Insight Book Quotes

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Books, which we mistake for consolation, only add depth to our sorrow.
Orhan Pamuk (My Name Is Red)
Life is like a game of chess. To win you have to make a move. Knowing which move to make comes with IN-SIGHT and knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are acculated along the way. We become each and every piece within the game called life!
Allan Rufus (The Master's Sacred Knowledge)
They had only ever discussed books but what, in this life, is more personal than books?
Gabrielle Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)
Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors. The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
You don't read Gatsby, I said, to learn whether adultery is good or bad but to learn about how complicated issues such as adultery and fidelity and marriage are. A great novel heightens your senses and sensitivity to the complexities of life and of individuals, and prevents you from the self-righteousness that sees morality in fixed formulas about good and evil.
Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
Opportunity may knock only once but temptation leans on the door bell
Oprah Winfrey (Oprah Winfrey Speaks: Insights from the World's Most Influential Voice)
Every reader finds himself. The writer's work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.
Marcel Proust (Time Regained)
The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with “Wow! Signore, professore dottore Eco, what a library you have ! How many of these books have you read?” and the others - a very small minority - who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you don’t know as your financial means, mortgage rates and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menancingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
Books, purchasable at low cost, permit us to interrogate the past with high accuracy; to tap the wisdom of our species; to understand the point of view of others, and not just those in power; to contemplate--with the best teachers--the insights, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, drawn from the entire planet and from all of our history. They allow people long dead to talk inside our heads. Books can accompany us everywhere. Books are patient where we are slow to understand, allow us to go over the hard parts as many times as we wish, and are never critical of our lapses. Books are key to understanding the world and participating in a democratic society.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
The problem of knowledge is that there are many more books on birds written by ornithologists than books on birds written by birds and books on ornithologists written by birds
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms)
To read great books does not mean one becomes ‘bookish’; it means that something of the terrible insight of Dostoyevsky, of the richly-charged imagination of Shakespeare, of the luminous wisdom of Goethe, actually passes into the personality of the reader; so that in contact with the chaos of ordinary life certain free and flowing outlines emerge, like the forms of some classic picture, endowing both people and things with a grandeur beyond what is visible to the superficial glance.
John Cowper Powys
It is time we admitted, from kings and presidents on down, that there is no evidence that any of our books was authored by the Creator of the universe. The Bible, it seems certain, was the work of sand-strewn men and women who thought the earth was flat and for whom a wheelbarrow would have been a breathtaking example of emerging technology. To rely on such a document as the basis for our worldview-however heroic the efforts of redactors- is to repudiate two thousand years of civilizing insights that the human mind has only just begun to inscribe upon itself through secular politics and scientific culture. We will see that the greatest problem confronting civilization is not merely religious extremism: rather, it is the larger set of cultural and intellectual accommodations we have made to faith itself.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
An extrovert looks at a stack of books and sees a stack of papers, while an introvert looks at the same stack and sees a soothing source of escape.
Eric Samuel Timm
If you never ask yourself any questions about the meaning of a passage, you cannot expect the book to give you any insight you don't already possess
Mortimer J. Adler
I recently read in the book My Stroke of Insight by brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor that the natural life span of an emotion—the average time it takes for it to move through the nervous system and body—is only a minute and a half. After that we need thoughts to keep the emotion rolling. So if we wonder why we lock into painful emotional states like anxiety, depression, or rage, we need look no further than our own endless stream of inner dialogue.
Tara Brach
Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.
John Edgar Wideman
He knows that a lot of the literary people in college see books primarily as a way of appearing cultured, It was culture as class performance, literature fetishised for its ability to take educated people on false emotional journeys, so that they might afterwards feel superior to the uneducated people whose emotional journeys they liked to read about. Even the writer himself was a good person, and even if his book really was insightful, all books were ultimately marketed as status symbols, and all writers participated to some degree in this marketing.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
Perhaps the things that break our hearts are the very things that serve to open them.
Robin S. Sharma (The Greatness Guide Book 2: 101 More Insights to Get You to World Class)
It's much easier . . . to be on the verge of something than to actually be it. This would still take time.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Krista asks,"What is it about society that disappoints you so much?" Elliot thinks, "Oh I don't know, is it that we collectively thought Steve Jobs was a great man even when we knew he made billions off the backs of children? Or maybe it's that it feels like all our heroes are counterfeit; the world itself's just one big hoax. Spamming each other with our burning commentary of bullshit masquerading as insight, our social media faking as intimacy. Or is it that we voted for this? Not with our rigged elections, but with our things, our property, our money. I'm not saying anything new. We all know why we do this, not because Hunger Games books makes us happy but because we wanna be sedated. Because it's painful not to pretend, because we're cowards. Fuck Society." "Mr. Robot" season 1 episode 1, 'ohellofriend.mov
Sam Esmail
People don’t read to enlighten themselves or seek to gain some valuable insight into their own psychology. People read to escape.
Dermot Davis (Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World)
You can have anything you want so long as you realise that you can't have everything you want.
Orna Ross (Inspiration Meditation: Igniting Insights & Ideas. (A Go Creative! Book))
However, for the man who studies to gain insight, books and studies are merely rungs of the ladder on which he climbs to the summit of knowledge. As soon as a rung has raised him up one step, he leaves it behind. On the other hand, the many who study in order to fill their memory do not use the rungs of the ladder for climbing, but take them off and load themselves with them to take away, rejoicing at the increasing weight of the burden. They remain below forever, because they bear what should have bourne them.
Arthur Schopenhauer (The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 2)
Reading the very best writers—let us say Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Tolstoy—is not going to make us better citizens. Art is perfectly useless, according to the sublime Oscar Wilde, who was right about everything. He also told us that all bad poetry is sincere. Had I the power to do so, I would command that these words be engraved above every gate at every university, so that each student might ponder the splendor of the insight.
Harold Bloom (The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages)
Above all, be at ease, be as natural and spacious as possible. Slip quietly out of the noose of your habitual anxious self, release all grasping, and relax into your true nature. Think of your ordinary emotional, thought-ridden self as a block of ice or a slab of butter left out in the sun. If you are feeling hard and cold, let this aggression melt away in the sunlight of your meditation. Let peace work on you and enable you to gather your scattered mind into the mindfulness of Calm Abiding, and awaken in you the awareness and insight of Clear Seeing. And you will find all your negativity disarmed, your aggression dissolved, and your confusion evaporating slowly like mist into the vast and stainless sky of your absolute nature.
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
Students and scholars of all kinds and of every age aim, as a rule, only at information, not insight. They make it a point of honour to have information about everything, every stone, plant, battle, or experiment and about all books, collectively and individually. It never occurs to them that information is merely a means to insight, but in itself is of little or no value.
Arthur Schopenhauer
The most insightful thing I ever heard, was overheard. I was waiting for a rail replacement bus in Hackney Wick. These two old women weren’t even talking to me - not because I’d offended them, I hadn’t, I’d been angelic at that bus stop, except for the eavesdropping. Rail replacement buses take an eternity, because they think they’re doing you a favour by covering for the absent train, you’ve no recourse. Eventually the bus appeared, on the distant horizon, and one of the women, with the relief and disbelief that often accompanies the arrival of public transport said, ‘Oh look, the bus is coming.’ The other woman - a wise woman, seemingly aware that her words and attitude were potent and poetic enough to form the final sentence in a stranger’s book - paused, then said, ‘The bus was always coming.
Russell Brand (My Booky Wook)
all abilities are paid for with disabilities. perfect health may entail the heavy toll of bovine stupidity. insight into one area involves blind spots in another. i could not have done what i have done as a writer had i been a gifted mathematician or physicist. honesty wrung out of him by pain, he cried out with a loud voice.
William S. Burroughs (My Education: A Book of Dreams)
Every book is a revolution. Books are our ticket out of boredom, despair, loneliness—but also ignorance.
Heidi Cullinan (Sleigh Ride (Minnesota Christmas, #2))
It may sometimes happen that a truth, an insight, which you have slowly and laboriously puzzled out by thinking for yourself could have easily have been found already written in a book: but it is a hundred times more valuable if you have arrived at it by thinking for yourself. For only then will it enter your thought system as an integral part and living member, be perfectly and firmly consistent with it and in accord with all its other consequences and conclusions, bear the hue, colour and stamp of your whole manner of thinking, and have arrived at just the moment it was needed ; thus it will stay firmly and forever lodged in your mind.
Arthur Schopenhauer
Books and drafts mean something quite different for different thinkers. One collects in a book the lights he was able to steal and carry home swiftly out of the rays of some insight that suddenly dawned on him, while another thinker offers us nothing but shadows - images in black and grey of what had built up in his soul the day before.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
This is a book for every fiddler who has realized halfway through playing an ancient Scottish air that the Ramones "I Wanna Be Sedated" is what folk music is really all about, and gone straight into it.
Neil Gaiman (The Good Fairies of New York)
Through books I discovered everything to be loved, explored, visited, communed with. I was enriched and given all the blueprints to a marvelous life, I was consoled in adversity, I was prepared for both joys and sorrows, I acquired one of the most precious sources of strength of all: an understanding of human beings, insight into their motivations.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 7: 1966-1974)
Out of all the piles of dirt, garbage, and shit we have been handed, we can grow a patch of daisies.
Patti Feuereisen (Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, and Everyone Who Cares About Them)
I think reading a good book makes one modest. When you see the marvelous insight into human nature which a truly great book shows, it is bound to make you feel small--like looking at the Big Dipper on a clear night, or seeing the winter sunrise when you go out to collect the morning eggs. And anything that makes you feel small is mighty good for you.
Christopher Morley (Parnassus on Wheels)
you get nothing else from this book, know this: your deceased loved ones are loving, guiding, and protecting you from the Other Side.
Theresa Caputo (There's More to Life Than This: Healing Messages, Remarkable Stories, and Insight About the Other Side from the Long Island Medium)
Without hope we fail to exist.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Rush-hour on the A rain. A blind man staggers forth, his cane tapping lightly own the aisle. He leans against the door, raises a violin to chin, and says I’m sorry to bother you, folks. But please. Just listen. And it kills me, the word sorry. As if something like music should be forgiven. He nuzzles into the wood like a lover, inhales, and at the first slow stroke, the crescendo seeps through our skin like warm water, we who have nothing but destinations, who dream of light but descend into the mouths of tunnels, searching. Beads of sweat fall from his brow, making dark roses on the instrument. His head swooning to each chord exhaled through the hollow torso. The woman beside me has put down her book, closed her eyes, the baby has stopped crying, the cop has sat down, and I know this train is too fast for dreaming, that these iron jaws will always open to swallow a smile already lost. How insufficient the memory, to fail before death. how will hear these notes when the train slides into the yard, the lights turned out, and the song lingers with breaths rising from empty seats? I know I am too human to praise what is fading. But for now, I just want to listen as the train fills completely with warm water, and we are all swimming slowly toward the man with Mozart flowing from his hands. I want nothing but to put my fingers inside his mouth, let that prayer hum through my veins. I want crawl into the hole in his violin. I want to sleep there until my flesh becomes music.
Ocean Vuong
There were two kinds of students who liked the library: those who devoured one book after another and those who savored the same book repeatedly. Now she understood those rereaders differently ... she realized it was not the rereading that led to fresh insights. It was the rereader-- because when a person is changing inside, there are inevitably new things to see.
Rachel Simon (The Story of Beautiful Girl)
Writing is such an industry now. In many ways, that's a good thing, in that it removes all the muse-like mystique and makes it a plain old job, accessible to everyone. But with industry comes jargon. I was aware that jargon was starting to fill those growing shelves of Writer's Self Help books, not to mention the blogosphere. Wherever I looked, the writing of a script was being reduced to A, B, C plots, Text and Subtext, Three Act Structure and blah, blah, blah. And I'd think, that's not what writing is! Writing's inside your head! It's thinking! It's every hour of the day, every day of your life, a constant storm of pictures and voices and sometimes, if you're very, very lucky, insight.
Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale)
Books are useless! I only ever read one book, To Kill A Mockingbird, and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! - Homer Simpson
Matt Groening
The point of reading is not reading but living. Reading helps you live with greater appreciation, keener insight and heightened emotional awareness.
Steve Leveen (The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life: How to Get More Books in Your Life and More Life from Your Books)
Percy and Books Percy does not like it when I read a book. He puts his face over the top of it, and moans. He rolls his eyes, sometimes he sneezes. The sun is up, he says, and the wind is down. The tide is out, and the neighbor's dogs are playing. But Percy, I say, Ideas! The elegance of language! The insights, the funniness, the beautiful stories that rise and fall and turn into strength, or courage. Books? says Percy. I ate one once, and it was enough. Let's go.
Mary Oliver (Red Bird)
From Genesis to Revelation, holy text is all about relationships and the limitless flavors of those relationships. It is the duty of mankind to tap into our women's unique talents--their genius for 'relationships.' pg vii
Michael Ben Zehabe (Song of Songs The Book for Daughters)
Being a writer, I'd never judged a book by its cover, but I suppose that the way a book carried itself gave you a bit of an insight on what was on the inside.
Linny Delacroix (Most Eligible: Parts One & Two)
Serenity is not the conclusion of a soul journey, it is the acceptance of being on a soul journey.
Lorraine Nilon (Your Insight and Awareness Book: Your life is an expedition to discover the truth of yourself)
No book or magazine article is for "everyone" so know your audience, then target them with your writing.
W. Terry Whalin (Book Proposals That Sell: 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success)
In his book Getting Things Done, David Allen shares a crucial insight: “You can’t do a project. You can only do the next step.
Michael Bungay Stanier (Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork. Start the Work That Matters.)
Your mind is a book; God is the pen.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
Still, it makes sense that his insight echoes through my soul when I'm teetering at the edge of insecurity, considering he's Wonderland's wisdom keeper, the custodian of all things mad and daring.
A.G. Howard (Ensnared (Splintered, #3))
Love brings abundance of all kinds. It knows no lack
Joseph Eliezer (Simply Spirit: A Personal Guide to Spiritual Clarity, One Insight at a Time (Words by Joseph - Book One))
There are times, Kruppe murmurs, when celibacy born of sad deprivation becomes a boon, nay, a source of great relief.
Steven Erikson (Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1))
May you know always that you are never alone, that life and love are eternal, and that you are extraordinary.
Susan Barbara Apollon (Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two (Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope))
There's no right or wrong way to seek truth, and as the old axiom states, all paths lead to the same place.
Skye Alexander (The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need: Gain Insight and Truth to Help Explain the Past, Present, and Future)
The spirit of the depths even taught me to consider my action and my decision as dependent on dreams. Dreams pave the way for life, and they determine you without you understanding their language. One would like to learn this language, but who can teach and learn it? Scholarliness alone is not enough; there is a knowledge of the heart that gives deeper insight. The knowledge of the heart is in no book and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher, but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth. Scholarliness belongs to the spirit of this time, but this spirit in no way grasps the dream, since the soul is everywhere that scholarly knowledge is not.
C.G. Jung (The Red Book: Liber Novus)
The bond between book reader and book writer has always been a tightly symbiotic one, a means of intellectual and artistic cross-fertilization. The words of the writer act as a catalyst in the mind of the reader, inspiriting new insights, associations, and perceptions, sometimes even epiphanies. And the very existence of the attentive, critical reader provides the spur for the writer’s work. It gives the author confidence to explore new forms of expression, to blaze difficult and demanding paths of thought, to venture into uncharted and sometimes hazardous territory. “All great men have written proudly, nor cared to explain,” said Emerson. “They knew that the intelligent reader would come at last, and would thank them.
Nicholas Carr (What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains)
With such a vast and wonderful library spread out before us, we often skim books or read just the reviews. We might already have encountered the Greatest Idea, the insight that would have transformed us had we savored it, taken it to heart, and worked it into our lives.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Don’t let us take doubts with exaggerated seriousness nor let them grow out of proportion, or become black-and-white or fanatical about them. What we need to learn is how slowly to change our culturally conditioned and passionate involvement with doubt into a free, humorous, and compassionate one. This means giving doubts time, and giving ourselves time to find answers to our questions that are not merely intellectual or “philosophical,” but living and real and genuine and workable. Doubts cannot resolve themselves immediately; but if we are patient a space can be created within us, in which doubts can be carefully and objectively examined, unraveled, dissolved, and healed. What we lack, especially in this culture, is the right undistracted and richly spacious environment of the mind, which can only be created through sustained meditation practice, and in which insights can be given the change slowly to mature and ripen. 129-130
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
I was there to get a Ph.D. in English literature. That's not true. I was there to read a lot of books and to discuss them with bright, insightful, book-loving people, an expectation that I pretty quickly learned was about as silly as it could be. Certainly there were other people who loved books, I'm sure there were, but whoever had notified them ahead of time that loving books was not the point, was, in fact, a hopelessly counterproductive and naive approach to the study of literature, neglected to notify me. It turned out that the point was to dissect a book like a fetal pig in biology class or to break its back with a single sentence or to bust it open like a milkweek pod and say, "See? All along it was only fluff," and then scatter it into oblivion with one tiny breath.
Marisa de los Santos (Belong to Me (Love Walked In, #2))
I'd known since girlhood that I wanted to be a book editor. By high school, I'd pore over the acknowledgments section of novels I loved, daydreaming that someday a brilliant talent might see me as the person who 'made her book possible' or 'enhanced every page with editorial wisdom and insight.' Could I be the Maxwell Perkins to some future Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Wolfe?
Bridie Clark (Because She Can)
You want what you can’t have. Again, is it worth it? Does it hurt your heart or does it hurt your balls?”~ grandpa Ray Excerpt From: Boheme, Kade. “Trouble & the Wallflower" Kade Boehme, 2014-03-03T20:38:08+00:00. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.
Kade Boehme (Trouble & the Wallflower)
There is an old phrase, ‘hiding in plain sight.’ This is where we find the loved one we miss so much. All we need to do is open our eyes, our minds, and our hearts.
Susan Barbara Apollon (Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two (Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope))
Love is a powerful force. There is nothing in this world, no other energy, as powerful as the force of genuine, unconditional love.
Susan Barbara Apollon (Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two (Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope))
writing is not only for proclaiming opinions, but the main tool to achieve insight worth sharing.
Sönke Ahrens (How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers)
The Widdern — the non-magical world, where science rules and many people believe that magic only exists in books. They’re wrong.
Caro King (Shadow Spell (Seven Sorcerers #2))
Five minutes in an old book quickly reveals that most of what is being sold today as new insights into human behavior is merely the rediscovery of knowledge we have had for centuries.
Roy H. Williams (The Wizard of Ads)
If you did not live lovingly and love deeply, you would not feel the pain of separation. But neither would you feel the joy, passion, and happiness that living fully and loving deeply bring.
Susan Barbara Apollon (Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two (Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope))
I hope that this book will serve to release the deeply intuitive self within each of my readers, and to bring to the foreground of consciousness whatever particular insights will serve you most. As
Jane Roberts (Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul (A Seth Book))
When someone forces you - he unkindly borrows- he does not, can not own you- Remember your body, spirit and heart are yours and only yours, and when you start to process your sexual abuse you will get it all back.
Patti Feuereisen (Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, and Everyone Who Cares About Them)
It’s rare that I hear the author blame the real culprit: themselves. It’s hard to admit but it’s the first step toward selling more books and understanding who bears the true responsibility for selling books—the author.
W. Terry Whalin (10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed)
My life has taught me that true spiritual insight can come about only through direct experience, the way a severe burn can be attained only by putting your hand in the fire. Faith is nothing more than a watered-down attempt to accept someone else's insight as your own. Belief is the psychic equivalent of an article of secondhand clothing, worn-out and passed down. I equate true spiritual insight with wisdom, which is different from knowledge. Knowledge can be obtained through many sources: books, stories, songs, legends, myths, and, in modern times, computers and television programs. On the other hand, there's only one real source of wisdom - pain. Any experience that provides a person with wisdom will also usually provide them with a scar. The greater the pain, the greater the realization. Faith is spiritual rigor mortis.
Damien Echols (Life After Death)
Looking back over my own life I here declare without apology that it is the study of God's Word, year after year, close communion with Christ, and great books that have nourished my soul in wondrous ways. Such authors as Fenelon, Henry Drummond, F. B. Meyer, G. Campbell Morgan, Martyn Lloyd Jones, A. W. Tozer, Hannah Whitehall Smith Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray and John Stott have each, with their own special insights, enriched my life beyond measure.
W. Phillip Keller (Strength of Soul: The Sacred Use of Time)
While some dismiss the Bible as a dusty old book, I view its pages as portals to adventure. Not only is the book chock-full of clever plots and compelling stories, but it’s laced with historical insights and literary beauty. When I open the Scripture, I imagine myself exploring an ancient kingdom . . . With every encounter, I learn something new about their life journeys and am reminded that the Bible is more than a record of the human quest for God: it’s the revelation of God’s quest for us.” - Scouting the Divine
Margaret Feinberg
now that all writers everywhere are contractually obligated to blog and tweet all day long, who has time to work on a book?
Dan Savage (American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics)
My father once told me that it’s not enough for a man to be lucky; that a guy has to know when that streak is on for him.
Henry Mosquera (Sleeper's Run)
An insightful book possesses the ability to speak to you
I.R. Shankar
Books can be mirrors, too, offering a reflection of our worst selves for appraisal; lessons tucked between the pages, just waiting to be learned.
Alice Feeney (I Know Who You Are)
Hook your editor with a strong opening sentence to bring attention to your writing.
W. Terry Whalin (Book Proposals That Sell: 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success)
As a book author, it's your responsibility to cast a vision for your book about the length and appearance before you pitch the idea to a publisher.
W. Terry Whalin (Book Proposals That Sell: 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success)
Before innovation - or practical creativity - there is insight. You must see the world differently.
Max McKeown (The Innovation Book: How to Manage Ideas and Execution for Outstanding Results)
Innovation can start with wanting what does not yet exist - and finding a solution - or seeing what does not yet exist - and finding an opportunity.
Max McKeown (The Innovation Book: How to Manage Ideas and Execution for Outstanding Results)
Education will teach you ephemeral things. God will teach you wonders.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
Although some popular religious texts such as the New Testament, Quran, Bhagavad Gita, Tao Te Ching, or Tibetan Book of the Dead contain interesting insights and stories, it is the Jewish religious texts such as the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) that contain valuable information on acquiring wealth.
H.W. Charles (The Money Code: Become a Millionaire With the Ancient Jewish Code)
Even if you are not actively mourning a loved one right now, you bought my book for a reason, and I don’t think there are many accidents in our world. Maybe you were meant to read this today, come back to it another time, or earmark it for a friend. No matter what, I’ll bet it’s just what Spirit ordered.
Theresa Caputo (There's More to Life Than This: Healing Messages, Remarkable Stories, and Insight About the Other Side from the Long Island Medium)
Animal spirits often will appear during the hours between dusk and dawn; also known as the “tween times”. They will always give you something. It may be just a simple pause within the chaos of life to remind you that there is more to life than the details of living it, working it and paying for it. It may be a shred of insight or a flash of recognition that comes to you in a fleeting thought or maybe in a dream in the tween times of your own mind.
Kate McGahan (The Lizard from Rainbow Bridge: A True Tale of an Unexpected Angel (Jack McAfghan Pet Loss Trilogy Book 2))
Just try to keep your mind in the present. Whatever arises in the mind, just watch it and let go of it. Don't even wish to be rid of thoughts. Then the mind will return to its natural state. No discriminating between good and bad, hot and cold, fast and slow. No me and no you, no self at all—just what there is. When you walk there is no need to do anything special. Simply walk and see what is there. No need to cling to isolation or seclusion. Wherever you are, know yourself by being natural and watching. If doubts arise, watch them come and go. It's very simple. Hold on to nothing. It's as though you are walking down a road. Periodically you will run into obstacles. When you meet defilements, just see them and overcome them by letting them go. Don't think about the obstacles you've already passed; don't worry about those you have not yet seen. Stick to the present. Don't be concerned about the length of the road or the destination. Everything is changing. Whatever you pass, don't cling to it. Eventually the mind will reach its natural balance where practice is automatic. All things will come and go of themselves.
Ajahn Chah (A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah (Quest Book))
Let me begin with a heartfelt confession. I admit it. I am a biblioholic, one who loves books and whose life would seem incomplete without them. I am an addict, with a compulsive need to stop by nearly any bookstore I pass in order to get my fix. Books are an essential part of my life, the place where I have spent many unforgettable moments. For me, reading is one of the most enjoyable ways to pass a rainy afternoon or a leisurely summer day. I crave the knowledge and insights that truly great books bring into my life and can spend transported hours scouring used book stores for volumes which "I simply must have". I love the smell and feel of well-loved books and the look of a bookcase full of books waiting to be taken down and read.
Terry W. Glaspey (Book Lover's Guide to Great Reading: A Guided Tour of Classic & Contemporary Literature)
There was also something panicked about my desire to acquire knowledge, in sudden terrible insights I saw that actually I didn’t know anything and it was urgent, I didn’t have a second to lose. It was almost impossible to adapt this urgency to the slowness that reading required.
Karl Ove Knausgård (My Struggle: Book 5)
Love gives insight, Maggie, and insight often gives foreboding. Listen to me, let me supply you with books; do let me see you sometimes, be your brother and teacher, as you said at Lorton. It is less wrong that you should see me than that you should be committing this long suicide.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
no credible understanding of the natural world or our human existence—what I am going to call in this book a worldview—can ignore the basic insights of theories as key as evolution, relativity, and quantum mechanics.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality)
What I have learned from about twenty years of serious reading is this: It is sentences that change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. I do not remember 99% of what I read, but if the 1% of each book or article I do remember is a life-changing insight, then I don't begrudge the 99%. From "Quantitative Hopelessness and the Immeasurable Moment
John Piper
There's a part of a book that never lies. A writer puts his soul into a book. Every word is two sides of a coin - one side is the lie, the story, the other is the truth, the insight. You can judge someone by the story they tell.
Sam Mills
The more we have known of the really good things, the more insipid the thin lemonade of later literature becomes, sometimes almost to the point of making us sick. Do you know a work of literature written in the last, say, fifteen years that you think has any lasting quality? I don't. It is partly idle chatter, partly propaganda, partly self-pitying sentimentality, but there is no insight, no ideas, no clarity, no substance and almost always the language is bad and constrained. On this subject I am quite consciously a laudator temporis acti.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison)
Stories are not mere flights of fantasy or instruments of political power and control. They link us to our past, provide us with critical insight into the present and enable us to envision our lives not just as they are but as they should be or might become. Imaginative knowledge is not something you have today and discard tomorrow. It is a way of perceiving the world and relating to it.
Azar Nafisi (The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books)
I enjoyed the book on Lincoln as I felt that it moved quickly with a new insight to how and why Lincoln was assassinated. Yet the Kennedy book is basically written by a Catholic who pretends that Kennedy was very uncatholic. Please...Catholic priests in recent years have been revealed to have done MUCH worse than Kennedy when it came to sexual behavior. Hiding behind the "who would dare cheat on Jackie?" idea is just beyond the gossiping about the Kardashians. However, sequels have a tendency to be let downs. There are only four main characters in the real-life Kennedy assassination story...JFK, Oswald, Ruby, and LBJ. After that, its just the usual gossip about Marilyn Monroe, Jackie, Bobby, Hoover, the Mafia, Castro, etc. 한국떨구하는곳,텔/위AirKush,아이스구매방법,아이스구입,아이스정품구입,아이스정품판매,작대기구매,작대기구입방법,작대기정품판매,작대기판매,정품아이스구매,정품아이스구입 I enjoyed the book on Lincoln as I felt that it moved quickly with a new insight to how and why Lincoln was assassinated. Yet the Kennedy book is basically written by a Catholic who pretends that Kennedy was very uncatholic. Please...Catholic priests in recent years have been revealed to have done MUCH worse than Kennedy when it came to sexual behavior. Hiding behind the "who would dare cheat on Jackie?" idea is just beyond the gossiping about the Kardashians. However, sequels have a tendency to be let downs. There are only four main characters in the real-life Kennedy assassination story...JFK, Oswald, Ruby, and LBJ. After that, its just the usual gossip about Marilyn Monroe, Jackie, Bobby, Hoover, the Mafia, Castro, etc.
한국떨구하는곳,텔/위AirKush,I enjoyed the book on Lincoln as I felt that it moved quickly
People of civilized countenance made much of exposing the soft underbellies of their psyche - effete and sensitive were the brands of finer breeding. It was easy for them, safe, and that was the whole point, after all: a statement of coddled opulence that burned the throats of the poor more than any ostentatious show of wealth.
Steven Erikson (Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2))
God doesn’t promise us escape from suffering or pain. Rather, He promises to miraculously use even bad situations for your ultimate good.
Jim George (One-Minute Insights for Men)
From my 25+ years in publishing, I’ve observed that selling books does not occur without the author taking action.
W. Terry Whalin (10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed)
You have the greatest passion for your book so you need to show that passion and create an email list and different ways to connect with your readers.
W. Terry Whalin (10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed)
Life is your teacher. How can you learn to understand your truth, if you deny your reality?
Lorraine Nilon (Your Insight and Awareness Book: Your life is an expedition to discover the truth of yourself)
Turn the TV off and read an inspiring book, it will make a difference behind the camera.
Robert Rodriguez Jr. (Insights From Beyond the Lens: Inside the Art & Craft of Landscape Photography)
Benjamin Franklin had a thirteen-week plan for moral perfection in which he practiced one virtue every week so as to turn it into a habit.
4 Hour Must Reads (The Tim Ferriss Book Club Bundle #1 - Practical, Real World Insights from Vagabonding, Daily Rituals, The Art of Learning, The Obstacle is the Way and Letters From a Stoic)
In a world of dwindling light, you're a bonfire in the night.
Thomas Welsh (Anna Undreaming (The Metiks Fade Trilogy Book 1))
The ocean of knowledge is profound and the deeper you dive, the more insight you will gain from it.
Shivanshu K. Srivastava
Immanuel Kant’s “categorical imperative” says that individual actions are to be judged according to whether we would be pleased if everyone in society took the same action.
Tom Butler-Bowdon (50 Philosophy Classics: Thinking, Being, Acting, Seeing: Profound Insights and Powerful Thinking from Fifty Key Books (50 Classics))
Any similarity between existing people and certain characters in this book is due solely to insight into human nature.
Dimitri Verhulst (De helaasheid der dingen)
It goes without saying that even those of us who are going to hell will get eternal life—if that territory really exists outside religious books and the minds of believers, that is. Having said that, given the choice, instead of being grilled until hell freezes over, the average sane human being would, needless to say, rather spend forever idling in an extremely fertile garden, next to a lamb or a chicken or a parrot, which they do not secretly want to eat, and a lion or a tiger or a crocodile, which does not secretly want to eat them.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (The Use and Misuse of Children)
Hair is intuition. Hair is the abundance of perceptions, insights, thoughts, resentments, images, fantasies waiting and ready to come out whenever we are thinking of something else.
Robert Bly (Iron John: A Book about Men)
Try to get inside the world of Homer and see what it would be like to think with his view of reality. Only then can you begin to judge it, because only then do you really understand it.
John Mark Reynolds (The Great Books Reader: Excerpts and Essays on the Most Influential Books in Western Civilization)
For thirty years now I have been studying my fellow-men. I do not know very much about them. I should certainly hesitate to engage a servant on his face, and yet I suppose it is on the face that for the most part we judge the persons we meet. We draw our conclusions from the shape of the jaw, the look in the eyes, the contour of the mouth. I wonder if we are more often right than wrong. Why novels and plays are so often untrue to life is because their authors, perhaps of necessity, make their characters all of a piece. They cannot afford to make them self-contradictory, for then they become incomprehensible, and yet self-contradictory is what most of us are. We are a haphazard bundle of inconsistent qualities. In books on logic they will tell you that it is absurd to say that yellow is tubular or gratitude heavier than air; but in that mixture of incongruities that makes up the self yellow may very well be a horse and cart and gratitude the middle of the week. I shrug my shoulders when people tell me that their first impressions of a person are always right. I think they must have small insight or great vanity. For my own part I find that the longer I know people the more they puzzled me: my oldest friends are just these of whom I can say that I don't know the first thing about them.
W. Somerset Maugham
I could not have written this book the way I wanted to without the insight of one such friend, Brent Dempsey. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being so generous with your time and for helping me get it right. I solemnly swear to never again use the words stakeout or perp.
Julie James (The Thing About Love)
The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen is encapsulated by these four points: ▪ When one past thought has ceased and a future thought has not yet risen, in that gap, in between, isn’t there a consciousness of the present moment; fresh, virgin, unaltered by even a hair’s breadth of a concept, a luminous, naked awareness? Well, that is what Rigpa is! ▪ Yet it doesn’t stay in that state forever, because another thought suddenly arises, doesn’t it? This is the self-radiance of that Rigpa. ▪ However, if you do not recognize this thought for what it really is, the very instant it arises, then it will turn into just another ordinary thought, as before. This is called the “chain of delusion,” and is the root of samsara. ▪ If you are able to recognize the true nature of the thought as soon as it arises, and leave it alone without any follow-up, then whatever thoughts arise all automatically dissolve back into the vast expanse of Rigpa and are liberated. Clearly this takes a lifetime of practice to understand and realize the full richness and majesty of these four profound yet simple points, and here I can only give you a taste of the vastness of what is meditation in Dzogchen. … Dzogchen meditation is subtly powerful in dealing with the arisings of the mind, and has a unique perspective on them. All the risings are seen in their true nature, not as separate from Rigpa, and not as antagonistic to it, but actually as none other–and this is very important–than its “self-radiance,” the manifestation of its very energy. Say you find yourself in a deep state of stillness; often it does not last very long and a thought or a movement always arises, like a wave in the ocean.  Don’t reject the movement or particulary embrace the stillness, but continue the flow of your pure presence. The pervasive, peaceful state of your meditation is the Rigpa itself, and all risings are none other than this Rigpa’s self-radiance. This is the heart and the basis of Dzogchen practice. One way to imagine this is as if you were riding on the sun’s rays back to the sun: …. Of couse there are rough as well as gentle waves in the ocean; strong emotions come, like anger, desire, jealousy. The real practitioner recognizes them not as a disturbance or obstacle, but as a great opportunity. The fact that you react to arisings such as these with habitual tendencies of attachment and aversion is a sign not only that you are distracted, but also that you do not have the recognition and have lost the ground of Rigpa. To react to emotions in this way empowers them and binds us even tighter in the chains of delusion. The great secret of Dzogchen is to see right through them as soon as they arise, to what they really are: the vivid and electric manifestation of the energy of Rigpa itself. As you gradually learn to do this, even the most turbulent emotions fail to seize hold of you and dissolve, as wild waves rise and rear and sink back into the calm of the ocean. The practitioner discovers–and this is a revolutionary insight, whose subtlety and power cannot be overestimated–that not only do violent emotions not necessarily sweep you away and drag you back into the whirlpools of your own neuroses, they can actually be used to deepen, embolden, invigorate, and strengthen the Rigpa. The tempestuous energy becomes raw food of the awakened energy of Rigpa. The stronger and more flaming the emotion, the more Rigpa is strengthened.
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
I have been blessed by those I cannot see, but whose presence I feel. I know that I am not alone and hope that you, too, will find that, even in the most difficult situations, you are fully supported by the universe. All that is required is that you ask for help. It is there waiting for you.
Susan Barbara Apollon (Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two (Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope))
We all shuffle our own deck in life ... The deck is our brain, the cards are our thoughts, the results we get will determine if we are giving ourselves a fair deal. Do you have an authentic dealer?
Michael Levy (The Joys of Live Alchemy)
What is hope? Like love, it is hard to define, but easy to recognize, a state of being that compels us to go on. It is a feeling that we have what we need to continue our journey to the next moment.
Susan Barbara Apollon (Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two (Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope))
At the time I was being molested, I thought I was the only one. My father controlled everything in our house and he always said that what was happening to me was natural and that I should accommodate him. Even though I have to look back sometimes, I am moving forward. And even though it's painful for me to face my mother's complacency, doing so has helped me understand that it wasn't my fault. If I could have read something at the time about sex abuse, if people had talked openly about, I could have been saved so many years of guilt and shame and secrecy. Each time I talk about my incest, I get rid of some of that shame and guilt. Each person I share with, no matter what their response, takes another piece of the pain away.
Patti Feuereisen (Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, and Everyone Who Cares About Them)
Think Big” by Dr. Ben Carson T Talents/time: Recognize them as gifts H Hope for good things and be honest I Insight from people and good books N Nice: Be kind to all people K Knowledge: Recognize it as they key to living B Books: Read them actively I In-depth learning skills: Develop them G God: Never get too big for Him
Ben Carson
Sell through multiple channels. Readers like plenty of choice when they go to purchase their books. Your book should be available in a variety of formats such as every type of Ebook paperback, hardcover and audiobook.
W. Terry Whalin (10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed)
Perhaps you are beginning to see how essential a part of reading it is to be perplexed and know it. Wonder is the beginning of wisdom in learning from books as well as from nature. If you never ask yourself any questions about the meaning of a passage, you cannot expect the book to give you any insight you do not already possess.
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book)
Dark-Side Insight #1: If you are an ethical, rational actor in the game of business (or in life)… … then you’re operating with 2 strikes already against you. Unless you are fully aware of how your fellow actors are behaving.
John Carlton (Simple Success Secrets No One Told You About (The Business Pro's Essential Toolkit Book 1))
The morality of the church is anachronistic. Will it ever develop a moral insight and courage sufficient to cope with the real problems of modern society? If it does it will require generations of effort and not a few martyrdoms. We ministers maintain our pride and self-respect and our sense of importance only through a vast and inclusive ignorance. If we knew the world in which we live a little better we would perish in shame or be overcome by a sense of futility.
Reinhold Niebuhr (Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic: A Library of America eBook Classic)
Live in the world without any idea of what is going to happen. Whether you are going to be a winner or a loser, it doesn’t matter. Death takes everything away. Whether you lose or win is immaterial. The only thing that matters, and it has always been so, is how you played the game. Did you enjoy it?—the game itself? Then each moment is a moment of joy. ALSO BY OSHO INSIGHTS FOR A NEW WAY OF LIVING SERIES Awareness: The Key to Living in Balance Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously Creativity: Unleashing the Forces Within Intimacy: Trusting Oneself and the Other Intuition: Knowing Beyond Logic Maturity: The Responsibility of Being Oneself OTHER BOOKS Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic The Book of Secrets India My Love: A Spiritual Journey Love, Freedom, and Aloneness Meditation: The First and Last Freedom
Osho (Joy: The Happiness That Comes from Within)
Lying there, I thought of my own culture, of the assembly of books in the library at Alexandria; of the deliberations of Darwin and Mendel in their respective gardens; of the architectural conception of the cathedral at Chartres; of Bach's cello suites, the philosophy of Schweitzer, the insights of Planck and Dirac. Have we come all this way, I wondered, only to be dismantled by our own technologies, to be betrayed by political connivance or the impersonal avarice of a corporation?
Barry Lopez (Arctic Dreams)
He had also been demonstrative and intelligent from the very beginning, his questions startlingly insightful. She would watch him absorb a new idea and wonder what effect it would have on him, because, with Edgar, EVERYTHING came out, eventually, somehow. But the PROCESS – how he put together a story about the world’s workings – that was mysterious beyond all ken. In a way, she thought, it was the only disappointing thing about having a child. She’d imagined he would stay transparent to her, more PART of her, for so much longer. But despite the proximity of the daily work, Edgar had ceased long before to be an open book. A friend, yes. A son she loved, yes. But when it came to knowing his thoughts, Edgar could be opaque as a rock.
David Wroblewski (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle)
Being a Pilgrim To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim. We all start out as pilgrims, wanting to journey and hoping to be transformed by the journey. But, just as it is impossible when listening to an orchestra to hear the whole of the symphony for very long before we are drawn to hear only the piano or the violin, in just this way, our attention to life slips and we experience people and places without being affected by their wholeness. And sometimes, feeling isolated and unsure, we change or hide what lives within in order to please or avoid others. The value of this insight is not to use it to judge or berate ourselves, but to help one another see that integrity is an unending process of letting our inner experience and our outer experience complete each other, in spite of our very human lapses. I understand these things so well, because I violate them so often. Yet I, as you, consider myself a pilgrim of the deepest kind, journeying beyond any one creed or tradition, into the compelling, recurring space in which we know the moment and are changed by it. Mysteriously, as elusive as it is, this moment—where the eye is what it sees, where the heart is what it feels—this moment shows us that what is real is sacred.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
Modernist literature with all its vast apparatus was an instrument, a form of perception, and once absorbed, the insights it brought could be rejected without its essence being lost, even the form endured, and it could be applied to your own life, your own fascinations, which could then suddenly appear in a new and significant light. Espen took that path, and I followed him like a brainless puppy, it was true, but I did follow him. I leafed through Adorno, read some passages of Benjamin, sat bowed over Blanchot for a few days, had a look at Derrida and Foucault, had a go at Kristeva, Lacan, Deleuze, while poems by Ekelöf, Björling, Pound, Mallarmé, Rilke, Trakl, Ashbery, Mandelstam, Lunden, Thomsen, and Hauge floated around, on which I spent more than a few minutes, I read them as prose, like a book by MacLean or Bagley, and learned nothing, understood nothing, but just having contact with them, having their books in the bookcase, led to a shifting of consciousness, just knowing they existed was an enrichment, and if they didn't furnish me with insights I became all the richer for intuitions and feelings.
Karl Ove Knausgård (Min kamp 1 (Min kamp #1))
The classics constitute an almost infallible process for awakening the soul to its full stature. In coming to know a classic, one has made a friend for life. It can be recalled to the mind and 'read' all over again in the imagination. And actually perusing the text anew provides a joy that increases with time. These marvelous works stand many rereadings without losing their force. In fact, they almost demand rereading, as a Beethoven symphony demands replaying. We never say of a music masterpiece, 'Oh I've heard that!' Instead, we hunger to hear it again to take in once more, with new feeling and insight, its long-familiar strains.
Louise Cowan (Invitation to the Classics: A Guide to Books You've Always Wanted to Read)
Kitabu cha KOLONIA SANTITA kinaweza kusomwa na watu wenye umri wa kuanzia miaka 13 na kuendelea. Katika umri wa miaka 13 fikra za mtoto huanza kuwa na maono na utambuzi wa vitu mbalimbali. Watoto katika umri huu wanao uwezo wa kuchambua dhana kadha wa kadha za kinadharia, na hali kadhalika wanao uwezo wa kuchambua nadharia tata zisizokuwa na uhakika, kama nadharia ya KOLONIA SANTITA.
Enock Maregesi
With books you learn things, random things, whatever the author might be talking to you about, and you sort of soak them up like a sponge over the years. They are stored away in some dim recess of the unconscious mind until one day some equally random stimulus sparks a connection, and you find that you've combined different items of memory and perception into a completely new insight.
Guy Fraser-Sampson
Loss pushes us to difficult places where we have not been before. We often question whether or not we have the courage and stamina to survive the pain. However, we often are given gifts that tell us that we are not alone and that we can withstand the journey.
Susan Barbara Apollon (Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two (Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope))
...the progress of science depends much less upon either theoretical considerations or systematic investigation than is commonly believed, but rather on the transmittal of reliable information, gained by chance or insight, from one set of men to their successors.
Gene Wolfe (The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun, #3))
I do not write every day. I write to the questions and issues before me. I write to deadlines. I write out of my passions. And I write to make peace with my own contradictory nature. For me, writing is a spiritual practice. A small bowl of water sits on my desk, a reminder that even if nothing is happening on the page, something is happening in the room--evaporation. And I always light a candle when I begin to write, a reminder that I have now entered another realm, call it the realm of the Spirit. I am mindful that when one writes, one leaves this world and enters another. My books are collages made from journals, research, and personal experience. I love the images rendered in journal entries, the immediacy that is captured on the page, the handwritten notes. I love the depth of ideas and perspective that research brings to a story, be it biological or anthropological studies or the insights brought to the page by the scholarly work of art historians. When I go into a library, I feel like I am a sleuth looking to solve a mystery. I am completely inspired by the pursuit of knowledge through various references. I read newpapers voraciously. I love what newspapers say about contemporary culture. And then you go back to your own perceptions, your own words, and weigh them against all you have brought together. I am interested in the kaleidoscope of ideas, how you bring many strands of thought into a book and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric, while at the same time trying to create beautiful language in the service of the story. This is the blood work of the writer. Writing is also about a life engaged. And so, for me, community work, working in the schools or with grassroots conservation organizations is another critical component of my life as a writer. I cannot separate the writing life from a spiritual life, from a life as a teacher or activist or my life intertwined with family and the responsibilities we carry within our own homes. Writing is daring to feel what nurtures and breaks our hearts. Bearing witness is its own form of advocacy. It is a dance with pain and beauty.
Terry Tempest Williams
Too, if you’re a true contemplative, your life and words will overflow with spiritual wisdom, compassion, and fruitful insight, because you’re sure to measure out what you say carefully and calmly, eschewing lies and speaking without the shrill pretense of hypocrites.
Anonymous (The Cloud of Unknowing: With the Book of Privy Counsel)
Listen with Ease Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? Then you hear everything, don’t you? You hear the far off noises as well as those that are nearer and those that are very close by, the immediate sounds—which means really that you are listening to everything. Your mind is not confined to one narrow little channel. If you can listen in this way, listen with ease, without strain, you will find an extraordinary change taking place within you, a change that comes without your volition, without your asking; and in that change there is great beauty and depth of insight.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti)
School is different. Pupils are usually not encouraged to follow their own learning paths, question and discuss everything the teacher is teaching and move on to another topic if something does not promise to generate interesting insight. The teacher is there for the pupils to learn. But, as Wilhelm von Humboldt, founder of the Humboldt University of Berlin and brother to the great explorer Alexander von Humboldt, put it, the professor is not there for the student and the student not for the professor. Both are only there for the truth. And truth is always a public matter.
Sönke Ahrens (How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers)
Skippy, you're the smartest being in the galaxy, right?" "Yup, as far as both of us know." "Great, because I do not understand women. Human women. Can you give me some insight? Help a brother out?" Skippy sighed. Or imitated a sigh, it was convincing. "Joe, I have studied all the literature about human female psychology, read all the books written by and for women, downloaded every blog, every Instagram or Pinterest post, watched every program on the Lifetime channel, listened in on conversations between women, and have chatted online with billions of your females. With all of my processing power, over the equivalent of millions of years of analysis, I have come to one simple conclusion about human females." "And what's that?" I asked eagerly. "Bitches be crazy.
Craig Alanson (Paradise (Expeditionary Force, #3))
To walk attentively through a forest, even a damaged one, is to be caught by the abundance of life: ancient and new; underfoot and reaching into the light. But how does one tell the life of the forest? We might begin by looking for drama and adventure beyond the activities of humans. Yet we are not used to reading stories without human heroes. This is the puzzle that informs this section of the book. Can I show landscape as the protagonist of an adventure in which humans are only one kind of participant? Over the past few decades many kinds of scholars have shown that allowing only human protagonists into our stories is not just ordinary human bias. It is a cultural agenda tied to dreams of progress through modernization. There are other ways of making worlds. Anthropologists have become interested, for example, in how substance hunters recognize other living beings as persons, that is protagonists of stories. Indeed, how could it be otherwise? Yet expectations of progress block this insight. Talking animals are for children and primitives. Their voices silent, we imagine wellbeing without them. We trample over them for our advancement. We forget that collaborative survival requires cross-species coordinations. To enlarge what is possible we need other kinds of stories, including adventures of landscapes.
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing (The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins)
The divine is in the present and you must be present to experience it. When you vacate the present and recede into your mind, allowing worries or work to remove you from the moment, you leave the plain upon which the divine dwells. When you are constantly under the anesthetic of digital distraction, you withdraw; you are no longer conscious, and therefore are in no fit state to commune with the sacred. If you wish to hear the answers you seek, you must be present to hear them. If you wish to partake in the insights there to be known, you must be present to receive them. If you wish to know the divine, you must be present to meet it. …you must be present.
L.M. Browning (Seasons of Contemplation: A Book of Midnight Meditations)
they determine you without you understanding their language.53 One would like to learn this language, but who can teach and learn it? Scholarliness alone is not enough; there is a knowledge of the heart that gives deeper insight.54 The knowledge of the heart is in no book and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher, but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth. Scholarliness belongs to the spirit of this time, but this spirit in no way grasps the dream, since the soul is everywhere that scholarly knowledge is not. But how can I attain the knowledge of the heart? You can attain this knowledge only by living your life to the full. You live your life fully if you also live what you have never yet lived, but have left for others to live or to think.55 You will say: “But I cannot live or think everything that others live or think.” But you should say: “The life that I could still live, I should live, and the thoughts that I could still think, I should think.” It appears as
C.G. Jung (The Red Book: A Reader's Edition: A Reader's Edition)
My friend J. Warner Wallace is one of the most thoughtful and winsome apologists for the gospel I know. Cold-Case Christianity is literally packed with insights to share with the skeptics in your life, and this book will give you the confidence to share it!” Dr. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church
J. Warner Wallace (Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels)
Anybody whose calling is to guide souls should have his own soul guided first, so that he knows what it means to deal with the human soul. Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people. It would not help you very much to study books only, though it is indispensible too. But it would help you most to have a personal insight into the secrets of the human soul. Otherwise everything remains a clever intellectual trick, consisting of empty words and leading to empty talk.
C.G. Jung
We all need hope. As souls, we journey in physical bodies, traversing a life that is dually lived. We experience safety through attachment to the physical world, but we also are comforted and cared for by a trust in the non-physical, spiritual part of our reality. Two different roads, available for us and from which we choose, moment by moment.
Susan Barbara Apollon (Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two (Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope))
Daisy loved to read, having fueled her imagination with so many books that, were they laid end to end, would probably extend from one side of England to the other. She was charming, whimsical, fun-loving, but- and here was the odd thing about Daisy- she was also a solidly rational person, coming up with insights that were nearly always correct.
Lisa Kleypas (A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5))
I think reading a good book makes one modest. When you see the marvelous insight into human nature which a truly great book shows, it is bound to make you feel small—like looking at the Dipper on a clear night, or seeing the winter sunrise when you go out to collect the morning eggs. And anything that makes you feel small is mighty good for you.
Christopher Morley (Parnassus on Wheels)
Scripture is about suffering. It has given comfort to millions. It has spawned hundreds of wonderful books that highlight God’s gentle care and Scripture’s probing insights. You can be assured of this: God really does speak in our suffering, and we have good reason to believe that the words he says are good and powerful enough to lighten our pain.
Edward T. Welch (Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness)
If it is true that there are books written to escape from the present moment, and its meanness and its sordidity, it is certainly true that readers are familiar with a corresponding mood. To draw the blinds and shut the door, to muffle the noises of the street and shade the glare and flicker of its lights—that is our desire. There is then a charm even in the look of the great volumes that have sunk, like the “Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia”, as if by their own weight down to the very bottom of the shelf. We like to feel that the present is not all; that other hands have been before us, smoothing the leather until the corners are rounded and blunt, turning the pages until they are yellow and dog’s-eared. We like to summon before us the ghosts of those old readers who have read their Arcadia from this very copy—Richard Porter, reading with the splendours of the Elizabethans in his eyes; Lucy Baxter, reading in the licentious days of the Restoration; Thos. Hake, still reading, though now the eighteenth century has dawned with a distinction that shows itself in the upright elegance of his signature. Each has read differently, with the insight and the blindness of his own generation. Our reading will be equally partial. In 1930 we shall miss a great deal that was obvious to 1655; we shall see some things that the eighteenth century ignored. But let us keep up the long succession of readers; let us in our turn bring the insight and the blindness of our own generation to bear upon the “Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia”, and so pass it on to our successors.
Virginia Woolf
Sunniva Dee, my author bestie, you truly are an amazing friend. Thank you for all your insight for my first adventure into the world of erotic romance, and also for demanding I drop every other book I was working on to focus on this one first. I’m not sure Jensen would have ever gotten the chance to tell his story if you weren’t so pushy! And I love you for it!
Cheryl McIntyre (Hard)
Having DID is, for many people, a very lonely thing. If this book reaches some people whose experiences resonate with mine and gives them a sense that they aren't alone, that there is hope, then I will have achieved one of my goals. A sad fact is that people with DID spend an average of almost seven years in the mental health system before being properly diagnosed and receiving the specific help they need. During that repeatedly misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated, simply because clinicians fail to recognize the symptoms. If this book provides practicing and future clinicians certain insight into DID, then I will have accomplished another goal. Clinicians, and all others whose lives are touched by DID, need to grasp the fundamentally illusive nature of memory, because memory, or the lack of it, is an integral component of this condition. Our minds are stock pots which are continuously fed ingredients from many cooks: parents, siblings, relatives, neighbors, teachers, schoolmates, strangers, acquaintances, radio, television, movies, and books. These are the fixings of learning and memory, which are stirred with a spoon that changes form over time as it is shaped by our experiences. In this incredibly amorphous neurological stew, it is impossible for all memories to be exact. But even as we accept the complex of impressionistic nature of memory, it is equally essential to recognize that people who experience persistent and intrusive memories that disrupt their sense of well-being and ability to function, have some real basis distress, regardless of the degree of clarity or feasibility of their recollections. We must understand that those who experience abuse as children, and particularly those who experience incest, almost invariably suffer from a profound sense of guilt and shame that is not meliorated merely by unearthing memories or focusing on the content of traumatic material. It is not enough to just remember. Nor is achieving a sense of wholeness and peace necessarily accomplished by either placing blame on others or by forgiving those we perceive as having wronged us. It is achieved through understanding, acceptance, and reinvention of the self.
Cameron West (First Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple)
Even if the writer himself was a good person, and even if his book really was insightful, all books were ultimately marketed as status symbols, and all writers participated to some degree in this marketing. Presumably this was how the industry made money. Literature, in the way it appeared at these public readings, had no potential as a form of resistance to anything.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
Book buying studies have proven a reader has to hear about your book multiple times before they reach into their wallet and purchase a book. The number of exposures to your book is somewhere between six and twelve times before you collect a sale. A key part of your platform building process as an author is to give readers multiple exposures to your book and the availability.
W. Terry Whalin (10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed)
In his book The Captive Mind, written in 1951-2 and published in the West in 1953, the Polish poet and essayist Czeslaw Milosz paid Orwell one of the greatest compliments that one writer has ever bestowed upon another. Milosz had seen the Stalinisation of Eastern Europe from the inside, as a cultural official. He wrote, of his fellow-sufferers: A few have become acquainted with Orwell’s 1984; because it is both difficult to obtain and dangerous to possess, it is known only to certain members of the Inner Party. Orwell fascinates them through his insight into details they know well, and through his use of Swiftian satire. Such a form of writing is forbidden by the New Faith because allegory, by nature manifold in meaning, would trespass beyond the prescriptions of socialist realism and the demands of the censor. Even those who know Orwell only by hearsay are amazed that a writer who never lived in Russia should have so keen a perception into its life. Only one or two years after Orwell’s death, in other words, his book about a secret book circulated only within the Inner Party was itself a secret book circulated only within the Inner Party.
Christopher Hitchens
There is a joy...in creating surprising insight into a character. The characters in my books become, for me, good friends, extended family members, or the brothers and sisters I never had. Books affect lives, especially children's lives, because children have a genuine belief in the truth of stories, the ultimate gift for the writer. It's a shared gift—from writer to reader and back again.
Patricia MacLachlan
My most important goal as a romance writer is to satisfy readers by creating memorable characters, offering insights on life, and, most of all, touching hearts. I derive the greatest satisfaction when I hear from readers who have been genuinely moved by my books and/or who identify with the characters or situation. I also confess to reveling in the feeling I get when I type "The End" on a manuscript.
Laura Abbot
When healing gifts are exercised, the faith of both the one healed and the one healing is built up and becomes stronger. Faith not only in God, but faith in one’s ability to do the works Jesus did, as He said we would. Many who might otherwise move powerfully in the gifts of the Spirit are not lacking faith in God to want to do them, but in themselves and their own ability to be instrumental in ministering the gifts.
Praying Medic (Divine Healing Made Simple: Simplifying the supernatural to make healing & miracles a part of your everyday life (The Kingdom of God Made Simple Book 1))
Very many people spend money in ways quite different from those that their natural tastes would enjoin, merely because the respect of their neighbors depends upon their possession of a good car and their ability to give good dinners. As a matter of fact, any man who can obviously afford a car but genuinely prefers travels or a good library will in the end be much more respected than if he behaved exactly like everyone else.
Seneca (The Tim Ferriss Book Club Bundle #1 - Practical, Real World Insights from Vagabonding, Daily Rituals, The Art of Learning, The Obstacle is the Way and Letters From a Stoic)
As explained by Thomas and Mary Edsall in their insightful book Chain Reaction, a disproportionate share of the costs of integration and racial equality had been borne by lower- and lower-middle-class whites, who were suddenly forced to compete on equal terms with blacks for jobs and status and who lived in neighborhoods adjoining black ghettos. Their children—not the children of wealthy whites—attended schools most likely to fall under busing orders. The affluent white liberals who were pressing the legal claims of blacks and other minorities “were often sheltered, in their private lives, and largely immune to the costs of implementing minority claims.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
Oh, I don't know. Is it that we collectively thought Steve Jobs was a great man, even when we knew he made billions off the backs of children? Or maybe it's that it feels like all our heroes are counterfeit? The world itself's just one big hoax. Spamming each other with our running commentary of bulls**t, masquerading as insight, our social media faking as intimacy. Or is it that we voted for this? Not with our rigged elections, but with our things, our property, our money. I'm not saying anything new. We all know why we do this, not because Hunger Games books makes us happy, but because we wanna be sedated. Because it's painful not to pretend, because we're cowards.
Sam Esmail
Mr. Stegall has birthed a very important book that will help us as a people go to the next level. This book is very important because it's tackling issues that many brush under the rug. Mr. Stegall has proven that he's been given a message that the world should hear and this book is proof of that. Because of his insight and wisdom, this book will reach areas and points that other books around this topic have not. This is definitely a book we need!
Tony A. Gaskins Jr.
Two months in Shanghai, and what does she have to show for herself? She had been full of plans on the plane ride over, had studied her phrase book as if cramming for an exam, had been determined to refine her computational model with a new set of data, expecting insights and breakthroughs, plotting notes for a new article. Only the time has trickled away so quickly. She has meandered through the days chatting with James instead of gathering data. At night, she has gone out to dinners and bars. [James'] Chinese has not improved; her computational model has barely been touched. She does not know what she has been doing with herself, and now an airplane six days away is waiting for her.
Ruiyan Xu (The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai)
Prolific libraries take on an independent existence, and become living things...We may have chosen its themes, and the general pathways along which it will develop, but we can only stand and watch as it invades all the walls of the room, climbs to the ceiling, annexes the other rooms one by one, expelling anything that gets in the way. It eliminates pictures hanging on the walls, or ornaments that obstruct its advance; it moves on with its necessary but cumbersome acolytes -- stools and ladders -- and forces its owner into constant reorganization since its progress is not linear and calls for ever new kinds of diviion. At the same time, it is undeniably the reflection, the twin image of its master. To anyone with the insight to decode it, the fundamental character of the librarian will emerge as one's eye travels along the bookshelves. indeed no library of any size is like another, none has the same personality. (pp. 30-31)
Jacques Bonnet (Phantoms on the Bookshelves)
Let us then understand at once that change or variety is as much a necessity to the human heart and brain in buildings as in books; that there is no merit, though there is some occasional use, in monotony; and that we must no more expect to derive either pleasure or profit from an architecture whose ornaments are of one pattern, and whose pillars are of one proportion, than we should of a universe in which the clouds were all of one shape, and the trees all of one shape.
John Ruskin (The Nature Of Gothic)
It is undeniably the case that in our society we do not easily accept that death is a natural part of life, which results in a perpetual sense of insecurity and fear, and many are confused at the time of the death of a loved one, not knowing what they can do to help the one that has passed away or how to address their own grief. Exploring ways of overcoming our fear of death and adopting a creative approach at the time of bereavement, that is, focusing one’s energy on supporting the one that has passed away, are both extraordinary benefits of the insights and practices that are so beautifully expressed in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. When I think of these things I often remember the Dalai Lama saying: ‘When we look at life and death from a broader perspective, then dying is just like changing our clothes! When this body becomes old and useless, we die and take on a new body, which is fresh, healthy and full of energy! This need not be so bad!’ Graham Coleman Thimpu, Bhutan
Graham Coleman (The Tibetan Book of the Dead)
When you are uncomfortable with the tasks you are ignoring in favor of the urgency of the moment, guilt, mental angst, and frustration build up.   To solve this, you need to make a conscious choice between the preplanned and the seemingly urgent at the moment.   Then, renegotiate any timeline agreements with yourself.     This simple and conscious mental alignment combined with the elevated perspective of the weekly review is enough to regain control and relax your mind in the face of daily surprises.
2 Minute Insight (Cheat Sheet: Master Getting Things Done...In 2 Minutes - The Practical Summary of David Allen's Best Selling Book)
If you have a million fans and no talent, you’re still not a success. a million students and no lesson, you’re still not a teacher. a million sermons and no compassion, you’re still not a priest. a million children and no affection, you’re still not a father. a million anniversaries and no devotion, you’re still not a husband. If you have a million sheep and no courage, you’re still not a shepherd. a million seeds and no harvest, you’re still not a farmer. a million titles and no integrity, you’re still not a champion. a million thoughts and no insights, you’re still not a philosopher. a million predictions and no prophecy, you’re still not a prophet. If you have a million soldiers and no unity, you’re still not an army. a million monks and no camaraderie, you’re still not a monastery. a million cities and no borders, you’re still not a country. a million musicians and no harmony, you’re still not an orchestra. a million armies and no strategy, you’re still not a general. If you have a million titles, and no influence, you’re still not a leader; a million ideas and no creations, you’re still not an artist. a million theories, and no facts, you’re still not a scholar; a million books, and no wisdom, you’re still not a sage; a million virtues, and no love, you’re still not a saint.
Matshona Dhliwayo
The whole course of things being thus entirely changed between us and the ancients, and the moderns wisely sensible of it, we of this age have discovered a shorter, and more prudent method, to become scholars and wits, without the fatigue of reading or of thinking. The most accomplished way of using books at present is two-fold: either first, to serve them as some men do lords, learn their titles exactly, and then brag of their acquaintance. Or secondly, which is indeed the choicer, the profounder, and politer method, to get a thorough insight into the index, by which the whole book is governed and turned, like fishes by the tail. For, to enter the palace of learning at the great gate, requires an expense of time and forms; therefore men of much haste and little ceremony are content to get in by the back door.
Jonathan Swift (A Tale of a Tub and Other Satires)
Dogs are mute and obedient, but they have watched us and know us and can smell how pitiful we are. It should astonish us, move us, overwhelm us that our dogs continue, incredibly, to follow us and obey us. Maybe they despise us. Maybe they forgive us. Or maybe they like having no responsibility. We’ll never know. Maybe they see us as some sort of unfortunate race of overgrown, misshapen beings, like huge sluggish beetles. Not gods. Dogs must have seen through us, they must possess a crushing insight that thousands of years of obedience holds in check.
Tove Jansson (The True Deceiver (New York Review Books))
Until I moved to Stockhold I had felt there was a continuity to my life, as if it stretched unbroken from childhood up to the present, held together by new connections, in a complex and ingenious pattern in which every phenomenon I saw was capable of evoking a memory which unleashed small landslides of feeling in me, some with a known source, others without. The people I encountered came from towns I had been to, they knew other people I had met, it was a network, and it was a tight mesh. But when I moved to Stockholm this flaring up of memories became rarer and rarer, and one day it ceased altogether. That is, I could still remember; what happened was that the memories no longer stirred anything in me. No longing, no wish to return, nothing. Just the memory, and a barely perceptible hint of an aversion to anything that was connected with it.
Karl Ove Knausgård (My Struggle: Book One)
As soon as Bohm began to reflect on the hologram he saw that it too provided a new way of understanding order. Like the ink drop in its dispersed state, the interference patterns recorded on a piece of holographic film also appear disordered to the naked eye. Both possess orders that are hidden or enfolded in much the same way that the order in a plasma is enfolded in the seemingly random behavior of each of its electrons. But this was not the only insight the hologram provided. The more Bohm thought about it the more convinced he became that the universe actually employed holographic principles in its operations, was itself a kind of giant, flouring hologram, and this realization allowed him to crystallize all of his various insights into a sweeping and cohesive whole. He published his first papers on his holographic view of the universe in the early 1970s, and in 1980 he presented a mature distillation of his thoughts in a book entitled Wholeness and the Implicate Order. In it he did more than just link his myriad ideas together. He transfigured them into a new way of looking at reality that was as breathtaking as it was radical.
Michael Talbot (The Holographic Universe)
With its superbly presented candor, News Junkie is very highly recommended reading both as a memoir offering unique insights into the mind and life of an investigative journalist, and as a"slice of life" window into the stories and personalities behind headline stories of corruption and crime.
Midwest Book Review
And as the bombshells of my daily fears explode I try to trace them to my youth And then you had to bring up reincarnation Over a couple of beers the other night And now I'm serving time for mistakes Made by another in another lifetime How long till my soul gets it right Can any human being ever reach that kind of light I call on the resting soul of galileo King of night vision, king of insight ... But then again it feels like some sort of inspiration To let the next life off the hook But she'll say "look what I had to overcome from my last life I think I'll write a book
Indigo Girls
What kind of Bible do you have? You need to say, “I have a Bible of victory.” This is a book of victory, not a book of defeat....In the eyes of the Lord, Satan has been defeated already. This is a matter of fact; it is a settled matter. If we have this foresight and insight, then day by day we will sing Hallelujah. With the church there is no difference between a defeat and a victory. Even a defeat is for a victory. We must tell Satan, “Satan, even your victory is a preparation for our victory. We can never be defeated. Eventually you will be the one who is defeated. I do not care how much you attack and how much you damage.
Witness Lee (The Holy Word for Morning Revival - The Vision, Practice, and Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ)
Among this bewildering multiplicity of ideals which shall we choose? The answer is that we shall choose none. For it is clear that each one of these contradictory ideals is the fruit of particular social circumstances. To some extent, of course, this is true of every thought and aspiration that has ever been formulated. Some thoughts and aspirations, however, are manifestly less dependent on particular social circumstances than others. And here a significant fact emerges: all the ideals of human behaviour formulated by those who have been most successful in freeing themselves from the prejudices of their time and place are singularly alike. Liberation from prevailing conventions of thought, feeling and behaviour is accomplished most effectively by the practice of disinterested virtues and through direct insight into the real nature of ultimate reality. (Such insight is a gift, inherent in the individual; but, though inherent, it cannot manifest itself completely except where certain conditions are fulfilled. The principal pre-condition of insight is, precisely, the practice of disinterested virtues.) To some extent critical intellect is also a liberating force. But the way in which intellect is used depends upon the will. Where the will is not disinterested, the intellect tends to be used (outside the non-human fields of technology, science or pure mathematics) merely as an instrument for the rationalization of passion and prejudice, the justification of self-interest. That is why so few even of die acutest philosophers have succeeded in liberating themselves completely from the narrow prison of their age and country. It is seldom indeed that they achieve as much freedom as the mystics and the founders of religion. The most nearly free men have always been those who combined virtue with insight. Now, among these freest of human beings there has been, for the last eighty or ninety generations, substantial agreement in regard to the ideal individual. The enslaved have held up for admiration now this model of a man, now that; but at all times and in all places, the free have spoken with only one voice. It is difficult to find a single word that will adequately describe the ideal man of the free philosophers, the mystics, the founders of religions. 'Non-attached* is perhaps the best. The ideal man is the non-attached man. Non-attached to his bodily sensations and lusts. Non-attached to his craving for power and possessions. Non-attached to the objects of these various desires. Non-attached to his anger and hatred; non-attached to his exclusive loves. Non-attached to wealth, fame, social position. Non-attached even to science, art, speculation, philanthropy. Yes, non-attached even to these. For, like patriotism, in Nurse Cavel's phrase, 'they are not enough, Non-attachment to self and to what are called 'the things of this world' has always been associated in the teachings of the philosophers and the founders of religions with attachment to an ultimate reality greater and more significant than the self. Greater and more significant than even the best things that this world has to offer. Of the nature of this ultimate reality I shall speak in the last chapters of this book. All that I need do in this place is to point out that the ethic of non-attachment has always been correlated with cosmologies that affirm the existence of a spiritual reality underlying the phenomenal world and imparting to it whatever value or significance it possesses.
Aldous Huxley (Ends and Means)
Ever since I was a child my only thought or insight into apocalypse, disaster or war has been that I myself have no “survival instinct,” nor any strong desire to survive, especially if what lies on the other side of survival is just me. A book like The Road is as incomprehensible to me as a Norse myth cycle in the original language. Suicide would hold out its quiet hand to me on the first day—the first hour. And not the courageous suicide of self-slaughter, but simply the passive death that occurs if you stay under the bed as they march up the stairs, or lie down in the cornfield as the plane fitted with machine guns heads your way.
Zadie Smith (Intimations: Six Essays)
Sto­ries are struc­tured as we wish our lives were, with a begin­ning, a mid­dle, and an end; with mean­ing and pur­pose; with a trans­for­ma­tion from dark­ness to under­stand­ing. When we read a book, we look for­ward to the end-we race toward it. We want to know what hap­pens, and we want all the loose threads tied up so that we can feel reas­sured that there is a grand design, because our real lives often feel ran­dom and meaningless.” “Are you say­ing that real life has no design or meaning?” “No, I’m say­ing that the design is too com­pli­cated to know except in bursts of insight, and as for mean­ing… well, mean­ing is all we really have.
Kim White (The White Oak)
Ibn al-Qayyim has a profound statement in his book Al-Fawaid. Referring to the effect of negative and sinful thoughts, he said: “You should repulse a thought. If you do not do so, it will develop into a desire. You should therefore wage war against it. If you do not do so, it will become a resolution and firm intention. If you do not repulse this, it will develop into a deed. If you do not make up for it by doing the opposite [the opposite of that evil deed], it will become a habit. It will then be very difficult for you to give it up”. Another similar quote: “You should know the initial stage of every knowledge that is within your choice is your thoughts and notions. These thoughts and notions lead you into fantasies. These fantasies lead towards the will and desire to carry out [those fantasies]. These wills and desires demand the act should be committed. Repeatedly committing these acts causes them to become a habit. So the goodness of these stages lies in the goodness of thoughts and notions, and the wickedness of these thoughts lies in the wickedness of thoughts and notions”. May Allah be pleased with him! He offers a deep insight into something so subtle. We should all memorise these words and use it whenever we feel unable to control the tsunami of negative thoughts that overtake our minds.
Mohammed Faris (The Productive Muslim: Where Faith Meets Productivity)
A little way down the road I turned, and saw how his wife and daughter took him up. And I thought to myself: no, ’tis not all roses when one goes a-wandering. At the next place I came to I learned that he had been with the army, as quartermaster-sergeant; then he went mad over a lawsuit he lost, and was shut up in an asylum for some time. Now in the spring his trouble broke out again; perhaps it was my coming that had given the final touch. But the lightning insight in his eyes at the moment when the madness came upon him! I think of him now and again; he was a lesson to me. ’Tis none so easy to judge of men, who are wise or mad. And God preserve us all from being known for what we are!
Knut Hamsun (The Works of Knut Hamsun: Pan, The Growth of the Soil, Hunger, Shallow Soil, Under the Autumn Star and More (6 Books With Active Table of Contents))
When summer and winter in autumn divide The sun will uncover a secret inside. Should winter from summer irrevocably part The whole of the book will fall quickly apart. Yet if the seasons join hands together The order of things will last forever. These are the words of Endymion spring. Bring only the insight the Inside brings. The child may see what the man does not A future time which time forgot: Books yet to be and books already written Within these pages lie dormant and hidden. Yet darkness seeks what light reveals A shadow grows: these truths conceal. These are my words, Endymion spring. Bring only the insight the Inside brings. The silence will end-the sum approaches Mark my word-the shadow encroaches. The present had passed-the past has gone The future will come-once Two become One. The sun must look the shadow in the eye Then forfeit the book lest one half die. The lesion of darkness cannot be healed Until, with Child's Blood, the whole is sealed. These are the words of Endymion spring. Bring only the insight the Inside brings.
Matthew Skelton (Endymion Spring)
We crave to be certain, to be right, to be successful, to know; and this desire for certainty, for permanence, builds up within ourselves the authority of personal experience, while outwardly it creates the authority of society, of the family, of religion, and so on. But merely to ignore authority, to shake off its outward symbols, is of very little significance. To break away from one tradition and conform to another, to leave this leader and follow that, is but a superficial gesture. If we are to be aware of the whole process of authority, if we are to see the inwardness of it, if we are to understand and transcend the desire for certainty, then we must have extensive awareness and insight, we must be free, not at the end, but at the beginning.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti)
We writers want readers to love our books. Greedy people that we are, we mean all readers. But in our more rational moments, we know that there is no book written that every reader enjoys. This is because people read for different reasons. Some readers want fast-paced excitement—and will put down a slower-paced book that examines the same reality as their own lives. Others want thoughtful insights into reality—and will put down fantasies of nonstop adventure. Some want to read about people they can identify with, some about characters they will never meet. Some seek clear, straightforward storytelling, and some cherish style: the unexpected phrase in exactly the right place. Some want affirmations of values they already hold, and some hope to be challenged, even disturbed. It’s
Nancy Kress (Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpoints (Write Great Fiction))
A. I want my readers to remember a book of mine after they’ve turned the last page, partly so they will want to read more from me, but also because I want them to feel that reading it was well worth their time. I guess I want a book that I write to be more than entertainment that is enjoyable for the moment but forgettable as the months go by. I don’t make a conscious effort to craft quotable prose when I write, but I do endeavor to pose questions and suggest insights that speak across the pages into a reader’s life. For me, that translates into a good reason for having read the book. I always remember a book more fully and longer if I’ve been so emotionally tugged that I find myself highlighting phrases I don’t want to forget. And I usually can’t wait for that author’s next book! Khaled Hosseini’s books are always like that for me. Q.
Susan Meissner (Stars Over Sunset Boulevard)
But the secrets of such a book are not perpetual. Once they are known, they become relegated to a lesser sphere, which is that of the knower. Having lost the prestige they once enjoyed, these former secrets now function as tools in the excavation of still deeper ones which, in turn, will suffer the same corrosive fate. And this is the fate of all the secrets of the universe. Eventually the seeker of a recondite knowledge may conclude—either through insight or sheer exhaustion—that this ruthless process is never-ending, that the mortification of one mystery after another has no terminus beyond that of the seeker's own extinction. And how many still remain susceptible to the search? How many pursue it to the end of their days with undying hope of some ultimate revelation? Better not to think in precise terms just how few the faithful are.
Thomas Ligotti (Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe)
Best of all, Galignani’s, the English bookstore and reading room, a favorite gathering place, stood across the street from the hotel. There one could pass long, comfortable hours with a great array of English and even American newspapers. Parisians were as avid readers of newspapers as any people on earth. Some thirty-four daily papers were published in Paris, and many of these, too, were to be found spread across several large tables. The favorite English-language paper was Galignani’s own Messenger, with morning and evening editions Monday through Friday. For the newly arrived Americans, after more than a month with no news of any kind, these and the American papers were pure gold. Of the several circulating libraries in Paris, only Galignani’s carried books in English, and indispensable was Galignani’s New Paris Guide in English. Few Americans went without this thick little leather-bound volume, fully 839 pages of invaluable insights and information, plus maps.
David McCullough (The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris)
Describing his own characteristic behavior in France some years after returning home, Jefferson wrote, “While residing in Paris, I devoted every afternoon I was disengaged, for a summer or two, in examining all the principal bookstores, turning over every book with my own hand, and putting by everything which related to America, and indeed whatever was rare and valuable in every science.”19 Not only does this statement show how wide-ranging his bookish tastes were; it also provides an insightful portrait of Jefferson in the process of buying books, a process that involved not only his sense of sight but also his sense of touch. Deciding which books to buy, he liked to examine them with his eyes and feel them with his hands. For Jefferson, a book was not only a repository of ideas, it was also a material object, something that gave him a thrill when he came into physical contact with it. In the hands of a sensitive reader, a book has the power to transcend the text it contains and become something magical.
Kevin J. Hayes (The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson)
Arthur said brightly, “Actually I quite liked it.” Ford turned and gaped. Here was an approach that had quite simply not occurred to him. The Vogon raised a surprised eyebrow that effectively obscured his nose and was therefore no bad thing. “Oh good …” he whirred, in considerable astonishment. “Oh yes,” said Arthur, “I thought that some of the metaphysical imagery was really particularly effective.” Ford continued to stare at him, slowly organizing his thoughts around this totally new concept. Were they really going to be able to bareface their way out of this? “Yes, do continue …” invited the Vogon. “Oh … and, er … interesting rhythmic devices too,” continued Arthur, “which seemed to counterpoint the … er … er …” he floundered. Ford leaped to his rescue, hazarding “… counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor of the … er …” He floundered too, but Arthur was ready again. “… humanity of the …” “Vogonity,” Ford hissed at him. “Ah yes, Vogonity—sorry—of the poet’s compassionate soul”—Arthur felt he was on the homestretch now—“which contrives through the medium of the verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that, and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of the other”—he was reaching a triumphant crescendo—“and one is left with a profound and vivid insight into … into … er …” (which suddenly gave out on him). Ford leaped in with the coup de grace: “Into whatever it was the poem was about!” he yelled. Out of the corner of his mouth: “Well done, Arthur, that was very good.” The Vogon perused them. For a moment his embittered racial soul had been touched, but he thought no—too little too late. His voice took on the quality of a cat snagging brushed nylon. “So what you’re saying is that I write poetry because underneath my mean callous heartless exterior I really just want to be loved,” he said. He paused, “Is that right?” Ford laughed a nervous laugh. “Well, I mean, yes,” he said, “don’t we all, deep down, you know … er …” The Vogon stood up. “No, well, you’re completely wrong,” he said, “I just write poetry to throw my mean callous heartless exterior into sharp relief. I’m going to throw you off the ship anyway. Guard! Take the prisoners to number three airlock and throw them out!” “What?” shouted Ford. A huge young Vogon guard stepped forward and yanked them out of their straps with his huge blubbery arms. “You can’t throw us into space,” yelled Ford, “we’re trying to write a book.” “Resistance is useless!” shouted the Vogon guard back at him. It was the first phrase he’d learned when he joined the Vogon Guard Corps.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1))
We live in the information age and the sheer volume of it being available everywhere, creates a need for information that has value. Yes, we can look anything up on Google but who has the time? Can we trust that the information comes from a trustworthy source? Your experience has given you a deep knowing of your subject matter. You have insights and ideas that others may not figure out on their own. You are holding a roadmap that has great value to someone. What has been stopping you from sharing your knowledge? Perhaps you have been afraid to put yourself out there because of a fear of rejection? Let me get straight to the point. Get over it right now! Ponder the following quote for a moment and then move on with the decision to write rather than not to write, because not to write is not “to be”. You deny yourself and your audience. You have had an incredible journey to get to where you are and have amassed experience and knowledge. Now combine that with your unique voice and be heard. You are already an expert. Accept it.
Kytka Hilmar-Jezek (Book Power: A Platform for Writing, Branding, Positioning & Publishing)
One of the first books of travel, giving European readers some insight into the unfamiliar world of the Orient, was published in 1356-67 in Anglo-Norman French. Called simply Travels, it was said to be by Sir John Mandeville, but a French historian, Jean d'Outremeuse, may well have written the book. It is a highly entertaining guide for pilgrims to the Holy Land, but goes beyond, taking the reader as far as Tartary, Persia, India and Egypt, recounting more fantasy than fact, but containing geographical details to give the work credence. Mandeville's book whetted the Western European reader's appetite for the travel book as a journal of marvels: dry scientific detail was not what these readers wanted. Rather it was imagination plus information. Thus, myths of 'the fountain of youth' and of gold-dust lying around 'like ant-hills' caught the Western imagination, and, when the voyagers of the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries found 'new worlds' in the Americas, these myths were enlarged and expanded, as Eldorado joined the Golden Road to Samarkand in the imagination of readers concerning distant lands.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
Overcoming the Past Never allow the past to hold you back from enjoying a full life. What have you got to lose, except a heavy burden? Forgiveness is usually the key to moving forward, which is why it’s on the path to gaining insight. When you forgive yourself, and those who have hurt you, you are able to release negative patterns that visit you over and over again. More important, you will finally sever the control that a memory of another person has over you. Stay in the present, affirm the good that has been a result of a bad situation, and love your authentic self even more than you did yesterday. You can do it!
Charlene M. Proctor (The Women's Book of Empowerment: 323 Affirmations That Change Everyday Problems into Moments of Potential)
Just as summer-killed meat draws flies, so the court draws spurious sages, philosophists, and acosmists who remain there as long as their purses and their wits will maintain them, in the hope (at first) of an appointment from the Autarch and (later) of obtaining a tutorial position in some exalted family. At sixteen or so, Thecla was attracted, as I think young women often are, to their lectures on theogony, thodicy, and the like, and I recall one particularly in which a phoebad put forward as an ultimate truth the ancient sophistry of the existence of three Adonai, that of the city (or of the people), that of the poets, and that of the philosophers. Her reasoning was that since the beginning of human consciousness (if such a beginning ever was) there have been vast numbers of persons in the three categories who have endeavored to pierce the secret of the divine. If it does not exist, they should have discovered that long before; if it does, it is not possible that Truth itself should mislead them. Yet the beliefs of the populace, the insights of the rhapsodists, and the theories of the metaphysicians have so far diverged that few of them can so much as comprehend what the others say, and someone who knew nothing of any of their ideas might well believe there was no connection at all between them. May it not be, she asked (and even now I am not certain I can answer), that instead of traveling, as has always been supposed, down three roads to the same destination, they are actually traveling toward three quite different ones? After all, when in common life we behold three roads issuing from the same crossing, we do not assume they all proceed toward the same goal. I found (and find) this suggestion as rational as it is repellent, and it represents for me all that monomaniacal fabric of argument, so tightly woven that not even the tiniest objection or spark of light can escape its net, in which human minds become enmeshed whenever the subject is one in which no appeal to fact is possible. As a fact the Claw was thus an incommensurable. No quantity of money, no piling up of archipelagoes or empires could approach it in value any more than the indefinite multiplication of horizontal distance could be made to equal vertical distance. If it was, as I believed, a thing from outside the universe, then its light, which I had seen shine faintly so often, and a few times brightly, was in some sense the only light we had. If it were destroyed, we were left fumbling in the dark.
Gene Wolfe (The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun, #3))
The case I’ve presented in this book suggests that humans are undergoing what biologists call a major transition. Such transitions occur when less complex forms of life combine in some way to give rise to more complex forms. Examples include the transition from independently replicating molecules to replicating packages called chromosomes or, the transition from different kinds of simple cells to more complex cells in which these once-distinct simple cell types came to perform critical functions and become entirely mutually interdependent, such as the nucleus and mitochondria in our own cells. Our species’ dependence on cumulative culture for survival, on living in cooperative groups, on alloparenting and a division of labor and information, and on our communicative repertoires mean that humans have begun to satisfy all the requirements for a major biological transition. Thus, we are literally the beginnings of a new kind of animal.1 By contrast, the wrong way to understand humans is to think that we are just a really smart, though somewhat less hairy, chimpanzee. This view is surprisingly common. Understanding how this major transition is occurring alters how we think about the origins of our species, about the reasons for our immense ecological success, and about the uniqueness of our place in nature. The insights generated alter our understandings of intelligence, faith, innovation, intergroup competition, cooperation, institutions, rituals, and the psychological differences between populations. Recognizing that we are a cultural species means that, even in the short run (when genes don’t have enough time to change), institutions, technologies, and languages are coevolving with psychological biases, cognitive abilities, emotional responses, and preferences. In the longer run, genes are evolving to adapt to these culturally constructed worlds, and this has been, and is now, the primary driver of human genetic evolution. Figure 17.1.
Joseph Henrich (The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter)
Jim Crow was not merely about the physical separation of blacks and whites. Nor was segregation strictly about laws, despite historians' tendency to fix upon legal landmarks as Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), Brown v. Board of Education (1954), and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In order to maintain dominance, whites needed more than the statutes and signs that specified "whites" and "blacks" only; they had to assert and reiterate black inferiority with every word and gesture, in every aspect of both public and private life. Noted theologian Howard Thurman dissected the "anatomy" of segregation with chilling precision in his classic 1965 book, The Luminous Darkness. A white supremacist society must not only "array all the forces of legislation and law enforcement, " he wrote; "it must falsify the facts of history, tamper with the insights of religion and religious doctrine, editorialize and slant news and the printed word. On top of that it must keep separate schools, separate churches, separate graveyards, and separate public accommodations-all this in order to freeze the place of the Negro in society and guarantee his basic immobility." Yet this was "but a partial indication of the high estimate" that the white South placed upon African Americans. "Once again, to state it categorically, " Thurman concludes, "the measure of a man's estimate of your strength is the kind of weapons he feels he must use in order to hold you fast in a prescribed place.
William Chafe, Raymond Gavins, Robert Korstad
had spent more than a year writing a second draft of his book during the hours he wasn’t at one of his jobs. He worked late at night in a small room we’d converted to a study at the rear of our apartment—a crowded, book-strewn bunker I referred to lovingly as the Hole. I’d sometimes go in, stepping over his piles of paper to sit on the ottoman in front of his chair while he worked, trying to lasso him with a joke and a smile, to tease him back from whatever far-off fields he’d been galloping through. He was good-humored about my intrusions, but only if I didn’t stay too long. Barack, I’ve come to understand, is the sort of person who needs a hole, a closed-off little warren where he can read and write undisturbed. It’s like a hatch that opens directly onto the spacious skies of his brain. Time spent there seems to fuel him. In deference to this, we’ve managed to create some version of a hole inside every home we’ve ever lived in—any quiet corner or alcove will do. To this day, when we arrive at a rental house in Hawaii or on Martha’s Vineyard, Barack goes off looking for an empty room that can serve as the vacation hole. There, he can flip between the six or seven books he’s reading simultaneously and toss his newspapers on the floor. For him, the Hole is a kind of sacred high place, where insights are birthed and clarity comes to visit. For me, it’s an off-putting and disorderly mess. One requirement has always been that the Hole, wherever it is, have a door
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
My heart, which I thought had been dead, stopped. Of course. I had been betrayed. My ex boyfriend had reneged on his promise to love me, and this odious event had a name: betrayal. Somehow, knowing this calmed me down. And I began to contemplate betrayal. My conclusion? It is the most difficult of all woundings. Betrayal comes in many forms. It's not just about being cheated on or left for another. It's about any promise, overt or implied, that has been broken without your participation in the decision, or even knowing that a decision was on the table. It's about believing something that you later find out is untrue. It's no wonder that the first response to betrayal is likely to be denial. It's an enormous shock to find out that a solid reality is not so solid after all. It can feel like the most deviant form of attack. When betrayal is at the root of your pain, something horrible is unleashed. Different and perhaps more horrible than the pain of disappointment, grief, or anger. With other causes of suffering, you can at least pretend you have some measure of control. You can blame the other person for disappointing you, you can read books that outline and predict the course of grief, and when you're angry you can always fall back on self-righteousness. But when you're betrayed, you have been blindsided and your vulnerability is confirmed. You lose a misplaced innocence that you really can never regain. Your ability to trust is basically obliterated. And not just your trust in your own perceptions and your trust in the person you loved. Once you lose trust in one person, your trust in all beings is undermined, making the future seem like a giant landmine.
Susan Piver (The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: An Uncommon Guide to Healing, Insight, and Love)
[M]ost Americans are still drawing some water from the Christian well. But a growing number are inventing their own versions of what Christianity means, abandoning the nuances of traditional theology in favor of religions that stroke their egos and indulge or even celebrate their worst impulses. . . . Both doubters and believers stand to lose if religion in the age of heresy turns out to be complicit in our fragmented communities, our collapsing families, our political polarization, and our weakened social ties. Both doubters and believers will inevitably suffer from a religious culture that supplies more moral license than moral correction, more self-satisfaction than self-examination, more comfort than chastisement. . . . Many of the overlapping crises in American life . . . can be traced to the impulse to emphasize one particular element of traditional Christianity—one insight, one doctrine, one teaching or tradition—at the expense of all the others. The goal is always progress: a belief system that’s simpler or more reasonable, more authentic or more up-to-date. Yet the results often vindicate the older Christian synthesis. Heresy sets out to be simpler and more appealing and more rational, but it often ends up being more extreme. . . . The boast of Christian orthodoxy . . . has always been its fidelity to the whole of Jesus. Its dogmas and definitions seek to encompass the seeming contradictions in the gospel narratives rather than evading them. . . . These [heretical] simplifications have usually required telling a somewhat different story about Jesus than the one told across the books of the New Testament. Sometimes this retelling has involved thinning out the Christian canon, eliminating tensions by subtracting them. . . . More often, though, it’s been achieved by straightforwardly rewriting or even inventing crucial portions of the New Testament account. . . . “Religious man was born to be saved,” [Philip Rieff] wrote, but “psychological man is born to be pleased.” . . . In 2005, . . . . Smith and Denton found no evidence of real secularization among their subjects: 97 percent of teenagers professed some sort of belief in the divine, 71 percent reported feeling either “very” or “somewhat” close to God, and the vast majority self-identified as Christian. There was no sign of deep alienation from their parents’ churches, no evidence that the teenagers in the survey were poised to convert outright to Buddhism or Islam, and no sign that real atheism was making deep inroads among the young. But neither was there any evidence of a recognizably orthodox Christian faith. “American Christianity,” Smith and Denton suggested, is “either degenerating into a pathetic version of itself,” or else is “actively being colonized and displaced by a quite different religious faith.” They continued: “Most religious teenagers either do not really comprehend what their own religious traditions say they are supposed to believe, or they do understand it and simply do not care to believe it.” . . . An ego that’s never wounded, never trammeled or traduced—and that’s taught to regard its deepest impulses as the promptings of the divine spirit—can easily turn out to be an ego that never learns sympathy, compassion, or real wisdom. And when contentment becomes an end unto itself, the way that human contents express themselves can look an awful lot like vanity and decadence. . . . For all their claims to ancient wisdom, there’s nothing remotely countercultural about the Tolles and Winfreys and Chopras. They’re telling an affluent, appetitive society exactly what it wants to hear: that all of its deepest desires are really God’s desires, and that He wouldn’t dream of judging. This message encourages us to justify our sins by spiritualizing them. . . . Our vaunted religiosity is real enough, but our ostensible Christian piety doesn’t have the consequences a casual observer might expect. . . . We nod to God, and then we do as we please.
Ross Douthat (Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics)
The measuring rod, the unit of information, is something called a bit (for binary digit). It is an answer - either yes or no- to an unambiguous question... The information content of the human brain expressed in bits is probably comparable to the total number of connections among the neurons- about a hundred trillion, 10^14 bits. If written out in English, say, that information would fill some twenty million volumes, as many as in the world's largest libraries. The equivalent of twenty million books is inside the heads of every one of us... When our genes could not store all the information necessary for survival, we slowly invented them. But then the time came, perhaps ten thousand years ago, when we needed to stockpile enormous quantities of information outside our bodies. We are the only species on the planet, so far as we know, to have invented a communal memory stored neither in our genes nor in our brains. The warehouse of that memory is called the library... The great libraries of the world contain millions of volumes, the equivalent of about 10^14 bits of information in words, and perhaps 10^15 bits in pictures. This is ten thousand times more than in our brains. If I finish a book a week, I will only read a few thousand books in my lifetime, about a tenth of a percent of the contents of the greatest libraries of our time. The trick is to know which books to read... Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors. The library connects us with the insights and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all of our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. Public libraries depend on voluntary contributions. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries. p224-233
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
I’ve sat at the piano for hours already, looking for lyrics and melodies, but everything sounds the same and I feel as uninspired as ever. Does it mean I’m finished? A more sobering thought: if I’m finished, would I miss it? But the truth is, I’ve been here before. Many times. We all have. So how do we find the faith to press on? Remember. Remember, Hebrew children, who you once were in Egypt. Remember the altars set up along the way to remind yourselves that you made the journey and God rescued you from sword and famine, from chariots and pestilence, that once you were there, but now you are here. It happened. Our memories are fallible, residing in that most complex and mysterious organ in the human body (and therefore the known universe), capable of being suppressed, manipulated, altered, but also profoundly powerful and able to transport a person to a place fifty years ago all because of a whiff of your grandfather’s cologne or an old book or the salty air. As often as you do this, do it in remembrance of me. Remember with every sip of wine that we shared this meal, you and I. Remember. So I look at the last album, the last book, and am forced to admit that I didn’t know anymore then than I do now. Every song is an Ebenezer stone, evidence of God’s faithfulness. I just need to remember. Trust is crucial. So is self-forgetfulness and risk and a measure of audacity. And now that I think about it, there’s also wonder, insight, familiarity with Scripture, passion, a good night’s sleep, breakfast (preferably an egg sandwich), an encouraging voice, diligence, patience. I need silence. Privacy. Time—that’s what I need: more time. But first I need a vacation, because I’ve been really grinding away at this other stuff and my mental cache is full. A deadline would be great. I work best with deadlines, and maybe some bills piling up. Some new guitar strings would help, and a nice candle. And that’s all I need, in the words of Steve Martin’s The Jerk. This is the truth: all I really need is a guitar, some paper, and discipline. If only I would apply myself.
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
One other thing. And this really matters for readers of this book. According to official Myers–Briggs documents, the test can ‘give you an insight into what kinds of work you might enjoy and be successful doing’. So if you are, like me, classified as ‘INTJ’ (your dominant traits are being introverted, intuitive and having a preference for thinking and judging), the best-fit occupations include management consultant, IT professional and engineer.30 Would a change to one of these careers make me more fulfilled? Unlikely, according to respected US psychologist David Pittenger, because there is ‘no evidence to show a positive relation between MBTI type and success within an occupation…nor is there any data to suggest that specific types are more satisfied within specific occupations than are other types’. Then why is the MBTI so popular? Its success, he argues, is primarily due to ‘the beguiling nature of the horoscope-like summaries of personality and steady marketing’.31 Personality tests have their uses, even if they do not reveal any scientific ‘truth’ about us. If we are in a state of confusion they can be a great emotional comfort, offering a clear diagnosis of why our current job may not be right, and suggesting others that might suit us better. They also raise interesting hypotheses that aid self-reflection: until I took the MBTI, I had certainly never considered that IT could offer me a bright future (by the way, I apparently have the wrong personality type to be a writer). Yet we should be wary about relying on them as a magic pill that enables us suddenly to hit upon a dream career. That is why wise career counsellors treat such tests with caution, using them as only one of many ways of exploring who you are. Human personality does not neatly reduce into sixteen or any other definitive number of categories: we are far more complex creatures than psychometric tests can ever reveal. And as we will shortly learn, there is compelling evidence that we are much more likely to find fulfilling work by conducting career experiments in the real world than by filling out any number of questionnaires.32
Roman Krznaric (How to Find Fulfilling Work (The School of Life))
To our amazement Jimmy received a letter, dated August 20, 1963, from Bertrand Russell, the world-famous philosopher and peace activist, saying “I have recently finished your remarkable book The American Resolution” and “have been greatly impressed with its power and insight.” The letter goes on to ask for Jimmy’s views on whether American whites “will understand the negro [sic] revolt because “the survival of mankind may well follow or fail to follow from political and social behavior of Americans in the next decades.” On September 5 Jimmy wrote back a lengthy reply saying among other things that “so far, with the exception of the students, there has been no social force in the white population which the Negroes can respect and a handful of liberals joining in a demonstration doesn’t change this one bit.” Russell replied on September 18 with more questions that Jimmy answered in an even longer letter dated December 22. Meanwhile, Russell had sent a telegram to the November 21 Town Hall meeting in New York City at which Jimmy was scheduled to speak, warning Negroes not to resort to violence. In response Jimmy said at the meeting that “I too would like to hope that the issues of our revolt might be resolved by peaceful means,” but “the issues and grievances were too deeply imbedded in the American system and the American peoples so that the very things Russell warned against might just have to take place if the Negroes in the U.S.A. are ever to walk the streets as free men.” In his December 22 letter Jimmy repeats what he said at the meeting and then patiently explains to Russell that what has historically been considered democracy in the United States has actually been fascism for millions of Negroes. The letter concludes: I believe that it is your responsibility as I believe that it is my responsibility to recognize and record this, so that in the future words do not confuse the struggle but help to clarify it. This is what I think philosophers should make clear. Because even though Negroes in the United States still think they are struggling for democracy, in fact democracy is what they are struggling against. This exchange between Jimmy and Russell has to be seen to be believed. In a way it epitomizes the 1960s—Jimmy Boggs, the Alabama-born autoworker, explaining the responsibility of philosophers to The Earl Russell, O.M., F.R.S., in his time probably the West’s best-known philosopher. Within the next few years The American Revolution was translated and published in French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Catalan, and Portuguese. To this day it remains a page-turner for grassroots activists because it is so personal and yet political, so down to earth and yet visionary.
Grace Lee Boggs (Living for Change: An Autobiography)
Buddhist Psychology You can use enlightening Buddhist practices to transform your life. Unfortunately, many people do not know it, but the Buddhist Dharma, or teaching, is actually a scientific system of psychology, developed in India and further refined in Tibet. It is a psychology that works. I call it a „joyous science of the heart“ because it is based on the idea that while unenlightened life is full of suffering, you are completely capable of escaping from that suffering. You can get well. In fact, you already are well; you just need to awaken to that fact. And how do you do this? By analyzing your thought patterns. When you do, you realize that you are full of „misknowledge“ - misunderstandings of yourself and the world that lead to anger, discontent, and fear. The target of Buddhist practice and the constant theme of this book is the primal misconception that you are the center of the universe, that your „self“ is a fixed, constant, and bounded entity. When you meditate on enlightened insights into the true nature of reality and the boundlessness of the self, you develop new habits of thinking. You free yourself from the constraints of your habitual mind. In other words, you teach yourself to think differently. This in turn leads you to act differently. And voila! You are on the path to happiness, fulfillment, and even enlightenment. The battle for happiness is fought and won or lost primarily within the mind. The mind is the absolute key, both to enlightenment and to life. When your mind is peaceful, aware, and under your command, you will be securely happy. When your mind is unaware of its true nature, constantly in turmoil, and in command of you, you will suffer endlessly. This is the whole secret of the Dharma. If you recognize delusion, greed, anger, envy, and pride as the main enemies of your well-being and learn to focus your mind on overcomming them, you can install wisdom, generosity, tolerance, love, and altruism in their place. This is where enlightened psychology can be most useful. Psychology and philosophy are really one entity in Buddhism. They are called the inner science, the science of the human interior. In the flow of Indian history, it is fair to say that the Buddha was a great explorer of the human interior rather than some sort of religious prophet. He came into the world at a time when people were just beginning to experiment with self-exploration, but mostly in an escapist way, using their focus on the inner world to run away from the sufferings of life by entering a supposed realm of absolute quiet far removed from everday existence. The Buddha started out exploring that way too, but then realized the futility of escapism and discovered instead a way of being happier here and now. (pp. 32-33)
Robert A.F. Thurman (Infinite Life)
From *the form of time and of the single dimension* of the series of representations, on account of which the intellect, in order to take up one thing, must drop everything else, there follows not only the intellect’s distraction, but also its *forgetfulness*. Most of what it has dropped it never takes up again, especially as the taking up again is bound to the principle of sufficient reason, and thus requires an occasion which the association of ideas and motivation have first to provide. Yet this occasion may be the remoter and the smaller, the more our susceptibility to it is enhanced by interest in the subject. But, as I have already shown in the essay *On the Principle of Sufficient Reason*, memory is not a receptacle, but a mere faculty, acquired by practice, of bringing forth any representations at random, so that these have always to be kept in practice by repetition, otherwise they are gradually lost. Accordingly, the knowledge even of the scholarly head exists only *virtualiter* as an acquired practice in producing certain representations. *Actualiter*, on the other hand, it is restricted to one particular representation, and for the moment is conscious of this one alone. Hence there results a strange contrast between what a man knows *potentia* and what he knows *actu*, in other words, between his knowledge and his thinking at any moment. The former is an immense and always somewhat chaotic mass, the latter a single, distinct thought. The relation is like that between the innumerable stars of the heavens and the telescope’s narrow field of vision; it stands out remarkably when, on some occasion, a man wishes to bring to distinct recollection some isolated fact from his knowledge, and time and trouble are required to look for it and pick it out of that chaos. Rapidity in doing this is a special gift, but depends very much on the day and the hour; therefore sometimes memory refuses its service, even in things which, at another time, it has ready at hand. This consideration requires us in our studies to strive after the attainment of correct insight rather than an increase of learning, and to take to heart the fact that the *quality* of knowledge is more important than its quantity. Quantity gives books only thickness; quality imparts thoroughness as well as style; for it is an *intensive* dimension, whereas the other is merely extensive. It consists in the distinctness and completeness of the concepts, together with the purity and accuracy of the knowledge of perception that forms their foundation. Therefore the whole of knowledge in all its parts is permeated by it, and is valuable or troubling accordingly. With a small quantity but good quality of knowledge we achieve more than with a very great quantity but bad quality." —from_The World as Will and Representation_. Translated from the German by E. F. J. Payne in two volumes: volume II, pp. 139-141
Arthur Schopenhauer
JANUARY 26 Being Kind-I You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.” The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pastures. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish. —KAHLIL GIBRAN The great and fierce mystic William Blake said, There is no greater act than putting another before you. This speaks to a selfless giving that seems to be at the base of meaningful love. Yet having struggled for a lifetime with letting the needs of others define me, I've come to understand that without the healthiest form of self-love—without honoring the essence of life that this thing called “self” carries, the way a pod carries a seed—putting another before you can result in damaging self-sacrifice and endless codependence. I have in many ways over many years suppressed my own needs and insights in an effort not to disappoint others, even when no one asked me to. This is not unique to me. Somehow, in the course of learning to be good, we have all been asked to wrestle with a false dilemma: being kind to ourselves or being kind to others. In truth, though, being kind to ourselves is a prerequisite to being kind to others. Honoring ourselves is, in fact, the only lasting way to release a truly selfless kindness to others. It is, I believe, as Mencius, the grandson of Confucius, says, that just as water unobstructed will flow downhill, we, given the chance to be what we are, will extend ourselves in kindness. So, the real and lasting practice for each of us is to remove what obstructs us so that we can be who we are, holding nothing back. If we can work toward this kind of authenticity, then the living kindness—the water of compassion—will naturally flow. We do not need discipline to be kind, just an open heart. Center yourself and meditate on the water of compassion that pools in your heart. As you breathe, simply let it flow, without intent, into the air about you. JANUARY 27 Being Kind-II We love what we attend. —MWALIMU IMARA There were two brothers who never got along. One was forever ambushing everything in his path, looking for the next treasure while the first was still in his hand. He swaggered his shield and cursed everything he held. The other brother wandered in the open with very little protection, attending whatever he came upon. He would linger with every leaf and twig and broken stone. He blessed everything he held. This little story suggests that when we dare to move past hiding, a deeper law arises. When we bare our inwardness fully, exposing our strengths and frailties alike, we discover a kinship in all living things, and from this kinship a kindness moves through us and between us. The mystery is that being authentic is the only thing that reveals to us our kinship with life. In this way, we can unfold the opposite of Blake's truth and say, there is no greater act than putting yourself before another. Not before another as in coming first, but rather as in opening yourself before another, exposing your essence before another. Only in being this authentic can real kinship be known and real kindness released. It is why we are moved, even if we won't admit it, when strangers let down and show themselves. It is why we stop to help the wounded and the real. When we put ourselves fully before another, it makes love possible, the way the stubborn land goes soft before the sea. Place a favorite object in front of you, and as you breathe, put yourself fully before it and feel what makes it special to you. As you breathe, meditate on the place in you where that specialness comes from. Keep breathing evenly, and know this specialness as a kinship between you and your favorite object. During your day, take the time to put yourself fully before something that is new to you, and as you breathe, try to feel your kinship to it.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)