Object Of Desire Quotes

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Love. Because of you, in gardens of blossoming Flowers I ache from the perfumes of spring. I have forgotten your face, I no longer Remember your hands; how did your lips Feel on mine? Because of you, I love the white statues Drowsing in the parks, the white statues that Have neither voice nor sight. I have forgotten your voice, your happy voice; I have forgotten your eyes. Like a flower to its perfume, I am bound to My vague memory of you. I live with pain That is like a wound; if you touch me, you will Make to me an irreperable harm. Your caresses enfold me, like climbing Vines on melancholy walls. I have forgotten your love, yet I seem to Glimpse you in every window. Because of you, the heady perfumes of Summer pain me; because of you, I again Seek out the signs that precipitate desires: Shooting stars, falling objects.
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Pablo Neruda
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The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one's narcissism. The narcissistic orientation is one in which one experiences as real only that which exists within oneself, while the phenomena in the outside world have no reality in themselves, but are experienced only from the viewpoint of their being useful or dangerous to one. The opposite pole to narcissism is objectivity; it is the faculty to see other people and things as they are, objectively, and to be able to separate this objective picture from a picture which is formed by one's desires and fears.
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Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
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Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple β€œI must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose... ...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.
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Rainer Maria Rilke
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Most people think that shadows follow, precede or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories.
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Elie Wiesel
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If you don't know what you want, you'll never find it. If you don't know what you deserve, you'll always settle for less. You will wander aimlessly, uncomfortably numb in your comfort zone, wondering how life has ended up here. Life starts now, live, love, laugh and let your light shine!
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Rob Liano
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All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.
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Blaise Pascal
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To be the object of desire is to be defined in the passive case. To exist in the passive case is to die in the passive case – that is, to be killed. This is the moral of the fairy tale about the perfect woman.
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Angela Carter (The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography)
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Nothing that lived and breathed was truly objectiveβ€”even in a vacuum, even if all that possessed the brain was a self-immolating desire for the truth.
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Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1))
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And that taught me you can't have anything, you can't have anything at all. Because desire just cheats you. It's like a sunbeam skipping here and there about a room. It stops and gilds some inconsequential object, and we poor fools try to grasp it - but when we do the sunbeam moves on to something else, and you've got the inconsequential part, but the glitter that made you want it is gone.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
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One of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought.
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Albert Einstein
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The difference between greed and ambition is a greedy person desires things he isn't prepared to work for.
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Habeeb Akande
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According to Diotima, Love is not a god at all, but is rather a spirit that mediates between people and the objects of their desire. Love is neither wise nor beautiful, but is rather the desire for wisdom and beauty.
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Plato (The Symposium)
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The Christian says, 'Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.
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C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
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We treat desire as a problem to be solved, address what desire is for and focus on that something and how to acquire it rather than on the nature and the sensation of desire, though often it is the desire between us and the object of desire that fills the space in between with the blue of longing.
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Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
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Attachment is blinding; it lends an imaginary halo of attractiveness to the object of desire.
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Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi: (With Pictures) (Unabridged Start Publishing LLC))
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And then there was Kate Sheffield. The bane of his existence. And the object of his desires. All at once.
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Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
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What a lovely thing a rose is!" He walked past the couch to the open window and held up the drooping stalk of a moss-rose, looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me, for I had never before seen him show any keen interest in natural objects. "There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as religion," said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. "It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.
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Arthur Conan Doyle (The Naval Treaty - a Sherlock Holmes Short Story)
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Being female in this world means having been robbed of the potential for human choice by men who love to hate us. One does does not make choices in freedom. Instead, one conforms in body type and behavior and values to become an object of male sexual desire, which requires an abandonment of a wide-ranging capacity for choice... Men too make choices. When will they choose not to despise us?
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Andrea Dworkin (Intercourse)
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This was the body of a beautiful young woman, conventionally an object of desire, and yet it was a body from which all desire had been eliminated. But this was nothing so crass as carnal desire, not for herβ€”rather, or so it seemed, what she had renounced was the very life that her body represented.
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Han Kang (The Vegetarian)
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One must do violence to the object of one's desire; when it surrenders, the pleasure is greater.
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Marquis de Sade
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This was the body of a beautiful young woman, conventionally an object of desire, and yet it was a body from which all desire had been eliminated.
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Han Kang (The Vegetarian)
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Love springs from the inside. It is the immortal surge of passion, excitement, energy, power, strength, prosperity, recognition, respect, desire, determination, enthusiasm, confidence, courage, and vitality, that nourishes, extends and protects. It possesses an external objective - life.
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Ogwo David Emenike
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We who are like senseless children shrink from suffering, but love its causes. We hurt ourselves; our pain is self-inflicted! Why should others be the object of our anger?
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Śāntideva
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There is no right to deny freedom to any object with a mind advanced enough to grasp the concept and desire the state.
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Isaac Asimov (The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories)
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What we will criticize 'modern' eroticism for is its lack of genuine sensuality, a sensuality which implies beauty or charm, passion or modesty, power over the object of desire, and fulfilment.
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Henri Lefebvre (Critique of Everyday Life)
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You see the first thing we love is a scene. For love at first sight requires the very sign of its suddenness; and of all things, it is the scene which seems to be seen best for the first time: a curtain parts and what had not yet ever been seen is devoured by the eyes: the scene consecrates the object I am going to love. The context is the constellation of elements, harmoniously arranged that encompass the experience of the amorous subject... Love at first sight is always spoken in the past tense. The scene is perfectly adapted to this temporal phenomenon: distinct, abrupt, framed, it is already a memory (the nature of a photograph is not to represent but to memorialize)... this scene has all the magnificence of an accident: I cannot get over having had this good fortune: to meet what matches my desire. The gesture of the amorous embrace seems to fulfill, for a time, the subject's dream of total union with the loved being: The longing for consummation with the other... In this moment, everything is suspended: time, law, prohibition: nothing is exhausted, nothing is wanted: all desires are abolished, for they seem definitively fulfilled... A moment of affirmation; for a certain time, though a finite one, a deranged interval, something has been successful: I have been fulfilled (all my desires abolished by the plenitude of their satisfaction).
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Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
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That which compels us to create a substitute for ourselves is not the external lack of objects, but our incapacity to lovingly include a thing outside of ourselves
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C.G. Jung (Symbols of Transformation (Collected Works 5))
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Long looking at paintings is equivalent to being dropped into a foreign city, where gradually, out of desire and despair, a few key words, then a little syntax make a clearing in the silence. Art... is a foreign city, and we deceive ourselves when we think it familiar... We have to recognize that the language of art, all art, is not our mother-tongue.
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Jeanette Winterson (Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery)
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you are the bane of my existence, and the object of all my desires
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Anthony Bridgerton
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I am done living in a world where women are lied to about their bodies; where women are objects of sexual desire but not subjects of sexual pleasure; where sex is used as a weapon against women; and where women believe their bodies are broken, simply because those bodies are not male. And I am done living in a world where women are trained from birth to treat their bodies as the enemy.
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Emily Nagoski (Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life)
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What I wouldn’t give to be the object of someone’s desire, just for one moment. What I wouldn’t give to taste that fruit, that heady sweetness, of being wanted. I wanted. I wanted what KΓ€the took for granted. I wanted wantonness.
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S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong (Wintersong, #1))
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They made a major mistake," he blurted out, "the dumb bastards, when they didn't start by killing you first." "Benjamin Thomas Parish, that was the sweetest and most bizarre compliment anyone's ever given me." I kissed him on the cheek. He kissed me on the mouth. "You know," I whispered, "a year ago, I would have sold my soul for that." He shook his head. "Not worth it." And, for one-ten thousandth of a second, all of it fell away, the despair and grief and anger and pain and hunger, and the old Ben Parish rose from the dead. The eyes that impaled. The smile that slayed. In another moment, he would fade, slide back into the new Ben, the one called Zombie, and I understood something I hadn't before: He was dead, the object of my schoolgirl desires, just as the schoolgirl who desired him was dead.
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Rick Yancey (The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2))
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If you want to achieve your objectives, you have to be prepared for a daily dose of pain or discomfort. At first, it's unpleasant and demotivating, but in time you come to realise that it's part of the process of feeling good, and the moment arrives when, if you don't feel pain, you have a sense that the exercises aren't having the desired effect.
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Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
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Lovers feel a certain burning in their hearts. A deep longing and desire to meet with the beloved creates that burning. To love God is bound to create a very great fire in you. You will be on fire because you have chosen as your love object something impossible. You will have to weep and cry, and you will have to pray, and you will have to fast, and your mind has to continuously repeat and remember the beloved.
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Osho
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There is no desire that anyone holds for any other reason than that they believe they will feel better in the achievement of it. Whether it is a material object, a physical state of being, a relationship, a condition, or a circumstance - at the heart of every desire is the desire to feel good. And so, the standard of success in life is not the things or the money - the standard of success is absolutely the amount of joy you feel.
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Esther Hicks (Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires)
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You’re like a god from a Greek myth, Saiman. You have no empathy. You have no concept of the world beyond your ego. Wanting something gives you an automatic right to obtain it by whatever means necessary with no regard to the damage it may do. I would be careful if I were you. Friends and objects of deities’ desires dropped like flies. In the end the gods always ended up miserable and alone." β€” Kate Daniels
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Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
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Although, I admit, I desire, Occasionally, some backtalk From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain: A certain minor light may still Lean incandescent Out of kitchen table or chair As if a celestial burning took Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then --
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Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
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Women will only be truly sexually liberated when we arrive at a place where we can see ourselves as having sexual value and agency irrespective of whether of not we are the objects of male desire.
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bell hooks (Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics)
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We humans are unhappy in large part because we are insatiable; after working hard to get what we want, we routinely lose interest in the object of our desire. Rather than feeling satisfied, we feel a bit bored, and in response to this boredom, we go on to form new, even grander desires.
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William B. Irvine (A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy)
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Optimism is not only a false but also a pernicious doctrine, for it presents life as a desirable state and man's happiness as its aim and object. Starting from this, everyone then believes he has the most legitimate claim to happiness and enjoyment. If, as usually happens, these do not fall to his lot, he believes that he suffers an injustice, in fact that he misses the whole point of his existence.
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Arthur Schopenhauer (The World as Will and Representation, Volume I)
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Whatever you eye falls on - for it will fall on what you love - will lead you to the questions of your life, the questions that are incumbent upon you to answer, because that is how the mind works in concert with the eye. The things of this world draw us where we need to go.
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Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
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From this point of view, science - the real game in town - is rhetoric, a series of efforts to persuade relevant social actors that one's manufactured knowledge is a route to a desired form of very objective power.
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Donna J. Haraway
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Love isn't just wanting another person the way you want to own an object you see in a store. That's just desire. You want to have it around, take it home and set it up somewhere in the apartment like a lamp.
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Philip K. Dick (Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said)
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And, for one– ten thousandth of a second, all of it fell away, the despair and grief and anger and pain and hunger, and the old Ben Parish rose from the dead. The eyes that impaled. The smile that slayed. In another moment, he would fade, slide back into the new Ben, the one called Zombie, and I understood something I hadn’t before: He was dead, the object of my schoolgirl desires, just as the schoolgirl who desired him was dead.
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Rick Yancey (The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2))
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Neither fear nor self-interest can convert the soul. They may change the appearance, perhaps even the conduct, but never the object of supreme desire... Fear is the motive which constrains the slave; greed binds the selfish man, by which he is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed (James 1:14). But neither fear nor self-interest is undefiled, nor can they convert the soul. Only charity can convert the soul, freeing it from unworthy motives.
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Bernard of Clairvaux
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He'll be delivered from madness. What then? He'll feel himself acceptable! What then? Do you think feelings like his can be simply re-attached, like plasters? Stuck on to other objects we select? Look at him! ... My desire might be to make this boy an ardent husband - a caring citizen - a worshipper of abstract and unifying God. My achievement, however, is more likely to make a ghost!
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Peter Shaffer (Equus (Penguin Plays))
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Freedom from activity is never achieved by abstaining from action. Nobody can become perfect by merely ceasing to act. In fact, nobody can ever rest from his activity even for a moment. All are helplessly forced to act. . . . A man who renounces certain physical actions but still lets his mind dwell on the objects of his sensual desire, is deceiving himself. He can only be called a hypocrite. The truly admirable man controls his senses by the power of his will. All his actions will be disinterested. Activity is better than inertia. Act, but with self-control. If you are lazy, you cannot even sustain your own body.
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Anonymous (BHAGAVAD GITA: EL CANTO DEL SEΓ‘OR (Spanish Edition))
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We don't really want to get what we think that we want. I am married to a wife and relationship with her are cold and I have a mistress. And all the time I dream oh my god if my wife were to disappear - I'm not a murderer but let us say- that it will open up a new life with the mistress.Then, for some reason, the wife goes away, you lose the mistress. You thought this is all I want, when you have it there, you turn out it was a much more complex situation. It was not to live with the mistress, but to keep her as a distance as on object of desire about which you dream. This is not an excessive example, I claim this is how things function. We don't really want what we think we desire
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Slavoj Ε½iΕΎek
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God has no needs. Human love, as Plato teaches us, is the child of Poverty – of want or lack; it is caused by a real or supposed goal in its beloved which the lover needs and desires. But God's love, far from being caused by goodness in the object, causes all the goodness which the object has, loving it first into existence, and then into real, though derivative, lovability. God is Goodness. He can give good, but cannot need or get it. In that sense , His love is, as it were, bottomlessly selfless by very definition; it has everything to give, and nothing to receive.
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C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
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An anxiety with no object or purpose in the present, and in the future nothing but endless sacrifice, by means of which he would attain nothing - that was what his days on earth held in store for him... What good was life to him? What prospects did he have? What did he have to strive for? Was he to live merely in order to exist? But a thousand times before he had been ready to give up his existence for an idea, for a hope, even for an imagining. Existence on its own had never been enough for him; he had always wanted more than that. Perhaps it was merely the strength of his own desires that made him believe he was a person to whom more was allowed than others.
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Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
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While a common reaction to seeing a thing of beauty is to want to buy it, our real desire may be not so much to own what we find beautiful as to lay permanent claim to the inner qualities it embodies. Owning such an object may help us realise our ambition of absorbing the virtues to which it alludes, but we ought not to presume that those virtues will automatically or effortlessly begin to rub off on us through tenure. Endeavouring to purchase something we think beautiful may in fact be the most unimaginative way of dealing with the longing it excites in us, just as trying to sleep with someone may be the bluntest response to a feeling of love. What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than physically possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty.
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Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
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Novels institutionalize the ruse of eros. It becomes a narrative texture of sustained incongruence, emotional and cognitive. It permits the reader to stand in triangular relation to the characters in the story and reach into the text after the objects of their desire, sharing their longing but also detached from it, seeing their view of reality but also its mistakenness. It is almost like being in love.
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Anne Carson (Eros the Bittersweet (Canadian Literature))
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The technique of a great seducer requires a facility and an indifference in passing from one object of affection to another which I could never have; however that may be, my loves have left me more often than I have left them, for I have never been able to understand how one could have enough of any beloved. The desire to count up exactly the riches which each new love brings us, and to see it change, and perhaps watch it grow old, accords ill with multiplicity of conquests.
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Marguerite Yourcenar (Memoirs of Hadrian)
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Nell and Fen had chased away my thoughts of suicide. But what had they left me with? Fierce desires, a great tide of feeling of which I could make little sense, an ache that seemed to have no name but want. I want. Intransitive. No object. It was the opposite of wanting to die. But it was scarcely more bearable.
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Lily King (Euphoria)
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For example, the supporters of tariffs treat it as self-evident that the creation of jobs is a desirable end, in and of itself, regardless of what the persons employed do. That is clearly wrong. If all we want are jobs, we can create any number--for example, have people dig holes and then fill them up again, or perform other useless tasks. Work is sometimes its own reward. Mostly, however, it is the price we pay to get the things we want. Our real objective is not just jobs but productive jobs--jobs that will mean more goods and services to consume.
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Milton Friedman (Free to Choose: A Personal Statement)
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Everybody has some one thing they do not want to lose," began the man. "You included. And we are professionals at finding out that very thing. Humans by necessity must have a midway point between their desires and their pride. Just as all objects must have a center of gravity. This is something we can pinpoint. Only when it is gone do people realize it even existed.
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Haruki Murakami (A Wild Sheep Chase (The Rat, #3))
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To have a caring and committed heart toward someoneβ€”a heart so firm in its devotion as to sooner stop beating than neglect the object of its desire despite the person's state of health, appearance, reputation, finances, troubles, or challengesβ€”that, dear world, is love. It is a rare find.
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Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
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Not only does the universe have its own laws, all of them indifferent to the contradictory dreams and desires of humanity, and in the formulation of which we contribute not one iota, apart, that is, from the words by which we clumsily name them, but everything seems to indicate that it uses these laws for aims and objectives that transcend and always will transcend our understanding.
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JosΓ© Saramago
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Reflection comes between us and every other person and object in the world. An object or a person can be reflected in so many different ways. Yet the heart of an object or the essence of the heart can never be reflected. All faith and creativity is the hunger to cross over this frontier, it is the desire for pure and total encounter and belonging. Love is an affair between a reflection and its object.
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John O'Donohue (Four Elements: Reflections on Nature)
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How concrete everything becomes in the world of the spirit when an object, a mere door, can give images of hesitation, temptation, desire, security, welcome and respect. If one were to give an account of all the doors one has closed and opened, of all the doors one would like to re-open, one would have to tell the story of one's entire life.
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Gaston Bachelard (The Poetics of Space)
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Falling in love is not an act of will. It is not a conscious choice. No matter how open to or eager for it we may be, the experience may still elude us. Contrarily, the experience may capture us at times when we are definitely not seeking it, when it is inconvenient and undesirable. We are as likely to fall in love with someone with whom we are obviously ill matched as with someone more suitable. Indeed, we may not even like or admire the object of our passion, yet, try as we might, we may not be able to fall in love with a person whom we deeply respect and with whom a deep relationship would be in all ways desirable. This is not to say that the experience of falling in love is immune to discipline. Psychiatrists, for instance, frequently fall in love with their patients, just as their patients fall in love with them, yet out of duty to the patient and their role they are usually able to abort the collapse of their ego boundaries and give up the patient as a romantic object. The struggle and suffering of the discipline involved may be enormous. But discipline and will can only control the experience; they cannot create it. We can choose how to respond to the experience of falling in love, but we cannot choose the experience itself.
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M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
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The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to someone else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
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John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
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The beauty myth sets it up this way: A high rating as an art object is the most valuable tribute a woman can exact from her lover. If he appreciates her face and body because it is hers, that is next to worthless. It is very neat: The myth contrives to make women offend men by scrutinizing honest appreciation when they give it; it can make men offend women merely by giving them honest appreciation. It can manage to contaminate the sentence "You're beautiful," which is next to "I love you" in expressing a bond of regard between a woman and a man. A man cannot tell a woman that he loves to look at her without risking making her unhappy. If he never tells her, she is destined to be unhappy. And the "luckiest" woman of all, told she is loved because she's "beautiful," is often tormented because she lacks the security of being desired because she looks like who she lovably is.
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Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
β€œ
We are afraid that Heaven is a bribe, and that if we make it our goal we shall no longer be disinterested. It is not so. Heaven offers nothing that the mercenary soul can desire. It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to. There are rewards that do not sully motives. A man's love for a woman is not mercenary because he wants to marry her, nor his love for poetry mercenary because he wants to read it, nor his love of exercise less disinterested because he wants to run and leap and walk. Love, by definition, seeks to enjoy its object.
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C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
β€œ
That's how it is with want. As long as you lack something you yearn for it without cease. if only I could have that one thing, you tell yourself, all my problems would be solved. But once you get it, once the object of your desires is thrust into your hands, it begins to lose its charm. Other wants assert themselves, other desires make themselves felt, and bit by bit you discover that you're right back where you started.
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Paul Auster (Mr. Vertigo)
β€œ
Not only did I rediscover every experience of my life, I had to live each unfulfilled desire as wellβ€”as though they’d been fulfilled. I saw that what transpires in the mind is just as real as any flesh and blood occurrence. What had only been imagination in life, now became tangible, each fantasy a full reality. I lived them allβ€”while, at the same time, standing to the side, a witness to their, often, intimate squalor. A witness cursed with total objectivity.
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Richard Matheson (What Dreams May Come)
β€œ
It is great good health to believe as the Hindus do that there are 33 million gods and goddesses in the world. It is great good health to want to understand one s dreams. It is great good health to desire the ambiguous and paradoxical. It is sickness of the profoundest kind to believe that there is one reality. There is sickness in any piece of work or any piece of art seriously attempting to suggest that the idea that there is more than one reality is somehow redundant.
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Clive Barker
β€œ
The loved object is simply one that has shared an experience at the same moment of time, narcissistically; and the desire to be near the beloved object is at first not due to the idea of possessing it, but simply to let the two experiences compare themselves, like reflections in different mirrors. All this may precede the first look, kiss, or touch; precede ambition, pride, or envy; precede the first declarations which mark the turning pointβ€”for from here love degenerates into habit, possession, and back to loneliness.
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Lawrence Durrell (Justine (The Alexandria Quartet, #1))
β€œ
Aristotle says in the Poetics,” said Henry, β€œthat objects such as corpses, painful to view in themselves, can become delightful to contemplate in a work of art.” β€œAnd I believe Aristotle is correct. After all, what are the scenes in poetry graven on our memories, the ones that we love the most? Precisely these. The murder of Agamemnon and the wrath of Achilles. Dido on the funeral pyre. The daggers of the traitors and Caesar’s bloodβ€”remember how Suetonius describes his body being borne away on the litter, with one arm hanging down?” β€œDeath is the mother of beauty,” said Henry. β€œAnd what is beauty?” β€œTerror.” β€œWell said,” said Julian. β€œBeauty is rarely soft or consolatory. Quite the contrary. Genuine beauty is always quite alarming.” I looked at Camilla, her face bright in the sun, and thought of that line from the Iliad I love so much, about Pallas Athene and the terrible eyes shining. β€œAnd if beauty is terror,” said Julian, β€œthen what is desire? We think we have many desires, but in fact we have only one. What is it?” β€œTo live,” said Camilla. β€œTo live forever,” said Bunny, chin cupped in palm. The teakettle began to whistle.
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Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
β€œ
The skin is a variety of contingency: in it, through it, with it, the world and my body touch each other, the feeling and the felt, it defines their common edge. Contingency means common tangency: in it the world and the body intersect and caress each other. I do not wish to call the place in which I live a medium, I prefer to say that things mingle with each other and that I am no exception to that. I mix with the world which mixes with me. Skin intervenes between several things in the world and makes them mingle.
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Michel Serres (The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies (Athlone Contemporary European Thinkers))
β€œ
He wasn’t stupid. He’d watched enough of his friends drop like flies when the fatal illness struck. Now he was himself stricken; he showed all the Six Deadly Symptoms of a Man in Love: 1) Inability to think straight. 2) An alarming propensity to smile at the oddest moments. 3) Constant thoughts of the object of one’s desire. 4) Absolutely no interest in other members of the opposite sex. 5) A startling sense of goodwill toward the world in general. 6) A perpetual state of sexual arousal.
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Jillian Hunter (The Seduction of an English Scoundrel (Boscastle, #1))
β€œ
There is another physical law that teases me, too: the Doppler Effect. The sound of anything coming at you- a train, say, or the future- has a higher pitch than the sound of the same thing going away. If you have perfect pitch and a head for mathematics you can compute the speed of the object by the interval between its arriving and departing sounds. I have neither perfect pitch nor a head for mathematics, and anyway who wants to compute the speed of history? Like all falling bodies, it constantly accelerates. But I would like to hear your life as you heard it, coming at you, instead of hearing it as I do, a somber sound of expectations reduced, desires blunted, hopes deferred or abandoned, chances lost, defeats accepted, griefs borne.
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Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose)
β€œ
Love remains a relation with the Other that turns into need, transcendent exteriority of the other, of the beloved. But love goes beyond the beloved... The possibility of the Other appearing as an object of a need while retaining his alterity, or again,the possibility of enjoying the Other... this simultaneity of need and desire, or concupiscence and transcendence,... constitutes the originality of the erotic which, in this sense, is the equivocal par excellence.
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Emmanuel Levinas (Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority)
β€œ
There was a listlessness in his gait, as if he saw no reason for taking one step further, nor felt any desire to do so, but would have been glad, could he be glad of anything, to fling himself down at the root of the nearest tree, and lie there passive for evermore. The leaves might bestrew him, and the soil gradually accumulate and form a little hillock over his frame, no matter whether there were life in it or no. Death was too definite an object to be wished for or avoided.
”
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Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
β€œ
We want to get behind the beauty, but it is only a surface. It is like a mirror that reflects to us our own desire for good. It is a sphinx, an enigma, a sorrowfully irritating mystery. We want to feed on it, but it is only an object we can look on; it appears to us from a certain distance. The great sorrow of human life is knowing that to look and to eat are two different operations. Only on the other side of heaven, where God lives, are they one and the same operation. Children already experience this sorrow when they look at a cake for a long time and nearly regret eating it, but are powerless to help themselves. Maybe the vices, depravities and crimes are nearly always or even always in their essence attempts to eat beauty, to eat what one can only look at. Eve initiated this. If she lost our humanity by eating a fruit, the reverse attitudeβ€” looking at a fruit without eating itβ€” must be what saves.
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Simone Weil (Waiting for God)
β€œ
And now, as I close my task, subduing my desire to linger yet, these faces fade away. But one face, shining on me like a Heavenly light by which I see all other objects, is above them and beyond them all. And that remains. I turn my head, and see it, in its beautiful serenity, beside me. My lamp burns low, and I have written far into the night; but the dear presence, without which I were nothing, bears me company. O Agnes, O my soul, so may thy face be by me when I close my life indeed; so may I, when realities are melting from me, like the shadows which I now dismiss, still find thee near me, pointing upward!
”
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Charles Dickens (David Copperfield)
β€œ
Anxiety is always a gap between the way things are and the way we think they ought to be. Anxiety is something that stretches between the real and unreal. Our human desire is to avoid what's real and instead to be with our ideas about the world: "I'm terrible." "You're terrible." "You're wonderful." The idea is separated from reality and anxiety is the gap between the idea and the reality that things are just as they are. When we cease to believe in the object that we've created -- which is off to one side of reality, so to speak -- things snap back to the center. That's what being centered means. The anxiety then fades out.
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Charlotte Joko Beck
β€œ
One real danger in love relationships is that most people secretly believe that they must control the love object in order to feel safe in loving and being loved. The cause of this is simpleβ€”children are made to feel that they must "give themselves up" if they are to be loved. Thus, for most humans the act of surrender has meant the loss of autonomy or worseβ€”loss of one's own mind. Surrender is neither control nor morbid dependency and cannot be made contingent upon giving away one's "soul"; nonetheless, the person surrendering opens completely to the moment, and runs the risk of being deeply hurt. Sadly, in our society this is not uncommon and frequently serves to harden or embitter a person toward life in general. Or, on the other had being deeply hurt in the act of surrender can lead to angry and painful "cries for help." When this occurs there is an insatiable and wrathful desire to be cared for as a child is cared for and the horrid fear of loss of independence.
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Christopher S. Hyatt (Sex Magic, Tantra & Tarot: The Way of the Secret Lover)
β€œ
- Oscar Wilde said that we always destroy the thing we love the most. And it is true. The simple possibility of achieving that which we desire causes the soul of the common man to be filled with guilt. He looks around, and sees many others who have not succeeded, and so he thinks he does not deserve it. He forgets everything he overcame, all he suffered, everything he had to renounce in order to come this far. I know many people who, when they are within reach of their Personal Legend, make a series of silly mistakes and do not attain their objective - when it was just one step away.
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Paulo Coelho (Warrior of the Light)
β€œ
I do not suppose she had ever really cared for her husband, and what I had taken for love was no more than the feminine response to caresses and comfort which in the minds of most women passes for it. It is a passive feeling capable of being roused for any object, as the vine can grow on any tree; and the wisdom of the world recognises its strength when it urges a girl to marry the man who wants her with the assurance that love will follow. It is an emotion made up of the satisfaction of security, pride of property, the pleasure of being desired, the gratification of a household, and it is only by an amiable vanity that women ascribe to it spiritual value. It is an emotion which is defenceless against passion.
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W. Somerset Maugham (The Moon and Sixpence)
β€œ
I did not know what I was going to do with my life; before anything else I wanted to find an answer, my answer, to the timeless questions, and then after that I would decide what I would become. If I did not begin by discovering what was the grand purpose of life on earth, I said to myself, how would I be able to discover the purpose of my tiny ephemeral life? And if I did not give my life a purpose, how would I be able to engage in action? I was not interested in finding what life's purpose was objectively - this, I divined, was impossible and futile - but simply what purpose I, of my own free will, could give it in accord with my spiritual and intellectual needs. Whether or not this purpose was the true one did not, at that time, have any great significance for me. The important thing was that I should find (should create) a purpose congruent with my own self, and thus, by following it, reel out my particular desires and abilities to the furthest possible limit. For then at last I would be collaborating harmoniously with the totality of the universe.
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Nikos Kazantzakis (Report to Greco)
β€œ
She was a woman still controlled by the traumas of her girlhood. It made more sense to put her three-year-old self in the dock. As Dr Byford explained, she was really the victim of a vicious, peculiarly female psycological disorder: she felt one thing and did another. She was a stranger to herself. And were they still like that, she wondered - these new girls, this new generation? Did they still feel one thing and do another? Did they still only want to be wanted? Were they still objects of desire instead of - as Howard might put it - desiring subjects? No, she could see no serious change. Still starving themselves, still reading women's magazines that explicitly hate women, still cutting themselves with little knives in places they think can't be seen, still faking their orgasms with men they dislike, still lying to everybody about everything.
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Zadie Smith (On Beauty)
β€œ
Tired of feeling tired? Take Liftoff, the new energy pill. Liftoff is made entirely from chemicals, with no naturally occurring ingredients. Designed to shock the nervous system into involuntary spasms, Liftoff can energize your day. Or, it can kill you. Sometimes, death comes slowly and painfully. Other times, it comes rapidly and painfully. Side effects include, but are not limited to, swelling of the throat, gagging, asphyxiation, abnormal bleeding, normal bleeding, uncontrollable laughter, uncontrollable sobbing, the desire to poke someone with a foreign object, the desire to poke oneself with a foreign object, and bed-wetting.
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Steve Bates (Back To You)
β€œ
The crowd neither wants nor seeks knowledge, and the leaders of the crowd, in their own interests, try to strengthen its fear and dislike of everything new and unknown. The slavery in which mankind lives is based upon this fear. It is even difficult to imagine all the horror of this slavery. We do not understand what people are losing. But in order to understand the cause of this slavery it is enough to see how people live, what constitutes the aim of their existence, the object of their desires, passions, and aspirations, of what they think, of what they talk, what they serve and what they worship. Consider what the cultured humanity of our times spends money on; even leaving the war out, what commands the highest price; where the biggest crowds are. If we think for a moment about these questions it becomes clear that humanity, as it is now, with the interests it lives by, cannot expect to have anything different from what it has.
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G.I. Gurdjieff
β€œ
And, indeed, this is the odd thing that is continually happening: there are continually turning up in life moral and rational persons, sages and lovers of humanity who make it their object to live all their lives as morally and rationally as possible, to be, so to speak, a light to their neighbours simply in order to show them that it is possible to live morally and rationally in this world. And yet we all know that those very people sooner or later have been false to themselves, playing some queer trick, often a most unseemly one. Now I ask you: what can be expected of man since he is a being endowed with strange qualities? Shower upon him every earthly blessing, drown him in a sea of happiness, so that nothing but bubbles of bliss can be seen on the surface; give him economic prosperity, such that he should have nothing else to do but sleep, eat cakes and busy himself with the continuation of his species, and even then out of sheer ingratitude, sheer spite, man would play you some nasty trick. He would even risk his cakes and would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneconomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive good sense his fatal fantastic element. It is just his fantastic dreams, his vulgar folly that he will desire to retain, simply in order to prove to himself--as though that were so necessary-- that men still are men and not the keys of a piano, which the laws of nature threaten to control so completely that soon one will be able to desire nothing but by the calendar. And that is not all: even if man really were nothing but a piano-key, even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematics, even then he would not become reasonable, but would purposely do something perverse out of simple ingratitude, simply to gain his point. And if he does not find means he will contrive destruction and chaos, will contrive sufferings of all sorts, only to gain his point!
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Fyodor Dostoevsky
β€œ
Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find until after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same.
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C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
β€œ
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. There may be a moment in life when our compensatory activities, the accumulation of money, learning and objects, leaves us feeling deeply apathetic. This can motivate us towards the search for our real nature beyond appearances. We may find ourselves asking, 'Why am I here? What is life? Who am I?' Sooner or later any intelligent person asks these questions. What you are looking for is what you already are, not what you will become. What you already are is the answer and the source of the question. In this lies its power of transformation. It is a present actual fact. Looking to become something is completely conceptual, merely an idea. The seeker will discover that he is what he seeks and that what he seeks is the source of the inquiry.
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Jean Klein (I Am)
β€œ
But I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy; and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil. I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection. I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling. I desire the company of a man who could sympathise with me; whose eyes would reply to mine. You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend. I have no one near me, gentle yet courageous, possessed of a cultivated as well as of a capacious mind, whose tastes are like my own, to approve or amend my plans. How would such a friend repair the faults of your poor brother!
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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
β€œ
Carnal love in all its forms, from the highest β€” true marriage or platonic love β€” to the most base, down to debauchery, has the beauty of the world for its object. Love that gives itself to the spectacle of the heavens, the plains, the sea, the mountains or the silence of nature senses this love in a thousand faint sounds, breaths of wind and the warmth of the sun. Every human being feels it vaguely for at least a moment. It is an incomplete love, sorrowful, because it gives itself to something incapable of response, which is matter. People desire to transfer this love onto a being that is like it, capable of responding to love, of saying β€˜yes,’ of yielding to it. The feeling of beauty sometimes linked to the appearance of a human being makes this transfer possible at least in an illusory way. But it is the beauty of the world β€” the universal beauty β€” toward which our desire leads. This kind of transfer is expressed in all literature that encompasses love, from the most ancient and most used metaphors and similes of poetry to the subtle analysis of Proust. The desire to love the beauty of the world in a human being is essentially the desire for the Incarnation. If we think it is something else, we are mistaken. The Incarnation alone can satisfy it.
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Simone Weil (Waiting for God)
β€œ
God is not glorified when we keep for ourselves (no matter how thankfully) what we ought to be using to alleviate the misery of unevangelized, uneducated, unmedicated, and unfed millions. The evidence that many professing Christians have been deceived by this doctrine is how little they give and how much they own. God has prospered them. And by an almost irresistible law of consumer culture (baptized by a doctrine of health, wealth, and prosperity) they have bought bigger (and more) houses, newer (and more) cars, fancier (and more) clothes, better (and more) meat, and all manner of trinkets and gadgets and containers and devices and equipment to make life more fun. They will object: Does not the Old Testament promise that God will prosper his people? Indeed! God increases our yield, so that by giving we can prove our yield is not our god. God does not prosper a man's business so that he can move from a Ford to a Cadillac. God prospers a business so that 17,000 unreached people can be reached with the gospel. He prospers the business so that 12 percent of the world's population can move a step back from the precipice of starvation.
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John Piper (Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist)
β€œ
the answer is to just let go the betrayal is to the past the cocoon dangles empty the desire outlasts the object the effort lingers the frustration is in how pointless the effort was the ghost does not make itself transparent the heart knows nothing except its own mind the ideas are not enough the jealousy is always there the killing blow is sometimes the softest the life you lead can be detoured the moment you know cannot be taken back the new you will try to bury the old me the opportunity has passed the past is inopportune the questions all grow from why the reality will always be contended the sadness will ebb the trouble is the time it might take the ugly words cannot be erased, only discredited the versions are never the same the wonder is that we make it through the x is the unknown variable the yesterday cannot be repeated the zenith is the point when you look down and realize you’re no longer below
”
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David Levithan (The Realm of Possibility)
β€œ
It was a still night, tinted with the promise of dawn. A crescent moon was just setting. Ankh-Morpork, largest city in the lands around the Circle Sea, slept. That statement is not really true On the one hand, those parts of the city which normally concerned themselves with, for example, selling vegetables, shoeing horses, carving exquisite small jade ornaments, changing money and making tables, on the whole, slept. Unless they had insomnia. Or had got up in the night, as it might be, to go to the lavatory. On the other hand, many of the less law-abiding citizens were wide awake and, for instance, climbing through windows that didn’t belong to them, slitting throats, mugging one another, listening to loud music in smoky cellars and generally having a lot more fun. But most of the animals were asleep, except for the rats. And the bats, too, of course. As far as the insects were concerned… The point is that descriptive writing is very rarely entirely accurate and during the reign of Olaf Quimby II as Patrician of Ankh some legislation was passed in a determined attempt to put a stop to this sort of thing and introduce some honesty into reporting. Thus, if a legend said of a notable hero that β€œall men spoke of his prowess” any bard who valued his life would add hastily β€œexcept for a couple of people in his home village who thought he was a liar, and quite a lot of other people who had never really heard of him.” Poetic simile was strictly limited to statements like β€œhis mighty steed was as fleet as the wind on a fairly calm day, say about Force Three,” and any loose talk about a beloved having a face that launched a thousand ships would have to be backed by evidence that the object of desire did indeed look like a bottle of champagne.
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Terry Pratchett (The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind, #2))
β€œ
I have met only a very few people - and most of these were not Americans - who had any real desire to be free. Freedom is hard to bear. It can be objected that I am speaking of political freedom in spiritual terms, but the political institutions of any nation are always menaced and are ultimately controlled by the spiritual state of that nation. We are controlled here by our confusion, far more than we know, and the American dream has therefore become something much more closely resembling a nightmare, on the private, domestic, and international levels. Privately, we cannot stand our lives and dare not examine them; domestically, we take no responsibility for (and no pride in) what goes on in our country; and, internationally, for many millions of people, we are an unmitigated disaster. Whoever doubts this last statement has only to open his ears, his heart, his mind, to the testimony of - for example - any Cuban peasant or any Spanish poet, and ask himself what he would feel about us if he were the victim of our performance in pre-Castro Cuba or in Spain. We defend our curious role in Spain by referring to the Russian menace and the necessity of protecting the free world. It has not occurred to us that we have simply been mesmerized by Russia, and that the only real advantage Russia has in what we think of as a struggle between the East and the West is the moral history of the Western world. Russia's secret weapon is the bewilderment and despair and hunger of millions of people of whose existence we are scarecely aware. The Russian Communists are not in the least concerned about these people. But our ignorance and indecision have had the effect, if not of delivering them into Russian hands, of plunging them very deeply in the Russian shadow, for which effect - and it is hard to blame them - the most articulate among them, and the most oppressed as well, distrust us all the more... We are capable of bearing a great burden, once we discover that the burden is reality and arrive where reality is. Anyway, the point here is that we are living in an age of revolution, whether we will or no, and that America is the only Western nation with both the power, and, as I hope to suggest, the experience that may help to make these revolutions real and minimize the human damage.
”
”
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
β€œ
Was it wisdom? Was it knowledge? Was it, once more, the deceptiveness of beauty, so that all one’s perceptions, half-way to truth, were tangled in a golden mesh? Or did she lock up within her some secret which certainly Lily Briscoe believed people must have for the world to go on at all? Every one could not be as helter skelter, hand to mouth as she was. But if they knew, could they tell one what they knew? Sitting on the floor with her arms round Mrs. Ramsay’s knees, close as she could get, smiling to think that Mrs. Ramsay would never know the reason of that pressure, she imagined how in the chambers of the mind and heart of the woman who was, physically, touching her, were stood, like the treasures in the tombs of kings, tablets bearing sacred inscriptions, which if one could spell them out, would teach one everything, but they would never be offered openly, never made public. What art was there, known to love or cunning, by which one pressed through into those secret chambers? What device for becoming, like waters poured into one jar, inextricably the same, one with the object one adored? Could the body achieve, or the mind, subtly mingling in the intricate passages of the brain? or the heart? Could loving, as people called it, make her and Mrs. Ramsay one? for it was not knowledge but unity that she desired, not inscriptions on tablets, nothing that could be written in any language known to men, but intimacy itself, which is knowledge, she had thought, leaning her head on Mrs. Ramsay’s knee.
”
”
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
β€œ
All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves. And yet after such a great number of years, no one without faith has reached the point to which all continually look. All complain, princes and subjects, noblemen and commoners, old and young, strong and weak, learned and ignorant, healthy and sick, of all countries, all time, all ages, and all conditions. A trial so long, so continuous, and so uniform should certainly convince us of our inability to reach the good by our own efforts.... What is it then that this desire and this inability proclaim to us, but that there was once in man a true happiness of which there now remains to him only; the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain in things present? But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable Object, that is to say, only by God Himself.
”
”
Blaise Pascal
β€œ
Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security but [also] at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become "profiteers," who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery. Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.
”
”
John Maynard Keynes (The Economic Consequences of the Peace)
β€œ
afflictions are classed as peripheral mental factors and are not themselves any of the six main minds [eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mental consciousnesses]. however, when any of the afflicting mental factors becomes manifest, a main mind [a mental consciousness] comes under its influence, goes wherever the affliction leads it, and 'accumulates' a bad action. there are a great many different kinds of afflictions, but the chief of them are desire, hatred, pride, wrong view and so forth. of these, desire and hatred are chief. because of an initial attachment to oneself, hatred arises when something undesirable occurs. further, through being attached to oneself the pride that holds one to be superior arises, and similarly when one has no knowledge of something, a wrong view that holds the object of this knowledge to be non-existent arises. how do self-attachment and so forth arise in such great force? because of beginningless conditioning, the mind tightly holds to 'i, i' even in dreams, and through the power of this conception, self-attachment and so forth occur. this false conception of 'i' arises because of one's lack of knowledge concerning the mode of existence of things. the fact that all objects are empty of inherent existence is obscured and one conceives things to exist inherently; the strong conception of 'i' derives from this. therefore, the conception that phenomena inherently exist is the afflicting ignorance that is the ultimate root of all afflictions.
”
”
Dalai Lama XIV
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To the extent that you actually realize that you are not, for example, your anxieties, then your anxieties no longer threaten you. Even if anxiety is present, it no longer overwhelms you because you are no longer exclusively tied to it. You are no longer courting it, fighting it, resisting it, or running from it. In the most radical fashion, anxiety is thoroughly accepted as it is and allowed to move as it will. You have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, by its presence or absence, for you are simply watching it pass by. Thus, any emotion, sensation, thought, memory, or experience that disturbs you is simply one with which you have exclusively identified yourself, and the ultimate resolution of the disturbance is simply to dis-identify with it. You cleanly let all of them drop away by realizing that they are not you--since you can see them, they cannot be the true Seer and Subject. Since they are not your real self, there is no reason whatsoever for you to identify with them, hold on to them, or allow your self to be bound by them. Slowly, gently, as you pursue this dis-identification "therapy," you may find that your entire individual self (persona, ego, centaur), which heretofore you have fought to defend and protect, begins to go transparent and drop away. Not that it literally falls off and you find yourself floating, disembodied, through space. Rather, you begin to feel that what happens to your personal selfβ€”your wishes, hopes, desires, hurtsβ€”is not a matter of life-or-death seriousness, because there is within you a deeper and more basic self which is not touched by these peripheral fluctuations, these surface waves of grand commotion but feeble substance. Thus, your personal mind-and-body may be in pain, or humiliation, or fear, but as long as you abide as the witness of these affairs, as if from on high, they no longer threaten you, and thus you are no longer moved to manipulate them, wrestle with them, or subdue them. Because you are willing to witness them, to look at them impartially, you are able to transcend them. As St. Thomas put it, "Whatever knows certain things cannot have any of them in its own nature." Thus, if the eye were colored red, it wouldn't be able to perceive red objects. It can see red because it is clear, or "redless." Likewise, if we can but watch or witness our distresses, we prove ourselves thereby to be "distress-less," free of the witnessed turmoil. That within which feels pain is itself pain-less; that which feels fear is fear-less; that which perceives tension is tensionless. To witness these states is to transcend them. They no longer seize you from behind because you look at them up front.
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Ken Wilber (No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth)
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I come not, Ambrosia for any of the purposes thou hast named," replied Marcela, "but to defend myself and to prove how unreasonable are all those who blame me for their sorrow and for Chrysostom's death; and therefore I ask all of you that are here to give me your attention, for will not take much time or many words to bring the truth home to persons of sense. Heaven has made me, so you say, beautiful, and so much so that in spite of yourselves my beauty leads you to love me; and for the love you show me you say, and even urge, that I am bound to love you. By that natural understanding which God has given me I know that everything beautiful attracts love, but I cannot see how, by reason of being loved, that which is loved for its beauty is bound to love that which loves it; besides, it may happen that the lover of that which is beautiful may be ugly, and ugliness being detestable, it is very absurd to say, "I love thee because thou art beautiful, thou must love me though I be ugly." But supposing the beauty equal on both sides, it does not follow that the inclinations must be therefore alike, for it is not every beauty that excites love, some but pleasing the eye without winning the affection; and if every sort of beauty excited love and won the heart, the will would wander vaguely to and fro unable to make choice of any; for as there is an infinity of beautiful objects there must be an infinity of inclinations, and true love, I have heard it said, is indivisible, and must be voluntary and not compelled. If this be so, as I believe it to be, why do you desire me to bend my will by force, for no other reason but that you say you love me? Nayβ€”tell meβ€”had Heaven made me ugly, as it has made me beautiful, could I with justice complain of you for not loving me? Moreover, you must remember that the beauty I possess was no choice of mine, for, be it what it may, Heaven of its bounty gave it me without my asking or choosing it; and as the viper, though it kills with it, does not deserve to be blamed for the poison it carries, as it is a gift of nature, neither do I deserve reproach for being beautiful; for beauty in a modest woman is like fire at a distance or a sharp sword; the one does not burn, the other does not cut, those who do not come too near. Honour and virtue are the ornaments of the mind, without which the body, though it be so, has no right to pass for beautiful; but if modesty is one of the virtues that specially lend a grace and charm to mind and body, why should she who is loved for her beauty part with it to gratify one who for his pleasure alone strives with all his might and energy to rob her of it?
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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
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The desire to make art begins early. Among the very young this is encouraged (or at least indulged as harmless) but the push toward a 'serious' education soon exacts a heavy toll on dreams and fantasies....Yet for some the desire persists, and sooner or later must be addressed. And with good reason: your desire to make art -- beautiful or meaningful or emotive art -- is integral to your sense of who you are. Life and Art, once entwined, can quickly become inseparable; at age ninety Frank Lloyd Wright was still designing, Imogen Cunningham still photographing, Stravinsky still composing, Picasso still painting. But if making art gives substance to your sense of self, the corresponding fear is that you're not up to the task -- that you can't do it, or can't do it well, or can't do it again; or that you're not a real artist, or not a good artist, or have no talent, or have nothing to say. The line between the artist and his/her work is a fine one at best, and for the artist it feels (quite naturally) like there is no such line. Making art can feel dangerous and revealing. Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be. For many people, that alone is enough to prevent their ever getting started at all -- and for those who do, trouble isn't long in coming. Doubts, in fact, soon rise in swarms: "I am not an artist -- I am a phony. I have nothing worth saying. I'm not sure what I'm doing. Other people are better than I am. I'm only a [student/physicist/mother/whatever]. I've never had a real exhibit. No one understands my work. No one likes my work. I'm no good. Yet viewed objectively, these fears obviously have less to do with art than they do with the artist. And even less to do with the individual artworks. After all, in making art you bring your highest skills to bear upon the materials and ideas you most care about. Art is a high calling -- fears are coincidental. Coincidental, sneaky and disruptive, we might add, disguising themselves variously as laziness, resistance to deadlines, irritation with materials or surroundings, distraction over the achievements of others -- indeed anything that keeps you from giving your work your best shot. What separates artists from ex-artists is that those who challenge their fears, continue; those who don't, quit. Each step in the artmaking process puts that issue to the test.
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David Bayles (Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking)