Help Animals Quotes

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

You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?
Mark Twain
Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.
Shannon L. Alder
We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves.
César Chávez
Religion is still useful among the herd - that it helps their orderly conduct as nothing else could. The crude human animal is in-eradicably superstitious, and there is every biological reason why they should be. Take away his Christian god and saints, and he will worship something else...
H.P. Lovecraft
I worry sometimes that humans are afraid of helping humans. There's less risk associated with animals, less fear of failure, fear of getting to involved.
Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
If you don't like pictures of animal cruelty being posted on social media, you need to help stop the cruelty, not the pictures. You should be bothered that its happening, not that you saw it.
Marie Sarantakis
Never allow your mind to wander untamed like a wild animal that exists on the basis of survival of the fittest. Tame your mind with consistent focus on your goals and desires.
Stephen Richards (Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free)
What the hell is going on?" demanded Kami's dad, advancing with his black eyes snapping. Jared blurted, "My intentions are honourable." Kami sat up straight in her bed and stared in Jared's direction. "Are you completely crazy?" she wanted to know. "This isn't the eighteenth century. How do you think that's going to help?" "Well, I mean," Jared said, back against the wall like a cornered animal. "When we're older. I mean-" "Please shut up," Kami begged. "I agree with Kami," said Dad. "When you're in an abyss-like hole, quit digging.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can't stop pissing on fire hydrants...I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. she walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. She knows the truth: We're as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we're not likely to do either. People will say it's sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it's not sad. It's triumphant. It's heroic. Isn't that the real heroism? The real heroes anyway aren't the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
I can give her no greater power than she has already, said the woman; don't you see how strong that is? How men and animals are obliged to serve her, and how well she has got through the world, barefooted as she is. She cannot receive any power from me greater than she now has, which consists in her own purity and innocence of heart. If she cannot herself obtain access to the Snow Queen, and remove the glass fragments from little Kay, we can do nothing to help her.
Hans Christian Andersen (The Snow Queen)
Real women fight for something, other than their own emotions.
Shannon L. Alder
So what if you can see The darkest side of me. No one will ever change this animal I have become. Help me believe It's not the real me. Somebody help me tame this animal I have become.
Three Days Grace
I love teamwork. I love the idea of everyone rallying together to help me win.
Jarod Kintz (A Zebra is the Piano of the Animal Kingdom)
I've seriously got to stop turning my girlfriends gay, but like I can really help it. It's my animal appeal.
Gena Showalter (Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1))
I can't help but be amazed at the power such small, unassuming animals wield over us; they so easily break down our defences.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than the animals that know nothing.
Maurice Maeterlinck
Dogs don't censor themselves. Maybe animals were smarter than people. The dog was so happy. My mom and dad too. It felt good to know that they loved the dog, that they let themselves do that. And somehow it seemed that the dog helped us be a better family.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
More often than not, what animals require our protection from is not hurricanes or fires, but abuse at the hands of other people".
Julie Klam (Love at First Bark: How Saving a Dog Can Sometimes Help You Save Yourself)
If you don’t like seeing pictures of violence towards animals being posted, you need to help stop the violence, not the pictures.
Johnny Depp
A human body in no way resembles those that were born for ravenousness; it hath no hawk’s bill, no sharp talon, no roughness of teeth, no such strength of stomach or heat of digestion, as can be sufficient to convert or alter such heavy and fleshy fare. But if you will contend that you were born to an inclination to such food as you have now a mind to eat, do you then yourself kill what you would eat. But do it yourself, without the help of a chopping-knife, mallet or axe, as wolves, bears, and lions do, who kill and eat at once. Rend an ox with thy teeth, worry a hog with thy mouth, tear a lamb or a hare in pieces, and fall on and eat it alive as they do. But if thou had rather stay until what thou eat is to become dead, and if thou art loath to force a soul out of its body, why then dost thou against nature eat an animate thing? There is nobody that is willing to eat even a lifeless and a dead thing even as it is; so they boil it, and roast it, and alter it by fire and medicines, as it were, changing and quenching the slaughtered gore with thousands of sweet sauces, that the palate being thereby deceived may admit of such uncouth fare.
Plutarch
We know, at least, that this decision (ending factory farming) will help prevent deforestation, curb global warming, reduce pollution, save oil reserves, lessen the burden on rural America, decrease human rights abuses, improve publish health, and help eliminate the most systematic animal abuse in history.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
Farm animals are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined and, despite having been bred as domestic slaves, they are individual beings in their own right. As such, they deserve our respect. And our help. Who will plead for them if we are silent? Thousands of people who say they ‘love’ animals sit down once or twice a day to enjoy the flesh of creatures who have been treated so with little respect and kindness just to make more meat.
Jane Goodall
Toxic relationships are dangerous to your health; they will literally kill you. Stress shortens your lifespan. Even a broken heart can kill you. There is an undeniable mind-body connection. Your arguments and hateful talk can land you in the emergency room or in the morgue. You were not meant to live in a fever of anxiety; screaming yourself hoarse in a frenzy of dreadful, panicked fight-or-flight that leaves you exhausted and numb with grief. You were not meant to live like animals tearing one another to shreds. Don't turn your hair gray. Don't carve a roadmap of pain into the sweet wrinkles on your face. Don't lay in the quiet with your heart pounding like a trapped, frightened creature. For your own precious and beautiful life, and for those around you — seek help or get out before it is too late. This is your wake-up call!
Bryant McGill
When we make friends then we change from being animals to being human.
Stephen Richards
HELPED are those who are content to be themselves; they will never lack mystery in their lives and the joys of self-discovery will be constant. HELPED are those who love the entire cosmos rather than their own tiny country, city, or farm, for to them will be shown the unbroken web of life and the meaning of infinity. HELPED are those who live in quietness, knowing neither brand name nor fad; they shall live every day as if in eternity, and each moment shall be as full as it is long. HELPED are those who love others unsplit off from their faults; to them will be given clarity of vision. HELPED are those who create anything at all, for they shall relive the thrill of their own conception, and realize an partnership in the creation of the Universe that keeps them responsible and cheerful. HELPED are those who love the Earth, their mother, and who willingly suffer that she may not die; in their grief over her pain they will weep rivers of blood, and in their joy in her lively response to love, they will converse with the trees. HELPED are those whose ever act is a prayer for harmony in the Universe, for they are the restorers of balance to our planet. To them will be given the insight that every good act done anywhere in the cosmos welcomes the life of an animal or a child. HELPED are those who risk themselves for others' sakes; to them will be given increasing opportunities for ever greater risks. Theirs will be a vision of the word in which no one's gift is despised or lost. HELPED are those who strive to give up their anger; their reward will be that in any confrontation their first thoughts will never be of violence or of war. HELPED are those whose every act is a prayer for peace; on them depends the future of the world. HELPED are those who forgive; their reward shall be forgiveness of every evil done to them. It will be in their power, therefore, to envision the new Earth. HELPED are those who are shown the existence of the Creator's magic in the Universe; they shall experience delight and astonishment without ceasing. HELPED are those who laugh with a pure heart; theirs will be the company of the jolly righteous. HELPED are those who love all the colors of all the human beings, as they love all the colors of the animals and plants; none of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them. HELPED are those who love the lesbian, the gay, and the straight, as they love the sun, the moon, and the stars. None of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them. HELPED are those who love the broken and the whole; none of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them. HELPED are those who do not join mobs; theirs shall be the understanding that to attack in anger is to murder in confusion. HELPED are those who find the courage to do at least one small thing each day to help the existence of another--plant, animal, river, or human being. They shall be joined by a multitude of the timid. HELPED are those who lose their fear of death; theirs is the power to envision the future in a blade of grass. HELPED are those who love and actively support the diversity of life; they shall be secure in their differences. HELPED are those who KNOW.
Alice Walker
Sometimes when I watch my dog, I think about how good life can be, if we only lose ourselves in our stories. Lucy doesn't read self-help books about how to be a dog; she just IS a dog. All she wants to do is chase ducks and sticks and do other things that make both her and me happy. It makes me wonder if that was the intention for man, to chase sticks and ducks, to name animals, to create families, and to keep looking back at God to feed off his pleasure at our pleasure.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?
Dan Barker
Van Houten, I’m a good person but a shitty writer. You’re a shitty person but a good writer. We’d make a good team. I don’t want to ask you any favors, but if you have time – and from what I saw, you have plenty – I was wondering if you could write a eulogy for Hazel. I’ve got notes and everything, but if you could just make it into a coherent whole or whatever? Or even just tell me what I should say differently. Here’s the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease. I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, “They’ll remember me now,” but (a) they don’t remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion. (Okay, maybe I’m not such a shitty writer. But I can’t pull my ideas together, Van Houten. My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.) We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can’t stop pissing on fire hydrants. I know it’s silly and useless – epically useless in my current state – but I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either. People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm. The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn’t actually invented anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn’t get smallpox. After my PET scan lit up, I snuck into the ICU and saw her while she was unconscious. I just walked in behind a nurse with a badge and I got to sit next to her for like ten minutes before I got caught. I really thought she was going to die, too. It was brutal: the incessant mechanized haranguing of intensive care. She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated. But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar. A nurse guy came in and told me I had to leave, that visitors weren’t allowed, and I asked if she was doing okay, and the guy said, “She’s still taking on water.” A desert blessing, an ocean curse. What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
You can be yourself without pursuing yourself. Have you ever seen a dog chase his own tail? He just runs in circles.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
It may be a cat, a bird, a ferret, or a guinea pig, but the chances are high that when someone close to you dies, a pet will be there to pick up the slack. Pets devour the loneliness. They give us purpose, responsibility, a reason for getting up in the morning, and a reason to look to the future. They ground us, help us escape the grief, make us laugh, and take full advantage of our weakness by exploiting our furniture, our beds, and our refrigerator. We wouldn't have it any other way. Pets are our seat belts on the emotional roller coaster of life--they can be trusted, they keep us safe, and they sure do smooth out the ride.
Nick Trout (Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing and Hope in My Life As an Animal Surgeon)
[L]asting love is something a person has to decide to experience. Lifelong monogamous devotion is just not natural—not for women even, and emphatically not for men. It requires what, for lack of a better term, we can call an act of will. . . . This isn't to say that a young man can't hope to be seized by love. . . . But whether the sheer fury of a man's feelings accurately gauges their likely endurance is another question. The ardor will surely fade, sooner or later, and the marriage will then live or die on respect, practical compatibility, simple affection, and (these days, especially) determination. With the help of these things, something worthy of the label 'love' can last until death. But it will be a different kind of love from the kind that began the marriage. Will it be a richer love, a deeper love, a more spiritual love? Opinions vary. But it's certainly a more impressive love.
Robert Wright (The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are - The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology)
Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: "Love. They must do it for love." Farmers farm for the love of farming. They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable. They love to live where they work and to work where they live. If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children. They love the measure of independence that farm life can still provide. I have an idea that a lot of farmers have gone to a lot of trouble merely to be self-employed to live at least a part of their lives without a boss.
Wendell Berry (Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food)
There must be some piece of wiring left over in our brains, from our ancestors, something that means we can’t help but stare into a fire, watch it move and dance, warding off evil spirits and dangerous animals . . . that’s what fire’s supposed to do, isn’t it?
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
I would not question the sincerity of vegetarians who take little interest in Animal Liberation because they give priority to other causes; but when nonvegetarians say that "human problems come first" I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for human beings that compels them to continue to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farm animals.
Peter Singer (Animal Liberation)
Let's just call things what they are. When a man's love of finery clouds his moral judgment, that is vanity. When he lets a demanding palate make his moral choices, that is gluttony. When he ascribes the divine will to his own whims, that is pride. And when he gets angry at being reminded of animal suffering that his own daily choices might help avoid, that is moral cowardice.
Matthew Scully
I worry sometimes that humans are afraid of helping humans. There’s less risk associated with animals, less fear of failure, fear of getting too involved. In war movies, a thousand soldiers can die gruesomely, but when the horse is shot, the audience is heartbroken. It’s the My Dog Skip effect. The Homeward Bound syndrome.
Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.... And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for the universal brotherhood of man with his mouth.
Mark Twain
Watching Italians eat (especially men, I have to say) is a form of tourism the books don't tell you about. They close their eyes, raise their eyebrows into accent marks, and make sounds of acute appreciation. It's fairly sexy. Of course I don't know how these men behave at home, if they help with the cooking or are vain and boorish and mistreat their wives. I realized Mediterranean cultures have their issues. Fine, don't burst my bubble. I didn’t want to marry these guys, I just wanted to watch. (p. 247)
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
Your life does matter. It always matters whether you reach out in friendship or lash out in anger. It always matters whether you live with compassion and awareness or whether you succumb to distractions and trivia. It always matters how you treat other people, how you treat animals, and how you treat yourself. It always matters what you do. It always matters what you say. And it always matters what you eat.
John Robbins (The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World)
[Mouse is] with us. The dog is a handicap-assist animal." The kid lifted his eyebrows. "My mouth is partially paralyzed," I said. "It makes it hard for me to read. He's here to help me with the big words. Tell me if I'm supposed to push or pull on doors, that kind of thing.
Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
There is always the easy way out, although I am loath to use it. I have no children, I do not watch television and I do not believe in God- all paths taken by mortals to make their lives easier. Children help us to defer the painful task of confronting ourselves, and grandchildren take over from them. Television distracts us from the onerous necessity of finding projects to construct in the vacuity of our frivolous lives; by beguiling our eyes, television releases our mind from the great work of making meaning. Finally, God appeases our animal fears and the unbearable prospect that someday all our pleasures will cease. Thus, as I have neither future nor progeny nor pixels to deaden the cosmic awareness of absurdity, and in the certainty of the end and the anticipation of the void, I believe I can affirm that I have not chosen the easy path.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
When animals make a stupid mistake, you laugh at them. A cat misjudges a leap. A dog looks overly quizzical about a simple object. These are funny things. But when a person doesn’t understand something, if they miscalculate and hit the brakes too late, blame is assigned. They are stupid. They are wrong. Teachers and cops are there to sort it out, with a trail of paperwork to illustrate the stupidity. The faults. The evidence and incidents of these things. We have entire systems in place to help decide who is what.
Mindy McGinnis (The Female of the Species)
And if we dare to look into those eyes, then we shall feel their suffering in our hearts. More and more people have seen that appeal and felt it in their hearts. All around the world there is an awakening of understanding and compassion, and understanding that reaches out to help the suffering animals in their vanishing homelands. That embraces hungry, sick, and desperate human beings, people who are starving while the fortunate among us have so much more than we need. And if, one by one, we help them, the hurting animals, the desperate humans, then together we shall alleviate so much of the hunger, fear, and pain in the world. Together we can bring change to the world, gradually replacing fear and hatred with compassion and love. Love for all living beings.
Jane Goodall
The point of being a teacher is to do more than impart facts, it's to shape the way students perceive the world, to help a student absorb the rules of a discipline. The teachers who do that get remembered.
David Brooks (The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement)
I believe that the place where an animal dies is a sacred one. There is a need to bring ritual into the conventional slaughter plants and use as a means to shape people's behavior. It would help prevent people from becoming numbed, callous, or cruel. The ritual could be something very simple, such as a moment of silence. In addition to developing better designs and making equipment to insure the humane treatments of all animals, that would be my contribution.
Temple Grandin (Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism)
She tried to tear herself away from him. The effort broke against his arms that had not felt it. Her fists beat against his shoulders, against his face. He moved one had, took her two wrists, pinned them behind her, under his arm, wrenching her shoulder blades. She twisted her head back. She felt his lips on her breast. She tore herself free…She fought like an animal. But she made no sound. She did not call for help. She heard the echoes of her blows in a gasp of his breath, and she knew that it was a gasp of pleasure…She felt the hatred and his hands; his hands moving over her body, the hands that broke granite. She fought the last convulsion. Then the sudden pain shot up, through her body, to her throat, and she screamed. Then she laid still. It was an act that could be performed in tenderness, as a seal of love, or in contempt, as a symbol of humiliation and conquest. It could be an act of a lover or the act of a soldier violating an enemy woman. He did it as an act of scorn. Not as love, but as defilement. And this made her still and submit…the act of a master taking shameful , contemptuous possession of her was the kind of rapture she had wanted…
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Maybe humans need animals to help them understand the world. Certainly it’s hard to see what else cats do for humans, aside from looking cute and killing the odd mouse.
Elly Griffiths (A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway, #5))
A mycelial network is a map of a fungus’s recent history and is a helpful reminder that all life-forms are in fact processes not things. The “you” of five years ago was made from different stuff than the “you” of today. Nature is an event that never stops. As William Bateson, who coined the word genetics, observed, “We commonly think of animals and plants as matter, but they are really systems through which matter is continually passing.
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures)
All the idylls of youth: beauty manifest in lakes, mountains, people; richness in experience, conversation, friendships. Nights during a full moon, the light flooded the wilderness, so it was possible to hike without a headlamp. We would hit the trail at two A.M., summiting the nearest peak, Mount Tallac, just before sunrise, the clear, starry night reflected in the flat, still lakes spread below us. Snuggled together in sleeping bags at the peak, nearly ten thousand feet up, we weathered frigid blasts of wind with coffee someone had been thoughtful enough to bring. And then we would sit and watch as the first hint of sunlight, a light tinge of day blue, would leak out of the eastern horizon, slowly erasing the stars. The day sky would spread wide and high, until the first ray of the sun made an appearance. The morning commuters began to animate the distant South Lake Tahoe roads. But craning your head back, you could see the day’s blue darken halfway across the sky, and to the west, the night remained yet unconquered—pitch-black, stars in full glimmer, the full moon still pinned in the sky. To the east, the full light of day beamed toward you; to the west, night reigned with no hint of surrender. No philosopher can explain the sublime better than this, standing between day and night. It was as if this were the moment God said, “Let there be light!” You could not help but feel your specklike existence against the immensity of the mountain, the earth, the universe, and yet still feel your own two feet on the talus, reaffirming your presence amid the grandeur.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
Everyone smiles, when they are with you. Please... from now on, go and help people in my place. Share your happiness with them.
Yui
Here's the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That's what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease. I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, "They'll remember me now," but (a) they don't remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion. ... We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can't stop pissing on fire hydrants. I know it's silly and useless--epically useless in my current state--but I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We're as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we're not likely to do either. People will say it's sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it's not sad, Van Houten. It's triumphant. It's heroic. Isn't that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm. The real heroes anyway aren't the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn't actually invent anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn't get smallpox. ... But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar. ... What else? She is so beautiful. You don't get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Youth is only being in a way like it might be an animal. No, it is not just like being an animal so much as being like one of these malenky toys you viddy being sold in the streets, like little chellovecks made out of tin and with a spring inside and then a winding handle on the outside and you wind it up grrr grrr grrr and off it itties, like walking, O my brothers. But it itties in a straight line and bangs straight into things bang bang and it cannot help what it is doing. Being young is like being like one of these malenky machines.
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
Were we to confront our creaturehood squarely, how would we propose to educate? The answer, I think is implied in the root of the word education, educe, which means "to draw out." What needs to be drawn out is our affinity for life. That affinity needs opportunities to grow and flourish, it needs to be validated, it needs to be instructed and disciplined, and it needs to be harnessed to the goal of building humane and sustainable societies. Education that builds on our affinity for life would lead to a kind of awakening of possibilities and potentials that lie dormant and unused in the industrial-utilitarian mind. Therefore the task of education, as Dave Forman stated, is to help us 'open our souls to love this glorious, luxuriant, animated, planet.' The good news is that our own nature will help us in the process if we let it.
David Orr
In a Kenya game park once I saw a family of wart-hogs waddling ungainly and in a tremendous hurry across the grass. Contemptuous though I am of those who find animals comic…still I could not help laughing at this quaint spectacle. My African companion rightly rebuked me. “You should not laugh at them,” he said. “They are beautiful to each other.
Jan Morris (Conundrum)
Cherishing yourself leads to misfortune. Cherishing others leads to good fortune. We are social animals. Like all social animals, a person who is selfish will not attract others, but a person who helps others will invite the kindness and company of others.
Todd Perelmuter (Spiritual Words to Live by : 81 Daily Wisdoms and Meditations to Transform Your Life)
It's not worth getting upset about, Mrs. Dominic. Down in the city they don't know how the other half lives, and they can afford the luxury of doting on their animals as if they were children. Out here it's different. You'll never see man, woman or child in need of help go ignored out here, yet in the city those same people who dote on their pets will completely ignore a cry of help from a human being.
Colleen McCullough (The Thorn Birds)
A smile is the best way to get oneself out of a tight spot, even if it is a fake one. Surprisingly enough, everyone takes it at face value. I read that in a book." "If you keep staring at me, I'll hit you." "I only became part of your team recently when I replaced Sasuke, so I don't know everything that's going on. I don't really understand people either. But even I can tell that Naruto really loves you. Naruto's been shouldering that promise for a long time...I think he means to shoulder it for the rest of his life. I don't know what you said to him, but it's just like what's been done to me - it feels like a curse. Sasuke causes Naruto pain, but I think you do too." "Sasuke is only helping spread his darkness across the world. Letting him live will only sow the seeds of another war. He's just another criminal now. Sasuke lost all hope of coming back when his group, Akatsuki, attacked our village. Your fellow Konoha shinobi would never accept him now. Sakura's not stupid, either. She understands the position he's put us all in. That's why she came out here, to tell you herself.
Masashi Kishimoto
I’ve done some soul searching… Looked deep within myself, ya know? I've reached the conclusion that 'Fuck You!' is my spirit animal, and some mother fuckers are going to pay. You can help me or you can walk… but I’m in this. I’m in ‘til the end,” Wednesday said.
Dennis Sharpe (Wednesday)
And you plan to do this alone? You think a lot of yourself, don’t you animal? (Stone) Oh, punk, please. Believe me, when dealing with wusses like you who have to gang up on a kid to feel powerful, I don’t need any help. (Fang)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Bad Moon Rising (Dark-Hunter #18; Were-Hunter #4; Hellchaser #2))
Isabelle had been trained to wake up early every morning, rain or shine, and a slight hangover did nothing to prevent it from happening again. She sat up slowly and blinked down at Simon. She'd never spent and entire night in a bed with anyone else, unless you counted crawling into her parents bed when she was four and afraid of thunderstorms. She couldn't help staring at Simon as if he were some exotic species of animal. He lay on his back, his mouth slightly open, his hair in his eyes. Ordinary brown hair, ordinary brown eyes. His t-shirt was pulled up slightly. He wasn't muscular like a shadowhunter. He had a smooth flat stomach but no six-pack, and there was still a hint of softness to his face. What was it about him that fascinated her? He was plenty cute, but she had dated gorgeous faerie knights, sexy shadowhunters... "Isabelle," Simon said without opening his eyes. "Quit staring at me.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
And I can’t help but be amazed at the power such small, unassuming animals wield over us; they so easily break down our defenses.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
It’s my belief that animals can help a human being travel to the wounds of childhood. The best part is, once you go there, you can fix things. Get on with life.
Jo-Ann Mapson (Solomon's Oak)
What's with all the cheering over the apocalypse, anyway? Oh, yay, we get to kill poor helpless humans." "The excitement over the apocalypse had nothing to do with humans." "Could have fooled me." "Humans are incidental." "Killing and destroying an entire species is incidental?" I can't help but sound like I'm accusing him (Raffe), even though I know he wasn't part of the plan to wipe us out. Or at least, I think he wasn't personally involved, but I don't really know that, do I? "Your people have been doing it to all kinds of species." "That's not the same." "Why not?
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
Pack speaking about his new love, Sky: “Well, let’s see. She has the animal husbandry skills of a vet, the organizational skills of a Six Sigma guru, and the mechanical skills of a…trained mechanic. She doesn’t require handyman help. And she’s nice to look at. Other than that, she leaves a lot to be desired. And maybe I omitted the best part, which is that she’s a fine human being with strong values.
John M. Vermillion (Pack's Posse (Simon Pack Book 8))
Once you start cooking, one thing leads to another. A new recipe is as exciting as a blind date. A new ingredient, heaven help me, is an intoxicating affair.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
If you ever feel like dying to help the universe, just let me know. I'll be waiting.
人 人
The soul is like a wild animal—tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient and yet exceedingly shy. If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out. But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree, the creature we are waiting for may well emerge, and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek.
Parker J. Palmer (A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life)
The ship was sinking---and sinking fast. The captain told the passengers and crew, "We've got to get the lifeboats in the water right away." But the crew said, "First we have to end capitalist oppression of the working class. Then we'll take care of the lifeboats." Then the women said, "First we want equal pay for equal work. The lifeboats can wait." The racial minorities said, "First we need to end racial discrimination. Then seating in the lifeboats will be allotted fairly." The captain said, "These are all important issues, but they won't matter a damn if we don't survive. We've got to lower the lifeboats right away!" But the religionists said, "First we need to bring prayer back into the classroom. This is more important than lifeboats." Then the pro-life contingent said, "First we must outlaw abortion. Fetuses have just as much right to be in those lifeboats as anyone else." The right-to-choose contingent said, "First acknowledge our right to abortion, then we'll help with the lifeboats." The socialists said, "First we must redistribute the wealth. Once that's done everyone will work equally hard at lowering the lifeboats." The animal-rights activists said, "First we must end the use of animals in medical experiments. We can't let this be subordinated to lowering the lifeboats." Finally the ship sank, and because none of the lifeboats had been lowered, everyone drowned. The last thought of more than one of them was, "I never dreamed that solving humanity's problems would take so long---or that the ship would sink so SUDDENLY.
Daniel Quinn
Reason is man’s faculty for grasping the world by thought, in contradiction to intelligence, which is man’s ability to manipulate the world with the help of thought. Reason is man’s instrument for arriving at the truth, intelligence is man’s instrument for manipulating the world more successfully; the former is essentially human, the latter belongs to the animal part of man.
Erich Fromm (The Sane Society)
What are you? Weak? Don’t tell me you want me to spare this pathetic animal when it wouldn’t show you any such mercy. Believe me, it’s better to take the head off a cobra before the cobra strikes you. (Xypher) A cobra can’t help what it is. Why should you punish it because it’s doing what the gods created it to do? (Kat)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
Long accustomed to a life of self-indulgent solitude, he began to yearn for the beauty of giving himself to others. The nobility of the word 'sacrifice' became clear to him. He took satisfaction in the feeling of his own littleness as a single seed whose purpose was to carry forward from the past into the future the life of the species called humanity. He even sympathized with the thought that the human species, together with the various kinds of minerals and plants, was no more than a small pillar that helped support a single vast organism adrift in the cosmos-- and with the thought that it was no more precious than the other animals and plants.
Yasunari Kawabata (Palm-of-the-Hand Stories)
When you help an animal, do your absolute best to make sure you don’t harm it at the same time, and Never walk past a problem with an animal—fix it.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
My decision not to eat animals anymore was paramount to my growth as a spiritual person. It made me aware of greed and made me more sensitive to cruelty. It made me feel like I was contributing to making the world better and that I was connected to everything around me. I felt like I was part of the whole by respecting every living thing rather than using it and destroying it by living unconsciously. Healing comes from love. And loving every living thing in turn helps you love yourself.
Portia de Rossi (Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain)
I stay back, because if i get close I'll have to roll him over and look in his eyes, and what if they're empty like Alina's were ? Then I'll know he's gone, like I knew she was gone, too far beyond my reach to ever hear my voice again, to hear me say, I'm sorry, Alina. I wish I'd called more often; I wish I'd heard the truth beneath our vapid sister talk; I wish I'd come to Dublin and fought beside you, or raged at you, because you were acting from fear, too, Alina, not hope at all, or you would have trusted me to help you. Or maybe just apologize, Barrons, for being too young to have my priorities reffined, like you, because I haven't suffered whatever the hell it is you suffered, and then shove you up against a wall and kiss you until you can't breathe, do what I wanted to do the first day I saw you there in your bloody damned bookstore. Disturb you like you disturbed me, make you see me, make you want me-pink me!-shatter your self-control, bring you crashing to your knees in front of me, even though I told myself I'd never want a man like you, that you were too old, too carnal, more animal than man, with one foot in the swamp and no desire to come all the way out, when the truth was that I was terrified by what you made me feel.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
The war, therefore if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that the hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word "war," therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure that is exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age and the early twentieth century has disappeared and has been replaced by something quite different. The effect would be much the same if the three superstates, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed forever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This--although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense--is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: WAR IS PEACE.
George Orwell (1984)
Isn't language loss a good thing, because fewer languages mean easier communication among the world's people? Perhaps, but it's a bad thing in other respects. Languages differ in structure and vocabulary, in how they express causation and feelings and personal responsibility, hence in how they shape our thoughts. There's no single purpose "best" language; instead, different languages are better suited for different purposes. For instance, it may not have been an accident that Plato and Aristotle wrote in Greek, while Kant wrote in German. The grammatical particles of those two languages, plus their ease in forming compound words, may have helped make them the preeminent languages of western philosophy. Another example, familiar to all of us who studied Latin, is that highly inflected languages (ones in which word endings suffice to indicate sentence structure) can use variations of word order to convey nuances impossible with English. Our English word order is severely constrained by having to serve as the main clue to sentence structure. If English becomes a world language, that won't be because English was necessarily the best language for diplomacy.
Jared Diamond (The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal)
We generally accept that it's natural for carnivorous wild animals to kill other animals in order to live. But people don't often think (or even know) about the extraordinary and unnatural suffering that humans inflict on the animals that we freely harvest for food, with the help of modern high technology and the animal food sciences.
Marc Bekoff (Animals Matter: A Biologist Explains Why We Should Treat Animals with Compassion and Respect)
How's your foot?” Hadrian asked. “It hurts.” “He had a good hold.” “Bit right through my boot.” “Yeah, that looked painful.” “So why exactly didn't you help?” Hadrian shrugged. “It was a dog, Royce. A cute, little dog. What did you want me to do, kill an innocent little animal?” Royce tilted his head, squinting into the light of the late evening sun to focus on his friend. “Is that a joke?” “It was a puppy.” “It was not a puppy, and it was eating my foot.” “Yeah, but you were invading his home.” .... “You know, you didn't have to throw it out the window,” Hadrian said as they walked. Royce, who was still preoccupied with his foot, looked up. “What did you want me to do with it? Scratch behind the little monster’s ears as it gnawed my toes off? What if it started barking? That would have been a fine mess.” “It's a good thing there was a moat right under the window.” Royce stopped. “There was?
Michael J. Sullivan (The Viscount and the Witch (The Riyria Chronicles, #1.5))
Small animals are a great problem. I wish God had never created small animals, or else that He had made them so they could talk, or else that He'd given them better faces. Space. Take moths. They fly at the lamp and burn themsleves, and then they fly right back again. It can't be instinct, because it isn't the way it works. They just don't understand, so they go right on doing it. Then they lie on their backs and all their legs quiver, and then they're dead. Did you get all that? Does it sound good?" "Very good," Grandmother said. Sophia stood up and shouted, "Say this: say I hate everything that dies slow! Say I hate everything that won't let you help! Did you write that?
Tove Jansson (The Summer Book)
For this is the last best gift that the kindly demi-god is careful to bestow on those to whom he has revealed himself in their helping: the gift of forgetfulness. Lest the awful remembrance should remain and grow, and overshadow mirth and pleasure, and the great haunting memory should spoil all the after-lives of little animals helped out of difficulties, in order that they should be happy and lighthearted as before.
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
Emotions help us navigate a complex world that we don’t fully comprehend. They are our body’s way of ensuring that we do what is best for us.
Frans de Waal (Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves)
Why do you feel so powerless? Go spend an hour with ants. Each of those black specks you see is a life. One whole life that you can save, take, or affect in some way. You have the power to make so many lives better. It is within you. Don’t lose sight of that.
Kamand Kojouri
When does a job feel meaningful? Whenever it allows us to generate delight or reduce suffering in others. Though we are often taught to think of ourselves as inherently selfish, the longing to act meaningfully in our work seems just as stubborn a part of our make-up as our appetite for status or money. It is because we are meaning-focused animals rather than simply materialistic ones that we can reasonably contemplate surrendering security for a career helping to bring drinking water to rural Malawi or might quit a job in consumer goods for one in cardiac nursing, aware that when it comes to improving the human condition a well-controlled defibrillator has the edge over even the finest biscuit. But we should be wary of restricting the idea of meaningful work too tightly, of focusing only on the doctors, the nuns of Kolkata or the Old Masters. There can be less exalted ways to contribute to the furtherance of the collective good.... ....An endeavor endowed with meaning may appear meaningful only when it proceeds briskly in the hands of a restricted number of actors and therefore where particular workers can make an imaginative connection between what they have done with their working days and their impact upon others.
Alain de Botton (The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work)
Psycholinguists argue about whether language reflects our perception of reality or helps create them. I am in the latter camp. Take the names we give the animals we eat. The Patagonian toothfish is a prehistoric-looking creature with teeth like needles and bulging yellowish eyes that lives in deep waters off the coast of South America. It did not catch on with sophisticated foodies until an enterprising Los Angeles importer renamed it the considerably more palatable "Chilean sea bass.
Hal Herzog (Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals)
Many people know that animals around the world are treated badly, yet they turn their minds away. To be vegan means to care deeply about how our choices help or harm animals, how we create peace or suffering in the world. Our choices are powerful. Vegan is love.
Ruby Roth (Vegan Is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action)
Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog. Nobody ever saw one animal by its gestures and natural cries signify to another, this is mine, that yours; I am willing to give this for that....But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of.
Adam Smith (An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations)
I am not so foolish as to equate what happens under the influence of mescalin or of any other drug, prepared or in the future preparable, with the realization of the end and ultimate purpose of human life: Enlightenment, the Beatific Vision. All I am suggesting is that the mescalin experience is what Catholic theologians call "a gratuitous grace," not necessary to salvation but potentially helpful and to be accepted thankfully, if made available. To be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception, to be shown for a few timeless hours the outer and the inner world, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apprehended, directly and unconditionally, by Mind at Large—this is an experience of inestimable value to everyone and especially to the intellectual.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception)
I often wish I could go back in time and tell my young, anxious self that my dreams weren't in vain and my sorrows weren't permanent. I can't do that, but I can do something better. I can tell you that teachers are all around to help you; with four legs or two or eight or even none; some with internal skeletons, some without. All you have to do is recognize them as teachers and be ready to hear their truths.
Sy Montgomery (How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals)
Theo scratched the animal under the collar, and watched it crane its head to one side, enjoying the contact. It helped, oddly enough. Having contact with another living creature without all of the issues and hassles of dealing with people. No judgement, no worries, just… this. Being alone without being alone.
Wildbow (Worm (Parahumans, #1))
My mom says, "Do you know what the AIDS memorial quilt is all about?" Jump to how much I hate my brother at this moment. I bought this fabric because I thought it would make a nice panel for Shane," Mom says. "We just ran into some problems with what to sew on it." Give me amnesia. Flash. Give me new parents. Flash. Your mother didn't want to step on any toes," Dad says. He twists a drumstick off and starts scraping the meat onto a plate. "With gay stuff you have to be so careful since everything means something in secret code. I mean, we didn't want to give people the wrong idea." My Mom leans over to scoop yams onto my plate, and says, "Your father wanted a black border, but black on a field of blue would mean Shane was excited by leather sex, you know, bondage and discipline, sado and masochism." She says, "Really, those panels are to help the people left behind." Strangers are going to see us and see Shane's name," my dad says. "We didn't want them thinking things." The dishes all start their slow clockwise march around the table. The stuffing. The olives. The cranberry sauce. "I wanted pink triangles but all the panels have pink triangles," my mom says. "It's the Nazi symbol for homosexuals." She says,"Your father suggested black triangles, but that would mean Shane was a lesbian. It looks like female pubic hair. The black triangle does." My father says, "Then I wanted a green border, but it turns out that would mean Shane was a male prostitute." My mom says, "We almost chose a red border, but that would mean fisting. Brown would mean either scat or rimming, we couldn't figure which." Yellow," my father says, "means watersports." A lighter shade of blue," Mom says, "would mean just regular oral sex." Regular white," my father says, "would mean anal. White could also mean Shane was excited by men wearing underwear." He says, "I can't remember which." My mother passes me the quilted chicken with the rolls still warm inside. We're supposed to sit and eat with Shane dead all over the table in front of us. Finally we just gave up," my mom says, "and I made a nice tablecloth out of the material." Between the yams and the stuffing, Dad looks down at his plate and says, "Do you know about rimming?" I know it isn't table talk. And fisting?" my mom asks. I say, I know. I don't mention Manus and his vocational porno magazines. We sit there, all of us around a blue shroud with the turkey more like a big dead baked animal than ever, the stuffing chock full of organs you can still recognize, the heart and gizzard and liver, the gravy thick with cooked fat and blood. The flower centerpiece could be a casket spray. Would you pass the butter, please?" my mother says. To my father she says, "Do you know what felching is?
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
Nature needs your care. Animals need your attention. People need your light. The world needs your love. There are five kinds of love: veritable love for God, your parents, your life partner, your friends, and the most difficult of all, your neighbor. How can you make a difference in the world? Help one person at a time.
Matshona Dhliwayo
If you look at animals like that," said Alucard, clapping her on the shoulder, "it's no wonder they hate you." "Yes, well, then the feeling is mutual." She glanced around. "No Esa?" "My cat dislikes horses almost as much as you do," he said. "I left her in the palace." "God help them all.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
The best way to get quiet, other than the combination of extensive therapy, Prozac, and a lobotomy, is first to notice that the station is on. KFKD [K-Fucked] is on every single morning when I sit down at my desk. So I sit for a moment and then say a small prayer--please help me get out of the way so I can write what wants to be written. Sometimes ritual quiets the racket. Try it. Any number of things may work for you--an altar, for instance, or votive candles, sage smudges, small-animal sacrifices, especially now that the Supreme Court has legalized them.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
BISMILLAH It's a habit of yours to walk slowly. You hold a grudge for years. With such heaviness, how can you be modest? With such attachments, do you expect to arrive anywhere? Be wide as the air to learn a secret. Right now you're equal portions clay and water, thick mud. Abraham learned how the sun and moon and the stars all set. He said, No longer will I try to assign partners for God. You are so weak. Give up to grace. The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore. You need more help than you know. You're trying to live your life in open scaffolding. Say Bismillah, In the name of God, as the priest does with a knife when he offers an animal. Bismillah your old self to find your real name.
Rumi (The Essential Rumi)
But those stories inspire observations and experiments that do help us sort out what’s going on. The science fiction novelist Isaac Asimov reportedly once said, “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny.
Frans de Waal (Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?)
There is no better application of the Golden Rule than to help a homeless pet. In doing this, you are giving the gift of life itself. And since there is no greater gift, there can be no greater reward
Samantha Glen (Best Friends: The True Story of the World's Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary)
Philemon explained how Jung treated thoughts as though they were generated by himself, while for Philemon "thoughts were like animals in the forest, or people in a room, or birds in the air." Jung concluded that Philemon taught him "psychic objectivity, the reality of the psyche." This helped Jung to understand that there is something in me which can say things that I do not know and do not intend.
Stanislav Grof (The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives)
There is an old Eastern fable about a traveler who is taken unawares on the steppes by a ferocious wild animal. In order to escape the beast the traveler hides in an empty well, but at the bottom of the well he sees a dragon with its jaws open, ready to devour him. The poor fellow does not dare to climb out because he is afraid of being eaten by the rapacious beast, neither does he dare drop to the bottom of the well for fear of being eaten by the dragon. So he seizes hold of a branch of a bush that is growing in the crevices of the well and clings on to it. His arms grow weak and he knows that he will soon have to resign himself to the death that awaits him on either side. Yet he still clings on, and while he is holding on to the branch he looks around and sees that two mice, one black and one white, are steadily working their way round the bush he is hanging from, gnawing away at it. Sooner or later they will eat through it and the branch will snap, and he will fall into the jaws of the dragon. The traveler sees this and knows that he will inevitably perish. But while he is still hanging there he sees some drops of honey on the leaves of the bush, stretches out his tongue and licks them. In the same way I am clinging to the tree of life, knowing full well that the dragon of death inevitably awaits me, ready to tear me to pieces, and I cannot understand how I have fallen into this torment. And I try licking the honey that once consoled me, but it no longer gives me pleasure. The white mouse and the black mouse – day and night – are gnawing at the branch from which I am hanging. I can see the dragon clearly and the honey no longer tastes sweet. I can see only one thing; the inescapable dragon and the mice, and I cannot tear my eyes away from them. And this is no fable but the truth, the truth that is irrefutable and intelligible to everyone. The delusion of the joys of life that had formerly stifled my fear of the dragon no longer deceived me. No matter how many times I am told: you cannot understand the meaning of life, do not thinking about it but live, I cannot do so because I have already done it for too long. Now I cannot help seeing day and night chasing me and leading me to my death. This is all I can see because it is the only truth. All the rest is a lie. Those two drops of honey, which more than all else had diverted my eyes from the cruel truth, my love for my family and for my writing, which I called art – I no longer found sweet.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession and Other Religious Writings)
...Food serves two parallel purposes: it nourishes and it helps you remember. Eating and storytelling are inseparable—the saltwater is also tears; the honey not only tastes sweet, but makes us think of sweetness; the matzo is the bread of our affliction.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
Jules: A house with Emma; laughing by a fire together. All that would make it better would be his brothers and sisters somewhere nearby, where he could see them every day, where he could fence with Livvy and watch movies with Dru and help Tavvy learn the crossbow. Where he could look for animals with Ty, hermit crabs down by the edge of the water, scuttling under their shells. Where he could cook massive dinners with Mark and Helen and Aline and they'd all eat them together, out under the stars in the desert air.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
When did you start here?” I ask her. “Three days ago. Sir. Aspirant. Um—” She wrings her hands. “Veturius is fine.” She walks carefully, gingerly—the Commandant must have whipped her recently. And yet she doesn't hunch or shuffle like the others slaves. The straight-backed grace with which she moves tells her story better than words. She'd been a freewoman before this—I'd bet my scims on it. And she has no idea how pretty she is—or what kind of problems her beauty will cause for her at a place like Blackcliff. The wind pulls at her hair again, and I catch her scent—like fruit and sugar. “Can I give you some advice?” Her head flies up like a scared animal's. At least she's wary. “Right now you...” Will grab the attention of every male in a square mile. “Stand out,” I finish. “It's hot, but you should wear a hood or a cloak—something to help you blend in.” She nods, but her eyes are suspicious. She wraps her arms around herself and drops back a little. I don't speak to her again.
Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1))
I cannot help remembering a remark of De Casseres. It was over the wine in Mouquin's. Said he: "The profoundest instinct in man is to war against the truth; that is, against the Real. He shuns facts from his infancy. His life is a perpetual evasion. Miracle, chimera and to-morrow keep him alive. He lives on fiction and myth. It is the Lie that makes him free. Animals alone are given the privilege of lifting the veil of Isis; men dare not. The animal, awake, has no fictional escape from the Real because he has no imagination. Man, awake, is compelled to seek a perpetual escape into Hope, Belief, Fable, Art, God, Socialism, Immortality, Alcohol, Love. From Medusa-Truth he makes an appeal to Maya-Lie
Jack London (The Mutiny of the Elsinore)
Here was my lesson in the reach of veterinary medicine, in how an animal doctor may not be the one standing up when disaster strikes and someone shouts, 'Is there a doctor in the house?' but occasionally, if he or she is lucky, a vet can help heal a sick loved one.
Nick Trout (Ever By My Side: A Memoir in Eight [Acts] Pets)
Now The Head Lines How do you like your truth? Gently spoken on breakfast TV By a man and a woman who sit comfortably Saying riots, and murder, when will it end? As they struggle to act as if they are good friends. How do you like your truth? Bite-sized in sound bites cut easy to chew, With a talking head saying the victim's like you And when you've digested the horrors you've seen You find good, you find evil, and no in-between. How do you like your truth? Fantastic, sensational, printed in bold, Today it's exclusive, tomorrow it's old, All on the surface with nothin too deep With a story about animals to help you to sleep How do you like your youth? From perfect families with parents thet care, Or in perfect families but still in despair, Ten out of ten parents say they'd not choose To have bad kids like those in the news.
Benjamin Zephaniah (Teacher's Dead: Nelson Thornes Page Turners)
I worry sometimes that humans are afraid of helping humans. There's less risk associated with animals, less fear of failure, fear of getting too involved. In war movies, a thousand soldiers can die gruesomely, but when the horse is shot, the audience is heartbroken.
Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
it is a federal system of sadistic torture, vivisection, and animal genocide, which has been carried on for decades under the fraudulent guise of respectable medical research. And nobody on the outside knows, or wants to know, or is willing to find out. My parents, my friends, my teachers, wouldnt listen to me, or suggested that if it was bothering me that much I just had to quit the job. Just like that. As if that would have solved anything. As if I could ever live with such cowardice. You can't imagine, or maybe you can, how many people are convinced - without knowing the first thing about it - Animal research is essential. Americans have been hopelessly brainwashed on this issue. The animal rights people, by and large, acknowledge the essential futility of trying to change the system. So they address the smaller issues, fighting for legislation which would provide one extra visit per week to the labs by a custodian of the US dept of agriculture. Or demanding that a squirrel monkey be given an extra 12 square inches in his holding pen, before being led to the slaughter. That sort of thing. For whomever, and whatever it's worth, I hope my little write up is clear. I dont have the guts to do whats necessary. I pray there's someone out there who does. God help all of us.
Michael Tobias (Rage and Reason)
If you are in the mountains alone for some time, many days at minimum, & it helps if you are fasting. The forest grows tired of its weariness towards you; it resumes its inner life and allows you to see it. Near dusk the faces in tree bark cease hiding, and stare out at you. The welcoming ones and also the malevolent, open in their curiosity. In your camp at night you are able to pick out a distinct word now and then from the muddled voices in creek water, sometimes an entire sentence of deep import. The ghosts of animals reveal themselves to you without prejudice to your humanity. You see them receding before you as you walk the trail their shapes beautiful and sad.
Charles Frazier
I became totally absorbed into this forest existence. It was an unparalleled period when aloneness was a way of life; a perfect opportunity, it might seem, for meditating on the meaning of existence and my role in it all. But I was far too busy learning about the chimpanzees'lives to worry about the meaning of my own. I had gone to Gombe to accomplish a specific goal, not to pursue my early preoccupation with philosophy and religion. Nevertheless, those months at Gombe helped to shape the person I am today-I would have been insensitive indeed if the wonder and the endless fascination of my new world had not had a major impact on my thinking. All the time I was getting closer to animals and nature, and as a result, closer to myself and more and more in tune with the spiritual power that I felt all around. For those who have experienced the joy of being alone with nature there is really little need for me to say much more; for those who have not, no words of mine can even describe the powerful, almost mystical knowledge of beauty and eternity that come, suddenly, and all unexpected. The beauty was always there, but moments of true awareness were rare. They would come, unannounced; perhaps when I was watching the pale flush preceding dawn; or looking up through the rustling leaves of some giant forest tree into the greens and browns and the black shadows and the occasionally ensured bright fleck of blue sky; or when I stood, as darkness fell, with one hand on the still warm trunk of a tree and looked at the sparkling of an early moon on the never still, softly sighing water of Lake Tanganyika.
Jane Goodall
It's one thing to have your partner tell you he or she has multiple personalities, and it's another to walk in on your partner and find him or her sitting on the bedroom floor, speaking in a child like voice, having a tea party with stuffed animals.
Tracy Alderman (Amongst Ourselves: A Self-Help Guide to Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder)
Guys don't like it when you get too heavy, I've noticed. They especially don't like it when you try to talk too much about the future. They're like little woodland animals. Everything's well and good when you're just doling out the nuts and everything's cool. But the minute you bring out the net to try to catch them - even if it's for their own good, like to help them escape a forest fire - all hell breaks loose.
Meg Cabot (How to Be Popular)
I wanted to confront her, to make her see the folly of her religion, to change her diet, to help her spend less on makeup and other nonessentials, to make her worship every biological moment she was offered instead of some badly punctured deity. I also wanted to kiss her for some reason, feel the life pulsing in those big Catholic lips, remind myself of the primacy of the living animal, of my time amongst the Romans.
Gary Shteyngart (Super Sad True Love Story)
Fadewalking seems a lot less impressive when an animal can do it too.” I can’t help a grin. Eldas narrows his eyes at me, but his scowl has lost some of its bite. “He can Fadewalk because he is of the Fade—a creature caught in the rift when worlds were severed.” “He’s a good boy, that’s what he is,” I coo to the wolf.
Elise Kova (A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic, #1))
When he heard light, rushing footfalls, he turned his head. Someone was racing along the second-floor balcony. Then laughter drifted down from above. Glorious feminine laughter. He leaned out the archway and glanced at the grand staircase. Bella appeared on the landing above, breathless, smiling, a black satin robe gathered in her hands. As she slowed at the head of the stairs, she looked over her shoulder, her thick dark hair swinging like a mane. The pounding that came next was heavy and distant, growing louder until it was like boulders hitting the ground. Obviously, it was what she was waiting for. She let out a laugh, yanked her robe up even higher, and started down the stairs, bare feet skirting the steps as if she were floating. At the bottom, she hit the mosaic floor of the foyer and wheeled around just as Zsadist appeared in second-story hallway. The Brother spotted her and went straight for the balcony, pegging his hands into the rail, swinging his legs up and pushing himself straight off into thin air. He flew outward, body in a perfect swan dive--except he wasn't over water, he was two floors up over hard stone. John's cry for help came out as a mute, sustained rush of air-- Which was cut off as Zsadist dematerialized at the height of the dive. He took form twenty feet in front of Bella, who watched the show with glowing happiness. Meanwhile, John's heart pounded from shock...then pumped fast for a different reason. Bella smiled up at her mate, her breath still hard, her hands still gripping the robe, her eyes heavy with invitation. And Zsadist came forward to answer her call, seeming to get even bigger as he stalked over to her. The Brother's bonding scent filled the foyer, just as his low, lionlike growl did. The male was all animal at the moment....a very sexual animal. "You like to be chased, nalla, " Z said in a voice so deep it distorted. Bella's smile got even wider as she backed up into a corner. "Maybe." "So run some more, why don't you." The words were dark and even John caught the erotic threat in them. Bella took off, darting around her mate, going for the billiards room. Z tracked her like prey, pivoting around, his eyes leveled on the female's streaming hair and graceful body. As his lips peeled off his fangs, the white canines elongated, protruding from his mouth. And they weren't the only response he had to his shellan. At his hips, pressing into the front of his leathers, was an erection the size of a tree trunk. Z shot John a quick glance and then went back to his hunt, disappearing into the room, the pumping growl getting louder. From out of the open doors, there was a delighted squeal, a scramble, a female's gasp, and then....nothing. He'd caught her. ......When Zsadist came out a moment later, he had Bella in his arms, her dark hair trailing down his shoulder as she lounged in the strength that held her. Her eyes locked on Z's face while he looked where he was going, her hand stroking his chest, her lips curved in a private smile. There was a bite mark on her neck, one that had very definitely not been there before, and Bella's satisfaction as she stared at the hunger in her hellren's face was utterly compelling. John knew instinctively that Zsadist was going to finish two things upstairs: the mating and the feeding. The Brother was going to be at her throat and in between her legs. Probably at the same time. God, John wanted that kind of connection.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
Kindness is many things,” he said. “It is gentle. Tender. Tolerant. It is born of patience and faith. And sometimes, yes, it’s dangerous. Helping a wounded animal that’s likely to lash out, standing up for someone who’s being taunted by bullies... these things are all dangerous. But to try to understand another creature, to put ourselves in their place, to help them - even when it costs us - that shows strength, Sophie, not weakness.
Jennifer Donnelly (Poisoned)
Whatever talent a person has should be dedicated to the rest of humanity - indeed to all living beings. Therein lies fulfillment. All men are kin. They are of the same likeness, the same build, molded out of the same material, with the same divine essence in each. Service to man will help your divinity to blossom, for it will gladden your heart and make you feel that life has been worth while. Service to man is service to God, for He is in every man, and every living being, in every stone and stump. Offer your talents at the feet of God. Let every act be a flower, free from the creeping worms of envy and egoism and full of the fragrance of love and sacrifice.
Sathya Sai Baba
When a man’s love of finery clouds his moral judgment, that is vanity. When he lets a demanding palate make his moral choices, that is gluttony. When he ascribes the divine will to his own whims, that is pride. And when he gets angry at being reminded of animal suffering that his own daily choices might help avoid, that is moral cowardice.
Matthew Scully (Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy)
I always hated it about myself, that I couldn’t be tougher. Hated that I cried so hard when I saw a dead bird for the first time. Or that I used to bring home all the stray animals I found until Castle finally told for a week. I hated that I cried. Hated that I couldn’t help it. Everyone thinks I’m not supposed to give a shit—that I shouldn’t—but I do. I always do.
Tahereh Mafi (Shadow Me (Shatter Me, #4.5))
the patron god of children born on Thursdays is Shiva the Destroyer, and that the day has two guiding animal spirits--the lion and the tiger. The official tree of children born on Thursday is the banyan. The official bird is the peacock. A person born on Thursday is always talking first, interrupting everyone else, can be a little aggressive, tends to be handsome ("a playboy or playgirl," in Ketut's words) but has a decent overall character, with an excellent memory and a desire to help other people.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Let me tell you a story, Alix. This ship…the Talia? It’s named after my father’s older sister. She killed herself when she was fourteen because she couldn’t stand living the horror of her life for another day. With her death she both condemned and freed my father from his monster of a father. I never knew the pain of her life or his. But I named this ship after her to remind me of all the children out there like her and Omari…the children out there like your sister who are silent in their pain. They have no voice and no hope. But I hear them. Every time I think of my parents. Every time I see Omari, I hear the sobs that are kept inside for fear of it making their lives worse, and I will not stand by and see your sister torn apart by an animal. You help me nail him and I swear to you, I will lay Merjack down at your feet and hold him there while you take your revenge. (Devyn)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Ice (The League: Nemesis Rising #3, The League: Nemesis Legacy #2))
Try repeating “man is an animal" a few times, just to notice how unconvincing it sounds. There seems to be no way to get this idea into our heads, except by long rumination over the facts of evolution or perhaps by exposure to a primitive tribe or by being raised on a farm. Primitives sometimes see little difference between themselves and the animals around them. Karl von den Steinen was told by a Xingu that the only difference between them and the monkey was that they monkeys lacked the bow and arrow. And Jules Henry observed on the Kningang that dogs are not considered pets, like some of the other animals, but are on a level of emotional equality, like a relative. But in our own Western culture we have, for the most part, set a great distance between ourselves and the rest of nature, and language helps us to do this. Thus we say that a sheep “drops" its lamb, but a woman “gives birth"—it’s much more noble. Yet we have the right to make such distinctions because we assign the meaning to the world by naming names of things; we inhabit a different sphere and we capitalize naturally on the privilege.
Ernest Becker (The Birth and Death of Meaning: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Problem of Man)
Without solitude, Love will not stay long by your side. Because Love needs to rest, so that it can journey through the heavens and reveal itself in other forms. Without solitude, no plant or animal can survive, no soil can remain productive, no child can learn about life, no artist can create, no work can grow and be transformed. Solitude is not the absence of Love, but its complement. Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life. Therefore, blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge. If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself. And if you do not know yourself, you will begin to fear the void.
Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra)
If you want to see philosophy in action, pay a visit to a robo-rat laboratory. A robo-rat is a run-ofthe-mill rat with a twist: scientists have implanted electrodes into the sensory and reward areas in the rat’s brain. This enables the scientists to manoeuvre the rat by remote control. After short training sessions, researchers have managed not only to make the rats turn left or right, but also to climb ladders, sniff around garbage piles, and do things that rats normally dislike, such as jumping from great heights. Armies and corporations show keen interest in the robo-rats, hoping they could prove useful in many tasks and situations. For example, robo-rats could help detect survivors trapped under collapsed buildings, locate bombs and booby traps, and map underground tunnels and caves. Animal-welfare activists have voiced concern about the suffering such experiments inflict on the rats. Professor Sanjiv Talwar of the State University of New York, one of the leading robo-rat researchers, has dismissed these concerns, arguing that the rats actually enjoy the experiments. After all, explains Talwar, the rats ‘work for pleasure’ and when the electrodes stimulate the reward centre in their brain, ‘the rat feels Nirvana’. To the best of our understanding, the rat doesn’t feel that somebody else controls her, and she doesn’t feel that she is being coerced to do something against her will. When Professor Talwar presses the remote control, the rat wants to move to the left, which is why she moves to the left. When the professor presses another switch, the rat wants to climb a ladder, which is why she climbs the ladder. After all, the rat’s desires are nothing but a pattern of firing neurons. What does it matter whether the neurons are firing because they are stimulated by other neurons, or because they are stimulated by transplanted electrodes connected to Professor Talwar’s remote control? If you asked the rat about it, she might well have told you, ‘Sure I have free will! Look, I want to turn left – and I turn left. I want to climb a ladder – and I climb a ladder. Doesn’t that prove that I have free will?
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Sometimes we take leaps of faith, and sometimes we take tiny steps. Even the tiniest step can require a lot of courage. Like climbing out of denial and admitting my real need for help. Like trusting someone who said I wouldn’t die from eating a bowl of pasta, and taking another bite. Like reaching for a pen or a yoga mat when what I really wanted to do was reach for a cookie. Like searching for a smile in my heart when my mind was busy screaming about how sad and serious I should be.
Shannon Kopp (Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman's Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life)
My view [is] that what morality boils down to is, 'Don’t harm, and do help.' And now the question is, 'Can creatures like chickens and cows be harmed?' And the answer is, 'Of course they can.' Consequently, I think it’s immoral to harm them. And that seems to me to provide a very strong moral reason to be vegetarian, to not wear leather... it seems to me that our treatment of animals is morally appalling... and that we ought to radically revise the way we live, precisely because they feel pain, they can be hurt, and we’re constantly hurting these creatures!
Shelly Kagan
There are some things that honest, honorable people don’t do to the people they love. They don’t propose marriage on TV. They don’t bring home small cuddly animals without checking with their spouses first. And they don’t tell their ex-husband they love him in front of a crowd that includes their daughter and his current wife right before he goes off to almost certain death. It didn’t help that most of us could tell that she wasn’t lying.
Patricia Briggs (Night Broken (Mercy Thompson, #8))
Tyranny is a habit which may be developed until at last it becomes a disease. I declare that the noblest nature can become so hardened and bestial that nothing distinguishes it from that of a wild animal. Blood and power intoxicate; they help to develop callousness and debauchery. The mind then becomes capable of the most abnormal cruelty, which it regards pleasure; the man and the citizen are swallowed up in the tyrant; and the return to human dignity, repentance, moral resurrection, becomes almost impossible.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The House of the Dead)
I can't help but recall, at this point, a horribly elitist but very droll remark by one of my favorite writers, the American "critic of the seven arts", James Huneker, in his scintillating biography of Frédéric Chopin, on the subject of Chopin's étude Op. 25, No. 11 in A minor, which for me, and for Huneker, is one of the most stirring and most sublime pieces of music ever written: “Small-souled men, no matter how agile their fingers, should avoid it.” "Small-souled men"?! Whew! Does that phrase ever run against the grain of American democracy! And yet, leaving aside its offensive, archaic sexism (a crime I, too, commit in GEB, to my great regret), I would suggest that it is only because we all tacitly do believe in something like Hueneker's' shocking distinction that most of us are willing to eat animals of one sort or another, to smash flies, swat mosquitos, fight bacteria with antibiotics, and so forth. We generally concur that "men" such as a cow, a turkey, a frog, and a fish all possess some spark of consciousness, some kind of primitive "soul" but by God, it's a good deal smaller than ours is — and that, no more and no less, is why we "men" feel that we have the perfect right to extinguish the dim lights in the heads of these fractionally-souled beasts and to gobble down their once warm and wiggling, now chilled and stilled protoplasm with limitless gusto, and not feel a trace of guilt while doing so.
Douglas R. Hofstadter (Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid)
Think about Praying Mantis. The deadliest ninja predator. Why isn't his animus a lion or a polar bear - two of the most successful killing machines in the animal kingdom? The answer is that these animals would not be right for him. Think how a praying mantis is invisible on a leaf, how they are carnivores who will devour their own species. The female will even eat her own partner once they've mated and, as hatchlings, their first meal is often one of their own siblings. These are the things that matter to Praying Mantis - and if you study his attributes, they are elements that will help you defeat him.
Jane Prowse (The Revenge of Praying Mantis (Hattori Hachi, #1))
Elayne could not help herself. Nynaeve wielding her tongue like a needle, Cerandin stubborn as two mules, and now this. She threw back her head and screamed with frustration. When the sound died, it seemed as if the animals had quieted. Horse handlers stood about, staring at her. Coolly, she ignored them. Nothing could worm its way under her skin now. She was as calm as ice, perfectly in control of herself. “Was that a cry for help,” Birgitte said, tilting her head, “or are you hungry? I suppose I could find a wet nurse in—” Elayne strode away with a snarl that would have done any of the leopards proud.
Robert Jordan (The Fires of Heaven (The Wheel of Time, #5))
Assumption Two: God only cares about spiritual things. To be honest, I don't even know what this means, but those elusive spiritual things have been helping Christians cop out of true holiness for centuries. We are all like accountants with wizard-like abilities, funneling our choices and goals and actions through shell corporations and off-shore banks of unrighteousness. God only cares about spiritual things? His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom? Are you kidding me? God only cares how we emote at him? That's part of it, sure, but I was pretty sure that He made physical animals and a physical man and gave him a physical job. I was pretty sure that He made a physical tree with physical fruit and told that physical man not to eat it or he would physically die. He physically ate it anyway and now we physically go into the physical ground, physically rot, and become physical plant and physical worm food. And because of this incredibly physical problem, He made things even more clear when His own Son took on physical flesh to lead a physical life that lead to a physical cross where He physically absorbed our curse, was physically tortured, and bought you and bought me and bought this whole physical world with His physical blood. If He'd wanted a spiritual kingdom, He could have saved Himself a huge amount of trouble (to say nothing of making the Greek philosophers and medieval gnostics a lot happier), by just skipping Christmas and the Crucifixion.
N.D. Wilson (Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent)
Don’t forget that the land is always out there, making its way, doing everything it can so you can breathe fresh air; so you can eat fresh food; so you can move and see and feel and think, and it’s on your side. The world is out there doing what it’s been doing way before you came here, it’s firm and strong and it takes a lot to bring it down. so from time to time, just go outside and look at this spectacle. This pure painting right in front of your eyes. No one created it. No one owns it. It doesn’t want anything. It doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. It simply is. So maybe, try a little tenderness. Just give it a chance to do what it can do. Just let it help you breathe and eat and move and see and maybe just try to live your life in a way that doesn’t kill this force of nature that is just trying to give you a world worth living in. A clean world. A fresh world. Paths, forests, oceans, animals, oxygen, water. That’s all it takes. Just try a little tenderness towards this world we’ve been lucky enough to build our homes on. If you take care of it, it will take care of you.
Charlotte Eriksson
Get Comfortable Not Knowing There once was a village that had among its people a very wise old man. The villagers trusted this man to provide them answers to their questions and concerns. One day, a farmer from the village went to the wise man and said in a frantic tone, “Wise man, help me. A horrible thing has happened. My ox has died and I have no animal to help me plow my field! Isn’t this the worst thing that could have possibly happened?” The wise old man replied, “Maybe so, maybe not.” The man hurried back to the village and reported to his neighbors that the wise man had gone mad. Surely this was the worst thing that could have happened. Why couldn’t he see this? The very next day, however, a strong, young horse was seen near the man’s farm. Because the man had no ox to rely on, he had the idea to catch the horse to replace his ox—and he did. How joyful the farmer was. Plowing the field had never been easier. He went back to the wise man to apologize. “You were right, wise man. Losing my ox wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened. It was a blessing in disguise! I never would have captured my new horse had that not happened. You must agree that this is the best thing that could have happened.” The wise man replied once again, “Maybe so, maybe not.” Not again, thought the farmer. Surely the wise man had gone mad now. But, once again, the farmer did not know what was to happen. A few days later the farmer’s son was riding the horse and was thrown off. He broke his leg and would not be able to help with the crop. Oh no, thought the man. Now we will starve to death. Once again, the farmer went to the wise man. This time he said, “How did you know that capturing my horse was not a good thing? You were right again. My son is injured and won’t be able to help with the crop. This time I’m sure that this is the worst thing that could have possibly happened. You must agree this time.” But, just as he had done before, the wise man calmly looked at the farmer and in a compassionate tone replied once again, “Maybe so, maybe not.” Enraged that the wise man could be so ignorant, the farmer stormed back to the village. The next day troops arrived to take every able-bodied man to the war that had just broken out. The farmer’s son was the only young man in the village who didn’t have to go. He would live, while the others would surely die. The moral of this story provides a powerful lesson. The truth is, we don’t know what’s going to happen—we just think we do. Often we make a big deal out of something. We blow up scenarios in our minds about all the terrible things that are going to happen. Most of the time we are wrong. If we keep our cool and stay open to possibilities, we can be reasonably certain that, eventually, all will be well. Remember: maybe so, maybe not.
Richard Carlson (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life)
believe in egalitarianism über alles, not to be confused with being a communist, of course, I know enough about Stalin and Mao to be disabused of any fantasies in that direction at the same time, the truth is that hierarchies of power and privilege won’t disappear, every historian knows this, it’s innate to human nature and inherent in all societies in all eras and equally manifests in the animal kingdom, so I can’t pretend otherwise my job as a teacher is to help those who are disadvantaged
Bernardine Evaristo (Girl, Woman, Other)
I remember this country back when I was growing up. We went to church, we ate family suppers around the table, and it would never even have crossed a kid's mind to tell an adult to fuck off. There was plenty of bad there, I don't forget that, but we all knew exactly where we stood and we didn't break the rules lightly. If that sounds like small stuff to you, if it sounds boring or old-fashioned or uncool, think about this: people smiled at strangers, people said hello to neighbors, people left their doors unlocked and helped old women with their shopping bags, and the murder rate was scraping zero. Sometime since then, we started turning feral. Wild got into the air like a virus, and it's spreading. Watch the packs of kids roaming inner-city estates, mindless and brakeless as baboons, looking for something or someone to wreck. Watch the businessmen shoving past pregnant women for a seat on the train, using their 4x4s to force smaller cars out of their way, purple-faced and outraged when the world dares to contradict them. Watch the teenagers throw screaming stamping tantrums when, for once, they can't have it the second they want it. Everything that stops us being animals is eroding, washing away like sand, going and gone.
Tana French (Broken Harbour (Dublin Murder Squad, #4))
When animals make a stupid mistake, you laugh at them. A cat misjudges a leap. A dog looks overly quizzical about a simple object. These are funny things. But when a person doesn’t understand something, if they miscalculate and hit the brakes too late, blame is assigned. They are stupid. They are wrong. Teachers and cops are there to sort it out, with a trail of paperwork to illustrate the stupidity. The faults. The evidence and incidents of these things. We have entire systems in place to help decide who is what. Sometimes the systems don’t work. Families spend their weekend afternoons at animal shelters, even when they’re not looking for a pet. They come to see the unwanted and unloved. The cats and dogs who don’t understand why they are these things. They are petted and combed, walked and fed, cooed over and kissed. Then they go back in their cages and sometimes tears are shed. Fuzzy faces peering through bars can be unbearable for many. Change the face to a human one and the reaction changes. The reason why is because people should know better. But our logic is skewed in this respect. A dog that bites is a dead dog. First day at the shelter and I already saw one put to sleep, which in itself is a misleading phrase. Sleep implies that you have the option of waking up. Once their bodies pass unconsciousness to something deeper where systems start to fail, they revolt a little bit, put up a fight on a molecular level. They kick. They cry. They don’t want to go. And this happens because their jaws closed over a human hand, ever so briefly. Maybe even just the once. But people, they get chances. They get the benefit of the doubt. Even though they have the higher logic functioning and they knew when they did it THEY KNEW it was a bad thing.
Mindy McGinnis (The Female of the Species)
She tried to offer Ella help but was shooed back into her seat between Magnus and Irini. She watched incredulously at the amount of food these males piled onto their plates. She hadn’t touched her own plate yet, her eyes jumping from Lucien to Ryder, to Aidan, to Magnus, as they scoffed large amounts of beef down. Irini giggled beside her before elbowing her to get her to stop staring and start eating. Ella laughed, obviously having noticed and understood the reason behind Caia’s wide eyes. “Don’t mind them, honey. They’re just animals. You’ll get used to them.” Ryder choked in amusement as he took swig of water, and Aidan and Magnus joined his laughter. Lucien merely shrugged. “What?” This set them off again. “Dude, we’ve frightened Caia with our non-existent manners,” Aidan explained smiling at her. “No, no-” she tried to protest. Lucien frowned. “We’re just eating.” “Caia’s not used to eating at the watering hole.
Samantha Young (Moon Spell (The Tale of Lunarmorte, #1))
Quinn once told me a story.” He waits for me to moan a grievance at the mention of a story, and when I don’t, his tone sinks into deeper gravity. “Once, in the days of Old Earth, there were two pigeons who were greatly in love. In those days, they raised such animals to carry messages across great distances. These two were born in the same cage, raised by the same man, and sold on the same day to different men on the eve of a great war. “The pigeons suffered apart from each other, each incomplete without their lover. Far and wide their masters took them, and the pigeons feared they would never again find each other, for they began to see how vast the world was, and how terrible the things in it. For months and months, they carried messages for their masters, flying over battle lines, through the air over men who killed one another for land. When the war ended, the pigeons were set free by their masters. But neither knew where to go, neither knew what to do, so each flew home. And there they found each other again, as they were always destined to return home and find, instead of the past, their future.” He folds his hands gently, a teacher arriving at his point. “So do I feel lost? Always. When Lea died at the Institute …” His lips slip gently downward. “… I was in a dark woods, blind and lost as Dante before Virgil. But Quinn helped me. Her voice calling me out of misery. She became my home. As she puts it, ‘Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.’ ” He grasps the top of my hand. “Find your home, Darrow. It may not be in the past. But find it, and you’ll never be lost again.
Pierce Brown (Golden Son (Red Rising Saga, #2))
You see, a witch has to have a familiar, some little animal like a cat or a toad. He helps her somehow. When the witch dies the familiar is suppose to die too, but sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, if it's absorbed enough magic, it lives on. Maybe this toad found its way south from Salem, from the days when Cotton Mather was hanging witches. Or maybe Lafitte had a Creole girl who called on the Black Man in the pirate-haven of Barataria. The Gulf is full of ghosts and memories, and one of those ghosts might very well be that of a woman with warlock blood who'd come from Europe a long time ago, and died on the new continent. And possibly her familiar didn't know the way home. There's not much room for magic in America now, but once there was room. ("Before I Wake...")
Henry Kuttner (Masters of Horror)
The elk that you glimpse in the summer, those at the forest edge, are survivors of winter, only the strongest. You see one just before dusk that summer, standing at the perimeter of the meadow so it can step back to the forest and vanish. You can't help imagining the still, frozen nights behind it, so cold that the slightest motion is monumental. I have found their bodies, half drifted over in snow, no sign of animal attack or injury. Just toppled over one night with ice working into their lungs. You wouldn't want to stand outside for more than a few minutes in that kind of weather. If you lived through only one of those winters the way this elk has, you would write books about it. You would become a shaman. You would be forever changed. That elk from the winter stands there on the summer evening, watching from beside the forest. It keeps its story to itself.
Craig Childs (The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild)
In the Age of Perfect Virtue, men lived among the animals and birds as members of one large family. There were no distinctions between "superior" and "inferior" to separate one man or species from another. All retained their natural Virtue and lived in the state of pure simplicity...In the Age of Perfect Virtue, wisdom and ability were not singled out as extraordinary. The wise were seen merely as higher branches on humanity's tree, growing a little closer to the sun. People behaved correctly, without knowing that to be Righteousness and Propriety. They loved and respected each other, without calling that Benevolence. They were faithful and honest, without considering that to be Loyalty. They kept their word, without thinking of Good Faith. In their everyday conduct, they helped and employed each other, without considering Duty. They did not concern themselves with Justice, as there was no injustice. Living in harmony with themselves, each other, and the world, their actions left no trace, and so we have no physical record of their existence.
Benjamin Hoff (The Te of Piglet)
Consider the cattle, grazing as they pass you by: they do not know what is meant by yesterday or today, they leap about, eat, rest, digest, leap about again, and so from morn till night and from day to day, fettered to the moment and its pleasure or displeasure, and thus neither melancholy nor bored. This is a hard sight for man to see; for, though he thinks himself better than the animals because he is human, he cannot help envying them their happiness – what they have, a life neither bored nor painful, is precisely what he wants, yet he cannot have it because he refuses to be like an animal… [Man] also wonders at himself, that he cannot learn to forget but clings relentlessly to the past: however far and fast he may run, this chain runs with him. And it is a matter for wonder: a moment, now here and then gone, nothing before it came, again nothing after it has gone, nonetheless returns as a ghost and disturbs the peace of a later moment. A leaf flutters from the scroll of time, floats away – and suddenly floats back again and falls into the man’s lap. Then the man says ‘I remember’ and envies the animal, who at once forgets and for whom every moment really dies, sinks back into night and fog and is extinguished forever.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Untimely Meditations)
'Shotgun!' he bellowed, startling them as he scrambled to the front, passenger-side door. Camael looked at him, an expression of confusion on his goateed face. 'What did you Say?' 'I said shotgun,' Gabriel [the dog] explained. 'It's what you're supposed to say when you want to ride in the front seat.' Aaron could not help but laugh. No matter how many conversations he had had with the animal, Gabriel's increased intelligence still managed to surprise him.
Thomas E. Sniegoski (The Fallen (The Fallen, #1))
Doesn't the Federal Farm bill help out all these poor farmers? No. It used to, but ever since its inception just after the Depression, the Federal Farm Bill has slowly been altered by agribusiness lobbyists. It is now largely corporate welfare ... It is this, rather than any improved efficiency or productiveness, that has allowed corporations to take over farming in the United States, leaving fewer than a third of our farms still run by families. But those family-owned farms are the ones more likely to use sustainable techniques, protect the surrounding environment, maintain green spaces, use crop rotations and management for pest and weed controls, and apply fewer chemicals. In other words, they're doing exactly what 80 percent of U.S. consumers say we would prefer to support, while our tax dollars do the opposite.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
Messengers often come when you struggle with a decision, need support or are trying to find your balance. They can come as animals like coyote and lizard appeared for Kate and for me. They can be spirit guides, angels, family members, ancestors and friends. A messenger can even be me! Many of them you will not notice because you are too preoccupied to see them. There may come a time, however, when you might sense the millions of angels too small to be witnessed, like fairies that live in the curve of a leaf or who sleep under the tiniest rose petal.
Kate McGahan (Jack McAfghan: Return from Rainbow Bridge: An Afterlife Story of Loss, Love and Renewal (Jack McAfghan Pet Loss Trilogy Book 3))
I am the reason you walk. I created you so that you might walk this earth. I am the reason you walk. I gave you motivation so you would continue to walk even when the path became difficult, even seemingly impossible. I am the reason you walk. I animated you with that driving force called love, which compelled you to help others who had forgotten they were brothers and sisters to take steps back towards one another. And now, my son, as that journey comes to an end, I am the reason you walk, for I am calling you home. Walk home with me on that everlasting road.
Wab Kinew (The Reason You Walk)
Misery is like an animal, it needs food to survive—so starve it. Surround yourself with art and beauty that brightens your darkest days. Listen to music and poetry that always fill the cracks of your broken heart. Read quotes and passages that can soothe and motivate you when you feel the most discouraged. Spend time with people who make you laugh and distract you from your troubles. Nourish your soul and hopefully the mind will follow. However, if you find you can't help yourself, there's no shame in asking others for help. Sometimes asking for help is just as heroic as giving it. There are treatments and therapies and counselors that you could benefit from—but no one finds answers if they're too afraid to ask the questions. Don't let your pride tell you otherwise.
Chris Colfer (A Tale of Witchcraft... (A Tale of Magic, #2))
The story of how shit got in our meat is the story of one of the central characteristics of carnism, and of other violent ideologies: the system depends on a constituency of indirect victims, inadvertent victims who not only suffer the consequences of the system, but who also help that system by unwittingly participating in their own victimization. The system creates such victims by appearing to be something it is not, so that we feel safe when we are at risk and free when we have been coerced. The story of how shit got in our meat is the story of the human casualties of carnism.
Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism)
In one hallway, the floor gleaming parquet and the ceiling festooned with golden cherubs, there was a boy in a grumpy cat mask and biker boots, not involved in any sexual activity, legs crossed and leaning against the wall. As a bevy of faeries passed the boy, giggling and groping, the boy scooted away. Alec remembered being younger, and how overwhelming large groups of people had seemed. He came over and leaned against the wall beside the boy. He saw the boy texting, PARTIES WERE INVENTED TO ANNOY ME. THEY FEATURE MY LEAST FAVORITE THING: PEOPLE, ALL INTENT ON MY LEAST FAVORITE ACTIVITY: SOCIAL INTERACTION. “I don’t really like parties either,” Alec said sympathetically. “No hablo italiano,” the boy mumbled without looking up. “Er,” said Alec. “This conversation is happening in English.” “No hablo ingles,” he said without missing a beat. “Oh, come on. Really?” “Worth a shot,” said the boy. Alec considered going away. The boy wrote another text to a contact he had saved as RF. Alec could not help but notice that the conversation was entirely one-sided, the boy sending text after text with no response. The last text read VENICE SMELLS LIKE A TOILET. AS A NEW YORKER, I DO NOT SAY THIS LIGHTLY. The weird coincidence emboldened Alec to try again. “I get shy when there are strangers too,” Alec told the kid. “I’m not shy,” the boy sneered. “I just hate everyone around me and everything that is happening.” “Well.” Alec shrugged. “Those feel like similar things sometimes.” The boy lifted his curly head, pushing the grumpy cat mask off his face, and froze. Alec froze too, at the twin shock of fangs and familiarity. This was a vampire, and Alec knew him. “Raphael?” he asked. “Raphael Santiago?” He wondered what the second-in-command of the New York clan was doing here. Downworlders might be flooding in from all over the world, but Raphael had never struck Alec as a party animal. Of course, he was not exactly coming off as a party animal now. “Oh no, it’s you,” said Raphael. “The twelve-year-old idiot.” Alec was not keen on vampires. They were, after all, people who had died. Alec had seen too much death to want reminders of it. He understood that they were immortal, but there was no need to show off about it. “We just fought a war together. I was with you in the graveyard when Simon came back as a vampire. You’ve seen me multiple times since I was twelve.” “The thought of you at twelve haunts me,” Raphael said darkly. “Okay,” Alec said, humoring him. “So have you seen a guy called Mori Shu anywhere around here?” “I am trying not to make eye contact with anyone here,” said Raphael. “And I’m not a snitch for Shadowhunters. Or a fan of talking to people, of any kind, in any place.” Alec rolled his eyes.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Neither season after season of extreme weather events nor the risk of extinction for a million animal species around the world could push environmental destruction to the top of our country’s list of concerns. And how sad, he said, to see so many among the most creative and best-educated classes, those from whom we might have hoped for inventive solutions, instead embracing personal therapies and pseudo-religious practices that promoted detachment, a focus on the moment, acceptance of one’s surroundings as they were, equanimity in the face of worldly cares. (This world is but a shadow, it is a carcass, it is nothing, this world is not real, do not mistake this hallucination for the real world.) Self-care, relieving one’s own everyday anxieties, avoiding stress: these had become some of our society’s highest goals, he said—higher, apparently, than the salvation of society itself. The mindfulness rage was just another distraction, he said. Of course we should be stressed, he said. We should be utterly consumed with dread. Mindful meditation might help a person face drowning with equanimity, but it would do absolutely nothing to right the Titanic, he said. It wasn’t individual efforts to achieve inner peace, it wasn’t a compassionate attitude toward others that might have led to timely preventative action, but rather a collective, fanatical, over-the-top obsession with impending doom.
Sigrid Nunez (What Are You Going Through)
There was a basic harmony between Ántonia and her mistress. They had strong, independent natures, both of them. They knew what they liked, and were not always trying to imitate other people. They loved children and animals and music, and rough play and digging in the earth. They liked to prepare rich, hearty food and to see people eat it; to make up soft white beds and to see youngsters asleep in them. They ridiculed conceited people and were quick to help unfortunate ones. Deep down in each of them there was a kind of hearty joviality, a relish of life, not over-delicate, but very invigorating.
Willa Cather (My Ántonia)
Please,’ Hannah cries, sitting up on her knees and sobbing to the sky. She chokes, shudders, blinks away the tears. ‘Please, either help me or take this away from me. I don’t want this anymore.’ But her stormy heart does not settle. Her muscles do not relax. She looks at the stars and wonders why God made them so good, so brilliant, but made her so wrong and broken. Her eyes spill over with tears and her throat burns. She pounds her fists into the earth, into the grass and soil, and emits an animal-like cry from the depths of her body. ‘Please,’ she sobs, digging her hands into the soil. ‘Please.
Kelly Quindlen (Her Name in the Sky)
Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world, and there are kinds and grades of each. There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy; the sober silence that goes with a solemn animal face; the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul, whence emerge new thoughts; the alive silence of alert perception, ready to say, “This… this…”; the musical silence that accompanies absorbed activity; the silence of listening to another speak, catching the drift and helping him be clear; the noisy silence of resentment and self-recrimination, loud and subvocal speech but sullen to say it; baffled silence; the silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos.
Paul Goodman
Jonathan Safran Foer’s 10 Rules for Writing: 1.Tragedies make great literature; unfathomable catastrophes (the Holocaust, 9/11) are even better – try to construct your books around them for added gravitas but, since those big issues are such bummers, make sure you do it in a way that still focuses on a quirky central character that’s somewhat like Jonathan Safran Foer. 2. You can also name your character Jonathan Safran Foer. 3. If you’re writing a non-fiction book you should still make sure that it has a strong, deep, wise, and relatable central character – someone like Jonathan Safran Foer. 4. If you reach a point in your book where you’re not sure what to do, or how to approach a certain scene, or what the hell you’re doing, just throw in a picture, or a photo, or scribbles, or blank pages, or some illegible text, or maybe even a flipbook. Don’t worry if these things don’t mean anything, that’s what postmodernism is all about. If you’re not sure what to put in, you can’t go wrong with a nice photograph of Jonathan Safran Foer. 5. If you come up with a pun, metaphor, or phrase that you think is really clever and original, don’t just use it once and throw it away, sprinkle it liberally throughout the text. One particularly good phrase that comes to mind is “Jonathan Safran Foer.” 6. Don’t worry if you seem to be saying the same thing over and over again, repetition makes the work stronger, repetition is good, it drives the point home. The more you repeat a phrase or an idea, the better it gets. You should not be afraid of repeating ideas or phrases. One particularly good phrase that comes to mind is “Jonathan Safran Foer.” 7. Other writers are not your enemies, they are your friends, so you should feel free to borrow some of their ideas, words, techniques, and symbols, and use them completely out of context. They won’t mind, they’re your friends, just like my good friend Paul Auster, with whom I am very good friends. Just make sure you don’t steal anything from Jonathan Safran Foer, it wouldn’t be nice, he is your friend. 8. Make sure you have exactly three plots in your novel, any more and it gets confusing, any less and it’s not postmodern. At least one of those plots should be in a different timeline. It often helps if you name these three plots, I often use “Jonathan,” “Safran,” and “Foer.” 9. Don’t be afraid to make bold statements in you writing, there should always be a strong lesson to be learned, such as “don’t eat animals,” or “the Holocaust was bad,” or “9/11 was really really sad,” or “the world would be a better place if everyone was just a little bit more like Jonathan Safran Foer.” 10. In the end, don’t worry if you’re unsuccessful as a writer, it probably wasn’t meant to be. Not all of us are chosen to become writers. Not all of us can be Jonathan Safran Foer.
Jonathan Safran Foer
Humans have always exalted dreams. Pindar of Thebes, the Greek lyric poet, suggested that the soul is more active while dreaming than while awake. He believed that during a dream, the awakened soul may see the future, “an award of joy or sorrow drawing near.” So it’s no wonder that humans were quick to reserve dreams for people alone; researchers for many years claimed dreams were a property of “higher” minds. But any pet owner who has heard her dog woof or seen his cat twitch during sleep knows that is not true. MIT researchers now know not only that rats dream, but what they dream about. Neurons in the brain fire in distinctive patterns while a rat in a maze performs particular tasks. The researchers repeatedly saw the exact same patterns reproduced while the rats slept—so clearly that they could tell what point in the maze the rat was dreaming about, and whether the animal was running or walking in the dream. The rats’ dreams took place in an area of the brain known to be involved with memory, further supporting a notion that one function of dreams is to help an animal remember what it has learned.
Sy Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness)
Humans are a force of nature—we are, in some senses, THE force of nature—and we influence animals whether we intend to or not. So the real question, going forward, is not WHETHER we should shape animals’ bodies and lives, but HOW we should do so—with what tools, under what circumstances, and to what end… Unless we plan to move all humanity to Mars and leave Earth to rewild itself, we may need to help our furry and feathered friends survive in a world that has us in it. As Kraemer puts it: ‘I’m of the persuasion that we are changing the habitat of wildlife so rapidly that we may have to help those species evolve.
Emily Anthes (Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts)
For the Wife Beater's Wife With blue irises her face is blossomed. Blue Circling to yellow, circling to brown on her cheeks. The long bone of her jaw untracked She hides in our kitchen. He sleeps it off next door. Her chicken legs tucked under her She's frantic with lies, animated Before the swirling smoke. On her cigarette she leaves red prints, red Like a cut on the white cup. Like a skin she pulls her sweater around her. She's cold, She brings the cold in with her. In our kitchen she hides. He sleeps it off next door, his great Belly heaving with booze. Again and again she tells the story As if the details ever changed, As if blows to the face were somehow Different beating to beating. We reach for her but can't help. She retreats into her cold love of him And looks across the table at us As if across a sea. Next door he claws out of sleep. She says she thinks she'll do something After all, with her hair tonight.
Bruce Weigl
The three creative prototypes, the scientist, the artist, and the saint, know instinctively, without the help of any mere philosopher, that each must obey an absolute rule of conduct. Three words established and hallowed by usage express the divinities, the values, the supreme aims served respectively by these three kinds of men with an undivided loyalty: truth for the scientist; beauty for the artist; goodness for the saint. The discussion on what these words mean will never end. We must be content with taking note of their clarity as symbols, and of the singular force which animates them and makes of them powerful poles of attraction.
Salvador de Madariaga (Essays with a Purpose)
I would like to ofer some exercises that can help us use the Five Precepts to cultivate and strengthen mindfulness. It is best to choose one of these exercises and work with it meticulously for a week. Then examine the results and choose another for a subsequent week. These practices can help us understand and find ways to work with each precept. 1. Refrain from killing: reverence for life. Undertake for one week to purposefully bring no harm in thought, word, or deed to any living creature. Particularly, become aware of any living beings in your world (people, animals, even plants) whom you ignore, and cultivate a sense of care and reverence for them too. 2. Refraining from stealing: care with material goods. Undertake for one week to act on every single thought of generosity that arises spontaneously in your heart. 3. Refraining from sexual misconduct: conscious sexuality. Undertake for one week to observe meticulously how often sexual feelings arise in your consciousness. Each time, note what particular mind states you find associated with them such as love, tension, compulsion, caring, loneliness, desire for communication, greed, pleasure, agression, and so forth. 4. Refraining from false speech: speech from the heart. Undertake for one week not to gossip (positively or negatively) or speak about anyone you know who is not present with you (any third party). 5. Refraining from intoxicants to the point of heedlessness. Undertake for one week or one month to refrain from all intoxicants and addictive substances (such as wine, marijuana, even cigarettes and/or caffeine if you wish). Observe the impulses to use these, and become aware of what is going on in the heart and mind at the time of those impulses (88-89).
Jack Kornfield (For a Future to Be Possible: Buddhist Ethics for Everyday Life)
The stillness was so profound that he heard a little animal twittering somewhere near by under the snow. It made a small frightened cheep like a field mouse, and he wondered languidly if it were hurt. Then he understood that it must be in pain: pain so excruciating that he seemed, mysteriously, to feel it shooting through his own body. He tried in vain to roll over in the direction of the sound, and stretched his left arm out across the snow. And now it was as though he felt rather than heard the twittering; it seemed to be under his palm, which rested on something soft and springy. The thought of the animal's suffering was intolerable to him and he struggled to raise himself, and could not because a rock, or some huge mass, seemed to be lying on him. But he continued to finger about cautiously with his left hand, thinking he might get hold of the little creature and help it; and all at once he knew that the soft thing he had touched was Mattie's hair and that his hand was on her face.
Edith Wharton (Ethan Frome)
There was a Japanese TV set in front of us. There were Japanese TV sets all over the prison. They were like portholes on an ocean liner. The passengers were in a state of suspended animation until the big ship got where it was going. But anytime they wanted, the passengers could look through a porthole and see the real world out there. Life was like an ocean liner to a lot of people who weren't in prison, too, of course. And their TV sets were portholes through which they could look while doing nothing, to see all the World was doing with no help from them. Look at it go!
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Hocus Pocus)
Anxiety asks you, dear reader, to embrace the gift of who you are. Maybe you’ve been told that you’re too much — too sensitive, too dramatic, too emotional, too analytical — and this message was translated inside your young self to mean that you were wrong or broken in some way. But you must begin to know now, as hopefully you will as you read through this book, that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. You’re not broken. You’re not too much. You’re not wrong. In fact, it’s the very qualities that you’ve been shamed for that you now need to wrap up like a hurt animal and hug close to your heart. For it’s when you stop seeing your sensitivity as a burden and instead recognize it as the gift it is that you will begin to heal the hurt places inside you and bring your full presence into the world.
Sheryl Paul (The Wisdom of Anxiety: How Worry and Intrusive Thoughts Are Gifts to Help You Heal)
Every story is an act of trust between a writer and a reader: each story, in the end, is social. Whatever a writer sets down can help or harm a community of which he or she is a part. When I write I can imagine a child in California wishing to give away what he’s just seen- a wild animal fleeing though creosote cover in the desert, casting a bright-eyed backward glance or three lines of overheard conversation that seem to contain everything we need understand to repair the gaping rift between body and soul. I look back at that boy turning in glee beneath his pigeons and know it can take a lifetime to convey what you mean, to find the opening. You watch, you set it down. Then you try again.
Barry Lopez (About This Life)
You have quite a way with animals.” “They’re my business,” she said, as if she needed to explain her delight. “You’re good at it. That’s obvious.” “I like helping animals. It makes me feel . . . useful, I guess.” “Maybe you could show me what you do sometime.” Tess cocked her head at him. “Do you have a pet?” Dante should have said no, but he was still picturing her with those two ridiculous furballs and wishing that he could bring her some of that same joy. “I keep a dog. Like those.” “You do? What’s its name?” Dante cleared his throat, mentally casting about for what he might call a useless creature that depended on him for survival. “Harvard,” he drawled, his lips curving with private humor. “I call it Harvard.” “Well, I’d love to meet him sometime, Dante.” A chilly breeze kicked up, and Tess shivered, rubbing her arms. “It’s getting kind of late. I should probably think about heading home.” “Yeah, sure.” Dante nodded, kicking himself for making up a pet, for God’s sake, just because it might win him some favor with Tess.
Lara Adrian (Kiss of Crimson (Midnight Breed, #2))
Surveys have shown that ranking very close to the fear of death is the fear of public speaking. Why would someone feel profound fear, deep in his or her stomach, about public speaking, which is so far from death? Because it isn’t so far from death when we link it. Those who fear public speaking actually fear the loss of identity that attaches to performing badly, and that is firmly rooted in our survival needs. For all social animals, from ants to antelopes, identity is the pass card to inclusion, and inclusion is the key to survival. If a baby loses its identity as the child of his or her parents, a possible outcome is abandonment. For a human infant, that means death. As adults, without our identity as a member of the tribe or village, community or culture, a likely outcome is banishment and death. So the fear of getting up and addressing five hundred people at the annual convention of professionals in your field is not just the fear of embarrassment—it is linked to the fear of being perceived as incompetent, which is linked to the fear of loss of employment, loss of home, loss of family, your ability to contribute to society, your value, in short, your identity and your life. Linking an unwarranted fear to its ultimate terrible destination usually helps alleviate that fear. Though you may find that public speaking can link to death, you’ll see that it would be a long and unlikely trip.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
The Americans of the United States do not let their dogs hunt the Indians as do the Spaniards in Mexico, but at bottom it is the same pitiless feeling which here, as everywhere else, animates the European race. This world here belongs to us, they tell themselves every day: the Indian race is destined for final destruction which one cannot prevent and which it is not desirable to delay. Heaven has not made them to become civilized; it is necessary that they die. Besides I do not want to get mixed up in it. I will not do anything against them: I will limit myself to providing everything that will hasten their ruin. In time I will have their lands and will be innocent of their death. Satisfied with his reasoning, the American goes to church where he hears the minister of the gospel repeat every day that all men are brothers, and that the Eternal Being who has made them all in like image, has given them all the duty to help one another.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Human tool-makers always make tools that will help us get what we want, and what we want hasn't changed for thousands of years because as far as we can tell the human template hasn't changed either. We still want the purse that will always be filled with gold, and the Fountain of Youth. We want the table that will cover itself with delicious food whenever we say the word, and that will be cleaned up afterwards by invisible servants. We want the Seven-League Boots so we can travel very quickly, and the Hat of Darkness so we can snoop on other people without being seen. We want the weapon that will never miss, and the castle that will keep us safe. We want excitement and adventure; we want routine and security. We want to have a large number of sexually attractive partners, and we also want those we love to love us in return, and be utterly faithful to us. We want cute, smart children who will treat us with the respect we deserve. We want to be surrounded by music, and by ravishing scents and attractive visual objects. We don't want to be too hot or too cold. We want to dance. We want to speak with the animals. We want to be envied. We want to be immortal. We want to be gods. But in addition, we want wisdom and justice. We want hope. We want to be good.
Margaret Atwood (In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination)
Yes yes yes, there it was. Youth must go, ah yes. But youth is only being in a way like it might be an animal. No, it is not just like being an animal so much as being one of these malenky toys you viddy being sold in the streets, like little chellovecks made out of tin and with a spring inside and then a winding handle on the outside and you wind it up grrr grrr grrr and off it itties, like walking, O my brothers. But it itties in a straight line and bangs straight into things bang bang and it cannot help what it is doing. Being young is like being like one of these malenky machines. My son, my son. When I had my son I would explain all that to him when he was starry enough to like understand. But then I knew he would not understand or would not want to understand at all and would do all the veshches I had done, yes perhaps even killing some poor starry forella surrounded with mewing kots and koshkas, and I would not be able to really stop him. And nor would he be able to stop his own son, brothers. And so it would itty on until like the end of the world, round and round and round, like some bolshy gigantic like chelloveck, like old Bog Himself (by courtesy of Korova Milkbar) turning and turning and turning a vonny grahzny orange in his gigantic rookers.
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
Ms. Lane.”Barrons’ voice is deep, touched with that strange Old World accent and mildly pissed off. Jericho Barrons is often mildly pissed off. I think he crawled from the swamp that way, chafed either by some condition in it, out of it, or maybe just the general mass incompetence he encountered in both places. He’s the most controlled, capable man I’ve ever known. After all we’ve been through together, he still calls me Ms. Lane, with one exception: When I’m in his bed. Or on the floor, or some other place where I’ve temporarily lost my mind and become convinced I can’t breathe without him inside me this very instant. Then the things he calls me are varied and nobody’s business but mine. I reply: “Barrons,” without inflection. I’ve learned a few things in our time together. Distance is frequently the only intimacy he’ll tolerate. Suits me. I’ve got my own demons. Besides I don’t believe good relationships come from living inside each other’s pockets. I believe divorce comes from that. I admire the animal grace with which he enters the room and moves toward me. He prefers dark colors, the better to slide in and out of the night, or a room, unnoticed except for whatever he’s left behind that you may or may not discover for some time, like, say a tattoo on the back of one’s skull. “What are you doing?” “Reading,” I say nonchalantly, rubbing the tattoo on the back of my skull. I angle the volume so he can’t see the cover. If he sees what I’m reading, he’ll know I’m looking for something. If he realizes how bad it’s gotten, and what I’m thinking about doing, he’ll try to stop me. He circles behind me, looks over my shoulder at the thick vellum of the ancient manuscript. “In the first tongue?” “Is that what it is?” I feign innocence. He knows precisely which cells in my body are innocent and which are thoroughly corrupted. He’s responsible for most of the corrupted ones. One corner of his mouth ticks up and I see the glint of beast behind his eyes, a feral crimson backlight, bloodstaining the whites. It turns me on. Barrons makes me feel violently, electrically sexual and alive. I’d march into hell beside him. But I will not let him march into hell beside me. And there’s no doubt that’s where I’m going. I thought I was strong, a heroine. I thought I was the victor. The enemy got inside my head and tried to seduce me with lies. It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing. Temptation isn’t a sin that you triumph over once, completely and then you’re free. Temptation slips into bed with you each night and helps you say your prayers. It wakes you in the morning with a friendly cup of coffee, and knows exactly how you take it. He skirts the Chesterfield sofa and stands over me. “Looking for something, Ms. Lane?” I’m eye level with his belt but that’s not where my gaze gets stuck and suddenly my mouth is so dry I can hardly swallow and I know I’m going to want to. I’m Pri-ya for this man. I hate it. I love it. I can’t escape it. I reach for his belt buckle. The manuscript slides from my lap, forgotten. Along with everything else but this moment, this man. “I just found it,” I tell him.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
Despues pinto un poco. Hay tranquilidad y silencio en estos dias y aprovecho que puedo concentrarme. La soledad. Quizas uno escribe y pinta no solo para crear un espacio de libertad alrededor, sino tambien para sentirse acompaNado. No exactamente para romper la soledad. No se trata de eso. La soledad siempre estA ahI. La siento, la toco, hablo con ella. Forma parte de mi vida. La soledad es inevitable. Y ayuda. Me concentro mas. Soy mas yo cuando convivimos bien apretaditos: la soledad y yo. Nos adoramos. No podria vivi sin la soledad. my translation: Later I paint a little bit. There's tranquility and silence in these days and I benefit from being able to concentrate. Loneliness. Maybe one writes and paints not only to create a space of freedom, but rather also to feel accompanied. Not exactly to break loneliness. It's not about that. Loneliness is always there. I feel it. I touch it. I talk with it. It forms part of my life. Loneliness is inevitable. And it helps. I concentrate more. I'm more me when we live pushed together: loneliness and me. We worship each other. I couldn't live with out loneliness.
Pedro Juan Gutiérrez (Animal tropical)
There was a muffled tap again, and I heard a familiar voice whisper faintly, “Kelsey, it’s me.” I unlocked the door and peeked out. Ren was standing there dressed in his white clothes, barefoot, with a triumphant grin on his face. I pulled him inside and hissed out thickly, “What are you doing here? It’s dangerous coming into town! You could have been seen, and they’d send hunters out after you!” He shrugged his shoulders and grinned. “I missed you.” My mouth quirked up in a half smile. “I missed you too.” He leaned a shoulder nonchalantly against the doorframe. “Does that mean you’ll let me stay here? I’ll sleep on the floor and leave before daylight. No one will see me. I promise.” I let out a deep breath. “Okay, but promise you’ll leave early. I don’t like you risking yourself like this.” “I promise.” He sat down on the bed, took my hand, and pulled me down to sit beside him. “I don’t like sleeping in the dark jungle by myself.” “I wouldn’t either.” He looked down at our entwined hands. “When I’m with you, I feel like a man again. When I’m out there all alone, I feel like a beast, an animal.” His eyes darted up to mine. I squeezed his hand. “I understand. It’s fine. Really.” He grinned. “You were hard to track, you know. Lucky for me you two decided to walk to dinner, so I could follow your scent right to your door.” Something on the nightstand caught his attention. Leaning around me, he reached over and picked up my open journal. I had drawn a new picture of a tiger-my tiger. My circus drawings were okay, but this latest one was more personal and full of life. Ren stared at it for a moment while a bright crimson flush colored my cheeks. He traced the tiger with his finger, and then whispered gently, "Someday, I'll give you a portrait of the real me." Setting the journal down carefully, he took both of my hands in his, turned to me with an intense expression, and said, "I don't want you to see only a tiger when you look at me. I want you to see me. The man." Reaching out, he almost touched my cheek but he stopped and withdrew his hand. "I've worn the tiger's face for far too many years. He's stolen my humanity." I nodded while he squeezed my hands and whispered quietly, "Kells, I don't want to be him anymore. I want to be me. I want to have a life." "I know," I said softly. I reached up to stroke his cheek. "Ren, I-" I froze in place as he pulled my hand slowly down to his lips and kissed my palm. My hand tingled. His blue eyes searched my face desperately, wanting, needing something from me. I wanted to say something to reassure him. I wanted to offer him comfort. I just couldn't frame the words. His supplication stirred me. I felt a deep bond with him, a strong connection. I wanted to help him, I wanted to be his friend, and I wanted...maybe something more. I tried to identify and categorize my reactions to him. What I felt for him seemed too complicated to define, but it soon became obvious to me that the strongest emotion I felt, the one that was stirring my heart, was...love.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Meditation I KNOW there is a Power for Good which is responding to me and bringing into my experience everything that is necessary to my unfoldment, to my happiness, to my peace, to my health, and to my success. I know there is a Power for Good that enables me to help others and to bless the whole world. So I say quietly to myself: There is one Life, that Life is God, that Life is perfect, that Life is my life now. It is flowing through me, circulating in me. I am one with Its rhythm. My heart beats with the pulsation of the Universe, in serenity, in peace, and in joy. My whole physical being is animated by the Divine Spirit, and if there is anything in it that does not belong, it is cast out because there is One Perfect Life in me now. And I say to myself: I am daily guided so that I shall know what to do under every circumstance, in every situation. Divine Intelligence guides me in love, in joy, and in complete self-expression. Desiring that the Law of Good alone shall control me, I bless and prosper everything I am doing; I multiply every activity; I accept and expect happiness and complete success. Realizing that I am one with all people, I affirm that there is a silent Power flowing through me and them, which blesses and heals and prospers, makes happy and glad their pathway. And realizing that the world is made up of people like myself, I bless the world and affirm that it shall come under the Divine government of Good, under the Divine providence of Love, and under the Divine leadership of the Supreme Intelligence. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Ernest Shurtleff Holmes (Living the Science of Mind)
This fact has contributed greatly both to humankind’s extraordinary social abilities and to its unique social problems. Lone mothers could hardly forage enough food for their offspring and themselves with needy children in tow. Raising children required constant help from other family members and neighbours. It takes a tribe to raise a human. Evolution thus favoured those capable of forming strong social ties. In addition, since humans are born underdeveloped, they can be educated and socialised to a far greater extent than any other animal. Most mammals emerge from the womb like glazed earthenware emerging from a kiln – any attempt at remoulding will only scratch or break them. Humans emerge from the womb like molten glass from a furnace. They can be spun, stretched and shaped with a surprising degree of freedom. This is why today we can educate our children to become Christian or Buddhist, capitalist or socialist, warlike or peace-loving. We assume that a large brain, the use of
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
And that is not all: even if man really were nothing but a piano-key, even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematics, even then he would not become reasonable, but would purposely do something perverse out of simple ingratitude, simply to gain his point. And if he does not find means he will contrive destruction and chaos, will contrive sufferings of all sorts, only to gain his point! He will launch a curse upon the world, and as only man can curse (it is his privilege, the primary distinction between him and other animals), may be by his curse alone he will attain his object--that is, convince himself that he is a man and not a piano-key! If you say that all this, too, can be calculated and tabulated--chaos and darkness and curses, so that the mere possibility of calculating it all beforehand would stop it all, and reason would reassert itself, then man would purposely go mad in order to be rid of reason and gain his point! I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key! It may be at the cost of his skin, it may be by cannibalism! And this being so, can one help being tempted to rejoice that it has not yet come off, and that desire still depends on something we don't know?
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes From The Underground: Letters from the Underworld)
I’m Still Here Your heart has been heavy since that day— The day you thought I went away— I haven’t left you I never would— You just can’t see me, though I wish that you could. It might ease the pain that you feel in your heart— The pain that you’ve felt since you’ve believed us to part. Try and think of it this way, it might help you see— That I am right here with you and always will be. Remember the times we were out in the yard, You could not always see me yet I hadn’t gone far. That’s how it is now when you look for my face I’m still right beside you still filling my place. I find it to be so very sad, That seeing and believing seem to go hand in hand, The love and the loyalty the warmth that I gave, You felt them, did not see them, but you believed just the same. I walk with you now like I walked with you then— My pain is now gone and I lead once again. My eyes always following you wherever you roam— Making sure you’re okay and you’re never alone. Our time was too short yet for me it goes on— I won’t ever leave you, I’ll never be gone. I live in your heart as you live in mine— An endearing love that continues to shine. The day will come and together we’ll be, And you’ll say take me home boy, and once again I will lead. Until that day comes don’t think that I’ve gone— I’m right here beside you, and my love it lives on.
Sylvia Browne (All Pets Go To Heaven: The Spiritual Lives of the Animals We Love)
LOOK, I’M ONLY IN THIS FOR THE PIZZA. The publisher was like, “Oh, you did such a great job writing about the Greek gods last year! We want you to write another book about the Ancient Greek heroes! It’ll be so cool!” And I was like, “Guys, I’m dyslexic. It’s hard enough for me to read books.” Then they promised me a year’s supply of free pepperoni pizza, plus all the blue jelly beans I could eat. I sold out. I guess it’s cool. If you’re looking to fight monsters yourself, these stories might help you avoid some common mistakes—like staring Medusa in the face, or buying a used mattress from any dude named Crusty. But the best reason to read about the old Greek heroes is to make yourself feel better. No matter how much you think your life sucks, these guys and gals had it worse. They totally got the short end of the Celestial stick. By the way, if you don’t know me, my name is Percy Jackson. I’m a modern-day demigod—the son of Poseidon. I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old-school hard-luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. Let’s pick twelve of them. That should be plenty. By the time you finish reading about how miserable their lives were—what with the poisonings, the betrayals, the mutilations, the murders, the psychopathic family members, and the flesh-eating barnyard animals—if that doesn’t make you feel better about your own existence, then I don’t know what will. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion-skin cape. Polish your shield, and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes (A Percy Jackson and the Olympians Guide))
[...] if truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all. [review of The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life, Nature 442, 983-984 (31 August 2006)]
Jerry A. Coyne
THERE WILL COME A DAY . . . There will come a day when she no longer wants to hold my hand. So I will hold it while I still can. There will come a day when she no longer tells me what’s on her mind. So I will listen while she still wants to talk to me. There will come a day when she no longer says, “Watch me, Mama!” So I will observe and encourage while I still can. There will come a day when she no longer invites me to eat school lunch with her. So I will join her while I still can. There will come a day when she no longer needs my help to bake cookies or hit the tennis ball in the sweet spot. So I will stand beside her gently guiding and instructing while I still can. There will come a day when she no longer wants my opinion about clothes, friendship, death, and heaven. So I will share my views while she still wants to hear them. There will come a day when she no longer allows me to hear her prayers and her dreams. So I will fold my hands and absorb every word while I still can. There will come a day when she no longer sleeps with her beloved stuffed animal. And that day may come sooner than I think. Because sometimes unexpected events happen, causing the days to rush by, the years to tumble ahead. Sometimes what I thought I would have time to do, Like listen to her laugh, Wipe her tears, Breathe her scent, And hold her close, Will no longer be available to me. What I thought I had all the time in the world to do, May no longer be an option. The little pink dog that my child must now learn to sleep without after eight precious years reminds me that tomorrow may not allow for all the things I planned to do. So instead of being too busy, Too tired, Or too distracted when she seeks my love and attention, I will be ready and waiting To make her a well-loved child While I still can.
Rachel Macy Stafford (Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!)
People] find—both in themselves and outside themselves—many means that are very helpful in seeking their own advantage, e.g., eyes for seeing, teeth for chewing, plants and animals for food, the sun for light, the sea for supporting fish … Hence, they consider all natural things as means to their own advantage. And knowing that they had found these means, not provided them for themselves, they had reason to believe that there was someone else who had prepared those means for their use. For after they considered things as means, they could not believe that the things had made themselves; but from the means they were accustomed to prepare for themselves, they had to infer that there was a ruler, or a number of rulers of nature, endowed with human freedom, who had taken care of all things for them, and made all things for their use. And since they had never heard anything about the temperament of these rulers, they had to judge it from their own. Hence, they maintained that the Gods direct all things for the use of men in order to bind men to them and be held by men in the highest honor. So it has happened that each of them has thought up from his own temperament different ways of worshipping God, so that God might love them above all the rest, and direct the whole of Nature according to the needs of their blind desire and insatiable greed. Thus this prejudice was changed into superstition, and struck deep roots in their minds.
Baruch Spinoza
Perhaps the deepest indication of our slavery is the monetization of time. It is a phenomenon with roots deeper than our money system, for it depends on the prior quantification of time. An animal or a child has “all the time in the world.” The same was apparently true for Stone Age peoples, who usually had very loose concepts of time and rarely were in a hurry. Primitive languages often lacked tenses, and sometimes lacked even words for “yesterday” or “tomorrow.” The comparative nonchalance primitive people had toward time is still apparent today in rural, more traditional parts of the world. Life moves faster in the big city, where we are always in a hurry because time is scarce. But in the past, we experienced time as abundant. The more monetized society is, the more anxious and hurried its citizens. In parts of the world that are still somewhat outside the money economy, where subsistence farming still exists and where neighbors help each other, the pace of life is slower, less hurried. In rural Mexico, everything is done mañana. A Ladakhi peasant woman interviewed in Helena Norberg-Hodge’s film Ancient Futures sums it all up in describing her city-dwelling sister: “She has a rice cooker, a car, a telephone—all kinds of time-saving devices. Yet when I visit her, she is always so busy we barely have time to talk.” For the animal, child, or hunter-gatherer, time is essentially infinite. Today its monetization has subjected it, like the rest, to scarcity. Time is life. When we experience time as scarce, we experience life as short and poor. If you were born before adult schedules invaded childhood and children were rushed around from activity to activity, then perhaps you still remember the subjective eternity of childhood, the afternoons that stretched on forever, the timeless freedom of life before the tyranny of calendar and clocks. “Clocks,” writes John Zerzan, “make time scarce and life short.” Once quantified, time too could be bought and sold, and the scarcity of all money-linked commodities afflicted time as well. “Time is money,” the saying goes, an identity confirmed by the metaphor “I can’t afford the time.” If the material world
Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition)
Vargo climbed in, twisted and turned a few times to get comfortable on the pillow, then pulled the lid down and latched it. As the eye of narrative drew back from the coffin on its stand, two things happened. One happened comparatively slowly, and this was Vargo's realization that he never recalled the coffin having a pillow before. The other was Greebo deciding that he was as mad as hell and wasn't going to take it any more. He'd been shaken around in the wheely thing and then sat on by Nanny, and he was angry about that because he knew, in a dim, animal way, that scratching Nanny might be the single most stupid thing he could do in the whole world, since no one else was prepared to feed him. This hadn't helped his temper. Then he'd encountered a dog, which had tried to lick him. He'd scratched and bitten it a few times, but this had had no effect apart from encouraging it to try to be more friendly. He'd finally found a comfy resting place and had curled up into a ball, and now someone was using him as a cushion- There wasn't a great deal of noise. The coffin rocked a few times, and then pivoted around.
Terry Pratchett (Carpe Jugulum (Discworld, #23; Witches, #6))
Here the contention is not just that the new Darwinian paradigm can help us realize whichever moral values we happen to choose. The claim is that the new paradigm can actually influence — legitimately — our choice of basic values in the first place. Some Darwinians insist that such influence can never be legitimate. What they have in mind is the naturalistic fallacy, whose past violation has so tainted their line of work. But what we're doing here doesn't violate the naturalistic fallacy. Quite the opposite. By studying nature — by seeing the origins of the retributive impulse — we see how we have been conned into committing the naturalistic fallacy without knowing it; we discover that the aura of divine truth surrounding retribution is nothing more than a tool with which nature — natural selection — gets us to uncritically accept its "values." Once this revelation hits norm, we are less likely to obey this aura, and thus less likely to commit the fallacy.
Robert Wright (The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are - The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology)
Cambridge philosopher, Dr. C. D. Broad, “that we should do well to consider much more seriously than we have hitherto been inclined to do the type of theory which Bergson put forward in connection with memory and sense perception. The suggestion is that the function of the brain and nervous system and sense organs is in the main eliminative and not productive. Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful.” According to such a theory, each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this particular planet. To formulate and express the contents of this reduced awareness, man has invented and endlessly elaborated those symbol-systems and implicit philosophies which we call languages.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell)
A cult is a group of people who share an obsessive devotion to a person or idea. The cults described in this book use violent tactics to recruit, indoctrinate, and keep members. Ritual abuse is defined as the emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive acts performed by violent cults. Most violent cults do not openly express their beliefs and practices, and they tend to live separately in noncommunal environments to avoid detection. Some victims of ritual abuse are children abused outside the home by nonfamily members, in public settings such as day care. Other victims are children and teenagers who are forced by their parents to witness and participate in violent rituals. Adult ritual abuse victims often include these grown children who were forced from childhood to be a member of the group. Other adult and teenage victims are people who unknowingly joined social groups or organizations that slowly manipulated and blackmailed them into becoming permanent members of the group. All cases of ritual abuse, no matter what the age of the victim, involve intense physical and emotional trauma. Violent cults may sacrifice humans and animals as part of religious rituals. They use torture to silence victims and other unwilling participants. Ritual abuse victims say they are degraded and humiliated and are often forced to torture, kill, and sexually violate other helpless victims. The purpose of the ritual abuse is usually indoctrination. The cults intend to destroy these victims' free will by undermining their sense of safety in the world and by forcing them to hurt others. In the last ten years, a number of people have been convicted on sexual abuse charges in cases where the abused children had reported elements of ritual child abuse. These children described being raped by groups of adults who wore costumes or masks and said they were forced to witness religious-type rituals in which animals and humans were tortured or killed. In one case, the defense introduced in court photographs of the children being abused by the defendants[.1] In another case, the police found tunnels etched with crosses and pentacles along with stone altars and candles in a cemetery where abuse had been reported. The defendants in this case pleaded guilty to charges of incest, cruelty, and indecent assault.[2] Ritual abuse allegations have been made in England, the United States, and Canada.[3] Many myths abound concerning the parents and children who report ritual abuse. Some people suggest that the tales of ritual abuse are "mass hysteria." They say the parents of these children who report ritual abuse are often overly zealous Christians on a "witch-hunt" to persecute satanists. These skeptics say the parents are fearful of satanism, and they use their knowledge of the Black Mass (a historically well-known, sexualized ritual in which animals and humans are sacrificed) to brainwash their children into saying they were abused by satanists.[4] In 1992 I conducted a study to separate fact from fiction in regard to the disclosures of children who report ritual abuse.[5] The study was conducted through Believe the Children, a national organization that provides support and educational sources for ritual abuse survivors and their families.
Margaret Smith (Ritual Abuse: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Help)
[T]he old stories of human relationships with animals can't be discounted. They are not primitive; they are primal. They reflect insights that came from considerable and elaborate systems of knowledge, intellectual traditions and ways of living that were tried, tested, and found true over many thousands of years and on all continents. But perhaps the truest story is with the animals themselves because we have found our exemplary ways through them, both in the older world and in the present time, both physically and spiritually. According to the traditions of the Seneca animal society, there were medicine animals in ancient times that entered into relationships with people. The animals themselves taught ceremonies that were to be performed in their names, saying they would provide help for humans if this relationship was kept. We have followed them, not only in the way the early European voyagers and prenavigators did, by following the migrations of whales in order to know their location, or by releasing birds from cages on their sailing vessels and following them towards land, but in ways more subtle and even more sustaining. In a discussion of the Wolf Dance of the Northwest, artists Bill Holm and William Reid said that 'It is often done by a woman or a group of women. The dance is supposed to come from the wolves. There are different versions of its origin and different songs, but the words say something like, 'Your name is widely known among the wolves. You are honored by the wolves.' In another recent account, a Northern Cheyenne ceremonialist said that after years spent recovering from removals and genocide, indigenous peoples are learning their lost songs back from the wolves who retained them during the grief-filled times, as thought the wolves, even though threatened in their own numbers, have had compassion for the people.... It seems we have always found our way across unknown lands, physical and spiritual, with the assistance of the animals. Our cultures are shaped around them and we are judged by the ways in which we treat them. For us, the animals are understood to be our equals. They are still our teachers. They are our helpers and healers. They have been our guardians and we have been theirs. We have asked for, and sometimes been given, if we've lived well enough, carefully enough, their extraordinary powers of endurance and vision, which we have added to our own knowledge, powers and gifts when we are not strong enough for the tasks required of us. We have deep obligations to them. Without other animals, we are made less. (from her essay "First People")
Linda Hogan (Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals)
Most of what's known about religious practices in pre-Hispanic Mexico has come to us through a Catholic parish priest named Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón, one of the few who ever became fluent in the Nahuatl language. He spent the 1620s writing his "Treatise on the Superstitions and Heathen Customs that Today Live Among the Indians Native to This New Spain". He'd originally meant it to be something of a "field guide to the heathens" to help priests recognize and exterminate indigenous religious rites and their practitioners. In the process of his documentation, though, it's clear from his writings that Father Ruiz de Alarcón grew sympathetic. He was particularly fascinated with how Nahuatl people celebrated the sacred in ordinary objects, and encouraged living and spirit realities to meet up in the here and now. He noted that the concept of "death" as an ending did not exactly exist for them. When Aztec people left their bodies, they were presumed to be on an exciting trip through the ether. It wasn't something to cry about, except that the living still wanted to visit with them. People's sadness was not for the departed, but for themselves, and could be addressed through ritual visiting called Xantolo, an ordinary communion between the dead and the living. Mexican tradition still holds that Xantolo is always present in certain places and activities, including marigold fields, the cultivation of corn, the preparation of tamales and pan de muerto. Interestingly, farmers' markets are said to be loaded with Xantolo.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
Gradually, it sank in. The Mother Beast was dead. I had killed her. The taste of her blood burned in my mouth. Behind her, a deep black hole bore into the ground beneath the remnants of the railroad car. It must have been her underground lair. She had raised her brood there, safe and far away from everyone, until Kyle's crew invaded her den. Such an awful waste. None of this was necessary. At least one person died, many others were injured, and this great magnificient beast and her brood lost their lives all because Kyle Bell wanted to make a quick buck on the side. He stood by the remnants of the tent now, arms crossed, barking orders. I marched over to Kyle. He saw me, opened his mouth, and I backhanded him. The blow knocked him to the ground. «This is your fault. You brought these people here. You knew this place was dangerous.» I pulled him upright and spun him toward the dead beast. «Look! People died because of you. Do you understand that? If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have had to murder her. She was just protecting her children.» «She tried to kill us!» I backhanded him again. «She tried to kill you because you broke into her house.» The workers stood around us, thier faces grim. Nobody made any move to help their boss. *** I found my bow and quiver and walked away. Ascanio jumped off the beast and joined me. His voice was a deep growl, shredded by his teeth. «It. Wash. Aweshome.» «This was a tragedy.» People came before animals. I knew that, but when you turn into an animal, your perspective is a little different. «Yesh. But aweshome.» He was a boy. What did he know?
Ilona Andrews (Gunmetal Magic (World of Kate Daniels, #6 & #6.5; Andrea Nash, #1, Kate Daniels, #5.5))
Oh, I’m sorry!” he said. “I just fell out of the sky. I constructed a helicopter in midair, burst into flames halfway down, crash-landed and barely survived. But by all means – let’s talk about your dining table!” He snatched up a half-melted goblet. “Who puts a dining table on the beach where innocent demigods can crash into it? Who does that?” The girl clenched her fists. Leo was pretty sure she was going to march down the crater and punch him in the face. Instead she looked up at the sky. “REALLY?” she screamed at the empty blue. “You want to make my curse even worse? Zeus! Hephaestus! Hermes! Have you no shame?” “Uh …” Leo noticed that she’d just picked three gods to blame, and one of them was his dad. He figured that wasn’t a good sign. “I doubt they’re listening. You know, the whole split-personality thing—” “Show yourself!” the girl yelled at the sky, completely ignoring Leo. “It’s not bad enough I am exiled? It’s not bad enough you take away the few good heroes I’m allowed to meet? You think it’s funny to send me this—this charbroiled runt of a boy to ruin my tranquillity? This is NOT FUNNY! Take him back!” “Hey, Sunshine,” Leo said. “I’m right here, you know.” She growled like a cornered animal. “Do not call me Sunshine! Get out of that hole and come with me now so I can get you off my island!” “Well, since you asked so nicely …” Leo didn’t know what the crazy girl was so worked up about, but he didn’t really care. If she could help him leave this island, that was totally fine by him. He clutched his charred sphere and climbed out of the crater. When he reached the top, the girl was already marching down the shoreline. He jogged to catch up. She gestured in disgust at the burning wreckage. “This was a pristine beach! Look at it now.” “Yeah, my bad,” Leo muttered. “I should’ve crashed on one of the other islands. Oh, wait – there aren’t any!” She snarled and kept walking along the edge of the water.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
During my first few months of Facebooking, I discovered that my page had fostered a collective nostalgia for specific cultural icons. These started, unsurprisingly, within the realm of science fiction and fantasy. They commonly included a pointy-eared Vulcan from a certain groundbreaking 1960s television show. Just as often, though, I found myself sharing images of a diminutive, ancient, green and disarmingly wise Jedi Master who speaks in flip-side down English. Or, if feeling more sinister, I’d post pictures of his black-cloaked, dark-sided, heavy-breathing nemesis. As an aside, I initially received from Star Trek fans considerable “push-back,” or at least many raised Spock brows, when I began sharing images of Yoda and Darth Vader. To the purists, this bordered on sacrilege.. But as I like to remind fans, I was the only actor to work within both franchises, having also voiced the part of Lok Durd from the animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was the virality of these early posts, shared by thousands of fans without any prodding from me, that got me thinking. Why do we love Spock, Yoda and Darth Vader so much? And what is it about characters like these that causes fans to click “like” and “share” so readily? One thing was clear: Cultural icons help people define who they are today because they shaped who they were as children. We all “like” Yoda because we all loved The Empire Strikes Back, probably watched it many times, and can recite our favorite lines. Indeed, we all can quote Yoda, and we all have tried out our best impression of him. When someone posts a meme of Yoda, many immediately share it, not just because they think it is funny (though it usually is — it’s hard to go wrong with the Master), but because it says something about the sharer. It’s shorthand for saying, “This little guy made a huge impact on me, not sure what it is, but for certain a huge impact. Did it make one on you, too? I’m clicking ‘share’ to affirm something you may not know about me. I ‘like’ Yoda.” And isn’t that what sharing on Facebook is all about? It’s not simply that the sharer wants you to snortle or “LOL” as it were. That’s part of it, but not the core. At its core is a statement about one’s belief system, one that includes the wisdom of Yoda. Other eminently shareable icons included beloved Tolkien characters, particularly Gandalf (as played by the inimitable Sir Ian McKellan). Gandalf, like Yoda, is somehow always above reproach and unfailingly epic. Like Yoda, Gandalf has his darker counterpart. Gollum is a fan favorite because he is a fallen figure who could reform with the right guidance. It doesn’t hurt that his every meme is invariably read in his distinctive, blood-curdling rasp. Then there’s also Batman, who seems to have survived both Adam West and Christian Bale, but whose questionable relationship to the Boy Wonder left plenty of room for hilarious homoerotic undertones. But seriously, there is something about the brooding, misunderstood and “chaotic-good” nature of this superhero that touches all of our hearts.
George Takei
With the best of intentions, the generation before mine worked diligently to prepare their children to make an intelligent case for Christianity. We were constantly reminded of the superiority of our own worldview and the shortcomings of all others. We learned that as Christians, we alone had access to absolute truth and could win any argument. The appropriate Bible verses were picked out for us, the opposing positions summarized for us, and the best responses articulated for us, so that we wouldn’t have to struggle through two thousand years of theological deliberations and debates but could get right to the bottom line on the important stuff: the deity of Christ, the nature of the Trinity, the role and interpretation of Scripture, and the fundamentals of Christianity. As a result, many of us entered the world with both an unparalleled level of conviction and a crippling lack of curiosity. So ready with the answers, we didn’t know what the questions were anymore. So prepared to defend the faith, we missed the thrill of discovering it for ourselves. So convinced we had God right, it never occurred to us that we might be wrong. In short, we never learned to doubt. Doubt is a difficult animal to master because it requires that we learn the difference between doubting God and doubting what we believe about God. The former has the potential to destroy faith; the latter has the power to enrich and refine it. The former is a vice; the latter a virtue. Where would we be if the apostle Peter had not doubted the necessity of food laws, or if Martin Luther had not doubted the notion that salvation can be purchased? What if Galileo had simply accepted church-instituted cosmology paradigms, or William Wilberforce the condition of slavery? We do an injustice to the intricacies and shadings of Christian history when we gloss over the struggles, when we read Paul’s epistles or Saint Augustine’s Confessions without acknowledging the difficult questions that these believers asked and the agony with which they often asked them. If I’ve learned anything over the past five years, it’s that doubt is the mechanism by which faith evolves. It helps us cast off false fundamentals so that we can recover what has been lost or embrace what is new. It is a refining fire, a hot flame that keeps our faith alive and moving and bubbling about, where certainty would only freeze it on the spot. I would argue that healthy doubt (questioning one’s beliefs) is perhaps the best defense against unhealthy doubt (questioning God). When we know how to make a distinction between our ideas about God and God himself, our faith remains safe when one of those ideas is seriously challenged. When we recognize that our theology is not the moon but rather a finger pointing at the moon, we enjoy the freedom of questioning it from time to time. We can say, as Tennyson said, Our little systems have their day; They have their day and cease to be; They are but broken lights of thee, And thou, O Lord, art more than they.15 I sometimes wonder if I might have spent fewer nights in angry, resentful prayer if only I’d known that my little systems — my theology, my presuppositions, my beliefs, even my fundamentals — were but broken lights of a holy, transcendent God. I wish I had known to question them, not him. What my generation is learning the hard way is that faith is not about defending conquered ground but about discovering new territory. Faith isn’t about being right, or settling down, or refusing to change. Faith is a journey, and every generation contributes its own sketches to the map. I’ve got miles and miles to go on this journey, but I think I can see Jesus up ahead.
Rachel Held Evans (Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions)
He no longer saw the face of his friend Siddhartha, instead he saw other faces, many, a long sequence, a flowing river of faces, of hundreds, of thousands, which all came and disappeared, and yet all seemed to be there simultaneously, which all constantly changed and renewed themselves, and which were still all Siddhartha. He saw the face of a fish, a carp, with an infinitely painfully opened mouth, the face of a dying fish, with fading eyes—he saw the face of a new-born child, red and full of wrinkles, distorted from crying—he saw the face of a murderer, he saw him plunging a knife into the body of another person—he saw, in the same second, this criminal in bondage, kneeling and his head being chopped off by the executioner with one blow of his sword—he saw the bodies of men and women, naked in positions and cramps of frenzied love—he saw corpses stretched out, motionless, cold, void— he saw the heads of animals, of boars, of crocodiles, of elephants, of bulls, of birds—he saw gods, saw Krishna, saw Agni—he saw all of these figures and faces in a thousand relationships with one another, each one helping the other, loving it, hating it, destroying it, giving re-birth to it, each one was a will to die, a passionately painful confession of transitoriness, and yet none of them died, each one only transformed, was always re-born, received evermore a new face, without any time having passed between the one and the other face—and all of these figures and faces rested, flowed, generated themselves, floated along and merged with each other, and they were all constantly covered by something thin, without individuality of its own, but yet existing, like a thin glass or ice, like a transparent skin, a shell or mold or mask of water, and this mask was smiling, and this mask was Siddhartha's smiling face, which he, Govinda, in this very same moment touched with his lips. And, Govinda saw it like this, this smile of the mask, this smile of oneness above the flowing forms, this smile of simultaneousness above the thousand births and deaths, this smile of Siddhartha was precisely the same, was precisely of the same kind as the quiet, delicate, impenetrable, perhaps benevolent, perhaps mocking, wise, thousand-fold smile of Gotama, the Buddha, as he had seen it himself with great respect a hundred times. Like this, Govinda knew, the perfected ones are smiling.
Hermann Hesse
When the attachment figure is also a threat to the child, two systems with conflicting goals are activated simultaneously or sequentially: the attachment system, whose goal is to seek proximity, and the defense systems, whose goal is to protect. In these contexts, the social engagement system is profoundly compromised and its development interrupted by threatening conditions. This intolerable conflict between the need for attachment and the need for defense with the same caregiver results in the disorganized–disoriented attachment pattern (Main & Solomon, 1986). A contradictory set of behaviors ensues to support the different goals of the animal defense systems and of the attachment system (Lyons-Ruth & Jacobvitz, 1999; Main & Morgan, 1996; Steele, van der Hart, & Nijenhuis, 2001; van der Hart, Nijenhuis, & Steele, 2006). When the attachment system is stimulated by hunger, discomfort, or threat, the child instinctively seeks proximity to attachment figures. But during proximity with a person who is threatening, the defensive subsystems of flight, fight, freeze, or feigned death/shut down behaviors are mobilized. The cry for help is truncated because the person whom the child would turn to is the threat. Children who suffer attachment trauma fall into the dissociative–disorganized category and are generally unable to effectively auto- or interactively regulate, having experienced extremes of low arousal (as in neglect) and high arousal (as in abuse) that tend to endure over time (Schore, 2009b). In the context of chronic danger, patterns of high sympathetic dominance are apt to become established, along with elevated heart rate, higher cortisol levels, and easily activated alarm responses. Children must be hypervigilantly prepared and on guard to avoid danger yet primed to quickly activate a dorsal vagal feigned death state in the face of inescapable threat. In the context of neglect, instead of increased sympathetic nervous system tone, increased dorsal vagal tone, decreased heart rate, and shutdown (Schore, 2001a) may become chronic, reflecting both the lack of stimulation in the environment and the need to be unobtrusive.
Pat Ogden (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment)
What happened?" he asks,voice laced with concern. "I..." I merged with a cockroach-caught a ride next to your twin's Calvin Klein underwear label-and after I watched him play with a demon coyote and snack on bloodied bits that could've been either animal or human, he fed glowing, white orbs to the walking dead-then crushed me under the hell of his boot... "I'm not sure," I say,willing my head to feel better,to stop spinning, and a moment later it does. "I guess I passed out,or something..." I cringe,hating the lie but knowing there's no way I could ever present him the truth. I start to stand,pretending not to notice when he offers a hand. "I need to call my ride." I fumble for my phone, reluctant to bother Paloma and Chay at this hour,but they're pretty much my only real option. "Don't be silly.I'll drive you." Dace follows me out of the stall,watching as I call Paloma's number,then Chay's-face scrunching in confusion when they both fail to answer.It doesn't make any sense. "Daire-why won't you let me help you?" he says.My name on his lips sounding just like ti did in the dream. Our eyes meeting in the mirror,mine astonished, his chagrined,when he adds, "Yeah,I asked around.Uncovered your real name. So shoot me." And when he smiles,when he smiles and runs a nervous hand through his glossy,dark hair-well,I'm tempted to shake my head and refuse him again. Maybe he goes by the name of Whitefeather, but technically,he's still a Richter.A good Richter-a kind Richter-still,I need to do what I can to avoid him.To ignore that irresistible stream of kindness and warmth that swarms all around him. Need to cleanse myself of those dreams once and for all.We are not bound.Nor are we fated.I'm a Seeker-he's the spawn of a Richter-and my only destiny is to stop his brother from...whatever it is that he's doing. But,more immediately,I need to get home.And there's no denying I could do a lot worse than catching a ride with gorgeous Dace Whitefeather.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
Because no one of us lives for himself and no one dies for himself. For if we live, then we live for the Lord; and if we die, then we die for the Lord. Therefore whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.' Pastor Jón Prímus to himself: That's rather good. With that he thrust the manual into his cassock pocket, turned towards the coffin, and said: That was the formula, Mundi. I was trying to get you to understand it, but it didn't work out; actually it did not matter. We cannot get round this formula anyway. It's easy to prove that the formula is wrong, but it is at least so right that the world came into existence. But it is a waste of words to try to impute to the Creator democratic ideas or social virtues; or to think that one can move Him with weeping and wailing, and persuade Him with logic and legal quibbles. Nothing is so pointless as words. The late pastor Jens of Setberg knew all this and more besides. But he also knew that the formula is kept in a locker. The rest comes by itself. The Creation, which includes you and me, we are in the formula, this very formula I have just been reading; and there is no way out of it. Because no one lives for himself and so on; and whether we live or die, we and so on. You are annoyed that demons should govern the world and that consequently there is only one virtue that is taken seriously by the newspapers: killings. You said they had discovered a machine to destroy everything that draws breath on earth; they were now trying to agree on a method of accomplishing this task quickly and cleanly; preferably while having a cocktail. They are trying to break out of the formula, poor wretches. Who can blame them for that? Who has never wanted to do that? Many consider the human being to be the most useless animal on earth or even the lowest stage of evolution in all the universe put together, and that it is more than high time to wipe this creature out, like the mammoth in the tundras. We once knew a war maiden, you and I. There was only one word ever found for her: Úa. So wonderful was this creation that it's no exaggeration to say that she was completely unbearable; indeed I think that we two helped one another to destroy her, and yet perhaps she is still alive. There was never anything like her. ... In conclusion I, as the local pastor, thank you for having participated in carrying the Creation on your shoulders alongside me.
Halldór Laxness (Under the Glacier)
EVERYTHING SMELLED LIKE POISON. Two days after leaving Venice, Hazel still couldn’t get the noxious scent of eau de cow monster out of her nose. The seasickness didn’t help. The Argo II sailed down the Adriatic, a beautiful glittering expanse of blue; but Hazel couldn’t appreciate it, thanks to the constant rolling of the ship. Above deck, she tried to keep her eyes fixed on the horizon—the white cliffs that always seemed just a mile or so to the east. What country was that, Croatia? She wasn’t sure. She just wished she were on solid ground again. The thing that nauseated her most was the weasel. Last night, Hecate’s pet Gale had appeared in her cabin. Hazel woke from a nightmare, thinking, What is that smell? She found a furry rodent propped on her chest, staring at her with its beady black eyes. Nothing like waking up screaming, kicking off your covers, and dancing around your cabin while a weasel scampers between your feet, screeching and farting. Her friends rushed to her room to see if she was okay. The weasel was difficult to explain. Hazel could tell that Leo was trying hard not to make a joke. In the morning, once the excitement died down, Hazel decided to visit Coach Hedge, since he could talk to animals. She’d found his cabin door ajar and heard the coach inside, talking as if he were on the phone with someone—except they had no phones on board. Maybe he was sending a magical Iris-message? Hazel had heard that the Greeks used those a lot. “Sure, hon,” Hedge was saying. “Yeah, I know, baby. No, it’s great news, but—” His voice broke with emotion. Hazel suddenly felt horrible for eavesdropping. She would’ve backed away, but Gale squeaked at her heels. Hazel knocked on the coach’s door. Hedge poked his head out, scowling as usual, but his eyes were red. “What?” he growled. “Um…sorry,” Hazel said. “Are you okay?” The coach snorted and opened his door wide. “Kinda question is that?” There was no one else in the room. “I—” Hazel tried to remember why she was there. “I wondered if you could talk to my weasel.” The coach’s eyes narrowed. He lowered his voice. “Are we speaking in code? Is there an intruder aboard?” “Well, sort of.” Gale peeked out from behind Hazel’s feet and started chattering. The coach looked offended. He chattered back at the weasel. They had what sounded like a very intense argument. “What did she say?” Hazel asked. “A lot of rude things,” grumbled the satyr. “The gist of it: she’s here to see how it goes.” “How what goes?” Coach Hedge stomped his hoof. “How am I supposed to know? She’s a polecat! They never give a straight answer. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got, uh, stuff…” He closed the door in her face. After breakfast, Hazel stood at the port rail, trying to settle her stomach. Next to her, Gale ran up and down the railing, passing gas; but the strong wind off the Adriatic helped whisk it away. Hazel
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Close your eyes and stare into the dark. My father's advice when I couldn't sleep as a little girl. He wouldn't want me to do that now but I've set my mind to the task regardless. I'm staring beyond my closed eyelids. Though I lie still on the ground, I feel perched at the highest point I could possibly be; clutching at a star in the night sky with my legs dangling above cold black nothingness. I take one last look at my fingers wrapped around the light and let go. Down I go, falling, then floating, and, falling again, I wait for the land of my life. I know now, as I knew as that little girl fighting sleep, that behind her gauzed screen of shut-eye, lies colour. It taunts me, dares me to open my eyes and lose sleep. Flashes of red and amber, yellow and white speckle my darkness. I refuse to open them. I rebel and I squeeze my eyelids together tighter to block out the grains of light, mere distractions that keep us awake but a sign that there's life beyond. But there's no life in me. None that I can feel, from where I lie at the bottom of the staircase. My heart beats quicker now, the lone fighter left standing in the ring, a red boxing glove pumping victoriously into the air, refusing to give up. It's the only part of me that cares, the only part that ever cared. It fights to pump the blood around to heal, to replace what I'm losing. But it's all leaving my body as quickly as it's sent; forming a deep black ocean of its own around me where I've fallen. Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Never have enough time here, always trying to make our way there. Need to have left here five minutes ago, need to be there now. The phone rings again and I acknowledge the irony. I could have taken my time and answered it now. Now, not then. I could have taken all the time in the world on each of those steps. But we're always rushing. All, but my heart. That slows now. I don't mind so much. I place my hand on my belly. If my child is gone, and I suspect this is so, I'll join it there. There.....where? Wherever. It; a heartless word. He or she so young; who it was to become, still a question. But there, I will mother it. There, not here. I'll tell it; I'm sorry, sweetheart, I'm sorry I ruined your chances - our chances of a life together.But close your eyes and stare into the darkness now, like Mummy is doing, and we'll find our way together. There's a noise in the room and I feel a presence. 'Oh God, Joyce, oh God. Can you hear me, love? Oh God. Oh God, please no, Hold on love, I'm here. Dad is here.' I don't want to hold on and I feel like telling him so. I hear myself groan, an animal-like whimper and it shocks me, scares me. I have a plan, I want to tell him. I want to go, only then can I be with my baby. Then, not now. He's stopped me from falling but I haven't landed yet. Instead he helps me balance on nothing, hover while I'm forced to make the decision. I want to keep falling but he's calling the ambulance and he's gripping my hand with such ferocity it's as though I'm all he has. He's brushing the hair from my forehead and weeping loudly. I've never heard him weep. Not even when Mum died. He clings to my hand with all of his strength I never knew his old body had and I remember that I am all he has and that he, once again just like before, is my whole world. The blood continues to rush through me. Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Maybe I'm rushing again. Maybe it's not my time to go. I feel the rough skin of old hands squeezing mine, and their intensity and their familiarity force me to open my eyes. Lights fills them and I glimpse his face, a look I never want to see again. He clings to his baby. I know I lost mind; I can't let him lose his. In making my decision I already begin to grieve. I've landed now, the land of my life. And still my heart pumps on. Even when broken it still works.
Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)
What did you think when I first told you about the animals I found?” He seemed confused. It obviously wasn’t what he’d expected. “Violet, I was seven years old. I thought it was badass. I think I was probably even jealous.” She made a face at him. “Didn’t you think it was creepy? Or that I was weird?” “Yeah,” he agreed enthusiastically. “That’s why I was so jealous. I wanted to be the one finding dead bodies. You were like an animal detective or something. You were only weird ‘cause you were a girl.” He grinned. “But I learned to overlook that since you always took me on such cool adventures.” Violet released a breath, smiling. She knew he was telling the truth, which only made it funnier to hear him saying the words out loud. Of course, what little boy didn’t want to go scavenging through the woods and digging in the dirt? She tried again. “Did you ever tell anyone? Does your mom know?” He lifted her hand to his mouth and rubbed her knuckles across his lower lip, his gaze locked with hers. “No,” he promised. “I swore I wouldn’t, not even her. I think she knows something, or at least she thinks you have the worst luck ever, since you found all those dead girls.” He lowered his voice. “She was really worried about you after the shooting last year. You’re like a daughter to her.” He leaned close. “Of course, that makes it kind of creepy when I do things like this.” He kissed her. It was intimate. Not soft or sweet this time, it was deep and passionate, stealing Violet’s breath. She laid her hand against his chest, savoring the feel of his heartbeat beneath her palm, and then traced her fingertips up to his neck, into his hair. He pulled her over the console that separated them, dragging her onto his lap. He ran his hands up her back restlessly, drawing her as close as he could. It was nearly impossible for her to pull herself away. “Wait,” she insisted breathlessly. “Please, wait.” She had her hands braced against his shoulders, struggling more against herself than him. His glazed eyes teased her. “I thought I was the one who was supposed to say no. I’m the girl, right?” She sighed heavily, leaning her head against his shoulder and trying to recapture her runaway thoughts. She still wanted to talk. She wanted the other things, too, but she needed to sort through her thoughts first. “Sorry, it’s just…I have a lot of…” She shrugged against him. His damp T-shirt was warm and practically paper-thin, tempting her to touch him. She ran her finger down the length of his stomach. She knew it wasn’t fair to tease him, but she couldn’t help herself. He was too enticing. “…I have some stuff I need to work through.” It was the best she could do for an explanation. He caught her hand before she’d reached his waistline, and he held it tightly in his grip. “I’m trying to be patient, Violet, I really am. If there’s something you want to tell me…Well, I just wish you’d trust me.” “I’ll get there,” she explained. “I’ll figure it all out. I’m just a little confused right now.” He let out a shaky breath and then he kissed the top of her head, still not releasing her hand. “So, when you do, we’ll pick up where we left off.” She nodded against him. She thought she would keep talking; she still had so many doubts about what she should, and shouldn’t, be doing. But instead she just stayed there, curled up on his lap, absorbing him, taking relief from his touch…and strength from his presence.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
The English word Atonement comes from the ancient Hebrew word kaphar, which means to cover. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit and discovered their nakedness in the Garden of Eden, God sent Jesus to make coats of skins to cover them. Coats of skins don’t grow on trees. They had to be made from an animal, which meant an animal had to be killed. Perhaps that was the very first animal sacrifice. Because of that sacrifice, Adam and Eve were covered physically. In the same way, through Jesus’ sacrifice we are also covered emotionally and spiritually. When Adam and Eve left the garden, the only things they could take to remind them of Eden were the coats of skins. The one physical thing we take with us out of the temple to remind us of that heavenly place is a similar covering. The garment reminds us of our covenants, protects us, and even promotes modesty. However, it is also a powerful and personal symbol of the Atonement—a continuous reminder both night and day that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are covered. (I am indebted to Guinevere Woolstenhulme, a religion teacher at BYU, for insights about kaphar.) Jesus covers us (see Alma 7) when we feel worthless and inadequate. Christ referred to himself as “Alpha and Omega” (3 Nephi 9:18). Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Christ is surely the beginning and the end. Those who study statistics learn that the letter alpha is used to represent the level of significance in a research study. Jesus is also the one who gives value and significance to everything. Robert L. Millet writes, “In a world that offers flimsy and fleeting remedies for mortal despair, Jesus comes to us in our moments of need with a ‘more excellent hope’ (Ether 12:32)” (Grace Works, 62). Jesus covers us when we feel lost and discouraged. Christ referred to Himself as the “light” (3 Nephi 18:16). He doesn’t always clear the path, but He does illuminate it. Along with being the light, He also lightens our loads. “For my yoke is easy,” He said, “and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). He doesn’t always take burdens away from us, but He strengthens us for the task of carrying them and promises they will be for our good. Jesus covers us when we feel abused and hurt. Joseph Smith taught that because Christ met the demands of justice, all injustices will be made right for the faithful in the eternal scheme of things (see Teachings, 296). Marie K. Hafen has said, “The gospel of Jesus Christ was not given us to prevent our pain. The gospel was given us to heal our pain” (“Eve Heard All These Things,” 27). Jesus covers us when we feel defenseless and abandoned. Christ referred to Himself as our “advocate” (D&C 29:5): one who believes in us and stands up to defend us. We read, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler” (Psalm 18:2). A buckler is a shield used to divert blows. Jesus doesn’t always protect us from unpleasant consequences of illness or the choices of others, since they are all part of what we are here on earth to experience. However, He does shield us from fear in those dark times and delivers us from having to face those difficulties alone. … We’ve already learned that the Hebrew word that is translated into English as Atonement means “to cover.” In Arabic or Aramaic, the verb meaning to atone is kafat, which means “to embrace.” Not only can we be covered, helped, and comforted by the Savior, but we can be “encircled about eternally in the arms of his love” (2 Nephi 1:15). We can be “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mormon 5:11). In our day the Savior has said, “Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love” (D&C 6:20). (Brad Wilcox, The Continuous Atonement, pp. 47-49, 60).
Brad Wilcox
Has he invited you to dinner, dear? Gifts, flowers, the usual?” I had to put my cup down, because my hand was shaking too much. When I stopped laughing, I said, “Curran? He isn’t exactly Mr. Smooth. He handed me a bowl of soup, that’s as far as we got.” “He fed you?” Raphael stopped rubbing Andrea. “How did this happen?” Aunt B stared at me. “Be very specific, this is important.” “He didn’t actually feed me. I was injured and he handed me a bowl of chicken soup. Actually I think he handed me two or three. And he called me an idiot.” “Did you accept?” Aunt B asked. “Yes, I was starving. Why are the three of you looking at me like that?” “For crying out loud.” Andrea set her cup down, spilling some tea. “The Beast Lord’s feeding you soup. Think about that for a second.” Raphael coughed. Aunt B leaned forward. “Was there anybody else in the room?” “No. He chased everyone out.” Raphael nodded. “At least he hasn’t gone public yet.” “He might never,” Andrea said. “It would jeopardize her position with the Order.” Aunt B’s face was grave. “It doesn’t go past this room. You hear me, Raphael? No gossip, no pillow talk, not a word. We don’t want any trouble with Curran.” “If you don’t explain it all to me, I will strangle somebody.” Of course, Raphael might like that . . . “Food has a special significance,” Aunt D said. I nodded. “Food indicates hierarchy. Nobody eats before the alpha, unless permission is given, and no alpha eats in Curran’s presence until Curran takes a bite.” “There is more,” Aunt B said. “Animals express love through food. When a cat loves you, he’ll leave dead mice on your porch, because you’re a lousy hunter and he wants to take care of you. When a shapeshifter boy likes a girl, he’ll bring her food and if she likes him back, she might make him lunch. When Curran wants to show interest in a woman, he buys her dinner.” “In public,” Raphael added, “the shapeshifter fathers always put the first bite on the plates of their wives and children. It signals that if someone wants to challenge the wife or the child, they would have to challenge the male first.” “If you put all of Curran’s girls together, you could have a parade,” Aunt B said. “But I’ve never seen him physically put food into a woman’s hands. He’s a very private man, so he might have done it in an intimate moment, but I would’ve found out eventually. Something like that doesn’t stay hidden in the Keep. Do you understand now? That’s a sign of a very serious interest, dear.” “But I didn’t know what it meant!” Aunt B frowned. “Doesn’t matter. You need to be very careful right now. When Curran wants something, he doesn’t become distracted. He goes after it and he doesn’t stop until he obtains his goal no matter what it takes. That tenacity is what makes him an alpha.” “You’re scaring me.” “Scared might be too strong a word, but in your place, I would definitely be concerned.” I wished I were back home, where I could get to my bottle of sangria. This clearly counted as a dire emergency. As if reading my thoughts, Aunt B rose, took a small bottle from a cabinet, and poured me a shot. I took it, and drained it in one gulp, letting tequila slide down my throat like liquid fire. “Feel better?” “It helped.” Curran had driven me to drinking. At least I wasn’t contemplating suicide.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
Imagine you live on a planet where the dominant species is far more intellectually sophisticated than human beings but often keeps humans as companion animals. They are called the Gorns. They communicate with each other via a complex combination of telepathy, eye movements & high-pitched squeaks, all completely unintelligible & unlearnable by humans, whose brains are prepared for verbal language acquisition only. Humans sometimes learn the meaning of individual sounds by repeated association with things of relevance to them. The Gorns & humans bond strongly but there are many Gorn rules that humans must try to assimilate with limited information & usually high stakes. You are one of the lucky humans who lives with the Gorns in their dwelling. Many other humans are chained to small cabanas in the yard or kept in outdoor pens of varying size. They are so socially starved they cannot control their emotions when a Gorn goes near them. The Gorns agree that they could never be House-Humans. The dwelling you share with your Gorn family is filled with water-filled porcelain bowls.Every time you try to urinate in one,nearby Gorn attack you. You learn to only use the toilet when there are no Gorns present. Sometimes they come home & stuff your head down the toilet for no apparent reason. You hate this & start sucking up to the Gorns when they come home to try & stave this off but they view this as evidence of your guilt. You are also punished for watching videos, reading books, talking to other human beings, eating pizza or cheesecake, & writing letters. These are all considered behavior problems by the Gorns. To avoid going crazy, once again you wait until they are not around to try doing anything you wish to do. While they are around, you sit quietly, staring straight ahead. Because they witness this good behavior you are so obviously capable of, they attribute to “spite” the video watching & other transgressions that occur when you are alone. Obviously you resent being left alone, they figure. You are walked several times a day and left crossword puzzle books to do. You have never used them because you hate crosswords; the Gorns think you’re ignoring them out of revenge. Worst of all, you like them. They are, after all, often nice to you. But when you smile at them, they punish you, likewise for shaking hands. If you apologize they punish you again. You have not seen another human since you were a small child. When you see one you are curious, excited & afraid. You really don’t know how to act. So, the Gorn you live with keeps you away from other humans. Your social skills never develop. Finally, you are brought to “training” school. A large part of the training consists of having your air briefly cut off by a metal chain around your neck. They are sure you understand every squeak & telepathic communication they make because sometimes you get it right. You are guessing & hate the training. You feel pretty stressed out a lot of the time. One day, you see a Gorn approaching with the training collar in hand. You have PMS, a sore neck & you just don’t feel up to the baffling coercion about to ensue. You tell them in your sternest voice to please leave you alone & go away. The Gorns are shocked by this unprovoked aggressive behavior. They thought you had a good temperament. They put you in one of their vehicles & take you for a drive. You watch the attractive planetary landscape going by & wonder where you are going. You are led into a building filled with the smell of human sweat & excrement. Humans are everywhere in small cages. Some are nervous, some depressed, most watch the goings on on from their prisons. Your Gorns, with whom you have lived your entire life, hand you over to strangers who drag you to a small room. You are terrified & yell for your Gorn family to help you. They turn & walk away.You are held down & given a lethal injection. It is, after all, the humane way to do it.
Jean Donaldson (The Culture Clash)
Fifteen years ago, a business manager from the United States came to Plum Village to visit me. His conscience was troubled because he was the head of a firm that designed atomic bombs. I listened as he expressed his concerns. I knew if I advised him to quit his job, another person would only replace him. If he were to quit, he might help himself, but he would not help his company, society, or country. I urged him to remain the director of his firm, to bring mindfulness into his daily work, and to use his position to communicate his concerns and doubts about the production of atomic bombs. In the Sutra on Happiness, the Buddha says it is great fortune to have an occupation that allows us to be happy, to help others, and to generate compassion and understanding in this world. Those in the helping professions have occupations that give them this wonderful opportunity. Yet many social workers, physicians, and therapists work in a way that does not cultivate their compassion, instead doing their job only to earn money. If the bomb designer practises and does his work with mindfulness, his job can still nourish his compassion and in some way allow him to help others. He can still influence his government and fellow citizens by bringing greater awareness to the situation. He can give the whole nation an opportunity to question the necessity of bomb production. Many people who are wealthy, powerful, and important in business, politics, and entertainment are not happy. They are seeking empty things - wealth, fame, power, sex - and in the process they are destroying themselves and those around them. In Plum Village, we have organised retreats for businesspeople. We see that they have many problems and suffer just as others do, sometimes even more. We see that their wealth allows them to live in comfortable conditions, yet they still suffer a great deal. Some businesspeople, even those who have persuaded themselves that their work is very important, feel empty in their occupation. They provide employment to many people in their factories, newspapers, insurance firms, and supermarket chains, yet their financial success is an empty happiness because it is not motivated by understanding or compassion. Caught up in their small world of profit and loss, they are unaware of the suffering and poverty in the world. When we are not int ouch with this larger reality, we will lack the compassion we need to nourish and guide us to happiness. Once you begin to realise your interconnectedness with others, your interbeing, you begin to see how your actions affect you and all other life. You begin to question your way of living, to look with new eyes at the quality of your relationships and the way you work. You begin to see, 'I have to earn a living, yes, but I want to earn a living mindfully. I want to try to select a vocation not harmful to others and to the natural world, one that does not misuse resources.' Entire companies can also adopt this way of thinking. Companies have the right to pursue economic growth, but not at the expense of other life. They should respect the life and integrity of people, animals, plants and minerals. Do not invest your time or money in companies that deprive others of their lives, that operate in a way that exploits people or animals, and destroys nature. Businesspeople who visit Plum Village often find that getting in touch with the suffering of others and cultivating understanding brings them happiness. They practise like Anathapindika, a successful businessman who lived at the time of the Buddha, who with the practise of mindfulness throughout his life did everything he could to help the poor and sick people in his homeland.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World)