Inward Beauty Quotes

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What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than physically to possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons — but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world — a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring — this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth. Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else — but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself. It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.
Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories)
Poems On Love Love adorns itself; it seeks to prove inward joy by outward beauty. Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom. Love is an endless mystery, for it has nothing else to explain it. Love's gift cannot be given, it waits to be accepted.
Rabindranath Tagore
As we grow old...the beauty steals inward.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Women need to remember that if nature has made them plain, grace can make them beautiful, and if nature has made them beautiful, good deeds can add to their beauty. Grace will make you beautiful and will attract truly godly men to you. Make godliness and inward beauty your priority.
Joshua Harris (Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship)
Give me beauty in the inward soul; may the outward and the inward man be at one.
Socrates
Go inwards. Find your inner space, and suddenly, you will find an explosion of light, of beauty, of ecstasy -as if suddenly thousands of roses have blossomed within you and you are full of their fragrance.
Osho
...the Confederacy of the Humbled is a close-knit brotherhood whose members travel with no outward markings, but who know each other at a glance. For having fallen suddenly from grace, those in the Confederacy share a certain perspective. Knowing beauty, influence, fame, and privilege to be borrowed rather than bestowed, they are not easily impressed. They are not quick to envy or take offense. They certainly do not scour the papers in search of their own names. They remain committed to living among their peers, but they greet adulation with caution, ambition with sympathy, and condescension with an inward smile.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Had I no eyes but ears, my ears would love. That inward beauty and invisible; Or were I deaf, thy outward parts would move each part in me that were but sensible: Though neither eyes nor ears, to hear nor see, yet should I be in love by touching thee. 'Say, that the sense of feeling were bereft me, and that I could not see, nor hear, nor touch, and nothing but the very smell were left me, yet would my love to thee be still as much; for from the stillitory of thy face excelling comes breath perfum'd that breedeth love by smelling.
William Shakespeare (Venus and Adonis)
While a common reaction to seeing a thing of beauty is to want to buy it, our real desire may be not so much to own what we find beautiful as to lay permanent claim to the inner qualities it embodies. Owning such an object may help us realise our ambition of absorbing the virtues to which it alludes, but we ought not to presume that those virtues will automatically or effortlessly begin to rub off on us through tenure. Endeavouring to purchase something we think beautiful may in fact be the most unimaginative way of dealing with the longing it excites in us, just as trying to sleep with someone may be the bluntest response to a feeling of love. What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than physically possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
There were no judgments to be made, yet out of necessity one had to select. Beyond good and evil was all right in theory, but to go on living one had to select: some were kinder than others, some were simply more interested in you, and sometimes the outwardly beautiful and inwardly cold were necessary. The kinder ones fucked better, really, and after you were around them a while they seemed beautiful because they were.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
what love looks like what does love look like the therapist asks one week after the breakup and i’m not sure how to answer her question except for the fact that i thought love looked so much like you that’s when it hit me and i realized how naive i had been to place an idea so beautiful on the image of a person as if anybody on this entire earth could encompass all love represented as if this emotion seven billion people tremble for would look like a five foot eleven medium-sized brown-skinned guy who likes eating frozen pizza for breakfast what does love look like the therapist asks again this time interrupting my thoughts midsentence and at this point i’m about to get up and walk right out the door except i paid too much money for this hour so instead i take a piercing look at her the way you look at someone when you’re about to hand it to them lips pursed tightly preparing to launch into conversation eyes digging deeply into theirs searching for all the weak spots they have hidden somewhere hair being tucked behind the ears as if you have to physically prepare for a conversation on the philosophies or rather disappointments of what love looks like well i tell her i don’t think love is him anymore if love was him he would be here wouldn’t he if he was the one for me wouldn’t he be the one sitting across from me if love was him it would have been simple i don’t think love is him anymore i repeat i think love never was i think i just wanted something was ready to give myself to something i believed was bigger than myself and when i saw someone who probably fit the part i made it very much my intention to make him my counterpart and i lost myself to him he took and he took wrapped me in the word special until i was so convinced he had eyes only to see me hands only to feel me a body only to be with me oh how he emptied me how does that make you feel interrupts the therapist well i said it kind of makes me feel like shit maybe we’re looking at it wrong we think it’s something to search for out there something meant to crash into us on our way out of an elevator or slip into our chair at a cafe somewhere appear at the end of an aisle at the bookstore looking the right amount of sexy and intellectual but i think love starts here everything else is just desire and projection of all our wants needs and fantasies but those externalities could never work out if we didn’t turn inward and learn how to love ourselves in order to love other people love does not look like a person love is our actions love is giving all we can even if it’s just the bigger slice of cake love is understanding we have the power to hurt one another but we are going to do everything in our power to make sure we don’t love is figuring out all the kind sweetness we deserve and when someone shows up saying they will provide it as you do but their actions seem to break you rather than build you love is knowing who to choose
Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
Just as a flood-lighted temple is more beautiful in a severe storm or in a heavy fog, so the gospel of Jesus Christ is more glorious in times of inward storm and of personal sorrow and tormenting conflict.
Harold B. Lee
Poverty becomes a marvellously beautiful thing when the mind is free of society. One must become poor inwardly for then there is no seeking, no asking, no desire, no - nothing! It is only this inward poverty that can see the truth of a life in which there is no conflict at all
J. Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)
Life is infinite energy coupled with limitless creative imagination. It is the invisible essence and substance of every visible form. Its nature is goodness, truth, wisdom and beauty, as well as energy and imagination. Our highest satisfaction comes from a sense of conscious union with this invisible Life. All human endeavor is an attempt to get back to first principles, to find such an inward wholeness that all sense of fear, doubt and uncertainty vanishes.
Ernest Shurtleff Holmes (The Art of Life)
The self-esteem of western women is founded on physical being (body mass index, youth, beauty). This creates a tricky emphasis on image, but the internalized locus of self-worth saves lives. Western men are very different. In externalizing the source of their self-esteem, they surrender all emotional independence. (Conquest requires two parties, after all.) A man cannot feel like a man without a partner, corporation, team. Manhood is a game played on the terrain of opposites. It thus follows that male sense of self disintegrates when the Other is absent.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (The Eclipse: A Memoir of Suicide)
You brought me to places I’d have never thought to go To a trail near the river Where the water runs slow; To a mountain where all we heard Was our voices’ echo; You showed me inward beauty That doesn’t show in photos.
Justin Wetch (Bending The Universe)
I spent all my teen-age years being obsessed with beauty, and I’m very resentful about it and I’m very angry. I had so much intelligence and energy and drive, and instead of using that to study more, or instead of pursuing something or going out and learning about or changing the world, I directed all that fire inward, and burnt myself up.
mitski
Beloved Pan and all ye other gods who haunt this place, give me beauty in the inward soul, and may the outward and the inner man be at one.
Socrates
To tap into that infinite source of beauty and amazement, all you have to do is close your eyes, turn your attention inward and breathe.
Todd Perelmuter
The beauty in correcting our own mistakes; rather than attempting to correct the mistakes in others, is that working upon our own flaws improves us. But working upon the flaws of others not only leaves us unimproved; it actually leaves us being less than we were prior to making those assessments. I believe that the moral of this natural occurrence, is that we are all born to find and fix our own shortcomings; rather than find and fix the shortcomings in others. And if all people were to do this, then we would be a race of creatures looking inward, in order to bring out something better. Now think of what a beautiful race that would be.
C. JoyBell C.
You are magnificent - a jewel reflecting inwardly and outwardly, the light of the universe. Observe how you respond to beauty everywhere - you bear witness to everything. Be aware that you, yourself, are an inextricable part of the infinite creative intelligence, and be blessed.
Jay Woodman
You look great, by the way.” Her head shot to me, eyes surprised, and I quickly added, “I’m glad you didn’t let them cover you up with makeup. I would miss your freckles.” “You would miss my freckles?” she asked in a whisper and I winced inwardly at how forward I sounded. “What man says that? Are you trying to make me have an orgasm right now?
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Player (Beautiful Bastard, #3))
He pulled out a book here and there, but what kept catching his attention were the diagonal tunnels of sunlight rolling in through the dormer windows. All around him dust motes rose and fell, shimmering, quivering in those shafts of roiling light. He found several shelves full of old editions of classical writers and began vaguely browsing, hoping to find a cheap edition of Virgil's Aeneid, which he had only ever read in a borrowed copy. It wasn't really the great poem of antiquity that Dorrigo Evans wanted though, but the aura he felt around such books--an aura that both radiated outwards and took him inwards to another world that said to him that he was not alone. And this sense, this feeling of communion, would at moments overwhelm him. At such times he had the sensation that there was only one book in the universe, and that all books were simply portals into this greater ongoing work--an inexhaustible, beautiful world that was not imaginary but the world as it truly was, a book without beginning or end.
Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North)
There are quiet places also in the mind,” he said, meditatively. “But we build bandstand and factories on them. Deliberately—to put a stop to the quietness. We don’t like the quietness. All the thoughts, all the preoccupation in my head—round and round continually.” He made a circular motion with his hands. “And the jazz bands, the music hall songs, the boys shouting the news. What’s it all for? To put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost it isn’t there. Ah, but it is, it is there, in spite of everything, at the back of everything. Lying awake at night, sometimes—not restlessly, but serenely, waiting for sleep—the quiet re-establishes itself, piece by piece; all the broken bits, all the fragments of it we’ve been so busily dispersing all day long. It re-establishes itself, an inward quiet, like this outward quiet of grass and trees. It fills one, it grows –a crystal quiet, a growing expanding crystal. It grows, it becomes more perfect; it is beautiful and terrifying, yes, terrifying, as well as beautiful. For one’s alone in the crystal and there’s no support from outside, there’s nothing external and important, nothing external and trivial to pull oneself up by or to stand up, superiorly, contemptuously, so that one can look down. There’s nothing to laugh at or feel enthusiastic about. But the quiet grows and grows. Beautifully and unbearably. And at last you are conscious of something approaching; it is almost a faint sound of footsteps. Something inexpressibly lovely and wonderful advances through the crystal, nearer, nearer. And oh, inexpressibly terrifying. For if it were to touch you, if it were to seize and engulf you, you’d die; all the regular habitual, daily part of you would die. There would be and end of bandstands and whizzing factories, and one would have to begin living arduously in the quiet, arduously n some strange unheard-of manner. Nearer, nearer come the steps; but one can’t face the advancing thing. One daren’t. It’s too terrifying; it’s too painful to die. Quickly, before it is too late, start the factory wheels, bang the drum, blow up the saxophone. Think of the women you’d like to sleep with, the schemes for making money, the gossip about your friends, the last outrage of the politicians. Anything for a diversion. Break the silence, smash the crystal to pieces. There, it lies in bits; it is easily broken, hard to build up and easy to break. And the steps? Ah, those have taken themselves off, double quick. Double quick, they were gone at the flawing of the crystal. And by this time the lovely and terrifying thing is three infinities away, at least. And you lie tranquilly on your bed, thinking of what you’d do if you had ten thousand pounds and of all the fornications you’ll never commit.
Aldous Huxley
Houses, gardens, and people were transfigured into musical sounds, all that was solid seemed to be transfigured into soul and into gentleness. Sweet veils of silver and soul-haze swam through all things and lay over all things. The soul of the world had opened, and all grief, all human disappointment, all evil, all pain seemed to vanish, from now on never to appear again. Earlier walks came before my eyes; but the wonderful image of the humble present became a feeling which overpowered all others. The future paled, and the past dissolved. I glowed and flowered myself in the glowing, flowering present. From near and far, great things and small things emerged bright silver with marvelous gestures, joys, and enrichments, and in the midst of this beautiful place I dreamed of nothing but this place itself. All other fantasies sank and vanished in meaninglessness. I had the whole rich earth immediately before me, and I still looked only at what was most small and most humble. With gestures of love the heavens rose and fell. I had become an inward being, and walked as in an inward world; everything outside me became a dream; what I had understood till now became unintelligible. I fell away from the surface, down into the fabulous depths, which I recognized then to be all that was good. What we understand and love understands and loves us also. I was no longer myself, was another, and yet it was on this account that I became properly myself. In the sweet light of love I realized, or believe I realized, that perhaps the inward self is the only self which really exists.
Robert Walser (Selected Stories)
Ultimately what matters is the inward and invisible voices of our inner being. Because all-surpassing power lives within us.
Amit Ray (Peace Bliss Beauty and Truth: Living with Positivity)
And then also, again, still, what are those boundaries, if they’re not baselines, that contain and direct its infinite expansion inward, that make tennis like chess on the run, beautiful and infinitely dense? The true opponent, the enfolding boundary, is the player himself. Always and only the self out there, on court, to be met, fought, brought to the table to hammer out terms. The competing boy on the net’s other side: he is not the foe: he is more the partner in the dance. He is the what is the word excuse or occasion for meeting the self. As you are his occasion. Tennis’s beauty’s infinite roots are self-competitive. You compete with your own limits to transcend the self in imagination and execution. Disappear inside the game: break through limits: transcend: improve: win. Which is why tennis is an essentially tragic enterprise… You seek to vanquish and transcend the limited self whose limits make the game possible in the first place. It is tragic and sad and chaotic and lovely. All life is the same, as citizens of the human State: the animating limits are within, to be killed and mourned, over and over again…Mario thinks hard again. He’s trying to think of how to articulate something like: But then is battling and vanquishing the self the same as destroying yourself? Is that like saying life is pro-death? … And then but so what’s the difference between tennis and suicide, life and death, the game and its own end?
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
At Mount Holyoke, a band of female Wide-Awakes described as “running hither and thither…laughing and shouting, and drinking lemonade,” marched in a celebratory torchlight procession, unfurling a banner that read: “PRESIDENT—ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Behind a homely exterior, we recognize inward beauty.
Harold Holzer (Lincoln President-Elect : Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter, 1860-1861)
Beyond the Noise of Words Listening is an art not easily come by, but in it there is beauty and great understanding. We listen with the various depths of our being, but our listening is always with a preconception or from a particular point of view. We do not listen simply; there is always the intervening screen of our own thoughts, conclusions, and prejudices…. To listen there must be an inward quietness, a freedom from the strain of acquiring, a relaxed attention.
J. Krishnamurti (The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti)
Like the Freemasons, the Confederacy of the Humbled is a close-knit brotherhood whose members travel with no outward markings, but who know each other at a glance. For having fallen suddenly from grace, those in the Confederacy share a certain perspective. Knowing beauty, influence, fame, and privilege to be borrowed rather than bestowed, they are not easily impressed. They are not quick to envy or take offense. They certainly do not scour the papers in search of their own names. They remain committed to living among their peers, but they greet adulation with caution, ambition with sympathy, and condescension with an inward smile. As
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
When special people touch our lives then suddenly we see how beautiful and wonderful our world can really be. They show us that our special hopes and dreams can take us far by helping us look inward and believe in who we are. They bless us with their love and joy through everything they give. When special people touch our lives they teach us how to live.
John C. Maxwell (Be A People Person: Effective Leadership Through Effective Relationships)
Art involves forgetfulness of immediate ends; complete surrender to the inward impulse to give form to the beautiful idea or image of truth because it is beautiful.
Hamilton Wright Mabie
...a soft inward look some into his eyes, as if he was amazed to find himself alive on such a beautiful day.
Sarah Porter (Lost Voices)
The spiritual process does not look outward to find beauty, but it is a process of looking inwards to see the inner beauty.
Debasish Mridha
I was really more like an old star, out of fuel, my own gravity pulling me inward, crushing me. I ran out of energy for my too-perfect life, my too-predictable job, my loveless relationship--exhausted at only twenty-seven. Like a star, my life in Chicago collapsed under the force of its own weight, so I was leaving. Massive stars leave behind black holes. Small stars leave behind white dwarfs. I was barely leaving behind a shadow. All of my light was coming with me. I was ready to start over as a comet: refuel, reignite, and burn across the sky.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard, #2))
LARRY--(with increasing bitter intensity, more as if he were fighting with himself than with Hickey) I'm afraid to live, am I?--and even more afraid to die! So I sit here, with my pride drowned on the bottom of a bottle, keeping drunk so I won't see myself shaking in my britches with fright, or hear myself whining and praying: Beloved Christ, let me live a little longer at any price! If it's only for a few days more, or a few hours even, have mercy, Almighty God, and let me still clutch greedily to my yellow heart this sweet treasure, this jewel beyond price, the dirty, stinking bit of withered old flesh which is my beautiful little life! (He laughs with a sneering, vindictive self-loathing, staring inward at himself with contempt and hatred. Then abruptly he makes Hickey again the antagonist.) You think you'll make me admit that to myself?
Eugene O'Neill (The Iceman Cometh)
Certainly those determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful. They were the mixed result of young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion. For there is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it. A new Theresa will hardly have the opportunity of reforming a conventual life, any more than a new Antigone will spend her heroic piety in daring all for the sake of a brother's burial: the medium in which their ardent deeds took shape is forever gone. But we insignificant people with our daily words and acts are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas, some of which may present a far sadder sacrifice than that of the Dorothea whose story we know. Her finely touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
When the heart stops oozing blood & the outpouring is clear as water (so to speak) then you know you've turned the corner & will be well. When you look inward & all pathways are no longer dark but clearly lighted & shine like transparent drinking straws then you know you'll find your way alone. When the gray morning has nothing to do with you & doesn't weigh you down like a heavy blanket, then you know that moving will be easy again and your body will flow through time like the river it really is, smooth & deep. no rocks, no shallows to smash or catch you, keep you from moving on. When the heart slows to its normal rhythm and the beauty of birdsong at dawn doesn't make you cry because you are alone listening, then you know that everything has happened that is going to for now, and you can get on with your life & everything about it that was yours alone and always finer than anyone could ever imagine it would be without him.
Grace Butcher
Last night I learned how to be a lover of God, To live in this world and call nothing my own. I looked inward And the beauty of my own emptiness filled me till dawn. It enveloped me like a mine of rubies. Its hue clothed me in red silk. Within the cavern of my soul I heard the voice of a lover crying, “Drink now! Drink now!”— I took a sip and saw the vast ocean— Wave upon wave caressed my soul. The lovers of God dance around And the circle of their steps becomes a ring of fire round my neck. Heaven calls me with its rain and thunder— a hundred thousand cries yet I cannot hear..... All I hear is the call of my Beloved.
Rumi (Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved)
And then also, again, still, what are those boundaries, if they’re not baselines, that contain and direct its infinite expansion inward, that make tennis like chess on the run, beautiful and infinitely dense? Schtitt’s
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
There is a theory that when a planet, like our earth for example, has manifested every form of life, when it has fulfilled itself to the point of exhaustion, it crumbles to bits and is dispersed like star dust throughout the universe. It does not roll on like a dead moon, but explodes, and in the space of a few minutes, there is not a trace of it visible in the heavens. In marine life we have a similar effect. it is called implosion. When an amphibian accustomed to the black depths rises above a certain level, when the pressure to which it adapts itself is lifted, the body bursts inwardly. Are we not familiar with this spectacle in the human being also? The norsemen who went berserk, the malay who runs amuck—are these not examples of implosion and explosion? When the cup is full it runs over. but when the cup and that which it contains are one substance, what then? There are moments when the elixir of life rises to such overbrimming splendor that the soul spills over. In the seraphic smile of the madonnas the soul is seen to flood the psyche. The moon of the face becomes full; the equation is perfect. A minute, a half minute, a second later, the miracle has passed. something intangible, something inexplicable, was given out—and received. In the life of a human being it may happen that the moon never comes to the full. In the life of some human beings it would seem, indeed, that the only mysterious phenomenon observable is that of perpetual eclipse. In the case of those afflicted with genius, whatever the form it may take, we are almost frightened to observe that there is nothing but a continuous waxing and waning of the moon. Rarer still are the anomalous ones who, having come to the full, are so terrified by the wonder of it that they spend the rest of their lives endeavoring to stifle that which gave them birth and being. The war of the mind is the story of the soul-split. When the moon was at full there were those who could not accept the dim death of diminution; they tried to hang full-blown in the zenith of their own heaven. They tried to arrest the action of the law which was manifesting itself through them, through their own birth and death, in fulfillment and transfiguration. Caught between the tides they were sundered; the soul departed the body, leaving the simulacrum of a divided self to fight it out in the mind. Blasted by their own radiance they live forever the futile quest of beauty, truth and harmony. Depossessed of their own effulgence they seek to possess the soul and spirit of those to whom they are attracted. They catch every beam of light; they reflect with every facet of their hungry being. instantly illumined, When the light is directed towards them, they are also speedily extinguished. The more intense the light which is cast upon them the more dazzling—and blinding—they appear. Especially dangerous are they to the radiant ones; it is always towards these bright and inexhaustible luminaries that they are most passionately drawn…
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
Outwardly nature is busy and restless, inwardly she is all silence and peace. She has toil on one side and leisure on the other. You see her bondage only when you see her from without, but within her heart is a limitless beauty.
Rabindranath Tagore (Sadhana)
Language , the home and dwelling of beauty and meaning , itself begins to think and speak for man and turns wholly into music , not in the sense of outward audible sounds but by virtue of the power and momentum of its inward flow.
Boris Pasternak
I cannot tell by what logic we call a toad, a bear, or an elephant ugly, they being created in those outward shapes and figures which best express those actions of their inward forms. And having passed that general visitation of God, who saw that all that he had made was good, that is, conformable to his will, which abhors deformity, and is the rule of order and beauty; there is no deformity but in monstrosity, wherein, notwithstanding there is a kind of beauty.
Thomas Browne (Religio Medici)
Beauty always represents an inward and inexhaustible equilibrium of forces; and this overwhelms our soul, since it can neither be calculated nor mechanically produced. A sense of beauty can therefore permit us the direct experience of relationships before we can perceive them, in a differentiated manner, with our discursive reason; in this, incidentally, there is a defence for our own physical and psychic well-being, something that we cannot neglect with impunity.
Titus Burckhardt (Mirror of the Intellect: Essays on the Traditional Science and Sacred Art)
Attractive souls are different than beautiful souls. Attractive souls take care of their outward appearance for appearance sake. Beautiful souls care for themselves inwardly and outwardly, so they can be of value to themselves and to others.
Toni Sorenson
There is an inward and outward state in every human soul, with the inward being imān (the condition of the faith) and the outward being islām (the manifestation or practice of the faith). When the two come together inwardly and outwardly, the resulting balance is a truly beautiful human being, one generally called a muḥsin, one whose worship and character are excellent.
Hamza Yusuf (Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart)
[…] I began to see Algiers as one of the most fascinating and dramatic places on earth. In the small space of this beautiful but congested city intersected two great conflicts of the contemporary world. The first was the one between Christianity and Islam (expressed here in the clash between colonizing France and colonized Algeria). The second, which acquired a sharpness of focus immediately after the independence and departure of the French, was a conflict at the very heart of Islam, between its open, dialectical — I would even say “Mediterranean” — current and its other, inward-looking one, born of a sense of uncertainty and confusion vis-à-vis the contemporary world, guided by fundamentalists who take advantage of modern technology and organizational principles yet at the same time deem the defense of faith and custom against modernity as the condition of their own existence, their sole identity. […] In Algiers one speaks simply of the existence of two varieties of Islam — one, which is called the Islam of the desert, and a second, which is defined as the Islam of the river (or of the sea). The first is the religion practiced by warlike nomadic tribes struggling to survive in one of the world's most hostile environments, the Sahara. The second Islam is the faith of merchants, itinerant peddlers, people of the road and of the bazaar, for whom openness, compromise, and exchange are not only beneficial to trade, but necessary to life itself.
Ryszard Kapuściński (Travels with Herodotus)
D. H. Lawrence described our Western culture as being like a great uprooted tree with its roots in the air. “We are perishing for lack of fulfillment of our greater needs,” he wrote, “we are cut off from the great sources of our inward nourishment and renewal.” We come alive as we rediscover the truth of our goodness and our natural connectedness to all of life. Our “greater needs” are met in relating lovingly with each other, relating with full presence to each moment, relating to the beauty and pain that is within and around us.
Tara Brach (Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha)
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that both the Christian and secular parts of our world place a huge emphasis on beauty. In our culture, we’re told that we have to be beautiful outwardly to be confident. In Christian circles, we’re told to take confidence either in our inward beauty or in believing God says we are beautiful. I started to realize that in all of those situations, we are still focusing on beauty. We are still acting like we have to feel beautiful in order to feel good about ourselves. But now I’ve come to realize: That’s just not true.
Tiffany Dawn (The Insatiable Quest for Beauty)
I realized that I was fortunate. To be able to run freely and unencumbered on difficult trails in Appalachia was a gift. “I am living the dream. I am living the dream!” I screamed to any tree that would listen. Here I was, huffing, puffing, and whining inwardly about something I had chosen to do of my own volition, about something I had the physical ability to complete. I made a silent promise to all my family members who had mobility issues, and to those who had heart disease and diabetes, that I wouldn’t forget this. I was able. I was strong, and this little bit of suffering I could stand—for their sake.
Mirna Valerio (A Beautiful Work In Progress)
And therefore, I said, Glaucon, musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful; and also because he who has received this true education of the inner being will most shrewdly perceive omissions or faults in art and nature, and with a true taste, while he praises and rejoices over and receives into his soul the good, and becomes noble and good, he will justly blame and hate the bad, now in the days of his youth, even before he is able to know the reason why; and when reason comes he will recognize and salute the friend with whom his education has made him long familiar… …Thus much of music, which makes a fair ending; for what should be the end of music if not the love of beauty?
Plato (The Republic)
For she was really too lovely--too formidably lovely. I was used by now to mere unadjectived loveliness, the kind that youth and spirits hang like a rosy veil over commonplace features, an average outline and a pointless merriment. But this was something calculated, accomplished, finished--and just a little worn. It frightened me with my first glimpse of the infinity of beauty and the multiplicity of her pit-falls. What! There were women who need not fear crow's-feet, were more beautiful for being pale, could let a silver hair or two show among the dark, and their eyes brood inwardly while they smiled and chatted? but then no young man was safe for a moment! But then the world I had hitherto known had been only a warm pink nursery, while this new one was a place of darkness, perils and enchantments...
Edith Wharton (Old New York: Four Novellas)
What Hicks had wanted most in this world was to run a garage and repair shop with his old chum, Dell Able. Beaufort ended all that. He means to conduct a sort of memorial shop, anyhow, with "Hicks and Able" over the door. He wants to roll up his sleeves and look at the logical and beautiful inwards of automobiles for the rest of his life.
Willa Cather (One of Ours)
The next time you feel a sense of dissatisfaction, of something being missing or not quite right, turn inward as an experiment. See if you can capture the energy of that very moment. Instead of picking up a magazine or going to the movies, calling a friend or looking for something to eat or acting up in one way or another, make a place for yourself. Sit down and enter into your breathing, if only for a few minutes. Don't look for anything - neither flowers not light nor a beautiful view. Don't extol the virtues of anything or condemn the inadequacy of anything. Don't even think to yourself, "I am going inward now." Just sit. Reside at the center of the world. Let things be as they are.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life)
Creation, in all its forms, is where I find beauty. If I could travel as far outward as I have inward, I would know with the utmost conviction that distance does not exist.
L.A. Rosenberg
When age fell upon the world, and wonder went out of the minds of men; when grey cities reared to smoky skies tall towers grim and ugly, in whose shadow none might dream of the sun or of spring’s flowering meads; when learning stripped earth of her mantle of beauty, and poets sang no more save of twisted phantoms seen with bleared and inward-looking eyes; when these things had come to pass, and childish hopes had gone away forever, there was a man who travelled out of life on a quest into the spaces whither the world’s dreams had fled.
H.P. Lovecraft (The Complete H.P. Lovecraft Collection)
So if you can look at all things without allowing pleasure to creep in - at a face, a bird, the colour of a sari, the beauty of a sheet of water shimmering in the sun, or anything that gives delight - if you can look at it without wanting the experience to be repeated, then there will be no pain, no fear, and therefore tremendous joy. It is the struggle to repeat and perpetuate pleasure which turns it into pain. Watch it in yourself. The very demand for the repetition of pleasure brings about pain, because it is not the same, as it was yesterday. You struggle to achieve the same delight, not only to your aesthetic sense but the same inward quality of the mind, and you are hurt and disappointed because it is denied to you.
J. Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)
frantic as my arousal built. The feel of Gideon’s finger in that darkly sexual place, thrusting in that gentle rhythm, had me rocking backward to meet his inward drives. “You’re so beautiful,” he murmured, his voice infinitely gentle. “I love making you feel good. Love watching an orgasm move through your body.” “Gideon.” I was lost, drowning in the powerful joy of being held by him, loved by him. Four days alone had taught me how miserable I’d be if we couldn’t work things out, how dull and colorless my world would be without him in it. “I need
Sylvia Day (Bared to You (Crossfire, #1))
Shall I?” I said briefly; and I looked at his features, beautiful in their harmony, but strangely formidable in their still severity; at his brow, commanding, but not open; at his eyes, bright and deep and searching, but never soft; at his tall imposing figure; and fancied myself in idea his wife. Oh! it would never do! As his curate, his comrade, all would be right: I would cross oceans with him in that capacity; toil under Eastern suns, in Asian deserts with him in that office; admire and emulate his courage and devotion and vigour: accommodate quietly to his masterhood; smile undisturbed at his ineradicable ambition. . . . I should suffer often, no doubt, attached to him only in this capacity: my body would be under a rather stringent yoke, but my heart and mind would be free. I should still have my unblighted self to turn to: my natural unenslaved feelings with which to communicate in moments of loneliness. There would be recesses in my mind which would be only mine, to which he never came; and sentiments growing there, fresh and sheltered, which his austerity could never blight, nor his measured warrior-march trample down: but as his wife—at his side always, and always restrained, and always checked—forced to keep the fire of my nature continually low, to compel it to burn inwardly and never utter a cry, though the imprisoned flame consumed vital after vital—this would be unendurable.
Charlotte Brontë
The Armageddon Machine Mackenzie watched the universe end. It was beautiful, like a flower closing up for the night. Stars and planets swirled inwards, spiralling around and down, faster and faster, collapsing into an infinitesimal particle. As silent as the sunset. The more space/time that was pulled in, the more massive the particle became and the more gravity it exerted on what remained of the universe.
Simon Kewin (The Armageddon Machine)
And then also, again, still, what are those boundaries, if they’re not baselines, that contain and direct its infinite expansion inward, that make tennis like chess on the run, beautiful and infinitely dense?
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
After two or three stanzas and several images by which he was himself astonished, his work took possession of him and he experienced the approach of what is called inspiration. At such moments the correlation of the forces controlling the artist is, as it were, stood on its head. The ascendancy is no longer with the artist or the state of mind which he is trying to express, but with language, his instrument of expression. Language, the home and dwelling of beauty and meaning, itself begins to think and speak for man and turns wholly into music, not in the sense of outward, audible sounds but by virtue of the power and momentum of its inward flow. Then, like the current of a mighty river polishing stones and turning wheels by its very movement, the flow of speech creates in passing, by the force of its own laws, rhyme and rhythm and countless other forms and formations, still more important and until now undiscovered, unconsidered and unnamed. At such moments Yury felt that the main part of his work was not being done by him but by something which was above him and controlling him: the thought and poetry of the world as it was at that moment and as it would be in the future. He was controlled by the next step it was to take in the order of its historical development; and he felt himself to be only the pretext and the pivot setting it in motion. ... In deciphering these scribbles he went through the usual disappointments. Last night these rough passages had astonished him and moved him to tears by certain unexpectedly successful lines. Now, on re-reading these very lines, he was saddened to find that they were strained and glaringly far-fetched.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
When age fell upon the world, and wonder went out of the minds of men; when grey cities reared to smoky skies tall towers grim and ugly, in whose shadow none might dream of the sun or of Spring’s flowering meads; when learning stripped the Earth of her mantle of beauty, and poets sang no more save of twisted phantoms seen with bleared and inward looking eyes; when these things had come to pass, and childish hopes had gone forever, there was a man who travelled out of life on a quest into the spaces whither the world’s dreams had fled.
H.P. Lovecraft (Complete Collection Of H.P.Lovecraft - 150 eBooks With 100+ Audio Book Links(Complete Collection Of Lovecraft's Fiction,Juvenilia,Poems,Essays And Collaborations))
Mr. Kadam bowed and said, “Miss Kelsey, I will leave you to your dining companion. Enjoy your dinner.” Then he walked out of the restaurant. “Mr. Kadam, wait. I don’t understand.” Dining companion? What is he talking about? Maybe he’s confused. Just then, a deep, all-too-familiar voice behind me said, “Hello, Kells.” I froze, and my heart dropped into my stomach, stirring up about a billion butterflies. A few seconds passed. Or was it a few minutes? I couldn’t tell. I heard a sigh of frustration. “Are you still not talking to me? Turn around, please.” A warm hand slid under my elbow and gently turned me around. I raised my eyes and gasped softly. He was breathtaking! So handsome, I wanted to cry. “Ren.” He smiled. “Who else?” He was dressed in an elegant black suit and he’d had his hair cut. Glossy black hair was swept back away from his face in tousled layers that tapered to a slight curl at the nape of his neck. The white shirt he wore was unbuttoned at the collar. It set off his golden-bronze skin and his brilliant white smile, making him positively lethal to any woman who might cross his path. I groaned inwardly. He’s like…like James Bond, Antonio Banderas, and Brad Pitt all rolled into one. I decided the safest thing to do would be to look at his shoes. Shoes were boring, right? Not attractive at all. Ah. Much better. His shoes were nice, of course-polished and black, just like I would expect. I smiled wryly when I realized that this was the first time I’d ever seen Ren in shoes. He cupped my chin and made me look at his face. The jerk. Then it was his turn to appraise me. He looked me up and down. And not a quick look. He took it all in slowly. The kind of slow that made a girl’s face feel hot. I got mad at myself for blushing and glared at him. Nervous and impatient, I asked, “Are you finished?” “Almost.” He was now staring at my strappy shoes. “Well, hurry up!” His eyes drifted leisurely back up to my face and he smiled at me appreciatively, “Kelsey, when a man spends time with a beautiful woman, he needs to pace himself.” I quirked an eyebrow at him and laughed. “Yeah, I’m a regular marathon alright.” He kissed my fingers. “Exactly. A wise man never sprints…in a marathon.” “I was being sarcastic, Ren.” He ignored me and tucked my hand under his arm then led me over to a beautifully lit table. Pulling the chair out for me, he invited me to sit. I stood there wondering if I could sprint for the nearest exit. Stupid strappy shoes, I’d never make it. He leaned in close and whispered in my ear. “I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not going to let you escape again. You can either take a seat and have dinner with me like a normal date,” he grinned at his word choice, “or,” he paused thoughtfully then threatened, “you can sit on my lap while I force-feed you.” I hissed, “You wouldn’t dare. You’re too much of a gentleman to force me to do anything. It’s an empty bluff, Mr. Asks-For-Permission.” “Even a gentleman has his limits. One way or another, we’re going to have a civil conversation. I’m hoping I get to feed you from my lap, but it’s your choice.” He straightened up again and waited. I unceremoniously plunked down in my chair and scooted in noisily to the table. He laughed softly and took the chair across from me. I felt guilty because of the dress and readjusted my skirt so it wouldn’t wrinkle.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
David Whyte offers a beautiful poem on the ways we are invited to welcome back the outcast parts of our being. This stanza from “Coleman’s Bed” is filled with self-compassion. Be taught now, among the trees and rocks, how the discarded is woven into shelter, learn the way things hidden and unspoken slowly proclaim their voice in the world. Find that inward symmetry to all outward appearances, apprentice yourself to yourself, begin to welcome back all you sent away, be a new annunciation, make yourself a door through which to be hospitable, even to the stranger in you.
Francis Weller (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief)
Before you can go inward and meet the supreme power, you have to go outward and meet your 4 invisible minds that control you. The fast way to meet them is to follow them blindly. Each one of them will give you their introduction through a different type of pain: (1) Your beautiful future plans will collapse so that it will feel like end of the world. (2) Your lover from heaven will turn out to be the devil from hell. (3) Circumstances will make you break the morals and values that are integral part of who you are. (4) You will chase the mysteries and the unknown only to painfully realize that this universe is endless.
Shunya
All this and much else besides is merely a form of identification. Such considering is wholly based upon ‘requirements’. A man inwardly ‘requires’ that everyone should see what a remarkable man he is and that they should constantly give expression to their respect, esteem, and admiration for him, for his intellect, his beauty, his cleverness, his wit, his presence of mind, his originality, and all his other qualities. Requirements in their turn are based on a completely fantastic notion about themselves such as very often occurs with people of very modest appearance. Various writers, actors, musicians, artists, and politicians, for instance, are almost without exception sick people. And what are they suffering from? First of all from an extraordinary opinion of themselves, then from requirements, and then from considering, that is, being ready and prepared beforehand to take offence at lack of understanding and lack of appreciation.
G.I. Gurdjieff (In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching)
What is personal death? Asking this question and pausing to look inward - isn't personal death a concept? Isn't there a thought-and-picture series going on in the brain? These scenes of personal ending take place solely in the imagination, and yet they trigger great mental ad physical distress - thinking of one's cherished attachments an their sudden, irreversible termination. Similarly, if there is 'pain when I let some of the beauty of life in' - isn't this pain the result of thinking, 'I won't be here any longer to enjoy this beauty?' Or, 'No one will be around and no beauty left to be enjoyed if there is total nuclear devastation.' Apart from the horrendous tragedy of human warfare - why is there this fear of 'me' not continuing? Is it because I don't realize that all my fear and trembling is for an image? Because I really believe that this image is myself? In the midst of this vast, unfathomable, ever-changing, dying, and renewing flow of life, the human brain is ceaselessly engaged in trying to fix for itself a state of permanency and certainty. Having the capacity to think and form pictures of ourselves, to remember them and become deeply attached to them, we take this world of pictures and ideas for real. We thoroughly believe in the reality of the picture story of our personal life. We are totally identified with it and want it to go on forever. The idea of "forever" is itself an invention of the human brain. Forever is a dream. Questioning beyond all thoughts, images, memories, and beliefs, questioning profoundly into the utter darkness of not-knowing, the realization may suddenly dawn that one is nothing at all - nothing - that all one has been holding on to are pictures and dreams. Being nothing is being everything. It is wholeness. Compassion. It is the ending of separation, fear, and sorrow. Is there pain when no one is there to hold on? There is beauty where there is no "me".
Toni Packer (The Work of This Moment)
The best, most beautiful, and most perfect way that we have of expressing a sweet concord of mind to each other, is by music. When I would form in my mind an idea of a society in the highest degree happy, I think of them as expressing their love, their joy, and the inward concord and harmony and spiritual beauty of their souls by sweetly singing to each other.
Jonathan Edwards
If man in his daily life would examine every action which has reflected a disagreeable picture of himself upon his soul and caused darkness and dissatisfaction, and if on the other hand he would consciously watch each thought, word, or deed which had produced an inward love, harmony and beauty, and each feeling which had brought him wisdom, calm and peace, then the way of harmony between soul and body would be easily understood, and both aspects of life would be satisfied, the inner as well as the outer. The soul's satisfaction is much more important than that of the body, for it is more lasting. In this way the thought, speech and action can be adjusted, so that harmony may be established first in the self by the attunement of body and soul.
Hazrat Inayat Khan (The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word (The Sufi Teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan Book 2))
It was this philosophy that had Harvey taking the hovercraft Sagan had stolen, mounting it, and, after a few moments to glean the fundamentals of navigating it, rocketing on it toward the door of the Obin mess hall. As Harvey approached, the door to the mess hall opened inward; some Obin heading to duty after dinner. Harvey grinned a mad grin, gunned the hovercraft, and then braked it just enough (he hoped) to jam that fucking alien right back into the room. It worked perfectly. The Obin had enough time for a surprised squawk before the hovercraft’s gun struck it square in the chest, punching backward like it was a toy on a string, hurling down nearly the entire length of the hall. The other Obin in the room looked up while Harvey’s victim pinwheeled to the ground, then turned their multiple eyes toward the doorway, Harvey, and the hovercraft with its big gun poking right into the room. “Hello, boys!” Harvey said in a big, booming voice. “The 2nd Platoon sends its regards!” And with that, he jammed down the “fire” button on the gun and set to work. Things got messy real fast after that. It was just fucking beautiful. Harvey loved his job.
John Scalzi (The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2))
Mackenzie watched the universe end. It was beautiful, like a flower closing up for the night. Stars and planets swirled inwards, spiralling around and down, faster and faster, collapsing into an infinitesimal particle. As silent as the sunset. The more space/time that was pulled in, the more massive the particle became and the more gravity it exerted on what remained of the universe.
Simon Kewin (The Armageddon Machine)
Loneliness is not supposed to induce empathy, but like Wojnarowicz’s diaries and Klaus Nomi’s voice, that painting of Warhol was one of the things that most medicated my own feelings of loneliness, giving me a sense of the potential beauty present in a frank declaration that one is human and as such subject to need. So much of the pain of loneliness is to do with concealment, with feeling compelled to hide vulnerability, to tuck ugliness away, to cover up scars as if they are literally repulsive. But why hide? What’s so shameful about wanting, about desire, about having failed to achieve satisfaction, about experiencing unhappiness? Why this need to constantly inhabit peak states, or to be comfortably sealed inside a unit two, turned inward from the world at large?
Olivia Laing (The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone)
Look at the pattern this seashell makes. The dappled whorl, curving inward to infinity. That's the shape of the universe itself. There's a constant pressure, pushing toward pattern. A tendency in matter to evolve into ever more complex forms. It's a kind of pattern gravity, a holy greening power we call viriditas, and it is the driving force in the cosmos. Life, you see. … And because we are alive, the universe must be said to be alive. We are its consciousness as well as our own. We rise out of the cosmos and we see its mesh of patterns, and it strikes us as beautiful. And that feeling is the most important thing in all the universe—its culmination, like the color of a flower at first bloom on a wet morning. It’s a holy feeling, and our task in this world is to do everything we can to foster it.
Kim Stanley Robinson (Green Mars (Mars Trilogy, #2))
But I belong to Teutonic blood; it is little mingled in this part of England to what it is in others; we retain much of their language; we retain more of their spirit; we do not look upon life as a time for enjoyment, but as a time for action and exertion. Our glory and our beauty arise out of our inward strength, which makes us victorious over material resistance, and over greater difficulties still.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
Everything turns inward in depression. A beautiful flower momentarily catches your attention, but within seconds the focus bends back into your own misery. You see loved ones who are celebrating a recent blessing, but before you can synchronize your feelings with theirs, you have doubled back to your own personal emptiness. Like a boomerang that always returns, no matter how hard you try, you can’t get away from yourself.
Edward T. Welch (Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness)
The swirling lines of snow were composed of separate flakes, and each flake was a cluster of separate ice crystals--scientists had counted over a hundred of them in a single flake. Under the microscope each minuscule crystal, colorless and transparent, revealed a secret symmetry: six sides, the outward expression of an inward geometry of frozen molecules of water. But the real wonder was that no two crystals were precisely alike. In one of this father's camera magazines he had seen a stunning display of photomicrographs, and what was most amazing about the enlarged crystals was that each contained in its center a whole world of intricate six-sided designs, caused by microscopic air pockets. For no conceivable reason, Nature in a kind of exuberance created an inexhaustible outpouring of variations on a single form. A snowstorm was a fall of jewels, a delirium of hexagons--clearly the work of a master animator.
Steven Millhauser (Little Kingdoms)
In the modern era, teachers and scholarship have traditionally laid strenuous emphasis on the fact that Briseis, the woman taken from Achilles in Book One, was his géras, his war prize, the implication being that her loss for Achilles meant only loss of honor, an emphasis that may be a legacy of the homoerotic culture in which the classics and the Iliad were so strenuously taught—namely, the British public-school system: handsome and glamorous Achilles didn’t really like women, he was only upset because he’d lost his prize! Homer’s Achilles, however, above all else, is spectacularly adept at articulating his own feelings, and in the Embassy he says, “‘Are the sons of Atreus alone among mortal men the ones / who love their wives? Since any who is a good man, and careful, / loves her who is his own and cares for her, even as I now / loved this one from my heart, though it was my spear that won her’ ” (9.340ff.). The Iliad ’s depiction of both Achilles and Patroklos is nonchalantly heterosexual. At the conclusion of the Embassy, when Agamemnon’s ambassadors have departed, “Achilles slept in the inward corner of the strong-built shelter, / and a woman lay beside him, one he had taken from Lesbos, / Phorbas’ daughter, Diomede of the fair colouring. / In the other corner Patroklos went to bed; with him also / was a girl, Iphis the fair-girdled, whom brilliant Achilles / gave him, when he took sheer Skyros” (9.663ff.). The nature of the relationship between Achilles and Patroklos played an unlikely role in a lawsuit of the mid-fourth century B.C., brought by the orator Aeschines against one Timarchus, a prominent politician in Athens who had charged him with treason. Hoping to discredit Timarchus prior to the treason trial, Aeschines attacked Timarchus’ morality, charging him with pederasty. Since the same charge could have been brought against Aeschines, the orator takes pains to differentiate between his impulses and those of the plaintiff: “The distinction which I draw is this—to be in love with those who are beautiful and chaste is the experience of a kind-hearted and generous soul”; Aeschines, Contra Timarchus 137, in C. D. Adams, trans., The Speeches of Aeschines (Cambridge, MA, 1958), 111. For proof of such love, Aeschines cited the relationship between Achilles and Patroklos; his citation is of great interest for representing the longest extant quotation of Homer by an ancient author. 32
Caroline Alexander (The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War)
Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye, And all my soul, and all my every part; And for this sin there is no remedy, It is so grounded inward in my heart. Methinks no face so gracious is as mine, No shape so true, no truth of such account, And for myself mine own worth do define, As I all other in all worths surmount. But when my glass shows me myself indeed, Beared and chopp’d with tann’d antiquity, Mine own self-love quite contrary I read; Self so self-loving were iniquity. ’Tis thee (myself) that for myself I praise, Painting my age with beauty of thy days.
William Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Sonnets)
The beauty of marijuana is that it instantly brings people together. Two minutes earlier you’re standing with strangers in awkward silence because you brought up dildos, and then someone whispers that the hostess’s brother died in a dildo accident, and you feel terrible about bringing up such a sensitive issue, but also really curious, because how does someone die from a dildo accident? Unless maybe a box of them fell on his head? But you’re afraid to ask, because you already feel bad enough for bringing up the subject of dildos, which may have somehow killed a man, and you inwardly tell yourself that you shouldn’t even be bringing up dildos at parties at all, but you know you won’t listen, because next time there’s a lull in the conversation you already know you’re going to blurt out something about the girl you know whose brother died from a dildo accident. And then you’ll remember that that girl is the girl you’re actually talking to at the time. And then, just when it gets so terribly uncomfortable that you consider stabbing someone in the knee just to distract everyone so you can run away, someone pulls out a baggie of pot—and suddenly it’s all cool.
Jenny Lawson (Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir)
It was as if a light had been kindled in a carved and painted lantern and the intricate, skillful, artistic work on its sides, that previously seemed dark, coarse, and meaningless, was suddenly shown up in unexpected and striking beauty. For the first time all that pure, spiritual, inward travail through which she had lived appeared on the surface. All her inward labor, her dissatisfaction with herself, her sufferings, her strivings after goodness, her meekness, love, and self-sacrifice—all this now shone in those radiant eyes, in her delicate smile, and in every trait of her gentle face.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
And thinking over the long pilgrimage of his past he accepted it joyfully. He accepted the deformity which had made life so hard for him; he knew that it had warped his character, but now he saw also that by reason of it he had acquired that power of introspection which had given him so much delight. Without it he would never have had his keen appreciation of beauty, his passion for art and literature, and his interest in the varied spectacle of life. The ridicule and the contempt which had so often been heaped upon him had turned his mind inward and called forth those flowers which he felt would never lose their fragrance.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
There is ecstasy in paying attention. You can get into a kind of Wordsworthian openness to the world, where you see in everything the essence of holiness, a sign that God is implicit in all of creation. Or maybe you are not predisposed to see the world sacramentally, to see everything as an outward and visible sign of inward, invisible grace. This does not mean that you are worthless Philistine scum. Anyone who wants to can be surprised by the beauty or pain of the natural world, of the human mind and heart, and can try to capture just that—the details, the nuance, what is. If you start to look around, you will start to see.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
And thinking over the long pilgrimage of his past he accepted it joyfully. He accepted the deformity which had made life so hard for him; he knew that it had warped his character, but now he saw also that by reason of it he had acquired that power of introspection which had given him so much delight. Without it he would never have had his keen appreciation of beauty, his passion for art and literature, and his interest in the varied spectacle of life. The ridicule and the contempt which had so often been heaped upon him had turned his mind inward and called forth those flowers which he felt would never lose their fragrance. Then
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
The day will one day come--or what of the long-promised kingdom of heaven?--when a woman, instead of spending anxious thought on the adornment of her own outward person, will seek with might the adornment of the inward soul of another, and will make that her crown of rejoicing. Nay, are there none such even now? The day will come when a man, rather than build a great house for the overflow of a mighty hospitality, will give himself, in the personal labor of outgoing love, to build spiritual houses like St. Paul--a higher art than any of man's invention. O my brother, what were it not for thee to have a hand in making thy brother beautiful!
George MacDonald (Mary Marston)
The more conscious I was of all the good and of all this "beautiful and lofty," the deeper I kept sinking into my mire, and the more capable I was of getting completely stuck in it. But the main feature was that this was all in me not as if by chance, but as if it had to be so. As if it were my most normal condition and in no way a sickness or a blight, so that finally I lost any wish to struggle against this blight. I ended up almost believing (and maybe indeed believing) that this perhaps was my normal condition. But at first, in the beginning, how much torment I endured in this struggle! I did not believe that such things happened to others, and therefore kept it to myself all my life as a secret. I was ashamed (maybe I am ashamed even now); it reached the point with me where I would feel some secret, abnormal, mean little pleasure in returning to my corner on some nasty Petersburg night and being highly conscious of having once again done a nasty thing that day, and again that what had been done could in no way be undone, and I would gnaw, gnaw at myself with my teeth, inwardly, secretly, tear and suck at myself until the bitterness finally turned into some shameful, accursed sweetness, and finally-into a decided, serious pleasure! Yes, a pleasure, a pleasure! I stand upon it. The reason I've begun to speak is that I keep wanting to find out for certain: do other people have such pleasures? I'll explain it to you: the pleasure here lay precisely in the too vivid consciousness of one's own humiliation; in feeling that one had reached the ultimate wall; that, bad as it is, it cannot be otherwise; that there is no way out for you, that you will never change into a different person; that even if you had enough time and enough faith left to change yourself into something different, you probably would not wish to change; and even if you did wish it, you would still not do anything, because in fact there is perhaps nothing to change into.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Imagine such a happiness. Like drinking wine your whole life, instead of water. Like having Achilles to run your errands.” I did not know the name. His voice rolled like a bard’s: Achilles, prince of Phthia, swiftest of all the Greeks, best of the Achaian warriors at Troy. Beautiful, brilliant, born from the dread nereid Thetis, graceful and deadly as the sea itself. The Trojans had fallen before him like grass before the scythe, and the mighty Prince Hector himself perished at his ash-spear’s end. “You did not like him,” I said. Some inward amusement touched his face. “I appreciated him, in his way. But he made a terrible soldier, however many men he could bleed. He had a number of inconvenient ideas about loyalty and honor. Every day was a new struggle to yoke him to our purpose, keep him straight in his furrow. Then the best part of him died, and he was even more difficult after that. But as I said, his mother was a goddess, and prophecies hung on him like ocean-weed. He wrestled with matters larger than I will ever understand.” It was not a lie, but it was not truth either. He had named Athena as his patron. He had walked with those who could crack the world like eggs. “What was his best part?” “His lover, Patroclus. He didn’t like me much, but then the good ones never do. Achilles went mad when he died; nearly mad, anyway.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
...the great experiences which form him, arise out of the discontinuity and disharmony between man and the world. Particularly in great personalities, we see how much of their beauty and excellence is really due to trials suffered earlier at the hands of the world. Beauty--as many have recognized--is pain suffered and transformed. Because the animal is adapted to its environment, it is denied the possibility of developing inward maturity and greatness. As an individual creature it cannot grow beyond the limits of its kind; and again, at death, it falls back with its capacities into the group Ego, from which its soul was something like an offshoot or a patrol sent out on reconnaissance.
Hermann Poppelbaum (Man and Animal Their Essential Difference)
The judicious words of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), the first existentialist philosopher, are apropos to end this lumbering manuscript. 1. “One must learn to know oneself before knowing anything else.” 2. “Life always expresses the results of our dominate thoughts.” 3. “Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.” 4. “Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own.” 5. “Love is all, it gives all, and it takes all.” 6. “Don’t forget to love yourself.” 7. “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” 8. “Life has its own hidden forces, which you can only discover by living.” 9. “The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, or read about, nor seen, but if one will, are to be lived.” 10. “Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.” 11. “It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate on only what is most significant and important.” 12. “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” 13. “Since my earliest childhood, a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic, if it is pulled out I shall die.” 14. “A man who as a physical being is always turned to the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside of him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.” 15. “Just as in earthly life lovers long for the moment when they are able to breathe forth their love for each other, to let their souls blend into a soft whisper, so the mystic longs for the moment in prayer he can, as it were, creep into God.” Kierkegaard warned, “The greatest hazard of all, losing the self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. – is sure to be noticed.” Kierkegaard said that the one method to avoid losing oneself is to live joyfully in the moment, which he described as “to be present in oneself in truth,” which in turn requires “to be today, in truth be today.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
And under the cicadas, deeper down that the longest taproot, between and beneath the rounded black rocks and slanting slabs of sandstone in the earth, ground water is creeping. Ground water seeps and slides, across and down, across and down, leaking from here to there, minutely at a rate of a mile a year. What a tug of waters goes on! There are flings and pulls in every direction at every moment. The world is a wild wrestle under the grass; earth shall be moved. What else is going on right this minute while ground water creeps under my feet? The galaxy is careening in a slow, muffled widening. If a million solar systems are born every hour, then surely hundreds burst into being as I shift my weight to the other elbow. The sun’s surface is now exploding; other stars implode and vanish, heavy and black, out of sight. Meteorites are arcing to earth invisibly all day long. On the planet, the winds are blowing: the polar easterlies, the westerlies, the northeast and southeast trades. Somewhere, someone under full sail is becalmed, in the horse latitudes, in the doldrums; in the northland, a trapper is maddened, crazed, by the eerie scent of the chinook, the sweater, a wind that can melt two feet of snow in a day. The pampero blows, and the tramontane, and the Boro, sirocco, levanter, mistral. Lick a finger; feel the now. Spring is seeping north, towards me and away from me, at sixteen miles a day. Along estuary banks of tidal rivers all over the world, snails in black clusters like currants are gliding up and down the stems of reed and sedge, migrating every moment with the dip and swing of tides. Behind me, Tinker Mountain is eroding one thousandth of an inch a year. The sharks I saw are roving up and down the coast. If the sharks cease roving, if they still their twist and rest for a moment, they die. They need new water pushed into their gills; they need dance. Somewhere east of me, on another continent, it is sunset, and starlings in breathtaking bands are winding high in the sky to their evening roost. The mantis egg cases are tied to the mock-orange hedge; within each case, within each egg, cells elongate, narrow, and split; cells bubble and curve inward, align, harden or hollow or stretch. And where are you now?
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
A Passion for Everything For most of us, passion is employed only with regard to one thing, sex; or you suffer passionately and try to resolve that suffering. But I am using the word passion in the sense of a state of mind, a state of being, a state of your inward core, if there is such a thing, that feels very strongly, that is highly sensitive—sensitive alike to dirt, to squalor, to poverty, and to enormous riches and corruption, to the beauty of a tree, of a bird, to the flow of water, and to a pond that has the evening sky reflected upon it. To feel all this intensely, strongly, is necessary. Because without passion life becomes empty, shallow, and without much meaning. If you cannot see the beauty of a tree and love that tree, if you cannot care for it intensely, you are not living.
J. Krishnamurti (The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti)
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds; and until we know what has been or will be the peculiar combination of outward with inward facts, which constitutes a man's critical actions, it will be better not to think ourselves wise about his character. There is a terrible coercion in our deeds wihich may first turn the honest man into a deceiver, and then reconcile him to the change; for this reason -- that the second wrong presents itself to him in the guise of the only practicable right. The action which before commission has been seen with that blended common-sense and fresh untarnished feeling which is the healthy eye of the soul, is looked at afterwards with the lens of apologetic ingenuity, through which all things that men call beautiful and ugly are seen to be made up of textures very much alike. - Adam Bede p. 359
Marian Evans
Some destruction is required to live. We cannot eat rocks and air. Yet why should one organism eat so greedily that all others are imperiled? When we’re finished grazing in the garden, I want there to be some garden left. This is more than aesthetic desire- though surely it is the beautiful complexity of nature that woos me. It is moral desire. To use nature beyond its capacity to restore itself is to destroy the force and process that have given us our lives. We have not fallen from nature, we have risen from it; all human accomplishment, feeling, and belief along with flesh and blood are rooted in that generative power. Even our strange human inwardness that imagines such guiding abstractions as faith, justice, love, and compassion is a gift of nature. The theory of evolution, our long genetic entanglement with all the other living things, is not at odds with theories of the sacred. It locates the sacred in living things. I believe we owe nature the deep sense of gratitude that people once expressed to their gods. The earth’s life is finite, as is my own, and these are the realities I accept with sorrow, the place and the passage made sacred by their limits.
Alison Hawthorne Deming (Writing the Sacred into the Real)
She tapped on the bathroom door. “Ready for clothes?” The door swung inward. Leah stared. “Holy crap.” Seth was naked, save for a towel he had wrapped around his hips. And his body was pure perfection. His arms and legs both bore beautiful, thick muscle. But not too thick like some of the bodybuilders she’d seen whose arms and legs were so bulky they couldn’t rest their arms against their sides and seemed to walk bowlegged. Seth was built more like a professional basketball player. Broad shoulders. A well-developed chest. Even his abs rippled with muscle and begged to be touched. Realizing she had been staring—aka drooling—she looked up at him. “Seriously, how are you still single?” But Seth wasn’t looking at her face. His eyes were fastened on her body. Her breath caught when a faint golden glow illuminated his dark brown irises. “I was going to ask you the same thing,” he murmured, his voice deeper than usual and husky with what she thought might be desire. A thrill rippling through her, Leah glanced down. Her eyes widened. The rain that had found its way past the awning out front had plastered her pajamas to her skin, rendering them nearly transparent.
Dianne Duvall (Death of Darkness (Immortal Guardians, #9))
What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can’t be trusted—? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight towards a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster? Is Kitsey right? If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement, the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or—like Boris—is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name? It’s not about outward appearances but inward significance. A grandeur in the world, but not of the world, a grandeur that the world doesn’t understand. That first glimpse of pure otherness, in whose presence you bloom out and out and out. A self one does not want. A heart one cannot help.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
He is romantic—romantic,” he repeated. “And that is very bad—very bad. . . . Very good, too,” he added. “But is he?” I queried. ‘“Gewiss,” he said, and stood still holding up the candelabrum, but without looking at me. “Evident! What is it that by inward pain makes him know himself? What is it that for you and me makes him—exist?” ‘At that moment it was difficult to believe in Jim’s existence—starting from a country parsonage, blurred by crowds of men as by clouds of dust, silenced by the clashing claims of life and death in a material world—but his imperishable reality came to me with a convincing, with an irresistible force! I saw it vividly, as though in our progress through the lofty silent rooms amongst fleeting gleams of light and the sudden revelations of human figures stealing with flickering flames within unfathomable and pellucid depths, we had approached nearer to absolute Truth, which, like Beauty itself, floats elusive, obscure, half submerged, in the silent still waters of mystery. “Perhaps he is,” I admitted with a slight laugh, whose unexpectedly loud reverberation made me lower my voice directly; “but I am sure you are.” With his head dropping on his breast and the light held high he began to walk again. “Well—I exist, too,” he said.
Joseph Conrad (Lord Jim)
O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women, nor the likes of the parts of you, I believe the likes of you are to stand or fall with the likes of the soul, (and that they are the soul,) I believe the likes of you shall stand or fall with my poems, and that they are my poems, Man’s, woman’s, child’s, youth’s, wife’s, husband’s, mother’s, father’s, young man’s, young woman’s poems, Head, neck, hair, ears, drop and tympan of the ears, Eyes, eye-fringes, iris of the eye, eyebrows, and the waking or sleeping of the lids, Mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, roof of the mouth, jaws, and the jaw-hinges, Nose, nostrils of the nose, and the partition, Cheeks, temples, forehead, chin, throat, back of the neck, neck-slue, Strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula, hind-shoulders, and the ample side-round of the chest, Upper-arm, armpit, elbow-socket, lower-arm, arm-sinews, arm-bones, Wrist and wrist-joints, hand, palm, knuckles, thumb, forefinger, finger-joints, finger-nails, Broad breast-front, curling hair of the breast, breast-bone, breast-side, Ribs, belly, backbone, joints of the backbone, Hips, hip-sockets, hip-strength, inward and outward round, man-balls, man-root, Strong set of thighs, well carrying the trunk above, Leg fibres, knee, knee-pan, upper-leg, under-leg, Ankles, instep, foot-ball, toes, toe-joints, the heel; All attitudes, all the shapeliness, all the belongings of my or your body or of any one’s body, male or female, The lung-sponges, the stomach-sac, the bowels sweet and clean, The brain in its folds inside the skull-frame, Sympathies, heart-valves, palate-valves, sexuality, maternity, Womanhood, and all that is a woman, and the man that comes from woman, The womb, the teats, nipples, breast-milk, tears, laughter, weeping, love-looks, love-perturbations and risings, The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud, Food, drink, pulse, digestion, sweat, sleep, walking, swimming, Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening, The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes, The skin, the sunburnt shade, freckles, hair, The curious sympathy one feels when feeling with the hand the naked meat of the body, The circling rivers the breath, and breathing it in and out, The beauty of the waist, and thence of the hips, and thence downward toward the knees, The thin red jellies within you or within me, the bones and the marrow in the bones, The exquisite realization of health; O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul, O I say now these are the soul!
Walt Whitman (I Sing the Body Electric)
Probably you consider the body is not at all important. I’ve seen you eat, and you eat as if you were feeding a furnace. You may like the taste of food, but it is all so mechanical, so inattentive, the way you mix food on your plate. When you become aware of all this, your fingers, your eyes, your ears, your body all become sensitive, alive, responsive. This is comparatively easy. But what is more difficult is to free the mind from the mechanical habits of thought, feeling and action into which it has been driven by circumstances – by one’s wife, one’s children, one’s job. The mind itself has lost its elasticity. The more subtle forms of observation escape it. This means seeing yourself actually as you are without wanting to correct yourself or change what you see or escape from it – just to see yourself actually as you are, so that the mind doesn’t fall back into another series of habits. When such a mind looks at a flower or the colour of a dress or a dead leaf falling from a tree, it is now capable of seeing the movement of that leaf as it falls and the colour of that flower vividly. So both outwardly and inwardly the mind becomes highly alive, pliable, alert; there is a sensitivity which makes the mind intelligent. Sensitivity, intelligence and freedom in action are the beauty of living.
J. Krishnamurti (Meeting Life: Writings and Talks on Finding Your Path Without Retreating from Society)
I will here give you an infallible guide. You can perform this experiment to verify the truth. It is this: retire from the world and all conversation, only for one month; neither write, nor read, nor debate anything with yourself. Stop all the former workings of your heart and mind, and with all the strength of your heart, stand all this month, as continually as you can, in the following form of prayer to God. Offer it frequently on your knees; but whether sitting, walking, or standing, be always inwardly longing and earnestly praying this one prayer to God: That of His great goodness He would make known to you, and take from your heart, every kind and form and degree of pride, whether it be from evil spirits, or your own corrupt nature; and that He would awaken in you the deepest depth and truth of that humility, which can make you capable of His light and Holy Spirit. Reject every thought, but that of waiting and praying in this matter from the bottom of your heart, with such truth and earnestness, as people in torment wish to pray and be delivered from it. If you can, and will give yourself up in truth and sincerity to this spirit of prayer, I will venture to declare that, if you had twice as many evil spirits in you as Mary Magdalene had, they will all be cast out of you, and you will be forced with her to weep tears of love at the feet of the holy Jesus. Ibid., p. 124.
Andrew Murray (Humility: The Beauty of Holiness)
November 1 SINGING YOUR OWN PRAISES “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” —A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh As an introvert, you might have grown up feeling anything but grateful for your personality. You tried to cure your introversion by mimicking extroverted behavior. Of course, this didn’t work because you can’t fix what isn’t broken. You are an introvert. You like people, but sometimes you like your alone time more. You think deeply and choose your words carefully. You enjoy different pastimes than the extrovert down the street. None of this makes you a bad person. In fact, there are billions of other people who share your preferences. So, let’s try a different approach, shall we? Let’s try on a little self-acceptance for size. Instead of trying to fix or cure, let’s celebrate our strengths. For the longest time, I saw my quietness as a fatal flaw, a sign that I was not friendly or feminine enough. Now, I see it as just another piece of the intricate mosaic that is my personality. Alongside my quietness, there is also intuition, wisdom, and an ability to read between the lines. Sure, I speak slowly and pause often, but I am singing on the inside. Those who matter can hear my silent song. This month’s entries will help you to see the beauty in your introverted nature and guide you toward singing your own praises (quietly, of course).
Michaela Chung (The Year of the Introvert: A Journal of Daily Inspiration for the Inwardly Inclined)
In Romans 12:4-8, Paul writes about gifts: “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.” Recognize that the gifts inside you are not only for you; just as the gifts inside other people around you are not only for them. We are meant to help each other. God designed us this way on purpose! All being members of one body, our successes are shared — there is no need to be threatened by another person’s gift. Use your gifts, and encourage the people in your life to use their gifts as well. You will be blessed as a result! Unfortunately, one thing that keeps us from asking for help or taking advantage of the talents in people around us is pride. Never allow pride to keep you from asking for counsel when it is needed! 1 Corinthians 12:20 is another passage about gifts: “now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ ” We need each other, and joining our gifts together will result in a much stronger body. If you have time, read 1 Corinthians 12:4-20. Reflect on how there can be unity in the diversity of gifts if we use our different gifts properly. Determine that you will not be threatened by anyone else’s gifts! Esther was not afraid of the gifts in the people around her. Let’s see how she responds to the wisdom of others today. And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her. Esther 2:11 Every day, Mordecai goes to the palace gates to inquire after Esther and learn of what was happening to her. He goes to the palace gates with purpose. He paces in front of the women’s court until he has learns the day’s news about Esther. Even though she is no longer under his roof, he stills feels a strong responsibility toward her, and acts accordingly. He is a faithful man, and has set a great example before Esther. The news that he hears concerning Esther daily must be good: her inward beauty and submission to authority are two of the many wonderful traits that God placed in her so that she will be effective in Persia. Even though Esther is in an unfamiliar place and experiencing “firsts” every day in the palace, God is making sure she has what she needs. Esther did not need to feel nervous! She needed wise counsel; it has been provided for her in Mordecai and Hegai. She needs a pleasant and patient personality; that has been being developed in her by the Lord for many years. In your own life, you are constantly undergoing change and growth as you are submitting to the Lord. Whether or not you can see it, God is continually preparing you for what lies ahead so that you will have what you need when you need it. The God who loves you so much knows your future, and He is preparing you today for what you will experience tomorrow. Esther is receiving what she needs as well. She is in the palace undergoing her beauty preparations — a twelve month process! Even through this extended period of time, Mordecai is still at the palace gates every day (the Bible does not say that he stopped his concern for her at any point). It is an entire
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
Because,' he said, 'I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you, especially when you are near me, as now; it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situation in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land, come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and the nI've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, you'd forget me.' 'That I never would, sir; you know -,' impossible to proceed. [...] The vehemence of emotion, stirred by grief and love within me, was claiming mastery, and struggling for full sway and asserting a right to predominate - to overcome, to live, rise, and reign at last; yes, and to speak. 'I grieve to leave Thornfield; I love Thornfield; I love it, because I have lived in it a full and delightful life, momentarily at least. I have not been trampled on. I have not been petrified. I have not been buried with inferior minds, and excluded from every glimpse of communion with what is bright, and energetic, and high. I have talked, face to face, with what I reverence; with what I delight in, with an origin, a vigorous, and expanded mind. I have known you, Mr. Rochester; and it strikes me with terror and anguish to feel I absolutely must be torn from you forever. I see the necessity of departure; and it is like looking on the necessity of death.' 'Where do you see the necessity?' he asked, suddenly. 'Where? You, sir, have placed it before me.' 'In what shape?' 'In the shape of Miss Ingram; a noble and beautiful woman, your bride.' 'My bride! What bride? I have no bride!' 'But you will have.' 'Yes; I will! I will!' He set his teeth. 'Then I must go; you have said it yourself.' 'No; you must stay! I swear it, and the oath shall be kept.' 'I tell you I must go!' I retorted, roused to something like passion. 'Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automation? a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! I have as much soul as you, and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty, and much wealth, I should have made it hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh; it is my spirit that addresses your spirits; just as if both had passed through the grace, and we stood at God's feel, equal - as we are!' 'As we are!' repeated Mr. Rochester - 'so,' he added, including me in his arms, gathering me to his breast, pressing his lips on my lips; 'so, Jane!' 'Yes, so, sir,' I rejoined; 'and yet not so; for you are a married man, or as good as a married man, and we'd to one inferior to you - to one with whom you have no sympathy - whom I do not believe you truly love; for I have seen and heard you sneer at her. I would scorn such a union; therefore I am better than you - let me go!' 'Where, Jane? to Ireland?' 'Yes - to Ireland. I have spoke my mind, and can go anywhere now.' 'Jane, be still; don't struggle so, like a wild, frantic bird that is tending its own plumage in its desperation.' 'I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.' Another effort set me at liberty, and I stood erect before him. 'And your will shall decide your destiny,' he said; 'I offer you my hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions.' 'You play a farce, which I merely taught at.' 'I ask you to pass through life at my side - to be my second self, and best earthly companion.' [...] 'Do you doubt me, Jane?' 'Entirely.' 'You have no faith in me?' 'Not a whit.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
The most poignant lesson, which proved to be the last, was held a few days before the wedding. Diana’s thoughts were on the profound changes ahead. Miss Snipp noted: “Lady Diana rather tired--too many late nights. I delivered silver salt-cellars--present from West Heath school--very beautiful and much admired. Lady Diana counting how many days of freedom are left to her. Rather sad. Masses of people outside of Palace. We hope to resume lessons in October. Lady Diana said: “In 12 days time I shall no longer be me.’” Even as she spoke those words Diana must have known that she had left behind her bachelor persona as soon as she had entered the Palace portals. In the weeks following the engagement she had grown in confidence and self-assurance, her sense of humour frequently bubbling to the surface. Lucinda Craig Harvey saw her former cleaning lady on several occasions during her engagement, once at the 30th birthday party of her brother-in-law, Neil McCorquodale. “She had a distance to her and everyone was in awe of her,” she recalls. It was a quality also noticed by James Gilbey. “She has always been seen as a typical Sloane Ranger. That’s not true. She was always removed, always had a determination about her and was very matter-of-fact, almost dogmatic. That quality has now developed into a tremendous presence.” While she was in awe of Prince Charles, deferring to his every decision, she didn’t appear to be overcome by her surroundings. Inwardly she may have been nervous, outwardly she appeared calm, relaxed and ready to have fun. At Prince Andrew’s 21st birthday party which was held at Windsor Castle she was at her ease among friends. When her future brother-in-law asked where he could find the Duchess of Westminster, the wife of Britain’s richest aristocrat, she joked: “Oh Andrew, do stop name dropping.” Her ready repartee, cutting but not vicious, was reminiscent of her eldest sister Sarah when she was the queen bee of the Society circuit. “Don’t look so serious it’s not working,” joked Diana as she introduced Adam Russell to the Queen, Prince Charles and other members of the royal family in the receiving line at the ball held at Buckingham Palace two days before her wedding. Once again she seemed good humoured and relaxed in her grand surroundings. There wasn’t the slightest sign that a few hours earlier she had collapsed in paroxysms of tears and seriously considered calling the whole thing off.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
The only thing I knew about pickups was this: growing up, I always inwardly mocked the couples I saw who drove around in them. The girl would be sitting in the middle seat right next to the boy, and the boy’s right arm would be around her shoulders, and his left arm would be on the wheel. I’m not sure why, but there was something about my golf course upbringing that had always caused me to recoil at this sight. Why is she sitting in the middle seat? I’d wonder. Why is it important that they press against each other as they drive down the road? Can’t they wait until they get home? I looked at it as a sign of weakness--something pitiable. They need to get a life may have even crossed my mind once or twice, as if their specific brand of public affection was somehow directly harming me. But that’s what happens to people who, by virtue of the geography of their childhood, are deprived of the opportunity to ride in pickup trucks. They become really, really judgmental about otherwise benign things. Still, every now and then, as Marlboro Man showed me the beauty of the country in his white Ford F250, I couldn’t help but wonder…had he been one of those boys in high school? I knew he’d had a serious girlfriend back in his teenage years. Julie. A beautiful girl and the love of his adolescent life, in the same way Kev had been mine. And I wondered: had Julie scooched over to the middle seat when Marlboro Man picked her up every Friday night? Had he hooked his right arm around her neck, and had she then reached her left hand up and clasped his right hand with hers? Had they then dragged Main in this position? Our hometowns had been only forty miles apart; maybe he’d brought her to my city to see a movie. Was it remotely possible I’d actually seen Marlboro Man and Julie riding around in his pickup, sitting side by side? Was it possible this man, this beautiful, miraculous, perfect man who’d dropped so magically into my life, had actually been one of the innocent recipients of my intolerant, shallow pickup-related condemnation? And if he had done it, was it something he’d merely grown out of? How come I wasn’t riding around in his middle seat? Was I supposed to initiate this? Was this expected of me? Because I probably should know early on. But wouldn’t he have gestured in that direction if he’d wanted me to move over and sit next to him? Maybe, just maybe, he’d liked those girls better than he liked me. Maybe they’d had a closeness that warranted their riding side by side in a pickup, a closeness that he and I just don’t share? Please don’t let that be the reason. I don’t like that reason. I had to ask him. I had to know.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
It was like a page out of the telephone book. Alphabetically, numerically, statistically, it made sense. But when you looked at it up close, when you examined the pages separately, or the parts separately, when you examined one lone individual and what constituted him, examined the air he breathed, the life he led, the chances he risked, you saw something so foul and degrading, so low, so miserable, so utterly hopeless and senseless, that it was worse than looking into a volcano. Outwardly it seems to be a beautiful honeycomb, with all the drones crawling over each other in a frenzy of work; inwardly it’s a slaughterhouse, each man killing off his neighbor and sucking the juice from his bones. Superficially it looks like a bold, masculine world; actually it’s a whorehouse run by women, with the native sons acting as pimps and the bloody foreigners selling their flesh... The whole continent is sound asleep and in that sleep a grand nightmare is taking place… At night the streets of New York reflect the crucifixion and death of Christ. When the snow is on the ground and there is the utmost silence there comes out of the hideous buildings of New York a music of such sullen despair and bankruptcy as to make the flesh shrivel. No stone was laid upon another with love or reverence; no street was laid for dance or joy. One thing has been added to another in a mad scramble to fill the belly, and the streets smell of empty bellies and full bellies and bellies half full. The streets smell of a hunger which has nothing to do with love; they smell of the belly which is insatiable and of the creations of the empty belly which are null and void. Just as the city itself had become a huge tomb in which men struggled to earn a decent death so my own life came to resemble a tomb which I was constructing out of my own death. I was walking around in a stone forest the center of which was chaos; sometimes in the dead center, in the very heart of chaos, I danced or drank myself silly, or I made love, or I befriended some one, or I planned a new life, but it was all chaos, all stone, and all hopeless and bewildering. Until the time when I would encounter a force strong enough to whirl me out of this mad stone forest no life would be possible for me nor could one page be written which would have meaning… Everybody and everything is a part of life... As an individual, as flesh and blood, I am leveled down each day to make the fleshless, bloodless city whose perfection is the sum of all logic and death to the dream. I am struggling against an oceanic death in which my own death is but a drop of water evaporating. To raise my own individual life but a fraction of an inch above this sinking sea of death I must have a faith greater than Christ’s, a wisdom deeper than that of the greatest seer. I must have the ability and the patience to formulate what is not contained in the language of our time, for what is now intelligible is meaningless. My eyes are useless, for they render back only the image of the known. My whole body must become a constant beam of light, moving with an ever greater rapidity, never arrested, never looking back, never dwindling. The city grows like a cancer; I must grow like a sun. The city eats deeper and deeper into the red; it is an insatiable white louse which must die eventually of inanition. I am going to starve the white louse which is eating me up. I am going to die as a city in order to become again a man. Therefore I close my ears, my eyes, my mouth. Infinitely better, as life moves toward a deathly perfection, to be just a bit of breathing space, a stretch of green, a little fresh air, a pool of water. Better also to receive men silently and to enfold them, for there is no answer to make while they are still frantically rushing to turn the corner.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #2))
In temperament the Second Men were curiously different from the earlier species. The same factors were present, but in different proportions, and in far greater subordination to the considered will of the individual. Sexual vigour had returned. But sexual interest was strangely altered. Around the ancient core of delight in physical and mental contact with the opposite sex there now appeared a kind of innately sublimated, and no less poignant, appreciation of the unique physical and mental forms of all kinds of live things. It is difficult for less ample natures to imagine this expansion of the innate sexual interest; for to them it is not apparent that the lusty admiration which at first directs itself solely on the opposite sex is the appropriate attitude to all the beauties of flesh and spirit in beast and bird and plant. Parental interest also was strong in the new species, but it too was universalized. It had become a strong innate interest in, and a devotion to, all beings that were conceived as in need of help. In the earlier species this passionate spontaneous altruism occurred only in exceptional persons. In the new species, however, all normal men and women experienced altruism as a passion. And yet at the same time primitive parenthood had become tempered to a less possessive and more objective love, which among the First Men was less common than they themselves were pleased to believe. Assertiveness had also greatly changed. Formerly very much of a man's energy had been devoted to the assertion of himself as a private individual over against other individuals; and very much of his generosity had been at bottom selfish. But in the Second Men this competitive self-assertion, this championship of the most intimately known animal against all others, was greatly tempered. Formerly the major enterprises of society would never have been carried through had they not been able to annex to themselves the egoism of their champions. But in the Second Men the parts were reversed. Few individuals could ever trouble to exert themselves to the last ounce for merely private ends, save when those ends borrowed interest or import from some public enterprise. It was only his vision of a world-wide community of persons, and of his own function therein, that could rouse the fighting spirit in a man. Thus it was inwardly, rather than in outward physical characters, that the Second Men differed from the First. And in nothing did they differ more than in their native aptitude for cosmopolitanism. They had their tribes and nations. War was not quite unknown amongst them. But even in primitive times a man's most serious loyalty was directed toward the race as a whole; and wars were so hampered by impulses of kindliness toward the enemy that they were apt to degenerate into rather violent athletic contests, leading to an orgy of fraternization. It would not be true to say that the strongest interest of these beings was social. They were never prone to exalt the abstraction called the state, or the nation, or even the world-commonwealth. For their most characteristic factor was not mere gregariousness but something novel, namely an innate interest in personality, both in the actual diversity of persons and in the ideal of personal development. They had a remarkable power of vividly intuiting their fellows as unique persons with special needs. Individuals of the earlier species had suffered from an almost insurmountable spiritual isolation from one another. Not even lovers, and scarcely even the geniuses with special insight into personality, ever had anything like accurate vision of one another. But the Second Men, more intensely and accurately self-conscious, were also more intensely and accurately conscious of one another. This they achieved by no unique faculty, but solely by a more ready interest in each other, a finer insight, and a more active imagination.
William Olaf Stapledon (The Last and First Men)
she had lost some weight, but inwardly he felt that it had been unnecessary. She would have been beautiful regardless.
Kkamang Kkamang (The Male Lead Is Mine Vol. 3 (novel))
The little-me is egocentric, concerned with self-preservation and inward looking. It has a habit of being judgemental, both to self and to others. It is critical, insecure, needy, defensive and proud. The little-me is only ever secure in achievement and is therefore highly fragile and easily offended. The little-me wants to control and manage, and cannot easily let go.
Mark Townsend (The Gospel of Falling Down: The Beauty Of Failure In An Age Of Success: The Beauty of Failure, in an Age of Success)
It is possible to have a strong self-love without any self-satisfaction, rather with a self-discontent which is the more intense because one's own little core of egoistic sensibility is a supreme care; but Gwendolen knew nothing of such inward strife. She had a naive delight in her fortunate self, which any but the harshest saintliness will have some indulgence for in a girl who had every day seen a pleasant reflection of that self in her friends' flattery as well as in the looking-glass. And even in this beginning of troubles, while for lack of anything else to do she sat gazing at her image in the growing light, her face gathered a complacency gradual as the cheerfulness of the morning. Her beautiful lips curled into a more and more decided smile, till at last she took off her hat, leaned forward and kissed the cold glass which had looked so warm. How could she believe in sorrow? If it attacked her, she felt the force to crush it, to defy it, or run away from it, as she had done already. Anything seemed more possible than that she could go on bearing miseries, great or small.
George Eliot (Daniel Deronda)
You are not complete the day someone compliments you, shows you off to the world, or showers you with affection. You are not complete the day someone feeds your ego and gives you validation. You are complete the day you recognize you are unique, extraordinary, and irreplaceable. You are complete the day you trace your scars and see them as unique and beautiful. You are complete the day you turn inwards to get your own validation. You are complete the day you realize only your approval matters.
Nida Awadia
Language, the home and receptacle of beauty and meaning, itself begins to think and speak for man and turns wholly into music, not in terms of sonority but in terms of the impetuousness and power of its inward flow. Then, like the current of a mighty river polishing stones and turning wheels by its very movement, the flow of speech creates, in passing, by virtue of its own laws, meter and rhythm and countless other relationships, which are even more important, but which are as yet unexplored, insufficiently recognized, and unnamed.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
It was as if a light had been kindled in a carved and painted lantern and the intricate, skilful, artistic work on its sides, that previously seemed dark, coarse, and meaningless, was suddenly shown up in unexpected and striking beauty. For the first time all that pure, spiritual, inward travail through which she had lived appeared on the surface. All her inward labour, her dissatisfaction with herself, her sufferings, her strivings after goodness, her meekness, love, and self-sacrifice-all this now shone in those radiant eyes, in her delicate smile, and in every trait of her gentle face.
Leo Tolstoy
If the greatest commandment given by Jesus is rooted in love, the greatest sin—and perhaps all sin—must in some way be the rejection of this command. This is what makes sin so pernicious. It orients us inward. It curves us in on ourselves, and in so doing, it uproots love, goodness, beauty, and kindness.
Rich Villodas (Good and Beautiful and Kind: Becoming Whole in a Fractured World)
Man, the bravest of animals and the one most accustomed to suffering, does not repudiate suffering as such; he desires it, he even seeks it out, provided he is shown a meaning for it, a purpose of suffering. The meaninglessness of suffering, not suffering itself, was the curse that lay over mankind so far―and the ascetic ideal offered man meaning! It was the only meaning offered so far; any meaning is better than none at all; the ascetic ideal was in every sense the "faute de mieux" par excellence so far. In it, suffering was interpreted; the tremendous void seemed to have been filled; the door was closed to any kind of suicidal nihilism. This interpretation - there is no doubt of it - brought fresh suffering with it, deeper, more inward, more poisonous, more life-destructive suffering: it placed all suffering under the perspective of guilt. But all this notwithstanding - man was saved thereby, he possessed a meaning, he was henceforth no longer 1ike a leaf in the wind, a plaything of nonsense - the "sense-less" - he could now willsomething; no matter at first to what end, why, with what he willed: the will itself was saved. We can no longer conceal from ourselves what is expressed by all that willing which has taken its direction from the ascetic ideal: this hatred of the human, and even more of the animal, and more still of the material, this horror of the senses, of reason itself, this fear of happiness and beauty, this longing to get away from all appearance, change, becoming, death, wishing, from longing itself. All this means - let us dare to grasp it - a will to nothingness, an aversion to life, a rebellion against the most fundamental presuppositions of life; but it is and remains a will. Man would rather will nothingness than not will at all.
Friedrich Nietzsche (On the Genealogy of Morals)
Man, the bravest of animals and the one most accustomed to suffering, does not repudiate suffering as such; he desires it, he even seeks it out, provided he is shown a meaning for it, a purpose of suffering. The meaninglessness of suffering, not suffering itself, was the curse that lay over mankind so far -- and the ascetic ideal offered man meaning! It was the only meaning offered so far; any meaning is better than none at all; the ascetic ideal was in every sense the "faute de mieux" par excellence so far. In it, suffering was interpreted; the tremendous void seemed to have been filled; the door was closed to any kind of suicidal nihilism. This interpretation - there is no doubt of it - brought fresh suffering with it, deeper, more inward, more poisonous, more life-destructive suffering: it placed all suffering under the perspective of guilt. But all this notwithstanding - man was saved thereby, he possessed a meaning, he was henceforth no longer 1ike a leaf in the wind, a plaything of nonsense - the "sense-less" - he could now willsomething; no matter at first to what end, why, with what he willed: the will itself was saved. We can no longer conceal from ourselves what is expressed by all that willing which has taken its direction from the ascetic ideal: this hatred of the human, and even more of the animal, and more still of the material, this horror of the senses, of reason itself, this fear of happiness and beauty, this longing to get away from all appearance, change, becoming, death, wishing, from longing itself. All this means - let us dare to grasp it - a will to nothingness, an aversion to life, a rebellion against the most fundamental presuppositions of life; but it is and remains a will. Man would rather will nothingness than not will at all.
Friedrich Nietzsche
If you desire to read the scripture in such a manner as may most effectually answer this end, would it not be advisable, 1. To set apart a little time, if you can, every morning and evening for that purpose 2. At each time if you have leisure, to read a chapter out of the Old, and one out of the New Testament: if you cannot do this, to take a single chapter, or a part of one. 3. To read this with a single eye, to know the whole will of God, and a fixt resolution to do it. In order to know his will, you should, 4. Have a constant eye to the analogy of faith; the connexion and harmony there is between those grand, fundamental doctrines, Original Sin, Justification by Faith, the New Birth, Inward and Outward Holiness. 5. Serious and earnest prayer should be constantly used, before we consult the oracles
Phylicia Masonheimer (Stop Calling Me Beautiful: Finding Soul-Deep Strength in a Skin-Deep World)
Art considers the question of suffering. Beauty asks me to open inwardly into the possibility that it is not God who makes us suffer, who creates war, trauma, abuse, or bodily, emotional, mental, and spiritual harm, but rather it is we ourselves who harm and abandon each other.
Shann Ray (The Souls of Others)
You have to enjoy power, have a certain ruthlessness, to accept the beauty and not mourn the fact that it overshadows everything else. As with any exaggerated trait that sets you apart and makes you exceptional—and enviable, and hateable—to accept your beauty, to accept its effect on others, to play with it, to make the best of it, you’re well advised to develop a sense of humor. Dawn was not a stick, she had spirit and she had spunk, and she could be cutting in a very humorous way, but that wasn’t quite the inward humor it took to do the job and make her free.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral (The American Trilogy, #1))
He turned immediately towards the hearth, where Silas Marner sat lulling the child. She was perfectly quiet now, but not asleep—only soothed by sweet porridge and warmth into that wide-gazing calm which makes us older human beings, with our inward turmoil, feel a certain awe in the presence of a little child, such as we feel before some quiet majesty or beauty in the earth or sky—before a steady glowing planet, or a full-flowered eglantine, or the bending trees over a silent pathway.
George Eliot (Silas Marner (Amazon Classics))
Their mother came in now, and Maggie rushed away, that her burst of tears, which she felt must come, might not happen till she was safe upstairs. They were very bitter tears; everybody in the world seemed so hard and unkind to Maggie; there was no indulgence, no fondness, such as she imagined when she fashioned the world afresh in her own thoughts. In books there were people who were always agreeable or tender, and delighted to do things that made one happy, and who did not show their kindness by finding fault. The world outside the books was not a happy one, Maggie felt; it seemed to be a world where people behaved the best to those they did not pretend to love, and that did not belong to them. And if life had no love in it, what else was there for Maggie? Nothing but poverty and the companionship of her mother’s narrow griefs, perhaps of her father’s heart-cutting childish dependence. There is no hopelessness so sad as that of early youth, when the soul is made up of wants, and has no long memories, no superadded life in the life of others; though we who looked on think lightly of such premature despair, as if our vision of the future lightened the blind sufferer’s present. Maggie, in her brown frock, with her eyes reddened and her heavy hair pushed back, looking from the bed where her father lay to the dull walls of this sad chamber which was the centre of her world, was a creature full of eager, passionate longings for all that was beautiful and glad; thirsty for all knowledge; with an ear straining after dreamy music that died away and would not come near to her; with a blind, unconscious yearning for something that would link together the wonderful impressions of this mysterious life, and give her soul a sense of home in it. No wonder, when there is this contrast between the outward and the inward, that painful collisions come of it.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
Ah, so ye will escort me to my cousin’s then, will ye?” she said in a voice so sweet she was surprised it did not make her teeth ache. “Nay, they willnae,” drawled an all too familiar voice from behind her. Inwardly cursing, Bridget turned to face Cathal. “I have decided ’tis time for me to continue on my journey.” “And ye decided ye had to do it now? Right now? Without most of your belongings?” “Aye. I got to thinking—” “A dangerous thing for a lass to do. Ow!” Jankyn rubbed his stomach where Bridget had just hit him with her sack of belongings, and grinned at her. “Why are ye nay out with the others, howling at the moon?” “At least I am nay dancing beneath it.” He laughed when she blushed. “Ye were watching me?” “I heard ye singing.” “That was so rude.” If he had been drawn by her singing then he could not have seen her naked, Bridget mused, and relaxed. “I had left the camp to seek a few moments of privacy.” Cathal grasped Bridget by the arm, turning her attention back to him. “Why were ye leaving?” Bridget could feel the blunt truth on the tip of her tongue, but could not bring herself to speak it. It was as if she feared that, in speaking the words, the truth could no longer be ignored. That was absurd. She knew the truth. By the way the three men looked at her, they knew she had guessed all their secrets. It made no difference. She simply could not utter the dark, terrifying name aloud. In some odd, twisted way, she was actually concerned about offending them. “I decided I wasnae going to play your game any longer,” she replied. “I was going to my cousin’s.” “Alone? At night?” “Tis the best time for an escape.” But not here, she realized, and inwardly cursed her own stupidity. At Cambrun high noon on a sunny day would have been a better choice. “I have prepared for a visit with Barbara for months. I want to go to court, to see all the fine clothes, and to watch all the courtiers and their ladies. I want to sit down to a feast and listen to all the whispers about who is sinning with whom. I want to hear the minstrels sing and I want to dance with some fine, courtly gentlemon who will tell me all manner of sweet lies about how bonnie I am. I want—” A squeak of surpise and outrage escaped her when Cathal suddenly picked her up and slung her over his shoulder. The soft laughter of Jankyn and Raibeart only added to her anger over being so roughly handled. Bridget dropped her belongings and proceeded to pound her fists against his broad back. Cathal did not even flinch as he continued to take her back to her bedchamber and that, too, increased her fury. Under her breath she cursed him and his stubborness. “Tis nay just me who is blindly stubborn,” muttered Cathal as he entered the bedchamber and kicked the door shut behind him. “Tis ye who refuses to give up this plan to go to court. And for what? To hear empty flatteries and malicious tales?” He paused by the bed. “Undo your cloak.” Even as she blindly obeyed that terse command, Bridget wondered why she did so. Such quick obedience was not in her nature. She growled softly when her cloak was pulled from her and tossed to the floor. Before she could say anything, she was tossed down onto the bed. Her body was still bouncing slightly when Cathal sprawled on top of her, gently but firmly pinning her down. Bridget scowled at him, more angry than afraid, and tried not to let the beauty of his face distract her. She had a right to be angry and she would hold fast to that feeling no matter how warm and itchy he made her feel. “Ye are staying here,” Cathal said. “I am going to woo ye and then we will be married.” “Oh! What arrogance! Ye may woo me, but that doesnae necessarily mean ye will win me.” Bridget
Hannah Howell (The Eternal Highlander (McNachton Vampires, #1))
To Morton Stone, all those first weeks at Meerlust had a strange, dream-like quality. The contours and smells of the country, the odd style of the house’s architecture, the stinkwood furniture and ancient brass with which its rooms were furnished, had an exotic flavour that left him slightly bewildered. They didn’t, naturally, bewilder Catherine at all. She was rapturously recapturing the days when she and Hans had been children together. To Morton there was something beautiful, and at the same time pathetic, in the quickness with which she responded to each remembered detail: the bird-song, the flowers that now bloomed in incredible profusion, the smell of the veld, the soft accents of Cape-Dutch dialect. It was pathetic for two reasons. First because these memories, which he could neither share nor understand, increased the distance between them; once again, because all her rapture was shadowed for him by the gloom of an in- definite apprehensiveness. This very excess of happiness took it out of her. She wasn’t, as he could see, and as the Malans’ Dutch doctor told him, any better for the change. It seemed to spur her to a morbid restlessness. She was catching at every memory, within, or just out of reach, as though some inward consciousness told her that the time for its enjoyment was limited. It irked her to find him, as it seemed to her, dull and unresponsive. As for Morton, the sense of impending disaster never left him. He could have faced it more easily, he felt, at home, amid familiar surroundings, than in this strange, unreal oasis of beauty, five thousand miles from anywhere.
Francis Brett Young (The Cage Bird and Other Stories)
The sleeping or relaxed brain cuts off distractions and turns inward, as the right hemisphere becomes more active, leading to periods of greater connectivity.
Warren Berger (A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas)
Let's work today to create a beautiful world for tomorrow, Let's work today to make our world free from the sorrow, Let's work today to save the birds so we hear again the voice of sparrow, Let's work today to uplift ourselves from getting our minds narrow, Let's work today to share with each other so we shouldn't borrow, Let's work today towards righteousness so we stand with no fear in a row, Let's work today towards the truth with truthfulness so that we grow, Let's work today together for the betterment of each other so the grace of God upon us bestow.
Aiyaz Uddin (The Inward Journey)
You might go out to explore the world but if you haven't explored yourself then you have missed the most beautiful exploration one could explore which is exploring your soul.
Aiyaz Uddin (The Inward Journey)
In order to characterize these two “impulses” more closely, Nietzsche compares the peculiar psychological states they give rise to with those of dreaming and intoxication. The Apollinian impulse produces the state comparable to dreaming, the Dionysian the state comparable to intoxication. By “dreaming” Nietzsche means, as he himself says, essentially an “inward vision,” the “lovely semblance of dream-worlds.”4 Apollo “rules over the beautiful illusion of the inner world of fantasy,” he is “the god of all shape-shifting powers.”5 He signifies measure, number, limitation, and subjugation of everything wild and untamed. “One might even describe Apollo himself as the glorious divine image of the principium individuationis.”6
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 6: Psychological Types)
Likewise, our ability to feel the depth and beauty of life is capable of expanding forever inward if we are willing to take our problems and see them as catalysts.
Brianna Wiest (The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery)
But it can be extremely painful to learn the fear of the Lord. It is death to our narcissistic egos and self-assured opinions and superior neutrality. But we do not change for the better by turning inward. We change as we turn outward and upward to the Lord with an awakened sense of his sheer reality, his moral beauty, his eternal grandeur, infinitely above us but relevant to us.
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. (Proverbs: Wisdom That Works)
Praise the miracle body The odd and undeniable mechanics of hand Hundred boned foot, perfect stretch of tendon Praise the veins that river these wrists Praise the prolapsed valve in a heart Praise the scars marking a gallbladder absent Praise the rasp and rattle of functioning lungs Praise the pre-arthritic ache of elbows and ankles Praise the lifeline sectioning a palm Praise the photographic pads of fingertips Praise the vulnerable dip at the base of a throat Praise the muscles surfacing on an abdomen Praise these arms that carry babies, and anthologies Praise the leg hairs that sprout and are shaved Praise the ass that refuses to shrink or be hidden Praise the cunt that bleeds and accepts, bleeds and accepts Praise the prominent ridge of nose Praise the strange convexity of rib cage Praise the single hair that insists on growing from a right areola Praise the dent where the mole was clipped from the back of a neck Praise these inner thighs brushing Praise these eyelashes that sometimes turn inward Praise these hips preparing to spread into a grandmother’s skirt Praise the beauty of the freckle on the first knuckle of a left little finger We’re gone in a blizzard of seconds Love the body human while we’re here A gift of minutes on an evolving planet A country in flux, give thanks For bone, and dirt, and the million things that will kill us someday Motion and the pursuit of happiness, no garauntees, give thanks For chaos theory, ecology, common sense that says we are web A planet in balance or out That butterfly in Tokyo setting off thunder storms in Iowa Tell me you don’t matter to a universe that conspired to give you such a tongue Such rhythm or rhythmless hips Such opposable thumbs Give thanks, or go home a waste of spark Speak, or let the maker take back your throat March, or let the creator rescind your feet Dream, or let your god destroy your good and fertile mind This is your warning This your birthright Do not let this universe regret you
Marty McConnell
For some reason, I found the fact that our two men were naked, while Jester and I were, in a way, clothed, particularly exciting. Jester was adorned in paint, and I had my feathered pinioned wings and my owl mask. I was a totem, my man was transparent and naked; he was my servant and my slave, and he was that pure thing – a naked male animal, and, tonight, he was mine. “To-wit, to-whoo,” I invited my servant with my owl call. He kissed me; the kiss was fierce and unending, or so it seemed, an eternal kiss, a kiss that would carry us into infinity, his arms around me, grasping me, clasping me under my pinioned arms; his lips explored mine; our lips merged in one; my eyes were closed; it was pure sensation: the pouring rain, my dripping feathers, my pinioned arms pressed together, my shoulders pulled back tight, my breasts tensed and straining forward; his chest, hard and smooth and muscular against my breasts; his hands on me; his lips meeting my lips; his tongue mingling with my tongue. I breathed him in. Inwardly, I sighed, “Oh, Master!” But it came out as a quizzical “To-wit, to-whoo?” He whispered, “Oh, Goddess, oh, beautiful Owl.” He held me so tight it was as if he wanted to consume me, merge my body in his, to absorb me totally. Finally, he stepped back, unhooked the owl mask-and-hood from the collar, and lifted it off, and placed it carefully on an iron bench, which was the only furniture in the gazebo. My face, now, was naked. And then, standing in the rain, we made love, me with my arms still pinioned behind me, totally at his mercy, thrilling at my helplessness, and entrusting myself totally to his love ...
Gwendoline Clermont (Gwendoline Goes To School)
the Confederacy of the Humbled is a close-knit brotherhood whose members travel with no outward markings, but who know each other at a glance. For having fallen suddenly from grace, those in the Confederacy share a certain perspective. Knowing beauty, influence, fame, and privilege to be borrowed rather than bestowed, they are not easily impressed. They are not quick to envy or take offense. They certainly do not scour the papers in search of their own names. They remain committed to living among their peers, but they greet adulation with caution, ambition with sympathy, and condescension with an inward smile.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
when learning stripped the Earth of her mantle of beauty, and poets sang no more save of twisted phantoms seen with bleared and inward looking eyes; when these things had come to pass, and childish hopes had gone forever, there was a man who travelled out of life on a quest into the spaces whither the world’s dreams had fled.
H.P. Lovecraft (H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction)
Perhaps to be human is to struggle one’s whole life to find some solid ground to stand on and then die never coming anywhere close. And perhaps that’s not even a bad thing. To know the true meaning of life and self is to do what with it? End the mystery? End the game? What then? Perhaps one day we will find some unifying theory of everything and perhaps somehow this will make everything better, but what are the odds that we still care about the point of life after we’ve found it? Imagine a movie in which you knew exactly why and what everything was from the start. Imagine a life, if we found a theory of everything or an equation that connected the mysteries of quantum mechanics and Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, and we understood the very core of how and why the universe worked, what difference would this really make in terms of the meaning of life. Would two different people still not watch the same movie and experience and interpret two different things? We would of course all agree that it’s a movie and on how the movie works, but when it comes to meaning, there will always remain a perceptual layer completely relative to the individuals observing it. Because of this, if we found the overarching ultimate truth of existence tomorrow, half the world would not believe it, and the other half would fight for it. And as a whole, we would be no different. And if somehow the whole world did agree upon one truth, what then? Utopia? What then? The truth we seek when considering the quality and meaning of our lives is not an outward truth, not a truth that resolves the questions of the universe, but a truth that glimpses inward and assembles into a stable self that can be integrated seamlessly into our perception of the whole around us, a truth we can’t ever truly have. Truth is not even the right word here, there is no right word here. That’s the point. I sit here writing, thinking about my being, about the strange relationship I have with this life and this plane of existence. I think about how alive I feel right now while writing. How potent this moment is. How insane and beautiful it is. How important it has been to me in the past. Thinking, writing, talking, and reading about earnest experiences and attempts at living. Personally, the direct confrontation with the challenges, complexities, sufferings, and plights of the human condition have provided me with some of, if not all of the profound, potent, and beautiful moments of my life. And I wonder if I would have ever experienced any of those undeniably worthy moments if life made sense. If it didn’t hurt and overwhelm me… How beautiful would the night sky be if we knew exactly where it went and how the stars got there? Would we ever be inspired to create art and form interpretations out of this life, what would I have written about? What would I have read about? How would I have ever found love or friendship or connection with others? Why would I have ever laughed or cried? What would I be doing right now? Would there be anything to say? Anything to live or die for? I don’t feel that my life would have been any better if I had known any more of what it was all about, in fact I think it would have only worsened the whole thing, we seem to so desire certainty, and immortality, a utopic end of conflict, suffering, and misunderstanding, and yet in the final elimination of all darkness exists light with no contrast. And where there is no contrast of light there is no perception of light, at all. What we think we want is rarely what we do, if we ever got what we did, we would no longer have anything. What we really want is to want. To have something to ceaselessly chase and move towards. To feel the motion and synchronicity with the universe's unending forward movement.
Robert Pantano
Philip had cultivated a certain disdain for idealism. He had always had a passion for life, and the idealism he had come across seemed to him for the most part a cowardly shrinking from it. The idealist withdrew himself, because he could not suffer the jostling of the human crowd; he had not the strength to fight and so called the battle vulgar; he was vain, and since his fellows would not take him at his own estimate, consoled himself with despising his fellows. For Philip his type was Hayward, fair, languid, too fat now and rather bald, still cherishing the remains of his good looks and still delicately proposing to do exquisite things in the uncertain future; and at the back of this were whiskey and vulgar amours of the street. It was in reaction from what Hayward represented that Philip clamoured for life as it stood; sordidness, vice, deformity, did not offend him; he declared that he wanted man in his nakedness; and he rubbed his hands when an instance came before him of meanness, cruelty, selfishness, or lust: that was the real thing. In Paris he had learned that there was neither ugliness nor beauty, but only truth: the search after beauty was sentimental. Had he not painted an advertisement of chocolat Menier in a landscape in order to escape from the tyranny of prettiness? But here he seemed to divine something new. He had been coming to it, all hesitating, for some time, but only now was conscious of the fact; he felt himself on the brink of a discovery. He felt vaguely that here was something better than the realism which he had adored; but certainly it was not the bloodless idealism which stepped aside from life in weakness; it was too strong; it was virile; it accepted life in all its vivacity, ugliness and beauty, squalor and heroism; it was realism still; but it was realism carried to some higher pitch, in which facts were transformed by the more vivid light in which they were seen. He seemed to see things more profoundly through the grave eyes of those dead noblemen of Castile; and the gestures of the saints, which at first had seemed wild and distorted, appeared to have some mysterious significance. But he could not tell what that significance was. It was like a message which it was very important for him to receive, but it was given him in an unknown tongue, and he could not understand. He was always seeking for a meaning in life, and here it seemed to him that a meaning was offered; but it was obscure and vague. He was profoundly troubled. He saw what looked like the truth as by flashes of lightning on a dark, stormy night you might see a mountain range. He seemed to see that a man need not leave his life to chance, but that his will was powerful; he seemed to see that self-control might be as passionate and as active as the surrender to passion; he seemed to see that the inward life might be as manifold, as varied, as rich with experience, as the life of one who conquered realms and explored unknown lands.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
He paused as his eyes went Elsewhere. His mouth hung open uncharacteristically in an odd moment of hesitation. But then he spoke: “I dreamt one night that I stood before the Conjurer of All. I do not know if this Conjurer was God, per se , but let us entertain the possibility that there exists, at least encoded in the patterned mechanisms of the human mind, a necessary and indelible embodiment therein that is simultaneously the Creator of the Universe and the Forger of All Things Within It The Knower of All there is to Know, to say the least. I stood uncomfortably before such an entity and this Conjurer spoke thus, ‘Seeker of Truth!’ His words were oppressive, yet assuring, ‘Now it can all be told! Now you may have all the answers you seek. All the answers of the Universe!’ This proclamation only satisfied me briefly, for I almost immediately found myself responding, ‘Dear Conjurer, I do not wish to sound ungrateful, but instead of all the answers, may I not have more questions? An endless supply even? For all else would seem insufficient. I could never face a world that lacked mystery.’ The Maker laughed as though I had told the only joke in the Universe in which he could find humor. I awoke immediately, out of breath, for I, too, had been laughing.
Ashim Shanker (Inward and Toward (Migrations, #3))
Lao Tze's vision is compatible with the Positive Paradigm of Change. In fact, placing the language of his passages into the levels of the Wheel serves to clarify his vision. The model is therefore shown here, along with its application to the subtitle: Common Sense. The right-brain compliment to the left-brain words of Passage One is also supplied below as a hint of what's possible. Einstein's warning, the basis of Rethinking Survival, could well have been spoken by a Chinese sage: 'Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison [of separatist thinking] by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. . . We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive." Prominent themes which link Einstein with the Chinese yoga tradition include not only Compassion but also Unity and Survival. In addition, anticipating the Positive Paradigm, Lao Tze repeated alludes to a timeless center at life's hub encompassed by the surface rim of fluctuating events. 1. The Eternal is beyond words, undefinable and illusive, all-pervading yet mysterious. The timeless, though ungraspable, is the unfailing source of all experience. To transcend mortality, and attain sublime peace, turn inward, releasing desire and ambition. To manifest inner vision, accomplishing every goal in time, extend outward with passionate conviction. Unmanifest and manifest are two sides of a coin, seamlessly joined, though apparently opposite. Entering this paradox is the beginning of magic.
Patricia E. West (Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze's Common Sense Way of Change)
Love is marked by the inward beauty of Christ in your heart and the way you treat others whether they are in your presence or not. A person who is showing Christ-like Love will not say bad things about others when they are not around. Instead they will seek to encourage them and build them up in the Lord at every opportunity.
Anya vonderLuft
Few have lived as stressful and frenetic a life as Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission. But Taylor lived in God’s rest, as his son beautifully attests: Day and night this was his secret, “just to roll the burden on the Lord.” Frequently those who were wakeful in the little house at Chinkiang might hear, at two or three in the morning, the soft refrain of Mr. Taylor’s favorite hymn [“Jesus, I am resting, resting in the joy of what Thou art”]. He had learned that for him, only one life was possible — just that blessed life of resting and rejoicing in the Lord under all circumstances, while He dealt with the difficulties, inward and outward, great and small.6 Fellow-Christians, there is a rest for you. It is not beyond your capacity. You can have it if you wish.
R. Kent Hughes (Hebrews (Vol. 1): An Anchor for the Soul: 001 (Preaching the Word))
Life is beautiful only if the eyes of the heart are beautiful It looks almost catastrophic via the mind Measuring, quibbling and boasting Let the heart control the mind and we are off to the next Galaxy both inward and outward.
Gabriel Iqbal
But what do I love when I love you? Not the beauty of any body or the rhythm of time in its movement; not the radiance of light, so dear to our eyes; not the sweet melodies in the world of manifold sounds; not the perfume of flowers, ointments and spices; not manna and not honey; not the limbs so delightful to the body’s embrace: it is none of these things that I love when I love my God. And yet when I love my God I do indeed love a light and a sound and a perfume and a food and an embrace—a light and sound and perfume and food and embrace in my inward self. There my soul is flooded with a radiance which no space can contain; there a music sounds which time never bears away; there I smell a perfume which no wind disperses; there I taste a food that no surfeit embitters; there is an embrace which no satiety severs. It is this that I love when I love my God. (Confessions 10.6.8)
Timothy J. Keller (Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
Undoubtedly, this way of life is different for each person, because each becomes his true self in relation to others, as well as to himself. Everything becomes filled with purpose, whether it is small or large, ugly or beautiful. In the life of the spirit, there is no small, there is no ugly. Paradoxically, inwardness increases the importance of other people and of one’s surroundings. All five senses are more alert. The feeling is one of completeness.
Alcoholics Anonymous (Came to Believe)
Meeting God Within When people succeed in coming home to themselves and glimpsing their own inner beauty, something amazing happens: they are blessed with a real compassion for who they themselves are, in all their vulnerability. This compassion, in turn, carves out a space where they can welcome God into their hearts. It is as if they must first become aware of the marvel of themselves, and only then are they ready to get in touch with the wonder of God. Their new relationship with themselves ushers in a nourishing friendship with the One who has always been calling them. This journey inward does not take place overnight. Although the heart is only fifteen inches from the head, it can take us years to arrive at our emotional core. I used to imagine that God didn’t particularly like the world because it wasn’t spiritual enough. Only later it dawned on me that God had created the world in love, and had passionately left clues to this fact everywhere. The persons and events of my daily life were already signs of God. Had I paid compassionate attention to my longings and my joys, I would have heard in them the symphony of God’s own infinite joy. God was intimately involved in my life, but I was sadly ignorant of the riches inside me. To find God, I did not have to leave the world, but to come home to it—and to myself—and God would be there, waiting for me.
The Irish Jesuits (The Irish Province of the Society of Jesus) (Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2015)
Writing is like knowing the beauty you possess inward; the possibilities are endless.
Annette Whitaker-Moss
And we may consider the wonders of a world filled with such variety as we are lucky to witness and to dwell among. A single russet leaf falls, and we glow inwardly with gratitude for the beauty that surrounds us and for the extraordinary prosperity of our lives.
Cynthia Reeser Constantino
I introduce the subject of fine structure with a mini-calendar of events. ... Winter 1914-15. Sommerfeld computes relativistic orbits for hydrogen-like atoms. Pashcen, aware of these studies, carefully investigates fine structures, .... January 6, 1916. Sommerfeld announces his fine structure formula, citing results to be published by Paschen in support of his answer. February 1916. Einstein to Sommerfeld: "A revelation!" March 1916. Bohr to Sommerfeld: "I do not believe ever to have read anything with more joy than your beautiful work." September 1916. Paschen publishes his work, acknowledging Sommerfeld's "indefatigable efforts.
Abraham Pais (Inward Bound: Of Matter and Forces in the Physical World)
Sean winced inwardly. “I don’t think that’s anyone’s business, Hal. Not even yours,” he added defensively. A colossal mistake. Hal’s temper exploded. “What do you mean, not my business? Okay, McDermott, we’ll skip over the political repercussions for you as mayor if someone other than me caught you and Lily. I guess the phrase conflict of interest doesn’t ring a bell. To tell you the truth, I don’t give a rat’s ass about politics. I’ll go straight to what I do care about: you breaking Lily’s heart.” “What?!” Sean exclaimed. “Yeah, I know. You’re gonna tell me that what I interrupted just a few minutes ago was just a casual romp in the pool. That’s a load of crap, McDermott. You know as well as I that Lily’s never been casual about anything in her life. Especially not you. ’Sides, what I witnessed back there was not casual. Shit, I’m surprised the water wasn’t boiling with the heat you two were making.” “Christ, Hal.” Sean spread his hands, his palms up. “Things kind of exploded between us. But Lily’s not a girl anymore—” “If you’re stupid enough to believe that, then you don’t understand dick about Lily—no matter how hard you were trying back in my pool!” Sean opened his mouth, but Hal was in full rant. “I’ve known Lily since she was a lonely, awkward kid. Of all people, you, Sean, should remember what she was like, how it was for her.” “She ended up fine—” “Yeah, she did. Because of her brains and her heart, she’s accomplished everything she’s dreamed of. But accomplished as she is, with all that beauty, she’s as lonely, as vulnerable as she was at thirteen. She needs a home, McDermott. She needs to know she belongs. That there’s a place for her to care about above sea level.” “Hal—” “I’m warning you, Sean. I’ll have your ass if you go and hurt Lily and make her run away. Now, get out of here before I get really pissed.” Hal was wrong, and his protective impulse was way overblown. Thoroughly misguided, too, Sean thought, as he slammed the office door behind him. It was he—not Lily—who was in need of protection. Sean had an awful feeling he’d lost his heart back there in the pool, and that when Lily discovered she had it, she’d toss it away.
Laura Moore (Night Swimming)
You can never reach to the truth if you don’t even look for it, and the bigger dilemma with the truth is, that you don’t have to go too far, but simply have to, turn your attention inward.
Roshan Sharma
After their time in the monastery, most young men and women will return to their villages, having completed their training with the elders. They are now accepted as “ripe,” as initiated men and women, respected in their community. Outwardly they will have learned the religious forms and sacred rituals of the Buddhist community. Inwardly, these ancient forms are intended to awaken an unshakable virtue and inner respect, fearlessness in the face of death, self-reliance, wisdom, and profound compassion. These qualities give one who leaves the monastery the hallmark of a mature man or woman. Perhaps as you read about this ordination process, its beauty will strike a chord in you that intuitively knows about the need for initiations. This does not mean that you have to enter a monastery to seek this remarkable and wonderful training. By reading about this tradition, you may simply awaken that place in yourself, which exists in each of us, that longs for wholeness and integrity, because the awakening that comes through initiation is a universal story. In our time we need to reclaim rites of passage, we need to honor elders, we need to find ways to remind our young people and the whole of our communities of the sacredness of life, of who we really are.
Jack Kornfield (Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are)
After their time in the monastery, most young men and women will return to their villages, having completed their training with the elders. They are now accepted as “ripe,” as initiated men and women, respected in their community. Outwardly they will have learned the religious forms and sacred rituals of the Buddhist community. Inwardly, these ancient forms are intended to awaken an unshakable virtue and inner respect, fearlessness in the face of death, self-reliance, wisdom, and profound compassion. These qualities give one who leaves the monastery the hallmark of a mature man or woman. Perhaps as you read about this ordination process, its beauty will strike a chord in you that intuitively knows about the need for initiations. This does not mean that you have to enter a monastery to seek this remarkable and wonderful training. By reading about this tradition, you may simply awaken that place in yourself, which exists in each of us, that longs for wholeness and integrity, because the awakening that comes through initiation is a universal story. In our time we need to reclaim rites of passage, we need to honor elders, we need to find ways to remind our young people and the whole of our communities of the sacredness of life, of who we really are. Remember, too, that initiation comes in many forms. I have a friend who has three children under the age of five. This is a retreat as intensive as any other, including sitting up all night in the charnel grounds. Marriage and family are a kind of initiation. As Gary Snyder says, All of us are apprentices to the same teacher that all masters have worked with—reality. Reality says: Master the twenty-four hours. Do it well without self-pity. It is as hard to get children herded into the car pool and down the road to the bus as it is to chant sutras in the Buddha Hall on a cold morning. One is not better than the other. Each can be quite boring. They both have the virtuous quality of repetition. Repetition and ritual and their good results come in many forms: changing the car filters, wiping noses, going to meetings, sitting in meditation, picking up around the house, washing dishes, checking the dipstick. Don’t let yourself think that one or more of these distracts you from the serious pursuits. Such a round of chores is not a set of difficulties to escape so that we may do our practice that will put us on the path. It IS our path.
Jack Kornfield (Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are)
I was jogging this morning and I noticed a person about half a km ahead. I could guess he was running a little slower than me and that made me feel good, I said to myself I will try catch up with him. So I started running faster and faster. Every block, I was gaining on him a little bit. After just a few minutes I was only about 100 feet behind him, so I really picked up the pace and pushed myself. I was determined to catch up with him. Finally, I did it! I caught up and passed him. Inwardly I felt very good. "I beat him". Of course, he didn't even know we were racing. After I passed him, I realized I had been so focused on competing against him that ..... I had missed my turn to my house, I had missed the focus on my inner peace, I missed to see the beauty of greenery around, I missed to do my inner soul searching meditation, and in the needless hurry stumbled and slipped twice or thrice and might have hit the sidewalk and broken a limb. It then dawned on me, isn't that what happens in life when we focus on competing with co-workers, neighbours, friends, family, trying to outdo them or trying to prove that we are more successful or more important and in the bargain we miss on our happiness within our own surroundings? We spend our time and energy running after them and we miss out on our own paths to our given destination. The problem with unhealthy competition is that it's a never ending cycle. There will always be somebody ahead of you, someone with a better job, nicer car, more money in the bank, more education, a prettier wife, a more handsome husband, better behaved children, better circumstances and better conditions etc. But one important realisation is that You can be the best that you can be, when you are not competing with anyone. Some people are insecure because they pay too much attention to what others are, where others are going, wearing and driving, what others are talking. Take whatever you have, the height, the weight and personality. Accept it and realize, that you are blessed. Stay focused and live a healthy life. There is no competition in Destiny. Everyone has his own. Comparison AND Competition is the thief of JOY. It kills the Joy of Living your Own Life. Run your own Race that leads to Peaceful, Happy Steady Life.
Nitya Prakash
Realize and chose the beauty of inward, not outward.
Ehsan Sehgal
please tell me your definition of ahimsa.” “The avoidance of harm to any living creature in thought or deed.” “Beautiful ideal! But the world will always ask: May one not kill a cobra to protect a child, or one’s self?” “I could not kill a cobra without violating two of my vows — fearlessness, and non-killing. I would rather try inwardly to calm the snake by vibrations of love. I cannot possibly lower my standards to suit my circumstances.
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi (Complete Edition))
But the aged apostle, on the basis of a lifetime of firsthand experience of Jesus, said that this was his message: “God is light, and darkness in him there is not, none” (v. 5). That is the message he brought, according to John. It is also, according to him, the message “we proclaim to you” (v. 5). It is the message we today are to proclaim. It is, as we shall further develop later, the message that impels the willing hearer to dearly love and constantly delight in that “heavenly Father” made real to earth in Jesus. And it is the message that, finally, gives us assurance that his universe is “a perfectly safe place for us to be.” Love perfected eliminates all fear. When the mind is filled with this great and beautiful God, the “natural” response, once all “inward” hindrances are removed, will be to do “everything I have told you to do.
Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God)
there in spirit, and that souls may be saved there; to pray daily for my sick patients and for the patients of other physicians; at my entrance into any home to say, “May the peace of God abide here”; after hearing a sermon, to pray for a blessing on God’s truth, and upon the messenger; upon the sight of a beautiful person to bless God for His creatures, to pray for the beauty of such an one’s soul, that God may enrich her with inward graces, and that the outward and inward may correspond; upon the sight of a deformed person, to pray God to give them wholeness of soul, and by and by to give them the beauty of the resurrection.
E.M. Bounds (The Complete Collection of E. M. Bounds on Prayer)
When we look in a mirror of glass and find flaws, God reminds us that in His true mirror, “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Solomon 4:7 ESV). Hear this praise to our Creator: “You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13–14 NKJV).
Katie Farrell (Devotions for a Healthier You)
Music for him was a way to show his love and desire for me. It was beautiful and raw. But it was his escape route as well. It took him inward, away from restraints and walls. He could feel the music wash over him, the lyrics taking his thoughts wherever they needed to be in those moments. He lived for dreams and fantasies. He was full of humor and charm, yet if it weren't for his love of music his life was overwhelmingly dull.
Susan Bocinec Terry (Lost and Found: Shadows of Love)
We descended from the chariot and walked across the volcanic Island in the Cyclades group of Greek islands.A fear did wake me like the active Santorini.I felt,anytime my mind outbreaks with the real passion of words. But I maintained my mind with a silent revenge,which was active,secretly in my inward cavity.
Nithin Purple (The Bell Ringing Woman: A Blue Bell of Inspiration)
Like the Freemasons, the Confederacy of the Humbled is a close-knit brotherhood whose members travel with no outward markings, but who know each other at a glance. For having fallen suddenly from grace, those in the Confederacy share a certain perspective. Knowing beauty, influence, fame, and privilege to be borrowed rather than bestowed, they are not easily impressed. They are not quick to envy or take offense. They certainly do not scour the papers in search of their own names. They remain committed to living among their peers, but they greet adulation with caution, ambition with sympathy, and condescension with an inward smile.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
As the physical body becomes less dense, there is an increasing sensibility and awareness to the subtle elements of the ether which were once unknown to the perceptive senses. The being then becomes knowledgeable of things that to others are not yet part of their reality. This new elevated state leads him to be seen by those others as crazy and out of touch with common sense. For the one who reaches such stage, however, there is an overwhelming sensation of lone wonder, where beauty is found in nothing but an empty garden of extraordinary flowers with different fragrances and colors. To this individual, the world has ceased to exist in its meanings for it is a world of brute ignorance and dark unconsciousness, guided by self-deceptive impulses. He is like a traveler in time stuck in the past. He has evolved but cannot escape the time-line in which he is in. He is blessed while led to think by fools that he is cursed. And the only thing he needs to do, in order to close the gap between his new self and the physical world, consists in looking inwards and appreciate the decadence around him from the perspective of the Observer. Once he can do that, he can be one with the Great Architect and start thinking like a god. In that precise moment, he is freed from any time-line and all the secrets are revealed unto him. His soul becomes boundless and his personality as fluid as water. He can be anything with a burning fire, and nothing like air, at the exact same time; he can love everyone like fertile soil for growth, and no one, as if he was just air; he can be everywhere and nowhere, like darkness, but also attach and detach at will, like light. And he can also have the power to unroot himself from any will produced by any thought that he might or not have chosen to have.
Dan Desmarques (Codex Illuminatus: Quotes & Sayings of Dan Desmarques)
The inwardly beautiful ancient land... That land of infinite love, tolerance, forgiveness, and compassion. That land which is embodied in that Karuna of the eyes of Gow-maata.... My Bhaarath Maa.
Dr Syd K
In love, in other words, those phases are present, in its content, which we cited as the fundamental essence of the absolute Spirit: the reconciled return out of another into self. By being the other in which the spirit remains communing with itself, this other can only be spiritual over again, a spiritual personality. The true essence of love consists in giving up the consciousness of oneself, forgetting oneself in another self, yet in this surrender and oblivion having and possessing oneself alone. This reconciliation of the spirit with itself and the completion of itself to a totality is the Absolute, yet not, as may be supposed, in the sense that the Absolute as a purely singular and therefore finite subject coincides with itself in another finite subject; on the contrary, the content of the subjectivity which reconciles itself with itself in another is here the Absolute itself: the Spirit which only in another spirit is the knowing and willing of itself as the Absolute and has the satisfaction of this knowledge. In love, on the contrary, the spirit’s opposite is not nature but itself a spiritual consciousness, another person, and the spirit is therefore realized for itself in what it itself owns, in its very own element. So in this affirmative satisfaction and blissful reality at rest in itself, love is the ideal but purely spiritual beauty which on account of its inwardness can also be expressed only in and as the deep feeling of the heart. For the spirit which is present to itself and immediately sure of itself in [another] spirit, and therefore has the spiritual itself as the material and ground of its existence, is in itself, is depth of feeling, and, more precisely, is the spiritual depth of love. (α) God is love and therefore his deepest essence too is to be apprehended and represented in this form adequate to art in Christ. But Christ is divine love; as its object, what is manifest is on the one hand God himself in his invisible essence, and, on the other, mankind which is to be redeemed; and thus what then comes into appearance in Christ is less the absorption of one person in another limited person than the Idea of love in its universality, the Absolute, the spirit of truth in the element and form of feeling. With this universality of love’s object, love’s expression is also universalized, with the result that the subjective concentration of heart and soul does not become the chief thing in that expression – just as, even in the case of the Greeks, what is emphasized, although in a totally different context, in Venus Urania[8] and the old Titanic deity, Eros, is the universal Idea and not the subjective element, i.e. individual shape and feeling. Only when Christ is conceived in the portrayals of romantic art as more than an individual subject, immersed in himself, does the expression of love become conspicuous in the form of subjective deep feeling, always elevated and borne, however, by the universality of its content.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
As the most perfect subject for painting I have already specified inwardly satisfied [reconciled and peaceful] love, the object of which is not a purely spiritual ‘beyond’ but is present, so that we can see love itself before us in what is loved. The supreme and unique form of this love is Mary’s love for the Christ-child, the love of the one mother who has borne the Saviour of the world and carries him in her arms. This is the most beautiful subject to which Christian art in general, and especially painting in its religious sphere, has risen. The love of God, and in particular the love of Christ who sits at’ the right hand of God, is of a purely spiritual kind. The object of this love is visible only to the eye of the soul, so that here there is strictly no question of that duality which love implies, nor is any natural bond established between the lovers or any linking them together from the start. On the other hand, any other love is accidental in the inclination of one lover for another, or,’ alternatively, the lovers, e.g. brothers and sisters or a father in his love for his children, have outside this relation other conceI1l8 with an essential claim on them. Fathers or brothers have to apply themselves to the world, to the state, business, war, or, in short, to general purposes, while sisters become wives, mothers, and so forth. But in the case of maternal love it is generally true that a mother’s love for her child is neither something accidental just a single feature in her life, but, on the contrary, it is her supreme vocation on earth, and her natural character and most sacred calling directly coincide. But while other loving mothers see and feel in their child their husband and their inmost union with him, in Mary’s relation to her child this aspect is always absent. For her feeling has nothing in common with a wife’s love for her husband; on the contrary, her relation to Joseph is more like a sister’s to a brother, while on Joseph’s side there is a secret awe of the child who is God’s and Mary’s. Thus religious love in its fullest and most intimate human form we contemplate not in the suffering and risen Christ or in his lingering amongst his friends but in the person of Mary with her womanly feeling. Her whole heart and being is human love for the child that she calls her own, and at the same time adoration, worship, and love of God with whom she feels herself at one. She is humble in God’s sight and yet has an infinite sense of being the one woman who is blessed above all other virgins. She is not self-subsistent on her own account, but is perfect only in her child, in God, but in him she is satisfied and blessed, whether. at the manger or as the Queen of Heaven, without passion or longing, without any further need, without any aim other than to have and to hold what she has. In its religious subject-matter the portrayal of this love has a wide series of events, including, for example, the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Birth, the Flight into Egypt, etc. And then there are, added to this, other subjects from the later life of Christ, i.e. the Disciples and the women who follow him and in whom the love of God becomes more or less a personal relation of love for a living and present Saviour who walks amongst them as an actual man; there is also the love of the angels who hover over the birth of Christ and many other scenes in his life, in serious worship or innocent joy. In all these subjects it is painting especially which presents the peace and full satisfaction of love. But nevertheless this peace is followed by the deepest suffering. Mary sees Christ carry his cross, she sees him suffer and die on the cross, taken down from the cross and buried, and no grief of others is so profound as hers. Mary’s grief is of a totally different kind. She is emotional, she feels the thrust of the dagger into the centre of her soul, her heart breaks, but she does not turn into stone.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
This naked moment may well be apprehended with greater acuity in retrospect, but how can we know if what we view in hindsight will ever have truly been? The uncertainty of it is frightening-but maybe, at the same time, we need not look upon it as a crisis of the human condition. Assimilating this irresoluteness may indeed be our greatest capacity. To live in this perpetual bewilderment and without respite is to be honest, even genuine, with oneself. Perhaps we must embrace the disinterested nature of our anxiety even if we know that it is contrastingly woven from competing threads of self-interest. It is sad that we cannot trust what our senses tell us, trust the information we are given. Or maybe it is beautiful if you see an aesthetic to the indecipherable, to the very thought that even the tiniest shard of logic may pierce at us whilst yet eluding us.
Ashim Shanker (Inward and Toward (Migrations, #3))
There were all these maddening permutations of what could be that were not to be ignored….Yet, there was also a stunning beauty to all of this that was so profound that one could not help but love every facet of every conceivability, whether realized or beyond reach. There was so much to capture even in stillness that was akin to grasping at grains of sand so fine as to elude the grip—it was all so intricate, so overwhelming and so rapid, and nothing ever ceased in its glorious transformation…There was an exhilaration in being engrossed in the details that evaded capture and in being oneself ensconced in constant flux so as to surrender without recourse to what was to come…There is no instance that ever becomes the destination, no circumstance the definitive possibility, and one, for that very fact, could scarcely help but be filled with a heartening love for all of creation…The Moment, after all, was Always and thus there was no ‘before,’ no instance preceding the instance.
Ashim Shanker (Inward and Toward (Migrations, #3))
The inner qualities of the woman‘s heart, result in an important byproduct, which may be called „charm“. This charm like light, is a force. Intangible, imponderable though it be, the strivings of our intellect may not attain fruition if deprived of its life-giving touch. The nourishment which the tree draws though its root may be classified and measured, - not so the vitality which is the gift of the sunlight, and without which its functioning becomes altogether impossible. This ineffable emanation of woman‘s nature has, from the first, played its part in the creation of man, unobtrusively but inevitably Had man‘s mind not been energised by the inner working of woman‘s vital charm, he would never have attained his successes. Of all the higher achievements of civilization - the devotion of the toiler, the valour of the brave, the creations of the artist – the secret spring is to be found in woman‘s influence. In the clash and battle of primitive civilization, the action of woman‘s shakti is not clearly manifest; but, as civilization becomes spiritual in the course of its development, and the union of man with man is acknowledged to be more important than the differences between them, the charm of woman gets the opportunity to become the predominant factor. Such spiritual civilization can only be upheld if the emotion of woman and the intellect of man are contributed in usual shares for its purposes. Then their respective contributions may combine gloriously in ever-frsh creations, and their difference will no longer make for inequality. Woman, let me repeat, has two aspects, - in one she is the Mother, in the other, the Beloved. I have already spoken of the spiritual endeavour that characterises the first, viz., the striving, not merely for giving birth to her child, but for creating the best possible child – not as an addition to the number of men, but as one of the heroic souls who may win the victory of man‘s eternal fight against evil in his social life and natural surroundings. As the Beloved, it is woman‘s part to infuse life into all aspirations of man; and the spiritual power that enables her to do so I have called charm, and was known in India by the name shakti. There is a poem called Ananda lahari  (The stream of Delight), attributed to Shankaracharya. She who is glorified therein is the Shakti in the heart of the Universe; the Giver of Joy, the Inspirer of Activity. On the one hand, we know and use the world; on the other we are related to it by tie of disinterested joy. We can know the world because it is a manifestation of Truth: we rejoice in it because it is an expression of Joy. „Who would have striven for life“ says the Rishi, „if this ananda had not filled the sky?“ It seems to me that the „Intellectual Beauty“, whose praises Shelley has sung, is identical with this Ananda. And it is this ananda which the poet of Ananda lahari has visualised as the woman; that is to say, in his view, this Universal Shakti is manifest in human society in the nature of Woman. In this manifestation is her charm. Let no one confuse this shakti with mere „sweetness“, for in this charm there is a combination of several qualities – patience, self-abnegation- sensitive intelligence, grace in thought, word and behaviour – the reticent expression of rhythmic life, the tendernes and terribleness of love; at its core, moreover, is that self-radiant Spirit of Delight which ever gives itself up. This shakti, this joy-giving power of woman as the Beloved, has up to now largely been dissipated by the greed of man, who has sought to use it for the purposes of his individual enjoyment, corrupting it, confining it, like his property, within jealously-guarded limits. That has also obstructed for woman herself her inward realization of the full glory of her own shakti. Her personality has been insulted at every turn by being made to display its power of delectation within a circumsribed arena.
Rabindranath Tagore (The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore, Vol 1: Poems)
Hate-hardened heart, O heart of iron, iron is iron till it is rust. There never was a war that was not inward; I must fight till I have conquered in myself what causes war, but I would not believe it. I inwardly did nothing. O Iscariot-like crime! Beauty is everlasting and dust is for a time.
Marianne Moore (Complete Poems)
Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship. 2Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you,a but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.
Brian Simmons (The Passion Translation New Testament: With Psalms, Proverbs and Song of Songs (The Passion Translation))
Under Young’s lenses, they become darker yet and serve as the brooding centers of these overwhelmingly beautiful films. Black skin, full of unexpected gradations of blue, purple, or ocher, sets a tone for the narrative: Adenike lost in thought on her wedding day, King on an evening telephone call to his wife or in discussion in a jail cell with other civil rights leaders. In a larger culture that tends to value black people for their abilities to jump, dance, or otherwise entertain, these moments of inwardness open up a different space of encounter.
Teju Cole (Known and Strange Things: Essays)
Sweetness in speaking doesn't assure sweetness of the soul; beauty of a peacock doesn't stop it from swallowing a snake.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Perfect harmony with its environment, and perfect expression of its own inward nature are what constitute Beauty;
Thomas Troward (Thomas Troward Six-Book Collection: The Hidden Power; The Law And The Word; The Creative Process In The Individual; Edinburgh Lectures On Mental)
There is a kaleidoscope of beauty we can meet within us when we truly sit with ourselves.......whatever our external circumstance is,we have this precious gems within waiting to be utilized.Instead of discounting all the beauty we are, we can start opening up to it and make it a reality,activate it in various ways,be creative when we have a glimpse of it.That's how we can start breaking the barriers down from our hearts that blocks us from truly living fearlessly and kindly and nobly.
Celeste Hoeden (To Resurrect the True Self: The Spiritual Journey Inward to Awaken the Dormant Inner Self)
There should be no available ugly frames for beautiful souls to be hurried into by carelessness or mistake, and no ugly souls should be suffered to creep, like hermit-crabs, into beautiful shells never intended for them. The outward and visible form should mark the inward and spiritual grace;
George du Maurier (Trilby and Other Works)
She stared out at the gloaming and didn't care that it might be the last twilight she ever saw. She cared only that she had spent too much of her twenty-six years alone, with no one at her side to share the sunsets, the starry skies, the turbulent beauty of storm clouds. She wished that she had reached out to people more, instead of retreating inward, wished that she had not made her heart into a sheltering closet. Now, when nothing mattered any more, when the insight couldn't do her any damn good at all, she realized that there was less hope of survival alone than with others. She'd been acutely aware that terror, betrayal, and cruelty had a human face, but she had not sufficiently appreciated that courage, kindness, and love had a human face as well. Hope wasn't a cottage industry; it was neither a product that she could manufacture like needlepoint samplers nor a substance that she could secrete, in her cautious solitude, like a maple tree producing the essence of syrup. Hope was to be found in other people, by reaching out, by taking risks, by opening her fortress heart.
Dean Koontz (Intensity)
The world thus exists to the soul to satisfy the desire of beauty. This element I call an ultimate end. No reason can be asked or given why the soul seeks beauty. Beauty, in its largest and profoundest sense, is one expression for the universe. God is the all-fair. Truth, and goodness, and beauty, are but different faces of the same All. But beauty in nature is not ultimate. It is the herald of inward and eternal beauty, and is not alone a solid and satisfactory good. It must stand as a part, and not as yet the last or highest expression of the final cause of Nature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature)
His stomach growled as he sought out the kitchens, nodding to a passing guard. The smell of baking hit him as he rounded the long corridor to the kitchens. Closing his eyes, Duncan inhaled the aroma. “Damson tarts.” The plum and currant tarts were a favorite of his and he smiled inwardly knowing Moira had not only prepared them for the feast of Samhain, but for him, too. His stomach rumbled, and he quickened his pace. Duncan’s heart slammed inside his chest at the vision before his eyes when he entered the kitchens. One of the tables was laden with many tarts, yet it was the scene in the corner by the fire which undid him. He leaned against the wall for support and gazed upon the beauty. Brigid was slumped in a chair with plum juice staining her hands and mouth. In her lap curled up against her was Nell—both sound asleep. A slight snore escaped from Brigid, and Duncan smiled.
Mary Morgan (Dragon Knight's Sword (Order of the Dragon Knights, #1))
Up to the second half of the fifteenth century, or even a little beyond, the theme of death reigns alone. The end of man, the end of time bear the face of pestilence and war. What overhangs human existence is this conclusion and this order from which nothing escapes. The presence that threatens even within this world is a fleshless one. Then in the last years of the century this enormous uneasiness turns on itself; the mockery of madness replaces death and its solemnity. From the discovery of that necessity which inevitably reduces man to nothing, we have shifted to the scornful contemplation of that nothing which is existence itself. Fear in the face of the absolute limit of death turns inward in a continuous irony; man disarms it in advance, making it an object of derision by giving it an everyday, tamed form, by constantly renewing it in the spectacle of life, by scattering it throughout the vices, the difficulties, and the absurdities of all men. Death’s annihilation is no longer anything because it was already everything, because life itself was only futility, vain words, a squabble of cap and bells. The head that will become a skull is already empty. Madness is the déjà-là of death.4 But it is also its vanquished presence, evaded in those everyday signs which, announcing that death reigns already, indicate that its prey will be a sorry prize indeed. What death unmasks was never more than a mask; to discover the grin of the skeleton, one need only lift off something that was neither beauty nor truth, but only a plaster and tinsel face. From the vain mask to the corpse, the same smile persists. But when the madman laughs, he already laughs with the laugh of death; the lunatic, anticipating the macabre, has disarmed it.
Michel Foucault (Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason)
Quietude, which some men cannot abide because it reveals their inward poverty, is as a palace of cedar to the wise, for along its hallowed courts the King in His beauty deigns to walk.” CHARLES H. SPURGEON
Wayne Cordeiro (Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion)
She is not only beautiful on the outside, but inwards as well. When she is old and not so lovely, she will be well loved. But you! Your beauty is on the outside alone. If it were taken away from you, only a querulous, evil-minded, vicious woman would remain.
Jude Deveraux
We each have unique gifts that draw us toward the work for which those gifts are best suited. Although a healthy, well-rounded person will generally engage the world on multiple levels, being as she is an individual, a friend, a member of a family, a member of a community and a place, an inhabitant of a bioregion, a citizen of a nation, and a member of the tribe of all life on Earth, even a cosmic citizen, it is also true that we go through phases of relative inward and outward focus, action, and quiet, expression and retreat.
Charles Eisenstein (The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible (Sacred Activism))
Phi cang Saigon Tansonnhut"   "He puzzled at the meaning and smiled inwardly. The sign probably said, “Welcome and Affectionate Salutations to All Who Enter the Glorious Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Home of Seventh Air Force, Only Minutes from Beautiful Saigon.” Or maybe not; he couldn’t know. Maybe it read, “Welcome to the Dung Heap of Despair—Abandon Cheer, All Ye Who Enter.
Tony Taylor
Maggie, in her brown frock, with her eyes reddened and her heavy hair pushed back, looking from the bed where her father lay to the dull walls of this sad chamber which was the centre of her world, was a creature full of eager, passionate longings for all that was beautiful and glad; thirsty for all knowledge; with an ear straining after dreamy music that died away and would not come near to her; with a blind, unconscious yearning for something that would link together the wonderful impressions of this mysterious life, and give her soul a sense of home in it. No wonder, when there is this contrast between the outward and the inward, that painful collisions come of it.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
Then know that Allah has described Himself as the Outawardly Manifest and the Inwardly Hidden; He brought the universe into existence as a Visible world and an Unseen world so that we might know the Hidden by the Unseen and the Manifest by the Visible. He described Himself with pleasure and wrath, and so He brought the world into existence as a place of fear and hope so we fear His wrath and hope for His pleasure. He described Himself with majesty and beauty, so He brought the universe into existence with awe and intimacy. It is the same for all that is connected with Him, may He be exalted, and by which He calls Himself. He designates these pairs of attributes by the two hands which He held out in the creation of the Perfect Man. Man sums up all the realities of the universe and its individuals. So the universe is seen and the Khalif is unseen. It is with this meaning that the Sultan veils himself, even as Allah is mentioned and described as having with veils of darkness, which are natural bodies, and luminous veils which are subtle spirits (arwâh). The universe is composed of both the gross and the subtle.
Ibn Arabi (The Bezels of Wisdom)
Cultures are organisms," Spengler explains, "and world-history is their collective biography." Like any other vital organism, then, each culture goes through the stages of youth, maturity, and decline. "Culture is the prime phenomenon of all past and future world-history." "Every Culture has its own Civilization...The Civilization is the inevitable destiny of the Culture....Civilizations are the most external and artificial states of which a species of developed humanity is capable. They are a conclusion, the thing-become succeeding the thing-becoming, death following life, rigidity following expansion, intellectual age and the stone-built, petrifying world-city following mother-earth and the spiritual childhood of Doric and Gothic. They are an end, irrevocable, yet by inward necessity reached again and again." Thus, while the culture is a period of ebullient creativity, the civilization that inevitably follows is a period of reflection, organization, and search for material comfort and convenience. For example, classical Greece was the culture; imperial Rome the civilization. From the beauties of Greek poetry to the imperialism of Roman law, we now live in the civilization of Western ("Faustian") culture and cannot avoid the consequences. Among these Spengler foresaw the "megalopolis," the city of faceless masses, the omnipotence of money, and a new Caesarism.
Daniel J. Boorstin (The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World)
It is a successful inward voyage of reconciliation of a sort that he was to make much more readily and regularly in his fiction than in his life. His own experience had made the child figure central to his imagination, the sensitive youth whose sense of his worth is assaulted by a hostile world from infancy onward. The assault precedes adolescence, and adolescent experience is a late stage of the reenactment of early-childhood loss. The most powerful expression in his fiction of such loss and deprivation is to be born an orphan or near orphan, as are Oliver, Pip, Little Nell, David Copperfield, and Esther Summerson, or to have lost one parent, like Nicholas Nickleby, Florence Dombey, and Amy Dorrit. In the first of his fictional child heroes, he contrasts the emotional impact of his own mother’s distance and rejection with the absence of Oliver’s, as if to say that a dead mother is preferable to a deadening one. Unlike his own, Oliver’s mother dies while giving birth to her son. It is a tragic sacrifice that Dickens provides as an expression of the unqualified love of the perfect mother for her only son. Like Mary, she dies “Young Beautiful And Good,” and her angelic presence at crucial moments in the novel provides Oliver with both an assurance of his self-worth and, since it is she he resembles, a visible connection with the world of love, benevolence, and innate moral values.15
Fred Kaplan (Dickens: A Biography)
Counsel: It is hardly a secret that man has a share in the attribute of 'knower', yet man's knowledge is different from that of God the most high in three specific ways. First, regarding the multitude of things known: although the things man knows are wide-ranging, they are limited to his heart, and how could they correspond to what is infinite? Secondly, that man's disclosure, while clear, does not reach the goal beyond which no goal is possible; rather his seeing of things is like seeing them behind a thin veil. You should not deny degrees of disclosure, because inward vision is like outward sight, so there is a difference between what is clear at the time of departure and what becomes clear in morning light. Thirdly, that the knowledge which God-may He be praised and exalted-has of things is not derived from things but things are derived from it, while man's knowledge of things is contingent upon things and results from them. Now if it is difficult for you to understand the difference, compare the knowledge of one who learns chess to the knowledge of the person who devised it. For the knowledge of the person who devised it is itself the cause of the existence of chess, while the fact that chess exists is the cause of the knowledge of one who learns it. The knowledge of the one who devised it precedes chess, while the knowledge of the learner follows upon it and comes afterwards. Similarly, the knowledge which God-great and glorious-has of things precedes them and causes them, while our knowledge is not like that. Man's distinction is due to knowledge, inasmuch as it is one of the attributes of God-great and glorious; yet that knowledge is more distinguished whose objects are more distinguished, and the most distinguished object of knowledge is God the most high. Likewise, knowing God the most high is the most beneficial knowledge of all, while knowledge of the rest of things is only distinguished because it is knowledge of the actions of God-great and glorious, or knowledge of the way which brings man closer to God-great and glorious, or the thing which facilitates attaining to knowledge of God the most high and closeness to Him. All knowledge other than that cannot claim much distinction.
Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (Al-Ghazali on the Ninety-nine Beautiful Names of God)
Reveille echoed in the first light of dawn. Susannah opened one eye to see Jesse blowing on a bugle formed with his two fists. She pulled the covers over her head and rolled into a ball. “None of that, slugabed.” He lifted the quilts from her legs. Air chilled by yesterday’s storm hit her feet and she squeaked. He yanked the covers off. “Atten’hut!” She glared at him. “What rank did you attain?” “Oh, I’ve held a number of ranks. Busted out of a few too. This morning I’m your sergeant. Fall in!” He saluted her, then pulled her into his arms. “Soldiers aren’t this beautiful to roust. Men look their worst in the morning, a night’s growth of beard scabbing their faces, hair sticking up like rabid porcupines.” Susannah snuggled into the curve of his arm. “That so?” “Whereas women look all soft and lazy in the morning. Especially lazy.” He set her upright. “Private Mason, you have stable duty this morning.” Susannah groaned. “I liked you better when your orders were for bed rest.” “Maybe later.” He patted her backside. “Now I’ll show you why our door opens inward.
Catherine Richmond (Spring for Susannah)
Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it.” Esther 2:10 NJKV Esther may have had an even harder time in the palace due to the fact that so far her background has been kept a secret. It is difficult enough being some place where you do not fit in, but for Esther to have to keep her true identity a secret as well must have been very hard. A lonely year will pass before she is ready to be received by the king. Even though it may have been hard to keep her religions identity secret, Esther obeyed. Many times, not telling the entire truth is a mistake. However, given Esther’s situation, this secret-keeping is not to be considered a lie. Matthew Henry wrote, “All truths are not to be spoken at all times, though an untruth is never to be spoken”.4 Esther’s obedience to Mordecai reveals a very important aspect of her inner beauty: Esther is submissive to authority. Esther possessed outward beauty, but she has inward beauty as well. This was important to God back in Persia, and it is important to God today.   As you close the Bible on this lesson today, thank God for the wonderful qualities He has placed in You so that you will be effective and successful in your calling. If you don’t know what those qualities are, ask God to reveal them to you throughout this week - you are a treasure, and God has placed a treasure inside you!
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
Claiming our birthright means living in beauty inwardly regardless of our outer circumstances. It means cultivating the qualities coded in our hearts.
Lori Cash Richards (Letting the Upside In: Discovering the code that grants us access to the extraordinary treasures contained within our hearts)
A muscle in her delicate jaw tensed, and she took another sip of tea, dismissing him entirely in that same haughty manner he remembered all too well. "I don't believe so." "Are you certain? You look familiar." Her gaze shot up at last, and her eyes were sharp and assessing, brilliantly intelligent. He suddenly remembered she'd had a gift for science when they were younger, which was considered by some to be odd and inappropriate for a young lady of her station. He'd always found it rather intriguing. Well, she still had brains. She seemed to know exactly what he was up to and was warning him to stop. He smiled inwardly. She had spirit, too, he'd give her that. And by God, she'd grown lovely. He could not deny it. Those enormous green eyes were as disarming as ever. Even more so in fact.
Julianne MacLean (Surrender to a Scoundrel (American Heiresses, #6))
Hate-hardened heart, O heart of iron iron is iron till it is rust. There never was a war that was not inward; I must fight till I have conquered in myself what causes war, but I would not believe it. I inwardly did nothing. O Iscariot-like crime! Beauty is everlasting and dust is for a time.
Marianne Moore (Complete Poems)
She denied everything, not to convince him, for he had seen them, but from expediency and good taste, and to avoid painful explanations. Hippolyte Ceres suffered all the tortures of jealousy. He admitted it to himself, he kept saying inwardly, “I am a strong man; I am clad in armour; but the wound is underneath, it is in my heart,” and turning towards his wife, who looked beautiful in her guilt, he would say: “It ought not to have been with him.” He was right — Eveline ought not to have loved in government circles. He suffered so much that he took up his revolver, exclaiming: “I will go and kill him!” But he remembered that a Minister of Commerce cannot kill his own Prime Minister, and he put his revolver back into his drawer.
Anatole France (Complete Works of Anatole France)
Great trials come at lengthened intervals, and we rise to breast them; but it is the petty friction of our everyday life with one another, the jar of business or of work, the discord of the domestic circle, the collapse of our ambition, the crossing of our will or the taking down of our conceit, which makes inward peace impossible.
Henry Drummond (Beautiful Thoughts)
I travelled alone as a cloud Which was floating on high over vale and mountains. Sometime off I see few horde, a guest, beautiful lake under the trees. Fluttering and dancing in the chill breeze. The golden sunflower garden welcomes me to the side of vale. As the stars shine and twinkle on the Milky Way, They overlooked in never finish line across the margin of glance. Thousands of stars I see at a glance, tossing their tail in bright frame dance. The bronze faced magnetic stars welcomes me to the side of vale. The birds chirping towards the beach, I hear the shuttling of sand and water, the waves beside them dance but they do sparkle under stars. The blue mirage welcomes me to the side of vale. This poet could not but be passionate, in such a colorful company, I watched and felt I saw wealth in paper but the show here got me real wealth. The black words welcome me to the side of vale. Often, when I’m in my bed I rest I space or in penning mood, this show flashes upon inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude. Then my heart is full of pleasure and dances with the green leaves. No color no substance feelings welcome me to the side of vale.
Karan M. Pai
May the frightfulness become so great that it can turn men's eyes inward, so that their will no longer seeks the self in others but in themselves.236 I saw it, I know that this is the way: I saw the death of Christ and I saw his lament; I felt the agony of his dying, of the great dying. I saw a new God, a child, who subdued daimons in his hand.237 The God holds the separate principles in his power, he unites them. The God develops through the union of the principles in me. He is their union. If you will one of these principles, so you are in one, but far from your being other. If you will both principles, one and the other, then you excite the conflict between the principles, since you cannot want both at the same time. From this arises the need, the God appears in it, he takes your conflicting will in his hand, in the hand of a child whose will is simple and beyond conflict. You cannot learn this, it can only develop in you. You cannot will this, it takes the will from your hand and wills itself Will yourself that leads to the way:238 ' But fundamentally you are terrified ofyourself and therefore you prefer to run to all others rather than to yourself I saw the mountain of the sacrifice, and the blood poured in streams from its sides. When I saw how pride and power satisfied men, how beauty beamed from the eyes ofwomen when the great war broke out, I knew that mankind was on the way to self-sacrifice. The spirit of the depths239 has seized mankind and forces self-sacrifice upon it. Do not seek the guilt here or there. The spirit of the depths clutched the fate of man unto itself as it clutched mine. He leads mankind through the river of blood to the mystery: In the mystery man himself becomes the two principles, the lion and the serpent. Because I also want my being other, I must become a Christ. I am made into Christ, I must suffer it. Thus the redeeming blood flows. Through the self-sacrifice my pleasure is changed and goes above into its higher principle. Love is sighted, but pleasure is blind. Both principles are one in the symbol of the flame. The principles strip themselves ofhuman form.24o The mystery showed me in images what I should afterward live. I did not possess any of those boons that the mystery showed me, for I still had to earn all of them.241 finis. part. prim. (End of part one)
Jung
Beauty, in its largest and profoundest sense, is one expression for the universe. God is the all-fair. Truth, and goodness, and beauty, are but different faces of the same All. But beauty in nature is not ultimate. It is the herald of inward and eternal beauty, and is not alone a solid and satisfactory good. It must stand as a part, and not as yet the last or highest expression of the final cause of Nature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Complete Works)
Most people are blinded by the outer glow. If they'd been allowed to vote, very few people would have picked the rose. The rose is majestic and beautiful, and just as in the real world, no one asks the flowers whether a bloom which is outwardly less pretty might actually be inwardly more beautiful and more fit to rule.
Anne Frank (Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex)
D. H. Lawrence described our Western culture as being like a great uprooted tree with its roots in the air. “We are perishing for lack of fulfillment of our greater needs,” he wrote, “we are cut off from the great sources of our inward nourishment and renewal.” We come alive as we rediscover the truth of our goodness and our natural connectedness to all of life. Our “greater needs” are met in relating lovingly with each other, relating with full presence to each moment, relating to the beauty and pain that is within and around us. As Lawrence said, “We must plant ourselves again in the universe.
Tara Brach (Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha)
In response to the command to enjoy, contemporary cynicism is an effort to gain distance from the functioning of power, to resist the hold that power has over us. Hence, the cynic turns inward and displays an indifference to external authorities, with the aim of self-sufficient independence. Symbolic authority—which would force the subject into a particular symbolic identity, an identity not freely chosen by the subject herself—is the explicit enemy of cynicism. To acknowledge the power of symbolic authority over one’s own subjectivity would be, in the eyes of the cynic, to acknowledge one’s failure to enjoy fully, making such an acknowledgment unacceptable. In the effort to refuse the power of this authority, one must eschew all the trappings of conformity. This is why the great Cynical philosopher Diogenes made a show of masturbating in public, a gesture that made clear to everyone that he had moved beyond the constraints of the symbolic law and that he would brook no barrier to his jouissance. Byfreely doing in public what others feared to do, Diogenes acted out his refusal to submit to the prohibition that others accepted. He attempted to demonstrate that the symbolic law had no absolute hold over him and that he had no investment in it. However, seeming to be beyond the symbolic law and actually being beyond it are two different—and, in fact, opposed—things, and this difference becomes especially important to recognize in the contemporary society of enjoyment. In the act of making a show of one’s indifference to the public law (in the manner of Diogenes and today’s cynical subject), one does not gain distance from that law, but unwittingly reveals one’s investment in it. Such a show is done for the look of the symbolic authority. The cynic stages her/his act publicly in order that symbolic authority will see it. Because it is staged in this way, we know that the cynic’s act—such as the public masturbation of Diogenes—represents a case of acting-out, rather than an authentic act, an act that suspends the functioning of symbolic authority. Acting-out always occurs on a stage, while the authentic act and authentic enjoyment—the radical break from the constraints of symbolic authority—occur unstaged, without reference to the Other’s look. 9 In the History of Philosophy, Hegel makes clear the cynic’s investment in symbolic authority through his discussion of Plato’s interactions with Diogenes: In Plato’s house [Diogenes] once walked on the beautiful carpets with muddy feet, saying, “I tread on the pride of Plato.” “Yes, but with another pride,” replied Plato, as pointedly. When Diogenes stood wet through with rain, and the bystanders pitied him, Plato said, “If you wish to compassionate him, just go away. His vanity is in showing himself off and exciting surprise; it is what made him act in this way, and the reason would not exist if he were left alone. Though Diogenes attempts to act in a way that demonstrates his self-sufficiency, his distance from every external authority, what he attains, however, is far from self-sufficiency. As Plato’s ripostes demonstrate, everything that the cynic does to distance himself from symbolic authority plays directly into the hands of that authority. Here we see how cynicism functions symptomatically in the society of enjoyment, providing the illusion of enjoyment beyond social constraints while leaving these constraints completely intact.
Todd McGowan (The End of Dissatisfaction?: Jacques Lacan and the Emerging Society of Enjoyment)