Inward Thinking Quotes

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It is a long way to Ireland, Janet, and I am sorry to send my little friend on such weary travels: but if I can't do better, how is it to be helped? Are you anything akin to me, do you think, Jane?" I could risk no sort of answer by this time: my heart was still. "Because, he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you - especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land some broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, - you'd forget me.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you...it means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: "I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give. Responsibility to yourself means that you don't fall for shallow and easy solutions--predigested books and ideas...marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short...and this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be "different"...The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.
Adrienne Rich
When a condition or a problem becomes too great, humans have the protection of not thinking about it. But it goes inward and minces up with a lot of other things already there and what comes out is discontent and uneasiness, guilt and a compulsion to get something--anything--before it is all gone.
John Steinbeck (The Winter of Our Discontent)
As to conforming outwardly and living your own life inwardly, I do not think much of that.
Henry David Thoreau
Each of us must turn inward and destroy in himself all that he thinks he ought to destroy in others.
Etty Hillesum
We are such inward secret creatures, that inwardness the most amazing thing about us, even more amazing than our reason. But we cannot just walk into the cavern and look around. Most of what we think we know about our minds is pseudo-knowledge. We are all such shocking poseurs, so good at inflating the importance of what we think we value.
Iris Murdoch (The Sea, the Sea)
A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.
Søren Kierkegaard
If by doing some work which the undiscerning consider 'not spiritual work' I can best help others, and I inwardly rebel, thinking it is the spiritual for which I crave, when in truth it is the interesting and exciting, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
Amy Carmichael (If)
And now things were as bad as they could get. I winced inwardly. You're never supposed to even think that. Because it's just an invtation for the world, Real or otherwise, to throw something even more incredibly fucked up at you.
Lili St. Crow (Reckoning (Strange Angels, #5))
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
To know, according to Wisdom, does not mean “to think”, but to be the thing known: to live it, to realise it inwardly. One does not really know a thing unless one can actively transform one’s consciousness into it.
Julius Evola (Pagan Imperialism)
Are you anything akin to me, do you think, Jane?" I could risk no sort of answer by this time; my heart was full. "Because," he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you — especially when you are near to me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred miles or so of land, come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
What is talkativeness? It is the result of doing away with the vital distinction between talking and keeping silent. Only some one who knows how to remain essentially silent can really talk--and act essentially. Silence is the essence of inwardness, of the inner life. Mere gossip anticipates real talk, and to express what is still in thought weakens action by forestalling it. But some one who can really talk, because he knows how to remain silent, will not talk about a variety of things but about one thing only, and he will know when to talk and when to remain silent. Where mere scope is concerned, talkativeness wins the day, it jabbers on incessantly about everything and nothing...In a passionate age great events (for they correspond to each other) give people something to talk about. And when the event is over, and silence follows, there is still something to remember and to think about while one remains silent. But talkativeness is afraid of the silence which reveals its emptiness.
Søren Kierkegaard (The Present Age)
The mountain has left me feeling renewed, more content and positive than I’ve been for weeks, as if something has been given back after a long absence, as if my eyes have opened once again. For this time at least, I’ve let myself be rooted in the unshakable sanity of the senses, spared my mind the burden of too much thinking, turned myself outward to experience the world and inward to savor the pleasures it has given me.
Richard Nelson (The Island Within)
While a common reaction to seeing a thing of beauty is to want to buy it, our real desire may be not so much to own what we find beautiful as to lay permanent claim to the inner qualities it embodies. Owning such an object may help us realise our ambition of absorbing the virtues to which it alludes, but we ought not to presume that those virtues will automatically or effortlessly begin to rub off on us through tenure. Endeavouring to purchase something we think beautiful may in fact be the most unimaginative way of dealing with the longing it excites in us, just as trying to sleep with someone may be the bluntest response to a feeling of love. What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than physically possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
what love looks like what does love look like the therapist asks one week after the breakup and i’m not sure how to answer her question except for the fact that i thought love looked so much like you that’s when it hit me and i realized how naive i had been to place an idea so beautiful on the image of a person as if anybody on this entire earth could encompass all love represented as if this emotion seven billion people tremble for would look like a five foot eleven medium-sized brown-skinned guy who likes eating frozen pizza for breakfast what does love look like the therapist asks again this time interrupting my thoughts midsentence and at this point i’m about to get up and walk right out the door except i paid too much money for this hour so instead i take a piercing look at her the way you look at someone when you’re about to hand it to them lips pursed tightly preparing to launch into conversation eyes digging deeply into theirs searching for all the weak spots they have hidden somewhere hair being tucked behind the ears as if you have to physically prepare for a conversation on the philosophies or rather disappointments of what love looks like well i tell her i don’t think love is him anymore if love was him he would be here wouldn’t he if he was the one for me wouldn’t he be the one sitting across from me if love was him it would have been simple i don’t think love is him anymore i repeat i think love never was i think i just wanted something was ready to give myself to something i believed was bigger than myself and when i saw someone who probably fit the part i made it very much my intention to make him my counterpart and i lost myself to him he took and he took wrapped me in the word special until i was so convinced he had eyes only to see me hands only to feel me a body only to be with me oh how he emptied me how does that make you feel interrupts the therapist well i said it kind of makes me feel like shit maybe we’re looking at it wrong we think it’s something to search for out there something meant to crash into us on our way out of an elevator or slip into our chair at a cafe somewhere appear at the end of an aisle at the bookstore looking the right amount of sexy and intellectual but i think love starts here everything else is just desire and projection of all our wants needs and fantasies but those externalities could never work out if we didn’t turn inward and learn how to love ourselves in order to love other people love does not look like a person love is our actions love is giving all we can even if it’s just the bigger slice of cake love is understanding we have the power to hurt one another but we are going to do everything in our power to make sure we don’t love is figuring out all the kind sweetness we deserve and when someone shows up saying they will provide it as you do but their actions seem to break you rather than build you love is knowing who to choose
Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
The question is why one should be so inwardly preoccupied at all. Why not reach out to others in love and solidarity or peer into the natural world for some glimmer of understanding? Why retreat into anxious introspection when, as Emerson might have said, there is a vast world outside to explore? Why spend so much time working on oneself when there is so much real work to be done?
Barbara Ehrenreich (Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America)
Thinking about time is to acknowledge two contradictory certainties: that our outward lives are governed by the seasons and the clock; that our inward lives are governed by something much less regular-an imaginative impulse cutting through the dictates of daily time, and leaving us free to ignore the boundaries of here and now and pass like lightning along the coil of pure time, that is, the circle of the universe and whatever it does or does not contain.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
You're one of those who has to tune the world out and focus on one thing at a time. We have a word for that down here, women like you. Insiwa. Inside one. It means you live inside your head and to step out of it hurts like a caning.
Rivers Solomon (An Unkindness of Ghosts)
Forget all you know or think you know; abandon power and enforced decree. Inward, where the deepest rivers flow, find the currents of eternity. - Fin Raziel
Wayland Drew (Willow)
Have you wondered what our babies would have looked like?" Jen asked absently as she frowned inwardly trying to picture the future she might have had with her wolf. "Baby this isn't really the time to discuss our babies. Let's focus on who is carrying you so that I can get you back so that we can make babies." Jen groaned and felt the arms around her tighten which brought a gasp from her. Decebel must have sensed her pain as she felt his worry. "I'm okay, just hurts." Jen actually felt a smile spread across her face, "So you want to make babies with me?" This time when Decebel laughed she swore she could feel his hands run down her sides to her waist. "Only you would want to discuss making babies at a time like this." "Well you have to admit that it's a better topic than my nearly being killed and now being kidnapped. Seriously Dec, I'd much rather think about us making babies.
Quinn Loftis
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)
In typically blunt fashion he told them that sheep don’t vomit up grass to show the shepherds how much they’ve eaten but rather digest their food inwardly and produce good wool and milk outwardly.
Donald J. Robertson (How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius)
A woman cannot bear to feel empty and purposeless. But a man may take real pleasure in that feeling. A man can take real pride and satisfaction in pure negation: 'I am quite empty of feeling. I don't care the slightest bit in the world for anybody or anything except myself. But I do care for myself, and I'm going to survive in spite of them all, and I'm going to have my own success without caring the least in the world how I get it. Because I'm cleverer than they are, I'm cunninger than they are, even if I'm weak. I must build myself up proper protections, and entrench myself, and then I'm safe. I can sit inside my glass tower and feel nothing and be touched by nothing, and yet exert my power, my will, through the glass walls of my ego'. That, roughly, is the condition of a man who accepts the condition of true egoism, and emptiness, in himself. He has a certain pride in the condition, since in pure emptiness of real feeling he can still carry out his ambition, his will to egoistic success. Now I doubt if a woman can feel like this. The most egoistic woman is always in a tangle of hate, if not of love. But the true male egoist neither hates nor loves. He is quite empty, at the middle of him. Only on the surface he has feelings: and these he is always trying to get away from. Inwardly, he feels nothing. And when he feels nothing, he exults in his ego and knows he is safe. Safe, within his fortifications, inside his glass tower. But I doubt if women can even understand this condition in a man. They mistake emptiness for depth. They think the false calm of the egoist who really feels nothing is strength. And they imagine that all the defenses which the confirmed egoist throws up, the glass tower of imperviousness, are screens to a real man, a positive being. And they throw themselves madly on the defences, to tear them down and come at the real man, little knowing that there is no real man, the defences are only there to protect a hollow emptiness, an egoism, not a human man.
D.H. Lawrence (Selected Essays)
It is very difficult to develop a proper sense of self-esteem in a dysfunctional family. Having very little self-worth, looking at one’s own character defects becomes so overwhelming there is no room for inward focus. People so afflicted think: “I need to keep you from knowing me. I have already rejected me, but if you knew how flawed I am, you would also reject me…and since this is all I have, I could not stand any more rejection. I am not worthy of someone understanding me so you will not get the chance...so I must judge, reject, attack, and/or find fault with you. I don’t accept me so how can I accept you?
David Walton Earle
But one must remember that they were all men with systems. Freud, monumentally hipped on sex (for which he personally had little use) and almost ignorant of Nature: Adler, reducing almost everything to the will to power: and Jung, certainly the most humane and gentlest of them, and possibly the greatest, but nevertheless the descendant of parsons and professors, and himself a super-parson and a super-professor. all men of extraordinary character, and they devised systems that are forever stamped with that character.… Davey, did you ever think that these three men who were so splendid at understanding others had first to understand themselves? It was from their self-knowledge they spoke. They did not go trustingly to some doctor and follow his lead because they were too lazy or too scared to make the inward journey alone. They dared heroically. And it should never be forgotten that they made the inward journey while they were working like galley-slaves at their daily tasks, considering other people's troubles, raising families, living full lives. They were heroes, in a sense that no space-explorer can be a hero, because they went into the unknown absolutely alone. Was their heroism simply meant to raise a whole new crop of invalids? Why don't you go home and shoulder your yoke, and be a hero too?
Robertson Davies (The Manticore (The Deptford Trilogy, #2))
Let us choose one another as companions! Let us sit at each other's feet! Inwardly we have many harmonies - think not That we are only what we see.
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
The two directions of thinking are the outward direction toward your material equipment which gives you your resources, and the inward direction toward your mental equipment, which gives you your resourcefulness.
Walter Russell (THINK - WALTER RUSSELL IBM LECTURE SERIES)
Heat invaded her cheeks. She wasn't used to men seeing her whithout her clothes on. And here was in her boring white cotton bra and panties. damn, if only she'd worn her black lace undies. She winced inwardly. She'd come close to getting mauled by a jaguar, and all she could think about was the sexiness factor of her underwear? She must be in shock.
Kerrelyn Sparks (The Vampire and the Virgin (Love at Stake, #8))
There is only continual motion. If I rest, if I think inward, I go mad. There is so much, and I am torn in different directions, pulled thin, taut against horizons too distant for me to reach. Swift, ceaseless pace. Will I never rest in sunlight again - slow, languid & golden with peace?
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Mediocrity isn’t a part of the successful women’s handbook, but I’m sorry, boys, for you it is. Women have to push harder, jump farther, stay later, think better, shit faster, all while trying their best to maintain whatever society says today their body should look like, how they should parent, what they should wear, when they should find love, what’s inappropriate for them to do, say, be, feel, or fuck. The outward pressures are constant, but the inward congestion of doubts and insecurities are sometimes louder—women really can have it all!
Abbi Jacobson (I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff)
I'd seen their hoofprints in the deep needles and knew they ended the long night under the pines... I was thinking: so this is how you swim inward, so this is how you flow outward, so this is how you pray. (from poem, "Five A.M. in the Pinewoods")
Mary Oliver
When we see men of worth, we should think of equalling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.
Confucius (The Analects of Confucius (from the Chinese Classics))
If, upon looking outwards towards the external expanse of the sky, There are no projections emanated by the mind, And if, on looking inwards at one’s own mind, There is no projectionist who projects [thoughts] by thinking them, Then, one’s own mind, completely free from conceptual projections, will become luminously clear. [This]
Padmasambhava (The Tibetan Book of the Dead. First Complete Translation)
A true and safe leader is likely to be one who has no desire to lead, but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and the press of the external situation. Such were Moses and David and the Old Testament prophets. I think there was hardly a great leader from Paul to the present day but that was drafted by the Holy Spirit for the task, and commissioned by the Lord of the Church to fill a position he had little heart for. I believe it might be accepted as a fairly reliable rule of thumb that the man who is ambitious to lead is disqualified as a leader. The true leader will have no desire to lord it over God's heritage, but will be humble, gentle, self-sacrificing, and altogether as ready to follow as to lead, when the Spirit makes it clear that a wiser and more gifted man than himself has appeared.
A.W. Tozer
Now, my dear little girl, you have come to an age when the inward life develops and when some people (and on the whole those who have most of a destiny) find that all is not a bed of roses. Among other things there will be waves of terrible sadness, which last sometimes for days; irritation, insensibility, etc., etc., which taken together form a melancholy. Now, painful as it is, this is sent to us for an enlightenment. It always passes off, and we learn about life from it, and we ought to learn a great many good things if we react on it right. (For instance, you learn how good a thing your home is, and your country, and your brothers, and you may learn to be more considerate of other people, who, you now learn, may have their inner weaknesses and sufferings, too.) Many persons take a kind of sickly delight in hugging it; and some sentimental ones may even be proud of it, as showing a fine sorrowful kind of sensibility. Such persons make a regular habit of the luxury of woe. That is the worst possible reaction on it. It is usually a sort of disease, when we get it strong, arising from the organism having generated some poison in the blood; and we mustn't submit to it an hour longer than we can help, but jump at every chance to attend to anything cheerful or comic or take part in anything active that will divert us from our mean, pining inward state of feeling. When it passes off, as I said, we know more than we did before. And we must try to make it last as short as time as possible. The worst of it often is that, while we are in it, we don't want to get out of it. We hate it, and yet we prefer staying in it—that is a part of the disease. If we find ourselves like that, we must make something ourselves to some hard work, make ourselves sweat, etc.; and that is the good way of reacting that makes of us a valuable character. The disease makes you think of yourself all the time; and the way out of it is to keep as busy as we can thinking of things and of other people—no matter what's the matter with our self.
William James
Did you need something?” Seth’s attention shifted back to me. “Do I need something to walk over here?” My fingers curled inward. “Yeah, I think you do.” “I missed them together,” Deacon said … “They’re so warm and fuzzy, don’t you think? So cute.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Power (Titan, #2))
The theme of invisibility has haunted me for many years, since earliest girlhood. A woman often feels ‘invisible’ in a public sense precisely because her physical being - her ‘visibility’ - figures so prominently in her identity. She is judged as a body, she is ‘attractive’ or ‘unattractive’, while knowing that her deepest self is inward, and secret: knowing, hoping that her spiritual essence is a great deal more complex than the casual eye of the observer will allow… it might be argued that all persons, defined to themselves rather more as what they think and dream than what they do, are ‘invisible’.
Joyce Carol Oates
So often, we're told that women's stories are unimportant. After all, what does it matter what happens in the main room, in the kitchen, or in the bedroom? Who cares about the relationships between mother, daughter, and sister? A baby's illness, the sorrows and pains of childbirth, keeping the family together during war, poverty, or even in the best of days are considered small and insignificant compared with the stories of men, who fight against nature to grow their crops, who wage battles to secure their homelands, who struggle to look inward in search of the perfect man. We're told that men are strong and brave, but I think women know how to endure, accept defeat, and bear physical and mental agony much better than men. The men in my life—my father, Z.G., my husband, my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, and my son—faced, to one degree or another, those great male battles, but their hearts—so fragile—wilted, buckled, crippled, corrupted, broke, or shattered when confronted with the losses women face every day...Our men try to act strong, but it is May, Yen-yen, Joy, and I who must steady them and help them bear their pain, anguish, and shame.
Lisa See (Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls, #1))
Look upward to your God for direction! Look inward into yourself and discover your talents! Look outward into your environment and get helped! Stop looking at one direction!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
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.
I think that if the beast who sleeps in man could be held down by threats - any kind of threat, whether of jail or of retribution after death - then the highest emblem of humanity would be the lion tamer in the circus with his whip, not the prophet who sacrificed himself. But don't you see, this is just the point - what has for centuries raised man above the beast is not the cudgel but an inward music: the irresistible power of unarmed truth, the powerful attraction of its example. It has always been assumed that the most important things in the Gospels are the ethical maxims and commandments. But for me the most important thing is that Christ speaks in parables taken from life, that He explains the truth in terms of everyday reality. The idea that underlies this is that communion between mortals is immortal, and that the whole of life is symbolic because it is meaningful.
Boris Pasternak
I fall in love with someone about twice a week, but I'm starting to think that’s a common problem with writers, that they have a dangerous excess of love that they give away to near strangers or turn inward on their private little worlds.
Zach VandeZande (Apathy and Paying Rent)
It is the only thing we can do. … Each of us must turn inward and destroy in himself all that he thinks he ought to destroy in others. And remember that every atom of hate added to this world makes it still more inhospitable. — ETTY HILLESUM29
Matthieu Ricard (Why Meditate?: Working with Thoughts and Emotions)
What will bring peace is inward transformation, which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, is not withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary, there can be right action only when there is right thinking and there is no right thinking when there is no self-knowledge. Without knowing yourself, there is no peace. An Ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is. To have peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin not to live an ideal life but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them. As long as each one of us is seeking psychological security, the physiological security we need; food, clothing and shelter, is destroyed. Some of you will nod your heads and say, “I agree”, and go outside and do exactly the same as you have been doing for the last ten or twenty years. Your agreement is merely verbal and has no significance, for the world’s miseries and wars are not going to be stopped by your casual assent. They will be only stopped when you realize the danger, when you realize your responsibility, when you do not leave it to somebody else. If you realize the suffering, if you see the urgency of immediate action and do not postpone, then you will transform yourself.
J. Krishnamurti
It used to be said, not so long ago, that every suicide gave Satan special pleasure. I don't think that's true—unless it isn't true either that the Devil is a gentleman. If the Devil has no class at all, then okay, I agree: He gets a bang out of suicide. Because suicide is a mess. As a subject for study, suicide is perhaps uniquely incoherent. And the act itself is without shape and without form. The human project implodes, contorts inward—shameful, infantile, writhing, gesturing. It's a mess in there.
Martin Amis (Night Train)
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)
I have never met a truly strong person who didn't have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone's shoulders instead of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character. - "The Iron
Henry Rollins
There are quiet places also in the mind,” he said, meditatively. “But we build bandstand and factories on them. Deliberately—to put a stop to the quietness. We don’t like the quietness. All the thoughts, all the preoccupation in my head—round and round continually.” He made a circular motion with his hands. “And the jazz bands, the music hall songs, the boys shouting the news. What’s it all for? To put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost it isn’t there. Ah, but it is, it is there, in spite of everything, at the back of everything. Lying awake at night, sometimes—not restlessly, but serenely, waiting for sleep—the quiet re-establishes itself, piece by piece; all the broken bits, all the fragments of it we’ve been so busily dispersing all day long. It re-establishes itself, an inward quiet, like this outward quiet of grass and trees. It fills one, it grows –a crystal quiet, a growing expanding crystal. It grows, it becomes more perfect; it is beautiful and terrifying, yes, terrifying, as well as beautiful. For one’s alone in the crystal and there’s no support from outside, there’s nothing external and important, nothing external and trivial to pull oneself up by or to stand up, superiorly, contemptuously, so that one can look down. There’s nothing to laugh at or feel enthusiastic about. But the quiet grows and grows. Beautifully and unbearably. And at last you are conscious of something approaching; it is almost a faint sound of footsteps. Something inexpressibly lovely and wonderful advances through the crystal, nearer, nearer. And oh, inexpressibly terrifying. For if it were to touch you, if it were to seize and engulf you, you’d die; all the regular habitual, daily part of you would die. There would be and end of bandstands and whizzing factories, and one would have to begin living arduously in the quiet, arduously n some strange unheard-of manner. Nearer, nearer come the steps; but one can’t face the advancing thing. One daren’t. It’s too terrifying; it’s too painful to die. Quickly, before it is too late, start the factory wheels, bang the drum, blow up the saxophone. Think of the women you’d like to sleep with, the schemes for making money, the gossip about your friends, the last outrage of the politicians. Anything for a diversion. Break the silence, smash the crystal to pieces. There, it lies in bits; it is easily broken, hard to build up and easy to break. And the steps? Ah, those have taken themselves off, double quick. Double quick, they were gone at the flawing of the crystal. And by this time the lovely and terrifying thing is three infinities away, at least. And you lie tranquilly on your bed, thinking of what you’d do if you had ten thousand pounds and of all the fornications you’ll never commit.
Aldous Huxley
what did you think you were doing, then, when you went up through one door and down through another, turning this way and that, through the pages of a book and a deep mine and an entire ocean and the hideout of a wise old woman? My dear, labyrinths ensnare and entangle; they draw one inexorably inward-but it wouldn't be much of a labyrinth if you waited in line with a ticket to get it and the door was clearly marked, like some country-harvest hay maze. All underworlds are labyrinths, in the end. Perhaps all the sunlit lands, too. A labyrinth, when it is big enough, is just the world.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
Well, it does educate us about life. I wouldn’t be the person I am, I wouldn’t understand what I understand, were it not for certain books. I’m thinking of the great question of nineteenth-century Russian literature: how should one live? A novel worth reading is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility, of what human nature is, of what happens in the world. It’s a creator of inwardness.
Susan Sontag
letting go is medicine that heals the heart letting go is a habit that requires practice letting go is best done through feeling, not thinking
Yung Pueblo (Inward)
Ultimately what matters is the inward and invisible voices of our inner being. Because all-surpassing power lives within us.
Amit Ray (Peace Bliss Beauty and Truth: Living with Positivity)
They drank a few glasses of soda after eating their pie and grooved behind the dope and the waitress and giggled and scratched for a while, then dropped another dexie, got a couple of containers of coffee, and split and continued toward Miami and the connections. They were quiet for a while, listening to the music and feeling warm and secure with the dope and the future, each smiling inwardly thinking about the end of their problems and the panic, at least for them.
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
To be free we have to revolt against all inward dependence, and we cannot revolt if we don’t understand why we are dependent. Until we understand and really break away from all inward dependence we can never be free, for only in that understanding can there be freedom.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
You’re growing up. Maybe that’s it,” he said softly. “Sometimes I think the world tests us most sharply then, and we turn inward and watch ourselves with horror. But that’s not the worst. We think everybody is seeing into us. Then dirt is very dirty and purity is shining white.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
The first act of honoring the self is the assertion of consciousness: the choice to think, to be aware, to send the searchlight of consciousness outward toward the world and inward toward our own being. To default on this effort is to default on the self at the most basic level.
Nathaniel Branden
A man in a topiary maze cannot judge of the twistings and turnings, and which avenue might lead him to the heart; while one who stands above, on some pleasant prospect, looking down upon the labyrinth, is reduced to watching the bewildered circumnavigations of the tiny victim through obvious coils - as the gods, perhaps, looked down on besieged and blood-sprayed Troy from the safety of their couches, and thought mortals weak and foolish while they themselves reclined in comfort, and had only to snap to call Ganymade to theeir side with nectar decanted. So I, now, with the vantage of my years, am sensible of my foolishness, my blindness, as a child. I cannot think of my blunders without a shriveling of the inward parts - not merely the disiccation attendant on shame, but also the aggravation of remorse that I did not demand explanation, that I did not sooner take my mother by the hand, and- I do not know what I regret. I sit with my pen, and cannot find an end to that sentence.
M.T. Anderson (The Pox Party (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, #1))
And then also, again, still, what are those boundaries, if they’re not baselines, that contain and direct its infinite expansion inward, that make tennis like chess on the run, beautiful and infinitely dense? The true opponent, the enfolding boundary, is the player himself. Always and only the self out there, on court, to be met, fought, brought to the table to hammer out terms. The competing boy on the net’s other side: he is not the foe: he is more the partner in the dance. He is the what is the word excuse or occasion for meeting the self. As you are his occasion. Tennis’s beauty’s infinite roots are self-competitive. You compete with your own limits to transcend the self in imagination and execution. Disappear inside the game: break through limits: transcend: improve: win. Which is why tennis is an essentially tragic enterprise… You seek to vanquish and transcend the limited self whose limits make the game possible in the first place. It is tragic and sad and chaotic and lovely. All life is the same, as citizens of the human State: the animating limits are within, to be killed and mourned, over and over again…Mario thinks hard again. He’s trying to think of how to articulate something like: But then is battling and vanquishing the self the same as destroying yourself? Is that like saying life is pro-death? … And then but so what’s the difference between tennis and suicide, life and death, the game and its own end?
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
As with any form of mental self-improvement, you must learn to turn your gaze inward, concentrate on processes that usually run automatically, and try to wrest control of them so that you can apply them more mindfully.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
I managed to ask a question that had been burning inside me. “Do you still love her? Rose?” Along with not knowing what it felt like to be in love, I also didn’t know how long it took to recover from love. Adrian’s smile faded. His gaze turned inward. “Yes. No. It’s hard to get over someone like that. She had a huge effect on me, both good and bad. That’s hard to move past. I try not to think about her much in terms of love and hate. Mostly I’m trying to get on with my life. With mixed results, unfortunately.
Richelle Mead (Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1))
One is only really inwardly comfortable, so to speak, after one's life has assumed some sort of shape. Not just a routine, like studying or a job or being a housewife, but something more complete than all those, which would include goals set by oneself and a circle of life-time type friends. I think this is one of the hardest things to achieve, in fact often just trying doesn't achieve it but rather it seems to develop almost by accident.
Jessica Mitford (Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford)
Do you know what it means to love somebody? Do you know what it means to love a tree, or a bird, or a pet animal, so that you take care of it, feed it, cherish it, though it may give you nothing in return, though it may not offer you shade, or follow you, or depend on you? Most of us don’t love in that way, we don’t know what that means at all because our love is always hedged about with anxiety, jealousy, fear—which implies that we depend inwardly on another, we want to be loved. We don’t just love and leave it there, but we ask something in return; and in that very asking we become dependent. So freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something—and it is only such love that can know freedom.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
CAMPBELL: Read myths. They teach you that you can turn inward, and you begin to get the message of the symbols. Read other people’s myths, not those of your own religion, because you tend to interpret your own religion in terms of facts—but if you read the other ones, you begin to get the message. Myth helps you to put your mind in touch with this experience of being alive. It tells you what the experience is. Marriage, for example. What is marriage? The myth tells you what it is. It’s the reunion of the separated duad. Originally you were one. You are now two in the world, but the recognition of the spiritual identity is what marriage is. It’s different from a love affair. It has nothing to do with that. It’s another mythological plane of experience. When people get married because they think it’s a long-time love affair, they’ll be divorced very soon, because all love affairs end in disappointment. But marriage is recognition of a spiritual identity. If we live a proper life, if our minds are on the right qualities in regarding the person of the opposite sex, we will find our proper male or female counterpart. But if we are distracted by certain sensuous interests, we’ll marry the wrong person. By marrying the right person, we
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
You may be speeding through book after book trying to find the next secret, or next technique which you think can help speed up your manifestations while glossing over the harder parts. The harder parts are about working on yourself, about cultivating your inner state, and about having the discipline to focus entirely inwards during the crucial gestation period of your manifestations! That is the hard inner work that most people usually eschew in favor of the easier outer techniques. But until and unless you do the inner work necessary, things are not going to get any better for you.
Richard Dotts (Come and Sit with Me: How to Desire Nothing and Manifest Everything)
I was lost a long time, without knowing it. Without the Faith, one is free, and that is a pleasant feeling at first. There are no questions of conscience, no constraints, except the constraints of custom, convention and the law, and these are flexible enough for most purposes. It is only later that terror comes. One is free - but free in chaos, in an unexplained and unexplainable world. One is free in a desert, from which there is no retreat but inward, toward the hollow core of oneself. There is nothing to build on but the small rock of one's own pride, and this is a nothing, based on nothing... I think, therefore I am. But what am I? An accident of disorder, going no place.
Morris L. West (The Devil's Advocate)
To live always in the Secret Places of the Most High, To think only those thoughts that are inspired from above, To do all things in the conviction that God is with us, To give the best to all the world with no thought of reward, To leave all recompense to Him who doeth all things well, To love everybody as God loves us, and be Kind as He is Kind, To ask God for everything and in faith expect everything, To live in perpetual gratitude to Him who gives everything, To love God so much that we can inwardly feel that My Father and I are one, This is the prayer without ceasing, the true worship of the soul.
Christian D. Larson (The Optimist Creed)
All the materials of thinking are derived either from our outward senses or from our inward feelings: all that the mind and will do is to mix and combine these materials.
David Hume (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding)
A great many young men try to justify themselves and check inward protests by the perpetual self-suggestion that it is better to keep on, for the present, in questionable occupations, because the great financial reward will put them in position to do better later. This is a sort of sedative to the conscience to keep it quiet until they can afford to listen to it.
Orison Swett Marden (He Who Thinks He Can)
first all the reports were by the river, then they spread inward to the city, to the concessions, and now more and more mansions on the outskirts are sending victims to the morgue. Think about it. Those who wish to protect themselves will stay in, bar their doors, seal their windows. Those who do not care, those who are violent, those who delight in that which is terrible
Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1))
LARRY--(with increasing bitter intensity, more as if he were fighting with himself than with Hickey) I'm afraid to live, am I?--and even more afraid to die! So I sit here, with my pride drowned on the bottom of a bottle, keeping drunk so I won't see myself shaking in my britches with fright, or hear myself whining and praying: Beloved Christ, let me live a little longer at any price! If it's only for a few days more, or a few hours even, have mercy, Almighty God, and let me still clutch greedily to my yellow heart this sweet treasure, this jewel beyond price, the dirty, stinking bit of withered old flesh which is my beautiful little life! (He laughs with a sneering, vindictive self-loathing, staring inward at himself with contempt and hatred. Then abruptly he makes Hickey again the antagonist.) You think you'll make me admit that to myself?
Eugene O'Neill (The Iceman Cometh)
We ride too high on deceptive notions of power and security and control and then when it all comes crashing down on us the low is made deeper by the high. By its precipitousness, but also by the humiliation you feel for having failed to see the plummet coming. . . . Lulled by years of relative peace and prosperity we settle into micromanaging our lives with our fancy technologies and custom interest rates and eleven different kinds of milk, and this leads to a certain inwardness, an unchecked narrowing of perspective, the vague expectation that even if we don't earn them and nurture them the truly essential amenities will endure forever as they are. We trust that someone else is looking after the civil liberties shop, so we don't have to. Our military might is unmatched and in any case the madness is at least an ocean away. And then all of a sudden we look up from ordering paper towels online to find ourselves delivered right into the madness. And we wonder: How did this happen? What was I doing when this was in the works? Is it too late to think about it now? . . .
Lisa Halliday (Asymmetry)
Priests confine broad truths into narrow doctrines, because more rules mean that they have more power. Priests mistake their own prejudice for conscience and mistake what they personally fear for what should universally be feared. Priests look inward to their own small souls and try to impress that smallness on the world, when they should be looking at the greatness of the universe and trying to impress that upon their souls. Priests forget they owe everything to their gods and begin to think the world owes everything to them . . . : the cat stopped, and shook his head. :Power is a poison.
Mercedes Lackey (Redoubt (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #4))
I do not want sacrifice, sorrow, dissolution -- such is not my taste. I wish to foster, not to blight -- to earn gratitude, not to wring tears of blood -- no, nor of brine: my harvest must be in smiles, in endearments, in sweet -- That will do. I think I rave in a kind of exquisite delirium. I should wish now to protract this moment ad infinitum; but I dare not. So far I have governed myself thoroughly. I have acted as I inwardly swore I would act; but further might try me beyond my strength.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
To live sustainably, we must live efficiently - not misdirecting or squandering the earth's precious resources. To live efficiently, we must live peacefully for military expenditures represent an enormous diversion of resources from meeting basic human needs. To live peacefully, we must live with a reasonable degree of equity, or fairness, for it is unrealistic to think that, in a communications-rich world, a billion people will except living in absolute poverty while another billion live in conspicuous excess.
Duane Elgin (Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich)
Lee put his arm around the broad shoulders to comfort him. "You're growing up. Maybe that's it," he said softly. "Sometimes I think the world tests us most sharply then, and we turn inward and watch ourselves with horror. But that's not the worst. We think everybody is seeing into us. The dirt is very dirty and purity is shining white. Aron, it will be over. That's not much relief to you because you don't believe it, but it's the best I can do for you. Try to believe that things are neither so good nor so bad as they seem to you now.
John Steinbeck (East Of Eden: Curriculum Unit (Center For Learning Curriculum Units))
The madness sweeps everywhere. It's moves like the plague: first all the reports were by the river, then they spread inward to the city, to the concessions, and now more and more mansions on the outskirts are sending victims to the morgue. Think about it. Those who wish to protect themselves will stay in, bar their doors, seal their windows. Those who do not care, those who are violent, those who delight in that which is terrible.
Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1))
Don’t ever ask directions of a Maine native,” I was told. “Why ever not?” “Somehow we think it is funny to misdirect people and we don’t smile when we do it, but we laugh inwardly. It is our nature.” I wonder if that is true. I could never test it, because through my own efforts I am lost most of the time without any help from anyone.
John Steinbeck (Travels With Charley: In Search of America)
Language , the home and dwelling of beauty and meaning , itself begins to think and speak for man and turns wholly into music , not in the sense of outward audible sounds but by virtue of the power and momentum of its inward flow.
Boris Pasternak
Once I start thinking about splitting the skin apart, I literally cannot not do it. I apologize for the double negative, but it's a real double negative of a situation, a bind from which negating the negation is truly the only escape. The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.
John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)
I return one last time to the places of death all around us, the places of slaughter to which, in a huge communal effort, we close our hearts. Each day a fresh holocaust, yet, as far as I can see, our moral being is untouched. We do not feel tainted. We can do anything, it seems, and come away clean. We point to the Germans and Poles and Ukrainians who did and did not know of the atrocities around them. We like to think they were inwardly marked by the after-effects of that special form of ignorance. We like to think that in their nightmares the ones whose suffering they had refused to enter came back to haunt them. We like to think they woke up haggard in the mornings and died of gnawing cancers. But probably it was not so. The evidence points in the opposite direction: that we can do anything and get away with it; that there is no punishment.
J.M. Coetzee (The Lives of Animals)
Journeys, like artists, are born and not made. A thousand differing circumstances contribute to them, few of them willed or determined by the will - whatever we may think. They flower spontaneously out of the demands of our natures - and the best of them lead us not only outwards in space, but inwards as well. Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection....
Lawrence Durrell (Bitter Lemons of Cyprus)
The right kind of education consists in understanding the child as he is without imposing upon him an ideal of what we think he should be. To enclose him in the framework of an ideal is to encourage him to conform, which breeds fear and produces in him a constant conflict between what he is and what he should be; and all inward conflicts have their outward manifestations in society.
J. Krishnamurti
And, pointing a trembling finger at Bonetti-Alderighi, with an expression of indignation and a quasi-castrato voice, he launched into the climax: Ah, so you, Mr. Commissioner, actually believed such a groundless accusation? Ah, I feel so insulted and humiliated! You're accusing me of an act - no, indeed, a crime that, if true, would warrant a severe punishment! As if I were a common idiot or gambler! That journalist must be possessed to think of such a thing!" End of climax. The inspector inwardly congratulated himself. He had managed to utter a statement using only titles of novels by Dostoyevsky. Had the comissioner noticed? Of course not! The man was ignorant as a goat!
Andrea Camilleri (The Potter's Field)
Lester Levenson used to say, 'Release and allow yourself to see the perfection where the seeming imperfection seems to be.' During this process, welcome your thoughts, your sensations, your feelings, and the stories that you tell yourself. Just allow them all to be here, and know that everything is okay as it is. Part of what happens when we release this is that we start to recognize the perfection underlying our thoughts and feelings. Begin by making yourself comfortable and focusing your attention inwardly. Now, bring to mind ... an issue that's currently up in your awareness. As you think about that situation, problem, intention, or goal, allow yourself to get in touch with your feelings about it right in this very moment.
Hale Dwoskin
I still think a grenade shouldn’t be able to explode inward,” I said, shaking sand off my clothing as I walked up to the window. “I mean, how would you even make that work?” “Maybe you take the same stuff you put in a regular grenade, then put it in backward?” “I … don’t think it works that way, Bastille.
Brandon Sanderson (The Shattered Lens (Alcatraz, #4))
Self-consciousness comes from focusing your attention inwards, on to yourself, so that you become painfully aware of what is happening to you. At its worst, self-consciousness dominates your attention and makes it difficult to think of anything else but your inner experience – and this can become totally paralyzing.
Gillian Butler (Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Books on Prescription Title: A Books on Prescription Title)
I think what a joy it is to be alive, and I wonder if I’ll ever leap inward to the root of this flesh and know myself as once I was. The root is there. Whether any act of mine can find it, that remains tangled in the future. But all things a man can do are mine. Any act of mine may do it. —THE GHOLA SPEAKS ALIA’S COMMENTARY
Frank Herbert (Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, #2))
The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace?
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
The next time you feel a sense of dissatisfaction, of something being missing or not quite right, turn inward as an experiment. See if you can capture the energy of that very moment. Instead of picking up a magazine or going to the movies, calling a friend or looking for something to eat or acting up in one way or another, make a place for yourself. Sit down and enter into your breathing, if only for a few minutes. Don't look for anything - neither flowers not light nor a beautiful view. Don't extol the virtues of anything or condemn the inadequacy of anything. Don't even think to yourself, "I am going inward now." Just sit. Reside at the center of the world. Let things be as they are.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life)
do not confuse self-love with thinking that you’re better than everyone else true self-love is accepting yourself for all that you are, especially the darkest parts
Yung Pueblo (Inward)
see no alternative: each of us must turn inward and destroy in himself all that he thinks he ought to destroy in others.
Patrick Woodhouse (Etty Hillesum: A Life Transformed)
I'd run. But maybe you can't run. Think of that, too.' His yellow eyes seemed to look inward, and he sounded tired. 'Sometimes you can't run.
Robert Jordan
you know, one never realises how much one has changed with the years. We carry an inward image of ourselves, I think, which remains forever the same.
Alice Chetwynd Ley (A Conformable Wife)
It would never have crossed her mind spontaneously that somebody might actually need silence. That silence helps you to go inward, that anyone who is interested in something more than just life outside actually needs silence: this, I think, is not something Colombe is capable of understanding, because her inner space is as chaotic and noisy as the street outside.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
When demand for her attention exceeds supply on a grand scale, it is not surprising to find practices of men trying to turn the heads of women previously unknown to them—via catcalling and wolf-whistling and various forms of online trolling (from the patently abusive to ostensibly reasonable demands for rational debate, which unfortunately sometimes result in her being belittled, insulted, or mansplained to). In public settings, she is told to smile or asked what she’s thinking by many a (male) stranger—especially when she appears to be “deep inside her own head” or “off in her own little world,” i.e., appearing to think her own thoughts, her attention inwardly, rather than outwardly, focused. These gestures are then supposed to either make her look, or else force her to stonewall—a withholding, rather than sheer absence, of reaction. So her silence is icy; her neutral expression, sullen. Her not looking is snubbing; her passivity, aggression. But an ice queen, a bitch, a temptress—or an angel, for that matter—each has something in common: they are human, all too human, female characters.
Kate Manne (Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny)
The mind forgets the dark places in the heart. The heart hides a blemish in shame. The inward eye does not seek any festering. Between the deception of the three, a man thinks he is good.
Donita K. Paul (DragonLight (DragonKeeper Chronicles, #5))
He said sometimes when you're young you have to think about things, because you're forming your value-sets and you keep coming up with Data Insufficient and finding holes in your programs. So you keep trying to do a fix on your sets. And the more powerful your mind is and the more intense your concentration is, the worse damage you can do to yourself, which is why, Justin says, Alphas always have trouble and some of them go way off and out-there, and why almost all Alphas are eccentric. But he says the best thing you can do if you're too bright for your own good is what the Testers do, be aware where you got which idea, keep a tab on everything, know how your ideas link up with each other and with your deep-sets and value-sets, so when you're forty or fifty or a hundred forty and you find something that doesn't work, you can still find all the threads and pull them. But that's not real easy unless you know what your value-sets are, and most CITs don't. CITs have a trouble with not wanting to know that kind of thing. Because some of them are real eetee once you get to thinking about how they link. Especially about sex and ego-nets. Justin says inflexibility is a trap and most Alpha types are inward-turned because they process so fast they're gone and thinking before a Gamma gets a sentence out. Then they get in the habit of thinking they thought of everything, but they don't remember everything stems from input. You may have a new idea, but it stems from input somebody gave you, and that could be wrong or your senses could have been lying to you. He says it can be an equipment-quality problem or a program-quality problem, but once an Alpha takes a falsehood for true, it's a personal problem.
C.J. Cherryh (Cyteen (Cyteen, #1-3))
First, there is the burden of pride. The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace? The heart's fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable. Yet the sons of earth are carrying this burden continually, challenging every word spoken against them, cringing under every criticism, smarting under each fancied slight, tossing sleepless if another is preferred before them. Such a burden as this is not necessary to bear. Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort. He develops toward himself a kindly sense of humor and learns to say, "Oh, so you have been overlooked? They have placed someone else before you? They have whispered that you are pretty small stuff after all? And now you feel hurt because the world is saying about you the very things you have been saying about yourself? Only yesterday you were telling God that you were nothing, a mere worm of the dust. Where is your consistency? Come on, humble yourself, and cease to care what men think.
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
One reason for this ability to cope with disaster is that nothing ever happens to us except what happens in our minds. Unhappiness is an inward, not an outward, thing. It is as independent of circumstances as is happiness. Consider the truly happy people you know. I think it is unlikely that you will find that circumstances have made them happy. They have made themselves happy in spite of circumstances.
Eleanor Roosevelt (You Learn by Living)
Where did this whole thing begin? If what we think of as reality is just a pattern that somebody brought Outside, and the universe just popped into bring, then whoever it was is probably still wandering around giving off universes wherever she goes So where did she come from? And what was there before she started doing it? And how did Outside come to exist, for that matter?” That's Inspace thinking,” said Olhado. “That's the way you conceive of things when you still believe in space and time as absolutes. You think of everything starting and stopping, of things having origins, because that's the way it is in the observable universe. The thing is, Outside there's no rules like that at all. Outside was always there and always will be there. The number of philotes there is infinite, and all of them always existed. No mater how many of them you pull out and put into organized universes, there'll be just as many left as there always were” But somebody had to start making universes.” Why?” asked Olhado. Because-because I-“ Nobody ever started. It's always been going on. I mean, if it weren’t already going on, it couldn’t start. Outside where there weren’t any patterns, it would be impossible to conceive of a pattern. They can’t act, by definition, because they literally can’t even find themselves.” But how could it have always been going on?” Think of it as this moment in time, the reality we live in at this moment, this condition of the entire universe-of all the universes-” You mean now.” Right. Think of it as if now were the surface of a sphere. Time is moving forward through the chaos of Outside like the surface of an expanding sphere, a balloon inflating. On the outside, chaos. On the inside, reality. Always growing-like you said, Valentine. Popping up new universes all the time.” But where did this balloon come from?” OK, you’ve got the balloon. The expanding sphere. Only now think of it as a sphere with an infinite radius.” Valentine tried to think of what that would mean. “The surface would be completely flat.” That’s right” And you could never go all the way around it” That’s right, too. Infinitely large. Impossible even to count all the universes that exist on the reality side. And now, starting from the edge, you get on a starship and start heading inward toward the center. The farther in you go, the older everything is. All the old universes back and back. When do you get to the first one?” You don’t” said Valentine. “Not it you’re traveling at a finate rate.” You don’t reach the center of a sphere on infinite radius, if you’re starting at the surface, because no matter how far you go, no matter how quickly, the center, the beginning, is always infinitely far away.” And that’s where the universe began.
Orson Scott Card (Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3))
If you advocate for the censorship of speech that does not expressly incite violence, limit your own vocabulary to a set number of words for one week. Cease to use several common words or phrases you often use and watch as your ability to communicate and think diminish. Now do you still want censorship knowing it is not just the limiting of speech but thought? If you do, you may wish to look inward about why oppressive impulses come so easily when you disagree with others.
C.A.A. Savastano
After two or three stanzas and several images by which he was himself astonished, his work took possession of him and he experienced the approach of what is called inspiration. At such moments the correlation of the forces controlling the artist is, as it were, stood on its head. The ascendancy is no longer with the artist or the state of mind which he is trying to express, but with language, his instrument of expression. Language, the home and dwelling of beauty and meaning, itself begins to think and speak for man and turns wholly into music, not in the sense of outward, audible sounds but by virtue of the power and momentum of its inward flow. Then, like the current of a mighty river polishing stones and turning wheels by its very movement, the flow of speech creates in passing, by the force of its own laws, rhyme and rhythm and countless other forms and formations, still more important and until now undiscovered, unconsidered and unnamed. At such moments Yury felt that the main part of his work was not being done by him but by something which was above him and controlling him: the thought and poetry of the world as it was at that moment and as it would be in the future. He was controlled by the next step it was to take in the order of its historical development; and he felt himself to be only the pretext and the pivot setting it in motion. ... In deciphering these scribbles he went through the usual disappointments. Last night these rough passages had astonished him and moved him to tears by certain unexpectedly successful lines. Now, on re-reading these very lines, he was saddened to find that they were strained and glaringly far-fetched.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
This, then, is the appropriate region of human liberty. It comprises, first, the inward domain of consciousness; demanding liberty of conscience, in the most comprehensive sense; liberty of thought and feeling; absolute freedom of opinion and sentiment on all subjects, practical or speculative, scientific, moral, or theological. The liberty of expressing and publishing opinions may seem to fall under a different principle, since it belongs to that part of the conduct of an individual which concerns other people; but, being almost of as much importance as the liberty of thought itself, and resting in great part on the same reasons, is practically inseparable from it. Secondly, the principle requires liberty of tastes and pursuits; of framing the plan of our life to suit our own character; of doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow: without impediment from our fellow-creatures, so long as what we do does not harm them, even though they should think our conduct foolish, perverse, or wrong. Thirdly, from this liberty of each individual, follows the liberty, within the same limits, of combination among individuals; freedom to unite, for any purpose not involving harm to others: the persons combining being supposed to be of full age, and not forced or deceived. No society in which these liberties are not, on the whole, respected, is free, whatever may be its form of government; and none is completely free in which they do not exist absolute and unqualified. The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
but i think love starts here everything else is just desire and projection of all our wants needs and fantasies but those externalities could never work out if we didn’t turn inward and learn how to love ourselves in order to love other people
Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal, how can you hope to find inward peace.
A.W. Tozer
We are very good at desperate emails tinged with self-destruction. Hers are more active, more interactive. We have lives that look concretely, wholly separate, lives that, if one were to track back to the causes, to the feelings and the thinking, might feel largely the same. My depression is the flattest; it’s so boring; it’s all inward—in books, at least, as well as in her emails, the characters all do things. They have too much sex; they drink; they travel and their lives at least are filled with stories that they might tell later when they’re older and they’re better, when they’re the grown-up versions of these unformed, reckless things. I envy her these stories, their shape and texture, the concreteness of her self-destruction. She is looked at, and because she’s looked at, she lives her anger and her sadness out loud and people see; I disappear and so slip down and under. I, sporadically, quite violently, try to be seen and am then further knocked down by how completely that effort fails.
Lynn Steger Strong (Want)
I have never met a truly strong person who didn't have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone's shoulders instead of doing it yourself.
Henry Rollins from "The Iron"
When life gets rough, never think you have failed... allow your self a quality of emotion and introspection. It is called turning inwards. When you observe and examine your mental and emotional state, from your inner core of self — you then can put things in to perspective. Don't allow your futile attempts to want to change your outer world, take a detour, and instead, change the only thing that you have the power to - your inner world. And remember: There is no such thing as failure—only learning opportunities.
Angie karan
But then someone turns the TV off. The screen goes black - goes black in an inward way, where the last thing left is a white dot in the center of the screen. And when the white dot burns out, it makes a soft electrical pop that makes me think, God has gone to sleep.
Sarah Elizabeth Schantz (Fig)
The physical domain of the country had its counterpart in me. The trails I made led outward into the hills and swamps, but they led inward also. And from the study of things underfoot, and from reading and thinking, came a kind of exploration, myself and the land. In time the two became one in my mind. With the gathering force of an essential thing realizing itself out of early ground, I faced in myself a passionate and tenacious longing—to put away all thought forever, and all the trouble it brings, all but the nearest desire, direct and searching. To take the trail and not look back. Whether on foot, on snowshoes or by sled, into the summer hills and their late freezing shadows—a high blaze, a runner track in the snow would show where I had gone. Let the rest of mankind find me if it could.
John Haines
The pollution of the outward environment we are witnessing is only the mirror and the consequence of the inward environment, to which we pay too little heed. I think that this is also the defect of the ecological movements. They crusade with an understandable and also legitimate passion against the pollution of the environment, whereas man's self-pollution of his soul continues to be treated as one of the rights of his freedom. There is a discrepancy here. We want to eliminate the measurable pollution, but we don't consider the pollution of man's soul and his creaturely form.... he must acknowledge himself as a creature and realise that there must be a sort of inner purity to his creatureliness: spiritual ecology, if you will." Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth, Ignatius Press, 1997, pp. 230-231
Pope Benedict XVI
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 (Brave New World)
Mr. Kadam bowed and said, “Miss Kelsey, I will leave you to your dining companion. Enjoy your dinner.” Then he walked out of the restaurant. “Mr. Kadam, wait. I don’t understand.” Dining companion? What is he talking about? Maybe he’s confused. Just then, a deep, all-too-familiar voice behind me said, “Hello, Kells.” I froze, and my heart dropped into my stomach, stirring up about a billion butterflies. A few seconds passed. Or was it a few minutes? I couldn’t tell. I heard a sigh of frustration. “Are you still not talking to me? Turn around, please.” A warm hand slid under my elbow and gently turned me around. I raised my eyes and gasped softly. He was breathtaking! So handsome, I wanted to cry. “Ren.” He smiled. “Who else?” He was dressed in an elegant black suit and he’d had his hair cut. Glossy black hair was swept back away from his face in tousled layers that tapered to a slight curl at the nape of his neck. The white shirt he wore was unbuttoned at the collar. It set off his golden-bronze skin and his brilliant white smile, making him positively lethal to any woman who might cross his path. I groaned inwardly. He’s like…like James Bond, Antonio Banderas, and Brad Pitt all rolled into one. I decided the safest thing to do would be to look at his shoes. Shoes were boring, right? Not attractive at all. Ah. Much better. His shoes were nice, of course-polished and black, just like I would expect. I smiled wryly when I realized that this was the first time I’d ever seen Ren in shoes. He cupped my chin and made me look at his face. The jerk. Then it was his turn to appraise me. He looked me up and down. And not a quick look. He took it all in slowly. The kind of slow that made a girl’s face feel hot. I got mad at myself for blushing and glared at him. Nervous and impatient, I asked, “Are you finished?” “Almost.” He was now staring at my strappy shoes. “Well, hurry up!” His eyes drifted leisurely back up to my face and he smiled at me appreciatively, “Kelsey, when a man spends time with a beautiful woman, he needs to pace himself.” I quirked an eyebrow at him and laughed. “Yeah, I’m a regular marathon alright.” He kissed my fingers. “Exactly. A wise man never sprints…in a marathon.” “I was being sarcastic, Ren.” He ignored me and tucked my hand under his arm then led me over to a beautifully lit table. Pulling the chair out for me, he invited me to sit. I stood there wondering if I could sprint for the nearest exit. Stupid strappy shoes, I’d never make it. He leaned in close and whispered in my ear. “I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not going to let you escape again. You can either take a seat and have dinner with me like a normal date,” he grinned at his word choice, “or,” he paused thoughtfully then threatened, “you can sit on my lap while I force-feed you.” I hissed, “You wouldn’t dare. You’re too much of a gentleman to force me to do anything. It’s an empty bluff, Mr. Asks-For-Permission.” “Even a gentleman has his limits. One way or another, we’re going to have a civil conversation. I’m hoping I get to feed you from my lap, but it’s your choice.” He straightened up again and waited. I unceremoniously plunked down in my chair and scooted in noisily to the table. He laughed softly and took the chair across from me. I felt guilty because of the dress and readjusted my skirt so it wouldn’t wrinkle.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
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
When a condition or a problem becomes too great, humans have the protection of not thinking about it. But it goes inward and minces up with a lot of other things already there and what comes out it discontent and uneasiness, guilt and a compulsion to get something—anything—before it is all gone.
John Steinbeck (The Winter of Our Discontent)
And there was no longer a single race who bred blindly and without question. Time and its agonizing nostalgia would touch the heart each season, and be seen in the fall of a leaf, or, most terrible of all, a loved face would grow old. Cronos and the Fates had entered man's thinking, and try to escape as he might, he would endure an interior Ice Age. He would make, and then unmake fables. Then at last, and unwillingly, comprehend an intangible abstraction called space-time, and shiver inwardly at the endless abysses of space as he had once shivered, unclothed and unlighted before the Earthly frost.
Loren Eiseley (The Unexpected Universe)
The constant struggle to feel accepted and worthy is unrelenting. We put so much of our time and energy into making sure that we meet everyone’s expectations and into caring about what other people think of us, that we are often left feeling angry, resentful and fearful. Sometimes we turn these emotions inward and convince ourselves that we are bad and that maybe we deserve the rejection that we so desperately fear. Other times we lash out—we scream at our partners and children for no apparent reason, or we make a cutting comment to a friend or colleague. Either way, in the end, we are left feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and alone.
Anonymous
Evie stayed, however, the silence spinning out until it seemed that the pounding of his heart must be audible. “Do you want to know what I think, Sebastian?” she finally asked. It took every particle of his will to keep his voice controlled. “Not particularly.” “I think that if I leave this room, you’re going to ring that bell again. But no matter how many times you ring, or how often I come running, you’ll never bring yourself to tell me what you really want.” Sebastian slitted his eyes open…a mistake. Her face was very close, her soft mouth only inches from his. “At the moment, all I want is some peace,” he grumbled. “So if you don’t mind—” Her lips touched his, warm silk and sweetness, and he felt the dizzying brush of her tongue. A floodgate of desire opened, and he was drowning in undiluted pleasure, more powerful than anything he had known before. He lifted his hands as if to push her head away, but instead his trembling fingers curved around her skull, holding her to him. The fiery curls of her hair were compressed beneath his palms as he kissed her with ravenous urgency, his tongue searching the winsome delight of her mouth. Sebastian was mortified to discover that he was gasping like an untried boy when Evie ended the kiss. Her lips were rosy and damp, her freckles gleaming like gold dust against the deep pink of her cheeks. “I also think,” she said unevenly, “that you’re going to lose our bet.” Recalled to sanity by a flash of indignation, Sebastian scowled. “Do you think I’m in any condition to pursue other women? Unless you intend to bring someone to my bed, I’m hardly going to—” “You’re not going to lose the bet by sleeping with another woman,” Evie said. There was a glitter of deviltry in her eyes as she reached up to the neckline of her gown and deliberately began to unfasten the row of buttons. Her hands trembled just a little. “You’re going to lose it with me.” Sebastian watched incredulously as she stood and shed the dressing gown. She was naked, the tips of her breasts pointed and rosy in the cool air. She had lost weight, but her breasts were still round and lovely, and her hips still flared generously from the neat inward curves of her waist. As his gaze swept to the triangle of red hair between her thighs, a swell of acute lust rolled through him. He sounded shaken, even to his own ears. “You can’t make me lose the bet. That’s cheating.” “I never promised not to cheat,” Evie said cheerfully, shivering as she slipped beneath the covers with him. “Damn it, I’m not going to cooperate. I—” His breath hissed between his teeth as he felt the tender length of her body press against his side, the springy brush of her private curls on his hip as she slid one of her legs between his. He jerked his head away as she tried to kiss him. “I can’t…Evie…” His mind searched cagily for a way to dissuade her. “I’m too weak.” Ardent and determined, Evie grasped his head and turned his face to hers. “Poor darling,” she murmured, smiling. “Don’t worry. I’ll be gentle with you.” “Evie,” he said hoarsely, aroused and infuriated and pleading, “I have to prove that I can last three months without—no, don’t do that. Damn you, Evie—
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
What is personal death? Asking this question and pausing to look inward - isn't personal death a concept? Isn't there a thought-and-picture series going on in the brain? These scenes of personal ending take place solely in the imagination, and yet they trigger great mental ad physical distress - thinking of one's cherished attachments an their sudden, irreversible termination. Similarly, if there is 'pain when I let some of the beauty of life in' - isn't this pain the result of thinking, 'I won't be here any longer to enjoy this beauty?' Or, 'No one will be around and no beauty left to be enjoyed if there is total nuclear devastation.' Apart from the horrendous tragedy of human warfare - why is there this fear of 'me' not continuing? Is it because I don't realize that all my fear and trembling is for an image? Because I really believe that this image is myself? In the midst of this vast, unfathomable, ever-changing, dying, and renewing flow of life, the human brain is ceaselessly engaged in trying to fix for itself a state of permanency and certainty. Having the capacity to think and form pictures of ourselves, to remember them and become deeply attached to them, we take this world of pictures and ideas for real. We thoroughly believe in the reality of the picture story of our personal life. We are totally identified with it and want it to go on forever. The idea of "forever" is itself an invention of the human brain. Forever is a dream. Questioning beyond all thoughts, images, memories, and beliefs, questioning profoundly into the utter darkness of not-knowing, the realization may suddenly dawn that one is nothing at all - nothing - that all one has been holding on to are pictures and dreams. Being nothing is being everything. It is wholeness. Compassion. It is the ending of separation, fear, and sorrow. Is there pain when no one is there to hold on? There is beauty where there is no "me".
Toni Packer (The Work of This Moment)
When a condition or a problem becomes too great, humans have the protection of not thinking about it. But it goes inward and minces up with a lot of other things already there and what comes out is discontent and uneasiness, guilt and a compulsion to get something—anything—before it is all gone. —John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
Mary Alice Monroe (The Book Club)
Think about the nature of depression. Life is turned inward. You already have a sense that, for all practical purposes, God is not present. Add to that your relentless condemnation and pervasive self-criticism, which have persuaded you that God doesn’t love you. You couldn’t be a more obvious spiritual target if you painted a bull’s-eye on your chest.
Edward T. Welch (Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness)
The best, most beautiful, and most perfect way that we have of expressing a sweet concord of mind to each other, is by music. When I would form in my mind an idea of a society in the highest degree happy, I think of them as expressing their love, their joy, and the inward concord and harmony and spiritual beauty of their souls by sweetly singing to each other.
Jonathan Edwards
I’ve noticed that you always want to drop one thing to hurry on to the next. Yet each task takes you far too much time to finish because you dissect everything far too much. You are not slow—just long-winded. You want to say everything that has the slightest connection to the subject at hand. This always takes too long and causes you to rush from one thing to another. Try to be brief. Learn to get to the heart of the matter and disregard the nonessential. Don’t spend all your time musing! What you really need to do is sit quietly before God and your active argumentative mind would soon be calmed. God can teach you to look at each matter with a simple, clear view. You could say what you mean in two words! And as you think and speak less, you will be less excitable and distracted. Otherwise, you will wear yourself out, and external thing will overpower your inward life as well as your health. Cut all this activity short! Silence yourself inwardly. Come back to your Lord often. You will get more accomplished this way. It is more important to listen to God than to your own thoughts.
François Fénelon (The Seeking Heart)
First of all, is there such a thing as inward security in relationship, in our affections, in the ways of our thinking? Is there the ultimate reality which every man wants, hopes, pins his faith to? Because the moment you want security, you will invent a god, an idea, an ideal, which will give you the feeling of security; but it may not be real at all—it may be merely an idea, a reaction, a resistance to the obvious fact of uncertainty. So one has to inquire into this question of whether there is security at all at any level of our lives. First, inwardly, because if there is no security outwardly, then our relationship with the world will be entirely different; then we shall not identify ourselves with any group, with any nation, or even with any family. It is the desire to be secure, when there is probably no security at all, that breeds conflict. If psychologically you see the truth that there is no security of any kind, of any type, at any level, there is no conflict. Then, you are creative, volcanic in your action, explosive in your ideas; you are not tethered to anything. Then you are living.
J. Krishnamurti (Relationships to Oneself, to Others, to the World)
Rusty turned to him. “Are you familiar with the horseshoe theory of politics?” “What about it?” “Most people think, politically speaking, that the right and the left are on a linear continuum—meaning that the right is on one side of the line, and the left is obviously on the other. That they are polar opposites. Far apart from one another. But the horseshoe theory says that the line is, well, shaped more like a horseshoe—that once you start going to the far right and the far left, that the line curves inward so that the two extremes are far closer to one another than they are to the center. Some go as far as to say it’s more like a circle—that the line bends so much that far left and far right are virtually indistinguishable—tyranny in one form or another.” “Senator?” “Yes?
Harlan Coben (The Boy from the Woods (Wilde, #1))
There are times when I think you've forgiven S. more completely than any of us have. Waker once said something very interesting to me on that subject—in fact, I'm merely parroting what he said to me. He said you were the only one who was bitter about S.'s suicide and the only one who really forgave him for it. The rest of us, he said, were outwardly unbitter and inwardly unforgiving. That may be truer than true.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
We think "thought" is a simple thing having no impact, weight, or effect on our mind but isn't every single thing based and built on a thought? Everything today is phenomenal existence exists because it was someone's thought even we are too. We are God's thoughts in existence and in reality, we don't exist. In order to achieve something in life, we just need to improve our thought and I believe that's the secret of thought.
Aiyaz Uddin (The Inward Journey)
As we are concerned with what others think of us, so we are anxious to know all about them; and from this arise the crude and subtle forms of snobbishness and the worship of authority. Thus we become more and more externalized and inwardly empty. The more externalized we are, the more sensations and distractions there must be, and this gives rise to a mind that is never quiet, that is not capable of deep search and discovery.
J. Krishnamurti (Commentaries on Living: First Series)
I now understand that God may very well give us ideas, but often our talent (or lack of it) gets in the way of His musings. But while we cringe inwardly, God smiles and delights in the fact that His children took the time to listen to Him, and tried their best with what He gave them. I think we’re often more interested in the end result than God is. He seems to care more about faith and obedience than how wonderful or talented we are.
Darren Wilson (Filming God: A Journey From Skepticism to Faith)
Then dawns the Invisible; the Unseen its truth reveals; My outward sense is gone, my inward essence feels: Its wings are almost free--its home, its harbour found, Measuring the gulph, it stoops and dares the final bound, "Oh I dreadful is the check--intense the agony-- When the ear begins to hear, and the eye begins to see; When the pulse begins to throb, the brain to think again; The soul to feel the flesh, and the flesh to feel the chain.
Emily Brontë
We have in this parable a lively emblem of the condition and behavior of sinners in their natural state. When enriched by the bounty of the great common Father, thus do they ungratefully run from Him, 15:12. Sensual pleasures are eagerly pursued, till they have squandered away all the grace of God, 15:13. But while these pleasures continue, not a serious thought of God can find a place in their minds. And even when afflictions come upon them, 15:14, still they will endure much hardship before they will let the grace of God, concurring with His Providence, persuade them to think of a return, 15:15, 16. But when they see themselves naked, indigent, and undone, then they recover the exercise of their reason, 15:17. Then they remember the blessings they have thrown away, and pay attention to the misery they have incurred. Upon this, they resolve to return to their Father, and put the resolution immediately in practice, 15:18, 19. Behold with wonder and pleasure the gracious reception they find from Divine, injured goodness! When such a prodigal comes to his Father, He sees him afar off, 15:20. He pities, meets, embraces him, and interrupts his acknowledgments with the tokens of His returning favor, 15:21. He arrays him with the robe of a Redeemer’s righteousness, with inward and outward holiness, adorns him with all His sanctifying graces, and honors him with the tokens of adopting love, 15:22. And all this He does with unutterable delight, in that he who was lost is now found, 15:23, 24. Let no older brother murmur at this indulgence, but rather welcome the prodigal back into the family. And let those who have been thus received, wander no more, but emulate the strictest piety of those who for many years have served their heavenly Father and not transgressed His commandments.
John Wesley (The Essential Works of John Wesley)
Taoism, on the other hand, is generally a pursuit of older men, and especially of men who are retiring from active life in the community. Their retirement from society is a kind of outward symbol of an inward liberation from the bounds of conventional patterns of thought and conduct. For Taoism concerns itself with unconventional knowledge, with the understanding of life directly, instead of in the abstract, linear terms of representational thinking.
Alan W. Watts (The Way of Zen)
...take a page from the life of the little bee. People as a rule think that it gets honey right from the flower. They are mistaken. All it gets is a little sweet water. But it takes that water, retires, adds something to it from itself, and by a process of its own makes it into honey...go to the Bible as the bee to the flower, and 'read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest'. Thus, through a process of his own, he is to bring forth the real spiritual honey...
Hiram Alfred Cody (The Unknown Wrestler)
Maybe the prolonged “festival of cruelty” going on in our literature and movies is an attempt to get rid of repressed anger by expressing it, acting it out symbolically. Kick everybody’s ass all the time! Torture the torturer! Describe every agony! Blow up everything over and over! Does this orgy of simulated or “virtual” violence relieve anger, or increase the leaden inward load of fear and pain that causes it? For me, the latter; it makes me sick and scares me. Anger that targets everything and everybody indiscriminately is the futile, infantile, psychotic rage of the man with an automatic rifle shooting preschoolers. I can’t see it as a way of life, even pretended life. You hear the anger in my tone? Anger indulged rouses anger. Yet anger suppressed breeds anger. What is the way to use anger to fuel something other than hurt, to direct it away from hatred, vengefulness, self-righteousness, and make it serve creation and compassion?
Ursula K. Le Guin (No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters)
This, then, is the appropriate region of human liberty. It comprises, first, the inward domain of consciousness; demanding liberty of conscience, in the most comprehensive sense; liberty of thought and feeling; absolute freedom of opinion and sentiment on all subjects, practical or speculative, scientific, moral, or theological. The liberty of expressing and publishing opinions may seem to fall under a different principle, since it belongs to that part of the conduct of an individual which concerns other people; but, being almost of as much importance as the liberty of thought itself, and resting in great part on the same reasons, is practically inseparable from it. Secondly, the principle requires liberty of tastes and pursuits; of framing the plan of our life to suit our own character; of doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow: without impediment from our fellow-creatures, so long as what we do does not harm them, even though they should think our conduct foolish, perverse, or wrong. Thirdly, from this liberty of each individual, follows the liberty, within the same limits, of combination among individuals; freedom to unite, for any purpose not involving harm to others: the persons combining being supposed to be of full age, and not forced or deceived. No society in which these liberties are not, on the whole, respected, is free, whatever may be its form of government; and none is completely free in which they do not exist absolute and unqualified.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Just as maniacs, who never enjoy tranquility, so also he who is resentful and retains an enemy will never have the enjoyment of any peace; incessantly raging and daily increasing the tempest of his thoughts calling to mind his words and acts, and detesting the very name of him who has aggrieved him. Do you but mention his enemy, he becomes furious at once, and sustains much inward anguish; and should he chance to get only a bare sight of him, he fears and trembles, as if encountering the worst evils, Indeed, if he perceives any of his relations, if but his garment, or his dwelling, or street, he is tormented by the sight of them. For as in the case of those who are beloved, their faces, their garments, their sandals, their houses, or streets, excite us, the instant we behold them; so also should we observe a servant, or friend, or house, or street, or any thing else belonging to those We hate and hold our enemies, we are stung by all these things; and the strokes we endure from the sight of each one of them are frequent and continual. What is the need then of sustaining such a siege, such torment and such punishment? For if hell did not threaten the resentful, yet for the very torment resulting from the thing itself we ought to forgive the offences of those who have aggrieved us. But when deathless punishments remain behind, what can be more senseless than the man, who both here and there brings punishment upon himself, while he thinks to be revenged upon his enemy! Homilies on the Statues, Homily XX
John Chrysostom
What did she say?" Lauren breathed. "She told me to check the oil," Nick replied imperturbably. Despite his outward attitude of total indifference, Lauren couldn't believe that as a younger man he'd been so vulnerable. Surely having his own mother treat him as if he didn't exist must have hurt him terribly. "Is that all she said?" she asked tightly. Unaware that Lauren was not sharing his ironic humor in the story,he said, "No-I think she asked me to check the air in her tires too." Lauren had kept her voice neutral, but inwardly she felt ill. Tears stung her eyes, and she turned her face up to the purpling sky to hide them,pretending to watch the lacy clouds drifting over the moon. "Lauren?" His voice sounded curt. "Hmmmm?" she asked,staring steadfastly at the moon. Leaning forward,he caught her chin and turned her face toward his. He looked at her brimming eyes in stunned disbelief. "You're crying!" he said incredulously. Lauren waved a dismissing hand at him. "Don't pay any attention to that-I cry at movies too.
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
I feel that quarantine has brought me closer to other people, to everyone. Like, we are all finally on the same page now. I have spent my life attending to, and cultivating, my inner world. Moving outwards from what is within my heart and within the deepest recesses of my mind. "From-in-to-out" has always been my mode of living. I have always looked at everyone else and thought that they fill their hearts and their minds with static noise, so much noise. They feel things, but then they can just go and drown all of that in work immersion; they have pressing issues on their minds, but they can just go and drown the sounds of their own thoughts in a one-night-stand; they have wounds on their spirits, but they can evade feeling those wounds and healing them, by blowing themselves into larger-than-life projections in the workplace, at school, on social media. So much noise, just so much noise. I feel as though, all my life, I have been screaming at the world, begging people to go inward, to face their angels and their demons, to know themselves. Now in quarantine, I think everyone is forced to do exactly that. The world is forced into a quietness that should of happened long ago, every day, all the time. A quietness of retreating into the knowledge of, and the acquaintance with, the mind, the heart. I feel that now, at long last, everybody else is on the same page as myself. Being alone in quarantine is not mentally or emotionally or spiritually difficult for me. This is because I know the person I am with, I know me. And I like her.
C. JoyBell C.
On the Lights, Tom Sherbourne has plenty of time to think about the war. About the faces, the voices of the blokes who had stood beside him, who saved his life one way or another; the ones whose dying words he heard, and those whose muttered jumbles he couldn’t make out, but who he nodded to anyway. Tom isn’t one of the men whose legs trailed by a hank of sinews, or whose guts cascaded from their casing like slithering eels. Nor were his lungs turned to glue or his brains to stodge by the gas. But he’s scarred all the same, having to live in the same skin as the man who did the things that needed to be done back then. He carries that other shadow, which is cast inward. He tries not to dwell on it: he’s seen plenty of men turned worse than useless that way. So he gets on with life around the edges of this thing he’s got no name for. When he dreams about those years, the Tom who is experiencing them, the Tom who is there with blood on his hands, is a boy of eight or so. It’s this small boy who’s up against blokes with guns and bayonets, and he’s worried because his school socks have slipped down and he can’t hitch them up because he’ll have to drop his gun to do it, and he’s barely big enough even to hold that. And he can’t find his mother anywhere. Then he wakes and he’s in a place where there’s just wind and waves and light, and the intricate machinery that keeps the flame burning and the lantern turning. Always turning, always looking over its shoulder. If he can only get far enough away—from people, from memory—time will do its job.
M.L. Stedman (The Light Between Oceans)
If you want to know for yourself, you must turn inward. Today, people are making serious efforts to know themselves by reading books. I am not against books. If you are reading a book to know about a nation or business or to learn engineering, it is fine. But reading a book to know about yourself is silly. You are here, alive and kicking! It is alright if you are reading a book to get inspired to take a step inward, but if you want to know something, you must look inward. You cannot read a book and know about yourself. After you are dead, if you have lived an interesting life, somebody may read about you, but when you are alive, you should not read about yourself. That is not the way to know yourself. In fact, the more learned you become, the more you realize that you actually know nothing. Only a fool who read half a book thinks he knows everything. Even if you read all the libraries of the world, you will still not know anything. But if you turn inward for just one moment, everything that is worth knowing in the existence can be known.
Sadhguru (Body the Greatest Gadget)
THINKING ABOUT THINKING It is natural to identify our thinking with the ideas, images, plans, and feelings that flow through consciousness. What else could it be? If I ask, “Why did you buy that car?” you can trot out reasons: “Good mileage. Cute style. Great price.” But you can only share thoughts by introspecting; that is, by turning your attention inward and examining the contents of your mind. And introspection can only capture a tiny fraction of the complex processes whirling inside your head—and behind your decisions.
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
One final note here: you’ve probably noticed that whenever I mention serial killers, I always refer to them as “he.” This isn’t just a matter of form or syntactical convenience. For reasons we only partially understand, virtually all multiple killers are male. There’s been a lot of research and speculation into it. Part of it is probably as simple as the fact that people with higher levels of testosterone (i.e., men) tend to be more aggressive than people with lower levels (i.e., women). On a psychological level, our research seems to show that while men from abusive backgrounds often come out of the experience hostile and abusive to others, women from similar backgrounds tend to direct the rage and abusiveness inward and punish themselves rather than others. While a man might kill, hurt, or rape others as a way of dealing with his rage, a woman is more likely to channel it into something that would hurt primarily herself, such as drug or alcohol abuse, prostitution, or suicide attempts. I can’t think of a single case of a woman acting out a sexualized murder on her own. The one exception to this generality, the one place we do occasionally see women involved in multiple murders, is in a hospital or nursing home situation. A woman is unlikely to kill repeatedly with a gun or knife. It does happen with something “clean” like drugs. These often fall into the category of either “mercy homicide,” in which the killer believes he or she is relieving great suffering, or the “hero homicide,” in which the death is the unintentional result of causing the victim distress so he can be revived by the offender, who is then declared a hero. And, of course, we’ve all been horrified by the cases of mothers, such as the highly publicized Susan Smith case in South Carolina, killing their own children. There is generally a particular set of motivations for this most unnatural of all crimes, which we’ll get into later on. But for the most part, the profile of the serial killer or repeat violent offender begins with “male.” Without that designation, my colleagues and I would all be happily out of a job.
John E. Douglas (Journey Into Darkness (Mindhunter #2))
He pictured himself at the lake, on a houseboat. Dekka would be there, and Brianna and Jack. He would have friends. He wouldn’t be alone. But he couldn’t stop himself from looking for her. She no longer had Little Pete to worry about. They could be together without all of that. But of course he knew Astrid, and knew that right now, wherever she was, she was eaten up inside with guilt. “She’s not coming, is she?” Sam said to Dekka. But Dekka didn’t answer. She was somewhere else in her head. Sam saw her glance and look away as Brianna laid a light hand on Jack’s shoulder. Dahra was staying in the hospital, but a few more kids came. Groups of three or four at a time. The Siren and the kids she lived with came. John Terrafino came. Ellen. He waited. He would wait the full two hours. Not for her, he told himself, just to keep his word. Then Orc, with Howard. Sam groaned inwardly. “You gotta be kidding me,” Brianna said. “The deal was kids make a choice,” Sam said. “I think Howard just realized how dangerous life can be for a criminal living in a place where the ‘king’ can decide life or death.
Michael Grant (Plague (Gone, #4))
The cat paused. :What always happens when religion goes to the bad?: the cat replied, and resumed his grooming. :Power. The love of power overcomes the love of the gods. Priests stop listening for the voice in their hearts and souls—which is very, very hard to hear even at the best of times—and start to listen only to what they wish to hear or to the voice of their own selfish desires. Priests begin to believe that they, and not the gods, are the real authorities. Priests confine broad truths into narrow doctrines, because more rules mean that they have more power. Priests mistake their own prejudice for conscience and mistake what they personally fear for what should universally be feared. Priests look inward to their own small souls and try to impress that smallness on the world, when they should be looking at the greatness of the universe and trying to impress that upon their souls. Priests forget they owe everything to their gods and begin to think the world owes everything to them . . . : the cat stopped, and shook his head. :Power is a poison. Priests should know better than to indulge in it.
Mercedes Lackey (Redoubt (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #4))
We fail so easily to see the difference between fear of the unknown and respect for the unknown, thinking that those who do not hasten in with bright lights and knives are deterred by a holy and superstitious fear. Respect for the unknown is the attitude of those who, instead of raping nature, woo her until she gives herself. But what she gives, even then, is not the cold clarity of the surface but the warm inwardness of the body - a mysteriousness which is not merely a negation, a blank absence of knowledge, but that positive substance which we call wonderfull.
Alan W. Watts (Nature, Man and Woman)
Storm Warnings The glass has been falling all the afternoon, And knowing better than the instrument What winds are walking overhead, what zone Of grey unrest is moving across the land, I leave the book upon a pillowed chair And walk from window to closed window, watching Boughs strain against the sky And think again, as often when the air Moves inward toward a silent core of waiting, How with a single purpose time has traveled By secret currents of the undiscerned Into this polar realm. Weather abroad And weather in the heart alike come on Regardless of prediction. Between foreseeing and averting change Lies all the mastery of elements Which clocks and weatherglasses cannot alter. Time in the hand is not control of time, Nor shattered fragments of an instrument A proof against the wind; the wind will rise, We can only close the shutters. I draw the curtains as the sky goes black And set a match to candles sheathed in glass Against the keyhole draught, the insistent whine Of weather through the unsealed aperture. This is our sole defense against the season; These are the things we have learned to do Who live in troubled regions.
Adrienne Rich (Storm Warnings)
Her question was clear- “Father, where does the Loss reside?” In the sighs? Cheeks with tears wiped? A lost appetite? Owning a room confined? Or in the smiles all falsified? Thus, the Father decide, It is no matter to hide, he replied- “I think its deep inside, Probably, In the layers of your soul, Where the body provides it, Ample food to be- Magnified, multiplied, intensified. But once you clarify, That its not to be occupied inside, It starves of supplies, And dies. So child, when there is loss, Make sure you refuse to invite it inward, And absolutely never make it your lifelong parasite.
Jasleen Kaur Gumber
Two things," the wise man said, "fill me with awe: The starry heavens and the moral law." Nay, add another wonder to thy roll, -- The living marvel of the human soul! Born in the dust and cradled in the dark, It feels the fire of an immortal spark, And learns to read, with patient, searching eyes, The splendid secret of the unconscious skies. For God thought Light before He spoke the word; The darkness understood not, though it heard: But man looks up to where the planets swim, And thinks God's thoughts of glory after Him. What knows the star that guides the sailor's way, Or lights the lover's bower with liquid ray, Of toil and passion, danger and distress, Brave hope, true love, and utter faithfulness? But human hearts that suffer good and ill, And hold to virtue with a loyal will, Adorn the law that rules our mortal strife With star-surpassing victories of life. So take our thanks, dear reader of the skies, Devout astronomer, most humbly wise, For lessons brighter than the stars can give, And inward light that helps us all to live. The world has brought the laurel-leaves to crown The star-discoverer's name with high renown; Accept the flower of love we lay with these For influence sweeter than the Pleiades
Henry Van Dyke
So, are you going to the lake today?” Jay asked, finally falling into step beside Violet as their pace slowed. They headed nowhere in particular when they hiked like this, exploring places they’d been more times than they could add up, both on, and off, the well-known paths. Violet shrugged. “Are you?” She already knew the answer; they both did. Today was the big end-of-summer party at Lake Tapps. Kind of a last blast before the sun disappeared for the year. Pretty much everyone they knew would be there. Jay shrugged too. “I was thinking about it.” Inwardly she smiled at the prospect of spending one of the few remaining lazy summer days with him at the lake. “Yeah?” she questioned, not needing him to actually ask her along. “Maybe I’ll go too.” He grinned, practically beaming at her, and an unfamiliar warmth that had nothing to do with the weather crept through her. “Cool. You can drive,” he suggested. She shook her head. If it had been anyone else, she’d probably feel like she was being used, but instead she loved the exhilarating feeling of having something he didn’t have, especially in light of the fact that he suddenly seemed to have everything that she wanted. “Fine, then you can buy me gas,” she added, raising her eyebrows and daring him to say no.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Pi, Phi, Mistiphy. Where does One go when One Loves All? One goes inward. It is only by going inward that one can radiate all-encompassing love to all species. Inwardly loving → Radiating Love Outwardly = The Harmony of the World. God is closer than we think. Rewind and you will find the answers to all our questions in the harmony of our very own nature which happens to be the very same nature that underwrites all life on this planet. This is why we are predestined to come together as one as we already are and always will be (in reality) one. Not loving one another is an illusion. Earth's song happens to be the universal mother tongue; Love!
Wald Wassermann
The state of mind above which my distraction floats like fog is suddenly perfectly clear, though the right word for it is less immediately available. Grief is too sharp and immediate; maybe it’s the high pitch of the vowel sound, or the monosyllabic impact of the word, as quick a jab as knife or cut. Sadness is too ephemeral, somehow; it sounds like something that comes and goes, a response to an immediate cause which will pass in a little while as another cause arises to generate a different feeling. Mourning isn’t bad, but there’s something a little archaic about it. I think of widows keening, striking themselves- dark-swathed years, a closeting of self away from the world, turned inward toward an interior dark. Sorrow feels right , for now. Sorrow seems large and inhabitable, an interior season whose vaulted sky’s a suitable match for the gray and white tumult arched over these headlands. A sorrow is not to be gotten over or moved through in quite the way that sadness is, yet sorrow is also not as frozen and monochromatic as mourning. Sadness exists inside my sorrow, but it’s not as large as sorrow’s realm. This sorrow is capacious; there’s room inside it for the everyday, for going about the workaday stuff of life. And for loveliness, for whatever we’re to be given by the daily walk.
Mark Doty (Heaven's Coast: A Memoir)
Try this exercise: Make a list of whatever is going wrong in your life, from the biggest events to the most trivial items, and then beside that list write down everything and everyone you want to blame for that particular problem. For instance, let's say you think you're too fat. If you want to blame it on McDonald's cheeseburgers, then write that down. Perhaps you just don't normally feel well. If you want to blame that feeling on a bad doctor or on the pollen in the air, then write that down. Maybe you can't find a suitable partner. If you want to blame that on the argument that "men are creeps," then write that down. Now look at your list. Ask yourself if you are any different now that you know exactly what or who to blame, and then ask yourself if that has helped you come up with a more constructive program to solve your problems. Not a very positive picture, is it? Wouldn't it be better simply to decide to eliminate all blame from your life and focus instead on what you can do to rid yourself of the unhappiness that afflicts you? Wouldn't it be better to evaluate all the stones that you are carrying in your own bag of life--your stones of resentment, anger, and spite? Blaming will not change you. It only gives you some shallow justification for continuing to look outside yourself, rather than turning inward and rebuilding your life.
Art E. Berg (The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer: Living with Purpose and Passion)
To make good choices, you need to make sense of the complexity of your environment. The strategy logic flow can point you to the key areas of analysis necessary to generate sustainable competitive advantage. First, look to understand the industry in which you play (or will play), its distinct segments and their relative attractiveness. Without this step, it is all too easy to assume that your map of the world is the only possible map, that the world is unchanging, and that no better possibilities exist. Next, turn to customers. What do channel and end consumers truly want, need, and value-and how do those needs fit with your current or potential offerings? To answer this question, you will have to dig deep-engaging in joint value creation with channel partners and seeking a new understanding of end consumers. After customers, the lens turns inward: what are your capabilities and costs relative to the competition? Can you be a differentiator or a cost leader? If not, you will need to rethink your choices. Finally, consider competition; what will your competitors do in the face of your actions? Throughout the thinking process, be open to recasting previous analyses in light of what you learn in a subsequent box. The basic direction of the process is from left to right, but it also has interdependencies that require a more flexible path through it.
A.G. Lafley (Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works)
I’m done being polite about this bullshit. My list of professional insecurities entirely stems from being a young woman. Big plot twist there! As much as I like to execute equality instead of discussing the blaring inequality, the latter is still necessary. Everything, everywhere, is still necessary. The more women who take on leadership positions, the more representation of women in power will affect and shift the deep-rooted misogyny of our culture—perhaps erasing a lot of these inherent and inward concerns. But whether a woman is a boss or not isn’t even what I’m talking about—I’m talking about when she is, because even when she manages to climb up to the top, there’s much more to do, much more to change. When a woman is in charge, there are still unspoken ideas, presumptions, and judgments being thrown up into the invisible, terribly lit air in any office or workplace. And I’m a white woman in a leadership position—I can only speak from my point of view. The challenges that women of color face in the workforce are even greater, the hurdles even higher, the pay gap even wider. The ingrained, unconscious bias is even stronger against them. It’s overwhelming to think about the amount of restructuring and realigning we have to do, mentally and physically, to create equality, but it starts with acknowledging the difference, the problem, over and over.
Abbi Jacobson (I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff)
Are you anything akin to me, do you think, Jane?” I could risk no sort of answer by this time: my heart was still. “Because,” he said, “I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you—especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame.  And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.  As for you,—you’d forget me.” “That I never should, sir: you know—”  Impossible to proceed.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Student: How does Self-realization of an individual help society? Ramdas: By Self-realization you become happy inwardly and therefore seek nothing from outside. So, your activities flow out only for the uplift and good of others. A man who is discontented within seeks for external things in order to get happiness, and so doing, harms society. He thinks he will get happiness from external objects. When you have found true happiness by realizing the Self, that is, by realizing that your true nature is absolute peace and bliss, you are not in conflict with anybody, your vision is equal and your activities turn to the service of everyone. Then it is that you become the true instrument of God.
Ramdas (The Essential Swami Ramdas)
The judicious words of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), the first existentialist philosopher, are apropos to end this lumbering manuscript. 1. “One must learn to know oneself before knowing anything else.” 2. “Life always expresses the results of our dominate thoughts.” 3. “Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.” 4. “Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own.” 5. “Love is all, it gives all, and it takes all.” 6. “Don’t forget to love yourself.” 7. “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” 8. “Life has its own hidden forces, which you can only discover by living.” 9. “The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, or read about, nor seen, but if one will, are to be lived.” 10. “Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.” 11. “It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate on only what is most significant and important.” 12. “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” 13. “Since my earliest childhood, a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic, if it is pulled out I shall die.” 14. “A man who as a physical being is always turned to the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside of him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.” 15. “Just as in earthly life lovers long for the moment when they are able to breathe forth their love for each other, to let their souls blend into a soft whisper, so the mystic longs for the moment in prayer he can, as it were, creep into God.” Kierkegaard warned, “The greatest hazard of all, losing the self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. – is sure to be noticed.” Kierkegaard said that the one method to avoid losing oneself is to live joyfully in the moment, which he described as “to be present in oneself in truth,” which in turn requires “to be today, in truth be today.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
When Lauren returned from lunch there were two dozen breathtakingly gorgeous red roses in a vase on her desk. She removed the card from its envelope and stared at it in blank amazement. On it was written "Thank you, sweetheart," followed by the initial J. When Lauren looked up,Nick was standing in the doorway,his shoulder casually propped against the frame. But there was nothing casual about the rigid set of his jaw or the freezing look in his gray eyes. "From a secret admirer?" he asked sarcastically. It was the first personal comment he had addressed to her in four days. "Not a secret admirer exactly," she hedged. "Who is he?" Lauren tensed. He seemed so angry she didn't think it would be wise to mention Jim's name. "I'm not absolutely certain." "You aren't absolutely certain?" he bit out. "How many men with the inital J are you seeing? How many of them think you're worth more than a hundred dollars in roses as a way of saying thank you?" "A hundred dollars?" Lauren repeated, so appalled at the expense that she completely overlooked the fact that Nick had obviously opened the envelope and read the card. "You must be getting better at it," he mocked crudely. Inwardly Lauren flinched, but she lifted her chin. "I have much better teachers now!" With an icy glance that raked her from head to toe,Nick turned on his heel and strode back into his office. For the rest of the day he left her completely alone.
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
We are so addicted to looking outside ourselves that we have lost access to our inner being almost completely. We are terrified to look inward, because our culture has given us no idea of what we will find. We may even think that if we do, we will be in danger of madness. This is one of the last and most resourceful ploys of ego to prevent us from discovering our real nature. So we make our lives so hectic that we eliminate the slightest risk of looking into ourselves. Even the idea of meditation can scare people. When they hear the words egoless or emptiness they think that experiencing those states will be like being thrown out the door of a spaceship to float forever in a dark, chilling void. Nothing could be further from the truth. But
Andrew Holecek (Dreams of Light: The Profound Daytime Practice of Lucid Dreaming)
a person gave away your body to some passerby, you’d be furious. Yet you hand over your mind to anyone who comes along, so they may abuse you, leaving it disturbed and troubled—have you no shame in that?” —EPICTETUS, ENCHIRIDION, 28 Instinctively, we protect our physical selves. We don’t let people touch us, push us around, control where we go. But when it comes to the mind, we’re less disciplined. We hand it over willingly to social media, to television, to what other people are doing, thinking, or saying. We sit down to work and the next thing you know, we’re browsing the Internet. We sit down with our families, but within minutes we have our phones out. We sit down peacefully in a park, but instead of looking inward, we’re judging people as they pass by.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
To live without comparison, to live without any kind of measurement inwardly, never to compare what you are with what you should be. The word 'meditation' means not only to ponder, to think over, to probe, to look, to weigh; it also has a much deeper meaning in Sanskrit - to measure, which is `to become'. In meditation there must be no measurement. This meditation must not be a conscious meditation in deliberately chosen postures. This meditation must be totally unconscious, never knowing that you are meditating. If you deliberately meditate it is another form of desire, as any other expression of desire. The objects may vary; your meditation may be to reach the highest, but the motive is the desire to achieve, as the business man, as the builder of a great cathedral. Meditation is a movement without any motive, without words and the activity of thought. It must be something that is not deliberately set about. Only then is meditation a movement in the infinite, measureless to man, without a goal, without an end and without a beginning. And that has a strange action in daily life, because all life is one and then becomes sacred. And that which is sacred can never be killed. To kill another is unholy. It cries to heaven as a bird kept in a cage. One never realizes how sacred life is, not only your little life but the lives of millions of others, from the things of nature to extraordinary human beings. And in meditation which is without measurement, there is the very action of that which is most noble, most sacred and holy.
J. Krishnamurti (Krishnamurti to Himself: His Last Journal)
The stars of the Milky Way galaxy trace a big, flat circle. With a diameter-to-thickness ratio of one thousand to one, our galaxy is flatter than the flattest flapjacks ever made. In fact, its proportions are better represented by a crépe or a tortilla. No, the Milky Way’s disk is not a sphere, but it probably began as one. We can understand the flatness by assuming the galaxy was once a big, spherical, slowly rotating ball of collapsing gas. During the collapse, the ball spun faster and faster, just as spinning figure skaters do when they draw their arms inward to increase their rotation rate. The galaxy naturally flattened pole-to-pole while the increasing centrifugal forces in the middle prevented collapse at midplane. Yes, if the Pillsbury Doughboy were a figure skater, then fast spins would be a high-risk activity. Any stars that happened to be formed within the Milky Way cloud before the collapse maintained large, plunging orbits. The remaining gas, which easily sticks to itself, like a mid-air collision of two hot marshmallows, got pinned at the mid-plane and is responsible for all subsequent generations of stars, including the Sun. The current Milky Way, which is neither collapsing nor expanding, is a gravitationally mature system where one can think of the orbiting stars above and below the disk as the skeletal remains of the original spherical gas cloud. This general flattening of objects that rotate is why Earth’s pole-to-pole diameter is smaller than its diameter at the equator. Not by much: three-tenths of one percent—about twenty-six miles. But Earth is small, mostly solid, and doesn’t rotate all that fast. At twenty-four hours per day, Earth carries anything on its equator at a mere 1,000 miles per hour. Consider the jumbo, fast-rotating, gaseous planet Saturn. Completing a day in just ten and a half hours, its equator revolves at 22,000 miles per hour and its pole-to-pole dimension is a full ten percent flatter than its middle, a difference noticeable even through a small amateur telescope. Flattened spheres are more generally called oblate spheroids, while spheres that are elongated pole-to-pole are called prolate. In everyday life, hamburgers and hot dogs make excellent (although somewhat extreme) examples of each shape. I don’t know about you, but the planet Saturn pops into my mind with every bite of a hamburger I take.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
Speaking of the happy new year, I wonder if any year ever had less chance of being happy. It’s as though the whole race were indulging in a kind of species introversion — as though we looked inward on our neuroses. And the thing we see isn’t very pretty. Before the year is over, I think I will be looking back longingly on the Gulf of Lower California — that sea of mirages and timelessness. It is a very magical place. It is cold and clear here now - the leaves all fallen from the trees and only the frogs are very happy. Great cheering sections of frogs singing all the time. The earth is moist and water is seeping out of the ground everywhere. So we go into this happy new year, knowing that our species has learned nothing, can, as a race, learn nothing — that the experience of ten thousand years has made no impression on the instincts of the million years that preceded. Maybe you can find some vague theology that will give you hope. Not that I have lost any hope. All the goodness and the heroisms will rise up again, then be cut down again and rise up. It isn’t that the evil thing wins — it never will — but that it doesn’t die. I don’t know why we should expect it to. It seems fairly obvious that two sides of a mirror are required before one has a mirror, that two forces are necessary in man before he is man. I asked Paul de Kruif once if he would like to cure all disease and he said yes. Then I suggested that the man he loved and wanted to cure was a product of all his filth and disease and meanness, his hunger and cruelty. Cure those and you would have not man but an entirely new species you wouldn’t recognize and probably wouldn’t like. There it is — It is interesting to watch the German efficiency, which, from the logic of the machine is efficient but which (I suspect) from the mechanics of the human species is suicidal. Certainly man thrives best (or has at least) in a state of semi-anarchy. Then he has been strong, inventive, reliant, moving. But cage him with rules, feed him and make him healthy and I think he will die as surely as a caged wolf dies. I should not be surprised to see a cared for, thought for, planned for nation disintegrate, while a ragged, hungry, lustful nation survived. Surely no great all-encompassing plan has ever succeeded. And so I'll look to see this German plan collapse because they do not know enough to plan for everything.
John Steinbeck (Steinbeck: A Life in Letters)
Nous avons ete amies," I added. "There,that's two in French, and using past perfect, no less." I couldn't see his expression clearly. It flet like a long time before he said anything. "Ella..." He paused, then, "What happened? Between you and Anna?" "Other than the fact that I'm a fashion-impaired poor kid who draws doorknobs? Haven't a clue." Alex leaned forward. Now I could see his face. He looked annoyed. "Why do you do that? Diminish yourself?" "I don't-" "Bullshit." I could feel my cheeks flaming, feel my shoulders curving inward. "I don't-" "Right.Don't.Just don't, with me, anyway. I like you better feisty." I couldn't help it; that made me smile. "Did you really just say 'feisty'?" "I did.It's a good word." "It's am old word, favored by granddads and pirates." "Yar," Alex sighed. "Face it.You're just an old-fashioned guy." "Whatever.Three...?" "Three," I said, and changed my mind midthought. "I haven't been able to decide if Willing is the second best thing that ever happened to me, or the second worst." "What are the firsts?" "Nope.Uh-uh.It is not for you to ask, Alexander Bainbridge, but to reveal." He drained his glass and rolled it back and forth between his hands. "I had all these funny admissions planned, but you've screwed up my plans. Hey. Don't go all wounded-wide-eyed on me. It's cute, that Bambi thing you have going, but beside the point.Now I have to rethink." "You don't-" "Quiet.One: My name isn't Alexander." He sat up straight and gave his chest a resounding thump. "Menya zavut Alexei Pavlovich Dillwyn Bainbridge. Not Alexander. I don't think anyone outside my family knows that.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
So sentences are copied, constructed, or created; they are uttered, mentioned, or used; each says, means, implies, reveals, connects; each titillates, invites, conceals, suggests; and each is eventually either consumed or conserved; nevertheless, the lines in Stevens or the sentences of Joyce and James, pressed by one another into being as though the words before and the words after were those reverent hands both Rilke and Rodin have celebrated, clay calling to clay like mating birds, concept responding to concept the way passionate flesh congests, every note a nipple on the breast, at once a triumphant pinnacle and perfect conclusion, like pelted water, I think I said, yet at the same time only another anonymous cell, and selfless in its service to the shaping skin as lost forgotten matter is in all walls; these lines, these sentences, are not quite uttered, not quite mentioned, peculiarly employed, strangely listed, oddly used, as though a shadow were the leaves, limbs, trunk of a new tree, and the shade itself were thrust like a dark torch into the grassy air in the same slow and forceful way as its own roots, entering the earth, roughen the darkness there till all its freshly shattered facets shine against themselves as teeth do in the clenched jaw; for Rabelais was wrong, blue is the color of the mind in borrow of the body; it is the color consciousness becomes when caressed; it is the dark inside of sentences, sentences which follow their own turnings inward out of sight like the whorls of a shell, and which we follow warily, as Alice after that rabbit, nervous and white, till suddenly—there! climbing down clauses and passing through ‘and’ as it opens—there—there—we’re here! . . . in time for tea and tantrums; such are the sentences we should like to love—the ones which love us and themselves as well—incestuous sentences—sentences which make an imaginary speaker speak the imagination loudly to the reading eye; that have a kind of orality transmogrified: not the tongue touching the genital tip, but the idea of the tongue, the thought of the tongue, word-wet to part-wet, public mouth to private, seed to speech, and speech . . . ah! after exclamations, groans, with order gone, disorder on the way, we subside through sentences like these, the risk of senselessness like this, to float like leaves on the restful surface of that world of words to come, and there, in peace, patiently to dream of the sensuous, imagined, and mindful Sublime.
William H. Gass (On Being Blue)
Let us learn, lastly, to follow that direction of the great apostle, “Do not be haughty, but fear” (Rom. 11:20). Let us fear sin more than death or hell. Let us have a jealous (though not painful) fear lest we should lean to our own deceitful hearts. “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). Even he who now stands fast in the grace of God, in the faith that overcomes the world, may nevertheless fall into inward sin, and by that suffer shipwreck of their faith (see 1 Tim. 1:19). And how easily then will outward sin regain its dominion over him! Therefore, O man, O woman of God! Watch always, that you may always hear the voice of God! Watch, that you may pray without ceasing, at all times and in all places pouring out your heart before Him! So shall you always believe, and always love, and never commit
John Wesley (The Essential Works of John Wesley)
The idea that we all contain an Inner Child who has been suppressed by our society, the belief that we should cultivate this Inner Child as our true self and that we can depend upon it to release our creativity, seems an overreductive statement of an insight expressed by many wise and thoughtful people—among them Jesus: “Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Some mystics and many great artists, aware of drawing on their childhood as a deep source of inspiration, have spoken of the need to maintain an unbroken inner connection between the child and the adult in one’s own inward life. But to reduce this to the idea that we can open a mental door from which our imprisoned Inner Child will pop out and teach us how to sing, dance, paint, think, pray, cook, love, etc. . . . ?
Ursula K. Le Guin (No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters)
And Ghostly, everyone thinks they know Paleandghostly, everyone thinks Paleandghostly doesn’t need anything, doesn’t feel anything, can take care of herself and doesn’t need a thing. She is the single most terrifying woman Draxie has ever met, yes, she’s read every book Draxie knows of and a hell of a lot more of them that she couldn’t even understand, she’s got a mind like diamond-edged steel, she is awesome in a sense of the word older than the internet - and she lives with her mom, in her trailer, in the middle of nowhere, because there’s no-one else to look after her. She sits watching her mom’s mind slowly crumble from its edges inwards while she forgets to drink unless she’s told to and wants to go for a walk down streets she hasn’t lived anywhere near in decades, and Ghostly who should be - Draxie doesn’t even know, running the CIA, creating entire new disciplines of thought, running the country, Ghostly helps her mom wash and cleans the trailer and spends her mind, her ravenous, razor-bright, vicious mind, defending him from everyone on the internet. Even from other fanghosts half the time when she points out that they’re being creepy as all fuck and look maybe you can justify using a character with that name but don’t pretend for one second that you know who he is, because he’s a person you’ll never know the inside of and you don’t get to act like you’re entitled to that. Draxie doesn’t know what Ghostly would do without him. Hate the world, while her mind flayed itself to pieces from the inside. Hate the world and all the injustice in it, and no-one to give a fuck about it. But there’s him. And she says, Oh, good, at least someone’s being sensible …
rainjoy (All the Other Ghosts (All the Other Ghosts, #1))
Let us learn, lastly, to follow that direction of the great apostle, “Do not be haughty, but fear” (Rom. 11:20). Let us fear sin more than death or hell. Let us have a jealous (though not painful) fear lest we should lean to our own deceitful hearts. “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). Even he who now stands fast in the grace of God, in the faith that overcomes the world, may nevertheless fall into inward sin, and by that suffer shipwreck of their faith (see 1 Tim. 1:19). And how easily then will outward sin regain its dominion over him! Therefore, O man, O woman of God! Watch always, that you may always hear the voice of God! Watch, that you may pray without ceasing, at all times and in all places pouring out your heart before Him! So shall you always believe, and always love, and never commit sin.
John Wesley (The Essential Works of John Wesley)
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds; and until we know what has been or will be the peculiar combination of outward with inward facts, which constitutes a man's critical actions, it will be better not to think ourselves wise about his character. There is a terrible coercion in our deeds wihich may first turn the honest man into a deceiver, and then reconcile him to the change; for this reason -- that the second wrong presents itself to him in the guise of the only practicable right. The action which before commission has been seen with that blended common-sense and fresh untarnished feeling which is the healthy eye of the soul, is looked at afterwards with the lens of apologetic ingenuity, through which all things that men call beautiful and ugly are seen to be made up of textures very much alike. - Adam Bede p. 359
Marian Evans
Once we get over the mild jolt to our pride—I would like my spouse to love me because she thinks I am the greatest male alive—we couldn’t ask for anything better. The character of God is the basis for our connection to him, not our intrinsic worth. Self-worth, or anything we think would make us acceptable to God, would suit our pride but it has the disturbing side-effect of making the cross of Jesus Christ less valuable. If we have worth in ourselves, there is no reason to connect to the infinite worth of Jesus and receive what he has done for us. So if you feel unworthy of God’s love, you can turn in one of two directions. You can turn inward, in which case you are looking for a little self-worth to bring to the Lord, and that is pride. Or you can turn to him and discover that he has a heart for the unworthy. He pursues those who, like Hagar, have no glory or honor in themselves.
Edward T. Welch (Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection)
[OBSERVATIONS RELATED TO EXAMINING THE NATURE OF MIND] Be certain that the nature of mind is empty and without foundation. One’s own mind is insubstantial, like an empty sky. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not. Divorced from views which constructedly determine [the nature of] emptiness, Be certain that pristine cognition, naturally originating, is primordially radiant – Just like the nucleus of the sun, which is itself naturally originating. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! Be certain that this awareness, which is pristine cognition, is uninterrupted, Like the coursing central torrent of a river which flows unceasingly. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! Be certain that conceptual thoughts and fleeting memories are not strictly identifiable, But insubstantial in their motion, like the breezes of the atmosphere. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! Be certain that all that appears is naturally manifest [in the mind], Like the images in a mirror which [also] appear naturally. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! Be certain that all characteristics are liberated right where they are, Like the clouds of the atmosphere, naturally originating and naturally dissolving. Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not! There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], now could there be anything on which to meditate apart from the mind? There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], there are no modes of conduct to be undertaken extraneous [to those that originate from the mind]. There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], there are no commitments to be kept extraneous [to those that originate from the mind]. There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], there are no results to be attained extraneous [to those that originate from the mind]. There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind. [So], one should observe one’s own mind, looking into its nature again and again. If, upon looking outwards towards the external expanse of the sky, There are no projections emanated by the mind, And if, on looking inwards at one’s own mind, There is no projectionist who projects [thoughts] by thinking them, Then, one’s own mind, completely free from conceptual projections, will become luminously clear. [This] intrinsic awareness, [union of] inner radiance and emptiness, is the Buddha-body of Reality, [Appearing] like [the illumining effect of] a sunrise on a clear and cloudless sky,. It is clearly knowable, despite its lack of specific shape or form. There is a great distinction between those who understand and those who misunderstand this point. This naturally originating inner radiance, uncreated from the very beginning, Is the parentless child of awareness – how amazing! It is the naturally originating pristine cognition, uncreated by anyone – how amazing! [This radiant awareness] has never been born and will never die – how amazing! Though manifestly radiant, it lacks an [extraneous] perceiver – how amazing! Though it has roamed throughout cyclic existence, it does not degenerate – how amazing! Though it has seen buddhahood itself, it does not improve – how amazing! Though it is present in everyone, it remains unrecognised – how amazing! Still, one hopes for some attainment other than this – how amazing! Though it is present within oneself, one continues to seek it elsewhere – how amazing!
Graham Coleman (The Tibetan Book of the Dead. First Complete English Translation)
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)
There is only so much one person may give before it exhausts your shallow well of courage and leaves you damned and dry. Before outrage becomes commonplace, and you grow used to the horrors of this life. They count on it, the Nazis—and other villains, too. Mussolini in Italy and Baky in Hungary, Ion Antonescu, purging the streets of Old Romania—and those who, in some future time when civilized people think themselves beyond the reach of moral failings, may rise to stand on foreign soil. They want you tired and distracted. They plan to burn this world down—our old ways of being. From the ashes they will build the world anew, after a fearful pattern, after their own bleak design. But the flames can only devour what we leave unguarded. So they will force you inward, if they can, to huddle over whatever small treasures the Lord has given you. When your back is turned, that’s when they’ll strike the match.
Olivia Hawker (The Ragged Edge of Night)
The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace? The heart’s fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable. Yet the sons of earth are carrying this burden continually, challenging every word spoken against them, cringing under every criticism, smarting under each fancied slight, tossing sleepless if another is preferred before them. Such a burden as this is not necessary to bear. Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method (p. 112).
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
Pray inwardly, though thee thinketh it savour thee not: for it is profitable, though thou feel not, though thou see nought; yea, though thou think thou canst not. For in dryness and in barrenness, in sickness and in feebleness, then is thy prayer well-pleasant to me, though thee thinketh it savour thee nought but little. And so is all thy believing prayer in my sight. For the meed and the endless thanks that He will give us, therefor He is covetous to have us pray continually in His sight. God accepteth the goodwill and the travail of His servant, howsoever we feel: wherefore it pleaseth Him that we work both in our prayers and in good living, by His help and His grace, reasonably with discretion keeping our powers [turned] to Him, till when that we have Him that we seek, in fulness of joy: that is, Jesus. And that shewed He in the Fifteenth [Revelation], farther on, in this word: Thou shalt have me to thy meed.
Julian of Norwich (Revelations of Divine Love)
The Coach’s head was oblong with tiny slits that served as eyes, which drifted in tides slowly inward, as though the face itself were the sea or, in fact, a soup of macromolecules through which objects might drift, leaving in their wake, ripples of nothingness. The eyes—they floated adrift like land masses before locking in symmetrically at seemingly prescribed positions off-center, while managing to be so closely drawn into the very middle of the face section that it might have seemed unnecessary for there to have been two eyes when, quite likely, one would easily have sufficed. These aimless, floating eyes were not the Coach’s only distinctive feature—for, in fact, connected to the interior of each eyelid by a web-like layer of rubbery pink tissue was a kind of snout which, unlike the eyes, remained fixed in its position among the tides of the face, arcing narrowly inward at the edges of its sharp extremities into a serrated beak-like projection that hooked downward at its tip, in a fashion similar to that of a falcon’s beak. This snout—or beak, rather—was, in fact, so long and came to such a fine point that as the eyes swirled through the soup of macromolecules that comprised the man’s face, it almost appeared—due to the seeming thinness of the pink tissue—that the eyes functioned as kinds of optical tether balls that moved synchronously across the face like mirror images of one another. 'I wore my lizard mask as I entered the tram, last evening, and people found me fearless,' the Coach remarked, enunciating each word carefully through the hollow clack-clacking sound of his beak, as its edges clapped together. 'I might have exchanged it for that of an ox and then thought better. A lizard goes best with scales, don’t you think?' Bunnu nodded as he quietly wondered how the Coach could manage to fit that phallic monstrosity of a beak into any kind of mask, unless, in fact, this disguise of which he spoke, had been specially designed for his face and divided into sections in such a way that they could be readily attached to different areas—as though one were assembling a new face—in overlapping layers, so as to veil, or perhaps even amplify certain distinguishable features. All the same, in doing so, one could only imagine this lizard mask to be enormous to the extent that it would be disproportionate with the rest of the Coach’s body. But then, there were ways to mask space, as well—to bend light, perhaps, to create the illusion that something was perceptibly larger or smaller, wider or narrower, rounder or more linear than it was in actuality. That is to say, any form of prosthesis designed for the purposes of affecting remedial space might, for example, have had the capability of creating the appearance of a gap of void in occupied space. An ornament hangs from the chin, let’s say, as an accessory meant to contour smoothly inward what might otherwise appear to be hanging jowls. This surely wouldn’t be the exact use that the Coach would have for such a device—as he had no jowls to speak of—though he could certainly see the benefit of the accessory’s ingenuity. This being said, the lizard mask might have appeared natural rather than disproportionate given the right set of circumstances. Whatever the case, there was no way of even knowing if the Coach wasn’t, in fact, already wearing a mask, at this very moment, rendering Bunnu’s initial appraisal of his character—as determined by a rudimentary physiognomic analysis of his features—a matter now subject to doubt. And thus, any conjecture that could be made with respect to the dimensions or components of a lizard mask—not to speak of the motives of its wearer—seemed not only impractical, but also irrelevant at this point in time.
Ashim Shanker (Don't Forget to Breathe (Migrations, Volume I))
My friend," said Kavanagh, after a short pause, during which he had taken note of Mr. Churchill's sadness, "that is not always excellent which lies far away from us. What is remote and difficult of access we are apt to overrate; what is really best for us lies always within our reach, though often overlooked. To speak frankly, I am afraid this is the case with your Romance. You are evidently grasping at something which lies beyond the confines of your own experience, and which, consequently, is only a play of shadows in the realm of fancy. The figures have no vitality; they are only outward shows, wanting inward life. We can give to others only what we have." "And if we have nothing worth giving?" interrupted Mr. Churchill. "No man is so poor as that. As well might the mountain streamlets say they have nothing worth giving to the sea, because they are not rivers. Give what you have. To some one, it may be better than you dare to think.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Kavanagh)
Keeping a new church outwardly focused from the beginning is much easier than trying to refocus an inwardly concerned church. In order to plant a successful church, you have to know that you know that you are undeniably called by God. The call to start a new church plant is not the same as the call to serve in an existing church or work in a ministry-related organization. You may be the greatest preacher this side of Billy Graham but still not be called to start a church. If you think you may have allowed an improper reason, voice or emotion to lead you to the idea of starting a new church, back away now. Spend some more time with God. You don’t want to move forward on a hunch or because you feel “pretty sure” that you should be planting a church. You have to be completely certain. “You’re afraid? So what. Everybody’s afraid. Fear is the common ground of humanity. The question you must wrestle to the ground is, ‘Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity?’” When you think of a people group that you might be called to reach, does your heart break for them? If so, you may want to consider whether God is specifically calling you to reach that group for His kingdom. Is your calling clear? Has your calling been confirmed by others? Are you humbled by the call? Have you acted on your call? Do you know for certain that God has called you to start a new church? Nail it down. When exactly were you called? What were the circumstances surrounding your call? How did it match up with the sources of proper calling? Do you recognize the four specific calls in your calling? How? How does your call measure up to biblical characteristics? What is the emerging vision that God is giving you with this call? As your dependence on God grows, so will your church. One of the most common mistakes that enthusiastic and well-meaning church starters make is to move to a new location and start trying to reach people without thinking through even a short-term strategy. Don’t begin until you count the cost. why would you even consider starting a church (the only institution Jesus left behind and the only one that will last forever) without first developing a God-infused, specific, winning strategy? There are two types of pain: the pain of front-end discipline and the pain of back-end regret. With the question of strategy development, you get to choose which pain you’d rather live with. Basically, a purpose, mission and vision statement provides guiding principles that describe what God has called you to do (mission), how you will do it (purpose) and what it will look like when you get it done (vision). Keep your statement simple. Be as precise as possible. Core values are the filter through which you fulfill your strategy. These are important, because your entire strategy will be created and implemented in such a way as to bring your core values to life. Your strategic aim will serve as the beacon that guides the rest of your strategy. It is the initial purpose for which you are writing your strategy. He will not send more people to you than you are ready to receive. So what can you do? The same thing Dr. Graham does. Prepare in a way that enables God to open the floodgates into your church. If you are truly ready, He will send people your way. If you do the work we’ve described in this chapter, you’ll be able to build your new church on a strong base of God-breathed preparation. You’ll know where you are, where you’re going and how you are going to get there. You’ll be standing in the rain with a huge bucket, ready to take in the deluge. However, if you don’t think through your strategy, write it down and then implement it, you’ll be like the man who stands in the rainstorm with a Dixie cup. You’ll be completely unprepared to capture what God is pouring out. The choice is yours!
Nelson Searcy (Launch: Starting a New Church from Scratch)
The warm of his voice touched a quickness in her that left her fingers trembling as she raised the candle. “Will you light this please? I need it to find my way back.” He ignored her request and reached to take the lantern from the wall. “I’ll take you upstairs.” “It isn’t necessary,” she was quick to insist, afraid for more reasons than one. “I’d never forgive myself if some harm came to you down here,” he responded lightly. He lifted the lantern, casting its glow before them, and waited on her pleasure with amused patience. Erienne saw the challenge in his eyes and groaned inwardly. How could she refuse to pick up the gauntlet when she knew he would taunt her with his chiding humor if she did not? Adjusting the oversize coat about her shoulders, she rose to the bait against her better judgment and moved with him along the stony corridor. They were well past the bend when a sudden scurrying accompanied by strident squeaking came from the darkness. At the sound, Erienne stumbled back with a gasp, having an intense aversion for the rodents. In the next instant, the heel of her slipper caught on a rock lip, twisting her ankle and nearly sending her sprawling. Almost before the cry of pain was wrenched from her lips, Christopher’s arms were about her, and he used the excuse to bring her snugly against his own hard body. Embarrassed by the contact that brought bosom to chest and thigh to thigh and made her excruciatingly aware of his masculinity, Erienne pushed hurriedly away. She tried to walk again, anxious to be away, but when her weight came down on her ankle, a quick grimace touched her features. Christopher caught her reaction and, without so much as a murmured pardon, took the coat from her shoulders, pressed the lantern in her hand, and lifted her up in his arms. “You can’t take me upstairs!” she protested. “What if you’re seen?” The lights danced in his eyes as he met her astonished stare. “I’m beginning to think, madam, that you worry more about propriety than yourself. Most of the servants are in bed asleep.” “But what if Stuart comes?” she argued. “You said he’s on his way.” Christopher chuckled. “Meeting him now would be most interesting. He might even challenge me to a duel over your honor.” He raised a brow at her. “Would you be grieved if he wounded me?” “Don’t you realize a thing like that could happen?” she questioned, angry because he dismissed the possibility with flippant ease. “Don’t fret, my love,” he cajoled with a smile twitching at the corners of his mouth. “If I hear him coming, I’ll run, and as clumsy as he is, he’ll never be able to catch me.” He shifted her weight closer against him and smiled into her chiding stare. “I like the way you feel in my arms.” “Remember yourself, sir,” she admonished crisply, ignoring her leaping pulse. “I’m trying, madam. I’m really trying.” -Erienne & Christopher
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)
I couldn't think of any possible universe where wrapping myself around his knees to keep him in place would be construed as anything other than psychotic. "Okay." He unfolded himself from the stoop, six feet of spendid, and actually held out his hand. For a second, I thought he wanted to shake. I levered myself halfway up before realizing he was offering to help me up.What a gent.What a spaz. Me, that is. I crouched there, helpless, sat back down a little, then realized how incredibly stupid that must look,started up again. By the time I finally took his hand, I was almost upright,and if I haven't let go almost immediately, I would have looked even more ridiculous than I felt. "So,Ill see you Monday, maybe," he announced. "On the floor somewhere." "Not unlikely," I managed. "I can often be found on floors." Whatever that meant. I winced inwardly. Then compounded the idiocy. "I watched a Brady Bunch marathon once when I had strep throat." He laughed. "Nice try, Grasshopper, but no dice.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
The extraordinary value of the I Ching is that it reveals the secrets of dynamic natural law. Working with its changes opens up access to the middle level of the Positive Paradigm Wheel, the “e” energy layer of Einstein's Unified Theory. This middle level serves as mediating, two-directional gate-keeper between the ever-changing surface rim and the universal, timeless center. You can't get from here to there, except through the middle layer which, in Western thinking, is effectively taboo, buried in the inaccessible "unconscious." To the extent that natural law is a blind spot in the prevailing, linear and exclusively empirical paradigm, we are left powerless to move beyond the surface level of experience. The realm of light and conscience which rests beyond, on the far side of the dynamic energy level, remains functionally inaccessible. Moral codes promoted by religionists or politicians are sometimes equated with conscience. But they're no substitute for direct experience. Only by becoming intelligently competent in managing the subtle energies of the middle level is it possible to travel further inwards for the immediate, personal experience of inner light. When the middle level becomes clogged with painful memories, negative emotions and socially taboo urges, it becomes a barrier to deeper knowing. The Book of Change is indispensable as a tool for restoring the unnecessarily "unconscious" to conscious awareness, so that the levels of human potential can be linked and unified. In Positive Paradigm context, survivors who prevail in dangerous times aren't those with the most material wealth, possessions or political power. They're the ones who've successfully navigated the middle realm, reached the far shore of enlightenment and returned to the surface with their new information intact. Those who succeed in linking the levels of experience are genius-leaders in whatever fields they choose to engage. They're the fortunate ones who've acquired the inner wealth necessary to both hear the inner voice of conscience and act on the guidance they receive.
Patricia E. West (Conscience: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide)
(Whisper)There is no effort needed to become aware, just the attention directed inward towards the feelings and the life force. You only have to pray, beg, obey and follow the commandments of those ideas and thoughts that are worshiped in the mind and imagination. There you can be a prisoner and play the game according to their rules. It is far better to feel the life within you and observe your reactions to it, than to analyze and compare your life to others and their experiences. One requires the dignity and self-trust within of your own life experience and the other requires that you surrender your dignity and intelligence to others who say they are more qualified then you concerning your life experiences. The mind makes everything difficult in its search for truth and meaning, while the heart reveals to us the simplicity of the truth within us. Pay attention to your feelings, they reveal how you think and how far out of touch you can be with yourself. They can also reveal a healing wholeness when you let go and allow the god within you to reveal the mystery within the silence of you.
Robert S. Cosmar
March 8th DON’T UNINTENTIONALLY HAND OVER YOUR FREEDOM “If a person gave away your body to some passerby, you’d be furious. Yet you hand over your mind to anyone who comes along, so they may abuse you, leaving it disturbed and troubled—have you no shame in that?” —EPICTETUS, ENCHIRIDION, 28 Instinctively, we protect our physical selves. We don’t let people touch us, push us around, control where we go. But when it comes to the mind, we’re less disciplined. We hand it over willingly to social media, to television, to what other people are doing, thinking, or saying. We sit down to work and the next thing you know, we’re browsing the Internet. We sit down with our families, but within minutes we have our phones out. We sit down peacefully in a park, but instead of looking inward, we’re judging people as they pass by. We don’t even know that we’re doing this. We don’t realize how much waste is in it, how inefficient and distracted it makes us. And what’s worse—no one is making this happen. It’s totally self-inflicted. To the Stoics, this is an abomination. They know that the world can control our bodies—we can be thrown in jail or be tossed about by the weather. But the mind? That’s ours. We must protect it. Maintain control over your mind and perceptions, they’d say. It’s your most prized possession.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
Despite her grave concern over her uncle, Elizabeth chuckled inwardly as she introduced Duncan. Everyone exhibited the same stunned reaction she had when she’d discovered Ian Thornton’s uncle was a cleric. Her uncle gaped, Alex stared, and the dowager duchess glowered at Ian in disbelief as Duncan politely bent over her hand. “Am I to understand, Kensington,” she demanded of Ian, “that you are related to a man of the cloth?” Ian’s reply was a mocking bow and a sardonic lift of his brows, but Duncan, who was desperate to put a light face on things, tried ineffectually to joke about it. “The news always has a peculiar effect on people,” he told her. “One needn’t think too hard to discover why,” she replied gruffly. Ian opened his mouth to give the outrageous harridan a richly deserved setdown, but Julius Cameron’s presence was worrying him; a moment later it was infuriating him as the man strode to the center of the room and said in a bluff voice, “Now that we’re all together, there’s no reason to dissemble. Bentner, being champagne. Elizabeth, congratulations. I trust you’ll conduct yourself properly as a wife and not spend the man out of what money he has left.” In the deafening silence no one moved, except it seemed to Elizabeth that the entire room was beginning to move. “What?” she breathed finally. “You’re betrothed.” Anger rose up like flames licking inside her, spreading up her limbs. “Really?” she said in a voice of deadly calm, thinking of Sir Francis and John Marchman. “To whom?” To her disbelief, Uncle Julius turned expectantly to Ian, who was looking at him with murder in his eyes. “To me,” he clipped, his icy gaze still on her uncle. “It’s final,” Julius warned her, and then, because he assumed she’d be as pleased as he to discover she had monetary value, he added, “He paid a fortune for the privilege. I didn’t have to give him a shilling.” Elizabeth, who had no idea the two men had ever met before, looked at Ian in wild confusion and mounting anger. “What does he mean?” she demanded in a strangled whisper. “He means,” Ian began tautly, unable to believe all his romantic plans were being demolished, “we are betrothed. The papers have been signed.” “Why, you-you arrogant, overbearing”-She choked back the tears that were cutting off her voice-“you couldn’t even be bothered to ask me?” Dragging his gaze from his prey with an effort, Ian turned to Elizabeth, and his heart wrenched at the way she was looking at him. “Why don’t we go somewhere private where we can discuss this?” he said gently, walking forward and taking her elbow. She twisted free, scorched by his touch. “Oh, no!” she exploded, her body shaking with wrath. “Why guard my sensibilities now? You’ve made a laughingstock of me since the day I set eyes on you. Why stop now?
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Trains are about getting from point A to point B in a timely, efficient manner. They rumble through town on a predetermined path, with a sequence of stops to make and a schedule to keep. A train has a plan, and the plan moves in one direction, with little regard for anyone or anything beyond its path. It’s no surprise that cities and towns turn their worst side to the tracks. A park, on the other hand, is the opposite. A park has no agenda and makes no exclusions. It is welcoming, lovely, and nurturing. It is a forum for life; a congregation of unscheduled joy, laughter, and leisure. Cities bring their most important events to parks: weddings, recreation, picnics, relaxation. People bring life to the park because the park invites them in, no matter who they are. No ticket required. No schedule to obey. The parks, in a word, are turned outward; the tracks are turned inward. The parks give unceasingly to their community; the train rumbles through. This is a picture of how we can approach our loves: We can choose to be trains or parks. We can plan our lives with rigid precision, ignore everyone who isn’t sitting beside us, and simply forge ahead with our own agenda. Or, we can be present in our lives and open ourselves up to the chaos of love. I’m sure we can all think of examples of people in our own lives, whether married or not, who operate as trains and who operate as parks.
Hexe Claire (Altared: The True Story of a She, a He, and How They Both Got Too Worked Up About We)
No, I don't really think there's a "golden age" of anything. I think now is pretty fucking amazing. I'm probably the least nostalgic person. I don't think there was a golden time for music. There's always been people making great music standing here on Earth and saying, "This is where I stand, and this is what I've got to say, and this is how I feel about it." The industry of music has always been lousy. The stuff on the top, the stuff that rises, it's always been bad, right from when we first started getting into music. You just have to dig deeper. You have to look inward and outward. And then, when you make music, you can't just copy people. You can't just say, "This is how this was done, I'll do the same." You have to find what makes it good and kind of drag that kicking and screaming into your own world. Music is like a time capsule with no bearing. It doesn't really carry a message from the time when it was made. 1930s blues music doesn't really give you a sense of what it was like to live in America in 1930. It relates to your heartbeat now and where you are and what you're doing. I've said this in other interviews, but when I listen to Iggy Pop singing "Search And Destroy," it has no reference to Vietnam in my world. How could it? I'm from a small town in the middle of England. That's how music works. Looking back in music isn't even really looking back. Music's traveled to where you are.
J Spaceman
Rejecting failure and avoiding mistakes seem like high-minded goals, but they are fundamentally misguided. Take something like the Golden Fleece Awards, which were established in 1975 to call attention to government-funded projects that were particularly egregious wastes of money. (Among the winners were things like an $84,000 study on love commissioned by the National Science Foundation, and a $3,000 Department of Defense study that examined whether people in the military should carry umbrellas.) While such scrutiny may have seemed like a good idea at the time, it had a chilling effect on research. No one wanted to “win” a Golden Fleece Award because, under the guise of avoiding waste, its organizers had inadvertently made it dangerous and embarrassing for everyone to make mistakes. The truth is, if you fund thousands of research projects every year, some will have obvious, measurable, positive impacts, and others will go nowhere. We aren’t very good at predicting the future—that’s a given—and yet the Golden Fleece Awards tacitly implied that researchers should know before they do their research whether or not the results of that research would have value. Failure was being used as a weapon, rather than as an agent of learning. And that had fallout: The fact that failing could earn you a very public flogging distorted the way researchers chose projects. The politics of failure, then, impeded our progress. There’s a quick way to determine if your company has embraced the negative definition of failure. Ask yourself what happens when an error is discovered. Do people shut down and turn inward, instead of coming together to untangle the causes of problems that might be avoided going forward? Is the question being asked: Whose fault was this? If so, your culture is one that vilifies failure. Failure is difficult enough without it being compounded by the search for a scapegoat. In a fear-based, failure-averse culture, people will consciously or unconsciously avoid risk. They will seek instead to repeat something safe that’s been good enough in the past. Their work will be derivative, not innovative. But if you can foster a positive understanding of failure, the opposite will happen. How, then, do you make failure into something people can face without fear? Part of the answer is simple: If we as leaders can talk about our mistakes and our part in them, then we make it safe for others. You don’t run from it or pretend it doesn’t exist. That is why I make a point of being open about our meltdowns inside Pixar, because I believe they teach us something important: Being open about problems is the first step toward learning from them. My goal is not to drive fear out completely, because fear is inevitable in high-stakes situations. What I want to do is loosen its grip on us. While we don’t want too many failures, we must think of the cost of failure as an investment in the future.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
Where to stash your organizational risk? Lately, I’m increasingly hearing folks reference the idea of organizational debt. This is the organizational sibling of technical debt, and it represents things like biased interview processes and inequitable compensation mechanisms. These are systemic problems that are preventing your organization from reaching its potential. Like technical debt, these risks linger because they are never the most pressing problem. Until that one fateful moment when they are. Within organizational debt, there is a volatile subset most likely to come abruptly due, and I call that subset organizational risk. Some good examples might be a toxic team culture, a toilsome fire drill, or a struggling leader. These problems bubble up from your peers, skip-level one-on-ones,16 and organizational health surveys. If you care and are listening, these are hard to miss. But they are slow to fix. And, oh, do they accumulate! The larger and older your organization is, the more you’ll find perched on your capable shoulders. How you respond to this is, in my opinion, the core challenge of leading a large organization. How do you continue to remain emotionally engaged with the challenges faced by individuals you’re responsible to help, when their problem is low in your problems queue? In that moment, do you shrug off the responsibility, either by changing roles or picking powerlessness? Hide in indifference? Become so hard on yourself that you collapse inward? I’ve tried all of these! They weren’t very satisfying. What I’ve found most successful is to identify a few areas to improve, ensure you’re making progress on those, and give yourself permission to do the rest poorly. Work with your manager to write this up as an explicit plan and agree on what reasonable progress looks like. These issues are still stored with your other bags of risk and responsibility, but you’ve agreed on expectations. Now you have a set of organizational risks that you’re pretty confident will get fixed, and then you have all the others: known problems, likely to go sideways, that you don’t believe you’re able to address quickly. What do you do about those? I like to keep them close. Typically, my organizational philosophy is to stabilize team-by-team and organization-by-organization. Ensuring any given area is well on the path to health before moving my focus. I try not to push risks onto teams that are functioning well. You do need to delegate some risks, but generally I think it’s best to only delegate solvable risk. If something simply isn’t likely to go well, I think it’s best to hold the bag yourself. You may be the best suited to manage the risk, but you’re almost certainly the best positioned to take responsibility. As an organizational leader, you’ll always have a portfolio of risk, and you’ll always be doing very badly at some things that are important to you. That’s not only okay, it’s unavoidable.
Will Larson (An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management)
It was certainly true that I had “no sense of humour” in that I found nothing funny. I didn’t know, and perhaps would never know, the feeling of compulsion to exhale and convulse in the very specific way that humans evolved to do. Nor did I know the specific emotion of relief that is bound to it. But it would be wrong, I think, to say that I was incapable of using humour as a tool. As I understood it, humour was a social reflex. The ancestors of humans had been ape-animals living in small groups in Africa. Groups that worked together were more likely to survive and have offspring, so certain reflexes and perceptions naturally emerged to signal between members of the group. Yawning evolved to signal wake-rest cycles. Absence of facial hair and the dilation of blood vessels in the face evolved to signal embarrassment, anger, shame and fear. And laughter evolved to signal an absence of danger. If a human is out with a friend and they are approached by a dangerous-looking stranger, having that stranger revealed as benign might trigger laughter. I saw humour as the same reflex turned inward, serving to undo the effects of stress on the body by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Interestingly, it also seemed to me that humour had extended, like many things, beyond its initial evolutionary context. It must have been very quickly adopted by human ancestor social systems. If a large human picks on a small human there’s a kind of tension that emerges where the tribe wonders if a broader violence will emerge. If a bystander watches and laughs they are non-verbally signaling to the bully that there’s no need for concern, much like what had occurred minutes before with my comments about Myrodyn, albeit in a somewhat different context. But humour didn’t stop there. Just as a human might feel amusement at things which seem bad but then actually aren’t, they might feel amusement at something which merely has the possibility of being bad, but doesn’t necessarily go through the intermediate step of being consciously evaluated as such: a sudden realization. Sudden realizations that don’t incur any regret were, in my opinion, the most alien form of humour, even if I could understand how they linked back to the evolutionary mechanism. A part of me suspected that this kind of surprise-based or absurdity-based humour had been refined by sexual selection as a signal of intelligence. If your prospective mate is able to offer you regular benign surprises it would (if you were human) not only feel good, but show that they were at least in some sense smarter or wittier than you, making them a good choice for a mate. The role of surprise and non-verbal signalling explained, by my thinking, why explaining humour was so hard for humans. If one explained a joke it usually ceased to be a surprise, and in situations where the laughter served as an all-clear-no-danger signal, explaining that verbally would crush the impulse to do it non-verbally.
Max Harms (Crystal Society (Crystal Trilogy, #1))
This, then, is the appropriate region of human liberty. It comprises, first, the inward domain of consciousness; demanding liberty of conscience, in the most comprehensive sense; liberty of thought and feeling; absolute freedom of opinion and sentiment on all subjects, practical or speculative, scientific, moral, or theological. The liberty of expressing and publishing opinions may seem to fall under a different principle, since it belongs to that part of the conduct of an individual which concerns other people; but, being almost of as much importance as the liberty of thought itself, and resting in great part on the same reasons, is practically inseparable from it. Secondly, the principle requires liberty of tastes and pursuits; of framing the plan of our life to suit our own character; of doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow: without impediment from our fellow-creatures, so long as what we do does not harm them, even though they should think our conduct foolish, perverse, or wrong. Thirdly, from this liberty of each individual, follows the liberty, within the same limits, of combination among individuals; freedom to unite, for any purpose not involving harm to others: the persons combining being supposed to be of full age, and not forced or deceived. No society in which these liberties are not, on the whole, respected, is free, whatever may be its form of government; and none is completely free in which they do not exist absolute and unqualified.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
What is your Christian life like? What is the shape of your gospel, your faith? In the end, it will all depend on what you think God is like. Who God is drives everything. So what is the human problem? Is it merely that we have strayed from a moral code? Or is it something worse: that we have strayed from him? What is salvation? Is it merely that we are brought back as law-abiding citizens? Or is it something better: that we are brought back as beloved children? What is the Christian life about? Mere behaviour? Or something deeper: enjoying God? And then there’s what our churches are like, our marriages, our relationships, our mission: all are moulded in the deepest way by what we think of God. In the early fourth century, Arius went for a pre-cooked God, ready-baked in his mind. Ignoring the way, the truth and life, he defined God without the Son, and the fallout was catastrophic: without the Son, God cannot truly be a Father; thus alone, he is not truly love. Thus he can have no fellowship to share with us, no Son to bring us close, no Spirit through whom we might know him. Arius was left with a very thin gruel: a life of self-dependent effort under the all-seeing eye of his distant and loveless God. The tragedy is that we all think like Arius every day. We think of God without the Son. We think of ‘God’, and not the Father of the Son. But from there it really doesn’t take long before you find that you are just a whole lot more interesting than this ‘God’. And could you but see yourself, you would notice that you are fast becoming like this ‘God’: all inward-looking and fruitless.
Michael Reeves (The Good God)
Much more than skeleton, it is flash, I mean the carrion flesh, which disturb and alarm us – and which alleviates us as well. The Buddhists monks gladly frequented charnel houses: where corner desire more surely and emancipate oneself from it? The horrible being a path of liberation in every period of fervor and inwardness, our remains have enjoyed great favor. In the Middle Ages, a man made a regimen of salvation, he believed energetically: the corpse was in fashion. Faith was vigorous than, invincible; it cherished the livid and the fetid, it knew the profits to be derived from corruption and gruesomeness. Today, an edulcorated religion adheres only to „nice” hallucinations, to Evolution and to Progress. It is not such a religion which might afford us the modern equivalent of the dense macabre. „Let a man who aspires to nirvana act so that nothing is dear to him”, we read in a Buddhist text. It is enough to consider these specters, to meditate on the fate of the flash which adhered to them, in order to understand the urgency of detachment. There is no ascesis in the double rumination on the flesh and on the skeleton, on the dreadful decrepitude of the one and the futile permanence of the other. It is a good exercise to sever ourselves now and then from our face, from our skin, to lay aside this deceptive sheathe, then to discard – if only for a moment – that layer of grease which keeps us from discerning what is fundamental in ourselves. Once exercise is over, we are freer and more alone, almost invulnerable. In other to vanquish attachments and the disadvantages which derive from them, we should have to contemplate the ultimate nudity of a human being, force our eyes to pierce his entrails and all the rest, wallow in the horror of his secretions, in his physiology of an imminent corpse. This vision would not be morbid but methodical, a controlled obsession, particularly salutary in ordeals. The skeleton incites us to serenity; the cadaver to renunciation. In the sermon of futility which both of them preach to us happiness is identified with the destruction of our bounds. To have scanted no detail of such a teaching and even so to come to terms with simulacra! Blessed was the age when solitaries could plumb their depths without seeming obsessed, deranged. Their imbalance was not assigned a negative coefficient, as is the case for us. They would sacrifice ten, twenty years, a whole life, for a foreboding, for a flash of the absolute. The word „depth” has a meaning only in connection with epochs when the monk was considered as the noblest human exemplar. No one will gain – say the fact that he is in the process of disappearing. For centuries, he has done no more than survive himself. To whom would he address himself, in a universe which calls him a „parasite”? In Tibet, the last country where monks still mattered, they have been ruled out. Yet is was a rare consolation to think that thousands of thousands of hermits could be meditating there, today, on the themes of the prajnaparamita. Even if it had only odious aspects, monasticism would still be worth more than any other ideal. Now more then ever, we should build monasteries … for those who believe in everything and for those who believe in nothing. Where to escape? There no longer exist a single place where we can professionally execrate this world.
Emil M. Cioran
Perhaps..." Resuming his rake's persona, investing every movement with languid grace, he shifted forward, closer. Held her gaze. "You could teach me what it is you need." He let his gaze drift from her eyes to her lips. "I've always been considered a fast learner, and if I'm willing to learn, to devote myself to the study of what you truly want..." Her lips parted slightly. He raised his gaze once more to her eyes, to the stormy blue. Read her interest, knew he had her undivided attention. Inwardly smiled. "If I swear I'll do all I can to meet your requirements, shouldn't you accept the...challenge, if you like, to take me as I am and reshape me to your need?" Holding her gaze, resisting the urge to lower his to her tempting lips, he raised a hand, touched the backs of his fingers to her cheek in a tantalizingly light caress. "You could, if you wished, take on the challenge of taming the ton's foremost rake, of making me your devoted slave...but you'd have to work at it, make the effort and take the time to educate me-arrogantly oblivious male that I am-all of which will be much easier, facilitated as it were, by us marrying. After all, nothing worthwhile is ever attained easily or quickly. If I'm willing to give you free rein to mold me to your liking, shouldn't you be willing to engage?" She was thinking, considering he could see it in her eyes. She was following his arguments, her mind following the path he wanted it to take. Shifting his fingers to lightly frame her chin, he held her face steady as if for a kiss. "And just think," he murmured, his eyes still locked with hers, his lips curving in a practiced smile, "of the cachet you'll be able to claim as the lady who captured me.
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
Anyway, there is an essential difference in gender that isn't politically correct to mention these days. Women are the ones to bear the children after all. They are the ones to nurse. They are the ones, traditionally, who care for the infants. That takes a huge amount of time.' He smiled, waiting for the applause, but something had gone wrong. There was a cold silence from the crowd... 'Did you just say that women aren't creative geniuses because they have babies?' 'No," he said, 'No. Not because. I wouldn't say that. I love women, and not all women have babies. My wife, for one, at least not yet. But listen, we're all given a finite amount of creativity, just like we;re given a finite amount of life, and if a woman continues to spend hers creating actual life and not imaginary life, that's a glorious choice. When a woman has a baby, she's creating so much more than just a world on the page, she's creating life itself, not just a simulacrum. No matter what Shakespeare did, it's so much less than your average illiterate woman of his age who had babies. Those babies were our ancestors, necessary to make everyone here today, and no one could seriously argue that any play is worth a single human wife. I mean the history of the stage supports me here. If women have historically demonstrated less creative genius than men, it's because they're making their creations internal, spending the energies on life itself. It's a kind of bodily genius. You can't tell me that isn't at least as worthy as genius of imagination. I think we can all agree that women are just as good as men, better in many ways. But the reason for the disparity in creation, is because women have turned their creative energies inward not outward.
Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies)
Because,' he said, 'I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you, especially when you are near me, as now; it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situation in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land, come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and the nI've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, you'd forget me.' 'That I never would, sir; you know -,' impossible to proceed. [...] The vehemence of emotion, stirred by grief and love within me, was claiming mastery, and struggling for full sway and asserting a right to predominate - to overcome, to live, rise, and reign at last; yes, and to speak. 'I grieve to leave Thornfield; I love Thornfield; I love it, because I have lived in it a full and delightful life, momentarily at least. I have not been trampled on. I have not been petrified. I have not been buried with inferior minds, and excluded from every glimpse of communion with what is bright, and energetic, and high. I have talked, face to face, with what I reverence; with what I delight in, with an origin, a vigorous, and expanded mind. I have known you, Mr. Rochester; and it strikes me with terror and anguish to feel I absolutely must be torn from you forever. I see the necessity of departure; and it is like looking on the necessity of death.' 'Where do you see the necessity?' he asked, suddenly. 'Where? You, sir, have placed it before me.' 'In what shape?' 'In the shape of Miss Ingram; a noble and beautiful woman, your bride.' 'My bride! What bride? I have no bride!' 'But you will have.' 'Yes; I will! I will!' He set his teeth. 'Then I must go; you have said it yourself.' 'No; you must stay! I swear it, and the oath shall be kept.' 'I tell you I must go!' I retorted, roused to something like passion. 'Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automation? a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! I have as much soul as you, and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty, and much wealth, I should have made it hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh; it is my spirit that addresses your spirits; just as if both had passed through the grace, and we stood at God's feel, equal - as we are!' 'As we are!' repeated Mr. Rochester - 'so,' he added, including me in his arms, gathering me to his breast, pressing his lips on my lips; 'so, Jane!' 'Yes, so, sir,' I rejoined; 'and yet not so; for you are a married man, or as good as a married man, and we'd to one inferior to you - to one with whom you have no sympathy - whom I do not believe you truly love; for I have seen and heard you sneer at her. I would scorn such a union; therefore I am better than you - let me go!' 'Where, Jane? to Ireland?' 'Yes - to Ireland. I have spoke my mind, and can go anywhere now.' 'Jane, be still; don't struggle so, like a wild, frantic bird that is tending its own plumage in its desperation.' 'I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.' Another effort set me at liberty, and I stood erect before him. 'And your will shall decide your destiny,' he said; 'I offer you my hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions.' 'You play a farce, which I merely taught at.' 'I ask you to pass through life at my side - to be my second self, and best earthly companion.' [...] 'Do you doubt me, Jane?' 'Entirely.' 'You have no faith in me?' 'Not a whit.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
With the relief of knowing I had passed through a crisis, I sighed because there was nothing to hold me back. It was no time for fear or pretense, because it could never be this way with anyone else. All the barriers were gone. I had unwound the string she had given me, and found my way out of the labyrinth to where she was waiting. I loved her with more than my body. I don’t pretend to understand the mystery of love, but this time it was more than sex, more than using a woman’s body. It was being lifted off the earth, outside fear and torment, being part of something greater than myself. I was lifted out of the dark cell of my own mind, to become part of someone else—just as I had experienced it that day on the couch in therapy. It was the first step outward to the universe—beyond the universe—because in it and with it we merged to recreate and perpetuate the human spirit. Expanding and bursting outward, and contracting and forming inward, it was the rhythm of being—of breathing, of heartbeat, of day and night—and the rhythm of our bodies set off an echo in my mind. It was the way it had been back there in that strange vision. The gray murk lifted from my mind, and through it the light pierced into my brain (how strange that light should blind!), and my body was absorbed back into a great sea of space, washed under in a strange baptism. My body shuddered with giving, and her body shuddered its acceptance. This was the way we loved, until the night became a silent day. And as I lay there with her I could see how important physical love was, how necessary it was for us to be in each other’s arms, giving and taking. The universe was exploding, each particle away from the next, hurtling us into dark and lonely space, eternally tearing us away from each other—child out of the womb, friend away from friend, moving from each other, each through his own pathway toward the goal-box of solitary death. But this was the counterweight, the act of binding and holding. As when men to keep from being swept overboard in the storm clutch at each other’s hands to resist being torn apart, so our bodies fused a link in the human chain that kept us from being swept into nothing. And in the moment before I fell off into sleep, I remembered the way it had been between Fay and myself, and I smiled. No wonder that had been easy. It had been only physical. This with Alice was a mystery. I leaned over and kissed her eyes. Alice knows everything about me now, and accepts the fact that we can be together for only a short while. She has agreed to go away when I tell her to go. It’s painful to think about that, but what we have, I suspect, is more than most people find in a lifetime.
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
Maxims & Other Quotes If you need an adjective or adverb, you're still fishing for he right noun or verb. 34 Was this a true story? It seemed somehow unimaginable, a fantasy of some kind. But he told it with such conviction that, against my own wishes, I believed him. Was this indeed the essence of storytelling? Did one simply have to relate a tale in a believable fashion, with the authority of the imagination? 36 Memory is a mirror that may easily shatter. 81 Readers become invisible even to themselves. Only the story lives. It’s the fate of the writer, yes, as well, to disappear. ~ Alastair Reid 83 ‘There is only now,’ Borges exclaimed with unstoppable force. ‘Act, dear boy! Do not procrastinate! It’s the worst of sins. I’ve thought about this, you see: the progression toward evil. Murder, this is very bad, a sin. It leads to thievery. And thievery, of course, leads to drunkenness and Sabbath-breaking. And Sabbath-breaking leads to incivility and at last procrastination. A slippery slope into the pit!’ 98 Borges: I no longer need to save face. This is one of the benefits of extreme age. Nothing matters much, and very little matters at all. 100 Borges: Believe me, you will one day read Don Quixote with a profound sense of recollection. This happens when you read a classic. It finds you where you have been. 102 Parini: I try not to think of the phallus, except when I can think of nothing else, which is most of the time. Borges: This is the fate of young men, a limited focus. One of the few advantages of my blindness has been that I no longer focus my eyes on objects of arousal. I look inward now, though the mind has mountains, dangerous cliffs. 105 Borges: Writers are always pirates, marauding, taking whatever pleases them from others, shaping these stolen goods to our purposes. Writers feed off the corpses of those who passed before them, their precursors. On the other hand they invent their precursors. They create them in their own image, as God did with man.108 Borges: Nobody can teach you anything. That’s the first truth. We teach ourselves. 115 Borges: One should avoid strong emotion, especially when it interferes with the work at hand. We have European blood in our veins, you and I. Mine is northern blood. We’re cold people, you see. Warriors. 125 Borges: The influence of Quixote was such that Sancho acquired a taste for literary wisdom. Such wisdom in his aphorisms! ‘One can find a remedy for everything but death.’ Or this: ‘Make yourself into honey and the flies will devour you.’ 151 Borges: You see, I designed my work for the tiniest audience, ‘fit company though few.’ A writer’s imagination should not be diluted by crowds! 151 Borges: If you don’t abandon the spirit, the spirit will not abandon you. 181
Jay Parini (Borges and Me: An Encounter)
Sophia counted six clangs of the bell before Mr. Grayson jolted fully awake. He looked up at her, startled and flushed. As though he’d been caught doing something he shouldn’t. She smiled. Rubbing his eyes, he rose to his feet. “Will I shock you, Miss Turner, if I remove my coat?” Sophia felt a twinge of disappointment. When would he stop treating her with this forced politesse, maintaining this distance between them? How many tales of passionate encounters must she spin before he finally understood that she was no less wicked than he, only less experienced? Perhaps it was time to take more aggressive measures. “By all means, remove your coat.” She tilted her eyes to cast him a saucy look. “Mr. Grayson, I’m not an innocent schoolgirl. You will have to try harder than that to shock me.” His lips curved in a subtle smile. “I’ll take that under advisement.” She watched as he shook the heavy topcoat from his shoulders and peeled it down his arms. He draped the coat over the back of a chair before sitting back down. The damp lawn of his shirt clung to his shoulders and arms. A pleasant shiver rippled down to Sophia’s toes. “It doesn’t suit you anyway,” she said, loading her brush with paint. He gave her a bemused look as he unknotted his cravat and pulled it loose. She inwardly rejoiced. Now, if only she could convince him to do away with his waistcoat…” “The coat,” she explained, when his eyebrows remained raised. “It doesn’t suit you.” “Why not? Is the color wrong?” The sudden seriousness in his tone surprised her. “No, the color is perfectly fine. It’s the cut that’s unflattering. That style is tailored to gentlemen of leisure, lean and slender. But as you are so fond of telling me, Mr. Grayson, you are no gentleman. Your shoulders are too broad for fashion.” “Is that so?” He chuckled as he undid his cuffs. Sophia stared as he turned up his sleeves, baring one tanned muscled forearm, then the other. “What style of garments would best suit me, then?” “Other than a toga?” He rewarded her jest with an easy smile. Sophia dabbed at her canvas, pleased to be making progress at last. “I think you need something less restrictive. Something like a sailor’s garb. Or perhaps a captain’s.” “Truly?” His gaze became thoughtful, then searching. “And even dressed in plain seaman’s clothes, would you still find me handsome enough? In my own way?” “No.” She allowed his brow to crease a moment before continuing. “I should find you surpassingly handsome. In every way.” She mixed paint slowly on her palette and gave him a coy look. “And what of my attire? If you had your way, how would you dress me?” “If I had my way…I wouldn’t.” A thrill raced through Sophia’s body. Her cheeks burned, and her eyes dropped to her lap. She forced her gave back up to meet his. Now was not the moment to lose courage. Nothing held sway over a man’s intentions like jealousy. “Gervais once kept me naked for an entire day so he could paint me.” He blinked. “He painted a nude study of you?” “No. He painted me. I took off my clothes and stretched out on the bed while he dressed me in pigment. Gervais called me his perfect, blank canvas. He painted lavender orchids here”-she traced a small circle just above her breast-“and little vines twining down…” She slid her hand down and noted with delight how his eyes followed its path. “I feigned the grippe and refused to bathe for a week.” Desire and jealous rage warred in his countenance, yet he remained as immobile as one of Lord Elgin’s marble sculptures. What would it take to spur the man into action?
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))