Inward Quotes

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I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
Aristotle
The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.
John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)
Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Self-Reliance and Other Essays)
I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.
Louis C.K.
I just realized my lips are inside out. They should be turned inwards, because I spend most of my time talking to myself.
Jarod Kintz (This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks (This isn't really my best book))
The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.
C.G. Jung
...I also believe that introversion is my greatest strength. I have such a strong inner life that I’m never bored and only occasionally lonely. No matter what mayhem is happening around me, I know I can always turn inward.
Susan Cain
What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.
Otto Rank
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (Culture and Value)
I know what I want, I have a goal, an opinion, I have a religion and love. Let me be myself and then I am satisfied. I know that I’m a woman, a woman with inward strength and plenty of courage.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
Spirals grow infinitely small the farther you follow them inward, but they also grow infinitely large the farther you follow them out.
John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)
I have a strange feeling with regard to you. As if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly knotted to a similar string in you. And if you were to leave I'm afraid that cord of communion would snap. And I have a notion that I'd take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, you'd forget me.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
It is a long way to Ireland, Janet, and I am sorry to send my little friend on such weary travels: but if I can't do better, how is it to be helped? Are you anything akin to me, do you think, Jane?" I could risk no sort of answer by this time: my heart was still. "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 situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land some broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, - you'd forget me.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe. There is no gift for the beloved. The lover alone possesses his gift of love. The loved one is shorn, neutralized, frozen in the glare of the lover’s inward eye.
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)
Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.
Joseph Campbell
The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him... a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create -- so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.
Pearl S. Buck
We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together.
Terence McKenna
Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.
Benjamin Franklin
Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward & learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming greed into gratitude.
John Chrysostom
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)
Ebb I know what my heart is like Since your love died: It is like a hollow ledge Holding a little pool Left there by the tide, A little tepid pool, Drying inward from the edge.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (Second April)
A novel worth reading is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility, of what human nature is, of what happens in the world. It’s a creator of inwardness.
Susan Sontag
Even as a child she had lived her own small life within herself. At a very early period she had apprehended instinctively the dual life - that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, 'It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.' It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: 'if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?' There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register. Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Each man had only one genuine vocation - to find the way to himself....His task was to discover his own destiny - not an arbitrary one - and to live it out wholly and resolutely within himself. Everything else was only a would-be existence, an attempt at evasion, a flight back to the ideals of the masses, conformity and fear of one's own inwardness.
Hermann Hesse
Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you...it means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: "I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give. Responsibility to yourself means that you don't fall for shallow and easy solutions--predigested books and ideas...marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short...and this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be "different"...The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.
Adrienne Rich
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed--and gazed--but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.
William Wordsworth (I Wander'd Lonely as a Cloud)
I was trying to explain my situation to myself. My situation was that I was in pain and nobody knew it, even I had trouble knowing it. So I told myself, over and over, You are in pain. It was the only way I could get through to myself. I was demonstrating externally and irrefutably an inward condition.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted)
Wait." Isabelle suddenly sat up straight. "What did you say that name was?" she demanded, turning to Jace. "The name in Clary's head." "I didn't," said Jace. "At least, I didn't finish it. It's Magnus Bane." He grinned at Alec mockingly. "Rhymes with 'overcareful pain in the ass.'" Alec muttered a retort into his coffee. It rhymed with something that sounded a lot more like "ducking glass mole." Clary smiled inwardly.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
None will ever be a true Parisian who has not learned to wear a mask of gaiety over his sorrows and one of sadness, boredom, or indifference over his inward joy.
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
All life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other.
H.P. Lovecraft
Sometimes I have the strangest feeling about you. Especially when you are near me as you are now. It feels as though I had a string tied here under my left rib where my heart is, tightly knotted to you in a similar fashion. And when you go to Ireland, with all that distance between us, I am afraid that this cord will be snapped, and I shall bleed inwardly.
Charlotte Brontë
When a condition or a problem becomes too great, humans have the protection of not thinking about it. But it goes inward and minces up with a lot of other things already there and what comes out is discontent and uneasiness, guilt and a compulsion to get something--anything--before it is all gone.
John Steinbeck (The Winter of Our Discontent)
Mental illness turns people inwards. That's what I reckon. It keeps up forever trapped by the pain of our own minds, in the same way that the pain of a broken leg or a cut thumb will grab your attention, holding it so tightly that your good leg or your good thumb seem to cease to exist.
Nathan Filer (The Shock of the Fall)
He said you were the only one who was bitter about S.'s suicide and the only one who really forgave him for it. The rest of us, he said, were outwardly unbitter and inwardly unforgiving.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
The vampires start to close in. "shouldn't we stand back to back or something?" Clary said. "What? Why?" "I don't know. In movies that's what they do in this kind of...situation." Jace laughs, "You, you are the most-" The most what?" Clary demands indignantly. Jace: Nothing. This isn't a situation okay? I save that word for when things get really bad." "Really bad? This isn't really bad? What do you want, a nuclear-" The windows exploded inward in a shower of broken glass. Through the shattered windows came dozens of sleek shapes, four footed and low to the ground, their coats scattering moonlight and broken bits of glass. Wolves. "Now, this," said Jace, "is a situation
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
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)
It is clear to me now that, owing to my unbounded vanity and to the high standard I set for myself, I often looked at myself with furious discontent, which verged on loathing, and so I inwardly attributed the same feeling to everyone.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.
Virginia Woolf
A conscious attempt to fall asleep is sure to produce insomnia, to try to be conscious of one's own digestion is a sure way to upset the stomach. Consciousness is a poison when we apply it to ourselves. Consciousness is a light directed outward. It's like the headlights on a locomotive—turn them inward and you'd have a crash.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
A man who says, 'I want to change, tell me how to', seems very earnest, very serious, but he is not. He wants an authority whom he hopes will bring about order in himself. But can authority ever bring about inward order? Order imposed from without must always breed disorder.
J. Krishnamurti
The man was hit in one eye by a stone, and that eye turned inward so that it looked into his mind, and he died of what he saw there
Patricia A. McKillip (The Forgotten Beasts of Eld)
Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.
Plato (The Republic)
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
...what I dread more than anything else in this life is noise...silence helps you to go inward..anyone who is interested in something more than just life outside actually needs silence.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
People with mental illnesses aren't wrapped up in themselves because they are intrinsically any more selfish than other people. Of course not. They are just feeling things that can't be ignored. Things that point the arrows inward.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.
Stephen Hawking
Depression is anger turned inward.
Sapphire (Push)
The longest journey is the journey inward.
Dag Hammarskjöld (Markings)
As to conforming outwardly and living your own life inwardly, I do not think much of that.
Henry David Thoreau
I myself cried when I got angry, then became unable to explain why I was angry in the first place. Later I would discover this was endemic among female human beings. Anger is supposed to be "unfeminine" so we suppress it -until it overflows. I could see that not speaking up made my mother feel worse. This was my first hint of the truism that depression is anger turned inward; thus women are twice as likely to be depressed. My mother paid a high price for caring so much, yet being able to do so little about it. In this way, she led me toward am activist place where she herself could never go.
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
All that is necessary to awaken to yourself as the radiant emptiness of spirit is to stop seeking something more or better or different, and to turn your attention inward to the awake silence that you are.
Adyashanti
I wish the whole day were like breakfast, when people are still connected to their dreams, focused inward, and not yet ready to engage with the world around them. I realized this is how I am all day; for me, unlike other people, there doesn't come a moment after a cup of coffee or a shower or whatever when I suddenly feel alive and awake and connected to the world. If it were always breakfast, I would be fine.
Peter Cameron (Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You)
It is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another; yea, that, where two love, it is the loving of each other, that originates and perfects and assures their blessedness. I knew that love gives to him that loveth, power over over any soul be loved, even if that soul know him not, bringing him inwardly close to that spirit; a power that cannot be but for good; for in proportion as selfishness intrudes, the love ceases, and the power which springs therefrom dies. Yet all love will, one day, meet with its return.
George MacDonald (Phantastes)
I’m safer than I’ve been in days, surrounded by the people I love most, and yet I’ve never wanted to cry more. For them, I hold back. I curl inward and bleed alone, inside, where no one else can see.
Victoria Aveyard (Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2))
From innumerable complexities we must grow to simplicity; we must become simple in our inward life and in our outward needs.
J. Krishnamurti (Education and the Significance of Life)
The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn't matter. Cold or warm. Tired or well-rested. Despised or honored. Dying...or busy with other assignments. Because dying, too, is one of our assignments in life. There as well: "To do what needs doing." Look inward. Don't let the true nature of anything elude you. Before long, all existing things will be transformed, to rise like smoke (assuming all things become one), or be dispersed in fragments...to move from one unselfish act to another with God in mind. Only there, delight and stillness...when jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances, revert at once to yourself, and don't lose the rhythm more than you can help. You'll have a better grasp of the harmony if you keep going back to it.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Give me beauty in the inward soul; may the outward and the inward man be at one.
Socrates
For there is only one great adventure and that is inward toward the self, and for that, time nor space nor even deeds matter.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #2))
Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes.
Etty Hillesum
The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food. In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows...
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature and Walking)
Babies are soft. Anyone looking at them can see the tender, fragile skin and know it for the rose-leaf softness that invites a finger's touch. But when you live with them and love them, you feel the softness going inward, the round-cheeked flesh wobbly as custard, the boneless splay of the tiny hands. Their joints are melted rubber, and even when you kiss them hard, in the passion of loving their existence, your lips sink down and seem never to find bone. Holding them against you, they melt and mold, as though they might at any moment flow back into your body. But from the very start, there is that small streak of steel within each child. That thing that says "I am," and forms the core of personality. In the second year, the bone hardens and the child stands upright, skull wide and solid, a helmet protecting the softness within. And "I am" grows, too. Looking at them, you can almost see it, sturdy as heartwood, glowing through the translucent flesh. The bones of the face emerge at six, and the soul within is fixed at seven. The process of encapsulation goes on, to reach its peak in the glossy shell of adolescence, when all softness then is hidden under the nacreous layers of the multiple new personalities that teenagers try on to guard themselves. In the next years, the hardening spreads from the center, as one finds and fixes the facets of the soul, until "I am" is set, delicate and detailed as an insect in amber.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude. The movement from loneliness to solitude, however, is the beginning of any spiritual life because it it is the movement from the restless senses to the restful spirit,l from the outward-reaching cravings to the inward-reaching search, from the fearful clinging to the fearless play.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life)
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 of two, turned inward from the world at large?
Olivia Laing (The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone)
But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult! The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
Let us labor for an inward stillness-- An inward stillness and an inward healing. That perfect silence where the lips and heart Are still, and we no longer entertain Our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions, But God alone speaks to us and we wait In singleness of heart that we may know His will, and in the silence of our spirits, That we may do His will and do that only
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Each of us must turn inward and destroy in himself all that he thinks he ought to destroy in others.
Etty Hillesum
How hard is it, when everything encourages us to sleep, though we may look about us with conscious, clinging eyes, to wake and yet look about us as in a dream, with eyes that no longer know their function and whose gaze is turned inward.
Antonin Artaud (The Theater and Its Double)
As I sat dumbfounded, seemingly paralyzed in my corner, resorting to my old, reliable strategy of scribbling when unsure of how to respond to Sanjit, Sanjit appended his counsel with a dose of silence – one reminiscent to that of a few days prior. The students looked upward and downward, fans to notes to pens to toes, outward and inward, peers to souls, and of course, toward the direction of the perceived elephant in the room, Sanjit’s books. Simultaneously, Sanjit confidently and patiently searched among the students before finding my eyes; once connected, the lesson moved forward.
Colin Phelan (The Local School)
Some people want to see God with their eyes as they see a cow, and to love Him as they love a cow - for the milk and cheese and profit it brings them. This is how it is with people who love God for the sake of outward wealth or inward comfort. They do not rightly love God, when they love Him for their own advantage.
Meister Eckhart
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
Often, to be free means the ability to deal with the realities of one's own situation so as not to be overcome by them.
Howard Thurman (For the Inward Journey)
A Litany for Survival For those of us who live at the shoreline standing upon the constant edges of decision crucial and alone for those of us who cannot indulge the passing dreams of choice who love in doorways coming and going in the hours between dawns looking inward and outward at once before and after seeking a now that can breed futures like bread in our children's mouths so their dreams will not reflect the death of ours: For those of us who were imprinted with fear like a faint line in the center of our foreheads learning to be afraid with our mother's milk for by this weapon this illusion of some safety to be found the heavy-footed hoped to silence us For all of us this instant and this triumph We were never meant to survive. And when the sun rises we are afraid it might not remain when the sun sets we are afraid it might not rise in the morning when our stomachs are full we are afraid of indigestion when our stomachs are empty we are afraid we may never eat again when we are loved we are afraid love will vanish when we are alone we are afraid love will never return and when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed but when we are silent we are still afraid So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.
Audre Lorde (The Black Unicorn: Poems)
Men decide far more problems by hate, love, lust, rage, sorrow, joy, hope, fear, illusion or some other inward emotion, than by reality, authority, any legal standard, judicial precedent, or statute.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
If we feel inwardly strong, we will have no need or desire to speak ill of others.
Sri Chinmoy
The door swings inward as the first soldier rounds the corner, but my thoughts are only of Cal. It seems princes make me blind.
Victoria Aveyard (Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2))
Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.
Jeremiah Burroughs
If we don’t want life to pass us by, while the world is swiveling around us, let’s look inwards and turn things upside down in the inner chambers of our mind. Only after reshuffling our rooted values we can look outwards, find out the fascinations of life, and rediscover our selves, layer after layer. (“Finally unbend « )
Erik Pevernagie
We are such inward secret creatures, that inwardness the most amazing thing about us, even more amazing than our reason. But we cannot just walk into the cavern and look around. Most of what we think we know about our minds is pseudo-knowledge. We are all such shocking poseurs, so good at inflating the importance of what we think we value.
Iris Murdoch (The Sea, the Sea)
We have sealed ourselves away behind our money, growing inward, generating a seamless universe of self.
William Gibson (Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1))
We prefer to explore the universe by traveling inward, as opposed to outward.
Nnedi Okorafor (Binti (Binti, #1))
At a very early period she had apprehended the instinctively the dual life - that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions.
Kate Chopin
God sweetens outward pain with inward peace.
Thomas Watson
Truth be told, the inward gaze is something she's not too fond of. But there are secrets that lurk in the mind, and she doesn't want any of them sneaking up on her. Sometimes it pays to take a deep look inside even if you get queasy gazing into those dark corners.
Alden Bell (The Reapers are the Angels (Reapers, #1))
Direct your eye inward, and you'll find / A thousand regions in your mind / Yet undiscovered. Travel them, and be / Expert in home-cosmography
Henry David Thoreau
Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything outside you want, but whether there is anything inside that you have not yet unpacked.
Quentin Crisp
Never forget that you are not in the world; the world is in you. When anything happens to you, take the experience inward. Creation is set up to bring you constant hints and clues about your role as co-creator. Your soul is metabolizing experience as surely as your body is metabolizing food
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
Damn everything but the circus! ...damn everything that is grim, dull, motionless, unrisking, inward turning, damn everything that won't get into the circle, that won't enjoy. That won't throw it's heart into the tension, surprise, fear and delight of the circus, the round world, the full existence...
E.E. Cummings
Literature was the passport to enter a larger life; that is, the zone of freedom. Literature was freedom. Especially in a time in which the values of reading and inwardness are so strenuously challenged, literature is freedom.
Susan Sontag (Literature Is Freedom)
How many times... have you encountered the saying, 'When the student is ready, the Master speaks?' Do you know why that is true? The door opens inward. The Master is everywhere, but the student has to open his mind to hear the Masters Voice.
Robert Anton Wilson (Masks of the Illuminati)
the calling of the teacher. There is no craft more privileged. To awaken in another human being powers, dreams beyond one’s own; to induce in others a love for that which one loves; to make of one’s inward present their future; that is a threefold adventure like no other.
George Steiner (Lessons of the Masters)
One can know worlds one has not experienced, choose a response to life that has never been offered, create an inwardness utterly strong and fruitful.
Susan Sontag (Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963)
It is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated 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 snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
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)
What you are or where you came from is not important. It is who you are and the choices you make, that determine who you will become. If you can look inward and be satisfied, the opinions of others should melt away.
J.D. Stroube (Caged in Darkness (Caged, #1))
I wondered how I looked to her, in that place, and knew that even in a place that was nothing but knowledge that was the one thing I could not know. That if I look inward I would see only infinite mirrors staring into myself for eternity.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
Being well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which psychoanalysis is powerless to bestow.
Sebastian Horsley
Man is said to be a reasoning animal. I do not know why he has not been defined as an affective or feeling animal. Perhaps that which differentiates him from other animals is feeling rather than reason. More often I have seen a cat reason than laugh or weep. Perhaps it weeps or laughs inwardly — but then perhaps, also inwardly, the crab resolves equations of the second degree.
Miguel de Unamuno (Tragic Sense of Life)
I verily believe that her not remembering and not minding in the least, made me cry again, inwardly - and that is the sharpest crying of all.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
May the inward and outward man be as one.
Socrates
His name's Nash." Aunt Val took a butter knife from the silverware drawer. "What year is he?" I groaned inwardly. "Senior." ...here we go ... Her smile was a little too enthusiastic. "Well that's wonderful!" Of course, what she really meant was "Rise from the shadows, social leper, and walk in the bright light of acceptance!
Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1))
If you see the world and yourself through a lens smudged by negativity then you’ll find much misery. If you look outwards and inwards through lens brightened by positivity you’ll find much to be happy and appreciative about.
Henrik Edberg (The 7 Timeless Habits of Happiness)
I believe it will have become evident why, for me, adjectives such as happy, contented, blissful, enjoyable, do not seem quite appropriate to any general description of this process I have called the good life, even though the person in this process would experience each one of these at the appropriate times. But adjectives which seem more generally fitting are adjectives such as enriching, exciting, rewarding, challenging, meaningful. This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-fainthearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one's potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. Yet the deeply exciting thing about human beings is that when the individual is inwardly free, he chooses as the good life this process of becoming.
Carl R. Rogers (On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy)
The outward work will never be puny if the inward work is great.
Meister Eckhart
...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)
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)
I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.
Søren Kierkegaard
What the artist is always looking for is the mode of existence in which soul and body are one and indivisible: in which the outward is expressive of the inward: in which form reveals.
Oscar Wilde (De Profundis)
We can only aspire to become unshakable when we take ownership for our state of mind and how we feel about situations life hands out to us
Purnachaitanya (Looking Inward: Meditating to Survive A Changing World)
Voyages are accomplished inwardly.
Henry Miller
Men are free when they are obeying some deep, inward voice of religious belief. Obeying from within. Men are free when they belong to a living, organic, believing community, active in fulfilling some unfulfilled, perhaps unrealized purpose. Not when they are escaping to some wild west. The most unfree souls go west, and shout of freedom.
D.H. Lawrence (Studies in Classic American Literature)
If by doing some work which the undiscerning consider 'not spiritual work' I can best help others, and I inwardly rebel, thinking it is the spiritual for which I crave, when in truth it is the interesting and exciting, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
Amy Carmichael (If)
Meditation is a journey from effort to effortlessness, from activity to stillness, and from stress, anxiety and frustration to a state of peace and tranquillity.
Purnachaitanya (Looking Inward: Meditating to Survive A Changing World)
To-day we live so cowed under the bombardment of this intellectual artillery(the media) that hardly anyone can attain to the inward detachment that is required for a clear view of the monstrous drama. The will-to-power operating under a pure democratic disguise has finished off its masterpiece so well that the object's sense of freedom is actually flattered by the most thorough-going enslavement that has ever existed
Oswald Spengler (The Decline of the West, Vol 2: Perspectives of World History)
The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature)
And now things were as bad as they could get. I winced inwardly. You're never supposed to even think that. Because it's just an invtation for the world, Real or otherwise, to throw something even more incredibly fucked up at you.
Lili St. Crow (Reckoning (Strange Angels, #5))
I grieve and dare not show my discontent, I love and yet am forced to seem to hate, I do, yet dare not say I ever meant, I seem stark mute but inwardly do prate. I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned, Since from myself another self I turned. My care is like my shadow in the sun, Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it, Stands and lies by me, doth what I have done.
Elizabeth I (Her Life in Letters)
Each of us needs periods in which our minds can focus inwardly. Solitude is an essential experience for the mind to organize its own processes and create an internal state of resonance. In such a state, the self is able to alter its constraints by directly reducing the input from interactions with others. (p. 235)
Daniel J. Siegel (The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are)
The written word, obviously, is very inward, and when we're reading, we're thinking. It's a sort of spiritual, meditative activity. When we're looking at visual objects, I think our eyes are obviously directed outward, so there's not as much reflective time. And it's the reflectiveness and the spiritual inwardness about reading that appeals to me.
Joyce Carol Oates
American humorist Kin Hubbard said , "It ain't no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be". The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: "If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?" Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue... Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say, Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
I've since discovered that many human beings need no supernatural mentoring to commit acts of savagery; some people are devils in their own right, their telltale horns having grown inward to facilitate their disguise.
Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1))
The kid curled his fingers inward, like he was motioning them to come play with him, and in a total Magneto way, the guns flew from the officers' hands, zinging toward the kid. They, too, stopped in midair and lit up in vibrant shades of blue. A second later the guns were dust. Kat's hands dug into my back. "Holy..." "Shit," I finished.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Origin (Lux, #4))
We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds; we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretence; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical. Are we still of any use? What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, and straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honesty with ourselves remorseless enough, for us to find our way back to simplicity and straightforwardness?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison)
if someone has just hurt you or broken your heart, if someone has just died, all the grace you need is there-waiting for you to receive it. As long as we are pulled inward-despair and self attention, we aren't free to reach for God's grace. If we mean to leave ourselves alone, we must keep a hand free.
Eugenia Price
We are a package deal, however. Our trait of sensitivity means we will also be cautious, inward, needing extra time alone. Because people without the trait (the majority) do not understand that, they see us as timid, shy, weak, or that greatest sin of all, unsociable. Fearing these labels, we try to be like others. But that leads to our becoming overaroused and distressed. Then that gets us labeled neurotic or crazy, first by others and then by ourselves.
Elaine N. Aron (The Highly Sensitive Person)
When we look outside of that on which we depend we ignore our unity; looking outward we see many faces; look inward and all is one head. If a man could but be turned about, he would see at once God and himself and the All.
Plotinus (The Enneads)
When inward life dries up, when feeling decreases and apathy increases, when one cannot affect or even genuinely touch another person, violence flares up as a daimonic necessity for contact, a mad drive forcing touch in the most direct way possible.
Rollo May (Love and Will)
The couples learn to distrust what’s said about them in the media and to turn inward toward each other in times of crisis. Dina Matos McGreevey, former wife of New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey wrote, “Yes, I’d once or twice heard the rumor that Jim was gay, but I dismissed it just as I dismissed many other stories, most of which I knew not to be true.
Anne Michaud (Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Nine Political Wives)
A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is: when I speak of writing, what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and alone, turns inward; amid its shadows, he builds a new world with words.
Orhan Pamuk
Life is but a carousel of four seasons. Unpredictable for the most part. Happy. Unhappy. Content. Searching. Mess up the order, and they still rebound at one point or another. I’ve learned that revolution can be inward or outward. A move across the country to gain perspective. A change of heart and mind to gain sanity. But the point is to revolt when the season changes. If only to quench your thirst, revolt.
Tarryn Fisher (F*ck Love)
But his face had that hollow look, as if there was something gone... you know that look. The inward focus. Distantly attentive to the home you're missing, or the someone you're missing. That look that a bird has when it turns it dry reptilian eye on you. That look that doesn't see you because the mind is filled up with someone it would rather see.
Gregory Maguire (The Next Queen of Heaven)
There is a great difference between one idler and another idler. There is someone who is an idler out of laziness and lack of character, owing to the baseness of his nature. If you like, you may take me for one of those. Then there is the other kind of idler, the idler despite himself, who is inwardly consumed by a great longing for action who does nothing because his hands are tied, because he is, so to speak, imprisoned somewhere, because he lacks what he needs to be productive, because disastrous circumstances have brought him forcibly to this end. Such a one does not always know what he can do, but he nevertheless instinctively feels, I am good for something! My existence is not without reason! I know that I could be a quite a different person! How can I be of use, how can I be of service? There is something inside me, but what can it be? He is quite another idler. If you like you may take me for one of those.
Vincent van Gogh (The Letters of Vincent van Gogh)
Are you anything akin to me, do you think, Jane?" I could risk no sort of answer by this time; my heart was full. "Because," he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you — especially when you are near to me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated 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 then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
What is talkativeness? It is the result of doing away with the vital distinction between talking and keeping silent. Only some one who knows how to remain essentially silent can really talk--and act essentially. Silence is the essence of inwardness, of the inner life. Mere gossip anticipates real talk, and to express what is still in thought weakens action by forestalling it. But some one who can really talk, because he knows how to remain silent, will not talk about a variety of things but about one thing only, and he will know when to talk and when to remain silent. Where mere scope is concerned, talkativeness wins the day, it jabbers on incessantly about everything and nothing...In a passionate age great events (for they correspond to each other) give people something to talk about. And when the event is over, and silence follows, there is still something to remember and to think about while one remains silent. But talkativeness is afraid of the silence which reveals its emptiness.
Søren Kierkegaard (The Present Age)
In fact that is why the lives of most women are so vaguely unsatisfactory. They are always doing secondary and menial things (that do not require all their gifts and ability) for others and never anything for themselves. Society and husbands praise them for it (when they get too miserable or have nervous breakdowns) though always a little perplexedly and half-heartedly and just to be consoling. The poor wives are reminded that that is just why wives are so splendid -- because they are so unselfish and self-sacrificing and that is the wonderful thing about them! But inwardly women know that something is wrong. They sense that if you are always doing something for others, like a servant or nurse, and never anything for yourself, you cannot do others any good. You make them physically more comfortable. But you cannot affect them spiritually in any way at all. For to teach, encourage, cheer up, console, amuse, stimulate or advise a husband or children or friends, you have to be something yourself. [...]"If you would shut your door against the children for an hour a day and say; 'Mother is working on her five-act tragedy in blank verse!' you would be surprised how they would respect you. They would probably all become playwrights.
Brenda Ueland
A Christian society is not going to arrive until most of us really want it: and we are not going to want it until we become fully Christian. I may repeat "Do as you would be done by" till I am black in the fact, but I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbour as myself: and I cannot learn to love my neighbour as myself till I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him. And so, as I warned you, we are driven on to something more inward - driven on from social matters to religious matters.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
That’s exactly what I’m talking about. That’s the evil that’s seducing you. The malevolent power that is crawling through your blood tempting you onto a treacherous path that will cost you everything you love and hold dear. You have to let that anger go before it’s too late. Vengeance always turns inward and it will consume you until nothing’s left but an empty hole that nothing can fill. (Ambrose)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1))
What does it matter if another player, your friend or rival, intended good things and had only your interests at heart, if the effects of his action lead to so much ruin and confusion? It is only natural for people to cover up their actions with all kinds of justifications, always assuming that they have acted out of goodness. You must learn to inwardly laugh each time you hear this and never get caught up in gauging someone’s intentions and actions through a set of moral judgments that are really an excuse for the accumulation of power.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
Don't you see? We've become smart enough to justify stupid behavior. Like, 'I'm angry at him and I didn't express it, so I turned my anger inward and now it's depression, so in order to feel good again, what I should do is call him and express my anger.' It's like, if we can make it sound smart enough, we're allowed to do stupid things.
Carrie Fisher (Postcards from the Edge)
Holiday's eyes pooled with tears. And that pretty much made it a cry fest. Even Della joined in the tear party. Right then, Burnett walked in the office. His gaze went from one female to the other. Kylie could almost hear him groaning inwardly. "I...I'll be...right out there." Obviously even a hard-bodied vampire trained by the FRU wasn't capable of dealing with four crying women.
C.C. Hunter (Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls, #2))
Everything turns in circles and spirals with the cosmic heart until infinity. Everything has a vibration that spirals inward or outward — and everything turns together in the same direction at the same time. This vibration keeps going: it becomes born and expands or closes and destructs — only to repeat the cycle again in opposite current. Like a lotus, it opens or closes, dies and is born again. Such is also the story of the sun and moon, of me and you. Nothing truly dies. All energy simply transforms.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The mountain has left me feeling renewed, more content and positive than I’ve been for weeks, as if something has been given back after a long absence, as if my eyes have opened once again. For this time at least, I’ve let myself be rooted in the unshakable sanity of the senses, spared my mind the burden of too much thinking, turned myself outward to experience the world and inward to savor the pleasures it has given me.
Richard Nelson (The Island Within)
Dalek Sec: The Doctor will open the Ark! The Doctor: Ha ha, the Doctor will not. Dalek Sec: You have no way of resisting! The Doctor: Mm, you got me there. [withdrawing the sonic screwdriver] Although, there is always this. Dalek Sec: A sonic probe? The Doctor: [with jocular bravado] That's screwdriver. Dalek Sec: It is harmless. The Doctor: Ohh, yes. Harmless is just the word: that's why I like it! Doesn't kill, doesn't wound, doesn't maim. But I'll tell you what it does do: It is very good at opening doors. [He pushes the switch and the doors explode inwards; Jake's squad and some Cybermen run in and open fire.]
Russell T. Davies
It is our inward journey that leads us through time – forward or back, seldom in a straight line, most often spiraling. Each of us is moving, changing, with respect to others. As we discover, we remember; remembering, we discover; and most intensely do we experience this when our separate journeys converge. Our living experience at those meeting points is one of the charged dramatic fields of fiction.
Eudora Welty (One Writer's Beginnings)
Survivors who don’t stand up for themselves often develop physical and emotional illnesses. Many become depressed because they feel so hopeless and helpless about being able to change their lives. They turn their anger inward and become prone to headaches, muscle tension, nervous conditions and insomnia.
Beverly Engel (The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself)
The desert and the ocean are realms of desolation on the surface. The desert is a place of bones, where the innards are turned out, to desiccate into dust. The ocean is a place of skin, rich outer membranes hiding thick juicy insides, laden with the soup of being. Inside out and outside in. These are worlds of things that implode or explode, and the only catalyst that determines the direction of eco-movement is the balance of water. Both worlds are deceptive, dangerous. Both, seething with hidden life. The only veil that stands between perception of what is underneath the desolate surface is your courage. Dare to breach the surface and sink.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
I want first of all... to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact--to borrow from the language of the saints--to live "in grace" as much of the time as possible. I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense. By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony. I am seeking perhaps what Socrates asked for in the prayer from the Phaedrus when he said, "May the outward and inward man be one." I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
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 saw what looked like the truth as by flashes of lightening 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)
The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat. — Lily Tomlin
Amy McMillen (Reclaiming Control: Looking Inward to Recalibrate Your Life)
‎"The more we search for ourselves, the less likely we are to find ourselves; and the more we search for God, and to serve our fellow-men, the more profoundly will we become acquainted with ourselves, and the more inwardly assured. This is one of the great spiritual laws of life." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 18, 1954)
Shoghi Effendi
Days I enjoy are days when nothing happens, When I have no engagements written on my block, When no one comes to disturb my inward peace, When no one comes to take me away from myself And turn me into a patchwork, a jig-saw puzzle, A broken mirror that once gave a whole reflection, Being so contrived that it takes too long a time To get myself back to myself when they have gone.
Vita Sackville-West
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)
Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance. It suggests resilience, meaning that we have the ability to bounce back even from the most difficult times. . . . Your ability to thrive depends, in the end, on your attitude to your life circumstances. Take everything in stride with grace, putting forth energy when it is needed, yet always staying calm inwardly.
Ping Fu
You don't need meat at every meal," Riley offered, forking another bite of salad into his mouth and inwardly agreeing with Jack that it was certainly lacking something. Jack was quiet for all of ten seconds, and then he couldn't hold in his opinion one second more. "Are you really a Texan? I mean, really? Riley, if I have a headache, I'd put bacon around an aspirin before I take it.
R.J. Scott (The Heart of Texas (Texas, #1))
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)
It was here that Isobel first felt the twinge of an inward pull on her mind. Slowly the words started to get out of the way and let images of courtiers revolve, in slow motion, through her mind's eye. It was as though she had somehow adapted to the density of the language. Soon the words smudged away from the page, and in their place, she was left with the sensation of gliding through the scene, like she'd become a movie camera, sweeping through the sets of rooms and over the heads of costumed actors.
Kelly Creagh (Nevermore (Nevermore, #1))
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)
The true artist is not proud, he unfortunately sees that art has no limits; he feels darkly how far he is from the goal; and though he may be admired by others, he is sad not to have reached that point to which his better genius only appears as a distant, guiding sun. I would, perhaps, rather come to you and your people, than to many rich folk who display inward poverty.
Ludwig van Beethoven (Beethoven's Letters)
One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.
J.K. Rowling (Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination)
It is a pity indeed to travel and not get this essential sense of landscape values. You do not need a sixth sense for it. It is there if you just close your eyes and breathe softly through your nose; you will hear the whispered message, for all landscapes ask the same question in the same whisper. 'I am watching you -- are you watching yourself in me?' Most travelers hurry too much...the great thing is to try and travel with the eyes of the spirit wide open, and not to much factual information. To tune in, without reverence, idly -- but with real inward attention. It is to be had for the feeling...you can extract the essence of a place once you know how. If you just get as still as a needle, you'll be there.
Lawrence Durrell (Spirit of Place: Mediterranean Writings edited by A.G.Thomas)
That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within. Christianity came into the world firstly in order to assert with violence that a man had not only to look inwards, but to look outwards, to behold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain. The only fun of being a Christian was that a man was not left alone with the Inner Light, but definitely recognized an outer light, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, terrible as an army with banners.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
I am a great soft jelly thing. Smoothly rounded, with no mouth, with pulsing white holes filled by fog where my eyes used to be. Rubbery appendages that were once my arms; bulks rounding down into legless humps of soft slippery matter. I leave a moist trail when I move. Blotches of diseased, evil gray come and go on my surface, as though light is being beamed from within. Outwardly: dumbly, I shamble about, a thing that could never have been known as human, a thing whose shape is so alien a travesty that humanity becomes more obscene for the vague resemblance. Inwardly: alone. Here. Living under the land, under the sea, in the belly of AM, whom we created because our time was badly spent and we must have known unconsciously that he could do it better. At least the four of them are safe at last. AM will be all the madder for that. It makes me a little happier. And yet ... AM has won, simply ... he has taken his revenge ... I have no mouth. And I must scream.
Harlan Ellison (I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream)
Will you be at the harvest, Among the gatherers of new fruits? Then you must begin today to remake Your mental and spiritual world, And join the warriors and celebrants Of freedom, realizers of great dreams. You can’t remake the world Without remaking yourself. Each new era begins within. It is an inward event, With unsuspected possibilities For inner liberation. We could use it to turn on Our inward lights. We could use it to use even the dark And negative things positively. We could use the new era To clean our eyes, To see the world differently, To see ourselves more clearly. Only free people can make a free world. Infect the world with your light. Help fulfill the golden prophecies. Press forward the human genius. Our future is greater than our past.
Ben Okri
I am writing this book because we're all going to die - In the loneliness of my own life, my father dead, my brother dead, my mother faraway, my sister and my wife far away, nothing here but my own tragic hands that once were guarded by a world, a sweet attention, that now are left to guide and disappear their own way into the common dark of all our deaths, sleeping in me raw bed, alone and stupid: with just this one pride and consolation: my broke heart in the general despair and opened up inwards to the Lord, I made a supplication in this dream
Jack Kerouac (Visions of Cody)
Thinking about time is to acknowledge two contradictory certainties: that our outward lives are governed by the seasons and the clock; that our inward lives are governed by something much less regular-an imaginative impulse cutting through the dictates of daily time, and leaving us free to ignore the boundaries of here and now and pass like lightning along the coil of pure time, that is, the circle of the universe and whatever it does or does not contain.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
The happiness which brings enduring worth to life is not the superficial happiness that is dependent on circumstances. It is the happiness and contentment that fills the soul even in the midst of the most distressing circumstances and the most bitter environment. It is the kind of happiness that grins when things go wrong and smiles through the tears. The happiness for which our souls ache is one undisturbed by success or failure, one which will deeply root inside us and give us inward relaxation, peace, and contentment, no matter what the surface problems may be. That kind of happiness stands in need of no outward stimulas.
Billy Graham
As Marcus considered various ways to open the subject of Daisy, Swift surprised him with a blunt statement. “My lord, there is something I would like to discuss with you.” Marcus adopted a pleasantly encouraging expression. “Very well.” “It turns out that Miss Bowman and I have reached an…understanding. After considering the logical advantages on both sides, I have made a sensible and pragmatic decision that we should—” “How long have you been in love with her?” Marcus interrupted, inwardly amused. Swift let out a tense sigh. “Years,” he admitted.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
The man who wishes to know the "that" which is "thou" may set to work in any one of three ways. He may begin by looking inwards into his own particular thou and, by a process of "dying to self" --- self in reasoning, self in willing, self in feeling --- come at last to knowledge of the self, the kingdom of the self, the kingdom of God that is within. Or else he may begin with the thous existing outside himself, and may try to realize their essential unity with God and, through God, with one another and with his own being. Or, finally (and this is doubtless the best way), he may seek to approach the ultimate That both from within and from without, so that he comes to realize God experimentally as at once the principle of his own thou and of all other thous, animate and inanimate.
Aldous Huxley (The Perennial Philosophy)
Oh," Sally brightened proud of herself for deciphering his sign language, "you're telling me not to leave my room." Costin nodded his big wolf head again. His eyes had begun glowing back in the party and even now they continued to emit an eerie shade of green. Sally's inner Jen had been triggered as soon as she got the words out. So naturally she did what her inner Jen told her to. She stepped forward putting one toe outside her door. Costin growled, so she stepped back. Watching him coyly she put her other toe outside her door and he growled again. She was inwardly scolding herself for taunting him and allowing her inner Jen to control her actions, but she had discovered long ago that sometimes inner Jen is just more fun. When Sally stuck her foot out for the third time, she giggled when Costin snapped at her. She could tell that he was playing by the way his tail wagged and his eyes lightened, but had not stopped glowing all together.
Quinn Loftis
The monk assumes a robe, changes his name, shaves his head, enters a cell and takes a vow of poverty and chastity; in the East he has one loin cloth, one robe, one meal a day - and we all respect such poverty. But those men who have assumed the robe of poverty are still inwardly, psychologically, rich with the things of society because they are still seeking position and prestige; they belong to this order or that order, this religion or that religion; they still live in the divisions of a culture, a tradition. That is not poverty. poverty is to be completely free of society, though one may have a few more clothes, a few more meals - good God, who cares? But unfortunately in most people there is this urge for exhibitionism.
J. Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)
Have you wondered what our babies would have looked like?" Jen asked absently as she frowned inwardly trying to picture the future she might have had with her wolf. "Baby this isn't really the time to discuss our babies. Let's focus on who is carrying you so that I can get you back so that we can make babies." Jen groaned and felt the arms around her tighten which brought a gasp from her. Decebel must have sensed her pain as she felt his worry. "I'm okay, just hurts." Jen actually felt a smile spread across her face, "So you want to make babies with me?" This time when Decebel laughed she swore she could feel his hands run down her sides to her waist. "Only you would want to discuss making babies at a time like this." "Well you have to admit that it's a better topic than my nearly being killed and now being kidnapped. Seriously Dec, I'd much rather think about us making babies.
Quinn Loftis
The imagination places the world of the future either far above us, or far below, or in a relation of metempsychosis to ourselves. We dream of traveling through the universe—but is not the universe within ourselves? The depths of our spirit are unknown to us—the mysterious way leads inwards. Eternity with its worlds—the past and future—is in ourselves or nowhere. The external world is the world of shadows—it throws its shadow into the realm of light. At present this realm certainly seems to us so dark inside, lonely, shapeless. But how entirely different it will seem to us—when this gloom is past, and the body of shadows has moved away. We will experience greater enjoyment than ever, for our spirit has been deprived.
Novalis (Philosophical Writings)
Tonight I love you in a way that you have not known in me: I am neither worn down by travels nor wrapped up in the desire for your presence. I am mastering my love for you and turning it inwards as a constituent element of myself. This happens much more often than I admit to you, but seldom when I’m writing to you. Try to understand me: I love you while paying attention to external things. At Toulouse I simply loved you. Tonight I love you on a spring evening. I love you with the window open. You are mine, and things are mine, and my love alters the things around me and the things around me alter my love.
Jean-Paul Sartre
Rochester talking to Jane: I see no enemy to a fortunate issue but in the brow; and that brow professes to say,--'I can live alone, if self-respect and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure, born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld; or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.' The forehead declares, 'Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms. The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgment shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision. Strong wind, earthquake-shock, and fire may pass by: but I shall follow the guiding of that still small voice which interprets the dictates of conscience'"
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Although most people never overcome the habit of berating the world for their difficulties, those who are too weak to make a stand against reality have no choice but to obliterate themselves by identifying with it. They are never rationally reconciled to civilization. Instead, they bow to it, secretly accepting the identity of reason and domination, of civilization and the ideal, however much they may shrug their shoulders. Well-informed cynicism is only another mode of conformity. These people willingly embrace or force themselves to accept the rule of the stronger as the eternal norm. Their whole life is a continuous effort to suppress and abase nature, inwardly or outwardly, and to identify themselves with its more powerful surrogates—the race, fatherland, leader, cliques, and tradition. For them, all these words mean the same thing—the irresistible reality that must be honored and obeyed. However, their own natural impulses, those antagonistic to the various demands of civilization, lead a devious undercover life within them.
Max Horkheimer (Eclipse of Reason)
Okay, you know, is it weird to get so depressed watching a children’s Christmas special— Oh, wait, I shouldn’t say that. I mean, that’s not a good word. It’s not just “sadness,” the way one feels sad at a film or a funeral. It’s more of a plummeting quality. Or the way, you know, the way that light gets in winter just before dusk, or the way she is with me. All right, at the height of lovemaking, you know, the very height, when she’s starting to climax, and she’s really responding to you now, you know, her eyes widening in that way that’s both, you know, surprise and recognition, which not a woman alive could fake or feign if you really look intently at her, really see her. And I don’t know, this moment has this piercing sadness to it, of the loss of her in her eyes. And as her eyes, you know, widen to their widest point and as she begins to climax and arch her back, they close. You know, shut, the eyes do. And I can tell that she’s closed her eyes to shut me out. You know, I become like an intruder. And behind those closed lids, you know, her eyes are now rolled all the way around and staring intently inward into some void where l, who sent them, can’t follow.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
A woman cannot bear to feel empty and purposeless. But a man may take real pleasure in that feeling. A man can take real pride and satisfaction in pure negation: 'I am quite empty of feeling. I don't care the slightest bit in the world for anybody or anything except myself. But I do care for myself, and I'm going to survive in spite of them all, and I'm going to have my own success without caring the least in the world how I get it. Because I'm cleverer than they are, I'm cunninger than they are, even if I'm weak. I must build myself up proper protections, and entrench myself, and then I'm safe. I can sit inside my glass tower and feel nothing and be touched by nothing, and yet exert my power, my will, through the glass walls of my ego'. That, roughly, is the condition of a man who accepts the condition of true egoism, and emptiness, in himself. He has a certain pride in the condition, since in pure emptiness of real feeling he can still carry out his ambition, his will to egoistic success. Now I doubt if a woman can feel like this. The most egoistic woman is always in a tangle of hate, if not of love. But the true male egoist neither hates nor loves. He is quite empty, at the middle of him. Only on the surface he has feelings: and these he is always trying to get away from. Inwardly, he feels nothing. And when he feels nothing, he exults in his ego and knows he is safe. Safe, within his fortifications, inside his glass tower. But I doubt if women can even understand this condition in a man. They mistake emptiness for depth. They think the false calm of the egoist who really feels nothing is strength. And they imagine that all the defenses which the confirmed egoist throws up, the glass tower of imperviousness, are screens to a real man, a positive being. And they throw themselves madly on the defences, to tear them down and come at the real man, little knowing that there is no real man, the defences are only there to protect a hollow emptiness, an egoism, not a human man.
D.H. Lawrence (Selected Essays)
But one must remember that they were all men with systems. Freud, monumentally hipped on sex (for which he personally had little use) and almost ignorant of Nature: Adler, reducing almost everything to the will to power: and Jung, certainly the most humane and gentlest of them, and possibly the greatest, but nevertheless the descendant of parsons and professors, and himself a super-parson and a super-professor. all men of extraordinary character, and they devised systems that are forever stamped with that character.… Davey, did you ever think that these three men who were so splendid at understanding others had first to understand themselves? It was from their self-knowledge they spoke. They did not go trustingly to some doctor and follow his lead because they were too lazy or too scared to make the inward journey alone. They dared heroically. And it should never be forgotten that they made the inward journey while they were working like galley-slaves at their daily tasks, considering other people's troubles, raising families, living full lives. They were heroes, in a sense that no space-explorer can be a hero, because they went into the unknown absolutely alone. Was their heroism simply meant to raise a whole new crop of invalids? Why don't you go home and shoulder your yoke, and be a hero too?
Robertson Davies (The Manticore (The Deptford Trilogy, #2))
The LSD phenomenon, on the other hand, is—to me at least—more interesting. It is an intentionally achieved schizophrenia, with the expectation of a spontaneous remission—which, however, does not always follow. Yoga, too, is intentional schizophrenia: one breaks away from the world, plunging inward, and the ranges of vision experienced are in fact the same as those of a psychosis. But what, then, is the difference? What is the difference between a psychotic or LSD experience and a yogic, or a mystical? The plunges are all into the same deep inward sea; of that there can be no doubt. The symbolic figures encountered are in many instances identical (and I shall have something more to say about those in a moment). But there is an important difference. The difference—to put it sharply—is equivalent simply to that between a diver who can swim and one who cannot. The mystic, endowed with native talents for this sort of thing and following, stage by stage, the instruction of a master, enters the waters and finds he can swim; whereas the schizophrenic, unprepared, unguided, and ungifted, has fallen or has intentionally plunged, and is drowning.
Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By)
Humanity has in the course of time had to endure from the hands of science two great outrages upon its naive self-love. The first was when it realized that our earth was not the center of the universe, but only a tiny speck in a world-system of a magnitude hardly conceivable; this is associated in our minds with the name of Copernicus, although Alexandrian doctrines taught something very similar. The second was when biological research robbed man of his peculiar privilege of having been specially created, and relegated him to a descent from the animal world, implying an ineradicable animal nature in him: this transvaluation has been accomplished in our own time upon the instigation of Charles Darwin, Wallace, and their predecessors, and not without the most violent opposition from their contemporaries. But man's craving for grandiosity is now suffering the third and most bitter blow from present-day psychological research which is endeavoring to prove to the ego of each one of us that he is not even master in his own house, but that he must remain content with the veriest scraps of information about what is going on unconsciously in his own mind. We psycho-analysts were neither the first nor the only ones to propose to mankind that they should look inward; but it appears to be our lot to advocate it most insistently and to support it by empirical evidence which touches every man closely.
Sigmund Freud (Introduction à la psychanalyse)
Find out what it means to die - not physically, that's inevitable - but to die to everything that is known, to die to your family, to your attachments, to all the things that you have accumulated, the known, the known pleasures, the known fears. Die to that every minute and you will see what it means to die so that the mind is made fresh, young, and therefore innocent, so that there is incarnation not in a next life, but the next day.
J. Krishnamurti (Inward Revolution: Bringing About Radical Change in the World)
There is a love that equals in its power the love of man for woman and reaches inwards as deeply. It is the love of a man or a woman for their world. For the world of their center where their lives burn genuinely and with a free flame. The love of the diver for his world of wavering light. His world of pearls and tendrils and his breath at his breast. Born as a plunger into the deeps he is at one with every swarm of lime-green fish, with every colored sponge. As he holds himself to the ocean's faery floor, one hand clasped to a bedded whale's rib, he is complete and infinite. Pulse, power and universe sway in his body. He is in love. The love of the painter standing alone and staring, staring at the great colored surface he is making. Standing with him in the room the rearing canvas stares back with tentative shapes halted in their growth, moving in a new rhythm from floor to ceiling. The twisted tubes, the fresh paint squeezed and smeared across the dry on his palette. The dust beneath the easel. The paint has edged along the brushes' handles. The white light in a northern sky is silent. The window gapes as he inhales his world. His world: a rented room, and turpentine. He moves towards his half-born. He is in Love. The rich soil crumbles through the yeoman's fingers. As the pearl diver murmurs, 'I am home' as he moves dimly in strange water-lights, and as the painter mutters, 'I am me' on his lone raft of floorboards, so the slow landsman on his acre'd marl - says with dark Fuchsia on her twisting staircase, 'I am home.
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
The inward man is faced with a new and often dramatic task: He must come to terms with the inner tremendum. Since the God 'out there' or 'up there' is more or less dissolved in the many secular structures, the God within asks attention as never before. And just as the God outside could be experienced not only as a loving father but also as a horrible demon, the God within can be not only the source of a new creative life but also the cause of a chaotic confusion. The greatest complaint of the Spanish mystics St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross was that they lacked a spiritual guide to lead them along the right paths and enable them to distinguish between creative and destructive spirits. We hardly need emphasize how dangerous the experimentation with the interior life can be. Drugs as well as different concentration practices and withdrawal into the self often do more harm than good. On the other hand it also is becoming obvious that those who avoid the painful encounter with the unseen are doomed to live a supercilious, boring and superficial life.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society)
Christianity nowadays is like a big household where many cousins live under the same roof. They all belong to the same clan, but at times they have very different ideas about how to run their family affairs. Some of them, for instance, have no use for any outside devotion. God is a spirit, and He wants to be worshipped in spirit only, they say. Consequently, they have dispensed with all liturgy. They don’t want any distracting ceremonies, no incense, no vestments, no music, no pictures and images, not even sacraments—only the service of the spirit. The trouble is, however, that as long as we live here on earth, we simply are not pure spirits, but we have also a body, and in that body, a very human heart; and this heart needs outward signs of its inward affections. That is why we embrace and kiss the one we love; and the more we love, the more ardently we press him to this very heart—somehow it seems as if these cousins had overlooked that fact. But you can’t cheat the heart; it knows what it wants, and it knows how to get it.
Maria Augusta von Trapp
It's nice when grown people whisper to each other under the covers. Their ecstasy is more a leaf-sigh than bray and the body is the vehicle, not the point. They reach, grown people, for something beyond, way beyond and way, way down underneath tissue. They are remembering while they whisper the carnival dolls they won and the Baltimore boats they never sailed on. The pears they let hang on the limb because if they plucked them, they would be gone from there and who else would see that ripeness if they took it away for themselves? How could anybody passing by see them and imagine for themselves what the flavour would be like? Breathing and murmuring under covers both of them have washed and hung out on the line, in a bed they chose together and kept together nevermind one leg was propped on a 1916 dictionary, and the mattress, curved like a preacher's palm asking for witnesses in His name's sake, enclosed them each and every night and muffled their whispering, old-time love. They are under the covers because they don't have to look at themselves anymore; there is no stud's eye, no chippie glance to undo them. They are inward toward the other, bound and joined by carnival dolls and the steamers that sailed from ports they never saw. That is what is beneath their undercover whispers.
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
If I had a reader and he had read all I have written so far of my adventures, there would be certainly no need to inform him that I am not created for any sort of society. The trouble is I don't know how to behave in company. If I go anywhere among a great many people I always have a feeling as though I were being electrified by so many eyes looking at me. It positively makes me shrivel up, physically shrivel up, even in such places as the theatre, to say nothing of private houses. I did not know how to behave with dignity in these gambling saloons and assemblies; I either was still, inwardly upbraiding myself for my excessive mildness and politeness, or I suddenly got up and did something rude. And meanwhile all sorts of worthless fellows far inferior to me knew how to behave with wonderful aplomb-- and that's what really exasperated me above everything, so that I lost my self-possession more and more. I may say frankly, even at that time, if the truth is to be told, the society there, and even winning money at cards, had become revolting and a torture to me. Positively a torture. I did, of course, derive acute enjoyment from it, but this enjoyment was at the cost of torture.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Adolescent)
I was Mrs. Taylor yesterday.” I grin at Taylor, who flushes. “That has a nice ring to it, Miss Steele,” Taylor says matter-of-factly. “I thought so, too.” Christian tightens his hold on my hand, scowling. “If you two have quite finished, I’d like a debrief.” He glares at Taylor, who now looks uncomfortable, and I cringe inwardly. I have overstepped the mark. “Sorry,” I mouth at Taylor, who shrugs and smiles kindly before I turn to follow Christian. “I’ll be with you shortly. I just want a word with Miss Steele,” Christian says to Taylor, and I know I’m in trouble. Christian leads me into his bedroom and closes the door. “Don’t flirt with the staff, Anastasia,” he scolds. I open my mouth to defend myself—then close it again, then open it. “I wasn’t flirting. I was being friendly—there is a difference.” “Don’t be friendly with the staff or flirt with them. I don’t like it.” Oh. Good-bye, carefree Christian. “I’m sorry,” I mutter and stare down at my fingers. He hasn’t made me feel like a child all day. Reaching down he cups my chin, pulling my head up to meet his eyes. “You know how jealous I am,” he whispers. “You have no reason to be jealous, Christian. You own me body and soul.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
Now, my dear little girl, you have come to an age when the inward life develops and when some people (and on the whole those who have most of a destiny) find that all is not a bed of roses. Among other things there will be waves of terrible sadness, which last sometimes for days; irritation, insensibility, etc., etc., which taken together form a melancholy. Now, painful as it is, this is sent to us for an enlightenment. It always passes off, and we learn about life from it, and we ought to learn a great many good things if we react on it right. (For instance, you learn how good a thing your home is, and your country, and your brothers, and you may learn to be more considerate of other people, who, you now learn, may have their inner weaknesses and sufferings, too.) Many persons take a kind of sickly delight in hugging it; and some sentimental ones may even be proud of it, as showing a fine sorrowful kind of sensibility. Such persons make a regular habit of the luxury of woe. That is the worst possible reaction on it. It is usually a sort of disease, when we get it strong, arising from the organism having generated some poison in the blood; and we mustn't submit to it an hour longer than we can help, but jump at every chance to attend to anything cheerful or comic or take part in anything active that will divert us from our mean, pining inward state of feeling. When it passes off, as I said, we know more than we did before. And we must try to make it last as short as time as possible. The worst of it often is that, while we are in it, we don't want to get out of it. We hate it, and yet we prefer staying in it—that is a part of the disease. If we find ourselves like that, we must make something ourselves to some hard work, make ourselves sweat, etc.; and that is the good way of reacting that makes of us a valuable character. The disease makes you think of yourself all the time; and the way out of it is to keep as busy as we can thinking of things and of other people—no matter what's the matter with our self.
William James
What is a hobby anyway? Where is the line of demarcation between hobbies and ordinary normal pursuits? I have been unable to answer this question to my own satisfaction. At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant. Certainly many of our most satisfying avocations today consist of making something by hand which machines can usually make more quickly and cheaply, and sometimes better. Nevertheless I must in fairness admit that in a different age the mere fashioning of a machine might have been an excellent hobby... Today the invention of a new machine, however noteworthy to industry, would, as a hobby, be trite stuff. Perhaps we have here the real inwardness of our own question: A hobby is a defiance of the contemporary. It is an assertion of those permanent values which the momentary eddies of social evolution have contravened or overlooked. If this is true, then we may also say that every hobbyist is inherently a radical, and that his tribe is inherently a minority. This, however, is serious: Becoming serious is a grievous fault in hobbyists. It is an axiom that no hobby should either seek or need rational justification. To wish to do it is reason enough. To find reasons why it is useful or beneficial converts it at once from an avocation into an industry–lowers it at once to the ignominious category of an 'exercise' undertaken for health, power, or profit. Lifting dumbbells is not a hobby. It is a confession of subservience, not an assertion of liberty.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There)
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)
Just as the universal family of gifted writers transcends national barriers, so is the gifted reader a universal figure, not subject to spatial or temporal laws. It is he—the good, the excellent reader—who has saved the artists again and again from being destroyed by emperors, dictators, priests, puritans, philistines, political moralists, policemen, postmasters, and prigs. Let me define this admirable reader. He does not belong to any specific nation or class. No director of conscience and no book club can manage his soul. His approach to a work of fiction is not governed by those juvenile emotions that make the mediocre reader identify himself with this or that character and “skip descriptions.” The good, the admirable reader identifies himself not with the boy or the girl in the book, but with the mind that conceived and composed that book. The admirable reader does not seek information about Russia in a Russian novel, for he knows that the Russia of Tolstoy or Chekhov is not the average Russia of history but a specific world imagined and created by individual genius. The admirable reader is not concerned with general ideas; he is interested in the particular vision. He likes the novel not because it helps him to get along with the group (to use a diabolical progressive-school cliche); he likes the novel because he imbibes and understands every detail of the text, enjoys what the author meant to be injoyed, beams inwardly and all over, is thrilled by the magic imageries of the master-forger, the fancy-forger, the conjuror, the artist. Indeed of all the characters that a great artist creates, his readers are the best. (“Russian Writers, Censors, and Readers”)
Vladimir Nabokov (Lectures on Russian Literature)
What will bring peace is inward transformation, which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, is not withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary, there can be right action only when there is right thinking and there is no right thinking when there is no self-knowledge. Without knowing yourself, there is no peace. An Ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is. To have peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin not to live an ideal life but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them. As long as each one of us is seeking psychological security, the physiological security we need; food, clothing and shelter, is destroyed. Some of you will nod your heads and say, “I agree”, and go outside and do exactly the same as you have been doing for the last ten or twenty years. Your agreement is merely verbal and has no significance, for the world’s miseries and wars are not going to be stopped by your casual assent. They will be only stopped when you realize the danger, when you realize your responsibility, when you do not leave it to somebody else. If you realize the suffering, if you see the urgency of immediate action and do not postpone, then you will transform yourself.
J. Krishnamurti
Each person is born with an unencumbered spot, free of expectation and regret, free of ambition and embarrassment, free of fear and worry; an umbilical spot of grace where we were each first touched by God. It is this spot of grace that issues peace. Psychologists call this spot the Psyche, Theologians call it the Soul, Jung calls it the Seat of the Unconscious, Hindu masters call it Atman, Buddhists call it Dharma, Rilke calls it Inwardness, Sufis call it Qalb, and Jesus calls it the Center of our Love. To know this spot of Inwardness is to know who we are, not by surface markers of identity, not by where we work or what we wear or how we like to be addressed, but by feeling our place in relation to the Infinite and by inhabiting it. This is a hard lifelong task, for the nature of becoming is a constant filming over of where we begin, while the nature of being is a constant erosion of what is not essential. Each of us lives in the midst of this ongoing tension, growing tarnished or covered over, only to be worn back to that incorruptible spot of grace at our core. When the film is worn through, we have moments of enlightenment, moments of wholeness, moments of Satori as the Zen sages term it, moments of clear living when inner meets outer, moments of full integrity of being, moments of complete Oneness. And whether the film is a veil of culture, of memory, of mental or religious training, of trauma or sophistication, the removal of that film and the restoration of that timeless spot of grace is the goal of all therapy and education. Regardless of subject matter, this is the only thing worth teaching: how to uncover that original center and how to live there once it is restored. We call the filming over a deadening of heart, and the process of return, whether brought about through suffering or love, is how we unlearn our way back to God
Mark Nepo (Unlearning Back To God: Essays On Inwardness, 1985 2005)
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)
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))