Laws Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Laws. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.
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Douglas Adams (Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #5))
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It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
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Voltaire
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If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.
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Abigail Adams (The Letters of John and Abigail Adams)
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The secret of flight is this -- you have to do it immediately, before your body realizes it is defying the laws.
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Michael Cunningham (A Home at the End of the World)
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A prude is a person who thinks that his own rules of propriety are natural laws.
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Robert A. Heinlein
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RΓ©sumΓ© Razors pain you, Rivers are damp, Acids stain you, And drugs cause cramp. Guns aren't lawful, Nooses give, Gas smells awful. You might as well live.
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Dorothy Parker (Enough Rope)
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I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
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Robert A. Heinlein
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good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws
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Plato
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Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature's laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it's dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.
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Tupac Shakur (The Rose That Grew from Concrete)
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We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws.
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Hunter S. Thompson
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One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.
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Martin Luther King Jr.
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It's not like there's a law against flying." "Yes there is. The law of gravity.
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Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
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Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.
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Marianne Williamson (The Law of Divine Compensation: Mastering the Metaphysics of Abundance)
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You know how sometimes you lie in bed at night and think, β€œWhat if the law of gravity just wears out and lets go and I drift into space?” Does that ever make you anxious?
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Elaine May
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Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.
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Benjamin Franklin
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Lawful good to lawful evil!" said Simon, pleased. "He's quoting Dungeons and Dragons," said Clary. "Ignore him.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
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It isn't against the Law to be an idiot.
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Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
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Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour ... If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?
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Charlotte BrontΓ« (Jane Eyre)
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I have learned all kinds of things from my many mistakes. The one thing I never learn is to stop making them.
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Joe Abercrombie (Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3))
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Besides, she was the Wraith – the only law that applied to her was gravity, and some days she defied that, too.
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Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
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There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.
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Shannon L. Alder
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I'm a sociopath. I look normal, but I'm not. I'm smarter, better, and freer, because I'm not bound by rules, law, emotion or regard for you.
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Lisa Scottoline (Every Fifteen Minutes)
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As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.
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Henry David Thoreau
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Woman's degradation is in man's idea of his sexual rights. Our religion, laws, customs, are all founded on the belief that woman was made for man.
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Elizabeth Cady Stanton
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Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.
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Albert Einstein
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It's an universal law-- intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.
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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity... you cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others
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Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
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From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.
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AnaΓ―s Nin
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Those who are too lazy and comfortable to think for themselves and be their own judges obey the laws. Others sense their own laws within them.
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Hermann Hesse (Demian)
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One of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations.
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Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
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People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in the ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.
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Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
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Once you've got a task to do, it's better to do it than live with the fear of it.
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Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1))
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So many vows... they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.
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George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
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Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught.
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HonorΓ© de Balzac
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The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
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Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural. A truly unnatural behaviour, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist, so it would need no prohibition.
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Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
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Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.
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Malcolm X
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The only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down.
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Stephen Richards (Cosmic Ordering: You can be successful)
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If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.
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Charles Darwin (Voyage of the Beagle)
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Lex malla, lex nulla. A bad law is no law.
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Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
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In times of war, the law falls silent. Silent enim leges inter arma
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Marcus Tullius Cicero
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The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
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Tacitus (The Annals of Imperial Rome)
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You can't change laws without first changing human nature.' -Nurse Greta You can't change human nature without first changing the law.' -Nurse Yvonne
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Neal Shusterman (Unwind (Unwind, #1))
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I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always ... so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.
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Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
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I had jumped off the edge, and then, at the very last moment, something reached out and caught me in midair. That something is what I define as love. It is the one thing that can stop a man from falling, powerful enough to negate the laws of gravity.
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Paul Auster (Moon Palace)
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Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?” asked Scrimgeour. β€œNo, I’m not,” retorted Hermione. β€œI’m hoping to do some good in the world!
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
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I supposed if you were going to make a career of breaking laws, you might as well know them.
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Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
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Any fool can make a rule And any fool will mind it.
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Henry David Thoreau (Journal #14)
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There are no laws, there are no rules, just grab your friend and love him.
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Jim Morrison
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Minds are like flowers, they only open when the time is right.
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Stephen Richards
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Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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One thing I do know about intimacy is that there are certain natural laws which govern the sexual experience of two people, and that these laws cannot be budged any more than gravity can be negotiated with. To feel physically comfortable with someone else's body is not a decision you can make. It has very little to do with how two people think or act or talk or even look. The mysterious magnet is either there, buried somewhere deep behind the sternum, or it is not. When it isn't there (as I have learned in the past, with heartbreaking clarity) you can no more force it to exist than a surgeon can force a patient's body to accept a kidney from the wrong donor. My friend Annie says it all comes down to one simple question: "Do you want your belly pressed against this person's belly forever --or not?
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Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
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A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path. -The Last Seance (from The Hound of Death and Other Stories, also Double Sin and Other Stories)
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Agatha Christie (The Hound of Death and Other Stories)
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Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.
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Wendell Berry
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We do not need to get good laws to restrain bad people. We need to get good people to restrain us from bad laws.
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G.K. Chesterton
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As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
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Albert Einstein
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Keep your friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent
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Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
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There are no laws, no boundaries on feelings.We can love each other as much and as deeply as we want.No one, Maya, no one can ever take that away from us.
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Tabitha Suzuma (Forbidden)
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Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the State always change with them.
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Plato (The Republic)
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Laws are meaningless, child. There is nothing more important than love. And no law higher.
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Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
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We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering... these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love... these are what we stay alive for.
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Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
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That's not the spirit of the law, Emma. Remember? The Law is hard, but it is the Law." "I thought it was 'the Law is annoying, but it is also flexible.
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Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
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When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken.
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Benjamin Disraeli
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When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you.
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Stephen Richards
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Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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The United States is a nation of laws, badly written and randomly enforced.
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Frank Zappa
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Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.
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Howard Zinn
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If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.
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Socrates
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But the law of loving others could not be discovered by reason, because it is unreasonable.
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Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
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I have gained this by philosophy; I do without being ordered what some are constrained to do by their fear of the law.
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Aristotle
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The true measure of success is how many times you can bounce back from failure.
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Stephen Richards
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Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life's artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist.
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Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
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For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
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Hermann Hesse (BΓ€ume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte)
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To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.--Soft you now! The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember'd!
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William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
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There is no law that gods must be fair, Achilles,” Chiron said. β€œAnd perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone. Do you think?
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Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
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There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
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Ayn Rand
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Be grateful for what you have now. As you begin to think about all the things in your life you are grateful for, you will be amazed at the never ending thoughts that come back to you of more things to be grateful for. You have to make a start, and then the law of attraction will receive those grateful thoughts and give you more just like them.
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Rhonda Byrne (The Secret (The Secret, #1))
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That," I told Tatiana, "is the most fucked-up law I have ever heard.
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Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
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The discontent and frustration that you feel is entirely your own creation.
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Stephen Richards (Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free)
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Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.
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Robert A. Heinlein
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When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.
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Shannon L. Alder
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He knew the law of such things: people in brightly lit places cannot see into the dark.
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Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
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LAW 4 Always Say Less Than Necessary When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.
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Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
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Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress. When I get fed up with one, I spend the night with the other
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Anton Chekhov
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Rules are for children. This is war, and in war the only crime is to lose.
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Joe Abercrombie (Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3))
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We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged.
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Joe Abercrombie (Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2))
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Dogs do not have many advantages over people, but one of them is extremely important: euthanasia is not forbidden by law in their case; animals have the right to a merciful death.
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Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
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For there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. Whoever neglects this law, whether written or unwritten, is necessarily unjust and wicked.
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Marcus Tullius Cicero (On the Laws)
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But what was there to say? Only that there were tears. Only that Quietness and Emptiness fitted together like stacked spoons. Only that there was a snuffling in the hollows at the base of a lovely throat. Only that a hard honey-colored shoulder had a semicircle of teethmarks on it. Only that they held each other close, long after it was over. Only that what they shared that night was not happiness, but hideous grief. Only that once again they broke the Love Laws. That lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much.
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Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
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The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.
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Brandon Sanderson (The Alloy of Law (Mistborn, #4))
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If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.
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Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
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Travel brings wisdom only to the wise. It renders the ignorant more ignorant than ever.
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Joe Abercrombie (Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3))
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Do things that make you happy within the confines of the legal system.
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Ellen DeGeneres (Seriously... I'm Kidding)
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I've come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call "The Physics of The Quest" β€” a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: "If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself... then truth will not be withheld from you." Or so I've come to believe.
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Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
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Many a serious thinker has been produced in prisons, where we have nothing to do but think.
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Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
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Beauty provokes harassment, the law says, but it looks through men's eyes when deciding what provokes it.
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Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
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Humankind cannot gain something without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. This is Alchemy's First Law of Equivalent Exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one, and only, truth.
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Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #1))
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The mind has a powerful way of attracting things that are in harmony with it, good and bad.
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Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
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To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man's injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man's superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?" [To the Women of India (Young India, Oct. 4, 1930)]
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Mahatma Gandhi
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You have to realistic about these things.
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Joe Abercrombie (Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3))
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Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.
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Immanuel Kant (Critique of Practical Reason)
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Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.
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Henry Adams (The Education of Henry Adams)
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...But the human tongue is a beast that few can master. It strains constantly to break out of its cage, and if it is not tamed, it will tun wild and cause you grief.
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Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
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The Law is hard, but it is the Law.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
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The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear.
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Deepak Chopra (The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams)
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I'm going to make it a law that the correct way to address your sovereign is my giving a high five.' Kai's smiled brightened. 'That's genius. Me too.
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Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
β€œ
To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews, creatures who people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you. It is like losing--I'm sorry, I would rather not go on.
”
”
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
β€œ
The truth is like salt. Men want to taste a little, but too much makes everyone sick.
”
”
Joe Abercrombie (The Heroes (First Law World, #5))
β€œ
Proof is boring. Proof is tiresome. Proof is an irrelevance. People would far rather be handed an easy lie than search for a difficult truth, especially if it suits their own purposes.
”
”
Joe Abercrombie (Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3))
β€œ
The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.
”
”
Carl Sagan
β€œ
There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It's all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don't worry, just be happy. You are already free!
”
”
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives)
β€œ
...remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.
”
”
Abigail Adams
β€œ
Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of othersβ€”that is too high a price to pay.
”
”
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
β€œ
You're an investigator - can't nobody find stuff out like a woman. Y'all put the police to shame, make the little investigative tricks they show on CSI and Law & Order: SVU look like counting lessons on Sesame Street.
”
”
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
β€œ
There's no way for them to take away my sadness, but they can make sure I am not empty of all the other feelings.
”
”
David Levithan (Love Is the Higher Law)
β€œ
I'm glad mushrooms are against the law, because I took them one time, and you know what happened to me? I laid in a field of green grass for four hours going, "My God! I love everything." Yeah, now if that isn't a hazard to our country … how are we gonna justify arms dealing when we realize that we're all one?
”
”
Bill Hicks
β€œ
Law of the jungle. The betrayee gets to eat the betrayer. --Dante Pontis
”
”
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
β€œ
You are one thing only. You are a Divine Being. An all-powerful Creator. You are a Deity in jeans and a t-shirt, and within you dwells the infinite wisdom of the ages and the sacred creative force of All that is, will be and ever was.
”
”
Anthon St. Maarten (Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny)
β€œ
We are your friends. It is the law of friendship that you tell us things you don’t want to tell us.
”
”
J. Lynn (Wait for You (Wait for You, #1))
β€œ
Lord, protect me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies.
”
”
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
β€œ
Truly, life is the misery we endure between disappointments.
”
”
Joe Abercrombie (Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3))
β€œ
We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
”
”
Ronald Reagan
β€œ
There is nothing more intoxicating than victory, and nothing more dangerous.
”
”
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
β€œ
Reality is a projection of your thoughts or the things you habitually think about.
”
”
Stephen Richards
β€œ
Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes.
”
”
Stephen Richards
β€œ
Criminals do not die by the hands of the law. They die by the hands of other men.
”
”
George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman)
β€œ
That hat looks ridiculous.” β€œFortunately, I can change hats,” Wayne said, β€œwhile you, sir, are stuck with that face.
”
”
Brandon Sanderson (The Alloy of Law (Mistborn, #4))
β€œ
Before you find your soul mate, you must first discover your soul.
”
”
Charles F. Glassman (Brain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life)
β€œ
Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter
”
”
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
β€œ
Long is the night to him who is awake; long is a mile to him who is tired; long is life to the foolish who do not know the true law.
”
”
Gautama Buddha
β€œ
Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit . . . unnatural?
”
”
Bill Hicks
β€œ
Men were put into the world to teach women the law of compromise.
”
”
Jane Austen
β€œ
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.
”
”
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
β€œ
Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
”
”
Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)
β€œ
I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D'Alembert, D’Holbach, Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God. [Letter to Thomas Law, 13 June 1814]
”
”
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
β€œ
The law of evolution is that the strongest survives!' 'Yes, and the strongest, in the existence of any social species, are those who are most social. In human terms, most ethical...There is no strength to be gained from hurting one another. Only weakness.
”
”
Ursula K. Le Guin
β€œ
I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you.... What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language." I began to ask each time: "What's the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?" Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared" or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever. Next time, ask: What's the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it's personal. And the world won't end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.
”
”
Audre Lorde
β€œ
LAW 46 Never Appear Too Perfect Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.
”
”
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
β€œ
An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law
”
”
Martin Luther King Jr.
β€œ
He sighed contentedly. β€œHow are you feeling, my dear?” β€œI feel like punching you for calling me β€˜my dear’ mostly.” I poked his bare stomach. Smiling, he crawled to sit over me. β€œFine then. My darling? My pet? My love?” β€œAny of those would work, so long as you’ve reserved it solely for me,” I said, my hands mindlessly wandering his chest, his arms. β€œWhat am I supposed to call you?” β€œYour Royal Husbandness. It’s required by law, I’m afraid.
”
”
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
β€œ
You realize that people take drugs because it's the only real personal adventure left to them in their time-constrained, law-and-order, property-lined world. It's only in drugs or death we'll see anything new, and death is just too controlling.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
β€œ
I imagined the Augustus Waters analysis of that comment: If I am playing basketball in heaven, does that imply a physical location of a heaven containing physical basketballs? Who makes the basketballs in question? Are there less fortunate souls in heaven who work in a celestial basketball factory so that I can play? Or did an omnipotent God create the basketballs out of the vacuum of space? Is this heaven in some kind of unobservable universe where the laws of physics don't apply, and if so, why in the hell would I be playing basketball when I could be flying or reading or looking at beautiful people or something else I actually enjoy? It's almost as if the way you imagine my dead self says more about you than either the person I was or whatever I am now.
”
”
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
β€œ
The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.
”
”
Jeff Cooper (Art of the Rifle)
β€œ
LAW 25 Re-Create Yourself Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.
”
”
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
β€œ
How can you still count yourself a knight, when you have forsaken every vow you ever swore?" Jaime reached for the flagon to refill his cup. "So many vows...they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It's too much. No matter what you do, you're forsaking one vow or the other.
”
”
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
β€œ
He felt as though he were failing in practically every area of his life. Lately, happiness seemed as distant and unattainable to him as space travel. He hadn't always felt this way. There had been a long period of time during which he remembered being very happy. But things change. People change. Change was one of the inevitable laws of nature, exacting its toll on people's lives. Mistakes are made, regrets form, and all that was left were repercussions that made something as simple as rising from the bed seem almost laborious.
”
”
Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
β€œ
Understand that sexuality is as wide as the sea. Understand that your morality is not law. Understand that we are you. Understand that if we decide to have sex whether safe, safer, or unsafe, it is our decision and you have no rights in our lovemaking.
”
”
Derek Jarman
β€œ
LOG ENTRY: SOL 381 I’ve been thinking about laws on Mars. Yeah, I know, it’s a stupid thing to think about, but I have a lot of free time. There’s an international treaty saying no country can lay claim to anything that’s not on Earth. And by another treaty, if you’re not in any country’s territory, maritime law applies. So Mars is β€œinternational waters.” NASA is an American nonmilitary organization, and it owns the Hab. So while I’m in the Hab, American law applies. As soon as I step outside, I’m in international waters. Then when I get in the rover, I’m back to American law. Here’s the cool part: I will eventually go to Schiaparelli and commandeer the Ares 4 lander. Nobody explicitly gave me permission to do this, and they can’t until I’m aboard Ares 4 and operating the comm system. After I board Ares 4, before talking to NASA, I will take control of a craft in international waters without permission. That makes me a pirate! A space pirate!
”
”
Andy Weir (The Martian)
β€œ
You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself...the height of a man's success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. ...And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.
”
”
Leonardo da Vinci
β€œ
Bad is not an absolute, but a relative term. Ask the robber who used the cash he stole to feed his infant; the rapist who was sexually abused as a child; the kidnapper who truly believed he was saving a life. And just because you break the law doesn't mean you have intentionally crossed the line into evil. Sometimes the line creeps up on you, and before you know it, you're standing on the other side.
”
”
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
β€œ
Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.
”
”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater)
β€œ
Your question is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.
”
”
Albert Einstein
β€œ
Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or less important than you are. Some people are slow to take offense, which may make you misjudge the thickness of their skin, and fail to worry about insulting them. But should you offend their honor and their pride, they will overwhelm you with a violence that seems sudden and extreme given their slowness to anger. If you want to turn people down, it is best to do so politely and respectfully, even if you feel their request is impudent or their offer ridiculous.
”
”
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
β€œ
But one type of book that practically no one likes to read is a book about the law. Books about the law are notorious for being very long, very dull, and very difficult to read. This is one reason many lawyers make heaps of money. The money is an incentive - the word "incentive" here means "an offered reward to persuade you to do something you don't want to do - to read long, dull, and difficult books.
”
”
Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1))
β€œ
Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine. Nine little Indian boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little Indian boys travelling in Devon; One said he'd stay there and then there were seven. Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six. Six little Indian boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five. Five little Indian boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four. Four little Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three. Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two. Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one. One little Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.
”
”
Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None)
β€œ
If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?
”
”
FrΓ©dΓ©ric Bastiat (The Law)
β€œ
We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
”
”
N.H. Kleinbaum (Dead Poets Society)
β€œ
Lex malla, lex nulla,” said Julian with a regretful wave of his hand. It was the Blackthorn family motto: A bad law is no law. β€œI wonder what other family mottoes are,” Emma mused. β€œDo you know any?” β€œThe Lightwood family motto is β€˜We mean well.β€™β€Šβ€ β€œVery funny.” Julian looked over at her. β€œNo, really, it actually is.” β€œSeriously? So what’s the Herondale family motto? β€˜Chiseled but angsty’?” He shrugged. β€˜If you don’t know what your last name is, it’s probably Herondale’?” Emma burst out laughing. β€œWhat about Carstairs?” she asked, tapping Cortana. β€œβ€Šβ€˜We have a sword’? β€˜Blunt instruments are for losers’?” β€œMorgenstern,” offered Julian. β€œβ€Šβ€˜When in doubt, start a war’?
”
”
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
β€œ
Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. I do not seek or conjecture either of them as if they were veiled obscurities or extravagances beyond the horizon of my vision; I see them before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence.
”
”
Immanuel Kant (Critique of Practical Reason)
β€œ
We took the liberty to make some enquiries concerning the ground of their pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation. The Ambassador [of Tripoli] answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise. {Letter from the commissioners, John Adams & Thomas Jefferson, to John Jay, 28 March 1786}
”
”
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
β€œ
The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all.
”
”
Adolf Hitler
β€œ
You can never know if a person forgives you when you wrong them. Therefore it is existentially important to you. It is a question you are intensely concerned with. Neither can you know whether a person loves you. It’s something you just have to believe or hope. But these things are more important to you than the fact that the sum of the angles in a triangle is 180 degrees. You don't think about the law of cause and effect or about modes of perception when you are in the middle of your first kiss.
”
”
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy)
β€œ
...legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
”
”
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
β€œ
LAW 38 Think As You Like But Behave Like Others If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior. It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness.
”
”
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
β€œ
Has it ever occured to you, Master Ninefingers, that a sword is different from other weapons? Axes and maces and so forth are lethal enough, but they hang on the belt like dumb brutes. But a sword...a sword has a voice. Sheathed it has little to say, to be sure, but you need only put your hand on the hilt and it begins to whisper in your enemy's ear. A gentle word. A word of caution. Do you hear it? Now, compare it to the sword half drawn. It speaks louder, does it not? It hisses a dire threat. It makes a deadly promise. Do you hear it? Now compare it to the sword full drawn. It shouts now, does it not? It screams defiance! It bellows a challenge! Do you hear it?
”
”
Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1))
β€œ
Will's face turned grave. "Be careful with it, though. It's six hundred years old and the only copy of its kind. Losing or damaging it is punishable by death under the Law." Tessa thrust the book away from her as if it were on fire. "You can't be serious." "You're right. I'm not." Will leapt down from the ladder and landed lightly in front of her. "You do believe everything I say, though, don't you? Do I seem unusually trustworthy to you, or are you just a naive sort?
”
”
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
β€œ
Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere. In freedom it gives itself unreservedly, abundantly, completely. All the laws on the statutes, all the courts in the universe, cannot tear it from the soil, once love has taken root.
”
”
Emma Goldman (Marriage and Love)
β€œ
people had been working for so many years to make the world a safe, organized place. nobody realized how boring it would become. with the whole world property-lined and speed-limited and zoned and taxed and regulated, with everyone tested and registered and addressed and recorded. nobody had left much room for adventure, except maybe the kind you could buy. on a roller coaster. at a movie. still, it would always be that kind of faux excitement. you know the dinosaurs aren't going to eat the kids. the test audiences have outvoted any chance of even a major faux disaster. and because there's no possibility of real disaster, real risk, we're left with no chance for real salvation. real elation. real excitement. Joy. Discovery. Invention. the laws that keep us safe, these same laws condemn us to boredom. without access to true chaos, we'll never have true peace.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Asfixia)
β€œ
Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life...If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature...Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.
”
”
C.G. Jung (The Red Book: A Reader's Edition)
β€œ
According to this law [the law of Dharma], you have a unique talent and a unique way of expressing it. There is something that you can do better than anyone else in the whole world--and for every unique talent and unique expression of that talent, there are also unique needs. When these needs are matched with the creative expression of your talent, that is the spark that creates affluence. Expressing your talents to fulfill needs creates unlimited wealth and abundance.
”
”
Deepak Chopra
β€œ
It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, 'whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,' and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.
”
”
John Adams (The Portable John Adams)
β€œ
She could feel the press of Kaz’s fingers against her skin, feel the bird’s wing brush of his mouth against her neck, see his dilated eyes. Two of the deadliest people the Barrel had to offer and they could barely touch each other without both of them keeling over. But they’d tried. He’d tried. Maybe they could try again. A foolish wish, the sentimental hope of a girl who hadn’t had the firsts of her life stolen, who hadn’t ever felt Tante Heleen’s lash, who wasn’t covered in wounds and wanted by the law. Kaz would have laughed at her optimism.
”
”
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
β€œ
In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, β€œI see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, β€œAstrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universeβ€”the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, β€œWhat do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, β€œI teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street. A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, β€œYes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The β€˜thousand’ cancels with the β€˜milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.
”
”
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier)
β€œ
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
”
”
Winston S. Churchill (The River War)
β€œ
Proximity has taught me some basic and humbling truths, including this vital lesson: Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice. Finally, I’ve come to believe that the true measure of our commitment to justice, the character of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness, and equality cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the respected among us. The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.
”
”
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
β€œ
Once upon a time they was two girls," I say. "one girl had black skin, one girl had white." Mae Mobley look up at me. She listening. "Little colored girl say to little white girl, 'How come your skin be so pale?' White girl say, 'I don't know. How come your skin be so black? What you think that mean?' "But neither one a them little girls knew. So little white girl say, 'Well, let's see. You got hair, I got hair.'"I gives Mae Mobley a little tousle on her head. "Little colored girl say 'I got a nose, you got a nose.'"I gives her little snout a tweak. She got to reach up and do the same to me. "Little white girl say, 'I got toes, you got toes.' And I do the little thing with her toes, but she can't get to mine cause I got my white work shoes on. "'So we's the same. Just a different color', say that little colored girl. The little white girl she agreed and they was friends. The End." Baby Girl just look at me. Law, that was a sorry story if I ever heard one. Wasn't even no plot to it. But Mae Mobley, she smile and say, "Tell it again.
”
”
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
β€œ
I think that God that we have created and allowed to shape our culture through, essentially Christian theology is a pretty villainous creature. I think that one of the things that male patriarchal figure has done is, allowed under it's, his church, his wing, all kinds of corruptions and villainies to grow and fester. In the name of that God terrible wars have been waged, in the name of that God terrible sexism has been allowed to spread. There are children being born all across this world that don't have enough food to eat because that God, at least his church, tells the mothers and fathers that they must procreate at all costs, and to prevent procreation with a condom is in contravention with his laws. Now, I don't believe that God exists. I think that God is creation of men, by men, and for men. What has happened over the many centuries now, the better part of two thousand in fact, is that that God has been slowly and steadily accruing power. His church has been accruing power, and the men who run that church, and they are all men, are not about to give it up. If they give it up, they give up luxury, they give up comfort.
”
”
Clive Barker
β€œ
Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
”
”
FrΓ©dΓ©ric Bastiat (The Law)
β€œ
Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, who is my brother (not in the physical sense, but as a fellow creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man’s two hands, feet or eyelids, or the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature’s law – and what is irritation or aversion but a form of obstruction.
”
”
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
β€œ
So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation which, in the midst of civilization, artificially creates a hell on earth, and complicates with human fatality a destiny that is divine; so long as the three problems of the century - the degradation of man by the exploitation of his labour, the ruin of women by starvation and the atrophy of childhood by physical and spiritual night are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words and from a still broader point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, there should be a need for books such as this.
”
”
Victor Hugo (Les MisΓ©rables)
β€œ
You must resist the common urge toward the comforting narrative of divine law, toward fairy tales that imply some irrepressible justice. The enslaved were not bricks in your road, and their lives were not chapters in your redemptive history. They were people turned to fuel for the American machine. Enslavement was not destined to end, and it is wrong to claim our present circumstanceβ€”no matter how improvedβ€”as the redemption for the lives of people who never asked for the posthumous, untouchable glory of dying for their children. Our triumphs can never compensate for this.
”
”
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
β€œ
On the surface, I was calm: in secret, without really admitting it, I was waiting for something. Her return? How could I have been waiting for that? We all know that we are material creatures, subject to the laws of physiology and physics, and not even the power of all our feelings combined can defeat those laws. All we can do is detest them. The age-old faith of lovers and poets in the power of love, stronger than death, that finis vitae sed non amoris, is a lie, useless and not even funny. So must one be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going? Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition? That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox... Must I go on living here then, among the objects we both had touched, in the air she had breathed? In the name of what? In the hope of her return? I hoped for nothing. And yet I lived in expectation. Since she had gone, that was all that remained. I did not know what achievements, what mockery, even what tortures still awaited me. I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past.
”
”
StanisΕ‚aw Lem (Solaris)
β€œ
How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself and in no instance bypass the discriminations of reason? You have been given the principles that you ought to endorse, and you have endorsed them. What kind of teacher, then, are you still waiting for in order to refer your self-improvement to him? You are no longer a boy, but a full-grown man. If you are careless and lazy now and keep putting things off and always deferring the day after which you will attend to yourself, you will not notice that you are making no progress, but you will live and die as someone quite ordinary. From now on, then, resolve to live as a grown-up who is making progress, and make whatever you think best a law that you never set aside. And whenever you encounter anything that is difficult or pleasurable, or highly or lowly regarded, remember that the contest is now: you are at the Olympic Games, you cannot wait any longer, and that your progress is wrecked or preserved by a single day and a single event. That is how Socrates fulfilled himself by attending to nothing except reason in everything he encountered. And you, although you are not yet a Socrates, should live as someone who at least wants to be a Socrates.
”
”
Epictetus
β€œ
Never surrender your hopes and dreams to the fateful limitations others have placed on their own lives. The vision of your true destiny does not reside within the blinkered outlook of the naysayers and the doom prophets. Judge not by their words, but accept advice based on the evidence of actual results. Do not be surprised should you find a complete absence of anything mystical or miraculous in the manifested reality of those who are so eager to advise you. Friends and family who suffer the lack of abundance, joy, love, fulfillment and prosperity in their own lives really have no business imposing their self-limiting beliefs on your reality experience.
”
”
Anthon St. Maarten
β€œ
Throw a stick, and the servile dog wheezes and pants and stumbles to bring it to you. Do the same before a cat, and he will eye you with coolly polite and somewhat bored amusement. And just as inferior people prefer the inferior animal which scampers excitedly because someone else wants something, so do superior people respect the superior animal which lives its own life and knows that the puerile stick-throwings of alien bipeds are none of its business and beneath its notice. The dog barks and begs and tumbles to amuse you when you crack the whip. That pleases a meekness-loving peasant who relishes a stimulus to his self importance. The cat, on the other hand, charms you into playing for its benefit when it wishes to be amused; making you rush about the room with a paper on a string when it feels like exercise, but refusing all your attempts to make it play when it is not in the humour. That is personality and individuality and self-respect -- the calm mastery of a being whose life is its own and not yours -- and the superior person recognises and appreciates this because he too is a free soul whose position is assured, and whose only law is his own heritage and aesthetic sense.
”
”
H.P. Lovecraft
β€œ
The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. β€” In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.
”
”
Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies)
β€œ
Dr. Watson's summary list of Sherlock Holmes's strengths and weaknesses: "1. Knowledge of Literature: Nil. 2. Knowledge of Philosophy: Nil. 3. Knowledge of Astronomy: Nil. 4. Knowledge of Politics: Feeble. 5. Knowledge of Botany: Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium, and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening. 6. Knowledge of Geology: Practical but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them. 7. Knowledge of Chemistry: Profound. 8. Knowledge of Anatomy: Accurate but unsystematic. 9. Knowledge of Sensational Literature: Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century. 10. Plays the violin well. 11. Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman. 12. Has a good practical knowledge of British law.
”
”
Arthur Conan Doyle (A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1))
β€œ
Oh, I think not,” Varys said, swirling the wine in his cup. β€œPower is a curious thing, my lord. Perchance you have considered the riddle I posed you that day in the inn?” β€œIt has crossed my mind a time or two,” Tyrion admitted. β€œThe king, the priest, the rich manβ€”who lives and who dies? Who will the swordsman obey? It’s a riddle without an answer, or rather, too many answers. All depends on the man with the sword.” β€œAnd yet he is no one,” Varys said. β€œHe has neither crown nor gold nor favor of the gods, only a piece of pointed steel.” β€œThat piece of steel is the power of life and death.” β€œJust so… yet if it is the swordsmen who rule us in truth, why do we pretend our kings hold the power? Why should a strong man with a sword ever obey a child king like Joffrey, or a wine-sodden oaf like his father?” β€œBecause these child kings and drunken oafs can call other strong men, with other swords.” β€œThen these other swordsmen have the true power. Or do they?” Varys smiled. β€œSome say knowledge is power. Some tell us that all power comes from the gods. Others say it derives from law. Yet that day on the steps of Baelor’s Sept, our godly High Septon and the lawful Queen Regent and your ever-so-knowledgeable servant were as powerless as any cobbler or cooper in the crowd. Who truly killed Eddard Stark, do you think? Joffrey, who gave the command? Ser Ilyn Payne, who swung the sword? Or… another?” Tyrion cocked his head sideways. β€œDid you mean to answer your damned riddle, or only to make my head ache worse?” Varys smiled. β€œHere, then. Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.” β€œSo power is a mummer’s trick?” β€œA shadow on the wall,” Varys murmured, β€œyet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.” Tyrion smiled. β€œLord Varys, I am growing strangely fond of you. I may kill you yet, but I think I’d feel sad about it.” β€œI will take that as high praise.
”
”
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
β€œ
Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instabilityβ€” and that it may take a very long time. And so I think it is with you; your ideas mature graduallyβ€”let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow. Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
”
”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
β€œ
To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.
”
”
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century)
β€œ
Reading list (1972 edition)[edit] 1. Homer – Iliad, Odyssey 2. The Old Testament 3. Aeschylus – Tragedies 4. Sophocles – Tragedies 5. Herodotus – Histories 6. Euripides – Tragedies 7. Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War 8. Hippocrates – Medical Writings 9. Aristophanes – Comedies 10. Plato – Dialogues 11. Aristotle – Works 12. Epicurus – Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoecus 13. Euclid – Elements 14. Archimedes – Works 15. Apollonius of Perga – Conic Sections 16. Cicero – Works 17. Lucretius – On the Nature of Things 18. Virgil – Works 19. Horace – Works 20. Livy – History of Rome 21. Ovid – Works 22. Plutarch – Parallel Lives; Moralia 23. Tacitus – Histories; Annals; Agricola Germania 24. Nicomachus of Gerasa – Introduction to Arithmetic 25. Epictetus – Discourses; Encheiridion 26. Ptolemy – Almagest 27. Lucian – Works 28. Marcus Aurelius – Meditations 29. Galen – On the Natural Faculties 30. The New Testament 31. Plotinus – The Enneads 32. St. Augustine – On the Teacher; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine 33. The Song of Roland 34. The Nibelungenlied 35. The Saga of Burnt NjΓ‘l 36. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica 37. Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy;The New Life; On Monarchy 38. Geoffrey Chaucer – Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales 39. Leonardo da Vinci – Notebooks 40. NiccolΓ² Machiavelli – The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy 41. Desiderius Erasmus – The Praise of Folly 42. Nicolaus Copernicus – On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres 43. Thomas More – Utopia 44. Martin Luther – Table Talk; Three Treatises 45. FranΓ§ois Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel 46. John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion 47. Michel de Montaigne – Essays 48. William Gilbert – On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies 49. Miguel de Cervantes – Don Quixote 50. Edmund Spenser – Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene 51. Francis Bacon – Essays; Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum, New Atlantis 52. William Shakespeare – Poetry and Plays 53. Galileo Galilei – Starry Messenger; Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences 54. Johannes Kepler – Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Concerning the Harmonies of the World 55. William Harvey – On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals 56. Thomas Hobbes – Leviathan 57. RenΓ© Descartes – Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy 58. John Milton – Works 59. MoliΓ¨re – Comedies 60. Blaise Pascal – The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises 61. Christiaan Huygens – Treatise on Light 62. Benedict de Spinoza – Ethics 63. John Locke – Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding;Thoughts Concerning Education 64. Jean Baptiste Racine – Tragedies 65. Isaac Newton – Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics 66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz – Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding;Monadology 67. Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe 68. Jonathan Swift – A Tale of a Tub; Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; A Modest Proposal 69. William Congreve – The Way of the World 70. George Berkeley – Principles of Human Knowledge 71. Alexander Pope – Essay on Criticism; Rape of the Lock; Essay on Man 72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu – Persian Letters; Spirit of Laws 73. Voltaire – Letters on the English; Candide; Philosophical Dictionary 74. Henry Fielding – Joseph Andrews; Tom Jones 75. Samuel Johnson – The Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; The Lives of the Poets
”
”
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading)
β€œ
4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureΓ’. ...Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost... [Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]
”
”
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
β€œ
I appeal from your customs. I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I must be myself. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions. If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own. I do this not selfishly but humbly and truly. It is alike your interest, and mine, and all men’s, however long we have dwelt in lies, to live in truth. Does this sound harsh to-day? You will soon love what is dictated by your nature as well as mine, and if we follow the truth it will bring us out safe at last.β€”But so may you give these friends pain. Yes, but I cannot sell my liberty and my power, to save their sensibility. Besides, all persons have their moments of reason, when they look out into the region of absolute truth; then will they justify me and do the same thing. The populace think that your rejection of popular standards is a rejection of all standard, and mere antinomianism; and the bold sensualist will use the name of philosophy to gild his crimes. But the law of consciousness abides.
”
”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Self-Reliance and Other Essays)
β€œ
Remember particularly that you cannot be a judge of anyone. For no one can judge a criminal until he recognizes that he is just such a criminal as the man standing before him, and that he perhaps is more than all men to blame for that crime. When he understands that, he will be able to be a judge. Though that sounds absurd, it is true. If I had been righteous myself, perhaps there would have been no criminal standing before me. If you can take upon yourself the crime of the criminal your heart is judging, take it at once, suffer for him yourself, and let him go without reproach. And even if the law itself makes you his judge, act in the same spirit so far as possible, for he will go away and condemn himself more bitterly than you have done. If, after your kiss, he goes away untouched, mocking at you, do not let that be a stumbling-block to you. It shows his time has not yet come, but it will come in due course. And if it come not, no matter; if not he, then another in his place will understand and suffer, and judge and condemn himself, and the truth will be fulfilled. Believe that, believe it without doubt; for in that lies all the hope and faith of the saints.
”
”
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
β€œ
Those who fail to exhibit positive attitudes, no matter the external reality, are seen as maladjusted and in need of assistance. Their attitudes need correction. Once we adopt an upbeat vision of reality, positive things will happen. This belief encourages us to flee from reality when reality does not elicit positive feelings. These specialists in "happiness" have formulated something they call the "Law of Attraction." It argues that we attract those things in life, whether it is money, relationships or employment, which we focus on. Suddenly, abused and battered wives or children, the unemployed, the depressed and mentally ill, the illiterate, the lonely, those grieving for lost loved ones, those crushed by poverty, the terminally ill, those fighting with addictions, those suffering from trauma, those trapped in menial and poorly paid jobs, those whose homes are in foreclosure or who are filing for bankruptcy because they cannot pay their medical bills, are to blame for their negativity. The ideology justifies the cruelty of unfettered capitalism, shifting the blame from the power elite to those they oppress. And many of us have internalized this pernicious message, which in times of difficulty leads to personal despair, passivity and disillusionment.
”
”
Chris Hedges
β€œ
You see the first thing we love is a scene. For love at first sight requires the very sign of its suddenness; and of all things, it is the scene which seems to be seen best for the first time: a curtain parts and what had not yet ever been seen is devoured by the eyes: the scene consecrates the object I am going to love. The context is the constellation of elements, harmoniously arranged that encompass the experience of the amorous subject... Love at first sight is always spoken in the past tense. The scene is perfectly adapted to this temporal phenomenon: distinct, abrupt, framed, it is already a memory (the nature of a photograph is not to represent but to memorialize)... this scene has all the magnificence of an accident: I cannot get over having had this good fortune: to meet what matches my desire. The gesture of the amorous embrace seems to fulfill, for a time, the subject's dream of total union with the loved being: The longing for consummation with the other... In this moment, everything is suspended: time, law, prohibition: nothing is exhausted, nothing is wanted: all desires are abolished, for they seem definitively fulfilled... A moment of affirmation; for a certain time, though a finite one, a deranged interval, something has been successful: I have been fulfilled (all my desires abolished by the plenitude of their satisfaction).
”
”
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
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[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil] Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet, When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet; He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how We are working to completion, working on from then to now. Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete, Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet, And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true, And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you. But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn, You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn, What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles; What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles. You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late, But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate. Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight; You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night. I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known. You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'? Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow, There has been a something wanting in my nature until now; I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind, Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind. I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,-- Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life; But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still To the service of our science: you will further it? you will! There are certain calculations I should like to make with you, To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true; And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage, Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age. I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap; But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name; See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame. I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak; Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak: It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,-- God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
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Sarah Williams (Twilight Hours: A Legacy Of Verse)
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That is the idea -- that we should all be wicked if we did not hold to the Christian religion. It seems to me that the people who have held to it have been for the most part extremely wicked. You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. In the so-called ages of faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all its completeness, there was the Inquisition, with all its tortures; there were millions of unfortunate women burned as witches; and there was every kind of cruelty practiced upon all sorts of people in the name of religion. You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world. You may think that I am going too far when I say that that is still so. I do not think that I am. Take one fact. You will bear with me if I mention it. It is not a pleasant fact, but the churches compel one to mention facts that are not pleasant. Supposing that in this world that we live in today an inexperienced girl is married to a syphilitic man; in that case the Catholic Church says, 'This is an indissoluble sacrament. You must endure celibacy or stay together. And if you stay together, you must not use birth control to prevent the birth of syphilitic children.' Nobody whose natural sympathies have not been warped by dogma, or whose moral nature was not absolutely dead to all sense of suffering, could maintain that it is right and proper that that state of things should continue. That is only an example. There are a great many ways in which, at the present moment, the church, by its insistence upon what it chooses to call morality, inflicts upon all sorts of people undeserved and unnecessary suffering. And of course, as we know, it is in its major part an opponent still of progress and improvement in all the ways that diminish suffering in the world, because it has chosen to label as morality a certain narrow set of rules of conduct which have nothing to do with human happiness; and when you say that this or that ought to be done because it would make for human happiness, they think that has nothing to do with the matter at all. 'What has human happiness to do with morals? The object of morals is not to make people happy.
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Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects)
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Be a light unto the world, and hurt it not. Seek to build not destroy. Bring My people home. How? By your shining example. Seek only Godliness. Speak only in truthfulness. Act only in love. Live the Law of Love now and forever more. Give everything require nothing. Avoid the mundane. Do not accept the unacceptable. Teach all who seek to learn of Me. Make every moment of your life an outpouring of love. Use every moment to think the highest thought, say the highest word, do the highest deed. In this, glorify your Holy Self, and thus too, glorify Me. Bring peace to the Earth by bringing peace to all those whose lives you touch. Be peace. Feel and express in every moment your Divine Connection with the All, and with every person, place, and thing. Embrace every circumstance, own every fault, share every joy, contemplate every mystery, walk in every man’s shoes, forgive every offense (including your own), heal every heart, honor every person’s truth, adore every person’s God, protect every person’s rights, preserve every person’s dignity, promote every person’s interests, provide every person’s needs, presume every person’s holiness, present every person’s greatest gifts, produce every person’s blessing, pronounce every person’s future secure in the assured love of God. Be a living, breathing example of the Highest Truth that resides within you. Speak humbly of yourself, lest someone mistake your Highest Truth for boast. Speak softly, lest someone think you are merely calling for attention. Speak gently, that all might know of Love. Speak openly, lest someone think you have something to hide. Speak candidly, so you cannot be mistaken. Speak often, so that your word may truly go forth. Speak respectfully, that no one be dishonored. Speak lovingly, that every syllable may heal. Speak of Me with every utterance. Make of your life a gift. Remember always, you are the gift! Be a gift to everyone who enters your life, and to everyone whose life you enter. Be careful not to enter another’s life if you cannot be a gift. (You can always be a gift, because you always are the giftβ€”yet sometimes you don’t let yourself know that.) When someone enters your life unexpectedly, look for the gift that person has come to receive from you…I HAVE SENT YOU NOTHING BUT ANGELS.
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Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2)
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London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 β€œMother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
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Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))