Inward Reflection Quotes

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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)
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
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
People—our dads, our moms, our friends—they are so broken they don’t even know that most of what they do reflects that brokenness. They just hurt whoever is in their wake. They don’t sit and think about what their hurt is doing to us. Pain makes humans selfish. Blocked off. Focused inward instead of outward
Tarryn Fisher (Marrow)
I’m you, Blake. I’m a reflection of you, a multi-dimensional reflection. It’s easier to see a reflection of yourself than to see yourself in a reflection. It’s an inward/outward thing.
Trent Zelazny (A Crack in Melancholy Time)
When one begins to reflect on philosophy—then philosophy seems to us to be everything, like God, and love. It is a mystical, highly potent, penetrating idea—which ceaselessly drives us inward in all directions. The decision to do philosophy—to seek philosophy is the act of self-liberation—the thrust toward ourselves.
Novalis (Philosophical Writings)
Inwardly she argued with herself, reflecting that it never ended well when one did something morally questionable for the right reasons.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
The degree of freedom we enjoy outwardly is a reflection of the degree of love we cultivate inwardly.
Eric Micha'el Leventhal
The beauty in correcting our own mistakes; rather than attempting to correct the mistakes in others, is that working upon our own flaws improves us. But working upon the flaws of others not only leaves us unimproved; it actually leaves us being less than we were prior to making those assessments. I believe that the moral of this natural occurrence, is that we are all born to find and fix our own shortcomings; rather than find and fix the shortcomings in others. And if all people were to do this, then we would be a race of creatures looking inward, in order to bring out something better. Now think of what a beautiful race that would be.
C. JoyBell C.
You are magnificent - a jewel reflecting inwardly and outwardly, the light of the universe. Observe how you respond to beauty everywhere - you bear witness to everything. Be aware that you, yourself, are an inextricable part of the infinite creative intelligence, and be blessed.
Jay Woodman
If we give priority to the outer life, our inner life will be dark and scary. We will not know what to do with solitude. We will be deeply uncomfortable with self-examination, and we will have an increasingly short attention span for any kind of reflection. Even more seriously, our lives will lack integrity. Outwardly, we will need to project confidence, spiritual and emotional health and wholeness, while inwardly we may be filled with self-doubts, anxieties, self-pity, and old grudges.
Timothy J. Keller (Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
The next day brought more visitors. Sarah was eating a simple luncheon with Charis, Ariel, and Guinevere and was experiencing for the first time in her life the pleasure of talking freely with other girls she trusted. It wasn't that they talked about anything of importance. Indeed, most of their conversation was hopelessly trivial- Mordecai would have shaken his head sadly over such frivolity, Sarah reflected with an inward smile. But to talk so openly, and to laugh so unrestrainedly, was somehow far more significant than any single thing that was said.
Gerald Morris (The Princess, the Crone, and the Dung-Cart Knight (The Squire's Tales, #6))
Do you know who you are? God made you a woman. Accept His gift. Don't be afraid to be feminine and to add physical and spiritual loveliness to the setting where He has placed you. You are a child of God. You are a part of the bride of Christ. You belong to the King--you are royalty. Dress and conduct yourself in a way that reflects your high and holy calling. God has called you out of this world's system--don't let the world press you into its mold. Don't think, dress, or act like the world; inwardly and outwardly, let others see the difference He makes in your life.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets them Free)
It was only after the illness that I understood how important it is to affirm one’s own destiny. In this way we forge an ego that does not break down when incomprehensible things happen; an ego that endures, that endures the truth, and that is capable of coping with the world and with fate. Then, to experience defeat is also to experience victory. Nothing is disturbed—neither inwardly nor outwardly, for one’s own continuity has withstood the current of life and of time. But that can come to pass only when one does not meddle inquisitively with the workings of fate. I
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
Many people who go out looking for themselves will become lost, for they look outside themselves or inward, rather than up the the God we reflect. ~Diary of a Substitute Countess
Joanna Davidson Politano (Finding Lady Enderly)
Outer circumstances are merely the reflection of who we inwardly are.
Mother Mirra Alfassa
We save up the events of our days to tell our friends, feeling that until our affairs have been told they haven’t quite happened: Thus do our friends confirm our lives.
Eva Brann (Open Secrets / Inward Prospects: Reflections on World and Soul)
It is reason which breeds pride and reflection which fortifies it; reason which turns man inward into himself; reason which separates him from everything which troubles or affects him. It is philosophy which isolates a man, and prompts him to say in secret at the sight of another suffering: 'Perish if you will; I am safe.' No longer can anything but dangers to society in general disturb the tranquil sleep of the philosopher or drag him from his bed. A fellow-man may with impunity be murdered under his window, for the philosopher has only to put his hands over his ears and argue a little with himself to prevent nature, which rebels inside him, from making him identify himself with the victim of the murder. The savage man entirely lacks this admirable talent, and for want of wisdom and reason he always responds recklessly to the first promptings of human feeling.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality)
With the buck before me suspended in immobility, there seems to be time for all things, time even to turn my gaze inward and see what it is that has robbed the hunt of its savour: the sense that this has become no longer a morning's hunting but an occasion on which either the proud ram bleeds to death on the ice or the old hunter misses his aim; that for the duration of this frozen moment the stars are locked in a configuration in which events are not themselves but stand for other things.
J.M. Coetzee (Waiting for the Barbarians)
I would say that introverts make some of the best international philosophers. The less common attribute of the introverted lifestyle - a close societal connection, as such a connection disappears or changes in relevance as the currents of the winds change - leaves too much room for one's own cultural bias. Instead, introverts tend to turn inward, the laboratory of being and all its forms. This is the most accurate study of the individual human being, which is in turn, rather than those affected by cultural limitations, the most universal reflection of human understanding and human behavior.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
He'd have to fix that. Turn over a new leaf in his outward behavior to better reflect his inward life. And yes, all right, work on the inward too.
Roseanna M. White (To Treasure an Heiress (The Secrets of the Isles, #2))
Prayer is inward communication with yourself; action is outward conversation with God.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Time alone can help us to look inward, to fish for things that others can’t see.
Fennel Hudson (Traditional Angling - Fennel's Journal - No. 6)
huigan—causes us to turn inward and reflect as the liquor coats our tongues, shimmers down our throats, and then rises again as fragrance. The Daoists see tea as a way to regulate internal alchemy, be in harmony with the natural world, and serve as an ingredient in the elixir of immortality. Together, these three
Lisa See (The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane)
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))
Meditation is when you sit down, let's say that, and don't do anything. Poetry is when you get up and do something. Somewhere we've developed the misconception that poetry is self-expression, and that meditation is going inward. Actually, poetry has nothing to do with self-expression, it is the way to be free, finally, of self-expression, to go much deeper than that. And meditation is not a form of thought or reflection, it is a looking at or an awareness of what is there, equally inside and outside, and then it doesn't make sense anymore to mention inside or outside.
Norman Fischer
Many shy people turn inward, partly as a refuge from the socializing that causes them such anxiety. And many introverts are shy, partly as a result of receiving the message that there’s something wrong with their preference for reflection, and partly because their physiologies, as we’ll see, compel them to withdraw from high-stimulation environments.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Slowly it gets to be a waiting whose outward sense I cannot comprehend; the inward reason must be found daily. Both of us have lost infinitely much during the past months; time today is a costly commodity, for who knows how much more time is given to us.7 Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Maria von Wedemeyer, 20 September 1943
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (God Is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter)
A destructive or creative state of psychological madness must trace itself to a source. By finding the source of their misery, a person might be able to corral the crazy desire prematurely to terminate their existence. An old saying suggests that self-hatred is the central cause of all self-destructive actions. Self-hate might consist of anger that we harbor towards other people who maltreated us. Repressed anger and pent-up hostility that we retain against other people that has no viable direct escape hatch can reflect and turn inward against ourselves. Perhaps we regret that we allowed other people to demean us, or rue that we lacked a protective level of self-esteem to begin with.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Corinthians 4:16–18 says: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day . . . our light and momentary struggles are achieving for us an eternal glory . . . So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
Your creativity is a reflection of God's creativity in you.
Aiyaz Uddin (The Inward Journey)
Outward assumption is a reflection of inward corruption.
Abhijit Naskar (Generation Corazon: Nationalism is Terrorism)
What a reflection on yourself to despise those who admire you! That said, one's usually of two minds: 1. You're ludicrously overdoing it; 2. You don't know the half of it.
Eva Brann (Open Secrets / Inward Prospects: Reflections on World and Soul)
By gazing inward the true reflection of the self is revealed.
Miranda J. Barrett (A Woman's Truth: A Life Truly Worth Living)
Attuning inwardly felt like a welcome home celebration.
Daniel J. Siegel (The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology Book 0))
I remember passing the tomboy, sitting in her special place of punishment opposite the bully. She was blazing with her deed, as if she had actually been touched by a god. And I thought that this confirmed all my theories: a child in her position is open to any heroic myth I care to use; she is inward with folktales; she would feel the force of any magical or divine intervention.
Diana Wynne Jones (Reflections: On the Magic of Writing)
What you’re looking for is ‘inside’ you but you can only reclaim it by shattering the mirror on which it reflects itself back at you. When the mirror is shattered, the shards reveal your Real Face.
Oli Anderson (Shadow Life: Freedom from Bullshit in an Unreal World)
Not every type of love satisfies, and not every type of love is right. The world would tell you to love yourself like no tomorrow. But if you only focus on making yourself happy and following your own heart, it will lead to roads of disaster in the long run. Remember that happiness is not only a reflection of what happens to you outwardly but who you are inwardly. How you react to the circumstances of life will determine how good or how bad your life may be. But the circumstances of life and the way we’re treated still matters. For these conditions augment our overall state of happiness.
Adam Houge (NOT A BOOK: The 7 Habits That Will Change Your Life Forever)
Our environment, including the physical body, reflect our inner state - what we are inwardly, our eternal nature. When we renew our mind and transform ourselves, our environment responds to this change automatically.
Thomas Vazhakunnathu (God Does Not Play Dice)
Joseph Campbell reflects in The Power of Myth that in mythic terms, the first part of any journey of initiation must deal with the death of the old self and the resurrection of the new. Campbell says that the hero, or heroic figure, 'moves not into outer space but into inward space, to the place from which all being comes, into the consciousness that is the source of all things, the kingdom of heaven within. The images are outward, but their reflection is inward.
Syd Field (Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting)
Many men have been praised as vividly imaginative on the strength of their profuseness in indifferent drawing or cheap narration:—reports of very poor talk going on in distant orbs; or portraits of Lucifer coming down on his bad errands as a large ugly man with bat's wings and spurts of phosphorescence; or exaggerations of wantonness that seem to reflect life in a diseased dream. But these kinds of inspirations Lydgate regarded as rather vulgar and vinous compared with the imagination that reveals subtle actions inaccessible by any sort of lens, but tracked in that outer darkness through long pathways of necessary sequence by the inward light which is the last refinement of Energy, capable of bathing even the ethereal atoms in its ideally illuminated space.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
O Ye Seeming Fair Yet Inwardly Foul! Ye are like clear but bitter water, which to outward seeming is crystal pure but of which, when tested by the divine Assayer, not a drop is accepted. Yea the sun beam falls alike upon the dust and the mirror, yet differ they in reflection even as doth the star from the earth: nay, immeasurable is the difference! O My Friend In Word! Ponder awhile. Hast thou ever heard that friend and foe should abide in one heart? Cast out then the stranger, that the Friend may enter his home.
Mrs. Morse did not require a mother's intuition to read the advertisement in Ruth's face when she returned home. The flush that would not leave the cheeks told the simple story, and more eloquently did the eyes, large and bright, reflecting an unmistakable inward glory.
Jack London (Martin Eden)
Oh, it's not her Christian name. Her Christian name is Clara.' 'Is it though?' said Mr. Barkis. He seemed to find an immense fund of reflection in this circumstance, and sat pondering and inwardly whistling for some time. 'Well!' he resumed at length. 'Says you, "Peggotty! Barkis is waitin' for a answer." Says she, perhaps, "Answer to what?" Says you, "To what I told you." "What is that?" says she. "Barkis is willin'," says you.' This extremely artful suggestion Mr. Barkis accompanied with a nudge of his elbow that gave me quite a stitch in my
Charles Dickens (David Copperfield)
to the woman at war with her body: I hope you learn to lay your weapons down, so you may learn that peace exists inward and not by what you see in the reflection. I hope you learn that what you tell yourself will always be more important that what they have to say about you.
Billy Chapata (Flowers on the Moon)
Our natural tendency is to be distracted - to scan the horizon constantly for predators and prospects. Books made us turn that attention inward, to build higher and higher castles within the quiet kingdoms of our minds. Through that process of reflection and deep thinking, we evolved.
Alena Graedon
Caelica #100 In night, when colors all to black are cast, Distinction lost, or gone down with the light, The eye, a watch to inward senses placed, Not seeing, yet still having power of sight, Gives vain alarums to the inward sense, Where fear, stirred up with witty tyranny, Confounds all powers, and through self-offense Doth forge and raise impossibility, Such as in thick depriving darknesses Proper reflections of the error be, And images of self-confusednesses, Which hurt imaginations only see:— And from this nothing seen, tell news of devils, Which but expressions be of inward evils.
Fulke Greville
What you are, so is your world. Everything in the universe is resolved into your own inward experience. It matters little what is without, for it is all a reflection of your own state of consciousness. It matters everything what you are within, for everything without will be mirrored and colored accordingly.
Napoleon Hill (The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity)
[O]ne of the fatal errors of conceptual theology has been the separation of the acts of religious existence from the statements about it. Ideas of faith must not be studied in total separation from the moments of faith. If a plant is uprooted from its soil, removed from its native winds, sun-rays and terrestrial environment, and kept in a hothouse— will observations made of such a plant disclose its primordial nature? The growing inwardness of man that reaches and curves toward the light of God can hardly be transplanted into the shallowness of mere reflection. Torn out of its medium in human life, it wilts like a rose pressed between the pages of a book. Religion is, indeed, little more than a desiccated remnant of a once living reality when reduced to terms and definitions, to codes and catechisms. It can only be studied in its natural habitat of faith and piety, in a soul where the divine is within reach of all thoughts.
Abraham Joshua Heschel (God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism)
A quiet reflective mind is a wholesome mind. It is an inbound mind. This kind of mind is not only capable of deep contemplation – it is also capable of intense action. The centre of a cyclone is very quiet. It is from this centre that the cyclone attains its power. A revolving fan is still at the tip. It is here that motion is intensified to the point of stillness. A mind that has learnt to slow itself down is indeed a capable mind. For this, our minds need to periodically withdraw from the world of sensations. Like a tortoise withdraws its limbs into its shell – a sane mind goes inwards in search of its quiet centre.
Debashis Chatterjee (The Other 99%/You Can Dare To Lead)
Moreover, one should so respect a friend's presence that he dare not perform anything shameful or speak any unbecoming word, since any fault so reflects on a friend that the friend not only blushes and grieves inwardly but also reproaches himself with what he sees or hears, as if he had committed the sin himself.
Aelred of Rievaulx (Spiritual Friendship)
You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home. People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in one's heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us. Perhaps we may even grow wicked later on, may be unable to refrain from a bad action, may laugh at men's tears and at those people who say as Kolya did just now, 'I want to suffer for all men,' and may even jeer spitefully at such people. But however bad we may become—which God forbid—[…] if we do become so will not dare to laugh inwardly at having been kind and good at this moment! What's more, perhaps, that one memory may keep him from great evil and he will reflect and say, 'Yes, I was good and brave and honest then!' Let him laugh to himself, that's no matter, a man often laughs at what's good and kind. That's only from thoughtlessness. But I assure you, boys, that as he laughs he will say at once in his heart, 'No, I do wrong to laugh, for that's not a thing to laugh at.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
O MY FORGETFUL SOUL, Awake from thy wandering dream; turn from chasing vanities, look inward, forward, upward, view thyself, reflect upon thyself, who and what thou art, why here, what thou must soon be. Thou art a creature of God, formed and furnished by him, lodged in a body like a shepherd in his tent; Dost thou not desire to know God’s ways?
Arthur Bennett (The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions)
Many successful people have a morning ritual. For some, it’s meditation. For others, it’s exercise. For many, it’s journaling—just a few pages where they write down their thoughts, fears, hopes. In these cases, the point is not so much the activity itself as it is the ritualized reflection. The idea is to take some time to look inward and examine.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
BREATHE Mindful breathing is a basic wonderful pleasure for life. Breathing calms our body and mind to unify our soul within the present moment. Breathing is a supreme gift from Mother Nature, giving universal pranic energy which one guides within. BELIEVE Intentions, wishes and dreams can come true. Not necessarily all at once, but herein lies the splendour of life’s journey. The secret tonic to success is belief and imagination, blended with confidence to open your heart and follow your dreams. BE Savadhyaya is the practice of inward reflection, honest self-observation and learning. Whatever you do, wherever you are, find contentment and simply be there, because that’s exactly where you need to be.
If man in his daily life would examine every action which has reflected a disagreeable picture of himself upon his soul and caused darkness and dissatisfaction, and if on the other hand he would consciously watch each thought, word, or deed which had produced an inward love, harmony and beauty, and each feeling which had brought him wisdom, calm and peace, then the way of harmony between soul and body would be easily understood, and both aspects of life would be satisfied, the inner as well as the outer. The soul's satisfaction is much more important than that of the body, for it is more lasting. In this way the thought, speech and action can be adjusted, so that harmony may be established first in the self by the attunement of body and soul.
Hazrat Inayat Khan (The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word (The Sufi Teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan Book 2))
...Lionel turned his thoughts eagerly inward, to discover that inward was perilous, too; his soul was a sort of curved reflective surface that distorts, as in a funhouse mirror, the face of one peering into it. You might be anyone, any face. The face is mere skin. Accident. He seemed at such times to be approaching a profound yet unspeakable truth: that our identities are accidents.
Joyce Carol Oates (Middle Age: A Romance)
Night-time, regarded as a separate sphere of creation, is a universe in itself. The material nature of man, upon which philosophers tell us that a column of air forty-five miles in height continually presses, is wearied out at night, sinks into lassitude, lies down, and finds repose. The eyes of the flesh are closed; but in that drooping head, less inactive than is supposed, other eyes are opened. The unknown reveals itself. The shadowy existences of the invisible world become more akin to man; whether it be that there is a real communication, or whether things far off in the unfathomable abyss are mysteriously brought nearer, it seems as if the impalpable creatures inhabiting space come then to contemplate our natures, curious to comprehend the denizens of the earth. Some phantom creation ascends or descends to walk beside us in the dim twilight: some existence altogether different from our own, composed partly of human consciousness, partly of something else, quits his fellows and returns again, after presenting himself for a moment to our inward sight; and the sleeper, not wholly slumbering, nor yet entirely conscious, beholds around him strange manifestations of life—pale spectres, terrible or smiling, dismal phantoms, uncouth masks, unknown faces, hydra-headed monsters, undefined shapes, reflections of moonlight where there is no moon, vague fragments of monstrous forms. All these things which come and go in the troubled atmosphere of sleep, and to which men give the name of dreams, are, in truth, only realities invisible to those who walk about the daylight world. The dream-world is the Aquarium of Night.
Victor Hugo (The Toilers of the Sea)
The artistic creation of the poet, painter, photographer, and writer is a reflection of the artist’s inner world. The agenda of consciousness that spurs all forms of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but to portray its inward significance to the creator. A great poem, painting, photograph, and written composition fully express what the creator feels, in the deepest sense, about the distinctively depicted image that captured their imagination.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
In other words, there should be no fear of Jesus coming back and finding “hands in the cookie jar.” As His children, our lives should reflect His love - there should be none of us stealing or treating people indifferently or no one having a bad attitude. Jesus should not catch you off guard. Instead, you should be feeling joy, living a life of peace, regardless of life’s day to day frustrations. You should feel inwardly contented, knowing that you are loved and accepted into God’s own family.
Matthew Robert Payne (The Parables of Jesus: Made Simple)
Developments in high technology reflect an ancient model for craftsmanship, but the reality on the ground is that people who aspire to be good craftsmen are depressed, ignored, or misunderstood by social institutions. These ills are complicated because few institutions set out to produce unhappy workers. People seek refuge in inwardness when material engagement proves empty; mental anticipation is privileged above concrete encounter; standards of quality in work separate design from execution.
Richard Sennett (The Craftsman)
Valentine’s concept of introversion includes traits that contemporary psychology would classify as openness to experience (“thinker, dreamer”), conscientiousness (“idealist”), and neuroticism (“shy individual”). A long line of poets, scientists, and philosophers have also tended to group these traits together. All the way back in Genesis, the earliest book of the Bible, we had cerebral Jacob (a “quiet man dwelling in tents” who later becomes “Israel,” meaning one who wrestles inwardly with God) squaring off in sibling rivalry with his brother, the swashbuckling Esau (a “skillful hunter” and “man of the field”). In classical antiquity, the physicians Hippocrates and Galen famously proposed that our temperaments—and destinies—were a function of our bodily fluids, with extra blood and “yellow bile” making us sanguine or choleric (stable or neurotic extroversion), and an excess of phlegm and “black bile” making us calm or melancholic (stable or neurotic introversion). Aristotle noted that the melancholic temperament was associated with eminence in philosophy, poetry, and the arts (today we might classify this as opennessto experience). The seventeenth-century English poet John Milton wrote Il Penseroso (“The Thinker”) and L’Allegro (“The Merry One”), comparing “the happy person” who frolics in the countryside and revels in the city with “the thoughtful person” who walks meditatively through the nighttime woods and studies in a “lonely Towr.” (Again, today the description of Il Penseroso would apply not only to introversion but also to openness to experience and neuroticism.) The nineteenth-century German philosopher Schopenhauer contrasted “good-spirited” people (energetic, active, and easily bored) with his preferred type, “intelligent people” (sensitive, imaginative, and melancholic). “Mark this well, ye proud men of action!” declared his countryman Heinrich Heine. “Ye are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.” Because of this definitional complexity, I originally planned to invent my own terms for these constellations of traits. I decided against this, again for cultural reasons: the words introvert and extrovert have the advantage of being well known and highly evocative. Every time I uttered them at a dinner party or to a seatmate on an airplane, they elicited a torrent of confessions and reflections. For similar reasons, I’ve used the layperson’s spelling of extrovert rather than the extravert one finds throughout the research literature.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life are common themes in the American culture today. Folks sometimes mistake my meaning when I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, because they all too often rush to drop everything that is weighing them down. They quit the job, ditch the unhappy marriage, cut out negative friends and family, get out of Dodge, etc. I do not advocate such hastiness; in fact, I believe that rash decision-making leads to more problems further down the road. Another unsatisfying job manifests; another unhappy relationship results. These people want a new environment, yet the same negative energy always seems to occupy it. This is because transformation is all about the internal shift, not the external. Any blame placed on outside sources for our unhappiness will forever perpetuate that unhappiness. Pointing the finger is giving away your power of choice and the ability to create our best life. We choose: “That person is making me unhappy” vs. “I make myself happy.” When you are in unhappy times of lack and feelings of separation – great! Sit there and be with it. Find ways to be content with little. Find ways to be happy with your Self. As we reflect on the lives of mystics past and present, it is not the things they possess or the relationships they share that bring them enlightenment – their light is within. The same light can bring us unwavering happiness (joy). Love, Peace, Joy – these three things all come from within and have an unwavering flame – life source – that is not dependent on the conditions of the outside world. This knowing is the power and wisdom that the mystics teach us that we are all capable of achieving. When I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, I am not referring to external conditions; I am referring to the choice you have to look inward and discover the ability to transform the lead of the soul into gold. Transformation is an inner journey of the soul. Why? Because, as we mentioned above, wherever we go, ourselves go with us. Thus, quitting the job, dumping relationships, etc. will not make us happy because we have forgotten the key factor that makes or breaks our happiness: ourselves. When we find, create, and maintain peace, joy, and love within ourselves, we then gain the ability to embrace the external world with the same emotions, perspective, and vibration. This ability is a form of enlightenment. It is the modern man’s enlightenment that transforms an unsatisfying life into one of fulfillment.
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings for Enriching Life)
There is a sweetness to the month of October and season fall in general that brings our attention homeward and inward. Could it be the trees going to sleep, cool dry temperatures that delight our morning or daylight hours slipping way causing our focus to converge on how short and fragile life really is. All these things conspire to usher in a season of reflection on relationships and the things that give our lives meaning. What a great loss to our human experience should we ignore or squander this the autumn of our lives. Embrace it, feel it, study it, it is indeed one of God’s great gifts to us.
Michael Marcel, Sr.
The writing life is brutal on a wounded mind. It really is. So much time spent alone. So much time spent in self-reflection. Emotional wounds heal in other people’s hearts but you have to reopen yours and examine them in order to re-create their painful feelings on the page. Ugly, twisted, vicious thoughts flitter through other people’s minds, but you have to seize yours and hold them to the light in order to understand the soul’s shadowy corners. You have to shred your comfortable pieties. You have to tear your illusions to feathers and rags. When you’re working well, you become bad company, inward-turning, querulous, obsessed.
Andrew Klavan (The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ)
A late arrival had the impression of lots of loud people unnecessarily grouped within a smoke-blue space between two mirrors gorged with reflections. Because, I suppose, Cynthia wished to be the youngest in the room, the women she used to invite, married or single, were, at the best, in their precarious forties; some of them would bring from their homes, in dark taxis, intact vestiges of good looks, which, however, they lost as the party progressed. It has always amazed me - the capacity sociable weekend revelers have of finding almost at once, by a purely empiric but very precise method, a common denominator of drunkenness, to which everybody loyally sticks before descending, all together, to the next level. The rich friendliness of the matrons was marked by tomboyish overtones, while the fixed inward look of amiably tight men was like a sacrilegious parody of pregnancy. Although some of the guests were connected in one way or another with the arts, there was no inspired talk, no wreathed, elbow-propped heads, and of course no flute girls. From some vantage point where she had been sitting in a stranded mermaid pose on the pale carpet with one or two younger fellows, Cynthia, her face varnished with a film of beaming sweat, would creep up on her knees, a proffered plate of nuts in one hand, and crisply tap with the other the athletic leg of Cochran or Corcoran, an art dealer, ensconced, on a pearl-grey sofa, between two flushed, happily disintegrating ladies. At a further stage there would come spurts of more riotous gaiety. Corcoran or Coransky would grab Cynthia or some other wandering woman by the shoulder and lead her into a corner to confront her with a grinning imbroglio of private jokes and rumors, whereupon, with a laugh and a toss of her head, he would break away. And still later there would be flurries of intersexual chumminess, jocular reconciliations, a bare fleshy arm flung around another woman's husband (he standing very upright in the midst of a swaying room), or a sudden rush of flirtatious anger, of clumsy pursuit-and the quiet half smile of Bob Wheeler picking up glasses that grew like mushrooms in the shade of chairs. ("The Vane Sisters")
Vladimir Nabokov (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now)
What I realized is that God used a bearded, animal-skin-wearing, locust-eating wild man to prepare the way for His Son’s ministry to the people on earth. But John the Baptist didn’t look religious in any way. God told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” It is the heart of a man that counts; the beard, in my opinion, is the exclamation point. If you believe a man’s heart is right and his spiritual qualities are good, why would you judge him based on how much he shaves his face? As it says in Matthew 7:15, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” After I thought about that, I decided I would rather be a sheep in wolves’ clothing than vice versa, you know?
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
A Passion for Everything For most of us, passion is employed only with regard to one thing, sex; or you suffer passionately and try to resolve that suffering. But I am using the word passion in the sense of a state of mind, a state of being, a state of your inward core, if there is such a thing, that feels very strongly, that is highly sensitive—sensitive alike to dirt, to squalor, to poverty, and to enormous riches and corruption, to the beauty of a tree, of a bird, to the flow of water, and to a pond that has the evening sky reflected upon it. To feel all this intensely, strongly, is necessary. Because without passion life becomes empty, shallow, and without much meaning. If you cannot see the beauty of a tree and love that tree, if you cannot care for it intensely, you are not living.
J. Krishnamurti (The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti)
Awareness of our conscious thinking patterns and unconscious behavior predilections enables us to examine the defining question of how we began to take certain values for granted. Once we accept that we are a product of our culture, we can begin the act of deliberately redefining our sense of self. By engaging in an intensive cultural investigation and undertaking a studious period of reflective self-examination, and by exercising disciplined behavior, we can alter our character. Using American society as a looking glass allows me to see how a dominating culture sculpted my self-image. This societal mirror reflects me in a either a positive or a perverted manner. Looking both inward and outward, therefore, is an essential step in seeing oneself clearly. An interior and exterior analysis is the critical initiating act in taking charge of the ultimate configuration of our conscious self.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
South. In southern courtrooms and medical journals, slaves' misbehavior was often attributed to an inward disposition of character, which meant that there was something invariably, inevitably, perhaps biologically "bad" about the slave. Jim, for instance, was said to have "the habit" and "the character" of "taking his master's horses out at night and riding them without leave."29 This line of thinking was reflected in redhibition law, which defined the commission of murder, rape, theft, or "the habit of running away" as evidence of a "vice of character." Slave "character" was likewise treated as an immutable fact by physician Samuel Cartwright, who held that running away and "rascality" were the misidentified symptoms of mental diseases with physiological cures-the most notable of which was getting slaves to work harder so that they would breathe harder so that their brains would get more oxygen.3°
Walter Johnson (SOUL BY SOUL)
Stopping before them, St. Vincent confided, “I would have found you sooner, but I was attacked by a swarm of dingy-dippers.” His voice lowered with conspiratorial furtiveness. “And I don’t wish to alarm either of you, but I had to warn you…they’re planning to serve kidney pudding in the fifth course.” “I can manage that,” Lillian said ruefully. “It is only animals served in their natural state that I seem to have difficulty with.” “Of course you do, darling. We’re barbarians, the lot of us, and you were perfectly right to be appalled by the calves’ heads. I don’t like them either. In fact, I rarely consume beef in any form.” “Are you a vegetarian, then?” Lillian asked, having heard the word frequently of late. Many discussions had centered on the topic of the vegetable system of diet that was being promoted by a hospital society in Ramsgate. St. Vincent responded with a dazzling smile. “No, sweet, I’m a cannibal.” “St. Vincent,” Westcliff growled in warning, seeing Lillian’s confusion. The viscount grinned unrepentantly. “It’s a good thing I happened along, Miss Bowman. You’re not safe alone with Westcliff, you know.” “I’m not?” Lillian parried, tensing inwardly as she reflected that he never would have made the glib comment had he known of the intimate encounters between her and the earl. She didn’t dare look at Westcliff, but she apprehended the immediate stillness of the masculine form so close to hers. “No, indeed,” St. Vincent assured her. “It’s the morally upright ones who do the worst things in private. Whereas with an obvious reprobate such as myself, you couldn’t be in safer hands. Here, you had better return to the dining hall under my protection. God knows what sort of lascivious scheme is lurking in the earl’s mind.” Giggling, Lillian stood from the bench, enjoying the sight of Westcliff being teased. He regarded his friend with a slight scowl as he too rose to his feet.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
So I explained to him what the Old One had told me. The process of braiding hair is like a prayer, he said. Each of the three strands in a single braid represents many things. In one instance they might represent faith, honesty and kindness. In another they might be mind, body and spirit, or love, respect and tolerance. The important thing, he explained, was that each strand be taken as representative of one essential human quality. As the men, or the women, braided their hair they concentrated or meditated on those three qualities. Once the braid was completed the process was repeated on the other side. Then as they walked through their day they had visible daily reminders of the human qualities they needed to carry through life with them. The Old One said they had at least about twenty minutes out of their day when they focused themselves entirely on spiritual principles. In this way, the people they came in contact with were the direct beneficiaries of that inward process. So braids, he said, reflected the true nature of Aboriginal people. They reflected a people who were humble enough to ask the Creator for help and guidance on a daily basis. They reflected truly human qualities within the people themselves: ideals they sought to live by. And they reflected a deep and abiding concern for the planet, for life, their people and themselves. Each time you braid your hair, he told me, you become another in a long line of spiritually based people and your prayer joins the countless others that have been offered up to the Creator since time began. You become a part of a rich and vibrant tradition. As the young boy listened I could see the same things going on in his face that must have gone on in my own. Suddenly, a braid became so much more than a hairstyle or a cultural signature. It became a connection to something internal as well as external - a signpost to identity, tradition and self-esteem. The words Indian, Native and Aboriginal took on new meaning and new impact.
Richard Wagamese (Richard Wagamese Selected: What Comes From Spirit)
The moon: in that luminous face one can behold those tired phases that bring only disappointment and no satisfaction; the impulses governing its expression remain patternistic, its cycles of transition easily predictable. With moderated temperament it commands the capricious sea: its diametric opponent, in whose helpless defiance, arises an empty, albeit elegant promise, an ever-changing flicker of reflected light, a simultaneous opening and closing of paths to be traversed, a vacillating hope and disillusionment in whose unsettling direction emerges something one might wish to call, even under the hardened visage of sky, a marginal sense of freedom. To walk upon the decks of ramshackle vessels rising and descending in patterns indeterminate, to lean in ecstasy over their shaky rails to witness the splendor of that which transforms immediately upon being witnessed and which transforms thereby the witness in question: it was these flights of reverie that appealed better to one’s imagination than the lean pragmatism of predictable transition.
Ashim Shanker (Inward and Toward (Migrations, #3))
Even in the act of fleeing modern ideologies, however, literary theory reveals its often unconscious complicity with them, betraying its elitism, sexism or individualism in the very ‘aesthetic’ or ‘unpolitical’ language it finds natural to use of the literary text. It assumes, in the main, that at the centre of the world is the contemplative individual self, bowed over its book, striving to gain touch with experience, truth, reality, history or tradition. Other things matter too, of course — this individual is in personal relationship with others, and we are always much more than readers — but it is notable how often such individual consciousness, set in its small circle of relationships, ends up as the touchstone of all else. The further we move from the rich inwardness of the personal life, of which literature is the supreme exemplar, the more drab, mechanical and impersonal existence becomes. It is a view equivalent in the literary sphere to what has been called possessive individualism in the social realm, much as the former attitude may shudder at the latter: it reflects the values of a political system which subordinates the sociality of human life to solitary individual enterprise.
Terry Eagleton (Literary Theory: An Introduction)
I am first affrighted and confounded with that forelorn solitude, in which I am plac'd in my philosophy, and fancy myself some strange uncouth monster, who not being able to mingle and unite in society, has been expell'd all human commerce, and left utterly abandon'd and disconsolate. Fain wou'd I run into the crowd for shelter and warmth; but cannot prevail with myself to mix with such deformity. I call upon others to join me, in order to make a company apart; but no one will hearken to me. Every one keeps at a distance, and dreads that storm, which beats upon me from every side. I have expos'd myself to the enmity of all metaphysicians, logicians, mathematicians, and even theologians; and can I wonder at the insults I must suffer? I have declar'd my disapprobation of their systems; and can I be surpriz'd, if they shou'd express a hatred of mine and of my person? When I look abroad, I foresee on every side, dispute, contradiction, anger, calumny and detraction. When I turn my eye inward, I find nothing but doubt and ignorance. All the world conspires to oppose and contradict me; tho' such is my weakness, that I feel all my opinions loosen and fall of themselves, when unsupported by the approbation of others. Every step I take is with hesitation, and every new reflection makes me dread an error and absurdity in my reasoning.
David Hume (A Treatise of Human Nature)
There is a consensus among psychologists who study such subjects that people develop their concept of who they are, and of what they want to achieve in life, according to a sequence of steps. Each man or woman starts with a need to preserve the self, to keep the body and its basic goals from disintegrating. At this point the meaning of life is simple; it is tantamount to survival, comfort, and pleasure. When the safety of the physical self is no longer in doubt, the person may expand the horizon of his or her meaning system to embrace the values of a community—the family, the neighborhood, a religious or ethnic group. This step leads to a greater complexity of the self, even though it usually implies conformity to conventional norms and standards. The next step in development involves reflective individualism. The person again turns inward, finding new grounds for authority and value within the self. He or she is no longer blindly conforming, but develops an autonomous conscience. At this point the main goal in life becomes the desire for growth, improvement, the actualization of potential. The fourth step, which builds on all the previous ones, is a final turning away from the self, back toward an integration with other people and with universal values. In this final stage the extremely individualized person—like Siddhartha letting the river take control of his boat—willingly merges his interests with those of a larger whole. In
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
I am first affrighted and confounded with that forelorn solitude, in which I am plac'd in my philosophy, and fancy myself some strange uncouth monster, who not being able to mingle and unite in society, has been expell'd all human commerce, and left utterly abandon'd and disconsolate. Fain wou'd I run into the crowd for shelter and warmth; but cannot prevail with myself to mix with such deformity. I call upon others to join me, in order to make a company apart; but no one will hearken to me. Every one keeps at a distance, and dreads that storm, which beats upon me from every side. I have expos'd myself to the enmity of all metaphysicians, logicians, mathematicians, and even theologians; and can I wonder at the insults I must suffer? I have declar'd my disapprobation of their systems; and can I be surpriz'd, if they shou'd express a hatred of mine and of my person? When I look abroad, I foresee on every side, dispute, contradiction, anger, calumny and detraction. When I turn my eye inward, I find nothing but doubt and ignorance. All the world conspires to oppose and contradict me; tho' such is my weakness, that I feel all my opinions loosen and fall of themselves, when unsupported by the approbation of others. Every step I take is with hesitation, and every new reflection makes me dread an error and absurdity in my reasoning. For with what confidence can I venture upon such bold enterprises, when beside those numberless infirmities peculiar to myself, I find so many which are common to human nature? Can I be sure, that in leaving all established opinions I am following truth; and by what criterion shall I distinguish her, even if fortune shou'd at last guide me on her foot-steps? After the most accurate and exact of my reasonings, I can give no reason why I shou'd assent to it; and feel nothing but a strong propensity to consider objects strongly in that view, under which they appear to me. Experience is a principle, which instructs me in the several conjunctions of objects for the past. Habit is another principle, which determines me to expect the same for the future; and both of them conspiring to operate upon the imagination, make me form certain ideas in a more intense and lively manner, than others, which are not attended with the same advantages. Without this quality, by which the mind enlivens some ideas beyond others (which seemingly is so trivial, and so little founded on reason) we cou'd never assent to any argument, nor carry our view beyond those few objects, which are present to our senses. Nay, even to these objects we cou'd never attribute any existence, but what was dependent on the senses; and must comprehend them entirely in that succession of perceptions, which constitutes our self or person. Nay farther, even with relation to that succession, we cou'd only admit of those perceptions, which are immediately present to our consciousness, nor cou'd those lively images, with which the memory presents us, be ever receiv'd as true pictures of past perceptions. The memory, senses, and understanding are, therefore, all of them founded on the imagination, or the vivacity of our ideas.
David Hume (A Treatise of Human Nature)
In Romans 12:4-8, Paul writes about gifts: “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.” Recognize that the gifts inside you are not only for you; just as the gifts inside other people around you are not only for them. We are meant to help each other. God designed us this way on purpose! All being members of one body, our successes are shared — there is no need to be threatened by another person’s gift. Use your gifts, and encourage the people in your life to use their gifts as well. You will be blessed as a result! Unfortunately, one thing that keeps us from asking for help or taking advantage of the talents in people around us is pride. Never allow pride to keep you from asking for counsel when it is needed! 1 Corinthians 12:20 is another passage about gifts: “now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ ” We need each other, and joining our gifts together will result in a much stronger body. If you have time, read 1 Corinthians 12:4-20. Reflect on how there can be unity in the diversity of gifts if we use our different gifts properly. Determine that you will not be threatened by anyone else’s gifts! Esther was not afraid of the gifts in the people around her. Let’s see how she responds to the wisdom of others today. And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her. Esther 2:11 Every day, Mordecai goes to the palace gates to inquire after Esther and learn of what was happening to her. He goes to the palace gates with purpose. He paces in front of the women’s court until he has learns the day’s news about Esther. Even though she is no longer under his roof, he stills feels a strong responsibility toward her, and acts accordingly. He is a faithful man, and has set a great example before Esther. The news that he hears concerning Esther daily must be good: her inward beauty and submission to authority are two of the many wonderful traits that God placed in her so that she will be effective in Persia. Even though Esther is in an unfamiliar place and experiencing “firsts” every day in the palace, God is making sure she has what she needs. Esther did not need to feel nervous! She needed wise counsel; it has been provided for her in Mordecai and Hegai. She needs a pleasant and patient personality; that has been being developed in her by the Lord for many years. In your own life, you are constantly undergoing change and growth as you are submitting to the Lord. Whether or not you can see it, God is continually preparing you for what lies ahead so that you will have what you need when you need it. The God who loves you so much knows your future, and He is preparing you today for what you will experience tomorrow. Esther is receiving what she needs as well. She is in the palace undergoing her beauty preparations — a twelve month process! Even through this extended period of time, Mordecai is still at the palace gates every day (the Bible does not say that he stopped his concern for her at any point). It is an entire
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
It was like a page out of the telephone book. Alphabetically, numerically, statistically, it made sense. But when you looked at it up close, when you examined the pages separately, or the parts separately, when you examined one lone individual and what constituted him, examined the air he breathed, the life he led, the chances he risked, you saw something so foul and degrading, so low, so miserable, so utterly hopeless and senseless, that it was worse than looking into a volcano. Outwardly it seems to be a beautiful honeycomb, with all the drones crawling over each other in a frenzy of work; inwardly it’s a slaughterhouse, each man killing off his neighbor and sucking the juice from his bones. Superficially it looks like a bold, masculine world; actually it’s a whorehouse run by women, with the native sons acting as pimps and the bloody foreigners selling their flesh... The whole continent is sound asleep and in that sleep a grand nightmare is taking place… At night the streets of New York reflect the crucifixion and death of Christ. When the snow is on the ground and there is the utmost silence there comes out of the hideous buildings of New York a music of such sullen despair and bankruptcy as to make the flesh shrivel. No stone was laid upon another with love or reverence; no street was laid for dance or joy. One thing has been added to another in a mad scramble to fill the belly, and the streets smell of empty bellies and full bellies and bellies half full. The streets smell of a hunger which has nothing to do with love; they smell of the belly which is insatiable and of the creations of the empty belly which are null and void. Just as the city itself had become a huge tomb in which men struggled to earn a decent death so my own life came to resemble a tomb which I was constructing out of my own death. I was walking around in a stone forest the center of which was chaos; sometimes in the dead center, in the very heart of chaos, I danced or drank myself silly, or I made love, or I befriended some one, or I planned a new life, but it was all chaos, all stone, and all hopeless and bewildering. Until the time when I would encounter a force strong enough to whirl me out of this mad stone forest no life would be possible for me nor could one page be written which would have meaning… Everybody and everything is a part of life... As an individual, as flesh and blood, I am leveled down each day to make the fleshless, bloodless city whose perfection is the sum of all logic and death to the dream. I am struggling against an oceanic death in which my own death is but a drop of water evaporating. To raise my own individual life but a fraction of an inch above this sinking sea of death I must have a faith greater than Christ’s, a wisdom deeper than that of the greatest seer. I must have the ability and the patience to formulate what is not contained in the language of our time, for what is now intelligible is meaningless. My eyes are useless, for they render back only the image of the known. My whole body must become a constant beam of light, moving with an ever greater rapidity, never arrested, never looking back, never dwindling. The city grows like a cancer; I must grow like a sun. The city eats deeper and deeper into the red; it is an insatiable white louse which must die eventually of inanition. I am going to starve the white louse which is eating me up. I am going to die as a city in order to become again a man. Therefore I close my ears, my eyes, my mouth. Infinitely better, as life moves toward a deathly perfection, to be just a bit of breathing space, a stretch of green, a little fresh air, a pool of water. Better also to receive men silently and to enfold them, for there is no answer to make while they are still frantically rushing to turn the corner.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #2))
You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, preserved from childhood, of home. People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in one’s heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us. Perhaps we may even grow wicked later on, may be unable to refrain from a bad action, may laugh at men’s tears and at those people who say as Kolya did just now, “I want to suffer for all men,” and may even jeer spitefully at such people. But however bad we may become— which God forbid— yet, when we recall how we buried Ilyusha, how we loved him in his last days, and how we have been talking life friends all together, at this stone, the cruelest and most mocking of us— if we do become so—will not dare to laugh inwardly at having been kind and good at this moment! What’s more, perhaps, that one memory may keep him from great evil and he will reflect and say, “Yes, I was good and brave and honest then!” Let him laugh to himself, that’s no matter, a man often laughs at what’s good and kind. That’s only from thoughtlessness. But I assure you, boys, that as he laughs he will say at once in his heart, “No, I do wrong to laugh, for that’s not a thing to laugh at.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Who dare glory in his own good works?' I reflected. 'From one faint spark such as this, it would be possible to set the whole earth on fire.' We often think we receive graces and are divinely illumined by means of brilliant candles. But from whence comes their light? From the prayers, perhaps, of some humble, hidden soul, whose inward shining is not apparent to human eyes; a soul of unrecognised virtue and, in her own sight, of little value—a dying flame. "What mysteries will yet be unveiled to us! I have often thought that perhaps I owe all the graces with which I am laden, to some little soul whom I shall know only in Heaven. "It is God's Will that in this world souls shall dispense to each other, by prayer, the treasures of Heaven, in order that when they reach their Everlasting Home they may love one another with grateful hearts, and with an affection far in excess of that which reigns in the most perfect family on earth. "There no looks of indifference will meet us, because all the Saints will be mutually indebted to each other. No envious glances will be cast, for the happiness of each one of the Blessed will be the happiness of all. With the Doctors of the Church we shall be like unto Doctors; with the Martyrs, like unto Martyrs; with the Virgins, like unto Virgins; and just as the members of one family are proud one of the other, so without the least jealousy shall we take pride in our brothers and sisters. "When we see the glory of the great Saints, and know that through the secret working of Providence we have contributed to it, who knows whether the joy we shall feel will not be as intense, perhaps sweeter, than the happiness they themselves possess? "And do you not think that the great Saints, on their side, seeing what they owe to all little souls, will love them with a love beyond compare? The friendships of Paradise will be both sweet and full of surprise, of this I am certain. The familiar friend of an Apostle, or of a great Doctor of the Church, may be a shepherd boy, and a simple little child may be united in closest intimacy with a Patriarch. . . . I long to enter that Kingdom of Love!
Thérèse de Lisieux (Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux)
It is a crisis caused by culture and character, and a deep change in personal consciousness is needed. Your fundamental attitudes toward the earth have become twisted. You have made only brutal contact with Nature; you cannot comprehend its grace. You must change. Have few desires and simple pleasures. Honor nonhuman life. Control yourself, become more authentic. Live lightly upon the earth and treat it with respect. Redefine the word progress and dismiss the managers and masters. Grow inwardly and with knowledge become truly wiser. Think differently, behave differently
Joy Williams (Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals)
It is possible to have a strong self-love without any self-satisfaction, rather with a self-discontent which is the more intense because one's own little core of egoistic sensibility is a supreme care; but Gwendolen knew nothing of such inward strife. She had a naive delight in her fortunate self, which any but the harshest saintliness will have some indulgence for in a girl who had every day seen a pleasant reflection of that self in her friends' flattery as well as in the looking-glass. And even in this beginning of troubles, while for lack of anything else to do she sat gazing at her image in the growing light, her face gathered a complacency gradual as the cheerfulness of the morning. Her beautiful lips curled into a more and more decided smile, till at last she took off her hat, leaned forward and kissed the cold glass which had looked so warm. How could she believe in sorrow? If it attacked her, she felt the force to crush it, to defy it, or run away from it, as she had done already. Anything seemed more possible than that she could go on bearing miseries, great or small.
George Eliot (Daniel Deronda)
A passionate tumultuous age will overthrow everything, pull everything down; but a revolutionary age, that is at the same time reflective and passionless, transforms that expression of strength into a feat of dialectics: it leaves everything standing but cunningly empties it of significance. Instead of culminating in a rebellion it reduces the inward reality of all relationships to a reflective tension which leaves everything standing but makes the whole of life ambiguous: so that everything continues to exist factually whilst by a dialectical deceit, privatissime, it supplies a secret interpretation- that it does not exist.
Søren Kierkegaard (The Present Age)
Or in other words, the bliss-sheath is the sheath of the intellect gone inward; and in going inward it is divested of the sense organs and it catches and retains the reflection of the bliss of Brahman, which the sheath of the intellect has not.
Swahananda (Panchadasi of Sri Vidyaranya Swami)
All illness fragments and so whatever integrates also heals. It is axiomatic in yoga that illness has its origin in the consciousness. Self-cultivation really begins only with total self-absorption, so anything that facilitates concentration, reflection, and inward absorption, is going to begin to heal the problems of the fissured, imbalanced self.
B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
By then Watson and Crick had a pretty good idea of DNA’s structure. It had two sugar-phosphate strands that twisted and spiraled to form a double-stranded helix. Protruding from these were the four bases in DNA: adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine, now commonly known by the letters A, T, G, and C. They came to agree with Franklin that the backbones were on the outside and the bases pointed inward, like a twisted ladder or spiral staircase. As Watson later admitted in a feeble attempt at graciousness, “Her past uncompromising statements on this matter thus reflected first-rate science
Walter Isaacson (The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race)
Existence, consciousness and bliss are the three longings of the human heart. * * * Bliss [is attained by being] able to direct all his attention inward. He becomes capable of satisfying all the wants of his heart and can thereby gain contentment, Ananda, the Real Bliss. Consciousness of all the modifications of Nature up to its first and primal manifestation, the Word (Aum) and even of his own Real Self, gradually appears. Existence [involves knowing the difference between what's real;' what really exists and what does not. When man] withdraws all the developments of Ignorance, in this way, freed from the control of this creation of Darkness, he comprehends his own Self as Indestructible and Ever-Existince Real Substance. So Sat, the Existence of Self, comes to light.
Yukteswar Giri (The Holy Science)
Going inward through meditation was as frightening as being lost in the woods. I was afraid that dark thoughts—guilt, blame, self-pity—would emerge from the shadows of the recesses of my mind where I had pushed them.
Ranjani Rao (Rewriting My Happily Ever After - A Memoir of Divorce and Discovery)
There is an outward journey to travel to better understand the outside world. and an equally significant inward journey to upgrade the depths of our mind, body, and spirit. There’s simultaneously an evolution of the world and an “in”volution of self-growth. New global citizens are conscious of both and always continue to grow.
Freeman Fung (Travel to Transform)
In this regard, you can think of each individual slow wave of NREM sleep as a courier, able to carry packets of information between different anatomical brain centers. One benefit of these traveling deep-sleep brainwaves is a file-transfer process. Each night, the long-range brainwaves of deep sleep will move memory packets (recent experiences) from a short-term storage site, which is fragile, to a more permanent, and thus safer, long-term storage location. We therefore consider waking brainwave activity as that principally concerned with the reception of the outside sensory world, while the state of deep NREM slow-wave sleep donates a state of inward reflection—one that fosters information transfer and the distillation of memories. If wakefulness is dominated by reception, and NREM sleep by reflection,
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams)
Boldness directs attention outward and keeps the illusion alive. It never induces awkwardness or embarrassment. And so we admire the bold, and prefer to be around them, because their self-confidence infects us and draws us outside our own realm of inwardness and reflection.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
When I look abroad, I foresee on every side, dispute, contradiction, anger, calumny and detraction. When I turn my eye inward, I find nothing but doubt and ignorance. All the world conspires to oppose and contradict me; tho' such is my weakness, that I feel all my opinions loosen and fall of themselves, when unsupported by the approbation of others. Every step I take is with hesitation, and every new reflection makes me dread an error and absurdity in my reasoning.
David Hume (A Treatise of Human Nature)
You must trust me on this,” Jack answered. “Ravens may carry messages to the lairds by day, and trade cog may glide on the first of the season, but the best time to cross is at night, when the ocean reflects the moon and the stars.” When the spirits of the water are easily appeased, Jack added inwardly.
Rebecca Ross (A River Enchanted (Elements of Cadence, #1))
Every one says I'm awfully pneumatic," said Lenina reflectively, patting her own legs. "Awfully." But there was an expression of pain in Bernard's eyes. "Like meat," he was thinking. She looked up with a certain anxiety. "But you don't think I'm too plump, do you?" He shook his head. Like so much meat. "You think I'm all right." Another nod. "In every way?" "Perfect," he said aloud. And inwardly. "She thinks of herself that way. She doesn't mind being meat.
Aldous Huxley
listening is not easy. Reflective openness leads to looking inward, allowing our conversations to make us more aware of the biases and limitations in our own thinking, and how our thinking and actions contribute to problems. Reflective openness is the cornerstone of the discipline of mental models. None of us has a company in our heads, or a family, or a country. But our life experience shapes a rich mix of assumptions, feelings, and at best some well-formed hypotheses about these systems. Nurturing reflective openness leads to a willingness to continually test these views.
Peter M. Senge (The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization)
Men like my boy see this rich land and turn inward. It makes them foolhardy and narrow of thought. They don't see the place but for their own reflection in it.
John Larison (Whiskey When We're Dry)
The Sufi Way is to follow the model provided by the Prophet‘s representatives on earth, the saints, who are the shaykhs or the spiritual masters. Once having entered the Way, the disciple begins to undergo a process of inward transformation. If he is among those destined to reach spiritual perfection, he will climb the ascending rungs of a ladder stretching to heaven and beyond; the alchemy of the Way will transmute the base copper of his substance into pure and noble gold. The Truth or „attainment to God“ is not a simple, one-step process. It can be said that this third dimension of Sufi teaching deals with all the inner experiences undergone by the traveler on his journey. It concerns all the „virtues“ (akhlaq) the Sufi must acquire, in keeping with the Prophet‘s saying, „Assume the virtues of God!“ If acquiring virtues means „attaining to God,“ this is because they do not belong to man. The discipline of the Way coupled with God‘s grace and guidance results in a process of purification whereby the veil of human nature is gradually removed from the mirror of the primordial human substance, made in the image of God, or, in the Prophet‘s words, „upon the Form of the All-Merciful.“ Any perfection achieved by man is God‘s perfection reflected within him. (p. 11-12)
William C. Chittick (The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi)
Existential distress at the end of life bears many of the hallmarks of a hyperactive default network, including obsessive self-reflection and an inability to jump the deepening grooves of negative thinking. The ego, faced with the prospect of its own extinction, turns inward and becomes hypervigilant, withdrawing its investment in the world and other people. The cancer patients I interviewed spoke of feeling closed off from loved ones, from the world, and from the full range of emotions; they felt, as one put it, “existentially alone.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
Turn the reflection of attention inwardly, and listen to the Source at its root.
The transformation of "evil" impulses is the result of two factors operating in the same sense, one inwardly and the other outwardly. The inner factor consists in influencing the evil or selfish impulses through erotic elements, the love needs of man interpreted in the widest sense. The addition of erotic components transforms selfish impulses into social impulses. We learn to value being loved as an advantage for the sake of which we can renounce other advantages. The outer factor is the force of education which represents the demands of the civilized environment and which is then continued through the direct influence of the cultural milieu. [...] The influences of civilization work through the erotic components to bring about the transformation of more and more of the selfish tendencies into altruistic and social tendencies. We may indeed assume that the inner compulsion which makes itself felt in the development of man was originally, that is, in the history of mankind, a purely external compulsion. Today people bring along a certain tendency (disposition) to transform the egotistic into social impulses as a part of their hereditary organization, which then responds to further slight incentives to complete the transformation. A part of this transformation of impulse must also be made during life. In this way the individual man is not only under the influence of his own contemporary cultural milieu but is also subject to the influences of his ancestral civilization.
Sigmund Freud (Reflections on War and Death)
It comes from a mutual understanding and agreement between everyone involved that this waiting is, deep down, something we came for, perhaps just as much, if not more than, the food itself. The purpose of all this waiting, it feels like, is to draw our attention and focus inward to what's here with us at this moment -- to the meal, to each other. A good restaurant, it feels, is a place to go to enjoy waiting. It is a place where waiting is the point.
Jonny Sun (Goodbye, Again: Essays, Reflections, and Illustrations)
At the same time, she couldn’t say she was fully in favor of marriage, either. Marital union, she reflected as she swathed herself in a woolen blanket and stepped out onto the balcony to watch the sunset, was definitely for women of a different kind. Women with a certain flexibility of character, biddable women, women who were comfortable with such concepts as compromise or accommodation. Miss Prim was definitely not one of those. She couldn’t see herself compromising over anything. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to—she’d always valued the concept in the abstract—she just couldn’t imagine it in practice. She had a certain resistance, she’d realized in various situations throughout her life, to relinquishing, even in part, her view of things. While she found this resistance tiresome, in some ways she was also inwardly proud of it. Why should she concede that a certain composer was superior to another, she told herself, remembering a heated argument about music at the house of friends, when she was absolutely sure that he wasn’t?
Natalia Sanmartín Fenollera (The Awakening of Miss Prim)
If it is education that is brought about in the would-be-stone-throwers, and that might be brought about in us even by just the right little thing, education must have some attributes that we don't ordinarily grant it. For one thing, it is not a "rank," like citizenship or captaincy. It is an inward event, like joy or surprise. It would seem more correct to say, education has sometimes happened to me, than, I am educated. That would also reflect the fact that education is usually temporary, and who is brought to it just now, and in this context, may fall out of it tomorrow, or forget all about it when his belly growls. Thus it can be, for instance, that a highly trained and skillful expert can also be foolish, and utterly uneducated.
Richard Mitchell (The Gift of Fire)
The record of the saints shows that, until we have been shaped, trained, and appointed to our respective ministries, our inward sense of calling can be either true or false when we are left to our own devices. In many of today's ordination processes, far too much emphasis is placed on the candidate's inward sense of vocation, which reflects an unhealthy kind of subjectivism. In the selection process and throughout a lifetime of ministry, the perceptions and faith-experience of the community should be the greatest indicator of leadership potential and success. In the individual candidate, the surest sign of a pastoral vocation is a recognizable desire to build up the church, with some awareness of its joy and satisfaction as well as its labor and difficulty. Any other form of personal self-fulfillment is misleading in the selection process, and it will cause even greater problems down the road, when pride and vainglory become enormous impediments to the exercise of a faithful ministry.
Christopher A. Beeley (Leading God's People: Wisdom from the Early Church for Today)
it is not science that has diminished human beings or divorced us from divinity. On the contrary, the new discoveries of science “rejoin us to the ancients” by enabling us to recognize in this whole universe “a reflection magnified of our own most inward nature;
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
what you read is what you reflect, resonate, and resemble.
Aiyaz Uddin (The Inward Journey)
Every Inch of the Way is a great page turning adventure which is as close as you can get, without actually saddling up and pedalling yourself into the unknown. It takes real magic to turn a great adventure, into a great book. For one thing, most people can't relate to the mindset of the long distance cyclist and I found myself laughing along to Tom's thoughts and observations, wondering if they were in - jokes, shared by those who had seen the world at the speed of a bike, for example his relationship with Serbia's stray dogs! . But his anecdotes have a great balance of the cultures and places, as opposed to just inward reflections, so I am sure would be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in travel and human experience. A lovely story, written from the heart.
Mark Beaumont
Anger is a way of holding sadness at bay; the emotions are two sides of the same coin. Anger is energizing. When we are angry we look out, adopt a protective posture, and get ready for action. In contrast, sadness saps our energy. When sad, we look inward, become reflective, and are aware of our vulnerability.
Ira Byock (The Best Care Possible: A Physician's Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life)
The fire had eaten her lower body and swollen the rest, cooking it until the skin split and here the gods sat still, as if in shock, in slivers of lurid red and patches of peeled black. Her long hair had been thrown forward, over the top of her head. Parts of it had burned, curling into fragile white nests. The rest was motionless midnight, with hints of reflected blue, like rainbows on oil. She was, mercifully, lying face down. One rupture upon her back was different, larger, and where the others had burst outward this one pushed inward. A sword had done that. The
Steven Erikson (Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy #1))
Argument in Isolation" Premise: one exists alone, Within a system of increasingly mild ideals —The good of love, the greater good of dreams— Abstracted from the musings of the grown-up child That somewhere, in a scene above the sky, Lies smiling. Anxious to begin Before the will can answer and its passions fly away Like sparrows, he lays aside his cares and Lets the world come, lets its shapes return, Its mirrors answer and its angels roam across the narrow Confines of the page. Like friends Estranged by distance and the inwardness of age, The spaces between letters become spaces between lives, The fact of pain begins to seem unreal, the trees Begin to seem too distant; the imaginary self, Concealed from the world, begins its cry Yet remains empty—as though it could contain No tenderness beyond its own, and no other love Than that concealed in its own reflection, hovering On the threshold of age, between two lives. Premise: the world and the mind are one, With a single splendor. And to By the way a Street looked, or the way the light fell in a canyon, Is to realize the way time feels in passing, as The will to change becomes the effort to remember, And then a passive sigh. An eidolon Constructed out of air, grown out of nothing, Planted at the center of a space shaped like the heart
John Koethe (Falling Water)
Give thanks every morning and share quiet reflection every night. The important thing, take time to turn off and look inward.
Tony Curl (Seriously Simple Stuff to Get You Unstuck)
Many read Jesus’ action in the temple as a criticism of the way the money changers were profaning a sacred space. There is another way to understand this action, though. The world is God’s house, and every misuse of money is a violation of God’s command to love my neighbor as myself. In this respect, money is no different from any other of the tools people use, except perhaps in the frequency with which we use it. Jesus’ criticism points to the ways that people tend to act differently in the sacred space (the temple), which ought to mirror life in God’s kingdom, from the places “outside the temple” (in Latin, pro fanum). Many are tempted to use money not for the sake of building the kingdom, but to become (in the words of St. Augustine) “turned inward on themselves” (incurvatus in se). Like the child holding his thumb up to block the sun, our sinful attitude toward money prevents us from seeing the great good that Christ is trying to work in us.
Tim Muldoon (The Ignatian Workout for Lent: 40 Days of Prayer, Reflection, and Action)
It would appear that this sort of life, excluding “the pains of thought,” lays an individual open to new kinds of oppression. After all, the most effectual way of coping with manipulation or conditioning is to become cognizant of what is happening (and, if possible, to find out who is responsible). To take refuge within one’s inwardness may well be to disarm oneself as a social being, to render oneself doubly vulnerable to the mystifications that legitimate manipulation and conditioning. Under such circumstances, can the self remain inviolable? Or does a kind of inviolability have to be achieved—through critical reflection, in the pain of thought?
Maxine Greene (Landscapes of Learning)
In Vienna, Modernism had three main characteristics. The first was the new view of the human mind as being largely irrational by nature. In a radical break with the past, the Viennese modernists challenged the idea that society is based on the rational actions of rational human beings. Rather, they contended, unconscious conflicts are present in everyone in their everyday actions. By bringing these conflicts to the surface, the modernists confronted conventional attitudes and values with new ways of thought and feeling, and they questioned what constitutes reality, what lies below the surface appearances of people, objects, and events. Consequently, at a time when people elsewhere wanted to obtain greater mastery of the external world, of the means of production and the dissemination of knowledge, modernists in Vienna focused inward and tried to understand the irrationality of human nature and how irrational behavior is reflected in the relationship of one person to another. They discovered that beneath their elegant, civilized veneer, people harbor not only unconscious erotic feelings, but also unconscious aggressive impulses that are directed against themselves as well as others. Freud later called these dark impulses the death instinct. The
Eric R. Kandel (The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present)
Most professionals agree that it is destructive to repress one’s emotional responses and free flow of feelings, but they tend to underestimate the degree of primal pain and its widespread damage to a constructive life. It is our belief that if people are cut off or removed from their innermost feelings, they cannot experience compassion toward themselves or have genuine empathy for other people. They tend to spend their time in an inward state, indifferent to the basic issues of their lives. The individual’s loss of feeling is reflected in a society characterized by depersonalization and schizoid trends. The cut-off individual avoids feelings at the expense of joy and happiness. One who is fully in touch with one’s feelings would be acutely aware of a limitation in time and would, at times, feel a poignant sadness about one’s inevitable fate. This sadness, though painful, would cause us to feel a kinship with our fellow man. Without this appreciation of ourselves as mortal creatures, essentially alone in the world except for this sense of sharing, we remain alienated from ourselves and isolated from others. Initial
Robert W. Firestone (The Fantasy Bond: Structure of Psychological Defenses)
The teaching and implications of this text are massive. Ask yourself these questions: In his interactions with the Pharisees, or the crowds, or the Samaritan woman, or Nicodemus, or Peter, or the high priest, did Jesus exhibit extraordinary wisdom and understanding? Were his counsel and insight marked by discernment? Did he fear the Lord and so obey his Father from his heart every step of the way? Yes, indeed, he did. Now ask yourself this question: How would Isaiah 11:2 encourage us to account for these features that marked all of his life and ministry? The answer is that the Spirit rested on him and granted him wisdom, understanding, knowledge, discernment, strength, and resolve to fear God his Father. In other words, these qualities did not extend directly or fundamentally from his divine nature, though divine he surely was! Rather, much as the “fruit of the Spirit” of Galatians 5:22–23 is the outward evidence of the inward work of the Spirit in a believer, so too here these qualities are attributed to and accounted for by the Spirit who rested upon Jesus, empowering him to have the wisdom, understanding, and resolve to obey that he exhibited.
Bruce A. Ware (The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ)
I keep on dreaming, but to find freedom, one must first search inwards.
Fennel Hudson (A Waterside Year - Fennel's Journal - No. 2)
The Holy Spirit Asks that you accept the idea of one mind wholeheartedly, for this is the Correction to the error called ego. The ego was the belief in private minds with private thoughts, but if mind is one the ego has no foundation on which to stand. Forgiveness reflects the oneness that shines beyond perception. Forgiveness unifies and shows the world anew. You are not going insane, you are going inward to sanity of mind. And unified perception is the gateway to the remembrance of God and Christ.
David Hoffmeister (Unwind Your Mind Back to God: Experiencing A Course in Miracles)
Faith’s premises are felt to be so valuable that they deserve the best intellectual reflection possible to confirm argumentatively what faith already knows inwardly
Thomas C. Oden (Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology)
That safe, rational world – without feeling, without love, without patriotism, without passion – is cowardly, and in the end this cowardice brings retreat. It results in the promotion of anti-generals, anti-patriots, who are very much alive, and have climbed into high office. They cannot reflect the sentiments of dead heroes. They are the opposite of heroes. Inwardly hollow, out-of-order, full of lies. Drunk on ideology and socialism. They worship an idol made in their own hollow likeness. These fragmented beings, made of hot air and cardboard, are at odds with themselves, unable to make sense of anything – they are our leaders, our pundits, our professors. Yes, and we have applauded them. We have made love to their Gold Calf.
J.R. Nyquist
Thunder explodes over their heads and Sarah sees the silver sheet of water pouring down outside the broken barn door, Cowboy slumped against the wall with a rueful smile, the buttons in his head reflecting the lightning in blue-white pattern, silver and turquoise, like eyes gazing inward, into his head. Sarah feels a sweep of sadness for Cowboy, the dispossessed panzerboy, his boots leaving tracks in the dust above which he once flew with his mind flicking at the speed of light.
Walter Jon Williams (Hardwired (Hardwired, #1))
When all the conditions of a fact are present, have being, the fact enters into Existence. The fact is, before it exists. It is first, as essence or as an unconditioned; secondly, it has determinate being or is determinate and this in the twofold manner above considered, on the one hand, in its conditions, and on the other, in its ground. In the former, it has given itself the form of external groundless being because it is, as absolute reflection, negative self-relation, and it makes itself into its own presupposition. This presupposed unconditioned is therefore the groundless immediate, whose being is nothing other than to be present as something groundless. When, therefore, all the conditions of the fact are present, then is when the totality of the fact is posited as a groundless immediate, this scattered multiplicity inwardizes itself in its own self. The whole fact must be present in its conditions, or all the conditions belong to its existence, for all of them constitute the reflections belonging to its existence; or, determinate being, because it is conditioned, is determined by form; consequently, its determinations are determinations of reflection and the positing of one essentially involves the positing of the others. The inwardization of the conditions is at first the falling to the ground of immediate determinate being and the becoming of the grounds. But this makes the ground a posited ground, that is, it is just as much sublated ground and immediate being as it is ground. When therefore all the conditions of the fact are present, they sublate themselves as immediate being and presupposition, and equally ground sublates itself. Ground emerges merely as an illusory being that immediatly vanishes; accordingly this emergence is the tautological movement of the fact to itself, and its mediation by conditions and ground is the vanishing of both. The emergence into existence is therefore immediate in such a manner that it is mediated only by the vanishing of mediation.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Should we storytellers make sure we pass on the experience of our own culture? Yes, of course. It's one of our prime duties. But should we only tell stories that reflect our own background? Should we refrain from telling stories that originated elsewhere, on the grounds that we don't have the right to annex the experience of others? Absolutely not. A culture that never encounters any others becomes first inward-looking, and then stagnant, and then rotten. We are responsible for bringing fresh streams of story into our own cultures from all over the world, and welcoming experience from every quarter, and offering our own experience in return.
Philip Pullman (Daemon Voices)
We live in an age that often promotes and idealizes introspection, self-reflection and catharsis. The opening up of one’s emotions and declaring of one’s deepest feelings to the world. Taken to excess, as is all too often the case, these can amount to self-indulgence. My father did not subscribe to this mindset. If there was one thing that he was the complete opposite of, it was self-indulgent: intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, in every sense that I can think of. He did not disregard the self. Actually, I think it’s safe to say he had quite a high self-regard, as I’m sure many of you can recount—especially my mother. But to him, the self just wasn’t all that important. Not because of any inherent sin or moral failing of being self-interested. But quite simply because, ultimately, it is not very interesting. Why focus endlessly inward when there is so much more to explore and understand and experience on the outside: the universe, our world, all the fascinating people in it, the complex activities we busy ourselves with, and the transcendent bonds of love and family and friendship we are able to forge with one another. And so he chose to focus all his gifts, all his exquisite qualities outward to the world beyond himself. We who knew him are all the recipients and beneficiaries of the strength, the warmth, the generosity and the wisdom that he radiated.
Charles Krauthammer (The Point of It All: A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors)
Sweetness in speaking doesn't assure sweetness of the soul; beauty of a peacock doesn't stop it from swallowing a snake.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
What you are, so is your world. Everything in the universe is resolved into your own inward experience. It matters little what is without, for it is all a reflection of your own state of consciousness.
Napoleon Hill (The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity)
In Vietnam, American troops were exposed to attacks twenty-four hours a day but were most often attacked at night. There was no safe time to mourn. Allowing one's attention to turn inward to grief could result in one's own death and the deaths of others. Night warfare reflects a change in the customs of war since Homer's time.
Jonathan Shay (Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character)
Our spiritual journey is always a journey inward. The outward journey in life is just to show you yourself as reflected in the faces and places you visit.
Donald Lee (The Band Director's Lessons About Life:: Volume 1 - 50 Parables on Life's Performance Cycle)
The process here is always the same. The individual has a stock of old opinions already, but he meets a new experience that puts them to a strain. Somebody contradicts them; or in a reflective moment he discovers that they contradict each other; or he hears of facts with which they are incompatible; or desires arise in him which they cease to satisfy. The result is an inward trouble to which his mind till then had been a stranger, and from which he seeks to escape by modifying his previous mass of opinions. He saves as much of it as he can, for in this matter of belief we are all extreme conservatives. So he tries to change first this opinion, and then that (for they resist change very variously), until at last some new idea comes up which he can graft upon the ancient stock with a minimum of disturbance of the latter, some idea that mediates between the stock and the new experience and runs them into one another most felicitously and expediently.
William James (PRAGMATISM : A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking)
How we can appropriately enjoy good food, fine clothes and cheerful company as these come our way in the natural course of things. You should not worry yourself about food or clothing, feeling that these things are too good for you, but train your mind and the ground of your being to be above them. Nothing should rouse your mind to love and delight but God alone. It should be above all other things. Why? It would be a sickly form of inwardness which needed to be put right by external clothing; rather, as long as it is under your control, what is inside should correct what is outside. And if the latter comes to you in a different form, then you should accept it as being good from the ground of your being, but in such a way that you would accept it just as willingly if it were different again. It is just the same with the food, the friends and relatives and with everything that God may give you or take from you. And so in my view the most important thing of all is that we should give ourselves up entirely to God whenever he allows anything to befall us, whether insult, tribulation or any other kind of suffering, accepting it with joy and gratitude and allowing God to guide us all the more rather than seeking these things out ourselves. Willingly learn all things from God therefore and follow him, and all will be well with you. Then we will be able to accept honour and comfort, and if dishonour and discomfort were to be our lot, we could and would be just as willing to endure these too. So they can justifiably feast who would just as willingly fast.15 And that must also be the reason why God relieves his friends of both major and minor suffering, which otherwise his infinite faithfulness could not allow him to do, for there is so much and such great benefit in suffering and he neither wishes nor ought to deny his own anything which is good. But he is content with a good and upright will, or else he would spare them no suffering on account of the inexpressible benefit which it contains. As long as God is content, you too should be content, and when it is something else in you which pleases him, then you should still be content. For we should be so totally God’s possession inwardly with the whole of our will that we should not be unduly concerned about either devotional practices or works. And in particular you should avoid all particularity, whether in the form of clothes, food or words – as in making grand speeches, or particularity of gesture, since these things serve no useful purpose at all. But you should also know that not every form of particularity is forbidden to you. There is much that is particular which we must sometimes do and with many people, for whoever is a particular person must also express particularity on many occasions and in many ways. We should have grown into our Lord Jesus Christ inwardly and in all things so that all his works are reflected in us together with his divine image. We should bear in ourselves all his works in a perfect likeness as far as we can. Though we are the agents of our actions, it is he who should take form in them. So act out of the whole of your devotion and your intent, training your mind in this at all times and teaching yourself to grow into him in all that you do.
Meister Eckhart (Selected Writings)
True worship must include inward feelings that reflect the worth of God’s glory.
John Piper (Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist)
When you are being tested from every angle, why, with no apparent cause. Look inwards. stand up for yourself.. it's something you need to work on that is being highlighted. Finish acknowledging the whispers from your inner self. You left no choice but to have it reflected externally for all to see.
Virginia Toole
Challenges turned the eye inward to empower a renewed self for an enhanced future.
Mala Naidoo
Think of the labyrinth’s journey as having the following parts for a complete experience. To start, an intention is set with an open mind and heart. The walk inward to the center is dedicated to shedding whatever is unnecessary. While inside, the center’s mysterious and intuitive qualities can create the opportunity to receive whatever insights are ready to be revealed. Returning after being in the center (centered) is the next step. This is a time for further reflection and for taking the revitalizing gifts discovered along the way back into your life. The possibilities are endless and might include healing, self-understanding, and clarity. Upon returning, feelings of renewal and revitalization are often felt.
Julie T. Lusk (Yoga Nidra for Complete Relaxation and Stress Relief)
Cultures are organisms," Spengler explains, "and world-history is their collective biography." Like any other vital organism, then, each culture goes through the stages of youth, maturity, and decline. "Culture is the prime phenomenon of all past and future world-history." "Every Culture has its own Civilization...The Civilization is the inevitable destiny of the Culture....Civilizations are the most external and artificial states of which a species of developed humanity is capable. They are a conclusion, the thing-become succeeding the thing-becoming, death following life, rigidity following expansion, intellectual age and the stone-built, petrifying world-city following mother-earth and the spiritual childhood of Doric and Gothic. They are an end, irrevocable, yet by inward necessity reached again and again." Thus, while the culture is a period of ebullient creativity, the civilization that inevitably follows is a period of reflection, organization, and search for material comfort and convenience. For example, classical Greece was the culture; imperial Rome the civilization. From the beauties of Greek poetry to the imperialism of Roman law, we now live in the civilization of Western ("Faustian") culture and cannot avoid the consequences. Among these Spengler foresaw the "megalopolis," the city of faceless masses, the omnipotence of money, and a new Caesarism.
Daniel J. Boorstin (The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World)
My inward light is always vibrationally shining outwardly in my world.
Debbie A. Anderson
Nature sometimes mingles her effects and her spectacles with our actions with sombre and intelligent appropriateness, as though she desired to make us reflect. For the last half-hour a large cloud had covered the heavens. At the moment when Jean Valjean paused in front of the bed, this cloud parted, as though on purpose, and a ray of light, traversing the long window, suddenly illuminated the Bishop’s pale face. He was sleeping peacefully. He lay in his bed almost completely dressed, on account of the cold of the Basses-Alps, in a garment of brown wool, which covered his arms to the wrists. His head was thrown back on the pillow, in the careless attitude of repose; his hand, adorned with the pastoral ring, and whence had fallen so many good deeds and so many holy actions, was hanging over the edge of the bed. His whole face was illumined with a vague expression of satisfaction, of hope, and of felicity. It was more than a Free eBooks at Planet 179 smile, and almost a radiance. He bore upon his brow the indescribable reflection of a light which was invisible. The soul of the just contemplates in sleep a mysterious heaven. A reflection of that heaven rested on the Bishop. It was, at the same time, a luminous transparency, for that heaven was within him. That heaven was his conscience. At the moment when the ray of moonlight superposed itself, so to speak, upon that inward radiance, the sleeping Bishop seemed as in a glory. It remained, however, gentle and veiled in an ineffable half-light. That moon in the sky, that slumbering nature, that garden without a quiver, that house which was so calm, the hour, the moment, the silence, added some solemn and unspeakable quality to the venerable repose of this man, and enveloped in a sort of serene and majestic aureole that white hair, those closed eyes, that face in which all was hope and all was confidence, that head of an old man, and that slumber of an infant. There was something almost divine in this man, who was thus august, without being himself aware of it. Jean Valjean was in the shadow, and stood motionless, with his iron candlestick in his hand, frightened by this luminous old man. Never had he beheld anything like this. This confidence terrified him. The moral world has no grander spectacle than this: a troubled and uneasy conscience, which has arrived on the brink of an evil action, contemplating the slumber of the just.
Victor Hugo
The inward paths of self-reflection are labyrinthine—fraught with darkness and self-deception and inhabited by a conscience that ravages like a minotaur. The self needs to be broken out of the winding corridors of self-reflection, which so often lead into the despair of self-justification.
Brian Gregor (A Philosophical Anthropology of the Cross: The Cruciform Self (Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion))
By accident, the bound codex taught us sustained focus, abstract thinking, logic. Our natural tendency is to be distracted—to scan the horizon constantly for predators and prospects. Books made us turn that attention inward, to build higher and higher castles within the quiet kingdoms of our minds. Through that process of reflection and deep thinking, we evolved.
Alena Graedon (The Word Exchange)
Remember that happiness is not only a reflection of what happens to you outwardly but who you are inwardly. How you react to the circumstances of life will determine how good or how bad your life may be.
Adam Houge (NOT A BOOK: The 7 Habits That Will Change Your Life Forever)
Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it.” Esther 2:10 NJKV Esther may have had an even harder time in the palace due to the fact that so far her background has been kept a secret. It is difficult enough being some place where you do not fit in, but for Esther to have to keep her true identity a secret as well must have been very hard. A lonely year will pass before she is ready to be received by the king. Even though it may have been hard to keep her religions identity secret, Esther obeyed. Many times, not telling the entire truth is a mistake. However, given Esther’s situation, this secret-keeping is not to be considered a lie. Matthew Henry wrote, “All truths are not to be spoken at all times, though an untruth is never to be spoken”.4 Esther’s obedience to Mordecai reveals a very important aspect of her inner beauty: Esther is submissive to authority. Esther possessed outward beauty, but she has inward beauty as well. This was important to God back in Persia, and it is important to God today.   As you close the Bible on this lesson today, thank God for the wonderful qualities He has placed in You so that you will be effective and successful in your calling. If you don’t know what those qualities are, ask God to reveal them to you throughout this week - you are a treasure, and God has placed a treasure inside you!
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
When all was right around me, when I was content with everything, and satisfied with the sphere I was to occupy, I filled it with my affections, while my expansive soul, extending itself to other objects, was perpetually attracted by a thousand different inclinations, and by amiable attachments, which continually employed my heart: in these situations I forgot myself in some measure, thinking principally on what was foreign to me, and experiencing in the continual agitation of my feelings, all the vicissitude of earthly things. This exquisite sensibility lest me neither inward peace, nor outward repose; happy in appearance only, I had not a single sentiment that could have borne the proof of reflection, or with which I could truly have been content. Never was I perfectly satisfied either with others or myself; the tumult of the world made me giddy, solitude wearied me, I perpetually wished for a change of situation, and met with happiness in none.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Reveries of the Solitary Walker)
Short yet substantial, the collects are ideal candidates for memorization. As each Sunday rolls around, I try to take a few minutes to memorize the collect. As I move through the week, I can stop and reflect on it, rolling its words around in my mind. Instead of passively receiving the piety and theology of the prayer book, I can actively engage it in my life of prayer and daily experience.
Derek Olsen (Inwardly Digest: The Prayer Book as Guide to a Spiritual Life)
What we are to our inward vision, and what man appears to be sub specie aeternitatis, can only be expressed by way of myth.
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
The Perfect Man is he for whom individuality is merely an external form, but whose inward reality conforms to the universe itself. He is “the copy of God,” in the words of al-Arabi’s greatest disciple, Abdul Karim al-Jili: he is the mirror in which the divine attributes are perfectly reflected; the medium through which God is made manifest.
Reza Aslan (No God but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam)
Even al-Hallaj admitted that his experience of unity with God came after a long journey of inward reflection. “Your Spirit mixed with my Spirit little by little,” he wrote of God in his Diwan, “by turns, through reunions and abandons. And now I am Yourself. Your existence is my own, and it is also my will.
Reza Aslan (No God but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam)
To be free to communicate without consequence—is that ever a possibility? I want to say, “I don’t want you to have feelings about my feelings.” I want to be heard without consequence because to be heard is such a novelty. If someone asks while looking me straight in the eye, I slither away. Even though we are looking at each other, I am still hiding. My dark eyes are good for that. The feelings on the tip of my tongue have no shape; they’re listless, always trying to sneak up in a moment of poignancy. Sometimes what I want to say is “I want you to be mine!” Sometimes it is “I feel trapped!” Sometimes it is “I resigned myself to a fate I thought I wanted, but now I don’t!” But I have yearnings, that’s true. I make choices. I take action. That is simply how I navigate. But isn’t it who I am who goes out into the world? Do those few lonely moments when I return inward, away from noise and glamour, really count?
Marlowe Granados (Happy Hour)
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