Lowest Quotes

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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...
Henry David Thoreau
I should have guessed you were Jace's sister," he said. "You both have the same artistic talent." Clary paused, her foot on the lowest stair. She was taken aback. "Jace can draw?" Nah." When Alec smiled, his eyes lit like blue lamps and Clary could see what Magnus had found so captivating about him. "I was just kidding. He can't draw a straight line.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
They say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit," Valkyrie said. China glanced at her. "They've obviously never met me.
Derek Landy (Mortal Coil (Skulduggery Pleasant, #5))
Actually, I was the very lowest ranked member of the crew. I would only be “in command” if I were the only remaining person.” What do you know? I’m in command
Andy Weir (The Martian)
Toska - noun /ˈtō-skə/ - Russian word roughly translated as sadness, melancholia, lugubriousness. "No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.
Vladimir Nabokov
I think the highest and lowest points are the important ones. Anything else is just...in between.
Jim Morrison
It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.
Nelson Mandela
Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.
Bill Bullard
A Nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but it's lowest ones
Nelson Mandela (Long Walk to Freedom)
What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.
Vincent van Gogh
This place was truly the highest and the lowest of all worlds - the most beautiful senses, the most exquisite emotions.. the most malevolent desires, the darkest deeds. Perhaps it was meant to be so. Perhaps without the lows, the highs could not be reached.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
Me miserable! Which way shall I fly Infinite wrath and infinite despair? Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; And in the lowest deep a lower deep, Still threat'ning to devour me, opens wide, To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but the highest form of intelligence.
Oscar Wilde
Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation, and conversation must have a common basis, and between two people of widely different culture the only common basis possible is the lowest level.
Oscar Wilde
When you are an addict and you get caught, you always seem to be at your lowest point.
Andrew Mann (Such Unfortunates)
The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!
Eleanor Roosevelt
Rewards and punishment is the lowest form of education.
Zhuangzi
In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.
David Hume (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding)
It interests me how we find ways to feel superior to another person, another group of people. It happens everywhere, and all the time. Whatever we call it, I think it’s the lowest part of who we are, this need to find someone else to put down.
Elizabeth Strout (My Name Is Lucy Barton)
I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness... The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
Oscar Wilde
Anything was better than nothing. Half-full was better than empty. Ignorance was the lowest form of humiliation and suffering.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Silence (Hush, Hush, #3))
Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you.
Lyndon B. Johnson
It is an absurdity to believe that the Deity has human passions, and one of the lowest of human passions, a restless appetite for applause
David Hume
I get along quite well with someone only when he is at his lowest point and has neither the desire nor the strength to restore his habitual illusions.
Emil M. Cioran (The Trouble With Being Born)
Whatever is the lot of humankind I want to taste within my deepest self. I want to seize the highest and the lowest, to load its woe and bliss upon my breast, and thus expand my single self titanically and in the end go down with all the rest.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust, First Part)
There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part.
Philip Yancey
Do you ever not go for the lowest blow? Like, do you ever think, 'Maybe I shouldn't say the most cruel thing just now?'" "I'm trying to be efficient.
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On)
It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.
Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volume I)
Here is the path to the higher life: down, lower down! Just as water always seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds men abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless.
Andrew Murray (Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness)
at your weakest, you end up showing more strength; at your lowest, you are suddenly lifted higher than you’ve ever been. They all border one another, these opposites and show how quickly we can be altered.
Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)
What do you mean less than nothing? I don't think there is any such thing as less than nothing. Nothing is absolutely the limit of nothingness. It's the lowest you can go. It's the end of the line. How can something be less than nothing? If there were something that was less than nothing, then nothing would not be nothing, it would be something - even though it's just a very little bit of something. But if nothing is nothing, then nothing has nothing that is less than it is.
E.B. White (Charlotte's Web)
Most people buy the highest quality television sets, only to watch the lowest quality television shows.

Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
Yet not for a single moment did I have any doubts about my own integrity and honour as a woman. I knew that my profession had been invented by men, and that men were in control of both our worlds, the one on earth, and the one in heaven. That men force women to sell their bodies at a price, and that the lowest paid body is that of a wife. All women are prostitutes of one kind or another.
Nawal El Saadawi (Woman at Point Zero)
When we reach our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.
Avatar Aang
You must know nothing before you can learn something, and be empty before you can be filled. Is not the emptiness of the bowl what makes it useful? As for laws, a parrot can repeat them word for word. Their spirit is something else again. As for governing, one must first be lowest before being highest.
Lloyd Alexander (The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen)
The most intimate thing we can do is to allow the people we love most to see us at our worst. At our lowest. At our weakest. True intimacy happens when nothing is perfect.
Amy Harmon (The Song of David (The Law of Moses, #2))
I was once reproved by a minister who was driving a poor beast to some meeting-house horse-sheds among the hills of New Hampshire, because I was bending my steps to a mountain-top on the Sabbath, instead of a church, when I would have gone farther than he to hear a true word spoken on that or any day. He declared that I was 'breaking the Lord's fourth commandment,' and proceeded to enumerate, in a sepulchral tone, the disasters which had befallen him whenever he had done any ordinary work on the Sabbath. He really thought that a god was on the watch to trip up those men who followed any secular work on this day, and did not see that it was the evil conscience of the workers that did it. The country is full of this superstition, so that when one enters a village, the church, not only really but from association, is the ugliest looking building in it, because it is the one in which human nature stoops the lowest and is most disgraced. Certainly, such temples as these shall erelong cease to deform the landscape. There are few things more disheartening and disgusting than when you are walking the streets of a strange village on the Sabbath, to hear a preacher shouting like a boatswain in a gale of wind, and thus harshly profaning the quiet atmosphere of the day.
Henry David Thoreau (A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (Writings of Henry D. Thoreau))
No more tubs for me." I jumped off the bed and pulled on a pair of Pack sweats. "They make me lose all sense." Curran sprawled on the bed with a big self-satisfied smile. "Want to know a secret?" "Sure." "It's not the bathtub, baby." Well, aren't we smug. I picked up the corner of the lowest mattress and made a show of looking under it. "What are you looking for?" "A pea Your Majesty." "What?" "You heard me." I jumped back as he lunged and his fingers missed me by an inch. "Getting slow in your old age." "I thought you liked it slow." A flashback to last night mugged me and my mind executed a full stop. He laughed. "Ran out of snappy comebacks?" "Hush. I'm trying to think of one.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
By virtue of marrying a man she does not love for money. That's the lowest kind of whore.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
A pun is the lowest form of humor—when you don't think of it first.
Oscar Levant
The best thing about rock bottom is the rock part. You discover the solid bit of you. The bit that can't be broken down further. The thing that you might sentimentally call a soul. At our lowest we find the solid ground of our foundation. And we can build ourselves anew.
Matt Haig (The Comfort Book)
History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. {Letter to celebrated scientist Alexander von Humboldt, 6 December, 1813}
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
Haven't I? - he thought. Haven't I thought of it since the first time I saw you? Haven't I thought of nothing else for two years? ...He sat motionless, looking at her. He heard the words he had never allowed himself to form, the words he had felt, known, yet had not faced, had hoped to destroy by never letting them be said within his own mind. Now it was as sudden and shocking as if he were saying it to her ...Since the first time I saw you ...Nothing but your body, that mouth of yours, and the way your eyes would look at me, if ...Through every sentence I ever said to you, through every conference you thought so safe, through the importance of all the issues we discussed ...You trusted me, didn't you? To recognize your greatness? To think of you as you deserved - as if you were a man? ...Don't you suppose I know how much I've betrayed? The only bright encounter of my life - the only person I respected - the best business man I know - my ally - my partner in a desperate battle ...The lowest of all desires - as my answer to the highest I've met ...Do you know what I am? I thought of it, because it should have been unthinkable. For that degrading need, which would never touch you, I have never wanted anyone but you ...I hadn't known what it was like, to want it, until I saw you for the first time. I had thought : Not I, I couldn't be broken by it ...Since then ...For two years ...With not a moments respite ...Do you know what it's like, to want it? Would you wish to hear what I thought when I looked at you ...When I lay awake at night ...When I hear your voice over a telephone wire ...When I worked, but could not drive it away? ...To bring you down to things you cant conceive - and to know that it's I who have done it. To reduce you to a body, to teach you an animal's pleasure, to see you need it, to see you asking me for it, to see your wonderful spirit dependent on the upon the obscenity of your need. To watch you as you are, as you face the world with your clean, proud strength - then to see you, in my bed, submitting to any infamous whim I may devise, to any act which I'll preform for the sole purpose of watching your dishonor and to which you'll submit for the sake of an unspeakable sensation ...I want you - and may I be damned for it!
Ayn Rand
Beneatha: Love him? There is nothing left to love. Mama: There is always something left to love. And if you ain't learned that, you ain't learned nothing. (Looking at her) Have you cried for that boy today? I don't mean for yourself and for the family 'cause we lost the money. I mean for him: what he been through and what it done to him. Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain't through learning - because that ain't the time at all. It's when he's at his lowest and can't believe in hisself 'cause the world done whipped him so! when you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.
Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin in the Sun)
There is always a certain hour of the day and of the night when a man’s courage is at its lowest ebb, and it was that hour only that he feared.
Albert Camus
Men impose deception on women and punish them for being deceived, force them down to the lowest level and punish them for falling so low, bind them in marriage and then chastise them with menial service for life, or insults, or blows.
Nawal El Saadawi (Woman at Point Zero)
Constitutions become the ultimate tyranny," Paul said. "They’re organized power on such a scale as to be overwhelming. The constitution is social power mobilized and it has no conscience. It can crush the highest and the lowest, removing all dignity and individuality. It has an unstable balance point and no limitations.
Frank Herbert (Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, #2))
A 'very good friend' is a dangerous category with Indian girls. From here you can either make fast progress or if you play it wrong, you can go down to the lowest category invented by the Indian women ever - rakhi brother. Rakhi brother really means 'you can talk to me, but don't even freaking think about anything else you bore'.
Chetan Bhagat (The 3 Mistakes of My Life)
I'd never lived on a planet where such atrocities could happen, even before the souls came. This place was truly the highest and the lowest of all worlds- the most beautiful senses, the most exquisite emotions...the most malevolent desires, the darkest deeds. Perhaps it was meant to be so. Perhaps without the lows, the highs could not be reached.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
...the goodness of God is the highest object of prayer and it reaches down to our lowest need.
Julian of Norwich (Revelations of Divine Love (Short Text and Long Text))
Love does not traffic in a marketplace, nor use a huckster's scales. Its joy, like the joy of the intellect, is to feel itself alive. The aim of Love is to love: no more, and no less. You were my enemy: such an enemy as no man ever had. I had given you all my life, and to gratify the lowest and most contemptible of all human passions, hatred and vanity and greed, you had thrown it away. In less than three years you had entirely ruined me in every point of view. For my own sake there was nothing for me to do but to love you.
Oscar Wilde (De Profundis)
It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.
John Ruskin
You know, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.' 'And yet it is still extremely funny.
Cecelia Ahern (The Time of My Life)
Overeating is the addiction of choice of carers, and that's why it's come to be regarded as the lowest-ranking of all the addictions. It's a way of fucking yourself up while still remaining fully functional, because you have to. Fat people aren't indulging in the "luxury" of their addiction making them useless, chaotic, or a burden. Instead, they are slowly self-destructing in a way that doesn't inconvenience anyone. And that's why it's so often a woman's addiction of choice. All the quietly eating mums. All the KitKats in office drawers. All the unhappy moments, late at night, caught only in the fridge light.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
Words hold power. They can bring you from the lowest low to an ultimate high in a matter of moments, and just the opposite, too
Belle Aurora (Willing Captive)
In her glamorous quest for the darkest light and the lowest high, she now found herself wallowing on the bottom of a filthy garbage bin.
Terri Blackstock (Intervention (Intervention, #1))
The full moon rises. The fog clings to the lowest branches of the spruce trees. The man steps out of the darkest corner of the forest and finds himself transformed into... A monkey? I think not.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
It is so often surprising, who rescues you at your lowest moments.
Aimee Bender (The Color Master: Stories)
The man who will wholeheartedly deserve your love is the man who will be there at your lowest, the one who loves you in all your shades—the light, the hued and the dark.
Pamela Ann (Scornfully Yours (Torn, #1))
Always remember, no matter how big you get in life, God is still bigger; when you feel to be at your lowest point, Satan is still at the bottom.
Anthony Liccione
There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.
Henry Ford
I want you, Hank. I'm much more of an animal than you think. I wanted you from the first moment I saw you - and the only thing I'm ashamed of is that I did not know it. I did not know why, for two years, the brightest moments I found were the ones in your office, where I could lift my head to look up at you. I did not know the nature of what I felt in your presence, nor the reason. I know it now. That is all I want, Hank. I want you in my bed - and you are free of me for all the rest of your time. There's nothing you'll have to pretend - don't think of me, don't feel; don't care - I do not want your mind, your will, your being or your soul, so long as it's to me you will come for that lowest one of your desires. I am an animal who wants nothing but the sensation of pleasure which you despise - but I want it from you. You'd give up amy height of virtue for it , while I - I haven't any to give up. There's none I seek or wish to reach. I am so low that I would exchange the greatest sight of beauty in the world for the sight of your figure in the cab of a railroad engine. Amd seeing it, I would not be able to see it indifferently. You don't have to fear that you're now dependent on me. It's I who will depend on any whim of yours. You'll have me anytime you wish, anywhere, on any terms. Did you call it the obscenity of my talent? It's such that it gives you a safer hold on me than on any other property you own. You may dispose of me as you please - I'm not afraid to admit it - I have nothing to protect from you and nothing to reserve. You think that this is a threat to your achievement, but it is not to mine. I will sit at my desk, and work, and when the things around me get hard to bear, I will think that for my reward I will be in your bed that night. Did you call it depravity? I am much more depraved than you are: you hold it as your guilt, and I - as my pride. I'm more proud of it than anything I've done, more proud than of building the Line. If I'm asked to name my proudest attainment, I will say: I have slept with Hank Rearden. I had earned it.
Ayn Rand
I had become too accustomed to the pseudo-Left new style, whereby if your opponent thought he had identified your lowest possible motive, he was quite certain that he had isolated the only real one. This vulgar method, which is now the norm and the standard in much non-Left journalism as well, is designed to have the effect of making any noisy moron into a master analyst.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
The ignorant man is not free, because what confronts him is an alien world, something outside him and in the offing, on which he depends, without his having made this foreign world for himself and therefore without being at home in it by himself as in something his own. The impulse of curiosity, the pressure for knowledge, from the lowest level up to the highest rung of philosophical insight arises only from the struggle to cancel this situation of unfreedom and to make the world one's own in one's ideas and thought.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Why do you keep coming?" she asked. "Because," he said. Click on this word, he thought, and you will find links to everything it means. Because you are my oldest friend. Because, once, when I was at my lowest, you saved me. Because I might have died without you or ended up in a children's psychiatric hospital. Because I owe you. Because, selfishly, I see a future where we make fantastic games together, if you can manage to get out of bed. "Because," he repeated.
Gabrielle Zevin (Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow)
A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest form of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal in satisfying his vices. And it all comes from lying — to others and to yourself.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
The dull people decided years and years ago, as everyone knows, that novel-writing was the lowest species of literary exertion, and that novel reading was a dangerous luxury and an utter waste of time.
Wilkie Collins (My Miscellanies (1893))
I’m not ashamed of what I am - of how I pass through this life. What I am has given me the strength to do it. At my lowest ebb I have never contemplated suicide. I value what is here too much. I have a contribution to make. I am not just take up space in this life. I can add something to the lives I touch. I don’t like everything I know about myself, and I’ll never be satisfied, but nobody’s perfect. I’m not sure where the next years will take me - what they will hold - but I’m open to suggestions.
Lauren Bacall
Fuckin failures in a country of failures. Its nae good blamin it oan the English fir colonising us. Ah don't hate the English. They're just wankers. We are colonised by wankers. We can't even pick a decent, vibrant healthy society to be colonised by. No..we are ruled by effete arseholes. What does that make us? The lowest of the low, the scum of the earth. The most wretched servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat intae creation. Ah don't hate the English. They just git oan wis the shite thev got. Ah hate the Scots.
Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting)
When the highest type of men hear Tao, They diligently practice it. When the average type of men hear Tao, They half believe in it. When the lowest type of men hear Tao, They laugh heartily at it. Without the laugh, there is no Tao
Lao Tzu
[On the virtuous man] "He combines the highest, lowest and middle chords in complete harmony within himself.
Plato
Your highest thoughts sometimes arise in your lowest moments.
Matshona Dhliwayo
I hate the telephone. I think the lowest circle of hell is reserved for Alexander Graham Bell.
Rita Mae Brown
As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind - every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.
John Glenn
Every individual, from the highest to the lowest degree, has his place in the ladder of social life, and around him swirls a little world of interests, composed of stormy passions and conflicting atoms
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
The Master created humans first as the lowest type, most easily formed. Gradually, he replaced them by robots, the next higher step, and finally he created me, to take the place of the last humans.
Isaac Asimov (I, Robot)
Attacking People With Disabilities is the Lowest Display of Power I Can Think Of
Morgan Freeman
The lowest point of your life can lead to the highest.
Liane Moriarty (Nine Perfect Strangers)
I have ascended to the highest in me, and look, the Word is towering above that. I have descended to explore my lowest depths, and I found Him deeper still.
Bernard of Clairvaux
and there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he forever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than the other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.
Herman Melville
For the value of everything exists for man only so long as he does not understand it. When he has fully understood, the value is lost, be it the lowest thing or the highest thing.
Hazrat Inayat Khan (The bowl of saki: Thoughts for daily contemplation from the sayings and teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan (The collected works of Hazrat Inayat Khan))
Never be discouraged. If I were sunk in the lowest pits of Nova Scotia, with the Rocky Mountains piled on me, I would hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage, and I would come out on top.
Joseph Smith Jr.
The highest glory of the creature is in being only a vessel, to receive and enjoy and show forth the glory of God. It can do this only as it is willing to be nothing in itself, that God may be all. Water always fills first the lowest places. The lower, the emptier a man lies before God, the speedier and the fuller will be the inflow of the diving glory.
Andrew Murray (Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness)
Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart.
Salman Rushdie
Up until then I'd thought that white people and colored people getting along was the big aim, but after that I decided everybody being colorless together was a better plan. I thought of that policeman, Eddie Hazelwurst, saying I'd lowered myself to be in this house of colored women, and for the very life of me I couldn't understand how it had turned out this way, how colored women had become the lowest ones on the totem pole. You only had to look at them to see how special they were, like hidden royalty among us. Eddie Hazelwurst. What a shitbucket.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
Your lowest moment and life can be your best if you survive it and learn from it
Brian Cuban (Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder)
Because he thinks Facebook is the lowest common denominator of social discourse. Though he does like to talk about social media as a vehicle for constructing and performing identity. Whatever the hell that means.
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1))
She’s the girl you put a baby in, asshole. And if she’s been going through half the shit Lena’s been dealing with, then you are just about the lowest cunt I’ve come across in a long time for making her do it alone.
Kylie Scott (Deep (Stage Dive, #4))
When I say 'I won't hurt you', it's a promise, which can and will be kept but it does not come from me without a breakdown of what it means. It does not mean we will never disagree, nor does it mean that you will always like everything which I say or do. It does not mean that you will never hurt yourself by behaving in a way which is damaging to a relationship or by behaving in a way which would ultimately result in my withdrawal from your life. What it does mean is that I can promise all that I expect in terms of loyalty, honor and respect. It means I am faithful. It also means that I will not intentionally or carelessly behave in a way which causes upset or doubt. It means, at the lowest level, 'You will break these terms before I do.' Communication is essential. Trust is paramount. Be completely honest and don't make promises that you can't keep, that's all.
Eva Schuette
You have to remember that what we’re dealing with here are Sumerian gallu demons. The next to the lowest form of demon on the demon food chain. They’re simple demons really. Lowly. You know…morons. (Jaden)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
They were the lowest in the army, and yet they bore the weight of kings.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
It is by all odds the loftiest of cities. It even managed to reach the highest point in the sky at the lowest moment of the depression.
E.B. White (Here Is New York)
I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this pipe? GUILDENSTERN: My lord, I cannot. HAMLET: I pray you. GUILDENSTERN: Believe me, I cannot. HAMLET: I do beseech you. GUILDENSTERN: I know no touch of it, my lord. HAMLET: It is as easy as lying. Govern these ventages with our fingers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops. GUILDENSTERN: But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony. I have not the skill. HAMLET: Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me, you would seem to know my stops, you would pluck out the heart of my mystery, you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass, and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
No. I refuse to share this part of my story. It was the lowest, most humiliating, most awful week in my four-thousand plus years of life. Tragedy. Disaster. Heartbreak. I will not tell you about it. Why are you still here? Go away.
Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3))
A woman’s highest calling is to lead a man to his soul, so as to unite him with Source. Her lowest calling is to seduce, separating man from his soul and leave him aimlessly wandering. A man’s highest calling is to protect woman, so she is free to walk the earth unharmed. Man’s lowest calling is to ambush and force his way into the life of a woman.
Cherokee Proverb
Reverence the highest, have patience with the lowest. Let this day's performance of the meanest duty be thy religion. Are the stars too distant, pick up the pebble that lies at thy feet, and from it learn the all.
Margaret Fuller
What are these?" Maxon asked, brushing across the tips of my fingers as we walked. "Calluses. They're from pressing down on violin strings four hours a day." "I've never noticed them before." "Do they bother you?" I was the lowest caste of the six girls left, and I doubted any of them had hands like mine. Maxon stopped moving and lifted my fingers to his lips, kissing the tiny, worn tips. "On the contrary. I find them rather beautiful." I felt myself blush. "I've seen the world – admittedly mostly through bulletproof glass or from the tower of some ancient castle – but I've seen it. And I have access to the answers of a thousand questions at my disposal. But this small hand here?" He looked deeply into my eyes. "This hand makes sounds incomparable to anything I've ever heard. Sometimes I think I only dreamed that I heard you play the violin, it was so beautiful. These calluses are proof that it was real.
Kiera Cass (The Elite (The Selection, #2))
Just as the highest and the lowest notes are equally inaudible, so perhaps, is the greatest sense and the greatest nonsense equally unintelligible.
Allan Watts
National hatred is something peculiar. You will always find it strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Speaking of lowest, I would also like to give a very enthusiastic fuck you to my anxiety. Thanks for, as always, being the worst.
Ashley Poston (The Dead Romantics)
The housewife is an unpaid worker in her husband's house in return for the security of being a permanent employee: hers is the reductio ad absurdum of the employee who accepts a lower wage in return for permanence of his employment. But the lowest paid employees can be and are laid off, and so are wives. They have no savings, no skills which they can bargain with elsewhere, and they must bear the stigma of having been sacked.
Germaine Greer (The Female Eunuch)
If you fear making anyone mad, then you ultimately probe for the lowest common denominator of human achievement.
Jimmy Carter
The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
Oscar Wilde
I can hardly describe to you the effect of these books. They produced in me an infinity of new images and feelings that sometimes raised me to ecstasy, but more frequently sunk me into the lowest dejection.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
Poor whites are still taught to hate—but not to hate those who are keeping them in line. Lyndon Johnson knew this when he quipped, “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” We
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
The rich run a global system that allows them to accumulate capital and pay the lowest possible price for labour. The freedom that results applies only to them. The many simply have to work harder, in conditions that grow ever more insecure, to enrich the few. Democratic politics, which purports to enrich the many, is actually in the pocket of those bankers, media barons and other moguls who run and own everything.
Charles Moore
I am aware that humans believe they are the sole owners of this curse, but all creatures love, Dieter. Love is our one shared madness, our one shared burden. All creatures are driven against sense by it, and even the lowest ant will die madly for her queen.
B. Justin Shier (Zero Sum (Zero Sight, #2))
More than ambition, more than ability, it is rules that limit contribution; rules are the lowest common denominator of human behavior. They are a substitute for rational thought.
Hyman G. Rickover
Sometimes, girls, you have to hit your lowest low just before you hit your highest high. It makes you appreciate the good things so much more.
David Estes (The Moon Dwellers (The Dwellers, #1))
Unless you make yourself equal to God, you cannot understand God: for the like is not intelligible save to the like. Make yourself grow to a greatness beyond measure, by a bound free yourself from the body; raise yourself above all time, become Eternity; then you will understand God. Believe that nothing is impossible for you, think yourself immortal and capable of understanding all, all arts, all sciences, the nature of every living being. Mount higher than the highest height; descend lower than the lowest depth. Draw into yourself all sensations of everything created, fire and water, dry and moist, imagining that you are everywhere, on earth, in the sea, in the sky, that you are not yet born, in the maternal womb, adolescent, old, dead, beyond death. If you embrace in your thought all things at once, times, places, substances, qualities, quantities, you may understand God.
Giordano Bruno
Nothing, not even the best and noblest, can go on as it now is. Nothing, not even what is lowest and most bestial, will not be raised again if it submits to death. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. Flesh and blood cannot come to the Mountains [heaven]. Not because they are too rank, but because they are too weak. What is a Lizard compared with a stallion? Lust is a poor, weak, whimpering whispering thing compared with that richness and energy of desire which will arise when lust has been killed.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
In a perfect world what poor countries at the lowest rungs of economic development need is not a multi-party democracy, but in fact a decisive benevolent dictator to push through the reforms required to get the economy moving
Dambisa Moyo (Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa)
It’s never the enemy without who brings you down. It’s always the enemy within.” – Nick “Guard your back, Nick. It’s the one you don’t see coming. The one you trust whose betrayal is most lethal. They know your weakness and they know how to hit the lowest. It’s when your back is turned and your guard is down that they move in for the kill.” – Kyrian
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
But then arises the doubt, can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?
Charles Darwin
The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low. But the Gospels actually taught this: Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn’t well connected. So it goes. The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn’t look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought, and Rosewater read out loud again: Oh, boy–they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch _that_ time! And that thought had a brother: “There are right people to lynch.” Who? People not well connected. So it goes. The visitor from outer space made a gift to the Earth of a new Gospel. In it, Jesus really was a nobody, and a pain in the neck to a lot of people with better connections than he had. He still got to say all the lovely and puzzling things he said in the other Gospels. So the people amused themselves one day by nailing him to a cross and planting the cross in the ground. There couldn’t possibly be any repercussions, the lynchers thought. The reader would have to think that, too, since the new Gospel hammered home again and again what a nobody Jesus was. And then, just before the nobody died, the heavens opened up, and there was thunder and lightning. The voice of God came crashing down. He told the people that he was adopting the bum as his son, giving him the full powers and privileges of The Son of the Creator of the Universe throughout all eternity. God said this: From this moment on, He will punish horribly anybody who torments a bum who has no connections.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Man, by his very nature, tends to give himself an explanation of the world into which he is born. And this is what distinguishes him from the other species. Every individual, even the least intelligent, the lowest of outcasts, from childhood on gives himself some explanation of the world. And with it he manages to live. And without it, he would sink into madness.
Elsa Morante (History (La Storia, #1-2))
It occurs to me how close happiness and sadness are. So closely knitted together. Such a thin line, a thread-like divide that in the midst of emotions, it trembles, blurring the territory of exact opposites ... how quickly a moment of love was snapped away to a moment of hate ... Of how love and war stand upon the very same foundations. How, in my darkest moments, my most fearful times, when faced, became my bravest. When feeling at your weakest you end up showing more strength, when at your lowest are suddenly lifted above higher than you've ever been. They all border one another, the opposites, and how we can be altered. Despair can be altered by one simple smile offered by a stranger; confidence can become fear by the arrival of one uneasy presence. ... How similar emotions are.
Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)
Algebra applies to the clouds, the radiance of the star benefits the rose--no thinker would dare to say that the perfume of the hawthorn is useless to the constellations. Who could ever calculate the path of a molecule? How do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by falling grains of sand? Who can understand the reciprocal ebb and flow of the infinitely great and the infinitely small, the echoing of causes in the abyss of being and the avalanches of creation? A mite has value; the small is great, the great is small. All is balanced in necessity; frightening vision for the mind. There are marvelous relations between beings and things, in this inexhaustible whole, from sun to grub, there is no scorn, each needs the other. Light does not carry terrestrial perfumes into the azure depths without knowing what it does with them; night distributes the stellar essence to the sleeping plants. Every bird that flies has the thread of the infinite in its claw. Germination includes the hatching of a meteor and the tap of a swallow's beak breaking the egg, and it guides the birth of the earthworm, and the advent of Socrates. Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has a greater view? Choose. A bit of mold is a pleiad of flowers; a nebula is an anthill of stars. The same promiscuity, and still more wonderful, between the things of the intellect and material things. Elements and principles are mingled, combined, espoused, multiplied one by another, to the point that the material world, and the moral world are brought into the same light. Phenomena are perpetually folded back on themselves. In the vast cosmic changes, universal life comes and goes in unknown quantities, rolling everything up in the invisible mystery of the emanations, using everything, losing no dream from any single sleep, sowing a microscopic animal here, crumbling a star there, oscillating and gyrating, making a force of light, and an element of thought, disseminated and indivisible dissolving all, that geometric point, the self; reducing everything to the soul-atom; making everything blossom into God; entangling from the highest to the lowest, all activities in the obscurity of a dizzying mechanism, linking the flight of an insect to the movement of the earth, subordinating--who knows, if only by the identity of the law--the evolutions of the comet in the firmament to the circling of the protozoa in the drop of water. A machine made of mind. Enormous gearing, whose first motor is the gnat, and whose last is the zodiac.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
We have the lowest student-teacher ratio and spend five times as much on schools than war - the opposite of what the United States does. [explaining why Cuba has the highest literacy in the world]
Fidel Castro
Is it not when the fall is the lowest that charity ought to be the greatest?
Victor Hugo
Over time, continual bad news will discourage any civilian population, and Americans had the lowest tolerance on the planet for bad news.
Karl Marlantes (Matterhorn)
The same president who has insisted that core moralism drives him has brought America to its lowest moral standing in history.
Glenn Greenwald (A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency)
But something magical happened to me when I went to Reardan. Overnight I became a good player. I suppose it had something to do with confidence. I mean, I'd always been the lowest Indian on the reservation totem pole - I wasn't expected to be good so I wasn't. But in Reardan, my coach and the other players wanted me to be good. They needed me to be good. They expected me to be good. And so I became good. I wanted to live up to the expectations. I guess that's what it comes down to. The power of expectations. And as they expected more of me, I expected more of myself, and it just grew and grew.
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
Pay no attention to the terrors that visit you in the night. The psyche is at its lowest ebb then, unable to defend itself. The desolation that envelops you feels like truth, but isn't. It's just mental fatigue masquerading as insight.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Fresh Complaint: Stories)
But, this dark place is not the end. Remember that the darkness of night precedes the dawn. And as long as your heart still beats, this is not the death of it. You don’t have to die here. Sometimes, the ocean floor is only a stop on the journey. And it is when you are at this lowest point, that you are faced with a choice. You can stay there at the bottom, until you drown. Or you can gather pearls and rise back up—stronger from the swim, and richer from the jewels.
Yasmin Mogahed
History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
Thomas Jefferson
You can tell the lowest class by their habit of always talking about persons; the next, by the fact that their habit is always to converse about things; the highest, by their preference for the discussion of ideas.
Henry Thomas Buckle
Emotions are the lowest form of consciousness. Emotional actions are the most contracted, narrowing, dangerous form of behavior. The romantic poetry and fiction of the last 200 years has quite blinded us to the fact that emotions are an active and harmful form of stupor. Any peasant can tell you that. Beware of emotions. Any child can tell you that. Watch out for the emotional person. He is a lurching lunatic. Emotions are caused by biochemical secretions in the body to serve during the state of acute emergency. An emotional person is a blind, crazed maniac. Emotions are addictive and narcotic and stupefacient. Do not trust anyone who comes on emotional. What are the emotions? In a book entitled Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality, written when I was a psychologist, I presented classifications of emotions and detailed descriptions of their moderate and extreme manifestations. Emotions are all based on fear. [...] The emotional person cannot think; he cannot perform any effective game action (except in acts of physical aggression and strength). The emotional person is turned off sensually. His body is a churning robot. [...] The only state in which we can learn, harmonize, grow, merge, join, understand is the absence of emotion. This is called bliss or ecstasy, attained through centering the emotions. [...] Conscious love is not an emotion; it is serene merging with yourself, with other people, with other forms of energy. Love cannot exist in an emotional state. [...] The great kick of the mystic experience, the exultant, ecstatic hit, is the sudden relief from emotional pressure. Did you imagine that there could be emotions in heaven? Emotions are closely tied to ego games. Check your emotions at the door to paradise.
Timothy Leary (The Politics of Ecstasy)
A woman sits on the ground, leaning against a pine. Its bark presses hard against her back, as hard as life. Its needles scent the air and a force hums in the heart of the wood. Her ears tune down to the lowest frequencies. The tree is saying things, in words before words.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
I’m an anarchist. I’m implacably opposed to heirarchical systems of power and control. I also mistrust crowds, as they often operate according to their lowest common denominator. In terms of evolutionary psychology, the crowd is very close to a herd of stampeding wildebeest.
Will Self
Throughout human history, three caste systems have stood out. The tragically accelerated, chilling, and officially vanquished caste system of Nazi Germany. The lingering, millennia-long caste system of India. And the shape-shifting, unspoken, race-based caste pyramid in the United States. Each version relied on stigmatizing those deemed inferior to justify the dehumanization necessary to keep the lowest-ranked people at the bottom and to rationalize the protocols of enforcement. A caste system endures because it is often justified as divine will, originating from sacred text or the presumed laws of nature, reinforced throughout the culture and passed down through the generations.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
Idleness, pleasure, what abysses! To do nothing is a dreary course to take, be sure of it. To live idle upon the substance of society! To be useless, that is to say, noxious! This leads straight to the lowest depth of misery.
Victor Hugo
Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history, mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.
P.J. O'Rourke (Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government)
Incidentally, I really agree with those who say that the capacity to forgive says something about the essential quality of a person. I'm the lowest grade.' 'I didn't mean to criticize you.' 'I promise to be better in my next life...
Jo Nesbø (Panserhjerte (Harry Hole, #8))
I could solve all the Diophantine equations, extend Newton’s work on infinite series, complete Euler's analysis of prime numbers, and it wouldn’t matter.” She looked at Isabelle. “Ella is the beauty. You and I are the ugly stepsisters. And so the world reduces us, all three of us, to our lowest common denominator.
Jennifer Donnelly (Stepsister)
We live among ruins in a World in which ‘god is dead’ as Nietzsche stated. The ideals of today are comfort, expediency, surface knowledge, disregard for one’s ancestral heritage and traditions, catering to the lowest standards of taste and intelligence, apotheosis of the pathetic, hoarding of material objects and possessions, disrespect for all that is inherently higher and better — in other words a complete inversion of true values and ideals, the raising of the victory flag of ignorance and the banner of degeneracy. In such a time, social decadence is so widespread that it appears as a natural component of all political institutions. The crises that dominate the daily lives of our societies are part of a secret occult war to remove the support of spiritual and traditional values in order to turn man into a passive instrument of dark powers. The common ground of both Capitalism and Socialism is a materialistic view of life and being. Materialism in its war with the Spirit has taken on many forms; some have promoted its goals with great subtlety, whilst others have done so with an alarming lack of subtlety, but all have added, in greater or lesser measure, to the growing misery of Mankind. The forms which have done the most damage in our time may be enumerated as: Freemasonry, Liberalism, Nihilism, Capitalism, Socialism, Marxism, Imperialism, Anarchism, Modernism and the New Age.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr
What I am in the eyes of most people - a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person - somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then - even if that were absolutely true, then I should like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart.
Vincent van Gogh
But it wasn’t. Sex is not the most intimate thing two lovers can do. Even when the sex is beautiful. Even when it’s perfect.” Millie drew a deep breath as if she remembered how perfect it had truly been. “The most intimate thing we can do is to allow the people we love most to see us at our worst. At our lowest. At our weakest. True intimacy happens when nothing is perfect. And I don’t think you’re ready to be intimate with me, David.
Amy Harmon (The Song of David (The Law of Moses, #2))
There is a tendency on the left, to think if someone in any way disagrees with the left it must be for the lowest possible reason and if you found the lowest possible motive you have found the right one. Theres this whole culture of no one would leave us or quarrel with us if they weren't a sellout. It is actually a very sick mentality and very widespread.
Christopher Hitchens
Moralism and ignorance are responsible for the constant stereotyping of prostitutes by their lowest common denominator -- the sick, strung-out addicts, couched on city stoops, who turn tricks for drug money. . . . The most successful prostitutes in history have been invisible. That invisibility was produced by their high intelligence, which gives them the power to perceive, and move freely but undetected in the social frame. The prostitute is a superb analyst, not only in evading the law but in initiating the unique constellation of convention and fantasy that produces a stranger’s orgasm. She lives by her wits as much as her body. She is a psychologist, actor, and dancer, a performance artist of hyper-developed sexual imagination.
Camille Paglia (Vamps & Tramps: New Essays)
I fear you will never arrive at an understanding of God so long as you cannot bring yourself to see the good that often comes as a result of pain. For there is nothing, from the lowest, weakest tone of suffering to the loftiest acme of pain, to which God does not respond. There is nothing in all the universe which does not in some way vibrate within the heart of God. No creature suffers alone; He suffers with His creatures and through it is in the process of bringing His sons and daughters through the cleansing and glorifying fires, without which the created cannot be made the very children of God, partakers of the divine nature and peace.
George MacDonald (The Marquis' Secret (Malcolm, #2))
One night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord. When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma. "Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I'm aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don't understand why, when I need You most, You leave me." He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.
Margaret Fishback Powers
How can you tell when someone loves the real you and not the idea of you?” “They see you at your lowest,” he said softly, pitching his voice so Cruz had no hope of overhearing, “and they don’t blink. They don’t offer you a hand up, they offer you a hand to hold while you rise on your own.
Hailey Edwards (How to Dance an Undead Waltz (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #4))
He sat on as the sun's rays came slowly down through the trees, lower and lower, and when the lowest reached a branch not far above him it caught a dewdrop poised upon a leaf. The drop instantly blazed crimson, and a slight movement of his head made it show all the colours of the spectrum with extraordinary purity, from a red almost too deep to be seen through all the others to the ultimate violet and back again.
Patrick O'Brian (The Reverse of the Medal (Aubrey/Maturin, #11))
When Rosencrantz asks Hamlet, "Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? You do surely bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny your grief to your friends"(III, ii, 844-846), Hamlet responds, "Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck from my lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me." (III,ii, 371-380)
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
Syn may be too much of a gentleman to hit you, but I’m not. I’m not only ashamed to call you human, I’m completely disgusted that we share the same gender. You want to know the truth? The only filth in this room is you, and you’re the one who doesn’t deserve to breathe our air. Decent’s got nothing to do with birthright. It’s all about actions, and trust me, you’re the lowest form I’ve ever met and I’ve taken in the worst scum imaginable. But I’d rather sit at the table with them than you any day. (Shahara to Mara)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Fire (The League: Nemesis Rising, #2))
When she heard the door behind her open, she spoke without turning. "You've got a man who doesn't particularly like women as a species, considers them inferior. Well, to be fair, considers everyone inferior, but I got a definitive vibe women were lowest on his feeding chain. Called me 'miss,'" she grumbled. "And lived?" Roarke stepped behind her and began rubbing her shoulders.
J.D. Robb (Seduction in Death (In Death, #13))
Sometimes, the ocean floor is only a stop on the journey. And it is when you are at this lowest point, that you are faced with a choice. You can stay there at the bottom, until you drown. Or you can gather pearls and rise back up — stronger from the swim and richer from the jewels.
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart: Personal Insights on Breaking Free from Life's Shackles)
It was The Gospel From Outer Space, by Kilgore Trout. It was about a visitor from outer space...[who] made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low. But the Gospels actually taught this: Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn't well connected. So it goes. The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn't look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought...: "Oh, boy - they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!" And that thought had a brother: "There are right people to lynch." Who? People not well connected. So it goes.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
The problem with a lot of people who read only literary fiction is that they assume fantasy is just books about orcs and goblins and dragons and wizards and bullshit. And to be fair, a lot of fantasy is about that stuff. The problem with people in fantasy is they believe that literary fiction is just stories about a guy drinking tea and staring out the window at the rain while he thinks about his mother. And the truth is a lot of literary fiction is just that. Like, kind of pointless, angsty, emo, masturbatory bullshit. However, we should not be judged by our lowest common denominators. And also you should not fall prey to the fallacious thinking that literary fiction is literary and all other genres are genre. Literary fiction is a genre, and I will fight to the death anyone who denies this very self-evident truth. So, is there a lot of fantasy that is raw shit out there? Absolutely, absolutely, it’s popcorn reading at best. But you can’t deny that a lot of lit fic is also shit. 85% of everything in the world is shit. We judge by the best. And there is some truly excellent fantasy out there. For example, Midsummer Night’s Dream; Hamlet with the ghost; Macbeth, ghosts and witches; I’m also fond of the Odyessey; Most of the Pentateuch in the Old Testament, Gargantua and Pantagruel. Honestly, fantasy existed before lit fic, and if you deny those roots you’re pruning yourself so closely that you can’t help but wither and die.
Patrick Rothfuss
You taught me what it means to fight for what you love. You showed me great endurance in a manner that was unusual to me. You fought for my heart until all the fight in you was gone without neglecting your brain. You displayed to me what unconditional love should look like, if I were to stare at it in a mirror. You loved me even on the days I found it difficult to even love myself. You scooped down to help me up at my lowest. You chained your heart to mine and stayed by my side even when all the signs gave you red lights about continuing our relationship. You remained loyal, even when I became disloyal, and fulfilled the belief that many men are dogs. You hung on longer than I expected, Loved me more than I could ever imagine. Some may have called you foolish for staying, but you showed me an aspect of love I’ve only read about in 1 Corinthians 13.
Pierre Alex Jeanty (To the Women I Once Loved)
The High Places,” answered the Shepherd, “are the starting places for the journey down to the lowest place in the world. When you have hinds’ feet and can go ‘leaping on the mountains and skipping on the hills,’ you will be able, as I am, to run down from the heights in the gladdest self-giving and then go up to the mountains again. You will be able to mount to the High Places swifter than eagles, for it is only up on the High Places of Love that anyone can receive the power to pour themselves down in an utter abandonment of self-giving.
Hannah Hurnard (Hinds' Feet on High Places: The Original and Complete Allegory with a Devotional for Women: The Original and Complete Allegory with a Devotional and Journal for Women)
She likes the mystery of that changeover, those fifteen minutes of sundown when the streets and trees and people and parked cars are delicate and immediate, every sound and smell and movement amplified by the lowest light or the lightest darkness. Even a city that’s broken and dirty can, in that time, be divine and intimate.
Jardine Libaire (White Fur)
[B]y being so long in the lowest form I gained an immense advantage over the cleverer boys. They all went on to learn Latin and Greek and splendid things like that. But I was taught English. We were considered such dunces that we could learn only English. Mr. Somervell -- a most delightful man, to whom my debt is great -- was charged with the duty of teaching the stupidest boys the most disregarded thing -- namely, to write mere English. He knew how to do it. He taught it as no one else has ever taught it. Not only did we learn English parsing thoroughly, but we also practised continually English analysis. . . Thus I got into my bones the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence -- which is a noble thing. And when in after years my schoolfellows who had won prizes and distinction for writing such beautiful Latin poetry and pithy Greek epigrams had to come down again to common English, to earn their living or make their way, I did not feel myself at any disadvantage. Naturally I am biased in favour of boys learning English. I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat. But the only thing I would whip them for would be not knowing English. I would whip them hard for that.
Winston S. Churchill (My Early Life, 1874-1904)
You see, he had once known a woman who had told herself she could do anything – and then decided she could do nothing; a woman who, finding herself at her lowest, did her best to push everyone away. And he realized in that moment that he had to make things right. He felt her injustices more fiercely than he had ever felt anything for himself. He realized, as he held her to him and kissed the top of her head and felt her cling to him, that he would do anything he could to make her happy, and her kids, and to keep them safe and give them a fair chance.
Jojo Moyes (One Plus One)
Bad music is a form of murder to the true art of music in general.Bad music forced on a child is abuse because it invariably forms that child´s taste in music. Bad music has raped an industry that was held up strongly by great expression for decades but now finds itself floundering, giving in to the lowest common denominator of music just to keep its panties around its waist. Bad music tortures the eardrums and kills little bits of your senses through prolonged exposure. Bad music steals money from shallow pockets, steals airtime from more deserving bands and songwriters, and steals the spotlight from undiscovered geniuses who have all but given up on a dream because of the mediocrity of popular radio. Bad music is a lie, and yet it is foisted on the public in an attempt to turn melodies and songs into hamburgers and fries. Bad music is truly a sin because you don´t have to be exceptional to make it in the music industry anymore. You just have to be good enough to stick around and be tolerated. I understand that bad music is a matter of opinion. I know that. But I am fairly confident that more people agree with me than you suspect. Bad music is just fucking bad.
Corey Taylor (Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good)
Ranna," she said aloud, touching the first, the smallest bell. Ranna the sleepbringer, the sweet, low sound that brought silence in its wake. "Mosrael." The second bell, a harsh, rowdy bell. Mosrael was the waker, the bell Sabriel should never use, the bell whose sound was a seesaw, throwing the ringer further into Death, as it brought the listener into Life. "Kibeth." Kibeth, the walker. A bell of several sounds, a difficult and contrary bell. It could give freedom of movement to one of the Dead, or walk them through the next gate. Many a necromancer had stumbled with Kibeth and walked where they would not. "Dyrim." A musical bell, of clear and pretty tone. Dyrim was the voice that the Dead so often lost. But Dyrim could also still a tongue that moved too freely. "Belgaer." Another tricksome bell, that sought to ring of its own accord. Belgaer was the thinking bell, the bell most necromancers scorned to use. It could restore independent thought, memory and all the patterns of a living person. Or, slipping in a careless hand, erase them. "Saraneth." The deepest, lowest bell. The sound of strength. Saraneth was the binder, the bell that shackled the Dead to the wielder's will. And last, the largest bell, the one Sabriel's cold fingers found colder still, even in the leather case that kept it silent. "Astarael, the Sorrowful," whispered Sabriel. Astarael was the banisher, the final bell. Properly rung, it cast everyone who heard it far into Death. Everyone, including the ringer.
Garth Nix (Sabriel (Abhorsen, #1))
It is remarkable that mind enters into our awareness of nature on two separate levels. At the highest level, the level of human consciousness, our minds are somehow directly aware of the complicated flow of electrical and chemical patterns in our brains. At the lowest level, the level of single atoms and electrons, the mind of an observer is again involved in the description of events. Between lies the level of molecular biology, where mechanical models are adequate and mind appears to be irrelevant. But I, as a physicist, cannot help suspecting that there is a logical connection between the two ways in which mind appears in my universe. I cannot help thinking that our awareness of our own brains has something to do with the process which we call "observation" in atomic physics. That is to say, I think our consciousness is not just a passive epiphenomenon carried along by the chemical events in our brains, but is an active agent forcing the molecular complexes to make choices between one quantum state and another. In other words, mind is already inherent in every electron, and the processes of human consciousness differ only in degree but not in kind from the processes of choice between quantum states which we call "chance" when they are made by electrons.
Freeman Dyson
In short, we would discover, as we should already, that logic is in the eye of the logician. (For instance, here's an idea for theorists and logicians: if women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn't it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? I leave further improvisation up to you.)
Gloria Steinem
Respect for individual human personality has with us reached its lowest point," observed one intellectual in 1921, "and it is delightfully ironical that no nation is so constantly talking about personality as we are. We actually have schools for 'self-expression' and 'self-development,' although we seem usually to mean the expression and development of a successful real estate agent.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world. But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you, So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also. And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree, So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all. Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self. You are the way and the wayfarers. And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
Kahlil Gibran
These wonderful narrations inspired me with strange feelings. Was man, indeed, at once so powerful, so virtuous and magnificent, yet so vicious and base? He appeared at one time a mere scion of the evil principle, and at another as all that can be conceived of noble and godlike. To be a great and virtuous man appeared the highest honour that can befall a sensitive being; to be base and vicious, as many on record have been, appeared the lowest degradation, a condition more abject than that of the blind mole or harmless worm. For a long time I could not conceive how one man could go forth to murder his fellow, or even why there were laws and governments; but when I heard details of vice and bloodshed, my wonder ceased, and I turned away with disgust and loathing.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
Love sharpens intelligence, fear dulls it. Who wants you to be intelligent? Not those who are in power. How can they want you to be intelligent?—because if you are intelligent you will start seeing the whole strategy, their games. They want you to be stupid and mediocre. They certainly want you to be efficient as far as work is concerned, but not intelligent; hence humanity lives at the lowest, at the minimum of its potential.
Osho (Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously)
I have a foreboding of America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time–when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all of the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; with our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. And when the dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites now down to 10 seconds or less, lowest-common-denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
Dad took moving pictures of us children washing dishes, so that he could figure out how we could reduce our motions and thus hurry through the task. Irregular jobs, such as painting the back porch or removing a stump from the front lawn, were awarded on a low-bid basis. Each child who wanted extra pocket money submitted a sealed bid saying what he would do the job for. The lowest bidder got the contract.
Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. (Cheaper by the Dozen)
All his life Robert Grainier would remember vividly the burned valley at sundown, the most dreamlike business he’d ever witnessed waking—the brilliant pastels of the last light overhead, some clouds high and white, catching daylight from beyond the valley, others ribbed and gray and pink, the lowest of them rubbing the peaks of Bussard and Queen mountains; and beneath this wondrous sky the black valley, utterly still, the train moving through it making a great noise but unable to wake this dead world.
Denis Johnson (Train Dreams)
Why did you come in to-night with your heads in the air? 'Make way, we are coming! Give us every right and don't you dare breathe a word before us. Pay us every sort of respect, such as no one's ever heard of, and we shall treat you worse than the lowest lackey!' They strive for justice, they stand on their rights, and yet they've slandered him like infidels in their article. We demand, we don't ask, and you will get no gratitude from us, because you are acting for the satisfaction of your own conscience! Queer sort of reasoning!... He has not borrowed money from you, he doesn't owe you anything, so what are you reckoning on, if not his gratitude? So how can you repudiate it? Lunatics! They regard society as savage and inhuman, because it cries shame on the seduced girl; but if you think society inhuman, you must think that the girl suffers from the censure of society, and if she does, how is it you expose her to society in the newspapers and expect her not to suffer? Lunatics! Vain creatures! They don't believe in God, they don't believe in Christ! Why, you are so eaten up with pride and vanity that you'll end by eating up one another, that's what I prophesy. Isn't that topsy-turvydom, isn't it infamy?
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
Already the new men are dotted here and there all over the earth. Some, as I have admitted, are still hardly recognisable: but others can be recognised. Every now and then one meets them. Their very voices and faces are different from ours: stronger, quieter, happier, more radiant. They begin where most of us leave off. They are, I say, recognisable; but you must know what to look for. They will not be very like the idea of ‘religious people’ which you have formed from your general reading. They do not draw attention to themselves. You tend to think that you are being kind to them when they are really being kind to you. They love you more than other men do, but they need you less. (We must get over wanting to be NEEDED: in some goodish people, specially women, that is the hardest of all temptations to resist.) They will usually seem to have a lot of time: you will wonder where it comes from. When you have recognised one of them, you will recognise the next one much more easily. And I strongly suspect (but how should I know?) that they recognise one another immediately and infallibly, across every barrier of colour, sex, class, age, and even of creeds. In that way, to become holy is rather like joining a secret society. To put it at the very lowest, it must be great fun
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
A woman, if she hates her husband (and many of them do), can make life so sour and obnoxious to him that even death upon the gallows seems sweet by comparison. This hatred, of course, is often, and perhaps almost invariably, quite justified. To be the wife of an ordinary man, indeed, is an experience that must be very hard to bear. The hollowness and vanity of the fellow, his petty meanness and stupidity, his puling sentimentality and credulity, his bombastic air of a cock on a dunghill, his anaesthesia to all whispers and summonings of the spirit, above all, his loathsome clumsiness in amour—all these things must revolt any woman above the lowest.
H.L. Mencken (In Defense of Women)
If a man can realize his divine nature with the help of an image, would it be right to call that a sin? Nor, even when he has passed that stage, should he call it an error. [...] man is not traveling from error to truth, but from truth to truth, from lower to higher truth. To him all the religions from the lowest fetishism to the highest absolutism, mean so many attempts of the human soul to grasp and realize the Infinite, each determined by the conditions of its birth and association, and each of these marks a stage of progress; and every soul is a young eagle soaring higher and higher, gathering more and more strength till it reaches the Glorious Sun.
Swami Vivekananda
The gender pay gap in Korea is the highest among the OECD countries. According to 2014 data, women working in Korea earn only 63 percent of what men earn; the OECD average percentage is 84.13 Korea was also ranked as the worst country in which to be a working woman, receiving the lowest scores among the nations surveyed on the glass-ceiling index by the British magazine The Economist.14 8 “Repeated Protests against Tuition Increase,” Yonhap News, April 6, 2011.
Cho Nam-joo (Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982)
That girls should not marry for money we are all agreed. A lady who can sell herself for a title or an estate, for an income or a set of family diamonds, treats herself as a farmer treats his sheep and oxen — makes hardly more of herself, of her own inner self, in which are comprised a mind and soul, than the poor wretch of her own sex who earns her bread in the lowest stage of degradation. But a title, and an estate, and an income, are matters which will weigh in the balance with all Eve’s daughters — as they do with all Adam’s sons. Pride of place, and the power of living well in front of the world’s eye, are dear to us all; — are, doubtless, intended to be dear. Only in acknowledging so much, let us remember that there are prices at which these good things may be too costly.
Anthony Trollope (Complete Works of Anthony Trollope)
If you have people who treat you badly in your life, they will be a human shield against people who will treat you well. If that’s not true then we should apply it to marriage and start saying to woman who are being put down or beaten, “you gotta stay with him because he needs you and he has been your husband for 20 years for heaven sakes. You just have to work to love him more and so on.” This is the advice they gave to woman like 200 fucking years ago and it was abusive advice. I view the parent child relationship (This just not my made up perspective.) it is the least voluntary relationship. At least the woman who got married chose to get married. We don’t choose our parents. The highest standards of behavior are required for parents and no one else. There is no one else whose standards of behavior need be higher than parents and so often parents get away with the lowest possible standards of behavior with regards to their children.
Stefan Molyneux
Was man, indeed, at once so powerful, so virtuous and magnificent, yet so vicious and base? He appeared at one time a mere scion of the evil principle and at another as all that can be conceived of noble and godlike. To be a great and virtuous man appeared the highest honour that can befall a sensitive being; to be base and vicious, as many on record have been, appeared the lowest degradation, a condition more abject than that of the blind mole or harmless worm. For a long time I could not conceive how one man could go forth to murder his fellow, or even why there were laws and governments; but when I heard details of vice and bloodshed, my wonder ceased and I turned away with disgust and loathing.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
From our first day alive on this planet, they began teaching society everything it knows and experiences. It was all brainwashing bullshit. Their trio of holy catechisms is: faith is more important than reason; inputs are more important than outcomes; hope is more important than reality. It was designed to choke your independent thinking and acting—to bring out the lowest common denominator in people—so that vast amounts of the general public would literally buy into sponsorship and preservation of their hegemonic nation. Their greatest achievement was the creation of the two-party political system; it gave only the illusion of choice, but never offered any change; it promised freedom, but only delivered more limits. In the end, you got stuck with two leading loser parties and not just one. It completed their trap of underhanded domination, and it worked masterfully. Look anywhere you go. America is a nation of submissive, dumbed-down, codependent, faith-minded zombies obsessed with celebrity gossip, buying unnecessary goods, and socializing without purpose on their electronic gadgets. The crazy thing is that people don't even know it; they still think they're free. Everywhere, people have been made into silent accomplices in the government's twisted control game. In the end, there is no way out for anyone.
Zoltan Istvan (The Transhumanist Wager)
Even Solomon, he says, “the man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.” Give not thyself up, then, to fire, lest it invert thee, deaden thee, as for the time it did me. There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the gorge, that gore is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar. (pg 465)
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
If there is God, then the will is all his, and I cannot get out of his will. If not, the will is all mine, and it is my duty to proclaim self-will." "Self-will? And why is it your duty?" "Because the will has all become mine. Can it be that no one on the whole planet, having ended God and believed in self-will, dares to proclaim self-will to the fullest point? It's as if a poor man received an inheritance, got scared, and doesn't dare go near the bag, thinking he's too weak to own it. I want to proclaim self-will. I may be the only one, but I'll do it. "Do it, then." "It is my duty to shoot myself because the fullest point of my self-will is--for me to kill myself...to kill someone else would be the lowest point of my self-will, and there's the whole of you in that. I am not you: I want the highest point, and will kill myself...It is my duty to proclaim unbelief," Kirillow was pacing the room. "For me no idea is higher than that there is no God. The history of mankind is on my side. Man has done nothing but invent God, so as to live without killing himself; in that lies the whole of world history up to now. I alone for the first time in world history did not want to invent God. Let them know once and for all.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful indeed And worthy of acceptation. Fire is bright, Let temple burn, or flax; an equal light Leaps in the flame from cedar-plank or weed: And love is fire. And when I say at need I love thee ... mark! ... I love thee -- in thy sight I stand transfigured, glorified aright, With conscience of the new rays that proceed Out of my face toward thine. There's nothing low In love, when love the lowest: meanest creatures Who love God, God accepts while loving so. And what I feel, across the inferior features Of what I am, doth flash itself, and show How that great work of Love enhances Nature's.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Sonnets from the Portuguese)
Before the Law stands a doorkeeper on guard. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country who begs for admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot admit the man at the moment. The man, on reflection, asks if he will be allowed, then, to enter later. 'It is possible,' answers the doorkeeper, 'but not at this moment.' Since the door leading into the Law stands open as usual and the doorkeeper steps to one side, the man bends down to peer through the entrance. When the doorkeeper sees that, he laughs and says: 'If you are so strongly tempted, try to get in without my permission. But note that I am powerful. And I am only the lowest doorkeeper. From hall to hall keepers stand at every door, one more powerful than the other. Even the third of these has an aspect that even I cannot bear to look at.' These are difficulties which the man from the country has not expected to meet, the Law, he thinks, should be accessible to every man and at all times, but when he looks more closely at the doorkeeper in his furred robe, with his huge pointed nose and long, thin, Tartar beard, he decides that he had better wait until he gets permission to enter. The doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down at the side of the door. There he sits waiting for days and years. He makes many attempts to be allowed in and wearies the doorkeeper with his importunity. The doorkeeper often engages him in brief conversation, asking him about his home and about other matters, but the questions are put quite impersonally, as great men put questions, and always conclude with the statement that the man cannot be allowed to enter yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, parts with all he has, however valuable, in the hope of bribing the doorkeeper. The doorkeeper accepts it all, saying, however, as he takes each gift: 'I take this only to keep you from feeling that you have left something undone.' During all these long years the man watches the doorkeeper almost incessantly. He forgets about the other doorkeepers, and this one seems to him the only barrier between himself and the Law. In the first years he curses his evil fate aloud; later, as he grows old, he only mutters to himself. He grows childish, and since in his prolonged watch he has learned to know even the fleas in the doorkeeper's fur collar, he begs the very fleas to help him and to persuade the doorkeeper to change his mind. Finally his eyes grow dim and he does not know whether the world is really darkening around him or whether his eyes are only deceiving him. But in the darkness he can now perceive a radiance that streams immortally from the door of the Law. Now his life is drawing to a close. Before he dies, all that he has experienced during the whole time of his sojourn condenses in his mind into one question, which he has never yet put to the doorkeeper. He beckons the doorkeeper, since he can no longer raise his stiffening body. The doorkeeper has to bend far down to hear him, for the difference in size between them has increased very much to the man's disadvantage. 'What do you want to know now?' asks the doorkeeper, 'you are insatiable.' 'Everyone strives to attain the Law,' answers the man, 'how does it come about, then, that in all these years no one has come seeking admittance but me?' The doorkeeper perceives that the man is at the end of his strength and that his hearing is failing, so he bellows in his ear: 'No one but you could gain admittance through this door, since this door was intended only for you. I am now going to shut it.
Franz Kafka (The Trial)
But love, first learnèd in a lady's eyes, Lives not alone immurèd in the brain, But, with the motion of all elements, Courses as swift as thought in every power, And gives to every power a double power, Above their functions and their offices. It adds a precious seeing to the eye; A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind; A lover's ears will hear the lowest sound, When the suspicious head of theft is stopped: Love's feeling is more soft and sensible Than are the tender horns of cockled snails: Love's tongue proves dainty Baccus gross in taste. For valour, is not love a Hercules, Still climbing trees in the Hesperides? Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair; And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony. Never durst poet touch a pen to write Until his ink were tempered with Love's sighs.
William Shakespeare (Love's Labour's Lost)
Two years ago," she says, "I was afraid of spiders, suffocation, walls that inch slowly inward and trap you between them,getting thrown out of Dauntless, uncontrollable bleeding, getting run over by a train, my father's death,public humiliation, and kidnapping by men without faces." Everyone stares blankly at her. "Most of you will have anywhere from ten to fifteen years in your fear landscapes. That is the average number," she says. "What's the lowest number someone has gotten?" asks Lynn. "In recent years," says Lauren, "four." I have not looked at Tobias since we were in the cafeteria,but I can't help but look at him now. He keeps his eyes trained on the floor. I knew that four was a low number, low enough to merit a nickname,but I didn't know it was less than half the average. I glare at my feet.He's exceptional. And now he won't even look at me.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
When the oppressed, downtrodden, outraged exhort one another with the vengeful cunning of impotence: "let us be different from the evil, namely good! And he is good who does not outrage, who harms nobody, who does not attack, who does not requite, who leaves revenge to God, who keeps himself hidden as we do, who avoids evil and desires little from life, like us, the patient, humble, and just" -- this, listened to calmly and without previous bias, really amounts to no more than: "we weak ones are, after all, weak; it would be good if we did nothing for which we are not strong enough"; but this dry matter of fact, this prudence of the lowest order which even insects possess (popsing as dead, when in great danger, so as not to do "too much"), has, thanks to counterfeit and self-deception of impotence, clad itself in the ostentatious garb of the virtue of quiet, calm resignation, just as if the weakness of the weak -- that is to say, their essence, their effects, their sole ineluctable, irremovable reality - were a voluntary achievement, willed, chosen, a deed, a meritous act.
Friedrich Nietzsche (On the Genealogy of Morals / Ecce Homo)
The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things. The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass. The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass. The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor's craft is the type. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom are among the least religious societies on [E]arth. According to the United Nations' Human Development Report (2005) they are also the healthiest, as indicated by life expectancy, adult literacy, per capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate, and infant mortality. Insofar as there is a crime problem in Western Europe, it is largely the product of immigration. Seventy percent of the inmates of France's jails, for instance, are Muslim. The Muslims of Western Europe are generally not atheists. Conversely, the fifty nations now ranked lowest in terms of the United Nations' [H]uman [D]evelopment [I]ndex are unwaveringly religious. Other analyses paint the same picture: the United States is unique among wealthy democracies in its level of religious adherence; it is also uniquely beleaguered by high rates of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and infant mortality. The same comparison holds true within the United States itself: Southern and Midwestern states, characterized by the highest levels of religious literalism, are especially plagued by the above indicators of societal dysfunction, while the comparatively secular states of the Northeast conform to European norms.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
An indisputable law of physics, water always finds the lowest level in an incredibly efficient manner. It penetrates any crevice or path that will facilitate its downward flow, steadily meandering and descending in search of lower planes. In our physical world, water is as efficient as gravity is unforgiving. Human beings are mostly water. The body is comprised of more than 70% water and it is always tragic when human beings, true to their chemical composition, emulate the efficiency of water during dark, difficult periods in their lives, allowing one misstep or transgression to lead to lower and lower descent. Water can be beautiful to watch as it cascades downward in its transparent and fluid simplicity, but some human beings also have a tendency to fall and sink, like water without the beauty.
Michael Bowe (Skyscraper of a Man)
Now observe that in all the propaganda of the ecologists—amidst all their appeals to nature and pleas for “harmony with nature”—there is no discussion of man’s needs and the requirements of his survival. Man is treated as if he were an unnatural phenomenon. Man cannot survive in the kind of state of nature that the ecologists envision—i.e., on the level of sea urchins or polar bears.... In order to survive, man has to discover and produce everything he needs, which means that he has to alter his background and adapt it to his needs. Nature has not equipped him for adapting himself to his background in the manner of animals. From the most primitive cultures to the most advanced civilizations, man has had to manufacture things; his well-being depends on his success at production. The lowest human tribe cannot survive without that alleged source of pollution: fire. It is not merely symbolic that fire was the property of the gods which Prometheus brought to man. The ecologists are the new vultures swarming to extinguish that fire.
Ayn Rand (The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution)
When I started writing I wanted the best tools. I skipped right over chisels on rocks, stylus on wet clay plates, quills and fountain pens, even mechanical pencils, and went straight to one of the first popular spin-offs of the aerospace program: the ballpoint pen. They were developed for comber navigators in the war because fountain pens would squirt all over your leather bomber jacket at altitude. (I have a cherished example of the next generation ballpoint, a pressurized Space Pen cleverly designed to work in weightlessness, given to me by Spider Robinson. At least, I cherish it when I can find it. It is also cleverly designed to seek out the lowest point of your desk, roll off, then find the lowest point on the floor, under a heavy piece of furniture. That's because it is cylindrical and lacks a pocket clip to keep it from rolling. In space, I presume it would float out of your pocket and find a forgotten corner of your spacecraft to hide in. NASA spent $3 million developing it. Good job, guys. I'm sure it's around here somewhere.)
John Varley (The John Varley Reader)
Heartache may be bad for the soul, but it's great for bookshops. It's when we are at our lowest romantic ebb that we are likely to do the bulk of our life's reading. Adolescents who can't get a date are in a uniquely privileged position: they will have the perfect chance to get grounding in world literature. There is perhaps an important connection between love and reading, there is perhaps a comparable pleasure offered by both. A feeling of connection may be at the root of it. There are books that speak to us, no less eloquently—but more reliably—than our lovers. They prevent the morose suspicion that we do not fully belong to the human species, that we lie beyond comprehension. Our embarrassments, our sulks, our feelings of guilt, these phenomena may be conveyed on a page in a way that affords us with a sense of self-recognition. The author has located words to depict a situation we thought ourselves alone in feeling, and for a few moments, we are like two lovers on an early dinner date thrilled to discover how much they share (and unable to touch much of the seafood linguine in front of them, so busy are they fathoming the eyes opposite), we may place the book down for a second and stare at its spine with a wry smile, as if to say, "How lucky I ran into you.
Alain de Botton
We have made money our god and called it the good life. We have trained our children to go for jobs hat bring the quickest corporate advancements at the highest financial levels. We have taught them careerism but not ministry and wonder why ministers are going out of fashion. We fear coddling the poor with food stamps while we call tax breaks for the rich business incentives. We make human community the responsibility of government institutions while homelessness, hunger, and drugs seep from the centers of our cities like poison from open sores for which we do not seek either the cause or the cure. We have created a bare and sterile world of strangers where exploitation is a necessary virtue. We have reduced life to the lowest of values so that the people who have much will not face the prospect of having less. Underlying all of it, we have made women the litter bearers of a society where disadvantage clings to the bottom of the institutional ladder and men funnel to the top, where men are privileged and women are conscripted for the comfort of the human race. We define women as essential to the development of the home but unnecessary to the development of society. We make them poor and render them powerless and shuttle them from man to man. We sell their bodies and question the value of their souls. We call them unique and say they have special natures, which we then ignore in their specialness. We decide that what is true of men is true of women and then say that women are not as smart as men, as strong as men, or as capable as men. We render half the human race invisible and call it natural. We tolerate war and massacre, mayhem and holocaust to right the wrongs that men say need righting and then tell women to bear up and accept their fate in silence when the crime is against them. What’s worse, we have applauded it all—the militarism, the profiteering, and the sexisms—in the name of patriotism, capitalism, and even religion. We consider it a social problem, not a spiritual one. We think it has something to do with modern society and fail to imagine that it may be something wrong with the modern soul. We treat it as a state of mind rather than a state of heart. Clearly, there is something we are failing to see.
Joan D. Chittister (Heart of Flesh: Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men)
To what end the ‘world’ exists, to what end ‘man­kind’ exists, ought not to concern us at all for the moment except as objects of humour: for the presumptuousness of the little human worm is the funniest thing at present on the world’s stage; on the other hand, do ask yourself why you, the individual, exist, and if you can get no other answer try for once to justify the meaning of your existence as it were a posteriori by setting before yourself an aim, a goal, a ‘to this end’, an exalted and noble ‘to this end’ . Perish in pursuit of this and only this - I know of no better aim of life than that of perishing, animae magnae prodigus, in pursuit of the great and the impossible. If, on the other hand, the doctrines of sovereign becoming, of the fluidity of all concepts, types and species, of the lack of any cardinal distinction between man and animal - doctrines which I consider true but deadly - are thrust upon the people for another generation with the rage for instruction that has by now become normal, no one should be surprised if the people perishes of petty egoism, ossification and greed, falls apart and ceases to be a people; in its place sys­tems of individualist egoism, brotherhoods for the rapacious exploitation of the non-brothers, and similar creations of utilitarian vulgarity may perhaps appear in the arena of the future. To prepare the way for these creations all one has to do is to go on writing history from the standpoint of the masses and seeking to derive the laws which govern it from the needs of these masses, that is to say from the laws which move the lowest mud- and clay-strata of society. The masses seem to me to deserve notice in three respects only: first as faded copies of great men produced on poor paper with worn-out plates, then as a force of resistance to great men, finally as instruments in the hands of great men; for the rest, let the Devil and statistics take them!
Friedrich Nietzsche (Untimely Meditations)
The three of us exchanged glances but said nothing. After all, what was there to say? The truth was that hookers did take credit cards—or at least ours did! In fact, hookers were so much a part of the Stratton subculture that we classified them like publicly traded stocks: Blue Chips were considered the top-of-the-line hooker, zee crème de la crème. They were usually struggling young models or exceptionally beautiful college girls in desperate need of tuition or designer clothing, and for a few thousand dollars they would do almost anything imaginable, either to you or to each other. Next came the NASDAQs, who were one step down from the Blue Chips. They were priced between three and five hundred dollars and made you wear a condom unless you gave them a hefty tip, which I always did. Then came the Pink Sheet hookers, who were the lowest form of all, usually a streetwalker or the sort of low-class hooker who showed up in response to a desperate late-night phone call to a number in Screw magazine or the yellow pages. They usually cost a hundred dollars or less, and if you didn’t wear a condom, you’d get a penicillin shot the next day and then pray that your dick didn’t fall off. Anyway, the Blue Chips took credit cards, so what was wrong with writing them off on your taxes? After all, the IRS knew about this sort of stuff, didn’t they? In fact, back in the good old days, when getting blasted over lunch was considered normal corporate behavior, the IRS referred to these types of expenses as three-martini lunches! They even had an accounting term for it: It was called T and E, which stood for Travel and Entertainment. All I’d done was taken the small liberty of moving things to their logical conclusion, changing T and E to T and A: Tits and Ass!
Jordan Belfort (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Verily, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. (The Holy Quran, an-Nahl 16:91) This verse sets forth three gradations of doing good. The first is the doing of good in return for good. This is the lowest gradation and even an average person can easily acquire this gradation that he should do good to those who do good to him. The second gradation is a little more difficult than the first, and that is to take the initiative in doing good out of pure benevolence. This is the middle grade. Most people act benevolently towards the poor, but there is a hidden deficiency in benevolence, that the person exercising benevolence is conscious of it and desires gratitude or prayer in return for his benevolence. If on any occasion the other person should turn against him, he considers him ungrateful. On occasion he reminds him of his benevolence or puts some heavy burden upon him. The third grade of doing good is graciousness as between kindred. God Almighty directs that in this grade there should be no idea of benevolence or any desire for gratitude, but good should be done out of such eager sympathy as, for instance, a mother does good to her child. This is the highest grade of doing good which cannot be exceeded. But God Almighty has conditioned all these grades of doing good with their appropriate time and place. The verse cited above clearly indicates that if these virtues are not exercised in their proper places they would become vices.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
More profoundly, Nihilist "simplification" may be seen in the universal prestige today accorded the lowest order of knowledge, the scientific, as well as the simplistic ideas of men like Marx, Freud, and Darwin, which underlie virtually the whole of contemporary thought and life. We say "life," for it is important to see that the Nihilist history of our century has not been something imposed from without or above, or at least has not been predominantly this; it has rather presupposed, and drawn its nourishment from, a Nihilist soil that has long been preparing in the hearts of the people. It is precisely from the Nihilism of the commonplace, from the everyday Nihilism revealed in the life and thought and aspiration of the people, that all the terrible events of our century have sprung. The world-view of Hitler is very instructive in this regard, for in him the most extreme and monstrous Nihilism rested upon the foundation of a quite unexceptional and even typical Realism. He shared the common faith in "science," "progress," and "enlightenment" (though not, of course, in "democracy"), together with a practical materialism that scorned all theology, metaphysics, and any thought or action concerned with any other world than the "here and now," priding himself on the fact that he had "the gift of reducing all problems to their simplest foundations." He had a crude worship of efficiency and utility that freely tolerated "birth control", laughed at the institution of marriage as a mere legalization of a sexual impulse that should be "free", welcomed sterilization of the unfit, despised "unproductive elements" such as monks, saw nothing in the cremation of the dead but a "practical" question and did not even hesitate to put the ashes, or the skin and fat, of the dead to "productive use." He possessed the quasi-anarchist distrust of sacred and venerable institutions, in particular the Church with its "superstitions" and all its "outmoded" laws and ceremonies. He had a naive trust in the "natural mom, the "healthy animal" who scorns the Christian virtues--virginity in particular--that impede the "natural functioning" of the body. He took a simple-minded delight in modern conveniences and machines, and especially in the automobile and the sense of speed and "freedom" it affords. There is very little of this crude Weltanschauung that is not shared, to some degree, by the multitudes today, especially among the young, who feel themselves "enlightened" and "liberated," very little that is not typically "modern.
Seraphim Rose
The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things. The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass. The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass. The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor's craft is the type. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless. OSCAR WILDE
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
New Rule: Now that liberals have taken back the word "liberal," they also have to take back the word "elite." By now you've heard the constant right-wing attacks on the "elite media," and the "liberal elite." Who may or may not be part of the "Washington elite." A subset of the "East Coast elite." Which is overly influenced by the "Hollywood elite." So basically, unless you're a shit-kicker from Kansas, you're with the terrorists. If you played a drinking game where you did a shot every time Rush Limbaugh attacked someone for being "elite," you'd be almost as wasted as Rush Limbaugh. I don't get it: In other fields--outside of government--elite is a good thing, like an elite fighting force. Tiger Woods is an elite golfer. If I need brain surgery, I'd like an elite doctor. But in politics, elite is bad--the elite aren't down-to-earth and accessible like you and me and President Shit-for-Brains. Which is fine, except that whenever there's a Bush administration scandal, it always traces back to some incompetent political hack appointment, and you think to yourself, "Where are they getting these screwups from?" Well, now we know: from Pat Robertson. I'm not kidding. Take Monica Goodling, who before she resigned last week because she's smack in the middle of the U.S. attorneys scandal, was the third-ranking official in the Justice Department of the United States. She's thirty-three, and though she never even worked as a prosecutor, was tasked with overseeing the job performance of all ninety-three U.S. attorneys. How do you get to the top that fast? Harvard? Princeton? No, Goodling did her undergraduate work at Messiah College--you know, home of the "Fighting Christies"--and then went on to attend Pat Robertson's law school. Yes, Pat Robertson, the man who said the presence of gay people at Disney World would cause "earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor," has a law school. And what kid wouldn't want to attend? It's three years, and you have to read only one book. U.S. News & World Report, which does the definitive ranking of colleges, lists Regent as a tier-four school, which is the lowest score it gives. It's not a hard school to get into. You have to renounce Satan and draw a pirate on a matchbook. This is for the people who couldn't get into the University of Phoenix. Now, would you care to guess how many graduates of this televangelist diploma mill work in the Bush administration? On hundred fifty. And you wonder why things are so messed up? We're talking about a top Justice Department official who went to a college founded by a TV host. Would you send your daughter to Maury Povich U? And if you did, would you expect her to get a job at the White House? In two hundred years, we've gone from "we the people" to "up with people." From the best and brightest to dumb and dumber. And where better to find people dumb enough to believe in George Bush than Pat Robertson's law school? The problem here in America isn't that the country is being run by elites. It's that it's being run by a bunch of hayseeds. And by the way, the lawyer Monica Goodling hired to keep her ass out of jail went to a real law school.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Why do we complain of Nature? She has shown herself kindly; life, if you know how to use it, is long. But one man is possessed by an avarice that is insatiable, another by a toilsome devotion to tasks that are useless; one man is besotted with wine, another is paralyzed by sloth; one man is exhausted by an ambition that always hangs upon the decision of others, another, driven on by the greed of the trader, is led over all lands and all seas by the hope of gain; some are tormented by a passion for war and are always either bent upon inflicting danger upon others or concerned about their own; some there are who are worn out by voluntary servitude in a thankless attendance upon the great; many are kept busy either in the pursuit of other men's fortune or in complaining of their own; many, following no fixed aim, shifting and inconstant and dissatisfied, are plunged by their fickleness into plans that are ever new; some have no fixed principle by which to direct their course, but Fate takes them unawares while they loll and yawn—so surely does it happen that I cannot doubt the truth of that utterance which the greatest of poets delivered with all the seeming of an oracle: "The part of life we really live is small."5 For all the rest of existence is not life, but merely time. Vices beset us and surround us on every side, and they do not permit us to rise anew and lift up our eyes for the discernment of truth, but they keep us down when once they have overwhelmed us and we are chained to lust. Their victims are never allowed to return to their true selves; if ever they chance to find some release, like the waters of the deep sea which continue to heave even after the storm is past, they are tossed about, and no rest from their lusts abides. Think you that I am speaking of the wretches whose evils are admitted? Look at those whose prosperity men flock to behold; they are smothered by their blessings. To how many are riches a burden! From how many do eloquence and the daily straining to display their powers draw forth blood! How many are pale from constant pleasures! To how many does the throng of clients that crowd about them leave no freedom! In short, run through the list of all these men from the lowest to the highest—this man desires an advocate,6 this one answers the call, that one is on trial, that one defends him, that one gives sentence; no one asserts his claim to himself, everyone is wasted for the sake of another. Ask about the men whose names are known by heart, and you will see that these are the marks that distinguish them: A cultivates B and B cultivates C; no one is his own master. And then certain men show the most senseless indignation—they complain of the insolence of their superiors, because they were too busy to see them when they wished an audience! But can anyone have the hardihood to complain of the pride of another when he himself has no time to attend to himself? After all, no matter who you are, the great man does sometimes look toward you even if his face is insolent, he does sometimes condescend to listen to your words, he permits you to appear at his side; but you never deign to look upon yourself, to give ear to yourself. There is no reason, therefore, to count anyone in debt for such services, seeing that, when you performed them, you had no wish for another's company, but could not endure your own.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It (Penguin Great Ideas))