absolutely right, but it is a very dangerous thing to do. The poor man and his poor dog are scattered far and wide, not just through space, but through time, too.    Chrono (kroh-no) means time. Synclastic (sin-class-tick) means curved toward the same side in all directions, like the skin of an orange. Infundibulum (in-fun-dib-u-lum) is what the ancient Romans like Julius Caesar and Nero called a funnel. If you don’t know what a funnel is, get Mommy to show you one.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (The Sirens of Titan)
EPILOGUE This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems, and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given you. You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between. Indeed, your pathway is more certain still. For it can not be possible to change the course of those whom God has called to Him. Therefore obey your will, and follow Him Whom you accepted as your voice, to speak of what you really want and really need. His is the Voice for God and also yours. And thus He speaks of freedom and of truth. No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own. And now I place you in His hands, to be His faithful follower, with Him as Guide through every difficulty and all pain that you may think is real. Nor will He give you pleasures that will pass away, for He gives only the eternal and the good. Let Him prepare you further. He has earned your trust by speaking daily to you of your Father and your brother and your Self. He will continue. Now you walk with Him, as certain as is He of where you go; as sure as He of how you should proceed; as confident as He is of the goal, and of your safe arrival in the end. The end is certain, and the means as well. To this we say “Amen.” You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make. And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach. And so we walk with Him from this time on, and turn to Him for guidance and for peace and sure direction. Joy attends our way. For we go homeward to an open door which God has held unclosed to welcome us. We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen.” In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do. He loves God’s Son as we would love him. And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes, and love him as He does. You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.
Foundation for Inner Peace (A Course in Miracles)
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN we pray? Have you ever really thought about that? When you bow your knee and fold your hands or walk the floor with your eyes closed, opening your heart to heaven, what exactly happens? There are very few references in the Bible about the proper procedures for how to pray, and I believe that is because prayer is more about the heart’s attitude and focus than it is about whether we stand, sit, close our eyes, or any other practice we normally associate with prayer. The truth be told, if we are supposed to pray without ceasing, we should also be able to work on an engine, write an e-mail, give a presentation, change a diaper, write a report, have coffee with a friend, encourage a coworker, pay our bills, and any of the other myriad of things we do in a day while still keeping the communication lines open with heaven. I believe that every day we need focused times of prayer, but at all other times we should be in an attitude of prayer with our spiritual ears open to the thoughts of heaven. There should be seasons of intense, concentrated prayer and fasting with specified hours set aside for intercession, and there should be times when prayer is simply a regular part of our daily routine. A great interest has arisen in the last decade around 24-7 prayer rooms where different church members pray in hour-long blocks so that unbroken intercession is raised up for their city and our world. Other churches dedicate evenings solely to prayer and worship and gather believers to lift their voices in song and petition to the Lord. While all of these are wonderful things to do, at its essence prayer is simply conversation with God. Because we have changed passports from the kingdom of this world to the kingdom of heaven, we are members of God’s family and therefore have the right to talk with our Father anytime we want because He is not limited by time and space. Yet while it isn’t difficult to speak to Him, even as a babe in faith, it does take some maturity to discern His voice from the voice of our own thoughts, dreams, and desires. This is why, when I speak about prayer, I get more questions about hearing the voice of God than anything else.
Cindy Trimm (The Prayer Warrior's Way: Strategies from Heaven for Intimate Communication with God)
I am in doubt as to the propriety of making my first meditations in the place above mentioned matter of discourse; for these are so metaphysical, and so uncommon, as not, perhaps, to be acceptable to every one. And yet, that it may be determined whether the foundations that I have laid are sufficiently secure, I find myself in a measure constrained to advert to them. I had long before remarked that, in relation to practice, it is sometimes necessary to adopt, as if above doubt, opinions which we discern to be highly uncertain, as has been already said; but as I then desired to give my attention solely to the search after truth, I thought that a procedure exactly the opposite was called for, and that I ought to reject as absolutely false all opinions in regard to which I could suppose the least ground for doubt, in order to ascertain whether after that there remained aught in my belief that was wholly indubitable. Accordingly, seeing that our senses sometimes deceive us, I was willing to suppose that there existed nothing really such as they presented to us; and because some men err in reasoning, and fall into paralogisms, even on the simplest matters of geometry, I, convinced that I was as open to error as any other, rejected as false all the reasonings I had hitherto taken for demonstrations; and finally, when I considered that the very same thoughts (presentations) which we experience when awake may also be experienced when we are asleep, while there is at that time not one of them true, I supposed that all the objects (presentations) that had ever entered into my mind when awake, had in them no more truth than the illusions of my dreams. But immediately upon this I observed that, whilst I thus wished to think that all was false, it was absolutely necessary that I, who thus thought, should be somewhat; and as I observed that this truth, I think, therefore I am ["cogito ergo sum"], was so certain and of such evidence that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, could be alleged by the sceptics capable of shaking it, I concluded that I might, without scruple, accept it as the first principle of the philosophy of which I was in search
René Descartes (Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy)
Things I Used to Get Hit For: Talking back. Being smart. Acting stupid. Not listening. Not answering the first time. Not doing what I’m told. Not doing it the second time I’m told. Running, jumping, yelling, laughing, falling down, skipping stairs, lying in the snow, rolling in the grass, playing in the dirt, walking in mud, not wiping my feet, not taking my shoes off. Sliding down the banister, acting like a wild Indian in the hallway. Making a mess and leaving it. Pissing my pants, just a little. Peeing the bed, hardly at all. Sleeping with a butter knife under my pillow. Shitting the bed because I was sick and it just ran out of me, but still my fault because I’m old enough to know better. Saying shit instead of crap or poop or number two. Not knowing better. Knowing something and doing it wrong anyway. Lying. Not confessing the truth even when I don’t know it. Telling white lies, even little ones, because fibbing isn’t fooling and not the least bit funny. Laughing at anything that’s not funny, especially cripples and retards. Covering up my white lies with more lies, black lies. Not coming the exact second I’m called. Getting out of bed too early, sometimes before the birds, and turning on the TV, which is one reason the picture tube died. Wearing out the cheap plastic hole on the channel selector by turning it so fast it sounds like a machine gun. Playing flip-and-catch with the TV’s volume button then losing it down the hole next to the radiator pipe. Vomiting. Gagging like I’m going to vomit. Saying puke instead of vomit. Throwing up anyplace but in the toilet or in a designated throw-up bucket. Using scissors on my hair. Cutting Kelly’s doll’s hair really short. Pinching Kelly. Punching Kelly even though she kicked me first. Tickling her too hard. Taking food without asking. Eating sugar from the sugar bowl. Not sharing. Not remembering to say please and thank you. Mumbling like an idiot. Using the emergency flashlight to read a comic book in bed because batteries don’t grow on trees. Splashing in puddles, even the puddles I don’t see until it’s too late. Giving my mother’s good rhinestone earrings to the teacher for Valentine’s Day. Splashing in the bathtub and getting the floor wet. Using the good towels. Leaving the good towels on the floor, though sometimes they fall all by themselves. Eating crackers in bed. Staining my shirt, tearing the knee in my pants, ruining my good clothes. Not changing into old clothes that don’t fit the minute I get home. Wasting food. Not eating everything on my plate. Hiding lumpy mashed potatoes and butternut squash and rubbery string beans or any food I don’t like under the vinyl seat cushions Mom bought for the wooden kitchen chairs. Leaving the butter dish out in summer and ruining the tablecloth. Making bubbles in my milk. Using a straw like a pee shooter. Throwing tooth picks at my sister. Wasting toothpicks and glue making junky little things that no one wants. School papers. Notes from the teacher. Report cards. Whispering in church. Sleeping in church. Notes from the assistant principal. Being late for anything. Walking out of Woolworth’s eating a candy bar I didn’t pay for. Riding my bike in the street. Leaving my bike out in the rain. Getting my bike stolen while visiting Grandpa Rudy at the hospital because I didn’t put a lock on it. Not washing my feet. Spitting. Getting a nosebleed in church. Embarrassing my mother in any way, anywhere, anytime, especially in public. Being a jerk. Acting shy. Being impolite. Forgetting what good manners are for. Being alive in all the wrong places with all the wrong people at all the wrong times.
Bob Thurber (Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel)
I pity those reviewers above, and people like them, who ridicule authors like R.A. Boulay and other proponents of similar Ancient Astronaut theories, simply for putting forth so many interesting questions (because that's really what he often throughout openly admits is all he does does) in light of fascinating and thought-provoking references which are all from copious sources. Some people will perhaps only read the cover and introduction and dismiss it as soon as any little bit of information flies in the face of their beliefs or normalcy biases. Some of those people, I'm sure, are some of the ones who reviewed this book so negatively without any constructive criticism or plausible rebuttal. It's sad to see how programmed and indoctrinated the vast majority of humanity has become to the ills of dogma, indoctrination, unverified status quos and basic ignorance; not to mention the laziness and conformity that results in such acquiescence and lack of critical thinking or lack of information gathering to confirm or debunk something. Too many people just take what's spoon fed to them all their lives and settle for it unquestioningly. For those people I like to offer a great Einstein quote and one of my personal favorites and that is: "Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance" I found this book to be a very interesting gathering of information and collection of obscure and/or remote antiquated information, i.e. biblical, sacred, mythological and otherwise, that we were not exactly taught to us in bible school, or any other public school for that matter. And I am of the school of thought that has been so for intended purposes. The author clearly cites all his fascinating sources and cross-references them rather plausibly. He organizes the information in a sequential manner that piques ones interest even as he jumps from one set of information to the next. The information, although eclectic as it spans from different cultures and time periods, interestingly ties together in several respects and it is this synchronicity that makes the information all the more remarkable. For those of you who continue to seek truth and enlightenment because you understand that an open mind makes for and lifelong pursuit of such things I leave you with these Socrates quotes: "True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
Socrates
Higher purpose: I am here to serve. I am here to inspire. I am here to love. I am here to live my truth. Communion: I will appreciate someone who doesn’t know that I feel that way. I will overlook the tension and be friendly to someone who has ignored me. I will express at least one feeling that has made me feel guilty or embarrassed. Awareness: I will spend ten minutes observing instead of speaking. I will sit quietly by myself just to sense how my body feels. If someone irritates me, I will ask myself what I really feel beneath the anger—and I won’t stop paying attention until the anger is gone. Acceptance: I will spend five minutes thinking about the best qualities of someone I really dislike. I will read about a group that I consider totally intolerant and try to see the world as they do. I will look in the mirror and describe myself exactly as if I were the perfect mother or father I wish I had had (beginning with the sentence “How beautiful you are in my eyes”). Creativity: I will imagine five things I could do that my family would never expect—and then I will do at least one of them. I will outline a novel based on my life (every incident will be true, but no one would ever guess that I am the hero). I will invent something in my mind that the world desperately needs. Being: I will spend half an hour in a peaceful place doing nothing except feeling what it is like to exist. I will lie outstretched on the grass and feel the earth languidly revolving under me. I will take in three breaths and let them out as gently as possible. Efficiency: I will let at least two things out of my control and see what happens. I will gaze at a rose and reflect on whether I could make it open faster or more beautifully than it already does—then I will ask if my life has blossomed this efficiently. I will lie in a quiet place by the ocean, or with a tape of the sea, and breathe in its rhythms. Bonding: When I catch myself looking away from someone, I will remember to look into the person’s eyes. I will bestow a loving gaze on someone I have taken for granted. I will express sympathy to someone who needs it, preferably a stranger. Giving: I will buy lunch and give it to someone in need on the street (or I will go to a café and eat lunch with the person). I will compliment someone for a quality that I know the individual values in him- or herself. I will give my children as much of my undivided time today as they want. Immortality: I will read a scripture about the soul and the promise of life after death. I will write down five things I want my life to be remembered for. I will sit and silently experience the gap between breathing in and breathing out, feeling the eternal in the present moment.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
It’s normally agreed that the question “How are you?” doesn’t put you on your oath to give a full or honest answer. So when asked these days, I tend to say something cryptic like, “A bit early to say.” (If it’s the wonderful staff at my oncology clinic who inquire, I sometimes go so far as to respond, “I seem to have cancer today.”) Nobody wants to be told about the countless minor horrors and humiliations that become facts of “life” when your body turns from being a friend to being a foe: the boring switch from chronic constipation to its sudden dramatic opposite; the equally nasty double cross of feeling acute hunger while fearing even the scent of food; the absolute misery of gut–wringing nausea on an utterly empty stomach; or the pathetic discovery that hair loss extends to the disappearance of the follicles in your nostrils, and thus to the childish and irritating phenomenon of a permanently runny nose. Sorry, but you did ask... It’s no fun to appreciate to the full the truth of the materialist proposition that I don’t have a body, I am a body. But it’s not really possible to adopt a stance of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” either. Like its original, this is a prescription for hypocrisy and double standards. Friends and relatives, obviously, don’t really have the option of not making kind inquiries. One way of trying to put them at their ease is to be as candid as possible and not to adopt any sort of euphemism or denial. The swiftest way of doing this is to note that the thing about Stage Four is that there is no such thing as Stage Five. Quite rightly, some take me up on it. I recently had to accept that I wasn’t going to be able to attend my niece’s wedding, in my old hometown and former university in Oxford. This depressed me for more than one reason, and an especially close friend inquired, “Is it that you’re afraid you’ll never see England again?” As it happens he was exactly right to ask, and it had been precisely that which had been bothering me, but I was unreasonably shocked by his bluntness. I’ll do the facing of hard facts, thanks. Don’t you be doing it too. And yet I had absolutely invited the question. Telling someone else, with deliberate realism, that once I’d had a few more scans and treatments I might be told by the doctors that things from now on could be mainly a matter of “management,” I again had the wind knocked out of me when she said, “Yes, I suppose a time comes when you have to consider letting go.” How true, and how crisp a summary of what I had just said myself. But again there was the unreasonable urge to have a kind of monopoly on, or a sort of veto over, what was actually sayable. Cancer victimhood contains a permanent temptation to be self–centered and even solipsistic.
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
Well,” I said, trying to keep my tone light as I walked over to put my arms around his neck, though I had to stand on my toes to do so. “That wasn’t so bad, was it? You told me something about yourself that I didn’t know before-that you didn’t, er, care for your family, except for your mother. But that didn’t make me hate you…it made me love you a bit more, because now I know we have even more in common.” He stared down at him, a wary look in his eyes. “If you knew the truth,” he said, “you wouldn’t be saying that. You’d be running.” “Where would I go?” I asked, with a laugh I hoped didn’t sound as nervous to him as it did to me. “You bolted all the doors, remember? Now, since you shared something I didn’t know about you, may I share something you don’t know about me?” Those dark eyebrows rose as he pulled me close. “I can’t even begin to imagine what this could be.” “It’s just,” I said, “that I’m a little worried about rushing into this consort thing…especially the cohabitation part.” “Cohabitation?” he echoed. He was clearly unfamiliar with the word. “Cohabitation means living together,” I explained, feeling my cheeks heat up. “Like married people.” “You said last night that these days no one your age thinks of getting married,” he said, holding me even closer and suddenly looking much more eager to stick around for the conversation, even though I heard the marina horn blow again. “And that your father would never approve it. But if you’ve changed your mind, I’m sure I could convince Mr. Smith to perform the ceremony-“ “No,” I said hastily. Of course Mr. Smith was somehow authorized to marry people in the state of Florida. Why not? I decided not to think about that right now, or how John had come across this piece of information. “That isn’t what I meant. My mom would kill me if I got married before I graduated from high school.” Not, of course, that my mom was going to know about any of this. Which was probably just as well, since her head would explode at the idea of my moving in with a guy before I’d even applied to college, let alone at the fact that I most likely wasn’t going to college. Not that there was any school that would have accepted me with my grades, not to mention my disciplinary record. “What I meant was that maybe we should take it more slowly,” I explained. “The past couple years, while all my friends were going out with boys, I was home, trying to figure out how this necklace you gave me worked. I wasn’t exactly dating.” “Pierce,” he said. He wore a slightly quizzical expression on his face. “Is this the thing you think I didn’t know about you? Because for one thing, I do know it, and for another, I don’t understand why you think I’d have a problem with it.” I’d forgotten he’d been born in the eighteen hundreds, when the only time proper ladies and gentlemen ever spent together before they were married was at heavily chaperoned balls…and that for most of the past two centuries, he’d been hanging out in a cemetery. Did he even know that these days, a lot of people hooked up on first dates, or that the average age at which girls-and boys as well-lost their virginity in the United States was seventeen…my age? Apparently not. “What I’m trying to say,” I said, my cheeks burning brighter, “is that I’m not very experienced with men. So this morning when I woke up and found you in bed beside me, while it was really, super nice-don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it very much-it kind of freaked me out. Because I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of thing yet.” Or maybe the problem was that I wasn’t prepared for how ready I was…
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Some gifted people have all five and some less. Every gifted person tends to lead with one. As I read this list for the first time I was struck by the similarities between Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities and the traits of Sensitive Intuitives. Read the list for yourself and see what you identify with: Psychomotor This manifests as a strong pull toward movement. People with this overexcitability tend to talk rapidly and/or move nervously when they become interested or passionate about something. They have a lot of physical energy and may run their hands through their hair, snap their fingers, pace back and forth, or display other signs of physical agitation when concentrating or thinking something out. They come across as physically intense and can move in an impatient, jerky manner when excited. Other people might find them overwhelming and they’re routinely diagnosed as ADHD. Sensual This overexcitability comes in the form of an extreme sensitivity to sounds, smells, bright lights, textures and temperature. Perfume and scented soaps and lotions are bothersome to people with this overexcitability, and they might also have aversive reactions to strong food smells and cleaning products. For me personally, if I’m watching a movie in which a strobe light effect is used, I’m done. I have to shut my eyes or I’ll come down with a headache after only a few seconds. Loud, jarring or intrusive sounds also short circuit my wiring. Intellectual This is an incessant thirst for knowledge. People with this overexcitability can’t ever learn enough. They zoom in on a few topics of interest and drink up every bit of information on those topics they can find. Their only real goal is learning for learning’s sake. They’re not trying to learn something to make money or get any other external reward. They just happened to have discovered the history of the Ming Dynasty or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and now it’s all they can think about. People with this overexcitability have intellectual interests that are passionate and wide-ranging and they study many areas simultaneously. Imaginative INFJ and INFP writers, this is you. This is ALL you. Making up stories, creating imaginary friends, believing in Santa Claus way past the ordinary age, becoming attached to fairies, elves, monsters and unicorns, these are the trademarks of the gifted child with imaginative overexcitability. These individuals appear dreamy, scattered, lost in their own worlds, and constantly have their heads in the clouds. They also routinely blend fiction with reality. They are practically the definition of the Sensitive Intuitive writer at work. Emotional Gifted individuals with emotional overexcitability are highly empathetic (and empathic, I might add), compassionate, and can become deeply attached to people, animals, and even inanimate objects, in a short period of time. They also have intense emotional reactions to things and might not be able to stomach horror movies or violence on the evening news. They have most likely been told throughout their life that they’re “too sensitive” or that they’re “overreacting” when in truth, they are expressing exactly how they feel to the most accurate degree.
Lauren Sapala (The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Creative Genius of the World's Rarest Type)