New Purpose Quotes

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

People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Life is the dancer and you are the dance.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life's Purpose)
Give up defining yourself - to yourself or to others. You won't die. You will come to life. And don't be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it's their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don't be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Enthusiasm can help you find the new doors, but it takes passion to open them. If you have a strong purpose in life, you don't have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Realize that if a door closed, it’s because what was behind it wasn’t meant for you.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Living up to an image that you have of yourself or that other people have of you is inauthentic living.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge. But it can only emerge if something fundamental changes in your state of consciousness.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Don't let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Awareness is the greatest agent for change.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Don't Seek Happiness. If you seek it, you won't find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
When you don't cover up the world with words and labels, a sense of the miraculous returns to your life that was lost a long time ago when humanity, instead of using thought, became possessed by thought.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
This is my secret," he said. "I don't mind what happens.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
To recognize one's own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Whenever you become anxious or stressed, outer purpose has taken over, and you lost sight of your inner purpose. You have forgotten that your state of consciousness is primary, all else secondary.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
When you concentrate your energy purposely on the future possibility that you aspire to realize, your energy is passed on to it and makes it attracted to you with a force stronger than the one you directed towards it.
Stephen Richards (Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free)
Even seasonal situations can bring with them lessons that last a lifetime. If the love doesn’t last, it prepares you for the one that will.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
Man made God in his own image...
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Words reduce reality to something the human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
every complaint is a little story the mind makes up that you completely believe in.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Become conscious of being conscious.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Authentic human interactions become impossible when you lose yourself in a role.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Defining yourself through thought is limiting yourself.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
You have so much to learn from your enemies.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
I define love thus: The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
You become most powerful in whatever you do if the action is performed for its own sake rather than as a means to protect, enhance, or conform to your role identity.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but you thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
It is when we are trapped in incessant streams of compulsive thinking that the universe really disintegrates for us, and we lose the ability to sense the interconnectedness of all that exists.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Life isn't as serious as my mind makes it out to be.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
You may not see it now," said the Princess of Pure Reason, looking knowingly at Milo's puzzled face, "but whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in the pond; and whenever you're sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it's much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
How to win in life: 1 work hard 2 complain less 3 listen more 4 try, learn, grow 5 don't let people tell you it cant be done 6 make no excuses
Germany Kent
In the eyes of the ego, self-esteem and humility are contradictory. In truth, they are one and the same.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.
Patañjali
If God closes a door AND a window, consider the fact that it might be time to build a whole new house.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
One thing we do know: Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Each person's life – each lifeform, in fact – represents a world, a unique way in which the universe experiences itself.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
6 Ways To Give Your Mind A Break: 1. Stop stressing 2. Stop worrying 3. Give rest to the problems weighing you down 4. Lighten up 5. Forgive yourself 6. Forgive others
Germany Kent
Finding the center of strength within ourselves is in the long run the best contribution we can make to our fellow men. ... One person with indigenous inner strength exercises a great calming effect on panic among people around him. This is what our society needs — not new ideas and inventions; important as these are, and not geniuses and supermen, but persons who can "be", that is, persons who have a center of strength within themselves.
Rollo May (Man's Search for Himself)
In the end, each life is no more than the sum of contingent facts, a chronicle of chance intersections, of flukes, of random events that divulge nothing but their own lack of purpose.
Paul Auster (The New York Trilogy)
The brain does not create consciousness, but conciousness created the brain, the most complex physical form on earth, for its expression.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
With stillness comes the benediction of Peace.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
You don’t have to say everything to be a light. Sometimes a fire built on a hill will bring interested people to your campfire.
Shannon L. Alder
All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
The pas has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Nothing has ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now; and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Release and detach from every person, every circumstance, every condition, and every situation that no longer serves a divine purpose in your life. All things have a season, and all seasons must come to an end. Choose a new season, filled with purposeful thoughts and activities.
Iyanla Vanzant
If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it & let it be without imposing a word of mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
... there are two ways of being unhappy. Not getting what you want is one. Getting what you want is the other.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Don't live the same day over and over again and call that a life. Life is about evolving mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
Germany Kent
The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian.
Brennan Manning (The Furious Longing of God)
And then there is the universal role of adult. When you play that role, you take yourself and life very seriously. Spontaneity, lightheartedness, and joy are not part of that role.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
In essence, you are neither inferior nor superior to anyone. True self-esteem and true humility arise out of that realization. In the eyes of the ego, self-esteem and humility are contradictory. In truth, they are one and the same.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Shout out to everyone transcending a mindset, mentality, desire, belief, emotion, habit, behavior or vibration, that no longer serves them.
Lalah Delia
Advice to my younger self: 1 Start where you are with what you have 2 Try not to hurt other people 3 Take more chances 4 If you fail, keep trying
Germany Kent
Life is difficult.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
I’m not laughing.” I was actually crying. “And please don’t laugh at me now, but I think the reason it’s so hard for me to get over this guy is because I seriously believed David was my soul mate. ”He probably was. Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can’t let this one go. It’s over, Groceries. David’s purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of your marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it. That was his job, and he did great, but now it’s over. Problem is, you can’t accept that his relationship had a real short shelf life. You’re like a dog at the dump, baby – you’re just lickin’ at the empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you’re not careful, that can’s gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.“But I love him.” “So love him.” “But I miss him.” “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll be really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
A significant portion of the earth's population will soon recognize, if they haven't already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
But the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. . . . As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. . . . The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
There is only one perpetrator of evil on the planet: human unconsciousness. That realization is true forgiveness. With forgiveness, your victim identity dissolves, and your true power emerges--the power of Presence. Instead of blaming the darkness, you bring in the light.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
The worth is in the act. Your worth halts when you surrender your will to change and experience life. But options are before you; choose one and dedicate yourself to it. The deeds will give you a new hope and purpose.
Christopher Paolini (Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1))
Spiritual Partnership ... The new female and the new male are partners on a journey of spiritual growth. They want to make the journey. Their love and trust keep them together. Their intuition guides them. They consult with each other. They are friends. They laugh a lot. They are equals. That is what a spiritual partnership is: a partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth.
Gary Zukav (Soul Stories)
The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be...
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
The act of loving is an act of self-evolution even when the purpose of the act is someone else's growth.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
Let me say it again: the present moment is all you ever have.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
When faced with a radical crisis, when the old way of being in the world, of interacting with each other and with the realm of nature doesn't work anymore, when survival is threatened by seemingly insurmountable problems, an individual life-form -- or a species -- will either die or become extinct or rise above the limitations of its condition through an evolutionary leap.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
In New York, people are unhappy on purpose, because unhappiness makes them seem more complex; in Washington DC it just sort of works out that way.
Chuck Klosterman (Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story)
A physical shortcoming could produce a kind of mental excess. The process, it seemed, was reversible. Mental excess could produce, for its own purposes, the voluntary blindness and deafness of deliberate solitude, the artificial impotence of asceticism.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
Suppose neutral angels were able to talk, Yahweh and Lucifer – God and Satan, to use their popular titles – into settling out of court. What would be the terms of the compromise? Specifically, how would they divide the assets of their early kingdom? Would God be satisfied the loaves and fishes and itty-bitty thimbles of Communion wine, while Satan to have the red-eye gravy, eighteen-ounce New York Stakes, and buckets of chilled champagne? Would God really accept twice-a-month lovemaking for procreative purposes and give Satan the all night, no-holds-barred, nasty “can’t-get-enough-of-you” hot-as-hell-fucks? Think about it. Would Satan get New Orleans, Bangkok, and the French Riviera and God get Salt Lake City? Satan get ice hockey, God get horseshoes? God get bingo, Satan get stud poker? Satan get LSD; God, Prozac? God get Neil Simon; Satan Oscar Wilde?
Tom Robbins
The new always happens against the overwhelming odds of statistical laws and their probability, which for all practical, everyday purposes amounts to certainty; the new therefore always appears in the guise of a miracle.
Hannah Arendt
I will live this day as if it is my last. …I will waste not a moment mourning yesterday’s misfortunes, Yesterday’s defeats, yesterday’s aches of the heart, for why should I throw good after bad?” I will live this day as if it is my last. This day is all I have and these hours are now my eternity. I greet this sunrise with cries of joy as a prisoner who is reprieved from death. I lift mine arms with thanks for this priceless gift of a new day. So too, I will beat upon my heart with gratitude as I consider all who greeted yesterday’s sunrise who are no longer with the living today. I am indeed a fortunate man and today’s hours are but a bonus, undeserved. Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others, far better than I, have departed? Is it that they have accomplished their purpose while mine is yet to be achieved? Is this another opportunity for me to become the man I know I can be?
Og Mandino (The Greatest Salesman in the World)
Why do we own so many things when we don’t need them? What is their purpose? I think the answer is quite clear: We’re desperate to convey our own worth, our own value to others. We use objects to tell people just how valuable we are.
Fumio Sasaki (Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism)
What the future holds for you depends on your state of consciousness now.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Raffin appeared again, a floor above her, on the balconied passageway that ran past his workrooms. He leaned over the railing and called down to her. "Kat!" "What is it?" "You look lost . Have you forgotten the way to your rooms?" "I'm stalling." "How long will you be? I'd like to show you a couple of my new discoveries." "I've been told to make myself pretty for dinner." He grinned. "Well in that case, you'll be ages." His face dissolved into laughter, and she tore a button from one of her bags an hurled it at him. He squealed and dropped to the floor, and the button hit the wall right where he'd been standing. When he peeked back over the railing, she stood in the courtyard with her hands on her hips, grinning. "I missed on purpose," she said. "Show off! Come if you have time." He waved, and turned into his rooms.
Kristin Cashore (Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1))
Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to used during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course? Each of us has such a bank, it's name is time. Every morning, it credits you 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off at a lost, whatever of this you failed to invest to a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no over draft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against "tomorrow". You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and health. The clock is running. Make the most of today.
Marc Levy (If Only It Were True)
The purpose of a writer is to keep civilisation from destroying itself." (Interview, New York Post Magazine, September 14, 1958)
Bernard Malamud
What? I demand to know. "What is it now?" "You're not going to go." he says. "Watch me." "I've been having a vision of this place, too." This stops me from my wild, cowardly (how can he think I'm brave?) retreat back to the road ... "You're having a new vision, too?" I ask. "It's right here." He walks toward me, his strides long and purposeful across the grass. "Right now. I've been seeing it for weeks, and it's happening right now." He stops in front of me. "This is the part where I kiss you," he says.
Cynthia Hand (Hallowed (Unearthly, #2))
The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing)
To bring about the new takes not just a development of the old, but a radical leap forward - revolutionary and transforming - and that requires extra factors that were not present before.
Belsebuub (Gazing into the Eternal: Reflections upon a Deeper Purpose to Living)
If you are content with being nobody in particular, content not to stand out, you align yourself with the power of the universe. What looks like weakness to the ego is in fact the only true strength.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
When you realize it’s not personal, there is no longer a compulsion to react as if it were.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
If I have not read a book before, it is, for all intents and purposes, new to me whether it was printed yesterday or three hundred years ago.
William Hazlitt
whatever you fight, you strengthyen. What you resist, persists. "A New Earth":War is a mind set
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
I swear the older I get, the more I value bad examples over good ones. It's a good thing too, because most people are egotistical, neurotic, self-absorbed peons, insistent on wearing near-sighted glasses in a far-sighted world. And it's this exact sort of myopic ignorance that has led to my groundbreaking new theory. I call it Mim's Theorem of Monkey See Monkey Don't, and what it boils down to is this: it is my belief that there are some people whose sole purpose of existence is to show the rest of how not to act.
David Arnold (Mosquitoland)
When you want to arrive at your goal more than you want to be doing what you are doing, you become stressed.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
No beating yourself up. That’s not allowed. Be patient with yourself. It took you years to form the bad habits of thought that you no longer want. It will take a little time to form new and better ones. But I promise you this: Even a slight move in this direction will bring you some peace. The more effort you apply to it, the faster you’ll find your bliss, but you’ll experience rewards immediately.
Holly Mosier
Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now, and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
There is nothing that strengthens the ego more than being right. Being right is identification with a mental position - a perspective, an opinion, a judgement, a story. For you to be right, of course, you need someone else to be wrong, as so the ego loves to make wrong in order to be right.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Nonresistance, nonjudgment, and nonattachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
The world of science lives fairly comfortably with paradox. We know that light is a wave, and also that light is a particle. The discoveries made in the infinitely small world of particle physics indicate randomness and chance, and I do not find it any more difficult to live with the paradox of a universe of randomness and chance and a universe of pattern and purpose than I do with light as a wave and light as a particle. Living with contradiction is nothing new to the human being.
Madeleine L'Engle
You don’t have to wait for something “meaningful” to come into your life so that you can finally enjoy what you do. There is more meaning in joy than you will ever need. The “waiting to start living” syndrome is one of the most common delusions of the unconscious state.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA's state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts [...] That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. Then that most nonaddicted adult civilians have already absorbed and accepted this fact, often rather early on [...] That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused [...] That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That gambling can be an abusable escape, too, and work, shopping, and shoplifting, and sex, and abstention, and masturbation, and food, and exercise, and meditation/prayer [...] That loneliness is not a function of solitude [...] That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt [...] That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness [...] That the effects of too many cups of coffee are in no way pleasant or intoxicating [...] That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it's almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused [...] That it is permissible to want [...] That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
It is never until one realizes that one means something to others that one feels there is any point or purpose in one’s own existence.
Stefan Zweig (Beware of Pity (New York Review Books Classics))
No matter how dysfunctional your background, how broke or broken you are, where you are today, or what anyone else says, YOU MATTER, and your life matters!
Germany Kent
Today, you have the opportunity to transcend from a disempowered mindset of existence to an empowered reality of purpose-driven living. Today is a new day that has been handed to you for shaping. You have the tools, now get out there and create a masterpiece.
Steve Maraboli (The Power of One)
So love is the recognition of oneness in a world of duality. This is the birth of God into the world of form. Love makes the world less worldly, less dense, more transparent to the divine dimension, the light of consciousness itself.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
For what you do to others, you do to yourself.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
This is most people’s reality: As soon as something is perceived, it is named, interpreted, compared with something else, liked, disliked, or called good or bad by the phantom self, the ego.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
THE DAWN OF NEW POSSIBILITIES Therefore glorify the LORD in the dawning light. —ISAIAH 24:15 Every new day with God brings the dawn of new and better possibilities. Today could turn out to be the best day of your life—but how it ends largely depends on how you begin it. You are in charge of taking control of your day from its very beginning—as you command your morning—and as you do, know that whatever begins with God has to end right. No matter how good or bad your life is, every circumstance can change for the best if you learn how to command your morning before your day begins. Father, I stand and declare that today is a new day. Every element of my day shall cooperate with Your purpose and destiny for me. Anything or anyone assigned to undermine, frustrate, hinder, or hurt me, I command to be moved out of my sphere of influence. I greet
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Deny thy self!
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for your life to begin and start making the most of the moment you are in.
Germany Kent
People come and go from our lives all the time. It's not our fault that people leave. The Universe is just making room for new people with new lessons.
Sue Fitzmaurice
you are never fully here because you are always busy trying to get elsewhere.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Your Monday morning thoughts set the tone for your whole week. See yourself getting stronger, and living a fulfilling, happier & healthier life.
Germany Kent
Purpose affirms trust, trust affirms purpose, and together they forge individuals into a working team.
Stanley McChrystal (Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World)
Honor your desire for a new life. Say yes to the small inklings of interest and curiosity that present themselves each day.
Lynn A. Robinson (Divine Intuition: Your Inner Guide to Purpose, Peace, and Prosperity)
Self-transformation commences with a period of self-questioning. Questions lead to more questions, bewilderment leads to new discoveries, and growing personal awareness leads to transformation in how a person lives. Purposeful modification of the self only commences with revising our mind’s internal functions. Revamped internal functions eventually alter how we view our external environment.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Friedrich Nietzsche, who famously gave us the ‘God is dead’ phrase was interested in the sources of morality. He warned that the emergence of something (whether an organ, a legal institution, or a religious ritual) is never to be confused with its acquired purpose: ‘Anything in existence, having somehow come about, is continually interpreted anew, requisitioned anew, transformed and redirected to a new purpose.’ This is a liberating thought, which teaches us to never hold the history of something against its possible applications. Even if computers started out as calculators, that doesn’t prevent us from playing games on them. (47) (quoting Nietzsche, the Genealogy of Morals)
Frans de Waal (The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates)
God’s love sets us free from the need to seek approval. Knowing that we are loved by God, accepted by God, approved by God, and that we are new creations in Christ empowers us to reject self-rejection and embrace a healthy self-love. Being secure in God’s love for us, our love for Him, and our love for ourselves, prepares us to fulfill the second greatest commandment: To love our neighbor as ourselves.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief - WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care? People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us. For values or guiding principles to be truly effective they have to be verbs. It’s not “integrity,” it’s “always do the right thing.” It’s not “innovation,” it’s “look at the problem from a different angle.” Articulating our values as verbs gives us a clear idea - we have a clear idea of how to act in any situation. Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders—in that order. Leading is not the same as being the leader. Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you—not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to. You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills. Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left. Trust is maintained when values and beliefs are actively managed. If companies do not actively work to keep clarity, discipline and consistency in balance, then trust starts to break down. All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
Fireflies out on a warm summer's night, seeing the urgent, flashing, yellow-white phosphorescence below them, go crazy with desire; moths cast to the winds an enchantment potion that draws the opposite sex, wings beating hurriedly, from kilometers away; peacocks display a devastating corona of blue and green and the peahens are all aflutter; competing pollen grains extrude tiny tubes that race each other down the female flower's orifice to the waiting egg below; luminescent squid present rhapsodic light shows, altering the pattern, brightness and color radiated from their heads, tentacles, and eyeballs; a tapeworm diligently lays a hundred thousand fertilized eggs in a single day; a great whale rumbles through the ocean depths uttering plaintive cries that are understood hundreds of thousands of kilometers away, where another lonely behemoth is attentively listening; bacteria sidle up to one another and merge; cicadas chorus in a collective serenade of love; honeybee couples soar on matrimonial flights from which only one partner returns; male fish spray their spunk over a slimy clutch of eggs laid by God-knows-who; dogs, out cruising, sniff each other's nether parts, seeking erotic stimuli; flowers exude sultry perfumes and decorate their petals with garish ultraviolet advertisements for passing insects, birds, and bats; and men and women sing, dance, dress, adorn, paint, posture, self-mutilate, demand, coerce, dissemble, plead, succumb, and risk their lives. To say that love makes the world go around is to go too far. The Earth spins because it did so as it was formed and there has been nothing to stop it since. But the nearly maniacal devotion to sex and love by most of the plants, animals, and microbes with which we are familiar is a pervasive and striking aspect of life on Earth. It cries out for explanation. What is all this in aid of? What is the torrent of passion and obsession about? Why will organisms go without sleep, without food, gladly put themselves in mortal danger for sex? ... For more than half the history of life on Earth organisms seem to have done perfectly well without it. What good is sex?... Through 4 billion years of natural selection, instructions have been honed and fine-tuned...sequences of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts, manuals written out in the alphabet of life in competition with other similar manuals published by other firms. The organisms become the means through which the instructions flow and copy themselves, by which new instructions are tried out, on which selection operates. 'The hen,' said Samuel Butler, 'is the egg's way of making another egg.' It is on this level that we must understand what sex is for. ... The sockeye salmon exhaust themselves swimming up the mighty Columbia River to spawn, heroically hurdling cataracts, in a single-minded effort that works to propagate their DNA sequences into future generation. The moment their work is done, they fall to pieces. Scales flake off, fins drop, and soon--often within hours of spawning--they are dead and becoming distinctly aromatic. They've served their purpose. Nature is unsentimental. Death is built in.
Carl Sagan (Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search For Who We Are)
You can only be in a state of non-reaction if you can recognize someone's behavior as coming from the ego, as being an expression of the collective human dysfunction. When you realize it's not personal, there is no longer a compulsion to react as if it were.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Mockingbirds are the true artists of the bird kingdom. Which is to say, although they're born with a song of their own, an innate riff that happens to be one of the most versatile of all ornithological expressions, mocking birds aren't content to merely play the hand that is dealt them. Like all artists, they are out to rearrange reality. Innovative, willful, daring, not bound by the rules to which others may blindly adhere, the mockingbird collects snatches of birdsong from this tree and that field, appropriates them, places them in new and unexpected contexts, recreates the world from the world. For example, a mockingbird in South Carolina was heard to blend the songs of thirty-two different kinds of birds into a ten-minute performance, a virtuoso display that serve no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
He was so far from the gallant knights in her romantic fantasies ... He was tarnished, scarred, imperfect. Deliberately he had destroyed any illusions she might have had about him, exposing his mysterious past for the ugly horror that it was. His purpose had been to drive her away. But instead she felt closer to him, as if the truth had bonded them in a new intimacy.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
Nietzsche, in a rare moment of deep stillness, wrote, “For happiness, how little suffices for happiness!…the least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a lizard’s rustling, a breath, a wisk, an eye glance—little maketh up the best happiness. Be still.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
I tend to think that everything counts. In the end, each life is no more than the sum of contingent facts, a chronicle of chance intersections, of flukes, of random events that divulge nothing but their own lack of purpose.
Paul Auster (The New York Trilogy)
The obstacles in our path are not blocking us-they are redirecting us. Their purpose is not to interfere with our happiness; it is to point us toward new routes to our happiness, new possibilities, new doorways.
Barbara De Angelis (How Did I Get Here?: Finding Your Way to Renewed Hope and Happiness When Life and Love Take Unexpected Turns)
If you can be absolutely comfortable with not knowing who you are, then what's left is who you are -- the Being behind the human, a field of pure potentiality rather than something that is already defined.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
I’m washed, I’m forgiven, I’m whole, and I’m healed. I’m cleansed and I’m glory bound. I am only a sojourner on the earth. I am but a pilgrim on this planet, on my way to perfection, and I don’t need anybody to tell me who I am, because I know who I am. I am a child of the King, a son (or daughter) of God, born again through Jesus Christ, bought with the price of His blood. I am a new creation, totally new, thoroughly loved and completely accepted as a child of my Father, precious in His sight.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
THE GOOD LIFE requires that we take pleasure in new things; A GOOD LIFE requires that we take pleasure in moments. To enjoy THE GOOD LIFE we have to get ahead; to enjoy A GOOD LIFE we have to make the trip worthwhile. THE GOOD LIFE is supported by feeding our pocketbooks; A GOOD LIFE is supported by feeding our souls.
Steve Goodier
The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth… Love is as love does. Love is an act of will-namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
Father, You spoke into nothingness and created the world. I speak into this day and declare that it will cooperate with Your plans. Anything sent to frustrate Your purposes for this day is bound now in the name of Jesus and rendered ineffective. I declare that today is pregnant with destiny. Thank You, Father, for divine connections that advance Your kingdom. Lord, give me wisdom and understanding to be more efficient in my work; open doors to new opportunities and new revelation in the name of Jesus. Father, bless the works of my hands; I choose to glorify You in all I do. In the name of Jesus, amen. June
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
How many of us stop short of success on purpose? How many of us sabotage our own happiness because failure, while miserable, is a fear we're familiar with? Success, however, dreams come true, are a whole new kind of terrifying, an entire new species of responsibilities and disillusions, requiring a new way to think, act and become. Why do we REALLY quit? Because it's hopeless? Or because it's possible...
Jennifer DeLucy
So here we have purposeful practice in a nutshell: Get outside your comfort zone but do it in a focused way, with clear goals, a plan for reaching those goals, and a way to monitor your progress. Oh, and figure out a way to maintain your motivation.
K. Anders Ericsson (Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise)
Maybe if all ah we had learned to talk about our troubles, we wouldn’t carry so much on our shoulders all the way to the grave.” He turned to walk out, his stick hitting the floor with purpose. “Maybe we haffi learn from this new generation, Veronica.
Candice Carty-Williams (Queenie)
... But I'm annoying you to no purpose with my arguments. A person whose house is only open on the west can't see the sun rise at dawn; it's only seen when the sun sets at dusk. If one tries to compare the color and appearance of the two, one will go on arguing forever... ...The fault lies not with the vision but with the closed windows. If you look out of only one opening till the day you die, you'll ever see anything new.
Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
You may remember the paradox of time we mentioned earlier: Whatever you do takes time, and yet it is always now. So while your inner purpose is to negate time, your outer purpose necessarily involves future and so could not exist without time. But it is always secondary. Whenever you become anxious or stressed, outer purpose has taken over, and you lost sight of your inner purpose. You have forgotten that your state of consciousness is primary, all else secondary.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
It was a masterly piece of work. But once you began admitting explanations in terms of purpose— well, you didn't know what the result might be. It was the sort of idea that might easily decondition the more unsettled minds among the higher castes—make them lose their faith in happiness as the Sovereign Good and take to believing, instead, that the goal was somewhere beyond, somewhere outside the present human sphere; that the purpose of life was not the maintenance of well-being, but some intensification and refining of consciousness, some enlargement of knowledge. Which was, the Controller reflected, quite possibly true. But not, in the present circumstance, admissible.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
As God adds his ‘Yes’ to your ‘Yes,’ as he confirms your will with his will, and as he allows you, and approves of, your triumph and rejoicing and pride, he makes you at the same time instruments of his will and purpose both for yourselves and for others. In his unfathomable condescension God does add his ‘Yes’ to yours; but by doing so, he creates out of your love something quite new – the holy estate of matrimony…
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison)
They looked for one another when nothing else was happening, the way you pick up a magazine or look in the cupboard for a snack. Not exactly by accident and not exactly on purpose. You could go out in the world and do new things and meet new people, and then you could come home and just sit on the stoop with someone you had never not known, and watch lightning bugs blink on and off.
Lynne Rae Perkins (Criss Cross)
When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.
Patañjali
All the games were selected for them by supervisors and had to have some useful, educational purpose. The children learned these new games but unlearned something else in the process: they forgot to be happy, how to take pleasure in little things and last, but not least, how to dream
Michael Ende (Momo)
Whereas modern cynicism brought despair about the ability of the human species to realize laudable ideals, postmodern cynicism doesn't — not because it's optimistic, but because it can't take ideals seriously in the first place. The prevailing attitude is Absurdism. A postmodern magazine may be irreverent, but not bitterly irreverent, for it's not purposefully irreverent; its aim is indiscriminate, because everyone is equally ridiculous. And anyway, there's no moral basis for passing judgment. Just sit back and enjoy the show.
Robert Wright (The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are - The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology)
In some literature, I’ve read, weather is used as a metaphor. The darker and stormier the weather outside the more diabolical the deeds done. When the clouds roll away, however, the rain has washed away all the blood in the streets and the world is clean and new again, as if all the violence and destruction of the storm served a divine purpose.
Benjamin R. Smith (Atlas)
Manhattan in the morning is a living stream of Purpose; everyone's got a place to be and a problem on their mind. That doesn't mean it's and unfriendly place -- just busy and preoccupied. Personally, I love it. I'm a social creature but there are times and places you just don't want to do more than grunt at your fellow human being.
Laura Anne Gilman
Life In Love Escape me? Never--- Beloved! While I am I, and you are you, So long as the world contains us both, Me the loving and you the loth While the one eludes, must the other pursue. My life is a fault at last, I fear: It seems too much like a fate, indeed! Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed. But what if I fail of my purpose here? It is but to keep the nerves at strain, To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall, And, baffled, get up and begin again,--- So the chace takes up one's life ' that's all. While, look but once from your farthest bound At me so deep in the dust and dark, No sooner the old hope goes to ground Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark, I shape me--- Ever Removed!
Robert Browning
Relying on his own strength and the support of his family and community, Paul faced each stage of his illness with grace—not with bravado or a misguided faith that he would “overcome” or “beat” cancer but with an authenticity that allowed him to grieve the loss of the future he had planned and forge a new one. He cried on the day he was diagnosed. He cried while looking at a drawing we kept on the bathroom mirror that said, “I want to spend all the rest of my days here with you.” He cried on his last day in the operating room. He let himself be open and vulnerable, let himself be comforted. Even while terminally ill, Paul was fully alive; despite physical collapse, he remained vigorous, open, full of hope not for an unlikely cure but for days that were full of purpose and meaning.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
However modest one may be in one's demand for intellectual cleanliness, one cannot help feeling, when coming into contact with the New Testament, a kind of inexpressible discomfiture: for the unchecked impudence with which the least qualified want to raise their voice on the greatest problems, and even claim to be judges of things, surpasses all measure. The shameless levity with which the most intractable problems (life, world, God, purpose of life) are spoken of, as if they were not problems at all but simply things that these little bigots KNEW!
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Will to Power)
Father God, we thank you for your grace and your mercy, for allowing us to be together under your covenant and God we thank you for the revelations and for the breakthroughs; for your direction and for your healing. We thank you God for the opportunity to just be a vessel for your kingdom. God we trust you, we love you, we honor you, and all glory is yours. Amen
Germany Kent
Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can't let this one go. It's over, Groceries. David's purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of that marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it. That was his job, and he did great, but now it's over. Problem is, you can't accept that this relationship had a real short shelf life. You're like a dog at the dump, baby - you're just lickin' at an empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you're not careful, that can's gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
But we are stronger for what's happened to us. I am stronger, even if I couldn't see it at first. We have been given the gift of understanding that we can come through struggle and pain. We have built new families in place of the ones that cast us out. We have learned that life is one journey, and the purpose is not to reach some treasure at the end of it, but to find the courage to decide which paths to take, who to travel with, and to let things fall into place as they should and will.
Alexandra Bracken (Through the Dark (The Darkest Minds, #1.5, #2.5, #3.5))
Love makes us wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose and a flow of creative ideas. Love floods our nervous system with positive energy, making us far more attractive to prospective employers, clients, and creative partners. Love fills us with powerful charisma, enabling us to produce new ideas and new projects, even within circumstances that seem to be limited. Love leads us to atone for our errors and clean up the mess when we've made mistakes. Love leads us to act with impeccability, integrity, and excellence. Love leads us to serve, to forgive, and to hope. Those things are the opposite of a poverty consciousness; they're the stuff of spiritual wealth creation.
Marianne Williamson (The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles)
If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA’s state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts… That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That logical validity is not a guarantee of truth. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work. That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good. In short that 99% of the head’s thinking activity consists of trying to scare the everliving shit out of itself. That it is possible to make rather tasty poached eggs in a microwave oven. That some people’s moms never taught them to cover up or turn away when they sneeze. That the people to be the most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable. That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid. That having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear. That trying to dance sober is a whole different kettle of fish. That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene. That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused. That it is permissible to want. That everybody is identical in their unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That this isn’t necessarily perverse. That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
You know what your trouble is? You're the kind who always reads the handbook. Anything people build, any kind of technology, it's going to have some specific purpose. It's for doing something that somebody already understands. But if it's new technology, it'll open areas nobody's ever thought of before. You read the manual, man, and you won't play around with it, not the same way. And you get all funny when somebody else uses it to do something you never thought of.
William Gibson
I cannot recall having believed, even as a child, that the purpose of reading fiction was to learn about the place commonly called the real world. I seem to have sensed from the first that to read fiction was to make available for myself a new kind of space. In that space, a version of myself was free to move among places and personages the distinguishing features of which were the feelings they caused to arise in me rather than their seeming appearance, much less their possible resemblance to places or persons in the world where I sat reading.
Gerald Murnane
A goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don't sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, its a system. If you're waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it's a goal. If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of your success until they bore you, or set new goals and reenter the cycle of permanent presuccess failure. All I'm suggesting is that thinking of goals and systems as very different concepts has power. Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous presuccess failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good everytime they apply their system. That's a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.
Scott Adams (How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life)
Oxytocin, a hormone and neuropeptide ... plays a major role in attachment processes and serves several purposes: It causes women to go into labor, strengthens attachment, and ... [increases] trust and cooperation. We get a boost of oxytocin in our brain during orgasm and even when we cuddle -- which is why it's been tagged the "cuddle hormone." How is oxytocin related to conflict reduction? Sometimes we spend less quality time with our partner -- especially when other demands on us are pressing. However, neuroscience findings suggest that we should change our priorities. By forgoing closeness with our partners, we are also missing our oxytocin boost -- making us less agreeable to the world around us and more vulnerable to conflict.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
This was the scientific age, and people wanted to believe that their traditions were in line with the new era, but this was impossible if you thought that these myths should be understood literally. Hence the furor occasioned by The Origin of Species, published by Charles Darwin. The book was not intended as an attack on religion, but was a sober exploration of a scientific hypothesis. But because by this time people were reading the cosmogonies of Genesis as though they were factual, many Christians felt--and still feel--that the whole edifice of faith was in jeopardy. Creation stories had never been regarded as historically accurate; their purpose was therapeutic. But once you start reading Genesis as scientifically valid, you have bad science and bad religion.
Karen Armstrong (A Short History of Myth)
There was this other apocalypse this one time. And, well, I took off. But this time, I don't... I don't know." "Well, what's different?" "Well, I guess I was kinda new to being around humans before. And now I've seen a lot more, gotten to know people, seen what they're capable of and I guess I just realize how amazingly... screwed up they all are. I mean, really, really screwed up in a monumental fashion." "Oh." "And they have no purpose that unites them, so they just drift around, blundering through life until they die. Which they-they know is coming, yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They're incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane, and yet, here's the thing. When it's something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they're lame morons for fighting. But they do. They never... They never quit. And so I guess I will keep fighting, too.
Joss Whedon
The "pleasure" of being drunk is obviously the pleasure of escaping from the responsibility of consciousness. And so are the kind of social gatherings, held for no other purpose than the expression of hysterical chaos, where the guests wander around in an alcoholic stupor, prattling noisily and senselessly, and enjoying the illusion of a universe where one is not burdened with purpose, logic, reality or awareness.
Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism)
Ego-identification with things creates attachment to things, which in turn creates our consumer society and economic structures where the only measure of progress is always more. The unchecked striving for more, for endless growth, is a dysfunction and a disease. It is the same dysfunction the cancerous cell manifests, whose only goal is to multiply itself, unaware that it is bringing about its own destruction by destroying the organism of which it is a part. Some economists are so attached to the notion of growth that they can't let go of that word, so they refer to recession as a time of "negative growth".
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
But then I think about what I’ve learned here in the last year, and I don’t mean in my classes, but what I’ve learned from watching my friends face their futures and search for their purposes. I’ve learned that a storm isn’t always just bad weather, and a fire can be the start of something new. I’ve found out that there are a lot more shades of gray in this world than I ever knew about. I’ve learned that sometimes, when you’re afraid but you keep on moving forward, that’s the biggest kind of courage there is. And finally, I’ve learned that life isn’t really about failure and success. It’s about being present, in the moment when big things happen, when everything changes, including yourself. So I would tell us, no matter how bright we think our futures are, it doesn’t matter. Whether we go off to some fancy university or stay home and work. That doesn’t define us. Our purpose on this earth is not a single event, an accomplishment we can check off a list. There is no test. No passing or failing. There’s only us, each moment shaping who we are, into what we will become. So I say forget about the future. Pay attention to now. This moment right now. Let go of expectations. Just be. Then you are free to become something great.
Cynthia Hand (Hallowed (Unearthly, #2))
In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or the propaganda might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies - the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions. In the past most people never got a chance of fully satisfying this appetite. They might long for distractions, but the distractions were not provided. Christmas came but once a year, feasts were "solemn and rare," there were few readers and very little to read, and the nearest approach to a neighborhood movie theater was the parish church, where the performances though frequent, were somewhat monotonous. For conditions even remotely comparable to those now prevailing we must return to imperial Rome, where the populace was kept in good humor by frequent, gratuitous doses of many kinds of entertainment - from poetical dramas to gladiatorial fights, from recitations of Virgil to all-out boxing, from concerts to military reviews and public executions. But even in Rome there was nothing like the non-stop distractions now provided by newspapers and magazines, by radio, television and the cinema. In "Brave New World" non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature are deliberately used as instruments of policy, for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and political situation. The other world of religion is different from the other world of entertainment; but they resemble one another in being most decidedly "not of this world." Both are distractions and, if lived in too continuously, both can become, in Marx's phrase "the opium of the people" and so a threat to freedom. Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in their calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those would manipulate and control it.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
The stark, pedestrian images used by filmmakers (probably out of financial necessity) expressed nothing, symbolically or metaphorically. The only purpose they served was to remind me that a huge chunk of my life is completely over, even though I will probably live 60 more years. There are so many things that will never happen to me again, and I never even noticed when those things stopped occurring. And this does not mean I wish I had my old life back, because I like my new life better; I was just shocked to discover how much of what used to be central to my existence doesn't even matter to me anymore.
Chuck Klosterman (Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story)
A woman in her thirties came to see me. As she greeted me, I could sense the pain behind her polite and superficial smile. She started telling me her story, and within one second her smile changed into a grimace of pain. Then, she began to sob uncontrollably. She said she felt lonely and unfulfilled. There was much anger and sadness. As a child she had been abused by a physically violent father. I saw quickly that her pain was not caused by her present life circumstances but by an extraordinarily heavy pain-body. Her pain-body had become the filter through which she viewed her life situation. She was not yet able to see the link between the emotional pain and her thoughts, being completely identified with both. She could not yet see that she was feeding the pain-body with her thoughts. In other words, she lived with the burden of a deeply unhappy self. At some level, however, she must have realized that her pain originated within herself, that she was a burden to herself. She was ready to awaken, and this is why she had come. I directed the focus of her attention to what she was feeling inside her body and asked her to sense the emotion directly, instead of through the filter of her unhappy thoughts, her unhappy story. She said she had come expecting me to show her the way out of her unhappiness, not into it. Reluctantly, however, she did what I asked her to do. Tears were rolling down her face, her whole body was shaking. “At this moment, this is what you feel.” I said. “There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept that this is what you feel right now?” She was quiet for a moment. Suddenly she looked impatient, as if she was about to get up, and said angrily, “No, I don't want to accept this.” “Who is speaking?” I asked her. “You or the unhappiness in you? Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness?” She became quiet again. “I am not asking you to do anything. All I'm asking is that you find out whether it is possible for you to allow those feelings to be there. In other words, and this may sound strange, if you don't mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness? Don't you want to find out?” She looked puzzled briefly, and after a minute or so of sitting silently, I suddenly noticed a significant shift in her energy field. She said, “This is weird. I 'm still unhappy, but now there is space around it. It seems to matter less.” This was the first time I heard somebody put it like that: There is space around my unhappiness. That space, of course, comes when there is inner acceptance of whatever you are experiencing in the present moment. I didn't say much else, allowing her to be with the experience. Later she came to understand that the moment she stopped identifying with the feeling, the old painful emotion that lived in her, the moment she put her attention on it directly without trying to resist it, it could no longer control her thinking and so become mixed up with a mentally constructed story called “The Unhappy Me.” Another dimension had come into her life that transcended her personal past – the dimension of Presence. Since you cannot be unhappy without an unhappy story, this was the end of her unhappiness. It was also the beginning of the end of her pain-body. Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness. When our session came to an end, it was fulfilling to know that I had just witnessed the arising of Presence in another human being. The very reason for our existence in human form is to bring that dimension of consciousness into this world. I had also witnessed a diminishment of the pain-body, not through fighting it but through bringing the light of consciousness to it.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
A powerful spiritual practice is consciously to allow the diminishment of ego when it happens without attempting to restore it. I recommend that you experiment with this from time to time. For example, when someone criticizes you, blames you, or calls you names, instead of immediately retaliating or defending yourself – do nothing. Allow the self-image to remain diminished and become alert to what that feels like deep inside you. For a few seconds, it may feel uncomfortable, as if you had shrunk in size. Then you may sense an inner speciousness that feels intensely alive. You haven't been diminished at all. In fact, you have expanded. You may then come to an amazing realization: When you are seemingly diminished in some way and remain in absolute non-reaction, not just externally but also internally, you realize that nothing real has been diminished, that through becoming “less,” you become more. When you no longer defend or attempt to strengthen the form of yourself, you step out of identification with form, with mental self-image. Through becoming less (in the ego’s perception), you in fact undergo an expansion and make room for Being to come forward. True power, who you are beyond form, can then shine through the apparently weakened form. This is what Jesus means when he says, “Deny yourself” or “Turn the other cheek.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
In distilled form, though, the explanations of both the right and the left have become mirror images of each other. They are stories of conspiracy, of America being hijacked by an evil cabal. Like all good conspiracy theories, both tales contain just enough truth to satisfy those predisposed to believe in them, without admitting any contradictions that might shake up those assumptions. Their purpose is not to persuade the other side but to keep their bases agitated and assured of the rightness of their respective causes - and lure just enough new adherents to beat the other side into submission.
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)
I do not like the killers, and the killing bravely and well crap. I do not like the bully boys, the Teddy Roosevelt’s, the Hemingways, the Ruarks. They are merely slightly more sophisticated versions of the New Jersey file clerks who swarm into the Adirondacks in the fall, in red cap, beard stubble and taut hero’s grin, talking out of the side of their mouths, exuding fumes of bourbon, come to slay the ferocious white-tailed deer. It is the search for balls. A man should have one chance to bring something down. He should have his shot at something, a shining running something, and see it come a-tumbling down, all mucus and steaming blood stench and gouted excrement, the eyes going dull during the final muscle spasms. And if he is, in all parts and purposes, a man, he will file that away as a part of his process of growth and life and eventual death. And if he is perpetually, hopelessly a boy, he will lust to go do it again, with a bigger beast.
John D. MacDonald (A Deadly Shade of Gold (Travis McGee #5))
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
What do I miss, as a human being, if I have never heard of the Second Law of Thermodynamics? The answer is: Nothing. And what do I miss by not knowing Shakespeare? Unless I get my understanding from another source, I simply miss my life. Shall we tell our children that one thing is as good as another-- here a bit of knowledge of physics, and there a bit of knowledge of literature? If we do so, the sins of the fathers will be visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation, because that normally is the time it takes from the birth of an idea to its full maturity when it fills the minds of a new generation and makes them think by it. Science cannot produce ideas by which we could live.
Ernst F. Schumacher (Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered)
The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art. To women he is half vivisector, half vampire. He gets into intimate relations with them to study them, to strip the mask of convention from them, to surprise their inmost secrets, knowing that they have the power to rouse his deepest creative energies, to rescue him from his cold reason, to make him see visions and dream dreams, to inspire him, as he calls it. He persuades women that they may do this for their own purpose whilst he really means them to do it for his. He steals the mother’s milk and blackens it to make printer’s ink to scoff at her and glorify ideal women with. He pretends to spare her the pangs of child-bearing so that he may have for himself the tenderness and fostering that belong of right to her children. Since marriage began, the great artist has been known as a bad husband. But he is worse: he is a child-robber, a blood-sucker, a hypocrite, and a cheat. Perish the race and wither a thousand women if only the sacrifice of them enable him to act Hamlet better, to paint a finer picture, to write a deeper poem, a greater play, a profounder philosophy! For mark you, Tavy, the artist’s work is to shew us ourselves as we really are. Our minds are nothing but this knowledge of ourselves; and he who adds a jot to such knowledge creates new mind as surely as any woman creates new men. In the rage of that creation he is as ruthless as the woman, as dangerous to her as she to him, and as horribly fascinating. Of all human struggles there is none so treacherous and remorseless as the struggle between the artist man and the mother woman. Which shall use up the other? that is the issue between them. And it is all the deadlier because, in your romanticist cant, they love one another.
George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman)
Any time we base our self-image on how we feel, we will run into problems because our feelings change. As long as we feel good, our self-image is good. When we begin to feel bad, however, our self-image plummets. We need to anchor our self-image on something that does not change. Where do we find it? When we become believers, we become new creations in Christ, recreated in His image. The image of Christ in us will never change. Although our outward appearance will change over time, Christ’s image in us will stay the same. Like His image, Christ’s attitude toward us also will never change. No matter how good or bad we may feel, no matter how up or down we may be, Christ loves us, accepts us, and thinks the world of us. His opinion of us is the only opinion that matters. We should base our self-image on what He thinks about us, not on what others think, or even on what we think about ourselves.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
Thomas Merton said it was actually dangerous to put the Scriptures in the hands of people whose inner self is not yet sufficiently awakened to encounter the Spirit, because they will try to use God for their own egocentric purposes. (This is why religion is so subject to corruption!) Now, if we are going to talk about conversion and penance, let me apply that to the two major groups that have occupied Western Christianity—Catholics and Protestants. Neither one has really let the Word of God guide their lives. Catholics need to be converted to giving the Scriptures some actual authority in their lives. Luther wasn’t wrong when he said that most Catholics did not read the Bible. Most Catholics are still not that interested in the Bible. (Historically they did not have the printing press, nor could most people read, so you can’t blame them entirely.) I have been a priest for 42 years now, and I would sadly say that most Catholics would rather hear quotes from saints, Popes, and bishops, the current news, or funny stories, if they are to pay attention. If I quote strongly from the Sermon on the Mount, they are almost throwaway lines. I can see Catholics glaze over because they have never read the New Testament, much less studied it, or been guided by it. I am very sad to have to admit this. It is the Achilles heel of much of the Catholic world, priests included. (The only good thing about it is that they never fight you like Protestants do about Scripture. They are easily duped, and the hierarchy has been able to take advantage of this.) If Catholics need to be converted, Protestants need to do penance. Their shout of “sola Scriptura” (only Scripture) has left them at the mercy of their own cultures, their own limited education, their own prejudices, and their own selective reading of some texts while avoiding others. Partly as a result, slavery, racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, and homophobia have lasted authoritatively into our time—by people who claim to love Jesus! I think they need to do penance for what they have often done with the Bible! They largely interpreted the Bible in a very individualistic and otherworldly way. It was “an evacuation plan for the next world” to use Brian McLaren’s phrase—and just for their group. Most of Evangelical Protestantism has no cosmic message, no social message, and little sense of social justice or care for the outsider. Both Catholics and Protestants (Orthodox too!) found a way to do our own thing while posturing friendship with Jesus.
Richard Rohr
I would like [my readers] to better understand human beings and human life as a result of having read [my] stories. I'd like them to feel that this was an experience that made things better for them and an experience that gave them hope. I think that the kind of things that we talk about at this conference -- fantasy very much so, science fiction, and even horror -- the message that we're sending is the reverse of the message sent by what is called "realistic fiction." (I happen to think that realistic fiction is not, in fact, realistic, but that's a side issue.) And what we are saying is that it doesn't have to be like this: things can be different. Our society can be changed. Maybe it's worse, maybe it's better. Maybe it's a higher civilization, maybe it's a barbaric civilization. But it doesn't have to be the way it is now. Things can change. And we're also saying things can change for you in your life. Look at the difference between Severian the apprentice and Severian the Autarch [in The Book of the New Sun], for example. The difference beteween Silk as an augur and Silk as calde [in The Book of the Long Sun]. You see? We don't always have to be this. There can be something else. We can stop doing the thing that we're doing. Moms Mabley had a great line in some movie or other -- she said, "You keep on doing what you been doing and you're gonna keep on gettin' what you been gettin'." And we don't have to keep on doing what we've been doing. We can do something else if we don't like what we're gettin'. I think a lot of the purpose of fiction ought to be to tell people that.
Gene Wolfe
we can never go back. We can rise up from our failures, screwups, and falls, but we can never go back to where we stood before we were brave or before we fell. Courage transforms the emotional structure of our being. This change often brings a deep sense of loss. During the process of rising, we sometimes find ourselves homesick for a place that no longer exists. We want to go back to that moment before we walked into the arena, but there’s nowhere to go back to. What makes this more difficult is that now we have a new level of awareness about what it means to be brave. We can’t fake it anymore. We now know when we’re showing up and when we’re hiding out, when we are living our values and when we are not. Our new awareness can also be invigorating—it can reignite our sense of purpose and remind
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.)
Eventually the Woodsman spoke. ‘We all have our routines,’ he said softly. ‘But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.’ The Woodsman stood and showed David his axe. ‘See here,’ he said, pointing with his finger at the blade. Every morning, I make certain that me axe is clean and keen. I look to my house and check that its windows and doors remain secure. I tend to my land, disposing of weeds and ensuring that the soil is watered. I walk through the forest, clearing those paths that need to be kept open. Where trees have been damaged, I do my best to repair what has been harmed. these are my routines and I enjoy doing them well.’ He laid a hand gently on David’s shoulder, and David saw understanding in his face. ‘Rules and routines are good, but they must give you satisfaction. Can you truly say you gain that from touching and counting?’ David shook his head. ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I get scared when I don’t do them. I’m afraid of what might happen.’ ‘Then find routines that allow you to feel secure when they are done. You told me that you have a new brother: look to him each morning. Look to your father, and your stepmother. Tend to the flowers in the garden, or in the pots upon the window sill. Seek others who are weaker than you are, and try to give them comfort where you can. Let these be your routines, and the rules that govern your life.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
The truth is that the masses grew out of the fragments of a highly atomized society whose competitive structure and concomitant loneliness of the individual had been held in check only through membership in a class. The chief characteristic of the mass man is not brutality and backwardness, but his isolation and lack of normal social relationships. Coming from the class-ridden society of the nation-state, whose cracks had been cemented with nationalistic sentiment, it is only natural that these masses, in the first helplessness of their new experience, have tended toward an especially violent nationalism, to which mass leaders have yielded against their own instincts and purposes for purely demagogic reasons.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
My Angel, My greatest hope is that you never have to read this. Vee knows to give you this letter only if my feather is burned and I’m chained in hell or if Blakely develops a devilcraft prototype strong enough to kill me. When war between our races ignites, I don’t know what will become of our future. When I think about you and our plans. I feel a desperate aching. Never have I wanted things to turn out right as as I do now. Before I leave this world, I need to make certain you know that all my love belongs to you. You are the same to me now as you were before you swore the Changeover Vow. You are mine. Always. I love the strength, courage, and gentleness of your soul. I love your body too. How could someone so sexy and perfect be mine? With you I have purpose-someone to love, cherish and protect. There are secrets in my past that weigh on your mind. You've trusted me enough not to ask about them, and it's your faith that has made me a better man. I don’t want to leave you with anything hidden between us. I told you I was banished from heaven for falling in love with a human girl. The I way I explained it, I risked everything to be with her. I said those words because they simplified my motivations. But they weren't the truth. The truth is I had become disenchanted with the archangels’s shifting goals and wanted to push back against them and their rules. That girl was an excuse to let go of an old way of living and accept a new journey that would eventually lead me to you. I believe in destiny, Angel. I believe every choice I've made has brought me closer to you. I looked for you for a very long time. I may have fallen from heaven but I fell for you. I will do whatever it takes to make sure you win this war. Nephilim will come out on top. You’ll fulfill your vow to the Black Hand and be safe. This is my priority even if the cost is my life. I suspect this will make you angry. It may be hard to forgive me. I promised that we would be together at the end of this and you may resent me for the breaking that vow. I want you to know I did everything to keep my word. As I write this I am going over ever possibility that will see us through this. I hope I find a way. But if this choice I have to make comes down to your or me, I choose you. I always have. All my love, Patch
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
THE ONE THING YOU MUST DO There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there's nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life. It's as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human being come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don't do it, it's as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It's a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It's like a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on. You say, "But look, I'm using the dagger. It's not lying idle." Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny an iron nail could be bought to serve for that. You say, "But I spend my energies on lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and astronomy and medicine and the rest." But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself. Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord. Give yourself to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don't, you will be like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall for a peg to hold his dipper gourd. You'll be wasting valuable keenness and forgetting your dignity and purpose.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
WHAT YOU DO WITH TODAY MATTERS Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place? —JOB 38:12 Today has a place in eternity that no other day can take. There are things God has established for you to accomplish this day, and there are things the devil has set up to distract you. Certainly there is some leeway in this, and God gives an incredible amount of grace, but what we do with today matters, not only for ourselves but also for those God has appointed for us to touch. Father, I do not take today for granted. Download fresh vision and purpose into my spirit today so that I might take advantage of every opportunity You bring my way. I have a fresh anointing for the day ahead that is uncontaminated and uncompromised. By this anointing, every yoke is broken off of my life and every burden is lifted. Your yoke is easy, and Your burden is light. I declare that a new cycle of power and victory in my life begins right now. I break free from the cares of yesterday and will not take on any worries about tomorrow, for You have given me grace that is sufficient for each day in and of itself. Your mercies are new every morning, and You clothe me with newness of purpose as I wait upon You. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Endings are abstruse, mystic and unreal. They are but depleted beginnings purposed to be substituted with newer ones.A transition of outlook and time, similar to our differing moods before and after slumber. Before the act we witness an exhaustion, a sulkiness but on gaining consciousness, we’re rejuvenated and good humored. The wakefulness is the new beginning whereas the tension the disturbance we perceive each night is the weariness of the beginnings, of each day. So there never really is an end, all that there are are beginnings.Beginnings which are promising, which offer hope, which have a new leash on life, which neither denounce nor belittle rather soothe and console by reconstructing the broken pieces of yesterday, mending them and reinforcing them with courage and beauty like never before.
Chirag Tulsiani
demanding recognition for something you did and getting angry or upset if you don’t get it; trying to get attention by talking about your problems, the story of your illnesses, or making a scene; giving your opinion when nobody has asked for it and it makes no difference to the situation; being more concerned with how the other person sees you than with the other person, which is to say, using other people for egoic reflection or as ego enhancers; trying to make an impression on others through possessions, knowledge, good looks, status, physical strength, and so on; bringing about temporary ego inflation through angry reaction against something or someone; taking things personally, feeling offended; making yourself right and others wrong through futile mental or verbal complaining; wanting to be seen, or to appear important.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
And wasn't it this bright boy you selected for beating and tortures after hours? Of course it was. We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for their are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man's mind. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? Me? I won't stomach them for a minute. And so when houses were finally fireproofed completely, all over the world (you were correct in your assumption the other night) there was no longer need of firemen for the old purposes. They were given the new job, as custodians of our peace of mind, the focus of our understandable and rightful dread of being inferior: official censors, judges and executors. That's you, Montag, and that's me.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
You look ill,” Matthew observed. “Is it my dancing? Is it me personally?” “Perhaps I’m nervous,” she said. “Lucie did say you didn’t like many people.” Matthew gave a sharp, startled laugh, before schooling his face back into a look of lazy amusement. “Did she? Lucie’s a chatterbox.” “But not a liar,” she said. “Well, fear not. I do not dislike you. I hardly know you,” said Matthew. “I do know your brother. He made my life miserable at school, and Christopher’s, and James’s.” “Alastair and I are very different,” Cordelia said. She didn’t want to say more than that. It felt disloyal to Alastair. “I like Oscar Wilde, for instance, and he does not.” The corner of Matthew’s mouth curled up. “I see you go directly for the soft underbelly, Cordelia Carstairs. Have you really read Oscar’s work?” “Just Dorian Gray,” Cordelia confessed. “It gave me nightmares.” “I should like to have a portrait in the attic,” Matthew mused, “that would show all my sins, while I stayed young and beautiful. And not only for sinning purposes—imagine being able to try out new fashions on it. I could paint the portrait’s hair blue and see how it looks.” “You don’t need a portrait. You are young and beautiful,” Cordelia pointed out. “Men are not beautiful. Men are handsome,” objected Matthew. “Thomas is handsome. You are beautiful,” said Cordelia, feeling the imp of the perverse stealing over her. Matthew was looking stubborn. “James is beautiful too,” she added. “He was a very unprepossessing child,” said Matthew. “Scowly, and he hadn’t grown into his nose.” “He’s grown into everything now,” Cordelia said. Matthew laughed, again as if he was surprised to be doing it. “That was a very shocking observation, Cordelia Carstairs. I am shocked.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
[H]is first purpose was to explain himself, and before they reached Mr. Allen's grounds he had done it so well that Catherine did not think it could ever be repeated too often. She was assured of his affection; and that heart in return was solicited, which, perhaps, they pretty equally knew was already entirely his own; for, though Henry was now sincerely attached to her, though he felt and delighted in all the excellencies of her character and truly loved her society, I must confess that his affection originated in nothing better than gratitude, or, in other words, that a persuasion of her partiality for him had been the only cause of giving her a serious thought. It is a new circumstance in romance, I acknowledge, and dreadfully derogatory of an heroine's dignity; but if it be as new in common life, the credit of a wild imagination will at least be all my own.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
I am a college-educated American. In all my years of formal schooling, I never read Plato or Aristotle, Homer or Virgil. I knew nothing of Greek and Roman history and barely grasped the meaning of the Middle Ages. Dante was a stranger to me, and so was Shakespeare. The fifteen hundred years of Christianity from the end of the New Testament to the Reformation were a blank page, and I knew only the barest facts about Luther's revolution. I was ignorant of Descartes and Newton. My understanding of Western history began with the Enlightenment. Everything that came before it was lost behind a misty curtain of forgetting. Nobody did this on purpose. Nobody tried to deprive me of my civilizational patrimony. But nobody felt any obligation to present it to me and my generation in an orderly, coherent fashion. Ideas have consequences - and so does their lack.
Rod Dreher (The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation)
What is serious to men is often very trivial in the sight of God. What in God might appear to us as "play" is perhaps what he Himself takes most seriously. At any rate, the Lord plays and diverts Himself in the garden of His creation, and if we could let go of our own obsession with what we think is the meaning of it all, we might be able to hear His call and follow Him in His mysterious, cosmic dance. We do not have to go very far to catch echoes of that game, and of that dancing. When we are alone on a starlit night; when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children; when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet Bashō we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash--at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the "newness," the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance. For the world and time are the dance of the Lord in emptiness. The silence of the spheres is the music of a wedding feast. The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity and despair. But it does not matter much, because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things; or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there. Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not. Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the general dance.
Thomas Merton (New Seeds of Contemplation)
What is in mind is a sort of Chautauqua...that's the only name I can think of for it...like the traveling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America, this America, the one that we are now in, an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer. The Chautauquas were pushed aside by faster-paced radio, movies and TV, and it seems to me the change was not entirely an improvement. Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep. The old channels cannot contain it and in its search for new ones there seems to be growing havoc and destruction along its banks. In this Chautauqua I would like not to cut any new channels of consciousness but simply dig deeper into old ones that have become silted in with the debris of thoughts grown stale and platitudes too often repeated. "What's new?" is an interesting and broadening eternal question, but one which, if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion, the silt of tomorrow. I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question "What is best?," a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream. There are eras of human history in which the channels of thought have been too deeply cut and no change was possible, and nothing new ever happened, and "best" was a matter of dogma, but that is not the situation now. Now the stream of our common consciousness seems to be obliterating its own banks, losing its central direction and purpose, flooding the lowlands, disconnecting and isolating the highlands and to no particular purpose other than the wasteful fulfillment of its own internal momentum. Some channel deepening seems called for.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better. The debased language that I have been discussing is in some ways very convenient. Phrases like a not unjustifiable assumption, leaves much to be desired, would serve no good purpose, a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind, are a continuous temptation, a packet of aspirins always at one's elbow. Look back through this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against. By this morning's post I have received a pamphlet dealing with conditions in Germany. The author tells me that he "felt impelled" to write it. I open it at random, and here is almost the first sentence I see: "[The Allies] have an opportunity not only of achieving a radical transformation of Germany's social and political structure in such a way as to avoid a nationalistic reaction in Germany itself, but at the same time of laying the foundations of a co-operative and unified Europe." You see, he "feels impelled" to write -- feels, presumably, that he has something new to say -- and yet his words, like cavalry horses answering the bugle, group themselves automatically into the familiar dreary pattern. This invasion of one's mind by ready-made phrases (lay the foundations, achieve a radical transformation) can only be prevented if one is constantly on guard against them, and every such phrase anaesthetizes a portion of one's brain.
George Orwell (Politics and the English Language)
Tell me something. Do you believe in God?' Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?' 'It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?' 'What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...' 'No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.' Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks: 'There was Manicheanism...' 'Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...' Snow pondered for a while: 'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.' I kept on: 'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...' 'We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.' 'If you're going to take what I say literally...' ...Snow asked abruptly: 'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?' 'I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
I detest love lyrics. I think one of the causes of bad mental health in the United States is that people have been raised on 'love lyrics'. You're a young kid and you hear all those 'love lyrics', right? Your parents aren't telling you the truth about love, and you can't really learn about it in school. You're getting the bulk of your 'behaviour norms' mapped out for you in the lyrics to some dumb fucking love song. It's a subconscious training that creates desire for an imaginary situation which will never exist for you. People who buy into that mythology go through life feeling that they got cheated out of something. What I think is very cynical about some rock and roll songs -- especially today -- is the way they say: "Let's make love." What the fuck kind of wussy says shit like that in the real world? You ought to be able to say "Let's go fuck", or at least "Let's go fill-in-the-blank" -- but you gotta say "Let's make love" in order to get on the radio. This creates a semantic corruption, by changing the context in which the word 'love' is used in the song. When they get into drooling about love as a 'romantic concept' -- especially in the lyrics of sensitive singer/songwriter types -- that's another shove in the direction of bad mental health. Fortunately, lyrics over the last five or six years have gotten to be less and less important, with 'art rock groups' and new wavers specializing in 'nonjudgemental' or 'purposely inconsequential' lyrics. People have stopped listening to the lyrics -- they are now only 'pitched mouth noises'.
Frank Zappa (The Real Frank Zappa Book)
So? If I die, then I die! The loss to the world won’t be great. Yes, and I’m fairly bored with myself already. I am like a man who is yawning at a ball, whose reason for not going home to bed is only that his carriage hasn’t arrived yet. But the carriage is ready . . . farewell! I run through the memory of my past in its entirety and can’t help asking myself: Why have I lived? For what purpose was I born? . . . There probably was one once, and I probably did have a lofty calling, because I feel a boundless strength in my soul . . . But I didn’t divine this calling. I was carried away with the baits of passion, empty and unrewarding. I came out of their crucible as hard and cold as iron, but I had lost forever the ardor for noble aspirations, the best flower of life. Since then, how many times have I played the role of the ax in the hands of fate! Like an instrument of execution, I fell on the head of doomed martyrs, often without malice, always without regret . . . My love never brought anyone happiness, because I never sacrificed anything for those I loved: I loved for myself, for my personal pleasure. I was simply satisfying a strange need of the heart, with greediness, swallowing their feelings, their joys, their suffering—and was never sated. Just as a man, tormented by hunger, goes to sleep in exhaustion and dreams of sumptuous dishes and sparkling wine before him. He devours the airy gifts of his imagination with rapture, and he feels easier. But as soon as he wakes: the dream disappears . . . and all that remains is hunger and despair redoubled! And, maybe, I will die tomorrow! . . . And not one being on this earth will have ever understood me totally. Some thought of me as worse, some as better, than I actually am . . . Some will say “he was a good fellow,” others will say I was a swine. Both one and the other would be wrong. Given this, does it seem worth the effort to live? And yet, you live, out of curiosity, always wanting something new . . . Amusing and vexing!
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
The New Dimension is peaceful, and all work here just as they do on Earth. It’s a place where learning, knowledge and wisdom are essential to that work. It is not corrupt like the Earth Plane, and there they are free from all of the corruption that exists on Earth today. We created this New Dimension for growing and learning, as we did Earth. Minds here are advanced, as the knowledge that was acquired on Earth is now attuned to the minds of New Dimension souls. It is a slow process for all souls’ minds to learn and absorb knowledge and wisdom. Love is the answer for all kinds of souls to advance in the Universe. Through love, knowledge and wisdom are well earned. Critical thinking, the Earth Plane has gotten off track, forgetting or ignoring this most important key to progress. We all here in the Universe is working so hard with Earth souls to remind them that their purpose on Earth is to advance. First, they must love themselves if they are going to love all of those around them, if they are going to love other souls, if they are going to help less fortunate souls with love and kindness. All of this is part of Earth lessons they must learn. Once this is understood, we will attain peace of soul and mind… Progress is all that matters in the Universe!
Solon
Dear Woman Who Gave Me Life: The callous vexations and perturbations of this night have subsequently resolved themselves to a state which precipitates me, Arturo Bandini, into a brobdingnagian and gargantuan decision. I inform you of this in no uncertain terms. Ergo, I now leave you and your ever charming daughter (my beloved sister Mona) and seek the fabulous usufructs of my incipient career in profound solitude. Which is to say, tonight I depart for the metropolis to the east — our own Los Angeles, the city of angels. I entrust you to the benign generosity of your brother, Frank Scarpi, who is, as the phrase has it, a good family man (sic!). I am penniless but I urge you in no uncertain terms to cease your cerebral anxiety about my destiny, for truly it lies in the palm of the immortal gods. I have made the lamentable discovery over a period of years that living with you and Mona is deleterious to the high and magnanimous purpose of Art, and I repeat to you in no uncertain terms that I am an artist, a creator beyond question. And, per se, the fumbling fulminations of cerebration and intellect find little fruition in the debauched, distorted hegemony that we poor mortals, for lack of a better and more concise terminology, call home. In no uncertain terms I give you my love and blessing, and I swear to my sincerity, when I say in no uncertain terms that I not only forgive you for what has ruefully transpired this night, but for all other nights. Ergo, I assume in no uncertain terms that you will reciprocate in kindred fashion. May I say in conclusion that I have much to thank you for, O woman who breathed the breath of life into my brain of destiny? Aye, it is, it is. Signed. Arturo Gabriel Bandini. Suitcase in hand, I walked down to the depot. There was a ten-minute wait for the midnight train for Los Angeles. I sat down and began to think about the new novel.
John Fante (The Road to Los Angeles (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #2))
Everything is temporary, almost like a passing fase, some of laughter Some of pain. What we would do, If we had the chance to explore What we had taken for Granted the very day before, Some would say I'm selfish, To hold a little sadness in my eyes, But they don't feel the sorrow When I can't do, all that helps me feel alive. I can express my emotions, but I can't run wild and free, My mind and soul would handle it but hell upon my hip, ankle and knees, This disorder came about, as a friendship said its last goodbyes, Soooo this is what I got given for all the years I stood by? I finally stand still to question it, life it is in fact? What the fuck is the purpose of it all if you get stabbed in the back? And after the anger fills the air, the regret takes it places, I never wanted to be that girl, Horrid, sad and faded... So I took with a grain of salt, my new found reality, I am not of my pain, the disability doesnt define me. I find away to adjust, also with the absence of my friend, I trust the choices I make, allow my heart to mend. I pick up the pieces I retrain my leg, I find where I left off And I start all over again, You see what happens... When a warrior gets tested; They grow from the ashes Powerful and invested. So I thank all this heartache, As I put it to a rest, I move forward with my life And I'll build a damn good nest.
Nikki Rowe
But what is [the] quality of originality? It is very hard to define or specify. Indeed, to define originality would in itself be a contradiction, since whatever action can be defined in this way must evidently henceforth be unoriginal. Perhaps, then, it will be best to hint at it obliquely and by indirection, rather than to try to assert positively what it is. One prerequisite for originality is clearly that a person shall not be inclined to impose his preconceptions on the fact as he sees it. Rather, he must be able to learn something new, even if this means that the ideas and notions that are comfortable or dear to him may be overturned. But the ability to learn in this way is a principle common to the whole of humanity. Thus it is well known that a child learns to walk, to talk, and to know his way around the world just by trying something out and seeing what happens, then modifying what he does (or thinks) in accordance with what has actually happened. In this way, he spends his first few years in a wonderfully creative way, discovering all sorts of things that are new to him, and this leads people to look back on childhood as a kind of lost paradise. As the child grows older, however, learning takes on a narrower meaning. In school, he learns by repetition to accumulate knowledge, so as to please the teacher and pass examinations. At work, he learns in a similar way, so as to make a living, or for some other utilitarian purpose, and not mainly for the love of the action of learning itself. So his ability to see something new and original gradually dies away. And without it there is evidently no ground from which anything can grow.
David Bohm (On Creativity)
The word “coherence” literally means holding or sticking together, but it is usually used to refer to a system, an idea, or a worldview whose parts fit together in a consistent and efficient way. Coherent things work well: A coherent worldview can explain almost anything, while an incoherent worldview is hobbled by internal contradictions. … Whenever a system can be analyzed at multiple levels, a special kind of coherence occurs when the levels mesh and mutually interlock. We saw this cross-level coherence in the analysis of personality: If your lower-level traits match up with your coping mechanisms, which in turn are consistent with your life story, your personality is well integrated and you can get on with the business of living. When these levels do not cohere, you are likely to be torn by internal contradictions and neurotic conflicts. You might need adversity to knock yourself into alignment. And if you do achieve coherence, the moment when things come together may be one of the most profound of your life. … Finding coherence across levels feels like enlightenment, and it is crucial for answering the question of purpose within life. People are multilevel systems in another way: We are physical objects (bodies and brains) from which minds somehow emerge; and from our minds, somehow societies and cultures form. To understand ourselves fully we must study all three levels—physical, psychological, and sociocultural. There has long been a division of academic labor: Biologists studied the brain as a physical object, psychologists studied the mind, and sociologists and anthropologists studied the socially constructed environments within which minds develop and function. But a division of labor is productive only when the tasks are coherent—when all lines of work eventually combine to make something greater than the sum of its parts. For much of the twentieth century that didn’t happen — each field ignored the others and focused on its own questions. But nowadays cross-disciplinary work is flourishing, spreading out from the middle level (psychology) along bridges (or perhaps ladders) down to the physical level (for example, the field of cognitive neuroscience) and up to the sociocultural level (for example, cultural psychology). The sciences are linking up, generating cross-level coherence, and, like magic, big new ideas are beginning to emerge. Here is one of the most profound ideas to come from the ongoing synthesis: People gain a sense of meaning when their lives cohere across the three levels of their existence.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Once I am sure there's nothing going on I step inside, letting the door thud shut. Another church: matting, seats, and stone, And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff Up at the holy end; the small neat organ; And a tense, musty, unignorable silence, Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off My cycle-clips in awkward reverence. Move forward, run my hand around the font. From where I stand, the roof looks almost new - Cleaned, or restored? Someone would know: I don't. Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce 'Here endeth' much more loudly than I'd meant. The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence, Reflect the place was not worth stopping for. Yet stop I did: in fact I often do, And always end much at a loss like this, Wondering what to look for; wondering, too, When churches will fall completely out of use What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep A few cathedrals chronically on show, Their parchment, plate and pyx in locked cases, And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep. Shall we avoid them as unlucky places? Or, after dark, will dubious women come To make their children touch a particular stone; Pick simples for a cancer; or on some Advised night see walking a dead one? Power of some sort will go on In games, in riddles, seemingly at random; But superstition, like belief, must die, And what remains when disbelief has gone? Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky, A shape less recognisable each week, A purpose more obscure. I wonder who Will be the last, the very last, to seek This place for what it was; one of the crew That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were? Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique, Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh? Or will he be my representative, Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt So long and equably what since is found Only in separation - marriage, and birth, And death, and thoughts of these - for which was built This special shell? For, though I've no idea What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth, It pleases me to stand in silence here; A serious house on serious earth it is, In whose blent air all our compulsions meet, Are recognized, and robed as destinies. And that much never can be obsolete, Since someone will forever be surprising A hunger in himself to be more serious, And gravitating with it to this ground, Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in, If only that so many dead lie round.
Philip Larkin