Generals Quotes

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

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I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.
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Mae West
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She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it).
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Lewis Carroll (Aliceโ€™s Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass)
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People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.
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Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
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It is my belief... that the truth is generally preferable to lies.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
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People, generally, suck.
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Christopher Moore (The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror (Pine Cove, #3))
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The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.
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Elizabeth Taylor
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The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people.
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G.K. Chesterton
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When I was a child my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk, you'll be the pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.
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Pablo Picasso
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No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it
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Fernando Pessoa
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Facts are like cows. If you look them in the face long enough, they generally run away.
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Dorothy L. Sayers
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Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligenceโ€“ whether much that is gloriousโ€“ whether all that is profoundโ€“ does not spring from disease of thoughtโ€“ from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.
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Edgar Allan Poe (The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe)
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Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others...By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.
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Gordon B. Hinckley
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Two things you should know about me; The first is that I am deeply suspicious of people in general. It is my nature to expect the worst of them. And the second is that I am unexpectedly good with computers.
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Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
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Don't be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.
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Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
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Generally I find men are a lot more concerned with limiting the freedoms of women than exercising personal freedom for themselves.
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Sally Rooney (Normal People)
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Truthfully, Professor Hawking? Why would we allow tourists from the future muck up the past when your contemporaries had the task well in Hand?" Brigadier General Patrick E Buckwalder 2241C.E.
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Gabriel F.W. Koch (Paradox Effect: Time Travel and Purified DNA Merge to Halt the Collapse of Human Existence)
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What passes for hip cynical transcendence of sentiment is really some kind of fear of being really human, since to be really human [...] is probably to be unavoidably sentimental and naรฏve and goo-prone and generally pathetic.
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David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
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More generally, as I shall repeat in Chapter 8, one of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.
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Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
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Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
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Robert E. Howard
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Generally speaking, books don't cause much harm. Except when you read them, that is. Then they cause all kinds of problems.
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Pseudonymous Bosch (The Name of This Book Is Secret (Secret, #1))
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In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!
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Woody Allen
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Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.
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Leo Tolstoy
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A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke.
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Sรธren Kierkegaard (Either/Or, Part I)
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Happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain.
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Thomas Hardy (The Mayor of Casterbridge)
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As a general rule...people ask for advice only in order not to follow it; or if they do follow it, in order to have someone to blame for giving it.
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Alexandre Dumas
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History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.
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Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
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Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.
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Aldous Huxley
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To generalize is to be an idiot.
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William Blake
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The truth is always an insult or a joke, lies are generally tastier. We love them. The nature of lies is to please. Truth has no concern for anyone's comfort
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Katherine Dunn (Geek Love)
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You know when people say fine, it generally means โ€˜leave me the hell alone because I donโ€™t want to talk about whatโ€™s really bothering me.' (Susan)
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Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Side of the Moon (Dark-Hunter, #9; Were-Hunter, #3))
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All forms of madness, bizarre habits, awkwardness in society, general clumsiness, are justified in the person who creates good art.
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Roman Payne (Rooftop Soliloquy)
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Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.
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David Hume (A Treatise of Human Nature)
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As for literary criticism in general: I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel or a play or a poem is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or a banana split.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage)
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I am convinced that most people do not grow up...We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.
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Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)
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Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
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Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
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When you realize there is something you don't understand, then you're generally on the right path to understanding all kinds of things.
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Jostein Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery)
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Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.' 'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit. 'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.' 'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?' 'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.
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Margery Williams Bianco (The Velveteen Rabbit)
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A writer - and, I believe, generally all persons - must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.
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Jorge Luis Borges (Twenty-Four Conversations with Borges: Interviews by Roberto Alifano 1981-1983)
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And I've fallen. So hard. I've hit the ground. Gone right through it. Never in my life have I felt this. Nothing like this. I've felt shame and cowardice, weakness and strength. I've known terror and indifference, self-hate and general disgust. I've seen things that cannot be unseen. And yet I've known nothing like this terrible, horrible, paralyzing feeling. I feel crippled. Desperate and out of control. And it keeps getting worse. Every day I feel sick. Empty and somehow aching. Love is a heartless bastard.
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Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
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All generalizations are dangerous, even this one.
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Alexandre Dumas
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If you want to be a grocer, or a general, or a politician, or a judge, you will invariably become it; that is your punishment. If you never know what you want to be, if you live what some might call the dynamic life but what I will call the artistic life, if each day you are unsure of who you are and what you know you will never become anything, and that is your reward.
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Oscar Wilde
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About a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times.
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C.G. Jung
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You always feel like you are the only one in the world, like everyone else is crazy for each other, but it's not true. Generally, people don't like each other very much. And that goes for friends, too.
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Miranda July (No One Belongs Here More Than You)
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I'm not absolutely certain of the facts, but I rather fancy it's Shakespeare who says that it's always just when a fellow is feeling particularly braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with the bit of lead piping.
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P.G. Wodehouse (Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest)
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Some people ask: โ€œWhy the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?โ€ Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in generalโ€”but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women.
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (We Should All Be Feminists)
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Haven't you ever heard of the saying, "If you want to shoot the general, first shoot the horse!"?' --Lin If you wanna shoot the general, then you should just SHOOT THE GENERAL!' --Ed
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Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 14 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #14))
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I couldn't stop staring at his mouth when he spoke. I bet he knew how to kiss. Perfect kisses too, ones that weren't wet and gross, but the kind that curled toes. I needed to stop looking at him in general.
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Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
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Women should be respected as well! Generally speaking, men are held in great esteem in all parts of the world, so why shouldn't women have their share? Soldiers and war heroes are honored and commemorated, explorers are granted immortal fame, martyrs are revered, but how many people look upon women too as soldiers?...Women, who struggle and suffer pain to ensure the continuation of the human race, make much tougher and more courageous soldiers than all those big-mouthed freedom-fighting heroes put together!
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Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
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Part of their problem was Percy. He fought like a demon, whirling through the defender's ranks in a completely unorthodox style, rolling under their feet, slashing with his sword instead of stabbing like a Roman would, whacking campers with the flat of his blade, and generally causing mass panic.
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Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
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She held up her calloused, grimy fingers. Leo couldn't help thinking there was nothing hotter than a girl who didn't mind getting her hands dirty. But of course, that was just a general comment. Didn't apply to Calypso. Obviously.
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Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
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The problem with winter sports is that -- follow me closely here -- they generally take place in winter.
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Dave Barry
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I lay it down as a general rule, Harriet, that if a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him.
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Jane Austen (Emma)
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Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see but few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are; and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.
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Niccolรฒ Machiavelli (The Prince)
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I think that most of us, anyway, read these stories that we know are not "true" because we're hungry for another kind of truth: the mythic truth about human nature in general, the particular truth about those life-communities that define our own identity, and the most specific truth of all: our own self-story. Fiction, because it is not about someone who lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about oneself. --From the Introduction
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Orson Scott Card (Enderโ€™s Game (Ender's Saga, #1))
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It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.
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Hugh Laurie
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Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.
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Margery Williams Bianco (The Velveteen Rabbit)
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But ... but what if I hit you?โ€ A snort. โ€œYouโ€™re not going to hit me.โ€ โ€œHow do you know?โ€ I bristled at his amused tone. โ€œI could hit you. Even master swordsmen make mistakes. I could get a lucky shot, or you might not see me coming. I donโ€™t want to hurt you.โ€ He favored me with another patient look. โ€œAnd how much experience do you have with swords and weapons in general?โ€ โ€œUm.โ€ I glanced down at the saber in my hand. โ€œThirty seconds?โ€ He smiled, that calm, irritatingly confident smirk. โ€œYouโ€™re not going to hit me.
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Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
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The art of not reading is a very important one. It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time. When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, or poem is making a great commotion, you should remember that he who writes for fools always finds a large public. A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.
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Arthur Schopenhauer (Essays and Aphorisms)
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Really important meetings are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other. Generally speaking, these meetings occur when we reach a limit, when we need to die and be reborn emotionally. These meetings are waiting for us, but more often than not, we avoid them happening. If we are desperate, though, if we have nothing to lose, or if we are full of enthusiasm for life, then the unknown reveals itself, and our universe changes direction.
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Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
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You were wrong. She really is the new general in town." I smiled back, hoping he wasn't aware of my body's reaction to us standing so close. "Maybe. But, it's okay. You can still be colonel." He arched an eyebrow. "Oh? Did you demote yourself? Colonel's right below general. What's that make you?" I reached into my pocket and triumphantly flashed the CR-V keys I'd swiped when we'd come back inside. "The driver," I said.
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Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
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Now the standard cure for one who is sunk is to consider those in actual destitution or physical sufferingโ€”this is an all-weather beatitude for gloom in general and fairly salutary day-time advice for everyone. But at three oโ€™clock in the morning, a forgotten package has the same tragic importance as a death sentence, and the cure doesnโ€™t workโ€”and in a real dark night of the soul it is always three oโ€™clock in the morning, day after day.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Crack-Up)
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Doesn't miss many meals, does he?" Zeus muttered. "Tyson, for your bravery in the war, and for leading the Cyclopes, you are appointed a general I. The armies of Olympus. You shall henceforth lead you breathren into war whenever required by the gods. And you shall have a new...um...what kind of weapon would you like? A sword? An axe?" "Stick!" Tyson said, showing his broken club. "Very well," Zeus said. "We will grant you a new, er, stick. The best stick that may be found." "Hooray!
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Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
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We need to help people to discover the true meaning of love. Love is generally confused with dependence. Those of us who have grown in true love know that we can love only in proportion to our capacity for independence.
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Fred Rogers (The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember)
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And one more thing. About my name โ€” Artemis โ€” you were right. In London, it is generally a female name, after the Greek goddess of archery. But every now and then a male comes along with such a talent for hunting that he earns the right to use the name. I am that male. Artemis the hunter. I hunted you.
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Eoin Colfer (The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3))
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I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D'Alembert, Dโ€™Holbach, Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God. [Letter to Thomas Law, 13 June 1814]
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Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
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Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observationโ€“ the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. This philosophy fitted on to my early adult life, when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the "impossible," come true.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Crack-Up)
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You donโ€™t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You donโ€™t owe it to your mother, you donโ€™t owe it to your children, you donโ€™t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked โ€˜femaleโ€™.
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Erin McKean
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You broke me bodily. The heart ain't the half of it, And I'll never learn to laugh at it In my good natured way. In fact, I'm laughing less in general, But I learned a lot at my own funeral. And I knew you'd be the death of me, So I guess that's the price I pay.
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Ani DiFranco
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It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.
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Charlotte Brontรซ (Jane Eyre)
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If the events of September 11, 2001, have proven anything, it's that the terrorists can attack us, but they can't take away what makes us American -- our freedom, our liberty, our civil rights. No, only Attorney General John Ashcroft can do that.
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Jon Stewart
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ุฅู† ุงู„ุฃุฏุจ ูŠุคุฏูŠ ุฅู„ูŠ ุชุบูŠูŠุฑ ุฅู†ุณุงู†ูŠ ูŠุฌุนู„ ุงู„ุฅู†ุณุงู† ุฃูƒุซุฑ ุฑู‚ูŠุง ูˆุฃูƒุซุฑ ุฑุญุงุจุฉ ูˆูŠุนู…ู„ ุนู„ูŠ ุฒูŠุงุฏุฉ ู…ุนุฑูุฉ ุงู„ู†ูุณ ุงู„ุจุดุฑูŠุฉุŒ ูƒู…ุง ูŠุฌุนู„ ุงู„ุฅู†ุณุงู† ูŠูู‡ู… ุงู„ุขุฎุฑูŠู† ู‚ุจู„ ุงู„ุญูƒู… ุนู„ูŠู‡ู…
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ุนู„ุงุก ุงู„ุฃุณูˆุงู†ูŠ
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I would give you a crown if I could," he said. "I would show you the world from the prow of a ship. I would choose you, Zoya. As my general, as my friend, as my bride. I would give you a sapphire the size of an acorn." He reached into his pocket. "And all I would ask in return is that you wear this damnable ribbon in your hair on our wedding day.
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Leigh Bardugo (Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2))
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Look at children. Of course they may quarrel, but generally speaking they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do. Most adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings deep inside? Children donย’t usually act in such a manner. If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished. They can still play with that person the following day.
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Dalai Lama XIV
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As a matter of fact it wouldnโ€™t be safe to tell any man the truth about his wife! Funnily enough, Iโ€™d trust most women with the truth about their husbands. Women can accept the fact that a man is a rotter, a swindler, a drug taker, a confirmed liar, and a general swine, without batting an eyelash, and without its impairing their affection for the brute in the least. Women are wonderful realists.
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Agatha Christie (Murder in Mesopotamia (Hercule Poirot, #14))
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I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life. They seek position, marriage, reputation, outward success of money, and remain unhappy and neurotic even when they have attained what they were seeking. Such people are usually confined within too narrow a spiritual horizon. Their life has not sufficient content, sufficient meaning. If they are enabled to develop into more spacious personalities, the neurosis generally disappears.
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C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
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Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion โ€” and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinionโ€ฆ while truth again reverts to a new minority.
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Sรธren Kierkegaard
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Depression presents itself as a realism regarding the rottenness of the world in general and the rottenness of your life in particular. But the realism is merely a mask for depression's actual essence, which is an overwhelming estrangement from humanity. The more persuaded you are of your unique access to the rottenness, the more afraid you become of engaging with the world; and the less you engage with the world, the more perfidiously happy-faced the rest of humanity seems for continuing to engage with it.
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Jonathan Franzen (How to Be Alone)
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I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
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Benjamin Franklin
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The more I love humanity in general the less I love man in particular. In my dreams, I often make plans for the service of humanity, and perhaps I might actually face crucifixion if it were suddenly necessary. Yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone for two days together. I know from experience. As soon as anyone is near me, his personality disturbs me and restricts my freedom. In twenty-four hours I begin to hate the best of men: one because heโ€™s too long over his dinner, another because he has a cold and keeps on blowing his nose. I become hostile to people the moment they come close to me. But it has always happened that the more I hate men individually the more I love humanity.
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Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
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Iโ€™ve met a man and fallen in love with him. I allowed myself to fall in love for one simple reason: Iโ€™m not expecting anything to come of it. I know that, in three monthsโ€™ time, Iโ€™ll be far away and heโ€™ll be just a memory, but I couldnโ€™t stand living without love any longer; I had reached my limitโ€ฆ Generally speaking, these meetings occur when we reach a limit, when we need to die and be reborn emotionally. These meeting are waiting for us, but more often than not, we avoid them happening. If we are desperate, though, if we have nothing to lose, or if we are full of enthusiasm for life, then the unknown reveals itself, and our universe changes directions.
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Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
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I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccesful rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government.
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Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
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In politics as in philosophy, my tenets are few and simple. The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved. If this maxim was generally adopted, wars would cease and our swords would soon be converted into reap hooks and our harvests be more peaceful, abundant, and happy.
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George Washington
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A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
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James Joyce (Dubliners)
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One ought not to judge her: all children are Heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb high trees and say shocking things and leap so very high grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weigh quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one. But, as in their reading and arithmetic and drawing, different children proceed at different speeds. (It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.) Some small ones are terrible and fey, Utterly Heartless. Some are dear and sweet and Hardly Heartless At All. September stood very generally in the middle on the day the Green Wind took her, Somewhat Heartless, and Somewhat Grown.
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Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
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You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. You might as well have the brain of a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you're anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you're with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion. ... The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we know we're alive: we're wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that -- well, lucky you.
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Philip Roth (American Pastoral)
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To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly. Things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them - while they last. All those things, of course, will still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss anymore. Life flows with ease.
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Eckhart Tolle
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Dr. Watson's summary list of Sherlock Holmes's strengths and weaknesses: "1. Knowledge of Literature: Nil. 2. Knowledge of Philosophy: Nil. 3. Knowledge of Astronomy: Nil. 4. Knowledge of Politics: Feeble. 5. Knowledge of Botany: Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium, and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening. 6. Knowledge of Geology: Practical but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them. 7. Knowledge of Chemistry: Profound. 8. Knowledge of Anatomy: Accurate but unsystematic. 9. Knowledge of Sensational Literature: Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century. 10. Plays the violin well. 11. Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman. 12. Has a good practical knowledge of British law.
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Arthur Conan Doyle (A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1))
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Amor" So many days, oh so many days seeing you so tangible and so close, how do I pay, with what do I pay? The bloodthirsty spring has awakened in the woods. The foxes start from their earths, the serpents drink the dew, and I go with you in the leaves between the pines and the silence, asking myself how and when I will have to pay for my luck. Of everything I have seen, it's you I want to go on seeing: of everything I've touched, it's your flesh I want to go on touching. I love your orange laughter. I am moved by the sight of you sleeping. What am I to do, love, loved one? I don't know how others love or how people loved in the past. I live, watching you, loving you. Being in love is my nature. You please me more each afternoon. Where is she? I keep on asking if your eyes disappear. How long she's taking! I think, and I'm hurt. I feel poor, foolish and sad, and you arrive and you are lightning glancing off the peach trees. That's why I love you and yet not why. There are so many reasons, and yet so few, for love has to be so, involving and general, particular and terrifying, joyful and grieving, flowering like the stars, and measureless as a kiss. That's why I love you and yet not why. There are so many reasons, and yet so few, for love has to be so, involving and general, particular and terrifying, joyful and grieving, flowering like the stars, and measureless as a kiss.
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Pablo Neruda (Intimacies: Poems of Love)
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The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
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Carl Sagan
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Kronos couldn't have risen if it hadn't been for a lot of demigods who felt abandoned by their parents," I said. "They felt angry, resentful, and unloved, and they had a good reason." Zeus's royal nostrils flared. "You dare accuse-" "No more undetermined children," I said. "I want you to promise to claim your children-all your demigod children-by the time they turn thirteen. They won't be left out in the world on their own at the mercy of monsters. I want them claimed and brought to camp so they can be trained right, and survive." "Now, wait just a moment," Apollo said, but I was on a roll. "And the minor gods," I said. "Nemesis, Hecate, Morpheus, Janus, Hebe--they all deserve a general amnesty and a place at Camp Half-Blood. Their children shouldn't be ignored. Calypso and the other peaceful Titan-kind should be pardoned too. And Hades-" "Are you calling me a minor god?" Hades bellowed.
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Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
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Crowley had always known that he would be around when the world ended, because he was immortal and wouldnโ€™t have any alternative. But he hoped it was a long way off. Because he rather liked people. It was major failing in a demon. Oh, he did his best to make their short lives miserable, because that was his job, but nothing he could think up was half as bad as the stuff they thought up themselves. They seemed to have a talent for it. It was built into the design, somehow. They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse. Over the years Crowley had found it increasingly difficult to find anything demonic to do which showed up against the natural background of generalized nastiness. There had been times, over the past millennium, when heโ€™d felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, thereโ€™s nothing we can do to them that they donโ€™t do to themselves and they do things weโ€™ve never even thought of, often involving electrodes. Theyโ€™ve got what we lack. Theyโ€™ve got imagination. And electricity, of course. One of them had written it, hadnโ€™t heโ€ฆโ€Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.
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Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
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It sounds like a fairy-tale, but not only that; this story of what man by his science and practical inventions has achieved on this earth, where he first appeared as a weakly member of the animal kingdom, and on which each individual of his species must ever again appear as a helpless infant... is a direct fulfilment of all, or of most, of the dearest wishes in his fairy-tales. All these possessions he has acquired through culture. Long ago he formed an ideal conception of omnipotence and omniscience which he embodied in his gods. Whatever seemed unattainable to his desires - or forbidden to him - he attributed to these gods. One may say, therefore, that these gods were the ideals of his culture. Now he has himself approached very near to realizing this ideal, he has nearly become a god himself. But only, it is true, in the way that ideals are usually realized in the general experience of humanity. Not completely; in some respects not at all, in others only by halves. Man has become a god by means of artificial limbs, so to speak, quite magnificent when equipped with all his accessory organs; but they do not grow on him and they still give him trouble at times... Future ages will produce further great advances in this realm of culture, probably inconceivable now, and will increase man's likeness to a god still more.
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Sigmund Freud (Civilization and Its Discontents)
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To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.
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Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (The General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century)
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A poet once said, 'The whole universe is in a glass of wine.' We will probably never know in what sense he meant it, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflection in the glass; and our imagination adds atoms. The glass is a distillation of the earth's rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe's age, and the evolution of stars. What strange array of chemicals are in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization; all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts -- physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on -- remember that nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure; drink it and forget it all!
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Richard P. Feynman
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Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him; The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones, So let it be with Caesar ... The noble Brutus Hath told you Caesar was ambitious: If it were so, it was a grievous fault, And grievously hath Caesar answered it ... Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest, (For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all; all honourable men) Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral ... He was my friend, faithful and just to me: But Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable manโ€ฆ. He hath brought many captives home to Rome, Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff: Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable man. You all did see that on the Lupercal I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And, sure, he is an honourable man. I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, But here I am to speak what I do know. You all did love him once, not without cause: What cause withholds you then to mourn for him? O judgement! thou art fled to brutish beasts, And men have lost their reasonโ€ฆ. Bear with me; My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, And I must pause till it come back to me
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William Shakespeare (Julius Caesar)
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Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer. When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know. So, friends, every day do something that wonโ€™t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. Denounce the government and embrace the flag. Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands. Give your approval to all you cannot understand. Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed. Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest. Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years. Listen to carrion โ€” put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men. Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth? Go with your love to the fields. Lie down in the shade. Rest your head in her lap. Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts. As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didnโ€™t go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.
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Wendell Berry
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I have been to many religious services over the years. Each one I go to only reinforces my general impression that religions have much, much more in common than they like to admit. The beliefs are almost always the same; it's just that the histories are different. Everybody wants to believe in a higher power. Everybody wants to belong to something bigger than themselves, and everybody wants company in doing that. They want there to be a force of good on earth, and they want an incentive to be a part of that force. They want to be able to prove their belief and their belonging, through rituals and devotion. They want to touch the enormity. It's only in the finer points that it gets complicated and contentious, the inability to realize that no matter what our religion or gender or race or geographic background, we all have about 98 percent in common with each other. yes, the differences between male and female are biological, but if you look at the biology as a matter of percentage, there aren't a whole lot of things that are different. Race is different purely as a social construction, not as an inherent difference. And religion--whether you believe in God or Yahweh or Allah or something else, odds are that at heart you want the same things. For whatever reason, we like to focus on the 2 percent that's different, and most of the conflict in the world comes from that.
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David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
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4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureรข. ...Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost... [Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]
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Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
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believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without ever realizing it. I donโ€™t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. Thatโ€™s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I donโ€™t even see it, because Iโ€™m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting. The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it. I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look. Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life youโ€™ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that youโ€™re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted. Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is. You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given Today.
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Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
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The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
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Bob Dylan (Chronicles, Volume One)