Ground Reality Quotes

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You don't have to disrespect and insult others simply to hold your own ground. If you do, that shows how shaky your own position is.
Red Haircrow
Girls are like apples...the best ones are at the top of the trees. The boys don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples that are on the ground that aren't as good, but easy. So the apples at the top think there is something wrong with them, when, in reality, they are amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along, the one who's brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree...
Pete Wentz
Part of growing up is making sure your sense of reality isn't entirely grounded in your own mind.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
Landscapes of great wonder and beauty lie under our feet and all around us. They are discovered in tunnels in the ground, the heart of flowers, the hollows of trees, fresh-water ponds, seaweed jungles between tides, and even drops of water. Life in these hidden worlds is more startling in reality than anything we can imagine. How could this earth of ours, which is only a speck in the heavens, have so much variety of life, so many curious and exciting creatures?
Walt Disney Company
The person who takes every opportunity to "pick on" others is often mistakenly called "sadistic". In reality, this person is a misdirected masochist who is working towards his own destruction. The reason a person viciously strikes out against you is because they are afraid of you or what you represent, or are resentful of your happiness. They are weak, insecure, and on extremely shaky ground when you throw your curse, and they make ideal human sacrifices.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Satanic Bible)
In China, any idea that dared to take flight would only crash back to the ground. The gravity of reality is too strong.
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
Be it as it may, if we are not ready to break new ground and get to grips with the recurrent challenges of our daily reality, we will never, ever be able to recognize the uncharted and colorful pictures on the canvas of our life, nor sense the pounding rhythm in the core of our being.
Erik Pevernagie
There are things than cannot ever occur with any precision. They are too big and too magnificent to be contained in mere facts. They are merely trying to occur, they are checking whether the ground of reality can carry them. And they quickly withdraw, fearing to loose their integrity in the frailty of realization.
Bruno Schulz (Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass)
There’s no remaking reality... Just take it as it comes. Hold your ground and take it as it comes. There’s no other way.
Philip Roth (Everyman)
When people are just drifting along the tides of life and can’t see the shores of reality anymore, they may experience someday the irresistible desire for a liberating burst, emerging deeply from the inner self and disentangling them from their manufactured pattern. That day might be a day of all possibilities and make them ready to hit the ground running. ("A change of vision" )
Erik Pevernagie
[...] I grew up out of that strange, dreamy childhood of mine and went into the world of reality. I met with experiences that bruised my spirit - but they never harmed my ideal world. That was always mine to retreat into at will. I learned that that world and the real world clashed hopelessly and irreconcilably; and I learned to keep them apart so that the former might remain for me unspoiled. I learned to meet other people on their own ground since there seemed to be no meeting place on mine. I learned to hide the thoughts and dreams and fancies that had no place in the strife and clash of the market place. I found that it was useless to look for kindred souls in the multitude; one might stumble on such here and there, but as a rule it seemed to me that the majority of people lived for the things of time and sense alone and could not understand my other life. So I piped and danced to other people's piping - and held fast to my own soul as best I could.
L.M. Montgomery (My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G.B. Macmillan from L.M. Montgomery)
Because memory and sensations are so uncertain, so biased, we always rely on a certain reality-call it an alternate reality-to prove the reality of events. To what extent facts we recognize as such really are as they seem, and to what extent these are facts merely because we label them as such, is an impossible distinction to draw. Therefore, in order to pin down reality as reality, we need another reality to relativize the first. Yet that other reality requires a third reality to serve as its grounding. An endless chain is created within our consciousness, and it is the very maintenance of this chain that produces the sensation that we are actually here, that we ourselves exist.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
Despair is a form of certainty, certainty that the future will be a lot like the present or decline from it. Optimism is similarly confident about what will happen. Both are grounds for not acting. Hope can be the knowledge that reality doesn't necessarily match our plans.
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
And when I fall in love,” I began, "I will build a mountain to touch the sky. Then, my lover and I will have the best of both worlds, reality firmly under our feet, while we have our heads in the clouds with all our illusions still intact. And the purple grass will grow all around, high enough to reach our eyes.
V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1))
People who live with their head in the clouds deserve to hit the ground every once in a while.
Keigo Higashino (ナミヤ雑貨店の奇蹟)
The passive American consumer, sitting down to a meal of pre-prepared food, confronts inert, anonymous substances that have been processed, dyed, breaded, sauced, gravied, ground, pulped, strained, blended, prettified, and sanitized beyond resemblance to any part of any creature that ever lived. The products of nature and agriculture have been made, to all appearances, the products of industry. Both eater and eaten are thus in exile from biological reality.
Wendell Berry
There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, "Business as usual." But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening. These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defense, not God's, that the self-righteous should rush.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
Fantasies always sound good, but they're no help when reality comes and shoves you to the ground. When it trips up your tongue and traps the right words in your head. When it leaves you to eat lunch by yourself.
Val Emmich (Dear Evan Hansen)
God, it's like reality's completely shifted on me. I used to think I was standing on such solid ground. If I wanted something badly enough, I just worked like hell for it. Now I can't decide what to do, which move to make. All the things I counted on aren't there for me anymore.
Tess Gerritsen (Harvest)
That is why faith, wherever it develops into hope, causes not rest but unrest, not patience but impatience. It does not calm the unquiet heart, but is itself this unquiet heart in man. Those who hope in Christ can no longer put up with reality as it is, but begin to suffer under it, to contradict it. Peace with God means conflict with the world, for the goad of the promised future stabs inexorably into the flesh of every unfulfilled present.
Jürgen Moltmann (Theology of Hope: On the Ground and the Implications of a Christian Eschatology)
It may be that we exist and cease to exist in alternations, like the minute dots in some forms of toned printing or the succession of pictures on a cinema film. It may be that reality is an illusion of movement in an eternal, static, multidimensional universe. We may be only a story written on the ground of the inconceivable; the pattern on a rug beneath the feet of the incomprehensible.
H.G. Wells
Present is living with your feet firmly grounded in reality, pale and uncertain as it may seem. Present is choosing to believe that your own life is worth investing deeply in, instead of waiting for some rare miracle or fairytale. Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity even in its plainness. Especially in its plainness.
Shauna Niequist (Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living)
Perhaps you should put me down?” suggested Nina. Reality crashed in on Matthias—the guards’ knowing looks, Zoya and Genya in the doorway, and the fact that in the course of kissing Nina Zenik with a year’s worth of pent-up desire, he had lifted her clear off her feet. A tide of embarrassment flooded through him. What Fjerdan did such a thing? Gently, he released his hold on her magnificent thighs and let her slide to the ground. “Shameless ,” Nina whispered, and he felt his cheeks go red. Zoya rolled her eyes. “We’re making a deal with a pair of love-struck teenagers.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
War leaves you precious little time to be human. It’s one of the more horrible realities about it.
Jim Butcher (Battle Ground (The Dresden Files, #17))
In order to pin down reality as realilty, we need another reality to relativize the first. Yet that other reality requires a third reality to serve as its grounding. An endless chain is created within our consciousness, and it is the maintenance of this chain which produces the sensation that we are actually here, that we ourselves exist.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
It's quite simple really. Being always transcends appearance-that which only seems to be. Once you begin to know the being behind the very pretty or very ugly face, as determined by your bias, the surface appearances fade away until they simple no longer matter. That is why Elousia is such a wonderful name. God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things-ultimately emerging as the real-and appearances that mask that reality will fall away.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
For the optimal realization of our possibilities, we need to trust ourselves and we need to admire ourselves, and the trust and admiration need to be grounded in reality, not generated out of fantasy and self-delusion.
Nathaniel Branden (The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem)
But time soon passes. Even the deepest pain eventually loses its edge in the more vivid reality of the present; then, what once was unbearable becomes strangely familiar. And after much familiarity, it assumes the insignificance of just another milestone, ever marking the journey to higher ground.
N. Maria Kwami (Secrets of the Bending Grove)
Perhaps lovers aren't supposed to look down at the ground. That kind of story is told in symbols--and earth represents reality, and reality represents frustrations, chance illnesses, death, murder, and all kinds of other tragedies. Lovers are meant to look up at the sky, for up there no beautiful illusions can be trampled upon.
V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1))
In my own professional work I have touched on a variety of different fields. I’ve done work in mathematical linguistics, for example, without any professional credentials in mathematics; in this subject I am completely self-taught, and not very well taught. But I’ve often been invited by universities to speak on mathematical linguistics at mathematics seminars and colloquia. No one has ever asked me whether I have the appropriate credentials to speak on these subjects; the mathematicians couldn’t care less. What they want to know is what I have to say. No one has ever objected to my right to speak, asking whether I have a doctor’s degree in mathematics, or whether I have taken advanced courses in the subject. That would never have entered their minds. They want to know whether I am right or wrong, whether the subject is interesting or not, whether better approaches are possible… the discussion dealt with the subject, not with my right to discuss it. But on the other hand, in discussion or debate concerning social issues or American foreign policy…. The issue is constantly raised, often with considerable venom. I’ve repeatedly been challenged on grounds of credentials, or asked, what special training do I have that entitles you to speak on these matters. The assumption is that people like me, who are outsiders from a professional viewpoint, are not entitled to speak on such things. Compare mathematics and the political sciences… it’s quite striking. In mathematics, in physics, people are concerned with what you say, not with your certification. But in order to speak about social reality, you must have the proper credentials, particularly if you depart from the accepted framework of thinking. Generally speaking, it seems fair to say that the richer the intellectual substance of a field, the less there is a concern for credentials, and the greater is the concern for content.
Noam Chomsky
Effective decision-making can be seen as an optimal link between memory of the past, ground-realities of the present and insights of the future.
Amit Ray (Mindfulness Meditation for Corporate Leadership and Management)
Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate. The more clearly we learn to recognize that the ground and strength and promise of all our fellowship is in Jesus Christ alone, the more serenely shall we think of our fellowship and pray and hope for it.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
The great milestones of civilization always have the whiff of utopia about them at first. According to renowned sociologist Albert Hirschman, utopias are initially attacked on three grounds: futility (it’s not possible), danger (the risks are too great), and perversity (it will degenerate into dystopia). But Hirschman also wrote that almost as soon as a utopia becomes a reality, it often comes to be seen as utterly commonplace. Not so very long ago, democracy still seemed a glorious utopia. Many a great mind, from the philosopher Plato (427–347 B.C.) to the statesman Edmund Burke (1729–97), warned that democracy was futile (the masses were too foolish to handle it), dangerous (majority rule would be akin to playing with fire), and perverse (the “general interest” would soon be corrupted by the interests of some crafty general or other). Compare this with the arguments against basic income. It’s supposedly futile because we can’t pay for it, dangerous because people would quit working, and perverse because ultimately a minority would end up having to toil harder to support the majority.
Rutger Bregman (Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There)
Chains chains that hold me to the ground chains that keep me solidly bound chains that tether my heart to you chains that only one truth...
Muse (Enigmatic Evolution)
In stories, when a giant was slain, it toppled thunderously to the ground. In reality, a giant died much the same way anything else did: screaming and shitting itself.
Nicholas Eames (Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1))
There is little joy in those first moments of recognition- for the reality is that most encounters of such depth, most first glances of love come to nothing. And while the sincerity of that rare moment when your heart is bursting should be the signal to fling yourself on the ground in the path of this stranger, it's the depth of such sincerity that paralyses you, holds you back from the silence of phrases like "hello" and "good morning." And as they pass, granting only single, torturous details like fingers upon the handle of an umbrella, or a hair pin bearing the weight of a twist, or a wool collar beaded with pearls of rain- there is only one thing you could ever say that would be true, that would make them stop walking and turn to face you. But such a thing is unsayable.
Simon Van Booy (The Secret Lives of People in Love)
It is the poet and philosopher who provide the community of objectives in which the artist participates. Their chief preoccupation, like the artist, is the expression in concrete form of their notions of reality. Like him, they deal with the verities of time and space, life and death, and the heights of exaltation as well as the depths of despair. The preoccupation with these eternal problems creates a common ground which transcends the disparity in the means used to achieve them.
Mark Rothko (The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art)
For whatever reason, it seems like we’re against love. Everyone. People think love equates to weakness, or gullibility, or an unwillingness to deal with reality, so they try to ruin it, the social scientists and the admen, with studies and lingerie shows and boxes of candy. They try to invalidate it, dirty it up, but they can’t, because people in love know the truth. They know love is good and pure and really the most beautiful thing in the world. They know love is greater than anything, greater even than God. At first, I didn’t believe it, but I do now. You have made me realize it. Being away from you has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I am shaking and sweating. I am going into withdrawal. I need you. You are my withdrawal. You are my blood. I want to protect you from all of this. When it’s all over, I want to run away with you and never come back. I want to be buried in the ground with you. It’s the only way we can keep this pure and beautiful, I’m afraid. We have to stay away from this whole life. We have to be normal. We have to get married and move to Berkeley. Our love can’t survive like this, no matter how hard we try. I’m quitting the band. I’m coming home. I need you.
Pete Wentz (Gray)
The world' is man's experience as it appears to, and is moulded by, his ego. It is that less abundant life, which is lived according to the dictates of the insulated self. It is nature denatured by the distorting spectacles of our appetites and revulsions. It is the finite divorced from the Eternal. It is multiplicity in isolation from its non-dual Ground. It is time apprehended as one damned thing after another. It is a system of verbal categories taking the place of the fathomlessly beautiful and mysterious particulars which constitute reality. It is a notion labelled 'God'. It is the Universe equated with the words of our utilitarian vocabulary.
Aldous Huxley (The Devils of Loudun)
Whenever a state or an individual cited 'insufficient funds' as an excuse for neglecting this important thing or that, it was indicative of the extent to which reality had been distorted by the abstract lens of wealth. During periods of so-called economic depression, for example, societies suffered for want of all manner of essential goods, yet investigation almost invariably disclosed that there were plenty of goods available. Plenty of coal in the ground, corn in the fields, wool on the sheep. What was missing was not materials but an abstract unit of measurement called 'money.' It was akin to a starving woman with a sweet tooth lamenting that she couldn't bake a cake because she didn't have any ounces. She had butter, flour, eggs, milk, and sugar, she just didn't have any ounces, any pinches, any pints. The loony legacy of money was that the arithmetic by which things were measured had become more valuable than the things themselves.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
Things aren't like this," he kept repeating. "It shouldn't be this way." As if he had access to some other plane of existence, some parallel, "right" universe, and had sensed that our time had somehow been put out of joint. Such was his vehemence that I found myself believing him, believing, for example, in the possibility of that other life in which Vina had never left and we were making our lives together, all three of us, ascending together to the stars. Then he shook his head, and the spell broke. He opened his eyes, grinning ruefully. As if he knew his thoughts had infected mine. As if he knew his power. "Better get on with it," he said. "Make do with what there is.
Salman Rushdie (The Ground Beneath Her Feet)
But when you’re a kid, it isn’t chaos. It’s just a heartbeat. Your house isn’t floating through space, it sits on the ground. Once you get old enough you start to see that color is just paint and doors are just wood. Then, at some point, that feeling of home vanishes entirely. And… that’s what I fear. That nothing will ever make me feel like I’m safe again. That once you leave home, you never get it back.
Ryan Galloway (Biome (Biome, #1))
Hope confronts. It does not ignore pain, agony, or injustice. It is not a saccharine optimism that refuses to see, face, or grapple with the wretchedness of reality. You can't have hope without despair, because hope is a response. Hope is the active conviction that despair will never have the last word.
Cory Booker (United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good)
The true method of discovery is like the flight of an aeroplane. It starts from the ground of particular observation; it makes a flight in the thin air of imaginative generalization; and it again lands for renewed observation rendered acute by rational interpretation.
Alfred North Whitehead (Process and Reality)
Praxeology is a theoretical and systematic, not a historical, science. Its scope is human action as such, irrespective of all environmental, accidental, and individual circumstances of the concrete acts. Its cognition is purely formal and general without reference to the material content and the particular features of the actual case. It aims at knowledge valid for all instances in which the conditions exactly correspond to those implied in its assumptions and inferences. Its statements and propositions are not derived from experience. They are, like those of logic and mathematics, a priori. They are not subject to verification or falsification on the ground of experience and facts.
Ludwig von Mises (Human Action: A Treatise on Economics)
I say to people that I’m not an optimist, because that, in a sense, is something that depends on feelings more than the actual reality. We feel optimistic, or we feel pessimistic. Now, hope is different in that it is based not on the ephemerality of feelings but on the firm ground of conviction. I believe with a steadfast faith that there can never be a situation that is utterly, totally hopeless. Hope is deeper and very, very close to unshakable. It’s in the pit of your tummy. It’s not in your head. It’s all here,” he said, pointing to his abdomen. “Despair
Dalai Lama XIV (The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World)
the truth is boys can fall deeper in love than girls, they're a lot bigger and heavier and they can fall much further and harder and when they hit the ground of reality there's just this terrible splosh that some other woman is going to have to come long and try to put back into the bottle.
Niall Williams (History of the Rain)
People do not often stop to dwell on the reality that the most difficult daily challenges we face are a result of dealing with human energies. That vibe they sent you, that vibration you picked up... that's just as real as the chair you are sitting on. Our souls are struggling, playing, fighting, winning, losing... all on the playing fields and the battle grounds of human energy.
C. JoyBell C.
Being others-focused instead of self-focused changes your worldview. Living in a selfless manner and seeking to help others enriches our very existence on a daily basis. Get your hands dirty once in a while by serving in a capacity that is lower than your position or station in life. This keeps you tethered to the real world and grounded to reality, which should make it harder to be prideful and forget where you came from.
Miles Anthony Smith (Why Leadership Sucks™ Volume 1: Fundamentals of Level 5 Leadership and Servant Leadership)
If you sincerely desire a truly well-rounded education, you must study the extremists, the obscure and "nutty." You need the balance! Your poor brain is already being impregnated with middle-of-the-road crap, twenty-four hours a day, no matter what. Network TV, newspapers, radio, magazines at the supermarket... even if you never watch, read, listen, or leave your house, even if you are deaf and blind, the telepathic pressure alone of the uncountable normals surrounding you will insure that you are automatically well-grounded in consensus reality.
Ivan Stang (High Weirdness by Mail: A Directory of the Fringe-Mad Prophets, Crackpots, Kooks & True Visionaries)
Living in the wake means living the history and present of terror, from slavery to the present, as the ground of our everyday Black existence; living the historically and geographically dis/continuous but always present and endlessly reinvigorated brutality in, and on, our bodies while even as that terror is visited on our bodies the realities of that terror are erased.
Christina Sharpe (In the Wake: On Blackness and Being)
I longed to seek the retirement of my own room, or some sequestered nook in the grounds, that I might deliver myself up to my feelings—to weep my last farewell, and lament my false hopes and vain delusions. Only this once, and then adieu to fruitless dreaming—thenceforth, only sober, solid, sad reality should occupy my mind.
Anne Brontë (Agnes Grey)
Happy the writer who, passing by characters that are boring, disgusting, shocking in their mournful reality, approaches characters that manifest the lofty dignity of man, who from the great pool of daily whirling images has chosen only the rare exceptions, who has never once betrayed the exalted turning of his lyre, nor descended from his height to his poor, insignificant brethren, and, without touching the ground, has given the whole of himself to his elevated images so far removed from it. Twice enviable is his beautiful lot: he is among them as in his own family; and meanwhile his fame spreads loud and far. With entrancing smoke he has clouded people's eyes; he has flattered them wondrously, concealing what is mournful in life, showing them a beautiful man. Everything rushes after him, applauding, and flies off following his triumphal chariot. Great world poet they name him, soaring high above all other geniuses in the world, as the eagle soars above the other high fliers. At the mere mention of his name, young ardent hearts are filled with trembling, responsive tears shine in all eyes...No one equals him in power--he is God! But such is not the lot, and other is the destiny of the writer who has dared to call forth all that is before our eyes every moment and which our indifferent eyes do not see--all the stupendous mire of trivia in which our life in entangled, the whole depth of cold, fragmented, everyday characters that swarm over our often bitter and boring earthly path, and with the firm strength of his implacable chisel dares to present them roundly and vividly before the eyes of all people! It is not for him to win people's applause, not for him to behold the grateful tears and unanimous rapture of the souls he has stirred; no sixteen-year-old girl will come flying to meet him with her head in a whirl and heroic enthusiasm; it is not for him to forget himself in the sweet enchantment of sounds he himself has evoked; it is not for him, finally, to escape contemporary judgment, hypocritically callous contemporary judgment, which will call insignificant and mean the creations he has fostered, will allot him a contemptible corner in the ranks of writers who insult mankind, will ascribe to him the quality of the heroes he has portrayed, will deny him heart, and soul, and the divine flame of talent. For contemporary judgment does not recognize that equally wondrous are the glasses that observe the sun and those that look at the movement of inconspicuous insect; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that lofty ecstatic laughter is worthy to stand beside the lofty lyrical impulse, and that a whole abyss separates it from the antics of the street-fair clown! This contemporary judgment does not recognize; and will turn it all into a reproach and abuse of the unrecognized writer; with no sharing, no response, no sympathy, like a familyless wayfarer, he will be left alone in the middle of the road. Grim is his path, and bitterly he will feel his solitude.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
Ten feet away on my right, a pair of wooden double doors remain. Still intact, they survived the devastation the Archgod of Chaos and Destruction, aka DLD, wreaked on Uhna. They stand proudly, refusing to give in to reality. The hot air from the Teryn ship blasts the doors, shaking them in their frame. The wood creaks, resisting the pressure for a moment. Then the doors come crashing down to the ground. If they couldn’t survive the arrival of the Teryn praelor, what chance do I have?
S.G. Blaise (True Teryn (The Last Lumenian, #2))
Excerpt from Ursula K Le Guin's speech at National Book Awards Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality. Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship. Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this – letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write. Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words. I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.
Ursula K. Le Guin
I think hard times are coming, when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies, to other ways of being. And even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom: poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality. Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. The profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable; so did the divine right of kings. … Power can be resisted and changed by human beings; resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art—the art of words. I’ve had a long career and a good one, in good company, and here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. … The name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Evil is not one large entity, but a collection of countless, small depravities brought up from the muck by petty men. Many have traded the enrichment of vision for a gray fog of mediocrity--the fertile inspiration of striving and growth, for mindless stagnation and slow decay--the brave new ground of the attempt, for the timid quagmire of apathy. Many of you have traded freedom not even for a bowl of soup, but worse, for the spoken empty feelings of others who say that you deserve to have a full bowl of soup provided by someone else. Happiness, joy, accomplishment, achievement . . . are not finite commodities, to be divided up. Is a child’s laughter to be divided and allotted? No! Simply make more laughter! Every person’s life is theirs by right. An individual’s life can and must belong only to himself, not to any society or community, or he is then but a slave. No one can deny another person their right to their life, nor seize by force what is produced by someone else, because that is stealing their means to sustain their life. It is treason against mankind to hold a knife to a man’s throat and dictate how he must live his life. No society can be more important than the individuals who compose it, or else you ascribe supreme importance, not to man, but to any notion that strikes the fancy of the society, at a never-ending cost of lives. Reason and reality are the only means to just laws; mindless wishes, if given sovereignty, become deadly masters. Surrendering reason to faith in unreasonable men sanctions their use of force to enslave you--to murder you. You have the power to decide how you will live your life. Those mean, unreasonable little men are but cockroaches, if you say they are. They have no power to control you but that which you grant them!
Terry Goodkind (Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, #6))
This inability to ground his fantasies in reality has generally been regarded as one of Leonardo’s major failings. Yet in order to be a true visionary, one has to be willing to overreach and to fail some of the time. Innovation requires a reality distortion field. The things he envisioned for the future often came to pass, even if it took a few centuries. Scuba gear, flying machines, and helicopters now exist. Suction pumps now drain swamps. Along the route of the canal that Leonardo drew there is now a major highway.
Walter Isaacson (Leonardo da Vinci)
I also read that spending time with a pedophile can be like a drug high. There was this girl who said it’s as if the pedophile lives in a fantastic kind of reality, and that fantasticness infects everything. Kind of like they’re children themselves, only full of the knowledge that children don’t have. Their imaginations are stronger than kids’ and they can build realities that small kids would never be able to dream up. They can make the child’s world… ecstatic somehow. And when it’s over, for people who’ve been through this, it’s like coming off of heroin and, for years, they can’t stop chasing the ghost of how it felt. One girl said that it’s like the earth is scorched and the grass won’t grow back. And the ground looks black and barren but inside it’s still burning.
Margaux Fragoso (Tiger, Tiger)
In the world described by quantum mechanics there is no reality except in the relations between physical systems. It isn’t things that enter into relations but, rather, relations that ground the notion of ‘thing’. The world of quantum mechanics is not a world of objects: it is a world of events. Things are built by the happening of elementary events: as the philosopher Nelson Goodman wrote in the 1950s, in a beautiful phrase, ‘An object is a monotonous process.’ A stone is a vibration of quanta that maintains its structure for a while, just as a marine wave maintains its identity for a while before melting again into the sea.
Carlo Rovelli (Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity)
...ultimately, eventually, we let go. We do this not because we're ready. We do this not because we've mended. We do this not because we've mourned and come to terms and gotten over it and moved on. We never move on. We don't let go so much as lose our grip and fall because remembering is not enough..memory is imperfect. It is full of holes. It is more space than matter, like lace. It is at once sodden with sorrow and desiccated from lack of blood flow, the obvious result of a broken heart. It makes things up in hopeless attempts to comfort itself. It fills fissure with fantasy. It screws shut its eyes and balls up its fists and flings itself to the ground in a kicking, screaming, blind-rage temper tantrum against reality. But mostly,..memory keeps taking on more.
Laurie Frankel (Goodbye for Now)
The balance is the penalty of being human: the danger of allowing yourself to feel. For this we walk a narrow path high above rocky ground. On one side we have the descent into animalism, on the other a godhead delusion. Both pulling at us, both tempting. But without these forces tugging at your psyche, stirring it into conflict, you can never love. They awaken us, you see, these warring sides, they arouse our passion.
Peter F. Hamilton (The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn, #1))
The wild pursuit of status and wealth has destroyed our souls and our economy. Families live in sprawling mansions financed with mortgages they can no longer repay. Consumers recklessly rang up Coach handbags and Manolo Blahnik shoes on credit cards because they seemed to confer a sense of identity and merit. Our favorite hobby, besides television, used to be, until reality hit us like a tsunami, shopping. Shopping used to be the compensation for spending five days a week in tiny cubicles. American workers are ground down by corporations that have disempowered them, used them, and have now discarded them
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
Something snaps. I hear a gasp. I spin around. I jump up, alert, searching for the sound. It seemed close by. Someone saw me. Someone— A civilian. She’s already darting away, her body pressed against the wall of a nearby unit. “Hey!” I shout. “You there—” She stops. Looks up. I nearly collapse. Juliette. She’s staring at me. She’s actually here, staring at me, her eyes wide and panicked. My legs are suddenly made of lead. I’m rooted to the ground, unable to form words. I don’t even know where to start. There’s so much I want to say to her, so much I’ve never told her, and I’m just so happy to see her—God, I’m so relieved— She’s disappeared. I spin around, frantic, wondering whether I’ve actually begun to lose my grip on reality. My eyes land on the little dog still sitting there, waiting for me, and I stare at it, dumbfounded, wondering what on earth just happened. I keep looking back at the place I thought I saw her, but I see nothing. Nothing. I run a hand through my hair, so confused, so horrified and angry with myself that I’m tempted to rip it out of my head. What is happening to me.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
Our route toward spiritual evolution is radiantly clear. We all have our own unique individual journey to walk toward enlightenment. Living on the brink of evolutionary change means that new ground is being broken and new consciousness is being raised. Truth is of the essence – we have no dogma, no set formula, no prescribed rules, no false standards to follow. All we have is the truth within our souls. I believe most of us want to follow the light, the path of healing and not destroying our earth, but we don't have the courage, the lion heart, to follow our individual truth toward enlightenment. Giving in to our fears, we bury our “gold” beneath the false value systems of our societies, and we attempt to comfort ourselves with the notion that we have no power or responsibility for what is happening to our world. The reality is that, potentially, we all have the power of light – the White Lion – within us. The very first step is to overcome our fears. Thereafter, our hearts will lead the way.
Linda Tucker (Mystery of the White Lions. Linda Tucker)
Woman's fear of the female Self, of the experience of the numinous archetypal Feminine, becomes comprehensible when we get a glimpse - or even only a hint – of the profound otherness of female selfhood as contrasted to male selfhood. Precisely that element which, in his fear of the Feminine, the male experiences as the hole, abyss, void, and nothingness turns into something positive for the woman without, however, losing these same characteristics. Here the archetypal Feminine is experienced not as illusion and as maya but rather as unfathomable reality and as life in which above and below, spiritual and physical, are not pitted against each other; reality as eternity is creative and, at the same time, is grounded in primeval nothingness. Hence as daughter the woman experiences herself as belonging to the female spiritual figure Sophia, the highest wisdom, while at the same time she is actualizing her connection with the musty, sultry, bloody depths of swamp-mother Earth. However, in this sort of Self-discovery woman necessarily comes to see herself as different from what presents itself to men -as, for example, spirit and father, but often also as the patriarchal godhead and his ethics. The basic phenomenon - that the human being is born of woman and reared by her during the crucial developmental phases - is expressed in woman as a sense of connectedness with all living things, a sense not yet sufficiently realized, and one that men, and especially the patriarchal male, absolutely lack to the extent women have it. To experience herself as so fundamentally different from the dominant patriarchal values understandably fills the woman with fear until she arrives at that point in her own development where, through experience and love that binds the opposites, she can clearly see the totality of humanity as a unity of masculine and feminine aspects of the Self.
Erich Neumann (The Fear of the Feminine and Other Essays on Feminine Psychology)
It is a strange thing how sometimes merely to talk honestly of God, even if it is only to articulate our feelings of separation and confusion, can bring peace to our spirits. You thought you were unhappy because this or that was off in your relationship, this or that was wrong in your job, but the reality is that your sadness stemmed from your aversion to, your stalwart avoidance of, God. The other problems may very well be true, and you will have to address them, but what you feel when releasing yourself to speak of the deepest needs of your spirit is the fact that no other needs could be spoken of outside of that context. You cannot work on the structure of your life if the ground of your being in unsure.
Christian Wiman (My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer)
All night, a man called out “God! God!” Until his lips were bleeding. Then the Adversary of mankind said, “Hey! Mr Gullible! … How come you’ve been calling all night And never once heard God say, “Here, I AM”? You call out so earnestly and, in reply, what? I’ll tell you what. Nothing!” The man suddenly felt empty and abandoned. Depressed, he threw himself on the ground And fell into a deep sleep. In a dream, he met an angel, who asked, “Why are you regretting calling out to God?” The man said, “ I called and called But God never replied, “Here I AM.” The Angel explained, “God has said, “Your calling my name is My reply. Your longing for Me is My message to you. All your attempts to reach Me Are in reality My attempts to reach you. Your fear and love are a noose to catch Me. In the silence surrounding every call of “God” Waits a thousand replies of “Here I AM.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
As much as the left fashions themselves as being progressive, they’re not. In reality, today’s leftist movement is made in much the same way as a sausage—it’s a blend of fascist, communist, and socialist ideologies from twentieth-century Europe, with a pinch of Nazism, all ground together, yet retaining the flavor of its various parts.
Michael Savage (Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder: Savage Solutions)
Humiliation is mostly something we try to avoid, but it is something more often, all for the best, in retrospect. There is a lovely root to the word, the Latin word humus, meaning soil or ground. When we are humiliated, we are in effect returned to the ground of our being. Any fancy ideas we have about ourselves are shriven away by the reality of the moment. We come to earth with a thump. It may be a narrow piece of ground, but at least it is real and at least it is our own.
David Whyte (Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity)
And that wasn't the end of it. There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, "Business as usual." But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening. These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defense, not God's, that the self-righteous should rush.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
In 1850, August Salzmann photographed, near Jerusalem, the road to Beith-Lehem (as it was spelled at the time): nothing but stony ground, olive trees; but three tenses dizzy my consciousness: my present, the time of Jesus, and that of the photographer, all this under the instance of 'reality' — and no longer through the elaborations of the text, whether fictional or poetic, which itself is never credible down to the root.
Roland Barthes (Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography)
There are no grounds for going beyond a scientific explanation of reality and no sound reason for believing anything but our sense experience. A clear intellect, close attention to detail and a little scientific knowledge will expose religion as superstitious bosh. God does not exist. -- Why tolerate darkness? Everything is here and clear, if only we look carefully.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
the goal of an apprenticeship is not money, a good position, a title, or a diploma, but rather the transformation of your mind and character—the first transformation on the way to mastery. You enter a career as an outsider. You are naïve and full of misconceptions about this new world. Your head is full of dreams and fantasies about the future. Your knowledge of the world is subjective, based on emotions, insecurities, and limited experience. Slowly, you will ground yourself in reality, in the objective world represented by the knowledge and skills that make people successful in it. You will learn how to work with others and handle criticism. In the process you will transform yourself from someone who is impatient and scattered into someone who is disciplined and focused, with a mind that can handle complexity. In the end, you will master yourself and all of your weaknesses.
Robert Greene (Mastery (The Modern Machiavellian Robert Greene Book 1))
People frequently believe the creative life is grounded in fantasy. The more difficult truth is that creativity is grounded in reality, in the particular, the focused, the well observed or specifically imagined. As we lose our vagueness about our self, our values, our life situation, we become available to the moment. It is there, in the particular, that we contact the creative self. Until we experience the freedom of solitude, we cannot connect authentically. We may be enmeshed, but we are not encountered. Art lies in the moment of encounter: we meet our truth and we meet ourselves; we meet ourselves and we meet our self-expression. We become original because we become something specific: an origin from which work flows.
Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity)
You have broken my heart I am a little kid, I cannot stop crying I hit my feet to the ground and my hands to my head Like a fly I cannot get up from the sticky ground I cannot talk about you Because it hurts I feel the pain inside my bones I cannot forget you The reality has become dream and dream has become nightmare These are my tears They are not my sweats I have not pissed on myself Every drop carries pain and regret They are all because of you, You broke my virgin heart and poor soul, I thought we belonged with each other We shared dreams and wishes We shared love and devotion I did not know they were all lies, If I knew you were leaving me one day, I would have loved you more than I did Maybe it would have changed your mind Because I still love you
M.F. Moonzajer (A moment with God ; Poetry)
One cannot write about Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell without considering the footnotes. The experienced reader is conditioned to see footnotes as dry, as a way of grounding the text in reality. But footnotes are also an intervention, or intrusion into the flow of the text, and Clarke takes advantage of this figuring. In Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, it is in the footnotes that the world of the fantastic slips through to disrupt the meaning or common understanding of the tale told in the main text. The “explanation” they offer is of worlds slipping between each other, of uncontrolled contact with fairy.
Farah Mendlesohn (Rhetorics of Fantasy)
Those who speak of harmony and consensus should beware of what one might call the industrial chaplain view of reality. The idea, roughly speaking, is that there are greedy bosses on one side and belligerent workers on the other, while in the middle, as the very incarnation of reason, equity and moderation, stands the decent, soft-spoken, liberal-minded chaplain who tries selflessly to bring the two warring parties together. But why should the middle always be the most sensible place to stand? Why do we tend to see ourselves as in the middle and other people as on the extremes? After all, one person’s moderation is another’s extremism. People don’t go around calling themselves a fanatic, any more than they go around calling themselves Pimply. Would one also seek to reconcile slaves and slave masters, or persuade native peoples to complain only moderately about those who are plotting their extermination? What is the middle ground between racism and anti-racism?
Terry Eagleton (Why Marx Was Right)
Life is for those that deserve it. Those kings amongst men who can climb out of barrels and will dare to break through glass walls and to transcend all of this whatever it is, these eyes to the ground, this pretence, acting only as is expected and never as is intended. We have been told what is acceptable in what situation and so we take heed. This is not living. In the real world, in nature, there is no need to pretend. There is no place for it.
Oli Anderson (Synchronesia: A Depressing Existential Novel)
Quantum mechanics holds that matter may not be as innocent of mind as the materialist would have us believe. For example, a subatomic particle can exist simultaneously in multiple locations, is pure possibility, until it is measured—that is, perceived by a mind. Only then and not a moment sooner does it drop into reality as we know it: acquire fixed coordinates in time and space. The implication here is that matter might not exist as such in the absence of a perceiving subject. Needless to say, this raises some tricky questions for a materialist understanding of consciousness. The ground underfoot may be much less solid than we think.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
You are all misleading one another, and are yourselves deceived. The sun does not go round the earth, but the earth goes round the sun, revolving as it goes, and turning towards the sun in the course of each twenty-four hours, not only Japan, and the Philippines, and Sumatra where we now are, but Africa, and Europe, and America, and many lands besides. The sun does not shine for some one mountain, or for some one island, or for some one sea, nor even for one earth alone, but for other planets as well as our earth. If you would only look up at the heavens, instead of at the ground beneath your own feet, you might all understand this, and would then no longer suppose that the sun shines for you, or for your country alone.
Leo Tolstoy (Eleven Stories)
The world is in some essential sense a construct. Human knowledge is radically interpretive. There are no perspective-independent facts. Every act of perception and cognition is contingent, mediated, situated, contextual, theory-soaked. Human language cannot establish its ground in an independent reality. Meaning is rendered by the mind and cannot be assumed to inhere in the object, in the world beyond the mind, for that world can never be contacted without having already been saturated by the mind's own nature. That world cannot even be justifiably postulated. Radical uncertainty prevails, for in the end what one knows and experiences is to an indeterminate extent a projection.
Richard Tarnas (The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View)
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
The ultimate reality from which the path of this becoming could start off again will no longer rest on a ground of 'causa sui.' in any case the sense of a God who would alone be capable of giving an account of self. It is rather from the human and from what the human most irreducibly is that it is a question of starting off again. From the human as it objectively is before it starts to construct a language and a thinking which help to distance it from its beginning, from its prematureness without thinking it in the totality of its being.
Luce Irigaray (The Way of Love)
I had travelled from Spain into Morocco and from there south to the Atlas Mountains, at the edge of the Sahara Desert…one night, in a youth hostel that was more like a stable, I woke and walked out into a snowstorm. But it wasn’t the snow I was used to in Minnesota, or anywhere else I had been. Standing bare chest to cool night, wearing flip-flops and shorts, I let a storm of stars swirl around me. I remember no light pollution, heck, I remember no lights. But I remember the light around me-the sense of being lit by starlight- and that I could see the ground to which the stars seemed to be floating down. I saw the sky that night in three dimensions- the sky had depth, some stars seemingly close and some much farther away, the Milky Way so well defined it had what astronomers call “structure”, that sense of its twisting depths. I remember stars from one horizon to another, making a night sky so plush it still seems like a dream. It was a time in my life when I was every day experiencing something new. I felt open to everything, as though I was made of clay, and the world was imprinting on me its breathtaking beauty (and terrible reality.) Standing nearly naked under that Moroccan sky, skin against the air, the dark, the stars, the night pressed its impression, and my lifelong connection was sealed.
Paul Bogard (The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light)
Feelings, and feelings, and feelings. Let me try thinking instead. From the rational point of view, what new factor has H's death introduced into the problem of the universe? What grounds has it given me for doubting all that I believe? I knew already that these things, and worse, happened daily. I would have said that I had taken them into account. I had been warned--I had warned myself--not to reckon on worldly happiness. We were even promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn,' and I accepted it. I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course, it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not in imagination. Yes, but should it, for a sane man, make quite such a difference as this? No. And it wouldn't for a man whose faith had been real faith and whose concern for other people's sorrow had been real concern. The case is too plain. If my house has collapsed at one blow, that is because it was a house of cards. The faith that 'took these things into account' was not faith but imagination....I thought I trusted the rope until it mattered to me whether it would bear me. Now it matters, and I find it didn't.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
Wonder acts upon a man like a shock, he is "moved" and "shaken", and in the dislocation that succeeds all that he had taken for granted as being natural or self-evident loses its compact solidity and obviousness; he is literally dislocated and no longer knows where he is. If this were only to involve the man of action in all of us, so that a man only lost his sense of certainty of everyday life, it would be relatively harmless; but the ground quakes beneath his feet in a far more dangerous sense, and it is his whole spiritual nature, his capacity to know, that is threatened. It is an extremely curious fact that this is the only aspect of wonder, or almost the only aspect, that comes to evidence in modern philosohpy, and the old view that wonder was the beginning of philosophy takes on a new meaning: doubt is the beginning of philosophy. . . . The innermost meaning of wonder is fulfilled in a deepened sense of mystery. It does not end in doubt, but is the awakening of the knowledge that being, qua being, is mysterious and inconceivable, and that it is a mystery in the full sense of the word: neither a dead end, nor a contradiction, nor even something impenetrable and dark. Rather, mystery means that a reality cannot be comprehended because its light is ever-flowing, unfathomable, and inexhaustible. And that is what the wonderer really experiences. . . . Since the very beginning philosophy has always been characterized by hope. Philosophy never claimed to be a superior form of knowledge but, on the contrary, a form of humility, and restrained, and conscious of this restraint and humility in relation to knowledge. The words philosopher and philosophy were coined, according to legend--and the legend is of great antiquity--by Pythagoras in explicit contrast to the words sophia and sophos: no man is wise, and no man "knows"; God alone is wise and all-knowing. At the very most a man might call himself a lover of wisdom and a seeker after knowledge--a philosopher. --from The Philosophical Act, Chapter III
Josef Pieper (Leisure, the basis of culture, and, The philosophical act!)
But sitting is not something that we do for a year or two with the idea of mastering it. Sitting is something we do for a lifetime. There is no end to the opening up that is possible for a human being. Eventually we see that we are the limitless, boundless ground of the universe. Our job for the rest of our life is to open up into that immensity and to express it. Having more and more contact with this reality always brings compassion for others and changes our daily life. We live differently, work differently, relate to people differently. Zen is a lifelong study. It isn’t just sitting on a cushion for thirty or forty minutes a day. Our whole life becomes practice, twenty-four hours a day.
Charlotte Joko Beck (Everyday Zen)
Beyond telling and getting away however there are an awful lot of myths out there about how to move on or get justice. People may tell you to report the crime or confront you abuser- or even to forgive him. I don't necessarily advocate any of these things. I think counseling of some kind can be enormously useful, but the bottom line is that the main way to heal is to find people who will support you, to talk about what happened, and to ground yourself in the reality that the abuse was not your fault, that you have nothing to be ashamed of, and that you deserve great love and happiness in your life.
Patti Feuereisen (Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, and Everyone Who Cares About Them)
Orwell's 1984 [...] is political thought disguised as a novel; the thinking is certainly lucid and correct, but it is distorted by its guise as a novel, which renders it imprecise and vague. [...] the situations and the characters are as flat as a poster. The pernicious influence of Orwell's novel resides in its implacable reduction of a reality to its political dimension alone, and in its reduction of that dimension to what is exemplarily negative about it. I refuse to forgive this reduction on the grounds that it was useful as propaganda in the struggle against totalitarian evil. For that evil is, precisely, the reduction of life to politics and of politics to propaganda. So despite its intentions, Orwell's novel itself joins in the totalitarian spirit, the spirit of propaganda. It reduces (and teaches others to reduce) the life of a hated society to the simple listing of its crimes.
Milan Kundera (Testaments Betrayed: An Essay in Nine Parts)
A critical analysis of the present global constellation-one which offers no clear solution, no “practical” advice on what to do, and provides no light at the end of the tunnel, since one is well aware that this light might belong to a train crashing towards us-usually meets with reproach: “Do you mean we should do nothing? Just sit and wait?” One should gather the courage to answer: “YES, precisely that!” There are situations when the only true “practical” thing to do is to resist the temptation to engage immediately and to “wait and see” by means of a patient, critical analysis. Engagement seems to exert its pressure on us from all directions. In a well-known passage from his ‘Existentialism and Humanism’, Sartre deployed the dilemma of a young man in France in 1942, torn between the duty to help his lone, ill mother and the duty to enter the war and fight the Germans; Sartre’s point is, of course, that there is no a priori answer to this dilemma. The young man needs to make a decision grounded only in his own abyssal freedom and assume full responsibility for it. An obscene third way out of this dilemma would have been to advise the young man to tell his mother that he will join the Resistance, and to tell his Resistance friends that he will take care of his mother, while, in reality, withdrawing to a secluded place and studying. There is more than cheap cynicism in this advice. It brings to mind a well-known Soviet joke about Lenin. Under socialism; Lenin’s advice to young people, his answer to what they should do, was “Learn, learn, and learn.” This was evoked all the time and displayed on the school walls. The joke goes: Marx, Engels, and Lenin are asked whether they would prefer to have a wife or a mistress. As expected, Marx, rather conservative in private matters, answers, “A wife!” while Engels, more of a bon vivant, opts for a mistress. To everyone’s surprise, Lenin says, “I’d like to have both!” Why? Is there a hidden stripe of decadent jouisseur behind his austere revolutionary image? No-he explains: “So that I can tell my wife that I am going to my mistress and my mistress that I am going to my wife. . .” “And then, what do you do?” “I go to a solitary place to learn, learn, and learn!” Is this not exactly what Lenin did after the catastrophe in 1914? He withdrew to a lonely place in Switzerland, where he “learned, learned, and learned,” reading Hegel’s logic. And this is what we should do today when we find ourselves bombarded with mediatic images of violence. We need to “learn, learn, and learn” what causes this violence.
Slavoj Žižek (Violence: Six Sideways Reflections)
When it gets dark, it's only because god has tucked me in a cleft of the rock and covered me, protected, with His hand? In the pitch, I feel like I'm falling, sense the bridge giving way, God long absent. In the dark, the bridge and my world shakes, cracking dreams. But maybe this is true reality: It is in the dark that God is passing by. the bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can't see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us, I-beam supporting in earthquake.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
Obviously, if theism is a belief in a God and atheism is a lack of a belief in a God, no third position or middle ground is possible. A person can either believe or not believe in a God. Therefore, our previous definition of atheism has made an impossibility out of the common usage of agnosticism to mean 'neither affirming nor denying a belief in God.' Actually, this is no great loss, because the dictionary definition of agnostic is still again different from Huxley’s definition. The literal meaning of agnostic is one who holds that some aspect of reality is unknowable. Therefore, an agnostic is not simply someone who suspends judgment on an issue, but rather one who suspends judgment because he feels that the subject is unknowable and therefore no judgment can be made. It is possible, therefore, for someone not to believe in a God (as Huxley did not) and yet still suspend judgment (ie, be an agnostic) about whether it is possible to obtain knowledge of a God. Such a person would be an atheistic agnostic. It is also possible to believe in the existence of a force behind the universe, but to hold (as did Herbert Spencer) that any knowledge of that force was unobtainable. Such a person would be a theistic agnostic.
Gordon Stein
If we put this whole progression in terms of our discussion of the possibilities of heroism, it goes like this: Man breaks through the bounds of merely cultural heroism; he destroys the character lie that had him perform as a hero in the everyday social scheme of things; and by doing so he opens himself up to infinity, to the possibility of cosmic heroism, to the very service of God. His life thereby acquires ultimate value in place of merely social and cultural, historical value. He links his secret inner self, his authentic talent, his deepest feelings of uniqueness, his inner yearning for absolute significance, to the very ground of creation. Out of the ruins of the broken cultural self there remains the mystery of the private, invisible, inner self which yearned for ultimate significance, for cosmic heroism. This invisible mystery at the heart of every creature now attains cosmic significance by affirming its connection with the invisible mystery at the heart of creation. This is the meaning of faith. At the same time it is the meaning of the merger of psychology and religion in Kierkegaard's thought. The truly open person, the one who has shed his character armor, the vital lie of his cultural conditioning, is beyond the help of any mere "science," of any merely social standard of health. He is absolutely alone and trembling on the bring of oblivion-which is at the same time the brink of infinity. To give him the new support that he needs, the "courage to renounce dread without any dread...only faith is capable of," says Kierkegaard. Not that this is an easy out for man, or a cure-all for the human condition-Kierkegaard is never facile. He gives a strikingly beautiful idea: not that [faith] annihilates dread, but remaining ever young, it is continually developing itself out of the death throe of dread. In other words, as long as man is an ambiguous creature he can never banish anxiety; what he can do instead is to use anxiety as an eternal spring for growth into new dimensions of thought and trust. Faith poses a new life task, the adventure in openness to a multi-dimensional reality.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
SHOHAKU OKUMURA: We human beings have the ability to think of things not in front of us. We create stories in our minds in which the hero or heroine is always us. We evaluate what happened in the past, we analyze our present conditions, and we anticipate what should happen in the future. This is an important ability. Because of it, we can create art, study history, and have visions of the future. Without it, we couldn’t write or enjoy poems or movies. Almost all of human culture depends on seeing things not in front of our eyes. This means almost all culture is fictitious. Our ability to create such fictions is the reality of our lives. We cannot live without it. But this ability leads to many problems. We have certain expectations of our stories. If things go as we expect, we feel like heavenly beings, but if not, we feel we’re in hell. Often we desire more and more without ever experiencing satisfaction, like hungry ghosts. It’s important to see that it’s not life that causes suffering but our expectation that life should be the way we want. We can’t live without expectation, but if we can handle the feelings caused by the difference between our expectations and reality, that’s liberation. Zazen practice as taught by Dogen Zenji, Sawaki Roshi, and Uchiyama Roshi is taking a break from watching the screen of our stories and sitting down on the ground of the reality that exists before our imagination. When we’re not taken in by our fictitious world, we can enjoy and learn from the stories we make.
Kosho Uchiyama (Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo)
He felt that he had unwittingly stuck his hand into The Great Wasps' Nest of Life. As an image it stank. As a cameo of reality, he felt it was serviceable. He had stuck his hand through some rotted flashing in high summer and that hand and his whole arm had been consumed in holy, righteous fire, destroying conscious thought, making the concept of civilized behaviour obsolete. Could you be expected to behave as a thinking human being when your hand was being impaled on red-hot darning needles? Could you be expected to live in the love of your nearest and dearest when the brown, furious cloud rose out of the hole in the fabric of things (the fabric you thought was so innocent) and arrowed straight at you? Could you be held responsible for your own actions as you ran crazily about on the sloping roof seventy feet above he ground, not knowing where you were going, not remembering that your panicky, stumbling feet could lead you crashing and blundering right over the rain gutter and down to your death on the concrete seventy feet below? Jack didn't think you could. When you unwittingly stuck your hand into the wasps' nest, you hadn't made a covenant with the devil to give up your civilized self with its trappings of love and respect and honour. It just happened to you. Passively, with no say, you ceased to be a creature of the mind and became a creature of the nerve endings; from college-educated man to wailing ape in five seconds.
Stephen King
I love a man who tickles me awake with reality, and kisses me goodnight with fiction Braids my hair with simplicity to compliment my contradiction And calms the waging wars inside with a simple boyish look For he is as much a mystery as he is an open book When I am at my worst, I am beautiful by his side He draws me in yet keeps me free, the moon to my tide He relishes my quirks and antics just as much I love to keep him frantic And if I ever fall, he doesn’t catch me right away Because he knows I’ll glide And even more so, knows how much I enjoy the ride… With the strength I lack, he holds my insecurity safe in-between his fingers And if there is ever a doubt while I am out running about His steady grip lingers He drives me crazy just as much as he keeps me sane And has the wisdom to keep me wild knowing I’ll die if ever tame So when I am far, he frets not, because he knows he’s my favorite destination If ever I am down, he joins me on the ground and points out my favorite constellations He catches my sighs and lackluster replies With ageless humor and tenacity I draw blanks at his capacity And challenge his audacity But He wins because despite my stubbornness he is persistent Yet forever fails because he belongs to nonexistent
Yesenia Barkley
You make plans and decisions assuming randomness and chaos are for chumps. The illusion of control is a peculiar thing because it often leads to high self-esteem and a belief your destiny is yours for the making more than it really is. This over-optimistic view can translate into actual action, rolling with the punches and moving ahead no matter what. Often, this attitude helps lead to success. Eventually, though, most people get punched in the stomach by life. Sometimes, the gut-punch doesn’t come until after a long chain of wins, until you’ve accumulated enough power to do some serious damage. This is when wars go awry, stock markets crash, and political scandals spill out into the media. Power breeds certainty, and certainty has no clout against the unpredictable, whether you are playing poker or running a country. Psychologists point out these findings do not suggest you should throw up your hands and give up. Those who are not grounded in reality, oddly enough, often achieve a lot in life simply because they believe they can and try harder than others. If you focus too long on your lack of power, you can slip into a state of learned helplessness that will whirl you into a negative feedback loop of depression. Some control is necessary or else you give up altogether. Langer proved this when studying nursing homes where some patients were allowed to arrange their furniture and water plants—they lived longer than those who had had those tasks performed by others. Knowing about the illusion of control shouldn’t discourage you from attempting to carve a space for yourself out of whatever field you want to tackle. After all, doing nothing guarantees no results. But as you do so, remember most of the future is unforeseeable. Learn to coexist with chaos. Factor it into your plans. Accept that failure is always a possibility, even if you are one of the good guys; those who believe failure is not an option never plan for it. Some things are predictable and manageable, but the farther away in time an event occurs, the less power you have over it. The farther away from your body and the more people involved, the less agency you wield. Like a billion rolls of a trillion dice, the factors at play are too complex, too random to truly manage. You can no more predict the course of your life than you could the shape of a cloud. So seek to control the small things, the things that matter, and let them pile up into a heap of happiness. In the bigger picture, control is an illusion anyway.
David McRaney (You Are Not So Smart)
And do not try to be so brave. I am your lifemate.You cannot hide from me something as powerful as fear." "Trepidation," she corrected, nibbling at the pad of his thumb. "Is there a difference?" His pale eyes had warmed to molten mercury. Just that fast, her body ent liquid in answer. "You know very well there is." She laughed again, and the sound traveled down from his heart to pool in his groin, a heavy,familiar ache. "Slight, perhaps, but very important." "I will try to make you happy, Savannah," he promised gravely. Her fingers went up to brush at the thick mane of hair falling around his face. "You are my lifemate, Gregori. I have no doubt you will make me happy." He had to look away,out the window into the night. She was so good, with so much beauty in her, while he was so dark, his goodness drained into the ground with the blood of all the lives he had taken while he waited for her. But now,faced with the reality of her, Gregori could not bear her to witness the blackness within him, the hideous stain across his soul. For beyond his killing and law-breaking, he had committed the gravest crime of all. And he deserved the ultimate penalty, the forfeit of his life. He had deliberately tempered with nature.He knew he was powerful enough, knew his knowledge exeeded the boundaries of Carpathian law. He had taken Savannah's free will, manipulated the chemistry between them so that she would believe he was her true lifemate. And so she was with him-less than a quarter of a century of innocence pitted against his thousand years of hard study.Perhaps that was his punishment, he mused-being sentenced to an eternity of knowing Savannah could never really love him, never really accept his black soul.That she would be ever near yet so far away. If she ever found out the extent of his manipulation, she would despise him. Yet he could never,ever, allow her to leave him. Not if mortals and immortals alike were to be safe. His jaw hardened, and he stared out the window, turning slightly away from her. His mind firmly left hers, not wanting to alert her to the grave crime he had committed.He could bear torture and centuries of isolation, he could bear his own great sins, but he could not endure her loathing him. Unconsciously, he took her hand in his and tightened his grip until it threatened to crush her fragile bones. Savannah glanced at him, let out a breath slowly to keep from wincing, and kept her hand passively in his.He thought his mind closed to her.Didn't believe she was his true lifemate. He truly believed he had manipulated the outcome of their joining unfairly and that somewhere another Carpathian male with the chemistry to match hers might be waiting.Though he had offered her free access to his mind, had himself given her the power,to meld her mind with his,both as her wolf and as her healer before she was born,he likely didn't think a woman,a fledging, and one who was not his true lifemate, could possibly have the skill to read his innermost secrets.But Savannah could. And completing the ancient ritual of lifemates had only strengthened the bond.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
I am in my old room once more, for a little, and I am caught in musing - - how life is a swift motion, a continuous flowing, changing, and how one is always saying goodbye and going places, seeing people, doing things. Only in the rain, sometimes, only when the rain comes, closing in your pitifully small radius of activity, only when you sit and listen by the window, as the cold wet air blows thinly by the back of your neck - only then do you think and feel sick. You feel the days slipping by, elusive as slippery pink worms, through your fingers, and you wonder what you have for your eighteen years, and you think about how, with difficulty and concentration, you could bring back a day, a day of sun, blue skies and watercoloring by the sea. You could remember the sensual observations that made that day reality, and you could delude yourself into thinking - almost - that you could return to the past, and relive the days and hours in a quick space of time. But no, the quest of time past is more difficult than you think, and time present is eaten up by such plaintive searchings. The film of your days and nights is wound up tight in you, never to be re-run - and the occasional flashbacks are faint, blurred, unreal, as if seen through falling snow. Now, you begin to get scared. You don't believe in God, or a life-after-death, so you can't hope for sugar plums when your non-existent soul rises. You believe that whatever there is has got to come from man, and man is pretty creative in his good moments - pretty mature, pretty perceptive for his age - how many years is it, now? How many thousands? Yet, yet in this era of specialization, of infinite variety and complexity and myriad choices, what do you pick for yourself out of the grab-bag? Cats have nine lives, the saying goes. You have one; and somewhere along the thin, tenuous thread of your existence there is the black knot, the blood clot, the stopped heartbeat that spells the end of this particular individual which is spelled "I" and "You" and "Sylvia." So you wonder how to act, and how to be - and you wonder about values and attitudes. In the relativism and despair, in the waiting for the bombs to begin, for the blood (now spurting in Korea, in Germany, in Russia) to flow and trickle before your own eyes, you wonder with a quick sick fear how to cling to earth, to the seeds of grass and life. You wonder about your eighteen years, ricocheting between a stubborn determination that you've done well for your own capabilities and opportunities... that you're competing now with girls from all over America, and not just from the hometown: and a fear that you haven't done well enough - You wonder if you've got what it takes to keep building up obstacle courses for your self, and to keep leaping through them, sprained ankle or not. Again the refrain, what have you for your eighteen years? And you know that whatever tangible things you do have, they cannot be held, but, too, will decompose and slip away through your coarse-skinned and death-rigid fingers. So you will rot in the ground, and so you say, what the hell? Who cares? But you care, and somehow you don't want to live just one life, which could be typed, which could be tossed off in a thumbnail sketch = "She was the sort of girl.... And end in 25 words or less.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)