Human Beings Are Wicked Quotes

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Sometimes being human sucks.
Melissa Marr (Fragile Eternity (Wicked Lovely, #3))
For these beings, fall is ever the normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth....Such are the autumn people.
Ray Bradbury
No man treats a motorcar as foolishly as he treats another human being. When the car will not go, he does not attribute its annoying behavior to sin; he does not say, 'You are a wicked motorcar, and I shall not give you any more petrol until you go.' He attempts to find out what is wrong and to set it right.
Bertrand Russell
Don't waste your time trying to provide people with proof of deceit, in order to keep their love, win their love or salvage their respect for you. The truth is this: If they care they will go out of their way to learn the truth. If they don't then they really don't value you as a human being. The moment you have to sell people on who you are is the moment you let yourself believe that every good thing you have ever done or accomplished was invisible to the world. And, it is not!
Shannon L. Alder
One of the commonest and most generally accepted delusions is that every man can be qualified in some particular way -- said to be kind, wicked, stupid, energetic, apathetic, and so on. People are not like that. We may say of a man that he is more often kind than cruel, more often wise than stupid, more often energetic than apathetic or vice versa; but it could never be true to say of one man that he is kind or wise, and of another that he is wicked or stupid. Yet we are always classifying mankind in this way. And it is wrong. Human beings are like rivers; the water is one and the same in all of them but every river is narrow in some places, flows swifter in others; here it is broad, there still, or clear, or cold, or muddy or warm. It is the same with men. Every man bears within him the germs of every human quality, and now manifests one, now another, and frequently is quite unlike himself, while still remaining the same man.
Leo Tolstoy (Resurrection)
Let other complain that the age is wicked; my complaint is that it is paltry; for it lacks passion. Men's thoughts are thin and flimsy like lace, they are themselves pitiable like the lacemakers. The thoughts of their hearts are too paltry to be sinful. For a worm it might be regarded as a sin to harbor such thoughts, but not for a being made in the image of God. Their lusts are dull and sluggish, their passions sleepy...This is the reason my soul always turns back to the Old Testament and to Shakespeare. I feel that those who speak there are at least human beings: they hate, they love, they murder their enemies, and curse their descendants throughout all generations, they sin.
Søren Kierkegaard (Either/Or: A Fragment of Life)
For some, autumn comes early, stays late through life where October follows September and November touches October and then instead of December and Christ's birth, there is no Bethlehem Star, no rejoicing, but September comes again and old October and so on down the years, with no winter, spring, or revivifying summer. For these beings, fall is the ever normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth. In gusts they beetle-scurry, creep, thread, filter, motion, make all moons sullen, and surely cloud all clear-run waters. The spider-web hears them, trembles—breaks. Such are the autumn people. Beware of them.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
My wife has been killed by a machine which should never have come into the hands of any human being. It is called a firearm. It makes the blackest of all human wishes come true at once, at a distance: that something die. There is evil for you. We cannot get rid of mankind’s fleetingly wicked wishes. We can get rid of the machines that make them come true. I give you a holy word: DISARM.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Deadeye Dick)
But parents, she supposed, were not the pinnacle of perfection their children thought or expected them to be. They were humans who usually did the best they could but often made the wrong choices.
Mary Balogh (Slightly Wicked (Bedwyn Saga, #2))
Look, fear’s not always rational, okay? Anyway, there’s a difference between being afraid and being a coward. At least there was one thing I could take comfort in: if you’re afraid, you must still be a little bit human.
Danielle Paige (The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die, #2))
We want villains. We look for them everywhere. People to pin our misfortunate on. Whose sins and flaws are responsible for all the suffering we see. We want a world where the real monstrosity lies in wicked individuals. Instead of being a fundamental facet of human society, of the human heart. Stories prime us to search for villains. Because villains can be punished. Villains can be stopped. But villains are oversimplifications.
Sam J. Miller (Blackfish City)
The great drama will end, not with "saved souls" being snatched up into heaven, away from the wicked earth and the mortal bodies which have dragged them down into sin, but with the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven to earth, so that "the dwelling of God is with humans" (Revelation 21:3).
N.T. Wright (Simply Christian)
We are now ready to tackle Dickens. We are now ready to embrace Dickens. We are now ready to bask in Dickens. In our dealings with Jane Austen we had to make a certain effort to join the ladies in the drawing room. In the case of Dickens we remain at table with our tawny port. With Dickens we expand. It seems to me that Jane Austen's fiction had been a charming re-arrangement of old-fashioned values. In the case of Dickens, the values are new. Modern authors still get drunk on his vintage. Here, there is no problem of approach as with Austen, no courtship, no dallying. We just surrender ourselves to Dickens' voice--that is all. If it were possible I would like to devote fifty minutes of every class meeting to mute meditation, concentration, and admiration of Dickens. However my job is to direct and rationalize those meditations, that admiration. All we have to do when reading Bleak House is to relax and let our spines take over. Although we read with our minds, the seat of artistic delight is between the shoulder-blades. That little shiver behind is quite certainly the highest form of emotion that humanity has attained when evolving pure art and pure science. Let us worship the spine and its tingle. Let us be proud of being vertebrates, for we are vertebrates tipped at the head with a divine flame. The brain only continues the spine, the wick really runs through the whole length of the candle. If we are not capable of enjoying that shiver, if we cannot enjoy literature, then let us give up the whole thing and concentrate on our comics, our videos, our books-of-the-week. But I think Dickens will prove stronger.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lectures on Literature)
The white cat Sal-al was lying on the straw matting in the empty conservatory. She looked at us with a wicked, conceited expression as if all her appetites had just been satisfied. She was beautiful. Vesta and I both said, "I wish I were a cat!" Before we got to the last word we smiled at each other in annoyance, not liking the idea that most human beings think very much alike.
Denton Welch (Maiden Voyage)
. . . this girl who seemed, increasingly, to be interested in learning to read everything except how human beings talked to one another.
Gregory Maguire (Out of Oz (The Wicked Years, #4))
Age before beauty, Mr. MacRieve. If you think you can fit." "Only humans call me Mr. MacRieve." "I'm not a human. So would you like me to call you Bowen, or Bowe for short?" "Bowe is what my friends call me, so you doona." "No problem. I have a slew of other more fitting names for you. Most of them end in er." "You in the tunnel first." "Don't you think it'd be unbecoming for me to be on my hands and knees in front of you? Besides, you don't need my lantern to see in the dark, and if you go first, you'll be sure to lose me and get to the prize first." "I doona like anything, or anyone, at my back. And you'll have your little red cloak on, so I will no' be able to see anything about you that might be... unbecoming." "Twisting my words? I'll have you know that I am criminally cute - " "Then why hide behind a cloak?" "I'm not hiding. And I like to wear it. Fine. Beauty before age.
Kresley Cole (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Immortals After Dark, #3))
["F]or it's not possible," [Socrates] said, "for anybody to experience a greater evil than hating arguments. Hatred of arguments and hatred of human beings come about in the same way. For hatred of human beings arises from artlessly trusting somebody to excess, and believing that human being to be in every way true and sound and trustworthy, and then a little later discovering that this person is wicked and untrustworthy - and then having this experience again with another. And whenever somebody experiences this many times, and especially at the hands of just those he might regard as his most intimate friends and comrades, he then ends up taking offense all the time and hates all human beings and believes there's nothing at all sound in anybody.
Plato (Phaedo)
(...) Some fairy lore makes a clear division between good and wicked types of fairies — between those who are friendly to mankind, and those who seek to cause us harm. In Scottish tales, good fairies make up the Seelie Court, which means the Blessed Court, while bad fairies congregate in the Unseelie Court, ruled by the dark queen Nicnivin. In old Norse myth, the Liosálfar (Light Elves) are regal, compassionate creatures who live in the sky in the realm of Alfheim, while the Döckálfar (the Dark Elves) live underground and are greatly feared. Yet in other traditions, a fairy can be good or bad, depending on the circumstance or on the fairy's whim. They are often portrayed as amoral beings, rather than as immoral ones, who simply have little comprehension of human notions of right and wrong. The great English folklorist Katherine Briggs tended to avoid the "good" and "bad" division, preferring the categorizations of Solitary and Trooping Fairies instead. (...)
Terri Windling (The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm)
Women's fiction is just a marketing category, designed to appeal more to women than to men. But there are stories in that category that any human being would like.
Kristine Grayson (Wickedly Charming (Fates #7))
On this material plane, each living being is like a street lantern lamp with a dirty lampshade. The inside flame burns evenly and is of the same quality as all the rest—hence all of us are equal in the absolute sense, the essence, in the quality of our energy. However, some of the lamps are “turned down” and having less light in them, burn fainter, (the beings have a less defined individuality, are less in tune with the universal All which is the same as the Will)—hence all of us are unequal in a relative sense, some of us being more aware (human beings), and others being less aware (animal beings), with small wills and small flames. The lampshades of all are stained with the clutter of the material reality or the physical world. As a result, it is difficult for the light of each lamp to shine through to the outside and it is also difficult to see what is on the other side of the lampshade that represents the external world (a great thick muddy ocean of fog), and hence to “feel” a connection with the other lantern lamps (other beings). The lampshade is the physical body immersed in the ocean of the material world, and the limiting host of senses that it comes with. The dirt of the lampshade results from the cluttering bulk of life experience accumulated without a specific goal or purpose. The dirtier the lampshade, the less connection each soul has to the rest of the universe—and this includes its sense of connection to other beings, its sense of dual presence in the material world and the metaphysical world, and the thin connection line to the wick of fuel or the flow of electricity that resides beyond the material plane and is the universal energy. To remain “lit” each lantern lamp must tap into the universal Source of energy. If the link is weak, depression and-or illness sets in. If the link is strong, life persists. This metaphor to me best illustrates the universe.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
Love one another, fathers," the elder taught (as far as Alyosha could recall afterwards). "Love God's people. For we are not holier than those in the world because we have come here and shut ourselves within these walls, but, on the contrary, anyone who comes here, by the very fact that he has come, already knows himself to be worse than all those who are in the world, worse than all on earth...And the longer a monk lives within his walls, the more keenly he must be aware of it. For otherwise he had no reason to come here. But when he knows that he is not only worse than all those in the world, but is also guilty before all people, on behalf of all and for all, for all human sins, the world's and each person's, only then will the goal of our unity be achieved. For you must know, my dear ones, that each of us is undoubtedly guilty on behalf of all and for all on earth, not only because of the common guilt of the world, but personally, each one of us, for all people and for each person on this earth. This knowledge is the crown of the monk's path, and of every man's path on earth. For monks are not a different sort of men, but only such as all men on earth ought also to be. Only then will our hearts be moved to a love that is infinite, universal, and that knows no satiety. Then each of us will be able to gain the whole world by love and wash away the world's sins with his tears...Let each of you keep close company with his heart, let each of you confess to himself untiringly. Do not be afraid of your sin, even when you perceive it, provided you are repentant, but do not place conditions on God. Again I say, do not be proud. Do not be proud before the lowly, do not be proud before the great either. And do not hate those who reject you, disgrace you, revile you, and slander you. Do not hate atheists, teachers of evil, materialists, not even those among them who are wicked, nor those who are good, for many of them are good, especially in our time. Remember them thus in your prayers: save, Lord, those whom there is no one to pray for, save also those who do not want to pray to you. And add at once: it is not in my pride that I pray for it, Lord, for I myself am more vile than all...Love God's people, do not let newcomers draw your flock away, for if in your laziness and disdainful pride, in your self-interest most of all, you fall asleep, they will come from all sides and lead your flock away. Teach the Gospel to the people untiringly...Do not engage in usury...Do not love silver and gold, do not keep it...Believe, and hold fast to the banner. Raise it high...
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Quite a number of writers comment on the decidedly human character of the fairies, but it must be obvious that practically all supernaturals partake of human traits, more usually unpleasant ones, being as they are the projections of man's fear and imagination and created by him, psychologically, in his own image. Fairies are frequently described as being peevish, irritable, and revengeful to a degree. Grant Stewart says rather unmercifully of the Scottish fairies that "their appetites are as keen as their inclinations are corrupt and wicked.
Lewis Spence (British Fairy Origins)
Today's ideology masquerades as pragmatism with that pragmatism reduced to the simplistic assumption that the basis of human nature is self-interest, a view which discount philanthropy, discredits altruism, with the only motive deserving of trust self-promotion and self-advancement. This so-called pragmatism is wicked and it is doubly so because it is held up as being both realistic and a virtue. Whereas it is shallow, shabby and all too often callous.
Alan Bennett (Keeping On Keeping On)
In the specially Christian case we have to react against the heavy bias of fatigue. It is almost impossible to make the facts vivid, because the facts are familiar; and for fallen men it is often true that familiarity is fatigue. I am convinced that if we could tell the supernatural story of Christ word for word as of a Chinese hero, call him the Son of Heaven instead of the Son of God, and trace his rayed nimbus in the gold thread of Chinese embroideries or the gold lacquer of Chinese pottery, instead of in the gold leaf of our own old Catholic paintings, there would be a unanimous testimony to the spiritual purity of the story. We should hear nothing then of the injustice of substitution or the illogicality of atonement, of the superstitious exaggeration of the burden of sin or the impossible insolence of an invasion of the laws of nature. We should admire the chivalry of the Chinese conception of a god who fell from the sky to fight the dragons and save the wicked from being devoured by their own fault and folly. We should admire the subtlety of the Chinese view of life, which perceives that all human imperfection is in very truth a crying imperfection. We should admire the Chinese esoteric and superior wisdom, which said there are higher cosmic laws than the laws we know.
G.K. Chesterton (The Everlasting Man)
Yet, hope—the hope that we, human beings, can be better than we are—dies hard; perhaps one can no longer live if one allows that hope to die. But it is also hard to see what one sees. One sees that most human beings are wretched, and, in one way or another, become wicked: because they are so wretched.
James Baldwin (No Name in the Street)
So long as human beings can gain sufficient co-operation from some to enable them to dominate others, they will use the forms of law as one of their instruments. Wicked men will enact wicked rules which others will enforce. What surely is most needed in order to make men clear sighted in confronting the official abuse of power, is that they should preserve the sense that the certification of something as legally valid is not conclusive of the question of obedience, and that, however great the aura of majesty or authority which the official system may have, its demands must in the end be submitted to a moral scrutiny.
H.L.A. Hart (The Concept of Law (Clarendon Law Series))
I do not think men are good at all. I have seen enough to know that humans are a wicked race from their very birth. Selfishness defines us. Greed and lust motivate us. And even the best man who ever lived would lie to preserve his own life or beliefs. No, mankind is far from being essentially good. It takes exceptional individuals to change the world, to make a difference. Give the average person a choice, and he will make life miserable for others if only it will make his own life easier.
Brondt Kamffer (The Scion of Abacus, Part 4 (of 6))
I thought you’d have realized it by now. None of us are good enough. That’s what makes us human.
Emma Locke (The Trouble with Being Wicked (The Scandalous Spinsters #1))
The horrible truth, that wicked people are capable of love, stood naked before her, and her moral being was abashed.
E.M. Forster (Where Angels Fear to Tread)
The human being is given by Nature little more energy than what is needed to maintain the species; to reproduce and to live out our (very short) spans. But if we want to be fit for the journey up and out of the limits of ordinary life, we have to learn not to waste energy. Which we do by busying ourselves too much with material things, and by using our minds in wasteful and damaging ways. You will have seen that I am describing concepts familiar to us from religions, put here in a different context, rescued from being 'sins' or sources of guilt, reintroduced, simply, as tools. It is not 'wicked' to eat and drink too much, not a 'sin' to be envious, but gluttony makes 'the Way' difficult; and thoughts of enmity keep the mind in a seethe, making subtler inputs impossible. And, besides, laws operate that we have not been taught about, whether we have had the benefits of religions or not. Thoughts of anger, jealousy, enmity, revenge, bring retribution. There is nothing theoretical about this: slowly you learn to see patterns where before you saw nothing, because you were over-emotional.
Doris Lessing (The Doris Lessing Reader)
[I]t's necessary to exert very great foresight every time you go to blame or praise a man, so that you won't speak incorrectly. . . . For you shouldn't suppose that, while stones are sacred and pieces of wood, and birds, and snakes, human beings are not. Rather of all these things, the most sacred is the good human being, while the most polluted is the wicked." Speech attributed to Socrates in Plato, Minos 319a, trans. Thomas L. Pangle, in The Roots of Political Philosophy: Ten Forgotten Socratic Dialogues, ed. Thomas L. Pangle (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987), 63.
Plato
For some, autumn comes early, stays late through life where October follows September and November touches October and then instead of December and Christ’s birth, there is no Bethlehem Star, no rejoicing, but September comes again and old October and so on down the years, with no winter, spring, or revivifying summer. For these beings, fall is the ever normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth. In gusts they beetle-scurry, creep, thread, filter, motion, make all moons sullen, and surely cloud all clear-run waters. The spider-web hears them, trembles—breaks. Such are the autumn people. Beware of them.’ ” After a pause, both boys exhaled at
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
The transformation of the world is brought about by the transformation of oneself, because the self is the product and a part of the total process of human existence. To transform oneself, self-knowledge is essential; without knowing what you are, there is no basis for right thought, and without knowing yourself there cannot be transformation. One must know oneself as on is, not as on wishes to be, which is merely an ideal and there for fictitious, unreal; it is only that which is that can be transformed, not that which you wish to be. To know oneself as one is requires and extraordinary alertness of mind, because what is, is constantly undergoing transformation, change; and to follow it swiftly the mind must not be tethered to any particular dogma or belief, to any particular pattern of action. If you would follow anything, it is no good being tethered. To know yourself, there must be the awareness, the alertness of mind in which there is freedom from all beliefs, from all idealization, because beliefs and ideals only give you a color, perverting true perception. If you want to know what you are, you cannot imagine or have belief in something which you are not. If I am greedy, envious, violent, merely having an ideal of non-violence, of non-greed, is of little value. The understanding of what you are, whatever it be – ugly or beautiful, wicked or mischievous – the understanding of what you are, without distortion, is the beginning of virtue. Virtue is essential, for it gives freedom.
J. Krishnamurti (The Book of Life)
Does human nature thus change utterly and from top to bottom? Can the man created good by God be rendered wicked by man? Can the soul be completely made over by fate, and become evil, fate being evil? Can the heart become misshapen and contract incurable deformities and infirmities under the oppression of a disproportionate unhappiness, as the vertebral column beneath too low a vault? Is there not in every human soul, was there not in the soul of Jean Valjean in particular, a first spark, a divine element, incorruptible in this world, immortal in the other, which good can develop, fan, ignite, and make to glow with splendor, and which evil can never wholly extinguish?
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
You - a sight for sore eyes, a touch of brush on canvas, an enclave on my wicked heart, a ludicrous perfect composition of selected words, of an unknown poet, such perfection, uniquely spread in a human being. (Excerpted from The runner, chapter Pain)
Claudia Pavel (The odyssey of my lost thoughts)
For some, autumn comes early, stays late through life where October follows September and November touches October and then instead of December and Christ’s birth, there is no Bethlehem Star, no rejoicing, but September comes again and old October and so on down the years, with no winter, spring, or revivifying summer. For these beings, fall is the ever normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
In all conflicts between groups, there are three elements. One: the certitude that our group is morally superior, possibly even chosen by God. All others should follow our example or be at our service. In order to bring peace to the world, we have to impose our set of beliefs upon others, through manipulation, force, and fear, if necessary. Two: a refusal or incapacity to see or admit to any possible errors or faults in our group. The undeniable nature of our own goodness makes us think we are infallible; there can be no wrong in us. Three: a refusal to believe that any other group possesses truth or can contribute anything of value. At best, others may be regarded as ignorant, unenlightened, and possessing only half—truths; at worst, they are seen as destructive, dangerous, and possessed by evil spirits: they need to be overpowered for the good of humanity. Society and cultures are, then, divided into the “good” and the “bad”; the good attributing to themselves the mission to save, to heal, to bring peace to a wicked world, according to their own terms and under their controlling power. Such is the story of all civilizations through the ages as they spread over the earth by invading and colonizing. Differences must be suppressed; “savages” must be civilized. We must prove by all possible means that our culture, our power, our knowledge, and our technology are the best, that our gods are the only gods! This is not just the story of civilizations but also of all wars of religion, inquisitions, censorships, dictatorships; all things, in short, that are ideologies. An ideology is a set of ideas translated into a set of values. Because they are held to be absolutely true, these ideas and values need to be imposed on others if they are not readily accepted. A political system, a school of psychology, and a philosophy of economics can all be ideologies. Even a place of work can be an ideology. Religious sub—groups, sects, are based upon ideological principles. Religions themselves can become ideologies. And ideologues, by their nature, are not open to new ideas or even to debate; they refuse to accept or listen to anyone else’s reality. They refuse to admit any possibility of error or even criticism of their system; they are closed up in their set of ideas, theories, and values. We human beings have a great facility for living illusions, for protecting our self—image with power, for justifying it all by thinking we are the favoured ones of God.
Jean Vanier (Becoming Human)
justice. Can you imagine how wicked society would be if the fear of God and the fear of civil law were completely removed? Imagine how our culture would be if a man could rape and murder with no concern about being punished in the slightest. A scenario like that would reveal to everyone the true heart of humanity.
Ray Comfort (God Speaks: Finding Hope in the Midst of Hopelessness)
You must never allow your human weakness to disqualify you for what God has planned for you. Your failures do not prove that you are wicked; they simply prove that you are human. Though you are filled with God, it’s important to remember that you’re a human being who is filled with God. —Don Nori, The Prayer God Loves to Answer
Myles Munroe (Wisdom from Myles Munroe)
Not to be inedible here, but he is a prince and you are staying in his castle. I wouldn't piss him off.” “I think you mean indelicate,” Prudence corrected. “That's what I said,” the woman insisted. “Now, get your rump across the hall and take care of that man! And if you're a decent human being, you'll tell us all about it later!” --From "Big Love
Seraphina Donavan (Wicked Fairy Tales: The Curvy Collection)
Anticipating their calamity and fright when deportation day came (August 6, 1942) he [Henryk Goldszmit, pen name: Janusz Korczak] joined them aboard the train bound for Treblinka, because, he said, he knew his presence would calm them—“You do not leave a sick child in the night, and you do not leave children at a time like this.” A photograph taken at the Umschlagplatz (Transshipment Square) shows him marching, hatless, in military boots, hand in hand with several children, while 192 other children and ten staff members follow, four abreast, escorted by German soldiers. Korczak and the children boarded red boxcars not much larger than chicken coops, usually stuffed with seventy-five vertical adults, though all the children easily fit. In Joshua Perle’s eyewitness account in The Destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, he describes the scene: “A miracle occurred, two hundred pure souls, condemned to death, did not weep. Not one of them ran away. None tried to hide. Like stricken swallows they clung to their teacher and mentor, to their father and brother, Janusz Korczak.” In 1971, the Russians named a newly discovered asteroid after him, 2163 Korczak, but maybe they should have named it Ro, the planet he dreamed of. The Poles claim Korczak as a martyr, and the Israelis revere him as one of the Thirty-Six Just Men, whose pure souls make possible the world’s salvation. According to Jewish legend, these few, through their good hearts and good deeds, keep the too-wicked world from being destroyed. For their sake alone, all of humanity is spared. The legend tells that they are ordinary people, not flawless or magical, and that most of them remain unrecognized throughout their lives, while they choose to perpetuate goodness, even in the midst of inferno.
Diane Ackerman
My wife has been killed by a machine which should never have come into the hands of any human being. It is called a firearm. It makes the blackest of all human wishes come true at once, at a distance: that something die. “There is evil for you. “We cannot get rid of mankind’s fleetingly wicked wishes. We can get rid of the machines that make them come true.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Deadeye Dick)
I was not alone. The room was the same, unchanged in any way since I came into it. I could see along the floor, in the brilliant moonlight, my own footsteps marked where I had disturbed the long accumulation of dust. In the moonlight opposite me were three young women, ladies by their dress and manner. I thought at the time that I must be dreaming when I saw them, they threw no shadow on the floor. They came close to me, and looked at me for some time, and then whispered together. Two were dark, and had high aquiline noses, like the Count, and great dark, piercing eyes, that seemed to be almost red when contrasted with the pale yellow moon. The other was fair, as fair as can be, with great masses of golden hair and eyes like pale sapphires. I seemed somehow to know her face, and to know it in connection with some dreamy fear, but I could not recollect at the moment how or where. All three had brilliant white teeth that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips. There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips. It is not good to note this down, lest some day it should meet Mina’s eyes and cause her pain, but it is the truth. They whispered together, and then they all three laughed, such a silvery, musical laugh, but as hard as though the sound never could have come through the softness of human lips. It was like the intolerable, tingling sweetness of waterglasses when played on by a cunning hand. The fair girl shook her head coquettishly, and the other two urged her on. One said, “Go on! You are first, and we shall follow. Yours is the right to begin.” The other added, “He is young and strong. There are kisses for us all.” I lay quiet, looking out from under my eyelashes in an agony of delightful anticipation. The fair girl advanced and bent over me till I could feel the movement of her breath upon me. Sweet it was in one sense, honey-sweet, and sent the same tingling through the nerves as her voice, but with a bitter underlying the sweet, a bitter offensiveness, as one smells in blood. I was afraid to raise my eyelids, but looked out and saw perfectly under the lashes. The girl went on her knees, and bent over me, simply gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually licked her lips like an animal, till I could see in the moonlight the moisture shining on the scarlet lips and on the red tongue as it lapped the white sharp teeth. Lower and lower went her head as the lips went below the range of my mouth and chin and seemed to fasten on my throat. Then she paused, and I could hear the churning sound of her tongue as it licked her teeth and lips, and I could feel the hot breath on my neck. Then the skin of my throat began to tingle as one’s flesh does when the hand that is to tickle it approaches nearer, nearer. I could feel the soft, shivering touch of the lips on the super sensitive skin of my throat, and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just touching and pausing there. I closed my eyes in languorous ecstasy and waited, waited with beating heart.
Bram Stoker (Dracula (Annotated))
The expedition for the occupation of the Marquesas had sailed from Brest in the spring of 1842, and the secret of its destination was solely in the possession of its commander. No wonder that those who contemplated such a signal infraction of the rights of humanity should have sought to veil the enormity from the eyes of the world. And yet, notwithstanding their iniquitous conduct in this and in other matters, the French have ever plumed themselves upon being the most humane and polished of nations. A high degree of refinement, however, does not seem to subdue our wicked propensities so much after all; and were civilization itself to be estimated by some of its results, it would seem perhaps better for what we call the barbarous part of the world to remain unchanged. One
Herman Melville (Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life)
The process by which bourgeois society developed out of the ruins of its revolutionary traditions and memories added the black ghost of boredom to economic saturation and general indifference to political questions. Jews became people with whom one hoped to while away some time. The less one thought of them as equals, the more attractive and entertaining they became. Bourgeois society, in its search for entertainment and its passionate interest in the individual, insofar as he differed from the norm that is man, discovered the attraction of everything that could be supposed to be mysteriously wicked or secretly vicious. And precisely this feverish preference opened the doors of society to Jews; for within the framework of this society, Jewishness, after having been distorted into a psychological quality, could easily be perverted into a vice. The Enlightenment’s genuine tolerance and curiosity for everything human was being replaced by a morbid lust for the exotic, abnormal, and different as such. Several types in society, one after the other, represented the exotic, the anomalous, the different, but none of them was in the least connected with political questions. Thus
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
I do it because... because this life chews people like us up and spits them right back out again. Because I have never asked for anything more than the safety of my brother and sister, yet all we get is tolerance at best and downright hatred at worst. I've watched my family crumble and not been able to do anything about it. People don't think of us as being human. They don't care if we live and live well as long as their needs are fulfilled.
Francesca May (Wild and Wicked Things)
in this first man, who was created in the beginning, there was laid the foundation, not indeed evidently, but in God's foreknowledge, of these two cities or societies, so far as regards the human race.  For from that man all men were to be derived--some of them to be associated with the good angels in their reward, others with the wicked in punishment; all being ordered by the secret yet just judgment of God.  For since it is written, "All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth," [577] neither can His grace be unjust, nor His justice cruel.
Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine of Hippo: The City of God)
Of Human Bondage?" Will said quickly, moving just out of sight for a moment and forcing Charlie to move to the edge of the dining area to see him. He tossed one arch look over his shoulder as he reached up to grab that book, and even knowing it was an act, Charlie felt himself tensing. His eyes fell on the leather cuff at Will's wrist, as they were probably meant to. "Kinky." Charlie's throat locked. "I'm not..." "Into Bette Davis? I know, a lot of people find her scary at first, but after awhile you really start to get into her." The completely reasonable tone was at odds with the wicked light in the kid's eyes, the way his lips were curved up, how he held his breath when Charlie blinked and frowned, replaying the insane words until they made sense. Until he remembered that Bette Davis was in the film version of that novel, until he could finally take his gaze off that wide leather band. His face was burning. "Smartass," he muttered, completely mystified when being called a smartass made Will hop in place, since Will had already made it clear that he had a brain under all that hair and glitter.
R. Cooper (Play It Again, Charlie)
More often and more insistently as that time recedes, we are asked by the young who our "torturers" were, of what cloth were they made. The term torturers alludes to our ex-guardians, the SS, and is in my opinion inappropriate: it brings to mind twisted individuals, ill-born, sadists, afflicted by an original flaw. Instead, they were made of the same cloth as we, they were average human beings, averagely intelligent, averagely wicked: save the exceptions, they were not monsters, they had our faces, but they had been reared badly. They were, for the greater part, diligent followers and functionaries, some frantically convinced of the Nazi doctrine, many indifferent, or fearful of punishment, or desirous of a good career, or too obedient. All of them had been subjected to the terrifying miseducation provided for and imposed by the schools created in accordance with the wishes of Hitler and his collaborators, and then completed by the SS "drill." Many had joined this militia because of the prestige it conferred, because of its omnipotence, or even just to escape family problems. Some, very few in truth, had changes of heart, requested transfers to the front lines, gave cautious help to prisoners or chose suicide. Let it be clear that to a greater or lesser degree all were responsible, but it must bee just as clear that behind their responsibility stands that the great majority of Germans who accepted in the beginning, out of mental laziness, myopic calculation, stupidity, and national pride the "beautiful words" of Corporal Hitler, followed him as long as luck and lack of scruples favored him, were swept away by his ruin, afflicted by deaths, misery, and remorse, and rehabilitated a few years later as the result of an unprincipled political game.
Primo Levi
Love one another, Fathers,’ said Father Zossima, as far as Alyosha could remember afterwards. ‘Love God’s people. Because we have come here and shut ourselves within these walls, we are no holier than those that are outside, but on the contrary, from the very fact of coming here, each of us has confessed to himself that he is worse than others, than all men on earth.... And the longer the monk lives in his seclusion, the more keenly he must recognise that. Else he would have had no reason to come here. When he realises that he is not only worse than others, but that he is responsible to all men for all and everything, for all human sins, national and individual, only then the aim of our seclusion is attained. For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men — and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man. This knowledge is the crown of life for the monk and for every man. For monks are not a special sort of men, but only what all men ought to be. Only through that knowledge, our heart grows soft with infinite, universal, inexhaustible love. Then every one of you will have the power to win over the whole world by love and to wash away the sins of the world with your tears.... Each of you keep watch over your heart and confess your sins to yourself unceasingly. Be not afraid of your sins, even when perceiving them, if only there be penitence, but make no conditions with God. Again, I say, be not proud. Be proud neither to the little nor to the great. Hate not those who reject you, who insult you, who abuse and slander you. Hate not the atheists, the teachers of evil, the materialists — and I mean not only the good ones — for there are many good ones among them, especially in our day — hate not even the wicked ones. Remember them in your prayers thus: Save, O Lord, all those who have none to pray for them, save too all those who will not pray. And add: it is not in pride that I make this prayer, O Lord, for I am lower than all men.... Love God’s people, let not strangers draw away the flock, for if you slumber in your slothfulness and disdainful pride, or worse still, in covetousness, they will come from all sides and draw away your flock. Expound the Gospel to the people unceasingly... be not extortionate.... Do not love gold and silver, do not hoard them.... Have faith. Cling to the banner and raise it on high.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
We humans almost universally have a false self-image of our species. We think that monstrous, wicked policies must be, can only be, conceived and directed and carried out by monsters, wicked or evil people, or highly aberrant, clinically “disturbed” people. People not like “us.” That is mistaken. Those who have created a continuing nuclear threat to the existence of humanity have been normal, ordinary politicians, analysts, and military strategists. To them and to their subordinates, Hannah Arendt’s controversial proposition regarding the “banality of evil” I believe applies, though it might better have been stated as the “banality of evildoing, and of most evildoers.
Daniel Ellsberg (The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner)
For some, autumn comes early [. . .] For these beings, fall is the ever normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth. In gusts they beetle-scurry, creep, thread, filter, motion, make all moons sullen, and surely cloud all clear-run waters. The spider-web hears them, trembles--breaks. Such are the autumn people. Beware of them.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
Yeah, Jules!" Chelsea said in a voice thick with envy. "Go away, you're making the rest of us look bad." She winked at Jule's date wickedly. "I bet you just want to eat her up, don't ya?" He stared at Chelsea with bewilderment and glanced back at Jules for help. "Just ignore her," Jules explained over the noise from the sound system. "She doesn't get out much." Chelsea tried to look hurt by Jule's words, but she couldn't quite pull it off. "I'm just sayin', Jules, he'd better watch his back tonight, or I might be trying to take you away from him." Chelsea loved to play the potentially bi-curious card, even though everyone knew she liked boys far too much to go to bat for the other team. "Gross!" cried Claire, who wasn't pretending at all. Claire hated it when the conversation deviated too far off her straight and narrow path. The operative word being straight. "Don't worry, Claire-bear," Chelsea soothed condescendingly. "I'm not going to hook up with Jules." She wrapped her arm around Claire's waist and then said suggestively in he ear, "I'm much more likely to make a move on you." "Eww!" Claire shrieked, shoving Chelsea away. "Get away from me!" "Leave her alone, Chels," Jules interrupted. "Or you're gonna make her start her 'It's Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' speech. And sorry, Claire, but none of us really want to hear that." Jay pulled Violet close to him as they listened to the familiar, playful bantering. He slid his arm around her waist from behind, and let his lips gently tease her earlobe while no one was paying attention to the two of them. Violet wanted to turn around right there, in his arms, and forget this whole dance thing altogether. "Hey!" Chelsea's voice interrupted them, and Violet jumped a little, realizing that everyone was staring at them. "Did you hear me?" Violet leaned forward on her crutches and away from Jay, still feeling bemused by the close and intimate contact. "What?" she asked, trying to focus on what had been said. "I said, 'I gotta pee.' Let's go to the bathroom," Chelsea repeated as if Violet were some sort of imbecile, incapable of understanding normal human speech. "Keep it up, Chels, and none of us is gonna want to hook up with you tonight," Violet promised jokingly. Chelsea grinned at Violet. "I like the way you think, Violet Ambrose. Maybe you'll be the lucky girl I choose.' And then she turned to Jay. "Don't worry, I've got her from here," Chelsea announced. Jules and Claire followed. Violet laughed and glanced back at him. "I'll only be a few." Jay gave her a skeptical look that no one else would have even noticed, as he assessed the three girls who would be escorting Violet. And then he finally nodded. "Okay, I'm gonna show these guys my car." He was beaming again. "I'll be right outside, but I won't be long." Violet did her best to keep up with the trio ahead of her, but it was hard on one high heel and two crutches. Finally she yelled at them exasperatedly, "If you guys don't wait, I'm not going!" They all three stopped and turned around. Chelsea tapped her lovely silver shoe impatiently. "Hurry up, Violet, or I swear I'll take you off my list.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Perhaps a necklace of tears to weep so that she won't have to? A pin of teeth to bite annoying husbands? No.' He continues to walk through the small space. He lifts a ring. 'To bring on a child?' And then, seeing my face, lifts a pair of earrings, one in the shape of a crescent moon and the other in the shape of a star. 'Ah, yes. Here. This is what you want.' 'What do they do?' I ask. He laughs. 'They are beautiful- isn't that enough?' I give him a skeptical look. 'It would be enough, considering how exquisite they are, but I bet it isn't all.' He enjoys that. 'Clever girl. They are not only beautiful, but they add to beauty. They make someone more lovely than they were, painfully lovely. Her husband will not leave her side for quite some time.' The look on his face is a challenge. He believes I am too vain to give such a gift to my sister. How well he knows the selfish human heart. Taryn will be a beautiful bride. How much more do I, her twin, want to put myself in her shadow? How lovely can I bear her to be? And yet, what better gift for a human girl wedded to the beauty of the Folk? 'What would you take for them?' I ask. 'Oh, any number of little things. A year of your life. The luster of your hair. The sound of your laugh.' 'My laugh is not such a sweet sound as all that.' 'Not sweet, but I bet it's rare,' he says, and I wonder at his knowing that. 'What about my tears?' I ask. 'You could make another necklace.' He looks at me, as though evaluating how often I weep. 'I will take a single tear,' he says finally. 'And you will take an offer to the High King for me.
Holly Black (The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2))
Today the evolution theory of the ancient Yogis will be better understood in the light of modern research. And yet the theory of the Yogis is a better explanation. The two causes of evolution advanced by the moderns, viz sexual selection and survival of the fittest, are inadequate. Suppose human knowledge to have advanced so much as to eliminate competition, both from the function of acquiring physical sustenance and of acquiring a mate. Then, according to the moderns, human progress will stop and the race will die. The result of this theory is to furnish every oppressor with an argument to calm the qualms of conscience. Men are not lacking, who, posing as philosophers, want to kill out all wicked and incompetent persons (they are, of course, the only judges of competency) and thus preserve the human race! But the great ancient evolutionist, Patanjali, declares that the true secret of evolution is the manifestation of the perfection which is already in every being; that this perfection has been barred and the infinite tide behind is struggling to express itself. These struggles and competitions are but the results of our ignorance, because we do not know the proper way to unlock the gate and let the water in. This infinite tide behind must express itself; it is the cause of all manifestation. Competitions for life or sex-gratification are only momentary, unnecessary, extraneous effects, caused by ignorance. Even when all competition has ceased, this perfect nature behind will make us go forward until everyone has become perfect. Therefore there is no reason to believe that competition is necessary to progress.
Swami Vivekananda (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda)
You must put yourself in the skin of a man who is wearing the uniform of his country, is a candidate for death in its defense, and who is called a “nigger” by his comrades-in-arms and his officers; who is almost always given the hardest, ugliest, most menial work to do; who knows that the white G.I. has informed the Europeans that he is subhuman (so much for the American male’s sexual security); who does not dance at the U.S.O. the night white soldiers dance there, and does not drink in the same bars white soldiers drink in; and who watches German prisoners of war being treated by Americans with more human dignity than he has ever received at their hands. And who, at the same time, as a human being, is far freer in a strange land than he has ever been at home. Home! The very word begins to have a despairing and diabolical ring. You must consider what happens to this citizen, after all he has endured, when he returns—home: search, in his shoes, for a job, for a place to live; ride, in his skin, on segregated buses; see, with his eyes, the signs saying “White” and “Colored,” and especially the signs that say “White Ladies” and “Colored Women”; look into the eyes of his wife; look into the eyes of his son; listen, with his ears, to political speeches, North and South; imagine yourself being told to “wait.” And all this is happening in the richest and freest country in the world, and in the middle of the twentieth century. The subtle and deadly change of heart that might occur in you would be involved with the realization that a civilization is not destroyed by wicked people; it is not necessary that people be wicked but only that they be spineless.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
The curse of life The story of Man’s10 abrupt expulsion from Eden – be it fiction, metaphor or literal fact – has become etched too deeply on the collective unconscious to ignore, for it has set in stone Judaeo-Christian attitudes to men, women, original sin (and therefore children), the Creator and his opposition, Lucifer/Satan/the Devil. This all-powerful myth has imbued us all at some level of perception with a belief that life is a curse, that death is the end – a collapsing back of the body into its constituent dust, no more – that women are inherently on intimate terms with evil, that men have carte blanche to do as they please with not only all the animals in the world but also their womenfolk, and that God, above all, is to be feared. Snakes come out of it rather badly, too, as the embodiment of evil, the medium through which Satan tempts we pathetic humans. The Devil, on the other hand, is the only being in the tale to show some intelligence, perhaps even humour, in taking the form of a wriggling, presumably charming, phallic symbol through which to tempt a woman. As both Judaism and Christianity depend so intimately on the basic premises of Genesis, this lost paradise of the soul is evoked several times throughout both Old and New Testaments. The crucified Jesus promised the thief hanging on the cross next to him ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise’,11 although it is unclear how those listening may have interpreted this term. Did they see it as synonymous with ‘heaven’, a state of bliss that must remain unknowable to the living (and remain for ever unknown to the wicked)? Or did it somehow encompass the old idea of the luxuriant garden?
Lynn Picknett (The Secret History of Lucifer (New Edition))
Marie sighs and rubs her weary face with her two hands. Collapse is the constant state of humanity, she tells herself; the story of the flood and the great ark that saved the creatures two by two is only the first refrain of a song that is to be sung over and over, the earth’s gradual and repeated diminishment, civilization after civilization foundering to dust, until the final death of the children of Eve with the apocalypse, the seven seals, the seven trumpets, the seven angels, the seven bowls. In the end, the earth will crack and the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire. Marie suspects this fiery end would be the stone and the soil and the waters of the earth itself, through human folly and greed made too hot for it to be willing to bear any more life upon its back. So it will go, and so it would be; and Marie cannot stop it, even if she had the force of will any longer to do so.
Lauren Groff (Matrix)
Isaiah 11.1-9 goes a step further, giving this picture of the messiah a new depth. The coming messiah, who springs from the house of Jesse, is the true 'anointed one'. Yahweh's ruach will 'rest' on him, and will equip him with wisdom, understanding, counsel and strength, and with the fear of the Lord' (cf. 11 Sam. 23.2). His legitimation depends on the divine righteousness, not on his Davidic origin. He will bring justice to the poor and an equitable judgment to the miserable, and he will defeat the wicked - the oppressors. So the kingdom of his righteousness does not merely embrace poor human beings. He brings peace to the whole of creation, peace between man and beast, and peace among the beasts themselves (vv. 6-8). This kingdom will reach out from his holy place Mount Zion, so that `the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord' - a vision which no doubt corresponds to Isaiah's vision at his call (6.3): `the whole earth is full of his glory'.
Jürgen Moltmann (The Way of Jesus Christ)
Next up is the right to pursue happiness. Thomas Jefferson called this the third natural right in the Declaration. But as the reader may now see, the right to pursue happiness is actually the same thing as liberty. True happiness, as disclosed by Catholic Natural Law, means fulfilling human existence by freely choosing the moral good.39 This should strike the reader as nearly identical in meaning to the true definition of liberty: freedom to pursue the good. In both the ancient Greek and the Catholic sense,40 happiness and the good end up being the same thing. Man is truly happy when he acts as God intended him to act — morally. But in a failing or a failed republic, populated by immoral people, the pursuit of happiness is misunderstood as the immoral pursuit of pleasure. (Moral cultures, by definition, do not allow immoral government. Plato wrote that “the penalty that good men pay for their indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by wicked men”41 — the very men who create such misdefinitions.)
Timothy Gordon (Catholic Republic: Why America Will Perish Without Rome (Crisis Publications))
Your daughter needs you to be a rational damn human being,” replied Sloane. “Pull your head out of your ass and stop making empty threats. So she’s pregnant. So what? Sick people have babies all the damn time. Steel Magnolias stopped being relevant years ago. You sit down and you talk to her about what she wants to do, and then you talk to the boyfriend, and you find a way to get all three of you through this.” “I—what?” Holly’s mother stared at Sloane. I did much the same. I couldn’t even find the words to ask her what she was trying to pull. Sloane continued to glare. “If you don’t make this right, then you’re going to lose her forever. Do you get that, or do I need to draw a diagram to hammer it through your thick-ass skull? You’ll become the wicked witch in her private fairy tale, and even if she lives, she’ll never love you again. You’re so close right now. You’re so close that I can smell it. Is that what you want?” Holly’s mother was silent. Sloane took a step forward, eyes blazing. “Is it?” she screamed.
Seanan McGuire (Indexing (Indexing, #1))
Love one another, Fathers,” said Father Zossima, as far as Alyosha could remember afterwards. “Love God’s people. Because we have come here and shut ourselves within these walls, we are no holier than those that are outside, but on the contrary, from the very fact of coming here, each of us has confessed to himself that he is worse than others, than all men on earth... And the longer the monk lives in his seclusion, the more keenly he must recognize that. Else he would have had no reason to come here. When he realizes that he is not only worse than others, but that he is responsible to all men for all and everything, for all human sins, national and individual, only then the aim of our seclusion is attained. For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man. This knowledge is the crown of life for the monk and for every man. For monks are not a special sort of men, but only what all men ought to be. Only through that knowledge, our heart grows soft with infinite, universal, inexhaustible love. Then every one of you will have the power to win over the whole world by love and to wash away the sins of the world with your tears... Each of you keep watch over your heart and confess your sins to yourself unceasingly. Be not afraid of your sins, even when perceiving them, if only there be penitence, but make no conditions with God. Again I say, Be not proud. Be proud neither to the little nor to the great. Hate not those who reject you, who insult you, who abuse and slander you. Hate not the atheists, the teachers of evil, the materialists—and I mean not only the good ones—for there are many good ones among them, especially in our day—hate not even the wicked ones. Remember them in your prayers thus: Save, O Lord, all those who have none to pray for them, save too all those who will not pray. And add: it is not in pride that I make this prayer, O Lord, for I am lower than all men... Love God’s people, let not strangers draw away the flock, for if you slumber in your slothfulness and disdainful pride, or worse still, in covetousness, they will come from all sides and draw away your flock. Expound the Gospel to the people unceasingly... be not extortionate... Do not love gold and silver, do not hoard them... Have faith. Cling to the banner and raise it on high.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time - #8])
Love one another, Fathers,” said Father Zossima, as far as Alyosha could remember afterwards. “Love God's people. Because we have come here and shut ourselves within these walls, we are no holier than those that are outside, but on the contrary, from the very fact of coming here, each of us has confessed to himself that he is worse than others, than all men on earth.... And the longer the monk lives in his seclusion, the more keenly he must recognize that. Else he would have had no reason to come here. When he realizes that he is not only worse than others, but that he is responsible to all men for all and everything, for all human sins, national and individual, only then the aim of our seclusion is attained. For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man. This knowledge is the crown of life for the monk and for every man. For monks are not a special sort of men, but only what all men ought to be. Only through that knowledge, our heart grows soft with infinite, universal, inexhaustible love. Then every one of you will have the power to win over the whole world by love and to wash away the sins of the world with your tears.... Each of you keep watch over your heart and confess your sins to yourself unceasingly. Be not afraid of your sins, even when perceiving them, if only there be penitence, but make no conditions with God. Again I say, Be not proud. Be proud neither to the little nor to the great. Hate not those who reject you, who insult you, who abuse and slander you. Hate not the atheists, the teachers of evil, the materialists—and I mean not only the good ones—for there are many good ones among them, especially in our day—hate not even the wicked ones. Remember them in your prayers thus: Save, O Lord, all those who have none to pray for them, save too all those who will not pray. And add: it is not in pride that I make this prayer, O Lord, for I am lower than all men.... Love God's people, let not strangers draw away the [pg 178] flock, for if you slumber in your slothfulness and disdainful pride, or worse still, in covetousness, they will come from all sides and draw away your flock. Expound the Gospel to the people unceasingly ... be not extortionate.... Do not love gold and silver, do not hoard them.... Have faith. Cling to the banner and raise it on high.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
I must at this point reiterate my strong objection to being asked to fill in forms in which I have to tick a box labelling my 'race' or 'ethnicity', and voice my strong support for Lewontin's statement that racial classification can be actively destructive of social and human relations - especially when people use racial classification as a way of treating people differently, whether through negative or positive discrimination. To tie a racial label to somebody is informative in the sense that it tells you more than one thing about them. It might reduce your uncertainty about the colour of their hair, the colour of their skin, the straightness of their hair, the shape of their eye, the shape of their nose and how tall they are. But there is no reason to suppose that it tells you anything about how well-qualified they are for a job. And even in the unlikely event that it did reduce your statistical uncertainty about their likely suitability for some particular job, it would still be wicked to use racial labels as a basis for discrimination when hiring somebody. Choose on the basis of ability, and if, having done so, you end up with an all-black sprinting team, so be it. You have not practised racial discrimination in arriving at this conclusion
Richard Dawkins (The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution)
The book of Job, based on an ancient folktale, may have been written during the exile. One day, Yahweh made an interesting wager in the divine assembly with Satan, who was not yet a figure of towering evil but simply one of the “sons of God,” the legal “adversary” of the council.19 Satan pointed out that Job, Yahweh’s favorite human being, had never been truly tested but was good only because Yahweh had protected him and allowed him to prosper. If he lost all his possessions, he would soon curse Yahweh to his face. “Very well,” Yahweh replied, “all that he has is in your power.”20 Satan promptly destroyed Job’s oxen, sheep, camels, servants, and children, and Job was struck down by a series of foul diseases. He did indeed turn against God, and Satan won his bet. At this point, however, in a series of long poems and discourses, the author tried to square the suffering of humanity with the notion of a just, benevolent, and omnipotent god. Four of Job’s friends attempted to console him, using all the traditional arguments: Yahweh only ever punished the wicked; we could not fathom his plans; he was utterly righteous, and Job must therefore be guilty of some misdemeanor. These glib, facile platitudes simply enraged Job, who accused his comforters of behaving like God and persecuting him cruelly. As for Yahweh, it was impossible to have a sensible dialogue with a deity who was invisible, omnipotent, arbitrary, and unjust—at one and the same time prosecutor, judge, and executioner. When Yahweh finally deigned to respond to Job, he showed no compassion for the man he had treated so cruelly, but simply uttered a long speech about his own splendid accomplishments. Where had Job been while he laid the earth’s foundations, and pent up the sea behind closed doors? Could Job catch Leviathan with a fishhook, make a horse leap like a grasshopper, or guide the constellations on their course? The poetry was magnificent, but irrelevant. This long, boastful tirade did not even touch upon the real issue: Why did innocent people suffer at the hands of a supposedly loving God? And unlike Job, the reader knows that Job’s pain had nothing to do with the transcendent wisdom of Yahweh, but was simply the result of a frivolous bet. At the end of the poem, when Job—utterly defeated by Yahweh’s bombastic display of power—retracted all his complaints and repented in dust and ashes, God restored Job’s health and fortune. But he did not bring to life the children and servants who had been killed in the first chapter. There was no justice or recompense for them.
Karen Armstrong (The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions)
He found it impossible to believe that a world so full of evil was the work of an Author combining infinite power with perfect goodness and righteousness. His intellect spurned the subtleties by which men attempt to blind themselves to this open contradiction. The Sabæan, or Manichæan theory of a Good and an Evil Principle, struggling against each other for the government of the universe, he would not have usually condemned; and I have heard him express surprise, that no one revived it in our time. He would have regarded it as a mere hypothesis; but he would have ascribed to it no depraving influence. As it was, his aversion to religion, in the sense usually attached to the term, was of same kind with that of Lucretius: he regarded it with the feelings due not to a mere mental delusion, but to a great moral evil. He looked upon it as the greatest enemy of morality: first, by setting up factitious excellencies,—belief in creeds, devotional feelings, and ceremonies, not connected with the good of human kind,—and causing these to be accepted as substitutes for genuine virtues: but above all, by radically vitiating the standard of morals; making it consist in doing the will of a being, on whom it lavishes indeed all the phrases of adulation, but whom in sober truth it depicts as eminently hateful. I have a hundred times heard him say, that all ages and nations have represented their gods as wicked, in a constantly increasing progression; that mankind have gone on adding trait after trait till they reached the most perfect conception of wickedness which the human mind could devise, and have called this God, and prostrated themselves before it.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
But my point applies to a broader audience. Indulge me in one more thought experiment, a familiar one: You will be stranded on a desert island, and you can take just 10 books and 10 music CDs. What do you choose? My prediction is that even people who don’t listen to classical music regularly will take Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. Even people who haven’t picked up Shakespeare in years will take the collected works of Shakespeare. When we want something we can go back to again and again, we choose the same giants that the experts choose. My proposition about the literature, music, and visual arts of the last half century is that hardly any of it has enough substance to satisfy, over time. The post-1950 West has unquestionably produced some wonderful entertainments, and I do not mean wonderful slightingly. The Simpsons is wickedly smart, Saving Private Ryan is gripping, Groundhog Day is a brilliant moral fable. The West’s popular culture is for my money the only contemporary culture worth patronizing, with its best stories more compelling and revealing than the ones written by authors who purport to write serious novels, and its best popular music with more energy and charm than anything the academic composers turn out. It is a mixed bag, with the irredeemably vulgar side by side, sometimes intermingled, with the wittiest and most thoughtful work. But the quality is often first-rate—as well it might be. The people producing the best work include some who in another age could have been a Caravaggio or Brahms or Racine, and perhaps dozens of others good enough to have made their way onto the roster of significant figures. Why not be satisfied with wonderful entertainments?
Charles Murray (Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950)
This is why churches that try the most self-consciously to avoid social issues and political questions become, unwittingly, the most political of all. The founders of my church tradition, in concert with others, spoke much of the “spirituality of the church” as a reason for avoiding “political” issues. To some degree, they were right. The church does not bear the sword that’s been given to the state; the church advances by spiritual, not carnal, means. But the “spirituality of the church” was a convenient doctrine. My denomination was founded back in the nineteenth century by those who advocated for human slavery, and who sought to keep their consciences and their ballots and their wallets away from a transcendent word that would speak against the sinful injustice of a regime of kidnapping, rape, and human beings wickedly deigning to buy and sell other human beings created in the image of God. Slavery, they argued (to their shame), was a “political” issue that ought not distract the church from its mission: evangelism and discipleship. What such a move empowered was not just social injustice (which would have been bad enough), but also personal sin. When so-called “simple gospel preaching” churches in 1856 Alabama or 1925 Mississippi calls sinners to repentance for fornicating and gambling but not for slaveholding or lynching, those churches may be many things but they are hardly non-political. By not addressing these issues, they are addressing them, by implicitly stating that they are not worthy of the moral scrutiny of the church, that they will not be items of report at the Judgment Seat of Christ. These churches, thus, bless the status quo, with all the fealty of a court chaplain. The same is true of a church in twenty-first-century America that doesn’t speak to the pressing issues of justice and righteousness around us, such as the horror of abortion and the persisting sins of racial injustice.
Russell D. Moore (Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel)
I must at this point reiterate my strong objection to being asked to fill in forms in which I have to tick a box labelling my 'race' or 'ethnicity', and voice my strong support for Lewontin's statement that racial classification can be actively destructive of social and human relations - especially when people use racial classification as a way of treating people differently, whether through negative or positive discrimination. To tie a racial label to somebody is informative in the sense that it tells you more than one thing about them. It might reduce your uncertainty about the colour of their hair, the colour of their skin, the straightness of their hair, the shape of their eye, the shape of their nose and how tall they are. But there is no reason to suppose that it tells you anything about how well-qualified they are for a job. And even in the unlikely event that it did reduce your statistical uncertainty about their likely suitability for some particular job, it would still be wicked to use racial labels as a basis for discrimination when hiring somebody. Choose on the basis of ability, and if, having done so, you end up with an all-black sprinting team, so be it. You have not practised racial discrimination in arriving at this conclusion... Discriminating against individuals purely on the basis of a group to which they belong is, I am inclined to think, always evil. There is near-universal agreement today that the apartheid laws of South Africa were evil. Positive discrimination in favour of 'minority' students on American campuses can fairly, in my opinion, be attacked on the same grounds as apartheid. Both treat people as representative of groups rather than as individuals in their own right. Positive discrimination is sometimes justified as redressing centuries of injustice. But how can it be just to pay back a single individual today for the wrongs done by long-dead members of a plural group to which he belongs?
Richard Dawkins (The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution)
When you lived in the human world, you had legends of the dread beasts and faeries who would slaughter you if they ever breached the wall, didn’t you? Things that slithered through open windows to drink the blood of children? Things that were so wicked, so cruel there was no hope against their evil?” The hair on her neck rose. “Yes.” Those stories had always unnerved and petrified her. “They were based on truth. Based on ancient, near-primordial beings who existed here before the High Fae split into courts, before the High Lords. Some call them the First Gods. They were beings with almost no physical form, but a keen, vicious intelligence. Humans and Fae alike were their prey. Most were hunted and driven into hiding or imprisonment ages ago. But some remained, lurking in forgotten corners of the land.” He swallowed another mouthful. “When I was nearing three hundred years old, one of them appeared again, crawling out of the roots of a mountain. Before he went into the Prison and confinement weakened him, Lanthys could turn into wind and rip the air from your lungs, or turn into rain and drown you on dry land; he could peel your skin from your body with a few movements. He never revealed his true form, but when I faced him, he chose to appear as swirling mist. He fathered a race of faeries that still plague us, who thrived under Amarantha’s reign—the Bogge. But the Bogge are lesser, mere shadows compared to Lanthys. If there is such a thing as evil incarnate, it is him. He has no mercy, no sense of right or wrong. There is him, and there is everyone else, and we are all his prey. His methods of killing are creative and slow. He feasts on fear and pain as much as the flesh itself.” Her blood chilled. “How did you trap such a thing?” Cassian tapped a spot on his neck where a scar slashed beneath his ear. “I quickly learned I could never beat him in combat or magic. Still have the scar here to prove it.” Cassian smiled faintly. “So I used his arrogance against him. Flattered and taunted him into trapping himself in a mirror bound with ash wood. I bet him the mirror would contain him—and Lanthys bet wrong. He got out of the mirror, of course, but by that time, I’d dumped his miserable self into the Prison.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4))
I still remember a small story from the Pañca Tantra which I was told as a small child. One rainy day, a monkey was sitting on a tree branch getting completely drenched. Right opposite on another branch of the same tree there was a small sparrow sitting in its hanging nest. Normally a sparrow builds its nest on the edge of a branch so it can hang down and swing around gently in the breeze. It has a nice cabin inside with an upper chamber, a reception room, a bedroom down below and even a delivery room if it is going to give birth to little ones. Oh yes, you should see and admire a sparrow’s nest sometime. It was warm and cozy inside its nest and the sparrow peeped out and, seeing the poor monkey, said, “Oh, my dear friend, I am so small; I don’t even have hands like you, only a small beak. But with only that I built a nice house, expecting this rainy day. Even if the rain continues for days, I will be warm inside. I heard Darwin saying that you are the forefather of human beings, so why don’t you use your brain? Build a nice, small hut somewhere to protect yourself during the rain.” You should have seen the face of that monkey. It was terrible! “Oh, you little devil! How dare you try to advise me? Because you are warm and cozy in your nest you are teasing me. Wait, you will see where you are!” The monkey proceeded to tear the nest to pieces, and the poor bird had to fly out and get drenched like the monkey. This is a story I was told when I was quite young and I still remember it. Sometimes we come across such monkeys, and if you advise them they take it as an insult. They think you are proud of your position. If you sense even a little of that tendency in somebody, stay away. He or she will have to learn by experience. By giving advice to such people, you will only lose your peace of mind. Is there any other category you can think of? Patañjali groups all individuals in these four ways: the happy, the unhappy, the virtuous and the wicked. So have these four attitudes: friendliness, compassion, gladness and indifference. These four keys should always be with you in your pocket. If you use the right key with the right person you will retain your peace. Nothing in the world can upset you then. Remember, our goal is to keep a serene mind. From the very beginning of Patañjali’s Sūtras we are reminded of that. And this sūtra will help us a lot.
Satchidananda (The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda)
I gave humble and hearty thanks that God had been pleased to discover to me even that it was possible I might be more happy in this solitary condition, than I should have been in a liberty of society, and in all the pleasures of the world; that He could fully make up to me the deficiencies of my solitary state, and the want of human society, by His presence, and the communications of His grace to my soul, supporting, comforting, and encouraging me to depend upon His providence here, and hope for His eternal presence hereafter. It was now that I began sensibly to feel how much more happy this life I now led was, with all its miserable circumstances, than the wicked, cursed, abominable life I led all the past part of my days. And now I changed both my sorrows and my joys; my very desires altered, my affections changed their gusts, and my delights were perfectly new from what they were at my first coming, or indeed for the two years past. Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting, or for viewing the country, the anguish of my soul at my condition would break out upon me on a sudden, and my very heart would die within me, to think of the woods, the mountains, the deserts I was in, and how I was a prisoner, locked up with the eternal bars and bolts of the ocean, in an uninhabited wilderness, without redemption. In the midst of the greatest composures of my mind, this would break out upon me like a storm, and make me wring my hands, and weep like a child. Sometimes it would take me in the middle of my work, and I would immediately sit down and sigh, and look upon the ground for an hour or two together; and this was still worse to me, for if I could burst out into tears, or vent myself by words, it would go off, and the grief, having exhausted itself, would abate. But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts. I daily read the Word of God, and applied all the comforts of it to my present state. One morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon these words, "I will never, never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Immediately it occurred that these words were to me; why else should they be directed in such a manner, just as the moment when I was mourning over my condition, as one forsaken of God and man? "Well, then," said I, "if God does not forsake me, of what ill consequence can it be, or what matters it, though the world should all forsake me, seeing on the other hand if I had all the world, and should lose the favor and blessing of God, there would be no comparison in the loss?" From that moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to be more happy in this forsaken solitary condition, than it was probable I should ever have been in any other particular state in the world, and with this thought I was going to give thanks to God for bringing me to this place.
Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe)
So are you planning on dressing me in addition to everything else?” she asked once they’d cleared a challenging rise. “I planned to pack as much as I could this morning, so you could sleep later,” he lowered his voice, “or take care of what went unfinished last night.” He’d amazed himself by behaving so unselfishly as that. Her unfulfilled desire made it more likely that he’d get her into bed with him, and yet, he couldn’t stand to think of her suffering. “I was attempting to be considerate. Though I’ve little experience with it.” “I’m not talking to you about this. I’m just not.” “I can feel your need as strong as my own.” “Maybe I do have these needs—doesn’t mean you’re the one I’ll choose to help me work them out.” Her gaze drifted to Cade, who was greedily chugging water. His voice low and seething, Bowe said, “You regard him with an appraising eye one more time, Mariketa, and you’re going to get that demon killed. All he wants is to ‘attempt’ you. Do you ken what that means?” “In fact, I do ken what it means. In the throes, you know. One of my boyfriends was a demon.” “Boyfriends?” He frowned. “You mean lovers. How bloody many have you had?” He stopped. “Are you free with yourself, then? With other males? Because that’ll be ending—” “What’d you think?” she asked over her shoulder. “That I was a virgin?” “You’re only twenty-three,” he said, sounding very stodgy, even to himself. “And I try no’ to think of any male before me. But if you were no’ an innocent, then I’d hoped it would have been once, in the dark, with a ham-handed human who was so bad you had to stifle a yawn or fight against laughing.” She shrugged. “I’m sure the number of notches in my bedpost can’t compare to yours.” “Aye, but I’m twelve hundred years old! Even if I had one female a year, you’d understand how they could accumulate.” “Well, I am young.” Just as he felt a flicker of ease, she murmured in a sexy voice, “But, baby, I’ve been busy.” His fists clenched. “Jealous?” She probably wouldn’t think he’d admit to it, but in a low tone, he said, “Aye, I envy any man that’s had his hands on you.” She gave him an enigmatic, studying expression. “Now, if I guess the number you’ve taken into your bed, then you’ll tell me if I’m right.” She hastily faced forward once more. “Not playing. Get bent.” He narrowed his eyes. “One. You’ve had one.” Her shoulders stiffened barely perceptibly, and he wanted to sag with relief. “Because any male worthy of you would kill a rival who tried to steal you from him. I’m guessing the demon was your first and last. And how did you get him to let you go, then?” “What if I told you I was still seeing him?” Bowen shook his head. “No’ considering the way you were with me that first night. Besides, if he allowed you to enter the Hie without being there to guard you, he does no’ deserve you. When we return, I’ll kill him on principle.
Kresley Cole (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Immortals After Dark, #3))
In the contemporary world there are two classes of bad plans-the plans invented and put into practice by men who do not accept our ideal postulates, and the plans invented and put into practice by the men who accept them, but imagine that the ends proposed by the prophets can be achieved by wicked or unsuitable means. Hell is paved with good intentions, and it is probable that plans made by well-meaning people of the second class may have results no less disastrous than plans made by evil-intentioned people of the first class. Which only shows, yet once more, how right the Buddha was in classing unawareness and stupidity among the deadly sins. Let us consider a few examples of bad plans belonging to these two classes. In the first class we must place all Fascist and all specifically militaristic plans. Fascism, in the words of Mussolini, believes that "war alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to meet it." Again, "a doctrine which is founded upon the harmful postulate of peace is hostile to Fascism." The Fascist, then, is one who believes that the bombardment of open towns with fire, poison and explosives (in other words, modern war) is intrinsically good. He is one who rejects the teaching of the prophets and believes that the best society is a national society living in a state of chronic hostility towards other national societies and preoccupied with ideas of rapine and slaughter. He is one who despises the non-attached individual and holds up for admiration the person who, in obedience to the boss who happens at the moment to have grabbed political power, systematically cultivates all the passions (pride, anger, envy, hatred) which the philosophers and the founders of religions have unanimously condemned as the most maleficent, the least worthy of human beings. All fascist planning has one ultimate aim: to make the national society more efficient as a war machine. Industry, commerce and finance are controlled for this purpose. The manufacture of substitutes is encouraged in order that the country may be self-sufficient in time of war. Tariffs and quotas are imposed, export bounties distributed, exchanges depreciated for the sake of gaining a momentary advantage or inflicting loss upon some rival. Foreign policy is conducted on avowedly Machiavellian principles; solemn engagements are entered into with the knowledge that they will be broken the moment it seems advantageous to do so; international law is invoked when it happens to be convenient, repudiated when it imposes the least restraint on the nation's imperialistic designs. Meanwhile the dictator's subjects are systematically educated to be good citizens of the Fascist state. Children are subjected to authoritarian discipline that they may grow up to be simultaneously obedient to superiors and brutal to those below them. On leaving the kindergarten, they begin that military training which culminates in the years of conscription and continues until the individual is too decrepit to be an efficient soldier. In school they are taught extravagant lies about the achievements of their ancestors, while the truth about other peoples is either distorted or completely suppressed. the press is controlled, so that adults may learn only what it suits the dictator that they should learn. Any one expressing un-orthodox opinions is ruthlessly persecuted. Elaborate systems of police espionage are organized to investigate the private life and opinions of even the humblest individual. Delation is encouraged, tale-telling rewarded. Terrorism is legalized. Justice is administered in secret; the procedure is unfair, the penalties barbarously cruel. Brutality and torture are regularly employed.
Aldous Huxley
But the poor and indigent who earn scarcely enough to keep themselves alive and who also have to pay tribute to the petty officials, clerks, and soldiers, that they may be allowed to live in peace, sleep not so tranquilly as gentle poets who have perhaps not felt the pinches of want would have us believe. The poor are sad and thoughtful, for on that night, if they have not recited many prayers, yet they have prayed much—with pain in their eyes and tears in their hearts. They have not the novenas, nor do they know the responsories, versicles, and prayers which the friars have composed for those who lack original ideas and feelings, nor do they understand them. They pray in the language of their misery: their souls weep for them and for those dead beings whose love was their wealth. Their lips may proffer the salutations, but their minds cry out complaints, charged with lamentations. Wilt Thou be satisfied, O Thou who blessedst poverty, and you, O suffering souls, with the simple prayers of the poor, offered before a rude picture in the light of a dim wick, or do you perhaps desire wax tapers before bleeding Christs and Virgins with small mouths and crystal eyes, and masses in Latin recited mechanically by priests? And thou, Religion preached for suffering humanity, hast thou forgotten thy mission of consoling the oppressed in their misery and of humiliating the powerful in their pride? Hast thou now promises only for the rich, for those who, can pay thee?
José Rizal (Noli Me Tángere (Touch Me Not) (Noli Me Tángere, #1))
In a Burst of Oneness When wax and wick work best, light and heat are all that's left. Like a candle, our wick of spirit is encased in our humanity, and when our spirit is touched, we light up until all we know melts and changes shape for the burn of our experience. Repeatedly, our sweat and struggle burns our sense of self and world away, so that our Divine spark can be released, again and again. These moments of Spirit-Lighting-Up not only rearrange our lives, but they light and warm those who stay near. In such moments, we become one with what we see, and this sudden Oneness is what the faithful of all paths have called Love. And in the illumination of Oneness called Love, all that's left is a willingness toward birth, an urge to be touched by something timeless and fresh. All that's left is the want of deep parts in strangers. To relish the waking over being awake, the burning over being burned, the loving over being loved. When we can be—no matter how briefly—at one with what we have in common with all life, we are rewarded beyond attachment and ownership. This is the difference between becoming a singer and becoming the song. This is the best of ambition: that the dancer melts into the dance, and the lover melts into the act of love, and the builder melts into the thing being built, until in a burst of Oneness, dancer and lover and builder are one. Perhaps momentarily, when swimming with the stream, we are the stream; when moving with the music, we are the music; when rocking the wounded, we are the suffering. Perhaps momentarily, when thinking without masks, we are pure thought; when believing without doubt, we are God. Perhaps love is an instrument we play for all we're worth in an orchestra yet to be convened. Perhaps this is why, in the fullest moments of loving or knowing or being, we go nameless and timeless and breathless—everything about us used up, like a candle, burned over and over, just to light entire rooms with our flicker.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
Is it the sheer nature of the beast within, the human animal inside the Human Being?
Gregory Maguire (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1))
The greatest, most loved & revered human beings in the world have first born the pain of hatred ~ but the most revered and powerful, corrupt & wicked leaders have only been followed for the promises of avaricious & evil gain ~sm
Selva Millheiser
It’s exhausting,” I said. “I have to battle this part along with the sense of frustration and hopelessness it creates. It’s so tough and strong that it seems undefeatable.” “What does the overburdened restless part want?” “It wants someone to bring it under control to rest and have peace. It’s like a hyperactive fidgety child, pacing back and forth, crying for someone to make it stop.” I was having trouble connecting my inner true self to the stressed part because of the intense energy it was creating. Keith guided me by helping me communicate with the stressed part. I needed to make it understand that by stepping aside it would allow the healing process of unburdening the emotional component that was holding in the shame. Without the burden of the disgrace, the anxious, stressed-out, perfectionist, striver part would not have to work so hard to compensate for its self-perceived shortcomings. Furthermore, relieving the humiliating burdens would bring rest, tranquility, and peace. The intense energy could then be orchestrated in better ways. At this point, we ended our session. I left his office once again annoyed and uncertain, wondering if I was ever going to be able to live a normal peaceful life. As I meditated on the session during the week, I understood what my therapist was explaining. I visualized fast-forwarding directly to the ultimate goal of un-blending the various multiple defender traits from the abuse. Getting to the root of the therapy and healing process of dealing with the disgraceful iniquity was my goal. I had trouble believing whether or not my logic in understanding the process was correct. It seemed too simplistic to me at first. I envisioned confessing all my scandalous deeds and desires for the world to know. I imagined no more secrets or lies and eliminating the need to masquerade with a phony façade to hide the atrocious creature I thought I was. Instantly, I was buoyant as helium. The crushing weight from the wicked acts was lifted from my shoulders. The mortifying and disgusting impressions I had were no longer there. I was able to get a brief glimpse of the divine true self. For a moment, I physically felt what life could be like while at peace with myself. Happiness and comfort engulfed me at the possibility of living a life free of judgment, low selfesteem, anxiety and paranoia. While in this good frame of mind, I became aware of all the goodness inside of me and the decent things I was doing in life. My human flaws appeared to be minor bumps in the road rather than being amplified into major roadblocks. I began to see how I pulled myself out of mental illness, addiction, and sexual perversion. I became conscious that I survived sexual abuse at an early age and persevered by holding it together. I was imbued with a sense of accomplishment. I now comprehended and conquered the difficult therapeutic work of dealing with the harmful emotions associated with bringing the misconduct to the surface.
Marco L. Bernardino Sr. (Sins of the Abused)
AMAZING GRACE IS A SWEET SOUND Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Proverbs 10:12 Wherever you look, Christians are being abused—whether it’s the ridicule, marginalization, and stigmatization that Christians receive from the media and liberal elites here, or the torture, imprisonment, beheadings, and slaughter Christians suffer abroad. So-called progressives in the West treat Christians with snobbish contempt. Radical Islamists kill us. In both cases, morality has been turned upside-down. The Bible warns of such crumbling morality in 2 Timothy 3:2. It’s all been prophesized. This passage reveals that people will be lovers of themselves, arrogant, abusive, and wicked. The line separating right from wrong has been blurred by the worldly influences of humanism, secularism, and religious doctrines not based on the Word of God. The outcry of the age is for “tolerance,” yet how tolerant is it for people to attack Christians who simply want to live their lives by biblical principles? The very heart of Christianity is to love our enemies, as tough as that may be. What does that love look like now that so many are labeling us “intolerant”? Our example is found in Jesus. If He showed such amazing strength and mercy in the face of horrendous treatment coming at Him, how can we, being recipients of His mercy, refuse to exercise whatever strength we can muster? We can’t refuse it. The daunting nature of required mercy and grace makes it seem impossible to implement, especially when we see hatred around us. All the more reason to tap into God’s amazing grace and ask Him to show us how. He’ll be delighted to teach us. SWEET FREEDOM IN Action Pray to God for strength and understanding, and for the grace to endure.
Sarah Palin (Sweet Freedom: A Devotional)
May it be your Will L-rd our G-d and G-d of our ancestors, Father of mercy and forgiveness, He who shows mercy to all the worlds, may You show mercy to Your people and upon the souls and spirits of the wicked who are being judged in Gehinnom (Hell), and upon those who have been reincarnated into inanimate objects, vegetation, animals or humans and [especially] upon all the souls and spirits of the naked earthbound who are forced to roam from place to place, and who are pushed around from one suffering to another by the hands of their tormentor angels who throw them around like from the sling of a slingshot.
Ariel Bar Tzadok (Protection from Evil - E-Book Edition)
The problem is that this “doctrinal grid,” which refers to an eternal, conscious punishment of the wicked in hell, is itself not a metaphor taken too seriously but part of the fabric of the biblical warnings about judgment. Daniel contrasts “everlasting life” with “everlasting contempt” (Dan 12:2), and Paul similarly contrasts “death” with “eternal life” (Rom 6:23). The final state is described as “eternal fire” (Matt 18:8; 25:41; Jude 7), and “eternal judgment” (Heb 6:2). Concerning the destruction of God’s enemies, John says that the “smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever” (Rev 14:11; cf. 19:3). It seems, then, that conditionalists disparage those scriptural passages that speak clearly of a never-ending state for those who reject the worship of the true God and the way of humanness that follows from it.27 Eternal punishment is not injurious to God’s justice and love; rather, it upholds it, as Robert Gundry writes: The NT doesn’t put forward eternal punishment of the wicked as a doctrine to be defended because it casts suspicion on God’s justice and love. To the contrary, the NT puts forward eternal punishment as right, even obviously right. It wouldn’t be right of God not to punish the wicked, so that the doctrine supports rather than subverts his justice and love. It shows that he keeps faith with the righteous, that he loves them enough to vindicate them, that he rules according to moral and religious standards that really count, that moral and religious behavior has consequences, that wickedness gets punished as well as righteousness rewarded, and that the eternality of punishment as well as of reward invests the moral and religious behavior of human beings with ultimate significance. We’re not playing games. In short, the doctrine of eternal punishment defends God’s justice and love and supplies an answer to the problem of moral and religious evil rather than contributing to the problem.28
Michael F. Bird (Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction)
I will let you study me…in exchange for one thing.” Her breath caught. “And that would be?” His burning gaze swept her with tangible intensity. “I want a kiss. One for each study.” Her heart lodged in her throat and her knees turned to water. Surely she could not have heard him correctly. “You want me to kiss you?” “It is a human need I never quite outgrew.” His black hair fell in a heavy sheaf, hiding the scarred half of his face. “Even the hardiest prostitutes are reluctant to provide me with that service, so I shall ask you.” Cassandra’s mind and emotions roiled. How could he sound so cold, mentioning prostitutes even as he was speaking of the need for her kiss? And how could any woman be reluctant to do so? Were they frightened of his scars? The ones on his face were not even that prominent. Only a slight furrow of roughness along his temple and left cheek. She didn’t find them frightening. They made him appear powerful, a survivor. With predatory grace, Rafael leaned forward, placing a hand on each side of her hips. He moved closer until his face was inches from hers. “You did say you’d be willing to bargain anything, Countess.” She studied his lips, her mouth going dry at the sight of the wicked arches and sensuous curves. For over a year, she’d dreamed of being in his arms, tracing the faint ridged scars on his cheek as his mouth claimed hers. “Yes,” she said breathlessly, frightened at the deep well of desire within her soul. Had he read her mind? Was that why he was asking this? Was he toying with her? Something fiery and primitive flickered in his eyes. “We have a bargain, then?” Cassandra nodded and reached up to touch his face. He drew back and seized her hand and shook it as if she had sold him a piece of property, not her… She couldn’t finish the thought. He inclined his head respectfully and released her, leaning back against his seat. “We may begin tomorrow night if that is acceptable to you.” “That will be”—she struggled to breathe—“most adequate.” Thankfully,
Brooklyn Ann (Bite at First Sight (Scandals with Bite, #3))
But why is God so slow in conquering the forces of evil? Why does not God break in and smash the evil schemes of wicked men?...We are responsible human beings, not blind automatons; persons, not puppets. By endowing us with freedom, God relinquished a measure of his own sovereignty and imposed certain limitations upon himself. If his children are free, they must do his will by a voluntary choice. Therefore, God cannot at the same time impose his will upon his children and also maintain his purpose for man.
Martin Luther King Jr.
The Christians in adopting the terrible God of the Jews, have sublimed his cruelty. They represent him as the most capricious, wicked, and cruel tyrant which the human mind can conceive, and suppose him to treat his subjects with a barbarity and injustice truly worthy of a demon.
Paul-Henri Thiry (Christianity Unveiled Being An Examination of The Principles And Effects of The Christian Religion)
Whether human affairs are directed by Fate’s unalterable necessity, or by chance, is a question. The wisest of philosophers disagree on this point. [Epicureans] insist that heaven is unconcerned with our birth and death – is unconcerned, in fact, with human beings generally – with the result that good people often suffer while wicked people thrive. [The Stoics] disagree, maintaining that although things happen according to fate, this depends not on the movement of the planets but on the principles and logic of natural causality. This school concedes to us the freedom to choose our own lives. Once the choice is made, however, the Stoics warn that the subsequent sequence of events cannot be altered. With regard to practical matters they maintain that popular ideas of good and bad are wrong: many people who appear to be in dire circumstances are actually happy provided they deal with their situation bravely; others, regardless of how many possessions they have, are miserable, because they do not know how to use the gifts of fortune wisely.
Epictetus (Discourses and Selected Writings (Classics))
Well, if Sheitan is as wicked and indomitable as you are saying he is, then we human beings have no reason to blame ourselves for our wrongdoings. Whatever good happens we’ll attribute to God, and all the bad things in life we’ll simply attribute to Sheitan. In either case we’ll be exempt from all criticism and self-examination. How easy that is!
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
women are considered to be possessions before we are ever considered to be human beings, & if our doors & our windows are ever smashed in by wicked men, then we are deemed worthless— foreclosed. never sold. so we move out of our neighborhoods & we make sister-homes out of each other. - we lock those doors & eat those keys.
Amanda Lovelace (The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic, #2))
Labeling the biological and/or emotional urges of a human baby as Narcissistic is despicable and flawed reasoning -yet expected- coming from Dennis Prager, the Jew. The child as being 'preoccupied with her-/himself' and being a factor in 'ruining life' are the kind of signals this rotten soul perceives taking into consideration that it also asserts -based on conviction and pedagogical endeavors which it preaches to its audience- that [money is not worshipable, while nature is]. This Jew even concluded with its demonic inspiration that the human baby is intrinsically 'not good' based on its wicked and disturbed observation that babies cannot even articulate gratitude in return! It (this Jew Rotten Soul) summed up the seminar by linking man (based on this so-called evidence) to evil and by pointing out the necessity for taking action and controlling such behavior. No wonder The Lord ever cursed the Jews and banished them to the fringes of all other nations; to punish them on Earth for their persistent Polytheism and civilized Child Sacrifice using such a theological mischief.
Ibrahim Ibrahim (Quotable: My Worldview)
I am equally present in all beings and show the same face to all creation; none are favored, none are hateful, and none dear. But those who loveMe with brimming heart become absorbed in Me, and as they dwell in Me, I am revealed dwelling within them. I dwell even in the misguided. Know, Arjuna, that the change from profligacy to purity is not uncommon. If a person soiled with the wayward actions of a lifetime but turns to Me in utter devotion, I see no sinner. Newfound dedication can quickly refashion one’s nature. Know this for certain: no one devoted to Me falls! Everyone who takes refuge in Me, whatever their birth, gender, or position in society will attain the supreme goal of merging into Me. This is true even for those whom society may scorn or consider to be ineligible (women in some cultures, for example, or lower classes in others). There is no such thing as a sinful or wicked birth. Where there is a hurricane of love in the mind and heart all human distinctions vanish.
Jack Halwey, The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners
Well, you know, it's an evil thing, this attempt to reverse the process of mourning.' The Canon stepped back on to his own territory and became a different being. 'Mourning is not forgetting,' he said gently, his helplessness vanishing and his voice becoming wise. 'It is an undoing. Every minute tie has to be untied and something permanent and valuable recovered and assimilated from the knot. The end is gain, of course. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be made strong, in fact. But the process is like all other human births, painful and long and dangerous. This attempt to reverse it when the thing is practically achieved, that is wicked, an attempt to kill the spirit. The
Margery Allingham (The Essential Margery Allingham Collection: Sweet Danger, Traitor's Purse, The Tiger in the Smoke (A Campion Mystery))
Suppose it were offered to the father of three children to take his choice whether two should be received into heaven and one condemned to hell, or the whole should be annihilated in death. What would a parent say? Where is the father who would dare to secure the bliss of two children at the cost of the endless misery of one? Which of the family would he select as the victim, whose undying pain should secure his brother's immortal joy? Is there any one living who would not suffer himself and his children to sink back again into nothingness, rather than purchase heaven at such a price? Now, if so, if we should so act in the case of our own children, we are bound morally to make the same choice with respect to every one. No moral being would consent to purchase eternal happiness at the price of another's eternal woe. Hence it follows that a future life, on the popular view, is an evil to the human race, not to the wicked, but to all. For if annihilation of the whole race should be tendered as the alternative, no moral being could, as has been shown, refuse to accept it." -BARLOW, Eternal Punishment.
Thomas Allin (Christ Triumphant: Or Universalism Attested)
Max had left a week’s supply of foul-smelling dog food and two pages of instructions about doggie daycare. Neve had expected advice about dog-walking, worming tablets and the vet’s emergency phone number, but it turned out that Max had a very dim view of her dog-sitting abilities: • Do NOT let him in your bedroom. • It also goes without saying that he is NOT to sleep on your bed. • Do NOT let him in the bathroom. He’ll try to drink out of the toilet bowl. • Do NOT feed him at the table. He eats dog food not human food. • And do NOT give him chocolate. I’m serious. Human chocolate can make dogs very ill. Have left a bag of liver treats instead. • He doesn’t like old men, especially if they have walking sticks or zimmer frames. • He doesn’t like balloons, carrier bags or kites. • Also avoid small children. • A small child trying to fly a kite, while holding a balloon and a carrier bag in their other hand would just about finish him off. By the time Neve went to bed that night, Keith had stayed in the bathroom while she had a shower (and tried to get in the cubicle to drink the water), because he’d barked and scrabbled at the door so hard, she’d feared for her paintwork. He’d also had a piece of steamed haddock from her plate because she hadn’t been able to eat dinner without his nose in her crotch and his paw prodding her leg until she fed him. Neve had secretly suspected that Keith wouldn’t have so many emotional issuesif Max refused to indulge him, but it turned out that she was the softest of soft touches, unable to wield any sort of discipline or say, ‘No, Keith, you have to sleep in the lounge,’ in an authoritative voice. She’d lasted five minutes until the sound of Keith whimpering and howling and generally giving the impression that he was being tortured had forced her into the living room to pick up his bed, and his toys and his water bowl. But if he had to sleep in her room, then he could do it in his own bed, Neve reasoned as she sat up, eyes fixed on Keith. Every time she took her gaze off him and tried to read, he’d dive out of his bed and start advancing towards her. ‘Back to your basket, you wicked boy,’ she’d say and he’d slink away, eyes downcast, only to be given away by the joyous wag of his stumpy tale, as if it was the best gameever. It was inevitable – as soon as Neve turned out the light, there was a scrabble of claws on the wooden floor, then a dead weight landed on her feet. ‘Bad dog,’ she snapped, but they could both tell her heart wasn’t in it. Besides, if Keith stayed at the bottom of the bed, he could double up as a hot-water bottle. Keith had other ideas. He wriggled up the bed on his belly as if he was being stealthy and settled down next to Neve, batting his paws against her back until she was shoved right over and he could put his head on her pillow and pant hot doggy breath against her face. ‘Celia was right,’ Neve grumbled. ‘You are a devil dog.
Sarra Manning (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)
My wife has been killed by a machine which should never have come into the hands of any human being. It is called a firearm. It makes the blackest of all human wishes come true at once, at a distance: that something die. “There is evil for you. “We cannot get rid of mankind’s fleetingly wicked wishes. We can get rid of the machines that make them come true. “I give you a holy word: DISARM.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Deadeye Dick)
Thus the “brainy” economy designed to produce this happiness is a fantastic vicious circle which must either manufacture more and more pleasures or collapse—providing a constant titillation of the ears, eyes, and nerve ends with incessant streams of almost inescapable noise and visual distractions. The perfect “subject” for the aims of this economy is the person who continuously itches his ears with the radio, preferably using the portable kind which can go with him at all hours and in all places. His eyes flit without rest from television screen, to newspaper, to magazine, keeping him in a sort of orgasm-with-out-release through a series of teasing glimpses of shiny automobiles, shiny female bodies, and other sensuous surfaces, interspersed with such restorers of sensitivity—shock treatments—as “human interest” shots of criminals, mangled bodies, wrecked airplanes, prize fights, and burning buildings. The literature or discourse that goes along with this is similarly manufactured to tease without satisfaction, to replace every partial gratification with a new desire. For this stream of stimulants is designed to produce cravings for more and more of the same, though louder and faster, and these cravings drive us to do work which is of no interest save for the money it pays—to buy more lavish radios, sleeker automobiles, glossier magazines, and better television sets, all of which will somehow conspire to persuade us that happiness lies just around the corner if we will buy one more. Despite the immense hubbub and nervous strain, we are convinced that sleep is a waste of valuable time and continue to chase these fantasies far into the night. Animals spend much of their time dozing and idling pleasantly, but, because life is short, human beings must cram into the years the highest possible amount of consciousness, alertness, and chronic insomnia so as to be sure not to miss the last fragment of startling pleasure. It isn’t that the people who submit to this kind of thing are immoral. It isn’t that the people who provide it are wicked exploiters; most of them are of the same mind as the exploited, if only on a more expensive horse in this sorry-go-round. The real trouble is that they are all totally frustrated, for trying to please the brain is like trying to drink through your ears. Thus they are increasingly incapable of real pleasure, insensitive to the most acute and subtle joys of life which are in fact extremely common and simple.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity)
I abhor some of what Catholicism teaches about homosexuality, but I appreciate that in one respect the Church has come to see us whole. Where it used to regard homosexuality as a mere behavior, engaged in sinfully by heterosexuals, it now understands that some men love men and some women love women, and are so constituted as to have no meaningful choice in the matter. Where many denominations regard same-sex love itself as wicked, the Catholic Church asks of homosexuals not that they be heterosexual but that they remain celibate, which is, at least, possible. Now, to ask a human being to dwell in a bed of solitude without the touch of another, until God Himself extends His embrace, is to ask for the most profound and, for most people, enormous of sacrifices. Many people would rather die in loving company than live alone. That, indeed, is what makes the priestly vow of celibacy the supreme act of devotion that it is. There surely are some people who can live whole and healthy lives without sex. I know a middle-aged Catholic woman who, because she is both unmarried and devout, is celibate by choice. She is vibrant and proud, partly, of course, because her celibacy is chosen and principled, rather than furtive or paralytic. But to be celibate is one thing; to live without even the possibility of love is something else again, a stripping-out of self and soul which leaves behind an ageless child.
Jonathan Rauch (Denial: My 25 Years Without a Soul)
Don't forget Shiz University was originally a unionist monastery," said Elphaba, "so despite the anything-goes attitude among the educated elite, there are still bedrocks of unionist bias." "But I'm a unionist," said Boq, "and I don't see the conflict. The Unnamed God is accommodating to many ranges of being, not just human. Are you talking about a subtle bias against Animals, interwoven into early unionist tracts, and still in operation today?" "That's certainly what Doctor Dillamond thinks. And he's a unionist himself. Explain that paradox and I'd be glad to convert. I admire the Got intensely. But the real interest of it to me is the political slant. If he can isolate some bit of the biological architecture to prove that there isn't any difference, deep down, in the invisible pockets of human and Animal flesh - that there's no difference between us - or even among us, if you take in animal flesh too - well, you see the implications." "No," said Boq, "I don't think I do." "How can the Banns on Animal Mobility be upheld if Doctor Dillamond can prove, scientifically, that there isn't any inherent difference between humans and Animals?" "Oh, now that's a blueprint for an impossibly rosy future," said Boq. "Think about it," said Elphaba. "Think, Boq. On what grounds could the Wizard possibly continue to publish those Banns?" "How could he be persuaded not to? The Wizard has dissolved the Hall of Approval indefinitely. I don't believe, Elphie, that the Wizard is open to entertaining arguments, even by as august an Animal as Doctor Dillamond." "But of course he must be. He's a man in power, it's his job to consider changes in knowledge. When Doctor Dillamond has his proof, he'll write to the Wizard and begin to lobby for change. No doubt he'll do his best to let Animals the over know what he's intending, too. He isn't a fool.
Gregory Maguire (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1))
to produce. As John Adams wrote, “Property monopolized or in the Possession of a few is a Curse to Mankind. We should preserve not an Absolute Equality.—this is unnecessary, but preserve all from extreme Poverty, and all others from extravagant Riches.”1 Here are ten steps that I think might help put us more on the course intended by the Revolutionary generation, to help us move beyond where we are stuck and instead toward what we ought to be: 1. Don’t panic Did the founders anticipate a Donald Trump? I would say yes. As James Madison wrote in the most prominent of his contributions to the Federalist Papers, “Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.”2 Just after Aaron Burr nearly became president, Jefferson wrote that “bad men will sometimes get in, & with such an immense patronage, may make great progress in corrupting the public mind & principles. This is a subject with which wisdom & patriotism should be occupied.”3 Fortunately the founders built a durable system, one that often in recent years has stymied Trump. He has tried to introduce a retrogressive personal form of rule, but repeatedly has run into a Constitution built instead to foster the rule of law.4 Over the last several years we have seen Madison’s checks and balances operate robustly. Madison designed a structure that could accommodate people acting unethically and venally. Again, our national political gridlock sometimes is not a bug but a feature. It shows our system is working. The key task is to do our best to make sure the machinery of the system works. This begins with ensuring that eligible citizens are able to vote. This ballot box is the basic building block of our system. We should appreciate how strong and flexible our Constitution is. It is all too easy, as one watches the follies and failings of humanity, to conclude that we live in a particularly wicked time. In a poll taken just as I was writing the first part of this book, the majority of Americans surveyed said they think they are living at the lowest point in American history.5 So it is instructive to be reminded that Jefferson held similar beliefs about his own era. He wrote that there were “three epochs in history signalized by the total extinction of national morality.” The first two were in ancient times, following the deaths of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, he thought, and the third was his own age.6 As an aside, Trump’s attacks on immigrants might raise a few eyebrows among the founders. Seven of the thirty-nine people who signed the Constitution were themselves born abroad, most notably Hamilton and James Wilson.7
Thomas E. Ricks (First Principles: What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country)
To find the right pitch is to be human, to have a sense of the street, while still reaching for the lofty. It means resisting the kind of language that suits cogs in a machine better than sentient beings.
Constance Hale (Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose)
Let’s never forget that we need to speak and write like human beings with hearts, and not like the tin woodsman in The Wizard of Oz or Hal in the movie 2001.
Constance Hale (Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose)
In Conversation With The Earth! Hello I am Earth , your home, Hello I am human from Climate summit at Rome, Pleasure meeting you today, Well I thought you met and saw me everyday, Nevermind, human mind is a curious creation, Look at the devastation and your numb sensation, Water levels rising, Frequent wildfires are least surprising, Landslides burying people alive, For the poor Earth is no longer a place to thrive, CO2 emissions creating a blanket of doom, The world looks like a planet draped in agony and gloom, Deforestation has left me naked, By your callousness I feel raped, you humans are so ungrateful and wicked, The rising heat will kill us both, I will manage drifting in the universe but imagine your plight in the cosmic broth? You are the cause of your own extinction, And you seek mercy from me for this inevitable destruction, I am part of the universe the universe is not a part of me, And if there is a cause, an effect too there shall be! But I am wondering why you are still procrastinating, You are more interested in Mars’s Terraforming, Instead of saving your present home, Where there is Italy, Germany, India, America, Russia, China, many others and Rome, You seem to ignore my pleadings and warning signs, And somehow your conscience resigns, Into a slumber of thoughtlessness, And you seem willing to endure this perpetual feeling of restlessness, But refrain from acting now, Sometimes you just need to start, without wasting too much time on thinking how, This maybe my last conversation with you , my dear human being, It is time you believed in what you are seeing, A ravaged soul of mine, I fret and fume, yet you convince yourself I am fine, Because you can still breathe in my air, But how long, because you are offering me a bargain that is unfair, Very soon you may need protected air zones to survive, And then only those with a penny in the pocket shall be alive, Where will your less fortunate brothers and sisters go? I think after the great fall, today humanity has fallen really too low, Not placing restraint on their acts so ignoble, Although you see my scars so fresh and palpable, Anyway, why shall you care as long as you can breathe, And not realise the irony, the day you feel choked I too shall no more be able to breathe! Mars is a distant dream, Pay heed now when I yell and scream, Mars is just a reflection in the mirror, But I am the mirror, you just need to be a heedful observer, And act now before it is too late, And stop wasting time in a bureaucratically complex debate, Maybe this will be the last summer for you and me too, But I am still believing and expecting the best from you! By: Javid Ahmad Tak
Javid Ahmad Tak (They Loved in 2075!)
On behalf of you and me, the Son of God, our Creator, came to this earth and blotted out our sins through His baptism and bloodshed. In order to take-on and atone for all our sins—our original sin, future sins, personal sins, all the sins of trespasses, and whatever wicked sins that every single human being commits from the days of the Creation until the end of this earth, Jesus received His baptism from John and shed His blood on the Cross.
Paul C. Jong (The Relationship Between the Ministry of JESUS and That of JOHN the BAPTIST Recorded in the Four Gospels)
Spirituality" should only be called spirituality, when it does not come in between you and your fellow human being. "Spirituality" is only spirituality, when it creates genuine connections between you and your fellow human being. We have observed, since time immemorial, how "spirituality" has become a wall that is built in between person and other persons; bringing out segregation, distance and disconnection. When it is this, it is not spirituality, there is nothing spiritual about it. It is but a tool of the ego. Show me a person who can connect to a drunken man on the street, just as profoundly as he can connect to his chosen spiritual leaders, and I will point out to you a spiritual person. The purpose of spirituality is connection; not disconnection. Connection between mind and soul; then connection between yours and others' minds and souls. The most spiritual, highest state of the human being is the state of the small child: there is no knowledge of dissonance, no knowledge of separation. All is connected, all is there because it is so. There is pure joy in an ice cream cone. The small child is far more spiritual than your enlightened teachers. Climbing a mountain, whether metaphorical or physical, in order to segregate oneself into "spirituality", is not spirituality at all. If you must hide the candle flame from the darkness, then it is not really a candle flame, is it? If it disconnects you from another person, especially a person whom you love, then it is not spirituality; it is ego. True spirituality does not need numbers, does not need followers, does not feel the need to persuade. True spirituality acknowledges that you may do as you do and I may do as I do and our opinions of spirit and soul ought to be the very last thing that could ever come in between us. If it brings you together and lights the wicks within your souls, it is spirituality. If it brings you together even when there is nothing in common, it is spirituality. An ice cream cone, in its simple ability to fill everyone's heart with innocent joy, is true spirituality. Not your church. Not your doctrine. If it brings you back to the state of heart, of the small child, it is spirituality.
C. JoyBell C.
attack, Deep Southerners and Tidewaterites organized their resistance struggle around the one civic institution they still controlled: their churches. The evangelical churches that dominated the three southern nations proved excellent vehicles for those wishing to protect the region’s prewar social system. Unlike the dominant denominations in Yankeedom, Southern Baptists and other southern evangelicals were becoming what religious scholars have termed “Private Protestants” as opposed to the “Public Protestants” that dominated the northern nations, and whom we’ll get to in a moment. Private Protestants—Southern Baptists, Southern Methodists, and Southern Episcopalians among them—believed the world was inherently corrupt and sinful, particularly after the shocks of the Civil War. Their emphasis wasn’t on the social gospel—an effort to transform the world in preparation for Christ’s coming—but rather on personal salvation, pulling individual souls into the lifeboat of right thinking before the Rapture swept the damned away. Private Protestants had no interest in changing society but rather emphasized the need to maintain order and obedience. Slavery, aristocratic rule, and the grinding poverty of most ordinary people in the southern nations weren’t evils to be confronted but rather the reflection of a divinely sanctioned hierarchy to be maintained at all costs against the Yankee heretics. By opposing slavery, one Southern Methodist minister declared, the Yankee “was disloyal to the laws of God and man”—“a wild fanatic, an insane anarchist, a law breaker, [and] a wicked intermeddler in other men’s matters.” Since biblical passages tacitly endorsed slavery, abolitionists were proclaimed guilty of being “more humane than God.” The Episcopal bishop of Alabama,
Colin Woodard (American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America)
You are so fucking beautiful,” I tell her.
 Beautiful… What an understatement. What a bland shadow of the truth. Jane is fucking otherworldly, a heavenly being that can’t be defined in a word. She’s always been a supernatural thing to me, too good to just be human. Too special, too kind, too perfect. The girl in front of me is incessant, no matter if she still wants me or not. The love I hold for her, wicked and soul-crushing as it is, is a never-ending thing.

Dolores Lane (Writing with Blood (The Blood Duet Book 2))
My need for new philosophers. Where will they come from? Only where a noble way of thinking reigns, one that believes in slavery and in many degrees of bondage as the prerequisite of any higher culture; where a creative way of thinking reigns, which does not set the world's goal as the happiness of repose, the “Sabbath of all Sabbaths” and honors peace itself as a means to new wars; a way of thinking that prescribes laws for the future, which treats itself and everything of the present harshly and tyrannically for the sake of the future; a heedless, “immoral” way of thinking that wants to cultivate to greatness the good and wicked qualities of humans equally, because it trusts in its strength to deploy both in the right place — in the place where both are essential to one another. Our age has the opposite instincts: above all and in the first place it wants comfort; secondly it wants publicity and that grand noise of actors, that grand boom-boom that corresponds to its fairground-taste; thirdly it wants everyone to crawl on their belly in deepest subservience before the greatest of all lies — this lie is called “equality of human beings” — and it honors exclusively the virtues that make equal and assign equal rights.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Unpublished Fragments (Spring 1885-Spring 1886))
As the modern era came into being, the avarice of the usurer was supplanted by interest in the broader and more abstract sense of a share or stake. This new concept of interest was ethically wide-ranging: it ‘came to cover virtually the entire range of human actions, from the narrowly self-centered to the sacrificially altruistic, and from the prudently calculated to the passionately compulsive’.49 The seventeenth-century English statesman and philosopher Lord Shaftesbury summed up the new thinking with his comment that ‘Interest governs the World.’50 In his Fable of the Bees (1714), Bernard Mandeville exposed the paradox at the heart of the modern world, namely that private vices brought public benefits. Adam Smith incorporated Mandeville’s wicked insights into his political economy. In The Wealth of Nations, Smith describes the individual as one who ‘By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.’51 A similar thought is expressed in another famous line, in which Smith writes that ‘It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.’ The spirit of capitalism was transmitted across networks of credit that connected lenders and borrowers through bonds of mutual self-interest.52 Daniel Defoe described credit as a ‘stock’, synonymous with capital, while the French in Defoe’s day referred to capital as ‘interest’, in the sense of taking a stake.fn6 From a technical viewpoint, capital consists of a stream of future income discounted to its present value. Without interest, there can be no capital. Without capital, no capitalism. Turgot, a contemporary of Adam Smith’s, understood this very well: ‘the capitalist lender of money,’ he wrote, ‘ought to be considered as a dealer in a commodity which is absolutely necessary for the production of wealth, and which cannot be at too low a price.’53 (Turgot exaggerated. As we shall see, interest at ‘too low a price’ is the source of many evils.)
Edward Chancellor (The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest)
This is the path of Torah: Bread and salt shall you eat, and drink water by measure; you shall sleep upon the ground, and live a life of privation, and in Torah shall be your work. And if you do thus, “You shall be happy, and it will be well with you” (Ps. 128:2)—Happy [refers to] this world, and well to the world to come. Greatest is the Torah, for it gives life to those who perform it[s commandments] in this world and in the world to come, as it is said, “It is a tree of life to those who hold on to it, and all who maintain it are blessed” [Prov. 3:18]. —m. Abot 6:4, 7 Once the wicked regime [Rome] decreed that Jews be forbidden to study the Torah. Pappus b. Judah subsequently found R. Aqiba nonetheless convening groups in public for the study of Torah. “Aqiba,” he said, “are you not afraid of the regime?” He said: “Let me answer you with a comparison: It is like a fox that was walking along the river-bank when he saw some fish moving in groups from place to place. He said to them: ‘What are you fleeing from?’ They said: ‘From the nets that the human beings cast over us.’ He said to them: ‘Wouldn’t you like to climb up onto the dry land so that you and I might live together as your ancestors and mine once did?’ They said: ‘Are you indeed the one who is alleged to be the cleverest of animals? You are not clever but foolish! For if there is danger in the place where we do live [that is, our natural environment], is it not all the more so in the place where we must die?’ So is it with us now: for we sit and study Torah, about which it is said, ‘For it is your life and your length of days’ (Deut. 30:20); were we to abandon it, we would be in far greater danger.” — b. Berakhot 61b
James L. Kugel (The Bible As It Was)
That’s crazy! We can’t go the way of—” “Since when has human history been anything else?” asks the woman with the camera on her shoulder—Donna, being some sort of public archivist, is in Sirhan’s estimate likely to be of use to him. “Remember what we found in the DMZ?” “The DMZ?” Sirhan asks, momentarily confused. “After we went through the router,” Pierre says grimly. “You tell him, love.” He looks at Amber. Sirhan, watching him, feels it fall into place at that moment, a sense that he’s stepped into an alternate universe, one where the woman who might have been his mother isn’t, where black is white, his kindly grandmother is the wicked witch of the west, and his feckless grandfather is a farsighted visionary. “We uploaded via the router,” Amber says, and looks confused for a moment. “There’s a network on the other side of it. We were told it was FTL, instantaneous, but I’m not so sure now. I think it’s something more complicated, like a lightspeed network, parts of which are threaded through wormholes that make it look FTL from our perspective. Anyway, Matrioshka brains, the end product of a technological singularity—they’re bandwidth-limited. Sooner or later the posthuman descendants evolve Economics 2.0, or 3.0, or something else, and it, uh, eats the original conscious instigators. Or uses them as currency or something. The end result we found is a howling wilderness of degenerate data, fractally compressed, postconscious processes running slower and slower as they trade storage space for processing power. We were”—she licks her lips—“lucky to escape with our minds. We only did it because of a friend. It’s like the main sequence in stellar evolution; once a G-type star starts burning helium and expands into a red giant, it’s ‘game over’ for life in what used to be its liquid-water zone.
Charles Stross (Accelerando)
If a man feels wicked, I cannot see why he should suddenly feel good because somebody tells him that his ancestors once had tails. Man's primary purity and innocence may have dropped off with his tail, for all anybody knows. The only thing we all know about that primary purity and innocence is that we have not got it. Nothing can be, in the strictest sense of the word, more comic than to set so shadowy a thing as the conjectures made by the vaguer anthropologists about primitive man against so solid a thing as the human sense of sin. By its nature the evidence of Eden is something that one cannot find. By its nature the evidence of sin is something that one cannot help finding.
G.K. Chesterton (All Things Considered)
The contrast with some earlier children’s stories is quite striking. In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), for example, Dorothy is told which witches are wicked, and which are good. In Narnia, characters do not wear name tags declaring their moral character. The children (and readers) have to work these things out for themselves. The characters they encounter are complex and multifaceted. Their true moral character has to be discovered. The Chronicles of Narnia illuminate how human beings understand themselves, face up to their weaknesses, and try to become the people they are meant to be. They are about a quest for meaning and virtue, not simply the quest for explanation and understanding. That is perhaps one reason why the Chronicles of Narnia have proved to have such a powerful appeal: they speak of choices to be made, of right and wrong, and of challenges that must be faced. Yet this vision of goodness and greatness is not set forth as a logical or reasoned argument, but is affirmed and explored through the telling of a story—a story that captures the imagination.
Alister E. McGrath (C. S. Lewis: A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet)
God’s goodness is not a cosmic force but a specific act of compassion. We do not know it as it is but as it happens. To mention an example, “Rabbi Meir said: When a human being suffers what does the Shechinah say? My head is too heavy for Me; My arm is too heavy for Me. And if God is so grieved over the blood of the wicked that is shed, how much more so over the blood of the righteous.
Abraham Joshua Heschel (God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism)
Section 3. Confirmed also by the vain endeavours of the wicked to banish all fear of God from their minds. Conclusion, that the knowledge of God is naturally implanted in the human mind. All men of sound judgement will therefore hold, that a sense of Deity is indelibly engraven on the human heart. And that this belief is naturally engendered in all, and thoroughly fixed as it were in our very bones, is strikingly attested by the contumacy of the wicked, who, though they struggle furiously, are unable to extricate themselves from the fear of God. Though Diagoras[4], and others of like stamps make themselves merry with whatever has been believed in all ages concerning religion, and Dionysus scoffs at the judgement of heaven, it is but a Sardonian grin; for the worm of conscience, keener than burning steel, is gnawing them within. I do not say with Cicero, that errors wear out by age, and that religion increases and grows better day by day. For the world (as will be shortly seen) labours as much as it can to shake off all knowledge of God, and corrupts his worship in innumerable ways. I only say, that, when the stupid hardness of heart, which the wicked eagerly court as a means of despising God, becomes enfeebled, the sense of Deity, which of all things they wished most to be extinguished, is still in vigour, and now and then breaks forth. Whence we infer, that this is not a doctrine which is first learned at school, but one as to which every man is, from the womb, his own master; one which nature herself allows no individual to forget, though many, with all their might, strive to do so. Moreover, if all are born and live for the express purpose of learning to know God, and if the knowledge of God, in so far as it fails to produce this effect, is fleeting and vain, it is clear that all those who do not direct the whole thoughts and actions of their lives to this end fail to fulfil the law of their being. This did not escape the observation even of philosophers. For it is the very thing which Plato meant (in Phoed. et Theact.) when he taught, as he often does, that the chief good of the soul consists in resemblance to God; i.e., when, by means of knowing him, she is wholly transformed into him. Thus Gryllus, also, in Plutarch, (lib. guod bruta anim. ratione utantur,) reasons most skilfully, when he affirms that, if once religion is banished from the lives of men, they not only in no respect excel, but are, in many respects, much more wretched than the brutes, since, being exposed to so many forms of evil, they continually drag on a troubled and restless existence: that the only thing, therefore, which makes them superior is the worship of God, through which alone they aspire to immortality.
John Calvin (Institutes of the Christian Religion)
The Poles claim Korczak as a martyr, and the Israelis revere him as one of the Thirty-Six Just Men, whose pure souls make possible the world's salvation. According to Jewish legend, these few, through their good hearts and good deeds, keep the too-wicked world from being destroyed. For their sake alone, all of humanity is spared. The legend tells that they are ordinary people, not flawless or magical, and that most of them remain unrecognized throughout their lives, while they choose to perpetuate goodness, even in the midst of inferno.
Diane Ackerman (The Zookeeper's Wife)
Instead of extinguishing in the heart of men the essential and natural love for themselves, morality should use it to show them the interest in being good, human, sociable, and trustworthy: far from wanting to destroy the passions inherent in his nature, morality will lead him to virtue, without which no man on earth can ever enjoy true happiness.
Philipp Blom (A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment)
People like Sharon are rare and strange and sometimes aggravating. They don't calm choppy waters. They barge in and stir things up when and make people frown when they'd rather smile. But sometimes all that smiling acts as a cover for a lot of wicked acts. But a good portion of my life I believed that a law of benevolent action held sway in the world. This law maintained that if you did the right thing and worked hard, eventually things would work out; that the world generally tended towards fairness, decency, and wisdom. But of course the world doesn't work that way. The people who learn that lesson through crushing experience and still refuse to bow to it astound me. They go on fighting, again and again and again. These people aren't perfect. They aren't simple heroes. They are complex human beings. And we need them. Because without them the world would be lost.
Bruce Barcott (The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman's Fight to Save the World's Most Beautiful Bird)
He wasn't like this when I knew him." "Yes, he was," Mr Crepsley disagreed. "He just had not grown into his true evil self yet. He was born bad, as certain people are. Humans will tell you that everybody can be helped, that everyone has a choice. In my experience, that is not so. Good people can sometimes choose badness, but bad people cannot choose good." "I don't believe that," Harkat said softly. "I think good and evil exist...in all of us. We might be born leaning more towards...one than the other, but the choice is there. It has to be. Otherwise, we're mere...puppets of fate." "Perhaps," Mr Crepsley grunted. "Many see it as you do. But I do not think so. Most are born with the freedom of choice. But there are those who defy the rules, who are wicked from the beginning. Maybe they are puppets of fate, born that way for a reason, to test the rest of us. I do not know. But natural monsters do exist. On that point, nothing you say can shake me. And Steve Leonard is one of them." "But then it isn't his fault," I said, frowning. "If he was born bad, he isn't to blame for growing up evil." "No more than a lion is to blame for being a predator," Mr Crepsley agreed. I thought about that. "If that's the case, we shouldn't hate him — we should pity him." Mr Crepsley shook his head. "No, Darren. You should neither hate nor pity a monster — merely fear it, and do all in your power to make an end of it before it destroys you.
Darren Shan (Killers of the Dawn (Cirque Du Freak, #9))
A miracle occurred, two hundred pure souls, condemned to death, did not weep. Not one of them ran away. None tried to hide. Like stricken swallows they clung to their teacher and mentor, to their father and brother, Janusz Korczak." In 1971, the Russians named a newly discovered asteroid after him, 2163 Korczak, but maybe they should have named it Ro, the planet he dreamed of. The Poles claim Korczak as a martyr, and the Israelis revere him as one of the Thirty-Six Just Men, whose pure souls make possible the world's salvation. According to Jewish legend, these few, through their good hearts and good deeds, keep the too-wicked world from being destroyed. For their sake alone, all of humanity is spared.
Diane Ackerman (The Zookeeper's Wife)
As human beings, we must help one another to bear all kinds of human misfortune and the curse that has come upon us. We must be ready to live among wicked people, and there everyone must be ready to prove his holiness instead of becoming impatient and running away. On earth, we have to live amid thorns and thistles (Gen. 3:18), in a situation full of temptation, hostility, and misfortune. Hence, it does not help you at all to run away from other people, for within you are still carrying the same old scoundrel, the lust and evil appetite that clings to your flesh and blood. Even fi you are all alone, with the door locked, you still cannot deny your father and mother; nor can you discard your flesh and blood and leave them on the ground. You have no call to pick up your feet and run away, but to stay put, to stand and battle against every kind of temptation like a knight, and with patience to see it through and to triumph.
Martin Luther (Luther's Works, Volume 21 (Sermon on the Mount and the Magnificat))
The. Gaslighting. Cannot. Be. Stopped. Listen to me. If he wants to keep doing it—practically guaranteed—who is going to prevent him from doing so? No one is going to run to the podium and throw his or her body between him and a media microphone as a human sacrifice to block him from spreading the next big lie. No number of liberal pundits rocking themselves in a corner and muttering “This is not normal” to themselves will have any impact on him. Trump is not going to wake up one day and have an epiphany and think, “Gee, maybe now I will refrain from my wicked ways.” Forget it.
Amanda Carpenter (Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies to Us)